Open Ballot - proprietary codecs

Distros

We're just about to record the TuxRadar podcast #4, and this episode our Open Ballot question is: should distros make it easy for users to install proprietary codecs/drivers/apps on Linux? Please give a yes or no answer, and show your workings to get all the marks available for this question. Oh, and Anonymous Penguin, please provide a name that we can reference alongside your comment in the podcast. Gracias!

PCLinuxOS 2009.1 released

Distros

You'd expect the seventh most popular distro on DistroWatch to pump out new releases more often, but it has been a quiet couple of years for PCLinuxOS. The last release arrived in May 2007 -- which is, like, a bajillion years ago in the distro world -- but we're not complaining. We're super glad, as no doubt many other Linuxers are, that the distro is still thriving and we have a new version to explore thanks to the awesomely named Ripper Gang.

Warren Woodford on MEPIS kernel, favourite features

Distros

Warren Woodford, founder and lead developer of MEPIS Linux, had previously complained that Debian 5.0 "Lenny" didn't ship with a long-term support Linux kernel, and so the latest release of MEPIS breaks form with Lenny only days after its release by shipping with a newer kernel - something that could potentially make MEPIS less compatible with software certified for Debian. We asked Warren what kind of thinking was behind the switch, and also about his favourite new features in MEPIS 8.0...

Lenny has landed!

Distros

After almost two years of work since the release of Etch, the Debian team has finally released Debian 5.0 "Lenny" to the world - their tenth major release. When we spoke to Steve McIntyre, the Debian Project Leader, he said "we basically decided that if we were happy that stuff looks and is legal, as in there isn't any source missing or anything like that, then screw it - we'll go with that." To find out what he was talking about and see our initial views on the new release, read on...

How to install Linux on a USB flash drive

Distros

Nothing can beat having a great Linux distro installed on a super-fast hard drive, with all your favourite apps configured just how you like them and all your files at your fingertips. But this has one major drawback: perfect as your setup is, it's also just one machine, and sooner or later you'll be forced to leave that computer behind and use something else. Something that might run Windows. Something that might not even have Firefox.

Because no one likes being parted from their data for too long, we present a smarter option: store it all on a USB flash drive...

From the archives: the best distros of 2000

Distros

Back in May 2000 the first issue of Linux Format magazine hit the newsstands. One of its features was a group test of Linux distributions, reflecting the state of play in Linux flavours at the time. If you fancy a trip down memory lane or just a quick look at how beautiful Linux wasn't all those years ago, we've dug out the original article complete with screenshots - read on!

Fedora 11 hits alpha

Fedora

Codenamed Leonidas, the first alpha release of what will become Fedora 11 is now available, sporting a handful of new features. Along with Ext4 and Btrfs filesystem support, the alpha also includes easier firmware installation via PackageKit and a development snapshot of Gnome 2.26.

Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7

Distros

In depth: A lot of people have been chattering about the improvements Windows 7 brings for Windows users, but how does it compare to Ubuntu in real-world tests? We put Ubuntu 8.10, Windows Vista and Windows 7 through their paces in both 32-bit and 64-bit tests to see just how well Ubuntu faces the new contender. And, just for luck, we threw in a few tests using Jaunty Jackalope with ext4.

CrunchBang Linux hands-on

Distros

In depth: Ubuntu has a lot to answer for - in four short years it has risen to dominate the Linux landscape. It has also spawned several re-spins, including the excellent Mint Linux, and now CrunchBang Linux. The principal method of installing CrunchBang is by using a Live CD, which will enable you to get a taste of the distro before installing, and never before has this been more important than it is with CrunchBang.

For starters, it's designed to be minimalist in order to increase performance, but not to lose any functionality in the process. To aid this, the developers have opted to use the Openbox window manager, which is extremely minimalist.

The pain-free guide to switching distros

Distros

In depth: The most recent official count of Linux distros put the number at 'one hell of a lot'.This is good because it gives us plenty of choice, and choice provides freedom and freedom is good, right? Maybe it can feel as if there's a little too much choice at times, but there's no doubt that the huge variety of distributions makes Linux more interesting. However, trying different distros isn't as easy as experimenting with a new web browser, word processor or even desktop environment.

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