Collection of Interesting Articles on OSS


With dwindling threads in Open Source Section I have decided to post articles from my feeds that I find interesting. :) would be adding more articles in this thread.

5 Ways to Decide on a Linux Distribution
Ken Hess's Linux Blog

Prejudices and opinions aside, at some point in your career you'll be asked to select a viable Linux distribution for your corporate network. How will you choose? Will you use the same distribution that you use at home or will you do some research and find something that's corporate-ready? Are you up to the task? Do you know what to look for in a distribution to support a corporate environment?

Here are 5 ways to decide on a Linux distribution for your corporate network.

1. Commercial Support - This is a sore subject among some Linux types since most believe they can solve any foreseeable problem or glitch that happens. When you're dealing with multiple--possibly hundreds--server systems, sometimes you need help, you need it fast and you need to have it setup and ready before you need it. Your distribution should be backed by a stable company--a community just won't do when you're faced with a major outage situation and the clock is ticking and you don't have time to troll forums or "google" for an answer.

2. Multiple Repositories - A repository is how apt-get, yum, smart and other repository querying tools reach out and grab updates and new software for your distribution. Most distributions do have multiple repositories, however, I think that if one were to count up the available number of repositories worldwide, Debian and its derivatives would have the edge. Still there's also the possibility of creating your own software repository and I highly recommend the practice. Use wget or some other automated recursive download tool to keep your repository in sync with one of the remote ones.

3. Security - The distribution you choose must also have a dedication to security. It must be backed by a vigilant security team who must update as frequently as necessary to mitigate any security issues with OS-level or application-level security flaws. Being open source has its disadvantages as well as many advantages. One of those significant disadvantages is that black hatted hackers have access to the source code as well and may exploit any weaknesses in the software. Ask a lot of questions about security to make sure you're protected.

4. Usability - There is really only one way to determine usability for you and your users: Download and install. You can't depend on conjecture, marketing or emotion to make your decision. Work with the product. Have your users work with the product. Look at the available administrative tools and put them through their paces. Your distributions should have equally accessible and usable tools in KDE/GNOME and at the command line. Yes, the dreaded command line since most server systems won't, or shouldn't, have a GUI installed.

5. Price - Let's be realistic here; price is important. In fact, it might be the most important aspect when choosing a distribution for corporate adoption. Yes, many distributions are free but remember the first item in this list: Commercial Support. Free is great but unless you have a group of extremely talented people supporting your infrastructure, you'll need it. Compare prices for your narrowed-down list of distrubutions and determine whether you can live without some of a more expensive distribution's perks. Don't forget to ask for a volume discount if you're purchasing multiple copies or are supporting a large installation. Often they're offered up front but it never hurts to negotiate a better deal and everything's negotiable.

You might feel strongly about <Insert obscure Linux distribution here> but is it a good fit for a corporate environment. What about support? What about price? What about security and software updates? Would you be comfortable running your business on it?

My best advice is to go with a distribution that makes everyone happy: You, other administrators, management and the accountants.

Write back and tell me about your personal experiences with selecting a Linux distribution for your corporate environment. Did you choose a single distribution or multiple? Are you happy with your selection?


Does the Linux Desktop Innovate Too Much?

Does the Linux Desktop Innovate Too Much?
Bruce Byfield

For the last eighteen months, the GNU/Linux desktop has been in a period of radical innovation. KDE 4 introduced new features and workflows. Mark Shuttleworth launched Ubuntu on a unilateral redesign campaign, starting with notifications. GNOME announced a new desktop that, so far as anyone can tell, will profoundly change the user-experience.

These innovations are likely to continue for at least another couple of release cycles, with upcoming versions of KDE scheduled to put social networking into applications and remote windows on to the desktops of passing computers.

Yet in the middle of all these experiments, nobody seems to be asking a basic question: Does the average user want any of these things?

Personally, I love these innovations, every one of them. I'm a tinkerer who likes to play with new things and write about them. Some of these experiments may succeed more than others, and some I consider outright failures, but I don't tire of any of them.

Their number suggests that the free desktop is in a healthy state and has surpassed proprietary ones, and I'm proud of that.

However, people who share my enthusiasm for innovation seem to be the minority. Whenever KDE 4 is mentioned in an article online, the comments are sure to include complaints that KDE 3.5 was better.

