| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 251, 5 May 2008
Welcome to this year's 18th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! A week of many excellent releases - a brand new Slackware 12.1 (read our first-look review of the world's oldest surviving Linux distribution), an updated OpenBSD 4.3 (check out the exhaustive interview with the project developers at ONLamp.com), a hot new Puppy Linux 4.00 (with pretty artwork and a large number of state-of-the-art features and packages), and an Xfce edition of Mandriva Linux 2008.1 (complete with Compiz support on an installable live CD). But the excitement never ends here at DistroWatch; as we go to press, the first-ever stable release of OpenSolaris is hitting the download mirrors, together with a plethora of related announcements and Planet posts from the growing OpenSolaris developer and user community. There is also more news on the latest beta of openSUSE 11.0, information about the first alpha release of PC-BSD 7.0, and the usual columns, including a donation of €250 to the GSPCA project for its amazing work developing Linux webcam drivers. There is lot more, so enjoy the read!
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First look at Slackware Linux 12.1
Slackware Linux, the world's oldest surviving Linux distribution, doesn't get reviewed very often. The reason is simple - there isn't all that much to write about. With Ubuntu or similar high-profile distributions one gets all these fancy release notes and feature pages, describing the most interesting parts of each new release in graphic detail: "Hey, here is an exciting new applications called Transmission, a BitTorrent client for the GNOME desktop." Empowered by this vital information, a computing journalist can devote an entire paragraph to this particular package, describing how well it is integrated with Firefox and GNOME, and how easy it is to download large files from the Internet. No wonder there are so many Ubuntu reviews all over the place!
With Slackware Linux, you don't get these luxuries. If you want to find out what's new in its latest release, you have to dig through a long and mostly very boring current changelog. Or better, you have to follow it as it evolves, otherwise you are guaranteed to fall asleep while trying to read the long pages in one go. The latest Slackware changelogs have been particularly unexciting; none of the old little controversies, such as the one over the trashing of GNOME or the entry about the Pidgin developers' dislike for Slackware, can be found anywhere this time around. It's just the same old "upgraded package_name to version version_number" or "fixed bug (thanks to Slackware_contributor)". No gossip, no spice, no nothing. How do you write about Slackware if there is so little to write about?
Now, I've just wasted two precious paragraphs to illustrate a point. Nevertheless, I still feel that I am probably in a better position than most to write about Slackware 12.1 - not only have I followed the current changelog with religious regularity, I've also been running the distribution on my test machine since Slackware's development tree was declared "Release Candidate 1" in just over a month ago. That was when I grabbed one of the unofficial weekly builds from Slackware's Norway mirror and went on to install the distribution. Furthermore, as the first post-installation step, I also installed "slackpkg" from the distribution's extra directory. As you've probably guessed from its name, slackpkg is one of several third-party advanced package managers for Slackware Linux and an excellent tool for the more lazy among the Slackware users; working in a fashion similar to Debian's apt-get, slackpkg provides an easy way to update the distribution during the development part of its life. It also allows the system administrator to install security patches with a single command and with a minimum of fuss.
As hinted above, one of the troubles with writing about Slackware is the fact that it changes so little between the releases. Another is its determination to leave the Linux kernel and the vast majority of included software in a state which is completely unmodified from upstream, something that is seen as depressing conservatism by some, and as a virtue by others. Yes, Slackware ships with a kernel that is the exact copy of what Linus Torvalds makes available on his FTP server, and a KDE desktop that was designed to be as neutral and distro-agnostic as possible. There is no Slackware wallpaper, no custom icons or themes, no Slackware-specific user agent string in any of the browsers... In other words, no branding whatsoever.
Unlike most distributions, Slackware doesn't "brand" its desktop in any way.
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No branding? Well, almost. And this is where the first surprise comes in: when you boot your newly installed Slackware Linux 12.1, you'll get a custom LILO boot screen with the words "Slackware Linux" written on it in large white letters on a black background! That, ladies and gentlemen, is the first time that Slackware has included any form of branding in its distribution. Granted, this was done mostly because (in the words of Slackware founder Patrick Volkerding) "the default LILO had too many colors and was making my eyes hurt." But at the same time he also indicated that he is no longer as "dead-set against branding" as he once was, so if we are lucky, we might see more of this in future Slackware releases. Maybe even a custom Slackware background? That would be something!
