Bienvenido! - Willkommen! - Welcome!

Bitácora Técnica de Tux&Cía., Santa Cruz de la Sierra, BO
Bitácora Central: Tux&Cía.
Bitácora de Información Avanzada: Tux&Cía.-Información
May the source be with you!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

linux on toshiba laptop
Install Command Line Ubuntu

UPDATE 6/24/2008: I have received reports that, as of Ubuntu 8.04, although the graphical install still doesn't work "out of the box", you can do a normal install. Then, when rebooting, choose "error mode" to boot to command-line mode, edit the xorg.conf file as described below, then reboot graphically.
Ubuntu is a popular and friendly variant of the Debian Linux distribution. Normally, installation can be accomplished with a handful of mouse clicks. However, because the installer has a bug related to the video chip in this machine, you will need to install a command-line version first. Use of the regular installer will result in a freeze when you get to the point where the installer starts configuring the windowing system (X). The procedure is a bit cumbersome, but I haven't found an easier way.
Download and Burn the Alternate Desktop CD: You will need to perform a command-line installation which is only available on the "Alternate Desktop CD". You specify this CD with a checkbox on the Ubuntu download page. The downloaded file is a CD disk image (ISO) that you should burn to a CD using your CD burning software of choice.
Boot the Installation CD: Insert the installation CD in the CD drive and reboot. If the machine ignores the CD and boots from the hard drive, you need to change your BIOS boot order by holding down the ESC key while rebooting and changing the boot order on the BIOS screen so that the CD drive is first in the order list.
Install A Command-Line System: At the Ubuntu boot screen, you should choose the option, "Install a command-line system" and press RETURN. You will be asked a series of questions...
I'm trying to install RHEL4.3 (CentOS to be exact) from an external USB DVD drive. The CD boots fine, I choose 'Local CDROM' as the installation source, load 'usb-storage' successfully. However, after this, I get told that the system was not found in any of my CDROMs.
After some thought and research I believe that in this instance that a USB DVD drive is considered as unbootable since the required drivers are not installed via an initrd. You need to burn the boot.iso form the Centos disk in order to install. For reference with this and a how-to see:
Like Fedora Core, Centos must the booted using "linux expert" (do not use the "") in order for the installer to see the USB drives when installing to a USB drive. It may be that to install from one you should do the same. What you need to do is insure that the USB drivers are installed. There are four that are used most of the time:
ehci-hcd, usb-storage, scsi_mod and sd_mod
These work for USB 2.0 for 1.0 you also need uhci-hcd and in some cases ohci-hcd. These two not very often.
"linux expert"
This is a how to about Fedora Core of which Centos is based on.
This works without any other effort. Just type in linux expert and press enter. It finds your CD and continues on.
I tested this on a DL140 G2, with a USB DVD drive and CentOS 4.3 Server CD.

Toshiba laptops


Winsock2 key corrupted?

Manual steps to determine whether the Winsock2 key is corrupted for Windows XP users
To determine if the symptoms are caused by a problem with the Winsock2 key, use one of the following methods.
Method 1: Use the Netdiag tool
To use the Netdiag tool, you must install the Microsoft Windows XP Support Tools. To do so, follow these steps.
  • If you already have Support Tools installed, go to the second procedure in this section.
  • If you do not have Support Tools installed and you do not have the Windows XP Setup CD, go to Method 2.
  1. Insert your Windows XP Setup CD, and then locate the Support\Tools folder.
  2. Double-click the Setup.exe file.
  3. Follow the steps on the screen until you reach the Select An Installation Type screen.
  4. On the Select An Installation Type screen, click Complete, and then click Next.
When the installation is complete, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, click Run, type Command, and then click OK.
  2. Type netdiag /test:winsock, and then press ENTER.
The Netdiag tool will return the test results for several network components, including the Winsock. For more details about the test, use /v at the end of the netdiag command:  
netdiag /test:winsock /v 

Method 2: Use the Msinfo32 program 
Note Use this method only if you do not have a Windows XP Setup CD and you do not have Support Tools installed.
  1. Click Start, click Run, type Msinfo32, and then click OK.
  2. Expand Components, expand Network, and then click Protocol.
  3. You will have ten sections under Protocol. The section headings will include the following names if the Winsock2 key is undamaged:
    • MSAFD Tcpip [TCP/IP]
    • MSAFD Tcpip [UDP/IP]
    • RSVP UDP Service Provider
    • RSVP TCP Service Provider
    • MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
    • MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
    • MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
    • MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
    • MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
    • MSAFD NetBIOS [\Device\NetBT_Tcpip...
    If the names are anything different from those in this list, the Winsock2 key is corrupted, or you have a third-party add-on, such as proxy software, installed.
If you have a third-party add-on installed, the name of the add-on will replace the letters "MSAFD" in the list.

If there are more than ten sections in the list, you have third-party additions installed.

If there are fewer than ten sections, there is information missing.

Note These entries represent an installation with only the TCP/IP protocol installed. You can have a working Winsock and see additional entries if another protocol is installed. For example, if you install NWLink IPX/SPX, you will see 7 additional sections, for a total of 17. Below is an example heading of one of the new sections:
MSAFD nwlnkipx [IPX]
Also, each of the new sections that are created by installing NWLink IPX/SPX start with "MSAFD." Therefore, there are still only two sections that do not start with those letters.
If the Netdiag test fails, or if you determined that there is Winsock corruption by looking at Msinfo32, you must repair the Winsock2 key by using the steps in the next section.
To have us reset the Winsock settings for you, go to the "Fix it for me" section. To reset the Winsock settings yourself, go to the "Let me fix it myself" section.

To reset the Winsock settings automatically, click the Fix it button or link. Click Run in the File Download dialog box, and then follow the steps in the Fix it wizard.
Fix this problem
Microsoft Fix it 50203

Note this wizard may be in English only; however, the automatic fix also works for other language versions of Windows.
Note if you are not on the computer that has the problem, save the Fix it solution to a flash drive or a CD and then run it on the computer that has the problem.
Next, go to the "Did this fix the problem?" section.

The network path was not found

"\\PC\ResourceX is not accessible. you may not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permission."

