| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 532, 4 November 2013
Welcome to this year's 44th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Debian is well known as a conservative distribution and, as a result, the project tends not to make news headlines. However, there were a lot of things to talk about this past week in the Debian community, including whether Debian should change the way the distribution starts up and manages services. We cover recent Debian developments and debates in the News section below. This week Jesse Smith takes two of Debian's more famous children, Ubuntu and Kubuntu, for a spin and reports on his findings. Also in this edition of DistroWatch Weekly we cover openSUSE's new desktop features and the arrival of FreeBSD's new binary package manager. Plus we discuss ARM-powered technology and some resources people can use to combine the power of Linux with popular (and low cost) ARM devices. As usual we cover distribution releases of the past week and look forward to scheduled new releases on the horizon. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu 13.10 - meeting the Saucy Salamander
About two weeks ago Canonical released an updated version of Ubuntu. The new version, 13.10 "Saucy Salamander", was a relatively tame release as far as features go. The new Ubuntu comes with new "smart scopes" to help people find files, applications and on-line products through the Dash. This version of Ubuntu comes with a port to the 64-bit ARM architecture and there is an experimental phone/mobile version of the popular Linux distribution. Originally it was thought Ubuntu 13.10 would feature the new Mir display server, but the developers have opted for a more conservative approach and the distribution still ships with the traditional X display server. Mir, for those who are interested in trying it, can be found in the distribution's software repositories. Ubuntu 13.10 comes with a short nine months of security updates and no Windows installer (as was available in most previous versions). Apart from the aforementioned ARM and mobile ports, Ubuntu's Desktop edition can be downloaded in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. I opted to try the 32-bit build, the ISO for which is 895MB in size.
Booting from the Ubuntu disc brings up a graphical interface where we are asked if we would like to try running the distribution's live environment or if would we like to jump straight into the installation process. The Ubuntu system installer is, in my opinion, one of the nicer graphical installers in the Linux community. We are walked through guided or manual partitioning, and both approaches to carving the disk are quite intuitive. The system installer supports a wide variety of file systems for our disk partitions, letting users choose between ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS, XFS and LVM. Once we have divided the disk, the installer copies its files in the background while we confirm our time zone, select our keyboard's layout from a disk and create a user account. While we are creating the user account we have the option of encrypting the files in our home directory. The final page of the installer is, if I'm not mistaken, new and asks us to create a Single Sign-on account for Ubuntu One and other Ubuntu-related services. We have the ability to use an existing account or skip this step entirely if we do not wish to make use of Ubuntu's on-line services. Once the installer has finished copying its files we are prompted to reboot the machine.
I tried running Ubuntu 13.10 in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on my desktop box (dual-core 2.8GHz CPU, 6GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card). When running in the virtual environment, Ubuntu would boot to a command line prompt. From there I could sign in and manually run "startx" to access the Unity graphical interface. When running on physical hardware I was brought to a graphical login page where I could login to Unity.
Ubuntu 13.10 - Unity's Dash and Software Centre
(full image size: 523kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The Unity environment is an attempt to merge desktop workflows with mobile-style interfaces. Launch icons sit in a vertical column on the left side of the display. In the upper-left corner of the screen is a button for opening the Unity Dash, a place reserved for searching for applications, files and on-line content. Some people find the Unity desktop, with its focus on simplicity and its unified messaging system, intuitive. Others find it hampers their ability to multi-task. I'm not here to judge the design. What I will judge is Unity's performance. Within minutes it became obvious that I would not be able to use Unity for the duration of the day, let alone an entire week. In both the virtual machine and on my physical desktop Unity was painfully slow. Clicking on a button or typing a search into the Dash resulted in a delay of several seconds prior to the system responding. I could literally watch error messages slowly float into existence on the screen and closing pop-up messages took around five seconds. Any input resulted in a long delay before the interface would respond making the desktop hard to navigate. Unity tries to make use of 3-D visual effects and, when proper 3-D support is not offered by the video card (or its hardware drivers), then performance degrades in a hurry. Early versions of Unity shipped with a 2-D option which would let users access the Unity desktop without the performance draining visual effects, but that option has been dropped.
Since I wasn't able to make practical use of the Unity desktop my time with Ubuntu 13.10 was quite limited. In an effort to test drive the underlying technology available in the Ubuntu software repositories, I turned to a popular community project which is based on Ubuntu's software repositories: Kubuntu.
