| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 643, 11 January 2016
Welcome to this year's 2nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The landscape of open source software is always in flux. New projects and editions arrive on the scene and new versions are constantly coming out to replace their predecessors. This week we begin with a review of Solus, a Linux distribution which just hit its 1.0 milestone. Read on to learn how Solus 1.0 performs. In our News section we discuss Linux Mint providing an upgrade path to Linux Mint 17.3 and steps the Fedora developers are taking to add stability to the Fedora distribution. Plus, we talk about Oracle's live kernel patching and share some statistics from the LibreOffice project concerning downloads and development. This week we provide a few mini-reviews of FreeBSD running on a Raspberry Pi computer and the LXQt desktop running on the ROSA distribution. Then we share a list of the distributions released last week and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. In our Opinion Poll we ask if any of our readers have created their own distribution or re-spin. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (32MB) and MP3 (25MB) formats
• Music credit: Clouds Fly With Me by Matti Paalanen
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Investigating Solus 1.0
Around the end of December, the Solus project released Solus 1.0. The distribution's website mentions a few interesting features, including the Budgie desktop environment and the eopkg package manager:
Solus is a Linux-based operating system built from scratch for the modern desktop and targeting the x86_64 architecture. The Solus Project develops a GTK-based desktop environment referred to as Budgie.
The Budgie desktop is then described as follows:
Budgie is the flagship desktop of the Solus operating system, and is part of the Solus project. Designed with the modern user in mind, it focuses on simplicity and elegance. A huge advantage for the Budgie desktop is that it is not a fork of another project, but rather one written from scratch with integration in mind. The Budgie desktop tightly integrates with the GNOME stack, employing underlying technologies to offer an alternative desktop experience. In the spirit of open source, the project is compatible with and available for other Linux distributions. Also note that Budgie can now emulate the look and feel of the GNOME 2 desktop, optionally, via a setting in the panel preferences.
Solus is available for the 64-bit x86 architecture exclusively and I downloaded the project's 819MB installation media. Booting from the Solus media brings up the Budgie desktop environment. Budgie looks and feels very much like GNOME Classic, with the application menu (represented by a circle) in the upper-left corner of the display. A blue down-arrow sits next to the circle and will launch the distribution's system installer. Over in the upper-right corner we find Budgie's system tray. Clicking any of the icons in the system tray brings up a panel with two tabs. In one tab we find notifications and messages. The second tab holds widgets, such as the desktop's calendar and volume control. Audio output is muted by default. When we open new programs from the application menu, the application's icon is added to the task switcher panel that runs across the top of the display.
Solus uses a graphical installer which I think is unique to the project. The installer begins by asking which hard drive it should use for the installation. We are then shown a screen that lists available partitions on our hard disk and we can assign mount points to these partitions. There is a button on the partitioning screen which will launch the GParted partition manager in case we need to create or destroy partitions prior to assigning mount points. Once we have set up mount points, the next screen of the installer asks if we would like to install a boot loader and, if so, where it should be installed. We are then shown a confirmation screen where we are told which partitions will be used for the root mount point and swap space. Once we confirm these settings, the installer copies its files to our hard drive. When the installer has finished copying its files, we are returned to the Budgie desktop where we can continue to explore the live environment. When we are ready, we can reboot to begin running our new copy of Solus.
The first time Solus boots, the distribution launches a graphical configuration wizard which collects some information. We are asked to select our preferred language from a list, select our keyboard's layout and we are asked if the desktop should enable location services. We are then asked to select our time zone from a map of the world. The next screen invites us to link our local account to on-line accounts from providers such as Google, Facebook and ownCloud. The following screen asks us to set up our account with a password. I found Solus to be unusually picky about the style of password we can use. It requires a long, complex password and we cannot complete the account creation process without providing a password that meets the distribution's requirements. With these configuration steps completed, we are brought to a graphical login screen.
