| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 541, 13 January 2014
Welcome to this year's 2nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week kicks off with tales of cooperation in the open source community. Many people tend to view for-profit organizations and open source community projects as being at odds, yet often times they co-exist nicely and even compliment each other. This week brings us a series of examples, such as Red Hat choosing to sponsor the CentOS project. We also learn about Ubuntu improving its support for the increasingly popular nginx web server and the Debian project begins work on documenting Valve's SteamOS. Not all the news from this past week was positive as we learn openSUSE's user forums are off-line following a security breach. Be sure to get the details below. This week we continue our series on distributions suitable for home servers, exploring the capabilities of openSUSE and Zentyal. We also discuss a new learning resource for people wishing to become Linux system administrators. As usual, we cover the releases from the past week and look ahead to exciting developments to come. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (22MB) and MP3 (37MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Server showdown (part 2)
Last week we began a series of reviews that focus on distributions which can be used to run home and small office servers. Each of these distributions was installed in a virtual machine, given one CPU, 1GB of RAM and a network connection. Each distribution in the trial was set up to provide three services: act as a network file sharing platform via Samba, act as a backup server using OpenSSH and host a WordPress blog. The distributions are then evaluated based on how easy they are to install, how hard it is to get these services up and running, how efficiently the distribution performs, how stable it is, the quality of the project's documentation and the platform's support for advanced file systems. Last week we covered SME Server and Superb Mini Server. This week we will be taking a look at openSUSE and Zentyal, starting with the former.
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The openSUSE distribution has been around in one form or another for many years. The project is well known for its powerful system administration utilities provided through the YaST control panel. The distribution has one of the more flexible (and friendly) system installers available in the Linux community. The current release of openSUSE, version 13.1, is available in several editions. Most of the editions are desktop oriented, but there is an installation DVD that gives us more fine-tuned control over what gets installed on our computer and the role openSUSE will play. The current release of openSUSE comes with three years of security updates and support.
With openSUSE I faced an interesting choice that was not available with the other projects I looked at during this series on servers. The other projects typically had one edition, a one-size-fits-all approach. With openSUSE we have the choice of whether to install a plain, command line only "Minimal Server" or we can install a desktop environment. The latter choice means we will have a friendly interface and nice point-n-click administration tools. Going with the minimal install means starting off with a less friendly environment, but it gives us more control over what gets installed on our operating system and we reap the benefits of a leaner, more efficient system. I mentally flipped a coin and decided to go for the Minimal Server option. During the course of the review, please keep in mind I took the slightly less attractive road in deference to performance.
The openSUSE DVD is 4.1 GB in size. Booting from this disc brings up a graphical menu which allows us to check the install media's integrity, test our machine's firmware, perform a health check on our system's memory, begin a rescue of an existing operating system or kick off the installation of a fresh system. Taking the option to launch the system installer brings up a graphical application. We are then walked through selecting our preferred language from a drop-down list and confirming our keyboard's layout. We are shown the project's license agreement too on this first page. The next screen asks if we are performing a fresh installation or if we would like to upgrade an existing copy of openSUSE. We are given the chance to manually add third-party package repositories to the system's list of software sources and then we can select our time zone from a map of the world. The following screen lets us choose which desktop environment (if any) to install with the options including KDE, GNOME, Xfce, LXDE or just the X display server.
As mentioned above, I opted for just the plain command line interface. Partitioning the hard drive comes next. Here we can allow the installer to divide up the disk for us or we can manually slice up our hard drive. The guided option allows us to supply suggestions, such as whether to use LVM or Btrfs and whether to include a separate /home partition for user data. I decided to make use of Btrfs. The next screen asks us to create a user account and, if we wish, to give this user account administrative access to the system via sudo. The final screen shows us all of the actions the installer plans to take and lets us further customize the installation or jump back to a previous screen to make changes. The confirmation screen has some more advanced options available, such as whether to enable secure shell or enable the firewall. Once I gave the installer permission to proceed, formatting the hard drive and copying necessary files took a mere ten minutes, after which I was asked to reboot the computer.
The first time we boot into openSUSE we are told the system needs to auto-configure itself. We watch a few progress bars grow and then we are dropped to a text console and login prompt. Right away I noticed a few things about this bare bones version of openSUSE. One is that the operating system, prior to hosting any services, requires a mere 20 MB of memory. Even once I added some extra services memory usage tended to stay below 50 MB. The base system requires just 800 MB of disk space, which is fairly good for a modern Linux distribution. I found openSUSE boots quickly, going from boot menu to login prompt in under one minute. While idling, the openSUSE virtual machine used about 5% of my host operating system's CPU and this tended to rise to just 30% when openSUSE was serving up files or checking for updates. Rarely did my host's CPU usage climb above 50%. I also quickly found that the base operating system does not come with manual pages and runs virtually no services. There is no web administrative portal as with the other distributions I tried during this series. There is just us, a command line and a text version of the YaST control panel.
openSUSE 13.1 - YaST control panel in text mode
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The YaST control panel that comes with the Minimal Server installation is essentially a text-based menu system. Down the left side of the screen we see categories of system administration tasks. Down the right side we see specific modules we can access. For example, a broad category might be "Software" and specific modules might be "Software Management" and "Software Repositories". There are many modules in the default installation, letting us configure user accounts, the firewall, the boot loader, network settings and manage software packages. There is also a tool for working with the Btrfs file system and its snapshots. Should we wish to gain access to more options we can install additional YaST configuration modules using the zypper package manager (more on zypper in a moment). For example, installing the YaST Samba module gives us the ability to configure and enable network shares for our users. Actually, installing the Samba module resulted in some package conflicts on my system and I had to work with zypper a bit to get the dependency conflicts resolved, but eventually YaST gave me control over Samba shares, making enabling network file sharing quite easy.
One quirk I ran into while running openSUSE was that I could not run the YaST control panel as my regular user. Running "yast" or "sudo yast" did not work. Instead I had to login as the root user and, from the root prompt, run "yast". It is a minor issue, but one which doesn't appear to be mentioned in most tutorials or documentation.
Earlier I mentioned the distribution did not come with any manual pages by default. The standard man pages can be installed using openSUSE's package manager. Alternatively we can make use of the project's on-line documentation. The openSUSE project maintains a wiki with detailed documents and I found the provided information quite useful. One of the reasons the lack of local man pages stands out in my mind is openSUSE made a switch fairly recently from its old init system to the newer systemd init system. The operating system and its services are no longer controlled using classic scripts, but rather by the systemctl command. Personally, I'm not a fan of systemd for two reasons. The first is it seems to take an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach, and simply getting through systemctl's help summary takes a few minutes of reading. Second, systemctl does not give any feedback while it is working. If I wish to restart, for example, the Apache web service, systemctl will run without displaying any information. It requires a manual follow-up to tell whether a command has succeeded or not. In fact, even shutting down openSUSE using systemctl causes the operating system to appear to hang for about a minute before the computer simply turns off. There is no output to let us know what is happening and I find this, at best, unhelpful.
