| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 282, 15 December 2008
Welcome to this year's 49th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week's feature article shows keen Linux users how to make the most of their computer by performing a custom install for a leaner and faster system - in this case we build a custom Ubuntu 8.10. In the news section, openSUSE prepares for the imminent release of version 11.1, Debian announces the upcoming second and final release candidate of the Debian installer, the Unofficial Fedora FAQ updates its HOWTOs for the recently released Fedora 10, the University of Glasgow settles on Slackware Linux for its log-in server, Spain's Trisquel is added to GNU's free distribution list, and Chile's Educalibre gets Tuquito Linux running on Intel Classmate netbooks. We also have links to two interesting interviews - one with Timothy Cramer from OpenSolaris and the other with Warren Woodford of MEPIS Linux. Finally, if you are still searching for that elusive minimalist Linux system that would run smoothly on any old computer, take a look at Tiny Core Linux - a desktop distro in 11 MB. Happy reading!
- HowTo: Getting a lean system with a custom Ubuntu install
- News: openSUSE prepares 11.1, Debian "Lenny" installer in deep freeze, Fedora FAQ updates, Glasgow University switches to Slackware, interviews with MEPIS and OpenSolaris developers, The Economist recommends Linux
- Released last week: Slackware Linux 12.2, PC-BSD 7.0.2, Slax 6.0.9
- Upcoming releases: openSUSE 11.1, Linux Mint 6
- New additions: Jibbed
- New distribution: Jaris, Tiny Core Linux, Ubuntu Privacy Remix
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in ogg (11MB) and mp3 (11MB) formats (many thanks to Russ Wenner)
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
How To: Getting a lean system with a custom Ubuntu install
So you've been using Linux for a while now and you've gotten a handle on how it works and you're feeling confident. Great! Most likely you have installed your favourite desktop environment from your favourite distribution and this includes most applications you'll ever need. This is good, but as a result your machine might not be running as lean as it could be. Do you have Bluetooth or a Wacom tablet? If not then why waste time and resources loading them? There are many such tweaks that can be performed after an install, but why not start from the very beginning with a nice clean, lean install? You'll only have what you want to have and you'll be more in charge of your system. If you're keen to get your hands a little dirty, then come along. It's fun!
Today we're going to look at performing a custom install using Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex". By default Ubuntu installs the GNOME desktop environment with lots of extra services and packages which help make it a very friendly distro, but which also help to use up your precious resources. We're going to start from scratch by installing a very basic Ubuntu system and build it up with the desktop and applications we want. Another benefit of this method is that you will get the latest versions of all applications at install time, rather than installing and then performing an update at a later stage.
On my test machine, a full Ubuntu install takes up 3.1 GB of hard drive space, uses 430 MB of RAM and takes 25 seconds to boot. Logging into GNOME takes a further 12 seconds. By comparison, the same machine with a custom install takes only 2.2 GB of hard drive space, uses 210 MB of RAM and takes 20 seconds to boot. Logging into GNOME takes 5 seconds.
To perform this custom install we need the Ubuntu Alternate install CD, not the Desktop CD. It is worth noting that this method uses the ncurses-based terminal installer, not a graphical one. First, burn the Alternate CD and boot to it. When prompted at the install CD menu, select a language. Press the F4 key to change the installation mode. Choose "Install a command-line system" and hit the Enter key. Now back at the main menu, ensure "Install Ubuntu" is selected and hit the Enter key. The installer will now load and we can begin our minimal install.
Boot screen for the Ubuntu Alternate installer
(full image size: 18kB, screen resolution: 642x481 pixels)
Select your language, location and then configure your keyboard. If you are using DHCP to automatically assign network addresses then you should receive an address, else you will need to configure your network manually. Enter a hostname and configure the clock. Partitioning your hard drive should be the same as other installs, just take extra care if you're not using a blank new hard drive. Create a new user, enabling an encrypted private directory if you wish. Set the clock and reboot the computer.
