| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 665, 13 June 2016
Welcome to this year's 24th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
In recent months we have been working on cleaning up our waiting list of distributions and adding more projects to our database. One project which we have recently added to our database has also received several review requests. The distribution is BunsenLabs Linux and Jesse Smith's review of this Debian-based project is our Feature Story this week. In our News section we discuss delays in Fedora 24's schedule, the growth of code bases (using NetBSD as an example) and cover Ubuntu MATE updating their copy of the MATE desktop environment. In our Questions and Answer column we discuss Clonezilla and its limitations. We then provide a list of the torrents we are seeding and cover the distributions released last week. In our Opinion Poll we talk about IPv6 adoption and we welcome the BlueOnyx distribution to our database. Plus we are happy to report we received a generous donation from Metapress. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading.
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (22MB) and MP3 (32MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
BunsenLabs Linux was recently added to the DistroWatch database and has been one of our most requested reviews this year. For those who have not encountered the project before, the distribution's website describes BunsenLabs as follows:
BunsenLabs Linux is a distribution offering a light-weight and easily customizable Openbox desktop. The current release is Hydrogen, built on top of Debian Jessie. The project is a community continuation of CrunchBang Linux.
The Hydrogen release of BunsenLabs (or simply Bunsen as I will refer to the distribution during this review) is essentially Debian Stable with a few customizations. They are listed on the Bunsen website as follows:
The Hydrogen release is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 CPU architecture. There is an extra 32-bit build which does not require PAE support in the computer's CPU, making this edition suitable for older machines. I downloaded the 64-bit build which is available as a 836MB download.
- Pre-configured Openbox window manager with tint2 panel and Conky system monitor
- Assortment of harmonizing GTK2/3 themes, wallpapers and Conky configurations
- Various configuration and application utilities to maintain this system
- Additional desktop-, multimedia- and hardware-related packages come pre-installed to offer a better out-of-the-box experience.
Booting from Bunsen's media brings up a menu asking if we would like to explore the distribution's live environment, run a text installer or launch a graphical system installer. Taking the live option brings up a graphical environment powered by the Openbox window manager. The default theme displays a grey background with a grey panel at the top of the screen. The panel includes a quick-launch bar on the left, a task switcher in the middle and there is a system tray on the right side of the panel. A Conky status panel sits on the right side of the display and provides data on the operating system's resource usage. We can right-click on any empty part of the screen to bring up an application menu.
After confirming the distribution was running smoothly, I looked around for a system installer, but did not find one. I rebooted and took the graphical installer option from the live media's boot menu.
Bunsen uses Debian's graphical system installer and the experience of installing Bunsen is almost identical to installing recent releases of Debian. The only technical difference I noted was that Bunsen's version of the installer did not ask me to create a password for the root account. The only other difference was visual. While Debian's version of the installer uses a red, white and grey theme, Bunsen uses a grey-on-grey theme which makes all of the buttons and elements on the screen look as though they have been disabled.
BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen -- The system installer
(full image size: 26kB, resolution: 800x600 pixels)
The system installer walks us through selecting our region, language and computer's hostname. We set up a user account, choose our time zone from a list and then partition the hard drive. Bunsen's installer supports both guided partitioning and manual partitioning. The manual option gives us access to ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS and XFS along with RAID and LVM configurations. The guided partitioning method sets us up with a ext4 partition and a swap partition with the option of adding a separate /home partition. Once our disk has been partitioned and the installer has copied its packages to our hard drive we are given the option of installing the GRUB boot loader on the storage device of our choice. The system installer then reports it has finished and we can reboot the computer to start exploring the Bunsen distribution.
Booting into Bunsen brings us to a grey-on-grey login screen. Signing into our account brings us back to the Openbox environment. The first time we sign into our account, a terminal window opens and provides a brief welcome message. The message tells us a script will run to help us set up the system. We are told we should have an active Internet connection and the sudo/admin password before beginning the customization process. At this point in the process there is no admin password (the system installer does not set one and the root account is locked) so the user needs to know that their password is the sudo password. The configuration script then warns us against adding Ubuntu PPAs to the system and tells us it is a bad idea to install newer versions of software not available in the official repositories.
The configuration script then walks us through a series of steps beginning with updating our package repository information and then installing any available security updates. The script then checks to see if we are running Bunsen on a laptop and, if not, offers to remove the power status indicator package. A similar check looks for hardware which supports PAE and offers to install an appropriate kernel. We are then given the option of installing 83MB of additional wallpapers. Since all of the wallpapers in Bunsen's default collection are grey, I happily downloaded the additional package. Next, the welcome script reports LibreOffice Writer is the only member of the LibreOffice suite installed by default and offers to install the rest of the LibreOffice applications (a 75MB download). Likewise, we are given the chance to install printer support (33MB).
The welcome script performs one step at a time, offering a new feature and then installing it before asking its next question. After the first half hour, I found myself wishing the script had asked all of its questions up front and then performed its actions in one big batch. The welcome script continues though, offering to install Java and enabling a Backports repository with newer versions of software. In my case, adding the Backports software repository failed and the script abruptly terminated after having run for about forty minutes.
BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen -- Running Openbox with the default theme
(full image size: 731kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
While the welcome script was running, I was exploring the Openbox environment and found a few characteristics which rubbed me the wrong way. For example, when I was trying to scroll with my computer's mouse wheel, sometimes windows would scroll as expected, but sometimes Openbox would switch me to a different virtual desktop. I found that going into the Openbox Preferences panel (accessible through the application menu) allowed me to disable extra virtual desktops and avoid the issue. I also found the ubiquitous grey theme difficult to look at and, to be honest, a bit depressing and so added a splash of colour to the theme and changed the wallpaper. Perhaps my least favourite feature of the user interface was Conky, which I always find more distracting than useful. Disabling all Conky configurations (again through the Openbox application menu) would temporarily shut down the resource monitor, but Conky always returned the next time I logged in. I decided to simply remove Conky from the system and found there were multiple conky packages installed, removing these cleared up my visual environment.
BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen -- Using the Iceweasel web browser
(full image size: 450kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Looking through Bunsen's application menu we find a fairly standard collection of software. The Iceweasel web browser is present (Flash is not included by default), along with the Filezilla file transfer application, the Transmission bittorrent software and the HexChat IRC client. LibreOffice Writer is installed and, during the initial configuration, we have the option of adding the rest of the productivity suite. The Gnumeric spreadsheet application is present, along with the Evince PDF viewer and a calculator. The application menu includes a link to the Google Docs website which opens in Iceweasel. Further investigation turns up the VLC multimedia player and a full range of media codecs, allowing us to play a range of audio and video files. The Xfburn disc burning application is present along with the Mirage image viewer and a screen shot utility. Bunsen uses the Thunar file manager, offers us an archive manager and the htop process monitor. There are applications for setting up printers and partitioning the hard drive. Plus I found a sub-menu of links which connect us to on-line support forums, Debian's Handbook and the Arch Linux wiki. Bunsen ships with Network Manager to help us get on-line and systemd version 215. In the background we find version 3.16 of the Linux kernel.
Exploring and using the applications provided, I found the default programs all worked as expected. I was able to get on-line, add printers to my system, edit documents and watch funny cat videos on YouTube. The only item in the Bunsen application menu that did not seem to function properly was a program called "About Bunsen Alternatives". Launching this program would open an empty window with no content. I'm not sure what this program was supposed to do, but it didn't do anything (good or bad) when I ran it.
BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen -- Installing software updates through Synaptic
(full image size: 518kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Should we need additional software, or if we want to install security updates, we can turn to the Synaptic graphical front-end for package management. Synaptic presents us with software categories and filtering options on the left side of the window and a list of low-level software packages on the right that meet our search criteria. We can click a box next to packages to mark them for installation, removal or updating. I generally found Synaptic worked quickly and without problems. I think newcomers might find it difficult to navigate Synaptic as we usually need to know the name of a package we want to install, but otherwise the graphical front-end worked well.
One feature of Bunsen I enjoyed was the distribution's alternative approach to installing software. In the application menu we find categories of software, such as Graphics or Network. In these categories we find launchers for available applications and we also find a sub-menu called Install which provides a list of programs in the category we could install. For example, in the Graphics category there is an Install sub-menu which contains "GIMP". Clicking this item installs the GNU Image Manipulation Program for us. Likewise, in the Network menu we find an Install sub-menu where we can click buttons to install Opera and the Google Chrome web browser. These menu short-cuts made it easy to quickly install additional software without the need for opening a new window to manage packages.
I tried running Bunsen in two environments, a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a desktop computer. When run in VirtualBox everything worked smoothly, but my screen resolution was somewhat limited. I was able to install VirtualBox guest modules from the default repositories and doing so allowed me to run Bunsen with full screen resolution. When running on the desktop computer, Bunsen performed well. The operating system properly set up a network connection, sound worked out of the box and my display's full resolution was used. Bunsen performed quickly in both environments and the Openbox window manager was pleasantly responsive. The distribution was fairly light in memory, using approximately 225MB of RAM when logged into the Openbox environment.
BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen -- Exploring Openbox and Conky settings
(full image size: 645kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
When I first started using BunsenLabs Linux I did not enjoy the experience. At first, it felt like installing Debian with a depressing theme and fewer features. The initial installation and configuration steps felt overly long and complicated. The Openbox environment lacked the features of fuller desktop environments while, at the same time, offering unwanted distractions such as Conky and extra virtual desktops. It would be fair to say the first two or three hours with Bunsen were unpleasant for me.
However, there was definitely a turning point during my trial. Around the start of the second day -- once I had a more colourful theme in place, the Conky packages had been banished and I had got into the habit of installing software I wanted from the application menu -- there was a point where I began to enjoy Bunsen. The distribution's hardware and multimedia support were top notch, performance and the interface's responsiveness were excellent and the applications available all worked properly. Openbox has enough configuration tools to make it flexible without being overwhelming. What really sold me on the distribution though was the way Openbox stayed out of my way, a feature I feel Debian's default desktop does not offer.
At the end of my trial, I still had some mixed feelings. As much as Bunsen grew on me, I couldn't help but feel the experience felt very much like installing Debian and adding the Openbox window manager as a session option. While Bunsen takes care of that step for us, it also adds several extra steps during the initial configuration that made me feel like going with plain Debian and installing Openbox might have been faster and easier.
In the end, I did grow to like Bunsen with its clean, fast user interface. I like the distribution's tweaks to Debian such as adding sudo and providing application menu installers. I think the initial welcome script should probably either be automated or ask all its questions up front and then go to work in the background. It took a while for me to get the interface looking the way I wanted it to and less like the inside of a mine shaft, but once I did the distribution provided a good set of default applications and desktop functionality.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora 24 delayed again, NetBSD grows, Ubuntu MATE updates MATE desktop
The Fedora developers have decided to delay the launch of Fedora 24 a fourth time. The upcoming release of Fedora 24 was originally scheduled to be made public on May 17th, but various bugs have caused the project to hold off on publishing the new version. The updated schedule calls for Fedora 24 to be launched on June 21st. The Fedora team has merged a lot of significant changes into Fedora 24, including GNOME 3.20 and version 6 of the GNU Compiler Collection.
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Operating systems and applications tend to grow in size over time, taking up more resources as new features, security checks and layers of abstraction are added. While we tend not to notice software's expansion year-to-year, software does tend to gain significant bloat over time. Krister Walfridsson has begun an investigation into the growth of software, using NetBSD as an example. The initial results show great increases in size over the past 14 years. "These plots do not say much, and code increase is not necessarily bad, even on constrained platforms, if unused functionality never gets paged in. My plan is to look into the details of the reason for these increases (such as new functionality, support for more hardware, compiler changes, careless developers, etc.), to get a feel for how much each reason contributes. Please let me know if there are some specific questions you want me to investigate!" Walfridsson plans to explore why NetBSD has grown so much over the years in future blog posts.
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People who wish to enjoy the most recent version of the MATE desktop environment on the popular Ubuntu MATE distribution are in luck: Martin Wimpress has announced MATE 1.14 is now available for people running Ubuntu MATE 16.04. "You might be wondering why it has taken two months to release this PPA? Here's why: they've been well tested. The packages in this PPA are derived from the MATE Desktop 1.14 packages that were recently uploaded to Debian Unstable. The upgrade issues encountered in Debian Unstable have been fixed and all the packages have transitioned to Debian Testing. All the upgrade fixes are included in this PPA to ensure a smooth transition. We also waited for the first MATE desktop bugfix release, so what you are getting today is actually MATE desktop 1.14.1." Details on how to install the MATE update can be found in the announcement.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Clearing up Clonezilla
Thanks for the informative Clonezilla review. I was wondering what happens if I try to backup and/or restore GRUB2 when it is installed in the MBR? I assume in that case it would require a full disk backup/restore, not just partitions? Or can the MBR also be imaged? And what about limitations or gotchas with full disk images being restored to disks of different sizes?
DistroWatch answers: When you want to backup your GRUB installation from the MBR then you need to do a full backup/restore of the entire hard drive. The MBR is not considered a partition by Clonezilla and it will not be affected by individual partition saves/restores. So your assumptions are correct, do a full disk backup if you want to preserve GRUB.
The MBR cannot (so far as I know) be imaged on its own by Clonezilla. You can either do a full disk backup or you can backup individual partitions and then use a live disc to re-install GRUB on the new hard drive.
Regarding doing backups/restores to disks of different sizes, you cannot restore an image to a smaller physical disk. The operation will fail since the cloning process will run out of room on the new disk. You can restore an image to a larger disk. Your partitions will be their original size and some disk space will be wasted. In that case you may use a tool like GParted to expand the new partitions after you restore the image.
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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: 203
- Total data uploaded: 37.0TB
|Released Last Week
Manjaro Linux 16.06
Philip Muller has announced a new release of Manjaro Linux, an Arch-based rolling release distribution. The new version, Manjaro Linux 16.06, features Linux kernel 4.4 (along with ten alternative kernel versions) and many improvements to the graphical software manager. "Some features to point out in this release: Kernel 4.4 LTS is used for this release, such as the latest drivers available to date. Relative to the last installation media release, our tools have been improved and polished. The Manjaro Settings Manager (MSM) now provides an easy-to-use graphical interface for installing and removing the many series of kernels we offer. Manjaro's selection of available kernels remains the most extensive of all Linux distribution we know of. At the time of this 16.06 release, eleven kernel-series are available directly from our binary repositories, ranging from the mature & rock-solid 3.10 series to the latest 4.6 release. Such a wide array of available kernel options results in extensive hardware support, getting the most out of your system for you, be it old or new. We also created a kcm module to integrate MSM seamlessly into System-Settings of Plasma 5. We have now several notifier for MSM to be installed optionally." Additional details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Manjaro Linux 16.06 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 176kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) is a Debian-based live disc with the goal of providing Internet anonymity for the user. The project's latest release, Tails 2.4, includes security updates, firewall enhancements and additional security checks built into the Icedove e-mail client. "We enabled the automatic account configuration of Icedove which discovers the correct parameters to connect to your email provider based on your email address. We improved it to rely only on secure protocol and we are working on sharing these improvements with Mozilla so that users of Thunderbird outside Tails can benefit from them as well. Upgrades and changes: update Tor Browser to 6.0.1, based on Firefox 45.; remove the pre-configured #tails IRC channel, join us on XMPP instead; always display minimize and maximize buttons in title bars; remove GNOME Tweak Tool and hledger...." Additional information and a list of corrected issues can be found in the project's release announcement. Steps for downloading and verifying the integrity of the distribution's live media are provided.
