Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pardus Kurumsal 2

Yesterday, I did something that I always do. I checked DistroWatch for the latest news. Something interesting was listed there. Apparently, Pardus has a "Corporate" edition. This isn't a paid release or anything. It's another version of Pardus that uses only trusted components. I was rather interested. I have long been a Slackware fan due to the amount of control I have over my system, but also due to a want for trusted, stable packages. While this release of Pardus isn't as stable as say Debian-stable, it is interesting in the fact that it includes the best desktop environment of all time: KDE3.

The first thing that I noticed was that the installer was slightly different. The visuals are different, and the text that accompanies the installer is slightly different. Overall though, it is the same, highly polished, insanely easy to use Pardus installer. On boot, I was immediately pleased. Pardus Kurumsal includes a very standard KDE3 setup. If you want a bit nostalgia, pisi search kdeartwork will yield all of the icons, window borders, styles, and backgrounds. Notably missing, both from the install and the package repository, was KOffice.

In the non-KDE realm, Pardus includes: Firefox 3, Evolution, Thunderbird, The Gimp, LibreOffice, Mplayer. It also includes several Pardus specific packages. The logical volume manager, while spartan, is sufficient for most tasks. The boot loader manager was a surprising add as well, and was more than sufficient for adding, removing, and modifying most entries. The firewall manager, and the service manager are great, but are not quite n00b friendly. You would still need a good knowledge of what you are doing for those. This isn't so much a complaint as it is an advisory. Tasma (the Pardus configuration center) is a slight improvement on the older KDE Configuration Center. Mainly, more things are located there. The left hand navigation pane is also a little easier to work through (well slightly more organized anyway).

In the end, Pardus Kurumsal will not replace Slackware as my go to distribution for servers or workstations, but for my personal desktop use, I think I will keep it around. If you would like to check it out, x86 and AMD64 versions of Kurumsal 2 are available from

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Single Packager to Rule Them All

It seems as though every year or two some hack comes along to recommend a single package management solution. This time we have the talking heads suggesting a single app store API. I think all of this ridiculous.

First, not everyone agrees on what a single package management solution should be. You have your Gentoo/Lunar/SourceMage/Crux crowd who believe that the user should have ultimate power with his/her packages and whatnot. On the other side, we have the Ubuntu/Debian crowd who believe that the almighty packagers and package maintainers should have complete control. You have your troglodytes over in the Slackware group who haven't even realized that dependency resolution exists (I'm of that crowd actually). How in the world can we ever conceive of a world with only one option?

Second, the whole idea of a Linux app store is revolting. In what universe do the talking heads live? If it is indeed our own universe, they should all be fired. At first, you say to yourself that this is just for Linux n00bz and the casual market. This app store thing is not for those of us who have self respect and can make our own decisions regarding software. However, before long, most major distributions will be using this app store. Over time, developers will urge the talking heads to come up with a universal package management system. This will greatly reduce development costs and time to market. All in all, this sounds great. But at the point where we have a single package management system, why would I choose Ubuntu over Debian or Fedora? Why would I choose either of them over Mandriva? I get the same packages, the same security vulnerabilities, and the same kernel config. Why do I care?

Linux is about choice. Linux is neither about conformity or corporate interest. If I wanted those things, I could easily have chosen Windows or OSX. I did not choose those platforms. Most of the companies I know of that use Linux, do so because it's easier to develop and maintain in-house solutions on Linux. I know of very few companies who have chosen Linux for other reasons. For them, the app store would be useless as well.

I think it's time that our talking heads realize who their market really is. I think it is time for them to urge innovation within their own distributions, and quit trying to reconcile their differences. After all, they do compete against one another.