The openSUSE distribution makes use of the zypper command line package manager for handling software and updates. I found zypper to be a pleasant tool with which to work. The command line options are intuitive, the package manager works quickly and I encountered no problems while downloading and installing software upgrades. I liked that zypper can make use of delta updates, smaller packages that simply update modified parts of software. This saves us bandwidth and typically makes upgrades a faster process. One final aspect of zypper I greatly appreciate is the package manager will let us know when it has upgraded software that is currently running. This means if we upgrade our web server (or a component used by the web server) zypper will let us know and we can, if we wish, restart the affected service. Most package managers leave us to guess what they have changed or they suggest we reboot the entire system. I really like openSUSE's approach, letting us know which specific parts of our operating system are affected and letting us decide what course of action to take.
Earlier I mentioned the installer will let us enable the secure shell service and YaST will help us enable Samba shares. That left me to work on my third service, WordPress. I didn't find WordPress in openSUSE's software repositories and so I ended up installing the software manually from upstream sources. This also involved manually installing the Maria database software, installing Apache, manually opening a port in the firewall and configuring the software. In this respect the openSUSE documentation for dealing with LAMP servers came in quite handy.
For the most part I was pleased with openSUSE. The distribution gives administrators a classic server environment in which to work. We are basically handed a command line and YaST and left to create whatever we like from the ground up. This gives us a very efficient base from which to work and I found openSUSE to be very fast and light on resources. While newcomers may be intimidated by the command line interface, we do have quite a bit of documentation at our fingertips. The YaST control panel is helpful and, if we wanted to, we could have a nice lightweight graphical desktop too. I really like that openSUSE comes with Btrfs as an install-time option and we are given a utility, called snapper, that helps us create file system snapshots and perform file restores. This version of openSUSE gets a full three years of support and the installer comes with an upgrade option, mostly automating the upgrade process for us. I did run into a few minor issues getting new services installed, especially Samba with its package conflicts. However, despite these occasional hiccups, the underlying operating system was fast, stable and the tools provided were powerful. The openSUSE project provides us with powerful tools and it is up to us whether we build something wonderful with these tools or hammer our thumb flat.
- Advanced file systems (Btrfs/ZFS): 4
- Documentation: 4
- Ease of installation: 5
- Ease of maintaining/upgrading: 4
- Length of support for each release: 3
- Performance: 5
- Stability: 5
- Steps required to enable services: 2
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Zentyal is a distribution designed to be used as a home or office server. The project is based on Ubuntu and offers both a lightweight desktop interface and a full-featured web-based control centre. According to the Zentyal website the distribution offers tools which are compatible with Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange, making Zentyal a viable choice for administrators expanding their existing Microsoft-based networks.
The latest release of Zentyal, version 3.3, is available as a 630 MB download. Booting from the Zentyal disc we are shown a menu where we can choose to run the project's system installer, check the installation media for defects, launch the live disc in recovery mode or test the local machine's memory. Zentyal offers two install options, one which takes over the entire disk, saving us from the hassle of manually partitioning, the other version of the installer is referred to as Expert Mode and gives us additional flexibility. For the sake of expedience I went with the default option which automatically handles partitioning.
Regardless of which install option we take, Zentyal uses a text-based installer that is fairly friendly and streamlined. We are asked to confirm our preferred language and select which country or region we live in. We are asked to select our keyboard's layout from a list and there is an option to automatically detect our keyboard if we are not sure of the correct answer. The installer copies its files to our local disk and then asks some additional questions. The installer will attempt to automatically configure a network interface for us and, if it runs into problems, it will ask us to configure the network card (providing an IP address, netmask and Internet gateway). We are asked to create a user account and set a password for this account. The account we create at install time will be given administrator access to the machine post-installation. Zentyal will then ask us for our time zone. The whole process took approximately half an hour to complete on my system.
Zentyal 3.3 - initial configuration of service modules
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Booting into the locally installed version of Zentyal brings us to the LXDE desktop. We are automatically logged in with the user account we created at install time. In the future, after Zentyal has been configured, the account no longer automatically logs in, we are simply brought to a graphical login screen. The desktop is fairly empty, apart from the Firefox web browser which opens and automatically connects to the Zentyal web-admin console. We can login to the web console using our user account and password. Should we wish to use the web portal from a remote computer we can connect to our Zentyal server using the HTTPS protocol. For example, connecting to the web portal on a server named "calvin" on my network would require the URL https://calvin.
Whether we access the web control panel locally or from a remote machine, the interface walks us through a few configuration steps. We are asked which modules/roles the server should use. These modules include e-mail, web-mail, DNS services, web hosting, anti-virus, network file sharing and a list of other tasks. Installing these modules and having them run is as easy as clicking an icon for the service, causing it to light up, and then moving to the next page. We need to wait a few minutes while our modules are installed and an initial configuration is performed for us. From there we are brought to the Zentyal dashboard. The dashboard gives us an overview of what Zentyal is doing and the status of the underlying system. We are shown bandwidth statistics, current CPU usage, the status of network services and the availability of software updates.
From the dashboard we can also access other parts of the web-admin interface. The web portal gives us links to modules where we can configure existing services, install or remove additional Zentyal modules, upgrade software packages, manage user accounts, set up mail accounts and manage network shares. The interface is quite friendly and it is easy to get most services, such as file sharing and web-mail up and running with a few clicks. The only quirk I ran into was that, for our changes to modules to take effect, we need to remember to click a Save button at the top of the page, otherwise new settings are lost.
Configuring the services I wanted was beautifully straight forward with Zentyal. OpenSSH was running out of the box and configuring Samba to share files took a few mouse clicks. Zentyal is the only distribution I have covered so far in this series which provides a WordPress package in the default software repositories and this made setting up WordPress simple and easy via the command line. Further functionality was easily available through Zentyal's web interface, making Zentyal by far the easiest distribution of this series to extend.
Zentyal 3.3 - monitoring status with the dashboard
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Regarding support for the distribution, Zentyal comes with a great collection of documentation that is both detailed and accompanied by screen shots. As Zentyal is based upon Ubuntu, the Ubuntu community documentation can be used to trouble-shoot low-level problems with the operating system. Again, due to the underlying Ubuntu platform, Zentyal will receive security updates for approximately five years and upgrades should be near-seamless from one version to the next. This gives users a fairly long support cycle and a smooth transition from the current release to future versions.
The Zentyal distribution used approximately 1.6 GB of hard disk space when I first set it up and the operating system used approximately 140 MB of RAM when running both the web portal and the LXDE interface. CPU usage typically remained low. Around 5% of my host's CPU was used while Zentyal was idling, steady work would put the CPU usage up to around 40%. On rare occasions, such as when software updates were being installed, Zentyal would use a little more processing power. The distribution would boot to the graphical user interface in about one minute and, while it was running, both the desktop and the distribution's services remained responsive. The only time Zentyal gave me any trouble came shortly after I had set up Samba and performed a software upgrade. The distribution, upon its next restart, booted to the desktop and immediately started using 100% of the CPU without loading Firefox. All the local user could do was logout. Logging in via secure shell revealed that my user had been locked out of my home directory and this seemed to put the system in an endless loop where a lot of CPU cycles were being consumed and nothing was being done. Restoring the home directory's permissions back to their defaults fixed the problem.