Check your network settings
In the connection properties ensure that 

Client for Microsoft Networks
has been checked 
1- Open Network Connection
2- Check box File & Printer sharing > ok
3- Disabled NIC
4- Enabled it back
5- Open CMD > ipconfig /flushdns
------- -------------
Are they all configured for remote access?, are they all Windows clients?
You should also check that your DNS and DHCP servers are configured properly.
How are you accessing them? \\hostname\c$?
Fixing the winsock and tcp/ip worked for me. On the run command I used the following commands —-
for winsock run:
netsh winsock reset
to reset tcp/ip run:
netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt
I think starting/stopping Routing and Remote Access resets something. From your description it sounds like some other competing service is starting up again.
Do you have other computers on your network that could be competing for position of Master Browser? In the past I have had this problem. One thing I would say is to look in your Event Log, like it describes here:
All PCs were running Windows Vista.
Ignore most of what you've read online -- stuff like disable your firewall etc... I saw those same tips and they were just not going to help.
I found that this is what fixes it:
1. Go to control panel
2. Click on "Network and Internet/View network status and tasks"
3. Select the "Manage network connections" link on the left "Tasks" section
4. Double-click on your LAN adapter that you're using to connect to the network. (For example, "Local Area Connection"
5. Select properties
6. Select "Client For Microsoft Networks"
7. Click on Properties
8. On the RPC Services tab, go to the "Name service provider" and select "Windows Locator" from the drop down menu
9. Click OK
10.Click close
11. Click close
After a second or two, you should be able to now connect to your other computer.
I have no idea which software changed that setting and I found that when I went back to it, it had been changed again to blank.
So if you see the problem again, follow the steps above.
It worked for me and I hope it works for you too!
If it does, drop me a note at o-e-c-h-e-r-u-o at
A solution (there could be several causes) * On the target machine (the one you’re trying to connect to) open up Services, under Administrative Tools in the Start Menu. * Scroll down to the Computer Browser service. * If it is Disabled or set to Manual, set it to Automatic. * Then start it. It may stop immediately again, but this is OK. * At this point try to connect to the target machine. If it still doesn’t work, you can try the following: * open up Network Connections, under Control Panel. * Right click on your network adapter and click on Properties. * Click on Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click on Properties. * Click on Advanced, and click on the WINS tab. * Even if it is set to Default, set the radio button to Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP. * Press OK on each screen until everything’s closed. * Go back to the client machine and try again. * You should be able to connect! If it still doesn’t work: * Go back to the Services window and find the service named Routing and Remote Access. * Double-click on it, set it to Manual, and stop it. * Close Services and try to connect from your client machine again.

The problem
You are unable to connect to any network resource (network shares, printer, etc) on a Windows XP machine, from a Win XP client.
A solution (there could be several causes)
  • On the target machine (the one you're trying to connect to) open up Services, under Administrative Tools in the Start Menu.
  • Scroll down to the Computer Browser service.
  • If it is Disabled or set to Manual, set it to Automatic.
  • Then start it. It may stop immediately again, but this is OK.
  • At this point try to connect to the target machine.
If it still doesn't work, you can try the following:
  • open up Network Connections, under Control Panel.
  • Right click on your network adapter and click on Properties.
  • Click on Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), then click on Properties.
  • Click on Advanced, and click on the WINS tab.
  • Even if it is set to Default, set the radio button to Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP.
  • Press OK on each screen until everything's closed.
  • Go back to the client machine and try again.
  • You should be able to connect!
If it still doesn't work:
  • Go back to the Services window and find the service named Routing and Remote Access.
  • Double-click on it, set it to Manual, and stop it.
  • Close Services and try to connect from your client machine again.
For further info on this issue, you may like to consult the following recommended books: Home Networking For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)), Microsoft Windows XP Networking Inside Out, or Windows XP Home Networking.

If this helped you, or if you found another solution to this common and frustrating problem, please leave a comment to help others!
Fixing the winsock and tcp/ip worked for me. On the run command I used the following commands —-
for winsock run:
netsh winsock reset
To reset tcp/ip run:
netsh int ip reset c:\resetlog.txt
Make sure only the computer with the router is set to be the server also.
go to network places
view network connections
right click on the various connections go to advanced tab and make sure the computers without the router don’t have
“allow other network users to connect throught this computer’s internet connection” checked
Download windows resource kit from the following link. - online file sharing and storage - download Windows Resource
Then enter the following commands. (Attention: they are case sensitive.):
net user guest /active:yes
ntrights +r SeNetworkLogonRight -u Guest
ntrights -r SeDenyNetworkLogonRight -u Guest

The first command enables network access for Guest, the two subsequent ones change two different policies to allow network access for Guest.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

4 Linux Distros Which Look Like Mac OS X

What a week! I’ve been working on my podcast so I’m a bit behind on posting. Here’s an interesting compilation of Linux distribution which resemble Apple’s Mac OS 10. They might not be identical, but you guys who like Apple’s design might appreciate the fact yu can get something like it, with the nice-on-the-inside GNU/Linux kernel, out-of-the-box. For free.
These are only short descriptions, with screen grabs. You will find a lot more info and full screenshots on the official web pages of each distro.
A Brazilian distribution, full of multimedia tools, oriented at people who like to create. The XFCE Desktop with Rocket Dock makes a nice desktop environment with Mac-like traits. The installer is pretty sleek, because you only have one configuration page. Another good point of Dreamlinux is the Debian base, which is a bit lighter than Ubuntu.
gOS’ user base sky-rocketed because of Walmart’s  phenomenally well-accepted gPC. Although it doesn’t have the ’smart blue’ look (the developers went for a greenish look), gOS still feels pretty sleek (apart from the boot time). I’m not sure  the new gOS Gadgets uses Rocket Dock or AWN, but with LXDE, gOS may become a good choice for net-books. Software-wise, the distro relies heavily on Google Apps.
Enlightenment’s official distro is based on Debian Linux. Even though its mission is showcasing the latest E17 Desktop Environment modules, this OS X-like distro has a lot of regular users (at least according to Distrowatch). You can find some cool Enlightenment DR17 goodies, including the ibar dock.
Puppy Linux is an awesome distro for old computers. A person from the community decided the default desktop isn’t sleek enough and created this genius OS X mod. This modified Puppy gives you speed, simplicity and a tasty Apple, with those cool little Puppy Apps.
More: If you have time and wish to change your own Linux distro’s theme to something more Mac OS X-like, you can maybe take a look at my list of Linux Docks.

