| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 624, 24 August 2015
Welcome to this year's 34th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
A lot of work goes into creating a Linux distribution, maintaining it and even learning how to use it. This week we talk about the effort that goes into learning Linux, crafting a distribution and keeping a project alive. There are few greater experts on this topic than Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian distribution. Debian just celebrated its 22nd birthday and we mark the occasion by sharing a blog post from Mr Murdock in which he talks about his first experiences with Linux. We also share some new up and coming features from Sabayon, talk about IBM's new partnership with Canonical to run Ubuntu on mainframe computers and share news of a new Linux file system. Plus we discuss the Solus project's quest for funding. First, to kick things off this week, we review the Zorin OS distribution. Zorin OS is designed to be a friendly first Linux distribution for people transitioning from Windows and Sameera Gayan shares his views on the latest version of Zorin OS. In our Tips and Tricks column we discuss a new, stable package repository for PC-BSD and FreeBSD users. Then we share the torrents we are seeding, provide a list of the distributions released last week and ask our readers how you got started using open source operating systems. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Sameera Gayan)
Zorin OS 10 Core - A good OS if you're coming from a heavy Windows background
Zorin OS is a GNU/Linux distribution that attempts to mimic the appearance of the Microsoft Windows operating system. I gave it a go roughly about a year and eight months ago (Zorin OS 8 Core) and my general impression was that it succeed in doing so, meaning that it was quite appealing in the eyes of a Microsoft Windows user.
However, back then I compared it to Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon edition (because they were both based on Ubuntu and looked very similar) and after considering the performance (boot-up speeds, memory usage, etc) and features of both operating systems, I still preferred Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon. But Zorin too did not lag behind by too much, it was mostly the lightweight memory usage and the boot-up speed of Linux Mint that took my attention.
In other words, features-wise, they were both good, but Linux Mint was better in terms of technical implementations, because I just had the impression that Linux Mint had taken in an Ubuntu core, stripped down all the unnecessary aspects of it, optimized it to suit their needs, and had implemented their own desktop environment on top of that.
The Zorin team however, it seemed to me, were relying on an almost fully functioning Ubuntu desktop, the only difference being that it was missing the Unity desktop shell. Zorin even had Compiz (the window manager that Unity relies on for delivering application windows based visual effects) running. To mimic the Windows desktop, they had used Avant Window Navigator (application dock) coupled with a start-menu (created by Zorin), the rest was pretty much Ubuntu. Such an approach leaves little room for optimizing for top performance. Zorin also lacked a couple of theme-based enhancements that I felt needed fixing. They were subtle, but sometimes it's the little things that matter. And that's precisely where Linux Mint shined.
Still, an average memory consumption of 370+ MiB for a desktop is still pretty lightweight. And, it had a tool called Zorin Look Changer which can instantly transfer your desktop into a Windows 7, XP or a GNOME 2 look alike as well. All in all, it was easy to use, even for a beginner who is not much familiar with Linux at all, and in that regard especially, Zorin OS 8 was still a good contender.
Zorin OS 10 -- Default desktop environment
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So, with that in mind, I skipped the previous release and decided to try the new Zorin OS 10 Core which is based on Ubuntu 15.04. I downloaded the 64-bit version which is about 1.45 GB in size. And I'll be comparing its performance (and some of the new features) with the Zorin OS 8 Core data that I have. But before I begin the actual review, below are the details of the hardware on top of which it was run:
Intel Core i3-2330M CPU, Intel HD 3000 GPU, 4GB RAM (DDR3), Toshiba 7200 RPM (320GB) SATA HDD, Intel N-1030 Wireless adapter, Realtek network adapter ('RTL8168'), LED display with 1366x768 resolution (60Hz/60FPS). It's a Dell Vostro V-131 notebook.
Zorin OS 10 -- The system installer
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Zorin OS 10 Core uses the Ubuntu's installer which is excellent, and the only difference is the theme. I won't go into details, because I'm sure most users are familiar with it, and even if you're not, it's a very intuitive, step based, installer that's easy to understand and follow.
That said, one thing that's worth mentioning is that a lot of GNU/Linux distributions that I've recently reviewed failed to add an entry in the boot loader's menu for my primary OS (it used to be Fedora 21, now it's Fedora 22). When reviewing, even Fedora 22 failed to add one! Not Ubuntu's installer though, as Zorin OS 10 Core had added a nice entry for Fedora 22 as well. Excellent.
The GRUB theme has received subtle changes. For instance, there used to be text labels called "Enter Boot", "Edit Selection" and "Commandline" at the bottom of the screen, but now they're replaced by icons, which in effect gives it a cleaner look. All in all it still retains the same beautiful look, though it takes about 2 seconds to load, due to the relatively heavy theme. The boot-logo is the same one that was featured in Zorin OS 8 Core.
As mentioned in the beginning, at a glance, the desktop looks like the familiar traditional Windows desktop and should put Windows users at ease. When compared to Zorin 8 however, except for the wallpaper (which always changes in each new release), there are two prominent changes.
First is the blueish colored bottom-panel. In Zorin 8, it used to be much darker, but I very much prefer the new blue color, when surrounded by the two white colored areas, it looks beautiful and pleasing to the eye.
Zorin 8 used to come with two themes, a lighter (default) one and its darker variant. This version however, includes four color pallets, Blue (default), Green, Orange and Red. And each can be further customized with three background colors (light, dark and black) which changes bottom-panel and application windows colors.
Zorin OS 10 -- New icon theme
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The other change is the new icon theme. These icons are actually from the Elementary OS, and they too look very pretty compared to the old ones.
There are other subtle changes in the theme as well. For instance, previously, the Minimize, Maximize and Close buttons used to be blue. But now their background is set to white and the borders of the buttons are colored in gray.
Not everything is fixed though
In my previous review, I pointed out that when you move the cursor over the start-menu icon, or click on it, a tool-tip message appears displaying "Zorin menu", and if you start searching for an application without bothering to move the cursor (which is what most users usually do, I suppose), the tool-tip message ("Zorin menu") does not fade away as it should, and it covers the search box perfectly, and one can't really see what's being typed in.
This was how it was in Zorin 8 and sadly, it's still here in Zorin OS 10 as well. Very annoying.
Other than that, I very much liked the start-menu, all its features and how menus are arranged. It almost feels like the native start-menu that used to come with Windows 7. You can even right-click on an application icon and select "Open as Administrator" too!
If you prefer a traditional GNOME 2 desktop layout or Windows XP look alike, then you can use the Zorin Look Changer. With just push of a button, it'll transform your desktop.
Zorin OS 10 -- The look changer
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Also, unlike in many other distributions, you can right-click on the desktop and create an empty image file (GIMP), text file or a LibreOffice document easily as well.
Small but neat features like these definitely improve one's confidence, specially if you're coming from a heavy Windows background.
Zorin OS 10 Core ships with the 3.19.0 Linux kernel and X server 1.17.1. Firefox 39.0 is the default web browser and Zorin includes playback support for proprietary multimedia codecs, though inevitably, includes the outdated Adobe Flash Player for Firefox (since Adobe abandoned its development). But it comes with another native Zorin tool called Zorin Web Browser Manager which lets you install Google Chrome, Web (GNOME 3's web browser) and Midori, again, all with a push of a button.
Zorin OS 10 -- The web browser manager
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Firefox played Flash video content smoothly, but I installed Google Chrome due to the security concerns of the outdated Flash Player plugin for Firefox.
Zorin also includes Play On Linux 4.2.8 (it's actually a frond-end for WINE for WINE is the underlying engine). If you're unfamiliar with it, it's a utility that basically lets you run applications that are designed to run in a Microsoft Windows environment, though there's no guarantee that they'll be run properly, or run at all, and not every application is supported either. Still, this too is another encouragement for the Windows users nonetheless (just for the record, I've run a couple of popular Windows applications using Play On Linux in the past quite successfully).
Zorin OS 10 -- Play On Linux
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The default multimedia player is Parole (developed by the Xfce desktop developers). Whenever I paused a video, the video screen got set to blank. I was able to fix it by simply changing the video output to OpenGL through the Preferences window. Other than that, it's a good media player.
Zorin OS 10 -- Changing video output in Parole
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Zorin doesn't create video thumbnails by default either. But that can be quickly fixed by simply installing the ffmpegthumbnailer utility. For that simply use the below commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ffmpegthumbnailer
Zorin 10 OS -- Fixing thumbnail generation
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That should do the trick.
Other applications include: Rhythmbox 3.2.1, OpenShot 1.4.3, Geary Mail 0.10.0 (the default mail client developed for and by the Elementary OS developers), GIMP 2.8.14, Empathy 3.12.9, LibreOffice 220.127.116.11 and few other GNOME 3 applications.
Performance Related Data
Keep in mind that even though these data are provided at the end of the article, I measured them first without touching the OS to keep the accuracy of the readings high. And before measuring them, I booted into the OS 5-6 times, letting things to settle down (such as letting the applications to be done with their first time configurations etc). This is what I always have done in other distributions when measuring performance.
Zorin OS 10 -- Boot times graph
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As mentioned in the beginning of this article, I got a bit frustrated with the boot-up delay of Zorin OS 8 Core, not with Zorin OS 10 Core though. As you can see, it was roughly 23% faster while booting, although, it's about a second behind Ubuntu 15.04 according to my data.
That said, both Zorin 10 and 8 come with a tool called preload that improves your frequently used applications' loading times (to put it into a simpler context: it does this by copying the user's most frequently used programs into the RAM, before they're demanded by the user), and it can slightly slow down the boot-up speed (yes, I've tested it in the past and have written a review) as well.
Memory Usage Upon Desktop Loading
Zorin OS 10 -- Memory usage graph
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As you can see, the new Zorin did not shine in memory usage readings. It used roughly 19.4% more memory than Zorin OS 8, and even Ubuntu 15.04 with its default Unity desktop consumed only about 378.9 MiB which is about 19.4% lighter when compared against Zorin OS 10 Core! I'm not sure about exact reasons, but this is how the numbers stand.
Power Usage at Idle
As always, when measuring power, I turned off Bluetooth, turned on wi-fi (connected to my wireless router) and set screen brightness to its maximum (with dimming disabled), and let the OS idle. The tool I use to measure power is called powerstat (originally developed by Ubuntu developer Colin King).
Zorin OS 10 -- Power usage graph
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Here too Zorin OS 10 Core was not impressive. It consumed about 14% more power than Zorin OS 8 Core, and even Ubuntu 15.04 consumed 7.6% less.
Still, these days, I'm not so much worried about such issues, because unlike in the past, there are a couple of new tools that can be used to fix them. One of my favorite such tools is called TLP (it's a power usage optimizer).
So after installing it, I remeasured the power usage and was quite satisfied with the result as it had reached even below the power usage of Zorin OS 8 Core, though Zorin OS 8 Core power consumption is without any manual tweaks or using tools such as TLP, and back then, I did not install TLP in Zorin OS 8 Core to see what it can do. And just to add, Ubuntu 15.04, after installing TLP, was still able to reduce power by around 10%, compared to Zorin OS 10 Core!
CPU Usage at Idle
Zorin OS 10 -- Measuring CPU usage at idle
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When letting the OS idle, except for the system monitor process itself that constantly kept using about 2-3% of the CPU time (it does that all the time), all the other applications and process did not interrupt the CPU, for longer periods. Excellent.
ACPI and Hardware Recognition
As usual, almost all of my hardware was recognized and configured properly by Zorin OS 10 Core which is not a surprise since it's based on Ubuntu 15.04 and Ubuntu runs well on my hardware.
Zorin was able to restore the previously set screen brightness and restore the states of the Bluetooth and wi-fi adapters as well. Suspending also worked without any issues. After manually installing the above mentioned TLP utility though, Bluetooth adapter got turned on every time I logged into the desktop. Though that can be fixed many ways, I just edited the main configuration file of TLP and got it fixed in no time. I won't go into it here, but if you experience any such issues after installing it, let me know, I'll provide you with the details.
The only hardware that didn't work was the fingerprint reader, but that's how it has always been in other distributions, except in Fedora 22 where it worked partially. But the driver is still very new (I think it's a reverse engineered one) and useless basically.
For those of you who're not familiar with my reviews, I'll provide a brief introduction to this next test. The point of this test is to try to get a sense of the responsiveness of the operating system when put under a heavy I/O (hard disk) activity. Why is it important? Well, who would love an OS that majorly jeopardizes the playback of a movie when your hard disk is busy (say a file copy is underway in the background), or just gets sluggish when trying to open multiple programs at the same time? Nobody, right?
Now, what I do is simple. I try to copy a file (that's usually about 1.5GB in size) between two folders that reside within my home folder, and while it's happening, I try to play a multimedia file first. I then try to open a couple of programs by using an application menu and try to open some by searching as well. When all that's happening, I also try to browse a folder that's filled with a reasonably large amount of files as well. When this is all happening, I mainly try to observe three things. The multimedia playback, how many applications get opened and the cursor's sensitivity.
For instance, if the multimedia playback is not majorly disrupted and if most of the applications get opened up before the file copying is finished and, in this whole time, if the mouse pointer doesn't lose its sensitivity by that much, then I consider the OS to be a responsive one.
So I carried out the test and found out that Parole took 6-7 seconds delay to open up the multimedia file and its play back only interrupted once or twice (all of which were short lived), and, though certainly not all, most of the applications that I tried to open, got opened up before the file copying was finished. Mouse pointer sensitivity got lost only for about two times (each time with a 2-3 seconds delay). Overall, it was good.
Since Ubuntu 15.04 uses the deadline I/O scheduler (a lower level utility that governs the read/write request priority) which is optimized for SSDs, I decided to change it into CFQ to see if it can further improve the responsiveness. So I ran the same test and found out that it did improve things a lot! For instance, Parole, unlike the previous 6-7 seconds delay, was able to play the file within about 2-3 seconds and although the multimedia playback got slightly interrupted 2-3 times (here too they were very short lived, nothing major as to interrupt the enjoyment), the vast majority of the programs got opened up, and the mouse pointer lost its sensitivity a couple of times, but overall, things had been improved.
So all in all, even without changing the I/O scheduler, Zorin behaved well by default. I was a happy end-user.
Just for the record, Ubuntu 15.04 did not perform that well with the deadline I/O scheduler, but I could see the same negative effects in action here (in a somewhat a smaller scale) in Zorin OS 10 Core, such as the big delay of the Parole media player for instance as something very similar happened in Ubuntu 15.04 with VLC. And after changing to CFQ, the situation changed completely in Ubuntu 15.04 as it became very responsive.
Zorin OS 10 -- Shutdown delay
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As you can see, Zorin OS 10 Core was 64% slower while shutting down. Yes it sounds like a lot, and even Ubuntu 15.04 only took about 2.5 seconds for that, still, 4.1 seconds delay is pretty fast for shutting down an OS.
Zorin OS 10 Core, compared to Zorin OS 8 Core, uses more memory, consumes more power and is not the fastest to shut down either. And, as mentioned in the beginning of this article, the reason is because Zorin doesn't seem to care too much about the technical implementations, and inevitably pays a certain price for it.
That being said, it now boots faster and is responsive, and I must say that it quite impressively mimics the appearance of the Microsoft Windows operating system's desktop, not just the appearance, in terms of functionality too it has made a lot of effort, and that really deserves praise. And, if you are coming from a heavy Microsoft Windows background and have never used Linux before, then yes, I would say that Zorin OS 10 Core should make you feel almost at home, plus, the inclusion of Play On Linux might even let you run your favorite native Windows app in Linux! Thus, I see no reason why one such user shouldn't try it out.
Good luck everyone and thank you for reading!
* * * * *
About the author: Hello everyone. My name is Gayan and I'm a bit of a technically oriented individual. I strongly believe that the only way to achieve happiness in life is to follow your passion and live your vision, no matter how small or big it is.
I've been using GNU/Linux for about 12 years now, and I'm also a Red Hat Certified Engineer. In my spare time, I review GNU/Linux distributions on my blog, with an emphasis on their technical aspects. I'm a farmer in real life. And that's me in a nutshell.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Sabayon announces new features, Canonical and IBM partner to run Ubuntu on mainframes, Solus seeks funding, Linux gains a new file system and Debian celebrates its 22nd birthday
Several important changes have been taking place in the Sabayon Linux project. Some of the new features coming to Sabayon include Docker based images, a return of the project's official MATE spin and a new system installer. "We replaced Anaconda installer with Calamares. Many users complained about buggy Anaconda and the Calamares project was designed for distros like Sabayon Linux. At the moment Calamares still lacks some features, like disk-encryption, but we expect them to be implemented sooner or later. Obviously Calamares is fully theme-able and all the artwork is in a separate artwork package. The installer configuration is shipped with the app-misc/calamares-sabayon-base-modules package." The project's status report also mentions the availability of Plasma 5 desktop packages in a community repository and plans to officially support the ARM architecture.
