| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 561, 2 June 2014
Welcome to this year's 22nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! When it comes to discovering and experiencing Linux distributions we all need to start somewhere. At one point or another we were all beginners and, with that in mind, this week we focus on projects and documentation which are geared toward beginners. We start with a review of the OpenMandriva distribution, a project focused on making computing easy and friendly. In our Tips and Tricks column we cover some common newcomer questions concerning malware, anti-virus software and security. Plus we share the latest news about the TrueCrypt privacy software. In the News section this week we talk about improvements to the lightweight LXQt desktop environment, advances in Debian's GNU/Hurd port and a new terminal emulator which unites text consoles with graphical user interfaces. We also share a beginner's guide to developing Linux kernel modules. Plus we share the distribution releases of the past week and look ahead to exciting new developments to come. We wish you all a marvellous week and happy reading!
- Review: Initial impressions of OpenMandriva 2014.0
- News: Debian's GNU/Hurd improvements, Lubuntu's new LXQt features, new terminal emulator for Fedora, introduction to kernel hacking, TrueCrypt's status
- Tips and tricks: Linux, anti-virus software, encryption and firewalls
- Released last week: Linux Mint 17, Kali Linux 1.0.7, Linux Lite 2.0
- Upcoming releases: Mageia 5 Alpha 1
- New distributions: emmbux, linuxBean, Vectorinpup
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Initial impressions of OpenMandriva 2014.0
The OpenMandriva project is a member of the Mandriva family of distributions, a family which includes such projects as ROSA and Mageia. Recently, the OpenMandriva team launched their second release, version 2014.0. Looking through the release announcement we find a few highlights, including the availability of KDE 4.12, LibreOffice 4.2 and the adoption of systemd as the default init technology. The release notes contain further information. OpenMandriva 2014.0 features UEFI support and is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. At the time of writing there is no support for alternative hardware architectures. This version of OpenMandriva makes the switch from MySQL to MariaDB and the release notes point out parental controls are no longer available in this version. OpenMandriva is available in just one edition and the download image for this edition is 1.5 GB in size.
Booting from the OpenMandriva media we are presented with a menu which allows us to either launch a live desktop or start the project's system installer. Assuming we take the live desktop option we are then presented with a series of graphical configuration screens. We are asked to select our language from a list, confirm our time zone and select our keyboard layout. Optionally we can choose to enable some background services, including Samba shares, CUPS printing and secure shell. From there we are brought to the KDE 4.12 desktop. The desktop is presented with bright colours and some basic visual effects are enabled.
The OpenMandriva system installer is a graphical application that does not appear to have changed much since the project's last release. The primary focus of the installer is getting the hard drive partitioned. We can choose to let the installer take over all free space on our drive or we can manually divide up our disk. The installer's partition manager supports a wide range of file systems, including ext3, ext4, JFS, XFS, ReiserFS and Btrfs. We can further enable RAID and LVM volumes. I like the layout of the partition manager. It does a nice job of covering the basics without making things complicated. For people who need more features, like resizing existing partitions, there is an Advanced button which enables additional options. The first time I ran the partition manager I ran into an odd error where I was told not enough space was available for my desired layout. The error shown warned me "1.1GB is available, but 0B needed". I went back a step, deleted my partitions and created them again the same way. The second time through the system installer accepted my drive layout and began copying files to my hard drive. Once the necessary files are copied to the local drive we are asked where the GRUB2 boot loader should be installed. Once the boot loader is in place the system reboots.
OpenMandriva 2014.0 - the Welcome screen and configuration portal
(full image size: 470kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The first time we boot into OpenMandriva we are asked to complete a few more configuration steps. We can optionally remove unused hardware support and localization files. We are then asked to set a password on the administrator account. Clicking the "Advanced" button on the password screen further allows us to enable a guest account on the system. The following screen asks us to create a regular user account. From there we are asked which services (CUPS, Samba or OpenSSH) we would like to enable. After that we are brought to a graphical login screen.
The first time we login to OpenMandriva a welcome screen greets us. This welcome screen contains several tabs. The first tab provides a brief introduction to the distribution. Another tab lists key features of the OpenMandriva operating system. Another page contains links to configuration modules, letting us manage printers, software repositories, themes and security updates. Another tab lists popular applications that are available in the distribution's repositories and, with a click, we can install these items. Yet another tab includes links to the distribution's forums, bug tracker, the OpenMandriva IRC channel and other helpful resources. This welcome screen, which acts as a portal to so many key parts of the distribution, is beautifully presented and I suspect it will be very helpful to new users. Given how easy the welcome screen is to navigate I was happy to find that, once the welcome screen was dismissed, there was an icon on the desktop to bring it back, should we wish to further browse configuration modules or popular software packages.
One of the modules I opened from the welcome screen was the distribution's software update manager. This utility brings up a window where a list of available updates is shown. The day I installed OpenMandriva there were 75 packages (totalling 80MB in size) waiting to be downloaded. These packages all downloaded and applied without difficulty. The software updater which comes with OpenMandriva tends to err on the side of caution, warning us if it needs to acquire additional software to complete an update and letting us know if unnecessary packages remain on the system.
My first impression of OpenMandriva's KDE desktop was quite positive. KDE is presented in the traditional manner with an application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. Icons for accessing the welcome screen and the project's website sit on the desktop. The application menu opens up into a full-screen view that is divided into four tabs. The first tab is the Home tab where commonly accessed programs and documents are represented by large icons. The second tab contains a list of desktop applications stored on the system. We can filter these programs based on their software category using a series of buttons on the left side of the screen. The third tab lists files and folders in our home directory. The final tab displays logout and shutdown options. One thing I enjoyed about the OpenMandriva menu was that it was easy to add and remove items from the Home screen. Right-clicking on an item gives us the option of placing it on the Home screen. Likewise, right-clicking on an item on the Home screen gives us the option of removing it. It may be a small detail, but the feature makes it easy to customize our menu and can greatly speed up navigation.
