| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 609, 11 May 2015
Welcome to this year's 19th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
A lot goes on in the open source community. Every week there are multiple releases and exciting new developments. It is hard to keep track of it all and this week we are embracing the rapid rate of change. We begin with a series of short, rapid-fire reviews of three different operating systems running on three separate kernels. Many projects connected to Debian have been waiting to begin new development until after Debian "Jessie" was released. In our News section we talk about new work being done within the Debian project to create reproducible builds, work happening in Ubuntu to improve systemd integration and Linux Mint's desktop enhancements. We are also happy to report the Korora distribution has expanded its list of available spins. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about how to create an ISO file from optical media. Then we hear from Peter Ganten, the CEO of Univention, as he answers readers' questions about open source, security and user interfaces. Plus we share the torrents we are seeding in our Torrent Corner and we provide a list of the distributions released last week. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Rapid fire reviews: OpenIndiana 2015.03, LXLE 14.04.2, PC-BSD 11-Current
Most of the reviews I write for DistroWatch come about after I have installed and run a distribution for a week. I have worked my way into a routine where I grab a couple of new installation images each week, select one that looks good and/or interesting, run it for a week and then write about the experience. However, I rarely write about the distributions that, for whatever reason, do not make the cut. Each week I end up with a small collection of ISO files that will not be written about for one reason or another. Sometimes a distribution I have downloaded is too similar to one I have written about recently. Other times the rejected software did not install properly. Sometimes I think an operating system has promise, but it is still in beta and not yet ready for release. The end result is, unfortunately, that a lot of the interesting material I download does not get talked about. This week I want to take a break from my usual reviewing style and talk briefly about some operating systems I downloaded this month that I found interesting, but did not get selected for a full trial.
* * * * *
My first taste of Unix came in the form of Solaris, a product created by Sun. Over the years open source branches of Solaris have been made available. OpenSolaris came out of Sun and, following Oracle's take over of the Solaris brand, OpenIndiana took up the open source torch for people still interested in an open source version of Solaris. Though I do not use Solaris (or its open source siblings) professionally, I still like to check in and see how projects like OpenIndiana are progressing. When I was in college I very much wanted there to be a free and open source version of Solaris I could use at home and OpenIndiana provides just such a product.
The latest release of OpenIndiana, version 2015.03, is a development release and is probably not intended to be run in a production environment. The new release ships with an updated copy of GNOME 2, new Intel drivers and some miscellaneous software updates. The ISO for OpenIndiana 2015.03 is 1.2GB in size. You can learn all the details of the recent changes to OpenIndiana from the project's release notes.
The first thing I noticed about OpenIndiana is that it refused to boot on my desktop computer. I was not expecting great support for modern desktop hardware, but I was disappointed to find OpenIndiana would not boot at all on my desktop machine. OpenIndiana did boot in a VirtualBox virtual machine and my brief time with the operating system was spent running it in this virtual environment.
OpenIndiana ships with the GNOME 2 desktop. The background is blue and the desktop is presented with two panels, one at the top of the screen for menus and the system tray while the panel at the bottom keeps track of open windows. The desktop was fairly responsive and I really like the icon and desktop themes used by OpenIndiana.
OpenIndiana 2015.03 -- Exploring detected hardware devices
(full image size: 190kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
The operating system ships with a fairly small collection of desktop software. Firefox and Thunderbird are presented along with the usual collection of small desktop programs and GNOME configuration tools. We are given an audio player and a video player, but the system lacks multimedia codecs to play common media formats. Java is available on the system, though we appear to be lacking a compiler. The usual Unix command line programs and manual pages are present.
I like the array of administrative tools available on OpenIndiana as they make working with user accounts, printers and services fairly easy. I particularly appreciate a tool called Time Slider which allows us to browse file system snapshots from within the graphical file manager. By simply sliding a control back and forth we can switch between file system snapshots and restore old copies of files. I did not find a graphical package manager on OpenIndiana, though that may have been due to my rush as I am fairly certain older versions of the operating system shipped with a graphical package manager.
Perhaps one of my favourite OpenIndiana applications is the Device Driver Utility, a graphical program that displays a list of hardware it detects on our system. The Device Driver Utility lets us know when it finds hardware it cannot work with, making it easy for new users to test hardware compatibility prior to launching the operating system's graphical installer.
About seven or eight years ago I tried a release of OpenSolaris and found the experience to be quite good. At the time OpenSolaris had some great software and administration tools. Debugging and package management tools worked well, the operating system shipped with fairly modern software and OpenSolaris featured the powerful ZFS file system technology. At the time I thought, with a little work, OpenSolaris might catch up with Linux with regards to hardware support and be a strong contender for the desktop.
Unfortunately the operating system we now call OpenIndiana has not advanced much in recent years. Some desktop components have been updated, but it feels odd to see a desktop operating system still running GNOME 2 when most of the world has moved on to MATE, GNOME 3 or Cinnamon. The list of default packages is still small and hardware support appears to lag behind. The great system administration tools which once set Solaris apart have been ported to other open source operating systems, eroding the platform's competitive edge. While OpenIndiana appears to still be stable and functional, it also gives the impression of being stuck in the past, possibly due to a lack of developers willing to work on the project. OpenIndiana runs and may still be useful in situations where, for various reasons, the administrator really needs a version of Solaris, but it seems to me as though OpenIndiana has not moved forward in the past seven years. The operating system still features some great ideas and good technology, but it does not appear to have made any progress in recent years.
* * * * *
While OpenIndiana development has been relatively calm recently, the LXLE developers have been making changes to their Lubuntu based distribution. LXLE is built upon the latest Lubuntu long term support release (Lubuntu 14.04) and introduces customizations to make the lightweight desktop distribution increasingly user friendly. I downloaded the latest release of LXLE, version 14.04.2, and gave it a quick test run. The ISO for LXLE 14.04.2 is approximately 1.3GB in size.
I tried running LXLE on a physical desktop computer and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both test environments the distribution performed well. Networking and audio worked out of the box and my screen was set to its maximum resolution. The LXDE desktop was very responsive and the distribution was stable during the brief time I ran it.
LXLE ships with a graphical system installer that I found easy to navigate. This appears to be the same installer that ships with Lubuntu and similar to the installer we find in other Ubuntu community distributions. When the installation finishes we are presented with an operating system that is light on memory and runs quickly.
LXLE 14.04.2 -- The LXDE desktop and Conky system monitor
(full image size: 1.7MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
LXLE ships with a collection of software that seems to tip back and forth between being lightweight and being highly functional. For example, LXLE ships with the Seamonkey web browser rather than Firefox, but on the other hand LXLE also provides the LibreOffice productivity suite, Flash and a full range of multimedia codecs. So sometimes the developers appear to be offering popular applications with lots of features and other times they appear to be trying to keep the distribution small and tidy. In general, I think a balance is struck that provides both a fast, light desktop and feature-rich applications.
