Friday, August 23, 2013


I downloaded CrunchBang 11 ("Waldorf"), which is based on Debian Wheezy and comes with Openbox. crunchbang-11-20130505-i686.iso was about 771 MB, a little too big for a CD, so I burned it to a DVD. Here's a look at the default desktop in the live session:

Decided to install it to the hard drive, and I thought it was one of the easiest installations I've ever done. I think they used a slightly modified Debian installer; they include nice post-installation scripts, including some for installing LibreOffice, Chromium, and Google Chrome.

Openbox was nicely set up. Some of what's included by default: Iceweasel, tint2, Nitrogen, Terminator, Thunar, Geany, Viewnior Image Viewer, VLC Media Player, AbiWord, Gnumeric, GParted, Synaptic.

Not bad! Looks like a good option for those who want a quick and easy Wheezy installation, especially if you like Openbox.

Monday, August 19, 2013

two reviews

As I mentioned earlier, I probably won't install Kwheezy here, so I was happy to see that Arindam Sen has posted a review of Kwheezy 1.1. As always, Sen took a very good look at things, live session as well as hard drive installation. Here's a link to the review:

While reading the comments following the article, I noticed that there's another Kwheezy 1.1 review out there by someone who goes by the name of nilguy, over at the Darbar linux blog. Here's a link to that review.

Good to see that Kwheezy is getting some attention!

chrome pdf viewer

Over at Unixmen, Enock Seth writes:

By default, Google Chrome displays PDF files in the browser while trying to download them by clicking on their links. Which downloads and opens the file at the same time. This makes saving of the PDF from the browser very easy at the click of a mouse.

Sometimes want you just want to do is to download the PDF file directly to your computer. But Google Chrome does not allow you [to] do this.

Well, sometimes I like this behavior, sometimes I don't. Anyway, Seth goes on to explain how to disable it: In Chrome's address bar, type chrome://plugins. Find the "Chrome PDF Viewer" plugin and click on "Disable" and you're done. Here's a link to the article.

some comments about arch

Here's very good blog post about Arch Linux by Gautham P. Das:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

kwheezy 1.1

Here's a link to the Kwheezy 1.1 release announcement, posted today at the Kweezy Blog.

From the announcement:

Changes in version 1.1:

- Minor improvements to the installer. Including the hardware clock to local-time fix.
- Keyboard selection before and after installation. New app called "Kwheezy Keyboard Selector".
- Locale (language) support. New app called "Kwheezy Localizer".
- Firefox/Thunderbird language extensions.
- Firefox now supports magnet links out-the-box and Flashgot addon enabled with Kget as download manager.
- KDE Touchpad Configuration now installed by default.
- No login sound in Live session (speeds it up a bit).
- A few other minor stuff.

As usual, you can upgrade to Kwheezy 1.1 from the Kwheezy repository via Apper or apt-get.

Also, for those who follow this sort of thing, Kwheezy is currently sitting at #47 on DistroWatch's Page Hit Ranking (30-day span):

Monday, August 12, 2013

switched to mac os x

No, I haven't switched, but I was reading a blog post by Denis Koryavov, a developer who used to work with the Linux distro called ROSA (a Russian distro). He said he needed a vacation from working on free software, so he quit ROSA back in May, and he says that now " main laptop is - MacBook Pro 15 (retina) with MacOS X 10.8."

That sounds really cool; I hear that's a great laptop.

Then, Koryavov goes on to say:

To be honest, I'm happy with this. Everything just works. Unfortunately and I can say this freely now: if we will speak about usability (and not ideology) GNU/Linux distros are still not rivals for the MacOS X and Microsoft Windows on desktops and laptops.

More than 20 years of development and any free distro can't be the rival of the proprietary operating systems? Unfortunately not. Even Ubuntu and ROSA. Why? I have plans to write an other post about this. Stay tuned. :)

Wow. That statement won't go over too well in the Linux world, of course. But I have no doubts that what he says is true, which is one reason why I have never tried to convince anyone to switch over to Linux.

For myself, though, it IS about ideology (and not so much about usability), and it is NOT about rivaling Mac OS X and Windows. I am not one of those who cares about seeing Linux "defeat" Mac OS X and Windows or whatever. For me, it's all about FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and having a decent option to use instead of proprietary software.

When I install a Linux system, I'm not expecting for it to be perfect, or to be as easy to set up and use as Mac OS X or Windows. I just want to be able to get my computing done with as little cost as possible, and I want to support FOSS with my time and efforts.

