| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 369, 30 August 2010
Welcome to this year's 35th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! While most of our reviews tend to focus on major and reasonably well-known distributions, it's good to take a look at lesser ones every now and then. As a result, this week's feature story is a rapid-fire review of two projects that have only recently been submitted to DistroWatch (Me-OS, ImagineOS), plus the minimalist Puppy Linux. Read on to find out how they fared in our test. In the news section, OpenSolaris governing board announces collective resignation, Illumos.org opens its doors to attempt to continue the development of OpenSolaris, Mandriva community publishes an "Xfce Live" edition of Mandriva Linux 2010.1, and Ubuntu creates yet another controversy with its proposed default wallpaper for 'Maverick Meerkat'. Also in this issue, two new Gentoo-based distributions and a brief tutorial on sharing files over a home network. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Under these rocks and stones
In the past few months I've found that I have been focused a lot on the bigger names in the Linux and BSD communities. I have been looking at the mainstream distributions and the headlines and generally enjoying the view. However, an important part of the open source community is all the little projects which dot the landscape and it's a good idea to stop and examine those too from time to time. Keeping that in mind, this week I decided to do a series of rapid-fire reviews in which I took a quick look at the following distributions.
* * * * *
Me-OS is a new distribution (started in February 2010), created by Josh Secrest. The young distribution sits on an openSUSE 11.3 base and has a strong ease-of-use focus. The project's website is small with a pleasant blue and white theme and the project has a friendly and informal feel common to one-person efforts. The project currently offers one ISO download, a 32-bit live CD.
Booting the live disc displays a boot menu with options for adjusting the video settings, language and setting kernel parameters. Booting into the live CD brings us to a GNOME 2.30 desktop with a bright, watery background. The first thing I noticed was a large search box in the middle of the desktop, which works as an application launcher. At the top of the desktop is a quick launch bar, at the bottom is a regular application menu and a taskbar. A collection of icons sit on the desktop, providing links to the user's home directory, an application updater, the system installer, an icon which opens an informal introduction to the operating system, and two icons labelled "App Center" and "Essential Software". The Essential software link basically offered to provide me with Flash and the App Center link displayed a window saying the feature was "coming soon".
The theme of the desktop is strong on black, white and blue with a soft shine which makes me feel a light is positioned to the left of my desktop. The launch bar at the top of the screen is pleasantly out of the way (it doesn't dance or flash like some app launchers do) and it's easily customizable. The application menu is armed with a small collection of popular software, including Firefox, Songbird, OpenOffice, Thunderbird, a music player and IM client. We can also find a few virtual terminals, the usual collection of GNOME configuration apps and the YaST all-in-one system tweaking tool.
The Me-OS desktop
(full image size: 238kB, resolution 801x601 pixels)
The installer is, for all purposes, openSUSE's YaST. It walks through the screens of getting the local time zone, setting up disk partitions and creating a user account. On the one hand, YaST does a fantastic job, especially on the disk partitioning and the ability to fine-tune the configuration is great. On other hand, the first screen requires the user accept a license agreement immediately after displaying an error saying the text of the license can't be displayed. It's a small thing, but a user's first impressions are often in the details.
Upon rebooting the machine, openSUSE's configuration program started up and went through its automated steps. Here I ran into another problem where the package refresh process kept timing out. Once I reached the desktop, I found that DNS queries were not resolving. Once I manually supplied the system with DNS look-up servers, operations returned to normal. One thing I enjoyed about the install process is that it brings files and settings over from the live CD environment, so any work or tweaks done to the system prior to installation carry over.
Using the installed system, I found the desktop to be responsive, the distro is armed with a small, yet useful, collection of software and most items worked as expected. New items can be added from openSUSE's repositories via YaST, providing the user with a wide selection of programs. Device detection is fairly solid, with most of my hardware working out of the box. The single exception to this being my Intel wireless card, which is often hit-or-miss. Me-OS's installer recommends users have at least 1 GB of RAM, but I found (via a virtual machine) that the system would run smoothly with 512 MB.
