| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 715, 5 June 2017
Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
We receive a lot of e-mails at DistroWatch about the systemd init software, particularly from people asking how they can find distributions which do not feature the systemd technology and asking for our recommendations on ways to avoid systemd packages. This week we explore the systemd topic, beginning with Devuan, a fork of Debian created specifically to side-step systemd adoption. Devuan launched its first stable release in May and we talk about migrating from Debian to Devuan in our Feature Story. The Devuan distribution, and whether our readers plan to use the newly launched Devuan 1.0.0 release, is the subject of this week's Opinion Poll. In our Questions and Answers column we answer questions about Devuan, systemd and the future of Linux distributions running alternative init software. In our News section we discuss progress happening in the Tails project and new features planned for Linux Mint 18.2. We also discuss the Yunit desktop (formerly Unity 8) being ported to Debian and its derivatives. Plus we share the distribution releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Review: Devuan 1.0.0 -- Debian without systemd
- News: Tails migrating to Debian Stretch, Mint plans 18.2 features, Yunit ported to Debian
- Questions and answers: Devuan and systemd
- Released last week: Bodhi Linux, Grml, TrueOS, Porteus Kiosk
- Torrent corner: 4MLinux, Antergos, Bodhi, Clonezilla, Grml, OpenELEC, Porteus Kiosk, SmartOS, TrueOS
- Upcoming releases: Fedora 26 Beta
- Opinion poll: Devuan
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (91MB) and MP3 (69MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Devuan 1.0.0 -- Debian without systemd
Prior to the release of Debian 8 in early 2015, the Debian project held a debate over which implementation of init software should be used in future versions of the distribution. Of the contenders (Upstart, SysV and systemd), systemd came out on top, which resulted in Debian using the same init software as most other mainstream Linux distributions. Some people were unhappy with the transition from the previous init implementation (SysV) to the newer systemd software. This discontent gave rise to the Devuan GNU+Linux project, which forked Debian with the purpose of removing dependencies on systemd.
Devuan 1.0.0 is essentially a fork of Debian 8 with SysV as the default init software. The Devuan distribution is offered as either a stand alone distribution or as an upgrade for recent versions of Debian - specifically for Debian 7 Wheezy and Debian 8 Jessie. I decided to try out the migration process from Debian 8 to Devuan and then explore what it was like to run a fresh, new installation of Devuan.
I began my test of migrating from Debian 8 to Devuan 1 by installing Debian with the MATE desktop environment. Apart from the MATE desktop, my Debian installation had the default services running. With Debian 8 installed and all available software updates downloaded, I then followed the migration instructions provided in the Devuan release notes. The instructions are fairly straight forward and basically just require replacing the names of the Debian package servers in /etc/apt/sources.list with the Devuan server names. We then refresh our package information and run an upgrade command. From the Debian command line these three commands will perform the migration:
The APT package manager removes the systemd-sysv package, offers to download some alternative packages such as D-bus, ConsoleKit, the control groups manager, the systemd-shim package, the wicd network manager, the Slim display manager and SysV init. During the transition the package manager paused to ask me to select which display manager to use, Debian's LightDM or Devuan's Slim. I opted to use the Slim package in order to get a more pure Devuan experience.
apt-get install devuan-keyring
Devuan GNU+Linux 1.0.0 -- Browsing files and running LibreOffice
(full image size: 187kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The migration process completed and I next rebooted my computer to confirm my Debian installation had survived the transition to Devuan. The newly created Devuan system booted to a graphical login screen provided by Slim. Signing into MATE I found my desktop's wallpaper had been changed to an image with Devuan branding, but otherwise MATE appeared to be unaffected. One of the few changes I encountered was that I was unable to shutdown my computer when signed into the desktop. Attempting to power off the computer from MATE's menu would sign my user out of the desktop and the computer would then display a text console and freeze. I was unable to login as another user or otherwise recover the system at that point and a hard reboot would be required.
I noticed after playing with my Debian-turned-Devuan system for a while that the systemd packages were still present on my computer. I checked and found SysV had been set up as the default init software, but systemd packages lingered. When I tried to remove systemd entirely, I found that the package manager then insisted it would need to remove my MATE desktop as the MATE packages listed systemd as a dependency. It appears as though the Xfce desktop environment has no dependency on systemd and, if I wished, I could swap out MATE for Xfce if I wanted to run my computer without any systemd packages present.
