| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 226, 29 October 2007
Welcome to this year's 44th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! As the Ubuntu Developer Summit gets under way in Boston later today, it is clear that the project's recently released version 7.10 is a resounding success - certainly one of the most user-friendly desktop Linux distributions ever delivered to the computing world. We take a look at both Ubuntu and Kubuntu 7.10 and look forward to the project's next release - "Hardy Heron". In other news, FreeBSD gears up for a flurry of development releases prior to the 6.3 and 7.0 versions, Mandriva starts collecting ideas for 2008.1, Russia's ALT Linux revels in the success of Linux on the domestic market, and the popular GNU Image Manipulation Program hits version 2.4. Finally, don't miss the statistical piece analysing the DistroWatch web logs, with a brief note explaining why these data aren't as useful in measuring distro market share as some readers might believe. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
A look at Ubuntu and Kubuntu 7.10 (by Chris Smart)
Another six months, another Ubuntu release. Exciting! This new release called "Gutsy Gibbon" promises some new fancy features by default as well as the updated GNOME 2.20 desktop and KDE 3.5.8 under Kubuntu. I have been using Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn" on my MacBook for quite some time, primarily because it was the first distribution I found that would successfully suspend and resume. As such, it was the first distribution that let me actually make use of my laptop - as a laptop. What a concept! Would this fine form continue with Gutsy? I was keen to find out!
The Ubuntu live CD (called 'desktop') comes with a simple graphical installer to put the system onto your computer. I booted both the Ubuntu and Kubuntu desktop CDs and ran the installer by clicking the shortcut on the desktop. It first prompts which language you wish to use - it is good to see an installer with support for many languages. The locale you select here will be mirrored in the final system. The installer asks you to select the time zone and keyboard (where I was able to select 'Macintosh') and then presents the partitioner. Unfortunately, the partitioner does not support logical volume management (LVM), so I could not proceed any further. On other computers that do not use LVM, I was able to create partitions here and set the various mount points. I noticed that each time you make a change the partitioner re-scans the hard drive - this is a little annoying and surely not necessary; after all, none of the changes are yet applied and are just in memory.
Once partitioning has been completed it was time to set up a user. The installer does not seem to protect against weak passwords and considering Ubuntu gives its main user full root access via sudo with the user's password, perhaps this is something that the installer should at least warn against. I ran into two other issues when installing Ubuntu. Firstly, the installer fails to configure the base packages if sharing a /boot partition (it complained it could not find the modules for the Ubuntu kernel), even though this was with Kubuntu and had the same kernel files Ubuntu itself will install! And secondly, when connected to a network where access to the Internet was blocked, the installer became stuck at contacting the repositories and never came back to life.
If installing on a computer with Windows (as I did at work) the installer detects this and displays a list of users on that system. It is able to import their Windows profile across to the Linux install meaning they will still have things like their files, bookmarks and even their wallpaper. Write support for NTFS partitions is also enabled by default. From here the installer proceeds to copy the system to your computer and configure the boot loader. If all went to plan, Ubuntu should be installed and awaiting a reboot!
Back on the MacBook and unable to use the live CD installer, I instead had to boot to the DVD and perform a command line install. Once I had booted to this basic system I simply ran "sudo aptitude install ubuntu-desktop" (and kubuntu-desktop for that installation) to receive the complete desktop.
Once I had the system installed I had another chance to test out this new release. As with Feisty, suspend to RAM worked perfectly (it even resumes!), as did all of the special keys including "numlock" and the "numberpad". Also, the one-button touchpad worked perfectly with right and middle click emulation working out of the box. The option to disable the touchpad would have been good as it activates when typing with lazy palms. To my surprise almost everything else worked out of the box, too. Gutsy detected the correct screen resolution without needing to patch the BIOS (thanks, I assume, to the new Intel driver), the little Apple remote worked well and even the built-in microphone was configured. Once I copied the firmware from the Mac OS X partition, the iSight camera worked a treat, perfect for Ekiga! Bluetooth worked out of the box and I paired it with my phone but couldn't browse to it for some reason, instead receiving an error that the obex address was not a valid location. The external monitor worked fine with the Mini-DVI cable plugged in, but unfortunately I could not configure this further using the much hyped "Screens and Graphics" tool. Under KDE I could enable the secondary screen, but X refused to start, whereas under GNOME I couldn't enable it at all. Occasionally I was not able to unmount devices because of the inclusion of the EFI partition in /etc/fstab which spat out an error that the line was bad.