The bad: Me-OS is quite young with a small team. This means that some features (bug tracker, support) and its identity haven't really taken shape yet. It needs some polish and for the features being introduced to fill out.
The good: I had a chance to exchange some e-mails with Mr Secrest and he has a lot of ideas and a lot of energy, which bodes well for the project. He tells me the next release will include better security, bug fixes, new features and a bug tracker for the website. The interface is very friendly and I like the way screen real estate is used. I think Me-OS is a good choice for netbooks and casual computer users will probably like this system. Having YaST available in the distro is certainly a point in the project's favour.
* * * * *
Next up on the rapid review roster is ImagineOS. This project has its heritage in GoblinX and Slackware. The project's website is small, featuring a grey and green theme with prominent ads. The site features some screen shots, a blog, a low-traffic forum and a live CD image. Firing up the live disc brings up to a grey-themed boot menu with the usual options and leads us to a Xfce 4.6 desktop with floral wallpaper. Along the top of the screen we find an application menu, system monitors and quick-launch bar. Along the bottom is a taskbar. The system is fairly responsive for a live CD and the various applications work well.
I fired up the ImagineOS installer and was given an error message saying it couldn't access my partitions. The error asked me to manually mount a partition and re-launch the installer. The operating system comes with GParted and so I created a new partition for ImagineOS, mounted it and tried the installer again. And I was shown the same error again. After reading the tutorial I tried rebooting and, upon launching the installer again, found it had detected my new partition. Unfortunately, the installer wouldn't let me change any of the configuration settings, so I was stuck with the defaults. At the end of the install process the user is told LILO will be installed and we are asked if we wish to proceed with Default, Simple, Advanced or Continue without any explanation as to what each of these is. I went with the Default choice and it worked out for me because upon rebooting my system loaded ImagineOS from the hard drive.
(full image size: 543kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The ImagineOS distro comes with a nice supply of pre-installed applications, including Firefox, Thunderbird, the GIMP, VLC, AbiWord, Gnumeric, a PDF viewer, a BitTorrent client and a comic viewer. It's also equipped with Xfce's capable configuration tools. Where the system was a bit of let down is in the realm of package management. The OS uses GSlapt for adding and removing software. The first issue I ran into is, though ImagineOS has its roots in Slackware, it doesn't tie into Slackware's repositories. It pulls from its own small collection of software. It also lacks dependency resolution. To be fair, GSlapt would tell me when I was installing a program which would require additional software, but it wouldn't actually offer to install the dependencies for me. This left me to search manually, wondering if the package I needed was actually in the repository or if I was on a wild goose chase.
Though performance was good once the OS was installed locally, hardware was a bit hit or miss. Mostly hit on my desktop, with no serious problems, but largely miss on the HP laptop, where suspend/resume and wireless refused to work.
The bad: ImagineOS' installer might be one of the most flaky, unintuitive installers I have used to date. The small single repository and lack of dependency resolution was a deal breaker for me.
The good: The combination of Xfce on a Slackware base makes for good performance and low memory usage, but ImagineOS doesn't offer anything here above what other Slackware-based distros provide.
* * * * *
My last drive-by review is of Puppy Linux. Puppy Linux has a few web sites (puppylinux.com and pupplylinux.org). Both have a simple, clean style with a format similar to a magazine or newspaper with black text on a white background. The sites are easy to navigate and supply the user with a Wiki, a well-trafficked forum, news and a developer blog. The ISO for Puppy (version 5.1) is a light 130 MB, making for a quick download.
The live disc boots into a blue-themed desktop which is dotted with lots of icons. It's interesting to note that the icons are generally labelled with verbs, rather than application names. For example, there are icons named "write", "paint" and "chat", which I suspect makes finding the proper program easier for novice users. A welcome screen is displayed, giving users some information on how to use the OS. There's an application menu at the bottom of the screen, which is packed full of various light apps (more on that shortly), and the system tray holds a system monitor. At the top of the screen is a box which covers some icons and moving the mouse over this area causes a web browser to open an introduction page on the project's website and the system to emit a barking noise. This was cute the first time, but gets old in a hurry if you keep using Puppy on a regular basis and, by accident, move your mouse over the box before it vanishes on its own.