I tried running Solus in two test environments, a physical desktop computer and a VirtualBox virtual machine. Solus worked fairly well inside the VirtualBox environment, though it did not integrate with VirtualBox and I could not access my display's full resolution. As VirtualBox's guest modules were not available in Solus's software repositories, I downloaded the official guest modules from Oracle and installed those. After a reboot, I was able to run my Solus guest with full screen resolution. Unfortunately, the Budgie desktop was still sluggish to respond. I tried experimenting with and without 3-D effects enabled and Budgie was always slow to respond and programs were slow to open. The operating system used approximately 270MB of memory when logged into the Budgie desktop.
Solus 1.0 -- Settings panel
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When I tried to run Solus on the desktop computer, the installation media failed to boot. Actually, Solus failed to boot in a unique way. Usually, when an operating system fails to boot, it is because of a problem with a driver (often a video driver) or something does not initialize properly. Solus repeatedly failed to boot and would display an error message saying the media I was booting from was already mounted. Then Solus would cleanly shut down, with the text console clearly showing devices being unmounted, processes being terminated and the system halting. I found this very interesting because, typically, when an operating system fails to boot it locks up, unable to proceed or shut down. Solus encounters a problem (apparently panicking when it discovers its installation media is already mounted) and performs a clean and orderly halt of the operating system.
Solus ships with a fairly standard set of programs. Looking through the application menu we find the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail application, the Transmission bittorrent software and the HexChat IRC client. The Rhythmbox audio player and VLC multimedia player are included. I found Solus ships with media codecs and was able to play multimedia files out of the box. Flash support is not included in the distribution, but Adobe's Flash plug-in is available in the project's software repositories. Solus also provides users with a file manager, calculator, text editor and an archive manager. There is a document viewer and the GParted partition manager. There is a process manager and a program called Tweak Tool for making adjustments to the look and feel of the desktop. The distribution does not ship with a productivity suite, compiler or Java, though these can be installed from the project's repositories. I found Solus shipped with systemd 218 and version 4.3 of the Linux kernel. There is a menu item for launching a printer manager application, but this launcher did not work. I went into the distribution's control panel, which is mostly used to adjust the look of the desktop, and found a printer management module. Trying to open the Printers module brought up an error message saying the printing service was not available.
Solus 1.0 -- Budgie's application menu
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One aspect of the distribution's application menu I found unusual (and a bit unpleasant) was the way the application menu continuously reorganized itself. The Solus menu appears to sort its contents based on which items are used most, or perhaps accessed most recently. Ideally, this feature would place the items we access most often near the top of the menu's categories, making them easy to find. However, in practice, since I use a wide variety of applications during a day, it meant every time I accessed the menu, the entries I was looking for had moved. I do not think I had noticed before how much I rely on memory to find things, but Solus made me stop and relocate items every time I opened its menu and made my reliance on consistency painfully obvious.
I believe package management deserves some special attention. The release announcement for Solus 1.0 mentions a package manager called "eopkg" and I was curious to see how it would work. I started from the command line and tried running eopkg. I soon noticed that eopkg is just a symbolic link to a copy of the Pisi package manager. I did a little exploring on the Solus website and found eopkg is a fork of the Pisi command line package manager. At the moment, it appears as though eopkg is virtually identical to Pisi and not much has changed in this fork. The developer has hinted that future versions of eopkg will diverge from Pisi, resulting in an incompatible package manager. At any rate, eopkg tended to work for me on the command line and I shifted my attention to the graphical software manager that ships with Solus.
