| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 557, 5 May 2014
Welcome to this year's 18th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! While a great deal of what makes an operating system capable (even desirable) is in its technical design, part of what makes desktop systems appealing is how they look and how they behave. People want their graphical interfaces to be attractive, to behave in a predictable manner and to respond quickly. Exactly what form the desktop interface should take is a matter of hot debate. Canonical knows this and, as we discuss in our News section this week, Canonical is looking to unify the user experience across many different devices. The Fedora project also recognizes the importance of appearance and the Fedora Workstation group is trying to add polish to the Fedora desktop experience. We talk more about the Fedora Workstation project in our News section below. Also in the news last week, the OpenBSD team launched OpenBSD 5.5 and the new release tackles some interesting technical issues. A few weeks ago we asked readers which community edition of Ubuntu we should review and the response was overwhelmingly in favour of Xubuntu. As a result, our feature this week shares initial impressions of the latest Xubuntu release. Read on to find out how Xubuntu compares to Ubuntu. Plus, stick around for this week's Questions and Answers column in which we talk about approaches to setting up the ownCloud file synchronization service. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the April 2014 DistroWatch.com donation is the TrueCrypt project. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Introduction to Xubuntu 14.04
The Xubuntu distribution is a project which combines the Ubuntu software repositories with the Xfce desktop environment. The project's latest release is version 14.04 and features three years of security updates. This new offering from the Xubuntu project features mostly minor updates to the Xfce environment, including improved menu editing. According the project's website, "Xubuntu has enough applications pre-installed for you to deal with daily tasks without having to install additional software. Applications that are pre-installed include a web browser, a mail client, word processor, spreadsheet editor, applications to handle your media like music, videos and photos as well as many useful tools." Xubuntu 14.04 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. The download image for the latest version is approximately 900 MB in size.
Booting from the Xubuntu media brings us to a graphical screen where we are asked whether we would like to try the distribution's live desktop environment or launch the project's system installer. From this screen we can also choose to view the project's release notes and select our preferred language. Xubuntu uses the same graphical system installer Ubuntu uses. We are first asked if we would like to download available software updates and whether the distribution should include third-party multimedia support. The first time I ran the installer I requested both updates and media support and found the installer locked up. I was able to stop the system installer's process and begin the installation over again.
The second time I ran the installer I opted to include multimedia support without also downloading security updates and the installer proceeded to the next step. Next we are asked how we would like to partition our hard drive. We have the option of letting Xubuntu take over the entire disk, just use available free space or we can manually divide up the disk. I found that going with the manual partitioning option allowed me to work with several file systems, including ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS and XFS. The partitioning screen is pretty slick and I think most people will find it easy to use. From there the installer asks us to confirm our time zone and our keyboard's layout. The final screen of the installer asks us to create a user account and make up a password for this account. Encrypting our account's data is supported. Once the installer finishes the system reboots and we are brought to a graphical login screen.
Xubuntu 14.04 - browsing the project's website
(full image size: 218kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Logging into our freshly created Xubuntu account brings us to the Xfce desktop. Xubuntu ships with Xfce 4.11 and features a default theme of dark and mild blues. The application menu sits at the top of the screen next to the task switcher and system tray. The application menu is laid out in a two-pane style with favourite applications listed down the left side and a menu tree featuring software categories on the right side. Xfce does a nice job of balancing features, appearance and performance. The desktop responds quickly, looks good and does not feature distracting pop-ups or visual effects.
Shortly after installing Xubuntu I decided to go hunting for software updates. A quick look through the Xfce application menu did not reveal any update manager. After further looking around I found the Software Updater in the Xfce Settings Manager panel, a central configuration point for the distribution's desktop environment and underlying operating system. A week after Xubuntu was released there were just a few software updates available, totaling approximately 14MB in size. The Software Updater correctly displayed these updates, downloaded and installed them without any problems. For adding or removing software packages Xubuntu provides the Ubuntu Software Centre. This graphical application presents us with a friendly interface where we can browse through categories of applications, click on packages to get more detailed information (including screen shots and user reviews) and packages can be installed with a click. While packages are installing or being removed in the background we can continue to browse the software repositories. I found Software Centre worked well for me and it presents a nice interface that is easy to navigate.
