| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 632, 19 October 2015
Welcome to this year's 42nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Presentation can count for a lot and we often find that what an operating system or application can do is less important to people than how the software interacts with its users. In a similar vein, how an application looks or what information is available in a distribution's release notes make an important first impression. This week we explore presentation and form, beginning with Linux Lite. The Linux Lite distribution is based on Ubuntu and a lot of work has gone into making the operating system newcomer friendly. Read our Feature Story to get the details on the latest Linux Lite release. In our News section we report on CentOS rolling out a 32-bit build of CentOS 7 and DragonFly BSD's attempt to port the Wayland display technology. We also talk about the GhostBSD project unveiling support for ZFS storage pools at install time. Plus we share an opinion piece on communication styles and the Linux kernel mailing list. Also in this issue we share the torrents we are seeding and provide a list of distributions released over the past week. In our Opinion Poll we ask how our readers feel about convergence, a concept which several OS designers are promoting. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (36MB) and MP3 (29MB) formats
• Music credit: Clouds Fly With Me by Matti Paalanen
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
The friendly face of Linux Lite 2.6
Usually when I review a distribution it is because one of three things have happened. Either it is a recent release of one of the mainstream distributions, someone has specifically requested that I talk about the project or the developers are doing something unusual that I personally find interesting. By contrast, I basically tripped and fell into Linux Lite.
"Linux Lite deserves more credit than it gets," someone commented on a Linux-related thread I was reading. Since it has been some time since I last experimented with Linux Lite, I paid a visit to the distribution's website. It looked pretty good and I kept reading and then browsed the release announcement for Linux Lite 2.6. It read, in part, "Linux Lite 2.6 Final is now available for download. This release cycle has seen a number of improvements and additions to Linux Lite. With the introduction of the Linux Lite Control Centre, we aim to provide one central location for everything that you need to configure your computer. What's new - Systemback, a system restore and creation tool. Disks, an easy to use partition, hard drive and SSD manager. A new Dark Theme. Updates to some of our Lite applications. As well as the usual latest versions of Firefox 40.0.3, LibreOffice 18.104.22.168, Thunderbird 38.2.0."
All of the above sounded pretty good to me, and I admit to being tempted by the talk of a new Control Centre. However, what pushed me over the edge and got me to download Linux Lite 2.6 was this little gem toward the bottom of the release announcement:
Minimum recommended specs:
It is surprisingly rare to find a project that lists minimal hardware requirements. And though it is a small detail, a little thing, the hardware requirements list was enough to get me to download the latest release because it showed the developers cared, even if just a little more than the developers of projects which do not share this information. Linux Lite (hereafter sometimes simply referred to as "Lite") is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. I opted to try the 64-bit version which is available via a 780MB ISO file.
VGA screen capable of 1024x768 resolution
DVD drive or USB port for the ISO image
Booting from the Lite media brings up a menu asking if we would like boot the distribution's live desktop environment, start the live environment using safe graphics mode, boot from our local hard disk or check the integrity of the Lite disc. Taking the live desktop option loads the Lite distribution and presents us with the Xfce 4.10 desktop environment. The Xfce desktop is arranged with the application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop we find a large icon for launching the distribution's system installer. When Xfce first loads, a welcome screen is displayed in the middle of the screen. This welcome screen presents us buttons which can be used to install software updates, access on-line support, open a local help manual and access the project's hardware database. The welcome screen also provides links that invite us to contribute code, donate to the Lite project or visit the distribution's social media pages.
Linux Lite 2.6 -- The locally stored help manual
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Lite uses the same graphical system installer as Ubuntu and its family of community distributions. The installer is quite streamlined and many users will be able to get through the majority of configuration screens by simply taking the default options. We are first asked to select our preferred language from a list and given the chance to view the project's release notes. The next screen asks if we would like to download software updates and/or install third-party multimedia packages during the installation. I said yes to both, insuring I would have multimedia codecs and updated software packages on my system when the installation was finished. We are next asked if we would like the installer to automatically partition our hard drive or if we would like to manually divide up our disk. I went with the manual option and I quite like how easy the partition manager screen is to navigate. The layout is simple and we are shown a visual representation of our disk. Lite offers us support for most file systems, including ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS, XFS and LVM volumes. The first time I tried to install Lite, I opted to run the distribution on a Btrfs volume. Taking this option caused the system installer to display an error saying the partition could not be created and then the installer locked-up. I killed the installer's process and started over from the first screen. The second time through I opted to install Lite on a partition formatted with the ext4 file system and the installer proceeded as expected. We then select our time zone from a map of the world, confirm our keyboard's layout and create a user account for ourselves. The installer quickly copied its packages to my hard drive and then returned me to the live desktop environment.
Booting our new copy of Linux Lite brings us to a graphical login screen. The login page is decorated with grey wallpaper and we sign into our account by clicking a floating head icon and supplying our password. The first time we sign into our account the welcome screen appears again. There is a highlighted button on the welcome screen that urges us to install software updates before we do anything else. I like this feature as it shows the developers are putting some emphasis on security. Clicking the update button brings up a screen that displays a list of available software updates (there were twelve in total on my first day with Lite) and the update window offers to install all the waiting upgrades. The update process went smoothly for me (and quickly, since I had already downloaded these packages during the initial installation). I don't think Lite has an update notification app, at least I did not see any indication of additional software updates during my trial. However, the update manager is listed in Linux Lite's application menu under the Favourites category to encourage us to check for new versions of software from time to time.
Looking through the rest of the distribution's application menu we find the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client, LibreOffice 5, a PDF document viewer and a simple image viewer. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is included along with the VLC multimedia player and the Xfburn disc burning software. Lite includes media codecs and Flash (assuming we enabled these components in the system installer). Linux Lite ships with an application finder (handy for locating a program if we are not sure of its specific name), an archive manager, a calculator and a text editor. There are utilities for installing third-party hardware drivers, managing user accounts and setting up printers. Linux Lite includes the Xfce desktop configuration tools and these utilities make Xfce 4.10 quite flexible in its behaviour and appearance. Lite includes links to support forums and a detailed local help manual which includes clearly written step-by-step instructions and screen shots to assist us in navigating the distribution. Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. Linux Lite ships with Java and the GNU Compiler Collection. The distribution uses Upstart as its init software and ships with version 3.13 of the Linux kernel.
Linux Lite includes a handful of additional applications which I think deserve attention. For example, the program simply labelled "Backups" in the application menu is Deja Dup. This program makes it very easy to create backups of the files in our home directory as well as schedule future backups. Deja Dup also restores files from backups with very little effort on our part. It's nice to see a backup solution that basically involves clicking "Next" a couple of times, whether we are saving archives or restoring files from them.
A companion to Deja Dup is Systemback. The Systemback program focuses on backing up or duplicating our operating system rather than a user's data files and configuration. Using Systemback we can create restore points and make a live disc image of our running operating system.
Linux Lite 2.6 -- Cleaning up the system with Lite Tweaks
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Lite Tweaks is another helpful program that assists the user in performing routine maintenance. Lite Tweaks presents us with a list of tasks it can perform and we just check a box next to the tasks we wish to have done. Lite Tweaks will clean our package cache, fix the boot menu, remove old kernels and wipe our web browser cache. There are some other tasks Lite Tweaks will perform and I like that each available task is given a safety rating so we know which ones may cause problems (like removing old kernels) and which ones are completely safe (such as cleaning web browser cache).
Next up was the System Information application which is basically a hardware information browser. This program gives us easy access to the components of our system and we can check on the hardware in use and the drivers being utilized.
I would like to give a nod to LibreOffice 5. Not many distributions have shipped with LibreOffice 5 yet and I was curious to see how the productivity suite would perform. I think LibreOffice 5 is a little faster to start than version 4 was. The icon set Linux Lite ships with looks really nice in LibreOffice too. Otherwise LibreOffice 5.0 worked about the same for me as LibreOffice 4.3 has in the past. In other words, the software works quickly and gave me no trouble.
Linux Lite 2.6 -- Lite Control Centre
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I'd also feel the Lite Control Centre deserves some attention. The Lite Control Centre is a central configuration panel that is divided into multiple screens. Down the left side of the window we find tabs which help us find groups of configuration modules. On the right side we are shown information or specific control modules. The first screen we see provides a sort of dashboard for the operating system. The Control Centre shows us our IP address, some hardware information and lets us know the last time we checked for software updates. Other tabs give us access to desktop settings, similar to the way Xfce's control panel works. There is a software management tab that gives us access to programs like Lite Software (more on that later) and the update manager. There is a Hardware tab where we can set up printers, install third-party drivers and change our monitor and power settings. The Network tab helps us browse for or create network shares. There is a System tab where we can manage user accounts, perform backups, run the Lite Tweaks tool and partition our storage drives. There is also a handy tool that will provide a detailed report of the hardware present on our computer, the packages we have installed and other status information. This report tool can be quite helpful when it comes time to file a bug report.
On the whole, the Lite Control Centre doesn't really offer us many unique features, rather it provides an easy way for us to find specific configuration modules in one place. Using the Control Centre is easier than searching for a specific tool in the application menu. After all, the Control Centre is less crowded and organized neatly into tabs. The visual look of Lite Control Centre is quite similar to OpenMandriva's Control Centre. The tabs, icon style and general layout are about the same. I think the Control Centre will be especially helpful for Linux newcomers as it gives us a lot of information and options in one place without being overwhelming.
Linux Lite 2.6 -- Managing applications with Lite Software
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Linux Lite supplies us with two graphical software managers. The first is called Lite Software and it is used to add or remove commonly used desktop applications. Lite Software begins by refreshing our local database of available software. We are then asked if we wish to add or remove packages. Taking the "Add" option brings up a list of popular software packages that is about a page in length. Each package name has a checkbox next to it along with a brief description. Some of the items include PlayOnLinux, Skype, Google Talk's web browser plugin, a music player, the Steam gaming portal, VirtualBox and WINE. We can check the box next to items we want and Lite Software will install the selected items for us. The "Remove" page of Lite Software works much the same way where we are shown a list of installed applications and we can check items we wish to remove. I found Lite Software worked well for me and it was an easy way to locate and install popular desktop programs.
The second graphical package manager is the venerable Synaptic application. Synaptic provides us with an alphabetically sorted list of available packages. We can search for specific items and mark packages we wish to install, remove or upgrade. Synaptic processes our requested actions in batches and works quickly. According to Synaptic, we have access to over 46,000 software packages, most of which are pulled from Ubuntu's 14.04 "Trusty" repositories. Some packages are also pulled from personal package archives (PPAs) and Google's package repositories.
Linux Lite 2.6 -- The Synaptic package manager
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I ran Linux Lite in two test environments, a physical desktop machine and a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both environments, Lite performed very well. My screen was set to its maximum resolution, audio worked and the volume was set to a medium volume. Networking was enabled and the distribution was very responsive. Lite had short boot times and the Xfce desktop always responded quickly to input. The distribution used approximately 250MB of RAM when sitting idle at the Xfce desktop and Linux Lite used about 3.5GB of disk space for a fresh installation. I was pleased to find Lite integrated automatically with VirtualBox and would allow me to make full use of my host's screen resolution when running in the virtual environment.
