Posted by: Anonymous
on June 11, 2008 03:54 PM
I just gave gNewSense a try (live, not installed), mostly out of curiosity. From this review and some others I expected to find it problematic but actually everything worked fine. My centrino laptop booted with Intel ipw2200 wireless, power management, screen resolution, sound all working flawlessly. In terms of hardware support and automatic configuration this is at least as good as any other distro I've used on this particular hardware and better than most. Like a lot of people I sometimes feel a little uncertain about the differences between copyright, patent, trademark issues and their implications for distribution. I clicked on a movie file (xvid in .avi container) expecting a failure, but instead totem opened, offered to search for suitable codecs, found the appropriate gstreamer plug-ins, installed them and played me the movie. As far as multimedia decoding goes it seems pretty good though libdvdcss and mplayer (and software which depends on it) aren't in the repos despite being GPL but I assume this is as much to do with USA law (DMCA) and patent law rather than licensing. I'm a Debian user and have no reason to change but for people who are looking for an FSF approved distro I suggest they ignore the negativity found in reviews of gNewSense and at least give it a try because if your hardware is well supported by free drivers it should work very nicely and it's easy enough for the user to add software which is free (i.e. licensed under GPL or similar) but poses distribution problems such as libdvdcss and mplayer.