| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 635, 9 November 2015
Welcome to this year's 45th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
For most computer users, the desktop environment is their primary method of interacting with their operating system. A good desktop environment is essential to providing most users with a pleasant computing experience. However, what qualifies a desktop environment as "good" is subjective and we, in the open source community, have many options from which to choose. This week we focus our attention on desktop environments and their relationships with various distributions. In our News section we talk about the latest release of the Cinnamon desktop which will soon be available to users of the Linux Mint distribution. We also talk about the KDE spin of Fedora and some of the problems the developers of Fedora's KDE spin face. Plus we talk about Debian's efforts to make running all graphical desktop environments more secure. Also in our News section we discuss Red Hat's recent deal with Microsoft to provide Red Hat Enterprise Linux to Microsoft's Azure customers. Our review this week covers Fedora 23 Workstation, the latest release from the Red Hat sponsored community distribution. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about balancing security with ease of use and in our Torrent Corner we share the torrents we are currently seeding. Later in this issue we provide a list of distribution releases from the past week and, in our Opinion Poll, we ask why many people have not yet transitioned to using advanced file systems. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (31MB) and MP3 (24MB) formats
• Music credit: Clouds Fly With Me by Matti Paalanen
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A tip of the hat to Fedora 23
The Fedora distribution is a Red Hat sponsored community project which regularly ships with some of the latest software the open source community has to offer. The most recent release of the distribution, Fedora 23, features GNOME 3.18, LibreOffice 5, version 4.2 of the Linux kernel and the ability to access Google Drive from the GNOME file manager. This release also features packages built with security hardening features like address space layout randomization (ASLR) which makes it more difficult to exploit vulnerabilities in software. In addition, Fedora has almost entirely migrated from Python 2 to Python 3 with all core utilities such as the Anaconda system installer now using Python 3. A full list of changes can be found in the Fedora 23 release notes.
These days, the Fedora distribution is made available in several editions, including Workstation, Server and Cloud. I decided to download the project's Workstation edition which is available as a 1.4GB ISO. The default desktop environment for the Workstation edition is GNOME Shell, but spins of Fedora are available with alternative desktop environments.
Booting from the Fedora media brings up a graphical screen where we are asked if we would like to try the live GNOME desktop environment or launch the project's Anaconda system installer. Jumping straight into the installer, we find that Anaconda is a graphical application which firsts asks us to select our preferred language from a list. We are then brought to a hub navigation screen where we can access configuration modules in the order of our choosing. These modules assist us in changing our keyboard's layout, partitioning the hard disk, adjusting the system's clock and assigning a hostname to our computer. These modules were pretty straight forward to use with the exception of the disk partitioning module. While the disk partitioning screens are flexible, giving us the ability to work with multiple disks, LVM volumes, Btrfs and traditional file systems, I found the style of these screens confusing. Fedora has one of the few partition managers where I need to stop and carefully consider the presented options and how they work and I find the multi-screen process unnecessarily complicated compared to the partitioning tools used by other Linux distributions.
I did get through the partition manager with virtually no problems, other than being told I could not set up my entire installation on a Btrfs volume. The Fedora distribution requires the /boot partition be placed on a traditional file system, such as ext4. When I tried to use Btrfs for all mount points, I was warned my actions would not end well and given the chance to go back and change my disk layout. The installer then began copying its files to my hard drive and I was presented with a second hub screen. This hub screen contains just two modules, one for creating a password for the root account and another module for creating a user account. The installer soon finished copying its files to my drive and I was prompted to reboot the computer.
Booting into our new copy of Fedora brings us to a graphical login screen. From here we can sign into our account and access GNOME Shell, GNOME Classic or GNOME on Wayland desktop sessions. While I do appreciate the user experience of GNOME Shell on touch devices, I find I much prefer the GNOME Classic desktop when using a keyboard and mouse to operate my computer. At this point, the Wayland session does not work smoothly for me, so I spent the bulk of my time using the GNOME Classic session.
The first time we sign into GNOME, a series of configuration screens appear and ask us to select our preferred language and our keyboard's layout. We are also asked if we would like to enable GNOME's location services and automated bug reporting. The following screen asks if we would like to connect our local account to on-line accounts such as Facebook, Google and ownCloud. With these steps completed, the desktop brings up a window containing the GNOME help documentation. I'm not entirely certain if the configuration screens GNOME shows us are more useful or annoying. A little customization early on can be nice, but asking if we want to enable location services on a desktop computer and connect to a Google account makes me wonder if GNOME is primarily funded by companies such as Google and Twitter. I will say though that the help documentation is quite nice to have. It provides users with simple steps for performing common tasks and I think that is a nice feature.
Fedora 23 -- The GNOME Settings panel
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The desktop will be presented differently depending on which login session we use. The GNOME Shell environment offers a mostly empty desktop with an Activities button in the upper-left corner. Accessing the Activities view allows us to switch between open applications. The Activities menu also allows us to search for and launch desktop applications. Personally, I find the Activities menu a bit awkward to navigate with a keyboard and mouse, so I usually used the GNOME Classic desktop. GNOME Classic features a tree-style application menu in the upper-left corner of the screen along with a menu of commonly accessed directories. Both desktops provide a settings menu over in the upper-right corner of the display.
Looking through Fedora's list of default applications we find the Firefox web browser, the Empathy messaging software, LibreOffice 5 and the Evolution e-mail application. The Shotwell photo manager is installed for us along with the DevAssistant utility, which I will talk about later. Fedora ships with the Cheese webcam utility, the Rhythmbox audio player and the Totem video player. The distribution ships with a settings panel for managing the GNOME desktop, printers and user accounts. We are also provided with the Boxes virtual machine manager, a calculator, a file manager, document viewer and a weather app. There is an application for managing the system clock, a remote desktop viewer and a simple image viewer. Fedora ships with systemd 222 and version 4.2.3 of the Linux kernel. The distribution does not provide us with much in the way of multimedia codecs and there is no support for Flash.
Fedora 23 -- Various desktop applications
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On the subject of multimedia support, I found trying to play a media file would bring up a window which would offer to locate the appropriate codecs for us in the distribution's repositories. This is a nice feature in theory, but not particularly useful since there are no additional codecs in the Fedora repositories. To gain multimedia support we need to manually locate and connect to a third-party software repository such as RPM Fusion.
At the time of writing, RPM Fusion has not published links to its Fedora 23 package repositories, but the files are there for those who can figure out where to look. I enabled the RPM Fusion repositories which in turn allowed Fedora to locate and install the missing multimedia codecs I needed to access my media files. At least the search feature worked sometimes. On a few occasions the search feature found the codecs I needed, but then reported it could not install the located codecs. No reason for the failure was provided at any time when an installation failed. I didn't find Flash in the RPM Fusion repositories, but I did find a Flash installer. Installing the Flash installer program pulled in extra (and unexpected) packages such as the obsolete YUM package manager. Since the Flash installer program relies on files and directories which are not presently used (possibly because the DNF package manager has replaced YUM) the Flash installer did not work. I was able to install the Gnash player which is a free software alternative to Flash. Gnash worked fairly well, not perfectly, but good enough for most purposes.
Fedora uses the GNOME Software application to manage desktop applications and updates. The Software application begins by showing us some recommended items and categories of software we can browse. Categories are further broken down into sub-categories, each containing just a few applications. This multi-level approach to categories makes it easier to find a particular type of application, but means browsing for a specific item might take more time. We also have the option of searching for programs by name. One thing I found curious about Software was the application appears to be almost exclusively focused on providing us with desktop software, not background items, libraries or command line programs. However, there are exceptions. So while I could not find the nmap command line program or the Flash plugin installer from within Software, I did use the Software package manager to install multimedia codecs.
Fedora 23 -- The Software package manager
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We can also use the DNF command line package manager to locate, install, remove or update software on our system. I found DNF worked fairly well, it is not as fast as the APT or pacman package managers on other distributions, but I prefer the clear output and syntax of DNF. On the first day of my trial with Fedora, DNF found 137 updates in the distribution's repositories and these new packages totalled 289MB in size. All updates I downloaded during my trail installed cleanly and without any problems.
Earlier I mentioned the DevAssistant application, a program which tries to make setting up coding projects easier for developers. As someone who writes code and needs to juggle GitHub accounts and RPM builds, I was happy to see this tool included. I tried setting up a few coding projects through DevAssistant and the application worked fairly well. DevAssistant offers to connect us to a GitHub project, will install RPM build tools and compilers for us and install dependencies. For new projects, the application will try to set up files needed to build RPM packages. My one issue with DevAssistant was that, upon completing its work, DevAssistant would lock up while still indicating it was working. After confirming DevAssistant was not active, I was able to force the application to quit and then re-start it to set up additional projects.
Fedora 23 -- DevAssistant
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I experimented with Fedora in two test environments, a physical desktop computer and a VirtualBox virtual machine. Fedora worked well on my desktop computer. The system was responsive, though a bit slow to boot. Fedora properly detected my screen's resolution and automatically connected to the local network. In the virtual machine, Fedora offered a less pleasant experience. When running in VirtualBox, the distribution was slow to perform tasks and the desktop was sluggish when responding to input. By default, Fedora does not integrate with VirtualBox and offers a low screen resolution. I ended up installing VirtualBox plug-ins and enabling 3-D support after enabling RPM Fusion's software repositories. This gave me a better display resolution, but the system was still uncomfortably slow to respond. Fedora was quite heavy on RAM in either test environment, requiring 720MB of memory to run GNOME Shell and about 625MB to run GNOME Classic. This makes Fedora one of the most memory-hungry distributions I have encountered.
Last week, when I reviewed Ubuntu 15.10, I commented that the experience was virtually identical to running the previous two releases of the Ubuntu distribution. I came away from my time with Fedora 23 with a very similar feeling. There are some minor package upgrades with regards to GNOME, the Linux kernel and LibreOffice, but otherwise the experience is virtually identical, at least on the surface, to running the previous two versions of Fedora. As with Ubuntu, this is either good news or bad, depending on your views on the distribution. If you loved GNOME last year and enjoy working with the Anaconda installer and liked the configuration tools and default utilities of Fedora 21 and 22, then Fedora 23 provides you with more of the same, along with some behind the scenes bonus material like packages built with ASLR. On the flip side of things, if you disliked GNOME's excessive use of white space, the extra configuration screens, Anaconda's strange approach to handling storage space, and you don't like the way the Software package manager seems to randomly show or hide software, then you may be unhappy to hear those characteristics are still present.
I am pleased to report the tools that ship with Fedora 23 generally worked well. I was especially happy to see progress has been made on the DevAssistant utility, even if the program did still lock up on me when it was finished setting up a project. I was especially happy to note the package manager lock-ups I have experienced with nearly every Fedora release in the past five years did not occur during my time with Fedora 23. A few packages did fail to install (for reasons unknown) and that was annoying, but at least I did not encounter locks on the package database that usually plagued past versions of the distribution.
