| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 640, 14 December 2015
Welcome to this year's 50th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Digital privacy is a significant concern when our lives have an on-line component. Knowing what our computers are transmitting over the Internet, and being able to control that flow of information, is important. This week we discuss how to locate and remove meta-data from documents in our Questions and Answers column. Plus, we talk about Canonical turning off on-line searches in Ubuntu's dash, a move which privacy advocates have been seeking for some time. We also talk about openSUSE's upcoming Board election and a powerful systemd feature being showcased in Fedora Magazine. Our Feature Story this week is a review of Chakra GNU/Linux, a semi-rolling distribution with a strong focus on KDE software. We also share the torrents we are seeding and provide a list of distributions released over the past week. In our Opinion Poll we talk about source-based distributions and ask how many of our readers are building their packages from source code. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (25MB) and MP3 (18MB) formats
• Music credit: Clouds Fly With Me by Matti Paalanen
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11
The Chakra GNU/Linux project produces a Linux distribution with a strong focus on the KDE desktop and software which uses the Qt development libraries. Chakra maintains a semi-rolling release where the core components of the operating system remain fairly stable while desktop software is updated frequently. The project's website explains:
Chakra is a GNU/Linux distribution with an emphasis on KDE and Qt technologies that focuses on simplicity from a technical standpoint and free software. 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 latest release of Chakra was version 2015.11 "Fermi" and it features a number of important changes. Perhaps the most visual change for this release was the removal of the Tribe system installer in favour of Calamares, a distribution-neutral installer that is becoming increasingly popular. This release also sees Chakra's GTK repository of software packages enabled by default and the adoption of the SDDM display manager. The greeter application which helped new users customize their desktop has been removed from this version of Chakra. This release also features some key package upgrades and includes KDE's Plasma 5.4 desktop environment.
The latest version of Chakra is available as a 2GB download. Booting from the Chakra media brings up a menu asking if we would like to load the distribution's live desktop environment, start a live desktop with non-free drivers or run a hardware detection tool. Starting Chakra's live desktop environment brings up KDE's Plasma desktop. The desktop is presented with the application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop we see a welcome widget that summarizes what Chakra is and what the distribution does. The welcome widget also provides us with links to the project's Beginner's Guide and the Chakra website. There are also buttons that will provide us with a list of software packages on the installation media and passwords for the default user accounts. Plus there is a button which launches the Calamares system installer.
The Calamares installer begins by asking us to select our preferred language from a list. This first screen also provides buttons that will bring up Chakra's release notes, known issues and other information relating to the project. The following page of the installer gets us to select our time zone from a map of the world. We are then asked to confirm our keyboard's layout. The installer offers two partitioning options. We can either let Chakra take over the entire disk or manually divide up our hard drive. I decided to take the manual option and I quite like how easy Calamares' disk partitioning screen is to navigate. The partition manager offers a simple layout with a graphical representation of our hard drive. The installer supports working with a wide range of file systems, including ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS, XFS, Reiser and LVM volumes. The partitioning page allows us to change where the distribution's boot loader is installed. The next screen gets us to create a user account and set a password for the root account. The last page shows us a summary of the actions Calamares will take and awaits our confirmation. The installer then copies its files to our hard disk and offers to reboot the computer.
Booting our fresh copy of Chakra brings up a graphical login screen where we can sign into the Plasma desktop environment. Unlike previous versions of Chakra, 2015.11 does not walk new users through a series of customization screens. That may change in the future, but for now we are given a fairly simple, dark themed Plasma desktop and left to customize it (or not) using the KDE System Settings panel. The System Settings panel offers us a great deal of flexibility and virtually every aspect of Plasma can be adjusted
I tried running the latest version of Chakra in two test environments, a VirtualBox virtual machine and a physical desktop computer. I noticed that when running from the live disc, Chakra was very slow to boot, but once the distribution was installed, it booted quickly. I also found it interesting that when run on my physical hardware Chakra would not boot successfully when UEFI was enabled, the operating system would hang before reaching a login screen Booting with UEFI in Legacy mode allowed Chakra to boot successfully. The distribution did not integrate well with VirtualBox and was not able to make use of the host system's full display resolution until VirtualBox guest modules were installed from the distribution's software repositories. Once installed on the physical computer, and in VirtualBox, Chakra performed well and the Plasma desktop was pleasantly responsive. The distribution required about 470MB of RAM when sitting idle at the desktop.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11 -- The Octopi package manager
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Chakra uses the Octopi package manager which shows us a simple list of available software packages sorted alphabetically. We can search for software we want by name, filter down the list of software using categories or simply browse through the list for packages we wish to install or remove. Octopi will also install software updates from the Chakra repositories. Octopi is fairly fast and has a minimal interface which I find easy to navigate. The filters and categories are not as nicely laid out as they are in other package managers, but I feel Octopi gets the job done. The first day of my trial with Chakra, about a week after the distribution was released, there were 280 new software updates waiting for me, totalling 830MB in size. Though all of the new updates installed cleanly, it did feel like I was replacing half of the operating system immediately after installing it.
