| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 476, 1 October 2012
Welcome to this year's 40th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! openSUSE's latest release may have arrived later than originally scheduled, but, based on early reviews, version 12.2 looks like another rock-solid release. With its superb configuration tools, enormous software repository and large user community, openSUSE 12.2 has everything to become one of the top releases of 2012. Jesse Smith takes it for a spin and reports about his findings in this week's feature article. In the news section, Slackware Linux 14.0 finally arrives after 17 months of development, Fedora increases integration of business features in preparation for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, ZevenOS developers ready to close shop citing lack of community involvement, and Roberto Dohnert outlines plans for the future of the Ubuntu-based OS4 distribution. Also in this release, a Tips and Tricks section which provides a useful step-by-step tutorial on how to connect to your home computer from a remote location. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the September 2012 DistroWatch.com donation is Zim, an open-source graphical text editor based on wiki technologies. Happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Review of openSUSE 12.2
It arrived a little later than originally expected, but the openSUSE project managed to get version 12.2 out the door. This release of the great green distro has an impressive feature list. Some of the highlights in the release notes include improved performance, enhancements to Btrfs and a move to the GRUB2 boot loader as the system's default. Version 12.2 comes with some other interesting features, including improved multi-touch and multi-seat support and a recent Linux kernel, version 3.4. According to openSUSE's release notes, the new kernel is supposed to support capping CPU usage of processes, though at time of writing I haven't found any documentation on this feature on the openSUSE website.
Installation and first impressions
There are four different editions of openSUSE. There is a full 4.7 GB DVD containing a range of software. We find two live CD editions, one featuring KDE and the other featuring GNOME. The forth option is a 180 MB network installation disc for people who just want to download the specific packages they require. Each option is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds and can be acquired via a direct download or through BitTorrent. I opted to try the KDE disc which is approximately 670 MB in size. Booting off the media we are presented with a boot menu which asks if we would like to load the live desktop environment, perform an installation or check the integrity of the media. I opted to dive into the installer.
When we launch the distribution's graphical installer we are first asked for our preferred language and keyboard layout. We are shown the project's license agreement and then asked to select our time zone from a map of the world. We then get into disk partitioning and we can select from either a guided approach or jump straight into a manual configuration. The guided approach will accept a few pieces of input, so one might say we are guiding the guide. The installer supports ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS, Reiserfs and Btrfs file systems. Further, I was pleased to discover openSUSE does a nice job of setting up a default Btrfs system for us with sub volumes and automated snapshots, but we can talk more about Btrfs later. The installer additionally supports LVM and encrypted partitions.
Once we are done dividing up the disk we move on to creating a user account and we have the option of enabling auto-login and we can choose authentication methods and then the installer displays a list of actions it plans to take. From this final screen we can click on any of the actions and that will take us to the appropriate page to change our settings. For instance, I jumped into the boot loader configuration and found openSUSE would allow me to choose between installing GRUB2, GRUB or LILO. Each boot loader can be configured in a good deal of detail and closing the page took me back to the installer's action summary screen. Accepting the list of planned changes kicks off the installation itself and a short time later, once all the required files have been copied to our hard drive, the installer prompts us to reboot the machine.
openSUSE 12.2 - the welcome screen
(full image size: 662kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Booting into openSUSE we are shown a green loading screen while pale dots dance across the display. It looks like a group of fireflies hiding behind green stained glass. The first time we load openSUSE a graphical wizard appears and begins running a series of configuration steps. The steps are completely automated and we merely have to wait for a minute or two for the wizard to finish its tasks. Then we are presented with a graphical login screen. Signing into our account we are shown a welcome screen containing links to the openSUSE forms, the project's news blog and KDE documentation. Closing the welcome screen reveals a collection of icons on the desktop. These icons will bring up system information, open a browser to the openSUSE website, bring up Firefox, let us browse the file system or start LibreOffice. The KDE interface is set up with a classic layout. The application menu, task switcher and system tray sit at the bottom of the screen. By default we find desktop effects and search indexing are enabled, however while these features typically cause my desktop to lag when running other distributions, I found my interface continued to be responsive with these items enabled on openSUSE.