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IBM and Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu distribution, have announced they will be working together to support Ubuntu running on IBM mainframe computers. According to IBM's announcement, the company will be supplying LinuxONE and z System machines which will run Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise and Ubuntu. According to the announcement, IBM is offering free access to LinuxONE environments for developers. "Marist College and Syracuse University's School of Information Studies plan to host clouds that provide developers access to a virtual IBM LinuxONE at no cost. As part of the program, IBM also will create a special cloud for independent software providers (ISVs) hosted at IBM sites in Dallas, Beijing and Boeblingen, Germany, that provide application vendors access and a free trial to LinuxONE resources to port, test and benchmark new applications for the LinuxONE and z Systems platform." IT World has an interview with Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth in which he talks about the deal with IBM, Snappy packages and open source in the enterprise market.
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To adapt an old saying, money makes the hard drives go around. While most Linux distributions are provided to users free of charge, the developers of these distributions do need to cover costs. Most Linux distributions have hosting costs, backup servers to maintain, testing equipment to purchase and electric bills. Plus it would be nice to be able to pay contributors or post bug bounties. Unfortunately, most Linux distributions have trouble meeting their costs and developers end up paying the bills out of their own pockets. The Solus distribution is currently trying to come up with funds to meet the project's hosting costs. A post on the project's Google Plus page reads, "We need to think of some alternative funding mechanisms for the project. The current Patreon monthly fund is barely going to cover the monthly bills anymore, having dropped to $78 a month. (If you include the new NAS that we drastically need to move to from lack of disk space, then it actually doesn't cover the monthlies.) So, we know Bountysource didn't work (we ran that for several months), and it requires us to use GitHub's inferior issue tracking. We know Patreon fluctuates wildly, with an ongoing downward trend. So the only things I can think of now would be advertising or similar, but I really don't see those coming anywhere near what we'd need to run the servers. So, thoughts?" An ongoing discussion on how to keep the project financially afloat is taking place on the Solus Google Plus page.
* * * * *
Kent Overstreet has announced the availability of a new Linux file system. The new file system, called bcache, is designed to deliver the performance of ext4 while offering the copy-on-write and snapshot features present in Btrfs and ZFS. At the moment, Overstreet says the file system is still in its testing phase and may not be completely safe to use. "I've been focusing on stability and correctness for quite awhile now; xfstests passes aside from a few relatively minor known issues. It probably won't eat your data - but no promises. Also note - the on disk format is not finalized yet, and won't be for awhile
though changes are infrequent at this point." Benchmarks and information on using the new bcache file system can be found in Overstreet's post.
* * * * *
Debian, one of the older surviving distributions and parent to over one hundred other GNU/Linux distributions, celebrated its 22nd birthday last week. Debian is one of the largest distributions in terms of packages maintained, architectures supported and developers working on the project. Last week Ian Murdock, the founder of Debian, shared a blog post in which he talked about what caused him to explore Linux and create one of the world's most successful distributions. "I was also accessing UNIX from home via my Intel 80286-based PC and a 2400-baud modem, which saved me the trek across campus to the computer lab on particularly cold days. Being able to get to the Sequent from home was great, but I wanted to replicate the experience of the ENAD building's X terminals, so one day, in January 1993, I set out to find an X server that would run on my PC. As I searched for such a thing on Usenet, I stumbled across something called `Linux.' Linux wasn't an X server, of course, but it was something much better: A complete UNIX-like operating system for PCs, something I hadn't even contemplated could exist." Happy birthday, Debian, and thank you Mr Murdock!
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Improved package stability coming to FreeBSD/PC-BSD
In the Linux community there are two main types of distributions, those which provide fixed releases which stay relatively static during the life time of the release and rolling release distributions which are continuously upgraded. With fixed release distributions packages within a distribution's repositories usually remain unchanged (apart from security updates) for the duration of the distribution's life cycle. With rolling release distributions packages are generally updated and tested to make sure each application works with the other pieces of software within the rolling repositories. There is a third type of Linux distribution which uses a semi-rolling release model. These distributions usually maintain a stable core with the kernel, drivers and other essential components remaining fixed while desktop applications and less critical components are continuously upgraded.
The open source BSD projects compare most closely with the semi-rolling release model found in the Linux community. With the BSDs (specifically I plan to talk about FreeBSD and its branch of the BSD family in this article) the projects release a stable core which includes a kernel, command line utilities and other essential components. Meanwhile, much of the services, desktop applications and libraries are kept separate in another repository referred to as a ports collection. The items in the ports collection are not maintained directly by the FreeBSD project, the software in the ports collection comes from third-parties and is not subject to the same scrutiny and standards. Typically, in the BSD world, people mix a stable core operating system with a ports collection that is in regular flux. This means the operating system, FreeBSD for the sake of today's topic, is stable for years while the ports are changing fairly rapidly.
As one might imagine, having a collection of packages which regularly update and change operating on top of a core system that is stable can cause some problems. It is easy to imagine a situation in which we are using two services, Y and Z, which both rely on the MySQL (version 5.5) database. Then, over time, service Y is upgraded and requires MySQL 5.6 while service Z still wants MySQL 5.5. In situations such as these the pkg package manager runs into a conflict. It wants to upgrade service Y to the latest version, but to do so it needs to upgrade MySQL, which will break the dependency chain service Z depends on. It is not uncommon to find the pkg package manager throwing up its metaphorical hands and either refusing to upgrade service Y or insisting it needs to un-install Z. Neither is a pleasant situation for a system administrator.
The FreeBSD project and, by extension, related projects like PC-BSD which use FreeBSD as a base, have recently formalized long term support for FreeBSD releases. This was a welcome change for system administrators who use FreeBSD and want long, predictable release cycles. However, the ports collection continues to roll forward, even while the core of FreeBSD remains stable. This can lead to surprises during package upgrades.
The PC-BSD project, an organization which builds friendly server and desktop environments on top of FreeBSD, is working on a solution that will allow administrators to keep up with security updates while avoiding a lot of dependency conflicts. The PC-BSD project has set up a new package repository, named Enterprise, which becomes "frozen" when new releases of FreeBSD & PC-BSD are launched. The Enterprise package repository will be kept up to date with security fixes from upstream projects, but will avoid changing dependencies or making modifications to packages which will harm compatibility. The new repository, which can be accessed by PC-BSD and FreeBSD users, will try to offer stable packages for the five year life span of FreeBSD releases, similar to the way Debian, CentOS and Ubuntu maintain fixed repositories which are only updated with security fixes. The Enterprise repository's five year mission is to allow administrators to keep up to date with security fixes while avoiding situations where service Y and service Z suddenly find themselves with conflicting dependencies.
The existing PC-BSD and FreeBSD package repositories still remain available to people who want the latest and greatest software. The new Enterprise repository is presented as an additional package source for people who crave stability over new features. Administrators and end users who use the Enterprise repository can request that specific packages receive special attention on the PC-BSD support forum in the Enterprise Repository Update Requests section.
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 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. 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: 102
- Total downloads completed: 48,903
- Total data uploaded: 11.2TB
|Released Last Week
IPFire 2.17 Core Update 93
The developers of IPFire, an independent Linux distribution designed to be run on firewalls, VPNs and network gateways, have released IPFire 2.17 Core Update 93. The new release includes a number of bug fixes and expands support for dynamic DNS services. "This is the official release announcement of IPFire 2.17 - Core Update 93. This update comes with various security fixes in the Squid web proxy, the dnsmasq DNS proxy server and the Perl-compatible regular expressions library. ddns, our dynamic DNS update client, has been updated to version 008. This version is more robust against network errors on the path and server errors at the provider. Updates will then be retried frequently. The providers joker.com and DNSmadeEasy are now supported. A crash when updating namecheap records has been fixed. Pakfire was fixed and now correctly pulls additional dependencies of add-on packages when updating from an older version. TRIM is disabled on some SSDs with known firmware bugs that cause data loss." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Dru Lavigne has announced the launch of PC-BSD 10.2. The PC-BSD project is based on FreeBSD and offers users pre-configured desktop environments, ZFS on root and graphical system administration utilities. The new release includes several bug fixes and a number of new features, including a CD-sized network installation disc. "The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce the availability of 10.2-RELEASE! A very special thanks to all the developers, QA, and documentation teams for helping to make this release possible. PC-BSD 10.2 Notable Changes: FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE base system; Many bug fixes and enhancements to installer to dual-boot setups; New CD-sized network installation media, with wifi Configuration via GUI; Switched to `iocage' for jail management backend; Disk Manager GUI now available via installer GUI; Bug-fixes and improvements to Life-Preserver replications; Improved localization options for login manager..." This release also features a server edition of PC-BSD called TrueOS. Further information is available in the project's release announcement.
PC-BSD 10.2 -- Running the Lumina desktop environment
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The developers of Q4OS, a lightweight Debian-based distribution featuring the Trinity desktop environment, have delivered a new point release. The new release, Q4OS 1.2.8, features improved dependency management in the Setup application and bug fixes. "This Q4OS release delivers redesigned 'Setup' utility, the native Q4OS tool, that enables smooth and user friendly installation of external applications. It has been improved to be able to solve dependencies of packages in deeper complexity and automatically install extra useful software without the need of additional user intervention. An integrated message-box now displays installation messages much clearer. Several system bug fixes and under the hood improvements has been closed as usual. All the updates will arrive into repositories in the days to come, automatic unattended upgrades mechanism will take care about to update computers of current users." Further information can be found on the project's blog.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Why did you start using Linux/BSD?
Most computers sold around the world today still ship with proprietary operating systems installed on them. It is relatively rare to find computers with Linux or BSD installed on them in retail shops and it's often difficult to find consumer laptop and desktop computers on the websites of companies like Dell and HP. This means most people who are currently running Linux or BSD made the choice to switch from a proprietary operating system to an open source system.
Our question this week is: why did you start using Linux or BSD? Switching operating systems usually requires some self-education and a willingness to try new things, so what motivated you to make the switch? Was it curiosity, was it the ideals of free and open source software, perhaps it was frustration with the previous operating system or the desire to access a specific feature? Let us know what drew you to explore the world of open source in the comments section.
You can see the results of last week's poll on dual booting here.
I switched to Linux/BSD due to
|Curiosity: ||775 (22%)|
| Cost: ||163 (5%)|
| Frustrations with my old OS: ||806 (23%)|
| Features: ||150 (4%)|
| Escaping malware: ||410 (12%)|
| A Friend recommended it: ||92 (3%)|
| Work/Education purposes: ||212 (6%)|
| I like the philosophy/ideals: ||771 (22%)|
| Other: ||104 (3%)|
Search for distributions based on release model
Several of our readers have written to us and asked for the ability to search for distributions based on release models. Specifically people have said they would like to find distributions which use a rolling, semi-rolling or fixed release approach. This past week we rolled out the initial code to make this a possibility.
One of the challenges involved with finding distributions based on whether the project is using a rolling release model or not is defining what qualifies as a rolling release. For instance, Clonezilla Live is based on Debian's development repositories, which would suggest Clonezilla uses a rolling release model. However, Clonezilla is primarily used as a live disc, which means users need to download a new ISO file each time they want to upgrade their Clonezilla Live software. This makes Clonezilla Live, for most practical purposes, a fixed release distribution.
Further complicating matters, most projects maintain a development branch. Fedora calls their development repository Rawhide, Slackware calls theirs Current, PC-BSD calls their development branch Edge. These repositories are, from one point of view, rolling releases. However, these development repositories are not typically used by the general public and are not enabled by default.
Keeping the above points in mind, we have tagged a distribution as using a rolling (or semi-rolling) release model if the default repositories are operating under a rolling release model. We have also tagged distributions as using a rolling release model if the project provides separate installation media for their development repository (as Debian and openSUSE do). A distribution may also be tagged as a rolling release if the project's system installer gives the user the choice of enabling rolling release repositories at install time. The antiX distribution, for example, gives the choice of using Debian's Stable, Testing or Unstable repositories at install time.
With the above criteria, we have added "Release model" as a searchable feature on our Search page. This new search parameter allows a visitor to find, for example, all rolling release distributions which use Portage for package management. Or we could look for all distributions which use RPM and offer a semi-rolling release model.
In several cases we were not able to find clear information on whether a distribution used a fixed, rolling release or semi-rolling release model. If we have miscategorized a distribution, please e-mail Jesse, put "Rolling release" in the subject line and provide us with a link to the project's documentation on its release model. Thank you.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- RaspBSD. RaspBSD is a port of the FreeBSD operating system to Raspberry Pi computers. The project strives to offer users an easy way to run FreeBSD on Raspberry Pi and related mini computers.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 31 August 2015. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Sameera Gayan (feature story)
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Switch to Linux Poll (by Tux Raider on 2015-08-24 00:42:02 GMT from North America) |
I started using a PC that came with Windows 98 and thought that the computer and the internet was the best thing ever, kept win98 when WinME came out because of bad reviews, i heard of Linux but have not taken the plunge yet, bought Windows2000 and thought it was good but a little less flexible than Win9x, then when WinXP came out and that it had copy protection so i could not burn and copys to give away to people that was the last straw and i tried to install Debian Potato and the 2.2 kernel failed to boot on my PC, then i tried Slackware-8.0 and it worked great, Gnome-1.4 was okay but KDE-2.x was even better and i forgot all about windows and the adjustment was quick because all i really liked to do was surf the internet email, and play audio/video files, and fiddle with pictures with a flatbed scanner stuff like that, been a full time linux user now for about 16 years, i love it and recommend it to everybody looking for an alternative to MS_Windows
2 • Switch to Linux (by Romane on 2015-08-24 01:20:56 GMT from Oceania)
Was introduced to Unix at college studying programming and operating systems, and initially played at home with Minix. First experience with Linux, as such, was Red Hat in its earlier incarnations. Over the years, though staying with Windows, would every now and again check out the latest from Linux. The point of conversion came when running Mepis, then decided to, as it was based on Debian, give Debian a go. By the time Lenny was in testing after a couple of months testing, felt that Linux had matured to the stage that could at last make it the full-time system, and dual boot into Windows for those "things" that felt still needed Windows for. Have stayed with Debian Testing the whole time, and about a year after installing Debian the first time, wiped Windows and went Linux full-time.
Still have a laptop with, now Windows 10 on it, but about the only time it gets started these days is to do updates every few weeks.
3 • Switch to Linux (by Brenton Horne on 2015-08-24 01:43:10 GMT from Oceania)
I started out using Microsoft Windows originally. I first used a computer running Windows when I was around five years old and I used this OS alone until around three years ago when I first tried Ubuntu. At first it was just curiosity that tempted me to try out Ubuntu, that and the fact I had an interest in scientific computing (i.e., performing numerical computations using software like MATLAB) and I knew many of the world's fastest supercomputers run Linux systems.
When I first started using Ubuntu frustration was around every corner and whenever I mentioned the fact I was trying Ubuntu to my friends they told me that they hated Ubuntu as it was so frustrating to them too. But before long I got the hang of it, with the help of AskUbuntu, that is. Now using VirtualBox and my removable hard drive I have tried over twenty different Linux distributions, with Ubuntu, Sabayon Linux and Manjaro Linux being my favourite distros.
4 • How I started using Linux (by MrOats on 2015-08-24 01:46:46 GMT from North America)
Being an Intern at an IT company that focuses on Windows support, one of my coworkers has been using Linux for a long time. He saw that I was a child that loved to learn new things and wasn't afraid to tackle a completely different world. So he started bring that term up. "Linux". I told him I heard about it before, but I didn't know how to get it going or even how I could work with a new OS. So he was kind enough to show me how to get it. By using PenDriveLinux, he grabbed Linux Mint, and threw it on his flash drive and gave it to me. So I figured out how to boot to it, and later on played with it extensively. I was amazed at how fast it booted and how snappy and quick it was, and the Cinnamon Desktop was amazing!
Since I got so amazed, I told him about how I loved it, even though I personally didn't see myself using it because the games I played wasn't supported, and a few programs I needed weren't developed for Linux. But none-the-less, a few months later, I was playing a VM on my laptop, and decided to take the next biggest leap. By using Arch Linux.
Spending countless hours learning how to install it, I felt victorious to finally get to a Desktop Environment (Funny enough, Cinnamon <3). I decided I would go purchase a 500 GB USB 3.0 Hard-Drive and go from there. Since that day, I went from Arch to Manjaro for a bit more stability while not losing too much cutting edge. I've been using Linux for over a year now, and I still love it to this day. And now because of it, I'm starting to program more like I've dreamed of doing.
5 • Switch to Linux poll (by LordCreepity on 2015-08-24 02:00:59 GMT from North America)
My first experiences with Linux are brief flashes of memory from when my dad was still experimenting with Linux. The first time I actually used it was when I experimented with a bunch of distros inside virtual machines on this old WinXP netbook I have. My first real installation was on my current laptop, Linux Mint 15 (now 17.2). The main OS was Windows 8, but I wanted to try Mint. Later on, my Mint installation broke, so I tried re-install it. However, I accidentally wiped my entire disk, forcing me to use Mint 24/7. For a few minutes, I actually hated Linux because of this (these feelings are long gone).
