| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 426, 10 October 2011
Welcome to this year's 41st issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The OpenIndiana project, under one name or another, has had an eventful couple of years. The project has passed from Sun to Oracle to an independent community of developers. This week Jesse Smith takes a look at the project's latest release and reports on whether OpenIndiana has managed to land on its feet. In the news section we cover Red Hat's latest acquisition and Ubuntu's new attempt to attract application developers. We also celebrate the return of kernel.org, the home of Linux, and share some security tips from the kernel.org team on how to detect if your system has been compromised. We also talk with Fuduntu developer Andrew Wyatt on the philosophy of the project and how the Fuduntu team plans to handle packages once the distribution moves away from its Fedora base. We wish you a pleasant week and, as always, happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (19MB) and MP3 (29MB) formats
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
OpenIndiana - back and better
The last time I took OpenIndiana for a test run it was back when the project was first getting up and running. At the time they'd just moved away from the OpenSolaris project and were in the process of moving things over and getting their infrastructure in place. Predictably running a development release of a new project in the midst of a major change wasn't a smooth experience. At the time some applications didn't work properly and, though the project's work with file system snapshots was coming along nicely, the newborn OpenIndiana wasn't yet ready to face the world. Well, some time has passed, a new stable release (version 151, Desktop edition) is here and it's time to see what a fully formed OpenIndiana can do!
OpenIndiana's live disc is approximately 800MB in size. Booting off the DVD causes the drive to whir for a while and we're then presented with a text menu asking us for our keyboard layout. Next up we're asked for our preferred language. With this information entered OpenIndiana brings up a GNOME 2.30 desktop. The background is a pleasant blue and we find our application menu and notification area at the top of the screen. On the desktop are icons for launching the Device Driver Utility (more on that in a second), the system installer and GParted. The Device Driver Utility is one of my favourite aspects of the DVD. Launching the DDU shows us a list of hardware on our system. Any devices which do not have working drivers are highlighted, letting us know there is a problem with using the hardware. The Utility also allows us to specify the location of a new driver, if one is available, in order to get the device working. Under previous releases we could additionally send our hardware profile to the upstream project (Sun Microsystems). However, since the switch from Sun to Oracle to the OpenIndiana brand it seems this feature has been dropped, at least for the time being.
The project's installer should feel familiar to Linux users, especially those using novice-friendly distributions such as Ubuntu and Mageia. The graphical installer begins by showing us a welcome screen and advises us that the installer can be used for fresh installs only, upgrades are not supported. The partitioning screen is fairly simple. We can either create partitions or hand our entire disk over the installer. OpenIndiana's installer only supports one partition type, so there is no decision to be made in regard to file systems. We then set the system time and select our preferred language. The next screen asks us to set a root password and create a regular user account. I found the whole process to be smooth and painless with the install taking about the same amount of time as a similarly sized Linux distro.
OpenIndiana 151 -- System Installer
(full image size: 599kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
My first impression of OpenIndiana, post-install, was that it has a feel similar to, for example, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. We're given a classic GNOME desktop, a few application and some administrative tools. There are a few services running, including a mail server and a secure shell server. The desktop is quiet and uncluttered.
In the application menu we find a fairly basic array of desktop software. A copy of Firefox 3.6 is included, as is the Pidgin messenger client and the Thunderbird e-mail program. There's a document viewer, disc burner and CD ripper. We're given the Totem movie player and the Rhythmbox audio player. A screen reader and virtual keyboard are included as accessibility options. The operating system provides the usual collection of GNOME configuration apps for changing the look and feel of the desktop and small, useful applications, such as a text editor, archive manager and calculator. OpenIndiana also comes with a set of administrator utilities. We have a package manager, an application to update software on the system, a user account manager and a firewall configuration app. We're also given a configuration tool for handling Time Slider, which we will touch on later. Java is included in OpenIndiana. I didn't find any compiler on the system and it was no surprise that Flash is not included as I am fairly certain Adobe doesn't make a plugin for OpenIndiana/Solaris. Users looking for a multimedia experience will be disappointed to find the operating system doesn't support popular audio or video codecs out of the box.
OpenIndiana 151 -- Running Firefox
(full image size: 499kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
One quirk of the system I ran into early on is that, upon installing OpenIndiana, the root password expires. This means trying to use any of the graphical admin tools won't work because we are prompted for the root password, which then isn't recognized. We're not told why it doesn't work, only that our access is denied. This can be a bit frustrating since we created a root password at install time and, when we go to create a new one post-install, we can't use the same (or a similar) password. At any rate, once a new password has been set on the root account most of the admin tools work smoothly and I found them pleasant and intuitive. All, that is, except the firewall app. For some reason the firewall application refused to acknowledge either my regular user password or the root password, insisting I didn't have the proper access to change the firewall.
