| DistroWatch Weekly
1 • Installer Taking Too Long (by ShadowJack on 2013-02-25 10:02:08 GMT from United States) |
Actually, I don't mind spending a few extra minutes customizing a distro while installing. I'll just have to do it later anyway, this way it's ready to go.
2 • Point Linux - hanging in the balance (by cycle_mycle on 2013-02-25 10:52:53 GMT from Philippines)
I am running Point Linux on usb and loving it immensely, the problem is that it's staying on the usb and won't boot to the installation kernel. I wonder if anyone else has encountered this.
3 • GIMP (by Rick on 2013-02-25 10:58:05 GMT from United States)
Actually, my transformation from nervous novice to ambitious artisan using GIMP was made possible by the abundance of video tutorials available on YouTube. I've no doubt the book reviewed above is probably chocked full of good information, but for me, I fall into the catagory of "Monkey see, monkey do".
4 • PC-BSD-rolling-release (by Pingo on 2013-02-25 14:07:33 GMT from United States)
What is a problem? The problem is because PC-BSD-rolling-release using outdated FreeBSD ports and drivers.
5 • chakra review (by mandog on 2013-02-25 14:54:03 GMT from Peru)
I think the review was good in some ways, but misses the point in others Chakra is a fine distro. A good attempt to Keep KDE and GTK apps separate, This can lead to a very heavy system. the number of GTK apps substantially outnumber KDE.
Pacman is one of the best package managers there is, simple to use warns you of conflicts, errors tells you of additional dependencies. gives warnings of package changes,etc,etc. it takes secs to get pacman in the terminal. unlike a package manager. That goes even for the Likes of Ubuntu, package managers are only good if you don't know what you are looking for.
6 • Chakra (by octathlon on 2013-02-25 15:09:36 GMT from United States)
It seems odd that some of those items, like Clam anti-virus and CUPS, would be configured in a user-level wizard instead of at the system-level.
7 • Chakra 5, 6 (by Arkanabar on 2013-02-25 15:21:49 GMT from United States)
mandog: Jesse is talking about a software manager for people who don't know what they want or need, and would never think to read pacman's documentation before jumping in.
octathlon: The first run wizard, Kapudan, is taken from the source code of Kaptan, one of the distinguishing apps of Pardus. It is very much meant to be a first-run wizard, and I suspect (though Jesse didn't say so) that it requires root authority, especially on subsequent invocations.
8 • Chakra review (by abveritas on 2013-02-25 16:39:35 GMT from United States)
On behalf of the Chakra-Project team, I'd like to thank the reviewer for this thorough review.
All issues that we know need to be worked on were found, plus a few more minor usability issues we did not think of were pointed out, and will be corrected asap.
That flash does not work on installed browsers, but does on bundled browsers is something we've tried to make clear for a while (flash is gtk2 depending, thus does not come installed, but all bundled browsers do include a flash version). Any suggestion to make that more clear are appreciated.
9 • MS Signing Secure Boot Keys (by Marco on 2013-02-25 17:29:54 GMT from United States)
I appreciate that Adam Williamson posts here, and I wonder if he could provide a RHEL (unofficial, not PR-speak) perspective on the whole blow up:
As a non-technical Kubuntu user, I cannot tell the difference between Red Hat's and Ubuntu's approaches, and I am concerned that consumers will end up (1) settling for that kind of solution on consumer-grade HW, or (2) paying a premium for business-class hardware or (3) paying a premium for smaller vendors who target Linux users.
10 • Feature Story (by Anders on 2013-02-25 18:06:09 GMT from Sweden)
I love to read the feature story, but I find that the installation procedure get way to much attention, about 50% of each story. Please keep that part shorter and give more focus to the usuage part.
Kind regards, Anders
11 • Chakra review (by Pierre on 2013-02-25 18:26:55 GMT from Germany)
I have used all or at least most of the common major and minor distributions each for quite some time already. (Including Fedora, Arch, Charka, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Salix, SolusOS, Snowlinux and many more...)
And I don't know if it is kind of a personal view and due to personal taste and preferences that I have to disagree on the opinion that YUM is easier or has a more appealing output. I even see it the other way round and additionally I want to point out that pacman is much faster and responsive than is YUM.
To have a real competitor that in fact is equivalent to pacman I would prefer to name openSUSE's zypper, which's output is even a little more appealing than any other in my opinion. And compared to Debian's apt there is no package manager out there that can beat it in terms of 'cryptic output', so I find pacman very pleasant to use. ;)
But Jesse is right with concluding that Chakra needs a nice GUI package manager, but as is said it is already in development and I have no doubt that it will become as excellent as the installer. Which is - if you ask me - one of the best besides the openSUSE installer YaST.
Just my two cents.
Greetings from Germany.
12 • Ubuntu (by AberBlast on 2013-02-25 18:46:04 GMT from Canada)
Why would any sane person continue to use Ubuntu (or its many clones) when it spies on your searches (and potentially much more), sneakily sends personal data back to Canonical's servers, and shares that data with "grateful" corporations for whatever nefarious purposes? Not to mention floods you with adverts?
Why are people so stupid? Shuttleworth always has been in this for the (long-term) money, not to be concerned about his victims' well-being. It's time Shuttleworth was treated like the charlatan he truly is, rather than a "saviour".
13 • @12: Ubuntu Spyware (by Marco on 2013-02-25 19:26:10 GMT from United States)
To my knowledge, only the main version of Ubuntu with Unity has the shopping lens (opt-out). The Favours (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.) do not. The derivatives (like Mint) do not either.
14 • @12 Ubuntu (by octathlon on 2013-02-25 19:35:26 GMT from United States)
@12 AberBlast: Several reasons. The "spyware" is part of the Unity DE, and was introduced in version 12.10. Many people such as myself, who like and have been using Ubuntu, are using the earlier 12.04 LTS and/or a different desktop than Unity, so we have not been exposed to the issue (so far).