By default I found Zentyal will set up most of its files on a combination of LVM and ext4 with a small /boot partition formatted with ext2. While the operating system, by default, uses LVM (which should be flexible enough for most cases) we do have other options. The distribution provides us with tools for managing Btrfs volumes too, though perhaps not with the level of support openSUSE offers. In addition, Zentyal carries software packages for working with ZFS (specifically ZFS-FUSE) in the distribution's software repositories. I played around with ZFS-FUSE and found it worked quite well and there is very little performance penalty from using the userland file system utilities. This combination of LVM, Btrfs and ZFS gives Zentyal a clear advantage when it comes to dealing with large amounts of data, file system snapshots and mirroring/RAID scenarios.
One last feature that works in Zentyal's favour is that Zentyal, while a distribution on its own, is also a collection of packages. The Zentyal software is, basically, a portable layer which runs on top of Ubuntu. The Zentyal team makes this special layer available via a PPA repository and administrators using any Ubuntu-based distribution can add Zentyal to their existing server installations. This is especially good news for people running hosted VPS services where Ubuntu Server may be supported, but the stand-alone Zentyal distribution is not. Also with regards to deployment, Zentyal offers a number of editions. The community edition, which I reviewed this past week, is free to use. Other editions are available with varying degrees of professional support for people wishing to deploy Zentyal in a work environment.
- Advanced file systems (Btrfs/ZFS): 4
- Documentation: 5
- Ease of installation: 5
- Ease of maintaining/upgrading: 4
- Length of support for each release: 4
- Performance: 4
- Stability: 4
- Steps required to enable services: 4
* * * * *
My experiences from this past week were quite a bit different from my experiences the previous week. Last week I tried two distributions with fairly conservative bases and web-based administration consoles. This week I got to try one very light, fast and powerful distribution (openSUSE) and one extremely friendly and easy to use distribution (Zentyal). Honestly, it was hard for me to pick a favourite this week. I really like how efficient openSUSE is, I like its text-based YaST control centre, I really like how powerful and helpful the zypper package manager is and I like that openSUSE has such great advanced file system support using Btrfs. The only drawback I found to using openSUSE was it took some effort to get new services up and running. The operating system is fairly bare, which is nice from a security perspective, but it means we need to hunt down and manually install the services we do want. Using command line tools to do this can be intimidating, especially for novice users. This is also one of the first times I've really given systemd a workout. I've used it a touch here or there in the past, but never really sat down and played with it properly before. I have to say I find it less appealing than the traditional init system or even Upstart. Using systemd felt like using a bulldozer to butter toast, slow and too much tool for the task at hand.
Zentyal takes quite a different approach. With Zentyal we get a minimal desktop environment, which is really nice for novice users. We also get a first-class web-based control panel. I have used Zentyal before and enjoyed the experience then. A few improvements and polish have come to Zentyal in the past year and I was very impressed with how pleasant the Zentyal modules are to use. Most tasks require just a few mouse clicks and are well explained in the interface, letting us skip most of Zentyal's high quality documentation. Zentyal performed well for me and, aside from a minor problem that followed in the wake of me accidentally sharing my home directory via Samba, I ran into no serious problems. In fact, Zentyal presented me with virtually no problems and many surprisingly easy solutions. I really like that Zentyal comes with five years of support, commercial support is available and upgrades should be easy. As a bonus, Zentyal has some basic support for Btrfs and ZFS is fairly well supported using FUSE.
While openSUSE offers great flexibility and performance, I think Zentyal offers the most user-friendly solution possible for small office and home network set ups. Both distributions are great in their own way, but I suspect Zentyal will appeal to a wider range of system administrators as the project has solutions for professionals and enthusiasts alike. It has a combination of ease, power and flexibility that is hard to beat.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
Debian documents SteamOS, Ubuntu supports nginx, Red Hat sponsors CentOS, Bodhi for Chromebooks, openSUSE forums compromised
Debian GNU/Linux is the base for many projects and is the beloved parent (and grand-parent) of many GNU/Linux distributions. One of the most recent children of Debian is SteamOS which is used to power Valve's upcoming living room console. The Debian project has embraced its new child and a wiki has been set up on Debian's website for people interested in working with (or developing on) the console operating system.
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In Ubuntu-related news, the next long term support release is coming soon and it will be providing full support for the nginx web server. The nginx project has been gaining popularity recently as an alternative to the venerable Apache web server. The nginx server is often praised for its speed and it is good to see this popular software make it into Ubuntu's upcoming LTS release. From developer Jorge Castro's blog: "This is excellent news for those of you using stacks that tend to use nginx; increasing our support of nginx has been something many Ubuntu Server users have been telling me they'd like to see and it's good to see us make some progress in this area."
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Many companies and individuals want the power of an enterprise Linux operating system, but do not necessarily want commercial support for their distribution (or the price tag which comes with it). This has resulted in CentOS becoming a popular distribution, especially for web hosts, as the project makes Red Hat Enterprise Linux technology available at no cost. While CentOS and Red Hat have co-existed peacefully for several years, the two entities have generally not cooperated on an official level. That is now changing. A post on the CentOS mailing list outlines a plan for Red Hat and CentOS to work together. Red Hat will begin sponsoring some aspects of the CentOS project and a few developers from CentOS will be taking jobs with Red Hat. The post assures readers that CentOS will remain a separate project with its own governance: "The Red Hat Enterprise Linux to CentOS firewall will also remain. Members and contributors to the CentOS efforts are still isolated from the RHEL Groups inside Red Hat, with the only interface being SPRM/source path tracking, no sooner than is considered released. In summary: we retain an upstream." A corresponding post on Red Hat's Community blog confirms the upcoming cooperation between the two organizations.
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Google's Chromebooks keep breaking new records in terms of sales, according to Amazon.com and other online retailers. However, for an average Linux geek the product's web-only user interface of Chrome OS can be a rather unpleasant limitation. Fortunately, more and more distributions provide scripts and documentation for installing a full-featured Linux-based operating system alongside Chrome OS. Last week, it was the lightweight and elegant Bodhi Linux (an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Enlightenment window manager) which released a special edition of Bodhi Linux for ARM-powered Chromebooks: "The battery recently died in my old ASUS Netbook which gave me some fire to finally get together a functional file system for the Samsung Chromebook I've had for a little over a year. The following instructions install a Debian-based armhf file system with the Bodhi-branded Enlightenment 0.17.6 desktop powered by the EFL 1.8.4 libraries."
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Some bad news for openSUSE users hit this past week. The openSUSE forum was attacked and an exploit gave an attacker access to the forum's database. According to the openSUSE website, the attacker did not gain access to any account passwords which are stored on another service. The attacker did, however, gain access to forum users' e-mail addresses. At the moment the openSUSE support forums have been taken off-line while the project awaits a fix for the security vulnerability.
|Opinion (by Jesse Smith)
Linux System Administration LiveLessons
Over the holiday break the nice folks at Pearson sent me a gift, a copy of the new Linux System Administration LiveLessons, a collection of educational videos designed to teach new Linux system administrators. The nine video lessons feature approximately five hours of instruction in total and are put together by the talented (and knowledgeable) Ben Whaley. Mr Whaley is the co-author of the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, so this isn't his first time teaching. Mr Whaley has been managing Linux systems since 1999 and is a Red Hat Certified Engineer, indicating we can be pretty sure he knows his way around a Linux command line.
