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1 • Source-based distros (by brad on 2015-12-14 01:41:40 GMT from North America) |
Not now. Perhaps, when I retire, and have boatloads of free time.
I did put aside two days of a long weekend to install Arch on an old 32-bit laptop. It took the better part of a day just to install and compile the base system, and part of another day to get X and a DE installed. It worked, after a fashion. It was nice to know that I could do it, but I decided I didn't want to dedicate so much time until I actually had the time to waste.
2 • Surprizing move from Canonical (by kneekoo on 2015-12-14 01:42:42 GMT from Europe)
I didn't expect them to change the defaults because a bad decision is not that hard to spot and revert when the feedback pours in. I guess the defaults no loger generate enough profit/advantages for Canonical to counter-balance the negative feedback.
3 • re: Brad (by NotJob on 2015-12-14 02:07:00 GMT from North America)
Brad #1 you know that Arch isn't source based, right? You can install all those packages with pacman and be up in running in less than an hour.
4 • Arch (by brad on 2015-12-14 02:16:41 GMT from North America)
@3 - yes, I know you can do that - it was more of an intellectual exercise, just to see if I could do it.
The laptop is old (Pentium M, 2GB memory) and I wanted to see if it would be noticeably faster with a kernel tweaked for best performance. It *was* very fast, but the amount of effort to get there (and the realization that I might need to do it repeatedly for each new stable kernel), was more time than I wanted to spend, in aggregate.
The other thing that bothered me about the effort was that I wasn't always sure that I was picking out the best kernel optimizations during the kernel configuration stage. Again, a major time sink. As I said previously, I'll do it when I have boatloads of time.
5 • advanced age... (by brad on 2015-12-14 02:18:29 GMT from North America)
My comments # 1 and #4, should refer to Gentoo, not Arch. I'm getting closer to retirement by the second...
: - )
6 • Kernel updates (by arve on 2015-12-14 05:59:30 GMT from Europe)
@brad Once you have that first kernel up and running, re-using your kernel config for a kernel upgrade removes all the work, except for taking a stand on new kernel features.
7 • Source-based distros (by captainkats on 2015-12-14 07:14:45 GMT from Europe)
As I've studied electronics & did some programming before, I understand that you can get A LOT of performance by building from source & excluding some features (or adding some that you actually need). That's why I admire these source-based distros.
However I don't want to spend time & effort to build my system. Yes, I know this will be done once & then the only time effort will be the updates, but... time, effort & patience. And of course some reading as I don't know all the steps correctly.
Just don't wanna invest time on this... for now at least...
8 • Source based distros (by Simon on 2015-12-14 08:01:23 GMT from Oceania)
I ran Gentoo for many years, and I still miss its flexibility. Nothing else gives you as much freedom to set up your system exactly how you want it. Unfortunately, Gentoo only offers a "rolling release", which means that (as with every other rolling release distro) you're not sheltered from bugs the way you are on distros with traditional "frozen" testing -> stable development cycles. It's actually amazing that Gentoo works as well as it does, given this rolling release approach, and the fact that its users are basically running their own unique distributions (within the Gentoo "meta-distribution"), due to the extensive customization options Gentoo gives them (building all their packages with or without certain libraries, optimizations, etc.). It's a testament to the skills of the Gentoo developers and the technical brilliance of portage that it all runs as smoothly as it does. For work though, the giants (the Red Hat and Debian/Ubuntu clones) have caused me fewer headaches, even though they're ugly and unprincipled. If "principled" (UNIX-wise) matters to you, and you prefer building packages from source, Slackware is another distro that's worth considering: you install the base system, and then typically you build everything else from source using either your own or community (slackbuilds.org) slackbuild scripts. Its offshoot "Salix" does a nice job of automating all this. Now that systemd and all the other insanely complicted interconnected Windows-like gloop is becoming more and more accepted, the Slackware-based distros are quite a breath of fresh air: simple, human-readable and editable init scripts that get things up and running just as quickly as systemd but with about a tenth of the complexity. The "purest" source-based distro is LFS: it's basically just a few patches and some documentation to walk you through building things from upstream sources. At the other extreme, Gentoo is about the richest and most sophisticated set of tools for building stuff from source that anyone could ever want.
