| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 200, 30 April 2007
Welcome to the 200th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! That's right, the idea to publish a weekly summary of events in the world of Linux distributions and other open source operating systems started in June 2003 and, 200 issues later, we are still going strong! This week belongs to Mandriva Linux and its recently released version 2007.1 - we'll bring you a full review, comment on the release process, share our upgrade experiences, and link to a technical specification proposal for Mandriva Linux 2008. In other news: PCLinuxOS opens for business after a disastrous bandwidth outage, Linspire announces release dates of Freespire 2.0 and Linspire 6.0, Terra Soft release Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 for free download, and the developers of VMKnoppix announce a 64-bit edition of KNOPPIX 5.1.1. Finally, a comment on translating the new Top Ten Distributions page and an update on tracking distribution usage through browser strings. Happy reading!
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Mandriva Spring - Beautiful Change of Season (by Susan Linton)
This was supposed to be a review of the new Mandriva 2007.1 (aka Spring) Flash (USB key). I requested a unit to test and in about a week my unit arrived. I could hardly wait to insert this tiny little system-on-a-stick into a proper receptacle. That elation was short-lived as I was soon to discover they had shipped me an old version, 2007.0. I already knew wireless support in 2007.0 didn't work with my laptop. I felt a bit "devalued" by Mandriva for sending an old version, but I proceeded onward. Perhaps the new versions weren't ready at that point. In any case, I set out to download the new 2007.1 Spring edition, it already having been out well over a week. It took over 4 days to download, but I waited it out and I'm not sorry I did.
The Mandriva installable version hasn't changed fundamentally in several releases. It has become better-looking and includes more features now, but it is basically the same installer probably everyone reading this has seen at some point. This version, like the last several, brings an updated look. This time the Spring theme forms the foundation. It goes through the commonly found steps of gathering information on locales, preferences, and hardware. I chose basic software categories like the GNOME desktop, games, and networking (client). The installer phase concluded without any incident to report. The configuration step went like clockwork except for setting up the network connection. I wasn't wired at the time, so I tried the wireless route. It failed with an error to download firmware from SourceForge.com.
Mandriva has been updating the appearance of its offerings for several releases now. For years they seemed to have ignored this aspect, and I suspect they began to get wise when PCLinuxOS soared to popularity. One of PCLinuxOS' claims to fame was its out-of-the-box good looks. This release is their best looking yet. I love the look and feel of Mandriva Spring. I had experienced a taste with an earlier test, but the final product is even better.
The boot splash is quite lovely featuring the same Mandriva background and "Free Spring" tag as found on the desktops with an added Mandriva logo in the center and a discreet and tasteful light blue progress bar at the bottom left. KDM is a delightful match utilizing the same background as the desktops. The KDE start splash is a pretty Mandriva customization of the full screen Moodin default.
The blue flowery wallpaper seen in the betas has been tweaked just a bit. The outlined flowers in the upper left have been changed to solid sprigs and the lower right has been scaled back to consist of less flowers and more leaves and stalks. I guess they were trying to appear a bit more masculine without abandoning their chosen Spring theme. I liked the previous one better, but this one is enchanting too. It is a real plus that the "Free" designation is now much more discreet. Instead of emblazoned across the whole of the screen in bold capital letters, we now have a very small modern font tag at the bottom almost obstructed in the positioning with the wild flowers. In smaller letters is the identification "Spring 2007."
KDE is the default desktop for Mandriva and this release features KDE 3.5.6. The Ia Ora theme and colors are retained from the prior release. The KDE panel still features that kbfx-like KDE start menu button that I found so nice in an earlier beta. The panel itself has a nice 3D background image in the same color family as the desktop window decoration and style. More specifically, it's snowy white with a slight hint of powder blue in the shadow. It's quite fetching. In the system tray we find icons for KMix, Kerry Beagle, KOrganizer reminders, network monitor, the Rpmdrake update applet, and, on my laptop, a power monitor. Beyond that is a simple digital clock sans date. In the quick launcher we find icons for show desktop, Firefox, KMail, and OpenOffice.org.
On the desktop we have icons for Home, Trash, Subscribe (to the Mandriva Club), Buy it (boxed sets at the Mandriva store), Welcome, and Devices. The default KDE menu is the Mandriva simplified version. Its headings are Office, Internet, Multimedia, System, More Applications. Many of the applications are included with KDE such as Kontact, Konqueror, and Kopete, while some extras include Amarok, KMplayer, and Konversation. Mandriva comes with all the usual KDE screensavers and they have included their own Mandriva themed screensaver, as they call it. This consists of a slideshow of landscapes, seascapes, aerial views, sunsets, and such of exotic locales.
