| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 617, 6 July 2015
Welcome to this year's 27th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One of the nice things about the open source ecosystem is that there is always something different available. People who tire of a particular family of distributions or a package manager can always find something completely dissimilar to try. This week we explore some different technologies, beginning with the Alpine Linux distribution. Alpine offers a minimal, fast distribution and we explore how this unusual distribution works. This week we also talk about Ubuntu's adoption of the Snappy package manager and what this might mean for the distribution's relationship with its parent, Debian. In our News section we talk about Fedora being ported to the MIPS architecture, FreeBSD's extended support for FreeBSD 8.4, a new graphical package manager coming to FreeBSD and new test builds of Solus. In our Torrent Corner we share the torrents we are seeding this week and then we cover the distributions released last week. In our Opinion poll we explore how dedicated people are to using free and open source solutions. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Exploring Alpine Linux 3.2.0
Alpine Linux has become one of the most frequently requested distributions on my list of projects to review. Alpine is an independent distribution which, as the project's front page tells us, is "a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on musl libc and busybox." The project's About page goes into more detail: "Alpine Linux is a very simple distribution that will try to stay out of your way. It uses its own package manager, called apk, the OpenRC init system, script driven set-ups and that's it! This provides you with a simple, crystal-clear Linux environment without all the noise. You can then add on top of that just the packages you need for your project, so whether it's building a home PVR, or an iSCSI storage controller, a wafer-thin mail server container, or a rock-solid embedded switch, nothing else will get in the way."
Looking through the download options we find that there are a number of different builds we can select. We are presented with six editions: Standard, Mini, Vanilla, Xen, Raspberry Pi and Generic ARM. I was not able to find any concrete description of what set the various editions apart. Raspberry Pi and Generic ARM seemed straight forward enough, but I wasn't sure what would differ between the Standard, Mini and Vanilla editions. The Standard edition is about 300MB in size and it was the option I chose to download. The Vanilla and Mini editions are both about 90MB in size and I'm not sure what those two editions do differently.
Booting from Alpine's Standard media brings up a text console. From the text console we can login as the root user without any password. At this point we have a fairly minimal command line interface without manual pages or hints as to what to do next. Luckily, Alpine has an extensive wiki and the documentation includes a section on installing Alpine to our hard drive. As it turns out, most people can probably just run the program setup-alpine and follow the on-screen instructions.
The setup-alpine program presents us with a text installer that walks us through several configuration steps. We are asked to select our keyboard's layout from a list, give our computer a hostname and then enable networking. We can opt to use DHCP to get an IP address or we can manually provide our own network settings. We are then asked to make up a password for the root account. The following steps ask us to select our time zone from a list, select a package repository mirror the same way and then we are asked if we would like to run OpenSSH or Dropbear as our secure shell server. We are then given the choice of which network time daemon the system should run with options including Busybox, OpenNTPD and Chrony. The user is then asked to select a disk where Alpine will be installed. The next step is interesting. We are asked if we would like to use the target hard disk for storing data only, or we can use the disk to store the entire operating system plus our data. Apparently we have the option of running Alpine from live media and accessing our data from the hard disk. I decided to place the whole Alpine operating system on a local drive. The installer copies its files into place and then asks us to reboot the computer.
At this point I found Alpine would work well in my VirtualBox test environment. Alpine booted very quickly and generally worked well. However, when I tried to run Alpine on a physical desktop computer I ran into a few problems. When booting on my desktop machine Alpine would present me with a command line and indicate it could not find the operating system. With a little experimenting I discovered the root partition had not been mounted. I performed the mount manually and resumed the boot process. Alpine then reported it could not find any init software. I found /sbin/init on Alpine was created as a symbolic link. I replaced this symbolic link with a hard link to the init program. Alpine resumed booting once more, but eventually ran into a kernel panic before reaching a login prompt. After some experimenting, I gave up on running Alpine on my desktop machine and focused on the instance of Alpine I had running in a virtual environment.
The Alpine distribution, by default, boots to a text console. We can login to the root account using the password we created at install time. Alpine is quite light on resources, using a mere 40MB of RAM and taking up 265MB of hard drive space for a full install. The distribution ships with basic GNU command line utilities and version 3.18 of the Linux kernel. When we first sign in a message appears letting us known documentation and tutorials can be found in Alpine's wiki. I definitely recommend exploring the section of the wiki containing tutorials and how-to guides as they are well written and provide step-by-step instructions for enabling common services.
While exploring Alpine's default environment, I made a number of observations which I will share here in no particular order. First, Alpine uses OpenRC to bootstrap the operating system and manage background services. OpenRC is quite light in RAM (using 52kB of resident memory, according to the ps command) and operates very quickly. I usually do not use OpenRC and so I turned to the manual pages, only to discover Alpine does not ship with the man command, nor does the distribution include documentation pages by default. Once the man package has been installed from the repositories, we find documentation is packaged separately from software. So, for example, the repository contains an openrc package and an openrc-doc package for optional documentation. Likewise, the repository holds a coreutils package for common GNU command line programs and a separate coreutils-doc package with documentation for these programs.
Alpine is a very minimal distribution by default. Not only does the distribution ship without manual pages, by default the Standard edition does not ship with a compiler, firewall (iptables) or a graphical interface. When searching through the distribution's repositories (more on package management later) we can find graphical desktop environments, the GNU and Clang compilers and an iptables package. By default user accounts use the ash command line shell. We can install bash from the repositories. Observant readers will note a pattern. Very little is included in Alpine by default, but most popular software can be installed via the distribution's package manager.
Alpine ships with an unusual security feature. When a regular user runs the top or ps commands, they can see only the processes they own. This prevents some forms of snooping on other users' processes. When the root user runs top or ps they can see all running processes, regardless of who owns them. Speaking of user accounts, by default we start out with just the root account. If we wish, we can enable additional user accounts using the adduser command.
Earlier I mentioned Alpine does not include local documentation with the operating system, but there is a good deal of documentation on the project's website. Browsing through the Alpine wiki I found documentation on setting up services such as OpenSSH, an e-mail server and an Apache web server. There are tutorials for setting up desktop environments, configuring common services (such as CUPS, for printing) and tips on using monitoring tools. Each how-to document is laid out in an easy to read format and includes clear instructions.
On Alpine we use the apk command line utility to manage software packages. The apk program uses a command line syntax similar in style to APT on Debian or DNF on Fedora. The apk program works very quickly, which is nice, but it also offers very terse output. For example, when trying to perform an upgrade apk does not say whether the local software is up to date or not. I like to assume no output from the command means no new upgrades are available, but it is difficult to be sure. Even with verbose output enabled on the command line, apk still does not tell us what it is doing (or not doing) or why. Despite the lack of information from apk, I did find the package manager was functional. Using apk, I was able to install lots of new packages, remove unwanted items and search the repositories for new packages.
At one point I experimented with adding a desktop environment to Alpine. I suspect, based on the project's documentation and minimal nature, that Alpine is intended for use on low-end devices, routers, home servers and similar headless machines. Still, Alpine's repositories do feature desktop software (including Xfce, Firefox and Claws Mail) so I wanted to give it a try. The Alpine wiki includes instructions for setting up the X display server and a tutorial on enabling Xfce. While I was able to install the necessary packages, I did not get X to work properly as it seemed to be missing the necessary drivers to work inside VirtualBox. I suspect a graphical environment would have worked as expected on a physical computer.
I am of the opinion that an operating system should either be easy and intuitive to use (like Linux Mint or Mageia) or the operating system should provide a lot of clear and useful documentation (like FreeBSD or Arch). I believe Alpine fits cleanly into the category of providing a lot of useful documentation while offering a bare and terse user interface. I am okay with this arrangement as it means Alpine offers an uncluttered, clean operating system, but I think it's important to note which sort of system we are dealing with; Alpine is an operating system that requires the administrator to read.
There are a number of things I like about Alpine. The distribution is lightning fast, very light on resources, offers a good deal of documentation and lots of packaged services. The wiki is well organized and the distribution provides builds for common x86 and ARM hardware.
I had just one complaint while using Alpine. Basically, it is that some aspects of the distribution are not immediately obvious. For instance, even after skimming through the project's documentation I am still not clear on what the difference is between the Mini and Vanilla editions. The package manager, while capable and fast, is terse to the point of being cryptic. Since, as I noted above, the distribution requires some reading, I think the developers should probably have included manual pages in the Standard installation. In short, I feel that information should be more readily available to facilitate navigating this distribution.
During my time with Alpine I set up a file server, a web server and some database tools. Everything worked well and I was very much in the debt of the wiki writers. The distribution makes performance a priority and offered me very little trouble once I finished the initial setup. I think people who want to run a minimal system, especially on low-end hardware, will be quite pleased with Alpine.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora running on MIPS processors, FreeBSD 8.4's life extended, the OctoPkg package manager and Solus unveils daily builds
A few years ago there was some effort made to port the Fedora distribution to the MIPS processor architecture. While those efforts eventually dropped off, we are now seeing renewed interest in getting Fedora running on MIPS hardware. Michal Toman posted to a Fedora mailing list, writing: "A brief history - some effort to bootstrap Fedora for MIPS has been done
around Fedora 11/12/13, but died afterwards because of lack of interest.
Even though the RPMs were labelled with mips64el architecture, they were
using the hybrid n32 ABI with 32-bit pointers and 64-bit data, rather
than the full 64-bit n64 ABI. Since we decided to go with n64 rather than n32, we have tried to bootstrap the distribution from scratch (well, almost) to see how much problems we will run into. I need to say that I was very surprised that a majority of packages build fine with no or just minor tweaks to specfiles and very few packages do require actual code patching. Anyway, we have now arrived into a state where Fedora mips64el userspace can be booted and played with." At this point the Fedora distribution can be booted into a text console on MIPS hardware and users can login remotely (using OpenSSH) to administer the operating system.
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Version 8.4 of the FreeBSD operating system was originally expected to reach its end of life on June 30, 2015, but the FreeBSD project has decided to extend its life cycle. The FreeBSD project wants to insure there is a clear and appealing upgrade path from FreeBSD 8.4 to newer versions of the operating system and some problems, including one involving Sendmail, have made the FreeBSD team decide to support FreeBSD 8.4 until these issues are fixed. FreeBSD security officer Xin Li wrote, "After the recent reminder about the upcoming EoL for FreeBSD 8.4, several issues have come to our attention related to earlier security advisories, most notably users have reported a regression with Sendmail. We have decided to postpone the EoL date for 8.4 and 8-STABLE to August 1, 2015 to make sure that all known issues have been addressed." More details and a scheduling showing the life cycles of supported FreeBSD releases are available in this mailing list post.
In other FreeBSD-related news, some users of the operating system have been asking for a graphical front-end to the young pkg-ng package manager. The pkg-ng utility has simplified package management on recent versions of FreeBSD, but lacks a graphical interface. The OctoPkg application aims to provide a simple, graphical front-end for the pkg-ng utility. As the project's website states, "OctoPkg is a powerful tool to manage FreeBSD or PC-BSD packages. It has a simple interface which consists of just two panels." The OctoPkg application is in its early stages, but already offers users easy access to most pkg-ng features.
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The Solus project is trying to make the distribution's development builds more accessible. The project recently announced there will be daily snapshots of Solus available for people who wish to test the latest features. "We're enormously happy to be shipping our very first daily ISO today! In a nut-shell, it's built directly from our latest unstable development material, meaning its brand spanking new, and all yours for the humble price of $0.00! This ISO is configured to continue using our unstable software sources, and as such is not meant for production usage. However, we'll be uploading ISOs every day now, in a fully transparent development process. This enables you, our awesome users, to give us real time feedback on breakages, feature enhancements, and see tangible results every single day. This image features the 4.1.0 Linux kernel, Budgie desktop taken directly from git, latest stable GNOME stack (3.16.x), and many other goodies. New packages are appearing in the repositories daily, such as our initial Blender build! As always, get your package requests in, and we'll get them in for you!" The daily snapshot is a development and testing tool and expected to be highly unstable and should not be used in environments where reliability is a priority. More information on the new testing images can be found in the project's blog post.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
The source of Ubuntu's packages
Wondering-about-Ubuntu's-base asks: I've heard Ubuntu is no longer going to be based on Debian and is moving to Snappy over Deb. What impact is this going to have on Ubuntu users? Will Ubuntu no longer be compatible with Debian?
