| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 364, 26 July 2010
Welcome to this year's 30th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It has been an exciting week for BSD fans. Not only did this past week bring us the release of FreeBSD 8.1 and PC-BSD 8.1, it also ushered in a newly elected FreeBSD Core Team. For the security conscience among us, we have some important news about the latest release from TrueCrypt. In other news, many of us use Flash on a regular basis, but don't like the bulk and security concerns which go hand and hand with Adobe's implementation. Now there is a new challenger to Adobe's Flash on the scene and it should be interesting to see how it compares to GNU's Gnash. This week we will also take a look at the latest release of openSUSE and see how the Novell-sponsored project is doing. Rounding out this issue we'll talk about how to make sure your distribution is more up to date at install time. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Taking a Look at openSUSE 11.3
The openSUSE project has been around for a long time (under one name or another) for a Linux distribution. Through the past sixteen years it has gone through a lot of changes and tried several different approaches. While other distros come (with their flash and hype) and go again, openSUSE has progressed steadily and generally with less fanfare. The latest version of openSUSE, 11.3, arrived in mid-July and I decided to take it for a spin. It had been a while since I last installed the lizard on my machines and I was curious to see how things were progressing.
Most of the openSUSE website is done up as a well-organized wiki. Navigation is smooth and the pages are well presented, offering subtle eye-candy while providing a good supply of information. The project also maintains several mailing lists, a forum, community IRC channel, plenty of system documentation and a knowledge base.
The latest edition of openSUSE comes in several flavours. There's an all-in-one DVD, a live CD for GNOME and another live CD for KDE fans. There are also options for performing network installs. Each of these options is available for 32-bit and 64-bit machines in both direct download and bittorrent form. For my test drive I selected the KDE 32-bit live CD and set to work installing it on my test machines.
Booting off the CD brings up a boot menu allowing the user to select the live desktop environment, run the installer or perform a media check. Below the menu are options for accessing documentation and adjusting video and kernel parameters. Opting to try the live environment I was shown a graphical boot screen with a lizard icon and a progress bar until KDE finished loading. The user is presented with a welcome screen with some information on the project and links to get assistance. There's also a link to documentation on how to use the KDE desktop. Closing the welcome screen reveals a tastefully green-themed KDE (version 4.4.4) desktop with a handful of icons for navigating the file system, getting help and kicking off the installer. The CD worked well enough and the only point of interest I found was the large supply of software packages the project has managed to cram onto the CD, which we will cover later.
The openSUSE welcome screen.
(full file size: 1.3MiB, resolution: 1,366x768 pixels)
The installer itself is one of the more polished system installers I've seen. On the surface it has a smooth, simple look while underneath it contains an excellent range of advanced options. The first page kicks off with asking the user for their preferred language and keyboard layout. We're also shown a copy of the distribution's license. On the second screen, we're asked to select a time zone and set the system's clock. The next stage handles partitioning. Here is where openSUSE's installer shines. The partition manager handles regular disk layouts, RAID and volume management. It will also support NFS mounting and encryption. These screens (and sub-screens) are well laid out and make partitioning simple in nearly any environment. The disk partitioner will handle most Linux file system formats, including the ext2/3/4 family, JFS, XFS, Reiser and BtrFS. One thing I especially enjoyed about the partitioner is that it will make suggestions for setting up a root partition, a separate /home partition and recommend swap space, guiding new users through the choices.
Moving on, the installer asks the user to create a non-root account. Here the defaults work well, but experts can adjust settings for password storage and authentication methods. The installer then asks for a root password to be provided and gets to work copying over the necessary files. Once the installation is complete and the system is rebooted, the OS goes through some configuration steps (which are handled automatically) and updates its package repositories (which can be skipped).
The openSUSE system installer.
