| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 456, 14 May 2012
Welcome to this year's 20th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! "Wheezy" is the code name of the current testing and next stable release of Debian GNU/Linux. Although the world's largest Linux distribution project doesn't offer a roadmap or a release schedule, the first release candidate of the Debian Installer for "Wheezy", announced over the weekend, suggests that the release process is starting to take shape. See the news section below for further information and download links. Other topics from this week's issue include a first-look review of the recently-released OpenBSD 5.1, a follow-up on our earlier review of the Calligra office suite, the release of the English edition of The Debian Administrator's Handbook, and a round-up of news from last week's Ubuntu Developer Summit in Oakland. Finally, two new distributions were added to the DistroWatch database last week - the Arch-based Bridge Linux with a choice of four desktop environments and the Gentoo-based Liberté Linux which offers unparalleled online security and anonymity for use in hostile environments. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Ralph Ellis)
A look at OpenBSD 5.1|
I have always had a fondness for BSD-based systems. Even though my main desktops have usually been based on openSUSE due to its broad hardware support and software choices, I have experimented with PC-BSD, FreeBSD and OpenBSD as alternative desktops and admired their under-the-hood simplicity and strong documentation. I had never stayed long with OpenBSD in the past due to the difficulty in either getting the X Window System to work properly or printer configuration or problems with multimedia files or hardware incompatibility issues. I am pleased to say that the most recent version of OpenBSD addresses most of these issues and deserves serious consideration as a desktop system.
I did not pick an easy test machine for the amd64 edition of OpenBSD 5.1. My Gateway Dx4300 is an AMD Phenom X4 quad-core processor machine with an ATI Radeon HD 3200 on-board graphics chip and an ATI Radeon HD4650 video card. FreeBSD, PC-BSD, NetBSD and earlier versions of OpenBSD would not install on this system and I would experience kernel panics, with video card problems normally being the issue. This time the OpenBSD text-based installer had no problems picking up my hardware and installing to an external USB hard drive. You will want to look at the OpenBSD installation documentation online before you install to have a better knowledge of your choices but the default selections are intuitive.
While the menu selection for which hard drive that I want to install to correctly pulled up all of my various hard drives and partitions, it did not provide me with any information about the drives themselves to identify them. I have more than one USB hard drive so I knew that my installation drive would be either sd6 or sd7 but I could not tell which was which until I started turning off the USB drives in a process of elimination. OpenBSD's install program did not become flustered with this and correctly identified which disks were now available without a reboot. I took the default layout and installed without any issue. The network was properly configured and I booted up into a command line. You can enable XDM as a login manger which I did.
Some video hardware does not require any special configuration for setting up a working video system. With my system though, I needed to run the "X -configure" command as root and edit the file. Because both the on-board and PCI card video chips were enabled, this led to a much more complicated /etc/X11/xorg.conf than necessary. I disabled the on-board video and this resulted in a much more manageable file. The editing consisted of eliminating some extra entries for multiple screens and the listing of both "radeon" and "vesa" cards. There are no proprietary video drivers in OpenBSD so there is no 2D or 3D acceleration. OpenBSD does this for security reasons.
The project's position is that, if the code is not open and available to audit, it will not be allowed into the system. In my case the "radeon" driver provided strong video performance. The only drawback was that if I wanted to play video files via HDMI on my TV, I was limited in my video resolution choices and I couldn't play the audio through the TV, but otherwise it did work just fine with the on-board audio system. The overall video performance was more than adequate. Hard core gamers, though, will prefer a system with proprietary drivers available.
I started to install software with the pkg_add command. You do have to tell OpenBSD where to find the files (see here) and look at a list of the available software on the FTP server. I used a laptop to consult the OpenBSD documentation while I installed software and configured the system. This made life a lot easier. You do need to regularly refer to the documentation on how to setup window managers; the CUPS printing system, etc. Your best window manager choice is probably KDE 3.5.10. Remember to pick up the key KDE programs, CUPS, Ghostscript, Foomatic, and so on.
