| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 625, 31 August 2015
Welcome to this year's 35th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Free and open source software has a habit of squeezing into all sorts of interesting new niches. This is why it is so common to find ports of Linux on computers ranging from servers to laptops, phones to appliances and hobbyist computers to mainframes. This week we talk about distributions which are exploring new technologies or are dedicated to specific tasks. We begin with a look at OpenELEC, a distribution which runs on a variety of hardware platforms and turns a computer into a media centre. We also touch on RaspEX, a distribution designed specifically for Raspberry Pi computers. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss LILO, a once popular boot loader which has been seen less and less in recent years. In the news last week we saw Fedora expand its Wayland support and roll out new features. We also saw an emergency security update issued for Tails. The Solus project launched a fundraiser to keep the distribution afloat and the KDE project released Plasma 5.4 with several interesting new features. As usual, we provide a list of the distributions released last week and share a list of the torrents we are seeding. In our Opinion Poll we ask which file systems our readers are using. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Playing with OpenELEC 5.0.8
This week I want to quickly talk about two projects which have caught my attention. The first is OpenELEC. The OpenELEC (Open Embedded Linux Entertainment Center) distribution is an operating system which turns a computer into a media centre. OpenELEC is available in several editions. There are 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds and a build for people running older NVIDIA video cards. There is a build for WeTek Play Systems, a depreciated build for AppleTV systems, a Freescale build and a couple of builds for Raspberry Pi computers. I decided to continue my Raspberry Pi experiments and downloaded the OpenELEC build for Raspberry Pi 2 computers.
The disk image for the Raspberry Pi is a 96MB download, but once we uncompress the image it expands to 292MB in size. We write this 292MB file to a microSD card and plug it into the Pi to get started.
The first time we boot OpenELEC the distribution takes a few minutes to resize its file system to best utilize the space on our SD card. When the system finishes its initialization we are presented with a graphical configuration wizard which asks us to select our preferred language from a list. We are then asked which network we would like to connect to. I was using a wireless card in my Pi and the configuration wizard did not detect any available networks. The wizard concludes by asking if we would like to enable the OpenSSH or Samba services. The Samba service is ideal for sharing files with computers running Microsoft Windows while the OpenSSH service provides us with a way to remotely administer OpenELEC and transfer files securely.
With the initial configuration out of the way, OpenELEC presents us with an interface which somewhat resembles a desktop environment, but with the panel/menu stretching horizontally across the middle of the screen. Across the middle of the screen we see a menu with buttons for accessing pictures, video files, audio files, programs and system settings. At the bottom of the display we see a ticker that displays news relating to the OpenELEC project.
OpenELEC 5.0.8 -- Changing system settings
(full image size: 1.2MB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
The first thing I did was venture into the system settings menu to explore my options. Clicking the button for system settings brings up a panel divided into several screens. From the settings panel we can enable services, change our network configuration, enable Bluetooth and change our keyboard's layout. We can also check for software updates. Through OpenELEC's settings panel I was able to find and connect to my local wireless network. Once on-line, I was able to remotely connect to my Pi and transfer media files to OpenELEC and retrieve screen shots from the Pi.
Exploring OpenELEC further, I found we can enable a screen saver, set up a weather application to tell us what it's like outside and change the way media and files are presented to us. OpenELEC has a very nice interface that I found easy to navigate. I especially like that, while OpenELEC will respond to both keyboard and mouse input, we never really need to attach a physical keyboard to the Pi. It is not often we need to input text and, in the rare cases when we do, an on-screen keyboard will appear and we can use the mouse to input text.
Chances are, what we will be using OpenELEC for is playing music and watching videos. The distribution makes this quite easy. Accessing the music or video options from the main menu brings up a screen where we can browse the contents of our media library and add new files/folders to the library. OpenELEC will, upon our request, pull in files from local directories or Samba shares. We can also connect to the distribution using OpenSSH and securely copy media files to the OpenELEC server. The distribution has a default set of folders for music, video files, pictures and screen shots. Dropping new files into these folders automatically makes them available to OpenELEC's media player.
