| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 577, 22 September 2014
Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The only constant in this world is change. This paradoxical wisdom is especially true in the world of open source software where things are constantly evolving. Projects grow, developers experiment with new ideas and new designs become available. This week we discuss projects going through important changes and trying new approaches. We begin with a review of the SymphonyOS distribution, a project based on Ubuntu which features an unusual desktop environment. In the news last week there was talk of several changes. The FreeBSD project dropped support for its legacy package manager, choosing to focus support on pkg, the MINIX developers pushed out a new release that runs on ARM-based hobbyist hardware, Fedora confirmed they are experimenting with multiple product lines and the openSUSE project addressed fears in the wake of their parent company's merger. Also in this edition of DistroWatch Weekly we share how to move running programs between terminal sessions, cover the releases from the last week and look ahead to fun new developments to come. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (31MB) and MP3 (36MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First impressions of SymphonyOS 14.1
I wanted to try something experimental this week and the SymphonyOS project provided just the unusual flavour I was looking for. "The SymphonyOS Project began in 2004 as an experiment in web technologies in the desktop space and usability. Now, the project is reborn and we are again pushing the boundaries of web-desktop integration and usability." This sounded interesting. Over the past few years several desktop environments have changed direction, responding to different screen sizes, mobile-style interfaces and touch screen technology. I was curious to see what the SymphonyOS developers had created.
What I found while looking around the distribution's website is that SymphonyOS is based on Ubuntu 14.04 and the project's unique desktop environment runs with the help of the F Virtual Window Manager (FVWM). SymphonyOS 14.1 is technically considered a development release and the project's team warns the distribution may have rough edges. So warned I downloaded SymphonyOS which is available in just one build, for the 32-bit x86 hardware architecture. The download is approximately 880 MB in size.
Booting from the SymphonyOS media we are shown a boot menu where we can choose to either try the distribution's live desktop environment or launch the project's system installer. Booting from the live media brings us to a login screen which has a bright red background that I suspect is a close-up image of a strawberry. From this screen we can sign into either a guest account or an account with the user name "symphony". As it turns out the password to sign into the "symphony" account is also "symphony". The guest account requires no password. Once we get signed in we find the desktop is decorated with the same strawberry background. The desktop environment has two panels, located at the top and bottom of the screen. The top panel acts as a location for window controls (more on that in a bit) and the bottom panel provides the interface's task switcher.
In the four corners of the screen there are buttons for opening full-screen menus. The button in the upper-left corner of the screen opens the distribution's configuration menu where we can configure the network, search for third-party hardware drivers, configure user accounts and perform other system administration tasks. In the bottom-left corner we find the full screen application menu. The upper-right corner of the screen features a button that opens the distribution's file manager. The button in the lower-right corner of the display brings up a menu where we can logout, reboot the computer or shutdown the system. While playing with the live environment I found most applications and configuration utilities would open and run, but for some reason the system installer would not launch from the live desktop. To get around this I rebooted the computer and took the Install option from the boot menu.
SymphonyOS 14.1 - the default desktop
(full image size: 1,032kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Taking the Install option brought up what appears to be GNOME 3's fallback desktop environment. A short time later the graphical system installer appeared. Symphony's system installer is similar to Ubuntu's installer with a few small differences. The first screen asks us to select our preferred language from a list and we are offered a chance to read the project's release notes. The next screen asks if we would care to download software updates during the installation process and whether we would like to install third-party multimedia support. The first time I ran the installer I did try to opt-in to downloading third-party codecs and this caused the installer to lock-up. I had to reboot the computer and start the installation process over. This time I decided not to download updates or install any extras and simply proceeded to the next screen where we tackle disk partitioning.
The installer will offer to automatically divide up the hard disk for us or we can manually partition the drive. The manual partition editor is quite simple to use and supports a wide range of file systems, including ext2, ext3, ext4, JFS, XFS and Btrfs. I opted to use the advanced Btr file system. Once the drive has been partitioned to our liking we can choose where to install the project's boot loader. The following screens ask us to confirm our time zone and our keyboard's layout. When we install Ubuntu the system installer asks us to create a user account for ourselves, Symphony's installer does not do this. We skip account creation and instead the installer moves straight on to copying its files to our local disk and then we are prompted to reboot the computer.