As a quick side note on printing, I have always had some difficulty in getting printing to work in OpenBSD before. Usually OpenBSD works better with parallel port connections and printing via the LPD system. However, my computer does not have a parallel port and CUPS could not pick up my Brother HL-5170DN via the USB connection. However, once CUPS was enabled and after I connected my printer to the router via an Ethernet port, KDE had no problems finding my printer as a TCP network printer. This was a handy fix to an annoying problem.
OpenBSD 5.1 amd64 does not have Adobe Flash support but the i386 version does. This is less of an issue now that many websites support HTML5. Of the available browsers, SeaMonkey 2.6 handled the HTML5 video content best. There are workarounds though. You can add plugins to redirect the Flash content to an external video player such as VLC which easily handles Flash files or capture and download the Flash content and then play it with a video player. OpenBSD also supports MPlayer and all the necessary codecs to play any video or audio content that you would like to explore.
The range of software available via the packages system covers all of the needed office, multimedia, graphics and development software that you could want. What is not available in the package collections can be build via ports. As a side note, FreeBSD or PC-BSD could never work with my Canon Lide 60 scanner but OpenBSD picked it up immediately once I added my user to the "sane" group. This was a pleasant surprise as this was a consistent graphics issue that I could never resolve in FreeBSD after version 6.1.
The device drivers are cleanly written in OpenBSD and, while not everything works immediately out of the box, all of my desktop requirements were met within two days of reading and configuration. A complete newbie user should not get into OpenBSD without some serious reading of the documentation first. More experienced users will have no problems working with OpenBSD as long as you keep the documentation close at hand. Die-hard tinkerers will have a field day and will be rewarded with a fast, functional desktop with a renowned reputation for software security and quality.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
First alpha of Debian Installer 7.0, The Debian Administrator's Handbook, Ubuntu Studio at UDS, Ubuntu 12.10 features
Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 "Squeeze" was released over 15 months ago, so it shouldn't be too unreasonable to start focusing one's attention on the next stable Debian - version 7.0 "Wheezy". And indeed, it seems that the first tentative building block of the new release was announced over the weekend. It's the initial build of the Debian Installer for "Wheezy". Cyril Brulebois announced the fact on one of the project's mailing lists: "The Debian Installer team is pleased to announce the first alpha release of the installer for Debian 'Wheezy'. Improvements in this release of the installer: Add WPA support to installer; improvements in link detection and DHCP configuration, which should improve reliability for systems with flaky network cards; release DHCP lease at the end of the install to work around problems with non-RFC compliant DHCP servers; the requirements for hostnames have been clarified, and the parser tightened up to avoid letting through some really dodgy names; added Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) support; Linux kernel version has been updated to 3.2.16; default file system changed to ext4; allow Btrfs /boot partition (GRUB 2 and LILO); add support for Network Block Devices (NBD)." A range of CD, DVD and USB images for a number of architectures, featuring the new Debian installer, can be downloaded from this page.
There is more good news for the users and fans of the world's largest Linux distribution project. After a long and hard fund-raising campaign Debian developers Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas have generated a sufficient amount of money to enable them to work full-time on an English translation of Cahier de l'admin Debian. The translation has now been completed and The Debian Administrator's Handbook released: "I am so glad that we managed to complete this project. Roland and I have spent countless hours on this book since December, both for the translation itself and also for all the things that we tend to forget: a nice book cover, a great book layout for the print version, coordinating the work of reviewers, registering as an editor to get an ISBN, etc. I think I will come back to this in a future article because some parts of the story are interesting." The book is available for free online viewing and for direct download (in PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket formats), although the authors hope to receive a small contribution for the electronic version. A dead-tree edition is also available, but it costs US$48.86 + shipping. The Debian Administrator's Handbook is presently the most up-to-date English-language book on Debian GNU/Linux.
