| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 244, 17 March 2008
Welcome to this year's 11th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! PC-BSD, a user-friendly variant of FreeBSD with a web-based software installation system, continues to deliver updated releases on a regular basis. We'll take a look at the just-released version 1.5. Does it support modern hardware well? And can it challenge the popular desktop Linux distributions? Read below for some answers. In the news section, Ubuntu enters a beta freeze stage, KNOPPIX gets busy with bug fixes, the Hungarian PCLinuxOS community releases PCe17OS, OpenBSD publishes the 4.3 information page, and Dru Lavigne announces the availability of an up-to-date BSDA certification DVD. Also in this issue, learn about pkg-get, a package management utility for OpenSolaris and follow an interesting analysis of the DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking logs as published by a group of data mining researchers in France. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
First look at PC-BSD 1.5 (by Susan Linton)
I've followed the development of PC-BSD with enthusiasm since my first test drive three years ago of version 0.6. I was highly impressed with the developers' ability to provide a free BSD that was easy to install and even easier to use. Truthfully, I thought it was just amazing. I've tested various versions since, including 1.0 and 1.4, and was never severely disappointed. So, when 1.5 was released, I expected things to only be better. In many ways they were, but in the most significant way they weren't.
The PC-BSD installer hasn't changed much, if any, since 1.4. It's still a lovely graphical wizard that walks the user through a very friendly setup. It includes a partitioning tool for those needing that ability, but it is still limited to logical partitions. It sets up user accounts and the root password. It offers some extra packages, such as Firefox, Opera, KOffice, and OpenOffice.org (located on the second install CD). It installs a bootloader if desired. It's quick and easy, and it works well. The installer is still one of the most impressive aspects of PC-BSD.
During the first boot, one is presented with a graphical X.Org configuration. It offers a wide selection of resolutions and all the drivers available in X.Org 7.3, as well as three versions of the proprietary NVIDIA graphic drivers. This is a wonderful time-saver. The graphical setup tool offers basic configuration with no advanced settings (such as dual screen or special effects), but what it does it does well. It works good and allows the user some choice as opposed to auto-detection and setup. I didn't have any trouble using the NVIDIA drivers this release.
Desktop and software
If you ticked the auto-login checkbox during install, you will miss the tasteful login screen and will be taken straight to the KDE 3.5.8 desktop. The appearance hasn't change much since the last release, featuring the same gradient blue wallpaper. Many components have been updated for this release, but the software line-up remains mostly unchanged as well. It is comprised mainly of KDE applications, such as Konqueror, Kopete, and Kontact as well as some made-for-KDE applications, e.g. Amarok, KMPlayer, and Kaffeine.
One of the benefits of using PC-BSD is their pbiDIR. This is a web site listing lots of software for easy installation onto your PC-BSD system. It offers many popular packages, including The GIMP, Thunderbird, Kasablanca, Audacity, Microsoft TrueType Fonts, and a bunch of games, such as Alien Arena or Frozen Bubble. This makes installing software really easy. Just click through until the package downloads, then an install wizard (similar to what's seen with Windows) opens and guides you through the install. This usually includes the option to install a desktop icon and menu entry. I found this process works really well.
PC-BSD offers a simple way of managing the installed software packages.
(full image size: 200kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Add/Remove Software is still present and functional as is the Ports tree and pkg_add, but the menu Online Update Manager is now inoperative in lieu of the new PC-BSD Update Manager located in the system tray. It was said that among the improvements it now "allows override variables, so that administrators can use their own mirrors / servers to roll out updates to users."
One nice little addition this release is a battery monitor located in the system tray. There still weren't any CPUfreq or hibernation options, but the CPUfreq module can be configured to load at boot using the Services Manager found in the Settings menu. The System Manager appears to remain unchanged, still offering system tools (hardware detection output, cvsup for Ports) and enabling the boot splash. Also found in the menu is Network Settings, which allow very basic configuration, and Firewall, which provides an interface to set up a firewall.
