| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 382, 29 November 2010
Welcome to this year's 48th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The acquisition of Novell by Attachmate Corporation and some unfounded reports about Ubuntu switching to a rolling-release model were the main events of the otherwise uninspiring week. But away from these headline-making stories there were some interesting reports about Debian's new(ish) package classification system called "debtags" and Jolicloud's new Jolibook netbook with the latest version of the cloud-oriented distribution. Read more about these stories in the news section below. This week's feature article should satisfy those readers who enjoy smaller and lesser-known Linux distributions as it takes a quick look at Upstream OS, Fuduntu and LightDesktop - three projects that few of us have even heard of. The Q&A section then discusses the differences between the distributions that largely use vanilla upstream packages and those that modify them heavily in order to create a better integrated user experience. All this and more, together with all the regular sections in this week's DistroWatch Weekly - happy reading!
- Reviews: Triaging a trio - Upstream OS, Fuduntu and LightDesktop
- News: Attachmate acquires Novell, openSUSE project "safe", Debian's new package classification system, netbook distro group test, Jolicloud Jolibook review
- Questions and answers: Using a distro with upstream packages
- Released last week: Tiny Core Linux 3.3, Ultimate Edition 2.8 "Games"
- Upcoming releases: DEFT Linux 6, Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 1, Pardus Linux 2011 Beta 2
- New distributions: Kajonix, linuxacessivel.org, Oz Unity
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (13MB) and MP3 (27MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Triaging a trio|
A little while back I did a rapid-fire review of three distributions in one set. A few readers e-mailed to ask if I would do this again with new projects and this seemed like a good time to honour those requests. I grabbed three distributions which had recently been added to the DistroWatch waiting list and gave them each a one-day test run. Here are my first impressions of these projects in no particular order.
* * * * *
Upstream OS 6.0
Upstream OS is a distribution which was put together using SUSE Studio. The project's website says Upstream OS exists to act as a base for other projects. That is, a developer can clone Upstream OS and use it as a starting point for their own distro. This mission statement seems to be a bit on the redundant side as I consider it to also be the purpose behind SUSE Studio itself. The rest of the website is elegant, but sparse on information. I like the layout and it's easy to navigate, but there isn't much information about the distribution yet. There is a forum for asking questions and some screen shots available.
The project's downloadable ISO weighs in at about 650 MB and I took Upstream OS for a ride. On booting from the live disc, Upstream OS displays a pleasant splash screen and a boot menu. The options are pretty standard and I went with booting into the live environment. I was a bit surprised by what happened next. The YaST configuration tool appeared and asked me to select my preferred language, keyboard layout and time zone. The system then went to work checking existing packages and configuring things. Please bear in mind the system isn't installing at this point, it goes through this configuration process each time the computer boots from the CD. The whole process took about two minutes on my machine.
After that, the system brought up the distro's graphical login screen. There's no hint as to the username/password so, after trying a few combinations, I went back to the website. A forum post on the site provided the default login information. Once logged in, I was presented with a KDE 4.4 desktop with a soft blue background. The application menu features a list of common software, mostly the usual little apps that come with any full-sized distribution. There are a few surprises though, for example Firefox appears to be missing in favour of Chromium. The Wine compatibility software is also included straight out of the box. Otherwise, the system is essentially a standard openSUSE 11.3 bundle.
Kicking off the installer starts YaST 2. As with the parent distribution, Upstream was unable to display the installer's license agreement file, but still demands the license be accepted before proceeding. After that, it was an easy few steps to provide locale information, setup a regular user account and confirm the suggested partition layout. The installer carved up my disk, copied over its files and prompted me to reboot the computer. So far, things were going well. However, once I booted my new installation, Upstream kicked off the first-run configuration. Part of the configuration process includes downloading a collection of files from the Internet (I suspect to check for updates).
The configuration wizard was unable to download the desired files and, when asked if I wanted to retry or abort the process, I selected "Abort". At which point the config tool began the process again, failed, and started over again. Eventually it locked up and I rebooted. This time around Upstream informed me the first-run configuration had failed and that it would skip that step. It brought me to a graphical login screen where I discovered my regular user account, which I had requested during the install process, had not been created. My root password had been set, but instead of creating the non-root account I wanted, the system had copied over its regular account from the live disc. It's one of those things that are easy to fix, but I shouldn't have to, especially since the problem didn't appear in vanilla openSUSE.