* * * * *
Last week's Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) in Oakland, USA, provided many interesting articles in the Linux media. One of the participants was Scott Lavender, the founder and lead developer of Ubuntu Studio. Those readers interested in low-latency kernels, multimedia development and related activities should find the author's "confessions" from the conference a refreshing read: "One such meeting resulted in the suggestion that I should attempt to get the Ubuntu kernel team to maintain the -lowlatency kernel instead of the Ubuntu Studio team. The main reason is that the patch to make the changes to the configuration files is very small (a purported 'two lines') and could easy be made into a build option which all could be completely automated. Every security patch would happen concurrently as the main kernels are updated and without any additional effort. In contrast, the Ubuntu Studio team needs to manually update the -lowlatency kernel which is not an inappreciable amount of work, for each security update. And these sometimes lag a bit due to scheduling. This would be a major improvement to remove a significant responsibility and time commitment from our small team." There is also a second article which expands on "Desktop JuJu".
* * * * *
For those readers who didn't have a chance to follow the above-mentioned UDS conference, here is a concise summary of possible Ubuntu 12.10 features, courtesy of OMG! Ubuntu!: "Ubuntu GNOME fans will be excited by word of a potential vanilla GNOME Ubuntu spin (i.e. GNOME-Shell Remix). Elsewhere, GNOME 3.6 will be used as the base of Ubuntu 12.10. Ubuntu’s Ubiquity installer will be 'beefed up' to provide all of the features offered by the 'alternate installer', resulting in the latter being dropped as a download option. The installer will also see the Windows settings migration assistant feature removed. The team conclude that it is too untested and buggy to remain in place. LibreOffice will finally ship with AppMenu support out of the box, making it fully HUD accessible. Jockey, Ubuntu’s current 3rd party driver installer, will be replaced with a 'better version integrated with System Settings'. Ubuntu 12.10 will use the 3.5 kernel, with a view to supporting the 3.6 version after its release. Python 3 will ship on the CD by default, meaning that various default applications and utilities will be rewritten to take advantage of this."
|Follow-ups (by Jesse Smith)
Update on Calligra 2.4 Kexi and Krita
A few weeks ago I dedicated a review to the new Calligra office suite, formerly known as KOffice. Most of the experience was a positive one. The few bugs or frustrations I ran into could largely be summed up as either personal preference or a side effect of running a beta version of the suite. At the time I had been running Calligra beta 6 from a Ubuntu PPA repository. One bug which stood out came from trying to use the Kexi application to create databases, specially I was unable to create a new database file and was unable as a result to explore Kexi.
Since the review appeared on DistroWatch I've received a good deal of feedback, all of which I appreciated. There was one e-mail in particular which caught my attention and I'd like to share it here: "I'd like to say thank you for reviewing the Calligra 2.4 release. As a Kexi maintainer, I checked availability of Kexi for Ubuntu since you wrote about issues with even a simple setup. Kexi is available for Ubuntu 12.04 and is used by quite a few people with success, apparently works out of the box for them. Please note that we do not deploy the software -- so maybe Ubuntu had not tested some applications (including Kexi) in their beta versions. So the answer is to test the final 2.4.0. I understand a packaging problem was spotted. Thanks again for your interest in Calligra. Regards, Jaroslaw Staniek."
Since Mr Staniek took the time to track down the problem and confirm that the final release of Kexi was working and was available in the Ubuntu repositories I thought it only fair to give Kexi a second try. Kexi (the final release version) is available in the Ubuntu 12.04 repositories and the Kexi application can be downloaded on its own, without requiring us to download the entire Calligra suite. The package is under 10 MB in size, making for a very small download if we already have the necessary KDE libraries installed.