The application menu also features a search bar where we can search for items. I found the search function worked well in some instances, but not in others. For example, searching for the words "text" or "edit" failed to present me with a text editor, but the word "write" brought up the KWrite editor. On the other hand, searching for "burn" brought up the k3b disc burning application. So it seems the search feature can find some items based on a vague description, but not all. Overall, my first impressions of KDE on OpenMandriva were good. The colours were bright and items clearly labelled. I like that OpenMandriva has not surrendered to the "flat" style themes gaining popularity in some circles, buttons are generally clear to see and widgets are pleasing to my eye.
OpenMandriva 2014.0 - the distribution's application menu
(full image size: 224kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The distribution comes with a collection of useful software, most of which is part of the KDE/Qt family of software. We are given the Firefox web browser, the KMail e-mail client, the Konversation and Kopete messaging clients and the KTorrent bittorrent software. The OpenMandriva Network Centre is available to help us get on-line and the KPPP dial-up software is present for people requiring dial-up networking. LibreOffice is installed for us along with the KOrganizer calendar software. The Okular document viewer is present as is the Kamoso webcam utility. OpenMandriva ships with the Amarok music player, the Amazon music downloader and the Plasma Media Centre software. The VLC multimedia player is installed too. I found OpenMandriva was able to play all media formats I tried during my trial. No Flash plugin was available by default, but Adobe's Flash player is present in the distribution's software repositories. The distribution provides an archive manager, virtual calculator and text editor. The Kleopatra certificate and encryption software is present too. Two configuration panels are present, the KDE System Settings portal helps us adjust the look & feel of the desktop while the Control Centre lets us configure the underlying operating system. In the background OpenMandriva runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.13.
The most impressive aspect of OpenMandriva is probably the distribution's Control Centre. This application provides a central location for the configuration of the entire operating system. The Control Centre is nicely divided into clearly defined sections. One section contains modules for configuring software repositories, installing security updates and managing software packages. Another screen contains modules for viewing and configuring our hardware. A third page allows us to configure our network connection, enable Internet sharing and define host names. Another screen contains modules for working with NFS and Samba shares. Using the Control Centre we can also manage disk partitions, configure the firewall and enable/disable system services.
OpenMandriva 2014.0 - Control Centre and System Settings panels
(full image size: 366kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Most of the Control Centre modules worked well for me. I found each module worked quickly and was presented in a way which I feel will be easy for novice Linux users to navigate. The one module which did not work properly for me was the Backup utility. When I attempted to make a backup of the home directories on my system the backup utility failed silently. When I attempted to view the module's log files to locate the source of the problem I was told I would need to install the syslog daemon to access the log files. I granted the system permission to install this daemon. The installation process failed without providing a reason for the failure. The end result was backups did not work for me and, using the graphical tools, there wasn't any way to discover why the backup did not work. On the positive side of things, I found a module in the KDE System Settings panel which makes working with systemd very easy. The System Settings utility lets us manage system services and other features of systemd with a nice, simple graphical interface.
When I installed OpenMandriva I opted to run the distribution on the Btrfs advanced file system. I found the distribution came with the Btrfs command-line utilities installed, allowing administrators to check the file system's status and perform snapshots. While OpenMandriva does not appear to come with a graphical utility for working with Btrfs, I feel the distribution has made a good first step toward working with the advanced file system. Another feature of the distribution I appreciated was that when I tried to run a command-line program that was not yet present on the operating system, OpenMandriva would offer to install the program for me. This might eventually become annoying if one makes a lot of typos, but I found it to be a useful feature.
OpenMandriva 2014.0 - software and system service management
(full image size: 298kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
I tried running OpenMandriva in two environments, a desktop computer and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both situations OpenMandriva performed well. All of my desktop hardware was recognized and used properly, sound worked out of the box and the desktop was responsive. Boot times were a touch slower than I usually experience with Linux-based distributions, but not by much. When running inside VirtualBox I found the distribution worked well, running quickly and without any problems. OpenMandriva used a surprisingly large amount of memory during my tests, requiring approximately 620MB of memory to login. This is more than twice the amount of memory I usually expect a Linux distribution running KDE to utilize.
Over all, my time with OpenMandriva this past week was pleasant. Following the first release of OpenMandriva I had questioned whether the world really needed one more branch in the Mandriva family tree. We already had ROSA and Mageia, making OpenMandriva seem redundant. Now, I can't say OpenMandriva has completely changed my mind. I do not feel there is a great distinction between Mageia and OpenMandriva. In fact, apart from the application menu, I am not certain I could tell the two distributions apart if sat in front of both them at the same time. That being said, while OpenMandriva may not be exactly pushing into new and exciting territory, I did enjoy my time with this second release a good deal more than I enjoyed the project's debut version. Over the past several months the OpenMandriva developers have smoothed out the edges, made some behind-the-scenes changes and generally got the project on track.
Apart from a minor error during the install process I was able to work around, the distribution gave me no problems. The system was stable, quick to respond, very beginner friendly and attractive to look at. The welcome screen is one of the best greeters I have seen, the installer is pretty friendly and the Control Centre is probably the best configuration panel in the open source world in terms of balancing function with form. I like the systemd configuration module that was added to the System Settings panel and I think it will lower the bar for people who wish to work with systemd. The desktop is a good mix of traditional and new and I feel the developers have found a good balance. In short, OpenMandriva gave me a very capable, very friendly desktop operating system and I think it is one of the better novice-friendly Linux distributions currently available.
* * * * *
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 2.8 GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500 GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6 GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian's GNU/Hurd improvements, Lubuntu's new LXQt features, new terminal emulator for Fedora, introduction to kernel hacking, TrueCrypt's status
The Debian project contains many branches, including ports which combine the GNU userland utilities with alternative kernels. This allows Debian developers to experiment with unusual software combinations, test the robustness of application code and generally just have fun. One of the Debian branches merges the GNU userland software with the Hurd kernel and Debian's package repositories. The Debian GNU/Hurd project has made slow progress over the years, but the developers recently shared some good news: "In late April, the hurd-i386 port has achieved the 80% mark of packages built for the first time[png image], an improvement of 10% since the last bits in 2012. This is on the one hand due to improvements and better compatibility in glibc, and on the other hand due to the work of many porters." One of the packages available for GNU/Hurd is the Iceweasel web browser.