Similarly, an article I recently published on GNOME Shell, the basis for the new GNOME desktop, inspired only condemnations of the program, even though its final form at this stage is anybody's guess.

Admittedly, commenters may not represent general attitudes. We have no way of knowing whether they do. Yet the fact that most of the praises for these innovations come from people who participate in the projects involved seems suggestive.

Under these circumstances, the free software community needs to consider the pros and cons of these innovations -- not one at a time, but as a whole.

Is there a compelling argument for innovation? Or has the free desktop reached a point where it satisfies most users and any attempt to change its current state is going to be regarded as an unwarranted intrusion on the average person's activities?

And, if so, what can be done to improve the situation?
The case for change

On an abstract level, few free software users are likely to find much that is objectionable in the arguments in favor of innovation.

For example, a year ago, Shuttleworth is reported as saying, "The great task in front of us over the next two years is to lift the experience of the Linux desktop from something that is stable and robust and not so pretty, into something that is art . . . . I see this [need] for free software – beautiful, elegant software. We have to invest in making this desktop beautiful and useful."

More recently, KDE developer Aaron Seigo defended KDE's upcoming social desktop with similar rhetoric.

Many online services, Seigo points out, are not free software, and cannot ensure protection of data or privacy -- the implication being that, in contrast, KDE's social desktop suffers from none of these problems.

He notes, too, that "The innovation essentially stopped at 'things I used to do on paper'. I want to do more than just have an easy place to dump my embarrassing photos of others from last night, keep up a public journal, read an annotated map or exchange small blocks of text with others. I want the network to make my computing life more interesting, more immersive and more useful. The innovation has all but dried up in social networking, however, and what we have is an electronic version of the library and post office. A really freaking cool library and post-office, but that's about it. We can do better than that, can't we?"

Seigo goes on to say that free software is uniquely positioned to improve on the current standard. As a community, it already understands the concepts of community behind social networking. Nor is it constrained by financial considerations in its quest for innovation.

Then Seigo paints a utopian vision of the possible future: "I see our computers becoming helpers rather than mildly frustrating tools; I see services becoming a true web of interacting greatness rather than silos with the occasional rickety handmade (and often one-way) rope bridge between them; I see 'social networking' and 'personal rights and freedoms' being mutually supporting at every level."

Like Shuttleworth, Seigo is invoking the motherhood issues of the community. Both are talking about concerns close to every free software advocate's heart. Reading their rhetoric, you can easily be swept away by its visionary scope, and find yourself nodding excitedly.

Not only are they talking about realizing your dreams, but they are talking about doing so in the very near future.

Who could resist?
The desktop is not a destination

The trouble with the rhetoric of innovators is that it exists on an abstract plane, not a practical one. Many of the same people whose hearts beat faster at the rhetoric's promises are likely to behave very differently when they turn from reading to focusing on what they have to.

2nd Part: Do users need or want anything more?
3rd Part: Time for a reality check


Linux Sucks!!!
Posted by tuxxie Friday, July 17, 2009

Linux is gaining momentum and people are starting to switch over to this computer operating system. I have been using GNU/Linux for years and would like to warn you about it. My conscience wouldn't allow me not to speak out about the OS. Linux is a free operating system that anyone can download and use.

Imagine, you don't have to pay a penny to get Linux to run on your computer. I know what you are thinking, is this another of those recession inventions? It will trick you into using it for a while for free and then pop up a window and ask for your credit card... But no. Linux is not like the other operating systems you normally use. It is much more evil. Not only it is for free, but it is also completely legal to download and distribute to as many people as you want. Now, when was the last time you downloaded something legally? I know, it is impossible to even think about it. Every time a security update pops up, you can actually download it without the fear that your illegal version of a program will stop functioning afterwards. Where the hell is the fun in that?!? Do you remember the thrill of looking for cracks all over the internet, and many of them often came in a combo with a nice virus that gave you something to do for the next few days? How dare Linux take that away from people? Most of the stuff with Linux works right out of the box. The popular distributions out there are very easy to install and you are ready to surf the web, edit pictures, burn cd/dvds and many other features right away. It will take time till you get used to not dishing out your hard earn cash for a simple upgrade or mediocre application. Your free word processor will not expire after 3 months of use and after saving your files in a format that nothing else can open. I miss entering the numbers of my credit card into the system every other day. I know them by heart and it pains me that I am unable to utilize this knowledge. All of this because of Linux. It has thousands of free quality applications that range from great games to audio/video editing and other professional software. This just makes you feel cheated. However, Linux has been listening to us and trying to fix this problem. With the application called Wine you can still use your expensive Windows software. Once you install it, you will be able to play all your favorite games and run other applications that you paid for so gladly in the past. But that is about the only thing that is fun about Linux. Everything else is so boring, legal and free. Hopefully one day I can get over it. I still haven't figured out what to do with the extra money I saved...