I ran a few comparisons of boot times, memory consumption and disk resource usage when running Debian 8 verses running Devuan 1. My original Debian system used approximately 170MB of RAM when logged into the MATE desktop and took up about 2.9GB of disk space. Devuan used 200MB of RAM when signed into MATE and used 2.7GB of disk space. The boot times of both systems were identical, to within a second. In short, boot times, disk usage and memory footprints were near enough to being the same as to make no practical difference.
A fresh install of Devuan
My next action was to wipe my installation of Debian-turned-Devuan and set up a fresh installation of Devuan. Booting off the Devuan live media brought up the Xfce 4.10 desktop. On the desktop I found icons for launching a file manager and starting the distribution's system installer. A panel at the top of the screen housed the Xfce application menu, a task switcher and the system tray. At the bottom of the screen we can find a quick-launch bar.
Devuan GNU+Linux 1.0.0 -- Connecting to a network and browsing the web
(full image size: 192kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Devuan's live disc features a completely different system installer than the one Debian uses. The Devuan installer begins by displaying a window on the desktop asking if we want users on our new operating system to use the su or sudo command to run tasks as the system administrator. We are then told we will need to have a disk partition set aside for the operating system. Buttons in the installer window give us the option of launching the GParted graphical partition manager or the cfdisk command line partition manager. Once I had used GParted to format a partition, I was returned to the installer's window where I was asked to select a partition for Devuan to use. Available partitions are displayed with their device names (/dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, etc) and no description indicating the size or type of the partitions.
Once I had set up and selected a partition to use for Devuan, I was asked to select my time zone from a list. Then I was asked to select my language locale from a list of short, cryptic locale names. US English is the default locale setting. For a while after I selected the locale nothing happened. Then I realized a terminal window had opened in the background and the terminal window contained a prompt asking if it was okay for the installer to proceed with the installation. A list of files being copied to my hard drive then filled the virtual terminal for several minutes.
A bit later, the installer asked me to provide my name for a new user account. I was then asked how I would like to use sudo to elevate my user's access and the questions were, in my opinion, unusual and (perhaps) unique to Devuan. The three questions asked if my user should have permission to use sudo, whether to use sudo only for shutting down the computer and if sudo should be used "as default". I suspect the third question meant I could set my user account to execute all commands through sudo, making me effectively the administrator all the time, but the meaning of the query was unclear. At any rate, at this point the installer was finished and returned me to the Xfce desktop where I could reboot the computer to start using my new copy of Devuan.
Devuan boots to a graphical login screen. There are no prompts to enter a username or password, just a single blank field where we can type. Typing the username, followed by the password signs us in. Logging in brings up the Xfce desktop environment. Icons on the desktop open the Thunar file manager and open a text editor containing the project's release notes. There are also two other icons on the desktop which will universally increase and decrease the size of the desktop's fonts. I don't think I have encountered any other distributions which have such easily accessible controls for changing font size and I appreciated the feature. The Xfce desktop was responsive and featured a traditional tree-style application menu.
Looking through the application menu we can find the Firefox web browser (without Flash support) and version 4 of the LibreOffice productivity suite. The wicd networking utility is available to help us connect to local networks. Devuan includes a dictionary, a PDF document viewer and the GNU Image Manipulation Program. The Ristretto image viewer is present along with the Quod Libet audio player, the VLC media player and the Xfburn disc burning software. Another application called Ex Falso is featured and, though I did not see a description of the application, it appears to be designed for managing audio libraries. Devuan ships with media codecs, allowing us to play most audio and video formats. The distribution also includes a file archive manager, a text editor and a bulk file renaming tool. The Orca screen reader is included as is a configuration module for setting up printers. Looking further we can find version 4.9 of the GNU Compiler Collection, Java, the Sys V init software and version 3.16 of the Linux kernel.
Devuan ran well in both of my test environments, in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a desktop computer. At first, Devuan did not integrate with VirtualBox and was not able to make use of the system's full screen resolution. However, I found VirtualBox guest modules are included in the distribution's repositories and installing them improved my experience running Devuan in the virtual environment. The distribution booted quickly, ran smoothly and was stable. The Xfce desktop was quick to respond and the default theme, while it was dark, was easy to look at for prolonged periods. I also found my HP printer was detected and set up with minimal effort on my part.
