| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 766, 4 June 2018
Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
A little over a week ago the openSUSE project released a new version of the distribution's Leap edition. The launch of openSUSE 15 Leap brings the community run openSUSE project more in line with its commercial counterpart, SUSE Linux Enterprise, and introduces some interesting new features. openSUSE 15 is the subject of our main story this week and we also discuss some of openSUSE's key features, and ask which of them appeal to you, in our Opinion Poll. Plus, in this issue, we talk about file system links, what they are and how they can be useful. In our News section we talk about Fedora 26, MX Linux 14 and Debian 7 all reaching the end of their supported life spans. We then talk about new features coming to KDE Connect, a tool which helps Android devices communicate with desktop Linux systems. The Manjaro team unveiled new features in the Pamac package manager and we provide a summary of those changes below. We also share tips on how to streamline the GNOME desktop to make it lighter, talk about Bodhi's forum gong off-line and ReactOS reaching a new milestone. Plus we share the releases of the past week and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
- Review: openSUSE 15
- News: Fedora 26 reaches its end of life, MX Linux 14 and Debian 7 reach end of life, KDE Connect gaining more features, trimming down GNOME, updates to the Pamac package manager, Bodhi closes forums, ReactOS can build itself
- Tips and tricks: An overview of hard and soft links
- Released last week: BlackArch 2018.06.01, Linux Lite 4.0, Q4OS 2.5
- Torrent corner: 4MLinux, Antergos, AcroLinux, ArchLabs, BlackArch, Bluestar, ExTiX, FreeNAS, Lite, Live Raizo, Q4OS, Runtu, Sparky, SwagArch
- Opinion poll: openSUSE's key features
- DistroWatch.com news: Added search option for OEM installs
- New distributions: Isotop
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
openSUSE is a community run distribution with close ties to SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE). The latest version of the distribution is openSUSE 15 which, oddly enough, follows version 42, which followed version 13. Part of the reason for the unusual change in version numbers is openSUSE 15 is designed to share a lot of its code with SLE 15. In fact, the release announcement mentions that there is now a supported path to migrate from openSUSE 15 to the commercially supported SLE 15, for people who want the official support of an enterprise distribution.
Other key features of this release include improved disk and partition handling in the system installer and three years of security updates. This release also offers transactional updates, a form of atomic updates while I will touch on later.
openSUSE 15 is available in four main editions for 64-bit x86 computers. There is a full sized installation DVD (3.7GB) which does not offer a live desktop environment. There is also a smaller net-install disc (120MB) for people wanting to install over the network. There are live editions for GNOME (909MB) and KDE (859MB) for people who want to test run the distribution before installing it. The GNOME edition defaults to running the desktop in a Wayland session. I tested the live KDE disc to confirm it works and provides a usable desktop environment, with the option to install the distribution. However, most of my time was spent with a copy of the distribution provided by the full installation disc.
opensuse 15 -- The Plasma desktop and application menu
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Booting from the openSUSE DVD brings up a menu giving us the options of loading an existing operating system from our hard drive, installing openSUSE or upgrading an existing copy of the distribution. openSUSE's installer is a graphical application which begins by showing us the project's license agreement. This initial screen provides drop-down menus for changing the keyboard's layout and selecting our preferred language. The next screen asks us which role the distribution should take with options including running the KDE Plasma desktop, running the GNOME desktop, setting up a server with a command line interface or setting up a transactional server. There is also an option for customizing which software gets installed. This last option brings up a screen where we can select bundles of software to, for instance, run a file server, install the Xfce desktop, run a print server or install 32-bit support.
Partitioning comes next. By default, openSUSE offers to automatically set up a Btrfs file system and swap space. We can either tweak this recommended set of defaults or manually partition our disk. openSUSE offers a lot of partitioning options and is quite flexible. I opted to stay fairly close to the default recommendation and set up a Btrfs volume. The last few screens get us to pick our time zone and enter a username and password for ourselves. Creating a new user account is an optional step.
The last screen of the installer shows us a summary of actions which will be taken and we are given a chance to click on items to change them. For example, we are shown that a firewall will be set up and that the OpenSSH service will be installed, but disabled. Clicking links next to these items lets us toggle them on/off or further customize the operating system. Once we agree to proceed, the installer installs its packages and reboots the computer, automatically booting us into openSUSE 15.
I like openSUSE's installer. It's streamlined and makes setting up the system fairly easy. Many users will probably be able to get through by clicking Next a few times and taking the defaults. That being said, if we want to, the installer gives us a lot of power to customize the system. I feel openSUSE offers a great balance by making things quick and straight forward while providing, under the surface, the ability to tweak everything from installed packages, to partitions to where the boot loader is installed.
openSUSE boots to a graphical login screen where we are presented with four different session options. The default option is to sign into the KDE Plasma desktop running on X.Org. There is also an option to run the Plasma desktop on a Wayland session. I tried the Wayland option, but it failed to load and would simply return me to the login screen. The other two session options are for the TWM and IceWM window managers. These sessions both provide very minimal, light graphical interfaces. The IceWM option is usable as a desktop, with a panel and application menu. It's not pretty, but certainly functional. The TWM option just presents us with an empty screen with a context menu to help us navigate and will not be practical for most people.
I focused on using the default Plasma 5.12 session. The Plasma desktop features a panel at the bottom of the screen that holds our application menu, task switcher and system tray. The application menu has a classic tree-style layout, which I tend to prefer over other application launchers. There are icons on the desktop for opening the file manager. The default theme is fairly neutral in terms of colour and brightness with a minimal icon set.
I experimented with openSUSE 15 in a VirtualBox environment and on a desktop computer. When running in VirtualBox, the distribution automatically integrated with the host system and tended to run smoothly. When running on the physical desktop computer, the operating system worked well, recognizing all of my computer's hardware. In either environment, openSUSE used about 420MB of memory. A fresh install of the operating system, with the Plasma desktop, used about 6.5GB of disk space. This amount of disk usage makes openSUSE larger than most other distributions I have used recently.
opensuse 15 -- Running Firefox and LibreOffice
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The performance of openSUSE, at least when signed into the Plasma desktop, was varied. The operating system was unusually slow to start up and shut down. Booting always took over a minute, about twice as long as (for example) Debian. And shutting down almost always took around 15 to 20 seconds, which is unusually slow in my experience. Most of the time the Plasma desktop was responsive, but sometimes it would lag quite a bit. Even with file indexing and most visual effects turned off, the desktop tended to noticeably lag. The poor performance came and went, and I think it was caused by different issues. For example, sometimes I would check the system monitor and find the Snapper daemon (snapperd) was using around 25% of my CPU, though Snapper wasn't being actively used. Other times the Kwin window manager would show unusually high load. These issues tended to resolve themselves on their own after a few minutes. Another, seemingly unrelated issue I ran into was openSUSE would use a lot of my host computer's CPU when running in VirtualBox. Host CPU usage varied a lot, but it ranged anywhere from 25% to 100% even when the openSUSE guest was sitting almost entirely idle. This made running openSUSE much more pleasant on physical hardware than in VirtualBox.
openSUSE ships with a fairly standard collection of open source applications. While there seems to be a slight preference to use KDE/Qt software with the KDE Plasma desktop, there are applications built with other toolkits. This means we have such KDE-related items as KMail, the Konversation IRC client, and the Akregator feed reader, but we also start with the GNU Image Manipulation Program. openSUSE also ships with the Firefox web browser, the TigerVNC Viewer, LibreOffice and the KOrganizer personal organizer. The K3b disc burning software is available along with the Mutt console e-mail client, the Marble Globe and Dolphin file manager.
There are a few encryption and security key programs, including KGpg and Kleopatra. I also found desktop accessibility tools, the Okular document viewer and a few small games. Java is installed for us too. openSUSE uses systemd for its init implementation and runs on version 4.12 of the Linux kernel.
The distribution has a little something for just about everyone, but its one weak point for me was multimedia support. Dragon Player is the only media player and, by default, it was unable to play any media I threw at it. Unfortunately Dragon Player does not tell us why it cannot play the file (openSUSE does not ship most media codecs), it just silently fails to open media files. We can try to work around this by going into the YaST control panel and adding the Pacman community repository through the software module. I did this and then installed the VLC multimedia player. Afterwards, I still could not play videos through VLC as the player reported it was still missing the necessary codecs. I was able to track down a VLC codecs package and install it, and from then on I could play video and audio files. Other codec bundles may be required if we want to use alternative media players.
When it comes to managing software, openSUSE gives us several options. There are two graphical software managers, accessible from the application menu. One is labelled Add/Remove Software and launches the YaST package manager. The YaST tool is very flexible, offering several options for searching for items, organizing available packages by category and narrowing down options using filters. From the YaST tool we can also add or remove community repositories with a few clicks. The YaST tool is very capable and offers a lot of options, but it is geared toward administrators. The many tabs and options will probably turn away newer users who just want to browse through desktop applications.
opensuse 15 -- The Discover software manager
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For the more casual user there is the Discover software manager. Discover lets us browse through categories of applications, perform basic searches and see what items are already installed. There is a separate screen where we can check for package updates.
While Discover has the more simple, friendlier interface, I ran into two problems while using it. The first was Discover can sometimes lock up and stop responding, necessitating that we forcibly terminate the software manager. The second issue I noticed was that not all desktop applications which show up in the YaST tool would appear in Discover. Earlier I mentioned installing VLC, a common desktop program. This had to be done from within YaST as searches in Discover returned no results for VLC.
opensuse 15 -- Trying to find VLC
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Also on the topic of software management, when new updates become available, a notification appears letting us know. Clicking the update icon in Plasma's system tray opens a small widget which lists available updates. We can select the ones we want and click a button to download them. The update widget worked well for me and I like that it provides progress updates while it works.
