| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 644, 18 January 2016
Welcome to this year's 3rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Software, particularly open source software, tends to go through phases of development. When new distributions or applications arrive on the scene, they usually grow new features, taking on more tasks and more roles over time. Eventually, the software becomes heavy enough that it is harder to maintain or use. At that time, the developers usually streamline the software or minimal alternatives will appear. Those alternatives usually grow new features and take on more tasks until the cycle begins again. This week we look at some examples of projects taking on new features and others looking to streamline. In our News section we cover Sabayon extending support to ARM-based computers and Slackware introducing support for PulseAudio. We also talk about Linux gaining support for virtualized 3-D video acceleration while the Fedora project considers dropping 32-bit support for its Server edition. In our Feature Story this week we talk about a minimal distribution called Kwort and discuss the project's back-to-basics approach. Then, in our Questions and Answers column, we talk about Linux operating systems that do not rely on GNU software. Also, in this issue, we share the torrents we are seeding via our Torrent Corner and provide a list of the distributions released last week. In our Opinion Poll we ask who among our readers use (or have used) the Tor network service. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Back to basics with Kwort 4.3
I do not think I have ever installed the Kwort distribution before. It's one of those projects I think about trying when a new release comes out, but something else has always come along to steal away my attention. Last month, during a quiet period, I decided to download the latest release of Kwort, version 4.3, and give it a try.
According to the project's website, "Kwort is a modern and fast Linux distribution that combines powerful and useful applications in order to create a simple system for advanced users who find a strong and effective desktop. Kwort is based on CRUX, so it's robust, clean and easy to extend."
The project's website had the following to say about Kwort 4.3: "As always we remain fast, stable, and simple and now we have grown up a little to include a lot of Linux firmwares available for tons of devices. As usual, everything has been built cleanly and from scratch."
The distribution is available in a single edition and is designed to run on 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. The installation media is relatively small, just 470MB in size. Booting from the project's installation media brings up a text console where we are automatically signed in as the root user. Instructions for installing the distribution are displayed on the screen and we can cause these instructions to be shown again at any time in the future by running the "helpinstall" command or by pressing CTRL-D.
The installation instructions let us know that we will need to do a bit of manual work to get a fresh copy of Kwort up and running. At times the instructions are sparse and I recommend reading the on-line copy of the installation guide as it fills in some of the blanks. Kwort does not have a system installer and so we find ourselves using command line utilities to partition the hard drive, format disk partitions and mount the areas of the disk where we plan to install the distribution. We then run a command called "pkgsinstall" which copies the base operating system onto our waiting hard drive. We then need to manually edit our fstab file and the system's configuration file, rc.conf, to make sure it has our correct keyboard layout and time zone. Another command sets the root password. Next, we need to decide which boot loader to install (LILO or GRUB), along with supporting packages, and run commands to install the boot loader and configure it. Again, the installation steps are a bit vague here and I recommend visiting the on-line documentation to see examples of how best to proceed. Assuming we successfully get a boot loader installed we can then reboot the computer and begin exploring Kwort.
By default, we find ourselves navigating a text console interface. Kwort ships with the usual collection of command line tools, manual pages, a copy of the GNU Compiler Collection and version 4.1.13 of the Linux kernel. Kwort offers users the SysV init software and, at first glance, a very minimal experience. However, we can run the "startx" command from the text console to gain access to the Openbox window manager. Openbox is presented with a task switcher and system tray at the bottom of the screen. We can right-click on an empty region of the desktop to bring up an application menu.
Looking through the application menu we find a short list of programs. The Chrome web browser is included along with the Transmission bittorrent client and the Lftp simple FTP client. The Leafpad text editor is included along with a calculator, the Audacious audio player and MPlayer. Kwort includes multimedia codecs for playing our audio and video files. The GpicView image viewer is included along with the Midnight Commander file manager. What I found strange, and frustrating, was that several programs were listed in the application menu which were not installed and trying to run them would result in an error saying the file was not available. LibreOffice, the PCManFM file manager, the Openbox configuration application and the GTK configuration program are all listed in the menu, but do not exist on the system. Further complicating things, I could not find these applications in the distribution's software repositories, and I will come back to my experiences with Kwort's package manager shortly.
The default installation of Kwort is fairly minimal. The distribution used just 20MB of RAM when sitting idle at the text console and took up approximately 1.4GB of hard dive space. Later, I found running Kwort's default graphical environment, Openbox, caused the operating system to use just 45MB of RAM. I tried running Kwort on a physical desktop machine and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. Kwort worked fairly well on the desktop, though it was a touch slow to boot. In the virtual environment, the distribution would run smoothly, but would not take advantage of my display's full resolution. I wanted to install VirtualBox's guest modules to gain better integration, but Oracle's official modules could not recognize Kwort's environment and the distribution appears to not have any VirtualBox packages in its repositories. This left me with a somewhat restricted experience when running Kwort in a virtual machine. On the subject of hardware, at first when I started using Kwort I thought audio was not working. After a little poking around I discovered audio was, technically, working but the sound mixer available on the desktop was of limited use because the underlying ALSA mixer was turned down low. A trip to the command line allowed me to use alsamixer to raise the background volume and then fine-tune audio output using the desktop control.
Managing software on Kwort is accomplished using the distribution's kpkg command line package manager. At first I was a little confused by the utility because whatever command I passed it to (update, upgrade, install or search) would cause kpkg to immediately return without providing any output. With a little looking through the documentation, I realized there is a command for installing repositories and, until a repository is installed, kpkg does not do anything. The default repository file can be downloaded from the front page of the distribution's website. Once the package database has been downloaded and installed, we can fetch repository data. Then kpkg refused to work until I had manually created the directories under /var it would need to download and store package data.
At this point I found the repositories were fairly small. I did not get an exact package count, but I was unable to find much of anything in Kwort's repositories. I was unable to find LibreOffice, OpenOffice, VLC, desktop environments, AbiWord or a dozen other common packages. I did find a copy of the nmap security tool, but once it was installed nmap failed to run due to missing dependencies. Sadly, I was unable to even find a screen shot utility, which is why this review is so lacking in imagery.
At the end of 2015, I reviewed Arch Linux. At the time I commented that Arch's minimal and sometimes cryptic nature might not make it practical in many situations, but there are things I respect about Arch. Specifically, Arch keeps its users on the cutting edge of technology and, perhaps more importantly, the Arch Linux project has extensive, well written documentation.
Running Kwort was a little like running Arch Linux, but with older packages and virtually no documentation. An experienced user may be able to get Kwort installed by following the on-line guide, but beyond that point there does not appear to be much we can do with Kwort. I was able to get a graphical user interface running, edit text files, play multimedia files and browse the web. But there was no image editing, no screen shot tools, no productivity suite and not even a working graphical file manager. This made running Kwort a very limiting experience and the lack of integration with VirtualBox did not help matters.