Solus 1.0 -- Managing software packages
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The Solus graphical package manager is divided into two tabs. The first tab (labelled Software) lists categories of available software. At the time of writing, there are just five categories from which to choose. Clicking on a category brings up a list of sub-categories we can then browse. I find this multiple layer approach to categories (which appears to be becoming more popular) a bit tedious as it means there are more levels to navigate to find what we want. I also suspect some of the sub-category names will be confusing to inexperienced Linux users. For instance, a new user might not know the difference between "GNOME Desktop" and "GNOME Desktop Core System" or "System Base" and "System Utilities". Luckily, if we know the name of the software we want to install, we can do a search for keywords to find the item we want. To install an item we can click a button next to the package to queue its installation. The software manager's second tab is for managing package updates. The Updates tab shows a list of new software waiting in the distribution's repositories and we can then mark which items we want to download. I was pleased to find the software manager would allow me to continue browsing the pool of available items while installations happened in the background.
I ran into a few glitches while managing software on Solus. One minor issue was I would sometimes be shown multiple copies of what appeared to be the same entry. For example, two identical copies of Firefox. Other times, trying to install an item would make it disappear from the software manager. For instance, when I installed the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), the GIMP entry disappeared from the graphical software manager and searches for the package returned no results. The command line Pisi package manager could still locate the GIMP package and reported the software had been installed, though no menu item for GIMP appeared in the distribution's application menu. I later found that while no menu entry had been created, GIMP could be launched from the command line. In other instances, packages I had queued for installation were dropped from the queue without being installed, forcing me to relaunch the software manager and attempt the installation a second time.
Solus 1.0 -- The GIMP package missing from searches in the software manager
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On a non-technical note, I think one of the things that disappointed me while using Solus 1.0 was that the project's website had me excited for a new experience with a new desktop environment and new package manager, yet I do not feel as though Solus offers unique experiences in either case. The eopkg package manager, at the moment at least, appears to just be a renamed Pisi package manager. The Budgie desktop, apart from the system tray widget, looks and behaves exactly like GNOME Classic, even down to the configuration steps and sluggish performance. While Budgie and eopkg work, I feel they are (for the moment) better described as familiar technologies under new brands rather than new inventions.
I ran into a number of minor annoyances during my time with Solus, and I suspect a lot of those experiences are a reflection of the project's "1.0" status. We can't expect perfection out of the gate. While several little things bothered me -- like Solus panicking and shutting itself down on my desktop machine, or the package manager's flaky behaviour or the desktop environment's sometimes sluggish performance -- most of the problems I encountered were not show-stoppers. Most of us who have been in the Linux community for over a year have worked around a failed package install or tweaked a desktop environment and it's not a big deal. In short, I would say Solus 1.0 represents a decent start and I hope the project spends as much time polishing the existing features as it does exploring new ones.
* * * * *
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)
Linux Mint provides upgrade path to 17.3, Fedora developers working on stability, Oracle offers live kernel patching and the stats behind LibreOffice
Last month, the Linux Mint team reported in a blog post that it was possible to live upgrade official Cinnamon and MATE editions of the Linux Mint 17 series (17, 17.1 and 17.2) to the latest release, Linux Mint 17.3. "You might want to upgrade to 17.3 because some bug that annoys you is fixed or because you want to get some of the new features. In any case, you should know why you're upgrading. As excited as we are about 17.3, upgrading blindly for the sake of running the latest version does not make much sense, especially if you're already happy and everything is working perfectly. Make sure to read the release notes and to know the new features so you have all the information you need before deciding whether you want to upgrade." The Mint team reported last week that it is now possible to upgrade community editions of the distribution to Linux Mint 17.3 as well: "The upgrade path from Linux Mint 17, 17.1 and 17.2 to Linux Mint 17.3 is now open for all editions (Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce)." Instructions for performing the upgrade can be found in this post.
* * * * *
The Fedora distribution walks a tightrope between cutting edge software and stability. The developers would ideally like to offer both, but it can be hard to find and quickly fix all the bugs in new software before it is pushed out to the user community. Christian Schaller recently blogged about some of the steps Fedora has taken to offer a more reliable experience while still rolling out new features. "From the start we wanted to bury the old idea of Fedora being only for people who didn't mind risking a lot of instability in return for being on the so called bleeding edge. We also wanted to bury the related idea that by using Fedora you where basically alpha testing highly unstable and unfinished software for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Yet at the same time we did want to preserve and build upon the idea that Fedora is a great operating system if you want to experience a lot of the latest and greatest new developments as they are happening. At first glance those two goals might seem a bit contradictory, but we decided that we should be able to do both by both adjusting our policies a bit and also by relying more on the Fedora retrace server as our bug fixing prioritisation tool." The blog post talks more about the steps the Fedora developers have taken and their work with the retrace server.
