It's been a while since we last checked out a Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) build, which represents the most recent work done by the OpenSolaris community in the road leading up to Solaris Nevada, and is usually updated on a bi-weekly basis. With yesterday's release of SXCE Build 81 we had decided to take it for a spin. For those that have never tried out Solaris Express Community Edition, it ships with the GNOME desktop (v2.20.2 right now) and a variety of open-source desktop applications that one is accustom to seeing on a Linux box, such as Firefox, Thunderbird, GIMP, and Pidgin. Solaris Express Community also bundles in some proprietary components such as NVIDIA's Solaris display driver, NetBeans IDE 6.0, Sun Studio, RealPlayer, and StarOffice. For those more interested in OpenSolaris for server purposes, SXCE also bundles an Apache 2, PHP 5, and MySQL 5 stack.
The Mandriva team is busy cooking up a new spring release with the first development release being codenamed Ophrys. The first beta release for Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring is now available, and it features a new XML-based package meta-information system, new multimedia keyboard support, Perl 5.10 integration, the latest GNOME and KDE packages, and the Linux 2.6.24-rc8 kernel. KDE 4.0.0 is available from Mandriva's Cooker /contrib repository, but in Mandriva 2008.1 Beta 1 it doesn't ship by default.
Last week OpenSuSE 11.0 Alpha 1 was released, and in addition to including KDE 4.0, PulseAudio integration, and various package updates, Alpha 1 features improvements to the OpenSuSE installer. This installer uses Qt4 and is much improved, which warranted us taking a closer look.
We've just been notified that gOS 2.0 will be released next week at the 2008 Consumer Electronic Show. This Linux distribution started making news two months ago as the conceptual Google Operating System and shipping on a sub-$200 (USD) Everex PC. This distribution is very easy to use and features integration with popular Web 2.0 services such as YouTube, Google Calendar, and Google Maps. This next gOS release, codenamed "Rocket", adds a few features and more Google love. Accompanying this release will also be a gOS Software Developer Kit.
Along side Ubuntu Studio and other multimedia-oriented distributions, Musix is a Debian-based distribution led by Argentinian developers that is currently at version 1.0. Released in time for the new year was Musix 1.0r3 Test 4, which contains an arsenal of free software multimedia programs ranging from Ardour to Rosegarden to Audacity. This distribution, which ships KDE as its default desktop environment, also includes other desktop programs such as aMSN, AbiWord, IceWeasel, and more. If you're looking for a deep dive into the Linux multimedia world, Musix is a distribution worth trying.
While Ubuntu Linux continues to grow -- in both popularity and new advancements for the Linux ecosystem -- and dance in the limelight, it isn't the choice for everybody. For those that may still be searching for their right Linux mate, Zenwalk 5.0 is a distribution worth trying out. Previously we have referred to Zenwalk as an unsung hero among Linux distributions and with the forthcoming 5.0 release it asserts a very well rounded Xfce desktop.
The second alpha release for the Ubuntu Hardy Heron family is now available. In addition to the new Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 2 build, also updated are Kubuntu, Edubuntu, JeOS, Xunbuntu, Gobuntu, and Ubuntu Studio. The major changes impacting all of these distribution derivatives is a massive Debian update and switching over to the Linux 2.6.24 kernel. With Ubuntu 8.04, PulseAudio is also the default sound server. While KDE 4.0 packages are available for both Kubuntu 7.10 and Kubuntu 8.04, Kubuntu 8.04 Alpha 2 uses KDE 3.5.8 by default. In this release, some of the other updated packages include Amarok, Qt, Dikigam, and there is also Adobe Flash support in Konqueror.
Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 2 is due out tomorrow, and while we'll have more extensive testing as the Hardy Heron release nears in April, today we are publishing our first -- very initial -- benchmarks of Ubuntu 8.04 using the 12-19-2007 daily build and comparing these results to Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. These tests are focused upon OpenGL gaming, encoding, disk, and memory performance.
KDE 4.0 Release Candidate 2 was made available yesterday as the last testing release before the final KDE 4.0 build next month. If you've been wanting to try out this latest version of KDE 4.0, but aren't yet ready to fully upgrade, there are Linux LiveCDs already available that integrate KDE 4.0 RC2. Two of these LiveCDs are the OpenSuSE-based KDE Four Live 0.8 and a KDE 4.0 spin of Kubuntu.
The first alpha release of OpenSuSE 11.0 is now available for download. OpenSuSE 11.0 integrates a number of new packages, including GCC 4.3.0, the latest Linux 2.6.24 development kernel, X.Org 7.3, ALSA 1.0.15, GIMP 2.4, and Yast2 2.16. OpenSuSE 11.0 Alpha 0 is available as a DVD or via KDE and GNOME CD spins.
The first alpha release of Ubuntu 8.04 was scheduled to be released today, but the official release has been pushed back until tomorrow. However, a preliminary CD image of this first alpha release for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS has surfaced today on the Internet. While there is still seven more Ubuntu 8.04 test releases planned before the final release of Hardy Heron in April, we have already started exploring this first Hardy Heron LiveCD.
