| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 538, 16 December 2013
Welcome to this year's 49th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! These days Linux-based operating systems are everywhere, from the server room to the desktop to hand-held mobile devices to gaming consoles. This week we cover Linux distributions on a wide range of platforms. Up first we talk about one of the Linux community's most popular distributions, Linux Mint, and follow along as Jesse Smith takes Mint's latest release for a spin. Then we talk about Red Hat's most recently Enterprise Linux beta release and the new features it brings to system administrators. We also talk about Canonical's push to bring Ubuntu Touch to smart phones and their progress on that front. This past week Valve launched the first beta of their highly anticipated SteamOS and we link to all the details in our News section. In addition, we discuss migrating from aging proprietary systems to a modern Linux distribution and the work being put into the upcoming FreeBSD 10 release. As usual, we cover new releases from the past week and look ahead to exciting new launches to come. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Reviews: Linux Mint 16 "Petra"
- News: Red Hat launches new beta, CentOS prepares for version 7, Ubuntu finds hardware partner, Valve launches SteamOS, FreeBSD project issues status report
- Questions and Answers: Finding drop-in replacements for unsupported operating systems
- Released last week: Tails 0.22, GParted Live 0.17.0-1, Ultimate Edition 3.8
- Upcoming releases: Fedora 20, Mageia 4 RC, Ubuntu 14.04 Alpha 1
- New additions: SteamOS
- New distributions: Osdad OS, Linux Myst, RasPlex
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Linux Mint 16 "Petra"
The Linux Mint project is a distribution which is built using Ubuntu as a base, mixing a combination of Ubuntu's packages and a number of custom add-ons to create a desktop operating system that has become widely popular in recent years. The latest release of Mint, version 16, uses Ubuntu 13.10 as a base and features several improvements and new features. Perhaps the most interesting development in Mint 16 is the Cinnamon 2.0 desktop, a traditional desktop environment built using modern GNOME 3 technology. The latest version of Mint also comes with a new user management application that makes it easier to perform session and account related tasks, such as logging out, switching between logged in users and enabling/disabling notifications. MIME support has been improved under Cinnamon and work has gone into polishing the login screen to make it easier to configure. The latest Mint release also comes with various performance improvements and support for the Steam software portal.
Linux Mint is available in two main editions, MATE and Cinnamon. Each edition can be downloaded in a few flavours. For example, we can download either desktop edition with multimedia codecs and proprietary add-ons, or we can download a spin which comes with freely licensed open source software only. Each spin of Mint can be downloaded in 32-bit or 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. I decided to download both the MATE and Cinnamon editions, the ISOs for which were approximately 1.2 GB in size.
One nice thing about Linux Mint is that each edition is designed to look and act approximately the same. This means the regardless of which live disc we try, we are quickly brought to a desktop laid out in the traditional manner. At the bottom of the display we find the application menu, task switcher and system tray. On the desktop are icons for browsing the file system and there is an icon for launching the system installer. The background is silver and features the Linux Mint branding. While playing around with the two desktop environments (MATE and Cinnamon) I noticed really just two visual differences. The first is that the MATE application menu is the one I've grown accustomed to with Linux Mint. It is a three-panels-in-one arrangement that presents us with file system "places", applications and settings. The menu also features a search box, allowing us to type searches for items we want. The Cinnamon desktop comes with a menu which feels to me to be more classic in its layout with a few short-cut buttons arranged down the left side of the menu's panel. The other main difference between the two desktops seems to be that Cinnamon comes with a few visual effects enabled, not many, but enough to give the interface a pleasantly dynamic feel. The MATE edition did not display any special effects, giving the environment a lighter, snappier feel.
