| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 580, 13 October 2014
Welcome to this year's 41st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Perhaps one of the most important, and more unnerving, things we can do in life is to step outside our comfort zone and experiment. Individuals, companies and open source projects need to try new things and branch out in order to grow and improve. With this thought firmly in mind, this week we discuss new beginnings and experiments in the open source community. We start with an experiment of our own as Jesse Smith tests a selection of five rolling-release operating systems to find out just how reliable various rolling-releases can be. We also carry a short review this week that talks about the latest MINIX release. MINIX is trying a few new things, offering support for more hardware architectures and greatly expanding the range of software that will run on the small operating system. In the News section this week we talk about several new or experimental projects. The Fedora team shows off GNOME running on the new Wayland display server, systemd adds a userland console to its expanding list of features, Ubuntu announces native Netflix support and a new Debian-based distribution has been released with a strange fork of the Linux kernel. We also hear from Linux Voice as they make an early pick for the best distribution of 2014. As usual, we bring you the hot, new distribution releases from last week and look ahead to exciting developments to come. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
As I stated last week, I recently began an experiment where I would install, run and evaluate five rolling-release operating systems to see which ones were the most reliable. I usually shy away from life on the cutting edge, preferring to stick with fixed releases with long support cycles. These days I want most of my computers to be predictable and reliable and the cutting edge does not appeal to me. However, the idea of an evolving operating system -- one that does not need to be re-installed, one that does not have a fixed end of life -- does hold an appeal. I do like playing with new features and new applications when I'm not working and so rolling-release distributions are interesting to me.
Whenever the subject of rolling-release distributions comes up, some people report having poor experiences where their systems broke after a short time. Others report running the same installation for years without serious setbacks. I decided to try running several rolling-release operating systems to see how they performed for me.
When it came to setting up this experiment, the tricky part was going through all the choices that had to be made before I even began downloading installation media. First I had to choose which projects to cover. There are many rolling-release distributions out there and I wanted to balance having a wide variety against my limited free time. Arch Linux was an obvious choice, it is a true rolling-release and the foundation for many of today's rolling-release distributions. Though Arch carries a lengthy installation process and requires a lot of manual configuration, its position in the Linux community as an important rolling-release project cannot be denied. PCLinuxOS was another easy choice. The distribution maintains a rolling-release style, but while Arch is very cutting edge, PCLinuxOS has a conservative style to it. The distribution has a reputation for being stable for long periods of time and I felt it to be an obvious addition to the list.
The openSUSE project recently announced their Factory branch would become a rolling-release distribution and I have a great deal of respect for openSUSE's stable releases. I decided to add openSUSE's Factory distribution to my list. My decision was further helped by the fact openSUSE is one of the few Linux distributions to support automated file system snapshots to aid in recovery (or rollback) of the operating system if an update goes wrong. In an effort to represent the BSDs, I added PC-BSD to the list. This operating system features an easy method for switching between stable (Production) and rolling (Edge) repositories and also features a handy rollback feature in case things go wrong. I felt PC-BSD made for a good addition to the list and it provided a way for me to explore a desktop-oriented BSD project.
Debian GNU/Linux also made my list, largely because Debian provides a base for so many distributions. Debian's many branches are used by dozens of projects and it is hard to talk about Linux without giving a nod to the Debian project. I wasn't sure right away if I wanted to run plain Debian or a distribution which used Debian as a base. However, I decided that since I was using vanilla Arch Linux (as opposed to a spin-off of Arch) that it was only fair to run plain Debian rather than an off-shoot.
I also had to choose how to set up each distribution. It was my intention to use similar desktop environments and applications as much as possible to keep the trial fair. Since PCLinuxOS defaults to using the KDE desktop and PC-BSD will run KDE by default unless we specify otherwise at install time, I decided that I would have each operating system run KDE as the graphical user interface. I also chose to run the Firefox web browser and LibreOffice as test applications. These applications are common and complex, making them good packages to use in a test environment. I decided I would update each operating system on a weekly basis and then make sure each system would boot, login to the desktop and run these applications. If something went wrong, I would see what steps could be performed to recover the system.
Finally, I wondered about installation procedures. I was dealing with five operating systems with different approaches and philosophies. Should I attempt to install each of them in a similar manner, treating each the same, or install each according to best practices as described by the distribution's documentation? I came to the conclusion that it would be best to follow each project's documentation as closely as possible, giving each project equal treatment rather than expecting them to conform to a specific approach.
* * * * *
The first distribution I installed was PCLinuxOS (version 2014.08). The ISO for PCLinuxOS is 1.6 GB in size. The project's main edition ships with the KDE desktop, a large collection of software and is automatically set up to be a rolling-release distribution. These features, along with the distribution's friendly graphical system installer, made PCLinuxOS the easiest of the operating systems to set up. The only potential stumbling block I ran into was the large amount of disk space PCLinuxOS requires. The project's website recommends at least 10GB of free drive space, but I soon found that I would need more space if I wanted to install applications and software updates. Once I had installed PCLinuxOS and made sure I could run LibreOffice and Firefox I followed the project's documentation and launched the Synaptic package manager in order to check for software updates. The initial update contained 159 packages and all these updates downloaded and installed without any problems.
PCLinuxOS 2014.08 - the Synaptic package manager
(full image size: 374kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Starting with PCLinuxOS got my experiment off to a smooth start. The distribution is very easy to install, the documentation is clear on requirements and recommended update procedures. The distribution automatically uses rolling software repositories so there is no additional configuration involved. My one concern with PCLinuxOS at this point is, by default, the distribution does not appear to offer any method for taking snapshots of the operating system. We are using standard partitions and I suspect if any low-level packages break during an upgrade it will be necessary to attempt to recover the operating system using live media.
* * * * *
The second project I installed was PC-BSD. This FreeBSD-based operating system is offered as a large download, approximately 3.3GB in size. The installation process is quite simple and PC-BSD's graphical system installer is easy to navigate. During the install process I decided to install the lightweight Lumina desktop environment with the plan of adding KDE post-install.
I installed a bare PC-BSD system and, once the initial setup was complete, I opened the project's AppCafe software manager and, using the graphical utility, switched PC-BSD's software repository from the default (Production) to the rolling repository (Edge). When this change was completed AppCafe automatically updated its package information and offered to download the latest packages. Whenever updates are performed on PC-BSD via the update manager the operating system takes file system snapshots and updates the boot loader so we can easily load older snapshots of the operating system. This makes recovery from a broken operating system quite easy. If an upgrade breaks PC-BSD we can load an old file system snapshot and switch back to the Production repository prior to attempting another upgrade.
Once I had switched over to the Edge repository and downloaded all available updates I rebooted. At this time I found I could login to my account, but the Lumina panel containing the application menu was missing. I was able to right-click on the desktop and bring up Lumina's settings to re-add the application menu. From there I opened AppCafe with the intention of adding the KDE desktop to my system, but I found AppCafe had changed a great deal and no longer appeared to be working properly. I switched to the command line and used the pkg package manager to download KDE. I found I was able to login to KDE without any problems and, later that day, I found an update to AppCafe was available in the Edge repository which restored some of the graphical package manager's functionality.
At this point I have mixed feelings about using PC-BSD as a rolling-release operating system. The project appears to change rapidly with near-daily updates to components and AppCafe has changed a lot in just a few days. The system and most key applications are still functioning properly though. Plus, PC-BSD makes recovery very easy and I can rollback any malfunctioning updates simply by rebooting the operating system. I suspect with PC-BSD I will be in for a rough ride, but be able to recover quickly from any problems.
PC-BSD 10.0.3 - switching to Edge repository
(full image size: 370kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
* * * * *
The next distribution on my list was openSUSE. The hardest part in getting openSUSE up and running was finding the installation media for the Factory branch which is linked to from this page in the project's wiki. The Factory branch is available in a few different editions (Full DVD, KDE, GNOME and net-install). I took the KDE edition to maintain consistency and found this installation media to be 905 MB in size. The openSUSE distribution has a very friendly graphical system installer that requires almost no effort from the user. The distribution defaults to installing with the Btr file system. Using Btrfs we can manually create file system snapshots which can aid us if we need to rollback changes to the operating system. Some configuration tools that ship with openSUSE, such as YaST, can automatically create file system snapshots and this further safeguards us against broken upgrades or user error.
Once openSUSE was installed and I had all the applications I desired in place, I went into the YaST control panel and found file system snapshots were not enabled. The YaST module which handles snapshots (yast2-snapper) informed me I first had to configure snapper from the command line. This surprised me a little as openSUSE 13.1 had automatically done this work during the initial installation. After reading the openSUSE project's documentation on basic snapper usage and the snapper FAQ, I found the information I needed. From there I was able to set up snapper and make use of file system snapshots.
The first day I was running openSUSE I opened the distribution's update manager and was told no updates were available. This struck me as unusual, given the installation media I had used was a week old. A little checking showed the PackageKit service was blocking package management, preventing the update tool from seeing available updates. I switched to the command line and ran the zypper command line package manager. The command line utility detected PackageKit and helpfully offered to stop the daemon. The zypper package manager then reported one update was available and, upon receiving my permission to upgrade, downloaded and installed the new package.
From what I have read of openSUSE's documentation it seems that Btrfs will take file system snapshots, but there isn't any snapshot integration with the boot loader. This means if an update breaks my openSUSE installation I will probably need live media to access Btrfs snapshots and restore an older copy of the file system. This not as straight forward as PC-BSD makes the process, but openSUSE appears to offer the next best approach. I like that openSUSE is very easy to install and automatically provides Btrfs as the default file system. Using the Factory ISO images means that the user does not need to manually switch package repositories after the installation.
