| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 554, 14 April 2014
Welcome to this year's 15th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! We entrust our computers with a great deal of personal and sensitive data. We rely on our computers to manipulate and store documents, family photos, perhaps tax information and credit card data. Considering the vast amounts of important data our computers are fed on a regular basis, it is vital that we make sure our operating systems are reliable and secure. With that in mind, this week we turn our attention to file storing solutions and security. In our feature review this week we look at a file storage and backup solution called FreeNAS, a FreeBSD-based operating system designed to work on network attached storage devices. In our News section we talk about Ubuntu's move to improve user privacy in future releases. We also talk about a very serious security bug which was discovered and patched last week that could be used to quietly compromise large amounts of sensitive data. Plus we invite you to select which community flavours of Ubuntu LTS will get reviewed this April. As usual, we cover the distribution releases from the past week and look ahead to exciting developments to come. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Reviews: Setting up storage with FreeNAS 22.214.171.124
- News: Ubuntu refines dash searches, OpenSSL bug found and patched, Fedora.next explained, CentOS update, Robolinux Stealth VM software for Ubuntu, DPL elections result
- Tips and tricks: Measuring memory and getting rid of useless cats
- Released last week: NexentaStor 4.0, Ultimate Edition 3.9, VortexBox 2.3
- Upcoming releases: Ubuntu 14.04, OpenMandriva 2014.0 RC, Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 Beta
- New distributions: Leck Linux, Lychee Linux
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Setting up storage with FreeNAS 126.96.36.199
FreeNAS is one of the more popular open-source platforms for network attached storage (NAS) devices. It is built with FreeBSD as its underlying operating system. The development of FreeNAS is sponsored by iXsystems, a company which sells (among other things) NAS devices. This pairing means people interested in large amounts of storage can experiment with the freely available FreeNAS operating system and, should a person wish to upgrade, supported NAS devices are available.
The FreeNAS operating system is available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. Available download options include a disc image for fresh installations, there is an upgrade option, a thumb drive image and VMWare images of FreeNAS. The full installable version of FreeNAS is approximately 216MB in size. Booting from the FreeNAS media brings up a text menu in which we are asked if we would like to install or upgrade FreeNAS, shutdown the system or drop to a shell prompt. I took the option to perform a new installation and was asked to select which drive I would be using for the operating system. It is worth noting at this point that FreeNAS requires one hard disk for the operating system and uses additional hard disks for data storage. We are warned that installing FreeNAS will wipe the hard drive we have selected and, assuming we are okay with this, the system installer copies its data to our hard drive. The installation took under ten minutes in my VirtualBox test environment. At the end of the installation we are asked to remove the installation media and reboot the computer.
The local copy of FreeNAS boots to a text console where a menu is displayed with eleven options. Most of the options involve configuring aspects of the network, routing and DNS. There are also options for resetting the FreeNAS web interface's login credentials, resetting the operating system to its initial configuration, dropping to a command line and shutting down the NAS device. I feel it is worth noting at this point that, when FreeNAS boots, we are automatically logged in as the root user. We have the ability to configure or manipulate the system as we see fit. Even once a password is set on the root account, we are still logged in automatically.
Looking around the initial environment I learned a few things. One is that FreeNAS used approximately 90MB of RAM prior to me adding file systems or tweaking the operating system's configuration. Once I had added some storage and enabled a couple of services memory usage rose to about 110MB. The operating system uses about 755MB of disk space. With the default configuration I found FreeNAS would try to use DHCP to create a network connection and get on-line. Using the menu options I was able to set a static IP address and provide an alternative DNS server.
FreeNAS 188.8.131.52 - status graphs and system load monitoring
(full image size: 290kB, screen resolution 1280x997 pixels)
Most of what makes FreeNAS interesting is in the operating system's web-based control panel. By default we can access this web control centre by pointing our web browser to the NAS device's IP address. FreeNAS allows connections over plain HTTP, but can be configured to accept more secure HTTPS connections if desired. The first time we access the web portal we are asked to set a password on the administrator account. This password is needed to access the web interface later, but does not guard against access to the text console.
One of the first things I wanted to do was mount a second disk from my NAS device to FreeNAS so I could start storing things on it. Here I ran into an odd quirk. When I went into the Storage tab there were no disks listed as being available. However, if I went into the Reports tab where status messages and statistics are shown, both the primary disk (for the operating system) and the secondary disk (for data) were shown. Dropping to the command line I was able to see the second device listed as available, but I could not access the disk or format it through the web interface. Eventually, after a reboot and some more poking around, I re-installed FreeNAS. For some reason this fixed the issue and I was able to find my second disk in the web interface's Storage tab. I attempted to add the disk, formatting it with the ZFS advanced file system. The operation failed. I attempted to add the disk a second time, using the web interface's Manual mode which gives us some extra flexibility. This time the new disk was handled properly and set up as a ZFS storage pool.
