| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 463, 2 July 2012
Welcome to this year's 27th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! TurnKey Linux is a rather unusual distribution. Instead of developing one general-purpose operating system, it offers several dozens of self-contained and highly-specialised server appliances for every purpose imaginable. As a result, users can pick exactly what they need, without any extra clutter and other unneeded applications. Jesse Smith takes a handful of TurnKey's more interesting spins for a ride and reports about his findings in this week's feature article. In the news section, Red Hat hints at integrating the Btrfs file system into Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Ubuntu's Unity desktop gets some love from users who prefer a task-centric working style, Sabayon Linux releases a new respin featuring the MATE desktop environment, and Mandriva confirms that its next release will continue to use RPM 5 for package management. Also in this week's issue, the ZFS file system and its current status on Linux. Finally, we are happy to announce that the recipient of the May and June 2012 DistroWatch.com donations are MATE and LibreCAD. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Review of TurnKey Linux 11.3|
The TurnKey Linux project is one which I've been meaning to explore for some time now. Their slogan of "Lighter, smaller, faster and easier" certainly sounds appealing and their approach to providing Linux solutions sets them apart from other distributions. The description of TurnKey, as given by their website, is "TurnKey Linux is a virtual appliance library that integrates and polishes the very best open source software into ready to use solutions. Each virtual appliance is optimized for ease of use and can be deployed in just a few minutes on bare metal, a virtual machine and in the cloud. We believe everything that can be easy, should be easy."
Originally when I began investigating TurnKey Linux I was under the impression each virtual appliance was a self-contained module, like a Push Button Installer file or a pre-configured jail, a software package which could be plugged into a minimal base. However, this interpretation turned out to be only half correct. Each virtual appliance is indeed a pre-configured, self-contained module. However, instead of plugging these modules into a base install as we would when adding a LAMP package to a minimal server distribution, what TurnKey does is supply ISO images and virtual machine packages which supply the entire base operating system with one specific service. Each appliance not only supplies the required software, libraries and configuration, it also includes the underlying operating system. This approach means each appliance needs its own machine (virtual or bare metal), but it also means we can install and set up a complete software stack within five minutes with almost no configuration or documentation required.
The TurnKey Linux project provides over 40 of these appliance modules. There are appliances for setting up Zimbra for e-mail and collaboration, various web servers with software such as WordPress, bug tracking software, file servers and domain controllers. Each module uses Ubuntu LTS as its base (appliances may use different LTS releases, 10.04, 8.04, etc) and provides a web-based control interface. Each appliance appears to be offered only in one edition, a 32-bit build. To try to get a feeling for the TurnKey approach to providing software solutions I downloaded three different appliances, the TurnKey Linux Core, the WordPress appliance and the Zimbra e-mail server appliance.
Let's look at the Core appliance first. The ISO for Core is approximately 160 MB in size and booting from the CD brings up a menu asking if we'd like to try a live version of the software or install it. Choosing the install option brings up a text-based installer which first asks us if we would like to manually manage partitions or use a guided approach. The guided option will display the installer's choices and ask us to accept the layout before proceeding. Manual partitioning brings us a text-based menu system where we can manipulate the disk's layout. It's a straight forward interface given its text-based nature and I found it fairly closely mimics the Ubuntu graphical installer. Once we confirm our partitioning scheme the installer copies the files it needs to the hard drive. It's a short wait followed by a prompt asking if we would like to install the GRUB bootloader. When the installer completes we are asked to reboot the machine.
The first time we boot into TurnKey Linux we are presented with a short list of questions, again presented in text menus. First we are asked to provide a password for the root account and then we are asked whether we would like to download and apply all available updates from the package repositories now or wait until later. The next screen displays the machine's IP address and lists the various methods and ports by which we may connect to the appliance. The Core appliance features a secure shell server on port 22, a terminal interface which can be accessed via a web browser on port 12320 and a Web Admin interface on port 12321. TurnKey supports secure connections out of the box, which means not only is our secure shell connection protected by encryption, but the web interfaces are protected, requiring us to connect using the HTTPS protocol. The final screen the first-run wizard displays gives us the option of configuring the network. By default TurnKey uses DHCP to acquire a network address and LAN settings, but we can provide our own configuration, setting a static IP address and default gateway. Once the configuration steps are complete we are dropped at a text console with a login prompt. If we are sitting at the machine we can login using the root password we created earlier, or if we're at a remote location we can login using secure shell or a web interface which imitates a secure shell.