* * * * *
A few weeks ago we talked about a new desktop environment called LXQt. The new desktop project combines the design of LXDE with Razor-Qt to produce a lightweight, Qt-based interface. The Lubuntu developers see the benefits of the new desktop environment, but felt some features were missing. The Lubuntu blog reports: "It's known that system admin tools for LXQt were lacking. This is no longer true. A new component, lxqt-admin, landed in our git repo. ... These are 'desktop-independent', pure Qt tools based on system-tool-backends." The blog contains screen shots of the new utilities.
* * * * *
Some people like to get their work done in a classic UNIX text-based terminal and others prefer to work within the comfort of a graphical user interface. Terminal emulators help to bridge the gap between these two environments, but a terminal emulator is still basically a simple text console floating in a graphical user interface. Final Term is a project which weds these two user interfaces together, blurring the line between one and the other. The new terminal emulator features smart command completion, context-aware menus, graphical progress bars for running processes and plug-ins. Early builds of the new terminal emulator are available for Fedora users in this unofficial software repository.
* * * * *
Have you ever thought about getting involved in developing the Linux kernel? Kernel development can be a rewarding experience, but it is difficult to know where to get started. Last week Linux Voice ran an article on how to dip one's toes into the world of kernel hacking. "Probably the easiest way to start kernel programming is to write a module -- a piece of code that can be dynamically loaded into the kernel and removed from it." The feature goes on to describe the steps involved in creating a simple kernel module that extends the functionality of the operating system.
* * * * *
In a move which surprised many people last week the TrueCrypt website announced the popular volume encryption project was coming to a close. For years the TrueCrypt software has been used by thousands of people to keep their data private and it was an unpleasant surprise when the following message appeared on the TrueCrypt website: "Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues. This page exists only to help migrate existing data encrypted by TrueCrypt." No explanation for the open source project being shut down was given, leading to much speculation as to the developers' motivations. Since TrueCrypt's surprise announcement, a new project has started up which provides TrueCrypt packages and, the team claims, will continue work on the TrueCrypt software.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Linux, anti-virus software, encryption and firewalls
Most days I find myself on various technical forums where I am either offering help, asking for it or sharing ideas. Some of the questions I frequently read from newcomers to the open source community are: Can my Linux distribution get a virus? Should I run anti-virus software? If I encrypt my data can someone hack into my computer and access it? What does a firewall protect me from?
These security-related questions come up quite often and so I would like to address them all together. First, I would like to tackle the question of whether Linux distributions can catch a virus. Malware, such as a virus or a trojan, does exist in the Linux ecosystem, but it is rare. In my personal experience malware is much more likely to target Linux-based smart phones (such as Android) than it is to target desktop distributions. There are a number of reasons for this general lack of malware on Linux-based desktop systems. For one, the GNU/Linux desktop community is relatively small when compared next to the Android smart phone community or the Microsoft Windows desktop market. Being a smaller target, malware authors are less likely to target GNU/Linux. The Linux desktop market is also diverse. A malware author targeting Windows usually looks for vulnerabilities in specific, wide-spread applications such as Adobe Reader or Office. In the Linux community there are many different web browsers, document readers and productivity suites and these are typically patched against security threats quickly. This makes desktop Linux a small, heterogeneous target that quickly guards against new, known vulnerabilities.
Linux distributions have other benefits too. Unlike some other desktop operating systems, Linux typically does not try to run executable files it finds on CDs or USB thumb drives, at least not automatically. This guards against malware that is distributed on removable media. Linux distributions also do not allow files downloaded from the web to be run, at least not by default. This means if we download an infected file and click on it, the contents of the file (the malware) is not activated. In addition, many mainstream Linux distributions feature low-level protection against misbehaving software. Technologies such as SELinux and AppArmor help protect against common threats. Finally, most Linux users acquire new software using vetted repositories. Malware is often encountered by people installing programs from unknown third-parties and so people who use their distribution's package manager gain a level of protection. What this all comes down to is it is possible to be infected by a virus while running Linux, but it rarely happens.
With this in mind, I rarely recommend anti-virus software to people who run Linux desktop distributions. While I have seen plenty of Linux-based servers become infected, usually via unsecured network services, it is very rare to find a Linux desktop machine that has been infected. Anti-virus software is one thin layer of protection when compared against the many security barriers already in place on most Linux distributions. Still, for people who prefer to have that extra layer of protection, there are anti-virus scanners available for Linux distributions. Perhaps one of the most popular anti-virus programs available for Linux users is ClamAV. The ClamAV software is open source and freely available. The Ubuntu wiki maintains a list of other anti-virus programs available for Linux.
Next, let's have a look at data encryption. Encryption is a term we often hear thrown around in movies and TV shows, but what does it actually do? Encryption is a method of scrambling the contents of a document or a hard drive so that the content needs to be unlocked (usually with a password) before the data can be accessed. Having one's files encrypted is a little like putting important documents in a vault. The only people who should be able to open the vault and read your documents are the people who know the password. Encryption is especially useful for keeping your files private in the case your computer is stolen. Any files on your hard drive which are encrypted should remain locked up if a thief tries to access the contents of your hard drive. However, encryption does have its limits. A weak password will render encryption virtually useless, much the same way as putting the combination "1-2-3" on your vault will not protect your physical documents. Directory or hard drive encryption also does not protect you if someone manages to remotely gain access to your account. Should an attacker manage to compromise your account, either via a remote login or web browser exploit, then any files you can read they can too. This makes encryption more effective against people physically stealing your computer than against people breaking into your machine remotely.
Finally, let's talk about firewalls. A firewall is usually used to prevent people from remotely contacting (and possibly exploiting) network services you run on your computer. If you have no network services running (or want everyone to be able to access them) then you do not gain from running a firewall. You don't really lose anything from having a firewall in place either, so when in doubt feel free to enable your distribution's firewall. A firewall is a little like a shield which deflects incoming network connections from accessing the services on your computer. It can be used to filter out attacks against services like secure shell. On the other hand, having a firewall in place does not protect a person against web browser exploits or software installed onto the system from removable media or third-party websites.
