| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 388, 17 January 2011
Welcome to this year's third issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The various Ubuntu re-spins continue to create controversy in the Linux distro world. Some people are tired of all the newly remastered builds of the most popular desktop Linux distribution, while others welcome the diversity and new ideas that some of them bring to the table. Today we take a look at a relatively recent arrival at the scene - a user-friendly operating system called Zorin OS. Read on to find out how it fared in our test. In the news section, Arch Linux continues to receive positive coverage in the media, Debian announces a release candidate of its installer for "Squeeze", Ubuntu presents a modified variant of its Unity desktop for less powerful computers, and OpenIndiana gets ready for the first stable release of its operating system recently forked from OpenSolaris. Other topics covered in this issue include PC-BSD plans for the year 2011, statistics of online sales by a major vendor of media containing free operating systems, and a Q&A section that deals with creating a swap file on Linux. Today's issue of DistroWatch Weekly is a big one, so go and get a cup of your favourite beverage before you scroll down to the view the content. Happy Monday to all!
- Reviews: Introducing Zorin OS 4
- News: The Arch way, Debian installer RC, SimplyMEPIS boot problems, Ubuntu Unity 2D, Mint on Banshee, OpenIndiana release proposal, PC-BSD 2011 plans
- Statistics: OSDisc.com sales in 2009 and 2010
- Questions and answers: Creating a swap file
- Released last week: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6, DEFT Linux 6, PelicanHPC 2.3
- Upcoming releases: Pardus Linux 2011, openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 6
- New distributions: KeeP-OS, Parsidora, Porteus, Sn0w L1nuX
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (11MB) and MP3 (30MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Introducing Zorin OS 4|
Zorin OS is, according to the project's website, an easy-to-use, fast operating system which attempts to be useful straight out of the box. The distro appears to be targeting people who have, up to this point, been using Windows and the project makes much of its ability to ape the Windows GUI and run Windows applications through WINE. The project offers us the Core edition of their OS for free and charges a small fee for their premium editions. Zorin's website includes a news section, a page for frequently asked questions, a support forum and on-line store. All of this is well laid out, navigation is easy and I found the design appealing. The Core edition of Zorin OS 4 is downloadable as a DVD image and weighs in at 1.17 GB.
Booting from the Zorin DVD brings up a boot menu which allows us to boot into a live desktop environment, a desktop environment with safe graphics settings, a text-based environment, or kick off the installer. I opted for the default graphical environment. A short time later I was presented with a GNOME desktop featuring a night sky background. Large navigation icons and a launcher for the installer were placed on the desktop. A task switcher and an application menu were displayed along the bottom of the screen. The first quirk I ran into with Zorin was that clicking on either the application menu, or the logout button on the task bar, would cause just the top item in the corresponding menu to be displayed. Everything else on the menu was hidden. I soon found that either moving the task bar to the top of the screen or changing the system's theme would cause the menus to display properly.
After a few minutes of poking around and finding no other problems, I kicked off the system installer. Zorin is based off Ubuntu and the installer will feel familiar to anyone who has installed Ubuntu or one of its spin-offs. We select our preferred language, configure partitions, select our time zone and keyboard layout. We then create a user account. Once a partition layout is finalized the installer begins formatting the drive and copying over files. I suppose this is done to make the installation process shorter because we start copying data sooner while the user is still making choices. Though that may have been the intent, it didn't work in my case as the installer locked-up about 90% of the way through. It sat and did, apparently, nothing for over ten minutes before continuing with the process. The installer eventually finished and I rebooted.