6 • Switch to Linux Poll (by Linux Ninja on 2015-08-24 02:06:23 GMT from Oceania)
I started learning about UNIX three years before I even got to use a real *NIX OS. When I joined the Physics lab in uni, we were using Red Hat 4.2. I bought myself a Linux book that had a free Slackware CD. I think it had kernel 1.0.27 in it. I was already compiling my own kernel after two hours of tinkering with it because my CDROM drive that was directly connected to my sound card's IDE controller (yeah that's how they did it back then) was not working. Had been a Linux/UNIX user ever since.
7 • Yup, the main reason was Microsoft but... (by tom joad. on 2015-08-24 02:28:18 GMT from Planet Mars)
Yup, the main reason was Microsoft but I had over the earlier years had friends recommend Linux. A high school classmate of my son actually gave me a copy of Breezy or Edgy back in the day. Another guy gave me a copy of Fedora that I think I still have somewhere. And I liked the idea or concept of open source. I really like the idea of giving away copies to those who were receptive to using Linux. I always have some copies with me to hand out...always.
Another thing I noticed besides the free CD's was how 'rabid' the folks who recommended Linux to me were. Every one of them said 'lose the Microsoft stuff, this is way better" in one fashion or another.
Linux just is better in every regard. If only game developers would port more games to run in Linux.
If I had been using Linux first I don't think I would have ever bothered to try with MS. That whole philosophy is 180 degrees out of phase with Linux. I wouldn't have bothered.
8 • Switch to Linux (by MC on 2015-08-24 02:43:30 GMT from North America)
My vote was "Other". I switched because of Windows 7. Total GARBAGE!
My first Linux distro was Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.
9 • switching to Linux (by DJ on 2015-08-24 02:50:53 GMT from North America)
Basically, switching to Linux 10 years ago was a mixture of curiosity and ideals. my recent switch to a BSD was all was all curiosity.
10 • Reason for switching... all of the above? (by wrkerr on 2015-08-24 02:53:07 GMT from North America)
I've been using linux based operating systems since January of 2006. I was a college student at the time, and had been curious about Linux for a year or so. I had looked into it, and had been following the early development of Ubuntu. One of the guys on my hall had just installed a preview copy of Windows Vista on his laptop, and had called several of us in to check it out. After watching for about 5 minutes, I went back to my room and started downloading the iso of Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Badger). I installed it that night in time take my new Linux running laptop to class the next morning. And for the record, I didn't bother to set up a dual boot or anything like that. I wiped the whole drive, and haven't had Windows installed on any of my personally owned computers since that day. :)
I can identify with each of the options given in the poll, but I marked "Curiousity," since it seems to be the overarching reason for my switch.
11 • Switch to Linux poll (by EarlyBird on 2015-08-24 02:57:30 GMT from North America)
(If you find a long history lesson "boring", just skip to the next post - it was a long trip to get to Linux....)
Started out with an Atari 800Xl in 1985. After "burning out" on the idea of playing games, got a "real computer" in 1993 (IBM clone) with MSDOS 5.0. Upgraded to 6.0, then 6.22 with 4DOS. After discovering the power Novell Dos (eventually DrDOS), switched to that with Win 3.11 for workgroups. Then when Win98 came out, I used SystemCommander to dual-boot DrDos and Win98. Never touched WinME after all my friends' horrible experiences with it. Heard about Linux at a computer expo, where I bought Ygddrasil (don't remember the exact spelling), and Slackware 3.4. After reading the Linux books, was hesitant to try it given my inexperience with it, and the warnings about hosing your monitor if you got the refresh rates wrong (this was before multisync monitors). Finally found someone with some actual unix experience who explained some missing details to avoid hosing the monitor, and was ready to install Linux. By now Redhat 5.0 was out. Found out all their x.0 releases tended to be "buggy", and ended up installing Slackware (version 3.6 at this point). When Win XP came out with it's authentication requirements and its "reporting back to the home ship" issues, I had enough experience and confidence to "jump ship" entirely for the Linux world. Thanks to Distrowatch, I learned about numerous linux alternatives. While I've tried many distros, love Puppy, use Gparted Live, Clonezilla, Finnix, Backtrack/Kali as part of my "toolkit", always fall back to Slackware on my main system. Stable, reliable, NO systemd, not even SysV, but posix style init scripts, and no dependency checking! Long live Slackware and Distrowatch! It's been an amazing trip. Now If I could just install a "real" linux on something like a Samsung Galaxy that I could carry in my pocket.....
12 • Ian Murdock's story, P (by cykodrone on 2015-08-24 03:27:45 GMT from North America)
His story is hilarious, what a blast from the past, glad he shared it.
13 • The Great BSD Mystery (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-08-24 03:44:33 GMT from North America)
Thanks for those new distro search tags. Good job.
You know, I would switch to BSD desktops if BSD packages would roll with upstream closely, like Arch and others. I like the BSD integration and ports system, BUT.
My impression of BSD versus Linux package maintenance is a function of protest levels and population. There aren't enough BSD desktops to complain about stale desktop packages. I'm sure server packages are always current, yet not even hugely popular desktop apps are so. It's strange, because every week on BSD news websites I see someone new getting commit privs. Why are packages so stale then? Does BSD have any decent system to flag maintainers?
I'm happy about PC-BSD's new Enterprise repo but it's not the most pressing issue in BSD-land. Security often comes free with updated apps. Getting those apps current is key. I really don't understand what is the deal with BSD. It has far more devs than most Linux distros. (Am I wrong?)
BSD's new LLVM build infrastructure may cause issues, I don't know. I do know that Linx distros which support musl (a superior C runtime library) must patch upstream packages, because upstream code isn't POSIX compliant, but full of gcc hackisms (read: security exploits and crashes). How much more does LLVM need code patches, I guess?
Anyway good luck BSD, and I hope you can get this desktop act together....you could put half of Linux out of biz...a lot of us would love to start using you (because systemd, ports integration, and ZFS), but feel like even slow turtle Debian has more frequent app updates. I would hop aboard your ship in a Linux jiffy clock tick if you would get your apps repo current and keep it rolling.
14 • reasons for switching to Linux. (by frodopogo on 2015-08-24 03:51:02 GMT from North America)
It was hard to decide between "frustrations with previous OS" and "escaping malware", but the chief frustration WAS the malware vulnerability of Windows, and two specific malware attacks on favorite forum sites were the immediate triggers for trying Knoppix as a shield for using them during the cleanup, as I didn't want to stop participating in them.
Still, ongoing frustration with Windows was deep-seated even apart from malware.
For some reason I just retrieved a deeply repressed memory of how much I LOATHE MS's softward wizards!!! Giving me answers to questions I hadn't asked... gee, THANKS.
In contrast, Linux frustrations have been few. Some nVidia driver issues. Learning curve for accessing software through repositories and such. Lack of programs has been surprisingly rare. Really, there is only one I can think of.... ".abc" software- a somewhat obscure open-source notation format... the Windows programs are better, the Linux ones WAY too elementary. It's not like I was using it every day.
When I look back, the relative lack of frustrations with Linux is almost shocking.
There's this deceptive aspect.... Linux to a noob seems chaotic and confusing, (mostly because of the variety of names for things and the culture) but ends up being reliable and reassuring. Microsoft looks like it should be utterly predictable, but when you turn on a Windows computer, you really have no idea what madness will be suddenly foisted on you by malware, anti-malware programs and their sales pitches, or Microsoft itself. "No, you can't turn off your computer, because WE have decided to give you an update NOW." Yechhhhhhh!
Also a friend had shown me his Ubuntu install on his laptop, the price was definitely appealing, the non-corporate philosophy was also appealing, and features were appealing in that I knew that Firefox and Audacity were waiting to welcome me over to Linux, and Microsoft's refusal to allow me to move my legal copy of Microsoft Word to a newer computer made me totally ready to jump into Open Office.
And yeah, my curiosity is a pretty strong trait, so really everything but school/work applied.
Distrowatch gets some credit too, because I searched for something like "popular user-friendly Linux version" or some such and Distrowatch was one of the top hits, and the rankings and reviews here helped me on my way to my specific choice which was Linux Mint.
15 • Switch to Linux poll (by Bill S on 2015-08-24 04:33:57 GMT from Planet Mars)
One day while reinstalling Windows Vista for the umpteenth time, I had to call MS because my new hardware was causing Windows to give me the BSOD. I got fed up and the next day I saw a copy of Red Hat Linux 7 at the local Walmart retail store.
I bought it and began playing with it. I liked gnome right off but not the early KDE
Well, later I got a bright and shiny new Windows 7 computer, but by this time I had distro hopped from Ubuntu through all the big distros and even the more obscure ones like OpenMamba and Zenwalk.
I am so glad that I switched and no longer have to buy products like Norton, Kasperski, Adaware, Diskeeper and others. I will never go back unless open source ceases to exist and even then I may go back to school at 65 to learn how to code better rather than go back.
16 • I remember why I switched to Linux (by Brad on 2015-08-24 05:13:21 GMT from North America)
I was tired of malware, viruses, registry issues, antivirus issues, defraggers, .bat issues, msconfig, looking up all those tweaking sites to streamline ram usage. Having to format/reinstall due to a browser hijack. Spybot, adware programs etc.. I figured if i'm going to do all this work, and read, might as well learn something new and actually enjoy using my computer. First was suse/rh 7,8 in the late 90's/early 2000-2001.. then pclinuxos, ubuntu, mint, and then I settled on Arch linux. That's my .02 now I'm broke!
17 • Re: Improved package stability coming to FreeBSD/PC-BSD (by silent on 2015-08-24 05:33:48 GMT from Europe)
What will be the difference between "quarterly" and "enterprise" port collection? The "quarterly" repository is already something stable as compared to the "latest", isn't it?
18 • Switching to Linux (by Anton on 2015-08-24 05:47:01 GMT from Europe)
I was using Windows NT in 2008, when I got a bootsector error. Booting from the original CD and attempting repais, Windows succeeded in destroying the partitiontables on BOTH my hard disks, (yes including the one that was not the primary, and that disk contained my backup) Recovered part of my data with Norton. In the process of recovering say the horror that is Windows NT directory ´śtructure´. Acquired a new disk and installed Ubuntu 8.04.
19 • Solus Fundraising (by IkeyDoherty on 2015-08-24 06:14:12 GMT from Europe)
In the end I came to a fairly logical decision. How best to raise funds for the project? Do a fund raiser. ^^
20 • Reasons for moving to Linux (by Hoos on 2015-08-24 06:18:33 GMT from Asia)
It started around 2004 when I began to read about Microsoft's monopolistic practices and the related legal proceedings. Then there was news about the coming Vista, how it would give you even less control over your own machine, peripherals and privacy. Then XP pushed an update that would have added "Windows Genuine Advantage" checks and made it report home - my XP was original and preinstalled, but I didn't like that MS would do such a thing. I was careful never to click on that update.
I began to read about open source, Linux, etc and decided I should start learning about it in preparation for the day I would use it full-time. I knew I could stay on XP for quite a few years more, but I saw the writing on the wall for the future. I wanted to make sure I wouldn't be dependent on Microsoft and had a way out when the time came to discard XP. I already knew then I wasn't going to get the new Windows when XP support ran out.
Performance/security-wise, I didn't have much problem with XP because I was always careful. So it started with ideals and principles: I disagreed with Microsoft's practices. When Vista was released I felt vindicated by how badly it ran on lower spec hardware that ran XP perfectly, but that wasn't the reason I first thought of Linux.
I needed to get another XP PC around 2005 and I added a second hard drive to it just for trying out Linux distros. However at that time I had some issues with video drivers (Mepis was the best back then) and sharing my USB printer via samba on Linux, so I still spent lots of time in my XP partition. Problem was my family also had Microsoft machines and if they needed to use the shared printer I had to reboot my PC back into XP. I was pretty noob when it came to sharing and networking from within Linux.
I didn't push myself to find an immediate Linux solution. I just never got that "obsession" to dive headlong into Linux knowledge and nothing else. Maybe I subconsciously felt Linux wasn't fully user friendly on the desktop yet, and was still biding my time.
Around 2009-2010 I began to see more and more promising distros and I felt user-friendliness was much improving. Crunchbang 9 was great. My Linux momentum and usage increased. I fully switched to Linux at home around 2012, and XP was wiped from the PC thereafter. I skipped Vista and I don't use the Win 7 partition on my laptop.
21 • Switching to Linux (by laashley on 2015-08-24 06:30:45 GMT from North America)
I switched to have a stable OS without all the misery of Windows. The battle was lost trying to stay one step ahead of the malware, viruses, hackers, bots, backdoors, trojans of every kind, list goes on. Windows freeware filled with nothing but nasty. No one should build an OS that people are scared to use. I went to Debian 4 years ago, and never looked back. I don't miss or need Windows for anything. For those who are thinking about dropping Windows, they will never regret it. Linux is great for many reasons, but the fact "you own it" is paramount. Support and donate to Linux.
22 • Why went to Linux (by JOPEN on 2015-08-24 06:31:47 GMT from North America)
I started way back a Timex-Sinclair ZX-81 as my first computer, went through various Commodore and Atari systems. Then found DOS, and later OS2. Ended up in the MS treadmill, till I saw and ad for a new OS called "Lindows" and I became an Lindows Insider. Went with it up to the bitter end, but found Xandros and others along the way. Now, Mint is my favoured Linux distro. I still have to use Windows in one flavour or another to be able to answer friends/Familys questions. Lindows changed my life! Brought me to the Linux side! ;)
23 • Switch to Linux (by Microlinux on 2015-08-24 06:32:36 GMT from Europe)
Back in 2001, I've been developing some PHP for a french book editor on a LAMP server running on Windows 98. Darn thing kept crashing all the time. Some guy in a PHP forum suggested to "just run Linux", and I wondered what that was. So I went to the local bookstore in Montpellier and actually bought a Slackware 7.1 installation CD. My first attempt at double booting was a disaster, since my antivirus detected LILO as malware and decided to wipe it from my MBR. This motivated me to go for it, so I wiped my Windows partition and went 100 % GNU/Linux. Currently I'm running Slackware 14.1 on all my servers and desktops. I'm a happy camper.
24 • Switch to Linux/BSD (by Thomas Mueller on 2015-08-24 07:03:18 GMT from North America)
Actually I switched to Linux/BSD for many reasons except recommendation from a friend. I used OS/2, up to Warp 4, and DOS, then DR-DOS 7.03, until the single-digit days of April 2001, when OS/2, after a freeze, ran CHKDSK automatically on reboot, and CHKDSK ran amok, trashing all my hard-disk data, and I was never again able to boot OS/2 even from installation/maintenance floppies; at best I would get Trap 000c or Trap 000e. Then I was forced into DR-DOS 7.03, which I used primarily including the Internet, but also Slackware to which I gradually switched. Now with newer computer, I use mostly NetBSD and FreeBSD, but am also looking into Linux toolchains and Haiku.
Back in the late 1990s and very early 2000s, I believe OS/2 Warp was ahead of NetBSD, FreeBSD, and even Linux, but OS/2 and its successor, eComStation, have fallen behind.
25 • Switch to Linux (by Platypus on 2015-08-24 07:04:00 GMT from Oceania)
I began with CPM/80 (beat that!) - which happened to be very fast on those old machines. Then I was forced into using DOS because x86 machines climbed in bed with Microsoft. Used Windows 98, then XP and my first play with Linux was Mandrake. It took forever to get installed and was unstable. So I gave up and tried again when I found a Mepis disk on a magazine cover. It worked a treat and the modem worked too.
After that I have been using Linux as my main OS. I have given BSD a run once but it reminded me of my early Linux days (yes I've grown soft) so I dumped it. Today I am writing this on Deepin 2014-3. I notice Windows 10 has pinched some concepts from Deepin too.
26 • Switch to Linux (by far2fish on 2015-08-24 07:25:02 GMT from Europe)
Started using Linux for philosophical reasons long, long time ago. Loved the fact that developers were sharing their code. Ran it on my home servers and dual boot on my desktop. The reason why I kept Windows on my desktop was I was spending a lot of time on computer games. What finally got me to abandon Windows completely though, was that I bought a new laptop with Windows 8. I didn't even bother to do a first boot into Windows 8. The screen dumps I had seen - and the articles I had read about it - was enough to convince me this was the perfect moment to go 100% over to Linux. I kept a 5 year old Macbook Pro around in case I needed to use commercial software, but I did not. So I sold teh Macbook shortly after. Still keep a copy of Windows XP around. Running it in VIrtualBox for the odd occasion I need to plugin a gadget without Linux support.
27 • ==> Linux (by zykoda on 2015-08-24 07:40:39 GMT from Europe)
1st install was SUSE8.0 on a pentium Win95 with extra disk. I liked the development environment as it contained enough to compile, load and execute my own source code for which I had previously used MinGW (DOS). The battle was to find how to run various software and hard ware to bring a Linux system to the point where all the facilities I used in windows would work.(TV, web, music, video conferencing...etc). It's now less of a battle to keep all requirements functional from one LTS edition to the next. Breakages are now far less common in Mint LTS.