On the whole I generally enjoyed Fedora 23. There are some rough edges, but most things worked for me. My one concern with the edition I tried was that the edition was called Workstation, but virtually every aspect of the operating system acts like a mobile device. Which I would probably like if this edition were called the Consumer edition or the Mobile edition. The big buttons, empty screen space and Activities menu would be well suited to a tablet. However, I feel this style is out of place on a developer's workstation. Fedora Workstation seems to be walking a strange path where the user needs to know how to hunt down and configure extra repositories to play audio files and should be expected to use tools such as DevAssistant to set up coding projects, but yet the user also needs to be guided through accessing Facebook and finding a web browser in the package manager. I guess what I am getting to is Fedora 23 worked well for me, I am just not sure who the target audience is.
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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)
Cinnamon 2.8 comes to Linux Mint, a key Fedora KDE maintainer quits, Debian explores running X without root privileges and Red Hat signs deal with Microsoft
A new and improved version of the Cinnamon desktop environment will soon be available to users of the Linux Mint distribution. Cinnamon 2.8 boasts improved performance, better sound and system tray management and better support for multi-screen configurations. Clement Lefebvre announced the new version of Cinnamon, posting: "On behalf of the team and all the developers who contributed to this build, I am proud to announce the release of Cinnamon 2.8! This new version will be featured in Linux Mint 17.3 `Rosa' planned for the end of November and in LMDE 2 `Betsy'. Have a lot of fun with this new release and don't hesitate to give us some feedback! Enjoy." A full list of improvements to Cinnamon along with screen shots can be found in the release announcement.
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Sad news arrived last week in the wake of the release of Fedora 23. Kevin Kofler, one of the developers of Fedora's KDE spin and maintainer of many KDE packages for the Fedora distribution, removed himself from the Fedora KDE Special Interest Group (SIG) and from maintainership of Fedora's KDE packages. Kofler's announcement appears to have been triggered by issues he sees as on-going problems in both the KDE and Fedora communities. Regarding recent changes to KDE, he wrote: "The set of packages keeps growing and growing (mainly due to splitting of existing packages). The KDE SC used to be about a dozen packages. When a new release came out, it could be updated to manually (without any scripts) by one person in about a day. These days, we are talking about hundreds of packages. (I am supposedly co-maintaining over 300 packages at the moment.)" He also expressed frustration with the way spins are treated in the Fedora community: "The way the Fedora Project has been treating KDE since Fedora 21 (when `Fedora.Next' was introduced) makes me feel like a second-class citizen in the Fedora community. After years of fighting for equal treatment of KDE in Fedora, Fedora.Next with its `Fedora is now more focused' (on GNOME) message was a major setback and a huge disappointment. (Another symptom of this evolution is how the PackageKit backend was rewritten with only the exact feature set GNOME Software happens to need, leaving Apper utterly broken.)" Some Fedora users are concerned as to what this means for the future of Fedora's KDE spin, downloads for which already account for a mere 5% of Fedora's total installation media downloads.
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Traditionally, the X software which is used to display graphics on most Linux and BSD platforms, has run with root (or system administrator) privileges. Operating with root access is potentially dangerous and a security concern since anyone able to compromise the X software would gain nearly unlimited access to the computer where X was running. The Debian distribution is rolling out updates to the X display software which allows X to run without root access. The Phoronix website reports: "A Phoronix reader pointed out that as of the end of October, the xorg-server 1.17.3-1 update no longer uses setuid root by default. This non-root X.Org Server by default makes use of systemd's logind and libpam-systemd. It also needs a kernel DRM/KMS video driver, X runs on a virtual console from where it was started, and it now stores the Xorg.0.log within ~/.local/share/xorg/. If you are trying to avoid logind or you're using a graphics processor not backed by a modern DRM/KMS driver, you will need to install the xserver-xorg-legacy package to let the X.Org Server run as root."
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Last week, both Red Hat and Microsoft announced a joint business deal which will, among other things, make Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) a supported product on Microsoft's cloud infrastructure. According to a Red Hat blog post on the subject, recent releases of Red Hat products, including RHEL 6.7 and 7.1, will be made available in Microsoft's Azure cloud. "Red Hat Cloud Access will be available to Red Hat customers in the weeks following the announcement for Microsoft Azure, enabling customers to easily import Red Hat products and use them in Azure. Pre-configured pay-as-you-go Red Hat offerings in the Azure Marketplace will be available in the months to follow."
One interesting aspect of Red Hat's agreement with Microsoft is the way the companies have addressed patents. Microsoft has long held claim that Linux violates its software patents and has used this claim to discourage the use of Linux and to encourage companies who sell Linux-based software to sign licensing deals. Red Hat's blog reports, "Red Hat and Microsoft have agreed to a limited patent arrangement in connection with the commercial partnership for the benefit of mutual customers. The heart of the arrangement is a patent standstill that provides that neither company will pursue a patent lawsuit or claim against the other or its customers, while we are partnering." It will be interesting to see how the Linux community reacts to this partnership. About nine years ago, Novell (then the corporate backer of SUSE and openSUSE) signed a business agreement with Microsoft which also included patent protection. The fallout was remarkable, with a number of open source projects and users boycotting openSUSE. Time will tell if the Linux community has softened its stance with regards to Microsoft or if Red Hat will face a similar condemnation.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Balancing privacy with ease of use
Trying-to-keep-things-private asks: I've read a lot about Linux distros being more secure than operating systems like Windows since you can review the source code yourself and that makes a lot of sense. There are Linux distros available that focus on security such as Tails and Ubuntu Privacy Remix. Unfortunately they all seem to have cons.
So my question to you: Can you recommend some distros that are above average for security and privacy, but are user friendly and can be used as an everyday OS? I would love for you to recommend some Linux distros that are above average and some that are way above average.
DistroWatch answers: First, I would like to point out that distributions such as Tails, which are highly focused on privacy and on-line security, generally are not designed with regular day-to-day computer use in mind. A distribution like Tails is useful for people who wish to communicate information privately or operate in a hostile environment. Tails is useful for journalists who need to send reports or communicate privately with sources. Such a distribution might also be useful for a political protester. Tails is meant to make communication as private and anonymous as possible without the requirement of installing the operating system on the local computer. This makes Tails a distribution that is far above average when it comes to privacy, but not particularly practical for use at home or the office.
Most of the mainstream Linux distributions have a pretty good security record and try to protect the privacy of their users. Part of that is the nature of open source (it's harder to hide spyware when people can see exactly what the program is doing). Part of what makes Linux better at privacy though is the culture. People who work on Linux (and free software) are usually more interested in personal rights, privacy and keeping their computers secure. Many Linux distributions are not made by corporate software companies and so lack much of the financial incentive to monitor their users.
This does mean that, on the whole, most Linux distributions will be better about not monitoring your behaviour and phoning home with information about you. (Many see Ubuntu's transmission of dash searches to be an exception, but even this invasive feature can be easily disabled in the distribution's settings panel.) Most of the mainstream distributions are also proactive when it comes to fixing security holes which might lead to the operating system being compromised.
I think what you are looking for may depend on just how secure you need to be. If you are a journalist trying to protect a source, then Tails is probably the best tool for the job. On the other hand, most people doing common tasks at home like sending e-mail, browsing the web and making on-line purchases should be fine with something like Linux Mint. For people who want to have a useful day-to-day operating system, but want to be able to lock it down further, then I suggest looking at Fedora. On Fedora SELinux is enabled by default. Plus, Fedora is one of the few distributions to ship with SELinux tools by default. Running SELinux means the operating system can be locked down quite a bit and SELinux, when used properly, can mitigate many security breaches.
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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: 130
- Total data uploaded: 19.4TB
|Released Last Week
Stephan Raue has announced the release of OpenELEC 6.0, a major new version of the specialist Linux distribution designed for media centres and featuring the brand-new Kodi 15.2 media centre software: "The OpenELEC team is proud to announce OpenELEC 6.0 (6.0.0) The most visible change is Kodi 15.2 (Isengard). Beginning with Kodi 15.0, most audio encoder, audio decoder, PVR and visualisation add-ons are no longer pre-bundled into OpenELEC but can be downloaded from the Kodi add-on repository if required. PVR backends, such as VDR and TVHeadend, will install needed dependencies automatically. We now officially support WeTek's WeTek_Play device with a build that installs to internal NAND and dual-boots with Android on an SD card. The iMX6 build extends support to all Solidrun CuBox-i/TV, Solidrun Hummingboard devices and the OSMC Vero. We recommend CuBox-i2eX / Hummingboard-i2eX or better devices. Under the hood there are updates to FFmpeg 2.6, MESA 10.6, X.Org Server 1.17, libva 1.6, systemd 219, Binutils 2.25, glibc 2.22, LibreSSL 2.1.7, LLVM 3.6 and Linux kernel 4.1 (except for iMX6 and WeTek_Play)." Continue to the release announcement for more details.
The Fedora team has launched a new version of their Red Hat sponsored Linux distribution. The new release, Fedora 23, is available in multiple editions, including Workstation, Server and Cloud as well as multiple community spins. The latest version of Fedora ships with version 3.18 of the GNOME desktop, LibreOffice 5 and version 4.2 of the Linux kernel. This release sees core utilities, such as the system installer and package manager, ported to Python 3. In addition, software packages have been hardened with memory address randomization built in. "As with every Fedora release, almost every component has a new version, with improvements across the board. Of particular note, Fedora Workstation includes the GNOME 3.18 desktop environment and the LibreOffice 5.0 office suite. Fedora 23 also has important under-the-hood security improvements, with increased hardening for all compiled software and with insecure SSL3 and RC4 protocols disabled. We've also updated all of the software installed by default in Fedora Cloud Base Image and Fedora Workstation to use Python version 3, and the Mono .NET compatible framework is now at version 4. Perhaps most importantly, Unicode 8.0 support now enables the crucial U1F32D character." Additional information can be found in the release announcement and in the detailed release notes.
Fedora 23 -- GNOME Shell and viewing the application menu
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The developers of Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System), a Debian-based live operating system for communicating securely, have announced the release of Tails 1.7. The new release fixes a number of bugs and introduces "offline mode" which disables all network activity. You can now start Tails in offline mode to disable all networking for additional security. Doing so can be useful when working on sensitive documents. We added Icedove, a re-branded version of the Mozilla Thunderbird email client. Icedove is currently a technology preview. It is safe to use in the context of Tails but it will be better integrated in future versions until we remove Claws Mail. Users of Claws Mail should refer to our instructions to migrate their data from Claws Mail to Icedove." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement. The project has also provided a list of known issues.
