| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 684, 24 October 2016
Welcome to this year's 43rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Earlier this month we witnessed the release of a new version of the Ubuntu distribution, along with the project's many community editions. While not a lot of new desktop features were presented in the new release, Ubuntu 16.10 does provide some updates and a preview of the Unity 8 desktop environment running on the Mir display software. Joshua Allen Holm has a look at Ubuntu 16.10 in this week's Feature Story. One new Ubuntu feature, live kernel patching, was announced after 16.10 arrived and we discuss this new kernel update method in our News section. We also discuss Fedora introducing support for running on Raspberry Pi computers, Debian working on Secure Boot support and KDE version 1 running on modern distributions. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss the popularity of Linux in various markets and, in our Opinion Poll, we talk about different methods of governing open source projects. Plus we share the torrents we are seeding and cover the distribution releases of the past week. Finally, we are pleased to announce we have sent the FFmpeg project a donation this month and we welcome the budgie-remix distribution to our database. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (23MB) and MP3 (34MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Joshua Allen Holm)
Ubuntu 16.10 Review
The list of major new features in Ubuntu 16.10 is impressive and interesting, but only if you are using the server product. Very little has changed on the desktop side of things other than the included packages being slightly newer. In fact, other than touting the number of applications available as Snaps, the only desktop-focused feature in the release announcement is a developer preview of Unity 8 desktop.
To see what the desktop version of Ubuntu 16.10 has to offer compared to the previous 16.04 LTS release, I downloaded the 1.48GB ISO and gave it a try. Below, I take a look at what is new and different. I also take a look at the Unity 8 developer preview.
Ubuntu 16.10 -- The Ubiquity system installer
(full image size: 239kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
At first glance, little has changed in Ubuntu 16.10. It looks almost exactly like every other recent release of Ubuntu and the included applications are the same ones one would expect to see. There is a newer Linux kernel, version 4.8, and Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, and the rest of the applications one expects to find are present and newer than what Ubuntu 16.04 LTS shipped with. Because all of my computers have Intel graphics, I cannot personally test to see if the updated packages in 16.10 fix or improve the issue with AMD graphics that are present in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
Ubuntu 16.10 -- The default file manager
(full image size: 252kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The biggest change comes from the update to using GNOME 3.20 applications. The new version of Ubuntu Software, which is GNOME Software 3.20 rebranded, provides a much snappier experience for installing software. The switch to the 3.20 release of GNOME Files (a.k.a. Nautilus) also brings many changes, many of which are far more noticeable than the improvements to GNOME Software. Files now uses the single global menu featured in modern GNOME applications. In 16.04 LTS, Files has multiple menus, but in 16.10 there is just a "Files" menu with only a handful of options. Personally, I like GNOME's way of doing things, but only when using GNOME. A consistent set of behaviours is important for a good user experience, so Ubuntu having some applications behaving one way with full menus while others do something different is less than ideal, especially for an application used as frequently as the file manger.
While the lack of major changes might be a little boring, the fact is that recent releases of Ubuntu are polished enough that there is little need for more than incremental refinements. Installing Ubuntu 16.10 provides a fully functional system that users can use to browse the web, watch videos, or write a paper without having to install any extra software or tweak any settings. Of course, major changes are coming at some point, but right now those changes are only available in the preview of the Unity 8 desktop.
The Unity 8 desktop
It is best to begin by stating that there is a good reason why the Unity 8 desktop is a developer preview; it is barely functional. Even following all the suggestions made in an Ubuntu Insights blog post does not result in a desktop that is suited for daily use. It is reasonably stable, but there is so much still missing that it is impossible to get any real work done using it. To give one example, the list of shortcuts that show up when holding down the Windows key on the keyboard has screen shots listed as an option, but I could not get the system to successfully take a screen shot. Pressing the "print screen" key on my keyboard would create a Screenshots folder, but not actually save the screen shots. The Unity 8 screen shots in this review were actually taken by running Ubuntu 16.10 in a virtual machine and using the host operating system's screen shot functionality.
Ubuntu 16.10 -- Unity 8 scopes
(full image size: 105kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
What Unity 8 comes with by default is minimal, very minimal. The Scopes window, which is opened when the desktop loads, has icons for Ubuntu's Browser app, System Settings, Terminal, and the Checkbox application for testing system hardware. That is it. Clicking on the arrow at the bottom of the Scopes window displays a few additional scopes that can be added, but those are web apps for doing things like viewing books from the Open Library. Even after installing everything suggested in the Ubuntu Insights post, it is still not enough to classify Unity 8 as a complete, functional desktop environment.
Unity 8 is not on par with Unity 7 for even basic desktop options and system settings. When holding down the Windows key on the keyboard to bring up the shortcuts overview, Unity 8 has a much shorter list of items, and that list includes things that do not always work correctly, like the screen shot issue mentioned above. The Systems Settings control panel is clean and well organized, but even that is missing things from the traditional Ubuntu System Settings.
Ubuntu 16.10 -- System Settings and Time & Date panel
(full image size: 139kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
Despite the long list of still missing and not on par features, Unity 8 does provide some nice polish beyond the current Ubuntu desktop. The Sound, Battery, Time & Date, and System panels are cleaner and are nice improvements over their equivalents in Unity 7. If the rest of the desktop reaches, or exceeds, the polish of these panels, an Ubuntu release with Unity 8 as the primary desktop will be nice, but that day is not yet here.
Unity 8 has a lot of potential. I enjoyed trying it out, and I do hope that Unity 8 is ready for the next LTS release of Ubuntu because it does have a lot to offer. However, the developer preview included in Ubuntu 16.10 is so far from being ready that I almost suspect that the only reason it was included by default in this release was so there would actually be a desktop-focused new feature in the release announcement.
Ubuntu 16.10 is a solid, polished, usable Linux distribution. However, there is very little reason to recommend it over the previous 16.04 LTS release. There are a few tweaks and some slightly newer software packages, but nothing world shattering. The only compelling reason to upgrade is if Ubuntu 16.10 fixes an issue you were having with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. That said, there are no major issues with Ubuntu 16.10, so if you are the kind of person who always wants to have the latest packages possible, go ahead and upgrade.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo Ideapad 100-15IBD laptop with the following specifications:
- Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Core i3-5020U CPU
- Storage: Seagate 500GB 5400 RPM hard drive
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8723BE 802.11n Wireless Network Adapter
- Display: Intel HD Graphics 5500
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu offers live kernel updates, Fedora runs on the Raspberry Pi, Debian working on Secure Boot, KDE 1 on Fedora 25
Dustin Kirkland has announced Canonical is rolling out a live kernel update feature for Ubuntu users. The new feature, called kernel live patching, will allow Ubuntu users to upgrade their running kernels without rebooting their computer. "Kernel live patching enables runtime correction of critical security issues in your kernel without rebooting. It's the best way to ensure that machines are safe at the kernel level, while guaranteeing uptime, especially for container hosts where a single machine may be running thousands of different workloads. We're very pleased to announce that this new enterprise, commercial service from Canonical will also be available free of charge to the Ubuntu community. The Canonical Livepatch Service is an authenticated, encrypted, signed stream of livepatch kernel modules for Ubuntu servers, virtual machines and desktops." Details on how to enable kernel live patching can be found in Kirkland's mailing list post.
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Support for Raspberry Pi single board computers has landed in the Fedora distribution. Support for the minimal ARM-based devices has taken a while to arrive in Fedora due to missing upstream support and driver/firmware licensing, but now Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 computers will be supported by Fedora directly, removing the requirement for Fedora users to use a derivative like Pidora. "We support everything you'd expect from a device supported by Fedora. We have a proper Fedora supported upstream userspace and kernel, with all the standard Fedora features like SELinux support. It receives the usual array of updates so no need to exclude kernel updates! The kernel supports all the drivers you'd expect, like various USB WiFi dongles, etc. You can run whichever desktop you like (more on those below) or Docker/Kubernetes/Ceph/Gluster as a group of devices - albeit slowly over a single shared USB bus!" Fedora magazine has further information on the new support for Raspberry Pi computers.
