| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 646, 1 February 2016
Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Designing a good user interface is difficult. There are a lot of factors to consider as a good interface will be easy to explore, it will be straight forward to discover controls and the whole thing should be consistent. This week we talk about various approaches to interface design, starting with a look at the deepin distribution and the project's custom desktop environment. The deepin project features a desktop that merges classic desktop and newer mobile designs and we explore the results in this week's Feature Story. In our News section we link to an article that talks about design changes coming to Ubuntu applications. We also talk about Linux Mint's new X-Apps, boot environments coming to FreeBSD, Debian's updated installation media and openSUSE's upgraded infrastructure. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss a taboo subject: logging into a desktop as the root user. Then we share the torrents we are seeding and provide a list of the distributions released last week. In our Opinion Poll we invite people to talk about their preferred video card brand. Finally, we are happy to report KeePass is the recipient of our January donation. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Experiences with deepin 15
One of the last releases of 2015 we heard about was deepin 15. The deepin distribution has gone through a number of changes since the project's previous version. For example, deepin is now based on Debian's Unstable branch while older versions used Ubuntu as their base. Looking through the project's release announcement, we discover deepin has benefited from additional language translations with Malay, Bulgarian, Swedish, Croatian, Japanese, Korean, Finnish, Spanish, Hindi and Ukrainian translations being added. The new version also features a new window manager:
Deepin Desktop Environment and system stability has been thoroughly optimized to become lighter and more sensitive. A new window manager has been adopted in this edition. It can intelligently detect the current computer environment, then initiates a proper window manager.
The deepin distribution is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The installation media we download is 1.8GB in size. Booting from this media brings up a menu asking if we would like to launch deepin's system installer or start a desktop environment in "failsafe" graphics mode. At least this is the menu I saw when running deepin in a VirtualBox environment and when running on my desktop computer in Legacy BIOS mode. When booting deepin's media with my desktop computer's UEFI mode enabled, deepin's boot menu only offered to run the distribution's system installer, the option to run a live desktop environment was not present. I also found deepin would not boot on my computer when run in Legacy BIOS mode, but it would boot when I tried booting with UEFI enabled.
deepin's system installer is a graphical application which can be launched from the live media's boot menu or from the distribution's live desktop environment. The system installer features a very small number of screens. On the first screen we are asked to provide a username and password in order to create an account. We are also asked to provide a hostname for our computer. There are buttons on the first screen which will bring up windows where we can change our keyboard's layout or select our time zone from a map of the world. The second screen of the installer asks onto which partition we would like to install deepin. If a suitable partition is not available, we can switch to "Expert" partitioning mode. This brings up a partition manager similar to the ones Ubuntu's installer and Calamares use. The partition manager makes it easy to see the layout of our disk and to add or remove partitions. The deepin installer supports working with Btrfs, ext3, ext4, JFS, XFS and Reiser file systems. Once we have set up our partitions, deepin's installer copies its files into place and reboots the computer so we may begin using our new operating system.
I ran into some trouble with the installer the first few times I went through it. The first time I walked through the installer, I tried to install deepin on a Btrfs volume. Early in the installation process, the system installer window disappeared and disk activity stopped, suggesting the installer had crashed. I rebooted the computer and relaunched the installer, this time taking the ext4 file system option. Again, after a few minutes, the system installer vanished and, this time, the operating system locked up, necessitating a hard reboot. The third time through, I tried using the ext4 file system again and deepin installed successfully. I'm not sure why the third attempt worked while the second attempt did not, the same settings were used in both instances.
Once deepin has been installed, the operating system boots to a graphical login screen. The background of the login screen resembles a night sky. From there we can log into the account we created at install time. Signing in brings up the Deepin Desktop Environment. The desktop features an OS X-style application launcher and task switcher at the bottom of the screen. This launcher includes a button which opens a full screen application menu. Clicking a gear icon on the launcher brings up a configuration panel on the right side of the screen and I will come back to this panel later.
deepin 15 -- Running the WPS suite and Chrome web browser
(full image size: 399kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
While deepin's desktop environment worked well on my desktop computer and was pleasantly responsive, the desktop environment was sluggish when run in a virtual machine. Enabling VirtualBox's 3-D support and installing the VirtualBox guest add-ons helped to make Deepin Desktop Environment more responsive, but the desktop never offered the performance I would expect from MATE or Plasma. In either environment, deepin required about 340MB of memory when logged into the desktop.
Looking through deepin's full screen application menu that displays a grid of large icons, we find an unusual collection of software. The distribution ships with Google's Chrome web browser which includes Flash support. deepin also offers users the WPS productivity suite, the Deepin Movie video player and the Deepin Music audio player. The multimedia applications are accompanied by media codecs, meaning we can play most media files right away. The distribution also features the GParted partition manager, a system monitor, an image viewer and a PDF document viewer. There is a driver manager which lists available third-party hardware drivers that are compatible with our hardware. New drivers can be installed with just two mouse clicks. deepin features a printer manager, a calculator and text editor. Digging further, we find the GNU Compiler Collection (version 5.3), the systemd init software (version 228) and the Linux kernel (version 4.2).
deepin 15 -- Playing media files with Deepin Move and Deepin Music
(full image size: 572kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The applications which were provided generally worked well. The WPS suite especially has some nice features, such as providing a list of useful document templates we can preview and download. Adding printers to deepin worked smoothly and the media applications functioned as expected. One program which did not work as expected was the default screen shot utility. The screen shot application offered no delay option when capturing images. It also did not use standard menus or controls, instead displaying a small toolbar with tiny icons and no tool tips to indicate what its buttons would do. This caused me frustration until I finally gave up and downloaded an alternative screen shot utility. Something that I found interesting was neither screen shot application could take pictures of the application menu, configuration panel or virtual workspace manager. When these features were on the screen, both screen shot utilities treated them as though they were not present, capturing pictures of an empty desktop. What I found especially interesting about this was when I used the distribution in 2014, the default screen shot application was able to take pictures of the application menu and configuration panel. Perhaps the change in underlying window manager has altered the way in which some of the Deepin Desktop Environment feature's are displayed and captured.
deepin 15 -- Adding a printer to the system
(full image size: 529kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I have mentioned deepin's configuration panel a few times and I think it is worth further examination. While most distributions feature a control centre that has its own window and a set of modules we can access one at a time, deepin explores a different approach. Clicking the configuration icon on the desktop's launcher brings up a panel on the right side of the display that takes up about a fifth of the screen. Arranged down the left side of this panel are icons that represent various groups of settings such as the time, networking and users. Hovering the mouse pointer over one of these icons brings up a tool tip with the category's name. The icons act as tabs and clicking one changes the rest of the panel into a configuration screen for the given category.
In this way, the configuration panel acts less like a normal application window and more like a drawer that we can pull onto the desktop, find the setting we want with a click or two and then close the drawer. This not only provides quick access to the operating system's settings, but it keeps them organized and out of the way. I generally found the configuration panel worked well, allowing me to change network settings, create new user accounts and change the appearance of the desktop. The one issue I ran into was at one point the system clock got out of sync. When I went into the Time & Date section of the panel, I found that my time zone was wrong. Attempting to change it, I discovered my time zone was not listed, though it had been available through the system installer. This quirk aside, I very much liked the design of the deepin configuration panel and I found its accessibility made adjusting settings happen more quickly than on other operating systems.
The distribution provides a graphical software manager called Deepin Store. This software manager displays icons which represent categories of software down the left side of the window. On the right we see applications listed in the selected category. The appearance of Deepin Store is a lot like Ubuntu's Software Centre or Linux Mint's Software Manager. Clicking an application's entry brings up a page with detailed information on the software and we can click a button to install the software. Deepin Store tended to work well and I found the categories easy to navigate, but I did run into two issues. One was that programs would not always install successfully and a few times I ended up queuing a package a second time to get it to install. This may have been due to network time-outs. The other issue was I sometimes was unable to find software in the Deepin Store that I knew to be available in the distribution's parent, Debian. I found that switching to the command line and using the APT package manager allowed me to find the applications I was unable to locate through Deepin Store.
deepin 15 -- The Deepin Store software manager
(full image size: 654kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I did not find any way to install software updates through Deepin Store and so I again turned to the APT command line package manager when I wanted to check for software updates. On the first day of my trial, APT found 125 updated packages in deepin's repositories, totalling 153MB in size. These downloaded and installed, but upon completing the update process, the operating system froze, forcing a hard shutdown of the computer. When I rebooted, deepin ran smoothly without giving a clue as to what had gone wrong during the update.
The deepin distribution was perhaps best described as my dark horse of 2014, one of the distributions which surprised me with its stability, unusual (yet highly efficient) desktop design and many handy features. When I reviewed deepin in 2014, I came away with mostly positive feelings, despite there being a few small translation issues.