Puppy's installer is an odd beast. Much of it is done with text boxes and small icons. I like the level of detail the written documentation goes into, but some of the options are likely to confuse newcomers. For instance there are a lot of options as to where to install the system (ZIP disks, internal hard drive, external drive, USB flash drive...) Puppy got me to manually set up partitions using GParted, then copied over the files it needed. So far so good, but when the installer finished and I rebooted, my computer wouldn't load Puppy off the hard drive. I went back to the CD, ran the installer again and this time I received a warning that I needed to manually set a boot flag on my main partition using GParted. With this step done my second attempt at installing went well and I was able to boot locally.
The manual setting of a boot flag brings up a duality which appears to exist throughout Puppy. Being a light distro, Puppy tends to use smaller, less visually attractive programs. There's a lot of manual work and implied knowledge in using many of these apps. However, Puppy supplies a good collection of documentation and hints to get users through these otherwise daunting tasks. Puppy may be the only distro which has asked me to manually set a partition as bootable, but it also supplies detailed steps on how to do this. New users may feel like they're being thrown into the deep end and then provided with detailed instructions on how to swim.
As mentioned previously, Puppy comes with a surprisingly wide buffet of software considering its small size. The application menu is loaded with Gnumeric, AbiWord, mtPaint, a web browser, instant messenger, disc burner, PDF viewer (and creator), backup tools, printing tools and a handful of configuration apps. There seems to be a focus on admin tools, which sets Puppy up to be a good rescue CD. On the application menu we again see Puppy's distinct personality in the way programs are placed in categories. The common naming theme of "Games", "Office", "System"... is partially replaced with "Fun", "Business", "Personal".
The Puppy Linux desktop
(full image size: 370kB, resolution 800x600 pixels)
The operating system does a pretty good job at handling hardware. Other than my Intel wireless card, my devices were properly detected. My only real complaint in this area was with VirtualBox integration. Each of the three distributions I looked at this week had some form of integration with VirtualBox, with ImagineOS being the smoothest. Puppy, for some reason, kept mistaking where my mouse was while running in the virtual manager, so getting the guest mouse pointer to line up with the host pointer was a constant battle. Fortunately this was only an issue in the virtual environment and Puppy handled the mouse well when run directly on the test hardware.
Generally at this point I feel I should complain about Puppy running as root, logging in automatically and not prompting the user to create an unprivileged account. These are big "thy shall not" points to people interested in security, but I can't really find it in me to complain about Puppy's approach. It does so many things differently and has such an unusual approach in OS-user interaction that I find myself seeing the single-super-user style as just another quirk. It's a quirk I don't like, but then I'm not the target audience for this project.
The bad: Puppy is different in a lot of ways from other distributions, which will introduce a bit of learning curve for people moving to (or away from) the project. VirtualBox integration could use some polish and having the computer bark at the user when opening the "first run" notes is the second most annoying feature I've encountered this year.
The good: There is a strong collection of documentation, lots of help on the website, and Puppy runs with very low resource requirements. It's a good rescue CD and useful for people travelling with a live disc.
* * * * *
Of the three distributions mentioned here, I don't think any of them are likely to become mainstream in the Linux community. Puppy is well established in its niche and seems happy there. The Me-OS project, I feel, has some potential if the developer can keep up with the work which goes into maintaining a distro. Like Puppy, Me-OS is taking a slightly different path and it'll be interesting to see where they end up. ImagineOS felt like the odd one out of these three. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table, I didn't find anything in its approach to be eye-catching. It sits on a strong Slackware base, but I think the project needs to add something if it wants to attract new members.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
OpenSolaris governing board resigns, Illumos, Mandriva 2010.1 "Xfce Live", Ubuntu 10.10 proposed wallpaper
Following Oracle's recently leaked memo about what is effectively the end of OpenSolaris as an open-source project, the entire OpenSolaris governing board (OGB) announced its resignation: "Whereas Oracle has continued to ignore requests to appoint a liaison to work with the OGB concerning the future of OpenSolaris development and our community, and whereas Oracle distributed an email to its employees on Aug 13 2010 that set forth Oracle's decision to unilaterally terminate the development partnership between Oracle and the OpenSolaris community and whereas, without the continued support and participation of Oracle in the open development of OpenSolaris, the OGB and the community Sun/Oracle created to support the open Solaris development partnership have no meaning, and... Be it resolved that the OpenSolaris Governing Board hereby collectively resigns, noting that under the terms of the OpenSolaris Charter section 1.1 (and Constitution 1.3.5) the responsibility to appoint an OGB passes to Oracle."