DistroWatch answers: Last month we talked about how the Ubuntu developers were working on merging several technologies into one experimental build. These technologies included the Mir display server, the Unity 8 desktop environment and the Snappy package manager. The Snappy package manager is designed to make packages more secure and it should be easier to roll back Snappy packages to earlier versions if an upgrade breaks functionality.
Some people have speculated that if the Ubuntu developers adopt a new package manager that the Ubuntu distribution will no longer use Debian packages as the distribution's base. Which would mean, the theory goes, that Ubuntu would no longer be based on Debian.
The truth is a little less exciting. At the moment, Snappy packages are being used in development builds and in a special edition of Ubuntu called Ubuntu Core. It is likely, for the next few years anyway, that Snappy packages will be used exclusively in Ubuntu products designed to run on embedded devices, such as Ubuntu's phone operating system and Ubuntu Core. Ubuntu's Desktop and Server editions will almost certainly continue to use .deb packages that have been imported from Debian.
Last December, Mark Shuttleworth wrote about Snappy on his blog. When talking about how Snappy will help developers isolate their packages from the rest of the system he commented, "The snappy system keeps each part of Ubuntu in a separate, read-only file, and does the same for each application. That way, developers can deliver everything they need to be confident their app will work exactly as they intend, and we can take steps to keep the various apps isolated from one another, and ensure that updates are always perfect. Of course, that means that apt-get won't work, but that's OK since developers can reuse debs to make their snappy apps, and the core system is exactly the same as any other Ubuntu system - server or desktop.
Whenever we make a fix to packages in Ubuntu, we'll publish the same fix to Ubuntu Core, and systems can get that fix transactionally. In fact, updates to Ubuntu Core are even smaller than package updates because we only need to send the precise difference between the old and new versions, not the whole package. Of course, Ubuntu Core is in addition to all the current members of the Ubuntu family - desktop, server, and cloud images that use apt-get and debs, and all the many *buntu remixes which bring their particular shine to our community."
In short, it looks as though the traditional flavours of Ubuntu (Desktop and Server) will continue to use .deb packages. At the moment the only editions of Ubuntu where we are likely to see Snappy packages are Core and some experimental builds. The impact to users of Ubuntu's Desktop and Server editions will be non-existent. When Snappy packages do become more widespread, it seems likely Snappy packages will be built using Debian packages.
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: 82
- Total downloads completed: 44,512
- Total data uploaded: 8.3TB
|Released Last Week
DragonFly BSD 4.2.0
The DragonFly BSD team has announced the launch of DragonFly BSD 4.2.0. The new release includes a number of important new features and upgrades. DragonFly BSD 4.2.0 includes GNU's GCC 5 compiler as the default system compiler, offers improved graphics support and Sendmail has been replaced by a home-grown, minimal mail transfer agent. "Sendmail has been replaced by the home-grown DragonFly Mail Agent (DMA) in the base system. DMA is not a full-featured MTA (Mail Transfer Agent), it only accepts mails from local MUA (Mail User Agents) and delivers them immediately, either locally or remotely. DMA doesn't listen to network connections on port 25. People who still need a full-featured MTA must install it from dports. OpenSMTPD, Postfix and Sendmail itself are available as binary packages." DragonFly BSD's audio stack and packet filter have been updated with code ported in from FreeBSD's development branch. More information is available in the release announcement.
OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2
The developers behind OpenMandriva have released a new version of their novice-friendly distribution. OpenMandriva originally started as a fork of Mandriva and continues on with similar goals and practices. The latest release, version 2014.2, ships with UEFI support and upgraded desktop, kernel and multimedia packages. "Just as any offering in the Mandrake spirit should be - it's even more stable and it has loads of new fun stuff! OpenMandriva Scion (2014.2) is a major update release of OpenMandriva Lx 2014.1. What's in and what's new? With this release you can boot the installer or live system from memory stick or DVD on any EFI or BIOS based machine. If you have one where it doesn't work tell us, we really want to know. The installer now offers full EFI support you can even choose which ESP partition you install to. What's more it offers the option to create a BIOS boot partition which means you can install OpenMandriva in BIOS mode on a GPT partitioned disk and you can do this independently of any EFI installs." Additional information is available in the project's release announcement and release notes.
OpenMandriva 2014.2 -- Greeted by the welcome screen
(full image size: 420kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Volker Theile has announced the release of OpenMediaVault 2.1, a new version of the project's specialist Debian-based distribution designed for network-attached storage (NAS) tasks: "Today I am happy to announce the release of OpenMediaVault version 2.1 (Stone burner). The main features at a glance: using Sencha ExtJS 5.1.1 framework for the WebGUI; add a new dashboard and widgets; many internal improvements and bug fixes; improved the internal network interface backend; add WiFi support, only WPA and WPA2 are supported; add VLAN support; the network interface configuration page has been modified, now only the configuration values are displayed, use the dashboard widget to show the state of all network interfaces; the public key of the user must now be specified in the RFC 4716 SSH public key file format, it is possible to add multiple keys; option to turn off the collection of system performance statistics..." See the release announcement for further details.
Linux Mint 17.2
Clement Lefebvre has announced the availability of Linux Mint 17.2. The new release is a long term support release, based on packages from Ubuntu 14.04, and supported through to 2019. Linux Mint ships in two editions, Cinnamon and MATE. The Cinnamon edition offers a number of performance improvements along with better multi-panel and multi-monitor support. The MATE edition now provides users with the ability to enable/disable Caja file browser extensions at run time and ships with a new audio library that automatically detects and works with OSS, ALSA and PulseAudio sound systems. "UEFI is fully supported. Note: Linux Mint does not use digital signatures and does not register to be certified by Microsoft as being a `secure' OS. As such, it will not boot with Secure Boot. If your system is using Secure Boot, turn it off. Note: Linux Mint places its boot files in /boot/efi/EFI/ubuntu to work around this bug. This does not prevent the installation of multiple releases or distributions, or dual-boots between Ubuntu and Linux Mint, as they can all be bootable from the same GRUB menu."
Linux Mint 17.2 -- Cinnamon edition
(full image size: 334kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The antiX project, a distribution suitable for low-resource computing based on Debian's Stable branch, has announced the launch of antiX 15. "A lot of time and work was spent getting antiX-15 (Killa P) ready for stable release; we hope you like it. As with previous releases, antiX-15 comes in 3 flavours for 32- and 64-bit processors all fitting on a CD." Each edition of antiX 15 is based on Debian "Jessie", ships with version 4.0.5 of the Linux kernel and does not include systemd or systemd shims. "antiX has been designed to be fast, light on resources and flexible. Install it to harddrive, run it live from a stick or run as a frugal install on a partion. Want to run antiX on a USB device with persistence? antiX does this simply and effectively. Want to remaster your running live system? antiX makes this easy. Want to create an ISO file of your installed to hard drive system? Yes, antiX has this feature too. Want to run live on a box with UEFI bootloader? antiX can do this. The choice is yours!" Further information is available in the project's release announcement.
The 4MLinux project has announced a new release of the independent Linux distribution. The latest release, 4MLinux 13.0, ships with the GNU Compiler Collection 5 and offers miscellaneous desktop improvements. "The status of the 4MLinux 13.0 series has been changed to S. Major changes in the core of the system, which now uses GNU Compiler Collection 5.1.0 to compile programs designed for the i686 architecture. Additionally, I am very happy to announce that my long work on improving the 4MLinux Desktop has been finished. 4MLinux users can now enjoy the result of this work: an unique, highly customized mixture of JWM (Joe's Window Manager), Window Maker and PCManFM." The release announcement and this blog post offer details and a screen shot tour.
4MLinux 13.0 -- Running the distribution's live desktop
(full image size: 147kB, resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Level of FOSS usage
Some people use free and open source software (FOSS) because it fits with their ideals about how technology should be developed and shared. Others see FOSS as a useful set of tools they can use to achieve their goals. Some see FOSS as a way of life or an ethical choice. This week we would like to know what portion of your computing experience is provided by FOSS. Are you strict about using FOSS exclusively, do you use mostly FOSS with a few exceptions or is most of your software still proprietary?
You can see the results of last week's poll on 32-bit vs 64-bit operating systems here.
Level of FOSS usage
|I use FOSS exclusively: ||159 (8%)|
| I use mostly FOSS with a few exceptions: ||895 (46%)|
| I use a mixture of FOSS and non-free software: ||798 (41%)|
| Most of my software is non-free: ||73 (4%)|
| All of my software is non-free: ||25 (1%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- CrunchBang-Monara. CrunchBang-Monara is a Debian-based distribution that ships with the Openbox window manager. It is intended to act as a spiritual continuation of the CrunchBang distribution.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 13 July 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 • FOSS Level (by pcninja on 2015-07-06 00:23:43 GMT from North America) |
I have a mix of FOSS and closed-source software on my PC.
2 • What non-FOSS? (by mcellius on 2015-07-06 00:40:35 GMT from North America)
Since switching to Linux four years ago I have used only FOSS and haven't purchased any software. I run Ubuntu (two desktops and a laptop) and an IPFire firewall, and have never had any trouble finding any FOSS software that I might need or want. I'm not ideologically opposed to buying software if I need it, but I just haven't found the need.
I'm curious, though: for those using a mix of FOSS and non-free software, what do you need that you're buying? Are you paying for Windows or Mac software to run on those systems, or are you buying games? I know everyone's needs are different, so I'm curious as to what the needs are that aren't met by FOSS software.
3 • FOSS (by tdockery97 on 2015-07-06 01:01:27 GMT from North America)
@#2 mcellius: I believe you are looking at FOSS as involving free price vs. monetary cost. FOSS is also a philosophy regarding free as opposed to proprietary software (such as video drivers, codecs for multimedia use, etc.). I have come across very few people who use strictly free and open source software. I use some free open source software, but I need the proprietary fglrx driver for my video chip to work well, and I do like to watch movies and listen to music, but I rarely purchase software.
4 • FOSS/some non-FOSS (by Corbin Rune on 2015-07-06 01:10:06 GMT from North America)
In my case, I still buy games on Steam, and some music and games from Amazon. I also spend regular time in a couple of MMOs from my Windows days. I''ve also got a need for fglrx ... although, if the FOSS driver were to get to even 85 - 90% of Catalyst's functionality, I'd save myself *that* proprietary headache, at least. (Hell, especially with how often kernel or Xorg updates break the S.O.B.)
5 • I use a mixture of FOSS and non-free software (by Gustavo on 2015-07-06 01:21:51 GMT from South America)
I use Linux (Mint Xfce) exclusively, but Chrome browser is almost obligatory nowadays. Except from Chrome and rarely Skype all I run is FOSS.
6 • FOSS poll (by Thomas Mueller on 2015-07-06 01:33:45 GMT from North America)
I use only FOSS operating systems: FreeBSD, NetBSD, Linux, Haiku, FreeDOS, but need some binary firmwares for wi-fi and HP LaserJet printer plugin, also some multimedia codecs, maybe some MS-Windows applications when I get wine better set up. I still have no Adobe Flash player installed.
On previous computer, I found PLoP boot manager (plop.at) useful: free download but closed-source, practically useless on new computer with more sophisticated boot selection from UEFI screen.
