| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 654, 28 March 2016
Welcome to this year's 13th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The Linux landscape contains a spectrum of people and projects. There are small, community based distributions, corporate-backed commercial distributions, bleeding-edge projects and conservative distributions. This week we sample from all corners of the Linux ecosystem, beginning with a look at PCLinuxOS. While PCLinuxOS has its origins in Mandriva, the distribution is now independently developed and walks an interesting line with its conservative style and modern packages. In our News section we report on Edubuntu's plan not to release a 16.04 version with the other Ubuntu community flavours next month. We also discuss an upgrade to Arch Linux's Pacman software manager and GuixSD's efforts to package the GNOME desktop. We also report on Red Hat's ongoing financial success. In our Questions and Answers column we explain checksums and signatures and how these can be used to verify data integrity. Then we share a list of the torrents we are seeding and provide a list of the distributions released last week. In our Opinion Poll we ask which video chat solutions our readers are using. We wish you all a pleasant week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
PCLinuxOS 2016.03 "MATE"
PCLinuxOS is a rolling release distribution which was originally forked from Mandriva. Though its roots are in Mandriva, PCLinuxOS is currently maintained as an independent distribution. The project is unusual in two regards. First, PCLinuxOS has a relatively conservative approach for a rolling release distribution. PCLinuxOS maintains desktops with classic layouts, still uses the SysV init software while most Linux-based systems have moved to systemd, and PCLinuxOS tends to have a stronger emphasis on stability than other distributions which employ the rolling release model. The second feature that sets PCLinuxOS apart is that it uses RPM packages with Debian's APT package management tools, an uncommon combination.
At the beginning of March, the PCLinuxOS project published snapshots, one of which was for the MATE Community edition. So far as I could tell, the MATE snapshot was only available for the 64-bit x86 architecture. The ISO I downloaded was 785MB in size and it functions as both a live CD and as installation media for PCLinuxOS.
Booting from the live disc brings up a menu asking if we would like to load the MATE desktop, boot to a command line or run the distribution's system installer. Taking the desktop option brings up a graphical window where we are asked to select our keyboard's layout from a list. With our selection made, the system presents us with the MATE desktop. The desktop has a vibrant blue background and we find an application menu, task switcher and system tray at the bottom of the display. The application menu is laid out in a classic tree structure. On the desktop we find icons for browsing the file system, accessing documentation and launching the PCLinuxOS system installer. Clicking the documentation icon opens the Firefox web browser and displays a local page which explains how to use the distribution's system installer with screen shots of each step in the process. Shortly after the MATE desktop loads, a window appears and provides us with a list of user names and passwords for the accounts on the live disc. This can be helpful if we need to run a program with root access.
PCLinuxOS 2016.03 -- Configuring the look of the MATE desktop
(full image size: 412kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
PCLinuxOS features a graphical system installer that begins with a disk partitioning screen. The partition manager supports guided and manual partitioning. Opting to manually manage the disk ourselves gives us the ability to work with ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS and XFS partitions along with LVM volumes. The partition manager has a friendly interface and I found it easy to navigate its options. Initially I tried to set up PCLinuxOS on a Btrfs volume and a message appeared, letting me know additional packages would need to be downloaded in order to set up the Btrfs volume. A few seconds later, a second message appeared and let me know the required Btrfs packages could not be found and I would need to work with a different file system. My second choice in file systems was ext4 and the partition manager set up the ext4 partition without any problems. Once we have finished with the partition manager, we are given the chance to remove software packages that will not be required, such as unused video card drivers. The system installer then copies its files to our hard drive. Once all the necessary packages have been installed, we are asked if we would like to install the GRUB2, GRUB Legacy or LILO boot loader and we can optionally set a password on our boot loader. I decided to use GRUB Legacy for my installation. When the installer is finished, we reboot the system and are presented with a graphical configuration wizard.
The configuration wizard asks us to select our time zone from a list and gives us the option of enabling network time synchronization. We are then asked to make up a password for the system's root account and create a user account for ourselves. When the wizard has run out of questions for us we are brought to a graphical login screen where we can sign into our newly created account.
PCLinuxOS 2016.03 -- Accessing MATE's documentation
(full image size: 323kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Once we get signed into our account, we are brought back to the MATE desktop. The interface is fairly quiet, content to stay out of the way and let us discover things on our own. There is an icon in the system tray which notifies us when new software updates are available. One thing I appreciate about PCLinuxOS is that the update notification program waits until we have been logged in for five minutes before it checks for updated packages. This helps to prevent the system from getting bogged down when we login. We can change the length of this initial pause and the interval between checks for new packages by right-clicking the update icon and selecting "Configuration window". Right-clicking the notification icon also gives us the option of launching the Synaptic package manager which will help us install software updates.
Synaptic is both the update manager and general purpose package manager for PCLinuxOS. The application enables us to search for packages by name and to organize the distribution's list of available software using a number of filters. We can add, remove or upgrade software by clicking a box next to a listed package. Synaptic performs its installation and removal actions in batches, locking its interface while it is working.
PCLinuxOS 2016.03 -- The Synaptic package manager
(full image size: 383kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I found Synaptic worked quickly and generally worked well. The one issue I ran into came about when I discovered that just because the software update notification program was aware of new packages in the distribution's repositories it did not mean Synaptic's software information was up to date. For example, the first day I was running PCLinuxOS, the update notification program let me know there were 62 software updates waiting. When I opened Synaptic, the package manager informed me just 17 packages were waiting in the PCLinuxOS repositories. I had to manually refresh Synaptic's package list before it was able to download and install the waiting software updates.
On the topic of software, PCLinuxOS ships with quite a collection of useful programs. Browsing the application menu we find the Firefox web browser with Flash support. We also find copies of the Pidgin instant messenger application and the qBittorrent client. The Thunderbird e-mail application is included along with the Atril document viewer. KeePassX is available to guard our passwords and PCLinuxOS ships with a calculator, dictionary, text editor and simple image viewer. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is included too. The Clementine music player and the VLC media player are included and the distribution ships with a full array of media codecs. We also find SimpleBurn, a disc burning and copying application. PCLinuxOS offers us the Vokoscreen Recorder for making videos of our desktop. The Caja file manager is featured along with a program called "Help" which provides documentation on how to use the MATE desktop environment. There is a tool called Dupeclean-gui which finds and removes duplicate RPM packages on the system. Digging further we find the GNU Compiler Collection and SysV init (version 2.88). In the background, PCLinuxOS runs on version 4.4.3 of the Linux kernel, though given the distribution's rolling nature the kernel will be regularly updated.
One odd characteristic of PCLinuxOS is that there are some popular applications, such as LibreOffice and VirtualBox, which are not included in the distribution and are not available in the project's software repositories. Instead, PCLinuxOS provides graphical installers designed specifically to install these extras. The VirtualBox Manager and LibreOffice Manager programs can be found in the distribution's application menu. Running either "Manager" program launches a download wizard which installs the desired application for us. This gives us quick access to the latest versions of both applications, but it means we cannot install or upgrade these programs through the distribution's software manager.
PCLinuxOS 2016.03 -- Running various desktop applications
(full image size: 490kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
There were a few additional characteristics of PCLinuxOS which stood out during my trial. One was that the distribution uses a root account and does not enable sudo by default. This classic approach to separating root access from other users is becoming less common and it was interesting, for me, to use a project which not only has stayed with using SysV init, but has also decided to maintain classic account permissions rather than adopt sudo. Another feature which I appreciated was PCLinuxOS uses large, thick fonts for its menus, terminal, clock and windows. I often find myself adjusting fonts to be larger or higher contrast on other distributions, especially in virtual terminals. It was a pleasant experience for me to find all the PCLinuxOS fonts were already set up to be easy to read. It is a little thing, but one which made using PCLinuxOS feel just a little nicer, a little more natural.