As we've come to expect from Ubuntu, support for non-GPL drivers is well integrated into the the system, to the point that it automatically enabled the MadWiFi driver for my wireless card without my approval. Proprietary drivers from NVIDIA and ATI are included on the CD while playing an MP3 file prompted the system to install the required packages, for which I required Internet access. I could not play encrypted DVDs on the system without first manually running the install-css.sh script from libdvdread3.
Package management under Ubuntu is built on Debian's DEB system and uses APT as its primary interface. Installing any package available in the repositories is as simple as searching for it in the "Add/Remove Applications" program, or using Synaptic. If the console doesn't scare you, you can get the full power of APT from the command line. Downloading a DEB package for Ubuntu from the Internet opens it in the package installer, gdebi. This will automatically solve any missing dependencies and install them for you before configuring the package you downloaded. Adding repositories is handled through the "Software Sources" application, something most other distributions also have.
Sitting in the system tray is the software updater, which at the time of my install (10 days since the release of Gutsy) showed that there were 10 updates available for Ubuntu, including Firefox, OpenSSL and tzdata.
On the GNOME desktop
In terms of the desktop, this release of Ubuntu is almost identical to the previous version with the exception of the default desktop wallpaper. When logging into GNOME under Gutsy the user is greeted by a warm, swirly chocolate desktop background. I really liked this as it tones down the desktop and enhances the lighter tones of the Human theme, making them look less orange in colour and more smooth brown. The boot screens are the same as the last release of Ubuntu, with no new surprises there.
Ubuntu 7.10 - the default desktop
(full image size: 444kB, screen resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
Once again we see the tradition of a sparse desktop continued on with this release. The "Places" menu however shows the default folder structure created for each user, with directories to house documents, videos, pictures and music. Hopefully this will help to keep information organised and desktops clean. Not that an orderly structure really matters though, as Gutsy includes the Tracker search technology which makes finding your files a snap, wherever they might be hiding.
Assuming you have a compatible video card, the other major difference you should notice is the seamlessly integrated CompizFusion, the 3D desktop technology (don't pretend you haven't heard of it). OK, so by default the cube is not activated so it's literally a two dimensional 3D desktop :). But, click on your second desktop and you should see the desktop scoot across. You can also click and drag windows between desktops and all the fancy things you've come to expect from Compiz.
Compiz integration is definitely the best I've seen in any distribution thus far. If you have a supported video card, it simply works - you don't need to select or enable anything. GNOME 2.20 sports the new "Appearance" tool where the theme, icon and cursor settings are all consolidated, but also includes the "Visual Effects" tab. Here the user can configure Compiz, but in keeping with the GNOME ideal of simplicity, there are only three options by default - "None", "Normal" and "Extra". Each of these settings turns on and off certain Compiz plugins. Selecting "Normal" grants the user features like multiple desktops with "Desktop Wall" (but not the famous cube), switcher for a nicer Alt-Tab experience and of course scale for that OS X-like Exposé feature. The "Extra" setting includes all these and adds others, like wobbly windows. Installing compizconfig-settings-manager from the universe repository enables the option to customise Compiz settings from this panel. Here the user can enable other features such as the cube, opacity and paint fire on the screen. Oh yeah!
