*Major Linux Distros Shootout..* Mandriva 08 v/s Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon v/s open SUSE 10.3 v/s Sabayon 3.4 Today with increasing awareness of Linux Operating System and Open Source Software developers around the world are now taking the challenge to the next level. Linux is the operating system which evolve with a great speed. Linux is a Unix based operating system which is known for optimum stability and security even in low end systems.A Linux operating system has a life span of minimum of 6 months though the Operating system is supported through updates and security patches for a fixed period of time. Linux is the only operating system which has shown great development in terms of UI and over all User Experience. While this is not in case of Windows and Mac OSX. Though they has also shown tremendous development but the base remains same. Well today we got lots of option of Operating System in Open Source World. So now I'll review 4 of the latest and most promising distross namely Ubuntu 7.10[Gutsy Gibbon], open SUSE 10.3, Mandriva One 2008 and Sabayon 3.4 Mini Edition . Before we take a view on those let me clarify on what factors a Linux distross is Distinguished. Desktop Environment : Desktop Environment is the GUI software which provide better experience for end user.In Linux we get many types of Desktop Environment which are made to suite the System Specification . Like for low end system there is diff. DE and for high end there are other options . There are mainly 4 Desktop Environment namely KDE, Gnome, XFCE, FluxBox .. KDE and Gnome are quite advanced Desktop Environments meant for system with more than 128 Mb of Ram .. While XFCE and Flux box are low end Desktop Environments are for low end systems. Package Based : As you must be aware that there are packages in which software comes. There are lots of package manager in Linux .. Like one can notice packages like .rar and .exe and more in Windows same the case with Linux. Manly there are 3 packages in which Distros are based i.e. .deb[ Debian], .rpm [Red hat Package Manager], .tar.gz [ A .rar replacement in Linux].. Most of the distross today comes with .deb and .rpm based pakage manager. Distribution Based : Today developers instead of creating whole distros environment create distros based on a Stable and Secure distros. Like in Linux world there are 3 Most stable and old distros.. Debian , Gentoo , Red Hat aka Fedora. Most of the distros out there are based on the platform of these like Ubuntu based on Debain, Sabayon based on Gentoo, Mandriva based on Mandrake. Well some of these distross perform even better on what they are based on ! *The Test Bed* So I finally got the CD's & DVD's of the mentioned distross.. open SUSE 10.3 was 1'st to hit my shelf but the Kde ISO that I downloaded twice was corrupted so I had to wait to do another download of Gnome version of open SUSE. Rest all the ISO I downloaded worked perfectly for me . The Test Rig : I used 2 rigs to test the capabilities of these distross. The 1'st rig I used is pretty old and comes under low end category but after adding over a Gb of RAM it responded nicely.. The Specification of the rig if as Follows:-- Intel Pentium 4 Northwood 2.8 Ghz Oc to 3.23 Ghz 1.5 Gb of Ram . 512 + 1Gb PC 3200 . Gigabyte 845 GVM-RZ Motherboard Intel Onboard 845 Graphics 80 Gb ATA Hard Disk 17Ã¢â‚¬ CRT Moniter The other rig I used is my Dell Inpiron 1520 Laptop.This rig is pretty decent with Core 2 Duo T5500, 1 Gb Ram, 120 Gb Hard Disk, Geforce Go 8400m GS 128 Mb. Wireless Internet card and rest were normal... How I tested :- I tested the distross on the follow criteria :- Installaton Process :- This is the thing where people fear. So I decided to keep this the main option to judge. Software/Codecs/Drivers Bundled : - Another main point for those who do not have internet connection at their end.. or for people with low speed internet connection. Stability :- The cucial part of the distross.Performance on the distross is ver important considering Linux is becoming popular,. User Interface :- Since most of the user migrate from Windows keeping it safe and easy is the next priority. Eye Candy : - Not the crucial part in a sense but still after the release of Vista and Leopard it is a must have feature in every distross. Community Support :- The most crucial part since most of the new users have migrated from Windows so Linux is a bit like a fish out of water if they are derived from proper community help and guides. Let the battle begin..As I 1st review Mandriva 2008 :-- [BREAK=Mandriva 2008 Review] *Mandriva One 2008 Review* Mandriva is a commercial/free Linux manufacturer emerged from the remains of Mandrake and Connectiva. Mandriva is know for it intuitive interface and user-friendly atmosphere in Linux. Currently Mandriva is ranked #8 at Distrowatch. Mandriva 2008 has finally arrived and it brings new software, innovations, improvements and a little bit of magic to the Linux world: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The result of six months of heavy development and testing, 2008 includes all the essential software though not the latest and many enhancements over previous Mandriva Linux releasesÃ¢â‚¬. You will find KDE 3.5.7 and the new GNOME 2.20 already integrated, a solid kernel 184.108.40.206 with fair scheduling support, OpenOffice.org 2.2.1, cutting-edge 3D-accelerated desktop courtesy of Compiz Fusion 0.5.2, Mozilla Firefox 220.127.116.11, and everything else youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve come to expect from the latest Mandriva Linux release."Mandriva 2008 One is the successor of highly acclaimed Mandriva 2007 which was pretty decent distros in its own. Mandriva is a .rpm Mandrake based distros with Kde as the default and main Desktop Manager. Mandriva comes in 3 flavor namely : - Mandriva One Mandriva Power Pack Mandriva Free One is a single CD edition which includes the latest proprietary drivers, available for download free of charge. It can be run as a live CD as well as installed to the hard disk.Comes in both Gnome and KDE. Powerpack is a DVD edition which includes support, services and important third-party proprietary software like LinDVD, Cedega, the Fluendo multimedia codecs,.Flash Player, Scilab and 03 Spaces., and few more paid software. Free is a 3-CD / 1-DVD edition made up entirely of free / open source software, without any of the non-free software bundled with other editions. It is available for download free of charge. Booting/Installation : Mandriva One 2008 installation is pretty easy and User friendly. After popping the Cd you will notice Blue Mandriva Splash Screen which will ask you to boot through Cd. After you boot through Cd few windows will pop up with few Questions like Selecting Country, Time Zone, Keyboard Settings, and choosing Desktop Effects i.e No Desktop Effects, Metissa, Compiz Fusion .. The selection of any of them will make that the default and the selected Effect will be executed after you install