I want for Linux to be good, but all I really need is for Linux to be good enough (for my purposes). And it is.

But if someone wants to give me a Macbook Pro, hey, I'd be down with that! :)

new sabayon release

I installed Sabayon 13.04 back on July 29th (see my post from then), but hadn't gotten around to logging into Fluxbox (which Sabayon comes with) and tweaking that to suit my tastes until yesterday. Finally got that all done.

Today, I noticed that Sabayon 13.08 has been released. Here's the announcement. With this release, systemd becomes the default init system for Sabayon, but since I installed from the earlier release, I'm still using OpenRC (SysVinit) in Sabayon. OpenRC support may last for another year or so, but it would probably be a good idea for me to get on with things and switch over to systemd.

Ugh. I'm reading up on systemd at the Gentoo wiki ( I'm hoping that there will soon be detailed instructions at the Sabayon wiki, or in the Sabayon forums, for users who want to switch without doing a fresh installation. I'm not bothered by the idea of using systemd, as I'm already using it in a couple other distros; I just don't want to destroy my current Sabayon installation, and don't really want to do a fresh installation right now. So, I'll hold off a little longer and learn a bit more, then I'll go for it and see how things work out.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

kudos to mark s.

Enjoyed the piece on Mark Shuttleworth by Christine Hall over at FOSS Force. Here's a little bit of what she wrote:

Let Mr. Shuttleworth do what the frack he thinks he needs to do. He’s pouring tons of money into R&D that’s helping us all. If he’s successful and gets the Edge to fly, then we’ll see HP and Dell crawling all over each other to be the first to bring out a Ubuntu desktop, laptop, tablet and anything else they can think up that might stick to the wall.

You and I still won’t have to use Ubuntu on anything. We can continue using Debian, Slack, CrunchBang, Bodhi, Arch–take your pick. We’ll still all gain from the R&D that’s being done. It’ll all end up being GPLed. We’ll all get to use any of it we want. Certainly, I’ll never use Ubuntu, but I’m already benefiting from the work the Canonical folks have done, just as I’m benefiting from the work done by Red Hat and SUSE, which I have also not used on a PC and probably never will.

The argument that Shuttleworth isn’t returning back to the community doesn’t fly. He’s not Steve Jobs. He’s not taking open source code and making it proprietary. He’s not stealing from us. He’s making stuff, he’s doing things and, by gawd, untold millions know about Linux now who’d never heard of us before he came along.

A link to the entire article: Why Mark Shuttleworth Is Important to Desktop Linux

kwheezy live

The Kwheezy developer, Euan Thoms, suggested that I "download the torrent" to get the Kwheezy .iso, so I used KTorrent (in Debian Wheezy KDE, by coincidence) to download kwheezy-1.0.1-(32bit).iso.

Huge (3.6G) download. I used K3b to burn it onto a disk, then booted one of my notebooks with it.

Wow. This distro comes fully loaded. Going by what I'm seeing in the live session, Kwheezy would be great for a beginner, and many experienced users would appreciate something like this, as well.

I prefer the classic-style menu in KDE, so I appreciated that this was chosen as the default in Kwheezy.

The panel is set up nicely with all kinds of useful icons. They even included the Icon-Only Task Manager, which I prefer. Of course there are tons of widgets that you can add -- KDE, ftw.

A few more shots showing some of what's in the menu (as always, click on the image for a larger view):

The upper-left corner hotspot is already set up for access to the cube:

As I mentioned earlier, I probably won't be doing an installation with Kwheezy anytime soon, so I can't comment on the installer (other than to mention the "Install Kwheezy" icon located conveniently at the upper-left corner of the desktop) or how well things look once installed. Perfect situation for a virtual installation, though...

However, Kwheezy looks perfect for using for my live sessions, although I'd rather that it came with GParted and not just KDE Partition Manager. But I'm okay with that, too.

Everything's there to get the user up and running, and of course the vast Debian software repositories are available for whatever else might be needed.

In fact, I feel kinda funny calling this a Debian-based distro; clearly, it's Debian Wheezy with KDE -- a lot of KDE! As noted at the Kwheezy home page, "Not so much a distribution based on Debian, but rather 'a well configured Debian KDE installer'."

Looks very good. I'll be surprised if Kwheezy doesn't become very popular among Linux folks. I'm very happy to see it out there.

To find out more, check out the tour page at the Kwheezy site, here.