LXLE ships with the Synaptic package manager for dealing with low-level packages and the Lubuntu Software Centre for locating and installing desktop applications. We can also shift to the command line and use apt-get for working with software packages.
I feel I do not have a lot to say about LXLE because the distribution ran smoothly and offered no surprises. LXLE was stable, friendly and provided a lot of the functionality I think most average computer users will want in their desktop operating system. LXLE seems stable, responsive and worked well with my hardware (thanks to version 3.13 of the Linux kernel). I always enjoy finding a distribution that works as advertised. LXLE 14.04.2 managed, in my opinion, to be user friendly without being distracting and my overall impressions of the distribution were positive.
* * * * *
The PC-BSD operating system has been putting out monthly snapshot releases of its Current (ie development) branch. The latest snapshot features the Lumina desktop, version 0.8.4, PersonaCrypt (a method for storing files on an encrypted external drive) and a utility for forcing network connections through the Tor network. The snapshot released in April was 3.9GB in size and it runs on the 64-bit x86 architecture exclusively.
When booting from the installation media on my desktop computer, PC-BSD would lock-up when the graphical installer launched. I suspect this is because PC-BSD and the underlying FreeBSD operating system do not have solid support yet for all AMD/ATI video cards. I switched to running PC-BSD in a virtual machine and found the operating system installed quickly. The graphical system installer is very easy to navigate and most users can get through the process by clicking "Next" a few times. However, there are a lot of advanced options users can bring up in order to customize the installation. We can also tweak the file system settings to better suit our needs. I decided to perform a fairly standard install and opted to include the Lumina desktop and the Firefox web browser in my installation.
My first impression of the new Lumina 0.8.4 desktop was that the interface is more responsive now than it was during the 0.7.x series. This is especially noticeable when working with the application menu. I also like that Lumina now supports desktop icons and the desktop environment as a whole just looks more polished. Lumina is a very young desktop environment and it is nice to see it progressing so quickly.
PC-BSD 11.0-Current -- Lumina desktop and application menu
(full image size: 1.5MB, 1280x1024 pixels)
It is also good to see the PC-BSD user's manual displayed on the desktop, making it easy for new users to find important information. The system's Control Panel, with its wide range of configuration options and administrative tools, is also presented on the desktop. This makes it easy to adjust our screen resolution, set up printers, create FreeBSD jails, work with system services and configure the firewall.
Previously, accessing the PC-BSD Update Manager would show us a list of packages we can upgrade. Now the behaviour has changed. When I accessed the Update Manager it asked which kind of packages I wanted the system to automatically install. We can have the system automatically install security updates or all packages, install all updates or not automatically upgrade any packages at all. I performed a few manual checks for updates and did not find any upgrades at the time.
On the subject of packages, I tried launching the PC-BSD project's new AppCafe. The AppCafe failed to load completely, locking up 10% of the way through reading its package database. The new AppCafe is supposed to offer a web-based method of exploring and installing software. I believe it is designed in a way which should allow administrators to remotely work with packages on both PC-BSD's desktop edition and the project's server edition. However, at the time of writing the AppCafe does not load for me, limiting its usefulness. I could, however, manage packages from the command line using the pkg command.
I set up PC-BSD with a small amount of desktop software, but even just the minimum package bundles and Lumina gave me most of the functionality I wanted. The Firefox web browser was available along with Flash and a lot of system administration tools. I was given the SMPlayer multimedia player, a full range of multimedia codecs, a document viewer and text editor. The number of packages in PC-BSD's repositories has been growing and the project provides access to over 24,000 ports and packages.
One of the features I was most interested in exploring was the Tor network utility. Clicking the Network & Update icon in the system tray brings up the option to enable/disable Tor. When Tor is disabled our computer accesses the Internet normally. When Tor is enabled all network traffic is forced through the Tor network, making us somewhat more anonymous and possibly bypassing censorship efforts. There is a second option in the Network & Update menu that checks to see if Tor is working, allowing us to check whether our Internet traffic is passing through the Tor network.
On the whole, I think the development snapshot of PC-BSD 11-current holds promise. I did run into a few bugs, but there are a lot of good administration tools present and the work being done to Lumina is quickly advancing the young desktop environment.
* * * * *
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 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian works toward reproducible builds, Ubuntu prepares for new packages and systemd updates, Korora re-launches MATE spin and Linux Mint plans improvements to Cinnamon
Reproducible builds are an important component of confirming the binary package we are installing was put together properly using the publicly available source code. If a build cannot be reproduced then it brings the safety and validity of the binary package into question. The Debian project has been working toward making all their builds consistently reproducible. With the release of Debian "Jessie" completed, work on making reproducible builds has kicked into high gear. According to this report, a new build system is in place, more packages are being confirmed as reproducible and all three of Debian's development branches (Testing, Unstable and Experimental) are now included in the reproducible build tests.
* * * * *
Now that the Debian developers have launched "Jessie" and are looking ahead to the future, distributions based on Debian are looking forward to seeing what new packages and features may appear in Debian's Unstable package repository. Ubuntu team member Adam Conrad posted this optimistic statement, "This is fairly good timing, as we'll have a bunch of new shiny in [Ubuntu] 15.10, and some time to polish all of that for 16.04, so get to merging and let's make this another awesome release! Also of note, the systemd transition went quite smoothly last cycle, thanks in large part to the amazing efforts of Martin Pitt (thanks pitti!), but there are still rough edges, lots of packages without native systemd units, etc. Keep an eye out for merges from Debian with systemd fixed/additions and pull those in when you can, and of course, don't be afraid to scratch your own itches when you spot a bit of buggy behaviour."
* * * * *
When the Korora Project released its latest version, Korora 21, one edition of the the popular Fedora-based distribution was missing. A spin with the MATE desktop was not offered during the initial release. However, due to popular demand, the Korora developers have published a new spin featuring the MATE desktop environment. "The Korora Project is very pleased to announce that the final release of the MATE edition of version 21 (codename "Darla") is now available for download in both 32- and 64-bit, (we strongly recommend using bittorrent). Due to popular demand we decided to bring back the Korora MATE edition, which took us a few months to get it where we wanted it. The desktop layout has been customized to resemble the look of our Xfce and GNOME editions and we replaced some of the default applications that were in the previous release." MATE is a continuation of the classic GNOME 2 desktop environment, which was once the most popular desktop in the Linux community. It is interesting to see a classic desktop, such as MATE, continue to be a common favourite.