SME Server 8.2
Terry Fage has announced the release of a new version of the SME Server distribution. SME Server is intended for use on servers in small and medium businesses and is based on CentOS. The latest release, SME Server 8.2, provides users with an update to the distribution's 8.x series and is based on CentOS 5.x. SME Server 8.2 introduces support for Windows 10 domains and includes OpenSSL packages from the project's upstream distribution. "CentOS 5 has dropped support for i586 and therefore SME Server 8.2 will not work on i586 hardware. i586 hardware means processors before and including Intel Pentium, Pentium MMX; AMD K5, K6, K6-II, K6-III and Via C3. i686 architecture processors are Intel Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III; AMD Athlon, Athlon XP and later. Some notes on SME Server 8.2 including help on upgrades can be found at http://wiki.contribs.org/SME_Server_8. Please note Upstream policy on Production Phase 3 for EL5. Only those security updates deemed crucial are now being released upstream for EL5 (so also for SME 8) The Koozali team recommends that you start moving workloads from SME Server 8 to SME Server 9. Planned EOL for CentOS 5 is March 31 2017." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
The openSUSE project has announced the launch of a new edition and new release for the openSUSE distribution. The new edition is called Leap and the initial release carries the version number 42.1. openSUSE 42.1 is a community project which also pulls in packages from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE), making Leap a hybrid of sorts. "Version 42.1 is the first version of openSUSE Leap that uses source from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) providing a level of stability that will prove to be unmatched by other Linux distributions. Bonding community development and enterprise reliability provides more cohesion for the project and its contributor’s maintenance updates. openSUSE Leap will benefit from the enterprise maintenance effort and will have some of the same packages and updates as SLE, which is different from previous openSUSE versions that created separate maintenance streams. Community developers provide an equal level of contribution to Leap and upstream projects to the release, which bridges a gap between matured packages and newer packages found in openSUSE's other distribution, Tumbleweed." The release features a new version of the YaST system administration tool, KDE's Plasma 5.4 and GNOME 3.16. More information on openSUSE 42.1 "Leap" can be found in the project's release announcement and in the release notes.
openSUSE 42.1 -- Running KDE's Plasma 5 desktop
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Rob Whyte has announced the release of Vinux 5.0. Vinux is based on the Ubuntu distribution and is designed to be used by blind and partially sighted users. "This release features not just the Unity Desktop, but GNOME Shell and the ever popular GNOME 2 fork called MATE, though we primarily will support Unity only. Remember we recommend that when possible users perform updates on a regular basis. This will enable the Vinux team to update packages, and introduce new features. Vinux 5.0 is based upon Ubuntu Trusty Tahr 22.214.171.124 LTS. Some of the highlights in Vinux 5.0: New re-designed Vinux boot logo. Up to date accessibility infrastructure. Current GNOME-Orca and accessibility framework. Improvements with Nautilus file manager when processing large folders." Vinux 5.0 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture and will receive security updates through until 2019. Further information on this release can be found in the project's README file.
Nanni Bassetti has announced the release of CAINE 7.0, an updated build of the specialist distribution containing a large collection of tools designed for forensic analysis and penetration testing. This version is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: "CAINE 7.0 'DeepSpace' is out. Changelog: Linux kernel 3.13; based on Ubuntu 14.04.1 64-bit, UEFI and Secure Boot ready; SystemBack is the installer. The important news is that CAINE 7.0 blocks all the block devices (e.g. /dev/sda), in read-only mode. You can use a tool with a GUI named BlockOn/Off present on Caine's desktop. This new write blocking method assures that all disks are really preserved from accidentally writing operations, because they are locked in read-only mode. If you need to write to a disk, you can unlock it with BlockOn/Off or by using 'Mounter' to change the policy. Another important news is the addition of the VNC server and client for controlling CAINE from a remote location. CAINE now boots faster and it can boot to RAM." Visit the project's home page to read the full release announcement, see the screenshots, and to check out the list of newly added software applications.
Chris Buechler has announced the release of a new version of pfSense, an operating system designed for use in firewalls. The new release, pfSense 2.2.5, arrives on the project's 11th birthday and contains mostly bug fixes for previous versions. "pfSense software version 2.2.5 is now available. This release includes a number of bug fixes and some security updates. Today is also the 11 year birthday of the project. While work started in late summer 2004, the domains were registered and the project made public on November 5, 2004. Thanks to everyone that has helped make the project a great success for 11 years. Things just keep getting better, and the best is yet to come. Security fixes and errata - pfSense-SA-15_08.webgui: Multiple Stored XSS Vulnerabilities in the pfSense WebGUI. The complete list of affected pages and fields is listed in the linked SA." People who were running an earlier version of pfSense in the 2.2.x series should be able to upgrade smoothly to the latest version. "As always, you can upgrade from any previous version straight to 2.2.5. For those already running any 2.2.x version, this is a low risk upgrade. For those on 2.1.x or earlier versions, there are a number of significant changes which may impact you." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11
The Chakra project has announced the availability of new installation media for Chakra GNU/Linux. The new version, Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11 (code name "Fermi"), uses KDE's Plasma 5 as the default desktop environment. The Calamares system installer has replaced Chakra's Tribe installer and the SDDM display manager has been included as it integrates well with KDE's Plasma. "We are delighted to announce that Chakra 2015.11-Fermi is out! As always, this release is a snapshot of our stable repositories and includes all the updates and changes that have happened in Chakra since the last release. The Fermi series of ISO releases marks some very important changes for Chakra: Plasma 5 is the default desktop environment, replacing kde-workspace 4. Calamares a new modern installer which is actively developed, has replaced Tribe, which has served Chakra well over the years but it was becoming very outdated. A new repository structure, which includes changes aiming at simplifying things for both developers and users. A new display manager, SDDM, which is very well integrated with Plasma 5. New artwork, codenamed 'Heritage' , which is a fork of the very successful Caledonia artwork, together with new wallpapers. Unfortunately Kapudan, our desktop greeter that runs after the first boot and allows users to adjust some personal settings, hasn't been ported to Frameworks 5 yet, so it will be missing from this ISO." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Why not use advanced file systems?
Advanced file systems are a common feature across most open source operating systems these days. Linux has Btrfs and add-on modules for ZFS; FreeBSD, OpenIndiana and NetBSD offer ZFS support; DragonFly BSD provides users with the HAMMER file system. These advanced file systems provide users with an easy way to manage multiple storage devices, snapshots, deduplication, boot environments, better security against data loss and the ability to store massive amounts of data. Yet many people still stick with older file systems such as ext4 and UFS.
There are many possible reasons why advanced file systems might see less adoption. Many Linux distributions do not support Btrfs in their installers, for example. Many people are exposed to false information about Btrfs and ZFS while others take a philosophy of sticking with what has worked for them in the past. This week we would like to hear from readers who do not currently use advanced file systems and find out why you stick with older file systems. Please leave us a comment with your thoughts.
You can see the results of last week's poll on the number of computers in the home here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Why not use advanced file systems?
|Traditional file systems work for me: ||1026 (47%)|
| I am waiting for new file systems to mature: ||497 (23%)|
| I worry about resource usage: ||126 (6%)|
| I have concerns with the license: ||9 (0%)|
| My preferred OS does not support advanced file systems: ||116 (5%)|
| Other: ||94 (4%)|
| I do use an advanced file system: ||304 (14%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- POS OS. POS OS is a point of sale operating system created by RoshanTech. It is based on the Linux Mint distribution.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 16 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 • File systems (by pcninja on 2015-11-09 01:46:15 GMT from North America) |
ext2/3/4 and XFS work just fine.
2 • None (by Memek Kendor on 2015-11-09 01:55:51 GMT from Asia)
I didn't vote, because my situation isn't reflected in any of the options. I do use ZFS on my FreeNAS box with multiple hard drives, where I keep my important files. However, I still trust ext4 on my desktop and laptop due to my distro-hopping habit. Not every distro provides support for advanced file systems in the installer, which would limit my options to just a handful of distributions.
I had an inexplicable file system corruption, which would've taken my important works to oblivion had I not made backups, when testing btrfs on my desktop many moons ago, so I'm still reluctant to try it again.
3 • BTRFS (by Gerald Morris on 2015-11-09 02:20:58 GMT from North America)
I lost years of data from two btrfs failures within 5 weeks. I refuse to trust so much as a text file to this flakeware until the hackers figure out what they're doing and stay with it. Documentation lags behind the latest experiments. BTRFS is at best BETAWARE. I might try ZFS on my Slackware network next year though....
4 • Note on voting (by BeGo on 2015-11-09 02:22:53 GMT from Asia)
Echo comment no 2,
If my beloved distros using other file system by default, I'll jump in! :)
5 • file systems (by hotdiggettydog on 2015-11-09 02:54:15 GMT from North America)
I would not call ext4 "old". I suspect it has experienced the most development of any. Mind you, I've heard no news on version 5.
Zfs option would be nice. Lucky bsders.
6 • RH bias toward GNOME (by mikef90000 on 2015-11-09 03:09:54 GMT from North America)
"the PackageKit backend was rewritten with only the exact feature set GNOME Software happens to need" If this quote is true, it confirms my long observation that RH and Fedora have always been biased toward GNOME developers and their projects.
It seems very odd that RH does not have a full function but lighter weight DE in its production environment; large and medium size businesses alike are bound to have a percentage of 'trailing edge' computers that can't run GNOME or KDE well.
7 • LUKS + LVM2 (by PePa on 2015-11-09 03:26:52 GMT from Asia)
When ZFS or Btrfs have matured more, I will probably get rid of my LVM2 on LUKS setup. But for now I am happy, I have full encryption, flexible partition layout, snapshop capability, and a reliable workhorse of a filesystem (now mostly replaced ext3 by ext4). This way, I feel I have all the advanced features, in a reliable, well-tested setup.
8 • advanced file systems (by tom joad on 2015-11-09 04:12:27 GMT from Europe)
I voted that my OS's don't support advanced file systems. I have never been offered an option during an install. I use some type of Ubuntu OS, mostly mint. So I take whatever is offered when I install and that is ext4. And ext4 seems to work ok. I have never had an issue with it.
But I have looked at other file systems. And if the various OS's would offer other files systems during the install I would try them. No doubt other file systems have strengths that ext4 doesn't have.
On the other hand, the various OS creators know what works best for their systems. And so they offer what they offer with their systems. And the 'steady eddie' file system, at this point, seems to be ext4 for most of us.
9 • Btrfs is great! (by Name on 2015-11-09 04:57:56 GMT from Europe)
Thanks to opensuse which uses it by default since the previous stable release I found btrfs to be great!
Because I use its built in compression and I have an hdd and a fast CPU my system is MUCH faster than it was before using it and as a bonus I have more free space.
Especially when I work with many small text files the gain in speed is incredible, several times faster than before.
And thanks to snapshots that are made automatically by snapper it's trivial to go back after a bad update or some other mistake so I can run Tumbleweed with no issues.
Some of its features are still considered experimental because they are very new but as long as you only use the stable ones everything is fine.
And because in the recent times the adoption of btrfs has increased in speed and the user base has become significant new features mature faster now than they used to a few years ago.
10 • File systems (by Steven on 2015-11-09 05:16:59 GMT from North America)
I don't use so called advanced file systems for not other reason than not being able to make heads or tails of the system layout. I keep my home partition on a separate physical disk (EXT4) and, find BtrFS makes it much more difficult to set up. I guess if I were to do some simple research on the layouts of these systems, I'd be more inclined to use them
11 • GNOME / BTRFS (by BW on 2015-11-09 05:50:53 GMT from Asia)
First of all, thank you for pointing out GNOME Classic on Fedora review. I didn't realize GNOME 3.18 have this option. I already tried GNOME Shell several time and didn't quite like it. I know i can adapt to it but I prefer classic desktop layout. Maybe i will give GNOME another try since i heard good review on it recently.
I used Btrfs on openSUSE 13.2 for almost a year and happy to report there was no problem with it. I can easily control snapshot with snapper so snapshot size not overgrowth and can rollback to any snapshot anytime i need. It's not often to do rollback in stable system i used, but it was good feature to have. With all that experience i still prefer ext4 if i want to install file system in new desktop because i feel ext4 is faster and Btrfs have too many feature that unused in private desktop computer.
