when we get to write about great Linux-based tweaks or downloads, we get pretty excited—and, apparently, so do our readers and visitors linked in from across the web. Today we're looking back at the Linux-related posts that got the most attention in 2008, so read on to see what you might have missed, and what the open-source crowd is down with. Photo by Ypsy.
There are many tools one can use to create live-booting Linux desktops on a USB drive, including the multi-distro UNetbootin. Back when Fedora 9 was officially released, though, the Red Hat spin-off made a splash by giving us an easy-to-grasp, Windows-based tool for automatically downloading the latest Fedora release and putting it on a USB stick, along with allowing for extra space for storing changes you made to your system and documents you worked on . The Live USB Creator still works with Fedora 10, and very well might have inspired Ubuntu's 8.10 release to include a similar tool.
There's probably a few Windows-only apps that make living in Linux pretty hard for even those intrigued at the idea—but there's also some Linux apps that would be great to have on your Windows system. Adam detailed how you can put what's basically a full Ubuntu installation onto your desktop with andLinux, using it to enable and launch apps like Amarok, the Akregator RSS reader, or whatever else you're into. For the flip side of that Win/Linux coin, see our guide to using Virtualbox to run Windows apps seamlessly inside Linux
Looking at everything newly available in the popular Ubuntu distribution's 8.04 release, your humble editor jumped on the soapbox and made a case for it being a great reason to give Linux a shot. You could actually install it only as a Windows boot option without messing with your system's boot record, or easily access both Windows and Linux-formatted drives from either system. You could share settings between open-source apps like Firefox, Pidgin, and Thunderbird, and your ability to customise your desktop was pretty boundless. We try not to rant too often here, but sometimes it's worth letting fly with the links and inline pictures.
There wasn't half as much new in October's 8.10 release of Ubuntu as there had been in the majorly re-spun 8.04, but a bunch of seriously helpful usability tweaks made it worth the upgrade. Much-improved network and wireless management (including baked-in 3G card support), a graphical indicator for the installation partition editor, and hardware and dual-monitor managers that explained more of what was happening. Ubuntu-savvy author Keir Thomas also gave us a more in-depth, user-focused look at 8.10.
Four more popular Linux posts
- Five Tweaks For Your New Ubuntu Desktop—Taken from the first things your editor always finds himself doing upon a new install. Switching to mirror servers, disabling or throttling index services, and setting up automatic home folder backups.
- Make Your Linux Desktop More Productive—Windows and Mac fans thinking about making the switch can benefit from checking out how to give their desktops a familiar, quick-task-switching feel, using dock programs like Avant Window Navigator, quick-launchers Gnome-DO or Launchy, and system tray indicators galore.
- Ask the Readers: Would a Prettier Linux Make You Switch?—Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth said he wanted to take an Apple-like focus on creating an elegant, eye-pleasing desktop for Linux distributions, and we wondered if that was a big missing link in Linux adoption. Readers seemed to agree it was important, but, well, another Mac trait—usually seamless hardware compatibility—was more key to your minds.
- Ubuntu 8.10 Gets Optional DarkRoom Theme—Looks like a lot of Ubuntu users are getting a bit tired of the orange/brown theme, and like the eye-relaxing looks of darker-hued desktops.
What was your favourite Linux app, tweak, or discovery from 2008 (or, if you're not calendar-minded, in recent memory)? Tell us about it in the comments.