Linux For Cynics One user's experiences with Linux


Ubuntu 14.10 Has Reached End of Life, Upgrade to Ubuntu 15.04 Now

If you are still using 14.10, get with it:

sudo do-release-upgrade

I find the dist upgrade process to be painful enough to use only the LTS releases just to avoid it.

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IBM Backs Linux


IBM on Tuesday will announce that it has committed $1 billion to convince its customers to use Linux, a freely available open source operating system that competes with Windows, reports The Wall Street Journal's Don Clark.

This is the second time that IBM coughed up $1 billion to promote Linux. The first was way back in 2000, when Linux was a fledgling operating system just finding its way into enterprise data centers and beginning to threaten Microsoft.

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Linus Hit by Bus!

The fateful day has arrived - Linus Torvalds, creator and maintainer of the Linux kernel, has been hit by a bus. He has survived, but with massive brain damage. Consequently, he has decided he is no longer able to head the Linux project and has decided to apply himself to something more appropriate given his severely diminshed abilities.

Linus Torvalds will now join Microsoft and dedicate himself to the development of Windows 9.


Infographic: Understanding Debian


Time for another excellent Linux infographic. This one, by Claudio F Filho, explains Debian and it's various versions. It explains the names and purposes of the Stable, Unstable, Testing and Experimental branches of Debian. Something that's not included in the infographic is about Debian's name; it's a portmanteau of the names of the creator of Debian, Ian Murdock, and his wife, Debra. Ubuntu and many other Linux distros are based on Debian, so it may be worth your time to understand it even if you don't use it directly.

If you want to use Debian but aren't confident in you ability to install it, I recommend Crunchbang Linux. They have done most of the work for you, and it's a breeze to install.


The Real Story Behind Wayland and X

Daniel Stone talks about his experiences developing Wayland and X at See all the videos given at this talk:

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Time-line of Linux Distros


(Click image to enlarge). This is an infographic that summarizes the timeline of GNU/Linux distributions over the last decade. For other file formats or to follow the development of this image, check out the project's site. It's quite impressive. I think it could even be called a rooted phylogenetic tree.


Right click on Desktop Slow in Xubuntu

When experimenting with the other flavors of Ubuntu, I noticed that the desktop right-click menu in Xubuntu appears after a considerable delay. Here's what I did to fix it:

This seems to be related to application icons.

In Settings -> Desktop, go to the Menus tab, and unselect 'Show application icons in menu' under Desktop Menu.

This should instantly speed it up - you can toggle the setting back and forth and it changes in realtime to compare. I used to have this issue but after unticking it the menu appears instantly if you can live without the icons. They could do with cacheing them or something I guess.

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Crunchbang 11, “Waldorf” Development Images Available

This announcement was posted a few days ago on the Crunchbang forums:

"The first CrunchBang 11 "Waldorf" development builds are now available for testing. For anyone unaware, these are the first builds to be based on Debian Wheezy sources. Wheezy is the current testing branch of Debian and therefore is likely to experience changes, bugs and breakages. These first builds are not recommended for anyone who requires a stable system, or is not happy running into occasional breakages.


The main focus of these builds has been to migrate the build system from Squeeze to Wheezy, and to fix any resulting breakages. Now that the migration is complete, these first test builds should provide functionality that is on a par with the existing Statler release.

Whilst not the primary focus, working on development builds of a new branch does afford the opportunity to review the list of installed applications. Of note, the following has changed:

SLiM replaces the deprecated GDM. Note, LightDM is under consideration for future builds, but at this point, it does not appear to offer any real advantages over SLiM.

Chromium replaces Iceweasel. This change reflects my personal preference and recent browser usage statistics.

Compton replaces xcompmgr and Cairo Composite Manager. Compton provides a stable compositing solution and for the first time, compositing is enabled by default.

PulseAudio is now installed by default.

Known issues

"module unix not found in modules.dep" is displayed when booting, The message is harmless and is a known upstream bug:

Slow/unusable Intel PRO wireless over 11n. This appears to be a known kernel bug and patches have already been applied upstream. If your system suffers from this, a quick search should provide details about how to temporarily disable 11n connections, until a fix arrives.

Theme parsing errors reported in .xsession-errors. These should disappear/stop being reported when GTK 3.4 libs enter testing.

Unknown issues

As always, please feel to leave feedback and suggests. Your input is really appreciated and really does help to improve quality and usability. If you have feedback, please either reply to this topic, or create a new topic in the 'Devel: CrunchBang 11 "Waldorf"' forums."

Personally, I disagree with the move from Iceweasel to Chromium. Everything else sounds good though. I'm currently using Crunchbang 10 on my Asus 1201n netbook. I have some issues with cpu frequency scaling so it runs a little hot. Other than that, I like it. It's a good lightweight alternative to Ubuntu.

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