* Posts by corb

15 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Nov 2023

Linux Mint 22 beta sprinkles Cinnamon desktop on Ubuntu


The interface inconsistencies revolving around Gnome apps on non-Gnome platforms are annoying enough to push me to look for alternative apps that are not affected. It's pretty fruitless, though.

Re: Mate -- Fedora 40 has release 1.28. Externally, I see no change from 1.26 other than the addition of a system info app.

Meta will use your social media posts to train its AI. Europe gets an opt out


What's the opt out tied to? IP? Username? Email address?

Each of those can change, the first without the user's knowledge. It might change the next time the user's device renews a DHCP lease.

Meta will harvest (steal) from users who think their opt out is still working.

This is why opting in is fundamentally better than opt outs.

Endless OS 6: How desktop Linux may look, one day


EndlessOS isn't targeting Linux enthusiasts and current users, including kids. Evaluating it from that perspective misses the point. It specifically targets educational uses and "tackling the global digital divide". To that end, it offers 12-gig+ install images intended to be useful without a network connection, in addition to the standard ISO image.

I suspect most who install Endless have never heard of Linux. I gave it an install. It works as advertised. It's polished and well done. I felt confined and limited but that is a selling point elsewhere. Its approach to updating and app installation is, I think, the best in the atomic/immutable arena, where other distros layer complexity onto what is intended to be a simplified architecture by adding gizmos to allow "choice". Most people do not want to tinker with or configure their computer. They want it to work well and look nice out of the box.They see post-install configuration as an annoyance. They want to install apps and use them. They don't want to leverage an operating system. They don't want to be bothered with updates. So, yes, like a phone. That's what most people on the planet want.

With Asmi 24.04, Ubuntu's never looked so snappy (without the Snaps)


Snap is a Canonical software packaging and distribution method similar to Flatpak and, in an approximate way, to Apple's technique in MacOS.

The target audience for Snaps is clearly enterprise Ubuntu customers, not individuals who do not buy Canonical support.

Snaps have not yet been widely implemented and supported by Canonical. The number of Snaps in a default Ubuntu install is still in single figures. Most are not user-facing. Mozilla packages Firefox as a Snap for Canonical. Early versions were annoyingly slow to load. In my experience, this hasn't been the case for some months.

The app store in in Ubuntu 24.04 offers only Snaps and will not install traditional deb packages, which are otherwise installable via apt, etc. Snaps produced by independent developers and hosted by Canonical have been criticized for bugs and for being out of date.

Because of the way they are constructed, Snap apps may not allow the kind of tweaking Linux users are accustomed to doing. Ditto Flatpaks.

It is possible to "de-Snap" an Ubuntu installation by editing repository files and creating rules for apt. If that is not done successfully, deleting the Firefox Snap and then trying to re-install it as a deb will result in the Snap version's reinstallation.

My take: As an individual user, Snaps don't solve any of my problems or offer any benefits. With only one Snap I might actually use -- Firefox -- performing well enough for mr, it's not *now* an issue, however.


Re: Nice one.

Yep.It's a usability failure in XFCE. I'm sure it sends new users elsewhere.

People have complained about one-pixel window borders in XFCE for years. And other people have told them to use the keyboard. But...that's why I have a mouse and a touchpad. If it was more convenient to use the keyboard to move and resize windows, I'd use it. Window borders should be 5-10 pixels wide. They don't need to be visible. And, per KDE, users could be given the option to select from different sizes, or have no border at all.

Xubuntu 24.04: A minimal install that does what it says on the tin


Know How To Install A Browser Before Installing Xubuntu Minimal

Worth emphasizing that if you're motivation for installing Xubuntu Minimal is avoiding Snaps then you need to know how you're going to install your favorite browser before you install Xubuntu Minimal. A browser is not available after the install and "apt install firefox" will get you the Snapped Firefox.

Fresh version of Windows user-friendly Zorin OS arrives to tempt the Linux-wary


Re: Coincidence...

Linux applications can typically be installed with click or two via whatever "software store" is used. The real difference re: Window is that Linux distributions maintain repositories of software that their software stores access, while Windows apps are strewn around the internet in uncurated places. Linux also deals with software dependencies as part of the install process, something I recall Window does not do, so it's up to an individual software vendor to package those in the installation file. That's one way Windows gets cluttered up with redundant files.

Getting executable code to execute by clicking on an icon is simple in Windows and Linux. It's typically discouraged in Linux because installing random code from random sites can play havoc with the curated software management tools distributions use.

A finer grained approach to installing Linux software -- libraries, drivers, etc. -- typically requires uses of the command line or a GUI tool that does the same thing.

The web is littered with haphazard and outdated and often lazy and unnecessary "guidance" to install X, Y or Z via the command line. (It's also easier to do than writing a piece leading someone through the use of a GUI tool.) The first recourse for Linux users should be the GUI tools present in the distrobution.