At the GNOME 2.18 desktop we find the same great wallpaper and the same panel backgrounds in use. In GNOME we have the main menu and launching panel at the top and the desktop panel at the bottom. The menu panel appears a bit more cluttered in GNOME, but it actually isn't. The icons don't seem to fit and blend in as well as found in KDE, giving them a slightly jammed together and crowded look. Launchers consist of Help, Firefox, Mandriva Control Center, and Evolution. The system tray has Desktop Search, network status, Rpmdrake updates, a power monitor, the GNOME Mixer applet, and the time. The desktop has similar icons as found in KDE and include Computer, Home, Buy it, Subscribe, Welcome, and Trash.
The GNOME menu structure is the typical 3 heading type: Applications, Places, and System. Places and System are the usual GNOME menus and the Applications menu is again the simplified Mandriva menu with the same subheadings as found in KDE: Office, Internet, Multimedia, System, and More Applications. Under these are your usual applications, with more emphasis on GNOME ones while still containing KDE programs as well. Some of the more GNOME-centric applications include Evolution, Epiphany, Pan, GnuCash, and Eye of Gnome. Some of the environment agnostic software include The Gimp, OpenOffice.org, Gaim, BitTorrent, NVU, and Inkscape. Some version numbers of note are kernel 2.6.17, X.Org 7.2, Mozilla Firefox 220.127.116.11 and OpenOffice.org 2.1.
Some browser plugins are installed but others, like Java and Flash, aren't. A Google VLC multimedia package as well as some other video plugins were listed as enabled, but I still could not watch Google video (requires Flash), but I could enjoy other streaming video formats such as MPEGs. KMplayer could play MPEGs and AVIs, but not BINs. Logging out of GNOME sent me to a console instead of KDM about half the time.
Mandriva's primary system configuration system is the Mandriva Control Center (MCC). It houses the various modules for the configuration of hardware, setting up networks, mount points, security related features, boot options, and much more. Mandriva's package management system can also be accessed from within this control center. I didn't spot any new features or additions since the last release in the MCC. Mandriva was one of the first to offer such an all-encompassing and handy utility. It is truly one of their best features.
Mandriva Linux 2007.1 - the default desktop
(full image size: 836kB, screen resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
I tested this release on an HP Pavilion (dv6105us). This laptop features NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 (UMA) graphics, a Broadcom 4311 wireless chip, and Altec Lansing MCP51 sound. Mandriva correctly identified my graphics and gave the desired 1280x800 resolution automagically. Likewise, the sound was auto-detected and configured. A start-up sound greets me at login. The touch pad works well. It's precise, responsive, and smooth. As I commonly do, I had an old USB mouse connected to the notebook and it was auto-configured and operative as well. There are just a "Multimedia" launcher and sound adjustment extra-keys on this laptop and only openSUSE has out-of-the-box support for them. I never expect them to work.
What I do expect to work is my wireless chipset. I don't expect it to work out of the box as it is not natively supported by Linux kernel drivers, but I do hope it will work with NdisWrapper. As I test many Linux distribution, I've found that expectation is satisfied about more than half the time. It does appear to work in most distributions released fairly recently with newer NdisWrapper packages. This was not the case in this brand new offering from Mandriva. I was not able to achieve wireless connectivity.
With many distributions the wired connection is automagic if there is a DHCP server handy. I had hoped that by simply plugging in a cable to my wired chip, I'd have connectivity upon boot. With Mandriva, it was necessary to utilize the Mandriva Control Center. It was a very simple process to set up. A nice wizard walks the user through the easy configuration. A similar wizard is used for most of the configurations, such as setting up a printer or firewall.
Inserting removable media such as a USB key opens a pop-up window in KDE with different options such as 'Open in New Window,' 'Download Photos with Digikam,' and 'Do Nothing.' In GNOME, a window opens in the USB key main directory listing all files found and an icon is placed on the desktop. One can 'Unmount Volume' with a right click of this icon.
