| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 636, 16 November 2015
Welcome to this year's 46th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
In recent months we have been hearing about a new, special version of the openSUSE distribution. The new openSUSE edition, called Leap, takes the distribution in a new direction where enterprise packages will make up the core of the operating system while community software rounds out the end user experience. This week we explore openSUSE 42.1 "Leap" and report on how the project's new version performs. In the News section we discuss Fedora making Wayland the default display software and work the Ubuntu developers are doing to make the Mir display technology ready for public use. We also talk about changes to the Debian live disc project, the launch of Debian-powered Steam gaming consoles and the Libreboot firmware project joining GNU. Plus we talk about finding a balance between stable releases and rolling release distributions in our Questions and Answers column. In our Torrent Corner we share the distributions we are seeding and then we provide a list of the distributions released last week. In our Opinion Poll we ask how many of our readers are using new display technologies such as Wayland and Mir. We are also happy to announce this month's donation recipient is TestDisk. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (34MB) and MP3 (27MB) formats
• Music credit: Clouds Fly With Me by Matti Paalanen
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Leaping in a new direction with openSUSE 42.1
The openSUSE project has been talking for a while now about their new edition, called openSUSE Leap. The new edition of openSUSE is intended to provide a more stable core while still offering users cutting edge desktop software. The project's release announcement for openSUSE 42.1 explains:
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 new release provides users with KDE's Plasma 5.4 desktop as well as GNOME 3.16 and MATE 1.10 (along with various other desktop environments I will touch on later). Unlike previous releases of openSUSE, there is no live disc for 42.1. Our download choices include a 4.3GB installation DVD and a 85MB net-install CD. I decided to download the full sized DVD image.
Booting from the openSUSE 42.1 media brings up a menu giving us the option of installing the distribution, upgrading an existing copy of openSUSE, starting a rescue session or checking the integrity of the media. I would be curious to see how well the upgrade feature works coming from a pre-Leap version of openSUSE, but I unfortunately did not have the time to explore that option this week. Instead I dived straight into the installation process.
The distribution uses a graphical system installer which begins by asking us to select our preferred language and our keyboard's layout. This screen also shows us licensing information for openSUSE and we can access a local copy of the project's release notes. We are next asked if we would like to enable on-line software repositories and/or access additional local media in order to install extra software during the set up process. By default, openSUSE's installer suggests it can automatically partition our hard drive with a Btrfs volume and some swap space. Alternatively, we can manually partition the disk. The disk partitioning screen has a lot of options and may be intimidating to new users, but I feel the utility is well organized and I found the individual screens easy to navigate. The installer supports working with file systems such as ext2/3/4 and XFS as well as Btrfs. After we divide up our disk the installer asks us to select our time zone from a map of the world. We are then asked which desktop environment we would like to have installed. While openSUSE defaults to KDE, other options include GNOME, Xfce, LXDE, Enlightenment, a plain X session or text-mode only with no desktop software. The following screen gets us to create a user account. Finally, we are shown a summary of the actions openSUSE's installer will take. Each action and setting listed in the summary has a hyperlink next to it, allowing us to configure or adjust the setting. For instance, we can choose which background services to enable, change the location of the boot loader and select which software will be installed. Once we confirm the settings are correct, the installer copies its files to our hard drive and reboots the computer.
I quite like openSUSE's system installer. I found it worked very quickly, the screens are responsive and while we could get through the installer by mostly clicking "Next" a handful of times, there is a great deal of customization which can be done. I like that the distribution makes things simple for us while providing easy access to more advanced configuration options.
When the computer boots, the openSUSE boot menu gives us the option of either loading the distribution normally, or accessing and booting one of the distribution's past snapshots. I will talk a bit about file system snapshots later, but for now it is worth noting that each time we change the operating system's configuration or install new software updates, openSUSE takes a snapshot of its file system (assuming we run the operating system on a Btrfs volume). When the system boots we can decide which snapshot to load, allowing us to roll back to a configuration we know to be good. This may be my favourite feature of openSUSE as it makes the operating system virtually bullet proof to any upgrade or configuration flaws and a reboot can fix just about anything short of hardware failure.
The openSUSE distribution boots to a graphical login screen where we can choose to sign into KDE's Plasma desktop or into the Ice window manager (IceWM). I tried the IceWM session and it is pretty minimal, but the session does provide the bare bones components of a traditional desktop layout. This session could be useful for running openSUSE on low-end machines or for recovering the system in the case Plasma breaks. After confirming the IceWM session worked, I spent all of my remaining time with Plasma 5. Plasma is presented with the application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop we find icons for opening the file manager. The Plasma desktop defaults to using a classic tree-style application menu, a feature I appreciate as I find navigating categories with mouse movements a smoother experience than typing searches or clicking on categories of software to bring up new menu pages. Plasma worked well for me and was responsive to input and I like the fairly minimal/classic desktop style the openSUSE team has chosen.
I tried running openSUSE in two test environments, a physical desktop computer and a VirtualBox virtual machine. The operating system performed well in both environments. The distribution properly detected all my hardware and set my display to its maximum resolution. In the virtual environment, openSUSE automatically integrated with VirtualBox and allowed the guest operating system to use my display's full resolution. When going through the system installer, I generally took the defaults and this resulted in a large installation, requiring about 5.6GB of disk space. However, openSUSE used notably less RAM than some of the other distributions I have tried recently, requiring around 350MB-400MB of RAM when sitting at the Plasma desktop. I suspect the wide range of memory usage arises from some of my measurements being taken while the system was checking for software updates and other measurements being taken after checks for updates were completed.
openSUSE 42.1 -- KDE System Settings
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Speaking of updates, when openSUSE detects there are software updates available in the distribution's repositories, a notification appears in our system tray. Clicking the update icon brings up a desktop widget that lists the available updates. We can click a button to install the waiting items. I was presented with only a few updates at the beginning of my trial (their total size unknown) and these were all installed cleanly from the update widget. Toward the end of the week the update widget found new packages, but would not install them and no error was given. Going into the distribution's update application I found a new package was required as a dependency to a pending upgrade. The update manager correctly handled the dependency and installed the waiting security updates. Hopefully, in the future, the update widget will handle this situation automatically.
Early in my trail with openSUSE I went into KDE's System Settings panel to make minor adjustments to the look and feel of the desktop. The System Settings panel offers users a great number of options to customize the desktop environment. Given the large number of options, I am happy to report there is a search feature to help us narrow down the exact module we need to access to change a setting. The System Settings panel includes a module for adding new printers to the system and I found this module did not work for me. The module appears to detect printers on the network, but even after providing the administrator's password, I was unable to add the detected printers to openSUSE as the button for adding a located printer was disabled. This led me to select another module in the System Settings panel which launches openSUSE's YaST control panel.
openSUSE 42.1 -- The YaST control panel
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The YaST control panel is one of the better features openSUSE offers. YaST provides a central location for system administrators to configure virtually every aspect of the operating system. YaST offers us easy to navigate, graphical modules for working with everything from software packages to printers, adjusting the system clock to joining a Windows domain, configuring the network to setting up a firewall, creating user accounts to managing file system snapshots and configuring sudo to enabling/disabling background services. There is a huge amount of flexibility to be had through YaST and I appreciate how quickly the modules load and how easy they generally are to navigate. One of YaST's modules deals with printers and I wanted to see if I would have better luck with YaST's printer utility than I had with Plasma's. As it turned out I did, but YaST was not able to locate and add a printer on its own, I had to provide the printer's full address (URI) in order for YaST to add it to the system. This is in contrast to my recent trials with Fedora and Ubuntu, both of which automatically scanned the network, found the printer and added it for me.
Aside from the printer module, there are a few other specific YaST modules I would like to touch on, including the package manager and the repository manager. The repository manager makes it easy to locate and enable additional repositories. The YaST repository manager is aware of several community repositories which can be added to the distribution with a couple of clicks. We can also manually add new repositories if we know their addresses. Community repositories are important for openSUSE users because the main repositories do not feature non-free items or popular video codecs. Fortunately, the repository manager lists not only the names of community repositories, but also offers a brief description of each repository, making it easier to find what we need.
openSUSE 42.1 -- Managing software packages
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Also on the topic of packages, the YaST software manager module worked well for me. The software manager offers us a lot of options, bordering on too many, I think. However, the basic functionality of searching for packages by name or by category work. For better or worse, the openSUSE software manager offers us several different ways to view package information and we can organize searches a number of different ways. The default method is to search for packages by name, but we can change the view to show us a tree of software categories or arrange software in various other ways. I think the software manager might be overwhelming for new users with its many options, but it does work quickly and I encountered no problems while using it. openSUSE also ships with the zypper command line package manager and it worked very well for me. The zypper utility uses a clear syntax, similar to dnf on Fedora or pkg on FreeBSD, while providing the speed of APT on the Debian family of distributions. I enjoyed using zypper as I feel it provides the best balance of performance, simple syntax and clear output of all the Linux command line package managers.
The final YaST module which stood out was Snapper. The Snapper module provides us with a way to view file system snapshots when the distribution is running on a Btrfs volume. Using Snapper, we can see a list of snapshots, see the changes that happened between each snapshot and restore files (or roll back files) from snapshots. Snapper is quite a flexible tool and it allows us to quickly browse changes to the file system, organized by directory. The YaST module appears to be a front-end for the snapper command line utility which provides similar functionality along with some extra, low-level features. By default, openSUSE creates a new snapshot of the operating system every time we make a configuration change or install package upgrades. Using Snapper, along with snapshot access from the boot menu, we can quickly roll back any harmful changes that have been made to the operating system.
openSUSE 42.1 -- Browsing file system snapshots with Snapper
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Apart from its many powerful system administrative tools, openSUSE ships with lots of useful software. Digging through the application menu we find the Firefox web browser, the Choqok micro-blogging software, the KMail e-mail client and the Konqueror web browser. The Konversation IRC client and the Kopete messaging software are also included along with the KTorrent bittorrent software. LibreOffice is installed for us along with the Okular document viewer and the KOrganizer personal organizer. The Amarok music player, KsCD audio CD player and Dragon Player are available along with the K3b disc burning software. We can also find copies of the GNU Image Manipulation Program, the digiKam camera manager and the Gwenview image viewer. There are a few small games included in the distribution's application menu along with the Marble virtual globe. I found the Ark archive manager, the Dolphin file manager, the KGet download manager and a remote desktop viewer included too. The system ships with two hardware information viewers, one in the YaST control centre and the stand-alone KInfoCentre. The former, I found, will save the details of our hardware to a text file which can be useful when submitting bug reports. openSUSE ships with a calculator, a text editor, the KGpg security key manager and a screen magnifier. Java is installed on the system for us. In the background we find systemd 210 and version 4.2.12 of the Linux kernel.
By default there is no compiler, no Flash plug-in and no support for playing popular video formats. I was able to play mp3 audio files out of the box, but to play video files I had to install codecs from openSUSE's community repositories. Adobe's Flash plug-in is also available in the repositories and worked well for me.
openSUSE 42.1 -- The YaST control panel
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openSUSE 42.1 is one of the more technically impressive and (to me at least) visually appealing distributions I have used so far this year. The distribution is easy to set up while offering a great deal of flexibility if we want to dig through the system installer's options. The desktop is responsive and easy to navigate and the distribution worked well with my hardware and integrated smoothly with VirtualBox. The YaST control centre is one of the most powerful and extensive configuration panels in the open source community and it makes tweaking the underlying operating system pleasantly easy.
While openSUSE does not have the range of software in its repositories some other mainstream distributions do, the community repositories are easy to add and make up for most of the missing open source packages.
So far as I know, openSUSE is still the only big name Linux distribution to fully embrace the advanced features of Btrfs, making it easy to create file system snapshots and roll back changes to the operating system or data files. Early on I noticed openSUSE was automatically cleaning up old snapshots, which means Btrfs will not eat up a lot of disk space. If we want to, we can adjust the number of snapshots openSUSE keeps, allowing us to revert to even older versions of files.
It took a little more work than usual to get a network printer set up on openSUSE, but otherwise everything on the distribution worked well. I was worried some components on the system would be dated, given that openSUSE 42.1 is partially based on SUSE Linux Enterprise. Such was not the case though. openSUSE's kernel, desktop software and end-user applications were all fairly modern and pleasantly stable. In short, openSUSE offered me one of the best, easiest and more flexible experiences I have had with a Linux distribution this year and I very much enjoyed my time with the operating system.
Given that I have reviewed two other mainstream projects, Fedora and Ubuntu, in recent weeks, I would like to take a moment to quickly compare those two distributions with openSUSE. Of the three, I think Ubuntu is the easiest to install, but it also provides the least amount of flexibility during the installation process. Of the three, Ubuntu also offers the best out-of-the-box multimedia support, largest supply of software in the default repositories and, in my opinion, the easiest methods for adding new packages. This makes Ubuntu a pretty attractive option for new computer users. That being said, openSUSE provided me with the best performance (short boot times and responsive desktop), a very flexible installer that was also pretty easy to utilize and adding community repositories is fairly straight forward, at least compared to Fedora's approach to adding third-party repositories.