If the LILO splash screen is a welcome surprise, there is even bigger one hidden in the changelog (and completely omitted from the release announcement). For the first time, Slackware Linux also ships with SCIM, an input method editor for (mostly) Asian languages. This is Slackware's first hint at reaching for the international audience (outside of including the KDE i18n files in the distribution). Of course, this doesn't mean that the Slackware installer is now also available in Burmese or Dhivehi, but it's progress nonetheless. Slackware is no Debian and the way it is managed, it has little hope of ever evolving into a huge community project with hundreds of volunteer translators.
Then there is the release announcement with further hints at what's new. It talks about support for software RAID, encrypted file systems, Direct Rendering Interface, and other kernel-related features. None of these are Slackware-specific, however, and any distribution shipping with the latest kernel will have those features too. It also lists some of the included packages, notably the two desktops (KDE and Xfce), a variety of web browsers, many server-oriented software applications, including the latest Apache and PHP, and the usual collection of development tools, compilers and scripting languages.
So what is the main benefit of choosing Slackware Linux over other distributions? First and foremost, it's the clean and uncomplicated system, with no hidden surprises, that is perhaps Slackware's biggest asset. As commented recently by a poster on a popular web site, it is the only major distribution that has resisted the temptation to add custom features and other bloat to Linux. Slackware is as pure and natural as a Linux distribution can be - it comes with a vanilla kernel and it includes just the necessary libraries, as well as a well-balanced set of development tools, desktop and server packages. Nothing more and nothing less. And its security infrastructure is top-notch, complete with a dedicated security mailing list and timely security advisories during the lifetime of each release.
All these points hint at an excellent (if not perfect) server and -- with a few tweaks and an occasional trip to one of the third-party Slackware repositories (see our Slackware page for a list) -- a fairly decent desktop system, especially for those who already know a thing or two about Linux. Slackware Linux also remains a great base system for custom solutions, as demonstrated by the many Slackware-based distributions that exists on the market. But overall, it's a mixed bag - a solid, stable and well-tested operating system, but clearly designed for the more knowledgeable user (or a user willing to learn) than the average Joe.
For more information about Slackware Linux, please visit the project's web site at Slackware.com.
Features and fixes for Intrepid Ibex, updates on openSUSE 11.0, interview with OpenBSD developers, début for OpenSolaris desktop, first alpha of PC-BSD 7.0
With another successful release of the Ubuntu family of Linux distributions behind us, the project's developers can now turn their attention to the next stable release - version 8.10 and code name "Intrepid Ibex". It should be an exciting release. Gone are the "LTS" constraints which have made system stability the first priority in Ubuntu 8.04, so the developers should have more freedom to experiment with new features. Ubuntu's Travis Watkins has published a few thoughts on the subject of fixes and new features in Intrepid Ibex: "There are still some big things that work differently when you use Compiz versus using Metacity. In Compiz itself we have the Show Desktop and Application Switcher features. These are when you click the button in the bottom left corner of your screen and press Alt-Tab, respectively. I don't think there is anything wrong with how these work but they don't work like many people expect so it violates the Don't Make Me Think rule of usability as you have to consider what mode you're using (Compiz on or off) when you use these tools." See also the Ubuntu 8.10 release schedule in the Upcoming Releases section below.
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Although Ubuntu 8.04 has attracted a lot of media attention in the last couple of weeks, there is no doubt that the most ambitious distribution release of this quarter will be openSUSE 11.0. This is mainly due to the fact that the openSUSE developers have gone further than anyone else in implementing many new and experimental features into their upcoming release. The second beta, released last week, gives an interesting insight into what's coming next month (19 June, to be precise). A beautiful system installer, a radically different desktop look and feel, and -- a standard feature of all recent openSUSE releases -- various package management improvements. But those who downloaded and tested the second beta of openSUSE 11.0 might have noticed an interesting thing - the addition of KDE 3 to the available desktops in the system installer. While KDE 4 still remains the preferred KDE (or at least it is placed above KDE 3 in the list), some might find it surprising to see KDE 3 listed alongside GNOME and KDE 4. Is this the result of requests from users who worry about the stability of KDE 4? Or are there internal doubts over the quality of the upcoming KDE 4.1? While we don't know the answer, it's never a bad thing to offer more choices....
The KDE 4 desktop in openSUSE 11.0 brings a new theme and various usability enhancements.
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Puppy Linux is a popular distribution among the DistroWatch readers - at least judging by the number of Puppy-related comments (and also by the number of hate mails DistroWatch receives on those rare occasions when Puppy is portrayed in less than stellar colours). But those who enjoy this super-fast, minimalist distributions made in Western Australia can celebrate today (Monday) as a major new update has finally hit the download mirrors - some six months since the last stable release. Puppy Linux 4.00 comes with numerous improvements, including a system compiled from source code (instead of using Slackware's binary packages), new artwork and theme, newly added support for digital cameras and scanners, a large number of new GTK+ applications and various useful utilities. There is a lot more so head over to the Puppy's web site to read the full release notes.