The worst thing of all is that I have lost most of my friends, namely Mike, Chris and Rob from the software store. They used to call me twice a week, ask how I was and tell me about the new software they just got. I shouldn't say that, but they would also offer me discounts if I bought several at the time. However, when they called last time, I told them that I got GNU/Linux. They were outraged. I haven't heard from them since. Linux destroys the most precious of friendships you build throughout the years. I miss you my best friends. Please, call me back sometimes.

GNU/Linux is also very customizable. That means you can change it any way you want. You are not locked in to proprietary software. It is about having freedom and no one company is dictating the rules to you. Install whatever you want, how you want and change things the way you want. No rules and no restrictions. I don't think I can handle so much freedom. I never had to make decisions for myself before.

Linux also looks really cool. If you though Mac's were great than you will be amazed at Linux. Just install Compiz Fusion and you will be able to have amazing eyecandy. This application will give you a 3D cube, wobbly windows, expo, widget layer, 3D windows, shift switcher and many other cool effects that will make your Windows and Mac OS friends jealous. You can install any themes and icon sets you want. The only limit is your creativity. The good thing about this is that you can make Linux look like Windows and Mac OS so your friends still think you are cool as them.

Please stay away from GNU/Linux because it is a computer revolution. It is slowly changing the computer industry in major ways. Even Google is creating their own operating system that will be based on the Linux kernel. What are they thinking? Linux for the masses? Oh no! How are we going to get used to not paying hundreds of dollars for an OS. We would have to change our way of thinking and I don't think majority people are ready for that. We cannot allow this to happen. I have been using GNU/Linux for years and I still can't get used to such a great operating system. I am happy with it and the great software that I am using. Please take my warning seriously! GNU/Linux is awful and I hope you stay away from it. It is better to pay high prices for an OS that you do not like and the company will dictate to you what you can or cannot do with it, what software you can install and treat you like a criminal. If you do not take my warning seriously and will install GNU/Linux I hope that you are ready for what is to follow. Don't say I haven't warned you. Think hard about switching to GNU/Linux.


^Yeah agreed 100%. The die hard winboys have achieved their goal it seems. :(
But Rahim is trying to save this section it seems. Good work Rahim!

Well Rahim, since I am not getting much of help for my mag, I'll take these articles. :)


^Yes you can :D
arey yaar kuch tum log bhi contribute karo is OSS mein.
Posted again:
Sexism: Open Source Software's Dirty Little Secret
Bruce Byfield

On September 19th, the GNOME Foundation and the Free Software Foundation will host a mini-summit on how to increase women's participation in the free and open source software (FOSS) communities. The summit is probably an effort to repair relationships between the two foundations after Richard Stallman was pilloried for sexism after his keynote in Gran Canaria a couple of months ago.

However, regardless of its reasons, the summit represents one of the first official recognitions of an open secret: sexism is systemic in FOSS, and has been for years.

Of course, that is not what the official mythology says. Officially, the FOSS community is a meritocracy, where characteristics like gender don't matter, and everybody is judged only on their contributions.

For instance, in describing FOSS culture, Eric Raymond writes:
"Hackerdom is still predominantly male. However, the percentage of women is clearly higher than the low-single-digit range typical for technical professions, and female hackers are generally respected and dealt with as equals. . . . When asked, hackers often ascribe their culture's gender- and color-blindness to a positive effect of text-only network channels, and this is doubtless a powerful influence. Also, the ties many hackers have to AI research and SF literature may have helped them to develop an idea of personhood that is inclusive rather than exclusive --- after all, if one's imagination readily grants full human rights to future AI programs, robots, dolphins, and extraterrestrial aliens, mere color and gender can't seem very important any more."
Raymond is not read much any more, but many members of the FOSS community voice almost identical convictions.