Ubuntu 7.10 - the 3D desktop
(full image size: 302kB, screen resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
Gutsy also naturally includes the new GNOME improvements, such as Evolution's attachment warning, backup feature and new message notification; EOG enhancements and Evince's ability to use interactive PDF files; Tomboy note taker additions and the ability to leave a message when someone's away from their computer; the "Appearance" control panel for integrated theming as well as other welcome improvements. Ubuntu have also included a few of their own such as the "Screens and Graphics" configuration tool, which lets users configure X and external monitors. Ubuntu also comes with the built in search tool, Tracker, which makes finding your files and applications a snap. This is well integrated with the rest of the system, including the Nautilus file manager.
All in all the GNOME desktop is tightly integrated and works well.
On the KDE desktop
It could be just me, but Kubuntu looks a lot prettier than it used to. Less "purpley" and more of a deeper, richer blue. It's almost soothing. The KDM login screen and KDE splash are well integrated with the same theme and both look great. The window manager uses the same style, but is the newer blue colour and overall the desktop looks alive, rather than washed out.
Kubuntu 7.10 - the default desktop
(full image size: 181kB, screen resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
The desktop comes with Dolphin as the default file manager, which does take some getting used to. The actions menu (which is accessible with a right click) is now available as a side bar within Dolphin. Unfortunately the feature to convert an image to another format is listed but ends up being blank and the option to create a zip file is missing from the archive section (although bzip2 and gzip are there). There is the option to email a file as an attachment (using KMail) and some other handy tricks.
Some of the items in the program menu have been re-arranged, but essentially the range of packages is the same as it was in "Feisty". It is good to see Kubuntu still enabling the descriptions for applications, more distributions need to do this! Still missing are Firefox (leaving the only browser to be Konqueror) and the GIMP (no doubt two of the first things a Kubuntu user downloads, post install). Aside from that Kubuntu comes with all the other main applications most users will want, including the two best applications ever, Amarok and K3B. Creating a new user is a little different to that under GNOME. Unlike Ubuntu where you can tick tasks by description that you wish your user to be able to perform, under Kubuntu you must know which groups to enable. If you want the user to be able to administer the system, they need to be in the "admin" group. As with Ubuntu, playing an MP3 file caused the system to prompt to install the required packages. This also requires access to the Internet, but I noticed that if the install failed it still said it succeeded. Whoops!
By default Kubuntu is missing some of the new features available in Ubuntu, the biggest of which being Compiz and the 3D desktop. Kubuntu users wanting to get in on that action will still have to perform some manual hackery. Also, Kubuntu does not use Tracker for search, but Strigi. The default link in the KDE menu opens up to a web interface under Konqueror and in comparison, it leaves a lot to be desired. Here you can start the daemon, set preferences and perform a search, but it is cumbersome. Fortunately there is a search front-end built into the taskbar, but this is tucked away under the "Utilities" application group. I shudder to think some users will never find the application and perform their searches through the web interface. This needs to be integrated into a single application, or at the very least the default shortcut changed to the taskbar application where one could right click and still get the web page. Even so, the results come up in the web interface and it seems like a backward step from something like Kerry (even if the backend technology here is better).
Aside from missing some of the neat new features that Ubuntu has and while it doesn't seem quite as well integrated as GNOME, it is indeed a fine KDE system and worthy of an upgrade from Feisty.
Kubuntu 7.10 - the Dolphin file manager
(full image size: 210kB, screen resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
This new release of Ubuntu is the most user friendly and well supported Linux distribution I've ever used. Most hardware seems to just work out of the box with the help of the their restricted driver manager. The system is very configurable and well integrated. The inclusion of Compiz is a welcome enhancement and other new features such as Tracker for desktop search technology take the system up a whole new notch of usability. It's not there yet, of course, but for me this release certainly improves on the firm base set down by previous releases. My MacBook has never been happier, except for maybe the battery which is sure to get a bigger work out with all these fancy new features.
Ubuntu - 9 "Smarties" out of 10.
Kubuntu - 8.5 "Smarties" out of 10.