Zorin OS 4 - the software center
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In the last quarter of 2010 I found the latest Fedora and Red Hat install discs couldn't turn control over to the local hard drive on my machines. I ran through the same scenario with Zorin, leaving the DVD in my drive post-install and selecting the option to boot from the local disk. Zorin handed control over to the locally installed boot menu without any problems. (It's nice to confirm the problem wasn't with my hardware.) As stated before, Zorin has its roots in Ubuntu and that shows up in a number of ways, especially the branding. The boot menu, for example, lists Zorin as Ubuntu. Zorin, in its attempt to be welcoming to Windows users has a default look & feel much like Windows 7. I tried this for a day, trying to stick with the Zorin defaults, but I found the application menu to be slow and its behaviour flaky and I eventually used the system's "Look Changer" to switch to the system's default GNOME theme. This essentially sets up the user's desktop with the normal Ubuntu-style layout.
Early on there were other small annoyances beyond the menu and theme. For example, the first time I ran the software update tool, it informed me that it couldn't connect to all of the software sources, many of which were PPAs. Once the update application had fetched a list of new packages, I chose to update everything. After some thinking, the update tool told me some of its sources weren't trusted and halted the process. Eventually I convinced the update application to download and install the available updates. Another issue I ran into straight out of the gate came when testing Zorin's Windows compatibility via PlayOnLinux. The first time I launched PlayOnLinux, it threw up four windows and insisted on downloading updates, grabbing new fonts, checking for available software and then it froze. I tried again some time later and managed to get through the long string of updates and checks, but it wasn't a smooth experience and I don't imagine it would be a welcome one for new-comers.
Zorin OS 4 - the web browser and media player
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Browsing through the application menu we find quite a collection of software. There's Chrome 8 for web surfing, Evolution, OpenOffice.org, Transmission, Empathy, Rhythmbox and VLC. There's the usual collection of GNOME configuration tools to adjust the look & feel of the desktop and Ubuntu Tweak is included. There is a graphical firewall utility, a program for handling Windows wireless drivers, Ubuntu One and a backup program called Back In Time. Some smaller applications, such as Tomboy Notes, a text editor, calculator and an assortment of games are available too. For developers the GNU Compiler Collection comes pre-installed. Behind the scenes, I found Zorin included codecs for playing popular video and audio formats. The Flash browser plugin is also installed for us.
There are two graphical package managers on the system. Synaptic is available for people who like its way of doing things. It may not be the most attractive package manager around, but it gets the job done. Also available on Zorin OS is the Ubuntu Software Center. Unlike Synaptic, the Software Center seems to change a little with every release. I find its current layout to be intuitive and the way software is broken into categories and statuses appeals to me. Among the various groups of software are the standard open source programs offered through Ubuntu's repositories. There are also partner repositories, featuring such items as the Opera web browser, Chrome, Adobe Reader, Skype, Flash, World of Goo, multimedia codecs and other pieces of popular software. Though I didn't perform any serious tests, I felt Software Center was more responsive this time around than it has been in the past.
Zorin OS did fairly well with my hardware. On my desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) everything worked as expected. My screen was set to a suitable resolution, audio worked without any problems and performance was smooth. On my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) things were good, but not great. My laptop's screen resolution wasn't optimal, which I think may have led to the application menu problem I mentioned earlier. Audio worked out of the box, and my touchpad worked well. Unfortunately I didn't get my Intel wireless card working. This is a device which generally works on the Ubuntu family of distributions, so I was disappointed to find it lifeless when running Zorin. Memory usage was in the usual range and Zorin ran smoothly in a virtual machine with 512 MB of RAM. Below that point I found the system tended to swap and performance degraded.
Zorin OS 4 - scheduling backups
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When I do these reviews I try to spend a week with the distribution to get a feel for how it performs with day-to-day tasks. Most of us spend more time working with operating systems than we do installing them and I think a review should reflect that. In this particular case I'm glad I stuck with Zorin, because after the first day I was ready to write it off. During my first day the application menu didn't work properly, I was thrown into a Windows 7 themed environment, the installer stalled, the update manager gave me a string of error messages, PlayOnLinux crashed and (while I realize this is a personal choice issue) I was disappointed to find Zorin defaults to the Chrome web browser. At first glance, Zorin OS appeared to be Ubuntu with a bunch of additional software carelessly thrown on top. At the end of Day One my instinct was to wipe my hard drive and try the next distro on my list.
