When two worlds collide

Yesterday saw the announcement, at Microsoft’s Build 2016 convention, that users will be able to run Ubuntu Bash Shell commands directly through Windows 10 – that means no need for Cygwin or other 3rd party layer technologies. This was made due to the collaboration between Canonical and Microsoft…

Does this consist as a betrayal from Canonical to the Open Source community?

Even though Canonical began with Ubuntu (an easy to install, easy to use, distribution), it has now evolved to a company that gains the most from software for servers, the cloud implementation, and is now entering the handheld market (Ubuntu‘s convergence is a great idea and from what i have seen it is solid). And Ubuntu is moving away (slowly but steadily) away from it sources – snappy will replace .deb packages plus the whole situation with the intellectual property claims.

Concluding, this partnership with the biggest OS will bring Ubuntu (a part of it) to many millions users, mostly system administrators and developers. With profit in mind, Canonical don’t forget is a company, it’s a good move.

From Microsoft’s perspective, the company has lost the wagon on Cloud and Big Data implementation, plus developers and coders mostly user OS X and Linux. Meaning that Windows are used, either by people who only use their PC for Facebook, or by PC gamers (and they now have other options). This partnership gives them access to a user base of people actively working on technology.

So.. another good move.

Personally, I don’t believe that Canonical is respecting the Open Source ethics nowadays. With that in mind the Open Source community will not be affected, on the contrary, maybe some Windows users will be converted to Linux –  probably Ubuntu at first, but when you go down the rabbit hole..there is a great new world waiting.

About aleph.gr

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me that my posts here are targeted to a very limited audience and most of the people don’t understand them. So… what am I really talking about for things like Linux, Antergos, GNOME, DE etc. ? Plus a bump to my first post here.

First of all, most of my posts are related to my time using Linux. What is Linux ?

Quote from the Wikipedia article :

Linux is a Unix-like and mostly POSIX-compliant computer operating system (OS) assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel,[13] an operating system kernel first released on 5 October 1991 by Linus Torvalds.

Essentially is a collection of layers over the Linux kernel that provide the end-user with a usable environment for the use of his/her computer. Due to the open nature of Linux, each user (or group of users) took the opportunity of creating their own custom Operating Systems (called Distributions) resulting to a plurality of choices on all the aspects of computing.

The most known Distributions, that spearhead Linux’s development are Debian, Arch, Ubuntu (currently based on Debian), OpenSUSE, Red Hat Linux, CentOS. Each one of them targeted to different audiences.

A Distribution should not be confused with a D(esktop) E(nvironment). A DE is – quote from the Wikipedia article again – :

In computing, a desktop environment (DE) is an implementation of the desktop metaphor made of a bundle of programs running on top of a computer operating system, which share a common graphical user interface (GUI).

The biggest DEs on Linux are GNOME and KDE, with forks of them like Cinnamon, MATE, Unity (Ubuntu only), having a big user base.

Most of my posts are about me using Antergos Linux – my favorite Distribution – and messing with some Desktop Environments (Cinnamon earlier, GNOME now), getting to know ways of customizing them, using new software, being happy for not destroying my machines etc.

Later… Getting to know Antergos Linux!

Distrohopper Anonymous (pt2)

Time for some fresh distrohopping sessions in search for a new “Global” Operating System. Some of the setups (not limited to though) I plan on checking out.

Distribution Family Ubuntu Debian Arch OpenSUSE
Laptop Elementary OS Debian Testing GNOME/KDE Antergos GNOME OpenSUSE Leap KDE
Desktop Ubuntu Debian Testing GNOME Antergos GNOME OpenSUSE Leap GNOME
Server Lubuntu Debian Stable Openbox Antergos Openbox OpenSUSE Leap XFCE
Raspberry Pi * Raspbian Arch ARM *

The reasons I’m considering leaving Antergos Cinnamon is a) because I don’t want daily updates – with all their pros and cons – even though I will check out the GNOME 3.18 version on Antergos, b) I want to have a desktop with a unified look and feel, and regretfully as much as I have customised Cinnamon, some of the core GTK+ applications seem out of place compared to other apps (GNOME headerbars I’m looking at you) and c) it is just me…

A G+ poll

3 days ago, I posted the following on the Linux Community page of G+ :

I'm building a Gaming/Media PC for my living room, on a 47" TV and I'm torn between using Unity or GNOME Shell for Steam and Wine Gaming, Kodi for Multimedia use. Which DE do you believe is more suitable for use on such a big screen, even though they are pretty close on how they look and feel.
If there are any other suggestions, please comment below.

Voting was overwhelming, with 597 voters, who went in favour for GNOME with a landslide win 70% over 30% for Unity. There were also some very interesting opinions, as the one from Marc Thomas :

I've spent quite a bit of time this past year building exactly what you are talking about, and I tried both Unity and Gnome. Gnome definitely lended itself better for several reasons. The most notable was that Unity would experience weird UI glitches after running continuously with apps in full screen mode for several days, requiring me to restart the machine.

Also, Ubuntu had a lot of random issues with making things like Steam, Kodi, Netflix, Amazon video, etc work properly. I decided to go with Antergos, (Arch based) because their AUR solved virtually all of these problems with minimal effort. Also, nearly all my other machines run either Arch or Antergos, so I was already familiar with how amazing the AUR was.

I am also primarily using a Kodi and Steam (Big Picture Mode) setup, and it is working wonderfully! Plex also works reasonably well, and I use it mostly to connect to other people's libraries, (and share mine with them).

Here's a link to some guides I've been slowly putting together. It's far from complete but it has some really helpful information especially for getting started, and most of the various tools and technologies I am using are listed there, even though their guides are not yet written.


Let me know if you have any questions or run into any issues. I've probably encounted most of the issues that you will likely face, so I probably already have the answer written down in my notes.

Another great idea, from user Egee was to try SteamOS. There was also some preference towards Mate and XFCE (which are not candidates for me).

So, GNOME is the undeniable winner, and will be my Desktop Environment of choice when I will be able to set up my Living Room PC.

What remains is to decide on the underlying OS – Ubuntu, Antergos or SteamOS (which uses GNOME as the alternate to Steam Big Picture).