| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 517, 22 July 2013
Welcome to this year's 29th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Converting computer users from Windows to Linux isn't always an easy task, but there are distributions that try hard to recreate a Windows-like experience in Linux to make new users feel more at home in their new operating system. One of such distributions is Zorin OS. The "Lite" edition of the project's latest version is the subject of this week's review by Jesse Smith who enjoyed the experience despite not being the distribution's target market. The featured article is followed by a news section which starts with a celebratory article on the 20th anniversary of Slackware Linux, then continues with the weekend report about a security breach at UbuntuForums.org before concluding with two interesting articles about UberStudent, an Ubuntu-based distribution for students, and Raspbian, a Debian-based distro for the Raspberry Pi minicomputer. Also in this week's issue, a Questions and Answers section on the importance of the Tor anonymity network, an introduction to a distribution that features no fewer than 53 window managers on one live CD, and the usual regular sections with the weekly release roundup. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (15MB) and MP3 (32MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Zorin OS 7 "Lite"
Running a Linux-based operating system can be a wonderful experience. Linux distributions have relatively few security problems, are typically stable and are set up to have convenient access to massive amounts of gratis software. Perhaps I'm preaching to the choir here, but I feel Linux distributions offer some of the best desktop solutions available today. The problem, as I see it, is that many people either aren't aware that Linux-based solutions exist or are not comfortable transitioning from their current desktop operating system to something different. I understand the transition can be a difficult one, I made it myself and it wasn't entirely smooth -- there was definitely a learning curve going from Windows to Slackware. Fortunately there are developers out there who recognize that a lack of familiarity is one of the big hurdles to entering the Linux community and they have tackled the task of making Linux distributions that will be feel familiar to new users. One of these distributions is Zorin OS.
Zorin is a project which attempts to bridge the divide between the Windows world and Linux desktop distributions. It does this by setting up the desktop environment to be somewhat Windows-like in appearance and the project also makes it fairly easy to run Windows software by way of WINE. The Zorin project recently released Zorin OS 7 Lite. This distribution is based on Lubuntu 13.04 and ships with the LXDE desktop. The Lite edition is designed with the idea of helping people who were running Windows on lower-spec hardware keep their machines alive by way of a Linux-based solution.
Zorin OS 7 "Lite" - browsing the project's website
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The ISO image for Zorin OS Lite is 790 MB in size. Booting from this media brings us to a boot menu where we are given the option of either immediately launching the system installer or, alternatively, trying the distribution's live environment. I decided to jump directly into the installation process. Zorin uses the Ubuntu project's graphical installer and it quickly walks us through the usual steps. We select our preferred language, partition our hard drive and confirm our time zone. Then we confirm our keyboard's layout and create a user account for ourselves. The steps are all fairly straight forward and the process goes quickly. Once the installation process is complete Zorin prompts us to reboot the machine. Loading up the locally installed copy of the distribution brings us to a graphical login screen, the appearance of which brings to mind blue honeycomb. Zorin allows us to login using either our user account (created at install time) or we can login using a guest account which will be wiped clean after we logout.
When we have entered our user name we also have the option of selecting the style of our graphical interface. The default is the standard LXDE desktop with a traditional layout. In addition there are several others labeled "Netbook Desktop", "Nexus 7", "Openbox" and "LX Games". The Openbox option takes us to a completely blank graphical interface powered by the Openbox window manager. Most people probably will not want this option, but it does give us a way into the system should the default desktop become corrupted. The other session options, "Nexus 7", "LX Games" and "Netbook Desktop" all bring up variations styled after the interfaces of mobile devices. Generally these interfaces consist of large icons filling the screen and tabs along the top of the display allowing us to filter the icons displayed. Personally I didn't find these mobile-like options appealing for a desktop system and focused solely on the default LXDE offering.
Logging into LXDE we find a blue honeycomb wallpaper. The system's application menu and task switcher sit at the bottom of the display. The graphical environment is pleasantly uncluttered. A few minutes after I started poking around the application menu a window appeared and let me know updated packages were available in the distribution's repositories and the software update utility offered to download them for me. The update app shows a little information about each package and we can get further details if we so choose. While the newer software packages were downloading I noticed the update app refers to the distribution as "Ubuntu 7", an amusing combination of the parent distribution's name and Zorin 7. All updates downloaded and applied smoothly and I encountered no problems from applying updates during my week with Zorin.
