Category Archives: KDE

What to look for in a Standard Linux Distribution-Introduction

I have talked about practically all the possible combinations of Live and Standard Linux it is time for me to wind up with a guide for selection of a distribution without giving a particular distribution.I will not go into hardware compatibility even though it is a major issue since what innovation are round the corner is difficult to predict after this iPod and mobile utility craze is over and done with it.

But before that I must tell you my favorites without any order of merits.

I go for several light weight distributions and for one Gorilla Edition.

The Gorilla Edition is PCLinuxFullMonty which is almost comprehensive and lacks only XBMC but that also can be downloaded.

For Sinhala Linux Lovers (SLL) it is Debian 6.0.0

They are as follows

1. Puppy Linux and its various editions. you can simply carry in your front pocket (carry when I go abroad-an use it as an Acid Test of the computer, laptop or netbook I may buy-not that I want any more with all the assortments i have at home an office.
If I cannot boot it it with Puppy, I won’t consider buying the stuff, whatever the vendors gimmick may be.

2. Knoppix the 10th anniversary edition to show off its graphic capabilities including compiz and cheese the web camera. Now it has found a permanent place in my computers in spite of its finicky requirements for hardware configuration.

3. Gparted (Debian’s), the best companion to partition my computers when I reformat. Mind you it is light weight and does not say no to any complicated partition composition within the framework of the standard laid down principles.

4. KDE base nothing to choose between Mepis and PCLinux but I prefer PCLinux since I got a good hang of its versatile performance which SuSe lacks.

5. SuSe for my long association with it after Fedora in spite of craving for RAM (the new with Venation blind appearance but in vertical orientation of strips)I. It has the the best configuration utility called YAST (I call it Yet Another System configuration and teaching Tool) but the partitioning is limited to 15 which is a handicap when I want several distributions installed in the same computer.

6. Debian for its versatility and the ability to recognize all the hard disks of various make (SATA, SCSI, IDE) and the ability to write the partition table without getting confused when a fellow like me install assortment of operating systems in my own finicky ways.

It has taken a special place now with Sinhala capability of its installation.

7. Fedora for its ability to take on board changes which commercial operating systems resit and for my yesteryear long association with it and the Hanthana Sinhala Linux which is a derivative of it.

It was the first Linux distribution that I have used which could accommodate Sinhala fonts way back when other Linux distributions were learning the tricks of the trade.

8. GoBO Linux for its innovative approach but no new version for a long time.

9. YOPER for trimming, shedding dropping extra fringes to get it running fast but it has a big problem with its GRUB file.

10. Pure KDE without a brand name since it is the one made Linux desktop eye candy and a market force of its own and still introducing new innovation but one need at least 1 GiB of RAM and still more RAM for it’s better performance.

11. LXDE is my favorite even though I am hooked to KDE and its plane and bird like logo.

12. Cloud Linux

13. MeeGo

14. Pendrive Linux

15. PureOS, Saline OS, Peppermint, LinuxMint, Console Linux, Morphix, MYAH, ADIOS and the lot I forgot because of my bad memory.

16. Scientific Linux of course is my ultimate goal and that is where I belong to as a professional and where my personal biases are rooted, which I am trying to wean off and become an ordinary man again with taste and flair.

If I have left any other distribution, it is all because of my finicky behaviour and lack of space.

It is a fact that any one of them do the day to day work for me.

Please excuse for my bias since I am an ordinary human being with lot of personal deficiencies and lapses in my memory with geriatric age approaching fast.

Young ones are the live blood of Linux, you need to keep on innovating and also have a pause and listen to ordinary uses too.

Next few editions will be based on the packages one should have in a distribution that may vary from person to person.

I will start with K-Torrent and gParted.

I am afraid I may have to group them since there are over 60,000 of them, if one takes Debian as a base.
With that exercise I may finish my engagement with the wider world and go back to my normal life of gardening, fish keeping and looking after my dog.

