June 2th Meeting Linux Mint 11 Fedora 15

We had a good meeting with 10 members including one new attendee. Clint led off his presentations with a page from ZD Net Fedora 15 Five Best Features where the writer leads off with comment's on Linux Mint 11, Ubuntu 11.04, and Fedora 15. He first writes from somewhat of an elitist viewpoint "If you’re ... a user who wants an easy-to-use desktop Linux, I recommend Mint 11." He also writes that if you want "something that’s easy to pick up and use, I think you should give Ubuntu 11.04 a try." He's obviously not used 11.04. And then he concludes "if you’re a Linux expert, and want to explore the outer limits of what’s possible with Linux, then Red Hat’s new Fedora 15 Linux is the distribution for you." Did I say an elitist? His Five Best Features were not worthy of mentioning here as they are not what I would consider the "best features, but I digress and Fedora 15, while not something I would recommend to a new user at this time, doesn't require the talents of an expert user to use either. Linux Mint 11 is the second most popular download in the Distrowatch stats and climbing, right below the #1 download which is Ubuntu at this time. Linux Mint 11 is an "install and go" operating system which means that once installed, it is ready to use, more ready to use than even Windows, as it comes with everything preinstalled which includes a full LibreOffice productivity suite and everything you need to play your favorite DVD's and CD's as well use the Internet and Mail. Linux Mint 11 is built on the latest Ubuntu 11.04 Classic which means you get all the improvements and new features in that version which includes windows snap, embedded scrollbars, Alt-F2 run box, Banshee integration and Firebox 4.0.1. Add to that the improvements from Linux Mint such as updated Software Manager and Update Manager along with an improved Backup Tool. Clint had Linux Mint 11 installed in a virtual machine where he spent about a half an hour demonstrating it. He also handed out a 3 page paper he had written about Linux Mint 11 for the Idaho PC users Group extolling all that is wonderful about Linux Mint 11. Clint then closed down Linux Mint 11 which he had running on top of Fedora 15 Linux and its new Gnome 3 desktop. Clint started off by squelching much of the criticism of the Gnome 3 desktop in that it is significantly different than Gnome 2 or any other desktop or that it is difficult to use. Clint affirmed that it is different but really no different that if you were moving from Window to Mac or Gnome to KDE and once you get used to working with it, it is very easy to use and he likes it. During the preparation of tonight's presentation, he found it very easy to use and move about multiple open applications on the desktop as he jumped from his notepad, keeping notes of everything, the browser, multiple websites he was using as references, and a couple terminal windows where he was doing a lot of package installations. He then gave a tour of the desktop including the launcher, activities function, applications, workspace display, and the top panel. One thing he really liked over Ubuntu 11.04 was being able to easily select a group of applications instead of the default "all" list which one would have to scroll through. It should be noted that Fedora 15 Linux also has many of the new features of Ubuntu 11.04 including the Alt-F2 run command window and window snap (similar to Windows Aero Snap as implemented by Microsoft). One real impediment to recommending Fedora 15 Linux to a new user or a typical desktop user is what Fedora 15 doesn't come with, not even a minimal installation of LibreOffice, or even something as basic as the wget command line tool. Clint showed the default application list and there isn't a very much there other than system stuff plus Firefox 4.0.1 and Evolution and he suspects that Evolution was installed as it is used by Fedora 15's new calendar applet in the display panel. Clint mentioned how he spent about 4 hours installing and configuring (up until midnight the previous night) his desktop for the presentation and what he learned in the process. Fedora 15 Linux is so new, there is not a lot of help out there in doing the post install configuration. Clint did find and use the Fedora 15 Post Installation Guide for Perfect Desktop by Ranjith Siji but even there were some inconsistencies. To get around those inconsistencies, Clint recommended the following install order to get things off the ground including configuring the repositories first and installing Java which is needed by LibreOffice: rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-rawhide.noarch.rpm rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm rpm -Uvh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release.rpm rpm -Uvh http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux Install Java: yum install group java Clint commented on using yum install to install .rpm files from the command line as opposed to the traditional rpm -Uvh method. yum install [package].rpm takes advantage of the full yum capabilities including dependency checking and all the details on the process. It was while using yum install for winetricks (rpm had to be manual downloaded) that it was discovered that wget was missing and was installed as a dependency for winetricks. He also commented on the "group" function of yum where Fedora has defined a number of install groups of packages which can be installed simply with yum install group [group name] command. As part of his presentation, Clint demonstrated the Ailurus application which is similar to Ubuntu Tweek which you can use to install applications, check out your hardware, configure repositories among other things. Besides using the Alt-F2 for the run box, our new attendee Rob mentioned that if you hold the Alt key down when logging off, you will get the option to power down instead. In closing, Clint commented on Gnome 3 and applications. He noted that he had installed .rpm's from Fedora 13 and 14 cleanly and without any issues. He also commented on how he found every application that he was currently using on Ubuntu and was able to find it available in Fedora 15 simply by using the yum install [application] command and that his 4 hours resulted in a very sweet Gnome 3 desktop. One additional web resource that Clint had found just prior to the meeting is the Perfect Linux Desktop Fedora 15 Lovelock: Post Install Guide from hackourlife.com which was only posted on June 1st. which also may be useful in building your Fedora 15 Linux Desktop. There is also a cheat-sheet available now for the Gnome 3 Shell. We then spent the the remaining 45 minutes in a quick look at Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Nawhal Unity Desktop and an extended discussion on wireless routers including a high power Wireless Repeater available on eBay for about $40 plus shipping that uses the Linksys WRT54G2 router and flashed with code from DD-WRT. We talked about how DD-WRT works to turn an inexpensive router into a very powerful, full featured device that can be used as a bridge or as a repeater as well as a router. One member commented that you need to be careful with using DD-WRT as you can potentially destroy the router you are installing it on and also while DD-WRT supports many different routers there a many that are not and you need to check the DD-WRT list to make sure your router is support, specifically the version number, and which download to use as well as the instructions. http://www.dd-wrt.com Thanks to all who attended, a very good meeting. At the close of the meeting, Clint did put out a plea for a presenter or topic for the July 7th meeting or it maybe just an open meeting with nothing planned...