12 • Fedora KDE (by Virmond on 2015-11-09 06:08:54 GMT from South America)
First at Kubuntu , now at Fedora ... The KDE developers are going out . Is the PLASMA 5 killing the KDE at all ?
13 • BTRFS mature enough yet? (by Greg Zeng on 2015-11-09 06:09:07 GMT from Oceania)
Some sad users of "advanced" file systems have had poor results, like myself. But each month it seems, these bugs are slowly being removed, and features added. If anyone has SUCCESS, please tell us what version you are using.
In my multi-booting systems, I need a multi-booting menu system, like GRUB CUSTOMIZER. BTRFS could not work with this. One day, the "advanced" file systems might?
The world's most popular file system is missing from the selection: NTFS. There are the Linux versions (differently dated). But these do not have file compression, encription, etc. My Ubuntu-based distros, and other Linux distros that I have used can all read-write to Microsoft's latest NTFS. All my data and archives are on NTFS-compressed partitions, on both the internal and external drives, with the exception of the FAT32 file system on small flash drives.
There is a mytth that Linux file systems do not need defragmentation. IMHO this is only true for flash and SSD drives. If a spinning hard disk is more than - 70% full (?), then it will become so fragmented that recovering deleted files will be almost impossible, file access will slow and when the drive is too full, it will crash.
The next advanced file system that is needed is the Linux NTFS, but with compression, encryption, etc enabled. Legally this might be impossible, since as this week's D-W writes, Microsoft is behaving like a commercial competitor, trying to minimize commercial competition like Linux.
ATM I find Microsoft's Windows-10 fast and efficient in defragging and file system repairs. So multi-booting is needed.
14 • File Systems (by Someguy on 2015-11-09 07:54:52 GMT from Europe)
"...hear from readers who do not currently use advanced file systems and find out why..."
Simple: As told above and imputed in the question, the old ones work and not prepared to experiment on my work a-day installations with new systems while they sort out the bugs, shortcomings and co. Thus, ext4 for mainline distros, ext2 for liveCD and compact distros. As for No.13, maybe he should read the history of NTFS? If folks stop using M$, because it's a commercial operation (they just want your $$$ - nothing else), it will go away and any competent coders will join the legion of open source communities trying to improve communication and understanding amongst peoples of the world. And, fighting crooks and terrorists, of course, including 'white collar' types.
15 • If it aint broke dont fix it (by far2fish on 2015-11-09 07:57:10 GMT from Europe)
ext4 works fine for my personal laptop use. Does not mean I oppose btrfs, zfs, xfs or others. I have backup of all important data files, so I have no need for flashback my filesystem. Takes less than an hour to reinstall in the worst case scenario, but in the 10+ years I have used Linux I have not had disk crashes.
16 • @#10 (by Phil on 2015-11-09 08:18:01 GMT from Europe)
@#10 You should do a little bit of research. I was like you until recently; I have used btrfs on a few boxes in the past but never used any of the features. Having bought a new laptop (Asus UX305 with a 128GB SSD) I gave Ubuntu a shot because my preferred distro, Slackware, couldn't handle the on-board graphics. Or at least, the version of X in Slackware-current didn't at the time.
I gave btrfs a shot, in an encrypted container. Since then, Slackware has moved on and works fine now. So I went for a dual-boot system. Well, triple boot as Windows is still on there. To do this I wanted to shrink Windows right down, ditch the recovery partition, extend the luks partition as far as possible, then install Slackware alongside, with the same luks partition.
With btrfs I was able to do this online. Plugged in an external HDD and created a LUKs partition on it, with btrfs inside. Migrated from the SSD onto this. Created a new luks container using all the free space on the SSD. Migrated everything back. Snapshotted the Ubuntu subvolumes into new subvolumes with ubuntu prefixed to the name, and deleted the originals. Updated grub and fstab.
Then I installed Slackware into a new subvolume on the same btrfs filesystem. Installed elilo into the EFI (which also means you no longer need a non-btrfs /boot), created an initrd and made sure fstab was correct.
Works perfectly, and it's all compressed, which makes a difference to me with a small SSD. Of course, I back up everything as I expect it all to fail, but as all IT pros know you should always expect it to break.
17 • Secure distro (by Jura321 on 2015-11-09 08:50:15 GMT from Europe)
using EXT4 for its speed and stability. BRTFS is not mature enough.
But what convince me to post here is to "recommendation" for secure, usable system and latest reviews here.
Here I would like to stated some concerns regarding Fedora security:
1. The big majority of code is written by developers paid by RH - it means commercial company(which has big agreement with USA government, now with Microsoft) and which propagate system SELinux(made by generaly known NSA). So even from above article where one of the major security advantage - "people who work on Linux (and free software) are usually more interested in personal rights, privacy and keeping their computers secure. Many Linux distributions are not made by corporate software companies and so lack much of the financial incentive to monitor their users" can not be applied for Fedora.of course. So definitely I would not suggest FEDORA as the best first option for secure distro at all, in my view it's opposite. SELinux can be replaced by AppArmor for example.
2. Fedora is testing distribution, not stable, not meant for serious usage and don't understand hypocrisy in Review where is mentioned that basic parts of system don't work - package system, partitioning disk(s) during installation, huge HW requirement with slow response and this part seems like joke for me "but virtually every aspect of the operating system acts like a mobile device" and despite that all we can see at the end this conclusion - "On the whole I generally enjoyed Fedora 23. There are some rough edges, but most things worked for me", or "I am pleased to report the tools that ship with Fedora 23 generally worked well"....what somebody can think about such a review? Distrowatch is well known for its almost professional reviews of Linux distribution, so please don't paint pink color everywhere at the end of your reviews and call thinks properly and truly. I'm getting sick of "political correctness" type of articles....why just not write that the major basic parts of FEDORA simply don't work(package system for example) ?
3. Don't take me wrong, I live Distrowatch and therefore I have posted this comment - to highlight things which bother me here. To opposite, I love new style of subdivision distro watch weekly - Introduction, Distribution review, Miscellaneous News, Questions and Answers ..., great, thank you for that.
18 • X.org (by Bob Anderson on 2015-11-09 09:59:03 GMT from Europe)
I was under the impression OpenBSD's fork of X, Xenocara, already runs without root privileges?
19 • Fedora review (re: GNOME Software application/package manager) (by Hoos on 2015-11-09 10:29:45 GMT from Asia)
Does GNOME Software package manager still require the user to reboot the machine after downloading the updates in order for the actual installation of updates to take place, after which you have to -- yet again -- reboot the machine for the updates to take effect?
I remember thinking it was the most inconvenient GUI package manager ever.
20 • Fedora (by HintFedora on 2015-11-09 10:45:20 GMT from Europe)
"I am just not sure who the target audience is"
We all know about the "Gnome Tweak Tool". It's a gate to a world of customization.
Install and use it at your convenience.
21 • re: Fedora review (re: GNOME Software application/package manager) (by Carson Evans on 2015-11-09 11:27:44 GMT from North America)
If kernel updates were installed, doesn't matter if you use command line or gui. You need to restart. Though that is changing in newer kernels
22 • @#10 NTFS has failed! (by LAZA on 2015-11-09 11:40:43 GMT from Europe)
First, it is discussion about Linux file systems...
Second, NTFS is also history for Windows and you even did not know this - since Windows 8 (afaik) ReFS is the standard file system and it is a public beta test for all those brave windows user, which BUY a OS and test for free for Microsoft
It is also standard in Server 2012 and upcoming.
23 • @17 comments on Fedora (by fox on 2015-11-09 11:43:55 GMT from North America)
@17 wrote exactly what I was thinking about the Fedora 23 review. With the list of problems reported in the review, I was most surprised by the positive recommendation. Contrast this against the previous week's review of Ubuntu 15.10 - things worked well but "boring" and a lukewarm recommendation at best. I'm loath to criticize Jesse because he does yeoman service at DistroWatch, and his reviews are insightful. Just a small glitch on a website I really appreciate!
24 • Why not use advanced file systems (by Sebastien on 2015-11-09 12:23:12 GMT from Europe)
I am used to taking default FS on desktop install. Now it's ext4.
I use ZFS on Proxmox with a RAID-1 option. It works wonderfully.
25 • design error / bloat (by oldunixer on 2015-11-09 12:24:47 GMT from Europe)
I'm waiting for Btrfs or Zfs to do my morning coffee... no, kidding.
Really, many designs during past 20 years have been about decoupling features, so that things can be used interchangeably, and new combinations be invented by anyone.
The summum of this was achieved with block devices managed in modern Unix kernels, where you have loop device, VFS, MD (raid) and the great LVM. Those can be stacked above each other in any order you need; Can support any filesystem you like; Can be extended with new features; Give you freedom of choice.
But then came ZFS and BtrFS going the opposite way. Just like systemd syndrome, they want to reinvent everything and embrace all sort of things which should not be their business. Want to force into *their* way of doing things. They are the Oracle and Google of filesystems. Provisionning ? LVM has it. Redundancy ? Raid and LVM have it. Snapshots ? why not write a proper LVM module instead, so that any filesystem can benefit. What will be next ? If I look at systemd, that should be adding some hard dependency on some absolutely-required feature of one of those FS into every necessary system daemon, so that everyone is forced to adopt it even if it's deficient :(
Sorry, but not for me... Got to get some coffee and a pause :)
26 • @21 re: Fedora review (re: GNOME Software application/package manager) (by Hoos on 2015-11-09 12:40:54 GMT from Asia)
Yes, a kernel update needs restarting in order to use the new kernel.
But in most GUI package managers I've used, the INSTALLATION of updates takes place in the background while you're making normal use of the computer. So the user only reboots ONCE, after installation has already taken place, and that's at your own convenience if you are not bothered about being on the new kernel.
For GNOME Software, you need to restart TWICE. At least this was the case when I tried it last year.
Clicking on "update" in GNOME Software only downloads the updates. So after the download, you reboot the machine for the first time to effect the installation. The installation takes place in the midst of the booting up process.
THEN once the updated packages are installed, you do a second reboot to actually get to the login window.
27 • Fedora - who the target audience is (by watch'n'wonder on 2015-11-09 13:26:03 GMT from Europe)
That should be obvious: masochists who love running through various glitch-filled hoops to get their system back to a usable state *every*6*months*.
The tool that automatically tries to fetch missing codecs and fails (surprise!) because they aren't provided where it is configured to look is typical.
On a related note, I find it odd - or even thoughtless - that a distro which apparently tries to provide seamless Facebook, Google (now straight from the file manager) and OwnCloud integration, and pushes "location services" (tracking) and automated bug (and who knows what else) reporting, is recommended for users who are concerned about privacy issues.
That's almost like recommending to not adjust the default (Amazon) settings in vanilla ubuntu.
28 • @6 RH bias towards GNOME (by kilgoretrout on 2015-11-09 13:38:58 GMT from North America)
RH's bias towards Gnome goes back a long way. I remember back in the day before there was a separate Fedora distribution, all the KDE devs at RH quit in protest over RH's gui unification scheme called "bluecurve" which sought to unify the look and feel of KDE and Gnome. Bluecurve's modifications worked fine under Gnome but severely crippled KDE resulting in the exodus of the KDE devs from RH in protest.
