| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 471, 27 August 2012
Welcome to this year's 35th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The "KDE" edition of Linux Mint 13 arrived exactly two months after the main Mint 13 release, but despite the delay, it's clear that the last of the planned Mint 13 variants represents an important part of the distribution's ecosystem. But how does the "KDE" edition fare in the greater scheme of Mint 13 releases? Read Jesse Smith's first-look review to find out. In the news section, Ubuntu finalises the main feature set for version 12.10, Fedora communicates a one-week delay in the development schedule of "Spherical Cow", and the Slax founder announces the return of the once popular Slackware-based live CD. Also in this issue, a quest for a "perfect distribution", a tip on setting quotas on specific folders, and an introduction to Manjaro Linux, a user-friendly desktop distribution based on Arch Linux. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (55MB) and MP3 (46MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Linux Mint 13 "KDE" edition
Before I get into my review this week I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge a good suggestion I received earlier this year. One of our readers pointed out that burning distribution images to CDs and DVDs was wasteful as, eventually, the discs typically end up in the trash. The reader suggested switching to a USB thumb drive in order to be more environmentally friendly. At the time I had been testing most distributions on two machines, one of which was old enough that it did not support booting from a USB device. This situation limited my options and was the main reason behind using optical media. Still, after some consideration I decided that reducing my environmental footprint is more important to me than testing distributions on hardware which I rarely use any more.
With that in mind, I have switched to using a (second hand) USB drive in place of optical media. It is rare these days that I encounter Linux distributions which do not run smoothly on both of my test computers and I feel that the additional testing and use of resources does not provide significant benefit to justify the time and media expended. Going forward I intend to limit hardware testing to one machine and load distributions onto the hardware using a USB drive. Should you have any thoughts on this change one way or the other, please feel free to comment below or e-mail me.
The Linux Mint project will not be a stranger to regular readers, I've covered various editions of their operating system before, including Mint's main edition earlier this year. What prompted me to return for another look, this time at another edition, was the recent history of Mint's KDE branch. There for a while it looked as though Mint KDE would be moved from its Ubuntu base to a Debian base. Then it looked as though the KDE edition was being abandoned. So it was with some surprise that I observed Mint's KDE spin reappear, intact and still based on Ubuntu's package repositories.
Version 13 of Linux Mint KDE is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and its ISO image is approximately 915 MB in size. Looking over the release notes it appears as though that this is a fairly tame release. The distribution comes with five years of support, courtesy of its Ubuntu base, and boots up with a blank screen (which may surprise some users). The KDE 4.8 desktop is included and it sports some minor improvements over previous releases, but otherwise Mint KDE 13 appears to be a evolutionary step as opposed to a revolutionary one.
Linux Mint 13 "KDE" - browsing the project's website
(full image size: 304kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Booting from the live media brings us to a KDE desktop with a silver and blue background. The desktop has a traditional layout with the application menu at the bottom of the display. We also find the task switcher and system tray at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop is a folder view widget containing just one icon, a launcher for the system installer.
The Mint system installer gives us the same experience as we would have installing Ubuntu or other Ubuntu-derived distributions. We are greeted with a welcome screen and then the installer checks to make sure our hardware meets the minimum requirements. We then get into dividing up the disk and the partitioning screen is quite easy to use. The installer is also flexible, allowing us to use any of the ext2/3/4 file systems, Btrfs, XFS, ReiserFS or JFS. We can select our preferred location for the system's boot loader and then we're asked to answer some configuration questions. We confirm our local time zone, select our preferred keyboard layout and then create a user account. While we enter this configuration information the installer copies files in the background and downloads language packs. The install eventually completed and a prompt appeared asking me to reboot the machine.
Booting into the locally installed version of Linux Mint brings us to a graphical login screen. After logging in we once again find ourselves on the KDE desktop. There is an empty folder view widget on the desktop and, shortly after the graphical environment loads, a welcome screen appears. The welcome window provides links to on-line documentation, support forums, an ideas/feedback page, a link to tutorials and a link to Mint's IRC chat room. This is a nice feature and it insures users can get help with most tasks and potential problems.