From there in things went fairly well. Upstream OS is, essentially, openSUSE 11.3. It features the powerful YaST configuration tool and can make use of the same software and repositories. Performance on my machine was fair, not great, but not particularly slow either. The system is attractive, stable, but so far as I can see, doesn't offer anything above and beyond what the openSUSE team provides.
Upstream OS 6.0 - the login screen
(full image size: 271kB, resolution 800x598 pixels)
* * * * *
Next up is Fuduntu, a new distribution which claims to be filling the gap between Fedora and Ubuntu. From the project's website I assumed this would combine the technology base of Fedora with the user-friendly enhancements of the Ubuntu family. The website is pretty bare at the moment, including a brief introduction and providing a 900 MB ISO download.
Booting from the offered live disc brought me to a GNOME desktop which looks very much like the Fedora 14 desktop, but with a green grass background as opposed to the regular blue theme. The application menu is placed at the top of the screen and has, mostly, the same contents as Fedora's. The main differences being Fuduntu includes GIMP and the Jupiter screen configuration tool.
Firing up the system installer shows that it is the same as Fedora's with just the branding changed. I ran through a quick install, taking the defaults wherever possible and, fifteen minutes later, was prompted to reboot. I was then guided through the first-run Setup Agent which helped me customize the system and gave me the opportunity to submit a Smolt hardware profile.
Upon arriving again at the desktop, I played around with the applications, did some web surfing and used the package manager and update tool. Fuduntu uses the YUM package manager and pulls packages and updates from Fedora's repositories. There is one Fuduntu-specific repository as well which contains customized packages -- for instance, I believe the project provides a custom kernel with the BFS scheduler enabled.
On the topic of updates, after I upgraded to the project's latest kernel, I rebooted and was presented again with the first-boot Setup Agent. The Setup Agent insisted on walking me through my configuration and creating another user account. This only happened the once and future reboots didn't cause the first-run wizard to launch, but it did strike me as odd that I had to run through the setup twice, a problem not encountered during my time with Fedora.
After playing with Fuduntu for an afternoon I came to the conclusion that there are no signs of Ubuntu in this distribution which claims to "fit somewhere in-between Fedora and Ubuntu." This is, for all practical purposes, Fedora 14 with the GIMP, some codecs and OpenOffice pre-installed. These are nice extras to have, but it comes at the cost of a larger ISO. The project's website talks about improvements to performance using BFS and cgroups, but I can't say I saw any improvement over plain Fedora 14. If anything the additional software loaded at login time seems to increase the time between login and a usable desktop environment and the cgroups settings would occasionally result in error messages being printed to my terminal sessions.
Fuduntu 14 - exploring the included applications
(full image size: 135kB, resolution 1024x768 pixels)
* * * * *
Third on my list of distributions is LightDesktop. This project stands out in a few ways from other distros I've tried recently. The distribution is, in the website's own words, "a teensy Linux distribution that tries to boot off of the web. The install/live CD/live USB image is smaller than 32 MB. Because I hate X Window, it doesn't have it - it uses a Qt running on a framebuffer." The website is nicely laid out in black & white with nice big buttons for navigation. The site also has some screenshots and a quick rundown of what comes included with the distro (basically a web browser and a virtual console). At times I wasn't sure if LightDesktop's creator has a sense of humour about the project or if they just weren't sure how to express themselves. For instance, the download page includes the following instructions for transferring an image to a USB flash drive: "To get the USB thingee working, you have to dd it to the partition you want."
But I'm not here to quibble over terminology, I'm here to see what LightDesktop can do. The CD image is a mere 27 MB and starts off with a GRUB (Legacy) boot menu. We then move to a graphical login screen where I was able to gain access by using the username "root" without a password. The desktop environment is bare bones with a green background and three buttons in the upper-left corner of the screen. One button brings up a menu and the other two launch a terminal and web browser respectively. Maintaining its unusual approach to things, LightDesktop's browser is the Qt Demo Browser (version 0.1). The menu button brings up some options for "About" information, wireless configuration, an installer, an application directory, and the option to shutdown. On my system the wireless configuration button didn't do anything and clicking "Application Directory" brought up the project's website.
The system's installer is a plain text program which asks on which partition we want to install LightDesktop. It then sets about formatting and copying over files. Unfortunately for me though, after the install completed without any errors my machine refused to boot. Being left with the live disc to experiment with I found there wasn't much remaining to investigate. The terminal app worked as expected, the web browser is light on features, but worked well enough for browsing most pages. Both programs were slow to load, but otherwise ran trouble-free.