However, I am glad I didn't. After the first wave of issues, using Zorin became a pleasant experience. With the regular GNOME theme in place, the desktop behaved properly, I encountered no further problems or warnings from the update tool, my second trial with PlayOnLinux worked fairly well and I found that Zorin came with a solid collection of tools for a desktop machine. Once the default theme and web browser were swapped out, I enjoyed my time with Zorin. It comes with a wide range of applications and the codecs I wanted were all there. Performance was pretty middle-of-the-road, neither outstanding, nor sluggish.
In conclusion, while the rough start makes me think Zorin isn't a good choice for computer novices, it may be good for Linux novices who were formally Windows power users. The system is set up to appeal to that crowd and, for someone who wants a large collection of software available and doesn't get scared off easily, I think Zorin is a good option.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
The Arch way, Debian installer RC, SimplyMEPIS boot problems, Ubuntu Unity 2D, Mint on Banshee, OpenIndiana release proposal, PC-BSD 2011 plans
After being around for nearly a decade, the community-run Arch Linux has become a preferred choice of many intermediate and advanced Linux users. This is partly due to its keep-it-simple philosophy, but also due to its rolling-release update mechanism that doesn't require a re-install every few months. Last week Kevin Bush from Linux Journal took the latest version of the distribution for a spin and reported about the results in the article entitled The Arch Way: "You love tinkering with your computer. You've tried Ubuntu and Fedora, and they're good, but you feel something is not quite right. Maybe you don't like all those daemons loading on boot, or maybe you want to build your Linux desktop stack just how you want it? Perhaps you're completely new to Linux and want to learn exactly what makes a Linux workstation tick? It's time for you to try Arch Linux. Arch Linux is often called the binary Gentoo - an appropriate description. Arch gives you a full but simple command-line base to build on, but unlike Gentoo, Arch uses i686 or x86_64 optimized binary packages instead of source code."
* * * * *
The first release candidate for Debian Installer for "Squeeze", the upcoming new version of Debian GNU/Linux, was announced last week by Otavio Salvador: "The Debian Installer team is pleased to announce the first release candidate release of the installer for Debian GNU/Linux 'Squeeze'. Improvements in this release: Linux kernel updated to 2.6.32-29; updated artwork for 'Squeeze' theme (#603554); fixed Finnish keymap in graphical installer; fixed usability issues with very long questions about accepting firmware licenses when some non-free firmware is used; fixed mklibs segfaults on static objects; avoid reloading modules that have a network interface that is already configured; support the new suite name for 'volatile'; fix text of examples in debconf templates to fit the new partition numbering scheme in GRUB 2; fix resolv.conf writing of manual entered values in case DHCP doesn't supply them...." The new Debian Installer CD images are available for download from the project's website.
* * * * *
With the upcoming release of Debian GNU/Linux 6.0, many Debian-based distributions are also finalising their products. One of them is MEPIS Linux, a user-friendly distro featuring the latest KDE desktop. But as Susan Linton reports on OStatic, the upcoming SimplyMEPIS 11 is plagued with problematic boot issues affecting many beta testers: "SimplyMEPIS 11.0 Beta 1 was released last week, but again is plagued by start problems for many people. All during the SimplyMEPIS 11 development cycle boot problems have stopped many users from testing. Unfortunately, and probably the root of problem, is that this occurs for only some of the users with little hardware in common. To compound the issue, the boot issues haven't been caused by the same reason to the same people each release either. With so much variation, it can be very difficult to nail down corrections. For example, the first four alphas would stop booting immediately after the GRUB screen for many testers. Some identified the issue possibly as device naming conventions listed in the GRUB menu. Some could get to the GRUB edit screen to overcome, some couldn't."
