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Links: GNU/Linux Spreads in India, Netbooks

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Indian ring

Summary:News about GNU/Linux, structured with the new site format in place


  • How useful is anti-virus in Linux? (Part 1)
  • How useful is anti-virus in Linux? (Part 2)
  • A lesson in Linux: Eating one’s own dog food

    There is an old saying in the Linux community (actually in just about every community – but I heard it from a Linux developer first) “eating your own dog food” (or the shorter “hipster friendly” version dogfooding. This basically means using the product you create. It can also be associated with practice what you preach. Sometimes this ideology sneaks up behind you and stealthily bites you on the bum. This recently happened to me…and I thought I would share the experience with you to illustrate that user error is best way to an insecure Linux installation.

  • Another Educational Institute Opens Its Gates To Open Source

    Pune-headquartered Bharati Vidyapeeth has its institutions spread across India.In 2009, it adopted open source technology when it implemented the TechnoMail enterprise mailing solution to fulfil its communication needs.

    With around 180 educational institutions under its umbrella,Bharati Vidyapeeth has become a leading national-level educational organisation. Today, it touches the lives of 2.5-lakh students, employs around 8,000 people and has used open source technology for smooth communication across the board to improve productivity. TechnoMail, the enterprise mailing solution by TechnoInfotech built on an enterprise Linux platform, was adopted in 2009 to provide a single communication platform that went a step ahead of just e-mail and catered to the organisation’s active and passive communication.

  • Truecrypt 7.0 Linux AES-NI Benchmark with i7-620M on Dell Latitude E6510

    The new Truecrypt 7.0 release is almost 7 times faster compared to 6.0 on my i7-620M with AES-NI. It is some hundred mb/s faster now than dmcrypt (which runs my system-encryption on Debian Squeeze), but that is expected since truecrypt makes use of multiple cores AND aes-ni and dmcrypt only supports 1 thread per mounted device, so unless you create a RAID consisting of multiple dmcrypt-devices, you can only use 1 core.

  • Linux Desktop: Command Line vs. User Interface

    In the Linux desktop world, the graphical user interface is here to stay. Old Unix hands may grumble, but the fact remains that, without all the efforts poured into GNOME, KDE, Xfce and others, Linux would not be as successful as it is today.

    The reason for the desktop’s success is obvious. A desktop requires much less knowledge than a command line, and is suited to maybe 80% of the most common tasks that an average user needs. If the desktop needs much larger applications, that hardly seems a problem on a modern computer.

    All the same, the command line continues to have distinct advantages over the desktop. Although casual users often consider the command line as prehistoric as a giant sloth, it continues to give you more options and more tools that the desktop ever has or is likely to.

  • Linux Professional Institute Announces Volunteer Prizes and Community Initiatives

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced a number of initiatives for its community members: these include LPIMall.com (http://www.lpimall.com) — a webstore for LPI affinity products for Linux professionals, a survey of LPI alumni, and prizes for volunteer contributors from around the world who assist with LPI’s exam development program.

  • Desktop

    • System76 second gen Starling Netbooks look gorgeous, Available to pre-order now

      First off let’s get the boring bit out of the way: As netbooks go, the Starling is atypical of its competitors – Atom, RAM, Screen size. Counting against it slightly are a standard 3 Cell battery which will see you eek out 3.5 hours at best and the inclusion of 0.3MP webcam which, compared to most other netbooks, it pretty subpar. But at a base price of only $389, a gorgeous exterior and guaranteed compatibility from the off – including suspend and resume – it’s more than a match for it’s competitors.

    • Dell at it again: Windows vs. Ubuntu Linux

      Dell updated its Europe site with a “Windows or Ubuntu?” page. I can understand Dell wants to continue to market PCs with both operating systems, however the information posted on this page is fragmented, at best.

      On the page it states “Choose WINDOWS if:” and lists a few points:

      “You are already using WINDOWS programs (e.g. Microsoft Office, ITunes etc) and want to continue using them”. No mention of Wine, which actually allows Windows programs to run on Linux. Instead, they could have provided a link to WineHQ’s Applications page, for customers to check application compatibility if they are considering Ubuntu Linux.

    • 4 Reasons Every Windows User Should Have An Ubuntu Live CD

      Think Ubuntu is useless? Think again. Ubuntu can be an extremely effective tool for repairing and working on computers, even if you consider yourself a Windows purist. This is because Ubuntu is capable of loading completely from a Ubuntu Live CD, giving you access to your computer in ways Windows can’t – or when Windows is completely broken.

  • Audiocasts

    • Episode 0x2C: Eben on Software Liability

      Eben talks about “When Software is in Everything: Future Liability Nightmares Free Software Helps Avoid” to the Scottish Society for Computers and Law (SSCL) in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 30. Karen and Bradley introduce the talk to listeners.

  • Kernel Space

    • Cool User File Systems: ArchiveMount

      Have you ever wanted to look inside a tar.gz file but without expanding it? Have you ever wanted to just dump files in a .tar.gz file without having to organize it and periodically tar and gzip this data? This article presents another REALLY useful user-space file system, archivemount. It allows you to mount archives such as .tar.gz files as a file system and interact with it using normal file/directory tools.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Using KDE4 – Day 4
      • Using KDE – Day 5

        I had a lot to do today, and KDE4 proved a welcome ally in getting the job done – it was not obtrusive at all. This is probably my bias speaking here, but I think Gnome is less obtrusive – possibly because there is less going on. For what it is worth the Ubuntu notifications tend to be intrusive – I like them, but they tend to break your concentration if they pop into view in the corner of your vision.

