| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 285, 12 January 2009
Welcome to this year's second issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Featured in this issue is an interview with Paul Sherman, lead developer of the lightweight derivative of Slackware - Absolute Linux. In the news, Debian announces updated "Lenny" live images and the openSUSE community releases unofficial KDE 3.5 Live CDs. Fedora chooses a name for the upcoming release 11, while in BSD land Sun Microsystems' OpenSolaris and FreeBSD benefit from sharing technology. In other news, Gentoo's Portage package management system gains support for Git repositories and we also include links to two external interviews: the first with PC/OS lead developer Roberto J. Dohnert and the second being a podcast with Gentoo founder and now Funtoo developer, Daniel Robbins. Finally, we would like to thank Russ Wenner for all his hard work throughout 2008 in creating the DistroWatch Weekly podcast and remind our readers of this great way to get your DWW fix. Enjoy the read!
- Interview: Paul Sherman, Absolute Linux
- News: Debian updates "Lenny" images, openSUSE announces KDE 3.5 live CDs, Fedora votes on code name for version 11, Sun Microsystems and FreeBSD cooperate on kernel features, PC/OS and Gentoo interviews
- Released last week: SystemRescueCd 1.1.4, MythDora 10.21
- Upcoming releases: Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3, Mandriva Linux 2009.1 Beta 1
- New additions: MOPSLinux, Runtu
- New distribution: 4Biblen, Easy Peasy, Incognito, LinuxEllSchool, Paranoid Linux, pure:dyne, Toutou Linux
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (17MB) and MP3 (15MB) formats (many thanks to Russ Wenner)
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Interview with Paul Sherman, Absolute Linux lead developer
Slackware Linux, the oldest surviving Linux distribution, is the parent of many Linux projects that exist today. Absolute Linux is one such distribution, customised for ease of use and speed. It comes with many everyday applications, but just one "fast, stay-out-of-your-way desktop," all while remaining compatible with official Slackware packages. Absolute Linux 12.2.1 was released last week.
Paul Sherman, the lead developer of Absolute Linux, was kind enough to answer a few questions about his love of Slackware which led to him creating Absolute Linux.
* * * * *
DW: Paul, thank you very much for your time. Could you please tell our readers about yourself, where you live, what you do for a living and how you got into Linux and free software?
PS: I work at home doing computer repair in Rochester, New York, here in the United States. I moved to my present home in 1998 and wanted to set up a web server via a cable modem. I wasn't happy with Windows as a solution, so I looked around and found Slackware Linux. Wow.
It was a bit of a learning curve, but as soon as I started playing I was hooked. I networked all of my Linux and Windows machines through it, shared the Internet connection, and cranked up an Apache server. With 'dynamic DNS' keeping an IP address via the cable modem, I had one web site that got up to 20,000 hits a day and the machine ran non-stop for 8 years. Except for rebooting after two power outages, the only maintenance was to scrape sawdust from the front grill of the old Dell server (dual Pentium Pros, kept in basement next to my table saw). Before Slackware that kind of power and reliability was unimaginable to me. And it was just plain fun.
DW: Could you tell us about Absolute Linux? What are the main differences between Slackware and Absolute Linux and why did you choose Slackware as a base instead of say, Debian?
PS: I modified Slackware to meet my needs early on. I wanted to install all-at-once without package selection and get an X desktop running before users had to learn anything (I was planning on reselling older machines with Linux on them). I wanted desktop-oriented software (as opposed to server stuff), with all menus and configurations for applications already set up, as well as a separate menu section filled just with documentation. It had to run fast, without the overhead of KDE or GNOME and with some tweaks to speed up the base system. In general, I wanted to keep the operating system out of the user's way.
The system is configured to use small GUI helper utilities for configuring stuff like creating a new user account with default permissions, changing the system font, setting the screen resolution, etc. All of this was designed to make newbies comfortable as well as to save 'experts' time, yet it had to retain the ability to modify systems the Slackware way via the same text-based configuration files.
