| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 61, 09 August 2004
Welcome to this year's 31st edition of DistroWatch Weekly. Although a somewhat slow week, there were several exciting stories, so without further ado...
Sun Mulls Buying Novell - Shop Till You Drop?
It's either too early or too late for April Fool's, so this has to be taken seriously - Sun Microsystems wants to buy Novell. At least, that's according to a story on ZDNet (and ZDNet doesn't usually kid around). Why is this so funny? Mainly because Sun can't afford it. There are a number of credible sources - like this one and this one - who seem to believe that Sun is setting fast. A quick look at Sun's share price is certainly not encouraging.
But first let's backtrack and take a look at Sun's survival scheme over the years. Certainly, most readers of DistroWatch are familiar with Sun, even if only a small percentage of you have actually used Sun's hardware and software. For those who need a refresher course, Sun came into existence in 1984, and went on to become king of the server business. Sun's main product lineup includes servers and workstations (traditionally based on SPARC processors, though Sun is now dabbling with the x86). Aside from rock solid hardware, Sun's other great claim to fame is the Solaris operating system.
Even today, a significant portion of the Internet runs on SPARC boxes, but Sun's market share has been eroding steadily mostly thanks to the increasing performance of low-cost x86 machines. On the software side, no one doubts that Solaris is a very powerful server-oriented OS, but Windows, Linux and *BSD have all become increasingly capable and feature-rich. Given that home hobbyists can now slap together a powerful server for US$500 or less, and run a free OS, where does that leave Sun?
Apparently, with a shrinking market. Which is a pity, because compared to many other big IT companies, Sun has been a decent corporate citizen. Sun offers a Linux-friendly license for Java (though it is not GPL), and the company generously donated large chunks of code from Sun StarOffice to create OpenOffice. And Sun just recently announced that Solaris 10 will comply with the Linux Standard Base (LSB), thus allowing Linux apps to run on Solaris. On the other hand, Linux users were miffed to learn that Sun was quietly paying a hefty licensing fee to SCO (though it pales in comparison to Microsoft's contribution to SCO's war-chest).
Evidently, it has dawned on Sun that the company needs to reinvent itself. With that in mind, the Sun Java Desktop System was launched in December 2003, and version 2 was released in May 2004. Despite the name, Sun JDS has little to do with Java - it's a reworked version of SUSE Linux. JDS costs US$100 and includes the StarOffice suite. When JDS was first announced, many had high initial expectations that Sun would become a formidable Linux competitor. However, JDS has been through two releases now and has received some scathing reviews. Even relatively friendly reviews have been lukewarm at best. One can only hope that Sun will get it right next time.
Growing your business by purchasing a competitor is a time-honored tradition in corporate America, but it's an expensive hobby. Novell bought SUSE last year for a mere US$210 million, but Novell itself is currently valued at a cool US$2.64 billion. Sun has estimated reserves of US$7.61 billion, a legacy from the dotcom bubble days. So Sun could come up with the cash, but the resulting Sun-Novell Microsystems had better be a highly profitable business, or there are going to be a lot of ticked off shareholders.
A more interesting question would be to ask why Sun is so keen to take over SUSE. I can think of several other excellent commercial distros on the market that Sun could probably acquire for a fraction of the price. The real motive behind the proposed Novell buy-out would appear to be to challenge IBM. There is no doubt that in the hardware business, IBM is Sun's chief competitor. Sun's COO (Chief Operating Officer), Jonathan Schwartz, always seems to have not-nice things to say about IBM - take a look at Jonathan's Blog if you need to be convinced. Schwartz speculates that IBM might very well try to buy up Novell first. IBM does have its own Unix-based operating system, AIX, but increasingly IBM is relying on SUSE Linux. Thus, if Sun took over SUSE, it would be seen as a major blow to IBM.
Or would it? How long would it take IBM to pick up another Linux partner? A lot of struggling Linux vendors out there would kill to get a contract with IBM. Of course, IBM needs more than just code - there is the support infrastructure which provides the bread and butter for both Red Hat and SUSE. Nevertheless, it seems hard to believe that IBM couldn't build the support services that are needed.