SuSe Community and making an Image for Archives

Edited on the 14th, March, 2011

I am not sure whether the comments i have mde below is correct, since I have found the same problem with Debian 6. DVD. Unable to copy the DVD image. It is 4.3 GiB (same size as SuSe) and Linux unable deal with a file size above 4 GiB in one file and has to be broken into two which can be done only with torrent.

PCLinuxfullMonty has restricted itself to 4 GiB and Gentoo with 4.4 GiB has  probably divided the file into two (32 bit and 64 bits ) and  by doing that has accommodated above 4 GiB.

I hope since the SuSe DVD has Gnome KDE, LXDE and xFce by dropping one of the latter two SuSe should be able to reduce the DVD lod to $ GIb in future so that image can be saved for posterity.

I hope somebody enlighten me on this issue.

SuSe community has the peculiar habit which they have acquired form Novel and Microsoft annoys me a lot, to say the least.

They let you download (which takes more than 36 hours or more from K-torrent in Sri-Lanka) a single copy of the image and and won’t let you copy the image as an archive. In the final seconds of the copying it has a script to abort copying which only commercial companies can use as a ploy to protect the copyright (which I am in total support).

This is not a Linux Tradition even if they are commercially operational.

In fact violates the principles of FOSS and true spirit of open software and OS systems.

When it happened for first time I deleted the image and kept the DVD for installation.
If I want I can copy the DVD but always have two copies one for use other one for safe keeping.

Mind you DVD cannot be kept indefinitely and if the image is copied to a external hard drive, a CD/DVD can be written if the DVD in use is damaged.

For example for an emergency but not for re-sale. I am not interested in copying and selling it to a third party.


My intentions are are academic and only for archival and retrieval purposes..

Unfortunately most of the old distributions are not in any archives or servers. The servers and linux tracker included have the habit of deleting not used (frequently) distributions from the sever to accommodate space in the server for new distributions.

They write automatic script to do this house cleaning job without archiving them.

The point I am raising is relevant now.  Currently LinuxTracker is down but gradually adding the images to it’s servers and it cannot retrieve even the most recently used distributions quickly enough to get the sytsem running in double quick time and it is a headache and lot of heart burns for many system administrators.

There should be a way of transfwring the infrequently used into a system category away from the main stream and thereafter after a lapse of a period  if still not used can be transferred to an archival medium. All these cost time and money.

I was once downloading BigDaddy (my favorite PCLinux’s original successful version) from a server. If I remember right it was softpedia. Half way through my download (which takes ages from Sri-Lanka) it was no longer avialable and I was heart broken. I could not finish the downkload it.

I made a humble request at PCLinux forum and one nice gentleman let me directed to a server and I quickly downloaded it for archiving. It is live and cannot be  installed but I use it for demonstrating the humble beginning of  very successful distribution.

Similar incident happened with Pendrive Linux. These was a defect (I got it downloaded from a Microsoft machine with Nero) in the imabe,

This was the first time I got a bootable Linux Image in a Pendrive.  Now even Pendrive site does not have a copy of the Original Image and I cannot get it from distromania or from Linuxtracker. It is like collecting old stamps and coins.

It has become a hobby and a pastime for me keeping the archives.

Coming from an academic (not commercial) background, simple thing like these matter a lot in the long run.

Commercial investors when they want to introduce a new system they begin by not supporting and then destroying the old system by default making the user vulnerable. Microsoft does this very well.

I cannot understand why Linux does this and good example is SuSe who has got under the fold of commercial CEOs.


Coming back to my story what I did was to make a copy of the image (this is something I used to do for old Distributions without an image but only a CD/ DVD for archiving) with K3B and saved it instead of deleting after the image is written to the CD/DVD.

When I tried and used the saved image for writing to a DVD it gives an annoying warning that the Image ” file size is different from the declared volume”.

Linux (K3B) checks the file size before writing and gives a warning before it writes to prevent one from copying a bad image and wasting a CD or DVD.

