| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 570, 4 August 2014
Welcome to this year's 31st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It can be difficult to keep up with our rapidly changing technology. With so many new developments coming out each month coders, system administrators and end users all benefit from friendly tools, documentation and automation. In this issue of DistroWatch Weekly we explore some of the cutting edge development work currently happening in the open source community as well as some of the tools, distributions and resources which make using Linux distributions easier. We begin with a look at Neptune, a Debian-based desktop distribution that strives to be user friendly. Plus, in our Questions and Answers column this week, we explore distributions and resources for system administrators new to Linux. In the News section this week we focus on new technologies and cutting edge development. First we talk about the Kubuntu distribution introducing KDE Plasma 5 and we discuss some of Debian's plans for the project's next big release. We also talk about openSUSE's new rolling release branch, FreeBSD's progress toward supporting Secure Boot and welcome the seL4 microkernel to the open source community. As usual, we discuss distribution releases from the past week and look ahead to new arrivals on the horizon. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (26MB) and MP3 (31MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First impressions of Neptune 4
The Neptune distribution, formerly called ZevenOS "Neptune" edition, is a Debian-based Linux operating system with the goal of being easy to use. As the project's website states: "Neptune is a ZevenOS distro based fully upon Debian Wheezy, except for a newer kernel and some drivers. It's basically a modern version of ZevenOS shipping with a modern KDE 4 desktop and turning its main point on a system which is flexible and very useful on USB sticks. Neptune tries to get the BeOS message to a next generation of users."
The latest version of Neptune features the KDE 4.13 desktop, the systemd init software and uses the advanced Btr file system by default. The new Neptune release also features improved device driver management and support for a wider range of video cards. Neptune 4 is available in a single edition and is available as a 64-bit x86 build only. The download image for this lone edition is 1.8GB in size. Booting from Neptune's media we are greeted with a menu which asks us to select our preferred language from a list. The live media then brings us to a KDE desktop. Icons on the desktop provide us with links to documentation (in English and German), another icon launches the system installer and another opens the Dolphin file manager. The documentation provided explains, in brief, the steps Neptune's system installer will go through.
Neptune 4 - running the live desktop from removable media
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Neptune's graphical installer begins by asking us to create a password for the system's root account and then asks us to create a regular user account for ourselves. Next we are asked where the installer should place Neptune on our hard drive. If no suitable location is available we can click a button to launch the GParted partition editor. When we close GParted we are returned to the system installer where we are asked if we would like to use the Btrfs or ext4 file system for our primary partition. We then have the option of placing our personal data on a separate /home partition or keeping all data on the primary partition. The final screen of the installer shows us a list of steps the installer will take and we can look over and confirm these settings. Files are then copied to our hard drive and, a short time later, Neptune's installer asks us to reboot the computer.
Neptune boots to a graphical login screen with a plain grey background. Signing in brings us back to the KDE 4.13 desktop which is presented to us in a classic layout. The application menu, task switcher and system tray sit at the bottom of the screen. There are icons on the desktop for accessing the file system, launching the distribution's package manager and pointing our web browser to the project's support forum. The desktop was fairly quick to respond and I found the enabled visual effects added some nice eye candy without being overly distracting. Neptune's default application menu is, in my opinion, cluttered and its animations did more to hinder my navigation than help it. Eventually, I replaced the default application menu with KDE's classic menu.
Neptune 4 - desktop settings
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Neptune ships with two graphical package managers, Apper and Muon. Both package managers display simple lists of alphabetically-sorted software when we browse categories of packages. Both Apper and Muon can handle installing, upgrading and removing packages and perform their tasks quickly. Both package managers performed their actions in batches, locking the interface while they worked and both package managers worked well for me. I feel Apper might be slightly more beginner friendly with its nice, colourful icons to aid in navigation. On the other hand, I believe Muon supports more filters, giving a slightly more fine-grained level of control.