The HandyLinux distribution, a user-friendly French distribution based on Debian, has released an update to the project's 2.x series. The new version, HandyLinux 2.5, offers mostly minor updates and bug fixes and is based on Debian 8.5. An English translation of the project's release announcement lists the changes in 2.5: "Update the base to Debian 8.5. Update Firefox to version 47. Setting up a service hosting images. Everything is hosted on servers controlled by HandyLinux to avoid some risky images on other services. Update Thunar custom actions. Update Handysoft by Thuban (mainly bug fixes and better management of search). Added translations for Handysoft by the distribution Emmabuntüs. Thanks to them! Added Xfwm4 theme (window borders)..."
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Accessing the Internet using IPv6
Last week we announced that IPv6 access had been added to the DistroWatch web server. This week we would like to get a feel for how many of our readers are accessing the web using IPv6 addresses. Do you use the more common IPv4, the newer IPv6, or perhaps a combination of both? Please let us know what your experiences with IPv6 have been.
You can see the results of our previous poll on open source projects raising funds here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Accessing the Internet using IPv6
|I use IPv4 exclusively: ||734 (53%)|
| I use IPv6 exclusively: ||13 (1%)|
| I use a mixture of IPv4 and IPv6: ||307 (22%)|
| I do not know: ||325 (24%)|
Donation from Metapress
Usually we talk about donations we make to open source projects. We feel it is important to give back to the community which writes the software we use every day. What we tend not to mention is that some generous readers and projects feel we are also a useful resource and very generously send us money to help us keep DistroWatch running. This past week we received $100.00 USD from Metapress.
We greatly appreciate it when people and companies support us and we thank Metapress for their generosity.
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Distributions added to the database
BlueOnyx is a server distribution based on CentOS. It is the mission of BlueOnyx to provide a fully-integrated Internet hosting platform that includes web, e-mail, DNS and file transfer services from a simple, user-friendly web-based interface that is easily installed on commodity hardware or virtual private server.
BlueOnyx 5209R -- The web-based control panel
(full image size: 333kB, resolution: 1221x1004 pixels)
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 20 June 2016. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Cloning mbr with clonezilla (by rufovillosum on 2016-06-13 00:41:41 GMT from North America) |
I don't believe you were correct when you stated that the only way to clone the mbr was with a full-disk clone.
Clonezilla makes an mbr image with every partition clone and saves it in that image's directory as (e.g.) sda-mbr.
When restoring a partition, in the expert mode, the very first option (-g) is to reinstall grub in the mbr.
So you need only restore one partition to restore the mbr. And if you wanted to be really slick, you could format a small dummy partition for this purpose.
2 • IPv6 Poll (by WTY on 2016-06-13 01:02:22 GMT from Oceania)
As far as I know, my ISP only provides IPv4. I'm in Australia, whose Internet infrastructure seems to be viewed as quite 'backwards' in the world, particularly from those in the US.
3 • Clonezilla (by Angel on 2016-06-13 03:44:35 GMT from Asia)
A small note: We do a bit of disk imaging for customers, and we've found Clonezilla balks when the originating disk/partition has any bad sectors. In those cases, a Windows PE live-CD suck as Aomei Backupper has been successful.
4 • My previous comment; Clonezilla (by Angel on 2016-06-13 03:50:41 GMT from Asia)
The use of the word "suck" was a typo (such) and not meant as an opinion on either Backupper or Clonezilla. :-)
5 • Grub (by Grubbyskeptic on 2016-06-13 04:34:22 GMT from Europe)
Grub may be the best available Linux bootloader, but it bedevils me almost every time. An installation will go along well, until "Installing Grub", at the very end, often after a lot of time on an ancient machine. Many times it somehow fails to install, or, upon restart, the dreaded black screen, "No bootloader installed >", even if it "installed". This bootloading issue seems to be a weak link common to all Linux distros, especially when it comes to getting along with dual Windows installations, UEFI, "install to MBR or partition" confusion (less so nowadays), and no simple way to boot if Grub installs incorrectly, even in the install is "there". Someone could make a bundle writing a solid, newb-proof bootloader, with a GTK, simple as it may be, that the average newb can deal with. Third-party "rescue" distros such as RescueTux work occasionally and are welcome, but Grub itself, it seems, needs a good kick in the pants. Linux distros as a whole could be in more widespread use if this Grub/bootloader clusterf*** could be made easier and more reliable.
6 • IPv4 or IPv6, We are at the mercy of Browser and ISP :( (by BeGo on 2016-06-13 05:01:01 GMT from Asia)
Correct me if I am wrong,
Which IP system we use to contact internet is dictated by the network, common user have no control over it. :)
7 • MBR dump / restore (by Alexandru on 2016-06-13 06:19:28 GMT from Europe)
I didn't try clonezilla, so I cant say anything about its ability to work with MBR. However, the MBR size is only 512 bytes and if it is all you need to copy / restore, there is no need to make an image of whole disk.
A simple unix command can do it better:
dd if=/dev/sdX of=MBR.img count=512b
where "sdX" stands for real disk name, e.g. sda, sdb etc with no digit at the end. This command will dump MBR from that disk into MBR.img file. To restore it, you can use the command:
dd if=MBR.img of=/dev/sdX count=512b
I think grub executable also has some options to save / restore MBR.
8 • IPv6 (by Richard on 2016-06-13 06:49:57 GMT from Europe)
@2: the big ISP's in the UK tend to only offer IPv4 as well; you need the little "boutique" ones before you get IPv6 as standard.
@6: this is true. I tried turning off IPv4 on my router, and found myself unable to access any IPv4 website. Having turned it back on, I now connect to IPv4 websites with IPv4, and 6 enabled websites with 6. I believe you can get around this with tunnelling services which will route your IPv6 traffic onto IPv4 web and vice-versa, but I've never tried one.
9 • IPv6 and IPv4; Weekly review (by Andy Mender on 2016-06-13 07:57:55 GMT from Europe)
Both of you are right. IPv4 is still more common. So common that via either PF (BSDs) or iptables (GNU/Linux) one can block all IPv6 traffic without drawbacks.
IPv6-to-IPv4 tunneling is handled by the Linux kernel so that additional features may need to be enabled.
I have to somewhat disagree with Jesse on BunsenLabs Linux. I feel the grey-on-grey theme is more of a tip to older computer users and legacy interfaces. It makes for an overall cleaner look, too. Finally, it's not easier to get Debian + Openbox from scratch as compared to installing BunsenLabs. Many things would have to be configured by hand, which BL lets you avoid :). I tried doing so and the difference is rather significant. Tastes vary, though. Thanks for the review anyway! :)
10 • IPv4 and IPv6 (by Mahmoud Slamah on 2016-06-13 08:43:57 GMT from Europe)
ISP in KSA still use IPv4 , and as i know most CPE (Customer-premises equipment) not support both IPv6 and IPv4 .
11 • Grub, @5 (by Paraquat on 2016-06-13 09:23:13 GMT from Asia)
I agree with @5, Grubbyskeptic. My experiences with Grub2 - especially when booting UEFI, is that you've got no more than a 50% chance of it working at all. Even if it works initially, next time you boot, you're back to 50% odds.