This warning or the deterrent cannot be true since the file image property goes as 4 GiB.

These are some of the nuances of SuSe and Mandriva which are driving Linux fans or uses away from them.

I cannot simply agree with this ploy and that is why I am moving away from Oracle, SuSe and Mandriva.

A CEO with commercial interest makes these decisions and my concern is why can’t they openly say DO NOT COPY but use these underhand methods.

Sinhala Linux-Hanthana Linux Included-Debian Update

Reproduction from Distrowatch

(by Dr.Asoka Dissanayake (Medical)

on 2011-02-22 22:52:30 GMT from Sri Lanka)

I have to confess now I support Light Weight Distributions and PCLinux is my my favourite,

But I love its Gorilla (dearly) Edition PClinuxfullmonty too.

I use it (PCLinux) as a Gold standard (not bench mark) for 32 bit hardware and Texstar is about to release the 64 bit version but he is keeping it close to his heart.

Coming back to Sinhala Linux Debian is the winner by neck and half length (horse racing terminology). I downloaded all of the CD and DVD and had a trial run of them and they are pretty good and elegant especially the KDE.

Again I confess I am a KDE fan especially because of its looks and the K3B burner which does not harm the hardware. Before I started using it I used to lose a CD/DVD writers almost every two to three months.

Both PClinucx and SuSe are KDE based. Suse is damn slow like windows but PCLinux is pretty fast.

Unlike you guts I have about 8 distributions in my laptop and I use them in rotation to get best out of them.

I have Debian also and I will tell you now why I use Debian.

It is the only distribution which can cohabit with all the others distributions and arrange the partition table so nicely in the GRUB and boot all the others.

Unlike Windows and Ubuntu, Debian does not fear other distributions.

SuSe cannot read more than 15 partitions and in the beginning they used to have over 60 (I stand to correction) partitions. PClinux some time cannot read FAT partitions and its partition formats are limited.

So I install Debian one before the last distribution and to get a nice boot flash I use PCLinux the last.

Debian make it easy for the PCLinusx to read the partition table.

There are many other strong points about the Debian that is why we use it in the Server Level in the University.

Regarding the downloading of Hanthana Linux I just checked it a few minutes ago with only two seeders it takes 3 days plus.

Fedora 13 (the 6 CDs) version with many seeders it takes little over one day. I will download Hanthana Linux after the Cricket World Cup which is my preoccupation currently.

Following is a summary of download times for your perusal.

Last there (3 days)
1. Bodhi 3 hours
2. Kubuntu 7 hours
3. EB4 9 hours
4. Pinguy 4 and a half days
5. Monty 2 days
and fastest was ArtistX one day and probably Fedora 13 too (also little over one day (according to estimate).
These are facts and not gut feelings,
I am struggling with pixie which has taken one day but still not finished.


By accident this gets three 111s.
First Class!
SuSe Studio has spawned many of its community derivatives and many of them are heavy to boot up but this one has caught my eye by accident.
YAST is one of the best graphic utility and its partition manger is the best graphic partition tool.
YAST-Yet Another Setup Tool but I call it Yet Another Teaching Tool Linux Guru can use for teaching newbies.
It is a live CD that can be installed.
Only 366 MiB.
Excellent approach moving away from heavily Loaed Linux.
This a classic example where one can assemble the utilities with purpose.
Then one can download the other packages.
Connection to internet is slow but I love this derivative.
This is not for newbie.
One should have some understanding how suSe operates.
I will write about other partition tools which Linux offer later.
Good one.


After 4 days and bit of time I manged to download Mandrake (free) DVD and booted it to see its features and unfortunately it is install only

Why they cannot include a live script in the 4.3 MiB of DVD puzzles me enough!

Similarly 2 MiB of Gentoo Live DVD did not have an install script!

These simple exclusions put me off and lot many of newbies too.