Puppy Linux 4.00 - now with a background image showing a decidedly non-Australian landscape
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A project that tends to be eagerly watched by most security conscious IT professionals is, of course, OpenBSD, whose new release was made available last week. The ONLamp.com web site maintains an excellent tradition of presenting each new OpenBSD release through the eyes of some the project's most prominent developers, and OpenBSD 4.3 was no exception: "The OpenBSD project is ready to announce the new release, OpenBSD 4.3, that will be officially available on May 1st (the only way to get it earlier is ordering the CD package). As usual there are a lot of improvements and new tools and features, and it sounds amazing that they keep delivering these results with a six month release cycle. Federico Biancuzzi interviewed a large group of developers to talk about the new networking tools (snmpd and snmpctl), the new features and scope of relayd (previously known as hoststated), how the configuration of carp was simplified, improvements in wireless drivers, storage limits and speed-ups, SMP support in sparc64, bug fixes and audits for some tricky coding practices, and much more!"
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If last week brought a plethora of interesting distribution releases, then this week won't lag far behind either. That's because of a brand new entrant into the world of open source operating systems that will undoubtedly raise much attention - not only on web sites dedicated to open source software, but also in the general computing media. Sun Microsystem's first-ever stable release of OpenSolaris is expected to hit the download mirrors later today (Monday). Labelled as version 2008.05 (here are the draft release notes), this is the first of the planned twice-a-year release of a "Solaris for the desktop", a distribution that combines the traditional strengths of Solaris with a Linux-like desktop interface - all complete with a graphical installer and a real package manager, and coming in the form of an installable live CD. Of course, another reason why this project is bound to generate much attention is the fact that it's headed by Ian Murdock, the founder of Debian GNU/Linux. Although the first stable OpenSolaris is unlikely to attract the same following as Ubuntu or openSUSE, it will certainly become an interesting addition to the world of free operating systems and a excellent alternative for those who enjoy tinkering with different distributions.
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Last week, Kris Moore announced the availability of the first alpha build of PC-BSD 7.0. This is a very early experimental release based on FreeBSD 7.0 (hence the version number, which, from now on, will follow the FreeBSD versioning scheme), but it seems to be fairly stable in terms of installation and hardware support. From the release announcement: "I've just finished uploading a very early test release of PC-BSD 7, which is based on FreeBSD 7.0 release. You may note that that we have named it PCBSD 7, and this is on purpose. We will be changing our versioning scheme for this next release to correspond with FreeBSD, thus PC-BSD 7.0 will be based on FreeBSD 7.0, PC-BSD 7.1 on FreeBSD 7.1, and so forth. This release is a ALPHA, which means it is NOT feature complete yet, and should only be used for early testing. I know for a fact most PBI's will NOT work on it, since I haven't yet implemented all the legacy library support from FreeBSD 6. If you are able to test this release, what I'm most interesting in is feedback as to hardware support, or installation problems." Interested testers can download the installation ISO image from here: PCBSD7-Alpha-x86-Thu.iso (690MB, MD5).
PC-BSD 7.0 Alpha, showing the KBFX configuration dialogue for customising the desktop's look and feel
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Finally, something that is not strictly distribution related, but with journaled file systems having become such an important part of any modern distribution, we thought we'd mention this article here. Ext4, a file system that is likely to become the default in many distributions in the near future, provides a host of new features that should make it more reliable to store our data on hard disks. IBM Developer Works has published an excellent article on migrating to ext4, listing its many improvements, but also warning about the potential pitfalls of switching to the new file system: "Ext4 is the latest in a long line of Linux file systems, and it's likely to be as important and popular as its predecessors. As a Linux system administrator, you should be aware of the advantages, disadvantages, and basic steps for migrating to ext4. This article explains when to adopt ext4, how to adapt traditional file system maintenance tool usage to ext4, and how to get the most out of the file system."
|Released Last Week
CDlinux 0.6.1, or Compact Distro Linux, is a 60 MB mini-distribution with the latest Linux kernel, X.Org, Xfce window manager, and a handful of desktop applications. A new version 0.6.1, together with a revamped project web site, was unveiled today: "The CDlinux team is proud to announce the release of CDlinux 0.6.1. This release is a minor bug fix and has some major feature enhancement. It ships with Linux kernel 126.96.36.199, X.Org 7.3, Xfce 4.4.2, Firefox 188.8.131.52, Pidgin 2.4.1, xine 1.1.12, and many other up-to-date popular applications. All these are packed in a 57 MB ISO image. This release fixes a quote bug in rc.modules. It has newly added support for touchpads, LZMA compression, PDF file, and improved support for desktop icons. It also features greatly improved font support for various languages and locales." Visit the distribution's news page to read the release announcement.