Finanzas: 7 FOSS

7 (More) Free and Open Source Finance/Accounting Software for Linux
Posted by jun auza On 3/17/2010
Since our collection of Free and Open Source finance/accounting software for Linux has been quite popular, I would like to add 7 more to that list. As I've said before, finance or accounting software will prove valuable for those who have small or medium-sized business as it will allow users to do important tasks like recording and processing accounting transactions within functional modules such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and trial balance.
So here is another list of Free and Open Source finance/accounting software that is available for Linux:
Grisbi is a personal finance system that can manage multiple accounts, currencies and users. It handles third party, expenditure and receipt categories, as well as budgetary lines, financial years, and other information that makes it suitable for associations. Some of its other features are:
* Totally customizable financial printable reports
* Scheduled Transactions
* OFX, QIF, GnuCash, CSV Import
* QIF, CSV Export
* Multi-Currency Transaction Handling

Openbravo is a web-based, open source ERP business solution for small and medium sized businesses or companies that was originally based on the Compiere ERP program. It features a web-based interface, where the user can view the entire status of a company, including production information, inventory, customer information, order tracking, and workflow information. It is possible to synchronize this information with other applications through the Java-based Openbravo API. Openbravo can also create and export reports and data to several formats, such as PDF and Microsoft Excel.

jGnash is a free personal finance management application for the Java runtime environment. It is a double entry system with support for multiple currencies. jGnash can import OFX, QIF and GnuCash files. It can also automatically update stock prices and currency exchange rates. Here are some of its features:
* Report Generation in PDF Format
* Double-Entry Based Transactions
* Account Reconciliation
* Fast Auto-Completion of Form Fields
* Schedule Recurring Payment Reminders
* Track Investment Accounts and Transactions
* Secure File Encryption
* Scriptable through BeanShell
* Advanced Server/Client Networking Architecture

KMyMoney is a simple and user-friendly personal finance manager for the KDE desktop environment. The project aims for accuracy, ease-of-use, and familiar features. KMyMoney has functionality similar to that of Microsoft Money. It supports different account types, categorisation of expenses and incomes, reconciliation of bank accounts and import/export to the “QIF” file format.

LedgerSMB is a double entry accounting system where data is stored in an SQL Database Server and a standard web browser can be used as its user interface. The system uses the Perl language and a Perl database interface module for processing, and PostgreSQL for data storage.

HomeBank is a personal accounting software package that can be used to manage personal accounts. With it, you can create dynamic, easy, and powerful reports with graphical charts using Cairo. Some of its unique features are:
* Transaction import in CSV format (homebank specific format)
* Direct add of payee and categories from the register dialog
* Tag feature for transactions
* Pre-defined transactions, which can be automated
* Pre-filling of transactions from a bookmark
* Dual pad of cheque and automated cheque number increment
* add transactions by inherit from existing ones
* Multiple transactions edit for each columns at once
* Easy transfer between accounts, which can be automated

JQuantLib is a comprehensive framework for quantitative finance that offers several mathematical and statistical tools needed for financial instrument valuation, calculation of VaR, portfolio valuation, etc. It is based on QuantLib and is written in Java. JQuantLib does its best efforts to mimic as close as possible the API exposed by QuantLib, offering a smooth transition path for developers and organizations willing to employ financial applications written in Java while keeping commitment to high performance and low latency. Features include:
* Support for generic pricing engines;
* Support for generic financial instruments;
* Date, Calendar and IMM support;
* Trading calendars for the most important markets;
* Support for generic term structures;
* Support for generic 1D and 2D interpolations;

Usuarios de Linux? Qué gente es esa?

Linux users? Who are these people?

Posted by jun auza On 3/28/2010
Among the three major operating systems, you may know that Linux has the lowest market share on the desktop but is leading the server market. However, Linux on the desktop is slowly but surely going mainstream that's enough to scare the crap out of Microsoft
People who have been using Windows or Mac all their life maybe curious to know who are the minority (Linux users) and why are they still using this unpopular OS. 
Well, allow me introduce them to you:

* Practical people
Since Linux is free, easy-to-use, secure, and has almost the same features as Windows or Mac, people with no-nonsense attitude are using it. They have recognized the value of Linux and appreciated the fact they will never have to empty their wallets whenever it's time to upgrade or get a new version of their favorite distro.

* Programmers
Linux is a programmer's heaven. It has tons of pre-installed or compatible tools and utilities that make them productive such as text editors and IDE software among others. Popular programming languages like Python and Perl are also often included in almost all Linux distributions. Not to mention the power of the Linux/UNIX command line at their disposal.

* Casual to Hardcore Gamers
Who says only Windows has great games? With Linux, gamers can still enjoy some of the many quality free and open source games such as first-person shooters, puzzle/arcade games, 3D racing games, and more. They can also install and play Windows-compatible games on Linux using Wine.

* Business Owners
With lots of free and open source finance and accounting software that can be installed on Linux, there's no doubt that a lot of business owners are using it. It's also a good way of cutting expenses so it's a real blessing to have Linux around during these tough financial situations.

* Netbook Users
We all know that several distributions are pre-installed in some of the most popular netbooks on the market so I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of netbook-with-Linux users out there. Linux runs smooth on most netbooks these days so why don't you try something like this: Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Netbook.

* Artists
Professional graphic designers, photographers, animators, and other artists are known to use Linux since there are a lot of available software that they can use free of charge. So if you are an artist yourself, perhaps you should check these out:
- 2D Animation Software
- 3D Graphics Software
- CAD Software
- Vector Graphics Editors
- Digital Audio Editors
- Video Editing Software

* Geeks
I shouldn't fail to mention the friendly neighborhood geeks who aren't afraid to mess up with their computers. These people will be more than happy to share with you all the joys of using Linux and they will even give you a Linux LiveCD for free.

