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Flipping the Linux switch: Desktop environments vs. window managers

Picture this: It's late at night. You've restarted your computer. The optical drive is whirring contentedly, but you have butterflies in your stomach. Tonight is the night you install Linux for the first time. You choose your language, and then your keyboard layout. This is pretty easy, so far. A partitioner works its magic on your hard disk, either resizing your Windows partition or wiping it completely. Suddenly you are blindsided by the question: Which default desktop environment would you like to install?

Install, Set up, and Run your own Email Server using Qmail

Packt has released a new book on Qmail. Written by experienced author Kyle Wheeler, Qmail Quickstarter is a fast-paced and easy-to-follow guide that gets a Qmail mail server up and running quickly.

Screenshots Of Damn Small Linux 4.2.

As far as the good old days of computing with x86 PCs is concerned, Robert Shingledecker and his team have been tirelessly evoking that nostalgic moments. Unsurprisingly, there is much more sweetness in this new version of Damn Small Linux 4.2. This timely-released version will definitely add more cheers to the New Year and Christmas festivities.

Intel uses open-source effort to boost networking plan

Intel has released source code for a server software project that lets Fibre Channel communications run on a more ordinary Ethernet network. Fibre Channel is a higher-end network technology used to connect storage systems to servers. Intel and networking giant Cisco Systems are among those working to adapt it for ordinary and ubiquitous Ethernet technology, a technology called Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), appropriately enough.

Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 2 Released

Mozilla Firefox 3 Beta 2 is now available for testing. The second beta of the next major Firefox version offers around 900 bug fixes over Beta 1, including several feature enhancements and fixes to improve speed, stability, security and memory usage.

Dell spills its Guts over Ubuntu gear

Dell has caught up to the Ubuntu release machine, adding the latest version of the operating system as a standard option with Linux-friendly laptop and desktop.

Update on the Sun/NetApp ZFS patent litigation

I received this update from Sun Microsystems on Tuesday on the ongoing ZFS patent litigation with NetApp. While colored by its source, the news seems positive for Sun (and, given the importance of ZFS, for the open-source development community). Sun has succeeded in getting the venue changed to California and it appears that its public request for examples of prior art have yielded fruit.

Where Can Linux Leap Ahead Part 1

People often talk about getting average home users to use Linux, but that may not be the best group of people for Linux to market itself to. This multi-part story goes through the various groups of computer users and why they might or might not want to switch to Linux.

Interview with Richard Stallman: Four Essential Freedoms

When Richard Stallman announced the GNU Project back in 1983, he launched a movement that would, in time, transform the software industry. The Free Software Foundation, also created by Stallman and now sponsor of the GNU Project, has become a driving force behind the adoption of the widely used GNU GPL software license. We discussed some of the more recent developments with Richard Stallman, whose passion for freedom in computing remains intense. The following Q & A explores the goals of free software, progress that has been made, and ways to maintain or instill freedom in software that we use.

KOffice's stance against OOXML more practical than political, developer says

In the recent accusations that the GNOME Foundation has been supporting Microsoft's OOXML format at the expense of ODF, KDE has been presented as a counter-example. Based on a KDE News article, Richard Stallman suggested that "major KDE developers" had announced "their rejection of OOXML" and urged GNOME to do the same. More recently, a widely linked story on ITWire used the same article to declare that KDE has taken a "principled stand" against OOXML. However, if you go the source, the story is more nuanced than these claims suggest.

Enhancing cluster quorum with QDisk

QDisk bolsters the quorum of small count clusters. This article outlines when and how to use QDisk. Note: QDisk was added to RHCS and GFS starting with the updates in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.4 and 5.0.

One click monitor power-down for Linux

If you're running a Linux-powered laptop and you want to switch off the screen, without waiting for the laptop to go into sleep mode, then this is a great tip from Tombuntu. Switch the monitor off instantaneously with the command: sleep 1 && xset dpms force off. Making this into a desktop shortcut is also easy.

Cross-browser Web application testing made easy

Ideally, every Web application should be tested to ensure that it will work perfectly on every browser that might access it. That might sound impossible, but you can come closer than you might think.

Early Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha Benchmarks

Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 2 is due out tomorrow, and while we'll have more extensive testing as the Hardy Heron release nears in April, today we are publishing our first -- very initial -- benchmarks of Ubuntu 8.04 using the 12-19-2007 daily build and comparing these results to Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. These tests are focused upon OpenGL gaming, encoding, disk, and memory performance.

Cathedral vs. Bazaar in HIT-OSS

Observation of the trends in many HIT OSS projects leads me to believe that our niche in the OSS world prefers the Cathedral model (Eric S. Raymond's definition) rather than the Baazar model.

Another Day, Another GPL Win

Xterasys settles a suit filed by the Software Freedom Law Center regarding GPL violations involving the BusyBox tool set. During the last several months, the Software Freedom Law Center has gone on the warpath to defend the GPL. On Dec. 17, the SFLC announced its second win in its four lawsuits against companies it says have violated the General Public License, as Xterasys, a Wi-Fi OEM, has agreed to settle.

Confusion marks StarOffice anniversary

As the tenth anniversary of Sun Microsystems' StarOffice acquisition approaches it grows increasingly difficult to fathom what Sun intends for its suite. Sun this week released a minor upgrade based on the latest iteration of OpenOffice - version 2.3 and unveiled a bunch of plug-in extensions that appear useful enough. One enables StarOffice to be used to prepare blogs, one turns your PC into a fax machine and another compresses ludicrously large presentation files (including Microsoft's Powerpoint format).

Create an MP3 file server using Amarok and ObsidianMusic

When it comes to playing music in Linux, Amarok is one of the best audio players out there. It offers almost everything you need, from a clean, intuitive interface to a range of useful scripts. You can even put it on a server and give it a Web interface.

Simple, fast administration with Webmin

Linux has so many tools, settings, parameters, and configuration files to learn that administering your box can be a challenge. Webmin, a Web-based comprehensive administration tool for Linux, can help you get on your way. Webmin presents a Web-based interface that allows you to perform system administration tasks in Unix, Linux, and FreeBSD. If your particular distribution isn't included in the list of supported systems, some Webmin modules might not work. Distributions use different locations for their various configuration files, and if your particular choice doesn't keep its files in standard places, Webmin won't be able to function.

Thin Puppy Torture Test II, Day 1

As I look back on the past year's worth of Click entries, I see my adoption of Linux play out. The pace of free, open-source software development is so fast that it makes the year seem very long indeed. The most fun I had writing these entries was during the month of the original Thin Puppy Torture Test, in which the converted Maxspeed Maxterm thin client ran on Puppy Linux (I think I was using 2.14 at the time) for a month with no hard drive -- in fact, no storage at all except the onboard RAM. ... I thought it would be a good time for a second Thin Puppy Torture Test. This time, I burned a fresh Puppy Linux 3.01 CD, booted the thin client, and "upgraded" an existing pup_save file on the USB flash drive.

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