* * * * *
Linux Mint's monthly newsletter was published last week and it quickly covers a number of sub-projects being worked on by the Linux Mint team. The newsletter reports users of Linux Mint Debian Edition (version 1) will soon have an upgrade path to the second version of Linux Mint Debian Edition. The next version in the Linux Mint 17.x series is expected out at the end of June and will probably include version 1.10 of the MATE desktop. Some of the most interesting changes happening to Linux Mint are occurring within the realm of the Cinnamon desktop environment. "Cinnamon 2.6 will reach feature-freeze mid-May and become stable at the end of the month. It's already full of improvements and new features, but there are a couple of very important sub-projects we wanted to put in it: The ability for users to change whether Cinnamon works with ConsoleKit or logind without recompiling, a queue for file operations in Nemo so they can be performed one after the other, actual screen savers in cinnamon-screensaver (we've got support for xscreensaver and WebKit screen savers already, we need to work on the configuration UI) etc."
| Questions And Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Creating an ISO from a disc
Giving-back-ISOs asks: Here's a question for you, a thought first: I have hundreds of installable distros burned onto CDs and DVDs from the last year saved up. I noticed on the Linux Tracker site there is a Wanted Torrents section. It's possible that I have one or two of the distros they are wanting. Is it possible to take a DVD or CD that has an installable distro and convert it back into a file for torrenting? And, if so, how? At the same time I have lots of ISOs already on a backup drive, from Arch to Zorin. Can they ever be useful?
First, a thought of my own: Most of the distributions on the Linux Tracker's "Wanted" list are quite old (by computer standards) and probably should not be used anymore. I went through the list a little while ago and most of the "Wanted" torrents are no longer supported, are beta test releases or are several versions out of date. The most recent distribution on their Wanted list is from 2013. The items on the wanted list are probably from stale connections and won't be of much good to anyone.
However, to answer your questions, yes it is possible to turn a burned disc back into an ISO file. If you have a disc burning program like K3b then you can make a copy of your disc and save it as an ISO file. In the K3b application this is done by selecting Copy Medium from the Tools menu. Then, in the window that appears, make sure the Only create image option is checked. Under the Image tab you will be able to select where to save your new ISO file.
K3b 2.0.2 -- Create an ISO image from a disc
(full image size: 74kB, resolution: 506x535 pixels)
Personally, I think most of those discs will no longer be of use, at least not to you. However, you might consider giving them away. Perhaps offer to donate the discs to your local library or to a computer club in your area. Often times people with slow or limited Internet connections can make use of installation discs, even if they are a few versions out of date.
|Ask A Leader
Peter Ganten of the Univention Corporate Server distribution
Peter Ganten is the CEO of Univention, the organization which creates, distributions and supports Univention Corporate Server (UCS). UCS is an enterprise-class server distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux and designed with central management of large networks in mind. Mr Ganten recently volunteered to answer questions our readers had submitted and we share his responses below.
* * * * *
Question: Does the study of Heartbleed and Shell Shock et al improve developers' quality assurance & security auditing ability? Has your project changed its approach to security or QA testing in the past year?
PG: Software is written by human beings and unfortunately they sometimes make mistakes - even mistakes which can breach security. There are numerous blood curdling examples for this in proprietary software. Open source
software in general is relatively secure, especially if it is widely used open source software like the Linux kernel or the Apache web server. The code often
is read by many different parties with different interests and thus the chance for errors or mistakes to be spotted often is much higher. But Heartbleed
and Shell Shock reminded the community that this is not guaranteed per se. But these events showed us also how quickly and in what a responsible way the open
source community can respond. I think, these events reminded everyone that code
reviews for critical components are needed and that everyone has to be careful.
Most open source developers have always felt very responsible for their code,
maybe because it can be read by everyone and we have to encourage and support
this responsibility. At the same time, Linux distributors like Univention who
sell maintained and supported software to professional users bear the
primary responsibility to deliver a trustworthy and secure product. We have
always taken this responsibility very seriously. As to the fixing of the aforementioned bug, see here and here.
Question: In my opinion, Unity and GNOME are, currently, the only desktop
environments to realize there are computers out there with touchscreens,
and even some convertible laptops. However, I feel the support for touch
inputs needs much more attention and development.
Unity makes a lot more sense in a touchscreen computer, although the
virtual keyboard is not always present (for example, when using my Dell
in "tablet" mode, I can't activate the virtual keyboard to unlock the
screen - and don't even get me started with special characters). As does
GNOME, but I've been using Unity recently.
So, I would like to know from all leaders, what is the roadmap to fully
support touchscreens, so we'll all be able to use our favourite
operating system exclusively in tablet mode?
PG: The primary focus of Univention is to provide an easy to use and easy to manage, rock solid solution to run and manage servers and server apps in corporate environments and in the cloud. We provide this manageability through APIs, through command line interfaces and in the first place through a
Web-Interface. And we are putting a lot of effort into making the Web UI to behave like a first class citizen on mobile devices. But that is a different story than pushing Linux desktop environments in that direction. However we have a Linux-based client which in fact in its core is an Ubuntu LTS client and we would love to see better support for mobile devices and touch screens there.
Question: How do you feel about Chromebooks, their fast adoption and ease of use? I, for example, was sceptical until I got one and put some effort into
using it. I was amazed how it fulfilled my needs, how its battery lasted and how fast it performed, considering all its shortcomings and price. Is the way of ChromeOS doing things (web apps and cloud stuff) a trend? Would you expect more distros to behave like that? Would you consider ChromeOS something harmful for the adoption of more conventional Linux/BSD distros by the general public?
PG: It is never harmful to make something better than others do. Chromebooks do many things in a great, sophisticated way and for sure web apps and cloud applications are a better solution for many problems.
Question: What is their opinion on Unity and how Canonical seems to be shaping an OS to support many different devices? How are other distros
planning to follow the same path, if there are any plans to do so?
However we feel that customers should always have the choice where to run their
applications or where to store their data. For cloud based apps this
means it always should be possible to get the same app from different providers
or to run it on premises. Only this ensures competition and innovation in the long term. Furthermore the value of open source decreases extremely if only the
client is open source but the source code of the server application which runs in the cloud is not available to anyone. We observe that there are only a few
cases where Google makes server or cloud based applications like GMail or Apps
available, which reduces the value of these applications.
PG: As said above, we are in a passive role here as we concentrate on server and app management via a Web UI, CLIs and APIs.
Collaboration between projects typically flows either from upstream to
downstream (ie GNOME to Fedora) or from downstream back to upstream (ie
Fedora back to GNOME). Do any of your projects see collaboration between
distributions? For example, does Bodhi share ideas or code with Mint or
does PC-BSD cooperate with OpenBSD?
PG: In the technical teams there is a lot of cooperation between
distributions. We once worked together with engineers from SUSE to fix a bug in the Xen Hypervisor using Red Hat's infrastructure. Also in security-related things fortunately there is a lot of cooperation.