Finally, we have the option of managing software using openSUSE's zypper command line utility. I find zypper to be fast and its syntax fairly easy to remember. Mostly though I focused on using the graphical front-ends for package management.
Earlier I mentioned YaST and I think it deserves more discussion. YaST is a settings panel and collection of system administration tools. The YaST panel gives us quick access to many user friendly tools which make it straight forward to control most aspects of the underlying operating system. Through YaST we can access modules for managing software packages, updates and repositories. There are other modules for adding printers and scanners to the system. There are more modules for setting up and changing network connections. We can also perform disk partitioning, manage background services, set up network shares and edit the firewall rules. There are also modules for editing user accounts and browsing hardware information.
opensuse 15 -- Managing background services
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I found all the YaST modules worked well and I encountered no problems. When I first opened the firewall module, YaST paused to download some additional packages not included by default. Adding these necessary packages was handled automatically. On the whole, I found YaST's administration modules to be easy to use and they cover such a wide range of functions that I never had to use the command line to adjust an operating system setting.
KDE System Settings
There is a second settings panel for customizing the desktop environment. The KDE System Settings panel is included to help us change the look and feel of the desktop. Unlike other distributions shipping Plasma 5.12, openSUSE has decided to stick with the classic icon grid to navigate Plasma's settings. Other projects are moving to a split-pane, sidebar view, which I find less efficient. I also appreciate that openSUSE's implementation still asks before discarding changes we have made so new settings are not lost when switching between modules. This is something other distributions have not done, to my frustration.
opensuse 15 -- YaST and KDE System Settings
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I found the desktop settings panel was easy to navigate and I had no trouble tweaking the desktop to my preferences. There are a lot of options to navigate, but the panel has a search feature to help us find the right module. The only problem I ran into was when it came to setting up a printer. The KDE panel asked for my sudo password twice, then said my access to browse/add printers was forbidden. I switched over to the YaST panel and used its printer module, which worked for me without any problem.
Snapshots and boot environments
One of the key features which sets openSUSE apart from most other distributions is the use of Btrfs and file system snapshots. Each time we make a change to the operating system via the YaST collection of tools, the system takes a snapshot. We can then see snapshots of our file system in a YaST tool called Snapper. The Snapper tool shows a list of snapshots and tries to indicate which YaST tool triggered the snapshot's creation. This means the snapshots are often listed with a comment like "yast users" or "yast software". We can select a snapshot to see which files were changed between two snapshots. We can even see a line-by-line comparison of any two text files to find out how they were changed. We can then rollback changes, either for an entire snapshot or one specific file.
opensuse 15 -- Using Snapper to compare changes between snapshots
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This ability to automatically take Btrfs snapshots and rollback any changes that caused problems is a fantastic feature. What makes it even more compelling is that when openSUSE boots we can go into the Advanced options menu and select which snapshot we want to boot. This means if an update or configuration change breaks the operating system, we can often fix it by booting an older snapshot and rolling back any problems. As far as I know, openSUSE (and SLE) are the only mainstream Linux distributions which set up snapshots and boot environments by default.
openSUSE 15 has a related feature called transactional updates (sometimes called atomic updates). On openSUSE, when we set up a server which uses transactional updates, the running root file system is not directly affected by software updates. Changes are made in a separate file system snapshot. Then, the next time the system boots, we are automatically transitioned to the new snapshot. If something goes wrong, we can switch back to the previous snapshot. This should insure that the operating system always has a working state and that anything which interrupts the update process will not harm the running system. A news post on the openSUSE blog offers more details on this process. I have not yet had a chance to try transactional updates, but I have used a similar feature on FreeBSD and found it to be useful at protecting the system during upgrades.
openSUSE is, in my opinion, one of the more interesting distributions to watch and use. The YaST administration tools are, in my opinion, second to none. I also like that openSUSE tends to offer modern software, but often with a slightly conservative style. Plasma 5.12 is a cutting edge desktop, but its application menu and settings panel reflect an older style. Personally, this combination of new technology with a conservative look is an approach I like a lot. This week it was nice to use an interface on my desktop computer that looks like it was designed to be run on a desktop and not on a tablet or smart phone.
The move to line openSUSE up with SUSE Linux Enterprise is an interesting one. I assume this was mostly done to make maintaining the two distributions easier. It also has a nice effect of making it possible migrate from openSUSE to the commercially supported SLE. This makes openSUSE's relationship to SLE an even closer parallel to CentOS's relationship to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I suspect businesses will like this as it gives them a chance to test drive openSUSE before investing in SLE support.
I like the work that has gone into the system installer. It is getting better and more streamlined. openSUSE's installer has always been powerful, but now it is also simplified for less experienced users. I think this version is more accessible to new users than past releases have been.
I think it is worth mentioning openSUSE has a rolling release edition, called Tumbleweed. I was using openSUSE's main edition (Leap) this week, but for people who want to stay on the bleeding edge, there is a rolling release option.
I had two main complaints with openSUSE 15. The first was the lack of media support. This is not a new issue, openSUSE has always shied away from providing media codecs that may be restricted by patents or licensing. What I found frustrating was the default media player does not tell the user why it cannot play a file, it simply does nothing. Also, once I had found and enabled the community repository with media support, I still had to manually track down codec packages. Now, to be fair, there are guides and options out there which will simplify adding codecs to openSUSE. Which is great, if the user knows about them. My complaint is not that codecs cannot be easily added to openSUSE, but that the user needs to know why their media player is not working before they can find the available solutions. Right now, the reason for media files failing to play is not clear unless the user is already familiar with openSUSE's policies.
My second issue was with performance. The Plasma desktop was usually responsive, but every once in a while (a couple of times per day), something would go wrong (snapperd would take up too much CPU, files would be indexed, or Kwin would get bogged down) and it would have a big impact on the desktop experience. openSUSE was also oddly slow to boot and shutdown compared to most other distributions.
Something I noticed when reading the project's release announcement is openSUSE claims to be one of the world's most tested distributions: "openSUSE Leap has become the best and most tested Linux distribution." To the project's credit, most of openSUSE does come across as being well tested and stable. I say "most" because there seems to be a divide in quality between the core openSUSE technology and third-party items. For example, the YaST package manager was fast, flexible and stable. The Discover software manager was slower, failed to find an available package and crashed a couple of times. The YaST printer manager worked with no problems while the printer tool in KDE System Settings refused to give me access to add a printer. There are other minor examples, but my point is openSUSE's in-house development seems to be producing excellent software. But, stepping outside that bubble, things are not always as rock solid.
What I think makes openSUSE stand out, and makes it more appealing than most distributions, is the excellent Btrfs support which makes use of snapshots. Being able to snapshot the file system and recover the system (or a specific configuration file) with a few clicks is a fantastic feature. Snapshots make openSUSE nearly bullet proof and, if Btrfs is used properly, they can also make it possible for users to recover files. These features alone make me inclined to recommend openSUSE to most users. There are plenty of other reasons I would recommend openSUSE: three years of support, great administration tools and a friendly installer. As a whole, I think openSUSE 15 is turning out to be one of my favourite releases of 2018.
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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
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Visitor supplied rating
openSUSE has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.8/10 from 358 review(s).
Have you used openSUSE? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora 26 reaches its end of life, MX Linux 14 and Debian 7 reach end of life, KDE Connect gaining more features, trimming down GNOME, updates to the Pamac package manager, Bodhi closes forums, ReactOS can build itself
Paul Frields has published an announcement, reminding Fedora users that Fedora 26 reaches the end of its supported life this week. The Fedora project recommends people still running Fedora 26 upgrade to either version 27 or 28 to continue receiving security updates. "After June 1, packages in the Fedora 26 repositories no longer receive any security, bug-fix, or enhancement updates. Furthermore, at that point the community adds no new packages to the F26 collection. The Fedora Project highly recommends you upgrade all systems to Fedora 28 or Fedora 27 before the EOL date." The announcement includes some highlights from the Fedora 26 release.
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The MX Linux team has posted a reminder that MX Linux 14, which was based on Debian 7 Wheezy, has reached the end of its supported life. Debian 7 received approximately five years of security updates, which concluded at the end of May 2018. "Long Term Support for Debian Wheezy ends today. As MX-14 is based on Wheezy, its official support also ends as planned. The MX-14 repositories will remain available indefinitely (and for the near term at mxrepo.com and it.mxrepo.com) but they will soon no longer be officially mirrored elsewhere. We encourage any remaining MX-14 users to update to MX-17 so they can continue receiving regular & security updates." This means MX Linux, and other distributions still based on Debian 7, will no longer receive security updates and bug fixes.
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KDE Connect is a tool which allows an Adroid device to communicate with a Linux desktop computer over the network. Using this connection, information and commands can be easily passed back and forth between the two devices. In a development sprint last week the KDE team worked on improving sending and receiving SMS texts from the desktop side. The team also worked on a plug-in for the GNOME Nautilus file manager to allow it to communicate with Android devices the same way KDE's Dolphin file manager does. "Matthijs improved the functionality of multimedia controls - now it's possible to display the album art from your desktop on your Android devices (both on the lock screen and in the new multimedia notification). Meanwhile, Aleix and Nico started paving the way towards better integration with PulseAudio control, sharing some code between KDE Connect and the Plasma volume control. A less visible but crucial part of what makes KDE Connect so useful is its integration with the system. Albert Vaca worked on a KDE Connect plugin for Nautilus, so people who don't use Plasma and Dolphin can also have a great user experience." More information on the work done during the development sprint can be found in this blog post.