Shortly after setting up my new storage pool, I noticed a yellow button in the upper-right corner of the screen. Clicking this yellow "alert" button shows warnings and status messages. One of the messages informed me I should venture into the "System->Settings->Advanced" portion of the web interface and enabled a "system data pool". This is a fancy way of saying we are to select a directory where dynamic information, such as log files, can be saved.
FreeNAS 184.108.40.206 - system status messages
(full image size: 161kB, screen resolution 1280x997 pixels)
Digging through the well organized web interface we can find a great deal of useful tools and information. As I briefly mentioned above, there is a collection of system monitors which give us information on the state of our NAS device. There is a web-based virtual terminal where we can login to perform command-line duties without the need for a separate secure shell service. Perhaps the most important collection of utilities is under the Sharing group, which allows us to set up NFS and Samba shares, giving easy, cross-platform access to our files. Another section of the web interface gives us access to various services. For example, we can configure rsync modules, OpenSSH and an FTP service, along with others. The options presented are straight forward and the services easy to configure. One aspect of the FreeNAS interface I found odd was that we configure system services under one tab, but enabling/disabling services is handled under another tab. All services can be turned on/off from one tab which is kept separate from the configuration options.
One feature of ZFS (and FreeNAS) I particularly like is the ability to work with file system snapshots. Using the web interface we can easily create scheduled snapshots of our data. The scheduling tool is quite flexible, allowing us to, for example, create snapshots every hour during work hours and just during certain days of the week. The provided ZFS utilities allow us to perform some other useful feats, such as automatically compressing data and enabling deduplication.
One aspect of FreeNAS I found interesting is the project's move to diversify the tasks we can perform with our NAS. While the core utilities focus on storing, retrieving and backing up files, there are two additional features one might usually expect to find on a more general purpose server operating system. For instance, FreeNAS gives us the ability to set up FreeBSD jails. These jails allow us to run processes in isolation, preventing the software we run from harming the rest of the operating system or our data. Several jail templates are provided for us, some for simply isolating processes, some for setting up contained Linux environments and there is a jail template for dealing with FreeNAS plugins.
FreeNAS 220.127.116.11 - enabling system services
(full image size: 173kB, screen resolution 1280x997 pixels)
A FreeNAS plugin is essentially a piece of bundled software which can be run inside a jail. Right now there are not many plugins available for download, but there are a few, including the Transmission bittorrent client and a media server. I have not yet had a chance to dig into the internals of a plugin, but from the wiki's description, a plugin appears to be a self-contained PBI file which is unpacked and run within a jailed environment. This avoids dependency issues, keeps the software from negatively affecting the rest of our NAS and provides additional functionality to the user.
When I first started using FreeNAS I did run into some minor difficulties getting the network enabled and adding my first storage disk. These problems may have been a result of working within a VirtualBox virtual machine, or perhaps it was a quirk of the software, I'm not sure. Based on my previous, smooth experiences with FreeNAS I suspect the issue lay with the VirtualBox environment. Once I got around those minor issues my time with FreeNAS was positive. The web interface feels smoother this time around than it did the last time I reviewed the operating system. I think the web portal is more responsive. It took me a while to get used to the way options were organized. As I mentioned above, system services are configured in one area and enabled in another. Also, I found it took me a while to get used to the idea that settings were generally viewed on one tab and added/enabled on another. However, once I got into the pattern, I found the interface was consistent. In fact, that may be one of the nicer things about FreeNAS, it appears to be entirely consistent. The user interface works the same way from screen to screen, giving the web portal a unified feel.
The features FreeNAS ships with are excellent. I really like the flexibility of the snapshots and the many methods (FTP, OpenSSH, rsync, Samba, NFS, etc) we can use to access our data. The user management, service management and plugin management tools are very simple to use. Defaults are generally reasonable and I suspect most people, aside from wanting to enable HTTPS for login access, will not need to change the operating system's defaults. ZFS is a very powerful file system and the ability to tweak its many options through the point-n-click web portal is a welcome feature. I have not played around with plugins and jails as much as I would like, I feel as though installing some services and Transmission is just the tip of the iceberg. So far these contained services have worked well for me and I look forward to exploring them further.