After suffering this for awhile, I decided to go back to Grub1 (offically now called Grub-legacy) using MBR partitions. Since I "downgraded," I have not experienced a single failure to boot. Of course, you've got to get it configured right, and if you're not familiar with the old Grub, that might take you awhile, but the learning curve is way smaller than Grub2.
Please note that I am NOT a Luddite, I'd gladly use UEFI and Grub2 if it worked at least as reliably as the old dispensation, but my experience on several machines suggests otherwise. I am considering experimenting with syslinux or close cousin extlinux as boot loaders, but since Grub1 is doing such a good job, I have to think of a good reason to change. I did try rEFInd, and that had some good features, but it does try to force you into using UEFI, and with that I suffered the same reliability problems I had with Grub2.
Perhaps on other hardware, I'd have better luck, but none of my equipment is very old (about 3 years for both the laptop and desktop). If someone could give me a good reason to go with UEFI and Grub2, I'm interested to hear it.
12 • Hardware (by brad on 2016-06-13 09:35:54 GMT from North America)
@11 - "Perhaps on other hardware, I'd have better luck, but none of my equipment is very old (about 3 years for both the laptop and desktop)."
From my experience with various hardware, (HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer) I've come to the conclusion that UEFI implementations are so diverse, that finding the right combination of manufacturer, UEFI, and distro, is a tough task. I've settled on a couple of distros that seem to behave well with my hardware, but it took a lot of trial and error to get there.
Fortunately, DW helps those who are "shopping" for the best distro for your hardware, and the reviews at other websites can help, as well. I find that UEFI allows for a lot of flexibility, when it works correctly. Good luck!
13 • Openbox and Mouse Wheel Scrolling (by joncr on 2016-06-13 09:45:09 GMT from North America)
Openbox seems to default to using the mouse wheel scroll to change virtual workspaces. If the cursor is over an empty space on the desktop, scrolling will change to the next/previous workspace. If the cursor is over a window, that window will scroll.
I depend on this capability, and create it in any interface if it isn't there by default. However, if someone is not accustomed to that kind of workflow, I can see that they might find its use as the default unexpected.
All things in Openbox are configurable via three text files, where this can be disabled.
BunselLabs exists because a band of Crunchbang fans created it when that distribution ended. The all-gray scheme mimics Crunchbang. (IMO, dark theming is very often a naive attempt at sprucing up appearance.) I don't think the BL folks think their product is for the mainstream.
14 • ipv6 (by SlaxFan on 2016-06-13 11:22:14 GMT from North America)
I blacklisted the ipv6 module years ago because my LTS version of Mint did not have a simple, intuitive firewall with ipv6 rules. When I know more about it, I may enable it.
15 • Dark themes, ipv6, grub/syslinux (by a on 2016-06-13 12:27:07 GMT from Europe)
@11, I’d still be using grub if grub2 hadn’t been forced on me one day and was almost impossible to understand. Since then I’ve been using syslinux which is easy to understand and configure. I’ve had the same experience with UEFI as with grub2 though, so I haven’t tried syslinux with UEFI (if it is even possible).
@13, there is no need to call decisions "naive" when you don’t understand them. If someone prefers dark themes then they prefer dark themes, that’s all. It may be for cosmetic reasons and it may be for usability reasons too…
@14, same here, well, I blacklisted ipv6 because it was said it could slow DNS requests down, IIRC. Haven’t seen the need for it since.
16 • BunsenLabs (by hhh on 2016-06-13 12:30:58 GMT from North America)
Thank you very much for your review! A couple of quick points...
re: the grey installer theme making the buttons look disabled, I'll take a look at that next time I run it, I've never noticed! We think our grey installer theme is a vast improvement on eye-bleed pinkish-red on white. Also, our Live ISOs don't SYSTEM BEEP when they boot, are smaller than the Debian ISOs and include non-free firmware including support for legacy Broadcom wireless.
re; the default theme, this is, as commented above, a carry-over from CrunchBang, and a "feature" our users seem to love, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder! You didn't mention our forums however, which has many threads on theming and configuring your linux OS (as well as some of the nicest forum members in the Open Source world)...
17 • BunsenLabs (by hhh on 2016-06-13 12:35:32 GMT from North America)
Gah, my hand slipped and it submitted! re: backports and the welcome script failing, er... not to sure what happened there, we haven't had many issues reported on the forums.
You've raised legitimate points about the welcome script that is sure to generate some forum discussion. We're a very active project and development has been consistent in the short year since the end of CrunchBang.
Again, many thanks for the review and for DistroWatch!
hhh (BunsenLabs ISO builder)
18 • Openbox and the mosue (by Jesse on 2016-06-13 13:27:39 GMT from North America)
>> "Openbox seems to default to using the mouse wheel scroll to change virtual workspaces. If the cursor is over an empty space on the desktop, scrolling will change to the next/previous workspace. If the cursor is over a window, that window will scroll."
I am aware that this is the expected behaviour. My issue was that using the scroll wheel would often cause the workspaces to switch when my mouse was hovering over an active window and not the workspace. So sometimes the contents of the window would scroll and sometimes my workspace would get swapped out. This is incredibly annoying and the reason for disabling extra workspaces during my trial.
19 • bunsenlabs (by dogma on 2016-06-13 13:55:31 GMT from North America)
When crunchbang was alive, it sounded like a lot of people liked it. I wonder what was appealing -- this bunsenlabs review doesn't make it sound really compelling.
20 • @19 (by Jake on 2016-06-13 14:50:17 GMT from North America)
You can read the 10.x Crunchbang review from DW:
Near the end, the reviewer states, "it may seem odd that my biggest complaint when using CrunchBang was that I found myself disabling so many features," which is reminiscent of this review. The two seem very similar actually. It sounds like this is a niche desktop, and the people who love it really do, so we tend to hear about it.
21 • bunsenlabs (by rayburn on 2016-06-13 14:54:35 GMT from Europe)
Thank you Jesse for reviewing Bunsenlabs, it is definitely not a distro for the masses, however, there are some of us that prefer the simpleness and minimalism of Openbox, and use it not only on legacy hardware but on modern hardware too. When used on modern hardware, it makes for a very speedy interface without all the bells and whistles of KDE, Gnome, etc. Thanks again!
22 • Bunsen Blabs (by crunchy on 2016-06-13 15:01:29 GMT from North America)
> It would be fair to say the first two or three hours with Bunsen were unpleasant for me. <
> ...that made me feel like going with plain Debian and installing Openbox might have been faster and easier. <
> a program called "About Bunsen Alternatives". Launching this program would open an empty window with no content. <
> I decided to simply remove Conky from the system and found there were multiple conky packages installed, removing these cleared up my visual environment. <
> adding the Backports software repository failed and the script abruptly terminated after having run for about forty minutes. <
Tells all about bunsenlabs. It is still ready and most probably will never be ready.
23 • CrunchBang Sequels (by dhinds on 2016-06-13 15:01:32 GMT from North America)
Other continuations of CrunchBang also exist. I have installed #!**
which is (as I recall) install only and consists of scripts that insure a clean installation of the current Debian Stable with the traditional Crunchbang configurations.
Monara (on Sourceforge) is another (I haven't tried it).
And Sparky Linux's SparkyLinux 4.3 MinimalGUI edition from
will give you an excellent Debian Testing with Openbox that does not attempt to emulate CrunchBang but surpasses it, IMO.
24 • 23 CrunchBang Sequels by dhinds (by Plus Plus on 2016-06-13 15:12:26 GMT from Netherlands)
Crunchbang++ is really excellent. No such problems...
There are some more, and looking better. Search for NelumBang, Nelum OS etc.