FreeBSD release engineering team back in action, Mandriva updates, Ubuntu "Hardy Heron" features, ALT Linux interview, GIMP 2.4
The last time DistroWatch published a FreeBSD news item on the front page was in January this year when the project released its current stable version 6.2. After that, all went quiet on the release engineering front. Things are about to change in a rather dramatic fashion though; over the next two months, both FreeBSD 6.3 and FreeBSD 7.0 will go through their usual release processes, with two betas and two release candidates from each branch, so expect a flurry of front-page announcements. But what exactly can we look forward to in FreeBSD 7.0? If you want a very detailed answer, then this 37-page document called Introducing FreeBSD 7.0 (in PDF format) by Kris Kennaway is a must read. For the rest of us, the much shorter article named What's cooking for FreeBSD 7 lists the most important features. Some of the more noteworthy among them are Linuxulator for Linux 2.6 (support for natively executing Linux 2.6 binaries), new scheduler (ULE 2.0 / 3.0), experimental support for Sun's ZFS file system, support for the ARM embedded architecture, new security event auditing, newly developed driver for professional audio equipment (snd_hda), and many performance enhancements and bug fixes.
* * * * *
Mandriva has published an updated FAQ page regarding the new status of the Mandriva Club as a free service: "Mandriva, the leading European Linux editor, announces that its Club is open to all Linux users, free of charge. From now on, anyone can access the Club content and use the services of the platform, like any other Mandriva Community services. As part of the new Club changes, all Mandriva Users can become members of the Club by registering for a free my.mandriva.com account. Free accounts are used to identify users on interactive services like blogs or discussion forums." Those of you who wish to buy Mandriva's commercial products have two options - you can either buy each individual Powerpack (€49.00 for electronic delivery or €69.00 for the box set) as it is released or you can opt for a Powerpack subscription service (€59.00 per year for two Powerpack releases).
Although the recently released Mandriva Linux 2008 has been a great success, the distribution's developers are already planning further improvements for the next release - version 2008.1. New feature requests are now accepted on the project's Wiki pages: "Now is the time to publish all your feature requests for the next version of Mandriva on the Wiki. Some of my personal requests: integrated LTSP support, KDEPim 3.5 Enterprise, IcedTea Java installed by default in Mandriva Free, LUKS support in DiskDrake, some more work for reducing power consumption, etc... Make your requests known now before it is too late!"
Still on the subject of Mandriva Linux, Marcello Anni from the Italian Mandriva community has emailed DistroWatch with some interesting information - the availability of a backports repository for Mandriva Linux 2007.1 and 2008: "We have created a backports repository that provides all the last software in binary packages, available for Mandriva Linux 2008 and 2007.1. Could you mention it in DistroWatch Weekly for the benefit of other Mandriva users?" The directories listing available packages are available here for version 2008 and here for version 2007.1, while instructions for setting up the urpmi package manager can be found on this page (the page is in Italian, but the list of urpmi.addmedia commands towards the bottom of the page are self-explanatory).
* * * * *
The Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) starts today (Monday) in Boston, USA. The main purpose of the meeting is to define the goals of the project's next release - version 8.04 "Hardy Heron", which will be Ubuntu's second ever Long Term Release (LTS). As such, the stability and long-term maintainability are probably more important than radical new features, but that doesn't mean that there won't be enough exciting to look forward to in April next year. Some of the ideas that are considered for Hardy are summarised in this implementation roadmap; they include improvements to the Ubiquity installer, easier file sharing across local networks, better configuration of dual monitors, improved CompizFusion by means of fixing the bugs and updating the effects set based on user feedback, improved Kubuntu with the same set of features as Ubuntu, the new KDE 4.0, and various other usability enhancements. One other feature that is worth mentioning here is a brand new desktop theme: "Ubuntu 8.04 should come with a new theme that has been designed from the top down, and intended to be evolved for the subsequent ordinary releases until the next LTS."