After I'd been logged in for a few minutes an icon in the system tray caught my attention. The icon provided notification of new package updates and, at the time I installed Linux Mint, there were 411 updates available, totaling 373 MB in size. That may seem like a lot and perhaps that is the reason for the update manager crashing when I tried to launch it. I attempted several times to launch the update manager from its system tray icon and from the application menu, but it always failed to launch. In response I turned to one of the available package managers, Synaptic, which was able to launch and acquire all waiting upgrades. Synaptic has been around for years and is very stable and reliable. Synaptic's interface isn't the most friendly, it's quite plain, but it is a powerful app. Once I had downloaded all the new packages I tried running the update manager again. Sometimes it would open, but most times it crashed at start-up leaving me to use Synaptic or the APT command line package manager to retrieve updates.
Besides Synaptic, Mint comes with a second graphical package manager, this one simply called "Software Manager". This application provides a more modern looking package handling interface with bright icons representing categories of software. Browsing through these categories shows us lists of packages accompanied by their name, description and a user-supplied rating. Selecting a package brings up a full page display with more detailed information and a screen shot of the application. Installation or removal of a package takes a single click of a button and, once an item is queued we can continue to use the Software Manager, browsing and manipulating more packages.
Linux Mint 13 "KDE" - performing updates and backups
(full image size: 173kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The distribution's application menu presents us with a variety of useful software. We are provided with Firefox for web browsing, the Kopete instant messenger, the Quassel IRC client and KTorrent. The LibreOffice suite is installed, as are the GNU Image Manipulation Program and the Okular document viewer. The K3b disc burner is included and we also find the Amarok music player, the Kaffeine multimedia player and the VLC media player in the menu. There's a custom backup utility which is very easy to use, there is a simple domain blocker and an upload manager to make file transfers straight forward. We're given digiKam for handling photographs, a text editor, calculator and archive manager. The KGpg privacy tool is included for us and the menu includes various accessibility options, such as a virtual keyboard, screen magnifier and a text-to-speech utility.
Network Manager is available to help us get on-line, Flash is included in the default install, as is Java. Adjustments to the look and behaviour of the desktop environment can be handled in KDE's System Settings panel which gives the user a good deal of fine control over the interface. The default install also includes popular multimedia codecs. The GNU Compiler Collection is available for developers and, behind the scenes, we find the Linux kernel, version 3.2. It's an impressive and handy collection of software. The only problem I encountered with the above list was with the text-to-speech app which had trouble interpreting text files I passed to it. Additional software can be pulled from the Ubuntu and Mint repositories which provide a combined collection of over 38,000 packages.
Linux Mint 13 "KDE" - managing desktop settings and software packages
(full image size: 237kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Linux Mint detected and used all of the hardware on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB of RAM, Intel video, Intel wireless). The performance of the installed system was very good. I was pleased to find search indexing was disabled by default and desktop effects, while in evidence, we're limited to the less flashy pieces of eye candy. The operating system was a bit heavy on memory, using about 320 MB of RAM while sitting idle at the desktop. Network Manager automatically detected wireless networks in my area and connecting to these networks took a single click. Audio was set to a medium level and my screen was set to its maximum resolution.
Back when Ubuntu 12.04 was released some users were upset by the fact that the distribution no longer included a dial-up program called GnomePPP. This meant that users had to go through some extra steps to get on-line if they relied on older dial-up connections which Network Manager didn't recognize. In Mint KDE's release notes we're told that while GnomePPP is not properly installed, its package is included on the installation media as part of a local package repository. Since the downloadable ISO file is already 915 MB I wondered a bit at why such a small package would be available on the media, but not installed, however I did appreciate the gesture of having it in the local repository (along with some packages for hardware support) and it was nice to see it mentioned in the release notes.
That was, of course, until I tried to install GnomePPP from the local repository and discovered something: GnomePPP is included, but its dependencies are not. This means the user needs to get on-line in order to install the dialer used to get on-line. Or so I thought at first, further digging turned up a menu entry for the KPPP dialer in Mint's menu. I'm not sure why the release notes skipped over the availability of this piece of software, but I decided to launch KPPP to test it instead of continuing to chase GnomePPP. This is where I ran into another problem: KPPP requires admin rights and won't prompt for them, causing the application to fail as soon as it is launched. I had to drop to a command line and run KPPP with sudo in order to get it working.
