LXer Weekly Roundup for 01-Aug-2010

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Aug 3, 2010 12:17 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 02-Aug-2010

A roundup of the big stories hitting our newswire from the previous week.

Smitten with Xfce 4: If you've read me long enough, you know I am a desktop junkie. Much to Jaqui's chagrin, I do love my desktops. So much so I could have a different desktop every day and still not be completely happy. During my trials and tribulations with the Linux desktop I have, surprisingly, missed the whole Xfce train. Why? I have no idea. I've known of it, I've used it briefly, and never really thought much more about it. That is, until recently.

Benchmarking ZFS On FreeBSD vs. EXT4 & Btrfs On Linux: ZFS is often looked upon as an advanced, superior file-system and one of the strong points of the Solaris/OpenSolaris platform while most feel that only recently has Linux been able to catch-up on the file-system front with EXT4 and the still-experimental Btrfs. ZFS is copy-on-write, self-healing with 256-bit checksums, supports compression, online pool growth, scales much better than the UFS file-system commonly used on BSD operating systems, supports snapshots, supports deduplication, and the list goes on for the features of this file-system developed by Sun Microsystems. In this article we are seeing how well the performance of the ZFS file-system under PC-BSD/FreeBSD 8.1 stacks up to UFS (including UFS+J and UFS+S) and on the Linux side with EXT4 and Btrfs.

No Operating System is Replaceable: So many people out there just love to talk about how Linux is now a "drop in replacement" for Microsoft Windows or Macintosh OSX. This isn't the case. The sad truth is that there are no "drop in replacements" for most software, and especially so for operating systems.

Emulating an Amiga in Linux: The Amiga was one of the most powerful PC's of it's time, easily trumping the emerging IBM PC's in the 80's. You can relive this classic PC on your Linux desktop thanks to a number of emulators that are available.

What's the Latest in the Psystar Appeal?: Let's catch up quickly in the Psystar/Apple situation, so we don't miss any of the action. When I read the new DMCA exemptions EFF won, I immediately started to think about Psystar, so I wanted to see what's new. Maybe you did too. So here's the latest I could find. The appeal is going forward. Presumably the next step in the appeal will be oral argument, although I can't swear to it, since Psystar filed its brief under seal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals back in May, so we can't read it, and that's when they would have made the request or not. I can't believe the entire document needed to be sealed, but that is what happened. Perhaps they'd prefer we not get a chance to analyze it?

Interview with Richard Stallman: Richard Stallman answers the top 25 questions from reddit readers.

Linux Mint 9 KDE Review and Screenshots: In my opinion Linux Mint is one of the top 3 distributions out today for basic desktop usage. It features incredibly useful Mint-specific tools that make it the perfect distro for beginners. All flavors of Linux Mint usually come with a jaw dropping look and feel. I decided to look at both of these while using the recent release of Linux Mint 9 KDE and take some screenshots along the way.

Ubuntu Empire Strikes Back: The old "Ubuntu doesn't contribute back" argument cropped up again when Dave Neary released a report of the talk he gave at GUADEC on the contributions made to the GNOME desktop environment. He found that Red Hat and Novell contributed the most and that Ubuntu and Mandriva (primarily a KDE distribution) was among the lowest. A firestorm of debate ensued and Shuttleworth was accused of name calling and guilt to try to win the argument.

Ubuntu, the Bad Selfish Linux: In my grumpier moments their relentlessly positive, cult-like Kumbaya-or-else approach makes me want to turn the hose on them. But I don't remember them attacking anyone else the way they've been attacked.

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