ElementaryOS Luna Test Drive

The web is the future right? online, offline, responsive, desktop, mobile, tablet,.. WebOS, Chrome OS, Firefox OS,.. Yes, but I need an Operative System right now!

After the Gnome 2 fragmentation diaspora, I felt I bit abandoned. Gnome 3 Shell(*), Ubuntu Unity, Mate, Cinnamon,.. or custom one? No one satified me completly, specially on not so new hardware.

Play the video! (sorry for the quality)

Elementary OS running on an old netbook with intel GPU

Elementary OS Luna

It's based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and it is very fast compared to Unity/Compiz or Gnome 3.x but also more feature rich compared to other minimal Window Managers.

Bonus shortcuts: super+arrow left/right keys to change the desktop and ctrl+alt+arrows to move the window between the desktops.

You should try it!

PS: (*) Seriously, Gnome 3.10.x looks good but it is slow and it continues to be targeted to a touch device that will never exists!

ZFS on Ubuntu vs Freenas

ZFS on Ubuntu vs Freenas

I don’t want to bore you why ZFS is the coolest filesystem (features), this is just a recap of my experience with OpenZFS on Linux and Freebsd/Freenas in a Desktop and Home Server perspective.

4 years ago OpenSolaris released Nautilus with TimeSlicer, an efficient “Time machine” for your files and your backups, but since then a lot of things changed: Oracle acquired Sun, OpenSolaris is dead and in 2013 the communities interested in ZFS Open Source, Illumos, Freebsd, ZFS on Linux, merged the efforts in OpenZFS project  (aka ZFS v5000 and beyond).

A quick look FreeNAS vs Ubuntu

FreeNAS: it is an ad-hoc OS based on FreeBSD to build a full-featured File Server. It is managed mainly via a local Web UI and it simplify a lot all the File Server related tasks.
Ubuntu: It is a well known Desktop and Server GNU/Linux OS. 

Gnome Shell vs Ubuntu Unity ? DIY with Cairo-Dock Session

After Gnome2 a big diaspora of Linux Desktop users migrated towards a moltitude of desktop environments: Cinnamon (Linux Mint), Mate (ex-Gnome2 fork), Unity, Gnome 3 Shell, XFCE, Kde,.. this fragmentation is confusing for first-time users and third party software which have to integrate with the DE but the apps which "do the things" on Linux are the same.

How much RAM should waste a Desktop Environment to be cool?

The problem is that a wrong DE could really degrade your user experience on Linux (gray windows, slowdowns), Unity/Mir are targeted towards the future an a convergence Desktop/Tablet/Mobile, Gnome3 is targeted to a non-existant tablet, the truth is that unfortunatly the most mainstream  distros abandoned a lot of netbooks with 1Gb RAM or ex-accelerated-PCs-by-broken-proprietary-3D-drivers for the progress (Consume more Ram or need Gpu == better)

Cairo Dock, a modern minimal eye-candy DE for everybody

Cairo-Dock is a Dock. It more lightweight in terms of RAM than Unity and more useful / extensible than Gnome Shell.

The Opengl support is optional and if you want the transparencies you just need Metacity with composite or xcompmgr.

Some tests on a netbook with a 1Gb of RAM.

Please an HTML5 Mobile OS with WebGL in 2013!

I'm very disapponted by lastest HTML5 Linux based Mobile OSes, they all look the same and they don't allow to access to the hardware or notifications via W3C api and this fragmentation doesn't provide a real alternative to the iOs and Android platform..
The motivation it seems to me is: "Here is the new shiny smartphone, now buy from my.. Yet Another Brand App Store".
One HTML5 standard, many stores and small incompatibilities.
The Web is the present and also the future, because it's the "Lingua Franca", an not only for the online webapps but also for offline native apps. Some open source technologies are already the best compromise.

Is Linux Desktop Dead? Let's talk about facts

After last interview to Miguel De Icaza the web sphere burn of comments about linux pros and cons, but let's talk about facts:

Rails 3.2 with Ruby 1.9.3 on Ubuntu Linux 12.04


The Ruby on Rails framework installation has changed a bit, so here a basic setup on Linux Ubuntu/Debian with the simplest steps as possibile.


