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ubuntu and the eee

Why is the choice of distribution so important and contentious?

A quick question to help shed some light on this topic. You needn't bother reading my blabble, just the usual rantings but I would like to see some views on why this whole area generates so much emotion when basically every distribution is a Yum or Apt away from being exactly the same as the next.

My distro is redder than yours, so ner!

Filed under

What is needed here is a celebrity distro match, battle to the death. And in the blue corner, weighing in at 70lbs, wearing knobbly knees and a tank top, master of the inane, lord or pointlessness, it's Faaaaaaaanboy! And in the orangy corner, weighing in at 71.123984775lbs, taking into account a floating point error, compiled 1 second faster, the spark of the unholy distro...'buntu basher masher.

These are not the sources we're looking for

Open Source and funky free ethics are no match for a good expensive closed application installed kid. There's a disturbance in the source.

Educating the masses and squabbling at the distrotech

The user doesn’t care what the operating system is, they are not installing it to use an operating system, they are installing it for the things they can install and run on it… can they use their word, excel, PowerPoint docs… how? Can they play their CDs? How? Can they watch a DVD from their collection? How? If all those names, IBM, Novell etc, were shown in an ad, people would have a lot more confidence to try and see. That’s all Linux needs them to do, try one. Any one. They are all united under the march of the penguin.

Distro Install Cold Turkey

Isn't it annoying how things in life pop up and get in the way of what you actually intended to do?

kubuntu vs MS ISA Proxy ft apt-get

Getting adept at updates behind enemy lines, a quick guide to get your updates running through MS ISA Proxy. Also known as NTLMAPS to the rescue!

From Russia with Linux (hangover)

From the Banya to the ice cold linux pond for a warm welcome with a bottle of Chivas Regal and stomach full of vodka! Piroshki anyone?

Flying laptops and yet another Kubuntu install epic.

Ok so it's been relatively quiet from me these past few weeks. The need of many (bills) outweighs the need of the few (hours free). But that’s not the end of it. Oh no indeed. You see, now I have a new laptop and this means endless hours farting around trying to get it to work. And why is that I hear you ask? Well, just when I had finally got my old laptop into a workable state with Kubuntu happily chugging away I had a little 'accident'...........

54G, Retro crisis and terrible teens.

This week has been a sort of non-event. Although I did get a refund on a parking ticket as mentioned in some previous spurious blog. Had a call from a friend, she had just bought a new wireless card and was struggling to get it connected. The Knoppix I installed on her laptop is running fine but something I have generally found with Linux is that once it is working, leave it well alone! I asked why she had bought the new card. "It's a 'G' and it's faster than my 'B', Internet has been slow'. Hmmm, Internet slow. How do you explain this one?

Spectrums, rubber keys, parking fines, OpenLDAP and replacement windows

The installation went fine (in a roundabout sort of way). Oh yes, there were the niggles and gripes, teething problems, times that I had to resort to the beating the insolent teenager of technology with a hammer to get it to work, but in the end it did just that. What on earth am I talking about? Well... the customer of mine, Mr Windows, is now Mr Linux (apart from a couple PCs) and so is his network of around 100 or so workstations. Working like a charm (or curse?). I didn't have the heart to tell him that I was learning this stuff as I went along, that would have probably put the fear of God into his chequebook and his writing hand. I’ll keep the patient under constant observation for a while until it can be taken out of critical care but the prognosis is looking good and the transplant is looking to be a success. Wipe please Nurse! Scalpel, backup tape, CD.

Hurts when vista boots you in the DRM's

With Microsoft building a lot around HDCP, DRM into vista and most LCD panels not supporting it, what will be the upgrade cost? Not only will I have to change the two new 20" goggle boxes I've just bought, I'll need to change the graphics card too.

Selling the dream

it took a long conversation, many demos of Kubuntu (it's still on the laptop, week 4 now! Whey!) and many beers to let me in with a proposed demo to pitch against his MS setup. A mini network, a couple of users from each team, typists, accounts, orders, processing etc. If it works he'll take it on, if not, then nothing has been lost but my time and a stupid bet involving being Naked, Guinness, vindaloo, traffic cone and a stop watch.

Kubuntu Clash: Should I stay or should I go?

Over the past month or so I have been dipping my big toe into the Linux pool, just testing the waters. The reason for a move to Linux isn't one based on the love of open source, free choice or free software, the reason is far more capital, the devil drives when the bills need paying, work. Anyway, over the past weeks of swimming with Linux I've had less sleep than I have in a long long while, I've been more frustrated, argumentative, pounding the keyboard and flicking the finger(s) at the screen. Is this the norm?