One of PCLinuxOS's most appealing features is the distribution's Control Centre. The operating system's Control Centre acts as a central location for managing the underlying operating system. The Centre is organized into categories of configuration modules. Each module is presented in a newcomer friendly fashion and it is pleasantly straight forward to work with the operating system's settings. From the Control Centre we can launch the Synaptic package manager, configure FTP and Apache web services, configure the network, enable the OpenSSH secure shell service and set up a local time sync protocol server. We can use modules to browse hardware information, configure and trouble-shoot the sound system and tweak the X display server. There are also modules for configuring the mouse, keyboard, printers and UPS devices. Something I found interesting was that the hardware configuration tools, like the printer and scanner modules, generally required that we install additional software packages to provide hardware support. The Control Centre also provides tools for setting up network proxies, VPN connections and network shares. There are modules for working with user accounts, importing documents from Windows partitions and managing background services. Plus we can work with disk partitions, set up automatic account logins and configure the boot loader.
PCLinuxOS 2016.03 -- The Control Centre
(full image size: 436kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
There is a wide range of functionality to be found in the Control Centre and I was pleased to note that all of the configuration modules worked well. The Control Centre works quickly and is quite friendly. This configuration panel is definitely a feature I would love to see ported to other Linux distributions.
I explored running PCLinuxOS in a virtual machine and on a desktop computer. On the desktop machine PCLinuxOS ran smoothly and was stable. My hardware was properly detected and everything worked as expected. The distribution was quick to boot and responsive while logged into the MATE desktop. When running in VirtualBox, I had a similarly good experience. The only drawback to running PCLinuxOS in a VirtualBox environment was that the distribution does not feature VirtualBox's guest modules which allow the operating system to take advantage of the computer's full display resolution. Since PCLinuxOS does not offer VirtualBox modules through its software repository, we need to install the generic VirtualBox modules from Oracle if we want to run PCLinuxOS with high screen resolutions. In both test environments, PCLinuxOS used surprisingly small amounts of RAM, requiring just 210MB of memory to log into the MATE desktop.
I greatly enjoyed my time with PCLinuxOS. The project offers a fairly small download, there is a lot of functionality available out of the box. I like the classic layout of the MATE desktop and the easy to read fonts. I especially like using the project's Control Centre which allows us to configure virtually every aspect of the operating system without touching the command line.
I might have preferred a more modern software manager over Synaptic or having LibreOffice in the project's software repositories instead of available through a separate installer. The way PCLinuxOS handles software works and I did not experience any problems doing things the PCLinuxOS way, but it did feel strange, to me, to use different installers for different pieces of software.
Mostly though, I like that PCLinuxOS is taking a conservative approach while still offering a rolling release model. We have up to date desktop applications and hardware support while using classic technologies like MATE, GRUB Legacy and SysV init. Cutting edge software with a classic style may seem like an odd pairing, but it created a very pleasant experience for me.
* * * * *
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)
Edubuntu to skip 16.04, Arch updates Pacman, GuixSD packages GNOME and Red Hat's financial success
The launch of Ubuntu 16.04 is coming up in a few weeks and, with it, the release of Ubuntu's many community editions. The Edubuntu project will not be releasing a new version of its distribution along with the other community projects. Stéphane Graber has announced, on behalf of the Edubuntu team, there will be no Edubuntu 16.04. "We've both moved on to new projects, with the hope that we would one day find some time to work on Edubuntu again. That's why we decided to make Edubuntu LTS-only after the 14.04 release, hoping that over the course of two years we would find the needed time to make a good Edubuntu 16.04 LTS. This plan didn't quite work out as we're now a month away from the 16.04 release with little to no work having been done on Edubuntu." The existing Edubuntu 14.04 release will continue to receive support through to the year 2019, but additional volunteers will be required if the project is to have future releases.
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The Arch Linux developers have released a significant update to the Pacman software manager. The new version, Pacman 5.0, offers improved performance and should both speed up software transactions and reduce the work required to maintain some packages. The Arch developers are recommending all users update their copy of the Pacman software manager prior to April 23rd. The Arch Linux website has full details: "The release of pacman-5.0 brought support for transactional hooks. These will allow us to (e.g.) run font cache updates a single time during an update rather than after each font package installation. This will both speed up the update process, but also reduce packaging burden for the developers and trusted users. In order for the use of hooks to be started, we require all users to have updated to at least pacman-5.0.1 before 2016-04-23. Pacman-5.0.1 was released on 2016-02-23, so this will have given everyone two months to update their system."
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The developers of the Guix System Distribution (GuixSD) have announced their distribution now includes packages for the GNOME desktop environment. While GNOME has been packaged for many distributions over the years, the GuixSD team discovered that the task of packaging GNOME and all of its dependencies is not a simple feat. "The more interesting parts were system integration. Modern GNOME/Freedesktop environments rely on a number of daemons, most of which talk over D-Bus, and extending each other's functionality: udev, udisks, upower, colord, geoclue, and polkit, to name a few. Being able to compose all these system services was one of the driving use cases behind the design of GuixSD's new service composition framework. With this design, we knew we were able to have fine control over the service composition graph. Challenge #1 overcome!
Since GuixSD uses the GNU Shepherd and not systemd as its init system, we needed a way to provide the logind functionality that systemd implements, and which allows GNOME to know about users, sessions, and seats." The many trials and trouble-shooting steps are outlined in this post. The end result of all this work is that GuixSD users can install GNOME and all its dependencies by adding one line to their system configuration file.
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A question that gets asked a lot with regards to open source software is: "If you give away your product's source code for free, how do you make money?" Red Hat has successfully demonstrated over the years that selling support and charging consulting fees for their enterprise oriented operating system can be quite profitable. Last week, Red Hat published a statement which placed their revenue for 2015 at just over two billion dollars. Some of Red Hat's money goes toward sponsoring the Fedora distribution as well as working with the CentOS project. Red Hat also funds upstream software development, particularly the Linux kernel, making their financial success good news for the Linux community as a whole.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Using signatures and creating a web of trust
Checking-signatures asks: There is much confusion about how the "web of trust" can and should work, and how a non-technical person could do that reliably (and, preferably easily).
I'd like to request that a future article discuss the difference between a SHA256 "checksum" and a digital signature, and how to verify a digital signature. For the latter, which are the more authoritative sites, and how should a user use those sites? A bonus would be whether there are tools to help that process.
DistroWatch answers: A checksum, which is sometimes called a hash, is basically a digital fingerprint. Every file has a fingerprint and we can find this fingerprint by running the contents of a file through something called a hash function.
