Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 13th Dec 2006 23:16 UTC, submitted by brewin
Linux The Symphony OS Project is pleased to announce the release of Symphony OS 2006-12. This release, the first since May, brings more stability and enhanced features to the young desktop environment and Linux Distro. Based on Debian Testing, Symphony OS 2006-12 also now includes the gnome-system-tools within it's System target menu providing GUI system management functions that were missing from previous releases. The system also features Firefox 2, many other updated packages, and performance improvements.
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Number of Linux Distros
by ferrels on Wed 13th Dec 2006 23:38 UTC
ferrels
Member since:
2006-08-15

Is it just me, or does it seem like the number of Linux distros out there just continues to splinter and grow almost daily?

It seems like anyone who is looking for their 15 minutes of fame takes a Linux distro, modifies it slightly, cooks up a funky new name and puts it out there for consumption. I think it's getting ridiculous.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Number of Linux Distros
by jessta on Wed 13th Dec 2006 23:53 UTC in reply to "Number of Linux Distros"
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

That is true.
But it's a good thing.
The more distributions, the more ideas that get put out there.

SymphonyOS has quite a different desktop environment to many other distributions. It would probably have been better for them to develop it as an alternative desktop environment instead of a full distribution though.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Number of Linux Distros
by Dark Leth on Thu 14th Dec 2006 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Number of Linux Distros"
Dark Leth Member since:
2005-07-06

Our DE can be used on any other linux distro. However, we are also working on a set of applications that will pull the interface together in a method similiar to that of Apple's. Having a complete distro allows us to illustrate our vision in a much more articulate manner.

Thanks for the interest, though. One day, Symphony may evolve to the point of being just a DE, but that is not right now.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Number of Linux Distros
by Gullible Jones on Thu 14th Dec 2006 00:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Number of Linux Distros"
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

I have to disagree with you. Diversity is good, yes, but what we're seeing is not diversity. Way too many distros are clones of Redhat, and a lot of the Debian-based ones have very similar sets of features. I can understand something like SymphonyOS, but IMHO there are a lot of distros that don't do anything innovative or unusually useful and really shouldn't exist.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Number of Linux Distros
by Lambda on Thu 14th Dec 2006 01:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Number of Linux Distros"
Lambda Member since:
2006-07-28

I have to disagree with you. Diversity is good, yes, but what we're seeing is not diversity. Way too many distros are clones of Redhat, and a lot of the Debian-based ones have very similar sets of features. I can understand something like SymphonyOS, but IMHO there are a lot of distros that don't do anything innovative or unusually useful and really shouldn't exist.

You said it before I had to. If there was real diversity, then it would be nice, but there isn't. Most Linux distros are just NIHS. There are legitimate reasons for NIHS, but we can't say there's a lot of diversity. And yes, at least SymphonyOS is doing something different.

Too bad that Blue Eyed OS died.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Number of Linux Distros
by B. Janssen on Thu 14th Dec 2006 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Number of Linux Distros"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

Gullible Jones: I have to disagree with you. Diversity is good, yes, but what we're seeing is not diversity. Way too many distros are clones of Redhat, and a lot of the Debian-based ones have very similar sets of features. I can understand something like SymphonyOS, but IMHO there are a lot of distros that don't do anything innovative or unusually useful and really shouldn't exist.

Look, it is quite simple. I have no interest in dictating people what they do for fun or for a living. I'm no government. Funny shoes? Not diverse enough, die!

Taking the not-so-simple-road we get a complex situation of media attention, itches to scratch, learning studies, more media attention, fun projects, visions and yet more media attention. Do you believe, you would harbor a "spare me the knock-offs" attitude if you wouldn't visit Distrowatch or OSNews? Realize, you are part of the media, too, and your "you knock-offs should not exist" is just as responsible for the next "knock-off" as a "cool, more free stuff" or whatever attitude. Besides, one of these "knock-offs" may develop into something very special that fullfil your harsh requirements for diversity.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Number of Linux Distros
by h times nue equals e on Thu 14th Dec 2006 00:01 UTC in reply to "Number of Linux Distros"
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Although Symphony OS is based on Debian, I wouldn't categorize it as just-another-slightly-modified distribution. The creator of Symphony OS actually came around with some quite interesting and new/different concepts, most visible the mezzo desktop environment.

Not exactly my cup of tea (I stick to Debian/Slackware/Gentoo), but definitly not a random yes-me-too distro and worth a close look, imho.