Question: Richard Stallman recently advocated for free software projects to avoid working with open source software, indicating a strategic conflict
between the two (free software and open source software). Most Linux and
BSD OSes ship software distributed under a mix of licenses. Do you see any conflict between free software, open source and other licensing approaches?
But of course sometimes there is also the not-invented-here-syndrome
which has to be fought wherever possible. What you see a lot of times is that
there is a new concept how to solve a problem and than there emerge two or three
projects implementing this concept, like for example with CloudStack, OpenNebula and OpenStack for cloud management or even with KDE and GNOME. These different
projects are in a healthy competition for concepts, community engagement
and users and eventually one will win but sometimes they can co-exist over a
very long period.
PG: It is our belief that "free software" and "open source software" are
basically different terms for the same thing: software which you are free to
understand, to change and to distribute to others in a modified or unmodified way. Free or open source software adds an incredible amount of value to any solution and it is in the core of our company to deliver this value not only to our customers, but to anyone interested. Thus, we do not think statements like these are helpful as they put the focus on ideology and not on creating value and
achieving technical results. The distinction between "free" and "open"
divides people working on the same, important goal which is neither good nor
* * * * *
Our thanks to Peter Ganten for taking the time to talk about open source, computing and Univention.
Bittorrent is a great way to transfer large files, particularly open source operating system images, from one place to another. Most bittorrent clients recover from dropped connections automatically, check the integrity of files and can re-download corrupted bits of data without starting a download over from scratch. These characteristics make bittorrent well suited for distributing open source operating systems, particularly to regions where Internet connections are slow or unstable.
Many Linux and BSD projects offer bittorrent as a download option, partly for the reasons listed above and partly because bittorrent's peer-to-peer nature takes some of the strain off the project's servers. However, some projects do not offer bittorrent as a download option. There can be several reasons for excluding bittorrent as an option. Some projects do not have enough time or volunteers, some may be restricted by their web host provider's terms of service. Whatever the reason, the lack of a bittorrent option puts more strain on a distribution's bandwidth and may prevent some people from downloading their preferred open source operating system.
With this in mind, DistroWatch plans to give back to the open source community by hosting and seeding bittorrent files for distributions that do not offer a bittorrent option themselves. For now, we are hosting a small number of distribution torrents, listed below. The list of torrents offered will be updated each week and we invite readers to e-mail us with suggestions as to which distributions we should be hosting. When you message us, please place the word "Torrent" in the subject line, make sure to include a link to the ISO file you want us to seed and please make sure the project you are recommending does not already host its own torrents. We want to primarily help distributions and users who do not already have a torrent option. To help us maintain and grow this free service, please consider making a donation.
The table below provides a list of torrents we currently host. If you do not currently have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found here. All torrents we make available here are also listed on the very useful Linux Tracker website. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 55
- Total downloads completed: 24,370
- Total data uploaded: 6.4TB
|Released Last Week
Superb Mini Server 2.0.8
Superb Mini Server (SMS), a Slackware-based distribution for servers, has been upgraded to version 2.0.8. This is a maintenance and security release. "Superb Mini Server version 2.0.8 released (Linux kernel 3.14.40). It has been almost a year and SMS 2.0.8 comes with LTS Linux Kernel 3.14.40 and many server package upgrades. This is a maintenance and security release, many security fixes applied to this release, nothing new though for users that keep their server up to date with SMS-Current. For our default webserver we choose again httpd 2.2.29 but we move to PHP 5.4.40. Apache httpd 5.4.12 with PHP 5.4.40_httpd_2.4 is available int he testing repository. Apache httpd 2.4.12 is quite stable. We don't have PHP 5.6 builds yet for SMS and I don't see a reason yet, but they will come sooner or later. New packages in this release is hostapd, wireless access point daemon, nginx 1.8 and Samba 4.2.1 in testing. We have removed php-json for rtorrent + wtorrent since we now use PHP's built-in json. We have also removed the outdated Linux-HA packages from the distributed ISO images. Postfix got a new major release update 3.0.1 which is backward compatible, but you can always find updated releases for 2.11.x in extra." Continue to the release announcement for more details and changelog.
MakuluLinux 9 "Xfce"
Jacque Montague Raymer has announced the launch of a new version of MakuluLinux. The new release, MakuluLinux 9 "Xfce", is available in two flavours, Normal and Lite. "MakuluLinux kicks off the 9 series with Xfce, which comes in two flavors. A Normal edition and a Lite edition. The Normal edition sports all the Makulu magic that users have come to love. It sports a very beautiful and feature rich desktop, easy to use, easy to navigate. Comes packed with everyday software ready to use out of the box, It is fast, it is rock solid stable. The Lite edition sports the same look and feel the Normal edition does, but comes with almost no software installed, just all the backend basics already setup, it clocks in at 693MB, small enough to fit on a CD and leaves the power in the users hands to install their own selection of software." Technical details regarding this new version of MakuluLinux can be found in the project's release announcement.
MakuluLinux 9 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 1.2MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Tiny Core Linux 6.2
The developers of Tiny Core have announced the release of Tiny Core Linux, version 6.2, the new stable build from the project that attempts to build the world's smallest Linux distribution with a graphical desktop: "Team Tiny Core is proud to announce the release of Core 6.2. Changelog for 6.2: tce-audit - similar speedup patch from aswjh; tc-config - nfs4 mount changes from gerald_clark; tce-load - 2% speedup from aswjh; tce-size - apply patch from Greg Erskine for no-deps files; tce-remove, rc.shutdown - update copy2fs name; tce-ab - convert to a symlink; tce-load - awk recursion changes changed to a subshell, so exit status needs to be passed; tce-setup - wait for slow CD drives. In addition, TinyCorePure64 6.2.iso is now legacy-BIOS/(U)EFI multi-boot." Here is the brief release announcement.
The 4MLinux blog has announced the launch of 4MLinux 12.0 "Allinone" edition. The latest version of this independent distribution features PAE support in the kernel, the Chrome web browser and a number of package updates. "4MLinux 12.0 'Allinone' edition final released. The status of the 4MLinux 12.0 series has been changed to stable. Major modifications in the core of the system, which now include the GNU C Library 2.21. Additionally, PAE support has been enabled in the Linux kernel. The most important new applications are: Asunder (CD-ripping program), aTunes (audio player) and Chrome (web browser). The net browsing software available in 4MLinux has been significantly improved." A package list and screenshot are available in the project's release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Introducing the DistroWatch screen shot gallery|
A picture is worth a thousand words and a screen shot can tell us a lot about the way a distribution is presented. Screen shots can show us a distribution's default desktop environment, its utilities and window controls. In an effort to provide our readers with more information, and a bit of colour, we have added a new feature to DistroWatch: a screen shot gallery.
