| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 711, 8 May 2017
Welcome to this year's 19th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One nice thing about Linux is not every distribution needs to provide a large collection of features and desktop software. Linux distributions can be customized to fit specific needs, ranging from powerful servers to dedicated media centres to portable toolboxes. This week Joshua Allen Holm reviews the 4MLinux distribution which supplies a range of utilities and entertainment. In our News section we talk about new features coming to Linux Mint, improvements to the Haiku operating system and pfSense's roadmap. We also cover Linux Mint 13 reaching the end of its supported life and OpenBSD's first public trial of the syspatch binary update manager. Plus we share news on Fedora's expanding support for the MP3 audio format and updated Debian media. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about file system fragmentation and how to address it. Linux file systems rarely experience fragmentation, in theory, and in this week's Opinion Poll we ask our readers to let us know if their Linux drive experiences fragmentation. As usual, we supply a list of last week's releases and share the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!
- Review: 4MLinux 21.0
- News: Linux Mint 13 retired, Mint plans new features, Haiku improvements, pfSense lays out roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates, Fedora to gain full support for MP3, Debian updates install media
- Questions and answers: Checking file system fragmentation
- Released last week: feren OS 2017.0, Slackel 7.0, SME Server 9.2
- Torrent corner: Antergos, feren OS, OpenIndiana, OpenMandriva, OpenMediaVault, pfSense, Slackel, SME Server
- Opinion poll: Disk fragmentation
- New distributions: Daylight Linux, Enso OS, FyreLinux, Phoenix OS
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (93MB) and MP3 (69MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Joshua Allen Holm)
4MLinux is a lightweight Linux distribution designed to provide four key areas of functionality. With just the software available on the ISO, 4MLinux provides a wide variety of applications for performing system maintenance; playing many types of multimedia files; offering a miniserver to provide a basic web server; and it has a decent selection of games, which the distribution places in a category it calls mystery. Those four functions provide the basis of the distribution's name. Four things that start with "M", so 4MLinux.
Honestly, those four categories are very different things, so can one distribution do them all without losing focus? In 4MLinux's case, it can, up to a point. In a 550MB ISO, 4MLinux provides a lot of software to do each of its four specializations. Granted, it does some better than others, but it does not fail at any of its tasks.
Below, I take a look at 4MLinux's 21.0 release in depth. I begin with a look at the distribution as a whole, focusing on things that are shared across the entire experience, basically the desktop environment and parts of the user experience that span multiple categories. After that, I explore each of the four M's in more detail before concluding with my final thoughts.
4MLinux's desktop environment
Booting 4MLinux from a flash drive is a quick process. I was quickly and automatically logged in as root and could start working in the desktop environment. For the desktop, 4MLinux uses JVM combined with a Wbar launcher at the top of the screen that provides shortcuts to major programs. Plus there is IDesk to manage the desktop, and Conky to provide basic system status information. Wbar, IDesk, and Conky can all be switched off, but the system is already very light when they are in their default, enabled state. When I tried running 4MLinux in a (somewhat) low memory virtual machine with 1GB of RAM, the top process monitor reported the system was using only 160MB of RAM. 4MLinux was quick and responsive when run in a virtual machine or on bare metal.
4MLinux 21.0 -- The default desktop
(full image size: 194kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Out of the box, 4MLinux comes with a decent selection of software. In the JVM application menu there are shortcuts for a terminal, Internet applications, maintenance, multimedia, miniserver, and mystery. The Internet sub-menu contains Links for web browsing, HexChat for IRC, Sylpheed for e-mail, Transmission for Bittorrent, uGet for downloading, a utility to share files via Bluetooth, GNOME PPP for dial-up Internet connections, and an option to toggle Tor on and off. I will cover the contents of the four "M" sub-menus in the respective sections below. There is also a section for extensions, which contains shortcuts that will prompt the user to install a selection of add-on applications, such as LibreOffice, GIMP, various web browsers, and VLC, to name just a few.
There are two drawbacks with the software selection. One: there is no modern, graphical web browser pre-installed. Yes, they are all much heavier than Links, which does get run in its graphical mode, but 4MLinx provides a graphical application for e-mail, so including a single lightweight graphical web browser as the default would be a welcome change. Many of the major browsers, including Chromium and Firefox, are listed in the extension sub-menu for easy installation, but they need to be downloaded and installed before use. Two: some of the packages included in the menu are not actually already installed. This is to be expected for applications in the Extension sub-menu, but there are applications in the other parts of the menu that require packages to be installed from the 4MLinux disc or from the Internet.
4MLinux 21.0 -- Help and FAQ text
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In addition to the selection of software packages, 4MLinux provides a few 4MLinux-specific utilities and help files. There is an updater script to update 4MLinux, an installer script to copy the distribution to a hard drive partition, and text-based help and FAQ files. The help file and the FAQ cover a lot, but not absolutely everything. Unfortunately, the help file and the FAQ file make up the majority of the text-based help available on the system; it looks like man pages were not included in order to save space.
The overall user experience for 4MLinux is pretty good. The desktop environment is pleasant to use, giving a user a way to use the various software packages that make up each of 4MLinux's four M's without getting in the way or taking up too many system resources. Since the four areas of specialization are what set 4MLinux apart from other distributions, I will now take a look at each of them.
Maintenance is 4MLinux's best aspect. The distribution comes with a large selection of utilities pre-installed. There are applications for partitioning hard drives, backing up data, recovering deleted files, burning files to CD/DVD, and most of the other common system maintenance tasks. One drawback, however, is the fact that the included anti-virus software, Clam Anti-virus, does not have any virus definitions pre-installed. Instead, on first run the software attempts to download the virus definitions from the Internet. This does ensure that the newest virus definitions are used, but in cases where there is no Internet access, it is impossible to scan for viruses. Shipping with outdated definitions that can be used if needed is better than having an anti-virus program that can only work if there is Internet access.
The maintenance utilities that are included in 4MLinux can be found in many other distributions, but 4MLinux does have a few extras that are unique. Some of the utilities have custom shell script menus that help the user select the right options and use the programs without having to know all the various command line options. Little things like those custom scripts make 4MLinux a good choice to use as a system rescue distribution.
4MLinux can play many audio and video files without having to add or tweak anything. I had no problem playing any of the files I tried. I was even able to play a DVD movie without problems. 4MLinux should be able to play Blu-ray after installing a few extra packages from the installation disc, but I do not have the hardware required to play Blu-ray discs, so I was unable to verify if it works.
The only issue with the multimedia aspect of 4MLinux is the included software. For the most part the selection is good. There are applications to play music, movies, rip files from CD/DVD, and view/edit images. However, the selection of software for playing video files is confusing because there are five different MPlayer-based user applications. MPlayer GUI, MPlayer TUI, SMPlayer, GNOME MPlayer, and Baka MPlayer are all listed in the menu, which seems more redundant than useful. The various MPlayer applications are not all that different, so including all of them just leads to possible confusion about which one is better or the "right" application. Perhaps the worst thing is that despite including five different MPlayer interfaces, VLC is not included by default and needs to be installed from the Extensions section of the application menu. Personally, I would have preferred to have one MPlayer interface installed by default alongside VLC, but that is personal preference. I honestly had zero issues playing media with the included software.
I have mixed feelings about 4MLinux's miniserver functionality. It is does provide SSH, FTP and a useful basic LAMP stack with a nice web-based administrative interface, but in order to get the full functionality it is necessary to install a bunch of packages from the installation disc. Like much of the software that is included as add-on packages on the 4MLinux disc, I would have preferred to have the software pre-installed. Granted, installing the full set of LAMP packages only requires running a single shell script from the lamp directory on the disc (individual packages can be installed using the zk command), but if miniserver is one of the key selling points of the distribution, all of it should be included by default.
