| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 427, 17 October 2011
Welcome to this year's 42nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The release season is now upon us. This week we saw a deluge of releases from the Ubuntu family as version 11.10 became available in a variety of flavours. Though marked with a little less fanfare, Debian released a security update to Squeeze and the Sabayon project delivered version 7 of their distribution -- we cover these updates and more below. This week Jesse Smith takes a look at the Zenwalk distribution and reports on how that project compares to more main stream distros. In our Question & Answers section we cover UEFI secure booting and what it means to Linux users. This week in the news section we talk about a new branch of the KDE project for mobile devices and why some Linux kernel developers are frustrated with VirtualBox. And, finally, we welcome back Linux.com after a month of down time and say a sad farewell to Dennis Ritchie.
We hope you have a safe and pleasant week.
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (18MB) and MP3 (26MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Take a Walk on the Zen Side
Frequent readers of DistroWatch may recall the last time I tried Zenwalk I was quite happy with it. The medium-sized distro provided a polished and responsive desktop platform which ran like a cat with its tail on fire. Though armed with fewer resources than the big-name projects Zenwalk was a strong contender last year, making my Top Five list in 2010. With this in mind it should be no surprise I was eager to try Zenwalk 7 when it arrived in early 2011. So it would appear this review is coming out quite late, and there is a reason for that.
When I first downloaded Zenwalk 7 (Standard Edition) I popped the disc into a machine, walked through the text-based menu system of the installer and went away to do other things. An hour later the distribution still hadn't finished installing and, further, it appeared to have stalled. You see, the Zenwalk installer doesn't display a progress bar or per cent completion, instead it shows the user which package it is currently copying to the hard drive. Twenty minutes after my return to the computer Zenwalk was still on the same package and there was no sign of life from the disc drive. I rebooted the machine, checked the install media and gave it another go. Once again I walked through the install steps and waited while files copied to my drive. After an hour and a half, forty minutes of which was spent allegedly copying the same package, I decided to cut my losses and move on to something else. Unfortunately I was busy that week and didn't have time to trouble-shoot.
Well, I was clearing out some stuff form my desk this week and rediscovered the Zenwalk 7 CD and, feeling bold (or bored), I decided to give it another shot. I loaded up the installer, told it to perform an automatic partition & install and walked away. It took some time, about two hours, but the CD, which represents a 583MB ISO, finally finished. Generally I'd expect a distribution of this size to finish copying within thirty minutes, but I guess waiting is part of the Zen experience, at least on my hardware.
The installer doesn't do much, aside from installing packages and the LILO boot loader. This means the first time we boot into Zenwalk we're asked to perform a few configuration steps. We're shown a license screen and asked to confirm our preferred language. Next we set a password for the root account and we have the option of creating a regular user account. Once Zenwalk is configured the system boots into a graphical login screen. Signing in brings up an Xfce 4.8 desktop environment with a pleasant blue background. At the top of the screen we find the application menu and task switcher. Icons for navigating the file system and a link to the project's website appear on the desktop. At the bottom of the screen we find a quick-launch bar with another copy of the application menu along with the Icecat web browser, Icedove e-mail client, file browser, volume control and network manager. Despite concerns my desktop might suffer from the same sluggishness as the installer, I ran into no performance problems post-install.
Zenwalk 7.0 -- Running office software and changing settings
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I ran Zenwalk on two machines, my HP laptop (dual-core 2GHz CPU, 3GB of RAM, Intel video card) and a generic desktop box (2.5GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card). On both machines Zenwalk not only performed well, but automatically detected and utilized all of my hardware without any work on my part. The Intel wireless card in my laptop, which had stumped Zenwalk 6.x last year, was handled smoothly, audio volume was set to a good level and my screens were set to reasonable resolutions. The distribution, running the Xfce desktop environment, performed quickly on both computers and the experience was pleasantly error-free. One thing I found unusual is, by default, window focus followed my mouse pointer. I suppose some people find it convenient to not have to click on windows, but I found it interrupted my work flow, especially if I had more than two windows open. There's a GUI configuration app available to alter the behaviour.
