| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 390, 31 January 2011
Welcome to this year's fifth issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The growing popularity of Arch Linux is reflected not only by the interest the distribution generates in online blogs and forums, but also by a growing number of derivatives that build on its solid foundations. One of them is Chakra GNU/Linux, a desktop-oriented live CD with KDE as the preferred desktop environment. Jesse Smith takes a recent version for a ride and discovers that it may still need some work before Chakra can be considered stable and mature. The feature story is followed by a brief news section that covers the much-publicised meeting of Linux distribution developers about a distro-agnostic application installer, gives links to several blog posts about the ongoing FUDCon, the Fedora developer conference, and presents a talk by the current Debian project leader who answers a question about why we should care about the world's largest Linux distribution project. Also in this issue, a quick tutorial about using chroot for a common task, the introduction of Turnkey Linux, and the regular sections about upcoming releases and new distributions. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First impressions of Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3.1|
Despite receiving several requests for a Chakra Linux review, it took me a while to get motivated to write one, mostly due to the project's website. Oh, it's attractive enough and well laid out and there's a wiki and a forum. The site didn't appear to be missing anything, but two things raised warning flags right away. First, the website claims Chakra is alpha stage software and I usually like to wait until after a project drops the alpha/beta/rc designation before I try it. The other warning flag was raised upon reading the Frequently Asked Questions section of the site. (Or rather one of the FAQ sections, there's another in the Wiki.) There are just three questions and answers presented regarding the reason for Chakra's existence and its ease of use. Each of the answers strikes me as being unusually defensive. For instance, in response to a question about whether Chakra is user-friendly we're told that "in contrast to many other distributions, Chakra does not hide the system under some obscure 'administrative layer' (automated scripts, bloated front-ends, funky daemons etc)". The statement ends with: "However, newcomers to Chakra must expect to read and have a do-it-yourself approach to just about everything; anything less and they will be disappointed. We empower you, and you must learn to handle that :-)".
To be clear, I'm not specifically complaining about just the Chakra team, they happen to be one project in a line-up which seem to think it's a good idea to respond to their users in a passive-aggressive manner. Apparently users who don't like Chakra either don't read enough or can't handle being empowered. Really, I'd be much happier if they simply acknowledged their project is targeting more advanced users. Additionally the FAQ tells us that users of "tons of Gtk applications" won't find a good fit with Chakra because "Chakra is a GTK+-free distro", though we're not told why the project isn't GTK-friendly. There is one aspect of the project which intrigued me and that is Chakra claims to be a semi-rolling release distro. The idea seems to be the developers will provide a stable base (the kernel & X) and end-user applications will receive regular updates. This could be a good idea as it would allow users to keep peace with the latest and greatest without worrying about their underlying system breaking.
Moving on to the technology itself, Chakra is downloadable as a 686 MB ISO. We begin our experience of the live CD with a graphical boot menu where we can select our preferred language. From there we're given a variety of boot options, including booting graphically, booting graphically on older machines and booting into a terminal. Taking the default option brought me to a KDE 4.5 environment featuring a blue background and a dark panel. On the desktop is a collection of icons for viewing licenses, reading documentation, visiting the project's forum, launching the installer, seeing a list of installed packages and there's an icon labelled "passwords". I decided to start with the "passwords" icon in case I would need to perform authentication later. Upon clicking the icon my system froze. I rebooted and this time Chakra locked-up before it finished loading the desktop. Going back and trying different boot options didn't get me any further.
At this point I double-checked that my downloaded ISO and burned disc matched the checksum provided by the Chakra developers. The check confirmed my disc was good and, not willing to give up so soon, I moved from my desktop machine to my HP laptop and booted from the Chakra CD. Here things got off to a better start. Once I was back on Chakra's desktop I was able to open files to get the system's default passwords, get a list of available packages and launch the installer.
Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3.1 - the default desktop
(full image size: 678kB, resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Chakra's installer is, so far as I know, unique to the distribution and carries the name Tribe. It starts off with a welcome message and a warning that Chakra is still alpha software and that "it could eat your hamster". Such are the risks we reviewers take. We're then shown the project's release notes and we move from there to picking our time zone & language settings. Though the time zone & language screen looks much like it does in other graphical installers, with an interactive map of the world, Chakra's puts a little spin on the ball by trying to guess our preferred language based on the location we choose. From there we're invited to create user accounts on the system and it's possible to make several. Unfortunately if you accidentally hit the add button more times than necessary there doesn't seem to be any way to remove an account, nor will the installer let you proceed without filling in all the fields for all accounts. In my case this ended up providing me with an account for myself and one for Rex, my vulnerable hamster.
The partitioning section comes next and people familiar with the Ubuntu or Fedora installer will have no trouble tackling this screen. Though the layout is a bit different, Chakra's installer provides an intuitive interface for dividing up the hard disk and assigning mount points. Most popular Linux file systems are supported. From here the installer gives us a break while it performs the partitioning, formatting and installing. We next come to an unusual screen with four sections. These sections allow us to choose whether to install GRUB, customize the ramdisk, install packages and download software. I confirmed I wanted GRUB and went through the ramdisk process. The install section I thought was odd because the installer had just spent 15 minutes telling me it was installing things. But to play along I asked it to install VLC from its list of available desktop software. When it was done I noticed the installer's Next button was still greyed out, so I went to the Download section and asked it to grab Firefox. That finished and, still, the Next button was inactive.
Having gone through all the sections and unsure of how to proceed, I followed the advice on Chakra's website which tells us we should be "willing to read documentation". I went to the site's documentation section, found the part on installation and scrolled down to find there isn't anything in the documentation about this part of the installer. At the time of writing there's nothing on the ramdisk, GRUB, download or package installation; the document jumps from partitioning into first-boot. Discouraged, but not yet ready to give up, I rebooted and launched the installer again, hoping my previous dead-end had been bad luck. This time through I got passed the partitioning stage and waited while the installer carved up the disk and copied over its files. The program crashed at 81% completion, not making it to the four-in-one section I'd encountered before. At this point I gave up on installation and moved on to playing with the live disc.
Since everything included with Chakra needs to fit on a CD, a CD which features KDE, there's a fairly small supply of available software. There's a document viewer, image viewer, instant messenger client and the Kaffeine media player. There's a small backup tool for backing up your KDE configuration, an encryption tool, archive manager and text editor. There's a Chakra Bundle Manager, which on my live disc doesn't appear to do anything, and a partition manager. For web browsing we have access to Rekonq, a small KDE browser. There's no compiler, no Java and no Flash plugin.
The application menu additionally has an item called CInstall which functions as the distro's package manager. This is a separate entity from the Bundle Manager and fills the role we generally expect from graphical package managers. CInstall provides us with a window that is divided into three panes. On the left is an alphabetical list of software, in the upper-right is a description of whichever package we have highlighted. Down in the lower-right corner is a list of pending actions, such as installing, removing or upgrading. The program functions predictably allowing us to check boxes next to packages to install them and uncheck to remove the selected software. The only wrinkle in the experience was each operation required the root password. For example, let's say I try to install gnuchess, CInstall asks for the root password and then performs the installation. If I then decide to install flashplugin I'm prompted for the password again. Otherwise I found operating the package manager to be a smooth experience. Its looks are a bit crude, but the functionality is certainly there.
Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3.1 - the package manager
(full image size: 119kB, resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Though I didn't manage to get Chakra running for more than a minute on my desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) I had no stability problems, outside of the installer, on my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). Performance was acceptable considering we're looking at a heavy desktop environment running from a live disc. My screen was set to a suitable resolution, audio worked out of the box and my touchpad was handled properly. Unfortunately my laptop's Intel wireless card was not detected.