4MLinux 21.0 -- Server Admin Area displayed in Links browser
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Quibbles about having to install packages to get the full LAMP functionality aside, I do like the minisever aspect of 4MLinux. It is implemented well and provides a good, pre-configured web server for basic testing purposes, but realistically, I seriously doubt I would ever recommend using it for much more than quick and simple testing. Personally, I am far more likely to start up a CentOS virtual machine as a testing server than use 4MLinux's miniserver, but other people might find it useful.
4MLinux comes with a variety of games. The selection is diverse, so there should be something for most people. The games range from things like GNU Chess and solitaire to many of id Software's older first person shooters. Though in the case of the id Software games, the data files need to be downloaded before the game can be played. Also included are some old DOS games that run under DOSBox, but DOSBox has not been tweaked to provide optimal performance, so I had to manually increase the number of cycles in DOSBox to get the games to run smoothly. Another problem with the DOSBox games is that there are potentially intellectual property issues with some of the games included. There is a Super Mario game, which is most certainly not an official Nintendo game, and a Pac-Man clone that has similar issues, so if those might be a problem where you live and a cause for concern for you, you might want to avoid 4MLinux.
4MLinux 21.0 -- Installing WINE as a dependency
(full image size: 153kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
One thing that is really strange is the fact that four of the games require WINE to run even though these games have native Linux versions. If you want to play SuperTux, TuxRacer, Chromium, or GLtron, a prompt asking if the user wants to install WINE pops up. Selecting Yes installs WINE and all of the WINE games. I am at a complete loss as to why these games are using the Windows versions when Linux versions are available.
I am not a huge gamer, so I found the selection of game to be adequate. If I were able to add to the selection of games, I would have included ScummVM and a few of the games that are freely available for it, just to provide a little more diversity to the selection of games. I would also remove the problematic DOSBox games. Additionally, native Linux versions of the WINE games would be very welcome.
4MLinux provides a lot of software in a small package. For system maintenance it is good choice to have on hand. For multimedia, miniserver, and mystery it provides a useful selection of software, but there are other distributions that focus on only one of those tasks and do it better by being more focused. That is not to say that 4MLinux is bad, but it tries to do too many different things at once. To be completely honest, I think 4MLinux would be a stronger offering if it were 3MLinux and dropped the mystery aspect entirely. Maybe including just solitaire or some other light game to have as a diversion while maintenance tasks run and use the space freed up by removing the games to include some of the optional extension applications by default.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo Ideapad 100-15IBD laptop with the following specifications:
- Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Core i3-5020U CPU
- Storage: Seagate 500GB 5400 RPM hard drive
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8723BE 802.11n Wireless Network Adapter
- Display: Intel HD Graphics 5500
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Visitor supplied rating
4MLinux has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.1/10 from 7 review(s).
Have you used 4MLinux? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Linux Mint 13 retired, Mint plans new features, Haiku improvements, pfSense lays out roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates, Fedora to gain full support for MP3, Debian updates install media
The Linux Mint team's monthly newsletter for April included a number of significant announcements. The newsletter reported that Linux Mint 13 has reached the end of its supported life cycle. Version 13 of Linux Mint was a long term support release launched back in 2012 and it received five years of support. Anyone still using version 13 is encouraged to read this forum post on upgrading to a newer, supported version of the distribution.
Mint's newsletter also mentioned that version 1.18 of the MATE desktop will soon be available to people running Linux Mint Debian Edition. Further, the recent release of the Cinnamon 3.4 desktop will include a number of stability improvements: "In the upcoming Cinnamon 3.4 the settings daemon will be split into multiple processes. Each plugin (i.e. area of responsibility) will run its own process, making it easy to identify excessive CPU or memory usage and isolating crashes to only affect a particular plugin without impacting the rest of the desktop. Similarly, Nemo (the file manager) will be split into two separate processes. One for the desktop icons, which will run in isolation, and one for the file manager windows." Further details and more changes coming to Mint can be found in the newsletter.
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The Haiku project develops an open source, spiritual successor to BeOS. The Haiku project has announced a number of developments which improve the user experience of their lightweight operating system. Some of these changes include expanding support for video formats in the operating system's media player, fixing compatibility issues between Haiku's file system and BeOS's implementation of BFS, and a graphical update manager is now included in the default installation. "Brian Hill continues his work on the Software Updater, which is now included in the default image, and almost ready for production. This tool will be used to notify the user when updates are available in the repositories, and automatically apply them. No need to go to pkgman in the command line for this anymore." Further details on Haiku's progress can be found in the project's newsletter.
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pfSense is a FreeBSD-based custom operating system for firewalls and routers. The project has published a summary of changes and upgrades which will be rolled out over the next year or two. Future versions of pfSense will use FreeBSD 11 as a base, offer support for UEFI and include support for the ZFS advanced file system. "We're starting the process toward pfSense software release 2.3.4. pfSense software release 2.4 is close as well, and will bring a number of improvements: UEFI, translations to at least five languages, ZFS, FreeBSD 11 base, new login page, OpenVPN 2.4 and more. pfSense version 2.4 requires a 64-bit Intel or AMD CPU, and nanobsd images are no longer a part of pfSense as of version 2.4. pfSense version 2.5 will be based on FreeBSD 12, which should bring route-based IPsec, along with support for our integrated management platform, NRDM (more about this soon), and a number of other features." Versions 2.5 and higher will also include additional encryption features and the project's blog post outlines the requirements the new encryption features will demand.
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One of the new features introduced into OpenBSD 6.1 was syspatch, a utility for installing binary patches on the OpenBSD operating system. With the release of new errata for 6.1, OpenBSD users have a chance to try out the new syspatch utility. The errata announcement reads: "Binary updates for the amd64 and i386 platforms are also available via the syspatch utility. Note that syspatch uses the mirror configured in /etc/installurl, so all mirrors may not have the files yet."
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The Fedora distribution has long avoided providing full support for encoding MP3 audio files due to licensing restrictions on the MP3 format. However, the patents on the MP3 format have expired and the Fedora distribution will soon be able to ship with support for both playing and creating MP3 files. Up until now MP3 encoding support has been provided by third-party software repositories. Fedora Magazine explains: "A couple of weeks ago IIS Fraunhofer and Technicolor terminated their licensing program and just a few days ago Red Hat Legal provided the permission to ship MP3 encoding in Fedora. There will be a bit of time whilst package reviews are carried out and tools that are safe to add are identified, as only MP3 is cleared and not other MPEG technologies. However, it will soon be possible to convert physical media or other formats to MP3 in Fedora without 3rd party repositories."
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The Debian project has published updated installation media for Debian 8 "Jessie". The new media includes security updates and fixes that have been made available since Debian 8 was first released, but is not a new version of the Debian distribution. The Debian website explains: "The Debian project is pleased to announce the eighth 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 already published separately and are referenced where available. 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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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Checking file system fragmentation
Reorganizing-my-hard-drive asks: When I was running Windows I used to defrag my hard drive once a month to keep performance up. I have heard that it is not necessary to defrag the drive under Linux, is that true and how do I defrag my Linux drive if I want to?