But the figures prove the conventional mythology wrong. True, women continue to be under-represented in computing science and high-tech business in general, not just FOSS. According to Angela Byron's keynote at the Open Web Vancouver conference earlier this year, women compose 28% of those involved in proprietary software, slightly more than half what you would expect from a random distribution.

Asked to guess what percentage of FOSS developers are women, mostly people guess a number between 30-45%. A few, either more observant or anticipating a trick question after hearing the proprietary figure, guess 12-16%. The exact figure, though, is even lower: 1.5%

In other words, women's participation in FOSS development is over seventeen times lower than it is in proprietary software development. Proprietary software is inferior in so many ways to FOSS that the fact that it is more successful in recruiting women highlights, more than anything else, that FOSS has a problem -- even if you allow for the widest possible margins of error. The figures are a galling reversal of what those of us in the FOSS community prefer to believe. We're the idealistic and progressive ones, we like to believe.

The situation is slightly better here and there. Byron suggested that Drupal, the project she is mainly involved in, consists of about 12% women. In conversation, Aaron Seigo suggested a similar percentage for KDE. You can also point out individual women who have made their mark in FOSS, such as Stormy Peters of the GNOME Foundation, or Carla Schroder, the editor of Linux Today. Yet such exceptions do not change the overall situation.
The GNU/Linux Desktop and Borrowed Assumptions about Usability

Look at the boards of prominent FOSS projects. No women sit on the Free Software Foundation's board of directors, nor the Linux Foundation's board. KDE e.V's board has one woman, and GNOME's board one. If anything, the number of female maintainers in Debian is probably lower than 1.5%. The figures don't change much, no matter which FOSS organization you look at.

Or, if you prefer, listen to the horror stories female developers tell about sexist remarks or being asked out for dates. Look at the constant trolls on the mailing lists for female developers.

Or notice how raising the issue inevitably brings accusations of exaggeration and political correctness. Despite the obviousness of the evidence, many people would prefer to pretend that the problem doesn't exist except in the minds of a few feminist radicals. And, while everyone is in denial, the FOSS community loses female -- and male -- developers when it needs every possible volunteer.
A culture of denial

The problem is not new. People have been discussing it at least since 1998, when Deb Richardson founded LinuxChix to combat it. Moreover, Val Henson's "Howto Encourage Women in Linux" pinpointed the problem, its causes, and the most common reactions to it as long ago as 2002.

However, since then, about the only thing that has changed is that every FOSS conference has a panel discussion on the topic. The community acts as though giving the subject limited recognition is sufficient; everyone can get on with ignoring it.

Instead, when the subject comes up, everybody goes into a frenzy of rationalization. They may say that women are less technologically oriented than men, or lack the confidence or socialization to participate in the free-for-all discussions in which FOSS is developed. They may say that women lack role models, or are less likely to become obsessively devoted to an idealistic cause. A favorite comment is that FOSS is a meritocracy, and only a few women measure up to the standards needed for contributors (although more might if everyone is just patient).

Some of these rationalizations may even have some truth to them. Yet the fact that the same problems do not stop proprietary development from having greater female participation shows that they are not enough to explain what is happening. Nor is explaining the problem a substitute for taking action.

Yet, if anything, the situation is getting worse. The front page of LinuxChix is still active, but its mailing list and chapter pages show little activity in the past few years. Debian Women is much the same, while KDE Women appears entirely inactive.

Typically, such groups are active for a while, encourage a few women to participate in FOSS projects, then settle down to a core of a few members who keep loosely in touch with each other. Occasionally, activity flares, but the groups are largely isolated in their communities, and do little to affect the overall culture.

Meanwhile, the culture of denial continues. When obvious examples of sexism occur, such as Stallman's keynote -- or, much worse, Matt Aimonetti's "Perform like a pr0n star" presentation at a Ruby conference last spring -- provoke outrage, the complaints are too often dismissed.

