| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 553, 7 April 2014
Welcome to this year's 14th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One of the great benefits inherent in open source software is the way distributions can be customized. Users of open source operating systems do not need to bow to the idea of "one size fits all". This means people who want lots of features running on powerful hardware can find a matching operating system. Others, who are using older hardware and require efficiency, can find smaller distributions to suits their needs. This week we focus on a wide range of projects filling many different niches. We start with a review of Puppy Linux, a small, user-friendly distribution that targets lower-end hardware. In our News section this week we talk about openSUSE's new KDE software repositories, Ubuntu's future plans for their One file synchronization service and Slax's quest to find a new default desktop environment. DragonflyBSD, a powerful server operating system, may be going through some exciting changes this year. The project is looking at expanding its virtualization support and there are plans to release a new version of the advanced Hammer file system. We also cover an interview with a Gentoo developer and discuss pop-ups recently seen by Android users on this website. In our Tips and Tricks column this week, guest writer Richard White provides a tutorial for working with GNU Privacy Guard, a useful tool for securing private documents. As usual, we cover the distribution releases of the past week and look ahead to fun new developments to come. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First Impressions of Slacko Puppy 5.7
There were concerns last year when Barry Kauler announced he was retiring from the Puppy Linux project. People wondered how the Puppy project would do without the founder at the distribution's helm. Well, the good news for fans of the Puppy distribution is that there is an active community surrounding Puppy and the project is continuing to put out new releases. The most recent release of the distribution is Slacko Puppy 5.7. Slacko Puppy is an edition of Puppy Linux put together using packages from the Slackware distribution. This means Slacko Puppy is binary compatible with Slackware 14.0 and can use packages built for the Slackware and Salix distributions.
The latest version of Slacko Puppy is available in two 32-bit flavours. One build includes PAE support and the other does not, allowing Puppy to run on older hardware. Both download images are approximately 160MB in size. Booting from the Puppy media brings us to a graphical environment running atop Joe's Window Manager (JWM). An initial configuration screen appears, presenting us with a single, compact collection of options. From this window we can make initial adjustments to our preferred language, set our time zone, enable the distribution's firewall, adjust the resolution of our display and set a hostname. Once we look over the options and dismiss the configuration window, the distribution plays a barking sound, confirming the sound system works. Then a welcome screen appears, explaining where we can find local help files, how we can get on-line and we are offered a link to Puppy's control centre. The distribution's graphical user interface is presented in a traditional manner with an application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. Several icons sit on the desktop, presenting us with short-cuts to Puppy's system installer, a web browser, e-mail client, productivity software and more. Sitting in the system tray we find icons for managing the firewall and network configuration.
Slacko Puppy 5.7 -- Accessing Puppy's documentation
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Puppy can be installed a few different ways and on a variety of storage media. The distribution recommends installing Puppy using what is called the Frugal method. This essentially allows Puppy to be installed on the partition of another operating system and saves the user from the hassle of rearranging their hard drive partitions. Puppy may also be installed in a more traditional manner with the distribution getting a dedicated hard disk partition. I opted to use the latter method and found the Puppy system installer did a nice job of walking me through the steps. The graphical installer provides a short, quick method of getting Puppy onto the local hard disk. We set up partitions using the GParted partition manager, select whether we want a Full (traditional) or Frugal installation. We select the partition we want to use, the installer copies its files and, at the end, we are advised to manually run the GRUB boot loader setup wizard.
I ran into two problems during the install process. The first was that Puppy's installer claimed there was already an installation of the distribution on my hard drive (there was not). I was offered the choice of upgrading the non-existent installation or wiping it and performing a fresh installation. I took the latter option. The first time through the install process I ran the GRUB setup application in its basic mode. Upon rebooting the GRUB menu came up with three options (Puppy, Ubuntu and Windows), though only the first operating system in the list existed on the drive. None of the options would cause Puppy to boot. I launched Puppy from the live media again and re-ran the GRUB setup script in Expert mode. This time, when I rebooted the machine, selecting "Puppy" from the GRUB menu caused my local copy of Puppy to boot properly.