Now, in early 2016, I have a less positive experience to report after using deepin. Some aspects of the distribution are still quite good. For example, the installer is very streamlined and easy to navigate. The configuration panel is easy to use and I very much like its design. The desktop environment still does a good job of borrowing ideas from both mobile and traditional desktop interfaces. I was especially happy to note language translations have been updated and deepin presented me with fluent English on every screen. However, there were several problems I encountered too.
Right from the start, the installer crashed the first two times I tried to run it. deepin would boot without problems in VirtualBox, but I could not get the system to boot on my desktop in Legacy BIOS mode and I could not access the live desktop when UEFI was enabled. During the installation my time zone was available, but it seemed to not be present from the control panel.
The first time I installed software updates, the system froze and I was not able to find all the available desktop applications I wanted in Deepin Store. Though a minor concern, it bothered me that I was unable to take screen shots of deepin's more interesting desktop features, something I was able to do in 2014. Finally, I found that if I copied an icon from the application menu to the launcher, it would remain there only until I logged out. Upon logging back in, the icon I had placed on the launcher had disappeared and I would need to find it again in the application menu.
In short, I think deepin has more rough edges now than it did a year and a half ago. The overall design is very nice, in my opinion, but the implementation feels less solid now. I am not sure if this is a result of changing window managers or perhaps due to changing the distribution's base from Ubuntu to Debian Unstable. Perhaps it is a combination of both changes. For now, I can say I still like the interface design deepin's developers have created, but I think some underlying pieces have bugs that need to be addressed.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Mint plans X-Apps, FreeBSD to support boot environments, Debian provides updated media, Canonical shows off new convergence designs and openSUSE rolls out new build servers
The Linux Mint project recently published its monthly newsletter for January 2016 and the project shared a number of positive pieces of news. The first was that Linux Mint received a record $16,736 USD in donations in the month of December from over 700 people. The second item of note was that future versions of Linux Mint will face an issue with the design of desktop applications. "Work started on Linux Mint 18. One important aspect is GNOME 3.18 (the project and all its components, not just the desktop environment), which includes GTK and many applications used primarily by Cinnamon, but also Xfce and to a lesser extent MATE. A lot has changed between version 3.10 (used in Linux Mint 17) and version 3.18. GTK itself and many of the GNOME applications now integrate better with GNOME Shell and look more native in that environment. The bad news is that they now look completely out of place everywhere else. To make matters worse, Unity, the flagship product of Ubuntu, relies heavily on GTK, GNOME applications and the GNOME environment itself, so we're not dealing with the upstream version of 3.18 here, but with a collection of patches which bring their own issues (one example is that Ubuntu reintroduces menu bars and title bars in applications, but without rewriting their header bar so you sometimes see all three of them)."
In order to address the awkward look of GTK/GNOME applications in the Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce desktop environments, the Linux Mint project is replacing some of these applications with new programs that are designed to look and act the same across multiple desktop environments. These cross-desktop applications will be called X-Apps. "X-Apps will be a collection of generic GTK3 applications using traditional interfaces which can be used as default desktop components in Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. In Mint 18, the X-Apps will allow us to maintain a native look and a good level of integration because they will be used in replacement of GNOME applications which now look foreign (using header bars and a distinctive layout)." Further details and a screen shot of an example application can be found in the Linux Mint newsletter.
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The FreeBSD News website has reported that the upcoming release of FreeBSD 11.0 will support boot environments. Boot environments are snapshots of the operating system which can be selected at boot time. This allows system administrators to undo damage caused by configuration changes or software updates by simply rebooting the computer and selecting an older snapshot. "This revision by Allan Jude added ZFS boot environment support to the FreeBSD bootloader, allowing users to boot their systems to multiple versions of FreeBSD using one zpool. This work has led to collaboration with several Illumos developers who have demonstrated the OpenIndiana variant of Illumos booting with the FreeBSD bootloader." FreeBSD 11.0 is expected to launch in September 2016.
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The Debian project has announced the release of updated installation media for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. The new media images, which carry the version number 8.3 "Jessie", provide users with installation discs which contain security fixes for Debian 8, but do not represent a new version of the distribution. The Debian website explains: "The Debian project is pleased to announce the third update of its stable distribution Debian 8 (codename Jessie). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were published separately and are referenced where applicable. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 8 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old Jessie CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated."
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The Ubuntu distribution runs on a wide variety of devices including desktops, laptops, smart phones and tablets. In an effort to make the operating system's interface feel familiar across those many devices, Canonical is putting more effort into their "convergent" design. Soon, Ubuntu applications will feature a slightly different appearance. The Canonical Design blog has details and screen shots of the new look. "Our Suru visual design language is based on origami, with graphic elements containing meaningful folds and shadows to create the illusion of paper and draw focus to certain areas. Using the main clock face's current animation (where the clock flips from analog to digital on touch) as inspiration, it seemed natural to place a fold in the middle of the clock. On touch, the clock `folds' from analog to digital."
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While Canonical works to update their user interfaces, the openSUSE project has been upgrading their infrastructure, specifically the build servers which compile the thousands of openSUSE packages for each version of the distribution. "The openSUSE build service becomes more and more a victim of its success: building constantly more than 300,000 packages for more than 43,000 developers needs really a lot of build power! And build power means not only CPU! It includes everything that you can expect from an IT infrastructure." The new build system will compile packages in a tmpfs environment which will not only make the builds much faster, it will also place less stress on the servers' hard drives.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Logging into the desktop as root
Wanting-to-avoid-password-prompts asks: Being constantly bombarded by password prompts is a real deal breaker for me as it hurts productivity and is very annoying. How can I just login as root and run my desktop without being prompted for passwords all the time?
Please don't tell me it's not safe. I don't care. I just want to get work done.
DistroWatch answers: Different distributions ship with different login managers (or display managers, as they are usually called), but I think all of them (or almost all) have a configuration option that will allow the root user to sign into a desktop environment.
Telling the display manager to allow root to login to a desktop environment usually just requires changing a line in the display manager's configuration file. For instance, to enable root logins from the GNOME display manager (GDM), you can follow these steps on the Fedora wiki. On distributions which use SDDM as the display manager, you can follow these instructions to enable root logins. Some distributions still use the KDE display manager (KDM) and you can enable root login on those distributions by following this guide.
A handful of Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, take things a step further and lock the root user account. On these distributions, it is necessary to unlock the root account first and then make sure the display manager will allow root to login. This guide explains how to perform the necessary steps on Ubuntu (and related distributions) which use the LightDM display manager.
Finally, I would like to point out two things. The first is that it is usually a bad idea to login to a desktop environment as root, that is why so many distributions discourage the practise. Running applications as the root user not only makes the system more vulnerable to outside attack, it also means one mistyped command or careless mouse click can damage the operating system.
Getting back to the original question, one thing that stood out when I read it was that the person asking said they were constantly pestered by password prompts. This is rare and is usually a sign that the system is not configured optimally or the user is doing something unexpected. Rather than doing something really risky, like running a desktop session as the root user, I strongly recommend looking at why password prompts are appearing and address that.
Usually, a password prompt only shows up when making configuration changes to the system. Once the operating system is up and running, a password prompt should probably only appear when installing new software packages or updates. The system should not be prompting for a password when performing normal tasks, so one's productivity usually will not be affected. If you're running into password prompts in a console, consider replacing the usual "sudo" command with "su" or "sudo -i" to maintain root credentials. Or, if the desktop is prompting for a password, consider letting the desktop remember your credentials for a time. These approaches will be a bit safer than throwing away all protections and running directly as root all the time.
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Past Questions and Answers columns can be found in our Q&A Archive
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: 158
- Total data uploaded: 27.3TB
|Released Last Week
ROSA R7 "Desktop Fresh"
ROSA R7 "Desktop Fresh", a desktop Linux distribution featuring a customised KDE 4.14.8 desktop, has been released: "The ROSA company gladly presents ROSA Desktop Fresh KDE R7 - a distribution from the ROSA Desktop Fresh family with the KDE 4 desktop environment. Technical changes in comparison to the previous release (R6): the default set of applications has been adjusted - new programs include Kup for backups and Kamoso to work with web cameras, while KWallet has been removed from default installation; default installation now contains even more media codecs, including h.265; LTS kernel 4.1.15 is used by default, but separate repositories are available with kernel 4.2.x (x86_64, i586) and 4.3.x (x86_64, i586); X.Org Server has been updated to version 1.17.4, X11 drivers and libraries have been updated as well; MESA has been updated to 11.0.6; PulseAudio has been updated to 7.1; Chromium has been updated to 47.0; Firefox has been updated to 43.0.4 and Thunderbird to 38.3; LibreOffice has been updated to 4.4.7." See the release notes for more information and a list of package updates.
