| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 633, 26 October 2015
Welcome to this year's 43rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
This past week we witnessed the release of Ubuntu and its many community editions. This bi-annual event always draws a lot of attention from the community and in our News section we give a brief overview of the release. Of course, putting together a distribution is a lot of work and we also talk about Kubuntu's Release Manager, Jonathon Riddell, leaving his post in the Kubuntu community. Plus we report on the release date of Fedora 23 slipping by a week. In other news, we talk about a new configuration panel being developed for Bodhi Linux and the Moksha desktop environment. In our Feature Story we discuss a desktop oriented flavour of BSD called GhostBSD. Read on to learn how this FreeBSD-based operating system works. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss taking live snapshots of an existing operating system and, in our Torrent Corner, we share the distributions we are seeding. In this issue we share the many releases of the past week and ask our readers for their thoughts on web browsers in our Opinion Poll. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (26MB) and MP3 (20MB) formats
• Music credit: Clouds Fly With Me by Matti Paalanen
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
GhostBSD 10.1: Ghost in the machine
Earlier this year the GhostBSD project released version 10.1 of their desktop-oriented operating system. According to the project's website, "GhostBSD is a user-friendly BSD operating system built on top of FreeBSD. FreeBSD is known to be a solid, powerful, secure and stable server operating system, providing an excellent base for a desktop operating system. FreeBSD seems to be aimed at more experienced or technically inclined users. As such, newcomers to the BSD platform can be confused, especially for those who lack the technical expertise required."
GhostBSD aims to lower the bar for entry into the FreeBSD community. The project does this by providing users with a FreeBSD-based system that ships with a pre-configured desktop environment (MATE and Xfce editions are available) and GhostBSD offers users a graphical system installer which looks nicer and requires fewer steps than FreeBSD's text-based installer.
The most recent release of GhostBSD includes a number of new features. The release notes mention the return of the project's Xfce edition, a new graphical package manager and several other improvements:
Both the MATE and Xfce editions of GhostBSD are available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. I decided to try the 64-bit MATE edition of the operating system. The ISO for this edition is approximately 1.8GB in size. Booting from the project's live media brings up a boot menu asking if we would like to perform a graphical installation, launch an installer in safe graphics mode or start the installer with no ACPI support. Though the boot menu's wording suggests it is going to immediately launch a system installer, taking any of the above options boots a live graphical environment and we are brought to the MATE 1.10 desktop.
- GhostBSD ISO image is hybrid that can be burned on a DVD or USB stick.
- Xfce is coming back.
- Users can choose to install the BSD boot manager, GRUB boot manager or simply None and use their Linux GRUB.
- Station Tweak, a fork of MATE Tweak.
- OctoPkg GUI front-end for pkgng written in Qt.
- Station Update Manager to update FreeBSD base system and third party software .
- Software from pkg or ports can be installed in the live DVD/USB session.
The MATE desktop is decorated with some leafy wallpaper that contains nice shades of green and blue. The Applications, Places and System menus sit in the upper-left corner of the screen while the system tray is placed in the upper-right corner. At the bottom of the display we find the task switcher panel. There are icons on the desktop for opening a file manager, launching an IRC client which will automatically connect us to the GhostBSD support channel and there is an icon for launching the project's system installer.
GhostBSD's graphical system installer has a visual style similar to Ubuntu's installer. We begin by selecting our preferred language from a list. Then we select our keyboard's layout. The keyboard layout screen has a text box where we can practice typing to make sure we have selected the correct keyboard. Next, we select our time zone from a list. The following screen asks if we would like to have the installer take over our entire hard drive or if we would like to manually partition our disk. Taking the manual option presents us with a nice, easy to navigate partition manager. One thing I especially enjoyed about GhostBSD's installer is it will suggest a good default partition layout for our disk based on the space we have available. In my case the installer suggested a large partition formatted with UFS and an accompanying swap partition. The following screens get us to create a password for the root account and then create a regular user account for ourselves. We can choose which command shell our account will use with options including fish, bash, csh, tcsh, zsh and ksh. I opted for bash since it is also the default shell on most of my Linux-based accounts. Once the installer has copied its files to our drive, we are returned to the live MATE desktop where we can explore until we decide to reboot the computer.
When we first boot our new copy of GhostBSD we are brought to a graphical login screen decorated with grey wallpaper. From here we can sign into the account we created during the installation process. This is assuming, of course, the operating system boots. I tried running GhostBSD in two test environments. When run in a VirtualBox virtual machine the operating system ran very well. GhostBSD integrated with VirtualBox, allowing me to make full use of my screen resolution and the operating system worked quickly. Sound, networking and mouse integration all worked smoothly. However, I was unable to boot GhostBSD on my desktop computer. Immediately after passing the GRUB boot screen, GhostBSD would run into a kernel page fault and immediately come to a halt. I ran into the same problem recently while testing PC-BSD 10.2, so I suspect the issue lies with the underlying FreeBSD kernel common to both projects. When GhostBSD was running in its virtual environment, the operating system used about 200MB of active memory and 150MB of wired memory while logged into the MATE desktop. A fresh installation of GhostBSD took up 5.5GB of storage space on my disk.
GhostBSD 10.1 -- The Control Centre and Station Tweak
(full image size: 555kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
While exploring the MATE desktop and its features, one component I kept coming back to was the Control Centre. The operating system's Control Centre panel presents us with a one-stop location for configuring our desktop and various aspects of the underlying operating system. The Control Centre includes modules for changing the appearance of the MATE desktop, changing our power settings, selecting our preferred applications, managing printers and configuring file indexing. We can also change our mouse settings and the keyboard's layout from the settings panel. One module which I found especially helpful was called Station Tweak. This tool enables us to change several aspects of the desktop. For instance, Station Tweak enables us to change which common icons appear on the desktop, such as the Computer icon and the Trash icon. Station Tweak will allow us to enable/disable compositing, switch window managers and move the window control buttons to the left or right side of application windows. Perhaps my favourite feature though gives us a way to quickly change the position of the desktop panels. By default, MATE displays an application menu and system tray at the top of the screen while window management is handled by a panel at the bottom of the screen. Using Station Tweak we can switch to using one unified panel which can be placed along any screen border. We can also set up one panel at the top of the display and have a launch bar placed at the bottom of the screen, similar to the way the OS X desktop is arranged. This gives us an extra level of flexibility when it comes to organizing our desktop.
GhostBSD 10.1 -- Running MATE with the Purity layout
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GhostBSD ships with the OctoPkg graphical package manager. The package manager is divided into two main parts. At the top of the window we see a list of packages. This is where we can browse through packages we have already installed or see the results of searches we have performed for packages we want. At the bottom of the window we see information on selected packages, dependency data, indication of available upgrades and other information. OctoPkg will also display news that has been posted to the GhostBSD project's blog. OctoPkg enables us to search for packages by name and see a list of installed items sorted in alphabetical order. Using OctoPkg we can perform installation, removal and upgrade actions on packages. I found OctoPkg worked well. The first day I was using GhostBSD, OctoPkg let me know there were five upgrades waiting (totalling 16MB in size) and OctoPkg installed these updates without any problem. I was also able to install new software and remove unwanted packages. OctoPkg pulls software in from FreeBSD's repositories, giving us access to over 20,000 software packages. The one feature of OctoPkg I found strange was that the application would not display all available packages in the repositories. We are shown installed items and we can perform searches for packages in FreeBSD's repository, but I could not get OctoPkg to display a full list of available software that had not yet been installed locally. This might be a settings issue, but even with the "show local only" filter turned off, I wasn't able to browse the remote repository.
GhostBSD 10.1 -- The OctoPkg package manager
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So far as I could tell, OctoPkg will not update the base operating system, only third-party packages installed on top of GhostBSD's core. I was not able to find any other graphical utility to perform updates to the base system either. The release notes mention a tool called Station Update Manager, but I did not find any utility with this name. To update the base system I used a command line tool called freebsd-update. During my trial I ran freebsd-update a few times. The first time I ran into errors indicating missing files, but subsequent runs of freebsd-update completed without any problems.