At least Puppy booted properly when I ran it in a virtual machine powered by VirtualBox. When I tried running Puppy on physical hardware the distribution was unable to boot. Puppy operated smoothly in the virtual environment. Programs opened quickly, the desktop was responsive and Puppy managed to get by with less than 100MB of memory. The only problem I had with Puppy when running in a virtual machine was with the mouse pointer. The Puppy mouse pointer did not integrate well with my host operating system's mouse pointer and this sometimes made clicking on buttons (particularly small ones) difficult.
Slacko Puppy 5.7 -- Managing software packages and system settings
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Software management on Puppy is an unusual affair when compared against other Linux distributions. At first things seem similar with Puppy's graphical package manager giving us the ability to browse categories of software and see lists of packages matching our searches. Where Puppy's package management differs from many mainstream distributions is the steps we take once a package has been marked for installation. Puppy will give us the option of resolving dependencies or simply installing software without dependencies (which seems unlikely to be productive). Then we are asked to manually select a repository mirror from a list of servers. Slacko Puppy generally pulls software from Slackware repositories, providing us with a large range of packages. Each package download is then processed one at a time, each package resulting in a new console window opening to display its progress. If we are just downloading one or two packages this approach works well, but if we need twenty packages the steady flood of new console windows popping up prevents us from using the desktop for anything else while packages are downloading. I had mixed results using Puppy's package manager. Most of the time it worked, but I did run into a few instances of package dependencies not downloading or installing with errors. I also found, once new software had been installed, it could be challenging to hunt down the new item in Puppy's very full application menu.
Speaking of applications, Puppy comes with a lot of utilities. In fact, the tiny distribution packs a surprising amount of software into a tiny space. Puppy ships with the Firefox web browser and Sylpheed e-mail client. By default there was no Flash plugin for Firefox, but there is a program in the application menu which downloads and installs Adobe's Flash player. The AbiWord and Gnumeric productivity applications are featured, along with the XChat IRC client. The application menu contains a PDF viewer and a program which converts various document types to PDF files. The GNOME front-end to MPlayer is included and I found Puppy could play all multimedia files I threw at it. The distribution ships with disc burning software, a multimedia file converter, a handful of games, the Transmission bittorrent client and some drawing programs. We are given a calendar app, a calculator and a text editor. There are system administration utilities as well, including a log viewer and programs to display hardware information. There is a program for setting up the distribution's firewall and a task scheduler which appears to be a graphical front-end to the venerable cron daemon. In the background Puppy supplies the Linux kernel, version 3.4.
Slacko Puppy 5.7 -- Various desktop applications
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One topic which tends to come up whenever Puppy is discussed is the project's approach to security, or perhaps its lack of security. The distribution is, by default, effectively a single-user system. When the distribution boots we are automatically logged into the system as the root (administrator) user. As the only user on the system has full control and there is no password to get in the way, Puppy has earned a reputation as either being quite convenient or reckless, depending on one's feelings toward recommended security practices. Personally, while running as the root user all the time makes me uncomfortable (mostly because one false keystroke or mouse click could wipe out a portion of my operating system), I will acknowledge that Puppy appears geared mostly toward being used as a live CD, not as a primary operating system. The distribution appears to be trying very hard to make things as easy for the user as possible. Apart from the lack of passwords or user restrictions, the distribution ships with icons on the desktop for popular end-user applications. These icons are labeled based on a task rather than with an application name. This should make it fairly easy for new users to locate the software they need. It is easier for a new user to find and select "email", "write" or "draw" than to understand the significance of "Thunderbird", "Kate" and "GIMP". Puppy's utilities also come with a lot of built-in documentation. The system installer, for instance, and the initial configuration wizard both give a good deal of on-screen explanation as to what they do and how the user should interact with these tools. I like this approach as it lowers the bar for using Puppy and saves the user from hunting for on-line assistance. In short, while Puppy's approach to user accounts is unusual, it does fit consistently with the project's other characteristics and user-friendly focus.