This might be easier to understand by way of example. Let us assume we have a file called hello.txt and this file contains just one line:
If we run the hello.txt file through the SHA256 hash function, it gives us the file's fingerprint. When I run this command:
My computer tells me the fingerprint of the hello.txt file:
That long string of letters and numbers is the checksum or fingerprint of the hello.txt file. This fingerprint is unique to the contents of the file. This means if we have another file that also says "Hello World" in it, that second file will have the same fingerprint since the contents of the two files are identical. We can test this by making a copy of hello.txt and taking the fingerprint of the second file.
cp hello.txt copy.txt
This sequence of commands makes a copy of our file and fingerprints the new copy. The copy.txt file has this fingerprint:
When two files are identical in their contents they have the same checksum. This information is useful when we want to download a large file, like an ISO. Most Linux distributions publish checksum information for their ISO downloads. Once we download the file, we can check its fingerprint and make sure it matches the published checksum on the distribution's website. When the project's checksum matches the checksum of our copy of the file, we know the ISO downloaded successfully without being corrupted. It is a lot faster to find the checksum of a large file than download it a second time.
Except in some extremely rare cases, two files which have different contents will have different checksums. If I create a new file called different.txt that contains the text
it will have a different checksum than the earlier file which did not include the trailing exclamation mark. Here is the checksum of the new file with the exclamation mark:
As you can see, different.txt has only a small change in its contents, but it has a unique fingerprint.
The term "SHA256" describes one method to finding a file's fingerprint. There are other methods which will provide different digital fingerprints of a file. Some other popular methods are MD5, SHA1 and SHA512. If this seems confusing, we can think of each checksum method as providing a fingerprint for a specific finger of the same hand. So we might take separate prints from a thumb, index and middle finger to identify one person. Likewise MD5, SHA1 and SHA256 provide different ways of identifying the same data.
I think that covers all we can of checksums without getting into the mathematics of the process. The important things to remember are that any two files with the same contents should have matching checksums. Files with different contents will have unique checksums.
In theory it has been shown to be possible to make two different files have matching checksums, but it is not practical in most real world scenarios.
Next, let's look at signatures. A digital signature is basically a unique way to identify ourselves and things we create. Using a digital signature is a lot like using a written signature in real life. It should be unique, identify us and be attached to documents we want to prove were created by us.
A file can be signed with a person's digital key. The signature can be used to do two things: identify the person who signed the file and confirm the contents of the file has not been altered. Signing a file digitally is a little like closing an envelope with a wax seal and writing our name on the envelope. If someone else comes along and changes the file, or corrupts it in some way, the seal is broken and the signature is no longer valid.
Files are signed (and verified) by using bits of data called encryption keys. A private key, known only to one person, is used to sign documents. A public key is known to the whole world and can be used to verify a signature created with a private key.
A little while ago we provided an example of how to verify a file and its signature using a public key. However, as some people have pointed out, the next step is how do we know which keys to trust? How do we know a key came from the person we think it came from?
When it comes to verifying a public key is valid, we sort of fall out of the realm of technical issues and into the fuzzy realm of trust. Open source developers usually publish their public keys on special servers, called key servers. Developers who know each other, and have met in person, will often sign each other's public keys. This indicates a level of trust, that these two people know each other and are willing to vouch for each other. These signed keys are made public on the key servers.
There are several key servers. MIT maintains one. The Debian project maintains a collection of keys for its contributors. There are many other key servers around the world.
We, the public, can look at keys on a key server and see who has vouched for each other. If we know someone who has published a public key, we can follow their key, see whose key they have signed. This means if we know Alice and Alice has signed Bob's key, then we can be pretty certain Bob's key really does belong to Bob. There is a chain of trust from us, to Alice to Bob.
The problem with all of this is we need a place to start. We need to be able to say "I know that person, therefore I trust their key." And that will, in turn, allow us to trust other keys that person has signed. If we do not know anyone with a public key, then we are just hoping the person who uploaded their key is who they say they are.
The original question asked if there are authoritative websites we can use and how those sites can be used. This highlights a problem: There isn't a central authority for this issue. Keys (and signatures) can only be trusted if we trust someone. It's a personal matter more than technical. If you trust my key came from me, then you can trust people I trust, forming a "web of trust". But you need to have a starting point, one key you know came from the right person.
How do you do that? You create keys of your own and share them with people. You encourage others to share their keys with you. Especially people you know, or people at Linux/BSD conventions. Subscribe to mailing lists as developers will often sign their messages and share their keys through announcements. The more people share keys, the more we can grow the web of trust and the harder it is for someone to falsely pass themselves off as someone they are not with a fake key.
As to what tools are available, I highly recommend starting with two tools: Kgpg and the Enigmail Thunderbird add-on. Kgpg is a great desktop tool for creating, managing and exploring keys. It can be used to publish your own keys and import someone else's. Enigmail is a wonderful tool that makes it very easy to set up encrypted and signed e-mail. Enigmail will also automatically offer to import keys when possible and verify the signatures on messages you receive in Thunderbird. I would go into how to use KGpg to manage keys, but I think the application's documentation does a fine job of that. Enigmail also has good documentation in their wiki.
In the end, trust is not something that can be just looked up or proved mathematically. It is the result of a process. The process of getting to know people, confirming they are who they say they are, collecting publicly available keys and checking to see who has signed which keys.
So let's all make sure we create our own keys, using Kgpg or another key management program. Then send those keys out into the world, let people know we want them to sign our keys and offer to verify the keys of others. Let's be part of the solution and build a web of trust. Here is my public key, feel free to send me yours.
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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: 177
- Total data uploaded: 32.8TB
|Released Last Week
Jordan Hubbard has announced the release of a new version of FreeNAS, a network attached storage project that is based on FreeBSD. The new version, FreeNAS 9.10, features the same user interface as the earlier 9.3 series, but with an updated FreeBSD core. "This is an interim release between the 9.3 series and 10 (which is still a few months away), using the same UI and middleware that everyone is used to from 9.3 but with new OS underpinnings, specifically FreeBSD 10.3-RC3. Coincident with this release of 9.10, we are also placing 9.3 into maintenance mode and will only be pushing further updates to the 9.3-STABLE train in response to the most critical security advisories or product flaws. We therefore strongly suggest that all current users of 9.3 upgrade to 9.10 in order to continue to benefit from the ongoing maintenance and bug fix work we will be doing on the 9.10-STABLE train. Most, if not all, bug fixes will be made exclusively to the 9.10-STABLE train in reaction to tickets filed on http://bugs.freenas.org. Again: Users who choose to stay on the 9.3-STABLE train will see only the most critical bug fixes and no new features or non-essential enhancements." This release also supports USB 3.0 devices and USB network adapters. Further information is available in the release announcement and release notes.
LXLE is a lightweight distribution based on Ubuntu's long term support releases. The LXLE project has released a stable update to the distribution's 14.04 LTS branch. The new version, LXLE 14.04.4, features security fixes, updated Seamonkey packages and various small visual improvements. "The 'Posh' version of LXLE has been readied and tested since its last release candidate and in the subsequent days of the update to Seamonkey 2.40, which is a core component of the overall desktop experience provided by the operating system; ensuring performance and compatibility with the suite update was critical before official release. During this wait, small polish to the browser and overall user interface was applied, essentially smoothing out any rough edges of the new 'Posh Paradigm' introduced in this release. Posh is expected to provide not only a familiar yet dynamic low resource LXDE desktop but also a layout easily mimicked by LXQt if a version is ever officially offered." Additional information and screen shots are available in the project's release announcement.
LXLE 14.04.4 -- The default LXDE desktop
(full image size: 1.9MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Video chat software
Video chat software is a great way to stay in touch with people over long distances. The usefulness of being able to see and talk to people using video chat/conferencing software has led to many solutions, both open and proprietary, to be developed.
This week we would like to know what sort of video chat software, if any, you use to keep in touch with family, friends and business colleagues. Do you use popular, yet closed, solutions like Skype; web-based solutions like Google Hangouts; or a free/open source application?