Xubuntu 14.04 - Software Centre and application menu
(full image size: 306kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Xubuntu comes with many useful desktop applications. By default we are provided with the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird email client and the Transmission BitTorrent client. We are also given the XChat IRC client software, the Pidgin instant messaging application, a document viewer, the AbiWord word processor and the Gnumeric spreadsheet software. We are given the Parole media player, the gmusicbrowser audio player and the Xfburn optical disc burning software. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is featured in the application menu along with an image viewer, a task manager and a few small games. Network Manager runs in the background to help us get on-line. Xubuntu ships with an archive manager, virtual calculator, an on-screen keyboard and a text editor. For developers, Xubuntu provides the GNU Compiler Collection. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.13.
During my time with Xubuntu I found most of the software included in the distribution worked well. The one exception I found was the Parole media player which would display an error saying it could not "initialize Xv output" whenever I attempted to play a video. I installed another video player from the project's repositories and found the alternative player handed my videos well.
Xubuntu 14.04 - running various desktop applications
(full image size: 228kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
When I reviewed Ubuntu last week I mentioned the Ubuntu distribution displayed at a very low resolution when running in an older build of VirtualBox. I tried running Xubuntu in two versions of VirtualBox (versions 4.2 and 4.3). In the older version of VirtualBox I found Xubuntu would not display resolutions higher than 640x480 pixels. When running in the newer build of VirtualBox the distribution was able to use my display's maximum resolution. When running on physical hardware or within VirtualBox, I found Xubuntu performed very well. The Xfce environment was stable and responsive. Sound worked out of the box, I was connected to the Internet automatically and, on physically hardware, my screen was automatically set to its maximum resolution. The distribution, when logged into Xfce, used approximately 195MB of memory. The RAM usage of Xubuntu is a little higher than I would usually expect from a Linux distribution running the Xfce desktop, but still lighter than I typically see with distributions running KDE or GNOME.
After playing around with Xubuntu for a week I feel that it is a pretty solid operating system. There were a few minor issues during my time with the distribution. The system installer locked up when I attempted to download security updates and the Parole media player was not able to play my video files. However, those concerns aside, I feel Xubuntu is a polished operating system. The distribution's Xfce desktop is fairly light and very responsive. The interface is quiet and clean and the default applications are all very useful. I personally might have selected some more mainstream desktop applications, but I suspect the Xubuntu team was concerned with finding a balance between size and familiarity. Xubuntu does a nice job of bridging performance and features, simplicity and modern feel. The distribution was stable during my time with it and I encountered no serious problems. A lot of people wanted me to review this distribution (I received around 50 e-mails requesting this review) and I can see why, Xubuntu is one of the more polished Xfce-centric distributions I have used. It features convenient tools such as the Ubuntu Software Centre and the easy-to-navigate Settings Manager, all the while maintaining a clean, fast user experience. People who want the modern features of the latest Ubuntu release coupled with a lighter or more traditional desktop should feel right at home with Xubuntu.
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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 and Ladislav Bodnar)
Ubuntu's 14.10 roadmap, Fedora's Workstation project, OpenBSD 5.5 features, OpenMandriva review
Following the release of Ubuntu 14.04, the development teams at Canonical are looking ahead to future versions of the popular Linux-based operating system. Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu's founder, took to his blog last week to share some thoughts as to what features we might see in Ubuntu 14.10. Shuttleworth's blog post makes mention of an increased focus on Linux containers (LXC), Python upgrades and systemd. Shuttleworth also took the time to wax poetic about open source software. "We have the foundations of convergence so beautifully demonstrated by our core apps teams -- with examples that shine on phone and tablet and PC. And we have equally interesting innovation landed in the foundational LXC 1.0, the fastest, lightest virtual machines on the planet, born and raised on Ubuntu. With an LTS hot off the press, now is the time to refresh the foundations of the next generation of Linux: faster, smaller, better scaled and better maintained."
