| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 361, 5 July 2010
Welcome to this year's 27th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! A growing number of BSD developers seem to like the idea of creating an easy-to-use desktop variant of one of the big BSD operating systems. This week we'll take a first look at GhostBSD 1.0, a FreeBSD-based live CD that boots into a GNOME desktop. The review is preceded by a brief interview with the project's founder about the reasons behind creating the live CD. In the news section, Red Hat appoints Jared Smith as the new Fedora Project Leader, Mandriva continues its uncertain existence amid rumours of continued financial difficulties, and Linux Mint re-launches the idea of creating a Mint variant based on Debian. Also in this issue, a brief discussion about open source software licences and two interesting interviews with the developers of Slackware Linux and Peppermint OS. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the June 2010 DistroWatch.com donation is the GCompris suite of educational software designed for young children. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Taking a peek at GhostBSD 1.0
The PC-BSD project brings a user-friendly pre-configured KDE desktop to the FreeBSD community. Which is all well and good, but what if you're more of a GNOME person? Well, it turns out there is a project in the works for you too. The GhostBSD project is in its early stages, but it's paving the way for users who enjoy running GNOME on a FreeBSD base without any configuring or installing extra software. I had a chance to exchange emails with Eric Turgeon, the project's founder and lead developer.
* * * * *
DW: First, could you tell us what experience you had with BSD prior to starting GhostBSD? Did you develop with FreeBSD or other projects before creating your own BSD variant?
I'd never developed anything before, I was just a normal FreeBSD GNOME user. I came from Ubuntu and, a part, by PC-BSD. I'm not a fan of KDE and had never found a BSD project with GNOME. I decide to do it, without any skill in programming at all. It took me eight months to do the first release based on the FreeSBIE
system. The first live CD I made was buggy. I added, changed and removed a lot of the code from the FreeSBIE makefile for the beta and for the release. The GhostBSD makefile is made from 60% FreeSBIE code, 5% from the FreeBSD GNOME live CD
code and 35% by myself. I have one year of programming skill, learned by myself.
DW: Did you have to make any changes to the underlying FreeBSD core in order to create the GNOME live environment?
ET: There are two major changes. The /usr file is zipped with uzip to make it fit on the CD and to the kernel I added all generic sound cards and removed the "DEBUG=-g" from it to make the kernel light. A couple of minor changes: I added some lines in the files to make all work well with GNOME.
DW: Does GhostBSD have an installer or instructions for setting up GhostBSD on a hard drive?
ET: Not yet. But we hope to finish the installer before the next release.
DW: Are there other programs or utilities you want to add to GhostBSD, or is it designed to be a simple addition to FreeBSD?
ET: A package manager to install and de-install from the FreeBSD packages, not the ports. A network manager.
DW: What do you want to see in the next version of GhostBSD?
ET: The installer, Karsten Pederson is working on it. If possible the network manager. And USB auto-mount.
DW: Do you think that, as BSD becomes more popular, we will see more flavours of BSD being created the same way we have seen so many Linux distributions?
ET: I believe and hope that BSD becomes more popular. If projects like PC-BSD and GhostBSD become easy to use like some GNU/Linux distros, but with keeping the original system of BSD, we're going see an increase of users in the BSD world. That is one of the goals in my life.
DW: Eric, thank you very much for taking time to chat and for your work on expanding the BSD community.
* * * * *
The GhostBSD web site has a simple, clean presentation which is easy to navigate. There isn't much in the way of GhostBSD-specific documentation yet, but the project does have a forum where users can come together to get advice and share tips. At the moment the operating system is offered in two flavours, 32-bit and 64-bit. Both images are live CDs and can be downloaded directly from the project's web site or via BitTorrent.
The live disc kicks off with a text boot screen, much the same as you would encounter running vanilla FreeBSD. After chugging away through some boot-up text, I was presented with a GNOME (version 2.28) desktop environment. By default, the theme is green, almost everything is green. According to the project's web site this is partly in recognition of the "green" environmental goals of the project and partly because blue gets used a lot and this sets GhostBSD apart. The system is light and responsive and testing in a virtual machine demonstrated that the OS would run comfortably with 512 MB of RAM.
