Ubuntu 9.10: the net's opinion

Ubuntu

It has only been out for a week-ish, but already the reviews of Karmic Koala are scurrying around the intertubes. Jamie's Random Musings at ZDNet has "mixed impressions" of the release, comparing it to 9.04 which he thought was "truly excellent". The Globe and Mail, meanwhile, looks at the Koala from a non-geek perspective, describing it as "a package that won't be a horrible stretch for the novice". Linux Critic gives thumbs-up to the faster boot times, improved artwork and inclusion of the Empathy IM client, but criticises the poor integration of the Ubuntu One cloud storage service.

Make Linux faster and lighter

Linux


With just a few tweaks, your Linux box can be lighter, sprightlier and quicker than ever before. Read on for the best ways to speed up your boot sequence, optimise KDE and Gnome, and get better performance from your favourite apps. We've also got some top tips from our favourite free software gurus...

Vista, Windows 7, Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10 boot speed comparison

Linux

The Great Boot Race

Hot on the heels of the final release of the Karmic Koala, we've put together a video montage of 64-bit versions of Microsoft's Vista and Windows 7 operating systems booting alongside Canonical's Ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10. Watch all four at once and see which one wins!

Each operating system has been freshly installed and features exactly the same hardware configuration. Auto-login is enabled, and each will launch Firefox which will then proceed to load our homepage.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 20

Podcast

Title: Manky Monkey

In this episode: Ubuntu 9.10 has been released! To celebrate, we talk about what's new and what's old, review a version of Ubuntu each, discuss what we love and loathe and set our minds on the future with Lucid Lynx. Koala Ho!

The BBC takes on Linux

Ubuntu

A few days ago, a BBC journalist was on air saying that Ubuntu was "a whole sort of little community of enthusiasts building operating systems for absolutely nothing." Since then, as you can imagine, he's had some angry emails from Linux users, so Canonical sent him over a laptop with Karmic Koala Netbook Remix installed.

The result, sadly, isn't great for Linux, but there's a lot we can learn from the results of the test.

It's official: we love Windows 7

Microsoft

This might be a strange thing to hear on a Linux website, but it's true: we're big fans of Windows 7. Is it because of the new features? Is it because of the new user interface? Is it because of the blazing speed vs Vista? Is it because it's anything but Vista? The answer is "no" to all those.

Instead, we love Windows 7 because it seems to be providing Linux with a massive PR boost and indeed may well backfire on Microsoft - people are more curious than ever about how Linux stacks up against Windows 7. Read on for more information...

Linux frequently asked questions for newbies

TuxRadar

Many Linux users pride themselves on being highly technical geeks. And, while that's great for finding people to contribute code patches to projects, it means that a lot of first-time Linux users get branded a "newbie" and are made to feel stupid when they ask fundamental questions about things we take for granted.

To be blunt, that situation sucks. If people have honest questions about Linux, we need to be helping them find answers, and we need to do so without sarcastic comments, without "RTFM" and without telling people "just use Google."

Here at TuxRadar, and in the magazine behind the website, Linux Format, we get a lot of really basic questions from new users. We've taken the most common questions and printed them verbatim below, providing Plain English answers along the way, trying to simplify technical information as much as we can. We didn't write the questions, so more experienced users might look at them and think "wow, that's a stupid question," but if you're a newbie asking Linux questions or if you have friends asking you questions that you don't have time to answer, we hope this information will prove useful.

NB: if you have technical questions about Linux, we have an archive of common Linux problems and their solutions - you should check there first.

Reviewed: Gnome 2.28

Gnome

The Gnome project's latest release, comes just in time to be bolted on to Karmic Koala. But with KDE making big strides forward with each point release of KDE 4, are the Gnome team doing enough to keep up? Only just... read on to find out more!

SCO fires CEO McBride, still loves litigation

Linux

Ah, SCO vs the world. It seems like it has been going on forever, but occasionally a bit of good news crops up. Everyone's favourite Unix company has decided to "terminate" Darl McBride, its outspoken CEO and key figure in the ligitation dramas. While this move will allow the company to "preserve cash and the value of the business", SCO still expects to "raise additional funding and sell non-core assets to bolster working capital". In other words, it needs to flog off some of its products (UnixWare?) to make sure the piggy bank still rattles when shaken.

Podcast Season 1 Episode 19

Podcast

Title: A Hero's Welcome

In this episode: Linux is reported to be safer for online banking and international stock exchanges than Microsoft Windows, we reveal our personal geek heroes and our Open Ballot asks whether we should embrace Microsoft's open source work.

Open Ballot: Should we embrace Microsoft's open source work?