Package management on OpenIndiana is handled about the same as it is on the mainstream Linux distributions. For adding and removing software there is a graphical package manager which bears a resemblance to Synaptic. Software categories are displayed on the left side of the window and a list of packages in that category are shown on the right. Clicking on a package marks it for installation or removal. Updating software also works much the same way as on Linux. A small update app, when launched, will search for available updates, display them for us and grab the fresh packages. It's pretty much the same interface we see on Ubuntu and Fedora. The big difference when dealing with software, for me, was seeing what was (or was not) available. For instance, I didn't find any productivity suite in the repository, nor any popular multimedia software and no alternative desktop environments. When I went looking for a compiler I found a package labelled "gcc-3" ("The GNU C Compiler"), which is several years old. In total, OpenIndiana features just over 3,100 packages, about a tenth of the total found in Debian and its derivatives.
OpenIndiana 151 -- Managing Packages
(full image size: 613kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
OpenIndiana got along well with my desktop system (2.5GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card). The desktop was fairly responsive, even with effects turned on, and my screen was set to its maximum resolution. Audio worked out of the box, my network connection was detected and everything ran smoothly. In fact, the operating system reminded me that I have a dial-up modem in that desktop machine. It's been quite some time since I used the modem and I tend to forget it's there, but the Device Driver Utility let me know it had found the Conexant modem and didn't have any matching driver. Moving over to my laptop (dual-core 2GHz CPU, 3GB of RAM, Intel video card) the experience was fair, but not quite as smooth. OpenIndiana was unable to work with my Intel wireless card and it had a little trouble with the Intel video card too. Most of the time my screen was displayed normally, but I would occasionally get some flicker, which I don't usually see when running Linux distros. Otherwise performance on the laptop was good and, as long as I had a wired Internet connection available, there weren't any serious problems.
For most OpenIndiana users, who are more likely to be interested in using the operating system as a server rather than as a desktop, this probably won't be an issue, but I found the operating system was slow to boot on both of my machines. The OS would take a few minutes to go from boot menu to usable desktop, about four times slower than Linux on the same hardware. When running in a virtual environment I found OpenIndiana would run fairly well as long as it had at least 1GB of RAM with which to work.
One of the features included in the operating system I am really pleased with is the Time Slider. OpenIndiana allows us to set up automated file system snapshots, which is fairly normal for operating systems running ZFS. Where OpenIndiana takes it a step further is the way in which we can access those snapshots. The user is able to open the file browser, click on the clock icon and see a sliding bar showing existing snapshots. We can easily "slide" backward in time and see the file system as it was at points in the past. It's really quite intuitive and I found it easier to get used to than the equivalent commercial products from closed source vendors. Another aspect of the system I enjoyed was the accessibility program, which keeps an icon next to the desktop clock. Clicking on the icon brings up a menu allowing us to enable such features as large fonts, high-contrast colours, key press delays and sticky keys. No doubt these features will make the environment more attractive to a wider audience.
OpenIndiana 151 -- Administrator Tools
(full image size: 533kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I have a soft spot in my heart for Solaris and, by extension, the OpenIndiana project, so I will admit to being biased. That being said, I do think the current release is the best we've seen to date from the open source branch of Solaris. The bugs I encountered in past releases have been fixed and I ran into very few problems. The Time Slider is great and the Device Driver Utility is helpful in checking hardware compatibility and I would very much like to see clones of these tools appear in Linux distributions. On the other hand there are some issues which I suspect will keep people in the Linux and BSD camps from rushing to adopt OpenIndiana. Hardware support may be an issue for some people, at least it was a problem on my laptop, and the software repository is quite small and lacking many popular packages. While using this operating system I got the impression it's directed at people who want to run a server with a graphical desktop component, rather than people who want to run a desktop with a server component. In this way it is similar to products like Mandriva's Enterprise Server. OpenIndiana may not appeal to a lot of people, but I do think it's the easiest way to gain familiarity with the ZFS file system and it's a free way to get hands-on experience with Solaris.