9 • from source (by zykoda on 2015-12-14 08:21:11 GMT from Europe)
Tried Gentoo from source many years ago. To reach a GUI took me three days and nights on a rather under-resourced Pentium box. I gave up on a diminishing returns basis. Comments #1,7 about time still seem very relevant. One could assert that to gain performance at execution requires even more performance at compile. However a special purpose continuously running application might benefit rather than a general purpose desktop. Software security may be another reason to compile from source...but there are other concerns about security...firmware, hardware..etc. vulnerabilities on a networked machine not in a electromagnetically
10 • end to spyware? (by M.Z. on 2015-12-14 09:00:45 GMT from North America)
I've long had a suspicion that Canonical was in some way on the hook contractually to continue putting the spyware into Unity for some period of time. I'd guess that Amazon wanted some assurance that they would be getting a reliable source of revenue built into desktop for some minimum guaranteed amount of time. The idea may be speculative, but I suspect it's the most likely reason that they didn't respond to the negative feedback far earlier. It would certainly seem to me that a legal difficulty would be far more likely to cause delayed action on fixing Unity than any technical reason, especially give how quickly other pieces of software tend to change these days. I hope it all comes to an end sooner rather than later as I feel this spyware crap may have hurt desktop Linux in general.
11 • Source-based? (by Hans on 2015-12-14 09:26:18 GMT from Europe)
First time I didn't vote (lack of options) and wrote a comment.
I'm running FreeBSD on a lot of machines and it gives you the best of both worlds (binary packages vs source-based). For mainstream architectures and packages with default options I use binary packages. For non-default options or old machines (e.g. PowerPC's) I build from sources. On machines where both are available, they can be mixed freely without any problems.
12 • paldo linux (by Hoos on 2015-12-14 11:07:42 GMT from Asia)
This is a follow-up from my post in last week's comments section. I mentioned I had problems updating my paldo installation and was not sure their repository servers were still maintained. One poster replied and said he'd been doing so regularly without issue, and that I should join their forum to ask for help.
So I tried to register with the forum. It told me to expect an email to activate my forum account. However, close to a week later there is no email from the forum administrator. There's nothing in the Spam folder.
I thought maybe I had made a typo mistake when I gave them my email address, so I tried to re-register with a different name. But it didn't allow me because there was "another member with the same email address". For the moment, I'm holding off creating a new email account just to to try registering again for one forum, particularly since I'm not sure whether the problem lies with my end or the forum end.
There does not appear to be any other method of contact listed on paldo linux's website or forum.
Would appreciate it if the poster from last week - or any of the paldo linux forum administrators - respond to this post/comment.
13 • Mobile OSs (by G Savage on 2015-12-14 13:19:50 GMT from North America)
Really disheartened to see what's going on in the mobile OS world with some operations scaling back. It is my hope that the people who contributed to the Firefox OS and Sailfish projects will continue their good work with Mer, Ubuntu-Touch, or CyanogenMod. Thanks for your efforts and wishing you all the best.
14 • Removing metadata from image files (by Mark D on 2015-12-14 13:47:55 GMT from Europe)
You can use Imagemagick's convert or mogrify for this,
eg. 'mogrify -strip image.jpg'
Removes the exif data from image.jpg.
15 • Raminos Linux (by a on 2015-12-14 13:59:05 GMT from Europe)
Glad to see a new systemd-free distro, using a good selection of technologies (pacman, Xfce, upstart and openrc), but… Upstart seems like a strange choice since Canonical has dropped it, and OpenRC can also do the same job.
Also, the web site needs work. At least with NoScript I only get a small intro text and a screenshot, and Firefox says it has blocked some content. Obviously it’s very early still for that distro.
16 • Source based distros (by a on 2015-12-14 14:12:58 GMT from Europe)
I switched to Gentoo this year to get away from systemd. It wasn’t my first choice but after trying many systemd-free distros, it was the only one that I could actually install and use (even though it took me a long time).
After struggling for a few months I now have a great system configured how I like it. I could even block gtk3.16+ in order to keep sane scrollbars in the only gtk3 application I use.
Updates sometimes require a bit of searching or asking on IRC (#gentoo on Freenode is great!), but most of the time everything works fine with no need for manual intervention.
Installing or updating software doesn’t take a long time with a fast CPU, except for some packages like webkit-gtk or libreoffice… (You can use libreoffice-bin instead to get it pre-compiled, but there is no webkit-gtk-bin.) I even installed Gentoo on a low-power computer recently and so far so good, didn’t even need to set up distcc (but I will avoid webkit on that one!).
17 • Raminos Linux (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-12-14 17:25:39 GMT from North America)
Project may be listed at SourceForge as "Raminux" ...
18 • Source based distros (by SilentSam on 2015-12-14 18:44:50 GMT from North America)
Well, Arch _does_ have its Arch Build System (ABS): https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_Build_System
So I guess technically it can be considered Source Based? I don't think anyone runs Arch solely using ABS, but it should be possible.
Even the BSDs are favouring binaries over ports these days.
