| 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
(full image size: 649kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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
(full image size: 295kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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
(full image size: 282kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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
(full image size: 413kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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."
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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.
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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.
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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
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • TrueCrypt? (by chemicalfan on 2014-08-04 11:20:02 GMT from United Kingdom) |
TrueCrypt has been discontinued, and the project has been all but abandoned (even the developers recommend seeking alternatives). Is it still a relevant measure of a distro?
2 • The future of openSUSE Tumbleweed (by :wq on 2014-08-04 16:07:04 GMT from United States)
One of the comments for the Factory announcement highlighted a message I had missed by Greg Kroah-Hartman regarding the future of Tumbleweed.
3 • openSUSE Factory (by AnklefaceWrouhtlandmire on 2014-08-04 16:24:18 GMT from Ecuador)
Wow, what an exciting move by openSUSE!
This begs for comparison with Arch, which is currently what many would consider to be the most successfully executed rolling release. What level of stability and/or breakage can we expect from openSUSE Factory compared to Arch? And what about frequency of updates?
Has any thought been given to delta updates for Factory? That would be WONDERFUL for users who have slower or bandwidth-limited internet.
What will happen to Factory users running proprietary Radeon Catalyst or proprietary Nvidia drivers as the kernel and xorg stack get frequently updated?
4 • Neptune (by Barnabyh on 2014-08-04 18:17:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
Seems nice. The best thing is that it does not look like KDE at all, or only slightly so if you know what the icons in the tray in look like. Calm and soothing, not flash.
5 • openSuse (by linuxista on 2014-08-04 18:31:20 GMT from United States)
Suddenly openSuse is a lot more attractive. Delta updates would be an advantage over Arch. Is this contemplated?
6 • openSuse FACTORY (by Garon on 2014-08-04 18:49:24 GMT from United States)
@2, From what I read, Tumbleweed will be no more and I'll miss it.
I also believe that openSuse, the main distribution, will be separate from openSuse Factory. Only openSuse Factory will be a rolling release. It's just my opinion but I just don't believe that you can get a stable system with a rolling release and openSuse Factory seems to be the testbed for openSuse's regular release cycles. I've never seen a rolling release distribution that you didn't have to baby every day for it to remain stable. Even the Arch people will tell you that. I really believe that the plans that the developers of openSuse have will work out well. I wish them great success.
7 • Arch people (by linuxista on 2014-08-04 19:19:51 GMT from United States)
I'm an "Arch people," and I'll tell you the opposite: I've had the same Arch intall running for 5 years, it's extremely stable and I don't have to baby it every day. More FUD against rollers.
8 • Server4What (by dicktater on 2014-08-04 19:38:08 GMT from United States)
I don't get it. How do you recommend a server when you've been given no clue what it is to be used for? Whatever. At least with Superb Mini Server, you can test it with the live CD.
9 • Jessie (by Mohammed on 2014-08-04 19:39:39 GMT from India)
Can't wait for Debian Jessie..hope it's out soon. I've tried amny distros, but keep coming back to Debian stable.
10 • TrueCrypt (by Jesse on 2014-08-04 19:43:53 GMT from Canada)
>> "TrueCrypt has been discontinued"
By the original developers, yes. But TrueCrypt is open source and has been adopted by another team. Plus it has been audited by a third-party. The TrueCrypt software is alive and well.
>> " Is it still a relevant measure of a distro?"
This thought does not make much sense. If TrueCrypt really was discontinued and not suitable for use (as your post suggests) then the distribution should not include the software at all. Having TrueCrypt installed by default would be a bad sign of lacking security. However, since TrueCrypt is actively maintained and the distro does include it, the distro developers should make sure it works.
If a distribution includes software then that software should work, whether the software in question is in beta, actively developed or abanndoned. The upstream status of an application is not relevant to the end-user experience.
11 • TrueCrypt (by Sid on 2014-08-04 19:44:46 GMT from United States)
With a kernel update months ago I ran into the same issue with another debian based distro. The solution was to run "modprobe loop" as root before launching truecrypt. Personally I modified the launcher for the truecrypt UI to run the command before launching truecrypt.
12 • openSUSE Factory (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2014-08-04 19:47:30 GMT from Ecuador)
Wow, what an exciting move by openSUSE!
This begs for comparison with Arch, which is currently what many would consider to be the most successfully executed rolling release. What level of stability and/or breakage can we expect from openSUSE Factory compared to Arch? And what about frequency of updates?