If the current level of fragmentation growth is the price to pay for the developement of little gems like grml, zenwalk, frugalware or Symphony OS, then that's at least ok from my perspective, e.g. unsuccessful branches of the Linux tree won't hinder the growth of the more sucessful ones.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Number of Linux Distros
by mmebane on Thu 14th Dec 2006 00:14 UTC in reply to "Number of Linux Distros"
mmebane Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, to be fair, these guys are trying something new with the interface. I'm not sure the screenshots are too inspiring, but I'm never used it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Number of Linux Distros
by Dekkard on Thu 14th Dec 2006 00:27 UTC in reply to "Number of Linux Distros"
Dekkard Member since:
2006-01-07

No.. its not ridiculous at all. Symphony is attempting a radically different approach to the desktop. It attempts to be utterly non-windows like in its approach, and emphasizes ease of use and file access.. I think the statement is a tad ridiculous. Desktop models are like flavors.. no one ever says there are too many damn flavors! Try one, try em all. Some you will like, some you will hate.. but like foss goes.. diversity is not a weakness.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Number of Linux Distros
by twenex on Thu 14th Dec 2006 01:48 UTC in reply to "Number of Linux Distros"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Is it just me, or does it seem like the number of bands/writers out there just continues to splinter and grow almost daily?

It seems like anyone who is looking for their 15 minutes of fame takes a music/literary genre, modifies it slightly, cooks up a funky new name/title and puts it out there for consumption. I think it's getting ridiculous.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Number of Linux Distros
by Lambda on Thu 14th Dec 2006 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Number of Linux Distros"
Lambda Member since:
2006-07-28

It seems like anyone who is looking for their 15 minutes of fame takes a music/literary genre, modifies it slightly, cooks up a funky new name/title and puts it out there for consumption. I think it's getting ridiculous.
Direct link for this comment-


It would be ridiculous if they were playing the same old songs. Hint, hint. At least SymphonyOS has a different tune.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Number of Linux Distros
by twenex on Thu 14th Dec 2006 02:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Number of Linux Distros"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

At least SymphonyOS has a different tune.

I agree.

It would be ridiculous if they were playing the same old songs

Call me middle-aged (I'm 29), but I can think of several bands that sound almost exactly like a slew of other bands.

And that's just the non-tribute bands.

Of course the other side of the coin is that when someone DOES come out with a distro that is different, someone is bound to moan about the fact that it uses GNUstep instead of KDE, or GNOME instead of ICEWM, or myown distribution format (.mydof) files instead of .debs, etc.

You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time. But mostly you just can't please anybody.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Number of Linux Distros
by Arne J. on Thu 14th Dec 2006 08:29 UTC in reply to "Number of Linux Distros"
Arne J. Member since:
2006-12-09

You don't deserve to be modded down. Being a linux and bsd junkie and MS basher myself, I sometimes feel the same. But nobody is imposing a distro upon you. I use between 6 and 12 different linux distro's (ever tried Arch and VLOS 1.3? They're great!), and they all serve their respective purpose.
The picture for BSD is starting to show some proliferation as well, albeit more contained. I'm glad there exists something like DragonFly, e.g.

Having said that, sometimes, in frustration about missing some specific implementation across the board (not blaming anyone, it's OSS), I feel like releasing my own brand: "Stillsux. Because, let's face it, Linux still sucks" ;-)

Edited 2006-12-14 08:43

Reply Score: 3

Um, maybe you could think before posting
by Moochman on Thu 14th Dec 2006 09:05 UTC in reply to "Number of Linux Distros"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a Linux distro with its own Desktop Environment, which is completely different from what's shipped with all other distros.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Number of Linux Distros
by vermaden on Thu 14th Dec 2006 13:46 UTC in reply to "Number of Linux Distros"
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

The most funny thing with these distros is their naming scheme. In the past every Linux distro was named ${DISTRO} Linux, like Gentoo Linux, Slackware Linux, etc.

Now every new distro based on other distro with changed default wallpaper mainly and new boot splash logo has naming scheme like ${DISTRO}OS, like SymphonyOS, KateOS, MyahOS and so.

Maybe they feel a bit more pr0/1337 naming them that way but that is very misleading comparing to names of REAL other operating systems like ReactOS, RISCOS or AmigaOS.

Now that a person that will see for example ReactOS for the first time he will think that it is just another one of zillions Linux distros :/

Even SymphonyOS logo is very similar to like AmigaOS logo. Jelous.

Cite from SymphonyOS about site:
"SymphonyOS is a whole new type of Operating System"

No it is NOT new type of operating system it is just another Linux with Mezzo Desktop Environment, nothing more.

Edited 2006-12-14 13:52

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Number of Linux Distros
by arielb on Fri 15th Dec 2006 01:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Number of Linux Distros"
arielb Member since:
2006-11-15

right...you wouldn't call windows+litestep a "liteOS"

Reply Score: 1

Glad to see him back
by B. Janssen on Thu 14th Dec 2006 00:03 UTC
B. Janssen
Member since:
2006-10-11

Whatever the "ugh, too much choice" crowd says in a knee-jerk reaction, SymphonyOS is actually a very interesting project. While i am nowhere near of total agreement with the design idea, it is very good to see how alternative GUIs could look.

