| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 434, 5 December 2011
Welcome to this year's 49th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! One of the places where Linux is an unquestionable king of operating systems is on older and low-resource computers where all of the modern commercial alternatives tend to come to a grinding halt as soon as one inserts an installation CD into the machine. But which of the multitude of lightweight Linux distros designed for older systems is the best? This week Robert Storey takes a look at one of the lesser known among them - antiX, a Debian and SimplyMEPIS-based operating system with IceWM as the preferred window manager. Will it revive the author's first-generation ASUS Eee PC? Read below to find out. In the news section, endless speculations about the rising popularity of Linux Mint at Ubuntu's expense continue to make headlines, with some journalists going as far as suggesting that Mint could indeed be an "Ubuntu killer". On a similar note, Jesse Smith also looks at some statistical data to provide a few interesting insights. There is more, including links to two well-written articles about Mandriva Linux and another to a controversial report suggesting that Red Hat is possibly trying to break away with well-established standards in order to better compete in the Linux distribution arena. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Robert Storey)
Review: antiX M11|
"Never buy low serial numbers." Easy advice to give, but hard to follow. Witness the modern-day genius of pre-marketing: every time a neat new hi-tech gadget gets announced, a virtual army of unsuspecting consumers turns out to pay for the privilege of becoming beta-testers. Egging them on are "reviewers" (possibly hired shills), who write glowing reviews of the as-yet unmanufactured product in question. Occasionally, we are treated to videos of consumers camping out overnight in front of an electronics store for the privilege of being first in line to purchase a shiny new experimental gizmo that the manufacturer needs to get rid of before a greatly-improved version 2.0 is launched a few months later.
Much as I would like to proclaim my smug all-knowing wisdom and self-control in this matter, the fact is that back in 2007 - based on glowing pre-reviews - I jumped at the chance to purchase an ASUS Eee PC 701 2G, boasting 512 MB of RAM (not upgradeable), an Intel Celeron-M processor running at 571 MHz, a 7" display, unusable keyboard, no hard drive, a 2 GB SSD with Xandros Linux pre-installed.
Sucker. Needless to say, this first-generation device was a slow machine, made all the worse by the fact that this particular version of Xandros had a known security hole. I fully intended to install Ubuntu...except it wouldn't fit on the 2 GB SSD. Undeterred, I installed Ubuntu on a 4 GB USB stick, only to discover that the combination of low RAM, a slow processor, and the bottleneck that is USB 2.0, and the bloat of GNOME, made running Ubuntu as exciting as watching paint dry.
Recently, I purchased a new ASUS Eee PC 1015P for about the same price as my old one. The new machine has a dual-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, and feels about 10 times as fast as its predecessor. The ancient model has gone mostly unused for four years, but now I'd like to revive it as a public kiosk machine at a bed-and-breakfast guesthouse. Theft shouldn't be an issue - who would want to steal it?
Thus began my quest to find a small, lightweight Linux that could run on my Eee PC 701. Which brings me to antiX, a cool little distro put together by a developer who goes by the name Anticapitalista. At number 55 on the list of DistroWatch greatest hits, antiX is a long way from dominating the OS market, but what it brings to the table is speed. Based on SimplyMEPIS (which in turn is based on Debian), antiX follows the traditional Linux path of building on the work of numerous others to deliver a fast and powerful distro. The promised combination of speed and power lured me to the download mirrors - at last I would prove to all doubters that I was, in fact, a smart shopper when I bought that decrepit proto-netbook with the low serial number.
As is becoming the norm these days, antiX is supplied on a live CD with an option to install to the hard drive. Since my Eee PC lacks a CD/DVD drive, I used the program UNetbootin to create a "live USB stick" from the downloaded ISO image file.
My live stick booted without any need for configuration or user names and passwords. However, if you want to log into text mode (by, for example, hitting ALT-F2 after boot), you can login as root (password "root") or demo (password "demo").
In live mode, you have a much slimmer supply of software packages than what is available when installed to a hard drive. Nevertheless, there are still enough powerful apps for getting serious work done. Among the more important offerings:
- Internet: Dillo (lightweight browser), Iceape (heavyweight browser), gFTP, Links2 (text & graphical browser), Elinks (text-mode browser), Pidgin Internet Messenger, Wicd Network Manager (wired & WiFi), Transmission (file-sharing torrent), wpagui (wifi-only manager)
- Programming: Geany (text editor), Iceape Composer (WYSIWYG html editor)
- Editor: Leafpad, Ted
- Graphics: Geeqie (photo viewer), gtkam (digital camera viewer), mtPaint
- Office: AbiWord (word processor), ePDFviewer, Gnumeric (spreadsheet)
- Sound & Video: Asunder (CD ripper), mhWaveEdit, Xfburn (CD burner), GNOME Mplayer & Gxine (video), Googles Music Manager, Imagination (DVD slideshow maker), WinFF (GUI front-end for FFmpeg video converter)
I won't bore everyone with step-by-step instructions on how to install. The user-friendly graphical installer, derived from SimplyMEPIS, is easy enough to understand. You are given a choice of default window managers (IceWM and Fluxbox) - I chose IceWM which I've used in the past and found to be both fast and easy on the eyes. Once I selected my options, the installation proceeded quickly without a hiccup.
