31 Dec 2011

Software Law and Open Source Liability

Software licensing with open source software creates some interesting legal questions for software law. These concerns are something any Silicon Valley company looking to release or use any open or quasi-open software should assess and integrate into its strategy. There are issues with using the software and understanding exactly what its clauses mean, problems with issuing this type of software without the right protections against liability, and concerns about ensuring that open source software doesn’t contain any secretly malicious code – and how to legally approach that problem if it comes up.

Software law relating to intellectual property and theft, liability, and risk adapted to deal with basic software issues years ago. Whether software is used through purchase or some sort of temporary license, the basic regulations for products and services that have applied for all other businesses continue to change based on complex software interactions, but they remain fundamentally sound and relatively straightforward. Liability and ownership are explicitly defined. But issues get murkier and more complex when it comes to open source software law. There are concrete distribution terms set by the oversight organization Opensource.org, and they establish restrictions on activity and use.

One of the biggest risks from this type of software is Intellectual Property infringement. Many major open source projects involve the collaboration of many people, any one of whom could deliberately or accidently introduce a piece of code lifted from a copyrighted product. This puts the company or organization backing the software at risk, and can even cause problems for companies using the software depending on how they acquired it and what they did with the software. This risk also represents one of the more general problems with open source software. It is more difficult to be confident about the software and its integrity. Software lawyers can help assess the terms of this kind of software, prepare documents to effectively protect clients from these risks, and instruct clients about where their liability lies in these types of situations.

The other prominent risk is that the software will cause some harm. Generally, licensees are protected from this risk by clauses in the software licensing contract. But with open source IP there are fewer methods to hold the creators liable. Problems could be as simple as a mistake in the software’s code that leads to a less-than-accurate result which leads the user to be less efficient than it could have been. Or they can be larger, and result in a security breach or significant data loss. There are no strong warrantees in open source licenses, so legal remedies are few. An expert software law attorney can assess the options a client would have in this event, to help evaluate how worthwhile the risk is.

Software law is generally very effective in protecting both sides from negligence and dishonesty. However, in the case of open source software, companies need to exercise much more caution in everything they do.

Software Law for Open Source Licensing and Liability Is a Unique Field of Law. Invest in Understanding It Before Using It. Learn More at http://nefflaw.com/.

29 Dec 2011

Austrumi 2.4.5: Small and Mighty

Recently I wrote that visitors of Linux notes from DarkDuck come from all over the world. There are almost no white spots on the map if you look at the list of the visitors’ countries.
Some of my readers live in Latvia. Not a majority, of course. In fact, Latvia is number 64 in the list of the annual statistics, somewhere next to Kenya.
That does not mean I should never look in the direction of that country. There is at least one reason for doing so: Latvia is the native country of the Linux distribution Austrumi. It is a small pocket-size Linux distribution which I have written about once before.
The Austrumi team released a new version of their operating system recently, on the 30th of September, 2011.
Unfortunately, links on the original site still lead to the old version. To get the fresh ISO image, I used links from Softpedia, which lead to different files on the same server. The latest version is 2.4.5.
ISO image size of Austrumi 2.4.5 is about 210 Mb, which is about twice the size of the version I looked at a year ago. It was previously only 120 Mb in size. Even so, 210 Mb definitely puts Austrumi into the category of "pocket" distributions, those which you can take with you anywhere on a USB or CD.
Unfortunately, Unetbootin was not able to "burn" image to USB. That is why I had to burn it to DVD-RW.
So, the disk is in the optical drive. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Lets go!

27 Dec 2011

Another off-line publication

Приветствую всех читателей журнала User and Linux, зашедших на мой блог. Буду рад видеть вас здесь многократно. Для этих целей можете воспользоваться одним из многих вариантов подписки на обновления - все они перечислены в правом столбце.

Тем, кто недостаточно владеет английским языком для чтения блога в оригинале, рекомендую пользоваться функцией автопереводчика все в том же правом столбце.

As you may already know, I am not only writing my posts on this blog, but also do guest posting on other blogs from time to time. Not only on-line blogs actually. September saw my first ever publication in off-line press. It was magazine User and Linux. I have written about this.
I am happy to announce another issue of User and Linux with my publications. As usual, they are Russian translations of blog posts. What you can find in recent issue? It is dedicated to Ubuntu, so all the articles are about this Operating system.
You can read magazine on-line or download PDF. Or you can read original posts on this blog. Choice is yours, as usual!

26 Dec 2011

AgiliaLinux 8.0.0: Ooops, We Did It (Again)!

Linux is everywhere in the world. When I look at a map of where visitors to my blog come from, I see almost the whole world map covered. Of course, the majority of visitors come from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, India and other English-speaking countries. But there are still visitors from some relatively small non-English speaking countries like Serbia, Croatia, Israel, and even Madagascar and Angola. They are all interested in Linux.
Of course Russia is on the list. In fact, it is in 14th place, according to the year's worth of statistics.
I wrote about Russian distributions several times, and I am pleased to do so, because Russia is my motherland. Alt Linux, Simply Linux and Agilia Linux were already covered. Of course I try to keep my hands on the pulse of events. That's why I could not miss the opportunity to get my hands on new release from Agilia Linux team. Their new version AgiliaLinux 8.0.0 saw the world on the 03.10.2011.
Stop, you could ask, why is this version 8 then? Because AgiliaLinux is not a brand-new distribution. It is based on MOPSLinux, a project which stopped development. The previous version of AgiliaLinux was more or less a remake of MOPS. The current version is a fully independent development.
This version was planned for release ages ago. A member of the development team wrote a comment on my post about AgiliaLinux 7 stating that version 8 was due in June. And finally... in October they did it!
AgiliaLinux 8.0.0's ISO image size is about 2.4GB. I downloaded it from one of the mirrors. If you are a fan of torrents, you have that downloading option too, but it requires registration at the rutracker.org torrent portal.
When the downloading was complete, I burned the ISO image onto a DVD disk. So the DVD-RW is in the optical drive of my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

24 Dec 2011

Half a Million

When I have started this blog, I did not know how long it would continue.
Neither I knew how popular it would become.
Just to give you some flavour. 
  • There were only 341 pageviews in whole November 2010.
  • There were only 471  pageviews in whole December 2010.
  • And then, for a change, there were 5792  pageviews on the 12th of December 2011. The biggest number so far.
Do you feel the difference?
On average, there are more than 1500 pageviews per day now. More than whole year 2010 saw!
And today blog Linux notes from DarkDuck reached another important threshold. We have 500,000 (five hundred thousand) pageviews! Yes, that's half a million.
500 000
Great results, I think!
Thank you to all my readers who come here to get some more information about Linux distributions and Free open source software in general. Thank you for your support, tolerance and love!