You can see the results of our previous poll on testing new distributions here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Video chat software
|I use free/open source applications (eg Ekiga): ||87 (5%)|
| I use proprietary applications (eg Skype): ||452 (26%)|
| I use web-based solutions (eg Hangouts): ||169 (10%)|
| I use a combination of the above: ||244 (14%)|
| I do not use video chat software: ||776 (45%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- ReLivix. ReLivix is an Italian, Debian-based distribution which can be run from an external drive or USB thumb drive. It features the Xfce desktop, development tools and Apache/PHP/MySQL (LAMP) software.
- Cyborg Hawk Linux. Cyborg Hawk Linux is a penetration testing distribution.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 4 April 2016. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Video Chat Software poll (by Jordan on 2016-03-28 00:24:44 GMT from North America) |
No video chat here. Phone. Face to face visits. ;)
2 • Video chat software / PCLinuxOS (by Will B on 2016-03-28 00:47:45 GMT from North America)
I am ugly and grotesque, so video chat software is a big no-no for me.
I wish that I could try PCLOS out more frequently, but all of the downloads available in the immediate past have not been able to boot from a USB flash drive for me. This is on multiple computers. I had to drag the DVD burner out just to try things out, which is so 1990's...
3 • PCLinux OS (by erinis on 2016-03-28 00:54:15 GMT from North America)
It's odd that USB was not mentioned. I have a 10 year old computer that runs like a top and has had many systems installed yet I have upgraded to a USB 3 adapter card and no longer use CDRW's. Having used PCLinuxOS many times in the past would like to know if USB is bootable. No problems booting from USB 3 although the Bios is getting a little old. Had tried to install using USB 2 previously but no go was the final answer. Quess I wiil be enabling the CD as I want to try PCLinux again.
4 • at 2 and 3 (by tony on 2016-03-28 01:12:28 GMT from Asia)
I haven't burned a CD or DVD in PCLinuxOS for over a Year.
For installing PCLinuxOS DEs , I use pclinuxos-liveusb which is usually in the menu.
If not there, it's in the repos anyway.
For backups, there is < mylivecd >
I use it "at least" 2 times a week for over a year ( demo to others )
And "yes" it's bootable from both usb2 and usb3
if any problems, they probably will be solved quicker by a visit to the forum than scratching your ....
for burning other distros, I use unetbootin608
5 • at 2 and 3 (by tony on 2016-03-28 01:14:26 GMT from Asia)
I haven't burned a CD or DVD in PCLinuxOS for over a Year.
For installing PCLinuxOS DEs , I use pclinuxos-liveusb which is usually in the menu.
If not there, it's in the repos anyway.
For backups, there is mylivecd
I use it "at least" 2 times a week for over a year ( demo to others )
And "yes" it's bootable from both usb2 and usb3
if any problems, they probably will be solved quicker by a visit to the forum than scratching your ....
for burning other distros, I use unetbootin608
6 • Video Chat (by slick on 2016-03-28 01:17:01 GMT from North America)
Nope, not of interest for me.
Happy that it is supported with Linux, an excellent media for family and loved ones to stay connected.
Personally, have not experimented with the video chat apps.
7 • correction to above (by tony on 2016-03-28 01:17:48 GMT from Asia)
I use LiveUSB , which should be in /more applications/configuration ( in lxqt )
8 • Burning PCLinuxOS to USB (by Will B on 2016-03-28 01:19:11 GMT from North America)
Just downloaded the latest PCLinuxOS MATE that was reviewed, and this time around I noticed they provided instructions on making the PCLOS ISO hybrid so that it will work with USB flash drives. I'm happy to report that the instructions are correct and I'm trying PCLOS out right now! :-D Yee hawah! (NOTE: I had to install syslinux-utils in order to make the instructions work)
9 • PCLinuxOS MATE Deluxe (by Amadour on 2016-03-28 02:13:32 GMT from Europe)
The Mate Deluxe ISO (1.3 gig) comes with LibreOffice and Virtualbox installed. Also PCLinuxOS defaults to Grub2 upon installation though grub legacy can be selected. UEFI and GPT is supported in in this release.
10 • Red Hat (by Poet Nohit on 2016-03-28 02:14:42 GMT from North America)
Red Hat really deserves more credit. They take innovating and paradigm shifts very seriously, plus they offer tons of solid support. They're one of the few tech companies that earns their revenue. That's the true difference between them and most of the others.
11 • PCLinuxOS community isos (by mikef90000 on 2016-03-28 02:34:50 GMT from North America)
Once again the URL has changed but the main website has not been updated.
For community ISOs, go to http://www.pclosusers.com/ and select GetPCLinuxOS at the bottom.
12 • PCLOS review & Distrowatch. (by Greg Zeng on 2016-03-28 02:53:22 GMT from Oceania)
PCLOS succeeded in breaking my Linux virginity soon after it was launched. It fixed its old reputation of using old Linux kernels that were not compatible with the latest hardware. The current website: "Linux kernel 4.4.6 LTS" http://www.pclinuxos.com/
Little known about PCLOS is its excellent user magazine, available monthly, listed in Dw as it becomes available. Torrents and many well placed download sites are available, which makes it very much the best downloading ability of any Linux distro imho. But both Dw and their web site provide difficult ways to determine where these downloads are available. The Dw review here might suggest Dw knows, but it does not indicate these latest PCLOS (MATE, KDE, Full Monty) exist, just now.
According to Dw, PCLOS seems shy of using the latest Grub 2.02 which Ubuntu has been using since April, two years ago.
Personally I like using the latest computer hardware e.g. USB3, SSD, etc. So being able to easily & quickly test, use and abandon Linux kernels is essential. Only Manjaro & Ubuntu-based distributions offer this ease. Manjaro will auto-compile the latest software from Arch's AUR area as needed, so can be easier, if the computer hardware is fast enough.
13 • PCLinuxOS Downloads (by Jesse on 2016-03-28 02:58:33 GMT from North America)
>> "But both Dw and their web site provide difficult ways to determine where these downloads are available."
When PCLinuxOS 2016.03 first arrived we had a link on the front page directly to the available download. If you're on the PCLinuxOS website, just click the "Get PCLinuxOS" button at the top of the page and it'll give you a list of editions to choose from. The download and torrent links are all there on each edition's page.
14 • PCLINUXOS 64 (by TUXUSER on 2016-03-28 03:01:25 GMT from North America)
I use PCLinuxOS since the first release of version 64 bit. Already 4 years and I never had any problems. I performed all kernel upgrade (now 4.4.6) each time a new version is out. After 15 years of using tux, for me PCLinuxOS is very stable as the primary system despite its Rolling Release concept. All codecs are pre-configured, so you just have to use it. Nothing more. Of course, upgrade some software like LibreOffice, VirtualBox, Calibre should be made by his respective manager. For the rest, Synaptic does the job without forgot to refresh Synaptic after launch. In terms of the appearance that is personal to each one. I. In my case, my system is completely different to the initial intallation. . My only wish is to see a version of Gnome 3 soon. . Maybe with the new Gnome 3.20 version ....
In conclusion, simple to install, ready to use after installation, really stable for rolling concept, many many software disponible. One of the best Linux system for me...