I could go on and on but in general, almost all kinds of people are using Linux nowadays. So if you are part of this minority, stand up and be proud that you are part of something good.

the best KDE Linux distro

Source: Get the best KDE Linux distro

Not all distros are made equal, particularly if you're a KDE user. KDE has had something of a rough time over the last couple of years. The transition from version 3.5 to 4.x hasn't been easy, and over this period many distributions have decided to use either Gnome or stick with KDE 3.5 as their default desktop.

But we feel KDE 4 has now matured to a point where most KDE users can safely dump their old desktop and move on to the new one. There are very few stability issues, and most of the functionality found in 3.5 has been migrated to 4.3. The question is, which Linux distro provides the best experience for KDE users?
Rather than providing simple packages for KDE, a real KDE distro is likely to include GUI refinements, usability tweaks, custom themes, artwork and a good selection of KDE applications. It's also nice when Gnome and GTK applications play happily with their KDE counterparts, especially if a compatible theme has been chosen from them both. KDE-based distros should be able to do this better than simple Gnome desktops.
So, we took eight of the top KDE-focused distros and pitched them head-to-head to find which ones really rock, and which ones just limp along with a vanilla set of packages. Read on!

How we tested
Regardless of how optimistic we'd like to be about KDE 4, it's still a desktop that's in development freefall. Any KDE 4 distribution worth its salt will need to be recent, up-to-date, and ideally, open to a constant stream of new packages as the KDE developers patch and add features. We need a distribution that's going to blend the latest features and fixes into either a rolling update, or a new, updatable distribution you don't have to wait too long for. Only then can KDE get back on-top as the desktop of choice for Linux users.
Many of the distributions we have looked at come in the form of a live CD, and, while this can be a useful tool, we've made our judgements on the configuration of a permanent hard drive install, as this is what most KDE users are likely to use.

Slackware 13
We're starting with Slackware for two reasons. The first is that it's a no-fuss distribution that makes very few concessions to 'enhancing the user experience', and the second is that it typically installs the most unmodified packages of any Linux distribution.
This is obvious from the first launch after the text-based Slackware installation routine. KDE's default blurry blue background greets you, complete with the default panel, the default selection of icons, and the default theme. This is KDE back to basics. Unlike most other distributions, this includes an icon that most packages would rather ignore - the purple and blue globule of the Nepomuk Strigi module secreted between the clock and the alarm.
This is the front-end to KDE's pervasive search engine, and if you click on this icon followed by the 'Configure' button in the window that appears, you can ask it to start creating an index of your files. We couldn't get it to work without messing around with the command line, which is probably why most other distributions hide it. On the positive side, Slackware includes the full complement of KDE plasmoids, which means esoterica like the Blue Marble and Conway's Game of Life.
You'd better get used to this default desktop - most distros don't bother changing it. You'd better get used to this default desktop - most distros don't bother changing it.
Slackware has a problem with getting fonts to display correctly. We've seen this behaviour before when we've compiled our own version of KDE, so it's not surprising that Slackware suffers similar problem. It's easy to solve with the System Settings font selector, but it's a sign that very little has been done to make the average user's experience any better. But then, what can you expect from a distribution that still requires you to type startx to launch the graphical desktop?
Our verdict: The equivalent of the value range in a supermarket: it's the same food, just without the nice packaging. 5/10.

Chakra Alpha 3
Chakra is a version of Arch Linux customised for live use with the KDE environment. It's also the most experimental of the distributions we're looking at, but that also means it has some rather advanced features. The first thing you notice is that the default live desktop is fairly close to the KDE default, with the exception of the desktop folder.
This contains links to some common desktop tasks, including documentation, installation, and a few KDE applications. This is where Chakra makes its mark, because it links to a preview release of K3b 2.0, Kaffeine 1.0 and Arora. The WebKit-based Arora browser in particular feels completely at home on the KDE desktop, and is a great replacement for Konqueror's increasingly clunky web surfing. We wish other distros did the same.
Click on the Install button and you'll see a custom installation app called Tribe, which is written in Qt. This really helps with the feel of the desktop, and while Tribe still has a way to go when it comes to user management, we had no problems partitioning the drive and installing a permanent version of Chakra on our hard drive. The highlight was the use of the Marble 3D globe as a location selector.
Chakra builds on a modular version of KDE originally built for Arch Linux.
Chakra builds on a modular version of KDE originally built for Arch Linux.
When we finally got to the desktop, however, we were disappointed that the application links of the live version were no where to be seen. This default desktop is a plain old KDE installation. It doesn't even include the handful of helpful home directories you might expect to find, such as one for the desktop, photos or documents. It's rare that the live version of a distro is more functional than the installed version, but that seems to be the case here.
Our verdict: Tons of potential and an exciting rate of development mean Chakra is a distribution to watch. 6/10.

Debian is a distribution that takes a very mature and stable approach to application inclusion. New packages must first prove themselves in an experimental repository known as Sid (a little like Mandriva's Cooker and Fedora's Rawhide). This is where Sidux comes in. It's a KDE-based distro that uses the Sid repository for packages, created by people who love the melting pot of Sid with the aim of releasing 3-4 snapshots of the Sid repositories each year, complete with the latest version of KDE.
Sidux has taken the brave step of changing the appearance of the default KDE desktop, and the black-and-red plastic appearance that the Sidux art team have come up with works well. It's also based around SVG, so it should look just as good regardless of the screen resolution you're using. But perhaps the boldest decision is opting to use the original KDE menu system rather than the new one that annoys most people.
Is it us, or is there something slightly sinister about the Sidux desktop? 
Is it us, or is there something slightly sinister about the Sidux desktop?
The custom installer is fantastic, and it took under five minutes to create a permanent installation on our hard drive, which must be something of a record. After that, the new desktop is identical to the old one. The default web browser is Iceweasel, in line with Debian, but neither this nor the installed has any concessions in their themeing to accommodate KDE-style icons and file requesters.
Thanks to its use of the Sid repository, upgrading from one version to the other is accomplished through the apt-get dist-upgrade command, but it's a pity that there's no simple GUI to perform the same task. The result is a no-nonsense desktop that's going to appeal to experienced KDE users, but may feel a little austere for new users.
Our verdict: With pervasive desktop search and a constant stream of new packages, Sidux is a good power-user choice. 7/10.
Despite being part of the Ubuntu stable, Kubuntu rarely garners the same amount of coverage as its Gnome-based sibling. And that's a pity, because Kubuntu is a genuine candidate for being the best KDE distribution you can get your hands on.
The main reason for this is that the Kubuntu team spend a lot of time trying to integrate KDE's specific quirks and peculiarities into the Ubuntu desktop environment. You get to use KPackageKit for package installation, for example, and many of the KDE configuration panels can be used to change Ubuntu-specific options. The fantastic network manager has always been top of the priority list, for example, and Kubuntu's version is the best we've seen for connecting to wireless networks on the go.
Kubuntu doesn't look any different to a standard KDE installation.  
Kubuntu doesn't look any different to a standard KDE installation.
Our only real disappointment is that the default blue of the standard desktop is quite a contrast to the highly customised and themed version of Gnome that Ubuntu is famous for, and KDE could really do with getting a share of the attention. Admittedly, you can change something like the backdrop yourself with just a few clicks, but it would be nice to see a professional team of designers tackle KDE's widget and window themeing engines.
Kubuntu's best feature is unofficial. It's the updated versions of KDE that appears in the PPA repositories. These are the best packages we've found for keeping KDE up to date, which is especially important when so many changes are still being made. Even the latest release of KDE, version 4.3.2, was available for Jaunty through the PPA, and thanks to improvements made in Karmic Koala, adding PPA repositories to your current package manager has never been easier.
Our verdict: A solid desktop, brilliant packages and a good stream of updates help make Kubuntu a serious contender. 8/10.