My experience with the distribution was, at times, made more frustrating when I had to do things like drop to a command line to fix audio output or download the default software repository data. I'm not sure why repository data is treated as an add-on, it's not as though Kwort is desperately trying to save space since the project ships with the Chrome web browser.
I think my biggest frustration though, after having tried Kwort, is I suspect I am missing out on something, but simply do not know what because of the sparse documentation. There could be a great community repository of software or more useful tools or wonderful reasons for the design decisions made. However, I am not aware of them. For a distribution to be useful it needs, in my opinion, to either present its features in an easy to explore way (like Ubuntu) or it needs to have great documentation (like Arch Linux). Kwort, though it has merit in its lightweight nature, is not easy to explore and has very little documentation. Two factors I think will keep most users away from this minimal distribution.
* * * * *
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)
Sabayon tests ARM images, Slackware adopts PulseAudio, Fedora considers dropping 32-bit support for servers and Linux offers 3-D acceleration in virtual machines
The Sabayon distribution is expanding its architecture support and has released testing images for ARM devices, including Raspberry Pi mini computers. The new images are accompanied by ARM packages that are built from Gentoo's flexible ports collection. "The approach to the ARM(hfp) support will be different from the previous attempt, we are not going to support kernels for each different board we intend to build images, instead we will release images with vendor-kernel to avoid incompatibilities and unexpected features. This is what almost every distribution does for tons of reasons, among them I want just to underline that in those years we have seen a lot of new ARM boards out of there and we can't just support all of them, maintaining a kernel branch for each one would result in low QA (since our dev-team is small) and probably in hard decisions to be made when support will be dropped from vendors (think also on how short a board's lifespan is, and how projects die quickly). In that way, we can still provide support also for legacy devices as well." More information on the new development images for ARM can be found in this blog post.
* * * * *
Another project that is rolling out new features is Slackware Linux. The world's oldest surviving Linux distribution released a beta version last week and the change log contained a surprise: Slackware will be shipping with the PulseAudio sound software. "After upgrading to BlueZ 5 recently, everything seemed to be working great, but then it was pointed out that Bluetooth audio was no longer working. The reason was that the newer BlueZ branch had dropped ALSA support and now required PulseAudio. So with some trepidation, we began investigating adding PulseAudio to Slackware. Going back to BlueZ 4 wasn't an option with various dependent projects either having dropped support for it, or considering doing so. After several iterations here refining the foundation packages and recompiling and tweaking other packages to use PulseAudio, it's working well and you'll likely not notice much of a change." The PulseAudio software had a rocky start several years ago when it was introduced into more cutting edge projects, but has since been widely adopted by most Linux distributions.
* * * * *
While Sabayon and Slackware expand their list of features, the Fedora project is looking to streamline their offerings for the upcoming launch of Fedora 24. The list of potential changes for Fedora 24's Server edition includes the possible removal of support for 32-bit machines. "The Fedora Server SIG has determined that we no longer feel that i686 install media is critical to our success. Since delivering and maintaining each install medium requires significant effort, the Server SIG has decided to stop shipping i686 media. This includes both the Server Install DVD and the Server Network Install ISO." It is hoped that dropping support for 32-bit servers will reduce the work required by the quality assurance team.
* * * * *
While we do not usually cover specific features in new Linux kernel releases, last week distro-hoppers and gamers received some good news. Starting with Linux 4.4, the kernel will support accelerated 3-D rendering in virtual machines. This means it should be possible to run desktop environments and video games that require 3-D hardware acceleration inside a virtual machine with almost no performance loss. The Kernel Newbies website explains, "virtio-gpu is a driver for virtualization guests that allows it to use the host's graphics card efficiently. In this release, it allows the virtualization guest to use the capabilities of the host GPU to accelerate 3-D rendering. In practice, this means that a virtualized Linux guest can run a OpenGL game while using the GPU acceleration capabilities of the host." There is a video on YouTube demonstrating GNOME Shell running in a virtual machine making use of hardware acceleration.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Linux without GNU software
Seeking-a-penguin-without-a-gnu asks: The name GNU/Linux indicates a distribution ships with GNU software and the Linux kernel. Are there any Linux distributions which are not also GNU distributions?
DistroWatch answers: There are operating systems that use the Linux kernel without GNU, or at least without many GNU components. The Android operating system and ports of Android, such as Android-x86, use the Linux kernel while providing a very different userland from GNU/Linux.
Android is a rather focused market though and people looking for general purpose Linux distributions will probably want to look at something like Alpine or Void Linux. According to Alpine's website, the distribution uses the musl C library and BusyBox instead of GNU software: "Alpine Linux is built around musl libc and BusyBox. This makes it smaller and more resource efficient than traditional GNU/Linux distributions."
It has been a while since I last used Void Linux, so I am not sure how much GNU software the distribution does or does not use, but the project's website, mentions Void uses musl rather than GNU's C library: "Many packages are compiled against musl, an alternative libc implementation, in addition to glibc."
Sometimes developers go in the other direction and use GNU without Linux. For example, the Debian project maintains a couple of ports which use GNU userland software with kernels other than Linux. The Hurd port and the GNU/kFreeBSD port are interesting examples of GNU operating systems that run without the Linux kernel.
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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: 152
- Total data uploaded: 25.5TB
|Released Last Week
Anke Boersma has announced the release of KaOS 2016.01, a new version of the project's desktop Linux distribution featuring KDE's Plasma 5 desktop: "It is with great pleasure to present to you a first KaOS ISO image for 2016. As always with this rolling distribution, you will find the very latest packages for the Plasma Desktop; this includes Frameworks 5.18.0, Plasma 5.5.3 and KDE Applications 15.12.1. Plasma 5.5 has brought new features in Widget Explorer, expanded options in applications launchers, new widgets including Color Picker and Disk Quota, restored support for legacy system tray icons, default font has moved to Noto and Desktop Tweaks for different handling of widgets, plus option to disable the desktop toolbox. Among the new applications in 15.12 are Spectacle, the new screenshot capture program. Many more are now fully ported to Frameworks 5 and are part of the stable tar release in their frameworks version." Continue to the release announcement for further details and screenshots.
KaOS 2016.01 -- Welcome screen and application menu
(full image size: 324kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Tor is free software and an open network that helps its users defend against traffic analysis. The Tor software essentially bounces a person's Internet traffic around a number of nodes to help disguise where network connections originated. This can help keep Tor users somewhat anonymous when communicating on-line. Some Linux distributions, including Tails, ship with Tor enabled by default to assist users in maintaining their privacy while on-line.
Tor is not just useful for anonymous communication, it can also help people bypass censorship in order to read websites in other countries or to get around other forms of regional filtering. This week we would like to know how many of our readers have experimented with the Tor software. Was it an effective tool for you? Please leave us your thoughts on Tor in the comments section.
