| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 461, 18 June 2012
Welcome to this year's 25th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The brand-new version 13 of Linux Mint was probably the most eagerly anticipated release in the project's history. Appealing to more conservative users and featuring a rather traditional desktop layout, the distribution has succeeded in combining modern software and classic user interfaces into one tasty and fragrant package. Read our first-look review of Linux Mint 13 below. In the news section, openSUSE delays the 12.2 release amid unprecedented development and management difficulties, Debian discusses the role of the independent Multimedia repository in the project's wider context, Puppy Linux community releases a "Fatdog64" variant with multi-user support, and Ikey Doherty reveals the philosophy of SolusOS, one of the fastest-growing new Linux distributions in recent times. Also in this issue, a Q&A section discussing specialist distributions for audio recording and suggesting a good multi-distro disk layout, and the upcoming releases column with a link to the new Mageia 3 roadmap. Happy reading!
- Reviews: Mint mated with Cinnamon
- News: openSUSE 12.2 delay, Debian Multimedia controversy, Puppy multi-user variant, SolusOS interview
- Questions and answers: Distributions for audio recording, multi-distro disk layout
- Released last week: Lightweight Portable Security 1.3.5, Tails 0.12, Liberté Linux 2012.2
- Upcoming releases: Mageia 3 roadmap
- New additions: iQunix OS
- New distributions: Adonis Linux, Bitrig, DeniX OS, Instant WebKiosk, JfLinux, Linux-Bro, Linux Regal, MLIPenguin-OS
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (24MB) and MP3 (22MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Mint mated with Cinnamon|
The Linux Mint project is one which has gained a good deal of attention in recent years. The distribution, lead by Clement Lefebvre, has continued to increase in popularity and currently tops the DistroWatch page hit charts. The project has continued to do well financially too, bringing in over $13,000 from donations and sponsorships last month. The main edition of Linux Mint is based upon the Ubuntu distribution and the latest version of Mint, version 13, will be a long term support release and receive support for five years. The Main edition is further broken into several sub-editions, each of which is offered as either a 32-bit or 64-bit build. The flavours currently offered are Cinnamon and MATE -- Cinnamon being a desktop environment which is put together using GNOME 3 technology, but featuring a classic style desktop. The MATE desktop can be considered a continuation of the GNOME 2 environment. Further expanding our options users can download a fully loaded build of either preferred desktop, complete with multimedia codecs and Flash. Alternatively users can download a completely free edition of either desktop that avoids the use of proprietary or patented software.
With so many editions and builds available we are not lacking for choice and we've been told to expect KDE and Xfce spins of Mint in the near future. For the purposes of this review I decided to download the fully loaded Cinnamon 32-bit edition. The ISO image for this edition is a touch over 800 MB in size and booting from the disc brings up a classic-looking desktop. The Mint logo is displayed in the background, an application menu sits at the bottom of the screen and the task switcher and system tray also line the bottom of the screen. On the desktop we find icons for launching the system installer and browsing the file system.
Running through the installer we find it's the same as the latest Ubuntu installer. We are walked through choosing our preferred language, partitioning the hard disk, setting our time zone and confirming our keyboard layout. We are asked to create a regular user account and we are given the option of encrypting our home folder. After copying over the required system files the installer starts downloading additional language packs, a step which can be skipped if we don't wish to wait for the download to complete. As I found with Ubuntu, the Mint installer walked through its steps smoothly and I found the process to be both fast and intuitive. Partitioning with the Mint installer is very straight forward and just about every file system in the Linux ecosystem is supported.