* * * * *
Oracle, the company which produces Oracle Linux, has announced some important updates to their distribution's Linux kernel, called the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK). The new Oracle kernel is based on Linux 4.1 and offers a number of performance and security enhancements. Oracle's kernel includes memory address randomization and real-time kernel features. Perhaps the biggest item on the new feature list is live kernel updates, a feature which allows the operating system's kernel to be updated without requiring a reboot. The live kernel updates are performed using a mechanism called Ksplice. Further information on Oracle's latest Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel can be found in the company's announcement.
* * * * *
LibreOffice is a popular, open source productivity suite that has been widely adopted in the Linux and BSD communities. But just how popular is the LibreOffice suite? The Document Foundation, the organisation which backs the development of LibreOffice, has released some numbers to answer that question: "Downloads since September 2010 are close to 120 million, with a rather steady increase of weekly numbers. In 2013 there have been visible spikes after the launch of LibreOffice 4.0 and 4.1, as these versions were representing a significant growth in term of features over previous releases. Unique IPs pinging for updates are around 150 million since 2012 (when we have started counting them). Combined, the two charts provide a flavour of the growth of the installed base." Several graphs with comments regarding the number of developers, downloads and source code commits can be found in The Document Foundation's blog post.
|Rapid Reviews (by Jesse Smith)
Short holiday experiments
I was on holiday during the last week of December and, along with providing me with a chance to visit family and friends, the break gave me an opportunity to quickly explore a few open source projects. Quite often I like to download a piece of software and run it briefly, just to see what it looks like or to confirm it works or to see if an awaited feature has been added. There were two projects I was especially curious about in December: FreeBSD running on a Raspberry Pi computer and the LXQt desktop environment.
FreeBSD on a Raspberry Pi
The FreeBSD developers have been working on getting their operating system working on ARM educational and hobbyist devices such as the Raspberry Pi. The project has been making progress over the past year. Back in June, I briefly experimented with FreeBSD's development branch (-Current) on a Raspberry Pi 2. At the time, FreeBSD worked well. Most features were in place, but there were no binary packages available for ARM devices at the time and third-party software had to be installed via FreeBSD's ports collection. I also found that ZFS was not yet working smoothly at that time.
At the end of December, I downloaded the latest FreeBSD 11 (-Current) image for Raspberry Pi 2 computers. The compressed image file is 164MB in size and, when it has been decompressed, takes up 1GB of space. This decompressed image can be written to a microSD card.
Unfortunately, while I have read that Raspberry Pi support has been merged into the main FreeBSD source tree and some people have been working on providing binary software packages, I was not able to get the latest image to boot on my Raspberry Pi. The operating system begins to boot and then hangs, seemingly while trying to detect the available hardware. The operating system does not respond to keyboard input and does not activate the available network connection.
I explored the FreeBSD forums a bit and found others were reporting the same issue. This regression is not really surprising given that FreeBSD's -Current branch is in constant flux and not intended to be run by end users. It is, after all, pre-beta software.
It would appear that this month, the FreeBSD development branch does not work on the Raspberry Pi, but that will likely change in the coming weeks. For now, I am happy to see that people are working on getting FreeBSD working on ARM devices and putting packages and documentation in place.