Crunchbang++ versus Bunsen Labs: The pair turn it up to 12


Re: Openbox is No Go on 4K

The window decorations/headers don't expand well vertically when I increase font size. I think 9pt is the usual default, I want 11-12 pt and that, iirc, doesn't work well for me. Ditto the traditional XFWM themes in XFCE.

I'm also not satisfied with the compositors available for Openbox. Scrolling in Firefox in Openbox with a touchpad, with or without a compositor, is "ripply" with smooth scrolling on (and I want it on and am too lazy to fiddle around with compositor configurations). I notice it less on a desktop with a mouse and the larger display.


Openbox is No Go on 4K

As a Crunchbang user way back when, I like that these two derivations are still around. I've always liked the menu-on-right-desktop-click approach of Openbox (and XFCE).

That said, Openbox themes don't know about 4K/HiDPI displays. They're broken enough there to be unusable. LXDE and LXQT, both much like Crunchbang and both using Openbox, have the same weakness.

It's not appropriate to think these distributions are candidates for mainstream use. The amount of configurability they expose, out of necessity, limits their appeal to users who are attracted by the need to spend time learning how Openbox and things like pipemenus work. Most users would be stumped trying to figure out "what to do next" after the first boot of an installed system.

The rise and fall of the standard user interface


Those nonsensical one-pixel window borders in XFCE were very likely thanks to the Greybird theme, which is very often the default in XFCE distributions, and very often puts one-pixel borders on its windows. Other XFCE themes use more practical borders that work well with a mouse.

That problem is compounded by using XFCE on a 4k/HiDPI screen. GTK components can be scaled at 200% but only the default XFCE window theme (providing the header bar and borders) honors that. Other XFCE themes shrink to an unusable size. And, of course, it makes the problem of chasing a one-pixel window border twice as fun. Various workarounds exist that attempt to remedy this built-in XFCE weakness. I've found them incomplete and not worth the annoyance.

Doom is 30, and so is Windows NT. How far we haven't come


If Microsoft was selling an NT 4.0 for current hardware, with better looks, and nothing more, I'd probably be using it.

RHEL and Alma Linux 9.3 arrive – one is free, one merely free of charge


How are Red Hat's enterprise customers reacting to the change in licensing, or whatever they did, that's generating all the hostility from users who almost certainly have never used RH, and never will?

Canonical shows how to use Snaps without the Snap Store


*You* don't need another package manager. Neither do I.

We have things like snaps and flatpaks and appimages because developers want to package their products once, not repeatedly for every distro, and they want control over their software, rather than permitting what shows up on user hardware to be determined by distribution packagers.

And because distributions want to get out of the packaging business.

This will change the nature of distribution because packaging is most of what distributions do.

None of this will happen fast but I expect we will see developers only supporting their software when it's packaged in the format they released it in.


The trolling gets in the way...

When I see "proprietary software" I think branded closed-source products where access to the code is either impossible or requires payment of significant fees.

I don't see anything Canonical is doing re: Snap that fits that. Their Snap Store itself is an irrelevancy, as all such shops are. They're user-side programs to access a repo. "Store" is only a metaphor.

Hostile reaction to all-things Snap sure looks like kneejerk trolling intended simply to punish Canonical for not adhering to someone's demand that everyone in open source must abide by the notions in their head. Or maybe they're still mad about Gnome or whatever.

Snaps, flatpak, appimages and the technology surrounding them merit serious investigation, experiments, and testing. The trolling just makes that more difficult.

It is obvious that all the commercial Linux players are moving toward containerized/immutable/etc systems. It makes good sense for those kinds of markets. And, they're competitors in those markets so, of course, they're fielding different approaches to the same end in hopes of locking down market share.

For individual Linux users and enthusiasts, I don't think it will make much difference as long as debs, rpms, and other traditional package systems are supported. I suspect they will be supported for a very long time because Canonical, Red Hat, etc., will spend years, if not decades, trying to transition their existing paying customers.

For me, if I can tweak and fiddle with things as I currently do, I'm not sure I care about snaps vs flatpaks vs appimages. That's not the case, now, however. There are applications I use that I would not use if I couldn't do use an external tool to adjust one thing thing or another that the app itself does not expose to users. And that's why I don't use flatpaks or appimages.

Fedora 39 waves goodbye to modularity, but has enough spins to make your head spin


Re: I really do not get this...

In addition to using metapackages to add/remove DE's, etc., to existing installations, Fedora offers a 0.6gig network installion "Everything" ISO that allows picking components to install in a fine-grained manner: DE's, window managers, dev tool sets, office apps, etc. E.g., if you want something that's completely different from Gnome and the other releases, you can do it.

A Fedora SIG has for a very long time released updated ISO's -- "Live Respins" of Gnome and the spins wrapping up all the previous updates. It's a nice, reliable way to install Fedora later during a release cycle and avoid most of the inevitable long stream of Fedora updates that happen when you install from a release ISO some time after release day. The ISO's are available on Fedora's infrastructure at https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/alt/live-respins/.