You can see the results of our previous poll on making new distributions and re-spins here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|I have used Tor and it worked well: ||893 (47%)|
| I have used Tor and it did not fit my needs: ||264 (14%)|
| I plan to use Tor in the future: ||306 (16%)|
| I have not used Tor and do not plan to use it: ||421 (22%)|
Comparing package versions
Often times it is useful to be able to compare package versions between two distributions. Perhaps to see if one distribution is staying closer to the bleeding edge of software development, or to see which distributions have adopted a new feature such as UEFI support. It can also be helpful to compare packages between two versions of the same distribution. This can show how quickly a distribution moves forward over time.
This week we are pleased to unveil a new feature which will allow visitors to DistroWatch to compare package versions from two separate distribution releases. This enables us to see whether CentOS or Debian Stable ships with older packages. Or we can compare Fedora's development branch to Arch Linux to see which project is offering fresher packages. We can also see how far ahead Debian Unstable is compared to Debian's Testing repositories.
This feature is in its early stages and we are hoping to get feedback on the package comparison functionality to better adjust it to our readers' needs. Please send us an e-mail with your suggestions and put "Compare Packages" in the subject line.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Remix OS. Remix OS is an operating system based on the Android-x86 project. It is designed to run on desktop and laptop computers while providing a familiar interface for users of the Android operating system.
- DuZeru. DuZeru is a beginner friendly Linux distribution for Portuguese speakers. The DuZeru distribution is based on Debian and Ubuntu.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 25 January 2016. To contact the authors please send email to:
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Multiple (by Chris on 2016-01-18 01:19:13 GMT from North America) |
I love to see a distro use Openbox WM as default, too bad it seems to have so many "rough edges" but maybe it will improve with time. Also strange with an Openbox default that they don't have a 32-bit version (for those of us who like to keep old PCs alive).
I select hidden option number five, "I can neither confirm nor deny ever having used Tor, i2p, etc. and therefore cannot say if it worked well for me."
I will say one thing though, Tails, while a great concept for a project and even though imperfect - kudos to their developers, is missing a major point in using one of the larger, full featured, desktop environments. Some of the most oppressed people in the world, who truly need such an anonomizing OS, don't have access to modern PCs! They are lucky if they can access a P4 with 512mb RAM and internet access. Instead of moving to Gnome 3 (or KDE 5, etc.), the Tails developers should look to transition to a lower overhead DE/WM like Xfce, LXDE/LXWM, Fluxbox, Openbox, etc. If they are really betrothed to Gnome due to familiarity as they claim in their FAQ, why not make the switch to Mate?
2 • Poll: Tor (by hotdiggettydog on 2016-01-18 01:26:36 GMT from North America)
Tor is great for anonymity but not security.
Many people think it is safe to log into their bank account with Tor. A very bad idea.
3 • Tor (by a on 2016-01-18 02:19:40 GMT from Europe)
I like how easy it is to use Tor on Linux: just install the package, and start the service (if it isn’t done automatically by your distribution).
4 • Poll (by kernelKurtz on 2016-01-18 02:32:24 GMT from North America)
Hidden option number ... six?
"I'm using Tor right now, and thank you, DW, for not locking up your wonderful site behind a Cloudflare captcha like some sites I could mention ... " (looking at you, Voat; looking at you, FossForce).
5 • Tor (by Mick on 2016-01-18 02:38:33 GMT from North America)
I use Tor via HTTPS Everywhere.
6 • @3 (by Chris on 2016-01-18 02:53:51 GMT from North America)
That is true if all you need to keep anonamous is your browser, irc, etc. traffic using the TBB (Tor Browser Bundle) and/or other properly configured independant apps (not easy for newbies or even experts if they don't review every app and line of code on their system).
But just think of all your ip traffic that likely goes non-anonamized through direct app use or indirect dependency calls (e.g., wget, ftp, ssh, package management, etc.), even if encrypted, if you don't apply the tor proxy to your entire system like Tails attempts to do.
And even then, it may be all for naught if you don't practice good opsec as noted by @2. Just some thoughts...
7 • @6 (by a on 2016-01-18 02:57:25 GMT from Europe)
Actually I have a very specific use for Tor which does not involve the web or irc or any other well known protocol. Everything’s fine. ;)
8 • Kwort / Arch (by linuxista on 2016-01-18 04:09:54 GMT from North America)
"....perhaps more importantly, the Arch Linux project has extensive, well written documentation." Arch also has the most extensive package availability among any distro I have encountered.
9 • I've used Tor and I don't like it. (by email@example.com on 2016-01-18 04:17:34 GMT from North America)
It does not do what it said it does, better use VPN: privateinternetaccess...
10 • TOR (by imnotrich on 2016-01-18 06:20:17 GMT from North America)
TOR is ROTten. Ok, let me explain. The bulk of TOR's funding comes from the US Government, and the FBI controls more than a handful of nodes. I've used TOR for many years, software-wise and the concept it's a great product. However, while TOR protects your privacy to a point forget about using TOR if you're looking to avoid unconstitutional US government surveillance.
And these days many websites have begun blocking known TOR exit nodes, so
you're stuck revealing your actual IP if you want to visit those sites.
We must not forget why Lavabit and Silent Mail shut down, and actively develop alternatives which are not vulnerable to illegal search and seizure stuff.
Has anybody tried Signal messenger yet? Hint hint.
11 • Documentation (by Simon on 2016-01-18 08:24:00 GMT from Oceania)
Great to see a review take a project to task for its lack of documentation. One of the worst things about the GNU/Linux world is the widespread neglect of maintaining the accurate, comprehensive, up-to-date documentation that users other than the project authors themselves need in order to actually use the software without wasting hours of time trawling the Internet. The BSDs are much better than GNU/Linux in this respect: some of them recognize the fact that inadequately documented software is not ready for release. Kwort sounds like a waste of time: thanks for saving us all the time we might have wasted trying to figure things out when they should be clearly documented by its authors.
12 • Kwort and CRUX (by Andy Mender on 2016-01-18 08:29:54 GMT from Europe)
Kwort doesn't ship a 32bit version, because its origin, CRUX, also does not.
On that matter, I'm a bit surprised by Kwort's quality. I thought it's a simpler version of CRUX, which is known to be an even more do-it-yourself distribution than Gentoo.I somehow imagined that Kwort adds some hand-holding to facilitate CRUX's lengthy setup. Guess I was wrong...
I'm also somewhat ashamed that Slackware decided to ship PulseAudio. I understand that having Bluetooth audio is somewhat relevant in current times, but honestly, how many of us have Bluetooth headsets or speakers? How many people running something as tech-savvy as Slackware need them?
Just my 5 cents :).
