Un-edited Live session (and we mean it when we say “unedited”) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnpIzGBU7a4
Tony Bemus, Mat Enders, and Mary Tomich
Intro Sound bite by Mike Tanner
Kernel News: Mary/Kevin
Latest Stable Kernel: 3.6.7
Distro Talk: Mary/Kevin
- 11/23 – Cinnarch 2012 This release contains a number of fixes plus some new features, updated versions of various applications and desktops
- 11-21 Bio-Linux TBio-Linux 7 is a full-featured, powerful, configurable and easy-to-maintain bioinformatics workstation. Bio-Linux provides more than 500 bioinformatics programs and a graphical menu for bioinformatics programs. I am including a link to the screenshot directory for Bio-Linux:
An article from Nature magazine describing the role of FOSS in the bio-sciences:
- 11-21 IPFire 2.11 Core 64IPFir – a specialist firewall distribution, with updated intrusion detection software and fixed MAC rules: “Today, we are releasing the 64th Core Update for IPFire 2.11. The Intrusion Detection program Snort has been updated to version 184.108.40.206, the corresponding daq library to version 1.1.1. This enables Snort to work with the latest VRT rule set.
Outgoing firewall – the broken MAC rules have been fixed. It was impossible to use the MAC rules to allow hosts to access the Internet. A bigger rewrite of the code fixes this problem and makes the outgoing firewall a bit more performing.
- Redo Backup & Recovery 1.0.4 What’s new in this release? “Base upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS; percent complete now based on part sizes rather than total number of parts; Windows now have title bars to ease minimizing, maximizing and closing; time is now synced to localtime (hardware clock) after boot; widget theme changed to Bluebird for GTK+ 3 compatibility; now has a helpful beep to indicate when long processes are finished; added alsamixergui to enable mixer button on volume control; drive reset utility can now operate on multiple drives simultaneously; removed Synaptic and boot-repair packages to reduce image size.”
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- 11-20 Linux Mint 14: Clement Lefebvre has announced the final release of Linux Mint 14, code name “Nadia”, in MATE (version 1.4) or Cinnamon (version 1.6) editions: “The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 14 ‘Nadia’. For the first time since Linux Mint 11, the development team was able to capitalize on upstream technology which works and fits its goals. After 6 months of incremental development, Linux Mint 14 features an impressive list of improvements, increased stability and a refined desktop experience. We’re very proud of MATE, Cinnamon,
Workspaces (in Cinnamon) Workspaces are “persistent” in Cinnamon and it will remain there until you decide to delete it. You can log off or even reboot, your workspaces will remain the way you defined them.
Per ExtremeTech: “Additionally, Mint has added an overlay called the Workspace On-Screen Display (OSD) that allows switching among different workspaces (think of them like virtual desktops). You can add as many workspaces as you want while giving each one a unique name. Best of all, you can drag windows between workspaces, and have your settings persist across reboots. Unfortunately, like Windows 8, Mint uses a hot corner to activate the Workspace OSD, and it is not made obvious to the user that the feature is available. By default, mousing over to the top-left corner of your main display will bring up the OSD where you can manage your different desktops/workspaces. Once you figure out how to access it, however, it works really well.”
Window Quick-List – A new applet which lists all your windows across all workspaces.
Improved Sound Applet – Music lovers will enjoy some of the improvements in the Sound Applet.
Nemo – This Nautilus replacement now is in Cinnamon.
MDM (Mint Display Manager—introduced with Mint 13 now supports legacy GDM 2 themes and installs 30 by default.