I was initially concerned that OpenELEC would not leave enough room on an 8GB microSD card for media files. However, I was pleased to note the distribution only required about 200MB of space, leaving plenty of room on the SD card for multimedia. We can also attach an external hard drive to the Raspberry Pi (assuming the external drive has an alternative power supply) and OpenELEC will pull in media from the drive and from Samba shares on our network.
OpenELEC 5.0.8 -- Adding new media to the library
(full image size: 399kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
Given the Raspberry Pi's low hardware specifications I was curious to see if it could play full screen videos smoothly. I was pleased to find the Pi was up to the challenge. In fact, the Pi had no problem transferring files over the network and playing videos at the same time. I found multitasking in this fashion required about 20% of the Pi's CPU and the device barely generated any heat. When only playing videos the Pi used approximately 2% of its CPU for the task. While it operated under heavier loads the fan-less mini computer produced little heat and I could still comfortably place my hand directly on the Pi's CPU.
Using OpenELEC, I tried playing a number of audio and video files and these all played without any problems. The distribution will also display images, giving users the opportunity to show off their artwork or vacation photographs.
OpenELEC 5.0.8 -- Folder navigation settings
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
All in all, I was very happy with OpenELEC. The distribution does a great job of turning the Raspberry Pi into a media centre that "just works". The interface is easy to navigate, much easier than any of the other media centres I've tried in the past. The distribution makes setting up services, network access and adding media to our libraries beautifully simple. Yet the whole distribution is quite flexible, providing multiple ways to share files, provide user input and locate files on the system. I also like that we can use secure shell to connect to OpenELEC and the distribution provides us with a typical GNU/Linux operating system we can utilize from the command line.
Simply put, OpenELEC makes for a very good appliance-style operating system. It turns the host computer into an easy to use multimedia centre, the interface is easy to navigate and yet the distribution remains fairly flexible in both its appearance and function. If you're looking for an inexpensive media centre that is easier than the typical Linux distribution set up, then OpenELEC is definitely an option I would recommend trying.
* * * * *
Let's move on now to another distribution, one I was asked to review last month. RaspEX is a Debian- and Ubuntu-based distribution for the Raspberry Pi. RaspEX appears to be similar, in its design and technology, to Raspbian (another Debian-based distribution for the Pi), but with a strong focus on desktop computing.
I downloaded the Ubuntu flavour of RaspEX which is presented as a zip file. The zip file is 532MB in size, but when expanded, the disk image becomes about 3GB in size. Once the RaspEX image has been copied to a microSD card and we boot the Raspberry Pi we are brought to a graphical login screen. The login screen has a soft blue background that carries Debian branding. We can login to the operating system using the username "root" with the password "root".
Signing in brings us to the LXDE desktop. Near the top of the screen is an icon for launching a file manager. Oddly enough, I did not see any other controls on the desktop such as a panel or application menu button. At first I thought my desktop might have a larger resolution than my screen (that desktop elements were hiding beyond the edge of the display), but I soon found my mouse pointer stayed within the boundaries of the display. I also found pressing key combinations which might usually bring up an application menu produced no result.
With a little experimenting I found I could right-click on the LXDE desktop, bring up some LXDE screen settings and enable an application menu which would appear when I right-clicked on the desktop. The application menu contained just three entries: xterm, Firefox and a file manager. Selecting Firefox caused an error to be displayed saying Firefox was not a recognized file. The file manager and xterm launchers did work, granting me access to the file system and a command line.
The next hurdle I ran into was trying to get a network connection working. I launched Network Manager's front-end from the command line and attempted to set up a network connection, but Network Manager failed to form a connection with my local wireless network.
Faced with just command line tools, a hobbled desktop and only an xterm session (with surprisingly small font), I decided I'd gone as far as RaspEX was going to take me and concluded my trial.
For those who are able to get RaspEX working smoothly on their systems, they will find the distribution ships with the APT command line package management utilities. RaspEX pulls software from Ubuntu's "ports" repository, version 15.04. This gives users a large collection of up to date software.