I greatly enjoyed my time with Linux Lite 2.6. The distribution does a lot of things well, is easy to set up and use and the project offers us a lot of beginner friendly documentation. Linux Lite provides a great balance of speed, user friendliness, features and stability.
I like that Linux Lite manages to live up to its name by using few resources while still looking nice, the distribution manages to provide a stable base while shipping with up to date desktop applications and it offers good hardware support too. It is especially nice to see a distribution provide a control panel similar to the OpenMandriva Control Centre. This is one of the features I have most wanted to see adopted by distributions outside of the OpenMandriva family and it's nice to see Linux Lite take the lead on this one.
Lite ships with a good deal of functionality, providing users with most of the desktop software they are likely to need without, I'm happy to report, bogging down the application menu with a lot of extras, I feel a good balance was struck with regards to the default applications. Plus, I like that Lite offers us multimedia support out of the box.
Mostly, what I appreciated about Linux Lite was the distribution's sense of polish. I don't mean visually, though I did enjoy Lite's default look, I mean polish in the sense that the little details were addressed. Most distributions will have some small bugs or quirks or little annoyances. Perhaps too many notification messages or an application that won't launch or the software manager will not always run properly because PackageKit refuses to relinquish its lock on the package database. Linux Lite, by contrast, offered a smooth, pleasant experience. The one bug I ran into was with the system installer locking up when I attempted to use Btrfs as my root file system. Otherwise, I had a completely trouble-free experience with Lite. The documentation was helpful, the system was responsive, no applications crashed, there were no annoying notifications and the package manager worked as expected. I came away from my trial with Lite sharing the opinion that Linux Lite deserves more credit than it gets.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
CentOS offers 32-bit build, DragonFly BSD ports Wayland, GhostBSD unveils support for ZFS storage at install time, OpenBSD turns 20 and Bodhi releases AppPack
When CentOS 7.0 was released the distribution was made available for 64-bit x86 processors exclusively. In an effort to provide support for older or lower end machines, the CentOS team is launching a 32-bit build of their operating system, which is based on the source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Johnny Hughes posted an announcement for the new builds: "We would like to announce the general availability of CentOS Linux 7 for the 32-bit x86 (i386) architecture. This is the first major release of the 32-bit x86 by the AltArch Special Interest Group. This release is based on the source code from the CentOS 7 (1503) x86_64 architecture and includes all current updates from the main CentOS 7 tree." More information on the 32-bit build of CentOS 7 can be found on the project's AltArch wiki page.
* * * * *
Wayland is a new technology for displaying graphical interfaces on GNU/Linux distributions and is intended to eventually replace the aging X11 software. For the most part, we have not yet observed efforts to port Wayland to other operating systems. The DragonFly BSD project has become a rare exception and ported Wayland (and the Weston reference compositor) to the DragonFly BSD operating system. A commit message announced the port: "An initial port of libwayland and the Weston reference compositor to DragonFly. Currently DragonFly specific because of, e.g. usage of libdevattr for device enumeration." Instructions for using the new Wayland port are available in the commit notes.
* * * * *
The GhostBSD project, a desktop operating system which uses FreeBSD as its base, is working to better support ZFS, an advanced file system. ZFS supports a lot of useful features like snapshots, multi-disk storage pools and data integrity checks. These features make ZFS appealing in many desktop and server environments. In a Google Plus post, the GhostBSD team unveiled a new page of their graphical system installer that walks the user through setting up a ZFS storage pool. Support for ZFS volumes is expected to appear in the upcoming release of GhostBSD 10.2.
* * * * *
The source tree for the OpenBSD operating system turned 20 years old on Sunday. The source code for the security-oriented BSD flavour was made available to the public by its founder, Theo de Raadt, in October 1995 and the project has been fixing bugs, writing documentation and improving features ever since. Mr de Raadt reflected on OpenBSD's humble beginnings yesterday in a mailing list post: "OpenBSD's source tree just turned 20 years old. I recall the import taking about 3 hours on an EISA-bus 486 with two ESDI drives. There was an import attempt a few days earlier, but it failed due to insufficient space. It took some time to repartition the machine. It wasn't terribly long before David Miller, Chuck Cranor and Niklas Hallqvist were committing... then more people showed up. The first developments were improvements to 32-bit sparc. Chuck and I also worked on setting up the first 'anoncvs' to make sure no one was ever cut out from 'the language of diffs' again. I guess that was the precursor for the GitHub concept these days." Happy birthday, OpenBSD!
* * * * *
The Bodhi Linux project has always been known for its minimal, Ubuntu-based distribution. The project ships a very small number of applications along with the Moksha desktop environment. While Bodhi Linux's main edition continues to be minimal, the developers are releasing a second, full featured edition of the distribution. This new edition is called AppPack and Bodhi's founder, Jeff Hoogland, describes AppPack in the following way: "Unlike the normal Bodhi Linux releases which come with a minimal amount of software pre-installed, AppPack releases will include a variety of software pre-installed for folks who want minimal setup work after installing their operating system." A list of the pre-installed software available in the AppPack edition can be found in Hoogland's announcement.
|Opinion (by Jesse Smith)
Communication and Linux kernel development
Last week we reported, briefly, on Sarah Sharp leaving Linux kernel development and Matthew Garrett putting distance between himself and the Linux kernel mailing list (LKML). Both of these developers have contributed great works to the Linux kernel and I feel the community, as a whole, is poorer now that these developers are withdrawing from kernel development. I also think the reasons for both of these fine developers distancing themselves from the LKML deserve further discussion.
Both Sharp and Garrett reported leaving the LKML due to the style of communication commonly present in mailing list. Sharp wrote:
"I finally realized that I could no longer contribute to a community where I was technically respected, but I could not ask for personal respect. I could not work with people who helpfully encouraged newcomers to send patches, and then argued that maintainers should be allowed to spew whatever vile words they needed to in order to maintain radical emotional honesty. I did not want to work professionally with people who were allowed to get away with subtle sexist or homophobic jokes. I feel powerless in a community that had a `Code of Conflict' without a specific list of behaviours to avoid and a community with no teeth to enforce it."
Following Sharp's self-removal from the kernel development community there were many commentators who speculated it was a matter of gender politics, that the (mostly) male development community had one way of communicating that was different from what a woman (Sharp in this case) wanted. Matthew Garrett put such arguments to rest the following day when he expressed his own frustrations with the LKML and the behaviour of its members:
"In the end it's a mixture of just being tired of dealing with the crap associated with Linux development and realizing that by continuing to put up with it I'm tacitly encouraging its continuation, but I can't be bothered any more."
Let us not forget, this certainly is not the first time Linux developers have grown tired of the communication and management style that goes hand in hand with Linux kernel development. One of the most prominent and talented Linux developers, Alan Cox, was driven to cease maintenance of a kernel sub-system six years ago after an ongoing argument with Linus Torvalds. More recently, Con Kolivas left the kernel development team after volunteering his time to improve the Linux scheduler with regards to desktop performance. When Kolivas quit his work on the kernel he was quoted as saying:
"The Linux kernel mailing list is the way to communicate with the kernel developers. To put it mildly, the Linux kernel mailing list (LKML) is about as scary a communication forum as they come. Most people are absolutely terrified of mailing the list lest they get flamed for their inexperience, an inappropriate bug report, [or] being stupid."
The issue of communication styles on the kernel's mailing list has come up time and again with people generally pointing to the kernel's founder and lead developer, Linus Torvalds, as a difficult person to deal with. Torvalds has responded to such remarks at length and occasionally with profanity. When Sharp, for example, suggested discussions on the LKML be kept professional back in 2013, Torvalds replied with the following:
"If you want me to `act professional', I can tell you that I'm not interested. I'm sitting in my home office wearing a bathrobe. The
same way I'm not going to start wearing ties, I'm also not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords. Because that is what `acting professionally' results in: people resort to all kinds of really nasty things because they are forced to act out their normal urges in unnatural ways."
While I usually try to stay out of subjective discussions on communication and management style, and I even less frequently enjoy taking sides in such discussions, I feel as though it is worth pointing out Torvalds is making two errors in his above comments. First, he suggests civility is "fake politeness" and that being polite also goes hand in with lying. To me, this seems absurd. People generally are not offering "fake politeness", they are simply being polite. When I say "please" and "thank you" to the person who makes my sandwich at the deli counter I am not being fake or lying, I am expressing my gratitude. When I reject patches sent to open source projects I maintain, an effort is made to explain why and reject the code, not the contributor. To me, that is basic human decency. It's not politics or being fake, it is how I think people should be treated and how I want to be treated.
The second mistake I think Torvalds is making is saying he does not want to "act professional" because it opens the door to passive aggressiveness, politics and backstabbing. But, as we have seen time and again over the years, those things are already happening in the LKML. So perhaps it is time to try another way since the current approach is creating the very environment Torvalds claims to want to avoid. As Sean Michael Kerner opined two years ago, "Do I expect Linus to change? No. Do I hope he will? Yes. Will Sharp change anything? I sure hope so. The fact that she's standing up and making her voice heard is the start of a conversation that should have started a long time ago."
Unfortunately, that 2013 conversation did not lead anywhere, other than a vague "Code of Conflict" released in early 2015, and the loss of a few more kernel developers in the process. Which caused Sean Michael Kerner to report again, in early 2015, on the kernel's then-new Code of Conflict: "There is a patch that has landed in the Linux 4.0 kernel release that is intended to be a 'Code of Conduct' for Linux kernel developers. The challenge in my view, is that that there is no code or real conduct in the patch."
This poses a problem because it means when people feel threatened or mistreated there is no path to resolution. Torvalds and other tough-talking members of the LKML will continue to be rude and there isn't much that can be done about it. For better or worse, Linux is Torvalds' project and no one can compel him to change his behaviour or step down from the post. The only course of action anyone wishing to work in a better environment can do is go elsewhere, either to take on another job or, as Garrett appears to be suggesting, maintain their own fork of the project.
I am open to the idea that Torvalds' management style may be valid and, historically, the Linux kernel has attracted a lot of talent and achieved great things. However, at this point in time, I cannot help but wonder if it isn't time for a new approach? A lot of people and a lot of companies have a great deal riding on the Linux kernel and I wonder if Oracle, Red Hat and IBM are really comfortable being associated with Torvalds and his temper? We can be pretty sure NVIDIA is not. We can also be sure that the Linux kernel is losing some very talented developers. Garrett, Sharp, Cox and Kolivas have all contributed greatly to the kernel and, despite their love of the technology, felt the need to leave. One wonders how many more will walk out the door before the Linux kernel is forked by someone who is willing to work in a professional manner? Perhaps the community needs to ask itself which is better to have: Torvalds or the many developers who find him too aggressive to work with.
