Michael C. Barnes updates his in-depth look at leading desktop operating system options on the market. In this long 4-page exclusive article at DesktopLinux.com, Barnes addresses reader feedback to his popular first article and evaluates today’s Linux distributions. Barnes offers practical considerations and discusses what software can best meet your home or office needs.
A Linux Desktop Odyssey, Part II
Submitted by Jill 2003-04-03 Linux 32 Comments
Why can’t he just write Linux? Or has he been over-influenced by the RMS-favouring cult? It really is irritating.
>GNU/Linux distributions are based on the Open Source Linux
>kernel. Despite the fact that the kernel is Open Source, the
>distribution itself might have trademarked or copyrighted
Auch..the Linux kernel is GPL licensed, so its not Open -Source its Free Software as in freedom of speech there is a big difference between open-source and free-software. Very big mistake!
ps. insignia: Linux is just a kernel go read:
>[OSS Vs FSF]Very big mistake!
>linux is just a kernel
This is getting tiresome. People are not newbies on this forum Bas. They know the differences, but they don’t have to be so politically correct with their chosen words as you might want them to. We all GET what these people are talking about, and that’s what matters. These are not legal documents, it is just freedom of expression and generalization, as opposed to strict legal docs.
GNU/Linux or Linux
Open Source or Free Software as in freedom of speech
Who gives a toss?
Go outside, it’s sunny.
>This is getting tiresome. People are not newbies on this
>forum Bas. They know the differences
I do not agree with that, but if someone on this formu calls it Linux and means a whole distro i am fine with that but this is an official document/article so its information should be
right. Open-Source is something completly different than Free-software. There are also ‘nembies’ who read this formum.
What’s a nembie? 😉
I don’t care if he writes GNU/Linux. I just wish he didn’t need to italicize GNU/Linux every single time..
A nembie is a newbie who visits a forum for non-newbies
wow, this article took forever to read… he began the article very well, but then after he got passed the mandrake part, he started to clutter his reviews with points about other distributions, and he seemed to repeat things alot. to me it seemed as if the review was going in circles at times…
i am glad to see that someone managed to write a review about so many different distros, especially some of the more less popular distros like ELX, peanut, and vector…
as for me, i like to stick to the free distros, and ELX and xandros are out of the picture. i’m not even goign to try lindows because of its rediculous pricing for click and run.
i’ve used redhat mostly, but i switched to debian and gentoo recently because of it’s package management. i know there is apt4rpm, but it still doesn’t suffice the configurability of debian and gentoo. although both of these distros take a few days to install and get just the way you want it.
ok enough ranting… move along now.
<I do not agree with that, but if someone on this formu calls it Linux and means a whole distro i am fine with that but this is an official document/article so its information should be
When, exactly, did Mr. Barnes’s opinions become “an official document/article”? Perhaps you read a wholly different article than the one OSNews reported on and linked to. Come now, Eugenia, don’t hold anything back;)
As for the article, Michael addressed many of the questions that rise when contemplating and comparing Linux distros for deployment in the enterprise or in the home. I’ve cast an appraising eye more than once over most of the distros mentioned and must agree that there is-yet-no one distro that ‘does it all’, although some are so close you can almost taste it. After reading the entire piece (thank you, Eugenia, for bringing it to us), ELX, Xandros, OEone and Mandrake join YellowTab’s Zeta on my short list.
Michael Barnes’ article, Desktop Linux Odyssey Part II, has, upon a bit of checking, a glaring error regarding the review of OEone’s Desktop 1.0…as in it’s NOT a Linux distro any more than I’m a Norwegian spear monkey. It IS a UI that requires Red Hat 7.3 (or later) or Mandrake to run on top of. I fail to see the need for me to spend $40-$60 for RH and Mandrake then another $39 for OEone. If you buy their Homebase version, it’s just your basic homebrewed distro (RH 7 in this case) with their UI integrated with it. As this crucial distinction was left out of Michael’s review, I must now consider that there may be other fundamental flaws in his information that are, as yet, undetected.
