| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 601, 16 March 2015
Welcome to this year's 11th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Technology moves forward quickly and some of us see more benefit in sticking with what works than racing ahead to experiment with unproven ideas. With this thought in mind, this week we are focusing on distributions that provide classic desktop environments and work on older computers. We begin with a review of the Ubuntu MATE distribution, the newest project to join the list of official Ubuntu community distributions. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss modern distributions which provide up to date software for older computers. In our News section we talk about Fedora's recent Alpha release where we see a preview of features to come. Plus we talk about Debian's election for Project Leader and the possibility of AppArmor being a fully supported default feature in the Debian distribution. Computers bundled with Ubuntu were in the news a lot last week and we summarize some of the attractive options for people who want to buy new computers with Linux pre-installed. Plus we cover the distribution releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding in our Torrent Corner. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First Impressions of Ubuntu MATE 14.10
The Ubuntu MATE project is the latest official member of the Ubuntu family of community distributions. Despite the Ubuntu MATE project's young age and its very recent official blessing from Canonical, I probably receive more e-mails requesting information about Ubuntu MATE than any other distribution. So let's talk about Ubuntu MATE.
According to the distribution's website, "Ubuntu MATE is a stable, easy-to-use operating system with a configurable desktop environment. Ideal for those who want the most out of their desktops, laptops and netbooks and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor. With modest hardware requirements it is suitable for modern workstations and older hardware alike."
Ubuntu MATE is currently available in two versions. There is long term support release labelled 14.04 and a short term support release with newer software carrying the version number 14.10. I decided to try out version 14.10 for a week. The project provides release notes for the distribution. Essentially, it looks as through the project takes Ubuntu, strips away the Unity desktop and replaces it with MATE. Most applications, apart from those relating directly to configuring the MATE desktop, appear to be the same across both distributions. The version of Ubuntu MATE I downloaded is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds and the ISO file is 980MB in size.
Ubuntu MATE 14.10 -- The MATE desktop and application menu
(full image size: 695kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Booting from Ubuntu MATE's live disc brings up a graphical screen where we can select our preferred language from a list. At this time we can choose to run a live desktop environment and experiment with the distribution or jump straight into the project's system installer. I decided to launch the system installer. As it turns out, Ubuntu MATE not only uses the same graphical system installer used by its parent, Ubuntu, but the identifying information is the same too. That is, the system installer and (as I found later) the update utilities still refer to the operating system as Ubuntu. One of the first things the installer asks us to do is select whether we would like to download updated software packages during the installation and if we would like to install third-party packages. These third-party items supply extra device drivers and multimedia support. The first time through I opted to install third-party packages and the installer immediately froze. After waiting five minutes to see if the installer would resolve the situation, I rebooted the machine and tried again. The second time through I chose a plain installation without third-party software or updates. The installer proceeded, walking me through disk partitioning, selecting our time zone from a map of the world, confirming the keyboard's layout and creating a user account. I quite like how the Ubuntu installer handles disk partitioning, we can opt to have the partitions automatically set up for us or we can manually divide up the disk. The installer handles ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS and XFS partitions. We can also select where to install the GRUB boot loader. When we create our user account we can choose to encrypt our files for improved security. The installer quickly copied its files to my hard drive and then prompted me to reboot the computer.
Loading our new copy of Ubuntu MATE brings us to a graphical login screen. Signing into our account brings up the MATE desktop. MATE is arranged with the Applications, Places and System menus placed at the top of the screen. The system tray is located in the upper-right corner and the task switcher sits at the bottom of the display. The wallpaper looks like a night sky decorated with the Northern Lights. Shortly after I signed into my account, a minimized window for the update manager appeared in my bottom panel. Bringing up the update manager window shows us a list of available software upgrades. While I did not get a count of how many packages were waiting to be downloaded, the total size of the packages was approximately 190MB. During my time with Ubuntu MATE I was happy to find all software upgrades installed cleanly and quickly.
One thing I discovered very early on with Ubuntu MATE was that the distribution did not handle running in a virtual machine gracefully. While I was installing Ubuntu MATE in a VirtualBox environment the distribution presented a resolution of about 1024x768, but when I booted the installed copy of the distribution my screen resolution was limited to 640x480 pixels. The MATE desktop handled the lower resolution surprisingly well, showing menus that could be scrolled through and scaling down the desktop. Once I installed VirtualBox guest packages through the distribution's Additional Drivers utility, my screen resolution increased to 1280x1024 pixels. When running in the virtual environment, the distribution was responsive and performed tasks quickly. When I ran Ubuntu MATE on a physical desktop machine all my hardware was properly detected and utilized. My display was set to its maximum resolution, sound and networking worked and the desktop was responsive. In either environment, the distribution required approximately 250MB of memory when sitting idle at the MATE desktop.