Software and package management
Looking at openSUSE's application menu we find a useful collection of popular software. The Firefox and Konqueror web browsers are present. KMail is included for e-mail, the Choqok micro-blogging software is featured as is KTorrent. Most of the LibreOffice suite is included in the menu, though the Calc spreadsheet application is missing. For multimedia we find the Amarok music player, the KsCD audio CD player and Kaffeine is included for playing videos. We also find an image viewer, text editor, archive manager and a virtual calculator. Some accessibility options are included such as a screen magnifier and a virtual keyboard. To help protect our privacy the KGpg encryption tool is featured.
The powerful YaST control centre is available to us, as is the KDE System Settings panel. These help us configure the operating system as a whole and the desktop environment respectively. The KDE Help Centre is installed for us and Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. I didn't find Java, multimedia codecs or Flash installed by default, but these can be found in the repositories. By default, mail and secure shell services are running in the background and, behind the scenes, openSUSE features version 3.4 of the Linux kernel. One aspect of the application menu I appreciated was when new programs were installed they were added to a category at the top of the menu called Recently Installed. This makes finding new applications easier than if we had to hunt through the menu.
openSUSE 12.2 - reading the release announcement and running LibreOffice
(full image size: 229kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
As previously mentioned, openSUSE does not come with popular media codecs. When we attempt to play a file for which the system doesn't have a codec the media player (typically either Amarok or Kaffeine) will offer to hunt down the required codec. I found that Amarok was able to locate and install codecs for MP3 files in the standard openSUSE repositories, however video codecs required a bit more work. When attempting to play a video file the system will offer to find the proper codec and fail to locate the required packages. The system then offers to open a website containing information on third-party codecs. Opening the offered website we find an explanation as to why multimedia support is missing from the default install and then we are shown two sets of instructions for adding these missing packages. We can either click a link that automates the entire process (and this option works nicely) or we can copy command line instructions into our console. Whichever way we go openSUSE downloads the proper packages providing multimedia support. While not quite as convenient as Ubuntu's method of letting us click a checkbox during the initial install, openSUSE's approach to multimedia is fairly balanced and it isn't hard for users, even fairly inexperienced users, to find the software they want.
However, it was about this time when I ran into my one major gripe with openSUSE 12.2. When I was trying to add codecs (and at another point when I was trying to download security updates) I ran into an error telling me package transactions were locked by PackageKit. Would I like to ask PackageKit to close? I opted yes, I wanted PackageKit to wrap up and let me perform my tasks. A few seconds later I was told that PackageKit refused to respond and would I like to try again? I tried again five times and finally gave up, opting to wait. An hour later PackageKit was still showing as busy. Assuming something had gone wrong I killed the PackageKit process and continued with my tasks. Later, after a reboot, I ran into the same problem while trying to install software, PackageKit had locked the packaging system and refused to let go, even after letting it run for a few hours. Eventually I removed PackageKit and had no further problems with installing software or downloading updates, though the update notification icon, usually located in the system tray, was no longer present with PackageKit removed.
Also on the topic of software management, openSUSE comes with a unique package manager. This application, which can be found within the YaST system panel, is unusually flexible. The package manager allows us to find, sort and filter software packages by name, by software category, by RPM group, by description and by status. The package manager will show us packages in just about any way we could want and maintains a queue of actions to be performed. This means if we are setting up an update or wish to install multiple packages and we get called away from the computer we can close the package manager and it will restore the queue, remembering what we were doing when we launch the manager again. Despite all of these handy features, much of the complexity is lying under the surface. This means new users can go in, click on the items they want and shouldn't have too much of a learning curve. More advanced users will find the package manager quite accommodating.
Hardware and system configuration
Since I mentioned YaST, let's look at some of the other tasks which can be performed through this control centre. YaST has a nice interface that features categories of system management down the left side of the window. Over on the right we see specific modules currently available in the YaST panel. Besides software management, we can also deal with external hardware such as printers, scanners and mouse pointers. There is a module for adjusting kernel settings such as which process scheduler to use. YaST will also let us configure the boot loader, change the system's date & time, perform system-wide backups, configure network connections and change our hostname. We can set up and configure network shares using a variety of protocols and manage the computer's firewall. There is a module dedicated to security settings and it lets us get down into the gritty details of user account settings and password requirements. Something I appreciate about YaST is that we are not limited to the tools provided in the default install. The openSUSE repositories contain additional modules which, when installed via the package manager, automatically appear on the YaST panel. One module I recommend is the OpenSSH configuration tool, as secure shell comes enabled by default in openSUSE 12.2.