First, install the basic ruby stuff, via apt-get. NB: everytime you use a C or C++ dependency you need the specific headers (example, to install "rmagick" the imagemagick wrapper you need "libmagickwand-dev", in general you could need some *-dev, if the mapping is not so obvious google is your friend).
The latest version of ruby (1.9.3) has been mapped to the package "ruby1.9.1" on Debian and Ubuntu 12.04

sudo apt-get install ruby1.9.1 ruby1.9.1-dev nodejs libsqlite3-dev g++

Now setup rubygems, the official package manager for the ruby land environment.

echo "gem: --no-ri --no-rdoc" > $HOME/.gemrc
sudo gem install rails thin

If you need or plan to manage multiple ruby versions you need also rvm or rbenv.

Example application

rails new myapp && cd myapp

The gems which aren’t project specific is better keep them system-wide so use the command “sudo gem” to install them.

Use the bundle command to keep your project dependencies update.

bundle install

A simple test app

Impressioni su OpenShift, il Cloud Open Source e LiveCD

Il Cloud Computing è una buzz word utilizzata per intendere diverse tecnologie virtualizzate a diversi livelli. Ubuntu ha Eucalyptus/OpenStack, Redhat/Fedora ha Openshift, poi ci sono servizi di hosting come Amazon EC2 ed Heroku.. ma procediamo con ordine.

Introduzione ai tipi di "Cloud"

Si intendono diverse tipologie di sofware o piattaforme remote, con granularità differente che forniscono dei servizi, le 3 grandi famiglie sono:

Ubuntu GNU/Linux per molti ma non (ancora) per tutti

Ubuntu ha avuto il pregio di prendere diversi software liberi e open source e di confezionarli in qualcosa che non fosse semplicemente in una accozzaglia di software casuale inusabile da tua mamma.

Tuttavia il mondo non sta fermo e che piaccia o no il nuovo "sistema operativo" si sta spostando sempre di più verso il browser web.
In questo spostamento Linux potrebbe anche esserne avvantaggiato, ma in realtà ci sono ancora tanti (troppi) segnali contradittori.

PC vecchi bye bye

Linux è spesso proposto come sistema operativo di recupero (OIL) e la cosa è tecnicamente, economicamente ed ambientalmente apprezzabile, quello che è meno accettabile ed entusiasmante è che gli aggiornamenti sono quasi sempre una roulette russa.
Vi cito un esempio concreto di bestemmioni e cristoni che potrebbe avere un utente normale a passare da Ubuntu 10.04 LTS a Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (parlo di Ubuntu, ma lo stesso succederebbe con un'altra distro GNU/Linux).
Immaginiamo senza troppa fantasia un PC fatto così:

  • CPU 1,7Ghz 2gb ram
  • GPU nvidia MX4000 GeForce4
  • Scanner Trust X1100

Con l'aggiornamento alla nuova versione "stabile a lungo periodo" incontreremo almeno questi bug bloccanti(regressioni):

My 120€ Mini ITX Ubuntu Linux 12.04 Home server

I've several computers at home, a non-ethernet printer, a router, some spare hard disks, I think it is a pretty common situation nowdays, but I didn't have a NAS, a print server or a Media Center HTPC. So this is an overview about what can do and how to configure a low-power Linux Server available 24h/24h.

Fanless 10w CPU mini-itx Intel D425KT mobo + sata-esata cable for the external esata hard disk. The case is Morex T-3500 60w.


Your home server could be an unused notebook or desktop, but I chose to buy a new fanless 10 Watt mini-itx system. Others important features are sata/esata support (or another high speed connection USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt) in the mainboard and Hard Disks and Wake-on-LAN support in the ethernet card to wake up the server on demand (It's pretty common nowdays).

2 words about the "new" desktop revolution on GNOME3 GNU/Linux

I like GUIs, the User Interfaces which give to the user the power to control a computer, the software algorithms, the hardware and all the features it can provide.

Unfortunately GNOME, my preferred Desktop Environment on Linux, is continuously revolutionizing itself. A lot of fragmented alternatives like Unity, Cinnamon, Gnome Classic.. are popping out but I still see no benefit to break with the past and the new is anything special.

Tablets are not the ONLY future.

The mobile will be more important, any TV will look like a media center, but we'll continue to use a >11'' screen to do the important things!
The new GNOME mockups doesn't impress me much because there is a lot of space wasted and don't consider that the use case to put 2 windows side-by-side which is still important in the desktop computing.
There isn't a size which fit all for a GUI, but you can support better some common ones and use a CSS3-like technique like flexible columns with media-query.