GhostBSD 1.0 - exploring the desktop
(full image size: 62kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
The live environment comes with a fairly standard collection of software. The menus contain Firefox 3.5, Pidgin, a video player, audio player, disc burner, the Epiphany web browser, and image viewer. We can also find a calculator, text editor and a supply of GNOME games. There's a handy search function and a group of applications for changing the user's settings, the desktop appearance and other preferences. GhostBSD comes with the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 4.2.1 for people who want to test/demo their software in a BSD environment. The operating system comes with popular multimedia codecs, allowing the user to listen to MP3 files and watch videos. Flash is not installed, but given FreeBSD's ability to offer Linux binary compatibility, it could be run.
GhostBSD had some trouble with my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB RAM, Intel video card). It would boot without any problems and displayed the desktop, but I couldn't get any sound out of my speakers. Nor could I get an Internet connection via my Intel wireless card or my Novatel mobile modem. My touchpad worked well, detecting taps as clicks. Things went smoother on my generic desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA graphics card). Performance was a little faster, the desktop was set to my maximum resolution and audio worked without any problems.
GhostBSD 1.0 - image viewing and connecting with people
(full image size: 162kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
GhostBSD has some interesting security quirks which will either seem comforting or annoying, depending on your point of view. For instance, I was happy to discover the system logs the user in under a non-root account. Administrative functions can be accessed using su or sudo without a password. On the other hand, I wasn't pleased to find that clicking on a local drive in the GNOME Places menu resulted in an error message. As it turns out, the root directory (/) is mounted as a read-only partition and that includes the area where new drives (local drives, thumb drives, cameras) would be mounted. Now, for supported file systems, it may be possible to create a mount point in the user's home directory and manually mount the device using sudo, but that's an approach which doesn't really fit with the easy, live GNOME desktop image. Rounding out the experience, I found most network services where not running by default, the exception being Sendmail.
GhostBSD 1.0 - changing settings and browsing applications
(full image size: 170kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
Package management is a bit of a moot point on a live CD, especially one where much of the file system is mounted read-only. However, GhostBSD does come with FreeBSD's tools to add and remove packages, which connect to the parent's repository system. I suspect this will become a strong selling point once the operating system gets its own installer.
Actually, just about any comment I have to make about GhostBSD could be appended by "I wish the system came with an installer." Which is as much a compliment to the developers who have gotten this far, as it is a complaint of a missing feature. I think GhostBSD will become a useful system once it's configured for regular, daily use. Recently there has been a slow but steady push to try pairing the major BSDs with pre-configured desktops. We've seen Jibbed (based on NetBSD), PC-BSD (based on FreeBSD), GNOBSD (based on OpenBSD) and now GhostBSD (also based on FreeBSD). GhostBSD may not be ready for prime time yet, but it's off to a good start and I suspect it will do well once it makes the transition from a live disc to a local install. At the moment, it feels more like a stable proof-of-concept, rather than a day-to-day open-source tool.
Stepping back a bit from GhostBSD, I think it's interesting to see these new BSD projects spring up and the manner in which they're developing. So far it seems there has been a real effort by each of the new projects listed above to stick with their parent's base and add on to that base or offer some pieces pre-configured. This seems to be in contrast to many Linux distributions which tend to fork further away from their parent projects and, at least on the surface, take on an independent identity. For example, if we look at the evolution of Zenwalk from Slackware, PCLinuxOS from Mandriva, Mint from Ubuntu. Those parent/child combinations have a lot in common, they may even be binary compatible, but their identities tend to be distinct. Their About pages mention their parent distributions, but generally in a passing manner.
