dcsimg

Christopher Smart Archive

Christopher Smart has been using Linux since 1999. In 2005 he created Kororaa Linux, which delivered the world's first Live CD showcasing 3D desktop effects. He also founded the MakeTheMove website, which introduces users to free software and encourages them to switch. In his spare time he enjoys writing articles on free software.
The Year Of The Linux… Everything Else
We have to face it. Linux isn't going to win the desktop war any time soon, but perhaps we don't need to. With products like MeeGo and Android, Linux is going to complete its domination of the embedded space, and find itself in every single home.
Improving The Linux Desktop? Why, It’s Elementary
The Linux desktop has come a long way, but are there still improvements to be made? At least one group of dedicated hackers thinks so, and is working with Ubuntu to improve it.
The Ubuntu Advantage? Canonical Takes On Red Hat
Red Hat is the king of commercial Linux support, no doubt about it. Canonical has entered the market and with some refined support products could present a very compelling alternative. Is it enough to make the company profitable long term, though?
MeeGo Brings The Magic
When the Linux Foundation announced the MeeGo project earlier this year, they said it would "bring the magic to Linux." Now that it is finally here, does it deliver on its promise? It sure does.
Oh My Goddard! An Early Look at Fedora 13
Fedora 13 is on the way and while it innovates in its own right, it also borrows some major features from other distros such as Ubuntu and Mandriva. This is looking to be yet another great release from the Fedora community!
Farewell Songbird, We Hardly Knew Ye
Songbird, the popular open source cross platform music player, has decided to dump support for Linux. Such a move could be fatal and here's why.
Solaris Is Dead. Long Live Linux.
Hot on the heels of acquiring Sun, Oracle has changed the license for Solaris making it non-free once again. In a time like this, such a move can only be fatal and of course ultimately beneficial to Linux.
Ubuntu 10.04: The Perfect Consumer Operating System?
The upcoming release of Ubuntu 10.04 is on the way and with its new theme, looks simply stunning. With an online music store built in, integrated cloud backup services and a strong focus on social networking, could this finally be the release consumers have been waiting for?
Will The Linux Desktop Soon Be Irrelevant?
Some of us are still waiting for the year of the Linux desktop. Some think it's already here. One thing is certain however, Linux does not have a majority desktop market share. By the time we get there, perhaps the entire idea of what a Desktop is will have been re-defined, thanks to "The Cloud".
Commercial Gaming, Coming Soon to Linux?
The inability to play the latest off the shelf commercial games has been a thorn in the side of Linux for a long time. With companies such as Valve starting to embrace other platforms, will that be the catalyst Linux needs to become a first class citizen?
The Three Giants of Linux
In the land of Linux, there are three giants. Three distributions which have stood the test of time and from which most others have come. What makes these three unique and how have they shaped Linux as we know it today?
Gentoo Optimizations Benchmarked – Part 2
Gentoo is a source based distribution which lets the user decide how to optimize their system in many ways and includes building for a specific CPU architecture. Linux Magazine benchmarks four such options; i486, i686, pentium3, core2, and throws in Ubuntu for good measure.
Set Your Desktop Free, With Nouveau’s 3D
The nouveau project has done it! Finally, an open source 3D driver for NVIDIA video cards has arrived and will ship with Fedora 13. Let's take a look (including a few benchmarks).
Five Brilliant Ubuntu-based Distros You Never Knew Existed
The major derivatives of Ubuntu are well known, but what about the others? Just because they aren't as popular doesn't mean they don't have something to offer! We introduce five of the least known, yet simply outstanding distributions.
The Greatest KDE Distro Ever: An Early Look at openSUSE 11.3
This week the first milestone release of openSUSE was made available. Together with the KDE 4.4 release candidate and excellent integration of GTK applications such as Firefox, openSUSE simply provides the greatest KDE experience available to date. Here's why.
The Importance of Fitting In
Is the success of Linux directly proportional to its ability to integrate with existing proprietary systems like Windows? If so, should free software developers be spending more time integrating with it instead of building better software for free platforms?
Proprietary Software and Linux: Good, Bad or Somewhere in Between?
Canonical is looking into selling proprietary software like Adobe's Photoshop and Apple's iTunes within its distribution, Ubuntu. This would undoubtedly be helpful for certain end users wanting to switch to Linux, but is it good for free software in the long run?
The Small Business Server Replacement is Clear(OS)
Microsoft still has a stranglehold on the desktop and servers for small business. While wheels are in motion for the former, the answer to the latter may already be here.
What To Expect in 2010
The next twelve months will be good to Linux and Free software, but we won't capture the market just yet.
FOSS: How Did 2009 Shape Up?
Another year goes by without the "Year of the Linux Desktop" (whatever that means) but that doesn't mean that Free software is standing still. What highlights have there been over the last year and what is still holding us back?
Fedora, Still Pushing The Envelope
The latest release of Fedora is out, offering a number of major improvements over its predecessor. Just exactly what does it have to offer the end user, and is it worth the upgrade?
Two Simple Suggestions for Ubuntu
As Ubuntu's popularity increases, how can we help to ensure that new users get the best experience possible?
Hey Ubuntu, Stop Making Linux Look Bad
Ubuntu's new Karmic Koala 9.10 release has been highly anticipated as the greatest release ever. In truth, it falls flat on its face in a time when Linux really needed to shine.
Gentoo Optimizations Benchmarked
Gentoo is a source based distribution which lets the user decide how to optimize their system in many ways. Linux Magazine benchmarks three of the most common GCC optimizations; -Os, -O2 and -O3, and throws in Ubuntu for good measure.
xPUD: Floating On The Cloud
If personal computing is moving to the web, then where are all the lightweight Cloud focused distributions? Meet xPUD, a brilliant little distro that boots straight to a fullscreen browser. It uses a simple, unique interface, and includes everyday software such as a media player and more! We talk with the lead developer about what makes this operating system unique.