the distros and attempt to run via Hard Disk.. However the settings can be changed from Mandriva Control Center. After that the Live CD continue loading the desktop .. The Desktop by default if pretty clean however consists of few useless icons. After that the installation is pretty easy, just double click the Live Install Icon and Install shield will open...Mandriva made a great install shield.Though the shield is good but is influenced by PC Linux OS. The Partition Part too is great and even a noob Window user can easily tackle it .. Ã¢â‚¬Å“3 Steps are what it takes to install Mandriva One 2008 and that too in 10 minutes flatÃ¢â‚¬. Absolutely great initiative by Mandriva.After the installation get finished you will be prompted to set up Boot menu and Boot Loader installation . The Mandriva installer received some numerous fixes and improvements, such as: Revised hardware detection system Support for modular IDE drivers and new libata stack Package selection UUID support Faster operations on partitions Package management Chroot environments Suggested packages New menu layout The only thing I don't like in the starting is their country/language database. Its too low and most of the Asian countries were not listed even India wasn't there..After the installation gets over the CD will ask you to reboot or shut down the system. After restarting the Boot/Grub Menu was replace by new Mandriva One with spanking blue image and Mandriva at the top of Grub list... At the 1'st time boot through system of Mandriva you will asked to set up Internet/Network Connection, User Settings and few more.. Then finally we get the default Mandriva Desktop which loads through Hard Disk.. One thing is for sure installing Mandriva is very easy but playing with Grub is what you need to learn if you got more than 1 linux Os .Windows option is added automatically which is not with the case with other Linux installed. . Hardware Support : - Hardware support is another area in which Mandriva has always excelled after Fedora.. Detection is always of top notch my 8400 GS Go detected and worked flawlessly.. Mandriva always take the initiative to add support to latest hardware .. Like newly added nVIDIA G80 and G84 and even sound cards like Creative Sound blaster, X-FI,Audigy are supported..A pop-up will appear if you have external hardware like sound card,graphics card and all.. and will guide you to set up your hardware. After a summary screen will appear which will show you all your configured hardware like Mouse , Graphics Card, Sound Card etc. The following hardware components are now better supported in Mandriva 2008: NVIDIA Geforce 8400, 8500 and 8600 series graphics cards Intel 4965AGN wireless chipsets Intel Santa Rosa drive controllers ATI SB700 chipset motherboards Many newer onboard sound devices using the High Definition Audio codec, particularly on motherboards using Intel chipsets Wacom Graphire and Intuos tablet input devices Realtek 8187 USB and ZyDAS ZD1211/ZD1211B USB wireless controllers Broadcom wireless adapters Alternative open source drivers for ATI graphics cards RandR 1.2 support in X.org Default NTFS read support Support for the Belgian eID card Changes to TV card support After installation, desktop came up with native 1024x768@85Hz. Portable Hard Drive or Flash drive gets mounted automatically and a pop up windows appear asking you to take necessary steps ...The Laptop LCD screen blanks after 15 minutes of idle time and dims when the power cord is removed. Hibernation options work well. Both suspend to RAM and suspend to disk are smooth and responsive going to sleep and waking up. Mandriva did a lot of hard work on the hardware front and that's great step for a newbie .. Software Support : - The list of software Mandriva installs depends on your edition and on your style of install. I had chosen One , which is the limited edition of Mandriva which gave me a barracks full of software worth 700 Mb including all the Kde applications that generally comes with K Desktop Environment coupled with must have Firefox 18.104.22.168 instead of 22.214.171.124, Gimp 2.4 RC, Amarok and Open Office.org 2.2.1.instead 2.3. Through the major software components that can be found in this new release are: Kernel 126.96.36.199 GNOME 2.20 KDE 3.5.7 Compiz Fusion 0.5.2 OpenOffice.org 2.2.1 Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Mozilla Thunderbird 2.0 GCC 4.2 AppArmor Kernel source and headers CFQ scheduler Modular IDE drivers New devicescape wireless stack Multimedia Codecs, drivers comes preloaded in Power Pack but I was shocked that even after getting Win32 codec error in Kaffien I was able to play Mp3 files.. Compiz Fusion & Eyecandy: - CF was installed but its not the default, it depends on user choice during install that he want to choose Metissa/Compiz or he want simple KDE desktop. Though these setting can be changed via Control Center.. The much acclaimed 3d Desktop manager came pre-installed but the one that comes with One never mesmerized me.. Most of the main/prominent plugins were missing namely Fire Pait, Cube Caps and few more. But still you can add those plugins later on through Internet. Also when I tried the Compiz in my Laptop it failed to work on the default drivers that came pre-installed .. I tried to install new nvidia 3d drivers for XGL interface but all in vain.. The online repositories it always failed.. On paper Mandriva quoted that added Compiz Fusion but failed to add major plugins which make Compiz Fusion similar to that of Beryl or old Compiz.. they even did not add Compiz Taskbar icon which help user to choose between Metacity in case of hangs and problems with Windows border. Mandriva also comes with Metissa another 3d desktop manager. Its is very good manager and its very good that Mandriva always include Metissa. Metissa allows users to rotate, bend, zoom, flip, warp, topple, and arrange their windows in different configurations. The aim is to help users become more efficient,but of no use for me . The theme is the good old La Ora but still I think they need to change the theme as there lots of Blue theme which will suit the Mandriva Environment. BlogRovr: This is a new plugin that comes pre-installed in Firefox .Its a service that submit blog post on the basis of your browsing. Might be useful for others but really tested my temper everytime I opened Fire fox.. Because everytime I open Firefox by default it will open BlogRovr Home page and a new Wizard wil open asking you to zoin it.... Multimedia/Games : -Multimedia support was pretty nice even after gettin WIn32 Codec error I was able to play All types of Audio and Video files on it. Well there is nothing to talk about cause the One version of Mandriva 08 comes with no games.. this is so bad that they ported all the games to power pack edition which is a paid version... Tools & Utilities : - In addition to application and multimedia tools mandriva has provided plethora of useful tools to make much easier. The Much anticipated and best control center