13 • RE: TOR (by me2 on 2016-01-18 09:59:24 GMT from Europe)
I have used Tor for a longtime. It fitted most of my needs, and what it did not I worked around. However, particularly this year, Tor is being ravaged by cloudflare. Tough luck to the site that uses cloudflare as I do not fill in the captcha, but move on to another site. But I have grown tired of that and am now using a vpn. Its easier.
14 • The_Onion_Relay_Tails_and_exception (by k on 2016-01-18 11:44:22 GMT from Europe)
Very timely poll about TOR usage. With Tails, TOR has worked every time, and -- with Tails -- it is so efficient even when TOR off other distro seems censored and blocked.
However, as wisely advised by hotdiggettydog, comment #2 above, avoid using it for online banking. Tails provides a ("unsafe") web browser, presumably for that option(?), which can be tested at https://check.torproject.org/.
15 • TOR (by jymm on 2016-01-18 12:27:47 GMT from North America)
TOR was to slow for any reasonable use for me. It reminded me of the early days of "dial up" modem connections.
16 • Kwort review (by Barnabyh on 2016-01-18 13:54:07 GMT from Europe)
There used to be a list of community provided repositories on the website. However, now looking at the page Packages it is blank which seems rather unfortunate for any new user interested in the distribution. Wonder if security concerns are behind this?
17 • Using Tor? Why, yes! (by tom joad on 2016-01-18 13:55:59 GMT from Europe)
I don't use Tor all the time but I do use it alot.
The more I read about the NSA and Snowden, etc, the more I am interested in protecting myself. The more "they" are determined to pry the more I am determined to protect myself.
Personally, that is plain, old common sense right out of the Fourth Amendment.
Furthermore, I increasingly us Tails which piggy backs on Tor.
Both Tor and Tails are quite stable.
Linux and Linux developers have a potentially major role to play in online security. Linux itself is extremely suited to that. If only more OS's and apps were developed along the with an aim toward online security the better. At present there are too few in that niche.
New Ideas, concepts and competition is good.
18 • Tor (by MrOats on 2016-01-18 14:10:58 GMT from North America)
Unfortunately, Tor is blocked on some networks that then automatically blocks you from the network if detected. Tails was my final hope in overcoming that, but it did not work.
19 • remix os (by peer on 2016-01-18 14:24:53 GMT from Europe)
new Remix os looks promising. It is based on android -x86.
I have android-x86 on my EEE pc and I wanted to try Remix OS.
After downloading and installing it would not run on my EEE. It complainted that my pc was not 64 bit.
Then I tried to start Remix OS on my normal computer. Now it took ages to start. After about ten minutes I stopped it.
Perhaps it will perform better in the future.
So now I am still a happy user of android-x86 on my EEE.
20 • Ubuntu (by Solar Bay on 2016-01-18 15:01:34 GMT from North America)
Ubuntu Linux beats IBM and Microsoft Azure to lucrative AT&T contract
Telecoms firm goes open source
By Chris Merriman
Mon Jan 18 2016, 13:58
Ubuntu Linux beats IBM and Microsoft Azure to lucrative AT&T contract
Linux penguinAMERICA'S SECOND biggest telecoms company has announced that it is switching to Ubuntu for its infrastructure.
AT&T, which has been around in its current form since 2005, has selected Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system, "to be part of an effort to drive innovation in the network and cloud", beating rivals such as Microsoft Azure and IBM to the punch.
21 • Tor poll (by Roy Davies on 2016-01-18 15:07:56 GMT from Europe)
If the option, 'I have tried Tor, but saw no advantage in using it' had been offered, I would have voted for that option. As it is I am one of the minority.
22 • @12 (by angstrom on 2016-01-18 15:18:02 GMT from Europe)
Was Slackware's not shipping PulseAudio until now really such a virtue? It's not only about Bluetooth -- a number of programs prefer to use PulseAudio if it's available, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to work around. If someone wants to compile and run an alternative Desktop Environment (e.g. Mate) on Slackware, it's more of a pain to do this without PulseAudio. I can understand why Slackware was slow to ship PulseAudio, but it's hard to see why never shipping it would be such a virtue. I think that the decision to finally ship PulseAudio is a good one.
23 • Tor and Slackware (by archvortex on 2016-01-18 15:45:41 GMT from Asia)
I use Tor to get around blocks in Indonesia. Reddit and Vimeo amongst other sites are blocked here which is ridiculous.
I agree with @Andy Mender on his comments on Slackware. I don't think Bluetooth is that important/relevant in the overall picture of a Slackware release and it's not like Slackers can't build an SBo for Bluez, Skype or pulseaudio if they want to run those packages on their computers.
24 • D Slackware BlueZ (by Somewhat Reticent on 2016-01-18 16:45:58 GMT from North America)
BlueZ 5.0 came out in late 2012 with a new API, moved "to standard D-Bus ObjectManager & Properties interface", and required kernel version 3.4 at minimum. Support for Gstreamer and pulseaudio included; libbluetooth not.
It's only taken a couple of years for Slackware to adapt. In slacker time, isn't that rather fast?
'Real Geeks Don't Use PulseAudio' may be true for some, but not all. If that's just not good enough, come up with something better. Be awesome!
25 • Misc (by dbrion on 2016-01-18 17:26:20 GMT from Europe)
First, a good new : I managed to compare CentOS and Fedora (results are known) and it was easy to use (no need to email for improvements)
Second, a maybe good one : Sabayon seems to be trying to support RPi2. Main issues I see is that RPis are (partly : I agree something like kodi is not part of the original goal -already exists-) meant to teach people programming and hardware interfacing, though RPis are not outstanding for hardware hobbyists : Arduini and other boards are better. I had noticed that gentoo supports arduino (interfacing "complex " analog devices with RPis becomes trivial using an Arduino as a USB-converter), rapsbian is shipped with Arduino's IDE (but only cross compiler is strategical, which can make Arduino+RPi autonomous ) but I do not think Sabayon has.
26 • D Slackware BlueZ (by Andy Mender on 2016-01-18 17:26:25 GMT from Europe)
The point is not 'being a geek'. The point is pushing for dependencies according to the 'lowest common denominator' concept. The fact that someone needs Bluetooth audio doesn't mean that the whole Bluetooth stack has to now depend on Pulseaudio. That's 'feature creep', no? :)
27 • Pulse Audio and ALSA (by Keith on 2016-01-18 17:37:32 GMT from North America)
Just want to point out that Pulse Audio is a sound server while ALSA is a set of audio drivers. You can't use Pulse Audio without ALSA on GNU/LInux. You can use ALSA without Pulse Audio though.
28 • Tor poll (by Torws on 2016-01-18 18:20:55 GMT from Europe)
Let's see, if this poll works. This comment is written using Tor. I have found few times that Distrowatch deletes comments send through Tor. Would this also be deleted?