SymphonyOS boots to the strawberry-themed login screen where we can, once again, login with the "symphony" account or sign in as a guest. Playing with the default desktop environment I soon discovered a few interesting characteristics of SymphonyOS' unique interface. One is that all new windows open in full screen mode. There does not appear to be any way of changing this behaviour, windows are either minimized or maximized, I did not find any way to re-size open windows. I suspect this behaviour is designed to reflect the interfaces of mobile devices, but it feels wildly out of place on a desktop machine. The maximized by default behaviour is specially awkward when dealing with applications which usually have relatively small windows, such as the update manager application or a screen shot application. The way SymphonyOS handles application dialog boxes posed a problem too as each small window would be forced to stretch to fill the display. This made using some applications, such as the GNU Image Manipulation Program, virtually impossible unless the application supported a single-window mode. I also found that SymphonyOS made it impossible to place windows side-by-side to compare content.
SymphonyOS 14.1 - the settings menu
(full image size: 839kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Problems with SymphonyOS continued when I tried to update software packages on the system. There is an application available in the Settings menu which will check for updated packages and display them for us. However, when I opted to download the available updates the software updater crashed. The update manager crashed each time I tried to use it during the week. I ran into a similar problem when I tried to run the Synaptic graphical package manager. The launcher for Synaptic did not work, clicking on it produced no results. I was able to drop to a command line and launch Synaptic manually which gave me full access to the classic package manager. Using Synaptic I was able to download available software updates and install new packages. For people who prefer working from the command line, SymphonyOS users can use APT to manage software packages. Looking at the repositories SymphonyOS connects to we find almost all packages come from the Ubuntu repositories. There is an addition personal package archive for SymphonyOS-specific items.
Speaking of software, let's look at some of the items SymphonyOS ships with. The distribution presents us with the Firefox web browser, a document viewer, the Transmission bittorrent client and an image viewer. We are given an archive manager, the Xfburn disc burning software, the Leafpad text editor and a virtual calculator. There are several tools for changing the look and feel of the desktop, an account manager and a printer configuration application. The Network Manager software is available to help us get on-line and the GNU Compiler Collection is available too. In the background I found the Linux kernel, version 3.13. As I could not install third-party multimedia support at install time my installation of the distribution did not include Flash support or popular media codecs. In fact, no multimedia applications were available by default, though media support could be downloaded via the package manager.
SymphonyOS 14.1 - checking for software updates
(full image size: 38kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Perhaps one of the bigger annoyances I ran into while using SymphonyOS was that configuration applications did not launch with (nor prompt for) administrative access. This meant running the Users & Groups manager from the Settings menu would allow me to see existing user accounts, but I could not create, remove or edit accounts. I suspect this may have been why the update manager failed to work properly too as it may not have had administrative rights. Other programs failed to launch, possibly due to the default desktop environment. For example, the Desktop Preferences configuration tool would not launch and merely displayed an error saying the "Desktop manager is not active". Likewise there was an application present labelled "Openbox Configuration Manager" and this application refused to run, correctly pointing out that Openbox was not installed.
I tried running SymphonyOS on a desktop machine and in a virtual machine supplied by VirtualBox. In both environments SymphonyOS ran without any hardware related problems. The distribution booted quickly, sound and networking worked out of the box and my screen was set to its maximum resolution. The distribution generally required 160MB of RAM to get logged into the desktop. During my trial the distribution was stable and I ran into no system crashes.
SymphonyOS 14.1 - running the Firefox web browser
(full image size: 43kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Right up front I want to acknowledge SymphonyOS is a distribution in development. The release I was using came with a warning letting me know some features wouldn't work properly and so I was not expecting perfection. For this reason I was willing to generally overlook certain issues. For example, I was willing to give a pass to some configuration utilities not working when launched from the graphical user interface and I, personally, don't mind dropping to the command line to perform some tasks. Many of the little annoyances I ran into during my time with SymphonyOS appear to stem from programs not receiving administrative rights before they run and I suspect this will be easily fixed as the distribution matures.
Putting aside these little bugs and quirks though I still found myself scratching my head at some of the design decisions which have gone into Symphony. As an example, SymphonyOS is based on Ubuntu and uses Ubuntu's system installer. Yet SymphonyOS does not allow us to create a user account for ourselves at install time the way Ubuntu does. We are stuck using the default "symphony" account unless we are willing to open a command line and edit our account or create a new account for ourselves. Another choice I found odd was the way all windows, including dialog boxes, are maximized with no obvious way to re-size them. I realize that some users are comfortable with running many of their applications in full screen mode, but having only one application window open at a time strikes me as a very odd restriction for a desktop operating system. I suspect Symphony's developers are trying to make their desktop interface familiar to users of mobile devices, but desktop computing becomes quite cumbersome when only one window can be accessed at a time.