      • Optimizing KDE’s energy profiles

        Even though I identified (and fixed) that this was due to the switchable graphics (both cards were running and sucking power), I was eager to optimize the power consumption. After some research, I came up with the following solution.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • 10 best Linux distros for 2010

      Hardware compatibility, ease of use, the size of a software repository. These three attributes are unique to each Linux distribution. But at the same time, each Linux distribution is at liberty to take and mix whatever it wants from any other.

      This creates a rather unique situation, where good ideas quickly spread, and bad ones fail. And as a result, there are dozens of distribution updates each month, hundreds each year, in a race to leap-frog the each other in the race to the top of the DistroWatch.com charts.

    • Reviews

      • PCLinuxOS

        • PCLinuxOS 2010 review

          PCLinuxOS is a APT-ified, Mandriva-based Linux distribution. It’s one of those distributions that offer a separate version for virtually every existing desktop environment. Four of them – Enlightenment, LXDE, Openbox and Xfce are recommended for intermediate to advanced users, while the GNOME and KDE versions are recommended for all user levels (beginner to advanced).


          I left out Mint because it is an AWESOME distro. If it ever gets based on Debian testing, it will give PCLinuxOS a run for its money to take over my PC’s.

        • PC Linux OS : Radically Simple

          As you probably expect at this point, I absolutely recommend PCLinuxOS 2010. I have been using it for only a couple days, but I have the feeling that it is the best Linux release I have tested in years.

          PCLinuxOS 2010.1 is excellent for any kind of user, but probably most recommended for new comers. It brings down the need for CLI typing to almost zero.

          Don’t take my word for it, DOWNLOAD it and give it a try! You will not be disappointed.

      • Jolicloud

        • A tour of Jolicloud’s netbook Linux OS

          Over the last week, Jolicloud started rolling out the first complete version of its Linux distribution to existing users.

          The distro is highly netbook-centric and, until Jolicloud 1.0, looked very much like the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on which it is based. However, the new version looks significantly different to the ‘pre-final release’ that preceded it. That was an unusual move for the company, as major user interface (UI) changes tend to be tested in beta before their final release.

        • Why I’m jolly impressed with Jolicloud 1.0

          I may have found it. Jolicloud is not perfect, but I’m struggling to think of a rival Linux distro that can be so easily picked up and run by an average user. Let’s just get this out the way first: the weakling Booklet 3G flies on Jolicloud. I do not miss Windows 7 (a great OS for bigger, brawnier computers) one little bit.

        • How to dual-boot Jolicloud and Windows on your Netbook
    • Genealogy

      • Archives and history library to present computer genealogy software workshop july 8

        The Archives and History Library of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History has started a Genealogy Club which will meet on the second Thursday evening of each month from 6 – 7 p.m. The programs, which will focus specifically on genealogy-related topics, will take place in the library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. All sessions are free and the public is invited to attend.

      • Linux Genealogy Live CD

        Would you like to try Linux but you don’t want to reformat your PC’s hard drive? There’s an easy way to take Linux for a “test drive” without affecting your PC. It’s called a Live CD.

        A Live CD, (or DVD, or USB external disc) is a CD containing a bootable computer operating system. With most Live CDs, that operating system is a version of Linux.


        I think you will agree that the Linux Genealogy Live CD is an easy method of trying Linux and of trying the included genealogy applications without spending any money.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat 19.50% Above its May 6th Flash Crash Low of $26.81 (RHT)

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is currently trading 19.50% above its May 6th low of $26.81. Investors are looking to see if this ‘flash crash’ low can act as support signaling the stock has completed a bottoming process.
        In the past 52-weeks, shares of Red Hat have traded between a low of $20.58 and a high of $32.6 and are now at $32.03, which is 55.60% above that low price.

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) EVP, CFO Charles E Jr Peters sells 2,879 Shares
      • Fedora

        • A new Fedora for the XO-1 release. Now with Sugar 0.88 !!

          Today I have released the 1st build of Fedora for the XO-1 which includes Sugar 0.88. You can get it here. Installation instructions are here

          Since this build includes Sugar 0.88 I have changed the numbering scheme. This is build 100. Builds 16 and below will continue to be available and include Sugar 0.84.

        • Fedora websites design status

          A long time ago, but not so long ago, http://fedoraproject.org was a simple splash page with just a bunch of links. Later on, it redirected straight to the wiki. After a release or two bringing the entire wiki down (and halting contributors from getting work done!) because of high-demand on the website for downloading releases, a very simple, lightweight set of static pages was put together to help alleviate the problem. It is the base of that lightweight static page set that we have been using for quite some time these days.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu at Non-Technical Events

        We seem to be quite good at turning up to technical events such as LUG meetings, technical conferences and other self-organised events and telling everyone how great Ubuntu is. However we seem to spend a lot of time preaching to the converted, speaking to people who already run Ubuntu or some other distro, rather than ‘converting’ people who have little or no exposure to Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu Developer Week 2010: End Notes

        The second and last Ubuntu Developer Week online event for 2010 took place between July 12th to July 16th and covered various aspects of the Ubuntu and Kubuntu development process, from crash-courses in getting started with development to more advanced topics, such as Ubuntu hacking, creating applications for Ubuntu with Quickly or working with the Django web framework.

