| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 194, 19 March 2007
Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! With the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5, the focus of many Linux users will shift to those projects that rebuild the source packages made available by the prominent North American Linux vendor into a complete RHEL clone. Many other distributions are also in advanced stages of development: Mandriva Linux 2007.1 will be one of the first major distributions to make a new release this year, while a highly up-to-date Slackware Linux 11.1 shouldn't be far behind either. In other news: Debian has announced the second release candidate of Debian Installer for Etch, Gentoo approves a new code of conduct for its developers, the Freespire community voices its concerns over the direction of the distribution, and OpenBSD announces the release date for version 4.1. Our feature story this week is a commentary about a new, collaborative development model as pioneered by the Wolvix and Ultima developers, followed by a brief review of Wolvix 1.1.0 alpha. Happy reading!
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|Commentary & Review
A New Open Source Model?
by Susan Linton
I heard a bit of news recently stating that one of my all-time favorite Linux distributions would be joining forces with another respectable distro. Details were sketchy, but I understood there would be a co-joining of distros - one emerging from the two. Since I had a bit of mixed feelings about this announcement, I was relieved to later find out it wasn't exactly true. But what I did discover was actually happening may end up making history and being more significant. What we now have the opportunity to witness is probably the first time two separate distributions sit side-by-side and actually share ideas, code, and sweat.
We all know the open source model of using code and sharing back. It happens everyday for the betterment of our community, systems, and mankind in general. It's a wonderful thing. Linux distribution developers toil away and incorporate some fantastic new features. Then they upload their resulting source to a central repository for any interested party to use. The open source community eventually reaps the benefits, but rarely do the developers say to a competitor, "I can help you integrate this great feature into your distro."
But that's exactly the situation we are finding in Martin Ultima's and Kenneth Granerud's new cooperative agreement. Ultima is a Slackware-based Linux distribution that offers customization and advanced system update tools. Wolvix Linux is a great looking light-weight installable live CD based on SLAX. It too offers high-quality customizations with a consistent appearance across applications and other desktops.
When I heard these two distinct distributions would be joining forces, I assumed it meant to produce one distro combined from the two. I had mixed feelings as I've been quite the fan of Wolvix and saw it as truly unique. I wrote each of the lead developers asking them what was going to happen. I share with you the highlights of those exchanges.
The first thing to be explained to me was that neither distribution would disappear and there would not be one made from the two. Martin states: "Well, the projects aren't quite combining; Ultima and Wolvix will still remain independently-developed distributions with different generalized goals and all that stuff, at least for now. But since both our projects are working on similar goals and each one can benefit from the other, I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to work together with them so both our distributions can benefit." Kenneth adds: "Wolvix and Ultima will not merge into one distro. I'll still continue to develop Wolvix and Martin, as far as I know, will still be developing Ultima Linux. We will be cooperating though and help each other improve our projects."
I wondered what did that mean exactly? What was going to change? Who was going to do what? Kenneth explains: "The idea for now is that he'll [Martin] be helping Wolvix with creating an additional install-only ISO image with the Slackware installer. He'll also be helping create packages for the ATI drivers and create/maintain some of the packages in Wolvix. What Martin plans to do is start using the Linux Live scripts for the live CD edition of Ultima, so I'll be helping him with that. I guess I'll also return the favor and help out with the NVIDIA drivers in Ultima." Martin adds: "Well, for the most part, Wolven & Co. handle Wolvix, and I handle Ultima; that doesn't really change. Like I said, we haven't announced a full-blown merger yet. But I'm also helping with some of the low-level code in Wolvix now, like the kernel and X11, and they're (eventually) going to help me polish up the Ultima live CD code."
Whose idea was it? Martin blamed it on his users, jokingly of course. He said: "Actually, I'll blame my users for this one. I'd taken the Ultima site off-line for a while, because of other priorities interfering with maintenance, so a bunch of them switched. Once I got back, they told me about Wolvix, and since I noticed their project needed a bit of help with stuff I've been doing a while now with Ultima, I figured I may as well offer what little skill I have with this stuff. I will say that it was Wolven's idea to add me to his development team, so probably most of the responsibility (and blame) lies with him."