In short, anti-virus software protects against malware which might be accidentally run on your computer, a firewall guards against remote intrusions and encryption keeps your data private in the case someone gains physical access to your computer. None of these is fool-proof, but each tool offers protection against a specific threat.
|Released Last Week
MakuluLinux 6.0 "Xfce", 6.1 "Xfce"
Jacque Raymer has announced the release of MakuluLinux 6.0 "Xfce" edition, a Debian-based desktop distribution: "MakuluLinux Xfce 6.0 is part of the series dubbed 'Imperium' (Latin for 'power to command'). Once again we focus not only on bug fixing and new features, but also putting the power into the user's hands; the main goal here was choice. To feature pack this edition and give the user many choices that he can navigate with a simple few clicks. This is just one more step in enhancing the total out-of-the-box experience for the end user. MakuluLinux Xfce 6 continues to push boundaries in the Linux world. After much consideration and input from users and suggestion from the tester team, I decided to try out a new installer." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of features and a couple of known issues.
MakuluLinux 6.1 "Xfce" - a Debian-based distribution for the desktop
(full image size: 1,365kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Alex Filgueira has announced the release of Antergos 2014.05.26, an Arch-based distribution featuring the GNOME 3.12 desktop: "Antergos 2014.05.26 available. At last! Here it is... a new stable release of Antergos. A lot of bug fixes and improvements... and the long-awaited KDE option in our installer (KDE 4.13.1 at the time of writing), along with MATE (MATE 1.8 at the time of writing). And another announcement. We are now working with the Numix guys and Antergos will have the Numix icon theme replacing the old-but-always-remembered Faenza. We are using also Numix GTK+ themes and the GNOME-Shell theme, customized for Antergos with the name 'Numix Frost'. In the future we will help the Numix project to provide a Plasma theme for our Qt desktops." Read the full release announcement which includes many screenshots.
Antergos 2014.05.26 - an Arch-based distribution with GNOME 3.12
(full image size: 584kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kali Linux 1.0.7
Mati Aharoni has announced the release of Kali Linux 1.0.7, the latest update of the specialist distribution designed for penetration testing and forensic analysis: "Kali linux 1.0.7 has just been released, complete with a whole bunch of tool updates, a new kernel, and some cool new features. Check out our changelog for a full list of these items. One of the new sought-out features introduced (which is also partially responsible for the kernel update) is the ability to create Kali Linux live USB with LUKS encrypted persistence. This feature ushers in a new era of secure Kali Linux USB portability, allowing us to either boot to a 'clean' Kali image or alternatively, overlay it with the contents of a persistent encrypted partition, all within the same USB drive." Read the release announcement for more information and upgrade instructions.
Linux Mint 17
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 17: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17 'Qiana'. Linux Mint 17 is a long-term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use. The Update manager has been hugely improved. It shows more information, it looks better, it feels faster, and it gets less in your way. It no longer needs to reload itself in root mode when you click on it. It no longer checks for an Internet connection or waits for the network manager and it no longer locks the APT cache at session startup. The UI has been improved, the icons were modified a bit and the changelog retrieval is now much faster and more reliable." There are separate release announcements for the Cinnamon and MATE editions.
Linux Mint 17 - the MATE desktop and application menu
(full image size: 391kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Salix 14.1 "MATE"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix 14.1 "MATE" edition, a Slackware-based distribution featuring the MATE 1.8 desktop environment: "Salix MATE is officially back. Our previous MATE release (back in 13.37) came with high praise from a lot of our users, with many considering it as our best release ever. Salix MATE 14.1, built around the latest MATE 1.8 desktop environment comes to follow up with that. The MATE desktop environment brings a familiar and user-friendly approach to the desktop, with sane defaults and a great selection of application bundled with it. Included in this release, alongside the MATE desktop applications like the Caja file manager, the MATE Control Center and all the MATE panel applets and utilities, is the latest Firefox ESR browser, the LibreOffice suite, GIMP, the ClawsMail e-mail client, the Transmission torrent client...." Continue to the release announcement to learn more.
Linux Lite 2.0
Jerry Bezencon has announced the release of Linux Lite 2.0, the new stable version of the project's lightweight Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Xfce desktop: "Linux Lite 2.0, code name 'Beryl', is now available for download. This build is the work of four months of constant development and the implementation of the best ideas from the team and the wider community. This also marks the beginning of our own repositories for our custom software so that changes and improvements to the operating system can be offered regularly. Now Lite User Manager, Lite Manual, Lite Software (install and remove additional software) and Lite Fix can evolve more easily to meet the needs of the user. In this release we wanted to combine the newest versions of well-established and supported software like LibreOffice, VLC, WINE and GIMP so that people have access to the latest features in those programs." Read the full release announcement which includes numerous screenshots.
Linux Lite 2.0 - the Xfce desktop and application menu
(full image size: 276kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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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|
- emmbux. emmbux is a Linux distribution based on Xubuntu.
- linuxBean. linuxBean is a lightweight Linux distribution derived from Ubuntu.
- Vectorinpup. Vectorinpup is a lightweight distribution based on Puppy Linux using Slackware's software packages.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 9 June 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.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Mint goes LTS (by TransformHumanity on 2014-06-02 09:45:08 GMT from India) |
Welcome Linux Mint 17!
The idea to go LTS has long been overdue and it is a welcome relief. The non-LTS releases of Mint were more like trial runs for the next LTS owing to Ubuntus's decision to cut short the support life of non-LTS releases to 9 months.
This was usually being percieved as wasted effort from the Linux Mint team!
It was also confusing the non-techies; they usually wonder why there are so many releases in such short time intervals. And they wouldn't get it that the non-LTS releases are not for them (this was not the case with the 18 month releases - they were still a reasonable choice of an OS for the short term).
2 • Mint should go Debian 7.5 with backports as base (by hobbitland on 2014-06-02 11:28:58 GMT from United Kingdom)
Its even better if Mint switches to Debian 7.5 as a base. With backports Debian 7.5 is actually not that old but its very stable. I'm using XFXE without Pulseaudio.
