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Only Ubuntu and Mandriva as recommended distros

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Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11

Hi, people.

Because Mandriva has finally worried about their user's freedom and has released a freedom-respectful edition of Mandriva Linux, I think this distro must now be a recommended distro at GGL.o.

On the other hand, because Mandriva Free is a fully free distro, there's no need to support the not-so-actively-developed gNewSense.

As for the not-so-user-friendly Fedora, I feel it's there mostly to mitigate our unintended marketing toward Canonical products, so, if we get to only promote one Canonical product, Fedora is no longer required. We can come back with Fedora/RedHat when we do something aimed at businesses.

It would be perfect if we only promoted two distros from two different companies, one with Gnome and the other with KDE by default.

What do you think?

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Joined: 2006-03-28
First of all I don't really

First of all I don't really agree that Fedora isn't that user-friendly. It also comes with lots of nice GUI-tools to setup mostly everything, and everything is quite easy.
Well, maybe I'm just too used to do it all the hard way, and now that I use Fedora I just see everything as so much easier. ;-)
Also I have to admit that I never really liked Mandriva, although the last time I touched it still went by the name Mandrake. ;-)

Also I don't think that Fedora is the right option for businesses. There Red Hat would be the better option, among others.
For businesses we should promote distros that are known for stability and support. I think Red Hat comes to mind here, and also Debian might be an option.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Sounds like a nice idea,

Sounds like a nice idea, BUT.. I'm still a bit vary of Mandriva. I've read some topics recently about some long standing bugs not being fixed even in the latest 2008 release. Instead of fixing them they reverted to hiding them or just going around them, but leaving user at the risk of very easily falling into one of these traps.

These bugs are nothing too obscure either. They involve desktop components like system tray for example. I don't remember the exact details..

Anyway, I haven't deeply followed the whole situation so I may still be missing parts of the picture, but if what I read is true Mandriva, while as a company moving in the right direction in terms of supporting Free Software, has a rather ineffective development model, even though it pays its developers to work on Mandriva... it almost feels as if they do it the proprietary-style.. hiding some bugs instead of fixing them, concentrating mostly on the outside appearance and first impressions etc..

Well, don't take my word for anything. If most people never actually experienced issues with Mandriva then that may very well be a solid sign that it is something you can safely recommend.

But compared to Fedora... I'm just not sure.. IMHO best thing going for the selection of Mandriva is that it's KDE based as opposed to Ubuntu.

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
reptiler wrote: First of
reptiler wrote:

First of all I don't really agree that Fedora isn't that user-friendly. It also comes with lots of nice GUI-tools to setup mostly everything, and everything is quite easy.
Well, maybe I'm just too used to do it all the hard way, and now that I use Fedora I just see everything as so much easier. ;-)
Also I have to admit that I never really liked Mandriva, although the last time I touched it still went by the name Mandrake. ;-)

Also I don't think that Fedora is the right option for businesses. There Red Hat would be the better option, among others.
For businesses we should promote distros that are known for stability and support. I think Red Hat comes to mind here, and also Debian might be an option.

Reptiler, you're right: Fedora is now user-friendly. I meant "Fedora is not beginner-friendly" because to install it and adjust some post-install settings, you must have a clue of what Linux is (and it doesn't happen with Ubuntu, for example, I think).

Regarding distributions for businesses, you're right again. By "Fedora/RedHat" I actually meant "Red Hat" (they're basically the same thing "under the hood", that's why I referred to them that way).

Cheers!

Gustavo's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-11
libervisco wrote: Sounds
libervisco wrote:

Sounds like a nice idea, BUT.. I'm still a bit vary of Mandriva. I've read some topics recently about some long standing bugs not being fixed even in the latest 2008 release. Instead of fixing them they reverted to hiding them or just going around them, but leaving user at the risk of very easily falling into one of these traps.

These bugs are nothing too obscure either. They involve desktop components like system tray for example. I don't remember the exact details..

Anyway, I haven't deeply followed the whole situation so I may still be missing parts of the picture, but if what I read is true Mandriva, while as a company moving in the right direction in terms of supporting Free Software, has a rather ineffective development model, even though it pays its developers to work on Mandriva... it almost feels as if they do it the proprietary-style.. hiding some bugs instead of fixing them, concentrating mostly on the outside appearance and first impressions etc..

Well, don't take my word for anything. If most people never actually experienced issues with Mandriva then that may very well be a solid sign that it is something you can safely recommend.

I recently managed to make a friend of mine make the switch to GNU/Linux. He tried out Ubuntu and Kubuntu Gutsy, but his keyboard (or mouse, I don't remember) and another device (the wireless card, I think) didn't work, not even with the restricted drivers. He got tired of the "Ubuntu crap" and tried out Mandriva... And the next day he told me he was extremely happy with his Mandriva box (everything works out-of-the-box!).