7 • Alpine Linux (by Theodore on 2015-07-06 01:38:48 GMT from Europe)
Alpine is aimed at creating service machines, not desktops, thus saving even some megs in manpages is useful.
It's big like it is, compared to OpenWRT or TinyCore!
8 • Crunchbang-Monara (by vaithy on 2015-07-06 01:46:58 GMT from Asia)
I use puppy based distros,Crunchbang,Arch-bang and AntiX distros for reviving my friend's death end old PCs with 128 RAM and give re-life to them..But sadly Crunchbang stop its developement or slowed down, so when I downloaded Monara Linux.. 64 bit version tested it in my VBOX, got my surprise..Despite the OpenBox limitation everything set up already..Even I can install cairo dock..it give me complete freedom to change therms wall papers, whatever the Jobs that I requested..In my opinion Monara can stand on its own leg.. instead of prefixing Crunchbang before their name...Now they come with 32 bit version ...
9 • FOSS usage (by Joe on 2015-07-06 01:51:51 GMT from Oceania)
I only turn to proprietary software when I have to. At the moment it would be NVIDIA Drivers, Steam, Music codecs, Skype (Although i never use it), Adobe Flash Player.
I run Windows solely for the portions of my gaming library that do not support Linux. I have nothing against Wine but I just find it simpler to just dual boot Windows.
10 • FOSS - Free or Freed? (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-07-06 01:55:57 GMT from North America)
Does this week's survey refer to zero-price OSS (Open-Source Software), or Liberated-License OSS?
11 • Multiple Subjects (by Chris on 2015-07-06 04:02:34 GMT from North America)
Last Week's DWW Poll: While unscientific, and excluding the ARM and Other categories, the results show:
1. x86_64 = Approximately 80% Usage; showing a significant adoption rate.
2. x86_32 = Approximately 50% Usage; showing a significant continued use rate (a.k.a., its "not dead yet" (cue Monty Python, Holy Grail)).
The poll shows that both currently have a place and hopefully OS developers/maintainers keep both around for some time - hint, hint!
Review: Alpine Linux 3.2: Thank you for reviewing Alpine Linux 3.2. I was one of the people requesting such as I think this unique minimal pre-hardened distro has a lot of potential as both a server and a minimal secure desktop (potentially as a VM Host or Guest; and it has X, Gnome, Openbox, Xfce, and various desktop apps in its repos).
One addition to your review. While not ideal, the various download links on the website do have descriptive hover-bubbles which somewhat describe each (e.g., Standard..., Mini..., etc.). I too would however like to see them provide a full description in their wiki.
Unlike you, I had no problems getting the system installed to hardware or VM, but like you, I could easily install and run various servers but not get X to run no matter what (followed wiki and checked forums). Unfortunately, I could not spend too much time on it then and bailed; but once time permits, I plan to spend a weekend on it as necessary. I don't know why, but I just really have a good feeling about this little distro.
This Week's DWW Poll: I try to use FOSS but am not religious about such. On my PCs, I use and selected "mostly FOSS with some exceptions." Each PC of mine is loaded only with Linux but each has need of some proprietary drivers (video and/or wifi) that I cannot avoid and I choose to load proprietary fonts (work functionality), Flash (browser functionality), and media codecs; although, I don't know why I continue to load the proprietary media codecs as I cannot even remember the last time I used them, and the Flash enabled sites I visit may now be covered by HTML5 in Firefox/Iceweasel. [Note to Self: Evaluate Flash need and reconsider only proprietary codec installation on all PCs.]
As for other devices, I currently have to use an iPhone with Apple's proprietary iOS for Facetime use (please don't ask). If I didn't require Apple's Facetime, I would only use the dumbest pre-paid flip-phone I could find for security, privacy, and battery life reasons. As for Google, Android, etc., that is a whole 'nother post for another time...
Speaking of iPhone: Starting this past week, when visiting distrowatch.com with my iPhone, I find that I am now regularly getting redirects and Apple's AppStore is launching. I have no problem with DistroWatch posting adds, but could you please find and eliminate the culprit(s) doing this? Thanks.
12 • Why Non-Free Linux Software (by Michael on 2015-07-06 04:17:19 GMT from Oceania)
TDockery97. I use and pay for turboprint and jpdb_admin. Turboprint solved some problems with my Epson printer (Duplex problem and quality photos). jpdb_admin is the only decent database manager for use with MariaDb V10. I use FOSS extensively but don't mind paying for well written and supported software.
13 • "easy and intuitive to use (like Linux Mint or Mageia)" (by gregzeng on 2015-07-06 04:23:59 GMT from Oceania)
Dw in its distro reviews, seems unaware that Mint shares the same installation setup with Ubuntu-based distros, with slight variations for KDE, or the very new Ubuntu-bases.
On Ubuntu's "Snappy" trials, it seems to me similar to Windows use of "msi" type of installs, instead of the usual "exe" or "bat" installations. Decades later, the newer type of installation process works reasonably well with the older. It's not either-or, but BOTH.
14 • FOSS & closed source (by M.Z. on 2015-07-06 06:59:38 GMT from Planet Mars)
I use a lot of FOSS & a fair amount of proprietary stuff. My main desktop runs the drivers made by nvidia & I stream a fair amount of video through Firefox & Chrome, though I only use Chrome for Netflix & see no other need for it. If it weren't for the drivers & codecs nearly everything else would be open source, but I still use the proprietary bits a lot.
As #3 hints at FOSS means 'free as in speech' software. You can pay money for FOSS solutions as is the case with those who want the peace of mind that comes with support from Red Hat & you can pay nothing for proprietary freeware. See also:
15 • FOSS (by Jozsef on 2015-07-06 07:11:00 GMT from Asia)
I never bought a software for Linux. So I use all free software, on Linux. But I use Windows too and the software I have on Windows is not all free. I would use the same software on Linux if it would work on it. Like Adobe CC for example.
16 • Non-FOSS programs (by SuperOscar on 2015-07-06 07:39:59 GMT from Europe)
There are yet situations when a decent or sufficient FOSS program cannot be found for a given task. I have continued to pay for Qoppa Software’s PDF Studio Pro (PDF editor) and have considered buying WordFast Pro (a TM app) if I’m ever going to be a real translator instead of just a localizer.
17 • FOSS and non-FOSS survey (by far2fish on 2015-07-06 08:06:38 GMT from Europe)
I must admit I wasn't completely sure about which category to put some of the software I use in, so I voted "I use a mixture of FOSS and non-free software"
- Audio and video codecs. Some of them probably non-FOSS. It is not legal to apply for or enforce software patents in my country, and since these codecs are both free (as in cost) and easily available, I could not care less if they are FOSS or not.
- Chromium. FOSS I guess. Until recently I was using Google Chrome though.
- Dropbox. Probably non-FOSS.
- VirtualBox. Probably FOSS except for the VirtualBox Extension Pack, which I also use. And 'yes' I prefer VirtualBox over qemu/kvm any day.
- Windows XP running in VirtualBox. non-FOSS. Used to upload data from a sports watch connected through USB cable.
18 • Crunchbang-Monara (by Xelron on 2015-07-06 08:10:06 GMT from Europe)
Not too fond about the guy behind Crunchbang-Monara a.k.a Monara Linux who thinks he can take emails from Distrowatch, mailing random people asking them to try out his distro. That's just not the way to go imho.
19 • To FOSS or not to FOSS (by Sondar on 2015-07-06 08:15:18 GMT from Europe)
Is there some ambiguity about respondents interpretation of FOSS? Surely the topic has been done to death? Most of the software I use incorporates some form of restrictive license but no funds have changed hands. At the end of the argument, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Some greater erudition might be welcomed whenever this subject arises?
20 • FOSS (by kc1di on 2015-07-06 09:26:03 GMT from North America)
Seems from several of the comments that DW needs to post an article on what FOSS means ;)
Use mostly FOSS here but like others have to use proprietary Drivers and some codecs to get all my work done. Without the Nvidia and broadcom drivers my machines would not be able to run Linux well.
Nouveau. just won't quite cut it on my machines. but other than that I find almost everything else is FOSS.
21 • 18 • Crunchbang-Monara - Xelron (by porkpiehat on 2015-07-06 09:36:31 GMT from North America)
>Not too fond about the guy behind Crunchbang-Monara a.k.a Monara Linux who thinks he can take emails from...
It doesn't matter, if you are fond of the guy (or the gal), who created Crunchbang-Monara, but whether that Monara distro is good or not.
Anyway, why should anyone wait for a non-existing distro, which would never see daylight as a live CD to use Crunchbang on Debian 8, spacexew aka Xelron? Isn't it better to download and use freely available Monara_x86-64 and/or Monara_32?
22 • linux and distrowatch are boring (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-06 09:42:07 GMT from Europe)
After many years of reading and using linux, the scene becomes so boring and the realisation that most of its goals into desktop usage are pointless and flawed. Windows is no option, leaving only OSX, which is a nice balance of "just works" and power. There is no point to beat a dead horse anymore. Distrowatch is the same every single week and provides no useful information at all, in stark contrast to what it used to be.
23 • @22 (by far2fish on 2015-07-06 10:04:15 GMT from Europe)
- Linux is still a niche player on the desktop. True.
- Linux is one of the major server operating systems. Perhaps even the most used one depending on which segment you look at. Hardly a dead horse.
- Android is using a customized Linux kernel, and powers most smart phones in the world.
- Linux or BSD derivates used as embedded OS in a lot of devices like NAS stoarge, wifi routers and so on.
Thankfully no one is forcing you to read anything you don't like :)
DW rocks, but that is my opinion :)
24 • reply to @23 (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-06 10:15:00 GMT from Europe)
Yes i am well aware of all your points, which is why i said desktop linux. Servers are a different kettle of fish entirely, there i would ask what is the point of windows server or OSX server. Very little imo. Nobody is forcing me to read, but is an old habit going back a very long time. Linux will always be a nich market for home desktop computers, sad but true. I wont even lower myself to discuss android here.
25 • FOSS Survey (by Reed on 2015-07-06 12:31:05 GMT from North America)
Fine article Distrowatch, as always. Thanks!
I indeed enjoy using Free and Open Source Software because it "fits with [my] ideals about how technology should be developed and shared." Typically now, I use a mixture of Free Software and closed source software, because I share a computer with my wife (who doesn't need to worry herself with flash not working properly), and because my course work requires some specific closed source applications. A few years ago I was a bit more zealous about it, and used gNewSense, and a couple other Free Software only distribution, but I no longer feel compelled to keep my systems completely "pure."
That being said, I research computer hardware before I buy, so as to avoid buying something that would require closed source software on my system, both because I don't want to support companies that shun the Free Software community (e.g. Nvidia), and also because I find the Free Software typically works better on my systems for my needs (e.g. HP printers with HPLIP). Consequently, I really do have very little closed source software on my systems. Really the only noteworthy offenders are the Adobe Flash pepper plugin installed in Chromium for my wife, and the software I need for school.
26 • @22 (by Simon on 2015-07-06 13:11:39 GMT from Oceania)
@22: Actually, I agree with some of what you've said. I yawn every time another idiot slaps a new wallpaper on his Ubuntu desktop and calls it a "distro". Many of the ridiculous vanity projects listed on this site could be replaced by smallish BASH scripts, telling the package managers of real distros what to install, what custom wallpaper to download, etc. And yes...a few hours on OS X and it's painfully obvious how tossed-together and unprofessional many of these GNU/Linux desktops are. I like DistroWatch, but it's a great example of the "it's better to have lots of different options!" mentality that runs through so much of the FOSS culture. As someone who teaches and supports IT professionally, I can assure you that that's a steaming pile of manure in practice: in practice you want one excellent, highly functional, reliable, well documented solution that actually works...or at most a small handful of excellent alternatives. The last thing you want is a massive garbage pile of hastily released, inadequately documented, largely pointless (often replicating the functionality of existing projects) vanity projects to sift through in a vain search for a tool that actually does the job reliably and well.