* * * * *
We don't often get a chance to feature one of the regional distributions in DistroWatch Weekly, but it's always nice to see if one of them gets into the headlines of a major Linux web site. Last week, KDE Dot News interviewed two representatives of ALT Linux, a Russian distribution that started as a community project with the goal of rebuilding and localising Mandrake Linux into Russian, but later evolved into a commercial company and a major Russian Linux player. The recently released ALT Linux 4.0 is the project's latest version: "In mid-2007 we launched a new 4.0 branch of ALT Linux distributions. The first was ALT Linux 4.0 Server with support for virtualisation and our own browser-based management framework named ALTerator. By the end of August we announced a desktop version ALT Linux 4.0 Desktop with KDE as default environment. Now we are working on ALT Linux 4.0 Desktop Lite, a distribution for less powerful computers and on ALT Linux 4.0 Small Business, which will include WINE@Etersoft Local, a tool that allows to run accounting and legislation database software particularly widespread in Russia."
ALT Linux 4.0 "Desktop" edition featuring the ALTerator configuration utility
(full image size: 188kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Finally, a quick note that isn't really distribution related, but who wouldn't get excited over a new major version of the venerable GIMP? The GNU Image Manipulation Program is one of the oldest graphical applications designed specifically for Linux and one that many consider the first real killer program Linux had seen when the first public release (version 0.54) hit the Internet back in 1996. GIMP 2.4 is also the first major GIMP release in nearly three years. So what's new? Red Hat Magazine has published an excellent article summarising all the main features and providing screenshots to illustrate them: "In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most visible new features, but beyond them, there are tons of less visible things: speed-ups, a decrease in memory consumption, better importing and exporting, a better print plugin, better EXIF support, changed scripting language for plugins, zoomable preview for plugins, many bug fixes, and more."
|Released Last Week
Sabayon Linux 1.1 "Professional"
Fabio Erculiani has announced the release of Sabayon Linux 1.1, "Professional" edition: "We are happy to announce Sabayon Linux 1.1 Professional Edition. Distribution updates: Live boot is now 3 times faster thanks to our improved OpenGL configuration tool; updated KDE to 3.5.7, WINE to 0.9.47; added Nopaste; kernel 184.108.40.206 with the addition of rt2x00 tree patches for more wireless drivers support and latest ACPI patches for support on Fujitsu laptops; changed Sabayon artwork to match latest art changes in Sabayon style; updated KNetworkManager; Added Git, Cogito and Screen; NVIDIA video drivers updated to 100.14.19, ATI video drivers to 8.40.4; added Innotek VirtualBox OSE; updated OpenOfficej.org to 2.2.1; many more packages updated." Read the complete release notes for a detailed list of changes.
Ryan Finnie has announced the release of Finnix 90.0, a Debian-based mini live CD designed for system administrators: "Finnix 90.0 has been released for the x86/AMD64, PowerPC, and UML/Xen platforms. Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian testing. Finnix 90.0 includes a new Linux kernel, faster booting, and the ability to boot from SATA CD-ROM and DVD-ROM devices, as well as updated Debian system software and bug fixes. After much delay, Finnix 90.0 includes Linux 2.6.22; it includes support for both Unionfs 2 and Aufs, with Unionfs as the default for stability reasons. Finnix 90.0 will now boot even quicker, about 8 seconds quicker than Finnix 89.0!" Read the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Damn Small Linux 4.0
Robert Shingledecker has announced the final release of Damn Small Linux 4.0: "After several months and 5 release candidates of upgrades and retooling DSL to additionally provide drag-n-drop document-centric computing, I present v4.0. Change log: upgraded kernel from 2.4.26 to 2.4.31; created new support modules: cloop, unionfs, ndiswrapper, fuse, and madwifi in support of kernel change; changed icon/file manager to DFM for drag and drop capability; updated murgaLua to v0.5.5, Nano to v2.0.6; Xpdf to v3.0.2; updated 'Getting Started' to reflect the many changes implemented in 4.0; new dfmext.lua GUI tool for DFM associations; new switcher.lua GUI to switch window managers - JWM, Fluxbox, or SWM; new automatic update of etc.ld.cache for better support of UCI extensions...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a detailed list of all changes.