Aimonetti's presentation, for example, was defended as part of the edginess of Ruby culture. Similarly, defenders of Stallman claimed that those who took offense were attacking Stallman's character because of his anti-Mono comments. Although these examples are extreme, they show just how far some of the FOSS community will go to pretend that sexism doesn't exist.
Looking for solutions

Part of the reason for the sexism in the culture may be that FOSS arose on the Internet. The anonymity that the Web allows has always encouraged flame bait, and no doubt some of the sexism is simply an extreme example. The aggressive language in FOSS development probably comes from the same source. Nor is there much doubt that online culture was originally male-centric, because historically men tended to get connected sooner than women, and that is what they created.

Yet none of these origins are insurmountable. What would happen if the women's groups became part of the power structure of projects, instead of being primarily self-referencing sub-groups? Or if women's mentoring programs were established that both brought individual women along and actively recruited them to act in the mainstream of projects?

Perhaps the most useful step might be a code of conduct with zero tolerance for sexism. A code of conduct assures that the development of Ubuntu and several other projects is conducted politely and constructively, and seems to have no ill effects. If sexism was outlawed as strongly as rudeness or personal attacks, and people were encouraged to speak out against it, perhaps the atmosphere in FOSS projects would become more friendly to women.

But all these measures depend on admitting that sexism exists in FOSS. While I don't expect miracles from the upcoming summit, if nothing else perhaps it can start to put an end to the denial. FOSS is such an idealistic movement in other ways, I suspect there must be thousands like me who prefer not to see it disfigured by sexism any longer -- especially when a united effort could cure the problem.
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Open Source Should Be Open To All

By Beth Lynn Eicher and Moose​

Let's talk about elitism.

Specifically, let's talk about operating system elitism. How many of you only run Linux and push everyone you meet to do the same?

That's elitism. Elitism causes people to think they're better than others, and causes others to feel belittled.

You don't convince someone that your way is right by telling them they're wrong or stupid. You show them what a difference can be made.

Not everyone who uses a vendor-OS is doing so because they like it. Sometimes you're stuck with software for your job. And even if they do like their vendor-OS, people are resistant to change.

Often the way is baby steps. If today you can convince someone to use some Open-Source software package – a document creator, a presentation tool, a web browser, or even a web server – you give yourself the wedge to start pushing for an Open Source operating system.

Teach the users to learn to love open source by introducing the software, application by application, and they will come to see the light. When you can show a business how much they can save with Open Source, you've made a friend. But when you've shown a single person the difference Open Source can make in his or her life, you've made an ally.

End the elitism. The vendors who refuse to release open source software are the enemy, not the users. Don't shun users of vendor-OSes. Don't sneer at them, don't talk down to them. Instead, learn what they need, and show them how OSS can help fill that need.

Let's talk about BSD.

It is counter-productive to argue that Linux is better than BSD. BSD is not the enemy of Linux. Elitism is the enemy of Linux.

The BSD people are fighting for the same thing as the Linux communities. BSD is the ally of Linux. When it comes down to it, Linux and BSD users like the same software. The communities should be working together for their shared cause – Free and Open computing for all.

Everyone has their preferences. Everyone prefers a flavor of ice cream. It doesn't matter what the flavor is, it's still ice cream. You don't reject your friend because he prefers a flavor you can't stand.

Instead look at FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD as distributions with different goals.

Let the BSD vs. Linux wars end. Let's see both sides supporting and helping each for the common goal.

Let's talk about people.

A frequent subject these days is the lack of certain people within OSS projects. Typically this is about women, who are often disenfranchised in the Open Source communities. While no intent to minimize this is being made, they're not the only people who get lost in the OSS world.

The problem of the lack of minorities in computing as a whole reaches into the OSS world. While you can't tell someone's ethnicity from a mailing list or IRC channel, what about conferences, user groups, hackathons and other in-person events. Would you want to go to one of these events if you knew nobody else who looks like you will be there?

Disabilities is a tricky problem. Are your websites and source code lockers usable by the visually impaired? Is your LUG meeting in a place that's wheelchair accessible? Could you find an ASL interpreter if needed? Often the answers to this question is, "But nobody ever asked us for this stuff!" If you want disabled people to be in your community you need to make it clear they are welcome.

Elitism causes people not to think of others. It makes the assumption that because YOU are comfortable with the way things are so is everyone else. Elitism is the reason why many women are told, "You can't understand this." But for women you can substitute lots of other people – minorities, the disabled, and, yes, vendor-OS users, among them.

Let's talk about Open Source.