22 Dec 2011

Geek-in-Pink: When I installed Mandrake on my computer, my boyfriend was not happy at all.

There are different people. There are different Linux users. Generally, you can split all people in the world into two categories: men and women. But should we split Linux world by gender? Some people still believe we should. Many others think we shouldn't.
My today's guest is Jonquil McDaniel. She is Linux user with more than 6 year experience and owner of the blog xjonquilx | Sabayon, Ubuntu, Fedora, Oh My!
She calls herself Geek-in-Pink sometimes. Now she brings in some pink colour into my blog.

20 Dec 2011

Mint Cocktail: Mojito or Molotov

My first approach to this Linux distribution took place about a year ago, in December 2010. It was one of the first distributions I've tried. Did I like it? Yes, I did. But not as a whole. The thing I did not like was actually one of the most important parts of desktop Linux. I did not like the menu.
How many Linux distributions do you know that develop their own menus? Other than this one, I can only name one, Mandriva 2011, which uses a menu from ROSA Labs, their sister company.
I later tried different Linux distributions from same team, and even had one of them installed on my laptop for some time. Have you already guessed which distribution I am going to talk about today? Yes? Yes!
It's Linux Mint. Their latest release is called Linux Mint 12 Lisa. It was officially published on the 26th of November 2011. As usual for Linux Mint, (at least their main branch), it is based on the latest version of Ubuntu, this time being Ubuntu 11.10.
Unlike Ubuntu, Linux Mint does not keep the size of their distribution's ISO image to 700 MB. The latest release "weighs" about 1Gb. It is larger than a CD, so you need either a DVD-R(W) or a USB stick to get this operating system booted or installed.
I downloaded Linux Mint 12 Lisa from a torrent file. There are plenty of users who seed this image, so downloading was very quick. Once downloading was finished, I used Unetbootin to "burn" the ISO image to an 8GB USB stick.
Preparations are over. It's time to reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

18 Dec 2011

Users voted for best XFCE-based Linux distribution

Each Linux distribution has its own fans. Each desktop environment has its own fans.
Most Linux distributions use one or more mainstream desktop environments. To be honest with you, I prefer KDE. My next preference is XFCE, followed by GNOME. And LXDE brings up the rear of the mainstream desktop environments for me. Every user has his own preferences, of course. That's why arguments over Linux distributions and desktop environments will never end. People will always have differences of opinion.
There is a way to determine a current leader, though. The most democratic way is voting. Wouldn't it be interesting to know which distribution is doing better with each of the mainstream desktop environments? I had already announced a poll for the best KDE-based distribution. And I've previously announced the results twice. Now it's time for my second-favourite DE to be voted on. I announced voting for the best XFCE-based Linux distribution on the 1st of December 2011, and gave visitors of my blog 2 weeks to vote. Let's look at the results.

15 Dec 2011

Xubuntu 11.10. It Came To Stay

I repeatedly tell on my blog that my laptop has quadro-boot landscape. It became so when I first installed Linux on my hard drive (really installed, not frugal installation that I had for SLAX and Puppy).
Latest quadro-boot configuration included Mageia 1 KDE, Debian Squeeze, Fedora 16 KDE and inevitable Windows XP.
It included. Then it did not. I managed to brake Fedora installation significantly when followed the advice on LinuxQuestions.org forum about possible solution for my laptop's semi-hardware volume control keys. That advice effectively brought X-server to in-repairable condition. Keyboard stopped working at all. Of course, there could be solutions to fix it via command line, but I decided not to do so, because of couple of reasons:

  1. Fedora would not stay there anyway
  2. I want to have XFCE distribution to complement my KDE and GNOME systems.

And then Xubuntu came. I tried it recently for the first time, and liked it so much that fate of hard drive's partition was decided.

14 Dec 2011

The Real Linux Girl: Friends Told Me That My Place Was in the Kitchen.

Today my blog post is very unusual. I have never done this before. I wanted to, but up until now I have never invited another Linux-related person for interview.
Please meet, Irina Sikach, an editor of magazine UserAndLINUX.

12 Dec 2011

Three greatest successes in Linux world 2011

2011 is coming to its end. It is time to make final roundups and see what happened in our life in this year.
I have written about three greatest failures in Linux world 2011 just now.
Now let's have a look at greatest successes in Linux world in 2011 from my point of view.

1. Debian Squeeze

No doubt, Debian is one of the most respectable, used, contributed, {insert your own} distribution in the Linux world. And this team is famous for their quality. They release new stable system only when they consider it ready, not when deadline comes.
And finally Debian Squeeze was released in February 2011. It is stable, nice and reliable. It now forms part of my own quadro-boot landscape. Moreover, it is very important part of this landscape: I manage my bootloader GRUB2 from Debian.

2. Mageia 1

This distribution was forked from Mandriva somewhere in autumn 2010. Mageia's team was not producing much noise actually while getting their own Operating System ready. And then came June 2011, and we saw a result.
I don't know about you. But as much Mandriva (even previous versions) was a failure for me, that much Mageia became my favourite. It is distribution number one I use. It is default option in my quadro-boot configuration.
This Linux distribution is now ranked 11th in the Distrowatch list, just below Mandriva itself. Not a bad result providing they are only 6 months old!