- 2012-11-20 Vyatta 6.5 Stephen Harpster has announced the release of Vyatta 6.5, an updated version of the project’s specialist distribution for firewalls and routers. Significant enhancements including: support for Microsoft Hyper-V; Policy-Based Routing (PBR) which allows incoming packets to be forwarded based on policies, rather than just on the destination address;
Virtual Tunnel Interface (VTI) which is a way to represent policy-based IPsec tunnels as virtual interfaces; BGP Multipath enables the installation of multiple BGP paths to a destination into the IP routing table; IPsec support for IPv6 using Internet key management protocol IKEv1; the VRRP (Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol) operational mode commands have been modified to improve usability….” Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
- 11/20 Zorin OS 6.1 – “The Zorin OS team has released Zorin OS 6.1 Educational, the education-oriented version of our operating system designed for Windows users making the switch to Linux. Users who already have Zorin OS 6 Educational installed do not need to get Zorin OS 6.1 Educational as all the aforementioned updates and improvements in 6.1 can be applied by installing the latest updates from the Update Manager.
Distro of the Week: Mary/Kevin
5 Debian 1338
4 Fedora 1390
3 Ubuntu 1749
2 Mageia 2408
1 Mint 5089
Mary Distro Review
I first noticed Kwort Linux last week on Distrowatch. But what really caught my attention was that it was derived from Crux. Anyone who listened to this podcast series from earlier this year knows of my numerous attempts to compile the Crux kernel –which I was finally able to do.
So would Kwort Linux be a distro running on all cylinders or would it turn out to be a kwort (quart) low? 🙂
Name: Kwort Linux – http://kwort.org/ (Argentinian-based distro)
Maintainer: Nomius (aka David Cortarello)
Distro Latest Birthday: 3.5 was released on 11/17/2012.
Derivative: Crux (!)
Review Desktop: Openbox
The hardware requirements are extremely modest: a) 686; b) 32 Mb RAM; c) 1.5 Gb Disk space; d) 4x CD-ROM. My testing laptop met the requirement.
There is no live environment. Kwort Linux boots to the install process. And you better have your “A” game with you or you could run into a few little challenges during the process. Needless to say I had brought my “B-” game” the day I installed it. The good news with Kwort Linux is that the kernel is compiled for you. No need to worry about make menuconfig or other kernel building steps. The bad news about Kwort Linux—and it’s not necessarily bad, just time consuming—is that you’re left to configure the rest of your system via editing scripts, etc.
Graphics: ✘ ( i915)
Wireless: ✓ (iwl3945)
The Big Three
Default Browser: Chromium (although it is listed as Chrome in the menu)
Office Suite: LibreOffice is listed in the menu. Unfortunately a Failed to execute a child process “soffice” (No such file or directory) error appeared when I tried to open LibreOffice Writer. More on this situation later.
Mail Client: None
Default File Manager: Actually there were two: Midnight Commander and pcmanfm (which I could not open due to a “Failed to execute a child process…” I think you might be getting the picture.
The Install Process:
No pretty graphics here, just screen after screen of character-based goodies. The install process is bifurcated, i.e. the base system is installed along with the some base-line configuration (keyboard, partitions), then you reboot and add a non-root user, update packages, etc. The system does not automatically prompt you to do this, the site documentation does. Lest you think that this could be overlooked, let me assure you it won’t be. Since so little of Kwort is configured, the first place you go is their site and its documentation.
The partition utility used by Kwort divided into two steps: a) creating the physical partitions, then b) determining which was root, etc. This step was followed by a preview of the soon-to-be-created fstab file. I appreciated seeing this early in the process. What I did not like about it is the inability to ‘tweak’ it. During my testing I paused in the middle of hard-drive set-up and when I returned, I could not recall whether I had identified my home partition, so I completed that step. When the partition list was shown to me, I had two entries for my home partition and no way to go back and ‘fix’ it. I had to start over. Later I reviewed the contents of fstab and sure enough, my home partition was listed twice. The good news is that it apparently had no ill effect on booting and running Kwort Linux
By the way, during my testing for this distro review, I went through the install process a couple of times to check various options.
The boot loader for Kwort (like Crux) is Lilo and I installed it to the MBR because there was nothing else on my test laptop. The next screen instructed me to press “Intro” to reboot my computer, but the only button available to press was “OK” so I clicked it and the reboot process started.