A good thing about the GPL is that code in distros are transparent. There are many people who keep an eye on what goes on, and report any issues to the rest of us. We can then decide for ourselves how we will respond (disable the offending "feature" or switch to another distro or desktop).
15 • Chakra review useless (by RollMeAway on 2013-02-25 19:57:32 GMT from United States)
Those of us NOT running 64 bit machines (I don't think I am alone) find such reviews a total waste of time.
Maybe a small flag up front: "64 bit ONLY" would ease our frustration.
16 • @ #15 (by Pierre on 2013-02-25 20:09:55 GMT from Germany)
Reviewing a 64-bit only distro is not useless or a waste of time only because you or some others do not have 64-bit machines.
Most computers are 64-bit nowadays and it's a question which users you target. Only because you and 32-bit only users are not the distro's target it still is usefull to a lot of other people. It's all about selfishness and being stubborn and loving to complain about everything and has nothing to do with frustration.
Chakra is not for you, so what? Just get over it!
17 • @16 (by Microlinux on 2013-02-25 20:47:21 GMT from France)
I'd say roughly 80% of my client's PCs here in South France are still 32-bit.
18 • @16 (by FSFer on 2013-02-25 21:15:44 GMT from United States)
I think he wanted a note at the top of the review so he wouldn't waste time reading something that is not applicable, not that the review shouldn't be done.
19 • @15, 18 (by champted on 2013-02-25 22:41:55 GMT from United States)
The reviewer noted at the beginning of the third paragraph of a 15-paragraph review that it was 64-bit only. How much closer to "up front" does the desired notation need to be? If I had wanted to skip the rest of the review, I would have only had to read two paragraphs plus one sentence, which, when I timed it out, took 40 whole seconds, and I'm a slow reader. Is 40 seconds out of one's life a "total waste of time" and a cause of "frustration"? If it is, I think a little chilling out might be in order.
As it is, only one of the 8 computers I use regularly is 64-bit, but I read the entire review because I wanted to see what Jesse had to say about KDE 4.10. Personally, I thought the review was worth reading just to find out that it seems to work better than 4.8. Thankx, Jesse!
20 • Point Linux (by Terence on 2013-02-25 23:14:58 GMT from China)
Where is their list of checksums?
21 • Point Linux (by greg on 2013-02-25 23:23:26 GMT from United States)
I just tried installing Point Linux by CD. It's rather nostalgic. It uses the command-line install. It installs most basics including gparted, but what it doesn't install (namely memtest86+),also impresses me (that amounts to grub menu clutter for me, since I NEVER use it and always remove it). The desktop background is nice. It uses the gnome2 look alike, and Cairo dock works well after adding that. Very nice job. I think it's a keeper so far.
22 • Point Linux (by cycle_mycle on 2013-02-26 02:47:16 GMT from Philippines)
@20 go to http://pointlinux.org/download.html and click "Show direct download links".
23 • That's a distro guide? (by Somewhat Reticent on 2013-02-26 05:25:17 GMT from United States)
Frankly, I'd recommend starting with try-before-you-buy live, on multiboot flash, remixes or spins one degree removed from major root distros. They're usually more considerate of neophytes, less likely to obfuscate, dev-speak, or blow them off with ReadTheFullManual (w/o Chapter'nVerse, or when there is none) or GoFish'n(Giggle) in dePile that's For'Em.
I might even suggest trying UBuyToo, the Shopping-OS for sharing your acquisitive longings with that ubiquitous commerce engine called the WorldWideMarket, facilitating convergence between sellers of WhatYouWant and your shopping account.
For any and all other research, I'd suggest a completely separate OS, preferably one that respects user security and privacy by design.
24 • Chakra review useless TO ME (by RollMeAway on 2013-02-26 05:44:42 GMT from United States)
Sorry I left out the "to me" part.
I find the move by distrowatch to only talk about 64-bit frustrating (trying to be nice).
The move a few weeks ago, for all release announcements, to only list the 64-bit releases, unless i686 is all the distro offers, is quite upsetting.
With this new emphasis by distrowatch, I'm sure more distros like Chakra, will drop support of i686. Chain reaction.
Imagine if your favorite distro site started reviewing and announcing only distros for powerpc or ARM processors. Likely most folks would find another site to read?
25 • @24 (by rayyu on 2013-02-26 08:21:45 GMT from Philippines)
Chakra dropped i686 maybe before Claire came out, the reason being they felt that they could create a better distro by just focusing on one architecture and optimizing everything for that.
Chakra is a unique distro in that it has a good sense of focus: Arch + KDE + 64 bit, rather than trying to do it all.
Many distributions do not have that kind of hyperfocus, for better and for worse. But I'm also *sure* that no one is rushing to drop i686; it's hardly been phased out.
The Chakra review may have been useless to you, but your first comments were in no way polite or nice. It's not even reasonable; Jesse mention it was 64-bit only VERY early on in the review.
True, Distrowatch would do better do curate a broader range of release announcements. I don't remember them ever saying that they'd only announce for 64-bit though--when did this happen? Must've missed the announcement if there was one.
26 • KDE & 64 bit (by mz on 2013-02-26 08:39:35 GMT from United States)
I for one am always happy to hear about improvements in KDE, which will be coming to both 32 and 64 bit machines near you soon. The only down side to hearing about new & improved versions of KDE is the possible waiting for PCLOS to bring the new stuff into the repos, but such is the price of stability. Some distros that want to be cutting edge and modern will be 64 bit only, but they are no less interesting to learn about; unless you have the time to make every review you read an excuse to try something new on your 32 bit hardware. I don't have that much time, but it's fun to try something new every once in a while. If I do get a chance to run something new I'll try that 64 bit PCLOS RC, but until then I'm happy to hear about the new KDE.
27 • Mint, all versions (by Torben Caroc on 2013-02-26 09:01:06 GMT from Denmark)
During the last 5-6 years I have always used Mint. Different releases, but always well working. Equipped with relevant programs and easy to find and load extra programs. Finally with a pleasant look and logic handling. Thanks a lot !