28 • My way /home (by Erathiel on 2015-08-24 08:09:22 GMT from Europe)
So, since you're asking about my way to Linux, here it is. It started over ten years ago, when Aurox was still alive and Fedora was still named Fedora Core. In 2003 I moved from my family home to a city where I went to secondary school, bought my first computer (second-hand Duron 850 MHz, already old back then but still alive today). I was concerned with legal issues as I did not want to use an illegal system and being a student I couldn't afford to buy a licence. This was the time a friend of mine introduced me to Fedora Core (release 3 or 4 if I remember correctly). I quickly changed it to Aurox, which was a Polish distro based on Fedora. The computer was used for very basic things like text editing.
I eventually switched to Windows XP for some time but I was already fascinated by the idea of a free operating system that soon OpenSUSE 10.1 landed on my hard disk.
Three years later a friend handed me Ubuntu and Kubuntu installation CDs (can't be sure but it was 8.04 Hardy Heron, most like) and I was blown away. For one it was so insanely easy to use that everything seemed a breeze. For two, I finally moved to a flat where network access was available so my computer stopped being a single workstation. The Internet made everything so much easier and allowed me to unveil the Linux potential. That was the point I made a definitive decision to stay with Linux as my operating system of choice.
Then came hardware change, then another one -- I bought myself a netbook to carry with me to university every day and Ubuntu turned out to be a bit too heavy on resources. I tried Peppermint, which was fine but I was looking for something a bit different. This was the time I discovered CrunchBang and fell in love instantly. Simplicity and productivity of #! were absolutely unmatched. Rest in peace, CrunchBang, you're missed so much... :)
Where this initial fascination has brought me is my current job where I've been administering Linux servers for the last 2,5 years and counting. Since making the switch I've never looked back.
29 • Why I switched to Linux (by Zork on 2015-08-24 08:59:56 GMT from Oceania)
Plain and simple... Got sick of the Bloatware that Windows had become after XP...
Had used Unix at Uni so the learning curve wasn't as steep as for someone coming from a pure Windows background...
Started with Ubuntu 10.04 then Mint LXDE, Fedora and back to Ubuntu 14.04... In the process of building a LFS system ( Just for the hell of it )...
Greatest benefit ( apart from cost ) is never having to hear the Microsoft Sound ever again!!!
30 • Linux is superior to all proprietary computer operating systems... (by Jovian Tessareicht on 2015-08-24 09:05:11 GMT from North America)
After graduating to HP calculators that can make cellular phone calls thanks to Hypermia Linux. Next needed HAM radio analog spread spectrum now able to get on internet with HAM radio thanks to Galileo Linux. Now doing Quantum Quarktic computer systems which has no equal-- only Quantum Linux can support the electro-magnetically cooled (at speed of sound fast) processors running at better than several TeraHertz which is (unfortunately still much) slower than IBM's super computer processors.
Do not want to say "told you so."
Linux is ubiquitious (sounds like Ph.D. Carl Sagan.)
Keep it simple if User only wants to get on the internet, then run the [Just Browsing] Linux live CD-ROM (available 32bit or 64bit) on the bootable CD-ROM drive. Make sure User adjust the BIOS or UEFI (Universal Extensible Firmware Interface, a.k.a. graphics and mouse supported BIOS) to boot CD-ROM drive first before the hard disk drive. User requires nothing else.
If people want to keep their privacy really private- remove the hard drive. There was no need for storage when the digital computer was born. No need for it today. Most UNIX does not require any storage. All Linux operating systems can run with the main logic board memory alone, or with the graphics frame buffer memory alone. No storage means no invaders. With every new restart will eliminate all invasions and viruses. So simple meine Grossmutter can do it while working in the fields.
If the User really want to keep the data private, he should use cubic zirconia which is man made and mass produced (means cheap uber reliable storage for centuries.) But the User will require a "tunneling LASER" array which stores data in four dimensions which accepts quantum logic and also means not hackable! How much simpler can that be. (Okay read the bible.) No more excuses, if the cat and dog has swallowed the data, it can safely be retrieved because its cubic zirconia. Why else would aliens wear fake diamonds for. To access their ancient computers in their time compressing (space and time) vessels.
Hey folks, ye naught wanna be "consumers" (consumed). Be an engineer, the world needs more engineers-- they are the individuals whom has made the difference and kept silent. Okay, consider this they play with all the latest "toys"
including the creations that never made it to the sales floor.
First, eternal thanks to Linus Torvalds for creating the Linux Kernels and then maintaining them.
Next, everyone else whom has created all these wonderful Linux operating systems (more than 37,000 versions today) and many more Linux programs.
Appreciate the decades of free software. Remember the 1960s, 1970s when a new computer system was purchased the operating system and the software applications come free of cost! At least until some self righteous material hoarding person started to file for "patents" for everything he "thought" he owned.
With Linux the balance is restored. The computer system is useful and User configurable again. Imagine what the User can do with Linux.
For the lazy portion of humanity, robots are cometh, ye can now have the "machine" do everything including creating tax breaks. Better naught allow artificial lifeforms to judge ye silly slackers and lackies. Learn Linux and then the robots will forever know who the "boss" and "creator" is!
Who is more fun than mark Twain= William Shakespeare.
Who did not require a Nom de Plume and more articulate= Alexander pope.
Who is more scary than Mark Twain= Bela Lugosi.
Who is the world's first rocket scientist and world's first plastic surgeon?
Ph.D. Maxwell Maltz of course.
Mark Twain is my favorite author because he stirred my imagination when I was
six years of age, but my parents did not allow me to perform any of the affairs in the book's characters.
Stop nagging ye know the techie folks cannot help because Microsoft and Apple will not share their "precious cash cow" computer code with the techie support folks. No code, no bug fix, much waiting and angst, and still no solution, they say "buy the next version release."
Got a real "Musclecar", re-program that 1987 Buick GNX's ECM / ERM and speed fuel cut off to run at 377 mph on aviation high test 269-octane fuel.
Got Linux? Will solve the universe. If Linux existed during Einstein's time the Unified Theory would be solved by now.
Learn Linux, it shall really set ye all free.
We use Linux for everything here at the laboratories. The lab's observatory use Linux to run the telescope clock drive. Even re-program the stupid Honda / Acura GPS device. Yes Honda uses Linux.
Linux is "sine qui non." (none better)
Thanks Everyone for their diligent efforts.
31 • Long way from 2001 (by uHawai on 2015-08-24 09:05:38 GMT from Europe)
First time I`ve seen Linux was in 2001 at school. Our linux guy shows us a TTY :D little horror :D. That time was Win98SE or WinMe. In 2003 i brought a new mainboard with athlon xp and fasttrack sata controller onboard. Win Xp after some fail didn't recognize this at all, my 120GB disk went sink? let`s see what linux says :-) all ok. No... its time to migrate. Firstly Knoppix on live CD (half year of try) then I managed and pray for successfull dualboot install.
Also I went from Knoppix (as live), Debian Sarge, ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope, Karmic Koala, Crunchbang (i miss about) and now Manjaro Xfce (because of problems with openbox edition). I did not have any Windows install at home. I try to evangelize! :-) because of Good.
32 • Gayan's excellent reviewing approach (by caieng on 2015-08-24 09:12:29 GMT from North America)
"Zorin OS 10 Core, compared to Zorin OS 8 Core, uses more memory, consumes more power and is not the fastest to shut down either."
Thank you very much for an excellent review, Gayan. I wish that in future reviews, we could encounter such carefully documented details, including those lovely charts, which highlight the most important aspects of an operating system, from the perspective of the end user: how quickly does it boot up, shut down, transfer a standard 1 TB file from one location to another, with power consumed during the transfer. Memory usage was critically important in former times, today, it is a bit misleading, in my opinion, because a great operating system would load into memory, and run from RAM, rather than the disk/flash. I hope your style can become the standard here at distrowatch. Wouldn't it be especially instructive to explain the distinction between the UNIX flavors so often touted on this site, with any of the many Linux versions? Power consumption, transfer, boot, shutdown times,,,, yup, I predict need for a chart coming soon......
33 • Zorin review (by mechanic on 2015-08-24 09:25:14 GMT from Europe)
WTF is CFQ??
34 • Release Model (by denk_mal on 2015-08-24 09:25:47 GMT from Europe)
Thank you for implementing the search criteria "Release Model".
As you already refered out it is difficult to mark out live distros as Semi-rolling, rolling or fixed release, but why would somebody interested in the release model of a Live Linux?
IMHO Knoppix, Clonecille, bankix and other live distros are used "as they are" burned on cd/dvd.
Most of the users never using update/upgrade mechanisms of Live Distros and therefore another Release Model called "Live" is absolutely ok.
35 • Linus's_open_Linux_way_and_freedom_to_innovate_and_evolve (by k on 2015-08-24 09:34:27 GMT from Europe)
Freedom, to explore, adapt and evolve novelty, such as adding Wayland.
36 • Opinion poll (by Vic on 2015-08-24 09:34:52 GMT from North America)
I answered other because I switched to using Linux for all the above reasons except a friend referring it. My initial interest was sparked by simple curiosity and once I got rolling I never looked back!
37 • Opinion poll (by 4tux on 2015-08-24 09:43:00 GMT from Europe)
Here it was about 1) Frustrations with my old OS, 2) Escaping malware (virus...).
But, indeed, I stayed since then bacause of the Philosophy/Ideals.
So, I voted the later.
38 • Reasons for moving to Linux @20 (cont) (by Hoos on 2015-08-24 10:00:45 GMT from Asia)
I chose "Others" in the poll, because the impetus for the move to Linux began not with me being attracted to Linux's ideals and philosophy, but with me getting turned off by Microsoft's actions and practices.
If I hadn't felt troubled by their actions (e.g. what happened to Wordperfect), I might not have sought out Linux and open source in the first place, no matter how admirable the latter's ideals were.
39 • Switched (by kc1di on 2015-08-24 10:21:58 GMT from North America)
I chose other. in the survey, I came to Linux through my association with Ham Radio - Back in the early 90 a Ham Radio Data base I was using offered a slackware based solution I had to try if I remember right it came like on 20 floppies at the time. I installed it an was hooked. Been linuxing ever since in one form or another. I enjoyed the challenge of learning new things, still do so that is what originally got me hooked. And that's why I still do a lot of distro hoping today.
I Next bought, yes bought a copy of Red Hat in a boxed set if I remember right at staples. and stayed with that for quite awhile.
In any event Linux has been my main operating system for both business and pleasure ever since.
40 • Why I moved to Linux (by John Wilson on 2015-08-24 10:26:25 GMT from Europe)
I became interested in Linux in the late '90's. I had been timing binaries for a ray tracer (POVRAY I think it was) compiled on Slackware and on Windows. What amazed me was that free open source software was faster, more stable - and let's face it more fun!
I was fed up with the "Blue Screen of Death" prevailing at the time... So I started dual booting, spending as much time in Linux (mainly Debian and Slackware) as I could. About 10 years ago I moved to Linux completely. OK, the gaming options were a little on the scarce side then - but now, we have STEAM!
BUT! What really thrills me about Linux is I can take some code that is 20 years old and it will run - as I have the original source code! I don't have to worry about malware and viruses! I can use older hardware and don't have to fight with bloated buggy software. Linux is the operating system of the Gods!
41 • Switching to Linux (by Dave on 2015-08-24 10:43:01 GMT from North America)
In a word -- Lindows . I was using an old hand me down HP running Windows 3.1 which was being monopolized more and more for the kid's "school projects" so I bought a Lindows PC for them in 2002 ... which of course they hated.So I ended up giving them the HP and I took the Lindows box and with in a week I was hooked.Many a computer has made it's way through my home since then and while the kids all want microsoft's latest and greatest I never went back to it.Lindows/Linspire/FreeSpire then onto Ubuntu and Mint ( my current distro of choice) with visits to Debian,Puppy Land and Slack Ware from time to time.Linux is in my blood now and if Microsoft and Apple both decided tomorrow to give their OS away for free from now on I would pass -- Linux Land is such a happy place and it feels like home to me.
42 • My first Linux (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-08-24 10:55:16 GMT from Europe)
I discovered Linux on the early 2000's because I needed to use scientific software that was only available for Linux. I have never looked behind ever since.
43 • BSD packages (by Jesse on 2015-08-24 11:14:00 GMT from North America)
>> "What will be the difference between "quarterly" and "enterprise" port collection? The "quarterly" repository is already something stable as compared to the "latest", isn't it?"
PC-BSD has three repositories. Edge is updated almost daily. It has cutting edge software and is expected to break semi-regularly. Production is forked from Edge once each quarter and stays fairly static for about three months. It doesn't really get any updates, security or features during that time. At the end of three months Production is synced with Edge, potentially causing many packages/dependenies to break, but bringing the repo up to speed. Enterprise is created at the start of a product cycle (eg 10.0 or 11.0) and gets only security updates for the five years that release is supported.
In short, Production is stable for three months, but then "jumps" ahead. Enterprise should remain 100% stable with only security updates for five years.
44 • Switching to Linux (by dragonmouth on 2015-08-24 11:48:39 GMT from North America)
I said Other because there is no "All fo the Above" option.
My first distro was a 6 CD seto of Red Hat 5.0 that I bought at a computer show. That was long before Fedora Core and RHEL. Since then I've been distro hopping.
45 • Switched to FOSS poll (by cykodrone on 2015-08-24 11:53:06 GMT from North America)
I voted other because of multiple reasons; curiosity (and the learning experience), frustrations with my old OS (bugs and 'phoning home' were the two big issues), features (total user control), escaping malware (even though I became an 'expert' at locking down Windows but got tired of the constant maintenance) and I like the philosophy/ideals (there's too much greed in the world as it is, sharing is a GOOD thing).
46 • Zorin, reviews and 'the switch (by Sondar on 2015-08-24 12:46:32 GMT from Europe)
Another excellent DWW review.
However, it seems a little irksome that reviewers can become preoccupied by 'look&feel' and comparison with the devil'sOS. This is predicated around the plethora of wanabee developers pushing out ever more eye candy wrapping one of the few truly unique Linux-based offerings. Inevitably, all this leads to slower, more power hunger and less flexible outcomes that is exactly what leads W-users to seek solace elsewhere! Folks would like to exit the dizzy roundabout! There is a tacit assumption that putative users of Linux & co. are obsessed by those familiar concepts pushed in their faces for so long by the greedy monster developer, and that they are incapable of adapting to novel concepts or even that they might be stupid. Clearly such notions are erroneous as demonstrated by the 'duck-to-water' widespread penetration of entirely 'new' presentations exemplified by Android and iOS.
If there's a pay-off, H. sapiens is capable and willing. K.I.S.S will always have universal appeal. Some of the most inspired, capable and innovative distro developers have been involved with more diminutive offerings such as Core and, esp. Puppy. These can be run alongside existing equipment, either by dual-booting or on dusty relics stuffed in cupboards, under beds or rescued from skips/dumpsters. So far, I have yet to find anyone who manipulates, albeit with limited knowledge or skill, present commercial monstrosities that cannot achieve their desired outcome faster, cheaper and with more satisfaction from one of these leaner OSes.
47 • Switching to Linux (by ken on 2015-08-24 12:55:21 GMT from Africa)
I got into the world of computer relatively late. My first pc was 2008 windows vista, happened to be in Spanish and wanted it in English. As I searched in net how to do it I met several mention of Ubuntu. Searched Ubuntu, got a place where I could put my postal address and get a free CD. In two weeks time I had Ubuntu 8.04. Without really knowing what I was doing I wiped the windows vista and instead of it I had a shiny Gnome 2. Still miss it. But wireless card was not working. Lucky enough this was a common problem then and there were clear instructions on what to do. I followed the instructions, copy paste of commands and when the wireless worked I had already graduated to a geek. Later moved to Linux mint, fedora, tried many others till I settled on Centos, Debian and Slackware. I do not consider myself as coming from windows. I had a very short experience with it before I plunged into the exciting world of Linux. A big thanks to Canonical for that initial free CD.
48 • How did you come to know Ditrowatch.com? (by ken on 2015-08-24 12:58:34 GMT from Africa)
This should be the next question. My answer, it was book marked in Linux Mint forefox browser. That's where I got it and it became a must read for me.
49 • Switch to Linux (by zhymm on 2015-08-24 13:13:20 GMT from North America)
Linux came up on my personal radar in the late '90s and I recall trying to do an install then (without success) and a few more times in the early 2000's (hardware issues kept me from switching then). Increasing frustrations with Windows XP in 2006 had me look at Linux again that spring. Downloaded a few distros (thanks to Distrowatch!) and started testing them. PCLOS 0.93 installed and worked like a charm on my homebuilt desktop. I was off and running. Dual booted with XP for a few months then pulled the plug on MS Windows that August and have been with one Linux distro or another ever since - currently a mix of Manjaro (on my personal hardware) and Lubuntu or PCLOS (on the family's boxes/laptops).