The distribution ships with a small and somewhat unusual collection of default applications. Looking through the list of available software we find the Qupzilla web browser, the Konversation IRC client, the KMail e-mail application and the KGet download manager. Network Manager is present to help us get on-line. The KOrganizer personal organizer is included along with the Calligra productivity suite and Okular document viewer. Chakra ships with the K3b disc burning application, the Tomahawk audio player and the bomi video player. To work with digital photos we have the digiKam application and Gwenview is available for looking at images. There is an application included called miniBackup which backups up a user's configuration files, security keys and other hidden files, but does not archive our documents. The KInfoCenter is available for browsing hardware information and we can partition our hard drive with the KDE Partition Manager. The Dolphin file manager, Ark archiving utility, Kate text editor and KCalc calculator are also included. In the background we find the GNU Compiler Collection, systemd 227 and version 4.1.4 of the Linux kernel. I got the impression that Chakra's default applications were selected based on which software libraries were used to create them rather than which applications were best suited to the job.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11 -- The Calligra productivity suite
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Chakra does include codecs for playing multimedia files. The bomi video player worked well for me and played the video files I threw at it. Tomahawk, the distribution's default music player, was unable to start-up, crashing immediately upon launch and I was unable to get it working. I found I could play audio files in bomi though. Flash was not available on the system by default and I found the Qupzilla web browser sometimes had difficultly playing HTML5 video streams. About a third of the time Qupzilla would play videos or audio files, but the other times either the video would not play at all, or I would see video without sound.
One problem I ran into concerned printing. When I went into the System Settings panel and tried to add a printer I was presented with an error messaging saying "Print service unavailable." I confirmed the CUPS printing software was installed. Then, using the systemd command line utility, I enabled the CUPS services (there were two) and started them. The print service was still unavailable and remained that way even after a reboot.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11 -- Trying to add a printer to the system
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Another tool which did not work as I had hoped was the Backup module in the System Settings panel. I was able to configure scheduled backups of my files, but I was unable to take a snapshot of files manually. Selecting the option to manually start a backup produced a message telling me to initiate a backup from the backup icon in the system tray. Clicking the appropriate icon in the system tray brought up a menu where the option to manually start a backup job was disabled.
There were a number of things I liked about this release of Chakra and a few things which did not work well for me. I really like the Calamares system installer. It is fast and blissfully easy to use. I like the latest version of KDE's Plasma desktop, it feels faster and more streamlined than the KDE4 series, in my opinion. The Octopi package manager has a simple presentation, similar to Synaptic, and I think it might be difficult to navigate for new users, but it does work well and I had no complaints with using it.
On the other hand, a few things did not work for me, such as the backup utility and the printing service. The music player would not launch for me either. It's these little things that add up over time to give the impression a distribution could benefit from additional testing.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11 -- Backing up settings
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Perhaps what stood out the most about Chakra 2015.11 though was the default applications. To really feel comfortable and get things done I ended up replacing most of the default programs with ones I felt better suited to the tasks. This may be mostly a personal preference issue, but I think the developers' focus on KDE/Qt purity is getting in the way of practical concerns.
One thought I had toward the end of my week with Chakra was that the distribution, while it does seem to working toward being more practical and more appealing to the mainstream, it also appears to be losing the characteristics that made Chakra interesting (at least to me). Early on, Chakra stood out by being (at the time) one of the few pure KDE/Qt distributions, the developers would only allow GTK-based applications to be installed using a separate package manager from a separate package repository. Chakra had a custom graphical installer, Tribe, which, despite its rough edges, got the job done and Chakra allowed for a lot of customization of the desktop and background services right up front.