It may seem like I'm belaboring the dial-up issue more than necessary and perhaps I am. The reason I'm listing out all of these steps and issues is because it indicates layers of problems: untested software, untried documentation and giving users a long-way-around solution. And that's what stood out about my time with the latest version of Linux Mint "KDE", it was largely functional and powerful and the performance was great, but it had a few rough patches that I haven't seen before in Mint. Usually my conclusions at the end of a Mint review include phrases such as "just works" or "close to perfect". This release, with the dial-up issues, the unreliable update manager and a system crash following a large software update... it just didn't feel like the high quality experience I've grown accustomed to with Mint. This release is still mostly good, as I mentioned, the performance was top notch, KDE performed beautifully and the installer is still great. Only it doesn't feel as well tested as its predecessors. I'm sure fans of KDE will be happy to see the KDE spin return to the Mint community and I hope the next release will polish up the edges of this edition.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Ubuntu 12.10 features, Fedora 18 delay, Slax 7 release plan, quest for "a perfect Linux distribution"
Unlike version 12.04, Ubuntu's October release won't have a long-term support tag, which means that the developers should have more freedom to implement interesting new features. TechRepublic's Jack Wallen looks at some of them in "Ubuntu 12.10: New features, new levels of user-friendliness": "Some of the improvements with 12.10 won't be in the way of features. Some will come by way of aesthetic improvements. For example, the default 12.10 theme and login screen will get a bit of an overhaul. But it's not the 'look' of the desktop that will really stand out this time around. It's all about integration -- into the web. That's right, Ubuntu has continued developing toward a highly and tightly integrated solution so the user can find and work with everything they need from within the desktop. What exactly does this entail? Integrated web apps. At first this might seem little more than the ability to open a dedicated web browser window with a web app -- it's much more than that."
One upcoming "feature" not mentioned in the above article is Nautilus 3.4. Even though Ubuntu 12.10 will ship with GNOME 3.6, the venerable file manager will remain at the current stable version due to "removal of features" by the upstream. Joey Sneddon reports for OMG! Ubuntu! in "Ubuntu 12.10 Will Ship With Older Version of Nautilus": "Ubuntu 12.10 will now ship with an older version of Nautilus, an update appears to confirm. GNOME's feature removals in Nautilus 3.5.x - which included the popular 'type-ahead' and 'split-pane' views -- along with a streamlined UI redesign proved controversial with users. Ubuntu developer Sebastien Bacher had earlier put forward the idea of staying with an older, but more featured version of Nautilus for Ubuntu 12.10, with the 'newer' version available in the repositories. Interestingly a reversion to Nautilus 3.4 was the least favoured by in our recent poll asking you what you'd prefer to happen. Ubuntu aren't alone in playing it safe. Linux Mint announced plans to fork Nautilus 3.4 in order to preserve its feature set for their users."
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The initial development release of Fedora 18 was scheduled to arrive tomorrow (Tuesday), but as is often the case with a project of this magnitude, delays are sometimes inevitable. The H Online reports about the reasons behind the Fedora development team's latest "no-go": "At the latest count, there are still 18 open bugs currently classed as blocking the release; these bugs have been deemed important enough that they must be fixed before the alpha can be released. The developers also called attention to the incomplete test matrices for the alpha, which suggest that not enough testing has been done on the code base. The next go/no-go meeting will be held on 30 August and if all the release criteria are satisfied at that point, the first alpha of Fedora 18 will be released on 4 September. The delay will ripple through the Fedora 18 release schedule and would therefore move the final release of Fedora 18 'Spherical Cow' back to 13 November. This date presumes that there are no other delays in the release schedule."
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In last week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly we mentioned the unexpected revival of Damn Small Linux; this week we have the pleasure to report about another popular distribution of the past that is once again getting the attention from its developer. Tomáš Matějíček, the founder of the Slackware-based Slax live CD has announced the good news on his personal blog: "The last Slax version was released many years ago. I didn't have resources to work on Slax any longer. But just yesterday, I've signed a contract with P&P Software GmbH and wisol technologie GmbH. Thanks to these two companies, I'm now funded to work on Slax full time (or, at least, 90% time, since I still keep my ongoing business, which needs some minimal maintenance). The contract states, among others, the following: Slax will be updated to the latest versions of all software components, and final build of Slax 7 will be released within four months. Thus, it should be ready before Christmas. I will post my progress on this blog."
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Finally, a link to an interesting article submitted to DistroWatch by Erwin Van de Velde, a computer science student at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. In a mission to find the perfect KDE-centric Linux distribution for his desktop, the author evaluates the latest versions of Arch Linux, Kubuntu, Mandriva Linux and openSUSE, and summarises the pros and cons of each in "The quest for the perfect Linux distribution": "In the following article I will give an overview of the journey I have already made through the land of Linux distributions. It contains my personal view, colored by my love for KDE and eagerness to try new software. I hope it contains some useful information for you, whether you are a long-time Linux user or are new to the operating system. The beginning of the story. In 2001, I started using Linux at the end of my first year at university, studying Computer Science. For the first (and last) time, I bought a box with a Linux distribution and some manuals in it and installed SUSE Linux 7.2. At that time, it was not really a deliberate choice, it was just the distribution some other students in my year were already using."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Setting quotas on specific folders
Locking-the-filing-cabinet asks: Is there a way I can set quotas on specific folders? I would like to create a series of folders, each with its own quota. Do I have to create a separate partition for each one?