Unfortunately, upon first boot, I encountered a rather confusing gotcha that others have experienced. Rather than booting into a cheerful graphical login screen, I was dumped into a blank text-mode shell, with no sign of IceWM or any other window manager. Although I was expecting antiX to be "minimalist," this was far more minimal than I cared for. Not having ever encountered this particular problem before, I retreated to my other computer and went googling for answers.
What I learned was that if you have an older computer (such as mine) - and especially when you're booting from a USB stick - you might have to add the following to the GRUB boot loader: "rootdelay=10". To put this to the test, before GRUB completes booting push the "e" (for edit) key, add "rootdelay=10" to the end of the "kernel" line, and finally push "b" for boot.
If this produces a satisfactory result, you should make this change permanent by editing file /boot/grub/menu.lst. This requires root privileges, and do note that antiX does not come equipped with the sudo command - use su to become root (or sux for GUI root apps). If you're making the changes from a text-mode terminal, the user-friendly nano editor (and the user-hostile vi) are both available by default.
Incidentally, the fact that /boot/grub/menu.lst exists at all reveals the remarkable truth that antiX still uses GRUB 0.x, or GRUB Legacy as it's officially known. It's "remarkable" in the face of the relentless campaign to push the execrable GRUB 2 onto the unsuspecting geek public. As a devout hater of GRUB 2, I was overjoyed to see antiX resisting the onslaught.
But I digress. After making the above-mentioned edit and rebooting, I was delivered to another scary-looking text-mode screen, as follows (note: lower half of screen didn't appear until I hit Enter:
antiX M11 - boot annoyance
(full image size: 1,326kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Bad as that looks, choosing to hit the space bar, or just waiting 30 seconds, will cause the machine to boot-up fine into a graphical desktop, though perhaps not with the best screen resolution. The "undefined video mode number: 317" apparently wasn't the best choice. I tried typing "311" and hit Enter, and it looked fine. The annoying part was that this text-mode menu would appear on each reboot, forcing me to type "311", or space, or wait 30 seconds every time. That soon grew wearisome, so I looked for a solution.
Again, a little quality time online produced an answer. I had to once again edit the kernel line in file /boot/grub/menu.lst, this time changing "vga=791" to "vga=0x0311." Your mileage will vary - my Eee PC has very lame video, but you need to change to the resolution that's appropriate for your machine. You can decide which specification to use by opening a terminal and typing (as root), the following: "hwinfo --framebuffer". Note that not all distros have the package hwinfo installed by default. Kudos to antiX for including it.
Once you've reconfigured your /boot/grub/menu.lst file, you should (hopefully) never need to encounter the text-mode screen again on boot-up.
Tips, Tweaks and Hints
Once you've got the above-mentioned tweaks out of the way, the antiX desktop is a pleasant place to play. Although lacking fancy bells and whistles, IceWM has an intuitive, clean interface that looks sharp. On the upper-right portion of the screen, the monitoring utility Conky displays some useful eye candy, informing you about your free hard disk space, CPU and RAM usage, etc.
antiX M11 - the default desktop
(full image size: 534kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
In live CD mode, you have eight large icons residing on the upper-left portion of the screen. As I was to discover, after installation these are gone from the desktop. I wasn't surprised to see the "Install" icon removed, but the others ("Files, Browser, Video, Music, Terminal, Control Centre" and "Word") would have been useful to keep.
One place you might want to take time to explore is the Control Centre. It's a bit tricky finding the Control Centre since its big icon is one of those that disappear upon installation, and it doesn't appear in the menus. You can access it by clicking on the little wrench-and-screwdriver icon on the menu bar. Probably your first use of the CC will be to update your packages - there are a lot of them, so expect this to take a while. If you think that point-and-click is for wimps, you can update the hardcore Debian way - open a terminal, su to root and type "apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade".
Once you've updated and upgraded, you're free to install whatever apps you like from the Debian-Testing repositories. With something like 30,000 packages, Debian boasts the largest Linux software collection around. Though "Testing" may be less stable than Debian-Stable, most people have few problems, and it's very up-to-date.