Installing Ubuntu via the Alternate install method
(full image size: 2.8kB, screen resolution: 642x481 pixels)
The fresh base install you have created should now be ready to boot. Log in with the user you created during the install process. Now that you have a basic system installed, we can use the Internet to download the latest packages. Any packages that have been updated since the initial Intrepid release will be installed from the Internet, while anything else will be installed from the local CD. By default the Ubuntu installer will have configured your sources.list for you. If you want to use a custom mirror, you can do so now by editing your /etc/apt/sources.list or you can continue below.
If you want Ubuntu to install any current packages from the CD rather than via the Internet, then make sure your Alternate CD is in the drive and run:
$ sudo apt-cdrom add
Now we'll update the system:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Great, now we have an up-to-date base install that's ready to get some more grunt. Next, we will install various packages, but note that these are optional. You can install whichever packages you want to make your system just right for you.
Does your CPU support speed stepping? If so, install the powernow daemon:
$ sudo apt-get install powernowd
You may wish to install a SSH server, so that you can remotely connect to the machine; if so, install it too:
$ sudo apt-get install ssh
Let's get a basic X environment going. We are going to install a basic GNOME, but you can choose a different environment if you want:
$ sudo apt-get install xorg gdm acpi-support gnome-session gnome-menus gnome-panel gnome-applets gnome-volume-manager gnome-power-manager metacity nautilus
If you want fancy 3D effects, install Compiz:
$ sudo apt-get install compiz
Now we can get some extra packages for GNOME:
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-screensaver xscreensaver menu gnome-utils gnome-system-tools libgnomevfs2-extra smbfs
Want to be able to switch users and use the guest account in Intrepid?
$ sudo apt-get install fast-user-switch-applet gdm-guest-session
If you want to use some of the graphical package management tools that Intrepid includes, then install the following:
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-app-install app-install-data-commercial update-manager update-notifier
If you need either the NVIDIA or ATI drivers for your video card, you can either install Ubuntu's graphical tool:
$ sudo apt-get install jockey-gtk
Or install the required packages directly, depending on your card (newer NVIDIA cards will use version 177, while older ones will use 96):
$ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic dkms nvidia-glx-177 && sudo nvidia-xconfig
$ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic dkms xorg-driver-fglrx && sudo aticonfig --initial
If you need wireless or other fancy network configurations then install Network Manager (note that this will pull in Bluetooth support):
$ sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome
Because we installed using the Alternate CD, Ubuntu has been configured using the default network settings, rather than those with Network Manager. You will need to edit the network interfaces file and remove the lines for your network card:
$ sudo nano -w /etc/network/interfaces
Remove the lines for your primary interface, it should look similar to this:
iface eth0 inet dhcp
After this, Network Manager will start working.
Now we need some basic applications. These are of course optional! You can install whatever packages you want to have:
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-terminal gedit firefox firefox-3.0-gnome-support
Other basic applications you may want to include:
$ sudo apt-get install eog evince file-roller pidgin gcalctool gimp gthumb gucharmap openoffice.org openoffice.org-gnome rhythmbox
Some plugins for Nautilus are available too:
$ sudo apt-get install nautilus-sendto nautilus-share nautilus-cd-burner
Ubuntu has great support for proprietary and closed-source data formats. You can install these individually, or everything at once:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras
When it comes to printing, you may not need the full blown CUPS system and every possible printer driver. If you're connecting to another server, just install the CUPS client. By default, Ubuntu installs lots of drivers, including the HP daemon (even if you don't have any HP equipment!). If you want GNOME's graphical printer tool, it will pull in many printer drivers for you automatically:
$ sudo apt-get install system-config-printer-gnome
Or you can install specific printer related support by picking and choosing the ones that suit your needs from the following:
$ sudo apt-get install cupsys cupsys-bsd cupsys-client cupsys-common cupsys-driver-gutenprint foo2zjs foomatic-db foomatic-db-engine foomatic-db-hpijs foomatic-filters hpijs-ppds hplip-ppds openprinting-ppds openprinting-ppds-extra
Spelling and languages
Ubuntu comes with support for many languages, simply install the language you desire (I'm using Australian/British English):
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-spell aspell-en myspell-en-au
And if you're using OpenOffice.org, here are the language packages you need:
$ sudo apt-get install openoffice.org-l10n-en-gb openoffice.org-thesaurus-en-au
If you want Ubuntu's artwork, you can easily install it with the following commands:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-artwork
$ sudo apt-get install usplash usplash-theme-ubuntu
Or you can install the default GNOME artwork:
$ sudo apt-get install gnome-themes
There are some services which we do not need to have running, if you do not need them. Don't have a Wacom tablet? You can stop it from starting up! This is how I remove the Wacom driver from boot-up:
$ sudo update-rc.d -f xserver-xorg-input-wacom remove
You could do the same for any other services you do not use, such as Bluetooth (if you don't have a Bluetooth device), CUPS (if you're not running a local print server), linux-restricted-modules-common (if you're not using any proprietary drivers).