Linux Mint 16 - managing user accounts
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Linux Mint makes use of the Ubuntu system installer, a graphical application with a nice, friendly interface. On the first page of the installer we are asked to select our preferred language and we can optionally read the project's release notes. Next we are asked to partition the local hard disk and there are a few options from which to choose. We can turn the entire disk over to the installer for automated partitioning, we can instruct the installer to use LVM volumes and we have the option of making use of an encrypted system partition. Should we choose to we can manually divide the disk ourselves. The manual partitioning screen is nicely laid out and I found it very easy to navigate. The installer supports formating partitions with most Linux file systems, including ext2/3/4 JFS and XFS. Once the disk has been divided we are asked to confirm our time zone and our keyboard's layout. The last screen of the installer asks us to create a user account and we can, optionally, encrypt our user's home folder. The installer copies its files to the local drive and then we are prompted to reboot the computer.
Booting into our local copy of Linux Mint we are brought to a graphical login screen. Mint's login screen is a fairly simple affair with clearly marked icons for changing our language and session type. Logging into our account we are presented with a welcome screen which features links to Mint's documentation, support resources (such as the Mint user forum) and Mint's community web pages. The first time I logged into the MATE desktop I was greeted by dozens of file manager windows all opening one after another. There didn't appear to be any reason for these windows to appear, and after I downloaded the distribution's package updates the pile of file manager windows did not return. A short time after I logged in an icon appeared in the system tray indicating software updates were available to be downloaded. Clicking the notification icon opened Mint's update application which lists package upgrades available in the distribution's repository.
Each package is listed along with a stability rating which lets us know how likely an update is to cause stability or regression issues. Stability ratings of one through three are deemed to be safe while packages given a rating of four or five are thought to carry higher risk. We can set filters on packages so we end up downloading either just stable packages or all available upgrades. The first time I ran the update manager application it first asked me to download a newer version of the update software itself. Once this upgrade had been applied another 90 packages were presented, totaling 83MB in size. All upgrades downloaded and were applied without any problems on my system.
On the subject of software packages, Linux Mint comes with two graphical package managers. The first is called Software Manager. It is a user-friendly application with nice, big icons that guide us through browsing software categories. Clicking on a desired package brings up detailed information about the software along with user reviews. Adding or removing software on our system can be done with a single click. While new packages are being downloaded Software Manager allows us to continue browsing the package archive. The second package manager is Synaptic, a classic and powerful program which allows us to create batches of actions to perform. Synaptic takes a package-oriented approach to software (as opposed to Software Manager's application-centric style). Synaptic may not be as pretty or novice-friendly as its companion, but it is fast and flexible. During my trial both package managers worked well and I encountered no problems.
Linux Mint 16 - installing new software packages
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Linux Mint comes with a useful collection of software. The distribution tends toward a one-application-per-task approach and most of the applications included in the default installation are top of their class in terms of features and usability. Mint comes with the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client, the Pidgin instant messaging software and the XChat IRC chat client. The distribution comes with the LibreOffice productivity suite, a document viewer and the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Mint also features the Transmission bittorrent application and the Brasero disc burning software. Digging through the menu I found the VLC multimedia player, the Banshee audio player and the Totem video player. The spins of Mint I was running came with multimedia codecs and Flash out of the box. To get us on-line Mint comes with Network Manager.
The distribution features several useful administration tools including a third-party driver manager, a domain blocker and the mintBackup utility. Mint features a services manager, a printer manager and a user account manager. We're given small apps like text editors, a virtual calculator and an archive manager. Digging further I found the distribution comes with Java and the GNU Compiler Collection. In the background I found Mint ran on the Linux kernel, version 3.11. Personally, I feel Mint comes with one of the best combinations of software out of the box available to Linux users. The menu is not crowded and still carries a lot of functionality. The only quirk I ran into during my trail was with the backup utility. I found that the restore function of the mintBackup tool doesn't just restore files it archived, it also restores any other files stored in the same location. This has its uses as it means users can add files to a backup archive after the backup has been performed. It also means if we want to keep our backups true to the time they were created we need to avoid storing them in a directory where other items are kept.
I ran Mint in two environments, on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB of RAM, Intel video card and Intel wireless card). I also ran Mint in a virtual machine powered by VirtualBox. In both test environments Linux Mint performed very well. The system booted quickly, ran smoothly, properly detected all of my hardware and I encountered no problems. Mint performed quickly and scaled well inside VirtualBox which is always nice to experience. In the past I have tried Mint's Cinnamon edition and found the desktop with its visual effects to be too sluggish for my taste. However, trying Cinnamon 2.0 this week I found the desktop performed quite well and there was no lag in the interface as I had experienced with previous 1.x versions. I also tried the MATE edition and found it, likewise, performed quickly. The MATE edition of Mint used approximately 180 MB of memory during my tests and the Cinnamon edition used around 300 MB of RAM.