I also included some programs that I wrote myself and which I could not find, such as 'htmlpage', Absolute's default HTML editor and 'WPClipper', part of the WPClipart package I made. Others include the quick volume control you can put in the taskbar without GNOME or KDE, same with the screen resolution setting utility. You can still edit xorg.conf to set your screen, but you'd have to find your monitor frequencies, generate a proper modeline from that and edit it properly, or have to dip into the console if you make a mistake. The screen utility just lets me pick a size, click OK and tests it for me.
Non-root users cannot make system changes, including software installation. Some folks don't like this, but having my kids come and tell me that something is not working every week (as they did with Windows) was aggravating. If you set up Absolute with everything the user will need, you can install and walk away until the hardware dies. This is a big plus for parents and IT guys. I take a lot of flack for this, but I've always believed that if you want to do something root should do, then log in as root and do it. That's what the root account is for.
I choose Slackware and made it as lightweight as possible so that Absolute could be installed on commodity hardware. Nothing is as fast and stable as Slackware Linux.
DW: Slackware seems to have the reputation of being a hard-to-use distribution, is this deserved?
PS: For new users, yes. Having the kind of control Slackware lends the user has the price of needing to find out WHAT controls every little thing. And you really can't get much of anywhere without being comfortable using a text console and entering commands. You have to know where to look and how to extract the information you need, and this is certainly not intuitive to the new user.
On the other side of the coin, once you change something, some automated process doesn't come along and change it back on you. You don't have to fish through a dozen GUI dialogs (that can change from version to version) to alter a setting. You can fine-tune settings and permissions to a degree not possible in other environments. System overhead is low. And finally, once it is set up to taste, it just runs and runs and runs...
DW: Why might users want to use Absolute Linux and what does Absolute have to offer a user who does not want a lightweight desktop? Do you have plans to expand to other desktops in the future?
PS: Aside from being lightweight, Absolute has become quite simple to set up, use and maintain. I like to think it has all the advantages of Slackware, but with a whole lot to make using it easier. Parents and IT guys should like it because they can set it up and not have to fix it all the time. Programmers might like it because, like Slackware, all 'dev' sections of packages are left in the distribution. Also, most Absolute modifications and scripts for utilities are installed into /usr/local/bin and /usr/local/sbin and/or from the a/etc package, making it very simple for others to peruse and play with the changes I have made and maybe 'roll their own' version.
If they want to learn Slackware, Absolute makes a nice stepping-stone by taking some of the edge off of the learning curve.
For the future, I have no other desktop planned. I think that sometimes distributions try to be all things to all people, and there is a price to pay for that in complexity and overhead. I have no ambitions for Absolute to be the next Ubuntu. If someone would like Absolute with a different desktop, they are quite welcome to alter Absolute to their personal tastes and redistribute it under any name they choose and with my sincere blessing - that's the beauty of open source!
DW: How easy is it to maintain and update the system, especially between releases and can users mix Slackware packages with Absolute Linux without issue?
PS: Updating became a lot easier when Darren Austin of Slackware.org.uk graciously made a repository available to Absolute earlier this year. I can rsync updates very quickly and users can now use GSlapt (pre-installed and pre-configured) to update to the latest packages.
Software packages are compatible with Slackware packages of the same minor version (i.e. Slackware 12.2 -> Absolute 12.2). The only exceptions to this are the kernel packages, since they have been tweaked for performance and recompiled for Absolute, and the KDE libraries which are also altered for Absolute (used primarily to enable running K3b, which I simply cannot live without.) Although I should point out that users are free to replace the KDE libraries and substitute the Slackware version along with the rest of KDE. It just won't run as lean.
DW: How often do you plan to release new versions?
PS: I keep up with official Slackware releases, but update a-plenty in between. Absolute started using FUSE, HAL, D-BUS, wicd and others before they hit Slackware.
DW: Do you know what the Slackware community thinks about Absolute Linux? Do you have a chance to collaborate with their developers and share development?