19 • Gentoo (by Nathan Zachary on 2015-12-14 19:21:05 GMT from North America)
I have been running Gentoo since right after the Enoch days, and love it. Yes, it takes time to compile from source. No, I don't do it for performance reasons. I like the flexibility compiling provides, and I also have grown to like having complete control over my system (configuring my own kernel, choosing to use OpenRC over systemd, et cetera).
To each their own, though. I definitely understand the time that is required to run a source-based distribution.
20 • Source Based (by More Gee on 2015-12-14 19:23:11 GMT from North America)
Only game in town other than Puppy if you got only 256mb of memory or less, soon to be 512mb if the installers get any more bloated. I remember saying the same thing on this site about 2mb/640kb computers (P2, AMD K6-2) about 10 years ago. i still use GentooX on my old xbox, when it wants to turn on. I may port it over next year to a raspberry Pi and an old xbox 360 that lost bluetooth next year
21 • source based distros (by denflen on 2015-12-14 19:33:41 GMT from North America)
I love the idea of souce based distros, but I don't want to spend more time setting up my computer than actually using it. I know this is a little off subject, but I did install Ubuntu 15.10 using just the minimalCD, (with Lubuntu based enviroment when possible) which allows the user to select or not select a lot of packages. I wound up having a bigger (sized) installation than what i got using the full desktop CD of Lubuntu 15.05. Is Lubuntu 15.10 that much bigger than 15.05?
22 • Сеть автомастерских (by enotilus on 2015-12-14 20:16:38 GMT from Europe)
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23 • Raminos Linux & systemd free distros (by nothing on 2015-12-14 22:49:15 GMT from North America)
@15 AFAIK OpenRC needs an init (normally SysV) and it looks like they chose Upstart.
Another arch based systemd-free spin (not a distro): obarun.org
They use runit.
It seems though that these efforts are all "a one-man-show."
24 • Alternative Source Based Distros (by nolinuxguru on 2015-12-15 00:27:48 GMT from Europe)
@15 The Nutyx Linux distro is systemd-free, LFS based, uses source and binary packages, and still actively developed in France [documentation in French and English]. Although it is at position 216 in the Distro Watch rankings, it is relatively easy to install.
I installed it on a spare machine/partition. For binary packages it uses its own "cards" system. It can also build packages from source in a similar way to Slackware's SlackBuild system [I haven't fully understood this bit yet]. This mixed source/binary system means that it can be installed very quickly, unlike pure source-based Distros, like Gentoo, which require hours to be set aside just to get a basic system.
So far I have a working XFCE desktop and I installed Chromium from the repository.
The only slight negative, so far, is that it overwrites the GRUB settings on a multi-boot machine [so keep a copy of the old /boot/grub/grub.cfg and do a grub-install of the merged file after Nutyx has been installed].
I can't recommend it all users as it requires a bit of DIY. I will report back when I know more. I would be interested to hear from others who have tried or who use Nutyx. Why is it at No. 216?
25 • chakra and uefi (by brikler on 2015-12-15 09:40:39 GMT from Europe)
"I also found it interesting that when run on my physical hardware Chakra would not boot successfully when UEFI was enable, the operating system would hang before reaching a login screen Booting with UEFI in Legacy mode allowed Chakra to boot successfully."
the reason is the different boot loader.
if you install on uefi mode systemd-boot will be used and it works.
if installed in bios mode grub will be used but you can't switch between with out any work.
26 • Source Based (by Florin on 2015-12-15 10:04:13 GMT from Europe)
I use and maintain the Lunar Linux source based distro. It's a rolling distro. I like it very much because it offers the maximum of freedom to configure your system and the performance is very good. It is a time consumming task however to keep it updated. But it compensate with the great knowledge about the Linux ecosystem.
27 • Source based distributions (by Fred on 2015-12-15 14:30:46 GMT from North America)
I'm not really inclined to mess with them. I'm not a computer aficionado. I just need a computer to do daily tasks with. Standard Mint or Kubuntu type distributions work just fine for that.
28 • systemd (by Dave Postles on 2015-12-15 20:08:27 GMT from Europe)
I thought that AntiX15 did not include systemd.
29 • Source based (by Bonky osmond on 2015-12-16 03:14:19 GMT from North America)
I run mainly Arch or Manjaro on my machines but Just for variety I installed Gentoo on my GFs Machine and it is great..it has never had any issues at all...Libre office and Firefox took a while to compile. but it was done overnight when we wernt around so was not a problem..very fast very light on resources.
I also have a Slackware Machine in my other house which sadly I rarely use..apart from it being my first attempt with a source based type distro it wasn't so bad had to redo a lot of things a few times to get it right but once it was it has been rock solid for 4 yrs...
apart from absolute laziness on my side I should install Gentoo on My machines as well....maybe
30 • Source based distros (by Ben Myers on 2015-12-16 04:39:12 GMT from North America)
Life is too short to take the extra time to build a source-based distro, and I have no need for one anyway. What is available already built as an ISO is fine for me.