Red Hat has its head in the clouds, kernel.org is back on-line and Ubuntu is trying to attract more app developers
Red Hat has decided to increase the company's stake in cloud computing. Last week the leading commercial Linux company announced they will be acquiring Gluster, a "provider of scale-out, open source storage solutions for standardizing the management of unstructured data." In regards to the purchase Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens stated, "With unstructured data growth (such as log files, virtual machines, email, audio, video and documents), the 90′s paradigm of forcing everything into expensive, single-system DBMS residing on an internal corporate SAN has become unwieldy and impractical." The deal is said to be costing Red Hat approximately $136 million and places the open source vendor in a position to offer more cloud-based solutions.
* * * * *
The kernel.org website is back on-line after a month of down time for maintenance. The site is home of the Linux kernel and is used both as a place to download vanilla kernels and as a host for developer git source trees. Back in August it was revealed the security of kernel.org had been breached and services were taken off-line. The site administrators have used this time to "rearchitect the site in order to improve our systems for developers and users of kernel.org."
When we talk about security we often deal with preventive measures, strong passwords, small attack surfaces and security patches. However, half of the battle is knowing when your walls have been penetrated and what to do about it. To that end, in the wake of the kernel.org security breach, this how-to was posted detailing steps one can take to check their system for infection. The steps range from fairly simple to more involved checks. It's a good, practical guide for the curious and the concerned.
* * * * *
The Document Foundation, the organization behind LibreOffice, is celebrating its first anniversary. The project lists over 300 contributors with code commits coming from a variety of areas, including SUSE developers, Red Hat and former OpenOffice developers. Engineering Steering Committee member Norbert Thiebaud says of the project, "Thanks to a very welcoming attitude to newcomers, to the copyleft license, and to the fact that it is not requesting any copyright assignment, The Document Foundation has attracted more developers with commits in the first year than the OpenOffice.org project in the first decade." It's a big claim, but the download numbers indicate The Document Foundation is doing something right. According to project member Italo Vignoli, they "have just exceeded 6 million [downloads] from our mirror system and get to 7.5 million with the addition of external sites (like Softpedia) offering the same download. Over 90% are Windows downloads, while MacOS
is around 4%. Linux is a different story, as most users do not download LibreOffice but get it from the distribution repository." He goes on to estimate that approximately 15 million Linux users have installed LibreOffice in the past year.
People interested in getting involved with The Document Foundation, the OpenDocument format or productivity software in general may be interested in the upcoming LibreOffice Conference in Paris. The conference will run October 12-15.
* * * * *
The Ubuntu team has launched a new app developer website. This site exists to help and encourage application writers to develop new software for Ubuntu's Software Centre. The site welcomes open source and proprietary licenses as well as both free (as in cost) and commercial software. The new Ubuntu developer site includes instructions, mailing lists, FAQs and a video tutorial on how to create, package and publish new apps. With the site's statement "Ubuntu is the third most popular operating system in the world" it seems Canonical is hoping to both entice new developers to publish software on Linux and use the Ubuntu Software Centre to generate revenue for the company and software writers. The move has the potential for a three-way win for Ubuntu, users who want a wider range of software on Linux and developers who want to get their projects included into a major distribution without jumping through licensing hoops.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
A look behind the curtain, part 2
A few weeks ago I received the following question:
"I'd like to know more about how a distribution works. I suspect the
answers differ across the spectrum, but how are they organized, why do
they do what they do, what are the costs and how do they meet them? I
guess I understand Red Hat, as a commercial venture, but what about
Last week we shared an answer from Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre. This week Fuduntu developer and founder Andrew Wyatt steps up to the mic to share his insight into how and why the Fuduntu developers do what they do. He has also agreed to explain how the small Fuduntu team handles their large repository of packages and how they will continue to do so in the future as they move away from their Fedora base.
Andrew "Fewt" Wyatt (Fuduntu) answers: First, a little history about Fuduntu. When I created Fuduntu, I didn't do so with the intent that it would ever become a very active Linux distribution with many users and contributors. To be honest, I didn't expect it to be used by anyone other than myself.
The very first version was nothing more than Fedora 14 with a few tweaks and packages that I normally installed on my computer(s) wrapped up into a live DVD for me to use to install everything on my second computer. My only goal with the creation of Fuduntu was to learn more about the process of building live media by building a live DVD. During this process I also created a repository to host package changes that I knew I would make in the future.
Once I had finished the installation, I had the thought that it may be useful to others that used similar settings so I created a new project and uploaded it to SourceForge expecting it to remain idle.
Surprisingly, people started showing some level of interest almost immediately. This lead to the creation of a simple website, a forum, and a lot more work to bring the distribution to a level of maturity necessary for use by many people rather than a distribution intended to be used by a single person.
As the distribution grew so did the team, we brought active forum members on as moderators, and posted a public invitation for contributors to join the team.