Let's end the Elitism. It hurts feelings. It hurts the OSS cause. It slows things down. Every time you sneer at someone who isn't a Linux user you are losing the chance to convince them to come to Open Source. Every time you don't help others get involved you are losing the opportunity to have a valuable contributor. Let's let Open Source truly be Open.

Beth Lynn Eicher is a professional system administrator and is the co-Chair of this year's Ohio LinuxFest. She runs around the country espousing the joys of Linux and other Open Source fun.

Moose is a disabled unemployed system administrator who is the Speakers Chair and the Diversity in Open Source Workshop coordinator for this year's Ohio LinuxFest. When not playing conference organizer Moose goes to OSS conferences to Preach the Word of OpenAFS.
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Cool G5

Conversation Architect
Those are some really great articles Rahim. Keep it up!
And don't worry I'm here to read your posts. :)

How to Contribute to Open Source World

Article Source

Open Source is all about contributing one’s skill, knowledge & even money if one can. If you ever thought to contribute to open source but never started it due to lack of idea, then reading this piece of article will help you a long way. As usual with Open Source, possibilities are endless but here I will list some which I feel will suit most of you.

1) Open Source projects require programmers & bug patchers. If you have coding language then you can participate in the coding team of a distro or an application. Bug patchers can create bug fixes as & when any bugs are reported in an application by a user.

2) If coding is not your cup of tea, you can try your hand at writing. Most of the projects require a user friendly set of instructions so that users can refer it in case of difficulties. You can write how-to’s, general documentations etc as directed by your project leader. You can even help in translating the documentation if you know other languages.

3) If you have a designer’s perspective then you can send your art-work to be used in the form of Wallpapers, Screensavers, Icons etc. Besides submitting your art-work to the official distro graphic department you can even help by posting it on sites like or .

4) Most distro have an option for package maintainers. Package maintainers are those folks who compile the package from source code & package it to a binary which can be installed easily by less experienced users. e.g. A Ubuntu package maintainer will compile packages in .deb format while a Fedora package maintainer will do it in .rpm. As a package maintainer you will also need to keep updating the specific package as and when they get updated.

5) If you own none of the above skills then you can perhaps share your knowledge regarding troubleshooting problems on online linux forums. Each distro has its official forum. Registering takes hardly a minute & you can then go & post to your heart’s content. Post informative threads & that’s enough to help the overall community.

6) In addition to forums you can even promote Open Source & spread it by means of your personal blog or on your website. You’re free to post articles, reviews, bugs on your blog which can be read all over the world including the official distro/package maintainers. If you point out any bugs in software/distro on your blog, there exist a possibility it can be read & acted upon by the distro/package specific team. Even if you share basic knowledge regarding Linux & Open Source it can be of tremendous help to people who are fresh to the Linux world. If you are a veteran in the Open Source field then you should seriously begin a website.

7) If you don’t have time or competency but still want to contribute to Open Source then too you can help. You can donate some of your money to open source. Most of Open Source projects require funds in order to continue their development. In addition to donating money, you can even donate some server space, blank medias(CD/DVD) to the needy Open Source projects.

8 ) If you feel you can do none of the above don’t get disheartened. You can always promote open source in the form of mouth publicity, speaking at seminars, media etc. Though you might feel this to be insignificant but it’s not that insignificant either.

Whichever way you decide to go, remember to read the project guidelines before submitting your work lest you have to face the rejection stamp. Go ahead, do your bit in making the Open Source World grow bigger & better. Start early!

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
Linux Live Environment Explained

Article Source

Wouldn’t it be nice if you would be able to try out Linux distro without installing it on your computer? You can do it via virtual machine running under a host OS but that calls for some atrocious system requirements. The process though is simple but still demands a lot of time to get the OS up & running. To remedy this situation, most of the Linux distros offer a Live mode commonly referred as live environment.

Live mode/environment in simpler terms simply refers to running an linux OS without installing it. Majority of well known Linux distro bring out a Live version known as “Live CD” which lets you run the OS without installing it. The Live OS boots mostly via CD but it can be also installed to pendrive, memory cards etc. Once the Live media boots, the whole OS gets loaded in the system’s memory i.e RAM & works from there.