While the open-source developer and user community has always been suspicious of Oracle's intentions following its takeover of Sun Microsystems, this was possibly the company's worst period in terms of coverage by popular blogs and open-source web sites. Robert Milkowski has collected a few interesting links which discuss the future of Solaris and OpenSolaris and which collectively slam Oracle's attitude. But as always in these situations, there is light at the end of the tunnel - it's called Illumos: "The danger for those companies has long been that Oracle would pull the rug out from under them; only the foolish had no contingency plan. The options were to give up on Solaris or maintain a fork. Happily Illumos has stepped in to offer a third path. Garrett D'Amore and Nexenta graciously started the Illumos project to carry the OpenSolaris torch. It is an ostensible fork of OpenSolaris (can you fork a dead project?), but more importantly a mechanism by which companies building on those component technologies can pool their resources, amortize their costs, and build a community by and for the downstream users who are investing in those same technologies." See Illumos.org for further information.
* * * * *
While the future existence of Mandriva (the company) is far from assured, its user and developer community doesn't seem to be too bothered by all the rumours and uncertainty. Last week Stéphane Téletchéa emailed DistroWatch to let us know about a new community release of Mandriva Linux 2010.1 "Xfce Live" edition: "The Xfce Mandriva community is proud to offer its latest release of the Mandriva Xfce One edition. This CD-ROM is based on the Mandriva 2010.1 release (Linux kernel 22.214.171.124, Mozilla Firefox 3.6.8, OpenOffice.org 3.2.0) and offers the latest version of the Xfce desktop (4.6.2). This edition has received a particular attention with respect to polish: more backgrounds, a new icon set (gnome-brave), a different default theme (Ia Ora Steel), new faces for the user login screen, plus some little adjustments. On the software side, we have included: Evolution instead of Claws-Mail, Ristretto for rapid image viewing, Parole or Exaile for playing videos...." For more information please see the project's Wiki page and specifications. Download the English language CD images from here: mandriva-one-2010-spring-xfce4-i586.iso (678MB, MD5), mandriva-one-2010-spring-xfce4-x86_64.iso (704MB, MD5).
Mandriva Linux 2010.1 "Xfce Live" - an unofficial community edition of Mandriva Linux for Xfce users
(full image size: 375kB, resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
The Ubuntu project has always been able to create hotly-debated controversies out of rather insignificant decisions. Nudity in its artwork, window button placements, unusual interface changes, the list goes on. Whether this is intentional or just the way things develop over there, we'll let our readers to decide. The latest Ubuntu "gaffe" is the proposed default wallpaper in the upcoming release, version 10.10. Here is an amusing list of quotes of those who have expressed their opinion on the subject: "This is like 'Chuck Norris fart on my screen, and i can't clean it.' ... 'Never commented before despite reading religiously, this was just TOO ugly to dignify with mental distaste, it had to be made public.' ... 'Looks like I was eating a burrito over the 10.04 one and some hot sauce dripped.' ... 'I've seen many bad things in my life and it hurts me to say this, but this is in that list.' ... 'Worst wallpaper in the existence of the universe. This has to be a joke!' ... 'All this talk about paper cuts, and the face of OS for newbies, first of all, looks like a piece of crap.'" For the sake of our readers' well-being we won't reproduce the proposed wallpaper here, but if you really must see it, feel free to click on either of the above two links.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Sharing files on home network
Sharing-is-fun asks: I want to set up a server on my home network to allow the family to access things like videos, music, documents, etc. I also want to do this using an old PC (PIII + 256 MB RAM) that I'm currently using as a dust collector. I've been using Linux exclusively since Linux Mint 4.0 but still consider myself somewhat of a novice, and I really don't have any interest in becoming an expert server administrator, so I need something that's easy to setup and use.
