Linux Distros Dropping 32 Bit Support

Ubuntu plans to drop 32-bit support in 2018 with the release of Ubuntu 18.10. Fedora has stopped using 32-bit on its server offering as of Fedora 24. They still support 32-bit for the desktop. I imagine other Linux major distribution will follow suit as older hardware eventually are phased out.

Best Linux Distros Available

Several weeks ago, I wrote on this blog about the Linux distros that people should try. I wasn’t far off on my assessment when I read this article by Digital Trends. As you can see, I stuck with the tried-and-true distros that are popular, as well as distros which represented the major Linux branches, and distros which people generally consider as very solid. As you can see, you can’t go wrong with Debian, Fedora, Centos, and Ubuntu. You throw in Mint, one the most popular distros nowadays, and you have a very good list.

Linux Distros to Try

DistroWatch.com has a list of Linux distros and ranks them based on popularity. Currently, Mint is the distro of choice for many Linux users followed by Ubuntu and Debian. There are hundreds of distros available and you can’t possibly use or play around with all of them. Most of these distros are just offshoots of the more popular distros. If I were to narrow it down to just a few distros, I would go with these magnificent seven.

  • Mint – since it’s popular desktop. It’s based on Ubuntu.
  • Ubuntu – it’s my current favorite Linux server.
  • Debian – since Ubuntu and numerous others are based on Debian.
  • Fedora – it’s based on Redhat.
  • Centos – it’s basically Redhat without the support.
  • FreeBSD – Unix-like OS based BSD.
  • Slackware – it’s been around for a very long time.

Find Your Linux Release Info

What’s the likelihood of you not knowing which version of Linux distro you are running? It’s probably a lot higher than you expect. I’ve had to do this at least twice before. If you’re not sure or you simply want to validate your distro, you can run the following commands to get the distro info.

Ubuntu

cat /etc/lsb-release

Fedora

cat /etc/fedora-release

Debian

cat /etc/*release

OpenSuse

cat /etc/SuSE-release

In Ubuntu, running the command above returns the following info.

DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
DISTRIB_RELEASE=10.04
DISTRIB_CODENAME=lucid
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS"

Linux Distros You Should Try

By now, you’ve heard of Linux. But, have you tried it? If you haven’t, you should give it a try. You might be missing out on something. If not, just do it for educational purposes. Most Linux distros today, come with a trial CD that you can test drive on your system without ever installing Linux in your hard drive.

Here’s a list of Linux distros that is worth a try.

1. Ubuntu – it’s by far the most popular Linux distribution in the planet. Tons of people use it. There’s good reason why it’s popular. It’s relatively easy to use. It has a solid and stable distribution with a vibrant user community to boot. Ubuntu release cycle is one reason why this distro is committed to innovation.

2. Fedora – You’ve heard of Redhat. Fedora is Redhat’s cousin or brother. In any case, the distro has come a long way since its inception. If you want to learn about Redhat, Fedora is a great stepping stone. Fedora is a distro you want, if you want to learn about  RPM packaging.

3. OpenSuse – If you want a polished desktop environment in both and KDE environment, you should try OpenSuse. It  consistently receives high marks in its desktop environments. Yast is an excellent graphical system administration utility that’s worth a look.

There are hundreds of distros worth mentioning. Debian, Mandriva, Slackware, Gentoo and CentOS comes to mind.

Finally, here’s a list of the top 10 distributions from Distrowatch.com.

Remove Old Kernel in Ubuntu and Grub2

In 2005, I wrote a short article on how to delete old kernels in Linux. At that time, I was using Fedora exclusively. Since then, I’ve moved on to Ubuntu. In addition, Grub2 is now standard for all Ubuntu releases. This short article will show you how to remove old kernels in your Linux system as well as clean up your Grub2 entries. By the way, you will see Grub2 entries only if you have a multi-boot configuration. If not, Ubuntu will boot directly to the login screen.

First, determine the current kernel being used by typing the following command in the Terminal.

# uname -r

The result will display something like the one below.

2.6.32-24-generic

Now, it’s important not to delete your current kernel because all hell will break loose or the sky will fall on your head. In either case, you don’t want to be in that predicament.

You can use the ‘Synaptic Package Manager’ to remove the older kernels. Use ‘2.6.32’ to narrow down your search. Right click on the kernel you want removed and choose ‘Mark for Complete Removal.’ After all older kernels are removed, you can now update the Grub2 configuration.

Grub2 Configuration

# sudo update-grub

That’s it. The next time you boot your multi-boot Ubuntu system, you will see less entries in Grub as well as successfully have deleted older kernels you no longer needed. There is a more detailed instruction how to remove other entries in Grub from howtogeek.com.

Mandriva Spring 2010

I was a Mandrake user for several years, before Ubuntu and Fedora were even part of the Linux lexicon. At the time, Mandrake was one of the easiest distributions in the Linux community. Mandrake was derived from Redhat with a focus on ease of use and usability.

Shortly after, Mandrake became Mandriva. I lost track of the distro because other better distros came along. Fedora and Ubuntu particularly took the Linux community by storm. Most people jumped ship and moved on to other distros. I did the same and chose Ubuntu.

Mandriva is still around. 3 million users strong according to their website. Mandriva has a new distro called Mandriva Spring 2010. It’s available for free to download. It comes in two flavors, Gnome and KDE. I’m not used to seeing Mandriva with Gnome since it was a KDE distro.

If you have some spare time, you can give Mandriva Spring 2010 a try. I’m interested in two other products by Mandriva, the InstantOn and Flash. InstantOn boots in less than 10 seconds while Flash is a mobile desktop in a USB key. Unfortunately, they are not free.

Anyways, give Mandriva Spring 2010 a try. Download.

Fedora 13 Pre-Release

The Fedora 13 “Goddard” Alpha release is now available! You can participate by testing the Alpha release and reporting all bugs to the Fedora QA team. Here’s a message from Jesse Keating:

The Alpha release contains all the features of Fedora 13 in a form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs are fixed, we make a Beta release available. A Beta release is code-complete, and bears a very strong resemblance to the third and final release. The final release of Fedora 13 is due in May.

We need your help to make Fedora 13 the best release yet, so please take a moment of your time to download and try out the Alpha and make sure the things that are important to you are working. If you find a bug, please report it — every bug you uncover is a chance to improve the experience for millions of Fedora users worldwide. Together, we can make Fedora a rock-solid distribution. (Read down to the end of the announcement for more information on how to help.)

If you want to be involved with Fedora, this is a great way to make a contribution.

Linux Mint 8 Review

I have been using Linux Mint 8 this past month. I love it. Why the switch from Ubuntu? Well, It’s not just the mint green color, although I think it’s an upgrade from Ubuntu’s drab brown. The Main Edition, the flagship release of Linux Mint, provides full multimedia support out of the box, meaning that you can listen to MP3’s watch DVD’s and view web pages that require Flash technology right after install. Simply put, it just works with minimal tweaking.

Why Mint? There are over 300 Linux distributions. Everyone has their own favorite. I chose Linux Mint because it’s based from Ubuntu. It’s something I’m very familiar with. I was a bit surprised to know that Linux Mint ranks third on the DistroWatch ranking trailing only Ubuntu and Fedora. Linux Mint 8 is my favorite at the moment, until something better comes along. Switching distros for me is easy since I keep all my documents in a USB stick. Reformatting a disk and installing a new distro takes only 15 to 20 minutes.

Here are a couple of Linux Mint 8 reviews from Linux Planet and DistroWatch.