The talks, which are available for download from the InformIT website for $149.99, cover a wide range of system administration topics. Some of the subjects touched upon include using the BASH command line shell, writing scripts, managing user accounts, handling file permissions, basic network debugging, using virtual machines as test equipment and secure shell. The talks also dip into the history of the Linux kernel and some GNU/Linux distributions. We are also introduced to some security practices, start-up and shutdown procedures and shell shortcuts. It is quite a lot to cover in five hours.
There were several aspects of these lessons I enjoyed. The first is the presentation. The videos have a fairly high resolution, the video and audio quality is good and the flow of the videos is smooth. The presenter speaks clearly and slowly and manages to present the dry, technical information in a positive tone. Something else I liked was that when theory or higher-level concepts were being presented the camera watched the presenter. When practical material or examples were being covered we were shown a terminal screen where commands were being typed or output was being examined. I found this gave me a sense of being in a classroom with the added benefit of being able to look over the teacher's shoulder to see what was happening on their computer. Finally, the material is, in my opinion, both accurate and practical. While a lot is covered in the five hours, each topic is touched upon enough to give us a good beginning, a good foundation of skills upon which we can build. The videos sometimes mention other resources we can explore after the lesson should we wish to expand on a topic.
My only complaint with the material was a minor one. Early on I felt as though some topics may have been presented out of order or in an overly rapid manner. For example, we start off with some information for setting up Linux in virtual machines, then get into some basic Linux history and then we are told a little of how to use a command line. I worry that some viewers may get scared off talking about building virtual machines on the command line before we actually get introduced to the command line. A lot of topics are quickly mentioned in the introduction and this may seem overwhelming at first. If a viewer watches all the videos each topic gets handled well and is clearly explained, so there is no need to panic -- the first video or two just summarize greater things to come.
The videos, while educational for anyone interested in the inner workings of a Linux distribution, appear to be specifically targeting people who plan to become professional Linux administrators. I'm sure some people looking to break out from the GUI to explore the power of the command line will appreciate the material covered (especially the sections dedicated to scripting and shell shortcuts), but the lessons are designed with future administrators in mind. Going into the lessons a person should already have passing familiarity with Linux and a command line interface. Not necessarily the Linux command line, but a familiarity with any of the members of the UNIX family would help.
All in all, I think the talks are well done and make for a good resource for people looking to break into the field of Linux system administration. The videos are certainly less expensive and less time consuming than a college course and do a great job of compressing a lot of knowledge into a short time frame.
|Released During Last Two Weeks
Kali Linux 1.0.6
Mati Aharoni has announced the release of Kali Linux 1.0.6, an updated version of the project's Debian-based distribution with a large collection of tools for penetration testing and forensic analysis: "Kali Linux 1.0.6 released. It has been a while since our last minor release which makes 1.0.6 a more significant update than usual. With a new 3.12 kernel, a LUKS nuke feature, new Kali ARM build scripts, and Kali AMAZON AMI and Google Compute image generation scripts, not to mention numerous tool additions and updates – this release is really heavily laden with goodness. This new release brings with it the introduction of the Offensive Security Trusted ARM image scripts – a set of slowly growing scripts that are able to build Kali Linux images for various ARM devices." See the detailed release announcement for more information and useful links.
Ian Firns has announced the release of Korora 20, a set of Fedora-based desktop Linux distributions with a choice of Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE, MATE and Xfce desktops: "The Korora project is pleased to announce the stable release of version 20 (code name 'Peach') which is now available for download. This release brings with it a significant amount of work by the team and community to bring not two but five desktops that have been shaped for a genuine Korora experience. The additions of Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce represent the growth of our community and their contributions. A quick summary of the features: GNOME 3.10 represents another iteration to the new desktop which is also targeting native Wayland support; KDE Plasma Workspaces 4.11 brings a host of bug fixes, speed ups and improvements...." Read the full release announcement for further information.
Korora 20 - the default KDE desktop
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IPFire 2.13 Core 75
Michael Tremer has announced the release of IPFire 2.13 Core 75, an updated version of the project's specialist distribution for firewalls: "So it is a new year and here is the first update of 2014: IPFire 2.13 Core Update 75. It comes with urgent bug fixes that solve problems introduced in the previous update. Due to a change in OpenVPN 2.3, the common name of the certificate of the user that was connection was formatted in an other way than before. This led to that the certificate could not be properly validated because it was searched for one with a different name. This update ships a fixed version of the verify script that can work with both formats of the common name. Because of a related cause, the route configuration was not pushed to some clients when they connected. This issue that is filed under bug id #10323 and has been addressed in this update." See the release announcement for more information.
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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 waiting list|
DistroWatch database summary
- Linux Educational. Linux Educational is a government-sponsored project based in Brazil. The distribution comes with educational tools and is designed for use in schools. The project's website is in Portuguese.
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 20 January 2014. 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)
1 • "systemctl will run without displaying any information" (by Oliver on 2014-01-13 08:26:30 GMT from Germany) |
Isn't that the way any true Unix command line utility is supposed to work? Errors are reported to std error and silence means success?
There probably ought to be a verbose options too...
Best regards, Oliver
2 • sudo yast on openSUSE (by greenpossum on 2014-01-13 09:23:51 GMT from Australia)
>Running "yast" or "sudo yast" did not work.
sudo -i yast
3 • openSUSE as a server (by Pierre on 2014-01-13 10:04:58 GMT from Germany)
On administration webinterfaces:
For some basic administration tasks there is a web interface for YaST available.
So administration of openSUSE has a web interface option in the repos at least. But I have to mention that the last time I tried this web interface, it still lacked modules which are available from command line or gtk+ / qt graphical user interface.
Some basic information can be found here: http://de.opensuse.org/Portal:WebYaST
Additionally you can always install tools like webmin, too. So on every Linux machine you can make a web administation available if needed.
I think both ways, the tradition init systems and systemd have their very own advantages and disadvantages.
I really like systemd for the so called everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach.
Feedback is given - at least the last times I needed to use systemctl. If something works there is a short info like 'service running', 'service started' etc. and more info is not needed in my eyes. If it's not working you are getting error messages. So what do one need more? It's ok for me.
4 • Live lessons evaluation criterium (by dbrion on 2014-01-13 10:14:43 GMT from France)
There is a livelessons evaluation criterium which is often overlooked : it is very nice to post videos with comments, but could someone who is deaf or does not hear spoken English (one can read a language and not understand it when it is spoken, even slowly and without slang) profit from it (maybe with the text being put under the video, or -incl.- added for google translation).
Other criteria are : is it fully redundant with the text (ex in another domain: explaining how to solder electronic parts need video: a text is not sufficient; learning bash scripting/C/Python does not need video: a nicely laid out text -colors different for text, scripots and computer returns, say; a video would make people concentrating on moving fingers/characters/what people type on a screen and loose the essentials)
5 • There is also WebYaST in openSUSE... (by Xyz on 2014-01-13 10:24:58 GMT from Australia)
Furthermore, there is only 18 months OFFICIAL support for any current openSUSE release and "Evergreen" extended support is unofficial and limited in many aspects. I am using openSUSE 11.4 in the "Evergreen" mode of support, having also used openSUSE 11.1 and 11.2 with similar unofficial support, and thus I can speak from some personal experience about what "Evergreen" is and is not.
