Today we saw the latest distro release of LinuxConsole, a basic, independently developed Linux distribution that focuses on games and multimedia support. I found the default LinuxConsole 1.0.2009 live CD to have a very plain feel and setup. All versions featured limited applications in my opinion although the selection was different for each. Well known features of the Live CD version include Gnome, Cups printing, Gimp, gcompris, foobillard, and frozen bubble.
The LinuxConsole 1.0.2009 Live DVD includes everything from the CD, ATICatalyst 9.9, Nvidia 185.18.36, VirtualBox 3.0.6, PlayOnLinux, some interesting 3D gaming options and more.
The LinuxConsole 1.0.2009 Multimedia version is also available and is geared for computers slim on hardware specs. LinuxConsole Miltimedia requires “256Mb only needed for programs, system and data” as stated in the LinuxConsole 1.0.2009 release notes.
If you like the idea but want to create something a little different, check out the LinuxConsole Jukebox. Build your own custom .iso file that includes the modules you want.
Useful Linuxconsole Links:
I’ve posted a short video walk-through of the new Ubuntu 9.10 Software Center. The Software Center will replace Add/Remove applications in the final release of Ubuntu 9.10.
Inside the Ubuntu Software Center users will see Get Free Software and Installed Software options. If Get Free Software is selected users can choose from packages broken down into categories or departments for ease of use. A filter field is also available in the top right corner. After packages are selected details about the package and expandable screenshots for each package is shown. This is in my opinion on of the biggest advantages of the Software Center over Add/Remove applications setup. If Installed Software is selected from the column on the left users will see an alphabetical list of software packages installed. Selecting a package wil result in details, screenshot and a button to remove the package.
After packages have been either added or removed the In Progress selection appears along with Get Free Software and Installed Software options on the left. With In Progress selected on the left users can see the current status of packages whether they are downloading, being installed or removed. I was skeptical of the Software Center at first but it does have some bright spots that, I think, make it worth the change. What do you think? Ubuntu Software Center or Add/Remove Applications.
The first question I hear Linux newbies ask is what is the best distribution to use? I think right now plenty of linux desktop options exist for newbies however a few things set Ubuntu ahead of the pack in my opinion.
Although exact figures are nearly impossible to gather, Ubuntu has been estimated to have over 10 million users and is by far the most popular Linux distribution. This makes getting help easier because places like the UbuntuForums and IRC-client are full of people that can answer any question a newbie throws at them. In addition to free support an increasing number of Ubuntu book, training CD, and training course options can be seen everywhere.
Ubuntu has a great team of people on board that have sacrificed a lot to get it to where it is now. Ubuntu has been built in an organized manner with a planned release every six months. Scheduled releases bring routine enhancements and new features to the operating system. In most cases I’ve found Ubuntu versions can be upgraded from within without any re-installation.
What other distribution do you know that has been developed in multiple flavors the way Ubuntu has? Having Kubuntu, as good as it is, around is excellent as many people use Kubuntu that would never use Ubuntu. Having Xubuntu and Ubuntu Studio release at the same time and all carry their own distinct assets just increases the user base of Ubuntu that much more.
I’ve listed only a few of the advantages to using Ubuntu. What are your personal reasons for using Ubuntu over the next guy?
For many, the web browser is one of the most important applications they use. This is simply because of the high amount of time most people spend entertaining themselves or working from the web browser. Some web browsers are very fast, some have add-ons, and some file browsing features. Doesn’t it make sense to use a web browser that meets your needs and works well with your hardware specifications? Linux distributions are compatible with plenty of good web browsers so don’t just settle for the default. The article of the day today at Lxer.com was written by Steve Emms and titled 10 of the Best Free Linux Web Browsers. It has some great information about individual web browsers and what they’re good for. Make sure to click on the browser links within the article to get the low-down. What’s your favorite web browser and why? Please comment explaining why you voted the way you did.
Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala now includes an installer slideshow. I’ve always liked the idea of rotating slides of information about the OS while it’s installing to give the users something to do. No matter what you put on the slides this is going to be more entertaining for users than staring at the progress bar. While installing Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5 you may have noticed a similar feature has been added to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala. After entering information into the installer and clicking the Install button, users will see a slideshow of highlights, tips, and featured applications one after another. The one thing that sets that Ubuntu installer slideshow apart from others I’ve seen is it only plays through once. I found this to be a nice touch and I also anticipate many more slides by the final release.
Here’s a look at some of the slides I captured while installing Ubuntu 9.10.