In the wake of recent events, there has been a lot of positive discussion on LWN with regards to the Linux kernel's mailing list, how it compares to other open source communities and how things might be improved. The debate is well worth a read and I hope members of the LKML take note of the suggestions, especially since Torvalds himself has acknowledged there is a lack of people willing to take on certain roles in kernel maintenance: "We're getting lots of contributors, but we have more trouble finding maintainers," he commented at a conference in Dublin. "Probably because the maintainer's job is to read e-mails seven days a week." That is understandable, I happily answer e-mails seven days a week in my own job, but I would feel a lot differently about opening my inbox if I knew there was a high probability of being bombarded with profanity.
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: 121
- Total data uploaded: 16.8TB
|Released Last Week
BackBox Linux 4.4
The BackBox development team has announced the launch of BackBox Linux 4.4. BackBox is a penetration and security assessment distribution based on Ubuntu and this latest release contains some fresh security tools and package upgrades. "The BackBox Team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, the version 4.4! In this release we have some special new features included to keep BackBox up to date with last developments in security world. Tools such as OpenVAS and Automotive Analysis will make a big difference. BackBox 4.4 comes also with Linux kernel 3.19. What's new: Preinstalled Linux kernel 3.19, new Ubuntu 14.04.3 base, Ruby 2.1, installer with LVM and full disk encryption options, handy Thunar custom actions, RAM wipe at shutdown/reboot..." This release is based on Ubuntu 14.04.3, supports full disk encryption and includes a RAM wipe feature. Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
The developers of Emmabuntüs, a Xubuntu-based distribution for low-end and refurbished computers, have announced an update to their 3.x series. The new release, Emmabuntüs 3-1.02, is based on Xubuntu 14.04.3 LTS, includes Pipelight Flash for Firefox and includes the ability to put the computer into hibernation mode. "This version 1.02 includes the following fixes and enhancements: Release based on Xubuntu 14.04.3, Plugin updates for Firefox, Chromium and Thunderbird, Ltools 3.0 extension update within LibreOffice, Kiwix 0.9 update, HPLIP 3.15.7 update, Picasa for Windows 3.9.140 update, Radio list update for RadioTray, Search engine Start page replaced by Qwant" The developers have suggested fresh installations should be performed without an active network connection: "To ensure a correct installation of Emmabuntüs, we strongly suggest to run it without Internet connection, and to connect back the computer to the network during the first system restart, when it is time to install (or not) the optional non-free software." Further information on this release of Emmabuntüs can be found in the project's release announcement.
Emmabuntus 3-1.02 -- Running the Xfce desktop
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The developers of Q4OS have released an update to their distribution. The new release, Q4OS 1.4.3, includes changes to the application menu layout and methods for acquiring third-party multimedia codecs. "Another update of Q4OS 'Orion' desktop is available, version 1.4.3. Bunch of important packages updates and security patches has been delivered. There are quite significant under the hood improvements, for example the 'Desktop Profiler' tool to be able to handle and fix possible software database inconsistencies automatically. Proprietary multimedia codecs installation script has been superseded by native Q4OS 'Setup' tool, that enables smooth and user friendly installation of external applications. The new version brings slight look and feel improvements, updates in the Q4OS Start menu structure, support for Asus Eee-PC devices and more. If someone misses to install specific language package during Q4OS setup, the desktop shortcut for easy additional language installation will be created." Information on the latest version of Q4OS can be found in the project's release announcement.
The NuTyX operating system is a French distribution based on Linux From Scratch and featuring a custom package manager called "cards". The NuTyX project has released a new version, NuTyX 8.0, which carries the code name "Houaphan". The new release offers a number of upgraded packages, including LibreOffice 5, KDE 4.14, MATE 1.10, Xfce 4.12 and version 4.2 of the Linux kernel. The release of NuTyX also features a package for KDE's Plasma 5 desktop environment. "Eleven months after the Saravane 14.11 version release and five months after the release of the 15.05 Saravane, I am proud to announce the release of NuTyX. His code name is Houaphan. The first version available is 8.0. Why that number? Time passes very quickly, Houaphan is already the 8th major release since the first public version of NuTyX in 2007." A list of updated packages along with new features available through the cards package manager and installation instructions can be found in the project's release announcement.
John Martinson has announced the release of Robolinux 8.2, an updated build of the project's commercial distribution which features a virtual machine for running the Windows operating system inside Linux: "Robolinux is extremely pleased and excited to announce its new faster Robolinux Raptor Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce 32-bit and 64-bit 8.2 based on the 100% rock-solid Debian 8.2 stable source code sporting Debian's improved 3.16 Linux kernel. Non-stop time and effort went into finding ways to significantly speed up and optimize all three of our upgraded Robolinux Raptor series versions so that Linux beginners and advanced users will be very pleased. As usual the trio of Robolinux Raptor operating systems are loaded with many popular user applications, such the newest Tor browser, i2P, Firefox, Thunderbird, Kazam screencaster, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Skype and VirtualBox plus 12 incredibly powerful security and privacy applications to keep our users safe." Visit the distribution's SourceForge page to read the full release announcement.
Bodhi 3.1.0 "AppPack"
Jeff Hoogland has announced the availability of a new edition of Bodhi Linux 3.1.0. Called "AppPack", this variant differs from the standard Bodhi Linux in that it adds many popular applications to the base system so that the user can be immediately productive without having to first download new software. From the release announcement: "Today I would like to announce something new we will be maintaining at the Bodhi project - AppPack releases. Unlike the normal Bodhi Linux releases which come with a minimal amount of software pre-installed, AppPack releases will include a variety of software pre-installed for folks who want minimal setup work after installing their operating system. The software included by default in the 3.1.0 AppPack ISO images includes: Chromium web browser, LibreOffice 5, VLC media player, OpenShot video editor, Pinta graphics tool, Evince document viewer, ePhoto image viewer, Qalculate calculator, Geany text editor, Exterminator task manager, Terminology terminal emulator, PCManFM file manager... Also included by default are a plethora of themes for the Moksha Desktop."
Theo de Raadt has announced the release of OpenBSD 5.8. The OpenBSD project focuses on providing code and documentation that are correct and of high quality. This has lead to OpenBSD being regarded as a highly secure and reliable operating system. The new release features several new or improved drivers, the sudo command has been replaced with doas and some of the system installer's default settings have been changed. "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 5.8. This is our 38th release on CD-ROM (and 39th via FTP/HTTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of twenty years with only two remote holes in the default install. As in our previous releases, 5.8 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system." Further information and a detailed list of changes can be found in the release announcement and in the errata.
Arne Exton has announced the availability of a new release of the ExTiX distribution. The new version, ExTiX 15.4, comes in two editions: LXQt and KDE. Both editions are based on the upcoming Ubuntu 15.10 release and feature version 4.2 of the Linux kernel. This release is for the 64-bit x86 architecture exclusively. "ExTiX 15.4 LXQt/KDE Live DVD 64-bit is based on Debian 8.1 Jessie/Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf. The original system includes the desktop environment Unity (from Ubuntu). After removing Unity I have installed LXQt 0.9.0 respectively KDE Frameworks 5.15.0 with KDE 4.15. LXQt is the Qt port and the upcoming version of LXDE, the Lightweight Desktop Environment. It is the product of the merge between the LXDE-Qt and the Razor-qt projects: A lightweight, modular, blazing-fast and user-friendly desktop environment." Additional information on this release is available in the project's release announcement.
GALPon MiniNo 2015 "PicarOS"
The developers of GALPon MiniNo have released a new edition of their Debian-based PicarOS distribution for school age children. The new release, GALPon MiniNo 2015 "PicarOS", features several application updates, new educational tools and additional hardware drivers. "We added new drivers printer / copier (Ricoh, Konica-Minolta, Gestetner ... and many others, taken directly from openprinting.org) We still have the same kernel, but we added new drivers for WIFI cards to use new devices that are coming to the market today. We added support for more whiteboards, in particular, support for StarBoard (Hitachi), SmartBoard, Multiclass and Promethean, besides having the system ready to quickly set up a low cost PDI using the Wii Remote. All with their corresponding programs to calibrate the board. There is the category System in the launcher, hidden by default. In order to access it, you need to open any category from the top panel and then press the backspace key (delete)." Further information can be found on the project's News page.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
In recent years most of the technology industry has been pushing the idea of convergence, providing the same operating system and user interface across multiple devices and screen sizes. Companies, such as Canonical, believe offering the same operating system, applications and interface across all devices will make it easier for users to transition between their mobile devices and desktop computers. Opponents to the idea point out that each device has its own characteristics and that trying to make small smart phones work the same as desktop computers with large screens and keyboards means neither device will run the software best suited to its environment.
This week we would like to know how you feel about convergence. Does the idea of having multiple devices all work the same way appeal to you, or do you think each device should be developed independently with operating systems catering to a device's strengths? If you have used convergent systems, please leave us a comment with your experiences.
You can see the results of last week's poll on preferred productivity software here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|I am in favour of convergence: ||345 (19%)|
| I oppose convergence: ||698 (38%)|
| It depends on the UI/device: ||588 (32%)|
| I have not decided yet: ||191 (10%)|
Improving package searches
Over the past week we have been making improvements to our Search page, particularly with regards to the feature which allows our readers to find distributions that include a specific package. When visiting the Search page, visitors can select a package to find, enter a version number they want to locate and then click the Submit Query button. In the past, when the Version field was left blank our database would not find a match and no search results would be returned. This confused some people who wanted to find any version of a package, or any recent version.
The Search page has been updated to now display recent releases of packages when no specific version is entered. For example, let's say we are searching for the LibreOffice package. The most recent version of LibreOffice is 5.0.2. Performing a search for LibreOffice without specifying a version will provide a list of distributions that include any version of the productivity suite in the 5.x series (5.0.0, 5.0.1 and 5.0.2). We hope this will be more convenient for people who want to find a specific package, but are not concerned about the exact version available.
On a related note, we receive a lot of queries asking if there is a way to find distributions which do not include a specific package, particularly the systemd software. To find distributions which do not include a package, visit our Search page, select the package to be avoided and select Not in latest release from the drop-down box on the right. Then click Submit Query. A list of distributions which do not feature the package will be provided.
* * * * *
September 2015 DistroWatch.com donation: HardenedBSD
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the September 2015 DistroWatch.com donation is HardenedBSD. The project receives US$400.00 in cash.
HardenedBSD is a fork of the FreeBSD operating system which implements additional security features. These extra security features, such as Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), can then be merged back into FreeBSD and shared with related projects. The HardenedBSD website explains further: "Founded in 2014 by Oliver Pinter and Shawn Webb, HardenedBSD is a security-enhanced fork of FreeBSD. The HardenedBSD Project is implementing many exploit mitigation and security technologies on top of FreeBSD. The project started with Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) as an initial focal point and is now implementing further exploit mitigation techniques. HardenedBSD forked the FreeBSD codebase for ease of development. Prior to HardenedBSD's founding, Oliver and Shawn worked on separate repositories, occasionally causing collaboration issues. Unifying the code bases was a natural step in efficient, effective collaboration between the two individuals. Two years have passed since the unification of the work and HardenedBSD is growing faster than ever.