* * * * *
Ubuntu's rapidly evolving changelog has been causing concern among some of its users, especially the upcoming switch to a brand-new desktop called Unity which would leave users with less powerful hardware on the sidelines. Luckily, Canonical has now accepted that the Unity situation in its original state isn't ideal and has announced Unity 2D, a variant that can be used without graphics acceleration. Michael Larabel in Canonical's Working On A Unity 2D Desktop: "Back in October there was the very controversial news that Canonical would be replacing the GNOME Shell with their own Unity project as the default desktop shell for Ubuntu 11.04 and going forward. The original version and specification for Ubuntu Unity (and as found in Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook) required 3D acceleration and would use Compiz as its compositing window manager. For those without the necessary graphics drivers to support the functionality, Canonical's plan for Ubuntu was to have it fall-back to the traditional GNOME desktop and inform the user of their sad graphics support. However, now Canonical's developing a 2D version of Unity for such scenarios. The "Unity 2D" desktop is to provide a Unity environment without the need for OpenGL or any accelerated graphics drivers." Web Upd8 has also commented on the subject and included a few screenshots.
* * * * *
If Ubuntu's frequent announcements about radical changes to its distribution leave you unimpressed, a good alternative to consider is Linux Mint. The project has so far resisted most of the dramatic changes that Ubuntu couldn't, including the infamous toolbar button placement move and the switch to the Unity desktop. More recently, the project's founder, Clement Lefebvre, announced that, unlike Ubuntu, it didn't see the need to switch to Banshee as the default music player: "Linux Mint currently uses Rhythmbox as the default music player, but what will happen when 'Natty' comes with Banshee pre-installed? Clement Lefevre said: 'Rhythmbox is our default player and we're quite happy with it. If Ubuntu switches to Banshee, we'll of course give it a close look and assess whether the migration is a good move for us too, but as it is now there isn't any plan to change anything.' Clement earlier told me that despite Ubuntu's switch to Unity, 'we are not planning to switch to Unity but to keep our desktop as similar as it is at the moment. So it's hard to say how we'll achieve this technically but we're aiming at using GNOME without GNOME Shell.'"
* * * * *
The OpenIndiana project which was created as result of Oracle's closing of OpenSolaris, is inching towards its first stable release. To prepare for the landmark event, the OpenIndiana developer community has published a release proposal which encourages feedback from users. Alasdair Lumsden writes: "Prior to the Oracle takeover, Solaris 10 was free to use in production, and for a long time, security updates were provided free of charge. OpenSolaris was also free to use, and updates were available by living on the bleeding /dev edge. People were (mostly) happy. Then Sun hit financial difficulties and discontinued free security updates for Solaris 10. Then Oracle happened, ending the free use of Solaris in production. ... We have a real opportunity to capitalise on the situation left by Oracle, to capture server market share away from OpenSolaris, Solaris 10, and give users a migration path other than switching to Linux (which a lot of people are doing). There are a lot of people out there who really really want a stable build of OpenIndiana - myself included, and I believe OpenIndiana's best chance of gaining acceptance, market share, and building a thriving development community is by capturing the server market."
* * * * *
Finally, a report about the PC-BSD project's plans for 2011, as summarised by FreeBSD News. According to Kris Moore, the founder of the most popular FreeBSD-based operating system for the desktop, this year should bring not only a minor update to the current 8.x series, but also a new major release, version 9.0, based on FreeBSD 9.0: "For 8.2, it is mainly a release to include the latest FreeBSD 8.2 / KDE 4.5.4. Also some bug fixes are present for advanced partitioning, letting the user select between MBR/GPT, and easily toggle between UFS+S/ZFS. On the 9.0 front, we've implemented a new system of 'meta-pkgs' which will let users customize their particular desktop based upon the available packages in the release. This means we can now select alternative desktop environments, such as GNOME, KDE, LXDE, Xfce and others. In order to accomplish this, all of our tools have been re-written in pure Qt 4, removing any requirements for KDE 4 to be present. Related to this, we've re-implemented our PBI system to be 100% shell, allowing it to run on native FreeBSD and not be particular about the window-manager being used."
|Statistics (by Ladislav Bodnar)
OSDisc.com sale statistics in 2009 and 2010
Measuring the market share of the various free operating systems is never easy, but the more elements we include in our estimations, the more accurate the results should be. Today we present another interesting data source - the sale of CDs, DVDs and USB media by one of the largest online vendors of media containing free operating systems - OSDisc.com. Ramsey Brenner, the founder of the online store, was kind enough to provide DistroWatch with the sales figures for 2010 which we then compare with those generated a year earlier. The results are summarised in the table below.
