| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 480, 29 October 2012
Welcome to this year's 44th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The dust is starting to settle in the wake of the latest Ubuntu release from Canonical. In this week's feature, Jesse Smith takes Ubuntu 12.10 for a ride and reports on his first impressions of the popular distribution. Read on to find out how the latest version performs. Also in relation to Ubuntu, the project's founder, Mark Shuttleworth, made an important announcement this past week, inviting more community cooperation and feedback. In other news, the controversial Wayland protocol hit version 1.0 last week, raising questions about the future and direction of graphical interfaces on Linux distributions. In this week's issue we take a look at FreeBSD's new package manager, Pkgng, designed to make the handling of ports easier for end users. Have you had a chance to try Pkgng? Please let us know about your experiences in the comments section. As usual, we cover recent releases in the open source world and bring word of news, reviews and podcasts from across the Linux ecosystem. We here at DistroWatch wish you all a pleasant week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu 12.10 Desktop
Ubuntu is one of the most commonly used Linux-based desktop distributions. The Ubuntu distro and its various community projects are used the world over and a new release always turns heads. This past week I took the latest release from Canonical, Ubuntu 12.10, for a spin. The new release promised improved integration between the desktop and social media, the ability to treat web applications as local programs and search results in the Dash which would include products from Amazon. In short, it seems Ubuntu is looking to become more integrated with on-line services. While this may be convenient for some people, it has raised a number of privacy concerns in the community and, looking over Ubuntu's legal notice about privacy does not provide any reassurance. The notice informs us Canonical reserves the right to share our keystrokes, search terms and IP address with a number of third parties, including Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and the BBC. This feature is enabled by default, but can be turned off through the distribution's settings panel.
Let's put such concerns aside for a moment and look at the various forms Ubuntu takes. The desktop edition of the distribution is available for 32-bit and 64-bit x86 machines. There is also an ARM build which, given the architecture's popularity, is good to see. The images for the desktop editions of 12.10 are a little larger for this release than they were six months ago, coming in at about 750MB. People who require CD sized ISO images can download the Server edition of Ubuntu, which is still less than 700MB in size, and add the required software to the Server installation.
Booting off the Ubuntu Desktop image brings up a graphical interface. We're asked to select our preferred language and we can choose to either try the live Ubuntu environment or perform an installation. Taking the install option brings us to a screen where we're asked whether we would like to apply any available updates and if we would like to install third-party software. This optional third-party software includes packages for playing multimedia (such as Flash videos and mp3 files) and it also includes proprietary hardware support. The next screen gets us to decide how we would like to divide up our hard disk. There are a few options, including letting Ubuntu take over the entire disk, enabling full disk encryption or partitioning the disk manually. The manual option is quite nicely presented. The Ubuntu partitioner is easy to navigate and supports lots of file systems, including ext2/3/4, Btrfs, XFS, JFS and ReiserFS. The partitioning screen also allows us to decide whether we would like to install the boot loader on our MBR or on Ubuntu's root partition. Moving on to the next screen kicks off formating the local disk and copying files from the installation media in the background while we answer additional questions. We're asked to confirm our time zone and keyboard layout. Then we are asked to create a user account. The user creation screen gives us the ability to either automatically login or enable encryption on our home directory. When all the steps are complete and the required files have been copied to the hard disk for us, the installer prompts us to reboot the machine.
Ubuntu 12.10 -- System installer
(full image size: 639kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Booting into Ubuntu brings us to a graphical login screen. Here we are given the option of either logging into our regular user account or logging into a guest account. The guest account is accessible without a password and allows users to perform all the same tasks as a regular user. When we logout of the guest account it is wiped clean, giving each guest a blank slate with all the default settings.
One characteristic of Ubuntu's I have appreciated for some time is the ability to turn on accessibility features while the installer is running. There are options for turning on screen reading and high contrast graphics along the top of the screen. Unfortunately, this time when I enabled the high-contrast display, I wasn't able to turn it off again. In fact, after the installation of Ubuntu was complete, I found that logging into my main account would cause my mouse pointer to be set to a comically large size (most of the time). This behaviour continued even with all accessibility options disabled on the login screen and in the account's System Settings panel. It appears there isn't any way to turn off these options once enabled, short of manually editing configuration files or switching to a different user account.