25 • About Manjaro torrent (by CENTSOARER on 2016-06-13 16:12:45 GMT from North America)
I see you're planing on seeding Manjaro Linux 16.06. Can you update the iso you are torrenting to the 16.06.1 image?
26 • Cloning to larger disks and cloning bad sectors (by Oscar on 2016-06-13 16:45:15 GMT from Europe)
The Q&A answer is wrong: Clonezilla can clone to larger disks without wasting unusued space: In http://clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live/doc/02_Restore_disk_image/advanced/09-advanced-param.php it is said: "If the target disk size is larger than the size of source disk of image "precise-2012-11-27-img", you can try to use option "-k1" which will create the partition table proportionally in the target disk and turn on option "-r" to resize the file file system in the partition automatically. This is useful to make use all of the target disk size."
On the other hand, answering to Angel (comment #3), this behaviour is caused by not forcing to Clonezilla to do a fsck before making the image. In newer Clonezillas there is a screen showing this option (you must answer "yes"!)
27 • Bunsenlabs review (by fox on 2016-06-13 17:38:00 GMT from North America)
Jesse's comment "I couldn't help but feel the experience felt very much like installing Debian and adding the Openbox window manager as a session option" is probably true if you are an intermediate to advanced user. But several years ago when I was relatively new to Linux, I tried just that. When I did, the Openbox menu I got was next to useless. I probably could have worked harder and learned how to modify it by editing its configuration file, and maybe if I persisted I might have even learned that there is such a thing as obmenu in the Debian repos, which does make it easy to modify the right-click menu. And of course I could have installed another desktop, window manager or utility that would allow me to have icons on a menubar like the Bunsenlabs version of tint2, but then I would be looking at something very different from Bunsenlabs Linux. What I'm getting at is that the devs of this distro have created something interesting and special; distinct from vanilla Debian, light on resources and very responsive. While the particular options chosen by the default installation of Bunsenlabs are not to everyone's taste, it has a strong following for good reasons. I should add that the forums are outstanding. Post a question there and you'll get a quick, helpful and courteous answer. Incidentally, like Jesse I don't care for the dark default theme, but it was easy to modify without any more resources than what was installed initially. (Except perhaps the extra wallpaper in the Bunsenlabs repo.)
Note that I am not a Bunsenlabs "regular"; I use Ubuntu as my working distro. But I am impressed enough with Bunsenlabs to keep it installed on my laptop, and I use it often.
28 • Review (by Oscar on 2016-06-13 19:22:08 GMT from South America)
So, only after changing to a more colourful theme you were able to determine that "The distribution's hardware and multimedia support were top notch, performance and the interface's responsiveness were excellent and the applications available all worked properly."?
Do these priorities coincide with those of the bulk of the readership?
Which wallpaper did you decide on by the way?
29 • BunsenLabs review (by notod on 2016-06-13 20:01:12 GMT from North America)
Enjoy and still run CrunchBang with sid, run flawlessly for many years now. Also have tried BunsenLabs and found it to be an excellent distro, with many extras and intriguing attributes regarding pipe menus and themeing, along with many possible conky configurations. BL is supported by a very benign collective of forum supporters who go the extra step to help anyone with a legitimate issue, possibly one of the best forums to introduce yourself to.
For one find BunsenLabs a high configurable distribution OTB. Definitely not a copy or clone of CrunchBang. Although it may have some similarities, BL is very much it's own distribution.
30 • Bunsenlabs (by Scrumtime on 2016-06-13 20:13:29 GMT from North America)
I used Crunchbang for a while and this is not that much different...I like it
I think too many people expect Openbox to be like XFCE ......yes it does take some config to get it how you like...
I used to use manjaro openbox but as they abondoned its users dropping it from an official distro to nothing....its not even mentioned on its new forum ..(which is terrible to find anything..)
I could change to Archbang which is also a great distro but i need something stable as i am almost constantly travelling and can do without sorting out updates daily
IPv6 I have yet to have found anywhere that it works...though i sort of gave up trying.....
31 • BunsenLabs (by Bill on 2016-06-13 20:16:20 GMT from Oceania)
A cynic could say that Crunchbang was always Debian with a nicely themed Openbox added, but it was a lot more than that. Phillip added a selection of applications that still influences what I install - Openbox itself, Geany, Thunar, etc. I also follow his lead by using Linode. And the small(ish), friendly and knowledgable community was worth a very great deal.
Then Phillip abruptly dropped us and told us not to use the name Crunchbang. I still struggle with the way he did this. What he should have done was organised a smooth transfer of the project to one or more of the senior members of the community instead of telling us all to get lost. I am glad to see that many of those senior members have continued the project.
Sadly I no longer use BL for a completely unrelated reason: as someone who believes that the original UNIX developers got it right I do not use any distro that installs systemd by default.
32 • XFCE is awesome (by Brad Inskip on 2016-06-13 20:39:34 GMT from North America)
I think xfce is quite incredible, stable and fast! I currently use Archlinux, I used to use crunchbang long ago.. When I get a new computer I want to go full Plasma desktop/NEON.. xfce is like the adage: "if it's not broken, don't fix it" just my .02 now I'm broke.
33 • GRUB2 woes (by mikef90000 on 2016-06-13 21:31:15 GMT from North America)
@5,@11, I've also had similar discouraging experiences with GRUB2 so I use GRUB4DOS in the MBR and chainload to partition boot records as needed. Despite being several years in production, GRUB2 *still* does not create a proper menuentry for my WinXP partition on a second drive; the entry looks like all of the countless examples but it Does Not Work! Also fortunately, the legacy BIOS mode on my current motherboard works fine.
For booting a system or VM with a broken GRUB install, the Super GRUB2 Disk image works for me. Visit http://www.supergrubdisk.org for details.
34 • How to Crunchbang (by Plus Plus on 2016-06-13 21:39:29 GMT from Europe)
If anyone wants to hold onto the now defunct Crunchbang, and if you still have that Crunchbang in your hard disk, then do the following.
1) In Terminal do sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade to bring your install up to date.
2) Then uninstall tint2 and pnmixer. (sudo apt-get purge tint2 pnmixer)
3) Disable crunchbang repos. Open thunar as root, go to /etc/apt/sources.list and delete the lines with crunchbang in it. (If you want to remember the repos just put a # in front of those lines.)
4) Do sudo sed -i 's/wheezy/jessie/g' /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get upgrade
5) Then, reinstall tint2, and install whatever volume mixer you like from Debian repos.
You will be with Crunchbang till the end of Jessie, and/or move to Stretch, or to Sid.
Aha, if you want out from the terribly old fashioned "menu" you can install real menu such as obmenu-generator.
35 • @32 & #! (by leredditunixarmy on 2016-06-13 21:46:05 GMT from Europe)
Sorry to tell, Xfce will suck in a couple of years with its move to Gtk3, which probably means it will be somewhat like Cinnamon, i.e. not *that* fast (like when 4.6-4.8). I already moved from it (because of dbus) and advise others to. Openbox or LXDE seem to be good; while TDE is another solution for those who prefer full blown environments.
Speaking of #! and its clones (or whatever), I really can't understand all these endless Debian "forks", including Ubuntu. A five year old child can "apt install" a couple of programmes and create own iso. And these "dark themes" are like "look at me ama hacka!!!", once again, five year old child type of sh*te. I'd rather install minimal Debian and then tweak it as I need but since Debian stepped into that systemd poop (AIDS rather), I'd prefer cutting my own d*ck than to use it. Finally, what makes a distribution is its own package manager or ports system or a distinctive philosophy which means lack of thereof, and not "ama haka" themes and "look mom animations lunex is better than wingdowz".