In addition, I like that FreeNAS is provided without cost, but that iXsystems also sells supported and certified NAS equipment. This means the hobbyist at home gets a free operating system while the enterprise system administrator gets the product they need too. FreeNAS appears to be a flexible and powerful technology. For people who want a platform that focuses (almost exclusively) on storing and transferring files, it is a solid offering and well worth investigating.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
Ubuntu refines dash searches, OpenSSL bug found and patched, Fedora.next explained, CentOS update, Robolinux Stealth VM software for Ubuntu, DPL election results
Last week several blogs reported that the Ubuntu distribution will shift from the default behaviour of displaying third-party search results in the Unity dash to an opt-in approach when it comes to displaying remote search results. This news is sure to please privacy advocates who complained about Unity's dash sending search queries to remote servers. However, the more private version of the Unity dash is not going to be available for a while yet. The upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 release will still ship with the previous behaviour were on-line search is the default. The new, more private version of the dash will ship with Unity 8 which is likely to be bundled with Ubuntu's desktop edition later this year or in 2015. The OMGUbuntu blog sums up the situation nicely, "At present all queries entered into the Unity dash are searched against a set of on-line sources. Related results, including the contentious product suggestions from Amazon, are returned to the dash and are presented alongside local files and apps. Though this feature is enabled by default it can be turned-off through a toggle in System Settings. But before anyone unpacks the party poppers in jubilation there are caveats to note: Amazon results are not being removed entirely, and the change is not going to take effect in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS."
Twice a year the Ubuntu community releases a torrent of distributions into the wild. Apart from the flag ship Ubuntu distribution there are many official community projects which draw from the Ubuntu software repositories. These community editions include such popular operating systems as Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu and others. When these new releases arrive we try to review at least two of them here on DistroWatch, Ubuntu itself and one of the many community editions. Usually the community edition that gets reviewed is selected at random, but this time we are going to open up the matter to a vote. If you have a preference as to which community edition of Ubuntu gets reviewed, please e-mail your preference to email@example.com and place the name of the community edition in the subject line of the e-mail. The project which receives the most votes will get reviewed.
* * * * *
A serious security vulnerability was discovered last week which affects most Linux distributions and members of the BSD family. The bug, nicknamed The Heartbleed Bug, was discovered in the OpenSSL software library and allows the attacker to gain access to a person's private security keys and files. A website was quickly set up which explains the nature of the bug, how to prevent being compromised by the exploit and which versions of popular open-source operating systems are affected. Several projects, including Fedora, Debian and FreeBSD have already posted information on the bug and how to apply security patches to fix the issue.
* * * * *
With the unusually long delay between the release of Fedora 20 and the start of the Fedora 21 development process, and the subsequent emergence of the "Fedora.next" term, many users have been wondering about the future of the popular Linux distribution. Christopher Tozzi at The Var Guy has summarised some of the possible upcoming changes at the Red Hat-sponsored project: "For now, the name [Fedora.next] refers simply to 'planning and direction-setting' aimed at identifying changes Fedora developers should make over the next several years to reinvigorate the operating system. Most notable on the list so far is a proposal for splitting Fedora releases into three different "products" -- workstation, cloud and server -- 'so that we can build and market each in different ways,' as Miller explained in a follow-up to his first article. That's a very similar strategy to the one adopted by distributions including Ubuntu - although it is notable that, unlike the Ubuntu suite, none of the proposed Fedora products focuses on mobile. The product segmentation seems likely to make it easier for different groups of Fedora users to obtain a distribution that more readily meets their particular needs out of the box."
* * * * *
Many Linux users are eagerly awaiting the upcoming release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, a major new update of the enterprise-class distribution that is expected to include many new technologies developed by the open-source software community over the last few years. Consequently, a "gratis" variant of RHEL 7 in the form of CentOS 7, should follow shortly afterwards. But the recent incorporation of CentOS into Red Hat structures has resulted in a new unknown variable and perhaps a bit of anxiety among the CentOS users. Here is an update on the Red Hat - CentOS relationship by LWN's Jake Edge: "CentOS board member Karsten Wade, who is also Red Hat's engineering manager for CentOS, came to the 2014 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit to explain how CentOS and Red Hat are joining forces and what it means for the future of both. Back in early January, the two announced that CentOS was joining the Red Hat family. According to Wade, that was the completion of one-and-a-half years of effort to put the two together, but it was just the beginning of actually figuring out what the partnership means." Read also the comments that follow the article for additional clarifications and insight.