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The Debian distribution tends to be conservative in nature and the project takes its time when adopting new features. The Debian developers have been considering support for UEFI's Secure Boot feature for a while now. Secure Boot is designed to prevent untrusted software from loading on the system at boot time and requires low-level software to be signed by a trusted authority. "The commonly-used approach of signing the kernel image creates some problems for Debian, though. The project's practice with signatures has been to sign metadata describing software, never the code itself. Debian does not want to put signing keys onto its 'buildd' systems; those systems are distributed around the globe and present any number of ways in which the keys could be exposed. Debian is also committed to reproducible builds, which cannot depend on secrets (or they would no longer be reproducible). As a result, Debian cannot automatically build signed kernel binaries in a single step." This LWN article goes into the issues Debian faces when implementing Secure Boot support and how the project is dealing with the challenges.
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The KDE project turned 20 years old this month and fans of the desktop environment have been celebrating in various ways. One developer decided to look back to the early days of KDE and tried to get version 1 of the desktop environment running on a modern Linux distribution. The result is KDE 1 running on the latest beta release of the Fedora distribution: "If you look on the screen shots, they are made with Spectacle, the new screen shot tool, running inside Fedora 25 Beta, from KDE 1..." A write-up of the developer's work, along with screen shots of the classic desktop environment running on Fedora, can be found in this blog post.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Differences in popularity
Looking-for-Linux-everywhere asks: Why do you think Linux is dominant everywhere expect the desktop? It's at the heart of most cell phones and tablets, but never took off on the desktop.
DistroWatch answers: I think there are a few reasons Linux has done well for itself in the mobile market. Linux is fast, flexible, stable. Plus it's free, which is a nice perk for companies who want to build on top of the Linux kernel. A company like Google can focus on building a user interface on top of Linux rather than building a new system entirely from scratch and that speeds up development.
I suspect one of the major reasons for Linux doing so well in mobile markets compared to the desktop/laptop market is timing. When smart phones and tablets came along, Linux was already a well established kernel. Developers knew Linux was reliable and time tested and they could build things with it. Companies could confidently create Linux-based products for the new-ish mobile market while there were relatively few entrenched players. Compare that to the desktop market where people had been using desktop computers and laptops for around a decade before Linux was even started. It took GNU/Linux a few years after that to catch on in technical circles and it was almost a decade after that before I could mention words like "Linux" or "Ubuntu" to non-technical peers and have people recognize the names. By that time, many people had been using Apple and Microsoft products for a few decades and a lot of software and systems relied on those proprietary operating systems.
What I think it really comes down to is: people (most people) rarely buy operating systems, they buy products. And most people will continue to use whatever software is on their devices when they buy them. Most PC retailers sell products with Windows pre-installed, most smart phones sell with Android pre-installed. As a result, those operating systems dominate their respective fields. If a new market emerges tomorrow with a new product people love and it ships with a brand new operating system, that system will become the dominate player in its market for years.
With all that being said, I feel it important to point out that while GNU/Linux has had an uphill battle against entrenched players in the desktop market, Linux has been doing well for itself. Rough estimates suggest around 2% of people run Linux on their desktop and laptop computers. That small percentage translates into tens of millions of people. Any product that has tens of millions of users should probably be considered a success. When we consider how few retailers sell computers bundled with Linux, I think it is fair to say Linux has been a very attractive option for desktop users. Tens of millions of users are switching away from the available default products to use Linux instead and that is an unusual occurrence.
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For more questions and answers, visit our Questions and Answers archive.
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: 249
- Total data uploaded: 45.7TB
|Released Last Week
Freshly added to the DistroWatch database, budgie-remix is an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the simple and elegant Budgie desktop developed by the Solus project. A new release, version 16.10, was announced yesterday: "We are pleased to announce the release of the next version of our distro based on the solid 16.10 Ubuntu release. This is our first release that follows Ubuntu release cycle - we have worked on getting closely aligned our alpha and two betas in the same manner as Ubuntu and the other official community flavours. Based on 16.04.1 experiences, feedback and suggestions we have received from our users, the new release comes with a lot of new features, fixes and optimizations: installation in any language - we ship with more language packs now which should mean a faster install time; support for full disk encryption as well as home folder encryption; latest Budgie desktop 10.2.7 with various enhancements and fixes thanks to our friends from Solus." Continue to the release announcement for more information and screenshots.
Parted Magic 2016_10_18
Parted Magic is a live distribution commonly used to partition hard drives, rescue data and clone partitions. The commercial distribution has as been upgraded to feature new versions of many packages along with new artwork. "This release is by far the most aggressively upgraded version in the history of the project. Nearly 800 programs have been updated. All new artwork, icons, and themes. At the same time there have been no major changes to the layout, so everybody should feel at home. The goal was to get everything up to date without causing regressions and discomfort. Parted Magic was never meant to be a play toy. It was designed to get things done and look somewhat cool with our Steampunk looking themes. We really hope you find this release useful, because a lot of work went into it." The release announcement goes on to mention free copies of the distribution are available to students. Parted Magic can be purchased via the project's downloads page.
Joshua Strobl has announced the release of a new version of the Solus distribution. The latest release, Solus 1.2.1, offers users the most up to date version of the Budgie desktop environment and introduces a new MATE edition of the Solus distribution. Solus 1.2.1 also features IBUS support to enable multi-lingual input, introduces a Places applet for quick file system navigation and polishes the audio and brightness controls. "The Solus project is proud to announce the availability of Solus 1.2.1, delivered in the form of our main edition, which provides an unrivalled Budgie experience, as well as a new and welcomed addition to the Solus family, Solus 1.2.1 MATE edition. While Solus 1.2.1 is the first release to have a new addition, it is also the last of our traditional releases as we shift towards the ISO snapshot model, which better reflects our agility and iteration speed." Further details and screen shots highlighting the new features can be found in the project's release announcement.
Solus 1.2.1 -- Running the Budgie desktop
(full image size: 1.4MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
GParted Live 0.27.0-1
Curtis Gedak has announced the availability of GParted Live 0.27.0-1, the latest stable version of the Debian-based live CD featuring a set of disk management and data rescue tools: "The GParted team is happy to announce another stable release of GParted Live. This release includes GParted 0.27.0, patches for libparted for FAT file system operations and other improvements. Items of note include: GParted 0.27.0 - recognize GRUB 2 core.img, fix Mount Point column which is wider than the screen on openSUSE, ensure GParted exits if closed before the initial load completes; based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2016-10-20; Linux kernel updated to 4.7.6; includes e2fsprogs 1.43.3 which addresses some ext2/3/4 resizing issues reported in our forums; includes patched version of libparted. This release of GParted Live has been successfully tested on VirtualBox, VMware, BIOS, UEFI and physical computers with AMD/ATI, NVIDIA and Intel graphics." Read the release announcement for more details.
Slackel 4.14.21 "KDE Live"
Dimitris Tzemos has announced a new release of the Slackware-based Slackel distribution. The new version, Slackel 4.14.21 "KDE Live", is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds with the 64-bit media supporting UEFI. The 32-bit builds will boot on machines with or without PAE-enabled processors. The new release includes a script which will help users install the distribution on a USB thumb drive as well as several package updates. "Some of the software programs included in the iso images: Linux kernel 4.4.23; Mail clients: Thundrbird 45.4.0, kmail; Internet: Firefox 45.4.0esr, Filezilla-3.16.1, gftp-2.0.19, Pidgin-2.11.0, Akregator, ktorrent-4.3.1, wicd-1.7.4, sourcery, slapt-get and its graphical frontend Gslapt; Graphics: Gimp-2.8.18, Gwenview-4.14.3, KColorChooser-4.14.3, kolourpaint-4.14.3, KSnapshot-4.14.3; Multimedia: Smplayer-16.9.0, MPlayer-1.2_20160125, Clementine-1.3.1, dragon-4.14.3 media player , kaudiocreator-1.3, k3b-2.0.3; Office: Libreoffice-5.2.2, Okular-4.14.3; Other: Openjre-8u91-b14, rhino, icedtea-web, GParted-0.26.0. On Slackel repositories there is inkscape-0.91, shotwell-0.22, mozilla-firefox-noesr-49.0, google-chrome 53.0.2785.101, skype-nomultilib-188.8.131.52 which run in 64-bit without the need of installing multilib, skype-184.108.40.206 for 32-bit and many more." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Gabriele Martina has announced the release of SalentOS 1.0, a new line of the desktop-oriented distribution featuring a customised desktop based on the Openbox window manager. Code-named "Luppìu", this is the project's first release based on Debian's stable branch, rather than Ubuntu as was the case with the previous SalentOS versions. From the release announcement: "With great pleasure the team announces the release of SalentOS 'Luppìu' 1.0. Here are the main features: based on Debian Stable; Linux kernel 3.16; new tools for system management - Styler and Yanima; new system update alert tool; menu translated into major languages - English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French and German; new installation wizard; lighter system - no daemon of a background system settings; optimized graphics effects; pre-installed drivers for all the major wireless cards."
