| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 499, 18 March 2013
Welcome to this year's 11th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It was a fascinating week, with the added excitement of the final release of openSUSE 12.3, as well as what has become a rather standard feature in the world of Ubuntu in recent months - much online bickering. But before we get to the news section, we'll take a little detour from Linux and focus on the MINIX project which recently released version 3.2.1 of their computer operating system based on a microkernel architecture. While MINIX might not be something that most of us would run on our laptops or desktop computers, it certainly is -- and has been for over two decades -- an excellent light, clean and reliable system to tinker with on a rainy day. Back to the news section, Kubuntu's Jonathan Riddell explains his recent spat with the Ubuntu leadership, Fedora's Robyn Bergeron presents an educated opinion on the state of Linux desktop market, and openSUSE provides a series of introductory articles about the just-released version 12.3. Also in this issue, a round-up of Linux distributions for musicians and an addition of three new operating systems to the DistroWatch database, including the ever exciting KolibriOS. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (18MB) and MP3 (34MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Quick looks aLinux 15.0 and MINIX 3.2.1
Most of the mainstream Linux distributions available today are focused on bringing their users the latest and great open source technology. They are on the cutting edge of software development and refining the definition of what modern computers can do. Which is great, but not all of us are using new computers, many of us are using ageing computers which only continue to grow older. With that in mind this week I wanted to look at an operating system which is better suited to older computers. At the top of my list was aLinux, a distribution which supports i686 computers and ships with the classic KDE 3.5 interface. I'm uncertain as to whether aLinux uses the original KDE 3.5 packages or if the project uses Trinity, the continuation of KDE's 3.5 branch. The aLinux project's website, while colourful, is short on specifics and does not contain a great deal of documentation. The latest release of aLinux, version 15.0, is available as a 1.4GB download and is offered as a 32-bit build only.
Booting from the aLinux media brings up a menu letting us choose the resolution of our display. The system then attempts to boot into a live graphical environment. I tried aLinux on my laptop and in a virtual machine and found the system could not complete its boot process. Early on messages displayed on the screen indicating files under the /bin and /sbin directories could not be located. As it turns out others have had trouble booting the distribution and reported the same issue. A new build of aLinux is in the works which should fix this problem*. I may come back to aLinux later when new download images become available. Until then I needed another operating system with which to occupy my time this week and I decided to examine the latest release from the MINIX 3 project.
* Since beginning this review the aLinux developer has posted news that the aLinux ISO image has been fixed. At the time of writing the image file on the project's download mirror still appears to be the old version. If you are interested in trying aLinux please make sure to download the new installation ISO image, which is reported to have a MD5 checksum of aefca1c5a366e6ca923afe99536a77f0.
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The MINIX operating system has a long history in education. The project is small and the earlier versions of MINIX focused almost entirely on academic concerns. Recently the MINIX project has been the basis for new research and the MINIX website states, "MINIX 3 won a grant from the European Research Council for €2.5 million to further research in highly reliable operating systems. Due to its modular nature and fault tolerance, it is easy to use it as a basis for operating systems research or for a product." The MINIX 3 project continues the academic work of earlier generations of MINIX, but also gives some attention to more practical concerns. Modern MINIX, while still a small project, is expanding, always increasing its support for hardware and third-party software. One of the characteristics which sets MINIX apart from other, more popular open source operating systems is its microkernel design. This design helps to keep the MINIX kernel code modular and adds a level of reliability. Should part of the MINIX kernel crash it can usually be restarted, avoiding the need for a reboot.
The latest release of MINIX, version 3.2.1, comes with a number of important improvements. The MINIX operating system now supports dynamically linked libraries, system performance has been improved, new hardware drivers have been added to the project and the userland utilities have been updated. Perhaps the most promising feature available to MINIX users is a ports system which assists administrators in compiling and installing third-party software which might otherwise only be available to other operating systems such as NetBSD.
The MINIX operating system can be downloaded as a 256MB compressed image. Once this file has been downloaded it can be expanded to its full 680MB size, still small enough to fit on a CD. The big hurdle to using MINIX is hardware support. Despite the addition of new drivers being accepted into the project, getting the operating system running can be tricky. In addition, MINIX does not yet have 64-bit support for Intel machines nor does it feature ARM support, though both are being actively developed. I tried MINIX on physical hardware and in VirtualBox without any luck. I was able to get the small operating system running inside a QEMU virtual machine and there I found MINIX ran quite well.
