| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 501, 1 April 2013
Welcome to this year's 13th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! We'll start with first look reviews of the recently-released KANOTIX 2013, a Debian-based distribution with excellent hardware support and a large number of applications on its live DVD, and GhostBSD 3.0, a FreeBSD-based operating system for desktop computing with multiple desktops and window managers to suit several tastes. In the news section, openSUSE offers a new rescue CD variant for its 12.3 version, Debian Project Leader candidates present their visions of the world's largest Linux distribution, Haiku starts work on improving its package management system, and Oracle Linux lures new customers by providing advantages over other enterprise Linux systems. Also in this issue, links to resources offering help in the domain of computer forensics and related tasks and news about a much-needed update of the DistroWatch distribution database. Finally, we are happy to announce that the recipient of the March 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is the GhostBSD project. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (18MB) and MP3 (32MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First looks at KANOTIX 2013 and GhostBSD 3.0
This week I would like to quickly shine a light on two projects which generally don't get a lot of attention, but I find them interesting nonetheless. The first project on my list this week is KANOTIX, a live DVD which is designed to showcase the latest and greatest products in the open source community. KANOTIX is based on the Debian project and is generally used as a demo disc to show off new software. In addition the KANOTIX disc can be used to recover software from damaged systems or assist in the removal of malware. The latest KANOTIX release features modern versions of WINE, the Valve Steam client, LibreOffice 4.0, the Linux kernel (version 3.8) and Iceweasel 19. The live disc is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds, plus there is a two-architectures-in-one download which combines both 32-bit and 64-bit builds. I opted to download the 32-bit build of KANOTIX which is 1.3 GB in size.
Booting from the KANOTIX disc brings up a GRUB 2 boot menu and lets us load the distribution using either German or English as the system's language. From there we are brought to a KDE4 desktop. The application menu and task switcher rest at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop we find an icon for launching the distribution's IRC client which automatically connects us with the project's chat room. This direct link to live help provides us with a convenient way to get assistance.
Though KANOTIX is typically used as a live disc rather than a locally installed operating system the project does provide a graphical system installer. I tried running the installer and found it starts us off by asking us to run a partition manager. Three partition managers (GParted, cfdisk and fdisk) can be launched from within the installer. I found attempting to launch the graphical utility, GParted, would cause the partition manager to immediately crash, however both console based utilities (fdisk and cfdisk) ran without any problems. Once we have divided up the disk we are asked to select one of our local partitions to use as a location for KANOTIX's root file system. I tried running the installer three times, dividing up the hard disk in different ways, but the KANOTIX installer was never able to detect my partitions and I was therefore unable to assign mount points. This prevented me from completing an installation and the remainder of my time with KANOTIX was spent running the distribution from the live DVD.
KANOTIX 2013 - applications and settings
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KANOTIX uses KDE 4.8 for its desktop environment. By default desktop effects are enabled and search indexing is turned off. The interface is pleasantly lacking in applications and notifications which might demand attention. This makes for a clean, responsive and attractive user interface. Tucked away in the distribution's menu we find a goldmine of software, most of it recent releases. We're given the Iceweasel web browser and Icedove e-mail client. The Skype voice over IP software is included as is the Pidgin instant messenger client. LibreOffice is included in the application menu as are a PDF viewer and the GNU Image Manipulation Program. We're further given the K3b disc burning software, the VLC multimedia application, the Amarok music player and the Kaffine media player. To accompany these multimedia programs the operating system includes popular media codecs and Flash.
A small collection of games is included in the menu along with the Steam gaming portal. There are control panels for managing ATI and NVIDIA video drivers, a graphical user account manager and the GParted partition utility. The Midnight Commander file manager is included on the disc and we also find a collection of small apps for editing text and handling file archives. The WINE compatibility layer is included, allowing us to run many Windows applications and Java is available on the disc. KANOTIX comes with the KDE user documentation along with command line manual pages. Network Manager is provided to help us get on-line and the system runs on top of the Linux kernel, version 3.8.
The KANOTIX distribution will allow users to install additional software using the Synaptic graphical package manager. Software packages are pulled in from a variety of sources, most notably the Debian project's repositories. The KANOTIX project also maintains its own repositories for custom packages and Synaptic will download updates to the Steam client from the Steam Powered package repository. This gives us access to well over 30,000 packages and adds to the long list of roles KANOTIX can be used to demo.