* * * *
Debian GNU/Linux "Sid"
Next up is Debian and going into this installation I had a few debates with myself. Assuming I wanted to run Debian's GNU/Linux operating system (as opposed to the Hurd or FreeBSD options), did I wish to run Debian Testing or Debian Unstable? While Debian's Testing branch would probably offer a better, more stable experience, Testing is about to enter a feature freeze and transition into Debian's next Stable release, called "Jessie". Going with Unstable would provide a more pure style of rolling-release, one that would not freeze, but Debian does not supply ISO images for Unstable. If I wanted to run Debian Unstable (often referred to as Sid) then I would first need to install Debian Stable or Debian Testing and switch to the Unstable branch. I eventually decided to install a Testing snapshot of Debian and then transition it over to Unstable.
My next issue was which ISO to download. Debian is the "universal operating system" and there are lots of download options. There is a minimal net-install disc, a few desktop editions and various sized ISO images. I also had to decide whether to install a desktop environment up front and then update it, or I could perform a minimal install of Testing, then switch over to the Unstable repository and then install a desktop environment. Debian offers, if nothing else, a lot of choice.
In the end I decided to perform a bare bones installation using Debian's net-install option. This gave me a command line environment and an installation of Debian Testing. I then manually edited APT's configuration to switch over to Debian Unstable and grabbed all available software updates. This went smoothly with just 98 MB of new packages being downloaded. I then installed the KDE desktop, the Iceweasel web browser (in place of Firefox) and the LibreOffice productivity suite.
The whole process went smoothly and I encountered no problems. I ended up with a responsive KDE desktop and a fully up to date system. I let Debian's system installer set up my partitions which gave me a root file system running on ext4. This meant I had no file system snapshots or rollback options. Debian's package manager has a well deserved reputation for being reliable and I'm counting on it to not trash my copy of Sid.
* * * * *
Arch Linux 2014.09.03
The last distribution on my list was Arch Linux. Arch is well known for its philosophy of getting the user to do everything manually. This includes installing the operating system. Arch doesn't have an installer so much as a series of instructions on how to get from an ISO image of about 600 MB to a local copy of the operating system. Once we get the base layer of the operating system installed we then get to manually configure networking, install the X display server, add in such items as a display manager and add a desktop environment. This is all done from the command line, making occasional use of the nano text editor. I will admit it has been a few years since I last installed Arch and I made it a point to read through the installation guide prior to setting up the distribution.
Performing the base install of Arch involved downloading about 185 MB of packages, double checking some procedures in the project's wiki and then rebooting. Upon rebooting I found I did not have a network connection any longer and had to tinker with systemd to get back on-line. After that I downloaded about another 800 MB to enable the X display server, acquire the proper video driver and install the KDE desktop. The next time I rebooted I was brought to a graphical login screen where I was informed I could not login as the administrator, a slight problem as I had not yet created a regular user account for myself. I switched back to a command line long enough to create a new user account and then jumped back to the graphical environment in order to login. Arch provides a fairly bare bones implementation of KDE and so I went about adding a web browser and LibreOffice.
I think it is interesting to note that, technically, Arch does not really have any default settings and so whether we have an advanced file system (such as Btrfs) is largely up to the person installing Arch. The project's wiki notes Btrfs is supported in Arch's copy of the Linux kernel. However, I was not clear, having read through the documentation, if the project's boot loader would support booting from Btrfs. Further, the documentation appears to assume users will install Arch on the ext4 file system and I did so in order to keep the installation as simple as possible. This meant it was relatively straight forward for me to follow the installation instructions and achieve a running system. However, the trade-off is I will not benefit from file system snapshots and I will be somewhat at the mercy of the Arch software repositories. For the purposes of this experiment, no extra work had to be done to make Arch Linux into a rolling-release as that is the project's default configuration.
* * * * *
At the time of writing each operating system in my trial has been up and running for a few days. About once a week I will update each system and take note of what does or does not work. At the moment I plan to focus on whether each system is still able to boot after an update, whether I will be able to login to a graphical desktop and browse the web using Firefox and edit documents using LibreOffice. I am open to suggestions as to other tests readers may want me to perform. During this trial I will be posting observations on events as they happen on my Twitter feed as regular updates seem appropriate for a trial involving rolling-release distributions. I will also post updates on the experience here on weeks when something of significance happens.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
Arch wins Best Distro of 2014, Fedora demonstrates GNOME on Wayland, systemd adds text console feature, Netflix comes to Linux users and the Linux kernel re-imagined
Which Linux distribution is best for your needs and why is an area of much debate. There are a lot of variables to consider when selecting an operating system and people will argue over the best approaches for distributions to take. The Linux Voice recently put forward their views on what makes a good Linux distribution, what to look for and how to measure a project's merit. Their conclusion, which may be a bit premature given the months remaining in 2014, is that Arch is the best distribution of 2014: "Just as a mountain climber becomes one with the raw mountain in order to climb it without technical assistance, and a surfer needs just a carved plank to harness the power of a wave, so a computer user needs just the basic tools that Arch Linux provides to get the most out of their system. The community keeps the documentation up to date, and builds the Arch User Repository -- one of the largest collections of software in the world. All this doesn't mean that we think everyone should stop here while they go and install Arch on every computer they have. While we think it's the best Linux distro currently available, it's not perfect for every situation." Which distribution is your favourite so far in 2014? Leave us a comment with your selection below.
* * * * *
Wayland is an exciting new display server technology which is expected to replace the X display software in the near future. Fedora is a cutting edge distribution and the project is pleased to show off the GNOME desktop running on Wayland. Fedora Magazine has a post on working with GNOME and Wayland and the author's experiences have so far been positive: "How does GNOME run on Wayland in Fedora 21? I must say that I was surprised how far the GNOME developers had gotten with the Wayland support. Almost all standard desktop functionality is already there. I'm also impressed by its stability. I ran GNOME on Wayland for several days and it never crashed. Almost all GNOME apps already support Wayland." The post includes instructions for people wishing to try out GNOME Shell running atop Wayland.
* * * * *
People using the systemd init software just gained access to a new utility. Upcoming releases of systemd will include a text console daemon. As Michael Larabel reports: "Back in August I wrote about systemd working to create a new user-space VT [virtual terminal] solution that could eventually succeed the Linux kernel's VT support. With the upcoming systemd 217 release, the terminal is present. David Herrmann has been landing a lot of changes into systemd over the past few weeks working on the project's terminal." The new terminal software is still considered experimental, but may eventually replace the existing, ageing virtual terminal code in the Linux kernel.
With recent high-profile vulnerabilities found in popular open-source software (OpenSSL, Bash), one might wonder about the process the major distributions take in fixing these critical errors in a timely manner. Firstly, how does a project learn about a problem? And what is the next step in fixing the millions of vulnerable computer systems? Red Hat's Mark J Cox has published an interesting article answering these questions: "One metric we've not written about since 2009 is the source of the vulnerabilities we fix. We want to answer the question of how did Red Hat Product Security first hear about each vulnerability? Every vulnerability that affects a Red Hat product is given a master tracking bug in Red Hat bugzilla. This bug contains a whiteboard field with a comma separated list of metadata including the dates we found out about the issue, and the source. You can get a file containing all this information already gathered for every CVE. A few months ago we updated our 'daysofrisk' command line tool to parse the source information allowing anyone to quickly create reports like this one."
* * * * *
Netflix is a service which allows clients to stream television and film to their computers and hand held devices. Over the years the Netflix client software has been ported to several platforms, but GNU/Linux users have largely been ignored. In the past some workarounds were put together, mostly using WINE to get Netflix streaming to Linux desktop machines. Finally, a native solution for watching Netflix on Linux desktops and laptops has been made available. As the Ubuntu Insights website reports: "Thanks to recent efforts at Netflix and Canonical, Ubuntu now supports watching Netflix with Chrome version 37. Chrome is available to all Ubuntu users with up-to-date installations of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS and later. Netflix subscribers who already use Ubuntu can now watch simply by installing the Chrome browser."
* * * * *
From its earliest days, the Linux kernel has been written in the C language, with bits of assembly thrown in where needed. The C language is fast and offers a great deal of low-level control making it a popular language for writing operating system kernels. However, one group believes the Linux kernel could benefit from some adjustments and we would be better off in the long run if Linux were written in C++. This thinking has led to the development of the Minimalistic Object Oriented Linux (MOOL) kernel and the Bharat Operating System Solution (BOSS) operating system: "MOOL (Minimalistic Object Oriented Linux) aims at redesigning the Linux kernel to reduce coupling and increase maintainability by means of OO (Object Oriented) abstractions. Excessive common coupling prevails in [the] existing kernel. Studies have shown that common coupling is increasing in successive versions of Linux. This will make maintainability of Linux difficult in coming years." The developers have created a Debian-based distribution called BOSS-MOOL which demonstrates the object oriented Linux kernel running a Debian-like operating system. The new distribution can be downloaded from the project's website.
* * * * *
Finally, if you are a FreeBSD user and are wondering about all the new commands to update your operating system, here is a great FreeBSD cheatsheet that will help you to install FreeBSD binary packages (using pkg) or compile the FreeBSD ports (with portsnap): "Here are some notes on how to bootstrap a FreeBSD workstation and keep it up-to-date using binary packages and/or the ports collection." There is more - from adjusting the time zone to setting xterm's background colour, this page is certainly worth a bookmark.
|Mini Review (by Jesse Smith)
Test driving MINIX 3.3.0
The MINIX operating system began its life as an educational tool designed to demonstrate a basic UNIX-like operating system to computer science students. MINIX is well known for running on a microkernel, a small kernel that separates low-level tasks into separate processes so that one malfunctioning driver or process will not cause the system to crash. Instead, when a piece of the MINIX kernel misbehaves or crashes MINIX is usually able to simply restart the malfunctioning module and continue working. While MINIX is often talked about in Linux circles as simply being the inspiration for the creation of the Linux kernel, the MINIX project has continued to grow and develop, making some interesting strides in recent years as the developers attempt to make the lightweight operating system more practical in real world scenarios.
The most recent release of MINIX, version 3.3.0, includes a few interesting features. One is that MINIX can now be run on some hobbyist ARM boards such as the BeagleBone computers. The latest release also features improved compatibility with NetBSD. This means most NetBSD userland utilities have been made to run on MINIX and many of the applications in the NetBSD ports collection can be built on MINIX. While the current version of MINIX does not support running graphical software (via the X display server), the small operating system does present itself as an practical educational tool and, in some situations, it may be useful, especially on low-resource machines.