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The Fedora Workstation project is an effort to use the building blocks of the Fedora distribution to "Create a reliable, user-friendly and powerful operating system for laptops and PC hardware. The system will primarily be aimed at providing a platform for development of server side and client applications that is attractive to a range of developers." One of the project's members, Christian Schaller, blogged recently about what the Workstation project is and what it hopes to achieve. He points out that, historically, projects such as Fedora and Debian have had "a `more the merrier' attitude" which has brought about a state where, "A metaphor often used in the Fedora community to describe this state was that Fedora was like a collection of Lego blocks. So if you had the time and the interest you could build almost anything with it. The problem with this state was that the products you built also ended up feeling like the creations you make with a random box of Lego blocks."
The Workstation group wants to create a more focused desktop experience for developers. "We are switching to a model where although we start with that big box of Lego blocks we add some engineering capacity on top of it, make some clear and hard decisions on direction, and actually start creating something that looks and feels like it was made to be a whole instead of just assembled from a random set of pieces. So when we are planning the Fedora Workstation we are not just looking at what features we can develop for individual libraries or applications like GTK+, Firefox or LibreOffice, but we are looking at what we want the system as a whole to look like." Following his blog post Schaller took part in a Bad Voltage podcast in which he answers questions about the Fedora Workstation project.
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One of the more interesting releases of the past week was the launch of OpenBSD 5.5. Along with the usual collection of improved hardware drivers and supported architectures, the latest version of OpenBSD features at least three important improvements. One is 64-bit time. Most 32-bit POSIX systems use a 32-bit variable to represent time. A variable of this size will not work beyond the year 2038 and the OpenBSD project has made efforts to insure that OpenBSD is 2038-ready. This also means the software in the OpenBSD ports collection has also been patched to support dates beyond 2038. This release of OpenBSD also features package signing and the pkg_add package manager only trusts signed packages by default. Further, the new release of OpenBSD supports automated installations. This release of OpenBSD shipped with a few known bugs and patches for these issues can be found on the project's errata page.
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Besides OpenBSD, the other big release of the week was by the OpenMandriva Lx project which announced its second-ever stable release, version 2014.0. Although OpenMandriva Lx is a relatively new distribution, its roots actually date back to 1998 when Gaël Duval released the first version of Mandrake Linux, a KDE-centric, desktop-oriented distribution then based on Red Hat Linux. Although Gaël Duval is no longer with any of the child projects that descended from his original work, he still takes interest in what's happening in Linux distributions today. Last week he published a rather positive review of OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0 on his personal blog: "My feeling is that OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0 seems to be quite solid and finished. It's a level of quality that can only be achieved when experienced developers and contributors are really engaged in a project. Most hardware devices are supported and configured by default. Certainly a very good root for the next release. Congrats to the OpenMandriva team for this release!"
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Using ownCloud at home without dedicated hardware
Creating-a-cloud asks: I read your comment in DistroWatch regarding ownCloud. Are you saying ownCloud (server) can be installed on my main desktop computer (to be left running) and the client packages on my laptops? Or would it need a dedicated server?
DistroWatch answers: The ownCloud server software can be run on just about any computer, including a machine that is already being used as your primary desktop computer. The ownCloud service requires very little in the way of resources and can function quite well with a few hundred megabytes of available RAM. So long as your desktop computer has a static IP address so that other machines on the network can find it, you should be able to simply install ownCloud and begin using it. Some distributions even package the ownCloud server software for you, so getting started is as simple as installing the package and pointing your web browser to your local machine.