29 • Checking too (by Anotheruser on 2016-01-18 18:33:42 GMT from Europe)
I am also writing from Tor. Would Distrowatch allow us to comment using Tor?
30 • block_of_TOR_and_Tails_comment (by k on 2016-01-18 18:40:31 GMT from Europe)
Same issue as Torws #28 and Anotheruser #29.
31 • Pulse Audio and Alsa (by Newby on 2016-01-18 19:52:50 GMT from North America)
27 - Keith re Pulse Audio and Alsa
Thanks for pointing out that distinction between Alsa and Pulse Audio. Currently use Slackware and Alsa has always been dependable and trouble-free for me. Never saw the point of Pulseaudio; seemed to be just another unneccessary layer of abstraction. If you need to route sound somewhere, isn't that what apps like Jack are for? Hmm, should have checked to see if pulseaudio is a dependency for Jack before starting this post. Regardless, I am inclined to agree with Andy Mender in post 12. Now wondering what will happen when installing the upcoming Slackware version 14.2. During package selection, one can choose to omit installing Pulseaudio, if Bluetooth is not a consideration; but the announcement mentions that other packages were tweaked to allow inclusion of Pulseaudio. This leaves the question of what else may "break' in Slackware 14.2 if pulseaudio is omitted during installation?
While on the subject of minimal installation, one distro that does not get enough recognition is Absolute Linux. It seems to strike an admirable balance between light weight, and yet still contains essentials like compiler, checkinstall, LibreOffice, etc. ie., it is semi-lightweight, but contains just enough "bloatware" to actually get some work done without having to download more stuff. The only thing I might try to change in future is to go back to using cdrecord, mkisofs, and growisofs, and then try compiling xcdroast to use instead of xfburn, or k3b (with its kde dependencies). That would give a decent dvd editor with some actual control of things like adding translation tables and other absolute necessities that seem to be missing from xfburn. has anyone here had any luck compiling xcdroast on recent distro lately? May be a few months before I have a free pc handy to try this out.
32 • Re Tor and Leaving comments... (by tom joad on 2016-01-18 21:10:32 GMT from North America)
@28, 29 and 30...
I have never had any issues at leaving comments anywhere using Tor or Tails. I left a comment using Tails 1.8.2 this morning. Now I am further testing Tails 2.0 RC1 this afternoon. Again no issues.
After I read your comments I agree...Gnome is just not the WM for the latest revision of Tails. I like mate and think it would work well as would xfce...
I hope this posts... I expect it will.
33 • Tails_block_circumvention_on_censored_network (by k on 2016-01-18 23:47:12 GMT from Europe)
@18 • Tor by MrOats
Please see https://tails.boum.org/contribute/design/Tor_network_configuration/
States "can be circumvented by using Tor bridges (solved with UseBridges, Bridge, and possibly ClientTransportPlugin).... In addition, bridges can be used to obfuscate Tor's traffic so that it becomes harder for adversaries to identify Tor usage, especially in combination with pluggable transports. This makes Tor (and hence Tails) safer to use in regions where it's dangerous for some reason, or in other situations where users want to hide that they use Tor. In Tails we think this is a highly useful use case of Tor bridges beyond its more publicly announced "censorship circumvention" usage."
Also note under Implementation: "In Tails Greeter the "Network Configuration" section contains a non-default option called "My Internet Connection is censored...".
It worked reproducibly, even without activating the "hook". For example, AntiX-15 Killah P running TOR daemon from sysVinit was blocked on a certain censored Swiss network, but Tails worked every time.
34 • Tor use (by SlaxFan on 2016-01-18 23:57:38 GMT from North America)
I only use Tor when I check the weekend ads for major retailers. They have so many ad trackers I started using Tor just for them and changing my identity after each URL. I shouldn't have to submit to a strip search just to view the sale ads.
35 • Poll (by Archuser on 2016-01-19 00:26:27 GMT from North America)
Tor is not secure. The end-point of data is no longer encrypted and if a malicious person is running the exit node, they can read the data and use what ever information they get.
If a person uses their CC online and that bad end-point captures your data, well now they can go on a spending spree.
Find a good VPN service, not free ones, and feel safer.
Not trying to advertise, but if you want to use TOR anyway, you can use airvpn's service and tor to have better security, meaning hard to track down and data that goes through tor will still be encrypted at endpoint because it is still encrypted until it reaches the VPN server to go to final destination
36 • Tor (by matt on 2016-01-19 03:39:20 GMT from North America)
Tor isn't secure and gets most of its funding from gov't sources
Here's a choice quote from another article about tor:
"Let’s start with the basics: Tor was developed, built and financed by the US military-surveillance complex. Tor’s original — and current — purpose is to cloak the online identity of government agents and informants while they are in the field: gathering intelligence, setting up sting operations, giving human intelligence assets a way to report back to their handlers — that kind of thing. This information is out there, but it's not very well known, and it's certainly not emphasized by those who promote it."
I think people---especially in the FOSS community-- are rightfully concerned about online privacy but only think of technical solutions like end-to-end encryption, TOR/tails, etc, but don't want to address the actual nature of the internet as it exists currently. That, as of right now, the internet is used as a way for private companies to collect data about us, and then profit off of that data.
37 • TOR (by Denn on 2016-01-19 04:06:13 GMT from North America)
Unless you do something wrong in the eyes of the law, how do you know if TOR (Tails) works?
How about an option like "I used TOR (Tails) and have no idea if it worked".
I got to some sites some were blocked, was my real info hidden?
38 • Re:Pulse Audio and Alsa (by archvortex on 2016-01-19 04:18:10 GMT from Asia)
If you look at the January 13th change log you'll see which packages were built with pulse and have to make new builds for those packages. I've already rebuilt the packages and run the new Slackware-Current install without bluez and pulseaudio because I don't want it in my system.
39 • Security Theater of the Absurd (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2016-01-19 04:22:29 GMT from North America)
Snowden's laptop sports tor stickers. Warrantless surveillance brownshirts begged librarians to remove it. Those recommendations are good enough for me.
The way to enhance tor is the user base. Your VPN can't compete and good luck training Granny and Bubba on VPN. TBB is one of the few Windows/Mac/Linux security apps they can use easily. Distros should ship TBB by default.
Ah, the clueless security claims from those who blindly install network facilities for their soundcards because they "trust" a distro to "think" for them. Anything opening hardware to networks is a security hole. PulseAudio is a needless layer atop ALSA. I see no reason to connect sound to bluetooth.
Consider TBB v Chrome. Which browser turned on mics and cams from a secret closed-source blob? Did that blob use PulseAudio, I wonder? I also wonder if Pulse helps infra/ultrasound tricks for airgaps. The question is academic. With bluetooth, what's an airgap worth anyway? Let me get this straight. We want PC soundcards talking bluetooth because compromised/infested semi-closed-source cell phones carried by everyone who walks by do bluetooth.