Then I asked what were their goals now that they've formed this cooperative venture and Kenneth replied: "I guess the common goal is to improve both of our projects through cooperation. I've mentioned some of the individual goals above, such as the live ISO image for Wolvix and using the Linux Live scripts in Ultima."
Kenneth (aka Wolven) recently released Wolvix Cub 1.1.0 Alpha 2. Wolvix Cub is the smaller-sized image that has the barest of necessities included and that is usually the base for other editions such as the Desktop Edition, the Media Edition, or the Gaming Edition. Kenneth states that there is no Ultima code in this release. Although he is very excited and optimistic about this upcoming release, he thinks this might be a longer developmental cycle than usual as he has some big plans in store. Some of the changes in the works include installable GNOME packages, more focus on the hard drive install, more eye candy, and new features for the Wolvix Control Panel.
The release notes for Alpha 2 state:
I haven't looked at Wolvix since version 1.0.4, so I'm not sure at what point it got the new boot background, but it looks great. In Wolvix gray featuring a wolf paw in silhouette of a slightly different tone in the upper right corner, it makes for a tasteful first impression. The boot process is verbose, but one is soon brought to a new graphical login screen. Again of Wolvix gray, it's an unobtrusive offering with only the distro name in black and username box shown. F1 selects session type, which are Fluxbox or Xfce. Fluxbox is still very much default, but the Xfce desktop has been "wolfized".
- Most of the packages have been rebuilt.
- PS/2 mice should be working now, as support is compiled into the kernel instead of having it as a kernel module like it's in the original Slackware kernel.
- HAL should detect inserted CD/DVD-ROMs.
- Added SLiM login manager. Starts by default, use the 'noslim' cheat code to disable it.
- Wolvix Control Panel has got a few new features and some bugs have been killed.
- A few changes to the package selection have been made.
- New initial boot splash and more help files.
- Firefox has been updated to 220.127.116.11.
The Xfce login splash features the famous Wolvix paw of light gray on that same darker Wolvix gray background. At the desktop, we find a nice new wallpaper. This wallpaper features a wolf howling at a cresent moon silhouetted against the familiar Wolvix gray background. The window backgrounds are almost KDE gray with a really nice window decoration of a darker gray called Sassandra. The Murrina-BlueGrey style is very similar to Polyester found in KDE. The desktop also features some carefully chosen icons. Most of these are for file manager windows opening in different locations, such as Floppy Drive, Trash, Home, or File System, and removable devices when inserted. In the lower left corner is Conky displaying system and networking statistics. Very nicely polished is the feel one has of this desktop environment.
Wolvix Cub 1.1.0 Alpha 2
(full image size: 163kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
It's amazing what has been packed into the 241MB download. In the menus are various applications for everyday computer use. Wolvix features AbiWord for word processing, gLabels for label making, Evince PDF viewer, and Orage. For multimedia enjoyment one finds Exaile, MPlayer, Audacious, and GnomeBaker for CD/DVD creation. In the area of networking, Firefox, Gaim, Transmission, WiFi Radar, gFTP, XChat, Gwget, Transmission and Chestnut PPP configuration/dialer are among those included. Browser support includes Flash 9, Java Script, and the MPlayer movie plugin. Under the Graphics submenu, The GIMP, Comix, GQview, mtPaint, and Inkscape round out the offerings. Thunar is the graphical file manager and GNOME Commander is included as well. Wolvix sits on a 2.6.17 kernel and uses X.Org 6.9.0 as its X server at present.
There is a nice selection of system tools, including Slapt for package management, Firestarter firewall builder, HTop, and Bulk Rename. The crowning jewel of this category is the Wolvix Control Center. The Wolvix Control Center is new since my last test of Wolvix and what a pleasant surprise it was! As with most control centers found in Linux distributions, this one contains modules to the various system configuration tools. Included are a hard drive installer, X configuration, network card and connection configuration, sound configuration, printer configuration (CUPS not present in this small edition), user administration, storage (not all modules are implemented here yet), time and date (again, not usable at this point), and develop (which includes package list and the Wolvix Builder).
Hardware detection was good with Wolvix. My Internet connection was "automagically" available after boot, my sound correctly configured, and I noted that my TV card, scanner, and webcams were detected, although no applications are present to test these further. CUPS isn't available in this edition, so the printer wasn't set up or configurable.