When visiting a distribution's information screen there is a table containing links to the distribution's home page, forums and documentation. This table also contains a field labelled Screenshots. This field contains a link to the DistroWatch Gallery which will display recent screen shots we have collected for the selected distribution.
The screen shot gallery may also be accessed from the front page. When a new version of a distribution is released we post a release announcement with a screen shot thumbnail. Clicking the thumbnail in any release announcement will bring up the gallery with recent images taken from the selected distribution.
We hope you find the new screen shot gallery both informative and entertaining.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- EBOS SE. EBOS SE is a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu. It ships with the GNOME Classic desktop as its default graphical interface.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 May 2015. 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Recreating ISOs from a physical disc (by mikef90000 on 2015-05-11 02:27:55 GMT from North America) |
The tip from Jesse reminded me why I use R/W disks for both installing distros And for podcast listening in my older car CD player. I don't fill up my shelves and trash with write-once media, and I have a knack for picking motherboards with brain-dead :-\ USB booting support (looking at you Asus and Gigabyte).
For burning programs k3b works pretty reliably and has the most options, xfburn is serviceable, while brasero is very neglected (no R/W support at all).
2 • Re: 1 (by hobbitland on 2015-05-11 05:19:45 GMT from Europe)
Using write one or rewriteable CD/DVD is so old fashion. I switched to bootable USB a few years ago. All my Linux ISO testing is done in VirtualBox. Most distros either do not pass VirtualBox testing or I just don't like them.
3 • hey hobbit (by yo on 2015-05-11 06:35:52 GMT from North America)
agree that's it has become "old fashioned", but keep in mind that lots of older systems still in use (or still usable) lack the ability to boot from USB.
4 • CLI method for creating ISOs from optical media (by Ralph on 2015-05-11 07:52:50 GMT from North America)
Aside from the usual dd method, here is a command that is recommended:
readom dev=/dev/sr0 f=TITLENAME.iso
This is done by an ordinary user from their home directory, with the correct optical device name that is given by their system, and with the title name of course being any name they care to choose.
5 • Disc to ISO (by solt87 on 2015-05-11 10:56:34 GMT from Europe)
The ease with which one can save a disc to an ISO file is a great exampleto me of the usefulness (and simplicity) of the command line:
$ cat /dev/cdrom > mydisc.iso
It is so simple it1s almost ridiculous, yet it got the job well done for me more than once. (And yes,the resulting images worked as expected.)
6 • @1 (by mandog on 2015-05-11 10:57:53 GMT from South America)
I find your comments rather misleading I use only Gigabyte motherboards and asus before that all current motherboards boot from USB as they have for a few years now.
Since when did brasero not support r/w as again I've used it for years with r/w discs right click write to disk, they all use basically the same engine in linux there are only 2 backends its your choice wich you use, I don't now as most distros run better booting from USB and lots hang with any other media but usb as support for obsolete cd/dvd twindles, Even Ms has started to support USB from win7 for installs
7 • to mandog (by forlin on 2015-05-11 12:44:04 GMT from Europe)
all MB finished, but Gigabyte, Asus. So, @1 is more than right.
8 • KDE is the leading Desktop of the 28 DEs ? (by Greg Zeng on 2015-05-11 12:47:31 GMT from Oceania)
None of the below nine highlighted Desktop Environments (DE) have ever been seem in public on their Optimal, Minimal, nor expert-user setups. With the desktop-specific add-ons, these ten are all much more capable than is usually known.
According to Distrowatch, one hundred & one (101) distros are based on KDE. BlackLab & MakuluLinux used to also produce other DEs as well, in the past, but have dropped the other DEs.
The brandnames using the top nine major, complete Desktop Environments (28 total), about "live" 281 distros into ?? brandnames:
| KDE - 99
| KDE Plasma - 2
XFCE - 99
Gnome - 99
LXDE - 57
Openbox - 54
MATE - 31
Cinnamon - 18
Unity - 8
LXQt - 2
The above numbers were true at the time I posted this.
9 • Reviews of un-reviewed distros? (by SwampRabbit on 2015-05-11 13:01:19 GMT from North America)
I think it is great that to see the rapid fire reviews of OpenIndiana and PC-BSD, these distos deserve some notice and upfront visibility, rather than the typical stale minor release or update announcements of cookie cutter distros just changing desktop color schemes and wall papers.
It is nice to see news on distros actually making real movements and improvements that make an impact for users and the advancement of Linux/Unix/BSD. Its nice to get these distros some attention on DistroWatch Weekly.
Maybe we can get some reviews on distros which have NOT ever been reviewed? Or maybe some news coming from non-rehashed Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora distros?
Maybe Funtoo specifically?
Daniel Robbins recently created Ego and Epro, Funtoo's new personality tools, advancing the modular profile system allowing better configuration and control.
10 • @9 - Funtoo (by Paraquat on 2015-05-11 13:34:14 GMT from Asia)
Funny you should mention this, SwampRabbit, as I was just thinking today that it's about time DistroWatch did a review a Funtoo.
I second the motion.
11 • SaaSS (by Magic Banana on 2015-05-11 14:29:49 GMT from South America)
Peter Ganten wrote: "for sure web apps and cloud applications are a better solution for many problems."
For sure they are a better solution to lose control on your own computing! See https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-serve.html
12 • @6, mandog (by Carlos on 2015-05-11 14:43:12 GMT from Europe)
You have to go back a few more years.
I had a PIII 800 that didn't boot from USB, there was no USB boot support in the bios.
So, I had to use the Plop Boot Manager, which worked fine.
It's hard for me to imagine to still be using this kind of ancient hardware these days. Why, oh why...
13 • @1,7 Asus MB (by dive.ed on 2015-05-11 14:45:52 GMT from North America)
I have an old Asus PN5-32 MB. While I agree that its ability to boot USB devices may be called brain-dead it does work. Insert the USB device prior to starting the machine and enter the bios. You will find the USB device listed with your hard drives rather than as a removable drive. Just make it the first boot hard drive and it will work.
14 • USB boot (by Carlos on 2015-05-11 15:18:49 GMT from Europe)
Guys, the motherboards that did not have any USB boot support are really too old, they didn't even have USB2 (only USB1).
An add-on USB2 PCI card would not boot either.
15 • @14 • USB boot (by G Savage on 2015-05-11 20:08:27 GMT from North America)
You reminded when I had the very first USB "port" at work. Back in the late '90s, we got an early digital camera that needed a USB port to download the pictures. No one had one.
On a wild lark I opened my case, and lo and behold there was a socket on the mobo. We ordered a cable, I filed a notch in one of the spare rear slot plates, lined up the cable with the notch, and we had a "flexi" USB port to reach around the front. It was ridiculous, but it worked.