SalentOS 1.0 -- The default desktop running on Openbox
(full image size: 1.7MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Netrunner 16.09 "Core"
The Netrunner project has released a new version of their distribution. The new version is Netrunner 16.09 "Core" which carries the code name "Avalon". Netrunner's new Core edition is based on Debian's Stable (Jessie) branch and ships with modern KDE Plasma packages. "Netrunner Core (like its upcoming big brother Netrunner Desktop) is based on Debian Stable with the latest Qt, Plasma, Framework and KDE Applications. Core is the streamlined version of the upcoming full Desktop version, and therefore provides only a few essential applications on top of the latest Plasma Desktop. Here is an overview of the Core features: Based on Debian Stable (Jessie 8) Provides latest KDE packages of: Plasma 5.7.5 + Frameworks 5.27 + KDE Applications 16.04 + Qt 5.7.0" Further details can be found in the project's release announcement. The Core edition is available in a 64-bit for x86 computers and there is an image for the Odroid C1 ARM device.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
The governing of distributions
Linux distributions are governed in a wide variety of ways. Some projects have a single (often benevolent) dictator, others strive to make decisions through meritocracy. Some projects are run by commercial interests, others are essentially one-person projects and a few (like Debian) strive to maintain a democracy.
This week we would like to know which method of government, if any, you think works best. Is a top-down dictator the best choice for steering a distribution, should money and resources decide a project's direction or is a democracy the best way to produce a Linux distribution?
You can see the results of our previous poll on preferred download methods here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
The governing of distributions
|I perfer a dictator with a vision: ||287 (16%)|
| I prefer a democracy for the people: ||527 (30%)|
| I prefer money/resources decides what is best: ||60 (3%)|
| I prefer a meritocracy: ||406 (23%)|
| I prefer the flexibility of one-person projects: ||62 (4%)|
| Other: ||48 (3%)|
| No preference: ||355 (20%)|
September 2016 DistroWatch.com donation: FFmpeg
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the September 2016 DistroWatch.com donation is FFmpeg. The project receives US$300.00 in cash.
FFmpeg provides users with a collection of multimedia utilities to play, convert and stream a wide range of media formats. The FFmpeg software provides a powerful, yet straight forward command line syntax for manipulating media files. The project's website summaries FFmpeg as follows: "FFmpeg is the leading multimedia framework, able to decode, encode, transcode, mux, demux, stream, filter and play pretty much anything that humans and machines have created. It supports the most obscure ancient formats up to the cutting edge. No matter if they were designed by some standards committee, the community or a corporation. It is also highly portable: FFmpeg compiles, runs, and passes our testing infrastructure FATE across Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, the BSDs, Solaris, etc. under a wide variety of build environments, machine architectures, and configurations."
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and crypto currencies are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has made 145 donations for a total of US$45,981 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300), GIMP ($350), Kodi ($300), Devuan ($300), hdparm ($350), HardenedBSD ($400), TestDisk ($450)
- 2016: KeePass ($400), Slackware Live Edition ($406), Devil-Linux ($400), FFmpeg ($300)
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New distributions added to database
budgie-remix is an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Budgie desktop, originally developed by the Solus project. Written from scratch and integrating tightly with GNOME stack, Budgie focuses on simplicity and elegance, while also offering useful features, such as the Raven notification and customisation centre.
budgie-remix 16.10 -- Running the Budgie desktop environment
(full image size: 763kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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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, 31 October 2016. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
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|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Meritocracy preferred. Desktop, & everywhere (by Greg Zeng on 2016-10-24 04:09:05 GMT from Australia) |
The Linux (kernel) is used for in both closed-Linux-systems and open-Linux systems. The system is Linux-Kernel, plus other parts. Not all Linux-based systems are designed to be user-friendly e.g. "core", legally-tight, etc.
On the desktop systems using the Linux-kernel, Ubuntu-derivatives are the most popular. Mint (a Ubuntu-derivative) & the derivatives based on Mint, are the most user-friendly, crash-resistant of all the user-friendly operating systems imho.
Ego-driven distributions start as solo-dictatorships. These (Pinguy, PCLOS), no matter how talented, eventually disappear afaik. PCLOS has now mostly moved into a meritocracy, or "collective" team. Some think that Ubuntu is a dictatorship, but most (all?) of it is really a "community", or meritocracy. Except for some Ubuntu-derivatives, since these are very easy for ego-publishers to create as stable, reliable distributions, with very few shortcomings, and no bugs, until the dictator (group, sometimes) "burns-out". (BTW: ego-publishing is not a "put-down"; most artists, etc are ego-driven afaik).
The noob question on Linux Desktop systems used closed systems as an example: Android, the many Android derivatives, and the one closed-BSD-derivatives (Apple). These closed systems use some open-Linux stuff, which is tightly integrated with secret-copyright pieces, and closed-meritocracies. Trustworthy is not important. Religious "faith", or blind-ignorance is needed for these closed systems. This explains the many closed-Linux operating systems forced onto national populations created by nationalistic governments, or the loyal "agencies" of these governments.
Most desktop users are using closed-commercial operating systems: Windows, then IOS (numerically, nationally and financially), whether they be westernized, or not. These closed-systems all use closed-meritocracies.
Some open-Linux systems also have closed-meritocracies. However most open-Linux distributions have open meritocracies. Open-Linux systems dominate EVERY type of computer-based system: IOT, servers and desktop systems. On the desktop (excluding tablets and smartphone based systems), open-Linux systems are less then two per-cent (2%) of all desktop operating systems, Linux or not.
Official media channels cannot be seen to openly agree the above opinions (biased!). In my nursing-home life, I am not dependent now on the legal, advertising and financial approval of the corporations . These opinions are mine alone, and cannot ever be considered to represent any other organization nor other person.
2 • @ differences in popularity (by Thom on 2016-10-24 05:09:55 GMT from Sweden)
The primary reason was that Linux compiled on practically any processor out of the box. Microsoft was (is) too tightly bound to the x86 architecture.
Microsoft's past behavior towards the Asian hardware manufacturers, in terms of licen$ing, may have been a factor too. Karma is a bitch when you are the 800-pound gorilla in the room and everyone else have left.
3 • Ubuntu_16.10_review_Canonical_mired_in_Mir (by k on 2016-10-24 06:10:41 GMT from Germany)
Joshua, that was an "honest" review, thank you.
"the Unity 8 desktop is a developer preview; it is barely functional."
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir_(software) ,
"in March 2013 Canonical Ltd. announced Mir as the replacement display
server for the X.Org Server in Ubuntu...
... Canonical stated that it could not meet Ubuntu's needs with Wayland."
If understood the "Welcome to this year's 43rd issue of DistroWatch ...
... the Unity 8 desktop environment running on the Mir display software".
I am not an "expert", like DistroWatch's experts, but I have used Ubuntu
a fair bit, last was 14.04.1 LTS, and I have tried Fedora.