From the point of view of its interface Kexi is perhaps the odd one out when viewed next to the other Calligra applications. Where the other members of the Calligra suite have mostly stuck to a traditional menu system with a very flexible arrangement of toolbars and toolboxes, Kexi presents something more akin to the ribbon interface. Along the top of the screen we find tabs for handling files, creating various components, managing data, importing & exporting, a tools tab and a help menu. When we're working with a database, components of that database (tables, queries, forms, etc) are displayed down the left side of the screen. Opening any of these components will cause information to display on the right side of the window and further present us with two or more tabs. Typically one tab will deal with design (table layout, constructing queries and forms) and another tab will deal with the raw data available in the table or query results.
Calligra 2.4 Kexi - viewing data tables
(full image size: 61kB, screen resolution 1024x702 pixels)
At first glance it's a lot to take in and the interface, being a bit different than the other Calligra components, may take time to become familiar. However, I did find that the design and function of each component, each tab, was consistent. Once a user becomes accustomed to how Kexi works, I found that Kexi provides a very straightforward point-and-click approach to dealing with databases. As with the other members of the Calligra suite I found Kexi to be focused on basic features, but these core features it does well. Import and export controls worked smoothly and I didn't encounter any problems with this stable release. I haven't used Kexi enough to determine how well it scales, but my experience so far suggests it is a good tool for home and small business use. I especially find the table design screen to be surprisingly easy to use compared to other database front-ends as data types and key options are made as simple as possible for us.
Calligra 2.4 Kexi - designing queries
(full image size: 62kB, screen resolution 1024x702 pixels)
The previous week I also received a few messages from fans of the Krita application asking why it was left out of the Calligra review. It's a fair question and I'm sorry to say my answer is simply that journalism is literature in a hurry and, having already reviewed one drawing program from the Calligra collection, I cut Krita from the review. My apologies to its developers and its fans.
In brief, Krita is a bitmap-drawing and image-editing application which is quite a bit more advanced than most simple image editors. I'm not well versed in high-end graphic editors, but Krita appears to be nearly on par with the GNU Image Manipulation Program in features. Like most of the other members of the Calligra suite, Krita presents a menu bar across the top of the screen and toolboxes down the left and right sides of the window. These widgets can be moved around, making for a flexible interface. Where I felt Krita deviated from other Calligra applications was with regards to the number of features and controls. Most of the Calligra programs appear to be focused on a small core of features, making menus uncluttered and easy to navigate. Krita, in carrying so many features, presents a much busier interface and packed menus. Most controls I was able to find with little difficulty, but a few items sent me digging through the menu structure.
Calligra 2.4 Krita - creating an image
(full image size: 139kB, screen resolution 910x702 pixels)
Again, though I'm not much of a graphic artist, I was able to fumble my way through, make multi-layered images, draw shapes, make use of airbrushing, scaling features, etc. One of the few real problems I ran into was manipulating selected regions, though I'm not sure how much of this is my lack of experience and how much is the behaviour of Krita. The other issue I encountered was that parts of the documentation appear to be missing from the website, resulting in broken links when searching for help. Otherwise Krita, like the other Calligra programs, is functional, flexible and a makes for a capable image editor. It feels heavier than its Calligra siblings, but otherwise nicely rounds out the suite.