I downloaded the compressed MINIX image which is 288 MB in size. Once this image file is restored to its full size it takes up approximately 575 MB of space. Booting from the MINIX media quickly brings up a text console and login prompt. Here we can login using the user name "root" without a password. At this point we are running the MINIX operating system and can explore the live environment, but to really get the complete experience we will probably want to install the operating system locally. To install MINIX we can run the "setup" command. This launches the project's text-based system installer. Most of the installation process involves MINIX asking us a question, providing a default answer and giving us a chance to either take the default or offer an alternative response. For the most part I was able to simply keep pressing Enter to take defaults throughout the installation process.
The MINIX system installer asks us to confirm our keyboard's layout and select which hard drive we want to use to hold MINIX. We can then select which partition of the disk we want to set aside for MINIX. The next prompt asks us how much of the partition should be reserved to hold our home directory. The installer then copies its files to our hard drive. Once the files have been successfully copied, the installer asks us to confirm it has properly detected our network card. We can then either manually configure our network interface or accept automated network settings via DHCP. With those steps completed we can restart the computer and boot into our fresh copy of MINIX.
The first time we boot into MINIX we are brought back to the text console and login prompt. Here we can, once again, login using the root (administrator) account without a password. At this point it is a good idea to read through the post-install guide which covers setting a root password, creating user accounts and installing new software packages. The guide, with its links to other parts of the MINIX wiki, provides a good way for new users to get familiar with the new operating system.
Right away I found MINIX shipped with a good collection of command line software. Manual pages and common UNIX-like utilities are provided. I found there was no compiler installed by default, but the Clang compiler and many other utilities can be installed via the pkgin package manager. I found MINIX provides two methods for obtaining additional software. The first is pkgin, a package manager that handles pre-built binary packages. Using pkgin is similar to using APT on Debian-based Linux distributions or YUM on Fedora, the syntax will be fairly familiar to people coming from a Linux background. Through pkgin I was able to hunt down a handful of utilities, a compiler and the OpenSSH secure shell software. I found pkgin worked quickly and I encountered no problems while using this package manager.
The other way to approach installing software is to use the pkgsrc ports collection. To use pkgsrc we need to checkout the ports tree, install the Clang compiler and the bmake command. From there we can browse a directory tree of software and run bmake in the directory of software we want to download and compile from source code. This can be a lengthy process with some components, especially when the applications we wish to install have multiple dependencies. I found some items in the ports tree wouldn't run once they were installed and some wouldn't build at all. Not all software in the tree can be counted on to work, but the developers report a few thousand packages can be installed using this collection of ports.
One problem I ran into immediately after installing MINIX was that the operating system was unable to look up the IP addresses of remote servers. I had a working connection to the Internet, but DNS look ups were failing. Editing the /etc/resolv.conf file and adding some known name servers fixed this problem. Once I had a working connection I was able to start installing software from the MINIX package repository. Since MINIX does not have a working desktop environment at the moment I installed a few text-based web browsers so I could visit remote websites. I also added some services, such as the OpenSSH secure shell. This allowed me to remotely access my MINIX box and use MINIX as a file server. I also got a FTP server running and downloaded a few text-based games.
I attempted to run MINIX on a desktop computer, but the operating system failed to boot. Hardware drivers for MINIX are somewhat limited and this narrows down the number of devices which can be counted on to run MINIX smoothly. I did find MINIX ran flawlessly in a VirtualBox virtual machine. In the virtual environment MINIX ran very quickly, booting in seconds and rapidly completing tasks put to it. The operating system requires few resources. My initial installation of MINIX required around 1GB of hard drive space and only used around 4 MB of RAM, even with the OpenSSH service running and a few users logged in.
In my opinion, MINIX is a very interesting project. The operating system is small and clean, making it ideal for educational situations. MINIX is perhaps still best suited to a role in the classroom where its uncomplicated directory structure and utilities can be studied with relative ease. MINIX is also a fine example of a working microkernel and people who are interested in kernel design will likely find the MINIX kernel easier to examine and tweak than most other kernels, due to its relatively tiny size and clean style.
I am happy to see MINIX expand a little, moving into the realm of ARM hobbyist devices. The predictable hardware environments and limited resources are perfectly suited to MINIX. While MINIX may not have the large software repositories of projects like Debian GNU/Linux, MINIX will still make a capable file server or test platform for people running BeagleBone computers.
For most people MINIX is still not a practical choice for day-to-day computing. Its limited list of supported hardware and lack of a graphical desktop will turn away most people. But for folks like myself, who like to poke at our operating systems with a stick and peek at the source code, MINIX is still a great learning experience.
* * * * *
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
|Released Last Week
Untangle NG Firewall 11.0
Untangle has announced the release of Untangle NG Firewall 11.0, a major new version of the project's Debian-based specialist distribution for firewalls and gateways: "Untangle, Inc., a network software and appliance company, today launched version 11 of its Next Generation Firewall software, featuring industry-leading protection with its refreshed Virus Blocker and Spam Blocker applications. Untangle makes an integrated suite of security software and appliances with enterprise-grade capabilities and consumer-oriented simplicity. With this release, Untangle NG Firewall offers improved performance via technology transfer from Untangle's IC Control product. Combined with a new kernel, NG Firewall also brings enhancements to both HTTPS processing and Captive Portal from the IC Control product. Additionally, Untangle NG Firewall version 11 offers: event logs for search queries on Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask; improved license management; new Application Control signatures." See the press release and the changelog for further information and a list of new features.
Nanni Bassetti has announced the release of CAINE 6.0, a new version of the project's Ubuntu-based distribution and live DVD with an extensive selection of utilities for forensic analysis and penetration testing: "CAINE 6.0 'Dark Matter' is out. CAINE (Computer Aided INvestigative Environment) is an Italian GNU/Linux live distribution created as a project of digital forensics. CAINE offers a complete forensic environment that is organized to integrate existing software tools as software modules and to provide a friendly graphical interface. Changelog: Linux kernel 3.16; based on Ubuntu 14.04.1 64-bit edition, UEFI and Secure Boot ready; SystemBack is the new installer; fixed password request in polkit; fixed password request in text mode; ShellShock Bash bug fixed; mount policy always in read-only and loop mode; fstrim disabled; autopsy patched by Maxim Suhanov; HFS directories handling fixed; Sun VTOC volume system handling fixed...." Visit the project's home page for more information, full changelog and screenshots.
CAINE 6.0 - a "pentest" distro based on the latest Ubuntu
(full image size: 512kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
NetBSD 6.1.5, 6.0.6
Soren Jacobsen has announced the release of NetBSD 6.1.5, the latest stable version of NetBSD incorporating fixes to all recent security vulnerabilities: "The NetBSD project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.1.5, the fifth security and bug-fix update of the NetBSD 6.1 release branch, and NetBSD 6.0.6, the sixth security and bug-fix update of the NetBSD 6.0 release branch. They represent a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons, and if you are running a prior release of either branch, we strongly suggest that you update to one of these releases." Some of the critical security advisory fixes include: "libXfont multiple vulnerabilities; multiple OpenSSL vulnerabilities; bozohttpd basic http authentication bypass; multiple vulnerabilities in the execve system call; multiple vulnerabilities in the compatibility layers; user-controlled memory allocation in the modctl system call...." See the release announcement and release notes for further details.
ROSA R4 "Desktop Fresh"
Ekaterina Lopukhova has announced the release of ROSA R4 "Desktop Fresh" edition, a desktop Linux distribution featuring a customised and user-friendly KDE 4.13.3 desktop: "The ROSA company is happy to present the long-awaited ROSA Desktop Fresh R4, the number 4 in the "R" lineup of the free ROSA distros with the KDE desktop as the main graphical environment. The distro presents a vast collection of games and emulators, as well as the Steam platform package along with standard suite of audio and video communications software, including the newest version of Skype. All modern video formats are supported. The distribution includes the fresh LibreOffice 4.3.1, the full TeX suite for true nerds, along with the best Linux desktop publishing, text editing and polygraphy WYSISYG software. The LAMP/C++/ development environments are waiting to be installed by true hackers." Continue to the release announcement for a list of changes and major components.
VyOS is a community fork of Vyatta, a Debian-based distribution for firewalls and routers discontinued in 2013. The project's latest stable release is version 1.1.0, announced yesterday: "VyOS 1.1.0 is now available for download. Release highlights include: unmanaged L2TPv3; dummy interfaces (functionally identical to multiple loopbacks in IOS); 802.1ad QinQ; event handler that executes something when it finds a pattern in logs or command output; IGMP proxy (pulled from EdgeOS); commands conf mode filter that converts config output to set commands; strip-private filter that removes private information from the config for pasting and the like; ability to administratively disable PPPoE sessions; ability to specify required authentication protocol for remote access VPN; ability to reject OpenVPN clients for which no explicit configuration exists; configurable ARP filter settings; persistent tunnel (—persist-tun) option for OpenVPN; TWA hazards protection settings...." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Zbigniew Konojacki has announced the release of 4MLinux 10.0, the latest stable version of the project's minimalist and lightweight desktop Linux distribution featuring a highly customised JWM window manager: "4MLinux 10.0 'Allinone' edition final released. The status of the 4MLinux 10.0 series has been changed to stable. The final release has all the features included in 4MLinux 10.0 'Rescue', 'Media', 'Server' and 'Game' editions. Two major changes in user space: support for touchscreens has been added (they can be calibrated via the xinput calibrator) and support for webcams has been improved (more info available on the 4MLinux blog). The size of the final ISO image is now much bigger because it includes optional software (drivers and development packages)." Here is the brief release announcement.