HardenedBSD's Goals HardenedBSD aims to implement innovative exploit mitigation and security solutions for FreeBSD. We will work with FreeBSD and any other FreeBSD-based project to include our innovations."
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and crypto currencies are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$44,575 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300), GIMP ($350), Kodi ($300), Devuan ($300), hdparm ($350), HardenedBSD ($400)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- CloudReady. CloudReady is a fork of Chromium OS which offers improved hardware support.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 26 October 2015. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Michael DeGuzis of Libre Geek (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Politeness in LKML (by Theodore on 2015-10-19 01:08:09 GMT from Europe) |
Your deli argument is a non sequitur, because you just buy and eat the sandwich, you aren't the sandwich guy's quality or project manager (I don't use the term 'boss' on purpose: neither you or Linus are in the position of paying these people).
You either are very lucky or haven't experienced 10, 20, 30 years on the same project, working with and somehow leading a huge team composed by people who often you distrust.
Living Linux mostly as a parasite (I don't pay for anything floss but heavily use flos software), I prefer swearing Torvalds to polite Garrett. Because Linus is still here, being paid, while Garrett ceases development of what he likes or based on political stance although being paid.
But yeah, whatever, the swearing Linus, like systemd or Snowden, is an easy clickbait, so who gives a damn
2 • search does not work as intended (by Tomas on 2015-10-19 01:23:49 GMT from North America)
select: based on Debian, select: non based on Ubuntu, select: systemd, select: not in current release. Result: lists a mishmash of active and non-active O/Ses; everything from PC-BSD to Slax
3 • Being "Nice" (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-10-19 02:05:51 GMT from North America)
Linus was right. Socio' bullies with social skills are still just bullies; they simply prefer a different skillset. Corporate shills likewise aren't in it to help. The worst thing you can do for a group is tolerate poisonous people.
That said, Civil is best, though sometimes mistaken for Gullible.
In my experience, a "Code of Conduct" is often a weapon for PC bullies to use on their victims, or a facade for management hypocrisy.
In the absence of sane licensing, I prefer Freed and Open-Source Software, whether BSD or GPL, and tolerate Free-ware and (to a lesser degree) Trial-ware. After all, Freedom isn't free. I strongly favor Try-Before-You-Contribute, including testing IRC/forum attitude, civility, moderation and self-discipline. Spreading small remunerations over time minimizes long-term risk.
I do wonder why Package Search doesn't use simple pattern-matching?
4 • Male Engineering hard-heads: more "Linus" coming! (by Greg Zeng on 2015-10-19 02:11:15 GMT from North America)
Since my undergraduate days in the 60's (University of Adelaide), the impoliteness of male engineers has been noticed by the junior Femocrats. Today on other parts of the internet, the MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) movements are rebelling against this female bias, saying-writing that task is more important than personal mannerisms, whether it be software, hardware or firmware engineering in any area.
Now that I have been traumatically brain-injured for 30+ years, with many police-records & interventions for being TOO IMPOLITE, I can see that there are many legitimate reasons for rudeness. Physical-trauma, drug & alcohol poisoning are not the only reasons. IMHO the major cause, regardless of sex, age, race, etc ... is low EQ - Emotional Intelligence.
Understandably children and child-like adults should be "forgiven" for low EQ. If however the person is highly productive, such as a CEO, CFO, CIO, ... these people are often protected from the lay people with several layers of cushion-buffers, or people-orientated staff.
Australian federal politics is similar to that other nations, with a high turnover of our nominal CEO (president, prime-minister, etc). But the main machinery of government continues onwards, reliably, predictably.
This machinery of "corporate personality" or "middle-management" usually has stable governance, but long term health?. Witness the declines of IBM, manufacturing (software & hardware) in the USA, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and Australia, who are now facing post-industrial stagnation. Perhaps the 3rd world nations will also face this bleeding edge when they too reach the post-industrial stages of civilized living (more democracy, more internet, more "Linus", etc).
Solutions: more R&D into management technologies, than is currently being applied. The conservative, know-all thinking of the past generations are preventing this R&D. Again USA's fear of uncertainty is leading the planet, especially in 2016.
5 • Minimum hardware requirements to run distro??? (by Ben Myers on 2015-10-19 02:28:30 GMT from North America)
Would that other distros followed Linux Lite by stating the minimum hardware requirements for running them. This would take some of the guesswork out of deciding which distros to download and try out on older hardware, typically single core, limited graphics (16M or 32M graphics memory) and older PATA hard drives. One would also hope that these minumum requirements are realistic enough for people to do actual work once the distro is installed, in contrast to Microsoft which ALWAYS gives low-ball unrealistic minimum hardware requirements, resulting in a barely usable system.
6 • @5 Re: Minimum hardware requirements for Linux Lite (by Rev_Don on 2015-10-19 02:47:30 GMT from North America)
" One would also hope that these minumum requirements are realistic enough for people to do actual work once the distro is installed"
Those minimum requirements are for the older 1.x releases based on Ubuntu 12.04. LL 2.x releases are based on Ubuntu 14.04 and have a slightly higher minimum requirement. I find it appalling that they failed to update those to reflect currently available releases, especially since the 2.x releases require a cpu that supports PAE.
That said, I haven't tried LL on a 700MHz system, but when I tried it on a 1.4GHz P4 with a gig of ram it did NOT perform very well. It was stable enough, but sluggish and laggy. I would say the recommended requirements are closer to Real World Minimum requirements.
It is a fine distro overall, but definitely not meant for really old systems like LXLE, Q4OS, or some of the other truly light weight distros are.
7 • Linux distribution limits, better known please (by Greg Zeng on 2015-10-19 03:04:19 GMT from North America)
Distros can be hazardous, in ways known only to the creator of the distro. National governments that create distros might note my first point, which allows malware & spyware, other than the ones already in the official Linux kernels (required for organizational tracing):
from: ExTiX 15.4 64 bit (http://sourceforge.net/projects/extix/files/)
> kernel 4.2.0-16-exton corresponding Kernel.org's kernel 4.2.3
Limits of Linux's supporting parts:
> Gnome 3.14 won't run together with Nvidia's proprietary drivers.
> possible to watch Netflix movies. It is not possible in Firefox (in Linux).
Limits of user-installations of most operating systems:
> "all" multimedia codecs. Everything the average Linux user could wish for I would say.
> versions can run from RAM
> run ExTiX from the USB stick
> Login Manager as root with password root or as extix with no password.
The reviewers of operating systems usually ignore the points above. If only they could mention them. Most notes attached to distributions hide the true limits of their distributions.
8 • Convergence (by cykodrone on 2015-10-19 03:23:00 GMT from North America)
You don't stick a truck engine in a compact car and vice versa. PC's and smartphones are different hardware, different animals, different input methods. I would love to see somebody create a full blown spreadsheet on a smartphone, and then print it from a printer connected to that phone. I'm old school PC, it's shear power, there's very little I cannot do with it, there's a lot I CAN'T do with a smartphone (yes, I own an Android, I hate it, it's nothing but corporate and Goggle spyware). Sometimes I think developers drink way too much coffee, then expect us to accept whatever garbage they churn out, NOT!
9 • New releases and new DE releases (by gnome on 2015-10-19 03:26:32 GMT from Europe)
Gnome 3.18 is there since a few weeks and it is very disappointing that among the 40 DW's top ranking, there's only 1 distribution that offer it as stable: Antergos!
10 • Convergence (by Josh on 2015-10-19 03:34:59 GMT from North America)
As a developer, the idea of convergence is great, because it means I get to be lazier. As a consumer, I hate the idea of convergence, because it generally means things will be dumbed down across the board for the lowest common denominator.
11 • I'm in @8's camp (by pedro on 2015-10-19 03:50:11 GMT from North America)
For the sake of the kids, I hope folks of our mindset aren't a dying breed. I believe The convergence hype is being fueled by commercial entities who, collectively (in their little cliques, or alliances) are bent on corporitizing the technospere. For example, FIDO Alliance: Googleborg, PreyPal, BancoAmerika... they claim they want to protect us. Yeah, right. Howabout Tizen, Yocto Project? Little cliques deciding "for our protection" which flavor DRM, which TPM, which PlayStore will be forced onto users, as "comes with the package, part of the experience" lock-ins. Sony, Samsung, LG, Amazon, Google... and now nVidia, playing hardball. "If you want you use our device, you must allow us to provide, or at least marshal (and moetize) all aspects of the overall `experience`".
12 • Convergence (by Chris on 2015-10-19 03:50:31 GMT from North America)
Similar to @10, in my opinion convergence has its pros and cons. However, I think the solution is to converge everything below the desktop environment and available software, which then should both be customized to the intended hardware while having complimentary themeing across hardware types.
Say what you want about Apple, but they are experts at this hybrid method.
13 • Being polite may not kill you, but you might be taken advantage of (by Eric Yeoh on 2015-10-19 03:58:53 GMT from Asia)
I empathise with the amount of work/commits that Linus needs to wade through on a daily basis. With something as complex and critical as the kernel, I can certainly understand his frustrations and outbursts. Being polite by dropping lesser f-bombs and personal attacks are by no way losing credibility nor being dishonest but shows maturity. Being direct and in your face worked in Linux's infancy but I am unsure this will ensure its growth. Will kids or newbies be willing to work towards being a contributor and risk being flamed? Not everyone can take it. So only thick-skinned developers need to apply? Awesome people like GKH, akpm and Torvalds will need to pass the torch to someone sooner or later - with so much bad publicity and bruised egos - when the time does come, will there be someone to take over or will the kernel be taken over by some corporation like RH or Canonical or even MS? The whole Sarah Sharp issue was sparked off by some silly joke (as per https://www.preining.info/blog/2015/10/looking-at-the-facts-sarah-sharps-crusade/) but it was possibly the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. If she was whining were Alan Cox and Con Kolivas too? I am worried as I use GNU/Linux at work and almost exclusively for personal computing. Are we really comfortable in the prospect of forking the kernel? Matthew Garret is already doing that.
14 • NuTyX, another unique distro! (by Hsyin G. Guzelaydin on 2015-10-19 05:47:08 GMT from North America)
Besides NixOS, OpenIndiana, GoboLinux, PisiLinux, Slax and few others; it is truly exhilarating now to see the emergence NuTyX as another promising distinctive distro, amongst tedious myriad distros at large ....
I believe it would make a highly interesting read if Jesse or Ladislav were to (perhaps by interviewing some developers) enlighten us more about the above-stated eminently inspiring distros which are, indeed, unique -- yet not fringe, hence legitimately promising linux operating systems ...
Admittedly I, for one, would relish reading such a special coverage about all those exceedingly great distros in one of the upcoming DW Weekly's editions.