31 • #28 AntiX15 (by zykoda on 2015-12-16 07:26:33 GMT from Europe)
sysvinit default, but includes systemd if required after install.
32 • antiX-15 ans systemd (by anticapitalista on 2015-12-16 09:03:55 GMT from Europe)
antiX-15 does not come with systemd nor is it available after install. It uses sysvinit without any shim and eudev is in the repo (though not on the released iso)
The upcoming antiX MX-15 also ships with sysvinit as default, but does include the shim so users can (if they wish) switch to systemd after install.
33 • Easy operating system to replace windows 10 (by Scott Eno on 2015-12-16 12:06:39 GMT from North America)
I would like to recommend Antergos to any linux newbie like me looking to escape spyware named Windows 10. First easy to set up using live install with pick of top 6 desktop interfaces. Up to date because downloads new system as installs. If set up updater right desktop feeds updates to you just click after reviewing them. Very fast based on Arch so highly secure most require password before install to prevent unwanted software entering system. Works with my tv tuner and bluray player as well. So for my needs a 10 for 10.
34 • LXQt... looks nice! (by Baltazar on 2015-12-16 20:59:21 GMT from North America)
I think there should be more distros with LXQt... looks nice and it seems to be exelent for old PCs... or just for the quickness of it!
Mint LXQt could be nice!
35 • Mint Release 17.3 missing wifi drivers (by Yogidaddy on 2015-12-16 21:39:35 GMT from North America)
I read somewhere that Broadcom has a sizeable piece (20%) of the market for WiFi. So when Mint rushed it's 17.3, to release without a Broadcom WiFi Driver the response was underwhelming. The majority of new Mint users will probably never try Linux again. This is not OK. If Mint failed to obtain a licence for Broadcom drivers then they need to say so up front, please don't waste my time. While it is true that if you had a previous installation of 17.x then the drivers were available, but that is no excuse for having a major release without the software to make it work. I believe the community should call out these issues, there are ways to handle driver issues, Ubuntu seems to do it well enough, such as MP3 codex's etc. We are not fools, then the Live version works fine with Broadcom and the final installation does not then it is not OK. Get your act together Mint!
36 • Easy OS to Replace Windows (by M.Z. on 2015-12-16 22:24:09 GMT from North America)
@33/Scott - Easy OS to Replace Windows
I've thought about playing with an Arch based distro myself, but in my mind Mint 17.x KDE is a perfect fit for anyone wanting an easy & reliable way to replace any recent version of Windows. It has a huge number of advantages including: one of the easiest & most reliable installers, (which the latest review on the Antergos DW page claimed was an issue for the distro); massive repos that can easily be augmented with point & click installs from .deb files & easy to configure PPAs; great/easy admin tools; & its intuitive, configurable & has nearly flawless media playback. I advocate for the KDE version mainly because of the smoothness of streaming video playback in KDE while in other DEs I tend to get tearing; however, the trade off is that KDE may have too many config options buried in the system settings. Overall I think Mint totally kills it in the 'easy to use replacement fro Windows' department, though I am also partial to the also fairly easy to use rolling distro PCLinuxOS.
Anyway my main point is that while I like Mageia & PCLOS & am interesting in rolling distros like Manjaro/Antergos, I have never read a review of a distro I though sounded better than Mint as a replacement for Windows. And I read a fair number of Disro reviews. I think Mint has done a lot to earn it's position at the top of the DW hit chart, & if you want to avoid the spyware in Windows 10 it's the best choice for newbies. The old top dog Ubuntu does much of the same terrible things as Win 10, & while others like Antergos may have a lot going for them I think Mint is still the best for most users.
Of course if Antergos has something to compete with Mint tools in terms of easy setup & config of things repo mirrors & 3rd party software like PPAs, then I'd be interested to hear about it.
37 • Gentoo Flag Space Coordinates (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-12-17 01:42:37 GMT from North America)
Gentoo needs a wizard to define CFLAGS and USEFLAGS without study hall. Autodetect hardware and CPU, ask usage scenario (dekstop/server/robotics/av/kiosk/embedded/security). Then emit flags. Ditto desktop (KDE/Gnome/XFCE/Mate/E20/LXDE/LXQt) and init (systemd/sysvinit+openrc/runit+openrc/runit/s6). Do Gentoo users know of anything close to this kind of wizard? Even in derivatives? Let me know. You see something already similar with alien sub-distros like ArchServer.org, ArchAudio.org. Plenty of binary distros have desktop spins, of course.