Having tried Chakra I find myself in a bit of a reviewer's dilemma. The reason I tried Chakra was I had people telling me it was stable, despite the alpha branding, and that it was a wonderful fast, reliable, usable system. My experience was quite the opposite. Chakra failed to remain stable enough to launch applications, or sometimes even to finish booting, on my desktop machine. The installer either refused to complete or would crash, the Bundle application didn't work and the project lacked documentation in a key area. I was further put off by emoticons on the website and in my status messages. I realize these are hobbyists and Chakra isn't a professional distro, but I'm wary about handing my hard drive over to a product that writes messages akin to those found in the average Twitter feed. On the other hand, any criticism I can aim at Chakra can be swept aside with the project's "alpha" designation. The project plainly warns it's still in the early development stages and one should be prepared for bugs, crashes and hasmtericide. It's probably best to wait until Chakra is pronounced stable before giving it a try.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
openSUSE initiates a cross-disro application installer, Fedora developers gather at FUDCon, Debian talk at LCA
In the absence of any major announcements last week, perhaps the most interesting news story was about a "cross-distribution meeting on application installer", a collaborative conference that included developers from Debian GNU/Linux, Fedora, Mageia (a distribution set up by the former developers and contributors of Mandriva Linux), openSUSE and Ubuntu. Since we don't often see major distributions cooperating in this way, the conference was a fairly surprising move. Will we, one day, have a distro-agnostic website that would provide applications for easy installation? Izabel Valverde reports about the meeting: "Back in October, at the openSUSE Conference, several meetings and hallway discussions occurred on the topic of 'Installation of Applications' on openSUSE. As of today, we still have a very package-centric approach, while users usually do not think in terms of packages but in terms of applications: people want to use Firefox, LibreOffice or Frozen Bubble. We investigated the best way to approach this issue and come to a fast resolution. With several people from various distributions already working on some technologies that are related to this, we realized this could be a prime example of Collaboration Accross Borders."
* * * * *
FUDCon 2011, a three-day Fedora Users and Developers Conference, started in Tempe, USA last weekend. The first half of the conference covered some serious topics, such as Fedora's ARM port, cloud computing, the future of Fedora spins or a "sandboxed" X server, but it also included less formal gatherings in the form of a "FUDPub". Adam Williamson reports: "So far today I've been to Mo's awesome talk on using Inkscape - I think Mo is the only person who could possibly teach me to do anything good in graphics tools. I even made up a logo which you may or may not see pop up on this site when I'm on a network where I can actually get out to my web server. Followed that up with Maria 'tatica' Leandro's talk on photo editing with GIMP and other tools - really interesting to see her workflow and compare it with Mo's similar talk, and with the infinitely worse methods I use. Spot led a session where infrastructure team members pitched their ideas for the next big Fedora project and got feedback from the audience. All the ideas were pretty good and I wound up voting for all of them but one, which probably didn't help the team much, but hey." More blog posts from the conference by Christoph Wickert, Joerg Simon (with photos), Máirín Duffy and Mel Chua.
* * * * *
Another popular gathering of Linux developers took place last week in Brisbane, Australia. The annual Linux Conference Australia (LCA), which is often attended by well-known Linux personalities, was an occasion for current Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli to explain why people should care about Debian: "Zacchiroli outlined the uniqueness of Debian - it was a non-commercial distribution that was able to compete with other commercial distros, it was built collaboratively by experts and was the first major distribution to be developed exclusively in the spirit of the GNU project. Apart from this, Debian had two unique identifiers - its social contract (adopted in 1997) and its constitution (adopted in 1998), Zacchiroli said. 'The social contract ensures that the software is 100 percent free, that we give back every change to the upstream projects, that we don't hide problems and that our priorities are our users and free software,' he said. Debian was started in August 1993 and 17 years later it had around 30,000 packages, had done 11 releases, had 900 developers and 120 maintainers plus thousands of other contributors. "We have 12 ports and two non-Linux ports," Zacchiroli said. "And there are something like 120 derivatives based on Debian."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Getting-at-the-root-of-the-problem asks: What's a chroot and how do I use it?
DistroWatch answers: According to the chroot command's manual page, chroot is used to "run command or interactive shell with special root directory," which isn't a particularly helpful description. It might help if we envision the Linux file system as one large tree. At the base of the file system we have the root directory. Every part of the file system grows from there, so we can think of the /home directory as one branch and the /usr directory as another branch. Growing off of those are other directories, such as /home/bob and /home/susan. Branching further we might find /home/susan/Documents. All of these segments are attached to the directories above them, all the way back up to the root (/) directory. As far as the file system is concerned, there is nothing "above" the root directory.