Over time the Chakra project has relaxed its stance on avoiding GTK-based software, allowing it to be installed using the main package manager, but with the repository disabled by default. Now the GTK repository is enabled by default and GTK software mixes seamlessly with all the other packages. Tribe has been removed in favour of Calamares. Calamares is a good system installer, but I did enjoy the flexibility of Tribe. The account customization utility is missing from this release too, removing another component of Chakra's uniqueness. Finally, other cutting edge distributions, such as KaOS (which is also KDE-focused), have come along, giving Chakra some competition.
In short, I think Chakra is leaving behind the things that made it unique in favour of appealing to a wider audience. This might make Chakra more approachable and easier to adopt, but it also raises the question in my mind why someone might choose Chakra today since there is less to distinguish the distribution from other projects focused on similar features.
* * * * *
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)
openSUSE to hold Board elections, Ubuntu disables on-line searches for 16.04 and Fedora Magazine showcases systemd features
Three members of openSUSE's Board are nearing the end of their terms and their seats are up for election. According to an e-mail sent by Andrew Wafaa, elections will take place next month to determine who will fill in these three seats on openSUSE's Board. "It's that time of year when we (openSUSE members) need to elect
representatives for the openSUSE Board. This year, there will be three seats to be elected, all for a standard two year (24 months) term: Andrew Wafaa, Bruno Friedman and Robert Schweikert seats all need filling. Due to busy schedules, it was very difficult to start the election process until today. The openSUSE Election Committee is aware that running elections during Christmas period is not the best period, with many people being away from their computer. Therefore, in agreement with openSUSE Board chairman and current board, openSUSE Election Committee is extending all current board member terms by one month and announcing the election schedule." A copy of the election schedule can be found in Wafaa's message.
* * * * *
Will Cooke, an employee at Canonical, the company that develops the Ubuntu distribution, posted a note last week which said future versions of Ubuntu will feature a dash where searches will no longer display on-line search results by default. The dash, which acts as a central location for finding programs, documents and media, has been controversial since it was introduced with on-line searches enabled by default. The Free Software Foundation even referred to the dash's default behaviour as spyware. According to Cooke, the dash will no longer search for on-line items by default, but the feature can be enabled for those who want it. "First of all, on-line search will be off by default. This means that out-of-the-box none of your search terms will leave your computer. You can toggle this back on through the Security & Privacy option in System Settings. Additionally, if you do toggle this back on then results from Amazon & Skimlinks will remain off by default. You can toggle them back on if you wish." The change will take place in Ubuntu 16.04 which will launch in April of 2016.
* * * * *
Moving on from news to useful tips, Fedora Magazine has published a tutorial explaining how users can run multiple instances of a service using a single systemd unit file. While the instructions were written for Fedora, they should work on any distribution that uses systemd. "A brand new feature in systemd is the template unit file. What are template unit files? Template unit files allow systemd to address multiple units from a single configuration file. You can call a systemd template unit file using a special format to use this feature." Examples of how templates can be used and reasons why they are useful can be found in the Fedora Magazine article.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Finding and removing meta-data
Stopping-the-leak asks: I'd like to make sure the files I e-mail to people do not contain meta-data which will share information about me and my system. What tools are available to detect and remove meta-data from multiple file formats?
DistroWatch answers: There are a number of utilities that can help locate and remove meta-data from your documents and images. Some tools are designed to simply locate meta-data while others will go a step further and scrub meta-data from files.
The exiftool command line program is available in the software repositories of most distributions and will locate (and display) the meta-data in most types of files, including common image formats, audio files and Open Document Format files. Though exiftool offers users several options, most of us can get by by just supplying the command utility with a file to work on. For example:
The above command will dig through the myphoto.jpg image and display all the meta-data the tool can find.
Another useful utility is the Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit (MAT). This program will locate and remove meta-data from a wide range of file formats and offers users a nice graphical interface. MAT is quite easy to use and is available in most distributions' software repositories. MAT is also included as part of the Tails distribution.
While MAT will remove meta-data from files, the authors stress that MAT cannot anonymise files or remove data contained in files which may be used to track the user. "MAT only removes meta-data from your files, it does not anonymise their
content, nor can it handle watermarking, steganography, or any too
custom meta-data field/system." In other words, if an image contains a watermark or an audio file has an intentional imperfection or a text document uses canary traps then MAT will not guard against these methods of tracking. MAT only scrubs common meta-data fields in a given file. This should be enough for most users, but will not help people who wish to forward documents created (and uniquely marked) by others.