BackBox Linux 4.5
The BackBox development team has announced the release of BackBox 4.5. BackBox is an Ubuntu-based distribution developed to perform penetration tests and security assessments. The new release features an updated Linux kernel (version 4.2) and security tools such as Automotive Analysis and OpenVAS. "The BackBox team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, the version 4.5! In this release we have some special new features included to keep BackBox up to date with latest developments in security world. Tools such as OpenVAS and Automotive Analysis will make a big difference. BackBox 4.5 comes also with kernel 4.2." Further information, including system requirements and upgrade instructions, can be found in the project's release announcement for BackBox 4.5.
The developers of Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System), a live Linux distribution made specifically for anonymous web browsing via the Tor network, have released Tails 2.0. This is a major new version based on Debian's current stable branch, 8.0 "Jessie". From the release announcement: "We are especially proud to present you Tails 2.0, the first version of Tails based on GNOME Shell, with lots of changes in the desktop environment and Debian 8 'Jessie', which upgrades most included software and improves many things under the hood. New features: Tails now uses the GNOME Shell desktop environment, in its 'Classic' mode; Debian 8 upgrades most included software, for example many core GNOME utilities to 3.14, LibreOffice to 4.3, PiTiVi to 0.93, Git to 2.1.4, Poedit to 1.6.10, Liferea to 1.10; update Tor Browser to 5.5 (based on Firefox 38.6.0 ESR), add Japanese support; remove the Windows camouflage which is currently broken in GNOME Shell; change to systemd as init system; update most firmware packages which might improve hardware compatibility; notify the user if Tails is running from a non-free virtualization software...."
Tails 2.0 -- Exploring the application menu
(full image size: 48kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
OPNsense is a FreeBSD-based operating system for firewalls and routers that was originally forked from pfSense. The OPNsense project has released a new version, OPNsense 16.1 "Crafty Coyote", which is based on FreeBSD 10.2. The new release features several improvements to the firewall, dashboard and translations. The project has also rolled out new documentation. "16.1 is nick-named `Crafty Coyote' in honour of our beloved childhood TV sessions. It is the accumulation of 6 months of work, having had our focus on re engineering the captive portal, native intrusion prevention, plugin support, and transforming the reporting front-end into something more modern and flexible just to name a few. Apart from the recently published security advisories, we have included a quick navigation feature which can be activated by pressing (TAB) followed by search keywords and hitting (ENTER) to go to the desired page. Last but not least, a larger batch of improvements and fixes went into assorted sections of the GUI that certainly help to get your work done without ending up dazed and confused." Further information and a complete list of changes can be found in the project's release announcement.
The deepin project has published an updated release of the distribution's 15 series. The new version, deepin 15.1, includes several updates and fixes. The latest version also features a new application, Deepin Cloud Print. "deepin is a Linux distribution committed to providing an elegant, user-friendly, safe and stable operating system for users all over the world. deepin 15.1 is a correction edition emphasized on fixing bugs that users fed back, optimizing the system and expanding app repository. It is worth mentioning that a new member has joined Deepin application family -- Deepin Cloud Print! Based on questions and advice users submitted through Deepin Feedback, we fixed and optimized system modules..." A full list of changes and several screen shots are featured in the project's release announcement.
The Neptune project has released the fifth update to the distribution's 4.x series. The new release features application and kernel updates. The new version, Neptune 4.5, removes TrueCrypt in favour of the VeraCrypt encrypted storage software. "We are proud to announce Neptune 4.5, the fifth service release to the Neptune 4.x series. This version comes with some core updates to the system including LTS Kernel 3.18.25, systemd 227, libc6 2.19, Mesa 10.5.9, ALSA 1.0.27 and more. For the first time we also offer a testing version of our Plasma 5 version based on Plasma 5.5.3 as a separate ISO download. The usual software Updates like Chromium updated to version 46 and Icedove to 38.5 are also included. We replaced TrueCrypt with VeraCrypt which is compatible with TrueCrypt containers." Further details and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
Neptune 4.5 -- Running the KDE desktop
(full image size: 633kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The OpenELEC team has published an update to the project's 6.0.x series. The new version, OpenELEC 6.0.1, focuses on bug fixes and minor adjustments to the embedded media distribution. "OpenELEC 6.0.1 is a maintenance release so there are no new features. The main fixes are: libCEC has been bumped to 3.0.1 to solve some outstanding issues for RPi/RPi2 users. Firmware to support the Cubox-i4pro Bluetooth chipset has been added. SSL issues seen with some HTTPS streams are resolved with an update to embedded CA certificates. Firmware for Intel wifi devices has been updated to resolve (or at least improve) some networking issues. Kodi Isengard DVB add-ons have been updated and pushed to the official repo. Boot partition size for new installations has been increased to 512MB." Further details and upgrade instructions can be found in the project's release announcement.
The Sabayon project, which produces a Gentoo based distribution that provides a great deal of functionality out of the box, has released Sabayon 16.02. The new release mostly features updates to the distribution's utilities and desktop environments. The new version also introduces initial support for the ARM architecture. "We released the tech preview for Raspberry Pi 2, and you can download it here, meanwhile the tree is getting in shape and we are setting up the infrastructure to build images also for other devices, for more information, read here. Udoo and Odroid are the next in the queue." The Sabayon project provides a wide range of editions, including builds for GNOME, KDE, MATE, Xfce along with a Server edition. Additional information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Linux Lite 2.8
Jerry Bezencon has announced the launch of a new version of Linux Lite, a user friendly distribution based on packages found in the Ubuntu repositories. The new version, Linux Lite 2.8, introduces a number of features, including better hardware support, a help manual that is accessible from the desktop and the ability to install the distribution on Btrfs volumes. "Linux Lite 2.8 Final is now available for download. The star of this release is the inclusion of the Hardware Enablement Stack 3.19 based kernel offering greater hardware support. We've also included a host of new features including, Btrfs support during install, the help manual is now accessible from the desktop, Hulu now works out of the box, and the usual compliment of community suggestions and bug fixes." Additional information, a screen shot and download links can be found in the project's release announcement.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Favourite video card brand
Which video card to purchase is often a source of contention in the open source community. The big name brands in the video card market have not always been supportive of open source operating systems and have tended not to supply open source drivers or hardware specifications. While the situation has been improving in recent years, there is still a lot of debate over which video cards offer the best stability, the best performance and the best open source drivers.
This week we would like to find out which brand of video cards our readers are using in their Linux and BSD boxes. Please leave us a comment below with your thoughts on the stability and performance of the card you are using. We would also love to hear if you are using an open source driver or a proprietary one with your video card.
You can see the results of our previous poll on using live discs here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Favourite video card brand
|AMD/ATI with open driver: ||338 (18%)|
| AMD/ATI with closed driver: ||126 (7%)|
| Intel: ||415 (22%)|
| NVIDIA with open driver: ||197 (11%)|
| NVIDIA with closed driver: ||619 (33%)|
| Unsure: ||163 (9%)|
January 2016 DistroWatch.com donation: KeePass
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the January 2016 DistroWatch.com donation is KeePass. The project receives US$400.00 in cash.
The KeePass project develops software to securely organize and store the many account names and passwords people need to maintain. The KeePass software makes creating, storing and retrieving passwords and associated account details quick and easy. "KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish)."
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$45,425 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), TestDisk ($450)
- 2016: KeePass ($400)
* * * * *
Distributions added to the database
Metamorphose is a Debian-based operating system where the biggest goal is being simple and complete with a nice graphical interface for beginners or advanced users. The distribution ships with KDE as the default desktop environment and WINE is present to help users run Windows applications. UEFI support is available.
Metamorphose Linux 7.1.8 -- Running the KDE desktop
(full image size: 1.5MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Ångström. Ångström is a Linux distribution for embedded devices like handhelds, set top boxes and network-attached storage devices.
- NayuOS. NayuOS is a customization of Chromium OS that introduces more developer tools along with improving security and privacy.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 February 2016. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Ubuntu News (by Solar Bay on 2016-02-01 00:25:14 GMT from North America) |
AT&T has struck a deal with Canonical that could shape the future of the platform currently "owning" the cloud... Ubuntu. Jack Wallen has the details.
Imagine what the Linux landscape would look like without Ubuntu. Jack Wallen does just that and the outlook isn't even remotely pretty.
2 • a (by a on 2016-02-01 00:38:48 GMT from Europe)
"we would like to find out which brand of video cards our readers are using"
But this is not the question the poll is asking… Can’t answer the poll.
3 • Video Cards (by Bill S on 2016-02-01 00:56:32 GMT from North America)
I have a Desktop computer which came with a Nvidia Geforce GT 640, and though I tried the xserver-xorg driver, the Nvidia closed driver just works better for things such as Compiz's drawing fire on the screen and Netflix looks better too.
However, on my laptop which came with an integrated ATI graphics card, when I tried the open driver xserver-xorg it would not work at all, but even the fglrx-updates version of the closed driver will not work with animated icons of Cairo-Dock or the compiz effects I named before.
If the Linux community ever makes a driver that works well with either of these graphics cards I would be more than happy to dump the closed drivers. But for now, hey, I have to be able to wok, watch instructional videos and play once in a while.