Booting from the MINIX media brings up a text console where we can login as the root user without a password. When we login we are shown instructions letting us know we can continue to use the MINIX operating system in this live CD environment or we can choose to run the system's installer by running the command "setup". The installer has a very simple interface. Instructions and questions are printed to the text console and we type our responses. Most of the time we can simply press Enter at each prompt, taking the default option. The installer asks us to confirm our keyboard's layout and then we are walked through partitioning. The partitioning options are quite limited, basically we tell MINIX which partition on the hard drive is to be used and how much of the partition should be set aside for the home directories. We are not able to select from multiple file systems and we are not asked to create swap space. The installer then formats the given partition and copies files to the hard drive. We're then asked to select our network card from a list of supported cards (any detected cards are marked with an asterisk to help us find the right one) and we're asked if we would care to enable DHCP to aid us in getting on-line. From there we are told we can reboot the machine to test out our new installation or we can continue using the live media.
When we first boot into our fresh installation of MINIX there are no regular user accounts, just the root user is available to us. We can, should we wish to, create additional accounts. The system will automatically detect and try to enable a network connection, but otherwise the operating system is very minimalist. The system pretty much leaves us alone and requires we manually configure and enable any services we need. This means the operating system has a small footprint and MINIX only used about 60MB of RAM in my test environment. The operating system comes with the usual collection of UNIX command line tools, such as "top", "grep" and "find". Manual pages are included for most commands and functions. In the default installation we find the source code for MINIX in the /usr/src directory, a testament to the operating system's small size and the hands-on attitude of most of MINIX's userbase. Should we wish to build any of this source code (or any third-party software) MINIX ships with the Clang compiler.
When we login to MINIX a block of text appears letting us know we can add new software packages to the system by using the pkgin package manager. I found pkgin works in much the same way as APT does on Linux distributions. We can download repository information, search for available software, add new binary packages from the repository and remove old packages. The pkgin manager resolves software dependencies for us and I ran into no problems while using its simple command line interface. The pkgin software displays terse output and doesn't have some of the advanced features of some other package managers, but it performs installations, searches and removals quite well and it runs quickly. The default repository, which is set up for us at install time, is fairly small. I believe the MINIX repository holds approximately 250 packages in all. These packages include the Python scripting language, OpenSSH, X11, VIM and a few console games, along with a handful of other useful items.
Aside from the binary packages provided by the MINIX project there is another option for adding new software to the operating system. MINIX is able to make use of pkgsrc, a technology made popular by the NetBSD project. What pkgsrc does is it provides us with a collection of ports, essentially recipes for downloading and compiling software. The MINIX Wiki contains instructions for setting up pkgsrc and using it to automate the process of acquiring new software packages.
While experimenting with MINIX I was able to set up a simple file server and add secure shell support to the operating system. I found I was able to download files, explore the system and even get a few unsupported applications to build. Running MINIX feels very much like running other popular open source systems such as FreeBSD, NetBSD or one of the more minimal Linux distributions. While I was using it, MINIX remained stable the entire time and I encountered no problems. I haven't conducted any benchmarks, but I feel as though the current version of the operating system is faster than previous versions. Commands appeared to run faster, especially those related to installing packages or otherwise accessing the file system. Really, my lone complaint was with regards to hardware support as I was limited to running the little operating system in a virtual machine.
The MINIX project is still very much a research and educational tool, with its limited supply of software and file system support I don't think anyone is going to rush to install it on a workstation or laptop. However, that being said, what MINIX does is supply a very clean, small operating system which is reliable and unlikely to contain bugs. It's light, it's solid and all of the source code is readily available, making MINIX a great platform on which to tinker. I spent some time on the MINIX forums and I found the people there to be both friendly and knowledgeable, happy to help me port software or hunt down a piece of documentation. It makes for a healthy environment in which to learn. If you're curious as to how your operating system works then MINIX is a great starting point, I certainly plan to continue playing with it in my spare time.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
openSUSE presents 12.3 desktop, Ubuntu introduces GNOME and Kylin, interviews with Kubuntu's Jonathan Riddell and Fedora's Robyn Bergeron
One of the historically most influential Linux distributions, the venerable openSUSE, has produced another stellar release, version 12.3. This was after a shorter-than-usual release cycle; yet the first reviews indicate that the project has outdone itself and is a worthwhile candidate as a replacement for whatever distribution currently occupies your hard drive. But if you are in doubt, the openSUSE developers have also produced an excellent series of introductions to openSUSE 12.3; here is the preview of openSUSE 12.3 for desktop users: "Let's start with the desktops. openSUSE is unique among the major Linux distributions in delivering all major free desktops on an equal footing: officially developed and supported. These include GNOME Shell, KDE Plasma, Xfce, LXDE and the brand new Enlightenment 0.17. Let's go over some features of these desktops. GNOME Shell 3.6. GNOME Shell, still a rather new and fresh project from the GNOME community, is in its fourth incarnation. Two years after its first introduction this desktop still stirs some controversy but for many users, GNOME Shell has become their day-to-day workhorse."