|Released Last Week
Ikey Doherty has announced the release of SolusOS 1, an inaugural stable release of the project's desktop Linux distribution based on Debian's "stable" branch featuring the GNOME 2 desktop, but also an updated kernel and applications: "I am pleased to announce the final release of SolusOS 'Eveline' 32-bit edition. All issues have now been corrected and installing from a live USB stick is now possible, via dd or UNetbootin. SolusOS is based on Debian 'stable' and features recent applications, multimedia and will automatically install proprietary graphics drivers if you wish. Brief overview of software versions: Firefox 12.0, Thunderbird 12.0.1, LibreOffice 18.104.22.168, Linux kernel 3.0.0 (with BFS, PAE, preempt), GNOME 2.30, OpenShot 1.4.2, Nautilus Elementary, PlayOnLinux 4.0.18, VLC 2.0.1, FirstRunWizard 0.8. Many new applications are available in the software repository." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
SolusOS 1 - the first-ever stable release of the Debian-based desktop distribution
(full image size: 617kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Salix OS 13.37 "MATE"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 13.37 "MATE" edition, a Slackware-based distribution featuring the increasingly popular fork of the GNOME 2 desktop: "Salix MATE 13.37 is now officially released. Available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, this release introduces the MATE desktop environment. For anyone not familiar with MATE, it's a GNOME 2 fork, that continues development of the GNOME 2.x branch. MATE uses the traditional desktop metaphor that was abandoned for newer GNOME 3.x releases. All of the GNOME parts that have been forked have been renamed, so that they don't conflict with GNOME 3.x applications, but otherwise the functionality and behavior is exactly the same as it was in GNOME 2.32.x. For example, the Nautilus file manager is now named Caja in MATE, the Evince document viewer is now Atril and the File-Roller archive manager is now Engrampa." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Rocks Cluster Distribution 5.5, 6.0
Philip Papadopoulos has announced the availability of Rocks Cluster Distribution versions 5.5 and 6.0, two new builds of the project's CentOS-based open-source toolkit for real and virtual clusters: "The latest update of Rocks, code name 'Mamba' is now released. Mamba is available for both CentOS 5.8 (Rocks 5.5) and CentOS 6.2 (Rocks 6.0). The Rocks-supplied OS rolls have all updates applied as of May 7, 2012. Rolls use the same code base but are compiled on the different version of operating systems. Mamba is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. New features: Rocks now supports both CentOS 5 and CentOS 6 from the same source code; Xen is no longer supported...." See the release announcement and release notes for a full list of new features.
Liberté Linux 2012.1
Maxim Kammerer has announced the release of Liberté Linux 2012.1, a Gentoo-based security live CD with the primary purpose of enabling anyone to communicate safely and covertly in hostile environments: "A new release has been published. Summary of important changes since the previous release: hardened Linux kernel 3.2.11; fixed memory wiping in KEXEC kernel - 64-bit kernel is used for wiping memory where possible and 32-bit kernel can wipe 2.9 GB of RAM; better file system security - most file system is read-only, with carefully selected exceptions; CD/SD boot media ejection now triggers shutdown; perfect forward secrecy and repudiability in cables communication; added open virtualization bundle (OVA) for easy virtual machine setup; replaced Midori browser with Epiphany which uses the same WebKit backend; partial migration to GTK+ 3 and dconf (Midori, Audacious, Gucharmap), using light themes...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete list of changes and improvements.
François Dupoux has released an updated build of SystemRescueCd, a Gentoo-based live CD with a collection of data rescue, disk management and networking utilities. What's new? "Updated standard kernels to long-term supported Linux kernel 3.2.16 (rescuecd + rescue64); updated alternative kernels to latest stable Linux kernel 3.3.5 (altker32 + altker64); Updated btrfs-progs from Fedora 17 sources; Updated XFS file system tools xfsprogs 3.1.8 and xfsdump 3.1.0; Updated system packages - GCC 4.4.7, OpenRC 0.9.8.4 and Portage 22.214.171.124; Updated OpenSSH to 5.9p1 and Partclone to 0.2.47; added Debian and Red Hat package management tools (dpkg, debootstrap, rpm); updated pkgstats script to avoid warnings; updated list of graphical programs used by cleansys; removed GObject introspection data to save space." Read the full changelog and take a look at this overview of system tools for further information.