Honestly, where LightDesktop is concerned I am uncertain as to whether I'm missing a key feature or it just doesn't do anything interesting yet. The project is focused on cloud computing, but aside from the browser it doesn't appear to offer any applications. If this project continues I think it could turn into an interesting minimalist, cloud-oriented distribution. A step beyond what Peppermint is doing in regards to relying on the cloud.
LightDesktop - the web browser
(full image size: 27kB, resolution 1027x766 pixels)
* * * * *
All in all it was a disappointing week for me. Upstream OS provided me with a lengthy start-up process which hit a few bumps along the way. Fuduntu is basically a Fedora clone with GIMP and OpenOffice, driving up the size of the ISO. LightDesktop's concept intrigued me, but the project needs to add some applications and improve on the installer before I would recommend it. It's at least trying something different and I believe that to be worth while. I found it interesting that both Upstream OS and LightDesktop booted into login screens rather than automatically loading the desktop. Fuduntu's concept of having a different scheduler and some tweaks to swap are interesting ideas, but I think the project would be better off presenting itself as a Fedora community spin rather than a separate distro.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Attachmate acquires Novell, openSUSE project "safe", Debian's new package classification system, netbook distro group test, Jolicloud Jolibook review
The biggest news of the week was the (not entirely unexpected) acquisition of Novell, the maker of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server distributions and the principal competitor of Red Hat in the enterprise Linux space. The lucky suitor is called Attachmate Corporation, a Seattle-based company that "provides software for terminal emulation, legacy modernization, managed file transfer, and enterprise fraud management." But perhaps more interesting than the acquisition itself was a mysterious transfer of some intellectual property to a consortium backed by Microsoft. Groklaw provides some juicy details and assumptions in "Novell Sells Some IP to a MS-Organized Consortium": "Novell has sold itself to Attachmate Corporation. There is a side deal selling 'certain intellectual property assets' to CPTN Holdings LLC, 'a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft'. SUSE goes to Attachmate, I gather, and will be a separate unit, so what goes to Microsoft's consortium? No doubt we'll find out in time. It is being reported that what it will get is 882 patents. Blech. How many does Novell own? Is that all of them? If so, will we get to watch Son of SCO, but with patents this time? But keep in mind that the WordPerfect litigation could be in this picture, and I wonder if this could be a kind of deal to tactfully settle it out, with Microsoft paying to end it this way?"
* * * * *
Ever since Novell acquired openSUSE there has often been a sense of uncertainty surrounding the popular Linux distribution. Will a free software project which does not generate much revenue survive amid the heated discussions in boardrooms of a multi-million dollar corporation? The question was surely asked once again last week. Luckily, Attachmate has come out with an early statement, putting any fears over the future of openSUSE to rest. Pascal Bleser reports on behalf of openSUSE developers and provides a reassuring quote from the project's new owner: "'The openSUSE project is an important part of the SUSE business,' commented Jeff Hawn, chairman and CEO of Attachmate Corporation. 'As noted in the agreement announced today, Attachmate plans to operate SUSE as a stand-alone business unit after the transaction closes. If this transaction closes, then after closing, Attachmate Corporation anticipates no change to the relationship between the SUSE business and the openSUSE project as a result of this transaction.'" The Register also covers the story in an article entitled "Attachmate: Novell's openSUSE project is 'safe'".
* * * * *
Debian GNU/Linux is the largest Linux distribution in existence. With nearly 34,000 binary packages in its unstable branch and growing with every week, how do you find the program, package or library you need? Debian developer Raphaël Hertzog has written an interesting article about Enrico Zini's debtags, a package classification system. From "A high-level search interface for Debian packages" as published at LWN: "The Debian archive is known to be one of the largest software collections available in the free software world. With more than 16,000 source packages and 30,000 binary packages, users sometimes have trouble finding packages that are relevant to them. Debian developer Enrico Zini has been working on infrastructure to solve this problem. During the recent mini-debconf Paris, Enrico gave a talk presenting what he has been working on in the last few years, which 'hasn't gotten yet the attention it deserves'. Enrico is known in the Debian community for the introduction of debtags, a system used to classify all packages using facets. Each facet describes a specific kind of property: type of user-interface, programming language it's written in, type of document manipulated, purpose of the software, etc. Its purpose is to allow advanced queries over the database of available packages."