* * * * *
Robolinux, a distribution project designed to ease the transition from Windows to Linux with the help of a pre-configured VirtualBox addition running Windows XP or Windows 7, has released installable DEB files for Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Named "Stealth VM For Ubuntu & derivatives", these packages provide an easy-to-use wizard for installing a licensed copy of Windows that would run in a virtual environment alongside Linux: "What many Windows XP users want to do is run Windows applications inside Ubuntu or their Ubuntu derivative. The Robolinux Stealth VM software will significantly increase the number of successful and permanent Windows to Linux user migrations which is estimated by ZD Net to be 11% of the 670 million existing Windows XP users. ... In a few clicks the Windows XP or Windows 7 virtual machine is instantly built and fully configured and ready to go. Then you simply load your Windows disk and programs. Robolinux has incredibly easy how to screens and videos to make sure anyone can do it." See also this page for further information and screenshots.
* * * * *
And finally, a piece of Debian news that had come in just before this issue of DistroWatch Weekly went live - Lucas Nussbaum has been re-elected as Debian Project Leader: "The Debian Project Leader election has concluded and the winner is Lucas Nussbaum. Of a total of 1,003 developers, 401 developers voted using the Condorcet method. More information about the result is available in the Debian Project Leader elections 2014 page. The new term for the project leader will start on April 17th and expire on April 17th 2015."
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Measuring memory and getting rid of useless cats
Counting-the-bits asks: How do you measure the memory used by a distribution in your reviews? I've tried to replicate your results on Mint and CentOS with free, top and such to no avail.
DistroWatch answers: When reviewing Linux distributions I measure memory usage with the free command. Specifically I run the command "free -m" which displays memory usage in megabytes. The number which appears in my reviews is the number displayed in the first column of the second row of the free command's output. This value indicates the amount of memory actively used by the operating system and does not include buffered or cached data left in memory for fast access. When I test other operating systems, such as members of the BSD family, they typically do not include the free command. In those cases I run the top command and make note of the amount of memory marked as actively used.
* * * * *
Command line tip
This week I would like to discuss a topic which has little practical value, but may be of some interest to fans of the command line. There are times when a user may type a command which technically works, but may be much less efficient than it could be. Or perhaps the user is just typing a good deal more than they need to be. One fine example of these sorts of scenarios is the useless use of the cat command. The cat command is used to concatenate two (or more) files together and then output the result to the terminal. In some cases the output of the cat command is redirected to a file or piped to another command. For instance, the following example uses cat to display the contents of a single text file:
In this second example we use cat to take two files, my-to-do-list and my-shopping-list, and combine them into one long text file called everything:
cat my-to-do-list my-shopping-list > everything
These are proper uses of the cat command. However, cat is popular and sometimes ends up being used in situations where it does not make sense or where using cat is redundant. For instance, it is possible to pipe the output from cat to other commands such as grep and less. However, both grep and less can simply open files directly without needing cat. Here is an example of a redundant use of cat, followed by a more proper example. Both of these commands accomplish the same thing:
cat my-to-do-list | grep clean
Likewise, both of the following commands display the contents of my text file, dictionary:
grep clean my-to-do-list
cat dictionary | less
Here is an example where cat is used to copy a file, followed by an example where I use the system's copy (cp) command to accomplish the same task:
cat old-file > new-file
The cat command can be useful at producing small amounts of output and combining two (or more) files together. Quite often other uses of the cat command are redundant and make use of extra resources and time that could be saved by using shorter, more efficient commands.
cp old-file new-file
|Released Last Week
Michael Letschin has announced the release of NexentaStor 4.0, a major new update of the specialist distribution optimised for virtualisation and network-attached storage - based on the Illumos kernel and ZFS file system: "This latest version of NexentaStor delivers significant performance, reliability and functionality improvements to the award-winning SDS solution, having passed through rigorous engineering, customer and partner testing with flying colors. NexentaStor will continue to be available in two editions: Community edition (free, full-featured, community supported software for configurations up to 18TB), and Enterprise edition (licensed by the size of the storage pool). NexentaStor 4.0 is Citrix and VMware ready and certified to run on a variety of reference hardware configurations from strategic technology and channel partners." See the release announcement for more details.
