31 May 2016

gNewSense: past 5 years, same nuisance

Once upon a time... Oh no... 5 years ago!
...in the kingdom far far away... Oh no... in my blog!

Yes! That happened exactly 5 years ago, believe it or not. 5 years ago, 31st of May 2011, I wrote my first, and so far the last, review of the distribution supported by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) – gNewSense. That was the version 2.3 released in September 2009.

A new version was released on the 1st of May 2016. It has index 4.0 and name Ucclia. I cannot tell you much about the version name other than it is a name of an asteroid – randomly selected one from a billion?

The documentation says the distribution name gNewSense came from Gnuisance, the RMS's GPG key. Is it true? Or the whole system is just a g-nuisance? Let's check.

When I tried to open the web site of the distribution a couple of weeks ago, the speed of their pages was awful. You could easily wait for 5 minutes before each page opens. Things are better now, though some lags are still there from time to time.

Version 4.0 of this Linux distribution is only available in NetInstall and GNOME options. The ISO image of gNewSense 4.0 GNOME is about 1.1 Gb in size, and you can get it either from several mirrors or via torrent.

If you read the article I wrote five years ago, you learn that I had a long-winded way to get gNewSense Live system running that time. I was a bit luckier this time, although the dd command failed to create a bootable USB stick for me.

The documentation says that Linux users can create a USB stick with the $cat command. However, it does not mention that it should actually be #cat. At least, for my Xubuntu system, neither $cat nor $sudo cat gave me the desired result. They simply stopped with "bash: /dev/sdb: Permission denied" error. But everything worked after switching to sudo su.

So, USB stick with the gNewSense 4.0 GNOME is in the port of my Toshiba laptop. Reboot. Choose too boot from USB. Let’s go!

24 May 2016

CentOS 7 KDE: not for home users

CentOS is one of those operating systems in the Linux world that are often recommended for students who want to continue their career as Linux system administrators. There is no wonder here, because CentOS is a re-branded compilation of the corporate operating systems leader RedHat.

I wrote my last review of CentOS almost 5 (five!) years ago, and that was CentOS 6 GNOME. That time I complained that the only version of CentOS available for the users was GNOME.

Since then I approached CentOS only once when I wanted to use it for my home file server. Unfortunately, I was out of luck as CentOS dropped support of processors without pae. That was the case for my laptop that time.

Has anything changed there? If you visit the download section of CentOS, you notice that first of all, there is version 7 of CentOS now; second, Live media is available in GNOME and KDE editions. That's a bit of progress. However, you need to dig further if you need a 32-bit version of CentOS 7. So, if you wanted to use a rock-solid, stable, and powerful operating system to rejuvenate your old computer and use it as a small family server, you need to be patient in your searches.

Apart from the Live version, there are Minimal, DVD and Everything ISOs. They can be used for direct installation of the operating system. I did not check any of these, because my choice was CentOS 7 Live KDE. You can download it directly from any of the mirrors or using torrent. The latest image is dated December 2015.

The ISO image of CentOS 7 Live KDE is just under 1.8 Gb. I downloaded it and "burnt" onto a USB stick using the dd command.

The USB stick is in the port of my laptop Toshiba Satellite L500-19X. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

17 May 2016

Xubuntu 16.04 - install and enjoy?

This is the third and hopefully the last post in the series about Xubuntu 16.04. First we had a quick screenshot tour and then a more in-depth review of the Live Xubuntu 16.04.

After all of that, I installed this operating system on my laptop. Now I want to share with you some findings of the installed version of Xubuntu 16.04 LTS.

12 May 2016

Will Ubuntu keep the title of the best Desktop OS?

While working at Dell Inc. in the 2011 I met some Linux enthusiasts that introduced me to Ubuntu. I have heard about SUSE, Debian and Red Hat before but they were never promoted as real alternatives to Windows and OS X. But Ubuntu changed my mindset toward Linux so I decided to give it a try. At the beginning I felt it was too hard to understand so I went back and forth between Ubuntu and Windows until I got used to Ubuntu. My first barrier was the fact that on Windows everything was fixed by installing a software that will do everything for you  and on Linux it was all about the Terminal. But once you realize that you don't need to deal with malware and slow performance anymore you simply don't look back at Windows.

3 May 2016

Xubuntu 16.04: not for Linux beginners

The previous post about Xubuntu 16.04 that I published just a week ago had a great success. That's why I continue the series of these posts.

As I have mentioned, Xubuntu 16.04 is a part of Ubuntu 16.04 family that was released by Canonical on the 21st of April 2016. You can get any of these operating systems on the DVD through the order on BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk site.

I decided to try Xubuntu 16.04 in a Live run myself.

The 64-bit ISO image of this Linux operating system is about 1.2 Gb in size. You can download it either via torrent or from one of many mirrors that Canonical supports. I used the torrent way.

I "burnt" the ISO image to the USB stick using the built-in Ubuntu tool. The USB stick is plugged into the port of my Toshiba laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!