After installing your favorite apps, you may want to tackle the next most useful tweak: getting USB devices to auto-mount. Sadly, this isn't enabled by default, though the developer Anticapitalista says he plans to have it as an optional live-boot cheatcode that will carry over on install. But for now, the situation is easily remedied if you open a terminal, su to root, and rename:
After a reboot, USB devices will auto-mount. Unfortunately, this doesn't work quite as well as I'd like. For one thing, plugging-in a USB device doesn't automatically bring up a file manager. Rather, you've got to open one manually. antiX comes with two file managers: Thunar and ROX-Filer. I strongly advise everyone to use ROX-Filer. This is because Thunar will not allow you to umount a USB device when you're not root, while ROX-Filer will. You can launch ROX-Filer from Applications --> System Tools --> ROX-Filer
Once launched, you can point-and-click your way to the /media directory, where your USB device will hopefully show up. Note that if you fail to umount a device, next time you reboot it will still appear in the /media directory - it won't disappear until you've manually deleted it, despite the fact that your device is no longer plugged-in.
A more serious flaw - possibly a show-stopper for some users - is that I could never get my microphone to work. This was disconcerting, as I've recently become enamored with Google Talk. That kind of blows a big hole in my hopes of using my old Eee PC as a kiosk machine. A request for help on the friendly antiX forum produced some knowledgeable replies, but alas the issue remains unsolved. The (in)famous PulseAudio is not installed by default, but installing it did not help either. In fairness, this is possibly problematic only because of my troglodyte hardware - your mileage may vary.
To save you the embarrassment of making a Google Talk call that fails when your friend is on the line, you can test your microphone with the included mhWaveEdit program. Start it from Sound & Video, and click through the menus as follows: Play --> Record --> Choose_A_Sample_Format --> CD Quality --> Start Recording. If the needles bounce when you talk, your microphone is doing its job.
antiX M11 - using mhWaveEdit
(full image size: 47kB, screen resolution 540x522 pixels)
A final issue for me was to set up Asian language support, important in the particular corner of the world where I live. It is possible to use the included ibus for character input, but I much prefer SCIM (Smart Common Input Method). I am grateful to antiX forum poster Minux for this useful info on how to set up SCIM for Chinese.
All things considered, the time I've spent with antiX has been enjoyable. Aside from speed, I was impressed by the system's stability. I experienced no crashes, and never encountered anything I would call a bug. Doing the necessary tweaks wasn't a big deal for an experienced Linux geek. However, I admit that a newbie might find this intimidating. I can live with the fact that inserting a USB gizmo doesn't pop-up a pretty file manager. Unfortunately, my biggest complaint - the unresolved microphone issue - could be fatal. I await a solution for this - otherwise, I may have to look elsewhere if I want to bring my ancient Eee PC 701 back from the dead.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Mint as an Ubuntu killer, how Mandriva was built, Red Hat's syslog controversy
The (presumed) rapid increase of Linux Mint's popularity continued to receive attention in many online publications throughout the week. One of the authors commenting on the issue was Bruce Byfield of Datamation who believes that, based on user traffic and key design changes, it is not entirely inconceivable that Mint is indeed becoming an Ubuntu killer: "At first glance, the idea is absurd. Given that MGSE modifies the GNOME 3.2 release, you might convincingly speculate that Linux Mint has provided the solution for the many who are unhappy with GNOME's current directions. But challenge Ubuntu? Canonical, Ubuntu's commercial arm, claims twenty million users, and is promoting the distribution heavily. By contrast, Linux Mint is a much smaller, non-commercial organization that appears to be less organized, and to have fewer resources to draw upon. In fact, it relies on donations and ingenuity for funding. Yet is the idea even technically possible? Certainly Linux Mint's team and its supporters think so, considering that for several years they have been calling Linux Mint the fourth most widely used operating system, which sounds like a deliberate challenge to Ubuntu's claim to be the third. One way or the other, a closer look seems in order."
On a more technical note, Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre has published a post warning users about possible issues found in MATE, a fork of GNOME 2 that ships with the distribution's latest version as an alternative to the default GNOME 3 desktop. The article includes a potential fix, request for testing, and an interesting side note about the future of MATE: "We consider MATE yet another desktop, just like KDE, GNOME 3, Xfce etc., and based on the popularity of GNOME 2 in previous releases of Linux Mint, we are dedicated to support it and to help it improve. The most popular Linux desktop was, and arguably is, GNOME 2. It is no longer possible for Linux Mint to provide GNOME 2 but there are two promising alternatives available, GNOME 3 which is stable and which could lead to an even better desktop than the one we previously had but which lacks features and flexibility at the moment, and MATE which design is identical to GNOME 2 but which lacks stability at the moment. The future will tell which of these desktops will eventually become the most popular. In the meantime we'll be working hard to bring more features and configuration options to GNOME 3 and more stability to MATE."