15 • PCLINUXOS can installl from a USB flash drive (by Ron on 2016-03-28 03:14:42 GMT from North America)
I use Unetbootin to burn the PCLinuxOS ISO to a flashdrive and I have not had any problrms installing it to laptops or desktops. If you are having trouble try another flash drive as I have found some older drives do not seem to always detect properly. Also on laptops I have found that the USB ports seem to give out easily from the abuse they receive from drives sticking out and being frequently bumped while the laptop is being used.
One thing I have found that makes PCLinuxOS so great is that I have no permission problems reading from other drives or flash drives when I plug them in. They always work properly and I can read, write and edit without any hassles. Something that is not so easy with other distros.
16 • How to install LibreOffice with PCLinuxOS (by Ron on 2016-03-28 03:24:35 GMT from North America)
In order to install LibreOffice PCLinuxOS actually makes it easy. Just go to the menu and look for lomanager (LOMANAGER) and click on it. it will run and download and install LibreOffice automatically. I think LO is not included as it helps reduce the size of the ISO download. But it is a no-brainer installation anyway.
17 • PCLinuxOS USB 3.0 and SSD support (by Ron on 2016-03-28 03:34:00 GMT from North America)
PCLinuxOS supports USB 3.0 and has done so for several years already. I use USB 3.0 flash drives exclusively now and almost all of my drives are SSD and work very well. Never had any trouble.
18 • PC Linux OS 2016.03 (by Bobbie Sellers on 2016-03-28 03:44:14 GMT from North America)
Hey until I saw a note here last week I had no idea the 2016.03 versions had been
The proper titles come with PCLinux64 to differentiate them from the non-UEFI versions.
Tex Star has passed the 32-bit versions to support by the community and you can
find them at <http://communityiso.pclosusers.com/>. I tried one of them out and
it looked good.
I managed to install PCLinuxOS64 KDE alongside Mageia 5. But I could not
get to the login screens on the Full Monty version. This appears to be a
problem with UEFI on my HP Pavilion because I took the Full Monty disk
to a friend's Dell E6410 and it booted up straight away. I installed Full Monty
on his notebook in 2014 and help the non-hobbyist keep it updated.
If we cannot have Mandriva 2016 then PCLinuxOS and Mageia will have to do
for us Drak-tools habitues.
19 • PCLinuxOS shortcomings (by Will B on 2016-03-28 04:09:01 GMT from North America)
Good gravy! I thought I had finally hit the jackpot when I got PCLinuxOS installed, without yucky systemd wrecking the party...but the party indeed got wrecked. After installing, I found that PCLinuxOS doesn't have the software I need to run my business (various gobject-introspection and gir-repository libs and the usual VNC viewers). Totally stinks -- I thought I finally could move away from Debian Testing. :-(
20 • Encryption (by joe on 2016-03-28 04:11:27 GMT from North America)
Does PCLinuxOS support full disk encryption from the installer? Not having that is a deal-breaker these days.
21 • PCLinuxOS (by slick on 2016-03-28 04:24:58 GMT from North America)
@19 Will B: PCLinuxOS shortcomings
Understand the frustrations and wanting to move away from systemd.
Devuan will be releasing a beta very soon, and systemv. Have been running the alpha4 and find it a very solid distribution.
22 • why not mention pf-kernel patch? (by Ionut Florescu - Romania on 2016-03-28 06:43:53 GMT from Europe)
PCLinuxOS is one of the few distros that, as I know, uses the pf-kernel patch, right? Why not mention it? Thanks! Also it would have been nice in a review to add info regarding UEFI and GPT support, as well as other that might interest. Burning iso's and evaluating the wallpaper, ths we all can do it... Right?
23 • PCLinuxOS, USB boot, download locations, UID/GID differences - permissions (by Hoos on 2016-03-28 07:22:10 GMT from Asia)
I installed PCLinuxOS MATE some time in Feb/Mar 2015. At that time, I seem to recall there was no link to download Community releases on the official site, and I didn't know they existed, so as far as I was concerned only the official releases were available. I downloaded the Dec 2014 MATE and KDE releases, which might have been the last official release until this current 03.2016 iso.
Tried burning them on USB with CLI dd command and also on a multiboot USB, but they couldn't boot up. I tried burning on CD/DVD but that didn't work either. There was some error message in the midst of the scrolling text bootup after which the booting terminated.
Luckily I had the 08.2014 MATE image on a backup drive. Now that one worked even from USB. I'm not sure why the difference. I always check the hash sums upon download, so that was not the problem.
Anyway, installation was fine but I had to download 6-7 months' worth of updates. I can happily say everything went fine and its conservative rolling release lived up to its trouble-free and stable reputation. My installation has been running smoothly for a year.
I do not know whether the Community releases between 12.2014 and 03.2016 resolved the USB issue, but my experience is that this problem did exist in respect of the Dec 2014 images.
I did however encounter another issue that might be particular to multibooters like me. I have a ext4 data partition shared amongst all my distros. I edit fstab for each distro so this partition is automounted.
However, when I did that for PCLOS, I found that the partition was read-only no matter what mount options I added to the fstab entry. I read through PCLOS's blog/magazine issue that had an article on fstab. I checked file and folder permissions and found nothing unusual. At one point I did change the permissions of the data partition to 777. That worked but I wasn't comfortable making permissions so lax so I reverted back.
It took me a few months to realise the problem was that PCLOS's partition had a UID/GID of 500. All the other distros on my machine had a value of 1000. So I looked up how to change the UID and finally PCLOS became a full fledged working distro in my collection with the ability to read and write from the data partition.
24 • PCLinuxOS, for 7 years (by Tony on 2016-03-28 07:33:23 GMT from Europe)
Been using linux full time for 7 years. I try other versions of Linux every now and then Like Mint, Puppy etc but I always come back to PCLinuxOS. It always seems to work better straight out of the box and the community are brilliant. I'm not knocking the others both great distros but PCLinuxOS minime seems the best for those new to Linux or who want a hassle free day to day experience.
25 • Memory Usage in PC-Linux Review (by OSF on 2016-03-28 07:50:43 GMT from Asia)
It could be much better if memory usage information is also included in PC-Linux review, or generally, in all distro reviews.
26 • Edubuntu (by mechanic on 2016-03-28 10:09:17 GMT from Europe)
Edubuntu stalled? Surely everyone uses UberStudent instead?
27 • Understanding_ISO_verification_signatures_web_of_trust (by k on 2016-03-28 10:50:59 GMT from North America)
Thank you very much Jesse, I think I understand it now -- and promise to verify signatures and checksums of all ISOs before installation --, and thank you for your public key: "the fuzzy realm of trust" -- that is poetic, like "between us and our foggy trip". :)
28 • Text size (by Teresa e Junior on 2016-03-28 10:55:48 GMT from South America)
Normalizing the text size!
29 • PCLinuxOS (by kc1di on 2016-03-28 11:03:03 GMT from North America)
Thanks for the review -- I enjoy PCLinuxOS Mate also and it's a very good Distro that is easy to setup and get running have used it often over the years. Texstar and his gang of developers to an excellent job. it's always been a good performer on my hardware and I read the magazine every month , found here
I find PCLOS very stable. I seem to come back to it often.
30 • PCLinuxOS (by Jordan on 2016-03-28 12:45:03 GMT from North America)
I've installed PCLOS several times over the years, intrigued by its "independent" label and nature. Never disappointed. One of the reasons it's not my default OS is that I'm a bit uneasy with the "one man show" aspect of it.
If the venerable and highly respected Texstar gets hit by a bus (to borrow a "Mr. Wonderful" lament on Shark Tank), we might still have PCLinuxOS, but it won't be Texstar's PCLinuxOS.