RaspEX bills itself as "Raspbian on steroids" and perhaps, for some people, it is the bee's knees. However, in my case, RaspEX did not provide the same range of functionality as its more popular, Debian-based cousin and I was not able to make practical use of the distribution on my Raspberry Pi.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora unveils new Wayland features, Tails releases emergency security update, Solus launches fundraiser and KDE releases Plasma 5.4
Wayland is an alternative display technology which is intended to, eventually, replace the aging X display server software that is currently used by most Linux distributions. The Fedora project has been among the first distributions to adopt Wayland and has been working on getting GNOME Shell to work with the new display server. Fedora Magazine has an article which touches on what Wayland can already do on Fedora and what new features are coming in Fedora 23 later this year. "One of the newest features outlined by Christian [Schaller] that is in Fedora 23 is the ability to properly use two or more monitors with vastly different DPIs. This means that if you have a high DPI monitor and a standard DPI monitor the window and text sizes will no longer be tiny (or large) on one monitor and not the other. When dragging windows between the monitors the window will automatically scale to work with the DPI of the screen they are on." More information is available in the Fedora Magazine article.
* * * * *
The Tails project, whose distribution strives to protect people's privacy on-line, has announced an important security update to the Tails distribution. The unscheduled update addresses several security issues and it is recommended for users of Tails to upgrade to the new 1.5.1 release. An announcement on the Tails website states, "Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 1.5.1, is out. This is an emergency release, triggered by an unscheduled Firefox release meant to fix critical security issues. It fixes numerous security issues and all users must upgrade as soon as possible." The new Tails 1.5.1 release can be found on the project's download page.
* * * * *
Last week we mentioned the Solus project was polling its community on ways to raise funds for the distribution. The Solus project is expanding and requires more server space and bandwidth, more than their current income will support. After some brainstorming, the project has started a fundraiser drive to try to put together enough money to purchase equipment for the distribution. "As the costs rise, and we need to support them for the first few months at least, we're reaching out to you, our userbase, to help us get through the first few months with the hosting, hardware, until books begin to balance and we start becoming more self sufficient." The project's fundraiser page breaks down what supplies and infrastructure are needed. These sorts of fund-raising attempts are key to the survival of many open source projects, but are also interesting to watch as they are one of the closest parallels open source has to surveying market demand for the product being offered.
* * * * *
The KDE project revealed an important update last week for the Plasma desktop. The new release, Plasma 5.4, offers a number of important features. "This release of Plasma brings many nice touches for our users such as much improved high DPI support, KRunner auto-completion and many new beautiful Breeze icons. It also lays the ground for the future with a tech preview of Wayland session available. We're shipping a few new components such as an Audio Volume Plasma Widget, monitor calibration tool and the User Manager tool comes out of beta." There was more good news for people who are eagerly anticipating seeing more widespread use of the Wayland display server technology. "With Plasma 5.4 the first technology preview of a Wayland session is released. On systems with free graphics drivers it is possible to run Plasma using KWin, Plasma's Wayland compositor and X11 window manager, through kernel mode settings." More information and screen shots can be found in the release announcement.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
The LILO boot loader
Seeking-LILO asks: From your research, can you tell me of a distribution that uses LILO?
DistroWatch answers: For those who are not familiar with the technology, LILO is a boot loader, an important piece of software which helps start an operating system. While LILO was once quite popular, most distributions have since switched to using GRUB.
There are still some distributions which ship with LILO as the default boot loader, or at least as an install-time option. I know Slackware derivatives usually support LILO as an option. So my first recommendation would be to explore recent releases of Slackware and VectorLinux. A few other distributions support LILO as an install-time option. I think both Mageia and PCLinuxOS, for example, will support using either GRUB or LILO during the initial configuration. There is a list of distributions which included the LILO package in their latest release, whether it is actively used or not, here.
Something to keep in mind if you are interested in either the original LILO or its cousin, ELILO (a boot loader with support for EFI), is that these projects are nearing their end of life. The ELILO website states, "This project is orphaned, Debian dropped it in 2014, and RH & SUSE stopped using this tree (and feeding back changes) long before that so [I am] no longer interested in working on it. Feel free to start your own; source tarball is available." A similar note on the LILO website says the project will not be developed after the end of 2015. "I plan to finish development of LILO at 12/2015 because of some limitations (e.g. with Btrfs, GPT, RAID). If someone wants to develop this nice software further, please let me know."
