Featured Comments: Week of 2012 March 18

There was no "Featured Comments" post last week as there were no comments on the previous week's posts. This past week, there was one post that got a few comments, so I will repost all of those.

Review: Cinnamon 1.4

Reader Sean Lynch said, "This is a great review of Cinnamon. Not finding gnome-terminal in /usr/bin is strange. That's where mine is and I did a standard install of mint 12 from the DVD. Have you tried 'sudo apt-get install gnome-terminal'? I would only disagree with one thing you wrote: 'Cinnamon is a new desktop shell for GNOME 3 that aims to emulate either the standard GNOME 2 desktop or the usual Linux Mint-based GNOME 2 desktop' Reading the Cinnamon site and what Clem has written, I think that this isn't too accurate. I believe that Cinnamon is just an alternate to Gnome 3 shell, not a re-implementation of Gnome 2. Cinnamon will never be an exact clone of Gnome 2, but it will be a better Gnome 3. Gnome 2 left a lot to be desired when it was released. It took over a year for it to get to be reasonably configurable and even then it never was as configurable as Gnome 1.4. I'm hoping that about 1 year from now Cinnamon will be pretty nice. I've been using Cinnamon since 1.1 and the stability has increased amazingly. I think that the releases before 1.4 should have been pre-releases with 1.4 as the first stable release. Now, hopefully, more functionality will come. Thanks again, and good luck finding that terminal!"
An anonymous commenter had this suggestion: "@PV in your reviews can you please check if network-manager , modem-manager & mobile-broadband are included so that if we don't have a hard line or use modems or phones we are not w/o internet".
Another anonymous reader had this hypothesis: "Solusos USB boots if written using unetbootin in Linux. May be you were trying in Virtualbox. I am able to use it and it works great." (It was a good guess, but I wasn't trying to create the live USB system from within a VM.)

Thanks to all those who commented on this past week's posts. This coming week, I am on spring break (and I am back home safely), so I will definitely be free to write stuff, but I can't think of anything that I might write about now, so hopefully I can think of something. In any case, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!


Review: Cinnamon 1.4

This was actually going to be a preview of SolusOS, both because I wanted to do it and because a commenter had requested it. Unfortunately, MultiSystem refused to write SolusOS to the USB, while SolusOS was unbootable after being written to the USB by UnetBootin. Hence, I could not try it out. Instead, I am trying out Cinnamon 1.4.

Cinnamon Menu
A few months ago, I reviewed Linux Mint 12 "Lisa" with GNOME 3/Shell. Although it used GNOME 3/Shell, it tried to make it better through the Mint GNOME Shell Extensions (MGSE). At that time, I said that while MGSE was a valiant effort to make GNOME 3/Shell more usable, I would rather just use MATE. Well, since then, the Linux Mint developers have ditched MGSE entirely in favor of GNOME 3/Cinnamon. Cinnamon is a new desktop shell for GNOME 3 that aims to emulate either the standard GNOME 2 desktop or the usual Linux Mint-based GNOME 2 desktop, depending upon the user. It also aims to make GNOME 3 a lot more configurable.

Last week, I wrote a post about how I would transform MATE into something that I already use on a daily basis, but I also mentioned that I should withhold judgment about Cinnamon until after actually trying it. Well, I am trying it now to see if it could do a reasonably good job of replacing my preferred GNOME 2 desktop setup. Follow the jump to see what it is like. I tested this on a live USB session of Ubuntu MATE Remix made with MultiSystem.


How-To: Get My Desktop with MATE in Ubuntu

Installing MATE Patches
Finally, the busiest part of my week is over, and I have time to write this. Anyway, Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin" is getting ever closer to its final release, and that means Linux Mint 13 LTS "M[...]a" will be released soon afterwards as well. That version of Linux Mint will ship with the GNOME 3/Cinnamon and MATE DEs. I haven't tried Cinnamon for myself yet, so I will reserve judgment until later, but from what I can see, it looks like a pretty nice way to have a Linux Mint-style GNOME 2 interface in GNOME 3.

That said, there is always the possibility that I will not be able to get used to Cinnamon. In that case, I have essentially been exploring a contingency plan in the form of customizing MATE to act as closely as possible to my current GNOME 2 desktop on Linux Mint 9 LTS "Isadora", and I would like to share that here. Follow the jump to see what I did. I did this all in the live USB session of an Ubuntu remix made as a MATE live session.


Featured Comments: Week of 2012 March 4

There was no "Featured Comments" post last week because there were no comments on that week's posts. There was one post from this past week that got one comment, so I will repost that one.

Review: MadBox 11.10

Reader DarkDuck suggested, "Another option for those who wants to have OpenBox on top of Ubuntu could be SalentOS."

Thanks to that reader for commenting on the post this past week. This coming week, I hope to have either a review or a how-to guide posted, but that really depends on my schedule because I anticipate being quite busy this week. In any case, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!


Review: MadBox 11.10

I've reviewed MadBox once before. That was version 10.10, and I reviewed it for Tech Drive-in that time. I concluded that it was a great replacement for #! for those who were disappointed by its move away from Ubuntu.

Main Screen
MadBox is an Ubuntu-based Openbox distribution that aims to be user-friendly as well. In essence, it is the successor to #! for the Ubuntu base. Development on MadBox and related applications like ADeskBar seemed to have ceased after version 10.10, but a few months ago (though I only found out about it a few weeks ago) a new version based on Ubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" was released, coinciding with the unveiling of a new website for the distribution.

I tested this version using a live USB made with MultiSystem. Because this is Ubuntu-based, I tested neither the installation process nor the installation of programs like Skype and Google Talk because I know those will work. This is essentially just a quick overview of what's inside and what works/does not work out-of-the-box. If you want more details, I would like to refer you to my previous review linked above. Follow the jump to see what has changed in a year.


Review: Bridge Linux 2012.2 Xfce + KDE + GNOME

On my recent review of KahelOS, Dr.Saleem Khan, a regular commenter on reviews here, suggested that I try out Bridge Linux, as it is supposed to be even better and easier to use than KahelOS. That piqued my interest, so I am trying it out now.

Xfce: Main Screen + Xfce Right-Click Menu
Bridge Linux seems to be a fairly new player on the field. Its website is quite sparse; there is not even an "About" section describing the purpose of this distribution. But it has editions with GNOME, KDE, and Xfce, so I am trying each of those now.

I tested each of the three editions using a multiboot live USB made with MultiSystem. Only one of the editions will get the full barrage of testing; the other two will get basically an overview of what is included, what works, and what does not work. I tested the installation of one of the editions in a VirtualBox VM in a Xubuntu 11.10 "Oneiric Ocelot" host with 1024 MB of RAM, 128 MB of video memory, and 3D graphics acceleration allocated to the guest OS. Follow the jump to see whether Bridge Linux can bridge the divide between new users and Arch Linux, as it claims.