With Mandriva I went up to the partition tool and up to that point it has all the impressive graphic protocols which I really loved in the past.

Well, now I have installed Mandriva Free in a second hand spare computer (dissembled in Singapore) I bought to upgrade the systems to Sata hard and CD/ DVD ROMs in case IDE Hard disks and ROM SriLankan market.
It has two ports for SATA and I may be able to fix my IDEs there if any one of my old computers pack up.

Sure will not as long as I use Linux.

As I have already stated elsewhere cutting edge utilities are carefully excluded and it took nearly one hour to update the installed packages.
My wife and daughter were using there computers and and I know they were not downloading anything serious.
So my judgement, about Mandriva has not changed significantly even after installing,

Installation went ahead without a hitch.

So go ahead and buy from them instead of downloading the free DVD.has not changed.

No wine, no blender, no food for thought.

If I make a mistake and delete everything in my hard disk while testing live CDs or my system breaks down (it never happens) or over loaded with array of different images and come to a stop one day, I will run it through all the way to full install.

Till then you have to do it yourself and feel its impressive collection of utilities.

Linux100-Black Panther-110

Beautiful distribution coming from Hungary with support for English and German.
It is pretty good even though it took a little more time to boot up.
Anyway all KDE distributions have this tendency.
Once booted it runs fast and connects to internet quickly.
It is well past midnight.
That is the reason for the shortness of the content.
Good one.
Thanks Guys and Girls in Hungary.


After over 7 days and nights of downloading, finally I manged to download 4GB of SuSe.
First time it broke at 3.3 and the second time it was O.K.
It took three days of downloading.

The day time downloading is at snail pace and I a trying to beat the pulse impulse of the computer (mind you we are experts in feeling the pulse of even a dead man or a imprisoned man-but not the pulse of the people-even Obama is failing in that), I am trying various methods to keep servers in Sr-Lanka not to go to sleep at night. 

In true fact what I have done is buying a switch that stay alert and goes into sleep mode when power line or the server fails.The switch does a yeomen service of not closing the file but stay put having gone into sleep mode.

This has prevented me of interrupted sleep.

When power fails I have to get up and switch off multitudes of gadgets which are in different rooms.
My son also does a good job when power fails on a longer duration which is very common in Kandy and Gampola.

SuSe has KDE and Genome and LXDE and xfce and few more X-windows.

That is a good thing.

I did not bother to go ahead and test it since I am much happy with Live KDeE which I have in my system after my PCLinuxOS was infected with a scripts a few months ago which prevented me getting even to authorized sites. I have downloaded Gnome and both 32 bits and 64 bits versions of SuSe all of which are doing great.

This is where SuSe a nose ahead of PCLinux-2010 which also has a problem with non-English speaking audience.

Suse in that sense is neck and a half ahead of PCLinux-2010.

In view of shorter time of downloading I still prefer CDs.

I love my sleep and I can even sleep standing (traveling by Public and Private buses when the need is there and getting up in the night to switch off is not a welcome practice in any normal household.

If you need everything go ahead and download the DVD.

I am now downloading Mandriva and hopefully I’ll be with you in five or six days.


Electronic Linux Professional Licentiate in Linux (Elpix-2.0) is a very good distribution sitting in the archives and gathering dust in the shelves like books written in English in our universities (nobody to read them). 

I was extremely disappointed that it is relegated to archives.

I downloaded it from Distromania archives.

It is a very good distribution not one actually two in one CD.

It has Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (long term support) as default Live as well as install.

It also has Fedora 9 KDE (I gave it up at core 3) Live and Install which is pretty good.

Both connects readily to the internet and elpicxs (German and English).

Its lessons are pretty good for a newbie.

This distribution should wipe its dust and come out of the shelf sooner than late.

I was hesitant to download the 1.4 GB thinking that I will get an old (not live) installable CD and my decision to have a go after 100 was a gutsy attempt (I am getting bit fed up with Linux now) and my gut feeling were culinary satisfied.