Still, the article remains food for thought if nothing else.
do not agree with that, but if someone on this formu calls it Linux and means a whole distro i am fine with that but this is an official document/article so its information should be right.
Well, I don’t know what the hell an ‘official document’ is, but if I ever write one, I am explicity going to say Linux even when I mean GNU/Linux just because I know it pisses people like you off.
As Ken said, go outside – it’s sunny.
It was interesting to note that they classified Gentoo as a Debian based Distro?
Err… it’s not O_O… that just shot down the article in terms of information reliability.
..the article seemed to have been wrapped up because it was getting too long.
If you cross breed a nembie and a Norweigan spear monkey what do you get?
Anyway the article does not claim Gentoo is debian based, try reading that part again you might find it says it a free distro.
It is also sad to see the difference between the useful high end desktops and the desktops for low end machines. I wouldn’t mind a useful Linux desktop for 486’s or similar. I’m sure it could be done. Vector is doing a good job but it would help if there where more lite versions of heavy apps.
Someone should inform this guy that it is poor form to repeat yourself so much in writing. When you are giving a speech, go ahead and hammer a point into the ground, people will understand it better. However, in a document it is best to just say it once or twice. If I want to read something again, I’ll hit the back button and read it again. I don’t need the same info on every page.
M.C. Barnes still hypes up one of the most bug-ridden Linux Distros ever. ELX hyped themselves onto the linux scene, only to fall face-first into the mud of flawed distro’s who’s time is almost over. Having installed and used Mandrake, Lindows, Lycoris, Alt, Sot, Connectiva, and last ELX. Having installed and tried to install ELX on various machines, it doesn’t take long to see that ELX gives Desktop Linux a bad name. I hope ELX is paying Mr Barnes a huge sum of money. It would take a lot of money to convince me to lie like him. But more likely, he just isn’t very intelligent to start with.
Seems that the OSNews standard for News articles is indeed going downhill… Tis’ sad.
Yes, after getting althose headache due to italics, caps (for ICON???), repeated nouns (most irritating of all) and mistakes (Xandros Powerdesktop!!), we have him release a new windows :
“Microsoft XP is still the most complete desktop environment available for the x86 platform. No GNU/Linux distribution can match Microsoft XP’s ability to support such a wide variety of applications or its very large application base”
Did anyone proof-read this?
I think I found another flaw in the article (I mean next to the OEOne one). As far as I know, Lycoris is nor based on Debian but on Caldera.
Apart from that I did enjoy the article – I think it was a good review of where the Linux Desktop is at.
“In many respects, the best GNU/Linux distributions don’t quite match Microsoft Windows XP.”
– Security (Windows xp is vulnerable to most of Windows’ exploits)
– Stability (I’ve had explorer crash around 15 times during a period of one hour)
– Windows 2003 Server (Only allows up to 10 connections, gets dragged down and requires a reboot every so often)
– Development tools (Barely any command line options, Visual Studio is VERY tedios/uncomfortable for most people)
– Application Support (Oracle, MySQL doesn’t run as cleanly/quickly/dependably as it does on Linux)
Hmm… Just where does XP come out on top? Who knows.
“Microsoft Windows XP is far more familiar to many users than the GNU/Linux distribution.”
More familiar? Come on, please. The amount of time it takes to re-learn something this simple is not significant if you aren’t exercising much power (which explorer doesn’t have anyway).
Oh, and “the GNU/Linux distribution”? You must mean RedHat, no Suse, Slackware?? There is no “THE distro”.
“However, it is possible to use Open Source solutions such as Open Office, Win GIMP, Apache, and MySQL, which are Open Source.”
Do I sense repettition? Hmm, proofread next time.