Conversely a Gentoo generic install on external drive to boot any PC seems unavailable. Arch has a wiki page on the subject. Any live CD will work. Gentoo ties you to one machine unless you are careful with flags. You can copy flags from a binary distro's makefiles. By then you may as well use the binary distro as Gentoo.
Gentoo could conquer Linux with preset profiles and buildbot.net farms to manufacture them. Gentoo is an almost-there distro. It just needs to take the final step from "geek's compiler helper" to a "autonomous buildfarm buffet."
Even FreeBSD finally has binary packaging, but without profiles. Correct me if wrong, but you just have an arch (x86_64/i386/ARM), like any Linux distro. The profile is generic.
The sweet spot I envision gives profile tweaker choices, but not so many you get lost. Gentoo is the closest candidate. Alpine Linux is built with Gentoo and perhaps an example of one coordinate in "flag space" if you will. And a very good one.
38 • Why I Use A Source Based Distro. (by Anonymous on 2015-12-17 02:18:38 GMT from North America)
I choose Gentoo as my first distro after looking through the their community hangouts. They seemed really helpful and layed back, (as long as you could RTFM) so I figured it was as a good a place to jump in as any.
Now that I've been using it for around 6 month, I've come to appreciate the flexibility in choices, from use flags to init systems, and not really notice the compilation times.
Overall the community of Gentoo is what has kept me sticking around, and from what little research I've done into other source based distro's, they also seemed to be filled with nice people too. If something catastrophic happened to Gentoo, I would probably try out another source based distro before giving the binary one's a go.
P.S: It's really not as hard to maintain as I thought it would be, only Xorg and kernel updates cause me any trouble.
39 • @37 (by jdavidson on 2015-12-17 05:47:27 GMT from North America)
For Flags you can use commands such as gcc -c -Q -march=native --help=target to detect flags after a base install using native flags to start, As for source-based I've used Linux since I gave up on Windows ME and after trying many different distros for years I settled on source based, I currently run ArchLinux on my desktop, ARM Tablet and Server which though is a binary/source mix gives me the choice with the AUR it's just as easy to build your own binary as when I used to make .debs from source, and with DistCC running I can compile anything relatively quickly and must agree with #38 it's really not as hard as most people think it would be and I like the freedom to run what I want not what I am told to want. I also must agree having used Gentoo before that Arch and Gentoo both have amazing wiki's and communities if you ever need any help.
40 • Wifi Drivers and Linux, all distros (Obliquely @35) (by Ben Myers on 2015-12-17 05:50:48 GMT from North America)
Intel continues to set the gold standard for Linux wifi. Broadcom wifi has long been painful, due to Broadcom's stubborn unwillingness to release source code. No so sure about Qualcomm/Atheros wifi drivers. Atheros wifi seems to show up in Toshiba laptops and as second choice to Intel in Lenovo laptops. Last of all, there is the more recent entrant in the wifi world, RaLink, now owned by MediaTek. MediaTek gets credit for having Linux source code for its drivers on its web site, but I am unsure as to which distros have placed compiled MediaTek wifi drivers into their ISOs. Pity, because there are numerous vendors of inexpensive and very functional 802.11ac USB sticks using the MediaTek chips. It's a bargain way to crank up an older laptop or desktop with modern fast wifi, but only with Windows to date, AFAIK. Xaomi also has a USB stick with MediaTek chip to turn your laptop into a wifi access point, but only under Windows with either a hacked-English or Chinese driver install.
41 • #32 systemd (by zykoda on 2015-12-17 07:28:03 GMT from Europe)
Thank you for the correction. My misinterpretation of what I read for MX-15.
42 • Tails_privacy_perfection (by k on 2015-12-17 08:59:19 GMT from Europe)
Now with much experience of Tails and most similar systemd-free Debian variant -- at least that I have been able to find and use --, Tails 1.8 continues to provide most reliable performance and privacy. Much thanks to the Tails development team, and Happy and Peaceful Holidays and New Year 2016 to all.
43 • Additional distro search criteria (by JACK MCMAHON on 2015-12-17 15:02:33 GMT from North America)
I think a search selection should now include the non_X86 hardware, Line the Raspberry BeagleBone, Banana,, , and non Intel hardware. More of the micro cost boards that will run Linux should have a way to find distros as they are ported to the newest hardware. The old mainframes are supported shouldn't it be easier to find distros for ARM, RISC, etc., processors?
44 • Search crtieria (by Jesse on 2015-12-17 15:35:17 GMT from North America)
@43: We already have that option. It's covered by the Architecture field on the Search page. The boards you mention (Raspberry Pi, Banana Pi etc) use ARM processors. Specifically, I think you are looking for distributions with support for "armhf".