* * * * *
The latest release of the Kubuntu distribution is also fairly tame in terms of features, but there are some key components and additions I feel are worth mentioning. The first is there are now commercial support offerings available to Kubuntu users via EmergeOpen. This is good news, especially for companies or non-profit organizations interested in deploying large Kubuntu installations. Also new with this release is a wireless network manager built into the Kubuntu system installer. This helps users get on-line and grab up-to-date packages when a wired network connection is not available. Kubuntu also comes with a new package manager, called Muon Discover. This new package manager brings a sleek interface to software management. Also worth mentioning are a new, simplified user account manager and an updated version of the KDE desktop -- Kubuntu ships with KDE 4.11.
The ISO file I downloaded for Kubuntu was approximately 1GB in size. Booting from this media image takes us through the same steps I experienced with the Ubuntu disc. The installer has the same steps, though it features a different theme. Where the Ubuntu system installer has rich, friendly colours, Kubuntu's version of the installer looks business-like and calm. The Kubuntu installer also features an additional screen which allows us to set up a wireless network connection. This connection allows the installer to download updated software, locate language packs and attempt to guess our time zone. The first time I tried to install Kubuntu I allowed the system installer to connect to the network and this resulted in the installation proceeding very slowly. It does not appear to be possible to skip downloading software repository information or language packs and it seems I was stuck with a slow mirror on Kubuntu's launch day. After about two hours the installer appeared to lock-up during its final stage and I was unable to proceed. I forced a reboot and found the Kubuntu operating system was not able to boot to a login prompt. I went back to square one and ran through the installation process again, this time with the network cable unplugged. Kubuntu installed inside twenty minutes without any problems and, upon rebooting the computer, Kubuntu brought me quickly to a graphical login screen.
On the login screen we are given the option of logging into our user account or logging into a guest account. The guest account has no password to protect it and is wiped clean after each use. It can be nice to have an account which is not protected by a password for when friends wish to borrow the computer, but it can also be a security hole. For this reason, Kubuntu provides an easy way to disable the guest account in the distribution's System Settings panel. When I first logged into Kubuntu I found the desktop was laid out in the traditional manner with the application menu, task switcher and system tray positioned at the bottom of the display. At first the system felt a little sluggish, but I found that once desktop effects, which are enabled by default, had been turned off the system was quick to respond.
Kubuntu 13.10 - KDE System Settings panel and application menu
(full image size: 496kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
One of the first things I tried to do once I got settled in was to run the software update application to check for security updates. The first time I ran the graphical update app it didn't appear to be working and a check showed the package information database had been locked. Presumably package information was locked while the system checked for updates in the background. Later I performed another check and the update manager worked, but I was warned that one of the repositories the manager had connected to had a bad security certificate. This meant the integrity of the package repository was in question and it was risky to proceed with downloading updates. In the end I proceeded with the updates, but I was concerned for the remainder of my trial that a repository may have been compromised.
Speaking of package management, I mentioned previously Kubuntu has a new graphical software manager. This application adds a little flash to package management. The new software manager allows us to search for software, browse categories of applications and queue packages for installation. There are other nice features too. For example, the package manager lists popular software items so we can get an idea of what was useful for other people. I suspect this new Discover software manager is meant to make package management in Kubuntu a similar experience to package management in Ubuntu with a bit more flash and recommended items. For the most part I think the new approach is good. The Discover front-end allows users to find software, install items with a single click and clicking on an item brings up a detailed description of the software, including screen shots. For people who would like a more traditional form of package management, Kubuntu ships with a no-frills graphical software manager that gives the user more fine-tuned control over individual packages rather than focusing on desktop-level applications, giving the user access to over 42,000 packages. Both the new Discover software manager and the traditional package manager have the ability to detect, download and apply security updates.
Kubuntu 13.10 - the new Discover package manager
(full image size: 278kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kubuntu comes with a small collection of desktop applications, most of which are associated with the KDE desktop. The distribution ships with the Rekonq web browser, the KTorrent bittorrent client, the KMail e-mail application and the Quassel IRC client. The KPPP dial-up software and Network Manager are available to help us get on-line. The distribution comes with the LibreOffice productivity suite and a document viewer. Kubuntu comes with a few multimedia applications, including the Amarok music player and the Dragon video player. Depending on our choices at install time we may also have access to media codecs for most popular multimedia formats. Kubuntu also comes with the k3b disc burning software, a screen magnifier, virtual calculator, file archive manager and text editor. We are given the KInfoCenter for discovering the characteristics of our computer's hardware. There is a utility called "Additional Drivers" which will help us find third-party hardware drivers for our system. In the background the distribution runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.11.