Multimedia support in PC-BSD is good. I had no trouble with Flash video in Firefox and I could play local video files using one of the included players. Kaffeine is the default player for video and it was able to handle AVIs and MPEGs just fine. I did have trouble with encrypted DVDs in the graphical video players (Kaffeine and KMPlayer), but could play them using MPlayer at the command line. Audio CDs open and play fine in Amarok while OGGs and MP3s open and play in Kaffeine. I didn't have any trouble with DOCs or PPTs prepared in Windows or Mac OS using OpenOffice.org except perhaps with the spacing of some images. PDFs were no trouble at all as they opened in the integrated KPDF.
Compiz Fusion is included in this release and worked really well. There's a menu entry which, when clicked, asks if you'd like to enable it at boot. When clicked, Compiz Fusion is immediately enabled and special effects are available. I didn't suffer any instability or performance issues when using this application, but it did seem to require the restart of X to disable the feature.
PC-BSD 1.5 offers 3D desktop features, courtesy of Compiz Fusion.
(full image size: 297kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I didn't have any major issues with any of the applications or tools. They seemed quite stable and functional.
I did have an interesting time with PC-BSD and my various machines. I found some bugs and inconsistencies that indicate possible regression and probably some new issues as well. I ended up testing PC-BSD 1.5 on three machines and discovered that support for NVIDIA boards was lacking.
First, I tested PC-BSD on my trusty HP Pavilion laptop. 1.4 did well on this machine, so I was surprised to discover that it wasn't quite as friendly this release. The first issue I noticed was that the built-in wired Ethernet chip that normally uses Forcedeth in Linux was inoperative in PC-BSD 1.5. It wasn't even detected. There were no hints of it in any of the logs. It was just completely unseen. Did the developers forget to build support for these chips into the kernel?
I didn't try to get the wireless chip to work in the previous release of PC-BSD, but I did this time. It's a Broadcom chip that usually causes most auto-detection to insert the bcm43xx driver. Mine won't work with bcm43xx and I must use NDISwrapper to import and use the Windows drivers in Linux. FreeBSD (the base for PC-BSD) includes the Ndis tools to do the same thing. I was able to "ndisgen" to convert the drivers and could load them. The kernel saw the chip, but was unable to communicate with it. As a result, I hit a brick wall with this laptop because I find a system practically useless without an Internet connection. Also, trying to boot with ACPI disabled resulted in a general protection fault.
But the weirdness didn't end just yet. I installed twice on this laptop, hoping that an ISO burned at a slower rate and a connected RJ45 cable might help, but they didn't. I noticed that with the first install, the Windows NTFS partition was detected and available, but was not seen the next. Given the simple installer, there isn't much way to change your install routine other than your choice of a few extra applications. In addition, this release of PC-BSD brings new sound card detection and support. With this same laptop, I noticed that just about every sound module was loaded at boot. Sound worked fine, but it was unsettling to see all those modules loaded. Lastly, when the screen would blank, X was frozen or remained blacked. The backlight came on, but I could not get back to the desktop without hitting Ctrl+Alt+Backspace and logging back in.
Next, I tested PC-BSD 1.5 on a server machine with Gigabyte GA-M51GM-S2G Micro-ATX mainboard. This too is an NVIDIA board with a Forcedeth supported Ethernet chip, and, in fact, has several chips in common with or similar to the laptop from roughly the same era. Again, the NIC was not detected, so it really appears this was overlooked by the developers. In addition, system performance was markedly degraded using this machine. It uses SATA drives, but so does the laptop which displayed no performance issues. Interestingly, the server has four times the RAM as the laptop, which PC-BSD did see. Also, all the sound modules were loaded for this system just as with the laptop. I think it's safe to conclude that there is a problem with this release on NVIDIA-based systems.
Finally, I tested 1.5 on my basic desktop machine based on an MSI K8T Neo2 that uses a Via K8T800 chipset with Realtek Ethernet chips, NVIDIA graphics, and Creative sound. I didn't have any major issues with this machine at all - it worked wonderfully, except with my Epson R220 printer that could be configured, but not used. I found good hardware support with impressive performance and stability on this machine.