* * * * *
Away from the Ubuntu/Mint world, one of the distributions often recommended as a good alternative to the more mainstream ones is Mandriva Linux. This is even more true now that the project has re-invented itself, both technically and commercially, with version 2011. For those interested to find out more about the distro, follow the links to two articles about Mandriva published last week. The first one, written by TechRadar's Mayank Sharma, is entitled "How Mandriva was built": "There's more to Mandriva than what goes on in the boardroom. It's still one of the easiest distros for Linux newbies. Sure, Mandriva's fortunes have been on a downward spiral for quite some time, but the new team has managed to shrug off cash-flow problems and technological traumas, and its latest release is filled to the brim with features." The second story, called "10 things Mandriva is doing right for Linux" is by Jack Wallen from TechRepublic: "Some time ago, I stopped paying attention to Mandriva. I felt that this Linux distribution, which hails from France and is financially backed by Russia, wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be. All has changed now. Mandriva knows where it is and where it's heading. Mandriva Linux Powerpack 2011 is available for purchase and is one of the finest releases I have come across in quite some time. What makes it so good? Let's break it down."
* * * * *
Finally, a link to a rather controversial report concerning Red Hat and some of the upcoming changes in the world's most popular enterprise Linux distribution. It appears that the company is planning to do away with the traditional UNIX system logging function and replace it with a new journal daemon. And although Red Hat claims that the 30-year old syslog is simply too inefficient, some experts have started to question the wisdom of moving away from established industry standards. ITworld's Brian Proffitt reports: "Simplifying the file system hierarchy and event logging in Fedora (and by extension, Red Hat Enterprise Linux) seem like worthy goals, but it could come at the expense of circumventing existing standards, like the Linux Standard Base or the Common Event Expression, respectively. You can argue the effectiveness of these standards (and many have), but if Red Hat is planning on just going their own way here with Linux infrastructure, as they seem to be doing, this represents a game-changer for the Linux ecosystem. Such differentiators will most certainly affect how independent software vendors work with Red Hat's Linux versus the other distributions. In a world where app development can make all the difference for commercial Linux vendors, that's a telling path to take."
|Statistics (by Jesse Smith)
Lies and statistics
At the beginning of November we reported the Linux Mint distribution had surpassed Ubuntu on DistroWatch's six-month hits-per-day counter. What this means is simply that more people were visiting the Linux Mint distribution page on DistroWatch than were visiting Ubuntu's, at least in these past six months. Regular readers are probably aware that these statistics are offered for entertainment or, at best, a rough indication of which distributions are attracting attention. But that week the Linux community was either suffering from several slow news days or a lot of people placed undue significance on the hits-per-day statistics. All over the Linux community blogs declared Mint's rise at Ubuntu's expense, it was discussed on forums and on Linux news sites all around the web. That week I saw a lot of comments making declarations along the lines of "The king is dead," and people suggesting that Unity was to blame for the decline in Ubuntu's popularity. It seemed that for every person pointing out the lack of significance which should be attributed to DistroWatch's ranking there were five or more speculating on why Ubuntu is losing its user base. But is it?
After browsing a few hundred comments about why Ubuntu was dying I began to wonder if there was any truth in matter. Is Ubuntu gaining or losing ground? I decided to put together some numbers which may be illuminating. First, let's look at the DistroWatch page hit charts (compiled on 29 November):
||Past 6 Months
||Past 12 Months
Looking at these numbers it does appear as though Mint has been gaining interest, especially in the past month while everyone has been talking about it. Something else I find interesting is that the main Ubuntu distribution has lost some of the spotlight, but other Ubuntu-based editions (especially Lubuntu) have gained ground. This hints to me that the flagship Ubuntu edition may be losing the spotlight to other Ubuntu editions as much as to Linux Mint.
However, the above numbers only reflect page hits on DistroWatch; what are the distributions themselves seeing as far as usage numbers? At the moment I don't have any firm numbers on Linux Mint, but according to this blog post on the Linux Mint website, the project's community is seeing a rapid increase in growth and already features a few million users. I was able to get firmer numbers from Ubuntu and the results were interesting. In early 2010, around the time Ubuntu 10.04 was released, Ubuntu had an estimated install base of 12 million users. About a year ago, after the launch of Ubuntu 10.10, it was estimated there were 16 million users. Now, in the wake of version 11.10, Ubuntu has an estimated 20 million users. Gerry Carr, Director of Communications at Canonical, says these figures come from a variety of places. "It's a combination of things - active connections to our security servers being one of the most prominent. We also get other connection data, we look at downloads and a small number of other checks, So it's robust." Mr Carr also informed me that over one million Ubuntu One accounts have been created since the service launched.