The Zenwalk developers try to provide one program per task and this leaves the application menu uncluttered while providing a good range of software in the default install. We're given Icecat 3.6 for browsing the web, Icedove for e-mail, the Pidgin instant messenger client and the Transmission bittorrent client. The gFTP file transfer client is included, as is the Zenmap network scanner. The GNU Image Manipulation Project is available, along with a document viewer, disc burner and sound recorder. The Totem multimedia player is installed and supports popular audio and video codecs out of the box. The ISO Master program is included as are LibreOffice (version 3.3) and the Geany IDE. For scheduling our lives Orage is included. A simple backup tool, Grsync, is in the menu along side the LSHW hardware lister. We're giving Netpkg for managing software packages, a text editor, calculator and archive manager. Rounding out the selection are Catfish, a utility for finding local files, and several apps for configuring the look and feel of the desktop. Zenwalk comes equipped with Flash, Java and the GNU Compiler Collection. In the background we find the 2.6.37 version of the Linux kernel.
Zenwalk 7.0 -- Running various applications
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For people coming from more mainstream Linux distros package management may be the Achilles' heel of the distribution. Zenwalk comes equipped with Netpkg, a graphical software manager which has a fairly simple, uncluttered interface. The Netpkg window is essentially divided into four parts. At the top is a drop-down box containing a list of software repositories, below that is a list of packages. Over on the right are checkboxes for filtering packages by their status and at the bottom is an area dedicated to the description of each package. As usual, clicking on a package allows us to install or remove it. And while Netpkg works efficiently and, in my experience, without error, the user needs to be more involved in the process than with most package managers. Before making use of Netpkg we must manually select a mirror, then refresh the package list. At this point no packages are displayed because, by default, no filters are set. Once we are up and running and we're installing software, not much feedback is provided. I suppose it's a matter of perspective. If you're accustomed to Slackware or the BSDs, Netpkg will probably be a walk in the park. If you're in the habit of using openSUSE, Ubuntu or Mandriva, the Netpkg application will probably feel sparse with unnecessary manual steps. One additional aspect Slackware fans will probably appreciate is Netpkg, before downloading packages, will ask for confirmation before also resolving dependencies.
Zenwalk 7.0 - Managing packages with Netpkg
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I know the term "just works" gets thrown around a lot, but Zenwalk walks very close to that line and does so in a way I find appealing. By modern standards, Zenwalk is a fairly light distro. It has a small footprint on both the disk and in memory, thanks both to its Slackware parentage and Xfce. And, being light-weight, the functionality it presents is all the more impressive. People who just want to browse the web, check e-mail and listen to music are covered. People who want to develop code are also covered by the default selection of programs. Users who need an office suite are all set. Maybe I've been using GNOME and KDE live CDs too much recently, but I was surprised how much software was available before I even opened the package manager. Yet "just works" is more than that, more than just having a lot of software on hand. The user also needs to be able to navigate and intuitively use the system and I feel Zenwalk's interface will appeal to a wide range of users. Even though I rarely use Xfce (or Zenwalk) I was able to quickly and easily find everything I wanted.
Admittedly Zenwalk 7 and I got off to a rocky start with the installer taking so long I thought it had stalled. However, pushing beyond that, running Zenwalk was a fairly smooth and rewarding experience. What I enjoy about this distribution is the sense of balance I get from it. It's fairly small and uses Xfce, yet the developers have done a good job at providing a friendly interface, which I believe will be appealing to newcomers. The menu is pleasantly uncluttered, yet with the distro's one-application-per-task philosophy there is a wide range of functionality to be had. Performance was good and, this time around, all of my hardware was supported. Wireless worked out of the box, popular video and audio formats play, Java and Flash are included, there are developer tools installed, up to date office software is in the menu and all of this is bundled on an ISO smaller than 600MB. As I mentioned above the package manager, while functional, is a bit sparse and the text-based installer may not be novice-friendly. However those are the only complaints I could raise from an otherwise fast, stable distribution which packs a lot of functionality into a well laid out desktop.
KDE releases Plasma Active One, Linux.com is back on-line and we say good-bye to Dennis Ritchie
Linux users who love living on the cutting edge of open source technology will be happy to know Fedora 16 Beta was released this past week. The beta includes cloud technology, such as OpenStack, HekaFS and Pacemaker-cloud, enhancements to virtualization technology, including safe simultaneous writes to disk images when using QEMU/KVM, and the new GNOME 3.2 desktop environment. The Fedora team is encouraging users to test the release so they can squash any serious bugs before their final release in November.