I suppose the latest builds of Ubuntu -- with systemd -- must have some
REALLY significantly different "needs" from Fedora which "functions" with
Wayland -- in live session at least -- relatively fast and stable.
4 • governing of distribution. (by kennedy on 2016-10-24 06:43:51 GMT from South Africa)
My prefered distribution is run by a dictator, I do not like that fact but I love the distribution. My worry is what would happen to the distribution if this dictator is unable to maintain it.
5 • #5 (by Microlinux on 2016-10-24 07:39:30 GMT from France)
I'm also running Slackware, and Patrick Volkerding is probably the nicest dictator around. :o)
6 • #5 (by jadecat09 on 2016-10-24 08:03:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
If, for whatever reason, PV was to step down there are worthy successors in the wings.
7 • Governing of distributions (by John on 2016-10-24 08:04:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
The main problem with distros depending too much on one person is that they can vanish quite suddenly, even overnight - eg Solus in its first incarnation. Fuduntu and its successor Cloverleaf also disappeared unexpectedly.
8 • Ubuntu 16.10 and Unity 8 (by Lennie on 2016-10-24 08:17:39 GMT from Canada)
>It is best to begin by stating that there is a good reason why the Unity 8 desktop is a developer preview; it is barely functional.<
Because it is a developer preview. More info on how to (try to) use Unity 8 on Ubuntu 16.10 can be found here https://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=427, especially a check the posts from ventrical and also here, http://insights.ubuntu.com/2016/10/13/unity-8-preview-session-in-ubuntu-16-10-yakkety-yak/
>Ubuntu 16.10 is a solid, polished, usable Linux distribution.<
That tells everything, doesn't it?
9 • Linux is dominant everywhere expect the desktop @ Jessie (by Mark on 2016-10-24 08:53:37 GMT from Canada)
"A company like Google can focus on building a user interface on top of Linux rather than build a new system entirely from scratch and that speeds up development."
This is not exactly true, isn't it? If we are talking about Android, it was made by another company Android. Inc. Even though that company is bought by Google, it is still the same three guys' work on Android. Even though Android is using the Linux kernel, the Android developers maintain that it is not Linux.
Android has to come pre installed on devices, as it is a SoC. You can, of course, download Android for example Nougat, but it won't be that easy to install Android on a random device.
The mobile market is dominated by Android, and not Linux. Android or its owner Google is not interested on advertising Linux--Android is not Linux is stated. The only Linux distro that's trying to move to the mobile market is Ubuntu, and it is not that known. In the normal world, very few people ever consider Android as Linux, and even fewer had ever heard of Linux.
10 • Governance (by Jack on 2016-10-24 09:13:41 GMT from United States)
I've used distros with a variety of governing models. I've never consciously made a decision on what distro to use based on the governing model. All I care about is that the distro functions well for my workload. Sometimes (rarely) that's been commercial distributions, sometimes community based, sometimes benevolent dictator. The great thing about linux is it's nearly impossible to get vendor locked. So if a distro starts taking a turn you don't like or if a project folds, there's always plenty of others based on different models.
11 • @9 (by Jack on 2016-10-24 09:24:22 GMT from United States)
It doesn't really matter what the punters think or their awareness of the linux brand. At the end of the day they're using a product that is linux-based (whether the vendor wants to pretend otherwise or not). And they're doing it more than they realize, especially with the proliferation of IoT devices. In-car infotainment systems, Tivo and other PVRs, wireless routers, appliances. This goes to Jesse's point about people buying products rather than their parts. Few people buy Windows or macOS because they're in love with their kernels either. Vendor lock and inertia play a much bigger role than anything else. If Windows software ran anywhere, Microsoft would probably be about as big a player in the OS market as Atari right now.
12 • Ubuntu 16.10 Review (by gabbman on 2016-10-24 09:41:17 GMT from Canada)
Joshua good review. I have an HP is running AMD A10-8700P Radeon R6, and the issue with the AMD graphics is not quite there yet.
This beast needs the "nomemdeset" tweak in grub to get the GUI to work. It passes the functionality test after that, but still not 100% as far as little things like transparency on the menu bar etc.
13 • Android. Linux, Microsoft & East-Asian manufacturers. (by Greg Zeng on 2016-10-24 10:50:22 GMT from Australia)
Check Wikipedia & later, for Android truths. "Android has the largest installed base of all operating systems (OS) of any kind." and "Android is a Linux distribution according to the Linux Foundation." wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)
Google, Android, etc are administratively managed by "Alphabet" (website: abc.xyz). After this message is posted, Android might still be a component of Google, or it might become "independent" of Google. Android-forks are very many, changing every month.
Most of these Android-type of Linux are closed-meritocracies. At least one is an open-meritocracy: CyanogenMod. Windows has at least two Windows-based Android systems, about six (6) ISO-complete Unetbootin-installing operating systems for the x86-64 CPU, and eight (8) Android emulators currently alive in 2016, according to my personal archival storage.
The x86-64 CPU is not Microsoft, nor Intel, as some might believe. Intel was so embarrassed when it tried to abandon the x86 CPU. AMD had created the X64-CPU that was so x86 compatible, that now Intel was forced to have two differents units: IA-64 and the x86-64. This explain why applications & operating systems claim to be AMD-64 compatible, since Intel-64 is not the industry standard for x86.
The Microsoft, Apple & Intel hostility to Linux and Android-type operating systems is also similar to other USA-hostility to innovation. Google seems an exception, with its Android and some other products. Android-proper is generally avoided, because it has technically & legally hostile requirements. Hence all the Android & Chromium-forks. My personal opinions & findings exist all over the internet. However the governance principles of Wikipedia prevents these facts being published there.
14 • 16.10 and AMD (by greg on 2016-10-24 10:58:13 GMT from Slovenia)
I do not have a new AMD chipš to compare myself. however reading the forums regularly i cna see many users solved AMD issues (AMDGPU-pro particularly) with the upgrade. needless to say test in live to see how well it works and backup before upgrade.
15 • "No Preference" -- What Counts is What's Delivered (by joncr on 2016-10-24 11:19:05 GMT from United States)
"No Preference" on the governance poll. I'm interested in Linux as a product, so I assess the merits of a distribution based on what it delivers to me, not on how the project is managed.
Notions of "democracy" governing a distribution are only legitimate if the total number of people eligible to vote is known, and if those people are actually allowed to vote on issues, and if the results of those votes are honored.
Since no Linux distribution has any accurate knowledge of the number of people using it, as well as no formal method of voting, it's impossible for a distribution to be governed by a democracy of its users.
It's a serious error to presume social media posts represent the actual user base of a distribution.
16 • Ubuntu offers live kernel updates - other Ubuntu based? (by Any User on 2016-10-24 13:10:58 GMT from United States)
That is nice that Ubuntu offers live kernel updates, but what about other Ubuntu based systems (Linux Mint, Lubuntu) ?
If they do not, any ideas of when?
17 • Ubuntu offers live kernel updates - 32 bit? (by Any User on 2016-10-24 13:15:59 GMT from United States)
To get Ubuntu with a live kernel updates, I see that it requires that you are using 64 bit.
How about some love for 32 bit?
18 • Governing Distributions (by PMcCartney on 2016-10-24 13:24:09 GMT from United States)
As with many of the Linux distributions that I've used (along with BSD), I prefer the way FreeBSD operates over any Linux distro. Mainly because, the Linux kernel is still governed by Linus Torvalds. He is still the deciding factor as far as kernel releases go. And, if anything were to happen to Linus, who will carry on the proverbial Linux torch?
19 • Poll (by Jordan on 2016-10-24 13:52:29 GMT from United States)
One of the best poll questions in here, imo. But I ended up having no real preference about it as I see successful distros along the whole spectrum of choices given.
Very well thought out choices and analysis. Made me think, and that's dangerous. ;)
20 • Review (by Travisyard on 2016-10-24 15:09:00 GMT from United States)
Don't mind Me, I'm doing this for school.