openSUSE 12.3 - the KDE desktop
(full image size: 1,596kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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These days whatever happens in the world of Ubuntu, it gets into headlines of blogs from where it spreads like a wildfire. And often it's the founder of Canonical who has to do the hard work of fighting the flames and smoke. Whether it's misplaced criticism or defending the release model, Mark Shuttleworth is a powerful figure with powerful opinions. Last week it was the defence of cadence and Ubuntu's LTS releases that got the attention of the benevolent dictator: "It's been two weeks since Rick Spencer made the case for a rolling release approach in Ubuntu. Having a rolling release is one of the very top suggestions from the hardcore Ubuntu user community, and after years of it being mooted by all and sundry I thought it deserved the deep consideration that Rick and his team, who represent most of Canonical's direct contributions to Ubuntu, brought to the analysis. It's obviously not helpful to have mass hysteria break out when ideas like this get floated, so I would like to thank everyone who calmly provided feedback on the proposal, and blow a fat raspberry at those of you who felt obliged to mount soapboxes and opine on The End Of the World As We Know It."
In the meantime, the number of officially recognised Ubuntu flavours expanded substantially during the past week with the addition of Ubuntu GNOME, a distribution shipping with the standard GNOME Shell instead of Unity, and UbuntuKylin, a project whose goal is to create a highly customised build of Ubuntu for users in China and elsewhere using the Simplified Chinese character set. The H Open reports: "The Ubuntu Technical board has given the official designation to two Ubuntu flavours, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin. The decision was made in an IRC meeting and announced by the projects this week. Ubuntu GNOME 3 sets out to deliver the GNOME 3 experience on Ubuntu, while UbuntuKylin aims to offer a fully customised Chinese user experience on Ubuntu 13.04. The official blessing gives the developers of each flavour access to Ubuntu's build infrastructure and allows them to be managed as part of the Ubuntu project rather than as an unsupported fork." The just-released first beta set of official Ubuntu subprojects has not yet included Ubuntu GNOME, but daily live image are already available from cdimage.ubuntu.com.
Ubuntu GNOME 13.04 "daily" - the default user interface with GNOME Shell
(full image size: 323kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Jonathan Riddell, the founder and lead developer of Kubuntu, has been rather vocal in voicing his discontent over some of the decision Canonical has taken in recent months and years. The Muktware website has taken the initiative to interview the project leader who has clarified many of his concerns: "There are a number of transitions in Ubuntu currently. Mir is in a question above. Dropping Ubuntu Developer Summits is another, that's a shame as it was a big part of what made Ubuntu a community or peers but they would have been very expensive for Canonical to run (although KDE manages to run conferences on a fraction of the budget). Another is a proposal to drop 6-monthly releases and encourage use of the development release (or as others would say dropping 'interim' releases and having a 'rolling-release'), this is still being discussed and Kubuntu developers have been very prominent in that discussion. Other changes that have happened in the last year include moving developers away from unprofitable projects like Kubuntu, Launchpad and Bazaar. Also the Ubuntu release manager was made redundant which was a shame as that was a role which helped flavours like Kubuntu a lot."
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If the above interview was fascinating in many respects, the next one is even more so. Robyn Bergeron, the current Fedora Project Leader, explains why she thinks we aren't seeing more widespread adoptions of the Linux desktop, especially in business: "I think there are a couple of different reasons. In the enterprise server market there are pieces of that industry rooted in Microsoft Windows, and that goes back for a long, long time. Certainly people making the jump from UNIX to Linux in the server market was not that big of a deal. With regards to the desktop market, though, going back to the days when I was an analyst covering the desktop stuff, Windows has had a major stronghold there for as long as I can remember. While Apple's OS X has certainly made some headway here, I think part of that is the experience of owning the Mac product and opening the box and seeing how pretty it is all the way through it. ... The interesting thing is that a lot of software vendors are not necessarily targeting a particular kind of market or a particular platform. The idea of having the software in a service model or just pushing a lot of applications into the clouds may actually turn out better for the Linux desktop."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Linux distributions for musicians
Music-to-my-ears asks: Could you do an overview of the available Linux distros for musicians?
DistroWatch answers: I will be happy to go over a list of available Linux distributions. Though not being a musician myself I can't say I am in a position to recommend one distribution over another or compare their features in any meaningful way. The following are ones I've had recommended to me by people who do record or edit multimedia.