Still on the subject of Debian GNU/Linux, a quick reminder that the 7th revision of "Lenny" was released late last week: "The Debian project is pleased to announce the seventh update of its stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (codename "Lenny"). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments to serious problems. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away 5.0 CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated. New CD and DVD images containing updated packages and the regular installation media accompanied with the package archive respectively will be available soon at the regular locations. Upgrading to this revision online is usually done by pointing the aptitude (or apt) package tool (see the sources.list(5) manual page) to one of Debian's many FTP or HTTP mirrors."
* * * * *
What is the best Linux distribution for netbooks? If you are still searching for that perfect fit for your small-screen computer, then read this interesting group review, published last week by the Linux User magazine. Once you'll get to page five of the article you'll learn that the winner of the test is Jolicloud 1.0: "Jolicloud is hands down the most impressive Linux distribution designed for netbooks. Discarding the tried and tested desktop metaphor and building a new interface from scratch is a risky proposition, to say the least. But Jolicloud's developers did a fantastic job of developing an interface that not only makes the most of the netbook's limited screen estate, but is also intuitive enough even for non-technical users. But the look is only part of Jolicloud's appeal. The distro boasts a few unique features that make it a truly cloud-oriented and social computing platform. The system makes it supremely easy to install conventional and cloud-based applications, and the ability to sync them between multiple machines is a real boon for netbook users."
More good news on the Jolicloud front as the project is now offering its own colourful netbook (called Jolibook) with a brand-new Jolicloud 1.1 pre-installed. Engaget has tried the device and wrote a Jolicloud Jolibook review, which includes some nice close-up shots of the device. The conclusion? "The Jolicloud Jolibook -- oh, it's a real product, and it's an interesting one at that, but one we're not entirely sure you need for £279 (US$443). Don't get us wrong, we love the Cloud-based operating system and there's nothing quite like it out there right now (well, at least until Chrome OS arrives), but when you consider that most netbooks with Windows 7 Starter cost around £229 (or US$299 in the US) and that you can download the Cloud OS for free the value proposition isn't all that great. ... If you're looking for a netbook that's all about Jolicloud, the Jolibook and its crazy lid will fit the bill, but if you're not all about one Linux OS, giving up Windows, or having a cartoon all over your netbook you're best just scooping up one of our preferred netbooks like the Toshiba Mini NB305 or HP Mini 5103, downloading Jolicloud 1.1, and making a Jolibook of your own." Readers in the United Kingdom can now preorder the new Jolibook from Amazon.co.uk.
A preview build of Jolicloud 1.1 is now available for download and testing.
(full image size: 75kB, resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Using a distro with upstream packages
Somewhere-in-the-stream asks: Are there benefits to using a distro that stays closer to upstream packages?
DistroWatch answers: There can be, though the differences will probably be less apparent (especially to most end users) than many other facets of a distribution. One nice thing about distributions which stay close to upstream and try to patch as little as possible (i.e. Slackware or Fedora) is that what the user ends up running is very close to what the original author of the software intended. From a developer's point of view, keeping close to upstream can be beneficial because it's easier to make patches for the distro which can then be pushed upstream. However, possibly the biggest benefit for a user using a distro which is close to the original package source is there are fewer places to report a bug.
For example, if you find a bug in Fedora, there are really just two places to report the issue in order to get it (hopefully) resolved. That's the Fedora bug tracker and, if that doesn't yield results, the source of the software, the original project. And chances are if it's fixed in either place, all Fedora users will have the fixed package shortly. However, if you're using a distro that's further downstream it can become a longer process. A bug report against a package in Mint might result in the user being told the issue lies in Ubuntu. Maybe the Ubuntu package doesn't have a maintainer assigned to it, so you try filing a report with Debian. The Debian developer then replies that the issue lies with Ubuntu or Mint, not with Debian. Contacting the upstream project may result in a fix or they might tell you a patch applied to the Debian package is causing the problem. It can become a long line of people dodging responsibility and patches being ignored. Once the bug is fixed, it can take a while for the fix to float up- or down- stream so that everyone benefits.
On the flip side, an advantage to using a distro which is further downstream is that software has passed through a few hands and thus been subject to formal or informal bug testing before it arrives in your repository. Once again, using a cutting edge, close to upstream distro like Fedora means you're getting software straight from the source and you could be one of the first people to use it and discover whether it has problems. People using a distro which is further downstream have more users (informal beta testers) between themselves and the source.