Damn Small Linux 4.0 - now with the JWM window manager
(full image size: 141kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Trisguel GNU/Linux 1.5
Trisguel GNU/Linux, a GNOME edition of the Trisquel project, is a Debian-based desktop distribution with support for Galician, Spanish and English languages. An updated release, version 1.5, was announced yesterday. Its principal features include: Linux kernel 2.6.22 with more than 1,700 drivers; GNOME 2.18 desktop; OpenOffice.org 2.2.1 with Galician and Spanish spell-checking features; the new GIMP 2.4.0; new auto-configurable graphics system with X.Org 7.2 and xrandr; improvements in printer handling with support for over 1,500 printer models; new boot system; more than 1,000 software packages installed by default, 20,000 more available - all free software. For more information please read the complete release announcement (in Spanish).
Trisguel GNU/Linux 1.5 - the default desktop
(full image size: 1,681kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Parted Magic 1.9
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 1.9, a single-purpose Linux distribution designed for partitioning hard disks: "Parted Magic 1.9. Updated packages: Linux kernel 2.6.23, ntfsprogs 2.0.0, ntfs-3g 1.913, Conky 1.4.7, BusyBox 1.7.0, jfsutils 1.1.12, PartImage 0.6.6, Parted 1.8.8, FUSE 2.7.0, xfsprogs 2.9.3. I added all i386 keymaps from kbd. There is a label changing GUI for ReiserFS, NTFS, ext2, ext3, XFS, and JFS. A few people asked for PhotoRec and it was added. I did some hacking on GParted and you can create HFS+ file systems directly from GParted now. Added support to name the location of the Parted Magic Squashfs in the syslinux.cfg. Some other other bug fixes and script changes as well." Read the release announcement and changelog for more details.
PUD GNU/Linux 0.4.8
PUD GNU/Linux 0.4.8, an Ubuntu-based mini distribution featuring the light-weight LXDE window manager, has been released: "We're glad to release a new version. A new logo and boot menu integrated with some GNOME tools, and improved laptop support from keyboard detection and suspend / hibernate to wireless settings, makes PUD v0.4.8 the most completed release so far. This system is based on Ubuntu 7.10 with new kernel and packages, patched with Squashfs LZMA compression and Aufs file system. Other upgrades include 3D desktop effects (CompizFusion), 10+ Opt-Get plugins and an easy way to create bootable pen drives called 'mkliveusb'." Read the rest of the release notes for a detailed list of new features.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The Fedora project has published a draft release schedule for its next stable release - Fedora 9. If everything goes according to the current plan, there will be four test release, the first one of which is scheduled for February 1st, 2008. The final release of Fedora 9 should be available from the project's usual download mirrors on May 31st, 2008.
FreeBSD 6.3 and 7.0
FreeBSD has updated the page listing the release schedule for FreeBSD 7.0 and also hinted at probable release dates of FreeBSD 6.3. The final products of both of these FreeBSD branches should be available just before Christmas - FreeBSD 7.0 is scheduled for release on December 17th, 2008, while FreeBSD 6.3 should be out shortly after that.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
User agent statistics|
As the flow of opinions about DistroWatch's Page Hit Ranking statistics continue coming in, some readers have suggested that replacing them with the User Agent data of visitors viewing this site would more accurately represent the market share and popularity of Linux distributions and other operating systems. While it's true that user agent strings offer a factual representation of what operating system and browser each visitor uses to access the web site, there are a number of problems that make their usefulness questionable. Consider the following points:
Despite that, I agree that the user agent strings provide an interesting set of data that can help analysing the usage trends among the DistroWatch visitors. I don't believe they are any better (or any worse) than the Page Hit Ranking statistics, and shouldn't be taken very seriously either. But for what they are worth, here is a ranking of Linux distributions and BSD operating systems as provided by AWStats during October 2007. It is interesting to note that the usage of openSUSE increased dramatically since the release of version 10.3 on October 4th, while FreeBSD has also skyrocketed after PC-BSD 1.4 was announced on September 29th.