Another great issue of DW Weekly! I enjoyed your discussion on Ubuntu 16.10. What you found in your review mirrors my experience with trying it out myself: A half-baked dev preview of a desktop and very few new features. I also played around withere the new Lubuntu and ithe was very similar! Lubuntu packaged many new Qt technologies in preparation to transition to LXQt. FinallyX I appreciate your thoughts on why desktop Linux isn't as popular as other OSes. That's always something I have to explain when demonstrating it and your answer helps a ton.
21 • @11 Mark (by Mark on 2016-10-24 16:36:33 GMT from Canada)
"The great thing about linux is it's nearly impossible to get vendor locked."
I agree. I don't care about any governors of distributions. I used to have a favourite distro, but not any more.
Regarding Android; ask any user of an Android device user, if his device is run on Linux? Better ask the ordinary guy, who uses Android, not a die-hard Linux fellow. Nowadays, most guys only uses a smartphone most of the time, if needed uses a computer at work. Even though, we'd like to say otherwise, most of those people use Windows at work (and at home too).
22 • Options, options (by Andy Mender on 2016-10-24 17:16:50 GMT from Austria)
Hmm...only 3% have voted for "I prefer money/resources decides what is best" and yet the most popular distros (not here, overall) are Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSUSE - all financially backed by large companies, who usually do the deciding.
Also, I highly recommend updating to Ubuntu 16.10 or any other Ubuntu flavor. Most of the 16.04 LTS flavors/spins I tried were bugfests. Wouldn't recommend to anyone wanting a product that "Just Works".
23 • @22 Options, options (by vw72 on 2016-10-24 18:37:49 GMT from United States)
"Hmm...only 3% have voted for "I prefer money/resources decides what is best" and yet the most popular distros (not here, overall) are Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSUSE - all financially backed by large companies, who usually do the deciding."
Just because those distributions have corporate sponsors, does not mean they don't operate as a democracy or meritocracy.
24 • @23 *cracy (by nolinuxguru on 2016-10-24 18:54:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
@23 "Just because those distributions have corporate sponsors, does not mean they don't operate as a democracy or meritocracy."
That would explain why they all decided to force their users to adopt systemd, as if of one mind..
25 • @23 (by Jack on 2016-10-24 22:15:56 GMT from United States)
Coincidentally, Debian and Arch, arguably the two largest completely free community/democratic distros, also switched to systemd. Obviously they're in the pocket of Big Startup.
26 • 24 • @23 *cracy (by mandog on 2016-10-24 22:18:01 GMT from Peru)
No they did not force anybody to use systemD users have their own mind if they are not happy they can just move on they are not handcuffed to any distribution, only the whiners keep going back to the same old excuses Linux is Linux everybody has a choice to choose what they use and how they use it. with out be hassled by others.
27 • Poll (by Bob on 2016-10-24 23:07:22 GMT from Austria)
If they don't mess up everything before final release I'll have to stick with openSuse 42.2 whatever -ocracy this might be. Lookin' good so far.
28 • Linux_mint_Debian_edition_2_is_still_without_systemd_and... (by k on 2016-10-25 07:05:45 GMT from Moldova, Republic of)
... and the Linux Mint tops the list of downloads frequency.
Corroborating mandog's comment #26, LMDE2 has been the primary operating system
in use here, most capable -- functional, fast and featured -- and stable, for well over a year,
so all happy.
29 • KDE1 (by curious on 2016-10-25 09:55:19 GMT from Germany)
If KDE1 can run on the latest Fedora, what does anyone need Plasma for?
30 • @ 25 Democrazy (by Lennie on 2016-10-25 14:28:28 GMT from Canada)
>Coincidentally, Debian and Arch, arguably the two largest completely free community/democratic distros, also switched to systemd.<
I don't think so. Just try your luck with their forums and you'd find yourself kicked in the butt. Those forums are not independent of the distros, but are governed by the "owners."
31 • About kernel live patches (by Kazlu on 2016-10-25 15:33:00 GMT from France)
About Canonical live kernel patching: I immediately found odd that a new feature becomes available 6 months after the realease of Ubuntu 16.04. How can the software be part of the repositories if thore are supposed to be frozen? I cannot find it in the Ubuntu repositories (http://packages.ubuntu.com/fr/xenial/allpackages?format=txt.gz). And while I'm asking questions: It's Canonical software, not Ubuntu software, so is it even free and open source software?
I looked for information a little. From Dustin Kirkland himself:
"The source code of the canonical-livepatch client is part of Canonical's Landscape system management product and is commercial software." http://blog.dustinkirkland.com/2016/10/canonical-livepatch.html
OK, I didn't know the Landscape software. What is it? Is if F/LOSS? According to the Canonical's wikipedia page, no: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canonical_(company)#Other_projects_and_services
So here is what I think: This is an interesting feature. It's good for companies which want that level of service. It's even better if it helps companies switch their operating systems to Ubuntu. But as an individual, I won't use this since that feature requires the use of non-free software. Well I don't use Ubuntu 16.04 anyway, but if I did, I wouldn't use live kernel patching.
32 • Live kernel patched (by Jesse on 2016-10-25 16:01:51 GMT from Canada)
@31: I think you are making two errors in your evaluation as to whether Canonical's live patching is non-free or free software. Specifically:
1. You are confusing Canonical's Landscape server-side web interface with the client side. The client software, the part which you run on your computer, is licensed under the GPLv2. http://changelogs.ubuntu.com/changelogs/pool/main/l/landscape-client/landscape-client_16.03-0ubuntu2/copyright
The license of the server side is closed, but server side code doesn't run on your machine and is effectively closed to you anyway, regardless of which service/company is running it.
2. You seem to assume commercial and non-free are the same, but lots of commercial software is also free (as in liberty) software.
In short, using live kernel patching does not require the user to run non-free software.
As to why the software is not in the Ubuntu .deb repositories, it is because the software is installed as a snap, which Kirkland explains in the article you linked to.
33 • live kernel patches (by lupus on 2016-10-25 16:59:44 GMT from Germany)
If I understood Dustin correctly on the Linux Action Show on Jupiter Broadcasting
up to 3 machines it is even free as in free beer.
So no harm no foul play
just thank you canonical for bringing a modern Kernel feature to the public.
I also think we private tinkerers won't need live kernel patching but better have it and don't need it as need it and don't have it.
34 • [@26] ^cracy (by nolinuxguru on 2016-10-25 17:20:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
@26 "No they did not force anybody to use systemD...". If they provided viable alternatives to systemd with for these distros that would be true, but they did not. Instead, the only alternative to systemd was to "go away" [Poetterings own words].
After some 20 years using many distros, I thought in Debian that I had finally found one which met all my needs, and was not as fussy as related distros [Ubuntu, Mint etc].
Then along comes systemd, with its almost bully-boy tactics, "assimlating" distro after distro. Some distros already aligned with Redhat were easy, others [like Debian] required populating the various committees with "their people". Of the remaining "big" distros, some decided that life would be easier if they towed the line.
Of the "big" distros that remain [ones with extensive package repositories], we are left with what I would call the difficult cases: Gentoo, Slackware, PCLinuxOS. If it were not for the Devuan project, the valuable work by Debian pioneers over some 23 years, would be lost to the toxic grasp of systemd. However, the Devuan work is hampered by the continual growth of systemd into areas where its only purpose is to create "dependencies without value".
Similar problems must arise for the other non-systemd distros [I will not name them all here, but http://without-systemd.org is a good resource]. Notable cases are Obarun [ex Arch], Manjaro-OpecRC, Arch-OpenRC and Void Linux [independent].
"If you don't like it here, you can always leave". Where have we heard that before, in albeit more serious circumstances?
35 • #34 (by anticapitalista on 2016-10-25 18:37:46 GMT from Greece)
Not only Devuan. There are a few Debian based distros and deb maintainers that provide nosystemd debs or iso builds/distros. In fact, they are ahead of Devuan at the moment in the fact that you can use Debian stretch and sid repos as well as jessie without systemd. Devuan testing ascii does not provide up to date packages like those provided by Debian testing/stretch.