The only complaint I had with either of these package managers was that Apper would sometimes stall and report it was waiting for background tasks to finish before it would proceed. This happened a few times early on in the week, but in the following days Apper worked without any delay. The Neptune distribution pulls software from a few locations. Most packages appear to come from Debian's Wheezy (Stable) repository, while a few others come from Neptune's custom software repository. During my time with Neptune the project offered up 86 software updates totalling about 74MB in size. These updates all downloaded and were applied to my system without any problems.
Neptune 4 - downloading software updates with Apper
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The distribution ships with a large collection of desktop applications. Digging through the application menu we find the Chromium web browser and accompanying Flash plugin. Neptune comes with the Icedove (Thunderbird) e-mail client, the KGet download manager, a remote desktop client, the KTorrent bittorrent software and the Wireshark network monitoring tool. The distribution supplies Network Manager to help us get on-line and the KPPP dial-up networking software. The application menu further contains the LibreOffice productivity suite, the Okular document viewer and the ReText document editor. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is included for us along with the KolourPaint drawing program and the Gwenview image viewer. In the Multimedia category we find the Amarok music player, a desktop video recorder, the Ardour audio editor, the k3b disc burning software and the VLC multimedia player. Neptune ships with popular media codecs allowing us to play most formats out of the box. The distribution supplies an application called Encode which enables us to convert media files from one format to another.
The Games category was surprising as there is not much there, but the Hedgewars 2-D shooter is included. Neptune further ships with several administration utilities including a user account manager, the Back In Time backup application and the TrueCrypt volume encryption software. Neptune also supplies the ZevenOS Hardware Manager to assist us in finding and installing third-party hardware drivers. The application menu contains an archive manager, text editor, virtual calculator, screen magnifier and virtual keyboard. Behind the scenes we find Java is installed for us, as is the GNU Compiler Collection. Neptune 4 runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.13.
As I was trying out the many applications Neptune provides I noticed a few things. One is that, despite choosing English as my preferred language, I found a folder in my home directory which contained German (and only German) documentation for the distribution. Another, more welcome, feature I noticed was that when we open a virtual terminal the system offers to give us a command line tutorial. The interactive tutorial covers some command line basics such as navigating through directories, copying files and listing the contents of directories.
One of the few problems I ran into while using Neptune came when I tried to use TrueCrypt. Using the encryption program I tried to create a couple of protected volumes, one formatted with the ext2 file system and the other with the FAT file system. TrueCrypt was unable to create the encrypted ext2 volume, reporting errors saying it could not use a loop device. The application was able to create the encrypted FAT volume, but was unable to mount the new volume, again reporting it was unable to set up a loop device. While the error appears to be an issue with permissions this seems odd since TrueCrypt prompts for the system's root password prior to the loop device error appearing.
Neptune 4 - searching for drivers with the Hardware Manager
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I tried running Neptune on a desktop computer and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both instances, the distribution ran smoothly. All my physical computer's hardware was detected and properly utilized. Neptune offered a stable, responsive environment in which to work. I found Neptune took a little longer to boot than other Linux distributions I've tried recently, but not by a significant amount of time, probably about an extra thirty seconds on average. Memory usage varied a bit during my trial with Neptune. With desktop effects and file indexing enabled I found the distribution required approximately 500MB of memory while sitting at the KDE desktop. With these features disabled and the application menu switched to the classic layout Neptune used around 330MB of memory upon login.
My general feelings about Neptune, having used the distribution for a week, are that it does not stand out as having any particularly unique or intriguing features, but neither does Neptune appear to contain any serious flaws. While using the distribution I found that the installer, the default desktop environment, almost all the applications and package managers worked as expected. Neptune worked well with my hardware and generally provided a (pleasantly) boring experience. The default grey background is quite appropriate for Neptune as it reflected the calm experience the distribution provided. This is what I typically like in a desktop distribution: lots of useful software and uneventful operations. Aside from having trouble with TrueCrypt, my only complaint is a matter of personal preference. Specifically, I didn't like the default application menu, however this was easy enough to change.