GhostBSD ships with a collection of useful desktop software. We are treated to the Firefox web browser (without Flash support), the HexChat IRC client, the Pidgin instant messaging software, the Thunderbird e-mail client and the Transmission bittorrent application. The operating system ships with LibreOffice 5, a dictionary application and the Atril document viewer. We can also find the Cheese webcam application, the Exaile audio player and GNOME MPlayer for watching videos. GhostBSD ships with the Xfburn disc burning application and includes multimedia codecs in the default installation. The operating system also includes a simple image viewer, the Shotwell photo managing software, an archive manager, a calculator and a text editor. The Plank application launcher (which gives the desktop an OS X style program launcher) is available. The Caja and Midnight Commander file managers are included in GhostBSD as are a system monitor and the MATE desktop configuration modules. Unlike most Linux distributions, GhostBSD ships with the Clang compiler rather than the GNU Compiler Collection. Behind the scenes, GhostBSD ships with the FreeBSD 10.1 command line utilities, documentation and kernel.
GhostBSD 10.1 -- Running LibreOffice 5
(full image size: 274kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I like the GhostBSD project and its goal. I think, in the past, there has generally not been enough work done to make FreeBSD a good operating system for desktop use. FreeBSD works well in the role of a server operating system, it's stable, fast and the project evolves in such a way that it is fairly easy to upgrade a FreeBSD system over time. However, FreeBSD (while it can be used as a desktop operating system) lacks many of the characteristics one might want on the desktop, such as a graphical installer, multimedia support, a graphical package manager and an attractive, pre-configured desktop environment. While these features can be added or enabled on FreeBSD, most users will want those tools to be in place and to just work right from the start.
There are two projects which are working hard to provide an attractive desktop solution built on FreeBSD. The PC-BSD project seems to be aiming at the workstation and power user market. PC-BSD supports 64-bit x86 exclusively, offers ZFS and lots of administrative utilities. GhostBSD is taking a different approach. While both PC-BSD and GhostBSD offer graphical installers and nice package managers, GhostBSD seems to be aiming at a different market. GhostBSD offers 32-bit and 64-bit builds, the installer has fewer options which streamlines the installation process and GhostBSD offers fewer administrative utilities. GhostBSD ships with UFS as the default file system which has fewer features, but requires less memory when compared next to ZFS.
In short, GhostBSD has a different feel and approach to things than its cousin, PC-BSD. The PC-BSD developers are adding options, providing a lot of tools power users will want and making their platform very flexible. GhostBSD is going in another direction, simplifying and offering us a clean, streamlined desktop solution.
GhostBSD still has access to lots of options for power users through the project's software repository. If we so choose we can install the same components PC-BSD offers through the package manager, but by default GhostBSD appears to be aiming at the home user market more so than the professional/office market. GhostBSD sweeps as much configuration and clutter as it can out of the way so we are left with just the MATE desktop and a handful of useful applications. I think taking this approach will make GhostBSD quite attractive to home users, especially those who are comfortable using Linux and want to try something different.
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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)
Bodhi Linux gets a new configuration panel, Ubuntu 15.10 launches, Jonathan Riddell leaves his Kubuntu Release Manager position and Fedora 23 delayed
The Bodhi Linux distribution recently forked the Enlightenment desktop environment in order to provide its users with a stable, high performance graphical interface. Now that the fork, called Moksha, has been completed, the team is looking at other improvements it can make to Enlightenment. Bodhi Linux's lead developer, Jeff Hoogland, has decided Moksha should have a new settings panel. "The one major improvement I want to implement in Moksha is a rewritten configuration panel. The current panel, while powerful and offering lots of options, is not well organized and lacks the ability to easily search all of the options it provides once loaded. Because I prefer to write in Python the first thing I had to do before I could get started was to write a Python library for interacting with the EET configuration files Moksha currently uses. Last night I finished up the first version of this library that seems functional in the tests I have done so far - I am calling it neet. As for the control panel itself, I have also begun some amount of work on this as well - I am calling it Swami. The goal for Swami is to be modular and easily searchable." A screen shot and further details can be found on the project's website.
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New versions of the Ubuntu distribution always get a lot of attention, in part because the distribution is so widely used and also because there are so many community (and unofficial) editions of Ubuntu. This past week Ubuntu 15.10 was launched with commentary and reviews quickly appearing around the Web. By most accounts it appears as though the latest release of Ubuntu was fairly tame, carrying no surprises and not many new features. Adam Conrad, who announced the launch of Ubuntu 15.10, stated, "Ubuntu Desktop has seen incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice, and stability improvements to Unity." The 15.10 release appears to offer mostly minor updates and bug fixes, probably in preparation for the upcoming long term support release in April 2016.
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Jonathan Riddel, who has been a central figure in the Kubuntu community for years, has decided to leave his post as the project's Release Manager. This move follows several years of debates with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, over licensing issues. Riddell posted a farewell message on the Kubuntu website, saying: "Community made open source software needs people to be able to take out what they've put in. Ubuntu's licences and policies enforce this. However for the last three years Ubuntu's main sponsor, Canonical, has had a policy contrary to this and after much effort to try to rectify this it's clear that isn't going to happen. The Ubuntu leadership seems compliant with this so I find myself unable to continue helping a project that won't obey its own community rules and I need to move on. I won't be going far, I'll be helping out in KDE more, the original and best end-user free software community who have always been wonderful."
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The upcoming release of Fedora 23 has been delayed by a week. It was announced last week that the next version of Fedora will be held back a week to deal with a few remaining issues. Jan Kurik wrote, "At the Fedora 23 Final Go/No-Go Meeting that just ended, was agreed not to release the Fedora 23 Final. Due to present blockers in the RC2 build, the decision is No-Go. The release slips for one week. Second Go/No-Go meeting to be planned for the next Thursday." An updated schedule indicates Fedora 23 will be launched on November 3rd, 2015.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Creating a live image of the operating system
I thought I had seen a program to make ISO images of a live system. Please, if you can recommend one for Mint 17.2, I will be very grateful.
DistroWatch answers: There are a few methods a person can use to create a custom ISO of an existing operating system. I suspect the tool you are thinking of is Remastersys. Though development of the original Remastersys application has stopped, there is a fork which continues on the work of assisting users in creating custom spins of Debian, Ubuntu and related distributions like Linux Mint. The fork of Remastersys is called Linux Respin. The Linux Respin project is probably one of the easiest ways to create a live disc image based on the operating system you are currently running.
There are similar tools for other distributions which will allow the user to create a live snapshot of their running system. For example, the mylivecd utility will create a live disc image of a working PCLinuxOS system.
Since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, you may have luck with the Ubuntu Customization Kit. The How-To Geek website has a tutorial on using Ubuntu Customization Kit to create new spins of the distribution. This is not the same as taking a snapshot of your existing system, but it will allow you to create clean, custom spins.
Finally, if you want to do some deep, manual customization of an existing distribution, you might want to look at editing the contents of the original ISO file. This approach isn't for everyone, but it may be useful if you are planning to craft a modified version of your distribution. There is a fairly thorough look at the process of editing and enhancing an existing ISO file with whatever files and settings you want in the Ubuntu documentation.
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Past Questions and Answers columns can be found in our Q&A Archive.
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 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. 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: 124
- Total data uploaded: 17.6TB
|Released Last Week
Alessio Fattorini has announced the release of NethServer 6.7, an updated release of the project's CentOS-based distribution designed for servers: "We are proud to announce a new release, NethServer 6.7. We have a new full-featured groupware, called WebTop, which implements the ActiveSync protocol. Work on PPPoE support has been completed, adding this choice into the multi-WAN configuration panel and allowing the creation of a new PPPoE provider associated with a free Ethernet assigned. Two fantastic new packages have been released - nethserver-adagios which installs and configures Adagios and nethserver-ocsinventory which installs and configures OCS inventory; a new Monitoring group is also available. Now it's possible to create an IPsec tunnel with devices from other manufacturers or between two NethServer, allowing advanced configuration customization to maximize interoperability and displaying tunnel status in a dedicated page." See the release announcement (with screenshots) for further details and check out the release notes for upgrade instructions.
Clonezilla Live 2.4.2-61
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 2.4.2-61, the latest stable build of the project's Debian-based live CD for cloning and restoring images of hard disks and hard disk partitions: "This release of Clonezilla Live (2.4.2-61) includes major enhancements and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system has been upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2015-10-12); the Linux kernel has been updated to version 4.2.3; starting from Linux kernel 4.x, the default Unionfs file system has been changed to overlay, therefore if you edit boot parameter manually, you have to use 'union=overlay' and not 'union=aufs'; Partclone has been updated to 0.2.83 and the XFS issue fixed; the util-linux package has been updated to 2.27; other NIC names, like enp*, will be searched in ocs-live-netcfg; the zerofree package has been added; proportional GPT partition layout can be created with the '-k1' option...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete changelog.