Linux Mint 16 - adjusting desktop settings
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What quickly stood out about Linux Mint 16 was that the distribution feels remarkably polished. Mint manages to present a simple interface which is also powerful (this is true of both Cinnamon and MATE). Most of the applications included in the distribution are common across both editions and they all worked well for me, providing a small collection of powerful applications out of the box. Apart from the file manager window pop-ups I encountered when running the MATE edition I rarely saw any notifications or flashy content. The Cinnamon desktop has a few subtle visual effects, but nothing overly distracting. I found both Mint editions easy to navigate, easy to configure and, generally just a pleasure to use.
The installation process is one of the easiest in the Linux community, the distribution includes lots of functionality and multimedia support out of the box and the operating system was both stable and fast on my equipment. I really like Mint's Software Manager and I think it is one of the more friendly package managers available. The only concern I have with Linux Mint 16 is it is based on Ubuntu 13.10 which comes with a short nine months of support. This means people who install Mint 16 will probably need to upgrade in the near future, but it's hard to get upset about that when the upgrade is free of charge and likely to be a quick process. All in all Linux Mint 16 is one of the best experiences I have had with a desktop operating system and I recommend trying it.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
Red Hat launches new beta, CentOS prepares for version 7, Ubuntu finds hardware partner, Valve launches SteamOS, FreeBSD project issues status report
For many professionals, system administrators and technology enthusiasts, the big news last week was Red Hat's release of Enterprise Linux 7 Beta. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is widely used in business environments where software support is required and clones of Enterprise Linux are a highly popular choice for web hosting, database servers and virtual private servers. Some key features to look for in the beta are improved compatibility with Active Directory via Samba, the availability of powerful file systems such as XFS and Btrfs, performance profiles and support for Linux containers. The new Enterprise Linux release is based on Fedora 19 and ships with version 3.10 of the Linux kernel.
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Many users and fans of CentOS, a community project that compiles the source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) into a free distribution, will remember the sluggish response of CentOS developers to the release of RHEL 6 when it took CentOS eight months to finally "clone" RHEL 6. Fortunately, if the initial reaction of CentOS to the release of RHEL 7 is anything to go by, things should be much faster this time around. Karanbir Singh explains the plan: "Our plans for CentOS 7 are to still focus testing resources on the upstream RHEL 7 beta; the better the overall quality of RHEL 7 when it comes to release, the better off we are all going to be. So there is little attraction in diluting that testing effort. On the other hand, we want to be a lot better prepaired for EL7 than we were for EL6, so we are going to do a build publicly and call it a limited release for testing. Keep your eyes on the centos-devel mailing list for more information about that and progress reports on the build effort."
* * * * *
For some time now Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has been shopping around for a hardware partner willing to ship mobile devices with Ubuntu Touch. CNET reports that Canonical has found a hardware partner for their Linux-based mobile operating system. "Canonical has just signed its first deal to supply a smart phone with its mobile operating system, Canonical founder and product strategy leader Mark Shuttleworth revealed in an interview here at the LeWeb conference. He wouldn't say which company has agreed to use the Linux-based OS, but said it will be offered on high-end phones in 2014." It looks as though Canonical's plan to supply Ubuntu across all platforms (servers, desktops and mobile devices) is one step closer to being realized.
In other Ubuntu-related news, the popular Linux distribution is planning to make adjustments to its desktop control centre. To date Ubuntu has used a patched version of the GNOME Control Centre, taken from the release of GNOME 3.6. The Ubuntu developers now face the choice of either upgrading their GNOME code base to stay in line with the upstream project or maintaining their own fork of the control centre package. The Ubuntu developers have decided to fork the control centre and maintain it as a separate package, called Unity Control Centre. This fork will be a stepping stone toward a new Ubuntu Control Centre, which will be designed with both desktop and mobile devices in mind. As developer Robert Ancell writes, "To be very clear, this is a fork with a limited lifespan. We don't expect to make significant changes to it outside of stability and security fixes."