During this phase of growth the team decided that a democratic approach to distribution development was important, and we crafted a few rules of how we govern things. In the process we decided that we would not brand some team members as "moderators" and others as "developers", as we were one team.
Fuduntu follows a few simple guiding principles in order of importance.
Falling in line with those principles are the rules under which we build and maintain Fuduntu.
- Have fun. If we aren't having fun, we are doing it wrong.
- Every voice counts - Our community is our most important asset, Fuduntu without users holds no value.
- Build a great Linux distribution that people will want to use.
In the beginning stages, Fuduntu was developed in a rapid series of short sprints each of which were followed by a release. This helped fix a lot of problems very quickly and deliver those fixes to users.
Over time the distribution matured, and this process was re-evaluated and deemed to no longer be necessary. A quarterly release approach was adopted, and Fuduntu now releases installation media quarterly. Our most recent release being Fuduntu 14.11, released September 20th .
We standardized and automated parts of the build process, and we utilize a hybrid waterfall approach to package delivery. This means that all packages delivered to a Fuduntu repository are built on servers dedicated to building packages for Fuduntu. Several physical servers (and a few desktops) all configured to the same "version" of Fuduntu are available to the packaging team who follow a standard process to build and promote software through multiple tiers of development and testing before landing in our stable repository.
When a request or other notification is received by a Fuduntu team member that a new version of software is available:
This allows the majority of bugs to be found and corrected before releasing software to the wider Fuduntu population. Once a server is determined to be idle for N minutes with zero users (or screen sessions) it will automatically power off.
- The Fuduntu team member powers on one or more servers over the internet (WOL/I).
- The team member pushes the new source code in some format to the server(s).
- Changes are made if necessary, and the software is compiled.
- The software is pushed to a "development" repository for localized testing on multiple computers.
- Once the software is deemed ready for testing, it is moved from the development repository to a testing repository.
- A notice is posted at Fuduntu Forum that new software is available for testing, with a request for comments.
- Once tested by at least two other members of the team or community, the software is pushed to "stable".
Major package changes are documented, and available for any team member to be able to pick up a package and build a release should new source become available while the formal maintainer is unavailable. We have several automations that inform us of new software as it becomes available allowing us to react quickly.
As we move towards a rolling release, many automations will be developed. One technology we are designing will:
- Watch for new source
- WOL an idle server
- Initiate a build
- Stage built software packages for internal review
Fortunately, Fuduntu is relatively inexpensive to maintain. Our normal costs include things like hardware, power, domain registration, and other small expenses. We utilize Google Adsense which covers the costs of domain renewals, power, and any other small expenses; and we hold donation drives for larger purchases. For example, we hosted a donation drive in April to fund procurement of two "out of service" IBM 1U servers to use as build hosts, earning the needed funds in less than one week.
To keep utility costs low, we have a lights out policy with automations to power off systems when they aren't needed.
Fuduntu packages and web content are hosted by SourceForge who recently updated their FRS service to allow hosting yum repositories directly within their file replication service itself. Their project web service provides web hosting for the primary website and forum, and they offer an internal MySQL service which hosts the forum back end.
These free services have been critical to the success of our project, and we can't thank them enough for providing them to the community.
Why we do what we do
This is simple, we do it because it's fun. Members of our team all came together with a common goal. That goal is that we believe we can improve "Desktop Linux" in a way that makes it better for ourselves, and others that choose to use it. Ultimately, we are putting our money where our mouths are. That said though, we don't have any particular purpose, agenda or mission other than to have a lot of fun, oh and by the way, we build a Linux distribution too.
|Released Last Week
Parted Magic 6.7
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 6.7, a new stable version of the project's specialist live CD designed for data rescue and disk management tasks: "Major enhancement release with many updates. Most notable updates include Linux 3.0.4 and GParted 0.9.1. We have dropped the legacy PCManFM for PCMan-Mod, and man is it nice! Lots a little PCManFM bugs that have existed for years are now quashed. Xfburn replaces SimpleBurn for burning CD/DVD media. Chntwd was added to the boot menu. Adding Luxi fonts improved international language support. Although it's not the newest release, Firefox is updated to version 6.0.2 and is compiled for i486 (official branding included) with permission from the Mozilla Foundation. OpenSSH is updated to 5.9p1 with the ECDSA key created by default. People have been complaining about Parted Magic being hard on laptop batteries, so CPU frequency scaling on anything with a battery is now set to 'on-demand' at boot." Visit the distribution's home page to read the release announcement.
