Ever the showman, Shuttleworth has compared his vision of the Ubuntu Edge smart phone to Formula 1 racing cars to demonstrate the cutting edge nature of the device. It certainly is a sleek looking piece of hardware with excellent specifications. The project is to be crowdfunded by enthusiasts and mobile computing professionals to the tune of $830 per unit, including shipping if you live within the US or the UK. Outside of those a $30 shipping and handling fee applies. the first handful were offered at a discount price of $600 to get the ball rolling. At the time of writing $3.7 million had been raised, with 29 days to raise the $28+ million balance. Special multiple and corporate deals are also available.
Well, most of us Linux users know that Google have not been forth coming with a Drive client for Linux. Why? Who knows? We’re told.. “It’s in the works”, “We’re working on it”, “Soon..” .. yeah, don’t hold your breath.
On G+, +steven C has created a G+ community (GoogleDrive4Linux, “ours”, not his :heh: ) and a petition which already has over 3100 signatures (that’s double since yesterday), GoogleDrive4Linux. This follows in the footsteps of +Kev Quirk‘s great work with his petition that amassed over 1800 signatures.
If you are reading this, use, or even like Linux, use or even like any of Google’s services then sign the petition! (link above).
Those of you that read my earlier post may remember Grive.
Grive is a 3rd party application to sync your Google Drive in Linux, command line based. It works well. I made a simple GUI for it using ROX-Filer, but that is very limited. The developers have added a new QT gui to the application, but it does have it’s limitations. For a start, I haven’t figured out how to use it! However it is in it’s infancy so we will leave any judgement on it’s usability and usefulness at the moment.
As time allows, I may investigate this new development further, but really what is needed, is for Google to come to the Linux party and embrace a true Linux client.
I decided to replace a Raring Ubuntu install on my laptop with Mageia 3. I used the “dualarch” iso downloaded with bit torrent (transmission), ~700MB. I have crap bandwidth so the DVD was out of the question for me, plus I could set up the system the way I want.
The install went pretty smooth except for my wireless connection. The laptop is a Compaq CQ-60, Intel Cantiga graphics, Celeron T1600 (dual core) processor, I GB RAM, Atheros Communications Inc. AR242x / AR542x Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) (rev 01). Note that the iso includes both X86_64 and i586 binaries and the installer decides itself which to install. In my case the 64 bit version was chosen.
What happened with wireless was a known issue on Mageia 2 and my particular wireless chipset. Unfortunately the Mageia devs haven’t got this fixed for 3. For some reason, at every boot, rfkill manages to hard block the wireless. Luckily I have Slackware64-current on this lappy so I pilfered the rfkill binary from that install and inserted into /usr/local/bin. Strangely enough no other distro exhibits this issue. If you use any other wireless chipset you should be fine as non-free firmware blobs are included.
I’m sure there is a work around for my case which I will employ.
The only browser included is Midori. That’s ok for finding your way around the web. But I prefer one of the big boys like Firefox or Chrome. I decided on Chrome and got the latest stable 64 bit version from the google servers. It was a simple matter of double clicking the file in my downloads directory once it had downloaded. Mageia automatically resolved all the dependencies and I was browsing G+ within minutes.
I tried out the GUI package manager. It seems ok, pretty much unchanged since the old Mandrake days. That’s good for familiarity, plus it’s a nice simple interface.
Still, I prefer the commandline version, urpmi. I proceed to install gimp, libreoffice, vlc, audacious and a few other small things.
With LXDE on the desktop, a nice and snappy experience is encountered, nothing flashy but it stays out of the way. Who sits there and looks at their desktop anyway? 99% of the time I’m either in a browser, text editor, terminal emulator or word processor.
I might keep this one for awhile. I didn’t like Ubuntu raring on this machine, too slow with Unity or Gnome 3. Probably LXDE would have been the go, but the Amazon stuff kind of turned me off. When I want Amazon to know my business I’ll go there myself. At least with Google, you can go to the Dashboard and delete everything, clear out all the tracking cookies and you are back to square 1. No such thing in Ubuntu/Amazon, even tracks your desktop search!
Google Drive was announced on the 25th of April, 2012. Right here and now somewhere near the 150th meridian east it is the 24th of July, 2012. Doing the sums in my head that makes it, oh, about three months since the announcement?
Where is Drive for Linux?
Ubuntu One can be run on any Linux, Drop-Box has an app for Linux, I don’t know about Amazon or SkyDrive [ :pig2:]…
Isn’t Android and ChromeOS loosely based on Linux? Is that a fair statement? Well I’m going to make a statement, fair or not!
You have leached of Linux, and with due respect, you have given some stuff back to Linux, but what about Drive? We know you have the resources. You know there are millions of faithful Linux users, many of whom are Google users. We know that many of your developers run your custom flavour of Ubuntu. The Cloud is the future we are told.
What is the problem?
Fortunately, some keen developers have made their own open source command line based solution.Grive.
Even better, for Slacko Puppy Linux users I have made a simple graphical solution called Grive Rox App. It’s just a bash script which depends on gtkdialog (thank you Google code) and ROX-Filer, the file manager by default in Slacko and other Puppy Linux. I’m sure Grive could be made to work with Nautilus, Dolphin or most other graphical file managers.