3. Fedora 15 and 16

Fedora produced two released this year, same as OpenSuSE and Ubuntu (hence many Ubuntu-based derivatives).
And both of them were lovely from my point of view. Fedora 15 was the first distribution to feature GNOME3 as default desktop environment. And it was already awesome, even though not without a glitch. Fedora 16 became even better.
What is about Fedora KDE? As I have written, Fedora 15 KDE was very good, and Fedora 16 KDE was even better.

11 Dec 2011

Three greatest failures in Linux world 2011

2011 is coming to its end. It is time to make final roundups and see what happened in our life in this year.
Linux notes from DarkDuck is a blog dedicated to operating systems. Mostly Linux-based, but I sometime deviate to other open source systems like BSD.
So, what was new in Linux world in 2011? What were greatest failures in 2011 from my point of view?

1. Mandriva 2011

Mandriva 2011 was a cardinal turnover point for this distribution. This is the first release made under new management, currently led by Russians. In this new release Mandriva lost good part of its user base, those who liked GNOME interface. Basically, because Mandriva 2011 only has KDE version of it. Another reason to name Mandriva 2011 a failure is quality of this release. It grew in size almost twice, without bringing much of new functionality. Indeed, lots of expected functions became unusable or too complicated.
What is next for Mandriva? It will survive. Mostly because it has solid administrative resource and commitments from several states. But will it be still widely used in other parts of Linux community? I am not sure.

2. OpenSuSE

OpenSuSE team released two versions of their operating system this year. These were versions 11.4 and 12.1. I name both of them as failures. To be precise, out of 11.4, I should only take GNOME version into this list. OpenSuSE 11.4 KDE was more or less workable operating system.
But OpenSuSE 12.1 is a failure in full. I have not written review of this OS, and I am not going to. It does not mean I have not tried OpenSuSE 12.1. I have tried, because I got orders for CDs with this Operating System from my site buylinuxcds.co.uk and from eBay. Each time I send a disk, I test it, so I booted my laptops into OpenSuSE 12.1 several time. And I dislike the result.
As I said, I won't review OpenSuSE 12.1 myself, but if you wish, you can read what was written by Deidomedo (64-bit and 32-bit) and Firestarter.
What's next? I am not sure of OpenSuSE at this point of time. From one point of view, it is "too big to fail". From another, this Linux distribution has recently changed management (again), and it is unlikely to improve the situation quickly, as you can see in Mandriva's example.
Enough about OpenSuSE.

3. Ubuntu 11.04

Canonical also released two versions of their operating system Ubuntu this year. Version 11.04 was the first where new user interface Unity was used as default. And it was a failure point. Unity was still in very raw condition at that time. Instead of gaining users, it scared existing Ubuntu fan base. How many of Ubuntu users switched to other Linux distributions? And how many did use Ubuntu 11.04 with GNOME2?
To be fair, second release of Ubuntu this year, version 11.10, fixed situation a lot. First, Unity became much more usable in October 2011 compared to what was in April. Second, users got more acquainted with new interface, so they were less shocked.
What's next? I think next release of Ubuntu will be as good as any Long Term Support release of this OS is: stable, polished and likeable.

Do you want to know about Three greatest successes in Linux world 2011? Follow the link!

8 Dec 2011

Xubuntu 11.10: Unbelievable Easyness of Humanity

Humanity can take several shapes and forms. Everybody understands it differently.
Same for Ubuntu, which is "humanity" in some African languages. Somebody only understands it with Unity interface. Somebody cannot live without KDE, and they are fans of Kubuntu type of "humanity". Somebody prefer light and easy types of it, and their choice is Xubuntu.
I have written about Ubuntu and Kubuntu several times. Different versions, different systems, different experience.
But I have never touched Xubuntu topic so far.
Should I? Why not?
I downloaded ISO image of Xubuntu 11.10 from torrent. ISO image of this OS weights about 670 Mb
Because of bad experience with "burning" of Ubuntu-based images to USB stick with command dd (my BIOS does not like USB sticks created this way), I decided to give Unetbootin a go this time.
So, USB stick with Xubuntu 11.10 is ready and plugged into the port of my laptop Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

6 Dec 2011

LiveUSB and LiveCD: devil OpenBSD twins

There are not many times when I get my sight out of Linux and look into other free Operating System. Most often these are BSD-based operating systems.
Today is such a case. Even more, today I will tell you about two twin brothers from BSD family.

4 Dec 2011

Advantages of Using Linux

I have recently published a guest post called Disadvantages of Using Linux.
There were lots of comments on that post, and most of them are very valid.
To those who did not get the point... That post was a very-very fat troll. Yes, don't take it close to your heart. It was published on Sunday/Monday night to ease up your difficult Monday with few smiles on your face.
I am Linux person in heart, and by no doubt support Linux.
That's why let me talk about my Advantages of Using Linux.

1 Dec 2011

Vote for your best favourite XFCE distro!

I ran a poll some time ago, where I asked you about your "best favourite KDE distro".
Since then, I made 2 rounds of results announcement. Interesting enough, publishing of first round brought as many new votes as were in it initially. So, second round of results was published, showing that statistical figures were right anyway.
Did you like that poll? Do you want another one?

This time I am asking you about your favourite XFCE distribution.
Yes, I understand that userbase for XFCE is much less than GNOME or KDE, but there is still enough people who use XFCE in their work.
So, here is the new poll. Please select your best favourite XFCE-based Linux distributions, and provide optional comment if you wish.
Results will be announced around the 16th of December 2011.