The three distributions ship with different desktops and different default software. Fedora has GNOME, which I have found is pretty good on touch devices and Fedora offers Wayland support out of the box. openSUSE defaults to KDE's Plasma, but offers all of the big name desktop environments as options at install time. Ubuntu offers Unity as the desktop, which seems to be treading a line between traditional desktops and mobile-style interfaces.
Of the three distributions, I think Fedora is closest to the cutting edge, with openSUSE and Ubuntu both fairly close behind. However, Fedora and Ubuntu have relatively short support cycles with Fedora releases usually supported for about 14 months, Ubuntu 15.10 for just nine months and openSUSE 42.1 will receive three years of support.
The best distribution for the job will depend on the person and, of course, the role the distribution is to play. I think Fedora is aimed mostly at more technical users and people who like to tinker. Ubuntu is aimed squarely at Linux newcomers who generally want to just use their computer and openSUSE appears to be aiming at a sort of middle ground: people who have a little Linux experience and want options, but also want reliability and longer support cycles.
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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)
Fedora defaults to using Wayland, Ubuntu improves Mir support, Debian replaces its live CD project, Linux-based Steam consoles launch and Libreboot to join the GNU project
Ray Strode reported last week that the next version of Fedora will likely use GNOME running on Wayland as the default desktop environment. GNOME running on a traditional X session will act as a fallback option. "Today I built snapshots of gnome-session, gdm, gnome-shell and mutter that change how we do sessions at the login screen. We'll no longer have separate items for GNOME and GNOME on Wayland. Instead they're now both consolidated under the GNOME item. That item will use Wayland if it can, but if it falls back (because of a failure or NVIDIA proprietary drivers, or the user explicitly disables Wayland in /etc/gdm/custom.conf) then that GNOME item will use Xorg instead. I'm doing this for now in Rawhide as preparation for this system-wide [Fedora 24] change." This will make Fedora one of the few distributions to use Wayland by default.
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In similar news, it looks as though the next version of Ubuntu will ship with the Mir display server and the distribution's new Unity 8 desktop environment. Softpedia reports that the Ubuntu developers are working to get more applications running natively on Mir in preparation for shipping Mir as part of Ubuntu 16.04. "Ubuntu developers have big plans for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. The Ubuntu developers are working on improving the interaction between GTK apps and the Mir display server and it looks like they are finally getting closer to their goal." At this point it is unclear when Mir will replace the traditional X display software on Ubuntu, but it seems likely the two technologies will be presented alongside each other starting next year.
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The Debian project is quite large and involves hundreds of different people working together. With such a large group, differences in opinion and development methods are bond to happen frequently. Last week we saw an example of this as the sub-project which creates and maintains Debian's live discs was disbanded without discussion in favour of an alternative live disc project. Iain Learmonth said the old live disc project was being replaced, in part, because it was not an official branch of Debian: "It is worth noting that live-build is not a Debian project, it is an
external project that claims to be an official Debian project. This is
something that needs to be fixed. There is no namespace issue, we are building on the existing live-config and live-boot packages that are maintained and bringing these into Debian as native projects." It is a surprising claim since Debian links to the existing live images on its website and refers to them as "official live install images". Daniel Baumann, who has been working on the existing live Debian images for the past nine years, has said he will continue to provide Debian live disc images as an unofficial third-party project.
* * * * *
Last week, Christian Schaller blogged about an exciting new development for people who love both Linux and gaming consoles. Valve's Steam gaming consoles, which run a modified version of Debian, went on sale last week. "So yesterday, the 10th of November, was the official launch day of the Steam Machines. The hardware are meant to be dedicated game machines for the living room taking advantage of the Steam ecosystem, to take on the Xbox One and PS4. But for us in the Linux community these machines are more than that, they are an important part of helping us break into a broader market by paving the way for even more games and more big budget games coming to our platform." It is hoped these consoles, which feature an open source operating system, will encourage developers and people who like to tinker to develop new games, modify the hardware and improve the console ecosystem.
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Libreboot is a free (as in liberty) boot firmware project which intends to provide users with a free alternative to BIOS and UEFI firmware. Libreboot would allow manufacturers and users to replace closed source firmware that runs at boot time with open and auditable firmware. The Libreboot project is working to become a member of the GNU project. The Libreboot website reads, "Most people in the global free software community are using free operating systems; namely, the GNU operating system. However, most people still rely on proprietary boot firmware. The goal of the Libreboot project is identical to that of the GNU project and Free Software Foundation, which is to ensure that everyone has the freedom to use, study, modify and share software; in other words, the freedom to truly own and control the technology that they use. We want everyone to be able to use free software, exclusively."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
A stable operating system with rolling packages
Seeking-the-best-of-both-worlds asks: Distributions tend to either freeze packages at a specific version and the software gets out of date, or the distribution rolls forward at the detriment to stability. Is there a way to upgrade specific packages while keeping a stable operating system, like OS X and Windows do?
DistroWatch answers: There are a few approaches a person can take to getting a stable operating system with cutting edge applications. Which option is best may depend on your distribution and specific needs.
Some distributions, such as Debian, maintain a backports repository. A backports repository contains new versions of programs which have been packaged to work on older operating systems. The Debian Backports website does a nice job of explaining: "You are running Debian stable, because you prefer the Debian stable tree. It runs great, there is just one problem: the software is a little bit outdated compared to other distributions. This is where backports come in. Backports are packages taken from the next Debian release (called "testing"), adjusted and recompiled for usage on Debian stable. Because the package is also present in the next Debian release, you can easily upgrade your stable+backports system once the next Debian release comes out."
While backported packages usually do not receive as much testing as the packages in the main repositories, the backported items usually are not critical to the system working either. Checking to see if your distribution of choice has a backports repository is probably the easiest way to go.
People who run Ubuntu, or one of Ubuntu's derivatives or community distributions, can often use personal package archives (PPAs) to keep up to date with specific applications. PPAs are not subject to the quality assurance tests of the base operating system, but they are often up to date with the latest versions of software.
Another way to go is to use an operating system which is specifically designed to have a stable core and rolling desktop software. The Chakra GNU/Linux distribution fits this description. As the project's website says, "With our half-rolling release model we provide a thoroughly tested core layer of software - such as the Linux kernel, GNU coreutils and common libraries - while the software in the applications layer is updated more frequently." The various members of the BSD family of operating systems, such as OpenBSD and FreeBSD, also offer stable bases while packages move forward independently.
Another option is to run a rolling release distribution and use boot environments to snapshot your operating system prior to each software upgrade. This insures that if your operating system stops working after an upgrade, you can simply reboot to restore the operating system to its working condition. The openSUSE Tumbleweed distribution and the PC-BSD operating system with its Edge repository enabled both provide boot environments combined with a rolling release model.
The last, and perhaps least attractive, option is to download the latest source code for the software you want to keep up to date. While it can be a lot of work to set up a build environment for desktop applications, once all the packages are in place, building new versions of software from source code provides a great deal of flexibility.
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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: 132
- Total data uploaded: 20.0TB
|Released Last Week
Peter Baldwin has announced the release of ClearOS 7.1.0, the CentOS-based server distribution's first stable build in the 7.x series. This is also the first version that combines three products into one download: "ClearOS 7.1.0 final for all editions has arrived. ClearOS now comes in three different editions: Community, Home and Business. All editions can be installed from the same download ISO image, but each edition provides a mix of applications, support and services to meet different needs. This release is the first in the ClearOS 7 series and provides major improvements and new features. ClearOS 7.1.0 introduces: Samba 4, Directory (Microsoft Active Directory replacement); updated Microsoft Active Directory Connector; streamlined theme system; dynamic dashboard; updated antispam and antivirus engines; updated IDS and IPS engines; event and alert notification framework; internationalization; XFS and Btrfs file system support; improved VM support." Here is the brief release announcement.
Barry Kauler has announced the release of a new version of Quirky, a sister project to Puppy Linux. The new version, Quirky 7.3, marks the start of the project's Werewolf series, which is binary compatible with Ubuntu 15.10. "Quirky Werewolf 64-bit version 7.3 has been released. Here is a brief announcement: Quirky 7.3 is the start of the "Werewolf" series, able to install packages from the Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf repositories. Version 7.3 has major improvements to running from live-CD, with fast boot-up, zram compression and session saving. The live CD has become viable for on-going usage, as an alternative to performing an installation to fixed or removable drive. These improvements also apply to the `frugal' mode of installation. There have been numerous bug fixes and upgrades. The kernel is now 4.2.5 and SeaMonkey is 2.38." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement and in the release notes.
Netrunner 2015.11 "Rolling"
Clemens Toennies has announced the availability of new installation media for the Netrunner project's rolling release edition. The new media, Netrunner 2015.11 "Rolling", is based on packages from the Manjaro distribution and is currently available for the 64-bit x86 architecture exclusively. "The Netrunner Team is happy to announce the release of Netrunner Rolling 2015.11 64-bit version. (Note that the 32-bit version currently remains at 2015.09). Netrunner Rolling 2015.11 has been updated with packages from KDE Plasma and KDE Applications. The desktop is at Plasma 5.4.2 together with KDE Applications 15.08.2 and many more applications and libraries updated to their latest versions. Firefox with built-in Plasma support is at 42.0. Gmusicbrowser and Pidgin now fully integrate into Plasma 5's new systray. Calamares received several minor fixes with 1.4.2 and offers an easy way to use the same user password also as root password. Also with Calamares, you can pick and replace an already occupied partition easily, so you can keep one partition with your favorite OS and re-use another partition to try and test anything else without cluttering your hard-disk further." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Netrunner 2015.11 "Rolling" -- Running the KDE desktop environment
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Wayland and Mir
New graphical display technologies such as Wayland and Mir are posed to replace the venerable X display server. Distributions such as Fedora and Ubuntu are on the forefront of adopting the new display technologies, while other distributions are slowly introducing packages for Wayland.
This week we would like to know who among our readers are using new display technologies like Mir and Wayland. Have you migrated away from X? We would like to hear about your experiences in the comments section.
You can see the results of last week's poll on why more people have not adopted advanced file systems here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Wayland and Mir
|I am using Wayland: ||87 (5%)|
| I am using Mir: ||26 (1%)|
| I am using X: ||1566 (87%)|
| I primarily use a text console: ||36 (2%)|
| I am using a mixture of the above: ||89 (5%)|
October 2015 DistroWatch.com donation: TestDisk
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the October 2015 DistroWatch.com donation is TestDisk. The project receives US$450.00 in cash.
TestDisk, and its sister project, PhotoRec, are powerful and flexible partition and file recovery tools. These open source utilities help the user recover deleted partitions and files. They are valuable data recovery tools, capable of working on a wide range of file systems. "TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software: certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table)... PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted. "
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and crypto currencies are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$45,025 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300), GIMP ($350), Kodi ($300), Devuan ($300), hdparm ($350), HardenedBSD ($400), TestDisk ($450)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- XiniX. XiniX is a small Linux distribution for home and small office environments. The distributions is designed to run entirely from RAM for improved performance.
- GalliumOS. GalliumOS is a fast and lightweight Linux distribution for ChromeOS devices.
- GeckoLinux. GeckoLinux is a derivative of openSUSE Leap which features a live, installable DVD, multimedia support and the Cinnamon desktop environment.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 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 • Slackware Next (by Rel on 2015-11-16 01:31:03 GMT from North America) |
The biggest news for me this week is Slackware "almost a beta". Next version should be coming soon.. 14.2 or 15, nobody knows.
long time coming...
2 • No Wayland or Mir without X yet (by Xabre on 2015-11-16 01:38:09 GMT from Europe)
It is very hard to say that someone 'is using Wayland' or 'Mir'. Graphical environments have made some pretty big steps toward using Wayland lately, but so many applications, especially third-party applications, still depend on X, which forces you to use XWayland or XMir. Maybe in couple more years the switch will be complete, on mobile devices sooner, for sure, but for a regular desktop or laptop, plain X or Wayland/Mir plus X is the reality.
3 • @1, poll, and libreboot (by pcninja on 2015-11-16 01:40:29 GMT from North America)
Actually it has been known for quite sometime now, that the next version of Slackware will be 14.2.
I prefer X and will ignore any distro that uses wayland and/or mir. wayland and mir offer nothing new or any advantages over X.
I'm glad that libreboot is a thing is a thing, but it really won't get anywhere.
4 • QnA Best of Both Worlds (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-11-16 01:43:24 GMT from North America)
The first thing you must do is decide, for yourself, what constitutes a stable OS core. In my experience it's always Linus's playground that is the problem -- his kernel and drivers (click my handle and read comment #60).