Earlier I mentioned when I had migrated from Debian to Devuan, the operating system was unable to shutdown my computer. This problem did not occur when I was running a fresh installation of Devuan and I was able to reboot or shutdown the system. Whether I installed Devuan from scratch or migrated to Devuan from a Debian installation, my system used about 200MB of memory when logged into the Xfce desktop.
Devuan uses the APT command line suite of tools for manipulating software packages. The distribution also features the Synaptic graphical package manager which makes it fairly easy to install, remove and upgrade software on the system. Synaptic has a relatively plain interface, presenting the user with a list of available packages. We can click a box next to each package to install or remove the selected item. During my trial with Devuan, the project made 30 new software updates available and these totalled just 62MB in size. The only problem I faced when working with Devuan's software came when I tried to install Flash support. The Flash installer was downloaded successfully, but Flash itself failed to download from Adobe's servers. The distribution does not appear to have the Gnash free software implementation of Flash, leaving me without Flash support while browsing the web.
Devuan GNU+Linux 1.0.0 -- Managing software packages with Synaptic
(full image size: 221kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Most of the distribution's settings can be accessed through the Xfce control panel. This panel contains friendly modules for adjusting the appearance of the desktop, the placement and style of panels and screen resolution. The settings panel also allows us to adjust notifications and change our mouse and keyboard configuration. Additional modules help us change the desktop's theme and short-cut keys. The only module I felt was missing was a tool for managing user accounts, though we can work with accounts from the command line.
Devuan GNU+Linux 1.0.0 -- The settings panel
(full image size: 194kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
On the whole, the Devuan project appears to have achieved its goals. The distribution offers users an operating system virtually identical to Debian 8, but with systemd replaced with SysV init. The project provides existing Debian users a clean and easy migration path to Devuan that has only a minimal amount of side effects. Taken on its own, Devuan is a lightweight operating system with a fairly minimal (and responsive) desktop environment.
While Devuan has reached its goals, I had two significant concerns about the distribution. The first concern was the system installer. While it worked, I'm curious as to why Devuan appears to have discarded the reliable Debian installer in favour of a less feature rich and less polished installation process. Other Debian-friendly installers, such as the one which ships with Linux Mint Debian Edition, are available if a more streamlined approach is wanted.
My other concern is that Devuan 1.0.0 is about two years behind Debian. A fork of Debian without systemd seemed promising and interesting in 2015 when Debian 8 was released. But now, two years later, with Debian 9 on the horizon, Devuan 1 feels outdated. The software, such as the office suite and kernel, are about three years old at this point and unlikely to appeal to any except the most conservative users. The distribution may hold more appeal on servers where change often happens more slowly, but even there some of the Devuan packages are starting to show their age.
At this point I suspect Devuan 1 will only appeal to the more enthusiastic members of the anti-systemd crowd. If Devuan 2 can be launched shortly after Debian 9 comes out later this year then I could see the project gaining a stronger user base, but at the moment Devuan feels like an interesting idea that took too long to get off the ground.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
* * * * *
Visitor supplied rating
Devuan has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.9/10 from 174 review(s).
Have you used Devuan? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Tails migrating to Debian Stretch, Mint plans 18.2 features, Yunit ported to Debian
The Tails distribution provides its users with anonymisation software running on a Debian base. The Tails project is currently working on Tails 3.0 which will be based on Debian 9 "Stretch". The project is already moving some of their systems over to Debian Stretch in order to test for potential problems and changes. "We upgraded some of our systems to Debian 9 (Stretch), in order to help identify remaining issues before it becomes the new Debian stable release. We made good progress towards using our Vagrant build system on our Continuous Integration infrastructure, to make it match what developers use. This is part of our work on Reproducible ISO Builds." The latest Tails newsletter also mentions several language translations are a work in progress. People who would like to help translate the Tails distribution or website should visit the Tails page for translators.
