LXer Weekly Roundup for 22-Mar-2009

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Mar 24, 2009 10:21 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 22-Mar-2009

Extra Repositories for Ubuntu 8.10 You Might Want: The repository system is a great strength of open-source operating systems, but some people want the latest-and-greatest of a particular application while keeping the core system unchanged. There is also the situation where non-free applications aren't available from within the standard repositories. In these two cases, adding outside repos can help you get the functionality you want.

Why I prefer KDE over GNOME: I see many people using GNOME these days. Many of them are new Linux users and are happy to be free from the Microsoft clutches. However, I feel a bit guilty for not being able to rejoice about it. Sure, they are not running Windows, but they have fallen in the clutches of the lack of options Nazis.

How the Linux kernel works: My trusty Oxford Dictionary defines a kernel as "a softer, usually edible part of a nut" but offers as a second meaning: "The central or most important part of something." (Incidentally, it's this first definition that gives rise to the contrasting name 'shell', meaning, in Linux-speak, a command interpreter.) In case you're a bit hazy on what a kernel actually does, we'll start with a bit of theory. The kernel is a piece of software that, roughly speaking, provides a layer between the hardware and the application programs running on a computer. In a strict, computer-science sense, the term 'Linux' refers only to the kernel - the bit that Linus Torvalds wrote in the early 90s.

Will the Microsoft Crowd Ever Accept OpenOffice?: Fact is, OpenOffice is good enough for the vast majority of businesses seeking a productivity suite. The bigger problem facing OpenOffice involves bloggers who grew up deploying and troubleshooting Microsoft Office.

Linux Gaining Strength In Downturn: A February survey of IT managers by IDC indicated that hard times are accelerating the adoption of Linux. The open source operating system will emerge from the recession in a stronger data center position than before, concluded an IDC white paper. Sixty-five percent of the 330 respondents said they plan to increase Linux server workloads by 10% or more this year. Sixty-three percent said they will increase their use of Linux on the desktop by more than 10% this year, although such an increase would still probably represent a miniscule share of all desktops. Forty-nine percent said they expect Linux will be their primary server platform within five years.

Linux Usage to Rise: It's an ill Recession Wind that Blows no one Good: So begins a new white paper from research analyst IDC. History supports the logic of the statement, but applying the same logic to predict the future is a dangerous game. Having good starting data can help considerably in that regard, though, and that's what makes this report interesting. It's title is Linux Adoption in a Global Recession, and it marshalls some impressive data to predict that Linux will be a significant gainer, while others are punished by the current global meltdown.

Study : IT turning to Linux in economic downturn: A new report out today from IDC, sponsored by Linux vendor Novell indicates that the current economic downturn is a good thing for Linux adoption. with more than half of the IT executives surveyed planning to accelerate Linux adoption in 2009. This is definitely something we've heard before from multiple open source and Linux vendors, but the IDC report puts some numbers to the premise.

Economic plight boosts Linux adoption: In Tux Radar's second podcast we pondered whether the dodgy economic outlook could actually bring more users to Linux and free software. With everyone afraid to open their wallets, surely software that has an initial zero cost is much more attractive for businesses looking to move on from legacy software, right? And home desktop users -- how many of those will really want to splash out on the much-hyped Windows 7 when it comes out, if things get worse?

10 Linux and open source developer tools you should not overlook: To take advantage of the excellent Linux development environment, you need to have the right tools. Here’s a rundown of some of the best ones out there and the features they have to offer. Linux is a great development environment. But without sound development tools, that environment won’t do you any good. Fortunately, plenty of Linux and/or open source development tools are available. If you’re a new user you might not know which tools are there, but worry not. Here are 10 outstanding tools that will help you take your development to another level.

21 Great Open Source Apps For Your Netbook: Low-cost and lower-power don't mean you have to settle for second-best; open source and netbooks go together like milk and cookies. Cynthia Harvey has 21 open-source ways to turn a netbook into a tiny, productive powerhouse.

7 Excellent Linux Apps You May Not Know About: Everyone is writing "Foo Best Linux Application" lists all full of good Linux apps, so here are my own 7 Best Excellent Linux Apps You May Not Have Been Introduced To Yet. They are presented in no particular order or categorization, they're just good applications I've been using and enjoying, all 100% genuine Free/Open Source software and not crusted with any proprietary baggage.

World's greenest PC?: CompuLabs is a month from shipping what may be the smallest, most energy-efficient PC ever. The Fit-PC2 is based on an Atom processor up to 1.6GHz, and can be ordered with Ubuntu 8.04 pre-installed on a 160GB SATA drive or SSD.

Why Use Linux?: A simple question, "Why do you use Linux?" got the attention of more than a few people on the Linux-related blogs this week. Even PC Magazine's John Dvorak, a noted detractor of Linux, weighed in with his reasons why "everyone should try Ubuntu." Now that's high praise.

Tiny Core Linux -- A Minimal Distro with Big Possibilities: Why are there so many Linuxes? Because one size does not fit all. Paul Ferrill introduces us to Tiny Linux, a complete distribution in ten (count 'em, 10!) megabytes that lets you add just the pieces you need to get your job done.

The rise of the Blue Sun, IBM and Sun: The news broke this morning, March 18th, that IBM is talking to Sun about buying the company. Sources from both companies tell me that such a deal is in the works and it may be completed as early as this week. Sun’s pricetag may be as high as $6.5-billion with a large part of the deal being made with IBM stock. Sources indicated that what IBM wants is Sun’s software businesses, not its x86 and SPARC server lines.

IBM's potential purchase of Sun: Here's why it makes sense: IBM is reportedly in talks to buy Sun Microsystems for $6.5 billion and the deal is long overdue. The companies mesh on the open source software front, Sun is struggling and IBM can consolidate some server market share. First, the headlines. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that IBM could acquire Sun as early as this week (Techmeme). IBM would pay all cash for Sun. The Journal also reported that Sun has approached a number of large companies about an acquisition; a move that throws cold water on CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s everything is fine video.

IBM Sun acquisition : Good for Unix. Good for Linux. Bad for HP: IBM is reportedly in talks to acquire Sun for a whopping $6.5 billion. At this early stage, its not known whether this is a rumor or just a fact. But just for the sake of argument let's consider what a powerhouse IBM Sun would be. In my opinion it would be a boon to both the Unix and Linux markets.

Novell: No SUSE Linux for ARM-based netbooks: Novell's SUSE Linux appears to be one of the more popular versions of the open-source OS for netbooks, but it does not work on ARM-based devices and Novell said it did not have plans to support the chips.

IE8 is here, IE8 is hacked: Well that didn't take long. No sooner had Microsoft officially launched Internet Explorer 8 to the waiting masses and talked up how new security features will ensure hackers will find it more difficult to exploit the new browser that guess what? Yep, a hacker exploits the new browser.

TomTom sues Microsoft for patent infringement: GPS device maker TomTom has shot back at Microsoft with a claim of patent infringement, after the software giant raised concerns in the Linux community with a recent lawsuit against TomTom.

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