| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 354, 17 May 2010
Welcome to this year's 20th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! As the new OpenBSD CD sets start showing up in the mailboxes of users who support the development of the project, we speak to Stefan Sperling, an OpenBSD developer. What's new in version 4.7? And what's it like being part of a mysterious group of hard-core developers who have been so successful in producing one of the most secure operating system on the market? Read on to find out. In the news section, Mandriva CEO Arnaud Laprévote diffuses rumours about the company's existential concerns, BLAG developer community revives a long-dormant Fedora-based distribution with "libre" characteristics, and Dianne Ursini of Technology Alignment explains the reasons for terminating the development of Pioneer Linux. Also in this issue, links to two excellent articles on APT and RPM package management and an interesting opinion on barriers to Linux adoption. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Chatting with OpenBSD's Stefan Sperling
In an ever-changing world where technology moves forward so rapidly, there is something to be said for projects which focus on stability and security. One of the best examples of such a project is OpenBSD, an operating system which has had only two remote holes in its default install “in a heck of a long time”. The OpenBSD team is busy gearing up for the 4.7 release due out in May. The new release carries many enhancements, including better hardware support, improved network stack and new OpenSSH features. One of the developers, Stefan Sperling, took time out of his busy day to share of his personal views about the OS.
* * * * *
DW: Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself, where you're from and how you got involved with BSD?
I'm Stefan Sperling, born and living in Berlin, Germany. I started using BSD in my early 20s, using FreeBSD
as a desktop system. Later I was introduced to OpenBSD by OpenBSD developer grunk@. I used FreeBSD on the desktop and OpenBSD on the laptop for some time. When I moved to Ireland for my final year of college I didn't bring the desktop machine. I did not mind leaving FreeBSD behind because of their permissive policy on binary blobs, and also because I had more luck submitting patches to OpenBSD.
DW: When did you start working on OpenBSD?
I became an OpenBSD developer while doing my Master's degree on software development for computer networks. My main project for this degree was to improve the work-in-progress OSPF
for IPv6 implementation in OpenBSD. I have been working on ospf6d together with OpenBSD developer claudio@ since. My work on it slowed down after I graduated, but I still like working on it as time permits.
DW: Is there a specific part of the project you focus your development efforts on?
SS: My main focus has been on ospf6d. I have also been looking into improving UTF-8 support. I use mutt for email and many people send me UTF-8 email these days. It is a bit annoying that mutt cannot display UTF-8 out of the box on OpenBSD. This is mainly because our libc only supports single-byte character encodings. I managed to add the missing libc parts to my system, based on code from FreeBSD and NetBSD. I can now read UTF-8 email in mutt. I hope that all OpenBSD users will eventually benefit from this work. Very small parts of this have already gone in, but there is still a lot to do to get it all committed. It has to be added in incremental steps, and each step has to pass peer review. And because OpenBSD is a volunteer project this takes time. But I am not in a rush.
DW: Looking at the upcoming OpenBSD 4.7, there are some great-looking changes to OpenSSH and hardware support. What other new features and improvements are people going to see over 4.6?
SS: For me, the most important change is that ospf6d is now installed by default. It is still work-in-progress, but Claudio especially has made many improvements which make ospf6d work for simple setups. We would love to receive test reports for ospf6d. We hope to eventually provide a complete, solid, interoperable, and free implementation of OSPF for the IPv6 internet.
DW: Back in January a developer released GNOBSD, which sets up OpenBSD in a live environment with a desktop. How do you feel about GNOBSD and do you think it will have any impact on the OpenBSD project?
SS: That project sounds like an entertaining and educating experience for its developer, which is great. I don't think OpenBSD will ever adapt a graphical installation environment, so it won't have an impact on the OpenBSD project.
DW: There is a lot of code in a modern operating system. How does the OpenBSD team keep track of and audit so much code to ensure there aren't any security holes introduced?
Every change has to pass peer review. A lot of the developers are very experienced with reviewing code for bugs. Getting my changes reviewed by others has already caught, before commit, a number of mistakes I had made.