There were aspects of Symphony's interface I appreciated. For instance, the way the four corners of the desktop acted as buttons to access different features was pleasant for me to use. I like that documents, settings and application where physically separate and I felt this approach was more natural to me than putting documents, programs and settings all in one place. I also liked how light the distribution's interface was on resources. SymphonyOS requires very little RAM and uses virtually no processing power. The desktop loads very quickly and mostly stays out of the way, which meant I could focus on work without distractions.
One aspect of the distribution I found odd was that there did not appear to be any web apps available in the default installation. The project's summary mentioned "pushing the boundaries of web-desktop integration", but I did not encounter any web apps during my time with the distribution. In fact, I did not find any aspect of the distribution that married web technology with the desktop environment.
In the end, I feel the SymphonyOS project has a number of bugs to tackle and some design features that could be improved upon. The project is under development and I suspect many of the issues I ran into will get sorted out in the coming months. I am hoping the SymphonyOS team will be able to improve their desktop's window management without losing the impressive performance they have managed to achieve.
* * * * *
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)
FreeBSD drops support for legacy package manager, MINIX gains ARM support, Fedora to test three-product releases and openSUSE unaffected by Attachmate Group merger
There have been some interesting developments in the FreeBSD community lately. One is that the FreeBSD operating system has finished transitioning from the legacy pkg_add package manager to the pkg package manager. As the FreeBSDish blog reports: "The ports tree has been modified to only support pkg as package management system for all supported versions of FreeBSD. If you were still using pkg_install (pkg_* tools) you will have to upgrade your system." The blog goes on to explain how to transition an existing installation of FreeBSD from the old package management tools to the new one.
* * * * *
The MINIX operating system is often seen as the project which inspired Linus Torvalds to create the Linux kernel, but MINIX has a legacy and direction of its own. The latest release of MINIX, version 3.3.0, included some interesting new features. One key feature of the new release is close compatibility with NetBSD's userland tools. This means MINIX users will be able to install and run most software compatible with NetBSD. The latest version of MINIX also introduces ARM architecture support and is confirmed to work on a number of hobbyist ARM boards, including the BeagleBone White, and BeagleBone Black.
* * * * *
The Fedora team plans to unveil a Alpha test release of Fedora 21 this week. Among the changes we can look forward to is the introduction to the idea of Fedora as three separate products: "The Fedora 21 Alpha will be the first test release of the new 3 product Fedora.next structure that introduces Fedora Workstation, Fedora Cloud and Fedora Server." Testers trying out the Alpha release will be able to experiment with new monitoring tools, a minimal kernel for virtualized environments, the latest build of the GNOME desktop and several other features.
* * * * *
People in the openSUSE community may have been concerned about the project's future when it was announced SUSE's parent company, Attachmate Group, would be merging with Micro Focus. However, SUSE's President, Nils Brauckmann, contacted the openSUSE Board to assure them business would continue as usual. Brauckmann writes: "There are no changes planned for the SUSE business structure and leadership. There is no need for any action by the openSUSE Project as a result of this announcement." This is good news for the developers and users of openSUSE. A new release of openSUSE, version 13.2, is planned for November 2014.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Moving running programs to different terminals
Anyone who works on Linux distributions remotely has probably run into a situation where we have started running a program and then realized that the program will take a long time to finish. Now we cannot logout or it will terminate the process we started. Or perhaps we were working on a computer, started a process and then walked away. Now we are signing in remotely and want to see what our process is doing. What is it outputting, how far along is its text-based progress bar?
Normally, people who do a lot of remote work on Linux machines run long-lasting processes using the screen utility. The screen program is a great way to keep processes running when we logout and screen makes it easy to check up on running processes. That is assuming, of course, that we remembered to use screen when we began working. But what if we lapsed and now we are running a process without screen? We want to either hijack a process and get it running in our current terminal or we want to move a running process into a screen session for added flexibility. What can we do?
There is a command for Linux distributions which addresses this specific and (in my case) frequent scenario. The command is called reptyr. The reptyr command accepts the process identification number of a running program and transfers that program out of its current terminal session and into our current shell. Let's take a look at reptyr in action. In the following example we have logged into a remote server and started a download using the wget command:
Now that the download has started, I realize I want to logout and go do something else. What can I do? First, I open new connection to the server, creating a new terminal window. Now I have a shell on the same server. I run the screen command to create a shell session I can leave running while I'm logged out:
Next, I need to get the process ID of the running wget job. I run the pgrep command and it gives me back the process ID of wget:
Now that I have the process number of the running job I can grab the wget process and transfer it into my screen session:
This should cause the wget process to appear in my screen session. The wget job and its progress will no longer appear in the original terminal where it was first launched. I can now disconnect my screen session by tapping CTRL-A and the D key and logout of both terminal sessions. The wget process will continue running while I go do other things.