TurnKey Linux 11.3 - secure shell in a web browser
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What TurnKey Core gives us is essentially a bare Ubuntu server, with a few additional network services running. We have access to the same repositories as Ubuntu and we can manage software packages using APT. From the command line we have basic GNU tools and manual pages. The Core edition of TurnKey is appropriately simple, providing us with a foundation upon which to build services. However, rather than manually installing more packages and configuring network services, I now wish to move on to another appliance, specifically the WordPress TurnKey appliance.
The ISO download for the WordPress appliance is about 210 MB in size. Installing this software from a CD is virtually identical to installing the Core edition, with one minor difference. When we are installing the WordPress bundle we are asked to set passwords for a MySQL database and for a WordPress admin account. Everything else, the partitioning, the option to configure the network interface, and the remote login services remain the same. When the installation is complete we are again shown a page with a list of services and network ports we can use to access our machine. Once again we can login using secure shell or a web console, but there is also a PHPMyAdmin service running and we are given a URL for accessing the WordPress administration panel. When we point our web browser to the IP address of the appliance we find a WordPress blog is running with a pleasant theme and a demo post. Using the login credentials we created at install time we have graphical web interfaces for managing the WordPress blogging software and managing the blog's underlying MySQL database. Everything is set up for us and little to no additional configuration work is required.
TurnKey Linux 11.3 - running a WordPress blog with default settings
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The third trial on my list was the Zimbra e-mail server appliance. This module comes as a 514MB ISO and the installer runs us through the same steps as those in the Core's installer. Once we have installed the Zimbra module and walked through the first-run wizard we are asked if we would like to download and apply all available security updates. If we don't respond the system eventually defaults to "yes" and downloads all available updated packages.
When the Zimbra appliance is up and running we find a Zimbra web-based administrative console is set up on network port 7071. A secure shell service and a browser-based command line interface are also enabled for us. The appliance additionally sets up SMTP, POP3 and IMAP services and a default domain name, example.com, to give the administrator a place to start. Using the Zimbra web interface I found it was easy to login, create new users and put quotas in place. Zimbra's controls are quite straight forward and I found it easy to create and manipulate accounts with a few mouse clicks. In the background the appliance starts anti-virus, anti-spam and spell checking services.
TurnKey Linux 11.3 - the Zimbra control panel
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Something which sets the Zimbra appliance apart from the others I looked at was the software included in the appliance is several years old. The appliance is based on Ubuntu 8.04 and logging into the Zimbra web portal brings up a warning letting us know the software works best with Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox 1.0. I found A modern version of Firefox would do just fine, but the web interface didn't work with the latest version of the Opera browser. Despite its age, I found the version of Zimbra in the appliance worked with current versions of Thunderbird and, as long as there wasn't any firewall in the way, I could send and receive e-mail using the appliance utilizing its default settings.
One aspect to TurnKey Linux I haven't touched on yet, but which was available in each of the appliances I tried, is the Web Admin interface. When a TurnKey appliance boots it starts a secure web interface on port 12321. The administrator can login to this interface and use the web portal to monitor and adjust certain aspects of the system. We can view running processes, see current memory usage, edit text files, view active user accounts, manage scheduled jobs and other various administrative tasks. All of this is presented in a point-n-click environment which reminds me a bit of Mandriva's control centre, presented to us via our web browser. I found the graphical environment was nicely laid out and it was easy for me to find items in the menus. There are some actions I sure most administrators will always want to perform from the comfort of the command line, but for simple adjustment and monitoring the Web Admin interface is quite convenient.