When running Ubuntu on my laptop (dual-core 2GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, Intel video and Intel wireless cards) the distribution performed fairly well. All of my hardware was detected, wireless worked out of the box and my speakers produced sound at a low volume. My laptop's screen resolution was properly detected and boot times were fairly short. For the most part applications launched quickly and the desktop interface was fairly responsive. At least most of it was, the Dash was quite slow to respond, much slower than it was in Ubuntu 12.04. I suspect this is a combination of new features being added to the Dash's lenses and partly due to the fact that Unity no longer comes with a 2-D option, we are stuck with 3-D mode this time around and there doesn't appear to be any way to turn off the visual effects. This means selecting a lens or typing a search for key words or previewing an icon in the Dash caused a several second delay between input and result.
Ubuntu 12.10 -- Unity's Dash
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I also tried running Ubuntu 12.10 in a VirtualBox virtual machine and found the distribution to be practically unusable in the VirtualBox environment. Even with the VirtualBox add-ons and 3-D acceleration enabled the operating system was much too sluggish to use in any practical sense. Opening the Dash menu took over five seconds, launching small applications took over twenty. Trying to adjust any options in the System Settings panel would cause the system to lock up for about half a minute. Further, I found trying to shutdown or logout while running in either a virtual environment or on physical hardware would cause the operating system to hang and require a hard reset.
While using Unity on Ubuntu 12.04 could be a touch slow at times, it was still quite usable, both in 3-D and 2-D mode. Something has changed in Unity with the new release which makes it noticeably slower in 3-D mode. In addition, the lack of a 2-D mode means users who do not have suitable 3-D acceleration are out of luck. According to the notes I read at release time there is supposed to be a fallback mode for Unity when 3-D acceleration is not available, but it is not in evidence. After struggling with the sluggish Dash for several hours, I finally opted to download the GNOME Fallback option and was presented with what is basically GNOME 2 with thin scroll bars. The desktop's performance was better, if a touch below average, and I was able to navigate to applications much faster than before. Switching to GNOME Fallback mode didn't just improve performance, but it also reduced the system's memory usage. Under Unity Ubuntu would use approximately 440MB of RAM, using the Fallback mode my desktop operated with 210MB of RAM. Another problem I ran into with Ubuntu this time around was a stream of constant crashes and system errors. Almost every time I logged in I'd be greeted by a problem report or notice that something had crashed. I was regularly asked to send problem reports to the Ubuntu team. This happened whether I was logged into the GNOME Fallback or Unity interface.
Package management on Ubuntu is primarily handled by the Ubuntu Software Centre. This graphical application gives us a modern, easy to navigate interface. We can search for software by category or by name. Each package is displayed with an icon, name, description and user supplied rating. Items can be installed with a single click or we can click a different button to bring up detailed information on the package. These detailed descriptions often include a screen shot of the program in action and suggestions for related software. we can also see reviews from other users. An aspect of the Software Centre I enjoy is the ability to select a single item to be installed or removed and then having that task handled in the background while we continue to use the package manager. I find it more convenient than setting up batches of actions, which is the norm with most other package managers.
Ubuntu 12.10 -- The Software Centre
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Software updates are handled by a second application, the Software Updater. Launching this program causes the system to check for available security and feature updates. The interface has changed a little so that the update manager is a bit more compact. By default it doesn't show the names of the available updates, just a summary of the total size of the waiting packages. We can choose to display more information and select (or deselect) individual packages. The manager worked well during my trial and my only concern was that, even though it was set to display notification of updates immediately as they became available, no notification ever appeared. During the week there were packages made available in the repositories, but I only discovered this when I manually launched the Software Updater.
