Linux Mint 15 Olivia MATE Review from Linux and Life
Sunday, June 02, 2013
Last year, I installed and wrote a review for Linux Mint 13 Maya, the MATE version. It had worked really well on my laptop so even when Linux Mint 14 “Nadia” was released, I still kept using Maya. But after a year, I think its the time for an upgrade, and on the same occasion that Linux Mint 15 Olivia was recently out, I decided to download and install the new Linux Mint 15, MATE version.
Read the rest of this excellent review HERE.
A few years ago, I wrote a little article called My Thumb Drive Toolbox for Linux.com.
In that article, I explain how to install Slax on a thumb drive. I also mention Puppy Linux as being usable for that purpose also. It’s very useful to have a full-featured Linux OS on a thumb drive, particularly when repairing corrupted MS Windows systems, as I did earlier this evening for a client.
Over at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux, a topic came up regarding the porteus.org website possibly being down. Hamza from porteus.org dropped in to respond to the issue. After we resolved the issue, I went to the porteus.org website to snoop around a bit. I was, of course, already familiar with Porteus, but I had not visited the new site nor had I used the distribution recently.
My old (ancient, really) version of Slax on my thumb drive toolbox was still functioning, but I had been wanting to update to the newest version of Slax for a while. I’d been waiting for v7.0 for a while. I decided to kill two birds and all that…
I downloaded and installed both Slax and Porteus earlier this afternoon. I’ve had the chance to evaluate them both this evening. Slax is very nice, even with KDE 4. However, this article is about Porteus, which I installed with my favorite desktop environment –> Xfce. I first burned the .iso to a CD (directions on Porteus’ download page) and then booted that CD to use the Porteus Installer app to install it to my thumb drive. It worked wonderfully.
I specifically chose to use the 32 bit version because many of the systems that I would need to boot it from are older 32 bit machines. It’s best to have a diagnostic Linux distribution on a thumb drive that is functional with older machines if you’re in the fix-windows-for-family-and-friends business. HA!
Visit the website, snoop around the forums, then give Porteus a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. This is a quality portable media distribution, with a good documentation and support network. You know I’m going to like Porteus. It’s only natural…
from the Porteus forums:
Porteus is a light-weight, highly configurable and flexible live distribution based on Slackware…
Oh, and don’t forget… if you have the resources available, run it from RAM. It’s GREASED LIGHTING FAST!
Many of us have patiently waited for this:
at 17:40 Posted by Barnaby |
Just in time for the expected final release of Slax 7.0 on Monday after all this time the web site has had a makeover as well to serve as a visual reminder that a new age for Slax has truly arrived.
Read the article at Linux, BSD, and everything else…
Hmm… KDE, huh? Well, I’ll deal with that if necessary.
Can’t say I didn’t see this coming. I converted to pure systemd months ago in my Arch.
According the THIS article at The H website and other sources, it looks like Arch Linux is going 100% systemd. Well, that’s cool. I don’t have any issues with that. I’m not completely sold on systemd yet, but I haven’t found anything to really complain about. I do think it’s a slight poke-in-the-eye to Arch’s KISS approach to GNU/Linux, but that’s just my personal opinion.
Arch isn’t the only distribution that has made this leap. I believe Fedora and SuSE are also moving in that direction. I’m not a developer or coder, so I can’t really tell you what the under-the-hood advantages of systemd over sysvinits may be. However, many folks smarter than I am in that area seem to favor systemd.
There are some holdouts. Patrick Volkerding of Slackware has no plans in the current millennium of getting away from sysvinits in his distribution. Slackware is my primary OS, as you know, so this is OK by me. I don’t believe the Debian folks are considering systemd at this time either. I would actually be shocked if they were. Systemd is too new for Debian. It would be a definite threat to their legendary commitment to stability.
Have a wonderful fall season (spring, if you’re way down south )!
A recent upgrade in Arch Linux caused my Thunar file manager to lose its auto-mounting capabilities.