* * * * *
The KDE team has announced the availability of Plasma Active One. While the GNOME project has decided to rework their entire desktop in order to address tablets and touch screens, the KDE project is taking a different approach. The KDE4 desktop will remain as it is and a branch of KDE is being designed specifically for mobile devices. From the release announcement: "Plasma Active is compatible with the Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook Workspaces. They are all based on the same framework, sharing more than 95% of code. This is a radically different approach to interface commonality across devices. Most other tablet products are either unique to themselves (sharing little or nothing in common with other device interfaces), or attempts to use desktop interfaces on smaller displays. But Plasma-based interfaces are crafted for specific device types, and are able to do so while having nearly all their code and engineering efforts in common."
* * * * *
Last week we reported kernel.org was brought back on-line and, this week, it's Linux.com's turn. The Linux Foundation website was taken off-line last month after a security breach was discovered. The team behind Linux.com has used the time to make improvements to the website, including the introduction of a new forum and spam filters. You can read the complete announcement in Jennifer Cloer's blog post.
A handy article on the newly restored Linux.com site talks about grammar-checkers (or the lack of) in open source office suites. The brief piece talks about available grammar-checkers which can be used either as stand-alone applications are as extensions to LibreOffice and OpenOffice.
* * * * *
The Linux kernel developers are tired of receiving bug reports relating to the VirtualBox module. When VirtualBox is installed on a Linux system the module "vboxdrv" is loaded into the kernel. According to Dave Jones' post to the Linux Kernel Mailing List this module contains too many bugs and causes too many problems. The module is open source, licensed under the GPL, but is not part of the kernel source code. Mr Jones has written a patch which will flag the VirtualBox module as being tainted. This will mean " automatic bug filing tools
can opt out of automatically filing kernel bugs, and inform the user to file
bugs somewhere more appropriate." Users experiencing problems related to the VirtualBox driver can visit that project's bugtracker to file a report.
* * * * *
We are very sorry to report this week that Dennis Ritchie has passed away. Mr Ritchie is probably best known for creating the C programming language, which is used to develop, directly or indirectly, much of the software we run every day. He also co-authored the book The C Programming Language with Brian Kernighan, a guide which has taught many students C over the years. Mr Ritchie is one of the developers of the original UNIX, the operating system which eventually branched into BSD, Solaris/OpenIndiana and parts of OS X. His work additionally caused the birth of UNIX-like operating systems, such as Linux and MINIX. For his work in computing Dennis Ritchie has received many honours, including the Turing Award, the National Medal of Technology, the IEEE Richard W. Hamming Medal and the Japan Prize for Information and Communications. It would be difficult to overstate Mr Ritchie's impact on our lives and he will be missed. DistroWatch would like to offer our condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
I was wondering what DistroWatch thinks on the subject of implementing secure boot for Windows and what it implies for Linux users in the future? Also from all I have read on the subject there are quite a few people angry over it, including me. This registry key on the BIOS means that Linux users will no longer be able to install Linux.
In case some of our readers aren't familiar with this topic, let me provide a little background. A few weeks ago Matthew Garrett, an employee at Red Hat, made a blog posting in which he raised concerns about Microsoft's Windows 8 logo program. That is, the program which allows OEMs to attach a "Designed for Windows 8" sticker on the machines they sell. One of the requirements in the new logo program is that computers displaying the logo and shipping with a client version of Windows 8 pre-installed must also have secure boot enabled. What is secure boot? Basically computers will be shipped with signing keys installed into their firmware. When the secure boot feature is enabled executable programs and drivers cannot be run unless they're signed by one of these keys. In theory this would prevent malware from installing itself on a computer in such a way that would allow the malware to be run before the operating system. However, while this may be an attractive security feature, Matthew Garrett points out such a feature would also prevent alternative operating systems, such as Linux, from being installed.