Last month, following the availability of Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" was the release of Mythbuntu 7.10. Mythbuntu is an Ubuntu derivative and has been around for less than a year, but they have been making great progress with this MythTV-optimized distribution. We have been testing out Mythbuntu 7.10 in several different configurations over the past few weeks and today we have our thoughts to share on it as well as a rough overview for those that may have not yet tried this Linux distribution.
With its lime green theme, the appearance of Foresight 2.0 Alpha 1 is certainly distinct from most other desktop Linux distributions. However, it's color theme is not all that's unique about this new development release. Foresight Linux 2.0 Alpha 1 contains an updated package set with GNOME 2.20.1 along with a Tar based installer for reduced install time, Compiz Fusion integration, new tool chain using GCC 4.1.1, and a smaller default install size.
Back in March we had compared the performance of Ubuntu and Fedora as we tested Ubuntu 6.10 and Fedora 6 along with development versions of Ubuntu 7.04 and Fedora 7. During those benchmarks, Ubuntu 7.04 Alpha 5 had a slight lead over Fedora but the race was extremely close. In August we compared Ubuntu and Fedora again along with Xubuntu, Mandriva, and SimplyMEPIS, but using older PC hardware. In these benchmarks, the results were also close but Mandriva was the leader. Now with the release of Fedora 8 last week, we have run a new set of benchmarks comparing it to the month-old Ubuntu 7.10.
Fedora 8 (codenamed Werewolf) is finally being released this morning. We've talked about the Fedora 8 features in many past articles, but to recap, Werewolf adopts the PulseAudio sound daemon, Codec Buddy, a new look and feel, open-source Java integration through the IcedTea project, improved laptop support, remote virtualization management, and a plethora of other improvements. While we've delivered screenshots of Fedora 8 previously, here are our final screenshots from the Fedora 8 LiveCD.
Earlier this week Everex launched the gPC TC2502, which is a sub-$200 PC sold at a major US retailer, but what makes this unique is that it runs the gOS. The gOS (GreenOS) is designed to be a conceptual Google Operating System that is based upon Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. Though this is not the conventional GNOME desktop environment but an Enlightenment E17 desktop is used that is heavily modified and reflects a green Google theme. The gOS provides easy access to Google services such as YouTube, Google Product Search, Google Calendar, and Google Maps. Also a click away are other web services such as Wikipedia and Facebook. This isn't a pure Internet desktop but Xine, Skype, OpenOffice.org, and other applications are available for this Linux LiveCD. We've been trying the gOS out for a while and it's a rather nice slim desktop Linux distribution that would be perfect for Internet cafes and other public places.
With much anticipation by the OpenSolaris community, last night Sun had released their first developer preview for the binary desktop distribution that we have known over the past couple of months as Project Indiana. Ian Murdock and company are optimistic for this project that will address some of the existing Solaris adoption barriers when it comes to the installation, package management, and familiarization along with revitalizing the user experience. How does this first milestone of Project Indiana, which in fact will be named OpenSolaris, rank when it comes to meeting their objectives? In this review, we have a lot of information and screenshots on this long-awaited OpenSolaris binary distribution.
The release of Fedora 8 (codenamed Werewolf) is due out for release in less than two weeks and comes with a host of new features. Fedora 8 will offer a Codec Buddy for installing audio/video codecs, an open-source Java stack now based upon IcedTea, improved laptop support, the Pulse Audio sound server, remote virtualization support, and much more. As a sneak peak at the final release of Fedora 8, taken from the Fedora 2007-10-24 Rawhide spin we have screenshots of the improvements to the Fedora Firstboot, the Fedora 8 GNOME desktop, and also the KDE version of Fedora 8. Enjoy!
This past weekend my uncle had computer problems again, yes the one that was ripped off by the geek squad before. He knew I was in town just for a party and going back. He did not want to tell me that his computer was messed up again but I knew it after looking at his face. I said I would stop by and fix it. I only had a couple of hours to spare and was expecting the usual virus or spy-ware to be slowing it down but when I got there it was a lot worse than that. His wife, who is the primary user of the computer, loves to download (caunta porqueria se encuentra). I had to say it in Spanish because it has more meaning, but it loosely translates to every little dirty thing that she can find on the net. From every disc cleaner to the almighty registry sweeper, she had downloaded things I had never even seen before.
The bi-weekly release of Solaris Express Community Edition (SXCE) has marked a few changes with the most recent version. Build 75 of the Solaris Express Community Edition is upgraded to GNOME 2.20.0, Mozilla Firefox 22.214.171.124, Pidgin 2.1.1, and even The GIMP 2.4.0 Release Candidate 2. Of course, Sun's Java Desktop System with GNOME 2.20.0 only faintly resembles a traditional GNOME desktop environment, but most of the packages are updated to this latest GNOME stable branch. In addition to the latest set of packages, the OpenSolaris xVM (Xen) project is supported by OpenSolaris Build 75. The xVM platform is supported on x86 and x64 systems and supports para-virtualized Solaris, Live Migration, and other features.
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.
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