Ubuntu make too many changes and things keep breaking. Ubuntu 14.04 yet another buggy LST release. In 10 years time Ubuntu may not be here for PCs but Debian will be here.
Its better to make switch now before the MIR hell arrives.
3 • hobbitland ao (by morri on 2014-06-02 11:38:46 GMT from Germany)
There is already a debian based version of Mint.
I appreciate the LTS too, seeing that my prev version was going out of support after only 1 year.
4 • (by César on 2014-06-02 12:07:50 GMT from Chile)
First, once upon a time i tried OpenMandriva, the system goes fine (a little slow to my standard), nice graphics (Nvidia), but one big problem: I never can install my Epson XP-201 (printer and scanner), no how, no way, no, no and no. That's why i never try again this distro.
Second, good for LinuxMint LTS, is a really nice notice, maybe i download and tried.
In other way, because Debian 6 change to LTS, i used Squeeze again in my personal computer, is lightweight compare with new distros, and i used my beloved Gnome 2.30. No problems with that, and i have everything i need.
Greetings from Chile!!!
5 • @Jesse: (by dragonmouth on 2014-06-02 12:10:34 GMT from United States)
You question whether the world really needs another branch in the Mandriva tree but you never question the need for another *buntu offshoot. By now there are at least 50 *buntu-based distros, with a new ones arriving on a weekly basis.
6 • re 5 (by corneliu on 2014-06-02 13:30:11 GMT from Canada)
That remark sruck me too. According to this:
There are about 70 distros based on Ubuntu.
Still, I'd like Rosa and OpenMandriva join Forces with Mageia rather than duplicate work. I think they'd make a strong distro.
7 • truecrypt (by walter_j on 2014-06-02 14:28:50 GMT from Canada)
I seen this on /., and there was speculation they got a letter from US govt. Anybody know whats going on? If we use it, should we switch?
8 • Openmandriva (by Lester on 2014-06-02 14:31:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
I have the same problem with OpenMandriva, system works great, but it is the first distro I have tried for a long time that no matter what I tried I could not get my Brother Printer working. Shame because I was really impressed by it.
9 • re: (by Arkanabar on 2014-06-02 14:32:00 GMT from United States)
There is no reason why ROSA, OpenMandriva, and Mageia cannot share code, ideas, and community members. But they have and are likely to retain somewhat different goals and philosophies, much like Red Hat, Scientific, Springdale, and CentOS. So, they are likely to remain separate communities. I don't have any problem with that, either. It surprises me that Jesse would disparage the desire of these communities to carry on separately, just because the differences which define them (and may largely be emotional or cultural) are not apparent to him.
Linux Mint Debian Edition remains a viable, quality distro, and a number of Ubuntu-based projects continue to switch to a Debian base (including MEPIS, CrunchBang, and most recently, wattOS) or ignore non-LTS Ubuntu releases (Bodhi, MadBox, LXLE). It may come to pass that the only projects that base releases on Ubuntu's 9-month short-term releases will be the official members of the Ubuntu family.
Nor does any of this surprise me. Canonical has always tried to moderate Debian's steeper learning curve, including in developing somewhat modified distros. However, after getting one's feet wet, Debian's more powerful tools and cleaner implementation become more and more attractive to developers.
Which is a good thing. Who knows if Philip Newborough, Ron Ropp, or the LMDE team would have started their distros if they had not had Ubuntu as an on-ramp?
10 • Mint goes LTS (by Gee on 2014-06-02 14:55:01 GMT from United States)
Is anyone going to provide a lightweight Mint 17 based distro? Mate and Cinnamon are about the same on resouces and need over 1gb of ram and 10gb of disk space on a VM.
11 • @10 - Low-resource Mint variants (by Uncle Slacky on 2014-06-02 15:11:05 GMT from France)
If you wait a couple of months, Mint 17 XFCE should be available, with correspondingly lower system requirements.
12 • @8 - Brother printer (by Saptech on 2014-06-02 15:40:08 GMT from United States)
I have a Brother AIO printer and it worked great under Mandriva and now Mageia. I haven't tried Openmandriva but surprise to hear it doesn't work. Working under Mandriva/Mageia was on reason I chose and stuck with it.
13 • @7 (by :wq on 2014-06-02 16:35:40 GMT from United States)
According to Steve Barnhart who contacted TrueCrypt developer "David", “['David'] also said no government contact except one time inquiring about a ‘support contract.'"
It's certainly understandable to treat the account with incredulity, but as it stands, one TrueCrypt developer is on record saying that government pressure was not the reason for cessation of development. Make of it what you will.
As there is an ongoing code audit for TrueCrypt 7.1a, If you use TrueCrypt, I would continue using it assuming good faith (but don't "upgrade" to 7.2) until given reason otherwise. See "Yes . . . TrueCrypt is still safe to use" @ https://www.grc.com/misc/truecrypt/truecrypt.htm. After the audit there will undoubtedly be a fork.
14 • @arkanabar: (by dragonmouth on 2014-06-02 17:09:30 GMT from United States)
MEPIS never was Ubuntu-based, it was always Debian-based.
Speaking of MEPIS, it looks like it is on its final legs. There has not been a new version in about 2 years. It will probably be replaced by MX-14, a combination of MEPIS and antiX.
15 • @14 (by Mepis user on 2014-06-02 17:27:02 GMT from United States)
Mepis 6.0 was based on Ubuntu Dapper
16 • link (by Mepis user on 2014-06-02 17:29:49 GMT from United States)
17 • ClamAV and other anti-virus (by Magic Banana on 2014-06-02 19:23:24 GMT from Brazil)
As far as I understand, ClamAV mainly (only?) detects Windows viruses. That is why its description in Debian tells "the main purpose of this software is the integration with mail servers (attachment scanning)".
As for the other anti-virus programs presented in Ubuntu's wiki, they are all proprietary software. I would certainly not advise their installation: using them probably is more of a security threat than not using them!