Let's talk about hardware for a moment. I ran openSUSE on two physical machines, one generic desktop box (2.5GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2GHz CPU, 3GB of RAM, Intel video card). Performance was good on both machines and I encountered no problems with the desktop computer. Resolution was set to the highest available configuration and sound worked out of the box. I ran into a few problems with the laptop. While video and audio also worked well on the laptop, I found my Intel wireless card wasn't detected. The touchpad worked, but didn't handle taps as mouse clicks. I also ran the distro in a VirtualBox virtual machine and found the experience to be above average. The distribution interacts well with the virtual environment, meaning the mouse doesn't need to be captured by the VM. Screen resizing is dynamic, allowing the user to adjust the guest operating system's desktop without needing to logout or restart X. I was also happy to discover openSUSE will operate with as little as 256MB of RAM. I was able to login to KDE and launch YaST to change settings in a VM with just 256MB of memory without using swap space.
(full file size: 476KiB, resolution 800x600 pixels)
The openSUSE installer places about 3.1GB of software on the local drive, giving the user a full application menu right from the start. Included are Firefox 3.6.6, the GIMP, OpenOffice 3.2.1, Kopete, Ktorrent, Kmail, k3b for disc burning, an audio player, a video player, YaST2 for changing system settings, the Kinfocentre and a small selection of games. There are some excellent accessibility tools, an encryption & certificate program, image viewer, file archiver, calculator and text editor. Some items not included were mp3 codecs, popular video codecs and Flash. While these items are not included on the live CD, the distro makes them easy to add. For instance, opening Amarok (the default music player) will notify the user that mp3 playback isn't included and ask if the ability should be added. If the software isn't available in the user's repositories, the OS will take the user to a website where they can read about non-free codecs and install the extra repository simply by clicking a link. A similar process is offered for the video player. I think openSUSE may have one of the most balanced approaches to non-free codecs I've seen so far. While they avoid shipping extra codecs in the installation image, they make it wonderfully easy to add these components while giving their reasons for their policy.
Running Firefox and Ktorrent
(full file size: 361KiB, resolution: 1,366x768 pixels)
The distribution is, in fact, full of small things which show an attention to detail. As an example, when I was running my laptop on battery power, the update manager didn't automatically grab new packages. A default behaviour which the user can override. Trying to run a program (from the command line) which isn't installed would invite the user to run a command to see which repository package (if any) held the desired program and instructions on how to install the missing piece. By default, a number of services are running, but there is a firewall in place, securing things like OpenSSH from the outside world.
I don't think any review of openSUSE would be complete without shining a spotlight on YaST. This is the distribution's all-in-one system configuration tool. The panel is well laid out, arranging its items in categories down the left side and displaying specific tools on the right. There's a Software section, which helps the user manage and search for packages; a Hardware section, for getting information and setting up printers, scanners and sound; a System category for tweaking the bootloader, setting the current date & time and handling backups. There's a group of tools for setting up a network connection, another for local security (such as passwords, user accounts and sudo settings). There is a section for creating and working with virtual environments and a group of AppArmor utilities. Very few distros have such a great, one-stop configuration system -- the exception would probably the latest offerings from Mandriva. However, where Mandriva's controls seem to be aimed at Linux newcomers, YaST appears to be focused on slightly more experienced users. The package manager is probably the best example of this. Like most other package managers, openSUSE's can display installed or available items and provides a search feature. Where it deviates is with the wide selection of filters and tabs for various views. An experienced user will probably look at this layout and be impressed with the buffet of screens, symbols and bulk operations. Novice users are likely to be intimidated by the choices and terminology used. For instance, new users probably won't want to think about their searches being case sensitive or what an RPM Group is.
There were a few small flaws in the otherwise fantastic gem of openSUSE's crown. The AppArmor Profile Wizard wouldn't run on my machine. It provides a helpful error message but, as of time of writing, I haven't gone through the steps to get it running. I found it odd that the distro enables the secure shell server by default, but there's no YaST tool for managing the service. There's a mail server tool and utilities for LDAP, but I didn't find anything for secure shell.
System configuration and package management.