36 • Grub2 problems (by Bobbie Sellers on 2016-06-13 21:53:50 GMT from North America)
I had a working triple boot system using Grub2 and for a month or so it worked
fine but then it ran into problems and now cannot be re-installed,
I am having to use Super Grub2 disk to get to my Mageia 5 and
PCLinux OS 2016.03 installations.
Grub2 needs to be modified perhaps to work on a single
Grub partition, imho.
37 • Dark Themes (by Jordan on 2016-06-13 22:09:20 GMT from North America)
I need them and it's about light intolerance, a disorder. Dimming the screen used to be my only option.
Now a choice of several darker XFCE themes and I'm very much more comfortable as I use my desktop and apps.
What's with the anti-choice herd in here amongst us linux users? Linux itself is about many many choices. And yeah, the "I'm a hacker" thing may help some feel better about those choices, be they Ubuntu messes or theme messes.
Leave us be and do your thing. We're doing ours. Thank you.
38 • IPv6 and MATE 1.14 DE (by M.Z. on 2016-06-13 22:34:22 GMT from North America)
As far as IPv6 goes, well my pfSense setup says that IPv6 is 100% connected & has no losses; however, it also shows all the logs for things being blocked by the pf firewall and snort are pretty much entirely traditional IPv4 addresses. I think everything is just using IPv4 by default & I haven't bothered to mess with it.
On the subject of the time it has been taking to get Mate 1.14 into a PPA, I'm wondering if this isn't related to the amount of time Mint 18 has taken to get into beta. Both Ubuntu Mate 16.04 & Mint 18 share a common base & Mint is trying to use the same Mate version described in the new article for one of their main desktops. Somehow I don't think it's a coincidence that the PPA was made available around the same time that Mint 18 hit beta.
39 • Marketing Linux distributions (from last week). Not just $$. (by Greg Zeng on 2016-06-14 01:16:00 GMT from Oceania)
We need a Linux marketing organization, similar to other trade associations. Many solitary groups and individuals are re-inventing the wheel. If new inventions exist, they are not noticed, and feedback on the success , failure, etc is missed.
We all know that Distrowatch, with its week-by-week-ONLY focus, cannot or will not operate as an industry agent, until it acquires the skills of using a proper BBS, with real-time links to Google, etc. But this week http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=elementary was launched.
Elementary's web sit has no way to download the freeware version. http://elementary.io/
Using Dw torrent, rather than the DW link, show us that this beta-only distribution (version 0.xxx) in both 32 and 64 bits. Here it is freeware, rather than commercial. The Linux marketing group (when it exists) would like to know if this method of funding a Linux distribution is successful, etc. Hiding the fact that both 32 & 64 bits exist - does this work for the iSheep? Avoiding the statements of 36-PAE is important - does this work, for both Dw and for the Distribution publisher?
Finally, what is the role of a Linux marketing group? AFAIK, it should highlight good examples of Linux techniques at all levels: alpha, beta, releases, and expired products; collaborators, competitors and industry patterns, etc. Many Linux serial publications such as Linux Format Uk, Linux User & Developer Uk, & Linux Journal (USA), try to inform their limited $$-purchasers. There also exist some poorly marketed, amateur BBS areas devoted to Linux. All of these are struggling and competing with each other for the very limited marketing $. So none have an interest in promoting others in the battle for $$.
Canonical, Redhat, Debian etc for some reason like staying in the losing one-per-cent group of the marketplace for general individual persons. Big business with its server farms and thousands of terminals, seem to be their main interest, rather than the poorly served open markets of Apple and Microsoft. Google and Linux are the main competitors for the iSheep markets imho.
Personally, my poor medical health means that I shall not be giving birth to another organizational baby, as my vocational achievements show. But some person or group might like to invigorate any existing or past Linux marketing groups?
40 • Not just a fashion (by Somewhat Reticent on 2016-06-14 02:05:08 GMT from North America)
Dark-background lighter-text theming goes to better readability and lower stress during dark/night hours, improving over merely using redshift/f.lux (good for normals; not just 'light-sensitive')
I consider Try-Before-You-Buy critical (it's elementary), but how long before large downloads become pay-only?
mikef90000 - forum.MyDigitalLife.com is a good resource for obedience-training XP, if you _must_ put it where it doesn't want to go
(If not for DW, where would trolls-in-training build their skills?)
41 • MATE (by Dan on 2016-06-14 02:36:52 GMT from North America)
Ubuntu MATE is not updating the MATE program. The MATE guys just made a PPA for it. I want to try it, but I'm very concerned that future Ubuntu updates would break it, as Ubuntu will not be testing against the newest MATE.
42 • @39 elementary funding (by far2fish on 2016-06-14 12:30:37 GMT from Europe)
To download elementary without paying for it, it looks like you still have the option of choosing "$ custom" and then type 0.
43 • IPv6 (by Tim on 2016-06-14 13:03:08 GMT from North America)
I currently use IPv4, exclusively. However, when I was on a different ISP, I used IPv6 and liked it. I changed ISPs in order to get 20X better speed. My current ISP only supports IPv6 through a dinky 6rd tunnel setup, and I don't care to do the work try to convince my router to use it. On my previous ISP, it was a simple matter to use IPv6 by my own Hurricane Electric tunnel, which provided many more features.
44 • @42, @35 (by Cág on 2016-06-14 14:51:01 GMT from Europe)
You can, but the way it was presented drove many people away from eOS.
A snip from later edited blog post:
"We want users to understand that they’re pretty much cheating the system when they choose not to pay for software. We didn’t exclude a $0 button to deceive you; we believe our software really is worth something."
45 • @35 (by Cág on 2016-06-14 14:58:57 GMT from Europe)
Ouch, clicked Entre.
I agree with Xfce, but I don't think the complete move will end in a couple of years. They have a relatively long release cycle. I sometimes use dark themes and even like some of them. On Debian forks, Crunchbang represented an entirely different community. Their forums were helpful, people there were kind and smart. I don't really associate them with Debian. Too bad #! is gone in its original form. Hopefully, some of its children will show themselves in a good way in the future. Certainly, there are tons of "forks", where the creator added a couple of programmes, but we usually don't hear about them every now and then. #! was different. Community knows what to use and what to not.
46 • @44 and others (by lintux on 2016-06-14 16:30:47 GMT from North America)
This is the fine line, isn't it? It costs them to develop something, and they have a right to charge for it if they would like. It looks great, but I'd be really hesitant to pay for it. How do I know if it works? How do I know I will like it?
Windows has had a break for years here: people get the OS for "free" because it comes pre-installed on new hardware. That is powerful.
It's too bad more distributions can't sell pre-installed or that the pre-installed units are so expensive. I've gone through the websites here on DW for Linux hardware. Stuff is just so expensive. I suppose if I were in the market for $$$$ laptops, I might give these a try, but they aren't that competitive. I don't know how they can be with a small marketshare in a niche market. Android wins because they give it away for free, it costs nothing to develop with, and Google makes its money off of its services (selling you).
Cost-effective hardware and then selling licenses to makers for pre-installing your distro may make a good play. Look at what Raspberry Pi's did when you had cheap, capable hardware. I'd love to see an elementary OS computer, find its a great deal for a netbook, because then I might buy it. I'd pay for their software, try it out, and then be in a better position to recommend it to others.
And, of course, if I didn't like it, I'd just install something else. No big deal, but it's a market play Windows has had for years.
47 • @ 44 eOS (by noeos on 2016-06-14 16:32:53 GMT from North America)
Its not worth the time wasted on downloading it, even for the hidden 0$. No one ever use it.