in Linux aka Mandriva Control Center has been more roubust than ever.The easiest way to configure anythhing in Linux from User setting to eye candy from Terminal commands to configuring hardware.. The control center provide A-Z options like changing Boot Menu, Mounting media, Adding repo. And all.. The interface has been much tider than ever...There are many new software/hardware managing tool i.e. Network Manager, Package manager, Import Windows Document and Settings. Network manager is an efficient tool which let you configure you network and hardware.From it you can configure the IP settings, hostname, passwords, connection preferences, and boot instructions.You can also make or monitor a connection from within the Network Center. The "Set up a new interface" tool is still present for those devices that aren't auto-detected. Package Manager let you see what packages are installed and also provide options you to install and remove just like Yast and Synaptic. The Software manager and online updater has improved a lot in many sense making easier to update and for use.. the interface became much intutive and addicted.Adding repo is way easier now .. Import Windows Docs. And Settings as the name suggest imports document from Windows .. this tool is of no use cause I did not use Windows. There is another Control Center know as KDE control center for customizing KDE to the fullest.Though all the thing can be done from Mandriva CC but there are few critical things that need to be accessed from KDE control center..Mandriva provided lots of tools for nearly all the things an end user need for daily work.Some of the best Linux software to name a few Amarok for Music , K3b for burning, ..... Conclusion: Mandriva did the job really very good and cleverly by providing plethora of tools and eye candy softwares. One of the great OS out there with gr8 interface and nice over all performance .. but still Mandriva One 08 did not have much to brag about and if want full from Mandriva you must be looking for the Power pack edition which is a pad version and paying for it did not make sense when great and much better distros out there for free... To sum it all Mandriva is a must try desktop for newbie. But still mandriva lags when compared to latest and stable distros out there. Though the system was stable and smooth but still there are fields on which Mandriva teams needs not work..Taking Mandriva one the free distribution in mind, its an incomplete OS with respect to softwares and addons ... Pros :- Easy Installation Wizard. Intuitive Interface. User Friendly and easy to set up. Good Hardware Support. Compiz Fusion Cons :- Poor Country & Language Database Poor Help and Support Documentation Compiz Fusion with low plugins. No games comes pre-installed in One 08. Lacks documents and online support. No Auto Update manager pop-up after 1st reboot. Ratings : - Installation : 4.5/5 Software : - 3.5/5 Hardware Detection : 4/5 Graphics and Eyecandy : 3.5/5 Performance/Stability : 4/5 Community Support/Documents : 3.5/5 Over All : 3.8/5 [BREAK=Ubuntu 7.10 Review] *Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon * Ubuntu is Debian based Linux OS which emerged as the as one of the best Linux OS in just 3 years. Ubuntu is free of charge and is a software libre consists of huge software for day to day and professional work.. Ubuntu is a part and parcel of Canonical which is an organization leaded by Mark Shuttelworth.. Ubuntu recently launched the Gutsy Gibbon which is way better than Fiesty fawn i.e 7.04 in terms of UI and hardware/software support. Cannonical assure that their new Gutsy leave no stone turned to prove it superiority, by providing latest Compiz to A-Z hardware support coupled with splendid Community Support , Ubuntu is a must have in Linux world but since its newly relesed there are some glitches and some exceptional good points from other OS..Ubuntu by default comes with Gnome as the main Desktop Environment. You will find Gnome 2.20.1, Kernel 188.8.131.52 , Gimp 2.4 RC, Open Office.org 2.3,Firefox 184.108.40.206 and much more... To add serenity Canonical implemented the talk of the town i.e Compiz Fusion .. Being a Deban based Distros its pretty easy to install and un-install packages downloaded. Ubuntu comes in other flavor if you want to try different from Gnome Kubuntu Xubuntu Edubuntu Goubuntu Kubuntu is a debian based distros with KDE as the default desktop environment.Xubuntu Comes with XFCE as main Desktop Manager. While Go Ubuntu comes with Gnome... Booting/Installation :- Ubuntu also comes with Live Cd as well as Alternate Cd option .. Live CD loads Desktop and user then can decide what steps to do while he/she can do usual work using Live Cd like development of Code/Docs. , surfing Web and Games.Ubuntu has added a new option under boot menu i.e Ã¢â‚¬Å“OEM InstallÃ¢â‚¬ which is nothing but is normal Installation just ask for you machine code listed on Computer for OEM support. The Ubuntu installation is pretty much the same.. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The whole installation gets completed in 6 stepsÃ¢â‚¬.. Though Mandriva consists 3 steps but there are pre and post configuration which make installation a bit nasty and long..But Ubuntu did not have any pre and post configuration screen . Ã¢â‚¬Å“6 steps is what it takes to install UbuntuÃ¢â‚¬.. Ubuntu has the cleanest desktop amongst all the OS that I tested and had used so far.. Just double click on Install Icon and follow six steps to install Ubuntu on your PC.After the installation gets over you will be prompted to use Ubuntu as Live Cd or Reboot and use via Hard Disk. Note: Burn the images of Ubuntu CD/DVD at low speed else you will end up installation with an error that will state that the Media is burnt at a high speed burn at low speed ... Hardware Support :- Gutsy Gibbon comes up with good hardware support and to add this Ubuntu Gutsy comes up with 2 great automated features. When you insert an unknown hardware [other than flash cards] you will be prompted to set it up via new improved Restricted Hardware Manager.. It takes only 3 steps to configure any unknown hardware.Installing a printer is way easier. Just plug and after a clean and small configuration wizard you are ready to print and scan files in case of AIO.People with dual monitor will find easy themselves setting up thier Dual Monitor setup with Ubuntu new Screen and Graphics Wizard. Installation of a Graphics card too is very easy and simple. You can configure and install driver via Restricted Driver Manager.More battery life for your laptop provided to you by the latest Linux kernel, featuring dynticks. NTFS reading and writing will be enable by default in Gutsy Gibbon with the help of the NTFS-3G application.Mail Server, File Server, Print Server, and Database Server installations are now available for the Ubuntu Server CD Improved thin-client support by using compressed images and LDM. Autologin, multiple servers, and unencrypted graphics transport are just some