- While most Linux distributions modify their user agent strings to show the distribution's name (and sometimes even the distribution's version), there are those that leave this at their default settings. As an example, let's take a look at the following two user agent strings:
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:220.127.116.11) Gecko/20061201 Firefox/18.104.22.168 (Ubuntu-feisty)
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv:22.214.171.124) Gecko/20070815 Firefox/126.96.36.199
From the first string it's clear that the visitor is browsing the web site using Ubuntu 7.04 "Feisty Fawn" (unless the visitor deliberately modified this string). However, the second string only tells us that the visitor uses an x86_64 edition of Linux, but there is no way to tell which distribution. Among the more prominent distributions that do NOT customise their user agent strings are Slackware Linux, Gentoo Linux (I am told that only binary Firefox and Konqueror identify themselves as Gentoo browsers - correct me if this is wrong), Sabayon Linux, Puppy Linux, Arch Linux, VectorLinux and others.
- A similar problem exists with some of the derivative distributions, many of which tend to leave the user agent string unchanged from the upstream setting. As an example, anybody browsing this web site with certain Debian derivatives, such as KNOPPIX or Damn Small Linux, will still enter the statistics as a visitor using Debian GNU/Linux.
- The user agent strings are not fixed in stone. Many browsers make it relatively easy to replace them with anything, including an empty string. The Firefox users can even download and install a Firefox add-on that provides complete control over what the visitor leaves behind in web server logs.
- Only official browsers supplied by the distributions will have descriptive browser strings. Any visitor that uses a browser downloaded directly from the browser's web site will have a generic browser string void of any distribution name. This is most often the case with the increasingly popular Opera, which has 8% market share among the DistroWatch visitors, but which is not free software, so few distributions supply it as part of their products.
- Over 55% of DistroWatch visitors use Windows to browse this web site. While some of these readers might be full-time Windows users looking at Linux as a possible replacement for Windows, chances are that many of you visit the site from work, school, Internet Café and other places where you have little control over the operating system installed on the computer.
- Like the Page Hit Ranking statistics, the user agent strings suffer from the same problem - we only know what the DistroWatch visitors use to browse this web site. There are probably tens of thousands of Linux/BSD users who don't know or don't care about DistroWatch, so these users will always remain outside any of our statistical analyses.
||Number of hits
|| Unknown Linux
|| Debian GNU/Linux
|| Mandriva Linux
|| Linux Mint
|| MEPIS Linux
|| Zenwalk Linux
|| Red Hat Enterprise Linux
|| Pardus Linux
|| Vine Linux
|| Gentoo Linux
|| Kate OS
|| BLAG Linux And GNU
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 5 November 2007.
|• Issue 554 (2014-04-14): Review of FreeNAS, OpenSSL bug, Fedora.next, Robolinux Stealth VM, measuring memory|
|• Issue 553 (2014-04-07): Puppy 5.7 "Slacko", end of Ubuntu One, file encryption with GPG|
|• Issue 552 (2014-03-31): Tanglu 1.0, Ubuntu GNOME LTS, SliTaz for ARM|
|• Issue 551 (2014-03-24): Linux Mint "Debian" 201403, call for end to proprietary firmware, LVM|
|• Issue 550 (2014-03-17): Review of NixOS 13.10, Lubuntu seeking feedback, Android-x86 4.4-rc1 impressions|
|• Issue 549 (2014-03-10): ClearOS 6.5 and UCS 3.2, Gentoo interview, Ubuntu app contest, Into the Core|