Has any thought been given to delta updates for Factory? That would be WONDERFUL for users who have slower or bandwidth-limited internet.
What will happen to Factory users running proprietary Radeon Catalyst or proprietary Nvidia drivers as the kernel and xorg stack get frequently updated?
13 • Server distribution (by Jesse on 2014-08-04 20:15:31 GMT from Canada)
>> "I don't get it. How do you recommend a server when you've been given no clue what it is to be used for?"
The original e-mail went into a great deal of detail concerning what the server distribution would be used for, where it would be deployed and by whom. Some of these details were removed from the Q&A article to protect the privacy of the person who asked the question. The important details about which services would be deployed and what clients needed to be supported were kept in.
14 • Re 9: I also switched to Debian stable (by hobbitland on 2014-08-04 20:26:17 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hi, I also switched to Debian stable. After trying Ubuntu 14.04 have completely replaced all Ubuntu 12.04 desktops and laptops with Wheezy. But have to enabled backports for some packages.
Ubuntu is just too buggy and getting worse since 10.04. 14.04 was the last straw which made me abandon Ubuntu for good.
I am not interested in rolling releases as need to maintain multiple desktops, laptops and VMs. Debian stable with some packages from backport is best.
15 • Debian Jessie (by Will B on 2014-08-04 22:42:05 GMT from United States)
Yay! Can't wait for Jessie to come out. Debian has always been a favorite of mine, especially on servers. Looking forward to it! :-D
16 • openSUSE already rolls (by dhinds on 2014-08-05 01:25:21 GMT from Mexico)
I updated v. 11.3 to 12.1 using zypper dub w/ no problems.
This is from Sparky Ultra Openbox, built on Debian Testing (it rolls, even though that flavor was discontinued.
On other machines Manjaro is the main OS. So why reinstall? The rolling OS's are here to stay. (Things make occasionally break but are rapidly repaired) and frankly, it's been a lonmg time since I've had any problems.
17 • rolling (by Reuben on 2014-08-05 03:54:33 GMT from United States)
I've used various rolling releases at times, like arch and siduction. Definitely don't have to baby them. The distro that has caused me the most trouble seems to be Fedora. Things tend to go smoothy from alpha until release. A few months after release and something makes its way into the updates repo and breaks something.
18 • Dillo (by Billy Larlad on 2014-08-05 06:11:57 GMT from United States)
And yeah, OpenSUSE factory is kind of exciting. Maybe I'll switch to it while Debian testing is in its agonizing, seemingly-endless bi-annual freeze.
19 • Another rolling option (by BIlly Larlad on 2014-08-05 06:17:20 GMT from United States)
OpenBSD's current- branch is another interesting option for people who want a rolling OS. I know, I know, it's not Linux. (In fact, that's a plus in some eyes). In my experience, running it on my laptop for the last year, it marries _really_ bleeding-edge software (GNOME 3.12 was packaged for OpenBSD as quickly as it was for Arch) with excellent stability. Plus, as long as you're comfortable using vi a couple of times to get things set-up, it's actually really simple in every conceivable way. Give it a try, people -- maybe you'll come to find that you can get on with free OSes other than Linux!
20 • Rolling Release Distributions (by SaleemKhanMarwat on 2014-08-05 08:32:55 GMT from Pakistan)
Anyone wishing to try a true pure rollling release distribution other than arch linux and willing to spend time some basic linux knowledge should give a try to http://www.voidlinux.eu/ . It is not mentioned on DW but it is already a mature project and quite an interesting project with the fact that there are no GUIs installers or forks as available for arch linux nowadays.
21 • @19 - OpenBSD laptop (by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-05 13:03:08 GMT from United States)
How's OpenBSD on your laptop? What kind of laptop is it? Does Suspend/Resume work reliably?
22 • Deepin Experience after last weeks review. (by Robbobak on 2014-08-05 13:24:30 GMT from United States)
I haven't departed much from Linux Mint for the last few years but after last weeks review of Deepin, I gave it a try. I really liked the Control center and its ease of use and accessibility. I am a KDE user and I really liked this customized Gnome/Unity interface enough to go ahead and install it. Unfortunately I am back to Linux Mint. Deepin was nice but the update service was terrible. I switched to the fastest mirror and performed a system update because I could not install vlc or firefox without doing so. (Deepin Seems to confuse upgrade and update as they seem to use the two terms interchangeably) After update I no longer could access the control panel and the system launcher. I was hopeful for Deepin and I think it will only get better and will try it again in the future.