Also, the project focuses on implementing various security features consistently, which increases overall system security by limiting the impact of mistakes that will invariably creep in (we're humans, not machines). One such feature is privilege separation of daemons. Every daemon added to OpenBSD has to be privilege-separated. For instance, ospf6d is a privilege-separated daemon split into three independent processes, each performing a separate subtask of the OSPF protocol, and only one of which runs as root. See here
for more information.
To ease review and help fix bugs, great effort is spent on keeping the code of the system consistent. For example, ospf6d shares code for passing messages between privilege-separated processes with other OpenBSD daemons, like ospfd and bgpd. Bugs found in the shared code will be fixed in all daemons.
DW: OpenBSD is able to run binaries from other systems (such as FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris). Each of those is a constantly evolving platform, is it hard to keep up?
SS: Linux binary emulation only works on OpenBSD/i386 at the moment. I don't find much need for it to be honest. The only reason I'd use binary emulation is to run proprietary software, but I don't usually use proprietary software. A vast amount of free and open-source software has been ported to OpenBSD and runs very well on it. On the rare occasion that I have to run proprietary software, I just use Linux. It is much easier to run proprietary software on Linux than it is to run it on OpenBSD. This, combined with the fact that no proprietary drivers are used in OpenBSD, makes OpenBSD a very good platform for free and open source software enthusiasts. And no, I don't miss Flash and NVIDIA drivers. I don't want them.
DW: OpenBSD has a fairly rapid release cycle, putting out a new version about once every six months. Yet the operating system has a reputation for being stable. How do the developers keep pace with technology and maintain a stable and secure system?
DW: Once 4.7 has hit the download mirrors, what comes next? Does the OpenBSD team have any specific goals for 4.8?
SS: I cannot speak for the entire team. I hope to get some degree of UTF-8 support into 4.8, but this depends on whether I manage to keep my work up to the standards set by the other developers. And of course I also hope to further improve ospf6d.
DW: Stefan, thank you for taking the time to talk about OpenBSD and best of luck in your work.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Mandriva CEO on company situation, BLAG gets revived with new alpha, Pioneer Linux closes shop, APT and RPM package management
Arnaud Laprévote, the newly appointed CEO of Mandriva S.A., has reacted to the recent rumours about a possible sale of the company. Apparently, the media got it all wrong - Mandriva isn't seeking a buyer; instead it's the other companies which are looking to acquire some of the assets belonging to the French distribution maker: "We are beginning to harvest the results of this development work with hundreds of thousands of PCs using the Mandriva operating system sold in South America, Asia and rapid sales of Pulse2 and MES5 in Europe. So it is unsurprising that Mandriva has once again attracted the interest of industry decision-makers." The Mandriva CEO has carefully side-stepped the issue of the situation financière tendue as reported on the Boursorama forum and which gave rise to the media speculation about the company's health. The good news is that the development of Mandriva Linux 2010.1 continues normally and that the release candidate for the new stable version, although delayed by a few days, should arrive later this week. The final release is still scheduled for arrival on June 3rd.
* * * * *
BLAG Linux And GNU, a Fedora-based, 100% "libre" distribution, hasn't seen a new release in nearly two years and has been labelled as "dormant" by DistroWatch for some time. Will it ever awake? There is hope. A reader emailed us last week saying that efforts are being made to prepare for a new release, with a first alpha build announced just a few days later: "Our first alpha for BLAG 119k has been released. Based on Fedora 12, it represents what our next release, 120k, will include. This release is a culmination of discussions revolving around reviving BLAG. Conversations within our community by veteran 'BLAGgers', long-time supporters, new contributors and users who have stood beside the values and principles of the distribution for a long time. BLAG is 100% free software and this release includes updated packages familiar to most users to get up and running with a stable desktop all on one CD. BLAG 119k by default is a live CD. It includes Alexandre Olivia's Freed-ora linux-libre kernels. GNOME, LXDE and Openbox are now available for choices of desktop environments." Quick download links for those interested in testing the new release (MD5): BLAG-119999-Live-i686.iso (676MB), BLAG-119999-Live-x86-64.iso (683MB).