27 • FOSS poll (by solt87 on 2015-07-06 13:52:00 GMT from Europe)
I mostly use Free (as in freedom) software, the exceptions are the Nvidia driver, mp3 stuff (or is dat free?), and Steam games, maybe some other that I don't really realize is non-free.
28 • Freedom (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-07-06 14:24:17 GMT from Europe)
This may help:
29 • @26 (by mandog on 2015-07-06 14:54:59 GMT from South America)
Well I totally disagree with that statement Linux is about freedom to do and use what you want and share. When I use OS X I feel like I'm using a system designed for followers or sheep the most restricted OS on the planet Unix code locked down dictated to what you can use to do any task, Spied on by apple to see to make sure you comply with what they dictate. What enjoyment is that I ask?
And all the rubbish it just works is just sales talk.
Linux is what it is, the the Linux Kernel and the freedom to make it into what ever Server, desktop, ATM, home theatre, its endless and you get the satisfaction if you move on from Mint/Ubuntu of building your own to your speck and stop being a sheep.
30 • @ 26 and @ 29 (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-06 15:08:04 GMT from Europe)
@26 agreed whole heartedly. Choice in this community just equates to nothing more than a wallpaper or a worse dsktop environment than the last. Very little innovation going on at all. Choices yes, choices that help workflow or make linux more viable option, no- not at all. :)
@29 well i expected very little OSX love here, but there is nothing about a fluid, simple and very functional desktop which speaks to me of sheeple or followers. This is just a myth. As for "spied on" by apple, you mean spied on like ubuntu, or "whoever" so chooses to add malicious intent to any FOSS software and repackage. Nobody seriously audits the code your running, and the fact the code is open makes it very easy to modify for nefarious means or look for security problems and exploit them. Sure linux is far safer than windows, but that is not BECAUSE it is open source. Its is safer because it is hardly worth to target at desktop level. Security by oscurity. I no longer want to fiddle in the guts of an o.s to make simple daily tasks work correctly, i want an o.s to stay out of my way. Linux fails in this.
31 • @30 (by Hoos on 2015-07-06 16:09:56 GMT from Asia)
I agree that just changing wallpaper, themes and icons do not make something a new distro. On the other hand, there are indeed choices that help workflow, even if it's merely because different people have different preferences. We've all read here strong debates between those who hate Gnome 3 desktop environment and those who love it. And the latter actually say it improves their workflow. Not me, but to each his own.
As for OSX, hmmm. I administer my parents' iMac and I was the one who bought it for them, thinking that it would be simpler and safer for them. However, I find that I myself have absolutely no interest in using it. Do my parents find it easier? Don't know about that. They had a Windows XP machine before that, and I think they are still more comfortable with that type of interface. The Finder.... taskbar for each application at the top.... quite different for them.
So maybe it's more what one starts with and becomes used to?
As for an OS staying out of my way, I wouldn't say that Linux in general fails in this. I would say certain Linux distros fail at it while others are good at it.
It does depend on a person's usage, of course, so I'm not disputing that you may find the Linux distros you've tried get in your way. However, your statement is pretty sweeping and over broad, and won't apply to others.
32 • Snappy packages (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2015-07-06 16:21:15 GMT from South America)
I am extremely excited about the possibility of transactional delta updates and isolated packages for Ubuntu. But the only thing that worries me is how to install the random DEB file from some vendor that is slow to adapt the new format. I know this is still a theoretical situation at this point, but I can definitely foresee users being stuck with some critical piece of software in DEB format that they can't install on Ubuntu Snappy (Desktop). For this, a simple DEB->Snappy converter GUI would be nice, allowing it to pull in dependencies for the DEB and rolling it all into a tidy Snappy package. It might even help devs to convert their software as well, facilitating Snappy adoption.
33 • @ 31 (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-06 17:09:14 GMT from Europe)
Sure, my statements were entirely sweeping, i admit that. I have personally used lots of distro at length, from gentoo, arch, debian sid, slackware etc and tested many, many more over the last 10-15 years. It was my hobby, my love, my work. I installed it on 100's of machines over that time- for all manner of purposes, but as a windows replacement for family/ friends, it rarely was trouble free or intuitive for them. I wouldnt install it on my dog's home computer these days. Sad :(
34 • software mix (by jaslar on 2015-07-06 17:13:29 GMT from North America)
I use a mix of platforms - iPad, Windows laptop, Linux box, Android tablet and phone. I've settled on a core group of apps: Chrome, Gmail, Simplenote, Workflowy, Notecase Pro, and Haroopad. Most, I guess, are not truly FOSS, even when I didn't have to pay for them. Notecase started out FOSS, then moved into a proprietary product. But it's feature-rich (significantly better for me than the free alternatives), has responsive developers, cross platform (except for iOS) and I have no problem supporting software (and developers) I depend on.
35 • Alpine (by a on 2015-07-06 17:34:08 GMT from Europe)
As it turns out I also tried Alpine in the past week under VirtualBox, and it also failed to start Xorg with a "no screens found" error, which cut my test of the distro short.
36 • Linux vs Windows vs OSX (by slice on 2015-07-06 17:54:16 GMT from Europe)
Personally I find both Windows and OSX to be cluttered. I hate the fact that there are a myriad of ways to do every one thing. The same goes for DEs like Mate, Unity, KDE, etc. Elementary is my favorite. Minimalism and an intuitive interface. Lubuntu is acceptable as well.
37 • Too many choices vs Too few choices (by Pearson on 2015-07-06 18:23:11 GMT from North America)
Like many things, there are extremes where the "right choice" is usually somewhere between them (and is different for different types of users).
Too many choices: this leads to incompatibility, documentation variances, rough edges (in many cases, not all), etc.
Too few choices: this leads to a "one size mostly fits all, fits none perfectly" solution. Likely "good enough" for the general user, but leaves many users wanting more. See Windows. It also provides an illusion that "changing wallpaper" is a meaningful difference, possibly leaving the less technical users misinformed about what is truly different, maybe even distracting that user from accessing security updates.
Middle grounds: I personally don't enjoy the Ubuntu approach, but I must say that they've done a good job of providing multiple solutions to cover a broader base of users, with a good common base for documentation.
There should *always* be a place for the "niche'" distos. For one, they might serve a specific purpose (e.g. Point Of Sale, embedded control, etc.) and for another, they provide a fertile ground for ideas to go into the next mainstream distro.
38 • Is Alpine "rolling release"? (by Pearson on 2015-07-06 18:25:46 GMT from North America)
I looked briefly at the Alpine Linux site, and it wasn't obvious whether they are rolling release. I presume that they are, but I just wondered. I also wonder about their policy of security updates. Since they consider themselves a secure foundation, I would presume that they keep up to date with CVEs. It would be nice to see that policy documented.
39 • Poll (by a on 2015-07-06 18:32:21 GMT from Europe)
I’d say 100% FOSS if it wasn’t for…
- the nvidia driver
- probably a few firmware blobs, I have no idea
- VirtualBox? (dunno if it’s FOSS or not)
- the occasional use of foobar2k under Wine
- and of course Steam and games in general.
So no I’m not strict about it. Way too much pain. But as far as applications go, I rarely feel restricted by sticking to FOSS.
40 • FOSS (by George Boguslawski on 2015-07-06 18:35:54 GMT from North America)
Those people who use FOSS exclusively are obviously morally superior in their sanctimony to those minions among us who don't mind "dirtying" their typing fingers with proprietary software. A cheap way of making oneself feel GOOD. At least have the good sense not to overwhelm these minions with your high standards.
41 • 64 bit torrents (by a on 2015-07-06 18:38:35 GMT from Europe)
I was surprised to see torrents only for the 64 bit version of each distro this week, since the previous poll shows 50% of the Distrowatch readership still uses 32 bit.
42 • Alpine and FreeBSD GUI package app (by Will B on 2015-07-06 18:54:43 GMT from North America)
> I did not get X to work properly as it seemed to be
> missing the necessary drivers to work inside VirtualBox.
I've been looking for a very lightweight Linux distro that doesn't use systemd and tried Alpine. Like Jesse, I could not get X to run properly in VirtualBox and added a comment to an existing bug on their tracker . I don't have a DVD/CD drive and tried burning their ISO to USB, but the setup-alpine kept flaking each time I tried it. (sigh)
> In other FreeBSD-related news, some users of the
> operating system have been asking for a graphical
> front-end to the young pkg-ng package manager.
The people who are asking for this probably would be better off using PC-BSD. FreeBSD is not very beginner-friendly, but pkg-ng is super-easy to use...in my opinion a GUI would just clutter it up. My opinion, of course.
43 • Alpine Linux (by bison on 2015-07-06 19:33:11 GMT from North America)
> Apparently we have the option of running Alpine from live media and accessing our data from the hard disk.
Or perhaps one can run Alpine from a RAM disk?
44 • Free as in freedom (by jimt on 2015-07-06 22:23:16 GMT from North America)
I try to keep to wholly free software if it's at all possible to do so. It's really unfortunate that schools and places of work often don't respect that, or only recognize the existence of proprietary tools - especially when learning free software alternatives isn't anywhere near as difficult as it once was.
As for games and music, I'm a fringe case - I don't play much of either on the PC and my music player supports Ogg Vorbis, so there's no need for proprietary drivers or codecs.
As for price, sometimes I buy free software or give a donation when I really like a project. I would urge others to do the same for three reasons. One, projects of any appreciable complexity require enormous time investments, and free software developers often do all this work in addition to other jobs that pay the bills. Two, social contribution deserves to be rewarded, and all the more so if the software is high-quality. Finally, there's nothing wrong with offering to pay for an added feature or fix to a piece of free software, and if others like the change, you may help the project move in a positive direction.
Do you live under a bridge and feed on less riddle-savvy children? 'Cause that was a painful level of trolling.
45 • Dog's Computer (by NOLA on 2015-07-06 22:46:46 GMT from North America)
@33 What do you install on your dog's home computer? My dogs have been pestering me for upgrades.
Also, the hackneyed expression "it just works" is a reference to a myth. If Windows or OSX "just worked," many here would be unemployed. Obviously, they don't. I've had great success weaning clients from Windows and providing them with Linux alternatives that reduce their overhead while maintaining their productivitiy. The fact that there are numerous half-baked Linux distributions available does nothing to alter this fact.
46 • @38 (by Chris on 2015-07-06 22:48:15 GMT from North America)
I am no expert on Alpine Linux; however, based upon my research they appear to have three different repositories: Standard, Testing, and Edge. Standard being the current stable release, Testing being a location for apps under review, and Edge which appears to be rolling. The repos used may be changed in the apk package manager, Debian like.
While their wiki explains Edge is rolling and may be unstable and to beware, there is no mention about their release cycle or how packages go to/from Edge, Testing, and Standard. Again, maybe Debian like; anyone know? We may need to get one of there community to chime in here...
47 • @46 Continuation (by Chris on 2015-07-06 23:02:11 GMT from North America)
I forgot to add to my comment, it almost seems like Alpine Linux is an original development hybrid of an extremely stripped-down Debian with apt-style repos and package management (apk) and a hardened Gentoo with OpenRC. Their wiki even makes Alpine comparisons to both Debian and Gentoo.
This combination is one of the main reasons why I am so interested in the potential of Alpine.
48 • OS X, Windows and Linux flame-war (by Will B on 2015-07-06 23:21:37 GMT from North America)
Okay y'all, really? Let's just use the operating system we prefer and let others use what they like. Good gravy! :-P
Each OS has good points and bad points. Each OS has certain characteristics that work better than others in certain workflows. Each user is different and will want and prefer something different than the next person. Jacques may want an anime-themed Ubuntu distro while Carol wants Windows 7 so she can run all of her company's business apps. Abjit may use OpenBSD because he wants a very secure OS and doesn't mind the lack of certain features while Timmy appreciates the artistic and 'simple' appearance of OS X.
