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Posts published in “Distros”

Upgrading Bodhi Linux to 2.3.0

Some time after midnight Thursday morning, after getting home from my “day” job, I upgraded my laptop to the latest version of Bodhi Linux, numbered 2.3.0, which was announced on Easter Sunday by the project’s Lead Developer, Jeff Hoogland, on his blog Thoughts on Technology.

This isn’t a major upgrade. I’m sure there are some bug fixes and minor enhancements, but it mainly upgrades some essential software, such as the Linux Kernel, Enlightenment window manager, Midori browser, Terminology terminal emulator and Ubiquity, the Ubuntu default installer used by Bodhi. In addition, this update adds eCcess, a new system tool, and includes a slew of new themes for dressing-up the desktop.

What’s Good For Canonical Is Best For Ubuntu

Mark Shuttleworth can’t leave well enough alone. First it was Unity. Then it was Wayland. Now it’s Mir. Inquiring minds want to know: what does he think he’s trying to do? It’s simple, really. He’s not trying to do anything. All indications are that he’s actually accomplishing what he’s setting out to do. Except for making money and only time will tell if that’s going to work out for him.

Unity was a no-brainer. Practically everybody hated GNOME 3, so he pretty much had to do something. What everyone expected that something to be was along the lines of Cinnamon or MATE, an interface that would offer users the look and feel of GNOME as they knew it, not as it had become. What Shuttleworth offered was, in the words of Monty Python, “something completely different.” Different from both GNOME 2 or 3. Different from KDE. Different from Windoze and OS X. Unique to Ubuntu.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Linux Achieves Bodhi Enlightenment


Until recently, most desktop Linux distros were about the same on the surface. What differentiated them were things like configurability. Some distros, those preferred by Linux purists or designed primarily to be used as servers, required users to open a terminal and change settings with a text editor. Others sought to be newbie friendly, and had devised schemes so that most systems settings could be done point and click, just like with that evil operating system from Redmond.

On the surface, though, whether newbie friendly or designed for geeks, the user was mainly offered an out-of-the-box desktop, usually KDE or GNOME, that was maybe dressed-up a bit with the distro’s logo but otherwise seemingly added almost as an afterthought.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Ubuntu Phone OS – What Are Its Chances?

By now, probably everyone interested in FOSS has heard that Canonical is going to be coming out with Ubuntu Phone OS, a version of Ubuntu specifically designed for the smartphone market. This OS will be in addition to the already available Ubuntu for Android. Media experts had prepared us to be ready for both a phone and a tablet offering, but that evidently isn’t going to happen–at least not yet.

Not surprisingly, the tech press has been all over this story since yesterday’s announcement–especially the FOSS press–making this the biggest story so far in this just born year. The stories that are appearing online are either straight forward reporting of the facts, or speculation on what this will mean for mobile and Ubuntu.

Reading the later category of article can be a bit confusing. Obviously, this early in the game nobody, including Canonical, has even a clue as to how this will work out. But that doesn’t stop some writers from getting out the old crystal ball and having a go at Free Software fortune telling.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Some Prominent Open Source Forks

Penguinistas used to worry about the dreaded fork, especially of Linux. “What if Linux forks and becomes like Unix?” was a question often being posed in the open source media. Linus Torvalds would do his best to put those fears to rest, explaining that under the GPL forks are usually to be welcomed.

He was of the opinion that if a fork improves a product and is liked by the users, those changes will almost certainly be rolled back into the originating application. If not, and the fork is indeed a marked improvement on the original, then the fork becomes the standard bearer at the expense of the original application.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Red Hat & Ubuntu’s UEFI Solutions Not Good For FOSS

The FOSS community is understandably upset with both Red Hat and Ubuntu for their planned ways of implementing UEFI Secure Boot. Indeed, both companies plans are unacceptable for a variety of reasons. Free software isn’t free if it requires permission from an outside source before it can be loaded onto a new or used computer. This is true even if the permission comes from a well-meaning bureaucratic regulatory agency. It’s doubly true if that permission must come from a self-serving monopoly with an anti-FOSS history, like Microsoft.

In early June, Red Hat came under fire from the FOSS press for their way of getting around Secure Boot. Their solution, which will also be used by Fedora, involves joining Microsoft’s developer program in order to obtain a key to be used to load a “shim” bootloader which will then load GRUB. In a post on Red Hat’s web site explaining the move, Tim Burke, Vice President of Linux Engineering, seemed to be dismissing these critics in a terse two sentence paragraph near the end of the post:

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Welcome To Ubuntu’s Penguin Bar – How Can I Help You?

Android on tablets and smartphones may have primed the public to be willing to try a flavor other than Windows on their PCs and laptops, but this means next to nothing in the current computing environment. Consumers are going to buy what’s on the shelves at Best Buy, or what jumps off the screen at them on Amazon.com or Dell’s site. None of these venues are going to feature Linux boxes, at least not where you can find them unless you’re specifically looking for them. Why? There’s nothing in it for the retailers or manufacturers; it’s a zero-sum gain situation.

If an OEM started actively marketing Linux, for the most part they’d just be pushing people who are already buyers from one OS to another, nothing more. Except for those of us who’re already part of the Linux installed base, and our numbers are relatively few, they wouldn’t be selling any more machines or making any more money. They would only be creating more logistical problems for themselves.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Apple Patents Gestures, Secure Boot Is Here, Android Bests iPhone

Friday FOSS Week in Review

It’s been a busy week. So busy, in fact, I was unable to make my deadline for FWIR, so here I am with a special Saturday edition. Just so you know, there’s a precedent for this. Back in the days when ABC ran “Monday Night Football” they called any NFL game they ran “Monday Night Football,” no matter what the day of the week. Hence, we were often treated to “Monday Night Football, Special Thursday Edition” and such. In that spirit, I offer you “Friday FOSS Week in Review, Special Saturday Edition.”

Of course, if I’m going to get busy and miss deadline, it’ll happen on a busy week in FOSS news. The fates work that way, I’m convinced. Indeed, after a couple of ho-hum weeks, the news flew fast and furious this week. Hold on, it’ll be a hell of a ride!

More Apps Downloaded to Android than to iPhone

It was reported on Tuesday that ABI Research says Android now leads the pack in the number of apps downloaded. According to their figures, 44% of all mobile apps downloaded are headed for Android devices, with 31% going to the iOS platform. These figures are miles away from what the research firm predicted back in 2009 as the mobile wars were just getting heated up:

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

ESR Defends RMS, Google the Musical & MS Plays Bad

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Another typical week in the FOSS world. Mainly, the proprietary guys have been busy bad-mouthing the competition, while the FOSS folks have been busy finding solutions.

ESR Defends RMS on Jobs

This week I ran across a blog by Eric Raymond that was posted on October 8, in which Raymond defends the now infamous remarks made by Richard Stallman on his blog shortly after the death of Steve Jobs. I found this to me more than a little interesting, because Raymond and Stallman don’t always see eye to eye on FOSS issues. Indeed, he even manages to take a swipe at RMS while speaking in his defense:

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

MeeGo & SUSE: What’s Up With That?

I’m wondering why Attachmate is interested in MeeGo.

Okay, I might be getting ahead of myself here. Actually, I don’t know that Attachmate is interested in MeeGo. All I know for sure is that yesterday Jos Poortvliet, the openSUSE community manager, wrote an article for LinuxUser in which he offered openSUSE as a new home for MeeGo:

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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