I really really dislike Windows 10 on my laptop, but the dam graphics card works with it. ;-(
4 • KeePass Donation (by MrOats on 2016-02-01 01:00:07 GMT from North America)
Thank you for donating to the authors behind KeePass! It is one of my favorite programs and they deserve it for continuously updating and refining KeePass.
5 • Survey (by MCellius on 2016-02-01 01:36:31 GMT from North America)
I chose Intel in the survey, but not because it's my favorite video card brand: it is what came with my computers and I have, perhaps stubbornly, just stuck with it.
6 • graphics (by linuxista on 2016-02-01 01:44:12 GMT from North America)
I don't game, and intel integrated graphics seem to be universally supported by the linux kernes. So, I'm just happy that I don't have to deal with graphics driver issues.
7 • gpu (by seven on 2016-02-01 02:14:29 GMT from Europe)
ATI (not ati/nvidea).
Why not 2 iems more: ati w open/closed drivers?
8 • LInux Mint direction (by mikef90000 on 2016-02-01 02:19:01 GMT from North America)
Another point made by Clem was that the dev team is Not hopping onto the ugly 'Flat Design' bandwagon that has infested so many apps and DEs lately, looking at you Mickeysoft.
If it works out, the X-Apps concept could produce a solid set of non-dumbed-down core apps for GTK based distros, looking at you GNOME project.
9 • Graphics (by Zorn on 2016-02-01 02:36:36 GMT from North America)
I use Nvidia with the closed driver. It supports the games I play best and Nvidia makes pretty good drivers.
10 • Deepin 15 (by Platypus on 2016-02-01 03:42:41 GMT from Oceania)
I have used Deepin on and off for a few years now and I have discovered this about it: never install the first release - it is always very buggy. Otherwise I really like its innovation - and each version seems to come up with some great ideas. I note that just a few weeks since its original release DI 15 has already been upgraded to 15.1.
11 • Nvidia... (by tom joad on 2016-02-01 03:54:34 GMT from Europe)
That I learned very early on, get Nvidia and use their drivers. My hats off to the Nvidia folks for the kind and diligent support over the years. I for one greatly appreciate it.
The other hardware tip I got early on is use HP printers. They work with Linux and HP has been real kind to Linux folks too. A tip of the hat to them as well.
It took a fair amount of time for Broadcom to come around but I guess their stuff is playing with Linux now. Used to was we had to jump through hoops get them to work.
And while I am about it Intel has been nice to Linux folks too. I have always like their stuff.
Lastly, happy to see Keepass got a donation. That's nice and well deserved for a product that is very handy.
12 • Awesome Ambition (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2016-02-01 04:19:23 GMT from North America)
I suggest "…the same across multiple desktop environments" goes against the very reason "desktop_environments" were invented - vendor lock-in. My hat's off to the Linux_Mint group, but I wonder whether it would be better to have cross-window_manager apps?
On user harassment for root authentication, I suggest "remember your (sudo) credentials" should have been presented before all else - and "for a time" should have been included - may not want malware getting root/sudo hours after user auth, so why not specify how long auth should last?
The Puppy devs have developed non-root-user options worth noting, too.
13 • Firefox 44 removed granular per-cookie control (by eco2geek on 2016-02-01 04:46:46 GMT from North America)
In prior versions of Firefox, one could go to Preferences > Privacy. Then, under History, pull down the "Firefox will" menu so it read "Use custom settings for history." This revealed a slate of options, including what to do about third-party cookies. One could pull down the "Keep until:" menu and choose "Ask me every time."
What this did was to bring up a dialog box each time a web site tried to set a cookie. One could click a checkbox that both refused the cookie and didn't ask the user about that particular cookie again.
It doesn't seem likely that anyone would stumble upon this setting by accident, since it was buried. However, there's been an ongoing discussion, started by a Firefox user interface designer, since 2008, to remove this feature (because it could cause so many dialog boxes to be presented) and leave it up to an author of an extension to implement it. (See: Mozilla Bugzilla bugs #469260 and #606655.) And in newly released Firefox 44, they took it out.
Actually, this feature (along with such extensions as AdBlock Plus and Ghostery) seemed to put some measure of control in the hands of the user. Since Firefox markets itself as big on privacy, this seems like a regression. And it's pretty frustrating when a feature that one used all the time is suddenly gone.
14 • Video cards (by Poet Nohit on 2016-02-01 07:53:13 GMT from North America)
I'm currently stuck with ati, though I do truly wish I could use nvidia. Their Linux support for gamers is way better.
15 • Video Cards (by slick on 2016-02-01 09:11:17 GMT from North America)
ATI for me, and simply have poor luck with NVidia. ATI offers and works closely with Linux and find no fault with either set of drivers.
Not a gamer, however run graphics on a 28" TV screen and the resolution is flawless, and yes that maybe partially the quality of the screen I'm using.
I simply don't by a new card until I think I want to, and prefer not have the card decides for me.
ATI, excellent card for many reasons.
I used to use NVidia exclusinvely, and at some point I really started going through them a lot, probably had something to do where they were now being made and sub-standard materials.
16 • graphics an login as root (by Marame on 2016-02-01 09:16:40 GMT from Europe)
I use all those graphics cards and both drivers. Mostly builtin Intels. It depends on distro and its support for for Ati and Nvidia.
And those nagging password requests. They are very annoying an not so easy to avoid and configure. one of worst is kwallet. You disable it but Chromium still ask it. You uninstall it and get rid of other programs. You submit a blank password and its still nagging. Samba and Cups require root passwords but do not always accept installed password. And when you install something (especially kernel) you must provide root password several times.
17 • videocard (by peer on 2016-02-01 09:57:21 GMT from Europe)
When I builded my desktop a few years ago I used a Radeon HD7750 video card. My os was mint cinnamon.
At first this card was not supported but with some fiddling I got it running (have forgotten how. I also tried closed source drivers but they gave much trouble. After a half year I had enough of the many problems with cinnamon (it was the the beginning period of cinnamon) so I changed to mint kde (clean install). I noticed that my radeon card was now supported out of the box.
18 • Logging into the desktop as root (by Nick Katsigiannis on 2016-02-01 10:35:56 GMT from Europe)
I'd like to add, there are many times a keyring software (like gnome-keyring or kwallet manager) asks for a password to open a password wallet & access previously saved passwords. For example, when using chromium (or Google Chrome) and a keyring software is available, it often asks for the keyring password when you open chromium. Using a keyring software is smart & safe but sometimes can be annoying as well & reduce productivity.
One option is to remove the keyring software if you don't need it, search in your package manager for kwallet (in KDE) or gnome-keyring.
Maybe you can just disable it, as I recall in KDE you can disable kwallet but don't know about gnome-keyring. I usually prefer removing all of them.
19 • root login (by kc1di on 2016-02-01 11:56:37 GMT from North America)
I second the thought that running your desktop as root is a very bad secuirity risk.
if K wallet is the culprit you can disable it this way:
1. Start System setings
2. Open Account Details
3. Go to the "KDE Wallet" tab
4. Uncheck Enable the KDE Wallet subsystem
5. Click Apply to apply the changes and close the settings window.
or do at #18 suggests and uninstall it.
20 • New Distro from KDE : Project neon (latest KDE - Ubuntu base) (by morgan cox on 2016-02-01 12:15:52 GMT from Europe)
This could be the death of Kubuntu however
21 • Nvidia/ATI survey (by zykoda on 2016-02-01 12:20:54 GMT from Europe)
I use nvidia with cuda as opposed to ATI with opencl for GP GPU acceleration. The proprietary drivers are needed as nouveau lacks any GP GPU acceleration as far as I know.
22 • @13 One more step ... (by Browserbrowser on 2016-02-01 12:39:24 GMT from Europe)
... in the chromification of Firefox. Going by Mozilla's ideas for the future, things will only get worse.
Time to switch to Pale Moon, I guess.
23 • Graphics cards survey (by Andy Mender on 2016-02-01 13:19:50 GMT from Europe)
I myself am a bit of an nVidia fanboy and I used nVidia products almost exclusively throughout my computing career (starting with the old GeForce 2 MX). Frankly, they're solid and nVidia provides quality drivers for Linux, FreeBSD and even Solaris, not to mention supporting 3 different driver lines (current, legacy 340xx and legacy 304xx). It's very hard to compete with that.
However, for laptops (especially ultrabooks) I would rather avoid heavy binary blobs and go with iGPU Intel graphics. The only problem I see with those and the open-source radeon driver (hence, with MESA in general) is that they're not on par with the the nVidia binary blob. Case in point, my old MacBook with GeForce 320M would run Goat Simulator much better than my Asus ultrabook with Intel HD 4400 (nVidia binary blob vs open-source mesa + xf86-video-intel).
ATI cards are a different story. I would rather use the open-source driver, despite the slightly inferior performance :).