DistroWatch answers: Most file systems that Linux will support, such as ext4, XFS and Btrfs, will generally avoid fragmenting your files automatically. A hard drive gets fragmented when the operating system writes part of a file in one location and another part of the same file in a different location. This breaks up files and causes pieces of large files to be scattered around the hard drive. On spinning drives this results in poorer performance as it takes longer to access all the various pieces of the file. Linux file systems generally attempt to write data to the hard drive in a way that keeps the parts of the file together.
Sometimes, usually when the hard drive is close to full (around 80% or 90% of its capacity) files may become fragmented as the system runs out of convenient places to write large files in continuous blocks. But when the disk is less than 80% full, a Linux file system will generally avoid fragmentation.
While most people do not need to worry about their Linux file system becoming fragmented, there are tools for dealing with fragmentation. As each file system works a little differently, there are different utilities for dealing with fragmentation on each file system.
The most commonly used file system on Linux is probably ext4. If you would like to check to see if your ext4 file system is fragmented you can run the following command as the root user or via sudo:
e4defrag -c /
The above command runs the ext4 defrag command. The -c option tells the program to check for fragmentation. This will cause the e4defrag program to look for fragmentation, but not attempt to repair it if any is found. The last parameter, / in this example, is the location of the file system. In our example we are checking the root (/) file system, but we could also check our /home directory using
e4defrag -c /home
The e4defrag command will produce a "fragmentation score". A score in the range of 0 to 30 indicates there is no problem. A file system with a score of 31 through 55 is slightly fragmented, but the fragmentation can probably be ignored. A score of 56 or higher suggests the drive should be defragged. We can defrag the drive by running the same e4defrag command again, this time without the -c option.
Different file systems use different commands, most of them feature more options than the e4defrag command and I recommend reading their respective manual pages. The command to defragment a Btrfs volume mounted at /home is as follows:
btrfs filesystem defrag -r /home
If you are running a system with XFS as one of the file systems, you can defragment all connected XFS partitions by running the command
These defrag commands may never need to be run as each file system generally keeps itself well organized. However, if you want to experiment to see if your file system can be better organized, these above commands will do the job.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
feren OS 2017.0
feren OS is a desktop distribution based on Linux Mint which uses the Cinnamon desktop environment and includes WINE for running Windows applications. feren OS 2017.0, which is based on Linux Mint 18.1, has been released. The new version enables automatic updates and replaces Mint's Welcome screen with one forked from the Budgie desktop. The new version includes an updated theme manager which provides previews of available themes. Also new to this release: the boot menu contains an option for enabling nomodeset to work around buggy video drivers. "'No Mode Set' for NVIDIA drivers incompatible with the other options now in the boot menu. Just look for the 'No Mode Set' option in the boot menu of the Live CD if you can't boot from the other options and/or have NVIDIA drivers... If you have to once you've installed the OS, hold SHIFT to force the boot menu to appear." Further details on the new release, along with work arounds for common issues, can be found in the release announcement for feren OS 2017.0.
Dimitris Tzemos has announced the release of Slackel 7.0, a new major build of the project's "Openbox" edition which is based on Slackware Linux (the "Current" branch) and Salix: "Slackel 7.0 Live Openbox has been released. Includes the Linux kernel 4.4.38 and latest updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree. The 64-bit ISO image support booting on UEFI systems, the 32-bit ISO image supports both i686 PAE SMP and i486 non-PAE capable systems. Full multimedia support without having to install multimedia codecs while on live environment. Of course, it is suggested to install multimedia codecs to your system after installation. Persistent file encryption has been added after installation on USB. Slackel 7.0 Openbox includes: Midori 0.5.11, Mozilla Firefox 45.9.0esr (multi-lingual edition), Pidgin 2.12.0, Transmission 2.92, wicd 1.7.4, Sylpheed 3.5.1, Mozilla Thunderbird 52.0.1, gFTP 2.0.19. Filezilla 3.24.1, SMPlayer 17.4.0 movie player, MPlayer-1.3, Exaile 3.4.5 (the application to use for managing music collection), Asunder 2.7 CD ripper, Brasero 3.12.0 for writing CDs and DVDs, GIMP 2.8.20...." Please visit the distribution's user forums to read the full release announcement (includes screenshots).
Slackel 7.0 -- The live desktop environment
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
SME Server 9.2
Terry Fage has announced the release of SME Server 9.2, the second update to the stable 9.x branch of the project's CentOS-based distribution for servers: "The Koozali SME Server development team is pleased to announce the release of Koozali SME Server 9.2 final which is the next stable release of the SME 9.x branch. SME Server is intended for use on servers in small and medium-size businesses and is based on CentOS 6.x. The latest release, SME Server 9.2, provides users with an update to the distribution's 9.x series and is based on CentOS 6.9. SME Server 9.2 includes upstream updates and bug fixes and includes local fixes and additional feature requests. Major changes in this release: updated all to Koozali branding; server manager - allow access to the server manager without SSL from the loopback, don't redirect to http when login in/out of the server manager from localhost; file server - added W10 support to SME domain, add support for specifying TLS v1.1 and TLS v1.2; LDAP - hook into the new SSL update event; mail server - update qpsmtpd to release 0.99.6...." See the release announcement and release notes for further information.
OpenIndiana is an open source operating system based on Illumos which continues the tradition of OpenSolaris. The OpenIndiana project has published a new release, version 2017.04. The new version includes support for USB 3.0, the MATE 1.16 desktop and an updated Xorg server. "The most notable change for this snapshot is related to hardware support. OI now fully supports USB 3.0 devices. Intel video drivers were significantly improved by Gordon Ross. The list of supported hardware has significantly extended. Xorg was updated to 1.18.4 version, so if you use any third-party modules - they might need recompilation or update (notably, the VirtualBox Guest Additions). MATE was updated to 1.16 version. We started shipping GTK+3 applications. Several GNOME 2 applications, which don't have MATE analogs, were updated to GNOME 3 versions. A lot of end user applications are delivered now as 64-bit only." Additional information on OpenIndiana 2017.04 can be found in the project's release announcement and the more detailed release notes.
Alessio Fattorini has announced the release of NethServer 6.9. The NethServer distribution is a Linux distributions for servers which is based on CentOS and features a web-based administration interface. The new release features improved support for Let's Encrypt security certificates, version 5 of Shorewall and the ability to import contacts from Outlook 2016. "We're happy to announce that NethServer 6.9 has been released and is publicly available. We're confident that, as always, it will achieve our mission: making sysadmin's life easier with open source. This is thanks to the most vibrant, supportive and friendly community in the open source space (and not just open source). Based on the recently released CentOS 6.9 operating system. The traffic shaping web UI doesn't list VLAN reds interfaces, but it's possible to assign the RED role to a VLAN. Now it's possibile to add trafic shaping to red VLANs. Also, creating a port forward, VLAN reds now are listed in the WAN IP (red interface) section." Further information on NethServer 6.9 can be found in the project's release announcement and release notes.
Version 2.3.4 of pfSense, a specialist FreeBSD-based operating system designed for firewalls and routers, has been released: "We are happy to announce the release of pfSense software version 2.3.4. This is a maintenance release in the 2.3.x series, bringing stability and bug fixes, fixes for a few security issues, and a handful of new features. On the 2.3.4-RELEASE Dashboard you'll find a few additional pieces of information - the BIOS vendor, version, and release date (if the firewall can determine them) and a Netgate Unique ID. The Netgate Unique ID is similar to a serial number, it is used to uniquely identify an instance of pfSense software for customers who want to purchase support services. For hardware sold in our store, it also allows us to tie units to our manufacturing records. This ID is consistent across all platforms (bare metal, virtual machines, and hosted/cloud instances such as AWS/Azure). We had originally intended to use the hardware serial number or the UUID generated by the operating system, but we found that these were unreliable." See the release announcement and release notes for further details.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not 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 in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 396
- Total data uploaded: 64.0TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
In this week's Questions and Answers column we talked about disk fragmentation. Fragmented files are usually not a problem on Linux as Linux file systems tend to tidy themselves automatically. However, we would like to test this idea by finding out if any of our readers are running drives that have fragmented. Are your partitions fragmented and, if so, by how much?