Despite my inability to get KANOTIX installed locally on my computer I still have to say I like what the distribution is doing. It's a really good demo disc with modern hardware support, cutting-edge software, a massive supply of packages from the Debian repositories and a wide range of functionality, including Flash, Steam and WINE. The user interface is attractive and quick to respond. All of these features combined make KANOTIX a good platform for demonstrating the power of a Linux-based operating system.
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The GhostBSD project provides a desktop-oriented approach to running the FreeBSD operating system. GhostBSD takes the FreeBSD base, adds a graphical installer and ships with various graphical interfaces pre-configured for our use. The latest release of GhostBSD, version 3.0, comes in three flavours -- GNOME, Openbox and LXDE. Each build is available in 32-bit and 64-bit architectures and rests atop the FreeBSD 9.1 operating system. Each flavour comes with a number of improvements over previous GhostBSD releases including ZFS upgrades, easier wireless network configuration and improved Intel and NVIDIA video card support. I opted to try the LXDE edition of GhostBSD and the download image was 695 MB in size.
Booting from the GhostBSD media quickly brings up a desktop environment supplied by LXDE with scenic wallpaper. At the bottom of the screen we find the application menu, task switcher and system tray. On the desktop is a single icon for launching the project's installer. The graphical desktop is quite light on resources and I found it to be very responsive. There aren't any notifications or desktop effects enabled in the LXDE edition of GhostBSD which gives us a fast, clean environment in which to work.
GhostBSD 3.0 - system installer and virtual terminal
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The GhostBSD system installer is a graphical application with a simple, yet attractive, layout. We are asked for our preferred language and we are then asked to confirm our keyboard layout. Next the installer asks us to select our time zone from a list. The following screen gives us a few partitioning options, including manually setting up partitions for GhostBSD or letting the operating system take over one of our local hard disks. With that done we are asked to provide a password for the root account and create a regular user account for ourselves. The installer then displays a summary of actions it will take in case we'd like to change our minds. Once we confirm our choices the installer starts copying files to our hard drive. This was as far as I got. I ran the installer several times with various partition layouts. I found that after the installer had copied about 2GB of data to the hard drive it would run into a problem, report it was unable to continue and exit. I tried running the installer both in a virtual machine and on physical equipment and encountered the same issue in both environments. As a result my time with GhostBSD, as with KANOTIX, was limited to running the operating system from live media.
The GhostBSD live media comes with a small collection of useful software. We are provided with the Firefox web browser, the Pidgin instant messaging client and the XChat IRC client. The Transmission bittorrent client is included on the disc too. The application menu features the AbiWord and Gnumeric productivity applications alongside a PDF viewer. GhostBSD comes with a video player, the LXMusic audio player and an image viewer. We also find a text editor, an archive manager and an optical disc burner in the application menu. One application which sets GhostBSD apart from most other BSD projects is the inclusion of a graphical package manager. This package manager is divided into two tabs, one which shows installed software and the second tab shows software available in the FreeBSD ports collection. Using this graphical front-end we can add and remove software from our system using a fairly simple interface. The organization of the ports collection may take some getting used to as the ports tree categorizes software a bit differently than we typically see in the Linux community, but much of the same software is available.
GhostBSD 3.0 - desktop applications and virtual keyboard
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Despite the drawback of not being able to install GhostBSD to a local drive I'm glad to see this project is still in active development. The BSD family of operating systems has a great deal to offer in both design and technology, however there aren't many beginner-friendly avenues by which to approach the BSD projects. GhostBSD, with its multiple desktop editions and its ability to fit on a single CD, is perhaps the easiest BSD project to simply pick up and try. The operating system is light, it comes with a handful of useful applications and the project's lead developer, Eric Turgeon, responds to emails from users in a quick and friendly manner. My experience prevents me from forming an opinion as to how well GhostBSD holds up to long term use, but as a demo disc it is a great way to introduce people to FreeBSD.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
DistroWatch database changes, openSUSE Rescue-CD, visions of DPL candidates, Haiku package management, Oracle Linux advantages
Over the years DistroWatch has emerged as the premier database of free operating systems on the Internet. It started as a simple site covering just 12 Linux distributions, but as the time progressed and Linux became more popular, we have seen a rapid proliferation of derivative Linux distributions. As a result this site's database has swollen to a whopping 746 free operating systems and is growing every week! Clearly, this is unsustainable. It's great to have a choice, but imagine walking into an ice cream shop that offers 746 ice cream flavours! Even the biggest ice cream parlours offer perhaps 25 different ice creams - anything more than that would be just plain costly and inefficient for the owners of the business. As a result, we have decided to cut down on the number of distributions tracked in our database - from the current 746 to just 25. That's right, starting today, all superfluous distributions will be removed and no longer tracked - these include anything below number 25 in our page hit ranking statistics, such as Fuduntu, Kubuntu, Gentoo Linux, PC-BSD or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. These distributions are clearly not very popular, so why bother? We hope the DistroWatch readers will appreciate the streamlined way of choosing the best free operating system, but if some of you have any objections, feel free to comment below.