The chroot command allows us to set up an environment where we treat a given directory as if it were the root, isolating that branch from the rest of the tree. Traditionally this has been used either to lock an untrusted program into an isolated part of the file system or to test complex systems without risk of harming the rest of the operating system. In recent years chroot environments have also been used to run 32-bit programs on 64-bit operating systems, keeping the 32-bit pieces separate. The difficult aspect of using chroot comes from the isolated directory needing to contain everything a user or program might need. Being cut off from the rest of the file system means users in a chroot environment don't have access to their regular collection of programs and documents. Copies of important files need to be recreated in the branch of the file system chroot will be using. This often includes a shell, system libraries and common commands.
If you'd like to see a chroot environment in action without having to do a lot of work up front, you can generally make use of a Linux live CD. Live CDs (and their ISO images) have a working operating system on them already, making them a good starting point. In the following example I'm mounting a Ubuntu CD image and accessing its live file system. First we create some mount points:
Next we mount the ISO image file:
mount -o loop ubuntu-10.04.iso livecd
In this step we access the compressed file system in the ISO and mount it under the "test-chroot" directory:
mount -t squashfs -o loop livecd/casper/filesystem.squashfs test-chroot
If we now look inside the test-chroot directory we will see a complete, working Linux file system. To lock ourselves inside that file system we can run:
We are now inside the chroot environment. Any commands we run will be trapped in the test-chroot directory. Commands such as rm, cp and apt-get are limited in their scope to our test-chroot branch and the directories below it. When we're done experimenting with our jail we can run "exit" to leave the chroot environment and return to normal. Once we're finished using chroot it would be a good idea to unmount the attached file systems:
As a security measure some network services will perform a chroot command on themselves, locking the program in its own safe corner of the file system. This behaviour is common in FTP servers as a way to protect the host computer in case the FTP program is somehow compromised. This self-containing action usually happens automatically and does not require assistance from the user.
Should you be interested in building your own chroot environment from scratch, I recommend reading through this document which includes tips on getting started.
|Released Last Week
Sabayon Linux 5.5
Fabio Erculiani has announced the release of Sabayon Linux 5.5, a Gentoo-based distribution and live DVD for the desktop: "Sabayon Linux 5.5 GNOME and KDE: stable release. Features: more than 1,000 updated packages and more than 100 bugs fixed; shipped with desktop-optimized Linux kernel 2.6.37 (Group Scheduling patch, TuxOnIce, Aufs 2.1) and glibc 2.11; cutting-edge X.Org graphics stack (Mesa 7.10, X.Org Server 1.9, 2.6.37 kernel, KMS-enabled, Gallium3D, best performance with OSS drivers); providing the best AMD/ATI and NVIDIA Linux desktop out-of-the-box experience; providing extra server-optimized, OpenVZ-enabled, VServer-enabled kernels in repositories; installable in 10 minutes; containing GNOME 2.32 and KDE 4.5.5 (KDE 4.6.0 will be available through updates)...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
TurnKey Linux 11.1
Liraz Siri has announced the release of TurnKey Linux 11.1, an Ubuntu-based set of highly specialised virtual appliances available as installation CD images or virtual images: "Part 1 of the TurnKey Linux 11 release is now officially out, including 45 new images based on Ubuntu 10.04.1. Part 1 mostly refreshes the existing roster of appliances in the library. In the upcoming part 2 we'll release the new appliances the community has been helping us develop over the last year. This will roughly double the size of the library. A handful of new appliances have also been squeezed in: Joomla 1.6, Magento, StatusNet, PrestaShop and vTiger CRM. This was mostly a side effect of the original (misguided) plan to do one big massive release with over 80 appliances." The detailed release announcement includes a list of changes since the release candidate and a few hints about future plans.
