2008-11-03

The Linux Four and the heat they pack

It seems that Linux distribution releases are getting closer together, or maybe i'm just noticing it now. Remembering, my compatriot, Mr Shuttleworth's call for coordinated releases, it might be an obvious question to see the differences in packages and their versions. So after doing some research, this is my roundup of the current latest releases or the soon to be released distros. I've decided to target what i consider the big 4. I'm sorry if some other distro you feel should be in there is left off, but these are, in my opinion, the big trend setters, the releases that seem to have the most impact on what everyone else does.

Ubuntu 8.10

Mandriva 2009

Fedora 10

openSUSE 11.1

Kernel version

2.6.27

2.6.27

2.6.27

2.6.27

KDE

4.1.2

4.1.2

4.1.x

4.1.2

Gnome

2.24

2.24

2.24

2.24

Open Office

2.4.1

3.0

3.0

3.0

Wine

1.0.1

N/A

N/A

1.16

Mono

1.9.1

N/A

N/A

2.0.1

Gimp

2.6.1

2.4.7

2.6.x

2.6.1

Firefox

3.0.3

3.0.3

3.0.x

3.0.3

X.org

7.4

7.3

7.4

7.4

N/A: Not available. Sadly neither Mandriva, Ubuntu nor Fedora have a detailed list of all major apps so without actually booting or installing them, i don't have any way of finding the missing details. Web searches tend to reveal more community discussion about people having problems with different app versions than any decent info. So if anyone has the exact versions at release, please do let me know so that i can make my list more complete.

I'm not going to make any inferences from this data, or shout slander about the lame Ibex, or too much green in the Novell distro, but the data is interesting nonetheless. What i will say is that Fedora has peaked my interest for the first time ever with their improved startup system. Another big appeal for me, is Mandriva's publicized out-of-the-box Asus EEE support, which might be worth a check out ( being my first Linux distro, Mandrake, now Mandriva, will always have a special place in my heart, probably between belgian beer and dutch cheese ). Ubuntu is packing a BBC compatible Totem, which is pretty nice considering that i sometimes listen to BBC Radio 7 online ( it's great british comedy, free to listen to ).

openSUSE will probably remain my primary distro though, partially because the pull of One-Click install is actually hard to move away from. With a new beta due to be released today, anyone who is interested should check it out. 

Overall i can see a lot of innovation, all with a move toward smoother booting, and much better end user app integration. It's pretty clear with this round of releases that Linux is far from playing the end user catch up game it used to, Apple and Microsoft really need to start keeping up with the amazing work coming from these pack leaders.

PS: I'm sorry if the table is broken, but it took me an hour to get it to just appear in blogger's ridiculously pathetic editors. You'd think that pasting valid HTML code that displays correctly in a browser into a raw HTML editor would just work. Blogger really is a bit fail.

3 comments:

  1. I think you put the mono version for ubuntu in the cell that tells the wine version :X
    Anyway, the wine version that ships with ubuntu 8.10 is 1.0.1, the lastest "stable" release :)

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  2. @anon, thanks, fixed it up and added the Wine version. i can understand why 1.0.1 was used in Ubuntu. Personally i'm a latest developer build sort of guy, but most ppl aren't :)

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