There are a few points which further complicate things. There is no central signing authority, so it's not a simple matter of getting one set of keys that will work everywhere, each vendor will have their own keys and getting executables signed will probably require striking a deal with each vendor. Another issue is that GRUB2, which is used in many big name Linux distributions, is prevented from using such keys due to the GPLv3 license. Linux distributions will have to roll back to GRUB Legacy, LILO or some other boot loader if they wish to support secure booting.
It's understandable this news has raised concerns in the Linux community that the next generation of hardware may prevent installing Linux. However, I personally don't think we need to worry yet. For one thing OEMs will probably include the ability to disable secure boot. Just because machines shipping with Windows 8 (client) need to have the feature enabled doesn't mean users will be blocked from turning it off. In fact OEMs would be shooting themselves in the foot, would probably shoot both feet clean off, if they didn't include an option to disable secure booting. The European Union tends to keep a close eye on these sorts of things and they are likely to demand hardware can be unlocked. Even if the EU doesn't some companies, like Dell, have found it's profitable to sell Linux boxes and don't show any sign of leaving that customer base behind. It's likely many machines will ship without the logo and without secure booting enabled. After all, it's not just Linux users who aren't going to want to wrestle with secure booting, the IT departments of medium and large companies, places that roll out standard images to a variety of hardware, are not going to want to manually disable secure booting on each machine. Even Matthew Garrett, who raised the issue, points out it's "not worth panicking yet".
However, just because there isn't cause to panic doesn't mean we should sit quietly on the sidelines and wait. This is a good time to get in touch with the companies you may be purchasing computers from in the future and let them know what you think. Dell, HP, Toshiba, IBM, Acer and the rest have contact pages just for moments like this. Tell them which is more important to you, the sticker or the ability to use your computer the way you want. You may also wish to sign the Free Software Foundation's statement urging computer makers to implement secure booting in such a way that will allow alternative operating systems to be installed.
|Released Last Week
Bodhi Linux 1.2.1
Jeff Hoogland has announced the release of Bodhi Linux 1.2.1, a bug-fix update of the Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a highly customised Enlightenment 17 desktop: "At little over a month ago the Bodhi team and I released our second update release. We were unaware at the time that the version of GCC used to compile the kernel on this release had an issue that caused an issue for some users when compiling and inserting extra kernel modules (such as the NVIDIA drivers and VirtualBox). This update release today contains a kernel in which this issue has been resolved. If you already installed Bodhi 1.2.0 (or an earlier release) and your system is working fine (odds are it is, this issue was only affecting some users) there is no reason to install this new release. It is simply a bug-fix release so the ISO image has the updated kernel by default." Read the rest of the release announcement for some more details about the new release and to learn about the project's new web-based "App Centre".
Superb Mini Server 1.6.2
An updated build of Superb Mini Server (SMS), a Slackware-based distribution for servers, was released earlier today: "Superb Mini Server version 1.6.2 released (Linux kernel 18.104.22.168). SMS 1.6.2 brings updates, security patches and the latest stable packages, such as httpd 2.2.21, PHP 5.3.8, Perl 5.14.2, BIND 9.8.1, Postfix 2.8.5, ClamAV 0.97.2, Dovecot 2.0.15, MailScanner 4.84.3 and, last but not least, Samba 3.6.0 with SMB2 support. Samba's 'Security = share' is deprecated and will not work with SMB2, although it is set in smb.conf, but it's enough to get you started - look at SMS wiki on how to switch to 'Security = User'. Also 'client ntlmv2 auth yes' is set by default. Dovecot needs your attention, since many deprecated options have been removed. SMS 1.6.2 features smbldap-tools, a set of Perl scripts designed to manage user and group accounts stored in an LDAP directory, making Samba and OpenLDAP configuration easier. See the full release announcement additional notes and brief changelog.
Sabayon Linux 7
Fabio Erculiani has announced the release of Sabayon Linux 7, a Gentoo-based desktop distribution with KDE 4.7, GNOME 3.2 and Xfce 4.8 desktops: "More busy than busy bees, we're once again here to announce the immediate availability of Sabayon 7. Linux kernel 3.0, GNOME 3.2, KDE 4.7, Xfce 4.8, LibreOffice 3.4 are just some of the things you will find inside the box. During this cycle, the development team spent a lot of time on integrating GNOME 3.2 the way users might actually start to love it. At the same time, Sabayon Xfce has been promoted to non-experimental release, for those missing GNOME 2." Read the release announcement for a list of features and improvements.