The distribution comes with a small, yet effective, collection of software. We are given a copy of the Chrome web browser, the Geary e-mail client and the Pidgin instant messaging software. Zorin comes with the AbiWord word processor, a document viewer and image viewer. The Audacious music player and the GNOME front end for MPlayer are available in the application menu. Zorin comes with popular multimedia codecs and Adobe's Flash player too. There is a program available for changing the desktop's theme and layout, two graphical package managers and a utility for importing wireless networking drivers from Windows. There is a small application for working with the distribution's firewall and another for handling user accounts. Network Manager is installed for us and automatically connects us to the local network. We are provided with a text editor, archive manager and calculator along with a system monitor for watching processes. In the background we find Zorin runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.8. I think, based on past experience, the full edition of Zorin OS comes with a copy of WINE for running Windows binaries, but it is not present by default in the Lite edition.
Zorin OS 7 "Lite" - changing the appearance of the desktop
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There are two programs listed in the application menu which I believe are unique to the Zorin distribution and deserve special mention. One is a web browser manager. This utility is quite simple. It displays icons for four web browsers (Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Midori). By clicking a button we can install or remove any one of these web browsers. It's like having a tiny package manager dedicated entirely to web browsers. I used the web browser manager a couple of times and it worked well for me. The other application that I feel deserves to be mentioned is referred to as "Zorin OS Lite Extra Software". It is similar in concept to the web browser manager and allows for the quick one-click installation of popular software. Using this tightly focused package manager we can click icons to install WINE, the VLC multimedia player, mtPaint, a spreadsheet application and a few other items. Opting to install the offered WINE package automatically installs the PlayOnLinux software too which makes it much easier for us to run third-party software built for the Windows platform.
Zorin OS comes with two graphical package managers, apart from the highly specific (and limited) software managers listed above. The first is called Software Centre. It features a nice, modern interface where we can browse bright icons representing software categories and desktop applications. We can click on entries to get a full page description of the software, complete with screen shots and user-supplied ratings. While browsing we can queue items to be installed with a click. Actions wait in the queue and are all processed in one big batch. Zorin also comes with the Synaptic package manager. Synaptic is a little less flashy and focuses more on working with individual packages instead of desktop applications. Like the Software Centre, Synaptic lets us create batches of actions to perform on packages and these actions are all processed at once. Both package managers worked smoothly for me and I encountered no problems. Most packages accessible to us are provided by the Ubuntu software repositories with a few specific items coming from the Zorin project's custom repositories. We are also connected to repositories run by Opera and Google giving us access to those companies' proprietary web browsers.
Zorin OS 7 "Lite" - browsing available software packages
(full image size: 343kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
I tried running Zorin OS Lite on my desktop computer (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and found the two were a good fit. Zorin booted quickly and ran smoothly. My desktop was set to my screen's maximum resolution, sound worked out of the box and the LXDE desktop is wonderfully responsive. I also tried running Zorin in a virtual machine, courtesy of VirtualBox, and experienced similar results. In the virtual environment Zorin was fast and responsive. The distribution is fairly light, using around 100MB of RAM to run the LXDE interface.
In the past I have used earlier releases of Zorin OS, typically the project's full-featured edition. Despite some of the convenience that is achieved by the full-sized edition of Zorin OS I always felt a little out of place when I was using it. Perhaps because it has been ages since I ran Windows at home and Zorin OS is a distribution aimed at making Windows-to-Linux converts feel comfortable. Personally, I feel better having fewer connections with the Windows world. I've also felt that earlier versions of the full Zorin desktop were either a little cluttered or a bit sluggish.
My experience with Zorin's Lite edition, however, was very positive. The distribution finds a nice balance between features and performance. The distribution is easy to install and carries an interface that is both attractive and responsive. Zorin comes with several tools to ease the burden of package management, the system ships with codecs, Flash and an easy way to gain Windows compatibility. The one-click installation of PlayOnLinux and the many installation scripts that framework offers greatly reduce the work required to run Windows software on the Linux platform. During my week with the Lite edition I didn't run into any serious bugs or stability issues. It was a pleasantly smooth week and I think newcomers to the Linux community will appreciate the work put into this distribution.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Slackware turns twenty, security breach at UbuntuForums.org, overview of UberStudent, Raspbian as perfect home server
Incredible as it sounds, last week marked exactly 20 years since the famous release of Slackware Linux 1.0! The modest beginnings of Patrick Volkerding's contribution to Linux started with the .99pl11 alpha kernel included on one of the distribution's 11 floppy disks (you'd need additional 13 of them if you were optimistic enough to want to turn your computer into a graphical workstation). Susan Linton looks back at Slackware's long history by citing some of the quotes from her own past reviews: "Slackware has never been accused of being cutting edge, instead opting for stability and usability. It did employ udev but I found no hardware issues other than it detecting my BIOS-disabled on-board sound before my Sound Blaster Live! Little edit of this file and that was resolved." And another one: "In the past I enjoyed Slackware for its ease of configuration, all set up nice and easy in a few start-up files. But these days, one really doesn't have to mess with that too much. I personally didn't have to change a thing. All my hardware was detected properly and functioned perfectly upon boot." Interestingly, Patrick Volkerding too must have forgotten about the unique achievement as the Slackware "Current" changelog, which happened to be updated on 16 July, makes no mention of the anniversary either.