On some Linux systems the ptrace functionality reptyr uses to transfer processes is locked down for security reasons. If you happen to be running a Linux box with ptrace locked down you can relax access to the function by running:
On Ubuntu and related distributions the ptrace feature is locked down by default. To give us access to ptrace and thereby enabling reptyr we can edit the text file /etc/sysctl.d/10-ptrace.conf and change the last line of the file to read:
kernel.yama.ptrace_scope = 0
I find the reptyr program is very helpful on occasions when I have forgotten to run screen before a long-running process or if I want to check on a job I originally started at the office, but now want to examine from home. It is a handy way to move processes across terminals, taking our work to where we want it.
|Released Last Week
Volker Theile has announced the release of OpenMediaVault 1.0, a major new release of the specialist Debian-based distribution for network-attached storage (NAS): "Today we are happy to release OpenMediaVault version 1.0 (Kralizec). The main features at a glance: OMV 1.0 is based on Debian 7 'Wheezy'; better support for weaker systems (i.e. Raspberry Pi, Cubieboard, Cubox); nginx (instead of Apache 2) for the WebGUI; dashboard with support for widgets; systems can be put into standby mode; improved infrastructure for plug-ins. Excerpt from the changelog: the list of updates and plugins are indexed, that is, the search for new updates or plugins will not be launched each time when the user invokes the WebGUI to; file systems on non-rotating drives are with the mount option 'discard' hooked (ext3, ext4, Btrfs, VFAT, JFS, XFS); infrastructure improvements for plugins...." Continue to the release announcement for the rest of the changelog.
Proxmox 3.3 "Virtual Environment"
Martin Maurer has announced the release of Proxmox 3.3 "Virtual Environment" edition, a Debian-based distribution providing an open-source virtualization management solution for servers: "Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, developer of the open-source server virtualization solution Proxmox Virtual Environment (VE), today released version 3.3. The series of new features focus on security and include the Proxmox VE Firewall and two-factor authentication. A HTML5 console, the ZFS storage plugin and the Proxmox VE Mobile touch interface extend the range of use. Many package updates are included in the release. The highlight of the new release is the Proxmox VE Firewall. It has a distributed nature and is designed to protect the whole IT infrastructure. Completely integrated into the web-GUI and the cluster stack, it allows the user to setup firewall rules for all hosts, the cluster, virtual machines and containers." Read the press release and see the more technical release notes for further information.
Eben Upton has announced the availability of an updated release of Raspbian, a Debian-based distribution designed for the Raspberry Pi single-board mini-computer: "If you head over to the downloads page, you’ll find new versions of our Raspbian image and NOOBS installer. Alongside the usual firmware and kernel improvements, major changes to the Raspbian image include: Java updated to JDK 8; Mathematica updated to version 10; Sonic Pi updated to version 2; Minecraft Pi pre-installed. Following its release last week, our port of Epiphany has replaced Midori as the default browser, bringing with it hardware-accelerated video support and better standards compliance. Our Raspbian image now includes driver support for the BCM43143 802.11n WiFi chip." Here is the complete release announcement.
Andy Tanenbaum has announced the release of MINIX 3.3.0, a major new version of the UNIX-like operating system based on a microkernel architecture - now also with support for the ARM processor: "We are pleased to present the MINIX 3.3.0 stable release. The major new features and improvements of this release include: the first release with ARM support, three Beagle targets are supported; experimental USB support for the Beaglebones (hubs and mass storage); cross-compiling for both ARM and x86 - the buildsystem is very portable; big source code cleanup - cleaner C types in messages, improved NetBSD compatibility, all MINIX-specific code moved to a top-level minix/ folder; updated packages overall - a big set is built now; and they are dynamically linked now; improved driver modularity...." Here is the brief release announcement, with a longer list of new features and improvements available in the release notes.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.11
Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.11, the final update in the distribution's 5.x branch: "We are pleased to announce the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.11, the final minor release of the mature Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 platform. In addition to security and stability enhancements, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.11 provides additional updates to subscription management, debugging capabilities, and more, including: new storage drivers - updates that provide customers with the benefits of some of the latest storage adapters from Red Hat hardware partners; enhancements to Red Hat Access Support's debugging capabilities - Red Hat Access Support makes it easier for customers to manage, diagnose, and engage with Red Hat directly through a console within Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5; improvements for Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests running on VMWare ESXi...." See the release announcement and release notes for more information.