Given the issues experienced with my HP laptop and this release, I can't say this is uniformly a wonderful release. With 1.5 being based on the same FreeBSD 6.3 as 1.4, I'm left to conclude it was something native to PC-BSD. I believe it's safe to say that if you have an NVIDIA-based system, you may want to stick with 1.4. Otherwise, with well supported hardware, it worked as reliably as usual. There were no big changes to the eye, but underneath there were improvements to the PC-BSD tools and updates to the software.
The developers have stated that the next release will be based on the new FreeBSD 7.0, so perhaps I will have better luck at that time. For me, 1.5 was a bit disappointing and I hope I still have the 1.4 disks around here somewhere.
Ubuntu beta freeze, KNOPPIX release update, PCLinuxOS E17 edition, unofficial Gentoo live CD, BSD Certification update, package management in OpenSolaris
The development of Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" continues at a neck-breaking pace. After some six alpha builds, the first and only beta release will be made available later this week, launching an intensive testing period that is expected to engage a much wider Ubuntu user community than any of the alphas. Also, the beta freeze is now in effect. Steve Langasek: "We are now one week from the beta release of 8.04 LTS and have just entered beta freeze. During the freeze, all uploads to main must be approved by a member of the release team, so if you have fixes which are important to get in, please do get in touch as soon as possible. Uploads to 'universe' require a manual push through the queue, but are not subject to release management approval. Issues which are important for the beta release will be tracked by the release team here."
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The day of the public release of KNOPPIX 5.3 is approaching fast. According to a post from Klaus Knopper published on the project's mailing list, KNOPPIX 5.3.1 will be out this week: "To avoid speculations about too much delay again (again, I apologize for last year's unavailability), here is our to-do list between CeBIT and the KNOPPIX 5.3.1 release for which we have an internal release date of 'not later than 22.3.2008': fix speech plugin for ADRIANE - done; fix detection of VFAT file system in /etc/fstab- done; package updates in order to get Orca to speak in German, too - done; fix annoying 'out of room for mmap' apt-get update error - done; add missing firmware for ipw3x driver - done; kernel update - in progress; bug fixes and enhancements for screen reader in close cooperation with SBL author Marco Skambraks - in progress; fix KNOPPIX terminal server - in progress; KDE4 bugs - won't fix."
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The Hungarian PCLinuxOS developer community has released an interesting variant of this popular desktop distribution. Called PCe17OS, this is a remastered edition of PCLinuxOS with Enlightenment 17 as the default desktop. The 1.1 GB live DVD contains Firefox, Thunderbird, Skype, Nvu, Deluge BitTorrent client, tvtime, Mirage, GIMP, Songbird, a good number of GTK+ applications, several utilities, the Drakconf family of configuration tools and other pleasant surprises, all accessible from a beautiful desktop. The live DVD is set up to boot into Hungarian by default, but one can change the language to English via Enlightenment's configuration panel. Here is a brief release announcement (in Hungarian). Interested readers can download the live DVD from here: pce17os_hu.iso (1,089MB, MD5, torrent).
PCe17OS - a PCLinuxOS variant featuring Enlightenment 17
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After a recent flurry of news and public announcements, it seems that the Gentoo project is slowly sliding back to its old ways of presenting itself to the world: missed release schedules, absence of progress reports, silence on the front page... The distribution's Release Engineering page still calls for a beta release on the 10th of March (this is already a week late than the original plan), but despite missing the target, no update has been made either on the page itself or elsewhere on the project's web site. It isn't all bad news, though. Last week, the Gentoo user community stepped in to compensate for the continued failings of the main project to deliver a new version and released an unofficial Gentoo live CD: "You can download the Gentoo minimal installation CD for installing Gentoo Linux on your computer. The reason, why I have released an 'unofficial' Gentoo installation CD is that the last stable version is 2007.0, which is old (but still working well, of course), but the recent kernel supports more hardware." This unofficial Gentoo installation CD for the i686 architecture can be downloaded from here: install-i686-minimal-2008.Mar.13.iso (226MB, MD5). A current Portage and a "stage3" archive are also available from the same source.