There is another worthwhile point there which I gathered, like the CD / DVD of the Linux Bible from Christopher Naegus bundling number of Live and Installable CD versions in a DVD saves lot of time for us SriLankans who has to spend over 24 hours to download one DVD.

Very few will go abroad like me and download a few to bring home on a holiday abroad.

This DVD with two distributions well tested, I recommend without any hesitation and I believe it should come out of the shelf (shelf life of of Linux is changing very fast) sooner than late.


The hacker incident let me play with recent SuSe Isos.

KDE is packed with everything a desktop user needs.

Even though it takes a fairly long time to install and to configure (automatically) what it does best is downloading the necessary files while configuring which was a pain in the neck few years ago. 

It still has a very well the organized desktop but launching a program and backing off is cumbersome feature for me.

It lacks lot of features present in PCLinux-2010 but compared to PCLinux partitioning utility its partitioning (graphic) tool has many features and the fstab configuration feature is excellent.

PCLinux has problems with other type of partitions at install time.
It was not a problem with earlier versions.

YAST (yet another system and teaching tool -I call it) is the best teaching tool for a newbie to learn.

Overall it is a good version if one is looking for a Window’s like distribution.

But the Embrace, Expand and Explode (extinguish) policy of Microsoft might do some permanent damage to this system and kill it’s spirituality in time to come.

Watch out for the 3Es.

(In science Explore, Engage (in a hypothesis), Explain, Expand, Evaluate the consequences).

Interestingly, our hierarchy in political circles use the same Es to extinguish opposition parties.

Bada Gannawa, Pumbanawa (bribing) and Pupuranawa (once the job is accomplished) Principle of Microsoft is truly working with vigour here.


Simply Mepis is one of the distributions I have installed in my laptop and desktop on a regular and permanent basis.
The other is Berry Linux. I must confess that I use them for demonstration of cute little distributions and not for daily work.

(Edited today 15-08-2010)
I think I have touched upon some intuition.
What is written below was before the download of Mepis DVD.
Thanks to Guys and Girls in Mepis for sweeper (which I call a Mind Sweeper).


Making me happy Mepis has introduced a package named Sweeper to clean up the system. It is a welcome I had being waiting for a long time. I had been doing this manually until now even with PCLinux.
This utility should be developed into MinD Sweeper for others to follow.

I use PCLinux (now 2o10-01) on daily basis and it does not give any problem because it has the nice habit of deleting unnecessary files in tmp on a regular basis (at boot up) and there is no clutter or clogging due to large log files (large log files that are essential for a server and should not be used obsessively in a desktop


I of course on a regular basis look at the available memory after three or four downloads and having archived the images delete big files keeping the distribution robust and up to date.

Whereas my wife and daughter
who also use two different (both PCLinux-2009) desktops on a regular basis come up to me saying that Linux sucks memory since they download many photos and the like files.

Luckily I have not given them the administrative rights and when things are bad in five minutes I clean up the unnecessary files and get the box running like new.

The cardinal mistakes everybody makes is that, not running the box over 24 hours at least occasionally and to let the Cron jobs run. that do the clean up jobs in servers and desktops.

This is something that Linux desktop developers should look at and develop cron jobs, akin to frequent savings in office utilities.

I think a utility of this nature is essential for laptops.

What they should do is to send a message at random fashion while when the desktop is being used and asking the user whether it is safe to activate the cron jobs (name it the clean up jobs) without compromising the downloading and downloaded files still in the tmp.

Sorry for the diversion but I feel this piece of advice is vital for the newbies.

Coming back to Mepis it is one of the best distributions in a single CD and has everything one needs and sometimes things that are missing in PCLinux.

That is why I use them for some special occasions.

Mepis has a new DVD and bit 32 and 64 versions, I am currently downloading them and write few lines about them soon (having tested them).

Mepis is something one ought to have to get the fresh and Debian feel like Morphis.