What do you think? Is The Ubuntu installer slideshow useful for new users so they know what to expect or just a waste of time and space?
The Ubuntu-based gNewSense is sponsored by the Free Software Foundation and is released without any proprietary or non-free components. This means no restrictions are placed on usage or sharing of gNewSense. The same can’t be said for Linux distros like Ubuntu and Debian. gNewSense is an exact snapshot of what free software has to offer. To achieve this gNewSense comes stripped of Ubuntu logos, proprietary firmware, and restricted modules.
Although I’ve reviewed several Ubuntu-based linux distributions recently(moonOS, Mint7 XFCE, & others) I feel like gNewSense is on a whole different level due to its free software status. Many users will pass over it because it consistently favors compliance over ease-of-use and usability. More and more newbies are coming to Linux for a solution, not because of their morals and beliefs about software. While I’m all for finding solutions, remember that the freedom to share is what got us this far.
I installed gNewSense and have taken these screenshots to share in hopes a few users will give it a shot.
Linux Mint 7 Gloria XFCE was just released featuring the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, Xorg 7.4 and XFCE 4.6 desktop. Linux Mint 7 has introduced us to some exciting improvements to mintInstall, mintUpdate, mintWelcome, and mintUpload along with several artwork enhancements. With XFCE 4.6 looking better than ever, the combination of the two together prompted me to do a quick installation of Linux Mint 7 XFCE to see what all the commotion was about.
I had no problems installing Linux Mint 7 XFCE. The installer was unchanged from Ubuntu, quick and the easiest I’ve found for newbies to use. Screenshots of the install are included in the gallery below this article.
Purchase Linux Mint 7 on CD or DVD
Linux Mint 7 XFCE looks similar to the original version Linux Mint and is based off the same Shiki-Mint theme. The green tinged dew drop look flows nicely from boot to desktop. Although many distros are popping up with some great looks, Linux Mint was the first distro that really surprised me and had the stability to keep surprising me. The continual improvement of the Linux Mint appearance is one mechanism that is propelling it to such popularity. I feel like the appearance got me in the door, the Ubuntu base kept me around, and the Mint specific tools like mintInstall, mintupdate, etc hooked me into using it long term on one of my machines.
I was counting on Linux Mint 7 XFCE to pick up my network connection automatically, which it did. My wireless card worked almost immediately as well. I knew this was a possibility because i was using a Cisco 350 series wireless card that I’ve found works with most Ubuntu based distros. Some take more coaxing than others. Here’s a list of Linux Mint compatible wireless cards. Wireless failure is a common problem for newbies and can be avoided by buying Linux compatible hardware. If you’re using a wireless card successfully with Linux mint please leave your specs in the comment box so we can pass this information on.
Learn Linux Mint With Videos
Linux Mint 7 XFCE worked well on my laptop. I was able to navigate quickly, access my favorite applications, and impressive Mint specific tools like mintInstall, mintUpdate, and others. This desktop could easily be one I work from daily as it includes many of the advantages of Ubuntu and some functionality of its own.
Lets take a look at some of the Linux Mint 7 changes that really make Linux mint 7 XFCE shine.
mintWelcome serves as a resource panel for users that have just installed Linux Mint. You’ll notice big time changes to mintWelcome in the Linux Mint 7 release as it includes these new welcome options. Take a look at the new mintWelcome screen.
mintInstall now has a new button you can press up at the top of the window that allows users to access the Featured Applications. These are the most popular applications made available for easy access. I found this to be a time saver and worked just fine. The mintInstall font-end also started “pre-filled” which means they fixed the annoyance where you open mintInstall, then had to refresh to do anything. Refresh can still be used for its intended purpose though. A few other smaller improvements are noticeable in mintInstall including new More Info button and shorter descriptions. Over-all mintInstall is looking and behaving fantastically.
Something I didn’t like in previous releases was the changelog tab would only support Ubuntu packages, now it support Linux Mint packages. Also mintUpdate includes download size associated with each package upgrade which makes it nice to know what you’re getting into.
Now mintUpload has no advertisements which is good news for Linux Mint users. The mintUpload GUI has been cleaned up to display relevant information and now services can be created, edited, or deleted from the GUI on the new service manager. SCP and SFTP protocols are now supported by mintUpload.
Linux Mint 7 XFCE really does mix together the stability of the Ubuntu 9.04 base, Linux Mint 7 features and beauty, along with quickness of XFCE to create a powerful, full featured, desktop that’s fast and light enough to run on older hardware.
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Here’s a few shots taken during this Linux Mint review.