PS: Bit of a funny story there. I had used my Slackware modifications for several years before releasing it as a formal distribution. Since I considered what is now Absolute simply as a modification, I called it "Absolute Slackware". I thought it would be presumptuous to call it something completely different.
Well, I got an email from Patrick Volkerding about that. He said some of the guys in Slackware development had seen it announced and pointed out to him that naming it as such was infringing on the Slackware trademark. And, of course, would lead people to believe that it was something sanctioned by and/or developed by the Slackware team - which of course it was not. So it seems in my efforts not to come across as making more of Absolute than it was, I had given the wrong impression. The original name was, indeed, my bad.
Pat wrote to me but was casual about it when I said I'd change the name. He even turned out to be a bit chatty, telling me how, from reading my site, we were in sort of similar positions, working from the home and watching the kids... I let it go at that. I can talk shop all day but I'm just not very sociable over the Internet. I'd gladly welcome swapping info and ideas with the Slackware crew. Perhaps an article on DistroWatch will be the catalyst?
DW: Where do you see Linux in general, as well as Absolute Linux heading in the future?
PS: Linux will certainly continue to grow. I see its biggest near-future growth in schools and businesses for two reasons: cost and control. As more IT guys become Linux-savvy, the benefits of lower or no cost-per-seat along with the ease of separating user and administrative permissions so cleanly makes Linux use a perfect fit for employees and students. And that's largely what I built Absolute for. I think Linux has to man-up to the school/business side of things before it will become really popular as a home desktop. I know that myself and my fellow long-haired hippie free software geeks tend to think freedom is the key to everything, but we also have to give IT guys in certain environments the ability to easily control the uses of their machines. Sometimes less is more.
Once folks get used to it at school and work, they'll be much more apt to use it at home.
Near-term for Absolute is the quest for developers. Absolute now has its own domain and FTP server, which also allows anonymous FTP upload to ftp.absolutelinux.org/incoming. Myself and fellow users want packages, suggestions and above all, feedback. I was able to make Absolute MUCH better after putting it online and getting input from users on the forum. I'm open to any and all suggestions. I like some things about Absolute very much, but I am not married to anything. Except my wife - glad I remembered that before I finished :-)
DW: Thank you again for your time, Paul. We wish you the absolute best for the future!
Absolute Linux 12.2 - the default desktop using IceWM
(full image size: 51kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Debian updates "Lenny" images, openSUSE announces KDE 3.5 live CDs, Fedora votes on code name for version 11, Sun Microsystems and FreeBSD cooperate on kernel features, PC/OS and Gentoo interviews|
Taking advantage of the delay in releasing "Lenny" due to the much covered firmware issue, the Debian CD team has released updated versions of the "Lenny" images. Among the changes is the replacement of the "Xfce" CD with the "light desktop environments" CD, which has gained the addition of LXDE as an alternate desktop. Frans Pop writes: "For i386 and amd64 the boot menu of this CD will offer a choice between the two desktop environments. For other architectures the CD will install the Xfce desktop environment by default, but users can choose to install LXDE by passing the 'desktop=lxde' boot parameter." Another improvement is the ability to install any of the available four desktop environments using just the first DVD, but that comes at a cost: "Unfortunately it was only possible to support the installation of all four desktop environments by dropping support for the PowerPC architecture from the multi-arch DVD. (The multi-arch CD still does support PowerPC.)" For the first time, Debian will include Blu-ray images with Lenny.
* * * * *
Joe Brockmeier, the openSUSE community manager, has announced the availability of KDE 3.5 live images for openSUSE 11.1, created by community member Carlos Goncalves. With the release of 11.1, the openSUSE team decided to only offer KDE 4.1 as a live image, although the older desktop remained installable via the DVD. "Even though it's not a formal release, we're excited by the work Carlos has put into supporting KDE 3.5 and showing what can be done with the build service," writes Brockmeier. For those who still feel KDE 4.x is not ready to move to, this is a welcome addition to the openSUSE 11.1 line.