TurnKey Linux 11.3 - the Web Admin interface
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At first glance it might seem like overkill to perform a complete operating system install to set up a bug tracker or a new e-mail server. Doubly so when we consider some distributions come with meta-packages to help administrators get LAMP or other configurations in place quickly. That being said, I think the TurnKey Linux developers are on to something. It's nice to be able to plug in a CD or a USB drive and have a working WordPress or Bugzilla or Zimbra installation in place with almost no need for further configuration steps and no additional software packages. The term "virtual appliance" is appropriate in that these modules behave much the same way physical appliances behave. One doesn't expect to add components to their toaster to make it wash dishes and most of us don't expect our refrigerators to play music. We do expect to plug them in and have them just work with almost no adjustments and that is how TurnKey virtual appliances behave: we put the CD in and they work.
Personally, I was quite impressed with the way the TurnKey appliances were set up, the way they walk the user through installation with a minimal amount of fuss and interaction. I liked having all the database tables and services and security keys in place by default. I could see using these modules as a very attractive way to get services up and running in a hurry, especially if we have the resources to set up a separate virtual machine for each appliance. TurnKey's approach may not be for everyone, some people like to tweak and configure and do things manually. But for people who are either new to setting up the software offered in the TurnKey library of appliances or for people who were planning to mostly take the defaults anyway, TurnKey is an attractive option. I've only tried three appliances so far, but I have been impressed with the quality I have experienced up to this point.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Red Hat and Btrfs, Ubuntu's efficient Unity, Sabayon with MATE, Mandriva and RPM 5
The Btrfs files systems is one of those mysterious phenomenons in the Linux world. Often promoted by Fedora developers as the next default file system, but somehow never quite ready enough for the big switch. The latest news from Red Hat is that the next major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), version 7, should include Btrfs. Sean Michael Kerner reports for InternetNews: "For the last several years, I've been asking Red Hat when Btrfs would land in Red Hat-powered Linux distributions. Now I know the answer. Tim Burke, Vice President of Linux Engineering at Red Hat, told me that currently Btrfs is still considered to be a tech preview in the recently releases RHEL 6.3 update. He added that Red Hat is currently focusing its Btrfs efforts on RHEL 7, where the Btrfs file sytem will be a more integrated component. This is good news. Red Hat's enterprise embrace of Btrfs has been a bit slower than other enterprise Linux distros. SUSE has been providing a supported Btrfs implementation since SLES 11 SP2, which was released in March of this year. Btrfs provides enhances rollback and snapshot features over ext4, though comparative performance could potentially be a problem."
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Ubuntu's Unity desktop may have been a target of derision in many online tech media, but the truth is that there are many users who find the distribution's default user interface highly productive, especially after spending some time with it. Jack Wallen explains how Unity is making the desktop seriously efficient again by making the user focus on a single task: "A while ago a survey was done that indicated multi-tasking at that level is good for the brain. I have found, over the years, that working in such a fragmented way did one thing -- made me do fragmented work. I could work with numerous windows open -- do a bit of work here and a bit of work there, only to find my work slowly but surely losing focus, specificity, and a necessary level of tightness. Ubuntu Unity has, for the most part, solved that problem. Oh sure, you can have as many windows open as you want. But unlike many window managers, you can't click as easily to minimize and maximize the windows. With many desktops you can click on the opened window's icon and either restore or minimize the window. With Unity, you can only restore."
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Naturally, not everybody will agree with the above assessment, but this is exactly why free software is such a wonder in today's ever-changing world. Once the GNOME project abandoned the well-established GNOME 2 series, it didn't take long before somebody would pick up the discarded code and turn it into a maintained project. MATE is the name of the fork and the latest distribution that has successfully integrated it into their setup is Sabayon Linux. Sabayon developer Kelly Schwartz takes a look at the new flavour in "Well Hello MATE!": "The other day we got a new Sabayon daily ISO image to try out and use. This is for the MATE desktop environment. You can head to your favorite mirror and download Sabayon_Linux_DAILY_amd64_MATE.iso and make yourself a live bootable disc or USB device. I had previous tested out MATE by just installing it via the limbo repository, which you can do also. It's good to test the live ISO and installing via entropy on an installed system. Keep in mind that this is a young and new project so it may take some time to gain some features. It's also meant to be minimal stuff included. You won't find Firefox or Chromium as Midori is the default browser. Feel free to give feed back on the Sabayon dev mailing list."