Now granted, auto-mounting of removable media (floppy, ZIP, CD/DVD, USB, etc.) on my system is purely a convenience. It’s not a necessity. I have no fear of the command line, so mounting manually can always be achieved. It’s the principle of the thing, dammit. What used to work should continue to work. Unfortunately, as we all know, thanks to updates of one sort or another (in any operating system), this doesn’t always hold true.
After doing some reading and research into the causes of Thunar’s apparent crippling, I became aggravated with Arch because recent updates have been plaguing me with breakage. Now, let’s be honest here… it’s not really Arch’s fault. Arch is a rolling-release distribution. Things change rapidly. The developers keep the base system closer to the bleeding edge that most periodic-release distributions. Anyone who uses Arch knows these things.
I run Slackware as my primary operating system on all my machines (except for an old Dell Latitude 610 running Bodhi Linux). Arch is my secondary (backup) operating system on my main system. I used to use Debian for this purpose, but as much as I love Debian, it is just too sluggish about getting current versions of apps in its repos. Now don’t all you Debian folks start throwing rubber chickens at me. I understand that Debian’s legendary stability is due to the fact that its stable repos contain only tried and truly long-term tested versions of applications. That is how it should be with Debian (I run Sid as a tester on my system, by the way).
So, back the Arch situation…
In the process of trying to find out what I needed to do to fix the auto-mounting issue, I ran across some information here and there about systemd. What is systemd, you might ask.
systemd is a system and service manager for Linux, compatible with SysV and LSB init scripts. systemd provides aggressive parallelization capabilities, uses socket and D-Bus activation for starting services, offers on-demand starting of daemons, keeps track of processes using Linux control groups, supports snapshotting and restoring of the system state, maintains mount and automount points and implements an elaborate transactional dependency-based service control logic. It can work as a drop-in replacement for sysvinit.
I noticed that Arch’s core repo shifted udev from its stand-alone status to a sub-app of the systemd-tools application.
2012-06-01 – Dave Reisner
systemd and udev have been merged upstream. We will still ship them in separate packages. However, in order to keep things simple, udev will now be part of a package called systemd-tools. This package contains several other standalone tools which can be used without systemd. The astute reader will note that this also means the entirety of systemd is available in the core repository.
Please replace udev with systemd-tools when prompted. If you upgrade the linux package at the same time, you may see an error during initramfs creation that the udev hook is not found. After the upgrade completes, please rerun ‘mkinitcpio -p linux’ to ensure that a bootable image is created for the newly installed kernel.
Seeing this made me wonder if Arch was going to transition to systemd over initscripts sometime soon. To be honest, as some of the folks at Scot’s Newsletter Forums/Bruno’s All Things Linux can attest to, I actually became a bit peeved… pissed off, you might even say. All’s well, though. Ignorance is a great stimulant for fear and loathing. Knowledge paves the way for understanding and acceptance.
A little research was in order, so I spent the next few days after this initial rant about systemd learning what I could about it. Eventually, I decided to convert my Arch to systemd 100%, eschewing initscripts entirely. How did that go? Relatively well, actually. Read more about how I did it and how things turned out HERE, if you’re interested. I even managed to solve my auto-mount issues along the way.
systemd is available in many distributions already. I do believe that it has a good chance of replacing the standard initscripts method of services in GNU/Linux in the near future. If you’re a tinkerer, go give it a try on some test partition on one of your systems. I wouldn’t recommend converting 100% to systemd on your main operating system, though; not unless you really know what you’re doing. It wouldn’t hurt to learn the fundamentals of systemd. I believe it’ll be around for a while.
*Sorry for the raw links. I’m being lazy today.
My niece deposited her old, tired Dell Latitude D560 laptop on her old, tired uncle yesterday.
She knew that he would wipe that ol’ corrupted Win XP installation off that baby and make ‘er scream again with a nice efficient GNU/Linux operating system. With a 30Gig hdd and only 760M of RAM, screaming will be only moderate with his little machine. However, scream again she does with a fresh install of Vector Linux 7.0 Standard (32 bit).
