Un-edited Live session –
Kernel News: Mat
Distro Talk: Tony
Mary Distro Review
Is it Alive? – Mary
Tony Bemus, Mat Enders, and Mary Tomich
Intro Sound bite by Mike Tanner
Kernel News: Mat
On Fri, 25 Jan 2013 15:34 PST
Linus Torvalds released kernel 3.8-rc5
This is what he had to say about it:
“I’ll be traveling for LCA next week, so I’m hoping things are quieting down. They did not quiet down much for rc5, though, we still had 300+ commits in this rc. Not that they look all that scary, but there’s more movement in btrfs, f2fs, ptrace and module loading than I’d really prefer at this stage.
Sure, there’s also the usual driver updates – i915 and radeon, usb, serial, yadda yadda. But the drivers actually accounted for less than half of the patch this time around.
Go forth and test.”
On Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:54:20 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.7.4
With 40 files changed, 341 lines inserted, and 84 lines deleted
On Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:54:56 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.4.27
With 28 files changed, 256 lines inserted, and 69 lines deleted
On Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:56:34 PST
Greg Kroah-Hartman released kernel 3.0.60
With 20 files changed, 226 lines inserted, and 60 lines deleted
Kernel Developer Quote:
“So here was a totally new developer, sending perfect patches, and even revisions of the original patch after feedback, and getting it accepted in just over 24 hours total. I don’t think it really gets easier than that from both my end as a maintainer and, hopefully, from the developer end either.
The kernel development process works really well, no tools more than just an email client and an editor needed, very low barrier to entry, which is good”
The developer he is talking about is Frans Klaver from xsens.com.
Distro Talk: Tony
- 1-21 – Snowlinux 4 “Xfce”, “E17” – Debian-based
- 1-23 – BackBox Linux 3.01 – Ubuntu-based distribution and live DVD with a collection of penetration testing, incident response, computer forensics and intelligence gathering tools
- 1-23 – Netrunner 12.12.1 – Kubuntu-based distribution with KDE 4.9.4
- 1-24 – Descent|OS 3.0.2 -Ubuntu base system with the latest version of the MATE desktop environment
- 1-24 – SystemRescueCd 3.3.0 – Gentoo-based live CD with an extensive collection of data rescue and disk management utilities
Distro of the Week: Tony
- SnowLinux – 1627
- Ubuntu – 1939
- Fedora – 1942
- Mageia – 2363
- Mint – 3470
Mary Distro Review – Colorwheel Linux
If you have a friend or family member whom you’d like to move from the Windows world to Linux, you want that transition to be as smooth and transparent as possible. OK, so Slackware is out. They can try Mint, Zorin, etc.
This week I have taken a slightly different route by reviewing a less-known distro that also claims to be at least according to the site: “a Windows-friendly system that everyone can use.”
The definition of Windows-friendly can be a little hard to determine but it seems to me it should be:
a) The desktop should be organized in the familiar Windows way.
b) Tools with which users are familiar should be easily available.
c)You should be able to install a program simply by double-clicking on it.
d) Easy to update the installed OS.
Let’s see how Colorwheel’s Chroma key measures up.
Name: Colorwheel Linux (http://colorwheel-os.com/)
Maintainer: Not clear but appears to be a 15-year old
Distro Latest Birthday: 1.1.1 was released within the last month
Derivative: Xubuntu 12.04
Review Desktop: XFCE
The project offers, for $3.95 a month (no contract), an official company ID number for each customer and three tickets per month for direct phone assistance. Or you can opt for $39.95 per year.
The live environment does have a windows-like look to it…a single panel at the bottom with icons for several common tasks, browsing, playing music. Two other icons—shell terminal, and GIMP— puzzled me. A much better choice would have been a PDF reader and mail client for a transitioning Windows user.
Another puzzling panel resident was the desktop-switcher. It showed two desktops. Why include this on the panel for a Windows-friendly distro? If a newbie accidentally switches desktops, the programs they’re using will essentially disappear and this would be very disconcerting and confusing.
Colorwheel Linux does a fairly good job of handling display graphics, although I was unable to get my older laptop to boot to the live environment. My Zareason laptop had no problem with the live boot. And both graphics and wireless were handled by the Ubuntu base.
Graphics: ( nouveau)
The Big Three
Default Browser: Firefox, Chrome
Office Suite: LibreOffice 220.127.116.11
Mail Client: Thunderbird
Default File Manager: Thunar
The Install Process:
Not surprisingly, Colorwheel Linux uses the standard Ubuntu install…not much more to say.
I installed to a virtual machine this week, making screenshots a lot easier to handle.
Colorwheel touts that WINE 1.5 is pre-installed and, according to the distro’s site, is constantly updated. The Colorwheel site implies it’s easy to install common Windows programs: “Simply open most common Windows .exe files the same way you do on Windows– point and click!”
One of my parameters for a Windows-friendly distro is how easy it is to install software.