Ubuntu GNOME 15.10
The developers of Ubuntu GNOME have unveiled a new release of their Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the GNOME Shell desktop environment. The new release, Ubuntu GNOME 15.10, features a new logo, GNOME 3.16 and the Shotwell photograph manager has been replaced by the GNOME Photos application. "With GNOME 3.16, new logo and new Ubiquity slide show, the Ubuntu GNOME Team is very happy to announce the release of Ubuntu GNOME 15.10 (Wily Werewolf). Wily Ubuntu GNOME is an official flavor of Ubuntu, featuring the GNOME desktop environment. Ubuntu GNOME is a mostly pure GNOME desktop experience built from the Ubuntu repositories. Three years ago, Ubuntu GNOME has started as unofficial flavor to Ubuntu - see the release notes of 12.10 - and 6 months after that, Ubuntu GNOME has become an official flavor." Read the release announcement and the more technical release notes for further information on this release.
Adam Conrad has announced the launch of Ubuntu 15.10. The new Ubuntu release features version 4.2 of the Linux kernel, updated packages of Firefox, LibreOffice and the GNU Compiler Collection along with several bug fixes. "Codenamed `Wily Werewolf', 15.10 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs. Under the hood, there have been updates to many core packages, including a new 4.2-based kernel, a switch to gcc-5, and much more. Ubuntu Desktop has seen incremental improvements, with newer versions of GTK and Qt, updates to major packages like Firefox and LibreOffice, and stability improvements to Unity. Ubuntu Server 15.10 includes the Liberty release of OpenStack, alongside deployment and management tools that save devops teams time when deploying distributed applications - whether on private clouds, public clouds, x86, ARM, or POWER servers, or on developer laptops. Several key server technologies, from MAAS to juju, have been updated to new upstream versions with a variety of new features." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement and in the release notes.
Ubuntu 15.10 -- Running the Unity desktop environment
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Ubuntu MATE 15.10
Martin Wimpress has announced the launch of Ubuntu MATE 15.10. The new release of this community edition of the Ubuntu distribution is mostly a big fix and polish release which updates existing software and corrects some issues with past versions. "What changed since the Ubuntu MATE 15.10 Beta 2 release? Here's what changed in Ubuntu MATE 15.10 since Beta 2: Fixed update-manager and do-release-upgrade to upgrade from Ubuntu MATE 15.04 to Ubuntu MATE 15.10. Fixed the openSUSE panel layout, GNOME Main Menu no longer crashes. Fixed ubi-timezone error in Ubiquity. Fixed Caja undelete, which was causing Caja to crash or fail to undelete. Updated MATE Tweak to 3.5.2a..." This version of Ubuntu MATE also includes an edition of the distribution for the Raspberry Pi 2 mini computer. Further information on Ubuntu MATE 15.10 can be found in the project's release announcement and in the release notes.
The Xubuntu team has announced a new release of their distribution which combines packages from the Ubuntu repositories with the Xfce desktop environment. The new release, Xubuntu 15.10, swaps out Gnumeric and Abiword for the LibreOffice productivity suite. The new release also includes version 4.12 of the Xfce desktop. The 15.10 release has the following highlights: Xfce4 Panel Switch for backup and restoration of panels. Included are five preset panel layouts. LibreOffice Calc and Writer and now included. These applications replace Gnumeric and Abiword respectively. A new theme for LibreOffice, libreoffice-style-elementary is also included and is default for Wily Werewolf. Greybird accessibility icons for window manager." Further information can be found in the distribution's release announcement and a full list of changes and new packages are provided in the release notes.
Jonathan Riddell (who also happened to announce his resignation from the project today) has published the release of Kubuntu 15.10, the new stable version from the official Ubuntu subproject that features the latest KDE Plasma 5 desktop: "Kubuntu 15.10 is available for upgrade or install." What's new in this release? "Plasma 5, the next generation of KDE's desktop, has been rewritten to make it smoother to use while retaining the familiar setup. The fourth set of updates to Plasma 5 (current release, including the fixpack) is the default in this version of Kubuntu. Kubuntu comes with KDE Applications 15.08 containing all your favorite applications from KDE, including Dolphin. This is the first stability update, and it contains bug fixes and translation updates. 107 applications have been ported to KDE Frameworks 5 but those which aren't should fit in seamlessly. Non-KDE applications include LibreOffice 5.0 and Firefox 41." Continue to the release announcement for further details, screenshots and known problems.
Rafael Laguna has announced the release of Lubuntu 15.10, a Linux distribution built from Ubuntu packages, but providing the lightweight LXDE desktop environment: "We are pleased to announce the arrival of the Werewolf. Lubuntu 15.10 is now available. New features: general bug-fix release as we prepare for LXQt; many LXDE components have been updated with bug-fix releases; an update of the artwork (more icons, theme update, more compatibilities); the problematical iBus has now been replaced with Fcitx, with that change the fonts for Chinese, Japanese and Korean have been added back into the build; lubuntu-extra-sessions - in the past, selecting different sessions (netbook, gaming) was installed by default, but this is now an optional extra that can be installed by those who want this added functionality." Here is the very brief release announcement, so check out the much more detailed release notes for further information, system requirements and known issues.
Lubuntu 15.10 -- Running the LXDE desktop environment
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ubuntu Kylin 15.10
Ubuntu Kylin 15.10, an official Ubuntu variant tailored to the users in China, has been released: "We are glad to announce the release of Ubuntu Kylin 15.10 (code name 'Wily Werewolf'). In this release, we have fixed many internationalization and localization bugs in Ubuntu itself and bugs in software written by the Ubuntu Kylin team. All the work that Ubuntu Kylin team does is within the Ubuntu community and ecosystem and, as such, they get back to Ubuntu itself and everyone using Ubuntu can benefit from our work. This release is based on the 4.2 Linux kernel with the support of Intel Broxton. The following applications have been updated to their latest versions: Firefox 41, Chromium 45 and LibreOffice 5.0.2. We have also released Sogou Pinyin 2.0.0.0066. It is not included in the image by default, but you can install it easily from the Ubuntu Kylin Software Center. Besides a plethora of bugs fixed in this milestone, several Ubuntu Kylin specific packages have also been updated." See the brief release announcement (in Chinese) and check out the detailed release notes (in English) for more details.
Kaj Ailomaa has announced the release of Ubuntu Studio 15.10, the latest version of the official Ubuntu subproject designed for graphics, audio and media enthusiasts: "Ubuntu Studio 15.10 'Wily Werewolf' has been released. Wily Werewolf will be supported only for 9 months. Changes for this release: the categorization in the menu has changed - still work in progress, but we have gone from 5 main categories down to 3 (audio, graphics and video); the ubuntustudio-controls application is now functional and able to administer real-time privileges for users; Ubuntu has followed Debian in moving from libav back to FFmpeg; as usual, many applications have been updated; special notice for ardour - the package is called ardour3, but the application itself is actually version 4." Here are the links to the brief release announcement and release notes.
The developers of Zentyal, a server oriented distribution based on Ubuntu's long term support releases, have launched Zentyal 4.2. The new release is based on Ubuntu 14.04.3 and ships with Samba 4.3.1. The new version of Zentyal improves compatibly with modern versions of Microsoft Windows and Outlook. "Zentyal Development Team is proud to announce Zentyal Server 4.2, a new release of the Zentyal Open Source Linux email and groupware solution, natively compatible with Microsoft Outlook® clients. This release is based on the newest Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS to provide the latest updates. It also integrates Samba 4.3.1, with lots of improvements for Active Directory services and support for Windows 8.1 and the newest Windows 10. The installer has been updated to support modern network interfaces. Apart from that, the release is focused on bug fixing and improvements of the Outlook-compatible Mail & Groupware Exchange replacement." A list of changes and improvements can be found in the project's release announcement with more detailed list of changes available in the changelog.
