Unimpressive Yakkety Yak, Plasma 5 Issues in Leap

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 27, 2016

Today was a rough day in Linux distro news, Scott Gilbertson reviewed the Beta of upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 saying there's not a whole lot to recommend in this update. Neil Rickert test drove openSUSE's latest beta and had issues with his NVIDIA. Jesse Smith couldn't tell what was added to Uruk over base Trisquel and Gary Newell didn't see much point to portable Porteus since most stuff didn't work.

Upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 didn't impress The Register's Scott Gilbertson. The review began expressing disappointment that Unity 8 and Mir still weren't ready, but he's hoping next time. Beyond that, he wasn't happy with Ubuntu's new waistline either. Trying to be kind, he said it wasn't "necessarily bloat," referring to most of the space being given to extra language packs. Then he began his report with:

Once downloaded and installed the first thing that jumps out at you is that Ubuntu 16.10 looks just like the last seven releases. Unity 7 remains the default and it has only seen the barest of updates --bug fixes and security patches only. To find something new in this release you'll have to go spelunking into Ubuntu's set of default applications.

From there he explored the package manage mentioning the new Snap package support - and the lack of packages available for it. Gilbertson concluded, "It's tough to find reasons to recommend you upgrade to 16.10" unless your GNOME apps need updating.  Not a good start to Ubuntu's upcoming review season.

openSUSE's latest beta fared only a bit better. Neil Rickert tested it after last week's release. He had to niggle with the LVM again, but after that he had issues with his NVIDIA based hardware. In a bizarre twist, Rickert found if he used NVIDIA drivers, Plasma 5 worked pretty good, but GNOME wouldn't work at all. Under nouveau, GNOME ran well but Plasma would not. But it's still at beta. He concluded, "Leap 42.2 Beta2 is looking pretty good, except for the problems with Plasma 5 and the nouveau driver."

Uruk is a Trisquel-based distribution featuring the Linux-libre kernel. Jesse Smith test drove new Distrowatch.com database addition Uruk 1.0 and in today's review said, "Uruk GNU/Linux appears to be a fairly young project with some lofty goals, but some rough edges and unusual characteristics." He detailed all the pros and cons but concluded, "Right now I'm not sure Uruk provides much above what Trisquel 7.0 provided two years ago." He recommended giving it more time to mature.

Gary Newell recently reviewed Porteus 3.1 explaining, "Porteus is a portable Linux distribution designed to be run from a USB drive much like Puppy Linux or Knoppix." He said that one customizes Porteus before you download it, which he liked, but putting it on a USB stick sounded like a pain. The persistent data file creation and use required a lot of digging and the hard drive installer wasn't meant to be used. The desktop did make a good first impression, but the software manager ruined it. Some things only partially worked while others didn't work at all.   He finally concluded, "Porteus is fine as a USB based distribution if you just want to use a web browser and maybe type a document. For everything else it is just too difficult and for no real reward."