In general I find downstream distributions are more interested in polishing the end-user experience. Zenwalk makes Slackware more user-friendly, Mint makes Ubuntu more desktop-ready at install time, etc. The upstream distros tend to be more interested in producing a solid foundation.
Each of these is sort of a best/worst case scenario though and the end user isn't likely to notice differences based on their position in the flow of software. Something else which may come up is distribution expiry. If a user is running an original distribution (Slackware, Debian, Fedora) the project is either alive or it isn't. On the other hand, if you're running a distribution which is based on Zenwalk, which is based on Slackware, the question of whether your distro will survive takes on an added dimension. Then it's no longer a binary matter of whether the distro lives or dies but a case of if the chain of distros has a weak link. If you plan to keep using the same distribution for a long time, it's a good idea to check the pulse of all the distributions above yours.
|Released Last Week
Andrew Gillis has announced the release of VortexBox 1.6, a Fedora-based Linux distribution that turns an unused computer into an easy-to-use music server or jukebox: "We are pleased to announce the release of VortexBox 1.6. This release has Fedora 14, 4K sector driver support, and support for USB 2 and 192/24 USB DACs. The main goal of this release was to get VortexBox on a more current release of Fedora. This has many benefits including faster boot time, faster files transfers, and better hardware compatibility. The ability to support USB 2 is huge for users of high-definition USB DACs and USB s/pdif converters. Until now VortexBox could only support 96/24 playback. As always our goal is to create the easiest-to-use auto ripping CD and NAS solution. Thanks to the many VortexBox and SqueezeBox community members that helped with testing and features on this release." Here is the short release announcement.
Tiny Core Linux 3.3
Robert Shingledecker has released Tiny Core Linux 3.3, a minimalist desktop distribution in 10 MB: "Team Tiny Core is pleased to announce that Tiny Core 3.3 is now available. Change log: new FLTK integrated file manager, fluff, file associations; new FLTK minimal editor, on System Tools menu, and called via File Manager, configurable file associations; updated AppBrowser - integrated setdrive; new wbarconf replaces wbar_exclude - manage all icons (system and ondemand), as well as bar placement; new wbar_mv_icon for support of wbarconf; updated ondemand, appsaudit, and wbar_setup for single ondemand dir; updated flwm_initmenu - to support combined single ondemand directory; updated cpanel WbarConf replaces TCE Update; updated and reorganized boot help screens; updated Control Panel reorganization, moved more frequently used items to the System Tools menu...." Read the rest of the changelog for a detailed list of updates in this release.
BackTrack 4 R2
SOffensive Security has announced the release of the second respin of BackTrack 4, an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a collection of security tools for digital forensics and penetration testing: "Yes, the time has come again -- for a new kernel, and a new release of BackTrack. Code-named 'Nemesis', this release is our finest as yet, with faster desktop responsiveness, better hardware support, broader wireless card support, and streamlined work environment. The run down: Linux kernel 22.214.171.124 with a much improved mac80211 stack; USB 3.0 support; all wireless injection patches applied, maximum support for wireless attacks; a revamped Fluxbox environment for the KDE challenged; Metasploit rebuilt from scratch, MySQL db_drivers working out of the box; updated old packages, added new ones; new BackTrack Wiki with better documentation and support...." Read the full release announcement for further details.
Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.4
Phil Miller has announced the release of Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.4, an Arch-based distribution featuring the KDE 4.4 desktop: "The Chakra development team is proud to announce the availability of our fourth and last point-release of 'Jaz', the live CD using our stable repositories. During the last days our stable repositories got some new updates. This is done to prepare the KDE SC 4.5.4 build which goes directly into stable next weekend. Also we updated the toolchain to be even faster in compiling. Under the hood we still use the 2.6.33 kernel series. I'll try to backport the autogroup-scheduler to give this kernel more speed. The image uses larch8 now, which is more advanced and simplified for our needs. Features: Linux kernel-126.96.36.199-2 with LZMA support, KDE SC 4.4.5, X.Org Server 1.7.7; ATI Catalyst 10.8, NVIDIA 256 and legacy." More details in the release announcement.