Plamo Linux 6.0
Plamo Linux 6.0 has been released. Plamo Linux, one of the oldest Japanese distributions, is loosely modelled on Slackware Linux and is designed for more experienced Linux users. The version number upgrade reflects the distribution's move to the new Linux kernel 4.x series, but in all other respects it's a routine release made available for the occasion of this weekend's OpenStack Summit in Tokyo. Some of the more interesting package upgrades in Plamo's latest version include: a switch to Linux kernel 4.2.3; upgrade to MATE 1.10 desktop environment; updated Mozilla packages - Firefox 41.0.2 and Thunderbird 38.3.0; move to X.Org Server 1.17.2 and MESA 10.6.7; upgrade to LibreOffice 5.0.2 office suite. Plamo Linux 6.0 also includes a new "get_pkginfo" command which compares any locally installed packages with the official ones available on Plamo's FTP servers. The installation DVD, which is a hybrid DVD/USB image, comes with improved UEFI/GPT support. Read the complete release announcement (in Japanese) for further details.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
In the open source community we have access to a wide range of web browsers. Some browsers focus on features, others on performance, some even work in a text console. One of the big factors many people look at is whether a web browser is open source. In the Linux community we have some open browsers, such as Firefox and Qupzilla, and we have some closed browsers, such as Vivaldi and Chrome. This week we would like to know whether our readers prefer to use an open or closed web browser. Please let us know why you made your choice in the comments section.
You can see the results of last week's poll on convergence here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Open or closed source web browsers
|I use open source browsers exclusively: ||1376 (54%)|
| I use closed source browsers exclusively: ||92 (4%)|
| I use either as the situation requires: ||1023 (40%)|
| Whichever browser is the default: ||54 (2%)|
Adding to the glossary
A few weeks ago we rolled out an early draft of the DistroWatch glossary, a document which defines commonly used technical terms in the open source community. We received positive feedback along with several suggestions for additional terms we had not yet covered. Most of the suggested terms have been added to the glossary and we are continuing to expand it as our readers send in more jargon to be defined.
If you know of a technical term that is commonly used in the open source community and has not been covered yet, please let us know. We are hoping to make the community a little less confusing for newcomers. Also, please let us know if you translate the glossary into another language as we would like to share translated versions.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 2 November 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)
- Michael DeGuzis of Libre Geek (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Open/closed source browsers (by snowdust on 2015-10-26 01:07:54 GMT from North America) |
I am currently running Opera 33.0.1990 on LMDE-2 Betsy/MATE + Tanglu 4(daily build)/KDE Plasma-5. I like it a lot, would not go back to Chrome, never liked Firefox. Cheers.
2 • Open/closed source browsers (by Frank on 2015-10-26 01:15:27 GMT from North America)
I use Firefox most of the time, the only reason I use Chrome it to be able to play movies from Amazon prime.
3 • Systemback: Creating Live image of an Ububtu based OS (by Kumaresan on 2015-10-26 01:48:17 GMT from Asia)
One may try Systemback. See http://www.unixmen.com/systemback-restore-linux-system-previous-state/
4 • Open/closed source browsers (by zhymm on 2015-10-26 02:24:18 GMT from North America)
I chose "use either" but most of the time I use Firefox (> 95%) for browsing. Chrome on occasion when I want to look at something on Netflix. And an assortment browsers when I want to check the appearance of formatted documents I've created (guitar tablature, for example) across various platforms before posting.
5 • Open/closed source browsers (by tom joad on 2015-10-26 02:27:00 GMT from Europe)
99.5% of the time I use Firefox. The browser is nice and pretty stable. But I really like the addons I put into it. I can't live with out Noscripts, Ad Blocker Plus and Ghostery. Those work really, really well. There are others I add from time to time. Or I will try other addons too.
As they say, "If it ain't broke...Don't fix it." And I don't.
I have tried Chromium, Chrome and Midori. No thanks. Midori is really clunky if you ask me.
6 • Still Chrome is Best (by Muthu on 2015-10-26 03:06:10 GMT from Asia)
I mostly use Chromium, But Sometimes I use Chrome for some websites which does not work properly in Chromium or Firefox. Chrome is very fast than all other browsers. After Installation of a new Distro, I first try to install chrome using the repositories or using command line.
7 • poll (by Ffox.4me on 2015-10-26 03:54:43 GMT from Europe)
sometimes there is a price to pay to be free. Other browsers may be better here and there, but I still go with Firefox. The more ppl will use/get involved in foss, the higher the probability that open source projects will master with time.
8 • Open/closed source browsers (by Mike on 2015-10-26 04:24:06 GMT from Oceania)
I use Firefox for the add-ons. I like Flagfox, Ad Blocker, Save-To_read. It os also so stable.
9 • Create live ISO (by Gene on 2015-10-26 04:26:02 GMT from North America)
Systemback is great replacement for Remastersys!!
10 • Web Browsers (by zykoda on 2015-10-26 07:25:17 GMT from Europe)
I use a fistful of browsers, each suited to the OS, intended application with absolute minimal adverts. I switch off history, suggestions, cache and cookies with ad blockers. I use search engines tailored to specific content and very few favourites/bookmarks. Mail spam and advertisements are the pain of the web, ...... just like commercial TV.
11 • Open/closed source browsers (by Marame on 2015-10-26 07:26:28 GMT from Europe)
I use Firefox mainly and Slimjet (Chromium-based) secondary. I like Firefox more but when I have to translate text then Chromium-based browsers are far better with their automatic and good working Google translate. There is third party translators for Firefox but they are not so good. I read a lot of Russian websites translated to english but in Firefox it does not work always but the same site in Slimjet works.
12 • Respin (by Francesco on 2015-10-26 07:32:28 GMT from Europe)
I have checked the respin site and the github and the repository is empty.
I haven't tried it yet but this seems a fork of remastersys:
13 • Browsers (by Platypus on 2015-10-26 07:33:55 GMT from Oceania)
I use Firefox almost always but there are some sites that won't work with it so I use either Chrome or Midori.
14 • Web Browsers (by ybolu on 2015-10-26 08:26:36 GMT from Europe)
I use Firefox %99 of time. I use Chromium when I need to use Zenmate add-on for some sites.
I like Firefox because of its many add-ons and its advanced preferences and customization options. I don't like Chrome/Chromium because of its very limited customization.
15 • web_browsers (by mi on 2015-10-26 08:53:24 GMT from Europe)
I use mainly chromium with --profile-directory and --app options, having like that "web apps" to open directly my email, calendar and other specific sites.
16 • Google Chrome (by Stan on 2015-10-26 09:04:59 GMT from Europe)
Chose "I use either as the situation requires", my situation is the one that supports more features, nice account integration, cloud sync and runs fast.
For the moment I'm "stuck" with Google Chrome.
17 • Browsers (by Sebastien on 2015-10-26 09:06:20 GMT from Europe)
I have 3 browsers installed: Opera, Firefox and Chromium
Opera is my favorite. But there some websites that do not fit well with Opera; for instance, the text box of the Distrowatch "Reader comments" section just does not appear in Opera ( so I had to switch to FF to write this !)
When Opera cannot display well the target website, I use Firefox. The major complain I have with firefox is the no choice SSL policy. Sometimes you may want to access some web interface using SSL certs that does not fit firefox policy and FF just refuses to let you go in. I can understand a 3 step warning like in Chrominum but I cannot stand the browser just refuse to work. Same thing with java apps: ok, this version is not secure (a lot of devices use old unsupported java engines); who care as far as those are only reachable through secure channels (such as VPN or tunneling) ? Hate that too.
When FF goes into its SSL histeria, I use Chrominum. Actually I think I would already have replaced FF by Chrominuim if Chrominum had proxy settings included. I use my laptop in several environments, sometimes with proxy required, sometimes without. FF and Opera offer fast proxy on/off plugins while Chromium needs system settings which is not convenient.
18 • Browsers (by Kuno on 2015-10-26 09:32:46 GMT from Europe)
I use palemoon (almost) exclusively.
19 • LiveCD (by Peter086 on 2015-10-26 09:32:56 GMT from Europe)
I must add myself to those who've mentioned Systemback. Been using it for months and it has been easy and trouble-free. The same tool can also create a USB version, besides working as a backup/restore point tool. The only thing I miss is persistence on pendrives; I feed the resulting ISO to Unetbootin to have that feature. Even so, I cannot least than recommend Systemback.