29 Nov 2011

Argentinean Tango with Gecko: Ututo XS

I have already written couple of times about distributions from this country: country of tango, football, beef and Linux. Results of my trips were different.
First time I tried Dragora Linux, and could not move further than to the initial screen: this Linux distribution does not have Live version.
Second time I was more lucky with Musix, which is rather good distribution for artists.
Would this blog be good without another trip to this wonderful country? Of course not! That's why today I am making another trip to the country of tango, to Argentina.
The Linux distribution I am going to talk about today is not brand-new. Actually, it is already more than 10 years old! Its name comes from the gecko, which lives in Northern Argentina. Do you have enough hints already? Not? Then I'll tell you the name: Ututo, or as they write sometimes themselves, UTUTO.
This Linux distribution is one of few that Free Software Foundation recognises as absolutely free (as freedom) and includes into Free Software Foundation approved list. It means that Ututo only includes free software.
Latest version of Ututo XS was released in March 2011. If you get to their web site (in Spanish only, but you still have Google Translate to help you - links are somewhere in the middle of the screen), you are able to download two versions of disk images of this distribution: one for USB and one for DVD (Vivo). Of course, this distributions supports different architectures (32- and 64-bit). Both types of images weight about 3.5 Gb.
I tried to create Live USB with specially created IMG image. Unfortunately, neither command dd nor Unetbootin worked for me. That's why I downloaded different image and burnt DVD-RW.
As for downloading, official Ututo Project site states option to use different mirrors. Actually all the mirrors take you back to the same server, which has quite limited access speed. I was not able to get images downloading with speed more than ~360 Kb/s. With images of this size, it is a task of several hours.
Anyway, I recorded DVD-RW and placed it into optical drive of my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop.
Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

27 Nov 2011

Disadvantages of Using Linux

From DarkDuck: Before we begin. This guest post is about Disadvantages of Using Linux. If you want to know what advantages of using Linux are, please read my own article Advantages of Using Linux.

There are three major operating systems for computers: Windows, Mac and Linux. Most people are versed with either of the first two, which are copyrighted, while a smaller number of people are knowledgeable about the Linux operating system, which is open source.
There are differences and similarities in each, and which one you prefer will largely depend on your personality, and you personal computing needs and preferences. Once a person is experienced with one OS, it will inevitably take some time to get used to another.
There is a very large community of people who swear by Linux, but there are some disadvantages to using it. Here are some of them:

24 Nov 2011

Italian Job: UbuBox SalentOS

It is not often that I got requests from authors of operating systems to review their projects.
I am very pleased every time when I get the request. Whether authors are pleased with my reviews - that is a question of their own interests. You may have noticed - all my reviews are very subjective and are targeted to my own interests, which I believe resemble interests of average mid-advanced user.
Couple of weeks ago I got an e-mail from author of UbuBox SalentOS project to review it. I am happy to present you the results.
This project does not have its own domain and hosting yet, but uses good platform for all open source projects - Sourceforge.net. You can find this project at http://www.ububoxsalentos.sourceforge.net.
Main site is in Italian, but you can easily use Google Translate tool to read it in your favourite language. Distribution itself is currently maintained in 2 languages: English and Italian, and both versions are available in 32 and 64 bit.
I downloaded ISO image of 32-bit English version, which weights about 930 Mb.
For test purposes, I burnt image onto USB stick with Unetbootin. Because this is Ubuntu-based distribution, I requested persistence to be added by Unetbootin. Let's see if it works.
So, Live USB stick is ready. It is plugged into the port of my laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

22 Nov 2011

Mousetrap in a Hat: Fedora 16 XFCE

I have already written about recent release of Fedora 16 several times. These were reviews of Fedora 16 GNOME in Live mode, Fedora 16 KDE in Live and installed modes.
Probably it would be enough for now.
But OpenSuSE team has released version 12.1 too, and this is something I'd like not to write about. That's why I prefer to "stay tuned" to Fedora wave, and try another spin of this distribution. This time my choice is Fedora 16 XFCE.
This spin "aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and user friendly". Let's check if this is true. How lightweight is it, and how user friendly?
To check this out, I downloaded ISO image from torrent. It weights about 625 Mb, which is just a little bit more than GNOME3 version. Why? I'll tell you later.
As previous KDE version of Fedora, I decided to try Fedora 16 XFCE using Live USB stick. It was created with Unetbootin tool.
So, USB stick is ready and plugged into the port of my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

18 Nov 2011

Getting the Blooming Flavor of Fedora 16 KDE

If you have read my review of Fedora 16 KDE Live, you should understand that I liked this Operating System. That's why I decided to give it a chance to show all bloom in installed version of Fedora.
In order to run installer, I booted my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop using same Live USB as before.
Before running the installation, I activated WiFi  connection. This is for 2 reasons:
  1. To let Fedora installer (Anaconda) to download missing parts from Internet, if need be
  2. To check whether WiFi connection get transferred from Live to installed version, like it was for Mageia 1 KDE.
When all the preparations where finished, I ran installer.

16 Nov 2011

How to Automate Tasks in Linux

Whether you are running a Linux server or simply using it on your desktop computer, some repetitive tasks can be a pain if you have to do them every day. It may be as simple as running a backup program at the end of the day, but with so many things going on, you probably do not want to take the chance that you might forget to do it.
Fortunately for the hard working Linux system administrator, a program called cron is here to rescue you from repetitive tasks. With cron you can automate just about anything, from programs to custom-made scripts. Cron is a daemon, meaning it runs in the background and is always on once you start your computer or server. It reads a file called “crontab”, which tells it when to run the programs or scripts listed in it.

14 Nov 2011

Fedora 16 KDE: Improving Perfection

Desktop Environment is very important part of today's Linux distribution which pretends to be used on desktop or laptop. There are some Linux distributions which give you only one Desktop Environment by default, being it Pardus with KDE or CentOS with GNOME. As opposite, there are distributions which are supplied with selection of different DEs available: Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora.
Last week we saw release of freshest version of Fedora, community Linux distributions supported by RedHat. The most popular option of Fedora is GNOME, and Fedora 16 includes the most recent version of it, GNOME 3. You can read my review of that system here.
But as soon as I am KDE fan, I could not miss a chance to try another option of Fedora, this time with KDE desktop environment.
Image size for Fedora 16 KDE is just under 700 Mb. It is much more than GNOME3 option, and the reasons are quite clear. I'll tell you later.
I downloaded ISO image from the torrent, which worked pretty well, as usual.
Having troubles with creation of Live USB from Debian and Ubuntu ISO images, I was scared that Fedora wouldn't work in Live USB mode either. But anyway I gave Untebootin a chance... Let's see if it works...
Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

