| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 529, 14 October 2013
Welcome to this year's 41st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The Ubuntu distribution is well known for its experimental (and sometimes controversial) nature. The developers behind this popular operating system often push into new territory, trying new approaches to package management, user interfaces and system internals. However, with the approach of Ubuntu's next long term support release (scheduled for April 2014), the developers are planning a more conservative path. Read on as Jesse Smith discusses Mir, Ubuntu's new display server, and the community's reaction to its delay. We also talk about Ubuntu's plans for the distribution's GNOME and GTK packages which will likely be used by various community spins. In this issue of DistroWatch Weekly we talk about openSUSE's participation in this year's Summer of Code and the interesting results which grew out of their involvement. We also bring news of developments in the FreeBSD community where new file system and stack protection software are being introduced. Plus we offer tips on rescuing deleted files and discovering attached storage devices in our Questions and Answers section. As usual, we bring you news of recent distribution releases and look forward to new releases around the corner. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (14MB) and MP3 (26MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Thoughts on Mir and the community
I realized this week I needed a break from sampling distributions. I love technology, especially when it involves open source software, but this past week I realized I'd had too much of a good thing. As I scrolled through the list of distributions released over the previous two weeks and combed my inbox for suggestions I realized few of the distributions jumped out at me. My reaction to reading descriptions such as "The last distribution you will ever try" or "Just works" was skepticism. Most of the releases announced over these past two weeks have been niche players and beta releases anyway, so this seemed like a good time to take a break, to take a week off from installing open source operating systems, to have a week off from taking notes on the Linux community's latest and greatest. This week I would like to turn my focus (and yours, if you will indulge me) on Canonical's new display server, Mir.
Mir, for those of you who are not familiar, is a display server designed to replace the X graphics software common to most Linux (and UNIX) operating systems. The Mir software is designed to work on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. If all goes as planned, Mir will provide better performance and use less energy than X. The name Mir is a Russian term meaning community or the world (as well as "peace") and fits the naming pattern of other Canonical projects which include Ubuntu and Unity.
Right from the start Mir generated some controversy. Originally Canonical (and several other open source contributors) had been putting their development efforts into a new display server technology called Wayland. Wayland was also supposed to be a faster, lighter, less cumbersome display technology that would someday replace X on most devices. However, development on Wayland was slow and not going in quite the direction Canonical had hoped and thus Mir was born. Right away many people expressed concern that Canonical was dividing the Linux ecosystem by introducing a new display server, a technology which would use different drivers than Wayland and, therefore, possibly divide development efforts. There were also questions as to why Canonical needed to make their own display server rather than influencing Wayland's development, questions Canonical kindly answered.
For a while all seemed quiet, but then, during the month of September, Intel (a Wayland contributor) rejected software patches provided by Canonical which would allow Intel's drivers to work with Mir. This was a reversal of Intel's earlier apparent support for Canonical's new display server. The reasoning was not clear, but it seemed as though Intel was unwilling to continue support for Mir, either in an effort to avoid cluttering up their own driver code or because Intel's focus was on Wayland. Either way, it meant more work for the Canonical developers who will need to maintain the driver code themselves. Then, at the start of October, Canonical announced Mir would not ship by default in the upcoming release of Ubuntu 13.10. The developers had decided there were still bugs to work through, features to complete, and it was decided Mir would be delayed for a release cycle.
Given Mir's status this seemed like a reasonable move, at least to me. In the past Canonical has released buggy code into its products (PulseAudio and the Unity desktop spring to mind) and it seemed as though the company was taking a more conservative approach, protecting its users from experimental code, trying to insure a better user experience. Yet, for some reason, people's reactions have been mostly negative. Mir's temporary delay seems to be blood in the water for critics of the display server. Commentators are taking the opportunity to claim the project was poorly planned, that the technology is under-supported, that it won't be able to complete with Wayland, which has recently been gaining momentum.