A few other thoughts stood out in my mind during my time with Slacko Puppy. One is that the organization of the application menu takes some adjustment if we are coming from another Linux distribution. The menu is organized differently and uses different names for categories of software. It is not hard to find most items, but there is a period of adjustment. Everything runs quickly on Puppy, the distribution runs surprisingly fast and most programs open almost instantly. I like Puppy's small memory footprint and I am regularly impressed by the amount of functionality Puppy can squeeze into such a small download image. Many of the default programs which come with Puppy seem to be selected for their small size rather than their popularity or functionality. Luckily, for us, if we need additional software it can usually be found in Puppy's package manager, which pulls from the full range of Slackware packages.
Puppy is an interesting distribution. It contains perhaps the best balance between functionality, friendliness and small size I have seen to date. The distribution appears to be more of a secondary operating system, something I would travel with on a thumb drive in my pocket, rather than a primary operating system that I would install on my desktop. Still, the distribution's small size and friendly nature are impressive and, had I older hardware I wanted to resurrect, Puppy would be on a short list of possible operating systems I would want to use.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
New KDE packages coming to openSUSE, plans for DragonflyBSD's next release, Ubuntu announces the end of their One service, an interview with a Gentoo developer, an interview with Slax's lead developer and reported pop-up ad on DistroWatch
Good news for openSUSE users and fans of the KDE project! The openSUSE distribution will soon have access to multiple KDE software repositories which will help desktop users keep up to date with the latest developments in the KDE community. Raymond Wooninck announced the new options last week, saying: "With the release of KDE 4.12.4 (expected coming Tuesday), the openSUSE KDE:Release:xy Repositories will be consolidated into a single KDE:Current repository, where you can find the current KDE SC Release. We believe that with this step, it would be easier for people to track the current KDE SC release and stay up-to-date without the need to change repositories." The four repository options will include staying with the stable, traditional repositories which come with openSUSE, using a Current repository that is always up to date with the latest KDE releases and there are two testing repositories for people who like to keep on the cutting edge of desktop software development.
* * * * *
DragonflyBSD originally started as a fork of the FreeBSD operating system, but the project has developed some powerful technologies and a community of its own. Justin Sherrill has some ideas for changes and features that he wants to see in the next release of DragonflyBSD and he posted these concepts last week. Some of Sherrill's plans involve improving virtual machine support, an improved package management experience for the user and PAM support. Sherrill also put forward the idea of dropping 32-bit x86 builds of DragonflyBSD in the future. "I think we're on the edge of where it can be dropped. PC-BSD and FreeNAS are both dropping i386, for example. My instinct -- and this can certainly change -- is to say the earliest we'll drop it is for the 4.0 release, which will hopefully also be the first user-testable version of Hammer 2. That's two releases from now at the soonest."
* * * * *
In a move some suspected was a April Fools joke, Canonical announced last week that it is closing down the Ubuntu One storage service. "As of today, it will no longer be possible to purchase storage or music from the Ubuntu One store. The Ubuntu One file services will not be included in the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 LTS release, and the Ubuntu One apps in older versions of Ubuntu and in the Ubuntu, Google, and Apple stores will be updated appropriately. The current services will be unavailable from 1 June 2014; user content will remain available for download until 31 July, at which time it will be deleted." Canonical has promised to release the code running Ubuntu One as open source software which would allow further competition and allow people to run their own One storage services.
* * * * *
Each month the Gentoo project publishes a newsletter in which one of the distribution's developers is interviewed. This week we hear from developer Tom Wijsman as he recounts his first experiences with Linux, what path guided him to work on Gentoo, his dream job and his views on Gentoo's strengths and weaknesses. "What I think Gentoo could use more is more manpower; what made Gentoo powerful is its community, and its community is formed by users who contribute. And to this extent the amount of contributions determine how powerful Gentoo becomes."
* * * * *
Czech website root.cz recently ran an interview with the Slax project's founder, Tomas Matejicek. Matejicek republished the interview, translated into English, on his blog. In the interview he talks about Slax's current development challenges, issues with Slax's default KDE desktop, the search for a new desktop environment and what makes for a good desktop interface. "[An] ideal desktop environment starts within few seconds (I mean two) and gives the user a simple way to run programs and switch between them. That's it, it's nothing special at all."