YaST is a very powerful, capable system admin tool and it's a great asset, especially for power users. However, I think new users may find it a bit intimidating. Not the panel itself, but rather many of the individual modules. Some of the configuration modules are quite straight forward and simple (the OpenSSH module, for example, is fairly friendly). Other modules are more complex and may turn off novice users. A new user going into the Backup module hoping to find something like Deja Dup is going to be in for an unpleasant surprise when they see all the configuration options. This varied approach used by YaST seems at odds with, for example, the admin controls which come with PCLinuxOS where everything appears to have the goal of being novice friendly.
openSUSE 12.2 - the KDE System Settings panel and YaST
(full image size: 499kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
I ran openSUSE on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB of RAM, Intel video and Intel wireless cards) and I was happy to discover the distribution detected and utilized all of my hardware out of the box. My screen was set to its maximum resolution, sound was set to a medium level and the distro detected wireless networks in my area. Performance was quite good and the system only used approximately 210 MB of memory when sitting idle at the KDE desktop. Boot and shutdown times were about average and the system remained stable for the duration of my trial.
I believe I've stated before that openSUSE is a distribution which does not get the coverage and respect it deserves. While the blogosphere lights up which each new experiment from the Fedora camp and news of every package change in Ubuntu ripples through the open source community, the openSUSE project generally does not attract a lot of attention. Yet the developers have managed, fairly consistently, to put out quality releases over the years. The 12.2 release seems to be another such step in the right direction, with a few possible exceptions...
As mentioned earlier, PackageKit was a complete mess on my installation. The only way I could operate on software packages was to remove the PackageKit daemon. In the past I've complained that PackageKit gets in the way from time to time or slows things down, but I was willing to admit it had a purpose. Perhaps something went wrong during my install, but PackageKit completely blocked any package transactions for me this time around until it was shut down and removed. This was my only serious issue with openSUSE and I suspect it may be one of those one-off errors that won't bother most people, at least that's the impression I've had browsing the forums. A minor concern, and this is a matter of taste, was that YaST is starting to show its age. It is still a very powerful system configuration tool and I'm pleased to have it. Yet, I feel it could do with an overhaul to make it a bit more user friendly. The other week I praised the Control Centre in PCLinuxOS. YaST has similar functionality to that Control Centre, but has a more daunting interface and I'd love to see it touched up and perhaps have the more advanced options put in separate tabs.
openSUSE 12.2 - working with packages and adjusting security settings
(full image size: 416kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Those things aside, I have a lot of positive points to raise about openSUSE's latest release. One such point being the performance. In the past it was often stated SUSE was on the slow side and even recent releases were fairly average when it came to their responsiveness. The 12.2 release was quite snappy on my hardware. It was a pleasant surprise to find that, even with effects and indexing turned on, the KDE desktop was quick to respond. YaST modules seem to be loading faster these days too. On a related note, I usually do not set up Btrfs during my trials and the last time I did, I reverted back to ext3/4 because of the huge performance hit I took with Btrfs. That was about a year ago. This week I tried Btrfs with openSUSE and was pleasantly surprised, both because the distribution's performance was still great, but also because Btrfs is integrated with the operating system and works automatically.
When updates or configuration changes are made through YaST the admin tool makes a Btrfs snapshot, allowing us to investigate problems and roll back to previous configurations which are known to work. These snapshots are done transparently for the user. The distro comes with a command line utility for dealing with snapshots, called Snapper, and Snapper's manual page is surprisingly easy to read and the program is fairly straight forward to use. I especially like that users can browse old snapshots, find out which files have changed and compare the old version of a file with the current one. There is a graphical module for Snapper which can be added to the YaST admin tool, however it is a bit limited at this stage. The Snapper module allows us to browse snapshots and restore them, but creating snapshots, scheduling them or deleting them isn't available yet through the graphical interface.