The graphical hard drive installer works well. It consists of verifying your desire to install, choosing a very few options in the next screen, and clicking install. The few configuration options available are for defining the main boot device, the root partition, optional home partition, swap partition, file system, and whether to install GRUB. One can run GParted from this screen as well, but it didn't not open here on my setup. This has to be one of the most user-friendly installers I've used and it worked really well.
Wolvix continues to be under heavy development at this time. As it is, Wolvix is still one of the most unique and polished looking systems available. Wolven is presently awaiting updates to some of the major components and Wolvix is likely to see upgrades of the kernel, X.Org, and the live CD scripts before final. As such, he is concentrating on the applications at this point.
Ultima has not seen a release since last summer. As Martin stated he had to take some time off, but Ultima is back under full development now. We will likely see a development release in the near future. Perhaps it will be presented in the form of a live CD, given Wolven's help. We anxiously await any news coming from the Ultima camp.
While we aren't going to see a joining of distros, we are seeing a new open source cooperative model. For myself, I think this is more significant. I don't believe this model will catch on with the big players such as Red Hat, openSUSE, or Mandriva, but perhaps it should. It's amazing the strides made in Linux and open source software development the last 5 years, but where would we be if this model were used more? We may never know the full extent of the possibilities, but we will see how two competing distros can work together for the benefit of both and their community of users. This level of humility and altruism is rare in today's world and I hope everyone will take a moment to note the event. Perhaps, this new cooperative agreement could be the spark of a whole new open source paradigm.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, Slackware 11.1, Debian achievements and challenges, Gentoo code of conduct, Freespire controversy
The long awaited Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 was finally released last week. On the surface, not much has changed in the final product since beta 2 (in terms of packages, it is based on Linux kernel 2.6.18 and glibc 2.5, all compiled with GCC 4.1.1, and it ships with X.Org 7.1, GNOME 2.16, KDE 3.5.4 and Apache 2.2.3), but one can only imagine the amount of rigorous testing it had to go through to ensure that all the high-end enterprise features work as advertised. Red Hat is still a clear market leader in providing Linux solutions for many large companies and IT departments, and its latest product should reinforce its status as the most profitable Linux company in the world.
From the community point of view, however, all eyes will now focus on those projects that clone Red Hat Linux by removing the upstream branding and then rebuild the freely available source packages into a complete, installable, RHEL-like distribution. Traditionally, Lineox Enterprise Linux used to be the first to deliver such a product, but with RHEL 5 many things have changed dramatically (the directory structure, the split into a client and server distributions), so the old Lineox scripts that used to be able to rebuild RHEL 4 in less than a day will almost certainly need heavy modifications. In the meantime, both Scientific Linux and CentOS projects released development builds of their distributions based on an earlier beta of RHEL 5. Also in the run is StartCom Enterprise Linux which seems to be furthest along the path at the moment; in fact, its development team has already started the build process and the binary RPM packages are now available for download from the new 5.0.0 directory on the project's mirrors. It shouldn't be long before a set of ISO images is also ready for testing.
* * * * *
How would you like to see a new Slackware Linux release within the next few weeks? If your answer is a "yes", we have some good news for you. Patrick Volkerding has used the St. Patrick's day last Saturday as an excuse for uploading a massive number of updates to the Slackware's current tree and announcing that Slackware 11.1 should be ready soon: "This is more or less stable (functionally), but there's still a lot of package splitting and other re-arranging and adding to be done, but it's time for the Slackware community to see how far we've gotten. If the luck o' the Irish is with us, it'll be a fairly short alpha/beta/rc period from here. Well, have fun!" Pending further package update and other changes, it looks like the upcoming new version of Slackware Linux will be based on Linux kernel 2.6.18, with glibc 2.5, GCC 4.1.2, X.Org 7.3, KDE 3.5.6 and Xfce 4.4.0, but with Apache still remaining at 1.3.37 and PHP at 4.4.6. For more information please read the new entries in the Slackware changelog.