Besides, you can get SymphonyOS preinstalled on refurbished PCs for 99$ from the main developer of SymphonyOS. Here's a link:
http://www.rpquinn.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=30

Reply Score: 3

diversity
by arielb on Thu 14th Dec 2006 01:19 UTC
arielb
Member since:
2006-11-15

linux is all about diversity. there's no point trying to deny linux essential nature even if everyone else doesn't want that approach.

Not everything has to be for everyone

Reply Score: 2

My advice
by twenex on Thu 14th Dec 2006 01:44 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

My advice to anyone who thinks there are too many distros, and/or there are too many RedHat clones:

There are plenty distros out there, one of which might just be for you. (Of course, some may even find that two or more distros serve them equally well for different tasks or boxen.) As for the rest:

[i]Ignore them[i].

Reply Score: 3

Tried previous build
by joelito_pr on Thu 14th Dec 2006 02:20 UTC
joelito_pr
Member since:
2005-07-07

And liked the interface.

However I couldn't use the installer for some reason.
Guess I'll have to download the new versio and see how it behaves.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Tried previous build
by twenex on Thu 14th Dec 2006 19:10 UTC in reply to "Tried previous build"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Yeah, I had problems too. It stopped right after trying and failing to mount the ramroot filesystem the first time, then second time around it failed to properly load vmlinuz.

Bugger. I was looking forward to seeing something really different.

EDIT: This post refers to the version discussed in the main news item.

Edited 2006-12-14 19:14

Reply Score: 2

Fragmentation
by DigitalAxis on Thu 14th Dec 2006 04:17 UTC
DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

The reason WHY Linux (and FOSS) are so fragmented is the very nature of their existence.

At the moment, Windows has a monopoly. The people who are bucking the trend right now and installing Linux are still largely those who are opinionated enough that they want to do it a different way.

But remember, these are opinionated, above-average technically adept people. They didn't like being told "this is the way it is done" before, and they don't like it now. So, you take a distro that does most of what you want, and you adapt it to your particular vision.

Someone else sees what you've done and ALSO has their opinion, and suddenly you get Debian, Knoppix, and Ubuntu... and then 100 distros based off of THOSE. Someone wanted one optimized for the best music applications, someone wanted one that would work very well as a server, someone wanted one in Gujarati... On the plus side, by now there's probably a distro out there with your name on it, if only you can find it.

And it doesn't stop there; that's why Gnome exists: Some people just don't like (REALLY don't like) the way KDE does things. That's also why KDE existed in the first place (as an alternative to FWVM, if I recall correctly), that's why the Mezzo desktop was created, that's why we have Compiz AND Beryl... because people felt like they wanted to do things differently.
Heck, thanks to OSNews I'm currently aware of FOUR POSIX-compliant-ish operating systems that are free in some sense (GNU/Linux, *BSD, Syllable, Solaris- though Solaris wasn't created/controlled by a community)

Thus begins the holy wars: My distro is better than your distro, my DE is better than your DE, BSD is better than Linux, Emacs is better than Vi is better than Nano is better than sed... And we're fighting each other.

This is obviously disconcerting to newcomers who have no idea what the differences are, and haven't figured out or wanted to figure out what they want in an OS; that's why people tend to recommend 'starter distros', the friendly ones that can do pretty much everything pretty well. Maybe they'll move on, maybe they won't.

Why doesn't this seem to happen in Windows? Well, on one hand, it does. Some people have Yahoo IM, some have MSN, some have AIM, some use Firefox, some use IE, some use IE+some plugins, some use Winamp or iTunes or Windows Media Player or Foobar2000... But on that side, there are far more UNopinionated people who don't really know, don't really care, and are probably still using only the defaults.

There's also Microsoft, who maintains control over Windows from kernel to window manager, and doesn't approve of people modifying their stuff to create high-level stuff like BartPE. There's pretty much no equivalent of Microsoft in the Linux world, (which might be part of the allure of Linux to some of the more opinionated people: Look, an open sandbox!)


In closing, fragmentation (or choice, whichever you prefer) is just a product of the system. Choice, for me, is good... not because I want 500 text editors, but because I've already chosen XFCE4, Gaim, Firefox, the Gimp, Konqueror, KPDF, Filelight, Amarok, K3B, conky, nano... and I doubt any distribution's going to give me that lineup on a desktop by default.

Hmm... maybe I should roll my own distro.... ;)

Edited 2006-12-14 04:30

Reply Score: 5

RE: Fragmentation
by arielb on Thu 14th Dec 2006 06:09 UTC in reply to "Fragmentation"
arielb Member since:
2006-11-15

Linux is just a kernel and I'm not aware of any linux kernel+ roaming around. So in that sense there's no fragmentation in linux.

