This week's release of Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" is a significant win for the free software community. Not only does this release incorporate an updated package set -- most notably with the Linux 2.6.22 kernel and GNOME 2.20, but it also delivers on new desktop innovations from BulletProofX and displayconfig-gtk to Compiz Fusion being enabled by default on supported systems. However, for those business professionals and gamers that remain dependent on some Windows-only binary applications, the WINE (WINE Is Not An Emulator) project has been making some excellent headway into supporting Windows applications on the Linux desktop. With Ubuntu 7.10 and WINE 0.9.46 in hand, we had set out to compare the performance between Windows XP and Gutsy Gibbon with WINE on two popular DirectX benchmarks.
Out of all of the official Ubuntu derivatives, the version that's received the least amount of attention during the 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) development cycle looks to have been Ubuntu Studio. If you missed out on our Ubuntu Studio 7.04 coverage, where this multimedia distribution had debuted, this is a Linux distribution targeted for the multimedia folks. Whether you're into audio, video, or graphics editing, Ubuntu Studio ships with a large set of multimedia tools backed by an Ubuntu-quality GNOME desktop.
Since publishing our Ubuntu power tests, where we had monitored the power consumption of the past six Ubuntu releases going back two years on a laptop, we've had repeated requests for a power comparison between Windows and different Linux distributions. Well, in this article are the first set of results from that testing. We've compared the power consumption of Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Fedora 7, and Ubuntu 7.10.
For this article we've decided to not only deliver power benchmarks from Ubuntu 7.10 and Ubuntu 7.04 to compare the tickless kernel effect, but we have went back and retested all of the Ubuntu releases going back to Ubuntu 5.04, or also known as Hoary Hedgehog. With the past six Ubuntu releases we had tested the power consumption of a Lenovo laptop when running from its AC charger and off the battery, when the system was idling and then again under load. We had also monitored the temperature of the Intel Centrino mobile processor. You may be surprised by the results of Ubuntu's power usage.
A week from today marks the official release of Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon along with all of the other official Ubuntu derivatives. However, coming out of Canonical camp today is the release candidate for Gutsy Gibbon, which is essentially the final version except for any bug fixes that are addressed between now and next week. While we've covered the Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon cycle quite extensively, today we have some screenshots of the latest builds of Xubuntu 7.10 and Kubuntu 7.10, which are the Xfce and KDE versions respectively.
If you have wanted to encrypt your Ubuntu installation on your hard drive quickly and easily, with Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" it's become even easier now that the alternate installer supports encrypting partitions. However, the Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" Ubiquity installer currently lacks LVM and dm-crypt support.
There's still a month until the final release of Fedora 8, but Fedora 8 Test 3 is now available, which has a wealth of a new features. Among these new features is an Online Desktop powered via BigBoard, KDE 3.5.7 can be found on the KDE Live images, improved Live installations, improved yum performance for package management, IcedTea is now installed by default, CodecBuddy has been included for handling codecs, and improved power management. Also getting into Fedora 8 Test 3 is secure remote management capabilities for the supported virtulization paths, Eclipse 3.3, and better support for Bluetooth devices. Making Fedora even easier to become a base for derivative Linux distributions, a generic-logos software package has been made to assist in re-branding. This third test release is designed for beta testers and all willing and able Linux users are encouraged to try it out.
There was a lot of interest generated by my last article titled "Build a (Very) Inexpensive Solaris 10 Workstation". Several topics were brought up in this feedback, among which these two questions "what tools does Solaris have for backups?" and "is it possible to make a restore DVD for Solaris?" struck me as particularly important. For reasons of my own, which I divulge in the Purpose section, I decided to pursue these questions and write an article.
We are just about three weeks out from the final release of Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, but those wishing to try out the new release early or wish to help in testing, the Ubuntu 7.10 Beta release is available today. This Ubuntu Beta release, which will be succeeded by the Ubuntu 7.10 Release Candidate and then the final release, contains GNOME 2.20 and other updated packages such as GIMP 2.4.0-rc2 and Pidgin 2.2.0. The Ubuntu 7.10 Beta is coming out one month since the last development release, Tribe 5, since Tribe 6 was never released to the public. The new Gutsy Gibbon artwork and wallpaper are also present in this test release.
The quarterly release of Solaris Express Developer Edition is now available for download. Among the new features in Solaris Express Developer Edition 9/07 is a new Solaris installer, a GUI utility for DTrace with Sun Studio 12, and many updated packages. In this article at Phoronix we have some screenshots from SXDE 9/07 as well as information on some of the other changes and our thoughts.
Not only was this week marked by the Intel Developer Forum, but the final version of KateOS 3.6 was also released earlier in the week. KateOS 3.6 features a new LiveCD installer, hundreds of updates to packages, a software-powered hibernation system, a new version of update-notifier, and new internationalization support. KateOS is not nearly as popular as Ubuntu or Fedora, but we highly recommend checking it out if you're after a Xfce-powered desktop.