From what I've seen thus far, the new BSD projects seem to be keeping firmer ties with their parent projects. If you visit the websites of GhostBSD, Jibbed and PC-BSD you'll find they say, respectively, "GhostBSD it is a GNOME based FreeBSD distribution in a form of a live CD," "Jibbed is a bootable live CD based on the NetBSD operating system," and "PC-BSD is a fully functional desktop operating system, running FreeBSD 8.x under the hood." I'm not sure if one practice is better than the other, but I do think it demonstrates a difference in philosophy between the two open-source camps. It should be interesting to see how GhostBSD evolves.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Fedora's new project leader, Mandriva's uncertain future, Linux Mint's flirt with Debian, Peppermint and Slackware interviews
The Fedora project has a new project leader. Following the recent resignation of Paul Frields from the post, Red Hat announced last week that Jared Smith (pictured on the right) will now take over the duties: "Every Fedora release provides an opportunity for renewal and change. Our recent release of Fedora 13, which is being hailed by many as one of our best releases ever, is no exception. As we embark on another exciting development cycle, we also have the opportunity to renew the leadership of the Fedora Project as part of our commitment to change and evolution. In July, Jared Smith will join Red Hat as the new Fedora Project Leader, taking over the role from Paul Frields. Jared Smith has been a long-time user of both Red Hat and Fedora, and has been an active participant in the Fedora community since 2007. He has primarily spent his time working with the infrastructure and documentation teams. He has helped with the development of Fedora Talk, our community VoIP telephony system. Fedora Talk allows various Fedora developers and contributors to communicate verbally for free across the Internet."
With the development of Fedora 14 now in full swing, many users are wondering what exciting features the new version will bring to the table. Besides the usual -- updated packages, improved hardware compatibility, etc., there is one rather unusual goal: stick to the release schedule. At least that's according to John Poelstra who would like Fedora to be known as the distribution that always ships on time: "I'm throwing down a challenge for Fedora 14 - we ship all three releases: alpha, beta, and final on time. I'm not advocating cutting any corners or lowering our standards. I expect them to remain the same. What I would like to see is more discipline and fortitude about what changes get committed and when. And where necessary, start a tiny bit earlier than we might have in the past. I've spelled out some other ideas in a previous post. ... I know unexpected stuff breaks, people are human, and 'software schedules are usually late.' We can hold to a higher standard by mitigating these risks. In the grand scheme of things, two weeks late on a software release is hardly anything, and yet, given a choice, I'd like Fedora to be known as the distribution that always ships on time."
* * * * *
Mandriva's uncertain future and rumours surrounding the company's financial situation continue to attract interest in the Linux community. Last week Susan Linton summarised the situation in an article entitled Mandriva's Future Rosy or Rose Colored?: "Experts question Mandriva's ability to construct a profitable business model and users hope a freely available version will continue to be a part of the business model. Speculation on Mandriva forums has them abandoning the Powerpack and splitting their offerings into enterprise and community versions, much like Red Hat and Fedora or Novell and openSUSE. Even if Mandriva's future was uncertain, community members are questioning the commitment of Mandriva on the desktop since development has stopped on the latest version that was due for release June 3. Wiki feature pages have not been updated since May 15 and the expected release date for 2010.1 (June 2) was removed from the planning calendar when release candidate 2 was announced. Even the official Mandriva blog remains silent. Developers are complaining of absent paychecks and Nicolas Lucreil and Pascal Terjan have already left the building." Mandriva later updated the above-mentioned Wiki page, with the final release of Mandriva Linux 2010.1 now scheduled for later this week - 8 July.
* * * * *
The developers of Linux Mint have been faithful to Ubuntu as the base of their project, but the idea of re-basing the distribution and creating a new Mint spin does surface from time to time. Clement Lefebvre, the project's founder and lead developer, seems to be seduced by the concept of creating a rolling-release variant of Linux Mint based on Debian's testing branch: "The idea of a Linux Mint desktop based on top of Debian 'Testing' is quite seducing. It's much faster than Ubuntu and the current Linux Mint desktops, it uses fewer resources, and it opens the door for a rolling distribution, with a continuous flow of updates and no jumps from one release to another. It's something we've always been tempted to do. Needless to say, whether it has been because of our lack of communication on that topic or not, this has been a source of numerous rumors within the community. A while ago, we released an alpha non-installable live CD based on Debian. Then, last August I announced I was working on a new installer, and recently, I was joined by Ikey Doherty to work on the Debian base again.This time we're producing our own live CD, straight from the Debian 'Testing' repositories, and it also comes with its own installer. What we're aiming at, this time, is a fully working and fully installable live CD which behaves in every way as similarly as the main Linux Mint edition."