24 • @#1: SolarBay (by dragonmouth on 2016-02-01 13:39:57 GMT from North America)
The article by Jack Whalen on Linux landscape without Ubuntu reads like a long, tedious infomercial for Ubuntu. I don't think Mark Shuttleworth could have been more biased. Next, Whalen will be claiming that without Ubuntu there would be no Linux.
25 • debian update, gnome terminal issue and discovery of Guake Terminal (by ken on 2016-02-01 13:58:08 GMT from Africa)
I had noted that for a noticeable time I was not getting software updates on Debian Jessie. After seeing the news above, new updated media for Debian 8.3, I went to synaptics and still no updates available, then I refreshed the repositories and I had over 300Mbs to be downloaded for updates. After the updates the gnome terminal could not launch. I googled that problem and I was led to arch forums, found that I had to regenerate locales. But I also came across another suggestion, a terminal emulator they call Guake. I checked if this Guake was in Debian repos, it was there, i grabbed it. It's a great terminal emulator.
26 • Video card, also Firefox third-party cookies (by Thomas Mueller on 2016-02-01 14:20:07 GMT from North America)
I have motherboard with UEFI, and Intel CPU has integrated graphics. So I use that, was swayed in that direction by Intel graphics cards being open-source-friendly, better than NVIDIA and ATI.
@13: I am on Firefox 37. Under Preferences/Privacy I chose to block all third-party cookies. There was no disruption to online banking, and I eliminated all the junk ads where I would be swamped with ads from sites I had visited. I was sick of advertisers following my every move everywhere and would get lots of repetitive ads from TigerDirect and Staples, among others. I also make a point of not clicking on redirection links that go through *.doubleclick.net and others, prefer to go to their website directly even if takes longer.
I still have to see if I can block all third-party cookies in the newer releases of Firefox and Seamonkey.
27 • #2 (by Denethor on 2016-02-01 16:08:07 GMT from Europe)
Totally agree with comment #2...
28 • @24 Jack Wallen's article (by MCellius on 2016-02-01 16:09:05 GMT from North America)
Actually, I thought Jack Wallen's article on the Linux landscape was quite good. Yes, he points out lots of good things that Ubuntu has done and the effects it has had, but I think he's honest about it. Like it or not - and obviously some don't - Ubuntu has done a lot of good things.
It doesn't mean Ubuntu is perfect - or Mark Shuttleworth or Canonical, either - and they've undoubtedly made some mistakes, but I really believe that Ubuntu has, on balance, had a very positive influence on computing in general and upon the Linux community specifically.
If you don't like it, don't use it. That's one of the beauties of Linux: you have lots of options. Use one and be happy!
29 • Avioding Passwords (by Goetz on 2016-02-01 16:09:21 GMT from Europe)
I use Linuxmint. The following remarks apply to Ubuntu and similas distributions.
Example: My family members don't want to enter a password when using veracrypt and/or teamviewer.
Therefore I create two group. Tey are named "veracrypt" and "teamviewer". I assign family members (who have standard accounts) to these groups
Then I enter (using visudo in bash) two lines into the sudo configuration:
%veracrypt ALL=(ALL)NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/veracrypt
%teamviewer ALL=(ALL)NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/teamviewer
By the way: I am not a vi guru. I use joe. In order to use joe in visudo, I run the following line once after I installed linux:
30 • Graphics Processors (by Chris on 2016-02-01 16:12:06 GMT from North America)
For gaming, I go with Nvidia. About six years ago, I did a budget build with an ASUS motherboard with built in Intel graphics. It couldn't handle many of the 3D games in the Canonical software repositories. (This was before Steam for Linux.) So, as soon as I could afford it, I put an Nvidia card in the computer. Sure, I have to install those proprietary drivers to suit my needs, but it's a small price to pay. At least the drivers are free and Nvidia does a good job of keeping them up to date. I only have AMD (formerly, ATI) graphics on one of my computers, a laptop. I find them to be OK, but there are a few issues. I also see a lot of complaints on the Steam discussion boards about issues with AMD graphics on Linux. So, for gaming, it's Nvidia for me. The only major issues I have with Nvidia are with Wine, but that's more of a Wine problem than an Nvidia problem. Besides, I avoid running software with Wine whenever possible. (I prefer native applications)
For non gamers, I'd stick with Intel graphics. Their GPUs are all you need for standard desktop use, web surfing and watching videos, etc. Plus, all of their drivers are open source, so you never have to install drivers for Intel graphics.
31 • Deepin (by Denethor on 2016-02-01 16:14:28 GMT from Europe)
I liked deepin a lot. I still use 2014.3 version on my laptop. However, their decision to go from ubuntu LTS to debian unstable is a catastrophic one... They should have gone for debian stable. There too many bugs, too many mirror problems that it is practically unusable... I had high hopes before the release but I am not going to use it anymore... Maybe in the future change their minds again (they do that a lot it seems). I would love to see a deepin on debian stable because their desktop is great!
32 • root login to avoid password prompts (by George on 2016-02-01 16:44:41 GMT from North America)
Another reason to avoid logging in as root is if you are using NFS mounts
root reallt dows not handle this environement cleanly.
And I agree with the original answer that it sounds like the system is either mis-configured.
33 • video driver preference (by frodopogo on 2016-02-01 17:28:34 GMT from North America)
I wouldn't say I really have a preference, but I seem to buy or inherit more computers with nVidia graphics cards. I often try and run them with the Nouveau driver for a while, have problems, then switch to the closed source driver. However my main computer now doesn't have an nVidia card- I'm not really sure what it it- it has odd plugs, but the Nouveau driver runs fine on it... most of the time, anyway.
34 • Logging into the desktop as root (by Norm on 2016-02-01 17:58:29 GMT from North America)
After reading your article:
It reminded me, of myself running Fedora12.
The real issue (popup login issues ) is most likely from incorrect settings for permissions. And my way to fix this, was to master the terminal commands chmod , chown and chgrp. (do a search for examples "linux command chown or chmod or chgrp), my example is to change home (directory x) say you are in group = wheel; and are user = mark1. "~chmod -R754 /home/x" is recursive and will let root read, write, exec and del (7) mark and wheel members have read and exe but not write and delete (5) . and guest have read only (4). but if I wanted root typ access mark1 would need to run "~chmod -R774 /home/x" which would give wheel and mark1 the read, write, exe and del.
Note: I assumed mark1 was a wheel member and the the group wheel was a member of the x directory.
If you run Fedora; a nice os, I believe you must learn the commands to change ownership and permissions (i.e understand admin work).
This is very much admin type stuff, but from what the person wanted, it sounds like they needed to ask about chown chmod and chgrp commands? this way only the directories they wanted are changed.
I have to confess, I do run Mint now (fewer permission issues = gone the way of a lazy user)
35 • sudo woes (by Rich on 2016-02-01 18:35:32 GMT from North America)
If you want to allow the root account to log in at the desktop, you mean you want to allow password authentication: you need to become root (sudo) and change the password (passwd).
Then again, there's very little need for the root user having a password. Aside from "su" and "sudo -i", and groups (as suggested in another comment), there's "sudo -s", which opens a root session.
But yes, as was already pointed out, work out why you're being asked for authentication so frequently that you feel "bombarded". Either something the system is doing, or something you're doing is not typical.
36 • Video Cards (by denflen on 2016-02-01 18:46:01 GMT from North America)
I have always used any onboard video, which seems to have been nVidia. Then when upgrading the machine, always stuck with nVidia cards, and the closed source driver. And always a pain in the butt! And back then Nouveau wasn't very capable. So I switched to AMD/ATI, and their closed source driver, which seems to be easier to install. But now the closed source driver for AMD/ATI is suitable for my needs. Not being a gamer, of course. Have never had any issues with AMD/ATI.
37 • New search category (by kan on 2016-02-01 19:46:55 GMT from Europe)
After NayuOS it makes sense to add the Chromium OS as a based on category on the search page.
38 • GUI as root (by Tom on 2016-02-01 20:50:12 GMT from North America)
I want to echo the sentiments that logging in as root to the GUI is a bad idea. However I want to thank distrowatch for actually answering the question. Too often I see in various Linux forums and lists, people asking to do something seemingly stupid and usually the answer they get is "we're not telling because it is a bad idea." This kind of answer turns the user off from the forum as well as Linux in general. The correct answer is of course to provide the actual answer with an explanation of why it is bad and the best practice for achieving their real goal. This educates the user and allows him to continue working on his problem.
39 • GTK+3 (by anonymouse on 2016-02-01 21:49:31 GMT from North America)
#8 or anyone that can answer.
Is GTK3 inherently 'dumbed down'? Harder to work? Or are developers simply choosing to drop lesser used(?) features when they switch their apps to GTK3?
I don't know how the developers feel about it but as user I avoid GTK3 apps as much as possible since every new release seems to bring new problems.