        On the last day of UDW, we’ve had the pleasure of talking a few minutes to Daniel Holbach, one of the organizers of this wonderful educational event, which takes place twice a year. Daniel was a bit sad because UDW was almost over, but on the other hand he was very enthusiastic about the number of participants who attended, and the quality of the event: “Again I’d like to thank everybody for helping out with making Ubuntu Developer Week rock as hard as it did. 350+ attendees, 25 sessions, lots of covered topics and everything happened in a very seamless fashion. Awesome. Thanks again!,” said Daniel Holbach on his personal blog.

      • Ubuntu Customization Kit 2.2.1 is out!
      • Is Ubuntu Commercially Driven?

        Simply that users and members of the community are confused by what commercial actually means. Commercial is not against the community, the community is commercial, people are employed to work on Ubuntu, work with Ubuntu and to be a part of the community. A varied commercial community would actually be kinda nice, imagine if we had a Dell community manager, or a system76 guy in IRC who was chatting away to the rest of the community of users *and* business people. Take a look at Organisations Learning to contribute to FOSS the right way.


        My personal concern is the lack of commercial involvement of Ubuntu’s users, basically it goes like this: Canonical is a business and is interested in making enough money to pay it’s developers a wage. What they work on is based around what makes money. The money comes from Dell and HP. The developers work on what Dell and HP want. Users never get a direct say in the development of Ubuntu because A) They have no commercial relationship with Canonical and B) Canonical doesn’t co-operate wonderfully on DX with other programmers (commercial or non) preferring instead to announce features at the last minute and rail-road decisions and opinions of others.

      • Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS Delayed To Next Month

        Canonical’s Robbie Williamson has provided an update on the status of the Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS release, which is the first re-spin since the Long-Term Support release of the Lucid Lynx in April. Ubuntu 10.04.1 incorporates the package updates and minor fixes committed to Lucid since the original release. Ubuntu 10.04.1 was supposed to be released next week, but now it’s been postponed to August.

      • Flavours and Variants

        • Lubuntu 10.04 Review

          Overall, I was impressed with the distribution. It’s lightweight, easy to install, and small enough to run largely from within my machine’s 2GB of RAM. The one quibble I have with it is the default selection of applications. The logic of what was included is consistent with the desire to deliver a truly “light” Ubuntu respin, but in my experience some of the choices resulted in a system that wasn’t as easily usable as other variants of the mother distribution. But the beauty is that that was easy to fix, and the underlying operating system was responsive and reliable.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Woot! Indian Government Builds $35 Laptop

      Indian government has a reputation for false claims when it comes to technology breakthroughs – the $10 laptop, which wasn’t really a laptop (turned out to be a USB stick) and then the Google Earth Killer, i.e. ISRO Bhuvan added to the technology achievements of the governemnt and brought international shame.

      Today, the Union Minister for human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal unveiled a low cost computing-cum-access device which will be priced at $35, and expects the price to gradually drop to $20 (and ultimately to $10!).

    • Android

      • AppBrain Breaks Down the Current State of Android Apps

        AppBrain estimates that 5,500 applications out of over 70,000 officially recognized titles are installed on 99.9-percent of all phones. The other 65,000 apps are installed on less than .1% of phones. In other words, about 8-percent of all apps in the Android Market can be found on just about every phone. The other 92-percent languish in relative obscurity.

      • Linux Syncs Great With Droids

        Interest levels in syncing music collections have notched up a bit of late with the introduction of a plethora of new Android-based super phones. That is, unless you happen to be one of those owners with a large quantity of digital music encumbered by digital rights management (DRM) better known as copy protection. In that case, you might want to do some research into converting said digital files into a more portable format. Meanwhile, for the rest, with media ready to load up on a new cool phone, we’ll take a look at Linux options.

Links: Putting GNU/Linux On One’s Netbook, Free Software Week in the Basque Country, and Leftover News

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Socialism and independence for the Basque country
Photo from the Basque Country

Summary: One last bunch of news items for the day


  • Why You SHOULD Try Linux On Your Netbook…

    The biggest plus about Linux Distros (besides being free that is) is that nothing gets released before it has been peer reviewed through beta and alpha stages, so everything, from Operating systems to the thousands of programs available, is stable (unless you intentionally want to test something in beta or alpha stage that is). In other words, you’ll be downloading fully developed and stable software. Because of the manner in which software is developed and tested, most of it tends to be free of unnecessary bloat and tends to be incredibly well written and light. As a result your Linux distros can run from a bit over 50MB for the minimalist super light distros, to about 3-4GB for the fully installed full featured distros. Compare that to Mac OS which is about 10-12 GBs in size or windows which is a bit over 20GB. This means that Linux by and large can run very well with all of it’s features on older systems with lower specd hardware (and if a particular distro doesn’t run as efficiently as you would like, there is always another one that will). Linux is famous for giving old computers a new lease on life or by turning lower specd modern computers (such as netbooks) into full-fledged computers by running modern, powerful and up to date software. Again, VERY NICE!