11 Nov 2011

Pardus Corporate 2 Kurumsal - quick, powerful, rogue

I have confessed several times that KDE is my favorite Desktop Environment. And even more, that I prefer KDE3 to KDE4. That's why every time I approach Linux distribution with KDE3 on top, I am full of awe.
Some time ago one of my readers advised me to try Pardus Corporate as distribution which runs KDE3. I have always highly appreciated Pardus. And, of course, I was absolutely excited to see KDE3 on top of this Linux distribution.
As you can understand from its name, Pardus Corporate is targeted to corporate users. With all the security features required by them: remote installation, management and so on. Is it any good for personal use? That was a task for me to study.
Pardus Corporate 2 Kurumsal was released in February 2011.
Unfortunately, this version of Pardus does not have Live version. You can only get installation ISO image of this distribution. Of course, I could not try this Pardus until recent.
If you remember, Salix XFCE was replaced with Ubuntu 11.10 and then with Kubuntu 11.10. Neither of these systems was good for me to stick to them, so I eventually got a partition on my HDD to try something new.
Finally, it was my turn to try Pardus Corporate 2 Kurumsal.
ISO file for Pardus Kurumsal weights about 1Gb. It means you can't burn it to CD. Instructions to create Live USB also did not work for me. Finally, I burnt DVD-RW with the image.
So... DVD-RW is ready and inserted into the optical drive of my laptop Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

9 Nov 2011

Fedora 16 GNOME: New and Stable

It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Do you think I am going to talk about Christmas? No, not yet. Too early still. Even if shops are already full of Christmas stuff, we are in autumn yet. That's why I am NOT going to talk about Christmas.

What then? It's a wonderful time when most world famous Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora release their fresh versions.
I have already written about Ubuntu 11.10 and Kubuntu 11.10.
And literally yesterday another big event has happened. Fedora Project released Fedora 16, the latest version of their baby.
ISO image of GNOME version of Fedora 16 weights just above 600Mb. It is much less than Ubuntu, I should admit. I downloaded it from BitTorrent and was able to write my own CD in few minutes.
So, CD is in the drive. Reboot. Choose to boot from optical drive. Let's go!

8 Nov 2011

Would you like to get souvenirs?

You well may notice that I have not posted anything new for a while now. The last post was about Kademar Linux.
This is mainly because of 2 reasons:

  1. I tried to write a review of installed Operating System. And it broke my existing installations. Or maybe it was a coincidence, but too suspicious. I am trying to get my laptop back to life. If you want to help, then please do it in here. Which OS it was? That'll be announced soon, because review is half way through.
  2. Some family problems which take a lot of my valuable time. Obviously, family matters are highest priority for me, so please be patient.
In the meantime, I'd like to discuss something with you, my readers.
Now, when this blog is matured, well-established and even has its logo, would you consider to become a real fan and purchase t-shirts, pens, mugs and so on with the logo?
Please comment below. I will definitely appreciate if you tell me what exactly would be interesting for you, and which e-shop would you recommend me to set up the affiliate account with, so you could buy with direct links.
Of course, you are free to use logos yourself (they are under Creative Commons license) and order your own goods. But order via provided link will help this blog. And myself, to some degree.

3 Nov 2011

Kademar 4.9.5 - two-faced surprise from Spain

Do you like prizes? Yes, most of us do. That's why I offered prizes to winners of contest which ran on this blog to celebrate its first birthday. Prize for the winner of "social" contest was 8Gb USB stick and CD with any Linux distribution available.
The choice of the winner was Kademar Linux. It is the distribution based on Debian and Knoppix, created by community in Spanish province Catalonia.
If you follow the link just above, you will notice that the site only has front page. Other pages return Error 404 (Not found). Not a good sign though. It made my searches for distribution ISO image little bit more difficult. But not impossible.
The latest version of Kademar, as per official site, is 4.9.5. The only mirror with version 4.9.5 was found at ftp://caliu.cat/pub/distribucions/k-demar . Don't be surprised with domain name. This top-level domain (.cat) is for Catalonia, area in Spain. The FTP server has very slow connection speed, which varied from 180 to 330 Kb/s.
As I mentioned above, Kademar is based on Debian (Squeeze in case of 4.9.5) and Knoppix.
Image weights above 2 Gb, which made me to extend CD offer to DVD, but that was not a big deal. When DVD+R was ready to dispatch, I asked myself... Can I try it and write a post about Kademar? Sure, I could!
So, DVD is in the optical drive of my laptop Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Reboot. Choose to boot from DVD. Let's go!

2 Nov 2011

How To Create an Ebook with OpenOffice.org

Do you want to see your name on the front page of a book? It’s easier than you might think. First, write the book. Next, follow these simple steps to prepare an ebook using the free OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice desktop publishing application.

31 Oct 2011

A tale of broken love to Kubuntu 11.10

EDIT 02 November 2011:
Please read the update at the bottom of the post before commenting.

Even though I was disappointed in Kubuntu 11.10 during my Live run of it, I decided to go on anyway and try to install it. Maybe the issues I have faced in Live run would not be showing themselves in installed system. Some features behaved differently in Ubuntu 11.10 installed and Live so far, that's why installation was a made deal.
As in my Live run of Kubuntu 11.10, I booted my laptop (Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505) from DVD-RW with CD ISO image recorded.
First of all, I tried to run installation directly from screen with Try - Install selection. It did no work for me. The reasons was that network was not on at that moment, and I saw no way to connect to wireless network at that screen. Installer runs through the same checks as Ubuntu - disk space, power and network, but there is no option to connect to wireless network at that point. Ubuntu gave me such option. As a result, I had to go to Live mode first and then run installation of Kubuntu 11.10 from Live run.
Installation itself was very similar to Ubuntu one. The difference is only in window design/layout and slideshow. They are in Kubuntu 11.10 theme, of course.
I had same issue as in Ubuntu 11.10 again. GRUB was installed without my request. To be honest, that is not 100% true. I was asked where to install GRUB, on which partition. I could select the partition for GRUB installation at that point, but not to cancel the installation. That's a pity.
Another thing to note about installer is that progress bar during installation is something you should not trust. Values go up and down there easily for about 10-15%. It means you can never predict how much time actually left.
Finally, all the installation steps for Kubuntu 11.10 were over. I could reboot the laptop.