People using the ext4 file system can get a fragmentation score by running the command e4defrag -c /.
You can see the results of our previous poll on running Android apps on GNU/Linux last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|My disk has a fragmentation score of zero: ||567 (40%)|
| My disk has a fragmentation score of 1-30: ||267 (19%)|
| My disk has a fragemtnation score of 31-55: ||11 (1%)|
| My disk has a score of 56 or higher: ||16 (1%)|
| I do not know: ||343 (24%)|
| I am running a file system other than ext4: ||206 (15%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- FyreLinux. FyreLinux is an openSUSE-based desktop distribution for 64-bit x86 computers. The distribution features two Qt-based desktop environments: KDE and LXQt.
- Enso OS. Enso OS is a desktop Linux distribution based on Xubuntu.
- Phoenix OS. Phoenix OS is an operating system that is based on Android-x86 for desktop, tablet and laptop computers.
- Daylight Linux. Daylight Linux is based on Debian 9 "Stretch" and features the LXDE desktop.
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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, 15 May 2017. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
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|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • I guess I am first up... (by Tom Joad on 2017-05-08 02:43:27 GMT from United States) |
I always use ext4. I ran the command and got a big fat "0" Yay...group hug!
I download Devuan, the RC2 and everything went fine. I got it 'toasted' as they call it to a zip drive. It booted fine, no issues with the UEFI 'stuff' so I thought I was on the way. Nope. I ran up on Wicked or Wicd. That flat refused to connect no matter what I did. Worse it seems to default to the wireless stuff too and I could not convince not to go there but I did. I have an active wired connection...no time for wireless.
I have an Asus motherboard, h170 gamer pro with the garden variety intel controller that works with everything I have thrown at it since rebuilding this box.
Anywho, the desktop color is AWFUL in imho. But everything seemed to work. I kind of like it. No systemd but that is not a deal breaker for me. No Unity and that is a HUGE deal breaker. I am not crazy about xfce but I can play with it. I want to play with it for a few days.
If it would get on the internet I could have my way with it but for now ...no go. Network Manager is the way to go I think but what do I know.
I do know this; if one has to fight a new, budding OS to get it on the internet using an active Ethernet connection...folks are going to walk away from your stuff PDQ!
Just a note....
2 • Warning about e4defrag (by LiuYan on 2017-05-08 02:52:58 GMT from China)
Last year, I did a e4defrag on / and /boot and another partition (/hdd), after that some weird thing happened:
1. When reboot, grub2 report an 'Invalid_Magic_Number' error (initramfs-.4.7-300.fc23.x86_64.img).
2. Some VMware virtual machines failed to boot.
I'm not sure if it's caused by e4defrag, but this phenomenon happened after `e4defrag` been executed.
Since e4defrag claimed it's an "online defragmenter", I ran `e4defrag` when partitions are mounted, maybe that what I shouldn't do it online?
3 • defrag results (by Bob on 2017-05-08 05:16:51 GMT from United States)
Google Chrome is fragging my / and /home. I got a zero in / and a 1 in /home.
4 • defrag and mystery (by edcoolio on 2017-05-08 06:17:20 GMT from United States)
I do not defrag ext4 file systems. Ever. I have space on my drives and with the file systems, I cannot think of one reason to bother with it. Of course, that is just my opinion... and you know what they say about opinions.
To clarify, from 4MLinux:
4MLinux is a mini Linux distribution focusing on the following four "M":
- Maintenance (system rescue Live CD),
- Multimedia (e.g. playing video DVDs),
- Miniserver (using the inetd daemon),
- Mystery (meaning a collection of Linux games).
As for 4MLinux having games requiring Winem- I'm all for Wine being pre-installed/pre-configured on a Linux distro that has one of its four professed concentrations as games. However, I agree, it is odd having games that have Linux equivalents. It is even more strange that there is software (games) installed that requires Wine, but without Wine installed.
5 • Defrag (by Platypus on 2017-05-08 06:24:47 GMT from Australia)
I've been a Linux users for 12 years and never have I once de-fragmented a drive. Reason? I read that I didn't need to do it. Another reason is that I didn't know I could do it. This is the first time for me (a lazy desktop console user) that I have even learnt how to do it. I suppose I could have searched it but didn't have a need to.
6 • I guess I am first up... (by No Body on 2017-05-08 07:43:45 GMT from Switzerland)
@ Tom Joad:
| On wireless:
It's a feature, not having WiFi - Free Software only.
If you need WiFi, you install the components yourself, if you don't know how to, you take Bunsen Labs Linux, LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) or MX-16 Linux (all Debian based with working WiFi).
| No systemd, but that is not a deal breaker for me.
It's a feature...
Devuan = Debian - Systemd
NO SYSTEMD is the ONLY REASON why you would like to use Devuan instead of Debian.
Same thing with MX-16. Sane choice, without Systemd.
| No Unity and that is a HUGE deal breaker.
That is a HUGE DEAL BREAKER. Nobody sane would ever install Unity or Gnome3 if he/she has to work with a computer. For YouTubing and FlixNeting it's O.K. But - that's "Kids have fun", no working.
Advice: Check first what are you installing, before you start installing.
7 • ssd and fragmentation (by kan3nas on 2017-05-08 09:17:10 GMT from Greece)
I believe that when using ssd defrag is not necessary after all the hard disk is just a huge memory therefore defrag wears it unnecessarily for a gain that is negligible.
8 • @6 (by Bellan on 2017-05-08 09:30:27 GMT from United States)
I know it may be hard for you to understand (I mean, you call watching Netflix "FlixNeting"...), but not everyone in the world likes or has to like everything that you do. Some people do enjoy Gnome, and do use it for work. No matter how you feel about it, claiming that it can't be used for work is blatantly false. And this is coming from someone who prefers Budgie or Mate for my DE.
9 • defrag (by Wayne on 2017-05-08 10:18:00 GMT from United States)
running e4defrag -c / on Mint 18 just returns 'Done' no score.
10 • e4defrag (by sydneyj on 2017-05-08 10:37:47 GMT from United States)
@9 Wayne, run the command with sudo for detail.
11 • no score (by jymm on 2017-05-08 10:44:00 GMT from United States)
I had the same thing, then re-read the article. Used sudo and got a score.
12 • @7: SSD & defrag (by dragonmouth on 2017-05-08 12:31:34 GMT from United States)
It's not that SSD's don't need to be defragged. They SHOULD NOT be defragged because defragging shortens their useful lifetime.
13 • Defragging (by carc1n0gen on 2017-05-08 12:55:37 GMT from Canada)
All of my machines including the windows box use SSDs so I never think about fragmentation.
AFAIK even if things did get fragmented in the traditional way, due to the way SSDs work, it would not matter. Anyone can correct me if I'm wrong
14 • Re: Super Grub2 Disk 'even if mbr damaged' review (by adrian15 on 2017-05-08 12:58:07 GMT from Spain)
> The reason for the 8 is that the option to find grub.cfg where "even if mbr damaged" returns nothing but the "not damaged" option finds what is available. For me the "mbr damaged" option should at least return the same data. ( Extracted from http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=ratings&distro=supergrub )
Super Grub2 Disk 2.02s9 has removed the 'even if mbr is overwritten' string so that there's no confusion. That was an early option which emphasized in a feature that it's actually common to most of the SG2D options: You can usually boot into your system even if mbr (the boot code part not the partition part) is overwritten.