Free Software/Open Source

  • A better Knitter

    Everybody has a hobby, and for every hobby there’s software to help the hobbyist – even for something as apparently non-technical as knitting. A few 2-D visualization programs help knitters create patterns or turn a specific image into a chart, and that’s helpful, but if you want a full simulation of the fabric so you can tell not only what it’s going to look like, but how it’ll behave in your hands, your best bet is Knitter.

  • Careers Q&A: Damian Hickey’s gentler approach to open source

    Though only having been in the IT business for 11 years, ZacWare chief executive officer and founder, Damian Hickey, has already survived government work in two locations and has since become a contributor to the open-source community through his Joomla!-based Jentla multi-site content management system (CMS) offerings. Computerworld Australia recently talked to Damian about the transition from government IT to self-employment, and the perils of arrogance when looking for a job.


    We earn our income from subscriptions around support, we don’t earn any income from licensing. The whole software world is tending to move in the direction of software subscriptions now and services-based income streams as well.

  • A Free Software week in the Basque Country

    With sights like the old town of San Sebastián and the Guggenheim museum at Bilbao, the Basque country in northern Spain is certainly worth a visit. But the reason that I and FSFE staffer Rainer Kersten spent a week there had nothing to do with old houses, art or pintxos. (Well, *almost* nothing to do with pintxos.) We went there to meet with people from the vibrant community of Free Software activists, to give talks and to build links between the local and the European level.


  • Escalating the war on piracy: domain names

    There have been several reports about the next stage in the War on Piracy (must avoid making off-topic comments about the inherent stupidity of declaring armed hostilities against abstract concepts). I am talking of course about “Operation In Our Sites” (must not comment about some poor smug bureaucrat who thought the pun was funny). This new project from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is designed to execute domain name seizure warrants against websites engaged in movie piracy. In other words, ICE will ask a court to issue a warrant against these websites, and these will have their domain names removed.

  • Finance

    • Excluded from invitation list for Obama’s signing of Wall Street reform: Wall Street titans

      When President Obama steps Wednesday onto the stage at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center to sign Wall Street reform into law, many of the titans of Wall Street will be absent.

    • Germany’s Merkel: stress tests credible

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to counter skepticism about Europe’s bank stress tests ahead of their publication, saying Wednesday that the scenarios against which banks’ strength is to be tested will be realistic enough to be credible.

    • Goldman Sachs to Face a `Headwind’ in Germany, Nussbaum Tells Handelsblatt

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. may face a “headwind” for business in Germany even after a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Handelsblatt reported, citing Berlin Finance Senator Ulrich Nussbaum.

    • Europe freezes out Goldman Sachs

      European governments are turning their backs on Goldman Sachs, the all-conquering investment bank that has suffered a series of blows to its reputation, capped by the biggest ever fine imposed on a Wall Street firm.

    • Broker-dealer duty in SEC’s hands

      Even as the president prepares to sign the financial reform bill, lobbying groups are rearming for a second round of advocacy for a universal fiduciary standard. This time, however, the battleground is not Congress but the Securities and Exchange Commission, to which Congress punted the issue.

    • Goldman Sachs Waives Tax Deduction on SEC Settlement

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed to waive tax deductions it could have claimed after paying a $550 million penalty in a settlement with U.S. regulators, giving up as much as $187.5 million in savings.

    • RBS May Launch Civil Suit Against Goldman Sachs – Source

      Royal Bank of Scotland PLC (RBS) is considering launching a civil suit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) to recoup additional losses sustained through its investment in a controversial mortgage-backed security…

    • Will the Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) Settlement Play With the Public?

      This much is clear. We haven’t heard the last about Goldman Sachs’ settlement with the SEC.

    • Settlement in fraud case against Goldman Sachs: A cover-up of Wall Street crimes

      The Abacus CDO, the SEC indictment indicated, was devised for precisely that purpose. The CDO was a so-called “synthetic” instrument—meaning investors did not actually buy any securities. Rather, they gambled on the future price of a selection of securities, much as people gamble on a horse race.

    • With Settlement, Blankfein Keeps His Grip

      Even before the official announcement arrived an hour later — that Goldman would pay $550 million to settle federal claims that it had misled investors in a complex mortgage investment — the financial markets gave Mr. Blankfein, Goldman’s leader, a resounding thumbs up, The New York Times’s Graham Bowley writes.

      Goldman’s share price jumped nearly 4.3 percent on hopes that Mr. Blankfein and his bank had, in a stroke, put one of the most embarrassing episodes in the bank’s recent history behind them.

    • SEC Was Split Over Decision to Settle With Goldman Sachs

      The paper goes on to say that the SEC probably had some doubts about the strength of its case, and the news that the commissioners did not vote unanimously may undermine the agency’s PR that it was a major victory.

    • SEC settlement is a major victory — for Goldman Sachs

      The SEC’s $550 million settlement with Goldman Sachs is naturally being touted by the feds as a major victory, “the largest penalty ever assessed against a financial services firm in the history of the SEC.” Maybe. But there’s another way to look at it.

    • The Goldman Sachs Settlement, the Wall Street Journal, Warren Buffett, and the White House

      But perhaps another tidbit might well be considered. Earlier this week President Obama met with Warren Buffett at the White House. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs. According to the New York Times report on July 14th “the meeting covered everything under the economic sky”. Were the gathering storm clouds of the Goldman litigation part of the vista in view as well?