36 • *cracy (by nolinuxguru on 2016-10-25 19:21:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
@35 Agreed. At the start, I assumed that I could continue to use Debian 7 [without systemd], but it became clear that it was becoming "broken", and would in any way end up with very stale packages.
The only distinction between projects like Devuan and the breakaways like AntiX, Obarun [etc etc] is in the scope of their repositories. Anyway, my intention was not to induce a competition between non-systemd distros. It is just that their work is made harder by the antics [no pun intended] of the systemd crew. For example, core technologies like Dbus and Udev have already been assimilated by systemd, and will soon become a support nightmare for the non-systemd distros.
37 • #36 (by anticapitalista on 2016-10-25 19:52:34 GMT from Greece)
antiX uses Debian repos as well as its own, so it actually offers more (at the moment) than Devuan.
But, you are right that it is becoming harder and harder to build Debian based debs/distros due to the antics of the systemd crew.
38 • No systemD (by Jeff on 2016-10-25 21:14:02 GMT from United States)
The various Debian without systemd splinter groups need to work together instead of being a pile of fragments all too small to remain viable.
The strength of Debian has is their numbers, and yet even they have packages that lack maintainers.
39 • non-systemd distros working together (by nolinuxguru on 2016-10-25 22:07:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
@38 As an outsider, I am not sure whether the various non-systemd distros work together in some informal way.
They are often distinguished by having different Package Managers [at least]. I for one would like to be able to use packages from one distro on another. However, it is not as simple as the file format for a package: missing or incompatible shared images complicate things.
A distro like Source Mage appears to access the original source code, rather than keep a repository; however, it has so far defeated my attempts to get it installed.
I did not know that AntiX can use the Debian repos directly. That would mean that packages which do not depend on systemd would also work for Devuan. I clearly do not know enough about this!
40 • #34 #35 #36 (by UR on 2016-10-25 23:29:45 GMT from Germany)
Of course the independent distros are in favour over the supposed-to-have-systemd-but-maintain-other-init-system distro when dealing with packages that are supposed to rely on systemd, but after all they still have to keep patching the software that is relying on systemd on upstream side.
41 • AMD graphics compatibility (by zzarko on 2016-10-25 23:42:27 GMT from Serbia)
If you have latest AMD cards (GCN 1.2), they are covered with amdgpu and/or amdgpu-pro. If you have pre-GCN card, they are covered too with radeon driver. But, if you have GCN 1.0 or 1.1 card, and use it for gaming (steam), then better not to upgrade, or most of your games won't work or they will work poorly (if you don't play games, then open source drivers for these cards are good enough).
AMD is still developing amdgpu for GCN 1.0 and 1.1, and it isn't ready yet (some estimates are that it would be ready in about a year). Radeon driver support for these cards exists, but isn't on par with discontinued catalyst driver (speed-wise and/or feature-wise). So, for now, I'm sticking with 14.04 until amdgpu becomes stable for my GCN 1.1 card, as I like to play games (and I'm happy that so many nowadays are available for Linux!)
42 • The governing of distributions (by :wq on 2016-10-26 01:54:02 GMT from United States)
While I think consultation with non-project members in matters such as usability testing is invaluable, when it comes to project governance, I am against "armchair quarterback" governance from the bleachers (although I am occasionally guilty of this myself). Many open-source projects have clearly defined avenues for joining and contributing, which sometimes include having a vote (or otherwise a voice) in project direction (depending on the project structure).
"You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time."
I know some people don't care for One Thousand and One Forks/Derivatives, but forking allows for differentiation when a divorce of competing designs, ideologies, personalities, etc may be the most productive (or least unproductive) course of action. Ideally this would be used when there are fundamental differences with regard to vision, rather than merely preferring a different default wallpaper and icon theme.
43 • We hate the decay-rate of prior learning! (If we are old) (by Greg Zeng on 2016-10-26 04:32:26 GMT from Australia)
@15 actual user base of a distribution
Internet professionals know this fairly well. Whenever anyone "internet-hits" a professionally-run website, the stats collected include the supposed Web-browser. If you ever use the internet browsers properly, the good appliances give you the extra option to give the correct report to these professional sites. For example, my favored Slimjet (Linux & Windows) has: "Include Slimjet brand name in user agent string".
Unless this deviation is allowed, all the web-browsers & operating systems will report inaccurately as being the parent: Ubuntu-Unity, Debian, Redhat (?), Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. Non-noobs will wisely choose the friendlier, more powerful, less-legalistic stuffiness of their parents. Some of the children are tattoo-blazing eye-ear-candied (Ultimate-Full, just released). This explains the false reports of the "most-popular" being Chrome, Firefox and Ubuntu-Unity.
@16, @17, @31, @33 Ubuntu offers live kernel update
This has been covered in great detail on numerous websites, posted by myself. My posts on the topic are re-reported on other sites as usual, without acknowledgement to myself. The proper Ubuntu sites are inaccurate; obviously they did not use Google, otherwise they would know rectify their poor understanding of the topics. Distrowatch does not have the ability to cover this topic yet; with its poor Google-robot-search setup.
@18 Governing Distributions
"if anything were to happen to Linus" ... shows poor press coverage of Linus & linux, by all communication media. Linux kernel is mostly open, and not dependent of any dictator. The closed Linux kernels exist, but someone might "teach" this later? Google's results are not adequate to include into any Wikipedia-type of report. The "black internet" or Wikileaks MIGHT show some reality. Only old-timers like myself, if alive, might tell you about past reality, Most of reality will never be stored in any type code-form (audio, video, text are codes; all falsely claim "accuracy": cognitive science).
@22, @23, @24, @34 • Options, options
Another noob who has poor understanding of the working of Linux communities (including Android). Canonical Ubuntu has financial, legal tightness, similar to Google's Android and Redhat. The parents have open and closed communities, which may not yet have the official or un-official approval of the profit-dependent parent. Governance in Linux is structured the way the military departments of the big nations operate. We all have "fluid" interactions (known & unknown) with all other "players". Outsiders like the juniors & noobs are unaware of these realities.
"systemd" and other ISO-type standards are not secret, suspicious conspiracies, except to outsiders. If ever you have enough work-skills to work at the ISO-levels, you might understand the importance of the management of superstructures and substructures.
42 • The governing of distributions
One of the very few things here on Distowatch that is reality. This governance problem is called "evolution", as theorized by Charles Darwin, but operating with memes, not biochemistry. Our work at ISO-type organizations is affecting Linux, whether the juniors know it or not. The disappearances of primitive languages (spoken, written, computer, etc.) is part of this deliberate rationalization processes. BSD-type &, Linux-type languages are also undergoing "evolution". Much more rationally than the non-Unix languages. So many coders hate the decay-rate of their learnt languages.
44 • systemd to become ISO standard? (by nolinuxguru on 2016-10-26 07:59:32 GMT from United Kingdom)
@43 ' "systemd" and other ISO-type standards are not secret, suspicious conspiracies, except to outsiders.' ...'Our work at ISO-type organizations is affecting Linux...'.
I would laugh at the idea that systemd could become an ISO Standard if it weren't a scary. The great ISO standards like Fortran, C/C++ are welcomed by the whole community in a specialist area. systemd is far from uniformly welcomed, except perhaps in the alternative universe that Poettering et at inhabit.
45 • Korporate Kulture Konquers Kode (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2016-10-26 09:46:40 GMT from United States)
Greg Zeng floats on FOSS boards his haughty proposition that corporate QA beats FOSS. He misses the whole point. It's not about being corporate. FOSS goals are anti-corporate.
Yet what's happening is a hostile corporate takeover. Greg likes it, but isn't qualified to speak on code. If only D- did adhere to standards, including the first advertising, so that we could know where RedTeamBlackHat might stop eating the commons. Greg's secret plot cop-out mantra is a strawman to evade the basic issue at hand.
A company leveraging unpaid volunteers would seek to control them as much as possible. It's rather obvious. Read IgnorantGuru's insights on how it's done. Realize that one firm now controls many big pieces of Linux, well beyond D-, big as that is now.