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With the release of openSUSE 12.3 last month, some savvy downloaders might have noticed a new "Rescue-CD" ISO image available in the distribution's repository. So what exactly is the openSUSE Rescue-CD? This blog post, entitled "What is the openSUSE 12.3 Rescue CD?" gives an excellent insight: "Although I've been an openSUSE user for a few years now, I haven't tried the brand spanking openSUSE 12.3, which looks to be one of the better releases of the SUSE team. The openSUSE 12.3 Rescue CD, released along with the KDE, DVD, and GNOME editions, is not designed to be installed but rather to run as a live CD or live USB for use with workstations or home desktops for repairing or recovering data. Although the openSUSE 12.3 Rescue CD doesn't have the reputation of easy-to-use specialized rescue live CDs such as SystemRescueCd, Clonezilla, or even KNOPPIX (which has had a long history of being the Swiss army knife of Linux distributions), there are advantages in using openSUSE over other recovery live CDs. I myself have used KNOPPIX for more than half a decade for accessing files from Windows and Linux systems, saving Linux distributions, and fixing GRUB. However, considering that my systems run openSUSE, having an openSUSE recovery system seems like a no-brainer."
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As the annual DPL (Debian Project Leader) elections get closer, it is interesting to question the status and the direction of the world's largest community software project as viewed by the potential candidates. Last week bits.debian.org ran a series of interviews with the three DPL candidates (Moray Allan, Lucas Nussbaum and Gergely Nagy) who were asked to present themselves and their visions for the project. So what do the three candidates think are the biggest challenges ahead of the distribution? Moray Allan: "I think the biggest challenges are for free software in general. End-users are moving to more closed hardware -- will our software be able to run on the phones and tablets people are shifting towards? At the same time, end-users and server users are moving to 'the cloud', and often depending more heavily on non-free infrastructure outside their own control." Lucas Nussbaum: "I often have the impression that the project is losing momentum, positive energy, and slowing down. It feels like we are living on the benefits of the past. A lot of very cool things happen in the Debian ecosystem, but very often outside the Debian project (in derivative distributions)." Gergely Nagy: "The biggest challenge is growing up, to become more than a group of computer geeks creating an amazing distribution. To become a community of a wide variety of people, where both computer geeks and art geeks feel equally at home."
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Haiku, the free operating system that emerged as the successor of BeOS, has been growing rapidly in recent years. Still, the project has a long way to go, especially technically, as documented by this blog post on Haiku package management: "Last Friday Oliver and I met up to discuss the state of things and how we intend to proceed. The run-time support for package management in Haiku (in the package management branch, of course) is in pretty good shape already. With the system itself and all the third-party software living in packages the system boots and is fully functional. So first of all we're going to focus on the package building side of things. ATM all third-party packages are just repackaged versions of the ZIP files Haiku used before. Back in 2011 I started to extend haikuporter to produce actual packages instead of ZIP files and update the BEP files (build recipes) for some fundamental tools accordingly. My first task, now, is to continue updating BEP files until at least all the packages needed for building packages can be built this way. Then I will have enough packages to complete the work on libsolv and the dependency solving."
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As far as enterprise Linux goes Oracle Linux is sometimes a little misunderstood (maybe even mistrusted) as a possible solution for medium-size companies and data centres. Last week Monica Kumar, a young senior director at the company, has shed some light on the Oracle Linux releases in this article entitled "Q&A About the Latest Oracle Linux Releases". Why is Oracle Linux better than the distribution it's derived from -- Red Hat Enterprise Linux? "Oracle Linux including the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is developed to provide high performance and stability for mission-critical applications. Users benefit from the innovations and improvements occurring in the mainline Linux community, which we deliver rapidly with Oracle Linux. In addition, Oracle Linux is the most well-tested distribution for enterprise workloads, especially Oracle workloads. We conduct over 100,000 hours/day of testing at Oracle using Oracle Linux. Additionally, support of Oracle's Engineered Systems plus the enterprise application knowledge that we have, is unmatched by our competitors. The technical support we provide with Oracle Linux also includes important bug fixes that Red Hat may choose not to release. For our customers, these fixes are critical and it is one of the many reasons they choose Oracle Linux."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Resources for learning about computer forensics
Sifting-through-the-wreckage asks: I've been seeing forensic distributions being announced or updated recently. At work I've installed SIFT Linux from the SANS Institute. I'm far from an expert but it looks interesting. What are some good, modern, resources for learning about computer forensics? Why do many of the forensic distributions seem to favor running in a virtual machine?