TuxRadar

Want to contribute your views to our podcast? Sure you do, and here's your chance to have a say: do you think we should embrace Microsoft's new-found open source policies, or should we keep them at arm's length? Recently Microsoft has announced the CodePlex Foundation for supporting its own open source code, it has contributed code to the Linux kernel, it has announced that .NET is available under its community promise, and much more. Should we be afraid, or should be happy to take support and code from anywhere as long as it's open?

Our usual Open Ballot rules apply: please state either "yes" or "no" backed up by some sort of cogent reasoning, and give yourself a name that's a bit more original than Anonymous Penguin otherwise we're quite likely - no, very likely - to ignore your intellectual meanderings.

NB: our podcast will be coming out on Thursday this week rather than Wednesday. Can you hold out that long? Can you?

Debian gives FreeBSD some love

BSD

Netcraft hasn't confirmed it, but the upcoming release of Debian, codenamed Squeeze, will be available in a juicy new FreeBSD flavour alongside the regular Linux version. Well, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD has been around for a while, but now it will be an official part of the distro, combining the titanium-strength FreeBSD kernel with the GNU C library and userland utilities that we all know and love.

Interview: OpenSUSE's Joe Brockmeier

SUSE

Previously at the OpenSUSE Conference we chatted with Program Manager Andreas Jaeger. Later on we caught up with Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier, the distro's Community Manager. Read on for his thoughts on the KDE-as-default-desktop choice, lessons we can learn from Apple's iPhone App Store, and why Linux is like The Ramones...

Podcast Season 1 Episode 18

Podcast

Title: Linux Convicts

In this episode: We talk about the recent Linux conferences we've attended, the final versions of both Moblin 2.0 and Gnome 2.28 and discuss whether Linux is bloated. Our Open Ballot asks 'Are distro release cycles too short?' and Andrew finds a surprisingly practical 'Discovery of the Fortnight'.

Make a Python game in minutes with Gloss

Code

When Hudzilla isn't busy working on his free Mono tutorials using C#, he likes to hack on one of his pet Python projects: Gloss. It's hosted right here on TuxRadar and you may already have given it a try. If not, he wrote a short tutorial for PC Plus magazine a few months ago, and took the time to repurpose it for the web.

So, if you fancy learning the fastest way to create Python games, read on as Hudzilla talks you through an example Gloss project...

Open Ballot: Are distro release cycles too short?

TuxRadar

Back by popular demand, it's our Open Ballot. This is an opportunity to air your views on the important Linux issues of the day, which we'll be chewing over in our regular podcast. We'll read out the most incisive/witty/flamebaity responses on the show, so get posting!

The question is: with many distros adopting a six-monthly release cycle, is this a good or bad thing? Should we be looking at longer development phases so that there are bigger changes between releases, and users don't have to upgrade so often? Or perhaps you think six months is not rapid enough – maybe you'd rather have three months, or abandon releases altogether and just have rolling upgrades. Let us know what you think!

Learn Qt programming with our free tutorials

Code

We've put up three tutorials using Qt, and we think you should try them. Why? Because they use Nokia's awesome new Qt Creator tool for quick design. Because Qt is easy to learn, cross-platform, super fast and lots of fun. Because each of those tutorials is a complete, finished project that does something useful and is easily extended to fit your needs. But most of all because coding is fun and everyone should give it a try at least once!

Rather than make you dig through Google to find our Qt tutorials, we figured we'd list them here for easy access. And if you have any suggestions for more Qt project tutorials, drop us a comment below and we'll see what can be arranged.

  • Create a media player Looking for a tutorial about Qt and Phonon? You've found it: this teaches you how to build a simple media player with less than half an hour's work.
  • Create an ffmpeg front-end Learn how to execute command-line programs through Qt by building a front-end for ffmpeg that makes it easy to encode videos for the iPhone, the PSP or the GP2X.
  • Create an RSS reader Get your news delivered straight to your desktop with this tutorial on Qt, XML and RSS - it really couldn't be much easier.

If you've whizzed through all those and want more programming projects to tackle, make sure you check out our coding project archive - it's full of tutorials for Python, C++, C# and more, all for free!

Gnome 2.28 released

Gnome

Yes, a brand-spanking-new version of the Gnome desktop is now available for your downloading and compiling leisure (although for most of us, it's easier to wait for the next round of distro upgrades). Various new user-facing features have been rolled into the codebase, but also of interest is the stuff that's removed. As part of the progress towards Gnome 3.0, the developers have ripped out crusty old code - there are no longer any applications that depend on esound, libgnomevfs, libgnomeprint, or libgnomeprintui. Hurrah for that. You can see the full release notes here, or read on for a quick summary of the changes.

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