Mandriva One
Despite the fact that Mandriva One now offers a choice of KDE or Gnome desktop, Mandriva remains largely a KDE shop, as it has been since 1998 and the days of KDE 1.0. But this doesn't mean you always get a trailblazing KDE experience. Mandriva has always taken the more mature and stable route, and this means it often tries to tame the more wayward of KDE's new ideas.
With Mandriva One, this means you get an opaque panel that could have come from KDE 3.5, a Mandriva theme that uses the Ia-Ora widget style to look like Gnome circa 1.5, and a launch menu that could have come from Windows 95. One feature from a more innocent age is the morphing of KDE's Desktop Folder Plasmoid into a complete desktop. You can now drag files and folders on to the desktop, and the real thing will move to the Desktop directory rather than the Plasmoid link that's the default behaviour in KDE 4.
Google Gadgets can be dragged into the Mandriva desktop, but they may crash your machine.
Google Gadgets can be dragged into the Mandriva desktop, but they may crash your machine.
There's also a good selection of Plasmoids, and Mandriva tries hard by including a working Google Gadget option from the Plasmoid activator window. Behind the scenes, you still get the excellent graphical system configuration tools, fantastic package management and Mandriva stability if you stay away from Google Gadgets.
It would be nice to know you could upgrade to the latest KDE when it's released, but Mandriva would rather you updated your distribution than provide even semi-official packages for an update. But best of all, Mandriva is the only distro to include the following line in its online documentation: "Our planet is beautiful, please do as much as possible to protect it."
Our verdict: Mandriva is a good choice for those chasing Gnome stability with a little KDE magic. 7/10.

Another mainstream distribution that has always taken care to bundle KDE is OpenSUSE. It's also one of the few distributions that takes the trouble to create its own artwork for the KDE desktop, and version 11.2 in particular makes great use of OpenSUSE green with KDE's new Air theme. It's the best we've seen, and we think the most beautiful KDE desktop available from a standard distribution. OpenSUSE even hosts a useful 'Getting Started with KDE' guide, but if you're installing from the live CD, you'll need to make sure you have more than 1GB of RAM for the installation to work. Even in these times of super-cheap RAM this seems a touch excessive. We blame OpenSUSE's all-singing, all-dancing config tool, Yast.
Beyond the graphics, OpenSUSE features plenty of usability tweaks too. Despite using the new launch menu, for example, the version that bundles with OpenSUSE forgoes the hover-over switching of the original, and removes the backwards arrow in a successful bid to add some much needed clarity. You still have to resort to one of the clunky Yast control panels to change settings, although you have a choice when changing screen resolution, as the original KDE tool is still present.
OpenSUSE is the best-looking distribution we've tried.
OpenSUSE is the best-looking distribution we've tried.
On the desktop, there's the usual array of Plasmoids, although 11.2 is the first time we've seen the World Clock addition. As you'd expect from a company that's made a considerable investment with developers, the office suite is well tailored for the KDE desktop, including icons and file requesters. It's easy to see why OpenSUSE has jumped to KDE as the default desktop.
Our verdict: A distribution where the KDE desktop gets the same amount of love as Gnome does in Ubuntu. 9/10.

Following Ubuntu's lead, many distributions offer a KDE version as an alternative download, and Sabayon is one of the best and most popular. Installation is through a GTK-looking application that should guide you from the live CD to an installed desktop in under 20 minutes.
Annoyingly, KDE's standard System Settings panel can't be found in the settings menu, which left us floundering for the screen resolution tool before we could use the desktop. (The application can be found on the 'Computer' page of the menu, in a nod to Microsoft Windows.) Sabayon also bundles its own package manager, called Sulfur. This is a mixture of download agent and configuration tool, and it enables you to see exactly what's changing and where when you install a new package. It's a great addition, but it's likely to scare newbies away.
The Sulfur package manager and configuration could help push Sabayon further up the charts.
The Sulfur package manager and configuration could help push Sabayon further up the charts.
It's easy to see the intended audience for the distribution, with quick links to KDE's IRC client, torrent download application and VLC all available from the launch menu, and the cool kids of the internet are going to love the black and shiny livery of the desktop. is a mixture of Crystal-like icons with the old GTK file requester, and Gnome's update manager is lurking in the toolbar. and all actions require a double-click, rather than the singe-click of most KDE desktops. Firefox comes augmented by a few extensions such as FastFox, Google Preview and Stumble Upon.
With no file manager immediately obvious, either through the launch menu or a link to your home directory on the desktop, KDE beginners might find the Sabayon desktop a little intimidating, which is our lasting impression of this distribution.
Our verdict: A powerful, good-looking distribution that's tailored for KDE power users. 7/10.