23 • FUD against Rollers? (by Garon on 2014-08-05 13:41:56 GMT from United States)
@7, That is so sweet. I don't really care what you've had in the past. I'm telling you what I've seen and what is told by the Arch users. If you don't continually update a rolling release then it will break. That is a fact. If you can't handle your own FUD that then that is your problem. I didn't say that rolling releases were bad, I didn't say daily maintenance was bad but it is not a install and forget distro like Archies make it out to be. Which is better? A LTS release or a rolling release? Well that's up for debate and I guess it depends on which side you are on. And please, no unproven claims. That's where you get your FUD.
24 • Ubuntu will support Debian's Jessie kernel? (by cykodrone on 2014-08-05 14:48:46 GMT from Canada)
My tinfoil hat is on fire, lol, is Ubuntu slowly but quietly swallowing Debian? When I read news like this, it skeers me. Please, say it aint so. ):
25 • FUD against rollers (by linuxista on 2014-08-05 15:19:52 GMT from United States)
I'm an Arch user and Manjaro user and I'm telling you. I don't continually update, I've had the same Arch install for 5 years, and it doesn't break. Up until the last few months I only updated once every few weeks, sometimes once a month or every two months. No problem. Think about it: often times the install iso, whether Arch, Manjaro, Archbang, Bridge, etc. is up to 6 months out of date. You install and update to get current with the repositories, no problem. Where are all the warnings about you can't do it if your install iso is more than a few days old otherwise everything will break!? Pure B.S. I'm not making any unproven claims like saying "everybody says;" I know first-hand.
26 • 23 FUD against Rollers? (by mandog on 2014-08-05 16:11:42 GMT from Peru)
I also run Arch I do update every day open terminal press the up arrow press enter enter password 5secs. get on with some work when its time for a break click enter in terminal 1sec carry on with my business that takes under 10 secs of my valuable time. On my laptop that I don't use often It can be months without updating. On my sons it was 12 months last time. Did they break no of course not, 12 months was pushing it mind you. Most people I know update weekly. I update daily for one reason on my main desktop its called 15kbs 200mb take 4-6hrs so best to do small daily updates.
27 • @27, @7 (by Ron on 2014-08-05 19:07:51 GMT from United States)
"Which is better? A LTS release or a rolling release?"
I can say from actual experience that my Arch broke - no, shattered after roll.
The pioneers get the arrows, the settlers get the land.
28 • LTS vs Rolling (by fernbap on 2014-08-05 19:40:29 GMT from Portugal)
First issue is obvious: noone in its right mind would chose a rolling release for production environments. It would just cxhange too much that would make maintenance a nightmare, specially for companies that are paying an external company for support. Also, changes in the basic gcc libs, for instance, would require an intense maintenance of the critical apps used by companies.
So, this issue can only be addressed regarding the consumer desktop.
Everything goes in the consumer desktop. Starting new trends, reinventing the wheel, experimenting with novel concepts.
That might work for the typical desktop user, who loves new stuff. But, at the same time he is uncapable of sorting out issues that may arise while rolling.
The LTS releases offer something noone else can offer: a stable environment that you can count on for doing serious work. A cicle of 5 years is huge in the consumer desktop: most computers don't last that long.
In spite of the Canonical policy of "release while not ready", Ubuntu LTS releases eventually evolve to a stable environment that you can rely on. That is the main reason why Ubuntu has so many distros based on it. A 2 year cicle LTS is way better than a 4 or 5 years cicle that you can expect from Debian Stable.
Anyway, looking at the current Linux universe, LTS is beating rolling in all fronts.
In any case, for the consumer desktop, anything goes.
Like the marketing os a motorcicle, for instalce. The commercial arguments are power, valves per cilider, tires, etc. but nothing will replace a test drive. The best ones don't care to make flashy panphlets, they just concentrate on the driver's experience.
29 • Re: 28 Debian is better than Ubuntu (by hobbitland on 2014-08-05 20:13:15 GMT from United Kingdom)
I am against rollers as have to maintain multiple desktops, laptops and VMs. I cannot afford to update a production system into an unstable system.
Yes, Ubuntu LTS are always released before they are ready. It takes at least a year to become truly stable. Ubuntu 12.04 and 14.04 were very buggy releases but Ubuntu 12.04 got better with updates. Ubuntu also has habit of releasing beta and pre-release packages as well.
