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Links 23/10/2011: Qt Liberty, Sabayon Linux 7 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 10 Things I Have Learned as a Linux Blogger
  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 170

    · Announced Distro: Ubuntu GNOME Shell Remix 11.10
    · Announced Distro: Sabayon 7 CoreCDX, SpinBase, ServerBase and OpenVZ
    · Announced Distro: Kororaa 15.1

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.2 Kernel May Be Of A Worrying Size

      After going through ten release candidates, the Linux 3.1 kernel should be released by early next week. However, with the Linux 3.1 kernel release cycle having been dragged on by more RCs than normal and the Kernel.org hacking incident, the Linux 3.2 kernel may end up being abnormally large and its worrying Linus Torvalds.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Puts Out 290 Linux Driver Series Beta
      • NVIDIA’s OpenGL Shader Disk Cache For Linux

        One of the features that NVIDIA introduced in the 290.03 Beta Linux driver that was released on Friday is support for an OpenGL shader disk cache.

        NVIDIA’s OpenGL shader disk cache option for Linux allows compiled shaders to be cached to the system disk in a temporary area so that they don’t need to be re-compiled again later on, which can potentially save time by just pulling these binaries from the disk instead. This OpenGL shader disk cache feature is also supported by the proprietary Solaris and FreeBSD x86/x86_64 drivers, which were also released on Friday at version 290.03 Beta.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The many faces of Linux

      Linux is fundamentally a command line Operating System. Anything and everything can be done through the command line – system configuration, connecting to WiFi access points, even accessing new hardware devices before the Linux Kernel gets a driver for it (like USB Flash Drives before Linux Kernel 2.4 – pre 2001)

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Applauds Qt’s Move to Open Governance

        Today Nokia announced the start of the open governance model for Qt, known as the Qt Project. The Qt Project allows both companies and individuals to contribute to the development of Qt. KDE supports this move and is excited about the possibilities it brings. We have been waiting for opportunities to take a more active role in Qt’s future for a long time and open governance will make this easier. KDE has been working closely with Qt during its 15 year lifetime and the Qt Project promises to bring this collaboration to a new level.

      • Qt spins off as open source project
      • The Qt Project goes live
    • GNOME Desktop

      • More on Gnome 3 and Unity

        Let’s hope that the folks behind Ubuntu can admit a mistake, and get back to making Ubuntu one of the most newbie-friendly Linux distributions.

  • Distributions

    • New laptop, new challenge: Which Linux distro is right?

      1. PCLinuxOS
      As I’m rather familiar with its installation process, I installed PCLinuxOS first. I was not very sure because I have some problems with effects on my desktop (nothing that prevents me from sleeping, actually), but PCLinuxOS went out like an energetic Texas longhorn and installed everything without a finch. I tried the Kwin effects and everything was perfect! Of course, I was lacking the Office suite but the process to get it is simple enough for a Linux non-technical user like me: you fire up Synaptic, search “lomanager”, select it for upgrade, close Synaptic and click on the Libre Office installer icon on the desktop. The only drawback, if any at all, is that this is a 32 bit OS… Again, nothing that matters much to me.

      2. Linux Mint 11 “Katya”
      I installed the 64 bit version of Linux Mint. I have always liked the elegance of this OS and the way it handles the installation process. I noticed something new: Mint said that it had detected PCLinuxOS and prompted me for an action. I selected “install next to it” for a dual boot. However, after the process was complete, PCLinuxOS was unbootable… In Linux-Linux dual boots that happens quite often, but my real problem was that I do not know how to repair it from the grub mechanism in Mint (Megatotoro taught me the ropes for GRUB legacy, but I simply do not know how to repair this thing). The only option was to start over…

    • Lightweight Linux Distributions 2011 Review: Introduction

      It’s again a while ago I wrote my review about lightweight Linux distribution. In my very first review of 2008 I took a look at the following distributions:

      * Arch 2007.08-2
      * Damn Small Linux 4.2.5
      * Puppy 4.0
      * TinyMe Test7-KD
      * Xubuntu 8.04
      * Zenwalk 5.0

    • Weekend Project: Rescue Failing Drives With SystemRescue

      The Gentoo-based SystemRescue CD/USB is one of the very best rescue distros, packing amazing functionality into a 350MB image. It can rescue Linux, Unix, Mac, and Windows systems, and recover data from almost any media. Today we will learn how to create a SystemRescue live USB stick, and recover data from failing drives.