Grumpy old git!

Why is it that some drivers, on open roads, fail to see the speed limit signs? Why? I don't mean they are speeding, I mean they are driving slower. Much slower. 25mph in a 30mph zone, 40mph in a 50mph zone! Come on! These are open roads with no room to overtake it is so frustrating! And that white circle with a black line? IT MEANS 60MPH NOT 40!!! (motorway 70 accepted)

Baby did a bad bad thing....

Well from the last thing I wrote in here somewhere (being new means you have no idea where things are), things have changed on the laptop front. After writing some good things about Ubuntu I stumbled across some articles on Suse floating around the 'net and up pops the thought, "perhaps I didn't give it a proper go". Dangerous thought, very dangerous.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • i2pd 2.10 released
    i2pd (I2P Daemon) is a full-featured C++ implementation of I2P client. I2P (Invisible Internet Protocol) is a universal anonymous network layer. All communications over I2P are anonymous and end-to-end encrypted, participants don't reveal their real IP addresses. I2P client is a software used for building and using anonymous I2P networks. Such networks are commonly used for anonymous peer-to-peer applications (filesharing, cryptocurrencies) and anonymous client-server applications (websites, instant messengers, chat-servers). I2P allows people from all around the world to communicate and share information without restrictions.
  • Pixeluvo Review | Photo Editor for Linux & Windows
    A review of Pixeluvo, a great photo editor available on Linux and Windows. Pixeluvo is not free or open source.
  • Blit, A Retrospective On My Largest Project Ever
    I’ve always been someone who’s liked art and programming. Especially combining the two. One of my favorite genres is pixel art, or sprites as they are also known. I’ve dabbled in making a few other art programs before, but nothing like this. Originally Blit supposed to be only a sprite animation tool that had a modern look and feel, but my ideas for it grew greater (*sigh* feature creep). There are many other sprinting tools out there like GrafX2, Aseprite, (and other 2D animation programs like TVPaint). I’m not saying that it’s wrong that they make their own GUI toolkit, but it feels kind of odd. I really wanted to bring these types of programs out of the days of the Amiga. After doing some initial research, I settled on using Qt.
  • An alert on the upcoming 7.51.0 release
    In two weeks time, on Wednesday November 2nd, we will release curl and libcurl 7.51.0 unless something earth shattering happens.
  • Desktop Gmail Client `WMail` 2.0.0 Stable Released
    WMail is a free, open source desktop client for Gmail and Google Inbox, available for Linux, Windows, and Mac.
  • SpaceView: Ubuntu File System Usage Indicator
  • FunYahoo++: New Yahoo Messenger Plugin For Pidgin / libpurple [PPA]
    Yahoo retired its old Messenger protocol in favor of a new one, breaking compatibility with third-party applications, such as Pidgin, Empathy, and so on. Eion Robb, the SkypeWeb and Hangouts developer, has created a replacement Yahoo prpl plugin, called FunYahoo++, that works with the new Yahoo Messenger protocol. Note that I tested the plugin with Pidgin, but it should work with other instant messaging applications that support libpurple, like BitlBee or Empathy.
  • GCC Lands Loop Splitting Optimization
    The latest GCC 7 development code has an optimization pass now for loop splitting.
  • GCC 7 To End Feature Development Next Month
    Friday's GCC 7 status report indicates the feature freeze is coming up in just a few weeks. Red Hat developer Jakub Jelinek wrote in the latest status report, "Trunk which will eventually become GCC 7 is still in Stage 1 but its end is near and we are planning to transition into Stage 3 starting Nov 13th end of day time zone of your choice. This means it is time to get things you want to have in GCC 7 finalized and reviewed. As usual there may be exceptions to late reviewed features but don't count on that. Likewise target specific features can sneak in during Stage 3 if maintainers ok them."
  • GNU Parallel 20161022 ('Matthew') released [stable]
    GNU Parallel 20161022 ('Matthew') [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.
  • GNU Health 3.0.4 patchset released
    GNU Health 3.0.4 patchset has been released !
  • guile-ncurses 2.0 released
    I am pleased to announce the release of guile-ncurses 2.0 guile-ncurses is a library for the creation of text user interfaces in the GNU Guile dialect of the Scheme programming language. It is a wrapper to the ncurses TUI library. It contains some basic text display and keyboard and mouse input functionality, as well as a menu widget and a form widget. It also has lower level terminfo and termios functionality.
  • Unifont 9.0.03 Released
    Unifont 9.0.03 is released. The main changes are the addition of the Pikto and Tonal ConScript Unicode Registry scripts.
  • PATHspider 1.0.0 released!
    In today’s Internet we see an increasing deployment of middleboxes. While middleboxes provide in-network functionality that is necessary to keep networks manageable and economically viable, any packet mangling — whether essential for the needed functionality or accidental as an unwanted side effect — makes it more and more difficult to deploy new protocols or extensions of existing protocols. For the evolution of the protocol stack, it is important to know which network impairments exist and potentially need to be worked around. While classical network measurement tools are often focused on absolute performance values, PATHspider performs A/B testing between two different protocols or different protocol extensions to perform controlled experiments of protocol-dependent connectivity problems as well as differential treatment.
  • The Domain Name System