48 • eOS know-all guys (by Jacky on 2016-06-14 16:48:00 GMT from North America)
> but the stance going forward is that software should come from vetted, secure sources or in sandboxed package formats.<
Another group of know-all guys like those (or the solitary guy) at Mint. They are going to "vet" apps that don't belong to them and don't even know how to create.
49 • mouse madness (by Tim on 2016-06-14 17:24:21 GMT from North America)
The unnerving scroll wheel behavior Jesse describes in the review, I'm guessing that's due to a "feature" of the window manager. The described behavior occurs if the window manager is configured such that "sloppy mouse focus=true" or "mouse focus follows cursor=enabled".
50 • @44 and eOS (by Cág on 2016-06-14 17:28:14 GMT from Europe)
I (we actually, I believe) don't want to be forced to pay for FOSS and be told that I "cheat" by not paying. I will donate if I like it. I myself write some open source software but never charged and am not going to. This has been the accepted policy for the whole time. People write open source software for fun, for education or as a resumé. Or three, as in my case. Most of us receive our pay at work for writing non-FOSS and we don't see FOSS as the main source of money.
Speaking of eOS (which their arrogant developer insist to write elementary OS and no other way), they don't do something special. Just a GNOME3 based environment on top of Ubuntu. Last time I've tried it, customising was painful to me (Jaysus, comparing to modifying dwm code, which is something special and turns out to be super easy). Yes, many like it. Probably for the dock, which is not even their invention. But at the end of the day, they could simply kindly ask for a donation on their page; galore, I believe, would donate. Being arrogant and rude to the community is worst way to do things.
It is just my two cents worth opinion.
51 • BL Review; Some Comments (by hhh on 2016-06-14 21:43:00 GMT from North America)
BunsenLabs Review, some other points...
>After confirming the distribution was running smoothly, I looked around for a system installer, but did not find one. I rebooted and took the graphical installer option from the live media's boot menu.
debian-installer-launcher only works with the 64 bit kernel, so it seemed stupid to include something that would be broken on two-thirds of our ISOs. Plus, our Openbox config doesn't support desktop icons OOTB, so we'd have to include a menu entry, but then that would be still preent after installation... bleh.
>While Debian's version of the installer uses a red, white and grey theme, Bunsen uses a grey-on-grey theme which makes all of the buttons and elements on the screen look as though they have been disabled.
This is, frankly, a cheap shot at best and a highly jaded comment at worst. The buttons function and appear exactly the same as the d-i only they're grey instead of white. Mouse hover changes their color, tabbing adds a dotted outline inside of the button.
>After the first half hour, I found myself wishing the script had asked all of its questions up front and then performed its actions in one big batch.
This is very valid criticism. As I predicted, their is now a forum thread discussing options (we're looking at Salt, especially).
Mouse scroll for desktops in Openbox rubs me the wrong way too. You have to disable it in ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml
re: conky, why didn't you disable it from Openbox's autostart? It would have been a great way to highlight some of the Openbox menu items we've added to make configuration easier.
Depressing theme, as has been noted, is highly suggestive. If you have hay fever, you might find a lovely dandelion wallpaper depressing.
I wish you had compared us more directly with the jesie Live ISO for LXDE, but c'est la vie. I'm really gald to hear that everything, more or less, worked on your metal install, that's the important thing. We hope to provide one of the better ways for a novice-to-intermediate linux user to install a functional debian stable OS. Time will tell how we're doing!
Thanks for letting me post my thoughts, and thanks again for DW, a great resource!
52 • Distrohopping Stick Trick and Underdog DE (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2016-06-14 21:54:34 GMT from North America)
This trick from Arch is very good for distrohopping.
The problem isn't GRUB but varying boot commands for the ISO image files. Distros differ. Apparently a loopback.cfg method is easy for distros to include. At minimum I wish distros would publish the proper GRUB invocation, and/or GRUB allow chainloading ISOLINUX in some easy fashion.
MINOR SPIN NEWS:
Manjaro XFCE OpenRC 16.06 has shipped.
Obarun.org has released an ISO using s6 init: "This is a STABLE release, can be used for production."
XFCE is a good desktop. GTK3? Who knows. I bet XFCE folks won't let anything out that doesn't "just work."
The underdog to watch is Lumina absent RedTeamBlackHat cruftcode. It's not ready for prime time, but available in Void, Arch, Gentoo, BSD, and others. I hope more devs join up.
"It has been written from scratch in C++/Qt5 and is not based on any existing desktop's code-base. It also does not use any of the Linux-based desktop frameworks (ConsoleKit, PolicyKit, D-Bus, systemd, etc..), instead using a simple built-in interface layer for communicating directly with the operating system (which is the only class specific to the operating system - making it simple to port/customize). This allows it to obtain system information in a fast and efficient manner while ensuring desktop stability and reliability."
53 • Chrome allows me to use HULU in Linux. (by MATE made me a distrohopper. on 2016-06-15 01:37:12 GMT from North America)
And I was doing so well in my recovery. LOL But no one ever told me it had Chrome. I had to find it out on my own. My faith in Linux has been restored. I was lured in by the old GNOME and then to find a beautiful operating system. WOW! The SMLR podcast was right on cue. I never thought I would leave Lubuntu but I am still with Ubuntu, technically. LOL
54 • The whole shebang ? (by erinis on 2016-06-15 03:04:37 GMT from North America)
Humm there are some interesting comments here. It appears the free as in free beer has lost it's charm. Not surprised in the least though. No respect. Sadly. Thanks Jesse from an old timer.
55 • @50 elementary OS - 2 separate points of contention (by Hoos on 2016-06-15 05:23:09 GMT from Asia)
1) Tactless comments:
The developers made a mistake in tactlessly using the phrase "cheating the system" in their post, and then quietly removing the phrase as if they never said it at all and not apologising for those words.
However, that was one release ago, namely Freya. It's now Loki beta. Continuing to harp about those words shows the holding of a long grudge. Just don't use their distro at all if you feel so strongly about it.
2) Seeking payment before download:
I note that actual payment and quantum is still purely voluntary. You can put a zero if you choose.
In principle I don't see anything wrong with seeking payment, apart from their initial rude words. Open source does not mean you can't charge for it; it's only a matter of whether people are willing to pay for it or not. For instance, I don't begrudge Parted Magic charging for their releases, although that means I might not buy a new release for the next few years. Others will say it's not worth the price because many of the tools (e.g. Clonzilla) were not made by the Parted Magic developer and they can get the said tools from other sources without fee. Different people will place different value on it.
So people are still free not to use elementary, or to input a zero before downloading to "try before you buy". If the user subsequently decides they are happy with the distro and wants to contribute, they can do so using that payment option in the download links.
It's really still up to you, isn't it?
Me: I contributed to Luna because I liked it. When they initiated the pay on download scheme for Freya, I chose to enter zero. I was disappointed by Freya and didn't contribute subsequently. I may not bother trying Loki at all. I have made repeat contributions to the distros I like and use.
56 • elementary OS and payment (by Bill on 2016-06-15 06:46:40 GMT from Oceania)
55: You are spot on Hoos, I also have no problem with developers requesting financial support. I regularly purchase OpenBSD and Slackware disks, for example.
The usually polite but sometimes clumsy (perhaps non-English speaking background?) requests for support by various open source projects are very different to the demands made by the developers of proprietary software.
57 • 51 Some Comments by hhh (by Crunchy on 2016-06-15 09:12:54 GMT from Europe)
> debian-installer-launcher only works with the 64 bit kernel, so it seemed stupid to include something that would be broken on two-thirds of our ISOs. Plus, our Openbox config doesn't support desktop icons OOTB, so we'd have to include a menu entry, but then that would be still preent after installation... bleh. <
Aren't we arrogant!
