Smoothwall Firewall project

Monday 31 October 2011

Using the lightweight Fedora LXDE desktop for snappier Virtual machines

While having a look at Fedora 16 beta within Virtualbox virtualization software, I decided to use a more lightweight desktop environment.

Over the last couple of years as hardware has improved the desktop systems that sit on top of X windows have started to become more complex and powerful, but as a side effect have become resource intensive, which is not ideal for virtual machines.

There are many great different types of lightweight desktop environments, but one that is now supported by all the main distributions is LXDE.

Fedora 16 installation was a breeze - though I recommend upgrading Virtualbox to version 4.1.4 before you start for better support.

The lighter desktop has indeed made a massive improvement over speed and repsonsiveness to the Gnome 3 shell I installed on the Fedora 15 image I tested.

The menus and layout my be a little legacy for some, and perhaps for everyday use, but when most of the time is spent in a terminal widow, that is not the end of the world.

Here is a snap of the initial machine once installed.

There are many new features in this release of Fedora, including the latest 3.1 kernel, deltarpms with presto , the use of systemd instead of the now very old SysV daemon management & control and the use of specifically locked ethernet hardware to configuration definitions - so you see p2p1 instead of eth0 for instance.

The final release is only a few days aways, and for people who like cutting edge open source software Fedora is a good choice.

Give it a try and see what you think.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

The FUD used against Linux , really annoys me

If you are not familiar with the term FUD, it stands for Fear, Uncertainty and doubt, which are more commonly described as lies in technical circles. They are used by marketing people to stop people using others products, just in case.

Over the years I have seen this tactic used many times by large corporations to scare companies into buying their product's, but none have used it more often and more perniciously than Microsoft.

Well, they have tried everything against Linux, and have told lies by the bucket load, yet still the system gains market share, where today you can almost guarantee that if you go somewhere on the web, the server powering that site will be Linux.

I have also used it on my laptops for years, and this summer on holiday put it through it's paces , but taking it with me to do some work while on the road in Spain. It never missed a beat. Every little dusty side street eating house that offered WIFI, I could connect to, I could do whatever I needed, whenever I needed, without fail. The one device that did let me down on occasion was my iPad, rarely, but it did.

So the facts are Ubuntu Linux on my Dell laptop 100% success, Apple iPad 98% success.

I love my iPad, so I'm not making some cheap point about it , but a fact is a fact.

So the next time someone tells you something about Linux, do some research and find out the facts. Linux is not perfect, but then neither are any of the systems offered, but Linux is free and you can laways help make it better.

Less FUD, and more facts please.

Here is a link to try it for yourself.

Ubuntu Linux