DistroWatch answers: Typically when we set up quotas they are applied to specific partitions. A typical usage scenario would place user quotas on the /home partition to make sure no one takes up more than their fair share of disk space. Jack Wallen has a pretty good tutorial on setting up partition quotas in case you're interested.
As to the question of whether mapping quotas directly to a partition is necessary, the answer is no, there is a way around the one quota/one partition rule. Linux and BSD allow us to create files and then treat those files as if they were disk partitions. This means we can create a large file, format it as though it were a partition and assign quotas to it. Let's look at an example, feel free to follow along.
The first thing we need to do is create a file big enough to act as a partition. This is just an example so the "partition" is going to be fairly small, just 100MB. To create a larger file change the "count" parameter to reflect the size of the new partition in megabytes:
dd if=/dev/zero of=partition bs=1000000 count=100
Next we need to format our fake partition, in this example I'm using the ext3 file system:
Next, we need to mount our newly formated partition with quota parameters:
The partition is mounted and it knows we want to use quotas. The next set is to set up the quota database on our partition:
mount -o loop,rw,usrquota,grpquota partition Folder
quotacheck -cug Folder
All the pieces are in place, now it is time to set disk usage limits for each user. In the following example we set the quota limits for Susan:
The edquota command will open a text editor for us which will show a number of columns labeled file system, blocks, soft and hard. What we want to do is find our file system in the left-hand column and change its corresponding soft and hard usage limits. Then save the file. To confirm the limits are in place we can run:
One nice aspect of using a file as a partition is it can be easily enlarged should you need more space later and, if you decide to discard the data at some point in the future you can simply delete the "partition" file. Another benefit is that if the quotas don't work quite as expected (I've found working with file system blocks within a file doesn't always go as planned) then it is still possible to restrict the amount of space available to the users by growing or shrinking these faux partitions. It is often easier to create more small partitions for users depending on their needs than trying to manipulate real disk partitions.
|Released Last Week
Manjaro Linux 0.8.0
Philip Müller has announced the release of Manjaro Linux 0.8.0, a user-friendly desktop distribution based on Arch Linux and featuring the latest Xfce desktop: "We are proud to announce our default Manjaro edition featuring Xfce 4.10, Linux kernel 3.4.9, X.Org 7.6 with X.Org Server 1.12.3 and GCC 4.7.1. Manjaro Linux targets beginners and advanced users at the same time. We provide user interface tools and scripts to make life easier. Manjaro supports NVIDIA's Optimus technology out of the box. You can choose between Nouveau/Intel or NVIDIA/Intel drivers combination. Manjaro hardware detection tool will configure your graphic cards automatically and with help of Bumblebee bbswitch it is possible to switch to your desired graphic mode." Here is the release announcement.
PCLinuxOS 2012.08, a new version of the project's easy-to-use Linux-based operating system for x86 desktops or laptops, has been released: "PCLinuxOS KDE and KDE MiniME 2012.08 are now available for download. These are 32-bit quarterly update ISO images which can also be installed on 64-bit computers. Features: Linux kernel 184.108.40.206bfs for maximum desktop performance; full KDE 4.8.3 desktop; NVIDIA and ATI fglrx driver support; multimedia playback support for many popular formats; wireless support for many network devices; printer support for many local and networked printer devices; addlocale allows you to convert PCLinuxOS into over 60 languages; LibreOffice manager can install LibreOffice supporting over 100 languages; MyLiveCD allows you to take a snapshot of your installation and burn it to a live CD/DVD...." See the distribution's download page for more information about this version.