It's one of the best distros out there, downright amazing accomplishment in that balance between cutting edge and legacy notions pointed out in the review here at DW.
31 • PCLinuxOS (by dragonmouth on 2016-03-28 13:30:02 GMT from North America)
Have been using PCLOS on and off for a few years. Whenever I install it, LibreOffice and VirtualBox are always installed by default but I always download the ISO from the official PCLOS site, not from community repositories. The last ISO I downloaded is 1.7 GB, not 785 MB as Jesse's is. I guess LO and VB are contained in the one extra gig of the official ISO. :-)
LibreOffice is not included in the automatic updates performed by Synaptic. "LOmanager" must be used to update, install and delete LibreOffice. This NOT a quirk of PCLOS. "LOmanager" is used by many other distros as a tool to maintain LibreOffice.
Synaptic may not have a "modern" interface but it has a much better functionality than any other GUI package/software manager I have used. It allows me to update, install and delete software all in one stream. Other distros, while having "modern" pretty interfaces, brak up software management into two distinct parts. They have a Software Manger to do the updates and a Package Manager to install/uninstall packages. Synaptic may be ugly to some people but it does the job more efficiently.
Booting from an USB stick is a BIOS option, not a distro option. The BIOS in older computers does not have the "Boot from USB" option, just as years ago there was no no "Boot from Optical Drive" option. For those that are unable to boot PCLOS from USB, check under Booting Options of your BIOS.
32 • PCLinuxOS pf-kernel and memory usage (by Jesse on 2016-03-28 13:31:56 GMT from North America)
>> "It could be much better if memory usage information is also included in PC-Linux review, or generally, in all distro reviews."
You mean like where I wrote: "PCLinuxOS used surprisingly small amounts of RAM, requiring just 210MB of memory to log into the MATE desktop"? Which is information I provide in all the reviews I write.
>> "PCLinuxOS is one of the few distros that, as I know, uses the pf-kernel patch, right? Why not mention it?"
Because, in my opinion, the pf-kernel patch does not provide any practical advantage or disadvantage. Lots of distros use all or part of the pf-kernel patch. Comparing a distro with it next to a distro without it reveals no difference so I do not feel it is worth mentioning.
As for UEFI/GPT support, yes PCLinuxOS has those. I should have mentioned that.
33 • @30 (by kc1di on 2016-03-28 13:33:46 GMT from North America)
Same reason I don't keep it as my only distro :(
They have too few developers.
34 • PCLOS MATE 64 (by cykodrone on 2016-03-28 13:43:28 GMT from North America)
I was using Debian 64 because of their (fake) RAID support, but when they switched systemd and I switched to SSDs, I no longer needed Debian. Been using PCLOS's MATE 64 version ever since, I've only installed it once, it just keeps right on 'rolling', lol. The only minor glitch I experienced, was after a major update, the GUI settings were set back to their defaults, this was mostly likely caused by me as I tend to 'tinker' quite a bit. As for them using old technologies, "if it aint broke, don't fix it", new isn't always better. I have successfully switched several of my friends over to PCLOS MATE 64 from their monopoly-ware, they love it.
35 • @31 - "USB boot is a BIOS option" (by Hoos on 2016-03-28 13:58:46 GMT from Asia)
From reading the posts here, I don't get the impression that the posters have never booted a live USB before, rather that it was specifically PCLOS they couldn't boot from USB.
Like I said, my experience was that the Aug 2014 image was ok, but Dec 2014 was not. Maybe there were some problems with that image.
With no official image between Dec 2014 and March 2016, anyone wanting to try PCLOS in that period who did not know about the community releases would be trying to boot from the Dec 2014 images.
36 • lliurex (by Tim Dowd on 2016-03-28 14:21:53 GMT from North America)
I think a very good replacement for Edubuntu is a distribution from Valencia, Spain, called LLiureX
The regional government has cobbled together a couple of variants of Ubuntu that are aimed at specific educational uses (ie secondary, primary, media, etc.)
It's good, because it's actually deployed in the wild.
37 • lliurex part 2 (by Tim Dowd on 2016-03-28 14:25:44 GMT from North America)
Sorry, one more thing. The website is in Valencian and Castillian, but because these are respins of Ubuntu, your install can be in any language you want.
38 • @31 (by Blue Knight on 2016-03-28 14:32:38 GMT from Europe)
> LibreOffice is not included in the automatic updates performed by Synaptic. "LOmanager" must be used to update, install and delete LibreOffice. This NOT a quirk of PCLOS. "LOmanager" is used by many other distros as a tool to maintain LibreOffice.
This is absolutely stupid. Everything MUST be install/remove by the distro package manager from the distro repos. Not by an external "tool".
Whoever does this is an idiot.
39 • Video? Blech. (by azuvix on 2016-03-28 14:53:16 GMT from North America)
You would think that not using video chat software in this day and age would present a problem at some point, but in my experience this has not been the case.
Ever since finding out that Microsoft is more than happy to spy on Skype conversations, I've simply told anyone who wants to use Skype with me the truth - I consider privacy a human right, and on principle oppose spyware, especially when that spyware may be looking at conversations with people dear to you. Somehow no one's ever raised objections to that or forced me to use it at work.
As audacious as this might sound, I think there are simply too many other ways to communicate via the internet and other means to justify saying "you must use Skype". Why force someone to eat the house special when they can have any other item on the menu?
40 • @38 - libreoffice manager (by Hoos on 2016-03-28 14:57:02 GMT from Asia)
I'm sure the manager is managing a direct install of the freshest version of LO from LO's own site. Maybe PCLinuxOS developers just don't want to mix the LO repo with their own repos in their apt sources list. Ditto their Virtualbox manager.
It might be a way to control security or kept these 3rd party sources separate just for control reasons?
When/after you upgrade from Synaptic, a notification popup will let you know if there are updates for LO or Virtualbox, assuming you have them installed on your system.
41 • Video chat software (by Denethor on 2016-03-28 15:29:57 GMT from Europe)
I am astonished to read that some people have never used video calls... WoW! This technology exists several decades and it is very useful for many purposes. To some people, like me, it is mandatory since they work away from their families and video calls is the only way to keep in touch.Skype is the only viable solution until now. I would love to see a proper FOSS solution.
42 • @39 (by mrdata on 2016-03-28 15:31:05 GMT from North America)
>>" I think there are simply too many other ways to communicate via the internet and other means to justify saying "you must use Skype". Why force someone to eat the house special when they can have any other item on the menu?"
Especially when the house special contains the poison pill of a backdoor.
43 • Good description of checksum vs signature (by Pearson on 2016-03-28 15:39:52 GMT from United States)
Jesse, that was very well said. It's a difficult subject, but I think you covered it well.
I like that you had a link to your public key. Maybe the DistroWatch team (you and Ladislav) could include your public keys in the "about Distrowatch" section of the site? That might help newbies get their foot in the door.
44 • @26 UberStudent (by Pearson on 2016-03-28 15:55:02 GMT from North America)
I just looked at the site for UberStudent. It looks great for higher grades, but Edubuntu also filled the niche for lower grades, even preschool. I have a 1st grade (USA) son, and I'd like something well suited for grades 1-6.
Sadly, I found Edubuntu 14.04 didn't fit the bill very well, at least in the default installation. I think it used Gnome 3, so finding the individual programs wasn't easy. My son will need menus or a dashboard. I didn't try the "Gnome fallback" installation, but I may (since the sound also wasn't working, I haven't been motivated to try again).