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The otherwise quiet weekend in terms of interesting Linux-related news was rudely interrupted on Sunday with reports about a massive security compromise affecting Ubuntu's primary user forum - UbuntuForums.org. A temporary page that replaced the busy communication channel explained what happened: "Ubuntu Forums is down for maintenance. There has been a security breach on the Ubuntu Forums. The Canonical IS team is working hard as we speak to restore normal operations. This page will be updated regularly with progress reports. Unfortunately the attackers have gotten every user's local username, password, and email address from the Ubuntu Forums database. The passwords are not stored in plain text, they are stored as salted hashes. However, if you were using the same password as your Ubuntu Forums one on another service (such as email), you are strongly encouraged to change the password on the other service ASAP. Ubuntu One, Launchpad and other Ubuntu/Canonical services are NOT affected by the breach." The latest entry in the site's progress report at the time of writing confirms the unfortunate event: "Site taken down, this splash page put in place while investigation continues."
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The UberStudent distribution, while probably not one of the most widely-used operating systems in the universe, is a very useful tool, especially if you are a student and need to have good open-source educational programs ready at your fingertips. Last week TechWorld's Rohan Pearce wrote an interesting overview of the UberStudent project with explanatory quotes from project founder Stephen Ewen: "What differentiates UberStudent from other Linux distribution designed for tertiary education is that it delivers 'pedagogical cohesion' says Stephen Ewen. 'Standard Linux desktops are barebones,' partly due to the legacy of having to fit on a single CD, says Ewen, 'and in a lot of ways assume you already know Linux, or else have weeks or even months to climb a learning curve to learn how to customise it for a particular task set.' By contrast the Linux distribution that Ewen is at the helm of -- the education-focused UberStudent -- 'responds by providing a complete, out-of-the-box system not just for doing every day home computing tasks, as does a standard desktop, but for learning, doing, and teaching the core academic skills required to excel in higher education, regardless of the academic major. Those core areas are research and writing, studying, and self-management,' Ewen adds."
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In this day and age many of us use a simple home server for sharing files, streaming videos or performing various specialist tasks. With the recent arrival of low-cost ARM-based computer boards, the price for owning a simple server has come down to historic lows as a €30 Raspberry Pi could be all that's needed to cover most users' needs. Linux Journal's Brian Trapp explains how to set up the hardware and how to install Raspbian (a Debian-based distribution developed specifically for the Pi) to function as a perfect home server: "For a home server, you'll need a medium-size SD Flash card for local storage. It's possible to use a USB thumbdrive for booting, but that would use up one of the two precious USB slots. The Flash storage card doesn't need to be large, but the faster the better. I chose a name-brand SD card with an 8 GB capacity and class 10 speed rating. For backups and multimedia files, a large hard drive with a USB dock is a must. I chose a 1.5 TB hard drive and a Calvary EN-CAHDD-D 2-bay USB 2.0 hard drive dock. This dock has a feature to run two drives in RAID-0 mode, which could be useful someday. Finally, the RPi doesn't come with a power supply, but most smartphone chargers supply the required 5V over micro USB. To see if the RPi was fussy about the power source, I swapped through three different micro-USB cell-phone chargers for power supplies. I tried each one for about a week, with no issues on any of the units."
|Question and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
What is Tor and why is it important
Why-Tor asks: In your review of Whonix you mention that the distribution connects to Tor. What is Tor and why is it important for maintaining privacy?
DistroWatch answers: Tor is a network of computers which is designed in such a way as to prevent surveillance software from figuring out who is talking to who and, perhaps more importantly, from where. Usually when we visit a website or a chat room there is a traceable connection formed between us and the remote service. This means anyone watching the traffic being passed across the network can figure out two things: 1. Approximately where we are physically in the world. 2. That a connection has been made between our computer and another specific service.
There are a few reasons we might not want this. Some websites will filter connections from specific parts of the world. On-line stores may adjust prices based upon the location of the person visiting the website. Using Tor allows us to mask our real location. Other people may wish to hide their connection making it harder to tell with whom they are in communication. This can be useful for whistle blowers or people living in countries which discourage freedom of expression. I may not want anyone listening to my network traffic to know my political leanings, for example, and therefore use Tor when visiting political websites.