6 • gui available for systemd configuration? (by sendale on 2014-01-13 10:49:36 GMT from United States)
my question isn't specific to openSUSE. Somewhere (RPM package?) I ran across "systemd-ui" (i think that was the name). I'm wondering whether there's a standard gui app available, or whether it's up to each distro to create (or not) a dydtemd gui.
7 • GUI in server (by greg on 2014-01-13 10:51:49 GMT from Slovenia)
WebYaST, webmin etc. are all nice GUI, but the question here the review tried to answer is how good is certian system out of the box. linux being free and with so many packages available - each on can be modified to users liking. but the question is here how much work has been done for the user out of the box. dooes a comeplte beginner wanting to set up a home server need 30-60 minutes to set up a server or will it take them 3 hours + to hunt down all the stuff they need/want. i enjoy reading the comparisons of these OS. we can see how some have some difficulties setting up (extra reading required, bugs, stuff not working out of the box etc.), while others seem more fluent..
8 • Red Hat license (by Ariszló on 2014-01-13 13:12:23 GMT from Hungary)
How many machines are you allowed to install Red Hat Linux from a single installation medium?
Do you pay per machine, or per installation medium?
9 • RHEL License (by lock on 2014-01-13 13:37:43 GMT from United States)
From my understanding, it's per machine. The OS itself is actually free, you're just paying for the support of security patches and access to their repos, and it's a yearly fee. If you are planning on managing multiple servers, I recommend looking into RHEL satellite, or spacewalk. It makes it so much easier to push out configuration files, schedule updates, and even run scripts across a multitude of servers at one time.
10 • systemd (by schultzter on 2014-01-13 13:46:53 GMT from Canada)
"Using systemd felt like using a bulldozer to butter toast, slow and too much tool for the task at hand."
I switched to Arch because of systemd and it's so much better than init rc scripts!!! My computers boot so much faster, managing services is much easier (no more scripting, just a config file, a couple systemctl commands, and that's it), and monitoring and debugging is easier too because everything starts with systemctl and journalctl!
Yes, it took a while to stop thinking in terms of hacking an rc.script and a bit of reading to start thinking in systemd terms. But it was worth it!
11 • server reviews (by octathlon on 2014-01-13 17:33:22 GMT from United States)
Thanks for these reviews, Jesse.
openSUSE: If you want to install the minimal server, do you really have to download a 4.1 GB install image? If installing Samba resulted in extra work (and skill required) resolving package conflicts, why did it get a 5 for ease of installation?
Zentyal: sounds really good and easy for a home server. Does it also make it just as easy to add more drives to the LVM?
12 • RHEL Pricing (by Frank on 2014-01-13 17:48:37 GMT from United States)
The mainline RHEL server is priced per socket and 1 physical or 2 virtual nodes. So to answer your question, its priced per machine. They do have licenses for Desktops/Workstations, and purely Virtual Machines as well. At least their licensing scheme makes sense. I work in a Mixed Environment and the UNIX and Microsoft server licenses tend to not make a shedload of sense,
What you're paying for though is support through Red Hat and access to precompiled software as 9 said. You can get the uncompiled source for free without Red Hat Inc.'s branding, per the GPL, which is how CentOS and Oracle have basically the same underlying code as RHEL, but CentOS is priced for free, and Oracle charges.
13 • Support length of Zentyal (by Scott Dowdle on 2014-01-13 19:07:49 GMT from United States)
Just a little niggle about the length of support for Zentyal. I assume it is based on the most recent Ubuntu LTS release which is 12.04... which goes EOL on 17.04... which is a lot less than 5 years from date of review.
14 • RE: RHEL Pricing (by :wq on 2014-01-13 20:22:00 GMT from United States)
Red Hat does offer discounted self-support academic subscriptions (http://www.redhat.com/solutions/industry/education/subscription.html), but even then I think it would price out or otherwise disinterest most home users who qualify; admittedly this isn't really RHEL's target audience anyway.
Downloading Oracle Linux from oracle.com requires a registration, and Oracle charges for support, but access to binary updates is free (http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20120326#news). I wish this applied to Solaris instead, as Oracle Linux is not my first, second, or third (and then some) preferred RHEL derivative.
15 • distro support length (by Jordan on 2014-01-13 20:31:47 GMT from United States)
Well heck I wonder how many users of any OS keep the same machine for five years. Five years! I know that they are around... I mean, I have a few old ones here. But do users USE their old machines? As in work and take advantage of all that linux has to offer, etc, with a computer they've had for FIVE YEARS??
16 • @15 distro support length (by greenpossum on 2014-01-13 21:41:12 GMT from Australia)
For servers, compared to user desktops, if it works you leave it alone.
17 • distro support length (by Jordan on 2014-01-13 22:08:09 GMT from United States)
@greenpossum sure I agree. But I'm wondering how many leave the same distro on that machine. Some distros promise years of support. That implies that a user will install that distro and leave it on their hard drive (or flash drive) for 5 years?! Not even a rolling release would last that long on most single machines, I suspect.
Not sure, but I think most linux users probably have that one distro on for a lot shorter time than 5 years. The emphasis seems to be trying different distros all the time, as I read in here and elsewhere.
No way to gather data on that, I guess.
18 • Using old machines (by Georgios on 2014-01-13 22:14:09 GMT from Greece)
@15: Well, that's the purpose of using Linux! I actually use 3 old machines.
My office machine is 7 years old and has been running Debian testing and lately Debian stable (but it is still a powerful machine - Dell Precision 690).
My media center at home is 6 years old and I see no reason to replace it for the next 5-6 years (again, a pretty powerful computer - Fujitsu Siemens Scaleo E). Now it runs Openelec and XBMC, but for the first 5 years it run Debian with MythTV and later XBMC.
The laptop I use for lectures/presentations is 9 years old (!). It is a Compaq Presario nx9030 with 512MB RAM and runs Debian wheezy with xfce (just because the GPU is not capable of running GNOME3). It runs quite smoothly, and has been the reason that many of my students decided to try Linux.
Only my laptop at home is a 2 year old machine.
19 • @17 distro support length (by greenpossum on 2014-01-13 23:00:37 GMT from Australia)
Some distros are supported for > 5 years. E.g. RHEL5 came out 2007 and is supported in production until 2017. Remember that these are work servers, not machines subject to the whim of an individual user wanting to "try stuff". You have to stop thinking that these are personal machines. These servers may pass through the hands of several sysadmins during their lifetime. And these days they are usually hosted in VM environments, meaning RAID storage behind the scenes. No flimsy stuff like flash drives.
20 • @17 • distro support length (by Rev_Don on 2014-01-14 01:58:28 GMT from United States)
"But I'm wondering how many leave the same distro on that machine. Some distros promise years of support. That implies that a user will install that distro and leave it on their hard drive (or flash drive) for 5 years?! Not even a rolling release would last that long on most single machines, I suspect. "
First off it doesn't imply that at all. What it means is that one doesn't HAVE to replace it every few months. On servers it's quite common to simply update them from time to time and not actually upgrade them until something breaks or you have a real need to do so. For many servers that will be 5 to 10 years, possibly longer.