Neptune's website mentions trying to get the "BeOS message" to new users and I found this odd. Nothing about the distribution really struck me as being similar to BeOS (or the more modern Haiku operating system). Neptune looks and acts very much like other Debian-based desktop-oriented Linux distributions. The one feature Neptune really seems to be pushing is multimedia support. The multimedia codecs, the media converter and audio editing tools all suggest a focus on enjoying and working with audio files.
All in all, Neptune offered me a pretty good experience. It was welcoming in its stable (some might say bland) approach. The Debian Stable base means Neptune will continue to receive support for a few years to come and the underlying operating system is likely to be rock solid during that time. The modern kernel and desktop environment provide a good, fairly up to date experience atop the solid base. In short, Neptune provides a solid desktop system that is friendly and stable. There are a minimum of surprises and fuss with this distribution.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8 GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500 GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6 GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Kubuntu introduces KDE Plasma 5, openSUSE turns Factory into rolling release, Debian announces kernel roadmap for "Jessie", FreeBSD improves UEFI support, seL4 releases its microkernel as open-source software
Good news for KDE fans, the KDE Plasma 5 technology is coming to Kubuntu and test images are available for download. The Kubuntu blog reports: "Kubuntu Plasma 5 ISOs have started being built. These are early development builds of what should be a Tech Preview with our 14.10 release in October. Plasma 5 should be the default desktop in a future release. Bugs in the packaging should be reported to kubuntu-ppa on Launchpad. Bugs in the software to KDE." KDE 5 and its associated technologies are expected to be an evolutionary step forward from KDE 4, as opposed to the disruptive jump users experienced when moving from KDE 3.5 to KDE 4.
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The openSUSE project maintains a testing repository where new packages are uploaded for testing and eventual inclusion in the next release of openSUSE. This special testing repository is called Factory and, in the past, was recommended for use only in bleeding-edge testing environments. That is changing and the Factory repository is becoming a proper rolling-release distribution. The openSUSE blog contains more details: "We are proud to announce that we have just switched our beloved development distribution, openSUSE Factory, to be an independent distribution using the "rolling release" development model. openSUSE Factory is now a tested, reliable and bleeding edge Linux distribution! This change will shorten the stabilization process for our major releases (next up: 13.2) and eliminate the need for pre-releases and milestones." The blog post goes on to explain changes to the openSUSE testing practices and the technologies used to test new packages.
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The next stable release of Debian, code name "Jessie", is still several months away, but the Debian developers have made some decisions concerning the project's next release. Debian 8 will ship with version 3.16 of the Linux kernel and Debian's current Testing branch will reach "freeze" status on November 5th. A freeze will mean no new features will be added to Debian's Testing repository and the developers are urging package maintainers to make sure their software is compatible with Linux 3.16. "If you maintain a package that is closely bound to the kernel version - a kernel module or a userland application that depends on an unstable API - please ensure that it is compatible with Linux 3.16 prior to the freeze date (5th November, 2014). Incompatible packages are very likely to be removed from Testing and not included in 'Jessie'." Using Linux 3.16 is an interesting choice as that version of the Linux kernel will not receive long term support from the Linux development team. Instead Debian will be maintaining their kernel package with the help of Ubuntu and Ben Hutchings. "The Linux 3.16-stable branch will not be maintained as a long term branch at kernel.org. However, the Ubuntu kernel team will continue to maintain that branch, following the same rules for acceptance and review, until around April 2016. Ben Hutchings is planning to continue maintenance from then until the end of regular support for 'Jessie'.