Microsoft releases a major new version of Microsoft Windows about every two years. In the GNU/Linux world, things are moving much faster. Many GNU/Linux distributions are upgraded every four to six months”
How is this a disadvantage? You don’t have to upgrade and when you choose to, it isn’t going to cost you thousands of dollars. Most distro’s will give 12-18 months of updates.
“GNU/Linux distributions are based on the Open Source Linux kernel. Despite the fact that the kernel is Open Source, the distribution itself might have trademarked or copyrighted features.”
Oh, you mean like a logo? My GOD, perish the thought!
“Microsoft Windows XP is reliable enough for most people and the majority of users feel comfortable enough using virus protection software, and personal firewall software.”
You’ve lived a very sheltered life haven’t you.
I’m amazed that not one person here has praised this article. I thought it was excellent and will be recommending it to everyone that asks me for a good comparison of OSs that are mature enough for business use.
It was thorough and compared the elements of distributions that are important like file sharing, hardware support and being able to get things done.
He took on a large effort and was bound to make a few errors, why is everyone so excessively harsh and quick to bash?
A rescan shows there was praise. I was just a little shocked by the overall negative feel to these comments. Forgive my exageration.
I thought this article was a very interesting read, with only a couple of very minor flaws (lycoris is not Debian based). I thought Mr. Barnes did a great job pointing out the highlights of the many Linux distros out there. Many of these posts seem pretty childish and nit-picky and don’t appreciate the trouble the author went to. I would like to see another article written that goes more in depth into one or two distros and possibly one like this on servers.
It was a long review and I found it quite complete. I can agree that Microsoft Windows XP is better at the desktop in certain points, as it indeed has more applications available, and it also is quite stable, but on hardware support I have bad experiences with Microsoft Windows 2000 as the sound card constantly crashes the system. However, Microsoft Windows 2000 is still handy to play games.
At the moment I use Debian GNU/Linux unstable, which I find very pleasing as Debian GNU/Linux unstable comes with all the latest software. The apt-get utility Debian GNU/Linux unstable provides, is very good, better than the one of SuSE GNU/Linux where the apt-get repositories had bad package lists. Debian GNU/Linux unstable does not provide automatic hardware detection, though. O, yes, for more on this, I have typed a review of Debian GNU/Linux unstable and I might upload or submit it sometimes.
At last, I would like to say something about the often updates of GNU/Linux. It can be very frustrating, for example, you buy RedHat GNU/Linux 7, want to install a new driver, but no, you really need RPM version 4. Bon, upgrading destroys the package database so a complete update is needed. That is fine, and now it is only one year later, and I want to install some software package. But now I do not have the libraries that programs compiled with GNU Gcc 3.x need. Installing those breaks all installed applications. And therefore I really like Debian GNU/Linux, as it solves these problems automatically.
Btw. I did not like the article constantly wrote GNU/Linux and Microsoft Windows XP. Isn’t all that copy-paste tiresome?
I see I wrote “update” with RedHat, please read this as “new installation”.
For the rest I found the article quite good, the author seems to have installed and used many distributions which may have costed quite some money but also very much time.
In that whole article, I gleaned about three paragraphs of nearly useful information. If I were an exec at Monopolo$oft Corporation, I would seriously consider putting the author on a generous payroll, secretly of course. The only advantage he seemed to have found concerning XP vs Linux is the font rendering. Well, that problem has been solved. His so-called “cost analysis” comments are shoddy and less than rigorous at best. It seems that each distro reviewed “was” his favorite distro. Nowhere did he mention the fact that Windows Operating Systems, all versions, are the most topheavy, insecure systems crashy systems ever conceived by the mind of geek. As far as his comment that there is no real data showing that Windows is less secure than Linux, well, all I have to say about that is that he clearly demonstrates his ignorance here, not to mention his profound prejudice towards the criminal monopolist. Of those 20 years he has been “in the business”, I bet that 98% of his computing time was spent on MS OS. In fact, I am beginning to have doubts as to whether or not the author is on a MS payroll. I’ll bet he is.