50 • Solus needing funds (by Kazlu on 2015-08-24 13:27:20 GMT from Europe)
Maybe I will be hard with this, but this is what happens to all the yet-another-distro with yet-another-desktop-environment. I'm not saying that it's wrong to do it, but personnally I fail to see what Solus brings to the table that does not already exist. Reading the "about" pages of Solus (https://solus-project.com/about/) and the Budgie desktop (https://solus-project.com/budgie/), frankly if those were my priorities I would go for Linux Mint Cinnamon without hesitating, because it's a much more mature project and has a lot more people behind it, be it developpers or users. And there are already many other options.
So, yes people are free to do tinker with free software and that's the wonderful thing about it. By the way, I voted this week's poll "I like the philosophy/ideals" for that reason, that's what attracted me to GNU/Linux in the first place. But if similar projects that already have a strong position already exist, it is very unlikely people will follow you. Even the strongest GNU/Linux community will never have too many hands to help it and as far as I am concerned, I would rather give time and/or money to projects like Mageia, Handy Linux or Trisquel.
51 • Move to Linux (by brad on 2015-08-24 13:30:56 GMT from North America)
Frustration with my OS, which was MacOSX at the time. The Intel Macs were just starting to come out, and the latest OS iteration would not support my iBook G3. At about the same time, I needed to recover some music I bought on iTunes which I had lost through my carelessness. I had a hell of a time convincing the "nice" folks at Apple that the music was mine, since I bought it. They were willing to give it back to me, for a fee.
Enough was enough. I had fooled around with a German Linux distribution on CD years earlier, contained in a paperback book with a green cover (Slackware-derived). I vowed from then on, I would never be a slave to Steve Jobs, and his evil empire.
: - )
52 • Switching to Linux (by seacat on 2015-08-24 13:36:49 GMT from South America)
My reason was curiosity. A girlfriend, a most advanced university student, told me about a new operating system that they used in the university lab. Because of I didn't know nothing about Linux, I buyed a book with a companion CD of Slackware 2.0. I tested for a time in dual boot with Windows, but I left it. A couple of years after, I tested Corel Linux and Mandrake (until became in Mandriva) and Linux won the place of the second partition of my disk. During several years, I used Zenwalk first, and Salix after. Always I was testing and searching for The Distribution, covering all live and rolling distributions (thanks por the new searching parameter) and finally I adopted Sparkylinux for my desktop as the unique OS.
53 • @50 (by IkeyDoherty on 2015-08-24 13:36:55 GMT from Europe)
With all due respect, Solus shares very little in common with the projects you mention.
And while I respect your opinion, I must point out a flaw. In your theory, only the already popular/successful should be allowed to become more popular/successful, at the detriment of smaller projects with new ideas :]
54 • What about privacy? (by Paul on 2015-08-24 13:43:53 GMT from Europe)
Surprised not to see privacy mentioned here. I use Windows 7 and Linux (Mint at the moment) and will certainly not be moving to Windows 10. I was not at att impressed with Microsoft's borderline coercion on that score. I had to take measures that would be difficult for most people to get its annoying nagware off my screen. Windows 10 is a customer monetisation system. No stone will be left unturned in collecting your information and you will have no control over this at all. Microsoft has shown contempt for its customers for a long time. Don't want updates and unplanned reboots? Too bad. Don't want Windows 10? We'll try to force it on you. We'll even reinstall the nagware behind your back if you remove it (you thought it was YOUR computer?!). And BTW, all your files are belong to us (and the NSA).
55 • Switching to Linux (by quokka kid on 2015-08-24 13:48:00 GMT from Oceania)
I picked philosophical but could have chosen almost any!
It's been quite a journey, from a Commodore 64 with a tape drive in early '80's, to Apple 11e's,2c's and GS's before becoming a Mac fanatic - my early Mac Classic had a huge 40MB hard drive!! I had Macs for about 10 years before I retired in the the early noughties.
Shortly before the end of my corporate life, I was involved with my first Windows machines fom the late 90's - running Windows 95.
In retirement, I purchased my first Windows box (XP) but insisted that half of the unbelievably large 80GB hard disk be made a separate partition as I wanted to explore this new Linux thing. I have never had a deep affinity for Windows, but at least XP has proven reliable over the years.
My first install was Red Hat 5 (still have the disks) but I was soon multi-booting RH5 with Memphis, Ubuntu and Debian. Became an avid distro hopper for many years.
Have steadied down now, using Virtual Box and Thumb Drives to explore and check out interesting distros - Antergos, Kaos, Puppy, Makulu, Point Linux, to name a few of my recent favourites. Contemplating building an Arch or Gentoo install for interest, and keep the mind active!!!!
Currently installed - Fedora 22, Debian, Linux Mint, Crunchbang (upgraded to Debian Jessie), Manjaro and Sabayon, in a range of desktops (Cinnamon, OpenBox, KDE, XFCE,even a Gnome 3 used very occasionally!!!). I still keep a partition of XP for when I need to talk to the Dark Side!!!
Still running the same case, but all the components have been upgraded several times and it now has multiple large hard drives so I can continue exploring Linux, and tinker with BSD.
Thank you to Distrowatch - I look forward to each Monday to catch up with the latest review, great tips, and the wisdom of the community. Thank You All.
56 • @33 (by solt87 on 2015-08-24 13:59:25 GMT from Planet Mars)
CFQ: completely fair scheduler; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CFQ .
57 • I switched to Linux/BSD due to (by C C on 2015-08-24 14:04:43 GMT from Asia)
1. security and privacy concerns
2. system stability
3. access to a lot of free and useful programs on online repositories
4. open and libre philosophy, and community spirit
5. can usually find solutions to system problems with a simple online search
58 • Debian (by Carlos on 2015-08-24 14:16:11 GMT from Europe)
Ian Murdock's blog post is a must read.
59 • Poll (by Antony on 2015-08-24 14:21:18 GMT from Europe)
I voted Curiosity.
My computer curiosity began early 80's, with a ZX81, followed by an Amstrad CPC464, Dragon32, Tatung Einstein, Atari 1040STE, Amiga 1200 and an Elan Enterprise. Used to love buying and reading all the associated magazines and other computer mags like (the fat) Personal Computer World.
Salvaged/re-built 2/3/486 PC hardware onwards. Then bought my first (and last) new PC, a Pentium 100. Own builds since then. Using Windows was ok, but having always bought computer magazines, I naturally ended up playing with Linux cover-disks, and my first installs were SuSE and Mandrake (really loved Mandrake). Since then, there are not many Linux distro's that I have not used. Currently using fedora and openSUSE (both KDE).
Curiosity led me to investigate Linux. But the actual motivation for adopting/switching to Linux was discovering the depth of involvement - the 'personal' relationship, basically - that you can have with the OS as opposed to Windows.
60 • multiple reasons (by Tim Dowd on 2015-08-24 14:38:14 GMT from North America)
I switched to Linux because of the ill-fated machine that was briefly known as a netbook. Anyone remember them?
They failed not because a tiny cheap laptop was a bad idea, but because of the awful "Windows 7 Starter" OS that was on them. It was a fully featured (and thus resource hogging) version of Windows 7 that was deliberately crippled so you couldn't use those features unless you paid Microsoft more money. When it was unusable within a year because of the heavy resource demand on it, I tried openSuse 11.3 and was shocked that I had a fast, ultraportable, and pleasant laptop to use. I never looked back. I switched to Debian because I needed support for ppc, and that's what I use to this day.
That's not the reason I continue to use Linux, though. I do think the free software movement, for all the infighting we sometimes have and the stress it causes people, has contributed significantly to the world and I want to support it. The replacing software with services that Stallman has recently come out against is a real problem that will lock individuals in to lifelong relationships with certain vendors, and open source software is one bulwark against that. I don't like to think about a world without software choice. Even people who don't usually care about open source software probably have the Gimp or VLC or maybe xbmc/Kodi running on a proprietary OS and without those programs there wouldn't be any choice but to buy expensive software.
But I mainly use Linux because I enjoy it. Just as some take pride from keeping an old car on the road as long as possible, I enjoy the flexibility that both Linux and BSD offer in making old hardware continue to be useful. So that's what keeps me going. I don't get the same enjoyment out of Windows or OSX.
61 • How I moved to Linux (by James LaRue on 2015-08-24 14:44:57 GMT from North America)
My first official use of Linux was Yellow Dog Linux, version 2.3, in August, 2002. I used it on a desperately underpowered iMac, and it was a VERY steep learning curve. Nothing worked, or worked reliably. I then moved to an old Gateway and Red Hat 8.0, with only slightly better success. The reason for the change (from my pre-OSX Mac) was twofold: first, the Mac just wasn't working very well with the Internet (locked up, crashed), and second, the best tech guys at work were all about how cool Linux was, free, stable, etc. Things settled down when I bought a proper PC (HP Pavilion) and moved to PCLinuxOS. But even then, I had to wrestle with a lot of things - sound cards, Xconfig files, Palm Pilot syncs, video codecs - that "just worked" with OSX and Windows. These days, I still can't get Linux to do Adobe Connect webinars, which as a presenter, is irritating. So I haven't wiped Windows 7 on my cheap laptop. But everything else is so much better, and I much prefer the freedom (both philosophic and financial) of Linux to Windows or OSX. These days, mostly using LXDE on a refurbished ThinkCentre.
62 • Poll (by a on 2015-08-24 14:45:39 GMT from Europe)
Both frustrations and features, but I had to pick one, so frustrations it is. With Windows, of course. As far as Linux features I wanted, it was mostly the great terminal/shell :-).
But it’s worth noting that I did not use Windows all my life to then switch to Linux one day. I used various computers and operating systems over the years, including AmigaOS, Red Hat Linux, MorphOS, Ubuntu, XP, Arch and Gentoo.
63 • Switching to Linux (by Tran Older on 2015-08-24 15:05:19 GMT from Asia)
In 1999, very frustrated with my Performa PowerPC 603, which was a Road Apple, I decided to assemble a Cyrix PC to run both Red Hat and BeOs Personal Edition. It ended up running Lindows 4.5 and Haiku.
I am using a personalized Trusty Tahr. It has 2 desktop environements, Gnome Flashback-Metacity and a combo of RazorQt-KWM-Tint2. It has 2 browsers ( you can guess). It has 2 Office applications (LibreOffice and WPS Office). It has 2 sets of icons - Dalisha and Buuf (Jacque Raimer would be happy). It has 2 game environments -Wine and Steam. My distro even has a name : Tutu OS, in honor of Desmond Tutu.
64 • Poll (by Josh on 2015-08-24 15:07:36 GMT from North America)
I mostly started using Linux out of curiosity, but also because of the development ecosystem. As a poor 10 year old trying to learn how to program, getting good tooling for Windows cost a lot more than I could legally handle.
I remembered my dad playing with RedHat 6, which he got from a friend. I'm not sure he ever got very far with it, but I talked to him about Linux and we ended up buying some magazines to try things out. I'm pretty sure the first distro I got running on my own computer was Mandrake 7.1. To my delight, it had more development tools than could imagine having access to for free, legally. I quickly grew to love it, and jumped from distro to distro for a while trying to learn as much as I could. (For some reason, I was under the impression that each distro would come with different tools than the others.)
I landed on Slackware, as it had absolutely everything I could possibly want at the time and it was very fast, easy to install, and easy to configure. Out of curiosity, I continued to jump around various distros over the years. Almost always I ended up going back to Slackware after at most 2 weeks with any other distro.
Eventually I started to want more from Slackware, such as dependency resolution. The Slackware package manager is great, but as I had less and less time to administer my box due to classes and jobs, I wanted to find something that would be more intelligent and helpful about installing dependencies for programs I wanted. But I didn't want a slow or bloated system.
I had a good time with Gentoo, but, again, that "time" thing kept causing issues. I couldn't justify the compile times for the larger programs, especially since this was in the days of single core CPUs and sub-Ghz clocks. Sidux, Frugalware, and a handful of other distros seemed promising.
One of the distros I tried way back when was Arch. I got it installed, but I had no idea what to do beyond that. I wiped it and put something else on instead. A few years later, I stumbled upon Arch again. This time around, I decided to actually read up on Arch a bit more. I haven't had a need or desire for any other distro since then.
It's now been nearly 15 years that I've had Linux as my default boot target.
65 • Why? lol (by Jordan on 2015-08-24 15:13:13 GMT from North America)
All of the reasons/choices given in the poll. No "all of the above"? ;)
66 • DOS 2 was politically correct. (by Roy H Huddleston on 2015-08-24 15:39:25 GMT from North America)
DOS 2 was the name of the course given to Linux. The course on Macs was dropped because they deemed that we would never have to work on one. But even at a Microsoft accredited college where Windows was King we still had some teachers who preferred Linux. We were given a free copy of Red Hat 7. Radio Shack's Colour 2 was my first computer and I got got mesmerized by Fractals. While taking the security course at the college we were told that we could take an old computer with more than one NIC card and make a secure physical way of locking down ports. You could even set up software to control the security. I think they referred to it as a physical firewall. I got 2 Associates Degrees from the college - One in PC repair and one in Networking. Linux has never been so user friendly as it is today. I agree with number 65 - "All of the above".
67 • Damn I'm old... (by Steve on 2015-08-24 16:17:11 GMT from North America)
I started with digital and analog computers in the mid 70's, my first digital system was a Raytheon 703 that we fingered in the boot so we could run the load tape (a paper tape) so we could load the main loop (as we called it, another paper tape). I worked with analog computers and assorted mini-computers as a flight simulator maintainer for the Air Force. In the mid 80's I cross trained to become a programmer/systems analyst and found myself working with more mini-computers and the odd mainframe, eventually getting to my first UNIX system and loving it.
The early personal computers consisted of a Commodore 64 and a Kaypro (I actually liked CP/M). When Linux started to become better known it was a natural move to start using it along side CP/M, DOS and the early Windows.
I still believe in the original UNIX philosophy and I'm staring the move to BSD on the small computer and leaving system D (sometimes known as Linux) behind.
68 • Switch to Linux (by David on 2015-08-24 16:59:17 GMT from Europe)
Back in the 80s I bought a Sinclair QL, as Linus did. Compared to my office PC, it offered multitasking and superior wordprocessor and database programs. It expanded over the years, but eventually I replaced it with a Q60, a Motorola 68060 machine which came with both the QL's QDOS and a port of Red Hat Linux. The latter was impressive, but the X window system was too slow (it shouldn't have been, as the top Mac was only using the 68040) so I built a PC and installed Fedora 1, which had just replaced the free Red Hat. So I never had the pleasure (?) of using Windows!
69 • @56, 33 (by mechanic on 2015-08-24 17:54:12 GMT from Europe)
Thanks for the link to explanation, solt87. Is it standard in recent kernels? Why make a thing of it in the article I wonder?
70 • why i switched from windows to linux (by john on 2015-08-24 18:12:31 GMT from North America)
i'd had some unix experence from a previous job so making the switch wasn't all that hard. it was only a matter of finding a distro i liked. for me that was linux mint.
my reason for switching was i wasn't willing to pay upwards of 300 bucks to the man in redmond for his over priced bloated slow software that was made even slower because i had to run some sort of antivirus to reasonably protect my machine form malware.
i like the linux experence and i'm cormforable at the command line.
71 • Flash + Firefox (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2015-08-24 18:48:42 GMT from South America)
Hello, the Zorin reviewer is wrong in stating that the version of Flash that Firefox uses is no longer updated. Adobe is no longer adding new features to Flash for Linux, but they *are* releasing security updates.
72 • Happy Distro Hopper (by Bruce Fowler on 2015-08-24 18:59:28 GMT from North America)
I worked at Bell Labs Murray Hill back in the day (started in '65 on an IBM 7094 in machine code) and used Unix, starting with troff for text processing, pretty much since it was invented. Met Thompson and Richie. Never thought Unix would amount to anything. :-) Anyway, the move to Linux was not a huge step. Got a copy of Red Hat (5 or 6?) in the mid-ninety's and dual-booted a 132 MHz machine with Win XP. Now my Raspberry Pi with Arch has more power than that! Hopped lots of distros since. The diversity of development tools and distro features in Linux can't be beat.
73 • First forays into Linux (by ezsit on 2015-08-24 19:21:24 GMT from North America)
I purchased SuSE 5.3 in 1998 and had a hard time getting used to it and stuck with Win 98 and OS/2. I purchased Caldera OpenLinux 2.4 in 2000 and had a great time. I then tried RedHat 7.3 through version 9 and had varying degrees of success. I switched to Mandriva 2005 LE and went with Linux as my sole OS on my main machine since then, switching to Ubuntu sometime in 2007. I have been with Ubuntu or a variant ever since, now running Lubuntu LTS.