Booting into Live Environment :

To boot into a Live CD, download & burn the appropriate iso to the CD. Start your computer & press the predefined key to change the boot sequence (Mostly F2, F10 or Del key). Set the computer to boot via CD-ROM if you are using a LIVE CD. Incase you want to boot from pendrive, set your computer to boot via USB. Follow the onscreen instructions & you have your live environment up & running.

Live environment offers a host of advantages. Let’s have a look at them.

1) The primary advantage of live environment is to check a newly released linux OS before you decide whether to install or not onto your hard drive. This is what most of users use the live media for.

2) The secondary reason for you to use live environment is to check whether the linux distro is compatible with your hardware. At times you install an linux distro only to find that it doesn’t support your age old printer. To avoid the headache, you can just boot via live media & check whether all your hardware function just the way you expect them to.

3) When you work on a computer which is not yours, the owner of the system will most probably not let you install, remove or modify application & settings. To set yourself free from this tangle the linux live environment can be used. Since it (Live environment) doesn’t make changes to the host system the system owner would most probably not mind you booting into a live environment.

4) You have been taught not to access banking or other sites of personal interest on public computers. Again linux live environment comes to your rescue since you can boot into it on public computers without the fear of leaving any trail of your activities on the host system. Since live environment works from computers memory, the application data & settings are lost once you shutdown the pc or logout from the live environment.

5) In the event of crisis an linux live media can make your day. Imagine if the OS installed on your computer fails to boot & you need to access a very important file. What will you do? Simple. Just boot via linux live media & voila you can now access that important file. If you desire you can even try to repair your OS via the live media.

6) If you search around there are many full fledged linux distros which are designed to run off a pendrive. You get all your favorite applications & also the power of linux at your disposal if you hate the OS installed on the particular computer. A good example of full fledged linux distro which can via pendrives is Damn Small Linux.



Please Reinstate the OS Wars

Ken Hess
All the glass clicking and cheers of late surrounding the apparent conversion of Microsoft to the open source fold needs to stop. We need the Cold War. We need Communism. And, yes, we need the OS Wars. Like any war, the OS Wars stimulate creativity, spark religious battles and divide the wannabes from the true innovators.

Give me back the days of the Linux zealots who hate Microsoft so much that they remove Washington state from the US Map. Return me to those days of all Microsoft shops that threaten firing to anyone even uttering the word 'Linux' on company property. Send me back in time to the days of "Ken, why are you wasting your time with Linux?" I want to hear Microsoft bigots pronounce Linux with a long I.
Where are the days before every Windows desktop ran a Linux virtual machine? Where indeed.

I want to wax nostalgic about the strange days of Microsoft's open source strategy to kill Linux and how it didn't work. The annals of history recorded that their attempt was a failure. Reminiscing about how every open source company shook hands with Microsoft and became a collective force against nothing is what I want.

We need an enemy. We need for Microsoft to be the Spain and Britain of colonial times when planting your flag on a land and oppressing its people meant something. It meant competition. It meant conquering new territory and claiming it for your own--natives be damned!

I want our victories to be victories of valor and of painful wounds--and most of all to be victories of a distinct belief system. I want real victories not Masada-esque ones. My dream is for Steve Ballmer to send a messenger to Linus Torvalds demanding that he and his merry band of 300 developers surrender their code to him and for Linus' response back to be: "Come get it."

We need Microsoft. We need for them to be our enemy--our sworn enemy. They and their kind are evil. They represent the evil empire. We need the OS Wars lest we fall prey to their evil-undoings and become part of their evil plot to destroy all that is good in the world.

May the best OS win.


Does the Linux desktop need to be popular?​
By Austin Modine
How to win users and influence developers

LinuxCon 2009 Does Linux desktop even need to be popular? There are, shall we say, differing options among the open source cognoscenti gathered in Portland, Oregon this week for the annual LinuxCon.

For the last eight years, we've been told it's the year of the Linux desktop. Yet penetration figures have remained somewhere in the region of 0 to 1 per cent.

The top brass at the Linux Foundation don't seem particularly interested in desktop uptake these days. They prefer to press towards successes in end-user device and mobile phone markets rather than worrying about turning hearts against Windows and OS X.

"The thing that is much more interesting to me is whether or not someone who chooses to use Linux as their desktop can do so in a relatively pain-free way," said Ted Ts'o, chief technology officer for the Linux Foundation.