40 • @ #1 (by Jose on 2016-02-01 21:57:19 GMT from North America)
I wonder where Jack Wallen got those numbers from? Vendors I deal with are using Red Hat (or a RH clone) or SLES.
90% of Linux is owned by Ubuntu? I think Ubuntu is copying MS in their counting methods.
Frankly, the article should be "Where would we be without Debian?"
Ubuntu has brought more life to Linux, for sure, but be serious, it has failed to budge our top two competitors.
41 • Graphics card.. (by Jordan on 2016-02-01 22:07:09 GMT from North America)
Intel runs cooler with all the bells and whistles on my HP laptop, as compared to nVidia (open or closed).
42 • Deepin 15 Review... (by G Rohner on 2016-02-02 00:50:10 GMT from Europe)
I have read quite a few disto-reviews on Distrowatch and I don't think I EVER see the reviewer check if networking works properly - WHY?!?!?!
Case in point Deepin 15. Had the reviewer checked, he would have found that;
1: He could not install a Samba server on the Deepin pc, so no Deepin-shares are possible.
2: He would discover that when accessing remote shares, despite the setup giving the option to 'remember forever' the network password, a password must always be entered, even when you close & immediately reopen the share.
Deepin 15 has LOTS of other bugs, I mention only these since, imo, almost everyone will end up setting up network-shares, it is a trivial thing to check - and most importantly, Distrowatch never checks this!
A public 'outing' by Distrowatch might also shame the Deepin developers into getting this stuff working 'out-of-the-box' - the last 2 releases have had the same/similar problems.
43 • Network shares (by Jesse on 2016-02-02 01:10:42 GMT from North America)
@42: Samba is primarily a tool for working with Windows machines and I don't have any computers running Windows (and am quite happy about that). That is why I do not test Samba. I do all my network file sharing over OpenSSH, which is easier to set up and generally works well across distributions.
However, since you brought it up, I fired up my copy of deepin 15 and tried to set up Samba. It took less time to install Samba and confirm it was workign than it took the operating system to boot. So your claim about enabling shares in deepin does not hold up in my experience.
44 • Ubuntu (by Luna Bay on 2016-02-02 01:29:44 GMT from North America)
Hey hobbyist, seems like Ubuntu is starting to hit it's stride.
Ubuntu is everywhere!
Meizu PRO 5 Running Ubuntu Leaks, Launching At MWC?
This company has managed to grow immensely in the last two years, and consumers definitely started noticing it. Meizu has managed to sell 4.4 million smartphones back in 2014, while they shipped out 20 million last year. That is quite a leap, as you can see, and Meizu is expected to grow even further this year.
45 • GTK+3 evolution (by mikef90000 on 2016-02-02 01:35:55 GMT from North America)
@39, it has been observed since the debut of gnome-shell that the Gnome devs care little about accomodating other DEs.
I will be following LM and other 'classic' DE development very closely to see if they can continue to use the ever changing GTK+3 toolkit without the disruption of forking or abandoning it.
BTW the LXDE devs seem well on their way to finishing the QT based replacement lxqt. Good to have a lightweight alternative to KDE.
46 • Graphic cards (by jmclnx on 2016-02-02 01:36:18 GMT from North America)
Intel for compatibility. With Nvidia you are pretty much locked out of some BSDs and I had issues with ATI ages ago but not sure how ATI is these days. Also, support eventually ends for the closed source driver (which I am facing next year), with Intel I do not need a closed driver thus no worries for "out of support".
47 • Tails (by Joe on 2016-02-02 23:35:51 GMT from North America)
"remove the Windows camouflage which is currently broken in GNOME Shell" I hope they can get this fixed. When I use Tails I keep it in the camo mode all the time.
48 • Status of Frugalware linux? (by RollMeAway on 2016-02-03 05:09:49 GMT from North America)
Anyone have inside info? Is this distro dead or dying?
The website seems inactive since Feb. of 2015. Forums and wiki are not available.
minor testsuite activity in developers mailing lists. Did not check IRC.
I have a 32-bit -current installation of frugalware. It has been without network and X since last November. Many systemd error messages. Many broken, or missing packages.
If nobody can give me some hope, I will be replacing it soon.
A shame, it was installed Feb 2009.
49 • Signs of Life? (by Somewhat Reticent on 2016-02-03 05:24:15 GMT from North America)
I've had trouble catching up on Ultimate_Edition ...
50 • Passwords and such (by chipps61 on 2016-02-03 17:50:07 GMT from North America)
@38, could not have said it better myself. Anyone who asks a similar question in your average Linux forum will normally get immediately belittled and told to go back to Windows, at best. Been there, experienced that... for simply giving a kudos to a guy who actually answered the question for a change. Now I just keep my mouth shut and shake my head scrolling through the average comments on the subject. People should be allowed to make their own informed decisions on how to run their system. But that's my opinion... and many Linux users simply don't share it.
51 • root login, GTK3 etc. (by M.Z. on 2016-02-03 19:03:52 GMT from North America)
As with #18 & 19, all I have to do to get rid of the worst password prompting is to disable KDE Wallet & I never get anymore unusual questions about passwords. I really dislike the default configurations that so many distros that ship with KDE have, asking for KWallet to be setup so I can use wifi? That's a bad default. Perhaps I never bothered to properly configure it, but it always felt intrusive enough that I simply wanted to disable it. If it really does offer a better solution perhaps someone could find a better & less obtrusive way to ease users into it.
Perhaps it's also worth pointing out that PCLinuxOS lets me login as root as a default option during login; however, I never do because its a bad idea. I certainly think it could be useful for running a few quick admin tasks, but just running root as a matter of course? Not smart.
@39 - GTK3
As #45 points out Gnome 3 is the primary problem behind most of the problems with GTK3. The basic design of the apps themselves, be they GTK or Qt, is done by folks who are generally well removed from the basic design of the toolkit. The Gnome team are just on a weird track where everything has to fit Gnome 3s dumb paradigm. I personally prefer to use the Qt apps from the KDE team regardless of whether I'm running KDE or Cinnamon, though there are some redeeming qualities in some of the GTK apps from Gnome.
@25 - Quake style terminals
I ran into Yakuake some years back in KDE & it has been my default there ever since. Both Yakuake & Guake were inspired by the terminals from the Quake games; however, I think a terminal called Kuake came out back in the KDE 3 era & was the original drop down terminal for Linux. Either way the drop down terminals are very slick & convenient.
52 • drop down terminals (by bluphoenyx on 2016-02-03 22:35:55 GMT from North America)
A more lightweight program is Tilda. I use this quite often. However, I prefer to use the xfce4 terminal in drop down mode. I have mine fixed to a keypress (ctrl+t) so it always starts. Works well and provides a lightweight solution for easy terminal access. Note that this should work on any desktop that is able to use xfce4-terminal.
53 • Former Linux User Saying Hi (by Scott James on 2016-02-04 01:39:57 GMT from North America)
I am the guy who went from using Windows to using Linux to using Windows again (its a long story). I haven't been by in a over a year. I just thought I would leave a message since I was here.
I came here, because I got mad at Windows, and deciding on what to do about it. Windows 10 isn't working for me, and Windows 8 makes me miss Windows 7. Its all complicated stuff. I am not going back to Linux, but for a moment, I wanted to check on how some of the OS' have been faring.
Zorin is my favorite, and it looks good. Peppermint really looks graphically nice now. Mint still has that eye killing green color that annoys me like crazy. I stopped there.
I hope Linux is one day able to catch up with Windows, because I miss it sometimes when Windows runs problems. Windows 7 is the best, and if you get it, don't leave it no matter what.
That's it from me. Maybe I'll come back in a year or so to say hi again. Who knows.
54 • @53 Che? (by WhatThe? on 2016-02-04 02:53:09 GMT from Oceania)
55 • Couldn't hold my fire...sorry... (by tom joad on 2016-02-04 03:57:40 GMT from North America)
@53 Dude, I feel so sorry for you...I do. And like @54 so ineptly and rather coldly expressed, I kind of understand.
@53 You are looking for the perfect OS it seems to me. But perfect doesn't exist, at least not for us mere mortals. If there is a heaven out there somewhere, maybe, maybe perfect exists there. I dunno. I have given up on perfect in life, in women, in software.
But I have learned life is about settling and making the most of it. One of the secrets is being happy with what you got. Right now I got Linux and I am happy.
Windows worked for me and then it left me. So now I am here. It is not perfect here but it is getting better. It sure as hell is saner here than over there. That I can tell you. And I think you know that too.
I hope you find what ever gets closest to your idea of perfect software. If you find it write once in a while and lets mortals know what you found.
Me and the rest will be here doing what we do and looking out the window more or less at ease.
Sorry, @54 but that was kind of a bit snarky and I thought undeserved...if the editor allows the comment.
56 • @54 Windows refugee (by linuxista on 2016-02-04 04:05:11 GMT from North America)
You might want to check out Manjaro as well.