27 Oct 2011

Forum on this blog - to be or not to be?

I asked you, my readers, a question about a month ago:
Do you think that this blog needs a forum?

There was a voting in that post. It's time to announce results.

No, we have lots of other forums for Linux distributions    9
Yes, please create forum    8

Unfortunately, there is not enough support from readers to start another venture - DarkDuck Linux Forum. That's why I made a decision to put this project aside now.
I think comments are more than enough for this stage of blog life.

In the meantime... If anyone still wants to see the forum, and is ready to be its administrator and moderator, I will be more than happy to help with domain name, technical arrangements and so on.

Please leave your comments here if you agree or disagree with my position. Or if you volunteer to be forum administrator.

26 Oct 2011

GNOME3 vs Unity on Ubuntu 11.10: my score is 6 - 9

So, Ubuntu 11.10 is here and GNOME2 is gone...
Even if you had an option to run GNOME2 in previous release of Ubuntu 11.04, there is no more this option in 11.10. It is only shipped with Unity interface.
Does it mean GNOME is fully gone? No, it is still here... But that's not GNOME2. That is GNOME3, updated version which follows (or creates?) new wave of user interfaces.
I have seen only one operating system with GNOME3 so far: it was Fedora 15.
Let's have a look at Ubuntu 11.10 with GNOME3 interface and check whether it is better than Unity.
It actually does not take long to install GNOME3 on Ubuntu 11.10. Lots of people have already wrote how-to for this installation. They use different methods. Let me tell you which one I used. There are only 4 easy steps:

  1. Start Ubuntu Software Centre
  2. Type GNOME in search string
  3. Install the application shown first in the list
  4. Reboot

And enjoy!

Installation itself is almost background process, except for single question about login manager. You have an option to choose between GNOME's standard GDM and Ubuntu 11.10's standard LightDM. My choice was for the LightDM.
So, my installation is over. It's time to reboot!

25 Oct 2011

Let's talk about video again

Don't think that I decided to change priorities of this blog from Linux reviews to Video. I promise to return to that topic very soon. But this time I am going to talk about video player again.
If you remember, my previous post was about VideoJS player, great open source library to extent possibilities of HTML5-compatible browsers.
Today great resource Wazi published my post about Flowplayer, open source flash player for self-hosted videos.
Please welcome to read!

24 Oct 2011

VideoJS - The Open Source HTML 5 Video Player

If you are like me then you were very excited about HTML 5's video tag. Simplistic, great functionality, and now it is even supported by all of the latest browsers. Video is just a source away, and easier than ever to portray high quality videos right on your website. HTML 5, like anything else, doesn't have everything we want. For example the biggest problem is a "full screen command." Even though you are able to specify the dimensions appropriately, you still want to be able to save space, and provide that option. Early on there were a number of options available to have a deluxe video player. There seems to be a frontrunner in this battle, and that is VideoJS.

VideoJS is a free open source player that includes everything you need for your HTML 5 video. It features a lightweight, easy to use design complete with controls you would like, including volume and fullscreen options. It is supported by the latest browsers including IE9, and Opera. It even supports devices like iPad, iPhone, and Android. Another great feature is the automatic fallback to Flash that it features that will give you the same quality video for IE6,7, and 8. This is essential if you want everyone to be readily available to see your video. You also have the option to chose from various "skins" to get your video looking just the way you want it. If you have enough talent you can even create your own skin using CSS. Lets take a look at how all of this works.

The first thing that you need to do is go to www.videojs.com. VideoJS acts in the same manner that jQuery does for Javascript, so if you have any experience using jQuery then this should be a familiar process. You have to download the latest version of VideoJS, unzip it, and then upload it to your server. Then they have simple code, on their homepage that you will need to copy and paste in order to have it working correctly. First you need to copy the script, and css links, and place them in the head of your HTML document appropriately. Next you need to add some Javascript that has already been coded, that just lets the browser know to trigger the VideoJS once the page has been loaded. Then the video for everybody just needs to be appropriately placed in your HTML, change the sources, and you can optionally include a Flash fallback if you want to. That's it! now you have perfectly operating video, that everyone can see. Just make sure you have the correct sources for your video, and for your references of Javascript and CSS.

Even with the ease the VideoJS has provided, some may not see the need to use this. There are a few important reasons why you should be using an HTML 5 video player like VideoJS. First, you are able to reach a wide audience through the dynamic compatibility the HTML 5 video player has to offer. This will ensure that you are reaching mobile users, and users of various web browsers. Another reason is this video player offers the great features of an HTML 5 video tag, with the options of customizable skins, and full screen options. Then you can also add a fallback Flash player for browsers that do not support the HTML 5 video tag. This is done automatically, so there is no need to create a browser detector with corresponding hack. Finally VideoJS will be great for SEO. Google has a pretty big problem segmenting Flash videos, which makes it harder for you to be seen in the SERP's. You used to have to make extensive site maps, but now the video tag is easily identified, and you can even add a title to describe the media. If you combine this with a white hat link building service, you will defiantly have a boost in traffic.

The VideoJS HTML 5 video play is an all in one solution to your video problems. You have cross browser compatibility, both with your videos, and with the look and feel. This allows you to reach a wider audience, and allows you to easily be seen by the search engines. This is the simplest way to have a fully function video player on your website, and even with the additional fullscreen option. VideoJS lets you incorporate fallback options for older browsers in the form of a complimentary Flash player. Try VideoJS once, and you will not be disappointed.