Clonezilla Live 2.2.4-12
Steven Shiau has released a new stable version of Clonezilla Live, a Debian-based specialist live CD designed for disk cloning and backup tasks: "This release of Clonezilla live (2.2.4-12) includes major enhancements and bug fixes. Enhancements and changes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system has been upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2014-09-15; Linux kernel has updated to 3.16.2; the Partclone package has been updated to 0.2.73 with new support for f2fs and updated exfat lib; drbl has been updated to 2.9.2; Clonezilla has been updated to 3.10.33; syslinux has been updated to 6.03-pre20; added f2fs-tools, iw, davfs2, fstransform and rfkill; Turkish language files have been added. Bug fixes: the vmwgfx.enable_fbdev=1 instead of vmwgfx.enable_fbdev=no is used in boot parameters; now we use vesafb instead of uvesafb in both Debian-based and Ubuntu-based Clonezilla Live." Here is the brief release announcement.
Klaus Knopper has released KNOPPIX 7.4.1, a bug-fix update of the project's Debian-based live CD/DVD that provides the LXDE (default), GNOME 3.12 and KDE 4.13.3 desktops, as well as a separate "ADRIANE" edition designed for visually impaired users: "Version 7.4.1 of KNOPPIX is based on the usual picks from Debian "Wheezy" and newer desktop packages from Debian "testing" and Debian "unstable". It uses Linux kernel 3.16.2 and X.Org 7.7 (Core 1.16.0) for supporting current computer hardware. Bug fixes: transparency problem (invisible mouse pointer) when using the 'write on screen' or 'fullscreen zoom' plugin fixed; stabilized speech dispatcher 0.8 for ADRIANE; added boot option "knoppix mkimage" for auto-creating writable overlay on flash-knoppix-installed USB flash disk...." Read the release notes for a full list of changes and package updates.
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 26.0, a new update of the specialist distribution designed for web-only computers - now with Firefox 32.0: "Webconverger 26 release. Highlights of this 26.0 signed and tagged snapshot: revised boot menu, helping you get started with Neon, our web signage product; Firefox 32.0; basic proxy authentication - a customer wanted this to fit into their complex Windows deployment, so now you have it too; tab right click menu removed to make user interface simpler; bug fixes to the print button and the job scheduler API (cron=); the usual stable security updates and Adobe Flash, with an additional font to make Flash video text render correctly. Please ask your web developers to switch to HTML video. If you host your video on YouTube, you can make embeds use HTML5 with a html5=1 argument." Read the rest of the release announcement to learn about a known issue and the project's upcoming plans.
Window Maker Live 0.95.6-1
Paul Seelig has announced the release of Window Maker Live 0.95.6-1, a Debian-based Linux distribution featuring the latest version of the Window Maker window manager: "ISO images of Window Maker Live 0.95.6-1 for both amd64 and i386 are now available from for immediate download. What is new since the last release? Updated to the latest version 0.95.6 of the Window Maker window manager; this release is still built on top of Debian's stable release, but contains all updates and security fixes accumulated up until the date this final release version was built; the system now uses the much more current backported kernel 3.14.15 version; a fully functional virtualization setup based on qemu, KVM, libvirt, and the user friendly virt-manager desktop application is included; the included Firefox 32.0.1 features the new Australis GUI design...." See the rest of the README file and also the changelog for a complete list of updates and new features.
Window Maker Live 0.95.6-1 - a Debian-based distribution featuring the latest Window Maker
(full image size: 108kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- OmniOS. OmniOS is a distribution of the Illumos operating system created by OmniTI.
- AWbian. AWbian is a Debian-based distribution that provides users with the AWesome window manager and system administration utilities.
- Winspee OS. Winspee is a Linux distribution designed to be used as an educational tool for people who want to learn about programming and operating systems.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 29 September 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 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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|Random Distribution |
Quirky, a sister project of Puppy Linux, was a Linux distribution built with a custom tool called Woof. The underlying infrastructure, such as boot-up and shut-down scripts, setup tools, hardware detection, desktop management, user interface, speed and general ease-of-use are common across all distributions built with Woof, but a specific build will have a different package selection and further customisation (even totally different binary packages). Quirky was developed by the founder of Puppy Linux and Woof to push the envelope a bit further, to explore some new ideas in the underlying infrastructure -- some of which may be radical or odd, hence the name Quirky.