15 • Life in the Big Leagues (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-10-19 06:53:47 GMT from North America)
13 • Errant coders in the Linux Kernel group aren't met with extremes in discipline for their first offense. It takes repeated misdeeds, a pattern of error, to attract that much energy.
Of course, "kids and newbies" aren't expected to start out in such high echelons, where bugs can cost millions and take so much more work to correct.
Whoever inherits the challenge from Linus will be faced with the same constant barrage from strong personalities that either provide great coding or attempted sabotage, requiring the same strong discipline.
4 • For management expertise, consider consulting some Japanese. They take wisdom from wherever it can be found, explore and expand its boundaries. I suspect it's part of their cultural tradition.
16 • Convergence is good for the OS but not for the UI (by Name on 2015-10-19 07:44:12 GMT from Europe)
Convergence for the base OS is a good thing because it allows you to run one application on different devices but the user interface should NOT be the same, the best interface for a desktop PC that has a keyboard, mouse and a large screen cannot be the same as that for a smartphone that has a small touchscreen or for a server that is controlled remotely via command line.
17 • Speaking out against Sarah Sharp (by Microlinux on 2015-10-19 08:02:35 GMT from Europe)
Here's a message that hits the nail on the head.
18 • Covergence (by Sondar on 2015-10-19 08:04:33 GMT from Europe)
Sounds good, superficially. On reflection, better to have a plethora of options, with many minority distros attracting too little attention to be of interest to the growing legions of cyber crooks and wannabes.
19 • @13 and The Author (by Stan on 2015-10-19 08:21:03 GMT from Europe)
Agreed with 13, also I think the Author of the article has some points in favor, but we have to look at the context.
Linux kernel development is not a company making profit with payrolls that could easily implement rules and sanctions that could possibly put people in line. With all his defects I want Linus T. and the next one should have similar strong character, otherwise we will see the kernel filled in with political bugs, mundane wishlist and choppy workarounds.
20 • Linux Code of Conduct & Convergence (by Alexandru on 2015-10-19 08:27:31 GMT from Europe)
@ Linux Code of Conduct
What Linus tries to emphasize is that one's technical abilities are different from his moral qualities and in LKML the first is more important than the last. Although I personally do not share this opinion, it was at least one situation when such an aggressive attitude helped Linux - when Linus answered to Andrew Tennenbaum critics of Linux. It is possible this answer also determined Minix little importance in present day compared to Linux.
Convergence is always a good thing. The question is: at what level the convergence should be realized. Just two examples:
1. Application shortcuts. Regardless of application purpose and OS, user usually expects Ctrl+C, Ctrl+X, Ctrl+V, etc to do same things - copy, cut, paste etc. And this is A Good Thing (TM).
2. When you keep your phone or tablet in one hand, you can easily touch any part of the screen with another hand. So if you need to touch at opposite screen corners, it isn't a problem. However when using a PC with 27" display the very same situation is frustrating. An this is A Bad Design (TM).
21 • The price (by lucius on 2015-10-19 08:45:40 GMT from Europe)
Freedom isn't free - that lame excuse, usually offered by those with a line of cash registers by the exit. Most distros are free. You can download a copy, install it and use it, without registering signing up, or paying. Freedom, in that sense is free.
Freedom is free.
Convenience is cheap.
Obedience/participation (barely any difference between the two these days) costs.
22 • Review of Linux Lite 2.6 (by Ari Torres on 2015-10-19 09:21:04 GMT from North America)
Great Review,Great Distro (my daily driver) I recommend Linux Lite to new comers from windows.
I made my installation look like Windows 7 so much that people can't tell what OS I'm using but I can also make it look so Capitan that people can't tell either.
Thank you Jesse.
23 • LKML (by Prime Meridian on 2015-10-19 10:03:28 GMT from North America)
The last thing in the world the linux community needs is a fork of the kernel to go along with all of the other mindless squabbles and rivalries that already plague the FOSS world, but I almost hope the SJWs go ahead and do it just so that the difference between a messy meritocracy and a politically correct kindergarten can be made crystal clear and the best model can win.
24 • Well done Jesse (by Paul on 2015-10-19 10:38:24 GMT from Europe)
Thanks Jesse for a nice review of Linus Lite and for a very well written and measured piece on LKML communications. I can see points on boh sides but what one contributor (Francesca) calls "grumptastic" is unnecessary abrasiveness to others. The truth is that both sides have behaved less than civilly and could reflect on it. I'd say the moral winner is the first to acknowledge it, but I don't expect that to happen, just digging in. I know from having worked with some that there's no rule that brilliant people have to be nice. That's just a fact of life. Given a voice between two kernels I will not look for the one labeled "No feelings were hurt in the production of this kernel."
It was another fine issue. Thanks for the consistent excellence.
25 • Convergence (by speedytux on 2015-10-19 12:49:22 GMT from Europe)
Who tried to work with OpenDocument on Android can't oppose Convergence
26 • Review of Linux Lite 2.6 (by Torrey on 2015-10-19 13:02:26 GMT from North America)
Thanks for the fair review of Linux Lite 2.6. I use it on all of my PCs and have helped several others get it to work on their machines.
For those commenting on the minimum specs, I can say that a PC from 2007 or younger is the sweet spot. To get more details, you can see the hardware database for version 2.6 at the following link: https://www.linuxliteos.com/hwdb.html.
27 • civility and politeness (by Pearson on 2015-10-19 14:39:29 GMT from North America)
Yet again, I'm reminded of why I enjoy Jessee's writing -- he and I share a philosophical outlook.
I contend that Linus has the right to run "his" organization as he sees fit. But, I agree that his stated approach, as quoted by Jessee in this opinion piece, is logically flawed. Linus has drawn two extremes as the only possible options. We must remember that the goal of politics is to find a way to reach agreements among and between disparate people with equally disparate ideas and goals. The fact that "politicians" have made this a dirty occupation should not lessen its need.
Whenever you find yourself negotiating with your spouse/partner/friend and come to an amicable and respectful agreement, you've just practiced politics.
28 • convergence and conduct (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-19 14:42:27 GMT from North America)
Ironically I feel like these two things are controversial in the Linux community because of the exact same reason: Too many people feel like their way of doing things is absolutely the best and everyone who does things differently is WRONG.
I'd add all the controversy over systemd into this mix as well.
I think the solution is pretty simple and all effective organizations have such: a clear chain of command.
If a controversial decision needs to be made, it should be clear who makes it, there should be time to collect all informed opinions, and then it should be made for technical reasons that are clearly laid out for all to see, and that needs to be IT. Flaming and trolling should result in being banned from discussions. If an organization (the kernel team, a distro, an application team) enforced "who gets to make the decision" rules then a lot of this could be avoided.
29 • Lite tweaks (by Kazlu on 2015-10-19 14:46:10 GMT from Europe)
About Lite Tweaks: This litle piece of software is really great. It reminds me of when I had a Ubuntu installation that had been running for years in a 15GB partition, that I upgraded every six months. Of course, I ended up filling up the partition. I looked here and there for ways to clean my installation so I could simply continue using it. That's when I discovered one has to remove old kernels manually (I had something like 20-30 old kernels installed at that time). I could easily take care of that, but I figured less experienced people would just be stuck. This is one of the little reasons that made me think Ubuntu and its official variants have some potential deal-breaker drawbacks for the less experienced users that are non existant with other distributions, like Linux Mint where the standard upgrade path is to reinstall the whole OS anyway. But with this, Linux Lite fills a hole and this little detail is in fact a strong argument to make it one of the best non-techy-user friendly distros out there. The Linux Lite Control Center looks amazing too, it reminds me of the Mageia Control Centrer or openSUSE's Yast, and I think this kind of software is really a huge bonus to any distro. Congratulations to the Linux Lite team for coming up with these tools!
30 • Civility (by dragonmouth on 2015-10-19 15:25:42 GMT from North America)
Kinus's attitude and methods will ultimately lead to "migh makes right". Those with the strongest, most abrasive and obnoxious personalities will be ramming through their ideas for Linux, regardles of whether those ideas will benefit or hurt Linux in the long run. "Be reasonable, do it MY way" is not cooperation. Linus Torvalds thinks that just because he is brilliant and the "Father of Linux", he has no need for social skills.
31 • Policing, Passion and Politics (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-10-19 16:03:42 GMT from North America)
Generally, in a factory full of drones filling in for robots, a clear chain of command is common ('workers' are not privy_to or expected_to_understand the 'big_picture'); in a group of professionals, a leader sells ideas (Steve Jobs?).
Life is never that simple, of course. Savvy workers prevent mishaps; professionals push in directions unhealthy for the organization. Less-mature individuals need to be mentored. Offenders should be disciplined; a recalcitrant repeat offender should be confined to a playpen, or invited (and motivated) to leave.
The Linux Kernel team is a Benevolent Dictatorship for good reason. It is not a marriage, nor is it a prison.
Lawyers are required to respect the law. A case should not be determined by social/political skills. Trial by public opinion would quickly subvert justice, even fairness.
A sharp sociopath can fool many for quite some time. So what?
32 • Linux Lite 2.6 (by Shashi Warrier on 2015-10-19 16:27:59 GMT from Asia)
That was a pretty good review of Lite. However, I've been having one little problem with it. I like Opera, and installed it a few weeks ago. It doesn't update!
Otherwise, Lite is perfect.
33 • @32 Opera on Linux Lite / *buntu (by Tran Older on 2015-10-19 17:21:35 GMT from Asia)
If you installed Presto-engined Opera 12.16, it is the last of the line and possibly new update would be the Vivaldi browser, which has not been stable enough for productivity, despite its huge merits and potentiality.
If you installed Chromium- engined Opera browser, you could always download the latest *.deb installation file from the Opera website.
Personally, I would stick to Presto-engined Opera 12.16. It simply works (meaning : it crashes less than Firefox and Chromium :-)).
34 • Best Linux distro and Desktop Environment Combinations? (by Hayden James on 2015-10-19 17:38:32 GMT from North America)
Linux Lite looks ravishing. What other Distros / DE combinations do you guys recommend?
35 • drones and robots (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-19 18:26:34 GMT from North America)
I don't disagree with most of what you're saying in your second half (from "Linux Kernel team" onward) but this is EXACTLY why a chain of command is needed.
In no way am I saying collaboration and disagreement should be interdicted. But that at the end of the day, the community should give one person or one committee the power to make a decision. Once that decision is made, continued bickering is no longer productive, it just ticks people off.
Chain of command makes it not personal. One doesn't have to fight to the death for an idea. Make your case, the team decides, everyone moves forward. No one has to question the worth or value of anyone else.
36 • Weakening of Society (by Eric Estrada on 2015-10-19 19:08:11 GMT from North America)
The world has embrassed political correctness at the cost of mental accuity. If you are above average intelligence, polical correctness is a metal straight jacket, a prison for your mind, if you will. If you are an average working joe, as the saying goes, you live in the world and seldom question anything beause you just don't have the ability to think beyond the next day of work or the next beer.