74 • Switch to Linux (by Toran Korshnah on 2015-08-24 20:29:23 GMT from Europe)
My first PC had a 1GB-HD, 1MB of video, en a pentium 100 running windows 95. The first soft I installed gave errors. As I was unable to reinstall, it costed me a lot of money. So i searched for a solution and found out about Linux. I read a book about Red Hat, but it was with Corel Linux I started. Later i tried slackware, SuSE, Mandrake, and finally Ubuntu. Nowadays really happy with Debian 8 on my Packard Bell. It was once said Linux could not be installed on a PB, well, it can...I am the proof.
75 • Switch to Linux poll (by mikef90000 on 2015-08-24 20:38:08 GMT from North America)
I'm also one of the 'all of the above' crowd.
Besides annoyance with the ever increasing bloat and cluttered DE that the Windows desktop had become, I realized that most of my work could be done fine with the state of Ubuntu Linux six years ago.
Safe and easy repartitioning with gparted on a rescue CD lets you set up a dual (or more) boot environment. Virtualbox is a dream to test different and new, well, everything. Debian package management makes software installation and maintenance a snap. XFCE is the flexible and lightweight DE that Windows could have become. And on and on.
Very happy with the stability of Mint 17 and SolydX.
76 • why i started to use linux/bsd (by stefan on 2015-08-24 20:48:39 GMT from Europe)
It was really just curiosity. When i first came into touch with computers, it was a comodore C64. Second time, during my university career (philosophy), i saw windows NT. But there was a Nerd in the students office, and he ran slackware with one (now) ancient kde. It had multiple desktops (like windows 10 now), and was as buffing to me as was windows nt: how could machines do something like that? That's a philosophers question, looking on these things. The Nerd became my friend, and as he ran a perfect clone of "thrust" on his slackware-machine, i got it; i wanted to learn it. (thrust is one of the best games on the C64 -- in my opinion. It's about overcoming gravity and pendelum-physics.)
So that's why i love distrowatch today: no better place to get to know what's going on in the OpenSource-community, which is the most brilliant when it comes to tech. I would rather believe the arch-wiki, than any Professor. THX a lot.
77 • My First Time With Linux... (by Ron on 2015-08-24 21:08:47 GMT from North America)
It was back in the late 90's I believe. I was using Windows 98SE and I was bored. We had a good small computer store next door to me and I was able to get a Red Hat 5 or 6 and Suse 6 floppy disk from there, for free. So I gave it a try. The only issue I had, of course, was the dial up winmodem. That was very, very common back then. Thank the digital gods for broadband.
Anyway's I loved them both and I ended up talking with someone from Suse on the phone for quite awhile. He was telling my about the great new features they where looking forward to in the upcoming release of Suse. We talked about open source and closed source, etc. Of course this was when the company was under different ownership. So several days go by and I received a box set, which I still have, of Suse 7.0. Complete with manuals, etc. That made a lasting impression on me. It was just sent to me for free. Up until that point I didn't think anyone would ever do anything like that.
I slowly started getting into Linux more and more after that. But the thing that made the biggest difference was broadband. Once I was able to get that I had no need for that winmodem and I was able to use or download any Linux distro I wanted. Now I use Linux all the time, Fedora, Debian or LinuxMint these days, but I do boot into Windows once and awhile for games, which thanks to steam, is a lot less then it use to be.
Talking with this man from Suse, the simple act of sending me that Suse box set, as well as paying for the postage themselves, showed me what the philosophy and community spirit was all about. After that Each distro I tried, well most of them, kept me hooked.
78 • A short story made long (by azuvix on 2015-08-24 22:35:07 GMT from North America)
My love of GNU/Linux started back in late 2007 when a friend of mine told me about the free software philosophy. Apparently he had checked out a book from the library that came with a sample of several distros on DVD, and he shared it with me, with all the "terms and conditions" I needed to know.
I must have tried every distro that came up on Distrowatch back in those days. Sometimes they were interesting enough for an installation, other times I just messed around with the live CD. By summer of '08, it was abundantly clear that I had a huge amount to learn and wasn't going to learn it without a bit more dedication. One of the first things I wanted to do was learn bash really well, so I installed Slackware on a small i386 machine that choked on X11 and used mostly that computer all summer. From that experience, I learned more about Emacs, LaTeX, and many more examples of very high-quality free software that I could wholeheartedly recommend to even those who weren't running GNU/Linux.
There really is no going back now - I know far more about this operating system than any other, and it's met my needs all the way into graduate school. Best of all, I'm still learning from it and benefiting greatly from what I learn.
79 • first use of linux (by todd on 2015-08-24 22:51:39 GMT from North America)
I started using linux in 2009 triple booting a mac book pro with ubuntu and eventually moved on to arch linux which is my favorite distro
80 • Zorin review, FreeBSD package stability (by Will B on 2015-08-24 23:04:45 GMT from North America)
Thanks Sameera for the Zorin review. The extra graphics and details really did help. :-)
FreeBSD and derivatives need big help with their packages/ports. The quality of the FreeBSD base is usually outstanding, but as I've mentioned elsewhere, it's very likely you'll need to install some packages to do anything meaningful on FreeBSD. Compared to Debian and some other Linux distros, the quality of FreeBSD packages/ports is barely adequate on the high end and downright poor on the low end.
I (try to) use FreeBSD as my daily OS, but often find I have to jump out of it and into my Debian partition because some FreeBSD package/port has crashed, hung or generally mashed my computer. It shouldn't be this way, and I think the best solution is for more people to get involved with ports maintaining and testing.
81 • multiple choice, please! (by Arkanabar on 2015-08-25 01:20:06 GMT from North America)
This week's poll REALLY needed to be a checkbox poll, not a radio button poll. I would have ticked cost, frustrations with Windows, escaping malware, a friend recommended it, AND I like the philosophy/ideals.
It started with my brother-in-law providing me with a computer dual booting Win95 and Red Hat Linux (unsure which version). My couldn't get Red Hat working with my ISP. Though it was frustrating, I used Win95.
Later, I tried PCLOS, cos it was at the top of DW's page hit rankings. I got it to dual boot with Win2k on a computer my brother handed down to me and PCLOS was much more stable for anything having to do with the internet.
I was also a WoW addict. But Burning Crusade wasn't going to support 2k. I couldn't afford XP. I couldn't get PCLOS to update (failing to pay attention to the forums), and the version of WINE it had wouldn't run WoW. So I went off to WineHQ and discovered that the best results for WoW had been obtained with Linux Mint Felicia. I wiped my HD for Mint and was happier than ever.
Then I got into health information management, and unfortunately, in the US, the sector is completely owned by proprietary solutions, because open-source projects generally are not able to afford the legally required certifications. So here I am, stuck with Win7 on both my lappy and my desktop for the foreseeable future.
But I don't have to like it.
82 • Switched to Linux... now to BSD? (by D-WAVE on 2015-08-25 02:49:01 GMT from North America)
I was always fascinated by computers... however, I didn't actually have Internet service until my Windows XP days, so I had no idea that there was anything like Linux out there. Sometime in 2005 or so, my computer started having tons of issues with corrupted drivers and whatnot, and I was getting sick of it. So I stumbled upon Damn Small Linux, and used it to clean out and repair my installation. I was very impressed that such a useful tool, an OS-of all things, could fit on a small usb stick. So I ended up installing Debian alongside XP, and began a long and winding journey of distro-hopping and scraped knees that eventually led me to Slackware, and my Windows installation to dust.
Along the way, I've learned to appreciate the philosophy of the open source movement, and love the (theoretical)elegance of the Unix-like nature of Linux. Lately, though, the winds of change are blowing me towards BSD: I don't agree with systemd in either design or implementation, and certainly not with the ease of its mass-adoption. It has, however, given me a legitimate reason to give BSD a spin... perhaps FreeBSD. Regardless of what happens, I'll still support Slackware to the bitter end.
I guess the key point of this silly story is to avoid complacency; I should've tried BSD years ago, but it took a thorn in my side(more like in my OS heh) to reawaken my curiosity. Don't let that happen.
83 • Switching to Linux (by Zerokropek on 2015-08-25 07:03:57 GMT from Europe)
I've only been using Linux for less than a year. I was a long-term user of Windows XP and an owner of pathetic hardware. When my system broke down (don't laugh, I have fond memories using Windows and I knew how to keep it in relatively neat shape) the time when Microsoft would stop supporting it was getting close, so I decided to give some of the lighter Linux distros a chance.
Contrary to what you'd think they didn't actually work faster than my previous OS (laptop compatibility issues?), but spending just a little bit of cash allowed me to assemble a computer that works fine, yet probably can't handle any modern Microsoft system. I'm not quite out of the noob zone yet, but I know Linux well enough to find out what I need to do when I have a problem.
Incidentally I'm using Zorin (Lite version) which I find efficient, pretty and more useful out-of-the-box than Lubuntu.
84 • Reasons for the switch & Flash (by M.Z. on 2015-08-25 07:49:43 GMT from Planet Mars)
Like many commenters I had multiple reasons so I chose other. I started off in open source by switching to Firefox & soon switched to open source options like OpenOffice to replace some sorry outdated office suite I got for free. I grew more curious about such software & eventually put Linux on my main desktop. I'd say the driving factors were Curiosity, Cost & Philosophy. I made the full switch in 2011 after Flash became available for Linux & I could watch shows online, & have even gone so far as to buy a Linux specific laptop. Speaking of Flash...
@71 - it is indeed a patched old version of Flash
My thoughts exactly. It's like an old Firefox ESR release that may be old, but it still gets some important updates. I don't get why the reviewer worded things the way he did, it's clearly misleading to say Flash on Linux has more security issues due to it's age. There are certainly shortcomings in Flash on Linux, but let's not misstate things. I not only receive security updates for Flash, but Firefox occasionally starts blocking all Flash content by default when there is an exploit in the wild. I do hope to have a more secure & up to date replacement for Flash eventually, but at least it is clearly being patched.
85 • @53 (by Kazlu on 2015-08-25 08:20:33 GMT from Europe)
"Solus shares very little in common with the projects you mention."
I first quoted Linux Mint because this is the first one that came to my mind that would fulfill the objectives of being "modern and focused desktop-centric solution, that is designed to keep out of the way of the user, working intuitively with virtually no configuration required" and with an "emphasis on multimedia and “home-computing” ". Since I only took extracts of the Solus "about" page, I should also admit that some other points do not match with Linux Mint, like "built from scratch". To me, that last point is not an advantage, but this is a personnal opinion so I will not insist on that. What I mean is that technically, Solus differs a lot from Linux Mint indeed. However, Linux Mint and many other projects that are also tehcnicall different from one another already focus on those goals with quite a success.
Later I quoted "Mageia, Handy Linux or Trisquel". Indeed they do not have much in common with Solus. I only quoted them because personnally, I would rather support them than Solus since I feel closer to their ideals and goals than from those of Solus. Sorry if I was not clear enough, and more importantly sorry if any offense was taken.
"In your theory, only the already popular/successful should be allowed to become more popular/successful, at the detriment of smaller projects with new ideas :]"
That is not exactly what I said. To rephrase and detail what I meant, I think that small projects that do not bring something new compared to existing and more mature solutions will not likely trigger user's interest. That does not mean they shouldn't be allowed :) But if a small project brings something new or unique, then by all means go for it! Besides, even if I don't see what Solus brings that is not already done elsewhere, maybe other people will see in Solus what they want because they have other priorities. I think there are already many GNU/Linux distros that successfully fulfill Solus' stated goals, but if other people don't think so and are completely satisfied with Solus' way, then perfect! In the end everyone wins! That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if not that many people are into Solus. But I wouldn't mind being proved wrong!
86 • Linux switch (by Nick on 2015-08-25 10:55:25 GMT from North America)
I switched to Linux when I was a sophomore in High School - got tired of windows crashing every couple of months - so I tried Linux as an alternative.
Order of Linux Distro's I have used.
Ubuntu (7.10) - Stuck around with Ubuntu until Unity was its default interface.
Kubuntu - Stuck around until 2012 roughly (got tired of having to reinstall every year and reset my desktop to new versions...Upgrades never worked had to do fresh install)
Arch + KDE - Stuck around for under 2 years - too unstable, liked the rolling distro aspect of it (install it once and be done with it for life) but bleeding edge made it very unstable.
Gentoo + KDE (Current Distro and my FAVORITE - sticking with for life) - I get full and total control - I make all the calls and decisions!, rolling distro as well; and as an added bonus it is built for my system, no binaries, compiled on the spot so I get all the speed improvements and I can choose what aspects of programs to install. Made a Router out of it on a "pizza box" (used pfsense beforehand - too locked down) and all my desktops run it as well.
87 • Switching OS's (by me2 on 2015-08-25 11:03:28 GMT from Europe)
In 2000 I was at uni in the second year. I was doing a course that was IT based. The Uni. gave it a fancy word - infomatics. Anyway a computer magazine had a copy of corel linux on the cover. So I bought and tried to install. No chance. Later a new comp.mag came out with a copy of mandrake 7.1 on the cover. Was able to install this one. Still couldnt do much with it. No internet connection at home, and the uni used windows software and course work had to be understood by their system. Moved to new place with a telephone line. Got an internet connection but still needed to get a driver for the software modem inside my machine. When I got the internet connection going that was the first real hurdle successfully jumped. There were more, like abiword for word processing and having to learn something alien to myself. I migrated to slackware 9.X as mandrake 10ce video was not working very well anymore. The experience with mandrake though made installing slackware a lot easier. Saving money was a key component of switching, and one of the lecturers (a computer nazi) said that we should try all that we can.
88 • Why I Switched to Linux (by Ed on 2015-08-25 11:37:45 GMT from North America)
The reason I switched to Linux is because previously I had always used Windows, and I got exasperated with the constant problems with viruses and adware. Also Windows, especially after a year or two, becomes so slow and sluggish that it has to be reinstalled, or else buy another computer. When I investigated Linux a few months ago and learned how easy some distros are for ordinary users like myself, such as Zorin, Mint and LXLE, and that Linux is very safe from viruses, I was sold on Linux. I also run PC-BSD in one of my computers just for variety. Some developers deserve high praise for creating very user-friendly and well-functioning distros, such as the three I mentioned above. I also have a MacBook but still much prefer my favorite Linux distros, especially Mint and LXLE. I also very much appreciate the help I receive from the forums when I need it, as well as little if any cost for the distros and apps. :) -Ed
89 • wish LinuxMint adopts beautiful and user friendliest GUI of obscure distro Q4OS (by Q4OS and new GUI forLinuxMint on 2015-08-25 11:55:48 GMT from North America)
I have just tried this obscure distro Q4OS and i can say, unreservedly, that it's the most (yes, the most) beautifully polished and user friendliest distro i had ever tried. I'm showering these well-deserved praises as a veteran Linux user and passionate distro hopper, Now i truly wish that LinuxMint consrervative devs would replace Mint's typical linux GUI (which is boringly backward looking and almost ugly) with Q4OS modern-looking yet user friendly and beuatiful. Meanwhile, the only problems (and these are serrious problems) i see with Q4OS is that it has a number of serious bugs which needs to be elimaneted. Similarly the manual partioning (the only option it allows for installing the distro) will deter most Linux newbies using it.
Also, a great and forward looking distro like this certainly deserves a much better name that's catchy, easier to remember and prounuce than a meaningless geeky or techie name like Q4OS
90 • Switch to Linux (by Tom on 2015-08-25 13:28:06 GMT from Europe)
I had some severe audio problems with Windows XP, and installing a newer (oder older) driver wouldn't fix them. I suspected it was all about messed up drivers though, so before buying a new sound card, I checked with a (very old) Knoppix live CD which proved I was right. That got me interested in Linux again (had been shown some early SuSe years ago as well), so I searched the web about the latest developments in Linux which quickly brought me to discover Ubuntu. And so on...
91 • -> Linux (by zykoda on 2015-08-25 14:48:43 GMT from Europe)
Came via UNIX. Old fashioned Command Line preferred as it's easier and more powerful.
92 • My switch was because of Windows ME (by Matt on 2015-08-25 14:52:13 GMT from North America)
I was forced to use Windows ME at work. What a piece of garbage. That is what made me start testing Linux. Thanks Microsoft! I no longer use any Microsoft products. I was able to talk my IT people at work into allowing me to use Linux. They eventually gave me full root access and now allow me to manage my own computer. They gave me the lecture about great power coming with great responsibility, but they never have to come to my office to fix anything any more.
93 • Windows 10 vs Mageia (by Jordan on 2015-08-25 15:44:39 GMT from North America)
I admit to using Windows 10 on my new machine. I let it happen. I liked it for a while but now I'm getting angry about the default settings of bandwidth (almost torrent-like) sharing for OTHER users' updates.
Yes these settings can be undone if you dig around enough, and there are sites out there that help with that. But:
The whole thing of it all being there by default to begin with really irks me in the way that I was irked years ago about Windows 95 and began messing around with Linux distros.
Thinking about destroying/covering Windows 10 with Mageia (have Mint on my other laptop).
