30 Jun 2011

Mageia-cal Win Over Humanity

I like Humanity in form of Ubuntu. I like KDE. That's why Kubuntu was my favourite distribution almost from very first sight on it. It was version 10.04 LTS, which I got on official CD from Shipit. You can still order a copy of that CD from Buy Linux CDs site.
Since then I made couple of upgrades: to 10.10 and 11.04.
First upgrade to 10.10 was little bit painful, but tolerable. There were some bugs which needed fixing before system was usable again.
Second upgrade to 11.04 was much worse. No, it does not mean that system became absolutely unusable. But there were 2 bugs which annoyed me a lot.
  • First is problem with desktop effects. They are automatically disabled each boot and cannot be brought back on. Kubuntu complains on performance reasons, but I see nothing unusual happening. 
  • Second is shutdown problem with network drive mounted. It is the bug described here.
Few months passed since 11.04 release date, and bugs are still here. That made me look into alternatives to both Ubuntu and Kubuntu.

    After some consideration, replacement candidates were found. First is to replace Kubuntu, and it will be Mageia. Second to replace Ubuntu, and it will be... Wait, one step at a time.
    So, I decided to move away not only from Kubuntu, but also from .deb-only concept on my PC.
    Mageia is a new distribution brought up on the remainings of Mandriva. I have already reviewed Mageia in Live mode, and was more than pleased.
    It is time to start installation now! Yes! Let's go!

    27 Jun 2011

    This Blog Now Has PageRank = 4

    Another week started with good news for me and for my blog.
    Do you know what PageRank is?
    Wikipedia says
    PageRank is a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page and used by the Google Internet search engine... with the purpose of "measuring" its relative importance within the set.
    Until now this blog had PageRank either "n/a" or "0", which meant site was not considered by Google as important.
    Situation changed today.
    This blog has PageRank = 4 now.
    You can check yourself using Google's PareRank Checker.
    Of course, this is not only me who deserve "Thank you" for this achievement. But also you. You like the blog, make visits, mention it on external sites and so on.
    If anyone has anything to comment or congratulate, please feel free to leave your comments underneath!

    One More Guest Post

    I like when somebody comes as a guest to my blog.
    I like make visits too.
    Both these events fall under category of guest posting.
    It is time for me to make another visit. This is a visit to the very respectable blog about Linux: www.go2linux.org.
    I made a visit there already in February. That time I showed you and audience of that blog Where 3 times 3 is 8.
    Today I am talking about new desktop environments: Unity and Gnome 3: What is good and what is evil?
    Welcome to read!

    25 Jun 2011


    Image by twicepix
    This is post #101 on this blog.
    Don't believe it?

    24 Jun 2011

    Musix in the air

    Linux world is huge. Seems like there are more different distributions then stars in Debian galaxy. Some of them are generic, some of them are not. I have already made couple of reviews of Linux-based Operating System specifically created for creative people. They are brothers in blood: Dynebolic and Puredyne. It would be incomplete set if I just stopped at number 2. Number 3 is much more appalling. That's why today's review will be also dedicated to creative Linux.
    This Tux was born far-far away from many of you: in country of football, beef and tango. Do you know which country I mean? Yes, that is Argentina.
    This Tux likes music very much, that's why parents named it Musix. Of course, music is not his only hobby, but... more on that later.
    This Tux likes freedom most of all, that's why it has nothing which does not conform with Free Software Foundation rules. It is one of a few which are endorsed by this organisation. I have already reviewed some other 100% free OSes from same list: gNewSense and previously mentioned Dynebolic. Musix is so much free that even standard Linux kernel is not good enough for him. Musix features Libre version of kernel instead.
    Latest version of Musix was released in November 2009 and has index 2.0. It's image weights about 1.3 Gb, which means it cannot be burnt to CD-RW or to 1 Gb USB stick. That's why I decided to give another option a go. It was my third attempt to run Live OS this way, and previous two failed. Third time lucky, and Musix was "burnt" to HDD using Unetbootin.
    Reboot. Choose Unetbootin from boot menu. Let's go!