20 • FOSS browsers and Mr. Riddel (by cykodrone on 2015-10-26 09:41:08 GMT from North America)
I started using Firefox before Windows became mobile light refractor hanging from a piece of fishing line. I refuse to use ANYTHING Goggle, when they stop breaking privacy laws and producing snoopware, I may consider it.
Ubuntu losing Mr. Riddel is KDE's gain, his departure doesn't surprise me given the 'culture' at the mothership. $10 says he winds up on the Debian KDE team. ;)
21 • Browser Poll (by Ari Torres on 2015-10-26 10:32:34 GMT from North America)
I use both, open source and close source according to my needs. I prefer Firefox above all but Chrome comes in when Adobe Flash has to be enforce.
22 • Create live ISO (by anticapitalista on 2015-10-26 11:16:14 GMT from Europe)
The snapshot tool used on antiX and MX can create a persistent iso of a running live or installed system.
23 • GhostBSD (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-10-26 11:20:18 GMT from Europe)
GhostBSD has come to be one of my favourite distros. I love the distro's minimalistic approach. In a way, it can be considered as an easy way to install FreeBSD plus a graphical package manager and configuration tools.
I have a 7-year old Clevo laptop which has always been incompatible with Linux and the situation only worsens with every new kernel. Windows XP, 8 and 10 work just fine on this machine (which, when released, also used to be converted into a hackintosh after some firmware hacking). PC_BSD runs fine but feels slow and cluttered. GhostBSD, in turn, allowed me to bring this machine to live again. It runs very smoothly and without even a glitch.
The only issue I had was that Grub did not work at all. Happily the BSD boot loader is able to boot both GhostBSD and Windows 10.
24 • Open (by Bill on 2015-10-26 11:29:20 GMT from North America)
Firefox since Netscape.
25 • Browser (by taif miloud on 2015-10-26 11:47:01 GMT from Africa)
Firefox is by far the most stable and complete Browser, but some Apps/extensions didn't work like expected. Apps on chromium are useful like text editors reminders and small games and automatically added to gnome-shell.
I'm also testing vivaldi it's fast with good support for my favorite sites with some new ideas.
26 • antiX (by zcatav on 2015-10-26 11:50:42 GMT from Europe)
Using antiX is good. Why antiX installs a ssh and sftp server as default. If i remove them, antiX gets unstable. Are there a special reason to run these server?
27 • Web Browsers (by pcninja on 2015-10-26 12:08:21 GMT from North America)
I use Pale Moon 100% of the time.
28 • create live iso (by zcatav on 2015-10-26 12:22:56 GMT from Europe)
bootcd is an alternative for debian.
29 • web browsers (by erinis on 2015-10-26 12:51:51 GMT from North America)
Opera has been my fav for years and have recently tried Vivaldi for the past week. With DuckDuckGo and uBlock Origin it works mighty fine.
30 • We know where you live. (by gee7 on 2015-10-26 12:59:48 GMT from Europe)
The world badly needs a new open-source browser that is reliable and secure.
Being secure involves having no software code written by Google, as that tracking company's motives are suspect.
The Google Chrome and Chromium browsers include the infamous binary blob which can turn on the user's microphone and webcam, and send conversations in your living room back to Google servers. Was anyone behind Google in writing that software?
I use Firefox as my main browser and sometimes use Midori.
However, I see a stronger Google influence in Firefox these days, with Google being the default search engine. Why is Google Search the default search engine when it is made by a company that has become closed-source? Money is probably changing hands.
It has been noted that the Linux Foundation has been giving away the proprietary Chromebooks to students who take Linux courses, so Firefox is not the only America organisation to be swayed by Google.
Personally I use the following search engines:
Firefox now tracks your geo-location by default, and the location software is getting more and more precise. Why does it need to know your location when you are doing online research and to whom is it passing this data?
To disable that feature, in the address bar, write:
and then enter the word "geo" in the search bar.
Find and click on "geo-enable" to user disable it.
It is the tracking line beneath the geo-enable that makes me wonder:
This looks as if by Firefox default, Google is tracking the location of wif-fi users and storing that data, or is this just normal practice? What is your opinion, Jesse?
We Linux users tend to both admire and rely on developers that are working for the common good. When a shadow of suspicion falls on those in which we once had faith, the world becomes a darker and a colder place.
Surely it is time for someone to develop a non-Google web browser?
31 • Browser (by Reed on 2015-10-26 13:04:06 GMT from North America)
Firefox with HTTPS Everywhere, Privacy Badger, and Adblock Plus.
It works great on Arch Linux at home, Windows 7 at work, and Android for mobile. For me, it's the perfect setup.
32 • #31 (continued) (by Reed on 2015-10-26 13:07:19 GMT from North America)
... and I use DuckDuckGo for search, exclusively.
33 • @26 zcatav (by anticapitalista on 2015-10-26 13:12:05 GMT from Europe)
ssh server is included since users have asked for it to be. I don't know why it causes instability if you remove it though. You could just switch it off since the installer gives user this option or after install via sysv-rc-conf (It is in the control centre as Choose Startup Services)
34 • Distro zap HDD (by MCris on 2015-10-26 13:23:04 GMT from Europe)
During many years I installed Linux distros, only 2 has erased without warning my HDD (and Windows partitions): 1. Caos (discontinued) and Emmabuntüs, so take care!
35 • Another Ubuntu release, but now I don't care (by Paraquat on 2015-10-26 13:43:10 GMT from Asia)
My whole relationship with Linux has changed. A year ago I was an enthusiastic Ubuntu user, and awaited new releases with baited breath. And then they went with systemd...what a disaster. I now no longer pay any attention to what Ubuntu is doing, any more than I care about Microsoft or Apple.
I am currently using antiX, with Manjaro-OpenRC as an alternate, watching what Devuan is doing (still alpha2, groan) and keeping an close eye on FreeBSD (I have hardware issues with version 10.x., but version 11 looks promising).
I have to admit, I never saw this coming. I'll give systemd credit for this...it has turned me back into a distro-hopper, something I never thought I'd be again after I found Ubuntu.
36 • re. 23 • GhostBSD (by Linux Apocalypsis (by Someguy on 2015-10-26 13:53:01 GMT from Europe)
Great review, Jesse - almost had me convinced. Unfortunately, "...minimalistic approach...easy way to install..." turned out to be as far from my experience as possible. On a bog std. desktop with adequate resources, the DVD pretended not to offer a liveDVD option - not a problem, I'd provided a suitable hard disc. Masses of error lines preceded some action, very slowly. So slow, I went away for a long lunch. Although the HD light indicated throughout, there was no installation but there was a liveDVD display! I attempted an installation from the on-screen icon. This failed on the third panel after selecting a zone+k/b. Just in case, I allowed a software shutdown. This took an age. Rebooting confirmed no installation. Whilst in the liveDVD, I could not see anything persuasive not to overwrite the DVD in favour of a real distro. Welcome back to LM and the comfort of certainty.
37 • ghost bsd (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-26 15:03:10 GMT from North America)
That's a really interesting review- thank you. I spent the weekend fiddling around with FreeBSD and am going to try it for a while. I'm curious to hear from any GhostBSD users about how they like the package manager and what their initial experience with setup was especially in terms of wifi firmware and such.
I don't really think FreeBSD has too sharp a learning curve for anyone who has used Linux very much. I've never really understood the love people have for graphical installers- I found FreeBSD's text based one pretty intuitive and obvious. Wifi was one exception- I had to accept a Realtek license to try and configure my wifi and there was no way to do that in the installer. But that's true with Debian as well, and it's not really hard to do afterwards. The instructions were fairly clear in the error message and the FreeBSD community is pretty awesome in posting what to do. What had me tearing my hair out was a buggy match between my cheap wifi dongle and the rsu driver (which I'm resolving by buying another 9 dollar dongle with a different chipset.) But I see that as an issue that can happen with any BSD (and every Linux distro- they just have it a little easier because their being more mainstream the firmware packages get tested a little more.)
Anyway I'm curious if any GhostBSD users have found it to be long-term easier to use than FreeBSD.
38 • Open source browser (by Tony on 2015-10-26 15:25:11 GMT from Europe)
I'm using Palemoon open source browser because it's one the best out there. I like Firefox too (dislike Chrome) but with Palemoon I'm doing 95% of my browsing. Open source is important for me! The other 5% I'm giving to Slimjet browser because of their new download manager which is turbocharget download manager. I'm sticking to gecko, no matter what and Palemoon is the best choise for me, for now. I heart Seamonkey isn't that bad too.