    • S.E.C. Pursuing More Cases Tied to Financial Crisis
    • We can use less of a casino mentality on Wall Street

      Observers noted that the fines were a fraction of the $13.4 billion in 2009 profits at Goldman. Since 2008, Goldman has been a federally insured bank holding company that was bailed out of the financial crisis along with Citigroup, AIG and other financial giants whose exotic products and executive gluttony nearly choked to death the financial system.

    • Obama’s Risky Business

      The financial reregulation package just passed by Congress is far from a comprehensive reform of American finance. Despite the enormous threat to the world’s financial markets created by the failure of Lehman Brothers and the stunning excesses of insurance giant AIG and banking conglomerate Citigroup, the reforms are in truth modest. Neither the Obama administration nor Congress opted to cut banks down to size, and the bill is only placing mild limits on risky banking activities. The giant financial institutions, meanwhile, are as big—even bigger—than ever and bankers’ compensation is once again at stunning levels.

    • The “War” On Wall Street May Be Over: Who Won?

      In fact, the current “war on Wall Street” seems all but over even before the President signs the financial “reform” bill. We have seen very few criminal prosecutions coming out of Obamaland. The recent settlement with Goldman Sachs was limited to one transaction, and quite affordable for the bank that’s been called a “vampire squid on the face of humanity.” Their shares went up when the slimy deal was done, and in any event, that $550 million they paid just represented 15 days of profit taking.

  • Copyrights

    • Google Explains Why Making Special Copyright Laws For Newspapers Is A Mistake

      We’ve written a few times about how ridiculous the FTC’s proposals to “save journalism” are. They’re much more focused on saving newspapers, not journalism. And they seem to totally misunderstand the problem — or to believe the problem is some amorphous threat from “internet aggregators,” which is based on no actual evidence. Google has now responded to the FTC’s proposal, and, as Jeff Jarvis notes, effectively “taken the FTC to school” on the basics of journalism economics and copyright.


      Hopefully the FTC pays attention, but you could see them just dismissing Google as a “biased” party. The newspapers pushing these sorts of solutions are barking up the wrong tree, and hopefully the FTC realizes this, rather than providing a big crutch for the news organizations unwilling to adapt to a changing market.

    • Police To Receive Evidence Against ‘Large Scale’ File-Sharers

      An IFPI-affiliated anti-piracy group has announced that it has gathered evidence on dozens of file-sharers and will shortly hand it to the police. The group says it will hand over the results of its investigation into large scale file-sharers to the authorities this month and warns that the law allows those convicted to be jailed for up to 4 years.

    • Digital Act To Create Pirate ISPs In UK

      Service providers will split up to make smaller ‘pirate’ ISPs, in response to Ofcom’s draconian file-sharing proposals, says the Pirate Party

Links: Distribution Reviews, Sabayon Linux 5.3 “Extra Spins”, Fedora Community Web Site Design

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Distributions news accumulated in recent days

  • Five distros for “slow” machines

    One or two of the five distros I mentioned yesterday had been labeled as “lightweight” either by their designers or the community around them, and I was probably pushing that definition just a little bit when I gave them the chance to run at 150Mhz on 32Mb of memory.

  • Reviews

    • First look at Unity Linux 2010.1 – Mini Review

      Unity Linux had their first release on 09/07/2010 after around 1.5 years of development. The project was created in 2009 by former developers from the PClinuxOS (hereafter abbreviated PCLOS) community. One of them was KDulcimer who at the time had his own project TinyMe based on PCLOS, which according to the website started in 2006. His distribution would in the future be based on Unity Linux. So much for how the two are intertwined.


      I have to say I like this basic distribution and the philosophy behind, there is definitely a niche for it. The artwork is an inoffensive non-blinding white swirl on dark-blue background, good for my sensitive eyes, with a Mint leaf floating around giving a fresh impression, and for convenience sake you got ‘halt’ and ‘logout’ buttons on the desktop to access these functions. Mandrake/Mandriva has always been my favourite rpm based distribution and one of the first I used back in the 90′s, and I’m glad to see it and its many innovations living on in so many forms. Mandriva is of course in ongoing financial troubles and after so many years of it I’m a bit pessimistic if that will change any time soon. So what will projects like Unity Linux do if Mandriva disappears?
      For the moment at least they are still around, so let’s enjoy this little spin-off if you don’t have long term planning needs.
      Unity also runs well in Virtualbox, with guest additions pre-installed. As you would imagine due to its size, it ran well with 384MB memory, but will probably be happy with less.

    • This damn Linux has more holes than swiss cheese

      Unlike Microsoft Windows, Linux has a deserved reputation as a bullet-proof operating system. To teach computer security a University lecturer has deliberately produced the most damn vulnerable Linux you’ll ever see.

    • Taking a Walk on the Zen Side of Life

      I didn’t have many complaints when it came to Zenwalk’s security. The install process sets a password for the administrator and allows the user to create additional, unprivileged accounts. I did have two concerns. While I was using the distro the repositories were populated with updates, but there didn’t seem to be any notification for the user when security updates were available. I’ve been spoiled recently by systems which automatically check for me. My other concern is Zenwalk runs a secure shell service by default, which allows remote root logins. Preventing root from remotely logging into a machine is a policy I’d like to see more distributions adopt.