DistroWatch answers: The first thing you'll want is a light distribution that will run on an older machine with 256 MB of memory. Some people might suggest a server should be run with just a command line and no graphical desktop, but you mentioned being in a novice mindset, so let's go with a distro that is light and has a desktop environment. You mentioned using Mint before and that would make a good starting point as Mint has a LXDE edition, which is light on resources.
The easiest way I've found to share files around the home is to run secure shell on the server. Enable the OpenSSH service and, if the firewall is turned on, then open network port 22. You can then create regular user accounts on the server for each person (or one shared account if you prefer), granting people access. The nice thing about this approach is most modern Linux distros come with graphical tools which make accessing files over secure shell very easy. For instance, the Konqueror web/file browser can access files over SSH using the "fish" protocol:
It will treat remote files much the same as if they were local, allow you to bookmark the location and even offer to remember the username/password. For people running GNOME, it is also possible to access remote files much the same as local ones by going to GNOME's Places menu and selecting "Connect to server..."
Running secure shell as a file server is probably the easiest way to go because most distributions come with the OpenSSH service and SSH clients ready to work right out of the box. Adding access for new users is as easy as creating a new user account on the server. As a bonus, the network traffic between your server and the client is encrypted, so people won't be able to listen in if you're using your file server as a place to store backups.
On the chance some of your family members haven't embraced open source operating systems, they too can enjoy fairly painless access to your secure shell server. Projects like Filezilla make it easy to share files across computers, even if it's isn't quite as seamless as the tools which come with GNOME and KDE. And Filezilla runs on just about any modern operating system. There is also a nice tutorial for setting up an OpenSSH server on the Ubuntu family of distributions (including Linux Mint) here.
Another way to go would be to set up Samba shares on your file server. This has two benefits, the first being that most modern operating systems come with built-in tools for accessing the shares. Samba additionally allows you to use your file server as a print server. The only downside is that Samba has a few more steps involved in getting it working. Samba is worth a look if you have a wide variety of operating systems in your home, or if you plan to share your file server with guests who don't use Linux. If you decide to go with this approach, I recommend reading this detailed tutorial.
|Released Last Week
Linux Mint 9 "Xfce"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the availability of the Xfce edition of Linux Mint 9: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 9 Xfce. Based on Xubuntu 10.04 'Lucid Lynx', Linux 2.6.32, Xfce 4.6.1 and X.Org 7.4, Linux Mint 9 'Isadora' Xfce features a lot of improvements and the latest software from the open-source world. New features at a glance: new Software Manager - 30,000 packages, review applications straight from Software Manager, APT daemon, visual improvements; new backup tool - incremental backups, compression, integrity checks, backup/restoration of the software selection; better look and feel; new Thunar move to trash and delete options; system improvements - Windows installer, Husse quotes, USB Creator, Default software selection, local repository...." See the release announcement and visit the what's new page for further details.
Tom McCafferty has announced the release of Vyatta 6.1, a new version of the Debian-based distribution for firewalls are routers: "Vyatta, the leader in open networking and network virtualization, today announced Vyatta 6.1, the latest release of the company's open network OS encompassing enterprise-class routing and network security. With several key advances including IPv6 certification, cloud-specific features and enhanced security, Vyatta continues to expand the applicability of software-based networking across physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures. Vyatta 6.1 has received IPv6 Ready Logo Phase 2 certification, verifying the implementation of IPv6 core routing protocols. For cloud providers and enterprises moving applications or servers to the cloud, Layer 2 cloud bridging allows physically separate networks to securely communicate with each other over the internet as if they were on a single Ethernet network." Read the complete release announcement for further information.