Until very recently, Sun seemed to believe that Microsoft was the enemy. After all, Sun fought Microsoft in the courts for seven years. However, those lawsuits were recently settled, and Sun got a cool US$1.6 billion out of the deal. Now Sun seems ready to use up its dwindling cash reserves in a fraticidal war with IBM. And IBM might well decide to launch an offensive itself and make a bid for SUSE. Two big companies fighting to take over a third business tends to drive up the share price, and thus the expense.
Is this any way to run a Linux business?
The annual Linuxworld Conference and Expo was held in San Francisco this week (Aug 3-5). This year's LWCE boasted 190 exhibitors and more than 90 educational sessions. One of the first talks was by Red Hat's CEO Matthew Szulik, which he ended with Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote: "First they ignore you, then laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." NewsForge has some good coverage of the show here and here.
One of the little surprises at the show came from Novell, which demonstrated a prototype of their upcoming new operating system, Novell Linux Desktop. This comes despite the fact that Novell already owns and markets SUSE Linux. Note that Novell has not finalized the name for their new OS, so it's possible that the finished product will bear a different official label (perhaps just Novell Linux). Whatever it's called, Novell expects to release the new OS sometime this autumn. Some details of the announcement can be found here.
How will Novell Linux differ from SUSE Linux? Probably the most obvious change will be that Novell Linux (like Red Hat) will focus on the Gnome GUI, as opposed KDE which is SUSE's default desktop. Unlike Red Hat, Novell will not be adopting the "Blue Curve" theme, but will instead concentrate on adopting Ximian's Gnome as the default interface. Novell acquired Ximian in August, 2003, and then acquired SUSE in January, 2004.
Novell Linux is being targeted at enterprises. One reason for adopting Gnome appears to be licensing, as it is licensed under the LGPL which some corporations prefer. Licensing is a contentious and complex issue - for RMS's take on the LGPL, you might want to take a look here. In any event, we will be looking forward to seeing just what Novell will come up with.
Coming Soon - The Xandros Server
Meanwhile, back at the Linuxworld Conference and Expo, one of the more highly-anticipated press conferences came from Xandros, which gave a sneak preview of the Xandros Desktop Management Server (xDMS) - Xandros' first attempt at building a server OS. It's still in the beta stage, but Xandros hopes to have the product ready for market by October. There are, of course, heaps of other Linux and BSD-based server operating systems around, but Xandros wants to distinguish itself from the field by offering good integration with the Xandros Desktop OS.
Entering the server business represents a big shift for Xandros, which until now has concentrated on creating a user-friendly desktop OS with built-in CodeWeavers CrossOver Office. At the conference, there was a demonstration of the newly released Xandros Desktop 2.5. There were few surprises with version 2.5 - it's basically an interim update release - but Xandros will soon be rolling out version 3.0. The release date has not been announced yet, but Xandros developers indicate it should be "later this year".
Sarge in September?
"Debian is released when it's ready." That's long been the mantra, repeated countless times on Debian mailing lists whenever anyone dares to ask, "When is the next release due out?"
Among major Linux distros, Debian has the slowest release cycle, often measured in years rather than months. The current stable distribution of Debian is Woody 3.0r2, released November 21, 2003. Even that release date is a little deceptive, because the minor point releases don't change much - Woody 3.0 was released on July 19, 2002. Everyone agrees that Woody is hopelessly out-of-date.
Those who like to live on the bleeding edge don't bother with Woody, but rather go for "Sid" - otherwise known as "Unstable" - which is the development release. Sid is in perpetual motion and it's exciting to run it - until a package breaks.
The next stable release is code-named Sarge, and Debian enthusiasts are straining at the bit to get their hands on it. But when? The developers finally broke their silent vigil and published the following schedule on Debianplanet:
Debian fans are salivating at the prospect.