* * * * *
As Linux distributions go, there is little arguing that Debian GNU/Linux is a very special project. But what made it such an important and exciting distribution? Erich Schubert, a Debian developer, has written an interesting blog post highlighting the past achievements of Debian, but also pointing out some of the project's drawbacks as compared to other modern Linux distributions: "Debian used to be the cool kid among Linux distributions. Because our stuff worked much better, was easy to install and especially to upgrade. Dependencies would be automatically resolved while others were fighting dependency chaos, and our menus would have all the applications in it, where others had to fill their menus on their own. ... Many of these Debian achievements are now common among distributions."
In separate news, the second release candidate of the Debian Installer for Etch has been released: "This should hopefully be the last Debian Installer beta release before we release Etch. There are a lot of images here, including: a full version of Debian etch/testing (in either CD or DVD form) for all architectures and source; a variety of other discs: multi-architecture CDs and DVDs, and variants of CD#1 that default to installing KDE or Xfce rather than GNOME. All the RC2 images are distributed as ISO, BitTorrent and Jigdo files. Please use Jigdo if you can, as it significantly reduces the load on our servers and it may greatly speed up your download too."
The second release candidate of Debian Installer for Etch is ready for testing
* * * * *
After a brief discussion, the Gentoo Council has adopted a code of conduct for its developers. This initiative was triggered by criticism that the project's developer frequently indulged in abusive "flame wars" on its mailing lists and user forums which has resulted in several high-profile resignations of Gentoo developers in recent months. The new code of conduct lists instances of unacceptable behaviour that could result in a suspension or ban from Gentoo's communication infrastructure and calls on developers to be courteous and respectful towards others. Three proctors have been appointed to enforce the rules and issue warnings or bring charges against those developers who break them. Following Ubuntu, which published its own code of conduct not long ago, Gentoo is the second Linux distribution project that drafted to a similar code of conduct in order to maintain a positive and friendly attitude on the distribution's communication boards.
* * * * *
Signs of discontent have been brewing among the contributors to Freespire, a community distribution launched in April last year by Linspire. Despite the initial promises, some members who joined Freespire with the intention to help with the development of the distribution feel disillusioned with their roles. One of them is Patrick Green, the highest elected representative of the Freespire community. In a long message to the Freespire mailing list, he expressed his dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, notably with the continuous string of decisions about Freespire that are being made by the Linspire technical board without consulting the Freespire community. These include the decision to discontinue the Freespire OSS edition, the decision to merge Linspire and Freespire user forums, subtle modifications to the definition of Freespire (from "community-controlled" to "community-influenced") and other such controversial changes.
However, Kevin Carmony, the CEO of Linspire, argues that the Linspire technical board maintains its right to make certain decisions since it is Linspire that pumps money into the Freespire distribution. As a result, the wishes of the Freespire community, no matter how noble and productive, can be overridden in order to maintain a healthy balance between the goals of the community and the needs of the company. Several threads of heated discussions have now been exchanged on the Freespire mailing lists and user forums, but no solution has been found. (Those readers wishing to read some of these exchanges should visit the Freespire user forums; however, be warned that as a result of a recent decision, the forums are no longer accessible to unregistered visitors.)
* * * * *
The openSUSE project has announced the release of an updated set of ISO images for openSUSE 10.2: "Today we are releasing slightly changed openSUSE 10.2 ISO images. The reason for putting out those updated ISOs is a license issue, which had to be addressed." Apparently the "license issue" was a simple omission of a license that was meant to accompany the agfa-fonts package in the original release. The change has only affected the "non-OSS" add-on CDs and the DVDs for all three architectures. Other than that, the ISO images remained identical to the original ones.
* * * * *
Pau Amaro-Seoane, an avid DistroWatch reader and a Linux/BSD user since 1996, has written an interesting article. For several months he was on a mission to find an ideal operating system for his new Fujitsu LifeBook - but with a condition that he would only accept Free Software on the system. With that in mind, he proceeded to evaluate OpenBSD 4.0, FreeBSD 6.2, Debian GNU/kBSD, Fedora Core 6 and gNewSense 1.0. The long article highlights the author's experiences and problems with the above-mentioned operating systems and, in the process, it also compares Linux with BSD. Although the conclusions are not straightforward as the author failed to find one operating system that would fit his needs perfectly, he eventually decided to keep OpenBSD 4.0 with Fluxbox as the primary operating system on his Fujitsu laptop. The article, entitled Looking for a free OS for my laptop, is worth a read if you share the author's uncompromising stance on the Free Software philosophy and want to learn about the pitfalls of using Free Software in the world where hardware secrecy and proprietary device drivers are still the order of the day.