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Version 5 of the RPM package manager has been around for years, but very few distributions have been brave enough to make the big switch. One exception is Mandriva Linux which has RPM 5.3 in their 2011 version and RPM 5.4 in the "Cooker". But it was a controversial decision, with a history of discord on the project's development mailing list and occasional rumour of dropping RPM 5 for the 4.x series. However, according to the latest news, all such talk has no truth in it and Mandriva is definitely sticking to the 5.x series of the RPM package manager for their upcoming release. Susan Linton reports in "Mandriva Will Not Abandon RPM 5": "There have been some rumors floating around that Mandriva was going to abandon their transition to RPM 5, a fork of the original Red Hat Package Manager. Mandriva began moving to RPM 5 quite a while ago because it offers increased performance and added features. So today Per Øyvind Karlsen, Mandriva Project Leader, confirmed that Mandriva has no plans to abandon RPM 5. In a blog post today, Per Øyvind Karlsen said he needed to set some rumors to rest. The first one has already been settled, but Karlsen confirmed there were no plans to re-merge the Mandriva and Mageia projects."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
ZFS on Linux
One area in which I feel Linux distributions have lagged in recent years is file systems. The ext4 file system has been slow to adopt snapshots and the Btrfs file system and its utilities, despite the promise of shiny new features, haven't matured as quickly as some had hoped. This has left Linux administrators at something of a disadvantage when it comes to managing large amounts of data. Meanwhile, over in the Solaris, OpenIndiana and FreeBSD communities, they have been making use of ZFS for years. ZFS allows administrators to make use of storage pools, huge data storage, deduplication, snapshots and error detection.
The reason we haven't seen widespread adoption of ZFS in the Linux world is largely a matter of licensing. The Linux kernel is licensed under the GNU General Public License and ZFS carries the Common Development and Distribution License. As the two licenses are not compatible this means ZFS cannot be made a part of the Linux kernel in the same manner ext4, Btrfs and other file systems are. There are some work arounds. One of these work arounds is the ZFS on Linux project. What this project offers is native Linux ZFS support using a kernel module. Since the ZFS code provided by the project is shipped separately from the Linux kernel there isn't a licensing conflict. The two pieces of software talk with each other, but are distributed separately and under different licenses.
The ZFS on Linux project provides RPM and DEB packages and provides a link to a Ubuntu PPA repository to assist users in getting the proper software. Since the project links to Ubuntu packages I decided to set up a Ubuntu 12.04 server and give creating ZFS pools a try. The install of the ZFS and SPL packages went smoothly, however I found I was unable to create a ZFS file system on my test box. Despite finding some excellent tutorials on enabling ZFS on Linux and the useful FAQ provided by the upstream project I continued to run into dependency issues. An unfortunate turn of events and I hope a time will come in the near future when ZFS on Linux gains more more mainstream support in distribution repositories.
Another option for people wishing to work with ZFS on their Linux machines is the ZFS-FUSE project. The FUSE software is a simple interface for userspace programs to export a virtual file system to the Linux kernel. Though there are some concerns about performance when file systems are handled in userspace, FUSE is useful for treating resources, which might not normally be recognized, as file systems to be mounted and accessed just like native file systems are. This includes mounting remote FTP servers, remote directories available through secure shell and, as it turns out, ZFS pools. I tried ZFS-FUSE on my Ubuntu test machine and the results were quite rewarding. Even though we're going through FUSE to create, manage and backup ZFS pools, the command line tools are the same. In other words, if we install ZFS-FUSE on a Linux machine we can use the same tools and follow the same documentation as we would on Solaris or FreeBSD. The experience is pretty smooth. There only notable difference I experienced when accessing ZFS volumes through FUSE was the lack of direct access to snapshots. It is still possible to create and access ZFS snapshots, but the method is less direct than we enjoy in native implementations.
At this point neither implementation of ZFS for Linux is at a point where I would recommend it for serious use, but the projects are moving forward. Soon we may see Linux distributions offering yet another option for users who wish to take advantage of advanced file system features.