And we worry about TBB.
Look kids, if you want wireless headsets, get infrared.
Linux suffers herd mentality. Everyone looks at everyone else's movements. The only person defining a direction is PottyRing for Red Team Black Hats who want, like Microsoft and Apple, to brand, rustle, and slaughter you.
Build packages --nopulse by default. Fork them if you must. Forks will be easy, because nobody uses the touted "benefits" of Pulse. Audio pros use Jack. They avoid PulseAudio like a plague. Even its GUIs reek.
I'm waiting for the penny to drop. PulseAudio goes closed source...or demands your MAC and IP under EULA 2.0...or installs a closed-source firmware blob on your soundcard...or requires System D- ...etc. etc. etc. I see it coming like a train wreck, once you can't build anything without it. Please start building without PulseAudio right now.
40 • Pulseaudio (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2016-01-19 05:15:30 GMT from North America)
I bet you can use PulseAudio without ALSA - just use OSS ...
Do PA's GUIs reek as badly as those for ALSA or OSS, or their documentation?
Slackers should be able to ignore this issue for a while - just use BlueZ version 4.x
Bluetooth handles more than just those fashion-obligatory barrettes for cell-phones: headphones, speakers, wi-fi, headsets, keyboards, mice ...
41 • TOR (by matt on 2016-01-19 06:41:33 GMT from North America)
"Snowden's laptop sports tor stickers."
And? Snowden can have whatever stickers on his laptop he wants, doesn't change the fact that TOR was created by the US Gov't for nefarious reasons, and that TOR still gets a significant amount of its funding from the US gov' t.
42 • re pulseaudio (by Newby on 2016-01-19 06:49:08 GMT from North America)
Thanks for the info. Also have no need for bluez, so you are confirming I can skip installing pulseaudio, but some packages will have to be re-compiled to not use pulseaudio. I gather then, that if the changelog shows a binary now requires pulseaudio, installation of that binary should be skipped during installation, and one would then go to the source directory, and build the package with the appropriate flag to blacklist or skip pulseaudio.
@39 Arch Watcher
Thanks for the comments and the links. Re your comment "PulseAudio is a needless layer atop Alsa" - Thanks; you are confirming it is just an unnecessary extra layer of abstraction (and yet more bloat). And good to know Jack CAN be used for routing sound without pulseaudio. Your comments remind me of some history re distros. Going waaay way back to early 90's, your most likely choices consisted mainly of Slackware versus Redhat. Redhat always brroke things, especially on the x.0 releases. By the time things stabilized at the 0.2 releases, they were ready to break things again.....Never had those problems with Slackware. Not sure what timeframe Redhat got the government contracts, but yeah, an RH install should include "tin foil hat' as a requirement.
@40 Kragle von Schnitzelbank
Thanks for the comments; I'd clear forgotten about OSS (was that open source sound, or something to that effect?) Seem to recall it worked fine, and then for some reason (can't recall just what) everyone switched to the newer, prettier software in town - alsa. And we had xfree86, then xorg, then that systemd stuff, and now pulseaudio. Most of us are users who just want a long term stable distro that just works. Some of the developers out there (with emphasis on "some") seem to be on a different page. Linux gives us choice, which is great. But when insidious software starts to spread like a disease, and the alternatives become fewer and fewer, we risk loosing the freedom of choice....
As an example, for anyone who argues that systemd is now stable and works well, that may be true. But for those of us who like to work with plain text files instead of binary "blobs", you are starting to take over. Yes we can remove systemd and revert back to a simpler init, but why should we have to. And now with pulseaudio in slackware, more work cutting that cruft out.
This is NOT an attempt to start a flameware (we already had that here with systemd). Just expressing my shock and horror at seeing pulse in slack.....I'm off to stick my head in the sand until Groundhog Day, or the release of Slackware 14.2 (whichever comes first).
43 • re pulseaudio (by Andy Mender on 2016-01-19 11:20:34 GMT from Europe)
It doesn't look good, but the situation isn't dramatic. There are quite some simpler and more independent init alternatives to systemd, like runit and openRC. I did some tests on runit and handling of runlevels and services is on such a UNIX-like low-level that it can be ported and set up everywhere basically. More similar projects will probably flourish, because people will seek alternatives :).
As for pulseaudio, jack can do as much and even more, again relying on UNIX-like principles (text configs, etc.).
I'm expecting heavy forking of key projects and a rise of alternatives. Groundhog Day is very likely, but I'm more happy than worried now! :)
44 • live distros - poll needed? (by Chris Misawst on 2016-01-19 13:39:42 GMT from Europe)
One poll that I would be interested to see hosted on distrowatch is the use of live cds / dvds. I believe it was Knoppix that first introduced of live distros that could be run from the disk and since then the practice has really taken off. It's not simply only a good way to test a distro before deciding to insatll, or not, but they also make great 'rescue' OS's as well as a way to saty anonomous online with distros like Tails. I'd be really interested to know if many other people use them - how and why.
45 • apropo de nada (by mike_in_louisiana on 2016-01-19 14:29:17 GMT from North America)
I just slipped a surplus Nvidia card in a discarded junk computer with a 12-year-old Dell bios on it. I installed Gentoo on the 20GB drive, put LightDM on top just because -- and it's running Openbox like a champ. And it occurred to me: five years ago I would not have had a clue about what I just wrote. Thank you Distrowatch and thanks to this community.
46 • Bloat (by pfb on 2016-01-19 18:44:13 GMT from North America)
I just bought a 64 Gb USB 3.0 drive. I would like to test it by using the most cumbersome distro (outside of windows) available. So the opposite of lean and mean should the king of bloat. Which is ???
47 • Fedora dropping 32 bit server (by Steve Bergman on 2016-01-19 21:21:09 GMT from North America)
Fedora has a quality assurance team? Really? They could actually drop the whole server spin and no one would notice. No sane admin would use Fedora for a server.
48 • Tor in a virtual machine through a VPN cryptographic tunnel (by Oxynewbie on 2016-01-19 22:13:21 GMT from South America)
Is it possible to run an ISO image of Tails Linux inside a VirtualBox virtual HDD?
How could I do it? (Hey Jesse Smith, what about an article on this subject?)
If I used a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in addition to a virtualized Tails, would I be even more protected against the NSA and FBI spies?
49 • Tails in a virtual machine (by Jesse on 2016-01-19 22:25:12 GMT from North America)
@48: You can absolutely run Tails inside VirtualBox. It works just like any other live CD in that respect. However, Tails is not meant to be installed on a hard drive (virtual or otherwise) as doing so would remove the point of using Tails to begin with.
And to answer your question about Tails + a VPN, the answer is no.
50 • @46 Bloat (by Ben Myers on 2016-01-19 22:26:50 GMT from North America)
Most of the full-featured distros that provide all the bells and whistles and programs can easily fit on a 4.7GB DVD, having outgrown a 700MB CD long ago. 64-bit distros are bigger than comparable 32-bit distros.