Ubuntu 12.04 was based on Debian 7 testing with all the bugs. Debian 7 stable is like Ubuntu 12.04 without the bugs. It is not true that Debian 7 is old. You can enable some selected packages from backports. This makes Debian 7 newer than Ubuntu 14.04. I am running Debian 7 with Linux 3.14 Longterm kernel from backports. Ubuntu 14.04 comes with the no longer supported 3.13 kernel. That is terrible for a LTS release!
The only downside to Debian is installation is difficult. But I managed to work out how to remaster Debian Live 7.6 with all the customization and packages I need. Previously I've remastering Ubuntu but bye bye Ubuntu now.
30 • @19 (by Billy Larlad on 2014-08-05 20:23:34 GMT from United States)
It's a Thinkpad X220. The last Thinkpad X to have a nice keyboard, I believe. It might be worth looking one up on eBay.
Yes, suspend/resume works very well. I would say it is as good or better than suspend/resume in Linux, especially in terms of speed. That said, there was a slight regression a week or two ago that showed up in a few day's worth of snapshots. It prevented suspend in some cases. One of the benefits of using an OS that as developed as an integrated whole, which further is also used by its developers, is that breakages are quickly detected and there is a motivation to fix them. (In this case, it looks like the regression affected only the Thinkpad X220. The problem was fixed in a few days.)
Anyway, the other hardware "just works" too. I had trouble with a 3G chip that I didn't even know was installed until I noticed the system was crashing due to it. The stupid fingerprint reader doesn't work either, but I couldn't care less.
Let me know if there's any other questions I can try to answer!
31 • @29 - Debian Installer (by Billy Larlad on 2014-08-05 20:27:08 GMT from United States)
How is Debian installation difficult? That's a serious question, not sarcasm. My experience is that the Debian installer is not as "pretty" as other installers, and asks more questions, but is really quite straightforward and foolproof.
32 • Debian outdated? (by RichJack on 2014-08-05 20:41:29 GMT from Isle of Man)
Well XFCE is stuck at 4.6 in wheezy with nothing in backports. Jessie has 4.10 which is the current stable release of XFCE and was released back in 2012. As comparison, xubuntu 14.04 LTS shipped with 4.11 and current builds of core apps ported to GTK3 are already available in the Ubuntu utopic repositories.
Make of it what you will but XFCE is now the default desktop in Debian so the big question is will Debian 8 ship with XFCE 4.12 if it is released in time?
33 • (by Alex on 2014-08-05 21:05:17 GMT from United States)
Agree with #23. I had Arch installed on an infrequently used laptop. It broke eventually on a pacman -Syu upgrade. No, I didn't upgrade it everyday like it is recommended. Regardless, I do raise an eyebrow when I see people proclaim with certainty that Arch is super easy to maintain and super stable inherently.
It's like any other OS. If you have the time and the skills to maintain it, I'm sure it's a fantastic computing environment to use. It's no magic bullet however.
34 • @ Billy Larlad (OpenBSD) (by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-05 22:11:47 GMT from United States)
Hmmm, it's definitely tempting. I have a Thinkpad T530. I like it, the only thing that has been disappointing is the wireless card. It a Realtek, RTL8192ce is the driver used in Linux, and it's basically a piece of shit.
From what I gather, OpenBSD doesn't even support it. But I can easily get a USB dongle to handle that. I was mainly concerned about everything else like screen resolution (mine is 1600x900 and I can't suffer with VESA), suspend/resume, etc.
I'm sick of so many things in Linux, and if I'm going to use a BSD it'll have to be OpenBSD.
Thanks for the info.
35 • @32 Outdated Debian Xfce (by cykodrone on 2014-08-05 22:34:14 GMT from Canada)
Umm, it's 4.8 in Wheezy, I should know, I use Wheezy. As far as releasing whatever version of Xfce, it's not that simple, the DE GUI has to be compatible with over 35,000 packages. The only way we'll know is on November 5 when the Jessie freeze kicks in. Xfce is becoming (it's still up in the air) their "default" desktop only because the other DEs are too bloated now to fit on a single CD, Debian tries to keep their single CD to a bare minimum on purpose so they don't alienate less fortunate people, those with low/slow bandwidth or no DVD/BD burners, etc (I was chewed out extensively about this a while back asking why CDs are still supported). Gnome and KDE, among others are still very well supported, nobody is stopping anybody from downloading or installing any of the other numerous available DEs supported by Debian, in most of the numerous archs.
