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Granular Linux Distro Preview is Worth a Look

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the more-fragmentation dept.

Operating Systems 119

Linux.com has an interesting look at Granular Linux, a desktop-oriented distribution that's primary goal is to be easy to use. "With a single CD's worth of included programs, Granular Linux manages to cover a significant portion of normal end user needs, and those applications not already installed can be easily added through Synaptic. The slight problem with video and more serious problem with sound of my machine suggest that Granular is not without its issues, especially when most other distributions work properly on this hardware, but as this is a preview release of version 1.0 I think it can be more or less forgiven. I'd definitely recommend Granular to anyone with an interest in trying out a new distribution. "

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I hate the phrase "easy to use". (4, Interesting)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970978)

Because I don't find any of these "easy to use" attempts easy to use. Because I know unix already, and these distros do it differently in order to make it "easy". But I'm not most people.

But my point still stands. Easy to use is not the same as "windows like" or even "shallow learning curve". It can mean "expert friendly".

That's not to say they're mutually exclusive, but this term is abused more than most.

How long will this distro be around? (2, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971062)

Longer than Vista [news.com] I hope.

Re:How long will this distro be around? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971260)

Jesus, the MicroShill mods are quick on the trigger today.

Flamebait for hoping one operating system survives longer than a competitor? Right...

Click the link (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971372)

It's about how Vista's not long for this world. It quotes a fairly reliable source.

TFA is about Yet Another Fine Distro. It seems like there are ten thousand of them now. Choice is good.

So yeah I hope this one's got more than a year left in it.

It seems like just yesterday we were discussung the death of Vista's predecessor XP. How time flies...

Re:Click the link (1)

htnprm (176191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971464)

When you said "It seems like there are ten thousand of them now", I was wondering for a sec if you were being sarcastic in the "Yet Another Fine Distro" bit, but I guess not...Honestly, yet another distro just feels like so much re-inventing the wheel now...

Yet another fine distro (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974118)

Distrowatch [distrowatch.com] is tracking 566 distributions now, 353 of them active.

Linux.org [linux.org] shows 455.

There's a rather long list on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

None of these lists is anywhere near complete or definitive. One of the challenges these days is picking a good distro. Usually people develop a fondness to one family of distributions and stick with it for a single purpose. The thing is that each distribution has its merits and fans. Each one has support forums and repositories and developers. It's a whole ecosystem of operating systems competing for the attention of users. I like the Debian based Ubuntu and its derivative for the desktop but PCLinuxOS spawned from Mandrake seems to have legs these days. It's hard to beat the Knoppix based bootables for recovery, diagnostics and utilities too.

I so much prefer that to an entire ecosystem of malware developers competing to hose my Windows box, and the antithetical software vendors selling cures (mostly snake-oil).

The cool thing about people being free to roll their own distro is that even a little guy can have grand ideas and if he implements them well, kaching! He's got a seller. A few months of good marketing and he can sell services for the rest of his days. If it's good but he loses interest or it doesn't rise to that level, someone will just fold his great ideas into their own distro until it gets absorbed by them all. That's called "progress", and you don't get it from a Windows Distro family like Vista.

Re:How long will this distro be around? (1)

sgbett (739519) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971706)

Surely that makes vista "Windows XP-ME" ?

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971100)

I agree with you, "easy to use" is relative. Grandma's idea of "easy to use" isn't necessarily the same as any of ours. she may only need to browse the internet or play simple games, we O.T.O.H may require Bash to be handy for shell scripts to automate different tasks, to refine things etc. Then if you're reasonably familar with *nix commands it's much simpler to communicate fixes for problems, installing software etc. a single command rather than click* click* click** click more....

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971514)

>> communicate fixes for problems, installing software etc. a single command rather than click* click* click** click more....

Wrong!
It's easier to DICTATE fixes for a problem, not to COMMUNICATE them.

One thing I hate, is when answers to support requests are 5 80-characters bash lines, when a sequence of clicks would suffice. The difference is the one receiving the request who has less fear of breaking things, easier to understand and learn.

"Right click, Properties, select the "Permissions" tab and click over all execute check boxes then OK"

is longer, but much easier to learn and understand than

sudo chmod 755 path of your file

which is just like a chemical formula.

Your example shows the opposite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22973842)

"Right click, Properties, select the "Permissions" tab and click over all execute check boxes then OK"

is longer, but much easier to learn and understand than

sudo chmod 755 path of your file

The exact opposite is true.

The first line is not only longer, but also full of ambiguities and uncertainties. Right click what? What is Properties, where do I find them? Permissions tab? Where do I find that, and what's a tab anyway? What does "click over" mean? Where are those check boxes, and how do I execute them? What's OK?