The first task I undertook was to download and install a program. The program I randomly choose – was Irfanview, a graphic file viewer. I downloaded it from cnet.com. In the windows world, one typically downloads and and saves the program, then installs it by double-clicking on the executable. A so-called “Windows-friendly” Linux system should provide similar functionality—or if security is a concern, provide a read me file with instructions for installing programs.
After downloading the exe file, I double-clicked it which should have started the install process via wine. However, this did not happen. Instead, my double-click literally opened the the exe file. A new user would hae been completely confused by this point. This certainly does not fit my criteria about software being easy to install.
Colorwheel comes with Winetricks. For those not familiar with winetricks, it’s a script to download and install various redistributable runtime libraries needed to run some programs in Wine. Coincidentally, Irfanview was listed. I selected it and discovered that it was available only as a manual install.Despite a wizard being available for this process, I still was unable to complete the install of a program on the list.
New users should be able to follow the update instructions:
a) You’re alerted to an issue via the red icon in the system tray.
b) clicking it provides you with Update Cache
c) Software updates available.
d) Install update
Other interesting Programs:
Catfish – If you’re not very organized and need to search your desktop, Catfish may be the perfect tool for you.
Twinkle – a SIP phone for Linux (http://mfnboer.home.xs4all.nl/twinkle/index.html)
Simple-scan – easy to use scanning program. Available in the Kubuntu repositories:
apt-get install simple-scan
On-board – a slick on-screen keyboard; Resizable.
Parole – a media player.
Remastersys – a backup and remastering utility.
a) Easy to install – B
b) The desktop should be organized in the familiar Windows way. – C
c) Tools with which users are familiar should be easily available. – B
c)You should be able to install a program simply by double-clicking on it. -F
Next Long-Term Support Kernel 3.4
The LTSI (Long-Term Support Initiative) says 3.4 kernel will be maintained for two years while back-porting some of the features of newer Linux kernel releases. Some major manufactureres are backing this new long-term kernel, like Hitachi, Sony, and LG. The new long-term kernel is based on 3.4.25. Some of the back ported features from newer kernels include the Contiguous Memory Allocator (CMA), the AF_BUS as a kernel-based implementation of the D-Bus protocol, Controlled Delay (CoDel) for optimizing TCP/IP network buffer control, and platform-specific board support. The boards that are supported include the Armadillo 800, AT91, kzm9d, kzm9g, and Marzen.
Microsoft Sits On Study Showing How Munich Would Hava Saved Money By Sticking With MS
Microsoft an Hewlett Packard aren’t talking. They conducted a study that supposedly shows Munich had their numbers wrong. The data from the report was leaked to a German publication that then printed the information. Munich says that switching to their own distributionhas saved them over €11 million (US$14.3 million). Microsoft commissioned HP to conduct a TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) study. This study supposedly claims that Munich would have actually saved €43.7 million if they had stayed with Microsoft. Turns out HP’s study compared Munich sticking with XP and Office 2003. That however is not sustainable as MS will iscontinue support for XP next year. In conclusion I agree with Roy Illsley, principal analyst at Ovum, and Karl-Heinz Schneider, head of Munich’s municipal IT service, HP and MS study is scewed and does not take into account the facts of MS product dicontinuation and licensing costs (which were not included in the study).
Puppet Labs Gets $30 Million Infusion From VMware
Puppet, which is open source, has emerged as the defacto tool for enterprise systems configuration management. Luc Kanies, CEO of Puppet Labs, said:
“We were talking to some investors and VMware said, we’d love to have a closer relationship.”
So because of that conversation, VMware is not only investing in Puppet Labs they are also entering into a commercial agreement to develop, market and sell products. Kanies went on to emphasize that this new deal will not change Puppet Labs’ product roadmap.
“We’ll still build the same technology, but we’ll have people dedicated to make sure the products (VMware and Puppet) work well together in general,”
Cinnamon May Replace Gnome 3 In Fedora 19
The Gnome devs lobbied hard to keep Gnome as the default desktop. That all may be for naught as there has now been a proposal to bring Cinnamon in as the default desktop. Gnome 3 is just not usable as aproduction desktop and the Gnome devs just won’t face that fact. If they lose Fedora, arguably their biggest distro, it may force the devs to reconsider.
This what Eric Smith, the one who made the proposal had to say:
“The Gnome 3 interface is substantially different that the traditional desktop interfaces on both Linux and Windows. While it is good that there is research into new user interface concepts, many users prefer to have a traditional interface that they are accustomed to. … I’m not trying to start (or continue) a flame war here, so I won’t state any of my own criticisms of Gnome Shell here, but I will observe that a number of very high profile people in the Linux community, such as Linus Torvalds and Alan Cox, have publicly announce that due to problems with Gnome Shell they are switching to a different desktop and/or Linux distribution.”
We’ll see what happens in May.