- 2 August 2004 - Hard freeze of base+standard
- 3 August 2004 - Debian Installer RC1
- 8 August 2004 - Security support for Sarge begins
- 13 August 2004 - Last call for low urgency uploads to unstable
- 24 August - Freeze
... Bug squashing like crazy ...
- 15 September - Release
Munich - Disaster or Clever Strategy?
If you've been reading any of the tech-oriented web sites this week, you've no doubt already heard the news that the city of Munich, Germany, has suspended it's migration from Windows to Linux. The reason is because the city fears it could face legal liabilities due to software patents. If you did somehow miss the story, you can find all the relevant details here.
What's been missing from this story so far has been an analysis - it's a disaster for open source, right? Well, maybe not. Software patents are definitely a disaster for open source, but Europe does not yet have software patents. However, that will change unless EU members reverse the May 18 vote by the EU Council of Ministers to support a "Patent Directive". Such a vote reversal is still possible. The Netherlands has changed it's position, and only one more country needs to do the same in order to kill the Patent Directive.
On June 16, the municipal council of Munich voted to migrate 14,000 city computers to SUSE Linux despite intensive lobbying by Microsoft to stick with Windows. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer even flew to Munich for a personal visit with the mayor hoping to change the city council's mind - to no avail. So it seems ironic that the person who stopped the Linux steamroller was Green Party alderman Jens Muehlhaus, an opponent of software patents. Obviously, Muehlhaus is employing some clever strategy here - namely, to fire a loud warning shot which will, hopefully, wake up the German government which has so far supported software patents.
Few readers of this list get to vote in the EU parliament, but perhaps we should vote with our dollars? The companies most actively lobbying the EU to legalize software patents include Nokia, and members of the Business Software Alliance (see their membership list at the BSA web site. At least next time I'm in the market for a cell phone, I definitely know who I won't be buying it from.
Time to Lighten Up?
Like many readers of DistroWatch, I participate in a number of online forums, though not always under my real name. In general, I avoid political forums (unless they deal directly with technology), as people tend to get overly emotional, resulting in considerable unwarranted hostility and name-calling. Besides, technology is "my thing" - I really don't want to waste my time debating the world's many other problems. So I tend to stick to geek forums.
Unfortunately, I've seen plenty of rudeness and bickering in geek forums as well. It's amazing what some people will say online, even though they would never talk that way to your face. Protected by the anonymity of the Internet, they lose their inhibitions. One of the most common types of online abuse is directed at newbies, who wander onto geek mailing lists to ask basic questions. Almost invariably, some of the "mailing list police" strike back with a "RTFM" reply. Not surprisingly, some of the newbies decide to depart, and we never hear from them again. Which is a pity - did they deserve to be lynched? Weren't we all newbies once?
Of course, newbies aren't the only targets - I've occasionally found myself on the receiving end, though I always laugh it off. In one geek forum I expressed my views on package management (APT vs. RPM), and in return was called "a big, fat, ugly pervert." Of course, it's hardly true - I'm not big, fat or ugly (not sure how he found out about the "pervert" stuff, but let's not go there).
With the above in mind, it was with much pleasure that I stumbled upon this delightful article, Geek Battles: A Call for Perspective by Daniel R. Miessler. It's one of those articles that every online warrior ought to read. I must admit that after reading it over, I had to take a look in the mirror. If I could go back and re-read all the messages I've posted online over the years, I wonder if I wouldn't be appalled at some of the things that I've said.
So take a few moments to read the article. I found it to be good therapy.
|Released Last Week
Feather Linux 0.5.6
Feather Linux 0.5.6 has been released. From the changelog: "X
settings can now be autodetected - boot with "knoppix detect"; Updated
Firefox to 0.9.1, meaning that now only 6Mb is downloaded; Fixed
Firefox profile bug; Fixed Synaptic and nAIM icon bugs; Added support
for serial mice on all 4 ports; Fixed PPP root problems; Removed
e2undel (recover included already), and added stress + cpuburn; Added
link in Tools -> Scripts menu to stop the Getting Started document
appearing on boot; Fixed Midnight Commander bugs..." Download: feather-0.5.6.iso (61.7MB) and feather-0.5.6-usb.zip (60.8MB).