Ubuntu 12.10 comes with a collection of software which covers many common tasks. We're presented with Firefox for browsing the web, Empathy for chatting, the Gwibber micro-blogging client and Thunderbird for e-mail. The Transmission bittorrent client is included as is the LibreOffice suite. Shotwell is featured for managing photos and we're given a document viewer. The Totem video player and Rhythmbox audio player are included and the Brasero disc burning software is also in the menu/Dash. A screen reader and other accessibility options are included in the distribution. To help us get on-line Network Manager runs automatically. The distribution comes with a few small games to help pass the time and we're provided with the usual small apps for handling archives and editing text files. Under both Unity and the GNOME Fallback environment we are given a System Settings panel which allows us to adjust the look and feel of the desktop. A few other tools I was happy to find in the default install were a system monitor and a System Testing app. The latter is a program which probes the system and can send information to Canonical's Launchpad service to help trouble-shoot hardware related problems. Depending on our choices at install time we may find multimedia software on the system, such as Flash and mp3 support. There is no Java in the default installation, but we are provided with the GNU Compiler Collection for building software. In the background the Linux kernel, version 3.5, can be found working.
Ubuntu 12.10 -- Unity's System Settings
(full image size: 364kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
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As a post script to this review, I had hoped to have time to review Ubuntu on a second physical machine to see how Unity 3-D performed on different hardware. However, I was away from home and doing a complete review with two machines wasn't an option. On the weekend a friend let me borrow an old machine of hers which had been collecting dust and I tried running Ubuntu 12.10 on it. The machine was a desktop HP with an AMD Athlon X2 processor, it came with 2GB of RAM and the video card was a NVIDIA GeForce 6150. While I didn't have the chance to get the full Ubuntu experience, I did have a few hours to play with the system. The interface's performance was pretty good and the Dash was noticeably snappier on the desktop machine. Typing searches into the Unity Dash was still a touch slow, but certainly usable. My only problem with the system was the top quarter of the graphical interface would constantly refresh and flicker, sometimes using seemingly random colours. This meant that while the interface was responsive, the text in menus and the Dash was often obscured.
As a further comparison I also installed Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS on the same HP desktop computer. The Unity environment was a bit quicker and the Dash responded almost immediately to any input. I was pleased to note the flickering and colour changes at the top of the screen, which had plagued Ubuntu 12.10, were not in evidence on the Ubuntu 12.04.1 installation. Since both versions of Ubuntu were tested across two different computers (with video cards from different manufactures) it appears the problems I experienced with the latest version regarding Unity's Dash are not hardware specific.
Ubuntu invites further community involvement, Wayland 1.0 released, file system corruption with ext4 and Red Hat brings Java to A64
In the wake of Ubuntu's latest release Mark Shuttleworth took to his blog to make a welcome announcement. The Ubuntu developers often work on new projects and features behind the scenes and Mark is looking to make the work going into Ubuntu more transparent. He writes, "we're happy to engage with contributing community members that have established credibility (membership, or close to it) in Ubuntu, who want to be part of the action." The blog spot goes on to invite community members who are interested in improving Ubuntu to sign up to help the core developers create better free and open source software and have a voice in the direction Ubuntu takes.
Fans of both mobile devices and Linux got some good news this week. Ubuntu developers have been working on porting the popular distribution to the Nexus 7 mobile device. While the project is in its early stages, it is now possible to get a mostly-working Ubuntu install on the Nexus 7. Benjamin Kerensa followed the installation instructions and reported on his experience. His blog post includes photos of the Nexus 7 in action running Ubuntu along with a video. Not everything is working smoothly yet (Benjamin mentions not being able to open a virtual terminal), but this is a positive step toward getting Ubuntu 13.04 running on the tablet.
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Perhaps the most interesting news to ripple through the open source world this past week was the announcement that the Wayland protocol and its Weston implementation have hit version 1.0. The developers are quick to point out that Wayland, the new graphics compositor alternative to X11, isn't ready for daily use yet. The 1.0 designation indicates that the protocol is stable and the developers have a stable design from which to work. It is hoped that over time the Wayland project will mature upon this initial foundation. To date, several toolkits have included support for Wayland, including Qt, GTK+ and SDL. Hopefully more will follow, allowing Linux users to benefit from a more efficient graphics implementation.