Just like one size of ring or pants doesn't fit all, same goes for operating systems, desktop environments, etc.
Let's now all have some coffee and listen to soothing music. ;-)
49 • 'just works' (by M.Z. on 2015-07-07 00:38:06 GMT from Planet Mars)
The whole OS X 'just works' thing is an inherently bad argument because you have to shell out big $ for special Apple hardware that was designed around OS X. There are virtually zero driver issues until support ends & you get shafted into buying at least another $1000 worth of new hardware from Apple. That's fine if you want to waste that much money on more Macs, but don't come here & start trolling about how much better it is than Linux.
Given the sheer variety of hardware supported by desktop versions of Linux I think the 'just works' factor is excellent & my problems are few & far between. I get a a lot of things out of Linux that I never could out of OS X or any other OS for that matter. There is generally good support for almost any hardware I can through at it, there is better security than nearly any other desktop system, OS X included, & I get virtually all the software I want or need for no cost in a centralized, safe, & easy to maintain manner. I also get a jaw dropping level of customization options & power user features in KDE & a lot of slick features & customization in Cinnamon, not to mention hardware flexibility with lighter weight DE options. If you care about many of those sort of things then OS X is worthless despite the exorbitant hardware costs.
50 • "Just works"? Hah! In your dreams! (by Ben Myers on 2015-07-07 01:05:00 GMT from North America)
None of the OS software "just works". No matter which one you pick (OS X, a Windows release, a Linux distro), none of it just works. You have to spend some time learning how to use the desktop or user interface or whatever you want to call it, and maybe customize it to your liking.
I see very little of OS X around here, but I make a decent living because Windows "just does not work." Sad thing is that Windows is the most flimsy house of cards ever, and that Microsoft has done so well selling it. Unfortunately, part of my work is the same boring repetitive tasks to fix Windows, or to update it, or to remove some malware that has infested it, even Microsoft's own Windows 10 malware.
Nobody ever ever ever please use Windows and "just works" in the same sentence, as I have done with this sentence.
51 • Boring? Since when is Distrowatch supposed to be entertaining? (by frodopogo on 2015-07-07 03:43:42 GMT from North America)
It's supposed to be educational. Learning new stuff is fun, yeah, but once you've learned it, well, yeah, going over it again is likely to be boring. I admit Distrowatch is less interesting now than when I started learning about Linux, but that's not really Distrowatch's fault. That's MY fault!
Still, there are tidbits here and there to be gleaned. I now mostly read now to see if there are any developments that might happen that would possibly keep Linux Mint from "just working".... things like the Bash bug, things Ubuntu might do to make life far too interesting for the Mint developers (like Unity did). Or ways Microsoft is trying to threaten Linux like Secure Boot, etc.
Also, "just works" can be boring. Volvos and Toyotas are generally cars that just work, and many of the models are kind of boring, but people will gladly forgive them that... because them "just working" is so important.
I think there are interesting developments on the Linux desktop scene. It is possible to buy new computers with Linux already installed, and the computers are so small and relatively cheap, that it's easy to get into Linux. The price of the desktop hardware is so low, that the cost of the operating system is a huge proportion of the cost.
I admit, many of the Linux versions you will find pre-installed on new computers are boring.... because they "just work". You want boring? Read a Linux Mint review!!! It's boring because the reviewer usually finds no problems and nothing to criticize... IOW, it "just works!" I think reviewers have stopped doing Linux Mint reviews, because everybody knows unless Ubuntu throws something tricky at them, Linux Mint will just work. There are things I don't like about Ubuntu and Fedora, but you can find them preinstalled on new computers too- because they also "just work".
Being able to boot off of a thumb drive, especially a persistent one is so cool... can Windows or OSX do that? (I honestly don't know) Linux is easier to try than ever.
Yeah, it's from Google, but there are laptops with Chrome OS installed on them... a Linux laptop, available in consumer oriented department stores in the US... I never thought I'd see the day.
I used to help friends and relatives with their Windows computers for free, but it could be VERY stressful. It's nice to know I can offer them Linux, and once they are going on it, they might never need my help again. Yes, Linux just works!
I'm not a gamer, but I recognize that Steam being available for desktop Linux is potentially a huge development. It will increase the user base, and increase pressure on video card makers to keep working with Linux.
I'm a musician. If I had enough money to buy a mac, I wouldn't.... I'd probably buy music stuff... that would be a lot less boring than a COMPUTER. Linux is boring, but it allows me to spend more money on what I really love, because (the better distros at least) just work.... and very cheaply, too.
52 • Monara (by frodopogo on 2015-07-07 03:46:08 GMT from North America)
I think Monara sounds interesting, but the e-mail thing steps over a line.
I'd much rather read about it HERE on Distrowatch than in my mailbox.
53 • @ 48 • OS X, Windows and Linux flame-war (by kendee on 2015-07-07 03:46:43 GMT from Europe)
One just cannot discuss the good, bad and the ugly of 48 • OS X, Windows and Linux, if at all only about Linux and Windows, because OS X is not an operating system anyone can use in any machine as Linux distros or Windows.
OS X comes married to a machine, so if you want to discuss machines with OSes, you'd have to find, use such machines and then argue. If you are nutty enough to buy a machine to use the OS, then what can anyone do about you?
54 • @ 52 • Monara (by kendee on 2015-07-07 03:55:51 GMT from Europe)
> I think Monara sounds interesting, but the e-mail thing steps over a line.
I'd much rather read about it HERE on Distrowatch than in my mailbox. <
Mailing list is a way of passing information.
Yes, Monara is interesting! Actually, it is excellent, rather than just interesting. Looks like the guy had looked thoroughly in to Crunchbang, before creating Monara.
Have you tried it? Maybe, you'd write a review, frodopogo?
55 • @50 (by Smellyman on 2015-07-07 03:56:31 GMT from Asia)
Ben Myers: "but I make a decent living because Windows 'just does not work.'"
Ha. Me too!
I slo had a Mac back in 08. I was surpised how much I just saw a stupid spinning beach ball with the whole thing locked up. I know it is anecdotal but it drove me crazy.
56 • @44 FOSS, donating and @33 (by Hoos on 2015-07-07 04:58:42 GMT from Asia)
My desktop was specifically chosen to run Intel graphics so I could keep to free drivers.
However, there is still Adobe Flash. And while I use Libreoffice, I also have WPS office suite installed for a few pesky documents that display better in WPS. My Brother printer runs on Brother's own driver for colour printing and scanning, but I use a free driver for black and white printing.
For codecs, I'm not in the USA and in any case disagree that pure software patents can even be legally valid. So I don't see mp3 codecs, which I use, as proprietary. That said, I'm using flac (no patents) more and more and re-ripping my CDs to flac instead of mp3.
Everything else is FOSS. I'm practical and realistic but I do try.
Donations: I agree that if we can afford to, we should donate to support our favourite open source projects, and I do. Even a small amount helps because it all adds up if more people do it.
@33: I sure hope you weren't installing "gentoo, arch, debian sid, slackware etc" for your family/friends as Windows replacements
57 • 28 • This may help - or not (by Kragle on 2015-07-07 05:08:11 GMT from North America)
Hint: GNU.org can't own (trademark) the phrase "Free Software"; the meaning of this phrase isn't subject to their control. As much as Marketing loves to mis-use language, such abuse is a refusal to communicate clearly.
Extremist licensing rarely helps - either a monopoly suppresses distribution, or (some of) society thinks they're entitled to steal. Progress is often made in spite of, not because of, such extremism.
58 • @54 Re-Monara (by Maik on 2015-07-07 08:42:02 GMT from Europe)
>Mailing list is a way of passing information.<
This isn't about a mailing list, it's about taking random Email addresses from Distrowatch and sending people unwanted mails asking to try the distro. The guy from Monara told me that in a reply after asking him two times where i should know him from and where he got my email address from. I'm glad that i am not the only one thinking the way i do about the matter looking at comment 18 and 52.
I was one of the 21 people who got such a unwanted email and after not willing to listen to me i mailed Distrowatch about this matter. They weren't to happy about this matter either and found it plain rude what he did.
I still have the emails to prove it if you like.
If you want to promote your project, may it be a new distribution or whatever, then go through the appropriate channel like Distrowatch, Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Blog about it.
59 • @56 installing "gentoo, arch, debian sid, slackware etc" for your family/friends (by ken on 2015-07-07 11:23:36 GMT from Africa)
Once you have a fully installed and configured system with the same same DE and the apps that are needed office suite, multimedia, internet and printing, does it matter to the new windows person whether whats behind is the screeen is gentoo, slack, Ubuntu or Debian? I guess no. So you can install anything that will work for the the people coming from windows as long as you do the right configuration for them. If their intention is to learn how to do somethings on their own, then it might matter and gentoo will not be a good choice.
60 • Weekly poll (by cykodrone on 2015-07-07 11:34:40 GMT from North America)
How about a 'are you avoiding systemd like the plague' question? Just because it fell out of the news doesn't make it OK or the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm curious how many 'Borg' resisters there are. You can probably guess what my vote would be. ;D
61 • @59 installing "gentoo, arch, debian sid, slackware etc" for your family/friends (by Hoos on 2015-07-07 12:27:24 GMT from Asia)
It does matter. Unless you're going to be at their beck and call to install updates and administer the system, your friends are going to update their machine themselves (hey, installing updates isn't that unfamiliar a concept to Windows users, you know). And sometimes updates are urgent due to security concerns.
I can't imagine expecting someone just coming from Windows to initiate updates on a rolling arch or debian sid system.
You yourself have said Gentoo is not a good choice (I admit it intimidates me and even Sabayon was not my thing). As for Slackware, I have no knowledge beyond the fact that it:
" provides no graphical installation procedure and no automatic dependency resolution of software packages. It uses plain text files and only a small set of shell scripts for configuration and administration. Without further modification it boots into a command-line interface environment.... Slackware is considered to be most suitable for advanced and technically inclined Linux users" (from Wiki)
That doesn't sound like something you throw a newbie at.
If instead of Slackware he had said Salix or Vector Linux, which I have tried before with positive results, it would be different. However, I was taking the author of @33 at face value.
62 • FOSS me more!!! (by tom joad on 2015-07-07 13:19:18 GMT from North America)
I started with Ubuntu about ten years ago, give or take. At the time I anticipated that I would have to buy an amount of software. I was thrilled with the idea of FOSS but thought it would be limiting.
Lordy, was I ever wrong. I was not even close on that one.
Ten or so years on I only use the Ubuntu Restricted Extras and Parted Magic. I was truly bummed by Patrick Verner charging for P.M. but I gotta have it. I like it. It works. It has save my 'cookies' a number of times.
So I use very nearly all FOSS apts. And GIMP is out of this world good. Wow!
P.S. If I could write code I would be adding to the pile of free stuff. I would.
63 • 58 • re-Monara - by Maik (by spacex on 2015-07-07 14:23:46 GMT from Europe)
>I was one of the 21 people who got such a unwanted email...<
Only 21?! You must be a very important guy, Maik!
64 • Snappy packages (by Haider Rehman on 2015-07-07 15:21:22 GMT from Asia)
For those wondering, Ubuntu is working on deduplication support, so that dependecies can be shared.
65 • I was 'monara-ed' twice. (by Tom Joad on 2015-07-07 17:30:30 GMT from Europe)
Yup, I checked my email and sure enough I have two 'Monara' email in my in box. I don't need or want any of that. I would be nice for it to stop. Hint, hint.
66 • Manora-proof (by Pearson on 2015-07-07 19:13:26 GMT from North America)
I cheat. I don't list my email or other contact information when I comment on Distrowatch. :-)
67 • A little more in Alpine Linux (by Pearson on 2015-07-07 19:26:19 GMT from North America)
After poking around on the Alpine Linux website, I saw a few things:
* as someone above said, they support releases for about 2 years, and have an "Edge" version that is rolling release.