Looking through the numbers, many utility distributions, such as SystemRescueCd or Parted Magic continued to be extremely popular with the store's customers, while KNOPPIX is also selling far better than many of us would have expected. Perhaps the most obvious increase in popularity was marked by Linux Mint whose market share of total sales more than doubled from a year earlier to 7.73% and which is now the third most sought-after distribution at OSDisc.com. Also interesting to note is the fact that many of the big KDE-based distributions lost market share last year - most notably Mandriva (from 3.75% to 2.52%), Kubuntu (from 2.28% to 1.56%) and MEPIS Linux (from 2.07% to 1.19%). Ubuntu has only just managed to retain the first position in 2010, but once we include other Ubuntu-based distributions, such as the above-mentioned Linux Mint, Xubuntu and Ultimate Edition, it's clear that Canonical's operating system continues to dominate the sales figures at OSDisc.com.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Creating a swap file
Running-out-of-memory asks: I originally installed my system without a swap partition and that has become a problem. I'm using up all my memory and now I want to have swap space. Can I add this somehow, or do I have to re-install?
DistroWatch answers: You can add swap space without re-installing. Before we look at that option, let's explore some other possibilities. For instance, if you're right on the border of having enough memory you might look at reducing the amount of physical RAM you need. If you're using one of the heavier desktop environments (GNOME or KDE) you can save quite a bit of memory by switching to Xfce or LXDE. Depending on the machine you have and your resources, you might also look at adding more RAM to your computer. In an ideal world we want to keep our data in RAM, rather than rely on swap space.
However, if you do need to create some swap space it's not required that you give swap its own partition. Modern versions of the Linux kernel have greatly improved performance when it comes to accessing swap files. This makes creating a swap file far more appealing than re-installing or resizing your existing partitions to make room for a swap partition. Let's walk through the process of creating a 1 GB swap file.
First we need to create an empty file, 1 GB in size. We do this with the dd command. You will need to have root permissions (or sudo access) for the following commands to work:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/my_swap bs=1M count=1024
In this case the "1024" means we're creating a 1GB file, "512" would result in a 512MB (half a GB) file, "2048" would create a 2GB file, etc. Next we have to format our file so it can be used for swap space.
We now have a swap file and we need to tell the system to start using it.
The next step is to make sure your operating system remembers to use this swap file again after you reboot the machine. We do this by opening the file /etc/fstab in a text editor and adding this line at the bottom:
/mnt/my_swap none swap sw 0 0
Save your changes to /etc/fstab and you're done. The next time you boot the machine you can run
to make sure your swap file is in use. The "swapon -s" command displays all swap spaces currently in use and you should see /mnt/my_swap listed in the command's output.
|Released Last Week
Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3.1
Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3.1, an Arch-based distribution featuring the latest KDE desktop, has been released: "The Chakra development team is proud to announce our first point-release of Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3, code-named 'Ashoc'. We backported some fixes we did lately in our testing repositories. What changed: Linux kernel 2.6.36 series; Linux kernel 2.6.35 LTS series (optional); X.Org 7.5 stack with Mesa 7.7; X.Org Server 1.7.7; updated X.Org drivers; KDE SC 4.5.5; known bugs fixed in Tribe. For those who use UNetbootin to create USB media for install or choose automated settings for burn-speed to create a CD/DVD, your media will probably not work for a Chakra install, please follow this guide. For how to apply our xdelta patches read this one." Here is the brief release announcement.