28 • Mr Shuttleworth (by Eats Wombats on 2013-02-26 11:08:50 GMT from Ireland)
I was mildly annoyed by Ubuntu's move to share search information and disabled it. However, the dyspepsia and intemperance it I has inspired is, I think, a little over the top. Mr Shuttleworth has done more to make Linux a success than most. We would all be poorer if he had retired or did so now or if Canonical folded. I switched to Mint because I didn't like Unity, however I expect to like it very much on my next phone. I don't begrudge Canonical a chance to become commercially viable.
As it happens, the first thing I searched for when I realised that the search included Amazon results was for some music I have been trying to buy for years and would gladly pay for (old albums I no longer have and which I have bits of -- discovered via file sharing when I explored it some years ago, precisely because I had no alternative).
An option to enable a broader search each time would be better. I would be ok too with Canonical being an intermediary and aggregating data. But being subject to surveillance 24x7... No thanks. That's "no thanks" not "Oh no, it's the anti-Christ!"
29 • RE: Ubuntu on privacy (by Uncle Sam on 2013-02-26 11:49:54 GMT from United States)
How does anyone know these security concerns are exclusively a problem for Canonical? Why are we focusing on a relatively small problem?
With actual computer crimes being committed against private American business and other entities (like you or me) by Chinese military and other entities sympathetic to the Chinese, how can anyone be sure the very Linux Kernel or some other app hasn't been compromised? When was the last time anyone (including Linus) took a look at it?!
Personally, I love playing with new distros from time to time. But if I see something originating from China I don't even bother with it. Therefore, I think it's time Distrowatch started ranking distros according to a some kind of threat level and do it according to geographical / political criteria. At the very least, a filter to exclude distros written in hostile areas of the world might be included in Distrowatch's search feature. I don't know about anyone else but I'm pretty sure I don't want to even look at a distro from North Korea, Iran, Syria or even Pakistan - let alone China! I'm really not that concerned about Canonical any more.
30 • @24, 32/64 bit (by TobiSGD on 2013-02-26 12:13:31 GMT from Germany)
"With this new emphasis by distrowatch, I'm sure more distros like Chakra, will drop support of i686. Chain reaction."
If a distro phases out i686 because the news on Distrowatch don't mention them anymore then there is something seriously wrong with your distro, not Distrowatch.
A healthy distro would discuss such a move with its users and not base it on the habits of one third party site.
31 • @25 Links to 64-bit only (by Jon Wright on 2013-02-26 13:13:44 GMT from Vietnam)
> "I don't remember them ever saying that they'd only announce for 64-bit though--when did this happen? Must've missed the announcement if there was one."
I think the announcement was made in the first DW Weekly of 2013.
32 • '64-bit ISO Links only' DW 2013 policy (by Somewhat Reticent on 2013-02-26 14:19:58 GMT from United States)
That refers to iso links in release announcements, yes. And no, it does not refer to the announcements themselves, reviews, or discussion - just iso links, and freeing up iso storage space.
33 • @ 25 (by abveritas on 2013-02-26 14:34:53 GMT from United States)
"Chakra is a unique distro in that it has a good sense of focus: Arch + KDE + 64 bit, rather than trying to do it all. "
Chakra is NOT Arch + KDE. It forked from Arch 3 years ago, and since has all it's packages in it's own repo's, complete different goals then Arch, different packaging standards, etc.
34 • ... and what is this (KDE 4.10) Kademar 5 beta1? ... is it Arch or Debian based? (by meanpt on 2013-02-26 15:29:41 GMT from Portugal)
From Catalonia with ... KDE 4.10, the beta already feels very polished, the installer seems to work fine and the out of the box experience is good. Nonetheless, this is an intriguing distro, as the developpers claim in the DW page and in their homepage, that it's based on Debian/Knoppix, but has an Arch kernel and when apt-get update is ran in a console, the repository checks the status of AUR repositories (hu?). In the end, the KDE 4.10 experience is smooth, the Aper package front-end works for whatever underlying package manager they use, and automatic updates are executed automatically executed.Intriguing, indeed.
35 • CHAKRA (by Carlos on 2013-02-26 15:37:12 GMT from Mexico)
Chakra is the best KDE distro around here, beats Kubuntu, Opensuse, etc.
Is fast, stable, responsive, installer is great.
But, I recommend only for KDE centric users, because bundle packages system is not polished, gtk apps in any times fail.
I386 Users: stick with PCLOS, is the best for you.
36 • @ #29 (by Pierre on 2013-02-26 15:45:04 GMT from Germany)
Lovely... I just waited for such a neurotic and paranoid comment.
Sure, no one can guarantee that any software is not compromised, but this is the case for any software and not only Chinese or other open source projects.
It's sad to see political or geographical related discrimination even here and in open source movements and from open source users.
We then are not far from evaluating the trustworthiness of distros by the skin color or ethnical group the developers belong to.
Sad to see this happen even at free and open source projects and their users.
37 • #34....Kademar (by pmulax on 2013-02-26 16:07:10 GMT from Spain)
Yes, after ver 4.9.5 the Kademar team rebased on Arch, so it's now a OOTB KDE Arch with a pendrive installer (with persistence), auto grafic driver selection on boot (with propiteiry drivers included), it uses Zram for lower ram machines, and comes packed with a wide range of apps, all in spanish, catalonian and english. It's nimble and polished, an excellent Arch based distro I recommend anyone to try.
38 • Chakra and Ubuntu (by DavidEF on 2013-02-26 16:44:17 GMT from United States)
I enjoyed the Chakra review. I may even try Chakra because of it. I disagree with RollMeAway, (posts #15, #24) about the 64-bit-only review being useless. I have two 32-bit computers and two 64-bit computers in my home. I learned some things about the current state of FOSS technology that may be useful for BOTH architectures, just like champted said in post #19 above.