* * * * *
Good news for those readers who are interested in getting certified in administering BSD system. As announced by Dru Lavigne, an updated version of the BSDA DVD, containing four BSD operating systems, plus courseware, is now available for purchase: "Late last night I finished up the ISO for a new version of the BSDA DVD. It's now available for order from the BSDCert web site or the BSDA registration web site. The DVD is a thank-you for those who can donate $40 USD to BSD Certification and proceeds are used to offset the costs of creating, delivering, and maintaining psychometrically valid examinations. If you would like a DVD but are unable to afford the $40 donation or if you would like to negotiate a bulk order for a conference or educational purposes, contact me and we'll see what we can do. This edition of the DVD contains the i386 versions of FreeBSD 6.3 (including packages and the ports collection), NetBSD 4.0 (including pkgsrc) OpenBSD 4.2 (including packages) and DragonFly BSD 1.12.0."
* * * * *
Solaris has long had a reputation as a highly reliable server operating system, but with projects such as Indiana or BeleniX now developing new, user-friendly features, a desktop Solaris could become a realistic concept in the not too distant future. One of these new features is pkg-get, a real package manager for OpenSolaris, similar to apt-get: "pkg-get provides much the same functionality as apt-get, except that PKGs get installed instead of RPMs. It seems to be a bit more on the verbose side, but, in terms of execution, and a large collection of open source software to choose from in its publicly available repositories, it's an excellent alternative to doing everything yourself. I'd imagine it's probably a better alternative to most other software packages that do the same thing for Unix (although I can't seem to find more than the two I mentioned above that aren't hacked-up versions of Linux utilities fudged into working on a Unix box)."
|Released Last Week
Frugalware Linux 0.8
Miklós Vajna has announced the final release of Frugalware Linux 0.8, code name "Kalgan": "The Frugalware Developer Team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Frugalware Linux 0.8, our eighth stable release. No new features have been added since 0.8rc2, but more than 300 changes have been made to fix minor bugs. If you didn't follow the changes during the candidate releases, here are the most important changes since 0.7: up-to-date base system - Linux kernel 184.108.40.206, glibc 2.7 and GCC 4.2.3; up-to-date desktop packages - KDE 3.5.9, GNOME 2.20, Xfce 4.4.2, OpenOffice.org 2.4rc2 (ooo-build 2.4.0) and Firefox 220.127.116.11; setup - WPA support, new supported language (Czech); new graphical tool - Frugalware Update Notifier; 4,068 changes, including 251 new packages, 1,729 updated packages and 416 closed tasks." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Frugalware Linux 0.8 with the Gfpm package management front-end
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iXsystems has announced the release of PC-BSD 1.5, a user-friendly desktop operating system based on FreeBSD: "iXsystems announced today the release of PC-BSD Edison edition. PC-BSD is a fully functional open source desktop operating system based on FreeBSD 6.3-STABLE. FreeBSD is one of the most used UNIX-like operating systems in the world and is widely renowned as the most stable and secure server operating system. Highlights of the Edison edition include availability of an AMD 64-bit version for faster performance on hardware currently running 64-bit Intel or Athlon processors. Other new built-in features include X.Org 7.3, KDE 3.5.8, a new system updater tool, improvements to the PBI Removal and WiFi tools, BSSID support and improved SSID support, a new sound detection program, and a new PBI icon preview library." Read the press release, release notes and changelog for further information.
Foresight Linux 2.0
Ken VanDine has announced the final release of Foresight Linux 2.0, an rPath-based distribution featuring the very latest GNOME 2.22: "Foresight Linux 2.0 has been released. New in version 2.0: a new tar-based installer that should install in less than 10 minutes, including formatting a 200 GB hard drive; PackageKit to help users update their system and add and remove software; Syslinux, a new bootloader to replace GRUB; GNOME-Do to quickly search for many items present in a GNOME desktop environment (applications, Evolution contacts, Firefox bookmarks, files, artists and albums in Rhythmbox, Pidgin buddies, etc.) and perform commonly used actions on those items. Users should also find it much easier to use binary video card drivers from NVIDIA and ATI than in Foresight 1.x. Transmission is also included as the default BitTorrent application." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Parsix GNU/Linux 1.0r1
Alan Baghumian has announced the release of the first revision of Parsix GNU/Linux 1.0, a desktop distribution based on Debian's testing branch: "An updated version of Parsix GNU/Linux 1.0, code name 'Ramon', is available now. Parsix Ramon r1 contains updated packages and several fixes for the reported defects. Ramon r1 also introduces Continent APT repository, along with the officially supported Parsix repository. The Continent repository consists of the whole Debian testing archive, minus the official Parsix repository packages. Other highlights are: updated and security patched 18.104.22.168 kernel, GNOME 2.20.3, lots of updated packages, including OpenOffice.org 2.3.1, GNU Iceweasel 22.214.171.124, GIMP 2.4.4, glibc 2.7, Pidgin 2.3.1, Exaile 0.2.11, xFarDic 0.10.3 and more. All packages have been synchronized with Debian's testing repository as of March 08, 2008." The release announcement, release notes.