45 • PCLinuxOS (by David on 2016-03-28 16:11:33 GMT from Europe)
One thing to remember about PCLOS is that it has a clear goal: to provide a system to the home user. That's why it doesn't install an office suite by default, but does give you Great Little Radio Player; doesn't have much business software; isn't bleeding edge; and has a great magazine. For the ordinary home user, I usually recommend PCLOS or Mint.
As far as being a one man band, what about Mint and Clem, Slackware and Pat? There are plenty of people in the background. There have to be: one person can make a small distro like Slackware or a derivative like Mint, but there aren't enough hours in the day for Texstar to make the whole repository!
46 • @41 Video chat software (by mcellius on 2016-03-28 16:17:33 GMT from North America)
"I am astonished to read that some people have never used video calls... WoW!"
There isn't an option in the survey for someone to choose that they"ve "never used video calls." Rather, many people, including I, have chosen "I do not use video chat software." That's a different thing.
I have used video chat software in the past, but I do not now use it. If I needed it I would use it, but I don't have a need for it at present, and I assume the same is true for many others.
I, too, would love to see a "proper FOSS solution."
47 • @21, @39 (by Jake on 2016-03-28 16:25:09 GMT from United States)
@21 Thanks for the beta link. I'm glad to see Devuan moving along. For anyone else that looks, several links are "broken" because they haven't been populated yet, so please be patient. I'm hoping that once they have their infrastructure in place, doing the work they are doing will be easy/simple to maintain. My experiences with systemd show it's slower than other inits (last week's comments also showed data to this effect). Boot times and performance matter to me; those are my seconds to waste. I also prefer KISS solutions, and systemd doesn't feel like that. Too many points of failure.
@39: I agree with you. I wish I was met with the same responses. Usually they insist that I need to use it and that it's stupid that I wouldn't want to. Especially if you replace "skype" with "google" or "android."
Fellow Linux users, superior attitudes suck, so please don't have one. If what we like is better, we shouldn't have to sell it. Or insist or force people to use it (*cough* Win10 *cough*). We just show them, state our reasons calmly, and let them decide. It also doesn't hurt to contribute back (in some way) to your distro. Money, time, comments, demos, etc., every little bit helps.
48 • @45 (by Jordan on 2016-03-28 16:29:34 GMT from North America)
Clem is not a a good analogy to Texstar, is he? There's some overlap in comparison, but not nearly enough to declare Mint the same as PCLinuxOS as far as the "one man show" concept, imo.
Pat and Slackware? Well.. I'll extend what I said about Clem to Pat as well. Adding that Slackware is influential but not a good comparison to PCLOS because PCLOS is independent as compared to the old Madriva days. Also that Mint is about Ubuntu in ways that PCLOS isn't about anything else in the end product; it's Texstar's baby, plain and simple.
49 • to those who have problems with 'Install from USB' (by Jeff on 2016-03-28 16:43:25 GMT from Europe)
If you don't want problems regarding the install from USB , then the USB stick (drive) must not be the cheapest because price can indicate a lower quality.
Also the md5sum check is only to ISO. In the copy process (using Unetbootin for example) to USB the data can be altered .
I hope its useful.
50 • Re:PCLOS shortcomings (by ArchVortex on 2016-03-28 16:50:35 GMT from Asia)
PCLOS is a solid distro and yes it is lacking some important major packages but since it uses .rpm packages, you can always go to https://rpmfind.net/linux/RPM/index.html
As for using a USB install of PCLOS, I've never had a problem installing it unless using unetbootin which is not recommended by many distros anyways. I use dd 90% of the time for all distros with the occasional USB setup done by LiLi on M$. I've also done this on a lot of older computers (up to 12 years old) without any problems.
51 • PCLOS shortcomings (by John Harrington on 2016-03-28 17:53:02 GMT from North America)
I've run the MATE edition of PClinuxos for a couple of years and it's very stable and generally satisfactory. There are a couple of inconveniences for me:
1. Unlike the Debian version of Synaptic, the PCLOS version doesn't show installed files as one of the properties of the packages, and dpkg-query doesn't work. That sometimes makes it hard to find an executable or document installed with a particular package. There's probably a workaround, but I haven't found it.
2. I need to forward the gui of certain applications over the network. I've found x2go to be the best way on Debian, but x2goserver isn't in the PCLOS repos and I haven't been able to build it. There was a post from Texstar saying that it had been found to cause trouble with other PCLOS components. PCLOS offers nxserver, or at least it offered it the last time I checked, but that uses a fair amount of resources and the recent version will only forward the whole desktop, not a single application. I've found that xpra is the best substitute for x2go, but it's not quite as convenient and seems to be a little less stable. It's not in the PCLOS repositories either, but I've built several versions of it on PCLOS without a problem. It gets upgraded every month or so, and manually removing the prior version and building the new version takes a few minutes.
52 • DistroWatch weekly (by Andy Mender on 2016-03-28 18:00:24 GMT from Europe)
I once tried PCLinuxOS from a USB stick and similarly to some of you, it wouldn't boot on any of my machines. Probably a shame, since I have never distro-hopped to it :).
Great to see some news on Arch Linux popping up. I remember mentioning something along the lines last week. Tehe...
Finally, I'm looking forward to new Ubuntu 16.04 LTS spin releases.
53 • PCLinuxOS (by Steve on 2016-03-28 20:08:32 GMT from North America)
Definitely a plus 10 for PCLinuxOS w/MATE.
I had been using Mint w/MATE for a bit but didn't care for the switch to using systemd (why is everyone jumping on that bandwagon? it makes no sense!)... anyway I finally got off my duff and went looking for a desktop distro that didn't use the dreaded systemd and discovered that PCLinuxOS had not yet drunk the koolaid. Between that and the addition of MATE it was an easy choice to come back to this distro. It's been working fine for me and I would definitely recommend it, ymmv...
54 • PCLinuxOS (by M.Z. on 2016-03-28 20:17:28 GMT from North America)
I've run PCLinuxOS for years and had very few problems with it. I think altogether it's been a fair bit less time consuming to just run PCLOS than it would be to do in place upgrades on some distro with a six month upgrade cycle, at least if you want up to date software. I will admit that Linux Mint has a bigger software repo & a bit more polish overall, but PCLOS has a few things that Mint doesn't include either, like the current version of Opera, or Google Chrome which I use just for Netflix. It also has stuff that not a lot of people use that I need, like QGIS for creation & editing of digital maps and geographic data. Anyway, it's been a very good distro for me.
It hasn't actually been a 'one man show' over at PCLinuxOS for some time now. In fact if you look at the download pages only the Mate edition is made by Texstar, while the others are all produced by Pinoc. See the line under the Md5sum:
I'm fairly sure Texstar is still at the helm, but there are other folks working at the project.
55 • PCLOS (by Arkanabar on 2016-03-28 20:41:09 GMT from North America)
@2: PCLOS does NOT release hybrid isos. You must either hybridize the iso, use the PCLOS live USB creator, or try with unetbootin. The usual command is isohybrid /path/to/PCLOS.iso > /separate/dir/to/preserve/original/PCLOS.iso
This has not always worked for me. Once, I had the installation hang because the liveUSB drive had a recursive partition table after I used dd to install a hybrid PCLOS iso. I *may* have run the isohybrid command twice.