This article was written by Ben Anderson. Ben is a freelance web designer who has been working with HTML 5, and is seeing the results first hand of the SEO Benefits

20 Oct 2011

Coming back to Humanity, or getting Ubuntu 11.10 installed again

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

18 Oct 2011

Adventures in Ubuntu 11.10 Live

The newest release of Ubuntu Operating System, Ubuntu 11.10, was released 5 days ago.
Stir is settled down, and it is a time for me to try new flavour of African Humanity.
To be honest, ISO image of Ubuntu 11.10 existed on my hard drive since the day of release. I downloaded it from torrent. Strangely enough, torrent tracker became unresponsive after couple of days of seeding. By that time my seeding ratio was well over 2, so my conscience was clear when I stopped seeding.
Image size of Ubuntu 11.10 is about 700 Mb, which means it could be burnt to CD. So I did. But I did not spend much time in Live CD. Instead, I created Live USB using the Ubuntu built-in tool.
Why did not I create Live USB directly via Unetbootin or dd command? Because I have already tried both of these options when was trying Kubuntu 11.10, and neither of those worked due to the BIOS on my laptop (Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505).
So, Live USB was created. It is plugged into the port. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

16 Oct 2011

And the winners are...

Here we are!
First year birthday is over... It's time to give you presents!

There were two competitions which ran on this blog for few weeks.

Competition number one was for your artistic skills.
The winner is Martik Panosian, who sent me this lovely logo, accompanied by variants for Twitter, Facebook and RSS feed.

I will re-style the blog soon, using these artworks.
Thank you, Martik!
Please contact me using same credentials as you used to submit your work, and we'll discuss your prize and delivery.

UPDATE: Martik generously asked me to donate £20 to McMillian Cancer Support, instead of spending money on the book.

Competition number two was for your social activity.
The winner is Facebook user J***o. He will get 8Gb USB stick and CD with Linux distribution of his choice.
First Runner-up is Twitter user B***M. He will get 1GB USB stick and CD with Linux distribution of his choice.
Second Runner-up is Facebook user E***s. He will get 1GB USB stick and CD with Linux distribution of his choice.

I contacted all three of them via the available communication methods. Please come back to me with your contact details, so we can discuss details of prizes and delivery.
If you don't claim your prize within 2 weeks, I will keep it for next contest.

Many thanks to everybody who took part in the competitions!
I hope you enjoy reading the blog, and will stay tuned after the competitions are over.

15 Oct 2011



It is very small age for human being, but significant time for the Internet life. Especially for the blog.
There were ups and downs. Disappointments and wins. Good and bad articles.
But the blog has survived. And it grows.

Thank you all the supporters! I need you to write for!
Thank you for all who does not like what I am doing. I need you to understand how I can improve.
Thank you to all authors who posted on this blog.
Thank you to all bloggers who allowed me to guest post.

And, of course, all the presents and gifts are welcome!

14 Oct 2011

Disappointments of Kubuntu 11.10

There are 2 times a year when all Linux users, and especially Ubuntu users, are excited. They are April and October. These are months when new versions of Ubuntu Linux are released.
This October is not an exception. 13th of October (sorry, not Friday this time) saw release of version 11.10, nicknamed Oneiric Ocelot. As usual, Canonical, company beyond Ubuntu, releases whole family of systems based on the same core: Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu.
There is a lot of new in Ubuntu 11.10 version. Especially because it is first system where Unity takes ownership of the system and moves old good GNOME2 fully aside. That's why it needs more detailed review.
For the time being... Let's first have a look at little bit less popular, but still very good branch of Ubuntu which uses KDE as Desktop Environment: Kubuntu. It is also interesting for me since I am fan of KDE myself.
I tried to download Kubuntu just few minutes after its release on the 13th of October. When I tried to do so, BitTorrent file with 32bit x86 version was not available on the server. Such a pity, but that pushed me towards direct download link, which increased load on Kubuntu hosting servers. As usual, all Ubuntu releases fit standard 700 Mb size for CD, unless you want to go for DVD version specifically.
ISO image was downloaded, and that was a time for me to attempt boot from USB using the image. Unfortunately, neither command dd nor tool Unetbootin were able to create bootable USB for my laptop. The same fault as with my previous attempt to boot Debian hybrid ISO image. It is a fault of BIOS on my laptop. As a result, I gave up with Live USB creation and burned ISO image to DVD-RW disk.
Reboot. Choose to boot from optical media. Let's go for the Live run!

13 Oct 2011

More prizes for the Birthday Competitions

Just over a week ago I announced a couple of competitions on this blog. They aim to be celebration of First Birthday.
Due to big success and number of participants, I'd like to increase number of presents which will be sent to winners.

Competition Number One. It is about logo for this blog branding.
Old prize was a book plus 1 Gb USB stick plus CD with Linux distribution.
New, upgraded, prize is book plus 8 GB USB stick plus CD with Linux distribution.
Book is any of your choice, from the Linux Blog Book Shelf, priced 20 GBP or less.

Competition Number Two. It is about your social activity.
Old prize was 8 Gb USB stick for winner and one 1 Gb USB stick for one runner-up.
New, upgraded, prize is 8 GB USB stick for winner and two 1 GB USB sticks for two runner-ups.
Of course, all winners and runner-ups receive free CDs with their favourite Linux distributions.
Just to remind you... In order to take part in Competition Number Two, you need to either like Facebook page, or send a tweet with text below (it is clickable for your convenience).
I like to read Linux notes from DarkDuck http://goo.gl/PLquM and Buy Linux CDs http://goo.gl/sWBak @linuxnote 
Competitions will close on 15th of October 2011, so please hurry up!

12 Oct 2011

Debian KDE: Performance, Comfort and Stability

I won't ask you if you know what Debian is. Surely you do.
Instead, I'll ask you what Desktop Environment does Debian have? The most likely answer here would be GNOME. That is because GNOME comes as default for Debian. But of course such a Universal Operating System like Debian cannot have only one Desktop Environment available. If you look at Download page, you'll find other options there: KDE, LXDE and XFCE. Last two are actually shipped on same CD image. But the KDE one is most interesting for me because it was on the 4th place of users poll for best KDE distro, ahead of such KDE-centric distros like Pardus or Aptosid.
Unfortunately, I could not review Debian Live before. Live images were released later than install ISO images of Debian Squeeze, and by that time I simply forgot about this option for Debian.
Anyway, now it was time for me to come back to Debian Live project and get ISO image of Debian KDE Live. It weights about 1.1 Gb, significantly more that normal install CD.
Debian Live can be downloaded in 2 types of ISO images. ISOs themselves are hybrid images which can be either burnt onto DVD or dd'ed to USB stick. Command dd is a method described in official documentation. Hybrid images require modern BIOS, which is unfortunately not the case for my laptop Fijitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505. Even the latest BIOS with index 1.14 does not support hybrid images. That's why I had to use the second type of images with extension .img. Method of Live USB creation is the same: command dd.
As a result of my investigations, I created both Live USB and DVD-RW. Both of them worked, but just for the sake of convenience, I will stick to DVD-RW option in this review of Debian KDE Live.
So, ISO image was recorded onto DVD-RW.Reboot. Choose to boot from optical drive. Let's go!