* * * * *
Last week DistroWatch published an article discussing the possibility of migrating our web host to Ubuntu Server from Debian. This article was intended to be light humour and our way of participating in the tradition of April Fools. The truth is we are quite happy with Debian and plan to stick with the venerable operating system. However, what was not a joke was the pop-up some Android users were seeing upon visiting DistroWatch. This pop-up, which suggested the user's mobile device was infected with a virus, caused some of our readers concern last week. Some people worried our website was infected with malware, others thought it was a misguided attempt by DistroWatch to scam our readership. The truth is the ad appears to have come from one of our ad partners and was only displayed to a handful of Android users visiting this site. We have worked to find the source of the malicious pop-up and are trying to get it removed from the advertising network in question. If you see notifications warning of a virus infection on this website, please close the pop-up and do not follow any links provided.
|Tips and Tricks (by Richard White)
File encryption with GNU Privacy Guard
Encryption ensures that files are stored in an encrypted form whether you are transmitting it over the Internet, backing it up on a server, carrying it on USB or on your laptop. Encrypting your data makes it unreadable to anyone but you or intended recipient, thus preventing unwanted access to it.
GPG (GNU Privacy Guard)
GPG stands for GNU Privacy Guard. It is a key-based encryption method which means that a pair of keys is used to encrypt and decrypt a
message so that it arrives securely. Initially, a user receives a public and a private key pair from a certificate authority. Any other user who wants to send an encrypted message can get the intended recipient's public key from the public directory. They use this key to encrypt the message, and then send it to the recipient. When the recipient gets the message, they decrypt it with their private key,
which no one else should have an access to.
GPG gives you the public key and the private key.
A public key is a key that you share with the public. It can be given to anyone you wish to received encrypted messages from. They would encrypt the message with your public key. They cannot decrypt their own message after they encrypt it. Only you, who hold the private key, can decrypt the message. A private key is your own personal password. Your private key will be used to decrypt messages encrypted in your public key, If you give someone your private key he can decrypt and read all your messages written in your public key.
Using GPG from the terminal
Today most Linux distributions include GPG by default. To find out if this is the case, open up a terminal and type:
$ gpg --version
You should get version number. If so, you don't need to do anything, if not you can install GPG from your distribution's repositories.
To use GPG to encrypt your communications, you need to create a key pair.
Launch your terminal and run the following command to get started:
$ gpg --gen-key
You will be prompted back with the following:
Please select what kind of key you want:
Select number 1, as it can be used for encryption and decryption, the second and third choices are only allowed to sign messages. To do so, press the number 1, and then press Enter.
(1) DSA and Elgamal (default)
(2) DSA (sign only)
(5) RSA (sign only)
You then will be prompted with the following:
1 DSA key-pair will have 1024 bits.
You will want to enter "2048" here, as recommended by GPG.
If you don't want your key to expire (for the next prompt, select 0).
Answer Yes if the information is correct, when prompted, and then enter your real name, your email address, and a comment (which is optional). If everything is correct, press "o" (for OK) and then Enter.
2 ELG-E keys may be between 1024 and 4096 bits long.
3 What key-size do you want? (2048)
After that, you will be asked to enter a pass-phrase. This process will be repeated. As usual, make a strong password which will be difficult to crack. Do not enter a name/address/birth date or word from a dictionary as your password.
After entering your pass-phrase, follow the instructions in the terminal:
We need to generate a lot of random bytes. It is a good idea to perform some other action (type on the keyboard, move the mouse, utilize the disk) during the prime generation; this gives the random number generator a better chance to gain enough entropy.
When you have successfully finished generating your key, you will see a message similar to the following one:
gpg: key 083C39A4 marked as ultimately trusted.
public and secret key created and signed.
Key servers are used to distribute your public key to other key servers so that other users can easily look up your name (or the e-mail address) in the database and find your public key to send encrypted messages to you. This eliminates the process of physically or insecurely giving your friend your public key, and allows others to be able to find you on the on-line database.
Uploading your public key to the key server:
$ gpg --send-keys --keyserver [keyservers.address.com] [yourpublicid]
You should replace keyservers.address.com with key server of your choice (or use mit.edu which syncs it with other servers) also replace yourpublicid with yours.