4MLinux 10.0 - a minimalist independent distribution with JWM
(full image size: 1,299kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
BackBox Linux 4.0
Raffaele Forte has announced the release of BackBox Linux 4.0, a major new version of the distribution designed for penetration testing - now based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: "The BackBox team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, version 4.0. This release includes features such as Linux kernel 3.13, EFI mode, anonymous mode, LVM + disk encryption installer, privacy additions and armhf Debian packages. What's new? New Ubuntu 14.04 base; handy Thunar custom actions; RAM wipe at shutdown and reboot; system improvements; upstream components; bug corrections; performance boost; improved anonymous mode; predisposition to ARM architecture (armhf Debian packages); predisposition to BackBox Cloud platform; new and updated hacking tools." Read the complete release announcement for system requirements and other information.
BackBox Linux 4.0 - another "pentest" distro based on the latest Ubuntu
(full image size: 1,010kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
GALPon MiniNo 2014 "PicarOS"
Antonio Sánchez has announced the release of GALPon MiniNo 2014 "PicarOS" edition, a Debian-based distributions designed for 3 - 12 year-old children: "Once again we have prepared for you a new PicarOS release with features that will please everyone. This year we have focused on making life a little more comfortable for our colleagues, K12 teachers, in addition to adjusting programs to this level and prepare them for using in the classroom or at home. We have prepared some extremely easy scripts (Menu - Minino Tools - Computer Room) used to install PicarOS in a computer room. They configure the network (computer name, give a static IP, Internet), Epoptes (to control all PCs in the class), a shared folder (Samba) and set up a program that synchronizes all the classrooms with a pair of clicks. No system administration knowledge is needed for do this. New desktop environment (Menu - Minino Tools - Desktop Style) designed specifically for interactive whiteboards." Visit the distribution's news page to read the full release announcement.
Lunar Linux 1.7.0
Stefan Wold has announced the release of Lunar Linux 1.7.0, a source-based distribution with a complete application management system: "You better believe it, the day you all have been waiting for has finally arrived. The Lunar team proudly announces the final release of Lunar Linux 1.7.0, code name 'Sinus Successus'. Like the phoenix rising from the ashes Lunar Linux is back with a vengeance; a lot of overhauling has been done all over the core tools, packages, installer and the ISO builder. Even though our journey to reach this milestone has been a long one we hope that the changes and quality improvements we've made was worth the wait. So what are you waiting for? Go grab a copy of Lunar Linux while it is hot! New features in 1.7.0: out with sysvinit and in with systemd; Linux kernel 3.16.3, GCC 4.9.1 and glibc 2.19; added support for the Btrfs file system; GRUB 2 or LILO, pick your poison; improved installer; now with initrd support; a bunch of updated modules." Here is the brief release announcement.
Smoothwall Express 3.1
Following six release candidates spanned over 16 months, today Neal Murphy announced the final release of Smoothwall Express 3.1. This is an updated version of the project's specialist distribution for firewalls. From the release announcement: "The Smoothwall community is pleased to announce the release of the long-awaited Smoothwall Express 3.1 firewall. This release is a refresh of the Smoothwall Express 3.0 foundation and a culmination of five years of effort that began with the Roadster Test Vehicle. The build system has been thoroughly worked over, and the user interface has been freshened with several presentation improvements. The vast majority of the work was done 'under the hood'. Here are just a few of the software upgrades: Linux kernel 3.4.104, glibc 2.18, GCC 4.7.3, Perl 5.14.4, Squid 3.3.13, httpd 2.2.27, iptables 1.4.14, and OpenSwan 2.6.41. Some of these updates are ready to enable new features such as HTTPS proxying in Squid. In addition to these updates, numerous bugs present in 3.0."
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Distributions added to database|
- VyOS. VyOS is a community fork of Vyatta, a distribution discontinued in 2013. It is a network operating system that provides software-based network routing, firewall and VPN functionality. VyOS is based on Debian GNU/Linux and is completely free and open-source. Its features include the ability to run on both physical and virtual platforms, and support for para-virtual drivers and integration packages for virtual platforms.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Cotton x64. Cotton x64 is an Ubuntu-based distribution which ships with PlayOnLinux to assist people in transitioning from Windows to Linux.
- ToriOS. ToriOS is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and attempts to provide a stable, low-resource operating system for older processors and graphics cards.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 20 October 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 • Arch and the mountain climbing metaphor (by Microlinux on 2014-10-13 09:36:21 GMT from France) |
"Just as a mountain climber becomes one with the raw mountain in order to climb it without technical assistance, and a surfer needs just a carved plank to harness the power of a wave, so a computer user needs just the basic tools that Arch Linux provides to get the most out of their system."
I'm not only a Linux user, but also a hobby climber, and the above statement made me cringe for a few reasons.
1. Climbing usually requires technical assistance in the form of a harness, a rope, carabiners and quickdraws. Leave these out, and your life expectancy decreases drastically.
2. I like it when my raw mountain is not a moving target.
2 • Arch (by M on 2014-10-13 09:49:43 GMT from Australia)
Just on 8 years now after trying just about everything.
Arch has broken twice.
One XOrg for an ATI card 4 years ago and another time when I failed to read the docs and the keyboard wouldn't work.
Both times were easy fixes.
The best thing is that I have migrated it across many computers.
Pacman -Q gives me the packages I need to reinstall the system and the rest is easy.
Try it with the Wingo window manager for a sublime experience.
3 • Rolling-release testing (by Pierre on 2014-10-13 10:07:11 GMT from Australia)
as well as the Debain Rolling-release testing, the LinuxMint Debian Edition,
- could have also been tested.
4 • Rolling-release testing (by Guilherme on 2014-10-13 11:36:22 GMT from Brazil)
Would it be possible to test Fedora Rawhide too? Thanks!
5 • @3 LMDE (by chemicalfan on 2014-10-13 11:53:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
@3 - LMDE is due to turn into a stable release, as it will track Jessie when it becomes the next Debian Stable release. Currently, LMDE is frozen and has been since the early part of this year (it has always been a "semi-rolling release")
6 • Archlinux + btrfs root (by kleine on 2014-10-13 12:32:29 GMT from Germany)
Is it possible to install Arch to a raw btrfs drive with Grub2 bootloader (no partitions, pure btrfs subvolumes). Just look around in the wiki, it's in the Bootloader/Grub2 section.
7 • Favourite Distribution in 2014 (by SaleemKhanMarwat on 2014-10-13 12:39:44 GMT from Pakistan)
Arch Linux & PCLinuxOS . PCLinuxOS offers rolling release with stability at the same time . Plus the mklivecd tool to remaster an installed PCLinuxOS system into a live bootable ISO is the best feature of this distribution.
Arch Linux is un-beatable , the community and forums are flooded with information. This distribution is bleeding edge and again un-breakable unless you do something on purpose to break it , do not read the Wiki or do not update regularly. Pacman is an amazing and highly flexible package manager . I plan to keep using both of these distributions in coming years as well . Thanks to the team of both these projects.
8 • Favorite Distribution in 2014 (by btroy on 2014-10-13 13:14:57 GMT from United States)
My favorite for 2014 is LinuxMint Debian (Cinnamon). It has proven to be the just works OS.
Right on the heals has been OpenSuse 13.1 KDE - a very nice implementation of KDE.
9 • Boot from Btrfs in Arch Linux (by Spooky on 2014-10-13 13:23:18 GMT from Italy)
It's recommend to use GPT partition table creating a Bios boot partition or an EFI one.
But it works and it's possible to boot from different snapshot or subvolume too.
10 • to test (by greg on 2014-10-13 13:30:10 GMT from Slovenia)
also to test:
Arch is amazing? to use a computer you need to read wiki pages, forums and news? not for me. the little time i have with computer i would like to actually use it rather than doing the system restores and such.
11 • the nano text editor. (by Joe A on 2014-10-13 13:44:51 GMT from United States)
Does anyone else hate nano? The first time I used it, for a simple Open-Edit-Save operation, it was so confusing I had to go online and read help files and manuals.
Why not use mousepad, leafpad, or any one of a dozen other text editors?
"This is all done from the command line, making occasional use of the nano text editor." The command line is a little scary, but nano is worse.
12 • @11 You cannot be serious... (by Martillo on 2014-10-13 13:53:52 GMT from Spain)
If you find nano difficult, try vi or mg. Nano is a mother for ex-Windows users.
13 • Which distribution is your favourite so far in 2014? (by jaws222 on 2014-10-13 13:54:15 GMT from United States)
I've used so many but would have to go with Debian Crunchbang. It's extremely fast and has never broken for me. As far as Arch there are two derivatives I love, Manjaro and Antergos both, like Crunchbang, extremely fast. On the Ubuntu side Linux Lite is also pretty reliable.
14 • the nano text editor (by Lone_Wolf on 2014-10-13 13:57:14 GMT from Netherlands)
Why not use mousepad, leafpad, or any one of a dozen other text editors?
mousepad and leafpad require gtk , which only works in graphics environment.
Arch base install is console only: systemd multi-user.target / (runlevel 3 in sysv-init systems.
15 • Best Distro for what? (by vw72 on 2014-10-13 14:01:11 GMT from United States)
Before one can answer what is the best distro, they have to answer for what purpose! While Arch is a great linux distribution, it isn't the one I would want to install and support on a 100 workstations in a business or classroom environment, or even my mother's computer. I probably wouldn't use it for a mission critical server role and it's also not one I would use for embed systems work.
There's a saying that learn Ubuntu and you learn Ubuntu, learn Arch and you learn Linux. Well, most users don't want or need to learn Linux (or Ubuntu).
"Best Distro" declarations are worthless. Instead they need to be "Best Distro For..." declarations. Arch is an excellent distribution, but as most people will tell you, it's not for the feint of heart. For general use, particularly in a business setting, openSuse would seem to be a better choice. For general use as a home desktop, one might look at one of the *buntus. For development work, particularly in the US, fedora, RHEL or CENTOS seems a good choice.
The reality is that from the user perspective, one can make any distro look and act like any other. The question as to what is best really comes down to how much work is involved to make it actually do that.
Again, Arch is an excellent distro. But depending on your use case, it might not be the best distro.
