| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 339, 1 February 2010
Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! User-friendliness of computer operating systems is something that gets often discussed in open-source software circles. But adding features that are designed to attract more new users isn't always viewed positively in some hard-core geek communities. This week's feature story examines a case of a developer who was met with a hostile reception when he tried to present his easy-to-use live CD to an unforgiving group of OpenBSD hackers. In the news section, Sun Microsystems closes its corporate web site, but what does that mean for some of its popular products? Also in this week's issue, we investigate the idea of converting the ext3 file system to the newer ext4, take a look at Ubuntu's controversial deal with Yahoo, and link to an article that reveals a little-known, but useful Mandriva feature. All this and more in this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly - happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (37MB) and MP3 (49MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Ladislav Bodnar)
GNOBSD - killed by GUI-is-for-wimps hacker culture
New distributions are submitted to DistroWatch all the time. Although there are now nearly 650 free operating systems listed in the DistroWatch database (with more than half of them classified as either "discontinued" or "dormant") and further 200+ on the waiting list), there are still many developers who continue to create their own variants. One would think that with the increasing number of available distros, most people would find what they want among the existing ones, but the trend is actually in the opposite direction. The more distributions there are and the more people get involved in their development, the easier it gets to create one's own respin. The result is that no fewer than 25 new distributions were submitted to DistroWatch in January 2010 alone, including some that were rejected because of possible trademark violations or other reasons.
I have to admit that it has now got into a point where I dread every email with a subject line that says "Submit New Distribution" (there are still one or two of those, unopened, in my mail box as I write this). Don't get me wrong, I am not against people creating new distro projects; after all, DistroWatch thrives on this enormous variety. The problem is that the vast majority of these bring nothing new to the table. There is very little innovation, few new ideas, and almost no compelling reasons for anybody to use them for longer than a few minutes. After the initial enthusiasm of announcing themselves to the world, they die a (not so) slow death, just like the now hundreds of others that were once submitted to DistroWatch with much fanfare.
So it was with a great deal of surprise when, among the dozens of new distributions submitted to DistroWatch last month, I found something to get excited about. Stefan Rinkes, a big fan of OpenBSD, had decided to make an effort and create something that is now common in the Linux world, but which had not been done in OpenBSD - an OpenBSD-based live DVD with automatic hardware detection which would boot into a popular graphical desktop and which would also have a point-and-click graphical system installer. The result was a "distribution" called GNOBSD. When I tried it on my test machine, I was so impressed with the result of this fine work, that I decided to add it to the DistroWatch database straight away, thus by-passing the waiting list - something that I had not done for years.
Alas, my excitement at being able to present the DistroWatch readership with this interesting project was short lived. No sooner had I created the GNOBSD page on DistroWatch that the project's own home page went offline. It took several days before it re-appeared (last Sunday) - in a new coat, but without the ISO image of GNOBSD 4.6 that was previously available for direct download from the site. Upon closer investigation, the reasons became clear - Rinkes has taken the ISO images offline partly because of bandwidth problems, but mainly due to the extreme displeasure expressed by the hardcore OpenBSD user community at his audacity to create a user-friendly and easy-to-use variant of OpenBSD!
All becomes clear if you read through this mailing list thread. Rinkes made a rather modest announcement about the release of GNOBSD 4.6, hoping that other members of the community would help test the ISO image and provide feedback. But the response wasn't exactly what he expected. The first reply ("omg ... there will be blood ...") hinted at what would be forthcoming and it indeed didn't take long before open hostility started seeping through. "I won't be using your product," claimed one of the posters, because "if I use yours, I am slowly helping to doom OpenBSD." The GNOME desktop provided on the GNOBSD media also came in for some criticism: "Why add a bloated desktop like GNOME?," asked one poster, while another seemed to have completely misunderstand the concept when he wrote that "GNOME is in packages/ports so what's missing?" Further down the thread, Rinkes' work received even more ridicule: "Generally the best day to post these announcements is the first day of the fourth month of the year."