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From exciting news to scary news, last week some kernel developers discovered a bug which could cause data corruption on partitions using the ext4 file system. The bug, which appeared in kernel version 3.6.2, isn't likely to affect many users as most distributions shipped with older versions of the open source kernel. The bug, while potentially unpleasant, should only occur in very rare circumstances and a fix has already been proposed. Linux users can rest easy knowing the bug should be fixed before it ever reaches most distributions.
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The ARM architecture has become increasingly popular in recent years and, up until now, most ARM devices featured a 32-bit architecture. Recently we've seen a move to support 64-bit computing on ARM with the new A64 instruction set. This is great news for companies which wish to deploy ARM, but require large memory support. It's also good news for developers who want access to more registers. Last week Andrew Haley blogged about how developers at Red Hat are working to bring Java, in the form of the free OpenJDK project, to the new ARM architecture. In his post he outlines some of the issues with 32-bit Java on ARM, the team's goal for OpenJDK on A64 and one of the big challenges the team faces (they don't have physical hardware for testing). Andrew reports Red Hat hopes to have something ready for the public to test by the end of 2012.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
FreeBSD's New Package Manager
For years the FreeBSD project has focused on producing a core operating system while supplying additional, third-party software for that operating system by way of a collection of ports. These ports are quite often installed (in fact sometimes must be installed) by way of a mostly automated process which downloads the appropriate source code and compiles it. Many ports in the FreeBSD collection are also pre-built into binary form for FreeBSD users and people are able to download these binary packages from the FreeBSD collection. Despite the separation between the core operating system and the third-party software added to it, the FreeBSD approach sounds quite similar to the way packages on Linux distributions are handled.
That being said, the software management tools which handle ports and packages on FreeBSD have been stagnant for a number of years. While they can resolve dependencies and are reliable, the task of managing a FreeBSD installation with a large collection of third-party software has been a bit awkward with several competing tools used to keep installed software up to date. The PC-BSD project side-stepped this issue a bit by using self-contained PBI packages. While the PBI approach is quite user friendly, it added an extra layer on top of the ports and packages system and the PBI bundles were sometimes quite large. This is where Pkgng comes in.
Pkgng is a "next generation" package manager for FreeBSD which works, from the end user's perspective, much like the YUM and APT package managers in Linux distributions work. This new software attempts to take the pain out of maintaining FreeBSD installs which feature large amounts of third-party software. Pkgng can work with binary packages, it is capable of handling multiple packages at a time and it automatically handled dependencies. Using Pkgng, a user can install a new package which is stored locally, we can retrieve packages stored in a remote software repository, we can remove software from the local system and we can clean up dependencies which are no longer required. The Pkgng package manager is designed to replace the existing pkg_ tools and the Pkgng project provides a utility to convert existing package (and port) databases into the new Pkgng format. This makes migrating to the new package manager quite painless.
This past week I had the chance to try out Pkgng, version 1.0, in combination with FreeBSD 9.1-RC2. After installing a handful of packages the old way, using pkg_add, I installed Pkgng from the FreeBSD ports collection. I then used its companion tool to convert over my package database, instructed Pkgng to update its repository information and got to work. I found the process quite smooth and, for the most part, Pkgng performed without any problems. For simple actions, such as adding and removing software from the system and checking for updates, Pkgng performed quite well. The package manager offers to provide detailed package information, it displays a short summary of actions it plans to take before it begins adding or removing software and I ran into no serious problems. If I had to compare it directly to one package manager in the Linux world its closest relative would probably be Aptitude. Pkgng provides one simple front-end for all package handling and search functions and works quickly. The only time I ran into a problem with Pkgng was when I tried installing a software package for which the package collection had multiple versions. For example, telling Pkgng to install "apache" will result in the package manager asking for confirmation to install Apache version 2.0 and Apache 2.2, along with the dependencies of both. When in doubt, Pkgng will assume you want all possible matches. Situations like this can be avoided by specifying the complete name of the port we want, for example "apache22".