39 • Open source browser (by Arkanabar on 2015-10-26 16:01:23 GMT from North America)
I use Firefox in Lubuntu (LTS) and Pale Moon in Windows. I am used to keyboard bookmark navigation, which Chromium and Chrome do not have. I am not sufficiently motivated to add Pale Moon to Lubuntu when it isn't in the repositories.
When I need to deal with Flash content or Disqus, I use Chromium in Lubuntu and Chrome in Windows. I will not install the flash plugin any more.
I use Windows for when I wish to do remote/offsite work in health information management, and also for Warframe and Marvel Heroes 2015. For everything else, I vastly prefer Lubuntu.
40 • cloning (by dmacleo on 2015-10-26 16:13:29 GMT from North America)
maybe I misread the question but when person said live system I took it to mean installed running system.
in that case why not use clonezilla to create the iso?
41 • Tor Browser (by spambait on 2015-10-26 16:15:30 GMT from Europe)
Because what I look at is nobody's business.
42 • Live image creation (by Nick on 2015-10-26 16:38:48 GMT from Europe)
Jesse, in this weeks Q&A, why did you leave out Systemback? You do know about it, since you mentioned it only last week.
43 • the old Opera debate (by 4paul on 2015-10-26 16:42:27 GMT from North America)
Big fan of Midori and Qupzilla! I forget about PaleMoon :(
Opera 12 (Presto) was a "perfect" full-featured browser suite (sync bookmarks + files etc) - I understand security is too important to mess up and Chromium has had good security, and I'm sure the devs strip as much Google as they can - I'm suspicious but it still works well.
Private browsing mode seems to choke browsing certain websites in all browsers, I'm guessing many large mainstream websites detect private browsing?
Not a fan of coding using Java and Flash - I know you want as many people to see your website as possible but why the insanity? Not as pretty but doesn't HTML5 do the same? I try to use a distro/browser completely FLOSS, then use another with everything proprietary when I can't resist. Usually I give up and go proprietary, one day I will do the right thing ...
44 • open source web browsers (by nolinuxguru on 2015-10-26 17:00:05 GMT from Europe)
@30 raises important privacy issues. I was aware of the Chromium binary blob discovery, which was reported as a bug to Debian and then Google, and "fixed", but it is difficult to see when this happened. Having said that, I use Chromium, warts and all: I tape over my web-cam when it is not being used, and while I cannot locate the mics on my laptop, they would only broadcast loud music!
But seriously, most large organisations [Google, Mozilla, ..] try to take advantage of the fact that they are the custodians of very large software projects, where they can hide dubious code, even if it is open source.
I am not sure how they would locate me, as my ip address shows up as a place hundreds of miles away [even without TOR]. If I were to use mobile internet, perhaps they would have more luck.
I sometimes look at more independent browsers, such as Qupzilla, Midori and Arora, just to see how they are progressing, and will one day soon ditch Iceweasel/Firefox and Chromium.
45 • @ 30; firefox tracking (by tom joad on 2015-10-26 17:19:37 GMT from North America)
Yeow! Thanks for the tip.
I turned that tracking stuff off immediately and would suggest to others to consider doing the same.
It is a great puzzlment to me why, oh why, are 'The Powers That Be' so deeply interested in the boring, utterly average lives of us nobodies. But their zeal to 'know' has become my zeal for them NOT to know. In every regard I daily carry out my mission.
What do us noboies do that is so all comsuming to them? I would like to know. Maybe then I will see my life as 'interesting' rather than mundane.
46 • opera (by Jorge on 2015-10-26 17:31:46 GMT from South America)
Currently I Use Opera 32 in Zenwalk 7.9 The GUI still nice although it became to blink, I am a Web Page development so when I have to try my html5 development with other Browser it keeps in harmonious with my designs.. Its really good
47 • Open Source Browser (by seacat on 2015-10-26 17:44:09 GMT from South America)
In Windows I use Firefox, and IceWeasel in Linux
48 • Browser (by DJ on 2015-10-26 18:14:06 GMT from North America)
I mostly use FlashPeak Slimjet. It is built on Chrome and has no
affiliation with Google. It is fast and does everything I want.
My other browser is Tor Browser. Firefox is not stable today.
49 • Opera browser (by Charles Burge on 2015-10-26 18:26:05 GMT from North America)
@17 - I, too, have never been able to post comments to Distrowatch using Opera - until today! Maybe it simply took someone pointing out the problem to get it fixed. :)
I've been an Opera fan since 1998, and I even paid for a license back when it was sold as shareware. I've tried alternatives, but the mouse gestures are too hard to give up.
50 • Browsers (by nightflier on 2015-10-26 19:46:31 GMT from North America)
On my powerful desktop, mainly FF, occasionally Chrome for videos.
On my netbook, xombrero is first choice. It makes browsing possible on low power machines.
51 • Browser (by Ron on 2015-10-26 20:40:27 GMT from North America)
I use Firefox on Linux, and on the ipad I use whatever Apple decides it to be. Only problem, I also have the Raspberry Pi with webiopi installed. It does not work with the Apple browser on ipad. Oh well its no fun being in APPLE JAIL!
52 • Opera works for me (by Basil Fernie on 2015-10-26 22:25:15 GMT from Africa)
I go back to Eudora and before, angered when Netscape Navigator was squashed in market by inferior Internet Explorer. Tried most things, settled on Opera for best use of screen space, performance, integration, features. Still on V12.15.1784,surprised by comment (1) to see that 33.xxx is working on Linux, will try, as also most recent Vivaldi.
First time I could comment on Distrowatch, though! Aso get annoyed when Opera claims 16 TERAbytes of virtal storage...
53 • Browsers & BSD on the desktop (by M.Z. on 2015-10-27 00:16:33 GMT from North America)
I mostly run Firefox & us Opera some too so I'm mostly open source for browsers. I do run Chrome for Netflix, but otherwise don't need the spyware style functions Google puts in there. Oh & like others I'm a fan of DuckDuckGo & their ability to give you a good search & your privacy.
On the subject of GhostBSD, I've tried to play with the latest versions of both it & PC-BSD in virtualbox but keep having problems. GhostBSD doesn't install right & PC-BSD stopped giving me any desktop. I tried running startx after a command line login, but only go to a basic fallback GUI. I'm sad to say I don't think BSD is a good option for the desktop, though I'm still running it as a firewall distro. Hopefully the BSDs improve on the desktop, but for now I'm staying all Linux for my PCs & laptop.
54 • browsers (by imnotrich on 2015-10-27 01:19:21 GMT from North America)
Chrome is faster, because it's less secure. Mine gets compromised several times a month, and since Google thinks it's a great idea to sync infections too the germs try to attack my Linux box. Actually that's how I've caught them each time, ESET nod32 for Windows does not watch what's going on inside Chrome.
Firefox is very slow, but I like being able to use noscript to close several attack vectors. Unfortunately older versions of Firefox for Linux with unpatched Flash isn't all that secure either and I have a problem with any company (Mozilla) that fires their CEO because of his religious beliefs.
How sad there are no decent (as in capable), secure browsers out there for both Windows and Linux right now. Ever try watching a Silverlight video in Linux? LOLOLOLOL
55 • Helpful review on Ghost (by Brian on 2015-10-27 01:32:13 GMT from North America)
Really appreciate the review of Ghost, it's been a distro I've been interested in as a intro to the BSD world and with all the keywords I was looking for, 'home user' being the key, I'm in the process of taking the time to download and install. Thanks!
56 • Browsers (by Smellyman on 2015-10-27 05:25:32 GMT from Asia)
Linux user should never use Chrome. Hated having to turn off Amazon search. That dominated the conversation for years. Lovie using all of Google tracking services though.
Bow to your Google overlords.
57 • Opinion Poll : WEB BROWSERS (by Openpat on 2015-10-27 09:37:05 GMT from Europe)
I have a rather old machine, a Dell Latitude D600 - 512 MO RAM with Debian Jessie+Fluxbox installed and use Dillo or links2 that both suit this computer on a regular basis. When I need more functions I use Midori which works correctly with these specifications even when it is of course slower... I do appreciate to be able to still use my old machine by choosing such or such tool depending on my needs.