I have been an Ubuntu user for years. In fact, it was the first distro I could get installed on my desktop! I had tried a couple others, but couldn't get them to work. The latest version, 12.10 is somewhat unstable on my machines. I tried the latest Mint, based on Ubuntu 12.10, and it was WORSE! In fact, Mint has issues on my hardware that Ubuntu doesn't have. I don't know if my experience is unique, but it leaves me wondering how anyone could favor Mint over Ubuntu. I had it installed for a couple months on my laptop, and it is still installed on my wife's laptop, only because I haven't had the time to change it yet. We've tried both the Cinnamon and MATE desktops.
Anyway, I've never been a fan of the KDE desktop, even though I use KDE-centric applications a lot (k3b is THE killer app!). I've not had hard feelings toward them, just liked Gnome better. But, this review really makes me want to try Chakra. I'm ready for some stability in computing. I'm just a little hesitant because of the lack of a graphical Package Manager. I use Synaptic so much, I don't want to think about doing without it! To me, even the so-called "modern" Software Managers are a pain, and command-line package management is a nightmare!
I suppose I will stay with Ubuntu, but maybe go back to 12.04 for now. I actually like the Unity Shell. I didn't care for the Amazon lens, but not for privacy or security reasons. I just think it litters the screen too much when I'm searching for files and programs on my own computer. Maybe that will be fixed in a later version. And, to answer the question posed by AberBlast (post #12), I use Ubuntu because out of all the distros I've tried, and occasionally continue to try, it does the most of what I want, with the least glitches, gotchas, and other headaches, the most reliably, dependably, and predictably. Finally, as a long-time Ubuntu user, and at the same time, distro-hopper (four computers in my home currently), I can say with confidence that the bulk of post #12 is FUD.
39 • @37 on Kademar - Arch based KDE 4.10 (by meanpt on 2013-02-26 17:01:18 GMT from Portugal)
Thanks for the confimation. This is a good distro and a good KDE implementation. I hope they will enjoy more visibility, enlarge the community and provide a clear communication channel to report problems and bugs that may occur.
40 • @ #29 (by :wq on 2013-02-26 20:06:08 GMT from United States)
Comment #36 is spot on. Additionally, some people have voiced distrust with regard to governmentally funded/developed distributions like Lightweight Portable Security or Pardus (not the forthcoming community-based Anka, but the TÜBİTAK version), or commercial/commercially-backed distributions like RHEL, SUSE Linux Enterprise, or Ubuntu. There is no shortage of conspiracy theories in the world, but I prefer my OSS without them. I'm not at all saying distribution makers are perfect actors devoid of self-interests, but if you really think they are out to get you, then don't use those distributions; get an abacus instead.
PS AriOS, Parsix, and Linux Deepin (IMO) are certainly decent distributions on parity with (or better than) most other distributions listed on DistroWatch.
41 • @40 (by mandog on 2013-02-26 21:59:18 GMT from Peru)
I'll certainly agree with the Parsix comment one off the finest distros,
42 • Is it paranoia when they _are_ out to get you? (by Somewhat Reticent on 2013-02-26 23:15:18 GMT from United States)
Any repository could be hacked and used for an attack. Trust and verify.
Even a standard update can include a bug. Perhaps updating should include making a backup copy - and moving that copy off-system.
43 • @33 (by rayyu on 2013-02-26 23:19:20 GMT from Philippines)
I'm aware of that. Chakra is a fork of Arch linux, but their website sums up their distribution pretty well: a distribution for intermediate level users who like Arch, KDE, and KISS.
However, I wasn't clear. It was an error to say that Chakra IS Arch when it no longer is, but in a way--Chakra is still very similar to Arch.
44 • @29 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-02-27 01:13:53 GMT from Canada)
"how can anyone be sure the very Linux Kernel or some other app hasn't been compromised? When was the last time anyone (including Linus) took a look at it?!"
I took a look at it yesterday. Don't worry, it's fine.
(seriously, I need to start compiling an archive of Idiotic Internet Comments. No...no, wait, I don't have the storage...)
45 • @ #44 (by Pierre on 2013-02-27 01:39:20 GMT from Germany)
Wonderful comment. I should print it and pin it to my wall. xD Thanks for the fun at this late hour. ;)
46 • P.S. (by Pierre on 2013-02-27 01:43:03 GMT from Germany)
I am no fan of this facebook hype, but damn, this time I am really sad there is no Like-button here. :D
47 • @9 (this week's secure boot kerfuffle) (by Adam Williamson on 2013-02-27 02:26:39 GMT from Canada)
I am not qualified to give you a take on the technical specifics (and neither are 99.9% of the internet commenters currently giving you their take in loud and strenuous terms), but I can give you a kind of meta-take, which is that it is to a degree a storm in a teacup.
Linus blows up and yells very loud at people from time to time. It's a personal attribute. The kernel community is mostly happy to put up with it because it's a pretty small trade off for the upsides of having a Linus. I find it kind of unfortunate, though, especially when general news sites report it in generally-approving terms, because it seems to lead some people to believe that in order to be a really effective leader of a collaborative project, you have to act kind of like a ranting shouty asshole.
In fact Linus is an incredibly effective leader of a collaborative project *despite* the fact he occasionally acts like a ranting shouty asshole, not *because* of it. If you're not an effective collaborative project leader, starting to shout at people about what complete idiots they're being is unlikely to improve your record.
So anyway - the fact that Linus went off at someone is not always an indicator that the topic at hand is a particularly significant one, or that the person is an idiot, or even that Linus is right (though often he is, or at least it's one of those cases where there isn't clearly a 'right' or 'wrong' and Linus' position is as strong as anyone's).
This is kind of one of those situations. There would be a practical benefit to having the kernel do what Howells proposed it do, for *some* use cases. As I very vaguely understand it, it would allow distributions and third-party vendors to collaborate on the signing of major out-of-tree modules for SB purposes. There are arguments against doing it, too - it involves adding some complexity to a fairly core bit of the kernel which is only (currently) useful in a very specific context. Even if you strip away the more foaming-at-the-mouth stuff in some of the off-LKML discussion about how hideously evil Secure Boot is, there's a reasonable case that it doesn't really make sense to bend over too far backwards in the kernel just to accommodate SB (if you burn away the yelling, this is more or less the point Linus is making with his talk about fellating Microsoft - not that SB is evil exactly, but that it's not worth going to a lot of effort to accommodate it in the kernel core).
