Archive for April, 2007

Ututo Linux

Lately, I have been seeing references to Ututo Linux in various places, and I decided that it was time to try it out. Ututo is Gentoo-based, which is intriguing to me. In my mind, what makes Gentoo so great is that it is fully customizable; you can make it as light or as robust as you want it to be, and you can completely configure it for the hardware on your machine. The drawback is that it takes a long time to build your box, whereas most other mainstream (and less configurable) Linux distributions can be installed in less than one or two hours. This is one of the benefits of having a pre-packaged Gentoo distribution is that you can have your machine up and running in no time flat.

I found the Ututo installation to be very simple and straight forward. No big surprises found. Although I did not time the installation process, it seemed to take only an hour or so. The Ututo developers have created pre-configured versions for various processor types, so you download the right ISO for your machine’s processor. That makes it pretty easy. They also have made a live-cd version (it’s in Spanish; you have the option to change the language at login, but Spanish seems to be what you get once you log in) for those who wish to test drive Ututo, but this is a separate ISO that you have to download so if you wish to install this distribution, you will have to download the flavor that is associated with your ISO or install from source.

Once installed, I found that the interface was easy to use and was not at all complicated. Gnome is the desktop manager that the Ututo developers have chosen to use, which I am plenty happy with. They also include the IceWM window manager, which I had never used before; seemed pretty light-weight and easy to use; the default Windows XP look that comes up when you log in with IceWM sort of turned me off though.

Being a Gentoo derivative, installation of packages in Ututo seemed to be mostly source-based. I must admit that being primarily a (U, X, Flux, nU…)buntu user these days, I have become lazy and accustomed to the convenience of using Synaptic as my package manager, along with apt-get. Although I did not spend enough time working with Ututo to find out, I believe that one could set the system up to work with Portage.

Ututo comes with a nice set of tools, such as Bluefish and the Gimp. Although I did not spend a great deal of time testing Ututo, it seemed like a very stable platform, and is one that I would like to spend more time testing some time soon. The interface was clean and easy to work with. The only negative thing that I would have to say about Ututo is that I don’t care for the sharp cursor arrow and for the creepy hand with the pointing finger that is displayed when hovering the mouse cursor over a hyperlink; it looks like a gobblin hand or something like that (perhaps a change in themes would change this?). Minor detail though. Ututo is a nice alternative if you are wanting to use Gentoo but you don’t want to spend days on your Gentoo install. Kudos to the Ututo development team.

Some Disheartening News

I get a kick out of the insults that a Debian distribution can give you when you type in an incorrect sudo password. It’s a kick to mistype my password and for my box to come back with remarks like, “I’ve seen penguins that can type better than that,” or “You type like I drive,” or “Maybe if you used more than just two fingers…”  If you don’t know how to set this up, check here.

While searching online today to see if I could locate the actual file that contains the list of insults, I ran across some disappointing discussions amongst some in the Linux community. Basically, a number of people were talking bad about Ubuntu, that it is associated with fanboyism, and that Ubuntu is not a “real” distro. One individual went so far as to purchase a domain name of fuckubuntu.com, which ironically links to a site that advertises MS Windows ME, which was probably the worst OS that Microsoft ever came out with. My question to these people is that aren’t we all on the same team, working together to promote the open source movement? Are the reasons that we have each chosen to use Linux not similar in nature? Why don’t we then forge ahead as a community. That is one of the things that has attracted me so much to Ubuntu is the community support that exists behind the project, and not just with Ubuntu, but also with Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, Fluxbuntu, and even nUbuntu. Community; it’s a great thing. So many are pushing this project to higher levels, and so many are out there supporting other users — it’s community supporting community. Isn’t that the essence of the South African word “Ubuntu”? From Wikipedia:

  • “Humanity towards others”
  • “I am because we are”
  • “I am what I am because of what we all are”
  • “A person ‘becomes human’ through other persons”
  • “A person is a person because of other persons”

Who am I to tell you how to think? These words that I write, take them or leave them. My opinion is to each his/her own. Not that you care, but a little while back, I started thinking about all of the Linux distributions that I have worked with just in the last couple of years. The list was larger than I had expected, and I will display it below, but the point of the list is to show that even after having used a number of distros, Ubuntu was what I eventually migrated to in the end… and that I did not immediately migrate to Ubuntu because it seemed like the cool thing to do; in fact, in my earlier experiences with Linux, I thought that Ubuntu sounded stupid, but that was simply due to my own ignorance at the time. What eventually attracted me to Ubuntu was the solid community base, the concept/idea behind Ubuntu, the meaning of Ubuntu and the sense of character that is embodied by both the word (“Ubuntu”) as well as the project as a whole, and the stability and flexibility that the OS has to offer. So, here is the list of distros that I have worked with, and contained in parenthesis () is the number of builds that I have performed with each of those distros. Keep in mind that Ubuntu was one of the last ones that I used, and was what I liked using the most. Each OS taught me something different about using Linux, and I would have to say that manual Gentoo and Debian builds taught me the most.

Gentoo (6 builds), Debian (2), SuSE 10.0 (2), FedoraCore 3 (2), FedoraCore 4 (2), FedoraCore 5 (1), PC-BSD (1), Agnula (1), DamnSmallLinux (4), Freespire (1), Ubuntu (1), Xubuntu (7), Kubuntu (1), Ubuntu Server Edition (2), and Fluxbuntu (I have now worked with Dapper, Edgy and Feisty versions of ‘buntu’s). I have also worked with a number of Live-CD distributions, some of which include Gentoo, DSL, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, BackTrack, Knoppix, Basilisk, nUbuntu, and Mandriva.

Linux has become a bit of a passion for me. Just can’t seem to let myself get too far from one of my computers. For more than a week now, I’ve been using the new Feisty Fawn Beta version of Xubuntu, and I’ve got to say that I am really impressed; great job Ubuntu and Xubuntu teams! Thank you for all that you do!

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-==[ Hilltop_Yodeler ]==-

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