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The long-awaited announcement from Valve, a popular gaming company, appeared on Friday. Valve has released their first beta of SteamOS, a Debian-based operating system designed to run on gaming consoles. Most of SteamOS is put together using free and open source software with some proprietary add-ons, such as video drivers, included for improved performance. People interested in trying this technology preview can download and experiment with SteamOS for free and Valve has supplied installation instructions for the beta. People willing to install the beta release will find it ships with Debian's APT package management tools, making the underlying system quite customizable and the distribution also allows root access and the ability to access a standard Linux desktop, such as GNOME. Have you tried SteamOS? Tell us what your first impressions were in the comments section below.
* * * * *
The launch of FreeBSD 10 is right around the corner and the developers behind the powerful, open source operating system have put together a status report of projects being worked on and projects recently completed. Some of the highlights from the report include work being done to make the system more secure (especially where encryption is concerned), improve the quality of the project's documentation and on-going work to replace software licensed under the GNU General Public License with more liberally licensed components. The document also covers the relationship between PC-BSD and the FreeBSD project and how FreeBSD will handle the transition from its traditional package management tools to the newer PKG-NG package manager.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Finding drop-in replacements for unsupported operating systems
Beginning-the-countdown asks: American mainstream press is coming to life right now in a big way with articles and comments on the six month countdown to the end-of-life for Windows XP and why the switch to Windows 7/8 or Mac on sparkly new hardware should happen as soon as possible. Just as a suggestion, this might be a good time for DistroWatch Weekly to seek out and emphasize specific distros that could extend the life of the common laptop and netbook, for folks who bought theirs too close to the end of the ride to want to trash them so soon. I know many distros already work on laptops, but few duplicate Windows-specific features found in certain hardware; for example, screen brightness, audio controls, etc. I am thinking distros created specifically as drop-in-ready operating systems for laptops and netbooks that would take these features into account.
DistroWatch answers: There are several Linux distributions which are ideal for replacing an aging installation of Windows XP. Some of these are polished desktop solutions which would probably fit the needs of users while maintaining their own style. Others are designed specifically to feel familiar to people migrating from other operating systems. The Zorin OS project, for example, is designed to be a drop-in replacement. It has the ability to mimic the Windows interface, to an extent, and (if my memory serves) Zorin comes with WINE in the default installation, making it easy for users to install software built for their previous operating system. For people looking for a free operating system which closely mimics the Windows interface, I recommend starting with Zorin.
For many people running fairly modern hardware, user-friendly distributions such as Linux Mint, Mageia and Kubuntu will be ideal. Each of these distributions targets desktop users and each distro comes with lots of user-friendly features. On the other hand, many people looking for a replacement to Windows XP will likely be on older hardware and may be interested in lighter distributions. I've found Peppermint OS to be a distribution which can offer a fairly familiar desktop interface for new users while maintaining a high level of performance. Another lightweight distribution I've used and enjoyed recently that I feel comfortable recommending to new Linux users is LXLE. The LXLE distribution offers a very attractive interface and lots of features while maintaining a small resource footprint.
There are certainly other distributions which are suitable replacements for the aging Microsoft operating system, most main-stream Linux projects offer all of the features required, each just has a different style when it comes to delivering those features. This means the projects I've mentioned above are hardly the only options available, but they are the projects I've had the most luck with when it comes to introducing newcomers to the power of Linux.
|Released Last Week
SparkyLinux 3.2 "LXDE", "Ultra", "Razor-qt"
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the availability of three new editions of SparkyLinux 3.2, a set of Debian-based distributions with lightweight desktop user interfaces: "New DVD images of SparkyLinux 3.2 providing a few changes and system improvements, such as: Linux kernel 3.11.8; all packages have been upgraded from Debian's 'testing' repositories as of 2013-12-07; added support for installing 32-bit applications on 64-bit systems; 32-bit WINE package has been installed on 64-bit systems; Sparky Center LXDE and Sparky Center Openbox have been reconfigured - some applications have been extracted from sparky-center and packed separately so they can be installed on other Sparky desktops with no sparky-center; added the cURL package curl – it's a missing tool requires by PlayOnLinux...." See the full release announcement for more details.