Linux Mint 13 - the welcome screen
(full image size: 309kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Booting into our local installation of Linux Mint the first time the screen goes blank. This is by design and it is a choice I find strange as it makes it look as though the computer has locked up while it is going through its start-up routine. The system eventually brings us to a graphical login screen. Logging into Cinnamon my initial impression was that it looked like a typical GNOME 2 desktop where the application menu and system tray are placed at the bottom of the display. The first time we login a welcome screen appears and provides us with links to documentation, tutorials, a donation page and the project's manual. Looking around the system, I found the Cinnamon developers had done a good job of imitating the old GNOME style. The application menu is a bit more fancy with quick-launch buttons arrayed along the left-hand side, but otherwise I found the experience ... familiar. It was an odd sensation when I considered this was my first experience using the Cinnamon environment.
After playing around with the Cinnamon desktop for a while and finding the experience to be smooth I downloaded the MATE desktop and tried it too. Logging into MATE I found it to be virtually identical to running GNOME 2 on Ubuntu. The Applications, Places & System menu are placed at the top of the screen and the task switcher is placed at the bottom of the display. The theme is a basic grey with a flat blue background. Personally I didn't find any difference between running MATE on Mint compared to running GNOME 2 on older versions of Ubuntu. It's a straight forward environment and quick to respond. One aspect of running both desktops I hadn't expected was that when I was logged into Cinnamon no notification was displayed when package updates were available. However, when I logged into MATE an icon would appear in the system tray and let me know whether or not my system was up to date with the repositories.
On the subject of updates, upgrades to packages are handled by the custom Mint update manager. Like most other update managers, this one shows us a list of packages available to be upgraded, provides a description of the package and (for some packages) a change log. Unlike most other update tools the Mint update manager ranks each available package on a scale of one to five to indicate how safe upgrading the package should be. A value of one indicates the package has been tested by the Mint team and found to be safe. A five indicates the package is likely to cause problems. I installed Linux Mint 13 a few weeks after it became available and found there were 181 packages waiting to be updated. Each of the updates downloaded and applied without any problems.
Linux Mint 13 - managing software and desktop settings
(full image size: 201kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Linux Mint comes with two graphical package managers. The first one, called Software Manager, presents us with categories represented by icons. Clicking on a category brings up a list of items available items in that section. Each software package is displayed with a name, description, icon and user-provided rating. Clicking on a package's entry brings up an information screen with further details on the software. Some information pages include a screen shot and user generated reviews. We can queue software to be added to or removed from the system with the click of a button. Queued items are processed in the background while we continue to use the package manager. We can view the actions currently queued and remove them if we wish. I enjoy the Software Manager's approach to managing items, I find it intuitive and quick. My only complaint was that each time I queued an action the system prompted me for my password, which can get repetitive when downloading or removing several packages at a time. The other package manager provided in Mint's default install is Synaptic. The older package manager is quite capable and flexible. Though it doesn't try to be as novice friendly as the Software Manager, it is a solid application and I encountered no problems while using it.
The Linux Mint application menu comes with a collection of popular software. Included on the DVD we find the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client and LibreOffice. The Pidgin instant messaging client is installed for us, as are the IRC XChat program and the Transmission BitTorrent client. Creating and configuring network connections is handled using Network Manager. We also find a document viewer, the GNU Image Manipulation Program and a disc burner in the menu. Mint comes with an array of media players including Banshee, Totem, VLC and MPlayer. These players are equipped with popular multimedia codecs and we find the Flash plugin is installed for us. The distribution comes with a number of small admin utilities for managing the firewall, performing backups, blocking domains, trouble-shooting the network and uploading files. Running either MATE or Cinnamon provides us with a corresponding control panel where we can adjust the appearance and behaviour of our desktop. Digging in deeper we find Java is installed on the system, the GNU Compiler Collection is included and Mint comes with version 3.2 of the Linux kernel.
Playing around with the available software I didn't find many surprises. Programs ran and, for the most part, acted as I expected them to. Everything in this release appears to be stable, probably because any serious bugs in the original Ubuntu packages had over a month to be fixed prior to my downloading Mint. I did notice a few unusual choices. One is that Firefox uses Yahoo as its default search engine. Usually, in other distributions, we see Google or DuckDuckGo at the top of the list. Yahoo worked just as well for me as the next search giant, so functionally I don't think it made a difference. The other odd item is that when running the backup tool the default folder it backs up is the /root folder, not the user's home folder. Likewise, backup archives are, by default, saved to /root. This setting is easily changed, but it struck me as an odd default. Otherwise running applications on Mint was "business as usual".