When we connect to the Tor network data passed to and from our computer does not go directly to its destination. Instead our network traffic goes to one computer in the Tor network, then gets passed to another computer and, after bouncing around a little, leaves the Tor network and heads for its destination. While bouncing around inside the Tor network our data is temporarily encrypted to prevent people from identifying its contents so long as it remains inside Tor's internal network.
In a lot of ways using Tor is like passing notes in a classroom. If we scribble a note to a friend, get up and walk across the room to give it to the other person everyone can see exactly who we are communicating with and where the note passer was sitting. The instructor can easily intercept us and instantly knows exactly who to scold. A safer approach would be to write a note and pass it to the person next to us, who then passes it to another person, who passes it to another person who then passes it to the final person. If the note is intercepted partway through the chain it's going to be difficult to tell who originally wrote it (assuming we didn't sign our name). And not signing our name is an important aspect of using Tor. The Tor network can help hide our location and our associations, but that privacy goes out the window the minute we hand out our name or address or login credentials. Signing into a website or identifying ourselves while using Tor is the Internet equivalent of going to a masquerade ball and handing out business cards.
The Tor network can help keep us anonymous and it can hide our associations to a point, but it's important to use Tor with other recommended security practices. Besides not identifying ourselves it is also a good idea to use encryption on our connections to limit the effectiveness of intercepting our digital notes. It may also be possible to identify a person on the network by things like their web browser's fingerprint. In short, Tor is a very useful utility and one part of an array of tools for staying anonymous and protected on-line.
|Released Last Week
PCLinuxOS 2013.07 "KDE MiniMe", "LXDE", "MATE"
New maintenance releases for three editions of the PCLinuxOS distribution were announced yesterday. Featuring a minimalist KDE, as well as LXDE and MATE desktops, the new version is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit computer systems. From the PCLinuxOS 2013.07 "KDE MiniMe" announcement: "Maintenance release - PCLinuxOS KDE-MiniME 2013.07. KDE 4.10.5, Linux kernel 3.4.52, PulseAudio enabled by default." From the PCLinuxOS 2013.07 "LXDE" announcement: "Maintenance release - PCLinuxOS LXDE 2013.07. LXDE panel bug-fixes, Linux kernel 3.4.52, volume control panel applet added, PulseAudio enabled by default." From the PCLinuxOS 2013.0715 "MATE" announcement: "Maintenance release - PCLinuxOS MATE 2013.0715. MATE 1.6.x, Linux kernel 3.4.52, PulseAudio enabled by default. All of the MATE desktop applications plus Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin...."
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 21.0, an updated version of the project's Debian-based distribution for Internet-only kiosks and similar deployments: "Webconverger 21 release. Firefox 22 and Flash security updates; fixed an issue whereby the installer would not show up on a small subset of machines; upgraded to syslinux 6 which should make the boot experience slightly smoother; re-introduced support for allowing pop-ups via the prefs= API; prefs= API has been beefed up so you can practically script Firefox to do whatever you want using autoconfig files; removed the proprietary Google Talk plugin in favour of WebRTC; TTF Liberation fonts are back to improve compatibility with Windows renderings. In other news we are working on a Webconverger Raspberry PI port, finally. With the caveat that it will only be used in web signage use cases (Neon) and not as a kiosk browsing machine. We were recently interviewed about Neon if you want to learn more." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshots.