As someone who does not have a horse in this race, as someone who does not care if his desktop is running Mir, Wayland or X, it has been a puzzling few weeks. It seems as though the community at large, not just a vocal minority of idle commentators, but active developers, are betting against Mir before the software gets a trial run. Intel's move, for example, of not only refusing to assist in driver development, but actively blocking support, is troublesome. Former Red Hat employee, Matthew Garrett, taking shots at Mir also strikes me as a poor use of time and energy. Critics claiming Ubuntu being the only distribution to currently adopt Mir is a sign Mir won't be successful seems to me to be an odd and unrealistic viewpoint. Wayland has yet to be included as the default display server in any mainstream distributions and critics are not complaining about its delay.
Most of us see the open source world as a place where anybody can scratch an itch, develop a new idea and release it into the wild. It doesn't need to have mass appeal, it does not need to sell a certain number of units, developers are able to create their visions and share them freely. At least it seems as though developers can do this as long as they do not work for commercial companies. The more feedback I hear about Mir (especially negative feedback) the more I get the impression critics are opposed to Mir not on the technology's merits, but because Canonical is behind its development. Ubuntu is a widely used and popular distribution and, when one is king of the hill, everyone wants to push you. The development of Mir isn't hurting anyone, it isn't being forced on other distributions (even Ubuntu community distributions can use Mir or ignore it as they like), and Mir is open source. Mir represents a fresh solution to a long-standing concern -- the imperfections in X -- and Canonical has shown a willingness to develop and even maintain drivers to prevent diluting efforts from third-party coders. Canonical has basically said they want to try something new, do not expect any help or cooperation and will not push their technology out to the public before it is ready. Despite their best efforts many people in the open source community appear to want them to fail.
Earlier I mentioned that my review options were limited this week as many recent distribution releases have been beta tests rather than full releases. My point of view is that developers should be given the time to get their projects to a stable release before the software is judged. When I review a distribution I try to focus on stable releases and I attempt to avoid reading other reviews of the same project and anything about the developers' personal lives. I want to evaluate a project based on its strengths and problems, as free as possible from the taint of public opinion or past releases. It's not always possible, I am human and flawed, prone to being subjective. Still, I feel the community at large should take the same approach when it comes to Mir. Perhaps the technology will always be buggy or maybe it will be stellar. In either case no one is forcing Mir onto the open source community as a whole, it is Canonical's pet project, and I think the community should be cheering them on for trying something new. Canonical, as with any other open source developer, is free to dedicate its resources to scratching its own itch and seeing what comes about as a result. I, for one, am looking forward to comparing Wayland, Mir and X over the coming year to see which one best serves my needs. When we have options we all win.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
openSUSE reports on Summer of Code results, Ubuntu considers approach to GNOME, new features come to FreeBSD
The Google Summer of Code projects hosted by the openSUSE team have drawn to a close with some exciting results. Among the projects that were successfully completed are several useful tools and some fun applications. Some of the projects which stand out are tools for AppAmour security profiling, an application for automatically resizing LVM volumes as more space is required and a program for playing music stored on ownCloud servers. There were also interesting projects which included logging, a code repository review system and a campaign mission for the game Hedgewars. Congratulations to all of the students and mentors who took part in the Google Summer of Code experience!
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The Ubuntu distribution is known for its experimental nature. The project is often trying new things: a new sound system, new desktop environment, new widgets and search functionality. However, the first Ubuntu release of 2014 is likely to be more conservative with regards to its GNOME and GTK packages. Sebastien Bacher posted a message on the Ubuntu Desktop mailing list suggesting that Ubuntu 14.04 (a long term support release) ship with an older version of GNOME (and its supporting) packages. At the time Ubuntu 14.04 will be released GNOME will have reached version 3.10 or 3.12 and Bacher is recommending Ubuntu stick with GNOME 3.8. Some of the reasons Bacher suggests for using the older version of GNOME are that GTK 3.10 "deprecates several options", the Ubuntu long term support releases should avoid cutting-edge software, and Red Hat's next Enterprise Linux release will use GNOME 3.8 so it makes sense to stick with a version where maintenance work can be shared by both distributions.