(full file size: 503KiB, resolution: 1,366x768 pixels)
Looking beyond the software itself, the openSUSE project offers 18 months of support for 11.3. For users who want a longer support cycle, Novell provides SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11, with support through to March 2016. The openSUSE project also offers a boxed edition of their distribution, which provides customers with a manual to accompany the installation media. In short, there are a lot of options for SUSE lovers with varying costs and levels of support.
I found the latest release of this distribution to be a solid offering. Some of the previous issues regarding codecs have been corrected, the new KDE desktop is light and fast. I like that openSUSE gives users the option to use the Smolt system profiler and YaST is an excellent control centre. The distro's work with virtualization is great and there is a large selection of software available on the CD. The only thing I'd like to change about this distro is in regards to the package manager. The existing YaST tool for handling software is effective, but I'd like to see a more novice-friendly program added. Ubuntu offers a good example of this where they have a beginner-friendly Software Center and a separate menu entry for Synaptic. The way Linux handles software packages is, in my opinion, one of the operating system's greatest strengths and it's important not to frighten people away from it. Over-all, I see openSUSE 11.3 as a great release, possibly the best we've seen of the lizard yet.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
BSD Conference, FreeBSD picks elects new leaders, Improvements to TrueCrypt and an alternative to Flash
In November, New York City will host the bi-annual NYCBSDCon. An early timeline for the event is posted here. Of important note is that the conference program committee is currently accepting submissions for presentations concerning the BSD operating systems. If you would like to speak at NYCBSDCon, you can get details here.
In other BSD news, every two years the FreeBSD developers hold an election to decide who will lead the FreeBSD project. The 2010 election is now over and the new (and reelected) Core Team members have been announced. The Core Team is a bit like a board of directors who try to keep FreeBSD healthy and on the right track. Congratulations to the new team!
And for fans of both the GNOME desktop environment and the FreeBSD operating system, we have good news. The GhostBSD operating system is moving toward its 1.5 release and,
in a recent blog post, the developer behind the BSD live disc said "GhostBSD 1.5 will be installable." We took a look at GhostBSD previously and found it to be a solid system.
* * * * *
For people who want to keep their data away from prying eyes, there are few tools as useful as TrueCrypt. The open source encryption tool has just
launched a new version, 7.0, with a great list of new features. "Among the new features are hardware-accelerated AES, support for devices that use sector sizes other than 512 bytes, ability to configure a volume to be automatically mounted whenever its host device gets connected to the computer, favorites organizer, and more." There are also some bug fixes and general improvements, so if you use TrueCrypt, be sure to check out the latest release.
* * * * *
Many websites use Flash, especially sites which stream video. This has made the technology very popular while Adobe's bloated and buggy implementation has many users frustrated. Now there is a new face on the Flash scene:
Lightspark. The Lightspark project is putting together a fast, clean implementation of the popular web technology. At the moment, there are packages available for the latest Fedora and Ubuntu releases and other Linux users can install from the source code. Has anyone here tried Lightspark? Please share your experiences in the comments section, below.
* * * * *
Frederic Crozat announced last week that he will be leaving the employ of Mandriva. Crozat had been with Mandriva for about ten years and worked on that distribution's GNOME implementation, among other things. Though no specific reason for his departure was given, one has to wonder if the company's recent turmoil might be a cause. Regardless of what triggered the departure, there is no doubt Crozat's contributions will be missed.
* * * * *
When you want to test drive a distro to see how it works with your hardware, there are fewer tools greater than a live CD. The
Debian Live project provides such CDs for people who are interested in playing with Debian. The project features Debian in a number of different flavours (GNOME, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, 32-bit and 64-bit) with manuals in English and German. Chris Were recently tried the live CD for Debian 5.0.5 and
shared his experiences on his blog.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Adding updates to the install process
Could you describe how to slipstream updates into a Linux install?
Slipstreaming is a method of adding patches and new software to installation media. It's generally used to speed up the process of getting a new computer up and running faster. As an example, let's say you've installed Fedora on your home PC, you've added codecs and downloaded all the updates. Now, you're planning to set up Fedora on three or four extra computers. You could go through the same steps again for each machine, or you could find a way to get all the updates and extras in place during the install, saving some time.