* * * * *
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: 142
- Total data uploaded: 22.4TB
|Released Last Week
DragonFly BSD 4.4.1
Justin Sherrill has announced the release of DragonFly BSD, the latest stable release from the BSD-derived operating system that features the Hammer file system, virtual kernels and other other unique characteristics. This first point release in the stable 4.4 series is provided due to the late inclusion of an important OpenSSL security update: "DragonFly BSD 4.4 has been tagged and built. DragonFly version 4.4 brings further updates to accelerated video for both i915 and Radeon users, a new locale system, and a new default linker. Significant behind-the-scenes work has also been done, with symbol versioning, Hammer1 improvements, and other changes. Version 4.4.1 was the first release due to the late inclusion of OpenSSL update 1.0.1q. ... If you have an existing 4.2.x system and are running a generic kernel, the normal upgrade process will work. Change your local /usr/src to 4.4." See the brief release announcement and the more detailed release notes for further information.
The Chapeau project has released a new version of its Fedora-based distribution. The Chapeau distribution offers users a Fedora-compatible desktop distribution for the 64-bit x86 architecture. Chapeau ships with third-party software which is not available in Fedora by default due to packaging or licensing concerns. The latest version, Chapeau 23, offers users GNOME 3.18, LibreOffice 5, PlayOnLinux, Steam and Firefox with Adobe Flash enabled by default. "New features in Chapeau 23: We have a new Hardware Helper Tool (hht). Inspect your hardware and manage your Nvidia drivers with ease, even with Nvidia Optimus!. The Korora repository has been removed. The default display server remains to be X in Chapeau 23, unlike Fedora 23 Workstation Wayland is disabled by default. More wallpapers! Gnome 3.18 now has Google Drive integration. Other noteworthy changes inherited from Fedora 23 are: Python 3 is now the default implementation." Further information can be found in the distribution's release announcement for Chapeau 23.
Chapeau 23 -- Running GNOME Shell
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elementary OS 0.3.2
The developers of elementary OS have announced the launch of an updated version of the project's Freya series. The new version, elementary OS 0.3.2, fixes a number of issues, including boot issues with UEFI and Secure Boot systems. "Just in time for the holidays, it's a new release of elementary OS! Freya 0.3.2 is a minor release, mostly focused around solving some issues folks have had with UEFI & Secure Boot, but we've also managed to sneak in some internationalization updates and a couple new features. With the help of incredibly useful tips, advice, and code snippets from Antoni Norman (aka Pinguy), Cody has almost completely rewritten our .iso build system since 0.3.1. We've tested these new builds on 64-bit (U)EFI, and BIOS machines, with and without Internet, with Secure Boot and legacy boot, and everything in between. No more infamous GRUB boot error!" Further information on elementary OS 0.3.2 can be found in the project's release announcement.
SME Server 9.1
Terry Fage has announced the release of SME Server 9.1, the first update to the stable 9.x branch of the project's server distribution based on CentOS 6: "Koozali is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the Koozali SME Server distribution. SME Server is intended for use on servers in small and medium businesses and is based on CentOS. The latest release, SME Server 9.1, provides users with an update to the distribution's 9.x series and is based on CentOS 6.x. SME Server 9.1 introduces support for Windows 10 domains and includes OpenSSL packages from the project's upstream distribution. Major changes in this release: added functionality to use a dummy NIC for the internal interface; set the check update frequency of 'smecontribs' through the server-manager; disable SSLv3; added Windows 10 support for SME Domain." See the release announcement and release notes for a complete list of changes.
Proxmox 4.1 "Virtual Environment"
The developers of Proxmox, a commercial distribution based on Debian, have announced the release of Proxmox 4.1 "Virtual Environment". The new release features improved support for ZFS, an advanced file system, and Linux containers (LXC). "The recent release is based on the latest Debian Jessie and on the 4.2.6 kernel with LXC and QEMU 2.4.1. Based on the feedback from the Proxmox community and customers, countless small improvements and bug fixes went into the product. Included are better ZFS integration for the ISO installer, better start-up and shutdown behaviour, disk resizing for LXC containers, and also several LXC technology previews like for example support for unprivileged container or LVM thin support. All TurnKey GNU/Linux V14 Appliances are now available as LXC templates." Further information on the release of Proxmox 4.1 "Virtual Environment" can be found in the company's release announcement.