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In other desktop-related news, Evan Klitzke has published a series of steps to make GNOME more streamlined. Klitzke refers to this process as "lobotomizing GNOME", making the case that GNOME Shell has some great features, but the GNOME environment as a whole is overly large and wastes resources. "I think that GNOME Shell is the most attractive and useful window manager for any operating system out there. And GNOME has really good integration with the other parts of my system, which makes sense because it's the default desktop environment on my distro (Fedora) and most others, including Debian and Ubuntu. GNOME is also light-years ahead of everything else in terms of Wayland support. Fedora has been shipping Wayland as the default GNOME display backend since Fedora 25 (2016), and it works incredibly well. The most compelling user-visible feature that has come out of this is GNOME's 'fractional scaling' feature, which is a quantum leap in terms of how content is scaled on high-DPI screens. But I'll be honest: GNOME is huge and kind of bloated, and it's hard to disable various unwanted components. GNOME Shell is amazing, but a lot of the other components of GNOME are simply unwanted. This is what turns a lot of power users away from GNOME, which I think is a shame given all of the other amazing things about GNOME." The rest of the blog post provides instructions for removing optional GNOME features.
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The Manjaro Linux team has introduced a few changes to the distribution's graphical package manager, Pamac. The latest version, Pamac 6.4, introduces the ability to automatically download software updates and initiate searches from the command line. A tweet from the developers reads: "With Pamac v6.4 we added an option to auto download updates (disabled by default). With '--search' added to cli you can start pamac-manager with a search. Also we support Pacman v5.1 now." The tweet includes a screen shot, showing where the automatic download feature can be enabled.
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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a European Union law which addresses the collection, processing and distribution of personal information. The law, which came into affect on May 25th, is designed to protect the personal information of European Union residents. The new law, while generally regarded as being well intendtioned, has also received criticism for its broad definition of personal information and its potential impact on open source and non-profit organizations. The Bodhi Linux project, concerned by potential fines, has shut down the distribution's forums. "From my understanding even though Bodhi and all of its services operate out of the US, Bodhi (and thus myself) could be held legally responsible for the data people in the EU provide to us. I am not willing to risk the financial security of my family over a project that effectively makes no money after operating costs. I do not have the bandwidth or legal background to understand what is needed to make us compliant with these new laws. Our user forums and all associated data with them have been deleted. We have also deleted all comments and e-mails / names associated with them on this WordPress page and disabled comments moving forward to not collect data here either." Bodhi users seeking help can visit the project's Discord and Reddit pages.
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The ReactOS project develops a open source operating system which attempts to be binary compatible with Microsoft Windows, allowing ReactOS users to run Windows programs. The ReactOS project recently updated their build insructions to indicate ReactOS is able to build itself without the aid of another operating system. This is a significant milestone for operating systems as it allows developers to work on a system while running the system. A related tweet reads: "Now, ReactOS can fully build ReactOS, even with the USB stack. Be it a LiveCD or a BootCD!"
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
An overview of hard and soft links
A link is a special kind of file which, in essence, points to another file or location in your computer's file system. Links are often used as short-cuts that make it easier to jump from one directory to another or to more easily access files. At first glance, a link looks like any other file or directory, but links are special and this week I want to give a quick overview on how they work.
There are two main types of links on Linux: symbolic links and regular links. Symbolic links are sometimes referred to as "soft" links while regular links are called "hard" links. I think symbolic links are easier to understand, so let's start with those.
A symbolic link is basically just a file which acts as a short-cut to another part of the file system. A symbolic link is a little like a web browser bookmark or a desktop short-cut; a quick way to get to a frequently accessed resource. It is not a copy of the resource, just a short-cut to it. You may have spotted a symbolic link in your file manager, they stand out because their icons look like regular files, but with an arrow at the bottom of the icon. When working from a command line, you can identify symbolic links by the "l" at the beginning of a line of "ls -l" output:
$ ls -l
In the above example we see two files, view.jpg and link.jpg. At the beginning of the first line you can see the lower-case L which tells us link.jpg is a symbolic link. At the end of the line we can see where our link (or short-cut) points. The link.jpg link points to a real location, the other file (view.jpg).
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jesse jesse 8 May 22 15:46 link.jpg -> view.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 jesse jesse 394847 May 22 15:46 view.jpg
The above example is not particularly useful because it is just as easy for us to access view.jpg directly as it is for us to open link.jpg. Where symbolic links come in handy is when they provide us with a short-cut to another location. Here is another example where we have a link in the current directory, called me.jpg, which points to a file in my Pictures folder.
$ ls -l
Now, without leaving the current directory, I can use the me.jpg link to access the portrait.jpg photo in another directory. Anything I do to the me.jpg image, whether that is opening it, resizing it or copying it, will actually happen to the original portrait.jpg image. The system knows that whenever I reference me.jpg, I really want to open portrait.jpg.
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jesse jesse 8 May 22 15:46 link.jpg -> view.jpg
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jesse jesse 33 May 22 15:51 me.jpg -> /home/jesse/Pictures/portrait.jpg
-rw-r--r-- 1 jesse jesse 394847 May 22 15:46 view.jpg
We can create a symbolic link in most file managers by right-clicking and choosing to create a new link to a file or directory. In the Dolphin file manager, for instance, I can right-click in a directory, select Create New from the pop-up menu and then select Basic link to file or directory. I then get to name the link and select the file or folder where I want the link to go.
From the command line a symbolic link can be created using the ln program and passing it the -s parameter. For example, here is how I created the me.jpg short-cut to an image in my Pictures folder:
ln -s /home/jesse/Pictures/portrait.jpg me.jpg
After the -s flag, we just need to specify the original location of the file and the name of the link.
A symbolic link can also point to a directory. This can be helpful if we frequently want to access a folder that is buried deep in the file system. For example, in my home directory I could create a short-cut to where my Apache log files are stored:
ln -s /var/log/apache2 logs
Then, whenever I want to access log files, I don't need to browse from my home folder, up to the top level of the file system and then down into /var/log/apache2. I can just click on the logs short-cut in my home directory and I'm instantly in the directory where I need to be.
When we remove a symbolic link, either in a file manager or from the command line, it only destroys the link, not the original file or folder. This makes deleting symbolic links fairly safe.
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A hard link also makes it possible to quickly access a resource from an alternative location, or under a different name. However, a hard link is a little different. A hard link to a file acts just like the file itself. A hard link makes it possible to have the same file in multiple locations.
This may sound a little strange, but a hard link means we have access to the same file in two (or more) locations. A link is not a separate copy of a file, it is the same file which shows up in two different places.
One important thing which separates hard links from symbolic links is that, with a symbolic link, if the original file is deleted, then the file is gone. The symbolic link will still exist, but it will not point to anything. The link is then broken and trying to access it will result in an error because the original file or directory has been removed. This is different from a hard link. If we were to create a hard link to a file and then delete the original, the file still exists in the link's location.
This might make hard links seems a little confusing, so let's look at some ways we can play with links. I am going to set up a directory containing a file called original containing the words "Hello World!". Then I will create a symbolic link and a hard link to the text file.
echo "Hello World!" > original
At this point we have an original text file, with a hard link and a symbolic link pointing to it. The output of "ls -l" looks like this:
ln original hard-link
ln -s original soft-link
-rw-r--r-- 2 jesse jesse 14 May 22 18:59 hard-link
Note the number just to the left of my username. Here it says "2", which means there are two instances of the original file. Both original and hard-link have the number 2 in their listing because they are each a link or instance of the same file. If I add a new hard link to original, then the count will rise to 3. The file will remain on the disk so long as there are links to it. When the instance counter gets down to 0 then the file is removed.
-rw-r--r-- 2 jesse jesse 14 May 22 18:59 original
lrwxrwxrwx 1 jesse jesse 8 May 22 18:59 soft-link -> original
Right now, with these three files and links, if I print the contents of any of them, I will get the same output: "Hello World!". I could do this by running "cat soft-link" or "cat hard-link", the result will be the same.
Next, let's look at what happens if I remove the original file and then try to access both the soft-link and the hard-link instances:
$ rm original
The symbolic link, soft-link, is now broken because it was just pointing to where the original file was. The hard-link file continues to work because it is the original file, just under a different name.
$ cat soft-link
cat: soft-link: No such file or directory
$ cat hard-link
As you might imagine, this makes hard links very useful because they give us direct, redundant access to a file. However, hard links have some limitations. A hard link must point to a file, we cannot hard link a directory. A soft link can point to a directory or a file, it works either way because it is only a bookmark. Another limitation of a hard link is it cannot point to a file on another device, or partition. This means if I try to make a hard link between a file on my root partition and on my /home partition, the action will fail. Since a hard link is just the same file under a different name, and not a copy, it cannot span across physical devices. For cross-device linking we can use a symbolic link.
Links, hard and soft, are typically used to provide quick access to commonly used resources. They act much like a web bookmark or short-cuts from one part of the file system to another. Hard links are especially useful when we want a file to appear in two different places without taking up additional disk space the way an extra copy would.