Any rolling distro can be throttled or accelerated forward. It's a misconception about rolling distros that they "must" do this or that. In Arch or Manjaro use IgnorePkg in /etc/pacman.conf for instance. You can even stop rolling entirely and only upgrade specific packages of interest on your pacman command line. If you never do pacman -Syu then you stop rolling.
If you want to go full monty, you could even mirror old package repos at home, and/or use the Arch Build System on source code from a year ago. Soruce version control is meant for that kind of thing. Advanced, sure, but possible. Plenty of people have custom repos.
Here's an article on how to use a more recent kernel than Arch ships. Adapt to Application Whatever on an LTS kernel to fit your use case.
5 • Distro for new user (by vw72 on 2015-11-16 02:27:05 GMT from North America)
While I would agree that Ubuntu used to be for new users, it cannot really be recommended for that purpose any longer. With such a short support cycle, new users would need to be continuously upgrading to a new version. That seems to be an unnecessary and risky burden for somebody, who by definition, has little linux experience.
Yes, Ubuntu has its LTS but it only receives security updates. Using LTS relegates one to use old and outdated software and missing out on bug fixes of various packages.
Although it needs a additional testing, openSUSE Leap seems the proper target for new users. Yes, its installer isn't as simple as Ubuntu, but its long term release style that favors a stable core with periodic updates to the userland software seems the best of both worlds. openSUSE has, like Ubuntu, a very active community and OBS is similar to PPAs, so pretty much all the same software is available (just not necessarily in the core repositories).
Ubuntu still has much to offer, but its super short support cycle means it really can't be recommended for new users any longer.
6 • Best Stable Rolling Release (by wrkerr on 2015-11-16 02:40:01 GMT from North America)
Just my 2 cents... Arch is pretty stable. I've been running it for a couple years now, and have had no stability issues. Once or twice a year some manual intervention is required when an update is pushed out, but it is always clearly communicated on their blog, and the manual steps needed are clearly documented.
Sure, I wouldn't deploy it on dozens or hundreds of corporate business machines, where even one hour of down time would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, but for a single end user, I don't really know why an average user would need anything more stable.
Now I do only have a couple AUR packages installed, and that could contribute to the stability. Some people go crazy installing AUR packages, some of which are questionable, but the same could be said for PPAs on Mint, Ubuntu, or Debian. That's not really a fault with any of the distributions, but rather a choice the device administrator has to make about how they want to maintain the installation.
7 • Best stable rolling release (by RollMeAway on 2015-11-16 02:48:25 GMT from North America)
PCLinuxOS of course. Very surprised Jesse did not list it.
If I had to choose ONLY one distro it would be PCLinux.
It only upgrades packages when they are known to be stable,
not the day after a new release.
Another big plus, they do not use systemd (d is for damned).
8 • OpenSUSE (by PePa on 2015-11-16 03:15:21 GMT from Asia)
Ubuntu is not "squarely aimed at newcomers". Ubuntu's repositories are so vast, that they put OpenSUSE and Fedora's repositories to shame. Also, the recommended Ubuntu install is supported for 5 years. Ubuntu (LTS) is a very stable, well supported option also for the very experienced Linux users. I keep trying OpenSUSE, but it's just more difficult to use, limiting your software choices, making multimedia more difficult, and on the whole, I find the dpkg/apt ecosystem more pleasant than rpm/*. And because of Ubuntu's long term support, it is also a great option on the server.
9 • Ubuntu F.U.D. & truths (by Greg Zeng on 2015-11-16 04:19:20 GMT from Oceania)
@8 Agreed. Still so much anti-Ubuntu ignorance everywhere.
The pure Canonical-approved Ubuntu's are either short-term (October, "10") or long-term (April "04", LTS) releases. Since Canonical is the legally responsible parent, in maintains responsibly including the older Linux kernels forgotten & neglected by others.
Ubuntu-based distributions are more than 70 active brand-names: 23 LTS releases and about 70 others), including the most popular, Mint and its derivatives.
Generally the Ubuntu-derivatives include extra PPA's that auto-update ("rolling") if you launch the icon "Update", or use Synaptics "update". Updates are always user selectable. It is possible in all Ubuntu's to update some third-party .DEB applications, without using the PPA method.
Canonical is trying to help 3rd party application developers with coding, since coders are very reluctant to compile their applications. Most who do compile choose the DEB rather than the RPM format. RPM has dubious workability on the very different RPM distributions: OpenSusie, PCLOS, RedHat, etc.
After each 04 and 10 official release, the better Ubuntu's arrive days later with PPA's, drivers and other useful software shortcomings debugged, customized and updated.If you can handle Mint's white-letters on a white-background, then beginners seem ok with it. Alternatively the BlackLab range offers Black-letters on a dark-blackground. So I usually multi-boot using WattOS or Peppermint, then add my own selection of applications.
10 • PCLinuxOS of course @7 (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-11-16 04:30:43 GMT from North America)
For sure, a nice rolling distro. I love the Full Monty desktop concept. I'd delete spyware like Skype and Chrome, but still, nice. Why are the current ISOs are all nearly a year old, don't those guys do at least semiannuals?
11 • AUR (by linuxista on 2015-11-16 04:51:09 GMT from North America)
@6 I have approx. 100 packages installed from AUR on my Arch install (about 5 years now and still going strong), and I would say there is an almost zero % increase in instability. The only thing I can recall is an upgrade to ncurses that broke conky-lua in AUR, and the package maintainer was in no hurry to revise the build script. So I just installed conky-lua-nvidia instead.
12 • New File Systems (by Roy H Huddleston on 2015-11-16 05:23:09 GMT from North America)
I recently got a new solid state drive and they are new to me. I having been sticking with Lubuntu and only use Gnome with it. The Kingston 240 GB solid state drive gave me the option to use the Manufacturers OEM for my new Asus motherboard which now contains 34 GB of Kingston value RAM. I know kind of overkil for Linux. But with the Intel 4th generation 3.5 quad core processor I now have an EFI FAT 32 file system of 537 MB on Partition 1, Partition 2 is 204 GB EXT 4 and 34 GB Swap on Partition 3 on the same drive. I was reading the article on Libreboot about Debian and wonder since I use the alternate Debian installer for Lubuntu that this might be part of it since:
Libreboot is a free (as in liberty) boot firmware project which intends to provide users with a free alternative to BIOS and UEFI firmware. Libreboot would allow manufacturers and users to replace closed source firmware that runs at boot time with open and auditable firmware.
13 • @10 PCLinuxOS / display server (by Will B on 2015-11-16 05:47:47 GMT from North America)
@10/Arch Watcher, I wish PCLinuxOS had a reliable and straightforward way to install from USB thumb-drive. I could not find any real resources about that problem. Another problem...tried installing from an external DVD drive and it failed during boot. I'm not going to blame this on hardware because other distros, BSDs and even Solaris boot and work fine with those two methods.
== X / Wayland / Mir ==
As an off-again-on-again user of FreeBSD, X is the only choice I have right now. Even when using Debian it's only X for me. I'm not afraid or against Wayland (Mir, on the other hand, I don't for), Wayland is just too immature. I need stability and don't use Gnome, so...
14 • Xinix already dead ? (by Frederic Bezies on 2015-11-16 07:02:04 GMT from Europe)
Looks like there is a problem with xinix link : I got a "Whoops, we can't find that page." on sourceforge.
Bad link ? Dead project ? Both ?
15 • ... (by Kanjut Gelayut on 2015-11-16 07:48:40 GMT from Asia)
@2: Actually, Wayland and Mir both offer many improvements and advancements from X. However, they might not seem very relevant to end-users. In general, both Wayland and Mir abandon countless amount of legacy codes carried over several versions and decades in X, which should result in a more maintainable software.
16 • Bluetooth USB hubs? (by Basil Fernie on 2015-11-16 07:50:01 GMT from Africa)
What's this and why I posting on DistroWatch? Well, think home-office Wireless USB hub; unthink Wireless, replace with Bluetooth. Ideally, a very apt, inexpensive way to tidy up the cable-clutter of my Services-server-centre used by half a dozen ageing Linux boxen, mainly without WiFi, scattered around the house and reduce the amount of tennis-shoe net communication. So I want a powered 7- or 10-USB slot hub with not a USB cable to the user PC but a Bluetooth dongle, of which I have collected many, and semi-hard-wired to the printers etc, which any of my users can access via BT from wherever they are in the house.
Now for the software, OS, drivers issues: Most of the work on this seems to have been done in Windows contexts, and anyway seems to have been halted a fwe years ago. Why? Tech issues, or reduced income expectations vis-a-vis WiFi? Any sage insights - if positive, which distro's userland would be best to haunt? Should I make a custom server/interface using Pi or Arduino?
17 • Xinix on SF (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-11-16 08:16:23 GMT from North America)
SourceForge has two Xinix entries (both Linux-related). I put the search in this comment's URL.
18 • X++ (by zykoda on 2015-11-16 08:42:00 GMT from Europe)
At present, as far as I know (and I may be wrong), Wayland/Mir do not provide network transparency. I use cuda with opengl for interactive 3D model creation for FFT computations and display of results. It is unclear whether such a system is possible under Wayland/Mir at present
19 • Upgrading openSUSE 13.1 to Leap 42.1 (by dhinds on 2015-11-16 09:05:01 GMT from North America)
"I would be curious to see how well the upgrade feature works coming from a pre-Leap version of openSUSE, but I unfortunately did not have the time to explore that option this week."
I did - using the DVD iso burned to a USB flash drive, and the upgrade was uneventful, even though the version I upgraded was not the most recent prior version (which was 13.2).
Then, which the help of the excellent openSUSE Forum, I then installed the Xfce Base Package and Desktop, along with Gnome. (I can choose either or ICE on logging in).
I think openSUSE did something right, this time around.
20 • Dated openSuSE Compnents (by dhinds on 2015-11-16 09:30:30 GMT from North America)
"I was worried some components on the system would be dated, given that openSUSE 42.1 is partially based on SUSE Linux Enterprise."
I too had trouble with installing a (new HP) printer, since the version of hplip installed (14.6) is not the most recent (15.9) and the printer requires at least 15.7. (So I'm using Fedora Xfce at the moment, which along with Sparky Openbox, are the main systems on the desktop computer). Other than that temporary glitch, I found the new stable openSUSE to be fully operational.
21 • @17 : got right xinix project url :) (by Frederic Bezies on 2015-11-16 09:33:10 GMT from Europe)
Thanks for your tip, got the good url : http://sourceforge.net/projects/xinix/
Looks like waiting list and this gazette needs to be a little modified ;)
22 • OpenSuse Leap 42 & Rolling stable (by Stan on 2015-11-16 09:38:23 GMT from Europe)
I've installed OpenSuse Leap 42 on a Lenovo G50 laptop. The laptop came with Win8, upgraded to Win10, then installed OpenSuse Leap 42 the day after being released.
After installing OpenSuse Leap 42 I could not boot Windows 10 anymore, from the boot menu said something like "Unsupported boot image". I like to advanced features in OpenSuse but they should polish a bit more, specially in multimedia and font smoothing.
I've decided to try Arch, it is wonderful, I believe the major stability issues are coming from the constant kernel updates even tho I'm using the LTS version of the kernel. Since Jul 2015 I only had one issue with a LTS kernel update that I had to rollback and black list the update until 2 more relases.
I'm using 6 packages from the AUR because they are not in the official repos.
Arch has great potential to be a rock solid option when someone decide to lock-down the core and push the QA to the sky.
23 • OpenSUSE, Rolling Stable, LibreBoot (by Arkanabar on 2015-11-16 11:47:46 GMT from North America)
Everyone has their preferences. My beef with zypper as a package manager is that it runs a download, then installs a package, then runs another download, and installs another package. This is VERY frustrating to the others on my network. They vastly prefer how it's done by APT (and Windows, for that matter) -- download all updates, and then install them all. That was my only issue with OpenSUSE, which otherwise I liked a lot.
Right now my main Linux OS is PCLinuxOS, which is a rolling-release distro, but which is very conservative with regards to updating the kernel, X, bash, the init system, the toolchain, and the other lower-level parts of the system (which for them also includes KDE -- they still prefer 4), while making available the latest versions of userland apps, such as web browsers, LibreOffice, Thunderbird, and so on. In short, they keep the OS itself pretty stable, while keeping anything a user would install on Windows quite up-to-date. Texstar hasn't rolled out any new ISOs in nearly a year, but the community has, and that's what I recently installed from, and I was very pleased. Unetbootin safely put the live X86_64 MiniMe KDE iso onto a thumb drive, and it's possible to use hybridiso to convert the ISO to a hybrid which can be dd'd.
I am REALLY excited about LibreBoot. This is something we've really needed for a long time.
24 • @23 PCLinux is half rolling in this case. (by Frederic Bezies on 2015-11-16 12:43:22 GMT from Europe)
I wonder how long you can keep an older base without a younger software above it.
I can understand using a LTS kernel. But what about glibc or any other low level libs which are very sensitive.