Salix OS 14.0.1 "Xfce"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 14.0.1 "Xfce" edition, a Slackware-based distribution featuring the latest Xfce desktop environment: "Salix Xfce 14.0.1 is ready. There have been a lot of updates in the 14.0 branch, including several security updates that prompted this new release. Salix Xfce 14.0.1 is based on Xfce 4.10 and it comes with an updated 3.2.45 kernel that fixes several security issues, LibreOffice updated to version 4.x, Java security updates, an update to Midori, our main browser, to version 0.5.2 along with an updated Webkit engine that includes a lot of stability fixes, plus a lot more security updates to several packages like Flash plugin, Pidgin, Perl, X.Org etc. A couple of minor bugs that were also present after the original 14.0 release are fixed now. Also, the screensaver is disabled by default now, as it seems there were a few cases with some graphics cards acting up with certain 3D screensavers." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
OLPC OS 13.2.0
Daniel Drake has announced the release of OLPC OS 13.2.0, a Fedora-based Linux distribution developed under the initiative of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project to provide children in developing countries with low-cost laptops: "We're pleased to announce the release of OLPC OS 13.2.0 for XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75 and XO-4. OLPC OS 13.2.0 is a new software release focusing on cleaning up a few edges from our previous release, and finishing off support for the new XO-4 laptop. Features: XO-4 power management is now stable and enabled by default; Bluetooth support as a purchase option; in the Clock activity, you can now use the touchscreen to drag the clock hands to another time, a useful exercise for learning about time; drop-down lists are sub-optimal for touch, they have been replaced by more intuitive and touch-friendly UI elements in Record; the pinch-to-zoom touch gestures in Image Viewer behave much better than before...." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
DEFT Linux 8
Stefano Fratepietro has announced the release of DEFT Linux 8, a Lubuntu-based distribution and live DVD featuring a collection of open-source tools for digital forensics and penetration testing: "Dear guys, we did our best to turn the DEFT 8 beta version into stable -- also by listening to your precious suggestions and feedback -- and here we are. You can download the DEFT 8 final stable ISO image (which now includes DART 2). The stable version has been checked against common bugs but we are human and pretty busy with our jobs so if we missed something, just drop a line to bug at deftlinux.net and we'll collect suggestions and bug fixes for the next release. A big thank to the DEFT team and to all the supporters. Stay tuned, because much more is yet to come, such as the release of the DEFT 8 virtual appliance (a pre-configured virtual machine you will be able to launch on your workstation by means of VMware Workstation or VMPlayer or Virtualbox); the DEFT 8 user manual; the updated website." Here is the brief release announcement.
DEFT Linux 8 - a distribution for digital forensics and penetration testing
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Linux Mint 15 "KDE"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of the "KDE" edition of Linux Mint 15: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 15 'Olivia' KDE. KDE is a vibrant, innovative, advanced, modern looking and full-featured desktop environment. This edition features all the improvements from the latest Linux Mint release on top of KDE 4.10. Here are a few examples of what is new in KDE 4.10: a new screen locker makes Workspaces more secure; KWin now detects some virtual machines and enables OpenGL compositing if possible; the proprietary AMD driver now has OpenGL 2 support; printer setup, maintenance and job control are improved with a new implementation of the Print Manager; Dolphin has seen many bug fixes, improvements and new features, e.g. transferring files to and from a phone or other mobile device has become easier with support for MTP devices, which show up in the Places panel." Continue reading the release announcement and the what's new page for more information.
Patrick d'Emmabuntüs has announced the availability of the updated build of Emmabuntüs, a Xubuntu-based distribution designed specifically for refurbished computers given to humanitarian organisations: "The Emmabuntüs team is pleased to announce the fourth maintenance release of Emmabuntüs 2 1.05 based on Xubuntu 12.04.2. This distribution was designed to facilitate the refurbishing of computers given to humanitarian organizations and to promote the discovery of Linux by beginners, but also to extend the life of the equipment and to reduce waste caused by over-consumption of raw materials. This update is delivered to improve the use of Emmabuntüs 2 and allow JerryClan Ivory Coast easily recondition machines and develop a Jerry/Emmabuntüs set of services. This service is based on a free mobile tracking application by SMS for tuberculosis patients, as well as M-Pregnancy for monitoring pregnancies and pregnant women." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|DistroWatch.com News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
New distributions added to database|
- LinuxBBQ. LinuxBBQ is a multi-purpose operating system based on Debian's "unstable" branch and spiced up with kernels and tools from siduction, Grml and Linux Mint. LinuxBBQ offers different flavours and desktops which are released as "editions" (with no version numbers) and which can be customised and remixed by the user. The individual editions are built to include most major desktop environments (with the exception of GNOME) and there is a special edition offering a choice of no fewer than 53 window managers - everything from aewm to xmonad.
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Birds Linux. Birds Linux is a Sabayon-based distribution designed for students of technical and vocational schools.
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DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 29 July 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 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
FreeBSD is a UNIX-like operating system for the i386, amd64, IA-64, arm, MIPS, powerpc, ppc64, PC-98 and UltraSPARC platforms based on U.C. Berkeley's "4.4BSD-Lite" release, with some "4.4BSD-Lite2" enhancements. It is also based indirectly on William Jolitz's port of U.C. Berkeley's "Net/2" to the i386, known as "386BSD", though very little of the 386BSD code remains. FreeBSD is used by companies, Internet Service Providers, researchers, computer professionals, students and home users all over the world in their work, education and recreation. FreeBSD comes with over 20,000 packages (pre-compiled software that is bundled for easy installation), covering a wide range of areas: from server software, databases and web servers, to desktop software, games, web browsers and business software - all free and easy to install.