* * * * *
Finally, here is a topic for this week's discussion. Eugenia Loli-Queru from OSNews published an interesting review of the most recent development build of Ubuntu 7.04. Being an avid reviewer and tester of Linux distributions for several years, I read Eugenia's conclusion with interest: "I've been an Arch/Slackware Linux user for the last 3 years, but Ubuntu has won me the last few days because of the conveniences it brings. The point of the matter is, I am now older. I am 33 years old and I just don't have the same energy as I used to to deal with stupid issues that they should not be there, or with removal or non-development of conveniences for no good reason."
I have to admit that I feel exactly the same way. In my early days of adopting Linux I was very keen on running a "geek" distro in order to learn as much as possible about this alternative operating system. For two years I used Sorcerer on my main production desktop, a little-known source distribution that was more advanced and stable than Gentoo at the time, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. But in later years I found myself slowly gravitating towards less "geeky" distributions - first to Debian "sid", then later to Kubuntu and Mandriva. This is of course partly due to the growth of DistroWatch (I no longer have the time to compile things and fix problems on my production system), but also maybe because I no longer enjoy the "low-level" work that is inevitable in the more technical distributions, like Arch, Slackware or Gentoo.
Now for the questions. Have any of you experienced a similar evolution? Did you run a "geek" distro in the past, but switched to a more user-friendly one later? Or do you have a "once-a-geek, always-a-geek" mentality that makes you enjoy compiling software and manually edit configuration files year after year? Please discuss below.
|Released Last Week
Pioneer Linux 2.0
Dianne Ursini has announced the release of Pioneer Linux 2.0, an Ubuntu-based distribution designed for desktop use: "Technalign, Inc. has announced they have released Pioneer Basic Release 2. Pioneer Basic R2 is available for download immediately and from Technalign's partner network. Automatix is pre-installed allowing for an easy installation of the most commonly used applications. The latest release will be Technalign's last operating system available on CD and is expected to be supported for a minimum of 3 years. Pioneer Basic will be free to individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations wanting to run a workstation, while commercial establishments will be required to purchase a copy and receive full support." Read the full press release for further details.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 has been released: "Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the cornerstone of the company's open source architecture. Initially launched in 2002, Red Hat Enterprise Linux can be found in the majority of Fortune 500 environments, and is renowned for performance, value and reliability." The new release introduces SELinux management tools, Xen virtualisation, IPV6 support, and a number of new services and solutions. Read the full press release and visit the company's product pages for more information.
Ubuntu Christian Edition 2.2 and 1.5.3
Jereme Hancock has announced a new stable release of Ubuntu Christian Edition: "We are very happy to announce the release of Ubuntu CE v2.2! This will be the final Edgy release of Ubuntu CE. Our focus will soon shift to the development of Ubuntu CE v3.0 (Feisty). We have added two new packages to Ubuntu CE. Both packages were developed specifically for Ubuntu CE by user request. These packages are also available for those using default Ubuntu on our new Popular Packages page. The first one is the e-Sword Installer. The second program is also an installer for a commonly requested Windows program. We have also updated the Dapper version, Ubuntu CE v1.5.3, to include the latest version of the DansGuardian GUI." Please read the full release announcement for more information.
Foresight Linux 1.1
Foresight Linux is the first distribution to present the brand new GNOME 2.18 desktop - in the form of installable CD and DVD images: "Experience the greatness of the latest version 2.18 of the GNOME desktop by using Foresight as your desktop distribution! The Foresight team is proud to release Foresight Linux 1.1. Highlights: Epiphany is now the new default web browser; for users with visual impairments, Foresight comes with a powerful assistive technology Orca; Tomboy (0.6.1) note-taking application now supports bullet points, search, pin notes and back-links; faster search with the combination of Beagle 0.12 via the Deskbar; Seahorse (1.0) lets you manage many kinds of keys and passwords...." More details can be found in the release announcement.