Some laptop-specific hardware support includes CPUfreq, suspend to RAM, and suspend to disk for power saving. In testing these systems I was fairly pleased. CPUfreq works well and is very responsive. Suspend to RAM is almost immediate, as is the awakening process. This is one of the best implementations of suspend to RAM I've experienced. Suspend to disk is unique as well, in that it offers a different splash screen for the few seconds it takes to suspend. This screen features a dark background with what appears to be a sunset over the Mandriva logo. Returning from disk suspension was fast, but I suffered screen corruption and a non-functional mouse. The screen was split just to the right of the desktop icons and that portion of the screen now rendered on the right of the display. My cursor could only move vertically, and screen "wobble" or shaking occurred if I hovered the cursor over the panel. Restarting X did not restore functionality and I was forced to reboot. Again, I only have success in this area in about half of the Linux distributions I test, so the fact that Mandriva did that well is impressive.
My next step was to install the NVIDIA drivers for my graphics chip. Since I didn't install the development group during install to save space, I was now going to need to install the kernel sources. When I first opened the Software Management utility, a pop-up appeared asking if I wanted to configure a package source. The choices were Updates or Distribution source. I first chose Updates, but I figured the kernel-source was probably on the install CD. I was a bit surprised that no CD or removable media was listed. It was always automatically added in the past and ready to use. But allowing it to set up a distribution source gave complete access including non-free. Mandriva recently began offering its non-free software to the general public.
Even more shocking was the fact that I had a choice of 40 packages when I first set out to install the kernel sources. It appeared two of the choices match the kernel installed. There is the traditional kernel sources if one wishes to rebuild for some reason and there is also a stripped version. I'm not sure what exactly has been stripped, but it did reduce the size of required packages from 242 MB to 99. All packages downloaded gave an invalid SHA1SUM key error that I chose to ignore. (This recurring issue can be resolved by issuing
urpmi.update -a --force-key). Once installed I could then install the NVIDIA drivers. It wasn't until the second after installing the drivers from NVIDIA did it occur to me to see if Mandriva had packages available. They did. After which, the once grayed-out choices for Metisse and 3D Desktop became available. Upon choosing Metisse, required packages were installed.
I began searching for instructions on how to use this new desktop. This page at the Mandriva project's site gave some help. The first thing I noticed was how much smaller and unattractive the default fonts were in KDE under Metisse, but fortunately they were adjustable. Conversely, they looked great in GNOME. I experimented with the "functionalities" listed on Mandriva's website and while I found these possibilities very entertaining, personally I'm not sure I would be able to increase my productivity using them. Most significantly for this article is that it did work as advertised for the most part and seemed quite stable to me in the few days tested. It didn't appear to consume any more system resources than other window systems and the few problems I had might be attributed to user coordination (or lack thereof). Some of the lesser effects, such as transparent windows when moving or the magnetic edges were quite the treat in everyday use.
Mandriva Linux 2007.1 - Metisse
(full image size: 923kB, screen resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
3D desktop offers the choices of XGL or native support and Compiz or Beryl. I didn't have any luck with any of the 3D choices here. Beryl gave a blank white screen, and when choosing Compiz I received an error saying that the packages required couldn't be installed. I've never had any luck with 3D desktop on Mandriva, until I tried their Mandriva Flash.
Some other new or improved features listed this release include:
- Drakroam no longer needs administrator rights
- Per-user 3D-accelerated desktop settings
- Faster Rpmdrake and urpmi
- Faster start-up of applications
- New simplified interface for MandrivaUpdate
Mandriva's USB Flash key arrives in a hard plastic protective packaging. The key itself is very ergonomic in form, molded with raised outside border and concave inner surface. This makes for much easier handling when inserting or removing as well as when removing or replacing the protective cap. As stated, I received the last release version, so mine came with a see-through red housing embossed with the Mandriva name and logo on one side and the manufacturer's mark on the other. The current Spring release comes in blue according to the Mandriva Welcome. Booting the USB key wasn't any problem, I did have to make a few BIOS adjustments as is commonly the case. It starts at a GRUB start screen and quickly moves to the silent boot splash.
The boot process is very fast and takes one to the user customizations wizard. This is the portion of the Mandriva live CD and Flash medium that asks the user their preferences such as locale, keyboard, network connection, and the like. Using the USB Flash was the first and only time I've been able to enjoy 3D desktop in Mandriva. There is an approximate 400 MB free space available for saving your personal preferences and a few files. Subsequent boots take this into account and applies your preferences in lieu of the wizard. The performance of the Flash is well beyond that found in more traditional live CDs and of course it's much smaller, making for easier pack and travel. Mandriva Flash is definitely the way to go if you're looking for a portable system.