45 • usefulness of these discussions/polls (by Tim Dowd on 2015-12-17 15:39:57 GMT from North America)
I just wanted to comment on how useful I'm finding these polls and the discussions they've generated. The filesystem one in particular really got me thinking about a topic that I should have considered long ago. I had several multi-TB external hard drives still formatted in their original NTFS, which is a problem because the chkdsk utility isn't available except on Windows and got me into trouble. Luckily I work on a Windows computer and have some IT friends that logged me in as an administrator so I could run chkdsk. I'm migrating all my data currently to a FreeBSD ZFS server and formatting the ones directly attached to my Debian box as ext4. It's just a really important topic that its nice to be reminded to think about, and I think a lot of these polls do that.
As to the discussion this week about source-based distros... I think their advantages are really only for the people that know exactly what they're doing. Gentoo has great documentation for getting a working Gentoo system running, but I never really found much of a discussion of why you'd have or have not certain use flags, or what should be in a kernel and what shouldn't be. Clearly some advantage can be had if you really know what you're doing and these distros (and pkgsrc, and ports on the various BSDs) are essential if you have odd or new hardware.
I'd love to see resources that discuss the various options but I also understand that these options exist for people with specialized knowledge and I'm ok with that. They serve their purpose well.
46 • Gentoo - NOOB shaming? (by brad on 2015-12-17 20:16:42 GMT from North America)
"[...] I never really found much of a discussion of why you'd have or have not certain use flags, or what should be in a kernel and what shouldn't be.[...]
@45 - I agree - if someone out there could point to some useful documentation on these points, it would help "tip the scales", as it were.
I'm probably imagining this, but I've always feared that asking these questions in the Gentoo forums would generate "NOOB-shaming" responses...
47 • gentoo forums (by Tim Dowd on 2015-12-17 20:18:10 GMT from North America)
I've always found those forums to be really helpful places, so I don't think they'd be mean :)
48 • TAILS 1.8.1 (by and my axe! on 2015-12-18 13:49:11 GMT from Europe)
Expect TAILS 1.8.1 soon. If you haven't downloaded version 1.8, you may want to wait for version 1.8.1. See the TAILS Development Mailing List for more.
49 • NUTYX Linux - first look (by nolinuxguru on 2015-12-18 15:22:52 GMT from Europe)
At the start of the week I said I would report back on my findings with the relatively obscure Nutyx Linux as a new user. In summary, it was hard work getting to grips with Nutyx Linux, but worth the effort. As mentioned, it is systemd-free, based on Linux From Scratch, and supports both binary and source packages.
I mentioned that it zapped my multi-boot GRUB setup, and so I had to do a "grub-install /dev/sda" of my old [backed-up!] /boot/grub/grub.cfg, adding the extra lines produced by Nutyx. As I have been playing with lots of distros, I was not as scared of this as I should have been.
The worst problem I encountered was that it refused to setup a "gb" keyboard layout using the XFCE4 settings menu: I could set it, but the setting was ignored, and I continued to have a "us" keyboard. The not very elegant solution was the setxkbmap -layout "gb" command in .bashrc.
Apart from those two "hurdles", Nutyx behaves like a sysvinit Linux should behave. Coming from Debian, it takes getting used to Slackware-style packag management [ie no automatic package dependency resolution]. I have still not had time to explore the source based method for installing new packages. However, the repositories are very up to date.
I still have lots to explore as I think this is a good candidate/platform for replacing Debian7 on my everyday work machine. It is very frugal in memory usage: XFCE4 with Chromium starts at 350mb, compared to 760mb on Debian7.
I must stress that this is probably not for Linux beginners, mainly as there are lots of places where the installer can summon up surprizes. Once installed, it appears a solid Linux system.
50 • @46 (by Bonky Osmond on 2015-12-18 16:09:25 GMT from North America)
Gentoo wiki / documentation is very good you just need to search a bit
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Handbook:AMD64/Working/USE there is a little page on USE flags.
explains a little on Kernels but there is a lot of other links and pages you can read.
I installed Gentoo and i am no way a Geek or any expert..it took a lot of reading and was a bit slow for me doing the Kernel..
try not to do it with an annoyed Latino GF screaming at you or 15 huskys whining for your attention ....full concentration is needed not to miss something or you go and do it all again haha
51 • Poniters... (by brad on 2015-12-18 16:25:42 GMT from North America)
@50 - thanks!
The Genkernel link contains another link I haven't seen before, which might prove useful for those wanting to attempt "true" manual kernel configuration:
52 • Beware the Dark Side of the Source (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-12-19 00:58:37 GMT from North America)
Even for Linux gurus, AUR and Gentoo often produce compiler errors. Packages disappear entirely from AUR without notice. Dependencies in AUR and Gentoo are frequently borked. In other words, they can be tricky to use.