In contrast, there are no ambiguities in the chmod line. The only variable is the filepath supplied, but if the advice was good then the filepath is correct and there is no uncertainty.

The chmod line constitutes vastly better advice, and the exact command can be recorded for posterity trivially with cut'n'paste or other means. Try doing that with the instructions for clicking --- you'd have to write down the prose, and hope that it gets interpreted correctly later.

Your example was a great one, for showing the exact opposite of what you intended.

Re:Your example shows the opposite (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22973916)

$ sudo chmod 755 path of your file

WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.

[ooh... sounds scary!]

To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

Password:

chmod: path: No such file or directory
chmod: of: No such file or directory
chmod: your: No such file or directory
chmod: file: No such file or directory
$

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971356)

I think that a distinction should be made between being easy to use and being easy to administrate. They are often completely different skills, and the phrasing should reflect this.

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (3, Informative)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971398)

I've found LinuxMint to be fairly easy to use so far, at least as easy as any other distro I've tried (which is all the biggies, 15-20+ over the years). I've tinkered with Linux off an on since 1994 or 1995, but the current iteration of Mint (Daryna, based on Ubuntu and Gnome) is the first distro I've been able to use for everything I do, given my limited linux/UNIX knowledge.

My desktop still dual boots XP pro and Ubuntu, but my laptop, which I use probably 90% of the time, only runs LinuxMint now. Mint does some things well "out of the box" that other distros don't, like play DVDs and work with my wifi card, which are a must if Windows users are to be converted. Yes, it uses some closed-source drivers and stuff, but it is still free and works damn well for some of us. I've even toyed with Virtual Box and installed XP with just to see if it would work. That install went fine, and XP seems to work, even though I was previously unable to install it without the VM because there are no XP drivers for my hardware.

I may be more persistent than the typical user who feels abused by MS, but I honestly believe the current crop of desktop linux distros are getting VERY close to truly becoming Windows replacements. They still aren't "set it and forget it" easy, but they are close, and less fiddling is needed once you have everything set up. I'd love to see a bit of consolidation in the linux community, rather than the ridiculous number of distros we see now, and a focus on hardware compatibility and drivers that install without any hassle. If we get that, anyone will be able to install and use linux.

I hate the phrase "Bluecurve". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22972264)

Pfft! Easy of use is weeding out those ever growing bits of software that's not easy. Modding and mashing all of the easy together to make it more easy. And then maintaining the whole easy in the face of everchanging difficult features and bugfixes.

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22973082)

I discovered linuxmint last month and put it on a Dell D830, which I got from my last job and got to keep, replacing XP. I had tried to put Fedora and Ubuntu, and both copped out on install -- ubuntu wouldn't even load the graphical livecd thing.

Mint did it.

Then it downloaded the firmware for my wireless card and got the nvidia drivers for me.

it played mp3s and dvds out of the box, because they're based out of Ireland and not the US -- and apparently don't feel the need to be all high and mighty on the Ogg Vorbis cross.

The only issues I have with it so far are issues that I'd likely have with ANY version of linux on this particular hardware -- why doesn't "roaming" mode work for my wireless card? I ended up disabling the internal wireless card and buying a pcmcia one -- I wish I had the Intel card internal and not the stupid Dell/Broadcom one...

I convinced a friend to give it a go, and he seems to find it quite spiffy as well. If I were on a better, (ie, more nix friendly -- i mean, I have 2GB of ram and a core 2 duo processor... I'm not hurting by any means), system then I'm sure it would work even better itself.

Of course, if I ever figure out how Debian-based systems actually work under the hood, then that'd be nice... I'm more of a BSD guy, ever since my first UNIX experience with my ISP shell account when I was 12

Tipping point (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974454)

google news [google.com]

If there's a tipping point I would say we're getting pretty close to it.

It would appear "get the facts" backfired.

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971460)

the main problem with the distros that try to be 'easy to use' is that they are usually new and don't have support for many devices or don't work well with them. that's why i find debian, ubuntu, red hat and the other popular distros more easy to use: you install it and it usually finds all your devices and makes use of them perfectly. it's the same thing that makes windows easy to use, extensive testing by developers and/or users. this is obviously going to happen for OSes that have a large user base. so, the only way to make a new successful distro (easy to use or not) is to fork or expand an already popular distro (or sponsor it with a lot of money).

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (1)

haifastudent (1267488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971520)

... the only way to make a new successful distro (easy to use or not) is to fork or expand an already popular distro (or sponsor it with a lot of money).
Ubuntu did both. Seems it's working out well for them: http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major [distrowatch.com]

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972148)

Yeah, that was my point, Ubuntu.