The post-install boot of Kwort Linux was to a command line log-in prompt. Since I was prompted only to create the root user during the install, I logged in as root. From there, it appeared that I was on my own as far as any system-generated post-install tasks were concerned. First, I wanted to see if X was installed—so I ran startx. No problem starting X but big problem with the mouse/cursor. It was frozen in the middle of the screen. So off I went to Kwort’s web site to check the forums and documentation for remedies regarding this situation. Kwort’s web site has a handy set of ‘what to do next’ instructions, including adding a non-root user which I stopped to do during the course of my troubleshooting. Part of that set up included adding the groups to which this user would belong. The documentation laid out the specifics.
The site’s FAQ section included a question regarding non-working mouse/keyboard. To fix this issue, I had to add a section to the xorg.conf file:
Option “AutoAddDevices” “False”
I haven’t configured an xorg.conf file for a few years since Ubuntu/Kubuntu stopped using it as a default for configuring graphics and hardware. Running X -configure created a xorg.conf.new file which I then renamed to xorg.conf and copied to the /etc/X11 directory. After restaring X, I had full use of my mouse.
The next configuration I needed to make involved networking. Lucky for me, the Kwort Linux web site had instructions for configuring the net file (in /etc/rc.d) which simply involved editing a bash script. So I dusted off my long-dormant vi skills and got to work, modifying the file. After making the necessary changes, I was on-line—or at least tethered via a network cable! Now to test and review the package management approach…. Kpkg is the package manager that Kwort uses. Despite following the instructions on the web site, I just could not get kpkg to run.
Other interesting Programs:
Kwort’s application menu was not very robust but I decided to give a couple of program a shot. Clicking on the menu entry for LibreOffice yielded the error I mentioned at the top of the review. Kwort’s web site said it could be installed from the CD but the question I had is why have a menu entry for an app that is not yet installed. There were several apps that produced the same error, including pcmanfm, one of the two file managers “installed” by default.
I went back to the web site where it said the latest LibreOffice verson was available for install from the iso. Well, I thought, that shouldn’t be too difficult, mount the CD (after all, one of the groups that I added the new user to was CDROM). But interestingly enough, there was no block device in /dev for CDROM, DVD, or sr0, etc. At that point, I realized I was already a Kwort low on patience and time was running out to complete my review.
Even the Kwort web site lists Packages as a separate page, but when I went there to take a look, a notice saying “Empty Page” was all that I saw. I was hoping to see at least a listing of the major packages that Kwort supported.
Rating: 1.8 Unfortunately for me, Kwort Linux was too rough around the edges for my personal taste but if you’re up for a learning experience, you may have better luck with this distro than I did. Otherwise, try something more fun like CinnArch where you still have control over the configuration of your system but in a far more polished way.
Tech News: Kevin/Mary
1. Samsung sold twice as many phones as Apple last quarter
2. Samsung Maintains LEad in Worldwide Mobile Phone Market
3. Android to Beat Windows in 2016
4. Android grabs 75% Market Share
5. Apple’s tablet dominance falters as Samsung’s market share surges
6. Samsung Galaxy SIII overtakes Apple’s iPhone 4S as world’s best-selling phone
7. How Team Obama’s tech efficiency left Romney IT in dust
8. Ten… Linux apps you must install.
The Register, The UK’s well-known IT tech site included an article this past week entitled: Ten… Linux apps you must install. These lists always pique my curiosity, and I generally check what’s on them, and I am ususally rewarded with at least one app that is new and useful. El Reg’s list had the standard stuff: LibreOffice, Kate, Gparted, PeaZip, Shutter, smplayer, synapse, synaptic, and an app called “LuckyBackup.” It sounded like the name of a Chinese takeout restaurant.
LuckyBackup isn’t a backup utility in the traditional sense, but a front end for your old command-line friend rsync. As far as reliability goes, there is no substitute for rsync. That said, having a straightforward graphical interface on top is a very nice touch.
9. German city dumps OpenOffice and switches to Microsoft
10. Ubuntu Tweak: After three days ‘dead,’ user outcry brings it back to life
11. Linux Foundation Sponsors Now Includes Microsoft?
12. Linux Foundation support for booting Linux on Windows 8 PCs delayed
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