So, yeah, the "why did I switch to Linux" query is a constant, not a question about an old decision from the past.
94 • Stumbled Upon by Accident (by Ken on 2015-08-25 15:59:04 GMT from North America)
I honestly don't remember when or where I first started hearing about GNU/Linux. I think maybe in downloading software for my then-Windows XP computer, I kept seeing download links for for Windows/MacOS/Linux, and finally got the curiosity to see what this strange word was all about.
When I built my DIY computer from NewEgg, I installed Windows 7, and while it worked for me, my curiosity kept encouraging me to look more at this strange GNU/Linux thing. I asked a friend of mine, who was more computer savvy, if he'd heard of it, and while he had, didn't have any experience with it. Somehow, I stumbled upon DistroWatch and was leaning toward Ubuntu, the most common named I'd heard associated with GNU/Linux. But this was around the time that Unity came out, and I didn't like the way that looked at all. So, based on the page hit rankings, screenshots, and a visit to the website, I downloaded the Linux Mint ISO and booted it up.
After making sure and double sure that I wasn't hosing my entire computer during the partition process, I installed Mint in a dual boot configuration and booted it up. I was amazed, absolutely amazed. I'd been afraid of some of the horror stories I'd heard about GNU/Linux mistakes wrecking a system, but I didn't experience that at all. It had everything I needed and felt completely natural, for the most part. There wasn't nearly as hard a learning curve as I thought there would be.
I did end up, through my own mistakes messing around in the command line, burning down my OS and having to reinstall. But even that wasn't a hassle. Reinstalling Windows, except for this last time installing Windows on my secretary's office computer, has always been a nightmare. But reinstalling GNU/Linux was never a problem, and 10 minutes later, I had an OS again.
In my short time experimenting with different distros, I tried Mint, Puppy, Trisquel, Lubuntu, Bodhi, and LXLE in different flavours. I've settled on Mint for my laptop, Trisquel for my desktop, and Puppy for my office computer (it's a poor little 2001 computer). GNU/Linux is my primary operating system, and I'm hooked for life, I hope. I still have my Windows 7 partition just for playing games, and I'm dreading the move to Windows 10, but it will never be more than an inferior system that happens to play games really really well.
95 • @89: Q4OS's desktop to Linux Mint (by Kazlu on 2015-08-25 16:14:30 GMT from Europe)
Apparently the Trinity desktop environment is not available in the Ubuntu repositories, but they have a PPA and instructions to install Trinity in Ubuntu and Linux Mint. I don't know if the Trinity default version is close to the Q4OS's implementation but you can always try it:
96 • @95 Trinity on Linux Mint (by Kazlu on 2015-08-25 16:15:27 GMT from Europe)
Oh and by the way, I would be interested in your feedback if you try it :)
97 • Further comments re. the poll (by Barnabyh on 2015-08-25 16:18:19 GMT from North America)
It's actually a mixture of four but I chose features as the most important one. This to me were features like IP masquerading and MAC address spoofing back in the days when I made the switch.
Other points, only slightly less important, would be
2. For (self-)education
3. Liked the philosophy and ideals (mostly of Debian back then)
4. Unhappiness with previous OS.
98 • I was not frustrated (thanks cygwin & msys-mingw) when I installed GNU linux (by dbrion on 2015-08-25 16:41:20 GMT from Europe)
My first PC was on W98, and it worked for me in a satisfying way. I could manage to have the same command line as under Unix -I had practised for 10 years- with msys/mingw and cygwin (which was heavier, but richer). I thus learned how to install with configure && make && make install.. . Then I choosed Mandriva, out of curiosity (it was faster than cygwin, binary installs were more comfortable). Now, all my PCs have been bought with XP / W7, I seldom use : my needs were cross compilers for microcontrolers, and, 10 yeras ago, it was very difficult to find decent environments for my hobby; now, one can find very good ones under GNUlinux, ans there remains parts which are windows centric : this can be often fixed with wine .... or with VirtualBox. The need for Windows -people developped for the most used system- disappears... I sometimew changed with unetbooted GNU linuxen (Suse, Scientific, Vector, among others );, but I keep Fedora -makes sometimes very good dedicated respins https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Electronic_Lab?rd=ElectronicLab_Spin ; once one gets the list of each and every intersing package, it is easy to install them ... on a Fedora with another DE -that is trivial!-, or on Mageia... Some package names and functionalities , if found very interesting and not ressource consuming, can be installed under Rapsbian -has a very complete repos-...
99 • why I switched to Linux (by Harold Williams on 2015-08-25 20:31:19 GMT from North America)
1. I got tired of the Microsoft merry-go-around of the next big release and the expense of it.
2. I wanted to increase my knowledge of computers and what they can do.
Linux has been a great ride. I have learned a lot and at the same time realize how little I know about computers. I still use Microsoft for a few things but do most of my computing in Linux.
100 • @85 (by IkeyDoherty on 2015-08-25 20:43:12 GMT from Europe)
I'll admit the "About" page completely sucked, as such you're going to be unclear about what Solus is (or more importantly,... Why??)
So, we have a new page now on the Solus Project website, replacing the crappy old About page. https://solus-project.com/why-solus/
101 • @ Gayan on Linux Mint (by Wse on 2015-08-25 21:33:12 GMT from Europe)
>Linux Mint was better in terms of technical implementations, because I just had the impression that Linux Mint had taken in an Ubuntu core, stripped down all the unnecessary aspects of it, optimized it to suit their needs, and had implemented their own desktop environment on top of that. <
1) How do you know, what stuff is "unnecessary aspects" of the Ubuntu core, and how much was taken off by Linux Mint?
2) Isn't Linux Mint just Ubuntu base + Apps from Ubuntu repo + some Mint apps? Aren't most of them bash scripts and some other scripts?
102 • Poll (by Corbin Rune on 2015-08-25 22:16:26 GMT from North America)
A combination of basic curiosity, and a HDD that went tits-up after a day and a half of use. Sure as sin didn't have the extra ducats to toss for a new copy of Windows XP, so I fired up a 7.04 Ubuntu disk.
Go figure, that coincidence back in '07 started something that won't ever stop, imo.
103 • Mint vs Ubuntu (by M.Z. on 2015-08-25 22:21:58 GMT from Planet Mars)
There are a lot of things that set Mint apart from Ubuntu & some of the top items are: the Cinnamon DE; an independently created software centre; a fine grained update manager designed to enhance the stability of the Ubuntu base while giving users flexibility; software sources management software that helps you select faster mirrors for updates & control PPAs via the GUI; and all media codecs installed by default, to name just 5. I'd also point out that the update manager allows you to move to new DEs versions & get newer versions of LibreOffice on the LTS base by rolling to the next version of Mint 17.x.
As for the bad stuff from Ubuntu, well the Unity DE is well know to act like spyware by default. Simply removing the DE & putting a more trustworthy set of devs between users & Ubuntu is a big win in my eyes. I'm not sure what else has been removed by Mint, but there are Mint specific repos that have a few different apps in them. There are almost certainly packages that are affected by this, though I don't know many specifics.
104 • I switched to Linux/BSD due to (by ResetIsComing on 2015-08-26 00:09:51 GMT from Europe)
1. I like the philosophy/ideals
2. Frustrations with my old OS
3. Escaping malware
7. Other=A LOT less bloat
I first tried Linux in early June of 2008. First was Fedora 9, being new to Linux, I did not realize Fedora was considered "bleeding edge", KDE4 look good and weird, but was too early in development and was buggy. I quickly went to Mandriva KDE 3.5.x it worked great for me, secure and a low learning curve. Then end of August of 2008, I tried Ubuntu 8.04.1 (GNOME 2) was even easier, with a lot of online support and forum help. Then early 2012 went to Linux Mint Cinnamon/MATE/Xfce( still not a fan of the Unity-great name tho, DE or GNOME 3 DE), also sometimes use Antergos (Arch custom) KDE or Xfce. Recently PC-BSD has been looking more and more appealing lately.
So mainly I like the philosophy/ideals of FOSS and being malware/spyware free is important too. I also appreciate that Linux compared to Windows/Apple does NOT have bloat. Linux is real lean (most cases) and efficient, with smart usage of RAM, also runs great on a LOT of older hardware, helps to get the most out of your purchase.
My only/main drawback from Linux (BSD needs help in this area too) is the lack compatible games, to be fair the last couple years has shown great improvement. Once Linux/BSD gets to a level of at least supporting 9/10 games, then I can finally leave Windows behind in the dust, forever. :)
105 • Poll (by Ron on 2015-08-26 04:06:17 GMT from North America)
Started with Win98 at work. Maintained 20+ Windows machines for years as my job. At home read (The Unix Programing Enviorment) and was hooked!
Installed several Linux, learned tons of stuff I had no idea even existed like file systems, disk partitions, and the magnificent Clonezilla!
Mercifully able to dump all Windows (except for printing), said good riddance to the hated Windows registry et all.
106 • 103 • Mint vs Ubuntu - M.Z (by Wse on 2015-08-26 06:35:56 GMT from Europe)
I was asking about 'the "unnecessary aspects" of the Ubuntu core, which had been taken off by Linux Mint. The Ubuntu core, not about Unity.
Gayan was talking about the Ubuntu core. When you use the mini.iso to install the basic Ubuntu, without any DEs, WMs etc, so what were the unnecessary aspects of the Ubuntu core?
107 • From Unix to Linux (by Fab on 2015-08-26 06:42:19 GMT from Europe)
In nineties i start at university working with UNIX (yes, the true one) in particular with solaris-bsd workstations. My knowledge of windows was were scarse and limited to word-processing and i knew nothing about linux. At a certain point i was asked to port all applications that i had developed in solaris to Linux because personal computers was much less expensive than a unix workstation. I learned RedHat-6 from scratch and in a few week the porting was done. I installed also at home a linux system (Mandrake) and for the first time i realized that i had in my pc with linux the same instruments (compilers, applications) that i used at work. Today i use Linux everywhere from laptop to servers. I prefer LTS and stable distributions in particular Debian and Centos for working and the elegant Linux Mint at home. I have used also Ubuntu for a lot of time up to version 10.4 (the last without unity). I do not dislike the use of windows but, due to my formation, i am a little uncomfortable when i use windows. Thus only with Linux i am really at "home".
108 • Why I switched to Linux (by Roy Davies on 2015-08-26 06:55:20 GMT from Europe)
When MS pulled the plug on xp, I had to make the decision whether to bin my old Acer 2420 or not. In April last year Computeractive magazine ran an article on what to do after xp. One option was to install Linux. They suggested Ubuntu 12.04 with tweaks to mimic Win7. Since then I have tried 30+ distros, Mint, Lubuntu, xubuntu, Manjaro, Fedora, etc. Currently I am running lxde 12.04.5 on the Acer 2420. It is quick and runs well.
On a slightly newer (2007) Acer 5735, I am currently running ChaletOS 14.04.3. I like it. It is a familiar layout, quick, plenty of available packages, and would recommend it to any newbie coming from MS Vista before MS pull the plug next April. RD
109 • @100 "why Solus" (by Kazlu on 2015-08-26 08:21:37 GMT from Europe)
Thanks *a lot* for the link to this page. I really see more clearly now what is Solus and why it's not Linux Mint (or any other). The "about" page was not crappy in my opinion, only not detailed enough, yet it explained in a few lines the basic goals. Good you kept a summary on top of your "why solus" page. It is not accessible from the main page, I only got there thanks to your link, is it a work in progress? The tone seems a bit bitter, I hope comments like mine did not got you too angry, but the details you provide are really welcomed.
I would still be a bit doubtful about hardware support and software compatibility since Solus is buit from scratch, but hell, if one should always listen to that, we would all still be running Windows. Besides, the fact that you "need to grow to support the growing userbase" (from your blog post about the fundraiser) already partly proves my previous comment wrong. So, although Solus is still not for me, please go ahead with your endeavour, you nailed my curiosity, I should at least try it. Obviously what you propose attracts people so, should Solus stay small or go on and dethrone Linux Mint, I look forward to see what Solus becomes and wish you the best of luck.
110 • @109 "why Solus" (by IkeyDoherty on 2015-08-26 10:13:36 GMT from Europe)
You're welcome :] So if you mash refresh it should invalidate the cache and the "Why Solus?" link will replace the "About?" link. Currently having an issue with the wp cache plugin right now :/
I wouldn't say the tone was bitter, I just kept it very blunt. The problem with prior attempts at an "about" or "why" article was perspective. I repeatedly attempted to explain what/why from the perspective of a project, with all that marketing nonsense. This time I just went with "How would Ikey describe it?" and it seems to work much better :] Personally I rarely invest in emotion, thus much of what I say is blunt and direct (which is often perceived as confrontational or anger-bourne. I put up with this in real life anyway =))
Re: hardware compatibility, essentially this is one of those ongoing battle scenarios. We won't really know something is unsupported until somebody tells us, but we're receptive to that and we'll do the work to actually get it enabled.
Solus does attempt to approach many problems from the simplistic technological superiority angle. So many of the changes we're making, while highly important to me, may be negligible to a large number of people. I have a particular view of how things should be done :]
Re: small.. heh. We'll stay focused, but growth is nice ^_^ We're also very .. direct.. in what we want. We openly compete, Linux Mint is one of those competitors.
111 • Ian post and my story (by GrzegorzW on 2015-08-26 11:11:35 GMT from Europe)
I have read Ian post with great plaesure. Expecially it recalled me my own memories when I first tried Linux. I studied Mathematics at University at Cracow in yerars 90-95. At that time all that owned computer had DOS on it and (usually pirated) Windows 3.11 - and it was treated as home usage/entertiment software. And we knew that there is other software like UNIX or VMS intended for professional or Scientific usage - but it is very expensive and runs on mainframes or expensive workstations, so is available for very few people. My University had Computational Centre, but only IT students was eligible to have unix account. So I used my personal connections to get into the same pub where this center Admins were sitting and for some free beers given to them and common party they agreed to create Unix account for me, but even then I was obligated to release terminal when other IT student was waiting and there was no other free terminals. And now - after short time after that a BIG NEWS ca me to us - there is a freely available Unix like system which you can install on your onw on your 386 PC. You no longer have to give any free beers to anybody to get access to Unix ssystem. This was one of the most exiting news that I heard in my live!.
Now to this week question: I miss I option that best describes my feeling: "love to UNIX". I marked philosopy/ideas but I did menthal experiment thinking about ReactOS system. It is also free and with full source code but does not attact me because it is not Unix. So what made me to use Linux is attraction to Unix philosophy and freedom in the same time.
112 • Switch to Linux (by Alan Laird on 2015-08-26 11:21:05 GMT from Europe)
I initially switched to using Linux Mint on an old Netbook when XP went end of life. I then saw Windows 8 in beta and decided to switch all my computing to Linux. I do still have a Win7 machine, running in a virtual box on a Linux machine, where it performs faster than it did on the original hardware.
I had tried Linux 10-15 years ago, OpenSuse if memory serves me correctly, It's a vastly improved user experience since those days. I stick with Mint for my main desktop but am constantly testing alternatives for the netbook and laptop.
The only real issue I have is printing, because the printer manufacturer (Canon) don't provide up to date drivers for Linux. I have workarounds in place but it's a pain everytime I update the OS.
113 • Solus (by Wse on 2015-08-26 12:43:12 GMT from Europe)
Solus is not Mint, not Ubuntu, not even Debian, not LMDE. Solus is Solus, a very good OS. Just try and see.
114 • This week's poll (by Gary W on 2015-08-26 13:17:56 GMT from Oceania)
Unlike almost everyone here, I came to Linux after 25 years on mainframes, with brief diversions via DOS (what a toy - no protected mode, no demand paging), Windows (a DOS GUI, brrr), and OS/2 (the biggest marketing failure in the history of computing). The licensing, philosophy, ideals didn't hurt, but I answered "Frustration" in the poll.
In 1996 I installed Slackware from 28 floppies on a purpose-bought Compaq SLT/386, and I was instantly hooked - here was something on a PC scale with genuine, functional mainframe features. I've tried dozens of distros since then, the longest with Red Hat (until they went 'pro') and Debian.
Now my hopping days are almost over (I do keep an Eee PC for "experiments", it currently has Android Kitkat for x86), I've settled on LMDE although I would change if my hardware demanded it. I retain a soft spot for PCLinuxOS which uses Debian's apt tools and Red Hat's RPM package format. Both of these distros Just Work. I'm old enough to appreciate that.
115 • Mint vs Ubuntu (by M.Z. on 2015-08-26 19:38:38 GMT from Planet Mars)
Honestly I was focusing primarily on the 'just scripts' part of the comment, which as a Mint user didn't sit right with me. I find the Mint tools very useful, though I'm not totally sure how much Mint changes the Ubuntu base. I'm sure that there are aspects of changes to the Ubuntu base that don't automatically transfer into Mint systems because of Mint's update mechanism. I can also report that it has a definite impact on stability, as certain Ubuntu updates have caused problems on my Mint systems when I allowed level 4 & 5 updates blindly. My informed guess is that this is the main change to the base system. Mint defaults to keeping the original parts that shipped on the Ubuntu base to prevent breakages after updates. There could be other changes I'm not aware of, but I've seen the benefits of the added stability. I also just had a Ubuntu clone fail to boot for me in virtual box today which I think may be related to some updates I ran last time I had it on. Perhaps it's just confirmation bias, but I think Mint systems are more stable than Ubuntu systems, or at least more stable that other independent distros based on Ubuntu.