I ran Linux Mint on two physical machines, one was a desktop box featuring a 2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM and NVIDIA video card. The other was my HP laptop which has a dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, an Intel video card and Intel wireless card. On both machines Mint performed very well. Boot times were short, the desktop was responsive, regardless of whether I was logged into Cinnamon or MATE. I found using either desktop environment used around 150 MB or less RAM. My wireless card picked up nearby networks automatically, sound volume was set to a medium level and my screens were set to their maximum resolution. I also tried running Mint in a virtual machine and found the distro worked quite well in VirtualBox. One concern I had going into this review was the note on Mint's website stating Cinnamon requires 3D support from the video card. However, despite the fact one of my installs was in a virtual machine and both of my test machines have low-end cards, Cinnamon worked quite well. I did note launching a virtual terminal in the virtual machine did result in invisible text (which could be fixed in the virtual terminal's settings), but otherwise Cinnamon got along well with my minimal graphics hardware.
Linux Mint 13 - Cinnamon desktop and application menu
(full image size: 208kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Thus far my experience with Mint 13 in general, and the Cinnamon desktop in particular, has been positive. All of my hardware was supported out of the box, multimedia worked without hunting down additional packages, the applications available in the default install were ones I found useful and I liked the Mint package manager and update manager. If one pokes at Cinnamon enough there are little differences which separate it from GNOME, but I think Cinnamon is close enough to the legacy GNOME desktop many people will not notice the difference. As I mentioned in my review of Mageia, it is nice to see a desktop use modern technology while presenting basic, familiar features. Cinnamon is doing just that and my first impression of the environment is a good one.
I don't like to throw around the term "just works" all that often as I feel it gets overused. However, for me at least, that is what Linux Mint 13 has done, worked. I've been using it for a week now, I've applied over 200 package updates, made use of multimedia applications, browsed the web, tweaked settings, edited documents and I have yet to experience any problems, even something as minor as an application crash. The distribution has done a good job of being easy to use while staying out of my way, with the combined Mint and Ubuntu repositories I have over 38,000 software packages available and the user manual is both clearly written and detailed. Additionally, since Mint is binary compatible with Ubuntu, users have the option of making use of Ubuntu One services and PPA repositories. Mint provides an impressive set of features on a stable base which will be supported for the next five years. It is a very attractive distribution in my opinion.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
openSUSE 12.2 delay, Debian Multimedia controversy, Puppy multi-user variant, SolusOS interview
The usually reliable openSUSE development process has run into an expected wall last week, just as it was about to enter the final stages before the release of version 12.2. The H Online reports in "Wake up call for openSUSE as 12.2 is delayed": "According to openSUSE Community Manager Jos Poortvliet, the release candidate for 12.2 is unlikely to go out today as previously scheduled and the planned release date of openSUSE 12.2, 11 July, is also unlikely to be kept to. Poortvliet says that this and the email by Kulow 'serves as a wake up call for openSUSE'. The distribution's problem seems to be that it has attracted many more contributors over time and that its development processes have not scaled. An increasing number of contributors are submitting more and more smaller patches but according to the release manager's assessment, what the distribution really needs is 'a crew of highly experienced core hackers to fix issues all over within a reasonable time frame.'" Jos Poortvliet explains the issues and looks for solutions in a separate post entitled "Where is my 12.2, my Kingdom for a 12.2!"