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972326)

Yep, 'easy to use' is simply the distro which you have the best chance to get help with and a popular distro beats a smaller one pretty much all time in that area. And beside that making Linux easier to use doesn't require another distro, it requires *less* distros. This whole distro chaos has been nothing but a big waste of time for Linux in general. There are only very few distros out there that really do something different then the other, for by far most of them it is all the same, they all try to solve the very same problems, just in slightly different and incompatible ways.

I really wouldn't mind if every distro out there died out instantly leaving only a single one left, since for usability and compatibility that would be by far the best that could happen.

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972640)

I would like that too... As long as it's debian or ubuntu the only one left :D. (not trying to start a flame war here, so please don't flame, hmk?)

Re:I hate the phrase "easy to use". (2, Insightful)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971762)

I concur, a similar instance would be the word "authentic" in the food industry. Most people use the word "authentic' to indicate that a meal is prepared similarly to where it would be prepared where the recipe originated. I just don't see how food in a box can be labeled authentic. Any alternate interpretations of the words seem to be redundant in describing the item...
 
Just like the phrase "easy to use", "authentic" seems to be so ambiguous in actual application that it only endures use for sensationalism (unless research backs it up).

Nothing to see here (1, Insightful)

geek (5680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22970990)

Another "easy to use" distro. We have enough of those. Focus your resources on stuff that matters.

Re:Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971184)

The only reason this made Slashdot is that the review is at Linux.com, part of Slashdot's corporate overlord.

Re:Nothing to see here (5, Funny)

tor528 (896250) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971192)

Focus your resources on stuff that matters.
That's how I got fired from my last job.

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

pD-brane (302604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972092)

Another "easy to use" distro. We have enough of those. Focus your resources on stuff that matters.
Why is this a troll when comment 22971278 is Insightful? The content is the same.
Be consistent, mod this Insightful or Interesting.

It's just PClinuxOS (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971002)

Yet another distro. I R-ed the FA, and it seems this is just PCLinuxOS with a different name and a different wallpaper.

Nothing to see here.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (3, Interesting)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971126)

just PCLinuxOS with a different name and a different wallpaper.

Yep. The only interesting thing about this is how it was made.

The LiveCD project is dedicated to providing you with tools to create your own LiveCD from a currently installed Linux distribution. It can be used to create your own distribution, specialised CD, or to put together a demo disk to show off the power of our favourite OS.
http://livecd.berlios.de/
It dramatically lowers the barrier to producing and distributing your own Linux distro.

I suspect we'll be seeing a flood of special-interest Linux distros very shortly. It could be a breeding ground for some interesting innovations.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (4, Insightful)

Pc_Madness (984705) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971130)

Because thats what linux needs, MORE distros. *sigh*

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971136)

thats what linux needs, MORE distros.

It could be a breeding ground for some interesting innovations.
Competition is a fine thing. I like innovation.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971586)

Great. Let's have multiple forks of glibc then! And the kernel! and coreutils!

Look, competition IS good, and freedom of choice IS good when it comes to things like applications. But there's so much diluted effort and inconsistency at the base level of Linux distributions, that it's not even funny.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971932)

Great. Let's have multiple forks of glibc then! And the kernel! and coreutils!

If that's what you want to do, go for it. The beauty of free software is that you're entitled to do what you want with it. Even better, if you make the effort, and produce something of value, that effort will be available to other maintainers to backport to their forks.

The converse of that is that you don't have the right to stop me, Joe Bloggs or Abdul Muhaimin from making our own distros if we so choose. In many cases, our wildcard distros are where the innovation happens, and if it's valuable, it's very promptly ported to the major distros.

If you've followed the leaderboard at http://distrowatch.com/ [distrowatch.com] , you'd know the top 10 list is very stable. Most of the popular distros have been there for years. A stable, well supported operating system is not a good place to experiments - look at Microsoft's recent experiences for a telling example. The fringe distros are where the evolution is happening, and that freedom to experiment is one of the great advantages of the open source model.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (1)

Curien (267780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972242)

Let's have multiple forks of glibc then!

You mean like uClibc [uclibc.org] , klibc [wikipedia.org] , dietlibc [www.fefe.de] , etc?

And the kernel!

You mean like all those various kernel patches people use? Or maybe the BSDs vs Darwin vs Linux vs Solaris?

and coreutils!

You mean like BusyBox [busybox.net] ?