    • New Releases

      • Finnix 103
      • ZevenOS-Neptune 2.0 Release

        The ZevenOS Team is pleased to announce ZevenOS-Neptune 2.0.
        This is the first version we ship in two editions: Minimal Edition (with LXDE) and Full Edition (with KDE SC)
        Both ship with an updated and optimized Kernel 3.0.4. Minimal Edition includes PCManFM 0.9.8, DeaDBeef 0.5.1, Gnome-Mplayer 1.0.4 (with Mplayer2), Abiword 2.8.6, Iceweasel 7 (alias Firefox w/o branding) & Iceweasel 5 (alias Thunderbird w/o branding).

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 7 review – the most complete out-of-the-box Linux?

        Verdict: 4/5

        Sabayon is a very polished, modern distribution, giving you all of the amenities that you expect from Linux. And being based on a rolling release system, you should only ever have to install once. The only issue was using the Live CD with an inadequate video card, ending up with artifacts and distortions, but advanced users should be able to deal with this issue in double-quick time.

      • Sabayon Linux 7: A Review (With Screenshots)

        Sabayon is an incredibly fast Linux distribution, probably due to its Gentoo roots. Even though I ran this in Live mode it was snappy and highly responsive.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Turn Plain Jane Debian Into A Sexy Goddess

        Debian is the mother of many popular distributions such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Debian has a cult following among its users. It is fast, smooth and free from the control of any company. If you are one of those users who want to run a ‘pure’ community driven OS, then Debian is the one. A caveat, Debian may require some extra work to make it work for you.

      • Arch for Debian users

        I’m a long-time Debian user, since the mid-90s or so. I like their technical decisions some but what I really like is their culture and goals. I still wear with pride my old Debian shirt from the time I helped staff a booth at a conference. Later I reluctantly switched to Ubuntu after I repeatedly couldn’t get my laptop wifi/sleep to work.

        I recently got a new desktop system and hesitated when considering what to put on it. I don’t much enjoy fighting with details and would prefer a system that just works, but I’m tired of fighting with CADT-developed GUIs; both Gnome3 and Unity are too heavy and fiddly for what I want — browsers and terminals.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Powered Webbook Sells at $190

            South African Vodafone affiliate, Vodacom, announced the immediate availability of a Webbook device powered by the newly released Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system.

          • Coming back to Humanity, or getting Ubuntu 11.10 installed again

            After some consideration and some positive results of Ubuntu 11.10 Live run, I decided to install this operating system onto my hard drive.
            Because my Live USB was broken, as you can see at the end of linked post, I had to use usual fall back option – CD-RW.


            But despite these facts I think I’ll keep Ubuntu 11.10 on my hard drive for some time. Maybe I’ll get used to new Unity interface and its features.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to get extra-long desktop support cycle

            In a statement issued this morning on the company’s blog, Canonical revealed that Ubuntu 12.04 will be supported for five years on the desktop instead of the usual three years that a standard long-term support release gets. The company says that the longer duration of desktop support is intended to better serve corporate desktop rollouts.

          • Canonical Extends LTS Desktop Support, Shuffles Org Chart

            One of the strange things about Canonical’s Long Term Support (LTS) releases has always been the disparity between the length of support on the desktop vs. the server. LTS releases today provide 5 yrs of support on the server and 3 on the desktop, but that’s going to change with the 12.04 release.

          • 7 Best GNOME Shell Extensions, Install in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric via PPA

            Being able to install GNOME Shell in Ubuntu Oneiric is exciting. And as we experienced in our earlier review of GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 11.10, GNOME Shell has come a long since its first release and now is a very stable, fast and usable shell for GNOME. To further improve the functionality, GNOME Shell has extensions support. Though these are very early stages, there are quite a number of really good GNOME Shell extensions already.

          • Ubuntu: Through the Eyes of a Travel Blogger

            Based on our “on-the-move” lifestyle and dependency on our computer we expect performance without flaw. The Ubuntu OS certainly has impressed us and we would recommend it to anybody who wants to break the Microsoft chain.