What can we take from all of this? There are a lot of different ways to interpret the data, but one thing I feel we can safely say is the user communities of both Ubuntu and Mint are larger now than ever before. It would also appear that Linux Mint is getting a lot of well-deserved attention. The developers have been sensitive to their user community's desires and word of their efforts is spreading. Interest in Ubuntu, at least among the DistroWatch crowd, has taken a slight drop over the past year, but their user base is still growing. And growing quickly. In fact it looks like Ubuntu's community has grown almost 25% since Unity was launched. Perhaps most importantly, I think these numbers raise another question: if both Mint and Ubuntu are seeing an increase in the size of their communities, then from where are these users coming? From other Linux distributions, from proprietary systems? Is Linux reaching into new territory where computers weren't being used before? Unfortunately I don't have the answer, but it is something to ponder.
|Released Last Week
Robert Lange has announced the final release of VectorLinux 7.0: "VectorLinux 7.0 is now available. This release is the result of nearly two years of blood, sweat and tears since the very successful release of VectorLinux 6.0. With the enthusiasm of a small group of packagers, our repository now hosts over a thousand up-to-date packages. VectorLinux is the fastest Linux desktop in its class bar none. We have exceeded our original goals and produced a beautiful, full-featured stable desktop that is fun, fast and efficient. The main desktop is Xfce 4.8 with a custom theme and artwork. Fluxbox is installed as a secondary desktop option. Much work has been done on localization and we know users from all over the globe will find VectorLinux usable in their language of choice. The kernel is version 3.0.8." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
VectorLinux 7.0 - a new version of the Slackware-based distribution featuring a customised Xfce desktop
(full image size: 673kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Clonezilla Live 1.2.11-23
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.11-23, a new stable version of the project's Debian-based live CD designed for disk cloning tasks: "This release of Clonezilla Live (1.2.11-23) includes major enhancements and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2011-11-28; Linux kernel was updated to version 3.1.1; Partclone was updated to version 0.2.38, gDisk to 0.8.1; a new mode '1-2-mdisks' (one image to be restored to multiple disks) was added in Clonezilla main menu, this is useful for creating massive USB Flash drives; this release supports VMFS5 imaging and cloning; the option to fsck the source partition will be shown in beginner mode; GRUB 2 for EFI booting was improved, now it is able to boot a Mac OS X machine from a USB Flash drive with the MBR partition table...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of changes and new features.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
November 2011 DistroWatch.com donation: LiVES|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the November 2011 DistroWatch.com donation is LiVES, a free and open-source video editor and VJ tool. The project receives US$300 in cash.
According to the project's web site, "LiVES is a video editing system. It is designed to be simple to use, yet powerful. It is small in size, yet it has many advanced features. LiVES mixes real-time video performance and non-linear editing in one professional quality application. It will let you start editing and making video right away, without having to worry about formats, frame sizes, or frame rates. It is a very flexible tool which is used by both professional VJ's and video editors - mix and switch clips from the keyboard, use dozens of real-time effects, trim and edit your clips in the clip editor, and bring them together using the multi-track timeline. You can even record your performance in real time, and then edit it further or render it straight away. For the more technically minded, the application is frame- and sample-accurate, and it can be controlled remotely or scripted for use as a video server. And it supports all of the latest free standards." If you'd like to find out more and see the application in action, please check out the features and screenshot pages.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$29,940 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- FDGnuX. FDGnuX is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with software designed to run an amateur (ham) radio station.
- Tango Studio. Tango Studio is an Ubuntu-based distribution designed for musicians and professional studios.
- VESTA. VESTA is a live Linux distribution whose purpose is to facilitate work with Java. The project provides a way to create a custom live CD/DVD image by choosing a Linux kernel, language and any of the available modules from a web-based interface.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 12 December 2011.
Robert Storey, Ladislav Bodnar and Jesse Smith
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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 |
Pearl Linux OS
Pearl Linux OS is a distribution based on Ubuntu. Pearl uses components of the LXDE and Xfce desktop environments to create a desktop experience which looks similar to Apple's OS X desktop environment. The project calls this hybrid desktop PearlDE. Pearl Linux OS is available in several editions, including GNOME, MATE and PearlDE.