One of the nicer features of the Kubuntu distribution is the System Settings panel. This panel is available in all distributions shipping with KDE, but I think Kubuntu throws in a few extra features that I do not recall seeing in other Linux distributions to date. One feature is the ability to turn off the guest account, another is the account management system, which appears to have received a very nice overhaul since Kubuntu 13.04. I also noticed a social media account manager in the panel which allows us to keep in touch with contacts in a way which integrates nicely into the desktop. I haven't used this feature enough to decide whether I like it or not, but I think the idea of having a multi-protocol chat & notification client built into the desktop has the potential to be useful.
Kubuntu 13.10 - running various applications
(full image size: 340kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
I ran Kubuntu in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on my desktop box, the same one I used to test Ubuntu. Kubuntu performed fairly well in both situations. On the physical hardware Kubuntu ran quickly and I experienced no hardware related problems. Running in the VirtualBox environment I found Kubuntu ran a bit slowly while desktop visual effects and KDE's file indexing were enabled. Once these two features were disabled Kubuntu ran smoothly in the virtual environment. The distribution used approximately 200MB of RAM while sitting idle at the KDE desktop.
Looking back on my time with Kubuntu 13.10 the thing which stood out the most was that not much stood out. Apart from having some network issues which slowed things down during my first installation attempt, my time with the distribution was quite good. The installer is nicely laid out, the KDE 4.11 desktop is quite polished, providing a clean, feature-rich environment. I like that Kubuntu comes with a guest account for those odd times people wish to borrow my computer. I'm also happy to see there is an option in the KDE System Settings panel to turn off the guest account for people who see the guest account as a security concern. The new user account manager is slick and easy to use, I'm quite happy to see it included in this release. So far I'm tentatively happy with the new Discover software manager. It looks pretty and it seems to work well enough. The software manager's interface is a little busy for my taste, but otherwise I have no complaints. I think most people will take to it and those who don't can fall back on the older package manager. Overall, Kubuntu 13.10 feels like a stable, mature release that has some nice new features, but nothing ground shaking that would put off existing users. I'm actually sorry this version is not a long-term support release and will only receive security updates for nine months, the short support cycle seems to be the only weak point in an otherwise excellent desktop operating system.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian debates new init system, openSUSE shows off GNOME features, FreeBSD switches to new package manager
Members of the Debian project, one of the Linux community's largest and longest-living distributions, had a lot to talk about this past week. The first topic of interest is the idea that Debian could benefit from having a new init system. To date Debian has used a more traditional init system to get the operating system from a cold start to a running environment and some people feel Debian would benefit from using a more modern init system such as Upstart or systemd. The suggestion kicked off a heated debate on the Debian mailing lists as people chimed in with their opinions for or against each option. As a result, Debian's tech committee as been asked to vote on the decision as to which direction (if any) Debian will take in the future. While the decision is unlikely to affect desktop users directly, it will impact system administrators and package maintainers who may soon face a new approach to managing services.
Debian developers and fans will also be happy to know the venerable distribution is becoming increasingly popular, especially on web servers. A recent W3Techs report shows that Debian has over 30% of the Linux web server market with Ubuntu and CentOS close behind with a little over 25% of the market each. The Debian GNU/Linux distribution and its child, Ubuntu, both appear to becoming more popular in the web server space at the expense of traditional enterprise-oriented distributions such as Red Hat and CentOS.
In unrelated news, the Debian project is now officially hosting on-line copies of the distribution's manual pages. These pages are available for installed applications, but sometimes it is useful to be able to read a page of documentation without installing the corresponding package. This new addition to the Debian website will allow users to browse and read documentation for software without the requirement of installing anything.
* * * * *
The next release of openSUSE, version 13.1, is scheduled to arrive in two weeks and the project is happily putting new features on display. This week the openSUSE News Team put the distribution's GNOME desktop deployment on display. The distribution's upcoming release is expected to ship with GNOME 3.10 which features a unified system menu, easier application menu navigation and a new Classic mode. The Classic mode replaces GNOME 3's old Fallback mode and is intended for users who miss the look and feel of the GNOME 2 interface. The openSUSE distribution typically stays on the cutting edge and this release will give many users a chance to see the latest work available from the GNOME project.
* * * * *
The FreeBSD project has been experimenting with a new binary package manager, PKG-NG, for several months now and it looks as though the modern package manager is finally ready for production. A mailing list post by Bryan Drewery states
"We are pleased to announce that official binary packages are now available for pkg, the next generation package management tool for FreeBSD. Pkg allows you to either use ports with portmaster/portupgrade or to
have binary remote packages without ports." The post goes on to say the old package tools, such as pkg_install, will be depreciated in approximately six months. Drewery also went on to provide details on how to begin using PKG-NG and, if necessary, how to switch from using the old Ports method of package management to the new style. The new PKG-NG utility is expected to simplify package management by unifying the installation, removal and upgrade procedures in one user-friendly utility.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
ARM devices, tablets and Linux distributions
Over the past few weeks I have received a number of questions regarding running GNU/Linux distributions on tablets, tablets that will work with open source desktop environments and ARM devices which are compatible with GNU/Linux distributions. While these are technically separate topics, there is enough overlap I would like to address these questions all together.