Arch has yet to train AUR devs to keep MD5s current via updpkgsums. My tip: MD5s should be automatic. No PKGBUILD can post without valid MD5 hash; and weekly automatic fixups drop into extant PKGBUILDs without intervention. Automation would stop half the errors in AUR comments.
I credit Gentoo for offering recent versions of all packages. In that respect it's as good as Arch. Some Gentoo derivatives, despite bold website claims, are not as good as Gentoo. Some do however approach the use case profiling I suggest. Calculate Linux offers an enterprise server setup.
BSDs have nice ports trees, but horrible package update sloth. I contacted some BSD devs about delays. They yawned. "I'll look into it sometime." You never hear back. I would be most happy for BSD packaging to improve.
53 • Dark Side of Source Builds (by nolinuxguru on 2015-12-19 13:26:56 GMT from Europe)
@52 I am "looking forward" to building some packages on Nutyx Linux from source. I am forced to do this for the rare cases of packages not in the repos that I need [eg Bleachbit]. Nutyx follows Slackbuilds lead in starting from the original source location rather than a source repository.It is not far from what I did compiling the Kernel, except that it keeps track of the results in its ports repository.
In the days before I "discovered" Debian, there was often the battle you described of missing libraries and other things. These days, the shear size of even the simplest package means that getting compiler errors is a killer.
54 • @49, Xfce keyboard setting (by a on 2015-12-19 19:50:34 GMT from Europe)
"The worst problem I encountered was that it refused to setup a "gb" keyboard layout using the XFCE4 settings menu: I could set it, but the setting was ignored, and I continued to have a "us" keyboard."
I had the same issue with my latest Gentoo install. Fixed it by running the consolekit service and starting Xfce with startxfce4 --with-ck-launch.
55 • XFCE keyboard on NUTYX (by nolinuxguru on 2015-12-19 21:06:42 GMT from Europe)
@54 Thanks, I just tried your suggestion, but the ck fix doesn't work for XFCE+NUTYX [I couldn't see why not, as the polkit daemon is running]. So many bugs, so little time.
56 • Grub2 bug (by Jordan on 2015-12-19 23:19:20 GMT from North America)
"Linux is usually touted as the operating system of choice for those concerned about privacy, but a recently discovered bug makes it unbelievably simple to bypass authentication. A vulnerability in Grub2 -- the bootloader used by many Linux distros -- means that all it takes to take control of a computer is to press the backspace key 28 times
Man o man...
57 • GRUB2 bug (by nolinuxgutu on 2015-12-20 00:16:09 GMT from Europe)
@56 Thanks for pointing that out. Major distros have created fixes for this bug, but you have to have updated your software recently/often. On reading about this [just search online], it appears that it only applies if the attacker has physical access to your computer while it is actually booting [am I correct?]. So not such a big problem?
58 • Alpine Linux puzzling (by Ben Myers on 2015-12-20 00:54:45 GMT from North America)
The Alpine Linux Downloads page has numerous ISOs that one can try. I get the difference between X64 and not-X64. I have a good idea how the releases for Xen, Raspberry Pi and Generic ARM would be used. But what are the Standard, Mini and Vanilla versions, and why would one choose one or the other? Not apparent to the casual observer. I don't get it. Needs explanation.
59 • 58 • Alpine Linux flavors (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-12-20 07:33:37 GMT from North America)
Not puzzling at all, if you read the announcement.
60 • @57, grub2 bug (by a on 2015-12-20 15:11:58 GMT from Europe)
That bug is really not an issue, yet unfortunately it is being spread all over the web by microsoft fanboys who have no idea what they are talking about.
1) have you ever seen a login prompt in your bootloader? this is an extremely rare case. Not a single distro I have tried in my life had setup a login prompt in the bootloader. Not sure it serves an actual purpose.
2) requires physical access. If you have physical access then you might as well boot on a live usb and access everything you want.
3) people who don’t want physical attackers to access their systems use full disk encryption. This "attack" certainly does not decrypt the disk.
61 • Grub2 bug @60 (by Jordan on 2015-12-20 15:34:58 GMT from North America)
It's not a "microsoft fan by" article and it's not being propagated "all over the web" by anyone. It's an informative piece of bootup info.
Stop the FUD and just test this bug, as I did. It works and in some work environments it could be dangerous/pranky etc.
62 • @59 - Alpine Linux (by Ben Myers on 2015-12-20 15:48:41 GMT from North America)
Too true. So says the announcement. Am I being too picky to expect the same information clearly on the Alpine Linux web site?
63 • 62 • Alpine Linux (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-12-20 16:58:17 GMT from North America)
No, that would be best-practice documentation.