    • User Review of Puppy Linux 5.0

      Lucid Puppy Linux 5.0 was released back in May of 2010, but as one of my favorite distros, I have been playing with it heavily since then. I have been so impressed with the new version that I wanted to take a moment and write a quick review of this release.

      You can find the official release page here, along with download information.

  • New Releases

    • Sabayon Linux 5.3 “Extra Spins” releases

      Our crew, is happy to announce the immediate availability of XFCE, LXDE and SpinBase/OpenVZ Sabayon 5.3 “Spins” built on top of Sabayon “SpinBase” ISO images.
      Under the “Extra Spins” umbrella, the Sabayon developers are going to experiment new Stable Releases with different package compositions.

  • Red Hat Family

    • Red Hat SPICE protocol advances but release could be a year away

      The open source remote access project will include 3D acceleration, network tunneling, and perhaps iPad, iPhone, and Android tablet support

    • HP, Red Hat chase Solaris shops

      Server maker Hewlett-Packard and commercial Linux juggernaut Red Hat have teamed up to help shops using Oracle’s Sparc/Solaris platforms make the jump to Linux-based x64 iron.

      While the two companies did not say so, the migrations services being offered today through HP Services are no doubt a reaction to Oracle’s spiking of HP’s Solaris OEM agreement last month. Under that agreement, HP was able to bundle Solaris on its ProLiant rack and blade servers and sell Solaris support contracts, much as it does for Microsoft’s Windows, Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux.

    • Fedora

      • fedoracommunity.org Website Design
      • Fedora vs Ubuntu

        When it was launched in late 2004 it was up against a number of distributions that had been in development for years: Red Hat, Fedora, Suse Linux and Mandriva (then still called Mandrake). These were well-developed distributions with their own fans and unique features. Ubuntu, based on Debian, had a solid base but had a long way to go to be as user-friendly as it planned.

        Fast forward almost six years and Ubuntu has delivered. For many users it has been the perfect starting point for their Linux adventures. For others it offers the stability that they want from an operating system. It also has a huge fan-base and is the dominant voice in Linux marketing.

  • Debian Family

    • Display AppImage Icons OS X Style
    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Test Ubuntu Software Center 2.1.5(Plugin Support) in Ubuntu 10.04
      • Profile Roulette
      • Firewall Tools for Ubuntu Security

        “Does Ubuntu have a firewall, and how do I turn it on?” is a popular question among new Ubuntu users. The answer is a bit complicated, but it’s an understandable inquiry for those migrating from the Windows world. WorksWithU addresses that question below by taking a look at Ubuntu’s firewall and some of the tools available for managing it.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 202

        In This Issue

        * Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase calls all artists to contribute to next version of Ubuntu
        * Operation Cleansweep: We Need You!
        * Ubuntu Accessibility Team Personas Survey
        * ISO testers for the Hall of Fame
        * Ubuntu User Days Wrap-Up
        * Ubuntu Stats
        * Rocking The LoCo Council
        * Ubuntu: a computer operating system built around community
        * Ubuntu Chicago Bike Tour
        * The Early-Summer LoCo BBQ at hutchnate’s house was a tasty success!
        * Ubuntu Honduras LoCo Team Wakes up
        * Launchpad News
        * Ahmed Kamal Joins the Horsemen
        * Reviewers Team and Operation Cleansweep
        * Ubuntu Manual Project core philosophy
        * Man Your Browser


      • Communities

        I’m an Ubuntu and FOSS kinda guy, I’m not happy with software that isn’t FOSS and I don’t find any sense in proprietisation of code. Having said that there are times when I must be a little more considered and not simply shun an entire site because it’s not foss.

        Heaven known that deviantArt is one of the most proprietary, confused and messed up places I know. Bad copyright advice, no public domain option, admins that consistently ignore open formats like png and svg. FOSS Software isn’t promoted at all in any way. So why in Slartibartfast’s fjords would I want to hang my coat over there?

        Well no matter what I do there _will_ be artists over there who use Ubuntu, people who may need help with wacom tablets, upgrades or finding help. There will be people who use Windows or Mac but don’t have FOSS tools yet or perhaps wouldn’t do better with Ubuntu instead. There are artists who’d love to get involved with the wider community but for what ever reason are disconnected by social chance.

      • Ubuntu 10.10 with built-in GMA 500 support

        Officially, Ubuntu does not come with built-in support for the GMA 500 drivers. We gave a workaround to this problem way back in Oct 2009 when the Ubuntu had just released Ubuntu 9.10. People expected Ubuntu to include these drivers in the Ubuntu 10.04 that never happened.

      • More cleansweep.

Links: Week With KDE, Bangarang, and KDE Audiocast

Posted in KDE, News Roundup at 3:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chess battle

Summary: KDE news from the past few days

  • My first week on KDE, part 1 – Screenshots

    Last month I mentioned that I was looking at switching my desktop environment (DE) from GNOME to KDE and I was considering a move away from Ubuntu completely. About a week ago I installed KDE on my computer and started tweaking things to see how I like it. It’s not too bad, actually. As you can see from the shot on the right I’ve been able to make my desktop a combination of eye candy and functionality. I killed the top panel but was able to keep some of the applets thanks to plasmoids.