Thus far I have been impressed with Pkgng and it is good to see developers in the FreeBSD community adopt a more user-friendly and unified approach to package management. The new command line utility will make migrating to FreeBSD easier and, hopefully, we will see a graphical interface for the new package manager in the near future to make software management on BSD desktop systems feel more integrated.
|Released Last Week
Zenwalk 7.2 "Live"
The "Live" edition of Zenwalk Linux (also known as "Zenlive" and based on the latest version of Slackware Linux), version 7.2, has been released: "I am happy to finally announce the release of Zenlive 7.2 - just a few days after Zenwalk Linux 7.2 standard edition was official launched. A lot of fine-tuning and testing was necessary and a lot of packages have been upgraded since the last beta 3 to reflect recent changes in upstream Zenwalk. Under the hood: new xz compression Squashfs 4.0 (now in vanilla kernel); all new simple installer and live scripts; on-the-fly optional live module activation during the running live session; persistent changes feature is now supported, even over network shares; additional packages for more functionality; additional language packs and full Japanese language input support...." Read the full release announcement for further details.
Puppy Linux 5.3 "Precise"
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 5.4 "Precise" edition, a small Linux distribution built from Ubuntu 12.04.1 and compatible with Ubuntu 12.04 DEB packages: "This is it, the very first official release of Precise Puppy. Precise Puppy is built from Ubuntu 'Precise Pangolin' 12.04.1+ binary DEB packages, hence has binary compatibility with Ubuntu and access to the vast Ubuntu package repository. Couple that with Puppy's tiny size, speed and ease of use, and this is one incredible pup. It is assigned version 5.4 to indicate its position relative to the other puppies, such as Wary 5.3 and Slacko 5.3.3 (5.4 coming soon). A lot of work has happened at the 'Woof level' since the release of Wary 5.3 in April 2012 - of particular importance to Precise are the many enhancements to the Puppy Package Manager (PPM)." See the release announcement and release notes for more information.
DEFT Linux 7.2
Stefano Fratepietro has announced the release of DEFT Linux 7.2, an Ubuntu-based live distribution with a large collection of free and open-source tools for incident response, cyber intelligence and computer forensics tasks: "Today we are happy to announce the latest DEFT Linux release, version 7.2. This is the last 32-bit release but it will have bug-fix support until 2020. Please note that the next release will be for 64-bit systems only. What's new in this release? Virtual appliance based on VMware 5 with USB 3 support; Linux kernel 3.0; Autopsy 3 beta 5 (using WINE, please note that you will need a minimum of 1 GB of RAM); Log2tmeline 0.65; guymager 0.6.12; VMFS support; some minor fixes. Thank you for choosing DEFT Linux and enjoy the project!" Here is the brief release announcement.
Proxmox 2.2 "Virtual Environment"
Martin Maurer has announced the release of Proxmox 2.2 "Virtual Environment" edition, an open-source virtualization platform for running virtual appliances and virtual machines, based on Debian GNU/Linux: "Hi all. We just released Proxmox VE 2.2, including countless improvements and a lot of exiting new features, like live snapshots for KVM guests. Version 2.2 release promotion: Get a reduction of 22% on your Premium, Standard or Basic Support subscriptions. You can easily host all your virtualized servers with Proxmox VE 2.2 and get a replacement for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix XenServer. No license costs, no vendor lock-in, affordable support and full open-source system. Support is available in English and German." See the release announcement and release notes for additional details.
BackBox Linux 3.0
Raffaele Forte has announced the release of BackBox Linux 3.0, a specialist Ubuntu-based live DVD designed for penetration testing and forensic analysis tasks: "The BackBox team is pleased to announce the major release of BackBox Linux, version 3.0. The major release include features such as Linux kernel 3.2 and Xfce 4.8. Apart from the system major upgrade, all auditing tools are up to date as well. What's new: system upgrade; bug corrections; performance boost; improved start menu; improved Wi-Fi drivers (compat-wireless aircrack patched); new and updated hacking tools. System requirements: 32-bit or 64-bit processor; 512 MB of system memory; 4.4 GB of disk space for installation; graphics card capable of 800x600 pixel resolution; DVD-ROM drive or USB port." Here is the brief release announcement.
