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Recent Review Rounds

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Reviews

This past month has been quite exciting with the recent distro releases. We've seen some great work, revolutionary ideas, and even some down right radical thinking. We've seen newcomers do groundbreaking things and old dawgs learn some new tricks.

I've had a long running habit, of about 5 years now, of testing out distros as they were released then I'd write my friends and tell em what I think. I have posted my lilo config a couple times as an example to someone having trouble or questions with setting up dual or triple boot, and got many cute replies. One guy told me to get a life. Big Grin See, there have been times when I've had as many as 30 distros installed across two hard drives. These days I'm down to one. Seems my power supply can't handle the load of all my hardware, which includes an nvidia 6800 that requires it's own power cable, and a second harddrive. So right now I have 11 linux distros bootable on that one harddrive (some with several bootable kernels).

Since I've started the site, I've been posting those said thoughts of distros here instead. Some of my reviews seem to get a few hits while others seem to get a bit fewer. But that's about how it was from friends too. If it was something they became excited about, I'd get emails about this and that, even requesting more screenshots. If it wasn't interesting to them, I'd get a "oh that's nice". Big Grin That's about how it's going here. Big Grin

To the point: I've had some successes and not so successful adventures. I got stampeded by Buffalo, a distro whose name intrigued me. I didn't achieve any yingyang with Zen, whose logo was so darn cute. And my fruit went sour with Berry, whose motif was quite appetizing. All these would get to the point of starting X and then give me the big nothing. That's the way it goes, some hardware combinations just don't fly with some distro. I think this is a big advantage to livecds - one can test their hardware /before/ an actual harddrive install.

My latest tests have been going well. Should I state in public that I've never been the big Redhat fan? Did that come thru in my Fox review? I tried de-emphasize my personal slant towards Redhat and offshoots to write an objective review. And in fact, Fox has improved and purtied it up to where it's almost great. I /could/ get by with it if there weren't so many other choices, but I felt Redhat and Fedora fans should really check it out.

In the interim, I've been working on Lunar. Lunar isn't one of those quickie installs and reviews. It's requiring some work to get ready. I had a basic install from their iso in no time, but it's taken a little while to get to a kde desktop. One can compare Lunar to a stage 3 gentoo install I think. In fact, I see some definite similarities between Lunar and gentoo. Lunar is based on sorceror, but is sorceror an off-shoot of gentoo? I need to research this if I'm gonna write a review of it, but some of it's unique filesystem structure and naming conventions sure remind me of gentoo.

After I finally discovered the commands Lunar uses to install software, I was on my way. I didn't tweak any compile flags or set up distcc, but it's still kinda neato to watch it compile up your applications from scratch. I don't think Lunar is for everyone, as it's taken a little coaxing at times, but i got xorg and the kde desktop installed and running, as well as xawtv! I had to compile a vanilla kernel as I had a little trouble with the nvidia drivers. But it's default is a 2.4 kernel, so one of the next things is to see if I can convert it to a 2.6.

So, as the month draws to end, I need to get a desktop ready for the Gentoo Monthly Screenshots and finish up my Lunar for a review. I'm currently running kde 3.4.1 in gentoo and lunar has kde 3.4.0 installed. Between my real job, this site, my home upkeep, recent car trouble, and a boyfellar who accuses me of things when I conk out from exhaustion - I'm being stretched a little thin these days. I just can't seem to get everything done I'd like.

Happy Linuxin' folks.

More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • The future of xinput, xmodmap, setxkbmap, xsetwacom and other tools under Wayland
    This post applies to most tools that interface with the X server and change settings in the server, including xinput, xmodmap, setxkbmap, xkbcomp, xrandr, xsetwacom and other tools that start with x. The one word to sum up the future for these tools under Wayland is: "non-functional". An X window manager is little more than an innocent bystander when it comes to anything input-related. Short of handling global shortcuts and intercepting some mouse button presses (to bring the clicked window to the front) there is very little a window manager can do. It's a separate process to the X server and does not receive most input events and it cannot affect what events are being generated. When it comes to input device configuration, any X client can tell the server to change it - that's why general debugging tools like xinput work.
  • Please don't use pastebins in bugs
  • Linux Top 3: SparkyLinux 4.5, Mageia 5.1 and Peppermint 7
    SparkyLinux is (yet another) Debian based Linux distribution. The SparkyLinux 4.5 update codenamed "Tyche' was released on December 3, providing users with multiple desktop choice other than GNOME. SparkLinux 4.5 ships with KDE, LXDE, LXQt, MATE and Xfce.
  • Upcoming Linux Distributions Releasing In December 2016
    In December 2016, a big Linux distribution release is taking shape in the form of Linux Mint 18.1 Serena, flavored by Cinnamon 3.2. It’ll be accompanied by the release of security and privacy-focused Anonymous Live CD Tails 2.9.
  • AMD Extends Strategic Partnership with Mentor Graphics for Linux-based Embedded Solutions
  • Samsung Z2 gets Firmware Update to Tizen 2.4.0.6 Z200FDDU0BPK3 in India
    Samsung’s latest Tizen-based smartphone, the Z2 model number SM-Z200F, has had a new software / firmware update land in India today. The update takes it to Tizen version 2.4.0.6., firmware Z200FDDU0BPK3. The update log mentions the following improvements: Improved send SOS message (panic mode) and also improvements to the security of the device. Additional bug fixes and performance improvements may have also been bundled in.

Leftovers: Software

  • choqok 1.6 Twitter Client was released and completely ported with KDE Frameworks 5
    Choqok is a fast, efficient and simple to use twitter client for Linux (especially built for the KDE desktop environment) that is installed by default to some of the Linux distribution which shipped with KDE Desktop Environment. The name comes from an ancient Persian word, means Sparrow!
  • 10 open source tools for your sysadmin toolbox [Ed: Terrible list which starts with two suggestions of Microsoft EEE]
    Sysadmins, no matter what platforms they work on, are awash in great open source software tools. In this article, we highlight well-known—and not-so-well-known—tools that have released new versions in 2016.
  • NetworkManager 1.2.6 Lets You Activate Multiple PPPoE Connections Simultaneously
    Beniamino Galvani was proud to announce the release and general availability of a new maintenance update to the stable NetworkManager 1.2 series of the open source network connection manager software for GNU/Linux distributions. NetworkManager is the most used network connection manager, adopted by almost all Linux-based operating systems on the market, and NetworkManager 1.2.6 is now the most advanced release of the 1.2 stable series, coming four months after the NetworkManager 1.2.4 update to fix a few bugs and regressions reported by users since then.
  • GNOME loves to cook
    With the upcoming 20th birthday of GNOME next year, some of us thought that we should make another attempt at this application, maybe as a birthday gift to all of GNOME. Shortly after GUADEC, I got my hands on some existing designs and started to toy around with implementing them over a few weekends and evenings. The screenshots in this post show how far I got since then.

today's howtos

Linux Foundation: Blockchain and Automotive Grade Linux

  • Linux Foundation’s Blockchain Collective Hyperledger Hits 100 Members
    Hyperledger aims to enable organizations to build robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by creating an enterprise grade, open source distributed ledger framework and code base.
  • The Blockchain Milestone You May Have Missed
  • Sasken becomes member of Automotive Grade Linux
    Sasken Communication Technologies Ltd has announced its membership with Automotive Grade Linux as its bronze member. This will enable Sasken to provide solutions to customers on Automotive Grade Linux (AGL). Sasken will provide product development and system integration services for automotive customers spanning in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), instrument cluster, heads-up display and telematics.