* * * * *
Peppermint OS, a new Ubuntu-based distribution with integrated Cloud features, has recently been featured on many Linux web sites. Last week it was the turn of The Inquirer to give the project some more exposure in an article entitled Peppermint, a web-centric Linux OS: "Weaver started working with the initial concept in January 2010. He downloaded and tested around 100 different distros, looking for ideas. He claimed that notable stand-outs were Arch in the speed department, sidux regarding its look and feel, and, naturally, Linux Mint. However, he already knew the definite direction he wanted development to take. 'Once we really knew what we were doing I had the private beta ready in about three weeks. The beta lasted for another three weeks before we declared it stable and made the public release.' His direction was a chance to build a fast, stable, and cloud-centric modern operating system. Weaver took Remington along for the ride to help work on Peppermint. 'Our philosophy revolves around creating a fast and stable web portal, but without sacrificing the form and function of a more traditional desktop operating system.'"
* * * * *
Finally, a link to another interesting interview. The Slack World web site continues to give exposure to various Slackware contributors and this time they talk to Stuart Winter, a Slackware developer and maintainer of the ARMedslack project. The interview has an intriguing title: I learnt more about Linux in two weeks of using Slackware than in two years of using Red Hat. From the article: "One of the things I have always loved about Linux is that for the most part (at least in my experience) if you have some hardware, you know that in 99% of the cases, you'll be able to use it in a few years' time. Whereas if you were using Windows, there's a good chance that the software would have been dropped by the vendor since the hardware is obsolete. This goes for both the kernel level drivers and user space stuff. I have used some of the other main stream Linux distributions recently and one of the key things that struck me is just how dumbed down they are, particularly that they are geared towards users who do not know what to do with the root account. Ubuntu in particular wouldn't let me 'su -' to root! Having to reconfigure the OS to let me do what I want and know how to do, drives me nuts. I'm so glad with Slackware all you have to do is build it up, not tear it down first then build it up. But all in all, I like the direction Linux is going in, and as long as there is choice, I think most people can be happy once they find a combination of OS and software that works for them."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Open source licenses
Legal-penguin asks: I'm starting a new project and I want to make it open source so I can give back to the community. There are a lot of licenses out there to choose from. Can you recommend an open-source license for my new project?
DistroWatch answers:I'm a big fan of open-source software licenses and I try to use them as often as reasonably possible, but I don't think I can recommend one for you. There are a few important pieces of information I don't have. I don't know much about you, your project or your target audience. Unless someone has those key pieces of data, you probably shouldn't take licensing advice from them (or me). A software license tells the world how you would like them to use and redistribute the code you write. In many ways, it is as much of a personal statement as a technical one.
As far as answers go, that's not really helpful, so I will offer this bit of advice: read a few open source licenses. It never ceases to surprise me how many people will use, promote or argue against a license without having actually read it. So my suggestion is to head over to the Open Source Initiative website and browse the licenses offered under the heading License that are popular and widely used or with strong communities. There are eight really good, widely used licenses there and, chances are, one of them will suit your needs.
While you're reading the licenses, I find it helpful to consider a few questions:
For instance, you may wish to make your project open source so everyone can share the code, submit patches and enjoy your work for free, but do you want others to be able to fork your work? How will you feel if they add their own branding and sell it? Is that something you'll encourage or is it something you'd like to prevent? Are you okay with someone else putting your code in a closed-source project or would you like to ensure that the code is always open source? Once you've tackled these questions and read a few of the licenses linked to above, I think you'll be able to easily pick the best tool for the job. After all, an open source license isn't just a philosophical statement, it's also a tool to help you accomplish a task. Best of luck with your new project!
- What do I want my license to do for me?
- What do I want this license to do for the end-users?
- What should the license do for other developers/projects/companies?
- Will this license still be appropriate if my project becomes a lot larger or more popular?
|Released Last Week
Astaro Security Gateway 8.0
The just-released new version of Astaro Security Gateway comes with an overhauled web-based administration tool and improved security features: "Today the next version of our flagship product is available; Astaro Security Gateway version 8.000 has been released. Highlights: updated WebAdmin - new colors, fonts, and visuals make WebAdmin more easily readable with crisper overall presentation; IPv6 - support has been added for the next iteration of IP addressing; new Linux kernel and base system - provides 64-bit support, massively increased hardware compatibility, and better performance; country blocking - deny communications to/from any combination of countries and/or regions; web application security - a new subscription has been added to our protection portfolio which protects your web servers from modern attacks, hackers, viruses and data theft...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of new features and improvements.