I bet I could post any stat or comment here, and no matter how much evidence I had to back my claim there would still be someone calling me an uneducated moron for not finding [insert obscure or random fact here] before I wrote it. The guy covers a lot of distros and does so quite well. Yes he repeats himself a few times and uses Open Source twice in the same sentence. Who cares? Some of you folks will just slam on whoever takes the time to write an article. And, after going back through the forums, most of the poeple who point out inconsistances in the author’s text have their own to match it.
Pointing out an inaccuracy is helpful to us, the readers, but there’s no reason to flame the guys opinion and call him an idiot because he didn’t know something you do.
two cents given
as i replied in the talkback section to this article,I’m not quite ready to leave BeOS yet,and (realize one thing,I’m not a high flying computer guru like some of the the readers of this page,I don’t run a server,don’t run an office,don’t code software,my personal computer is just that, Personal,and I am just a humble end user with an interest un alternative OS’s and my main use for a PC is multimedia creation and graphics,coupled with day to day internet stuff(web surfing ,email, file-sharing,etc.))
here’s what I said:
“Some of these linux distros are starting to look kinda nice,I tried Mandrake7 some years ago but left it in favor of BeOS5,which I still use on a daily basis,while Linux is catching up to M$ in terms of a user friendly desktop environment they still have light years to go to even approach BeOS in this respect,although they have leapt ahead in hardware support due to the larger community and the open source nature of the OS.On the other hand I can install software with an unzip to anywhere on my system or run the package manager for a BeOS package and the stuff always works(at least as well as apple or M$ programs do when installed on their respective platforms) and I never need to use a Bash teminal unless I want to everything drags and drops and mouse clicks(and very fast on even the oldest junk hardware)and I am the sole user of my personal computer and I don’t have any of this root/user login/password goblety-gook to go thru every time I boot up,I am always root LOL
Also any supported hardware just works,it’s a true plug and play OS,no drivers to monkey with just plug in a soundcard or a TV card or whatever and if it is a supported card just boot up and it’s there ready to go!
So to sum it all up,I still am not quite ready to abandon BeOS for Linux as of yet ,it still excels at the multitasking multimedia stuff I use it for,and it’s small,elegant and streamlined,I have adequate office software for what i need to do(GoBeProductive,AbiWord,and the one by Beatware) a decent browser (Mozilla)several good graphics apps,tons of games(they seem to port Linux games to BeOS on a weekly basis)and there are several projects under way right now to rewrite or update BeOS(Zeta,a commercial distro made from the unreleased BeOS Dano,with updated hardware support(these folks had a license with Be Inc. to do this).the BlueEyedOS (a BeOS gui and API running on top of a Linux kernel in place of X windows) and Cosmoe ( a BeOS,Linux,AtheOS hybrid of sorts) and the OBOS ( a ground up open source rewrite of BeOS)).Of all these Zeta is closest to being released and it compares favorably in price to the commercial Linux boxed sets.
So it’s with this in mind that I watch the evolution of desktop Linux!
I haven’t been sold yet!!!”
I’m not trolling this is the way I see it from my perspective!!!
Free Software IS Open Source Software.
The opposite isnt true, though.
I don’t know Mr Barnes qualifications for reviewing operating systems, but many of his “FACTS” ,as stated by previous posters are incorrect, or probably outright lies on his part. He seems to find great faults with the most popular Linux distro’s, and mightily praises distro’s with little to offer, except bugs and headaches. If your reviews are for sale, I guess the ones who pay get the better reviews!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>Free Software IS Open Source Software. The opposite isnt true, though.
Something is wrong here. Let’s see.
I can make a software package and distribute the binary for free. Is this a Free Software? No, I don’t give the source.
OK let’s call it FreeWare 😉
I can make a software package and disribute the binary along the source codes but you have to pay it. Is this an Open Source Software? I can give it for free tho. But, since the code is out there you can do anything on it 😉