Version 0.22 of Tails, a Debian-based distribution a live CD incorporating the Tor technology for anonymous web browsing, has been released: "Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 0.22, is out. All users must upgrade as soon as possible - this release fixes numerous security issues. Notable user-visible changes include: Upgrade to Iceweasel 24.2.0esr that fixes a few serious security issues; stop migrating persistence configuration and access rights - instead, disable all persistence configuration files if the mountpoint has wrong access rights; upgrade to NSS 3.15.3 that fixes a few serious security issues affecting the browser; switch to Iceweasel 24.2.0esr and Torbutton 1.6.5; incremental upgrades are ready for beta-testing; fix Vidalia start-up; disable DPMS screen blanking; fix checking of the persistent volume's ACL; sanitize more IP and MAC addresses in bug reports...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details and known issues.
MakuluLinux 4.0 "KDE"
Jacque Raymer has announced the release of MakuluLinux 4.0 "KDE" edition, a distribution and live CD featuring the KDE 4.11 desktop and based on Debian's "testing" branch: "MakuluLinux is proud to present the release of KDE as you've never experienced it before. It is based on the PAE Linux kernel 3.11.2. KDE 4.11.x and a brand new installer, speed, stability and a smooth, user-friendly experience is what you will get from MakuluLinux KDE edition. Sporting a traditional look and feel much like our other releases, our users will fall right in with the upgrade to version 4.0 with the exception of a few new features. As of version 4 we now use an RSS feed to stream important information to the user's desktop; this feed will stream through important updates, bug information, and even information about major events in the Linux world. This feed will be incorporated into the new build of Xfce and any future MakuluLinux releases." See the full release announcement for more information.
GParted Live 0.17.0-1
Curtis Gedak has announced the release of GParted Live 0.17.0-1, a new version of the Debian-based live CD with tools for disk management and data rescue tasks: "The GParted team is proud to announce a new stable release of GParted Live. This release marks the first time that GParted can resize some file systems (Btrfs, ext3, ext4, JFS, LVM2 pv, NILFS2, ReiserFS, and XFS) while these are online (mounted). This release also includes a number of bug fixes and language translation updates. Items of note include: based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2013-12-13; updated Linux kernel to 3.11.10. GParted 0.17.0 which includes: add support for online resize; recognize Linux swap suspend and software RAID partitions; fix busy detection for Linux software RAID and extended partitions; turn on resize2fs progress bar." The release announcement.
Ultimate Edition 3.8
"TheeMahn" has announced the availability of Ultimate Edition 3.8, an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the MATE desktop environment with extra privacy features: "Ultimate Edition 3.8 was built from the ground up, debootstrapped from the Ubuntu 13.04 'Raring Ringtail' tree. Many of the issues I faced with the development of Ultimate Edition 3.6 and 3.7 just faded away. Finally, in my humble opinion a release worthy of the Ultimate Edition title. My main focus on this distribution was your privacy and security. I have taken steps beyond the call of duty to ensure that is exactly what happens. These integrated features may become a new de-facto standard with future releases of Ultimate Edition. No more 'big brother' watching over your shoulder and tracking your every move." Read the release notes which include a number of screenshots.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Osdad OS. Osdad OS is a project created by the OSDAD organization with the aim of research, innovation and community development.
- Linux Myst. Linux Myst is a Debian-based project which showcases the Myst window manager.
- RasPlex. RasPlex lets you turn your TV into a Smart TV. Similar to the AppleTV, but completely free and open source.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 December 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 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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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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Server Optimized Linux
SoL (Server optimized Linux) was a Linux distribution completely independent from other Linux distributions. It was built from the original source packages and was optimised for heavy-duty server work. It contains all common server applications, and features XML boot and script technology that makes it easy to configure and make the server work.