* * * * *
While some distributions get revived, others disappear into the annals of history. Diane Ursini, the CEO of a company called Technology Alignment which used to produce Pioneer Linux, has now called it a day: "Pioneer Linux is pretty much at the wayside since two years ago now and we've just stopped development." But the blog post is a very interesting read; it touches on some of the highlights of the project and gives some advice to people who still hesitate about switching to Linux: "I just installed Ubuntu 10.04 on most of our systems. We replaced all of the Pioneer Linux systems with it and I'll tell you what, this is the operating system the masses need and should be using. It's good for three years and five years on a server. It's real easy to use, it installs everything really easily. It's what the masses really want, or do they? It's scary to lose what you're accustomed to. I'd be really worried going to Windows 7 since I can't stand using Windows. I remember marketing and selling Linux to computer stores way back when and the comment we always got back was they wouldn't sell or market it because people would stop coming in to get their Windows serviced. My stars, I suppose people need to make money and off the sweat of others, but again my stars."
* * * * *
Finally, something rather technical, but also a great resource for those preparing for their Linux Professional Institute certification exams. IBM developerWorks has published a comprehensive article on Debian package management: "Learn how to install, upgrade, and manage packages on your Linux system. This article focuses on the Advanced Packaging Tool, or APT, which is the package management system used by Debian and distributions derived from Debian, such as Ubuntu. You can use the material in this article to study for the LPI 101 exam for Linux system administrator certification, or just to explore the best ways to add new software and keep your system current. Learn to: install, reinstall, upgrade, and remove Debian binary packages; find packages containing specific files or libraries, even if the package is not installed; obtain package information like version, content, dependencies, package integrity, and installation status, even if the package is not installed. This article helps you prepare for Objective 102.4 in Topic 102 of the Linux Professional Institute's Junior Level Administration (LPIC-1) exam 101. The objective has a weight of 3." A separate article covers RPM and YUM package management.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Climbing-the-wall asks: What's the biggest barrier to Linux adoption?
DistroWatch answers: I suppose the obvious, and not very helpful, answer is that Linux is held back from adoption by its lack of adoption. It's a circular problem. Linux needs more commercial applications, but commercial vendors won't port their software to Linux until it gains more market share. The Linux community needs more drivers from hardware vendors, but those hardware companies won't spend the money to make Linux drivers without a bigger market. The Linux community would benefit from more computers being sold with a Linux OS pre-installed, but that's not going to happen until more consumers request it. All these things which would greatly encourage people to cross over to the Penguin side require that Linux have more users. Preferably users willing to spend money to support their choice. It's getting better. Linux has made a lot of progress in the past ten years. Even in the last five years. But it still has a long road ahead of it.
From my personal experience, there are two things which keep coming up as preventing people from using Linux. The first is that their current operating system is good enough. It runs what they want, it works in a manner they're used to and they've already paid for it. There really isn't any need for them to switch. Sometimes I get these folks to try Linux and they use it and agree that, yes, it works great, but they already have a working operating system. Why switch? They're not interested in free software, they're interested in their computer continuing to work the way it has.
The other big barrier is applications. For average home users, Linux has most of the programs a person will want. It does e-mail and web browsing, rips and burns CDs, word processing and spreadsheets. But for gamers and office work, it's a completely different story. Linux has games, it has great games, but it doesn't have the big-name games. And, more to the point, it doesn't have exclusive big-name games, which might draw gamers over to the penguin. And a lot of software designed for the corporate office just doesn't work on Linux, or Linux with WINE.
Two years ago, I took about seventy-five applications which were used in the office where I worked and tried to install them on various modern Linux distributions with WINE. I also tried to find Linux alternatives which would fit the same role as the Windows apps used in the office. Less than a dozen of the seventy-five applications either worked properly in WINE or had comparable open source alternatives. Obviously, I couldn't go to the IT manager of that company and suggest a switch which would cause 85% of the company's software to stop working. Sometimes I see the same problem with users who work from home. They like how stable and fast Linux is, but it won't run That One Application they need for work.