* * * * *
ROSA R6 "Desktop Fresh LXQt"
Last month I wanted to give the LXQt desktop a test drive. LXQt is an implementation of the low-resource LXDE desktop that has been developed using the Qt software libraries. The LXQt website describes the project as follows:
LXQt is the Qt port and the upcoming version of LXDE, the Lightweight Desktop Environment. It is the product of the merge between the LXDE-Qt and the Razor-qt projects: A lightweight, modular, blazing-fast and user-friendly desktop environment.
One of the more recent distributions to ship with the LXQt desktop environment was ROSA R6 "Desktop Fresh LXQt" which was released in mid-December. The LXQt edition of ROSA is available as a 1.2GB download. Booting from the distribution's media brings up a menu where we can choose to explore the LXQt live desktop environment or launch the project's system installer.
ROSA R6 "Desktop Fresh LXQt" -- LXQt's application menu
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I quickly walked through the graphical installer, selecting my preferred language, my keyboard's layout and my time zone. The installer guides us through partitioning the hard drive and then copies its files to our local disk. On computers where ROSA will be the only operating system we can get through the installer by clicking the "Next" button six times. After ROSA's installer copies its files to our drive we are asked to create a password for the root account and create a regular user account for ourselves. Then we can reboot and start experimenting with the distribution and its implementation of LXQt.
ROSA boots to a graphical login screen where we can sign into either a very minimal Openbox window manager session or a LXQt session. While both sessions work, I was really only interested in how LXQt behaved.
ROSA R6 "Desktop Fresh LXQt" -- The settings panel and Help documentation
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ROSA sets up LXQt with the application menu, task switcher and system tray at the bottom of the screen. The desktop is uncluttered and decorated with a pleasant blue background. As one might expect, my initial impression of LXQt was that it looks and feels almost exactly like LXDE. It has the same context menu, a similar application menu and the same general feel. This is good as it means transitioning from the old LXDE desktop to the Qt-based version should happen seamlessly.
The ROSA distribution ships with one central control centre for managing both the LXQt desktop environment and the underlying operating system. The desktop settings are grouped together so that we do not get them mixed up with ROSA's core settings. The control centre provides modules for changing the look and feel of the desktop along with keyboard and mouse behaviour.
LXQt, or at least the implementation that ships with ROSA, offers us some additional configuration options I quite like. For example, we can start/stop components of the desktop. Through the configuration panel we can shut off (or re-start) such items as the desktop's panel, PolicyKit, the power management utility and the notification service. This does two things for us: It allows us to disable features we do not need and it also makes it easy to restart services that misbehave. Through the configuration panel we can also select which programs will automatically start when we login.
ROSA R6 "Desktop Fresh LXQt" -- Enabling LXQt services
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One feature I was curious to try was the option to change which window manager runs when we sign into LXQt. By default, ROSA pairs LXQt with the Openbox window manager, but we can use alternative window managers. I downloaded Fluxbox from ROSA's repositories and switched out Openbox for Fluxbox. Switching window managers requires us to logout and sign into a fresh LXQt session for the change to take effect. LXQt worked with Fluxbox and I am happy to report the window manager switching feature works and gives LXQt an added sense of flexibility.
The ROSA distribution ships with a service which automatically checks for software updates. Five minutes after signing into LXQt, a notification let me know 162 new software updates were available. Clicking the appropriate icon in LXQt's system tray brought up the update manager application, which successfully downloaded and installed the waiting updates.
I had tried LXQt some time ago, but I think it has been over a year since I last experimented with the minimal desktop environment. The last time I played with LXQt, the desktop environment was usable, but perhaps not yet polished. Having played with LXQt for a day, I can happily say that LXQt has matured. The desktop is very quick to respond and I encountered no crashes or glitches. The desktop behaved as I hoped it would. In fact, on the surface, the behaviour and menus are virtually identical to LXDE.