today's howtos

Leftovers: KDE

  • Happy 20th birthday, KDE!
    KDE turned twenty recently, which seems significant in a world that seems to change so fast. Yet somehow we stay relevant, and excited to continue to build a better future. Lydia asked recently on the KDE-Community list what we were most proud of.
  • SETI – Week of Information Technology
  • KDevelop for Windows available on Chocolatey now
    Which is already great in itself! But now it's also possible to install it via the super popular Windows package manager for Windows, Chocolatey.
  • colord-kde 0.5.0 released!
    Last official stable release was done more than 3 years ago, it was based on Qt/KDE 4 tech, after that a few fixes got in what would be 0.4.0 but as I needed to change my priorities it was never released. Thanks to Lukáš Tinkl it was ported to KF5, on his port he increased the version number to 0.5.0, still without a proper release distros rely on a git checkout.
  • Call for attendees Lakademy 2017
    As many of you know, since 2012 we organize the Lakademy, a sort of Latin American Akademy. The event brings together KDE Latin American contributors in hacking sessions to work on their projects, promo meetings to think KDE dissemination strategies in the region and other activities.
  • Plasma 5 Desktop on FreeBSD Branding
    The FreeBSD packages of KDE software — the KDE 4 desktop, and soon KDE Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5 Desktop and KDE Applications — have traditionally been shipped pretty much as delivered from the upstream source. We compile, we package, and there is very little customization we do as a “distro”. The KDE 4 packages came with a default wallpaper that was a smidgen different from the one shipped with several Linux distro’s. I think Ivan Cukic did that artwork originally. For Plasma 5 Desktop, we also wanted to do a tiny bit of branding — just the default wallpaper for new users, mind.
  • A bit on Tooling
    So on the weekend I also worked on updating Qt 5.6.1 to Qt 5.6.2 on FreeBSD, which involves using new and scary tools as well. Power tools, they can be really useful, or they can take off a finger if you’re not careful. In this case it was Phabricator, which is also used in KDE — but not everywhere in KDE. For FreeBSD, the tool is used to review updates to ports (the packaging instructions), so I did an update of Qt from 5.6.1 to 5.6.2 and we handled the review through FreeBSD’s Phab. The ports infrastructure is stored in SVN, so the review is relatively straightforward: update the ports-tree checkout, apply your changes, use arc to create or update a review request. I was amazed by how painless it was — somehow I’d been frightened. Using the tool once, properly, makes a big difference in self-confidence.
  • Krita 3.1 second beta.
    The Krita 3.1 beta come with a full features and fixes. The linux version to download your krita-3.0.91-x86_64.appimage.
  • Second Beta for Krita 3.1 Available
    We’re still fixing bugs like madmen… And working on some cool new features as well, but that’s for a later release. In any case, here is the second Krita 3.1 beta! Yes, you’re reading that correctly. Originally, we had planned to use 3.0.2 as the version for this release, but there is so much news in it that it merits a bigger version bump.


  • Consequences of the HACK CAMP 2016 FEDORA + GNOME
    I used to do install parties in order to promote the use of FEDORA and GNOME project since five years ago. As you can see more details in the Release Party FEDORA 17 for Fedora, and Linux Camp 2012, GNOME PERU 2013, GNOME PERU 2014...
  • GNOME Shell Making It Easy To Launch Apps/Games For Optimus / Dual GPU Systems
    With the GNOME 3.24 desktop that's currently in development the latest GNOME Shell code has support for easily letting the user launch an app on a dedicated GPU when applicable for handling NVIDIA Optimus use-cases of having integrated and discrete GPU laptops. When a dual-GPU system is detected, a menu item will be added to opt for "Launch using Dedicated Graphics Card", per this commit. The GNOME Shell change for supporting discrete GPUs was made and when the user opts to launch on the dedicated GPU, the DRI_PRIME=1 environment variable will automatically be set for that new program/game.