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Archive for the ‘Gnome’ Category

LXer Article

In this week’s Roundup we have; What makes Linux compelling to use? Ubuntu moves away from GNOME, Learning Linux the hardcore way with Linux from scratch, Microsoft is a dying consumer brand, Why Unity in Ubuntu is good for the future and Ronald trip’s response to why Unity is clouding up the desktop. Enjoy!

Linux: What Makes Linux Compelling to Use?: I find Linux to be an excellent general purpose computing platform for day to day personal and small business use. I like the fact that Linux does not cost me money. No, my time is not worthless, but I have wisely spent the time I needed learning how to install, configure and use Linux and the free, open source software that comes with it.

Leaving the OpenOffice.org project: Today is a special day. I feel both sad and relieved, happy and somewhat disgusted. I have officially resigned from all my duties, roles and positions inside the OpenOffice.org project. My resignation is effective immediately and I am leaving the project. I will now be contributing to the Document Foundation, while of course continuing to work at Ars Aperta and at the OASIS as a member of its Board of Director, eGov Steering Committee and ODF Committees. These past days have been tense. In a sense it was to be expected, but on the other hand I feel that it was in fact quite surprising and unprofessional.

Ubuntu moves away from GNOME: The big news at the Ubuntu Developer Summit? Moving to Unity as the default interface for Ubuntu Desktop with Natty Narwhal (11.04), rather than GNOME Shell. Earlier this year, Canonical representatives had to deny that they were forking GNOME with the work on the Unity interface. (Quick disclaimer, I’m a GNOME Member and help out with GNOME PR.) Unity is a Canonical-sponsored project that was initially delivered for the Ubuntu Netbook Remix. GNOME Shell is the interface being developed for GNOME 3.0, which was delayed to spring 2011. Apparently, Canonical were being asked the wrong question. During the opening keynote, Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Canonical is committing to making Unity the default desktop experience “for users that have the appropriate software and hardware.”

What’s The Fastest Linux Filesystem On Cheap Flash Media?: Compact Flash and SD storage cards are everywhere; gigabytes for cheap in a tiny form factor. Most come formatted with VFAT. So what is the fastest Linux filesystem for these little devices? Flash drives and SD Cards are getting bigger, faster and cheaper. They’re not just for sucking down snaps from your pocket camera any more: they’re backup storage, portable homedirs, netbook expansion … you name it.

Learning Linux the hardcore way: Linux From Scratch: I was excited to see that the Linux From Scratch (hereafter, LFS) project just released a new and stable documentation “build” for version 6.7 this past September. I have known about the LFS project for many years but I didn’t start experimenting with it until not too long ago.

Why Unity in Ubuntu is good for the future..: The hype is all about cloud and the end of the desktop as we know it. The recent move from a “pure” gnome desktop to Unity by Ubuntu/Canonical is clearly a sign that of a fast-track type of (r)evolution. Why is it good for the key-players (Ubuntu/Debian, Canonical, Gnome and … the User), what are the risk associated with this somehow bold move?

Microsoft is a dying consumer brand: After several missteps, MS is dying as a consumer brand. Consumers have turned their backs on Microsoft. A company that once symbolized the future is now living in the past. Microsoft has been late to the game in crucial modern technologies like mobile, search, media, gaming and tablets. It has even fallen behind in Web browsing, a market it once ruled with an iron fist.

Using an IMG instead of an ISO to put Debian on a USB Flash drive: Now that I have a laptop that boots from USB, I’ve been using IMG images instead of ISOs when they’re available to test new Linux and BSD systems because they’re so easy to deal with.

Adoption of Unity is the Most Significant Change Ever for Ubuntu, Says Mark Shuttleworth: It’s going to be Unity all the way for Ubuntu’s next major release codenamed Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”. During Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) at Florida, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced that the Unity shell will become Ubuntu’s default interface not just for netbook editions, but also for Ubuntu desktop editions.

Unity Clouding Up The Desktop: Mr. Des Ligneris wrote that the adoption of Unity is a bold move and a good one for Canonical and Ubuntu, as the focus of computing is shifting wholesale to the internet and “The Cloud”. It is an interesting viewpoint from Mr. Des Ligneris. I don’t see the Unity plans as a blessing though. There is no point in turning a full fledged desktop machine into a “Mobile Internet Device”. Their use cases don’t overlap. While a desktop is certainly capable of performing MID tasks, it is not the intended operating area of a desktop machine.

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LXer Article

In the Roundup this week we have news of IBM deciding to back Oracle’s OpenJDK instead of Harmony, Phoronix releases the 2010 Linux graphics survey results, 5 mistakes Linux newcomers make and lastly John E. Dunn gets the crazy idea to ditch Windows for Ubuntu. Enjoy!

IBM backs Oracle against Apache and Google’s Android: Oracle is no longer totally isolated on Java — IBM now stands with the giant, in a move that potentially stymies Google’s Android. IBM said Monday that it’s putting its efforts into the OpenJDK project, run by Oracle, and switching away from the Apache Software Foundation’s (ASF’s) Project Harmony on Java Standard Edition (Java SE).

Was Taken For Granted, Now Forgotten: I found a computing treasure in a local Goodwill store three weeks ago: a book about System/360 assembly language. (Assembly language is the human-readable form of the concrete instructions carried out by the computer.) In earlier years, this would have been a wonderful surprise, but a previous find precludes that from happening… Last year, I found a special treat in the discount bin of a local grocery store: a movie, in Mongolian. In the rural Midwest USA, that is difficult to surpass that for surprise finds.

2010 Linux Graphics Survey Results: Last month we carried out our fourth annual Linux Graphics Survey in which we sought feedback from the Linux community about the most common graphics drivers and hardware in use, what display/GPU-related features desktop users are most interested in, and collect other metrics to aide developers.

Linux Gaming: Wine vs. Cedega vs. CrossOver Games: In previous posts, I have highlighted some of the outstanding new native Linux games that are coming out soon or have been out but may not be well known. For many Linux gamers, however, the pool of native Linux games is still too small. As most already know, it is possible to play some Windows games in Linux using Wine. Additionally, there are two prominent commercial spin-offs of Wine that are both designed specifically for gaming: Cedega and CrossOver Games. At one time, there was little difference between the three, other than the graphical configuration interfaces

Top 5 mistakes by Linux first-timers: With the arrival of Ubuntu 10.10, the list of reasons to try Linux for your business just got a little longer. The free and open source operating system is now more user-friendly than it’s ever been before while still offering the many security and other advantages it has over its competitors. If you’re among the legions of new Linux users out there, congratulations on making a smart move! Now that you’re on your way to a lifetime of freedom from high costs, vendor lock-in, constant malware attacks, and the many other disadvantages associated with Windows and Mac OS X, you should be aware of some of the classic mistakes Linux newcomers sometimes make.

Here’s a crazy security idea – ditch Windows for Ubuntu 10.10 Linux: After some days with the latest Ubuntu Linux desktop release, I was planning to devote a few graphs to extolling its many virtues. This is not a hard exercise because Ubuntu 10.10 is exemplary, about as good as it gets at doing the main things desktop operating systems were originally invented to do. It’s refined, uncluttered, comes with plenty of apps for most people and, most of all, it’s stable and fast. It runs happily in 1GB of RAM, something no version of Windows has done since the obsolete XP. There’s even a netbook edition with larger icons.

Is Linux Gaining share at Windows Expense? Maybe, Maybe not: The study also doesn’t shed much light on potential hybrid deployments where Linux is deployed alongside Windows and Unix. “We didn’t ask that question exactly,” McPherson said. “I bet you are correct that many would be hybrid, and that would be good to ask next time.”

KDE 4 vs. GNOME 3: An Early Comparison: How will GNOME 3 compare to KDE 4? The picture is still emerging, since GNOME 3’s official release is still months away. However, with GNOME Shell available as a preview in the latest GNOME releases, a general outline is starting to be visible. Of course, some elements cannot be compared yet. It would be unfair, for instance, to compare panels in any detail, because in the previews GNOME Shell’s panel has neither applets nor configurations. Nor, for that matter, can much be said yet about the upcoming KDE 4.6, which should be the latest version when GNOME 3.0 is released.

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LXer Article

In this week’s Roundup we have a battle between KDE3 and KDE4,Linux versus the world: The unwinnable war?, Dell removes “Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft® Windows® ” statement from website and today marks my three year anniversary as E-i-C for LXer. You know, I think my grammar has gotten a little better.