    I decided to tweak my desktop a little more and made a few more screenies to show the changes. I moved the digital clock to the bottom of my desktop, mostly to keep it visible if I maximize an app window and can’t see the time in the original position. I also added a Timer plasmoid to replace the timer on my GNOME panel. It doesn’t work as nicely as my GNOME timer did since I can’t set up times associated with a specific task, and I haven’t figured out how to get a sound played when the timer reaches nil, but I do get a nice obvious notification so it’s not so easy to miss as long as I’m at my computer. I also moved the Shutup plasmoid to the lower right corner to make better use of my screen real estate. I added two plasmoids on the lower left to switch my wallpaper and to give me quick access to the files I used to keep on my GNOME desktop.

  • Using KDE4 – Day 2
  • Using KDE4 – Day 3

    Day Three. I am at work, sitting at my desk waiting for a vehicle before I go out. I thought I’d take the time to comment on some things I have noticed with KDE4 so far.

  • Bangarang – A KDE Media Player That Has Every Potential To Became a KDE Default

    Now, the default Dragon Media Player of KDE have a serious competition in Bangarang. Dragon player is simple yet totally functional, which I think are the most basic trait to became the default in any desktop environment. On the other hand Bangarang is new, it’s good and it is rapidly improving.

  • KDE and the Masters of the Universe – Reaching For Greatness

Links: Programs and New Games for GNU/Linux Desktops

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 2:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Game boy

Summary: News about applications and games that run under GNU/Linux


Links: GNU/Linux Desktop News, Google Rejoins Linux Development

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, News Roundup at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Calendar series

Summary: GNU/Linux news picks from several days ago


  • Seven Current Issues on the Linux Desktop
  • Linux Rules!

    I do everything with Linux. There are a few instances where I need Windows, but Linux handles this easily, as well. Again, more on this in future posts.

    And did I mention that Linux is immune to Windows viruses, malware, trojans and pop ups? When you run Linux, you’ll have no need to run anti-virus software!

  • Daily 5: Five uses for an Ubuntu LiveCD

    Five uses for an Ubuntu Live CD.Once you’ve installed Ubuntu from a LiveCD you might never give much thought to what else you could use it for. If so, then meet today’s Daily 5…

Kernel Space

  • Linux police offer deviant Android return from exile

    Linux kernel maintainers have offered Google three ways of returning Android into their good graces.

    Google’s options for re-admission to the kernel are: put the stubs of Android’s wait locks into the main kernel, introduce Android’s wait locks as PMQOS constraints, or adopt a patch written by a Linux kernel maintainer that would re-implement wait locks in a “socially acceptable way”.

  • Graphics Stack

    • NVIDIA’s Oldest Legacy Driver Will Not Gain New Support

      A few days back there was the release of two updated NVIDIA legacy drivers for Linux, but only their newest legacy driver (they have three different legacy drivers at present) gained support for X.Org Server 1.8. This support though is needed for the older NVIDIA drivers to operate on newer Linux distributions like Fedora 13 and openSUSE 11.3. On this Sunday evening we have now confirmation from NVIDIA that they have no plans on providing xorg-server 1.8 support for their oldest legacy driver.


Links 21/7/2010: Environment, Copyrights, and ACTA Backlash

Posted in News Roundup at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • Ready or Not: Your Network is Moving to IPv6
  • The Web Means the End of Forgetting

    Four years ago, Stacy Snyder, then a 25-year-old teacher in training at Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster, Pa., posted a photo on her MySpace page that showed her at a party wearing a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup, with the caption “Drunken Pirate.” After discovering the page, her supervisor at the high school told her the photo was “unprofessional,” and the dean of Millersville University School of Education, where Snyder was enrolled, said she was promoting drinking in virtual view of her under-age students. As a result, days before Snyder’s scheduled graduation, the university denied her a teaching degree.

  • An Open Source 8-Bit Computer to Save the World

    At a recent local LUG I regularly attend, Braddock Gaskill gave a wonderful presentation on an open source 8-bit computer he had created. This was his first public debut of the device and every person in attendance was enthralled. Later, we met over coffee since I wanted to let him know (and ask if it was ok) that I thought his device would make for a great piece for Linux Journal. Braddock agreed and we started to chat about both the Humane Reader & Humane PC.

  • Environment

    • China’s search for greener values

      JW: Looking for a solution to the predicament we are in, of living unsustainably, the importance of values comes up again and again. The focus in China is mainly on science and technology, on hardware – on things that if you drop them will hurt your toe. The importance of values hasn’t really kicked in, but it’s absolutely essential. Where do you get these values? Clearly western values haven’t stopped the west from screwing up the environment. So, it’s worth looking to China’s philosophical and cultural roots.

  • Copyrights

    • Prof. Bently et al Concluding the History of Copyright

      If you need some good reading whilst lazing on the veranda of your summer villa, look no further than Privilege and Property – Essays on the History of Copyright

      Edited by Ronan Deazley, Martin Kretschmer and Lionel Bently, it’s bound (or not) to be a stimulating intellectual work.


      It’s time someone noticed the nails keeping copyright upright upon its perch.

      Copyright is history. Lawyers can read it and weep.