Even on home systems, there is a significant amount of the user base who only upgrade when there is a REAL need. As long as it works they just keep updating and running it like it is. Look at all of the people still running Windows XP on 2002 to 2004 Pentium 4's and are happy as pigs in slop doing so. All they want is a computer that allows them to do what they need to do. They could care less about the latest dodads, glitz, etc. They just want something that works and as much as Linux Fan Boys hate to admit it, XP just works. This people want to install an OS ONE TIME and use it until it either stops working, the hardware breaks, or they run into a need for an application that they can't run on it. They want to USE their computer to "get things done", not spend their time re-installing a new OS every few months, spend weeks configuring it, and the rest of the time just playing with it until the next "hot" distro comes along. That's why LTS distros are the ones that REAL COMPUTER USERS install and use. Let the "fan boys" putz around with the Beta releases (essentially anything that isn't a LTS release is nothing more than a glorified beta).
21 • @ 4 • Live lessons evaluation criterium (by email@example.com on 2014-01-14 03:07:46 GMT from Australia)
The original poster is noticing the outputs of computer coders (including Youtube publishers) who ignore aged, impaired or non-English-language users. This has fear of education and ergnomics has been noticed been observed in many disciplines, many languages and many publications for several decades now.
In Distrowatch observations, it has been noticed by the non-comment of invisible screens (white text on a near-white background, dark text on a dark background, etc). Youtube presenters seem proud of the lack of subtitles, lack of spoken keystrokes, and extremely rapid speech with complex words, unusual acronyms, etc.
Love it or not, Internet has allowed everyone to be an incompetent expert, with no regard to any publishing standards. Apologies to the non-English-language comments here. Your spelling & grammar shows who you are. Readers like myself judge less harshly than Internet's usual "instant experts".
22 • @17 (by Adam Williamson on 2014-01-14 03:16:07 GMT from Canada)
It happens, quite a lot. It's not that unusual for someone to pop up in #fedora or on the fedora forums, for instance, and say 'how can I update my Fedora Core 6 system?!' or something like that. I mean, I can see why you might not think so if you judge Linux users by DWW comments...but people really do leave even distros that aren't designed for long lifespans on systems for years and years, never mind the ones that *are*.
23 • @14 (by Adam Williamson on 2014-01-14 03:19:10 GMT from Canada)
We actually offer a self-supported 'developer' subscription - which anyone can buy - for $99:
we probably don't promote it hard enough, though. Almost no-one seems to know about it. I didn't, until Thomas Cameron told me. If you just want/need to have access to the 'proper' RHEL distro and update servers, but don't want a support contract, that's your cheapest option.
24 • @15 (by Adam Williamson on 2014-01-14 03:21:08 GMT from Canada)
Oh, and BTW, my primary machine - the one I'm typing this on - is nearly five years old now, and the only upgrade I've given it over that time is an SSD. I don't feel any urge to replace it, either. Hardware is still getting faster every year, but the impact of that improvement on most typical use cases is drastically less than it used to be. I can't really feel any difference between the performance of my nearly-five-year-old CPU (an overclocked Q6600) and the latest Haswell stuff.
25 • Torrents, & faster distro downloads. (by gregzeng on 2014-01-14 03:41:50 GMT from Australia)
With Distrowatch's download url, the newest Netrunner distro was taking 4 hours to download into Australia right now (3.30am GMT).
Searching for faster downloads with qBittorrent found nothing. The distros home site gives a torrent download. Saving this into my torrent folder meant not just one slow Distrowatch url, but 4 - 16 other urls, SIMULTANEOUSLY.
Since Linux, its reviewers and end-users are often at opposite ends of this planet, perhaps more distros should include qBittorrent (Linux & Windows), instead of its greatly inferior Linux substitutes (Transmission, kTorrent, etc).
26 • @25 (by Adam Williamson on 2014-01-14 04:29:46 GMT from Canada)
What makes qbittorrent so much better than other clients, in your estimation? So far as I can see it's just a pretty typical torrent frontend wrapped around libtorrent-rasterbar, not much different to Transmission or Deluge or anything else.
27 • Will that complete your order today? (by kernelKurtz on 2014-01-14 05:34:30 GMT from United States)
"The talks, which are available for download from the InformIT website for $149.99...
...quite a lot to cover in five hours"
Actually, a three-credit community college Linux course of my recent acquaintance cost just under that. And you get nine times as many contact hours. And you get college credit. And the book used was free as in speech, and beer too.
"...less expensive and less time consuming than a college course..."
So not less expensive. You are right about the "less time consuming", but so is wolfing a chalupa in the drive-through.
28 • Package Managers - so easy to use (by Alice on 2014-01-14 06:54:18 GMT from Switzerland)
"Since Linux, its reviewers and end-users are often at opposite ends of this planet, perhaps more distros should include qBittorrent (Linux & Windows), instead of its greatly inferior Linux substitutes (Transmission, kTorrent, etc)."
So is it really that difficult for you to uninstall program X and install program Y?
I'm not seeing the problem here.
It's not Windows, where you have to run to one or several sites to download 3rd party programs.
Please post when you have something constructive to say, thanks.
29 • server distros (by Kazlu on 2014-01-14 12:17:09 GMT from France)
Interesting and instructive series of reviews. There is just one thing I would like to know, Jesse: you say you use a single CPU machine to run the server distros, you indicate it's usage percentage in a few use cases, but what is the frequency of your CPU?
Going on about this subject, I would like to hear opinions of you guys about the machine to choose to run a server. I plan on using one soon and I first considered purchasing a low-power ARM based machine (like a Cubox or Raspberry Pi) to run a server. Since I also want to use a HTPC, I wondered if I could use the same machine on which the server was running, but in that case a higher end machine (like a dual core CPU laptop ar maybe a Mintbox, which is passively cooled) would be required. I wonder, especially on a power consumption perspective, if it is relevant to use a single machine and to have, say, a "server" user who is always logged on and simultaneously a "HTPC" user who logs on occasionnaly while the server keeps running. Or would it be preferable to have a separate mini-PC dedicated to server use and a separate HTPC ?
30 • Test environment (by Jesse on 2014-01-14 21:27:04 GMT from Canada)
>> "Jesse: you say you use a single CPU machine to run the server distros"
I use a dual-core host running VirtualBox. The VirtualBox virtual environment gets one CPU with which to work.
"you indicate it's usage percentage in a few use cases, but what is the frequency of your CPU?"
The host CPU runs at about 2GHz.
31 • @24 - Haswell vs older chips (by Andy Prough on 2014-01-15 03:57:36 GMT from )
Adam - where Haswell really shines for me is the increased battery life. I'm getting 11 hours on my new i5 ultrabook.
Other than battery life, I agree. My 3-year old 6-core AMD processor on my workstation can still run circles around this i5 on certain CPU-intensive processes. Of course, I've got to run 4 fans in the tower to keep it from overheating, whereas the Haswell hardly seems to use the fan at all.