16 • @12 (by mandog on 2015-05-11 20:33:55 GMT from South America)
You are right how can you complain about hardware that old USB1 did not support booting from USB by default I'm sure that came with USB2, I have used USB for years the ASus I replaced was circa 2004/2005 that could be set to boot by default in bios and was USB2, so they must be talking old or don't know how to setup bios correctly or even write a usb to boot correctly that's all I can say as these days 6 months is way out of date with hardware. The Gigabyte board I have now has 12 USB2 ports + any amount of plugin extensions for a infinite amount of USB2 ports + USB3 ports.
17 • Gnome 2 in OpenIndiana? (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2015-05-11 20:54:55 GMT from South America)
How is it that this tested version of OpenIndiana ships an "an updated copy of GNOME 2"? Who updated Gnome 2? Is OpenIndiana somehow maintaining it?
18 • OpenIndiana's GNOME 2 (by Jesse on 2015-05-11 21:14:18 GMT from North America)
@17: OpenIndiana is shipping with GNOME 2.32, which is an update from the previous version of GNOME 2 they were running., which I think was 2.30 or 2.28. The upstream GNOME code isn't being updated, the package specific to OpenIndiana is. It would be like is I used to run KDE 3.5.8 and upgraded to 3.5.10. No one upstream is maintaining it and I'm not doing any work to KDE myself, I'm just using a slightly less out of date package.
19 • @16 (by Carlos on 2015-05-11 21:37:39 GMT from Europe)
Does your motherboard boot from USB3?
Only recent ones do. Mine doesn't and it's not that old (about 3 years old).
So, yet another USB boot problem. :')
20 • The Rest Of The (booting) Story (by mikef90000 on 2015-05-11 21:55:09 GMT from North America)
The 'brain dead' part of the BIOS booting features in my (6 y/o) ASUS M3A78 and (2 y/o) Gigabyte GA-B75-D3H are the requirement for the USB drive volume id to be 'registered', boot order changed and then Another reboot. Sounds like a Windows install :-(. When the stick is removed, the registration disappears! This is an improvement??
By contrast my first USB booting system used a (13 y/o !!) MSI motherboard that just checked for some some generic USB mass storage class. No silly registration needed.
Some vendors get it right, some do Not.
21 • @Jesse re ISOs (by Glenn Condrey on 2015-05-11 22:18:25 GMT from North America)
You stated that some distros are probably old and shouldn't be used...LOL
I cut my teeth on Xandros Linux. That was my distro of choice when I first used and tried linux back in 2003.
Fast forward to now...I still maintain the last Xandros that was released....Xandros 4.5 OCE.
I have to use old Debian Etch and Lenny repos to add packages...being careful not to break the Xandros File Manager.
Thus far, I've been able to keep it somewhat modern by adding Firefox 17.0 (the previous best any Xandros user had been able to install was 3.5.6), and Frostwire for torrent files.
A previous user created a small program that would allow you to install a hacked version of Flashplayer...they were using it on Flashplayer 10.0...I've used it to hack 11.2 and install it.
Gradually, more and more web sites are requiring higher versions of flashplayer...which we don't have any more.
I WISH I could install Google Chrome in Xandros...but as of now...I don't believe that is possible.
Still, I think it is a worthy endeavor It was by far the easiest to use and install Linux distro myself or my family have ever used.
It is a darned shame the company behind it would not support such a great product.
22 • @19 (by mandog on 2015-05-11 22:28:24 GMT from South America)
It does with parted magic every thing works OK but not with all Linux distros as the network does not work Nor USB2 ports, mine is not the latest, 2013 970 AMD series chipset but if you use iommu+soft in the boot line with arch it all works fine for me USB2 and USB3 ports and network, starts faultless. I use mainly USB2 ports as they are at the front of my box to Boot distros as its easier for me. its more to do with Ms and security as they believe all the security problems are to do with USB and the lan connection so by default the lan should be enabled by the OS. not the lan enabling the OS. but they are only interested in Windows so Linux has to find workarounds no big problem,
23 • USB Boot, ISO from disc (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-05-11 22:53:27 GMT from North America)
Apple did it on the cusp of the century; IBM kicked off the fashion surge in 2004. Of course, USB 1.1 is s-l-o-w by current standards - for booting; it's been fine for keyboard and (non-gamer) pointing devices. USB 2.0 rode the wave of PC popularity, though firmware (BIOS) pranks frustrated many users (and entertained geek/hackers, no doubt); then flash came along - in handy sticks. (A motherboard may sport ports aplenty, but how many controllers are doing the traffic management?) Someday USB 3.1 may become an alternative to ethernet.
Relax, it's just another hardware interface. Hardly the only one.
And hardware vendors still love their little pranks (especially in firmware).
For plastic disc archivists:
Brasero also has an ISO Copy option that can target file or disc.
7zip seems to be able to extract what's needed, if you don't need all.
Back in the 'doze, there was a 23Kb(zipped) freeware by Lucersoft - LC ISO creator, I believe - very minimal, just disc to ISO file. Paired nicely with a Virtual CD-ROM utility, As-I-Recall.
24 • Ubuntu jumps into Internet of Things with Acer, GE, and Microsoft (by pilot bay on 2015-05-11 23:07:56 GMT from North America)
The first generally available version of "Snappy" Ubuntu Core is now available as part of Ubuntu 15.04. This release supports 64-bit Intel-based architectures and ARM HF. It provides a common platform for device development that supports a wide range of production hardware.
Canonical and Microsoft, which were already working together on bringing Canonical's Juju DevOps tools to Windows and bringing Windows Server to OpenStack, are working with DataArt on an IoT industrial predictive maintenance solution. It will combine the three companies' IoT, cloud, big data, machine learning, and Docker efforts. To integrate all of this they'll be using "Snappy" Ubuntu apps, DeviceHive, and Juju Charms. Microsoft will also use an Azure service to manage and capture machine data.
25 • OpenIndiana (by tuxtest on 2015-05-11 23:08:27 GMT from North America)
I am interested in this project from the beginning. I tested OpenIndiana the same day of its release. There are some improvements over the previous version. The boot is greatly improved, the installer starts without crashing and steps of installation are relatively simple. But it is true that some things are disappointing. I agree, we should have made the change for Mate. The wireless carrier remains poor. But if you are with a filiaire connection while its function out of the box.
But the defense of OpenIndiana project, I think this project is a matter of a few brave people. There is no lack many things that OpenIndiana is a real project with an a real active community around.
Then notice to interested develppeurs by a last pure Unix system OpenIndiana is there!
After testing the latest version of Oracle Solaris is not better.
