LinuxCon & 25 Years, New Slack Live, Gentoo's Demise

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 24, 2016

All the talk of the last couple of days has been about Linux and LinuxCon. As Linux celebrates 25 years, big names gather to remember the past and plan for the future. Even Microsoft is getting in on the act. Elsewhere, Eric Hameleers released a new Slackware Live based on the latest Slackware-current and Jack Germain said Slackware 14.2 "doesn't cut newbies any Slack." Jim Lynch picked up on a conversation discussing the slow but steady demise of Gentoo as the community said farewell to a passing friend. carried a review of Gentoo 20160514 Live and Mint 18 KDE Beta was released.

Linux is 25 read many headlines this week. It and LinuxCon dominated the headlines yesterday and today. Tuxmachines carried a wide variety of headlines from yesterday. Some of the more interesting notes were Katherine Noyes' 4600 linux of code per day or 7.8 patches per hour! It consists of 21 million lines of code in all. She picked out the best stats from the Linux Foundation report to highlight. Libby Clark covered the top 10 contributors to the kernel among other tidbits. Minna Meriläinen-Tenhu ran a piece on the University of Helsinki Website highlighting the fact that Linux was developed right in their very own computer lab. They're quite proud of Linus and Linux.

But perhaps most interesting are those who want to trust Microsoft and tout its new leaf. covered "Red Hat and Microsoft's embrace on stage" quoting Wim Coekaerts saying, "If there are cases where we can make Linux work better we will do that." Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols called it a "marriage of Microsoft and Linux" before running down all of Microsoft's Linux-lovin' actions, like crippling curl and wget in Powershell. Christine Hall hit the nail on the head with her piece on how Red Hat didn't even mention Desktop Linux and only spoke of its billions of dollars.

Two of my favorite distros were featured in reviews this week. First up, Joshua Allen Holm reviewed Gentoo's latest release, Gentoo Linux 20160514 Live. He gave users a quick introduction to Gentoo and said, "Gentoo is a great choice for users wanting a little more personal control over their system and a more hands on experience. The live DVD is a great, and positive, introduction to Gentoo, but Gentoo truly shines once it has been installed and tweaked for a particular set of hardware." I quit using Gentoo 10 years ago, but I remember the name Jon Portnoy. The Gentoo project today posted an announcement of his passing. No details were given as to cause of death but a small remembrance was shared. And speaking of quitting Gentoo, Jim Lynch posted excerpts from a conversation on "why did Gentoo fade into obscurity." Some remember the loss of the documentation wiki in 2008 as a major event while others seem to think the rise of Ubuntu had an effect. But one of the two big things that were the beginning of the end of Gentoo was a terribly broken portage in and around 2005 and 2006. I can't remember the details now, but it was a big problem for a lot of people. Many of us had partially upgraded systems that resulted in broken desktops.  I tried to cope for quite a while before finally giving up and moving on. The other part was pushing the default install from Stage 1 to Stage 3. I think it lost a lot of its magic then.

Which leads to another favorite distribution of mine, Slackware. Jack Germain reviewed the latest stable release noting that Slackware hasn't changed much in recent years and that KDE is probably its "most contemporary trait." He also noted, "It uses plain text files and only a small set of shell scripts for configuration and administration. It boots into a command-line interface environment. Thus, Slackware is best used by advanced and technically inclined Linux users." Then he said Slackware is difficult to install for inexperienced users and suggested folks might trying installing from the live system on USB. As drawbacks he mentioned manual dependency resolution with the installation of software and the installer's interface with a lack of partitioner. He then concluded that "Slackware is a throwback to the early days of the Linux OS." Germain did touch on Eric "AlienBob" Hameleers' live ISOs and, in related news, a new version has been released. AlienBob announced Slackware Live Edition 1.1.3 yesterday. It's based on Slackware-current with Linux 4.4.17 from August 11.

In other news:

* Linux Mint 18 "Sarah" KDE – BETA Released

* OpenMandriva Lx Project of the Week at SourceForge

* Why Did Linux Succeed Where Others Didn't