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The BSD Now talk show is a podcast hosted by Allan Jude and Kris Moore which covers important updates and developments in the BSD communities. In their latest episode the hosts discuss the brand-new FreeBSD 9.2 with its ZFS TRIM support, driver improvements and dtrace administration functionality. The duo also cover NetBSD's recent flurry of releases, work being done on DragonflyBSD's advanced HAMMER file system and stack protection support for FreeBSD ports. They also discuss how to reduce compile times using RAM disks to cut down on bottlenecks that are typically encountered when reading from (and writing to) a hard disk. A lot of interesting file system work is being in the BSDs these days and it's worth a listen to find out what new features are available.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Quick tips and tricks
Learning-your-name asks: When I plug in a device like a thumb drive, how can I know what name Linux assigns the device? Like when I plug in an external drive how do I know if it is called /dev/sdb or /dev/sbc?
DistroWatch answers: There are a couple of ways to get the name of a device which has just been plugged into your computer. One way is to run the dmesg command. The last dozen lines of the output from dmesg should contain the name of the newly attached device. The name will not be displayed in the full "/dev/sdc" format, but will be abbreviated as "sdc" or "sdd". To see the last ten lines of the output from dmesg you can run:
dmesg | tail
Another method would be to run the lsscsi command. This command displays a list of all disks attached to the computer. Each row of output represents one device and each line lets us know the type of device (such as a hard disk or DVD drive); the label or brand associated with the device; and its name. In the case of lsscsi we do get to see the full name of the device, such as "/dev/sdb". If the lsscsi command is not available on your system it is probably available in your distribution's software repositories.
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On a regular basis I receive questions from people asking about the restoration of deleted files. I have covered this question in the past here and here, but I'd like to briefly go over a few tips I have found to be helpful. The first thing to do when a file has been accidentally deleted is to stop using the drive where the file was stored. Continuing to use the drive that held the lost file risks over-writing the data. The next step is to get two tools, a live CD or thumb drive featuring a copy of any mainstream distribution and a spare hard drive. I generally recommend having a large external hard drive that can be used to store recovered files.
Boot the live distribution from your CD or thumb drive and download a copy of the TestDisk suite from your distribution's repository. Next, run the photorec program which is a part of the TestDisk suite. The photorec recovery program can be run by passing the name of a partition to the application. For example, if the file we wish to recover is on the /dev/sda1 partition we can run photorec as follows:
The recovery utility will then walk us through a series of screens asking us questions about the partition where the data was stored and about the type of file (or files) we wish to recover. The utility will then search for deleted files and save them under the current working directory. Any restored files can then be copied back to the drive where they were originally or saved on the external disk. I personally recommend saving recovered files in both locations so there are multiple copies of the data. The TestDisk website has an excellent step-by-step guide for recovering files and covers available options in detail.
|Released Last Week
Dru Lavigne has announced the release of PC-BSD 9.2, an updated version of the project's desktop operating system based on FreeBSD: "The PC-BSD 9.2-RELEASE images are now available for download. Highlights: Based on FreeBSD 9.2-RELEASE; bootable ZFS boot environments - using GRUB2, any new ZFS boot environments created via the 'beadm' command will be added to the bootloader and available at boot time; te-written Life-Preserver utility, it allows you to instantly create ZFS snapshots, restore files, and replicate data to a remote system or mirror to an additional local disk drive; updated installer allows restoring the entire system from a replicated ZFS backup; new boot manager GUI, it allows managing ZFS boot environments and GRUB menus in a single location; switched over to CDN for downloads...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete list of changes and upgrade instructions.