57 • Former Windows user saying "hi" back. (by frodopogo on 2016-02-04 04:39:36 GMT from North America)
I guess there's a substantial difference between "mad at Windows" and "thoroughly fed up with Windows".
I immediately fell in love with Mint's eye-soothing greys and greens. I hadn't necessarily hated Windows for it's looks, but I was always hunting for green backgrounds, and with Mint, I didn't have to hunt anymore.
I keep meaning to try Zorin, but I loathe the eye-destroying garish blue.... which reminds me of Windows beloved "screen of death".
But.... that's all minor.
I was fed up with Windows pathetic lack of security against malware, the high-handedness of Microsoft's corporate attitude, and the laughable sluggishness. (None of that has really changed) Knoppix on a live DVD really wasn't any slower than Windows on a hard drive! And Linux Mint on a hard disk is positively zippy!) Of course, it was XP I got disgusted with... I have heard good things about Windows 7, but nothing so wonderful as to woo me back. If I needed to run Windows because of specific (probably music related) software, I'd never connect it to the internet.
58 • I forgot... (by frodopogo on 2016-02-04 05:01:31 GMT from North America)
One glaring example of Microsoft's screwed up priorities:
Some time back during XP, they were writing the code for Internet Explorer to integrate is with the operating system, and give it an unassailable advantage compared to third party browsers.... turned out that giving IE that access also gave malware targeting IE better access to the operating system! Swift move, Microsoft! The company's attitude has always been about gaining unfair advantages over the competition, not the quality of the user experience.
Another thing that endeared me to Mint besides the color scheme and the reliability- the attitude of Clem and the rest of the Mint team is the diametric opposite of the Microsoft corporate attitude. They WANT the user to have a pleasant experience using the distro- what a strange (but pleasant!) concept!
59 • Microsoft's screwed up priorities (by Ben Myers on 2016-02-04 05:13:55 GMT from North America)
The real reason for integrating IE into XP was a con job. They were trying very hard to win the US anti-trust suit (later dropped by a business-favorable regime) and avoid sanction by the EU. Yes, it gave Microsoft a slim advantage over the other browsers, but then they could demonstrate to all the US Govt lawyers they duped that IE was a part of the operating system. Sometime later, an enterprising developer/hacker came up with some software called XPLite, which would slice IE cleanly away from XP.
In the same time frame, Microsoft licensed Java from Sun and integrated it into IE. While doing so, they co-opted the basic Java so badly, warping it to the Microsoft way. So Sun sued, won, got $$$ for being wronged, and got an injunction against Microsoft to prevent them from shipping any Java code. Everyone was then forced to download and update Java on their own. What an incredible waste. Despite complaints about Java security, Microsoft own active server pages (ASP), ,NET and some other crap are where most security holes are.
60 • Away_with_egos_and_words. ... (by k on 2016-02-04 10:02:28 GMT from Europe)
... Instead adapt to continuosly changing conditons.
@ 53 • Former Linux User Scott James Saying Hi
Hi Scott, thank you for the comment, "reflective" and thought-provoking. :)
Just adapt according to your needs, and experience trying different live systems, having suitable hardware with "slots" for flash drives -- does any Windows run off a flashdrive? --.
Searching through Live Medium on Distrowatch's excellent site lists 175, so you might peruse the summaries a bit. :)
For example, for 32 bit use, download MX-15.01_386.iso antiX MX (documentation at: http://www.mepiscommunity.org/user_manual_mx15/mxum.html ).
Welcome back, and all the best to you Scott.
61 • Logging in as root (by Simon on 2016-02-04 20:47:08 GMT from Oceania)
It's a pity that the kind of ignorance demonstrated in this week's "Please don't tell me it's not safe. I don't care. I just want to get work done" isn't addressed directly. If anything it's encouraged, by complying with the request. Anyone who says, "please don't repeat the good advice everyone else has been giving me but that I still don't understand: just let me do the damage my ignorance has me wanting to do" needs the good advice spelled out more clearly: the last thing such a person needs is a set of instructions for doing harm.
"I don't care" is rarely a useful approach, and it certainly doesn't help in this context. It makes the "I just want to get work done" part ridiculous, because of course the whole point of good practice is to ensure that the work gets done reliably: doing everything as root is a great way to break things and to make it impossible for work to get done. A well configured desktop doesn't confront the user with password requests any more often than it needs to: if it's getting in the way of a user's work, the solution is to configure it properly, not to be foolish and disable the protections completely. Also, it's irresponsible: it's like "I don't care about the environment so I'm OK with tossing my garbage in the river...just let me do things my way, you control freak". So what if you don't care? Others do: your cruising website after website as root is basically saying "yes please, infect my system and use it to stage attacks on other systems". Your bad hygeine stinks: keep your own system clean, for other people's sakes as well as your own.
If you don't know how to run your desktop as root, you're not in a position to say "don't tell me about good practice: I just want to do what I want to do". Here's a tip that applies pretty widely: if you don't understand a situation, follow the established guidelines for good practice until you do.
62 • why does linux get the reputation of nasty forums? (by Tim Dowd on 2016-02-04 21:46:39 GMT from North America)
I don't really understand why Linux (or BSD) gets tarred with the reputation of a nasty and unhelpful community. Have you ever tried to ask a question about MacOSX online? Or about Star Trek? Or the Boston Bruins hockey team? There are some trolls out there who are just nasty in online forums and I don't think the free software community is anywhere near the worst. In fact, some specific forums, like Ubuntu's and FreeBSD's, I find among the most helpful places on the internet for anything.
For example, on the topic being debated
This is a nuanced, thoughtful discussion that explains the problems.
One other thought... why are we discussing what colors Mint uses? If you don't like them, all you need is new wallpaper and a change of MATE theme and you're good to go
63 • Robolinux (by Ron Wells on 2016-02-05 02:42:43 GMT from North America)
Robolinux is not a free installation. You can download a free live version, but you have to pay for a membership for the installer if you wish to install it on your hard drive. Please indicate that. Plus your email links on the homepage are invalid.
64 • And Robolinux (by Ben Myers on 2016-02-05 03:05:33 GMT from North America)
Robolinux advertises a paid add-on with VirtualBox. But Oracle makes VirtualBox free-of-charge, a simple download from the VirtualBox web site. I don't get it, once again. What does Robolinux offer for Windows XP virtualization that VirtualBox does not?
65 • Never going back (by M.Z. on 2016-02-05 18:07:45 GMT from North America)
@53 - Don't want Windows back
Well I can understand not liking what happened after Windows 7, I couldn't see myself going back to Windows for version 7 or any other. When I'm not home I work on other computers that have Windows 7 quite frequently, but I generally want my KDE back at some point during the day. Somewhere between the lack of virtual desktops & the multitude of other shortcuts & hot corners I can set in KDE that can't be done in Win 7 I am struck by what clunky old junk even the best version of Windows feels like. Of course Win 7 isn't really terrible; however, the way some items like the relatively time consuming process of selecting windows after they start stacking in the task bar gives me a strong urge to just bonk a corner or screen edge w/ the mouse to show 'Present Windows' like I can in Linux. I then become struck with the feeling the Windows is a very second rate desktop & I'd gladly take either Cinnamon or KDE as a superior alternative.
Of course that is all ignoring the way there are scanners & various other junk running in the background & bothering me about updates & needed scans to keep windows clean & healthy. I not only get a virus scanner asking to update & reminding me that it has automatic updates with the paid version, but I see the Windows update icon on the end of the task bar. I then become struck by what high maintenance crap software management is on MS, & how annoying protecting an MS system can be. Also having to either pay for software of hunt it down on the internet? No thanks. Linux software repos get my 95+% of what I want safe & easy, & the rest is also is easy to get & install & generally integrates with my package manager so I don't have to worry about separate updates.
If Windows works for you that's fine, but for my part I don't want anything to do with Windows or Mac for that matter & I'm fairly certain I'm never going back even if I visit while I'm away from home.
66 • going back (by Tim Dowd on 2016-02-05 19:15:59 GMT from North America)
I think once you start getting into a Unix-like system it's really hard to imagine going back. I feel the same way about MATE that you feel about KDE, but it's way more than that. File permissions, mounting external shares using nfs, hosts_allow and hosts_deny... it's just how I think about computers at this point. I think I could survive in the mac osx world (probably using the terminal a lot more than I did the last time I had a mac in 2005) but I just don't think like a Windows user any more.
67 • Diss-Win Cant, Ro'Bo (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2016-02-05 20:53:05 GMT from North America)
You can get a lot of quality freeware (much of it GPL), virtual desktops, themes, styles, wallpapers/backgrounds for Windows. It's not included, but it can be found. Many services also vie for your support nickel. There's a functional market for such things, corporate greed notwithstanding. The OS can be tweaked and trained like any other, installed from or to* USB drive, flash or portable spinning rust.
If such bling were their primary driver, most current seekers will never look beyond.+ It's hardly ideal, but there IS a functional market platform there.