* * * * *
The Linux Mint team published their May newsletter which indicates Linux Mint 18.2 will be released soon with a beta coming out in June. Some of the new features coming to 18.2 will include improved X-apps, the Cinnamon 3.4 desktop and MATE 1.18. The login screen will switch to using LightDM which includes built-in support for guest sessions. "Linux Mint 18.2 'Sonya' is just around the corner. The Cinnamon and MATE editions are currently in QA (functional testing) and we should be able to release them as BETA early this month. Cinnamon was upgraded to version 3.4 and MATE to version 1.18. The switch to LightDM was confirmed, with out of the box support for guest sessions and a beautiful login screen."
* * * * *
Yunit is the community fork of the Unity 8 desktop environment which was abandonned by Canonical earlier this year. The Yunit team has been working on getting the forked code to build and has created packages for the Yunit desktop. The first batch of packages are for the Unstable branch of Debian. This should make Yunit compatible with most modern Debian derivative distributions. There are also plans to backport Yunit to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS which will make Yunit available to people running Ubuntu derivatives too. "In this initial phase of the project, we needed to make sure that we understand Yunit and all of its dependencies. Debian was a perfect choice to do so, as it is the base of Ubuntu, so we are in a similar environment." Installation instructions can be found in the project's blog post.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Devuan and systemd
Checking-out-Devuan asks: I see that the DistroWatch page for Devuan says that it is free of systemd yet further down the page shows that it has systemd. From the Devuan homepage there is nothing to make this area clearer so I think it must be a typo?
DistroWatch answers: In this case, the availability of the systemd package in Devuan is not a typo. The Devuan distribution does not use systemd as its default init software. However, the systemd package is available in Devuan's repositories. The systemd package may be pulled in as a dependency for other software.
* * * * *
Living-without-systemd asks: I can't find a way to show all distributions without systemd, can you add one?
DistroWatch answers: On our Search page there is a quick-search link at the top of the page which will show all distributions which do not feature systemd in their latest release. These results will not be perfect as some projects make systemd available, but do not use it by default, while others do not package systemd at all. The list will provide a few dozen options of Linux distributions (and other open source platforms) which do not use systemd.
* * * * *
Planning-for-the-future asks: Are distributions like Devuan, Void, etc without systemd sustainable? With everyone else moving to systemd is fighting the tide realistic?
DistroWatch answers: Distributions which do not feature systemd are probably sustainable, in my opinion. While systemd does feature a wide range of functionality that other projects are able to tie into, rather than develop on their own, there isn't anything particularly special about systemd which prevents other projects from duplicating its functionality. The systemd software provides a range of utilities under one umbrella project, but there isn't anything about these pieces which prevent other projects from duplicating the available features and functions.
We have already observed some projects adopting a systemd "shim" which basically provides a subset of systemd features other packages require. Projects also have the option of discarding packages which tie themselves too closely to systemd and using something else. For example, around the time KDE and GNOME were looking at using systemd as a dependency, other platform agnostic desktop environments such as Lumina gained attention. The open source community has a tendency of working around technologies a portion of its users do not wish to adopt.
Whether systemd is a worthwhile technology, or whether stripping it from an operating system in favour of something else is worth the effort, are discussions for another time. So far several projects have demonstrated that they can get along without using systemd as their init implementation.
* * * * *
More answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Bodhi Linux 4.2.0
Jeff Hoogland has announced the release of Bodhi Linux 4.2.0. Bodhi Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a fork of the Enlightenment desktop called Moksha. The new version is a minor update to Bodhi Linux and existing users of 4.1.0 will not need to upgrade via new installation media. One of the important changes in 4.2.0 is the dropping of the 32-bit PAE-enabled installation media. Older, 32-bit computers are still supported through Bodhi's Legacy edition: "This is the first release in which we are dropping our 32-bit PAE discs. I would like to clarify that we are still supporting 32-bit computers, but if you need to install the 32-bit version of Bodhi Linux the only version we are preparing is our Legacy ISO image. The Legacy image will work on PAE and non-PAE 32-bit hardware alike. If your computer needs a PAE kernel to utilize all of its memory it is likely better for you to be using a 64-bit operating system anyways. If you do feel the need to use a PAE kernel on a 32-bit operating system with Bodhi though, you can always install the Legacy release and then change kernels afterwards. The release announcement has further details.