I agree with @3 on this point:
"In my experience, a "Code of Conduct" is often a weapon for PC bullies to use on their victims, or a facade for management hypocrisy."
If everyone, despite their ability, has to be praised, then we are lowering the bar. Meritocrasy is replaced with mediocrity. I have someone working with me that cannot seem to remember from one day to the next what the application does, despite working on it for over a year. The PC movement dictates that I cannot fire someone for incompetance, because that would hurt their feelings. But if I say you are a moron, I would get fired.
Would we like for Linus to be removed and have someone else take the helm? They would certainly be more polite, but I think Linux would become so bug-infested and unmaintainable that everyone would turn back to Windows. You have a nice corporation behind it, so average joe doesn't have to think or question it, like people using google docs. You know they are indexing your documents, but you just dont have the ability to think critically and object to the invasion of privacy. Average joe would not go to the BSDs. They would politely tell him if he wanted a GUI to use PC-BSD or Windows. Why can't Linus behave like the BSD? Because the project is organized differently, and he is the BDFL.
37 • Linus's Logical Leap (by Jason on 2015-10-19 19:40:19 GMT from North America)
Linus is definitely making the logical leap there, suggesting that acting with civility necessarily means adopting the worst of office politics. The likely explanation is he enjoys his clubhouse and wants to keep it how it is.
38 • Weakening of Society (by Eric Estrada on 2015-10-19 19:08:11 GMT from North Amer (by Bill on 2015-10-19 20:23:17 GMT from North America)
@36 We are living, Atlas Shrugged.
39 • @36 - Wekening of Societh (by Pearson on 2015-10-19 21:44:52 GMT from North America)
"If everyone, despite their ability, has to be praised, then we are lowering the bar"
Again, this is painting an extreme as the only logical alternative. Nobody is saying that "everyone has to be praised", only there's usually a respectful way to say that something is wrong.
For example, Linus could hypothetically say "Pearson's an idiot who isn't worth talking to", or he could say "None of Pearson's ideas have been useful or usable. It's a misuse of my time to continue with him." Note how the first is an attack, and the second is a statement of facts (as he has the privilege of defining the facts).
An occasional use of the first may be appropriate in some circumstances, particularly if needed to get the other person's attention. IMHO, those circumstances should generally be rare.
40 • Society is not weakening (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-19 21:48:31 GMT from North America)
It's not "being politically correct" to ask people to not be jerks.
I hate the term politically correct because typically you get accused of it when you point out when someone's behaving badly and they don't like to hear it.
NO ONE is suggesting that meritocracy be replaced with anything. But if you scratch the surface in any dispute that affects the FOSS community you're usually not very far from people being worked into a blind rage over some perceived slight and responding by bullying anyone that disagrees with them. And good developers are constantly getting sick of it and leaving the community and that hurts all of us.
The FOSS community exists for a purpose: to create, develop, bug-test, and use FOSS software. That's what debates should be about. And when debates are over they need to be over.
All of this could be solved with a little bit of structure. It doesn't have to be a huge, cumbersome process. Each team of developers just needs to agree beforehand how disputes will be settled and then stick to it. "We have this big technical decision to make and we will make it by next Thursday. We'll all vote Friday. Between now and Thursday make your points about the decision and don't be a jerk if you think someone's incorrect- explain why they're incorrect." Then enforce it. And if on Saturday someone's still flaming about the decision then don't allow further discussion. There'll be a new issue to worry about
41 • convergence, DEs & politeness (by M.Z. on 2015-10-19 22:15:45 GMT from North America)
On the subject of convergence I say it greatly depends on context & execution, so I put it depends on the UI/device. I think what #20 said about common shortcuts being good & common touch points on very different screens being bad are both good points. I'd also add that I think flexibility also matters a great deal. I think throwing out the old & not giving enough flexibility in new UIs is a huge failing in both Gnome 3 & windows 8. It seems like someone could integrate both touch & traditional desktop elements together in a flexible way that respects both paradigms & user preferences, but I haven't seen it done.
@34 - DEs
It depends largely on your sensibilities. I like the glow & sheen of most any recent KDE 4 based distro, but if you like something slightly flatter like Linux Lite then you might look into either something with KDE 5 or perhaps Cinnamon. Both are fairly flexible & have some nice pop to them if you play with the effects, so set any theme you want (including the relatively flat defaults) & enjoy.
I have both Firefox & Opera 32 on my Mint installs & I have to say I find them both to be fairly trouble free & enjoyable. The .deb file for Opera installs nice & the newer versions seems like worthwhile upgrades over the old 12.16 version, though I still prefer Firefox.
As for the whole politeness vs 'PC' debate regarding the mailing list, well I'm in favor of a degree of common decency & politeness in professional settings when ever possible. It doesn't seem like Linus would agree, & while I like a good lowbrow movie or TV show on occasion, it's better to try and avoid that kind of stuff in a relatively professional setting like a mailing list.
I saw the old black & white movie of Atlas Shrugged a while back on TV & I must agree with Officer Barbrady. That is to say if the book is as bad as that worthless self serving piece of crap movie, I can see why it would make South Park's chief of police swear off reading forever.
42 • @5 Minimum hardware requirements to run distro (by Yan on 2015-10-19 22:27:30 GMT from North America)
One can't always rely on a distribution's stated minimum requirements. Some distributions will run well with the minimum requirements; others are practically unusable.
I've found that SliTaz is one of the best distributions for very old systems.
43 • re: 35 * drones and robots (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-19 18:26:34 GMT from North Am (by the card says "consultant" on 2015-10-19 22:54:06 GMT from Europe)
> No one has to question the worth or value of anyone else.
Especially the value of those more equal than others.
44 • 36 * Weakening of Society (by Eric Estrada on 2015-10-19 19:08:11 GMT from North (by the card says "consultant" on 2015-10-19 22:54:48 GMT from Europe)
> Why can't Linus behave like the BSD?
Not one system, with it's own kernel and the letters "BSD" in the project name, was started for any other reason than at least two competent geeks, at least two geeks among geeks, both sufficiently competent to hack an actual production grade kernel, found each other insufferable. Not merely ill behaved, by geeks among geeks standards, but so intolerable that a new kernel was born.
45 • Convergence will not happen (by Ricardo on 2015-10-20 00:06:43 GMT from South America)
I thought convergence could be a good thing but always had my doubts.
There's a sereis of articles by Aaron Seigo (from KDE fame) which are pretty interesting, starting with:
46 • Linux Lite and Peppermint (by hotdiggettydog on 2015-10-20 00:17:33 GMT from North America)
I've been a Lite fan for some time. Pretty in its default form and trouble free. Great distro!
I also have to give credit to Peppermint. It answers my needs well. It is more bare bones than Lite but I get to choose what I want to install instead of wasting bandwidth on included software.
Peppermint is a polished product. Very stable and trouble free.
I would suggest the developers supply an eye popping wallpaper instead of the dark, dreary, default one. First impressions are everything and an appealing desktop speaks volumes.
47 • Lite & Convergence (by Platypus on 2015-10-20 01:11:54 GMT from Oceania)
I stumbled upon Lite a year or two back and it has been my "go to" distro since then. It works well and is polished. Jesse has it absolutely right. Being Xcfe based you can set it up any way you like.
Convergence n dumbing down of software features is like socialism; forced coercion led by opinionated self-indulgent leaders who know what is good for us. I just wish people would stop and realise that there is an awful amount of work done in professional writing, engineering, accounting and business (just to name a few) that can't be done with your thumbs on a tablet and phone.
48 • Lite, Convergence & Civility (by GittyUp on 2015-10-20 02:14:46 GMT from North America)
@Lite: Another good review, Jesse. Thanks. Lite looks to be another fine "modified version based On Xubuntu. Question: Is Lite's UEFI support comparable to base Xubuntu or Linux Mint? If yes, it should work on most, if not all UEFI based rigs.
@Convergence: Seems something always gets left out. Different hardware functions, need a different OS. My 2 bits.
@Civility: Something about a "golden rule" "Do unto others as you would..." You may be completely and technically right, but with a wrong attitude/spirit you shall end up on the wrong end, eventually. "Like people and use things." (Not the other way around.) Peace. :)
49 • Convergance (by Ralph Bromley on 2015-10-20 02:20:42 GMT from North America)
I am a firm believer in the right tool for the right job, and convergence is like taking a sledgehammer to a thumb tack.
Look I use a tablet but if I wanted a tablet OS I would use stock android not Ubuntu and if I wanted to use my desktop I would use another distro if Ubuntu is forcing a tablet UI on us.
Remember windows 8 Canonical? its a harsh lesson that you simply cannot take a phillips head screwdriver to turn a hex nut
50 • Being sincere, productive and NOT rude (by Will B on 2015-10-20 03:26:30 GMT from North America)
You know what? I agree with @40 Tim in that being nice, or polite, does NOT automatically mean you're being 'politically correct'.
Jesus (yes, I'm pulling the 'Jesus Card') was totally NOT 'politically correct' yet he cared for and loved people...Jesus did way more for the world than Linus has.
Linus is sitting up in his little kingdom and it seems like he expects the members of his group to conform to his rude and obnoxious behavior. On technical merit, Linus is super-bright and if not genius, he's pretty close to it. I don't care if Finland has a culture of swearing and I don't care if Linus thinks swearing and being caustic is good for 'business'. I lived for a while in South Central Los Angeles, but you don't see me shooting people for messing up my food order, or cussing out a gasoline attendant for taking too much time to fill up my car (Oregon - you can't pump your own gas).
I had a boss who was firm but fair. Of all the bosses I've had, I wanted to work the hardest and do the best job for this firm-but-fair boss. He didn't have to cuss me out, he didn't have to shame me publicly or ride my behind to get good work or cooperation from me. He treated me well all the time but if I screwed up, he wouldn't bash me over the head with it, he'd calmly and genuinely tell me the consequences for messing up, and helped me improve. He didn't use fake politeness, he wasn't 'politically correct'...he was real, and he was great to work for.
Linux (and just about everything else) is about people working together to make something fantastic. People need structure, guidance and advice, but they sure as heck don't need someone screaming or cussing at them when things don't go right. Linus has a behavioral problem, and it's starting to burn technically good people out.
[ BSDs ]
Lots of great BSD news today! OpenBSD's new release, DragonFly's work on Wayland and GhostBSD. Go BSD!! :-D
[ 'Light' distributions ]
I've tried Linux Light, and while it's pleasant to work with, it's not at all 'lite'. I consider a distro to be 'light' when it uses less than 120 MB after the graphical desktop starts. Since so many distros use Debian or Ubuntu as their base, it's going to be pretty hard to make a truly 'light' distro due to all of the baggage those base distros clump in. I can't wait for the day when an independent distro makes a distro that is 'light' but still fully-functional for people like me. I guess I'm a bit odd as I've got 16 GB RAM, a nice fast processor, large hard disk and decent video card, but I still like running the bare minimum (currently, OpenBox and LXPanel). I do remote tech support and don't need anything getting in the way, and don't need 3D effects and sludge slowing me down during my fast-paced day.