In the end, it'll get discussed on the technical merits, and eventually it'll either be pulled or definitely rejected. If it's rejected, then signing out-of-tree modules will be somewhat more inconvenient for distributors and third parties. It'll still happen, somehow - it'll just be a bit more overhead. The general audience will rapidly lose interest and will just remember that Linus yelled at someone and isn't Linus awesome?, which is what always happens when Linus yells at someone (viz the last Linus-shouting-at-someone kerfuffle, which kicked off that whole ridiculous eudev thing).
The degree to which the difference between the two possible outcomes will be visible to most everyday end-user Linux users is 'very, very little', I suspect.
48 • Chinese hackers... :D (by FormerDistroHopper on 2013-02-27 02:51:48 GMT from Germany)
"Uncle Sam" trying to seed paranoia amongst tech-savvy users? Hahaha, nice but utterly futile try... please elaborate to anyone here how the kernel (or anything Linux) shall have been compromised in any way by hackers.. and even if so, without legions of people, users, developers & companies immediately noticing...
Free, open-source systems like Linux deal with security, not government fairytales...
49 • Mint (by bob.buzz on 2013-02-27 03:36:43 GMT from Kuwait)
I totally agree eith #28:
"I switched to Mint because I didn't like Unity"
I'm using Mint with MATE right now, and I love it!
50 • @40 and 41 - Parsix (by Hoos on 2013-02-27 08:56:22 GMT from Singapore)
Re: I'll certainly agree with the Parsix comment one off the finest distros,"
I agree as well. Parsix 3 "Raoul" was stable and amazingly fast compared to other Debian and/or Gnome 2 (Debian or otherwise) systems on my PC.
Unfortunately, Parsix 4 has now moved to Gnome 3 shell, which I can't run on my old computer and graphics card.
51 • @48 (by greg on 2013-02-27 09:11:08 GMT from Slovenia)
That's easy. modify the distributions kernel to fit your "evil" plans and not release the source code of it.
i think the distro from North Korea is called Red Star or something like that. not sure if it is distributed outside of NK.
52 • Chakra package manager (by pictonic on 2013-02-27 09:20:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
I can't agree that pacman needs replacing. It is the simplest and most efficient package manager I have encountered.
I've used synaptic (the best of the GUI), portage, apt, aptitude(confusing), zypper(hard to set up), yum (confusing GUI), zypper, Kpackage.
A GUI introduces a new 'language' and meanings are often not obvious. I prefer the priciple of occam's razor. Enough is enough.
53 • commentor #47 is really spot on. (by rayyu on 2013-02-27 11:16:33 GMT from Philippines)
Linus's personality does not take away from his ability to maintain the kernel.
And iirc I don't think he's the type to just be an asshole for absolutely no reason--he's not going to randomly blow up at one of the maintainers or something. And tbh I really don't think he's a bad person =)
Try, the Linux world in general could do with some Occam's Razor, even though it is basically the living antithesis of that concept =)
It certainly suffers from too much everything, imho, but package managers are objective after all.
Some people are point-and-click types, some are keyboard ninjas, and some are both. Personally I'm not a fan of pacman, apt, or synaptic. Never used yum. So far the ones I've really liked are sorcery, Rigo, and the TCL App Browser (and its cli version).
See, there's room for both of us =D So hopefully not TOO much Occam's Razor =D
And also, it's very interesting to see what the Chakra team will come up with. Their distribution is among the few very interesting ones to me. I like their sense of aesthetics, so I'm excited to see what their package manager will look like.
54 • RE 10 (usability is more application oriented than distr. specific) (by dbrion on 2013-02-27 11:43:50 GMT from France)
"I love to read the feature story, but I find that the installation procedure get way to much attention, about 50% of each story. Please keep that part shorter and give more focus to the usuage part."
I am not that interested in installation issues, too, but :
* I am glad some very competent people try to install before I do, making me, through their reports, to shun away from unpleasant installations when I am in a distro (s)hopping mood.
* usability issues cannot be dealt in (quasi) real time, and are likely to be application specific (not distribution specific). To detect a bug in some applications, it may take weeks -some took years, in computation intensive softwres- . Is it the weekly "feature story" role?
55 • @52 Package Manager "language" (by DavidEF on 2013-02-27 15:33:17 GMT from United States)
If, like me, most of the users of said distro already "speak the language" of the GUI Package Manager, then suddenly it makes much more sense to have a GUI Package Manager, in order to make the lives of the users more comfortable, else they find a different distro. I don't keep around any distro that doesn't have a GUI Package Manager that is easy for me to use. Maybe, just maybe, a lot of other users have the same mindset.
56 • #35 Carlos from Mexico (by Mika on 2013-02-27 18:37:32 GMT from Spain)
"I386 Users: stick with PCLOS, is the best for you."
You might give a try to the 64 bit version. Though is a RC1 it seems to be quite stable, more than a lot of "finals" ones.
57 • #38 DavidEF (by Ika on 2013-02-27 18:53:14 GMT from Spain)
" I'm ready for some stability in computing. I'm just a little hesitant because of the lack of a graphical Package Manager. I use Synaptic so much, I don't want to think about doing without it! "
Then you too might try PCLinuxOS. It accomplish with all your desires. :D
58 • #47: Something I don't do often (by Caitlyn Martin on 2013-02-27 19:58:50 GMT from United States)
I'm going to do something I rarely if ever do. I'm going to disagree sharply with Adam Williamson. I don't believe for a minute that this is a tempest in a teapot or a minor issue. Why not? Almost all the major vendor consumer systems out there and a large percentage of business systems as well comply with Microsoft standards for secure boot. If hibernation doesn't work properly on most new laptops running Linux a lot of people, both consumers and IT decision makers, will be frustrated. Some will undoubtedly flee Linux right back to Windows, which is precisely what Microsoft wants. Similarly, if kexec breaks standards and keys are revoked that's serious as well. I understand where Linus is coming from and in principle he is absolutely spot on. In practice yes, there are workarounds, but some are fairly painful to implement and they may not fully address the issues.