26 • It,s only rock and roll (by erinis on 2015-05-12 00:56:53 GMT from North America)
Reading all the comments this week makes me think 15 years back to SUSE. We have come a long way and should remember It,s free it,s an experience and a noble cause. Complaining never gets you anywhere. Embracing a choice and going with it would be a better choice for all and not for one. Thanks.
27 • Don't use CAT for bootable ISOs (by Kingneutron on 2015-05-12 01:28:15 GMT from North America)
--If you use ' cat /dev/cdrom > file.iso ' you may have unpredictable results. Use dd:
' time dd if=/dev/sr0 of=file.iso bs=1M '
--I have never had problems with dd unless the media itself was bad/scratched; some ISOs I burned from 'cat' would not boot.
28 • Don't use DD for bootable ISOs (by Ralph on 2015-05-12 01:52:38 GMT from North America)
So sayeth the ZFSonLInux guru Aaron Topance, among others. They recommend using readom instead (). The reason they give is that, unlike dd, readom has built-in error checking.
29 • Booting from a USB stick (by Ben Myers on 2015-05-12 08:21:42 GMT from North America)
I often make up a bootable USB stick with several live distros, plus HiRens, Memtest-86+ and other useful stuff. I have been using YUMI for this. Every so often, I have a modern system that refuses to boot from a YUMI-created USB stick, the complaint being that it is not bootable. Well, it sure is. And so I keep a few ISO DVDs around, as workarounds. I'll keep better track of this problem with makes and models and report back.
30 • Booting from a USB stick (by Joe on 2015-05-12 13:25:00 GMT from North America)
Sometimes you can boot from a USB 2 port, but not a USB 3 port, because the USB 3 drivers don't load until the OS is booted. How to tell? USB 3 ports have blue plastic inside, older ports are black. Keyboards and mice are plugged into USB2 so you can access the bios. May be different on newest stuff, my hardware is a few years old.
31 • USB3 boot and other stuff (by Carlos on 2015-05-12 13:58:13 GMT from Europe)
My motherboard is an Asrock Pro3 Gen3, from about 3~4 years ago.
With an USB2 stick inserted in a USB2 or even an USB3 port, it boots.
With an USB3 stick inserted in a USB2 port, it boots. Inserted in an USB3 port, it doesn't boot.
The bios doesn't have USB3 boot support and I suspect that many don't, even these days.
I don't bother to go to the setup, just press for the boot menu and select the boot device that I want to boot from.
Another thing: I have a boot password in my PC, to boot and to go to the setup I have to write the password.
BUT... when I press for the boot menu and select the device, it doesn't ask for the password (!!!), it boots directly, bypassing the password.
Well done, Asrock!
This is a serious security hole.
Maybe this happens with other Asrock motherboards, not only mine.
32 • 31 • … boot and other stuff (by Carlos … from Europe); LXLE-SM (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2015-05-12 14:39:11 GMT from North America)
31 • Now that reminds me of parental controls on TV sets!
LXLE • This week's review suggests a miss of the dev's stated intent - there's a difference between minimal and efficient, and LXLE is not minimal. Did the reviewer exercise the SeaMonkey suite as provided, comparing to another distro with, say, Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin, and LibreOffice or OpenOffice editing HTML - checking responsiveness with all tools active?
33 • CD/DVD/USB boot (by Kazlu on 2015-05-12 14:44:17 GMT from Europe)
Just like #12 Carlos, on my old Pentium III powered machine, even DVD boot is not possible, only CD boot. Since that greatly reduces the number of distros I can try on it, I found a solution: I dumped PLOP boot manager on a floppy disk and then I was able to boot ISOs on DVDs. Yes, I could probably throw PLOP on a CD and then boot on USBs (although I failed the only time I tried that) but honestly finding a reason to use a floppy disk in 2015 made me pround. Old school is cool.
Granted, that machine is not used often, but I absolutely want it to continue working until it's physically broken, as a backup. Getting as many modern things as possible to work on this machine makes me learn things and helps me understand the limits of the hardware and the software.
34 • @21 Xandros (by Kazlu on 2015-05-12 14:46:03 GMT from Europe)
"I have to use old Debian Etch and Lenny repos to add packages...being careful not to break the Xandros File Manager.[...] Still, I think it is a worthy endeavor It was by far the easiest to use and install Linux distro myself or my family have ever used."
You do all that and still think something like, say, Xubuntu is not easy enough to use and install? It seems to me that the amount of effort you put into Xandros is far beyond what would be needed to install and use Xubuntu (or many others), especially is what you want is just an easy to use and install distro. Or did I completely miss your point?
35 • Freed Open-Source Slackware (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-05-12 16:31:36 GMT from North America)
Anyone else remember the Kongoni LiveCD from 2010-2011 using portpkg?
36 • Freed Open-Source Slackware (by Elcaset on 2015-05-13 01:48:30 GMT from North America)
---------Anyone else remember the Kongoni LiveCD from 2010-2011 using portpkg?----- I do remember Kongoni with KDE. ConnochaetOS looks worth a try, as well.
37 • Kongoni (by Ralph on 2015-05-13 01:50:01 GMT from North America)
@ 35 - I do remember Kongoni. A beautiful conception: based on Slackware with a source-code based package manager (similar to ports in FreeBSD or Gentoo) but with all-free (i.e. FSF-approved) software. Unfortunately I could never get it to work on my hardware, but *not* for the reason my hardware required any firmware blobs to run (it didn't). Iirc somebody took over the project from the original developer, but that still didn't help in my case though.
38 • Kongoni...and other distros gone by (by Barnabyh on 2015-05-14 15:33:24 GMT from North America)
Oh yes, Kongoni was a nice project, the somebody who took it over maintained it for two releases but also moved on to other things, namely work. I suspect the pressures of a full-time IT job AND maintaining a distro were just too much long-term. It was a worthy project and even ran well on my hardware of the day. Preferred Slackware proper with sbopkg for SlackBuilds though.
Never tried Xandros, but remember being very fond of Linspire, particularly its looks. It was discontinued and Freespire took over as open community project but didn't get very far. In the end I went back to Debian. The original has longevity, everything else are just experiments.
39 • Alpine Linux - Standard, Mini and Vanilla (by Ben Myers on 2015-05-14 16:02:36 GMT from North America)
Alpine Linux has Standard, Mini and Vanilla versions, with no explanation of the differences among them. Why would I choose one or the other or the other? This would be good info to add to the Alpine Linux wiki.
40 • Foresight R.I.P. (by Kragle on 2015-05-14 16:13:06 GMT from North America)
When a project is doomed by economics, the end often comes faster than expected, as websites evaporate.
The Conary package manager may be used on CentOS (or Fedora & remixes thereof), on RPM and Deb packages, preserving the deep dependency-checking tech.