Thank you for your feedback.
15 • Of Devuan, Unity and other vagaries... (by tom joad on 2017-05-08 13:22:03 GMT from United States)
Hey thanks. I installed Devuan to a USB drive so it is gone when I want it gone. Only the steady eddies go on my HD!
I was not clear about Unity...I HATE that, HATE IT, and did from the first day I saw it. But Unity got me to Mint Mate. Good thing.
Anyway, I like trying new things. Devuan has gotten a lot of ink around here so I thought I would give it a go. I have it running now on my HP and the wireless is working. Wicked seems to prefer wireless it seems to me.
Anywho, thanks for the shot back. I will play with this for a week, work it, Play with it, and see how it goes. I gotta tell you, too, MX-16 is hard to beat though. Those guys have it going on, at least right now.
16 • e4defrag (by mystified on 2017-05-08 13:34:56 GMT from Australia)
Thanks for this great article on file system fragmentation. I found this so beneficial. I run a number of drives & test different distros on a regular basis. I found this worked great on all my ext4 drives. But I had no success on ext2 drives. I'm no techie & tried different combinations of this command with both e4defrag & e2defrag, without success. Online there was little to illustrate this same command on ext2 drives. I also have a preference for Bsd & ext2 storage drives works beautifully for accessing data between linux/bsd Osers.
17 • SSD - TRIM (by Bob on 2017-05-08 14:29:10 GMT from United States)
It is true you should never run defrag on an SSD on any system, however you DO need to TRIM an SSD. The TRIM command allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally.
Just do a search for "ssd trim linux" for more info and details.
18 • for SSD (by btroy on 2017-05-08 14:32:56 GMT from United States)
To clean-up SSD's you should do a periodic run of
19 • Defrag (by sofiasmith on 2017-05-08 14:41:08 GMT from Spain)
Running e4defrag -c / first time ever on all my computers / systems. And the scores are:
Linux Mint 18.1 = 0
Debian 8.8 = 0
Knoppix 7.7.1 = 0
Slackware 14.2 = 1
Arch Linux Cinnamon = 2
Fedora 25 = 2
Arch Linux LXDE = 2
Devuan 1 RC2 = 0
20 • Devuan derivatives (by lenn on 2017-05-08 15:13:19 GMT from Canada)
@ 1 Tom Joad
Well, don't just drop Devuan for its desktop colour or not working Wicd or anything. Its still RC2. And, here is something you can try, if you have a free partition. Try Nelum-Testing. (Nelum-Dev1-XFCE-64-Testing.iso) Google it to find it. It was released may 31st 2016, made from Devuan beta release. Install it and upgrade it to today's status. You'd have a testing (or Stretch) distro. Of course, before installing check if wifi is working. It'd work. Interestingly, no one had yet released a Devuan Testing Iso, other than Nelum.
>>Advice: Check first what are you installing, before you start installing.<<
Not only clicking some installer's buttons, but also how to install any distro by mounting it or chrooting.
Also just give Devuan a chance!
21 • Impressed with Devuan (by eco2geek on 2017-05-08 15:46:29 GMT from United States)
I haven't installed Devuan yet, but I did put it on a USB thumbdrive using Unetbootin. It picked up my hardware (including the Ethernet connection) correctly.
The impressive thing about it was that it allowed me to watch a movie in full screen using VLC. It also allowed me to watch Flash video (from the web site of the three major over-the-air TV networks in the US -- and the video required Flash to play) full screen.
Most distros will display lags and glitches when doing those things from live media, especially when using open-source video drivers (I have an NVIDIA card). Devuan wasn't glitchy during playback.
22 • Ext4 Defragmentation (by Mitchell on 2017-05-08 20:36:37 GMT from United States)
Yeah, ran under sudo gives a big fat 0, without it... Done
23 • 80% disc used? (by Jordan on 2017-05-08 21:02:21 GMT from United States)
Who would allow their hard drive to fill up to 80% or more? It would have to be an ANCIENT computer.
I understand that there may be some out there with tiny hard drives, but even then you'd be hard pressed to run the thing with any degree of efficiency with a disc that full, wouldn't you?
I don't think I've ever had a disc with more than 35% usage.
24 • Full discs? (by DaveW on 2017-05-08 21:50:49 GMT from United States)
@23 It's not really difficult to fill up a hard drive. You just need to take a lot of pictures and/or home videos.
25 • mandatory (by mandatory on 2017-05-08 22:02:59 GMT from Canada)
Yes systemd but that is yes a deal breaker for me. Yes unity and that is a HUGE deal breaker.
>>Advice: Check first what are you installing, before you start installing.<<
Yes only clicking some installer's buttons, but also how to install any distro by mounting it or chrooting.
26 • Disk Defrag (by M.Z. on 2017-05-08 22:14:04 GMT from United States)
Nice tech tip this week. You hear a Linux disk never needs to be defraged, but it's really nice to be able to get some proof.
For my main PCLinuxOS system I got a 1.
On my old PC with Fedora & LMDE dual booting I got a 1 on Fedora / & a 0 on LMDE root. The shared /data partition with all my personal files looks equally trouble free.
27 • Linux FS defrag scores (by RJA on 2017-05-08 23:45:46 GMT from United States)
If those numbers are the percentage, then even 1 is a good amount with today's storage!
With a spinner, you can have lag, even at just 1 percent!
28 • About Devuan (by César on 2017-05-08 23:52:57 GMT from Chile)
I use Devuan for a while, the stable version is very very the same of Debian (obviously, without Systemd), but not equal at 100%. A very simple example: in Debian 8 stable i can't install the last version of Frostwire because java version is incompatible; in the other side of the coin, in Devuan stable i install the last version of Frostwire without any problem. Both procedures with Gdebi (why Gdebi?, because always i like it, simplify the way to install the packages out of the official repos). In Mate environment, in Debian the wifi works in the first boot, in Devuan not, you need to activate for you own.
In Chile, the Debian repos are faster than the Devuan repos.
In other words, if you don't like the Systemd, use Devuan, but if Systemd is the same for you, stay with Debian.
Greetings from Santiago de Chile.
P.D.: My apologies for my english, the "español" is my born language.
29 • Unity & GNOME 3, Direction of Ubuntu (by Paul M on 2017-05-08 23:53:46 GMT from Canada)
@6 Love your comment: "Nobody sane would ever install Unity or Gnome3 if he/she has to work with a computer."
LOL... I agree. I used GNOME 2 for years - it was my #1 choice of DE. Then the GNOME people went off the deep end with GNOME 3... and we all know how that went... fractured the GNOME community, pissed off A LOT of people who couldn't understand - and still don't - WHY the GNOME devs would introduce such radical changes in what was arguably the most popular DE for Linux at the time (GNOME 2).
And Unity... well, it was a piece of shit when they introduced it, and now even Shuttleworth is dumping it! Ha!
And speaking of Shuttleworth & Ubuntu... I find the latest decisions by Shuttleworth - scrapping Ubuntu TOUCH and ceasing all development for a UI for smartphones, opting for GNOME 3 as the new default DE for Ubuntu, and laying off lots of long-time employees who were hard-core dedicated devs - I find it all appalling...