11 Oct 2011

The week of guest posts is over

Last week was not usual on this blog.
There were no articles written by myself specifically for my own blog.
Instead, you could enjoy articles by other authors who wrote for me, or my articles published elsewhere.
But the week is over. This is time now to finish.
And the final accord will be pretty similar to the one at the beginning.
If you remember, TechRepublic blog published my post a week ago: Six ways to use Linux Live CDs in your business. Today Guillermo Garron's blog published my post 4 Reasons to Have Live Linux at Home.
Welcome to read and enjoy!

Did you like the week of guest posting? Were articles published last week more or less interesting than usual content on this blog? Please leave your comments!

10 Oct 2011

Photoshop Alternatives for Linux

Photoshop is without doubt the most well known piece of photo editing software. It is used by serious hobby photographers and professionals alike. However, although you can run Photoshop on a Linux machine by using a virtual box containing a Windows operating system, there are some good alternatives available on Linux. Unlike with the Windows or Apple operating systems, most Linux software is open source and so free to install and use. There is also a good reason why you should be wary of paying for some types of software on Linux. Here is our round-up of the best on offer.

6 Oct 2011

Why free software really isn't (and shouldn't be) free

If you’ve looked into buying software licenses, you know that they can be expensive. Big Guns from Big Corporations charge a lot for their work - the work of their programmers, the marketing department, and so on.
Of course, there’s plenty of free software available. Here are three types of free software you may consider:

4 Oct 2011

Mageia, Mandriva and IBM: Battle of Giants

My laptop is very old, so old that many people don’t even remember the model. This is one of the last models designed and actually produced by IBM before it was sold to Lenovo – a good old IBM X31, upgraded to 2Gb RAM at the day of purchase in 2005. There is no single thing it cannot do for me – it works just perfectly for many years, and, perhaps, for a few years to come.

I am also a dedicated Mandriva user since those times when it was known as Mandrake and was one of the two Linux distributions on the market – it means, since late 1990s. True, there were some interruptions in my love story with Mandrake (I cheated on it with Windows for a few years), but apart from that I was true and faithful to this distribution.

So, what was the trigger that made me think about divorcing Mandriva?

3 Oct 2011

Let the week of guest posts begin!

How did you use to see this blog?
Couple of reviews from myself published every week.
This week will not be usual then.
Let me announce The Week of Guest Posts!
Yes, this week you'll only see guest posts here. Either my article on other web sites, or different authors coming to write anything on this blog.

To start with, let me introduce my article which was published today at TechRepublic. This is not the first time I got something on that respectable resource.
This time round I published an article Six ways to use Linux Live CDs in your business.

Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to read!
And, of course, wait for more interesting articles!

2 Oct 2011

Seeing the Tux body

This post has been removed.
Please feel free to browse other articles on Linux notes from DarkDuck.

1 Oct 2011


Some statistics...

This blog turned 100,000 pageviews on 28th of May 2011.
Then 200,000 pageviews on 3rd of August 2011.
And finally 300,000 pageviews on 30th of September.
Here is my own screenshot showing 300,001 on the counter. Date and time are shown in the bottom right corner. It is London time.

Congratulations? Why not...

30 Sept 2011

Birthday is coming! Time to announce another contest... or two!

UPDATE: Competitions are over and winners are notified.

Even more prizes! See updated list

Do you like birthdays? Do you?
I do!
So I like the idea that this blog will be celebrating its first year birthday soon, on the 14th of October.

We all like birthdays because it is a good reason for presents.
Of course, any presents for this blog are welcome.
But I'd like also to announce that some presents will be given away. All you need to do is to take part in competition.
There will be 2 competitions this time.
Both will end up on the 15th of October and results will be announced soon after.

Let's start...

Competition number one requires your artistic skills.
This blog lacks a logo, as you can notice. So, please use your drawing skills, GIMP, Inkscape, LibreOffice Draw or any other editor to create a logo.
To take part in competition, please send your variants to linuxblog-competition@darkduck.com
Your work should be licensed under Creative Commons license and not copyrighted by you in any way. It means I should be able to use image by any method I like.
The logo will be used for branding the blog (title and favicon), Twitter account, Facebook page. So, you can suggest different sizes and resolutions if you want to. But one image will also do, because I can resize image myself when needed.
There will be only one winner, although I may publish several images when I end up the competition and announce results.
What is the prize? Winner will get:
  • Winner will get book from Linux Blog Book Shelf - see it in the left column. Book should be priced at 20 GBP or below.
  • 1GB USB stick branded with logo of famous magazine. Not Linux-related though...
  • CD or DVD with Linux distribution from the Buy Linux CDs site or any of your choice.
  • Acknowledgement of image author on this blog.

Competition number two simply engages your social activity.
You need to have Facebook or Twitter account to take part in this competition.

  • Facebook user: simply like this blog using the button on your right. If you have already done this, you automatically qualify, even though you could let your friends know one more time by some method that you like this blog.

Final draw will include both Facebook and Twitter users and who completed the task. You can have 2 entries into the draw if you have Facebook and Twitter accounts both. Winners will be selected by random choice between all contestants.
What will be the prizes?
  • Winner will get 8Gb USB stick and CD or DVD with Linux distribution from the Buy Linux CDs site or any of your choice.
  • Runner-up will get 1Gb USB stick branded with logo of famous magazine (non-Linux) and CD or DVD with Linux distribution.

So, Ready... Steady... Go!
Competitions are now open!