* * * * *
The FreeBSD Foundation released its July newsletter last week. One of the items discussed is FreeBSD's support for machines featuring UEFI, the technology which is replacing the legacy BIOS. One of UEFI's controversal features is Secure Boot, a method of preventing untrusted or unregonized software from running on UEFI-enabled computers. FreeBSD is attempting to support UEFI and Secure Boot, but has run into some delays implementing the latter. "The basic UEFI boot process is now complete and integrated into FreeBSD HEAD. The vt-based framebuffer driver is automatically selected for UEFI boot. Nathan Whitehorn contributed some final integration components, including UEFI support in the FreeBSD installer. Our Secure Boot implementation is delayed, as our plan relied on a Microsoft-signed shim loader, and Microsoft has added new requirements to the process. We do remain committed to providing a Secure Boot implementation, and will adapt the plan as necessary. We plan to merge all of the UEFI boot and vt console changes to the release branch to be ready to ship in FreeBSD 10.1."
* * * * *
seL4 is a little known microkernel project which strives to provide a high-performance kernel that is verified to work properly against the project's specifications. The seL4 project provides a minimal kernel which helps to provide verified security and performance. The seL4 kernel was released as open source software on July 29, licensed under the GNU GPL version 2. The project's userland utilities are being released as well, most of them under a BSD-style license. People interested in playing with this modern microkernel can visit the project's download page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Getting started with Linux servers
In-the-dark asks: I need a Linux server distribution that can act as a simple DHCP server, provides a level of security (firewall, anti-virus, & anti-spyware) that utilizes best practices in the industry, simple to set up with minimal command line. It needs to have the capability of being managed remotely, and it needs to be secure and stable, with the ability to work with Windows, Macintosh, Android, and Amazon tablet clients. It needs to have automatic updates, some sort of web based GUI if possible, and offer some sort of bandwidth management. I don't need a file server, or RAID, e-mail, or printer sharing as none of these applies. Most of all, the Linux server software needs to be free.
Could you please advise me on how to proceed as I am literally in the dark! I need to get up to speed on Linux basics before I dive headfirst into this, but I need some direction. Most e-mails I've sent have gone unanswered, or I have been told I'm too old to start this. I thought about Ubuntu or CentOS, but in all honesty, I don't know one from the other. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
DistroWatch answers: What you are probably looking for is the Zentyal distribution. It is based on Ubuntu (giving it up to date hardware support), it is fast, can be administered through a web interface and is designed to be set up with a few mouse clicks. It really does not get any easier than this. Zentyal will handle setting up anti-virus, firewall and DHCP servers with just a few mouse clicks during the initialization process. You can learn more about the project from their website.
The Zentyal project offers a free edition along with several paid support options. Try out the free version and, chances are, it will do everything you need and do so fairly easily. The project has a forum in case you get stuck too.
Both CentOS and Ubuntu are fine server distributions, but both assume a level of comfort with the command line and low-level concepts. Zentyal has their same excellent technology under the hood, but everything can be managed through a nice web GUI.
Once you get up and running and have more time to learn, I highly recommend the book "The Official Ubuntu Server Book" by Kyle Rankin. It is one of the better texts (in my opinion) for dealing with Linux servers in general and Ubuntu-based systems in particular. On the other hand, if you do end up using CentOS or a related distribution, I strongly recommend "A Practical Guide to Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux" by Mark G. Sobell. It is really good at covering both the technical side of things as well as the business side of server management.
|Released Last Week
Tim Booth has announced the release of Bio-Linux 8.0.2, an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with a collection of specialist software designed for use in bioinformatics: "Bio-Linux 8 is a powerful, free bioinformatics workstation platform that can be installed on anything from a laptop to a large server, or run as a virtual machine. Bio-Linux 8 adds more than 250 bioinformatics packages to an Ubuntu 14.04 LTS base, providing around 50 graphical applications and several hundred command-line tools. The Galaxy environment for browser-based data analysis and workflow construction is also incorporated in Bio-Linux 8. Bio-Linux 8 represents the continued commitment of NERC to maintain the platform, and comes with many updated and additional tools and libraries. With this release we support pre-prepared VM images for use with VirtualBox, VMWare or Parallels." Visit the project's home page to read the full release announcement.