Make no mistake: UEFI Secure Boot is all about vendor lock in. I've been accused of spreading FUD for saying just that for the last year. Does anyone remember Jesse's DWW article descibing what disabling Secure Boot on his new system was like? Yeah, me too, and it wasn't pretty. Now we have a situation where Microsoft is the only one issuing keys and Linus is potentially giving them a big fat reason to revoke the keys and lock Linux users out. Brilliant.
Dislaimer: I am not a kernel hacker and I am not at the technical level to understand 100% of the implications here. Having said that, I understand enough to see real consequences here.
Oh, and no, I'm not going to comment on Linus' management style. That's really irrelevant to the technical issues and potential consequences of the decision take so far.
59 • @ #55 (by Pierre on 2013-02-27 20:34:34 GMT from Germany)
Actually I have a different mindset when it comes to package managers.
I prefer the command line tool over the GUI alternative for many reasons. So I decide to even change a distro if the command line tool is not comfortable. I don't care much about the GUI tools, although it is nice to have them.
This is one of the reasons why I have never been fully happy and satisfied with Debian. Although apt is stable, mature and quite feature rich, it has a quite cryptic output. I find openSUSE's zypper and Arch's pacman to have a lot more pleasant and appealing output.
So this is a reason why I prefer openSUSE and Arch over Debian and Debian based distros. Although aspecially Debian is a very nice server os.
Just my two cents again.
Greetings from Germany.
60 • @58 (by Tony Brijeski on 2013-02-27 23:57:12 GMT from Canada)
If you or anyone else thinks that Microsoft won't revoke the keys even if Linus and Linux bows down to them I think you would be mistaken. They have a long history of not really playing nice with anyone else and it is understandable as they are a business entity and they have a responsibility to their shareholders to make sure they stay profitable.
I don't personally agree with this but I understand why they do what they do.
I don't think UEFI is going away. I see it more like a hardware lock in like Apple uses.
I'm not sure what the future will be like for Linux regarding UEFI but I truly hope Microsoft and UEFI don't ruin the Hardware platform that Linux mainly runs on.
It might just be time to get behind some of the Hardware vendors that are trying to produce Linux ready hardware.
If folks like Linux then it makes sense to try to support Linux Hardware vendors instead of buying the cheaper MS only hardware.
I am going to try to keep my current hardware running as long as I can since I don't have to even worry about UEFI with it. When I am ready to make a hardware purchase I will seriously make every effort to buy something Linux Focused.
61 • @58 (by Tony brijeski on 2013-02-27 23:59:10 GMT from Canada)
My apologies for misspelling your name Caitlyn. I realized it as I was clicking on Submit.
62 • @58 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-02-28 06:04:26 GMT from Canada)
Well, I'm afraid we'll have to continue to disagree ;). On a couple of things.
One, either way this shakes out, no-one's going to be revoking any keys as a result.
Two, SB is not about vendor lock-in. It just isn't.
"Does anyone remember Jesse's DWW article descibing what disabling Secure Boot on his new system was like? Yeah, me too, and it wasn't pretty."
That's because, as mjg has been explaining for years, deep familiarity with a crack pipe is apparently a pre-requisite for becoming a firmware engineer. Firmwares are, broadly speaking, awful. Firmware interfaces, doubly so. This isn't an inevitable consequence of SB or Microsoft's fault. It just appears to be a universal law. Doing *anything* in a computer firmware UI is usually painful, incomprehensible and unnecessarily dangerous; why should disabling SB be an exception? mumblegrumble...first against the wall when the revolution comes...mumblegrumble...
It's not like the specs are hidden, or something. You can go read both the UEFI spec and Microsoft's certification requirements for Windows 8. They're both public. The Windows certification requirements say 'it must be possible to disable SB', basically. How to implement that is left entirely up to the implementer. There's no reason it should be anything more complex than an on/off switch, but then there's no reason for *most* of what firmware engineers do. Except for the crack pipe.
63 • @58 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-02-28 06:08:45 GMT from Canada)
Ignoring my flippancy, here is Matt giving a miraculously coherent account of the whole thing and its practical consequences:
64 • #62 SB (by silent on 2013-02-28 10:25:55 GMT from France)
So, is SB about security?
That said, Torvalds doesn't think Microsoft's spin on Windows 8 UEFI secure boot is really going to do for security. "The real problem, I feel, is that clever hackers will bypass the whole key issue either by getting a key of their own (how many of those private keys have stayed really private again? Oh, that's right, pretty much none of them) or they'll just take advantage of security bugs in signed software to bypass it without a key at all." Torvalds concluded, "Signing is a tool in the tool-box, but it's not solving all the security problems, and while I think some people are a bit too concerned about it, it's true that it can be mis-used."
65 • Linux on a flash drive - any recommendations? (by gnomic on 2013-02-28 12:10:12 GMT from New Zealand)
Just been trying to get Linux on a flash drive. Oh dear. Knoppix - fail. Parsix - fail. Toorox utter fail - why include a script which announces success but appears to do nothing at all??? Perhaps the problem is between chair and keyboard, anybody found a distro with flash drive installer which is more or less foolproof? Two or three years since I messed with this, and I had the impression it was pretty well sorted now but seemingly not.
66 • @65 • Linux on a flash drive (by mandog on 2013-02-28 12:32:21 GMT from Peru)
You need something like image writer on most distros Mint has it, as does Parsix,
manjaro, Suse, and windows They all basically DD the image,I personaly have 100% success Using suse image writer on my arch rig.
67 • @65 Fool-proof USB linux (by DavidEF on 2013-02-28 12:41:29 GMT from United States)
Not long after you make something fool-proof, the universe births a better fool. I can't remember the exact quote, but there is basically the truth of it.