It's no surprise that, after receiving this sort of feedback, Rinkes decided to re-evaluate the idea of an easy-to-use OpenBSD live media. When it finally re-opened for business, his web site carried the following message: "The concept of GNOBSD is currently under re-factoring. Instead of shipping ready-to-use images, there will be scripts and a HOWTO for building and customizing GNOBSD. I don't want to be an enemy of the OpenBSD project. In the future you have to download or buy OpenBSD. That way you will support the OpenBSD project and still be able to use GNOBSD." As I mentioned earlier, the author had already pulled the ISO image from the web site, and it doesn't seem to be available anywhere else, not even on popular torrent download sites.
This, to me, was a disappointing development. After months of receiving submissions of mostly uninteresting respins of popular Linux distributions presented as "new" projects, GNOBSD was a much needed shot in the arm for DistroWatch. Put in the DVD, boot the computer, check out that everything works, start the graphical installer - and a few minutes later you are running one of the world's most secure operating system, without having to spend days of studying the project's documentation. Even if you don't believe that it's a good idea to run OpenBSD without learning about it first, I don't see why a more user-friendly variant couldn't co-exist peacefully with its parent. After all, choice is said to be good. Furthermore, there is a precedent in the BSD world - FreeBSD and PC-BSD (a user-friendly, desktop-oriented variant of FreeBSD) do co-exist without anybody at FreeBSD feeling threatened by the existence of an easy-to-use FreeBSD flavour (the two projects even actively cooperate). Some of the OpenBSD fans must be suffering from a very peculiar form of insecurity to really believe that GNOBSD would contribute to a "doom of OpenBSD"!
Since it looks like GNOBSD 4.6 was the project's last release in a live DVD format, here is a quick look at what it was like while it lasted. I booted the 2.2 GB DVD image on my spare box which has an AMD64 3500+ processor (2.2GHz), K8N Neo2 (Socket939) mainboard from MSI, 2 GB of DDR SDRAM, an LG DVD/CD rewritable drive, a Realtek 8169 network card, and an NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4600 graphics card. The data on the DVD image weren't compressed - hence the reason for its large size and for long boot and application start-up times. It took 3:15 minutes to arrive at the initial menu (with options to launch the shell, live desktop, installer or to exit) and further 5:55 minutes to reach the GNOME desktop. Clicking on the Firefox icon on the desktop resulted in more idle times - it took 1:45 minutes before the browser window appeared on the screen. Of course, once installed to hard disk, the system was as responsive as any other BSD or Linux system.
GNOBSD 4.6 - an OpenBSD-based live DVD with GNOME and a graphical installer
(full image size: 559kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Luckily, apart from the slow live mode, GNOBSD turned out to be a well-behaved system. The hardware auto-configuration was flawless, with the graphics card (using the nv driver), screen resolution (1280x1024) and network card (Realtek 8169) all automatically configured and ready for use. On the applications side, there wasn't much beyond the usual GNOME tools and utilities, but the system did come with Firefox, MPlayer and CUPS print server. Unlike in PC-BSD, no graphical package management tools were provided, so users wishing to install other applications would have to reach for the standard OpenBSD package management tools from the command line. Of course, those preferring to install software from ports can do so too. The system installer was similar to what one finds on any modern Linux distribution these days; it included a partitioning step with custom or auto-partitioning options and it enforced 8-character user and root passwords.
While not yet on par with Linux live CDs, especially in live mode, GNOBSD was, in my view, a step in the right direction that had a potential to bring more users to the world of OpenBSD. It is disappointing that it had been shut down before it had a chance to take off; if the author does indeed stay away from providing any more live media and focuses instead on writing scripts and HOWTOs for customising OpenBSD, then, I am afraid, the project would be just one of the many other unremarkable ideas out there - interesting and perhaps useful to some, but hardly revolutionary. Just like most of the "new" distributions that get submitted to DistroWatch these days.
The moral of the story? If you ever get an idea to develop a user-friendly feature for OpenBSD, don't even think of announcing it on any of the OpenBSD mailing lists. Unless you have a skin of an elephant...