Jan Paul Tuecking has announced the release of IPFire 2.7, a specialist distribution of Linux for firewalls: "Today we are going to release IPFire 2.7. At first we will only release the ISO files, the update is not yet available via pakfire. The reason for this is the change of the IPSec software from OpenSwan to StrongSwan and the mandatory changes in the configuration of net2net connections. The update on pakfire will be released next friday, 2010-07-09, so there is enough time to change the IPSec tunnels. There are about 400 changes in the new IPFire version: updated Linux kernel to stable LTS (22.214.171.124); updated OpenSSL to version 0.9.8o; updated Net-SSLeay to version 1.36; switched IPSec from OpenSwan to StrongSwan version 4.4.0; fixed VPN-watch hang at connection re-start; updated Snort to stable 2.8.6; removed snort md5 check, added free space check; added support for alix2 LEDs; added Vodafone K3765 and K4505 usbids to option driver...." Visit the project's news page to read the detailed changelog.
Kevin Thompson has announced the release of Element 1.3, a Xubuntu-based distribution for home theatre personal computers: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of Element OS 1.3. This is the first version of Element OS to provide streaming content services out of the box through the inclusion of the Cooliris media browser. Cooliris brings to Element OS tens of thousands of web videos, TV shows, movies, and music videos from all the major networks, studios, and web channels. Categorized, searchable, and all presented in a unique 3D media wall. We also continue our gradual improvements to the 1.x series with new versions of the update manager, HDMI audio switch, and a new interface setup for Firefox. This version is based on Xubuntu 9.10; featured software includes Linux kernel 2.6.31, Xfce 4.6.1, XBMC 9.11, Firefox 3.5.9, Decibel audio player 1.01, Pidgin 2.6.5, Transmission 1.75, AllmyApps.com 9.10 integration, custom GTK+ themes, and version 1.0 of the Element application finder." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full changelog.
Estrella Roja 2.8
Estrella Roja 2.8, an Argentinian Linux distribution based on Debian's testing branch, but featuring the legacy KDE 3.5 desktop, has been released. According to the release announcement (in Spanish), the new version combines the relatively lightweight KDE 3.5 desktop environment with a new i686-optimised Linux kernel, version 2.6.34, with a PREEMPT patch and support for many WiFi chipsets, including Intel, Atheros, Broadcom and Realtek. Among the included packages WINE has been updated to version 1.1, Pidgin to version 2.7.1, MPlayer to the latest SVN build with support for Spanish and with skins, emesene to version 1.6.2 (with webcam support), XChat to version 2.8, and NVIDIA driver to version 173.14.25. Also included is wxDFast, a download accelerator program and rtmpdump 2.3, a console program that displays Flash streaming.
Estrella Roja - a Debian-based distribution from Argentina
(full image size: 609kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Absolute Linux 13.1.2
The latest version of Absolute Linux, a lightweight Slackware-based distribution with IceWM, comes with Google Chrome as the default web browser and a number of security fixes: "Absolute Linux 13.1.2 released. Google Chrome replaces Mozilla Firefox as default browser. Lower memory usage, faster rendering and proper URL parsing all contributed to this decision. Firefox package is still up to date and in CD2 directory of repos under /internet. Also several security-related updates as well as multimedia installer update (needed updated URL) Also updated rox-archiver to handle DEB files (to unpack, not install). Note that Google Chrome is a native Absolute build with blacklisting of Gecko Media Player plugin removed. This means that the plugin works. It was blacklisted by Google coders due to crashing complaints, but I have tested it extensively and have not experienced these issues, so I'm watching videos." Visit the project's news page to read the brief release announcement.
Ainul Hakim has announced the release of BlankOn 6.0, an Indonesian desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu with support for Indonesian languages and scripts, as well as English: "BlankOn 6.0 'Ombilin' is the newest version of the BlankOn distribution. It was developed by the Indonesian Linux Mover Foundation and BlankOn developer team. BlankOn is an Indonesian distribution that includes a variety of software that is widely used by consumers in general, such as office programs, financial applications, Internet applications, drawing (both vector and bitmap) and support for various multimedia file formats. Features: four types of scripts, namely Bugis, Toba Batak, Balinese and alphabet of futility; Stardict fast dictionary; Chromium web browser; Exaile music player; USB modem switch, Shotwell photo manager; support for the AMD64 architecture...." Read the release announcement and release notes (both links in Bahasa Indonesia) for further details. An English translation of the release notes is available here.