of the new features you will find in the thin-client login manager included in Edubuntu. Gutsy is a giant step in the development of Ubuntu, it has got some splendid hardware configuration which is even easier than that of Windows.Gutsy has now support of latest Graphics card like G80 and 84 and new sound cards like Xfi and more through Restricted Manager.... After installation, desktop came up with native 1280x1024@60Hz. Portable Hard Drive or Flash drive gets mounted automatically ... Hibernation options work well. Ubuntu has even added a new Ã¢â‚¬Å“Suspend ModeÃ¢â‚¬ which puts your computer on low power state..Gutsy identified my built in Wlan card in my laptop and I configured it easily and even I tested my old Inbuilt modem to test its Dial-Up modem detection and for my surprise it configured it and I was able to surf net after setting up Ip and all . Canonical did a great job by providing wizards for installing and configuring hardware .. Installing any hardware is so easy and Ubuntu has the easiest wizards of all the OS out there .. The 64 bit Gutsy Gibbon works better than I expected installing Flash even in 64bit is way easier .. Ubuntu now provide better 64 bit support. The 64 bit OS is more stable than Fiesty and its quite stable and didn't hanged once..Installing drivers and software is easy because of increasing 64 bit software library. The new kernel 220.127.116.11 works greatly by providing more battery life in Laptops making Ubuntu less power hungry. The improvement Ã¢â‚¬Å“TiclessÃ¢â‚¬ improves timer handling thus decrease over all power requirement resulting more battery life in Laptops. This new improvement decrease power usage by 25-30% .. The new Kernel includes improvements in Visualization.. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Virtual Machine InterfaceÃ¢â‚¬ make visualization even better when used under supported Visualizing software like Vmware, Xen and Virtual Box. Apart from these Intel and Cannonical did a collaboration according to which they both will work to make a more efficient OS which will not tax processor much..Ubuntu Gutsy gave an addition of 45 mins backup than Vista ... Software Support :- Software support is where Ubuntu software database is of top notch and from the starting i.e 3 years back with release of Warty Warthog till date Ubuntu repos. are the massive and the frequently updated one for OS.The best part is that all the software provided are up to date unlike Mandrive 08. Kernel 18.104.22.168 GNOME 2.20 Compiz Fusion 0.5.2 OpenOffice.org 2.3 Mozilla Firefox 22.214.171.124 Evolution 2.12.1 GCC 4.2 Gimp 2.4 RC AppArmor Bluetooth Analyzer 0.14 Pidgin IM Deskbar Applet The place where Ubuntu lacks in software/codecs are Multimedia Audio Codec .. There are three of Gstreamer Codec but none of them comes pre-installed. Though while playing Movie/Audio file 1 can easily find out how to install these codecs.. Ubuntu has provided Firefox 126.96.36.199 though people interested in Mozilla Firefox 2 i.e Gran Parisado Alpha 3 can easily install it as it is available in repository.Firefox comes with 2 Flash player i.e Adobe Flash Player and a free flash player named Gnash Flash player.. I have tried Gnash flash player and its very stable and efficient.. It doesn't hang Firefox while view/closing You Tube or other flash movies. Though after You tube updated their database Gnash till date is unable to play You Tube files but still I am eagerly waiting for its new release .. Its way better and stable than Adobe.. Ubuntu has added AppArmor which is a security framework is an easy-to-deploy kernel technology that will limit resources an application is allowed to access and will add a layer of protection against undiscovered security vulnerabilities. To add up more security Ubuntu has added AuthClientConfig which provide profile based authentication...Ubuntu now has added NTFS read and write support by default by adding NTFS driver using FUSE. Gimp 2.4 finally arriver with loads of tools and the icons set has been totally changed, to became better looking with a different Gnome themes and even with a Kde and Xfce desktop environments.All types of brushes are scalable. After half year halt Sun Microsystem finally launched Open Office.org 2.3 . The new version comes with Ubuntu Gutsy and has lots of new bug fixed and implementation of new tools. The loading speed of OOO has increased drastically, it opens quite quickly and doesn't hangs now..The most significant update touched a diagrams module: from the new Diagram Master to a flexible selection of the axis parameters and the data sources. Writer got an ability to export into a MediaWiki format. Internet Messenger Gaim has now been updated to Pidgin.. Pidgin is far more better than any messenger .. Linux messengers has the ability to open multiple Id's at once. Like if you wants to open Yahoo and MSN. then you need not to use MSN and Yahoo messenger separately .. Its solution of all messengers and Id's in one place... Desktop Search takes a new turn when Ubuntu has replace the slow poke Beagle with new tracker. The Tracker is a new desktop search engine is now with Ubuntu gutsy.The Tracker is an indexing search engine and is written in a plain C. That should decrease a level of dependencies and increase a speed of content indexing. Ubuntu also has a Deskbar Applet which also helps searching application via Internet. Compiz Fusion & Eyecandy:- Its here the relegion of Open Source Eye candy, the Fusion of two big 3D Desktop i.e Beryl and Compiz which provided an astounding result known as Compiz or Compiz Fusion.. Compiz fusion was enabled by defaut on all supporting platform in Ubuntu seeing system specification .. Instead of Theme option there is a new option know as Ã¢â‚¬Å“AppearanceÃ¢â‚¬ which consist Theme,Icons,Cursors,Windows Border incase you are not using Emerald, Wallpaper, Fonts, Interface and Visual Effects. Under Visual Effects there are 3 options by default :- None : Which do not provide any 3d or extra eye candy to the desktop i.e providing place Metacity Desktop. Normal : Provides minimal use of 3d and eye candy resulting in smooth operations in low end desktop. Extra : Provides more aesthetically pleasing set of effects which improves eye candy and requires more Ram and decent GPU. Apart from these Ubuntu did not comes up with Compiz Fusion Settings Manager.. which is shocking . .Well to install just type Code: sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager This will install Compiz manager from where you can add more effects like Cube Desktop, Rain effect , Fire Paint Effect, Swift Switcher and more...After you install Settings manager you will get an addition of option under Appearance ->Effect i.e Custom ...Which uses User Selected Effects.. Desktop theme received some minor updates some pixels changed at the mouse cursors to make them more eye pleasant.Rest the over all interface remains unchanged i.e 2 panels , Human theme, Cursor and all.. Startup and shutdown screens wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t blink any more.. Ubuntu did not come up wth a Splash Screen this time so you have to install it by your self using Splash Manager or GtweakUI. Multimedia & Games :- Ubuntu did not comes up with Win32 codec which are required to play Audio and Video files. So you have to install it though installation is pretty easy ..Ubuntu comes up with a Movie Player , Rythmbox Audio Player. Sound recorder, Serpentine Audio CD creator, Sound Juicer Audio Extracter.. These were the tool required which will help you recreat yourself with Audio needs There were 17 games that come pre-installed but all the games that comes pre-installed are same that comes with Fiesty Fawn.. though additions of new free games would have been great idea.. Tools & Utilities :- Ubuntu Gutsy comes with loads of tool to help you install 3d party hardware, setting network connections and all..Ubuntu Gutsy comes with a great tool which allows you to switch between user easily and quickly. Dynamic screen configuration including dynamic monitor detection, and resizing and rotating of the video output is included. People with Dual monitor setup need not to worry about setting their monitor Ubuntu Gutsy has a Graphics tool for X that allows you to set up dual monitors, change the default resolution for all users or change your monitor's refresh rate without having to turn to the terminal.In case you failed to Configure Graphics card there is a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bullet Proof XÃ¢â‚¬ .This means that user should always get to X session,is driver configuration failed. System initially will try to set X with a settings from the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœxorg.cfgÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ file. In case of a configuration failed it will try to initiate a reduced VESA mode in 800Ãƒâ€”600 by 256 colors or VGA 640Ãƒâ€”480 by 16 colors for the next try within a solo X configuration application mode. Installing printer is very easy .. Just plug it and your Printer will be identified automatically with all new Printer Configuration Wizard.After you plug your printer a pop-up will appear asking you to set up your Printer and a clean and easy wizard will open helps you set up the printer easily. Restriced Driver Manager is another utility which has been tweaked to handle non-free device drivers. With no more than 3 mouse clicks you will be able to install firmware for wireless cards with Broadcom chipsets, and for a number of Winmodems commonly found in laptops. Conclusion : - As usual Gutsy did come up to the expectations. It has everything from Easy hardware configuring wizards to latest eye candy. This version has numerous updates and is the most powerful Ubuntu till date.. Canonical take gutsy to a high and infact this version has the most powerful upgrades than any distro out there.Except the media player and No Compiz Manager by default Ubuntu has everything latest graphics/sound support. With stunning stability and optimum performance .. Ubuntu is turning out to be the King of Open Source with a massive community support and die hard coders Ubuntu is sure has a great future.. If Canonical work in the same swing then I would not be shocked seeing Ubuntu as the primary OS. Well apart from great points there are flaws too .. Pros : - Easy Installation Wizard. Intuitive Interface. Latest Software Installed. Hardware Configuartion Wizards. Compiz Fusion. Optimum Performance and Stability. Community Support. Pre-Installed Help and Support Documents New Tracker tool and Deskbar Applet Ship- It Service. Cons : - No Mulitimedia codec out of the box. Compiz manager & Compiz Icon not installed. No newly installed game. Ratings : - Installation : 4.5/5 Software : - 4/5 Hardware Detection : 4/5 Graphics and Eyecandy : 4/5 Performance/Stability : 4/5 Community Support/Documents : 4.5/5 Over All : 4.2/5 [BREAK=Sabayon 3.4 Mini Edition Review] *Sabayon 3.4 Mini Edition Review* Ã¢â‚¬Å“If Art would have a name, its name would be Sabayon. The most advanced, scalable and community driven Linux distribution of this odd world, brought to you from a fashion-leading country.Ã¢â‚¬ Sabayon is a Gentoo based distross is the new name of RR4 distros.Sabayon has been modified to meet the need of high end user to lay user .. Sabayon comes in two version; one full DVD version and another in single CD mini-edition. Recently they have also launched a Business Edition for Sabayon.Sabayon says "Get rid of Microsoft Windows. Install the Sabayon Linux Operating System and unleash the full potential of your Computer". Sabayon Linux features the most advanced Industry Open Source technologies: no hassles."One of the most professional Distros out there in Linux world.Sabayon has every thing out of the box. Sabayon comes in 3 versions : - Sabayon Full Version : - Sabayon Full version comes with plethora of tools, multimedia utilities and bunch of great Open Source games which will keep you entertained for a long time. Sabayon DVD version has everything for everyone.. . Well its pretty difficult to name utilities that come cause they are too much... Sabayon Mini Edition :- Its the distross that I am reviewing comes in a small 700 Mb CD Iso . compared to its big DVD ver. sibling. The mini edition still holds the position and does a great job..The min edition though did not come with loads of tools but still it has got everything out of the box,. Sabaton Professional Edition : It offers a specialized suite of packages for the office and server without the 3-D desktops. Booting/Installation : - Sabayon Live CD provided lots of option while Booting .. Start Sabayon Linux 3.4 minEd. Start Graphical Installation. Start Text Installation. Start In Safe Mode. Start In Console Mode. Debug Mode. Memory Test. Boot from 1'st Hard Disk. The boot splash theme is made to suite Sabayon main theme the dramatic Reddish brown theme feels and look pretty different than that of other OS.The Live Cd is pretty faster than earlier versions. Before the desktop loads You wil be prompted to select Desktop Acceleration which will decide 3d Acceleration. The menu is divided into 3 options.This is one unique feature not available with other distributions. No Desktop Acceleration : Provides no 3d eye candy and gives smooth work in low end system AIXGL Desktop Acceleration : Provides Desktop Acceleration with AIXGl as rendering driver. XGL Desktop Acceleration : Provides Desktop Acceleration with XGL on and act as main rendering driver.This requires a Graphics card to work nicely and smoothly. The 1'st option of Live CD Boot menu will lead you into Live Cd boot which will end up in a desktop with KDE interface.The second option will boot through installation wizard which will open into a live desktop with Flux box as the main Desktop Manager. and will end up loading Anaconda which is a well known redhat installer. The installation is quite lengthy but is pretty clean , the installation detects my Wifi card and allows you to set it