KDE 3 vs. KDE 4: Which Linux Desktop Is Right for You?: Two and a half years after the KDE 4 series of releases began, many users are still using KDE 3. A preference for the familiar seems to motivate some; while others seem influenced by the rumors that began with the botched 4.0 release. Still others want a feature that the KDE 4 series has yet to implement — or, sometimes, a feature they have been unable to find because of reorganization.

Adobe Drops 64-bit Flash From Linux: “Making significant architectural changes” the official answer. Adobe has discontinued 64-bit Flash 10.1 development for Linux stating that significant architectural changes were being made to the plugin that would add improved security.

Linux versus the world: The unwinnable war?: The first three months of the year were defined, in the technology sector, by some very scary numbers. Just feast your eyes on some of these. Apple, we learned, pulled in profits in just three months of over $3bn. That’s not in a year – that’s just in a quarter…

Firefox Losing Foothold on Linux Distros?: When you install the Ubuntu Netbook Edition in October, don’t look for Firefox on the desktop — it won’t be there. Chromium, Chrome’s open source cousin, is going to be taking its place. After years of desktop dominance on Linux, is Firefox losing its foothold or is this an anomaly?

Linux is as secure as ever: There have been several stories proclaiming that a recent Linux infection proves Windows malware monopoly is over and that Think Linux is free from malware? Think again; it’s been hacked. Much as it pains me to disagree with the good people, they’re wrong. Here’s what really happened. UnrealIRCd, a rather obscure open-source IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server, wasn’t so much hacked as the program it was letting people download has been replaced by one with a built-in security hole. Or, as they explained on their site, “This is very embarrassing…

The Start to Finish Guide to Rooting Your Android Phone: Rooting your Android device is much like jailbreaking an iPhone. Once rooted, you can make your phone run faster, tether it to your computer, tweak hidden settings to your liking, and more. Here’s how to do it on your Motorola Droid. Rooting essentially means giving yourself root permissions on your phone. It’s the equivalent of running programs as administrators in Windows, or running a command with “sudo” in Linux. There are a number of great reasons to root your Android phone, highest among them being speed (through custom ROMs and through overclocking), tethering, and installing apps and widgets from other builds.

Why Ubuntu is harder than Windows: I use Ubuntu on all my personal computers and I even recommend it to friends. I am starting to think maybe I shouldn’t though, because it is obvious: Ubuntu is harder to use than Windows.

Dell removes “Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft® Windows® ” statement from website: According to Google cache, at 17 June 2010 05:08:28 GMT, Dell’s website stated: “Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft® Windows® The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux. However, within 24 hours, it seems Dell changed its mind, and now their website states: “Ubuntu is secure — According to industry reports, Ubuntu is unaffected by the vast majority of viruses and spyware.”

Dell advertizement: Ubuntu keeps getting better!: We’re glad you found Dell’s Ubuntu website. If you’re not familiar with Ubuntu, or would like to learn more you’ve come to the right place. Quote: “Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft® Windows® The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux.”

The Unity Panel Won’t Allow Any Kind Of Customizations [Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10]: This was something pretty much obvious, but now Mark Shuttleworth confirmed it: the Unity panel won’t allow any kind of customizations. That means not only that you won’t be able to add/edit applets like in Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 (which could be easily “fixed”), but the user won’t even be able to right click the applets to move them or whatever – nothing will happen upon right-clicking.

GnoMenu – An Incredible Menu Application For Ubuntu Gnome: The default menu application in Ubuntu is functional, but it is also down to earth basic. GnoMenu tries to replicate the looks and functionality of KDE’s Menu application. And I have to say, it almost does. GnoMenu comes with a number of themes and a easy to use configuration menu.

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LXer Article

This week we have Jim Zemlin and SJVN weighing in on IBM’s supposed breaking of their own pledge to open source many of their patents. Are HP and Dell giving up on netbooks? What will come after Linux? Jack Wallen sees the future, a review of Tiny Me and much more in this week’s LXWR.

Are HP and Dell giving up on netbooks?
: Faced with disappointing sales, HP and Dell are scaling back investments in 10-inch netbooks, with HP possibly quitting the format entirely, according to DigiTimes. Other motivators were said to include expectations for re-invigorated sales of larger, more expensive notebooks fueled by a recovering economy.