Ultimate Edition 3.9
Version 3.9 of Ultimate Edition, an Ubuntu-based distribution and live DVD featuring KDE 4.10.5 as the default desktop environment, is ready for download: "Ultimate Edition 3.9. Time has never been on my side, this is no exception. I am dumping Ultimate Edition 3.9 to the public. I am not going to make a big deal about it. I have had nothing, but pretty much good feedback on it. I am not even going to spend the time updating / upgrading it. I will be doing some catch up over the next few weeks when time is available. Let's get Ultimate Edition 3.9 behind us, so I can focus on the future." Here is the brief release announcement. Ultimate Edition 3.9 is based on Ubuntu 13.04 and besides KDE it also offers MATE 1.6 as an alternative desktop. The live DVD image is available for download from the many SourceForge mirrors.
Andrew Gillis has announced the release of VortexBox 2.3, the latest version of the project's Fedora-based distribution that turns an unused computer into an easy-to-use music server or jukebox: "It has been over a year since our last full release of VortexBox. There have been small incremental updates but not a big release. VortexBox 2.3 is finally ready! Thanks to the work of our community the release has a huge number of features and updates. Although the interface looks the same, most of the features are in the underlying technology: SqueezeBox Server 7.8.0, the latest release from Community Squeeze; Fedora 20 with better hardware support for new DACs, motherboards; Squeezelite as a built-in player; full DSD support - play DSD direct to a DSD capable DAC or transcode to PCM in-line for non DSD DACs; backup and restore now does the LMS settings as well; network-based install so you can install from a USB key...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full changelog.
Zorin OS 8 "Lite"
The "Lite" edition of Zorin OS 8, an i386-only variant of the beginners-friendly distribution that features the LXDE desktop, has been released: "The Zorin OS team is pleased to release Zorin OS 8 Lite and Business. Zorin OS 8 Lite is the latest evolution of the Zorin OS Lite series of operating systems, designed specifically for Linux newcomers using old or low-powered hardware. This release is based on Lubuntu 13.10 and uses the LXDE desktop environment to provide one of the fastest and most feature-packed interfaces for low-spec machines. This new release includes newly updated software out-of-the-box. Zorin OS 8 Business introduces a myriad of changes to the business-oriented edition of Zorin OS including updated software, improvements to the user interface and entirely new software." Here is the brief release announcement.
ZorinOS 8 "Lite" - the default LXDE desktop
(full image size: 1,692kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
GParted Live 0.18.0-2
Curtis Gedak has announced the release of GParted Live 0.18.0-2, the latest stable version of the popular Debian-based live CD designed for disk management and data rescue tasks: "The GParted team is proud to announce another stable release of GParted Live. This live image fixes a bug with the SSH host key protocol ed25519 not being generated during boot. Other items of note include: based on the Debian's 'Sid' repository as of 2014-04-10; updated Linux kernel to version 3.13.7; updated GRUB to 2.02beta2. Added the following programs: screen - screen manager with terminal emulation; rsync - a fast and versatile file-copying tool; ping - check network connectivity to another host on a network; telnet - communicate with another host using the TELNET protocol; traceroute - print the route packets trace to network host...." The release announcement.
MakuluLinux 6.0 "MATE"
Jacque Raymer has announced the release of MakuluLinux 6.0 "MATE" edition, a Debian-based distribution featuring the recently-released MATE 1.8 desktop environment: "The first release in our new 6 series dubbed 'Imperium' (Latin for 'power to command'), also our first dual-mode solo MATE build. This release allows users to customize their settings and software upon installation. Now users can setup their desktop the way they want it with the software they want while still experiencing an out-of-the-box experience. Those that don't want an out-of-the-box experience will now have an option to turn the system into a bare-bone system with a few clicks. Features: based on Debian 'Testing'; 3.13.x PAE kernel; full systemd support." Read the full release announcement for more information and screenshots.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Leck Linux. Leck Linux is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. The project is being used as a practice ground for Linux and distribution development.
- Lychee Linux. Lychee Linux is a business-focused distribution based on the openSUSE project. Lychee Linux ships with the GNOME 3 desktop.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 21 April 2014. 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 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|
|• 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|
|• 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.
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Sentry Firewall CD
The Sentry Firewall CD-ROM was designed to be an easy to manage and configure CD-ROM based Linux operating system suitable for use in a firewall, IDS (Intrusion Detection System) or server environment. The system was designed to be immediately configurable for a variety of different operating environments via a configuration file located on a floppy disk, a local hard drive, and/or a network via HTTP(S), FTP, SFTP, or SCP. Currently, the system was based on a Slackware 9.0 installation. Various other packages and utilities have also been added to increase this system's functionality.