Boot into your new system
So, by now you should have a nicely customised Ubuntu install and it's time to try it! As we have most likely installed a new kernel, it's best to restart the system:
$ sudo reboot
If all went as planned, you should be greeted with the standard GNOME logon screen. Log in and take a look around! Is something missing? Install it :)
So this was a nice little experiment, but it's not for you? It's easy to get the full install of Ubuntu on your machine, just run:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
By performing a minimal install you have the ability to create a leaner custom system that suits you and the programs you want to use. Ubuntu has a reputation of being a very user-friendly distribution and it is indeed great for users who are new to Linux. But it is also good for experienced users by remaining flexible enough to allow you to install your own custom version of Ubuntu and benefit from the pieces of technology that you want to take advantage of. A similar method can be used for other distributions too!
Enjoy your leaner, meaner Ubuntu system :)
GNOME desktop after a custom Ubuntu install
(full image size: 826kB, screen resolution: 1680x1050 pixels)
openSUSE prepares 11.1, Debian "Lenny" installer in deep freeze, Fedora FAQ updates, Glasgow University switches to Slackware, interviews with MEPIS and OpenSolaris developers, The Economist recommends Linux|
For fans of Novell's openSUSE distribution this coming week will be an exciting one! The popular distribution is set to release its long awaited dot release, version 11.1, on the 18th December. In preparation for this new release, a sneak peek at the new improvements and an installation walkthrough have been made available online. While the openSUSE installer has long been one of the most popular and polished of any distribution, it has received numerous improvements not the least of which includes a re-worked partitioner and a sleek new look. Those looking to install the new version can expect other improvements, such as those made to the software manager which now "recommends or suggests software for your computer depending on what is already installed. These packages aren't required by other applications, but instead extend their functionality or compliment them. It's a fun way to discover new things you can do with your computer!" It looks like 11.1 will be a solid improvement to the already excellent 11.0 release.
* * * * *
Hot off the press comes a post to the Debian development list about a new RC2 release of the Debian installer for the upcoming "Lenny" release. "Currently, the only extra piece we need to declare the Lenny puzzle ready is a final version of the installer," writes Luk Claes. He apologises for the lack of releases over the last several months and confirms that when RC2 appears, it will enter deep freeze. "At the moment of deep freeze, there will still be a good number of release critical (RC) bugs affecting Lenny. The release team will go over that list, and try to apply a sensible solution that allows us to target a release, if at all possible, two weeks after declaring the Debian installer final". It appears that the long awaited Lenny release will be just around the corner, once these final bugs are squashed. In the meantime, a general resolution (a democratic way of resolving disputes among the developers as stipulated by the Debian Constitution) regarding the release of "Lenny" was also announced over the weekend.
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Since the release of Fedora 10 on 25th November, the ever-so-useful Unofficial Fedora FAQ has updated their excellent resources to support this latest version. If you are looking to try Fedora, or want to know how to configure your existing system, it is well worth a look. The Unofficial Fedora FAQ answers general questions about the distribution and covers topics such as how to install support for Java, Flash, multimedia codecs and DVD playback.
If you are looking to create your own custom version of Fedora 10 and re-spin a DVD for your own purposes, then this screencast HOWTO may be of interest to you. "The first video has some slides at the beginning that explains the process and then walks through it with a live demo. The second video boots the live DVD that was created, shows an "Install to Hard Drive" and then shows some of the features of the remix." This is a great way to ensure your installation media always includes the latest security updates.