Chris Smart has announced the release of Korora 19.1, an updated build of the project's Fedora-based distribution with a choice of GNOME and KDE desktops - and now also available in MATE and Cinnamon flavours: "Today we released Korora 19.1 which is a 3-month update to the original 19 release. Anyone already running Korora doesn't need this; however, if you are planning do any more installs we highly recommend downloading this new release as it includes all updates, a few tweaks and fixes a number of bugs. This release also includes versions of the MATE and Cinnamon desktops which we've created to gauge community interest. The 19.1 release features: all updates at time of release, including KDE 4.11, Linux kernel 3.11.2 and Firefox 24; introduces support for MATE and Cinnamon desktops; replaces RawTherapee raw image editor with darktable...." Here is the brief release announcement with screenshots.
Korora 19.1 - the MATE desktop
(full image size: 2,484kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
SparkyLinux 3.1 "E17", "MATE", "Razor-qt"
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the release of SparkyLinux 3.1 "E17", "MATE" and "Razor-qt" editions, a set of Debian-based distributions and live CDs featuring three popular lightweight desktop user interfaces: "SparkyLinux 3.1 'Annagerman' E17, MATE and Razor-qt editions are out. The new ISO images of SparkyLinux provide a few changes and system improvements, similar to last week's release of SparkyLinux 3.1 LXDE, Ultra and CLI: Linux kernel 3.10.11; all packages have been updated from Debian's testing repositories as of 2013-10-05; Sparky Backup System - one more bug fixed, updated up to 0.1.5; Enlightenment 17 desktop is available as a separated ISO image now and it has been updated to version 0.17.3 from Debian's unstable repository; added Teamviewer client, Sparky APTus, Minitube, Gnote, Osmo, Radiotray and Xfburn. New forum for English speakers is also available." Here is the brief release announcement.
ZevenOS 3.3 "Neptune"
Leszek Lesner has announced the release of ZevenOS 3.3 "Neptune" edition, an updated release of the project's Debian-based distribution featuring the KDE 4.11.2 desktop and many popular applications in their latest versions: "The Neptune team is proud to announce the release of Neptune 3.3. This release features Linux kernel 3.10.12 and is exclusively meant to run on 64-bit CPUs. The KDE Plasma Desktop ships with version 4.11.2. Chromium was updated to version 29, VLC to 2.1 and LibreOffice to version 4.1.2. We ship with the latest and greatest multimedia codecs pre-installed, as well as the Flash player. For wireless diagnosis we ship Wireshark, Aircrack-ng and kismon. We made a lot effort in cleaning up the system and removed Eclipse as well as the Muon software center and qapt-deb-installer. We removed pavucontrol which is no longer used as we don't ship PulseAudio. Linux kernel 3.10.12 comes with patched zram to prevent freezes. We also added a renewed quick installation manual." See the release announcement for a list of new features and other details.
Ron Ropp has announced the release of wattOS R7.5, a set of minimalist Ubuntu-based distributions with a choice of LXDE, MATE or pekwm desktop user interfaces: "I am pleased to announce the immediate release wattOS Release 7.5. wattOS R7.5 is a remastered build of Ubuntu 13.04 and is fully compatible with Ubuntu repositories. There are several new exciting things with release 7.5 as there are now three core flavors for you to try: 32-bit and 64-bit LXDE desktop editions; 32-bit Microwatt - lightweight and running customized pekwm; 32-bit and 64-bit MATE-desktop edition. The philosophy is to be minimal but functional and to let you choose what you want to install but to give you a good basic OS with a foundation to customize how you like. Things like printing, user management, multi-monitor support, power management and software management is all installed and ready to be used." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
wattOS R7.5 - the "Microwatt" edition featuring the pekwm window manager
(full image size: 1,541kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Bill Reynolds has announced the release of PCLinuxOS 2013.10, the latest round of maintenance updates for the project's "KDE", "MiniMe" and "LXDE" editions: "PCLinuxOS KDE 2013.10 (32/64-bit) is now available for download. With respect to the previous KDE editions these ISO images have the following changes/additions: Linux kernel 3.4.64. KDE 2013.10 has all the additions from MiniME and was built to provide a general-purpose KDE desktop computing environment. The DVD includes popular tools for office, audio, video, graphics, and Internet applications (LibreOffice 4.1.2, GIMP, Skype, Dropbox, VirtualBox, etc.) as well as additional drivers and tools to set up your hardware (graphic card, network, printer, scanner, etc.)." Read the release announcement (the "LXDE" edition was announced in a separate post) for more information and screenshots.