We've always liked PCLinuxOS, even going back to its pre-distribution days as a series of packages for Mandriva. But when PCLinuxOS 2009.2 was released at the end of June, we were just as surprised as most people to find that this KDE-based distribution was still clinging to KDE 3.5 like the crew of a sinking ship. As much as we can understand the sentiment, it's now time to move on. KDE 4 has been promised for the 2009.3 release, but as yet, this hasn't appeared. But PCLOS is still worth a look because we love the desktop and there are official instructions on how to upgrade to 4 in the PCLOS forums.
KDE 4 on PCLOS is a great environment. There's still the old launch menu in the bottom-left corner, the Folder View takes over the complete desktop, and the Utilities folder is a nice touch. Hold your mouse over it and a window appears with the contents of the utilities menu easily accessible. It's a little like stacks in OS X, and the only thing that spoils it is that it only takes one click to mess up the display - but that's KDE's fault, and perhaps vindication for PCLOS's reluctance to upgrading to KDE 4 before now.
PCLinuxOS wins our award for the best-looking background, even if it is inspired by Microsoft.  
PCLinuxOS wins our award for the best-looking background, even if it is inspired by Microsoft.
You still get Mandriva's configuration and installation tools, which isn't a bad thing, while a distinctly GTK-looking AbiWord is the word processor of choice. Synaptic takes up the package management duties, and a link from the Utilities folder will install with a single click, which is a great idea. We don't like the continual need to re-authenticate our root credentials though, and adding Google Gadgets through the Plasmoid window crashed Plasma - another problem with KDE.
Our verdict: A great distribution that's hindered only by the lack of KDE 4 in the default installation. 6/10.

Our choice: OpenSUSE
As we mentioned at the beginning of this Roundup, the reason why there's no single-page review of a single distribution is because they're all just so close. KDE is pretty much KDE whichever distribution you choose, and most users will make the desktop their own within weeks anyway. You could install any of the distributions we've looked at and get productive with your usual array of applications within an hour.
What we were particularly interested in was the distro's commitment to KDE and some illustration of understanding what KDE users want. Kubuntu gets very close. Its team do a very good job of building a great package with superb flexibility and stability, and thanks to the wonders of the PPA, Kubuntu is the best choice for KDE users who are prepared to make their own adjustments and upgrade the official packages with each major release. It also comes with all the advantages of the default Ubuntu installation.
But our winner is OpenSUSE. It's a distribution that's got the professional sheen and gloss that only Novell can bring, and it's a distribution that always manages to bundle a cutting-edge KDE installation that will last you the full nine months of the distribution cycle. The custom artwork looks great, and shows that the packaging team have a great understanding of what KDE is capable of and what users need from their desktop. Yast is always going to be unwieldy, but its fantastic integration into the KDE desktop (it's written in Qt) makes Linux feel much closer to its Windows and OS X competitors than other KDE distributions.
At the end of the day, we're suckers for the best-looking desktop thrown in with a touch of stability.
At the end of the day, we're suckers for the best-looking desktop thrown in with a touch of stability.

I am KDE, hear me roar
What this really comes down to is a distribution that is willing to pin its hopes on KDE, and in the current desktop climate, that's becoming an increasingly rare thing. The KDE development team may seem to be increasingly aloof and separate from the world of distributions (for example, when will they remove the ridiculous blue glow that seems to accompany every window on the KDE desktop, and use a normal drop shadow instead?), but this selection that we've covered shows that there are still plenty of people willing to chase the ideal. Which means there's never been a better time to be a KDE user.

(best) Linux Distros

Source: Five Best Linux Distributions (excerpts)

In the call for contenders, we asked not only which Linux distribution was your favorite, but a note on why, with the hope that readers new to Linux would learn a thing or two. You responded in force. This was the most popular Hive Five to date, with over 800 votes and many helpful comments.

Which Linux Distribution is Best? (Poll Closed)
64% Ubuntu/Debian/Linux Mint (10901 votes)
  9% Fedora (1557 votes)
  8% Gentoo  (1290 votes)
  7% Arch Linux (1245 votes)
  7% openSUSE (1230 votes)

  5% Other (816 votes)


While not quite as simple to install as some of the other distributions on the list, openSUSE is quite user friendly. This distribution includes YaST (Yet another Setup Tool) to make installing applications a breeze. The user interface also gets a boost from Slab, a polished Windows Vista-like start menu. openSUSE puts an emphasis on hardware support and ease of use, making typically troublesome tasks like setting up a multi-monitor system less awkward. OpenSUSE is also part of the SMOLT driver project—when you install it, you can opt in to participate in a hardware survey to help continue the growth of Linux and foster support for new hardware.

Ubuntu / Debian / Linux Mint

Purists might complain that we've opted to group Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux Mint together, but compared to the other top nominees, they have more in common than not. Ubuntu is based on Debian, and Linux Mint in turn on Ubuntu. That said, they have distinctive appeals. Ubuntu currently has the largest share of the Linux user base, thanks in large part to a user-friendly installation, a desktop designed to accomodate first-timers, and a rigorous new released schedule. Ubuntu also comes bundled with an extensive set of open-source software to cover the needs of first-time switchers, but also includes only truly free software in its default installation, winning fans on both sides of the open-source aisle. Debian may not come pre-packed with as many applications, but users can easily retrieve over 25,000 applications from Debian, third-party repositories, and sites like Linux Mint shares much of its lineage with Ubuntu, but aims for a clean, green-themed, mostly new look. The distribution has a strong focus on immediate functionality, with a largers driver set included at first installation. It also includes Mint Tools, a set of configuration apps and wizards that strive to make configuring and managing Linux as painless as possible.


If you're looking for an influential endorsement for a Linux distribution, you won't find one much better than being the distribution of choice for Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux. Fedora came into being in 2003 as a spin-off of Red Hat Linux's free personal distribution, when the latter was discontinued. Although technically a younger distribution, it's a seasoned and solid Linux release with a strong corporate backing and user following. Fedora comes in a variety of "spins," tailored with different apps and functionality, so you can get more of what you want without having to hunt it all down.