* * * * *
Debian GNU/Linux has often been walking a tightrope between complying with the FSF guidelines for software freedom and the usability of the distribution. As a result, periodic fights over the content of the project's repositories have created tensions in the development community. The latest round concerns Debian Multimedia, a project of Christian Marillat who is a Debian developer, but who maintains the multimedia repository independently of the main distribution. Steven Rosenberg summarises the controversy: "It seems the confusion, in part anyway, is over the fact that Debian Multimedia isn't an 'official' arm of Debian project. And though Christian is himself a Debian developer, Debian Multimedia is his own project and not subject to the same governance as Debian itself. As you follow the thread on the pkg-multimedia maintainers list (again, start here), at issue besides the use of the Debian name and logo is the solicitation of donations and any possible confusion over whether a donation to Debian Multimedia is a donation to the Debian project (which it is not). The reason for Debian Multimedia's existence in the first place is to provide Debian users all the restricted multimedia bits like codecs that prevent a stock Debian system from working with formats such as MP3, MP4, MOV, etc."
* * * * *
Puppy Linux, the most popular of the ultra-small Linux distributions on the market, has often been criticised by reviewers for always "running as root" and for disregarding one of the most basic among the UNIX security principles. Now some community members on the project's forum responded with a special Puppy derivative called "Fatdog64", a 64-bit Puppy build with extra applications and, most importantly, an experimental multi-user setup. This beta release includes Linux kernel 3.4.2, SeaMonkey 2.10, Flash Player 188.8.131.52, and numerous bug fixes since alpha 2. From the announcement: "James and myself are happy to announce Fatdog64-600 beta 1. Here are the changes since alpha2: SFS works with multisession; add libdbus_glib; uses BusyBox blkid (faster) instead of util-linux blkid; volume label display on drive icons can be turned off; bug fix with first-time session save; hardinfo patched - does not crash, show Fatdog64 version; Windows-K key is shortcut for xkill (to kill windows apps); new control panel - all system/settings apps are now here; QuickApps - create application shortcuts; urxvt 9.15 (without Perl extension); command-line tool to split Fatdog humongous initrd to standard Puppy initrd for faster USB boot; experimental multi-user (some applications are still broken; some PET packages do not support non-root)."
* * * * *
SolusOS has been one of the fastest-growing new distributions on DistroWatch's page-hit ranking charts in recent months. The project, which combines the stability of Debian's "stable" branch with up-to-date software applications, all the while retaining the familiarity of the GNOME 2 desktop, has seemingly captured the hearts of users tired of the current wave of dramatic user interface changes. Ikey Doherty, the founder and lead developer of SolusOS explains the philosophy of the project in this brief interview at Linux and Life: "SolusOS is based on Debian Stable, but includes its own software repository as well as Debian backports. This gives it access to some very new applications (i.e. VLC 2, LibreOffice 3.5.3, Firefox 12.0, etc.) whilst being as stable as possible. We saw no need for having to chase a moving target with testing (rolling release), but rather supplement our own repositories to make the best combination possible. We will support SolusOS 1 until 'Squeeze' is no longer supported. However long before then we will have released SolusOS 2, 'Wheezy'-based, containing our modified GNOME 3. This will enhance fallback mode, with a patched GNOME Session and GNOME Panel, allowing traditional GNOME 2 behaviour in GNOME 3. We've also had huge success in porting the old applet and panel bindings (i.e. Python) to the new GTK+ 3 and D-BUS APIs, meaning for our users GNOME 3 will in every way act and look the same as GNOME 2."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Distributions for audio recording, multi-distro disk layout
Mic-check asks: I'm thinking about setting up an external Firewire drive or an older AMD Athlon 64-based desktop to host a Linux install dedicated to digital audio recording. I've never used Linux, but I'm quite literate on the PC/OS X side of the room and I was wondering if there is a particular distribution that would lend itself best to DAR and also if there are any apps you're aware of that would function on the same level as say, Steinberg's Cubase. Are there any user communities that would be a good place to start on this subject?