58 • RE: 0utstanding Distros' List and Paldo linux, as tipped by Frtux (by H. G. Guzelaydin on 2015-10-27 09:59:16 GMT from North America)
The previous issue of DW Weekly (above-stated link) contained several comments which attempted to create a listing for outstanding/ unique distros ...
Actually it was me who initiated the attempt (see aferomentioned link +posting # 14) ....
And now (because aforestated link's forum is closed) i had, instead, decided to post this message here in order to truly thank Frtux (aforesaid link, posting #84) for tipping me about Paldo which, in Frtux's own words is "a rolling release, Gnome centric desktop that usually has an updated iso available in the same day a new release is distributed upstream."
I really hope Frtux spot this meesage aimed at him, as i enjoy exploring unique distros by installing them on, mostly, antiquated hardware ....
And i truly enjoyed and love Paldo, which i had installed yeterday smoothly on an ancient P-III Toshiba that i now call it Rocketosh, as Paldo has transformed it into a super-fast machine :)
Once again, thank you Frtux for Paldo ...!
59 • @11 & @48 Slimjet browser (by snowdust on 2015-10-27 21:12:25 GMT from North America)
Thanks for mentioning this very fine browser. I had never heard of Slimjet so curiosity led me to discover a top-notch browser.
60 • Web Browsers (by TonyVanDam on 2015-10-27 23:08:33 GMT from North America)
I stick with Firefox/Iceweasel, Tor, & Jondofox.
61 • GhostBSD / Browser choice (by Will B on 2015-10-28 02:58:04 GMT from North America)
[ GhostBSD ]
I think the GhostBSD folks are working in the right direction. I haven't had an opportunity to try it lately, but from the review it sounds like it's coming along. I too have had many hardware problems with FreeBSD, but with completely new hardware installed, I'm giving it another try...might try GhostBSD first.
[ Browser ]
I don't care much for closed-source anything, but sometimes it cannot be avoided.
I currently use Firefox with Privacy Badger, uBlock Origin and Classic Theme Restorer (grrr, shouldn't need it!), only because my first choice, QupZilla, is just not stable enough. :-(
Most of QupZilla's issues aren't the project's fault, looking at the issues on their github shows a lot of "Qt" or "QtWebKit" tags. Kinda stinks that you have a good browser, but the toolkit it's based on is unstable and takes forever to get fixes for. From a developer's point of view, Qt 5 has been 1 cup progress, 3 cups disaster.
I have used Pale Moon, but I had some incompatibilities with it. Shame, it's nice otherwise and the main developer behind it is pretty passionate about his work.
Besides QupZilla, I wish there was a nice, reliable, compatible lightweight-as-possible, open-source (without corporate influences) web browser. Maybe one day.
Thanks Jesse and the team! :-)
62 • Another chime-in for Palemoon (by KingNeutron on 2015-10-28 03:36:53 GMT from North America)
+1 for the Palemoon web browser. I currently use it as my default in both Linux and Windows, since the firefox devs have gone nuts with anti-user "improvements" (read: confusing and disruptive changes) to their UI plus implementation of tracking spyware. They are trying to make it a poor second-cousin clone to Chrome and refuse to listen to their own general user population, so I only use FF if I need it to display some certain increasingly-rare webpage.
Great article on Linux Lite, I've DL'ed it and plan to test it soon. Keep up the good work!
63 • Browsers (by Steven Shannon on 2015-10-28 08:24:46 GMT from North America)
First, I would just like to say that I prefer open source, and I prefer Firefox over most browsers, most of the time. That being said, there are times when I need a browser that won't crash or slow down to the point that it's almost unusable, when I'm looking at some sites with flash embedded. My preference would be to have the sites use HTML5, but it is what it is and I have to use something that works with the content I am working with. Just like those people that need to be able to use certain proprietary programs that prevent them from making the switch to Linux... They have to use what works for the job they need to get done.
64 • GhostBSD @36 (by Linux Apocalypsis on 2015-10-28 14:49:06 GMT from Europe)
Have you checked the integrity of the downloaded image? And the DVD? I burned the 64-bit MATE edition to a USB pendrive. The live USB ran smoothly and the only problem I had during the installation was that, when I chose Grub as the boot loader, I was not able to boot into any OS. Choosing the BSD boot loader solved the problem and the distro is running very well on this computer:
Clevo laptop from 2007
Core Duo 2.5 GHz
4 GB RAM
Nvidia 8800M GTX (with proprietary drivers).
5400 rpm HD
I have not found any bug this far.
65 • GhostBSD (by Oxynewbie on 2015-10-28 17:45:21 GMT from South America)
I tried the MATE edition of GhostBSD 4. It was a nice experience.
But then I tried the XFCE edition of the same distro. What a terrible surprise: It simply didn't have an icon for SHUTDOWN
A UNIX command (shutdown -h now) had to be issued just to get rid of the f***ing system... PATHETIC.
Things like this explain why Linux is the king of the UNIX world. And also explain why I will not try GhostBSD 10.1 (not even the MATE edition).
As for PC-BSD, its size (more than 4GB) is a very good reason to never download such an insanely big ISO.
66 • Big Brother is watching you (by NSA hater on 2015-10-28 19:57:50 GMT from South America)
@41: "Because what I look at is nobody's business."
Despite the use of Tor Browser, the NSA agents definitely know a lot about what you look at the Web (or the stupid Deep Web).
Take a look at this:
Yes, the Tor network IS NOT as safe as it should be.
67 • Re: Big Brother is watching you (by Spambait on 2015-10-28 21:49:39 GMT from Europe)
The question was about web browsing, not hosting. For that, I'd probably choose Freenet, or I2P.
68 • GhostBSD did one thing right (by M.Z. on 2015-10-29 19:30:20 GMT from North America)
Actually I just logged into my GhostBSD 10.1 Virtual machine running XFCE 4.12, & if GhostBSD XFCE did one thing right for me it was provide plenty of logout options.They were both in the panel at the top of the screen with one being at the very bottom of the menu on the left side of the panel & the other one being an icon on the far right side of the panel. Basically I count two options to remedy that complaint, though like I said above, I had some installer issues earlier & haven't bothered to try a full install of that VM after the first 2 or 3 fails. I also keep having issues with web browsers crashing in LMDE after I open a VM in VirtualBox, but that seems to have nothing to do with the BSDs in particular. I understand having problems with BSD on the desktop because I've had my share of issues with it there too, but not being able to find the logout? I really don't get that.
69 • Browsers (by spacex on 2015-10-30 02:12:22 GMT from Europe)
Google-Chrome because it's way faster than anything else, and works best for streaming Netflix natively without the need for UAS or Pipelight, and also because it has the best sync-function.
70 • Linux OS drops all USB and CD/DVD Rom drives? Making it useless for users! (by clayton on 2015-10-30 04:46:17 GMT from North America)
Well what a pickle. Download Linux DVD and CD(s) for years. yes they have problems, changing to fast. Missing files from time to time. Needing faster and more ram year after year. The push to remove the older class of computers out of use, for that BAD ASS OS with all bells and whistles. PS thank you all really for all your hard work. I still download lite OS to try on older systems. Not everyone I know has cash to jump into a new computer. With everything going the way on the net. It would be nice if someone remember sensor and new college age kids with empty pockets. I been using Linux from about 2001. Mandrake 7.2, Red Hat 8 and even LindowsOS 4.5. Used Ubuntu for years. Yep, tried to understand the need for change every 6 months more and more became broken, more and more. System OS rushed to make a deadline. Kernel being change to drop hardware or to add more.
Well I have problems when I download a live CD/DVD iso file. Burn it to a disc only to find that for some reasoning all USB and CD\DVD drives are no longer need for the users. Really someone installs an OS on to the computer only to find that they can not use it. How may stories do we need to read. Google reported over 4 million in 53 seconds, these a user posting looking for answers. TO: Something that shouldn't have happen. I am not a coder and or a programmer. But I can tell you when the ball got dropped. I should be looking for a fix or fixes. It should NOT have happen that everyone is looking for the same answers. The end user shouldn't be thinking this is a screw up. For the most part for a desktop there only one user. If it was a server, you better know your code. Because dropping this many drives. You better you may have shut the server down. Back to the single user. They cannot see a CD, Audio or data, DVD movie, data music, or even a USB jump drive. Even programs cannot find the hardware because it not listed.