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Future of Solaris, Ubuntu - Yahoo deal, Mandriva's auto_inst and "Cooker" changes
Perhaps the biggest news of the week was the definite end of Sun Microsystems, a company which has been often hated and loved at the same time by the open-source software community. But with sun.com now redirecting to oracle.com, many developers and users of Java, OpenOffice.org, MySQL, Solaris, OpenSolaris and other popular software projects are asking what the future holds for them. While no clear answers are likely to be forthcoming for some time yet, chances are that not too much will change in the immediate future. That, at least, seems to be Oracle's position on Solaris: "In the case of Solaris, Oracle had already been a big supporter of the rival Linux operating system. Oracle has its own Enterprise Linux offering, based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, the idea that Linux and Solaris are mutually exclusive is a false choice. 'I don't think it's an either/or proposition, as UNIX does very well on the high-end,' Ellison said during a webcast Q&A session about the technologies. 'I think where you'll see Solaris going is running not so much as an operating system for a standalone computer. You'll see Solaris as an operating system for a cluster of computers.'"
* * * * *
Back to Linux, a piece of news that rocked the Ubuntu world last week was the decision to switch the default search engine in Firefox from Google to Yahoo: "Those of you testing out the development version of Ubuntu 10.04 should notice a change in Firefox very soon. The default search provider for new installations of Ubuntu Lucid (10.04) and upgrades will be Yahoo! and not Google. Canonical have struck a revenue sharing deal with Yahoo! which generates income for the company. This revenue should help pay the wages of Ubuntu developers employed by Canonical, and support the infrastructure required to develop and build the distribution. So when using the search box in the top right corner of Firefox on Ubuntu, you'll be taken to a Yahoo! results page rather than the old default Google one. If you are upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 and you had Google as your search provider (the previous default) then this will change to Yahoo!. You can of course change the search provider." This change came as a surprise to many; after all, Yahoo's search engine is now powered by Microsoft's Bing. But as Slashdot put it so bluntly, "this would seem to mean that Microsoft will be paying people for using Ubuntu." Interesting times we live in.
In a separate news, the first issue of the Ubuntu User magazine is now available for free download in PDF format.
* * * * *
Bruno Cornec's blogs about a Mandriva Linux feature that is probably not all that well-known in the distribution's user community, but which could be its best-kept secret - auto_inst: "Have you ever tried to automatically install your Linux distribution? Of course, if you're a long-time system administrator and Red Hat user, you use Kickstart, or FAI if you happen to be a Debian fan. But if you're a Mandriva user, you also have a great tool to achieve the same goal: auto_inst. What? You were not aware! Well, not so surprising seeing the lack of documentation around that tool, since nearly the beginning. Mandriva has been lucky enough to have a contributor, David Eastcott, who published and updated for a couple of years a good auto_inst guide. It has been my bible, when I first looked at it, I found it very detailed and useful, even if I never understood why Mandriva didn't make more noise about it."
Also covering Mandriva on his blog, Frederik Himpe gives us a new round of noteworthy updates in Cooker, the distribution's development branch.
* * * * *
Finally, something for the fans of the DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking (PHR) statistics. News has reached us that the developers of the smxi scripts for Debian GNU/Linux have written a script called dws, whose sole purpose is to check a distribution's current or historical position in DistroWatch's PHR tables: "dws is a little script designed to let you easily check one or more distro's rankings at distrowatch.com. It defaults to Debian's 7-day ranking, but you can change the defaults by editing the top two variables. Installation is simple, just download it, and set it executable. Select which distro to check with -d option, and time frame with -t. See -h help menu for full directions. Note that the distro name cannot contain spaces, dashes, or /. Simply delete these, like so: PC-BSD becomes: PCBSD (not case sensitive)." As the author himself admits, the script is rather "pointless, but I was bored and wanted something to distract me, mission accomplished, the rains are done and it's a nice sunny day today." There is also short thread about it on the Debian forum.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Converting ext3 to ext4
Curious-about-file-systems asks: I just installed a new version of my distro and the root partition defaulted to ext4 but my existing /home is still ext3, should I convert to ext4? Can I? If so how? And will there be any downside?