    • People Aren’t Buying Blank CDs Any More, So Collection Agency Demands Media Levy Expanded To Mobile Phones

      And what makes you think you should automatically get free money from people using these technologies when the content creators you represent fail to adjust or adapt at all? But rather than adapt, Copyswede is just taking the position that more technologies should be taxed and the market should be distorted further. The plan is to tax mobile phones 100 kronor (about $14), because having the government step in and force people to give you money is, you know, a lot easier than actually having to work for a living.

  • ACTA

    • Netherlands requires renewed openness ACTA (automatic translation)

      The Ministers of Economic Affairs and Justice argue for renewed openness about ACTA trade agreement.

      Resigning ministers Maria van der Hoeven of Economic Affairs (EZ) and Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin are disappointed that the negotiations on trade treaty ACTA remain behind closed doors.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 27 Nov 2007 – AGM: Compiz-Fusion-Beryl-BURN! (2007)

Links: Apache Software Foundation Board Members, Mozilla Bug Bounty, Governments Approach Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apache lands

Summary: Gathering of some Free software and Open Source news

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top 10 open source alternatives

    We run down the 10 best open source alternatives to the business software we use every day.

    Running a business can be costly at the best of times, so we’ve delved into the open source world and plucked out some great alternatives to those heavyweight proprietary applications that we all know and need.

    These applications could prove viable solutions to real business needs and could save you and your organisation money in the process. What’s more, if you’re just starting out these pieces of software could have your business up and running (and earning) a site quicker, not to mention keeping you in the black for longer, which is no mean feat in 2010.

  • New Zealand Open Source Awards 2010 now open for nominations

    The 2010 New Zealand Open Source Awards are now open for nominations at http://www.nzosa.org.nz/.

    This year’s Awards will focus particularly on achievements from over the past two years.

    “There were so many strong nominations for the 2008 event,” said panel chair Don Christie, “that we are keen to hear back from projects that have moved forward in the last years, as well as new initiatives using free and open source solutions.”

  • 25 Awesome Free Vector Clip Arts Made Using Inkscape

    In the field of graphic arts, vector clip art is associated with pre-made images used to represent whatever medium. It is comprised completely of illustrations made using computer software, and it does not contain stock photography.

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces New Board Members

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is pleased to announce that Shane Curcuru, Doug Cutting, Bertrand Delacretaz, Roy T. Fielding, Jim Jagielski, Sam Ruby, Noirin Shirley, Greg Stein, and Henri Yandell have been elected to serve on the ASF Board of Directors.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla raises its bug bounty

      OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE HOUSE Mozilla has upped the bounty it offers to anyone that discovers a bug in its software.

      In a blog post Mozilla said that the evolving threat landscape had lead it to raise its reward to $3,000 in order to “better support constructive security research”.

  • Education

    • How To Get Started with Open Source in K-12

      For K-12 IT directors, the major appeal of open source software (OSS) generally focuses on savings in licensing fees and access to software that would not otherwise be affordable. Many also are finding that OSS simply is the best solution for their school districts–even compared to commercial versions.

      IT directors with OSS experience largely have been opportunistic about how they got started. In a series of interviews conducted for THE Journal, three IT directors shared their experiences–the hows and the whys–launching OSS in their districts.

      They have very different stories, but have all learned that the transition to an open source “shop” takes time.

  • BSD

  • Government

    • Open source should target government desktops as Microsoft shunned

      The government’s decision not to renew an agreement with Microsoft for up to 800,000 NHS desktops could be an opportunity for open source suppliers to prove their worth.

      According to an article on IT channel website Microscope.co.uk, the government did not feel the deal, known as an enterprise agreement, which aims to give lower prices in return for group buying was not value for money. It prefers individual NHS Trusts to buy what they want, rather than being forced to be part of an enterprise wide deal.

    • EU: 3.3 million to continue projects on open source and reusable dat

      The European Commission is planning to spend 3.344 million Euro until 2016 to continue the services provided by its projects – such as OSOR.eu and SEMIC.eu – on open source and on electronic data exchange.

      The EC published the budget details last week Thursday for its e-Government project. Apart from the 3.344 million Euro planned for the new platform to provide collaborative services for current Semic.eu and OSOR.eu users, another 8.8 million Euro are foreseen to provide support for existing and future communities around eGovernment in general, including the growing Open Source community on OSOR.eu and the community around interoperablity assets on Semic.eu.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Expanding the Circle?

      Why should the free and open source software community regard their work as a commons? For people focused on building a specific piece of software, the need to label it a “commons” may seem gratuitous. What’s the value? But there are some good reasons for understanding free/open source software as a commons, as I explain in a recent essay published by the FLOSS Roadmap project.

    • Open Source hardware advocates want a hard-core license

      It’s hard to predict how an open source hardware revolution could change consumer electronics. There are very few ideas that stem from complete air — nearly every great new thing has come from modifying something that came before.

  • Programming

    • Adobe Moves All of Its Open Source Projects to Sourceforge

      Adobe has announced that its partnering with Sourceforge to expand its open-source offerings and have more flexibility with the related programs. Basically, all of Adobe’s open-source and standards efforts will be hosted and managed on Sourceforge through the site’s new developer platform. Adobe is actually the first customer of the newly launched platform.

    • Software competition to encourage East African developers

      The US State Department has thrown its weight behind an initiative to promote software development for the good of East African residents.

      The Apps 4 Africa contest was launched earlier this month and aims to encourage developers to produce software that will improve the quality of life for residents of this region.

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