* * * * *
More tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
Linux Lite 4.0
Jerry Bezencon has announced the release of Linux Lite, an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Xfce desktop environment. Some key changes in the newly launched Linux Lite 4.0 include a new backup utility, replacing home directory encryption with full disk encryption and dropping 32-bit support. "The main changes in Linux Lite Series 4.x include a new icon and system theme, Timeshift for system backups, Shotwell to manage and perform basic edits on images, MenuLibre to manage menu entries, new Lite applications including Lite Desktop that manages common icons on the desktop, Lite Sounds to manage system wide sounds, and many of our existing applications have been updated. See below for all the changes: Minimum recommended specs have been raised slightly to more realistic levels (RAM, CPU). There are no more 32-bit ISO releases. If you still require a 32-bit OS due to hardware limitations, series 3.x is supported through to April 2021. Xfce PulseAudio plugin, has been added to the system tray for highly customizable options regarding volume management. Full disk encryption now replaces home encryption in the installer (an Ubuntu implementation). The new boot splash also shows you the password field in GUI for encrypted partitions. Ubuntu no longer offers an opportunity to set a swap partition. A swap file is now automatically created for you which is a maximum of 2GB or 5% of free disk space (an Ubuntu implementation). Compositing is now enabled out-of-the-box." Further details and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
Linux Lite 4.0 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 183kB, resolution: 1920x1200 pixels)
BlackArch Linux 2018.06.01
BlackArch Linux is an Arch Linux-based distribution designed for penetration testers and security researchers. The project's latest snapshot, BlackArch 2018.06.01, introduces many new tools, replaces the Midori web browser with Chromium and includes several bug fixes. "Today we released the new BlackArch Linux ISOs and OVA image. This is a high quality release! For details see the ChangeLog below. Here's the ChangeLog: added more than 60 new tools; added config files for i3-wm (BlackArch compatible); network stack tunings (sysctl + tuning.sh); added system/pacman clean-up script (consistency++); switched to terminus font (console, LXDM, WMs, x-terminals); replaced second browser Midori with Chromium; really, a lot of clean-ups and many tweaks!" Further information can be found on the project's blog page.
Q4OS is a lightweight, Debian-based distribution which features the Trinity desktop (a continuation of the KDE 3 desktop environment). The project's latest release, Q4OS 2.5, introduces several package updates and also makes it possible to install the KDE Plasma 5 desktop alongside Trinity. "A significant update to the Q4OS 2 Scorpion stable LTS is immediately available for download. The new 2.5 series brings an essential change adding KDE Plasma to be an equal option to the Trinity desktop, as Q4OS is now pre-configured for both desktops to coexist alongside each other. System installer configures the system the usual way, but decides afterwards to offer additional installation of the KDE Plasma desktop, if sufficient hardware resources are detected. So a user can login and switch forth and back between lightweight efficient Trinity desktop and more advanced KDE Plasma desktop environment according to his choice. Other changes include PulseAudio with better system integration for easier audio management, Q4OS installer improvements, Firefox 60 and LibreOffice 6 installers, important security and bug fixes as well as cumulative upgrade covering all changes since the previous Q4OS 2 Scorpion stable release." Further details can be found on the project's blog.
4MLinux is a small, 32-bit Linux distribution focusing on four capabilities: maintenance (as a system rescue live CD), multimedia (for playing video DVDs and other multimedia files), miniserver (using the inetd daemon), and mystery (providing several small Linux games). The project's latest release, 4MLinux 25.0, smooths out handling CA certificates, offers an option to disable the login screen and uses mpv as the default media player. The release announcement reads: "As always, a new major release comes with some new features: better handling of CA certificates (no need to accept them manually), full support for Zstandard data compression algorithm (4MLinux Backup Scripts), login screen can now be disabled (it's a response to user requests), GIMP 2.10 with full support for scanners and digital cameras, Python3 with Meson and Ninja (this is now, de facto, the main build system in GNOME/GTK+ ecosystem). The default media player in 4MLinux is now mpv (with GNOME MPV). Other players (MPlayer, SMPlayer, Xine and VLC) are available as downloadable extensions. Good news for modern computers: all these applications are now able to make use of hardware video acceleration (via VA-API and VDPAU). Good news for old computers: MPlayer, Xine and VLC can play videos without X Window System (use Midnight Commander to select files to play)."
* * * * *
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. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 878
- Total data uploaded: 19.9TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
openSUSE's key features
In this week's review of openSUSE we touched on several of the distribution's key features. Some of these includes three years of security updates, the ability to migrate to SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE), Btrfs snapshots, transactional updates and the YaST control centre. This week we would like to find out which of openSUSE's key features most appeals to you. If it is not listed here, let us know what feature you find most useful in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on OEMs bundling their own distributions with new computers in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Favourite feature of openSUSE
|3 years of support: ||108 (12%)|
| Migration path to SLE: ||14 (2%)|
| Btrfs snapshots/boot environments: ||168 (18%)|
| Transactional updates: ||21 (2%)|
| YaST control centre: ||232 (25%)|
| Choice of fixed or rolling release: ||136 (15%)|
| Flexible installer: ||38 (4%)|
| Another feature not listed here: ||24 (3%)|
| None of the above: ||183 (20%)|
Added search option for OEM installs
Based on requests we have received, a new option has been added to our Search page. It is now possible to search for distributions which offer an OEM install option. The OEM option can be selected under the Install method field.
Right now the list of distributions in our database which support OEM style installs is fairly short, mostly limited to Ubuntu and its community editions. If you are aware of projects not on our OEM list, please let us know.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Isotop. Isotop is a customized version of OpenBSD which is designed to simplify setting up OpenBSD as a desktop operating system. French and English translations are available.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 11 June 2018. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. 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 • openSUSE (by Roy on 2018-06-04 00:53:54 GMT from United States) |
Its been a while since I ran that OS but did like it. 3 years of support sounds good.
2 • subject (by name on 2018-06-04 01:11:55 GMT from United States)
1 - btrfs is the only excuse for openSUSE / SUSE to exist.
2 - It is 2018. Why aren't you using btrfs? Bit rot kills.
3 • OpenSuse Leap 15 (by OS2_user on 2018-06-04 03:04:22 GMT from United States)
Minor note: light gray on yucky green for "Next" buttons when installing, just CANNOT be read. HIGH CONTRAST everywhere, people.
Main point is, installed and actually works for ME with no problems! -- So far. Haven't done much testing. -- Even so, almost unprecedented success in last year. Gave up on version "42" when it just lost all display during install, never saw it work.
BUT installer does enforce two-letter user name and at least one for "password", and then come the relentless "sudo" hassles. Sheesh. Permits trivial "security" yet enforces the hassles? WHY?
Once installed, still have old ongoing KDE nuisances:
1) MUST go quickly straight across on flyout menus, else switches to another category. Apparently none of KDE's young gamer / experimenters ever notices needs extra delay...
2) Like most distros, INCAPABLE of setting to my monitor's resolution, choice not even offered. It's an off-off-brand Chinese 1600x900, but not unheard of res. Installed on a Dell, so likely plain Intel graphics. -- WINDOWS HANDLES same system and monitor just fine.
Still despise having to dodge upper left corner of icons to not mark with green "+", but can endure that for limited use.
BTW: pretty sure never even saw a choice between Xorg and Wayland.
Anyhoo, just HOPE that keeps working.
4 • openSUSE (by Charlie on 2018-06-04 03:23:15 GMT from Hong Kong)
Have used SUSE since version 9.0, before openSUSE was established.
During the old days when you still have to manually configure many things, it is the only distribution that automatically enables my DHCP network, when I still did not have the idea what DHCP is.
Regarding the codecs problem, the past versions did have a feature to install codecs in a convenient way, when you play files with proprietary codecs, the system will tell you to enable and install the needed codecs. I am not sure whether this feature still exists as I tend to install them by myself soon after fresh installation.
BUT, install codecs on openSUSE is still a swift process, I don't think the review did that in a proper way. To do so, you should go to a website called openSUSE Guide. In the website there is a button which you click on it then YaST will pop out and install all codecs you will need on daily basis. And YaST should track down all common codecs itself. I never have a problem regarding codecs in openSUSE, I think it is the second best distro to obtain codecs, other than *buntus.
5 • Time somebody thought of porting YaST to debian! (by Kavish on 2018-06-04 05:16:57 GMT from India)
"On the whole, I found YaST's administration modules to be easy to use and they cover such a wide range of functions that I never had to use the command line to adjust an operating system setting."
Time somebody thought of porting YaST to debian so all debian derivatives would benefit! Thanks to anyone who considers this idea!
6 • Linux Lite and OpenSuse (by Lexy on 2018-06-04 06:06:25 GMT from Netherlands)
Linux Lite without 32-bit support? Then it is not "lite" anymore.
OpenSuse Live KDE version boots to ... cli and expects username to login and X only works if you login as root . Is it right naming it KDELive?
7 • Favourite openSUSE feature (by Brenton Horne on 2018-06-04 06:15:22 GMT from Australia)
I nearly always use Tumbleweed, and on it Btrfs snapshots can accumulate taking up so much space the system becomes unbootable. Even had this happen when I had a 1 TB root partition. I have tried regularly manually deleting old snapper snapshots but even with that I've had systems become unbootable, even when Btrfs's own tools are telling me there's plenty of space left. Instead I use a ext4 partition and I've started using a new Tumbleweed backup feature SUSE has developed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRszp1p47BM.
My favourite feature of openSUSE is hard to pick, but it's a toss up between how many different repositories are available for it from the openSUSE Build Service, with which one can even run developmental releases of GNOME or KDE (e.g. GNOME 3.29.1 is presently sort of available (some packages are stuck at their respective stable versions) from the GNOME:Next repository) and the fact there's two different editions available, Leap and Tumbleweed.
YaST has is strengths but I favour GNOME Software as it shows icons for apps (what can I say, I like the pretty pictures :P) and has support for Snaps and Flatpaks (although Snap support isn't built into GNOME Software in openSUSE's official repo, I had to rebuild it myself with Snap support -- https://build.opensuse.org/package/show/home:fusion809/gnome-software).
I have little exposure to KDE Discover on openSUSE, although I do use it on KDE Neon git unstable and it works quite well on it.
8 • @ 4, by Charlie (by frisbee on 2018-06-04 06:52:44 GMT from Switzerland)
While it certainly can be done, so very easy and straightforward is the whole process not.
Please have a look here:
Repository conflicts and what not. It's about OpenSUSE Leap 42.3 but, I don't think that much has changed since. Did't have time to check on 15 though.
9 • OpenSUSE (by Janusz on 2018-06-04 08:34:31 GMT from Poland)
I dumped OpenSUSE years back, when installing anything would almost always produce messages like: "if you install package A, you must install also package B and C, but package C would be in conflict with package D. Which solution do you prefer?" At first, I could handle these, but later on it became too messy. So now we have btrfs - even if you screew up, you can always revert to the not so much screwed up condition. But why not fix YUM in the first place?