116 • Poll: Dual Boot (by Derrick Chapman on 2015-08-26 21:23:34 GMT from North America)
I have recently upgraded my Win 8.1 to Win 10 and was surprised to discover that it didn't overwrite my GRUB like previous Win "upgrades." I use Win only for a few electronic gadgets that only have a Win driver/interface, for tax programs, and for (the increasingly rare) websites that are "optimized for IE." My default OS is Linux Mint. I also have one or two other Linux flavors just in case my default OS fails. So far, Linux Mint hasn't failed me one single time.
117 • @ 115 Ubuntu base and... (by Wse on 2015-08-26 21:40:06 GMT from Europe)
Mint's level 4 & 5 is created to give the user some feeling, like you get from politicians. "Don't do this, it might bring you trouble, but we can give you much better ...."
I have installed Ubuntu base through mini.iso. That was not from some stable release, but from 15.10, still at alpha stage. Over that I have Openbox with quite a lot of eye-candy. I keep on dist-upgrading everyday. It doesn't break. I should expect it to break, but it doesn't. The Linux Mint is based on 14.04. Ubuntu 14.04 is released, and frozen. Only certain apps would be upgraded security wise. So, this talk about level 4 & 5 is utter nonsense, political stuff.
118 • Mint vs Ubuntu (by M.Z. on 2015-08-27 03:10:20 GMT from Planet Mars)
I'm sure there is a decent degree of QA going into Ubuntu; however, I personally have seen things break after an upgrade in Ubuntu based distros. It's a genuine issue that I've seen seen from personal experience. No matter how rare the problems caused by upgrades are they exist, and it isn't just security upgrades either. I have my copy of Mint KDE set to always perform security updates regardless of the risk & among the packages currently being held back are: systemd; upstart; xorg; xserver drivers for ati & intel; 'base files'; & grub2. If anything went wrong with either init or the video output some users would feel completely hosed & might not be able to troubleshoot a fix.
I don't understand why you want to deny the facts, but the list of held updates is being displayed in my update manager as I type this (I made them visible via the check boxes under edit>preferences>levels). One of those sorts of updates killed my DE once & I stopped allowing such updates afterwards. There is no reason to engage in fanboyism or deny the facts, things can & do go wrong on some Ubuntu based systems at least some of the time. The good thing is the Mint team came up with a fix. It isn't perfect either, but it puts users in control & from my experience it is a genuine benefit to users. I'm not trying to pick on Ubuntu, I just had a copy of Fedora 22 in a VM eat itself after an update as well. If you want to deny the facts or turn it it to something political go right ahead, but those are the facts & my experiences on the issue.
119 • Poll, review and search (by Karay on 2015-08-27 03:53:07 GMT from Europe)
Search for distributions based on release model: This is a very good idea. I'm waiting for an other option... Language based search. Most people can't speak foreign language in my country (Hungary). Neither my mother and my support is limited. This option could work with "fixed" list what editors use in "Multilingual" field (eg. "Yes", "en", "es", etc.).
Review about Zorin OS: The editor compared version 8 and 10. Sometimes he mentioned Mint and Ubuntu. Unfortunately the diagrams look empty. It could be better if he do a full comparison of Zorin, Mint and Ubuntu. I can understand that he test only 8 and 10 but nobody can download 8 from main site. Actually I prefer LTS versions but reviewer avoid these ones.
Why did I start using Linux? I started use computers at 1994. My first PC was a 386 or 486 with DOS. Later I met with Windows 95 and my frustration increased. Unfortunately I don't know any other option on PC. Apple products are too expensive and aren't cost-effective. I heard about Linux in 2005 or 2006. I started my research about this theme and I learnt about differences between Windows and Linux. One of my best friend helped me to install an Ubuntu 5.10 to my computer next to XP. I also installed Linux Mint 10 to my mom's laptop because she disappointed in Vista in 2010.
I disappointed in Canonical when Unity and "Amazon integration" arrived. I search on Distrowatch and I tried a couple distribution (Bodhi, Mageia) but these aren't satisfied me. Finally I decide Mint because it worked well on my mom's laptop and I want a well supported distribution. I bought my latest laptop from a retail shop where sold second-hand also (with guarantee and without OS). I tried it with a thumb-drive before buy because my Dell laptop's (what broken) wifi didn't support Linux.
Nowadays I taste some other distribution (Elementary, LXLE, wattOS, Peppermint) before upgrade my mom's from Mint 10. She got Mint 17 because of shorter learning curve and language support.
I chose philosophy because all of my reason (cost, frustration and malware) based on that. Most malware and virus built because they want control or our money. MS and Apple products are overpriced and lack of perfectionism because they want sell newer products. These are make big frustration in me. So I want to avoid their offers but I want to know my "enemies".
120 • Re: 119 (by Karay on 2015-08-27 04:17:57 GMT from Europe)
I forget a very big reason what I couldn't choose. The opportunity of decision. I don't have to use Windows and I can pick one (or more) from a bunch of distribution :D This is very important for me. Our life could be very boring and sad if there's only one distro with only one DE.
BTW I like Amazon (mostly because of free ebooks) but I hate advertisement and force. That's why I want to avoid any Ubuntu from Canonical but I grateful for their "ship it" offer.
121 • Some Zorin OS glitches to be aware of (by eco2geek on 2015-08-27 06:16:44 GMT from North America)
Zorin 10, like previous versions, is pretty cool. But it does have a couple of glitches to be aware of.
First, the "Preferences" dialog box is not available anywhere in "Files." In other words, you won't be able to access that tabbed dialog box where you can set and save your preferences in the file manager. This is a bug in the upstream GNOME Flashback package.
The other glitch is when you rename files using list view in "Files". The old filename stays there, white text on blue (or whatever highlight color you've set), while the new name you type appears in black over it - until you press "enter" when the renaming is done.
(Speaking of "Files," the program's really named "Nautilus," but for some unknown reason, GNOME developers have stopped putting the actual command-line interface names of several programs in their "About" dialogs, including Nautilus, and have started calling them by what they do instead. That's poor user interface design, IMHO. But I digress.)
122 • Ubuntu breaking Mint (by lupus on 2015-08-27 07:57:10 GMT from Europe)
No M.Z. I think your observations only have to do with your machine at least nothing of the things you mentioned ever happened to my Mint Install, no breakage no nothing everything that works with Ubuntu works with Mint. Appearances may change but that's it. Maybe your breakage had to do with errors in the repos??? I only once had that but it's been ages so I don't remember.
123 • RAPSBSD -this week in the waiting list (by dbrion on 2015-08-27 08:21:05 GMT from Europe)
I was curious about Rapsbsd , nut could not find info whether its general purpose plug/port (GPIO ) is supported. what makes RPi interesting (it is way slower than ordinary, x86 PCs; when bought a screen, a USB hub, a key board , a mouse and a power supply, price difference with second hand "net""books" is not interesting at all) is
a) the camera , often better than a web cam... but is is not yet supported by Rapsbsd -they are clear about it-
b) the GPIO one can read write logical levels on many pins (that does not exist any more on PCs : parallel ports had same kind of functionality), leading to a bunch of electronic projects, and it is unclear whether BSD supports it.
124 • Yet another "How I came to GNU/Linux" story (by Kazlu on 2015-08-27 15:22:43 GMT from Europe)
When I was in the university, back in 2007, I had just bought a Windows Vista machine. Pretty, but quick to go slow... So after 2 months I installed Windows XP on it, that was already a relief. About the same moment, the guys that managed the students' home network organised an install party and proposed to install different distros on our PCs. I had heard of GNU/Linux and liked the ideals, but I always pictured it as hard to use and limited in features. With this install party I figured I should at least gather more information about that OS that is free as in bree beer *and* free speech, which I thought was great, and see if I could use it. So I got Ubuntu (7.10 I suppose) to dual boot alongside Windows XP. I had some driver issues back then with Wi-Fi and sound, despite the efforts of friends who knew more than me about those things. So I barely used it for e-mail and a bit of websurfing... when I did not need sound.
A few years later I had to sent my PC for repairs but it came back with the hard drive wiped out and Vista restored... Thankfully I saw it coming and had a backup! Anyway, I installed (by myself this time) Windows 7 and Ubuntu and as time moved forward hardware support improved and I was able to use sound and Wi-Fi on Ubuntu. Progressively I used Ubuntu more and more while using Windows less and less, Windows being still mandatory for games and some other things, while Ubuntu was faster and needed less attention. Until an update to Thunderbird 3.0 caused the Windows and Ubuntu versions of it to become incompatible (one of them had made the leap to 3.0 and not the other, I don't remember which one), preventing me to have the same data for the two and making dual booting much less practical. I then decided that Ubuntu would now be my main OS and Windows the secondary one. This went well but Windows became more and more boring because of the time needed for the updates each time I booted it.
When Unity came to Ubuntu, I disliked it and started to look for alternatives on the Internet. I learned more about other DEs and other distros and figured I was ready to go out of my comfort zone and tinker a bit since I had learned a lot since 2007. I switched to LXDE and tried different distros on the old computer I still had at my parent's. I was really happy I could revive it with a modern OS! I had another period of "desktop hopping" before settling to Xfce.
I kept reading about distros and until now I still distro hop once in a while. I made a tour on Manjaro and settled on Debian, but I use different distros on different machines. I do not use Windows any longer and I realize how much easier my computing activities have become, but to be honest that's also because I learned a lot in the process. I gave back a bit of what I learned by helping relatives to use GNU/Linux and by writing some documentation here and there, and that felt really great! As of today I still want to expand my use of libre software and my contributions to it, when I have some time I can give.
125 • 118 • Mint vs Ubuntu by M.Z. (by Wse on 2015-08-27 18:48:05 GMT from Europe)
>I'm sure there is a decent degree of QA going into Ubuntu; however, I personally have seen things break after an upgrade in Ubuntu based distros.<
Are you saying that Clement Lefebvre is better QA guy than all the Ubuntu devs?
126 • Updates can eat your computer (by M.Z. on 2015-08-27 19:35:55 GMT from Planet Mars)
@122 & 118
All I'm saying is that updates can eat your system & make it unworkable. I think the Mint team is smart to find a list of usual suspects for such problems & turn them into a separate category of updates. I've had other completely unrelated OSs that have had very bad things happen after supposedly minor updates. I recently had a pfSense update make my firewall virtually unbootable after a supposedly 'minor' update. It probably affected very few computers, but after running the update I went off & did something else while my pfSense box booted. I came back an hour or two later & decided that there was a serious problem if was still taking it's time booting. After going to the forums & changing my serial settings in BIOS everything worked again. Well so much for minor updates never causing problems in FreeBSD based systems. It's even mentioned briefly in the release notes:
I don't know what kind of perfect world you guys are living in where code is always written without bugs & updates never cause problems, but I have to live in reality. I don't think Ubuntu based distros are immune to the kinds of problems FreeBSD distros can have & therefore it seems perfectly sensible to filter updates the way Mint does. I know it's enhanced the stability of my systems & I seem to remember that I've had discussions with other users that have also benefited. Now let's stop beating a dead horse already.
127 • 126 • Updates can eat your computer - M.Z. from Planet Mars (by Wse on 2015-08-27 21:26:14 GMT from Europe)
>I don't know what kind of perfect world you guys are living in where code is always written without bugs & updates never cause problems, but I have to live in reality.<
We are here on Planet Earth.
>All I'm saying is that updates can eat your system & make it unworkable. I think the Mint team is smart to find a list of usual suspects for such problems & turn them into a separate category of updates. <
Are you saying that Mint "Team" better than Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu and the whole lot of devs there?
Hmm...time for the Mint team to create a new OS, not depend on Ubuntu...
Maye, that super team should study Solus to find out how to create a completely new OS. (Ikey was once with that team, but left...)
128 • words in mouth (by M.Z. on 2015-08-28 01:27:15 GMT from Planet Mars)
Stabilizing a base does not equal quality control. It's holding components to minimize problems while accepting minor bugs. Also Mint does a non-Ubuntu OS called Mint Debian Edition. I've noticed that fewer things are held back as level 4 & 5 updates, so Debian would seem to lean more toward the conservative update decisions made by the Mint team. Those who are deep into Linux likely realize that distros like Ubuntu are less conservative than Debian & chose their OS accordingly.
129 • Weekly poll, CFQ (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-08-28 02:44:54 GMT from North America)
Why assume that one OS must displace another? I started using Linux distros to enhance my software selection - not for "features", but for quality - starting with the PartEd Magic toolset.
With years of "Just Works - Unless/Until It Doesn't" ISOs, due perhaps to reluctance to document or include (multi)boot parameters, or platform breakage update/upgrade, or obfuscation, or forum trolls/mods ("Go Fish", giiggle), … while hackers (not crackers) found satisfaction unmasking proprietary vendor antics and publishing legit coping techniques rather than merely copying or cracking whatever OS is common on PCs, servers or "smart" devices (coming soon - things!) which enabled bringing, say, XP to heel (for now), there's little motivation to replace it outright (and very good reasons to expand available selection) in any hurry. (A hurry is a dangerous thing to be in.)
I would love to see a creative license that provides for better balance and negotiation between community interests and production support, instead of self-sabotaging extremism, emerge before global powers completely steamroll the prospect. Meanwhile I'd like to see better controls on whatever OS/app I run in a zone/VM/jail/dockee/... and I am pleased to see concern for generating a custom ISO and other essential backup copy tools.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Does this explain "Completely Fair Queuing" (CFQ)?
130 • Zorin review & distro Q4OS (by Diego on 2015-08-28 09:16:32 GMT from North America)
I enjoy reading DW's rewiev of Zorin. And i would like to repeat poster 89's comment about Q4OS, which, indeed, is a pretty and truly user-friendly distro even than Zorin. Meanwhile hope DW gets a chance to rewiev Q4OS.
131 • Switch to linux (by Bonky Ozmond on 2015-08-28 15:12:06 GMT from North America)
It wasn't so much as a switch more of a look at how thing differed from MSDos, etc.. in an attempt to learn programming...played around with Slackware and Redhat, Mandrake was 1 i liked in the early days and Knoppix which i still have and use for repair on Windows and over the years have tried almost every distro that came out..Never got into Ubuntu at all though its Idea was good though never really materialised as it should have.
I Have used Arch and Gentoo for most of the last few years thogh I still install Slackware based distros on old Pcs or Antix...
132 • Why Linux? (by Dave on 2015-08-29 03:30:26 GMT from North America)
I began using Linux because I was tired of the planned obsolescence of the hardware/software treadmill offered by Apple, Microsoft, and the 'Tablet Tyranny'. Always curious about Linux, long before I was capable using it because I was not skilled with terminal commands, the arrival of a GUI allowed me to make the jump. I did some distro-hopping, and still test-drive them now and then. My workhorse OS of choice is Mint.
133 • Migrated from Windows XP. (by D. Mast on 2015-08-29 08:14:08 GMT from Europe)
Since Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows XP, I have migrated to Linux Mint 17.x with the Xfce desktop. I like the idea of free software like the Linux OS and LibreOffice. Especially for those who can't afford an expensive Windows OS and MS-Office. In times of economic hardship and austerity, Linux OS with LibreOffice is an outcome. I don't like to be fully dependent on Microsoft.
134 • @ Gayan Zorin review (by Non-zorin on 2015-08-30 10:01:14 GMT from Europe)
>The Zorin team however, it seemed to me, were relying on an almost fully functioning Ubuntu desktop, the only difference being that it was missing the Unity desktop shell. Zorin even had Compiz (the window manager that Unity relies on for delivering application windows based visual effects) running. To mimic the Windows desktop, they had used Avant Window Navigator (application dock) coupled with a start-menu (created by Zorin), the rest was pretty much Ubuntu. Such an approach leaves little room for optimizing for top performance.<
Check the xsessions and gnome-session
Ever heard of Gnomenu?
Number of Comments: 134
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|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 18.104.22.168, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Full list of all issues|
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Raspbian is a free operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux and optimised for the Raspberry Pi hardware (the armhf processor architecture). Raspbian comes with over 35,000 packages, or pre-compiled software bundled in a nice format for easy installation on a Raspberry Pi. The initial build was completed in June of 2012, but the distribution continues to be active developed with an emphasis on improving the stability and performance of as many Debian packages as possible. Although Debian produces a distribution for the arm architecture, it is compatible only with versions later than the one used on the Raspberry Pi (ARMv7-A CPUs and higher vs the Raspberry Pi's ARMv6 CPU).