Stallman And The FSF Fu*&% Up Another Open Source Project
The FSF has these projects called “high-priority”. Well recently several developers walked away from projects that they had been involved with for a very long time because of a falling out with the FSF and Stallman. Well Stallman has done it again.
An FSF “high-priority” project the GNU LibreDWG, a C library for handling DWG files. The DWG file format is the native format for popular CAD software like AutoCAD and IntelliCAD, with the backing of Autodesk, Open Design Alliance, and other industry leaders. There has not been a code to LibreDWG in two years with the last commit coming in January of 2011. This “high-priority” has not had an official release yet, but that is not not the big problem at the moment.
There is this popular open source program called LibreCAD, it runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. They are seeking to add DWG support via the LibreDWG library. So a popular open source program wants to use LibreDWG, you would think this would be good right. Well not if your the FSF. LibreCAD is GPLv2 licensed and LibreDWG is however GPLv3+, which is not compatible with GPLv2. When the FSF was contacted about relisencing the LibreDWG library so it could be used with LibreCAD, their answer no. LibreCAD isn’t the only one their is also FreeCAD, an open-source 3D CAD modeller. Both LibreCAD and FreeCAD have patches available to support the DWG library, but are prohibitted from integrating them. They have dependencies on the popular GPLv2 license while the Free Software Foundation will only allow LibreDWG be licensed for GPLv3 use, not GPLv2.
Let’s look at the situation. Git master on the LibreDWG code hasn’t even been touched in two years. There are two open-source projects that want to use this code that the FSF calls a “high-priority”. Yet they are unwilling to make a small license change.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again the GPLv3 is bad for bussiness. Stallman needs to just go away and the FSF needs a fundamental shift.
Ford Goes Open Source With Control Computer
Ford has released an open source hardware and software toolkit called OpenXC. This toolkit will let you write apps for your cars computer. The first of these apps are probably only going to add things like internet radio. These are sure ti be followed byt apps that tweek your performance. There is going to be a Ford approved app store to your smartphone, that will then be able to upload them to your car. Ford will most likely never approve apps that alter performance because of the liability issues. This will lead to third party apps and jailbreaking your car. OpenXC is able to work with any car that supports the CAN bus protocol. Other manufacturers that have expressed an interest in OpenXC are Toyota, Nissan and Honda.
FreeBSD Kernel May Come As Option In Fedora 19
From the “Is my tinfoil hat on straight ” we have this interesting item:
Attention shoppers: Retailers can now track you across the mall via your wireless connection on your phone.
BusyBox 1.21.0 Is Busy With Many Changes
If you’re like me, your encounter with busy box usually is at the end of a bad experience involving some part of the boot process. So when Busybox announced the release of its first unstable release of the 1.21, it caught my eye.
So, if your system crashes while installing does that drop you to a busy box prompt…
BitTorrent Launches Private and Secure Dropbox Alternative
Very Important Update for Calligra 2.4 and 2.5 Released
Attention, this is a crucial update!
The Calligra team releases updates to the 2.4 and 2.5 series at the same time: versions 2.4.4 and 2.5.5. These releases include fixes for two major bugs in the Sheets application which made recalculations of spreadsheet contents go wrong under certain conditions. We urge all users of Calligra Sheets to update immediately.
KDE Tea Time
Discussed what bugs developers about users
KScreen 0.1-alpha released !
This release comes with two main components, the System Settings module which will let you configure and arrange your screens in any way you desire, and the KDED module which will remember and restore configurations whenever it is needed.
More added later
Is it Alive…(or is it a Linux Command)?
During this segment of the show, I challenge Mat and Tony to identify whether a Linux Distro is alive or dead? Every other week, I twist the concept for our game show and challenge Mat and Tony to decide if the named entity was a Linux distribution or something else.
This week is twist week and I challenge I challenge Mat and Tony to decide whether the named entity is a Linux distro or a Linux command. As is customary during twist week, extra credit will be given if after Mat and Tony correctly identify whether the distro is alive or dead or if a Linux command, what it does. The items for this week’s show are:
List of Linux Commands: http://www.oreillynet.com/linux/cmd/
displays detailed kernel slab cache information in realtime. It displays a listing of the top caches sorted by one of the listed sort criteria. It also displays a statistics header filled with slab layer information.
Exe EXE Linux is GNU/Linux is a Debian GNU/Linux system with preconfigured defaults for desktop use, based on Debian Squeeze. It will run as a Live CD and may be optionally installed to hard disk or usb stick.
VERDICT: Distro – Alive
Alt – ALT Linux 4.1 Desktop is an easy to install and use universal operating system for home and office workstations.
VERDICT: Distro – Alive
Ark – Ark Linux was a Linux distribution designed especially for desktop use, primarily for people without prior Linux experience.
VERDICT Distro (Dead)
Aumix – audio mixer tool. Run without any options or arguments for an ncurses-based interactive mode.
Pinky – print user information. A light-weight finger program that has both long and short formats. If no users are specified, prints information for all logged-on users.
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