IPFire 2.17 Core 95
The developers of IPFire, an independent distribution which focuses on security, have announced a new update to their distribution. The latest release, IPFire 2.17 Core Update 95, offers users a number of improvements to the IPsec VPN software and an updated Linux kernel. "This is the official release announcement for IPFire 2.17 Core Update 95 which is a bigger release with a new kernel and various smaller feature enhancements and bug fixes. This update contains a minor update to the Linux kernel IPFire is using based on Linux 3.14.57. Various device drivers for Intel network controllers and some other hardware have been improved. strongswan has been updated to version 5.3.3 and much work was done on the IPsec VPN stack. The changes include feature enhancements and bug fixes. It is now possible to configure more than one subnet per IPsec net-to-net connection- That makes configuration for more complex networks easier and also reduces the overhead for the IPsec connection." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
ROSA R6 "Desktop Fresh LXQt"
Sergey Aleksandrov has announced the release of ROSA R6 "Desktop Fresh LXQt" edition, a lightweight edition of ROSA that features the LXQt desktop for the very first time: "After several months of ROSA Desktop Fresh R6 KDE release, we are happy to announce a lightweight edition of Desktop Fresh R6 which uses LXQt desktop environment. Up to Desktop Fresh R5, we used to release lightweight editions on the basis of LXDE. However, LXDE is based on GTK+ 2 library stack which didn't get significant updates since the year 2011 - all new features are now implemented in the GTK+ 3 series. The old GTK+ 2-based LXDE is not dead and is still developed by a group of volunteers, but their progress is not as significant as LXQt's one. In particular, there was almost no significant difference in LXDE components between LXDE editions of ROSA Desktop Fresh R4 and Fresh R5. But our distribution has a 'Fresh' word in its name, so we decided to give a chance to a new desktop environment. And after several months of experiments, integration work and bug fixes, we are ready to present a new edition of ROSA Desktop Fresh which is based on LXQt." Continue to the release notes for further information.
ROSA R6 "Desktop Fresh LXQt" -- Running the LXQt desktop
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Suman Chakravartula has announced the release of Rockstor 3.8-10, the latest stable build of the project's CentOS-based specialist Linux distribution for Network Attached Storage (NAS) tasks: "Rockstor 3.8-10 is now available. This is our second release in the Stable updates channel. We closed 13 issues in this release, compared to 20 in 3.8-9. And this release took a bit longer. If you are wondering why, it’s because of the big feature improvement in this release: asynchronous replication. This feature efficiently replicates Shares on one Rockstor appliance to another by using Btrfs send/receive functionality. While this feature was added a while ago, it was a bit over-engineered and buggy, so it had to be improved. I started refactoring the existing pub-sub design and ended up completely redesigning it. The result is a much simpler and more robust implementation. I plan to write more about it here and the community wiki soon." Read the rest of the release announcement for a further details and a list of bug fixes.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Source-based distributions, such as Gentoo, offer their users a great deal of flexibility as packages can be configured to include or omit features as the user desires. A source-based distribution will also provide packages which are optimized for the user's computer architecture, potentially improving performance.
On the other hand, installing software upgrades on a source-based distribution can take more time as the system needs to rebuild packages from their source code.
This week we would like to know which of our readers are running source-based distributions and why. Please leave us a comment saying why you do (or do not) run a source-based distribution.
You can see the results of last week's poll on local e-mail clients verses webmail here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|I run source-based distributions: ||235 (15%)|
| I do not run source-based distributions: ||1026 (65%)|
| I am not familiar with source-based distributions: ||321 (20%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- Raminos Linux. Raminos Linux is an independent desktop distribution. The operating system features the pacman package manager, the Xfce desktop environment and Upstart as the init software with OpenRC as the service manager.
- PhoenixOS. PhoenixOS is a desktop distribution which is based on Kubuntu. It strives to be easy to use and provides compatibility software to run Windows applications out of the box.
- Keysoft. Keysoft is a German language Linux distribution that is based on openSUSE.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 21 December 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)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
OPNsense is a FreeBSD-based specialist operating system (and a fork of pfSense) designed for firewalls and routers. It is developed by Deciso B.V. in the Netherlands. Some of the features of OPNsense include forward caching proxy, traffic shaping, intrusion detection, two-factor authentication and easy OpenVPN client setup. The project's focus on security brings a number of unique features, such as the option to use LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL (selectable in the GUI) and a custom build based on HardenedBSD. OPNsense also includes an update mechanism that delivers important security updates in a timely fashion.