I had fully intended to give newcomer to the GNU/Linux scene, Zorin, a go on this old lappy. Unfortunately, their download hosting sites were terribly slow today; I mean dial-up slow. The NLUUG Netherlands site was faster than the U.S. iBiblio site, but that ain’t saying much. Either one was stating 11-12 hours download time for a measly 1.1Gig .iso file. That’s just sad. Oh well, maybe another time for Zorin. It does look promising; particularly as a transitional OS from Win to Lin.
Today, though, Vector won out in the download speed race. I’ve used Vector off and on across numerous of my systems and platforms over the past 6 or 7 years. It has always been a stable, usable, no-surprises distribution. I like that. I’m not a fan of surprises when it comes to operating systems. I like boring. I’ve been reluctant, as mentioned elsewhere here, to install Vector on my main or shop systems because I’m patiently waiting for a 64 bit version. A 32 bit version was just what this lappy needed; one not too bloated.
Installation was almost Slackware-ish boring. As I said, no surprises… GOOD! I installed on ext3 partitions; one for / and one for /home, as is my standard practice with GNU/Linux. The entire installation took about 15 minutes or so. I’m running the default Xfce/Cairo Dock desktop at the moment. It’s pretty nice, actually. Ethernet and wireless work out-of-the-box; again, no surprises.
Here’s a pic of the peppy and refreshed old laptop (click of bigger pic):
So, there you have it. Have an old, tired laptop lying around out in the garage? Grab it and install a fresh Vector Linux install on that baby and off you’ll go. That lappy will be a fully-functional machine once again. Set it up for the kids. Donate it to some needy person. Whatever you do with it will be better than what it was doing, sitting on that shelf all lonely and neglected.
Once upon a time, when I was a relative newcomer to GNU/Linux, I found a wonderful little distribution, which was also new at the time.
Tomas Forsman, a member of the Foresight Linux team, probably doesn’t even remember me from back then. I frequented the old support forums for Foresight Linux back when it was in version 1.0. I think that was sometime back in 2006. I remember FL creator Ken Vandeen from back then. I found Foresight, a fork of rPath Linux, while perusing Distrowatch one evening. It looked intriguing. Besides, I liked the green color theme. Green is my favorite color, you know.
I’ve had Foresight on many of my systems over the years since v1.0. It’s never been my primary operating system. You all know that I’m a Slacker, but that doesn’t stop me from experimenting with other distros. I have my favorites that are never far from one of my systems. I can usually be found tweaking (often breaking) these distros on any given day.
I did a major system overhaul a year or so ago and never was able to get a working copy of Foresight installed. It wasn’t Foresight’s fault, though. Tomas knows that I’m an Xfce fan, so he provided me with an alpha of their Xfce version. It didn’t seem to like my hardware for some reason. Well, that was a while ago, anyway. Their Xfce 64 bit version is in final release now and installs and runs perfectly.
I know this because I just installed it a couple nights ago. I didn’t have any issues during installation. For any of you who have ever installed a GNU/Linux distribution on your system, you’ll not find any surprises with the Foresight installer. It’s pretty straight-forward and relatively easy.
Once I had FL installed, I did my usual tweaks here and there under the hood and with the Xfce interface. All went well. I have a completely updated and usable Foresight Linux installation on my system now. I made a quick custom wallpaper for it and took a nice screenshot for you folks.
If you’d like to give Foresight a tryout, you’ll find that the distribution has excellent documentation and a helpful support community. Tomas also visits Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux quite often. You can catch up with him there occasionally. Foresight is a stable, full-featured distribution with a sterling pedigree (RedHat, rPath). It’s suitable for a home system or a business server.
Stop on by the Foresight forums. Tell Tomas I sent you. He’ll get you up and running with Foresight in no time at all.
Have fun with it!
Image credits: Foresight Linux “eye” logo owned by Foresight Linux.