18 • TrueCrypt... (by Vukota on 2014-06-02 21:20:54 GMT from United States)
Thanks for raising awareness of this. I have few boxes which will need "upgrade", though I haven't seen a good "upgrade" path for both *indows & Linux boxes and external drives which can be mounted to both. Anyone with a good suggestion? In the past I was against drive encryption, but in today world it is almost a must for personal (and business desktop) boxes.
19 • #15 (by anticapitalista on 2014-06-02 21:48:42 GMT from Greece)
Indeed MEPIS 6.0 and 6.5 (2006) were based on Ubuntu. All previous versioons from 2003 and versions after 2006 were Debian based
20 • BLAG (by Landor on 2014-06-02 22:58:00 GMT from Canada)
Man, where do I start.
I hadn't been here for quite some time and last week I popped in and did something I don't normally do anymore, check home page. I looked over into the left panel and the word BLAG instantly caught my attention!
Finally, the return (however long matters not) of a distribution a real user can sit down with and appreciate. Not just for its Libre' qualities either. No. It also has roots in standing your ground. Drawing a line and saying, "No more!". Reminds me of another distribution like that, one that I wish was Libre' as well, antiX. The bookmarks alone are worth the download, or at least were if they no longer exist.
You can most likely guess what I'll be doing tonight. Actually using BLAG, not playing with a distribution as many like to call it.
Keep your stick on the ice...
21 • @2, @3 LMDE (by Jeff on 2014-06-02 23:17:20 GMT from United States)
Yes Linux Mint does have a Debian edition, but it is a "rolling" distro, not based on Debian stable but drawing from Debian testing.
What would be interesting and useful would be a Linux Mint based on Debian stable, for people less interested in managing their computer than using it, especially newer users, who were previously using another OS.
The stability of Debian stable plus the usability improvements of Linux Mint.
22 • SolydXK with Xfce and KDE desktops is LMDE based on Debian stable (by Linux Mint on Tumblr on 2014-06-03 00:04:56 GMT from Romania)
See http://solydxk.com/about/solydxk/ to learn about SolydX and SolydK for home users. A business edition and a back office version are available.
23 • solydxk (by Mac on 2014-06-03 00:24:05 GMT from United States)
This debian based distro does not have a root password. Only one password like the ubuntu's. Just something I did not know before I downloaded it. Don't mean that in a bad way but not for me. To each his are her on.
Have fun Mack
24 • LXQt??? (by Ben Myers on 2014-06-03 01:34:34 GMT from United States)
Do we really need yet another desktop environment to confound and confuse all? I like the innovative spirit, but I wonder if the people and machine resources are not misplaced in a world awash with desktop environments... Ben Myers
25 • Kubuntu & Mepis (by Mac on 2014-06-03 03:10:42 GMT from United States)
I finaly got kubuntu 14.04 bent my way and remastered for my friends. But I have not seen any mention of mepis here in a long time. It will put the boot loader for other distro, on partitions for you. I have used it on kaos and kwheezy in the last 2 weeks. And mepis will alow root login. Kwheezy takes a little mod.
Have fun Mack
26 • Re 21: Mint should use Debian 7.5 as base (by hobbitland on 2014-06-03 05:08:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Precisely, a rolling Mint Debian Edition using a Debian testing base is not very stable. Better to use Debian 7.5 with backports enabled instead.
But after spending time respining Debian 7.5 after years on Remastering Ubuntu I'll probably stay on Debian 7.5 with backports enabled. Nice to be back on Debian after years on Ubuntu. Cannoical non standard changes and buggy software in recent LTS releases drove me away.
27 • @24 LXQt (by greg on 2014-06-03 06:16:37 GMT from Slovenia)
As i know the LXQt is a joint project from LXDE and RazorQT. It's not supposed to be a new DE but replacement for LXDE. mor eon their official site lxqt.org
28 • SolydXK (by Jeff on 2014-06-03 06:33:21 GMT from United States)
SolydXK is also a rolling distro, not based on Debian stable.
They do have one "stable type" release, but the rest are rolling
29 • Rolling Distros (by Jose Mirles on 2014-06-03 14:41:32 GMT from United States)
I love rolling distros and only use them on my PC's. My main laptop has PCLINUXOS, my "work" laptop has Arch and my 2 PC's have Debian Testing.
I have been using Linux since the old Mandrake age and once I discovered rolling distros, I have never went back to a non-rolling one.
I had a display issue with Arch a while back and a couple of non-critical issues with PCLinuxOS and Debian, but that is it. I read the forums before updating (yes, I am the type that actually reads the instructions before putting together anything).
Frankly if I wanted a "stable" release, I would have stayed with Windows.
Heck, I had less problems with Distros based on Sid (UNSTABLE) then I had with Mandriva and SuSE (before the OpenSuSE change). I guess it boils down to what a person is comfortable with.
30 • Linux Mint 17 (by Garon on 2014-06-03 16:24:33 GMT from United States)
Just a note on LinuxMint 17. It is not very stable on every machine. I used it to replace Elementary 2.0 on one of my laptops and soon thereafter had to remove it. I did the updates, tried several different things but to no avail. I will wait till the next release of Elementary. Ubuntu 14.04 is not buggy on all computers. People really sound like idiots when they make the comment not to use Ubuntu 14.04 LTS because it is buggy. Maybe it is buggy on certain machines, just the way Mint 17 was on one of mine but that doesn't mean that Mint 17 is completely buggy. As a matter of fact LMDE is quite buggy in my experience. Maybe it's because of using the testing branch or maybe it's because of the machine I installed it on. People need to get a grip and stop trying to damage the open source movement. Like saying that there are too many Ubuntu spinoffs. That is just a silly statement because that is one of the benefits of open source. Doing what YOU want to do with the software, not what someone thinks you should do. I would like to see a lot of different spinoffs from many different distros. It's up to the people. And for anyone who makes the suggestion that I put Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on the laptop that Mint wouldn't run on, I already have a laptop with Ubuntu and Unity installed and it is quite stable. I like to use different distros on different systems. Let's try not to hurt this free Eco-system we have.
