[conspire] More Firefox Addon problems - this tie from MS

Ed Biow biow at sbcglobal.net
Tue Feb 2 12:54:48 PST 2010

> Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 14:34:12 -0800
> From: Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>
> Subject: Re: [conspire] More Firefox Addon problems - this tie from MS
> To: conspire at linuxmafia.com
> Message-ID: <20100201223412.GQ22497 at linuxmafia.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
> Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben at mrbrklyn.com):
>> > Really, any particular distro?
> Lots of them!
> http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/index.php?page=kicking#distro
Rick, it might be time to consider updating those picks.

> I personally strongly prefer the Debian distribution, especially for
> servers. However, newcomers should consider starting with Xandros
> Desktop OS <http://www.xandros.com/> Deluxe Edition or Business
> Edition (recommended particularly), Ubuntu Linux
> <http://www.ubuntulinux.com>, SUSE <http://www.suse.com/>, MEPIS
> <http://www.mepis.org/>, Linspire 3.0 and later
> <http://www.linspire.com/>, or MandrivaLinux
> <http://www.mandrivalinux.com/> for desktop Linux machines (not Debian).

Xandros & Linspire are pretty much dormant. Xandros' last regular
release was on 2006/11/28, based on Sarge (Debian 3.1) with kernel
2.6.18.  Linspire's latest offering was 2007-10-10 (kernel 2.6.20).
Jesse Smith over at distrowatch.com tried to contact them recently to
comment on the status of their products for an article on Hymera (a
commercial version of Ubuntu), and no reply was forthcoming.  Linspire
was acquired by Xandros on July 1, 2008 and it was announced that
Linspire would be discontinued.  The community version of Linspire,
Freespire, was moved over to a Debian base from Ubuntu, but again, the
last release was over 2 years ago, November 2007.

Plain old SUSE is an expensive commercial product, more properly
called SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop). A "Basic" one year
subscription is $50, a "Standard" three year subscription is $324.00.

openSUSE is the free community version, bearing a similar relationship
to SUSE as Fedora has to RedHat Enterprise Linux, being a test bed for
new technology.  Actually, Fedora is more cutting edge than openSUSE
and RHEL is much more dated than SLED, I believe the current version
is based on Fedora 6, which is almost 3 years old. Fedora stops
supporting releases after 18 months, so it hasn't received security
updates in over a year.

Fedora is easy to install, but I wouldn't recommend it to a newbie
because it is so cutting edge, I installed 11 on a new laptop over the
summer and watched in horror as subsequent "yum updates" broke it
repeatedly, I finally gave up on it after a few weeks.  Plus, in my
experience, Fedora is harder than average to upgrade from one version
to the next.

I ended up putting Mint Linux on that laptop, which I think would be
an excellent candidate for your list.  It is often described as
"Ubuntu with codecs", but it actually brings a lot of extra value to
the table, you can check out some of the reviews:

I sold the laptop to a cousin (Mike Willis' sister) and I don't think
she's booted the Vista partition at all over the last 6 months.

> *Far better for beginners*, I urge you to consider boxed sets /with
> printed documentation, boot diskettes, and paid technical support/
> from such distribution-creators as Xandros Desktop OS
> <http://www.xandros.com/> Deluxe Edition or Business Edition
> (recommended particularly), SUSE <http://www.suse.com/>, and
> MandrivaLinux <http://http://www.mandrivalinux.com/>. These tend to
> run about US $40 each, and are available in stores or directly from
> the companies.

Rick, I remember when you could waltz in to Fry's and find a whole
section of boxed distros with documentation, but I think that business
model has largely been discontinued.  I looked at frys.com and didn't
see any distros at all for sale.  You can still buy boxed distros but
I think at this point there are mostly available from the companies'
web sites rather than in stores.

No one asked me, but I also prefer Debian. However for a new user I'd
recommend something that has a live CD and a somewhat less atavistic
installer (incorporating WPA encryption and gparted would be a great
start). I guess MEPIS more or less fits the bill, but I have my
reservations.  Warren Woodford's migration from Debian to Ubuntu and
back effectively broke any conceivable upgrade path. sidux works, but
I wouldn't want to inflict sid on a newbie. So I generally end up
suggesting Ubuntu or an Ubuntu-derivative, though Mandriva & openSUSE
are also fine options.


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