How are managed upgrade in this case ? I'm just using Archlinux since end of 2008 early 2009. Only time I had to reinstall ? When changing computers or HDD.
25 • GeckoLinux (by lucius on 2015-11-16 12:52:53 GMT from Europe)
Got it installed here - very nice. Their point about their fonts looking better than openSuSE's fonts is well made. My only criticism and this is more about Cinnamon than any distro using it as DE, is that it contains apps that give you access to lists of online applets and desklets, the majority of which don't work. This is getting to be like KDE's "get more themes/icons" app, that links to vast numbers of themes and icons the majority of which don't work with the app. Attention is required in this department - it makes the distro look bad.
26 • openSUSE 42.1 (by johnhenry UK on 2015-11-16 13:03:16 GMT from Europe)
I concur with this review wholeheartedly. I have often had a hankering to use openSUSE, as it is a beautifully crafted distro, but always found the hoops one had to jump through to install and maintain packages like VirtualBox very discouraging.
But now installing openSUSE is as easy as Ubuntu or any of the rest. I have been using it for a week or more, and it is a joy. Apart from VirtualBox which can be installed as simply as any piece of software, openSUSE now makes it very simple to install other virtualizations like Qemu/KVM and Xen, and it seems rock solid. All the necessary codecs can be installed straight from the Community page through the browser. Again nothing could be simpler.
27 • Wayland and Mir (by ybolu on 2015-11-16 13:06:25 GMT from Europe)
For some time I've been seeing Wayland/Mir names. I don't know what they are (yes, they are display servers, that's for sure). I don't know what are the advantages/disadvantages of one's to another. I tried to read some about them. It is not easy for me to understand technical articles written in a way assuming the reader already knows the technologies. What is X can't do that Wayland and Mir can do (by the eye of an average Linux user)?
Likewise init and systemd. Why I see some people curse systemd?
I see some posts like that "Mir? Booooo!!!", "systemd, I'll never use it, booo!"
Those are still mystery to me. I think I'll use whichever comes with LinuxMint, without understanding what I use and why.
28 • @27 (by pcninja on 2015-11-16 13:18:36 GMT from North America)
Well systemd is just there to put a big hole in the security of your system. It takes so much control away from users, that it is even being labeled Malware and it should be labeled as such.
Mir is just a display server that will only be used in Ubuntu and Ubuntu mobile. I think there is on way they will get anywhere and I highly doubt nVidia, AMD, and Intel want to waste their time supporting it..
29 • Paper and reality (by Xabre on 2015-11-16 13:28:18 GMT from Europe)
@15 Discussing technical benefits and improvements is one thing. I doubt that anyone who read about Wayland and X will find that Wayland wasn't needed and that X is perfect.
But here we have a current status of practical usage: you start Gnome on Wayland, at first look it seems it's working fine. Then you start Firefox and realize it still needs XWayland to run. Am not sure, but I believe that it's the same with Chrome/Chromium. And web browser is such an important part of using a computer these days.
Until at least most common and most needed apps fully support Wayland (or Mir or whichever), any kind of a story about switching away from X is premature.
30 • OpenSuse 42.1 (by Rick on 2015-11-16 13:57:29 GMT from North America)
I have used Linux for the past several years and have mostly stayed with Debian based distros for production. I decided to give the latest OpenSuse 42.1 another try on my test laptop, a Lenovo Thinkpad T61. It went well until it reached the network configuration screen. I tried 3 times to configure my WiFi without success. I continue to be amazed that a distro that has been around for more than 17 years still can't configure WiFi on the fly like many other distros can. As such, I will simply not attempt to use these types of distros.
31 • @1 + @20 (by Microlinux on 2015-11-16 14:16:01 GMT from Europe)
@1: Next Slackware will be 14.2, since aaa_elflibs in -current is 14.2. BTW, I'm already building extra packages for it here: http://www.microlinux.fr/microlinux/
@20: HPLIP can be upgraded easily. Just download HPLIP in RPM format from the official website and upgrade it using rpm -uvh.
32 • openSUSE 42.1 (by Carson on 2015-11-16 14:37:44 GMT from North America)
openSUSE has always been my distro of choice for getting work done (I'm a web developer). Leap 42.1 continues to to the job amazingly.
33 • @9 Being critical of Ubuntu is not FUD (by vw72 on 2015-11-16 15:13:31 GMT from North America)
There is no Ubuntu FUD in my comment. Unless you want to install the release that is currently over 1.5 years old (14.04). You don't have a long term option. The software included in 14.04 works fine for a server install, but is very dated for a desktop user.
Put differently, if you were moving somebody to Windows, would you install Windows 8.1 for them? Probably not. And yet, it was the version of Windows that was "current" when Ubuntu 14.04 was released.
My point was, new users need stability, security updates and updated packages for key user space packages. Currently, if openSUSE 42.1 pans out like it has been advertise, it provides that. Ubuntu and derivatives don't.
Ubuntu is very good at what it does, it isn't the only distro that is that way. As for the amounts of packages available, yes, Debian derivatives have a plethora of them. Of course part of that is .debs are broken out into individual packages far more than .rpms are. When one looks at user space programs, particularly those that are still in active development, then numbers are quite similar.
Finally, constructive criticism is not FUD, it's the way things improves. Even Canonical states that.
34 • suse (by Tim Dowd on 2015-11-16 15:31:13 GMT from North America)
I'm glad to see openSuse get some positive attention. It historically was one of the best ways for a new user to get involved with Linux. I'd love to see that again. I switched to Debian because I needed ppc support and didn't want to be in both the rpm and deb world but I do love Suse.
plus, Novell is one of the good guys in the open source world. Without their shutting SCO's threats and lawsuits down Linux development would have been slowed enormously.
35 • openSUSE and wi-fi and Ubuntu (by Jesse on 2015-11-16 15:33:44 GMT from North America)
@30: " I tried 3 times to configure my WiFi without success. I continue to be amazed that a distro that has been around for more than 17 years still can't configure WiFi on the fly like many other distros can. As such, I will simply not attempt to use these types of distros."
openSUSE features a few different ways to configure the wi-fi. There is the YaST module, which you were probably using. But openSUSE 42.1 also ships with Network Manager by default, which means you can configure wi-fi on openSUSE exactly the same way to configure it on Debian. So, yes, the system will configure wi-fi "on the fly", just like Debian does.
@33: Constructive criticism isn't FUD, but what you are posting is not factually correct. Ubuntu, despite its faults, does have more software than most other distros (including almost all RPM based projects), does provide security updates for supported releases and has backports and PPAs that keep their desktop software up to date.
Also, I'd like to point out that of course you would install Windows 8.1 for a Windows user now... if Windows 10 wasn't out yet. Ubuntu 16.04 (the version equivalent) will be out in about five months, in which case it'll be the preferred choice for new installs.
36 • systemd (by linuxista on 2015-11-16 15:52:22 GMT from North America)
@27, @28 "Well systemd is just there to put a big hole in the security of your system. It takes so much control away from users, that it is even being labeled Malware and it should be labeled as such." Wow, all the devs from all the major distros, including enterprise linux, must be a bunch of idiots for all switching to systemd. Either that or your claims are somewhat exaggerated or baseless.
37 • X or new thingies? (by Arve Eriksson on 2015-11-16 15:53:29 GMT from Europe)
To my knowledge, I'm running X and voted accordingly... though I'd try Wayland in a heartbeat if I knew how to safely go about doing so. I.e. not destroying/removing every package ever in the process.
(Running Mint 17.2. Also, haven't tried to install Wayland for the last couple of months at least.)
38 • How are packages counted? (by dbrion1 on 2015-11-16 16:03:00 GMT from Europe)
Well, I suppose one can make as many "binary" packages one wants with a source package (ex : a binary one, a devel one, many with doc (pdf doc, html docs, palin text doc ...) This seems absurd, but Fedora split up a huge (> 1G) tex package texlive-2014-14.20140525_r34255.fc23.src.rpm into ... hundreds of "binary" -noarch- ones).
Does one count packages
as they are traditionally installed -instead "binary" ones?
or the original package - which makes more sense for me ; but comparison, if any, would be unfair : detecting flaws, adding patches can be more difficult for a huge source package than for a small one...- ?
39 • @36 (by a on 2015-11-16 16:41:26 GMT from Europe)
"all the devs from all the major distros, including enterprise linux, must be a bunch of idiots for all switching to systemd"
Couln’t have said it better.
40 • @35 Packages (by vw72 on 2015-11-16 17:32:30 GMT from North America)
I do not question that Ubuntu as all debian distributions have more packages than rpm based distributions. That is because of two main reasons. One, by design .debs are much more granular in their packaging so individual libs are split out, and debug and source packages are counted, too. That's fine, it's how debian wants to do it. On the other hand, .rpm packages tend to include more in each package, so when installing software x, fewer .rpm packages are installed versus the debian way. However, in both cases, the same application was installed and ultimately the same libs and other supporting pieces.
A good example is ubuntu-restricted-extras. In the debian scheme, it is just a meta-package pointing to numerous real packages. If Fedora or openSUSE were to ship an equivalent package (which they don't), the .rpm wouldn't be a meta package, but contain all of those individual pieces in one package. Again, the same software is installed, The two (.deb and .rpm) just use a different philosophy.
Even with the above, actual applications that can be installed through .debs are significantly more. However, this, again, is a philisophical difference. Loosly, once a package is accepted in debian, it stays in debian, even if no longer being actively developed or maintained (other than somebody packaging it). .rpm distros tend to only include applications that are being developed and maintained. So the application count is lower for .rpm distros, but the availability of current applications is, again, similar. openSUSE even has the advantage over Fedora that if you really want a deprecated program, you can request it in the OBS and somebody will build it for you.
As for backports and PPAs allowing for updates to existing software, again we are talking about new users. Reading the questions on the Ubuntu forums, there is often a lot of problems encountered. For instance there is a PPA for Gnome 3.18, but while it seems to work quite well for me, even the packagers of it caution against using it "unless you know what your are doing." That hardly seems to qualify as a new user friendly.
Ubuntu is a great distribution. There is no question about that. The question is whether or not it is STILL the best distribution for new users -- you know, converts from Windows or OS X? Is it STILL the best distribution for those people who aren't able to really install it for themselves?
I don't think it is, anymore. At one time, they were the leader in adding features anc capabilities to make it relatively easy to switch to it. Those features are still there, of course, but the other distros have caught up and Ubuntu is not unique in that regard any more.
There is no doubt that Ubuntu is one of, if not the most used distros. But that doesn't mean it is the best distro for new users. At one time Redhat/Fedora was the most used distro and it was definitely not the best distro for new users.
Finally, with regards to installing WIndows 8.1 versus 10 and Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04. If you needed to install today, yes, you would install 10. However, likewise, if installing Ubuntu you would be installing 14.04 since 16.04 isn't available. My point was not to imply one should install 8.1, just to show how much software changes in a year and a half (8.1 versus 10) and why installing 14.04 as a long term release is not really feasible at this time, particularly for new users.
Then again, a new user could install 15.10 and upgrade when 16.04 comes out, but again, that is burdensome for a new user, whereas a longer support cycle, like they used to have, would allow the new user to sit on 15.10 for awhile and when they were more familiar with their new system, do the upgrade.
Again, I am not trying to diss anything that Ubuntu has accomplished. I only question if it is still the system to recommend for new users. I know that Mint users would argue otherwise, as would a number of other distros.
Finally (I know, this is my second finally), it would be great if Distrowatch had an IRC channel for this type of discussion!
Anyway, you do great work, keep it up.
41 • opensus (by mes on 2015-11-16 17:33:50 GMT from Europe)
I tried opensuse KDE in virtualbox. Unfortunately I got a black screen. In the release anouncements I found that there is a problem with the login manager. I did not follow the instructions to get it working but tried gnome instead. This time it worked fine.
42 • @23 (by AnklefaceWroughtlandmire on 2015-11-16 18:12:14 GMT from South America)
@23 "Everyone has their preferences. My beef with zypper as a package manager is that it runs a download, then installs a package, then runs another download, and installs another package. This is VERY frustrating to the others on my network. They vastly prefer how it's done by APT (and Windows, for that matter) -- download all updates, and then install them all."
> modify /etc/zypp/zypp.conf and find and change:
> commit.downloadMode = DownloadInAdvance
43 • ubuntu (by Tim Dowd on 2015-11-16 18:43:22 GMT from North America)
@5, @33, @40
I have to ask when I look at your comments- do you use Ubuntu? What you're describing is really a non-issue in practical terms.
It's best to think of Ubuntu as a semi-rolling distro. You install it, it gets security updates for 6 months, and then it does a major upgrade.
A new user that was using 15.04 would have been asked about a month ago if they wanted 15.10. If they said yes, it would take about half an hour to update the repositories, download the updates, install, and reboot. Then they'd be pretty much good for 6 months.