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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)
September 2013 DistroWatch.com donation: Tiny Tiny RSS|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the September 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is the Tiny Tiny RSS project, an open source, web-based news feed (RSS/Atom) reader and aggregator. It receives €250.00 in cash.
Ever since the untimely death of Google Reader, many users of the popular online feed aggregator have been searching for an alternative. Although there has been an explosion of Reader replacements in recent months, the old adage of "once burnt, twice shy" might have prompted many to consider one of the open-source self-hosting RSS readers that would shield us from the whims of commercial companies or third-party services. Enter Tiny Tiny RSS. As its name suggests, it's a rather small program which you install either on a remote server or a home computer and which works in the background, fetching items of subscribed feeds at pre-determined intervals. It's an excellent piece of software is easy to set up and which offers a simple and intuitive user interface. Developed by Andrew Dolgov, Tiny Tiny RSS is a "a server-side AJAX-powered application licensed under GNU GPLv3. It is self-hosted - control your own data and protect your privacy instead of depending on a cloud service which may be discontinued at any moment." Please visit the project's Wiki pages for a full list of features, setup instructions and download links.
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$36,805 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), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- GdNewHat GNU/Linux-libre. GdNewHat GNU/Linux-libre is a "Fedora Remix" with an aim to be a fully free operating system without proprietary software and binary blobs.
- Javalix. Javalix is a Linux-based distribution with a focus on Java software development.
- Raspberry Picture Frame. Raspberry Picture Frame is an operating system for the Raspberry Pi computer which displays images in a slide show format using files stored on a thumb drive.
- SchalamzaarOS. SchalamzaarOS is an openSUSE-based operating system for the micronation of Schalamzaar.
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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, 21 October 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 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Issue 687 (2016-11-14): NAS4Free 10.3.0.3, Fedora gains MP3 playback, budgie-remix becomes Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu flavours compared, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 686 (2016-11-07): FreeBSD 11.0, rolling release trial #2, Debian announces supported architectures, Simplicity switching to antiX base, farewell to Mythbuntu|
|• Issue 685 (2016-10-31): elementary OS 0.4, SUSE gains ARM support, Mint improves language support, Dirty COW explained, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Issue 682 (2016-10-10): KDE neon 20160915, Android-x86 6.0, Fedora warns of update bug, HandyLinux drops English translation, LXQt benchmarks|
|• Issue 681 (2016-10-03): OpenBSD 6.0, DragonFly BSD to support LibreSSL in ports, systemd denial of service bug, upgraded Mintbox Mini|
|• Issue 680 (2016-09-26): Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0, blocking applications at the firewall, Lenovo controversy, Ubuntu running on the Nextcloud Box|
|• Issue 679 (2016-09-19): OpenMandriva 3.0, 32-bit vs 64-bit performance, openSUSE updates, KaOS unveils first run wizard|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
BitKey is a Debian-based live distribution containing specialist utilities to perform highly secure air-gapped Bitcoin transactions. It contains a swiss army knife of handy Bitcoin tools that support a wide range of usage models, including a few very secure ones which would otherwise be difficult to perform. The system boots into one of the three available modes: "cold-offline" - for creating a wallet and signing transactions; "cold-online" - for watching the wallet and preparing transactions; "hot-online" - standard usage but less secure as the private keys are known to the computer which is connected to the internet. BitKey also provides tools for generating "brainwallets", for the most paranoid of Bitcoin users. The live CD provides a simple desktop based on the Metacity window manager with quick links to the Bitcoin tools and Chromium for web browsing.