29 • Fedora, Mageia5 and filesystems (by dbrion1 on 2015-11-09 13:46:07 GMT from Europe)
After distro-(s)hopping, I decided to have at most 2 GNUlinuxes on the same machine.
First, I used Mandriva. I changed my mind after discovering Fedora Electronic Lab respin (which has now disappeared) and I used Fedora, without issues, until ... their installer became overcomplex, and very likely to be unusable.
I noticed then Mageia had managed to have most of the packages I needed (took some time) and used Magia.... This week end, I noticed that anaconda, the Fedora installer, was very difficult to use, which is utterly different from being unusable (there is a slow notion of progress) .
As I have a "net" "book" (1G RAM, cannot expand) , I chose Fedora LXDE respin, and completed what I needed through package manager, without issues for my needs...
Therefore, I hope respins will continue to exist.... and to be encouraged
Since 2009,my GNU Linuxen have been installed on USB drives or, if very good, external disks (it is an install, not a live USB); the inner hard disk (said to be NTFS) contains some software to defragment itself every 6 months (this seems a real argument in favor of Windows [7...10], perhaps the only one) . and sometimes, I notice I had forgotten to copy part of what I had written into the inner disk : instead of rebooting with Mageia -or old FC-, I just have to mount a previous USB stick, find where the old $HOME is and copy it. But what would happen if I had used new filesystems, sometimes in a beta state, and the other distribution was not yet able to recognise it?
This is the reason I always shun LVM (not that new) and BTRFS ... and can manage to reread previous data...
30 • File systems (by nightflier on 2015-11-09 13:47:34 GMT from North America)
I like simplicity. I understand the concept of files on a physical drive or partition, and prefer traditional file systems without striping or other complications. I have recovered large amounts of data from drives that got corrupted and/or developed bad sectors, but were addressable using live Linux. Works for now. When there is some compelling reason to change, I will change.
31 • File systems (by Paul on 2015-11-09 14:36:49 GMT from Europe)
I use ZFS (on FreeNAS) on my backup NAS, and ext4 on my Linux desktops. I'll adopt ZFS or BTRFS on the deskto when they are more widely adopted. ZFS has licensing issues and BTRFS isn't mature enough, as anecdotes of data loss (above) testify to.
Can't help wondering how Reiser spends his time in jail, and if he couldn't be allowed to pay his debt to society by doing something he's good at.
32 • KDE and Fedora (by Frosch on 2015-11-09 14:39:06 GMT from Europe)
@Virmond : You said the KDE developers are going out. But they are not leaving KDE, they are just leaving the distributions that are not KDE-friendly. And they are right. In my opinion as a KDE user, I think it is useless to waste time keeping KDE on Fedora or Ubuntu if those distributions don't like it. We have lots of very good KDE-friendly distributions, like openSUSE, Mageia or Debian, even excellent KDE-specific distributions like Chakra, so let's leave Red Hat and Canonical alone with their GNOME stuff and everybody will be happy.
About filesystems : I use the default filesystems on my distributions, so on my openSUSE I use Btrfs and XFS, on the others I have I use ext4. I just do not care much about filesystems, for a desktop user like me it is not of central importance.
33 • Fedora review (by Jesse on 2015-11-09 14:58:02 GMT from North America)
>> " With the list of problems reported in the review, I was most surprised by the positive recommendation."
Perhaps you should go back and read it again, I'm not recommending Fedora. I'm giving it a relatively positive review because Fedora 23 was not as painfully broken as Fedora has been over the last five or six years. I'm saying this is a step in the right direction. Fedora 23 is not great, but it is (compared to other Fedora releases) good.
Fedora 23, when compared to Fedora 22, is good. Ubuntu 15.10 when compared to Ubuntu 15.04 is virtually identical, minus the ability to use Upstart. That's why my review of Ubuntu 15.10 was so "meh", there wasn't anything new to report on, no apparent point to the release. Fedora 23 is making progress. It's a 2 Star rating upgrading to a 3 Star rating. Not great, but moving in the right direction.
34 • Ext4 (by pfb on 2015-11-09 15:08:59 GMT from North America)
After a bad experience with brtfs filling a hard drive with backup stuff, I tend to stickwith ext4. Most other systems on my LAN can read it, even windows, which is handy at times
I just installed Fedora 23 KDE spin. It works great so far.
An upgrade to OpenSuSE on the same computer was so bad, that I think I will have to do a fresh install. Yast (software and sound), Wine, and Abiword failures are enough to warrant a reinstall.
The computer is HP Pavilion quad core AMD.
35 • fedora and filesystems (by Antony on 2015-11-09 15:15:07 GMT from Europe)
Yes, I find fedora pretty hungry for RAM: fedora 23 (workstation) >700Mb RAM idle. openSUSE Leap 42.1 (KDE) <400Mb idle. CPU activity is negligible for both fedora and openSUSE when idle.
Perfectly happy (and relaxed) using EXT4 and XFS. Think Btrfs needs a bit more time before I would feel tempted.
36 • Fedora review and security recommenditations (by Jura321 on 2015-11-09 15:47:20 GMT from Europe)
just few words on Jesse comments -
"Perhaps you should go back and read it again, I'm not recommending Fedora. I'm giving it a relatively positive review because Fedora 23 was not as painfully broken as Fedora has been over the last five or six years. I'm saying this is a step in the right direction. Fedora 23 is not great, but it is (compared to other Fedora releases) good."
Sorry to be again in opposite camp, but seriously? We have a lot other Linux distributions but small majority of them can hide and pay professional developers. The most big and rich is Red Hat and how their "testing" distro looks like? It's bleeding age OS where the major basic like package management doesn't work. Not talking about security concerns coming from RHEL way and other functional issues...more in previous comments.
So how fair is to write reviews for some ordinary, smaller linux distributions, which don't have such comfort to pay any developers and still produce much more stable, mature OS(Manjaro,Mint,Slackware,PCLinuxOS etc..)?
And again let me highlight here very deep concerns regarding Fedora as a secure distribution number 1. From my humble opinion in reality it's opposite.
How can I take excuse that previous version of Fedora was even worse and therefore new release can get good conclusion despite fact that doesn't desert it(as you wrote by yourself)?
Please keep posting your review, they are great, really. My intentions here are:
Point out that Review should be fair, regardless previous versions or sympathies.
I would really be reluctant to recommend Fedora as usable secure solution to anybody.
37 • Fedora review (by Jesse on 2015-11-09 16:05:30 GMT from North America)
@36: I think the difference here is you seem to see the distribution as either absolutely good or absolutely bad, without any concern for context. I don't think that way. My reviews tend to compare a distro as much to its past performance as to the rest of the Linux landscape. Fedora is not a great desktop OS, but it does feature some great security software. Fedora 23 is better than Fedora 22 (in my opinion), but I wouldn't recommend it over many other desktop distros.
My point is, these things do not exist in a vacuum, they are not all black or white. You ask that my review be "fair", but what does that mean? My reviews are my opinions. I'm not giving favour or being biased, just reporting on my observations and my feelings based on the facts in front of me.
You asked "So how fair is to write reviews for some ordinary, smaller linux distributions, which don't have such comfort to pay any developers and still produce much more stable, mature OS(Manjaro,Mint,Slackware,PCLinuxOS etc..)? "
I have written reviews on every distribution in your list. In fact, I think I have reviewed the latest release of all the distros in your list. So before you criticize me for not being fair, perhaps you should go read the reviews I have already written on the projects you wish to see covered.
38 • Fedora23 - Filesystems - Updates (by Yoda on 2015-11-09 16:11:21 GMT from Europe)
Hello DIstrowatch and readers GNULinux users, this is Master Yoda sharing hes
thoughts with you is:
Fedora 23 (workstation);
Never did like I Fedora in past or present. SElinux installed by default is now.
Out of the two SElinux of, developing Institution is? Hmm ? Secure feeling this is:)
NTFS&EXT4 my most favorite is and I am not planing in my life time and my needs to mess/experiance/ new learning curves or disasters, with new filesystems. No time with my 900 years for this is. Important this is not :)
On small updates never I restart my machine is.
Important updates (sec.&kernel) I do not only restart, but completely turn off the machine is :)
39 • Filesystems (by brain_death on 2015-11-09 16:27:12 GMT from Europe)
I have been using Btrfs on my desktop machine for over two years now, without any ill-effects. I have kept my /home partition as Ext4 for safety, but see no need to do so in future...
40 • Why not use advanced file systems? (by John on 2015-11-09 16:29:29 GMT from North America)
i generally use ext4 when possible on my linux systems. sometimes i'll use ntfs on certain partitions or external media if i dual boot with windows or have a need to share media with windows machines.
i do wish that microsoft would stop pretending that linux doesn't exist and support at least the more common linux file systems.
41 • Fedora review (by Justin on 2015-11-09 16:42:00 GMT from North America)
@37 Jesse: Right on. You do great work here, and I want to make sure you hear someone else say that. Your reviews are incredibly valuable. Just last week I needed to go through several distributions looking for their RAM usage. I came here, went through a dozen or so, and had the numbers in maybe 20 minutes. You usually can't find good numbers on the distro's site, and I didn't have to time to download and install all of them for something simple like this. Thank you for your excellent work!
42 • @37 (by Yoda on 2015-11-09 16:48:27 GMT from Europe)
@37 Jesse your reviews are always top and interesting detailed read. The Fedora23 review was fair and professional from your standing point.
In writing this I also support poster 36 (Jura) opinion regarding Fedora and security.
Do not take it to personally, but I to would not recommend Fedora.
Fedora good is for Linus Torvald. He sit on it can :)
43 • Fedora 23 boot time (by bison on 2015-11-09 17:17:03 GMT from North America)
> The system was responsive, though a bit slow to boot.
As I recall from early discussions, quite a few years ago now, a primary goal of systemd was to decrease boot time. It doesn't seem to be working.
44 • Fedora review and recommenditation (by Jura321 on 2015-11-09 19:06:44 GMT from Europe)
unfortunately sometimes things happen regardless our will or intention. As I wrote before in more ways -
"Don't take me wrong, very like Distrowatch and therefore I have posted this comment - to highlight things which bother me here. To opposite, I love new style of subdivision distro watch weekly - Introduction, Distribution review, Miscellaneous News, Questions and Answers ..., great, thank you for that."
"Please keep posting your review, they are great, really."
I very like your reviews and style of testing - that's the reason why I have posted my two concerns and little different view.
What has struck me so hard that I was decided to write here was inconsistency in your Fedora review where you wrote about your issues(major ones) and at the end of article you sum it up into positive view which seems illogical for me.
Perhaps the main cause here is to my very limited English skills(feeling) where I used sentences which makes too harsh impressions. If so, please accept my apology. It was not meant that.
Anyway I have to keep my concerns regarding Fedora quality and usability(and too good conclusion at the end from my point of view) and Fedora security and its recommendation.