The first distribution I've heard good things about with regards to multimedia creation is Dream Studio. The Dream Studio distribution is built upon Ubuntu and comes with a collection of multimedia apps including Cinelerra, Ardour, Blender, Inkscape, Darktable, the GNU Image Manipulation Program and Bombono. You can get further details from the Dream Studio website.
The Ubuntu Studio project is another popular multimedia distribution. This operating system is also based upon Ubuntu and uses the Xfce desktop environment. The project's website includes an excellent feature tour which showcases the distribution's software utilities for handling audio, graphics, video and publishing.
The AV Linux project is derived from a Debian base and is optimized for performance and low latency. The AV Linux distribution uses the low-resource LXDE interface for its desktop environment and comes with several multimedia tools. Included in the distribution's toolbox are Ardour, the Hydrogen Drum Machine, Rosegarden, Guitarix and the OpenShot video editor.
ArtistX is another distribution set up to cater directly to multimedia creators. ArtistX is based on the Ubuntu distribution and features a huge collection of media editing software out of the box. The project boasts over 2,000 packages geared toward 3-D engine development, modeling, audio editing, CAD software, DVD mastering applications, image manipulation and video editing software. A full list of features is available on the project's blog.
Most Linux distributions are very flexible and allow users to add and remove software packages as they are needed. For people who already have a distribution they like it may be easier to simply add multimedia software to the existing installation rather than trying a new, dedicated multimedia distribution. The Make Use Of website has a list of useful multimedia software which runs on Linux distributions. Most of the major distributions will have these packages in their software repositories.
|Released Last Week
Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0
Rubén Rodríguez Pérez has announced the release of Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0, an Ubuntu-based distribution that uses strictly free software only (as defined by Free Software Foundation's guidelines): "This long-awaited release is based on Ubuntu 'Precise', and as usual it comes full of free software goodness. We continue to provide an easy-to-use classic desktop experience complete with full-featured browsing, office, communications and social networking utilities. New features: Linux-Libre 3.2, Abrowser 19, GNOME 3.4, LibreOffice 3.5. Our web browser without a name (Abrowser, a Firefox derivative that does not recommend non-free software) now comes with shiny new features, like full HTML 5 video support (webm, h264 and other formats) that allow to use sites like YouTube without a flash plugin. This version can also show PDF files without a plugin." See the release announcement for further information and a screenshot.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 6.0 - a 100% "libre" distribution based on Ubuntu
(full image size: 2,131kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 18.0, a single-purpose Debian-based distribution designed for Internet-only web kiosks: "Webconverger 18.0 release. Webconverger is git signed and tagged '18.0' with the following new features: provisioned the proprietary Google talk plugin, which will make us more applicable in Internet cafes; with a Google account you can make voice and video calls; new fonts, you shouldn't see a missing Unicode glyph for your language, thanks to the newly integrated Droid font coverage; Arabic and Russian i18n support via the default key bind, through the boot Languages menu; Firefox 19; iptables= API described in filtering; showprintbutton API described in printing; 3.8.2 Linux kernel with better hardware support." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshot.
Marco Ghirlanda has announced the release of ArtistX 1.4, an Ubuntu-based distribution containing a pre-configured collection of free audio, graphics, video software: "After nearly ten years of development and more than ten versions, the ArtistX 1.4 multimedia studio on a DVD is finally here. It's an Ubuntu 12.10-based live DVD that turns a common computer into a full multimedia production studio. ArtistX 1.4 includes the 3.5 Linux kernel, GNOME 3.4 and about 2,500 free multimedia software packages, nearly everything that exists for the GNU/Linux operating system organized in the menu. Main features: based on Ubuntu 12.10 without Unity and with all updates; most of GNU/Linux multimedia packages and the very easy Ubiquity installer. We have now a new forum and a new Software page with the top 100 free software available in ArtistX." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement.
ArtistX 1.4 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with software for artists and creative users
(full image size: 414kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
openSUSE 12.3, the latest version of the popular Linux distribution for desktops and servers, has been released: "Dear contributors, friends and fans: the latest release of the openSUSE distribution, version 12.3, is ready for you. After six months of hard work, we are happy to bring you the best mix that free and open-source software has to offer with our unique green sauce - stable, friendly and fun. As this was a shorter-than-normal release cycle, much attention went into the details so we can now give you a quality packed product. This release of world's most powerful and flexible Linux distribution puts the finishing touches on our boot infrastructure and package management, a bright polish to your desktop and a touch of cloud for your server." See the release announcement and release notes for more information.