ROSA R6 "Desktop Fresh LXQt" -- Configuring notifications
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Some might debate whether Qt components or GTK components provide a nicer end-user experience, and I think that is mostly a matter of taste. However, one objective benefit I think LXQt brings to the community is the existence of a lightweight, Qt-based desktop. For people who like working with Qt-based widgets, there have been relatively few desktop environments from which to choose (ie KDE) while GTK fans have been able to select from LXDE, GNOME, Cinnamon, Xfce and MATE. The arrival of LXQt (and Lumina) has provided lower-resource alternatives to KDE. I think LXQt now provides an attractive, and more resource friendly, alternative to KDE for fans of Qt-based software.
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: 150
- Total data uploaded: 24.9TB
|Released Last Week
Parted Magic 2016_01_06
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 2016_01_06, a new stable version of the project's commercial distribution designed primarily for disk management and data rescue tasks: "Parted Magic 2016_01_06. This version of Parted Magic updates some packages and adds some new ones. You'll also notice our delivery service has changed from E-Junkie to DPD. Not only does it look better, but download performance is more reliable. The 1-year subscriptions no longer have to be mailed out every release. You can keep your original email to get your updated Parted Magic files. We'll send out a simple email to let you know about stable releases. The Network manager stack was upgraded to 1.0.8. fstransform was added, this command-line program converts one file system type to another, for example XFS to ext4. isdct was added, this is a command-line tool for managing and secure erasing newer Intel SSD and NVMe devices. Updated programs: Google Chrome 47.0.2526.106, Mozilla Firefox 43.0.3, TigerVNC 1.6.0, MESA 11.0.7...." Visit the distribution's news page to read the full release announcement.
Linux Mint 17.3 "KDE", "Xfce"
The Linux Mint team has announced the availability of two new community releases. The new editions, "KDE" and "Xfce", are community spins of Linux Mint 17.3 and feature the same enhancements to the distribution's update manager and driver manager. The new community editions are based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and will continue to receive security updates through to 2019. "Linux Mint 17.3 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use." Linux Mint 17.3 supports booting on computers with UEFI enabled, but does not support SecureBoot, the project recommends disabling SecureBoot prior to attempting to install Linux Mint. Further information can be found in the project's release announcements for the KDE and Xfce editions.
Linux Mint 17.3 -- Running the Xfce desktop
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* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Have you ever created your own distribution/spin?
It is relatively easy for users of free and open source software to modify their operating systems. New spins of existing distributions pop up almost every week and new, independent distributions are created to fit just about every niche. Some people have even joked that the number of Linux distributions is even greater than the number of Linux users.
This week we would like to know if you have ever created your own distribution or spin. Please leave us a comment and let us know if you created your distro for fun, for the educational experience or to accomplish a task.
You can see the results of our previous poll on frequency of software updates here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Have you ever created your own distribution/spin?
|I created my own spin: ||176 (11%)|
| I created a distro based on an existing one: ||165 (10%)|
| I created a distro from scratch: ||77 (5%)|
| I have not created my own distro/spin: ||1213 (74%)|
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 January 2016. To contact the authors please send email to:
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 848 (2020-01-13): elementary OS 5.1, accessing USB ports directly, NetBSD expanding Wayland support, Fedora phasing out old Python packages|
|• Issue 847 (2020-01-06): Android-x86 9.0, Hypberbola switching to BSD base, Debian votes on init diversity, slow adoption of Wayland and delta packages|
|• Issue 846 (2019-12-23): NomadBSD 1.3, Tails publishes boot fix, Arch update requires intervention, Purism launches server lineup, password protecting files|
|• Issue 845 (2019-12-16): OpenIndiana 2019.10, BunsenLabs' "Lithium" preview, MX-Fluxbox, 10 years of Tails, installing local packages|
|• Issue 844 (2019-12-09): Project Trident Void alpha, alpha installer for "Bullseye", SparkyLinux portable edition, dealing with large log files|
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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uOS - The Micro Operating System
uOS was a complete Operating System that can be configured and build in a flexible way. uOS was first used in November 2002. It was very new and there are lots of kinks to work out. Although we aim to make uOS usable by everyeone it currently requires Unix expertise to install and to run.