Kiwi Linux 8.04
Jani Mosones has announced the release of Kiwi Linux 8.04: "Kiwi Linux 8.04 is a i386 desktop CD derivative based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. It installs packages necessary for playing restricted audio, video and Flash formats by default and supports the Speedtouch 330 USB ADSL modem. The list of available languages is English, French, German, Hungarian and Romanian. The default package selection is altered somewhat to be more familiar to Windows users: Thunderbird is the default mail client and Audacious the music player. Other additions to the CD: Compiz extra settings GUI; unrar and Microsoft True Type core fonts; a graphical tool for restoring GRUB boot menus lost after installing other operating systems; Midnight Commander. The Medibuntu repositories are enabled by default to allow installing w32codecs, Skype and Google Earth among others." Here is the brief release announcement.
Theo de Raadt has announced the release of OpenBSD 4.3: "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 4.3. This is our 23rd release on CD-ROM (and 24th via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of more than ten years with only two remote holes in the default install. As in our previous releases, 4.3 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system. Highlights include: GNOME 2.20.3, GNUstep 1.14.2, KDE 3.5.8, Mozilla Firefox 184.108.40.206, Mozilla Thunderbird 220.127.116.11, MySQL 5.0.51a, OpenMotif 2.3.0, OpenOffice.org 2.3.1, PostgreSQL 8.2.6, Xfce 4.4.2." Read the release announcement and release notes for a detailed list of changes and new features.
Rocks Cluster Distribution 5.0
Mason J. Katz has announced the release of Rocks Cluster Distribution 5.0, a CentOS-based distribution designed for building Linux clusters: "Rocks 5.0 is released for i386 and x86_64 CPU architectures. New Features: 1. Xen support. You can use the Xen roll to create 'VM Containers' - physical machines that are used to hold Xen-based virtual machines. The Rocks Command Line was expanded to help build and maintain virtual machines. 2. Fully programmable partitioning. The partitioning of client nodes (e.g., compute nodes and tile nodes) has been re-tooled. Enhancements: based on CentOS release 5.1 and all updates as of April 29, 2008; Condor updated to 7.0.1; Ganglia monitor core updated to 3.0.7...." Here is the complete release announcement.
easys GNU/Linux 4.1
The easys development team has announced the release of easys GNU/Linux 4.1, a Slackware-based distribution featuring a graphical installer and an advanced package manager: "We are pleased to announce the release of easys GNU/Linux 4.1. This release is a milestone in the development of the easys distribution. For the first time the new installation and the administration framework for Linux - ALICE (Advanced Linux Installation and Configuration Environment) - is introduced to the public. Thanks to ALICE, users are now able to perform easy graphical installation of a Slackware Linux system. Another innovation is the switch to the 2.6 (18.104.22.168) kernel series and the omission of the 2.4 kernel support. X DRI (Direct Rendering Interface) and a modular X.Org version provide hardware accelerated 3D display." Visit the distribution's news page to read the full release announcement.
easys GNU/Linux 4.1 - a Slackware-based distribution with a user-friendly installer and package manager
(full image size: 325kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Brian Brazil has announced the final release of gNewSense 2.0 "DeltaH", a 100% "libre" distribution based on the recently released Ubuntu 8.04: "I've just released the live CD for gNewSense 2.0, the first full release of 'DeltaH'. This is less than a week after 'Hardy Heron' was released. All bugs reported since the 1.9 beta have been addressed. Features since 1.1: now based on Ubuntu 'Hardy Heron'; new artwork; switched from BurningDog (Firefox) to Epiphany; switched to BLAG's 'deblob' script for the kernel; non-free GLX removed from X/mesa; builder - use chroot for building; builder - added support for Debian source packages." Here are the brief release announcement and release notes.
gNewSense 2.0 - a 100% "libre" distribution endorsed by the Free Software Foundation
(full image size: 302kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Mandriva Linux 2008.1 "Xfce"
Mandriva S.A. has announced the availability of an unofficial "Xfce" edition of Mandriva Linux 2008.1: "Thanks to the efforts of the Mandriva Linux Xfce development community, an Xfce edition of Mandriva Linux 2008.1 One is now available. Just like the KDE and GNOME editions of One, this is an installable live CD edition of Mandriva Linux 2008.1, but this time featuring Xfce as the desktop environment. As with the other One editions, three images are available, with different sets of languages on each. This is an unofficial release, but the Xfce development volunteers will attempt to address any problems or questions about this release. You can get the default language set edition here, the alternative language set edition here and the Asian language set edition here." Read the short release announcement for further information.