45 • syslinux replacing bootloader (by Yoda on 2015-11-09 20:54:49 GMT from Europe)
My synaptic 0.75.13 (MX14.4) wants to up-shavel me replacement for my current bootloader.That is :extlinux - syslinux - syslinux-common.
I have no option of unselecting it and this is another perfect example, how distrohopping starts again and probably never ends...If I am happy for to long when some GNULinux Distro works, then my happyness is being crushed by always new nonsense I have no use for.
We live in times, where new stuff is not necessary some improvement, but downprovement that comes with lots of frustrations.
In this Distribution updates are being installed via synaptic and there is no way
of unselecting something I would not want. For long time that was no problem to me until now.
Has anyone an Idea on how not to install this to me unknown software?
I know This would be perfect post for MX14.4 forum, but I stopped there where one has to sign up and agree to some terms of service. And I stopped right there. I guess I have to say goodbye to MX14.4 , but maybe there is a way around this ?
46 • @45syslinux replacing bootloader (by anticapitalista on 2015-11-09 21:58:58 GMT from Europe)
The upgrade does not replace your bootloader (grub I guess). syslinux is used on the live iso and for creating a live usb stick via Unetbootin from within MX. Nothing to worry about at all.
You have 2 choices.
1 - upgrade and don't worry
2 - remove extlinux syslinux and don't worry.
No idea what you are talking about re some terms of service at the forum
47 • 'Advanced' filesystems (by Will B on 2015-11-09 22:21:51 GMT from North America)
ZFS works really great on my home server. I enjoy the snapshot feature and it's saved my bacon a few times. I don't care too much about the RAM usage because the server has 4GB of RAM and I don't do anything like run VMs or heavy-duty services on it.
For my personal workstation, ext4 is just fine on Linux and UFS on FreeBSD.
48 • Advanced FS's (by Bovon on 2015-11-09 23:30:30 GMT from Europe)
Why won't I use these filesystems? Hmm, "snapshots, deduplication, boot environments"... maybe it has something to do with me having no idea what any of that lingo means to me personally and likewise a million of newbs like me. It's probably because complicated computational principles are tough to explain to a layperson but that's what reinforces this "if it ain't broke..." mentality.
49 • @46 (by Yoda on 2015-11-10 00:37:18 GMT from Europe)
Anticapitalist, thank you for straightening me out on this one !
I did not investigate this good enough, and totally misunderstood it all.
Quick look (before I posted) on Internet and I read grub and bootloader...I somehow do not know why I mixed this up so much...Also you are right. Even If
I would not like it, after the installation I could reinstall it with the same synaptic.
So not investigating this at first, before posting is my stupidity.
After closer seconnd look at this, you are right. Allright no response needed to this issue anymore, I acted today not like Yoda, but more like a stupid :)
Thanks again for clarifying this!
50 • Advanced File Systems Poll (by cykodrone on 2015-11-10 01:26:24 GMT from North America)
I chose "I am waiting for new file systems to mature" because when and if they do, my preferred distro will be sure to adopt it/them.
51 • Much Ado About Nothing (by Oko on 2015-11-10 01:36:52 GMT from North America)
"Why not use advanced file systems?" Because most people who frequent this web site are Linux users and Linux has no advanced file systems. That is not to say that old trusted SGI's XFS is not working well on Linux. It is just not modern.
BTRFS is a vaporware just like HURD. ZFS is an afterthought on Linux (kernel modules needed for installation of an essentially obsolete version of ZFS) with serious licensing issues (CDDL). The only free advanced file system in existence is HAMMER which runs only on DragonFly BSD and that is what I use at my home file server. At work we are using ZFS on FreeBSD until Oracle does sue FreeBSD foundation. We could use HAMMER but it would be little bit more difficult due to the lack of some monitoring tools in DF.
By the way NetBSD doesn't support ZFS. There were indeed some effort 7-8 years ago to port ZFS to NetBSD which went nowhere due to the lack of support among the core. NetBSD does have WABPL which is a very interesting embedded file system but it is not in the same group as HAMMER and ZFS.
52 • #51 (by jadecat09 on 2015-11-10 02:23:19 GMT from Europe)
At work we are using ZFS on FreeBSD until Oracle does sue FreeBSD foundation.
Even Oracle aren't that stupid.
53 • Linux Security Neglected by Linus Torvalds? (by RO on 2015-11-10 02:44:59 GMT from North America)
While checking on Red Hat stock for my retirement account, I saw that MSN Money had a news item by the Washington Post (as part of a series titled "Net of Insecurity: This is a multi-part project on the Internet’s inherent vulnerabilities and why they may never be fixed.") on the seeming neglectful indifference to kernel level security on the part of Linus, "The kernel of the argument".
They quote his arguments that focusing on kernel-level security would keep him from getting more done to advance and maintain overall system usability, stability, and performance based on overall code quality improvement that would also benefit security.
However, the article also presents criticisms from such kernel security gurus (?) as Kees Cook (worked for Canonical, now a kernel security engineer for Google), Matthew Garrett (principal security engineer for CoreOS), and most notably, Brad Spengler of Grsecurity, and the PaX kernel hardening project a few years back. Spengler is credited in the article with leading serious efforts to harden kernel security (including kernel address layout randomization, which I see is highligted in this week's Fedora Core 23 release - 5 years or so after Spengler's work on it).
Spengler apparently has been a vocal critic of Torvalds' "casual" attitude towards kernel security, and Linus admitted in the article to butting heads with him over that. The article makes a big deal about this philosophical difference due to the increasing dependency on Linux by billions of connected devices from IoT gadgets to Android to servers.
I have been somewhat aware of this tendency for some years now, but the article really sharpened my attention to it, and does have me somewhat concerned about how secure I am in depending on Linux for personal use (retired now, so I don't have to worry about it as part of my job). I had even recently quit using my Android phone as part of an experiment in seeing if I can get by with Windows Phone ok (security by obscurity being one motive, ironical in comparison with the PC platform), and that is going ok for my wife (as her first smartphone after using feature phones since we started using mobile phones almost 10 years ago), and me. Not hugely impressed with WP, and concerned with the increasing "telemtry" by MS with the Wndows 10 generation for PC's and phones, but it "gets me by", and I am not at all ready to move to Windows for primary PC usage, but maybe OpenBSD...??
What do others here think (and know) about this issue?
54 • X setuid (by jmc on 2015-11-10 02:54:58 GMT from North America)
I never understood the setuid root of X issue, that does not seem to be a hugh issue to me as long as ports 6000/6001 are closed. I wonder if logind and libpam-systemd runs as setuid (an honest question), if so I think you/we are just moving the issue around. I am also curious of wayland is setuid ? For some reason I thought wayland avoids that issue.
55 • SELinux FUD (by M.Z. on 2015-11-10 03:51:37 GMT from North America)
@36 & 42
Well for that matter TOR was also developed in part through the efforts of the US DOD & not only is US based Red Hat the main developer of the Linux kernel, but the US DARPA defense agency was core to the development of the BSDs. If your scared of Fedora because of SELinux, well there really is no reason to think any free software project is any more safe so you may as well either switch to a big named closed OS that is likely far less secure or stop computing altogether. I'd also point out that Red Hat is used quite heavily by the US military, which means if they backdoor an upstream project like Fedora they are only creating vulnerabilities for themselves, which would be a stupid move strategically. Countries all over the world have similar problems to the US in terms of overreach, the Germans complained loudly about the US while doing the same type of spying on their ally Turkey, & the UK seems to be capturing all the data going between the North America & Europe. I have some serious problems with the scope of all western intelligence gathering, but FUD throwing gets us nowhere.
56 • Fedora 23 (by Bob on 2015-11-10 05:56:32 GMT from Europe)
The target audience of Fedora are professionals as developers and admins that want to use commercial RedHat products in the future. Fedora believes that if you have heard about linux or you have installed it then you can find firefox through menus!
About more codecs for multimedia as I know Fedora has one of the simplest methods to get them, but I understand why there is no clue or document for that because I can not tell my child not to use Tobacco and in the same time show him where to buy and how to use!
57 • Fedora and Segurity (by SegFed on 2015-11-10 07:41:49 GMT from Europe)
Regarding the above allusions to security flaws in Fedora 23, it's of general interest that more information is supplied. Because the code is open, did those commenters went thru it and found security vulnerabilities? Are those statements based on information given somewhere else? Either way, details and back up evidence would be much appreciated.
58 • Fedora Experience (by OpenSourceFeeder on 2015-11-10 09:23:25 GMT from Asia)
Fedora reviewer is saying that, he had almost identical experience for Fedora 21, 22 and 23.
But my experience is different. I found Fedora 22 buggy, less functional and more memory consuming. While Fedora 23 is working smoothly.
59 • Fedora and security (by Jura321 on 2015-11-10 09:32:39 GMT from Europe)
@57 unfortunately I'm not security expert however I would not recommend Fedora for usable secure system from these reasons:
1. Distribution is made by commercial company - more in my first comment, also Jesse wrote in his week chapter Balancing privacy with ease of use.
2. RH has a lot common with US government, US Army and therefore with NSA as well so as we already know this is not good premise to have secure system - more in leaks in last 5 years - can write here one name - Edward Snowden ..anyone who is interested in security - not just expert ones - can name many security scandals, privacy abuse etc..
3. SELINUX from my point of view is over-complicated security layer which can be changed with less complicated alternatives - AppArmor for example. There are compatibility problems with other applications and OS in general if the SELINUX is not set up properly and if it's has not been integrated into OS correctly by distro makers.
4. you can see more other arguments in @27 comment
5. Fedora linux is not stable, reliable system as we all know and it can't be - the purpose of its existence is different - Fedora users are non-paid free testers, that's all, and it release pace which has, it's almost impossible to take care of security properly - you see, even basic parts don't work...
@57 Sorry but this argument is generally used to make silent critics because as probably you know in advance nobody can do that. Nobody has capability to check all open source applications, parts of OS system or even kernel which are in Fedora. You did it?
So with regard to above notes I can write just that security is very huge topic and from user perspective - you can see just some part of basic elements. According your tech skills, experiences and general available documents someone can make some security recommendations. Of course security is also about trusting and yes, I don't trust Fedora team that they are capable to provide solid, secure system in sight of Fedora quality.
“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. ”
― Mark Twain
60 • Advanced Filesystems (by Peter on 2015-11-10 09:36:58 GMT from Europe)
A few years ago I decided to make an NTFS partition to store my personal stuff only because I knew there were many recovery tools available for it. Two years ago one day that partition was suddenly not visible, while the other 3 using Ext4 had no problems and Grub was intact.
I used both Windows and Linux tools to recover "most" of my files, but in the process lost my faith in NTFS. Now I have everything on Ext4. Untill I have not seen proven that these newer filesystems can be recovered easily, I will stick with Ext4...and keep backups!
61 • @38 (by Tommi on 2015-11-10 09:42:04 GMT from Europe)
hi master yoda:
1-not every linux is gnu/linux... fedora is not by sure.
2-try fedora and see if it works! if your workplace has any connection with linux you need fedora and its commercial sponser if you need to do more than apache and nfs share..
3-you can stop selinux it it makes problem.
4-you just use ext4 but what if in the next 900 years you need more than 50TB data on your data center?!
5-fedora is one of distros that you can update and use new kernel without restart. it can stay alive for 900 years...