In short, openSUSE has a solid installer, the YaST admin panel is great, the performance is excellent and (with PackageKit gone) software handling went smoothly. The Btrfs implementation is the best I've seen to date and the hardware detection on my laptop was flawless. I've been quite impressed with what openSUSE had to offer this time around and I recommend giving it a try.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Slackware 14.0 features, Fedora for business, ZevenOS disappointments, interview with OS4's Roberto Dohnert
All is well with the world as Patrick Volkerding unleashed a brand-new version of Slackware Linux last week. This was the distribution's first stable release in 17 months, which was the longest development period in the project's 19-year old history. Well-known Slackware developer Eric Hameleers blogged about the new Slack: "I think there has not been such a long series of release candidates, ever before. Thanks to the co-operation of our Slackware user base, there has been a tremendous amount of beta testing during the past few months. Pat could probably have gone on releasing updates and allow further testing for months to come, but essentially, we have a solid and stable Slackware release in our hands. What’s new? We have X11R7.7 (X.Org server 1.12.3), KDE 4.8.5, Xfce 4.10, the Linux 3.2.29 kernel as default, but with lots of sample kernel configurations for newer 3.x kernels included as well. NetworkManager has been added for people who like to be mobile and configure their network connections using a GUI. We still include wicd, and we kept full support for the traditional style of network configuration." As always, installation CD and DVD images are available from public mirrors, but buying the official media (US$49.95) will go a long way in supporting the distribution and its future development.
Slackware Linux 14.0 - the default KDE desktop
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Would you deploy the Fedora distribution on a business desktop? Many would probably reply negatively due to the short shelf life of the Fedora releases, but there are signs that the distro is becoming more business friendly. Christopher Tozzi has spotted a handful of features in the upcoming Fedora 18 which support that view: "While Fedora 18 will introduce a slew of new features, some of the most notable are those that make it a stronger candidate within commercial environments. These include: out-of-the-box integration with Microsoft Active Directory; better support for automatic discovery of printers and other devices via Avahi; support for NFSometer, a tool for measuring the performance of networked file shares based on the open source NFS protocol used in many enterprise environments; packages for Eucalyptus, an open source platform for building private clouds; the open-source data syncing platform ownCloud will also be packaged for Fedora 18, allowing users to create their own infrastructures for sharing data across devices; the latest stable release of OpenStack will be available for Fedora 18." It's worth noting that, according to earlier reports, Fedora 18 will also serve as the base for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Red Hat's next major update of its enterprise distribution, due for release in 2013.
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Why are there so many Linux distributions, many ask. Perhaps the most obvious answer is that "because they are très facile to create". Or, more precisely, it's trivially easy to remaster one of the big distribution releases to add a personal element or two. But unless you have the business plan of Red Hat, the developer community of Debian or the staying power of Slackware, the odds that your distro will survive for long are rather low. The latest example of a journey that started with great enthusiasm and ended with bitter disappointment is ZevenOS. Leszek Lesner who founded the project in 2008 explains on the distribution's website: The future of ZevenOS looks bad. The community effort to create a free and open-source Linux distribution bringing the BeOS look and feel back has dried out. Currently only I am there as the main developer of ZevenOS. Exactly one week ago I asked for help in the community but there was near-to-nothing feedback on this topic. I know that there are a few people who want to use ZevenOS but none of them are capable or willing to offer time to support ZevenOS in an open and free manner. It should be clear than that even for me working on a project alone is no real fun any more (like it was in the beginning where lots of people got interested and had suggestions and wanted to help) and it is really hard if you are on your own."
On a related note, Dreamlinux, a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution, also closed its doors last week.
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Finally, a link to an interview with Roberto Dohnert, the founder of the Ubuntu-based, semi-commercial OS4 distribution: Q: Where do you want to go with OS4? A: My goals are very simple, to make an easy-to-use desktop and do it based on Linux. Do I see myself as the next Bill Gates? No, if OS4 becomes a niche OS then so be it, but I want to be in as many of those niches as possible. Multimedia creation, air and space, medical, photography, oil and gas, and the automobile market. I'm happy with the pro desktop and I'm happy with the workstation market and I would be very happy to be in the home users desktop. We work from that mindset, we design OS4 to be as user-friendly for the home user and build ourselves up to those pro markets as I described. We are extremely happy with the user friendliness we have achieved and we strive to make our desktop easy to learn, 10 minutes, and so far that has worked out extremely well, our beta testers and users are very happy with what we deliver. Also, we work with all kinds of software, commercial, open source and everything else that people want to use. We are constantly talking to commercial software developers on how we can make their software run on OS4 and get certified to run their software."