Hiweed-Debian Server 0.3beta1
GNU/Linux is a Chinese Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux.
Currently it has two branches: Desktop and Server. The Server edition
is a pre-configured server with Apache, PHP, MySQL, mail, DNS, and FTP.
Server 0.3 beta1 now supports customised installaion (but without auto
configuration yet). For example, you can choose either MySQL Server or
PostgreSQL Server to serve you database. FTP server candidates are
ProFTPd, pureFTPd, vsFTPd, and wu-FTPd. Mail server candidates are
Exim4, Postfix, and Sendmail. Apache2 are provided with optional
support of PHP4, Perl, and Python. If you choose to install Webmin, the
following modules will be auto installed according to your
customisation: apache, bind, mysql, postfix, postgresql, proftpd,
samba, sendmail, and wu-ftpd. The announcement (in Simplified Chinese). Download: hiweed-server_0.3beta1_i386.iso (118MB).
Vine Linux 3.0
Vine Linux 3.0 (code name "Valandraud") has been released: "This
is Vine Linux version 3.0. Since this is not the commercial version
(Vine Linux CR), non-free applications and fonts are not included in
the CD. Instead of proprietary Wnn7/VJE Japanese inputs and Ricoh
fonts, this FTP version contains Canna and free TrueType fonts."
Vine Linux 3.0 contains the Linux kernel 2.4.26, XOrg 6.7.0, GNOME 2.4,
Mozilla 1.7.1 and other applications. For further details and upgrade
information please see the official announcement (in Japanese) and the release notes. Download: Vine30-i386.iso (648MB).
Aurox Linux 9.4.2
Aurox Linux 9.4.2 has been released: "On our mirrors
you can find Aurox 9.4.2 - Aurox with reduced number of packages. The
whole distribution is placed on one CD. Two versions are available:
German and Polish. However, it's still possible to install and use this
version also in English. Aurox 9.4.2 contains KDE 3.2.2 (no GNOME),
multimedia, office and most popular applications. You can also download
other Aurox 9.4 packages using apt-get or yum after the installation.
The full list of packages can be found here. Note: This is NOT an upgrade release." The full announcement. Download: aurox-9.4.2-1.iso (690MB).
Development and unannounced releases
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 315
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 7
- Number of discontinued distributions: 32
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 84
|Tips, Tricks and Hints
Paranoia runs in my family. It practically gallops. My grandparents (all four of them) never flew on an airplane. My father did fly, but first got himself a job developing bird-proof windshields for airplanes. One of my brothers sews velcro tabs on his pants pockets so he won't lose his wallet or keys. My other brother was the first person on his block to buy a paper shredder. And me? I'm the security nut who encrypts the swap partition of my hard disk so that the Thought Police won't be able to read it - you know, they really are out to get me.
Which brings me to the topic of this week's Tips, Tricks and Hints - steganography. As a devout paranoid, I've got things to hide. Nothing nasty, mind you, just things like credit card numbers, bank accounts, passwords, my address book, phone numbers, and those incriminating emails...well, enough said. Using the techniques of steganography, I can hide things in places where people simply don't expect to find them.
Consider this analogy - I have a big bar of gold that I want to keep hidden inside my house. Is there really any secure place where I could put it? The conventional wisdom would be to buy a safe, but burglars would surely look there first. Maybe I could hide the gold inside a wall, but I would have to wreck the wall to accomplish this. But what if I could hide the gold by placing it right out in the open, but obscure it to make it look like something not valuable? For example, I could melt the gold and cast it into door hinges or coat hangers, then spray paint them black. Any burglar entering my house would see the gold, but not recognize it as such, and thus it would be safe. (Hmmm..., now that I've said this, I suppose somebody will break into my house and steal all the door hinges. Oh well...)