Kali Linux 1.0
Offensive Security has announced the release of Kali Linux 1.0, a Debian-based distribution with a collection of security tools for forensic analysis and penetration testing. This is a major new update of the project's flagship distribution formerly known as BackTrack (based on Ubuntu). From the release announcement: "After a year of silent development, Offensive Security is proud to announce the release and public availability of 'Kali Linux', the most advanced, robust, and stable penetration-testing distribution to date. Kali is a more mature, secure, and enterprise-ready version of BackTrack. Trying to list all the new features and possibilities that are now available in Kali would be an impossible task on this single page. We therefore invite you to visit our new Kali Linux website and Kali Linux documentation site to experience the goodness of Kali for yourself."
Kali Linux 1.0 - a new name and base for the project focusing on forensic analysis and penetration testing
(full image size: 88kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Slax 7.0.6, 7.0.7, 7.0.8
Tomáš Matějíček has announced the release of Slax 7.0.6, an updated version of the Slackware-based live CD with a minimalist KDE desktop: "I'd like to announce an update of Slax live Linux, version 7.0.6. The main changes are the new Linux kernel 3.8.2 and updated KDE 4.10.1. It was a bit harder than I expected, mostly due to some really odd changes made by KDE developers, which I had to work around to get the same functionality as we are used to. Raw changelog: fixed missing notification when module is activated or deactivated; upgraded all packages to reflect changes in Slackware 'Current'; Updated Firefox to 19.0.2; show date on taskbar under current time; the device notifier in KDE is now hidden since it was showing on mad positions. The Slax size has increased by about 3 MB due to new stuff provided by KDE." Read the full release announcement for more information.
IPFire 2.13 Core 67
Michael Tremer has announced the release of IPFire 2.13 Core 67, an updated version of the hardened Linux-based appliance distribution designed for use as a firewall: "Today, the IPFire development team released the 67th core update for IPFire 2. This update comes within the usual 4-week schedule and brings various bug fixes. New wireless drivers. With IPFire 2.13 came a new kernel based on Linux 3.2. The wireless drivers were taken from Linux kernel 3.6 and subsequently, some users reported that their hardware did not work as well as it had previously. With this core update, the wireless drivers have been grabbed from Linux kernel 3.8, where numerous problems have been fixed and also new hardware support has been added. Please note that a reboot is required to make use of the new drivers. The driver for ASIX USB network adapters has also been updated to version 4.5." Read the full release announcement for further details.
Manjaro Linux 0.8.4 "Openbox-Lite"
Carl Duff has announced the release of Manjaro Linux 0.8.4 "Openbox-Lite" edition, a lightweight and minimalist distribution based on Arch Linux: "New Openbox-Lite flavour has been released. Only the hardcore need apply to this latest Manjaro flavour, which provides a minimalist yet highly configurable Openbox base for more experienced users and Openbox enthusiasts to build upon. The fastest, lightest, and most versatile flavour available, this is a completely different beast than the Openbox-Synapse release. Equally suitable for both older, less powerful computers as well as modern, high-specification systems, this powerhouse ensures that maximum resources are available to run tasks and applications at all times. Nothing is wasted." Here is the full release announcement with several screenshots.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
- KolibriOS. KolibriOS is a tiny open-source operating system with a monolithic preemptive kernel and video drivers for 32-bit x86 architecture computers. KolibriOS is a fork of MenuetOS, written entirely in FASM (assembly language). However, C, C++, Free Pascal, Forth, among other high-level languages and compilers, can also be used in application development. KolibriOS features a rich set of applications that include a word processor, image viewer, graphical editor, web browser, and over 30 games.
KolibriOS 0.7.7.0 - a tiny open-source operating system for desktop computers
(full image size: 481kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
- UbuntuKylin. UbuntuKylin is an official Ubuntu subproject whose goal is to create a variant of Ubuntu that is more suitable for Chinese users using the Simplified Chinese writing system. The project provides a delicate, thoughtful and fully customised Chinese user experience out-of-the-box by providing a desktop user interface localised into Simplified Chinese and with software generally preferred by many Chinese users.
UbuntuKylin 13.04 Beta 1 - a new Ubuntu subproject optimised for users of Simplified Chinese
(full image size: 358kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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New distributions added to waiting list
- alphaOS. alphaOS is a new distribution developed from scratch. It uses the spkg package management system.
- Navigatrix. Navigatrix is an Ubuntu-based distribution with a collection of specialist software for navigation, communication, information and security for use offshore, on shore, or at anchor. It is put together by people on boats for people on boats.
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DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 25 March 2013. 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 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|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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Namib GNU/Linux is a desktop operating system based on (and compatible with) the Arch Linux distribution. Namib is available in multiple desktop editions and can be set up using the Calamares system installer.