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Hostnames for home
Sometimes it is convenient to be able to access one's home computer remotely. Maybe you're away on business and want to grab a copy of the presentation you had on your hard disk, perhaps you are on vacation and want to send copies of your digital pictures home in case your camera gets lost or maybe you want to run a web server out of your home. Whatever the reason, it is good to be able to access your machine from another location and that's what I want to cover this week.
To enable remote access to our machine there are four basic steps we need to perform:
The first step is usually the easiest. Typically when we install a service on our Linux distro, whether that service is a secure shell or a web server, the distribution will start it for us. For the sake of example let's say I wanted to enable secure shell on my Ubuntu box, to do this I would run:
- Enable a service on our home machine.
- Register a domain name.
- Set the domain to be automatically updated with the proper IP address.
- Open a port in our firewall.
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
The next step is to set up a dynamic hostname, something which is fairly easy to remember for people and will point to our home computer, regardless of its IP address. To do this we will want to visit DynDNS.org, no-ip.com or FreeDNS.afraid.org and register for a free account. This will allow us to set up a free domain name like "jesse.afraid.org" or "jesse.is-a-geek.net".
The third step is to now tell our home machine to automatically update our new name (I'm sticking with jesse.is-a-geek.net), so that when our IP address changes our name will still point to the correct location. There are a number of programs which will perform the required checks and updates for us, I happen to like an app called inadyn as it takes very little effort to configure and is available through the repositories of several distributions. To install inadyn I ran:
sudo apt-get install inadyn
Now that the inadyn software is installed, we need to provide it with our account information. To do this, create a text file in the editor of your choice and enter the following lines:
Alter the text in italics to match the username, password and domain name you selected when you created an account with DynDNS, No-IP or FreeDNS. We then save the text file as inadyn.conf. Next we copy the file into our /etc directory, the default location for most configuration files, and change its permissions so that only our user can access the file's contents:
sudo cp -p inadyn.conf /etc
Next it is time to give the inadyn software a test run. From the command line execute:
chmod 600 /etc/inadyn.conf
Assuming everything is set up properly, inadyn should let us know that our IP address has been updated. Otherwise an error will be displayed letting us know what went wrong. Our IP address could be changed several times a day and to counter that I like to have inadyn update my address once an hour. This can be done by running:
to bring up our user's scheduled tasks. We then want to add a task which will run inadyn for us every hour. The line in my crontab file looks like this:
2 * * * * /usr/sbin/inadyn > /home/jesse/inadyn-status.txt
The above command runs inadyn two minutes after the hour and saves any output from the command in a text file. The text file can be useful if we find out later our address information is no longer being updated correctly.
The last step, making sure our firewall will allow connections, is typically comprised of two parts. We need to make sure our computer itself doesn't block connections. How to approach this will vary a good deal depending on which distribution we are using. However, most distributions have a firewall configuration tool and will allow us to open one specific port. In my case, where I'm running secure shell, I opened port 22:
sudo ufw allow 22/tcp
The final step is perhaps the hardest to describe. People who are behind a router or have another type of device between their computer and the Internet will have to login to that device and enable port forwarding, allowing incoming connections to be forwarded to their computer. The procedure to forward ports will depend on the type of device used. If your router or ISP modem does not come with instructions, try performing a web search for the device's specific model name and the phrase "port forwarding".
With these configuration steps complete I am able to connect to my home computer from anywhere in the world by using the name jesse-is-a-geek.net, as in:
|Released Last Week
Slackware Linux 14.0
After more than two months of testing, Patrick Volkerding has finally announced the release of Slackware Linux 14.0: "The long wait is finally over and a new stable release of Slackware has arrived! Since our last stable release, a lot has changed in the Linux and FOSS world. The kernel has moved on to major version 3 (we're using the long-term supported 3.2.29 kernel for this release), X.Org has released X11R7.7, and Firefox has had a whopping 11 major releases to arrive at version 15.0.1! We've brought together the best of these and other modern components and worked our magic on them. You'll find new compilers (including the LLVM/Clang compiler that's becoming a popular alternative to GCC), development tools, libraries, and applications throughout, all prepared with our careful and rigourous testing. If you've used Slackware before, you'll find the system feels like home." Consult the release announcement and release notes for further details.