But most people need quite a bit more than that and here's where the fragmentation lies. Since Linus doesn't control *everything*, other people came along with their own competing solutions for UI and package formats-the other stuff that makes a distro. If linux was a complete system from the beginning, we probably wouldn't see too much fragmentation beyond a few side projects. There would be a lot more cooperation in solving the basic problems before going off in new directions.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Fragmentation
by vermaden on Thu 14th Dec 2006 14:00 UTC in reply to "Fragmentation"
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

And when they grow up they also sometimes see other operating systems like Solaris / FreeBSD / AIX / HP-UX /${UNIX} and reading about them that they have something like base system and kernel written togheter in one source tree to make components cooperate without problems and they say: Hey that is very good idea...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Fragmentation
by gilboa on Thu 14th Dec 2006 16:07 UTC in reply to "Fragmentation"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

/+100
-Very- well put.

Edited 2006-12-14 16:08

Reply Score: 2

screenshots
by arielb on Thu 14th Dec 2006 05:56 UTC
arielb
Member since:
2006-11-15

what happens when you have lots of programs? are they all displayed on the desktop?

Reply Score: 1

RE: screenshots
by vermaden on Thu 14th Dec 2006 13:54 UTC in reply to "screenshots"
vermaden Member since:
2006-11-18

No they just crash ;)

Reply Score: 1

Torrent?
by agsedu on Thu 14th Dec 2006 06:25 UTC
agsedu
Member since:
2005-07-06

Is there a torrent posted yet?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Torrent?
by glarepate on Thu 14th Dec 2006 09:44 UTC in reply to "Torrent?"
glarepate Member since:
2006-01-04

linuxtracker.org/torrents-details.php?id=3292

Reply Score: 2

Number of distros
by Moochman on Thu 14th Dec 2006 09:28 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

SymphonyOS is an inspiring example of the broad possibilities that Linux and OSS in general gives people to make their ideas into realities! Keep up the amazing work!

And now, a response to the comment on "too many Linux distros":

I too used to be frustrated with the abundance of seemingly me-too distros out there (for the record, SymphonyOS is not a me-too distro, but that's beside the point). However, the Novell/MS thing, and to lesser extents things like Mandriva's firing of Gael Duval and Debian's IceWeasel dispute, have made me realize that I'm glad there's such a large amount of diversity in Linux distros. Even though I may never use 99% of the distros out there, I'm happy to have the knowledge that no one company or set of companies (or even one "community") controls GNU/Linux. That's exactly what makes Linux so great: Anyone can come up with their own distro, and if they manage to do it better than the big boys, then they can gain a community which will help them to keep on improving it. I actually think it's a shame that minority distros that try to do new and interesting things, like SymphonyOS and GoboLinux, don't get more testing than they do.

I mean, I can understand why people stick with the big guys for everyday work: there's a big community to help with problems, good application support, and (generally) good hardware support. But just because you are happy with your (possibly commercially sponsored) distro of choice doesn't mean you should dis the many indy developers who provide alternatives!

Edited 2006-12-14 09:35

Reply Score: 3

Is this pure debian?
by evilmegaman on Thu 14th Dec 2006 16:25 UTC
evilmegaman
Member since:
2005-09-20

Just wondering if this is a pure debian base. Like if it is 100% compatible with debian packages. if so, I would totally install it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Is this pure debian?
by B. Janssen on Thu 14th Dec 2006 16:39 UTC in reply to "Is this pure debian?"
B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

I don't know about the recent release, but in earlier times you could just add their repo to your SID and apt-get the desktop "mezzo" and could use it. It looked swell, a lot like what Novell is trying to do with the revamped startmenus in Gnome and KDE but more consequent. I also realized that moving non-hideable control elements to the four corners eats too much desktop space and really is awkward for day to days use, or at least not my cup of tea. I'm more of a hotkey+mouse guy ;-)

Reply Score: 1

screenshot waltkthrough
by chrishaney on Thu 14th Dec 2006 16:45 UTC
chrishaney
Member since:
2005-11-15
Inovation
by tarpit on Thu 14th Dec 2006 16:45 UTC
tarpit
Member since:
2006-10-16

I'm glad to see that this project didn't die. The lead developer had his power shut off and the servers were all down a few months ago


Keep up the good work

Reply Score: 1

At last!
by Angel Blue01 on Thu 14th Dec 2006 23:36 UTC
Angel Blue01
Member since:
2006-11-01

After so many months finally a new build!

SymphonyOS is what these different Linux distros should be: not just clones but trying somethign new. I eagerly await 1.0.

Reply Score: 1