Slackware Linux 12.1
Patrick Volkerding has announced the release of Slackware Linux 12.1: "Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. So, without further ado, announcing Slackware version 12.1! Since we've moved to supporting the 2.6 kernel series exclusively (and fine-tuned the system to get the most out of it), we feel that Slackware 12.1 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.0) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user. Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find better support for RAID, LVM, and cryptsetup; a network capable (FTP and HTTP, not only NFS) installer; and two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.2, a fast, lightweight, and visually appealing desktop environment, and KDE 3.5.9, the latest 3.x version of the full-featured K Desktop Environment." More details in the release announcement.
Bluewhite64 Linux 12.1
Bluewhite64 Linux 12.1, an unofficial port of Slackware Linux to the x86_64 architecture, has been released: "Bluewhite64 Linux has reached version 12.1. Many changes, upgrades, new feature additions and improvements have been done since version 12.0. Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find better support for RAID, LVM, and cryptsetup, a network capable (FTP and HTTP, not only NFS) installer, and two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.2 and KDE 3.5.9. We have added support for HAL (the hardware Abstraction Layer) which allows the system administrator to add users to the 'cdrom' and 'plugdev' groups." Read the full release announcement for more information.
Puppy Linux 4.00
Barry Kauler has announced the final release of Puppy Linux 4.00, a major updated of the minimalist desktop distribution: "Finally it has happened! The last 'official' release of Puppy was version 3.01, released October 15, 2007. Version 4.00 is happening 6 months later, which is an incredibly long time considering the previous frenetic schedule of releases. A summary of milestones: 4.00 has been totally compiled from source, using the T2-project; GTK+ 1.x and Tcl/Tk abandoned; exciting new GTK+ 2.x applications; scanner support and digital camera support are now built-in to the 'standard' live CD; theming of GTK+, JWM window manager and desktop background has been totally revised; numerous hardware-related and system-related improvements...." Read the rest of the detailed release notes for further information.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The Ubuntu development team has published a detailed release schedule for the distribution's next stable release - version 8.10, code name "Intrepid Ibex". The development will start with the release of Alpha 1 on 12 June; this will be followed by five more alpha releases before the usual beta and release candidate in October. The final release of Ubuntu 8.10 is scheduled for 30 October 2008. For more details please see the Intrepid Release Schedule page on Ubuntu Wiki.
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Summary of expected upcoming releases
April 2008 donation: GSPCA (Linux webcam support) receives €250.00|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the April 2008 DistroWatch.com donation is GSPCA, a project providing free Linux drivers for hundreds of webcams. It receives €250.00 in cash.
GSPCA is a project that received worldwide publicity in May this year with headlines such as Slashdot's Lone Programmer Writes 352 Webcam Drivers For Linux. Michel Xhaard, the "lone programmer" behind the project, has indeed written hundreds of webcam drivers without any help from hardware manufacturers. From the project's web site: "This driver is the result of reverse engineering the protocols and functionality provided by these chips. This limits of what we can do and it limits the quality of the driver, but without the manufacturers supplying us with the needed specifications and technical documentation, we can only guess some basic functions." A list of supported webcams is available here.
Michel Xhaard has emailed DistroWatch with a "greetings from France" and a brief "thank you" note.
As always, this monthly donations programme is a joint initiative between DistroWatch and two online shops selling low-cost CDs and DVDs with Linux, BSD and other open source software - LinuxCD.org and OSDisc.com. These vendors contributed US$50.00 each towards this month's donation to GSPCA.
Here is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Programme in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$17,283 to various open source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NdisWrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and SabayonLinux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA (Linux webcam support) ($400)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Hrat GNU/Linux. Hrat GNU/Linux is an Armenian distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. The project is in early stages of development.
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DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 12 May 2008.
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
SwagArch is a GNU/Linux desktop distribution based on Arch Linux. The SwagArch distribution features a live DVD that runs the Xfce desktop and uses the Calamares graphical system installer. SwagArch offers popular FOSS applications pre-installed, including Firefox and the VLC multimedia player.