Hanthana Linux 17 "LXDE"
Danishka Navin announced the release of Hanthana Linux 17 "LXDE" edition, a lightweight live CD built from Fedora 17 and featuring the LXDE desktop environment: "Hanthana Linux live CD, the newest member of the Hanthana Linux family comes out today. While our regular DVD release is a complete software repository with the latest 3D-accelerated desktop, the live CD will cater the the needs of low-resource requirements, personalized software selection and simplicity. It comes with all the goodness of Hanthana and Fedora version 17, including Mozilla Firefox, LibreOffice Writer, Calc and Impress, and loads of more lightweight applications. LXDE is a lightweight and customizable desktop environment, which is designed to work with older hardware, although it also works perfectly well with modern 3D-accelerated graphics hardware." Here is the full release announcement which includes a screenshot of the default desktop.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
September 2012 DistroWatch.com donation: Zim|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the September 2012 DistroWatch.com donation is Zim, a desktop wiki application. It receives €250.00 in cash.
Described by Debian as a "graphical text editor based on wiki technologies", the Zim project's about page offers a more detailed explanation about the project's goals: "Zim aims to bring the concept of a wiki to your desktop. Every page is saved as a text file with wiki markup. Pages can contain links to other pages, and are saved automatically. Creating a new page is as easy as linking to a non-existing page. This tool is intended to keep track of to-do lists or to serve as a personal scratch book. But it will also serve you when writing longer and more complicated documents. A 'desktop wiki' means that we try to capture the idea of a wiki, not as a webpage but as a collection of files on your local file system that can be edited with a GUI application. The main focus is a kind of personal wiki that serves for all kind of notes: to-do lists, addresses, brainstorm ideas etc." Zim is a brainchild of Jaap Karssenberg from the Netherlands.
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$33,185 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), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Brasillinux. Brasillinux is a Brazilian desktop distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. It features an up-to-date Linux kernel and other applications, the Mint menu, extra WiFi firmware, and an installation program completely localised into Brazilian Portuguese.
- Galsoft Linux. Galsoft Linux is a Lubuntu-based desktop distribution localised into the Galician language.
- OpenNode OS. OpenNode OS is a open-source server virtualisation solution providing easy-to-use bare-metal system installer. It's based on CentOS and supports both OpenVZ container-based virtualisation and emerging KVM full virtualization technology on the same host.
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DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 October 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
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|• Issue 848 (2020-01-13): elementary OS 5.1, accessing USB ports directly, NetBSD expanding Wayland support, Fedora phasing out old Python packages|
|• Issue 847 (2020-01-06): Android-x86 9.0, Hypberbola switching to BSD base, Debian votes on init diversity, slow adoption of Wayland and delta packages|
|• Issue 846 (2019-12-23): NomadBSD 1.3, Tails publishes boot fix, Arch update requires intervention, Purism launches server lineup, password protecting files|
|• Issue 845 (2019-12-16): OpenIndiana 2019.10, BunsenLabs' "Lithium" preview, MX-Fluxbox, 10 years of Tails, installing local packages|
|• Issue 844 (2019-12-09): Project Trident Void alpha, alpha installer for "Bullseye", SparkyLinux portable edition, dealing with large log files|
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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|Random Distribution |
GALPon MiniNo is a lightweight, Debian-based distribution designed for PCs that are 10 years old (or more), though it's also perfectly usable on modern computers and netbooks. It contains a carefully tuned selection of applications that try to maintain a balance between features, ease of use and speed. IceWM with ROX-Filer and PCManFM provides the desktop. The distribution has full support for three languages (English, Galician and Spanish) and it also comes with "magic icons" - a set of tools that automate repetitive or system tasks (e.g. rotate or resize hundreds of digital images, convert audio or video files into other formats or burn an audio CD with a simple drag & drop).