People who are concerned about security with regards to running a web service directly on their main desktop computer may prefer to install and run the ownCloud service in a virtual machine. The virtual machine will provide a layer of security between your ownCloud service and the rest of your files. Plus, if you decide to discard ownCloud or move the service to another computer later, a virtual machine will make the migration easier. Perhaps the easiest way to experiment with ownCloud is to grab a copy of the ownCloud Turnkey appliance and install it in a virtual machine. This will give a good idea of how the software works and what resources it needs.
|Released Last Week
Zenwalk Linux 7.4 "Live"
Sebastian Reisse has announced the release of the "Live" edition of Zenwalk Linux 7.4 (also known as "Zenlive", based on Slackware Linux): "I uploaded the final version of Zenwalk Live 7.4 which has updated OpenSSL packages to fix the Heartbleed issue and some other small fixes. This is the first Zenwalk Live version that is NOT using an Aufs-enabled kernel but instead running Unionfs in userspace via FUSE on an unmodified Slackware generic kernel. It will also be probably the last Zenwalk Live version supporting 32-bit systems and it's going to be very likely the last Zenwalk Live edition that I contribute to the Zenwalk project. Same as in Zenwalk Live 7.2 I decided to feature PAE for supporting more than 4 GB RAM on 32-bit systems, but as a downside Zenwalk Live will not run on Pentium M (which lacks PAE support)." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
After nearly five years of development, Tails, a Debian-based distribution known for its strong privacy features and pre-configured for anonymous web browsing, has reached version 1.0: "Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 1.0, is out. Version 1.0 is often an important milestone that denotes the maturity of a free software project. The first public version of what would become Tails was released on June 23 2009, when it was called Amnesia. That was almost five years ago. Tails 1.0 marks the 36th stable release since then. Since then we have been working on the many features we think are essential both in terms of security and usability: USB installer; automatic upgrades; persistence; support for Tor bridges and other special Tor configuration; MAC address spoofing; extensive and translated documentation." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full changelog and a note on future plans.
Eelco Dolstra has announced the release of NixOS 14.04, a new stable build of a distribution that uses a custom package manager, deploys a unique file system layout, and offers many innovative features: "NixOS 14.04 'Baboon' has been released. It is the second stable release branch. In addition to numerous new and upgraded packages and modules, this release has the following highlights: installation on UEFI systems is now supported; systemd has been updated to version 212, which has numerous improvements; NixOS is now based on glibc 2.19 and GCC 4.8; the default Linux kernel has been updated to 3.12; KDE has been updated to 4.12; Nix has been updated to 1.7; NixOS now supports fully declarative management of users and groups...." Read the brief release announcement on the project's home page, with detailed release notes available as part of the manual.
OpenBSD 5.5, the latest version of the free, multi-platform UNIX-like operating system with focus on proactive security and integrated cryptography, has been released: "This is a partial list of new features and systems included in OpenBSD 5.5: time_t is now 64 bits on all platforms; from OpenBSD 5.5 onwards, OpenBSD is year 2038-ready and will run well beyond Tue Jan 19 03:14:07 2038 UTC; the entire source tree (kernel, libraries, and userland programs) has been carefully and comprehensively audited to support 64-bit time_t... Some highlights: GNOME 3.10.2 KDE 3.5.10 and 4.11.5, Xfce 4.10, MySQL 5.1.73 and PostgreSQL 9.3.2, Postfix 2.11.0, OpenLDAP 2.3.43 and 2.4.38, Mozilla Firefox 24.3 and 26.0, LibreOffice 188.8.131.52, PHP 5.3.28 and 5.4.24, Python 2.7.6 and 3.3.2, Chromium 32.0.1700.102, GCC 4.6.4 and 4.8.2...." See the OpenBSD 5.5 release page for a long list of changes and improvements.
OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0
Kate Lebedeff has announced the availability of OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0, the latest stable release of a distribution that features a highly customised and intuitive KDE desktop: "All of us in the OpenMandriva community are pleased to announce the release of OpenMandriva Lx 2014.0 'Phosphorus'." What's new in this version? "Functional UEFI support; easy and intuitive install process; a powerful variant of the 3.13.11 kernel that has been configured with desktop system performance and responsiveness in mind; a new welcome application which allows quick and easy set up of the newly installed system; LibreOffice 4.2.3; updated X.Org Server 1.15.1 and Mesa 10.1.0; new themes for the desktop, GRUB, Plymouth, KSplash and KDE; KDE 4.12.4 with a new menu launcher...." Read the release announcement and release notes for a complete list of new features.