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22972642)

You mean like uClibc, klibc, dietlibc, etc?
None of those are forks of Glibc. They are all C library implementations, and all of the ones you list are minimal implementations aimed at embedded systems.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972842)

Great. Let's have multiple forks of glibc then! And the kernel! and coreutils!
what you mean like the individual distro kernels, each distro is supposed to stabilise their own kernel, sure most of it gets merge upstream, and no major changes are made but its still a fork.

I think inconsistency is a good thing, as an end user, i dont need a gentoo level of controll or a RedHat level of buisness apps, i need something like this or ubuntu. The fact that distros are (on the whole) binary compatible is just a bonus

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (1)

kamathln (1220102) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971536)

GNU/Linux needs more _innovative_ and uniquely integrated distros.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972832)

And your post would be 100% correct if it wasn't sarcasm.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (4, Insightful)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971170)

just PCLinuxOS with a different name and a different wallpaper. Yep. The only interesting thing about this is how it was made.

The LiveCD project is dedicated to providing you with tools to create your own LiveCD from a currently installed Linux distribution. It can be used to create your own distribution, specialised CD, or to put together a demo disk to show off the power of our favourite OS. http://livecd.berlios.de/ [berlios.de]

It dramatically lowers the barrier to producing and distributing your own Linux distro. I suspect we'll be seeing a flood of special-interest Linux distros very shortly. It could be a breeding ground for some interesting innovations.
Fedora, Ubuntu, and most other distributions, and one of my personal favorites ZenWalk, have their own set of tools for easily creating your own liveCD. This is nothing new.

From my experience "easy to use" means: features that get in your way when you try to do real work. Most distributions go down this road and it drives me fucking nuts. If you really want a distro to be easy, focus your attention on getting all the hardware you can to work out of box. Put ndiswrapper on it(I cannot believe how many distros leave this out be default), maybe(ndisGTK too), and just make sure the manual explains how to use it for the people not familiar.

MOD PARENT UP!!! (1)

absurdist (758409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971300)

If I hadn't already commented on this thread, I'd mod you up twice.

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (2, Interesting)

pD-brane (302604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972078)

Put ndiswrapper on it(I cannot believe how many distros leave this out be default), maybe(ndisGTK too), and just make sure the manual explains how to use it for the people not familiar.
Even though I must say that ndiswrapper is a nice tool, I tell people where I install GNU/Linux that their hardware is not supported and they should buy this or that to replace the hardware. On the other hand, why would you want to dispose any hardware? This is two-fold for me.

First, it is proprietary software (i.e. the drivers).

Secondly, is are the drivers maintainable? How good does ndiswrapper work and how do you know that when it works it keeps on working?

Re:It's just PClinuxOS (3, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971286)

I suspect we'll be seeing a flood of special-interest Linux distros very shortly.


Sometimes I've fantasized about making my own mini-distro based on anonymity, hacking and privacy tools . Maybe I'll load it with I2P, Freenet and all that.

This tool to remaster your distribution is a very nice thing to have. It's like having a RAD but for distros.

Also, having read Stallman's book, I consider this tool to be effectively supporting the spirit of software freedom. It's no use if you're *allowed* to make changes to a software and distribute it to others, if the technological barriers are impossible to cross.

I'm forced to agree. (3, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971008)

Easy to use has nothing to do with it. Focus on Application and Hardware support. Easy to use doesn't help you if your applications won't install or some chipset goes unsupported. These people need to work on building the needed applications for the Linux that exists now.

Re:I'm forced to agree. (1)

cscorley (944957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971156)

Yeah, they only thing I don't find easy to use about ANY distro is trying to configure things like wireless drivers, video, or some newer hardware. The rest is all man pages.

Re:I'm forced to agree. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971186)

It depends on how well supported your hardware is, I plan my hardware purchases around Linux support. That really is a case that hardware makers won't either provide working drivers OR give up hardware specs.

Re:I'm forced to agree. (4, Insightful)

Captain DaFt (755254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971196)

"Easy to use has nothing to do with it. Focus on Application and Hardware support. Easy to use doesn't help you if your applications won't install or some chipset goes unsupported. These people need to work on building the needed applications for the Linux that exists now."

Applications and hardware support that "just work" are exactly how I define "ease of use".

The OS is just the part that makes the applications work on the hardware. Ideally, an OS that "just works" means I shouldn't even notice it.

Re:I'm forced to agree. (1)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971214)

In reality though, that never works. Unless we have a great HAL and can somehow foresee future hardware it's impossible. The current situation is that many libraries sit between the application and the OS, and (IMO) this is a good thing.