The 64-bit Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.3 occupies ~1.5GB on my hard drive.
Using YUMI, you can cram 20 or even 30 distros onto that 64GB USB drive, if it's a flash drive.
51 • Virtualized Tails data flux passing through a VPN server (by Oxynewbie on 2016-01-19 23:08:31 GMT from South America)
"And to answer your question about Tails + a VPN, the answer is no."
Let me try to explain it better:
My intent is configuring the VPN inside the operating system that actually runs VirtualBox, not inside Tails. If it be impossible anyway, maybe I could configure the VPN in a first computer, then run VirtualBox in a second computer (connected to the first one by means of a second NIC configured with an internal IP address). Something like what Microsoft calls "ICS" (Internet Connection Sharing). So the data flux generated by the second ("internal") computer would be routed through the first computer (the one accessing the VPN cryptographic tunnel).
Well, I don't know how to explain it better, and English is difficult to me. Excuse me. I'm just a stupid n00b with only 17 years of age.
52 • Kwort (by Dac on 2016-01-20 00:11:45 GMT from North America)
Jesse, Did you try building from source; prt-get depinst ? Since Kwort is based on crux, it ought to have crux ports installed. Crux ports work really slick. Better than Slackware slackbuilds IMO. I believe Kwort should be a lot like crux except easier to install because you are not required to compile your own kernel as you are with crux.
53 • kernel keyring flaw, heavyweight distros (by frodopogo on 2016-01-20 02:03:14 GMT from North America)
Be sure to check for and install kernel updates!
Of the popular desktops, KDE is generally considered the most resource hungry, followed by Cinnamon. So maybe Kubuntu or Mint KDE 17.3.
54 • 46 • (pfb | NA) (by Somewhat Reticent on 2016-01-20 02:04:33 GMT from North America)
Bloat, Cumbersome - please define your terms and intent. Perhaps you are looking for a benchmarking toolset? If so, consider Phoronix; they like to exercise hardware.
There are several (cross-platform) tools for putting multiple ISOs on one large device: YUMI, MultiBootUSB, & Easy2Boot to name a few. Sometimes it's nice to reserve space for persistence as well.
55 • Tracking Protection in Wi-Fi Networks (by eavesdropper stopper on 2016-01-20 04:25:40 GMT from Europe)
"Fedora 24 NetworkManager 1.2 to Offer Tracking Protection in Wi-Fi Networks by randomizing the Mac address. Mr. Rintel explains how your devices are being identified by the MAC address - which is, in most cases, broadcasted everywhere you go before you even attempt a connection to a wireless network... Apple is already using this method in iOS and so is Microsoft in Windows 10"
It's about time devs recognized this problem. It shows that Linux is not always ahead in technology. The only distro that takes into account eavesdropping is Freepto. It doesn't force the wifi on by default. Kudos to the devs for keeping up with hacker tricks.
56 • 42 • re pulseaudio by Newby (by archvortex on 2016-01-20 05:45:20 GMT from Asia)
I rebuilt the 4 alsa packages. Go into the slackbuilds for each package and remove anything referring to pulseaudio, rebuild, remove pulseaudio, the alsa packages and anything else that was installed for pulse. Remove the asound.conf from /etc and replace with an asoundrc file pointing to 0 or 1 or ? depending on your card. Install your new packages and hopefully it works. It may not be the best way to do it but it worked for me. Then blacklist the packages you don't want in your system and the alsa packages in slackpkg. Obviously the packages will need to be rebuilt if there is an upgrade to them. It took me about 15 minutes to do and I'm slow. Good luck!
57 • 42 • re pulseaudio by Newby (by archvortex on 2016-01-20 06:10:05 GMT from Asia)
If you use Plasma it's going to get real messy to get rid of pulse and if you use Xfce you need to add back the default mixer plugin
58 • re Pulseaudio (by Newby on 2016-01-20 08:46:17 GMT from North America)
@56 + 57 archvortex
Thanks, really appreciate the info - gets down to the actual specifics I needed. Since I don't use KDE, gather that means I won't be using Plasma, so at least THAT won't be a further complication.
Presently using Slackware 14.1. Haven't had a chance to try current yet, and by the time I get a spare PC (about 8 weeks), Slackware 14.2 may have been officially released. Looked at my /etc in 14.1, and interesting, NO asound.conf, or any other asound files. There IS an alsa subdirectory, and sound works fine. When using XFCE instead of Fluxbox, there IS a selection for mixer which allows selecting alsa or oss, and that presently works fine. So I guess the /etc/asound.conf is part of what has changed in the new release?
Aside from that bit of confusion, your instructions are clear and helpful. Thanks.
The reason for the caution on my part, is I like to experiment on a spare (or backup) system before "hosing" the main working system. And a "spare" (as pointed out) is about 8 weeks off. I do have backup of main system, but one learns best by having accidents and "blowing things up". (Also saves one's sanity and delays onset of grey hair). Hence the wait for the "sacrificial system".
Just occurred to me that trying things out in a virtual system SHOULD be another option. Should probably spring for some extra memory chips so that would become a possibility.; but the "sacrificial option" with a spare PC has a 100% sanity saving record. Of course, one could argue that none of us who spend all our time with computers is completely sane....(think what that means for those working on "artificial intelligence". Truly frightening......)
59 • IMPORTANT_distinction_of_blocked_comments_on_TOR_and_Tails (by k on 2016-01-20 10:20:11 GMT from Europe)
@32 Re Tor and Leaving comments... by tom joad
You wrote: "I have never had any issues at leaving comments anywhere using Tor or Tails."
Since the 3 others of us (comments 28-30) were able to leave comments USING TOR and Tails, obviously the block of comments ABOUT TOR and Tails was not caused by usage error of TOR or Tails. In fact, the block was at the Distrowatch Weekly server, as notified by the TOR browser on Tails. That is why comment #33 was posted the following day by DWW.
60 • Re:Pulse Audio and Alsa (by archvortex on 2016-01-20 13:02:24 GMT from Asia)
With alsa, you usually don't need an asound.conf or asoundrc but because Pat included it for pulse you need one. It's easy enough to find one online. One thing, if you use LXDE and I'm imagining Xfce also, you need to keep keybinder in for the panel. I use volti for Fluxbox and have no problems. LXDE automagically put volti in the system tray.
As long as you don't blacklist anything until you have alsa working, you can always fix mistakes by slackpkg install-new if you've removed packages and slackpkg will pull those packages back in and you start over. I keep notes while I do stuff like this so I can go back and correct mistakes
61 • Bloat - 54 (by pfb on 2016-01-20 13:17:21 GMT from North America)
My intent is to run a linux system on a USB thumb drive. I have Mageia installed on a 32 Gb drive (although it was recommended that 40Gb was a minumum requirement). It is very slow to start, but runs fine after powering up.