62 • Internet and security; complexity and security. (by dbrion& on 2015-11-10 11:44:59 GMT from Europe)
I supopose the mere name of the sponsors is enough to decide wheteher something is secure or not. Looking at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_World_Wide_Web#1980.E2.80.931991:_Invention_and_Implementation_of_the_Web
"In September 1994, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with support from the
++++++ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the European Commission.
" I feel terrified (no need to be an expert) and I will cut all these nasty wires ASAP.
An more sophisticated way (but sophistication can hide plots, even in wc -no need to check- ) would be compexity. A linux kernel has ca 10E7 lines, maybe it seems ... more complex than SElinux (handles only file / directory permissions : scheduling, and many other things can be a matter of security, too)..
But I am not an expert (but maybe finding something absurd in one way of "reasoning" is enough not to trust this "reasoning" -and "security is a matter of trust", does not it?)
63 • Advanced Filesystems (by Mdk754 on 2015-11-10 13:15:34 GMT from North America)
ZFS and Btrfs are in my opinion just a slow kitchen sink approach. I wouldn't throw my db's on any of these "advanced filesystems".
ext4 and XFS over LVM or DRBD cover just about all my use cases. I'll take simple and stable over kitchen sink features any day.
64 • Security and free software (by Magic Banana on 2015-11-10 14:02:44 GMT from South America)
Like Jesse Smith writes: free software (especially the freedom to study how the program works) is a must for any user who wants security. Even kb of proprietary software (including firmware) can hide a spyware or a backdoor. I therefore advise Trisquel GNU/Linux, a 100% free operating system, based on Ubuntu (with a classical desktop, not Unity) and recommended by the FSF: http://trisquel.info
The first time the default Web browser is opened, Trisquel 7 suggests the one-click installation of GNU IceCat as a substitute for whoever wants more privacy. GNU IceCat is based on Firefox and maintained by Rúben Rodriguez, who is Trisquel's leader too. When opening a "private window" in IceCat, the traffic automatically goes through Tor.
65 • Segurity (by SegFed on 2015-11-10 16:31:53 GMT from Europe)
I'm posting from Fedora 23
Can you hike me?
Go on an tell us how!
66 • Poll (by Pablo Honey on 2015-11-10 16:44:52 GMT from North America)
I would have voted on a combination of the first two options. I use ext4 because it works, it's the default in my distro and I have no compelling reason not to. I used to be a big fan of reiser's file systems but we know where that went. I am impressed with ZFS but until/unless it's fully integrated without any action on my part and offered as default I'll just stick with ext4.
67 • seriously? (by wow on 2015-11-10 20:56:36 GMT from North America)
#45 you suppose the synaptic package manager "wants to" and "...no way of unselecting"? The synaptic gui advises the status (installed, upgradeable) but doesn't force you to do anything. As for "unselecting", nothing is selected except what you choose to select. If a newer package version is available (therefore that package is "upgradable"), you're advised as to its upgradeable status, nothing more.
"how distrohopping starts again and probably never ends" Until you take the time to learn about and to understand the tools provided by a given distro (synaptic tool is available in most, if not all, debian-derived distros) yes, your distrohopping will probably never end, and due to your mistaken expectations and assumptions, "happyness" will continue to elude you.
68 • KDE (by virmond on 2015-11-10 22:07:13 GMT from South America)
I love KDE4 and I hope some developers can keep it , like KDE3 turned Trinity . I'm KDE PCLinuxOS user . PLASMA 5 is not stable enough in any distribution , and I believe that's the reason to many users are changing to Gnome . Less users make KDE downloads . Then , some distributions dislike KDE ... Cause and consequence .
69 • Plasma 5 (by Frosch on 2015-11-10 23:46:21 GMT from Europe)
I totally agree with you that, as of now, Plasma 5 is far not as good as Plasma 4. People at KDE have annoying habits of releasing new software when it should still be beta. But I do not think that KDE users will change to GNOME... it is really too different and lacks a ton of options. They may change to MATE or Cinnamon, which are nice and customisable. Most of them will just stick to Plasma 4 (many distributions still ship it) until Plasma 5 gets better. As Plasma 4 was brand new, it was quite bad as well, and users kept using KDE 3. Maybe some people changed to GNOME 2, but KDE did not lose many users, in opposite to GNOME which really lost more than half of its users with the GNOME 3.x series...
Let's wait and see how Plasma 5 evolves. If it really does not get as good as Plasma 4, some might think about a fork ;)
70 • Advanced file systems why I chose other (by MoreGee on 2015-11-11 00:49:15 GMT from North America)
Somewhere along the line they missed the point. This was to get around the fact you could only have 4 physical partitions on the drive.
When using a advanced file system they also don't seem to want to play nice with each other and want their own physical partition to boot from which was brought up in the Fedora review. I bet that when you set /boot as an existing ext4 partition it wiped out whatever was on the partition.
Until they get the 4 partitions as /boot /user /vms and /swap I am not interested. Then they can work on the other part they promised. If I remove the VM it removes it from boot loader.
71 • Advanced Filesystems (by Lathiyades on 2015-11-11 04:28:37 GMT from North America)
For me, I've heard a lot about the "instability" about BRTFS that I simply want to stick with the default EXT4 file system. As for ZFS, I never actually considered it for a main hard drive partition simply because EXT3 and EXT4 were there, and since they're the default, I want to avoid compatibility issues.
I guess it's time for me to try out one of these filesystems as the main filesystem.
72 • Filesystems (by zykoda on 2015-11-11 07:49:40 GMT from Europe)
In mixed multiboot MS/Linux/Unix networked environments it is unclear what boot and file sharing possibilities exist. Maybe someone could suggest or provide links to definitive documentation. For these reasons I pragmatically stand by what I know (sort of) works at least some of the time.
73 • Plasma 5 and QT (by Stan on 2015-11-11 10:17:14 GMT from Europe)
@69: I have my suspicion that KDE is simply a show-off project of what QT toolkit can do and nothing else.
The only reason Plasma 5 was released was because QT 5 was shipped. I like KDE application, they are really powerful and configurable but that DE is to me an experiment of what QT can do and whatnot.
The KDE DE team should value more the stability for its user base, I don't know about your experiences but I try a new KDE version at least 3 times a year in my PC and every time I'm running KDE I manage to cause a application crash just by changing a wallpaper and adjusting some random widget.
74 • Plasma 5 (by linuxista on 2015-11-11 16:16:59 GMT from North America)
I don't know about the motivations of KDE devs, but I must say I'm quite close to uninstalling Plasma5. It seems to always be the same story with KDE: buggy. I'm going to wait for 5.6, and if things don't sort themselves out, I'm done trying to warm up to KDE.
75 • Sticking with old filesystems (by Chris White on 2015-11-11 16:21:34 GMT from North America)
I think that one of the main reasons people don't use newer filesystems is that for most distros, these filesystems are not the default filesystem used by their respective OS's.
If Ubuntu / Fedora / OpenSUSE / etc. were to make them be the default choice during installation, we would see a massive uptake in the number of users who use them by that point alone.
Another possible reason may be that users are still confused about which distros support the filesystems in question and their reliability.
I.E. many users still consider these filesystems to be experimental and can't or won't take the risk of using them for fear of data loss.
76 • KDE 5 (by M.Z. on 2015-11-12 04:46:52 GMT from North America)
Not quite getting all the negativity directed toward KDE. There were issues with early KDE 4 releases & everyone knew to stick with version 3 for the first few releases. Why is it surprising that KDE 5 is similar? I find Mint KDE to be extremely stable & have very few issues with Mageia either. I'll stick with KDE 4 until it's released in one of these two. I do like Cinnamon & XFCE, but I think KDE is still easily the best desktop anywhere. Let's give version 5 a little time to mature, It'll likely best any full DE available within a few more releases.
77 • "advanced" file systems (by joe on 2015-11-12 07:11:37 GMT from North America)
i thought that ext4 WAS an "advanced" file system.
& i have not seen many articles, & hence: user interest, in other file systems.
would like to learn more.
thanks for bring the sub. up.
78 • Alpine Linux Answers the Call (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-11-12 07:20:14 GMT from North America)
Alpine Linux: Hardened kernel, LibreSSL, musl libc, NON-systemd, nice desktop. Alpine is what Linux would be if Torvalds gave attention not juvenile profanity.
Torvalds only uses Fedora/RedHat anyway. Read IgnorantGuru who was involved with the security world and used several distros. https://igurublog.wordpress.com
Get a good VPN service. Physically disconnect an ethernet cable if not in use. It's a dead simple and highly potent defense that bypasses all software. Even if hackers do compromise you, they won't like a system that drops randomly. It's no good for botnets, and will be blacklisted. Hackers will hunt easier prey.
79 • Filesystems - Re: Posts #75 & #77 (by brain_death on 2015-11-12 14:53:44 GMT from Europe)
"If Ubuntu / Fedora / OpenSUSE / etc. were to make them be the default choice during installation, we would see a massive uptake in the number of users..."
I believe Btrfs *is* now the default filesystem for the root partition in OpenSUSE since v.13.2, released about a year ago now.
"I thought that ext4 WAS an "advanced" file system."
80 • Btrfs on openSUSE (by Frosch on 2015-11-12 15:48:59 GMT from Europe)
Btfrs + XFS are the default filesystems on openSUSE, indeed. That's why I'm using them now :)
81 • Security (by SegKernel on 2015-11-12 16:18:41 GMT from Europe)
#78 Good advise!
And also, reformat often. Dead simple!
Take care where/what/how you keep, retrieve your back -ups.
82 • KDE bugs (by linuxista on 2015-11-12 22:14:36 GMT from North America)
@76 In my experience KDE 4.x wasn't really stable until at least 4.8, and that might be too generous. It was finally working without any discernible issues when I tried again with 4.14. Plasma 5 got very good reviews, including regarding stability right out of the gate. While the bugs aren't catastrophic like KDE 4.x's early releases, they are still significant annoyances. KDE 4.x was a major modification from 3.x, but 5.x was supposed to just be building on the strengths of 4.x, not major shift. My bad. I think I'll always wait for KDE x.6 - x.10 before upgrading KDE in the future. (If I'm still using it.)
83 • @82 • KDE bugs (by mandog on 2015-11-13 11:15:15 GMT from South America)
I don't think you can blame KDE entirely with plasma5 most of the problem is the distros releasing it when its not complete and users following like sheep nobody learned from KDE4 alpha software breaks, and blindly make the same mistake again.
84 • @83 KDE bugs (by linuxista on 2015-11-13 16:22:59 GMT from North America)
If KDE is releasing "alpha" software as KDE 4.0-4.10, and Plasma 5.0-5.4, then they should label it as such. So, yes, the blame lies with KDE devs for releasing buggy software as stable, when it's not. Or, it must be admitted that this is KDE's way of operating: putting out unstable desktops for community bugfixing for versions x.0-x.10 in order to achieve the first truly stable release a few years in. Accusations of sheep and blindness are misplaced under the circumstances. From my perspective the blindness would lie in unquestioning fanboyism.