IPFire 2.11 Core 58
Arne Fitzenreiter has announced the release of IPFire 2.11 Core 58, an updated version of the project's specialist distribution for firewalls: "It is time for a maintenance update of the IPFire series 2 which is called Core Update 58. This update comes with cryptodev, a bunch of security fixes and minor bug fixes. Cryptodev has been ported from BSD and provides the kernel crypto system to the userspace. The advantages we gain from that is much faster hashing, encryption and decryption of data. On a normal system, the performance will double, on systems that come with crypto processors like VIA Padlock or Marvell CESA, the speed will be significantly higher and the CPU load will be much lower. The update is shipping fixes for security issues in OpenSSL 0.9.8u and libpng 1.2.46." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Konstantin Kochereshkin has announced the release of ROSA 2012, a Linux distribution forked from Mandriva with the goal of delivering a functional and easy-to-use business desktop using KDE 4.8.2: "The ROSA company is pleased to inform that it has completed the work on ROSA 'Marathon' 2012 operating system - a Linux distribution with an extended 5-year technical support and with a focus on enterprise customers. We have optimized the package base of the officially supported main repository of the distribution by selecting the most stable and important components necessary for the enterprise, though still providing desktop users with possibility to install large variety of applications from our extended repositories. The distribution includes application software sufficient to fulfill most typical tasks." Read the press release and the detailed release notes for further information.
ROSA 2012 - a Mandriva fork for enterprise desktop computing
(full image size: 156kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Bridge Linux. Bridge Linux is an Arch Linux derivative that includes a GUI and standard applications. It comes in four separate editions with a choice of GNOME, KDE, LXDE or Xfce desktops.
Bridge Linux 2012.4 - an Arch-based distribution with four desktops
(full image size: 723kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Liberté. Liberté Linux is a secure, reliable, lightweight and easy-to-use Gentoo-based live medium with the primary purpose of enabling anyone to communicate safely and covertly in hostile environments.
Liberté Linux 2012.1 - a Gentoo-based security live CD
(full image size: 156kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Xinutop. Xinutop is a Xubuntu-based distribution with a collection of useful marine applications, such as: GeBabbel - data conversion and transfer to and from GPS; Fldigi - reception and display of radio weather; OpenCPN - chart plotter, tides, AIS, grib files, GPS interface and other navigation data; Polarcom - virtual instrumentation; XTide - tides with numerical and graphical display; Zygrib - download and display weather grib files. The distribution is available in the form of USB image files in either French or English.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 21 May 2012. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Ralph Ellis (feedback: the OpenBSD 5.1 review)
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
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 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|
|• Issue 682 (2016-10-10): KDE neon 20160915, Android-x86 6.0, Fedora warns of update bug, HandyLinux drops English translation, LXQt benchmarks|
|• Issue 681 (2016-10-03): OpenBSD 6.0, DragonFly BSD to support LibreSSL in ports, systemd denial of service bug, upgraded Mintbox Mini|
|• Issue 680 (2016-09-26): Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0, blocking applications at the firewall, Lenovo controversy, Ubuntu running on the Nextcloud Box|
|• Issue 679 (2016-09-19): OpenMandriva 3.0, 32-bit vs 64-bit performance, openSUSE updates, KaOS unveils first run wizard|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Linux Bootable Business Card (LNX-BBC)
The LNX-BBC was a miniature Linux-based GNU distribution, small enough to fit on a CD-ROM that has been cut, pressed, or molded to the size and shape of a business card. In 1999 Duncan MacKinnon, Tom Crimi, and Seth David Schoen started work on the project at Linuxcare. Linuxcare printed 10,000 copies of the "Linuxcare Bootable Business Card" to be distributed at the then-upcoming LinuxWorld Conference and Expo. The give-away mini CD-ROMs were a huge success and have generated steady praise and thanks for their rescue capabilities, attracting many other developers to the project. The BBC went through seven versions, five of which were pressed into business-card sized CD-ROMs and handed out at trade shows or distributed by mail to Linux User Groups around the world.
|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: LibreOffice versus OpenOffice.org|
|Tips and tricks: More utilities via moreutils|
|Tips and tricks: Copying columns of text, organizing files, creating torrents|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Questions and answers: LibreOffice versus OpenOffice.org|
|Tips and tricks: Using GRUB with XFS|
|Questions and answers: Open source licences|
|Myths and misunderstandings: The massive memory myth|
|Questions and answers: Comparing file systems - ZFS and Btrfs|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|