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Ubuntu: A ramble through Drake Lake

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Ubuntu

This is not a review. It is not fair to review a work in progress. It is not a preview either. Such has already been done. Besides, all too often both views degenerate into a list of everything that does not yet work. And! And! Even reviews of released Linux distributions often do little more than enumerate features that haven't been added yet, but are already present in the author's current favourite. So I won't cover in any great depth what is and is not in Dapper. If you want to mark for yourself each stride forward, please visit the testing pages linked to above. It will tell you what you need to know, and has pretty screen-shots besides.

I will not hide my bias either. Ubuntu is my Darling. It cradled me in its soft, brown arms, soothing the burns and blisters of years of Windows and RPMs. I will say this: Working with Dapper on standard desktop hardware is a pleasant experience. I have an AMD64 3500+ processor, 512MB of ram, a GeForce 4200, on-board sound and Ethernet, plus an old prism-based 11mbs wireless card. Nothing too new, nothing too old. Not even a printer or scanner to bang my head against.

Now let us take an x86 install CD. The graphical boot menu is a nice touch. In earlier versions you could hit the F8 key and everything would... sparkle. This is now gone, as it was never meant to be in the first place. Hit 'ENTER', and we are back into the blue, text-based installer.

Full Story.

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today's howtos

Minimal Linux Live

Minimal Linux Live is, as the name suggests, a very minimal Linux distribution which can be run live from a CD, DVD or USB thumb drive. One of the things which set Minimal Linux Live (MLL) apart from other distributions is that, while the distribution is available through a 7MB ISO file download, the project is designed to be built from source code using a shell script. The idea is that we can download scripts that will build MLL on an existing Linux distribution. Assuming we have the proper compiler tools on our current distribution, simply running a single shell script and waiting a while will produce a bootable ISO featuring the MLL operating system. Yet another option the MLL project gives us is running the distribution inside a web browser using a JavaScript virtual machine. The browser-based virtual machine running MLL can be found on the project's website, under the Emulator tab. This gives us a chance to try out the operating system in our web browser without installing or building anything. I decided to try the MLL build process to see if it would work and how long it would take if everything went smoothly. I also wanted to find out just how much functionality such a small distribution could offer. The project's documentation mostly covers building MLL on Ubuntu and Linux Mint and so I decided to build MLL on a copy of Ubuntu 16.04 I had running in a virtual machine. The steps to build MLL are fairly straight forward. On Ubuntu, we first install six packages to make sure we have all the required dependencies. Then we download an archive containing MLL's build scripts. Then we unpack the archive and run the build script. We just need to type four commands in Ubuntu's virtual terminal to kick-start the build process. Read more

GCC Compiler Tests At A Variety Of Optimization Levels Using Clear Linux

For those curious about the impact of GCC compiler optimization levels, a variety of benchmarks were carried out using GCC 6.3 on Intel's Clear Linux platform. Read more Also: LLVM 4.0.1 Planning, Aiming For Better Stable Releases