Thanks for this week's DistroWatch Weekly Jesse and Gang! :-D
51 • Communication and Linux kernel development (by Ruff Guy on 2015-10-19 04:41:28 GMT from South America)
"Perhaps the community needs to ask itself which is better to have: Torvalds or the many developers who find him too aggressive to work with."
TORVALDS, forever TORVALDS!!!
This wonderful man is the reason why our beloved operating system have a kernel called Linux (not Garrettix, Sharpix, Coxix, or Kolivasix).
Just imagine how sucky would be the Linux kernel if it were developed by the "very polite" space tourist Mark Shuttleworth...
52 • convergence (by zykoda on 2015-10-20 07:23:42 GMT from Europe)
Convergence happens at the command line. The flexibility and comprehensiveness of the UI at generating the command can ease and quicken the "Driving Of the Vehicle" DOV. The user interaction mechanisms demand special considerations..keyboard, mouse, graphics pen, camera, sensors,... just as the feedback for confidence, expectations, monitoring, interrupt, interposition.....etc.
53 • @51 (by Stan on 2015-10-20 08:53:15 GMT from Europe)
Agreed, the kernel is the core of the OS it needs to be strong and resilient, same as the maintainer.
Only the time will tell which are the traits a maintainer should have to manage such type of project.
54 • Convergence (by jg on 2015-10-20 12:25:15 GMT from Europe)
A receipt for success:
Take a horse cart, a bicycle, a BMW, a MACK truck and the space shuttle. Now sit quietly for some time and cleverly devise ONE GUI to drive them all.
Good luck and may Linus watch over you!
55 • Convergence vs Users (by Stan on 2015-10-20 13:35:58 GMT from Europe)
I'm curious to see how convergence will succeed battling against standard file formats, vendor locking and DRM.
56 • Review of Linux Lite (by Torrey on 2015-10-20 15:00:49 GMT from North America)
In defense of my distro of choice, Linux Lite is light, just as Xfce based distros tend to be. Is it as light as LXDE, LXQt, Openbox, Evolution? No. But it is lighter than KDE, Gnome, and Unity. It's perhaps on par with MATE.
Linux Lite is not the fountain of youth, but it can do a lot, I repeat, a lot with PCs from 2007 and younger. I know from personal experience. That is just where the benefits begin. Ease of use, documentation, and an active, friendly, knowledgeable distro forum for support, are the cherries on top.
Linux Lite might not be the answer for distro hoppers, but quite frankly, distro hoppers are not necessarily the target audience. Lite is for those PC users who have a Windows based PC and they want something better without having to buy a new PC altogether. They've heard about Linux, but they don't know where to start. They want a familiar desktop experience they can install and get on with their lives. That is who Linux Lite attracts and maintains as users. And being just 3 years old, it's hitting that goal out of the park.
57 • @55 Stan (by lupus on 2015-10-20 15:37:36 GMT from Europe)
At first I was LOL about your comment, now I'm not so sure anymore.
Convergence should be good for us users cause in principle we would know where to find stuff in a comparable (not identical) environment! So what is there to fight against if the convergence is well done (Agreed today well done convergence doesn't exist) .
Standard file formats would be convenient if you mean open formats and could easily be part of any environment convergent or not. So a different matter not to be compared but we should clearly fight for it.
You can easily guess my standpoint towards DRM. You know what God says in the Bible about not forgiving....... He's against it and so I'm against DRM and the Bible cause I don't forgive so easily.
Now Vendor locking is a completly different matter as many users love their secluded Apple Island just as those hardcore gaming nerds love Windows. They have their reasons we have our own reasons to tell the undecided to come over and evolve to freedom. But if one knowingly chooses Vendor lockin he is completely well off paying the price for it. No freedom at all and no future security. So be it
58 • Pros and Cons in LK Team (by Kragle on 2015-10-20 16:51:05 GMT from North America)
40(by Tim Dowd)
"… Each team of developers just needs to agree beforehand how disputes will be settled and then stick to it.…"
Linus sets a clear rule - he's gentle for the first few mistakes, but repeating the same error (pattern implies deliberate) will be met with correction combined with increasing motivation - nothing personal, just whatever is required to obtain attention and compliance.
50•40(by Will B)
"I had a boss who … didn't have to cuss me out, he didn't have to shame me publicly or ride my behind to get good work or cooperation from me. …" - obviously you weren't the kind of team members Linus has to be forceful with.
You mention Jesus - what about when he took a scourge (aka cat-o'-nine-tails-whip) to money-changers inside a worship-zone? Perhaps nothing less would motivate compliance?
Many people are quick believe whiners (who haven't gotten their way) calling the gullible to their banner, instead of doing due diligence and researching context. Perhaps they're simply eager to assume the worst of others, and "drink the Kool-Aid", like readers of tabloids?
The Linux Kernel team is full of intelligent people, some of whom are passionate about what they do, none of whom are novices. Some are paid by organizations whose interests will never harmonize perfectly with the direction given. Endless energy expended on "kind and gentle" nice-ness on a sociopath is as wasted as light down a dark hole.
59 • what about those who did get their way? (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-20 20:26:54 GMT from North America)
It's been less than a year since Debian lost two key developers who were pro systemd because those against it made their lives miserable.
Of course the minority can be wrong sometimes. But it doesn't change the fact that the story plays out over and over again across many projects (not just the Linux kernel people) and usually is because people see technical decisions as being the choice between absolute good and evil and they must vanquish their enemies.
It doesn't have to be this way. Decide beforehand how you're going to settle disputes, stick to the process, and banish anyone who isn't willing to follow the rules everyone agreed to. Do it transparently and then "the whiners" should be obvious.
60 • Convergence (by M.Z. on 2015-10-20 20:45:57 GMT from North America)
@45 - Convergence
Some good thoughtful points in the blog post you linked to & I agree with much of it. Convergence as a one size fits all solution will never work, at least not well. But if it is done in a way that minimizes work across platforms & retains common design elements while being context sensitive, then you can get something useful that works. I think KDE gets it right here while others tend to fail.
61 • ssd support (by Richard Kerns on 2015-10-20 22:54:12 GMT from North America)
I would like to hear from Distrowatch, an informed opinion, about present linux support for ssd drives. For example, is there some reason that a Kingston HyperX Predator might perform better in Windows than in linux, given the same hardware which otherwise works well in either OS. The Predator is a PCIe 2.0 solution on an adapter card. I am also wondering about PCIe 3.0 drives, the M.2 form factor and Sata III, all as supported by linux.
62 • moral hack attacks (by syko Linus on 2015-10-20 23:39:31 GMT from Oceania)
Linus better be careful who gets on the wrong end of his poor social skills. He could end up with garbage dumped outside home, anonymous calls, emails intercepted, computers hacked, work stolen, car tracked, home bugged, and family followed. There are some tech syko ppls who do these kinds of things - their social skills are not much better, but they see themselves as hacker vigilantes for good moral behavior.
63 • Additional search items, UEFI and GPT (by Jim Black on 2015-10-21 01:03:13 GMT from North America)
With the coming ubiquity of UEFI motherboards, it would be nice to have notes on distributions comfortable with UEFI and GPT partitioning. You are already covering the 32bit/64bit dichotomy. All of my present computers have the UEFI and I find the GPT partitioning scheme preferable to the ancient MBR system. With time, ALL distributions will need to support GPT and UEFI but for now, knowing which do and which do not would be helpful.
64 • Searching for UEFI (by Jesse on 2015-10-21 01:14:32 GMT from North America)
You can already search for UEFI support (and Secure Boot) support. We add those features earlier this year. If you missed the announcement, you can search for EFIbootmanager and the Shim packages on the Search page. As for GPT, any distro that supports EFI should also support GPT.
65 • 62: Watching out (by kernelKurtz on 2015-10-21 03:04:31 GMT from North America)
The sykf*ucks you're talking about generally don't go after big game. They're cowards who go after those that they think are weaker. That ain't Linus.
If Ms. Sharp (or a dozen of her) wants to feel offended and leave, that's legit. So is doing it unquietly--even loudly.
What isn't legit is expecting a decades-old project to conform to anyone's tender standards about what is offensive. Linux is what it is, and most of the credit or blame for that goes to one guy, and his idiosyncratic way of dealing with the world.
Don't like it, go fork yourself. If you've got the chops.
66 • Tired of Political Correctness (by Jackie on 2015-10-21 04:02:10 GMT from North America)
Does EVERY interaction in every forum have to be about "inclusiveness" and non-threatening, mealy-mouthed political-correctness these days? It is really becoming tiresome.
Civility is a virtue that often eases communication. There is no need to outright bully someone to put them on the defensive. But the world is being choked by all this demand to never offend anyone. There is no freedom in communication when you have to weigh your words so heavily, to try to not offend this group or that group. Often the most benign little mention is greeted with outrage or upset when no offense was intended.
Freedom of Expression is already dead in this society. I fear it is too late. We have already become a bunch of zombies, afraid to speak our mind for fear of upsetting someone, somewhere, that we don't even know and had no intention to even address them.
I APPLAUD Linus for being willing to speak his mind, and actually HAVE some convictions, unlike the vast majority of mindless conformists that inhabit this world.
67 • Political Correctness (by Antony on 2015-10-21 14:54:13 GMT from Europe)
Wholeheartedly agree with your feelings. I wanted to comment on the topic, but you have exactly put my feelings into words - and made a better/more coherent job of it than I would have managed - thanks.
68 • re: 59 • what about those who did get their way? (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-20 20:2 (by the card says "consultant" on 2015-10-21 16:59:39 GMT from Europe)
> Decide beforehand how you're going to settle disputes, stick to the process, and banish anyone who isn't willing to follow the rules everyone agreed to.
Tim, you ignorant twit! That's exactly what the Linux kernel (and Debian, and on) did! If "everyone agreed," there'd be no need for rules, now would there? If The Rules have already been settled, then there can never be reason to question them, ever, again, can there? It's newcomers (none dare call them interlopers, vagabonds, and thieves) that don't like the (current) process of ruling The Rules of The Process, who are "whining"! Now, fsck off and do some work! Not expend some(one else's) effort, but you (yes you laddy!) accomplish some work!
(STEM morlocks superstitiously claim that there's a difference between "work" and other terms, now, known to be interchangeable with "work." That's why they/i> have no place in The Process.)
69 • thanks for proving my point (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-22 00:27:59 GMT from North America)
I think your comment is exhibit A of what's wrong with the discussion that happens in the FOSS community. It's not "political correctness" to say that people shouldn't call each other ignorant twits for no good reason. It's basic decency.
In your rage you've entirely missed my point. The "rules everyone agreed to" are not technical rules, they're conduct rules. In the recent Debian systemd debate a technical decision was made to adopt systemd. A lot of people went ballistic and dragged the developers through the mud and forced an unprecedented reconsidering of their decision (it still passed.) And a few quit because it pissed them off so much.