First up, if you are interested in tinkering with an inexpensive ARM device, such as a Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard, Pandaboard or other low-end hobbyist device then you may wish to read this document maintained by the Fedora Project. The project has in-depth release notes, detailed documentation and an up-to-date list of supported ARM-based hardware. This is a good place to get started if you are looking to experiment with ARM technology or if you plan to set up a low-energy home server or low-spec desktop system. The Fedora distribution is very open and comes with a lot of great documentation which makes it a good starting point for people who like to tinker. Especially people who want to play with low-end ARM hardware.
Now if you want to run a Linux-based operating system on your tablet or smart phone then you may be interested in the mobile edition of Ubuntu. Right now only a few new Nexus devices are officially supported. The Ubuntu wiki has some great documentation on how to install the open source operating system to a mobile device. This will appeal to people who have higher-end hardware and want to run a Linux-based distribution that is geared specifically to their mobile device.
Another way to go would be to look at devices which support running KDE's Active interface. The KDE website has some documentation which lists supported devices and, in some cases, instructions are supplied for installing KDE's interface on specific devices. The documentation is a bit sparse in places, but it will give potential users an idea of which devices will work with KDE Active and, in some cases, which devices are compatible with the openSUSE distribution.
Next, for people who have purchased (or are planning to purchase) a Raspberry Pi computer, you will probably wish to visit the Raspbian website. The Raspbian distribution is a rebuild of Debian GNU/Linux with packages compiled to work with the Raspberry Pi's hardware. Installation instructions are available on the website and are fairly straight forward.
Finally, a word on ARM devices. General purpose laptop and desktop computers, even modern ones which ship with Secure Boot, are generally designed in a way that makes it easy to install an alternative operating system, such as a Linux distribution. Small consumer devices, such as tablets and mobile phones, are not always designed with such flexibility in mind. If you plan to install an ARM port of a Linux distribution on your device, do some research ahead of time to find a device that supports alternative operating systems. Otherwise you run the risk of purchasing a device that is not supported or, even worse, designed to prevent the installation of alternative software.
|Released Last Week
Clonezilla Live 2.2.0-16
Steven Shiau has released a new stable build of Clonezilla Live, a Debian-based distribution with software for disk cloning and backup tasks: "This release of Clonezilla live (2.2.0-16) includes major enhancements and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system has been upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2013-11-29; the Linux kernel has been updated to 3.11.6; the drbl package has been updated to 2.6.8 and Clonezilla to 3.8.2; the partclone-utils package has been updated to 0.2.1; the tcplay package has been updated to 1.1; this release was built with live-build 3, so the live-boot has been updated to 3.0.1 and live-config to 3.0.23-1; the UEFI secure boot is now supported in the amd64 Ubuntu-based Clonezilla live, it's not supported in the Debian-based one because Debian does not release any signed EFI pre-bootloader 'shim'; this release uses gfxmode=auto and removes load_video and faekbios in grub.cfg...." Here is the full release announcement.
Tails 0.21, a Debian-based distribution designed for anonymous Internet browsing via the integrated Tor technology, is out and ready for download: "Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 0.21, is out. All users must upgrade as soon as possible: this release fixes numerous security issues. Notable user-visible changes include: don't grant access to the Tor control port for the desktop user; don't allow the desktop user to directly change persistence settings; install Iceweasel 17.0.10esr with Torbrowser patches; patch Torbutton to make window resizing closer to what the design says; add a persistence preset for printing settings; support running Tails off more types of SD cards; add a KeePassX launcher to the top panel; improve the bug reporting workflow; prefer stronger ciphers when encrypting data with GnuPG; exclude the version string in GnuPG's ASCII armored output....." See the release announcement and changelog for a full list of changes and known issues.