AgiliaLinux, formerly known as MOPSLinux, is a Russian distribution with roots in Slackware Linux, but equipped a custom installer and package manager. Today the project announced the release of AgiliaLinux 8.0.0. It features Linux kernel 3.0.4, glibc 2.12.2, GCC 4.5.2, X.Org Server 1.10.2 and Mesa 7.10.3, while supported desktop environments and window managers include KDE 4.7.1, GNOME 2.32.1, Xfce 4.8.3, LXDE 0.5.0, Openbox 3.5.0 and Fluxbox 1.3.1. With this release the project has also officially changed the development style of the distribution to a "rolling-release model with periodic stable releases". The software updates are fully automated without the need of any manual intervention, but for those who need new ISO images for fresh installation new point releases will be made available every three months. On a lighter note, the project has now also chosen a mascot - a girl nicknamed Sammy. If you understand Russian you can read the entire
release announcement here.
José Antonio Calvo has announced the availability of an updated release of Zentyal 2.2, an easy-to-use server distribution designed for managing network services, based on Ubuntu: "The Zentyal development team has published a new compilation of packages including all the bug fixes and system updates from Ubuntu since the release of the first 2.2 installer. There are also two changes in this new installer: the 64-bit edition now uses the server kernel by default instead of the generic one; adds the new secondary packages repository, allowing us to release important bug fixes without waiting until Launchpad builds and publishes them." Read the rest of the release announcement to learn more about the new repository and how to set it up.
Salix 13.37 "Ratpoison"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 13.37 "Ratpoison" edition, a Slackware-based distribution showcasing the rather unusual Ratpoison window manager: "Salix Ratpoison 13.37 is released. This is probably the first-ever Linux distribution release featuring Ratpoison as the main window manager. The aim of the Ratpoison edition is to create a system that is fully usable with the keyboard only, no mouse required! For everyone that is not familiar with Ratpoison, Ratpoison is a window manager for X 'with no-fat library dependencies, no fancy graphics, no window decorations, and no rodent dependence'. Ratpoison uses a workflow that is similar to that of GNU screen, which is very popular in the terminal world. All interaction with the window manager is done through keystrokes." See the complete release announcement which includes hints on using Ratpoison and a link to a start-up guide.
Parsix GNU/Linux 3.7r1
Alan Baghumian has announced the release of an updated build of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.7, a desktop-oriented distribution and live DVD based on Debian's testing branch and featuring the GNOME 2.32.1 desktop environment: "The first updated version of Parsix GNU/Linux 3.7, code name 'Raul', is available now. This version comes with updated GTK+, Grisbi, GNU Iceweasel and Chromium browser packages. It also merges all the published security updates into a new set of ISO images. You can easily update your existing systems using APT. Major components: Linux kernel 188.8.131.52, X.Org Server 1.7.7, GNU Iceweasel 7.0.1, Chromium 13.0.782.220, OpenOffice.org 3.2.1, glibc 2.11.2, GParted 0.8.1, GIMP 2.6.8, Grisbi 0.8.8, VirtualBox 4.0.4, VLC 1.1.3...." Check out the detailed release notes for more information and upgrade instructions.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 17 October 2011.
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 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
White Box Enterprise Linux
What was the goal for White Box Linux? To provide an unencumbered RPM-based Linux distribution that retains enough compatibility with Red Hat Linux to allow easy upgrades and to retain compatibility with their errata SRPMs. Being based off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 3.0 means that a machine should be able to avoid the upgrade treadmill until October 2008 since RHEL promises errata availability for 5 years from date of initial release. Or more briefly, to fill the gap between Fedora and RHEL. Why was White Box Linux created? Its initial creation was sponsored by the Beauregard Parish Public Library in DeRidder, USA out of self interest. We have several servers and over 50 workstations running Red Hat Linux and were left high and dry by Red Hat's recent shift in business plan. Our choices were a difficult migration to another distribution or paying Red Hat an annual fee greater than the amortized value of our hardware. So we chose a third path, made possible by the power of open source.... White Box Linux.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Questions and answers: Where did I leave my (GPG) keys?|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Tips and tricks: Building software with Ravenports|
|Questions and answers: File systems for SSDs|
|Tips and tricks: Command line weather, ionice, rename files, video preview snapshot, calednar, ls colour settings|
|Myths and misunderstandings: Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch|
|Myths and misunderstandings: The value of version numbers|
|Questions and answers: Adjusting system swappiness|
|Tips and tricks: Transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS|
|Myths and misunderstandings: The massive memory myth|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|