          • Next Version of Ubuntu Coming–Shuttleworth Dreams of Clouds

            Quick, how old is Ubuntu? If you remembered it being about 10 years old, that was my initial recollection too. In fact, Ubuntu is seven years old this week. PC World has taken note of the original release language for “Warty Warthog:” “Ubuntu is a new Linux distribution that brings together the extraordinary breadth of Debian with a fast and easy install, regular releases (every six months), a tight selection of excellent packages installed by default and a commitment to security updates with 18 months of security and technical support for every release.” Now, Mark Shuttleworth is discussing the next major version of Ubuntu, dubbed “Precise Pangolin.”

          • Desktop dreams: Ubuntu 11.10 reviewed

            Ubuntu 11.10, codenamed Oneiric Ocelot, prowled out of the development forest earlier this month. In our review of Ubuntu 11.04, released back in April, we took a close look at the strengths and weaknesses of the new Unity shell and compared it with GNOME 3.0. In this review, we’re going to revisit Unity to see how much progress it has made over the past six months. We will also take a close look at the updated Software Center user interface and the transition from Evolution to Thunderbird.

          • Ubuntu Linux will try for the business desktop

            I use the Linux desktop at work, but I’m in a tiny minority. Most people use Windows. Canonical, Ubuntu Linux’s parent company, plans on getting at least some Windows users to switch though with its next long term support (LTS) release.

            Canonical has announced that it would be extending the support and maintenance period for the April 2012 LTS Ubuntu Linux release for desktop users from three years to five years. The move comes in response to what the company claims is “increasing demand for Ubuntu desktops in corporate environments where longer maintenance periods are the norm. It brings the desktop product into line with Ubuntu Server which continues with five years of support for LTS releases.”

          • What should Canonical have named the Ubuntu 12.04 release?
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Review: Edubuntu 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”

              Well, it’s that time of year again: it’s October, so another edition of Ubuntu has been released. This includes its official derivatives, like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and Edubuntu. Today I’ll be testing Edubuntu because I feel like it doesn’t get reviewed enough, yet it provides the same experience and support as standard Ubuntu, aside from having a whole bunch of educational applications included in the live session (hence the name).

            • A weekend with Kubuntu

              Everything either works out of the box (or, since there is no box, right off the .iso) or can be made to work with a little research and a few minutes of keyboard-pounding. The Broadcom wireless situation can’t really be called satisfactory, but neither can it be laid solely at the feet of Kubuntu.

              What you do get in Kubuntu is a vast selection of possible softwares, an active and dedicated development team and community, an exceptionally polished visual impression, and a lot of stuff that works just the way it’s supposed to. Unless you revile KDE and/or go around saying things like “Canonical is just like Micro$haft”, I’d say Kubuntu 11.10 is absolutely worth checking out.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • OpenELEC Is a Fast-Booting, Self-Updating Version of XBMC for Home Theater PCs

      OpenELEC aims to make home theater PCs as much like your DVD player as possible, using a lightweight, instant-on version of XBMC that updates itself for a maintenance-free media center.

      We talk a lot about XBMC around here, because it makes a great home theater PC—but it can often take a lot of work to set up. Even if you use XBMC Live—the easy-install distribution we used for our silent, standalone XBMC machine—you’re essentially installing Ubuntu Linux on your PC with XBMC on top of it, which brings in a lot of software you don’t necessarily need. Plus, it can take a bit of work to update the box and fiddle with its configuration. If all you want is a simple media center, OpenELEC makes XBMC’s installation and maintenance a snap so you can just get to the good stuff: watching your movies.

    • XBMC-based embedded Linux distro debuts on HTPC mini-PC
    • OpenELEC 1.0: fast-booting XBMC media centre OS

      More details about the first stable release can be found in the official release announcement. OpenELEC 1.0 is available to download from the project’s site and installation guides are provided. OpenELEC source code is hosted on GitHub and licensed under the GPL.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Tablets Gained on IPad in Third Quarter, Researcher Says

          Sales of tablet computers running Google Inc.’s Android software rose last quarter at the expense of Apple Inc.’s iPad, after companies led by Samsung Electronics Co. introduced new models, according to a researcher.

          Android-powered tablet computers accounted for 27 percent of global sales during the three-month period, jumping from 2.3 percent a year earlier, Strategy Analytics said in a statement today. The iPad’s share fell to 67 percent from 96 percent.

