Spotlight on Linux: SimplyMEPIS 8.5.x
SimplyMEPIS is a simply wonderful distribution. It was the first to offer a complete out of the box experience all tied up in a pretty package. It would be fair to say that it was probably the inspiration for many of the easy-to-use distributions available today.
SimplyMEPIS began life as MEPIS in 2003 during a time when Linux could still be a bit of struggle for new users to enjoy. At that time its contemporaries were KNOPPIX, another easy distro known for its exceptional hardware detection and auto-configuration; and Mandrake, another easier to use distro with a large community of friendly users. But even those lacked some of the codecs, files, and drivers needed for full enjoyment that could be found in MEPIS. Eight years later, it is still one of the best.
Despite the small development team, SimplyMEPIS releases are full featured and pretty. It ships with a stable KDE, lot of handy software, and full multimedia support. It even ships with popular proprietary wireless Ethernet drivers and proprietary graphic drivers are a click away. It comes in 32 or 64-bit versions in installable live CD format. SimplyMEPIS is based on Debian Stable and Warren Woodford, the lead developer, goes to great lengths to insure none of that stability is lost. Woodford delayed the migration to KDE 4 until 8.5 for that very reason.
Today SimplyMEPIS features KDE 4.3.4, Xorg X Server 1.4.2, Firefox 3.5.6, and OpenOffice.org 3.1.1. Each release brings new tasteful artwork to enhance the desktop without creating distractions. Perhaps the most significant aspect of SimplyMEPIS is MEPIS tools. With the various MEPIS tools one can configure your network connection, configure your graphics handling, create bootable USB keys, repair partitions and the boot loader, set the computer name, and add or delete users. In later releases one can also find the new Welcome Center. From this users can get help and information or install language packs and other software. One can even install third party contributions for a wider selection if desired.
MEPIS Welcome Center
Software and updates in SimplyMEPIS, like most Debian derivatives, is handled by APT and Synaptic. Synaptic has become the defacto APT front-end in recent years and with good reason. The interface is tidy, intuitive, and easy. With the search function, it is very convenient as well. Clicking on any of the broad categories in the left-side pane will bring up package choices in the right side upper pane. Clicking on any of the choices shows detailed information about the package in the lower right pane. Any package can then be installed with a few clicks of the mouse. APT will automagically resolve and install any dependencies as well, which is one of the reasons it's become so admired.
With rock solid stability, a pretty interface, handy applications, original tools, multimedia support, proprietary driver installation, and APT -- SimplyMEPIS has it all. The only two characteristics one might see as disadvantages are packages that may be a version or so behind some other cutting-edge distros and repositories are not as fully populated as some of the other larger projects. But SimplyMEPIS is compatible with Debian, so one could use packages from that project if needed. In fact, Debian repositories are already setup in APT/Synaptic. Add to that a one-CD download and easy installer one finds SimplyMEPIS is just simply wonderful.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide