29 Jul 2011

What is your best favourite KDE distro?

I have recently received a comment on the post about Pardus Linux, which made me think a lot.
The question in comment was:

What is your best favorite KDE distro? Mageia, Pardus, Kubuntu, Mandriva, PC Linux OS, Mint KDE.... which? :) I will use your choice :) thanks too.

First of all, I am very pleased that person looks at me as at specialist and asks for advice in system choice. Obviously, that is the point of this blog – to choose OS for your computer. Look at the top of the page to confirm.
Then, I should admit that’s a very good question actually.

28 Jul 2011

Kongoni: You have the right to remain silent

I have written about Linux distributions from different parts of the world. Australia, Cambodia, Turkey, Russia, Latvia, and even Brasil.
This time round I'll make a trip to a continent which I have not visited yet: Africa.
Kongoni is Linux distribution developed in South Africa. It has name with roots in Shona language.
Kongoni is based on Slackware. There are not many Slackware-based Live distros (SLAX, Porteus and Nimblex - those I know). That makes each new review in this area very interesting for me.
Also Kongoni claims to contain only Free Software Foundation approved software. Moreover, Kongoni uses Libre kernel, where all the non-open source binaries are removed. Although Kongoni is not listed as FSF-supported. My previous experience with FSF-supported systems was pretty much different. What does Kongoni have to offer?
Latest version (Kongoni 2011) was released recently. Funny enough, it was released twice.
The reason for double-release was inability to run Live USB from iso image. Bug report says that person was successful in creation of Live USB using Unetbootin.
First of all, I downloaded the image (just below 700 Mb) and tried to "burn" it to USB stick. Neither Unetbootin nor dd command helped me in this. My Unetbootin has latest version (549) and I tried it under Mageia, Debian and Windows XP. Same result.
I was in despair. The only way which I saw was to burn CD-RW. Old-fashion way, of course. But it worked.
Do you want to try Kongoni yourself? Why not order a CD via Buy Linux CDs site?
So, my CD-RW is in the drive of my Compaq C300 laptop.
Reboot. Choose to boot from optical drive. Let's go!

25 Jul 2011

6 wonders of CentOS 6.0

Do you know what CentOS is?
No, this is a not a OS which costs you only one cent to buy. Although, I bought a DVD with Linux OS for 0.01 GBP once, it was not CentOS.
CentOS is actually free Operating System based on RedHat Enterprise Linux. In other words, group of enthusiasts took out source code of RHEL, which they have to publish as part of Linux license, re-branded it as CentOS and published for open and free usage.
I have already written couple of reviews of CentOS. They were versions 5.5 and 5.6. As you can remember, I was not much happy with either of those versions.
It took quite a lot of time for CentOS team to move from version 5.5. to 5.6. RHEL managed to churn out version 6.1 by the time of CentOS 5.6 release. But guys from CentOS team decided to roll up the sleeves and catch as fast as they can. So, just 3 months after version 5.6, new version CentOS 6.0 was released.
Live CD image was not in initial release, but appeared few days later. As you can understand, Live CD  weights just under 700 Mb.
Unfortunately, there is no information on official web site how to create Live USB from CD image. Wikipedia says that Unetbootin can create one, but it did not work for me. Finally, dd command was my choice.
USB stick is prepared and plugged into the port. Reboot and choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

20 Jul 2011

Good Bye, Kubuntu!

Hello, Linux Mint XFCE!!!

Long-long time ago... about 8 months back... I created a system landscape on my laptop. It consists of 4 systems being installed at the same time. One of them is Windows XP, as it came with laptop and I still use it occasionally for specific tasks. Three of them are Linux systems. Which ones? I wrote about this when I described my quadro-boot.
Nothing is immortal. Time passed by and I got tired of both Ubuntu and Kubuntu. I got quite disappointed by changed introduced in version 11.04. That was a time to change.
First change took away Ubuntu and put Mageia 1 KDE instead. Yes, I changed Unity/GNOME system to KDE system. Some time I had two KDE systems working in parallel: Mageia 1 KDE and Kubuntu. But that was not the final destination.
Now it is time to change Kubuntu. What was a choice?
If you look at systems, you see that I have GNOME (Debian) and KDE (Mageia). Would it be nice to have something else installed? Yes, and this something else is XFCE.
To be precise, Linux Mint XFCE.
I wrote about this operating system earlier when I tried Linux Mint XFCE in Live mode. Then there was a roller coaster, because not all of the Mint XFCE features worked for me. But anyway, decision was made.

