Release notes for siduction cinnamon dev release


We are very happy to present to you today the first integration of the cinnamon desktop  environment into siduction. Cinnamon is a modern desktop based on GTK 3 with a classic look. It has been developed and published by the popular Linux Mint distribution since 2011. Recently Cinnamon version 2.2 has made it into Jessie, Debians upcoming release. A team of several Debian developers has worked on the packaging for about three months and has matured the whole set of packages. We can expect it to be functional.

 Cinnamon has been derived from the Gnome3 desktop with regard to users criticism. There are quite some differences: Though Cinnamon by default uses 3D-accelerated graphics with hiDPI capability it also provides a software rendering mode as fallback. There is an additional cinnamon2d session which is even more resource friendly. Cinnamon comes with a classic panel, its own window-manager muffin and the nemo file-manager. The cinnamon-control-center is an independant, full featured configuration gui.

The released images, that are available for 32-bit (686) and 64-bit PCs (amd64) are snapshots of Debian Unstable (also known as Sid), from 2014-1011. Our DFSG compliant images are enhanced with some useful packages and scripts, our own installer and a custom patched version of the linux-kernel 3.17, accompanied by X-Server 1.16.1. The images can be found on this and other mirrors.

We are labeling this as a Dev-Release, mainly because the set of bundled applications isn’t finally decided yet. For the moment we have focussed on a minimal selection, and added only a few GTK apps. Installing the cinnamon-desktop-environment with all recommended packages would spill over 320 additional packages into your system and would require an additional 940 MB of diskspace (packages +20%, diskspace +25%) . Please take the opportunity to test cinnamon and let your ideas and bugreports flow into the final release.

We do not automatically install recommends in siduction as we want to provide the user with a clean and fast base to install their personal favourites upon. We hope that this idea comes in handy for those Linuxmint users who are disappointed by the switch to LTS and stable based releases of their distribution. The siduction distribution strives do deliver a platform that allows for continuous integration of the latest software and this requires dist-upgrading with the apt-get package-manager. The system administration is covered by our manual and there is a lively community discussing ideas and helping each other with issues in the siduction forum and in the irc channel. The siduction developers successfully have closed more than 150 Bugs in the siduction bug tracking system since the latest full release.

Known issues of the Dev-Release
We need to select some cute applications for the upcoming siduction cinnamon flavour. Taking the gnome applications is not neccessarily the best choice. Please, don’t hesitate to register at the siduction forum and join the discussion about cinnamon Your ideas are welcome and might flow as improvements into the final release. Dear creative persons: There is already a common artwork for the whole set of siduction flavours, but you might want to join our art team for the following releases.
  • [fix pending] guake 0.50 (quake style drop-down-terminal) isn’t able to show up when using its hotkey (floating point exception), work around: uncheck “system fixed font” in guake preferences on the appearance-tab.
  • In the Installer only gparted can be used for manual partitioning. The other options (gdisk, fdisk, cfdisk or sidu-disk-center) may be available later after an online-upgrade in the installer.
Known to be not an issue:
  • Siduction has already done the step to the new systemd init system in December of 2013. See below for some introduction to new systemd commands.
As with our latest full release from January 2014 we again make use of Systemd as init system in version 215-5, which Debian will also ship, starting with the release of Debian 8 “Jessie”, expected in early 2015. It is clearly the most technicaly advanced of the init systems at hand.

New commands
Here is a little cheat sheet with some of the commands that are new for booting, handling services and logging with systemd:
Handling Services
  • systemctl list-units – List all units (where unit is the term for a job/service)
  • systemctl start [NAME…] – Start (activate) one or more units
  • systemctl stop [NAME…] – Stop (deactivate) one or more units
  • systemctl disable [NAME…] – Disable one or more unit files
Check man systemctl for more information. For your comfort we also ship systemd-ui, which is called with the command systemadm.
Changing Runlevels, Reboot and Shutdown
Changing runlevels is also different from sysvinit. What was known as runlevel 3 is now, init 5 changes to
  • systemctl isolate – Will take you to what you know as init 5
  • systemctl isolate – Will take you to what you know as init 3
  • systemctl reboot – Shut down and reboot the system
  • systemctl poweroff – Shut down and reboot the system
Logging with Systemd Journal
Journald is a great win over the aged syslog. Logging starts earlier, which for sure was one of the backsides of syslog. Also there is commands that give you tailored information at your fingertips.
  • journalctl –all – gives you the full journal of the system and all users
  • journalctl -f – gives you a live view of the journal as it grows (used to be tail -f /var/log/messages)
  • journalctl –list-boots – shows an indexed list of boot sequences
  • journalctl -b – shows the log of the last boot, add “-1” to see the previous boot
  • journalctl -b -p err – shows the log of last boot, limited to the priority ERROR
  • journalctl –since=yesterday – since Linux people normaly do not reboot much, this is limiting it more than -b
That is only the tip of the iceberg, more is to be found on Lennart Poetterings blog
Since we still ship a compatibility package called systemd-sysv, you can also continue to use the commands you are used to for now, other than the ones for the journal. Besides that we set up systemd in a way, where you can use all the above commands for the journal as plain user, no root needed.