Ultimate Edition 2.8 "Games"
Glenn Cady has announced the release of Ultimate Edition 2.8 "Gamers", an Ubuntu-based live DVD featuring some 48 games: "Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers is unlike any other gamer's edition built in the past. Besides the updates, many tools have been ripped out of Ultimate Edition 2.8, prior to the build to maximize room for additional games. In Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers you will not find OpenOffice.org, we are here to play games right? This does not mean you will not have a media player, just the very basics and a vast quantity of high-quality games. The newest PlayOnLinux is also included to allow installation of Windows games. What games have been pre-installed? Urban Terror, Armagetron Advanced, Gunroar, Hedgewars, Kobo Deluxe, Pingus, BZFlag, Chromium B.S.U., Grid Wars 2... A new repository filled to the hilt with games has also been pre-added to allow the end user to install additional games." The release announcement.
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Quirky 1.4, a mini-distribution by the founder of Puppy Linux, but built with a different toolkit: "Yes, this is an official public release. The main purpose of releasing Quirky 1.4 is to test my experimental simplified module loading and interface configuration boot scripts (codename 'zzz'). This is supposed to improve the detection and setup of sound, analog modems and 3G modems, and maybe more peripherals. 1.4 differs from 1.3 in that it is built from the Wary 5 PET packages, of which the main feature is X.Org 7.3. Also an older kernel is used, 188.8.131.52 and the live CD includes the complete collection of analog modem drivers as used in Wary, plus SCSI drivers. There are some new features, in particular, a 'heavy duty' file downloader backend for the Puppy Package Manager and Video Upgrade Wizard." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Pardus Linux 2011 roadmap update
The developers of Pardus Linux have published an updated roadmap leading towards the upcoming release, version 2011. This is now expected in the second half of January. From the mailing list message by Gökçen Eraslan: "We decided to make changes in Pardus 2011 release dates, taking into account date deviation and ambiguity at stable versions of Firefox and LibreOffice which are the most important applications used in Pardus and also estimated date of the new kernel release that provide more device support. As you know, Firefox 4.0 version was postponed recently to the beginning of the 2011  and we do not want to include the old version of the browser. In addition, LibreOffice needs a little more time to become more stable. We also want to include the latest release of the Linux kernel." The second beta release of Pardus Linux 2011 is expected later this week.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
- Kajonix. Kajonix is a German live CD, based on KNOPPIX, with an integrated PHP content management system called Kajona.
- linuxacessivel.org. linuxacessivel.org is a Brazilian Ubuntu-based distribution with improved accessibility and usability features.
- Oz Unity. Oz Unity is an easy-to-use Ubuntu-based distribution and live DVD created by the Australian Ultimate Edition team.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 6 December 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 853 (2020-02-17): Calculate Linux 20, the /e/ phone in 2020, IPFire improves DNS features, Slackware introduces PAM, SparkyLinux introduces MystiQ|
|• Issue 852 (2020-02-10): EasyOS 2.2, cloning one disk to another, overview of new elementary OS features, Container Linux nears its end of life, Unity8 on Debian|
|• Issue 851 (2020-02-03): KaOS 2020.01, dealing with low-memory performance, Linux Mint plans for LMDE4, WireGuard merged into Linux kernel|
|• Issue 850 (2020-01-27): FuryBSD 12.0, Fedora's CoreOS, Kubuntu's official laptop, Ubuntu dropping Amazon launcher, live distro performance|
|• Issue 849 (2020-01-20): Zorin OS 15.1, elementary OS team plans future features, PhinePhone now shipping, Peppermint team says good-bye to Mark Greaves|
|• Issue 848 (2020-01-13): elementary OS 5.1, accessing USB ports directly, NetBSD expanding Wayland support, Fedora phasing out old Python packages|
|• Issue 847 (2020-01-06): Android-x86 9.0, Hypberbola switching to BSD base, Debian votes on init diversity, slow adoption of Wayland and delta packages|
|• Issue 846 (2019-12-23): NomadBSD 1.3, Tails publishes boot fix, Arch update requires intervention, Purism launches server lineup, password protecting files|
|• Issue 845 (2019-12-16): OpenIndiana 2019.10, BunsenLabs' "Lithium" preview, MX-Fluxbox, 10 years of Tails, installing local packages|
|• Issue 844 (2019-12-09): Project Trident Void alpha, alpha installer for "Bullseye", SparkyLinux portable edition, dealing with large log files|
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, 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|
|• 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, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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Mayix was a Gentoo-based Linux live CD with GNOME as its default desktop. The project also develops a "stage4" CD, which allows users to install a full Gentoo Linux desktop system in under one hour.
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.