Re:I'm forced to agree. (1)

DKlineburg (1074921) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971866)

I'm not sure that windows is any better. I bought new hardware, boom my entire system crashes. I ended up having to install keyboard drivers to fix the sound card (they both used USB and conflicted). If that isn't as far from easy to use as you can find, I don't know what you expect. I also ended up being forced to use the wrong sound drivers as well. I use a C-Media on board sound, but to get the mic to work was far from plug the mic in and it works. Windows blew on that one, and I about tore my hair out. I also found that when searching the problem, virtuly everyone with my mother board and hence sound card had same problem. When new hardware comes out, OS is always behind. For a lot of reasons I'm moveing to linux, but I don't know if I consider windows that much "easier" to use with all the problems I have had to deal with over the years. An OS is an OS, and none are easy.

Re:I'm forced to agree. (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22973890)

"The OS is just the part that makes the applications work on the hardware. Ideally, an OS that "just works" means I shouldn't even notice it." Oh yeah! Try to tell that for few people who argue that OS is whole package what is under brand name. Like Ubuntu is Linux based OS because it use kernel named Linux and it's different OS than any other distribution, like Windows 95 and Windows Vista are different OS's. And everything what you install trought package manager (apt, synaptic gui) is part of OS. But if you install something to windows, it's third party application installing and not part of OS because windows does not have package manager. For some people, it's hard to understand that OS is just something between HW and user applications like KDE, GNOME and OpenOffice.org or GIMP.

Based on (2, Informative)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971012)

It is based on PCLinuxOS ("free, easy-to-use Linux-based operating system for the home"), which is based on Mandriva.

Re:Based on (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971232)

Let's see...

RedHat -> Mandrake (Mandriva) -> PCLinuxOS -> Granular

Is this how Linux evolution is supposed to work? I don't know, but as long as forks keep improving the OS quality instead of degrading it, I'm all for it.

Re:Based on (1)

absurdist (758409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971290)

I agree wholeheartedly. So tell me, in detail, how this particular fork improves the OS quality.

Re:Based on (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971298)

Perhaps it does ONE thing that PCLinuxOS doesn't. Let Charles Darwin decide :)

Re:Based on (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 6 years ago | (#22973158)

But before somebody jumps to conclusions, it doesn't use urmpi last I checked, but rather APT.

Texstar was created by a group of people who used to manage RPMs/urmpis for Mandriva.

Re:Based on (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 6 years ago | (#22973910)

If I dont remember wrong, Textar was a person, who made packages for Mandrake (was then it) and then stopped about around when Mandriva name was taked in use. PCLinuxOS really use APT as package manager but still keeps that RPM based package system in use and Mandriva packages should install bretty easy without a glitch. I have PCLinuxOS on this laptop and I like it but Mandriva 2008 Spring (2008.1) is much better than PCLinuxOS (Or Ubuntu!).

Just read the review... (1, Informative)

absurdist (758409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971014)

...and that was five minutes of my life I'll never get back.

Re:Just read the review... (0, Offtopic)

absurdist (758409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971108)

To whoever modded me troll, care to elaborate on WTF makes this distro so special that you'd waste mod points defending it? I'm quite serious. All I saw was yet another half-baked attempt to start yet another derivative distribution rather than doing anything new or different. It wouldn't even recognize the reviewer's sound card, for Gods' sake.

Re:Just read the review... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971194)

replace granular linux with whatever OS you personally defend and tell me if what you said is trolling or not. they're not so much defending a fledgling distro as they are being consistent. had this been a ubuntu, debian, mac, windows, bsd etc. tehy's still modded you a troll.

Re:Just read the review... (1)

absurdist (758409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971204)

Sorry, but I don't defend any distro. I use them. For real work. Currently I use Desktop BSD, Mint, Kubuntu, and Puppy - lots of Puppy. So once again, I ask you, what makes this particular distro so special that i should waste my time on it? Oh, wait, I have. Didn't recognize my video, sound, or wireless out of the box. And it's superior why again?

Re:Just read the review... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971776)

Jeez, let it go already. The review didn't say it was superior, only that is was sorth a look.

Re:Just read the review... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971268)

So you didn't like the review, or the distro? Because thanks to the review you found out that the distro is not for you. Well, that's what reviews are for, DOH! Besides, the review was clear into saying that it's a preview install. Like beta. The title didn't say "install it, it's the best!". It says it's "worth a look".

If the distro's makers ignore the bug reports, well, then it will die. But all distros start with a fork and a small community (and a small repository). Only time will tell if it improves or dies. And if Granular doesn't die, this could help Windows users migrate - just like I did: It was a Linux.com review of PCLinuxOS that made me take "a look" at it. Because of that, I decided to leave Windows.

PCLinuxOS (and therefore Granular) hardware support isn't certainly the best, taking into account that they ship with the 2.6.22.15 version of the kernel. But it's still the distro I use, and I'm fond of it because it succeeded at what Ubuntu failed: Convince me to switch.