36 • re : Debian outdated? (by Peter Besenbruch on 2014-08-05 22:36:49 GMT from Czech Republic)
XFCE is at version 4.8 in Debian Wheezy. The differences between 4.8 and 4.10 are fairly minor.
37 • CD support (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-08-05 23:01:00 GMT from United States)
While there are still many who can "burn" plastic discs, and some use "RW" discs, there are also many who cannot, or prefer not to. What I do not understand is why so much resistance to multiboot, especially from flash.
On another track, it's not so much that an update may break something, it's that the sheer volume becomes numbing. 'Keep It Short ...' also applies to the cumulative list of update instructions - breakage warnings should not blend into the rest.
38 • @37 Re: CD Support (by Rev_Don on 2014-08-06 01:36:14 GMT from United States)
As was mentioned in the previous discussion about this, some systems simply can not be booted from a flash drive or a USB port. Some can't boot from a DVD drive either which leaves a CD as their only viable option.
It isn't just about preferring to burn a CD or CD-RW, for them it's a necessity.
Of course I firmly believe that people with computers that are that old would be better off replacing them with something newer and more energy efficient. Most would be able to save enough on electricity in one year to pay for it and have a much better computer and computing experience in the long run. But for some reason it seems that there is a hard core segment of the Linux community that delights in seeing how old of a computer they can run Linux on and how little ram they can get away with. They could care less that it takes them 10 times as long to actually do anything useful on their computer, they are running an old Intel 80486 with 32 megs of ram that they bought in 1989 with a 13 inch CRT monitor. I'd rather have something that is only 4 or 5 years old that can actually run applications that will accomplish something other than just bragging rights for having the oldest, slowest, smallest amount of ram, and uses the most amount of energy possible,
39 • Jessie (by Platypus on 2014-08-06 02:04:48 GMT from Australia)
Hey, how about a review of Jessie by Jesse when it comes out. It might be interesting to see how Jesse sees Jessie ;)
40 • @19,34 regarding OpenBSD (by Thomas Mueller on 2014-08-06 02:32:20 GMT from United States)
A serious deficiency in OpenBSD that makes it incompatible with my system is lack of support for GPT. Linux, FreeBSD and NetBSD can access my hard drives but OpenBSD, also FreeDOS and ReactOS, can't. My preferred BSD is FreeBSD, with NetBSD second. Linux may be stabler.
Don't forget Haiku (haiku-os.org) which has GPT support. I was pleasantly surprised by R1Alpha4 installed to 4 GB USB stick.
Posting a comment on this site does not work with Midori browser (through 0.5.8) but works with Mozilla Firefox or Seamonkey, and Haiku's Web Positive.
41 • @38 Re: CD Support (by Will B on 2014-08-06 02:48:12 GMT from United States)
> Of course I firmly believe that people with computers that are that old
> would be better off replacing them with something newer and more
> energy efficient.
Some folks just can't afford to run out and get a new computer every couple of years. Yeah, energy efficiency is great and all, but some folks are just scraping buy, just able to pay their rent, buy a little food or make their tithe. Some old hardware shouldn't be supported forever, but less fortunate people shouldn't be left out of the fun, you know? :-)
42 • @40 (by Anonymous Coward on 2014-08-06 03:15:29 GMT from United States)
Thank you for the suggestions. I'll start by saying there is no ill-will here, but I have to be honest.
There is no way in hell I'm even going to try Haiku, or any BSD with the exception of OpenBSD. All I have is a laptop, and OpenBSD focus on them more than anything else. In addition, as noted by Billy Larlad, the developers actually USE their operating system.
I'm driven to learn new things, but at this point I don't have the masochistic tendencies required to run FreeBSD or Haiku on my laptop. As far as GPT, my BIOS version can use either legacy or GPT, so it's not a requirement. One absolute deal-breaker in BSD is suspend/resume. And Haiku has too many deal-breakers to count. I just read their release notes, and it appears they're still struggling with things that should have been mastered in 1995.
43 • RE: CD Support (by Rev_Don on 2014-08-06 03:16:17 GMT from United States)
>> Some folks just can't afford to run out and get a new computer every >> couple of years. Yeah, energy efficiency is great and all, but some
>> folks are just scraping buy, just able to pay their rent, buy a little food >> or make their tithe. Some old hardware shouldn't be supported forever, >> but less fortunate people shouldn't be left out of the fun, you know? :-)
Trying reading what I said again. I never said anything about buying a NEW computer, or buying one every couple of years. I said a NEWER computer. And it isn't that difficult to do it either. You can pickup a used Core2Duo system for $100 with some careful shopping and just about anyone can do that. One less soda, beer, pack of cigarettes, Starbucks coffee, donut, or carry out meal a week would easily cover that.