Clonezilla Live 1.0.9-19
Clonezilla Live is a Debian-based live CD containing Clonezilla, a partition and disk cloning software similar to Norton Ghost. An updated version was released today: "Clonezilla Live 1.0.9-19 (stable) released. This release is a bug-fixed one with some minor updates: fixed - Memtest86, FreeDOS and Etherboot were not listed in syslinux boot; fixed - CCISS RAID device restoration was broken; fixed - when 'ocs-iso -s' or 'ocs-live-dev -c -s' was run, Etherboot and FreeDOS images were not copied; syslinux related files are now in /syslinux; added sdparm, zip and unzip; makeboot.exe is replaced by makeboot.sh so that USB flash drive will boot successfully with kernel under /casper; Partclone 0.0.6 is used now so clone.fat is available; more descriptions were added to the boot menu; an option for VGA mode 640x480 was added." Read the full release announcement for more details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The OpenBSD project has announced that its upcoming stable release, version 4.3, will be officially out on May 1st, 2008. A long list of new features, including support for several new architectures and device drivers, can be found on the OpenBSD 4.3 Release page.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Mining DistroWatch.com logs|
The Page Hit Ranking (PHR) statistics on DistroWatch have stirred many heated debates over the years. But aside from ranking distributions by page views, is there a more scientific way to analyse the huge number of data representing some 100,000 daily visits on this web site? Loïc Cerf, a Ph.D. student at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Lyon, France, and a long-time DistroWatch reader, has spent several months analysing the DistroWatch.com PHR figures in order to observe the browsing trends of visitors over a period of time. The result of this work will be presented at the International Conference on Data Mining in Atlanta, USA, next month. In the meantime, the author has published some interesting observations in an article entitled Mining DistroWatch.com Logs: "Mining the logs from the famous DistroWatch.com web site enables to formally assess the trends in the GNU/Linux ecosystem. In particular, this first part will analyze the popularity of Ubuntu with respect to the former predominance of Mandriva Linux."
* * * * *
Eee PC column on Xandros page
Several readers have asked to include the Eee PC edition of Xandros Desktop on this site's Xandros Desktop page. Your wish has been granted and a new column, listing the version numbers of the included default applications, has been added to the table. The Eee PC edition of Xandros Desktop ships with Linux kernel 126.96.36.199, glibc 2.3.6, X.Org 7.2, IceWM 1.2.30, Firefox 188.8.131.52, OpenOffice.org 2.0.4 and other popular software. Development tools are not included, but some non-free ones, such as Skype and Acrobat reader are. For more information please visit our Xandros page here.
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
- Clonezilla Live. Clonezilla Live is a Debian-based live CD containing Clonezilla, a partition and disk cloning software similar to Norton Ghost. It saves and restores only used blocks in hard drive. With Clonezilla, one can clone a 5 GB system to 40 clients in about 10 minutes.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- LinuxMallorca. LinuxMallorca is a Debian-based distribution developed by the Council of Mallorca in Spain.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 24 March 2008.
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
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Neptune is a GNU/Linux distribution for desktops. It is based on Debian's stable branch, except for a newer kernel, some drivers and newer versions of popular applications, such as LibreOffice. It also ships with the latest version of the KDE desktop. The distribution's main goals are to provide a good-looking general-purpose desktop with pre-configured multimedia playback and to offer an easy-to-use USB installer with a persistence option.