        • Top Free Android SSH Tools
        • Meet Iris – A Siri alternative for Android

          Users of Apple’s iPhone 4s have touted the voice service Siri as a killer feature on the latest iteration of the phone. Though voice support on Android has been around for sometime, it has not quite enjoyed the kind of buzz that Siri is enjoying. That’s what prompted the guys over at Dexetra to develop Iris, a Siri alternative for Android.

        • Google reveals new Android ICS APIs

          Google has revealed two new APIs – Calendars and Text-To-Speech – which are now marked as public APIs in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). This means that developers will be able to rely upon them, that their functionality will be tested as part of Android’s Compatibility Test Suite and that Google “promise to try very hard not to change them and thus break your code”.

        • Ten great Android 4 features (screenshots)
        • First look: Android 4.0 SDK opens up face recognition APIs

          Google unveiled Android 4.0—codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)—this week at an event in Hong Kong, alongside the new Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The much-anticipated new version of Google’s mobile operating system includes a unified interface for phones and tablets and a number of significant new technical features, such as face detection.

          Shortly after the launch event, Google made the ICS software development kit (SDK) available for the public to download from the Android developer website. The SDK makes it possible for third-party software developers to start building software that is designed for the new version of the operating system. The SDK and the updated developer reference documentation offers a first look at the new APIs introduced in ICS.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Android grabs quarter of tablet market

        World tablet sales hot up during Q3, it was revealed today. Shipments almost quadrupled year on year, from 4.4m units in Q3 2010 to 16.7m tablets in Q3 2011.

        So said market watcher Strategy Analytics, this morning.

        Neither SA nor anyone else would be surprised that Apple remained top dog, though with a much-reduced share of the market.

        In Q3 2010, it had a 95.5 per cent share. One year on, it only commanded 66.6 per cent of the table market, at least as far as units shipped go.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Prefer Open Source? Join the Crowd

    In the proprietary arena, patent wars have raged out of control, while the old “security through obscurity” theory has been proven wrong. Piracy has continued unabated around the globe, the mobile arena has become increasingly locked down, and the possibility of a new generation of Windows 8-only PCs looms on the horizon.

    Threats to software users’ freedom are coming fast and furious, in other words, making the open source alternatives–with all their myriad benefits for businesses and consumers–look better than ever.

  • Preaching the Libre Software Gospel

    Perhaps the Libre Software Community should take heed to the old joke about the two preachers who both preached from the subject, “You’re Going to Hell”. The same message draws different reactions. The difference lies in the tone of the preacher. Libre software advocates should pay attention to the tone of their message. It is true that many people simply buy various devices based on functionality and not based on what they may be free to do. But libre software advocates need to craft a solid message with a tone that inspires people to accomplish greater things.

  • Events

    • Italy is preparing for its eleventh Linux Day

      The 22 of October 2011 is the day of the eleventh Italian Linux Day .

      This wonderful event is now in its eleventh version, I have participated at various editions of this event in my local town and adjacent areas, depending on the programs offered, and I must say that I always come out very satisfied.


    • ESR Defends RMS, Google the Musical & MS Plays Bad

      This week I ran across a blog by Eric Raymond that was posted on October 8, in which Raymond defends the now infamous remarks made by Richard Stallman on his blog shortly after the death of Steve Jobs. I found this to me more than a little interesting, because Raymond and Stallman don’t always see eye to eye on FOSS issues. Indeed, he even manages to take a swipe at RMS while speaking in his defense…

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Steve Jobs Exposed, Wanted To Destroy Android
  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Not a Myth: The Skyrocketing Cost of New Oil Supply

      The next time you hear someone asserting that oil extraction “was always difficult and expensive”—as a way to refute the very high cost now of the marginal barrel—you’ll know they’re spinning a folk tale. A helpful chart from the just released EIA Annual Energy Review shows that the capital required to add an additional barrel of oil to reserves experienced a step change starting last decade. The chart uses the COE unit (crude oil equivalent) which is a way to measure the cost of adding 5.8 million btu regardless of whether the resource is oil, natural gas, or natural gas liquids.

  • Finance

    • Quelle Surprise! GAO Finds the Fed is a Club of Backscratching, Well Connected, White Bankers

      The GAO released a report yesterday that provided some anodyne but nevertheless useful confirmation of many of the things most of us knew or strongly suspected about the Fed: it’s a club of largely white male corporate insiders who do a bit too many favors for each other. But the GAO seemed peculiarly to fail to understand some basic shortcomings of its investigation.

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