There are a few ways to go about adding updated packages to your installation. The easiest way is probably to download all the updates (and extra packages) you want and save them on secondary media. This means you will have your regular install disc, plus another disc with your additional packages. There are tools, such as
APTonCD, which automate the process of taking cached package files and burning them to a CD or DVD, making this an attractive option. It also means you won't have to change your original install disc. The downside to this is that you can easily add and update packages this way, but not remove unwanted ones.
Another option is to make an image of an up-to-date installation. This is a good choice for people who want to have identical installs on similar machines, for instance on an office network. The
Clonezilla project is a great way to take an image of one machine and spread it to other computers on the network. While Clonezilla is fast and a great way to spread identical clones, it does require that the target hardware (especially the hard drive size) be similar to the original hardware.
A third option is to copy and alter your installation media to include the updated/extra packages you want. While this is an attractive option, because it doesn't require extra media or a network, it does require more time and for the user to be comfortable with the command line. Most of the big name Linux distros use live CDs with their software stored in a
SquashFS file. It's possible to make a copy of the contents of this file, update the copy and then create a new disc image based on the updated version. There is a good tutorial on performing these steps
here. A nice aspect of this approach is you can add, remove or update whichever software you wish. On the other hand, making a copy of the original install disc and creating a new image takes time and drive space. Finding the right solution can be a bit of a balancing act.
|Released Last Week
Sabayon Linux 5.3 "LXDE" and "Xfce"
The Gentoo-based Sabayon Linux project has announced the availability of two new spins with alternative desktop environments - LXDE and Xfce: "Our crew is happy to announce the immediate availability of Xfce, LXDE and SpinBase/OpenVZ Sabayon 5.3 spins built on top of Sabayon SpinBase ISO images. Under the 'extra spins' umbrella, the Sabayon developers are going to experiment with new stable releases with different package compositions. Consider these extra spins an appetizer of what you will get in the upcoming months: more spins are planned and more external contributions will be accepted. Just like the other regular Sabayon releases, these extra spins are also built daily by our build servers and available in our mirrors inside the 'iso/daily' directory." You can read the rest of the
Tiny Core 3.0
The Tiny Core project, representing only the core needed to boot into a very minimal X desktop typically with wired internet access, has unleashed a major release: "Team Tiny Core is pleased to announce Tiny Core 3.0 is now available. Changelog: New kernel update to 184.108.40.206 (a upx'ed version is also available in the distribution file area ); New 64-bit kernel available in distribution files area; New compressed swap in ram, able to run more and longer, less crashes due to out of ram; New tmpfs root always, no longer possible to exhaust ram in an 'embed' boot via files; New improved virtualization support; New ext4 support in base/base tools; New delta extension updates as the default using zsync; New kernel for support of pci-hotplug modules; New modules for eeepc-laptop and ssb; New kernel-agnostic dep files supported by core functions..." The full
changelog has all the details.
Peppermint OS Ice-07142010
After its "One" flavor products release in May and in June, the Peppermint Team is proud to release its second offering, the "Ice" flavor: "This is not an upgrade to replace Peppermint OS One, but another project that we will be under constant development from here forward. Peppermint Ice was developed around Chromium as its default browser and a brand new SSB [Site Specific Browser] Application was developed by Kendall Weaver named 'Ice' which this new Peppermint variant is named after. The default Cloud Applications are simply included in Peppermint Ice as an example of the flexibility of the Peppermint Ice SSB as opposed to locally installed applications. These defaults can easily be removed and added again later as the user sees fit.