Sorry, but anyone who says they can't afford a newer computer isn't willing to try or in all reality can't afford to use that 20 year old dinosaur.
44 • Alex 33 (by linuxista on 2014-08-06 05:45:21 GMT from United States)
Nowhere in the Arch Wiki, including on advice for stability, is there any recommendation to upgrade packages everyday. This is one of those myths that won't die. As far as Arch being super stable, that's not the point. The point is to combat the other myth that won't die that if it rolls it's going to break. Absolutely not true, unless when something goes wrong you just say "it's broke." But this is true of any distro, rolling or otherwise. Personally, I'd rather take my chances rolling than do multiple release upgrades. I figure when one of those goes sour (it hasn't for me yet), I'll be looking at an irrecoverable mess.
45 • Re: Debian Xfce (by RichJack on 2014-08-06 06:36:24 GMT from Isle of Man)
Sorry for the typo, I did know it was 4.8 in Wheezy. There are other issues though like light-locker languishing in experimental...
46 • Re #10 if a distro includes software (by email@example.com on 2014-08-06 06:45:31 GMT from Brazil)
"If a distribution includes software then that software should work, whether the software in question is in beta, actively developed or abanndoned. The upstream status of an application is not relevant to the end-user experience."
You're absolutely right, packages in the official repos should work. They don't always. Debian, Ubuntu, Puppy, Mint probably all distros have this issue. With Linux we have freedom. Freedom to spend hundreds of hours configuring and tinkering until most of our hardware and software works.
Also fun is when your distro updates a package that breaks something else, but doesn't tell you this is going to happen.
"just works" is a myth.
47 • @22 and whoever has problems with deepin broken after update (by Davide on 2014-08-06 08:10:44 GMT from Italy)
I've had your same problem and solved with apt-get dist-upgrade .. after this all is working smoothly.
Hope this helps
48 • @24 (by bigbenaugust on 2014-08-06 14:18:56 GMT from United States)
You aren't the only one.
49 • @6 - Rolling Releases' stability (by Ika on 2014-08-06 17:59:03 GMT from Spain)
!I've never seen a rolling release distribution that you didn't have to baby every day for it to remain stable."
Well, you could try PCLinuxOS. :)
The only reason I had to go with reinstallation was I had to reconfigure my HDDs.
50 • Security of Implications of Updating Frequency (by RW on 2014-08-06 18:20:58 GMT from Germany)
"Up until the last few months I only updated once every few weeks, sometimes once a month or every two months."
Even for security updates? If so, isn't that downright dangerous?
I'm not so sure. How certain can you be, for example, of not having acquired a rootkit or other difficult or even near-impossible nasty as a result of your running for extended periods with known vulns?
"I'm not making any unproven claims like saying "everybody says;" I know first-hand."
Aren't you extrapolating from your individual, personal experience and making sweeping generalizations? No matter how valid your experience may be, it's still that of /one/ person, isn't it?
51 • Security of Implica ... (by linuxista on 2014-08-06 18:32:44 GMT from United States)
Are you saying that regardless of whether you're using a rolling distro or a release update distro, it's downright dangerous not to update every day?
Let me extrapolate: I'm not running CERN off my laptop, and I've never had any issues.
Why saying Arch is not a powder keg and doesn't constant babying is so provocative I don't know. I'm going out on limb here, but that's just my experience.
52 • Re: Rollers vs. release (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2014-08-07 02:30:30 GMT from United States)
I'd like to see more of a semi-rolling system where the real core parts (kernel, kernel libs, drivers, etc.) are updated every so often, say 6 mos. or a year and the applications are updated as a new "stable" version ie released. Ubuntu could do this by keep the Main and Reestricted repos as is and make the Universe and Multiverse "rolling", allowing Kubuntu and such to time it's "releases" to the DE used (KDE e.g.).
53 • @51 (by Ika on 2014-08-07 02:54:39 GMT from Spain)
"Are you saying that regardless of whether you're using a rolling distro or a release update distro, it's downright dangerous not to update every day?"