I have seen the future, and it is GNOME 3
: Today I finally managed to get GNOME Shell installed so I could get a preview of what is to come on the Linux desktop (at least through the eyes of GNOME). This new GNOME will arrive sometime this year (2010) and will, I promise you, change the way you use your desktop. Finally someone has looked at the current desktop metaphor and said “It’s over!” Think about it, the current paradigm has been in play since, when, Windows 95? Earlier you say? CDE? Let’s stick with Windows 95, because that really solidified the whole “taskbar, start button, icons, notification try” metaphor in the eyes of the public. Well, public, that is about to change – drastically.

IBM breaks OSS patent promise, targets mainframe emulator: IBM is threatening to pursue legal action against TurboHercules, a company that sells services relating to the open source Hercules project, an emulator that allows conventional computers with mainstream operating systems to run software that is designed for IBM System Z mainframe hardware. In a letter that IBM mainframe CTO Mark Anzani recently sent to TurboHercules, Big Blue says that it has “substantial concerns” that the Hercules project infringes on its patents. The letter is a brusque half-page, but was sent with nine additional pages that list a “non-exhaustive” selection of patents that IBM believes are infringed by the open source emulator.

Top 5 most useful commands or tools for Linux administrators: There are plenty such tools which are definitely very useful for Linux admins. Here I am just trying to figure out 5 of such useful tools which are used by a normal Linux administrator in day to day operations. A tool which I think is most useful may not fit in your usage and its definitely possible that you know some awesome tool which I forgot to include here, for such case, I am requesting hereby to please mention the tool in comments. One more thing, I am mentioning here tools which are somewhat optional and not absolutely required for everybody and excluding tool which have no viable alternative and every Linux admin have to use them.. such as SSH, SCP etc.

What will come after Linux?: Lets face it. Nothing lasts for ever. No matter how much we enjoy that perfect meal, movie, romance or whatever it will always be relegated to the past. The same with operating systems. They have come and gone. While there still may be pockets of them floating around in obscure places, such operating systems like DOS, OS/2, AmigaOS, GEOS and windows are either dead, dying or, like a turtle on its back, scrabbling around feverishly but going nowhere.

Is the Desktop Becoming Legacy?: A few years ago I wrote on OSNews several articles (1,2) about workstations. After three years I had to stop, because there were no workstations left on the market, they became legacy and were not sold any more. Now with the rise of mobile devices with touchscreen and wireless network connectivity virtually everywhere, the question becomes valid, what will happen with the desktop computers, are they still needed, or will they follow the workstations on their way to computer museums?

IBM’s Open Source Patent Pledge: For those of us that have worked for years in open source, rumors in the press of IBM “breaking its open source patent pledge” were met with a bit of dismay. IBM is one of the top contributors to the Linux kernel and dozens of critical open source projects. For more than a decade IBM has been a good citizen in the open source community. To get to the bottom of things I contacted Dan Frye, VP of Open Systems Development at IBM and member of the Linux Foundations board of directors, to “say it wasn’t so.” Fortunately all of us can breathe easy – IBM remains true to their word.

Opinion: Get Off IBM’s Back Already!: The recent attacks on IBM patent use by some in the open-source community are way out of line. First things first, I hate software patents as much as the next open-source supporter, but the recent claims that IBM has betrayed open-source with recent patent claims are way over the top. If it were just one person throwing mud at IBM I wouldn’t bother with responding to this, but with many other open-source advocates are jumping with both feet on IBM over the issue, I have to address it.

Proprietary Licenses Are Even Worse Than They Look: “There are lots of evil things that proprietary software companies might do. Companies put their own profit above the rights and freedoms of their users, and to that end, much can be done that subjugates users. Even as someone who avoids proprietary software, I still read many proprietary license agreements (mainly to see how bad they are).”

Ubuntu Is A Poor Standard Bearer For Linux: While Linux is a power to be reckoned with in the enterprise server room it continues to struggle for acceptance on the consumer desktop. On the desktop the most popular distributions, far and away, are Ubuntu and Fedora. Which one is more popular is an ongoing debate between the companies. However, when it comes to Linux media and the wider tech press there is no contest: Ubuntu has mindshare and gets the lion’s share of media coverage. For Linux on the desktop Ubuntu is the de facto standard bearer. To whatever part of the general non-geek public is even aware of Linux the names “Linux” and “Ubuntu” are all but interchangeable. Over the past few years I’ve come to the conclusion that this state of affairs is, at best, unfortunate.