Following this morning's mobility speak by Intel, Ian Murdock took the stage in one of the small rooms at the Moscone Center West to talk about the OpenSolaris Binary Distribution that is currently known as Project Indiana. We captured all of the slides Ian had shown, and while most of the information he shared was just reiterated from his past talks, there was some interesting details worth sharing. Among the advantages of Project Indiana is that it will use Sun's ZFS as the default file-system, and Project Indiana will be taking full advantage of its abilities to create snapshots and perform rollbacks if something with the system's software goes wrong. With Sun's past work with the GNOME project, GNOME will be the desktop environment in Project Indiana said Ian Murdock. He had gone on to reiterate several other basic points such as the single CD installation with network-based package management (likely powered by apt). Project Indiana will also be easier to acquire, as it will be available through mirrors that do not need registration and will be distributed via Bit Torrent. Another goal of Ian's is also to modernize the command line.
Kanotix 2007 Thorhammer RC6 has been released, which signifies re-basing Kanotix against Debian Etch as opposed to Debian Sid. Kanotix 2007 Thorhammer RC6 also includes the Linux 2.6.22 kernel based upon the Ubuntu kernel with some modifications and extra patches. This release candidate also features the Acritox installer, Beryl 0.2.0, X.Org 7.1.1, NTFS-3g support, KDE 3.5.5a, and IceWeasel. Give Kanotix Thorhammer a try and if you run into any problems or wish to provide feedback, stop by the Phoronix Forums where Kano (the Kanotix distribution creator) is a member.
Fedora 8 Test 2 hit the web this morning and accompanying this release are now four LiveCD images. There is the traditional Fedora Live CD version followed by a KDE version and now there is a developer Live edition and FEL. FEL is short for Fedora Electronic Lab and is designed to be a LiveCD edition for those engineers working on electronics. Anyhow, Fedora 8 Test 2 features the latest test release in the GNOME 2.19 series, is based upon the Linux 2.6.23 kernel, and PulseAudio is now used as the advanced sound server. These days the Fedora project isn't generating as much buzz as Ubuntu, but Fedora 8 Test 2 is certainly worth checking out for any Red Hat enthusiasts and those wishing to live on the bleeding edge. If there's one thing to enjoy about Fedora 8, the artwork improvements since Fedora 7 are absolutely great!
The first release candidate for Copernic, or perhaps better known as the codename for Mandriva Linux 2008, has been released. Mandriva Linux 2008 includes GNOME 2.20, the Linux 2.6.22 kernel, Compiz Fusion, and XDG menu migration and XDG user directory system. Mandriva 2008 also complies with the FreeDesktop.org icon theme draft specification.
Among Linux distributions, Zenwalk is really an unsung hero. This distribution is great when it comes to the quality of the software, package selection, and the all-around feel of the distribution. Zenwalk is shortly coming up on its v4.8 milestone and earlier this week the first beta was released. New in Zenwalk Linux 4.8 Beta is the Linux 220.127.116.11 kernel as well as IceWeasel and IceDove replacing Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird accompanied by the GMusicBrowser. The Xfce user interface has also been tweaked slightly and new artwork can also be found in Zenwalk 4.8. Zenwalk 4.8 is shaping up quite well from what can be seen in the beta release and it's highly recommended to check it out if you have time over this Labor Day weekend.
The feature freeze, upstream version freeze, and the first artwork deadline passed last week for Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. With these freezes, Ubuntu 7.10 Tribe 5 has been released with the last of the new features until Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. Ubuntu has now adopted system-config-printer (which was originally developed by Red Hat and Fedora) for handling the printing needs that gnome-cups-manager once had controlled, CUPS being upgraded to 1.3, a plug-in finder wizard and extension manager for Firefox in Ubuntu, and the new displayconfig-gtk panel for graphically controlling your X settings. Ubuntu 7.10 is shaping up very nicely and we have one more Tribe release and then the beta release, followed by the final release of Gutsy Gibbon on October 18.
Last week marked the release of the first GNOME 2.20.0 beta, which also defined the user interface freeze for GNOME 2.20.0. With the UI freeze we have taken some screenshots from GNOME 2.19.90 for your viewing pleasure of the subtle changes. GNOME 2.20.0 Beta 2 (2.19.91) is due out at the end of this month with the release candidate falling in early September followed by the final release of GNOME 2.20.0 on September 19.
At Phoronix we are constantly running Linux benchmarks with quad-core and even octal-core systems with more than enough RAM and all of the latest and greatest hardware from the chipsets to the graphics cards. However, with an increasing number of new Linux users trying out Linux for the first time on their old computers, we have been asked to conduct some benchmarks using popular desktop Linux distributions on older hardware. We have done just that as we try out Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Fedora, Mandriva, and SimplyMEPIS with an old Intel Northwood system.
There is about two months left until the final release of Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, but today marks the release of Ubuntu 7.10 Tribe 4. New in this alpha release is GNOME 2.19.6, desktop search capabilities through Tracker, fast user switching support, deskbar applet, OpenOffice.org 2.3, AppArmor by default, and a smooth shutdown splash screen. Next week is the feature freeze, upstream version freeze, and the first artwork deadline for Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon.