The Grml distribution is a live disc based on Debian that includes tools for system administrators for detecting hardware, running tests and rescuing systems. The new version of the distribution, Grml 2017.05, switches from file-rc to systemd for the project's init software. This release also shifts the 32-bit build from i586 to i686. "Switch from file-rc to systemd as init system. grml-live (the build system for creating Grml-based Linux live systems) still supports non-systemd systems using file-rc, though we don't plan to maintain this in the long run. For the reasons why we actually switched to systemd please visit the FAQ. Due to the change to systemd some boot options in the current release might not work as before and some further issues might have been unnoticed yet. Please let us know if you should stumble upon any such issues. Following Debian's switch, the 32-bit PC support (known as the architecture 'i386' and what's provided by 'grml32') now no longer covers a plain i586 processor. The new baseline is the i686, although some i586 processors (e.g. the 'AMD Geode') will remain supported." The project's release notes contain a detailed list of changes since the previous version.
Grml 2017.05 -- Running the Fluxbox window manager
(full image size: 87kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Porteus Kiosk 4.4.0
Tomasz Jokiel has announced the release of Porteus Kiosk 4.4.0. Porteus Kiosk is a Gentoo-based distribution which has been customized to be a dedicated platform for exclusively running a web browser. The new release features Firefox 52 ESR, Google Chrome 58 (with Netflix streaming support) and the swap partition has been replaced by a more flexible swap file. "I'm pleased to announce that Porteus Kiosk 4.4.0 is now available for download. Major software upgrades in this release include: Linux kernel 4.9.30, Mozilla Firefox 52.1.2 ESR and Google Chrome 58.0.3029.110. Packages from the userland are upgraded to portage snapshot tagged on 20170526. Short changelog for 4.4.0 release: Online or local webpage can be used as the screensaver. Swap partition has been replaced with more flexible swap file. It is possible to set custom printer name in the system. Added support for hosting SSL certificates directly on Porteus Kiosk Server. Enabled CloudPrinting by default for Porteus Kiosk Cloud/ThinClient variants utilizing Chrome browser. All plugins for Chrome are enabled by default including 'Widevine Content Decryption Module' so its possible to watch e.g. Netfilx movies." A complete list of changes can be found on the project's news page.
The TrueOS project creates a rolling release operating system that is based on FreeBSD's -CURRENT development branch. The TrueOS team has released a new snapshot, version 2017-06-01, of their operating system which now features two branches: STABLE for users who want a more consistent experience, and UNSTABLE for people who want to test the latest developments. The installation media now tries to stick with low level drivers (like vesa) to provide the widest range of compatibility, the OpenRC init software has been updated to version 0.26.2 and the Lumina desktop has been updated to version 1.2.2. "A new STABLE update for TrueOS is available! Released on a six month schedule, STABLE updates represent a significant step forward for TrueOS (see our earlier post discussing this change). There is more extensive testing of new features and less experimental work in STABLE images, resulting in a more solid and usable experience. Current TrueOS users can update using the built-in update manager." A list of recent changes to TrueOS can be found in the project's release announcement. TrueOS can be downloaded in two separate builds, one for DVDs and another for USB thumb drives.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not 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 in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 432
- Total data uploaded: 66.1TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
This week we talked quite a bit about the Devuan GNU+Linux distribution and the main reason it exists: avoiding the use of the systemd init software. In this edition's opinion poll we would like to find out how many of our readers are excited to try the first stable version of Devuan and what you think of the project. You can leave us a comment with your impressions of Devuan below.
You can see the results of our previous poll on using the Wake-on-LAN feature in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|I plan to try Devuan in the future: ||384 (19%)|
| I have no plans to use Devuan: ||1144 (57%)|
| I have used Devuan and did not like it: ||84 (4%)|
| I have used Devuan and did like it: ||156 (8%)|
| I am currently using Devuan and plan to continue: ||167 (8%)|
| I am currently using Devuan and plan to switch: ||15 (1%)|
| Other: ||69 (3%)|
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 12 June 2017. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 2, value: US$12.24)
|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 |
Slax is a minimalist desktop live CD based on Debian's "stable" branch. It boots into a simple desktop using the Fluxbox window manager which offers a small collection of applications, including the Chromium web browser, a text editor and a calculator. Prior to version 9.x, Slax was a Slackware-based live CD featuring the KDE desktop and a wide collection of pre-installed software for daily use together with useful recovery tools for system administrators.