DistroWatch answers: There are a lot of good resources and books out there to help people get started in the art of retrieving and analyzing digital data. In fact there are so many resources out there it can be difficult to know where to begin. My recommendation for getting started would be to visit the CERT Forensics website. There you will find papers and podcasts introducing forensic concepts, a repository of utilities for Fedora and CentOS users and training resources. It's a good first-step portal into the world of digital forensic investigation. Should you be interested in finding a book which will introduce the technical side of digital forensics (as opposed to the legal side of the business) then you may want to read Digital Forensics with Open Source Tools which covers the use of forensic tools which can be used to investigate both Windows and Linux-based operating systems.
As to why forensic distributions might recommend running their software in a virtual machine I believe there are three reasons for favoring that approach as opposed to running the tools directly on physical hardware. The first is that running in a virtual machine adds a layer of security. People who work in forensics tend to be security conscious and running software inside a virtual environment places one extra barrier between potential attackers and the host operating system. A second reason is consistency. Once you've set up a virtual machine you can take a snapshot of that machine and save it, treating the snapshot as a known state. You can be fairly certain the snapshot is not compromised and that it is working properly. We can then make copies of the virtual machine or restore the snapshot if we need to get back to that pristine condition. It's much easier to verify the condition of a virtual machine than it is to verify the condition of a operating system which is installed on physical hardware. It's also faster to restore a virtual machine back to its pristine condition than it is to restore an operating system installed on physical hardware. The third reason is focus. When a utility has been shown to work in a virtual environment, such as VirtualBox, the authors of the utility don't have to worry about additional hardware support. They can focus on improving the utility without wondering if their product will work on other hardware. Encouraging people to run their utility in a virtual machine can reduce the amount of time they need to send trouble shooting hardware related problems.
|Released Last Week
ZevenOS 3.0 "Neptune"
Leszek Lesner has announced the release of ZevenOS 3.0 "Neptune" edition, a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution for 64-bit computer systems with a customised KDE as the default desktop: "The Neptune team is proud to announce the release of Neptune 3.0 'Brotkasten'. This release features the Linux kernel 3.8.4 and is exclusively meant to run on 64-bit CPUs. We switched the Debian base from 'Testing' to 'Wheezy' to provide a more stable and better experience. The KDE Plasma Desktop ships with version 4.10.1. Chromium was updated to version 25, Icedove to version 10.0.12, GIMP 2.8.2, Kdenlive 0.9.4, Amarok 2.7, VLC 2.0.5. We ship the latest and greatest multimedia codecs pre-installed as well as the Flash Player. For wireless diagnosis we ship Wireshark, Aircrack-ng and kismon." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details, screenshots and changelog.
Pardus Linux 2013
Pardus Linux 2013 has been released. This is the first stable release of the "new" Debian-based Pardus Linux with GNOME and KDE desktops, currently available in Turkish only. From the release announcement: "Pardus 2013 Corporate is released and available in four flavors. GNOME (x86, amd64) and KDE (x86, amd64). Currently the distribution is only available in Turkish, but this situation will change in the future. Pardus 2013 has many new features inside out. First and most important, Pardus is now based on Debian 'Wheezy' and built using tools provided by the debian-live project. Other features include but not limited to: installable live images for peaceful exploration; integrated and simplified installer for easy installation; Firefox 17esr and Thunderbird 17esr for stable internet experience; complete multimedia tools for hassle-free multimedia experience."
Pardus Linux 2013 - a Turkish Debian-based distribution with GNOME or KDE
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SparkyLinux 2.1 "GameOver"
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the release of SparkyLinux 2.1 "GameOver" edition, a Debian-based distribution with a customised LXDE desktop and a good collection of games: "Brand new, two-egged SparkyLinux 2.1 'GameOver' is out. It's the second, special edition of SparkyLinux 'GameOver' released for Easter 2013. It has been directly built on SparkyLinux 2.1 'Eris' and Debian 'Wheezy'. All packages have been synchronized with the Debian testing repository as of 2013-03-24. I made a few big changes so the system features: Linux kernel 3.2 i386 for old PCs and Linux kernel 3.8-liquorix (option) i686-pae for modern PCs designed for multimedia and gaming; glibc has been updated up to 2.17 from the experimental repository; Iceweasel, VLC, Leafpad, Pidgin, Transmission, XChat...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more info and screenshot.