up during installation... Sabayon provides several installation options. Start Sabayon Linux 3.4 minEd. Start Graphical Installation. Start Text Installation. The 1'st option will load default KDE desktop which have the Install icon which will start Anaconda and will open the Install Wizard which will let you do the rest of the setup.. The 2'nd option will open a Flux Box and sam will open a Install Wizard automatically.. Pretty nice to see integrated Fluxbox Desktop Manager for using installation ..The 3'rd option will lead you through alternative install i.e Command Line/Text Installation. Though in the Live Cd there are only 3 option in the Mini Ed to choose Desktop Manager at the end of Installation i.e KDE , FluxBox, and an Install without any Graphical environment. while Gnome is an addition in DVD version. Note : Do not chosse/convert your install partition to Ext4 because at 1'st I did choose the same and ended up in frozen DVD and system.. the system will boot and harddisk get mounted nin Ext4 but did not get un-mounted after reboot.. there is no spped improvements in Ext4 so better use Ext3 or 2. Hardware Support :-Though pretty old among others Sabayon still has its own league and status. Sabayon mini ed. has got everything out of the box. Great hardware detection after configuring my 8400 I was able to use 3D environment on my laptop, though it configured my onboard chip to use Compiz with my Desktop.. Sabayon is know from tremendous Wifi card support so to test it I used my friends card and for my supprise it configured each and every card to work perfectly..The laptop wireless mouse was detected and was configured automatically.. I attached my Hp AIO 1410 to it and after configuring it in few simple steps it was ready to print..Well the OS failed to recognise my Bluetooth device that I added to use my phone ... Sabayon got splendid ATI cards support it even got ATI control center installed..The Os configured my resolution correctly to 1280x1024 in Desktop.. And was ready to use Compiz out of the box in desktop.. NTFS reading and writing will be enable by default in Sabayon with the help of the NTFS-3G application. Good Graphics card support comes with pre-installed latest drivers. Printer Wizard is neat and easy to use. Excellent Wifi card support.. nVIDIA G80 and G84 and ATI Radeon HD 2000 series is supported out of the box. Latest sound card like Sound-Blaster , X-fi , Audigy supported ... A battery monitoring applet is enabled by default and appears in the upper panel. Overall I was pleased with the hardware support for my Dell 1520.Sabayon has a CPU scaling (a power-saving feature) worked out of the box, as it suspend applications and services to RAM after being Idle after some time..Sabayon ships with drivers for most of the wireless Ethernet chip, and the KDE Network Manager worked even with WPA security..Below are the wlan adapters supported by the new Live DVD and Live CD out-of -the-box even :- ipw3945 miniPCI wlan adapter . bcm4311 miniPCI wlan adapter . bcm4312 miniPCI wlan adapter. Belkin Wireless G USB Network Adapter . D-Link DWL-G122 with RaLink rt73 chipset. RaLink RT2500 PCI wlan adapter . Netgear WG511T pcmcia wlan adapter. D-Link PCMCIA wlan adapter with RaLink RT2561/RT61 chipset. COM OfficeConnect Wireless XJACK PC Card with Atheros chipset. Prolink Wireless 802.11g USB2.0 wlan adapter with rt73 chipset. Software Support :- Being a CD based Mini Ed distros it comes with all the necessary tools and softwares but still did not come with any games like its big brother 3.4f DVD version.. Kernel 188.8.131.52 KDE 3.5.7 Fluxbox 1.0r3 Compiz Fusion 0.5.2 Koffice Suite 1.6.2 Xorg 7.3 Mozilla Firefox 184.108.40.206 GCC 4.2 Amarok ATI Catalyst CC Kopete IM Super Karamba Mozilla Thunderbird Sabayon come with plethora of software including all the K applications that comes with KDE.. Sabayon has added few developments like Qt Designer which helps in creating Open Source and other Applications. Apart from these Sabayon has provided software for each and every task like Torrent [K Torrent], Amarok, K3B, Dial Up tool and lots of useful tool which will help everyone .. Sabayon has added Portrage as it main Software Package Manager. Thus installation of Applications is way easier and the applications installed are configured to meet the aspirations of User.There is a small utility for Portrage named Portato to search applications available in Sabayon repo. Major Applications like Open Office.org, Gimp, additional games were missing.. Which is a negative point for Sabayon Mini Ed. Compiz Fusion & Eyecandy:- Compiz Fusion was installed by default though it will work on the choice of Desktop Acceleration you select :- No Desktop Acceleration : Provides no 3d eye candy and gives smooth work in low end system AIXGL Desktop Acceleration : Provides Desktop Acceleration with AIXGl as rendering driver. XGL Desktop Acceleration : Provides Desktop Acceleration with XGL on and act as main rendering driver.This requires a Graphics card to work nicely and smoothly. The only distross that came with Compiz Fusion icon pre-installed.. Coupled with Compiz Settings Manager with all the latest plugin that are required for optimum eye candy .. The theme adopted by Sabayon is different from the league. Looks pretty attractive but strains eyes at several occasions.GTK based applications in Menu are pretty hard to read. The Console colour combination is horrible with light green base with white background which make code and output unreadable..though one can change the clour scheme... Sabayon even comes installed with SuperKaramba which provide small desklets written in python helps in spicing up the desktop thought implementation of Screenlets would be great ... Emerald is also installed by default which provides Windows Border when 3D manager like Compiz Fusion is working...Sabayon comes with the best free CD burner i.e K3B awesome interface and can burn all types of medias.. Multimedia & Games :- Sabayon is the most diverse Linux OS when comes in Multimedia aspect comes with all the necessary codecs require to play any type of Video/Audio file.. The MiniEd. comes with Amarok as it default player which does the job perfectly and comes up to the expectation... Games .. Well there's an exception seeing the DVD collection of games I was shocked to notice that there were no games comes pre-installed... Tools & Utilities :- Sabayon comes with all the necessary tools which you need to set up a good Linux OS. All the K applications and tools comes pre-installed.. Sabayon come ATI catalyst Control Center which ease the pressure of installting drivers for ATI cards . Sabayon come with Bluetooth Manager , Printer Configurator and lots more tools to set up .. Sabayon Mini Ed still has lots of power but seeing its sibling capabilities I should say if you plan Sabayon go for the DVD version... Conclusion : - Sabayon infact is great OS for those who needs everything out of the box and Sabayon statement "Get rid of Microsoft Windows. Install