Finally, I agree with whoever modded you troll. The mod was not to defend the distro, but the review. Unless you prefer censorship than freedom of information.

Re:Just read the review... (0, Flamebait)

absurdist (758409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971284)

Give me a fucking break. I never said anything about censoring their distro. Or anything like it. I said I don't see what the fucking point is. If they put their effort into improving another distro, I might see the point. What I see here is an exercise in masturbation - "Hey, we've taken yet another distro and added our own startup screens to it!!! Cool, huh?!?!" YMMV.

Re:Just read the review... (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971316)

From Granular's wiki:

Ideology behind the project

The main idea behind the birth of the project, was to redefine the application set included in PCLinuxOS to some extent and to introduce the idea of having more than one major desktop environment on a single LiveCD. The latter idea was implemented in the second version release of Granular, version 0.25.


Now that's an idea worth considering. Many distributions are married to their desktop environment: We have ubuntu with Gnome, and Kubuntu with KDE. PCLinuxOS comes with KDE, and there's a Gnome remaster of it.

Granular takes a different approach: Make the distro desktop-environment-agnostic, and let the user decide - right from the CD. No package downloading required.

I don't see how this is a bad thing.

Re:Just read the review... (1)

absurdist (758409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971350)

So are you saying that if you're running Ubuntu you can't d/l the Gnome packages and boot from either environment" Or vice-versa from Kubuntu? Or similar with PCLinuxOS? Not to mention Xubuntu, Fluxubuntu, etc...? Other than having the packages available on the CD (or DVD... if you really try to be desktop agnostic you're going to be D/Ling one hell of a lot of packages just to burn the disk), once again, what is the advantage to this particular distro?

Re:Just read the review... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971380)

Apparently it's the ability to get people to waste their time talking about it.

Re:Just read the review... (1)

absurdist (758409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971388)

Bravo, sir. :)

It attempts to be easy to use? (2, Funny)

arrenlex (994824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971016)

As opposed to all the other Linux distros which try to be hard to use?

Re:It attempts to be easy to use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971094)

I take it you've never tried Slackware.

Re:It attempts to be easy to use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971212)

Slackware -- The distro that says, "FUCK USABILITY!"

Re:It attempts to be easy to use? (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971786)

Oh, I never heard the last four syllables; that makes a little more sense.

KDE (4, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971028)

Its a KDE-oriented distro. I am not sure that releasing a new distro based on KDE in the current climate is a good idea. Don't get me wrong, KDE-4 is shaping up to be great (and backports and development on KDE-3 are still occurring), but what separates this distribution from any other KDE-3*-based distro?

Re:KDE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971090)

but what separates this distribution from any other KDE-3*-based distro?

Nothing

USB-based Live OS's: FaunOS and PuppyLinux (2, Informative)

1 a bee (817783) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971036)

I haven't tried this distro, but will give it a shot. Talking new distros, especially live ones, I've been playing with FaunOS [faunos.com] , a Linux-based live system for USBs. It's based on Arch, and its pretty damn fast. The other USB based distro that I've tried Puppy Linux [puppylinux.org] is better if you want to run old hardware, or don't have enough RAM; but I find FaunOS just more complete. Anyone else out there booting from USB?

Re:USB-based Live OS's: FaunOS and PuppyLinux (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971144)

I boot Slax from my USB drive to log in on my school's router. It works relatively fast and looks neat. And it's based on Slackware, which is my favorite. Then again, I don't have any older PCs to test it out - I run it on my brand-new laptop.

Re:USB-based Live OS's: FaunOS and PuppyLinux (1)

absurdist (758409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971220)

Nobody likes pretentious electronica. Particularly us drunks.

Re:USB-based Live OS's: FaunOS and PuppyLinux (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22973318)

Too bad nobody modded you "-1 offtopic drunk dumbass".

Re:USB-based Live OS's: FaunOS and PuppyLinux (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971452)

I agree... Slax FTW! or at least when it comes to USB drives. It's the little distro that could.
But really, I'd rather have Debian on a USB.

Re:USB-based Live OS's: FaunOS and PuppyLinux (1)

sensei moreh (868829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971974)

Happy Puppy Linux user here - FaunOS is a bit too heavy for my old USB sticks

Re:USB-based Live OS's: FaunOS and PuppyLinux (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972082)

FaunOS looks interesting, especially because Puppy and Damn Small Linux (handy as they are) are rather limited.
Thanks for the useful post, I'll give it a shot.

Granular isn't worth my time to download, despite the Slashvertisement.