|• Issue 548 (2014-03-03): Review of Mageia 4, FreeBSD console driver, filtering web content, Pitivi fundraiser|
|• Issue 547 (2014-02-24): Chakra 2014.02, Ubuntu privacy, preventing unwanted remote logins|
|• Issue 546 (2014-02-17): Review of PC-BSD 10.0, Red Flag closure, Ubuntu and systemd, SlackE18, Fedora book review|
|• Issue 545 (2014-02-10): Impressions of FreeBSD 10.0, Debian votes systemd, Ubuntu file manager, server security|
|• Issue 544 (2014-02-03): Netrunner 13.12, openSUSE future, Ubuntu Touch in emulator, running commands in multiple places|
|• Issue 543 (2014-01-27): Review of Korora 20, FreeBSD 10.0, DNF, ZFS rescue CD, Bridge Linux interview|
|• Issue 542 (2014-01-20): QupZilla, Ubuntu with MATE, Arch on Raspberry Pi, best applications|
|• Issue 541 (2014-01-13): openSUSE 13.1 and Zentyal 3.3, CentOS joins Red Hat, Bodhi on Chromebooks|
|• Issue 540 (2014-01-06): SMS 2.0.6 and SME Server 8.0, Hawaii desktop, PHR statistics 2013, more on multi-part archives|
|• Issue 539 (2013-12-23): Centrych 12.04.3, Fedora 20 and its spins, dividing archives across multiple discs|
|• Issue 538 (2013-12-16): Mint 16 review, RHEL and CentOS 7 plans, SteamOS, Windows XP replacement suggestions|
|• Issue 537 (2013-12-09): OpenMandriva 2013.0, Gentoo developer interview, project Neon, Linux Mint and security|
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Issue 527 (2013-09-30): Tiny Core Linux 5.0, SteamOS, moving operating system to new computer|
|• Issue 526 (2013-09-23): Look at ArchBang 2013.09.01, BSD Now, kernel stats, command-line tips|
|• Issue 525 (2013-09-16): The Official Ubuntu Server Book, FreeBSD 10 and OpenBSD 5.4, Skype alternatives|
|• Issue 524 (2013-09-09): Look at LXLE 12.04.3, Ubuntu's new package format, Secure Boot and dual-booting|
|• Issue 523 (2013-09-02): OpenIndiana 151a8, openSUSE "Evergreen", GNOME and DuckDuckGo, running apps from RAM|
|• Issue 522 (2013-08-26): Look at gNewSense 3.0, Ubuntu Edge fundraising failure, exploring GPL|
|• Issue 521 (2013-08-19): Review of Korora 19, Fedora considers return to "Core", Haiku package management|
|• Issue 520 (2013-08-12): Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE", Xubuntu experiments with XMir, managing passwords with KeePass|
|• Issue 519 (2013-08-05): Review of Porteus 2.0, Kubuntu lays out plans for Wayland adoption, adjusting system swappiness|
|• Issue 518 (2013-07-29): MidnightBSD 0.4, Razor-qt, Ubuntu Edge, mounting infected drives|
|• Issue 517 (2013-07-22): Zorin OS 7 "Lite", Slackware turns 20, UbuntuForums compromise, Raspbian as home server, Tor|
|• Issue 516 (2013-07-15): Review of Fedora 19 "KDE", Shuttleworth on Mir, Seth Vidal, Kingsoft Office for Linux|
|• Issue 515 (2013-07-08): Whonix 0.5.6 and Deepin 12.12, MintBox, processor capabilities, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 514 (2013-07-01): Peppermint Four, Mir, Mandriva forks, ThinkPenguin on libre hardware|
|• Issue 513 (2013-06-24): Look at ROSA, PC-BSD updates, Xen4CentOS6, Slacko vs Precise, Mageia interview, shells|
|• Issue 512 (2013-06-17): Trisquel 6.0, RHEL 7 with GNOME Classic, from Linux to FreeBSD, first look at Wayland|
|• Issue 511 (2013-06-10): Mint 15 impressions, GNOME Classic, Ubuntu Community portal, Absolute OpenBSD|
|• Issue 510 (2013-06-03): Impressions of aptosid 2013-01, Wayland comes to Raspberry Pi, maintaining DNS settings|
|• Issue 509 (2013-05-27): Mageia 3, Debian GNU/Hurd, RebeccaBlackOS with Wayland, ports|
|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
|• Issue 507 (2013-05-13): Impressions of Calculate Linux, 13.4, Ubuntu's portable packages, mintDrivers|
|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Full list of all issues|