Ubuntu 11.10, the latest version of the popular Linux-based operating system for desktops and servers, has been released: "The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce Ubuntu 11.10, code-named 'Oneiric Ocelot'. 11.10 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. For PC users, Ubuntu 11.10 supports laptops, desktops and netbooks with a unified look and feel based on an updated version of the desktop shell called 'Unity', which introduces specialized 'Lenses'. Finding and installing software using the Ubuntu Software Centre is now easier thanks to improvements in speed, search functionality enhancements, and usability improvements. Aside from updates on the performance side, it's also more aesthetically appealing." See the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Ubuntu 11.10 with Unity Desktop
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Kubuntu 11.10, a new version of the official Ubuntu subproject designed for users favouring the popular KDE desktop, has been released: "We are proud to announce the release of Kubuntu 11.10, the 'Oneiric Ocelot': the latest release of our friendly operating system, built on Ubuntu's core, polished with KDE's applications and workspaces. The latest stable release of KDE's Plasma Workspaces and Applications brings new features and improvements all around. Highlights include: visual updates include a new Oxygen icon theme; a cleaner default look to Dolphin; Gwenview's new ability to compare two or more images; new breadcrumb feature in the Kickoff menu that simplifies navigating submenus; more improvements in the Network Management widget." Here is the detailed release announcement.
Xubuntu 11.10 is the latest version of the official Ubuntu variant featuring the light and elegant Xfce desktop environment: "There are a few times when, through hard work and diligence, we get things right. The developers and contributors of Xubuntu 11.10 believe they have it right. They are proud to announce the release of Xubuntu 11.10, 'Oneiric Ocelot'. Through the outstanding efforts of all involved, this sleek and smooth release offered for your enjoyment and use. Changes for this release include the following applications included by default: gThumb, pastebinit, and onboard. The team has also chosen to switch from GDM to LightDM as the default display manager and from Mousepad to Leafpad as the default text editor." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Edubuntu 11.10, a specialist flavour of Ubuntu optimised for classroom use, has been released: "The Edubuntu development team is really proud and happy to announce that Edubuntu 11.10 has now been released. This release brings a refreshed desktop environment based on Ubuntu's Unity while still offering you easy access to the familiar classic GNOME environment (through the GNOME fallback mode). Additionally, this release brings you: new updated version of LTSP Live, translated in multiple languages; updated installer featuring translations in over 25 languages; a new version of Gobby, the collaborative text editor, now at version 0.5; the latest and greatest version 2 of gbrainy; a refreshed user interface, now based on Unity by default and featuring a different icon theme and wallpaper." The release announcement.
Version 11.10 of Mythbuntu, an official Ubuntu media centre distribution integrating the MythTV media center software, has been released: "Mythbuntu 11.10 has been released. It is very important to note that this release is only compatible with MythTV 0.24 systems. Highlights: MythTV 0.24; Chromium installed instead of Firefox; no Bluetooth support (by default) in NetworkManager; no fglrx install during installation; Mythbuntu-bare scheduling now available for backups; Android and iOS devices can now be used as remote controls; recent snapshot of the MythTV 0.24 release is included; preview of the upcoming MythNetvision plugin; Mythbuntu theme fixes. Known issue: If upgrading and you have MythStream installed please remove it before upgrading as MythStream is no longer supported." Read the release announcement for additional information.
Ubuntu Studio 11.10
Ubuntu Studio 11.10, an Ubuntu variant tailored to audio, video and graphics enthusiasts, has been released - now defaulting to the Xfce desktop instead of GNOME: "Ubuntu Studio is a multimedia editing/creation flavor of Ubuntu, built for the GNU/Linux audio, video, and graphics enthusiast or professional. The Ubuntu Studio team is very excited over its tenth release: Oneiric Ocelot 11.10, Unfortunately, the Ubuntu Studio suffered an almost complete team fail during this cycle. This can be general categorized into two main reasons: normal, expected attrition experienced during most cycles and unforeseen circumstances that required team members to be absent. We apologize for any deficiencies in this release. But you can always help us make the next one better." The release notes explain the situation in more detail.