* * * * *
As a follow-up to a Q&A we ran a few weeks ago on partition layouts, reader Hugh wrote in with the following suggestion: "I often read that folks are distressed when having to replace GRUB when they install another distro, so what I do to make it easy and less stressful is, I use two hard drives and I have GRUB on each drive so I have two GRUBs, so when one gets overwritten I can always use the other one while I am fixing the one with the dodgy entries. At the moment I have GRUB 1.98 and GRUB 1.99 but I have had Legacy and 1.98 running together." Thank you, Hugh, for the tip.
|Released Last Week
Parted Magic 2012_06_26
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 2012_06_26, an updated version of the project's specialist live CD with utilities for disk management and data rescue tasks: "Parted Magic 2012_06_26. Lots of little changes and some new programs added. The most noticeable additions are Samba and the proprietary binary video driver from NVIDIA. The NVIDIA driver doesn't come pre-installed, but it is available as a ready-to-go module. Make sure you grab the drivers that match the kernel in the version of Parted Magic that you are currently running. You must also disable the nouveau driver from the Fail Safe menu. The panel has been almost completely reworked. Clonezilla and our famous 'Erase Disk' program have been added to the desktop. ARandR replaces LXRandR." See the project's news page to read the release announcement.
Clonezilla Live 1.2.12-67
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.12-67, a new stable version of the project's utility live CD featuring specialist software for disk cloning tasks: "Stable Clonezilla Live (1.2.12-67) released. This release of Clonezilla Live (1.2.12-67) includes minor enhancements and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2012-06-20; Linux kernel was updated to 3.2.20; Package drbl was updated to 1.12.14, and package Clonezilla was updated to 2.5.42; Partclone was updated to 0.2.49; gDisk was updated to 0.8.5; booting on UEFI machines via CD is supported in this release; package ddrescue was removed because it's no longer in Debian 'Sid' and we already have gddrescue; bug fix - the restored Fedora 17 failed to boot via GRUB 2." Here is the release announcement.
Oracle Linux 6.3
Oracle has announced the release of Oracle 6.3, an enterprise-class distribution based on the recently-released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3: "Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 6.3 for x86 (32-bit) and x86_64 (64-bit) architectures. Oracle Linux 6.3 ships with two sets of kernel packages: Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (kernel-uek 2.6.39), installed and booted by default; Red Hat Compatible Kernel (kernel-2.6.32), installed by default. By default, both the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel and the Red Hat Compatible Kernel are installed. Unbreakable Enterprise kernel Release 2 shipped in this update has following driver updates: be2net to version 4.2.220o, bnx2 to version 2.2.1, bnx2x to version 1.72.00-0, cnic to version 2.5.10, cxgb3 to version 1.1.4-ko...." See the release announcement for a full list of updated network and storage drivers.
Ultimate Edition 3.4 - an Ubuntu-based desktop distro with plenty of eye candy
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
May and June 2012 DistroWatch.com donations: MATE and LibreCAD|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the May 2012 DistroWatch.com donation is the MATE project, a desktop environment forked from GNOME 2, while the June 2012 donation goes to LibreCAD, an open-source and cross-platform 2D CAD software package.
Although both these project's are relatively new, they are already well-established in the open-source software community. The MATE desktop has successfully forked from the GNOME 2.x series and has been accepted by many popular distributions, such as Linux Mint. LibreCAD, on the other hand, is a tool which is trying to fill an important gap in the engineering design area. MATE reached stable version 1.2 in April, while LibreCAD is currently in alpha stages approaching a major 2.0 release.
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$32,240 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), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250)
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Anansi OS. Anansi OS is an openSUSE-based desktop Linux distribution with GNOME 3, developed by Ghana's Oasis WebSoft.
- Cultix. Cultix is a Debian-based distribution for freaks and geeks, with cyber-gothic eye candy and speed and power in mind. It is built under the aegis of the VampireFreaks open-source cult and seems to be the only Linux distribution representing any VampireFreaks community for now.
- Notalinux. Notalinux is an Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution featuring the MATE desktop.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 9 July 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on the command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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Photon OS is a minimal Linux container host, optimized to run on VMware platforms (though it is capable of running in other environments). Photon OS includes a small number of packages and offers users a command line interface. The default installation will often require less than 100MB of memory to run. The operating system comes with Docker pre-installed.