Ubuntu MATE 14.10 -- Changing desktop settings
(full image size: 494kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The distribution ships with a fairly standard set of applications. Apart from the MATE 1.8.1 desktop and the many configuration tools MATE ships with, we find a capable set of programs in the application menu. The Firefox web browser is included along with the HexChat IRC client, the Pidgin instant messaging software, the Thunderbird e-mail application and the Transmission bittorrent client. The LibreOffice productivity software is available along with the Atril document viewer and a dictionary. The Eye of MATE image viewer is installed for us along with the Shotwell photo manager. The Brasero disc burning software is provided along with the Cheese webcam utility, the Rhythmbox audio player and the Totem video player. By default, Ubuntu MATE does not ship with multimedia codecs or Flash, but these extras are available in the repositories. In fact, attempting to play an audio or video file for which we do not have codecs brings up a window asking if the appropriate codecs should be installed. Confirming we wish the codecs to be downloaded causes the required packages to be installed. Digging further through the application menu uncovers the Caja file manager, a screen magnifier, a screen reader and an on-screen keyboard. Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. Apart from MATE's configuration tools there are a number of system administration utilities for adjusting the date & time, managing user accounts, setting up printers and installing third-party device drivers. In the background we find the GNU Compiler Collection and version 3.16 of the Linux kernel.
Ubuntu MATE 14.10 -- Running desktop applications and configuring backups
(full image size: 614kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
All of the default software provided with the distribution worked well for me. Still, I think a special mention should be made of the Deja Dup backup utility. Ubuntu MATE's backup manager has a very simple, very clean interface. It's quite easy for users to create backups of their home directories, schedule regular backups and exclude certain directories. We can select where to store backups, placing them either on our local disk or on a remote server. In fact, the backup utility supports saving archives on servers running OpenSSH, WebDAV and FTP. Deja Dup also supports Amazon cloud storage accounts. Creating a backup or restoring files from a backup takes just a couple of clicks and the interface walks us through the required steps in a friendly fashion.
Users of Ubuntu MATE have access to the huge supply of software in the Ubuntu repositories. To help us access these additional items we have the Ubuntu Software Centre. The Software Centre is a modern, friendly package manager that will allow us to browse through categories of software, make recommendations and sort items based on their popularity. Clicking on a package's entry brings up a full screen summary with a description of the application, a screen shot and user supplied reviews. Clicking an Install button causes the package to be downloaded and installed in the background while we continue to use the Software Centre. I found the Software Centre worked well for me and I encountered no problems while using it.
Ubuntu MATE 14.10 -- The Ubuntu Software Centre
(full image size: 560kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I enjoyed my time with Ubuntu MATE and I ran into only a few minor problems with the distribution. For instance, the installer locked up when I attempted to install third-party software. Otherwise the distribution functioned beautifully. Ubuntu MATE runs quickly, the distribution was stable during my time with it and the desktop environment was always responsive. The applications that shipped with the distribution worked well for me and I appreciated the small, but capable collection of software offered.
Ubuntu MATE is quite straight forward in that the distribution is exactly what the developers claim. The distribution is a MATE spin of Ubuntu. It ships with a classic desktop environment, the distribution performed well and everything worked as expected. The project has a clear goal and the developers have achieved it. That might sound dull, but it is nice for me, as a reviewer, to run a distribution that does not over-promise or under-perform; it just does what it sets out to do.
I believe I understand why so many people have been e-mailing to ask me about the Ubuntu MATE project. Running the distribution this past week felt a lot like running Ubuntu back before the Unity desktop was introduced. Whether you like Unity or not, I think it is fair to say a lot of people enjoyed using Ubuntu with the classic GNOME 2 desktop. Ubuntu MATE recreates the pre-Unity Ubuntu experience with up to date applications and great desktop performance.
Personally, I am happy the Ubuntu MATE distribution has become an official Ubuntu community project. The distribution certainly carries on the spirit of older Ubuntu releases and I think this re-spin will provide a welcome solution for people running hardware with limited resources.
* * * * *
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)
Fedora releases new Alpha, Debian considers improving AppArmor support and announces election candidates and Ubuntu shipping pre-installed on computers
One of the more exciting developments of the past week was the release of Fedora 22 Alpha. The new Alpha release provides users with a preview of what the next Fedora release will bring, along a snapshot of some of the latest open source software available. "The Alpha release contains all the exciting features of Fedora 22's editions in a form that anyone can help test. This testing, guided by the Fedora QA team, helps us target and identify bugs. When these bugs are fixed, we make a Beta release available. A Beta release is code-complete and bears a very strong resemblance to the third and final release. The final release of Fedora 22 is expected in May." According to the Alpha's release notes, Fedora 22 will be offering improved Wayland support, a terminal application which notifies the user when long-running jobs have completed and the bug reporting tool integrates with the desktop's privacy settings. Fans of KDE will find the KDE spin of Fedora features Plasma 5 as the default desktop environment. The Xfce spin has also been updated to include the recent release of Xfce 4.12.