Arch Linux

Arch Linux is a lightweight Linux distribution which strives to "Keep It Simple". It's definitely not a Linux distribution for novices, as it installs with just a bash command prompt and no GUI desktop—the screenshot here shows Arch Linux with a basic KDE desktop installed. You get a pretty lean, spartan system at first, but it can be quickly built onto using the Pacman package manager. There's an extensive list comparing Arch to other distributions in the distro's wiki, and it's definitely worth a look if you're trying to decide whether Arch is for you.


Gentoo Linux starts you off with even less than Arch, as you essentially build your system from scratch during the initial install. Sure, you can download a totally pre-packed version and even a live CD, but the traditional way to install Gentoo is to compile a unique configuration specific to your hardware and software needs right from the start. There are tons of choices and options during installation, but they're pretty clearly explained. Some readers noted that, although they started with other distributions of Linux, it wasn't until they started using Gentoo that they really got their hands dirty and learned how Linux really runs.

March 30, 2009 at 01:40:00 PM, by Blair Mathis

Defining the best Linux distros is like defining the best car--one does not exist; instead, the best cars are the ones that meet your needs, and your needs may vary wildly from the needs of another person.
The eight distros below are listed based on several different criteria--community, usability support, etc. 
This article avoids, for lack of a better word, "general" distros--for example, Debian isn't on the list because Ubuntu is; overall, Ubuntu is the better option for most users over Debian. This list covers several different types of distros: full desktop, LiveCD, and lightweight, etc.


Let's say you're completely new to Linux, and you're looking for a place to start. You're the exact image of an everyday user--email, homework, Internet, music, slight photo editing--and you just want a distro that is easy, that you don't have to invest much time in learning, that works well, and that many other people use. If that sounds like you, then Ubuntu is the place to look.
Ubuntu is a full desktop operating system that is robust and regularly updated, and is based on Debian. It is easy for everyday users to use--there is a small learning curve and a large community. Most Linux tutorials found online are based on Ubuntu, which is another reason users new to Linux should give Ubuntu a serious look.
Installing Ubuntu is a simple task anyone can do, the most complicated task being choosing how much of the hard drive to give the install--and that only requires a check box and slider, so you can image how simple the rest is.
Software is free and open source, and can be downloaded via Add/Remove Applications, where you'll find almost every type of software you could want, all the way down to Japanese dictionaries and astronomy tools.
Ubuntu uses Gnome by default, but for those who prefer KDE, there's Kubuntu; Xubuntu uses XFCE for slower systems; Edubuntu is a version specifically for education; there's even Eeebuntu for Eee PC netbooks.


Sabayon is to Gentoo what Ubuntu is to Debian--it's a Gentoo fork, and a very good one at that. If you're having issues with Ubuntu, you have past experience with Gentoo, or you'd rather get your feet wet with Gentoo then Debian, give Sabayon a shot.
There are two versions of Sabayon--the full desktop version, and a mini version, which is ideal for older computer, low-capacity netbooks, or just to reduce the size of you install.
Sabayon is released as a LiveCD and can be easily installed from that. During installation, you can choose to install the default KDE interface, or instead add Gnome or XFCE. The rest of the installation is identical to Ubuntu, and involves selecting simple settings.
Desktop effects are activated by default in Sabayon, and coupling that with the default KDE guarantees more eye-candy than you can imagine. Installing software is now simple due to the Entropy package manager. You can scroll through the available software and check the box next to it to install the software.


One of the great things about Linux is just how versatile it can be. The above two distros are both full desktop distributions that are meant to completely replace Windows or Mac and do everything you could need. Knoppix, while a robust distro in it's own right, is different in that it was designed to be used as a LiveCD--run and used directly from the optical drive. Taking that a step further, this distro can be installed and run directly from a USB thumb drive; aside from that, Knoppix can be installed to the hard drive, but isn't the most comfortable to run that way.
Knoppix defaults with the KDE interface and is a relatively small distro. It, like Ubuntu, is based on Debian. It is ideal for those who want to access a computer with an inaccessible operating system, for backing up files off a hard drive with a corrupted OS, or for simply running a lightweight system on an old computer. One of the best features is it's ability to find and connect to just about any network.
It comes default with 1000 software packages and runs the LXDE, a lightweight and fast interface. If you want to use the operating system consistently, you can create a persistent home directory, which allows you to save your data for later access. In addition, you can save your data over the network on a different computer or onto a flash drive/hard drive.


Crunchbang is touted as the lightweight Ubuntu. It is based off Ubuntu 8.10, but it is light and fast. It uses OpenBox instead of Gnome, and comes as an installable LiveCD just as Ubuntu does. If you're familiar with Ubuntu, then you're already have a good grasp on Crunchbang. The biggest difference over it's big brother, aside from the fast interface, is the automatic inclusion of proprietary devices, such as Adobe Flash, DVD support, video codecs (AVI, etc), and music codecs. In addition, it swaps out OOo for Abiword, a nature swap given it's lightweight nature.
This distro is ideal for those who enjoy Ubuntu, but don't want the bloat; also, it is the best option for those who want Ubuntu, but don't have the hardware to support the distro.

Puppy Linux

Puppy Linux is a completely independent distro and is actively updated and changed, and has a large user base--it is a LiveCD distro and is, like Knoppix, intended to run as a LiveCD or from a USB thumb drive. The difference comes in the fact that Puppy Linux is loaded into the RAM, allowing the physical disc to the be removed, whether a CD or USB drive.
It comes with a suite of apps that allow you to do all the basics: chat, Internet, email, photo editing, VoIP, etc. It is available in different 'puplets' which are versions of Puppy Linux that offer different feels/interfaces. A good example is Vesta Puppy, which is a joy to use.


This distro has worked it's way into the heart of many a Linux user, and is a popular option. It is based on Mandriva. It comes default with KDE and is available as a Gnome version. Software installation is simple with the Synaptic Package Manager via it's own software repository. A big feature of this distro is that it's easy to remake as your own via mklivecd.
Because of the mklivecd feature, there are many remastered and distributed versions of PCLiS, including lightweight options, different languages, versions specifically for businesses, etc.
If you want a desktop system that runs fast and has a versatility to make your own version, PClinuxOS is the distro for you.