DistroWatch answers: Your best option, especially as you are new to Linux, is to try Ubuntu Studio. It's a Linux distribution specifically targeted at people who are not familiar with Linux and want to work with multimedia. According to the project's website, "Ubuntu Studio is a multimedia editing/creation flavor of Ubuntu. It's built for the GNU/Linux audio, video, and graphic enthusiast or professional. Our aim is to make it more accessible for new users to get into the tools that GNU/Linux has to offer for multimedia creation and production." Hopefully Ubuntu Studio will come with the applications you need. If it doesn't, chances are someone can help you find what you are looking for on the project's forum.
* * * * *
Dividing-a-disk asks: I want to start trying out new distros, ideally more than one at a time. How should I partition my disk? How big should the partitions be?
DistroWatch answers: First let us look at a recommended layout for one distribution and build from there. Each person will have their own preferences as to the exact size, format and order of partitions. Once you have had some practice you will come to adapt your own approach, but this is what works for me.
First, every distribution needs a root (/) partition where system files, programs, logs and configuration can be stored. Generally I recommend making this partition about 16 GB in size. Some people can get away with less, say 8 GB, and others might prefer larger, but I find around 16 GB allows me to install everything I need with a little room left over. These days I recommend formatting this root (/) partition using the ext4 file system. Next, each machine should have one swap partition. Linux distributions can share a swap partition, so only one is needed per machine, even if you have additional distributions installed. Some people recommend making the swap partition twice the size of the amount of RAM your system has (1 GB of RAM would suggest a 2 GB swap partition). However, I find modern machines rarely use swap at all, so if you have 2 GB or more of memory I suggest making a swap partition equal to the amount of RAM. For instance, if you have 4 GB of RAM try starting with a swap partition that is 4 GB in size. Your swap partition does not require that you format it with a regular file system.
The third partition I suggest making is the /home partition. This is where your personal files are kept. Your documents, music and settings specific to you are kept in /home. Now, if you were experimenting with one distribution at a time I would say you should make the /home partition as big as the remaining space on your hard drive. However, if you want to play with more than one distribution at a time, then you will have to limit the /home partition's space. Earlier I mentioned each distribution needs its own root partition and suggested the root partition be 16 GB in size. With that in mind, for each additional Linux distribution you plan to have installed on your computer at one time, I recommend shrinking the /home partition by 16 GB.
Let's look at it this way, if your total hard drive space is 100 GB, then your root partition takes up the first 16 GB. Now, let's say your swap partition takes another 4 GB. We have used up 20 GB, so there is 80 GB of space remaining. That 80 GB will be used to store your /home partition, plus any additional distributions. If we were to install one more distribution, that would take up another partition of 16 GB. Which means we have 64 GB of space we can set aside for our /home partition. I suggest formatting the /home partition using the ext4 file system. This /home partition can be shared between each of your distributions, meaning your files go with you whichever distribution you boot into. It also means you can remove or install distributions without disturbing your personal files.
|root partition of first OS (16GB)
||swap partition (4GB)
||root partition for second OS (16GB)
||/home partition (remaining space)
Visual representation of simple multi-distro disk layout.
|Released Last Week
Lightweight Portable Security 1.3.5
Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) version 1.3.5, a Linux live CD with a goal of allowing users to work on a computer without the risk of exposing their credentials and private data to malware, has been released. What's new? "Updated Firefox to 10.0.5 ESR; updated Firefox extensions HTTPS Everywhere to version 2.0.5 and NoScript to version 2.4.6; updated Thunderbird to 10.0.5 ESR (Deluxe only); updated Flash to 184.108.40.206, including fixing the library support issue noted in release 1.3.4; updated Encryption Wizard application to 3.3.4; Updated OpenSSL to 0.9.8x; minor bookmark updates, including adding check for updates to major bundled software components; fixed problem with iPhone tethering introduced with iOS 5.1 update; updated Java to 6u33." Here is the complete changelog.
Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) is a Debian-based live DVD project with the goal of enabling users to surf the Internet anonymously. Version 0.12 was announced earlier this week: "Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 0.12, is out. Notable user-visible changes include: the unsafe web browser, which has direct access to the Internet and can be used to login to captive portals usually found at libraries, Internet cafés and when using other publicly available Internet connections; Windows camouflage can now be enabled via a check box in Tails greeter - Tails' user interface is unfamiliar to most, which may attract unwanted attention when used in public places, this option makes Tails look more like Microsoft Windows XP in order to raise less suspicion; Tor upgrade to 0.2.2.37; upgrade Iceweasel to 10.0.5...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Liberté Linux 2012.2
Maxim Kammerer has announced the release of Liberté Linux 2012.2, a secure, lightweight and easy-to-use Gentoo-based live medium with the primary purpose of enabling anyone to communicate safely and covertly in hostile environments: "Release: Liberté Linux 2012.2. A new release has been published on SourceForge. Summary of important changes since the previous release: no executables with PaX exceptions any more; better boot media support (including fixes for SD and USB 3.0); New microhttpd-based cables communication implementation (no protocol changes) - nginx / spawn-fcgi / fcgiwrap integration is gone; VIPS image manipulation toolkit (including nip2 GUI); fixed key retrieval in GNU Privacy Assistant; touchscreen calibration utility. In addition, many packages have been updated - e.g. LXPanel now has working thermal sensor support, and I2P has been upgraded to version 0.9." Here is the brief release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Mageia 3 release schedule
After the recent release of Mageia 2, the developers of the community distribution have taken a look at a calendar and started making plans for the upcoming release, version 3. Anne Nicolas: "Mageia 2 was released 2 weeks ago. The QA and security teams are working hard to fix bugs and provide security updates. It's time now to think about our next release: no rest for the brave! We have now a full plan for Mageia 3, which will be released in March 2013. At the moment, Mageia teams are working hard on specifications for this coming release. In order to improve the way we manage this, a policy for proposals submission has been released. A template is now to be used so that we can make better choices, given the content of these proposals and the resources to be allocated." The first alpha build of Mageia 3 is scheduled to arrive on 4 September 2012 while the final release is expected on 20 March 2013. See this blog post for more information.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Adonis Linux. Adonis Linux is a distribution that aims to branch into multiple flavours. There are some built on Debian GNU/Linux, others on Ubuntu. These flavors aim to be simple yet great to look at. They are a direct result of trying to combine a minimalist attitude with a want for a beautiful desktop to work on. The ultimate goal of this project is to provide a highly customisable system that leaves the user in control of it while maintaining an ease of use that allows even the most novice of users able to accomplish what they set out to do.
- Bitrig. Bitrig is a free, fast, and secure UNIX-like open-source operating system based on OpenBSD. It is available on current hardware platforms.
- DeniX OS. DeniX OS is a Fedora respin with packages from RPMFusion and other repositories. The goal is to simplify the installation and setup, a system with multimedia support, wider range of programs and applications.
- Instant WebKiosk. Instant WebKiosk is a browser-only "live" operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux and designed for use in web kiosks, multi-user workstations (cafès, offices, schools, hotels) and digital signature deployments.
- JfLinux. JfLinux is a new Java-infused Linux-based operating system where most of the applications are written in Java. There are applications for everything - from the installer to the dock and the media player.
- Linux-Bro. Linux-Bro is an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a customized user directory that takes as little space as possible, panels and menus arranged in a GNOME 2 style, and other useful and user-friendly enhancements.
- Linux Regal. Linux Regal is an Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution.
- MLIPenguin-OS. MLIPenguin-OS is an Italian Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 25 June 2012. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|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 |
SwagArch is a GNU/Linux desktop distribution based on Arch Linux. The SwagArch distribution features a live DVD that runs the Xfce desktop and uses the Calamares graphical system installer. SwagArch offers popular FOSS applications pre-installed, including Firefox and the VLC multimedia player.