* * * * *
The election for the next Debian Project Leader has begun. The election will consist of two parts, the campaigning portion is currently under way and voting will take place during the fortnight of April 1st to April 14th. Three nominees are running in this election: Mehdi Dogguy, Gergely Nagy and Neil McGovern. Information on the election, the candidates and their platforms will be made available through the Debian website.
AppArmor is a security tool which restricts an application's access to operating system resources, particularly files. Using AppArmor, an administrator can lock down an application, confining it and reducing the damage a rogue or hijacked application can do. AppArmor is already shipped in a number of Linux distributions, including openSUSE and Ubuntu. Some developers feel AppArmor should be enabled by default in Debian too. "You might already be aware of the existence of AppArmor, a Linux kernel security module which protects the operating system and applications from external or internal threats by enforcing good behaviour and preventing even some unknown application flaws from being exploited. It works by confining processes and applications with access control profiles. AppArmor has been activated by default in several other Linux distributions for years. The security layer which AppArmor provides is very important to us, and we believe that it should be more widely deployed in Debian." More information on the work being done with AppArmor within the Debian project can be found in Debian's wiki
* * * * *
While mainstream Linux distributions have been used on millions of desktop computers for many years, there are still relatively few places where a person can purchase a computer with GNU/Linux pre-installed. However, the tide is turning and this past week featured several announcements indicating hardware manufacturers are taking Linux more seriously. This Insights post mentions that not only has Ubuntu Kylin's latest long term support release been downloaded over one million times, but HP is partnering with the distribution to offer Ubuntu Kylin pre-installed to the people of China.
In a similar move, Dell has launched a new line of products in Latin America countries that ship with Ubuntu pre-installed. "Ubuntu has once again expanded its distribution presence by launching across 500 stores in Latin America with Dell. This comes off the back of successful retail efforts in other global markets such as China, India and South-East Asia. Consumers in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru will now be able to more readily purchase Ubuntu-based Dell laptops and desktops from numerous local resellers."
Finally, later this week System76, a company which has been selling computers with Ubuntu pre-installed for years, plans to ship a brand new mini-sized computer bundled with the popular Linux distribution. The new device is called the Meerkat Ubuntu Desktop and should be available from System76 starting on March 19th.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Modern software on older computers
Making-the-most-of-old-hardware asks: Do you have any resources for using current Linux distros on older machines? When I upgrade, are there any standards or specs on the type of video chip, or its capabilities, that most Linux distros need/require for better/best performance?
DistroWatch answers: First, let's look at modern distributions that will run on older hardware or low-specification machines. There are quite a few distributions which try to offer both modern features and compatibility with legacy hardware. We have a list of actively maintained Linux distributions which are designed for older machines here. I recommend experimenting with the first four or five entries on the list. I personally like LXLE, Lubuntu and Peppermint OS. I have especially had good luck introducing people to Linux by installing Peppermint on ageing computers that formally ran Windows XP.
As for specific hardware or video cards to try when you upgrade, I have found that most cards work well with Linux. Though I have had slightly better luck with Intel based video and wireless cards than those provided by other manufactures. That is just my experience and different people may recommend different hardware. To be safe, I suggest browsing hardware compatibility sites. The Ubuntu and Linux Mint projects maintain lists of certified and compatible hardware, respectively.
As an example, to find video cards that are likely to work with Linux Mint and other Ubuntu-related projects, visit the Mint community website, select "Video card" for the hardware type and "Works perfectly" for the status and click the Search button. The website will return several pages of cards tested and reported to work by members of the Mint community.
When upgrading you may wish to purchase your new equipment from a vendor that specifically supports Linux-based operating systems. Organizations such as Think Penguin and System76 sell computers that are built with Linux compatibility in mind. They take the guess work out of selecting the proper hardware.
Bittorrent is a great way to transfer large files, particularly open source operating system images, from one place to another. Most bittorrent clients recover from dropped connections automatically, check the integrity of files and can re-download corrupted bits of data without starting a download over from scratch. These characteristics make bittorrent well suited for distributing open source operating systems, particularly to regions where Internet connections are slow or unstable.
Many Linux and BSD projects offer bittorrent as a download option, partly for the reasons listed above and partly because bittorrent's peer-to-peer nature takes some of the strain off the project's servers. However, some projects do not offer bittorrent as a download option. There can be several reasons for excluding bittorrent as an option. Some projects do not have enough time or volunteers, some may be restricted by their web host provider's terms of service. Whatever the reason, the lack of a bittorrent option puts more strain on a distribution's bandwidth and may prevent some people from downloading their preferred open source operating system.