Glad I switched to Debian with the MATE DE a few years ago...
30 • Mandatory (by bigsky on 2017-05-09 01:22:32 GMT from Canada)
I don't know but after using LINUX Lite for over 3 years on a secure digital card with no hard drive has never been a problem and just works. Just saying.
31 • Devuan (by argent on 2017-05-09 02:31:41 GMT from United States)
Devuan is everything that Debian could have become!
Don't yet choice colour or a network manager stand in the way of having a truly liberated distribution.
When will the systemd(eath) folks admit that it was a bad attempt at something that puzzles most!
32 • 128bit Linux (by squashfs bugs on 2017-05-09 03:03:09 GMT from Australia)
Who would have thought some years ago that IPv4 would run out of addresses, and that operating systems would ditch 32bit?
Now 64bit OS is the standard, and we have IPv6 that can handle 128bit addresses. And the new open source RISC-V processor software can handle 32-64-128 bits in preparation for the future. So wonder which Linux OS will be first to experiment with 128bit?
33 • @29 GNOME 3 (by Steve D on 2017-05-09 03:37:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
I find it fascinating that people continue to criticise the GNOME 3 DE. Unlike some I persevered with it and made it work for me.
It wasn't easy with the first releases. They had the feel of unfinished development and of course it was all very unfamiliar. They have improved though and I now have a very polished DE which combines the best of GNOME 2 with the enhanced capability of GNOME 3.
This has been done with GNOME 3 extensions and some minor changes to the overview via the use of gsettings.
I now consider the GNOME 2 environment to be somewhat of a throwback to the old Windows menu paradigm. MATE and Cinnamon are a bit better than GNOME 2 but have nothing like the functionality of GNOME 3.
I have to say that I would not use GNOME 3 on a server. Such a sophisticated DE has no place on such a beast. Neither does MATE or Cinnamon for that matter. XFCE is the only way to go with a server.
Unity is just an abortion in my opinion. It does not do anything for me whatsoever. It suffers in the same way as current releases of Windows in that it tries to bridge different environments. Ditching Unity for the GNOME 3 DE is definitely the way to go for Ubuntu. Pulling back from the mobile phone market is probably the right choice. It was never going to achieve the market penetration of IOS or Android.
I am currently running Debian Jessie and migrating to Debian Stretch. The latter running GNOME3 looks to have a great deal of potential.
34 • Gnome 3 (by Zork on 2017-05-09 03:40:55 GMT from Australia)
"WHY the GNOME devs would introduce such radical changes in what was arguably the most popular DE for Linux at the time (GNOME 2)."
Have you heard of the concept of "Innovation for Innovation's sake"???
It's a way for Developers to justify their existence by creating a "new wheel" when there isn't a lot of space for improvement on the old one which works perfectly fine...
Same applies to Unity... Ubuntu should never have left GNOME in the first place...
If it wanted to develop a common User-Experience across Smart-phone / Tablet / PC it should have been as a separate project and not as part of their flagship Distro until after it was a mature DE...
This was an Innovation that few wanted ( or liked )...
My preference for a DE??? LXDE...
Does what it needs to for minimal fuss and resources... Spend 99% of time in Apps or Browser so who needs the bloat of an Eye-Candy Desktop...
35 • The DE look matter.. (by lenn on 2017-05-09 06:42:49 GMT from Canada)
Lot of us don't want to change, so the anger over Gnome 3 or Unity. Most want to stay with the old windows look, so the try to create Mate and Cinnamon. XFCE and LXDE are stying with their spartan look and doing well. Both of them has got a very good default file manager. These file managers get better and better and faster. Its practically hard to find users, who complain against LXDE or XFCE. More they use them, more they like them.
Gnome 3 is good. It had evolved to become highly polished DE. The existence of extensions proves that Gnome 3 can be adjusted to your needs and can be tinkered with. You can learn to make an extension. What the Gnome developers should do is to make it touch friendly, for there are more and more touch screen laptops.
36 • not systemd (by Gary W on 2017-05-09 07:11:22 GMT from Australia)
Good to see Devuan getting some love. I have one of its derivatives, Refracta, running on a test box on my desk. I have a soft spot for Refracta, since it was the first distro I tried, with build-an-ISO-from-a-running-system tools, that I could create an ISO which would boot in a virtual machine.
But I'm starting to wonder how much all this effort is justified. I tried the Debian wiki procedure for removing that-which-should-not-be-named (really, substituting a sysvinit), and it seemed to do what it said on the box.
Surely, these alternative distros bring their own features, but for a more pure experience, it looks to me that Debian can provide that, with a choice of init.
37 • My score is zero (by Leopard on 2017-05-09 12:51:57 GMT from Turkey)
I'm on Mint 18.1 , i've installed Mint when 18 version comes out and then i upgraded it.
Here is my outputs:
<Fragmented files> now/best size/ext
1. /var/log/auth.log.1 15/1 4 KB
2. /var/log/ConsoleKit/history.1 11/1 4 KB
3. /var/log/alternatives.log 6/1 4 KB
4. /var/log/wtmp 85/1 4 KB
4/1 4 KB
Total/best extents 564497/563446
Average size per extent 47 KB
Fragmentation score 0
[0-30 no problem: 31-55 a little bit fragmented: 56- needs defrag]
This directory (/) does not need defragmentation.
38 • Systemd (by lenn on 2017-05-09 13:44:20 GMT from Canada)
Interesting thoughts on why systemd from Grml.
39 • @36 (by a on 2017-05-09 14:23:06 GMT from France)
"But I'm starting to wonder how much all this effort is justified. I tried the Debian wiki procedure for removing that-which-should-not-be-named (really, substituting a sysvinit), and it seemed to do what it said on the box."
If we look at what happened with Arch Linux, at first they said "don’t worry you can use whatever init system you want", and a couple months later they were shoving systemd down everyone’s throat.
I don’t know how things will go with Debian but the mere fact that they decided to make systemd the default for no good reason at a time when it had become clear that systemd was a bad thing is enough to think this scenerio will repeat itself.
40 • @32 128bit Linux (by Sitwon on 2017-05-09 16:35:36 GMT from United States)
IPv6 was designed with 64-bit CPUs in mind. The 128-bit address is composed of two 64-bit segments, a network address and a host address. So there's no need to go to 128-bit CPUs to handle IPv6 efficiently.
41 • @ 39 (by lenn on 2017-05-09 18:02:18 GMT from Canada)
>> I don’t know how things will go with Debian but the mere fact that they decided to make systemd the default for no good reason at a time when it had become clear that systemd was a bad thing...<<
Explain why systemd is bad.
42 • Defrag FAT32 on Linux (by Jake on 2017-05-09 19:00:13 GMT from United States)
Anyone know how to defrag FAT32 on Linux? I mainly need it because grub4dos requires contiguous space for ISOs when booting them directly. My work around for files is to copy off the whole drive and then copy it back, but that doesn't always work. Sometimes there is a stubborn file. I want to put a bunch of ISOs on my 32GB flash drive, but because I need to keep things defragmented, the effective space is a lot less.
BTW, I found a Perl script that claimed to do it one time, but I never got it to work.
43 • systemd... again (by edcoolio on 2017-05-09 19:15:10 GMT from United States)
The latest Grml distro release just came out. Upon reading the FAQ (https://grml.org/faq/#systemd), I realized that they have a great description as to why systemd is "taking over".
It is well written and logical. Regardless of anyone's personal opinion, I believe that their write up is worth reading.