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The Faculty of Physical Sciences at the University of Glasgow recently migrated their main logon server across to Slackware Linux. Shane Kelly writes: "A little while ago, the requirements for data transfer from some overseas research sites jumped tremendously, meaning I needed to assess the impact on our aging 'log in' server that was used as a portal to the Physics network." Their original server running SUSE Linux 9.3 had been working well, handling numerous login sessions, but its P3 CPU, 100 Mb network card and 96 MB of RAM were no longer enough to handle the increasing load. A new AMD Opteron-based server was selected and when it came time to choose a distribution, he headed here to DistroWatch.com to help decide. "I have never liked Red Hat (too many 'extras' between you and the operating system), ditto SUSE, and looking at the top twenty Linux distributions on DistroWatch, I could see that many were more suited to desktops, while many more had no 'pedigree' and were simply re-vamped editions of something else. Then my eye hit upon an old-timer that was said to be a bit difficult, devoid of GUI management tools, and rock solid. Yep, I'm talking about Slackware, the oldest surviving Linux distribution, now at version 12.1". The author is happy to be re-acquainted with his old friend Slackware and is recommending it to others for use on their servers.
* * * * *
In an interview with How Software is Built, MEPIS Linux founder Warren Woodford discusses his background and how he got into Linux, as well as his initial impressions: "The bottom line is that, when I first found Linux, it was too rough around the edges for me. That represented the possibility of opportunity, not that I was really looking for work. This will piss off a few people, but there was a certain amateur quality about it." Warren decided to build his own Linux distribution, MEPIS Linux, which quickly rose in popularity. "It got picked up by DistroWatch and went to #10 in one month, and that told me something. I started spending almost all of my time on it, but then in 2004 I had an injury that laid me up for a long, long time. During that time, MEPIS made it to #1 at DistroWatch, but I couldn't really do much to maintain it." He goes on to discuss the world of Ubuntu, developing on the Linux platform and free versus fee in the corporate world. His thoughts on when the year of the Linux desktop will be? "It's never going to happen. Sorry."
* * * * *
Dr Dobb's Portal has published an interview with Timothy Cramer, the senior director of OpenSolaris engineering at Sun Microsystems. Timothy discusses various aspects of OpenSolaris, including how it compares to Linux, citing Sun technologies such as ZFS and DTrace. Timothy also touches on the relationship between Solaris and OpenSolaris, explaining that "in the future, the latest enhancements to Solaris features, including ZFS, DTrace, Solaris Containers, and Predictive Self Healing, will be found in OpenSolaris first." This points to Sun using a similar development model to Red Hat, where new technologies are first developed for and released in the open source community editions before being officially supported in their mainstream products.
* * * * *
Trisquel, a Debian-based Spanish Linux distribution, has been added to GNU's list of Free GNU/Linux distributions, taking the total to seven. These distributions meet the Free Software Foundation's definition of free software and "only include and only propose free software". They also meet GNU's Guidelines for Free System Distributions. Trisquel was added to the list "following the verification process taken to ensure the commitment of the Trisquel development team and community to promote and distribute only 100% free-as-in-speech software," writes Rubén Rodríguez Pérez. This new status comes just in time for the upcoming 2.1 release, scheduled for 16th December, which "will include the first officially supported version of 'Trisquel edu', an edition designed for educational centres, with thin client and classroom supervision integration, along with educational software packages. The domestic and enterprise oriented editions will be upgraded as well."
Trisquel 2.0 featuring the GNOME desktop
(full image size: 757kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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Still on the subject of Spanish-language distributions, Chile's Educalibre, which promotes the use of free software within the education sector in the country, reports that it has been working together with Tuquito (a Debian-based distribution from Argentina) to replace Windows with Linux on the Intel Classmate 2 netbooks the organisation had acquired for testing. So far the project has been a great success and they are impressed with the speed of the system, even with OpenOffice.org. They note that the hardware all works well, including the trackpad, function keys and integrated camera. (Note: this site is in Spanish, so here is an English translation via Google.)