OpenMandriva 2014.0 - the default KDE desktop
(full image size: 234kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Arjen Balfoort has announced the release of SolydXK 201405, un updated version of the project's set of Debian-based Linux distributions with a choice of Xfce (SolydX) or KDE (SolydK) desktops: "You no longer need to enable legacy BIOS on your laptop - the new ISO images now support EFI. You still need to disable Secure Boot, though. As a result, the multi DVD will no longer be available. Currently, we're working on an easy way to create a multi-boot pen drive yourself. These are some of the changes: the home editions include the latest Update Pack (201404); KDE has been updated to 4.12.4; Linux kernel updated to 3.13; Firefox has been updated to 29.0 and Thunderbird to 24.5; LibreOffice has been updated to 4.1.5; the SolydXK Plymouth theme has been changed, and the Plymouth Manager has been adapted accordingly." Read the full release announcement for additional details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
April 2014 DistroWatch.com donation: TrueCrypt|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the April 2014 DistroWatch.com donation is TrueCrypt, an open-source encryption utility. The project receives US$300.00 in cash.
In this age of unprecedented snooping and privacy-encroaching efforts by governments, companies and unscrupulous individuals, it is more important than ever to protect our data from spying eyes. One of the most popular methods for doing this is data encryption. TrueCrypt is an popular open-source, cross-platform tool designed for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). Some of its more interesting features include: "Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk; encrypts an entire partition or storage device such as USB Flash drive or hard drive; encrypts a partition or drive where Windows is installed (pre-boot authentication); encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent; parallelization and pipelining allow data to be read and written as fast as if the drive was not encrypted; encryption can be hardware-accelerated on modern processors; provides plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password." Visit the project's website for more information and extensive documentation.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and Bitcoins are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$39,435 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300)
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New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- TriOS. TriOS is a Debian-based, Serbian distribution available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The project's website is in Serbian.
- StratOS. StratOS is an Ubuntu-based desktop operating system featuring the GNOME Shell interface.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 12 May 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 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Issue 687 (2016-11-14): NAS4Free 10.3.0.3, Fedora gains MP3 playback, budgie-remix becomes Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu flavours compared, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 686 (2016-11-07): FreeBSD 11.0, rolling release trial #2, Debian announces supported architectures, Simplicity switching to antiX base, farewell to Mythbuntu|
|• Issue 685 (2016-10-31): elementary OS 0.4, SUSE gains ARM support, Mint improves language support, Dirty COW explained, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Issue 682 (2016-10-10): KDE neon 20160915, Android-x86 6.0, Fedora warns of update bug, HandyLinux drops English translation, LXQt benchmarks|
|• Issue 681 (2016-10-03): OpenBSD 6.0, DragonFly BSD to support LibreSSL in ports, systemd denial of service bug, upgraded Mintbox Mini|
|• Issue 680 (2016-09-26): Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0, blocking applications at the firewall, Lenovo controversy, Ubuntu running on the Nextcloud Box|
|• Issue 679 (2016-09-19): OpenMandriva 3.0, 32-bit vs 64-bit performance, openSUSE updates, KaOS unveils first run wizard|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Linux From Scratch
Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with the steps necessary to build your own custom Linux system. There are a lot of reasons why somebody would want to install an LFS system. The question most people raise is "why go through all the hassle of manually installing a Linux system from scratch when you can just download an existing distribution like Debian or Redhat". That is a valid question which I hope to answer for you. The most important reason for LFS's existence is teaching people how a Linux system works internally. Building an LFS system teaches you about all that makes Linux tick, how things work together, and depend on each other. And most importantly, how to customize it to your own taste and needs.