Damn Small Linux

Damn Small Linux is only 50MB--you can't get smaller than this. The lightest, fastest Linux distro you can find, DSL is so small, you can easily keep it on your USB thumb drive as a tool when situations get sticky, for use on computer's that are not your own, and on systems that are so old, you couldn't run anything else. It can run completely within RAM (at least 128MB), making your computer as fast as possible.
This OS will expand dynamically as you add apps. It comes default with music and video player, an FTP client, web browsing chat, spellcheck, pdf viewer, PCMCIA and USB support games, ghost printer, and more. You can add items as you see fit, and save your data to a persistent directory or onto the extra space on a USB drive.
In addition, DSL can be run from directly within Windows, making it even more versatile.

Linux XP Desktop 2008

Lets say you're looking to switch from Windows to Linux, but the thought of a different interface terrifies you. Linux XP Desktop 2008 is probably the ideal distro for you, in that it was designed to specifically look like Windows Vista; if you're partial to the XP interface, look at Linux XP. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of info about the Linux distro, perhaps as a way to keep the distro as non-frightening as possible.
It appears to be based off Debian, though that is not confirmed. It uses WINE as a way to allow you to run many different Windows apps. Overall, if you're trying to escape from the Windows-sphere, I recommend jumping into a 'normal' distro, such as Ubuntu or Sabayon. If, however, you're adamant about having as familiar of an interface as possible, Linux XP can be a good stepping stone.
The unfortunate part of this is that it is shareware--after 30 days, you have to buy a license, which many feels goes against everything Linux stands for.

Update:Top 5 Netbook Linux Distros: 2010 Edition

Hi there! Have you already jumped onto the netbook bandwagon? I currently own a MEDION PC, a MacBook and a Nokia E71, but my inner-geek still craves for a cool little Linux netbook. Sub-notebooks are great stuff: they are, like Linus Torvalds said in a recent interview, “laptops done right”. You can carry them around, they are light, small and cheap so you do not have to worry as much if you lose, or break them. At the same time though, you can do some serious work with thee mini laptops.
Linux is for now, alongside Mac OS X (a warning though, installing the latter is supposed to be illegal) one of the best operating system choices for a netbook. 
Windows 7 does have a smaller memory print in comparison to Vista, but many sub-notebooks are still too weak to run anything more by Microsoft than XP, which you will probably have to settle for if you are not thinking of installing Linux.
Some of the advantages of running Linux on a sub-notebook are a smaller memory footprint, better security and tons of free applications right out of the box. 
If you decide to install it by yourself, you may encounter some compatibility problems here and there, therefore it is wiser to buy one of the more widely-sold netbooks such as the Eee PC or the Acer Aspire One.
Although, with a little tweaking, you should have better chances at installing Linux than Windows. So here are some Linux distributions I recommend you try out, because they are modified to work well with small screens and modest hardware.
Disclaimer: I have not tested all of these Linux distributions and I am not guaranteeing they will work, let alone install – these are simply my suggestions based on people’s reports and opinions and my own messing around with the Eee PC and, briefly, the MSI Wind. I am not going to talk a lot about the software included, if you’re interested in knowing more about the recommended distros, please visit their respective sites.
Sporting a very interesting windowing interface, Ubuntu Netbook Remix is Canonical’s bold foray into the netbook business. They have done a great job at tailoring their flagship distribution for mini laptops. I’m only worried that GNOME and Ubuntu as a whole may not be light enough for every sub-notebook. Nevertheless, all the stuff you’d expect in Ubuntu is there, so if you find it to work well with your system, this is probably the fastest way to get you up and running with a stable and feature-rich operating system.
Ubuntu’s elegant little brother, a spin-off of the Crunchbang distro, does away with GNOME. There is only a window manager, namely Openbox and a sleek black background with a neat Conky setup. A lot of fat has also been trimmed in the application department, if you want Openoffice you will have to download it yourself. By default you get Firefox, VLC, Skype, Flash and a lot of other useful programs for your everyday computing needs. I understand the decision of not including Openoffice, it is a big app and I myself use only the most basic functions of a word processor, the only problem are compatibility issues with documents you get from other people. Always a big pain. Give Cruncheee a try. It is much lighter than UNR.
Slax, a KDE3-based distribution built on top of Slackware Linux, is primarily meant for use as a Live distribution. It seems to have become fairly popular among netbook owners, and I was pleasantly surprised because I like SLAX very much. You can customize your ISO image from the website for your needs, to get a simple, fast, stable and user-friendly distribution, perfect for running off a thumb-drive or Flash memory, which is always a big plus for netbooks since they normally have less storage space than normal PC’s. By the way, version 6.0.9 is supposed to have fixed some previous netbook issues, so one more point for SLAX there :)
If you read my blog often, you will know I am a strong supporter of Debian. And I have good reasons: the sheer number of packages, users and documentation is overwhelming. Debian is extremely compatible and easy to install, works on many different architectures and is mostly rock-solid. Sometimes Debian will simply work where most distros fail. That is why you may want to install Debian on your netbook:
- you can find all the necessary documentation
- more than 20,000 packages waiting for you in the repositories
- tested for stability and reliability
As much as I am paranoid about distros that use the RPM format or an enhancement of it, I’ll admit RPM has evolved a lot and is now very mature so no need to worry about dependency hell any more than on DEB-based distros. Even though Mandriva has prepared a special, currently unavailable netbook respin, the standard free version of Mandriva should now have full support for the most popular netbooks, such as the Eee. We’ve been discussing Mandriva in July on the Linux Void podcast and my co-host Peter was pleasantly surprised. As you may know already, Mandriva is a uRPMi-based French distribution that competes with Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSuse and other desktop and new-user-oriented Linux distros. Mandriva prefers the KDE4 desktop, but it also features other desktop environments (GNOME and Xfce).
Arch Linux – I love Arch. Many Arch users on the Arch BBS use their favorite distros on their netbooks, too. Takes some time to setup, though.
Puppy and Pupeee – Puppeee and Puppy are extremely light. 
Puppy gives you root permissions all the time so I do not really recommend it that often, even if it is a great little distribution. This one also tends to work on some exotic hardware.
What about you? What do you run on your netbook?
Disclaimer: I haven’t tested all of these Linux distribution and I am not guaranteeing they will work, let alone install – these are simply my suggestions based on people’s reports and opinions and my own messing around with the Eee PC and, briefly, the MSI Wind.

Laptop service manuals