ArchBang Linux 2011.01
Willensky Aristide has announced the release of ArchBang Linux 2011.01, a lightweight distribution showcasing the Openbox window manager, based on Arch Linux. Some of the features of this release include: "Lighter than before; new look; login as root works after installation; still a text-based installer but fully functional; documentation included; source files available in the download section; coming with X.Org video drivers for maximum compatibility; we are taking advantage of Openbox's tiling window functions. Once you have installed ArchBang, if you want Thunar to detect all your partitions, install gvfs by typing in the terminal 'packer -S gvfs'." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshot of the default desktop.
ArchBang Linux 2011.1 - a lightweight distribution with Openbox
(full image size: 1,562kB, resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3.2
An updated stable release of the Arch-based Chakra GNU/Linux, version 0.3.2, was released yesterday: "The Chakra development team is proud to announce our second point release of Chakra GNU/Linux 0.3 series, codenamed 'Ashoc'. This time we moved core-testing and platform-testing to our stable repositories and redesigned our testing repositories. Also X.Org got updated and fixed some known issues. Our tools got fixed and work even better than before. Due some issues with SourceForge we uploaded the images to our backup server. Feel free to mirror the images. What changed: Linux kernel 2.6.37 series; X.Org 7.6 stack with Mesa 7.10; X.Org Server 188.8.131.521; updated X.Org drivers; KDE SC 4.5.5; updated Chakra tools; known bugs fixed in Tribe." For more information please see the release announcement.
Lucas Holt has announced the release of MidnightBSD 0.3, an operating system (forked from FreeBSD 6) with a goal of creating an easy-to-use desktop environment with graphical ports management and system configuration: "I'm happy to announce the availability of MidnightBSD 0.3. i386 ISO images are available on our FTP server and amd64 should be available in the next day or so. MidnightBSD 0.3 includes exciting new features such as support for ZFS, mDNSResponder for multicast DNS, libdispatch, AMD CPU temperature monitoring, updates to the Linux emulation layer and the OpenBSD sensors framework. This release includes a large merge from FreeBSD 7.0-RELEASE. Several new scripts have been added to make it easier to manage the system. One of these is netwait in rc.d. It allows you to wait for a network interface to come up while booting to ensure network activity is ready." Read the detailed release notes for more information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- Turnkey Linux. TurnKey Linux is an Ubuntu-based virtual appliance library that integrates some of the best open-source software into ready-to-use solutions. Each virtual appliance is optimised for ease of use and can be deployed in just a few minutes on bare metal, a virtual machine and in the cloud. The growing list of virtual appliances, each of which is available as a CD image or virtual machine image, include Bugzilla, Django, Drupal, File Server, Joomla, LAMP, Magento, Mantis, MediaWiki, MoinMoin, Moodle, MovableType, MySQL, Openbravo, phpBB, PostgreSQL, ProjectPier, Rails, Revision Control, StatusNet, Apache Tomcat, Torrent Server, Trac, TWiki, vtiger, WordPress, Zimra and others.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Parabola GNU/Linux. Parabola GNU/Linux is a 100%-free flavour of Arch Linux. It is built on top of Linux-libre, a kernel without proprietary blobs and non-free firmware, and includes GNU IceCat, a libre fork of Mozilla Firefox that doesn't recommend non-libre add-ons.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 7 February 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Wazobia Linux was a Nigerian commercial distribution based on Red Hat Linux. Developed by Leapsoft Ltd Nigeria, the product includes a user-friendly operating system, together with a complete set of desktop applications, such as office suite, web browser, instant messaging client, multimedia viewers, and graphical software. It also offers the latest open source applications for developing software, setting up a home network, running a web server, and more. The product, which includes installation media, printed documentation and installation support, was currently available in Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo as well as English, with ongoing translations into other African languages.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Tips and tricks: Improved package stability coming to FreeBSD/PC-BSD|
|Questions and answers: Blocking applications at the firewall|
|Questions and answers: Open-source applications for live streaming, difference between desktop environments and window managers|
|Questions and answers: Blocking, filtering and logging web content|
|Questions and answers: Setting up home server, experiment with rolling releases|
|Questions and answers: The size of the Linux kernel|
|Tips and tricks: Choosing good passwords|
|Questions and answers: Private communication and backups with GPG|
|Tips and tricks: Running Mandriva "Cooker"|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|