However, for a very easy USB linux pendrive, though not entirely fool-proof, use the Ubuntu Startup Disk Creator. I think they still include that in the latest version. There is also the Puppy Universal Installer included in the Puppy linux distribution. It can install Puppy linux almost ANYWHERE, hence the name. There are other similar tools, that are more general, and can make a live-usb linux pendrive from any of the major distros, and most of the minor ones. Try Pendrivelinux - http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
68 • RE 65 (by dbrion on 2013-02-28 14:06:02 GMT from France)
Fedora (at least from FC13 up to version 18 : did not install version 19) and mageia (at least up to version 2: never test betas) can install very comfortably on a pendrive(one just has to be carefull to specify the right "disk" -and it must be here!- and right place for grub) or (it is the same thing) on an USB rotating external disk (is faster, if one wants to use their package management -thus writing!- and cheaper per G.)
69 • @64 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-02-28 16:14:34 GMT from Canada)
"clever hackers getting a key" is the entire point of the revocation mechanism. You can pick theoretical holes in just about *any* security mechanism; security is very hard. This doesn't mean security mechanisms aren't security mechanisms. As Linux says, "it's a tool in the toolbox".
70 • @65 - Linux on flash drive (by Uncle Slacky on 2013-02-28 16:45:20 GMT from France)
Try Unetbootin: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
71 • Security Mechanisms (by DavidEF on 2013-02-28 17:22:07 GMT from United States)
Imagine buying a house in which the locks on the doors could not be changed by you, the owner, only by the original builder, and of course, you can't simply change doors either, because your home will only fit doors made by this builder. You're stuck with what you got, unless the builder says otherwise. Now, imagine some person figures out how to get copies of your keys, giving them access to your home, and all your belongings. Now, you have to go back to the builder of the home, and pay them to install new doors, with new locks, and give you the new keys, that hopefully nobody has a copy of but you...uhhh...and the builder...and anyone else the builder gives or sells them to!
Are those door locks considered "Security Mechanisms"? Well, yes, they are! Is there any sane reason for them to be manufactured and installed, other than for the guaranteed continual financial well-being of that one particular home builder? Nope, not at all! Their primary purpose for existing is to make money for that home builder. The primary purpose for Microsoft's mandating Secure Boot technology be implemented the way it is, is for Microsoft to make money.
A chastity belt can be called a security mechanism too. But, imagine if a government mandated that all citizens would have to wear chastity belts from birth, and the government was the only one who controlled the keys. Who benefits?
72 • OS to flash, without breaking existing file-system or wasting space (by Somewhat Reticent on 2013-02-28 17:56:03 GMT from United States)
Imagewriter, unetbootin, and other 'dd'-based tools 'dump' an iso onto a flash drive, and overwrite the existing filesystem on that device/partition. Assuming the drive is already formatted, why not simply unpack the iso to a new folder, use syslinux to make it bootable? The only other piece to the puzzle would be adapting the boot configuration file(s). Wouldn't this facilitate live try-before-you-buy testing, multibooting, persistence and customization?
73 • @72 - Unetbootin uses existing format (by Uncle Slacky on 2013-02-28 21:57:00 GMT from France)
Unetbootin isn't "dd" based, it uses the existing (FAT) filesystem, so doesn't destroy any existing data on the stick.
74 • Honest question related to the SB discussion (by Pearson on 2013-02-28 22:06:25 GMT from United States)
Suppose someone puts out a malicious distro or kernel module using the secure key for Linux. Does that mean the key will then be revoked?
This is based on a fuzzy (mis)understanding of the keys. I'm presuming that there will be one key for Linux, and somehow all the other distros will get it.
75 • @71 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-03-01 00:09:00 GMT from Canada)
...except that with Secure Boot you can in fact substitute your own locks for Microsoft's at any time. Other than that, your argument is great.
76 • @74 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-03-01 00:11:29 GMT from Canada)
You really, _really_ should read up on mjg59's blog. But basically: there is no 'secure key for Linux'. There are already many 'keys for Linux'. There's one for Fedora 18. There's one for Ubuntu 12.10. If a key ever does have to be revoked, it will affect the specific product that key was signed with, not 'Linux'.
77 • @72 • OS to flash, without breaking existing file-system (by mandog on 2013-03-01 00:14:51 GMT from Peru)
you can reformat your stick with Gparted Yes the world has Moved on so they are still usable in fat32 Windows also will reformat them.
78 • @73 - Unetbootin - true, doesn't reformat (by Somewhat Reticent on 2013-03-01 09:18:21 GMT from United States)
It unpacks an ISO to a folder, uses syslinux to make bootable, politely asks before a file is overwritten, creates a boot folder with several tools, etc. Good for one distro on a stick, right?
79 • Linux on a flash drive continued (by gnomic on 2013-03-01 09:28:04 GMT from New Zealand)
Thanks for various suggestions following my previous post. Achieved partial success with Linux Mint 14.1 Cinnamon - this installed on an 8 gig drive and boots on a eeePC, which was a main object of the exercise. Oddly enough however, it does not boot on two laptops, a Toshiba and a Compaq. So the quest must continue. It seems SUSE is now intended to be booted from USB for live session use, so perhaps I'll give that a run when 12.3 appears. Will also try Fedora.
80 • Re: #76 Secure Boot (by silent on 2013-03-01 09:42:02 GMT from France)
There can be a secure key for Linux and also keys for specific distros:
"There are two points to consider here: firstly we don't have a key: if you look at shim and my PreBootloader, they're actually signed with the *same* key. That means that there's no real distro-specific key to blacklist."
Anyway, a logical target for an attack is the key update process itself.
"After these databases have been added, and after final firmware validation and testing, the OEM locks the firmware from editing, except for updates that are signed with the correct key or updates by a physically present user who is using firmware menus, and then generates a platform key (PK). The PK can be used to sign updates to the KEK or to turn off Secure Boot."