I bought a 64 Gb thumb to cure the slowness (hopefully). And I thought to make a test of the drive, I would install the biggest distro I could find to see if 64 Gb is adequate.
I am thinking that a distro that does everything, or at least claims to do everything, would be perfect. Opensuse and Sabayon come to mind. But I ask, in case someone knows of a distro that is much larger in drive requirements.
62 • bloat (by peer on 2016-01-20 13:27:20 GMT from Europe)
@61: perhaps is Ultimate a good os for you. It seems a very complete os.
63 • @61 (by dbrion on 2016-01-20 15:22:48 GMT from Europe)
Well, you mess up RAM consumption and disk consumption. A somewhat easy to eat RAM is to have KDE applications (need KDE libraries) + Gnome applications (need Gnome libraries) launched together (whatever the DE, a compatibility layer is needed + two DE specific libraries). If not launched, why should they eat a lot of RAM?.
BTW : you can install MAgeia or FEdora on a 16 GB thumbdrive (you do not need each and every application) from a 700M/ca 1G iso and manage to have huge data (if any... think of videos) on an exernal drive.... I prefered 32 G to have much space left for data .. and noticed my 64 G thumdrive was not reliable (and more than twice more expensive than 32 G thumbrives : this means, IMO, that it is very recent design, not yet fully reliable).
64 • 61 • Performance from USB flash drive (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2016-01-20 15:25:32 GMT from North America)
A properly tuned system will do well from a stick; some are designed with this in mind. Boot speed is related to size of files, and processes required, at startup; but it isn't everything. If the system can operate entirely from RAM, it may be more responsive. Much depends on how you plan to use the system, hardware specs, and possibly internet connection quality - several systems aim at forensics or maintenance (on both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware), others focus on "cloud" interaction, rather than general-purpose use.
For that matter, a good USB 3.0 device often performs better than a USB 2.0 device, even when in a USB 2.0 port.
How you store data (persistence) is also a factor. A special 'persistence' file can hold all your data in one compressed file, but may take longer to startup and especially to shut down properly. Storage methods for flash media are a bit different from those for spinning rust (hard drives). Sometimes it's handy to have a separate portable hard drive for larger amounts of data.
65 • @61 (Linux in pendrive) (by Oxynewbie on 2016-01-20 15:50:42 GMT from South America)
"My intent is to run a linux system on a USB thumb drive. I have Mageia installed on a 32 Gb drive (although it was recommended that 40Gb was a minumum requirement). It is very slow to start, but runs fine after powering up."
By using a program like UNetbootin, Rufus, YUMI, or any other that makes a FRUGAL INSTALL of a Linux LiveCD/DVD in pendrive, you get a copy of that LiveCD/DVD in a pendrive. In other words, you get a "LiveUSB", and then you cannot use it as a normal install.
So it would be preferable to make a REAL INSTALL (the "file system" of a distro) by directly using the installer of that distro. I have antiX MX-14 installed in a very old 4GB USB device. It boots in much less time than the original LiveCD..
66 • • 65 "Frugal" install (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2016-01-20 20:50:37 GMT from North America)
"…you cannot use it as a normal install." - unless it can load into RAM, in which case you can install right over its prior setup, or just adjust its partitioning and install on space available.
And then, for real geeks, there's the "bootstrap" method…
67 • @66 (Frugal Install) (by Oxynewbie on 2016-01-20 22:39:45 GMT from South America)
"- unless it can load into RAM, in which case you can install right over its prior setup, or just adjust its partitioning and install on space available."
I didn't understand. (I must really be a stupid noob! :)
As I have found, there's a big difference between a frugal install (also called "fromiso") and a real install. The former is a reproduction of the LiveCD/DVD ISO image, and the latter is the own file system of the distro.
BOTH the frugal AND the real installs load into RAM. But the frugal install loads a "ramdisk" image of the system, while the real install loads the file system itself. Thus you CAN modify the real install, something you CANNOT do with the frugal install, EVEN IF YOU HAVE A "PERSISTENCE" FILE TO (UN)INSTALL SOFTWARE AND/OR COPY/REMOVE FILES, because the "ramdisk" image CANNOT BE MODIFIED. And it is exactly what loads into RAM in the first place.
That said, I suggest everybody makes REAL INSTALLS instead of FRUGAL INSTALLS when decide using a USB thumbdrive with Linux. They are much more flexible, and they load into RAM much faster than a LiveCD/DVD. Better yet: No need to use "persistence", because the entire pendrive is modifiable (i.e., writable).
By the way, I also have an 8GB pendrive with a Scientific Linux 6.5 real install that uses a /boot partition and an LVM partition. I think it's impossible in a frugal install...
68 • @64, 65 : Mageia and Fc do not need persistance (by dbrion on 2016-01-21 10:30:52 GMT from Europe)
One can install (i.e package manager works, as if it were a rotating disk) on a thumbdrive: just select the pendrive instead of the HD. It is very different from unetbootin and its sisters (and persistence files).... One should remove the swap partition (repeated writes wears out flash) and 16-32 G thumbrives could live a long time.
Special stuctures on flash drives (i.e one should try to avoid repeated writes, slow and long term destructive) are discussed, for RPi, in http://www.blaess.fr/christophe/2015/12/08/creation-dun-systeme-complet-avec-buildroot-2015-11/ (boot sector is fatfs, as it is needed by RPis starter; /usr is read only, unless su decides to remount it for writing new stuff; /home is .. fat, as it seems very robust and fast -even 8 bits controllers can cope with fatfs-)
69 • GNU in Alpine and VOID Linux (by PePa on 2016-01-21 15:36:59 GMT from Asia)
Not using the GNU C library doesn't mean that other GNU packages aren't being distributed. They are just linked against the musl C library, and there are lots of Gnome and other GNU applications in both Alpine and VOID.
70 • Frugal Install (by Fossilizing Dinosaur on 2016-01-22 07:52:53 GMT from North America)
A "frugal install" normally involves copying an ISO image to some drive, and then setting up a "persistence file" to contain a compressed version of changes thereto. One feature of this is that it can be inserted into an existing partition's filesystem; another is preservation of the initial system setup.
Customization of an ISO image is a different topic.
Last I checked, musl is optional at The Void, as are Mate, Xfce, Enlightenment, LxDE & LxQt.
(No, Oxynewbie is not "stupid" - everyone is born with limited knowledge.)
71 • Using Tor Poll (by TimeInABottle on 2016-01-23 08:46:43 GMT from North America)
I have used Tor and it worked well. It keeps the snoops away and happy to keep using it more often than not. If it is true that the US Gov't is involved with the developing of Tor, there should be a huge disclaimer on the front of the home page website. ;)
Number of Comments: 71
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