Over the last 5 years I tried to install OpenSUSE, Leap, Tumbleweed several times - both in VBox and on multi (meaning more than 3) boot laptop - it always produced problems, that required hours of good, unnecessary and in the end not needed by anyone work.
Worldwide statistics tell that only about 3% of all people on the planet read at least one book in a year, and even less than that can use logical thinking. Well, if true, than Linux will probably never jump the 3% market share.
10 • Comment on heavy CPU usage sometimes in openSUSE (by Dxvid on 2018-06-04 08:49:11 GMT from Sweden)
The review talks about heavy CPU usage and snapperd being active in the background. I think I can explain this, after the first installation of openSUSE a HUGE snapshot is taken to have an original state to rollback to in case you later damage the system really bad by doing some custom settings in command line. This is also the explanation why an OpenSUSE installation can take several GB more space than it really needs to run. Lets say it really needs 3GB, after the initial huge snapshot is done it uses 6GB.
Rebooting the computer or virtual machine during the making of the snapshot will not solve any performance problems as the computer will continue doing the snapper backups and other BTRFS file system maintenance the next time you boot. You just need to let the computer do what it needs to do without rebooting and trying to shut down the important file system processes from BTRFS or snapshots made through snapperd.
Kwin freezing with high CPU usage is however a bug that shouldn't happen, this needs to be reported as a bug at: https://bugzilla.opensuse.org/
This might be a KDE plasma 5.12 bug or a bug in the implementation of KDE plasma 5.12 in openSUSE 15.0
Because hard drive space is very cheap today, and even SSD space is getting cheaper, I usually have a root partition in BTRFS of about 80GB on my desktops so I can store many snapshots in case I mess something up or in case a buggy NVIDIA driver doesn't work like it should I then can go back to a previous version of the NVIDIA driver. But on a text based server 10GB is enough, although I find BTRFS snapshots so very useful that I often have 40-60GB on the virtual server and do many snapshots. This is such a big help that I don't care if it costs a few € extra per year in disc usage.
Even though BTRFS causes high CPU usage once a week plus after the first install, I really miss BTRFS snapshots when working with Ubuntu. It's like going back to the 80-ies using Ubuntu. Ubuntu uses less space, but a single mistake from you or the package updaters can take down a Ubuntu server for hours before you find the problems and fix them manually. In openSUSE you just do a rollback which takes a minute including reboot time, then your server just works and you get very little downtime.
11 • openSUSE (by isndw on 2018-06-04 08:58:36 GMT from Austria)
I have also used openSUSE Tumbleweed for one year because the snapshot feature. For me it worked well except that i didn't fine a solution to boot into a previous snapshot from a live environment and roll back. This is sometimes also necessary if the snapshots are not anymore accessible through grub. An alternative i tested in virtualbox is with arch linux and to make manually snapshots with btrfs. There you can access the snapshots through a live environment and roll back. If openSUSE would support this too, it would be perfect.
12 • Isotop (by DR. LONG on 2018-06-04 09:21:28 GMT from United States)
As and openbsd user Isotop is a refreshing addition to an otherwise crowded ubuntu ecosystem. It takes a lot of the hardwork and (learning)out of the equation. But none the less it is quite remarkable. It provides graphical package management as well as wifi.
Good job..Vive la France!
13 • reply to @3 about sudo (by Dxvid on 2018-06-04 09:33:11 GMT from Sweden)
@3 You wrote: "BUT installer does enforce two-letter user name and at least one for "password", and then come the relentless "sudo" hassles. Sheesh. Permits trivial "security" yet enforces the hassles? WHY?"
First of all, OpenSUSE is not like most distros, you shouldn't need to use the command line on a desktop using Gnome or KDE and therefore not use sudo at all. Unless you really need to to some advanced server stuff you don't really need to use the command line, so the sudo command shouldn't be needed unless you're customizing a server without graphics. Even if you're setting up a server without graphics you can use "sudo yast" (or as root "yast") then setup most things in an ncurses graphical environment.
Note that the very secure SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) comes with Gnome installed as the default choice, so even enterprise people can use security tested graphics on servers if they so choose.
Second, you might have misunderstood the installer. Even though openSUSE can be setup with lower security than default, it's still partially based on SLES which has very high security requirements. SLES is probably only second to gentoo when it comes to security, slightly ahead of redhat/centos. In order to lower the security to the same level as for example Ubuntu, you need to do some tricks in either yast or command line to remove some of the default security. OpenSUSE Leap is nowadays based on enterprise code to most parts that relate to security settings or to security updates, even though security settings are somewhat lower in OpenSUSE Leap than in SLES it's not made easy to lower security too much. But with only a few commands it's possible to lower the security to the same level as Ubuntu or slightly lower. (but I will not teach you how as I don't like botnets made up of hacked low security Linux installations)
Third, if you don't like typing "sudo" in command line all the time you can elevate your privileges by switching to the root account instead, type "su -" once and you use root for the rest of the session (until you type exit or reboot). This works the same in most distros using bash (all big distros).
Personally I don't like that Ubuntu and OpenSUSE Leap allows their novice users to lower some of the security during the installer, but I guess they have to do that to compete with Windows and Mint to attract more novice computer users. But this makes it easier to hack them and create botnets. Luckily the default choices aren't too bad, and most novice users probably use the default choices when installing Linux even if they can lower security even more.
14 • openSUSE Leap sluggishness (by Antony on 2018-06-04 09:33:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
After removing unwanted systemd services, and switching from Wicked to NetworkManager (Wicked really slows the boot process), systemd-analyze shows my most recent boot taking 5.151 seconds.
I don't use BtrFS either.
Overall, Leap is pretty responsive for me, and (comparatively) not CPU/resource greedy. I don't suffer any bogging-down or lag.
Intel G3220, 8GB RAM, SSD, Nvidia GPU/driver.
15 • VLC and codecs in OpenSUSE (by Dxvid on 2018-06-04 10:12:35 GMT from Sweden)
I do agree with Jesse's review that OpenSUSE needs to start having relevant error messages when there are missing codecs. This can be very confusing for a novice computer user and has been a constant pain in the lower back for novice users trying OpenSUSE forcing people to google for a solution. Only mp3 and a few other codecs work by default.
However I don't agree with it being difficult to setup VLC in OpenSUSE for a first time user. A google search for "opensuse vlc" gives this as the number one ranked answer:
There you simply click the 1-click installer link for OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 and it get's installed with all the major codecs and everything just works for most people. A novice user who have never installed any Linux distro before will be able to do this with the help of one google search, clicking the first result from the official website of VLC. Very easy and takes only a couple of minutes. Installer link: http://download.videolan.org/pub/vlc/SuSE/Leap_15.0/vlc.ymp
Installing VLC like in the review is kind of the expert way. Using YAST to install the "less legal" packman repository and selecting individual packages there to get a complete vlc installation is more of an expert level solution to install vlc and all needed codecs. A novice user will probably just google and find the easy solution which also happens to be the best solution for 99% of the people as almost everything just works after that. To my knowledge only a few rare codecs for handheld video recorders and similar are missing in the official VLC installation from videolan.org.
For the less common codecs you need to use packman: http://packman.links2linux.com/install/vlc
I don't recommend packman for novice users as the official VLC repository from videolan has what most people need, but the version from packman can handle less common codecs plus all the major codecs.
16 • OpenSUSE Leap 15.0: It's a great success! HOWEVER ... (by Gerhard Goetzhaber on 2018-06-04 11:31:36 GMT from Austria)
... I'd recommend it to professionals only, as well as just to longanimous guys!
Me, since version 42.3 I always hold one Leap, yet having set it up with nothing else but Xfce and XFS partitions, and updated to the latest stable kernel, too. Also I know very well I've to spend many hours within one single installation to get the system fully working with unrestricted MM capability and more recent versions of some software I individually prefer to use. On the other side, the graphic Yast software management tool is truly unique and an excellent instrument to select and evenly rank repositories as well as packages only. And besides Packman, there are so many worthful repositories of Suse itself offered to the customers. One can't deny It's a thing for Nerds.
Not to forget: The maintainers of OpenSUSE have done enormous work to get this edition compatible with hardware for the original SLE 15 Beta was completely unuseable. I'd tried it out, so trust me!
17 • SUSE Boot Times / Post # 3 / Post # 7 / Post # 9 (by Winchester on 2018-06-04 12:46:00 GMT from United States)
I have OpenSUSE Tumbleweed with LXQt installed on BTRFS / system partition - EXT2 /boot partition - and ext3 /home partition.
My last boot-up time from selecting OpenSUSE in the boot menu to log-in was 24 seconds. Shutdown time is at 7 to 9 seconds.
Anything beyond that must be caused by KDE Plasma,Leap (or the combination of the 2) I would have to assume.
Regarding post # 3 ..... It's the year 2018. Brand new 1920x1080 monitors are available for less than $90 these days. You don't want to endure KDE Plasma for more than "limited use" but,you can endure a 1600x900 off brand monitor without problem??
Anyway,if you must keep the 1600x900 monitor,try adding video=1600x900 xvideo=1600x900 to the GRUB entry linux line right next to where "quiet" and "splash" usually are. Or maybe the vga= three digit code for 1600x900.
Regarding post # 7,old snapshots can't possibly be causing your system not to boot if you are deleting them. If they are gone,they are gone. The problem has to be something else that is still there unless something critical beyond old snapshots were deleted.
Regarding post # 9 , the messages such as : "if you install package A, you must install also package B and C, but package C would be in conflict with package D. Which solution do you prefer?" ..... ARE caused by THIRD party repositories.