32 • @26 • Linux torrent applications (by gregzeng on 2014-01-15 06:51:22 GMT from Australia)
26 • @25 Linux torrent applications
Transmission, Ktorrent, ... to a Linux distro producers might seem the same. But to a Linux USER, they are different from each other. Only a few of the many apps are available in both in Windows and Linux. qbitTorrent & Vuze are two better torrent apps which offer both search and download powers. Vuze (Java-based) is slower to load because it has many other powers besides torrent search and download.
Searching for torrents (e.g. "Snowlinux-4", which the coders claim they will allow in the next distro release) can be done by specialized apps, or web-browser add-ons, or by Google-type searching in web browsers. Only qbitTorrent is recommended by an independent reviewer of Torrent apps: https://www.foresightlinux.se/the-best-torrent-clients-for-linux/
33 • re (by greg on 2014-01-15 09:54:46 GMT from Slovenia)
@ 29 server distros - what kind of server? how many services? Rpi runs at the power of about p2 250 mhz i believe. i would get separate maschine for PC and for server.
@32 there is transmission for windows, ktorrent for windows. there is also utorrent for linux now. transmission appears in a lot of "smartTV", media players etc. so it's questionable what users really know (are familiar with) and what they don't.
34 • @33 server distros (by Kazlu on 2014-01-15 13:23:18 GMT from France)
I'm thinking about a small home server for local file sharing and hosting an ownCloud. That will be all in the beginning but I may be interested in more services as time goes on. A Rpi should be right for this OR a HTPC usage, but for both... Their web site says performance is like a 300MHz pentium 2 with much better graphics, so you're right :) The latest middle-end Cubox has a dual core CPU and 1GB of RAM so it may be enough.
35 • Musix (by Peter Jones on 2014-01-16 21:10:59 GMT from Canada)
The latest distribution of Musix,
Distribution Release: Musix GNU+Linux 3.0 , appears to be identical to
Development Release: Musix GNU+Linux 3.0 RC2
Take a look at what I downloaded:
[jones@localhost musix]$ ls -lrt
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jones jones 61 Oct 31 23:58 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0stable.md5
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jones jones 61 Nov 1 09:38 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0rc2.md5
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jones jones 2024284160 Nov 1 19:08 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0stable.iso
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jones jones 2024284160 Nov 1 19:08 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0rc2.iso
[jones@localhost musix]$ ls -lrt
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jones jones 61 Oct 31 23:58 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0stable.md5
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jones jones 61 Nov 1 09:38 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0rc2.md5
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jones jones 2024284160 Nov 1 19:08 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0stable.iso
-rw-rw-r-- 1 jones jones 2024284160 Nov 1 19:08 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0rc2.iso
[jones@localhost musix]$ cksum *md5
3797711714 61 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0rc2.md5
3797711714 61 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0stable.md5
[jones@localhost musix]$ cksum * | sort
1635378482 2024284160 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0rc2.iso
1635378482 2024284160 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0stable.iso
3797711714 61 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0rc2.md5
3797711714 61 MUSIX_GNU+Linux_3.0stable.md5
In other words, I downloaded 2G for nothing. I should have made sure the
MD5's were different before starting to download the supposedly newer version.
See http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=musix for the links.
36 • Torrent clients (by LinuxMan on 2014-01-17 19:23:23 GMT from United States)
"Only qbitTorrent is recommended by an independent reviewer of Torrent apps: https://www.foresightlinux.se/the-best-torrent-clients-for-linux/"
My feeling is that if you don't need RSS feeds or to search within an application then Transmission is the way to go. The reviewer does agree to an extent when he states, "The best client is Deluge, Qbittorrent or Transmission." Also he states that he hasn't used KTorrent so he can't comment on that one. It really is all a matter of taste and what you need or want in a torrent client.
37 • OT: frustration with "progress" (by R on 2014-01-18 02:52:54 GMT from United States)
I still can't figure out how to use to their partition-er... and I've had success installing Arch, Debian and even OpenBSD...
38 • Torrent clients, for END USERS, only! (by gregzeng on 2014-01-19 11:58:03 GMT from Australia)
Torrent clients, for END USERS, only!
Too much of Distrowatch is focussed on coders, rather than the mass-audience: End-users.
Some geeks here in Distrowatch have a bad attitude: end-user MUST never touch the GUI. So to use a Linux torrent program, only use bare-bone sub-component apps, rather than a complete torrent package. If you only give the torrent sub-component, such as Ktorrent or Transmission, you are forcing the end-user to abandon Torrent use.
End-users want apps that work in the GUI. IOS, Windows, Android, etc. Could we please agree: death to the CLI, for end-users? And no more user-hostile bare-bone sub-component apps! Or: use qbitTorrent, rather than older software designs.
39 • GUI (basic, advanced, hack) and CLI all have their place (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-01-19 15:07:05 GMT from United States)
A GUI allows focus on the task at hand rather without the distractions of syntax, spelling and byzantine options. The effectiveness gained should never be sacrificed to pedants, but the ideal system provides for differing levels of complexity, right down to assembler patching.
40 • I would love to keep a distro on my laptop for 5 years (by imageek on 2014-01-19 22:25:55 GMT from Mexico)
I would love to keep a distro on my laptop for 5 years, problem is...no distro is compatible!
And that's why I'm a distro hopper! Out of necessity.
I've spent thousands of hours experimenting and configuring searching forums and chatrooms plus re-formatting over the years. Wasted several hundred cd's and dvd's. I'm kinda stuck with this laptop's integrated ATI video card, but I've tried several wireless cards. Seems that I'm asking too much for Linux to support video and wireless.
And it's funny when you go visit those chat rooms or forums asking about how to fix this bug or that...the self appointed subject matter experts claim they don't know about this issue (even though it's been reported in forums going back many years). In one case I even involved the distro's author. No luck.