TinyMe – A tiny OS for old computers: TinyMe is a lightweight linux OS, it is aimed at making the computing experience as bloat- and lag-free as possible. It is well-suited to older computers, enthusiasts devoted to small/fast systems.

Microsoft to develop own open source platform: Open source developer at Microsoft, Garrett Serack announced today plans to bring a native running open source platform to Windows. In a blog posted today, Serack announced the Common Opensource Application Publishing Platform (CoApp). The post outlines the challenges of developing open source applications in a Windows environment and the differences between developing on UNIX and Linux and Windows.

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LXer Article

In the area of window managers Linux users are completely and totally spoiled rotten. We constantly debate the merits of one desktop environment/window manager over another. We argue over what programs are better than others, what versions of those programs we like over another and getting in world class pissing contests all the while crying about what we wish they would do better or differently. I wish Windows users had this problem, but they don’t. Why? Because they have no choice.

I know that there are other window managers for Windows but they are little more than themes compared to what we have. We Linux users have thousands of versions of Linux that you can run on multiple types of hardware with dozens of different desktop environments on top of them, or none at all if your really cool. All of them customizable to the hilt and we’re still not happy. It seems like we are the spoiled child in the 31 Flavors who can’t find anything they like while poor Windows users have no idea that ‘ice cream’ comes in anything other than vanilla, and a sad vanilla at that.

We have gotten fat on the bounty of choices and drunk with the power of functionality they provide us. Go use a generic NT, 2000 or XP setup for a week and then try and tell me that KDE, GNOME, Xfce, Enlightenment etc. are really that much better or worse than each other. Because compared to the Microsoft window manager in any version of Windows, any Linux window manager blows it away. Many authors, Bruce Byfield stands out in my mind, have told and re-told their issues with, loves and hates of competing desktop environments to the point of ad nauseam.

Give me a desktop environment I do not like on top of a Linux version I cannot stand and it will still be a thousand times better than any Windows machine you could put in front of me. And I will make a bet that even if forced to use the desktop environment and distro I do not like I would still be able to change enough of the settings and download whatever programs I couldn’t live without and make it enough to my liking that I could live with it, happily. I could not do that with Windows even if I wanted too.

I am just trying to give some perspective to this issue, not pick any fights. I used to prefer KDE over GNOME until KDE 4.0 came out and I have always liked Enlightenment and Xfce but I have never really used them extensively. As a Linux user I have the luxury of choice in being able to have that opinion. It is those choices that almost all Windows users have no clue they are even missing out on.

When I show people some of the cool desktop effects I have enabled, which are completely useless for getting any work done but good for some shock value attention getting. I show them all the cool ways I can make the desktop look and feel the way I want it too and to a person they get a touch jealous and want to know how they can get that cool stuff on their Windows machine. That is when I start in on what Linux is and such.

I know that may not be the best way to expose someone to Linux but hey if it works right? It is all about the comfort level of the individual user and that varies from person to person. I can hear many of you saying “Duh Scott, like we didn’t know that already?” But we need to keep finding ways to make checking out and/or switching to Linux more comfortable. How? With the advent of the ‘Live CD’ it has gotten much less painful or downright painless if you ask me, for the uninitiated and fearful. I was one of them, I remember being afraid of what this “Linux thing” would do to my computer if it messed it up and asking myself what I would do with my computer if it happened to turn it into an expensive paperweight.

Firefox has done a great service to Linux and FOSS in general in that regard because just getting people to switch the browser they use was, and still is a big big deal to most. That one choice alone has changed how millions of people view their interaction with the Internet and as Google has shown with their release of Chrome, their perception of what a operating system is as well. I have a recent visit to a friend’s house as an example..

So just a few days ago I was over at a friends and was asked if I could take a look at their XP computer to see what I could do to make it run better. It was running very slow overall and it would take IE several minutes just to open and/or close. The obvious answer from most of us would be simple, just install some Linux on it and Bang! problems all go bye bye right? But its not that simple in practice as Carla Schroder recently pointed out, it can be a real pain to just try and tidy up the cupboards on a Windows system let alone “make it run better”.

In my attempt to make their XP machine run better I introduced them to the idea, that’s right, the idea of running a different browser than IE. I literally had to start at the very beginning and tell the history of Netscape (which they remembered hearing about) and how Firefox/Mozilla came from it and told them that there are several other browsers besides IE that you can surf the Internet with. After all this time knowing me, my friend had only the vaguest idea what Firefox was, I kid you not.