While halted development does not prevent existing software from working, it does mean fewer distributions are likely to support LILO in the future and potential users of the software should plan accordingly.
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 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. 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: 104
- Total downloads completed: 49,516
- Total data uploaded: 11.8TB
|Released Last Week
Quirky 7.1 "Appril"
Barry Kauler has announced the release of a new, special edition of Quirky Linux. The new release, Quirky Linux 7.1 "Appril", is designed with Android app developers in mind. "This is the latest release of Quirky Linux. The Appril series, that started at version 7.0, is built entirely from source using T2, and is not related in any way to any other distro. Appril 7.1 is a specialized build of the Quirky Linux Appril series, for Android app developers. These packages are included: Android SDK, Android Studio, App Inventor, Oracle JDK and LiveCode. These packages and their dependencies have blown up this Quirky way beyond our usual pup. The download file is just under 1GB. The intention is to have out-of-the-box, just-click-and-get-going Android app development, catering for total non-programmers with App Inventor, through intermediate with LiveCode, to hard-core coders with Android Studio. A significant feature of Appril is that App Inventor runs locally, whereas the official project is hosted by MIT `in the cloud'." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Scientific Linux 6.7
Pat Riehecky has announced the release of Scientific Linux 6.7, the latest update of the distribution's legacy branch, built from source package for the recently-released Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.7: "Scientific Linux 6.7 i386/x86_64. Existing 6x systems should run 'yum clean expire-cache'. Major differences from Scientific Linux 6.6: OpenAFS has been updated to the latest bug-fix release (1.6.14); epel-release-6-8 - this RPM has been updated to the latest upstream release; glusterfs-server - built from the TUV provided sources for the glusterfs client. Possible upgrade problems: sssd-common is no longer multilib compatible. If you are using sssd-common.i686 on x86_64 systems you will be unable to update. Please remove the i686 rpm on your x86_64 systems to resolve this issue." See the brief release announcement as well as the more detailed release notes for further information and a full list of differences between RHEL and Scientific Linux.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
File systems are very important. A stable and reliable file system is necessary for anyone who values their data or who is invested in the integrity of their programs and files. Of course reliability is just one characteristic of a useful file system. Speed is another nice feature to have, as are portability and ease of recovery if the operating system shuts down suddenly.
This week we would like to know to which file system do you entrust your data? Do you stick to the common standards like ext4 and UFS? Do you use something a bit less common such as JFS or Reiser? Perhaps you prefer to work with more advanced file systems like Btrfs or ZFS? Please let us know what your preferred file system is and why in the comments below.
You can see the results of last week's poll on why people switch to Linux/BSD here.
|Btrfs: ||185 (7%)|
| ext2/3/4: ||1963 (70%)|
| JFS: ||51 (2%)|
| Reiserfs: ||52 (2%)|
| UFS: ||28 (1%)|
| XFS: ||186 (7%)|
| ZFS: ||163 (6%)|
| LVM + one of the above: ||156 (6%)|
| Other: ||27 (1%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- Zen Load Balancer. Zen Load Balancer is a 64-bit operating system that provides load balancing functionality for physical and virtual appliances. The system provides a web-based interface for administration.
- Ozon OS. Ozon OS is a Fedora-based distribution which features Atom desktop environment (based on GNOME). Ozon OS is intended to act as a gaming platform.
- NextBSD. NextBSD is a fork of the FreeBSD operating system which experiments with new technologies such as alternative start-up systems.
- Super GRUB2 Disk. Super GRUB2 Disk is a live CD which allows the user to boot into an operating system when that system's boot loader has been corrupted or removed.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 7 September 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 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Vinux is an Ubuntu-derived distribution optimised for the needs of blind and partially sighted users. By default Vinux provides two screen readers, Braille display support and a friendly community. When booting the live Vinux image, the users are greeted by the Orca screen reader that enables them to navigate the graphical Unity desktop using keyboard commands. Additionally, Brltty provides grade 1 and 2 Braille output via Orca.