* * * * *
With the release of Fedora 10, thoughts have now turned towards the release name for version 11. In keeping with the Fedora guidelines for naming conventions, the new name was required to bear some relation to the previous name. Some suggestions included "Indomitable", "Leonidas" and "Euryalus" which, like Cambridge, were ships in the royal navy. Other suggestions ranged from the names of sausages, colours and universities. The result of the vote became available over the weekend; in a post to the Red Hat announce list, Paul W. Frields announced that, with 1,108 votes, Fedora 11 will be code-named "Leonidas". The nearest rival was "Indomitable" with 1,054 votes.
* * * * *
Since the release of the ZFS file system in Sun Microsystems' OpenSolaris, many have wondered whether it would be released under a GPL-compatible license for inclusion in the Linux kernel. The license issue isn't a problem for the BSDs though and the latest release of FreeBSD (version 7.1) continues to include the new file system, alongside DTrace, Sun's technology to manage and present trace data. According to a report by InternetNews, there has been much collaboration between the two projects. FreeBSD has adopted ZFS and DTrace, while FreeBSD team member Robert Watson claims Sun has benefited from FreeBSD's wireless networking framework and CIFS support in their kernel. Sun has claimed that CIFS support did not come from FreeBSD, but Watson argues to the contrary: "We (the FreeBSD Project) have made a lot of noise about adopting some key OpenSolaris technologies. I'm not sure that the movement of code in the other direction has been as well-publicized." Other improvements in the 7.1 release include improved USB booting and their UDP networking stack. The article also touches on features in the upcoming 8.0 release: "Another similarly exciting feature is support for 802.11 Virtual Access Points, which allow a single radio to be used for many different 802.11 SSIDs, a feature that will be important to hobbyist, but also to companies building commercial access point products."
* * * * *
In a post to his blog, founder and former Gentoo developer Daniel Robbins announced support for the Git revision control system within Portage, Gentoo's package management system. Answering a cry from the Gentoo community, Robbins began building and releasing up-to-date Gentoo tarballs and this has now expanded to include a completely separate 'Funtoo Portage tree', managed with Git: "As of version 2.2_rc20, Portage will now operate at full efficiency with Git-based Portage repositories," writes Robbins. "First - 'emerge --sync' will now properly recognize an existing Git-based Portage repository. When you run 'emerge --sync' with an existing Git-based repo, Portage will run 'git pull' inside the repository to update it." This marks an important step in collaboration between Robbins and the Gentoo developer community and he thanks Gentoo Portage developer Zac Medico for merging the features into the main tree.
In a podcast interview with LinuxCrazy.com, Daniel Robbins talks about his background and how he got into Linux and developing his own Linux distribution, Gentoo Linux (originally called "Enoch Linux"). He discusses taking ideas from FreeBSD and applying them to Gentoo and also talks about his reasons for leaving Gentoo and how he plans to avoid similar issues cropping up with his new Funtoo project. Robbins also touches on his time working for Microsoft and how his new project can benefit from his experiences there.
* * * * *
Finally, Seth Corven has posted a questions and answers session with Roberto J. Dohnert, lead developer of PC/OS: "PC/OS is a Xubuntu derivative. We echo and extend the Xubuntu experience by trying to make it as easy as possible for users who have absolutely no experience with Linux or who aren't exactly technically inclined to use it out of the box," reports Dohnert. He also discusses how he comes about creating PC/OS, current development and future releases.
|Released Last Week
François Dupoux has announced the release of SystemRescueCd 1.1.4, a Gentoo-based live CD designed for data rescue and hard disk management tasks. What's new? "Updated the standard kernels to Linux 184.108.40.206 with Reiser4fs; updated the alternative kernels to Linux 220.127.116.11 with Reiser4fs; updated FSArchiver to 0.2.3 (file system backup and deployment tool); updated the Memtest86+ floppy disk image to 2.11; new script to help installing SystemRescueCd on an USB stick: sysresccd-usbstick; updated GRUB to 0.97-r8 (boot manager); updated Portage to version 2.2_rc20; updated Mozilla Firefox to version 3.0.5; added atop 1.21 to monitor processes; added support for floppy disks in the kernel." Consult the full changelog for more information.