I don't understand why some people are fearing updates or being so lazy to apply them... It should be as normal as eating or drinking water. Updates should be applied whenever there are available/released be it daily, weekly or twice a day. Personally I have set the update notifier to notify about available updates to 8 or 12 hours.
I saw people saying they don't have time to apply updates!!!... It's a B.S. OK, can't be interrupt a work... but what about doing it before starting it or afterwards? If updates are regularly applied (again, recommended is whenever are they available) then the process is very short.
Another thing: every time a major update (or upgrade) is applied the system should be rebooted (I'm doing it even twice, it's needed especially when a new kernel is installed; in that case the first one is a cold reboot). But again, there are some too lazy to do it... And then are coming the complaints: "The system broke!" Isn't it stupid?
54 • Update like drinking water (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2014-08-07 07:10:17 GMT from United States)
Fine print on a bottle of water: "Failure to follow instructions may result in discomfort, injury, or death. Each label's instructions may vary; please read carefully."
Of course, these labels rarely vary ... a habit may form ... changes in instructions may appear very similar to prior instructions ...
This is one way one tiny change can bring down an entire organization or community.
55 • @52 Rollers vs. release (by Kazlu on 2014-08-07 09:08:02 GMT from France)
That's what PCLinuxOS and Chakra do. I don't use either but I have heard only good from them. I don't know about the security policy of PCLinuxOS and I think they do not have a dedicated security updates channel, but I don't want to say undocumented bullshit here and since I can't find where I read that, if someone better informed than me could bring some intel it would be cool.
56 • Rolling Release (by Jose on 2014-08-07 16:31:26 GMT from United States)
I have used rolling distros and non-rolling distros. I perfer a rolling release for my HOME PC;'s and Laptop. I use PCLinuxOS and Arch. I update weekly (when I remember, I'm old and tend to forget).
However, if I was supporting the PCs at work, I would perfer something STABLE like Debian Stable or CENTOS or Red Hat. It would be a nightmare to support rolling releases at work. People do not treat work PC's anywhere near as nice as they would treat something THEY are responsible for.
I have been using Rolling Distros for several years and early on, Debian Testing had a couple of minor issues. Arch had an issue with the video that was eaisly handled. PCLinuxOS, well, I can't seem to remember any problems, but I am sure there had to be one or two there.
Is one better than the other? Maybe. I just happened to like Rolling Distros. But I would hate to support it in a Production environment!
Saying that, at home PCLinuxOS and Arch are happily running at home, with no issues at all this year. Fact is, it has been several years since I had issues.
Maybe i am just lucky...
57 • @56 (by Ika on 2014-08-07 18:28:12 GMT from Spain)
"Maybe i am just lucky..."
I don't think so... I'm "lucky" too with PCLinuxOS. :D
Didn't try Arch though... Don't like insults...
58 • Rolling Ubuntu (by Jesse on 2014-08-07 22:45:28 GMT from Canada)
>> "I'd like to see more of a semi-rolling system where the real core parts (kernel, kernel libs, drivers, etc.) are updated every so often, say 6 mos. or a year and the applications are updated as a new "stable" version ie released. Ubuntu could do this by keep the Main and Reestricted repos as is and make the Universe and Multiverse "rolling", allowing Kubuntu and such to time it's "releases" to the DE used"
Ubuntu does exactly this via its backports repositories. The main operating system remains stable, but end user applications are updated on a regular basis. This allows Ubuntu users to maintain a stable core like running new desktop software. For people who want to be even more on the bleeding edge, Ubuntu PPAs often offer new versions of applications the same day the upstream projects release new versions.
59 • RE: PCLOS (ALT Linux and Vine Linux too) (by :wq on 2014-08-08 06:32:45 GMT from United States)
Is APT-RPM even maintained? As of the date of this post, the latest stable version of Apt is 1.0.6, which was released 2014-07-14. As far as I can tell, the last stable version of APT-RPM was 0.5.15lorg3.2, which was released 2006-06-21. The latest development version of APT-RPM is 0.5.15lorg3.94a, which was released 2008-01-12. The story for Synaptic is much the same, despite it originally being a Conectiva project. Synaptic in Debian is at version 0.81.2, which was released 2014-05-16. Synaptic in the RPM world is at 0.57.2, which was released 2005-07-04 (ALT Linux carries a 0.58 version). Have there really been no bugs to fix or improvements to be made since then?