The first test release for Fedora 8 is finally out the door after the usual delays we've come to expect with each Fedora release cycle. New in the Fedora 8 Test 1 Desktop Live CD (GNOME edition) is GNOME 2.19.5, an early Linux 2.6.23 kernel, and integrated blog entry posting software among some other minor alterations. We have screenshots to share and will cover Fedora 8 more in the coming weeks.
MEPIS has been making news this week with the return to Debian as the base for its upcoming SimplyMEPIS 7 release. Debian was the MEPIS base prior to their short-lived relationship with Ubuntu on the bottom. Continuing with the news, yesterday afternoon was the first development release to reincorporate the Debian Stable OS core was SimplyMEPIS 6.9.51prebeta. This pre-beta release includes the Linux 2.6.22 kernel, Debian Etch core, KDE 3.5.7, Firefox 18.104.22.168, and OpenOffice.org 2.2.1.
What does Solaris look like? It's actually a question we've been asked quite a bit since beginning to cover Solaris at Phoronix earlier this year. When using the GNOME desktop, it doesn't look much different from Linux aside from StarOffice and Sun Studio and a few other things being included, but of course it will look even more like Linux once there is the Project Indiana OpenSolaris distribution. Anyways, with the launch of Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) Build 69 yesterday, we've taken some screenshots to show the latest and greatest with Solaris "Nevada" for those of you who have never seen Solaris or haven't tried it out in quite a while.
Yesterday's release of OpenSuSE 10.3 Alpha 6 marks the first time there is a single installation CD for OpenSuSE, but also added in this development build is the Linux 2.6.22 kernel, GCC 4.2, and other updated packages. The single CD was possible by splitting packages and also introduced was 64-bit CDs for KDE and GNOME. While this isn't the final build of OpenSuSE 10.3, we have enclosed new screenshots of the OpenSuSE 10.3 Alpha 6 GNOME edition.
The third alpha release for Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon is now available for download. New in Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 3 include the latest desktop effects powered by Compiz Fusion, the GNOME 2.19.5 development release, the Gutsy Gibbon server installation now includes Ebox for network services control, and a lot of work between Tribe 2 and Tribe 3 has went into improving AppArmor. Some of the improvements found in Ubuntu 7.10 Tribe 3 thanks to the latest development build of GNOME include appearance preferences improvements, GNOME power manager profiles, and a horde of improvements to the Rhythmbox music player. For your viewing pleasure we have uploaded some screenshots of Ubuntu Tribe 3 to Phoronix.
Sabayon Linux has released a "business edition" of its popular LiveDVD distribution known for its use of desktop accelerated effects and being based upon Gentoo. Sabayon Linux 1.0 Business Edition ships without the eye candy and games and is for when art meets business. This business edition ships with an optimized server profile, the Linux 2.6.22 kernel, and the latest proprietary display drivers. An easy firewall management package, KMyFirewall, has also been included.
This week Sun's Glynn Foster had two presentations on Project Indiana in Australia and Ireland. In the talks Glynn had went over the basic information on what Project Indiana is about as well as sharing other details and listening to feedback from the audience. These slides are now published on the Internet, some of which we will be sharing in this article as well as talking about some of the points.
CentOS, the popular community Linux distribution based upon Red Hat Enterprise Linux, has been at version 5.0 since April of this year, but joining the CentOS 5.0 fleet today is the LiveCD. The CentOS 5.0 LiveCD is based upon CentOS 5.0 i386 and can work out to be a modest Linux workstation or recovery distribution. Included with this new Linux LiveCD is OpenOffice.org 2.0.4, GNOME 2.16, GAIM 2.0.0, and Thunderbird 1.5. While this isn't a great Linux desktop distribution, if you're after a workstation or recovery-oriented distribution, the CentOS 5.0 LiveCD looks great.
Zenwalk Live has been updated against Zenwalk Linux 4.6 and this LiveCD distribution now features Xfce 4.4.1 with notification support, the Xfce Thunar file manager can now handle video thumbnails, and many new Xfce 4.4 panel plug-ins have been added or updated. At the system level is GCC 4.1, Glibc 2.5, and binutils 2.17.50. Last but not least, Zenwalk Live 4.6 includes the Linux-Live scripts with LZMA enabled Squashfs support. Zenwalk Live 4.6 will cost you about 400MB of bandwidth, but it's definitely an interesting LiveCD that is worth trying out whether you're a Linux junkie or Windows user.
Out of all of the Ubuntu derivative distributions, the one that's received the least amount of attention really has been Edubuntu. With a slogan of "Linux for Young Human Beings", Edubuntu is a Linux distribution designed for students and use in school environments. It includes several applications for students and the younger ones that cater towards education and is not included in Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or Xubuntu. Coinciding with last week's release of Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 2 was also the second alpha build for Edubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon, which is featured today at Phoronix.
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