18 Jul 2011

8 Places to Find Help for Your Linux Server

One of the age-old criticisms of Linux-based operating systems is that they are complicated, not easy to learn, and not user-friendly. Those who actually use Linux, however, know this is not the case. Like any new technology, you do need to take time to learn it, but once you do, it will open up doors for you, allowing you to unleash the full power of your server.
The following are eight places where you can find help for your Linux server. They are not listed in a particular order, so you may decide to favor certain ones first over others. If you use the web, be sure to bookmark any help you find, and also make sure you backup any configuration files or other data before you make changes.
linux.com server error

17 Jul 2011

+1 is here!

Have you heard of +1?
Sure you have!
If you have not, here is explanation of what it is.
+1 is your way to show other Internet users that something interesting is on the page. When you "+1" the page, it will be marked on Google search results so people can understand that and find interesting content.
Do you find content of this site interesting? Then "+1" it! You can find "+1" button under each post, next to your usual "Like" of "Tweet" buttons.
Just do it! Just +1 it!
Do you want to +1 this post? Here is the button!
...and you can still find it below the post, on its usual place.

15 Jul 2011

Pardus 2011.1: Turkish Delight

I am not sure about you, but Pardus 2011.1 was one of the more awaited Linux releases this summer for me. Why? Because I considered it to be one of the candidates to replace my previous "boots". Unfortunately, I was not patient enough and already started process of migration from *buntus. Mageia is my current choice for KDE system.
If you still don't know what Pardus is, I can tell you. This is indepent Linux distribution developed by Turkish government organisation TUBITAK.
I have already written about previous version of Pardus 2011. That time I was very delighted by this system, and people in comments also left positive feedback.
Anyway, I was very happy to learn that Pardus 2011.1 was released. It happened on 12th of July, with about a week delay from roadmap plans.
Pardus 2011.1 has code name Dama Dama. This is Latin for Fallow Deer. Also this Turkish word in has 2 English translations: checkers and king. Or maybe King checkers?
Image of Pardus 2011.1 weights 1.3 GB, and I could only put it to DVD-RW and run on Toshiba laptop. Official site says Unetbootin is not supported, and only other methods are to use Mandriva Seed or dd command. But anyway I do not have USB stick large enough to get this image.
So, DVD-RW is burtn. It is in the drive of my Toshiba L500 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from optical drive. Let's go!

13 Jul 2011

Knoppix 6.4: can you spot the difference?

I wonder how different is world of Linux!
Some distributions tend to simplify the interface. Others try to do their best to get users out of their way. Only few try to find golden middle.
Do you want examples? I have them.
Unity. Isn't it simplifying of interface? Yes, it is. But for some users this is over-simplifying. Something of Linux soul was lost in here. From "do whatever you want" it switched ideology to "do whatever we allow you to do".
Next example is Knoppix. What can be simpler than getting ISO image with operation system onto USB image? Having multiple methods for this, you should expect at least one of them to work. But that is not the case. I have tried both Unetbootin and dd options. Not much success. Knoppix has developed its own process of getting Live USB. And it is not the simplest for unprepared user. Knoppix is not alone in this issue. I have already written about PureDyne which has exactly the same approach.
After few failed attempt to build Knoppix Live USB I decided to try CD version.
This is not my first review of Knoppix. I wrote few words about it in one of the first posts in this blog.
Now few words about the version of Knoppix I tried. This is not the latest version. Simply because latest version 6.5 was exclusively distributed with Linux Magazine in March 2011. Previous version 6.4 is freely downloadable on official mirrors. That is the version I burned onto my CD-RW.
Disk is in the drive of Compaq C300 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from CD. Let's go!

7 Jul 2011

Bravo, Sabayon!

or Where Everything "Just Works"

Do you know what all my reviews have in common so far?
Argh, yes, you're right. All of them are about Operating systems. Mostly Linux, but also few about BSD-based.
Anything else?
Ok, let me tell you. I have tried many distributions so far, and have found none which works ideally for me from the very start to the very end.
Is there any ideal solution for me then? Sure, it should be! Linux world is so vast, and it is growing. It has to have a place which ideally suits me.
Today I will tell you about a system which worked for me almost ideally. There were no issues, apart from few very minor.
What is the name? You have probably read the title of this post already. This is Sabayon 6.0. It has several different versions, and my choice this time was for KDE.
I have written about previous version of Sabayon very recently, and you might notice that I was not very happy that time. Because that was a review of Sabayon 5.5 XFCE. This is experimental release, full of issues which were found by myself in big quantities, and even more are to be listed.
Opposite to XFCE, Sabayon KDE and GNOME versions are recognised as stable and reliable. I like KDE, that's why I chose KDE version for this review.
Image size for Sabayon 6.0 KDE is about 1.3 Gb. It means I cannot "burn" it to CD-RW or 1 Gb USB stick. My choice this time was for DVD-RW.
My usual guinea pig for writing reviews is Compaq C300 laptop. Occasionally I use Toshiba L500-19X. Which of those I tried today? Neither. Today's guinea pig is HP Compaq 6710b, which I have never used for Linux reviews before. This is Intel Centrino Duo 2 GHz laptop with 2 Gb RAM.
DVD disk is in the drive. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