Taking this analogy back to the computer world, steganography allows you to hide data by putting it into another file where nobody expects to find it. The data is hidden, but there is no need to hide that file. To be more specific, we can take an important ASCII text file and hide it inside a benign-looking graphic image file. If done properly, people viewing the graphic file would not even suspect that they were looking at top-secret data. Actually, we needn't limit ourselves to graphic files - the technique would work just as well with an audio or video file. The file which contains the hidden data is called a "stegofile".
In order to hide text in a stegofile, you need specialized software. And not surprisingly, there are some excellent open source steganographic tools that work equally well on Linux and BSD, which we'll now take a look at.
Outguess supports the popular .jpeg file format, and the seldom seen .pnm and .ppm (the latter is not even supported by Gimp, so go figure). You can download the Outguess source tarball from the Outguess web site. Debian users can simply run "apt-get install outguess", and some distros offer RPM binaries. FreeBSD and OpenBSD users will find can install the port from /usr/ports/security/outguess. Documentation includes the Outguess man page, plus README files in /usr/share/doc/outguess/ (or for BSD users, /usr/local/share/doc/outguess/).
As a simple example of how to use Outguess, I'm going to hide an ASCII text file inside a picture. My original image file (the "coverfile" as its called) is named butter.jpg and the text file is quote.txt. In order to perform the hiding operation, I use the following syntax:
outguess -d quote.txt butter.jpg butterfly.jpg
The -d switch specifies the name of the datafile to be hidden, which in this case is quote.txt. The filename butter.jpg is my unaltered image file (coverfile), and butterfly.jpg is name of the stegofile.
Can You Find the Hidden Message?
In the above photo, you can see the resulting stegofile. The image looks pretty normal - in fact, compared side by side with the original coverfile, I can hardly tell the difference, but my hidden message is there. If you'd like to see it, you'll need to install Outguess. Once you've done that, copy the image to your hard disk (right-click the image, save it as file butterfly.jpg). You can now extract the text file with the following command:
outguess -r butterfly.jpg quote.txt
This photo was not passphrase-protected, but I could have done that as well with the -k switch. The passphrase can have spaces in it, so you are not limited to a single word. Had I chosen to use passphrase-protection, the syntax for creating the hidden image file would have been like this:
outguess -k "my passphrase" -d quote.txt butter.jpg butterfly.jpg
Extracting the text file, I would also have needed to include the pass phrase:
outguess -k "my passphrase" -r butterfly.jpg quote.txt
Another open source steganography tool is Steghide. The most important difference it has compared to Outguess is that Steghide supports different file formats, specifically .bmp, .wav and .au files. The syntax for encryption/decryption is also different, and I personally find it more elegant than Outguess.
The Steghide source tarball can be found on the Steghide web page at SourceForge. Again, Debian users can simple "apt-get install steghide", and FreeBSD users will find a port at /usr/ports/security/steghide. Currently, there is no port for OpenBSD. Again, see the steghide man page, or look into /usr/share/doc/steghide/ (or /usr/local/share/doc/steghide/).
Steghide uses different switches from Outguess. The man page explains all the switches, but the three essential ones are as follows:
We also have two essential commands, embed and extract. Using the same example as for Outguess (but this time with .bmp files), this is how we would go about hiding our ASCII text file:
- -pf plainfile
- -cf coverfile
- -sf stegofile
steghide embed -pf quote.txt -cf butter.bmp -sf butterfly.bmp
wrote stego file to "butterfly.bmp".
Notice that we get prompted for a passphrase. If you don't want a passphrase, just hit enter. The syntax for extracting our data is very simple:
steghide extract -sf butterfly.bmp
wrote plain file to "quote.txt".
Some additional reading about steganography can be found here.
That's all for this week.
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Icepack linux was an independent Linux distribution built from scratch. Our objective was to offer you a user-friendly full-featured operating system, pre-configured, well structured and easy to work with, and filled with the latest stable versions of great Linux applications. You don't need a profound Linux knowledge to install and use Icepack - our install manager guides you safely through the installation process, and the desktops and menus are self-explanatory!