Linus himself stays in their walled D- garden despite crappy QA so bad it makes him curse, er, more than usual. Greg missed the memo. Linus pulled commit privs from D- devs. That's the corporate quality Greg touts.
FOSS distros are volunteer associations. They are not corporations and not military. Most don't need government. Where they are "ruled," you find cliques. Some have elections, but claims of meritocracy are baseless absent objective metrics.
The problem in FOSS isn't presence or absence of leadership boards, elections, HR policy emissions, or korporate fluff. It's a flocking reflex. FOSS distros do what others do. Given that social situation, it's a cakewalk for any self-interested company to provide the missing direction. Distros were too eager to kiss D- thinking a one-night stand for cruft removal would not betray FOSS. They all got VD and now cover their shame and stupidity with bald propaganda that VD is improvement. With the amount of work D- took to adopt, they could easily have changed inits by themselves. But no. RedTeamBlackHat got them by the balls. Now they must do exactly whatever the firm says comes next in the VD- conquest, without influence on said firm's decisions. Talk about "governance"!
I am Arch Watcher 402563 and I approve armchair quarterbacking by those who (a) code professionally and (b) want to see FOSS freedom for all. You're welcome.
46 • @32 live kernel patches (by Kazlu on 2016-10-26 11:36:53 GMT from France)
1. I admit having trouble finding out what is running server side and what is running client side, particularly in the case of kernel live patches. For something as sensitive as kernel updates, code running server side is not really reassuring, especially when you don't know what is the extent of its role. We could imagine that the client side only sends information to the server side which would be doing the real work. I don't really know. But anyway that changes a lot, by principle, when you compare that to an update software running entirely on your machine and that is just fetching signed binaries on external repositories: in my understanding, in this case nothing is computed server side for each client individually. Only the binaries building (once for everyone, so no one to target specifically) are run server side.
2. Commercial and non-free are indeed not the same and that is the reason I thought I needed more information when I read "commercial software". Since it answered a question concerning software licences, it seemed to use "commercial" as "non-free", but that was not clear enough. So I looked at the Canonical wikipedia page until I found "Landscape, a proprietary web service for centralized management of Ubuntu systems". There it is : "proprietary". Then you know it's not free software. But at that point I admit it seems to be concerning the server part and you brought a proof that the client part is free software.
About the repositories: oh. So where can we explore snap packages repositories? I found this but could not find canonical-livepatch: https://apps.ubuntu.com/cat/search/?q=canonical-livepatch&op=. And I don't know how it is managed, contrary to the classical .deb repositories. If the snap repos are not frozen the way the .deb repos are, I consider that can be a good idea for some desktop applications but not for critical pieces of software such as the Linux kernel.
47 • NetRunner Core 10-21-2016 (by Lionel Winchester on 2016-10-26 14:10:56 GMT from United States)
The latest NetRunner seems to be an interesting distribution. Debian Stable base with the new KDE Plasma desktop.
However,the display / log-in manager is not to my taste at all so,I installed KDM via Synaptic.
Also,I could not get auto log-in to work by selecting that option during the install procedure .... nor could I get it to work post-install from the settings menu. Maybe I will try as the super user.
48 • @45 (by Jay on 2016-10-26 14:57:55 GMT from United States)
I agree with your point about manpower moves groups that don't seem willing to provide it (no matter how much they have or could do it). I agree it isn't as difficult as people make it out to be to alter the init system. You need commitment to do it. So many people talk about doing something, but when it comes to actually doing it, nothing happens. They just go with what's easiest. That's the evil of the default. The same is true about security/privacy/etc. They want it all, but OMG, if it costs me anything (convenience usually), then I don't want that!
49 • Would people get addicted to Linux? (by Lennie on 2016-10-26 15:16:56 GMT from Canada)
A long time ago, IBM gave away the technology how to make PCs, without keeping something crucial for itself, so in the end IBM lost to all clone producers. To run the PCs, you needed a OS, and that wasn't really there, except maybe DOS. But later Windows came by, but was pirated all over the world. Even governments used pirated Windows. But, Windows kept something crucial for itself. The whole world got addicted to Windows. Even in those days, I felt that MS was making Windows in such a way, so it was easy to get pirated, just to get the world addicted to it.
Google learned Android's worth and bought the company with the developers. It doesn't really matter, if Android takes the Linux kernel and redo it for its use. What's created is Android and nothing is given back to Linux. Android (and Google) makes sure that Android won't work with the PCs. Android is sort of open source, up to a point. That open-source part can be used by manufacturers to create their own Android based operating system. That way, Android has taken the world market. Only certain apps would always be proprietary and owned by Google. And the world got addicted to Android.
50 • re: Would people get addicted to Linux? (by nolinuxguru on 2016-10-26 18:06:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
@49 You are wrong about Android not working on PCs: I have run the x86 version on a laptop [it is number 18 on the Distro Watch Chart]. It is slow running from a DVD or USB drive, but it can be installed on a hard drive. However, you might be disappointed with it as a desktop replacement. No chance of becoming an addict! An architectural dead-end, soon to be revoked.
51 • @50 (by Lennie on 2016-10-26 20:30:49 GMT from Canada)
Android is ported to x86 by few enthusiasts. I have used 3 of them. What I said is that Android or Google is not interested in creating Android to work in PCs. And they keep on stating that Android is not Linux.
People have got addicted to Android with more than 5 billion mobile users. Google succeeded by selling Android, and not Linux. Google is not that successful in Linux based PC like Chromebook.
52 • android (by nolinuxguru on 2016-10-26 20:48:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
@51 Sorry, I miss-read what you were saying. Yes, it is clear as mud what Google are doing with Android and Chromium. They avoid saying anything about Linux. Soon, they will not use Linux as a base OS. As long as they keep the user interface vaguely the same, who will care what is under the bonnet? Maybe they will take the Chromebook model to the extreme of assuming that everyone everywhere has a fast internet connection. Then all their software can sit in the clouds. Where have I seen that before? If they succeed in replacing the Linux kernel, with something smaller, then I would be interested in seeing that [assuming it is FOSS].
53 • Linux is and isn't an OS (by Woodstock69 on 2016-10-26 23:54:37 GMT from Australia)
Two points on this weeks question. The first is that when dealing with specifics, you need to understand that Linux isn't the OS. It's the kernel. The heart and brain which the OS is built around. This is why Linux lends itself to so many applications. Linux doesn't need a body to function. Now if you want a desktop/mobile system, you need either the Android wrap-around or the myriad of other supporting GNU "tools" and environments to interface with the user. And yes, Android has the Linux kernel at its heart, and in this sense it is Linux.
Secondly, I'm happy to have the current level of exposure of Linux (the desktop, not the kernel) as is. I don't want Linux to be too mainstream. I'd use Windows/Mac if I want mainstream and to live in a straight-jacket. I can confidently support my friends and family in getting them started and using most distributions to meet their needs. This is my hobby. This is Linux (the OS).
So you have Linux the OS/Distro and you have Linux the kernel. And this is why Stallman likes to differentiate the two by saying GNU/Linux (the OS) when referring to distros (amongst other reasons). Now you might like to disagree with my very broad and general summary, that's ok, just be civil.
54 • @39 no systemd (by Jeff on 2016-10-27 07:05:07 GMT from United States)
Since all the distros I was talking about were/are splinters or forks of Debian they all still use the .deb package which means the same package managers will work for any.
So really the only thing left is dependencies, which systemd is being made one in things for no reason except to prevent other init systems use.
55 • @ 53 (by Mark on 2016-10-27 08:03:08 GMT from Canada)
Linux maybe just the kernel, but what we use is called a Linux distro. Mac and Windows are also distros on their own way, are using a kernel and building around it. Only they never talk about a kernel, and the users are not interested.
Android doesn't talk about Linux too. Android doesn't use GNU and is not interested in Stallman. It makes its own "tools" and those tools cannot be used in "mainline" Linux distros. Also so-called Linux apps won't work in Android and have to be "ported" to Android. Interestingly, those ported apps are much smaller, than in a "normal" Linux distro.