" Here is the full
PC-BSD 8.1 has been released: "The PC-BSD Team is pleased to announce the availability of PC-BSD 8.1 (Hubble Edition), running FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE and KDE 4.4.5. Version 8.1 contains a number of enhancements and improvements. For a full list of changes, please refer to the changelog. Some of the notable changes are: FreeBSD 8.1-Release; KDE 4.4.5; Numerous fixes to the installation backend; Support for creating dedicated disk GPT partitioning; Improved ZFS support; Bugfixes to desktop tools/utilities. Recommended system requirements: Pentium 4 or higher; 512MB of RAM; 20GB of free hard drive space (either partition, or entire disk)..." You can read the complete
The PC-BSD 8.1 Desktop
(full file size: 320KiB, resolution: 1,024x768 pixels)
ClearOS 5.2, a CentOS-based open-source Linux server, network and gateway solution for small business and distributed environments, is now available for download: "The primary ClearOS 5.2 changes include: Password policy engine to improve security; Detailed disk usage reporting to improve storage utilization; Network traffic analyzer tool to detect bandwidth challenges; Custom firewall tool to create advanced rules; H.323 support for VoIP systems; Improved support for Google Apps and Zarafa in LDAP Directory; A base system updated to CentOS 5.5. As usual, please consult the Release Notes for specific upgrade information regarding your ClearOS version. ClearOS 5.x supports upgrades from ClarkConnect 4.x and later. Upgrades from earlier versions (or systems originally installed with an earlier version) are not supported." The release announcement can be found
Linux Deepin is a Chinese community distribution based on Ubuntu and designed for desktop users. After three release candidates, Linux Deepin 10.06 was announced today. It is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, and a fresh installation (instead of upgrade from version 9.12) is recommended for users. It supports installation from USB devices and thus one does not need to burn the released ISO image onto a CD. Major components include ibus-sunpinyin the whole-sentence-oriented Chinese input method, Linux kernel 2.6.32-23, Flash player 10.1.53.64, Xfce 4.6.2, OpenOffice.org 3.2.0, Firefox 3.6.6 and its plugins all of the latest versions. User-friendly improvements include automatic installation (one only needs to perform disk partition and user creation), faster boot-up, and graphical configurations for various network settings. You can read the full
announcement here (in Chinese).
FreeBSD 8.1 was formally announced after a few days of its appearance on world-wide mirrors: "The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE. This is the second release from the 8-STABLE branch which improves on the functionality of FreeBSD 8.0 and introduces some new features. Some of the highlights: zfsloader added; zpool version of ZFS subsystem updated to version 14; NFSv4 ACL support in UFS and ZFS; support added to cp(1), find(1), getfacl(1), mv(1), and setfacl(1) utilities; UltraSPARC IV/IV+, SPARC64 V support; SMP support in PowerPC G5; BIND 9.6.2-P2; sendmail updated to 8.14.4; OpenSSH updated to 5.4p1; GNOME 2.30.1, KDE 4.4.5. For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the online release notes and errata list." You can read the
full announcement here.
eBox Platform 1.5, an Ubuntu-based, easy-to-use platform to manage various network services, has been released: "eBox Platform development team is glad to announce that the first installer CD for eBox Platform 1.5 is now available for download. Please note that eBox Platform 1.5 is a development version based on Ubuntu 10.04 and it will become eBox Platform 2.0 (next stable release of the Linux small business server) after a stabilization period. The development of eBox Platform 2.0 is now finished and from now on all the attention will be focused on testing, bugfixing and optimizing the software. These are the most relevant changes since eBox Platform 1.4 release: Improved software management; Autoconfiguration wizards integrated in the administration interface; New mode for network interfaces; Improved logs performance; Webserver with HTTPS support; New FTP module." See the
release announcement for
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
- Buluo OS
A distro based on Linux From Scratch with a GNOME desktop.
- ASRI éducation A French distribution with a focus on education.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 2 August 2010.
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• 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 220.127.116.11, 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Firefly Linux was a lightweight operating system designed with netbooks in mind. Based on Arch Linux, it comes with the small and fast LXDE desktop environment, many popular applications, and out-of-the-box support for wireless networks, sound cards and graphics cards. Firefly Linux includes some non-free software, including the Flash browser plugin and Skype telephony software, while thousands of additional packages are available for installation via the distribution's command-line or graphical package management tools.