44 • @43 (by Jake on 2017-05-09 19:48:04 GMT from United States)
systemd has critical mass. The point in the Grml post about maintainers and developers is also important. Having good documentation is key, which is something the Arch Wiki provides (I wish they left up HOWTO wikis from before systemd; what they have now for other inits just doesn't help in many cases).
I'm not a fan of systemd and prefer open RC on my systems. However, I'm acutely aware that the moment the couple Arch/Manjaro maintainers decide to move on, I'll be dead-in-the-water. It would be nice to have a Debian-sized distro be using an alternative so that there were options like deb/rpm or Chrome/Firefox. I guess maybe it takes more than one given what happened to Ubuntu/Unity/Mir.
45 • Processors, DEs & init (by M.Z. on 2017-05-09 21:03:57 GMT from United States)
@32 & 40 (128 bit?)
"...So wonder which Linux OS will be first to experiment with 128bit?"
That would be dependent on a couple of main factors like what 128 bit processors are available & what sorts of uses those creating them see for them. They don't seem to be a real thing here from where I'm sitting & it still looks like Intel & others want to optimize 64 bit processors & add cores rather than playing with potentially big & risky investments in major architecture changes. Of course that's just a guess based on what little I know & the history of the Itanium processors that Intel hoped would replace all 32 bit processors with an all new 64 bit design.
Anyway, if someone wants to market some new 128 bit design for high performance computing & there is any sort of market for it then the processor maker would likely work with Red Hat or another significant Linux vendor in the supercomputer market.
@29 & 33 (Gnome/DEs)
I think #34 had a decent point about trying to innovate. Many people look at it the way #34 described, while those in the Gnome bubble saw big improvements & paradigm shifts that would not only set Gnome apart, but set it far ahead. That's of course because inside the bubble it obvious that you are going to change the world for the better & there can be no room for surrender or doubt, not to mention the fact that there is no room trying to make things friendly for all users out of the box.
Even if you like Gnome like #33, it seem obvious that Gnome market share tanked & much of the Gnome user base split in to Mate, Cinnamon, Unity, XFCE & others, even though some stuck it out. I'm glad that some people still see great utility in Gnome, but it's very obvious that it is trying to be something very different than you average desktop. That's great for some people, but for a large majority of users it's simply retraining yourself for one small part of the already small Linux ecosystem & it's just not worth the effort to learn.
"Unity is just an abortion in my opinion. ... Ditching Unity for the GNOME 3 DE is definitely the way to go"
I hate to tell you, but from where I'm sitting Unity was generally an attractive alternative to Gnome 3. That is of course, when it was not including any privacy violating 'features'. There are probably many people like you were turned off by Unity, though I think there are just as many people turned off by Gnome. I really can not see Ubuntu getting any positive traction by switching from one unusual desktop to another. While the 'beat' they were marching to was very different, both Unity & Gnome were off somewhere else marching to the beat of their own drummer & doing things most PC users weren't that attracted to.
Also the extensions you mention are added setup time that most don't want to put up with & they have a history of breaking between releases. Other desktops have the functionality users want fully integrated & make much more attractive options for most people. Gnome just doesn't want to make a desktop that is attractive to most users. Instead the Gnome team want people to be attracted to their vision, which has a slim chance of winning many people over.
Well the post at least seems thoughtful & based on sound reasoning. Sadly many people who hate systemD start trotting out ugly phrases like 'SystemDeath' rather than bringing any thoughtful points into the discussion. All the ugliness & irrationality is a real turn off, especially give the fact that the haters have genuine options.
46 • Wut. Iz. Dat. (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2017-05-10 00:10:41 GMT from United States)
@38 @43 @45 The grml lead is an official Debian developer and grml is a Debian spin. Migration to SystemDeath was hardly optional for either him or it. The FAQ blurb says nothing important or unique. Such capitulation I could have written blindfolded. My pet names for System D- come from experience using it and behavioral studies, i.e. actual experiments, not to mention corporate politics and mission creep, which would be shouted down had they come from Microsoft.
47 • Defrag (by Memeeity on 2017-05-10 00:14:48 GMT from France)
I have NEVER defragmented my disk. But ext4defrag gave me a 0 and said I had five fragmented files.
Windows users would be jealous, having a frag score of 100 and 1000 fragmented files.
48 • Defrag (by Simon Wainscott-Plaistowe on 2017-05-10 03:55:26 GMT from New Zealand)
Can't say I've ever defragmented any Linux filesystem. After reading the article, I tried e4defrag on my root partition and my home partition. Both scored 0 so all is well. Same again on my other two laptops, with the same result.
49 • Unity (by ned on 2017-05-10 10:16:15 GMT from Austria)
I loved Gnome 2 etc. etc.; and now am using openbox/XFCE.
Main reason I'm not using Unity is its immense resource-hunger and its (relative) unreponsiveness.
Otherwise it's a quite well thought out and a nice environment to work with, so I find Shuttleworths decision sad - especially his choice of Gnome 3, regarding which i can just add to #34's comment "Innovation for Innovation's sake" that the Gnome-Develpers, instead of doing the boring job of making their useful desktop better by ironing out its remaining bugs (of which there were enough) seemed to try to solve their philosophical problems through "I innovate, therefore I exist" ..
If it would be possible to at least, say, halve of Unitys RAM requirements, and make it faster, more responsive, I think it would be a great addition to the Linux desktop environment landscape.
50 • Paying Attention to SystenD politics (by Snark Attack! on 2017-05-10 20:28:55 GMT from United States)
Well before you explained it I had thought saying things like @31 was doing were in bad taste. I mean after paying attention to the news I had concluded that name calling was the resort of 12 year olds, know nothings, lying blowhards, & charlatans! Imagine my regret at that mistake! I mean when you came along and said, ‘those folks who actually develop a Linux distro have nothing relevant to say on why they would switch init systems, Believe Me!’ How can I resist buying what your saying over the supposed experts, when your sooo much more credible than the people who’s business it is you’re telling us?
Thanks for explaining it to us, lil’ Arch-O
51 • Formatted configs & logs, anyone? (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2017-05-10 22:10:22 GMT from United States)
How would you convince Upper Management to take on a complex process-management design approach? Promise short-term improvements for server-farm management, and long-term promise of AI benefits? Note that dev groups enjoy a challenge? Resistance could be minimal, if existing methods were stagnating (just like ALSA/OSS?), where a new approach could arrive in a barrage of imperfect code; few could (or would) wield the resources to provide a viable alternative quickly enough to prevent establishing a beachhead.
Perhaps Devuan will become the KISS alternative, and be favored by small_system users? There's no shortage of flavor/spin/derivative energies there.
@Jake do you refer to defragfs? Consider using NTFS and udefragfs instead - it handles larger files.
52 • @51 (by lenn on 2017-05-11 12:42:28 GMT from Canada)
One problem with Devuan, I suppose, is that some DEs are becoming fully or partly dependent on systemD.
53 • @51 (by Jake on 2017-05-11 16:34:33 GMT from United States)
I believe it was defragfs yes. I'm limited to FAT32 because that's what grub4dos supports. I found grub4dos to be the most straightforward way to create a multiboot USB with ISO files *without* having to explicitly put in initrd, kernel paths into a bootloader config. Basically I can chainload into them and boot their native menu. This allows me to replace ISOs easily with newer ones when the distro makes an update (no messing with unpacking the ISO, changing paths, etc., just drop in a new one and go). I've tried doing it other ways but wasn't able to make them work. Once set up grub4dos has been the most reliable.