Perhaps a more important question would be: How do I support Linux and help the community to grow? There are a lot of options there. For example, make it a point to buy hardware that is Linux compatible wherever possible. When buying new computers, make a point of asking the vendor if they sell Linux machines or computers without any OS pre-installed. If they don't, tell them you'll buy from another supplier for that reason. When I see a game I like, I'll write to the developers and ask if they sell a Linux port. On-line retailers or government organizations whose web sites don't support Firefox/Linux should get e-mails asking them to expand their support. When friends or family are looking to fix, upgrade or replace their computers, I'll ask them to try Linux to see if it fits their needs.
Those are all things aimed at people outside of the Linux community, but things can be improved within the "Linuxsphere" too. It's important to take the time to report bugs, to write documentation, to donate funds to projects that produce useful software and to submit feature requests. In short, if you wish to see Linux expand its user base, it's important to be engaged, both inside the community and outside.
|Released Last Week
PCLinuxOS 2010 "Openbox"
The lightweight and fast "Openbox" edition of PCLinuxOS 2010 completes the release line-up of the distribution's 2010 series: "PCLinuxOS 2010 Openbox edition provides a fully-featured desktop, showcasing the small, fast, and fully compliant Openbox window manager. Internet applications include Firefox web browser, Sylpheed email client, Pino twitter client and Pidgin for instant messaging. Office applications include AbiWord word processor, Gnumeric spreadsheet and Mozilla Sunbird calendar. Graphic applications include GIMP, GQview, and MTPaint. Features: Linux kernel 126.96.36.199-bfs for maximum desktop performance; Openbox desktop with Tint2 panel; NVIDIA and ATI fglrx driver support; multimedia playback support for many popular formats; wireless support for many network devices...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
eBox Platform 1.4-2
José Antonio Calvo has announced the release of eBox Platform 1.4-2, an Ubuntu-based server distribution for small and medium-size businesses: "We've done a lot of bug-fixing and small improvements since the last 1.4-1 release. All those enhancements have now been included in a new installer. Here is a summary of the most relevant changes: DNS - added support for internal networks allowed to recourse the caching server; Ebackup - improvements on frequency and keep options, added backup and restore of logs, added restore configuration from backup action; Egroupware - now works properly in a master-slave scenario; firewall - new firewall table containing rules added by eBox services; network - failover test are more robust now; Samba - allow guest shares; Squid - new bandwidth throttling support with delay pools...." See the release announcement for a complete list of improvements.
Karanbir Singh has announced the release of CentOS 5.5, a distribution created by compiling the source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS 5.5 for i386 and x86_64 architectures. CentOS 5.5 is based on the upstream release 5.5 and includes packages from all variants including Server and Client. All upstream repositories have been combined into one, to make it easier for end users to work with. Live CDs for CentOS 5.5 on i386 and x86_64 are being released at the same time as the main distro. The live CDs are meant to be used to run a CentOS 5.5 environment or to start a network-based install. The live CDs are set up to allow running from either optical media like CDs and DVDs or from USB keys and other portable media." Read the release announcement and release notes for additional details.
Joern Lindau has announced the release of Toorox 05.2010, a Gentoo-based live DVD featuring the latest KDE 4 desktop and a graphical system installer: "Toorox 05.2010. A new version has been finished; it contains the Linux kernel 2.6.33. The KDE desktop environment has been updated to the recent version 4.4.3. All KDE 3 applications and dependencies have been removed. KlamAV has been replaced by ClamTk and K3b has been updated to the latest Qt 4 RC version. Guarddog and kdetv have been removed. Also umtsmon has been removed, but now the complete network configuration and Internet connection is handled by NetworkManager and you can establish a mobile connection via nm-applet. Nearly all packages have been updated to the latest version. The binary ATI driver (fglrx) still doesn't support the latest X.Org Server 1.8 so this release contains version 1.7.6." Here is the complete release announcement.