31 • 23 • solydxk (by Mac on 2014-06-03 00:24:05 GMT from United States) (by sasdthoh on 2014-06-03 17:21:06 GMT from United States)
I just wanted to remind Mac on post number 23 that Solydxk, like several other distros does not have a root password but can EASILY change the root account to use one.
Simply open the terminal ......
type "su" , then press the enter key.
type "passwd root" then press the enter key.
The system will prompt you for a password and again to confirm.
Easy as it gets. Remember folks, you can do just about anything in Linux.
32 • Brother Printers (by Thorad on 2014-06-03 19:33:28 GMT from United States)
I have a brother mfc-7340 laser printer. I am able to use a foomatic driver called
Brother HL-5170DN Foomatic/hpijs-pcl5e on Debian based distro's. If you have a laser try it. Notice the Foomatic/hpijs-pcl5e, I found any HL-model with Foomatic/hpijs-pcl5e on the end of the driver name worked. So, install the foomatic database. Also reference http://www.openprinting.org/printers for information that might help.
I found that driver referenced on some forum post for my particular printer. Hope this helps.
Distrowatch is a favorite stop of mine on the Web...greetings to all.
33 • Mate vs Cinnamon (by Bob on 2014-06-04 10:16:33 GMT from Austria)
Tried both Mint_s and it seems that Cinnamon is still not really useful. It has a much slower response than Mate and consumes some more CPU. Easy task to select the proper one - Mate!
34 • Solydxp @31 (by Mac on 2014-06-04 15:08:16 GMT from United States)
Thanks that is easier than the way I did it. And with that change I am realy having fun with SolydK. And would like to thank the team for all their hard work. But I think the one password would soot a lot of people.
Have fun Mack
35 • Mate vs Cinnamon @33 (by Euler on 2014-06-04 15:57:12 GMT from Austria)
It depends on your expectations. Cinnamon is based on newer technology (gtk3 instead of gtk2) and therefor is better if you like some desktop effects, e.g. an overview of all windows.
I am curious about to long term success of both desktop environments. Both are forks of gnome, which has a large developement team. Can the Mate and/or Cinnamon team get enough manpower to manage this rather complicated system in the long run?
36 • Mate vs Cinnamon (by fernbap on 2014-06-04 17:40:57 GMT from Portugal)
"Cinnamon is based on newer technology (gtk3 instead of gtk2) and therefor is better if you like some desktop effects, e.g. an overview of all windows."
Really?? Have you ever tried Mate with Compiz enabled? And Emerald, btw, since we're at it.
Cinnamon pales in comparison. Besides, Mate + Compiz is lighter and faster...
37 • Mate vs Cinnamon (by Euler on 2014-06-04 18:08:10 GMT from Austria)
No I have not used Mate with Compiz yet. I tend to disable most effects anyway. And I did not use any of the 2 enviroments recently. I just test it as live cd from time to time. Maybe I try Mate to get my old computer running again some time soon.
But Compiz seem to be another project with an uncertain future. So it is even more work for the Mate team, if they want to keep it alive.
38 • Mate vs Cinnamon (by fernbap on 2014-06-04 18:23:15 GMT from Portugal)
You see, the point is that Compiz is old. So old that Microsoft hired its man developers in order to make Aero for Windows 7.
So, you don't need GTK3 at all. In fact, i am yet to see anything in which GTK3 is better than anything else.
As i use to say, "newer" doesn't necessarily mean "better" or even "as good as".
All i know is that i don't like Gnome 3 nor Unity, and i don't even consider them "better" in any way.
Cinnamon is a compromise. It is a work i respect, trying to make something usable out of GTK3. And i have to say that it is way better than the other GTK3 alternatives.
39 • Mate vs. Cinnamon (by CED on 2014-06-04 18:36:49 GMT from United States)
I find Cinnamon 2.2 lightening fast on my computer. Mate never really grabbed me and outdated. I triple boot Windows 7, Mint 17 & Opensuse 13.1 (KDE). Mint 17 is by far the fastest of the three.
40 • @38 (by jaws222 on 2014-06-05 04:47:05 GMT from United States)
"You see, the point is that Compiz is old."
You can run Kwin as the WM with Mate and it performs well. You just need to install kde-window-manager and systemsettings in synaptic and open a terminal and type kwin --replace and you'll have window effects. It's not as vast as compiz but it rarely crashes. I run kwin with Mate, XFCE and LXDE.
41 • @ 38 • Mate vs Cinnamon (by mandog on 2014-06-05 11:56:16 GMT from Peru)
All i know is that i don't like Gnome 3 nor Unity, and i don't even consider them "better" in any way.
Cinnamon is a compromise. It is a work i respect, trying to make something usable out of GTK3. And i have to say that it is way better than the other GTK3 alternatives.>
Please remember this is only your opinion you do not have to stand on your soap box week after week we all know that you only like anything that's discontinued or old please don't try to speak for the rest of the Linux world, just use what you want quietly we have lost interest.
42 • Mate vs Cinnamon (by fernbap on 2014-06-05 17:41:05 GMT from Portugal)
@37 "But Compiz seem to be another project with an uncertain future"
You are right. However, it is far from dead.
The good thing about Open Source is that anyone can take a project and use, adapt, modify it for his own interest.
Compiz continues to live in those that took it for their own projects, like Unity, XFCE or Kwin, which is basically a rewrite of compiz adapted to KDE. So, i would say that compiz is pretty much alive.
@39 Sure, cinnamon is lightning fast compared to win7 or Opensuse KDE. However, Opensuse KDE is probably the slowest of all Linux major distributions. Most Linux distros will be lightning fast in comparison.
@41 "Please remember this is only your opinion" Sure it is, this is a comments section, where people are expected to post their opinions and share their experiences.
Mate is pretty much alive, and the fact that Mint is betting on it says a lot. (btw, there is no Mint Gnome 3 build. I wonder why...) Also, if you count the number of distros that started recently to include a Mate build, and check their opinion on the success of those builds, i would say that i am not alone.
"just use what you want quietly we have lost interest"
And that is only your opinion.