The 3rd party "PackMan" repository caused these conflicts for me and the conflicts STOPPED when I disabled the 3rd party repository.
This is working fine on a multi-boot system requiring not much work .... not much work with OpenSUSE anyway. Once "Packman Repo" was disabled. 10 or 12 operating system multi-boot machine.
18 • GNOME: Castrating the castrated? (by curious on 2018-06-04 13:06:02 GMT from Germany)
Mr. Klitzke claims that "a lot of the other components of GNOME are simply unwanted" and that these components turn (power) users away from Gnome.
That seems to be a very strange point of view. What has turned many people away from Gnome is the repeated removing of features from Gnome by the developers. Many things that other DEs will allow are no longer possible in Gnome, because the corresponding features were deemed "unwanted". Their file manager is an especially obvious example.
At least they are only cutting up what is already unusable...
19 • openSUSE codecs (by Jesse on 2018-06-04 13:11:08 GMT from Canada)
@4: "BUT, install codecs on openSUSE is still a swift process, I don't think the review did that in a proper way. To do so, you should go to a website called openSUSE Guide. In the website there is a button which you click on it then YaST will pop out and install all codecs you will need on daily basis."
The issue I was raising in the review isn't that installing codecs is hard, it's that the user has no way of knowing they A) need the codecs and B) that they need to visit a third-party website like openSUSE Guide to do the simple install. If you'd never used openSUSE before, how would you possibly know to visit a third-party website to get one-click install codecs?
When trying to open a media file there is no error, no indication of what is wrong. If you visit the official openSUSE wiki documentation it mentions codec issues, but the user needs to dive through several layers of documentation to find anything approaching a solution.
I've worked with openSUSE before so I knew I could add the Packman repo and install the necessary packages, but a new-to-SUSE person would be lost. Even a web search for "opensuse install codecs" only brought up the openSUSE Guide community page as the third result. And, let's face it, doing a one-click install of any third-party package from a website is something we normally would tell users _never_ to do. It's a huge security risk. It completely goes against the "only use the repositories" motto of most Linux users.
20 • CPU usage and snapshots (by Jesse on 2018-06-04 13:19:11 GMT from Canada)
@10: "The review talks about heavy CPU usage and snapperd being active in the background. I think I can explain this, after the first installation of openSUSE a HUGE snapshot is taken to have an original state to rollback to in case you later damage the system really bad by doing some custom settings in command line. This is also the explanation why an OpenSUSE installation can take several GB more space than it really needs to run."
This isn't the cause of the heavy snapperd usage and not at all how Btrfs snapshots work. First, Btrfs snapshots basically happen instantly and don't use a third-party tool like snapperd to work. That's the benefit of a COW file system, there is basically no time/resource penalty for snapshots.
Second, snapshots don't take up extra disk space until changes to files happen. So your theory about openSUSE only needing 3GB of space, but the snapshot taking up another 3GB is incorrect. More space is only used when changes happen to files, not when a snapshot is created. Taking a snapshot of 3GB of space requires virtually no disk space at all, not until updates or something else changes the files.
Third, the snapperd issue continued for days, well after many more snapshots had been taken, used, rollback, etc. It was well passed the time when the initial snapshots had been taken and explored.
21 • Timeshift etc... (by OstroL on 2018-06-04 13:54:31 GMT from Poland)
"In Linux Mint 19, the star of the show is Timeshift. Thanks to Timeshift you can go back in time and restore your computer to the last functional system snapshot."
In Linux, you don't have to worry about the OS dying on you as in Windows. If you keep your home in another partition, the distro can have the caprice to go to sleep/die at sometime. You can always install the distro back from the iso, and all other apps in a few minutes. Updating and upgrading would take just few more minutes. In Linux, you can always keep few distros (or the same distro) in different partitions, you can always access your home from all of them.
Not like in Windows, Linux distro won't stay dead. Linux users like to go forward, rather than go back in time...In my laptops, Linux never die. There are few of them in everyone of them, and all of them can access "home" and also everything in Windows partition.
In Windows the restore point is a necessity. But, in Linux...?
22 • ALL Ubuntu 18.04 derived distributions, even the Mint 19 Beta ... (by Gerhard Goetzhaber on 2018-06-04 14:02:32 GMT from Austria)
... have a severe problem with their Grub implementation: Whenever you want to install yor root partition on XFS that works during setup yet after rebooting will either end up in a Grub commandline input request at all or, at least (Linux Lite, WHEN started from a foreign Grub and then supplemented with "xfsprogs" from, once again, a foreign repo, because a lot of packages lacks distributing from Linux Lite), on "update-grub" and during startup will repeatedly show a filesystem recognition error message. Furthermore, starting those distros in compatibility (non-UEFI) mode will leave it with remarkably poor and especially slow functions. Even conservative distros based on pure Debian (Sparky and MX are the very best ones!) seem to work much better when set up on individualized credentials.
The original Linux kernels in fact do support almost all hardware currently sold. What the hell Ubuntu has done with it's new kernel? What crazy modifications and restrictions did they build in?? And for what benefit???
In the past, Linuxmint was kind of rescue niche for me whenever troubles with other distros were going to leave me in desperation. Now I am dropping Mint same-same all other Ubuntoids. From now on, I will concentrate my Linux exploration on Fedora, OpenSUSE and Debian testing derivatives only ...
23 • openSUSE 15 (by Bushpilot on 2018-06-04 14:06:17 GMT from Canada)
Have used this distro for a couple of days now in VB. I installed xfce version. Find it to be rather slow and not at all smooth as compared to other distro's. Like some other distros, it takes time to get it all working properly.
24 • Linux Lite was never lightweight (by Jason Hsu on 2018-06-04 14:46:30 GMT from United States)
@6, Linux Lite was never a lightweight distro. In my opinion, being a Ubuntu derivative is a disqualification from being lightweight due to the high overhead of a Ubuntu base. SparkyLinux and MX Linux (both based on Debian but not Ubuntu) are much more lightweight.
25 • Wanted: OpenSUSE without Systemd (by Kingneutron on 2018-06-04 14:47:16 GMT from United States)
I last used SuSE 7.3 DVD IIRC, but I'd give it a try again if someone made a non-systemd flavor. MX17 FTW!
26 • @ 24 Ubuntu overhead? (by Kazan on 2018-06-04 14:57:10 GMT from France)
"In my opinion, being a Ubuntu derivative is a disqualification from being lightweight due to the high overhead of a Ubuntu base."
Explain the high overhead of the Ubuntu base. Your opinion is not enough.
27 • GDPR and Bodhi (by David on 2018-06-04 15:48:57 GMT from United Kingdom)
I was astonished to see that Bodhi are shutting their forum for fear of the GDPR! You don't need a legal background to understand it: the UK government explains it in very simple terms.
Basically, if you hold data about individuals in a way that enables them to be identified, then it must be secure, they must be asked for their consent, and they must be told what you need the data for and what you are going to do with it, including the fact that it will be stored in the USA. In the event of a security breach, you must announce it within 3 days Simple!
28 • links (by George on 2018-06-04 16:07:10 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the informative article on links. Links just make things easier. At one point I went a bit crazy with them. XFE file manager has the feature where links can be created by point-and-click. This is one of the reasons to consider XFE if the default file manager is weak.
The bummer with XFE in Debian-based distros is that the "recommended" dependencies include stuff that is unnecessary (and worse). Fedora is more rational. Using Synaptic with Ubuntu, adjust Settings>Preferences>General by UNchecking "Consider recommended packages as dependencies" for the purpose of installing XFE (but remember to check the box again after installing XFE).
29 • enterprise use (by Tim Dowd on 2018-06-04 16:09:10 GMT from United States)
I mostly agree with you for home users- this is exactly how I handle upgrades or switching between distros and it's incredibly painless as long as /home is on a different partition.
Where you could see why this would be useful is in an enterprise situation. Take the school I teach at- there's probably 1000 desktops in this building alone. You can see how being able to go back to the last known-good configuration could be essential - having to replace the OS on a thousand computers all at once is a lot more resource heavy than sending the command to roll back.
30 • Enterprise use (by eduard on 2018-06-04 16:47:48 GMT from Netherlands)
ever thought of just one server and 1000 thin clients?
Just one computer to roll back?
31 • Links (by Steve L on 2018-06-04 17:00:43 GMT from United States)
A pretty good description, but not entirely clear when you talked about hard links. You completely left out any mention of inodes (or index nodes), which you need to understand if you are going to really grok hard links, let alone symbolic links and file/directory infrastructure.
symbolic link - a file pointing to another file or directory (can cross partitions)
hard link - a new inode pointing to the same file as another inode. (only files, same partition)
The distinction of a file pointing to a file versus an inode pointing to a file is important.
All files have at least one inode describing that file. On a given partition you can have multiple inodes describing the same file. When you "delete a file" you are actually deleting an inode describing it. When the last inode is gone, so is any pointer to the data associated with a particular file.
Since a symbolic link is itself a file, it has it's own unique inode describing it and not the linked file.
A directory is basically a file containing a list of files associated with the directory. So a directory is a very special kind of symbolic link though I've never heard of anyone else describing it that way. The directory has it's own inode describing it, but due to "rules" you cannot have more than one inode pointing to a directory. I actually knew why at some point but I've slept since then and have forgotten the details. 8^)
This discussion requires a whole chapter to adequately and, hopefully, clearly describe all this stuff. A few simple paragraphs hardly do it justice. You did a pretty good job of it but I felt more was needed... and that's my two cents worth.
32 • connectivity (by Tim Dowd on 2018-06-04 17:05:01 GMT from United States)
It makes sense to me, but the last time I was in a school district that implemented this it didn't go so well. I think the issue was connectivity between the building where the servers were and the 30+ schools spread around the city.