I guess he didn't install Mandriva Free, but it's not a bad start.

ariadacapo's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-13
Well I must say that as

Well I must say that as usual I am reluctant to modify the site, not because it's perfect, but because we have so many more efficient ways to spend our times...

This being said, looking at the three individual distributions mentionned:

Fedora
- As far as I understand, it is fully free software. They are the mainstream distribution with the largest support for free software, judging simply from their homepage.
- User-friendliness: I must agree, it's terrific now. I have worked with it on a live CD for 1 hour, and it is impressive how easy to use it is. I have shown it to an unequivocal ubuntu-fan and he was very impressed too. In fact there is extremely little to differentiate it from Ubuntu.
- Presently on our website, we've got it all wrong. Fedora does not require special, different, or multiple CDs to install, anymore.

Mandriva
- I sure admire their recent change of position, but it's still not perfect. Currently they put all the focus on Mandriva One, Mandriva Free being only an option at download. In fact there is no Mandriva Free homepage we could point to.
- The biggest advantage is that it's KDE-based, which would be a nice alternative to Ubuntu because it immediately feels different to the visitor.

gNewSense
It's a dead project unfortunately. Nothing has moved on their side for months, I even tried to help and never got a response. I would even consider changing to Gobuntu, but I read somewhere that it still uses some proprietary kernel components.

Additional remarks:
- I would put the buggy/hardware recognition dispute aside, I think each distro is bound to not work well on a few computers. Furthermore, as I explain in conferences (and will write out soon), I firmly believe that code stability/quality should not be a major concern.
- For businesses, we are going to build a different website. We cannot aim at every public at once, I believe the focus should currently be on individual users.

So?
I agree Mandriva would make a nice alternative to replace Fedora + gNewSense, if Mandriva One simply did not exist. The focus of the company would then be on Mandriva Free and we could happily point users to their website. Right now, I must say I still feel slightly uneasy with it. Perhaps this is going to change soon, but meanwhile I propose to just update the Fedora install description, improve all screenshots, and decide again in 1 to 2 months.

Please tell me if this makes sense.

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Joined: 2006-03-28
I like the idea, and also

I like the idea, and also agree on your point about Mandriva (not only because I favor Fedora anyway).

If necessary I could also provide fresh, new screenshots for the Fedora-section, since I upgraded to Fedora 8.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
Olivier
Olivier wrote:

gNewSense
It's a dead project unfortunately. Nothing has moved on their side for months, I even tried to help and never got a response. I would even consider changing to Gobuntu, but I read somewhere that it still uses some proprietary kernel components.

That does sound like a reasonable move. I've actually gotten a comment from a guy at the conference (OTT07) wondering how come gNewSense is being recommended considering how far behind it is from Ubuntu and considering the existence of Gobuntu.

Of course, Gobuntu has some non-free bugs, but that may change by the next release.

Anyway, there is also a theory that Ubuntu itself will enable more flexibility in terms of making a choice between having a 100% Free Software system or not because of the Gobuntu "experiment" which will separate the non-free bits out in a way that allows any user to cleanly and easily just remove absolutely all proprietary things from their system. Of course, we don't even have to mention the fact that each Ubuntu based "distro" is actually available as a simple meta-package, including Gobuntu.

So hmm.. what I'm leaning towards here is perhaps putting the choice down to only two distros: Ubuntu and Fedora. I'm sure many would agree that when it comes to community powered fairly Free Software friendly distros those really are the two top contenders these days.

And then of course, just add a sentence about the existence of a Gobuntu meta package for those who want their Ubuntu GNU/Linux system 100% Free Software with an inner quick link to the place where Gobuntu can be downloaded as a full iso if someone wishes so. Basically, remove the third option and instead just add a note about Gobuntu meta-package iso into the Ubuntu section.

Ark74's picture
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Joined: 2008-02-17
gNewSense

Hi everyone!
I know that this issue is a little bit old, but i wanted to say something about gNewSense.
You see this project first of all is not dead.
And this distro is working really hard to get a completely free operating system, which is not an easy task. I am a user and a collaborator of the project, translating to spanish, and other minor projects.

I must admit that we don't have all the attention to the project in a user level, but there is a hard work from the developers and collaborators to achieve the goal. The Delta-D release (based on Dapper) could not compete with so many distros because of it's look or it's functionality (but freedom, only a few of them). Now days the gNewSense team, is working to release a new version. I'm not the one who must give this info, later on it will be an official statement. But, the main point of this (comment) is to show that the gNewSense project is live, working, and all the users who want to collaborate are invited, and invite you to form part of the community that needs the attention that sometimes we can't give.

Finally i would like to invite you to keep an eye on the gNewSense project.
http://www.gnewsense.org/

Regards

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