Monday, August 4, 2008

Desktop Linux Distributions | Expectations of a home user

Here is my fresh article, which can be read at Raiden`s Realm too.

Desktop Linux Distribution is getting fame in every day use among home users and even office users. Given the choice to select from a huge list of Desktop Linux Distributions home users are ought to get confused and it`s not unusual that they do distro-hopping in the quest of what is so called "the best" for them.

I have discussed these issues on various occasions in my previous articles and I still believe that home users need a clear demarcation of what they are looking for when they select a desktop Linux for their home and office needs.

There might be many reasons according to everybody`s own desires and requirements leading to a home user`s selection of a Linux distribution but I am highlighting those which I have learned with my own quest of a desktop Linux distribution and I consider them of the factual importance.

Rock Solid Stability

Nothing can be literally and truly "rock solid" in Linux world or in that case in any other operating system but this is the only thing that really matters when a desktop Linux is selected. The notion of "latest and greatest" might sound appealing but home user needs stability more than the latest softwares on a desktop Linux. Well tested, bugs free softwares with stable and a fully functional system is of utmost importance. Frequent crashes, packages failures or popping up bugs are both annoying and hush away home users who are trying to adopt to something different that their traditional operating systems they had before.

Well Populated Repositories

Give me a base system, an APT and a large pool of well tested, stable packages and updates and I am all happy with a desktop Linux distribution. I remember occasions when I could not find some package in one distribution's repositories and found it on another distribution and vice versa. I know it takes great resources and lots of hard work to have a huge and well maintained repository for a desktop Linux distribution but I personally believe that it is really mandatory.

Hardware Compatibility

One of the major reason that distracts away a home user from one to another Linux distribution is lack of compatibility with common or in some cases a special hardware. This is indeed a huge task for the developers of Linux distributions to test and make sure that their distribution works flawlessly with every hardware available in the market. All major Linux distributions are offering full support for common hardware but still home users sometimes complain about support for some of their hardware at forums and IRC support rooms.


For a beginner home user a preconfigured desktop Linux distribution with all the commonly used packages installed sounds a working idea so that they don`t have to worry about how and where to get them. But for a seasoned home user a base system only with full control over the customization according to one own needs is the best policy to be adopted by the Linux distributions projects. Open Source gives a huge variety of options and choices and I feel the home user should be allowed the choice to get whatever they like e.g. Abiword in place of Open Office. I am a true fan of "remasterme "option offered and fully working by PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu projects. I personally feel that if I want any control over my system, I would ask for how can I back up my custom made system with even my personal favorites and wallpapers. I wish we have such back up and remasterme system on all major desktop distribution e.g. Debian GNU/Linux and Fedora.

Desktop Linux Beautification

This is the least important aspect that one has to consider as a desktop Linux user but since home users are not technical people they should be given abundance of beautification options for their chosen distributions so that home computing is both fun and ease. Beautification also includes desktop environments and the home users need a provision to get a working desktop environment from repositories along with the one already installed by default. I remember having problem getting open box on PCLinuxOS even though the packages were available from repositories but they never worked. I was forced to get Tinyme just because the open box packages did not work on PCLinuxOS.


Regularly updated, easy and comprehensive documentations are of great help to resolve the issues and to work around a desktop Linux distribution. Documentation are important, I wish all the major desktop Linux distributions projects add "read before you proceed" sentence to the documentations part and put it on top along with download links for their distributions ISO files as this will lessen the problems of home users and burden on developers at IRC rooms where users come asking for small problems when the solution is already there in documentations.

Online Help

IRC help rooms play a major role in the learning and fixing of Linux problems for most of the user. This trend is growing but unfortunately the help is at the cost of personal insults and degrading remarks by many of the developers and regulars at these IRC rooms to the home users and other help seekers along with useless, childish questions put by users who come asking for help without doing any home work on their problems. If we have good documentation and those with problems have read them well, I am sure half of the problems will already be fixed before they come to IRC room seeking help for minor issues. We need a professional environment and code of ethics for all these rooms to be maintained both by help seekers and the helpers and it will help to improve the outlook of desktop Linux distribution for everyone


Much has been said, read and done in the field of desktop Linux distribution. If we want to reach our target users for desktop Linux we have to address the core needs and requirements of a home user. I have tried my best to pin point what I see as my own requirement being a home user. I wish everyone else shares what they think will improve this vision of a desktop Linux.

CCux Linux 0.9.9 | Dawn of New Era or a Promise Broken Again?

CCux Linux is an Open Source i686 RPM Linux distribution and is not based upon any other distribution. It offers graphical installer and is optimized for speed.

News are that CCux Linux 0.9.9 has been released today on Monday, 04 August 2008 , this time as a DVD ISO as compared to previous version 0.9.8 released 2 years back .
Amazingly there are no public test releases for this version , so I wonder if it`s a bug-fix release of 0.9.8 with some major updates?

This release is reported to sport Kernel 2.6.26 , KDE 4.1.0 ,Gnome, XFCE and Fluxbox as Desktop environments through the installer.

Talking of the Installer this distribution was a total disappointment regards to installer in previous version.

The developers are promising that the installer and the whole installation process has been overhauled this time with major improvements. Hope these work as they promise as I had to try installing the previous version almost 4 times with no success.

Also reported on their website that the current version is available in English too once again.

CCux Linux is claimed to be designed for desktop use and for inexperienced users but my bitter experience with the previous version makes me little paranoid to get this version and even try it.It was a release in haste previously and I hope the history is not repeated once again this time.

I wonder if somebody will be ahead of me to try and review it or do I have to do it myself and know how it works this time with so many promises being made by the CCux Linux project.