* According to their "Comparison with other distros" page, "Alpine is compiled using Gentoo portage but Alpine itself uses its own apk-tools binary package"
* Their forum doesn't appear to be very active. I'll see how quickly my question about CVE documentation gets answered (I asked a couple of days ago in their security forum).
68 • @ Xelron, Maik and others...on Crunchbang (by Crunchy on 2015-07-07 20:09:42 GMT from Europe)
These guys have an axe to grind, it appears. Its about Monara coming out with an excellent Crunchbang lookalike on Debian 8.1 as a live DVD. Even though Crunchbang forum was buzzing with energy, Crunchbang was practically dead from 2013--it never released another distro, not even a development one.
Some guys had taken over the Crunchbang forum and "sort of" promised a new iso, but such a live iso never appeared. Whoever really spoke about a live iso was pushed out from the forums. In the mean time #!++ developer released an installable iso, which would pull from Debian repos and install a real Crunchy distro on your computer. This Crunchbang++ is an excellent iso.
There was still the lack of a live DVD, and that was filled by Monara. The 64 bit live dvd was released first. The Monara guy made THE mistake of letting the new Crunchbang forum guys and that angered the so-called moderators of bunsenlabs forum. Actually, there is no bunsenlabs forum, it is still the crunchbang forum, but still they got angry that someone cared enough to create a Crunchy distro for the use of all, and free.
Usually, Debian is quite stable, and Jessie will be reliable until its EOL, and maybe even after. Crunchbang-Monara is based on Debian 8 + Openbox + some tweaked for systemD #! scripts. Openbox is highly configurable and elastic, and scripts are just scripts. You can see everything within. I looked in the live iso, so I know. It installs in a jiffy too.
Monara is not asking anything in return, does s/he? "This Crunchbang-Monara is offered to users as a spiritual (Distrowatch suggestion - 2015-07-06) continuation of Crunchbang."
69 • @68 (by Hoos on 2015-07-07 20:22:14 GMT from Asia)
From what I can see, Maik's point was that Monara trawled Distrowatch for email addresses and emailed him essentially spam or promotional mail to try his distro.
Your post does not explain how that can be regarded as appropriate behaviour here.
I stopped using Crunchbang close to a year ago and I don't take part in their forum. My Openbox Debian distro of choice is Semplice (sid).
I'm just offering a neutral observation.
70 • installing for family friends (by LinusEvilTwin on 2015-07-07 21:19:05 GMT from Europe)
I listed distros i used personally, at no point did i mean to imply i installed arch or gentoo to noobs machines. Would it suprise you to know ubuntu and mint did not always exist?
71 • @68 (by Maik on 2015-07-07 22:38:01 GMT from Europe)
It is as Hoos said and if you don't believe me go ahead and ask Jesse here from Distrowatch, he can confirm i contacted the DW team about the matter with included screenshots of the emails.
I certainly don't have a axe to grind. On top of that i have never used the former Crunchbang and have never been a member of their community, team or whatever. I also don't mind that Monara delivers a, for you and other users, excellent Crunchbang-like distro based on Debian 8.1 and wish the one(s) behind the project good luck with it, really.
But picking out emails from here (DW) and sending people unwanted emails is unacceptable. As i mentioned before, there are other more appropriate ways of promoting a project.
I rest my case.
72 • @68 & @69 (by Chris on 2015-07-07 22:48:28 GMT from North America)
@68 - It is a shame that #! is gone. It is great that others have stepped in to try and fill the void (#!++ first, then Monora, and maybe someday Bunsen Labs). But even if Monora is the greatest thing since sliced bread, spam as a marketing method is not acceptable! As such, I wont even consider giving Monora a try. #!++ appears to be doing it the right, responsible, and polite way; but even they caught hell on the #!/Bunsen Labs forums for introducing their distro (legit misunderstandings, egos, & territoriality, I don't know???).
@69 - I have to say Semplice 7.1 looks like a very promising, yet colorful and unique #! alternative, without even trying to be a #! alternative (existed pre-#!'s end). My only major issue with it is it's based on Debian Sid (personal preference, YMMV); however, I understand from their forums their developer is looking to release a Debian Jessie spin sometime this summer. I look forward to giving it a try once available.
73 • monara crunchbang++ (by lowrider on 2015-07-07 23:37:36 GMT from Europe)
stop using the name crunchbang for your own spins. corenominal the one and only developer of crunchbanglinux put crunchbang to definitive end with cb11 aka waldorf and he made clear to anyone to not use the term crunchbang ever again.
respect this, call your own spin of openbox+conky whatever you want (like semplice or viperrlinux or archbang...) and from this point i take you serious and just start to think about installing /testing what you have to offer in virtualbox. in the meantime i go with the wonderfull crunchbang community who are trying to put together the real sucessor of crunchbang called bunsenlabs (praise the muppets.
74 • @73 (by Chris on 2015-07-07 23:57:39 GMT from North America)
Quote: "corenominal...he made clear to anyone to not use the term crunchbang ever again."
While Corenominal, in his #! termination post, did state he did not want the name Crunchbang (#!) continued as part of any respin, he later publicly blessed the name Crunchbang plus plus (#!++). I would not call that "clear."
Quote: "crunchbang community who are trying to put together the real sucessor of crunchbang called bunsenlabs..."
While I look forward to what Bunsen Labs ultimately offers (whenever they finally get around to it), this is FOSS and therefore there is no "real sucessor" (SIC) to anything.
These are both examples of the "(legit misunderstandings, egos, & territoriality, I don't know???)" I mentioned in @72. Again, I vehemently disagree with Monara's marketing strategy and therefore personally discount them, but why can't Bunsen Labs and #!++ get along and find away of working together to provide, in a timely fashion, the Linux community a product for which there is obvious demand?
Please Note: I am not affiliated in any way with Crunchbang (#!), Crunchbang plus plus (#!++), Monara-Crunchbang, Semplice, or any other Openbox distro other than my custom Debian Jessie build on my PCs.
75 • Poll (by Bill S on 2015-07-08 01:23:57 GMT from North America)
Hey guys, can you put a link up at the top of the page near "comments" that takes us to "poll results" - thanks so much. (save our mouse wheels).
76 • Regarding BunsenLabs... (by @74 on 2015-07-08 03:31:07 GMT from Europe)
The reason why BunsenLabs can't team up with CrunchBang++ or CrunchBang Monara, is as simple as the fact that the BunsenLabs project are completely different. Bunsen will not be a clone. It will of course be inspired by CrunchBang, but it will come with new development, as Corenominal also would have done if he had continued the project.
There is no need for those live-cd's, as many of us already had them, and no, they weren't the first ones. Such images have existed for years. But people don't usually promote remasters and clones as distros.
But the reason why BunsenLabs is taking a bit of time, is because they are developing something better. The original Waldorf is still supported for a long long time, and anyone can upgrade it to track Jessie. There are several tutorials on how to do just that in the community. Why release something that already exists?
So there is no big hurry. BunsenLabs is the official continuation of the #! community, no doubt about that.. But there is no official CrunchBang sucessor as such. Corenominal didn't want that. He wanted a clean break, and the community is respecting his wishes in that regard.
And as Monara insinuates that I'm Xelron, I'm sorry to tell him that it's not me who are wearing several hats here, and just to make it perfectly clear as Monara also keeps linking me to the Bunsen project. I'm not a part of the BunsenLabs Team, and in no way associated with them.
77 • @ 22 LinusEvil CykoCryptoAnalysis (by FollowCopyHide...dd on 2015-07-08 03:32:20 GMT from Oceania)
The Linux desktop problems are not due to LinusEvilTwins, but to LinusEvilTwiplets:
LinusEvilTwiplet no. 1: Kernel Maintenance: Doing a good job because, acoording to him, he got just the right amount of boob time in childhood - although he did have to fight for it, which is why he is prone to foul-mouthed outbursts even to this day.
LinusEvilTwiplet no. 2: App Maintenance: There are still too many command Line apps. Average computer users require GUIfied apps - they don't want to manually compile, configure, use command line, etc. So all the apps need to be GUIfied for Linux to become popular on the desktop. According to inusEvilTwiplet no. 1, no 2 is hiding out and slacking off in this regard because he got too much boob time in childhood - so he thinks he's already in Linux heaven without having to GUIfy anything more.
LinusEvilTwiplet no. 3: DE Maintenance: The DE needs to be easy to use and pleasing to the eye for good productivity. According to LinusEvilTwiplet no. 1, no 3 didn't get enough boob time in childhood - so whenever he sees a software boob (bug) he gets overexcited and works too hard to overcomplicate the DE (KDE, GNOME) to try to make up for Missing In Action no 2.
78 • @ 76 • Regarding BunsenLabs... (by kende on 2015-07-08 05:04:46 GMT from North America)
>The reason why BunsenLabs can't team up with CrunchBang++ or CrunchBang Monara, is as simple as the fact that the BunsenLabs project are completely different. Bunsen will not be a clone. <
Oh, it is a clone, i.e, as far as it uses CB scripts, it is a clone, for example bl-welcome is just like cb-welcome, only the name had changed. Anyone can change names using a text editor, can't they?
>There is no need for those live-cd's...<
Look around, and what you'd see? Live cds all over the Linux world. What do you find in Distrowatch? Live cds!
>But the reason why BunsenLabs is taking a bit of time, is because they are developing something better. <
Okay! No problem there. Let it come out as a live DVD.
>The original Waldorf is still supported for a long long time...>
No, it is not. Go, check the Waldorf repos. The last changes had been somewhere in September 2012. Sure, Debian Wheezy is supported yet.
>So there is no big hurry. BunsenLabs is the official continuation of the #! community, no doubt about that.. But there is no official CrunchBang sucessor as such.<
Hmm...you can either have the cake or eat it.
Bunsenlabs can have the crunchbang community, if the all forum members wants that. No problem there. Just having 3-4 members in it at any given time is practically a waste of time, though. Once, the Crunchbang community was buzzing with activity, but now it is dead.
Monara's isos are called Monara_32 & Monara_x86-64, not Crunchbang.
Monara had released isos that would fit any given time--download and install--until the end of life of Debian 8. So, you can download it in 2016 or 2017 or 2018 up to 2020 and it'd install and upgrade to the existing Debian 8 of that time.
79 • CB++, Monara, AAARGH! (by Ghost 67 on 2015-07-08 06:05:52 GMT from Europe)
Until such a day as BunsenLabs is ready for the hoi-polloi (the devs have said it will not be released until it is ready - all credit to them), we can content ourselves, and pander to our live distro Openbox needs with Madbox and Tweak OS 'Color', two already existing 'similar form-factor' but definitely NOT CB clones. Both are up to date, very stable, and have 32 and 64bit 'live' iso's.
I agree with Corenominal: I'm not sure there IS a need for Waldorf look-a-likes on Jessie.
80 • Monara (by joji Europe on 2015-07-08 07:39:53 GMT from Europe)
Just to say that I have been working with Monara 32 for a couple of days. Find it a nice piece of work. One of the best LiveCD's I ever used.
Debian + Openbox + some fine tuning. What do you need more? In my eyes there is a need for those live-cd's.
If there is something wrong with Monara's marketing strategy he/she could try to explain and eventually apologize.
81 • Marketing (by Kragle on 2015-07-08 11:41:55 GMT from North America)
Email me once, it's advertising - or response to my comment; email me again without my encouragement, it's likely SPAM. Several distros have started out with aggressive marketing tactics, some downright obnoxious. Many wounds heal, in Time.
That said, I'd love to see Live ISOs of AntiXV, and most Slacks. Meanwhile there's Qemu/KVM, spare equipment, etc.