Matt Housh has announced the release of CRUX 2.8, a small, independent and customisable Linux distribution designed for more advanced Linux users: "The CRUX team would like to announce that CRUX 2.8 x86 has been released." What's new? "Toolchain updates - CRUX 2.8 includes glibc 2.16.0, GCC 4.7.2 and Binutils 2.22; Linux kernel 3.5.4; the ISO image is processed with isohybrid and is suitable for burning on a CD and putting on a USB drive; important libraries have been updated to new major versions which are not ABI compatible with the old versions, we strongly advise against manually updating to CRUX 2.8 via ports, since these changes will temporarily break the system; the oldest kernel supported by glibc is 2.6.39; module-init-tools has been replaced by kmod; some deprecated video drivers have been removed from X.Org (radeonhd, i128, mach64, tdfx, voodoo)...." See the release notes for more details.
Linux Lite 1.0.0
Jerry Bezencon has announced the release of Linux Lite 1.0.0, a beginner-friendly Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution with Xfce as the preferred desktop environment: "Linux Lite 1.0.0 'Amethyst' final for 32-bit systems with PAE support has been released. This distro was created for three reasons. One, to show people just how easy it can be to use a Linux-based operating system and to dispel myths about how scary Linux operating systems are. Two, to help create awareness about Linux-based operating systems. And three, to help promote this community. Linux Lite is free for everyone to use and share, and suitable for people who are new to Linux or for people who want a lightweight environment that is also fully functional." Read the rest of the release announcement for other interesting information.
Josh Paetzel has announced the release of FreeNAS 8.3.0, a free and open-source Network-Attached Storage (NAS) operating system based on FreeBSD: "The FreeNAS development team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of FreeNAS 8.3.0-RELEASE. FreeNAS 8.3.0 is based on FreeBSD 8.3 with version 28 of the ZFS file system. This is a major milestone in FreeNAS development, bringing in the plugin system with ZFS version 28. Development of the FreeNAS 8.2 branch has come to a halt, as both ZFS version 15 as well as FreeBSD 8.2 are no longer supported. There have been no major changes between 8.3.0-RC1 and RELEASE, mostly bug fixes and minor usability improvements to the GUI." See the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.10
Anke Boersma has announced the release of Chakra GNU/Linux 2012.10, an updated release of the KDE-centric desktop Linux distribution: "The Chakra project team is proud to announce the third 'Claire' release. It took a good six months of preparations to get to this point, but the full switch to systemd is here. To do so udev is merged into systemd, with systemd being updated to 194. This meant a first .so file jump for libudev, meaning many packages depending on libudev were updated and rebuilt. It also meant the removal of ConsoleKit, handled now by Polkit and logind. Among all the other updates on this release, KDE 4.9.2, Linux kernel 3.5.6, kmod 0.10, CUPS 1.6.1, D-Bus 1.6.4, Qt 4.8.3, Calligra 2.5.3 to name a few." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Around the Web
* * * * *
* * * * *
New distributions added to the database|
- Linux Lite. Linux Lite is a beginner-friendly Linux distribution based on Ubuntu LTS and featuring the Xfce desktop.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Flux Capacity. Flux Capacity is a lightweight live CD based on Arch Linux and featuring the Fluxbox graphical interface.
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DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 5 November 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 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|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 18.104.22.168, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• 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 or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
FIRE was a portable bootable CD-based distribution with the goal of providing an immediate environment to perform forensic analysis, incident response, data recovery, virus scanning and vulnerability assessment. It also provides necessary tools for live forensics/analysis on win32, Solaris, SPARC and x86 Linux hosts just by mounting the CDROM and using trusted static binaries available in /statbins. In other words, FIRE was a Linux distribution with lots of useful security tools and a fine menu system which makes it very easy to use. Nothing on your computer was modified, so you can try it out safely.