* * * * *
According to ComputerWorld, computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP) will soon begin shipping Linux on at least one desktop model. The desktop model is reported to be a Compaq dc5850 and will ship with Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop. This means that HP is the last major computer manufacturer to offer a Linux solution: "Today, for the first time ever, all the major PC vendors are shipping at least one system with pre-loaded desktop Linux. It's a big day for desktop Linux users, maybe the biggest day ever," writes Steven Vaughan-Nichols. But as with the offerings from other vendors, will sales of the Linux model be restricted to particular locations, or will the new desktop be available worldwide? It remains to be seen. One thing is certain, it's great to see Linux continuing to forge ahead in this consumer market space.
* * * * *
It appears that netbooks are here to stay and The Economist suggests that for a majority of users, a netbook is a perfect fit. Netbooks are not designed for power hungry tasks like being able to run the latest games or edit video, indeed "a lot of things that people do with computers, such as e-mail, writing and web browsing, do not require fancy graphics or lots of processing power, [and so] netbooks can still be extremely useful." When it comes to choosing an operating system, the choice is clearly Linux. And when it comes to purchasing a netbook, "avoid the temptation to get the slickest, most powerful machine available. Much advice on offer online suggests souping up the specification of a netbook so it can run Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, rather than the free, open-source Linux system that is offered as standard on many netbooks." Sticking with Linux as the operating system means you can purchase a cheaper netbook and still have all the functionality you need. The Economist writes, "As for the software, OpenOffice.org was surprisingly easy to use - a doddle for anyone who has used Microsoft Office. Moreover, the ability to save work in different formats presented no compatibility problems when sending files to a Windows-based machine. Photo software and other applications were simple to use too."
|Released Last Week
Sergei Mozhaisky has announced the release of Frenzy 1.1, a FreeBSD-based toolkit for system and network administrators. This, according to the developer, will be the project's last release: "At last, Frenzy 1.1 is released. This is a final release of Frenzy, I decided to discontinue the development of this project." What's new? "Added Unionfs support; introduced FEM (Frenzy Extension Modules) system, which allows to plug-in additional software without rebuilding ISO image; Frenzy can now be booted from ISO image on hard drive; added options to boot with DMA disabled on ATAPI or ATA devices; added parameters to loader menu - 'mode' to choose resolution in console mode, 'sound' for sound card auto-detection, 'nofem' to disable FEM modules search and loading; added feature to use FAT partition as boot partition; bug fixes." Read the detailed release notes for a complete list of changes and new features.
Frenzy 1.1 - the project's last release.
(full image size: 1,113kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Stephan Rickauer has announced the release of BSDanywhere 4.4, a live CD based on the latest stable version of OpenBSD: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of BSDanywhere 4.4 - Enlightenment at your fingertips. As always, we release our OpenBSD based images in two flavours: i386 (32bit) and amd64 (64bit). Here's a quick summary of the not-to-intense changes since 4.3: removed packages: GIMP, AbiWord, Audacious, Mutt, rsnapshot, Darkstat - we are really limited in space that's why we decided to concentrate on the primary focus of BSDanywhere, which is hardware testing and system rescue; added packages: Dnstop, dnstracer; we now enabled 'machdep.kbdreset' which permits console CTRL-ALT-DEL to do a nice halt; new artwork." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Clonezilla Live 1.2.1-23
Steven Shiau has announced the availability of an updated release of Clonezilla Live, a free Debian-based live CD containing Clonezilla, a partition and disk cloning software similar to Norton Ghost: "Clonezilla live 1.2.1-23 (stable) released. This is a bug-fix version with some minor updates: based on Debian 'Lenny' repository on 2008-12-08; kernel 2.6.26-11; some typographic errors in en_US were fixed; added HexEdit and cryptsetup; serial number of disk is shown when saving partitions; Clonezilla now will honor the boot parameter ocs_pre_run, and it will be run during boot-up; '-b' option was added to restore mode; new gPXE 0.9.6; bug fixed - list of locales in ocs-live-hook.conf without comma; bug fixed - when creating recovery ISO/ZIP file with 'ocs-sr -x', the 'reboot, shutdown, none' option was asked twice." Here is the full release announcement.
