LXer Weekly Roundup for 21-Nov-2010

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Nov 22, 2010 12:40 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 21-Nov-2010

The big stories this past week included an update on how far away Chrome OS is, a Ubuntu vs.Fedora comparison, 5 unusual games for Linux and a 200 line kernel patch that makes your desktop snappy. Enjoy!

Ubuntu vs Fedora: which is best?: Linux is always in a state of flux. On any given day, millions of lines of new code are being written, tested, double-checked, merged, packaged and downloaded from software repositories delivering another dose of opensource goodness. Unlike most desktop operating systems, release schedules are based on months rather than years (well, for most flavours of Linux) and so the experience of using Linux is one of trickled iterative change.

Schmidt: Google Chrome OS 'a few months away': Google boss Eric Schmidt has said that Chrome OS will be available "in the next few months" — which may be an indication that the company's browser-based operating system has been delayed. Since unveiling the Chrome OS project last year, Google has said that systems using the operating system would be available by the end of this year. But the end of the year is a mere six weeks away. As he dropped the "a few months away" line at this week's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Schmidt said that Gingerbread, the new version of Android, was "a few weeks away."

Tensions Between Ubuntu, Fedora Mount Over New Website: In an ideal world, free-software developers would happily get along and cooperate towards the same ends. But the world’s far from perfect, as rising tensions between the Ubuntu and Fedora camps have made clear recently in the wake of the founding a new website intended, ironically, to promote “respect” within the open-source ecosystems.

The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders: In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small -- just over 200 lines of code -- but it does wonders for the Linux desktop.

The Linux desktop may soon be a lot faster: Linux is fast. That's why 90%+ of the Top 500 fastest supercomputers run it. What some people don't realize is that Linux is much better at delivering speed for servers and supercomputers than it is on the desktop. That was by design. But over the last few years, there's been more interest in delivering fast desktop performance. Now there's a Linux kernel patch that may give you a faster, much faster, desktop experience.

Alternative To The "200 Lines Kernel Patch That Does Wonders" Which You Can Use Right Away: Phoronix recently published an article regarding a ~200 lines Linux Kernel patch that improves responsiveness under system strain. Well, Lennart Poettering, a RedHat developer replied to Linus Torvalds on a maling list with an alternative to this patch that does the same thing yet all you have to do is run 2 commands and paste 4 lines in your ~/.bashrc file.

The Perfect Desktop - Linux Mint 10 (Julia): This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 10 (Julia) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Linux Mint 10 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 10.10 that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for Linux newbies.

Fixing Akonadi's warning of the non-existing leap second table: Ever since I installed Kontact 4.5, it has been showing an MySQL warning when starting. The exact error in the logs is:

Can't open and lock time zone table: Table 'mysql.time_zone_leap_second' doesn't exist trying to live without them

While it's only a warning, I don't like to have my logs filled with warnings. Hence, I went on a hunt to prevent this warning. Lots of posts said this issue is fixed in newer versions (certainly not for me!), or it doesn't matter. But that wasn't good enough for me..

5 unusal games for Linux: We often hear that there are no games on Linux, or that are much worse than their counterparts for windows, so today I want to show some unusual games that run perfectly on our favorite operating system. Caph Caph is a sandbox game, based on physics. The game target is to make contact red object with green object. You can use various objects, solid, wire (rope), and bendable objects. Gravitation will help you.

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