Kate Stewart has announced the release of Ubuntu 12.04.1, the first of the regular updates planned throughout the product's life cycle: "The Ubuntu team is very pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS (Long-Term Support) for desktop, server, cloud and core products. The Ubuntu LTS flavors are also being released today. In the 12.04.1 release, we've added support for the Calxeda ECX-1000 SoC family, so businesses can prepare for a data centre dominated by low-energy, hyperscale servers by testing their workloads on the new hardware now. The Ubuntu Cloud archive also makes its début." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.08
Anke Boersma has announced the of Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.08, a major new release incorporating the KDE 4.9.0 desktop: "The Chakra project team is proud to announce the first 'Claire' release; this codename will follow the KDE SC 4.9 series and will be dedicated to the memory of Claire Lotion. Claire 2012.08 is bringing some exciting new features, like the port of the excellent Pardus tool 'Kaptan' to Chakra named 'Kapudan', it will allow the user to easily make all kinds of selections on first boot into their newly installed system. We are also very proud to show the excellent work the Art team has done with the new 'Dharma' theme, which even carries over into the latest GRUB 2, which now has a graphical theme. A Simple Pacman update notifier named 'spun' was also added." Check out the release announcement if you need more details or if you'd like to see the distribution's new default look.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.08 - one of the first distribution showcasing the new KDE 4.9.0 desktop
(full image size: 1,512kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Zorin OS 6.1 "Lite"
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 6.1 "Lite" edition, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution for featuring the LXDE desktop: "The Zorin OS team has released Zorin OS 6.1 Lite, the latest evolution of the Zorin OS Lite series of operating systems, designed specifically for Windows users using old or low-powered hardware. This release is based on Lubuntu 12.04 and uses the LXDE desktop environment to provide one of the fastest and most feature-packed interfaces for low-specification machines. This new release includes updated software, the newer Linux Kernel version 3.2, as well as other improvements. We also include our innovative Zorin Look Changer, Zorin Internet Browser Manager, Zorin OS Lite Extra Software and other programs from our earlier versions in Zorin OS 6.1 Lite." Here is the brief release announcement.
Biff Baxter has announced the release of wattOS R6, a lightweight and energy-efficient, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution (with LXDE) designed for older computers: "wattOS R6 is based on Ubuntu 12.04.1 and the latest updates from the repositories. It is a simple and fast desktop that will likely bring your old computer back to; updated all packages to latest 12.04.1 version; updated to Linux kernel 3.2; changed to VLC for video player; added Xfburn for simple fast CD-ROM and image creation; updated all power management utilities; updated Jupiter and included the latest powertop and Xfce power manage; changed from Midori browser to Chromium with Flash support; added LXFinder - a simple search utility; added LXScreenshot utility...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
wattOS R6 - a lightweight and energy-efficient distribution based on Ubuntu
(full image size: 818kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Scientific Linux 6.3 "Live"
Urs Beyerle has announced the release of live CD and DVD images for Scientific Linux 6.3: "Scientific Linux 6.3 LiveCD, LiveMiniCD and LiveDVD are officially released. They are available in 32-bit and 64-bit variants and come with following window managers: LiveMiniCD - IceWM; LiveCD - GNOME; LiveDVD - GNOME, KDE, IceWM. Software was added from rpmforge, epel and elrepo (see EXTRA SOFTWARE) to include additional file system support (NTFS, ReiserFS), secure network connection (OpenVPN, VPNC, PPTP), file system tools (dd_rescue, ddrescue, GParted, gDisk), and better multimedia support (FFmpeg, Flash). Changes since 6.2: add boot parameter eject which ejects CD/DVD at shutdown." See the full release announcement for more details.
Klaus Knopper has announced the release of KNOPPIX 7.0.4, a Debian-based live distribution with LXDE as the default desktop and a separate edition for visually impaired computer users: "Version 7.0.4 of KNOPPIX is based on the usual picks from Debian 'stable' and newer desktop packages from Debian 'testing' and Debian 'unstable'. It uses Linux kernel 3.4.9 and X.Org 7.7 (core 1.12.3) for supporting current computer hardware. Optional 64-bit Linux kernel via boot option 'knoppix64'; bug-fix update for 7.0.3 - the APT database now contains all necessary data in order to directly install software via Synaptic; LibreOffice 3.5.4, Chromium 21.0.1180.75 and Iceweasel 10.0.6; LXDE (default) with PCManFM 1.0 file manager, KDE 4.7.4, GNOME 3.4." Read the rest of the release announcement for information about the Adriane edition, as well as a complete list of boot options.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- FreezyLinux. FreezyLinux is a lightweight derivative of Ubuntu with GNOME 3 on a classic layout.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 3 September 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 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Voltalinux was a GNU/Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux and the pkgsrc package system from NetBSD. The project offers a pre-built distribution where the user can enjoy the clean design of Slackware Linux with the availability of over 5,000 NetBSD ports ready to be installed.