82 • @67 Alpine forums are responsive (by Pearson on 2015-07-08 12:18:16 GMT from North America)
Just wanted to follow up that there was a response, meaningful even, to my question. There's not a lot of activity on the forums, likely due to Alpine focusing on a niche market, but there is activity and I received a clear, complete, and concise answer within a few days.
83 • @80 @81 (by Maik on 2015-07-08 12:20:35 GMT from Europe)
You can't call it marketing strategy or tactics and there's not much to explain about it imho.
Do you think you can expect an apology from someone who isn't really willing to answer in a proper, mature way after asking him the same question twice? Plus keeps you in the CC list even though you asked the person kindly to remove your email address from it and pointed out to find it rather annoying, not even responding to that at all?
When i told him i reported to DW about this matter and i would take other steps if it wouldn't stop, he simply replied with this before i blocked him:
>On Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 3:52 PM, Monara Linux wrote:
Take some antidepressants...or meditate a bit..<
As always, very short replies from his end and just plain rude. It seems one simply can't have a normal conversation with this person.
That being said i don't think he is taking anyone seriously and doesn't understand people can find that what he does/did annoying. If you want a project to succeed then that kind of behaviour is certainly inappropriate and immature.
There's not much DW could do to stop him as he has no connection with their website, they told me.
I'd advise the people who post here not to include their email address at all when leaving a comment to prevent this kind of shit hitting the fan.
84 • @78 (by EW on 2015-07-08 13:05:53 GMT from Europe)
Waldorf is supported as long as Wheezy is supported. Because Waldorf is pretty much just vanilla debian with some custom pipemenus, useful scripts, and of course, the visual appearance provided by the wallpaper, themes and icons. In addition, you have the community that will keep supporting Waldorf.
And it can easily be upgraded to Jessie, it's just a few things that break, and a few precautions people must do before doing the dist-upgrade. As I said, this procedure is described in several tutorials in the community.
And please have your facts correct. Bunsen has never promised a live-cd delivered fast. It was always stated that the netinstall was the first part of this project. As CrunchBang pretty much was just Debian, it makes sense to just install it on top of Debian, like you would with a DE.
That is the starting point of Bunsen, and the live-cd would always have to come after the first part of the project is finished.
I'm sorry to say this Monara, but as you try to boost your own by talking down others, you really don't have a distro yet. You have a couple of custom live-cd's. No support, no community, no website, no documentation, no nothing. The infrastructure for a distro isn't there. Just a sourceforge page with a livd-cd.
You are promoting yourself quite aggressively, and you succeed. You get a crazy amount of downloads, but have no doubt about it. You aren't ready, the heavy marketing is premature, and it will come back to bite you.
But people have to check it out, try it and judge for themselves. I don't care. Just stop down-talking other projects to sell your own. And again, I'm not a part of BunsenLabs, nor assosiated to BunsenLabs in any way, shape or form. I just don't like your approach. That's all.
85 • Monara @83 Maik (by joji on 2015-07-08 15:10:11 GMT from Europe)
Am sorry. Don't know Monara and he doesn't have my email address. Didn't know he / she is so 'rude' and aggressive . Maybe I am too naive expecting an apology. I understand your feelings. All my sympathy.
Can a aggressive person make a nice Live CD. Yes, I think so.
I agree with EW @84 too : "No support, no community, no website, no documentation". But : "just Debian".
86 • @85 joji (by Maik on 2015-07-08 16:54:44 GMT from Europe)
I never said that Monara was agressive but i just found the person not being able to have a constructive, normal conversation with looking at the way things were done from his/her end. I don't know him neither.
I also don't even care or mind Monara releasing a distro but we both know that's not what it's about.
87 • @ 84 EW (by Kendee on 2015-07-08 19:29:56 GMT from Europe)
@ 84 EW
>And please have your facts correct. Bunsen has never promised a live-cd delivered fast. It was always stated that the netinstall was the first part of this project. <
Just imagine you having 3-4 computers at home or 10-15 computers at work. Would you net- install every single computer, or would you use a live CD?
Do you know why PCLinuxOS is so popular? It gives you tools and teaches you how to remaster your install, so you could install the same in many computers.
By the way, Distrowatch watches live CDs, correct? There are 277 distros in the list, and how many of them are not Live cds/dvds?
88 • @ 87 (by EW on 2015-07-09 00:33:23 GMT from Europe)
>Just imagine you having 3-4 computers at home or 10-15 computers at work. Would you net- install every single computer, or would you use a live CD?<
Obviously a live-cd, but Bunsen will be ready with a Live-CD in good time before there are any real need to replace a running Waldorf-system. Wheezy is still oldstable, and fully supported for 8-9 months more, and then the LTS project will support it even further.
>By the way, Distrowatch watches live CDs, correct? There are 277 distros in the list, and how many of them are not Live cds/dvds?<
Yes, but BunsenLabs hasn't requested to be reviewed by DW yet, nor announced any release. It is just Monara who wants to downtalk the Bunsen project in order to exploit the illusion of a void after CrunchBang.
There will be a live-cd. Don't worry about that. All the insinuations and rumours started by Monara has never had any bearing. There are lots of people capable of building live-cd's in the excisting CrunchBang community. Take your pick.
Doing a live-build and creating a live-cd is just a tiny part of creating, running, supporting and maintaining a distro. This little bit of the project was never going to be a problem. The real work is in developing the stuff that's going to end up on the live-cd.
Bunsen isn't a clone, and therefore, Waldorf didn't contain everything that is needed in the live-iso for Bunsen. There is no way that Bunsen could have put something out as fast as ++ or Monara, who hasn't introduced any new development at all.
Making a live build of a distro that isn't developed yet, seems like a bad idea to me...
89 • FOSS (by imnotrich on 2015-07-09 03:27:43 GMT from North America)
I'm trying to come up with an acronym for FOSS, something like Functionality Out the Window but that's not working for me.
Without quoting chapter and verse of every program and driver I use, functionality is important to me. Adobe reader does everything I need, unlike the FOSS alternatives.
Chrome is lightyears ahead of Firefox performance-wise, although not being able to easily block active content I don't want a la noscript is annoying and I still think Chrome is less secure than Firefox. I just don't see "Chrome is not responding" every 5 minutes, unlike with Firefox.
Skype works fairly well for Skype to Skype, a medium good VOIP alternative though there's this nasty sneaky Microsoft tactic of not closing Skype even when you close Skype. Ekiga is a mess, and SFLphone has been abandoned by the developers so now what?
I want to see what's on my monitor, so Nvidia is my only option. No open source drivers are up to snuff yet.
Wireless functionality? I gave up and bought some Cat7.
Open Office is great, and I use it almost exclusively for personal stuff - but when it's a document I have to share with co-workers, Microsoft is my only option again and doesn't always work with WINE so I dual boot. Even with the Microsoft FONTS downloaded for open office. And even though later versions of Microsoft Office can open odt files, the formatting still isn't 100% compatible either direction.
Audio, video codecs - being able to watch dvd's. Ok, so I don't watch dvd's on my computer but I do stream and do some audio production so again we're talking proprietary stuff.
Cups, HPLIP, there are other reasons someone might need to use non-free programs. For example I don't care for iTunes but the open source alternatives corrupt file systems on your ipods and then you have to spend hours reformatting and copying your music back over. So now what?
I think xsane has been abandoned too and that's a shame, because simple scan and other alternatives are garbage.
Flash, java - open source alternatives still don't make the cut.
Not counting servers, based on my experience, I doubt anyone runs a totally free FOSS based system if their intention is to get work done (and some play for that matter). The only folks who go totally FOSS are propeller heads with no job, no work, living in their Mom's basement eating pizza delivery and guzzling large bottles of soda.
90 • @ 88 EW about Monara...& Bunsenlabs (by WSWS on 2015-07-09 06:23:19 GMT from Europe)
>>It is just Monara who wants to downtalk the Bunsen project in order to exploit the illusion of a void after CrunchBang.<<
Pray tell us when and where s/he had downtalked the bunsen project?
Isn't it you, who are downtalking Monara, and pray tell us why you are doing it? Does it hurt you that Monara had done an excellent job?
91 • good FOSS solutions (by M.Z. on 2015-07-09 07:46:52 GMT from Planet Mars)
@89 - good FOSS solutions
Netflix aside I see no use for Chrome, which is still mostly FOSS anyway & largely derivative of webkit/KHTML. I generally get excellent performance form Firefox & if anything Chrome seems to lag on occasion, though I don't really use it enough to say. I'd also point out that that the # 1 performance problem related to Firefox is generally an excessive number of add-ons that have performance issues. At any rate I see only benefits in terms of flexibility, customization, & speed when comparing the heavily FOSS Firefox to the mostly FOSS Chrome, so I use what works better for me.
As for MS Office vs OpenOffice/LibreOffice, well I have few if any problems that I can recall sending people things in .doc format from LibreOffice. Perhaps the formatting isn't perfect, I don't know, but if I want perfect reproduction of formatting in a final product LibreOffice is far better at that anyway. Every time I want to send a finished document with perfect formatting I simply export my document as a pdf from within LibreOffice. I'm not sure, but I don't think that most versions of MS Office have that capability; however, even if they do I still get perfect formatting & total compatibility of finished documents as close to guaranteed as you can get by using LibreOffice to export files to pdf. Given what I've heard about the different versions of MS Office I guess that you would be far more likely to see a .doc/.docx file have problems using the wrong version of Office than you would with a pdf exported from LibreOffice. Perhaps it's because I use Adobe so little, but when I open those pdf files I use Okular & see no advantage in using anything else.
All that being said, I use codecs fairly often to view things & like the trouble free wifi drivers included in Mint/LMDE/Mageia & wouldn't try a FOSS purist distro on my laptop. I use what works & codecs & drivers aside, FOSS gets it done. Also don't insult people, it brings down the level of discourse & makes you look bad.
92 • Libreoffice vs OpenOffice (by Hoos on 2015-07-09 08:25:10 GMT from Asia)
IIRC, a lot of the OpenOffice developers left to join Libreoffice after the Sun Microsystems (who used to own OO) buyout.
For the past few years, most if not all Linux releases have included LO instead of OO, and I believe there is quicker development in LO.
I don't know how true it is now, but I remember the first time I used LO, it loaded up much quicker than OO.
93 • LibreOffice and Microsoft Office commentary (by Ben Myers on 2015-07-09 17:16:10 GMT from North America)
Long ago and far away, I once worked on a minicomputer (never-got-released as a) product called Office Exchange. The ideal was to provide seamless interchange among the potpurri of mostly personal computer word processors available at the time. Problem: Most every word processor was proprietary with undocumented document formats, so they had to be reverse-engineered, a difficult approach on a good day. The ideal was never achieved. The product was axed even before beta testing.
Fast forward to 2015, LibreOffice and Microsoft Office. Microsoft's product uses its own proprietary formats, albeit better documented than what I encountered in the last century 286-era word processors. So Microsoft is Lucy to the Charley Brown of LibreOffice. LibreOffice is chasing proprietary document formats which can be changed at whim by a company noted for its whimsy and its bald attempts to railroad everyone into doing things the really expensive Microsoft way, e.g. Office 365 and Azure integration. Then, too, Microsoft has no incentive at all to handle the open document formats perfectly. So, WYSIWYG! Save money. Use LibreOffice.
94 • The foundation of linux? (by Jordan on 2015-07-09 22:31:26 GMT from North America)
Never did that before now: clicked the "2002" page hit list dropdown:
2 Red Hat
There's Debian. There's Gentoo. There's Slackware.
Yeah, Mandrake. But am I mistaken to assign "foundation of linux status to Debian, Gentoo, and Slackware, just going by that history. I know the history is longer by a long shot.
Slackware for sure.
I do wonder how many of the same devs at those distros are still kickin' it.