I'm a teacher, not an IT person, but every school I've ever seen has had desktops in most classrooms, and I'm guessing this is the reason. The coolest solution I know of is the Spanish region of Valencia where they have Lliurex, their own customized Ubuntu distro.
33 • Linux Mint 19 Timeshift (by Phillip on 2018-06-04 17:25:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
Ahhhhhh Timeshift. Yet another wonderful windows idea (system restore) being implemented in a linux distro. No doubt the linux version will be far superior than the windows version.
34 • Links (by Jesse on 2018-06-04 17:49:07 GMT from Canada)
@31: "You completely left out any mention of inodes (or index nodes)"
That was intentional. I didn't want to get into something as abstract as an inode when covering the basics on links. That's more of an second article topic, in my opinion. In fact, when I sat down to write this intro I asked myself "How do I talk about hard links without using the term inode?" Because this intro was intended for beginners.
What you're writing (in post 31) is accurate from a low-level block management point of view (ie multiple inodes describing the location of bits of one big file on a disk) but perhaps not practical in the context of the user managing links/files/inodes. (An original file and hard links to that file share a single inode. It would be very easy to confuse someone on the difference between deleting a link, deleting a file and deleting an inode.) Those are a whole textbook chapter on their own. I wanted to focus on the practical side of things without getting into the low-level details of how they work.
>> "You did a pretty good job of it but I felt more was needed"
That is fair. I may do another article in the future talking about inodes and other, low-level aspects of files and links. First though I wanted to cover "This is how you use the tool" before getting into "This is how the tool works".
35 • Opensuse (by ced55 on 2018-06-04 18:46:28 GMT from United States)
I never have any luck with thi distro. I find it unstable. Snapshots really give me no confidence. I noticed that it was in the top 5 distros but has fallen.
I can't say I would try it again.
36 • Links (by Steve L on 2018-06-04 18:54:59 GMT from United States)
I understand completely... your choice of covering the how before the why is probably the most practical way to proceed for most folks.
I used to work with a fellow that insisted that no one cared about the why, just the how. And, from what I can tell, he was in the majority. But it still grated on me a bit... I pretty much always want to know why something works the way it does, especially when troubleshooting. It's pretty hard to fix (permanently) if you don't know why it's broke.
I've always been the odd duck that felt understanding why needs to come with understanding how. To me, understanding why something works helps me understand how it works and vice versa.
And I just keep hoping I'm not alone... also, having been both a college professor and a professional geek, the need to explain and have things explained (in detail) runs deep.
But I do take your point that more folks are more concerned with how to use something rather than knowing how it works. Keep doing what you do, you do it well.
37 • @ 21 • Timeshift etc (by pengxiun on 2018-06-04 20:16:47 GMT from New Zealand)
Implication is it is required by Linux Mint, as the developer is conceding, that, by outsourcing updates to Ubuntu for the majority of updates, updating will break your system.
However, in the release blog, the developer admits that " Security and stability are of paramount importance."
This is obviously a change of attitude, as now "The Update Manager no longer promotes vigilance and selective updates. It relies on Timeshift to guarantee the stability of your system and suggests to apply all available updates."
38 • BTRFS? More like Butter FS! (by CS on 2018-06-04 20:35:20 GMT from United States)
Why is SUSE still riding the BTRFS dead horse? Caveat downloadeur and don't forget to keep those backups up-to-date!
39 • openSuse (by Jodan on 2018-06-04 20:47:00 GMT from United States)
After many tries with suse since he great 9 days I've walked away each time with the same feeling: it was a nice try.
I have an affinity for it, though, but mainly because I remember those golden days of old when one could walk into a retail computer software outlet and see suse on the shelf in a nice box. I began "feeling sorry" for suse over time, seeing it pushed out by Microsoft's scorches earth marketing tactics.
Not for me. But I do test each release on one of my laptops.
40 • openSuse (by Jodan on 2018-06-04 21:52:19 GMT from United States)
After many tries with suse since he great 9 days I've walked away each time with the same feeling: it was a nice try.
I have an affinity for it, though, but mainly because I remember those golden days of old when one could walk into a retail computer software outlet and see suse on the shelf in a nice box. I began "feeling sorry" for suse over time, seeing it pushed out by Microsoft's scorches earth marketing tactics.
Not for me. But I do test each release on one of my laptops.
41 • openSuse Performance (by Kim on 2018-06-04 23:39:43 GMT from Austria)
My take for performance (KDE on Lenovo notebook with SSD):
- File system is proven EXT4 instead of Btrfs and XFS
- File indexing disabled
- Akonadi and related programs uninstalled in favor of alternatives
- Wayland not in use (more memory, less performance)
- Most desktop effects disabled
- All remaining animation set to "instant"
- The NVIDIA driver is a must on relevant hardware (nouveau is junk)
The system boots within a few seconds and memory after boot is below 500MB thanks to the elimination of akonadi. Systemd was never a problem, a few KDE glitches, that's all ....
Due to past experience I absolutely distrust Tumbleweed. Leap 15 does the job with less things to worry about.
42 • 4MLinux (by Dude on 2018-06-05 02:09:12 GMT from Bahrain)
It's good to see somebody still supports older 32 bit processors! There are lots of older PCs out there not capable of running a 64bit OS. I'm curious to see if 4MLinux works on processors that don't support PAE, like a Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo). If so, this may be the only Linux distro available for older processors like this.
43 • YaST (by Farhad Mohammadi Majd on 2018-06-05 05:23:53 GMT from Iran, Islamic Republic of)
I believe that YaST is a necessary program for all desktop distributions, this is the best thing I have seen in the GNU/Linux.
44 • Bodhi (by edcoolio on 2018-06-05 05:58:17 GMT from United States)
Well, I'm glad you are a lawyer with tons of extra time to donate to a barely break-even project, but I don't think those responsible for Bodhi are well versed in European law.
Maybe you should pay for the server space, run the forums, and take all legal responsibility?
45 • @44 European law on user datas... (by Frederic Bezies on 2018-06-05 06:53:06 GMT from France)
Well, it is a good thing in a way: I got spammed by dozens of sites I don't even remember going to which tell me they have some of my datas. Asking me to stay or resign.
It took me an hour a day since may 25th, but at least, I know my datas remains my datas. The best way? Not having a social network account on Facebook for example. What about the same in the USA? It will just kill facebook economic model.
46 • @31 hard links and inodes (by greenpossum on 2018-06-05 08:08:19 GMT from Australia)
>All files have at least one inode describing that file. On a given partition you can have multiple inodes describing the same file. When you "delete a file" you are actually deleting an inode describing it. When the last inode is gone, so is any pointer to the data associated with a particular file.
You're wrong. Try this:
ln a b
ls -li a b
Both links have the same inode. What is different is that there are two directory entries pointing to the same inode. When the last pointer to the inode is deleted, the file contents are too. How does the inode keep track? There is a link counter in the inode.
47 • OEM Install (by Jim on 2018-06-05 10:19:24 GMT from United States)
What is the advantage of an OEM install? If I understand, it gives the user a chance to create the main account after the install instead of during the install?
48 • Post #'s 42 , 41 , 35 (by Winchester on 2018-06-05 13:50:27 GMT from United States)
4M Linux works on non-PAE machines. I once installed an older version,4M Linux 12 on an ancient early 2000's non-PAE Compaq.
Pure Slackware (or Porteus Desktop) should work as well. Maybe even Gentoo or Mageia.
The 32-bit OpenSUSE Tumbleweed also works on a cheap non-PAE 32-bit ASUS netbook from four or five years ago. I have it Multi-booting with the Arch 32-bit spin ; MX-14 (needs upgrade due to end of life) ; Stella 6 ; and Shiba-Inu 32-bit on that same netbook.
Which leads me to posts 41 and 35 :
I have found OpenSUSE Tumbleweed to be the most reliable rolling distribution besides Void Linux and the semi-rolling PClinuxOS. 64-bit on my desktop and 32-bit on the netbook still going strong ...... has to be over a year and a half. Much more intervention required with Arch and its derivatives.
Only twice on the desktop did I have to boot into a maintenance mode to fix things over the span of 18 months. Not once on the netbook which has LXDE,Enlightenment,and KDE 3 as desktop session options. I had to add the Mozilla repository to the 32-bit version install.
49 • SuSE review (by R. Cain on 2018-06-05 14:29:45 GMT from United States)
Now that Mint Linux has become simply one more bloated Mebuntu with nothing to now distinguish it from the rest of the herd (17.3 was the absolute best of the best), there are any number of Linux distributions which are better--SuSE being one--except for one major, serious failing, with no way out: SYSTEMD!. (Know what Mint's recommendation is if you don't like their embracing of systemd? Use some other distro. That's in their blog.).
Make that two major, serious failings: GNOME is the other one; even offering it calls into question SuSE's long-standing, hard-earned reputation as one of the few distributions which place a premium on high quality. At least SuSE, to their credit, gives you another option.
50 • hard links and inodes (by Steve L on 2018-06-05 16:43:54 GMT from United States)
While I really do hate being caught in a mistake, I do love to learn stuff.
I've been using that description of inodes and hard links for decades. It's what I remember learning way back when and now I find I've got it wrong.
Without digging through a lot of old manuals I can't say whether I've been remembering it correctly or not, though I'd like to think I have been. I'd certainly hate to find out I've had it wrong all these years. That would mean I've been passing on bad info to students and other interested parties for far too long and that's a thought I'm not very comfortable with.
In any case, I am going to update my little speech on inodes and hard links to match the reality you pointed out to me today. I do appreciate the correction -- Thank You!
51 • Hard links and inodes (by Jesse on 2018-06-05 16:55:25 GMT from Canada)
Both explanations are right, just depending on the context. The original explanation is post 31 about how files can have multiple inodes and removing the inodes for a file unindexes the file and effectively deletes it is accurate. A file can have multiple nodes and when they are removed, the file is effectively deleted/lost.