"I don't know that it's important that everyone or some substantially large percentage of the user population is using Linux as a desktop. And it's not clear that it's ever going to happen," he added.

Bob Sutor, vp of open source and Linux for IBM takes a middle-road, saying "if the Linux desktop got in the double digits among a broad range of people, then it's time to declare victory."

Meanwhile, others are not nearly so resigned on the matter. Community manager for openSUSE Joe Brockmeier told LinuxCon on Tuesday that mainstream success on the desktop is crucial for what needs to be done.

"We're getting our asses kicked," he said. "We're not capitalizing on the opportunities we've had." Brockmeier's solution is to focus on what he sees as weak points in the Linux desktop community: marketing, app development, accessibility, and unity.

For marketing, he said the Linux community needs a better way to get distros out to the public. "Most people don't want to download their operating system," he said. "They don't want to have to burn it to a CD. They don't want to have to worry about rpm versus V package. We have a lot of work to do to get Linux into people's hands and to do it in a way that's comfortable for them rather than us."

Brockmeier called on PC vendors to help promote Linux beyond offering it as a check-box in an order form.

"We are outgunned. We need some help and so I'm asking not only Novell and Red Hat and other companies that are in the Linux space, but also the OEMs to put some of their marketing muscle behind Linux because we need that to succeed."

He also wants Linux backers to work more closely together in order to promote the operating system as a whole, regardless of the distribution.

In the application space, Brockmeier said there's not enough developers working on end-user apps, and those that do too often lose interest before it can be polished into something appealing to the average user.

"The iPhone has been in existence for two years, and they're already skunking us on applications. Imagine what's going to happen when Apple actually comes out with a tablet or something like that," he said. "We need to really focus and worry about development of new applications. And that's not easy because the main distros have cut back a little bit on developing new end-user apps — I know Novell has, because frankly, that's not where we make our money."

Brockmeier said too many applications today are abandoned, redone, or determined to be 'good enough' when they're only 80 per cent complete.

"How many network managers do we have to go through before we finally commit to fixing one? How many sound systems do we have to go through before fixing one?"

Accessibility is also a hurdle to desktop Linux adoption, according to Brockeir.

"Usability has increased dramatically since 10 years ago, however it has not kept up with other platforms," he said. "This is something developers need to keep in mind. Good enough for Linus for and end-user application probably isn't good enough for my mom."

Finally, Brockmeier finds the often heated Linux development process on in public mailing lists discrediting to the public. "There are people that are very destructive in the way they approach problems. They jump from 'this might be a problem' to extraordinarily frothy and screaming about something. I don't think it helps Linux trying to achieve the mainstream. This isn't the face we want to present to the rest of the world."

Brockmeier said as a whole he believes the Linux community is in good shape, but it needs to be mindful of its weaknesses going forward.

What remains in the air is whether these troubles truly need to be cured or they're simply the unavoidable nature of the, er, penguin. ®


Who stole my Alpaca!
"The thing that is much more interesting to me is whether or not someone who chooses to use Linux as their desktop can do so in a relatively pain-free way,"
This here is the key. Whenever this becomes an actual reality I'm 100% sure that Linux will start to see a larger population using it.

Cool G5

Conversation Architect
This here is the key. Whenever this becomes an actual reality I'm 100% sure that Linux will start to see a larger population using it.

It is a bit away from reality since I believe people are exposed to windows world right since they get their very first computers. If a newbie has been in an linux environment then perhaps he can adopt linux very easily. The point here is, due to familiarity with windows environment in neighbourhood, office or peers an individual finds it difficult to use or rather I would say feels the pain to learn linux concepts.


Who stole my Alpaca!
It is a bit away from reality since I believe people are exposed to windows world right since they get their very first computers. If a newbie has been in an linux environment then perhaps he can adopt linux very easily. The point here is, due to familiarity with windows environment in neighbourhood, office or peers an individual finds it difficult to use or rather I would say feels the pain to learn linux concepts.

I guess to a certain extent that is true. However again Id like to just say that Ive been using Linux - Ubuntu and Arch mainly for the past 1-2 years and Id still say that somethings can be a hassle. I'm not saying its bad or anything. Im just saying that Id wish the learning curve was a bit less steeper.
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