Musix GNU+Linux 1.0R6
Marcos Guglielmetti has announced the availability of an updated release of Musix GNU+Linux, a Debian-based distribution featuring a large collection of free audio software: "After three months of testing, the stable release of Musix GNU+Linux live DVD 1.0R6 is out. It's a 100% free operating system for artists focused on music production, graphics design and video editing, based on Debian 'Etch' and KNOPPIX. Some packages were upgraded since Musix live DVD 1.0R4, the knoppix-installer fonts now look good, an old kernel 2.6.16 from Musix 0.99 was added to support old hardware. Also, there are many backports made by the Musix team; we highlight LMMS, Jackd, Mscore, Rosegarden and Ardour. This DVD is used daily in music schools, so we know what teachers and students need." Here is the brief release announcement.
EnGarde Secure Linux 3.0.22
Guardian Digital has announced the release of EnGarde Secure Linux 3.0.22, a server distribution featuring a comprehensive web-based administration tool: "Guardian Digital is happy to announce the release of EnGarde Secure Community 3.0.22. This release includes many updated packages and bug fixes and some feature enhancements to the EnGarde Secure Linux installer and the SELinux policy. New features include: several improvements to the backup and restore module in WebTool - we've added a help page, made several improvements to the layout of the module to make it easier to use, and enhanced the 'Perform Backup Now' functionality by running it in the background and sending an email upon completion; support for USB serial devices, such as Keyspan USB serial adapters; the latest stable versions of BIND (9.4.3), Dovecot (1.1.6), Linux kernel (2.6.27), OpenLDAP (2.4.12), Squid (3.0.STABLE10)." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
TinyMe 2008.1, a minimal, but expandable desktop Linux distribution based on PCLinuxOS, has been released: "KDulcimer is proud to announce the birth of TinyMe 2008.1 'Droplet'. Weighing in at a small 150 MB, this slimmed-down offshoot of PCLinuxOS gives you a very minimal, very fast and lightweight, yet powerful and easily expandable Linux desktop. If you want a system where you choose your own programs, yet customization is easy, 'Droplet' is perfect for you. Features: SLiM to log you in; PCLinuxOS control center to configure your system; Synaptic to install programs and keep your system up to date; PCManFM, file and desktop manager; TinyCC to configure the desktop; Openbox, a window manager; LXPanel to keep track of the windows you have open; Nano, a command-line text editor." The full release announcement is available at the project's latest release page.
TinyMe 2008.1 - a minimalist distribution based on PCLinuxOS
(full image size: 657kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Slackware Linux 12.2
Patrick Volkerding has announced the release of Slackware Linux 12.2: "Well folks, it's that time to announce a new stable Slackware release again. 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 12.2 has many improvements over our last release (Slackware 12.1) and is a must-have upgrade for any Slackware user. Among the many program updates and distribution enhancements, you'll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available today: Xfce 4.4.3 and KDE 3.5.10. Slackware 12.2 uses the 22.214.171.124 kernel bringing you advanced performance features such as journaling file systems, SCSI and ATA RAID volume support, SATA support, Software RAID, LVM (the Logical Volume Manager), and encrypted file systems." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Kris Moore has announced the release of PC-BSD 7.0.2, the second bug-fix update of the user-friendly desktop operating system based on FreeBSD 7: "The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 7.0.2, with an updated FreeBSD 7.1-PRERELEASE under the hood and the latest KDE 4.1.3. Version 7.0.2 contains a number of bug fixes and improvements. Some of the changes are: KDE 4.1.3; improved desktop performance with NVIDIA cards; improved NTFS write support; HAL fixes and improvements; installation bug fixes. This version of PC-BSD can be downloaded and installed as a fresh install or, alternatively, can be updated to from PC-BSD 7.0.1 via the System Update tool or via a stand-alone PBI." See the release announcement and changelog for further details.
ASPLinux, a Russian company developing Linux solution and providing a variety of Linux services, has announced the release of ASPLinux 14, code name "Cobalt". The latest version of this Fedora-based distribution promises to expand the functionality of Linux as an operating system with new services, such as Linux telephony, support for webcams, full support for sleep and stand-by modes on laptops, automatic network setup, and easy configuration of GPRS, CDMA and VPN services. The product uses Linux kernel 2.6.26 and glibc 2.8, and ships with X.Org server 1.5, GNOME 2.22, KDE 4.1, OpenOffice.org 3.0, Firefox 3.0 and other popular open source applications. It also includes several non-free device drivers, including ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers, and non-free software, such as Adobe Flash player and Opera. For further information please see the ASPLinux product page (in Russian).