54 • Only one (by M.Z. on 2017-05-11 17:26:13 GMT from United States)
" ...some DEs are becoming fully or partly dependent on systemD."
As far as I've heard the only desktop where this is any sort of a issue in with Gnome. It's not really a hard dependency either, as I believe there was some sort of work around that some distros had implemented that got Gnome running without systemD. Given how much market share Gnome has shed in pursuit of their grand vision I doubt it's a serious issue. Most of the Gnome users who are left would probably be amenable to change for the sake of change given how oddball their desktop is.
Anyway regardless of Gnome users feel, there doesn't seem to be any major spread of systemD as a major dependency just yet. In addition there are some desktops like Lumina that either take other OSs like the BSDs into account, or even put them first. Given that systemD is Linux specific while many DEs try to remain available to generic unix-like systems, it seems unlikey that a shortage of systemD independent desktops would become a major issue. That especially true given the plethora of desktops available for Linux.
55 • Portable Multi-ISO (by Kragle on 2017-05-11 18:38:59 GMT from United States)
@Jake: what version of GrUB4dOS are you using? The latest should work with NTFS, and be able to boot even the latest Knoppix ISO.
56 • Android apps to teach Linux (by Eric the Dank on 2017-05-11 20:18:17 GMT from United States)
Linux Cheatsheet is nice but Linux Command Library has a quiz/tutorial feature that is really cool. Keep up the good work; I'm new and really like your podcasts; esp. the 2nd half with all the good advice. And you can play all the Warren Zevon you like as well. Thanks.
57 • Installing Devuan (by eco2geek on 2017-05-12 06:21:22 GMT from United States)
So I cleared out a partition on my hard disk and installed Devuan 1.0 rc1 x64 from the live Xfce ISO on it. There were a few glitches, but not many:
I told the installer to install GRUB to the partition, but it didn't; I had to do that manually, post-install. For some reason, I have to use UTC as my time zone to get the correct time (which probably has something to do with also having Windows installed). And finally, the GRUB that's in control, if you will, of my computer, the one on the MBR, sees Devuan as "Unknown Linux distribution on /dev/sda8". Heh. (I put Devuan as an entry in /etc/grub.d/40_custom, so it also shows up by name.) None of these was a big deal.
The installer is interesting in that any changes you make in the live environment, prior to running the installer, stay post-installation. In other words, the installer literally copies the live environment to your hard drive. That's nice because you don't have to, say, set up Firefox once in the live environment and once again post-install.
I don't have a horse in the systemd vs. sysvinit race (although there is one thing about systemd that constantly annoys me, involving choking on UUIDs in fstab that have changed, but that's because I'm constantly installing distros). Devuan just feels like a solid distribution.
58 • Devuan (by cykodrone on 2017-05-12 10:01:33 GMT from Canada)
I've been using Devuan as my main OS since the first beta, my only two complaints are VLC crashing the desktop (Xfce) and kicking me to the login screen when it can't handle opening a file, like and mp4 or mkv for example (especially mkv, I hate them). My workaround was installing other players and using them.
My second complaint is lag when moving/copying large amounts of files (from one NTFS storage HDD to another, i.e. 100GB of TV show DVD ISOs), the GUI/computer will lag for a while but it does recover.
Other than that, it's been fairly reliable, aside from having to create specific folders in media so drives will mount properly/automatically for a typical user (I also added my user to the 'disk' group).
I will most likely be switching to antiX since they are maintaining a higher standard of no systemd purity.
FX-8350/990FX, 16GB RAM, 2 SSD OS drives, 3 HDD storage drives, etc.
59 • Comment corrections (by cykodrone on 2017-05-12 10:57:16 GMT from Canada)
These comments do not accept the greater than and less than characters.
60 • Systemd fstab , stop job running (by Winchester on 2017-05-12 12:29:19 GMT from United States)
I can't stand the issue (which I suspect is related to or because of systemD) when you have to wait 90 seconds after sending the command for your computer to turn off. "A Stop Job is Running" ..... "Please Wait xx seconds" with a countdown to 1 minute and 30 seconds.
I first encountered this problem in "Manjaro 16" last year and now,last night in Parrot Studio (Debian Testing) with the 4.9.25 kernel.
61 • @60 • Systemd fstab , stop job running (by mandog on 2017-05-12 14:34:02 GMT from Peru)
That's good and shows systemd is doing its job, saving you from losing data or having a unbootable system. "A Stop Job is Running" means a program is refusing to shut down it could be still writing data, or a poorly configured program, seeing its debian its years behind Arch their is no excuse for it its Debians bad for not fixing it, instead of complaining fixit reset the timer to 10secs like I told you on the Manjaro forums 1 year ago.
62 • 'Stop job' (by Fairly Reticent on 2017-05-13 06:37:33 GMT from United States)
Some systems are picky about changes to things like UUID, even of swap…
63 • stop job is running (by mes on 2017-05-13 07:04:31 GMT from Netherlands)
In the beginning Linux neon also had this problem. When I want to shutdown the pc I als received the report "A stop job is running"and I had to wait for 90 seconds. I did change the maximum waiting time from 90 to 5 seconds.
Last week windows in a dual boot messed up my linux system when I tried to read the ext4 disks with diskinternals linux reader. I could not read my system disk and backup disk anymore. Fortunately my home disk was untouced.
So I reinstalled Linux Neon. Now Neon does shutdown immediately without adjusting the 90 sec.
64 • @60 - 63 (by lenn on 2017-05-13 07:56:27 GMT from Canada)
Check whether your swap partition's UUID is correctly written in the grub.cfg file. Sometimes grub doesn't write it correctly in some distros.
65 • Post #60 (by Winchester on 2017-05-13 13:15:06 GMT from United States)
Sorry,pal. You didn't tell me anything on the Manjaro forums 1 year ago ..... or ever.
It's amazing that I haven't suffered any lost data or unbootable systems without this "stop job" in other distributions. SUSE Tumbleweed , Calculate , PClinuxOS , VOID (no systemd).
This problem wasn't an issue for the first 3 months using the Parrot / Debian Testing operating system. I boot from another operating system's GRUB. The SWAP partition UUID there in the GRUB installed to the master boot record is correct. Maybe I will check the Parrot GRUB files installed only to the partition but,I don't think that GRUB is passing any parameters to the kernel since it is not being used to boot from the MBR.
66 • stop job (by Bill on 2017-05-13 14:44:43 GMT from United States)
@60, In my experience #62 is correct. Once I changed the UUID in my fstab to match the actual swap partition and saved it - Voila! No more stop job running.
In other words, have you deleted or changed a sawp file or an sda, b, c, etc file size,
then in a terminal run sudo blkid and compare with /etc/ fstab uuid in file, make them
match or delete if you deleted swap file.
67 • SWAP - Previous Post (by Winchester on 2017-05-13 15:40:06 GMT from United States)
SWAP UUID is not the issue in this case. I am sure that it is the issue in other cases but,in this situation,the UUID's match up in /etc/fstab. I just checked. SWAP hasn't changed since installing a new hard drive last fall. Everything matches. Only happens while running Parrot kernel 4.9.25 and not while running 4.9.18 .
68 • @66 (by mandog on 2017-05-13 16:46:45 GMT from Peru)
Sorry,pal. You didn't tell me anything on the Manjaro forums 1 year ago ..... or ever.
Then you did not read the posts I made on the subject.
69 • Chuang Chiu Koning Pagun Wotaanig? (by Lee Ping on 2017-05-14 10:12:54 GMT from Canada)
Zophang wui ning chui koing fanug sung wlong?
Number of Comments: 69
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