Zenwalk Linux 6.4 "Live"
Zenwalk Linux 6.4 "Live" edition has been released: "Zenwalk Live 6.4 is ready. I am happy to announce Zenwalk Live 6.4, which will allow more people to discover the speed and simplicity of Zenwalk without having to install it first. It consists of standard Zenwalk ISO packages following the main Zenwalk release, with same set of applications and the latest Xfce desktop. Additional stuff besides the standard package selection include: livekernel with Aufs and Squashfs 3.4 including LZMA compression; scripts and tools that are needed for creating and running the live environment; Ash; a few localizations for Icecat and Icedove; Sazanami fonts and UIM with Anthy as input method to support Japanese language display and input; a unique custom theme for bootsplash and GDM." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Marco Ghirlanda has announced the release of ArtistX 0.9, an Ubuntu-based live DVD that turns a common computer into a multimedia production studio: "ArtistX 0.9 is based on the Remastersys software for creating live media and includes the 2.6.31 Linux kernel, GNOME 2.28 and KDE 4.3.5, Compiz Fusion and about 2,500 free multimedia software packages, nearly everything that exists for the GNU/Linux operating system. Main features: based on Ubuntu 9.10 'Karmic' with tons of updates, Compiz for 3D desktop effects; most of GNU/Linux multimedia packages and the very easy Ubiquity installer. A partial list of software included in the DVD: 2D graphics software - GIMP, Inkscape, Nip2, Krita, Synfig, Rawstudio, Skencil, Hugin; 3D graphics software - Blender, Wings3D, KPovModeler + POV-Ray 3.6, K3D; video software - Cinelerra, Kino, Openshot, Open Movie Editor, Kdenlive, PiTiVi, Avidemux, DeVeDe...." Visit the project's home page to read the brief release announcement.
ArtistX 0.9 - a new version of the Ubuntu-based distribution for multimedia production
(full image size: 1,492kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.0
Phil Miller has announced the release of Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.0, an Arch-based live and installation CD featuring the KDE desktop: "The Chakra development team is proud to announce the availability of 'Jaz', our first live image using our stable repositories. We've been working hard since March 2010 on Chakra GNU/Linux. Ten developers hacking, packing and writing documentations for our new distribution. Chakra is a fork of Arch Linux. We are using Pacman but working on our own package management called 'akabei'. Since the split we created some confusion but we are going in the right direction. Over 5670 packages are now available for our new distribution and over 500 get installed by this media. Features: Linux kernel 126.96.36.199 with LZMA support, KDE SC 4.4.5, X.Org Server 1.7.7, Catalyst 10.6, NVIDIA 256.x and NVIDIA legacy series." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional details.
Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.0 - Arch Linux with the KDE desktop in a live CD
(full image size: 406kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
- Hadron GNU/Linux. Hadron GNU/Linux is a Gentoo-based binary and portable Linux operating system. The aim of this project is to create a powerful, optimised, modular, reliable and stable GNU/Linux distribution.
- PixieLive. PixieLive is a Gentoo-based distribution designed for netbooks.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 6 September 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
T2 is an open source system development environment (or distribution build kit if you are more familiar with that term). T2 allows the creation of custom distributions with bleeding edge technology. Currently, the Linux kernel is normally used - but we are expanding to Hurd, OpenDarwin and OpenBSD; more to come. T2 started as a community driven fork from the ROCK Linux Project with the aim to create a decentralised development and a clean framework for spin-off projects and customised distributions.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Tips and tricks: Command line weather, ionice, rename files, video preview snapshot, calednar, ls colour settings|
|Myths and misunderstandings: Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch|
|Tips and tricks: Running Fedora "Rawhide"|
|Questions and answers: Frustrated with lack of "polish"|
|Questions and answers: Smbclient|
|Questions and answers: Chatting with Jared Smith, Fedora Project Leader|
|Questions and answers: On PC-BSD's licence, development team and hardware support|
|Questions and answers: Display log files in reverse order|
|Questions and answers: Display log files in reverse order|
|Tips and tricks: Running the Linux-libre kernel|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|