95 • Alpine Linux typical DWW nonsense review (by Oko on 2015-07-10 00:23:49 GMT from North America)
Alpine Linux is probably the most secure Linux distro in existence. No systemd nonsense. Includes Xen Dom0. The only Linux distro which ships with PaX-patched Linux kernel which uses extended attributes to alter how things such as ASLR and the NX bit are applied to software. mandoc used by for man pages. Anybody ZFS on Alpine Linux. Yet Jesse is reviewing installation of Xfce. It doesn't get more irrelevant does it?
96 • @90 (by ,EW on 2015-07-10 02:45:54 GMT from Europe)
Nope Monara. I have never commented on the work itself. You don't want me to either. But that's beside the point. If "you" talked about your release it would all be fine.Except the use of unsolicited emails of course, But when you are traveling around the web telling everyone that Bunsen isn't able to create a live-cd on Debian 8, then it becomes another matter all together.
I'm sure that you get disappointed to know that the first 32-bit alpha of the Bunsen live-cd is already out there, and 64-bit is coming this weekend. I installed the live-cd yesterday, and it was very promising. Less flaws as alpha1 than your finished release.
So you see, Bunsen has proven you wrong. And for the final time, I have no personal interest in Bunsen. When I'm defending them, it is only because you don't play fair.
But your biggest problem is that you have started in the wrong end, and if I were you, I would be a bit troubled by the amount of downloads you get. Because you have nothing to meet them with. A distro is much more than just a couple of live-cd's.
Remember, aggressive marketing and making a lot of fuzz triggers the curiosity and will initially get you a lot of users. But they won't stick around if that's all there is.
97 • @ 96 EW (by Monara on 2015-07-10 04:52:55 GMT from North America)
I am been watching some people writing against me. More they write against me, more I find I had done a good job.
First off, I had send some emails (only once) with a copy of that to Distrowatch. If someone was unhappy about it, sorry. All told, I'd written to 21 people, including Distrowatch. Most of the email addresses were hoaxes, though. By the way, I have got some replies and they were very nice!
Second, glad that bunsen guys had released an alpha iso. I hope, they'd finally come out of alpha stage.
Finally, Monara 32 & 64 are Live installable isos based on Debian 8.1 Jessie, Openbox and have tweaked Openbox pipemenus and scripts. These tweaked pipemenus and scripts come from as far as Statler and before.The so-called pipemenus and scripts were created first, then they were used on Openbox. And, because these pipemenus and scripts are for Openbox, they can be used in any distro base, from Arch to Ubuntu, with Openbox.To give credit to the ex-Crunchbang creator Corenominal, I hadn't changed the scripts name "cb"
Until the EOL of Debain 8, Monara isos would never break. They could be installed at anytime from now to April/May 2020--end of support by Debian LTS team. Debian is usually considered very stable. If it breaks, by any chance, I'd know about it, as I am using both.
When time permits, I shall write a wiki and place it in http://sourceforge.net/projects/crunchbangmonara
I am now looking into creating more user friendly Openbox distros based on Debian and Ubuntu, so there'd be new isos coming out. I'd create a forum later. Right now, if any questions happen, ask them at LinuxQuestions, a very nice and friendly forum.
Now EW, if you don't want to use Monara isos, you are very welcome not to. But, there is no need for anger or hysteria. For all others, the isos are free, use than at will. Write to my email, if you want. You can do that through sourceforge.net. Its also here.
98 • @72 - Semplice (by Hoos on 2015-07-10 07:22:22 GMT from Asia)
Coincidentally, Semplice's developer just posted yesterday on his forum that the Debian Stable version of Semplice 7, dubbed "Semplice for Workstations" will have a preview image out in the summer. I assume this means August/Sep, since the final release is roughly fixed for Sep/Oct.
99 • FOSS usage (by Kazlu on 2015-07-10 13:44:32 GMT from Europe)
I stick mostly to free, libre and open source sofware, with a few very specific exceptions. On my main computer, I installed Debian Wheezy without enabling the contrib and non-free repos containing non-free software. But I activated them post install. That way I started with FOSS only but I can choose to use specific pieces of non-free software only when the need arises. The computer is 7 years old and the nvidia video card is perfectly supported by FOSS drivers. But I needed a proprietary driver to run my printer. When I put in the balance the need to use free software and the need to not dump working hardware, if those needs are not both met I favor the last one for ecological reasons. Another example, I don't use Flash in my main browser, Iceweasel, because Flash has proven to have serious security and stability flaws, as well as quite heavy resource usage. I can always compensate with HTML5, Downloadhelper plugin and Lightspark/GNASH depending on the situation. There are however some situations where Flash is mandatory and Lightspark does not work, like replay TV on some websites. For that purpose, I also installed Chromium and pepperflash, that are only used in this situation. I don't use Chromium for my daily browsing.
In short, I use only FOSS with a few exceptions, when I have a need that can not be met with FOSS, and even in that case I try to separate the proprietary part from my daily software.
Oh, and my country does not recognize software patents, so I have multimedia codecs (included in Debian). But this is free/libre software, not proprietary. Why would anyone use closed source multimedia codecs since there are FOSS codecs that do the job for the same multimedia formats? Multimedia codecs only raise a problem with software patents in certain countries, so you have to pay a fee there, but this has nothing to do with free versus proprietary or open source software.
100 • Foss (by mandog on 2015-07-11 19:54:22 GMT from South America)
I use what I need I don't understand all this Foss nonsense its not like my computer is going to punish me for not punishing my self by restricting my Linux enjoyment.
That does not mean I would buy software as there is every thing I need to in the repositories for free in all but the niche Linux Distros.
101 • reviews & FOSS (by M.Z. on 2015-07-11 20:37:43 GMT from Planet Mars)
It should be fairly clear to even the occasional reader that the reviews here generally focus on the PC side of Linux & tend to bring in PC user elements if there is a possibility to do so. You want irrelevant commentary look at your own criticism in that context.
There is a reason for the FOSS philosophy & a good hypothetical basis for why it would be better for you the user to try to stay with FOSS when it's available. It is a fact that in the US there are heavy restrictions on software modification, use of patented software designs etc., and it could be a bigger issue elsewhere if some tech giants get their way. Fortunately FOSS seems to have some momentum, but I wouldn't dismiss FOSS advocates out of hand as there are serious issues at play affecting user rights. I'll still use proprietary drivers & such, but I have to respect the principles of true FOSS advocates even if their solutions still aren't always practical for everyone.
102 • @101 Foss (by mandog on 2015-07-11 21:17:12 GMT from South America)
I do understand the Foss philosophy But its a very big world and a majority of countries do not have the same stupid patent laws as the US and Japan which only accounts for 300 million of the 7 billion + inhabitants of the world.
As I said I do not buy any software even games, as Linux has all we need in the repros I do not class video drivers codecs as non Foss as they are free at source for every bodies enjoyment so why should I sacrifice pleasure with pain for a principle shared by a minority.
103 • FOSS - do what you want (by M.Z. on 2015-07-12 03:48:29 GMT from Planet Mars)
I didn't say you should run only FOSS & don't believe that it is by any means necessary; however, I think we should all respect the intentions of FOSS advocates. That's all I'm saying, respect what they are trying to do for you even if you don't find it practical to use their solutions.That's exactly what I do, I run wifi drivers I need for my laptop & video drivers for my desktop even though they are proprietary, but I still respect the intentions of the FOSS crowd.
Indeed I would encourage you to do whatever you find practical & use whatever drivers you please; however, I do think all of us that use proprietary drivers might be better off in the long run if we use more open hardware because there is less chance of an end to driver support or other cost cutting by hardware vendors. This is of course because the open source community could step in with continued support for open hardware, while proprietary stuff is entirely dependent on the vendor.
I honestly don't see myself making any big sacrifice to go pure FOSS & wouldn't encourage you to either, but if you see a more open solution of roughly equal cost & ease of use I would go for the more open solution & the assurance it brings. As I said it isn't a necessity, but trying to go a bit more FOSS is a good thing to keep in mind that may pay back dividends in the long run. That being said, do what ever you feel like, it's open source so most anything you want to do with your software is up to you, which is part of the beauty of FOSS.
104 • @97 Monara (by Maik on 2015-07-12 12:57:01 GMT from Europe)
>I am been watching some people writing against me. More they write against me, more I find I had done a good job<
I for one am not writing against you and you now exactly what has been bothering me and some other people too as you can see in the comments.
I never tried your distro and never will because i turned my back on Debian based distro's af few years ago. So i can't tell.
I believe it's way too early to think you did a good job...
After a year or so when you have grown your own strong share of followers (Community) and they are pleased, plus people are still interested in your project, then you can say you've achieved something and done a great job. Build up your project first and see after a while if you succeeded or not. ;-)
>First off, I had send some emails (only once) with a copy of that to Distrowatch. If someone was unhappy about it, sorry. All told, I'd written to 21 people, including Distrowatch. Most of the email addresses were hoaxes, though. By the way, I have got some replies and they were very nice!<
It's not about that it happened only once... You have to learn to understand that not everyone appreciates this way of aggressively promoting a project.
Share it in public on Distrowatch, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, blog about it whatever, no big deal.
Anyway, apology accepted.
I wish you all the best and good luck with your project and hope you succeed in what you try to achieve. :-)
105 • Freed or Not-Too-Freed - is that all there is? (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-07-12 21:04:45 GMT from North America)
Am I pleased by proprietary licensing? Of course not; I tolerate it when necessary, and avoid it when shopping.
Am I thrilled by "liberation" licensing? Only a miniscule bit. I put myself in the shoes of the coder, and see moochers self-entitled to steal my work (unless I'm fully paid for the very first source copy, for all time).
The only improvement is that source may be available beyond the support from the originator. That's not much, but it is a materially significant improvement.
It does not, however, substantially reward the hand that feeds. Failure to motivate. Dies on the vine.
Will a better licensing model be invented? Not by monopolists, or (most) lawyers, or zealots. Perhaps we shouldn't look to licensing in the first place.
106 • licensing (by M.Z. on 2015-07-12 23:24:03 GMT from Planet Mars)
For what you said about paying devs in open source licensing vs proprietary to be true the licensing would have to have some impact or tie in to payment for products, which as far as I know it doesn't. A Red Hat dev likely gets paid about the same as a Microsoft dev or an Apple dev, and in the latter two cases all of the sales of the company have little to no impact on payment of the developer beyond the possibility of bigger bonuses or a slightly more generous raise.
Regardless of how the software is licensed, the developer has little to no rights or control over the software & in the proprietary world such software belongs exclusively to the company that hired the people who developed the software, & the profits are the property of the company just as the software is. In fact companies like Apple have tried to actively hold down the wages of their employes by colluding with other tech companies to eliminate hiring of employees from other companies. Given the reality of proprietary companies like Apple trying to suppress the wages of their employees I find it laughable that you believe that Apple of Microsoft would pay their employees any more for the sales of iPhones or copies of Windows, because regardless of weather a hundred copies are sold of a million the products & profits belong to the company not the employees.
Frankly the only difference I would expect based on copies distributed vs licensing is the simple fact that those who develop things that are open sourced can reuse code from various other products & potentially be more productive. I have no idea how it works in practice, but at very least it is a large boon to Red Hat when Intel or SUSE do some work on the Linux Kernel & allow Red Hat works to put time somewhere else, & that work of course pays back the work of the outside companies. As far as I can imagine a FOSS license has no negative impact on workers & benefits all users in addition to making some projects easier by allowing reuse of code. I have no idea where you got the idea that FOSS hurts employees from, but it makes no rational sense to me.
PS here is some info on the Apple collusion case,which indecently involved a number of other companies including Adobe, Google, Intel, & Pixar. Some of those companies do release things under open licenses, so regardless of FOSS vs proprietary there will be attempts to pay employees less. Those issues have do do with the lack of employee rights/unions & the lack of a profit sharing system in most companies & they have nothing to do with FOSS. Check out the links:
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