In the end it would look as follows:
$ gpg --send-keys --keyserver hkp://pgp.mit.edu 083C39A4
To Encrypt a File
If you wish to encrypt a file for your friend with his public key, run the command in the following format:
$ gpg -o encrypted_file.gpg --encrypt -r key-id original.file
-o encrypted_file.gpg = Output to the following filename.
--encrypt = Encrypting a file
-r = Recipient. KEY-ID would be your friends KEY-ID here.
original.file = The file that you will be encrypting.
To Decrypt a File
If someone has sent you a file that has been encrypted with your public key, you can decrypt it with following command:
$ gpg --decrypt filename.gpg
With GPG you can do a symmetric encryption where you encrypt a file with a pass-phrase. This is not a key based encryption. In symmetric cryptography, the same key is used for both encryption and decryption. This approach is simpler in dealing with each message, but it is less secure since the key must be communicated to recipient.
To encrypt a file with a pass-phrase, use:
$ gpg -c filename.txt
To decrypt this type of file, just use:
$ gpg filename.txt
You will be prompted for the pass-phrase and it will decrypt the file.
Clearsign a Document
Clearsigning is very similar to adding your signature to the bottom of a letter or an important document. It signifies that it actually comes from you. By clearsigning, it generates a SHA1 hash of the entire file's contents and adds the SHA1 sum to the bottom of the signature. If the file has been tampered with, the signature verification will fail, which can be used to spot the forgery.
If the user edits the file after it has been signed, the verification of the signature will also fail, because the SHA1 sum will not match the one of the actual content.
To clearsign a document or file, run the following:
$ gpg --clearsign filename.txt
Generating Revocation Key
A revocation key is used to revoke your public key if your private key has been compromised in any way, or you suspect that it may be compromised. To create a revocation key, run the command:
$ gpg --output revoke.asc --gen-revoke keyid
Keep the revocation key in a safe place, anyone who gets a hold of it can use it to disable your key. (You could use symmetric encryption on your revocation file.)
Tips for using GPG from terminal
To list the Keys you have imported into GPG, you can issue the following command:
$ gpg --list-keys
A list of the keys registered with your e-mail should appear (and since there should be only one, it will only list your key.) Then, you can obtain your KEY-ID and run the command above in order to submit it to the key servers.
To display the private or public keys on your key ring
$ gpg --list-public-keys # will list public keys
$ gpg --list-secret-keys # will lists private keys
$ gpg --import KEYFILE
Keyfile would be the filename of the public key in your home folder. (If it is not in your home folder, use the cd command to go to the proper directory first, and then run the above command.)
Exporting your Public Key
To export your public key in the ASCII Armored fashion, run the following command:
$ gpg --export -a > publickey.asc
* * * * *
About Richard White
Richard is technology enthusiast, on more than one occasion he was called a geek, he is also the author of three books, his most recent, Privacy in Digital Era is forthcoming in hardcover in May 2014. He is also the head editor and the driving force behind Digital Era website. The purpose of Digital Era is to present and give resources and tools to achieve and maintain anonymity, security and privacy. Richard regularly writes about privacy related issues and is hard at work on The Art of CLI, a collection of command line, open-source software. For more information on GNU Privacy Guard works and how to use graphical front-ends to the GPG software, you can find further reading on White's Digital Era website.
|Released Last Week
Michael Prokop has announced the release of Grml 2014.03, a Debian-based live CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software designed for system administrators and suited for administrative tasks including system rescue: "We just released Grml 2014.03 - Ponywagon. This Grml release provides fresh software packages from Debian testing (a.k.a. jessie). As usual it also incorporates up2date hardware support and fixes known bugs from the previous Grml release. New features: new boot option vlan; grml-debootstrap. Important Changes: forensic mode - the readonly boot option was renamed to read-only (caused by change in upstream's live-boot). Bits and bolts: Linux kernel is based on 3.13.6...." See the release announcement and release notes for further information and various links.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0.1
Rubén Rodríguez Pérez has announced Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0.1, an upgrade release of the Ubuntu-based distribution that uses strictly free software only (as defined by Free Software Foundation's guidelines): "This is an incremental upgrade release which includes all of the maintenance updates and bugfixes since the publication of Trisquel 6.0. Users that already have 6.0 installed don't need to reinstall. Just use the update manager or apt-get dist-upgrade. The 6.0.1 release comes with several new features and updates: Support for UEFI installation (amd64); Abrowser upgraded to v28, with improved Facebook integration; Linux-libre updated to 3.2.0-60, 3.5 and 3.11 branches available in the repositories; Added open-ath9k-htc firmware to the images; Added all free firmware files to the netinstall images so they can be used over wifi. Trisquel can now be installed on UEFI based computers by disabling the security system in the BIOS setup. We do not sign our kernels or boot managers as that would require us to request permission from Microsoft, something that shouldn't be needed in any case." Here is the release announcement.
