Fedora, Wayland, and Arch Reviews

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 22, 2015

Today in Linux news Dedoimedo found a distribution he described as "decent." Elsewhere, Pavlo Rudyi tested Plasma on Wayland and Neil Rickert discussed Kwallet. PCWorld's Jared Newman said Monday, "Ubuntu appears to have fallen far short of the 200 million user goal it set back in 2011" and Jesse Smith reviewed Arch Linux in today's Distrowatch Weekly noting a "fondness growing for Arch."

Jesse Smith reviewed Arch Linux today in great detail saying, "I tend not to review Arch Linux because the distribution has a rather long and mostly manual installation process." But he made an exception today for the last Distrowatch Weekly for 2015. The install process was tedious for Smith and he found the Arch KDE documentation out-of-date. Of the commandline package manager Smith said, "I find pacman uses an unusually terse command line syntax and its output is sparse." He also noted that it sometimes tried to install older versions of software, so "it is important to pay attention to what pacman tells us and to think about what is happening before confirming an action." No multimedia support was default, but packages were available for installation. He experienced definite pros and cons with Arch, so check out the full review in this week's Distrowatch Weekly.

Jared Newman today said, "With the end of 2015 imminent, Ubuntu appears to have fallen far short of the 200 million user goal it set back in 2011." CEO Mark Shuttleworth had predicted 200 millions users "in four years" but that was at Ubuntu's peak. It's been losing users and interest since changing directions to focus on mobile and the cloud. Many doubted the numbers boasted by Shuttleworth and friends all along, and today they claim 40 million. Newman said this is significant because the "unmet goal of 200 million users underscores how difficult it is for a platform like Ubuntu to shift from desktops to other devices where the potential for growth is greater."

Dedoimedo has been having some bad luck with Linux lately, so it was a relief to read that Fedora 23 Workstation was "decent." However, it turns out he had to dust off a really old machine to test it because it would not boot on is Leveno G50. The first thing he noticed was that "the GNOME desktop does not suck as much as it used to. There are some marked improvements in the look & feel of this desktop environment." After the install Dedoimedo noted, "The installed session starts with a three-step welcome screen, which lets you configure your language, timezone and online accounts. A paradox, if you will. No music codecs, but no problems plugging you into half a dozen online services and their proprietary clouds. Meh." On top of that, SELinux reared it's ugly head crashing his X server and later labeling the package manager as rogue. "How lovely. Nothing but false positives and damage from these would-be hardening tools. Really, pointless." As he scoured all the nooks and crannies, he experienced good and bad with Fedora 23 but concluded, "Fedora 23 Workstation with the Gnome desktop is a very reasonable release."

In other news:

* Notes on Kdewallet

* Review and Video: The First Plasma Wayland Live Image