With this in mind, DistroWatch plans to give back to the open source community by hosting and seeding bittorrent files for distributions that do not offer a bittorrent option themselves. This is a feature we are experimenting with and we are open to feedback on how to improve upon the idea.
For now, we are hosting a small number of distribution torrents, listed below. The list of torrents offered will be updated each week and we invite readers to e-mail us with suggestions as to which distributions we should be hosting. When you message us, please place the word "Torrent" in the subject line, make sure to include a link to the ISO file you want us to seed and please make sure the project you are recommending does not already host its own torrents. We want to primarily help distributions and users who do not already have a torrent option. To help us maintain and grow this free service, please consider making a donation.
The table below provides a list of torrents we currently host. If you do not currently have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found here. All torrents we make available here are also listed on the very useful Linux Tracker website. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 32
- Total downloads completed: 12,996
- Total data uploaded: 2.6TB
|Released Last Week
MakuluLinux 8.0 "Cinnamon"
The MakuluLinux project has announced the release of MakuluLinux version 8.0 "Cinnamon". According to the release announcement, the new release is the first from the project to be built for 64-bit x86 computers. Apart from the new architecture, the new release has a strong focus on multimedia and streaming support: "Netflix and Popcorm Time are both now fully supported in this edition. Users can easily install Popcorn Time straight from the software manager or Synaptic manager with one click of a button, no other configuration is needed. It has never been so easy to run Popcorn Time on Debian before. Netflix is now fully integrated and functional on Google Chrome. So truely streaming is something Makulu users can now enjoy with ease. Safety and Security: MakuluLinux Cinnamon x64 Edition now also sports a built in firewall to keep your system secure at all times as well as a built in anti-virus to keep your system safe at all times."
MakuluLinux 8.0 -- Running the Cinnamon desktop
(full image size: 703kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.03
Neophytos Kolokotronis has announced the release of Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.03, a new update in the project's "Euler" series which follows the KDE 4.14 line: "The Chakra team is happy to announce the third release of the Chakra Euler series. This is a maintenance release to fix some installation issues and provide all the updated packages that landed in the stable repositories since the previous release. The main new feature is that our ISO now supports booting and installing on UEFI systems! We are aware that everybody is looking ahead into Plasma 5 and we are working on the transition, but we believe it is too early for this to be shipped by default and decided to wait for a little bit longer until Plasma 5 has matured and more KDE Applications have switched to Frameworks 5. This ISO ships with the following notable packages and updates: KDE Applications 14.12.2, except for the applications that have been ported to frameworks 5, which will remain on their 4.14.3 versions; kde-workspace 4.11.16 and kdelibs 4.14.5; Frameworks 5.7; Calligra 2.9.0..." The release announcement.
chakra 2015.03 -- Running the KDE desktop
(full image size: 469kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
John Martinson has announced the release of Robolinux 7.8.3, the latest update of the beginner-friendly distribution based on Debian's stable branch: "Robolinux is very pleased to announce 'Ultra X10 Privacy and Security!' built into all eight Robolinux GNOME, KDE, Xfce and LXDE 32-bit and 64-bit editions which include the following new powerful privacy and security applications: Tor anonymous browser, Tor anonymous chat, a new Robolinux application called 'Stealth Text Vault'; BleachBit data scrubber; PGP email encryption for Thunderbird. Unfortunately privacy and security on the Internet are turning into a complete nightmare, so Robolinux has taken serious action. All eight of these new releases are a direct result of our users asking for more privacy and security applications after we released 7.8.2 on February 22nd which had JonDo anonymous encrypted browsing, KeePass for encrypting all passwords...." Visit the project's SourceForge page to read the full release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Distributions added to waiting list|
- Linkat. Linkat is a GNU/Linux distribution designed for use in education systems. The distribution is developed for Catalan-speaking people.
- FibreOS. FibreOS utilizes a custom, optimized and hardened Ubuntu environment, based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. FibreOS is a secure and anonymous operating system. Anyone with a PC or laptop will be able to use FibreOS because the OS and wallet data files are stored on a USB.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 March 2015. 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)
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 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Why was Virtual-Linux created? Well, I was pretty tired with the silly bootdisks you can download, plus I wanted to learn more about the Linux core. I then decided to build a ramdisk based system of my own, and after a while I ended up with a cdbased rescue system with a builtin firewall. Then, after having tested a few of the existing big cdbootable systems that were very slow and had very poor performance, a new project started to take shape in my mind. After some late nights investigating some existing soloutions, my own concept was born: 1. Use a commercial distribution as base (Mandrake Linux). 2. Implement as much as possible of the original functions without many hardware/memory requirements. 3. Put as much software as possible on one cd. 4. Make it easy to configure / Autodetect as much as possible. 5. Implement live filesystem compression. 6. Ramdisk Compression.