81 • unetbootin vs install (70,73,74,77,79) (by dbrion on 2013-03-01 09:54:20 GMT from France)
Well, unetbootin will give you the functions of a liveCD, nothing more, nothing less (if it works). If you want an extra application, things get more complicated.... as you cannot write on a live CD/DVD.
BTW unetbootin does not always work (with some recent Fedora, it did not create something bootable), maybe it is a matter of version numerology.....
**Installing** on a stick as if it were a disk allows to add new applications.
The risk of loosing data can be worked around with .... another USB stick (they are cheap) and a HUB (one can boot from Stick->USBHUB->PC, this is almost necessary anyways if one plays with many USB hardware)
82 • @80 (by Adam Williamson on 2013-03-01 13:56:06 GMT from Canada)
I'm not sure that's strictly right. I think the 'generic' versions of shim and LF bootloader - which don't trust anything innately, but allow you to choose to trust whatever you like - are signed with the same key, but distro-specific builds of shim - which trust a distro key innately - are signed separately. But I'll have to check.
83 • Re 81 Unetbootin (by pmulax on 2013-03-01 15:13:44 GMT from Spain)
Unetbootin gives you something more over a CD: persistence, at least with the @buntu distros. A few other distros save changes, though their methods vary slightly (Puppy, Slax, Kademar,Suse, etc). I find this quite usefull in a carry-around pendrive where I have my working documents and a whol OS to edit them on most PC's.
84 • Well, is there a race fetween unetbootin and classical installs. (by dbrion on 2013-03-01 15:27:01 GMT from France)
Have you tried installing a package with an unetbootin'ed live CD/DVD?
and persistence can be achieved ... with a second US stick (unless they become very expensive, and one forgets to mark them).
If you need swap files (are somehow useful to hibernate), how can live CD /DVD/their images do?
BTW : I often used unetbootin (there are tricks to install packages, anyway.... but they are tricky) ... but prefer to shun it in favor of a classical install -and cascading two softwares (unetbootin + a distribution) is less reliable than having just one -Oh, just the one which was felt useful!- installed.
85 • Distros and (re)spins (by Ika on 2013-03-01 16:07:28 GMT from Spain)
Well..., speaking about "distributions":
- Distribution Release: OS4 13.3
- Distribution Release: aLinux 15.0
- Development Release: openSUSE 12.3 RC2
- Distribution Release: SalentOS 12.04.2...
- Distribution Release: Zorin OS 6.2 "Core", "Ultimate".
Which of them is really a distro and which is a (re)spin? :D
Should it be better, here in DW (and not only here), to be made a classification between these two categories?
Nothing against spins, but I think it would be better just for a better and more exhaustive information.
86 • @gnomic from NZ (by Somewhat Reticent on 2013-03-01 18:13:57 GMT from United States)
I recommend YUMI from PenDriveLinux, Rufus by akeo (Pete Batard), LiLi aka LinuxLive USB, and the SourceForge (GrUB4dOS) project MultiBootISO. Of course, you've been at this for years, and likely already know how hardware vendors can make life challenging.
I suggest some refugees from proprietary vendor lock-in are reluctant to be just as locked-into just one distro; thus I prefer multiboot methods.
87 • SparkeyLinux (by Learning Linux on 2013-03-01 19:02:22 GMT from United States)
In the Sparky Linux review in DWW #495 Jesse Smith stated "There are plenty of other low-resource, Debian-based distributions providing multimedia out of the box and some of them have been around long enough to work out the quirks with which SparkyLinux is wrestling."
Could you expand on that statement and list which ones you are referring too? I've searching for a GOOD Debian based distro for quite some time with little success. Being saddled with a slow internet connection up here in the Frozen Tundra makes downloading a lot of different distros willy-nilly to try is difficult at best. Any advice on which one (or ones) to concentrate on would be much appreciated.
88 • @ 88 - Debian and multimedia (by Ralph on 2013-03-01 20:08:05 GMT from Canada)
This does not answer your question, but just to let you know that Debian itself is claiming vastly improved mutlimedia support for their upcoming release "Wheezy". They make it sound like you no longer need to rely on Marillat's repos. (I'm not sure about the details, but it is my understanding that, traditionally, although you could get say, MPlayer, from the standard Debian repos, the package would be partially crippled due to legal concerns.)
89 • @87 - Debian-based distros with multimedia (by Uncle Slacky on 2013-03-02 16:09:24 GMT from France)
SolusOS is the first one which comes to mind, also Mint LMDE and Swift Linux.
90 • re #86 and linux from usb stick (by gnomic on 2013-03-03 02:17:00 GMT from New Zealand)
Thanks for the mention of various live linux on usb installers, I'll have a look. I was rather hoping for a solution within Linux. Otherwise I'll have to find the laptop with Windows XP and see if I can remember the password ;-\/ There are still more Linux installers to try of course, haven't really looked into Puppy as yet but their installer has usually seemed reliable in the past, and I have high hopes for the latest Porteus. Project on hold at the moment while I hunt about for cheap USB sticks.
91 • #90 proprietary OS may not be needed (by Somewhat Reticent on 2013-03-03 05:41:28 GMT from United States)
If there's sufficient RAM to boot from, the GrUB4dOS-based SourceForge Project MultiBootUSB lists many Linux distro/package-system files. If not, there's Wine, PlayOn, VirtualBox, etc.
[This e-address will self-destruct in 06 days]
92 • Secure boot, Microsoft and Skype (by imnotrich on 2013-03-03 23:09:46 GMT from Mexico)
Any PC sold that prevents me from installing the operating system of my choice is defective and if I (accidentally) bought one, it'd go back to the store that same week for a full refund. No restocking BS.
But the obvious bottom line is Microsoft is trying to lock out the competition with the UEFI and secure boot garbage.
Simultaneously, Microsoft's war on Linux has resulted dropping support for a Linux version and most noticeably Microsoft no longer allows a 64 bit version of Skype for Linux to be downloaded.
So we should not be surprised by such tactics, and be ready for combat! Economically, through the courts, whatever is legal and non violent of course but Microsoft needs to be cut off at the knees.
Number of Comments: 92
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