It took me almost an hour of explaining and answering questions before they were comfortable enough to allow me to install Firefox on their machine. I showed them around the settings, got all their bookmarks imported, made a few little changes I knew would help and made it their default browser. It reminded me of myself years ago when I finally got brave enough to install some program called ‘Mozilla’ on my computer, now look at me.

Until my friend gets the hang of Firefox I have no plans to introduce Linux into their life. They know that it is a operating system not exactly like Windows but that is all. I have learned that to force a change on someone is a recipe for failure. Not only for me in trying to show them the joys of using FOSS, but for them in the frustration of using something they don’t think they need or even want to use because of their lack of familiarity with it.

I know I am most likely going to start another lengthy desktop environment debate by posting this but it is my hope that a few Windows users come across this article and ask themselves, “You mean I have a choice?”. Because they do, they just don’t know it yet.

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LXer Article

In the LXWR this week we have Munich showing off its migration to Linux at CeBIT, Ubuntu opens up a music store, a nice review of OpenShot, Jeff Hoogland mints his girlfriends laptop, the three giants of Linux and a LXer feature about contributing upstream..enjoy!

Microsoft Hoist by its Own Anti-Anti-Competitive Petard: Microsoft has a problem: it wants to complain about what it considers Google’s anti-competitive behaviour. Unfortunately, all the arguments Microsoft made when it was being targetted for anti-competitive behaviour – that it was simply “successful” and “innovative” – can be used by Google too. So Microsoft finds itself arguing against itself – and looking ridiculous.

CeBIT 2010: City of Munich Shows Migration to Linux and OpenOffice: The consolidated IT of the city of Munich is reporting at CeBIT 2010 on converting their workstations to Linux and OpenOffice. The migration to the free office package was finalized for Munich. All 15,000 office PCs of the city council will work on OpenOffice, under Linux or Windows.

Sub $200 Android tablets arrives: is the iPad doomed?: When the $499 iPad tablet was announced last month, many journalists commented that the device was surprisingly affordable for an Apple product. This may not be the case however, as several sub $200 competitors running Google Android operating system have appeared. Will the iPad be able to gain major market share when it costs more than twice the price of other tablets or is the iPad doomed to be a “high-end only” product like the Mac?

Ubuntu One Music Store is Coming to Rock Your World: The news has been confirmed. Ubuntu One Music Store is how it is going to be called. And it will be there by default in Rythmbox Music Player in Ubuntu Lucid 10.04. And that is NOT welcome because most of us don’t use Rythmbox at all. But hold on, Ubuntu One Music Store is going to have a plug-in support as well. That is sweet!

Firefox may never hit 25 percent market share: Firefox is on a decline. It may not be as steady as Internet Explorer’s death spiral, and it certainly has not been going on for as long, but if the last three months are any indication, Firefox will never hit that 25 percent market share mark that looked all but certain just a few short months ago. Meanwhile, Chrome is still pushing steadily forward; in fact, it was the only browser to show positive growth last month.

OpenShot – Finally, An Excellent Free Video Editor For Linux: Video and photo editing tools are a necessity in today’s world of personal media. We have lots of photographs and videos these days that could look even better when presented nicely. The tool should be powerful yet simple to use so that average Joe can use it easily. Windows and Mac have had good video editing tools for sometime now, Linux had a big void in this area until recently. The void has been filled by OpenShot. It is truly amazing and the best, free video editor out there for Linux, suiting the needs of many. OpenShot will be available via Ubuntu Software Center starting with Lucid Lynx. Till then you would have to add the PPA to software sources.

Minting the Girlfriend: A few weeks back the girl I have been dating for awhile now had idly made a complaint about her laptop being poky at certain tasks. I’d used the thing once or twice to check my email and recalled it was running Vista – no surprise there. I like this girl a lot and figured it was time to take that next step in our relationship: I offered to put Linux on her laptop.

Improve Internet Health with a Microsoft Tax? : Somebody better tell Microsoft that it’s still March, because the suggestion of an “Internet usage tax” to fight Windows-powered botnets must be an April Fool’s joke let out a month too early. According to Robert McMillan’s piece on ComputerWorld, Scott Charney (Microsoft’s veep for Trustworthy Computing) suggests that one way to fund fighting botnets is to tax users. “You could say it’s a public safety issue and do it with general taxation.” You could, but let’s not.