16 • Lunar! (by captain pinkeye on 2014-10-13 14:26:21 GMT from Czech Republic)
It's nice to see them alive.
Lunar Linux is pretty interesting distribution. It's source based, but the initial installation is binary that you can recompile later if you want (so you quickly have a working system) and it has its own tools for handling the internals.
If you want to try an advanced source based distro but feel overwhelmed by Gentoo's portage bureaucracy, Lunar might be worth your while.
17 • Arch linux (by hadrons123 on 2014-10-13 14:35:57 GMT from United States)
All distros break, at least with Arch I get most of what I want.
18 • my favourite (by ray carter on 2014-10-13 14:36:13 GMT from United States)
The more I run Debian Stable, the more impressed I am with it - 'problems' are virtually non-existent.
A most impressive feature, for me, is that by doing a net install, all the latest software is installed - there is no long and tedious update process.
19 • Best distro (by linuxista on 2014-10-13 14:46:59 GMT from United States)
"There's a saying that learn Ubuntu and you learn Ubuntu, learn Arch and you learn Linux." That used to be the saying about Slackware. I've never heard it used for Arch before. There is a big difference b/t installing Arch from a base install and installing a respin like Bridge, ArchBang, Antergos (beware their installer), or a close derivative like Manjaro. While I wouldn't recommend Arch to highly unsophisticated users, it's complexity and instability are often highly exaggerated in forums. I wouldn't install it on "100 workstations in a business or classroom environment, or even my mother's computer...or a mission critical server" either, but it can be considered highly stable and usable for a lot of general users. I recently installed Manjaro on a new laptop for someone highly unsophisticated, someone who's understanding of IT borders on the purely magical. I wanted to install Ubuntu or Mint, but I couldn't get around a hang on shutdown they both had. It will be an interesting test to see just how newbie friendly Manjaro is, because this the most extreme case.
20 • @2 (by linuxista on 2014-10-13 14:53:40 GMT from United States)
Approaching 6 years now. Broken two or three times, responded quickly and easily to fixes provided by Arch News/Wiki.
21 • Rolling releases test (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2014-10-13 15:06:42 GMT from Ecuador)
Thanks a lot Jesse for the fascinating review on rolling distros! I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one.
I just installed openSUSE Factory, and it has an option at the partitioning proposal to use BtrFS, and at that point there is a checkbox to enable Snapper. That's the option I used, and Snapper was working out of the box on my installation.
As for openSUSE Factory bootloader recovery of snapshots, it actually does seem to be implemented. The last GRUB entry is "Start bootloader from a read-only snapshot". From there, it takes you to a (potentially long) list of snapshots. You can select any one, at which point it takes you back to another GRUB screen, with the first entry "Bootable snapshot #X". That first entry is just a label, but it does give an interesting tidbit when you select the label: "If OK, run 'snapper rollback X' and reboot." At this GRUB screen, the second entry appears to boot into that snapshot. The downside is that Xorg won't work because it's a read-only filesystem. I also had to switch to a different TTY to get to a command line. But from there, the beauty of YaST comes to play, with a ncurses version of YaST, including the Snapper utility.
As for Debian Sid, is it true that it will no longer freeze? In past releases, they actually froze Sid too as they got closer to the release of the Stable branch.
22 • Debian Sid (by Teresa e Junior on 2014-10-13 15:34:35 GMT from Paraguay)
My experience with Debian Sid is that the more packages you have installed, and the more customized your desktop is, the more prone to break your system will be. Debian Sid was my choice back in the day when I had a minimalist desktop, but even so, something would eventually get broken (around once a month). Also, I noticed that newer versions of most applications hardly bring anything interesting.
Today I like to have many packages installed and my desktop is heavily customized, and I tell you, there is nothing more comfortable than using Debian Stable and knowing that nothing will break for the next few years. The only bleeding edge stuff people generally need are the web browser and office suite, because of compatibility, and these are provided in the backports repository. Security updates are constant, but they never ever break anything.
BTW, that's something I'm really interested in reading, so keep it up!
23 • Debian Sid (by Teresa e Junior on 2014-10-13 15:58:42 GMT from Paraguay)
When I said "something would eventually get broken (around once a month)", I was talking about any kind of annoyance, like a small application that doesn't open anymore, or it stops working as expected and then you do some Google search and find that the developers have changed their goals, etc.
While it is possible that from these 5 distros one may be more stable than the other (like one becomes unbootable and the other not), I don't believe it is possible to avoid those minor annoyances in any of them.
The problem is that, after a few years, minor annoyances became major ones, as I figured I had been spending many unneeded hours in front of the computer for little gain...
24 • PCLOS snapshot (by Wildbill on 2014-10-13 17:18:29 GMT from United States)
Jesse, If you will look in Menu -> applications-> more applications -> configuration -> PCLinuxOS Live USB creator will make a snapshot of the system or any part of the system you want. You can make the snapshot bootable.
Also since you did not mention this in the article, in order to update Libreoffice, Calibre or VM you need to use their respective update programs. You can find the Libreoffice and Calibre in the configuration section and the VM on under emulators. Looking forward to your test results.
25 • Rolling release experiment (by anticapitalista on 2014-10-13 17:21:29 GMT from Greece)
I think it would be useful if Jessie could let us know what version the *main* packages are at for each distro.
eg kernel, xorg, udev, kde, firefox, libreoffice.
26 • Best Distro of 2014 (by Ron on 2014-10-13 17:42:52 GMT from United States)
@10 • to test (by greg on 2014-10-13 13:30:10 GMT from Slovenia)
"Arch is amazing? to use a computer you need to read wiki pages, forums and news? not for me. the little time i have with computer i would like to actually use it rather than doing the system restores and such."
@7 Favourite Distribution in 2014
"un-breakable unless you do something on purpose to break it , do not read the Wiki or do not update regularly"
Translated by me: Plan to spend lots of your time at the computer holding your breath, pulling your hair, and scratching your head as you read the Wiki, hope to correctly decipher some obscure instructions, and cross your fingers.
My favorite for 2014 is..... Xubuntu 12.04! No, not 14.04!
Why, oh why would I be pleased to see changes for changes sake?
Let me explain with concrete examples. First lets start with the shutdown procedure.
In 12.04, so easy upper right click, select shutdown, click, and its done.
In 14.04 not so easy. Suddenly no longer upper right! Why? Does someone have anxt for upper right?
Or, take Gparted after installation, for example. In 12.04 its right there in the menu like its supposed to be, In 14.04, look, look, and find it buried and difficult to find.
Please don't get me wrong, I fully appreciate all the hard work and care put into these distributions, but wouldn't the effort be better spent improving or creating applications that really do something usefull?
If my monitor has megapixels, is it really necessary for the developers to try and re-arrange each and every pixel!!!!!!!!!
27 • Best distro (by Copper on 2014-10-13 17:43:36 GMT from Finland)
I have used PCLOS since the "dot" versions (pre-2007) and it has everything I need. Well, it contains a Windows7 virtual machine with some programs I need for work.
I have used the command line maybe twice. One of the times was to check the MAC address of my network card for firewall setup and once during a major update few years ago when KDE 4 came up. I have used Windows terminal more often on the virtual machine.
With PCLOS I don't have to "learn Linux" ... I'm a _user_.
28 • Best Distro (by Dave Brown on 2014-10-13 18:22:57 GMT from United States)
The best distro for me has been Linux Mint, for a very long time. It runs very well, highly customizable and just looks good. I can't recall a time in the last two or three years that my Linux Mint has broke.
29 • Best Distro (by Corbin Rune on 2014-10-13 18:23:30 GMT from United States)
I'd agree with previous posts stating that the "best" distro is subject to your own use case. Hell, I started with 'buntu back in '07, but honestly can't screw with anything other than Arch or Manjaro anymore. I feel a bit ... hobbled if I do.
(Although, I should probably look into Sorcerer again. I always found their commands interesting and kinda funny.)
30 • Minix (by bison on 2014-10-13 18:57:57 GMT from United States)
> While the current version of MINIX does not support running graphical software
Are you sure about that?
31 • Installing Arch and Best distro (by snowdust on 2014-10-13 19:17:58 GMT from United States)
I recently read an interesting article on how to install Arch the easy way. For those interested see: http://xmodulo.com/install-arch-linux-easy-way-evolution.html
Home page: http://www.evolutionlinux.com/
@29: I agree with your statement: the best distro is a matter of personal taste and use case. Mine are: (1) KaOS and (2) SolydK. To each his/her own.
32 • @31 (by jaws222 on 2014-10-13 19:23:45 GMT from United States)
"I recently read an interesting article on how to install Arch the easy way. For those interested see: http://xmodulo.com/install-arch-linux-easy-way-evolution.html"
Is there any easy way? I'll check this out. I have tried twice, once a few years back and just a few months ago without success. Manjaro and Antergos are awesome, but very easy installs.
33 • favorite distr (by Harold on 2014-10-13 19:35:24 GMT from )
34 • PCLinuxOS (by exploder on 2014-10-13 19:51:48 GMT from United States)
PCLinuxOS comes stock with the MyLiveCD app to backup the system. One of my favorite tools of all time!
35 • Netflix works on ALL Linux distros, not just Ubuntu... (by Chris on 2014-10-13 21:30:12 GMT from United States)
Netflix works on ANY Linux distribution with nss => 3.16.2 and Google Chrome browser (not Chromium) => 36.
36 • Favorite distro (by Hombre-Loco on 2014-10-13 21:56:22 GMT from Nicaragua)
I have a selection of Favorite distros depending on what machine I am using
I have Manjaro on 3 of my Business machines 2 have Openbox and 1 has PekWM
On my personal Laptop i have Calculate Linux (gentoo)
On My Gfs old lappy I have Antix (debian)
37 • @32 installing_arch (by gee7 on 2014-10-13 22:16:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
I would recommend looking at the good tutorial at:
which gives clear step-by-step instructions for an Arch installation.
You may find it easier to prepare your partitions first, then you can follow above tutorial from Step #4 Installing the base system.