Perhaps this page http://forum.alpinelinux.org/downloads will eventually replace http://alpinelinux.org/downloads/ or at least be merged with it?
64 • 52 • Beware the Dark Side (by Linuxista on 2015-12-20 19:50:24 GMT from North America)
The cautions about the Arch AUR are overstated (adjectives like "often," "frequently" and "tricky") in my opinion. I've had about 100 packages from AUR installed on my system for years now, and, on the whole, I'd describe it as easy, painless and almost a complete non-issue. When I find out a package is in the AUR rather than in one of the official repositories, I'm almost wholly indifferent. In general, the AUR is great, very useful, and way bettter and easier, in my opinion, than my experience dealing with PPAs.
65 • GRUB2 bug - be a little afraid! (by nolinuxguru on 2015-12-20 20:02:06 GMT from Europe)
@60 Only because I had physical access to my own computer:
1. I logged in as root from the GRUB2 prompt by editing the boot command. I was then able to remount / as rw and create a file anywhere I wanted.
2. Installing a boot loader password would have stopped me from doing this.
3. Encrypting the root file system would have also have stopped me, but is costly.
The problem of these 0-day bugs is they are disclosed by security experts in obscure locations, read by hackers but not everyday users.
66 • GRUB2 bug [I forgot to say} (by nolinuxguru on 2015-12-20 21:44:52 GMT from Europe)
@65 I forgot to say that I was logged-in as root WITHOUT any login password.
67 • re no chkdisk in linux (by EarlyBird on 2015-12-20 22:58:06 GMT from North America)
45) re fixing ntfs volumes without windows:
under linux, you have ntfs-3g. Among it's tools is ntfsfix. While this is not chkdisk, it can cope with some problems (run man ntfsfix for specifics).
There are tons of utilities in bootable rescue disks such as SystemRescue, and UBCD (Ultimate boot CD, with versions for win7 through to win 10).
Under file systems, most of the utilities listed can check ntfs file systems, but I did not spot anything specific about repairing them (short of using a disk editor).
There is also the possibility of building a BART disk which would presumably allow you to actually run chkdisk off a bootable media.
Ultimately, your choice of using an alternative files system on an external drive is a good choice, but then you loose universal file system compatibility with whatever pc you plug the device into. Also, formatting a multi-terrabyte drive with another filesystem can be "somewhat" time-consuming.....
65) re security experts in obscure locations:
actually, for anyone interested in security, there are 4 main hacker conferences to keep track of: Blackhat, Defcon, Schmoocon, and sorry, forget the 4th one. After a conference, the videos and proceedings are usually available for download; often very interesting reading. If you Google "security conferences", you will find tons of such material, including more specialized conferences targetting hardware, banking, and even spotted a chinese one for automotive security. With all the computer chips we now have in cars, and self-driving cars in the works, and the IOT (internet of things where ALL your appliances can be hooked up to and exposed to the hazards of the internet), it's not just your desktop that's at risk! We all need to take security seriously (or stick your head under the covers and read Walden).
Another resource is "Cryptogram" by Bruce Schnier, and there's always the entertaining 2600 - The Hacker Quarterly _IF you can find it at your news stand; should be available online, but either way, that's not a "free" resource)
Hope this hasn't been too "off-topic", but always like to insert useful stuff from left-field when the opportunity arises and the reader questions/comments warrant.
68 • zfs makes reformatting worth it (by Tim Dowd on 2015-12-20 23:46:39 GMT from North America)
Thanks for the info about ntfs-3g. I probably should have tried this before hauling it into work and begging for administrator access for a few hours.
At the end of the day, it's still good to be thinking about file systems and I just think the majority of users don't. It was shockingly easy to set up a spare computer as a ZFS file server and I'm pretty thrilled with this technology. I can't think of anything better to deal with these hard drives. They're cheap and huge. Copying from one drive to another is a real pain (using USB2 it can take 2 days, as 4TB is really an astronomical amount of data) and they're not super-reliable. ZFS basically solves the issue... use a mirror or raidz and once a drive starts behaving badly, swap it out and resilver. No down time. It was just amazing to me that something like this was available for free and I didn't know about it.
FreeBSD is also one of the easiest installations you can imagine. From the first boot of the installer to creating the zpool it took about 20 minutes.
FYI, using gparted, reformatting a 4TB drive as ext4 took about 30 seconds. I would have thought it would be longer, but that was it. You are of course right that losing interoperability can be a problem, but not for these drives in my home. The only downside for me is that using a windows filesystem means that it will ignore UNIX permissions which is sometimes a easy way to avoid having to get all your machines having the same UIDs and other housekeeping stuff but that's probably good stuff to be consistent with anyways.
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