Just keep it up and watch all the end uses - run back to Windows or Mac OS. Using a computer should be enjoyable not a nightmare. You all jump behind the other. Tell each other you have the better desktop UI. oh and don't try OpenSUSE until they get something right. Linux Mint 64 Bit where the power of not seeing an OS that can use it hardware if it not list and or some code crook take the hardware and hinds it on the end user.
I hope the problems listed do get fixed soon. Oh an in cinnamon if you put an icon for a launcher, on the task bar it is suppose to work right? Not just make it look good.
Sorry I really do like what everyone has been doing over the years. I just can see not being able to use a desktop OS without having to fix it first...
71 • @30 Firefox and Google (by Kazlu on 2015-10-30 13:12:27 GMT from Europe)
"Why is Google Search the default search engine when it is made by a company that has become closed-source? Money is probably changing hands."
Of course money is changing hands. For years, Google had been giving money to Mozilla for making Google the default search engine. Actually, each search engine which comes installed in Firefox is contractly binded with Mozilla: the money they give Mozilla is in proportion of the number of search requests that are made on those search engines using Firefox. However, the contract between Google and Mozilla has ended this year and has not been renewed (yeah, now that Google has its own web browser, it does not need to push a contender does it?). That's why, if you start a fresh firefox (no customization, like the one you would get if you just created another user un your OS), Google is no longer installed in Firefox and Yahoo is the default search engine.
72 • what distro are you using? (by Tim Dowd on 2015-10-30 14:05:59 GMT from North America)
Debian recognizes my USB cdrom drive perfectly. I understand that it's frustrating when your hardware doesn't work right, but the solution is to try another distro that's got the right drivers.
I haven't tried it with FreeBSD yet but I'll report back.
At the end of the day, older hardware is possibly the number one reason NOT to run Windows or OSX. Many a Linux and BSD user has switched because a computer that was unusable at Windows 7 or XP speeds still does well with an open source operating system.
73 • Browsers (by Sapo on 2015-10-30 14:14:53 GMT from North America)
I swore by F Fox for many years since it came on the scene...recently it got too resource heavy to be worthwhile and needs too many addons,
I tried as an experiment Qupzilla and use it now pretty much all the time. though it has odd issues at time like online news pages crashing, Youtube plays but you need to reload it 2x..and a few other niggles but usually tha'ts the fault of things outside of the devs hands...
Palemoon I do like again installed as a trial does most things right...
I really don't like chrome..it never seems fast or good to me..
Ghost BSD...I have still to try this latest version but used an older one for a while without much work on my part.....found it a lot easier to work with than PC BSD..which was a nightmare...
Ill probably stick with Gentoo (calculate) and Arch
74 • @70 USB, CD/DVD (by Hoos on 2015-10-30 16:02:22 GMT from Asia)
I do not think you are correct in claiming (rather angrily) that Linux (kernel? OSes in general??) has intentionally dropped support for USB, CD/DVD drives. That's a strange conclusion to jump to, when people are still using these devices.
I run lots of different distros on my machine - Debian-based, Ubuntu-based, Manjaro, Fedora-based, PCLinuxOS. Distros like Manjaro and Sid all carry pretty updated packages, plus I'm running kernel 4.1 or 4.2 on quite a few distros so they should reflect the current state of Linux device support.
My various USB thumb and external drives (and Android phones) work when plugged in. I'm still playing CDs and ripping my collection, so I can tell you the CD/DVD drives work.
Like @72, I suspect hardware issues.
75 • @43 Chromium (by Kazlu on 2015-10-30 16:35:11 GMT from Europe)
@43 about Chromium : "I'm sure the devs strip as much Google as they can"
Huh, no. The devs are Google's employees. Chromium is not Chrome minus Google parts which would be removed by an independant team, it's an open source web browser developped *by* Google on which Chrome is based (adding more Google pieces, some closed source). However, SRWare Iron *is* Chromium minus Google parts which are removed by an independant team: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SRWare_Iron.
76 • 75 Chromium Opera (by 4paul on 2015-10-30 17:36:34 GMT from North America)
75 - sorry for my confusion; what I should have said was
"New Opera uses the Blink rendering engine from the Chromium project, I am sure the Opera developers don't add spyware like the Chrome developers do."
Back when Opera decided to use Blink as the upstream there was much discussion among Opera fans about privacy, and the loss of Opera-specific features (among them stability on old hardware and slim memory usage for a full-featured browser suite).
The discussion continues on the Opera developers blog three days ago (highly recommended reading, you may choose to trust or distrust what it says):
77 • Chromium and Open Source (by nolinuxguru on 2015-10-30 20:15:55 GMT from Europe)
@75 etc. Last count [that I could find - 2010]. Chromium was 5.5 million lines of code, so with any open source project of such eye-watering size, it comes down to a balance of trust and scrutiny. I couldn't work out who develops the code [assume Google dominate], and how many independent eyes have pored over the published source [organisations like Debian?].
Firefox is likely as big, and developed by corporate employees. Do we trust it more? How about the newer [smaller?] browsers like Qupzilla, Arora and Midori? Maybe we trust big-bad organisations less.
I haven't worked out how to use tools like Snort to see if browsers "phone home", but I am sure others have, and would not keep quiet if they discovered malpractice. Indeed, things like that and the discovery of downloaded Binary Blobs in Chromium mean that someone is watching. It is not possible to police large open source projects, but the external behavior can be monitored by those with the skills that I lack.
78 • Favourite browsers. (by paleoflatus on 2015-10-31 00:30:47 GMT from Oceania)
I prefer chromium for its speed, compatibility and ease of use, but often use Firefox or Tor-browser.
Chromium won't download all videos (as Firefox will) and Tor-browser is more secure for confidential work (finance, personal correspondence, alternative news sources etc.). This is more important as we encounter increasingly intrusive and secretive government and commercial oversight in Australia.
79 • Konqueror (by pfb on 2015-10-31 11:30:56 GMT from North America)
I visit a website daily to get a phrase in Spanish. Opera and the Mozilla browsers stopped rendering the sound clip. Only Konqueror does this now.
Konqueror also works well with Distrowatch. Other sites, not so well. It crashes a lot.
So, it is not necessarily a fovorite, but I use it every day.
80 • Varieties of web browsers. Wikipedia refs. (by Greg Zeng on 2015-11-01 02:50:51 GMT from North America)
Memories of Wikipedia hostilities to contributors like myself, ensures that Wikipedia will continue to be out of data. But the relevant references are:
I maintain, for my researches, a list of frequently updated web browsers. This Distrowatch comment is done with Opera 33.0.1990.43, the ONLY web browser that allows saving many different file-types, all in the one folder. Every other web browser remembers the last folder that was used for that particular file-type.
81 • @80 (by tomas on 2015-11-01 07:59:23 GMT from North America)
regarding wikipedia: I also tried participating at wikipedia, and wound up frustrated upon repeatedly finding that my edits (mostly simplistic, grammar corrections, etc.) were "auto-magically" being overwritten, in near real-time (matter of seconds), apparently by bots which are subscribed to receive change notifications for a given page.
regarding "Opera 33.0.1990.43, the ONLY..."
firefox 31esr here, at the moment, but same applies for at least up to v38esr and same has applied as far back as I can remember ~~ per preferences, all my downloads and SaveAs and SaveImage, everything is written to same fixed location (my "Downloads" directory). Maybe you observed the _default_ behavior, and didn't realize it could be customized?
82 • @70 (by Linux411 on 2015-11-01 22:01:05 GMT from North America)
I am curious as to what hardware you are using. I have never had a distribution which I have tried not show either cd/dvd or usb drives. I can only think it may have something to do with uefi / efi booting versus legacy. Your bios should have support for "legacy" usb drives enabled as well.
In regards to supporting hardware, Linux has come very far as considered to the support of hardware from 20 years ago. I use Windows at work on a daily basis but I have only used Linux at home for the past 20 years. I also have worked on too many Windows computers to mention. Have had about 20% of those people migrate to Linux and of those have had 2 or 3 revert back to Windows.
Please let me know what hardware you are currently having problems with, as Linux has many individuals who have a genuine desire to help when they are able to.
Number of Comments: 82
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Linuxfx is a Brazilian Ubuntu-based distribution. It features an intuitive KDE desktop user interface, automatic hardware detection and configuration, support for popular multimedia codecs, and a collection of useful software for office use and media playback. Linuxfx supports Portuguese, Spanish and English languages.