ASPLinux 14 - a brand new release of the Fedora-based Russian distribution
(full image size: 1,097kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Tomáš Matějíček has announced the release of Slax 6.0.9, a live CD based on Slackware Linux: "The newest Slax, version 6.0.9, has been released. It fixes the problems with Unsquashfs, which appeared in the previous version. Moreover, it updates Slax to the latest Slackware 12.2, with kernel 126.96.36.199." From the changelog: "Upgraded Samba; added libcap; fixed a bug in Unsquashfs (lzm2dir) which happened on SMP machines; removed bluez* packages; upgraded to KDE 3.5.10; upgraded to Squashfs 3.4, including the tools; added support to start Slax as a PXE server; loadlin didn't work any more due to big file size of vmlinuz and initrd, it has been replaced by linLd, which allows to boot Slax from DOS again; auto-detect and auto-mount LVM partitions...." See the release announcement and changelog for more information.
Adonay Sanz Alsina has announced the release of K-DEMar 4.7, a Debian-based distribution and live CD designed primarily for Catalan and Spanish speakers. The biggest change is the switch to Linux-Live scripts for building the CD image, with the "copy to RAM" support and improved speed of loading applications. Other improvements: update to KDE 3.5.9; new desktop artwork and theme; improved installer with documentation; new desktop icons for launching the hard disk or USB media installer; inclusion of CSS-Miami, a WYSIWYG web site creator and editor for KDE; a new one-click GRUB bootloader restore function; updated kernel 188.8.131.52 optimised for the i686 architecture and with better support for wireless networks and webcams; many updated applications, including WINE 1.1.10, various bug fixes. Read the rest of the release announcement (in Spanish) for more details.
K-DEMar 4.7 - a Debian-based distribution with KDE, designed for Catalan and Spanish-speaking users
(full image size: 437kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Jibbed. Jibbed is a (non-installable) live CD based on NetBSD. It is built from the latest NetBSD sources from the HEAD branch. The third-party applications provided on the CD are the latest versions, including experimental packages from wip-pkgsrc.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Jaris. Jaris is an OpenSolaris-based distribution with full support for Japanese.
- Tiny Core Linux. Tiny Core Linux is a very small (10 MB) minimal Linux desktop. It is based on Linux kernel 2.6 kernel, BusyBox, Tiny X, FLTK, and JWM. The core runs entirely in RAM and boots very quickly. It is not a complete desktop nor is all hardware supported. It represents only the core needed to boot into a very minimal X desktop typically with wired Internet access. The user has complete control over which applications and/or additional hardware to have supported, be it for a desktop, an appliance, or server, selectable from an online repository.
- Ubuntu Privacy Remix. Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR) is a modified live CD based on Ubuntu. It is not intended for permanent installation on hard disk. The goal of Ubuntu Privacy Remix is to provide an isolated, working environment where private data can be dealt with safely. The system installed on the computer running UPR remains untouched.
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DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 22 December 2008.
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Hikarunix ["hee-kah-roo-nix"] was a Linux live CD based on Damn Small Linux and dedicated to Go - a popular Asian strategy game. It was known as Baduk in Korea and Wei Qi in China where the game started somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago. Today it was played in nearly every country in the world and has even been played in space. This CD was designed especially for Go players of all levels. Whether you've been playing for decades or have never heard of the game until now, this CD was for you. Any machine that can boot to CD can boot to Hikarunix instead of the computer's regular operating system. Since it boots entirely in RAM and only borrows the peripherals, Hikarunix doesn't touch the host machine at all.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Tips and tricks: Choosing good passwords|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Questions and answers: Ubuntu phone follow-up|
|Questions and answers: Running applications across Linux distributions|
|Tips and tricks: Void source packages|
|Questions and answers: Defining a distribution|
|Questions and answers: Games for Linux|
|Tips and tricks: Command line weather, ionice, rename files, video preview snapshot, calednar, ls colour settings|
|Myths and misunderstandings: Wayland, Xorg and Mir|
|Questions and answers: Linux distributions for musicians|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|