I haven’t done a review of Ubuntu in a while, so the release of Ubuntu 14.10 last week game me a good excuse to do just that.
Code-named Utopic Unicorn, Ubuntu 14.10 is the last Ubuntu release this year. There are two releases per year and Ubuntu 14.04, code-named Trusty Tahr, was the first 2014 release of the popular desktop distribution that’s sponsored by Canonical. Ubuntu is, of course, not just a desktop distribution, but also features server, Cloud and Kylin editions. Ubuntu Kylin is an edition specifically designed for Chinese users. This review will be just about the desktop edition.
According to the Release Notes, Ubuntu 14.10 is not an LTS (Long-Term Support) edition, and so it will be supported for just nine months, that is until July 2015. Which brings up a question I’m sure has been tackled before: Why release a distribution that will be supported for just nine months? And why would any person bother upgrading to an OS that will be supported for just nine months. Even Microsoft doesn’t do that.
Xine is both an open source multimedia playback engine and a video playback application that's been around for a very long time. The number of people using this application has diminished, and there are few maintained third-party apps that are based on this engine. We'll take a closer look at the application to see why this is happening.
Puppy Linux 6.0 is a lightweight Linux distribution that can easily be run off a USB stick, SD card or live disc. This version has been dubbed “Tahrpup” by the Puppy Linux developers, and it is based on Ubuntu 14.04. It also uses Linux kernel 3.14.20.
If you’ve never used Puppy Linux before you might want to check out Wikipedia’s excellent overview of it. It will give you useful background information and let you know what you can expect from Puppy before trying it. You can also check out the official Puppy Linux 6.0 announcement thread in the Puppy Linux forum.
CherryTree is a notes-taking application which organizes your notes into a hierarchical tree, has support for text formatting, and is written in GTK2/Python. Lately this application has got a lot of attention due to rich features and frequent updates. It also comes by default in distributions such as MakuluLinux MATE Edition.
I've been covering Ubuntu for seven of the release’s 10 years and 14.10 is the first time I've had to dig deep into the release notes just to find something new to test.
If you needed further proof that Canonical is currently solely focused on bringing its Unity 8 interface to mobile devices, 14.10 is the best evidence yet.
Almost nothing Canonical develops has changed in this release - there isn't even a new desktop wallpaper. There are some updates to be sure, but they don’t hail from Canonical. Point release updates for default GNOME apps are included, as is a new kernel, the latest version of Mesa, and some other underlying tools.
The lack of updates isn't unexpected, in fact that's been the plan all along.
Over the last two weeks I’ve run nothing but LXDE as my primary Linux Desktop Environment (other than a few excursions into Android land). Been using LXDE. Been enjoying LXDE.
But I have practically nothing to really say about LXDE. I feel like, after all this time, I should have something interesting to talk about. But I just plain don’t.
It’s fast, blisteringly fast. And it’s damned lightweight too. After that, things get pretty boring.
So, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and installed Arch Linux. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. For those of you who haven’t come across this distro before, it’s built on the idea that the user should have full control of their system. This means that the basic install is just the Linux kernel and a few essential utilities. In order to create a fully working system, you need to choose what bits you want to install on top of that yourself. There’s no installer to guide you (but there is a package manager and a wiki to help you).