All in all I'd say it's a fairly typical Mandriva release. It features improved looks and added features, but it is released with a few issues. I don't think many of the problems are of major importance for the average user, but for myself, I won't be using Mandriva without wireless support. This probably won't be an issue for most people. There are a few issues described in the errata one might want to scan. Whereas it may appear to be a long list, all issues for all versions and packages are listed on the same page. Unfortunately, I don't predict this release will put Mandriva back in the number one position, but it's a nice system taken as a whole. There's going to be tweaking with any OS you use. I would recommend trying One of their live CD editions to see if Mandriva 2007.1 could fit your needs. I walk away from this test with continued warm & fuzzies for Mandriva, but it won't be supplanting my current system on my laptop ... just yet.
Notes on Mandriva Linux 2007.1, PCLinuxOS, Freespire updates, Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 downloads, KNOPPIX for 64-bit systems, interview with Sam Hocevar, Brazilian distro releases
With the Ubuntu post-release fever finally down to manageable levels, this is a good time to cover other recent distribution releases. Mandriva's latest version hit the download mirrors the same week as Ubuntu 7.04 and Adam Williamson breathed a sigh of relief after it appeared that everything had gone reasonably smoothly: "Very happy with the positive response to 2007 Spring so far. Even had some good responses from the Ubuntu forums, which is more than I dared hope for. Hoping to see some good press soon which will sustain interest in the new release." Mandriva Linux 2007.1 was the first version whose development and release process was managed by a new release team (David Barth and Antoine Ginies) after the departure of Florent Villard (Warly) earlier this year.
Unfortunately, the hopes for the much needed good press were quickly dashed by a critical review of Mandriva Linux 2007.1 published last week by Software in Review. In it, Jeff Matzan, an experienced Linux/UNIX distribution reviewer, has concluded that "overall I was extremely disappointed in Mandriva 2007.1. Mandriva has had many years and plenty of opportunities to create a great desktop operating system. In some ways -- such as with the installation utility and the Drak tools -- it succeeds. But when you take into account its competition and the excellent release that preceded it, Mandriva Linux PowerPack Edition 2007.1 is a real dog. 2007.0 was much better and if you're really in love with Mandriva, find a copy of it instead of 2007.1."
Reading the above-mentioned review and especially the troubles with the upgrade process, I thought I'd share my own experiences with upgrading Mandriva Linux 2007.0. As some of you might remember, I have been using Mandriva Linux 2007.0 PowerPack (the x86_64 edition) on my main production system for the last 6 months and I upgraded to 2007.1 as soon as it came out. The upgrade (performed with a full DVD image) went perfectly fine and the only problem I experienced after the upgrade was random failure of GNOME application to bring up the Open/Save dialogue (which I traced down to the "beagled" daemon). Other than that I've had no troubles at all with Mandriva 2007.1 while using KDE with Compiz (which I find smoother and more pleasant than Beryl on my hardware). I also upgraded a vanilla installation of Mandriva Linux 2007.0 Free (the i586 edition) directly with "urpmi" while logged in to KDE and this upgrade also went without a glitch.
So don't judge a product by a single review; with Mandriva, as with any other distribution, the old adage is still valid: if it works, it works great, but if it doesn't, then, well, blame it on your hardware and download another distribution ;-)
One last piece of information on Mandriva before moving on to other news. Olivier Blin has published a technical specification proposal for the release of Mandriva Linux 2008, expected in the third quarter of 2007. Among the more interesting items, the list includes: improved Xen virtualisation with corresponding changes in the graphical "drakvirt" module; 3D desktop with the newly merged Compiz/Beryl projects; switch to Squashfs and LZMA for the live CD and the possibility of running it in Windows through the Qemu emulator; WPA-EAP support in the "drakx-net" module (login + pass, certificates); many under-the-hood improvements to hardware detection, networking, boot and init, and kernel drivers.
* * * * *
After several weeks of being off-line due to rising popularity and bandwidth problems, the PCLinuxOS web site is up and running once again: "I am pleased to announce that Enki has formed a sponsorship with PCLinuxOS and is now providing the hosting for our web site. I'd like to thank the guys over at Enki for working the last couple of weekends to give PCLinuxOS a dedicated home on the Internet." The project has promptly released what it promises to be the last test build of PCLinuxOS 2007 before the long-awaited final release. Please visit the distribution's revamped web site to find out more. A list of mirrors carrying the new CD images is available here.