Tails 0.21 - the default desktop environment
(full image size: 46kB, screen resolution 1280x960 pixels)
Salix 14.0.1 "Ratpoison"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 14.0.1 "Ratpoison" edition, a lightweight Slackware-based distribution with a rather unusual and geeky window manager that bears the name of this Salix flavour: "Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1 is ready. This is a very special release for us, as Ratpoison makes for an experience that is completely different. The aim of the Ratpoison edition is to create a system that is fully usable with the keyboard only, no mouse required. Ratpoison is a window manager for X 'with no fat library dependencies, no fancy graphics, no window decorations, and no rodent dependence'. Ratpoison uses a workflow that is similar to that of GNU screen, which is very popular in the terminal world. All interaction with the window manager is done through keystrokes. The application selection for the Ratpoison edition is rather special. The main reasoning behind selecting any of the default applications included in this release is their ability to be used completely with the keyboard." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Superb Mini Server 2.0
Superb Mini Server (SMS), a Slackware-based distribution designed for servers, has been updated to version 2.0.6: "Superb Mini Server version 2.0.6 released (Linux kernel 3.4.67). This is a maintenance release focusing on server package updates, such as Postfix 2.10.2, Samba 4.1.0, OpenLDAP 2.4.37, Dovecot 2.2.6, and adding a little VPN touch up to the distribution. For this release we thought best to stay with the 3.4.67 LTS kernel. The latest LTS kernel 3.10.17 is available in the SMS repository if anyone wants to upgrade. The 64-bit live CD ships with the 3.10.17 kernel though. New packages in this release are: OpenConnect client for Cisco's AnyConnect SSL VPN, openl2tp - an L2TP client/server, PPTP point-to-point tunneling protocol client, PPTP point-to-point tunneling protocol server, and strongSwan - an open source IPsec-based VPN solution. As you may notice, we didn't follow Slackware's 'Current' tree and we stay with glibc 2.15 and GCC 4.7.2." Here is the full release announcement.
Nick Holland has announced the release of OpenBSD 5.4, a free, multi-platform UNIX-like operating system with focus on portability, standardisation, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography: "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 5.4. This is our 34th release on CD-ROM (and 35th via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of more than ten years with only two remote holes in the default install. As in our previous releases, 5.4 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system: new platform for systems based on the Cavium Octeon MIPS-compatible processors, supported machines include Portwell CAM-0100, Ubiquiti Networks EdgeRouter LITE; new platform for OMAP3/4 and AM335x systems using an ARM Cortex-A8 or Cortex-A9 CPU...." Visit the OpenBSD 5.4 release page to read the full list of changes and improvements.
Thomas Genty has announced the release of GeeXboX 3.1, a free Linux media centre distribution for embedded devices and desktop computers: "A new GeeXboX release has arrived. GeeXboX 3.1 is an upgrade that integrates XBMC 12.2 'Frodo'. Like the previous version, you can use GeeXboX to watch and record live TV. In addition to our usual x86 ISOs, this release is also available for several embedded platforms, with working full HD video and graphics acceleration for most of them. Supported platforms are: i386; x86_64, Cubox v1, v2 and Pro; Raspberry Pi; Utilite from Compulab; Cubieboard 1. New features: XBMC Media Center 12.2 frontend; PVR support for DVB Digital TV to watch and record live TV with vdr and tvheadend; support for full HD videos on Utilite, and Cubox RaspberryPi. System: Linux Kernel 3.10.9 (for x86 devices); systemd 206; BusyBox 1.21.1; Connman Network Manager 1.9; X.Org Server 1.14.1; Mesa 9.2.2; OPKG Package Manager 0.18...." Continue to the release announcement for further details and a screenshot.
OS4 OpenLinux 14.1
Roberto Dohnert has announced the release of OS4 OpenLinux 14.1, an Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution with a customised Xfce 4.11 as the default desktop: "Today we are pleased to announce the new releases of OS4 OpenLinux 14.1 and PC/OS Enterprise Linux 4.1.6. With these new releases we bring a few extra new features to OS4 OpenLinux. With 14.1 we have brought new enhancements to the kernel and we have updated the package lineup. We also go back to the lighter radiance themes as the default and we have the ambiance and greybird themes for those that like the darker themes. Features: Xfce 4.11; Audacious for audio and VLC for video; Pinta 1.4 for image manipulation; GNOME Office as the default office suite; Chromium as the default browser; Thunderbird as the default mail client; Dates as the default calendar application; Contact as the system address book; Arandr for multi-monitor support; FreeDOOM...." Here is the full release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Wax OS. Wax OS is a 64-bit only distribution which offers a friendly desktop operating system.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 11 November 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 |
Cub Linux (formerly Chromixium) was an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that attempts to recreate the look & feel and functionality of Google's Chrome OS on a conventional desktop. It combines the Openbox window manager with the Compton desktop compositor, Plank dock and LXDE's LXPanel to provide the desktop and menus. The Chromium web browser, equipped with the PepperFlash plugin, was the main online application, although the complete array of Ubuntu software can be easily added for offline/desktop use. Ubuntu updates are installed automatically, providing long-term security support.