Six weeks ago, I installed Arch with Xfce, as part of my multi-boot system. On rolling systems, I also have Netrunner Roller and PCLinux.
My favourite distro is currently Debian Jessie with Xfce which will soon be the new stable but I have a feeling that I may learn to love Arch as time goes by.
It is a pity that the Debian team chose Gnome 3 as the default Debian desktop environment, as most new users will be likely to just install the default and there miss out on experiencing the flexibility and subdued beauty of Xfce4.
38 • Arch evolution (by linuxista on 2014-10-13 23:21:56 GMT from United States)
@31 Thanks for that link. That's the first thing I'll try when I get a new machine.
39 • comment (by pclos on 2014-10-14 00:29:03 GMT from France)
I have been using Arch for 4 years but want to switch to something that doesn’t use systemd, which is both a pain to use and dangerous for the Linux ecosystem. PCLinuxOS seems like it could do the trick… If not I guess I’ll have to try Funtoo.
40 • @3,5,8,28 LMDE (by Kubelik on 2014-10-14 03:00:29 GMT from Denmark)
LMDE's end of line as a more or less (NB. UPs) rolling distro is when Debian Testing/Jessie goes into freeze, i.e. 2014/11/5. After that there will come a LMDE edition following the testing/freeze period continuing into the Stable one.
This was already predicted here: http://linuxg.net/the-next-linux-mint-debian-edition-lmde-versions-may-be-built-only-on-the-stable-versions-of-debian/.
You could also see the discussion here (If you are not a master of the the Danish tongue you might use some kind of translation device): http://www.linuxnyheder.dk/content/mint-17-nye-perspektiver.
41 • (by sam on 2014-10-14 08:03:48 GMT from Switzerland)
I use centos, not because other distros are not good. I just chose one of of the many out there that i am able to install, setup and and that happened to be centos. personally when it comes to linux the DE is more important than what is behind that DE.
42 • Best distro (by Simon on 2014-10-14 09:08:29 GMT from New Zealand)
Given that so many GNU/Linux users are hobby users ("enthusiasts") rather than serious users (people whose focus is on the results rather than the tools themselves) it's not surprising that Arch can win a "best distro" award. Gentoo used to win similar competitions for similar reasons and, for the same reasons, would never win a serious competition that weighed up real-world considerations for a "best" general purpose OS.
Doing serious ("mission critical") work on a rolling-release OS is a joke. Everything from reliability to user workflows to support efficiency is ruined by an unstable OS that doesn't sit still in a stable form for the months that it takes to properly bug-test, let alone document and develop training for software. Both Arch and Gentoo make it *easier* to customize a system to a power user's liking: it's perfectly *possible* on any GNU/Linux distro, so it makes far more sense to start from a stable base like Debian or CentOS and build or backport custom packages than to deal with the seething mass of roaming bugs that an Arch or Gentoo system will always be. Those bugs may not be visible to the individual hobby user, but they're there, and there are only a handful of serious real-world applications that can justify this instability for the sake of easier customization.
"Best distro" for hobbyists, sure. As a general purpose OS? Please.
43 • Debian Sid freeze (by Pierre on 2014-10-14 09:25:17 GMT from Germany)
Debian Sid never freezes, never ever had and never will. Nevertheless I have to admit that development slows down a lot as soon as testing goes into freeze and stabilization / finalization.
So maybe it looks to most people as if Sid would freeze as well, but it doesn't.
44 • Sid, MINIX (by :wq on 2014-10-14 10:17:48 GMT from United States)
"...Debian does not supply ISO images for Unstable. If I wanted to run Debian Unstable (often referred to as Sid) then I would first need to install Debian Stable or Debian Testing and switch to the Unstable branch."
You can install Debian Sid directly with netboot images. This can be hit or miss (such as a kernel mismatch between the installer and the archive), but the current image tested okay for me. I prefer this method to upgrading from Testing.
From InstallFAQ: "Use netboot 'mini.iso' image. You will find it on any of the Debian mirrors under debian/dists/unstable/main/installer-*/current/images/netboot/mini.iso. During the installation choose 'Advanced options' -> 'Expert install'. In the step 'Choose a mirror of the Debian archive' choose version 'sid - unstable."
@30 From the 3.3.0 release notes: "X11 is not available currently. Our old version, which was still based off of a monolithic XFree86 Server, broke. We are in the process of importing a current release of Xorg. New X11 packages will be provided as soon as the port will be completed."
When I installed 3.3.0 a couple of weeks ago this was still the case.
45 • Arch Linux <3 (by msx on 2014-10-14 11:10:17 GMT from )
"Whenever the subject of rolling-release distributions comes up, some people report having poor experiences where their systems broke after a short time."
It is called Layer 8 problem.
46 • Lunar Linux (by GreginNC on 2014-10-14 11:18:59 GMT from United States)
Good to see Lunar active again. I ran it for a couple of years back around 2009-2010. I'm disappointed they chose to go with SystemD on their new release though as I won't bother using it for that reason alone.
I can say it was always an interesting distro that I had a lot of fun learning with and I would still recommend it to anyone who wanted a source based distro and didn't mind SystemD.
47 • Rolling-release testing (by Fitzcarraldo on 2014-10-14 13:08:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
It would have been good to include Sabayon Linux and Gentoo Linux in your testing of rolling-release distributions.
48 • My favorite distribution with no contesters --> Arch (by Chris on 2014-10-14 14:29:01 GMT from Germany)
I'm an Arch user with Openbox WM and I always look at other distributions but on my main laptop I have for the past 4 years Arch with OB. Only 1 time reinstall because of a faulty hard drive. Unbreakable (almost), when you read the Wiki and messages on the homepage before an update of course.
Just wouldn't recommend it for everybody. In a production environment I would use Debian (not Ubuntu! but Debian). On the laptop from my father is, since it came out, Debian 6 with Gnome 3 WM installed and I wouldn't change this for everything in the world. Debian is really rock solid, unbreakable and monkey proof but not so much fun as Arch and like Distrowatch says : "Put the fun back in computing"
49 • Layer 8 problem (by linuxista on 2014-10-14 14:53:51 GMT from United States)
@45 This is a more likely explanation than some portion of users experience aberrational good luck with their systems drawing on exactly the same pools of binaries.
50 • Arch Linux Installer (by Reed on 2014-10-14 16:22:43 GMT from United States)
I've recently installed Arch Linux on two different systems, and it went very smoothly, and I'm loving the experience. I tried Antegros first, and liked it, but desired a more custom built setup, so I tried the Evolution installer, and was very impressed. I highly recommend it.
The Evolution Arch Linux installer is basically a simple script that walks you through the install process. At each step it explains to you what is needed, and recommends a good default, but gives you plenty of flexibility to design your system the way you want. Honestly, it took just about as long as an Ubuntu install, and resulted in exactly the setup I wanted, rather than the setup that someone else things I should have.
Both systems are very stable and fast. One is on an old 1st gen Core 2 Duo, and the other is on a new Haswell system.
51 • Best Distro (by Oldken68 on 2014-10-14 19:41:57 GMT from United States)
A big thank you to all above for your comments. I enjoyed reading your remarks. I can understand [even sympathize with] many of your remarks. I've even learned from you :) thanks
Running an older machine AMD64 Dual core with 4G ram. Point Linux is my main. PClinux is my recently installed backup OS. And I'm never without Puppy on a USB stick. Puppy has saved me sooo many times.
I was very surprised at Arch being selected as best distro. The reason being that from way back whenever I tried Arch, I was never able to get it to work. So I've pretty much avoided it as I try out new distros. But because of your comments above I'm trying out Manjaro and enjoying it. Thanks again
52 • Debian and packagekit (by mikef on 2014-10-14 20:55:54 GMT from United States)
At least for a desktop distro, I'd have to go with Debian since it also the base for the well evolved versions of Ubuntu and Mint. The Debian packaging system is fast and pretty near bulletproof. Even though they are moving away from 'rolling', LMDE and SolydX have been stable for me.
OTOH I was disappointed to see that OpenSUSE uses the packagekit daemon. The issue reported by Jesse has long existed in Fedora, where the devs have never succeeded in configuring the daemon default settings to stay out of your way. Most distros do just fine without a clumsy background process locking the package cache. Just say No to PackageSH**!
53 • "Best Distro" .. lol (by Jerry on 2014-10-14 22:09:20 GMT from United States)
Sorry. No such thing, unless you're willing to append the term, "..for me on my machine(s)" to the term, "best distro."
Zorin and a close second to PCLinuxOS... for me on my machines. ;)
54 • Best distro (by JonatanKazmierczak on 2014-10-14 22:53:21 GMT from Switzerland)
I've tried the following systems on my work laptop (Dell with nVidia chip): Arch, Debian testing, Ubuntu 14.04 - all with KDE and nVidia proprietary driver.
Arch - always hangs after closing and opening the lid, many apps stop to work after every update
Debian testing - always hangs after closing the lid, Skype can't be used anymore
Ubuntu - the only distro suspending after closing the lid and unsuspending after opening it; Oracle Java is updated automatically, in opposition to Arch
My conclusion: The best distro for laptops (at least for Dell) is Ubuntu.
55 • Best Distro? (by BoomShakaLaka on 2014-10-15 01:38:35 GMT from United States)
Like stated above. Best distro for me/my machine.
Dell Studio 1735 Upgraded the cpu from 2.16 core2duo to a 2.5 core2duo.
4 gig ram and an ATI 3650 vid card/chip.
PclinuxOS either KDE or LXDE runs great.
56 • Arch wins Best Distro of 2014 (by G. Savage on 2014-10-15 01:51:29 GMT from Canada)
Congrats I guess.
I expect Zorin saved a lot more old XP machines, than Arch even got installed on. Or not.
57 • BOSSMOOL aka. Linux kernel in C++ (by Explorer09 on 2014-10-15 12:36:37 GMT from Taiwan)
Seriously the BOSSMOOL team is just reinventing a square wheel, picking up the idea that Linus Torvalds have abandoned years ago.