    22 Jun 2011

    Testing Strategy

    This blog runs for few months already, and soon will change number of posts to 3-digit number.
    Is it a good time to tell you what I am doing here at all? Probably most of my permanent readers already know, but...

    20 Jun 2011

    PC-BSD: Devil With Human Face

    This blog is mostly about Linux. You can guess it from the name: Linux Notes from DarkDuck.
    Linux world is huge. But it is not the only world of Operating Systems on the Open Source Software universe.  I have already visited "neighbours" from another world, world of BSD: FreeSBIE. That time I was impressed with both stability, speed and size. That's why I decided to have more reviews of BSD-based systems.
    Today I will make another visit to same world.
    PC-BSD is another system based on Berkeley System Distribution. It is targeting personal computers, as you can guess from it's name.
    Official page of PC-BSD lists several mirrors where you can get distribution. ISO file of PC-BSD 8.2 weights 3.4 Gb.  The problem with file size it that I could not download it from any official mirror. All attempts to download it either via FTP or HTTP ended in timeout message after 30, 50 or 80% of download. Finally, I dowloaded it from torrent site. When I was downloading, there were more than 100 seeders in the warm, but only 1-2 could actually feed me the file. Unfortunately, I do not have USB stick big enough to get the ISO image onto. That means I had to use DVD-RW.
    Anyway, all the troubles with getting the image are in the past. Image is downloaded. DVD-RW disk is burnt and placed into the drive of my Toshiba L500-19X laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

    17 Jun 2011

    Puredyne: pure creativity

    How old are you? 20? 30? 40? Whatever is your age, you are now older than few years ago, aren't you? When you were younger, had you ever dreamed of being an artist? Sculptor? Maybe DJ? Any kind of creative profession? Fame, fans, furor...
    Sure, most of us wanted to create something unforgettable. Whether your dream became a true or not, that is different story.
    Do you think that artists are still people who use easels, brushes and chalk? Or they still use pianos and violins? Sure, some of them do. But in modern era some of them became electronic-based artists. Those who use computers as their tools. Most people think (and maybe they are right) that Mac is the best friend of artist or musician. But are there any open-source projects oriented to people with creativity talent?
    Yes, there are. I have already told you about one of them: dynebolic. Today I will tell you about another one. Puredyne. Actually, Puredyne is not a project grown on the empty space. I would say it has dad and even granddad.
    Dad is... dynebolic. Yes, Puredyne project was inspired by Dynebolic. They have lots in common. And most important, both are oriented to creative people.
    Granddad is... Ubuntu. Yes, Puredyne is based on Ubuntu. To be more precise, Xubuntu, one of many Ubuntu remixes.
    Latest release of Puredyne has version number 9.11 and nickname "Carrot and coriander". It is dated March 2010.
    Puredyne is initially oriented to Live usage, although it has installation features. But native method of Live USB creation is too long and windy. Even quick glance on that method fought off any wish to start it.
    That was a time for me to try methods of Live USB creation. Unfortunately, Unetbootin does not support Puredyne. USB drive created by Unetbootin was not bootable.
    That's why I tried methods with command dd and command cat. And miss again. Unfortunate for 3rd time in a row, I decided not to waste more time and use more classic method. Finally, CD-RW was burnt. It is in the drive of my Compaq C300 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from CD. Let's go!