This is a really good thing for a new user. They get stability but not stale packages, and it's trivial to update.
It seems like you're thinking like you have to do a fresh install every time you upgrade. That would be a pain, but it's not how Ubuntu works.
44 • Ubuntu for Newcomers (by DN on 2015-11-16 21:17:52 GMT from Europe)
@5 (& 33 & 40)
You _do_ have an agenda against Ubuntu, haven't you? FUD is correct in your case.
As non-geek linux-user for 12 years, who started with Debian and in between used for some time Suse and RedHat before finally arriving and staying with Ubuntu my conclusion is the opposite:
Ubuntu LTS is _exactly_ the distro I do recommend to any newcomer.
Your reasons against are purely academic; they might apply to you and your ideology, but not to real people new to linux.
Newcomers want to use their computer and not fiddle around with things, and Ubuntu LTS allows them to do that painlessly. No newcomer needs the latest software version fresh from development - he needs things that work, and work reliably and don't crash; he is busy enough trying to find out how things work when they _are_ working ...
Once newcomers start to find their way around Linux andthen maybe want to experiment, the way to distro-hopping and whatever they want to do is wide open to them.
45 • Ubuntu for newbies (by linuxista on 2015-11-16 21:30:09 GMT from North America)
@5 says: With such a short support cycle, new users would need to be continuously upgrading to a new version. That seems to be an unnecessary and risky burden for somebody, who by definition, has little linux experience.
@43 says: it's trivial to update.
This is an interesting question. Myself, I have switched to Manjaro as my go to distro to install for newbies, partly because, as an Arch user, my Ubuntu/Debian skills are getting a little rusty, and partly due to the interim upgrades. I have found that Manjaro has been working well, and my newbie or non-tech disposed friends and relatives have actually needed my intervention less. There are a number of areas.
1. PPAs vs. AUR. The AUR is way easier. Oftentimes users needed my help to install a package from a PPA, even if I'd already shown them how to do it before.
2. General stability. No discernible difference.
3. Interim Upgrades vs. Rolling: Rolling is easier. My newbie non-techie friends update Manjaro without ever consulting me. For doing a release upgrade on the other hand, I usually get a call, or I myself don't feel confident that they'll be able to pull it off without getting hung up somewhere or accidentally interrupting the upgrade.
4. Rolling vs. Release Update stability. With a rolling upgrade there is little to no risk even including some power outage or interruption, etc. I myself have never had an Ubuntu or Mint release upgrade fail catastrophically, and I would be interested to hear if anybody else has. I have had, maybe 10-20% of the time a somewhat "dirty" upgrade, being greeted with various error messages on reboot, which sometimes go away, and sometimes don't. I do know that even when Mint was following the Ubuntu upgrade model they always recommended a clean install and discouraged trying to upgrade.
So, in conclusion, while I think upgrading works reasonably well for most Ubuntu users, I don't think it's trivial or entirely risk free for newbies or non-tech-interested users. Personally, I find Manjaro has proved to be a better choice, and it might be worth reconsidering the accepted thinking that Ubuntu is the most newbie friendly. Mint's new release model might be significantly easier for newbies, as well as Suse Leap, or possibly PCLinuxOS (which I have little familiarity with).
46 • @43 Ubuntu (by vw72 on 2015-11-16 21:47:27 GMT from North America)
Yes, I use Ubuntu and other distros. It really depends on what the customer wants. We support a good number of small to medium businesses and school districts, ranging from a few users to just under a thousand users.
Very often, what we "experienced" users think new users want/need and what they actually want/need are far apart.
Look, three to five years ago, I would have agreed that Ubuntu was the best distro for new users. We were installing it five to one. Today, however, it if pretty much 50% Ubuntu installs and 50% other installs. Still a dominant number, but not like it was.
So, when I say it isn't for new users any more, that's not just my opinion, but the opinion of people contracting with us to install and support them. Ubuntu might be just as user friendly as it ever has been. However, those other, less user friendly distros have also added those same features. There is significantly less to differentiate Ubuntu from other contenders and some choices Ubuntu makes are negative in the eyes of beholders.
My original comment was not to spread FUD, but to call Jesse out from saying it's the distro for new users. It is "A" distro for new users, but it is no longer "THE" distro for new users.
47 • @23 PCLINUXOS (by Tony on 2015-11-16 23:45:12 GMT from Europe)
Hey you mentioned there are community ISO's of PCLinuxOS out there, can you please direct me to them?
As for distros for new users I recommend Manjaro/Chakra/PCLinuxOS and in rare cases Frugalware which I personally use (because it's different ;) )
48 • OpenSUSE (by Rebecca on 2015-11-17 01:11:36 GMT from Oceania)
Tried this new version this week.... and it's excellent! I love the new KDE and now I'm spoiled for choice between OpenSUSE and Mint.... Guess I'll just have to run both of them.....
49 • The real Ubuntu problem, Mint, systemd, Wayland (by M.Z. on 2015-11-17 01:28:50 GMT from North America)
@9 & 44 - spyware is the real Ubuntu problem
While I agree that disliking the Ubuntu release cycle is hardly a major dis-qualifier, there is one major reason not to ever recommend Ubuntu to any newcomer & that is the spyware placed in the main edition. I check periodically on the download site & never see any admission of the funding sources hidden in the main edition of Ubuntu & I have yet to read of any satisfactory remedy implemented bu Ubuntu. You essentially have to know or discover that the spyware is there & then you can figure out how to disable it. Targeting unaware users with spyware is hardly ethical behavior & I think you do a disservice to new users by recommending any version of Ubuntu given how unethical the makers of the main edition are.
How long is it between MS Windows releases? What have they done historically for new users who get a PC shortly before the next version is released? Given that the LTS has 5 years of support is is released every couple of years I really don't see the problem here. You get slightly older software or a short release cycle, pick & run with it. The real ethical problem is the spyware I mentioned above.
@40 - Mint is best
Yep, as some of the users you mentioned Mint is almost certainly the best available distro for new users. I like others as well including Mageia & PCLinuxOS, but Mint still strikes me as easily the best overall for new users.
@45 - Mint upgrade
I did have a Mint upgrade fail on me once a few years ago. Well, actually it failed a couple of times in a row & I eventually put PCLinuxOS in it's place. I believe it was an upgrade from Mint 6 to Mint 7, & nothing ever looked right about the distro after I tried to upgrade. I don't remember that much about the specifics, but I sure felt like a foolish newbie before I gave up on it. I now run a separate /data partition & multiboot Mint with other versions of Linux on my laptop & backup PC. I suppose reconnecting to the /data partition after I nuke the old version of Mint may take longer, but it feels more secure than trying to do an upgrade. Also my Fedora 22 install in a VM just ate itself as well when I tried to upgrade to version 23, so I don't trust in place upgrades.
@28 & 36 - systemd
"Well systemd is just there to put a big hole in the security of your system"
Yeah, that whole statement is pure FUD. There are reasons to not like systemd, but it's generally technical stuff about how complicated systemd is. Also the Debian folks just used systemd to make Linux more secure via lowering the privileges that X runs at. Here is proof positive that systemd can actually be a security benefit even if it has some problems too:
@27 - X
I'm running X as well & to make all the technical bits simpler I'd just point out that Wayland is a replacement for X created by the very people who work on X. The people who work with X basically said "wow the X thing is a overly complicated, old, insecure piece of junk. Let's make a replacement that is flexible & simple." That, along with the fact that X will probably go away in a few years, is all most users really need to know.
@37 - easiest & safest way to Wayland
Install VirtualBox & put a copy of Fedora in there. Then when you reach the Fedora login screen select whatever says Wayland. If you computer is anything like mine your Fedora VM will promptly crash & you can say 'well I tried'. Also you get to learn how to distrohop more using VirtualBox. ;)
50 • @4, What about security updates? (by Ricardo on 2015-11-17 02:54:40 GMT from South America)
@4: The problem with that approach is that if you don't upgrade your rolling release distro you're left without security fixes (which can of course be totally fine for some systems, but it's a compromise I'm not willing to make).
With a semi-rolling release you keep that stable base "frozen" but with fixes backported, or at least that's what I would expect.
I use Slackware 14.1 with some extra 3rd party repos for updated software, giving me something closer to my ideal of a semi-rolling release.
I guess OpenSUSE Leap will be something similar.
Does anybody know of other Linux distros providing semi-rolling releases besides Chakra?
51 • PCLINUX OS Community ISOs (by sj on 2015-11-17 02:57:17 GMT from Asia)
@23 PCLINUXOS: Could you guide us from where one can download PCLINUX OS Community ISOs?
52 • PCLinuxOS Community ISOs (by Arkanabar on 2015-11-17 03:32:50 GMT from North America)
@47 and 51: Yes! I was in too much of a hurry to find the link this morning, but here you go now: http://communityiso.pclosusers.com/
And here's the thread that helped me get going: http://www.pclinuxos.com/forum/index.php/topic,133324.msg1147311.html#msg1147311
53 • PCLinuxOS Community Remasters (by M.Z. on 2015-11-17 03:36:30 GMT from North America)
@51 - PCLinuxOS Community Remasters
I found them on the PCLinuxOS help wiki. I thought I saw something about a Trinity DE version there awhile back & when I checked both it & an XFCE version were there. The links are over on the right side of the page under the main versions:
54 • 51 • 23 • PCLinuxOS Community ISOs (by Somewhat Reticent on 2015-11-17 03:45:54 GMT from North America)
There's no central place for these; that would be too close to "official".
If you search the forum perhaps you'll find what you seek.
55 • OpenSUSE Leap (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-11-17 04:15:25 GMT from North America)
What is "a plain X session" (as opposed to the other DE/WMs)?
Is btrfs the only file-system that does full-system snapshots? Does it produce full duplicates of all files involved?
Is there a tool for generating an updated custom installation ISO?
56 • @40 and @45 - Ubuntu or Manjaro for newbies? (by Hoos on 2015-11-17 07:26:35 GMT from Asia)
I don't use Ubuntu itself but its derivative, Mint Cinnamon. Manjaro XFCE is also a main staple on my computers since 2013.
I install Mint Cinnamon or MATE for newbie friends. Mint only does LTS versions now and Mint 17 will be supported until 2019.
So far my friends have found Mint very user-friendly and have no problems updating.
re: @40 - "... My point was not to imply one should install 8.1, just to show how much software changes in a year and a half (8.1 versus 10) and why installing 14.04 as a long term release is not really feasible at this time, particularly for new users."
When Mint 18 is released, do I recommend an upgrade or should they stay with Mint 17?
Frankly, if a user just wants to browse the internet, create/edit straightforward documents, enjoy multimedia files/content (even do minor editing), most of the time there is no need for the latest and greatest versions of software.
Do they need the latest version of VLC? Do they really need Libreoffice version 5 when their version 4+ works? Browsers and flash are usually kept updated anyway by the distro developers for security reasons.
So for the friends for whom I have installed Mint, I doubt they will tell me to please update to Mint 18 because their software packages are getting stale! This phrase "stale packages" - is that term even known to them? Surely most will not care about this unless they are power users that need a new function they can't find in their version of an application?
If I had to do a fresh install of Mint today on a newbie's computer, I would still install Mint 17 for them. Except, it's not really Mint 17 now. It's 17.2 currently, and 17.3 is almost ready. Mint has significantly updated Cinnamon and MATE (both their own DEs) in the interim and come up with updated iso images.
So why don't I install Manjaro for them? I love it for my own system, it's fast, and most updates (the XFCE version) are problem free even if you use the graphical package manager.
The reason is that once in a while there may be an update that requires user intervention and the user has to check the forum to find the fix. It's just the nature of it being a fast rolling distro (compared to the slower rolling speed of PCLinuxOS) . So do my friends want to bother with these occasional issues? Do they even want to know or learn more? To them, they just USE the computer as a tool. They are not interested in the OS that runs things.
You need to assess the person you are installing the distro for. If they are interested in the OS and want to explore more, I would consider Manjaro. Otherwise, it's Mint.
57 • Manjaro vs. Mint (by linuxista on 2015-11-17 08:05:40 GMT from North America)
So why don't I install Manjaro for them? ... The reason is that once in a while there may be an update that requires user intervention and the user has to check the forum to find the fix.
So far, even for a few total non-techies after a year or two, I haven't had to do any interventions, or if I have, they were so minor I can't remember having to. Everything has been surprisingly smooth.
The one thing I'll eventually have to deal with, and which I don't think Manjaro has addressed in it's mostly successful attempt to present a more beginner friendly Arch, are pacnew files. I'm sure they're building up, but, just as I let them build up sometimes on my own Arch install with no apparent detrimental effects, the lack of attention to them hasn't caused them any problems yet. So I'll have to say Manjaro has been very successful in the short and intermediate terms, but one of these days I'll have to show or help these users clean out their pacnew files.
58 • pacnew files (by linuxista on 2015-11-17 08:08:07 GMT from North America)
Alternatively, I'll probably end up running an experiment: how long can an Arch based system survive while totally neglecting updating config files?