60 • In addtion to #58 (by :wq on 2014-08-08 07:20:14 GMT from United States)
The openSUSE Project's OBS achieves much the same convenience of PPAs for openSUSE (and occasionally packages are also built for other distros). If searching online at http://software.opensuse.org/find, some casual users might be thrown off by being warned that other versions of packages from unofficial repos are possibly "unstable" (if said users even take notice that other versions are available), but I haven't found the quality to be worse than what makes its way into typical PPAs. "One Click Install" is even available.
Hopefully the Fedora Project's Copr will be as utilized.
61 • rolling with PCLOS (by M.Z. on 2014-08-08 07:37:17 GMT from United States)
I've been running PCLOS for my main desktop since 2011, and the problems are fairly few & far between. I think I've had maybe 3 or so instances when I really had to baby the OS to get an upgrade to work right, & it is usually just removing certain held packages. Each time the forum described the problem & solution perfectly; however, there was some sweat involved when nvidia made some big naming changes to their Linux packages. Apparently my onboard driver rolled into the old legacy branch & I had to recover from the command line & switch to the new driver name. I'm not a command line guru so it made me worry a bit, but the forums came through & everything was fine in the end.
I think that my big problem was mainly an issue caused by the naming conventions over at nvidia; however, it is an indicator of some possible & perhaps inevitable stumbling blocks that you can have with a rolling system. This is the one reason why I think the release structure of something like Mint 17 might be better for the average user, but if you are not afraid of doing a little work looking through the forms every great once in a while then PCLOS is excellent & requires very little extra effort. It is probably no extra effort at all for the average user if you compare occasional troubleshooting time with a reinstall every 6 months like the have in Ubuntu.
There were some concerns within the PCLOS team that the distro would have to change to YUM or some setup other than APT-RPM, but that has all been resolved. I believe that someone adopted the project & promised future updates, so there was no need to change PCLOS.
62 • PCLOS packaging (by Somewhat Reticent on 2014-08-08 17:17:01 GMT from United States)
aptitude: CLI ("heavily emasculated version of Debian software")
Synaptic: GUI (see above)
Smart Package Manager: GUI and CLI (smart? not very ...)
+no enthusiasm in small group for adding obsolete very-complex tool ...
63 • Sometimes things get out of hand. (by Garon on 2014-08-08 17:46:35 GMT from United States)
On the subject of rolling releases vs. updating, there is not a lot of difference. I choose to replace an operating system on my #1 machine about every three to four years. It just depends on what I use a certain system for. Whoever said that the Arch documentation does not say that you have to update every day I would say that you are probably correct. Where I heard it was in the forums so I should have taken that with a grain of salt. I don't want to belittle any distribution that anyone uses or belittle the person for using that distribution. Sometimes people get a little over excited. I know that it's happened to me. On my main system I do use Ubuntu LTS releases and so far I've had good results just doing a distribution upgrade. If I want bleeding edge I use a PPA to get what I want. I DO NOT reinstall every 6 months except on my play time system and that's just for fun. I also love to download and play with other system just to see what people use. Soon I will be playing with openSuse Factory and I'm looking forward to it. So I do apologize to anyone that I've offended and I will work harder to respect other peoples opinions. (when they make sense) :)
64 • @52, 58, 60 (by Brandon Sniadajewski on 2014-08-10 03:17:46 GMT from United States)
My thinking was that when it comes time to upgrade the system to the new version (say 14.04 to 14.10, just for kicks), you're not waiting a few hours downloading all the, say, 800 packages that needs updating, but instead just the 100 some odd packages in the core of a system (if you're using Kubuntu instead of Ubuntu, where only the kernel, drivers, CLI tools and a few others like Firefox and LO would be found in main where KDE is in universe).
65 • Once you go Arch.. (by brad on 2014-08-11 02:57:59 GMT from United States)
it's hard to use anything else...I've distro hopped.. and still come back to arch/arch based every time.
Number of Comments: 65
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|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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During LinuxTag 2004 the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the company credativ unveiled the Linux Government Desktop. The Linux Goverment Desktop has been developed within the scope of the project ERPOSS which evaluates Open Source Software in government environments. Composed entirely of free software the distribution was available as a live CD as well as an install CD. One of the highlights brought by the Government Desktop was the fact that it saves the whole data on encrypted filesystems. Furthermore KMail was preconfigured to send and receive encrypted e-mail (GnuPG and S/MIME) and to make use of all kinds of authority certificates. The package was completed by integrated spam and virus protection and a preconfigured personal firewall.