Puppy Linux 5.0
Larry Short has announced the release of Puppy Linux 5.0: "Puppy Linux 5.0, code name 'Lupu' and also referred to as 'Lucid Puppy' as it is built from Ubuntu 10.04 'Lucid Lynx' binary packages, is now available. It is a typical Puppy, lean and fast, friendly and fun, with some new features. Puppy 5.0 features Quickpet, with some of the best Linux productivity and entertainment programs, configured and tested, available with one-click. It also introduces choice in browsers - pick one or all and choose the default. Lupu boots directly to the desktop and has tools easily at hand to personalize Puppy, if they are needed. Language and locale are easy to set. Barry Kauler's Simple Network Setup is another of those easy configuration tools. Updating to keep up with bug fixes is another one-click wonder." For a detailed description of the new release please see the release announcement and release notes.
Puppy Linux 5.0 comes with updated packages and artwork.
(full image size: 448kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Quirky 1.1, a bug-fix update to the recently released version 1.0: "I am pleased to announce the released of Quirky 1.1. Briefly, the main focus was to fix bugs in 1.0, but I also upgraded many applications. Most importantly, SeaMonkey has migrated from the 1.x series, after we solved some bugs with the 2.x series. JWM is now the default window manager and tray, as it is noticeably faster (and looks nicer) than Openbox/Fbpanel. Two show-stoppers were Ayttm and You2pup which did not work, both fixed. Release notes: The 'xfontsel' utility was missing although had a menu entry; upgrading (and rollbacks) of the X.Org drivers; Partview utility (to view free space in partitions) fixed for more than 11 partitions; Ayttm chat client did not work, upgraded and fixed...." See the release announcement and release notes for a full list of changes and bug fixes.
Katie McCarley has announced the release of Element 1.2, an Ubuntu-based distribution for home theatre or media-centre personal computers: "The Element team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Element version 1.2. This version includes general package upgrades and upstream bug fixes to the application stack in addition to introducing three new utilities: E-Bar Editor - a minimal and to-the-point configuration editor for the central launcher bar; NVIDIA HDMI Audio Switch - a simple on/off switch that channels audio through the HDMI port on ION and 8X00 series cards; Update Manager - a fork of the standard Update Manager from Ubuntu and GNOME, packaged and configured for use on Element with distribution upgrade options omitted. Other important features and requests include the addition of Thunar file sharing plugins, easier Bluetooth setup, removal of Compiz window effects, and an optimized package list." Here is the full release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Fedora 13 delay
The release of Fedora 13 has been delayed by a week. Paul W. Frields explains the reasons in this post published on the project's announce mailing list: "The Fedora 13 final readiness meeting, also known as the 'go/no-go' meeting, was held this evening. As the meeting notes indicate, there are bugs remaining on the blocker list. According to the release criteria, the decision was made to slip the release of Fedora 13 by one week, to Tuesday 2010-05-25. During composition of any further release candidates, the Fedora Release Engineering and Quality Assurance teams plan to be conservative in accepting fixes for the release, and will limit these to blocker items and critical fixes. The Fedora 13 release schedule has been updated to reflect the new release date. We regret any inconvenience to the community."
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- OwnOS CreativeSuite. OwnOS CreativeSuite is a multimedia-oriented distribution and live DVD based on Ubuntu. The project's web sit is in German.
- Xin. Xin is a Linux live CD offering the following features: remote media player / media center supporting multi-file playback, playlists and drag-and-drop URLs; remote desktop display; media player or desktop controllable from multiple clients; multiple Xin media players or displays controllable from a single PC; all controllable and configurable from Windows, be it Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 24 May 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• 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|
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FIRE was a portable bootable CD-based distribution with the goal of providing an immediate environment to perform forensic analysis, incident response, data recovery, virus scanning and vulnerability assessment. It also provides necessary tools for live forensics/analysis on win32, Solaris, SPARC and x86 Linux hosts just by mounting the CDROM and using trusted static binaries available in /statbins. In other words, FIRE was a Linux distribution with lots of useful security tools and a fine menu system which makes it very easy to use. Nothing on your computer was modified, so you can try it out safely.