Kwort Linux 2.2
Kwort Linux is a Slackware-based distribution featuring the latest Xfce desktop and a custom package manager called "kpkg". The project has announced a new release, version 2.2: "I'm proud to announce that Kwort 2.2 final version has been released. The system is very stable and usable. The core system is based on Slackware and provides a rock-solid system, and it's also a great place to start making a full-featured and usable desktop environment using Xfce. Kpkg is now the official package manager, providing an easy way to remove and install local and mirrored packages. It allows the users to keep their systems up to date with the new 'upgrade' functionality. So now, Slackware's package tools were removed except of makepkg that's included in kpkg." Find more details in the release announcement.
SabayonLinux 3.3 has been released. Here is a brief excerpt from the list of new features: "SabayonLinux kernel sources based on 2.6.20 featuring Unionfs, Squashfs 3.0, Afatech 9005 support, MacTel enhanced support; completely recompiled with new LDFLAGS that give an extra performance boost; complete artwork redesign; faster boot time; created the basis of the experimental eINIT support; X.Org 7.2 featuring AIGLX and composite support; Beryl 0.2.0rc2 supporting Xgl, AIGLX and NVIDIA composite extension; NVIDIA drivers 1.0-9755 and 1.0-9631, ATI drivers 8.34.8; Metisse 0.4 technology preview; outstanding wireless networking support; fonts rendering highly improved; KDE 3.5.6 and GNOME 2.16.2; new games on the DVD; new virtualization support stack featuring KVM...." Read the complete release announcement for further details.
SabayonLinux 3.3 presents new artwork and many bleeding edge features
(full image size: 147kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Pardus Linux 2007.1
The Pardus development team has announced the release of Pardus Linux 2007.1 "The first maintenance release of Pardus Linux 2007 is out. What's new in 'Felis chaus'? It is possible to install Pardus in Brazilian Portuguese, as well as Turkish, English, Spanish, German or Dutch; users will enjoy KDE 3.5.6 with the latest release of more than 300 software packages; the PiSi package manager is now 40% faster for repository processes; WPA authentication, status monitoring and improvements have been done with network manager. Pardus comes with Internet tools, office suite, multimedia players, games and numerous applications to satisfy the needs of desktop users, all squeezed into a single CD." Here is the brief release announcement.
Michael Stibane has announced the release of SaxenOS 2.0: "SaxenOS 2.0 is released. The SaxenOS 2 ISO image is now down to a 534 MB and needs about 1.7 GB space on the target partition plus the space for home directories and temporary and log files - so a 2 GB partition is still the minimum. Changes: fixed German installer translations; changed formatting of target partition to ext3; removed win32 Codecs - they're now a separate installer download (for legal reasons); removed REALbasic - check the installer downloads next week; new SaxenOS System Panel, written in REALbasic." More information about SaxenOS 2.0 can be found in the release announcement.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Debian GNU/Linux 4.0
The Debian project has published a revised release schedule leading towards the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 4.0, code name "Etch". The current release blockers, namely several Linux kernel issues, Debian installer delays and a number of release-critical bugs, should largely be sorted out by the end of March, with the final release expected in early April. For more details please read this Debian release update by Luk Claes.
The OpenBSD development team has announced that OpenBSD 4.1, scheduled for release on May 1st, 2007, is now available for pre-order: "You can now place your pre-orders for OpenBSD 4.1 CDs and posters! This is another great release, with CDs bootable on 5 architectures. Many, many new things including: the new landisk platform; improved UltraSparc III support in the sparc64 platform; scads of new devices supported; new tools like pkg-config, hoststated, new ripd, bgplg, bgplgsh; new functionality in existing utilities such as spamd, and much more." More information can be found in this announcement by OpenBSD Journal and also on the OpenBSD 4.1 product page.
The developers of DesktopBSD have published a brief note announcing the upcoming release of DesktopBSD 1.6: "This status update was written to explain the release process of DesktopBSD 1.6 and its current status. Immediately after FreeBSD 6.2 was launched in January, a first preview of DesktopBSD 1.6 was released (RC1). Because some of the more important features were not fully functional then, it was made available primarily to translators and early adopters and not announced on the website. Many problems in that preview have been identified and nearly all of them have been solved already." Please read here for further details.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes our latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 26 March 2007. Until then,
|Linux Foundation Training
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|• 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|
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|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
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|• 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|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 18.104.22.168, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• 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 or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|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.
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