Our Resources
Support can be obtained on our forum as well as on IRC. The relevant channels on OFTC-Network are #siduction for english support or #siduction-core, if you like to join in and participate. On your desktop you also find an icon that takes you to the right channel for support, depending on the chosen language.
To be able to act as a testbed for Debian, we are introducing our own bug-tracker. Let me explain how you can help us and Debian by submitting bugreports for broken packages. Weathered users will know how to file bugs directly with the Debian BTS (Bug Tracking System). For users not so comfortable with the system we have reportbug-ng preinstalled.
If you think, you found a bug in a Debian package, please start reportbug-ng and put the name of the package in the adressline on top. The app will now search through the already filed bugs for that package and show those. Now it’s up to you to determine, if “your” bug has already been reported. If it is, ask yourself if you have anything relevant to add to this report or maybe even a patch. If not, you are done for this time. If the bug has not been reported yet and you are not familiar with the BTS yet, you may report the bug in our  Bug-Tracker.
That obviously goes for siduction packages as well. We will sort the bugs for you and file them in the appropriate place, if it’s reproducible. Please look out for a forum post with more detailed info on the bug-tracker soon.

Speaking of release and our planned release cycle. There is nothing we can tell you other than that we strive for 2-4 releases per year.
As we are always looking for contributors, here is what to do: Come to IRC to channel #siduction-core and talk to us about what you would like to do within the project, or where you think you could help.

Hardware Tips
If you should own a ATI Radeon graphics accelerator, please use the failsafe option, when booting the Live-ISO. This option will add the cheatcodes radeon.modeset=0 xmodule=vesa to the Kernel bootline, so that you can boot to X. Before installing, on the Live-ISO, please  install firmware-linux-nonfree. To do so, please open your /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list with your favourite editor as root and append contrib non-free to the end of the first line. Save the edit and do:
apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree
If you install the operating system now, the package will be installed also, preventing you from a garbled screen when first rebooting. Mind that if you reboot before installing the system, the changes you made will be lost.
If your system has wireless network, this will probably not work out of the box with free drivers, so you better start with wired network connected. You might want to use the script fw-detect to get information on wireless drivers. The installer will prompt you for any  missing firmware and guide you through the process of installing it.

Last but not least a hint for users of the kernel based virtual machine KVM. The developement of a frontend for the kernelbased virtual machine (kvm) has begun as a fork of qemu with the name qemu-kvm or short “kvm”. Since qemu version 1.4 all patches of the kvm fork have been integrated back into the qemu source. Also there has been much  progress in the field of virtualization. So there is a lot of outdated documentation around. We have a current worksheet for Qemu in our wiki.
Credits for the dev release of siduction Cinnamon Team:
J. Theede (musca)
Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
Alf Gaida (agaida)
J. Hamatoma (hama)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
Torsten Wohlfarth (towo)
Maintainers of the siduction Desktop Environments:
GNOME: Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
KDE: Ferdinand Thommes (devil), José Manuel Santamaría Lema (santa)
LXDE: Alf Gaida (agaida)
noX: Alf Gaida (agaida)
Razor-qt: Alf Gaida (agaida)
XFCE: Torsten Wolfahrt (towo)
LXQt: Alf Gaida (agaida)
Art Team:
Code, ideas and support:
J. Hamatoma (hama)
Markus Schimpf (arno911)
Thank you!
Also thank you very much to all testers and all the people giving us support in any possible way. This is also your achievement.
We also want to thank Debian, as we are using their base.
And now have fun with the Dev-Release and present us with your feedback, please!
On behalf of the siduction team:
Ferdinand Thommes

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