BlankOn 6.0 - a desktop distribution for (not only) Indonesia
(full image size: 581kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
- Dreamlinux 4.0-beta6, the release announcement
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6-beta2, the release notes
- Nexenta Core Platform 3.0-rc2, the release announcement
- Imagineos 20100628, the release announcement
- openSUSE 11.3-rc2, the release announcement
- Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio and Mythbuntu 10.10-alpha2, the release announcement
- Ojuba 4-beta, the release announcement
- FreeBSD 8.1-RC2, the release announcement
- Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.5
- Berry Linux 1.03
- SystemRescueCd 1.5.7
- GParted LiveCD 0.6.0-6
- RIPLinuX 9.9, 10.0
- Zeroshell 1.0-beta13
- Parted Magic 5.0-rc
- Chakra Phoix 0701
- Tiny Core Linux 3.0-alpha9
- Salix OS 13.1-rc1
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
June 2010 DistroWatch.com donation: GCompris receives €275.00|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the June 2010 DistroWatch.com donation is GCompris, an educational software suite for young children. It receives €275.00 in cash.
For those readers who aren't young enough to enjoy GCompris or aren't familiar with the suite, here is a description from the project's home page: "GCompris is a high-quality educational software suite comprising of numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10. Some of the activities are game orientated, but nonetheless still educational. A list of categories include: computer discovery - keyboard, mouse, different mouse gestures; algebra -table memory, enumeration, double entry table, mirror image; science - the canal lock, the water cycle, the submarine, electric simulation; geography - place the country on the map; games - chess, memory, connect 4, Oware, Sudoku; reading - reading practice; others - learn to tell time, puzzle of famous paintings, vector drawing, cartoon making. Currently GCompris offers in excess of 100 activities and more are being developed. GCompris is free software, that means that you can adapt it to your own needs, improve it and, most importantly, share it with children everywhere." For further information please see the project's about page. Screenshots can be found here.
Bruno Coudoin, the founder and lead developer of GCompris, has emailed DistroWatch to say "merci beaucoup" for the donation: "I just realized that you made GCompris a huge donation. Thanks a lot for taking care of us."
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$24,830 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 Sabayon Linux ($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 ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352)
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
- Aurora OS. Aurora OS started its life as Eeebuntu, an Ubuntu-based distribution optimised for ASUS Eee PC and other popular netbooks. In June 2010 the project was renamed to Aurora OS, with a goal to become a more general Linux distribution for the desktop with user-friendly features.
Aurora OS 4 Beta 1 - an Ubuntu-based distribution for desktops and netbooks
(full image size: 1,022kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Netrunner. Netrunner is an Ubuntu-based distribution with a focus on desktop computing. It boasts a carefully tuned KDE 4 desktop with many integrated GNOME applications to offer users a selected mix of popular and powerful applications.
Netrunner 2 RC - an Ubuntu-based distribution with KDE 4
(full image size: 330kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Pipsqueak Linux. Pipsqueak Linux is a minimalist, text-mode Linux distribution based on ttylinux. The system requirements are: an i686-based x86 machine, 80 MB of RAM, Ethernet networking recommended. Pipsqueak is perfect for that old PII in your closet, has full Ethernet networking capability and supports a wide array of cards. It also supports reading ext4 partitions and many other features you would expect from using a very modern kernel.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 12 July 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 126.96.36.199, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
TA-Linux was a free Linux distribution that targets Linux power users. Its main goal was to have a small base installation that the end-users can expand to include the software they need. The secondary goal was to support as many different architectures as possible, at this time x86 was fully supported with Alpha, Sparc, PPC and PA-RISC around the corner. Extra software not included in the base was handled using a system resembling the *BSD ports system, called Collection, which handles installation, upgrading and dependencies. The primary way of installing new software was to download the source, compile and install it (totaly automatic). The user can also choose to install already built binary packages, also automaticaly using the Collection system.