the Sabayon Linux Operating System and unleash the full potential of your Computer. Sabayon Linux features the most advanced Industry Open Source technologies: no hassles." does stands upto it specially if you opt for the DVD edition... The MiniEd is pretty nice but there is no point you should look at it if you can opt for the bigger DVD version.. I did not used DVD version because it would be unfair comparing 3 700Mb OS with one Giant 4 Gb OS. But still Sabayon MiniEd. can be used as 1'st time OS.. Its user friendly and has a ver intutive interface. and being a Laptop user it sounds great that you need not to waste your time configuring you Wifi card.. One can easily ste up his/her wifi card without using ndiswrapper. Though on a strict note Sabayon needs to work on their Theme and Stability.. I had few stability issue with Sabayon even after having 1+Gb of Ram... Pros : - Great Package bundel. Intuitive Interface. Large Software Libre. Compiz Fusion Manager and Icon. Stunning Wifi Support. Community Support Cons : - Outdated Software. Stability Issue. Poor theme and GTK font selection Console text at default are hard to read. No Games comes Pre-Installed Ratings : - Installation : 4/5 Software : - 3.75 /5 Hardware Detection : 4 /5 Graphics and Eyecandy : 3.5 /5 Performance/Stability : 3.75 /5 Community Support/Documents : 4.5/5 Over All : 3.91/5 [BREAK=openSUSE 10.3 Review] *openSUSE 10.3 Review* SUSE is .rpm based distribution which is a project carrying out but openSUSE team sponsered by Novel. Suse is famous for its Control Center i.e commonly know as Yast now upgraded to YAST2[Yet Another Setup Tool]So after a long halt Novel and openSUSE team finally released the much awaited and a stable release i.e openSUSE 10.3. openSUSE is a German Linux Distribution which has undergone major changes and upgrades to finall deleivers a stable and good performance to the users.openSUSE is a community-driven project sponsored by Novell Ã¢â‚¬â€œ similar to Ubuntu and Fedora. Till 2004 openSUSE was under German cunsulting group which distributed SUSE as a slackware based ditros.Till 2004 no one can use Distros as free OS because it was not free. After 2004 Novel undertook SUSE and renamed its project as openSUSE which was now free and even can be purchased ... open SUSE 10.3 comes with plethora of upgrades and new tools.The best part is that now Novel provided one cd installation which infact is a great step.. openSUSE comes in 3 flavor : -- open SUSE Gnome Cd :- This comes with Gnome as the default Desktop environment and comes under 700Mb i.e only 1 CD is required for installation .. the bad gnome CD did not comes up with any gnome games.. openSUSE KDE CD : - This edition comes KDE as the default Desktop Environment and comes under 700Mb .. All necessary K applications and games are bundled with it. open SUSE DVD :- The bigger version of Suse which comes with both KDE and Gnome as Desktop Environment but installation depends upon user choice for Desktop Environment. i.e user can install either Gnome, Kde or both Gnome and Kde. Apart from this comes with plethora of applications and adds up with KDE 4 preview.. Booting/Installation : - open SUSE did not comes up with a Live CD option that certainly is a negative point when compared to other OS tested. open SUSE start with a new greeinsh boot screen which ends with loads of options.. Boot through 1'st Hard Disk. Installation InstallationÃ¢â‚¬â€ACPI disabled. Installation Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Local ACPI disabled. Installation Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Safe Settings. Rescue Settings. open SUSE still comes up with traditional installation wizard with YAST as your tour guide.The installation is further divided into 2 part. The 1'st part consists setting up Time Zone, Partition,Package Selection, Grub edition/installation and then it comes up with installation part. After the installation part gets over the computer will reboot and the second part will start which will guide you to set up Roor Password, Hardwar Setup, User Managment, Resolution and 3d Accelaration setting and then after you are done finally it leads you through the new and green log in screen .... On a personal note I would suggest you to downlad both KDE and Gnome CD ISO instead of downloading DVD version though it has more software but besides few applications and KDE 4 preview there is nothing you should look at.. The combination of Kde and Gnome Cd will give you pleasure of both environment and can be burned easily [incase you don't have DVD burner] and quickly...The installation is way long and becomes hectic and boring ... Except installation you can add extra software without having DVD ISO.. What you need to do is that just check the Add Online Reprosities option and it will download all the imporatant plugin like Flash ,Java codecs and even Games in case it doesn't have..But to use this you must have a faster and a proper internet connection.. open SUSE speed has increased drastically as now the boot and log out time consumed is way lesser than that of previous version. Hardware Support :- open SUSE 10.3 now comes with great hardware support and with great driver install i.e One Click Install. Infact despite having nice hardware support on paper open SUSE some what failed to work for me.Here is a list of hardware that are supposed to be supported by new openSUSE 10.3 Latest Graphics Gard Including nVIDIA G80 and ATI HD2000 series. New Sound Card Support Aternative open source drivers for ATI graphics cards Xorg 7.3 Default NTFS write/read support Support for the Belgian eID card TV card support Well for me Suse 10.3 didn't worked to my expectations. According to Suse release notes NTFS read and write support by default SUSE failed to mount my 2 NTFS partition and even after I did mounted it manually there was no Write Support. I installed openSuse 10.3 in my laptop to test the Wi-fi support and for my suprise even my Wifi card didn't worked out of the box while not the case with Ubuntu and Sabayon. I have to use Ndiswrapper to get it working.. Even I had to manual install the drivers for my 8400M GS..Despite Suse introduced One Click install...The main reason is that Suse comes with old version of Kernel i.e 220.127.116.11-31which has few issues with wi-fi cards... I attached my Hp AIO 1410 to it and after configuring it in few simple steps it was ready to print. So for some reason it detected my Bluetooth and I got it working without any hassel. There is lots more good utility like Power Saving, Battery Monitor, Printer Manager with few more useful utilities that can be accessed from control center and application center.. Software Support : - Software support where open SUSE 10.3 improved a lot. Novel has done some splendid work in easing Installation and Usage of software for users..The best addon is the One Click installation wizard .. Unlike previous version installtion is much easier though it takes a bit time but am pretty happy with One