85 • KDE (by M.Z. on 2015-11-13 20:13:03 GMT from North America)
Actually the whole topic comes down to semantics over 'alpha' 'beta' & 'full release'. I don't think it's fanboyism in the least to point out that one of the early reviews I read of KDE 4 was a post on PC-BSD where the PC-BSD folks admitted that they knew KDE 4 wasn't really ready for the desktop when they shipped it. The KDE team made it clear where they were in the release & development process & the distro makers shipped early anyway. I don't see Kubuntu being much better in this regard given all their declarations of pride in being the 'first major distro to ship plasma 5'. I suppose the decision is debatable given factors like whether it was it an LTS release, but they still knew how rough it was before the released it.
I'll admit to having some disappointment in the stability of KDE 4 even though I waited till at least KDE 4.6; however, every release after that has seemed fairly solid to me. The problem here is that KDE makes it's policy clear, but it still gets shipped into distos without the caveats & warnings made clear to users downstream inspite of the fact that distro makers are aware that problems are likely. The bad default theme aside I do see genuine improvements coming in KDE 5 & I expect it to be solid when responsible distro makers start shipping it.
86 • Alpine Linux and lax linux security (by nolinuxguru on 2015-11-13 20:25:26 GMT from Europe)
@78 Alpine Linux seems to press all the right security buttons, but I have given up trying to install it [twice]. If I remember correctly, the last time it was Xorg that defeated me. It should not be so hard to get a distro which is both secure and easy to use.
As an aside: I always run Xorg as non-root. But you wont like the solution: I have dispensed with the Display Manager [eg xdm, kdm etc], and login at the command line prompt, starting xorg and my favorite Desktop [currently openbox] with the startx command. Not for everyone. However, it does mean I can get by without dbus.
The KDE 5 issue has a bearing on Linux Security, as brand new software, dripping with bugs, is an easy way-in for malware.
Much of the software put out there for the "masses" is almost deliberately untested [take KDE 4.x and 5.x as examples]. The shameless way in which Redhat use Fedora as a way of debugging their wares is example to that. Prior to Debian 8, there was at least an open way to enroll users in testing new software prior to opening it up to the wider audience.
I am not sure how some of the major distros can be encouraged to be honest with the way they test their software on ordinary users.
I also don't know why they do not harden their operating systems by default.
87 • @55 (by Yoda on 2015-11-14 03:39:39 GMT from Europe)
You are absolutely right from the way you look at it.
About the US Military and your view as you write:"which would be a stupid move strategically"... Fedora / SELinux....Good argument in looking at this, but what do you know abut their Agenda-goals and strategicall nature, to be certain of what you strongly write? Also Military does not mean to me the smartest and well protected, claiming to plan every step wise in using somebody elses hardware and software.
Again I look in my way at it. I am right you are right and who cares. Am not interested to write some debate about it, but thanks for your input.
Also I am not scared about Fedora or SELinux- I do not care-they do not exist in my life. I just have shared some opinion. Thank you for your input in this.
I also have some serious problems with the scope of all western intelligence gathering. Lots of change is happening. Lets observe and be aware of things.
There is not much we can do, lets the big Man's or the choosen ones deal with it :) Again I agree with you in understanding the way you look at it. It is logical, what you write. (Sorry for my grammar mistakes)
88 • @61 (by Yoda on 2015-11-14 04:02:24 GMT from Europe)
Thank you for your enlightened input :)
I will continue to say GNULinux out of respect to Stallman :)
Torvald with hes kernel mix in between is nice,
(if I can put it this way...You develop smething, some -intelligent- dude from nowhere jumps in between,with kernel and takes it all..Is this fair? And also demands money for it at first, later gives it due to pressure for free out to the public...To me this whole work is GNULinux not just Linux )
but should not get all the credit and sit on top of the most important decisions..This is why I say GNULinux.
Thank you for sharing the technical wonder of Fedora. I appreciate it, but the things you say are not of importance to me. If I do not have to restart after kernel update, that is nice, but not important to me. I gladly restart :)
And In my life time with my work and needs I do not need more then 2TB.
Unless the reality of things we all use change so much, that we as individualls can download the whole Internet :) But first we would have to solve the Geopolitical wars, that could easy throw us all in to stonage, finding ourselves beating sumerian cuneiforms on to granit bricks....
Thaks for your input and sorry about my grammar :)
89 • @67 (by Yoda on 2015-11-14 04:10:15 GMT from Europe)
Thank you for your opinion. (Situation solved no need to comment any further)
90 • @69 (by Yoda on 2015-11-14 04:16:07 GMT from Europe)
Very well written :) Most of us here probably feel this way.
I like the KDE on Q4os it is light and fast. (older vers. Do not know the newest)
91 • @73 (by Yoda on 2015-11-14 04:42:24 GMT from Europe)
I have run LMint17 (14.04) KDE and have enjoyed its smartness and visuall looks. (sometimess to smart...)
It has gotten allot better, wish to see it further developed in a lighter way.
Also I did disable most of the visuall candies (older PC) and my cooling van compare to other lighter distros was still on way more often...
Power consumption was surprisingly low...Better then mate. That was some surprise..
I introduced to the environment PIA VPN, that was in that time based from them on Ubu 12.04 and this if I let it run for longer would just lock my CPU 100%, constantly every time when I would watch something on YouT, and so with no
oversight from me on the distro, that would just burn a hole....
Some desktop panels would also freeze but only under PIA vpn running.
(I asked PIA to update their software to 14.04 version)
I think they did so maybe this is of no issue anymore..
I recommend KDE on only really strong PC. (But not plasma5, just for now not)
I will check with KDE always back...
(sorry for my gramar)
92 • @76 (by Yoda on 2015-11-14 04:54:20 GMT from Europe)
I totally feel the same way. Give them little more time.Use KDE4 for now on newer hardware, I guess...I use mostly very old hardware so KDE is not something I would work with often. Unless using Q4os and thats just for very basic tasks.
93 • Alpine Linux Install @86 (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-11-15 00:03:05 GMT from North America)
Alpine is now in feature freeze for version 3.3. Try again when 3.3 ships.
It can be tricky to ask questions. Docs are spotty. The 'user' mailing list is good.
Alpine doesn't install some things typical in other distros, so it may give an appearance something is wrong at first. Actually for the same reason it may be one of the better distros to use with startx. I often use startx, it works fine. You may want to bypass the usual setup-insert-desktop-here script or mod it to avoid the display manager. If using Openbox it's probably best to skip any DE setup script.
94 • Facts on Fedora & RHEL (by M.Z. on 2015-11-15 07:28:10 GMT from North America)
Well beyond the already stated facts about heavy use of Fedora's downstream project RHEL, there are other facts making the idea of security issues in Fedora utterly foolish. For one the only serious accusation of a backdoor in a major open source OS proved utterly false:
Second, Fedora is a relatively minor source of any likely info relevant to any likely national security issues. It is certainly a far smaller target than windows, or smart phones, & the idea of backdooring smart phones has been rejected by US security officials because it would do more harm than good. Smart phones are extremely common, widely used by just about everyone around the world, & are on the whole vastly more likely to yield useful intelligence than any Linux distro. How is backdooring one specific version of an OS used by less than 1/10th of PC users even a fraction as useful as backdooring the smart phones used by nearly everyone? It would be mindbogglingly stupid to backdoor any specific version of a nice OS like like Linux while ignoring the vast pool of data available on smart phones & again, that idea was rejected even though it was considered:
Finally, as I mentioned before the project downstream of Fedora is none other than Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is used heavily by major institutions across the US including the military, federal government & nearly all major US corporations. The US government has been trying for years now to improve the cyber security of major firms across the US & has been actively encouraging better security practices. Wouldn't it be immensely counter productive the encourage holes in a OS so heavily used by major businesses across the US? If a backdoor is left there it is a hole that someone else would inevitably find & exploit, & given all the talk about need for better computer security for years now it seems downright stupid to imagine putting a hole in something like RHEL or upstream in Fedora. Just look at the types of major companies that Red Hat claims as customers & tell me how it is anything but stupid to imagine putting a backdoor in an OS used by so many companies & organizations that play a vital role is US security:
Yes, that says every not only does every department in the executive branch of the US government use RHEL, but so does every airline in the global fortune 500. Given what happened to airplanes in the US on 9/11, can you even imagine the political fallout from an airplane being brought down by an exploit inserted by US intelligence? Now tell me how it isn't idiotic FUD of the highest order to suggest that anyone would risk creating such fallout by backdooring RHEL's upstream project?
95 • #94 (by jadecat09 on 2015-11-15 08:13:47 GMT from Europe)
Intelligence agencies from whatever country are not known for their 'intelligence'.
96 • Advanced File Systems Are Techies Only; Fedora DisInfo (by joncr on 2015-11-15 09:51:19 GMT from North America)
The user interface of the "advanced" file systems I've tried is usually a reference to a man page or the developer site. I have better ways to spend my time.
I've used Fedora for years and find this thread awash in hypocritical disinformation about the distro. E.g., it takes essentially the same free software stance as Debian, yet is routinely trashed as broken for not shipping nonfree code while Debian gets a pass.I suspect its status as a project of a corporation colors the thinking of naive people who actually think FOSS will change the world.
97 • security, privacy and Redhat/Fedora (by nolinuxguru on 2015-11-15 16:29:33 GMT from Europe)
@94 I feel so much better being told that Fedora and Redhat would not be so stupid as to conspire with the 3-letter agencies to introduce backdoors in open source software. Not necessary.
The ordinary software development process produces plenty of bugs that are already exploited by criminals worldwide, and the pool of 0-days waiting to be discovered is a rich food source for everyone who wants to exploit our dependence on the internet.
I do not begrudge the intelligence agencies [NSA/CIA and their UK equivalents GCHQ/MI5] having the means to monitor terrorists etc, but I don't want criminals to have such access by virtue of millions of new lines of code produced every week/month.
This is the point where I am told that no Redhat or Fedora computer has ever been compromised by malware.
I come back to the original points and opinions about the security of Fedora, SELinux. In the absence of independent, redundant and continuous audit of open source, it comes down to an issue of trust.
The case of TOR
98 • security, privacy and redhat/fedora (by nolinuxguru on 2015-11-15 16:49:36 GMT from Europe)
[sorry, I found a key to terminate input]...
As I was saying, the case of TOR was raised as it was originally created by the US Naval Labs, and therefore not to be trusted. However, it has been developed in the open by people like Jacob Appelbaum and Roger Dingledine, who I trust, as do many of the political activists all over the world that rely on TOR literally for their lives.
99 • re #95 (by M.Z. on 2015-11-15 23:47:35 GMT from North America)
Not sure why I'm having trouble posting, but here is the short version:
The actual evidence seems to greatly contradict claims of stupidity on the part of US cyber intelligence. Even when Suxnet had spread to tens of thousands of computers nearly 60% of infections were still occurring in Iran & US infections only numbered in the hundreds. After that targeting only got better with flame malware that barely hit any collateral targets at all:
It looks like US cyber intelligence is quite excellent at hitting whoever they want with multiple zero day exploits with a high degree of precision. To these people hitting a distro upstream of a major US Linux vendor would be backward thinking & stupid. Also as comment # 97 indicates zero days will always exist & all good QA does is limit their number. Throwing FUD towards Fedora only shows how little you know about the reality of cyber security.
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