Ryan Pisani has announced the release of MythDora 10.21, a Fedora-based media centre distribution featuring MythTV: "MythDora 10.21 has arrived. That's right, we've jumped ahead a few versions to catch us up with our Fedora baseline. Highlights: based on Fedora 10; Linux kernel 18.104.22.168; MythTV 0.21 with the latest SVN fixes and default settings customized for MythDora; entirely new browser-based setup for MythDora customizations; i386, x86_64 DVD and live CD editions available; IMDB Bulk Updater 1.14 with menu and cron executable; custom installation and auto installation options; enhanced management of remote controls, receivers, and blasters; DVD edition includes GNOME, KDE, Xfce, and Ratpoison window managers, live CD uses Xfce by default; latest NVIDIA, OpenChrome and IVTV drivers, K9copy (DVD shrink for Linux)...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Absolute Linux 12.2.1
Paul Sherman has announced the release of Absolute Linux 12.2.1, a lightweight desktop distribution based on the recently released Slackware Linux 12.2: "Absolute 12.2.1 released. This is primarily a security update. Several major applications have recently undergone security-related updates: Firefox, Samba, SeaMonkey, Pidgin and Thunderbird. Also in this release, PTP camera auto-mounting has been updated, as well as wicd (wireless and wired networking manager), GIMP has been updated twice since the last release, and the newer version of the help system now works properly and is on CD2. Just a couple of other updates and you may also notice that the package for WPClipart 7.1 is online and ready to install onto Absolute (note that the complete package is well over 700 MB)." See the release announcement and changelog for further information.
Network Security Toolkit 1.8.1
Paul Blankenbaker has announced the release of Network Security Toolkit (NST) 1.8.1, a Fedora-based live CD containing a collection of network security tools: "We are pleased to announce the latest NST release: version 1.8.1. This release is based on Fedora 8 using the Linux Kernel 22.214.171.124. Here are some of the highlights for this release: enhanced the management of snort IDS systems via the NST WUI; the addition of the WebDAV Resources packages; major updates to Nmap and its related tools including better support in the NST WUI for managing Nmap results; added access terminal server functionality using minicom from the NST WUI; enhanced the monitoring of serial data streams using the NST WUI; support for saving and loading packet capture and display filters in the single and multi-tap network packet capture sections of the NST WUI...." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional information.
Chris Buechler has announced the availability of pfSense 1.2.2, a security and bug-fix release of the FreeBSD-based firewall system: "pfSense 1.2.2 released! Only five changes from 1.2.1, but we did want to get these issues fixed and an updated version out there: setup wizard fix - removing BigPond from the WAN page on the setup wizard caused problems; SVG graphs fixed in Google Chrome; IPsec reload fix specific to large (100+ sites) deployments; bridge creation code changes - there have always been issues when attempting to bridge more than two interfaces; FreeBSD updates for two security advisories on January 7, 2009. Most users on 1.2.1 won't have any need to upgrade to 1.2.2, but if any of the above applies to you, then upgrade to this version. 1.2.2 should be used for all new installs." Please refer to the release announcement for more information.