59 • Suggestion for DistroWatch database field (by distrohopper on 2015-11-17 08:29:47 GMT from Asia)
As my travails continue,
trying to find and install various distros on various types of tablets,
it occurs that what I am going through
may be useful in the general scheme of the Distrowatch database:
Basically, you may soon find people looking for which distros load
only on 64bit UEFI or which require the 'dd if=..' process for USB sticks.
What I suggest is to simply indicate for each distro:
can be installed on 32bit UEFI ? ( baytrail and other SoC )
is the iso an iso-hybrid ? (can be complicated)
These two items seem to be showstopping events for tablet installation
(- don't even think about asking about ARM, a pointless exercise if ever there was )
perhaps someone else may have an better perspectacles on this...
Something like this is what I have collected so far,
but these results are neither comprehensive nor even reliable, just quick facts:
Sabayon 2015.11 UEFI 64bit UEFI only (dd if=... fails, no GPT)
Solydx 201506 UEFI 64bit on 32bit loader:use USB-CREATOR
Tails 1.7 64bit on 32bit loader:use USB-CREATOR
UBUNTU 15.10 Blackscreen (MIR?) UEFI 64bit UEFI only
DEBIAN Live AMD 64 64bit on 32bit loader:use USB-CREATOR
Fedora 23 Blackscreen (Wayland?)
ExTiX 15.4 LXQt 64bit on 32bit loader:use USB-CREATOR
Ubuntu Touch - waste of timewaste of timewaste of timewaste of timewaste of time
There are many others out there, linux tablets will soon become real.
PS - SOLYDXK does not show up under rolling, but it is one of my favorite rolling releases
60 • pacnew files in Manjaro @58 (by Hoos on 2015-11-17 08:30:58 GMT from Asia)
That's a good point. I've only selectively dealt with some pacnew files, and left the rest alone. Those I've left alone don't seem to be vital, but I'm not an expert and could be wrong.
However, I do keep track of these outstanding pacnew files in a text file, so I can deal with them at my leisure or in case my install dies one day and I need to troubleshoot.
I certainly cannot imagine telling my newbie friends they have to check the terminal output after a Manjaro update and sort out the pacnew files.
61 • Sourceforge anomalies? (by gnomic on 2015-11-17 08:53:57 GMT from Oceania)
Utterly off topic but anyone else finding Sourceforge rather screwed up of late (while trying to download Linux images of course)? And where have Australian mirrors gone on SF? From this location I find they have gone AWOL.
62 • Rolling releases (by cykodrone on 2015-11-17 11:00:29 GMT from North America)
I've been using the same install of PCLinuxOS MATE 64-bit since February without incident, except for the occasional setting gets set back to its default, which is quickly remedied. It's a good blend of old and new, and it's easily made pretty (GUI). The only time new software is rejected for packaging is when supporting libraries will cause a conflict or crash, which is rare, major apps are almost always supported, so ease up on the FUD please.
As for systemd, why would I use an init from a company that just signed a major partnership deal with MS? Did you not learn from your days with them?!
63 • Security Updates Custom Rolling @50 Ricardo (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-11-17 11:51:19 GMT from North America)
Excellent question. All distros are technically "full rolling" from a security standpoint. Even slow Debian issues rapid security patches.
Since we're talking a user-frozen system, the user must do security patrols, as the distro is intentionally frozen out of that job. Distros still post alerts online. Watch the website. Shellshock was fixed by a bash update.
For daily/weekly patrols, define a list what packages you to keep upgraded from among
$ pacman -Qs "crypt|login|passw|security|ssh|ssl|tls|tunnel"
Suppose I want four packages always up-to-date, the rest of the system frozen. I check for updates with a regex.
$ checkupdates | grep --extended-regexp "openssl|openssh|gnupg|pam"
There was one hit. So I upgrade pam, leaving the rest of the system completely alone.
$ sudo pacman -Sy pam
Depending on the packages, a reboot may be in order, or a session restart.
64 • Big but buggy (by Ed on 2015-11-17 13:16:05 GMT from Europe)
Suse in my opinion has always produced the best GUI's - clean crisp responsive interfaces. Unfortunately it has always been a buggy distro and awkward to configure. The latest version reviewed that can't even play MP3 files without searching for additional repositories is a good example.
If Suse was interested in facilitating a broader use of their distro they would make the installation of these extra codecs a simple and straightforward procedure.
Maybe this helps explain why they don't make a live DVD image available. If people were able to test it out first it would probably not get installed in the majority of cases.
I used to install and play around with SuSE a decade ago but long give up on this awkward distro designed by and for German geeks.
If you want a full featured, easy to test and install distro, that good as a desktop / laptop workstation that 'just works', you can't go wrong with Point 2.3, a Debian Wheezy based distro without all the frustrations of the "Big and Buggy".
65 • systemd [again] (by nolinuxguru on 2015-11-17 13:22:56 GMT from Europe)
@49 systemd [again]. The level of furious debate by the "devs" of the great distro houses can be characterized by the words of L Poettering "I am right, you are wrong. Go away.". I have to give it to Redhat, the way they human-engineered the take-over process of distros like Debian. They stuffed the technical committees with employees and sympathisers, and put so much pressure on opponents to systemd that they left in disgust. Nice. Given that the technical arguments for systemd are weak, I assume similar tactics were employed to sway the other waverers. Once a critical mass was reached, the old IBM argument was invoked [no-one ever got fired for choosing IBM].
The "technical stuff": FUD a technical term to by-pass discussion when it is not convenient. So here is the Science Bit. systemd is 550,000 lines of relatively new C code, some 20-50x bigger than the alternatives [sysvinit, epoch are the ones where I counted lines]. The obvious question is: what IS it doing? The golden rule is that the bigger the code, the more places for original and new bugs to hide. The init process is so critical to the security of a Linux system, whether in PID1 or not, that it is stupid to introduce complications for ideological reasons.
The ambitions of the systemd supporters is, of course, not limited to just the init process. They have assimilated [a Borg term], large parts of the Linux infrastructure, creating hard dependencies in all manner of places. It is the case, now, that distros not wanting to use systemd must constantly remove links to it from third party software.
Of course it is good to be ambitious, but the cavalier approach of the systemd acolytes to breaking things is breathtaking. I thought the debate about putting kdbus [another of their pet projects] into the Linux Kernel was just waiting for Linus to retire. However, reading through the Linux Kernel Mailing Lists [LKML is the official place where these debates take place], it is clear that there is a battle even today to stop dangerous code being inserted into the Kernel itself.
Why is this important to ordinary users? Apart from the security risks from stuffing more and more code into the init process, there appears to be an agenda to take-over control of Linux by the organisations that have a vested interest [money]. By assimilating the Linux infra-structure, and the Kernel, they can control who gets to use it, and under what terms. Linux is now a valuable prize ripe for picking.
66 • Rolling release (by Bonifaci Barnacat on 2015-11-17 13:47:18 GMT from Europe)
Two years ago, I came to linux tired of windows BSOD (dayly) in win7. First, Linux Mint, OK. Later, Knoppix in USB, ok. More Later, Debian 7, and debian 8.
In june I tried Arch Linux on 2 places: external hard drive and a partition of laptop, waiting weekly crashes, at least. I do pacman -Syu on external hard drive and if all ok, the I do on laptop.
Crashes = 0. Reinstalling Arch Linux = 0
(but if it was necessary reinstall, in 45 minutes, I have a new fresh install)
¿Arch Linux is perfect? No, but all is very simple (not easy).
For the little issues you can have, you have the BEST wiki, where all is very well explained.
Also, there is a community of archlinux users, BUT NOT USEFUL for beginners. Arch experts do not help newbies, they are too arrogance.
67 • @66 about arch experts. (by Frederic Bezies on 2015-11-17 14:35:59 GMT from Europe)
"Also, there is a community of archlinux users, BUT NOT USEFUL for beginners. Arch experts do not help newbies, they are too arrogance."
I could be considered not as an arch expert, but a long time user one (back in early 2009).
Of course, telling a beginner : just install arch is plainly stupid. But not all arch experts are bottom holes. Like in every community, there are good and bad people.
If a beginner wants an arch related distribution, I install Manjaro. That's it. And if there is any trouble, I won't mind help this beginner.
68 • LTS (by greg on 2015-11-17 15:06:36 GMT from Europe)
Ubuntu LTS does not have only security updates. it has software updates (at least browsers and some other software) as well as hardware/kernel updates to support newer hw (hardware enablement stack).
Adding PPA is very easy and adding and program PPA's are safe (will not cause instability). for sure major desktop changes or beta drivers PPA are risky for the OS. it would be the same in any OS.
old and unmaintained programs are a problem as they are often there but do not actually work. I believe there is some initiative to clean those out.
69 • what linux ends up in school districts (by Tim Dowd on 2015-11-17 15:18:04 GMT from North America)
I'll have to defer to your experience because I don't know what customers are wanting.
I am curious- what distro are you installing for school districts? I'm a teacher and I wish my tech people would have any tolerance for Linux at all. One of my key reasons for running it is that it keeps our tech people away from my computers.
70 • kerneld? (by anon on 2015-11-17 15:52:51 GMT from Europe)
71 • PPAs (by linuxista on 2015-11-17 16:06:26 GMT from North America)
The problem I have with PPAs are they are or can be 1) fragmented, 2) redundant, 3) dubious and 4) mortal. It would be better if they were all searchable and installable in one step from a single repo like the AUR. Sometimes there are multiple PPAs offering the same software, and it's not easy to discern which is the more reliable source. And the instablility I've found is, not that they'll crash your system, but that the devs stop maintaining the PPA, and you have to uninstall it and find another PPA that offers current support.
In general, PPAs are very useful to have, and it's way better to have them than not. But it's not an optimal solution. And like I said before they present some degree of a stumbling block for newbies/non-tech-disposed.
72 • @71 PPA vs AUR (by Stan on 2015-11-17 19:42:41 GMT from Europe)
After I've discovered Arch + AUR I don't have plans to look back to Ubuntu + PPA.
Arch is suppose to be complicated but I find it much easier to find and install software compared to any other distro, it is a shame that AUR helpers are not officially supported.
73 • I hate talking about systemd (by M.Z. on 2015-11-17 23:33:31 GMT from North America)
Well I did say the valid arguments all came down to one of the things you're talking about. It's a principle called 'Keep It Simple Stupid', & I agree that it is often valid. There likely is a somewhat higher risk for bugs of all kinds, though harping on it like it's a massive security issue is still FUD. Modern web browsers are big complicated pieces of software that are far more inviting targets, & the Linux kernel is a pretty big complicated thing as well. I have yet to hear any half decent reason why another bit of software getting a bit more bloat & complication causes any more that a tiny increase in marginal security risk. Also the code for systemd & Linux is still GPL so no one can truly 'control' it or force you to use it, & multiple distros don't use it &/or have found work arounds for users who want to avoid systemd. The control thing looks to me like pure FUD.
I can see why some want to avoid systemd based on the K.I.S.S. principle, but I find all other arguments weak. Now can people stop harping on this already? I could really care less about systemd, but I don't like the FUD.
74 • @73 , You have a choice about systemd? (by RollMeAway on 2015-11-18 03:04:51 GMT from North America)
Not for long. As more and more application developers include parts of the systemd maze in their code, distros NOT using systemd will shrink.
Try debian without it, you will see a multitude of packages you cannot install. The number will grow.
So, your choice is limited now, and will continue to shrink.
Nobody cares about using systemd until something breaks. When it does? Just reinstall?
Kernel security? Once upon a time I could boot a kernel from a 1.4 mb floppy disk, and did not have an initrd.img to deal with.
Now the kernel is typically 3 to 5 mb and an initrd REQUIRED that is 15 to 18 mb.
The chance of someone slipping in a dozen lines of malicious code without detection, is becoming easier.
75 • Arch Dev Dictatorship @66 Bonifaci Barnacat @67 Frederic Bezies (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-11-18 03:05:23 GMT from North America)
Arch is full of itself and despises its own offspring derivative spins, which if you mention on the forums, will get you panned / banned / dustbinned post haste. The Arch devs and mods are arrogant juveniles like Linus, who sees Linux through a straw, as he only uses RedHat Fedora. Linus knows little of anything going on in distroland. Yes Arch has good and bad people; the bad ones run it. Bad is defined here as "we don't care about users, just us."
As an Arch expert I'm telling you: use Manjaro OpenRC. You could not ask for friendlier people or cleaner software. You might try Frugalware, Chakra, or Antergos if you want systemd. Frugalware and Chakra are true forks, but even Manjaro patches pacman, retaining what Arch drops (SyncFirst).
For inside baseball on Arch, locate IgnorantGuru and Sporkbox archives. For the longest time, Arch didn't sign packages, and yet lectured us how silly we were to care! They still haven't fixed AUR to autoimport GPG keys.