6 Jul 2011

Porteus 1.0: On the Trail of SLAX

There are not many truly "pocket-oriented" systems in the Linux world. I mean those which are intended to be "installed" on flash drive or CD and run from there. Those which are not intended for full installation.
The most famous of them are SLAX and Puppy.
Unfortunately, SLAX project is no longer active as such. Initiative for further development of Live pocket-size system based on Slackware now came to another team. They call their baby Porteus. Yes, that is name (Proteus) from Greek mythology. But it also reminded me name from Alexandre Dumas' books when I made review for first pre-release version 0.9.
Porteus team announced that version 1.0 of their system is now ready. Of course, this system review should make its way to my blog.
ISO image of Porteus 1.0 is quite small, well below 300Mb. Of course, it can be burned to CD and ran from there. And also you can put Porteus onto USB drive and run from there. I wanted to use second option. Documentation says that I need to copy files from iso-image when it is mounted as loop device or via archive manager. Then script has to change Master Boot Record on the drive.
Unfortunately, Linux-oriented script is not marked as executable, and I could not make it executable. Same issue as in previous (pre-release) version of Porteus. I also tried to run this script as sudo bash lin_start_here.sh, but only got error message
./syslinux/bootsyslinux.sh: Permission denied.
Porteus boot menu offers you multiple options. Main of them lead to Porteus with 2 different Desktop Environments, namely KDE and LXDE. KDE is default one and it boots if you don't use your keyboard for 10 seconds. Let's start with this one.

5 Jul 2011

New address for Facebook page

Socializing is one of inevitable things in today's Internet.
This blog is not exclusion from this rule.
You can get fresh updates from this blog in several ways: Facebook, Twitter, e-mail or RSS subscription.
Moreover, Facebook and Twitter subscribers not only get fresh and instant updates on new articles in this blog, but also links to most interesting news and articles in Linux world.
Our Facebook page so far had an address www.facebook.com/pages/Linux-Notes-from-DarkDuck/191494434211353. Quite obvious and easy-to-remember address, isn't it?
To make your life and information sharing easy, from now on you can access Facebook page using simple link: www.facebook.com/linuxblog. Much better, isn't it?
Of course, all the other services remain in place: you can still follow Twitter account @linuxnote, subscribe by e-mail or add RSS feed into your favourite reader.

1 Jul 2011

How YOU can help this blog

Hello my dear readers!
This blog is over 8 months old and now is more than 100 posts long.
You, my constant readers, may enjoy reading it. You may laugh of my mistakes (both in English or in Linux). You may wish to help...
The question would be how you can help...
Well. There are some ways to do so:
  1. I always welcome guest posts. If you have something to share with wider public, but don't know a place to do this, tell me what your thoughts are, and we'll publish it as guest post. Or you can become co-author of this blog if you wish.
  2. Give me fresh ideas. Being they about blog design, new areas to cover, anything interesting. All are welcome, both in form of help or just idea of improvement.
  3. Promote the blog. Tell anyone who is interested in Linux about this blog. Being it your friend, relative, colleague, or just person in computer shop. You can ask them to join mailing list, follow on Twitter or "like" on Facebook.
  4. Use affiliate links. Do you purchase anything from Amazon? If yes, then you can search books using  Amazon widgets. If you're looking for something else, just click Amazon logo on the widget to get full site open. Currently I use widgets from Amazon UK (you can see it right on this page) and from Amazon USA, which is accessible here. Every time you make a purchase via those links, I earn some commissions which help me to sustain this blog.
  5. Help yourself or your friends to get CDs with Linux. This is what sister site Buy Linux CDs is about. You can place orders for CDs to be delivered to the UK, USA or worldwide. This is another form of financial help which you can give this blog.
Do you have any other ideas which can be useful? Don't keep them for yourselves: share. There are several methods listed on About me page.