    13 Jun 2011

    Different Methods to Create Live USB with Linux

    Your computer is running Windows. Hope, only temporary. And you want to try Linux on that machine.
    Or you are already in Linux and want to give a go to another distribution.
    For some reason, CD/DVD drive is not available or not working. Do you have any chance to get what you want?
    usb key linux 1
    Image of Dariolynx
    Of course! Solution is very simple. Instead of running Linux from CD, you can create Live USB with iso image.
    There are different methods to achieve the task. Let's look at some of them

    11 Jun 2011

    Firefox 5 release: new speed, same illness (quick review)

    I was reading my Twitter when noticed tweet by OMG! Ubuntu! about this article.
    Yes, KDE got official update for Kubuntu 11.04. How much time did it take me to start my System Update after reading these news? Just few seconds!
    Yes, there was update for KDE. But that is not the only update which arrived today.
    First of all, there was new kernel for Kubuntu: 2.6.38-10.
    And second, there was... Firefox 5! Yes! You maybe surprised, but Firefox 5 has been rolled out to Kubuntu! Even official site still offers Firefox 4.0.1!
    I am not fan of Firefox, but new version... why not look at it?

    10 Jun 2011

    Why do I do Live system reviews?

    I receive feedback to almost all my reviews. Thank you, my dear readers. It means I write something important for you.
    Image by Sugree Phatanapherom
    One of the topics which is always discussed in comments is my love to Live versions of Linux distributions. As you could notice, I rarely review installed versions.
    Every time I write that something is wrong in Live version, I got advises from unhappy fans that I should try an installed version of OS for proper review.

    8 Jun 2011

    Sabayon XFCE: the story continues

    My previous post was about Sabayon XFCE.
    For those who did not read it and does not know what Sabayon is, I tell that Sabayon is Linux distribution based on Gentoo.
    I got multiple comments for that post, and some of them looked very helpful. I could not help but to give Sabayon XFCE another go.
    USB stick is in the port. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

    7 Jun 2011

    How to do simple things the Sabayon way

    Gentoo penguin
    Do you think there is only one penguin Tux? You are wrong. There is whole family of them. They are all brothers, because they have same father: Linux kernel code by Linus Torvalds. But they are not identical. They have their own names: Debian, RedHat, Slackware, Arch. Each brother has his own family: Linux distros based on certain base code. I have written about members of many families already. Except for one which is yet to be named.
    This Tux received his name from fastest underwater swimming penguin: Gentoo. Today I will take sample from this family, and this sample is named Sabayon.
    Official download page provides links to different versions of Sabayon. Latest release with name 5.5 is available with KDE, GNOME, E17, LXDE and XFCE desktop environments, as well as in ServerBase and SpinBase variants. Unfortunately KDE and GNOME versions both weight too much for CD or 1Gb USB stick which I have. That's why my choice was made for Sabayon XFCE version.
    Sabayon is officially supported by Unetbootin utility. I successfully "burned" ISO image to USB stick. I also tried dd command option later, but it did not work with Sabayon 5.5.
    USB stick is ready and plugged into USB port. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

    3 Jun 2011

    Mageia: Is It A Kind Of Magic?

    I like to keep my promises. But sometimes I break them.
    Few months ago I promised to dump Mandriva Linux. I was not happy with it and did not want to return to it. But later I had another review of it, because I had an opportunity to try another flavour, new release.
    This time I almost broke my promise again. I will review... no, not Mandriva. Today's specie is Mageia. This is Mandriva's fork which was created after some changes in Mandriva's management. Mageia is very young as organisation, it was founded just few months ago. But Mageia as Operating System inherits all the legacy of Mandriva and evolves it to the next step of evolution. First releast of Mageia (coincidentally called Mageia 1) was released on the 1st of June 2011.
    Mageia 1 is available as installation DVD and Live CD version, and also netinstall. Of course, my choice was for Live CD. There are several flavours of it, and I chose Europe 2 KDE option, because it includes Russian locale and my favourite desktop environment.
    My first attempt was to use Unetbootin to "burn" this image to USB drive. Even though Unetbootin did its job without any error, USB was not workable. Yes, it booted system up to the splash screen and I could see progress bar slowly moving right. But 10 minutes of wait time was more than enough.
    Finally, I burnt CD-RW. It is loaded into my Compaq laptop's drive. Reboot. Let's go!