Lack of knowledge mixed with arrogance is a terrible problem; debian-installer-launcher is universal, and work with the 32 bit kernel too. https://packages.debian.org/jessie/debian-installer-launcher.
Openbox is a window manager, not a desktop environment, so it'd never show desktop icons.
58 • @55 elementary funding (by far2fish on 2016-06-15 10:32:54 GMT from Europe)
I agree with your comments Hoos.
However I feel all projects, in particular the "one man show" ones, should add some text explaining why they need funding, and how much they. For people working in IT it is pretty clear, but for the regular users it can be an eye opener. For instance something like: "Project X is created in the developer(s) spare time, and the yearly cost is $$$ because we need build servers, web server hosting and $this and $that"
And below the donate buttons add a "No thanks, take me directly to the download page" link.
That would be a more friendly approach, which I think would result in more donations.
59 • Fund raising for coders ... Please ... (by Greg Zeng on 2016-06-16 05:18:55 GMT from Oceania)
Coders by definition, are lacking fundraising and marketing skills. These necessary extras are needed to be supplied by proven experts, who by definition, lack specializations in other areas, such as coding, product creation & support, etc. Perhaps there might exist some aged multi-skilled people like myself, who have had enough decades of multiple work-life-ventures to know what is really needed. Academia imho, is an escape from real-life, and penalizes the human brain into antique alpha-numerics.
One-per-centers in the Linux world could learn from the larger, richer worlds of Microsoft, or even Apple. M$ 3rd party software uses obvious methods not widely known to coders. Majorgeeks categories these as Open-Source, or Freeware, Shareware, or Ad-supported. Paid is another category used by Softpedia.
Freeware often disguises Nagware or Crippleware (terms used by the Nonags url). Many Linux distributions are claimed to be free, or open-source. Closer examination shows they disguise the ad-supports, nagware & crippleware. There are ways that coders can use these very sophisticated fund-raising methods, without offending new-comers nor old-timers.
Neither Dw nor http://forums.mydigitallife.info/ seem suitable for Linux industry discussions, such as software support, etc. Finally Dw is open to crawlers from Google, but to the extent over the life-history of Dw is unknown and possibly changing. We software people need an ongoing forum space, not a week-only chat area.
Most internet forums are dominated by the one solitary boss, not by a "committee" or "advisory board". These ego-driven web-sites will not and cannot expand beyond the limited skill-set and interest-set of its one owner. Larger organizations like IBM, Ubuntu, Canonical, Microsoft, etc are run by low-skilled beta-males who don't trust any kind of high-flyer, nor CEO-type of person. Generally these organizations reflect the sexism, racism, etc of their parent cultures, so form into factions that plot to destroy any crowd effectiveness, or outlyer enterprises. Beta-persons do not understand blue-sky testing nor learning from past mistakes, to avoid future mistakes. Just scape-goating and destruction of the nominated scape-goats.
There are some individual review and web sites which are created and run by talented, creative individuals. But these sites are limited by the interests-duration of the one person, who needs to try to outlast the Tall-Poppy-Destruction, until it destroys the individual person, imho.
60 • Marketing excellence, perhaps: Robolinux (by Greg Zeng on 2016-06-17 03:55:26 GMT from Oceania)
Not even Ubuntu nor Mint seem to reach this level of professionalism, it seems.
1) https://sourceforge.net/projects/robolinux/?source=typ_redirect is a detailed home page, with needed download urls, YouTube demo with interesting young-he-man's graphics, good urls. It offers four VM Support Packages as well. This is very rare (unique?) in marketing Linux or any operating system.
2) https://www.robolinux.org/ is the best home page for any operating ystem, afaik. It reinforces the image as a geeks-only distribution, with some detailed geek-only information.
3) Latest press release explains funding in a way that encourages us to fund them, instead of running away from them.
1) http://distrowatch.com/?newsid=09438 shows only four, not the full five (5) versions of this distro to download, and no mentions of any reviews of this distribution
2) http://linuxtracker.org/?page=torrents&search=robolinux&category=0&active=0 does not show the latest version (ver.8.5)
3) http://topnewreview.com/robolinux-8-4-review/ refers to the old version, not the newest version.
4) Of the marketing information provided, comparison information is missing, everywhere, though, which reflects poor marketing, or trying to hide the flaws in a product.
5) No reference to any press kits are listed. This kit would have copy-ready histories, personalities, user stories &stats, flaws overcome, wannabe's, graphics, etc.
6) Typical of all Linux distributions, there are no reasons (verbal, nor graphical) why this distribution is better than others.
7) No url pointing the ways to quickly, cheaping create an installation medium (a fast USB3 flash stick, Unetbootin or YUMI).
61 • DELUXE-super-TURBO-magnum-STEALTH-bolinux (by tim on 2016-06-17 15:36:29 GMT from North America)
The robobobo marketingspeak is way too cheezy. Now, for a limited time... Hey, kids, collect all six... Coming soon to a galaxy near you...
62 • Bunsen review (by Sam on 2016-06-17 16:58:41 GMT from South America)
> It took a while for me to get the interface looking the way I wanted it to and less like the inside of a mine shaft
:-D This made me laugh. Nice review, not exactly my cup of tea, but looks like a well thought-out distro, and I'm glad to see they're carrying the Crunchbang torch/flame. :)
63 • Video Streaming on Linux (by M.Z. on 2016-06-17 22:12:59 GMT from North America)
I was streaming Hulu on Linux long before it ever worked in Chrome, thanks to Firefox. In fact Chrome was a source of trouble for Hulu until recently, though I don't know exactly when that changed. It never really bothered me very much as I prefer Firefox for both it's flexibility/customization & because it's a far more open & community oriented browser. I checked Chrome & Opera on Hulu after I saw your post because I hadn't bothered to try in some time & indeed they both work, though I really don't think I want Google tracking my viewing habits so I'll pass on Chrome.
The only thing Chrome ever did that made me particularly happy was when Netflix started to work with it on Linux, which is quite nice even if I don't like Google's tracking policies & would never log into any copy of Chrome with my Gmail account - or use Chrome for much of anything besides Netflix. I checked Opera on Netflix again & it says something about 'install Silverlight on your Mac' even though I'm on Linux. I don't know if the instructions would do anything useful on Linux, but I doubt it. I guess I'm still stuck with Chrome on Linux, but at least it works & is fairly trouble free.
On a related note, why am I getting so much screen tearing on Mageia lately with Netflix/Chrome in full screen? It only started relatively recently & only affects Mageia 5 & not Mint 17.3 running a similar version of KDE on the exact same laptop. Did an update screw something up? There doesn't seem to be much on the forums & it's kinda annoying, even if booting to Mint is an easy workaround. I always had the problem in LMDE 2 w/Ciannamon, but Mageia 5 KDE started doing it too & now only 1 of the 3 distros on my laptop is any good for streaming video. I guess that's one reason why it's good to have multiple distros installed.
64 • YUMI: Better multiboot sticks (by Europe)
"This trick from Arch is very good for distrohopping.
That sounds like a lot of work.
You should use the free program "YUMI" which is the easiest way to throw together a multiboot stick:
65 • Multiboot (cross-platform) (by Somewhat Reticent on 2016-06-18 21:36:50 GMT from North America)
@64 (by ? on 2016-06-17 23:17:02 from 37.187.129.* in Europe?)
YUMI at PenDriveLinux demonstrates the KISS syslinux approach, just like the SourceForge project MultiBootUSB
But consider the tremendous effort behind Easy2Boot ... using the Gr-eater GrUB4dOS
Number of Comments: 65
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