41 • The Original Project. (by Kubelik on 2015-05-14 23:35:44 GMT from Europe)
@38. "In the end I went back to Debian. The original has longevity, everything else are just experiments."
- Good philosophy of life/Linux :)
42 • Alpine Linux (by Chris on 2015-05-15 01:02:26 GMT from North America)
@39 It has been a few months since I looked at Alpine (cool little distro), but if you hover over the download links to the various flavors a brief info bubble will show up for each. I agree, an updated wiki would be a help but the above method worked for my testing purposes; I found the hover bubbles by accident.
BTW, if it suits your purposes, let me know if you can get Xorg working...I could not.
43 • Everything else are just experiments?? (by frodopogo on 2015-05-15 02:39:02 GMT from North America)
"Everything else" is a bit of an exaggeration.
I also agree that longevity in a distro is a virtue. But half of the distros in the Distrowatch top 10 have been around a good long while-
Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, and Open SUSE. Most of the other 5 are either popular derivations of those (Mint from Ubuntu/Debian, Manjaro from Arch, CentOS from Fedora) or in the case of Mageia it's a continuation of Mandriva, which went way back, but the original project had corporate problems, and was forked.
So really only elementary OS seems like it's very new at all, and it's based on Ubuntu.
44 • Experiements??? (by foo2foo on 2015-05-15 15:03:52 GMT from North America)
You are right, - @41 "everything else are just experiments." is a exaggeration.
A lot of distros are very popular, but may not come across as such because of their ranking. Look how low FreeNAS, Gparted, and Clonezilla are. These get more downloads and installs every day compared to say Ultimate Edition. Distros which release regularly get on the front page, which helps a lot, especially when development releases are shown. Arch is probably the only exception, but its starting to drop a bit. The news section of DWW is usually focused on top mainstream distro news for the most part. This helps the distros out because it is good publicity. You'll always see a jump when release dates arrive or reviews or news gets put into DWW.
LXLE had gotten a lot of attention, which it deserves in some respect, but its nothing overly "new" in any respect. But I doubt more people use it compared to any of the BSDs, Slackware, Gentoo, Funtoo, or even Red Hat or Oracle.
45 • All_welcome_to_Jump_into_the_Arch_sandbox (by k on 2015-05-15 17:30:13 GMT from Europe)
now and here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Install_from_existing_Linux to really learn, experience and "put the fun back into computing". Shall you be released? Yes, for sure, rolling release, free as a swallow. :))
46 • @45 - not so interested (by ghostinabox on 2015-05-16 10:03:52 GMT from North America)
Do I have to use systemd which Arch?
Arch is ok, but not as free as a swallow, more like a carrier pidgen.
There a lot more better options for pure freedom, choice, and control over your GNU Linux operating system.
47 • @46 (by Corbin Rune on 2015-05-17 02:17:24 GMT from North America)
The "Yes" is more along the lines of "Officially Yes, but there are ways around it."
Arch defaults to systemd, sure ... but you can replace it with another init option, like OpenRC.
You *would* learn a lot about how your os operates from the inside out. The kind of tricks you learn working with Arch stick in your mind for good, truthfully.
48 • USB3 autobooting flash drives ... (by Greg Zeng on 2015-05-17 03:54:25 GMT from Oceania)
Much concern this week on USB3 & boot speeds, etc.
My three year old notebook computer (Dell XPS-15) has three USB3 ports. Both UEFI & BIOS have been set to recognize these. Autoboot is almost trouble-free, if the USB drive has the boot parameter set for either the Linux or FAT partion on the drive (flashstick, HDD, or DVD/CD).
Linux Mint has unusual flash-stick format & write-ISO programs which do not set the boot partition with the correct boot paremeter. I found that GPARTED can rarely fix this "feature". This is so troublesome, on Mint-based distros, I will use GPARTED & Unetbootin instead.
Linux Mint can seemingly destroy my flash-sticks. With Windows, I then try to re-format with either the Windows or any of several 3rd party USB-format programs. The most reliable recovery from death in a flash-stick is Hp Usb Disk Storage Format Tool.
Boot speeds, and USB-use speeds can be increased by using Class-10 flash-cards (or faster), and/ or using USB3-specialized hardware plugins. I regularly literature review benchtests of these USB3 hardware gadgets. Paying large amounts of money sometimes MIGHT give a higher speed.
My most used flash-disk, within my modest budget, is a USB3 16GB Transcend stick. Like all factory items, each item has individual differences, so test all your fastest devices individually if you want to use the fastest you have available.
Using USB3 4-PORT-HUB can be sometimes faster than direct connection to the motherboard's socket. My eBay nonames-gadget perhaps has additional internal electronics, including caches? I found that it has more reliably consistent high speeds, sometimes bettering the direct connection. To minimized the physical battering of my motherboard-mounted USB sockets, I prefer using the USB-HUB, which also carries a Bluetooth & mouse adapter.
49 • 48 • USB3 … flash … (by Greg Zeng … from Oceania) (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-05-17 16:11:07 GMT from North America)
USB is an interface
flash is a storage medium
(many?) ports connect to (fewer?) controllers
Flipping one bit on a USB(interface) flash(storage-medium) device is clearly not "destroy"ing, or no software would recover, reliably or not - you have touched on something that has been successfully obfuscated by vendors and geeks for decades.
50 • Huayra Linux and Free distros (by Ramjar on 2015-05-17 20:56:51 GMT from South America)
It seems to me that is mandatory to make an article about the Argentinian distro Huayra Linux, the oficial OS of "Conectar Igualdad" plan destined to teaching free technologies to primary education students in that country.
In other hand I saw certain inconsistency about the actually-free distros in FSF(free software foundation) web. This site states that there are 7 really free distros (http://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html) but Distrowatch hasn't articles about two of those distros (GuixSD and Ututo XS). Furthermore, ConnochaetOS is not recognized as really free OS by FSF.
51 • @47 Corbin Rune (by ghostinabox on 2015-05-17 23:19:09 GMT from North America)
Can you install Gnome 3 with OpenRC on Arch wiithout systemd?
Any GNU/Linux OS that defaults to systemd will slowly require it more and more just to run the OS. The Manjaro Experiements prove it can be ripped out, but the case remains its a huge hassle now and will get worse later.
You are right that you will actually learn your system more when using Arch.
Overall the last two things that Arch has going for it are their wiki and source.
But no more control is provided over using LFS, Gentoo, Funtoo, Slackware, or FreeBSD for that matter. Except these allow actual real freedom and control over choice of init systems among everything else tied to systemd.
It was the whole "released" and "free" comment from the other poster that set me off. ;)
Number of Comments: 51
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Frenzy was a portable system administrator toolkit, a live CD based on FreeBSD. It generally contains software for hardware tests, file system check, security check and network setup and analysis.