Lubuntu 11.10 is the project's first release as an official Ubuntu derivative, a lightweight distribution showcasing the elegant LXDE desktop: "Lubuntu 11.10 is a brand-new flavor of Ubuntu based on Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE) as its default graphical user interface. The goal is to provide a very lightweight distribution, with all the advantages of the Ubuntu world (repositories, support). Lubuntu is targeted at 'normal' PC and laptop users running on low-specification hardware. With many LXDE components, Lubuntu also uses well-known applications, such as Chromium, Openbox and Pidgin, to name a few. Features: PCManFM 0.9.9, a fast and lightweight file manager using GIO/GVFS; LXDE, a lightweight GTK+ display manager; Chromium, the open-source variant of Google Chrome; based on Ubuntu 11.10." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Ubuntu Rescue Remix 11.10
Andrew Zajac has announced the release of Ubuntu Rescue Remix 11.10, a non-graphical utility live CD designed for data recovery tasks: "Version 11.10 'Oneiric Ocelot' of the very best free and open-source data recovery software toolkit based on Ubuntu is out. Ubuntu Rescue Remix provides a robust yet lean system for data recovery and forensics. No graphical interface is used; the live system can boot and function normally on machines with very little memory or processor power. Following Ubuntu's six-month release schedule, all the software is up-to-date, stable and supported. Ubuntu Rescue Remix features a full command-line environment with the newest versions of the most powerful free/libre open-source data recovery software including GNU ddrescue, PhotoRec, The Sleuth Kit, GNU fdisk and ClamAV. Using the Ubuntu Rescue Remix meta package, you can install the toolkit on any Ubuntu system as well." Check out the release announcement for more details.
Puppy Linux 5.2 "Wary"
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 5.2 "Wary" edition, a small, fast and very light distribution designed for old and low-resource computers: "This is a massive upgrade relative to the 5.1.x series. All of the base packages were recompiled in T2. Certain choices were made in T2 with the plan of seamless upgrading from X.Org 7.3 to 7.6 - that is, the default Wary system has X.Org 7.3, but it is planned that Wary can be upgraded to X.Org 7.6 by installation of a single PET package, and all applications will work before and after. This required some very careful configuration. The idea is to 'have our cake and eat it too' - X.Org 7.3 for old hardware, easy upgrade to 7.6 for newer video hardware. The plan actually seems to be working. As usual, huge changes yet only a small version-number change. Many bug fixes, upgrades, new packages." Both the release announcement and the release notes contain many more interesting details.
The regional government of Extremadura in Spain has announced the release of LinEx 2011, a Debian-based distribution designed for deployment in government offices and educational institutions in the province. According to the release announcement (in Spanish) the product is for users who seek a Linux distribution that is easy-to-use, robust and well-supported. LinEx 2011 is based on Debian 6.0.3 and features and intuitive system installer which includes an option to install extra applications according to the user's needs. Another new feature of the release is the possibility to transform the system into a multimedia box for professional video, audio and graphics editing or into a developer's workstation. Also, the system allows easy installation of a great variety of games for all age groups. More information can be found in the above-mentioned announcement.
Josh Paetzel has announced the release of FreeNAS 8.0.2, a bug-fix update of the project's FreeBSD-based operating system providing free Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services: "The FreeNAS team is proud to announce FreeNAS 8.0.2, a follow-up release to 8.0.1. Major changes since 8.0.1-RELEASE: the email subsystem was not working correctly in 8.0.1-RELEASE, which resulted in the system not being able to send mail, as well as malfunction of the alerting system in the GUI. Changes since 8.0.1-RELEASE: allow decimal numbers for a dataset quota; fix setting recursive ACLs; start ProFTPd after ix-ssl to use the correct SSL certificate; use wildcards in cron and rsync jobs instead of listing all values; fix case in iSCSI targets to match the behavior specified by RFC 3722." Here is the complete release announcement.
* * * * *
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, 24 October 2011.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Super OS (formerly Super Ubuntu) was a modified version of Ubuntu with the goal of making it more usable, in particular for users without an internet connection, while trying to remain compatible with Ubuntu. Features compared to Ubuntu include better multimedia support, improved Internet experience (aMSN, Opera, Flash), App Runner, and other software, such as Java, Ubuntu Tweak and live USB creator.