After four development builds, the stable version of gnuLinEx 0.5-2 (code name "Lenix", based on Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny"), has been released. gnuLinEx is a distribution developed by the regional government of Extremadura in Spain, designed for desktop deployments in schools and government offices around the autonomous community. Some of the highlights of this release include: based on Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny", support for Spanish and English (USA); Linux kernel 2.6.26 optimised for the i686 architecture; X.Org 7.3 graphical subsystem; GNOME 2.22 as the default desktop; OpenOffice.org 3.0.0 office suite; Iceweasel 3.0.4 web browser. Please see the brief release announcement (in Spanish) for further information and system requirements.
gnuLinEx 0.5-2 - a Debian-based distribution for deployment around the Extremadura autonomous region
(full image size: 1,413kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Tobias Svensson has announced the release of Topologilinux 7.0.1, a Slackware-based distribution designed to be run under Windows, but also available as an standard Linux system that can be installed to a hard disk: "Topologilinux 7.0.1 released. This is a bug-fix release that should fix bugs reported in the 7.0.0 release. Changes: updated all packages to latest from Slackware 12.1; solved the VNC and GNOME keyboard problem by new VNC server version; updated to new VNC 4.1.3 version of server and client, now uses 24-bit color depth; fixed small issues from setup and topomanagers reported in SourceForge's bug tracking system; updated Xfce and OpenOffice.org; fixed uninstall issue in Vista; added old FVWM-95 after user requests; added old ASD archiver; copy rgb.txt to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11 to fix problems in VNC mode for some programs; other bug fixes." Read the release announcement and changelog for more information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- MOPSLinux. MOPSLinux is a Russian community distribution based on Slackware Linux.
MOPSLinux 6.2 RC1 - a Slackware-based Russian desktop distribution
(full image size: 1,223kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Runtu. Runtu is a Russian desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. It features full support for Russian and a variety of extra applications, tools and media codecs.
Runtu 3.0 - an Ubuntu-based Russian desktop distribution
(full image size: 1,260kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- 4Biblen. 4Biblen is a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution in German providing a Bible study tool. The project's web site is in German.
- Easy Peasy. Easy Peasy (formerly Ubuntu Eee) is an Ubuntu-based distribution for netbooks. It uses Ubuntu Netbook Remix graphical user interface and includes open source as well as proprietary software.
- Incognito. Incognito is an open-source live media based on Gentoo Linux that focuses on providing a way to use the Internet securely and anonymously. It can be used from either a CD or a USB drive and has several Internet applications (web browser, IRC client, mail client and instant messenger) pre-configured with security in mind, with all Internet traffic anonymised.
- LinuxEllSchool. LinuxEllSchool is an Ubuntu-based distribution customised to the needs of teachers and high school students in Greece. It introduces two new concepts: green computing and active support. Green computing is a series of settings that minimise the power consumption and active support is a set of tools that help non-advanced users configure their system. The project's web site is in Greek.
- Paranoid Linux. Paranoid Linux is a Debian-based distribution which assumes that its operator is under assault from the government and which keeps all communications and documents secret.
- pure:dyne. pure:dyne is a Debian-based Linux distribution that has been created to provide a complete and ready-made environment for artists and developers who are looking for a free operating system dedicated to real-time audio and video processing. The pure:dyne project provides tools and an optimised platform to try out and work on a large range of applications. It comes with optimised and tested software such as SuperCollider, Icecast, Csound, Packet Forth, Fluxus, Pure Data and a great collection of essential externals and abstractions (PDP, PiDiP, Gem, GridFlow, RRadical, PixelTango). The Studio "classics" have not been forgotten (Ardour, LADSPA, seq24, Audacity) and numerous essential graphics software are also bundled (Inkscape, GIMP, Blender).
- Toutou Linux. Toutou Linux is a French minimalist distribution based on Puppy Linux. The project's web site is in French.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 19 January 2009.
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 |
During LinuxTag 2004 the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the company credativ unveiled the Linux Government Desktop. The Linux Goverment Desktop has been developed within the scope of the project ERPOSS which evaluates Open Source Software in government environments. Composed entirely of free software the distribution was available as a live CD as well as an install CD. One of the highlights brought by the Government Desktop was the fact that it saves the whole data on encrypted filesystems. Furthermore KMail was preconfigured to send and receive encrypted e-mail (GnuPG and S/MIME) and to make use of all kinds of authority certificates. The package was completed by integrated spam and virus protection and a preconfigured personal firewall.