Gentoo: “We’re Not Dead”
In 2008 the Gentoo Foundation ceased to exist, sending rumors of Gentoo's demise and ultimate death circulating around the Internet. Almost two years on, the distro is still here and celebrating its 10th anniversary. How close did the distro come to disaster, and where does it stand now?
Gentoo: Ten Years Emerge
Gentoo, the most popular source based distribution, has turned ten years old. What benefits does a such a system provide over its binary distros? As Linux becomes more and more popular, is there still a place for source based distros?
Linux Will Regain Lost Market Share, Thanks to Moblin
The netbook phenomenon was going to hail in the reign of Linux on the desktop. It hasn't, yet. Now however the Moblin project is changing the game, so much so that we just might see Linux take back that market share which it lost in the very beginning.
Linux is Bloated, Just Not How You Think
Linus recently stated that Linux is "bloated and huge," but what does that really mean? He is, of course, talking about the code in the kernel itself, rather than the wider implementation as a desktop. Even so, does this really need fixing, and is it even possible?
The New Ubuntu Netbook Remix is Totally Karmic: An Early Look
If you've been looking for a lean, sleek, well supported operating system for your netbook then look no further. Due out next month, Karmic Koala Netbook Remix has a cleaner interface, complete hardware support and numerous other improvements. Let's take a look.
Lubuntu: Floats Like a Butterfly, Stings Like a Bee
Some complain that there is simply too much choice in the free software world and far too many Linux distributions. Well, now there's another called Lubuntu. A derivative of Ubuntu with the LXDE desktop, it's super light and very fast. Finally, there's an Ubuntu perfectly suited to those older, low end machines!
Interview with Eric Hameleers: Why You Should Try Slackware
Slackware is one of the first Linux distributions ever and the oldest surviving. With the recent release of version 13.0, the project has announced official support for 64-bit systems. Linux Magazine talks to Eric Hameleers, the man behind the port, about what motivated him to create it and what Slackware has to offer you.
A Little Empathy For Pidgin
With the integration of the Telepathy framework into GNOME, most distributions are dropping the old instant messaging favorite Pidgin, for the new upstream application Empathy. It's a reminder of the important role that distributions play in making choices for us all.
Linux Needs Open Multimedia on the Web
The state of web multimedia on Linux is pitiful. Proprietary codecs, plug-ins and closed standards are helping to keep Linux a second rate citizen. What Linux needs is not another proprietary framework like Moonlight, but more open standards. Can Google help by making YouTube a Theora-fest?
Arch Linux: The Simple, Flexible (and Fast!) Distro
Arch Linux is a unique distribution, offering the latest free software via a super fast package manager coupled with a "keep it simple" philosophy. It is fast becoming a very popular distribution and now thanks to their split packages, you can install a lightweight KDE 4.3 desktop for even more flexibility and speed.
Tiny Core: The Little Distro That Could
The way we use computers is changing, but Linux isn't standing still. Tiny Core is a minimal Linux distribution that boots a complete live system for every day use. Its foundation and unique approach to the desktop helps it achieve certain goals like preventing system rot and ensuring your system is fresh every time it boots.
Omega: Fedora For The Rest of Us
The Fedora Project is one of the most popular Linux distributions, however its position on non-free software and proprietary codecs isn't for everyone. But thanks to Fedora's ability to create Remix versions of the disto with anything you like, Omega attempts to bridge the divide.
Microsoft Patches Linux; Linus Responds
Microsoft has released code for inclusion in the Linux kernel, but should it be accepted? Linus Torvalds gives his perspective.
Will Linux Shine as Google Chrome OS?
Google has announced their very own Linux based operating system, but is anyone surprised? What will it mean for other Linux distributions who are vying for a piece of the pie?
Kdenlive: A Video Editor in the Spotlight
Linux distributions strive to include all the useful applications that users will need, but a quality video editor has been lacking for quite some time. Now with KDE4 getting better and better, could an application like Kdenlive fill that gap?
Interview with Ksplice Co-Founder
Ksplice is an amazing new technology which allows patches to be applied directly into a running kernel, without needing a reboot. Linux Magazine talks with co-founder and Chief Operating Officer and discusses the origins of the project and what it has to offer.
Say Goodbye to Reboots with Ksplice
Linux is famous for uptime, but even it has to reboot when a new kernel vulnerability is fixed. Or does it? Now there's Ksplice, technology that applies patches directly into the running kernel. And thanks to their free Uptrack service it's free for users of Ubuntu!
openSUSE, Now with More Open
Novell has announced plans to make openSUSE more community driven by opening up their Online Build System which controls Factory to contributors outside their staffing ranks. What does it mean for the project and community at large?
Having Yum for Breakfast
In this wide world of Linux, there are primarily just two package management systems which reign: RPM and Deb. Most binary distributions use one or the other and there has long been tension between the two. So which system performs better?
Yum, It’s Starting to Get Tasty
The release of Fedora 11 promises numerous new improvements. One such improvement is an updated and more efficient package manager. How does it compare to the previous release, version 10?
KDE 4: The Komplete Desktop?
KDE 4 creator Matthias Ettrich, envisaged a Unix desktop with a common look and feel. KDE 4 has been released for over a year now, has it met this goal?
Trimming the FAT: Linux and Patents
The TomTom case exposed a long-simmering problem resulting from the combination of patents, proprietary software companies and open source. Andrew Tridgell recently patched Linux's VFAT implementation, but the cult of silence that surrounds intellectual property will bedevil open source projects for some time to come.