56 • Re: Cold hard facts (by A-Style on 2016-10-28 04:38:25 GMT from United States)
Number of active distributions in the database: 283
Number of discontinued distributions: 487
Number of dormant distributions: 59
This is straight off DW. Does anyone else notice that the number of discontinued and dormant distributions is nearly twice that of active ones? (Picking on the math is missing the point of what I'm trying to say). Just having a personal itch to scratch does not make for a successful, sustainable project. Most of the defunct stuff is simple re-spins anyway. Yeah, whoever made the re-spins, they have the skill to do something interesting. My suggestion to them would be to write scripts and release them as packages to the 'Community' repos of the major distros. If you personally don't like the installer, but have the skills to bake your own into a DVD, fine, do it for yourself, but don't pollute the listings! It's hard enough to scroll through nearly 300 active projects and choose what you want.
57 • @54 • @39 no systemd (by Jeff on 2016-10-27 07:05:07 GMT from United States) (by Finalzone on 2016-10-28 07:34:20 GMT from Canada)
Systemd is a system daemon for Linux kernel. Having multiple init available for the sake of it within core components is just a waste of time and yet another lack of standardization.
58 • Yahweh, God(s), Allah, ... where are you, when we need you? (by Greg Zeng on 2016-10-28 07:54:02 GMT from Australia)
At the end of every week, few eyeballs see these latter comments. So "old" comments are seemingly lost forever, because Google's robots cannot (yet) discover them. But I will persist.
54 • @39 no systemd
"Since all the distros I was talking about were/are splinters or forks of Debian they all still use the .deb package which means the same package managers will work for any."
Ubuntu-based distributions can generally handle the many dependent files, if you install any DEB-type file. Sometimes you need to run in a terminal, as the terrible screen readout demands: sudo apt autoremove
Debian-based distributions that are missing the Ubuntu-base, find it difficult to handle file dependencies. Many are missing, or wrong, or confused by the ones already there. Often the program needed to handle DEB-type file is missing, or the wrong type. After you install apt-get, aptitude, etc ... the installation might still be unclean, now or later. Other versions of Linux are worse again. Hence their low popularity, after the "honeymoon" period.
55 • @ 53
Yes. As already stated in my earlier post in @1: "Religious "faith", or blind-ignorance is needed for these closed systems." My first draft of this line was not so PC: politically-correct.
The Linux kernel is much more than you seem to understand. The closed-kernels use closed-meritocracies, with secret crazed-codings. Hence the closed-source need for (untrusted) third-party drivers, with their limited understanding of the core-kernel+secrecy. The Linux kernel, updated nearly every day, includes hardware drivers & bug fixes of many types, inside the kernel. For example: youtube.com/watch?v=4xdMteqm994&t=2 where I cite: www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/v4.x/ChangeLog-4.4.26
Looking at the key-stakeholders list for Linux, it is obvious, with so many hardware manufacturers, and the Board of Directors. Other closed-meritocracies produce their own versions of Linux kernels. Often these closed versions MIGHT work with the open-sourced version.
"As of April 2014, the foundation collects annual fees worth at least 6,245,000 USD:
8 Platinum members
16 Gold members
224 Silver members" wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Foundation linuxfoundation.org/about/board-members
Google's Android has ten (10) forks & clones, which I mentioned earlier @1 • "Meritocracy preferred". Six (6) of these are open-source. wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_custom_Android_firmware
Because the Android-based versions of Linux are so "tight", their compilation of Linux-kernel plus "special-parts" is very different. There are too many strange "special-parts" that to fit into such very tight very limited hardware. This explains the "success" of the x86-version of Android imho.
56 • Re: Cold hard facts [on Linux re-spins]. Few experts have tried all these "re-spins". I did try, especially the Ubuntu-based ones. If you try to be a Linux expert, you will realize that poor upstream management of Linux is the weakness. Poor corporate governance the world over, means that the feedback is not impacting senior management. The re-spins show so many similar "improvements" over senior managements' incompetence. Minority peoples (sex, race, DJ Trump Conservatives, etc) might conclude paranoia plots of many kinds. Cognitive sciences shows that very poor coding languages are the key.
One of the reasons for the very many upgrades in the Linux kernel is the Linus-originated software, much copied and further evolved, that allows a "systemd" approach to software-development. Ever-changing multi-processing of many intertwined, complex sub-processes. Social engineers of many types (standards associations, applied technologists, governance researchers, etc) are forever trying to improve these memetic languages.
Old-timers like myself know that software, language & application releases have slowed to a sensible state. I have daily monitored web-sites such as Softpedia (2001) & MajorGeeks, since their origins, as well as subscribing to the CPM-88 . Dinosoar software is dead. The best have survived. New Linux releases are less, compared to the frantic pace years ago. The lone-hero code-cutter has enough social skills to team-work with lasting, well-managed groups. However, group-management skills (HRM) is very poor, world wide. Hence my vocation in these areas.
57 • @54 • @39 no systemd
So many people still on Distrowatch seem to be writing that Wikipedia is wrong. wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemd
" ... published as free and open-source software ... to allow more processing to be done concurrently or in parallel ... and to reduce the computational overhead ... ". Seems human rationality and human group-work is not enough for our slow-learners. Yahweh, God(s), Allah, ... where are you, when we need you?
59 • @58 Keep God(s) out of this. (by curious on 2016-10-28 08:58:21 GMT from Germany)
Please note: Wikipedia is often right, but CAN be wrong, especially on controversial subjects. The way Wikipedia works means that the most persistent author will "win", not necessarily the person who gets it right.
And the problem many people have with systemd is not its stated goals, but
(a) that it seems to be taking over lots of other tasks that have NOTHING to do with said goals (like a cancer), introducing unnecessary bugs and very high complexity along the way, and
(b) the lack of choice for the users: not only have most distros adopted systemd without offering alternatives, but also important software (e.g. Gnome) unnecessarily requires systemd as a dependency, making it harder still to find or create alternatives.
60 • @56 (by Jake on 2016-10-28 16:24:56 GMT from United States)
I wouldn't read too much into those stats. Distros are like people: they have life spans. If you made a similar chart about people over the last 200 years, you'd find that the number of dead people far exceed the living. That's not because there isn't a will to live; people can live only so long. It's natural.
It's a fallacy to think that distros, companies, or anything of this world will last forever. They have their time and place, and when they run their course, all that's left is that DW archive.
61 • The point of FOSS (by M.Z. on 2016-10-29 05:09:40 GMT from United States)
"It's not about being corporate. FOSS goals are anti-corporate."
Between that & your anti-control tie raid it seems like you really don't get one of the core features built into Free & Open Source Software. The goals of FOSS are indifferent to being corporate, but it is definitely about preventing control being taking away from any group of users. The point of GPL software is that you have the right to do whatever you want with it so long as it remains GPL & is available to fellow users. Anyone with time & the know how can take the software & add to it or remove from it at will. That's one of the main reasons why distros with different init systems exist & will continue to exist as long as there is support for the them. If a situation in FOSS becomes bad there will be a fork & everyone will be free to pick their camp or use multiple camps at will. All the theories I hear about control, regardless of how cleaver they are, all amount rationalizations of preconceived notions.
We the users have equal rights over GPL software & we can form communities to support any sort of GPL software project we want. If there is a truly important issue at steak then options can be created to satisfy the wants & needs of all significant groups. Your free to choose your distro based on init systems if you want, personally I use a few different distros with & without systemd. I think we should be glad that we have these sorts of choices if we want them & not throw FUD around.
62 • BDFL (by john on 2016-10-29 12:51:19 GMT from United States)
I chose dictator since the distro (Slackware) I have used for quite a while works great for me. @ work we use RHEL workstations, pretty good but originally spent a lot of time getting that environment the set way I like it (now that activity is easy with notes I kept). No need to do that with Slackware, it works the way I do :)
Number of Comments: 62
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