Isn't the spiel of RoboLinux basically that your nickel gets some support, and access to their customization services/scripts, that they try to automate conversion of an old Windows installation to VM on Linux, for those who would rather pay a nickel and accept some dependence than risk a non-trivial DIY with Vbox?
If they shouldn't charge for customization or support, then just how will their services be supported? Many have learned from bitter experience that a multitude of freeloaders don't donate, but sure drive up costs of distribution and support.
* Less complicated on later versions, of course.
+ Linux For The Bling is an aging meme.
68 • Transparency and clarity are the problems here (by Ben Myers on 2016-02-05 22:07:42 GMT from North America)
I do not mind paying RoboLinux or PartedMagic (to name two) to use their offerings. But I also like to know what I am getting for my money in a very transparent and clear way. When I read all about these and other software on their web sites, it is simply not clear what they are selling. And then you pay, even a modest amount, and you find that the product does not live up the meager description of what it does.
Time and again, for these and for other products (not just distros), I see that the product incorporates the latest (in the case of a distro) Linux kernel and many other latest pieces of software. And then I ask: "Okay. So what does this release do for me that the previous one did not? Obviously the latest greatest, but what else? How will this make my life of using a computer better?"
Unfortunately, answers to the above are found in the art of selling, and are often absent when one does not take a walk in the shoes of a potential customer.
69 • @53 Windows/Linux reasons... etc (by Jordan on 2016-02-05 23:17:20 GMT from North America)
I know how you feel, Scott James. I've been back and forth many times. I still run Mint (in any color I want) and Manjaro and SUSE on thumb drives. Windows remains my main computer go-to OS for the simple reason that Linux just can't cut it when it comes to the whole package.
The vulnerabilities and the whole thing about spyware and Microsoft's spying and data gathering tactics do all seem cause for concern, but how much concern is up to the user. Looking into it all they seem to be doing what Apple and Google are doing; trying to serve ads to the user that are specific to that user's tastes. I see them here at Distrowatch, for example, whether I'm running a distro or Windows.
Adbloack software helps no matter the OS or browser.
Feh.. all said and done I hate what Bill Gates unleashed, but yes it is here and it's basically fine in the hands of somebody who knows how to turn off as much of the "call home" stuff as they can. There are websites about all that.
70 • Nasty Linux Forums (by frodopogo on 2016-02-06 03:33:17 GMT from North America)
Not all Linux Forums are nasty... Linux Mint's isn't, and Ubuntu's isn't... nor is Manjaro's.
But we had a dedicated Arch user here in the comments section telling how he got banned for asking too many questions in his early days. And he seemed to have a thick skin, and wasn't bothered by it at all! But he did mention it. Arch is the one I keep hearing about.
Ah yes... and anything Linus Torvalds participates in is likely to get heated... he's got a real reputation, having flipped the finger at nVidia in a video a few years back. And since the operating system is NAMED after him, it's bound to share some of his reputation. And I think some Linux people feel emboldened by his behaviour and emulate it.
Today I found a discussion with him in it about Minix from the very beginning of Linux, and he got flamey way back then with the writer of Minix.... but he was actually somewhat apologetic about it, too!
71 • 70 • Nasty Linux Forums - frodopogo (by AsWas on 2016-02-06 11:25:33 GMT from Europe)
Arch is not a bad distro. I used it. But, the Arch forums are nasty. They think Arch is only for those, who can install it from scratch and that you shouldn't give Arch to someone who is not a geek. I don't use Manjaro, but had tried it. It is Arch for the everyone. And, Manjaro forums are one of the best there.
72 • @70 • Nasty Linux Forums (by mandog on 2016-02-06 11:35:28 GMT from South America)
I'm a dedicated Arch user and I have never had a problem with the Arch forums In fact just the opposite. Unless you are not using Arch or have a attitude problem, They are all volunteers that means they answer questions for the love of it, All the Arch forums ask is that users Google 1st and try to solve the problem before posting not really much to ask.
Remember Arch is for intermediate and above users that means you should know quite a lot of the Linux workings it is also quite a large forum so complaints about the forums are exaggerated due to the fact of its size
The Arch forums also has a lot of very happy long term users some 10 years+
73 • 72 • Nasty Linux Forums by mandog (by Trilly on 2016-02-06 13:21:00 GMT from Europe)
This is the usual reply you get in Arch forums, if you are not tech-savvy; "If someone is "tech-savvy" enough to install arch, they will likely be able to maintain it sufficiently. If someone is not "tech savvy" enough to install arch themselves, then they most definitely will fail at maintaining it."
So, if you have the need to try Arch and you are not tech-savvy, its better to look at Manjaro!
74 • functional windows stumbles (by M.Z. on 2016-02-06 20:27:22 GMT from North America)
@67 - was that directed at me?
Some of us get stuck working on windows on machines that aren't ours, so what good is your talk of windows tweaks in that case? Also the big things that KDE does that I miss on windows are missed primarily because how Windows 7 stacks windows & causes a hunt for for the correct window when you mouse over something like say, the stacked tabs in the Adobe PDF reader. I was sitting there doing work this week try do input information on some as built drawings into my counties GIS (digital mapping) system. For me trying to keep the same PDF tab open & input locations on the map & populate data fields describing what I'm putting on the map feels unnecessarily hard even though I'm using two screens. Perhaps I'll find some better ways to refine my work flow, but compared to KDE Windows causes me to stumble & there is nothing I can do to modify that copy of Win 7. I'd be happy to use anything to go faster be it 'present windows' or window shading, but I can't because I have to work with what I'm given. My issue has little to do with so called 'bling' & is instead an issue of being able to get work done faster & easier on KDE because the default features on that desktop do things that stock versions of Windows simply can't.
It basically all comes down to the fact that KDE & similar desktops on Linux do let my do work faster & easier than I can in the stock versions of Windows I must use on occasion. When I'm stuck using Windows I want my Linux back & there really is no cure for that regardless of whatever mods can be added on to Windows by home users. If #53 likes Win 7 that's fine; however, for me all his talk of never wanting to leave his preferred version of MS is meaningless not only because support will inevitably be dropped, but because Windows just doesn't let me get work done the way I want. Perhaps the aesthetics of Win 7 do less for me that KDE, but while I'm at work I could care less about so called 'bling' & I mainly want the features & functionality that let me get into my grove & get things done faster & easier. There are good reasons why the lack of functionality on stock installs of even the best version of Windows could leave someone like me wanting any decent Linux DE that go well beyond aesthetics or stupid terms like 'bling'. And of course I already mentioned in #65 that there are other reasons beyond superior work flow why I don't want to be stuck with even the best version of Windows when I can have Linux.
75 • 73 • Nasty Linux Forums by mandog (by mandog on 2016-02-06 23:17:00 GMT from South America)
That is not quite true Arch was the 1st Linux distro I installed Its was not hard its not hard to maintain. I'm dyslexic all you need is 2 eyes to read the Wiki and follow the forums.
Manjaro is a great insight into the arch way its not arch but a majority of new users would be better off using Linux Mint 1st as they are totally out of their depth with a rolling release,that is not aimed as being nasty to new users just a fact that mint just works for new users. with its long release cycle and stable safe updates.
76 • Deepin 15 (by Karl Schneider on 2016-02-07 17:59:12 GMT from North America)
I've been running Deepin 15.1 since the release. I saw some comments regarding it being based on Debian Unstable (Sid). From my experience so far on two completely different machines, I haven't had one single issue. No crashes, no errors, no quirks. It installed flawlessly both times and has run, as I said, perfect. It feels more like Debian 8 "Jessie". I think the Deepin team has done a lot of very nice work to the OS over the past year or two. The whole distro sticks to the Deepin theme and design decisions seem well thought out and purposeful. Not to mention the Deepin Store is much better and faster than before.
Deepin isn't for everyone but I could see myself installing it for a non-tech-oriented friend or family member.
I think it will be interesting to see where they go from here.
77 • 74 • "can't be done" (by Kragle on 2016-02-07 18:03:28 GMT from North America)
(if the shoe fits, …) Comparing apples to oranges won't help; a locked-down workplace system will feel like a straightjacket whether it's Linux or not. If you can elucidate a UI feature for demonstrably improved workflow, Enterprise IT _can_ provide it - such things are not limited to "home users".
Whether management will allow IT to do so is not an _OS_ issue…
Number of Comments: 77
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|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Ultima Linux was a Slackware-compatible Linux distribution available for Intel and AMD-based personal computers. Although first intended as a lightweight, techie-oriented desktop system when development began in November 2004, Ultima has since evolved into a highly stable distribution supporting both desktop and server capabilities. Ultima Linux was built around the K Desktop Environment (KDE), and includes many popular applications such as Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, the OpenOffice.org office suite, the GIMP image editor, MPlayer and Xine media players, and many others. It borrows Slackware's TGZ package format, and can be extended with additional software from a public repository, or various third-party sites.