Clonezilla Live 2.2.2-32
Steven Shiau has announced a new stable release of Clonezilla Live, a Debian-based live CD designed primarily for partition and disk imaging/cloning tasks: "This release of Clonezilla live (2.2.2-32) includes major enhancements and bug fixes. The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded; this release is based on the Debian Sid repository (as of 2014/Mar/31). Linux kernel was updated to 3.13.7-1. Partclone was updated to 0.2.70; an issue about restoring image file to raw format has been fixed; thanks to quaid for reporting this issue. Syslinux was updated to 6.03-pre9. Package drbl was updated to 2.8.6-drbl1, and clonezilla was updated to 3.9.49-drbl1. Two options were added to makeboot.sh: -L and -U; patch provided by Ceasar Sun. A boot parameter 'ocs_prompt_mode' was added so some of the prompt could be shown in TUI or CMD mode." See the entire release announcement for a full changelog.
John Martinson has announced the release of Robolinux 7.4.2, a user-friendly, Debian-based distribution featuring integrated virtualisation software (for running another operating system in an application window as a "guest"). From the distribution's download page on SourceForge: "What's new in Robolinux version 7.4.2? First, we updated our Robolinux Debian based operating system. Second, we are also announcing two new software programs: Robolinux Stealth VM Software for Linux Mint and Ubuntu operating systems! Since Robolinux invented 'Revolutionary Stealth VM' inside our Debian operating system we decided to create specific versions that work on all Linux operating systems so now anyone can run Windows XP or 7 inside Linux Mint or Ubuntu virus free! Please note the Robolinux Stealth VM for openSUSE and all RPM based operating systems will be available in April, 2014...." Check Robolinux web site as well as the project site for further information.
Jim Thompson has announced the release of pfSense 2.1.1, a free network firewall distribution based on FreeBSD with a customized kernel and third party free software packages for additional functionality: "I'm happy to announce the release of pfSense 2.1.1. The largest change is to close the following security issues / CVEs: FreeBSD-SA-14:01.bsnmpd / CVE-2014-1452; FreeBSD-SA-14:02.ntpd / CVE-2013-5211; FreeBSD-SA-14:03.openssl / CVE-2013-4353, CVE-2013-6449, CVE-2013-6450. Other than these, the em/igb/ixgb/ixgbe drivers have been upgraded to add support for i210 and i354 NICs. Some Intel 10Gb Ethernet NICs will also see improved performance." Follow the release announcement and the detailed release notes for further information.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Wh1t3 C4t. Wh1t3 C4t is a Linux-based desktop operating system which offers GNOME and KDE desktop environments.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 14 April 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)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Mythbuntu was an Ubuntu-based distribution and live CD focused upon setting up a standalone MythTV system similar to KnoppMyth or Mythdora. It can be used to install a standalone frontend, backend, or combination machines. Mythbuntu uses Xfce as its default desktop and provides a graphical Control Centre to configure the system.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Tips and tricks: More utilities via moreutils|
|Tips and tricks: The Firejail security sandbox|
|Questions and answers: Compiling a custom kernel for performance gains|
|Tips and tricks: Ubuntu's Snappy package manager|
|Tips and tricks: Check free disk space, wait for a process, command line spell-check, shutdown PC when CPU gets hot|
|Questions and answers: The future of OpenSolaris|
|Questions and answers: Making a custom distribution|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Tips and tricks: Waking up your computer remotely|
|Questions and answers: Keeping laptops cool with cpufreqd|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|