The observation in 46 is also true. Hard links and the original file share the same inode. Deleting a link reduces the counter in the inode. When the inode counter reaches zero, it is removed.
These two explanations do not contradict each other, they just deal with different parts of the same process.
52 • 4MLinux (by zk1234 on 2018-06-05 19:12:50 GMT from Poland)
PAE is enabled in 4MLinux:
53 • USB boot (by John on 2018-06-05 20:09:27 GMT from United States)
I tried to show by grandsons SD->USB2 Linux on their recent laptops. [ What I am running on this older Toshiba now. ]
No go. Ugh. Couldn't show TI CCS and other engineering stuff.
I tried several different versions including Debian 9.4. All would not boot.
And now github.com is gone....
Simple ideas please.
54 • Distro with Unity DE called Olu (by Kazan on 2018-06-06 05:36:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
There was a distro with the Unity DE earlier based on Ubuntu development branch, and now there is another distro based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS at sourceforge, named Olu. Unity was loved by some, hated by some, but nice to see it still there for those, who'd like to use it. It appears to have a lesser memory usage than Gnome shell.
55 • @19 - openSUSE multimedia (by Andy Prough on 2018-06-06 06:19:57 GMT from United States)
Hi Jesse - Doing a web search for "openSUSE multimedia" or "openSUSE media" brings up two websites as the top two hits, each of which give you the option of one-click installation for everything you need to run multimedia.
Personally, I think that's about as easy as it gets, and I think that's how 99% of the users are approaching the situation the moment they see that multimedia doesn't work. I know you'd prefer a bit more hand-holding of newbie users, but I'm pretty sure you also are aware that SUSE has had a very long-standing policy of staying as far away from patent infringement as possible, and so the last thing they are going to do is give suggestions on where to go online to get codecs.
Thank you for the intriguing review. I've used Tumbleweed on a laptop for years, but have never tried Leap. I think it's time to give it a spin.
56 • @ 54 Olu-Unity (by OstroL on 2018-06-06 13:05:11 GMT from Poland)
Just downloaded it. Lovely distro. Reminds me of the nice times.
57 • openSUSE media and licensing (by Jesse on 2018-06-06 23:54:23 GMT from Canada)
@55: "Hi Jesse - Doing a web search for "openSUSE multimedia" or "openSUSE media" brings up two websites as the top two hits, each of which give you the option of one-click installation for everything you need to run multimedia. Personally, I think that's about as easy as it gets"
That would be relatively easy, assuming that is what the user searches for when their media player doesn't play a file. But without an error message, I think it's more likely a user searches for "dragon player doesn't work" or "can't play media on opensuse". Neither of which bring up guides for dealing with the issue on the first page of search results. I'd also like to reiterate that encouraging users to click-to-install third-party software through a third-party website is not ideal. That's a likely path to installing malware if the user is not careful or experienced. I'm not saying openSUSE should provide codecs in their main repositories or even explicitly tell people how to get codecs. But a distinctive error message is the least they can do to keep users safe.
>> "I understand that there is some license with Linux that prevents selling distributions or something like that."
There is no license that prevents anyone from selling Linux distributions. That's how SUSE and Red Hat make their money. If you want Mint to cost $100 you could just send them $100. You can think of Mint as being "pay what you want", anywhere from $0 to as much as you think it's worth.
58 • @51 Jesse: inodes and hard links (by greenpossum on 2018-06-07 00:05:53 GMT from Australia)
Sorry Jesse, I know you are trying to be conciliatory, but a file is uniquely identified by the inode. The inode contains critical information about the file such as the blocks containing the data, the size, the permissions, etc. But not the name or the actual data. Therefore 1 file = 1 inode. The system has to update the unique inode whenever file operations are done.
However there can be multiple paths on the same filesystem to the same inode = file. That's what hard links are, a path to an inode. There are no backpointers from the inode to the paths. That's why in the worst case to find the other links to an inode, the whole filesystem has to be scanned, a consideration for filesystem consistency checkers.
Unless you redefine file to be something else.
This was all designed back in the days of Unix by very smart people: Ritchie and Thompson.
59 • hard links (by Jesse on 2018-06-07 00:42:03 GMT from Canada)
I think you may have misunderstood what I wrote before because everything you just posted is in agreement with what I was saying. We're entirely in agreement with the structure of filenames and inodes.
60 • @ 54 Olu-Unity (by akoya on 2018-06-07 11:47:38 GMT from France)
Nice to see Unity back. Snappy too. At sourceforge. net/projects/olu-unity/ Little hard at the moment to find it, but if you search Olu at Sourceforge, you can find it.
61 • @57 openSUSE media and licensing (by Andy Prough on 2018-06-07 21:10:26 GMT from United States)
>> "I'm not saying openSUSE should provide codecs in their main repositories or even explicitly tell people how to get codecs. But a distinctive error message is the least they can do to keep users safe."
Yeah, but I started using SUSE around 1999, and they've always steered completely clear of discussing proprietary codecs within the Desktop experience as long as I recall.
I guess I just find it amusing that reviewers started complaining about this when Ubuntu first took the world by storm in 2004. Fourteen years later, and here we are still talking about it, still acting as though SUSE is going to change their minds, when clearly they are quite resolute in the way they do things.
But you know all this better than most anyone, as you've probably reviewed every major SUSE or openSUSE release for more years than I can recall. I look at openSUSE as a do-everything distro that requires a good deal of familiarity, and isn't looking to convert the masses in the same way as a user-friendly distro like Ubuntu or Mint.
62 • @41 OpenSUSE on ext4 (by Janusz on 2018-06-07 21:18:54 GMT from Poland)
Could you explain how do you install OpenSUSE on ext4? I tried it several times, but the results were either unbootable or literally shaky. I would be very much obliged for your recipe for taming the cameleon :} Thanks much.
63 • OpenSuSE and VLC media player (by OpenChuSSe on 2018-06-08 01:52:42 GMT from Canada)
I never had a problem installing multi-media codecs using zypper on Leap:
OpenChuSSE:~>zypper install libdvdcss2 ffmpeg lame gstreamer-plugins-libav gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-plugins-ugly gstreamer-plugins-ugly-orig-addon vlc vlc-codecs
64 • @62 - openSUSE on EXT4 (by Andy Prough on 2018-06-08 03:22:59 GMT from United States)
It should just install on EXT4, I've never had any trouble with Tumbleweed, or with openSUSE before that. If you are having that kind of trouble, I would go to the openSUSE forums and ask. They are super knowledgeable and usually quite friendly.
65 • Timeshit (by imnotrich on 2018-06-10 01:49:23 GMT from Mexico)
"In Linux Mint 19, the star of the show is Timeshift. Thanks to Timeshift you can go back in time and restore your computer to the last functional system snapshot."
This is a joke, right?
Among other things, the mandatory/forced install of Timeshift is like a virus, giving itself root permissions to run amok and take control of your entire hard drive. Not just a few files/folders. The only way to fix is uninstalling Timeshift and reformatting the hard drive. Twice. Then delete fstab entries too.
Linux Mint 19 Beta is BETA in the truest sense of the word, many many bugs which should have been easily caught during testing...but some of those bugs were fixed within 24 hours of release and I know the team is working feverishly to resolve those which remain. Not to mention packages in the repos which obviously were not tested with this release.
And I get that some of those bugs were inherited from Buster, Bionic or previous versions of Mint and had nothing to do with the introduction of Cinnamon 3.8.
I have confidence that when Mint 19's officially released, it will quickly overtake Manwhatchamacallit on the DW page hit list.
66 • openSUSE (by Peter Pointer on 2018-06-10 15:01:08 GMT from Canada)
openSUSE uses systemd ?
Might as well install Windows 10...which ain't Ever gonna happen !!!
67 • format twice? (by tim on 2018-06-10 16:47:02 GMT from United States)
what @65 described sounds bizarre. "Timeshift is like a virus... and gotta uninstall and format the hard drive. Twice. Then delete fstab entries too."
68 • SuSE and the use of systemd (by R. Cain on 2018-06-10 17:32:33 GMT from United States)
I'm seeing a lot--and I mean a LOT--of grousing about systemd. And a lot of suspicious--i.e., totally unwarranted--defensiveness and 'pushback' on the part of Linux distribution makers regarding their use of systemd (in a totally uncharacteristic response by "Clem"...whoever pretends to be him now...a commenter on Linux Mint's Blog was told to use some other distribution if he didn't like Mint's use of systemd...in other words, "We really don't care WHAT you think any more.").
Maybe it's time for
1) a listing of all those distributions which are "systemd-free".
2) an in-depth look at Devuan.
"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." --Mark Twain
69 • System d the latest bogeyman (by Linux whiners on 2018-06-10 21:42:42 GMT from )
Linux users never stop complaining about everything then wonder why desktop Linux is still a “joke”.
70 • @69 System d the latest bogeyman (by DaveT on 2018-06-10 22:33:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
Systemd is evil, so quite naturally the linux distro I use (Devuan) is completely free of it!
71 • Thanks for telling me... (by OS2_user on 2018-06-10 23:47:21 GMT from United States)
... what I need and don't need!
@ 13 -- So, I'm not allowed to touch the command line? "Sudo" problems I note because occurred right off in the little testing I did.
@ 17 -- So I'm only allowed monitors that you approve? Monitors report their size on request through the wires. It's trivial to program SVGA type adapter (circuits) to another resolution.
Number of Comments: 71
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|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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Santa Fe Linux
Santa Fe Linux was a commercial desktop distribution with advanced hardware auto-detection and some of the best desktop applications open source has to offer. Santa Fe Linux was a Debian-based live CD and features X.org with automatic binary driver configuration for NVIDIA and ATI video cards.