* * * * *
Kevin Carmony has published an update on the current status of Freespire, as the project prepares for the upcoming release of version 2.0, together with a major upgrade to its Click-N-Run (CNR) software installation service: "These past several months have been a time of great transition for Linspire. As most of you know, we have announced several significant changes, and most of these will come to life in the next 60 days, including an entirely new CNR system and new versions of both Freespire and Linspire." The new timeline promises to deliver Freespire 2.0 in early June, while Linspire 6.0, the commercial off-shoot of Freespire designed mainly for the OEM market, should be available late in the same month. As for the new CNR service, the Freespire and Linspire users should be able to start using it early June, Ubuntu users in the middle of June, and the users of Debian, openSUSE and Fedora "in the months that follow." For more details please read the latest issue of Linspire Letter.
* * * * *
Do you enjoy KNOPPIX, but wish there was a 64-bit edition of the popular live CD? If so, you are in luck. Kuniyasu Suzaki, the developer of VMKnoppix (formerly known as Xenoppix) has announced the availability of KNOPPIX-x86_64 5.1.1: "KNOPPIX-x86_64-5.1.1 CD is released. This version uses x86_64 kernel 2.6.19 and GCC 4.1.2. Features: based on Xenoppix 5.0.1-x86_64 and customized for KNOPPIX 5.1.1; terminal server; 3D desktop ('desktop=beryl'); Aufs (CVS 20070402 version)." This is a pure live CD without the presence of a virtual machine. The CD image is available for download either via BitTorrent or directly from this FTP server: knoppix-x86_64-v5.1.1CD-20070412.iso (701MB, MD5).
* * * * *
Linux.com has published an interview with the recently elected Debian Project Leader, Sam Hocevar: "Q: What are your first priorities as Debian Project Leader? A: The first thing I need to do is to gather information about current internal conflicts and tensions that could prevent certain people from working together, or at least make those organisational changes require more diplomacy. I plan to focus on the social part of my platform, mostly because they require more time to do properly. People didn't wait for my election to start doing the technical stuff I talked about: We have a Google Summer of Code project for a web interface to our bug tracking system, at least one tool is under development for the debugging infrastructure, and quite a few proposals about improving the web site have popped up." Read the rest of the interview here.
* * * * *
Freely downloadable DVD images of Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 started appearing on the distribution's mirror servers late last week. Originally released in late March, Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.1 is a Fedora-based distribution designed for systems using the PowerPC family of processors: "Terra Soft today released Yellow Dog Linux v5.0.1 for Apple G3, G4, and G5 computers. Yellow Dog Linux v5.0.1 adds greater than 500 package updates to the next generation Linux operating system released for the Sony PlayStation 3 with support for the former Apple PowerPC product line." For more information please read the original press release and visit the product pages. The DVD images are available from these mirror sites: yellowdog-5.0.1-phoenix-20070326-APPLE.iso (3,716MB, MD5).
* * * * *
Last weekend was a busy one for a number of Brazilian distributions, which delivered new and updated versions of their products. The Kurumin project released Kurumin Linux 7.0r2, an updated re-spin of their "long-term support" version 7.0 with minor bug-fixes and updates to Firefox and Thunderbird. Another Brazilian project, the Gentoo-based Litrix Linux distribution and live CD, released an updated version 7.4. Finally, a new version (2.4) of Resulinux, a Debian-based live CD, also appeared over the weekend (here is a brief note about it in Portuguese, courtesy of BR-Linux.org). Interestingly, none of these projects have published any official release announcements on their web sites at the time of writing, but our Brazilian and other interested readers can download the new CD images from here: kurumin-7.0r2.iso (639MB, MD5), litrix-7.4.zip (676MB), resulinux2.4tiphareth.iso (646MB).
Resulinux is a desktop-oriented, Debian-based distribution and live CD made in Brazil.
(full image size: 874kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
|Released Last Week
Bogdan Radulescu has announced the release of NimbleX 2007v2, a Slackware-based mini live CD: "NimbleX 2007v2 is out! NimbleX is a small but versatile operating system which is able to boot from an 8 cm CD, from flash memory or MP3 players. Because it runs entirely from a CD, USB or network it doesn't require installation or even much hardware. NimbleX is based on Slackware and Linux-Live scripts. NimbleX 2007v2 highlights: better wireless support; full automatic support for NTFS; changes in Fluxbox (fbpanel); added OpenBox, QuadConsole, Dillo, Guidedog; xconf2 (maybe wide screen will work); ALSA and other software updates; script for creating nimblex.data file; many bug fixes...." Read the full release announcement for further details.