Re:USB-based Live OS's: FaunOS and PuppyLinux (1)

Cato (8296) | more than 6 years ago | (#22976596)

I've been testing Puppy and Damn Small Linux (DSL, http://damnsmalllinux.org/ [damnsmalllinux.org] ) recently on a Thinkpad 560 with 96 MB RAM. Both are well optimised for booting from flash drives. Even if you have a PC that won't boot from Flash normally, you can still use Flash either with a boot floppy (WakePup for Puppy, DSL Boot USB for DSL), or with a Compact Flash card if it's a laptop - this appears as an IDE disk even to the BIOS, typically. Compact Flash should be faster than a USB drive and it's very easy to get a CF to PCMCIA connector (try hdparm -tT /dev/sdX1 to test read speeds).

Both work very fast - Puppy is better for Windows refugees who haven't yet learnt much about Linux, and is a bit more fragmented (it has 3 software installation mechanisms, some by the community and one by the author), and seemed less stable (only the package installation process though). The forums are very active but hosted on a slow server, and the Wiki is not too complete. Generally I found it hard to get the best information as there are many related websites that each have part of the story, but Puppy is very impressive and is particularly good on flash drives. Puppy has many different variants as well as the official ones, which can make it hard to work out which one to use, but that shows it has a very active community. However there is only one core developer.

DSL feels slicker in some ways but has less eye candy - it uses Knoppix hardware detection, which is of course excellent, although in my case I had to play with settings to get X11 to work. You can even use apt-get (with some limitations) to install Debian Woody. It works very well on Flash drives (USB or CF) - as with Puppy and many other live CDs, you can do a 'frugal' install in which a single file hosts a loop filesystem, minimising the writes to the Flash and thus improving lifetime of your Flash drive (a big issue as a given flash drive 'erase block' lasts only 10,000 to 100,000 writes). Like Puppy, it has a good mechanism for automatically saving your configuration and other RAM disk based state into the flash drive, though Puppy is slightly more automatic. Also, DSL includes vim by default, and is more focused on good command line tools as well as GUI tools, e.g. you can easily upgrade from BusyBox tools to GNU tools. Puppy tries to do everything through the GUI, so the vi sucks (actually e3vi, a very incomplete emulation).

Basically, if you are a Linux newbie, use Puppy, but if you know a little more about Linux already, use DSL. Since each distro will take quite a lot of configuration and learning about how it does things (quite different to Fedora or Ubuntu), it's best to choose the one you feel most comfortable with for longer term.

Granular Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22971078)

It goes against the grain!
/badpun

News for nerds? (4, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971278)

Maybe an announcement of the first version of Slackware was. Perhaps radically different distributions like Gentoo. But for the life of me I can't understand why another ordinary desktop disto is on the front page.

Re:News for nerds? (1)

jw3 (99683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971306)

Hey, that is such an exceptional story -- a distribution that aims at user friendliness and fails to achieve it. I have never seen anything like that before! ;-)

January

Re:News for nerds? (0, Offtopic)

sickboy1969c (982258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972354)

Maybe an announcement of the first version of Slackware was. Perhaps radically different distributions like Gentoo. But for the life of me I can't understand why another ordinary desktop disto is on the front page.
Aren't all stories on the front page at some point?? Something to do with the nature of the aggregator or some other nonsense...?

Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

jw3 (99683) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971294)

"Its primary goals are to be easy to use and user-friendly (...) Upon booting the Granular live CD ISO with the default settings my test PC, which uses an old ATI Rage 128 video card, the system froze at the loading screen. A quick reboot and selection of safe VESA settings solved this problem with no fuss."

Come on. Am I the only one to think that the above is funny?

January

Re:Ridiculous (1)

26199 (577806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971660)

The concept of any computer being "easy to use" was thrown out of the window (no pun intended) a long, long time ago.

Now I think the aim is "possible to use given enough sweat and blood".

Unfortunately even this is unattainable in many cases...

Maybe as OSes get smarter and hardware gets more standardised the problems will ease, but if the focus stays on "cool features"/"fast games"/"cheap+fast hardware" ... it may take a while.

Re:Ridiculous (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22974864)

The entire quote FTFA:

"Upon booting the Granular live CD ISO with the default settings my test PC, which uses an old ATI Rage 128 video card, the system froze at the loading screen. A quick reboot and selection of safe VESA settings solved this problem with no fuss. Considering I can no longer get this card to work properly under Windows, I count it as a blessing when it runs under Linux. This is another example of how Linux breathes life into old hardware."

Nice cherry picking.

Easy to use (3, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971308)

Doesn't support hardware=hard to use.