DistroWatch answers: It is possible to convert an ext3 partition to an ext4 partition. Since the two file systems are closely related it's a fairly straightforward process to go from ext3 to ext4. But let's cover your question of whether you should or not. There are a number of reasons someone might want to use ext4, including improved performance and defragmentation support, and it will allow larger files and partitions. A more complete list can be found here.
On the other hand, there are reasons why you might not want to switch. Some more conservative distributions don't support ext4 yet, which may become an issue if you want to change to another brand of Linux. The ext4 file system is still fairly young and some people will prefer to wait until it has been used in production elsewhere for a while before entrusting their data to it. When in doubt, I recommend staying with your existing file system, which you know works. For most people at home, ext3 is still a good choice.
Let's say that you have decided to move your /home partition to ext4, how do you do that? First, you should backup your data. It's always a good idea to have a spare copy of your important files, doubly so when you're changing the characteristics of your hard drive. The next step is to find out which device houses your /home partition. You can do this by running the mount command:
The mount command will provide a list of partitions, their mount points and file system types. For example:
/dev/sda1 on / type ext4
/dev/sda2 on /home type ext3
The above output tells us that the / folder is mounted as ext4 and lives on the sda1 device. The /home folder is formatted as ext3 and lives on the sda2 partition. Now that we know which partition we're dealing with, we can begin work on it. The next step is to unmount the partition so it'll be safe to use. It's a bad idea to change a car's tires while it's moving and it's a bad idea to alter a mounted partition. I recommend logging out of your regular account and logging into a command line session as root for these next steps. Following our above example, we use the commands
The partition is now ready to be adjusted. Next, run the command
tune2fs -O extents,uninit_bg,dir_index /dev/sda2
In the above line, that's a "dash oh", not a zero. This is the point of no return. Once you run the tune2fs command, you're committed to ext4. Next we run a check on the new file system:
fsck -pf /dev/sda2
Once the fsck command is finished, the partition can be remounted using
mount -t ext4 /dev/sda2 /home
To make sure your computer knows to mount the /home directory as ext4 in the future, open the /etc/fstab file and find the line which mounts "/home". Change the file system type (which is probably the third column in the line) from "ext3" to "ext4". For more information about converting to ext4, I recommend reading this page.
|Released Last Week
MoLinux 5.2, an Ubuntu-based Spanish distribution developed in cooperation between the Spanish regional government of Castilla La Mancha and Centro de Excelencia de Software Libre, has been released. Some of the more important new features in this version include: addition of the XMBC media centre for controlling music, videos and photos in one central application; new design of the boot, splash and GDM login screens; addition of transparencies to window edges of open applications; hardware compatibility improvements; ext4 as the default file system; version upgrades of most included software programs; addition of MolinuxSync, a tool for synchronising group work data; inclusion of Psychosynth, an interactive and modular music synthesiser.... Read the rest of the release announcement (in Spanish) for further information.
MoLinux 5.2 - a new release of the Spanish Ubuntu-based distribution
(full image size: 1,175kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
François Dupoux has released SystemRescueCd 1.3.5, a Gentoo-based live CD containing a variety of disk and data management utilities. Here is the summary of changes since the previous release: "updated the standard kernels to Linux 188.8.131.52 with btrfs update from 2.6.32; updated FSArchiver to 0.6.5 (bug fixes, progress info, '--exclude' option); Updated GParted to version 0.5.1 (with workaround for partition resizing problems); added missing codepages (especially CP850) required by mtools / syslinux; implemented boot option 'dhcphostname' which is used by the DHCP client; updated LVM to 2.02.56 (Logical Volume Manager version 2); downgraded mtools to version 3.9.11 to fix problems; updated NTFS-3G to 2010.01.16 (bug fix release)." See the full changelog for further details.