PLD Linux Distribution 2.0
The PLD project has announced the release of PLD Linux Distribution 2.0. The actual PLD 2.0 package tree was declared stable in early April, but it took several weeks to generate CD and DVD images for 6 architectures (i386, i586, i686, Athlon, AMD64, and PowerPC). PLD is an independent, RPM-based distribution using an advance package manager called "Poldek" and designed for users who aren't afraid of the command line. The new stable release provides a choice between kernels 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124 with built-in virtualisation support (Linux VServer), together with over 13,000 RPM packages, including X.Org 6.9.0, KDE 3.5.6, GNOME 2.14, Xfce 4.4.0, OpenOffice.org 2.1.0, etc. Please visit the project's home and product pages to learn more about the new release.
* * * * *
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Parsix GNU/Linux 0.90
Alan Baghumian has published a release schedule for the upcoming Parsix GNU/Linux 0.90, code name "Barry". There will be three test builds released on May 4th, May 18th and June 4th, while the final release is scheduled for 15th June 2007. For more information please see this mailing list post.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Translations of the Top Ten Distributions page|
The brand new Top Ten Distributions page went live last week. Many thanks to those readers who have found the time to give suggestions and point out any errors - your contributions are much appreciated. After publishing the page, we also asked readers to help translating it into other languages and the response was interesting: we received a total of 9 offers to translate the overview. Of these, five were for translations into Spanish, and one each for translation into Chinese (simplified), Dutch, German and Portuguese. It's nice to see how much enthusiasm there is for Linux and open source software among the Spanish-speaking readers of DistroWatch! The volunteers have got together and started working on the translation; they estimate that it will be completed by Wednesday this week. Way to go and muchas gracias, amigos!
* * * * *
Distribution usage based on browser statistics
Last week, a readers emailed us this question: "Have you ever thought of the idea to analyse the HTTP headers the browser sends and use that to generate statistics of what people are using? That would IMHO be a much more interesting statistic." The simple answer is "yes". In fact this data is already available courtesy of the Awstats traffic analyser and can be accessed here.
The question has prompted us to extend the Awstats program to include other distributions that were not originally tracked by Awstats, at least those that provide a custom browser string which enables their identification; these include BLAG, Elive, Gentoo Linux, KateOS, Kubuntu, Linspire, MEPIS Linux, Linux Mint, Pardus Linux, PCLinuxOS and Vine Linux. These distributions were only added to the list on 29 April (before that, they were classified as "unknown/unspecified"), so the statistics for April are not accurate, but starting from next month, the page should give more complete data about the usage of the various distributions by the visitors of DistroWatch. However, web browsers of many other distributions, including those in Slackware, KNOPPIX, SabayonLinux, VectorLinux, Puppy Linux and Zenwalk, don't identify themselves in any distinct way, so we won't be able to count those.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Bugnux. Bugnux is a complete Linux (Mandriva) distribution that runs from a single bootable CD and runs entirely in RAM. Bugnux contains an extensive set of open source software testing tools that can be used for functional and performance testing. Standalone tools to test GUI applications and Mozilla Firefox extensions pre-installed to aid in web application testing have been packaged. This can turn any PC into black-box testing device without having to install any software. Bugnux also contains a set of stress and load testing tools that can be used to assist in testing performance of web applications.
- Seminarix. Seminarix is a German, Kubuntu-based live CD containing a large collection of educational software for teachers. The project's web site is in German only.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the 200th issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 7 May 2007. Until then,
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
SmartOS is an open-source UNIX-like operating system based on illumos, a community fork of OpenSolaris. It features four technologies - ZFS (a combined file system and logical volume manager), DTrace (a dynamic tracing framework for troubleshooting kernel and application problems), Zones (a lightweight virtualisation solution) and KVM (a full virtualisation solution for running a variety of guest operating systems, including Linux, Windows, BSD and Plan9). SmartOS is designed to be particularly suitable for building clouds and generating appliances.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Questions and answers: Exploring process information and UEFI|
|Questions and answers: Multimedia support and patents|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Tips and tricks: Gathering system information with osquery|
|Tips and tricks: Running openSUSE "Factory"|
|Tips and tricks: Live upgrading Raspbian|
|Questions and answers: Logging sudo usage|
|Tips and tricks: Shell switching, battery charge, getting the system's IP address and dealing with stubborn processes|
|Questions and answers: Open-source applications for live streaming, difference between desktop environments and window managers|
|Questions and answers: Secure Boot has arrived|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|