Number of Comments: 40
|• Issue 676 (2016-08-29): Korora 24, Fedora 25 to use Wayland by default, Linux turns 25, PC-BSD becomes TrueOS, finding software licensing information|
|• Issue 675 (2016-08-22): Gentoo LiveDVD "Choice Edition", moreutils, Ubuntu improves terminal convergence, MATE packaged for Openindiana, FreeBSD improves video support|
|• Issue 674 (2016-08-15): Zenwalk Linux 8.0, Ubuntu phone follow-up, Lubuntu transitioning to LXQt, Steam running on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 673 (2016-08-03): noop linux and EasyNAS, Debian's GnuPG switch, Fedora "Flock", using "nice"|
|• Issue 672 (2016-08-01): Ubuntu Phone 15.04, Solus embraces rolling release model, interview with Jane Silber, FreeBSD Quarterly Report|
|• Issue 671 (2016-07-25): Slackware 14.2, Point Linux 3.2, OpenBSD disables usermount, KaOS releases significant changes, Fedora 22 reaches end of life.|
|• Issue 670 (2016-07-18): Linux Lite 3.0, Bodhi team plans 4.0.0, pfSense changes licensing, running software across distributions, Linux Mint upgrade path|
|• Issue 669 (2016-07-11): Linux Mint 18, proving a system is secure, LibreSSL in FreeBSD, Ubuntu plans phasing out 32-bit, pfSense status report|
|• Issue 668 (2016-07-04): Fedora 24, Linux Mint plans for 18.1, FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD improve their file systems, comparing Flatpak, Snap and AppImage|
|• Issue 667 (2016-06-27): GeckoLinux 421, Fedora supports Flatpak, Solus unveils new features, running GNU/Linux on tablets|
|• Issue 666 (2016-06-20): Comparing more live update methods, Ubuntu's snap packages, Antergos drops 32-bit media, GeckoLinux unveils Rolling edition, learning Linux resources|
|• Issue 665 (2016-06-13): BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen, Fedora 24 delayed, NetBSD grows in size, Clonezilla questions|
|• Issue 664 (2016-06-06): Sabayon 16.05, Debian updates install media, the cost of free software, Qubes explains secure build process|
|• Issue 663 (2016-05-30): Comparing live update methods, Ubuntu MATE's progress, distros debate systemd change, DistroWatch turns 15|
|• Issue 662 (2016-05-23): Clonezilla Live, new Fedora community repository, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland, a live edition of Slackware and kernel components|
|• Issue 661 (2016-05-16): FreeBSD 10.3, OpenMandriva adopts Clang, Debian adds ZFS packages, PCLinuxOS drops 32-bit and comparing CentOS with RHEL|
|• Issue 660 (2016-05-09): Ubuntu MATE 16.04, Mint's xapps, FreeBSD Quarterly Report, Debian updates 32-bit support, addressing GPL violations|
|• Issue 659 (2016-05-02): Ubuntu 16.04, compiling custom kernels, Cinnamon 3.0, Sabayon launches ARM build, Devuan ships Beta release|
|• Issue 658 (2016-04-25): Kali Linux 2016.1, elementary OS 0.3.2, Debian elects Project Leader, Fedora 24 feature preview, Nard reaches 1.0|
|• Issue 657 (2016-04-18): Redox, Linux Mint improves update manager, planned Fedora 24 features, Ubuntu 16.04 getting Snappy packages|
|• Issue 656 (2016-04-11): Qubes OS 3.1, Whonix offers bug bounties, Puppy's family tree, setting up disk partitions and running bash on Windows|
|• Issue 655 (2016-04-04): Parsix 8.5, Sabayon's Community repository, Red Hat offers free subscriptions, Ubuntu tablets, command line tips|
|• Issue 654 (2016-03-28): PCLinuxOS 2016.03, Using signatures to create a web of trust, Arch Linux rolls out Pacman update, GuixSD packages GNOME|
|• Issue 653 (2016-03-21): Antergos 2016.02.21, Debian prepares for election, a Unix-like OS written in Rust, watching Netflix on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 652 (2016-03-14): ReactOS 0.4.0, Debian swaps Iceweasel for Firefox, Fedora moving forward with Wayland, Verifying ISO files|
|• Issue 651 (2016-03-07): Korora 23, Linux Mint improves security, Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3 computers, trying different file systems|
|• Issue 650 (2016-02-29): Haiku in 2016, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, 30 years of MINIX, Fedora plans Atomic Workstation|
|• Issue 649 (2016-02-22): Zorin OS 11, openSUSE launches new editions, Linux Mint website compromised, sandboxing applications using Firejail|
|• Issue 648 (2016-02-15): XStream Desktop 153, Raspbian unveils OpenGL feature, free hardware, Ikey Doherty talks desktop design|
|• Issue 647 (2016-02-08): Tails 2.0, KDE project launches Neon, Manjaro unveils ARM support, FreeBSD's quarterly report|
|• Issue 646 (2016-02-01): deepin 15, Mint plans X-Apps, FreeBSD to support boot environments, logging into the desktop as root|
|• Issue 645 (2016-01-25): Linux Mint 17.3 "Xfce", Chromixium changes its name, Ubuntu tablets coming soon, Linux vs BSD comparision|
|• Issue 644 (2016-01-18): Kwort 4.3, Sabayon tests ARM images, Slackware adopts PulseAudio, running Linux without GNU software|
|• Issue 643 (2016-01-11): Solus 1.0, Mint provide upgrade path to 17.3, Fedora developers work on stability, running the LXQt desktop|
|• Issue 642 (2016-01-04): paldo GNU/Linux, vetting distro repositories, Fedora plans to adopt GCC 6, Ian Murdock passes|
|• Issue 641 (2015-12-21): Arch Linux, Qubes OS to ship on Librem laptops, ALT offers start kit images, the spread of systemd and launchd|
|• Issue 640 (2015-12-14): Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11, removing meta-data from files, Ubuntu to remove on-line dash searches|
|• Issue 639 (2015-12-07): OpenBSD 5.8, openSUSE gathers Summer of Code proposals, running WINE on a live disc, Enlightenment adds Wayland support|
|• Issue 638 (2015-11-30): Qubes OS 3.0, KaOS with Plasma, NetBSD 7.0, Fedora seeks Wayland testers, scheduling tasks|
|• Issue 637 (2015-11-23): NixOS 15.09, Antergos introduces ZFS support, MINIX shares new features, copying an OS to a new computer|
|• Issue 636 (2015-11-16): openSUSE 42.1, Fedora uses Wayland by default, Debian replaces live CD project, Steam consoles launch|
|• Issue 635 (2015-11-09): Fedora 23, Cinnamon 2.8 released, a Fedora KDE packager quits, Red Hat signs deal with Microsoft|
|• Issue 634 (2015-11-02): Ubuntu 15.10, Chakra upgrades to Plasma 5, OpenMandriva plans new editions, MINIX plans conference|
|• Issue 633 (2015-10-26): GhostBSD 10.1, Bodhi Linux to get new settings panel, Fedora 23 delayed, creating live image of existing OS|
|• Issue 632 (2015-10-19): Linux Lite 2.6, 32-bit build of CentOS, OpenBSD turns 20, Bodhi Linux releases AppPack|
|• Issue 631 (2015-10-12): Parsix 8.0, Manjaro seeks new artwork, sending commands to multiple servers, Debian drops LSB support|
|• Issue 630 (2015-10-05): Android-x86 4.4-r3, Ubuntu's new installer, Raspbian defaults to GUI interface, cleaning out dot files|
|• Issue 629 (2015-09-28): Open source desktops and touch interfaces, locking down user accounts, OpenMandriva opens gaming documentation|
|• Issue 628 (2015-09-21): Neptune 4.4, changes to pfSense, Pinguy OS releases updated ISO images, accessing hard disk images|
|• Issue 627 (2015-09-14): Mageia 5, Snappy co-exists with Debian packages, creating PDF/A documents, Antergos previews Poodle|
|• Issue 626 (2015-09-07): Status of Wayland and Mir, Cinnamon improvements, an OpenBSD hypervisor, HAMMER2 gets deduplication|
|• Issue 625 (2015-08-31): OpenELEC 5.0.8, Fedora's new Wayland features, Tails releases update, the LILO boot loader|
|• Issue 624 (2015-08-24): Zorin OS 10, Sabayon's new features, Solus seeks funding, Debian turns 22, new PC-BSD repository|
|• Full list of all issues|
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