Just look at these:
58 • Cool MOOL (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2014-10-15 14:15:34 GMT from United States)
One could, perhaps, hope that in 7-3/4 years C++ (and, say, the Monotone Version Control System) and its programming community have matured and stabilized, with at least a visible intermediate C-level layer, possibly via strict macro-processor. (And that this isn't simply a Gnome plot to migrate to GObject?)
Or this may be be a fine tool for teaching valuable lessons to bright students ...
Perhaps localisation at (the) Console level will be its first useful contribution?
59 • Best Distro & Rolling Checks (by M.Z. on 2014-10-15 21:08:00 GMT from United States)
I think I have two best Distros based on my hardware needs. PCLinuxOS is perfect form my main desktop & has been fairly easy to keep going for the past 3+ years, & it works well with my built in nVidia graphics while others tend to fail. On my laptop it's Linux Mint all the way, which for some reasons works with the wifi while PCLOS doesn't. I'd give the overall edge for best desktop Distro to Mint, but there are lots of other uses where you want a firewall distro like pfSense, (which is great, but a BSD rather than Linux), or a server or something else that is specialized. In short there can really only be a best distro for each task, and even that all comes down to preference. I'd pick Debian for a general purpose Distro over Arch because of ease of use, though I respect putting the work in to learn Arch.
I'd also point out that the version of Chrome in the PCLOS repos works with Netfilx with no problems, although chrome isn't in the Mint repos & requires a separate download. The install was point & click easy though, & now I can watch Lost on Netflix, starting from where I was at before it was pulled from Hulu. Also all the episodes of Star Trek ever made are available commercial free :) Now if Netfilx only worked as well on the Linux version of Firefox it would be perfect.
On the subject of testing rolling distros, I think the thing most likely to go wrong with a rolling distro is the edge case of a relatively big & complex piece of software that isn't used that commonly. The only thing I can think of that might fit is GIS software like QGIS, which I've had a few minor issues with on PCLOS.There can be a lot of moving parts when dealing with Geographic Information Systems & making available all the parts that help you manipulate data in maps, so I guess the occasional breakage on a rolling distro is to be expected, but it can be a pain. It would be interesting if we could come up with another big complex & obscure piece of software to check out, just to see how well all the rolling distros work with such types of software. If no one comes up with a better idea I think it would be interesting to load as many QGIS related packages as you can like the GRASS & python plugins & see if you ever get an error like 'python failed to load' after updating you various systems & opening QGIS.
60 • safer experience with debian sid (by sebas on 2014-10-16 14:45:02 GMT from Brazil)
The "safe" debian rolling-release edition is more testing than sid. I have "debian testing" running for years with no major problem, the system never broke, some packages did sometime, but very rarely.
Obviously, your choice of sid for this experience is correct since, as you said, testing is going to freeze. ButI guess that comparing an unstable system by conception with other systems much more stable doesn't give an equal experience. Have you think about siduction, that is based on sid but stabilizes the repository ? With siduction, you should have a debian sid system but with few chances of getting broken packages in it.
Another possibility to avoid broken packages in sid or testing is to install apt-listbugs, then you will be warned if some packages are marked as having serious bugs, and then you can choose to either install them or hold them or postpone the upgrade.
Thanks for this very interesting testdrive.
61 • Rolling release test, best distro (by Kazlu on 2014-10-16 16:07:44 GMT from France)
Rolling release test:
I will join #10 greg and #25 anticapitalista. I would like to see some multimedia tests on the various rolling release distros (playing a video, maybe running a game...). That covers sound, graphics, codecs and may even concern GPU acceleration. Besides it would be good to know the version of a set of packages at fixed dates in each distro, in order to tell who has the most recent and who gets them first, and what are the consequences (do they crash?). Firefox and LibreOffice are good ideas, since you have them in your test. The kernel is also a good idea, but for the kernel maybe more than for other packages, having an older version is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as it is still maintained. Maybe other key packages could be interesting if monitored. Finally, if a known security flaw arises, like Shellshock recently, it would be great to know when the patch gets to each distro.
I agree with many of you who say that there is no best distro, but there is a best distro for someone/for this use case/for that machine. In my opinion, Arch Linux way is ideal: nobody makes a choice in your place and you have always the latest version of softwares, bugs corrected, security flaws patched. But ideal does not make it best for everyone. Personnally, I stopped distro-hopping when I installed Debian Wheezy with Xfce. It works great, is fast, is much less time consuming than a rolling release distro (I often don't have time to read news/forums to apply more or less large updates, sadly...)... I fell like I'm at rest now :)
If I have more time someday, I will try again rolling release distros, so Jesse's test is very interesting to me.
62 • Linux Compromised... (by Jim Knybel on 2014-10-17 19:35:00 GMT from United States)
Looks like Linux is a problem: (I use it and like the various distributions I try out, but I am very concerned about this...)
From: SANS NewsBites Vol. 16 Num. 83
--Bash/Shellshock Patches May Not be Enough to Protect Systems
(October 15, 2014)
Simply patching systems against the Bash/Shellshock vulnerability may
not be adequate. Attacks exploiting the flaw appeared within a day of
its disclosure. Those attacks may have made changes to systems that
would not be remedied by the application of a patch. The problem is due
in part to the incomplete patches that were issued initially. Attackers
reportedly exploited Bash/Shellshock to create a botnet for a phishing
campaign against Spanish-speaking Citibank customers. Many of the
compromised machines are running Linux. The command-and-control server
for the botnet has been taken offline.
63 • Linux Compromised Continued... (by Jim Knybel on 2014-10-17 19:48:32 GMT from United States)
To be fare to Linux, fixes from Microsoft, Adobe, and Oracle as well as an update for Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS, and for Apple's OS X, which addresses issues resulting from the Bash/Shellshock vulnerability, are available. (SANS NewsBites Vol. 16 Num. 83)
64 • shellshock (by linuxista on 2014-10-18 01:26:52 GMT from )
If you're not running a public server you've got nothing to worry about.
65 • Firewall fixes it (by M.Z. on 2014-10-18 07:35:50 GMT from United States)
It isn't really an issue for the desktop users that this site is generally focused at, as #64 indicated. Just make sure to turn a firewall on for your desktop & you are fairly safe from bash bugs, see here:
That being said, it is always good to be proactive about security & take additional measures if you can. I set up MSEC on my copy of PCLOS & set up an old PC as a firewall using the pfSense distro with snort blocking attacks, which was all in addition to turning on firewalls on my computers. I may not be invulnerable but I feel fairly secure.
66 • Elive (by linuxista on 2014-10-18 14:21:34 GMT from United States)
I noticed that Elive came out with a new release. A number of posters here have voiced concerns about the ethics involved in the Elive project. Apparently, some think it's a con job in that not until after you have it installed to your hdd do you find out, if you want Libreoffice or codecs, you have PAY the the project to install them. So it's not just that it's commercial, but that it is to some degree deceptive. And this on top of a Debian base. I wonder if Jesse would consider attaching some sort of caveat for new users when making announcements for this project.
67 • Rolling-release testing - opensuse tumbleweed (by ernstfree on 2014-10-18 20:52:36 GMT from Italy)
Opensuse Tumbleweed: why not?
" ... The difference to Factory is that Factory is bleeding edge, often experimental, not yet stabilized software that needs more work to become useful. Tumbleweed contains the latest stable applications and is ready for daily use ..."
I use opensuse tumbleweed for several years without any major problems.
PS: PCLinuxOS is a real rock!
PS 2: do not forget Sabayon ...
68 • Jesse Smith's Rolling Release Testing (by Don Baun on 2014-10-18 23:20:58 GMT from United States)
Am curious to watch your testing progress for those rolling distros you are testing, so will try to keep checking back each week for your observations. Used Manjaro for nearly a year and felt it was really developing and solid and generally dependable. Rolling is not without its issues at times, but usually a read of the release guidelines is very helpful PRIOR to upgrading. Never had a break, but had a few rocky moments. Finally just got tired of my need to stay current with all the latest developments and so went back to my trusty Linux Mint. Cutting edge is fine, but my age makes that less important now. Stability and refinements are important too and nice to see LM is making adjustments to its release goals, so makes it more attractive to me again. Like that they will be staying with LTS base for further development. Some other good ideas there too.
So will be sure to read each week's rolling comments. Kudos to the good work of the Manjaro team, but while solid it is still a beta release. Watch lots of You Tube videos on various systems too.
Number of Comments: 68
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
TUXEDO Computers - Linux Hardware in a tailor made suite
Choose from a wide range of laptops and PCs in various sizes and shapes at TUXEDOComputers.com. Every machine comes pre-installed and ready-to-run with Linux. Full 24 months of warranty and lifetime support included!