Easy to use is nothing new (2, Insightful)

Lavene (1025400) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971376)

I can't remember the last time I saw a mainstream distro that was actually hard to *use*. Some have been hard to set up, or hard to get working properly... but hard to *use*?

Click on some menu button, find your program, run your program. Where the menu button is located, how it's shaped and what it looks like does not matter.

As a self proclaimed nerd I would like to see a linux distro that actually did something revolutionary. Anyone can take a base distro, dress it up and make it into a LiveCD. It's nothing new in that, it's nothing exciting in that and it's nothing remotely interesting in that.

Give me a few hours and I'll make "Lavenix". An easy to use LiveCD with a package selection perfect for everyone that's... well... just like me :P

Re:Easy to use is nothing new (3, Insightful)

thefekete (1080115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971416)

Second that.

I can't say I tried this distro (or read TFA for that matter), but I've been on ubuntu for the last 3 years and I don't see any reason to switch. The main reason is the documentation. At this point I could probably be compiling custom kernels and installing all my software from source with every configuration tweaked out, but I need to get some work done. Ubuntu is my choice because of it's large user base, period.

With that comes a lot of people trying to do a lot of things. And chances are that someone already tried to do what I am, and they wrote about it to boot.

The more documentation and fewer hardware issues there are, combined with alternative or ports to those high demand apps, the faster people will be dropping winturd in the circular filing cabinet.

Re:Easy to use is nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22972728)

As a self proclaimed nerd I would like to see a linux distro that actually did something revolutionary.
You'll never see anything revolutionary from Linux distributions these days. If you want something new you'll have to take a look at other OSes such as Syllable [syllable.org] , Haiku [haiku-os.org] or ReactOS [reactos.org]

Classic (5, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971448)

I read the article and gave up when he couldn't install his audio hardware and was switching between OSS and ALSA (neither acronym did he explain). Normal basic user guy would never get passed that point, never. Easy to use? Maybe, but as shown in the article only for the people who always used to think a few tens of lines into the command line were easy.

Just what we needed... (1)

mshmgi (710435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971784)

Another Linux Distro! Thank goodness, I was starting to feel like I was running out of options.

Seriously folks, 64 Distributions should be enough for anybody.

But does Wifi work out of the box? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22971978)

If you have to manually setup Wifi with all that driver mapping crap, then it's still not friendly enough.

Forget Granular I need a GRAN-Friendly linux (1)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972094)

Many linux distros claim to be "easy", and they are, if you are at least moderately computer literate. What I am looking for however is a truly Gran friendly Linux distro, for the quite elderly (who have done all the learning they will be doing, and will forget everything you teach them in about 1/2 an hour anyway and the just terminally stupid. Ultra, mega, hyper simple. A desktop of about 5 buttons "Mail" "Search" "Chat" "Write" "Pictures" Only one way to do anything, a simple way, in fact, one mouse button. No guess work. Like a mac, only even more restricted, locked down, and simple.

The big question is (1)

assertation (1255714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972200)

Granular is shooting to be an easy to use Linux distribution. The big question is, what will it do that Ubuntu isn't?

Why not just use Debian network edition? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972598)

I think the network edition is about 140mb, then you just apt-get whatever you need. Seems to be the same idea.

I went to download (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22972834)

and it served me a 0 byte ISO. If that's not easy to use, I don't know what is!

I no longer know what "easy to use" means (2, Insightful)

srobert (4099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22973872)

In 1996, I picked up as Slackware distro and started playing around with it. Since then, I've installed or used Red Hat, Suse, Debian, Ubuntu, etc., and built Linux from Scratch systems several times. Now I'd have to work closely with a novice to get any insight into what "easy to use" means. If I worked with novices accustomed to Macs, PC's, or who were completely unfamiliar with computers, I'd bet they'd all have different ideas about what it means.

we have reached the point... (2, Interesting)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22974646)

We have now reached a point where "Easy to Use" is no longer an issue and specialization (i was looking forward to Undead Linux but they went away). There are more and more distros/sub-distros that are providing more and more specific customizations out of the box. These distros are not for people who have using linux for years, they are for people who just want to use their computer without having to work at it. This can be easily done with linux and on their OLD computers. I have converted a few people starting with just FOSS, then when they too easily get their windows systems compromised I show them Mint, Mepis, Linspire, Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubunt/Edubuntu, and yes I have checked out Granular, it is nice. Most people just want to go on web, get their email, watch videos, play games, type a document. And any of the distros out there allow this with little or no fuss.

Granular = Fedora? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22976050)

Granular Linux => PCLinuxOS => Mandriva Linux => Red Hat Linux

Why the cascade?
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