Zorin OS 9 "Educational"
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 9 "Educational" edition, an Ubuntu-based distribution packed with specialist software suitable for use in educational environments: "We are pleased to release Zorin OS 9 Educational. Zorin OS 9 Educational brings the latest and greatest software into the hands of students and teachers. Updated software and bug fixes ensure that your computer runs better than ever while improved hardware support and entirely new software ensures that you're getting the best experience you can, no matter which computer you use it on. All Zorin OS 9 editions are long-term support (LTS) releases which means that you'll continue to get software updates and security fixes until 2019, making it the ideal choice for large-scale deployments." Here is the brief release announcement.
Simplicity Linux 14.7
David Purse has announced the release of Simplicity Linux 14.7, a set of lightweight, Puppy-based Linux distributions in four editions: "Simplicity Linux 14.7 is now available for everyone to download for free. Obsidian is our cut-down edition, pretty much just Firefox 30, a network manager and not a lot else. Netbook is our lightweight edition of Simplicity Linux; it has a few local applications, but most of the hard work is done by Cloud-based applications. Desktop is our heavyweight release; it features LibreOffice, Skype, Dropbox and a lot of other software. If you're used to using Windows but it annoys you, Subdivision is designed for you; it comes with LibreOffice, Firefox, Java, Flash, and a Minecraft installer, so you can begin playing familiar games on Linux straight out the box." Here is the brief release announcement.
Simplicity Linux 14.7 - the Welcome screen
(full image size: 413kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Arjen Balfoort has announced the release of SolydXK 201407, an updated build of the project's Linux distributions with a choice of Xfce (SolydX) or KDE (SolydK) desktops, based on Debian's "Testing" branch: "The Home editions were upgraded to the latest upgrade pack and the Business editions were upgraded with the latest security updates. This time I will not list the version changes of the major applications, but limit myself to the most important changes. Debian has started to move 'Testing' to systemd. The Home editions use systemd while the Business editions continue to use sysvinit. For the Home editions, you will notice the difference during boot, but especially during shutdown which now takes a lot less time. We may still need your help to improve boot time, though. As from the last update, 'kdenext' was removed from SolydK. We are now tracking Debian KDE." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
IPFire 2.15 Core 80
Michael Tremer has announced the release of IPFire 2.15 Core 80, a new stable release of the project's specialist Linux distribution for firewalls: "This is the official release announcement for IPFire 2.15 Core Update 80. It comes with lots of new features, some bug fixes and some minor security fixes. There has been a crowd-funding on the IPFire wishlist which raised money for implementing a DNSSEC validating DNS proxy. The DNS proxy service that is running inside of IPFire has been forked and some features that were dropped in the upstream version have been backported. IPFire now validates every DNS response of zones that are signed. If the DNSSEC signatures do not validate a DNS error is raised and therefore spoofing attacks are not longer possible. However, it is not sufficient for the internal DNS proxy to have DNSSEC enabled. Client systems should validate DNSSEC records." Continue to the release announcement for full details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|DistroWatch.com News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Medical Linux. Medical Linux is a Linux-based operating system (Xubuntu) that features applications specifically used in medicine and health.
- Minimal Linux Live. Minimal Linux Live is a set of Linux shell scripts which automatically build minimal Live Linux OS based on Linux kernel and BusyBox.
- Play Linux. Play Linux is a distribution based on Ubuntu designed for gamers. The distribution features the Cinnamon desktop environment, PlayOnLinux and Valve's Steam gaming portal.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 11 August 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 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 the 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 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|
|• 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.
|Random Distribution |
SparkyLinux is a lightweight, fast and simple Linux distribution designed for both old and new computers featuring customised Enlightenment and LXDE desktops. It has been built on the "testing" branch of Debian GNU/Linux.