Vermont Adopts Open Source Software Policy: Vermont has become the latest government to enact an open source software policy, after Secretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville recently signed a policy developed under state CIO David Tucker’s leadership. The policy says the Vermont Department of Information and Innovation and other departments should look at open source solutions as part of the procurement process, and are directed to calculate the total cost of ownership for an open source system, including “fixed costs (direct purchases and licensing) and operational costs for support, testing, upgrades, maintenance and training,” as part of the procurement process.

Ubuntu dumps the brown, introduces new theme and branding: Canonical has revealed the style of the new default theme that will be used in Ubuntu 10.04, the next major version of the popular Linux distribution. In a significant departure from tradition, Ubuntu is shedding its signature brown color scheme and is adopting a new look with a palette that includes orange and an aubergine shade of purple.

LXer Feature – Contributing Upstream: An Editorial: The foundations of Linux, with how it has been developed and when we look at the Debian model on which Ubuntu is based, the contributions of developers by and large are because of their common interests and a willingness to accept conceptualizations. In recently viewing an interview with Mark Shuttleworth these contributions were stated. Passing on the valor per-say to that foundation and the current developers engaged in the Ubuntu project.

The Three Giants of Linux: The Linux ecosystem is a complex entity. On one hand everyone gets along and benefits from work done by others, while on the other there’s often animosity and conflict between distributions and their communities (remember when Ubuntu came along?). People often complain that there is simply too much choice in the Linux world and that we’d all be better off if there was just one, or two. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The multitude of Linux distributions exists for a reason. They exist because not one single distribution can satisfy the desires of every user on the planet. Different people like different ways of doing things. Not only that, the distribution that one might want to use for a server won’t necessarily suit a laptop. So thankfully there are thousands of distros to choose from.

Windows is Easier, Just Like Stabbing Your Own Eyeballs is Easier: Windows is all about walls. It’s nothing but barriers. Want to do something? The answer is no. You know what the worst part of trying to troubleshoot and fix any Windows PC is? The endless waiting. Waiting for it to reboot. Waiting for hung processes to finish whatever they are doing. Waiting for apps to install or uninstall, and why is that always so dog-slow? For extra amusement, hook up a sniffer like Wireshark or tcpdump just to watch how many Windows apps phone home.

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LXer Article

Linux: Access 100+ Games Instantly With DJL: For those who always feel that gaming is not suitable in Linux OS and it is always an hassle to install and get games to run in Linux platform, then DJL will definitely change the way you think. Djl is an open-source (GPL licensed) game manager written in Python 2.5 for the GNU/Linux Operating Systems. In short, it is an application that allows you to install/uninstall/manage your games easily. With Djl, you can browse through its repository of 100+ games and install the game you want with a simple click. No longer do you need to worry about game dependencies and all the command lines.

10 of the Best Free Linux Relational Databases: To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 10 open source Relational Database Management Systems. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to store data in an efficient way.

Is there a best distro?: Yesterday, I had a good friend ask me What is the best Linux distribution to familiarize myself with Linux? This was not someone who is unfamiliar with technology, or UNIX for that matter, but someone who is one of us, which made the question difficult to answer.

SCO boots boss McBride: Unix code claimant SCO Group has jettisoned its controversial captain, Darl McBride, as part of the company’s latest scheme to emerge from bankruptcy. The serially litigious SCO’s executive ousting was revealed in a filing today with US regulators, although corresponding paperwork gives McBride’s actual dismissal date as October 14. The decision to remove McBride was done under the auspices of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee assigned to SCO by the US Justice Department. That leaves COO, Jeff Hunsaker, CFO, Ken Nielsen, and General Counsel, Ryan Tibbitts grappling for the helm.

10 things to do after installing Linux: You’ve finally decided to try Linux. The installation went without a hitch (they usually do these days) and you’ve got a shiny new desktop sitting in front of you. What do you do next? It’s a whole world of limitless possibilities. Thanks to the nature of open-source development, thousands of applications, games, tools and utilities can be installed with just a few mouse clicks.

Ubuntu Linux powers up: Just how important are computer operating systems, anyway? We’re going to get an indication Thursday morning, when Microsoft Corp. is scheduled to launch Windows 7, successor to the much-maligned Windows Vista and what many critics believe is the replacement for Windows XP that Vista should have been. XP will be exactly eight years old next Sunday, and that is kind of old. In late August, Apple Inc. launched Snow Leopard, which has had a good reception among users and critics. I’ve reviewed Snow Leopard and shall review Windows 7 in due course. My early impressions of Win7 are positive, however.