Then systemdeath was forced on us without half the discussion held at Debian. In short order the subject became "off topic" courtesy forum mods and we were "haters." Arch Linux forums are the Soviet Union of free software discussion. If you find any serious flaws in Arch, or make any serious suggestion that is not-invented-here, you will be banned/dustbinned. Newbies should use LinuxQuestions.org instead anyway.
There's now a growing expat community of "modders" ridding Arch of systemd, the Arch answer to Devuan. Manjaro OpenRC is the most prominent, but see also obarun.org booting runit (thanks to a dedicated Frenchman). A couple of Manjaro community respins offer both systemd and OpenRC ISOs. I think Fluxbox does, with Cinnamon maybe on the way. The OpenRC from artoo gives you Openbox and XFCE on the ISO.
If you are advanced then try Alpine Linux which is also OpenRC and built from Gentoo sources. It works like Arch, but with far greater security, and much more friendliness to ideas. Most activity happens on the mailing list. To my knowledge it's the only desktop distro shipping a grsec kernel. The 3.3 release is coming soon.
76 • Arch and Slackware (by RollMeAway on 2015-11-18 03:48:21 GMT from North America)
Both require dexterity at the terminal command line.
Neither address 'orphan' packages.
Most users likely have huge partitions and do not worry about orphaned packages. Kind of like having a huge house and never taking out the trash.
I have a small house, and take out the trash frequently.
I run several arch and arch derivative distros. Without installing any new applications, an arch based distro will increase just over 1 GB in a years time.
Slackware-current is not far behind.
I did find a cryptic command line for arch to remove orphans.
I have found nothing for slackware orphans, but as slack does not check package dependencies, how could they find orphaned packages?
77 • @76 Arch orphaned packages (by linuxista on 2015-11-18 04:11:46 GMT from North America)
From the archwiki:
For recursively removing orphans and their configuration files:
# pacman -Rns $(pacman -Qtdq)
I've had the same Arch install for around 5 years, and I've installed and uninstalled lots of software on it. I'm not religious about cleaning things up, though I do have an alias set up that will clean up orphans and the package cache when I think about it. The size of the install, excluding /home, has been stable at around 10 GB for years now. "Orphans" or unrestricted growth has not been any sort of issue for me. Maybe when you say "small house" you really mean it.
78 • @75 Alpine Linux (by linuxista on 2015-11-18 04:24:24 GMT from North America)
Interesting project, but it looks like from searching around their repos that package selection is really limited. Maybe I'm missing something.
79 • @76 Arch orphaned packages (by linuxista on 2015-11-18 04:46:42 GMT from North America)
I just checked pamac (a manjaro developed gui for pacman package mgmt) and it displays and allows deletion of orphaned packages. I'd bet octopi or one of the other gui package mgmt tools do to. Pacman, however, is a great CLI tool, though, and I find I use it almost exclusively despite having other options.
80 • I hate talking about systemd (by M.Z. on 2015-11-18 05:33:04 GMT from North America)
"see a multitude of packages you cannot install"
Yea, something like that happened with Gnome & a workaround was created by some distro so you don't have to use systemd. Like I said it's open source & there will be a workaround if enough people want one. Also Gnome 3 is garbage so I don't care if it becomes systemd only. It may be annoying if Debian or whatever you use doesn't include the workarounds developed by others, but you can switch distros.
81 • wifi support (by imnotrich on 2015-11-18 05:35:18 GMT from North America)
Open Suse is not the only elderly distro that struggles with basic functionality such as wireless networking. Debian hasn't figured wifi out either, and it's not a matter of the "free" drivers being inadequate. During the net install, wpa2 wifi works since Squeeze, but once the install completes and you reboot for the first time, wifi is disabled by the OS and there is STILL no fix many years later. Ubuntu suffers the same bug since 9.04. OK so if I am at home I can use cat7, but if I am out and about travelling for work or whatever, wifi would be nice to have. Maybe some day.
82 • Yes You Are @78 linuxista (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2015-11-18 07:47:18 GMT from North America)
Alpine's community repo is new. I appreciate Alpine's use of musl. Alpine even builds the latest LibreOffice on it. Sharp folks. Laurent Bercot of s6 fame chimes in now and then. See also
83 • @75 Archlinux and clichés, like (by Frederic Bezies on 2015-11-18 08:09:33 GMT from Europe)
I've never see such a bunch of clichés and a will to bust a community. And I'm only a linux user since 1997.
I could make a 50 lines answers, but I won't enter your game. Your words are the proof that people can be so nasty they destroy their own message.
You said arch is like Soviet Union ? So, every single arch user is Stalin ? Wow.
Systemdeath ? Don't know about this one. Another rant to add to people who wants to stab these technologies to death. We're not anymore in 1995. It seems you have forgotten that.
And I forget number 1 rule : DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.
84 • openSUSE 42.1 is buggy (by Stede Bonnet on 2015-11-18 08:35:28 GMT from Europe)
I love the concept of the openSUSE 42.1 (support cycle, stability) and it has several excellent features. Also as the review noted, it is surprisingly light weight and performs well. The Leap however is to my experience a rather buggy release. The Plasma 5 is still unstable, but there are under the hood issues as well, things that are not seen on other distros using the same hardware.
SUSE also needs a lot more tinkering out of the box, while with *buntus you are pretty much done after the install (just add the restricted formats meta-package). For example the fonts and font rendering is miserable on openSUSE with the default settings (1440x900 resolution). The biggest strength of the .deb/*buntu ecosystem is the community - every possible issue and scenario is documented on the web. Arch seems to be another where a good level of documentation is available. But with SUSE, things are quite different.
85 • @84 (by Stan on 2015-11-18 09:48:15 GMT from Europe)
That link man! http://cd-rw.org/t/opensuses-leap-of-faith-to-version-42-1/67
This is what I've mention last week about KDE, we could argue that is OpenSuse's fault to ship software in alpha stage.
I would dare to say that a desktop environment have the same importance or even more than the kernel or display server, distro maintainers should start realizing that.
But in overall OpenSuse is not polished enough, they have so many GUI tools I don't know what could be the excuse, their releases are always in a middle ground.
86 • PCLinuxOS rolling (by steve on 2015-11-18 11:44:20 GMT from Europe)
In my netbook I have a dual boot Win7 / PCLinuxOS environment.
I have installed PCLinuxOS more than a year ago and kept updating it with no problems at all, I usually update it twice a month.
When a new kernel shows up I usually do the following:
- update kernel
- remove the older kernels from the boot menu (I usually keep the last two)
- update all the remaining software.
After 1+ year everything is still running smoothly.
87 • @69 School Districts (by vw72 on 2015-11-18 14:47:33 GMT from North America)
The three main distros we have installed in School Districts are Ubuntu, Redhat/Fedora and openSUSE. If we are installing just in computer labs, for instance they tend to request either Ubuntu (with GNOME, not Unity) and openSUSE (with GNOME). If the school district is already using linux on the back end, it tends to be Redhat or sometimes CentOS, in which case for desktops, they tend to go Fedora.
One of the reasons given for selecting openSUSE over Ubuntu is because of the graphical tools. The teachers and staff seem to feel more comfortable without having to drop to the CLI to do things.
Since these computers tend to be used for real work, the argument over how many packages are available in repositories are moot. As long as the applications they need are available, they are good.
Usually, as part of the bid process they don't specify linux specifically, but when we show how it meets all of their requirements and then some they are eager to explore it. Most of these school districts are small to mid size, not the mega ones like you find in Los Angeles or New York.
Since they go into the bid process thinking of Windows, we often let them use some computers with GNOME, KDE and Unity to determine what they like best and encourage them to have some students try them out, too.
The biggest challenge is getting over the FUD about if the kids don't know Microsoft products they won't be employable. We try and show that if the students are interested in programming, most languages are OS agnostic. We also point out that for things like word processing it isn't the word processor that makes one able to write, it is just a tool for recording one's ideas. Same for spreadsheets.
Sometimes, if they are interested, we give them free copies of LibreOffice for them to give to teachers to play with. We also give them customized live distros to play with, without having to install anything. (The customization is usually related to the bid specs and also includes software updates, etc.).
Anyway, many school districts still go with Windows, but we have been quite successful with linux and like the adoption of any technology, school districts share information and the word gets out and others start examining it.
My advice would be to start small, maybe on your own laptop and see if you can get some other teachers interested in it.
88 • that's awesome (by Tim Dowd on 2015-11-18 15:34:25 GMT from North America)
Thanks @87. This is fascinating. I agree completely on the strength of openSUSE's graphical tools and I'm really interested that this is a good selling point.
I've got UbuntuMATE on two laptops that are specific to my classroom. The kids generally have no trouble using them, but they don't get access to our enterprise network because they're looked at as outside devices (to gain access to the main network they'd have to be imaged with Windows 7 and I couldn't have administrative access.) So they have to go on a network that's for "BYOD" devices for the kids and the security is totally broken and the network is unreliable. Thus, they've not been great selling points for Linux computers.
I'm just impressed that some districts are willing to give Linux a shot. Unfortunately, in the education world whatever the latest gimick is often gets the green light. 3 years ago that was the iPad2 (which to be honest has proved to be one of the more durable and functional purchases we've made- mine still works and gets used) and today it's a Chromebook. Tech people seem to think that what teachers need is to be instructed on what the latest app in the iTunes store that might be somewhat interesting for one lesson. Of course what our kids really need is reliable access to the internet, their textbooks, and a fully functional office suite. So I really appreciate the work you're doing and that you've managed to get some schools on board.
As a science teacher, I think LibreOffice5 is a game changer. I hadn't even paid attention to how much more powerful Calc has gotten. Someone on this thread pointed it out to me.
89 • @88 Schools (by vw72 on 2015-11-18 16:22:30 GMT from North America)
Another approach you might try, although we haven't resorted directly to this is to tie linux into STEM. Any of these kids going on to college in the STE part of STEM are going to be using linux at some point in their education and being exposed to it now would be a big advantage. The majority of all companies that fall under STEM use linux somewhere in their organization, so again, this could be a selling point.
90 • Tools in school (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-11-18 17:07:38 GMT from North America)
If you only know one Operating-System, you don't know the difference. You're handicapped by ignorance. Similarly,
if you only know one spreadsheet-app, you can't separate the tool from the task.
Any school worth its cost would teach with more than one tool for any one task, more than one system for any one toolset, as much as possible.
This principle applies to far more than just software.
91 • Ubuntu Mir... (by naryfa on 2015-11-18 18:24:24 GMT from North America)
"Ubuntu developers have big plans for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS..."
They always have big plans...
92 • hours in the day (by Tim Dowd on 2015-11-19 00:36:51 GMT from North America)
I don't disagree with you, except that there's only a limited number of hours in the day and most of us teach subjects other than computers
The majority of my 16 year olds have never used any spreadsheet ever. I actually hear audible gasps when I show them a set of 15 data points that they think they're going to have to perform calculations on and then graph and then it calculates it instantly. Honestly, in 2015 I could be showing these kids Visicalc on an Apple II and they'd be impressed.
93 • School Daze (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-11-19 02:45:35 GMT from North America)
92 • Yes, many schools barely provide minimal training, much less actual education. Most depend on government funding, and governments don't want wise citizens so much as easily-led serfs.
I remember audibly gasping as I realized how much more effective I could be doing a spreadsheet task with QuattroPro than with VisiCalc. The school's refused to consider even one donated copy was part of a valuable educational experience.
94 • @90 Good point (by Luiz on 2015-11-19 10:56:57 GMT from South America)
I agree. I've never thought about that this way. There were some experiences, though, where I saw people (including myself) learning when contacting different people/situations. By learning, I mean not only assimilating the "other", but also knowing better our chosen options.
I mean, perhaps the best way to understand what Windows is and how Windows works is to study how Linux/BSD/MacOSX did similar things. And vice-versa.
95 • @86 PCLinuxOS (by kc1di on 2015-11-19 11:04:24 GMT from North America)
I too use PCLOS - have had it load and updated on one machine for 3 years no problems that were not easily fixed. Just keep working along. I know it's not a distro for those desiring cutting edge. but it always has a newer stable kernel and most of the software works for me.
I think it's often overlooked when rolling releases are discussed.
96 • bored (by nolinuxguru on 2015-11-19 13:10:00 GMT from Europe)
@73 It was the original rant by "pcninja" and your dismissing it as FUD which drew my attention. As you will know, FUD was a term used to describe the marketing strategies of large organisations like IBM and Microsoft. Hardly applicable to comments by a distro-watch reader in the "comments" section here.
Yes, the Kernel is big, but it is watched like a hawke by Linus and his team; the trouble that the systemd crew has getting access is testament to that.
Web browsers too are big, but there is a wide choice of alternatives on each distro, and their activities can be sandboxed.
In the distros where systemd has now become the "default", opting out is not a practical choice, so please stop repeating that mantra.