Michael Creel has announced the release of PelicanHPC 2.3, a Debian-based live CD for high performance computing clusters formerly known as ParallelKnoppix: "PelicanHPC 2.3 is available. From this release forward, Debian 'Squeeze' will be the base for PelicanHPC, until further notice. Also, PelicanHPC is henceforth available only in a 64-bit edition. There are no major changes since version 2.2, apart from the newer versions of most packages. In particular, the kernel is now at 2.6.32, and Xfce is looking sharp at version 4.6.2. In the move from 'Lenny' to 'Squeeze' as the base, the Ganglia monitoring system has stopped working, because the configuration files have not yet been updated. I would be happy to receive gmond.conf and gmetad.conf files that cause the installed version of Ganglia to work properly on PelicanHPC. KSysGuard still works well as a cluster monitor, though." Visit the project's home page to read the brief release announcement.
DEFT Linux 6
Stefano Fratepietro has announced the release of DEFT Linux 6, a Lubuntu-based live CD featuring some of the best open-source applications dedicated to incident response and computer forensics: "I'm happy to announce that DEFT 6 is out. DEFT 6 is based on Lubuntu with Linux kernel 2.6.35 and with the best free computer forensic tools; it is a new concept of computer forensic live system, ewflib-ready, that uses WINE for running Windows computer forensics tools under Linux. This is a list of changes made to the release candidate version: update FTK Imager from 2.9 to 3; update Digital Forensic Framework from 0.8 to 0.9; added Xmount 0.4.4; added mount_ewf utility; wrong Guymager release, now it's version 0.5.7; fixed ISO image MD5 file check; fixed some grammatical errors." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
DEFT Linux 6 - a Lubuntu-based live CD with tools for computer forensics
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6
The legacy series of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) has been updated to version 5.6: "Red Hat is pleased to announce the availability of the latest update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, release 5.6 (with kernel 2.6.18-238.el5)." Changes in this release include: "the installer in 5.6 automatically makes several attempts to connect to the repository and downloads the required package when it is available; improved driver support for devices required during the installation process; libvirt has been updated to version 0.8.2, enabling sVirt, a technology included in RHEL 5 that integrates SELinux and virtualization; virtio-serial driver has been added, enabling vmchannel capabilities on RHEL 5.6 guests operating on a RHEL 6 hosts...." See the release announcement and release notes for a detailed list of changes and improvements.
Michael Tremmer has announced the release of IPFire 2.9, a specialist Linux distribution for firewalls that focuses on easy setup and high security: "After the last maintenance release in November 2010, the developers are proud to release a new version, 2.9. About 400 different changes were implemented in this build and there were about one hundred testers that have installed at least one of the beta versions. IPFire has got a new service that is called 'fireinfo'. This can be enabled as an option and it sends anonymous information about the system to the project. We strongly recommend the users to enable this feature so that we can learn from the statistics that are collected. IPFire 2.9 is based on the latest Linux kernel 22.214.171.124 which will be maintained by the kernel developers for several years. So all of the integrated patches will get into IPFire as well." Read the detailed release announcement for further information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 24 January 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Damn Small Linux
Damn Small Linux was a business card size (50MB) live CD Linux distribution. Despite its minuscule size it strives to have a functional and easy to use desktop. Damn Small Linux has a nearly complete desktop, including XMMS (MP3, and MPEG), FTP client, links-hacked web browser, spreadsheet, email, spellcheck (US English), a word-processor, three editors (Nedit, nVi, Zile [emacs clone]), Xpdf, Worker (file manager), Naim (AIM, ICQ, IRC), VNCviwer, SSH/SCP server and client, DHCP client, PPP, PPPoE, a web server, calculator, Fluxbox window manager, system monitoring apps, USB support, and soon it will have PCMCIA support as well. If you like Damn Small Linux you can install it on your hard drive. Because all the applications are small and light it makes a very good choice for older hardware.