Featured Comments: Week of 2014 October 19

This post is delayed (I would usually put it up on Sunday) because I was out of town for the last few days. There was one post that got a handful of comments, so I'll repost most of those.

Review: Scientific Linux 7.0 GNOME

Reader Admiral Vinogradov said, "It is no longer a CERN project; it is now a Fermilab thing. Unpleasant news and that's where my interest in the distro ended."
An anonymous commenter responded with the following clarification: "From Cern's pages (link at end): What is Scientific Linux (SL) ? SL is a Linux release put together by Fermilab, CERN, and various other labs and universities around the world. And Scientific Linux CERN (SLC) ? SLC is an SL variant that is built on top of the genuine SL and it is tailored to integrate within the CERN computing environment. - http://linux.web.cern.ch/linux/scientific.shtml"
Another anonymous reader said, "[...] My experience with SL7 is entirely positive. I agree however that many packages are not availabe. But I compiled octave , pari-gp, maxima, ecl without any problem. Packages like smplayer and audacity I also had to compile from source. [...]"
Yet another anonymous commenter had this suggestion: "Given that SL is largely (minor tweaks and branding changes aside) a recompile of RHEL, the problems you encountered may very well stem from upstream and not SL per se. (It would be interesting for you to test CentOS 7 - if you haven't done so already - and see if you have the same problems.) Also, while historically SL used to be a scientific-customised version of RHEL (e.g. including scientific packages), the trend in recent releases (SL6, SL7) has been to keep closer to RHEL and have any additional packages be installed from optional repos. CentOS, meanwhile, now that they are under the umbrella of RH, will actually be deviating MORE from RHEL - including updated packages, etc. And, since SL follows RH's new extended lifecycle, if SL7 isn't for you then you can keep using SL6 until 2020-11-30 (a full six years from now)."

Thanks to all those who commented on that post. Again, now that I am halfway through my first semester in graduate school, things are busy enough that my posts will be rather infrequent (though I will try not to let a month go by without posting something or the other). In any case, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!


Review: Scientific Linux 7.0 GNOME

It has been a while since I have done a review (almost 3 months, in fact). It has been significantly longer since I have looked at Scientific Linux (over 3 years, in fact). Given that, I figured it might be worthwhile to make this review about Scientific Linux 7.0. I'm just glad that I did it before the time elapsed for something else to come up (around 3 minutes, in fact — OK, I just made that one up to match the other statements).

Main Screen
For those who aren't familiar or don't remember, Scientific Linux is a derivative of Red Hat Enterprise Linux which is meant to make installation of scientific computing software easier (though such software may not necessarily be included right away). That said, a lot has changed in the last 3 years. Most notably, CentOS, the "community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux" (I realize there may be some technical distinctions but I won't go into them), has now come under the purview of Red Hat. This means Scientific Linux's role could have the potential to shift a bit in the near future (or it might not, who knows). Even with that aside, there are 3 years of software changes to look at in Scientific Linux, so I'm doing that now. I tried it by writing the live DVD ISO file to my USB drive using UnetBootin. Follow the jump to see what it's like.