43 • Mate vs. Cinnamon (by CED on 2014-06-05 20:49:32 GMT from United States)
So which disto is faster for KDE? OpenMandriva, which I have heard only good things about? Opensuse can be quirky, but once it is set up, font-wise it looks beautiful.
44 • mint 17 (by mandog on 2014-06-06 00:00:40 GMT from Peru)
Just installed the cinnamon version. the Ubuntu installer was a bit slow finding my multiple drives then all went well.
Nice clean install. installed nvidia and a multitude of updates.
Cinnamon is very fast and does what it says on the box.
Downside boot times are very slow 50+ secs, Arch with gnome3 28 secs both to a working destop not to login screen as some people do.
Verdict a nice setup if you want a LTS distro good to go till the next Mint LTS in 2 years.
May put it on a spare laptop It could never replace Arch always upto date and stable for me.
45 • Linux Lite 2.0 is very nice! (by G Wilson on 2014-06-06 05:33:38 GMT from United States)
Linux Lite 2.0 comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and both fit onto a standard CD. What you get is a very nice iteration of the latest XFCE on a current Ubuntu base. You get Firefox 29, Thunderbird,Kernel 3.13.0-24, Whisker Menu, and
LibreOffice 126.96.36.199 on a 700mb CD. There are a number of one-touch utilities for adding about 15 or so other packages which you may or may NOT want. What a nice option! I installed this on a cranky old Acer 3000 laptop, and it works so well that I have installed it on my primary desktop computer. The ONLY hitch I have encountered is that it starts up with the NumLock key activated by default (I had some difficulty entering passwords until I figured that one out). If you've settled on XFCE to avoid the more "innovative" and cranky desktops, you should give Linux Lite 2.0 a spin. You find it handles anything you may throw at it with a simpla nd adaptable GUI and a small footprint.
46 • Mint 17 (by CED on 2014-06-06 13:05:59 GMT from United States)
@44 I have the same issue with a slow boot. I suspect it may have something to do with ATI video driver. I'm using Fglrx - Updates.
47 • Mint 17 (by Bill on 2014-06-06 13:36:51 GMT from United States)
I have an i7 quad core with 16 gs ram and Mint 17 Mate takes 14 seconds to completely boot up. And thanks to fernbap's tip on the repository, Mint 17 now has compiz + emerald + cairo dock + conky, all loaded in 14 secs. True ram is high at 700 but it's nothing on 16 gigs.
48 • Huge RAM usage on Openmandriva (by Kazlu on 2014-06-06 14:48:49 GMT from France)
I had the same issue on a test run of Mageia 4: the Xfce desktop used 750MB! I use a additionnal applets, but still, that is huge. However, I found a manipulation which allowed me to drop to 250MB: I swapped the Nvidia proprietary driver for nouveau. Thanks F/LOSS! My computer is a HP Pavilion dv9000 with a Nvidia graphic card I don't remember the model (bought in 2007).
49 • Mint 17 (by Bill on 2014-06-06 15:09:40 GMT from United States)
Check that. It's 520 megs of Ram, and 700 when firefox is loaded.
50 • @46 (by mandog on 2014-06-06 15:21:12 GMT from Peru)
I use Nvidia running 64bt cinnamon ram is a reasonable 480mb at startup not bothered on that as I have plenty. Just the slow boot time Mint has always been a fast starter in the past with Cinnamon.
51 • GTK3 and Gnome3 (by Jeff on 2014-06-07 15:35:53 GMT from United States)
Where I have a huge problem is that the Gnome/GTK3 devs consider being able to use different themes to be a bug.
They break the APIs with every minor GTK3 release to make it harder for the theme artists.
This is why a GTK3.8 theme does not work on GTK3.10 and neither of them will work with GTK3.12
Gnome3 is to be used exactly as issued only.
Open source software is supposed to be about freedom.
About the idea that you own your computer - you decide what is on it, what it looks like and how it works.
The Gnome devs are against that freedom.
The corporation that they work for wants total control.
52 • Mepis (by Mac on 2014-06-08 13:49:08 GMT from United States)
Mepis had a couple of releaces last year. But you have to look at the mirrows servers to find them. One has it as 11.9.92 and another as 12.
And my sorce list is wheezy. Had it runing since sometime last year with no problems at all. It is my go to distro for grub help.
Have fun Mack
53 • SolydX BE (by cykodrone on 2014-06-08 14:37:50 GMT from Canada)
I successfully 'layered' SolydX BE on top of my dual SSD Raid 0 Debian stable.
54 • LinuxBBQ might be an interesting accomplishment... (by Ben Myers on 2014-06-08 16:10:24 GMT from United States)
but is LinuxBBQ sending out the message that there are simply too many Linux desktop managers to confuse and befuddle everyone. Here I thought that the half-dozen or so popular desktop managers was too many, only to find out that there are actually 76 of them!
55 • Mint 17 (by William on 2014-06-08 20:04:11 GMT from United States)
Just did upgrade from mint 13 to 17 and so-far so good. it seems to be running good with no problems. as others had said the only thing that i see wrong is start up, it does take a while to get moving around 50-60 seconds to get to boot menu but as was said before could be cause of Ati video card but i dont know. but i have some nvidia cards i can try and see if its better. while installing it didn't take long and found all my other drives and distros. so id give mint 17 a good A.
56 • Re: #51 • GTK3 and Gnome3 (by Kazlu on 2014-06-09 07:25:59 GMT from France)
What corporation? The GNOME Fondation is a non-profit organisation. I dislike GNOME 3 and Gtk+3 for the same reasons you mention and others, but there is no "evil corporation" to hold responsible. There is no "corporation that they work for". Sponsors at the most, which are not GNOME's "clients". I fail to see why the GNOME Fondation governance would bend the knee to any of those sponsors, since it is already a solid enough fondation which I assume is not dependant from one single sponsor.
Number of Comments: 56
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|• 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|
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|• 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 |
BlackArch Linux is an Arch Linux-based distribution designed for penetration testers and security researchers. It is supplied as a live DVD image that comes with several lightweight window managers, including Fluxbox, Openbox, Awesome and spectrwm. It ships with over a thousand specialist tools for penetration testing and forensic analysis.