Scientific Linux 6.4
Pat Riehecky has announced the release of Scientific Linux 6.4, a distribution built from source package for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 and enhanced with software suitable for use in scientific and academic environments: "Scientific Linux 6.4 is officially released. The OpenAFS kernel module package has changed - with SL 6.0 we started packaging the OpenAFS client's kernel module according to the guidelines from TUV's Driver Update Program. Due to unanticipated changes with the 6.3 kernel, we've had to revisit the process. With the 6.4 release, we modified the packaging to provide a dedicated build of the module for each minor SL release, instead of one kernel module (kmod) for all SL6 kernels. Since the EL kernel ABI is supposed to be kept stable within a minor release, this should avoid the problems some SL users experienced." Read the rest of the release announcement for other important notes.
Bodhi Linux 2.3.0
Jeff Hoogland has announced the release of Bodhi Linux 2.3.0, a new version of the Ubuntu-based distribution with the latest Enlightenment window manager: "After almost exactly three months since our Bodhi 2.2.0 release the Bodhi team and I are happy to announce the next update release for our 2.x.y series - Bodhi Linux 2.3.0. Again because this is a minor update release people who are already using our 2.x.y branch can simply upgrade to this release via their package manager. As with our 2.2.0 release there are three disc downloads for this version: 32-bit featuring a current PAE enabled kernel, 32-bit featuring a non-PAE kernel with older hardware support, 64-bit featuring a current kernel. Software wise we see the following updates with this release: Linux Kernel 3.8, Enlightenment 0.17.1, Midori 0.4.9, Terminology 0.3.0, eCcess system tool, Ubiquity 2.12." Here is the full release announcement with screenshots.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
March 2013 DistroWatch.com donation: GhostBSD|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the March 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is GhostBSD, a FreeBSD-based operating system with a desktop focus. It receives C$350.00 in cash.
A brainchild of Eric Turgeon, GhostBSD is a relatively new project, with the first stable release, version 1.0, only arriving on the scene some three years ago. As such, it is a niche operating systems, perhaps hoping to attract users who are somewhat fed up with the rapid (and sometimes controversial) development in the world of Linux and who are seeking an alternative to the other desktop FreeBSD - the well-established PC-BSD. GhostBSD is also one of the very few operating systems that still ship the good-old GNOME 2 (as well providing separate edition with the LXDE desktop and another with the Openbox window manager). Another indication of the project's underachievement is its inability to raise funds - while, for example, Linux Mint generates monthly donation and sponsorship income that exceeds or is close to a 5-digit figure, the GhostBSD project has managed to raise just C$91.17 in the first three months of this year. But all projects have to start somewhere and hopefully we'll see a better future for one of the few FreeBSD-based operating systems that target desktop computing. For more information about GhostBSD please visit the project's about page.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards and Bitcoins are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$34,975 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- RŌNIN. RŌNIN is a Linux security distribution (based on Lubuntu) that provides a platform for training and conducting professional data forensics, penetration testing and incident response.
- VelsaOS. VelsaOS is a UNIX-like clone of MikeOS written in Assembly Programming Language.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 April 2013. To contact the authors please send email to:
- 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 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Issue 687 (2016-11-14): NAS4Free 10.3.0.3, Fedora gains MP3 playback, budgie-remix becomes Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu flavours compared, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 686 (2016-11-07): FreeBSD 11.0, rolling release trial #2, Debian announces supported architectures, Simplicity switching to antiX base, farewell to Mythbuntu|
|• Issue 685 (2016-10-31): elementary OS 0.4, SUSE gains ARM support, Mint improves language support, Dirty COW explained, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
WOMP! was a micro Linux distribution focused on multimedia. It takes only 13 to 30MB depending on the selected options on a bootable CD, and allows playing a wide range of multimedia files (video/audio/image) without installing any software on the computer's hard drive. Additionally, WOMP! can also be installed on the hard drive - either to run in memory just like a bootable CD, or to run from a read-only loopback file which was interesting for machines with low memory. It can then be booted either by a floppy boot disk or by a bootable CD. WOMP! uses FrameBuffer for playing videos and X for interacting with the user. Hardware acceleration was provided by vidix. Cards that support vidix include nearly all ATI and Matrox cards, and more recent NVIDIA cards.