Fedora 12 beta code is go: Red Hat has announced the first and only beta of its next Linux development release, Fedora 12. Emperor Constantine the Great knew a good means to hold a crumbling empire together when he saw it – namely, Christianity – and by code-naming the 12th release of Fedora after Constantine, Red Hat is by no means suggesting that the Linux empire is crumbling or that the warring between the political, military, and religious powers that led to Constantine’s ascension to rule is somehow also going on in the Linux arena. Rather, Red Hat is emphasizing Constantine’s openness to new ideas.

Netherlands: Police forces to use open source software ‘where possible’: The Dutch police force will move to open source wherever that is possible, but not exclusively, a spokesperson said this week, correcting a statement published by Linux distributor Red Hat a week ago.

Stallman calls on EU to set MySQL free: Richard Stallman demanded the EU cut MySQL loose from Oracle yesterday in an open letter to Brussels’ competition supremo Neelie Kroes. The self-described software freedom activist’s intervention came just a day after MySQL founder Monty Widenius made a similar call, saying that Oracle could offset the EU’s go-slow examination of its purchase of Sun by simply putting MySQL on the block. In yesterday’s letter, also signed by James Love and Malini Aisola of Knowledge Ecology International and Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group Stallman says that Oracle’s objective in borging MySQL is to prevent further market share erosion and “to protect the high prices now charged for its proprietary database software licenses and services”.

Hannah Montana Linux: Meet Hannah Montana Linux or HML for short. Hannah Montana Linux is a unix-like Linux Operating System based on Kubuntu.

Browsers in Linux: They own your CPU (and do so in Windows and Mac, too): I laugh — LAUGH! — when a tech journalist writes something to the effect of, “for lightweight tasks such as Web browsing,” when you know, and I know, that there ain’t nothing light about using present-day Web browser on present-day Web pages filled with Javascript, Flash and enough CSS to fill a book.

LXer Book Review: Pro Linux System Administration: “By the end of this book, You’ll be well on your way to becoming a Linux expert” is quite a bold claim for a book that is aimed at people who only have some familiarity with Windows and networking. “Pro Linux System Administration” by James Turnbull, Peter Lieverdink and Dennis Matotek aims to do precisely that and surprisingly, it largely succeeds. In its 1080 pages it explains how you can set up and configure multiple Linux servers to operate a small business network. Starting with basic Linux management and working up the stack through networking, e-mail and webservers you will end up with a pretty complete network that includes document management, groupware and disaster recovery.

Cloud Computing: Good or Bad for Open Source?: Cloud computing: you may have heard of it. It seems to be everywhere these days, and if you believe the hype, there’s a near-unanimous consensus that it’s the future. Actually, a few of us have our doubts, but leaving that aside, I think it’s important to ask where does open source stand if the cloud computing vision *does* come to fruition? Would that be a good or bad thing for free software?

Why Adobe likes open source: He’s the man who brought open source to Silicon Graphics and NEC and advisor to Warburg Pincus on how to make money investing in open source. “At one point I got the title of open source’s undercover agent,” recalls Dave McAllister. He was recruited by Adobe as Director of open source and standards with a specific mission: “I was hired to, a) start an open source process and, b) get PDF approved as an ISO standard.” So: mission accomplished?

Linux Netbooks: They’re Still Out There: Suddenly I was surveying the market again for a good buy on a netbook preloaded with Linux. I found a wide variety of systems with Linux available from mainstream outlets and factory direct, at least here in the United States where I live. While I don’t have updated market share figures it’s clear, despite claims by Microsoft and their supporters, that Linux remains entrenched in the netbook market and is spreading out from there.

Ubuntu 9.10 Netbook Performance: There is just one week left until Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” will be released, but is it worth the upgrade if you are running a netbook? From our testing of the development releases, it is most certainly worth the upgrade, especially when compared to Ubuntu 9.04 with its buggy Intel driver stack that caused many problems for Atom netbook users. Ubuntu 9.10 brings many usability improvements to the Linux desktop, various new packages, and the overall system performance has improved too. We have ran a set of benchmarks on both a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and Samsung NC10 under Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10 to illustrate the performance gains along with a few regressions.

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