GPL is trotted out as a way of telling people that if they don't like the direction projects are taking, they can just change the source code. Really? Key infra-structure projects are so large these days, that only large organisations with many paid employees can work on them.
You seem so desperate to kill off any further discussion of this subject, I am beginning to suspect your real motives, given that you have the choice to not read what others write here.
97 • I didn't say that... (by Tim Dowd on 2015-11-19 13:22:19 GMT from North America)
It's actually amazing how good schools are given how little funding we get, at least in the US.
As for differences in technology, there's some validity to what you're saying but there's also a problem, and that is that outside of a tech class (which I really do think the US does a bad job with for students that aren't enrolled in tech specific programs, some of which do a great job but are often not at the regular high school) the teacher's job is to get content across to the kids, and having different kids using different technology that works differently is really difficult.
In most US math classes, kids are forced to buy either a TI-84 calculator or a TI-89 calculator. On the face of it, this is absurd. The former is powered by a Zilog Z80 processor and yet it costs more than two Chinese android tablets that are more than a thousand times faster.
But if you look at it from the perspective of the math teacher, they need there to be some standard in their instruction, because they're supposed to be teaching, say, polynomial functions. If you're trying to teach to a student what a cubic function looks like and you want them to see it on some device, it becomes nearly impossible to effectively teach if each of them has a different device and they've never used it before.
Even when I have kids graph with Excel and LibreOffice, I have to basically hold their hands through the first couple of graphs on each. There's just not time in a day when you're supposed to be teaching math or physics to see each variation.
The TI situation is absurd, and those with the power to break the monoply like the College Board and the State Departments of Education need to pick a standard Android/iOS app that they'll allow on tests and then math teachers can teach with that app, but in the meantime, I can't blame the schools for using a standard so that the tech doesn't get in the way of instruction
98 • geckosuse version (by gnomic on 2015-11-19 14:04:18 GMT from Oceania)
As to the SUSE 421 version by Mr Gecko mentioned this week. Here it seemed that the supplied NetworkManager can't connect to the internet via 3G, Perhaps usb_modeswitch would help? Also user linux can't mount a NTFS drive.
99 • PCLinuxOS (by M.Z. on 2015-11-19 18:30:47 GMT from North America)
Use PCLinuxOS, or any of the dozens of others that meet your needs. It looks to me like there are plenty of decent options & I know I like one even if I don't know much about the others. Also anyone can attempt to create Fear Uncertainty & Distrust about most anything & it looks to me like many are doing it for very speculative reasons regarding init systems, although you are correct about the origin of the term. I've got to say it feels a lot like generating Fear, Uncertainty & Distrust to talk like someone can take over all of Linux. I'm fairly certain that any sufficiently motivated group with a sufficient argument could raise funds & fork any GPL software if they could get enough support. Sadly many commenters want to play chicken little, as if there was any good reason to think the sky was falling.
100 • Old Daze (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2015-11-20 03:24:01 GMT from North America)
97 • Ah, yes, the Z80 calculators kids used to root PS4s back in the late 2000's ... unless they got the M68# chips, of course.
systemd • Sowing FUD is a popular pastime in Linux(/BSD/etc)-land. Of course, Uncertainty seems to have been chosen deliberately, since systemd is both an init manager and an XML-based (for automation?) process_management paradigm extended via forced dependencies. Perhaps time will tell whether it can be made to work. (I know, well-separated things are becoming monolithic, but Linux Is Not UniX either.) I've only seen one person's discussion of actually trying out several "init system"s.
101 • PCLinuxOS (by NewHue on 2015-11-20 09:35:06 GMT from North America)
I am interested in PCLinuxOS, but on one rig I get a reboot "loop", when I try to get to Live Disc mode and on my other rig it has UEFI, no support yet? Instructive comments appreciated.
102 • systemd and fud (by nolinuxguru on 2015-11-20 19:09:12 GMT from Europe)
@99 I know there are alternatives to systemd at the moment: Slackware, Gentoo, PCLinux, Alpine; as well as Debian offshoots Devuan, Antix, etc. I personally do not like any of them, but I will get by. My concern is for the future.
If the issue is not to be discussed, because it is classified as FUD or "boring", then the systemd camp will have won without a fight. Distro watch would appear to be one of the more civilized places for this discussion.
103 • alternative init systems (by nolinuxguru on 2015-11-20 19:34:11 GMT from Europe)
@100 Steve Litt discussed several alternative init systems in the "Manjaro Experiments" [OpenRC, Epoch; troubleshooters DOT com], and I have personally used Epoch and sinit [suckless DOT org]. I am using sinit now on Devuan and Debian 7, even though it would be easier to stick with sysvinit.
104 • PCLinuxOS & such (by M.Z. on 2015-11-21 01:24:08 GMT from North America)
@101 - PCLinuxOS
Always check these sorts of sites first:
If that doesn't work you may consider trying Mageia instead. It's somewhat closely related & has a similar installer & control center, though it uses systemd, & has fixed releases & requires a little bit of setup for full multimedia/codec support. Version 5 is supposed to have some UEFI suppot. I like & use both, though I find a bit of extra polish in Mageia & some nice programs in PCLinuxOS that aren't in the Mageia repos (I had to manually add chrome to get Neflix & also played with some permissions to get proper updates).
I get some worry about possible problems in the future, but I still don't actually see it happening. At this point all that talk is purely speculative, though if big problems for the non-systemd distros happen I'll gladly change my tune & complain about it then. I don't think its ever to late for a new fork, but there are already plenty of contingency plans like uselessd & distro forks, so it seems like plenty of people are already creating a plan b. If you don't like systemd that's great, just try not to go overboard & act like a bit of GPL software is necessarily going to take away user rights. There is a line between legit criticism & spreading speculative fear.
105 • It happens (by M.Z. on 2015-11-21 21:49:10 GMT from North America)
It's cool, we all go a little over bored sometimes. Take comment # 74 on the size of the Linux Kernel:
"The chance of someone slipping in a dozen lines of malicious code without detection, is becoming easier."
This may seem like an obvious & likely factually correct statement on the face of it, but does anyone here really understand how often & how well the kernel is being audited for security issues & other such bugs? I have no idea what the audit system is now & how likely it is to turn up a backdoor, nor do I have any idea what it was like years ago when the kernel was smaller. Given how many more organizations are increasingly reliant on Linux for secure & reliable networking it isn't reasonable to assume any given line of code in Linux is any less likely to be examined now than it was in the past. These sort of shallow but seemingly reasonable arguments could easily contribute to FUD, even if no harm was meant.
106 • There are many linux distro, why? (by andrea tognazzoni on 2015-11-22 21:46:32 GMT from Europe)
I am a Windows user and have tried the thirty linux distro the best known, installed on VirtualBox.
I believe that Linux Mint is the absolute best, because I have never had problems and is easy to use; just as I can say Linux Lite and Lubuntu.
All the others have given me problems configuration, upgrade, installation programs.
I wonder why there are hundreds of distros linux users who have a minimum and that all programmers are not concentrated in a new linux distro that destroy the monopoly of Microsoft and Mac.
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|• Issue 1014 (2023-04-10): Quick looks at carbonOS, LibreELEC, and Kodi, Mint polishes themes, Fedora rolls out more encryption plans, elementary OS improves sideloading experience|
|• Issue 1013 (2023-04-03): Alpine Linux 3.17.2, printing manual pages, Ubuntu Cinnamon becomes official flavour, Endeavour OS plans for new installer, HardenedBSD plans for outage|
|• Issue 1012 (2023-03-27): siduction 22.1.1, protecting privacy from proprietary applications, GNOME team shares new features, Canonical updates Ubuntu 20.04, politics and the Linux kernel|
|• Issue 1011 (2023-03-20): Serpent OS, Security Onion 2.3, Gentoo Live, replacing the scp utility, openSUSE sees surge in downloads, Debian runs elction with one candidate|
|• Issue 1010 (2023-03-13): blendOS 2023.01.26, keeping track of which files a package installs, improved network widget coming to elementary OS, Vanilla OS changes its base distro|
|• Issue 1009 (2023-03-06): Nemo Mobile and the PinePhone, matching the performance of one distro on another, Linux Mint adds performance boosts and security, custom Ubuntu and Debian builds through Cubic|
|• Issue 1008 (2023-02-27): elementary OS 7.0, the benefits of boot environments, Purism offers lapdock for Librem 5, Ubuntu community flavours directed to drop Flatpak support for Snap|
|• Issue 1007 (2023-02-20): helloSystem 0.8.0, underrated distributions, Solus team working to repair their website, SUSE testing Micro edition, Canonical publishes real-time edition of Ubuntu 22.04|
|• Issue 1006 (2023-02-13): Playing music with UBports on a PinePhone, quick command line and shell scripting questions, Fedora expands third-party software support, Vanilla OS adds Nix package support|
|• Issue 1005 (2023-02-06): NuTyX 22.12.0 running CDE, user identification numbers, Pop!_OS shares COSMIC progress, Mint makes keyboard and mouse options more accessible|
|• Issue 1004 (2023-01-30): OpenMandriva ROME, checking the health of a disk, Debian adopting OpenSnitch, FreeBSD publishes status report|
|• Issue 1003 (2023-01-23): risiOS 37, mixing package types, Fedora seeks installer feedback, Sparky offers easier persistence with USB writer|
|• Issue 1002 (2023-01-16): Vanilla OS 22.10, Nobara Project 37, verifying torrent downloads, Haiku improvements, HAMMER2 being ports to NetBSD|
|• Issue 1001 (2023-01-09): Arch Linux, Ubuntu tests new system installer, porting KDE software to OpenBSD, verifying files copied properly|
|• Issue 1000 (2023-01-02): Our favourite projects of all time, Fedora trying out unified kernel images and trying to speed up shutdowns, Slackware tests new kernel, detecting what is taking up disk space|
|• Issue 999 (2022-12-19): Favourite distributions of 2022, Fedora plans Budgie spin, UBports releasing security patches for 16.04, Haiku working on new ports|
|• Issue 998 (2022-12-12): OpenBSD 7.2, Asahi Linux enages video hardware acceleration on Apple ARM computers, Manjaro drops proprietary codecs from Mesa package|
|• Issue 997 (2022-12-05): CachyOS 221023 and AgarimOS, working with filenames which contain special characters, elementary OS team fixes delta updates, new features coming to Xfce|
|• Issue 996 (2022-11-28): Void 20221001, remotely shutting down a machine, complex aliases, Fedora tests new web-based installer, Refox OS running on real hardware|
|• Issue 995 (2022-11-21): Fedora 37, swap files vs swap partitions, Unity running on Arch, UBports seeks testers, Murena adds support for more devices|
|• Issue 994 (2022-11-14): Redcore Linux 2201, changing the terminal font size, Fedora plans Phosh spin, openSUSE publishes on-line manual pages, disabling Snap auto-updates|
|• Issue 993 (2022-11-07): Static Linux, working with just a kernel, Mint streamlines Flatpak management, updates coming to elementary OS|
|• Issue 992 (2022-10-31): Lubuntu 22.10, setting permissions on home directories, Linux may drop i486, Fedora delays next version for OpenSSL bug|
|• Issue 991 (2022-10-24): XeroLinux 2022.09, learning who ran sudo, exploring firewall tools, Rolling Rhino Remix gets a fresh start, Fedora plans to revamp live media|
|• Issue 990 (2022-10-17): ravynOS 0.4.0, Lion Linux 3.0, accessing low numbered network ports, Pop!_OS makes progress on COSMIC, Murena launches new phone|
|• Issue 989 (2022-10-10): Ubuntu Unity, kernel bug causes issues with Intel cards, Canonical offers free Ubuntu Pro subscriptions, customizing the command line prompt|
|• Issue 988 (2022-10-03): SpiralLinux 11.220628, finding distros for older equipment and other purposes, SUSE begins releasing ALP prototypes, Debian votes on non-free firmware in installer|
|• Issue 987 (2022-09-26): openSUSE's MicroOS, converting people to using Linux, pfSense updates base system and PHP, Python 2 dropped from Arch|
|• Issue 986 (2022-09-19): Porteus 5.0, remotely wiping a hard drive, a new software centre for Ubuntu, Proxmox offers offline updates|
|• Issue 985 (2022-09-12): Garuda Linux, using root versus sudo, UBports on the Fairphone 4, Slackware reverses change to grep|
|• Full list of all issues|
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ROSLIMS Live CD
ROSLIMS (ROmanian Simple LInux for Medical Students) was Knoppix-based live CD with full Romanian localisation of Knoppix 3.4, and additional software for medical students: (Medical) Reference Manager (Pybliographer) and Medline Query Interface, molecule editors - XDrawChem and ChemTool, true type fonts with Eastern European language support, and a 72-page tutorial in Romanian. The graphical user interface was in Romanian and English.
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Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the highly anticipated StarFighter. Available with coreboot open-source firmware and a choice of Ubuntu, elementary, Manjaro and more. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.