Roberto Dohnert has announced the release of PC/OS 10, a user-friendly desktop distribution based on Xubuntu: "We are proud to announce that we have just released the newest release of PC/OS. PC/OS OpenWorkstation and PC/OS WebStation are the two editions released. These replace PC/OS 2009 OpenWorkstation and WebStation. This release is based on the Ubuntu 9.04 series. Some of the highlights are: 2.6.28 kernel series; Skype client on both the OpenWorkstation and WebStation release; Google Chrome is the default browser for WebStation; all security and bug fixes applied; updated OpenOffice.org in OpenWorkstation; support and recovery tools for the BFS file system; aTunes is the default media player on OpenWorkstation." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
PC/OS 10 - a user-friendly distribution based on Xubuntu
(full image size: 1,161kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Steve Langasek has announced the availability of the fourth update to Ubuntu 8.04 LTS, the current long-term support Ubuntu version that is supported with security updates until April 2011 on desktops and April 2013 on servers: "The Ubuntu team is proud to announce the release of Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS, the fourth maintenance update to Ubuntu's 8.04 LTS release. This release includes updated server, desktop, and alternate installation CDs for the i386 and amd64 architectures. This is the final maintenance release of 8.04 LTS. In all, some 70 updates have been integrated." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- GNOBSD. GNOBSD is an OpenBSD-based live DVD which boots into a GNOME desktop and which includes a graphical system installer (written in Ruby) for transferring the system to a hard disk or a USB storage device. The system includes some popular desktop applications, such as Mozilla Firefox and MPlayer.
- NexentaStor. NexentaStor is an enterprise-class unified storage solution built upon the foundation of the open-source file system Nexenta Core Platform, including the ZFS file system. NexentaStor adds to the open source foundation a complete set of managed features, including ZFS and synchronous block level replication, integrated search, console and graphical user interfaces, and optional advanced features, such as management of storage for leading virtualised environments, enhanced mapping and management for Fiber Channel and iSCSI environments, and active/active high availability. A free "developer's edition" based on the most recent stable Nexenta Core Platform is available free of charge for users with less than 4 terabyte of used disk space.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- gnuArtist. gnuArtist is a Xubuntu-based distribution providing the end-user with tools for digital content creation. Its main purpose is to demonstrate how open-source software can be used to replace the need for traditional commercial software for anything dealing with digital media.
- KLEO. KLEO is an Ubuntu-based live CD that's focused on collecting and organizing tools necessary for computer professionals to recovery servers, including the project's own Bare Metal Backup application.
- Prayaya Q3. Prayaya Q3 is a Gentoo-based live CD containing a Linux operating system designed with a modular approach. It ships with an up-to-date version of the Linux kernel, X.Org, KDE, and many popular applications for daily use. It has good internationalisation and locale support.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 February 2010.
Ladislav Bodnar and Jesse Smith
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 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|
|• Issue 687 (2016-11-14): NAS4Free 10.3.0.3, Fedora gains MP3 playback, budgie-remix becomes Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu flavours compared, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 686 (2016-11-07): FreeBSD 11.0, rolling release trial #2, Debian announces supported architectures, Simplicity switching to antiX base, farewell to Mythbuntu|
|• Issue 685 (2016-10-31): elementary OS 0.4, SUSE gains ARM support, Mint improves language support, Dirty COW explained, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
JackLab Audio Distribution
JackLab Audio Distribution was an openSUSE-based Linux distribution designed for musicians, producers and media creators. It was based on a low-latency, real-time Linux kernel and features the Jack Audio Connection Kit (JACK) for professional audio/midi controlling interface. The distribution uses Enlightenment 17 as its default desktop.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Tips and tricks: Find common words in text, find high memory processs, cd short-cuts, pushd & popd, record desktop|
|Questions and answers: Creating PDF/A documents on Linux|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Tips and tricks: Shell switching, battery charge, getting the system's IP address and dealing with stubborn processes|
|Tips and tricks: Improved package stability coming to FreeBSD/PC-BSD|
|Myths and misunderstandings: The value of version numbers|
|Tips and tricks: Working with media files on command line|
|Questions and answers: Remotely running desktop applications|
|Questions and answers: DistroWatch visitor number growth|
|Tips and tricks: Advanced file systems, network traffic, running a script at login/logout|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|