Rules that everyone should be able to agree to are to limit debate to technical points, to stop fighting dead issues, and yes, to probably agree not to call random people ignorant twits. I don't think it's too much to ask.
70 • opinions (by pcninja on 2015-10-22 01:19:41 GMT from North America)
It is sad that we live in a world where having a different opinion could cause WW3.
71 • Conduct (by Kragle on 2015-10-22 09:31:02 GMT from North America)
For card-carrying "consultant": chill. Tim's being 'deliberately ignorant' is just another tactic. Stay civil; do not feed the troll.
And next time please check your HTML syntax before posting.
"…for no good reason…" No good reason? Really?
"…stop fighting dead issues…" Dead according to whom?
"… call random people …" Random? Wasn't a specific twit named?
So your opinion is the only one of any import then?
72 • Convergence (by Shashi Warrier on 2015-10-22 12:16:14 GMT from Asia)
The present bunch of convergent systems - including Windows 10 - offer very few customization options. A UI that can be customized would take care of a wide range of devices.
73 • RE: outstanding distro's list (by Andulicsta-PA on 2015-10-22 12:34:52 GMT from North America)
I truly enjoyed reading your outstanding comment about your list of outstanding distros. And please allow me to add several more distros to the list:
Tiny Core, SliTaz, Porteus, KolibriOS, SparkyLinux, Elive, Antergos, Mangaka, Solus, Voyager and Exe GNU/Linux
74 • troll? (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-22 14:45:18 GMT from North America)
I just want to make sure I understand this correctly: I'm a troll (and a twit) because I suggested that debates over technical issues should not become personal attacks and that there needs to be a process for deciding when a debate is over.
I've gotta admit... I can't follow that logic at all. What are you even angry about?
Are you mad I brought up systemd? I don't have a strong opinion on such, other than that the debate was pointlessly nasty. Here's the resignation notes from two developers who quit during that fiasco
If you note, they make the same points I do, specifically that it wasn't clear on how decisions were made and it was emotionally exhausting.
My opinion on any FOSS topic is of no import whatsoever to anyone other than me. I never claimed it was But in large projects, there needs to be some mechanism of deciding something and then ending debate civilly. I frankly don't care what it is. The people running the project simply need to set this out ahead of time. Ideally different distros or different competing applications make big decisions differently so that choice remains for the user, but of course it's up to the actual developers, who shouldn't be abused for their decisions.
When is a topic dead? According to whom? It's dead according to what the project, using its mechanism for deciding things, has said it's a done deal.
None of this is really controversial. I'm not really sure what's ticking you off about it, but given that this seems to be getting increasingly (and pointlessly) toxic I'm going to bow out.
75 • Slingblade (by fooling around on 2015-10-24 00:09:45 GMT from Europe)
" It is sad that we live in a world where having a different opinion could cause WW3."
heaven is better than this rock of fools.
76 • Politically Correct ... after Jobs, & now Linus? (by Greg Zeng on 2015-10-24 02:48:12 GMT from North America)
Every social unit: Mono, Duo, Small-group, Large-group, population has compulsory "LAWS OF GROUP BEHAVIOUR". These have been mathematically defined by experts over the centuries, and are academically published for everyone to view & comment. I abandoned Pure Mathematics at the University of Adelaide in 1969, for participant-observer research, so we can see that humans are slowly learning that word-communications are better than physical actions, but little is understood about words, & the types of words. (Computerese: words are logic collections of bytes; bytes are logical collections of bits. mathematics, genetics, etc all have their own categorization methods).
Linus is not a black-negro, so his injection of emotion into words is by keyboard-word-selection, rather than para-verbals or other types of meta-verbals. Amongst white "educated" men, use of impolite swear words is the way that they express emotion. Femocrats (white non-violent "civilization") demand that everything has to become "Femocrat-polite", otherwise it is violent-assault, as documented by the USA's MGTOW activists on the Internet in very recent years.
Japan and other "civilized" peoples are heavily over-socialized into political correctness. This creates an IBM ("I've Been Moved") management culture which knowingly & historically has created stagnation: Democratic Dominance of all meritocracies, by the Mediocre Majority. Good-bye Linus. Good-bye Steve Jobs.
Some of us colored people are waiting for the decades ahead when the educated people might discover the expressions for human emotions, which are not coded in Political-Correctness. "EDUCATION" is brain-washing into emotionless, deadpan, "boring" Political-Correctness". Tiger-Mothers of East-Asia are the envy of the gawking white observers who are totally ignorant of natural human emotion.
As I mentioned earlier, in @4 above, and other internet postings in my name, many of we un-educated third-world people are dreading your white, civilized democracies. The whities of Australia gave me six-years "Hard-Labour" imprisonment for a moneyless, victimless "drug-crime", in Sydney, 1975. Instead of allowing my full-time work in medical research and charities to continue. Such is educated white arrogance.
Academic histories will show how primitive the idiots of C20 are. Hopefully the youngsters of C21 will have some form of large-government civilization (not 2016-USA-Republican-Small-Government) that allows capitalist-free research to happen. And with emotional humanity, mathematically moved from Pure-Maths to the real-world.
Jobs is an early young death. Punishment for legally stealing ideas from Xerox, Lg Prada (iPhone), Samsung, and many others. Linus next? If USA-Political-Correctness legally, democratically ... wins again.
77 • @76 Errr... (by Hoos on 2015-10-24 06:06:40 GMT from Asia)
Your posts are always interesting but often leave me scratching my head.
And often you'll be making one point, then throw in something that makes me think, "huh? what has that got to do with the rest?", or "so is he for or against [an idea]?".
So it is with your last paragraph. I don't really get how the 1st 2 sentences tie in with everything else in your post. He had a terminal disease. So now you're saying it was karma, it was deserved? Then how is it the fault of the PC-zealots?
I don't have information or knowledge to comment on the actual kernel mailing list furore.
However, I do think one can be civil to a person while still frankly, even brutally, criticising the persons' idea/submission, ie attack the idea not the person. It is possible to be civil and not be a politically-correct zealot.
Another thought - survival of the most thick-skinned may not mean survival of the best or most skilled.
Like in all things, I believe striking a balance is important, but that is easier said than done. Seeing it from the other side, when you have so much to do and so little time to do them in, it's natural to get short and brusque. That may not necessarily be a personal attack.
78 • context matters (by M.Z. on 2015-10-24 08:24:41 GMT from North America)
In all this talk of 'political correctness vs free speech' I want to point out one stupidly obvious fact, context matters. Where I'm from you have the right to say whatever you want to who ever you want so long as you don't threaten anyone or incite violence & it's protected in the constitution. This happens all day everyday & people say whatever they want be it insightful or stupid all the time, & if they do it on their own time no one cares. If on the other hand you say something rude or nasty to a customer in a store you're working at you can get fired. This has to do with things like professionalism, corporate image, & customer service. You can say whatever on your free time, but a level of professionalism is expected in other settings where you could be seen as representing someone else. The only question is if the mailing list is rougher than it should be. It's simple a question of the degree of formality that is appropriate in the mailing list & has nothing to do with freedom of thought etc. All the talk about stiffing thought is nonsense, say what you want to whoever you want as long as it's on your own time & you aren't acting as a public face for some organization.
"Freedom of Expression is already dead in this society."
That's an absolutely absurd statement if I've ever heard one. In my country Vice Present Cheney had a guy walk up to him & say something like 'F^@# You!' right to his face & nothing happened. I think the cops walked up to the guy & made sure he wasn't violent or crazy, but they let him go & nothing bad happened to him. What more proof do you need that people can say what they want & have the freedom of speech? I know for a fact that the fist amendment is alive & well in my country no matter what foolish nay sayers claim.
79 • Linus (by Rob Solomon on 2015-10-24 13:01:16 GMT from North America)
To put the kernel mailing list behavior in perspective, I have thought for a long time that Linus is autistic. He just cannot understand the basics of social interactions. He never will. The failure is biological.
However, this does not explain the behaviors of others, who are probably not autistic.
80 • Diagnosis (@79) (by Jordan on 2015-10-24 13:07:29 GMT from North America)
That diagnosis is not meant to excuse his behavior, I know. But it
could well be something other than that, which he may share with
those "others." Perhaps his behavior can be excused and perhaps
Lots of words come to mind, but "jerk" is the SFW term. I used to
work for one of those. The female version is referred to as a
Meanwhile, there is too much in the way of wisdom coming from
his efforts, to worry about his printed word behaviors etc. IMO.
81 • Context natters (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-10-24 17:19:07 GMT from North America)
Context does indeed matter, though many ignore it and pontificate anyway. Of course, in so doing (having declined to perform due diligence, however light the homework), they demo folly. And a fool in the midst of doing folly is rarely receptive to correction.
For the rest of the audience, then:
One common assumption (by omission) here is that Linus expends the effort required for verbal/written chastisement ... without (sufficient) cause.
Another assumption (again by omission) is that verbal/written sparring using salty language somehow cannot possibly be civil or friendly (i.e. must be taken 'personally', must be destructive); one corollary being that bullying using politically-correct language skills is somehow preferable thereto.
Any thoughtful, reasoned comments (on LKML) showing due diligence, then?
82 • Linux Lite: Satisfied Customer! (by Eddystone on 2015-10-25 05:49:58 GMT from North America)
My hardware is always a few heartbeats behind state of the art, and I am always looking for distributions that can do everything without all the whizbang stuff. A couple of years ago, I tried Linux Lite and have been very satisfied with it ever since through a couple of versions. All of the software is quite current, and I am very happy with the XFCE desktop. I am the "go-to" computer person for a small group of family and friends. For some reason, Linux Lite seems to be more readily accepted and used by elderly friends and those who couldn't care less about how an operating system functions. I can't really explain this, but things are just laid out in a non-threatening and logical manner that people can work with. This is especially true when the XFCE Whisker Menu is set up to display the application's function rather than its name. I use Linux Lite as my everyday operating system on several machines and have never found myself limited in any manner despite its thrifty use of system resources. It is stable, flexible and a pleasure to use. It is very apparent that the developers really made an effort to anticipate problems a user might encounter and to te up every loose end they could find. This is why I have recommended Linux Lite several times in the Distrowatch comment section. I am very happy with it.
83 • KaOS (by Smartbyte Systems, Inc. on 2015-10-25 16:31:46 GMT from North America)
Most people I talk to are impressed with KaOS Plasma 5 Distros but the install grub doesn't work well on most systems.
So the best work around is to install MINT linux 1st and then install KaOS
You can then update the grub in MINT linux which will import the KaOS into its own menu
The other alternative to this would be to install another plasma 5 linux Distro
84 • RE: #73, #14 - outstanding distro's list (by frtux on 2015-10-25 16:55:53 GMT from Europe)
The outstanding distro's list would not be complete without the inclusion of Paldo, a rolling release, Gnome centric desktop that usually has an updated iso available in the same day a new release is distributed upstream.
Number of Comments: 84
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