Click Install Addon. Linux kernel 18.104.22.168-31 X.org 7.2 KDE 3.5.7 (with a few games from the upcoming KDE 4 thrown in) GNOME 2.20 Firefox 22.214.171.124 Banshee Amarok Thunderbird 126.96.36.199 GIMP 2.2.17 OpenOffice.org 2.3 K3b 1.0.3 The bad part it did not comes with latest software like old Kernel,KDE version,Firefox, and gimp.. Though they can be updated via Automatic updates...open SUSE like Ubuntu still did not have Multimedia support out of the box.. Finally, they've removed the ZENworks Management Daemon (ZMD), which caused a noticeable slowdown in openSUSE 10.2, especially when running at the same time as the Beagle indexing service. Yast has been revived and is now much better and has command with all the applications and tool..Online Repostories icon which helps you add Online repo. just by a simple single click.The Gnome menus for Applications, Places and System has now been integrated into a single Ã¢â‚¬Å“ComputerÃ¢â‚¬ launch icon on the bottom left of the Gnome panel.Suse has taken Security to the max. by adding AppArmour as its security software fortified with Despite adding a bit old application but still opneSUSE comes with all the software that you need for your day to day need. Now the most important addon that Suse 10.3 comes up is that One Clikc Install. One click install now replace old .rpm and .tar.gz by a new file that comes with an extension .ypm[YaST Meta Package Handler] which is just like opening an .xml file which gets downloaded in a second. .Now what you need to do is just open the file with double click and a easy wizard wil lead you through the installation process. The easiest after .deb package manager.. .But still its a great job I must say.. Compiz Fusion & Eyecandy:- Suse changed fully when comes to eye candy . they changed their whole interface with misty green which looks pretty good.. From the booting screen till desktop everything is green and looks very plesant to eyes..The bad Compiz Fusion was not installed out of the box.Though you can enable Desktop Effects [which is not Compiz] which will provide you a 3D Cube and few more effects.. using and installing Compiz is easy .. openSUSE is the only OS which has the latest Compiz is repostories.Installing Fusion is very easy and its follow new One Click Install.. All the compiz accessories get installed all the plugins, Fusion Icon , Compiz Manager and few otehr essential plugins and python version. But when it comes to out of the box open SUSE did not have Compiz Fusion. Here are the screenshot of the compiz Fusion I installed in my open SUSe for testing ..One note if you insisting of CD version downlaod Gnome cause KDE did not comes even with Desktop effects and you can ed up in non responding Xserver if you are new to openSuse. Multimedia & Games :- openSuse 10.3 Gnome version that I tested did not come even with a single game.. though the Kde version did have some games with got ported from KDE 4.Multimedia wise open SUSE again led me down again.. There is no Win32 Codecs installed for playing Audio and video files. Though you can install it easily by attempting to play a media file. which in my case ended up with Non-responding banshee.. Yep banshee is the default media player in Gnome version of open SUSE 10.3 and Amarok in KDE... Tools & Utilities :- openSuse 10.3 comes with re-designed yast which is renamed to YAST2[Yet another Setup tool] which now has its vein spread across all the functions and tools. You can access every file and tool via yast2. Now Online repo. icon is also placed in yast2 which helps in adding repo. which result in installation of Flash and otehr important plugins..the new interface of yast is pretty neat and clean and Yast is now much faster than previous version and responds well ..But still yast seems boalted and slow.. when compared to Control Center of other OS. Conclusion:- Though Novel and openSuse did a tremendous job providing a better and a stable OS but still they haven't did the job done well enough to be praise.. open Suse still has some bugs that needs to be fixed. No Compiz Support out of the box. No Live Cd and there are major factor that they need to work specially the Hardware Detection and Support.. Yast2 is really good supported with security tools and One Click install but still Yast need to modification again and seperating Applications and Tools under 2 section makes it easy to use and find but segragation of Menus under Control Center needs to be considered again.. At last open Suse is a geart OS none the less.. I was impressed by the hardwork but still i want much better Suse on which I can depend on as my primary OS. Though I was having very hig expectation from 10.3 but still I will wait for a new version which could suite my taste..At present Suse 10.3 shattered my dreams/expectations. thiugh I was impressed a lot but still its not upto a great OS... Pros : - Intutive Interface. Well Combined Control Centers. New Improved Yast One Click Install. Community Support. Pre-Installed Help and Support Documents Cons : - No Compiz Out of the box. Poor Multimedia Support. No Live CD. Clumsy Software Managment. Low Hardware Detection Old Software. Ratings : - Installation : 3.5/5 Software : - 3.75/5 Hardware Detection : 3.75/5 Graphics and Eyecandy : 3.5/5 Performance/Stability : 4/5 Community Support/Documents : 4.5/5 Over All : 3.8/5 [BREAK=Conclusion] *Conclusion* With the arrival of Windows Vista its pretty clear Linux Community have taken the competition to the next level which provided Linux OS a new interface and made Linux much more user friendly and easy to use .. With Multimedia Os like Sabayon its not that hard to use Linux.. and when comes to great community support and optimum stability with loads of useful tools Ubuntu is the next choice.. Mandriva too is gear OS for newbies that are looking to start with Linux .... open SUSE is great OS but still they needs to work a lot on overall interface and stability of OS...Madriva though is great but the free version did not have much to brag about and it doesn't make sense spending money on OS if you are thinking of Linux where much better option like Sabayon DVD, Ubuntu DVD, open SUSE DVD. So better think before spending is a paid Linux OS. Here is a small help points which will distinguish Os for you needs :-- Mutimedia Rich, Eye Candy Enabled and everything support out of the Box. : - Mandriva 2007 , Sabayon DVD. Optimum Stability , Support and a host of useful tools which will ease the use :- Ubuntu Gusty Gibbon. Linux for the newbies : - Linux Mint, PC Linux OS, Mandriva 07, Ubuntu Gusty Gibbon Linux for Geeks and High End users :- Ubuntu Gusty Gibbon, openSUSE 10.3 , Fedora. With this I end my review/comparision of 4 great OS .. Though I didn't review much aticipated Pc Linux OS because its is a bit old compared to new OS and the good old Fedora .. though I will review both the new release of listed OS soon .. Hope you all liked my article and if so please keep the comments and suggestions coming..... Regards Ds..