Learn more about our full service package and all benefits from buying at TUXEDO.
|• Issue 1046 (2023-11-20): Slackel 7.7 "Openbox", restricting CPU usage, Haiku improves font handling and software centre performance, Canonical launches MicroCloud|
|• Issue 1045 (2023-11-13): Fedora 39, how to trust software packages, ReactOS booting with UEFI, elementary OS plans to default to Wayland, Mir gaining ability to split work across video cards|
|• Issue 1044 (2023-11-06): Porteus 5.01, disabling IPv6, applications unique to a Linux distro, Linux merges bcachefs, OpenELA makes source packages available|
|• Issue 1043 (2023-10-30): Murena Two with privacy switches, where old files go when packages are updated, UBports on Volla phones, Mint testing Cinnamon on Wayland, Peppermint releases ARM build|
|• Issue 1042 (2023-10-23): Ubuntu Cinnamon compared with Linux Mint, extending battery life on Linux, Debian resumes /usr merge, Canonical publishes fixed install media|
|• Issue 1041 (2023-10-16): FydeOS 17.0, Dr.Parted 23.09, changing UIDs, Fedora partners with Slimbook, GNOME phasing out X11 sessions, Ubuntu revokes 23.10 install media|
|• Issue 1040 (2023-10-09): CROWZ 5.0, changing the location of default directories, Linux Mint updates its Edge edition, Murena crowdfunding new privacy phone, Debian publishes new install media|
|• Issue 1039 (2023-10-02): Zenwalk Current, finding the duration of media files, Peppermint OS tries out new edition, COSMIC gains new features, Canonical reports on security incident in Snap store|
|• Issue 1038 (2023-09-25): Mageia 9, trouble-shooting launchers, running desktop Linux in the cloud, New documentation for Nix, Linux phasing out ReiserFS, GNU celebrates 40 years|
|• Issue 1037 (2023-09-18): Bodhi Linux 7.0.0, finding specific distros and unified package managemnt, Zevenet replaced by two new forks, openSUSE introduces Slowroll branch, Fedora considering dropping Plasma X11 session|
|• Issue 1036 (2023-09-11): SDesk 2023.08.12, hiding command line passwords, openSUSE shares contributor survery results, Ubuntu plans seamless disk encryption, GNOME 45 to break extension compatibility|
|• Issue 1035 (2023-09-04): Debian GNU/Hurd 2023, PCLinuxOS 2023.07, do home users need a firewall, AlmaLinux introduces new repositories, Rocky Linux commits to RHEL compatibility, NetBSD machine runs unattended for nine years, Armbian runs wallpaper contest|
|• Issue 1034 (2023-08-28): Void 20230628, types of memory usage, FreeBSD receives port of Linux NVIDIA driver, Fedora plans improved theme handling for Qt applications, Canonical's plans for Ubuntu|
|• Issue 1033 (2023-08-21): MiniOS 20230606, system user accounts, how Red Hat clones are moving forward, Haiku improves WINE performance, Debian turns 30|
|• Issue 1032 (2023-08-14): MX Linux 23, positioning new windows on the desktop, Linux Containers adopts LXD fork, Oracle, SUSE, and CIQ form OpenELA|
|• Issue 1031 (2023-08-07): Peppermint OS 2023-07-01, preventing a file from being changed, Asahi Linux partners with Fedora, Linux Mint plans new releases|
|• Issue 1030 (2023-07-31): Solus 4.4, Linux Mint 21.2, Debian introduces RISC-V support, Ubuntu patches custom kernel bugs, FreeBSD imports OpenSSL 3|
|• Issue 1029 (2023-07-24): Running Murena on the Fairphone 4, Flatpak vs Snap sandboxing technologies, Redox OS plans to borrow Linux drivers to expand hardware support, Debian updates Bookworm media|
|• Issue 1028 (2023-07-17): KDE Connect; Oracle, SUSE, and AlmaLinux repsond to Red Hat's source code policy change, KaOS issues media fix, Slackware turns 30; security and immutable distributions|
|• Issue 1027 (2023-07-10): Crystal Linux 2023-03-16, StartOS (embassyOS 0.3.4.2), changing options on a mounted filesystem, Murena launches Fairphone 4 in North America, Fedora debates telemetry for desktop team|
|• Issue 1026 (2023-07-03): Kumander Linux 1.0, Red Hat changing its approach to sharing source code, TrueNAS offers SMB Multichannel, Zorin OS introduces upgrade utility|
|• Issue 1025 (2023-06-26): KaOS with Plasma 6, information which can leak from desktop environments, Red Hat closes door on sharing RHEL source code, SUSE introduces new security features|
|• Issue 1024 (2023-06-19): Debian 12, a safer way to use dd, Debian releases GNU/Hurd 2023, Ubuntu 22.10 nears its end of life, FreeBSD turns 30|
|• Issue 1023 (2023-06-12): openSUSE 15.5 Leap, the differences between independent distributions, openSUSE lengthens Leap life, Murena offers new phone for North America|
|• Issue 1022 (2023-06-05): GetFreeOS 2023.05.01, Slint 15.0-3, Liya N4Si, cleaning up crowded directories, Ubuntu plans Snap-based variant, Red Hat dropping LireOffice RPM packages|
|• Issue 1021 (2023-05-29): rlxos GNU/Linux, colours in command line output, an overview of Void's unique features, how to use awk, Microsoft publishes a Linux distro|
|• Issue 1020 (2023-05-22): UBports 20.04, finding another machine's IP address, finding distros with a specific kernel, Debian prepares for Bookworm|
|• Issue 1019 (2023-05-15): Rhino Linux (Beta), checking which applications reply on a package, NethServer reborn, System76 improving application responsiveness|
|• Issue 1018 (2023-05-08): Fedora 38, finding relevant manual pages, merging audio files, Fedora plans new immutable edition, Mint works to fix Secure Boot issues|
|• Issue 1017 (2023-05-01): Xubuntu 23.04, Debian elects Project Leaders and updates media, systemd to speed up restarts, Guix System offering ground-up source builds, where package managers install files|
|• Issue 1016 (2023-04-24): Qubes OS 4.1.2, tracking bandwidth usage, Solus resuming development, FreeBSD publishes status report, KaOS offers preview of Plasma 6|
|• Issue 1015 (2023-04-17): Manjaro Linux 22.0, Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0, Arch Linux powering PINE64 tablets, Ubuntu offering live patching on HWE kernels, gaining compression on ex4|
|• Issue 1014 (2023-04-10): Quick looks at carbonOS, LibreELEC, and Kodi, Mint polishes themes, Fedora rolls out more encryption plans, elementary OS improves sideloading experience|
|• Issue 1013 (2023-04-03): Alpine Linux 3.17.2, printing manual pages, Ubuntu Cinnamon becomes official flavour, Endeavour OS plans for new installer, HardenedBSD plans for outage|
|• Issue 1012 (2023-03-27): siduction 22.1.1, protecting privacy from proprietary applications, GNOME team shares new features, Canonical updates Ubuntu 20.04, politics and the Linux kernel|
|• Issue 1011 (2023-03-20): Serpent OS, Security Onion 2.3, Gentoo Live, replacing the scp utility, openSUSE sees surge in downloads, Debian runs elction with one candidate|
|• Issue 1010 (2023-03-13): blendOS 2023.01.26, keeping track of which files a package installs, improved network widget coming to elementary OS, Vanilla OS changes its base distro|
|• Issue 1009 (2023-03-06): Nemo Mobile and the PinePhone, matching the performance of one distro on another, Linux Mint adds performance boosts and security, custom Ubuntu and Debian builds through Cubic|
|• Issue 1008 (2023-02-27): elementary OS 7.0, the benefits of boot environments, Purism offers lapdock for Librem 5, Ubuntu community flavours directed to drop Flatpak support for Snap|
|• Issue 1007 (2023-02-20): helloSystem 0.8.0, underrated distributions, Solus team working to repair their website, SUSE testing Micro edition, Canonical publishes real-time edition of Ubuntu 22.04|
|• Issue 1006 (2023-02-13): Playing music with UBports on a PinePhone, quick command line and shell scripting questions, Fedora expands third-party software support, Vanilla OS adds Nix package support|
|• Issue 1005 (2023-02-06): NuTyX 22.12.0 running CDE, user identification numbers, Pop!_OS shares COSMIC progress, Mint makes keyboard and mouse options more accessible|
|• Issue 1004 (2023-01-30): OpenMandriva ROME, checking the health of a disk, Debian adopting OpenSnitch, FreeBSD publishes status report|
|• Issue 1003 (2023-01-23): risiOS 37, mixing package types, Fedora seeks installer feedback, Sparky offers easier persistence with USB writer|
|• Issue 1002 (2023-01-16): Vanilla OS 22.10, Nobara Project 37, verifying torrent downloads, Haiku improvements, HAMMER2 being ports to NetBSD|
|• Issue 1001 (2023-01-09): Arch Linux, Ubuntu tests new system installer, porting KDE software to OpenBSD, verifying files copied properly|
|• Issue 1000 (2023-01-02): Our favourite projects of all time, Fedora trying out unified kernel images and trying to speed up shutdowns, Slackware tests new kernel, detecting what is taking up disk space|
|• Issue 999 (2022-12-19): Favourite distributions of 2022, Fedora plans Budgie spin, UBports releasing security patches for 16.04, Haiku working on new ports|
|• Issue 998 (2022-12-12): OpenBSD 7.2, Asahi Linux enages video hardware acceleration on Apple ARM computers, Manjaro drops proprietary codecs from Mesa package|
|• Issue 997 (2022-12-05): CachyOS 221023 and AgarimOS, working with filenames which contain special characters, elementary OS team fixes delta updates, new features coming to Xfce|
|• Issue 996 (2022-11-28): Void 20221001, remotely shutting down a machine, complex aliases, Fedora tests new web-based installer, Refox OS running on real hardware|
|• Issue 995 (2022-11-21): Fedora 37, swap files vs swap partitions, Unity running on Arch, UBports seeks testers, Murena adds support for more devices|
|• Issue 994 (2022-11-14): Redcore Linux 2201, changing the terminal font size, Fedora plans Phosh spin, openSUSE publishes on-line manual pages, disabling Snap auto-updates|
|• Issue 993 (2022-11-07): Static Linux, working with just a kernel, Mint streamlines Flatpak management, updates coming to elementary OS|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the highly anticipated StarFighter. Available with coreboot open-source firmware and a choice of Ubuntu, elementary, Manjaro and more. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
Your own personal Linux computer in the cloud, available on any device. Supported operating systems include Android, Debian, Fedora, KDE neon, Kubuntu, Linux Mint, Manjaro and Ubuntu, ready in minutes.
Starting at US$4.95 per month, 7-day money-back guarantee
|Random Distribution |
BEERnix was a lightweight Linux live CD based on KNOPPIX.
TUXEDO Computers - Linux Hardware in a tailor made suite
Choose from a wide range of laptops and PCs in various sizes and shapes at TUXEDOComputers.com. Every machine comes pre-installed and ready-to-run with Linux. Full 24 months of warranty and lifetime support included!
Learn more about our full service package and all benefits from buying at TUXEDO.
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the highly anticipated StarFighter. Available with coreboot open-source firmware and a choice of Ubuntu, elementary, Manjaro and more. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.