I really do love PCLOS; it's very stable, the devs are very much averse to breaking things or updating for updating's sake, and I'm off the reinstall/upgrade treadmill that I was on with *buntu. I'm currently using a miniMe KDE install with added software.
LOManager draws LibreOffice from somebody else's repositories, IIRC. But it has always worked flawlessly for me.
re: uid/GID. I have a couple data partitions that get shared between all distros. PCLOS does indeed still start the users at UID 500, in cotrast to UID 1000 for Debian and descendants at least (couldn't say right now for openSUSE, CentOS, Fedora, etc). In order to keep everything working well, I started by using the PCLOS Control Center to create a second user with UID 1000 , and deleted the user account created during installation/configuration.
56 • @54 (by Jordan on 2016-03-28 20:58:01 GMT from North America)
"I'm fairly sure Texstar is still at the helm, but there are other folks working at the project."
That's my only point; that Texstar is "at the helm," and I get the feeling that when/if he leaves the helm.. well, I'd just rather go with a default distro that is developed and maintained in a different manner and on a larger plane. That's just me.
I'll always have the latest PCLOS on a thumb drive, but it can't be my default distro.
57 • distro choices (by Jordan on 2016-03-28 21:13:06 GMT from North America)
Just to add that there is a longer list of distros I can't use as default, as good as they are, for similar reasons as PCLOS. Many are amazing distros for sure.
The first one I liked but had to set aside was BLAG. Then Yoper. Then Pioneer. On and on. All fine distros that I'd liked enough to keep and use daily. But I learned my lesson, and also learned that what I was after was a "default linux OS."
It has to be big and stable (as stable as linux can be given the changing nature of things).
So.. I have the same feeling about Texstar's great distro as I do about those others, only with slight differences because it is way up the list here at DW being popular and has elements that make it something else: attractive in a "new/old" way. ;)
Can't be my hard drive distro, though.. "one man show" still seems accurate, despite the other branches of PCLOS etc.
58 • Best-Practice (by FOSSilizing Dinosaur on 2016-03-28 23:25:56 GMT from North America)
The BDFL at PCLinuxOS grooms successor(s); the distro will endure.
59 • @55: PCLinuxOS UID/GID (by Hoos on 2016-03-29 00:18:44 GMT from Asia)
"...PCLOS does indeed still start the users at UID 500, in cotrast to UID 1000 for Debian and descendants at least (couldn't say right now for openSUSE, CentOS, Fedora, etc)...."
As a matter of interest, the following non-Debian/Ubuntu distros also use a value of 1000:
2. Korora (Fedora-based)
3. Manjaro (Arch-based)
4. Sabayon (Gentoo-based).
That's quite a wide range of different distro families. Which was why the no-permissions thing in PCLOS baffled me for so long, since I had never had this issue before.
60 • Spyware (by John Silva on 2016-03-29 00:59:38 GMT from Europe)
What's the most intrusive spy-ware (in latus sense) distro?
61 • FOSS Secure Video Chat (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2016-03-29 01:43:50 GMT from North America)
Retroshare.org hits nearly all eval points on EFF scorecard; cross-platform; browser interface or Qt GUI.
62 • PCLinuxOS shortcomings (by Will B on 2016-03-29 02:24:20 GMT from North America)
I don't doubt or question the folks who had no problems booting or installing from USB drives, it just never worked for me. Apparently I'm one of a few people who have chosen three different motherboards with totally different chipsets and BIOS / UEFI and PCLinuxOS just would not boot / install from USB. Weird!
I'm still very sad that I can't use PCLinuxOS as my main distro. I did see the replies about using third-party RPMs and such...but I'd rather not go piecemeal like that. I guess Debian has spoiled me in that respect, but really, I feel as if I'm 'stuck' with Debian.
If you were to ask me what I truly and really wanted in a distro, I'd have to say PCLinuxOS with the VNC bits I need, as well as package-managed VirtualBox and LibreOffice. The closest I can think of is Mageia, but they use systemd (stifled choke). C'est la vie, c'est la guerre. :-(
Jesse and the rest of the team...a BIG THANK YOU for all you do! DistroWatch is a fun and interesting part of each week, as well as all of the interesting comments. :-)
63 • PCLINUXOS and other distros (by sonic20 on 2016-03-29 02:30:33 GMT from North America)
I have used this distro way before they had a x86 version and dropped KDE when Mate became available. Love the simplicity of Mini Mate in this distro vs what comes in Mint. I have four laptops where I install and try different distros, still this one is one of the best for nont techies.
Some are concerned about the one man show, but users will remember that Tex took a leave of absence about 2 years ago and Pinoc et al ran the ship well, it did not flounder and sink.
In anycase, everything changes in Linux and there may come along another distro that one may like better, just move your files!
64 • PCLinuxOS etc. (by M.Z. on 2016-03-29 03:03:59 GMT from North America)
@56 - PCLOS
I don't remember all the details, but I think #63 brings up a very good point. The lead dev in PCLOS has already taken a leave of absence for health issues once before & the distro kept on going. There was a discussion of it on their forms awhile back & despite the problems Texstar had everything went fine with the distro. I don't see the issue, but I'm glad their lead dev is back at the helm & has a plan B.
@60 - Spyware
The only distro with any well known issues with spyware is Ubuntu, and it was the main edition with Unity that caused all the controversy. The only other privacy issues likely to hit any properly maintained desktop version of Linux are cookies in web browsers. There was an opt in program that you could install in Debian if you wanted that let them know which packages were being used; however, you had to install it from the repos so it's tracking behavior was very much the opposite of Ubuntu & their opt out if you know policy. That is of course the difference that makes the Debian tool not spyware at all. The only other complaint that springs to mind was for a purely local program that tracked recent documents & such, so it wasn't spyware either.
From all my recollections only Ubuntu had a direct issue caused by bad privacy decisions at the distro level. It's not like there aren't occasional security issues, but only Ubuntu does tracking of users without some sort of opt in. They keep promising to stop, but I'm waiting to see.
65 • Couple topics (by Karay on 2016-03-29 04:09:43 GMT from Europe)
DistroWatch database: I see an eroding trend about DW database. "Number of distributions on the waiting list" is increasing and "number of active distributions" is decreasing. Yes, some of them turned to dormant or discontinued status. But when you move more distribution from waiting list to active status? This waiting list is huge and many of them are on it for a long time. I can imagine how big work to process every details about a distro (package list, links, etc.) for you because you are working on other segment of this site. In my opinion DW could lose "totality" because of amount of unprocessed data. I think most Linux user get information from here. By the way what happened about Joshua Allen Holm and Don Low? I see their names only on issue 651 where the Korora review was very shallow (in my taste and ZFS filesystem was a little bit strange decision). I'm sure you need more person to help.
By the way I found an issue about architecture of Zenwalk. Database says it has only i484/i684, Zenwalk page says it has only x86_64 version.
USB live disk: I experienced same when I tried boot PCLinuxOS from USB in 2015. I also have same issue with Zorin OS (LTS version) many times. (I checked iso image with md5/sha and my Mint laptop said about success of writing process.) I don't have any live USB booting trouble about Linux Mint, Ubuntu MATE, Manjaro, Antergos, LXLE, ChaletOS, Linux Lite, MX-15, Peppermint, Elementary, SuperX, KaOS, Neptun, Bella, Lubuntu, wattOS, Solus, Korora. Do you have any idea what did I wrong? (Please explain in noob-proof version, I'm still beginner.) I tried with and without formatting USB drive before writing.
66 • Spyware &c (by FOSSilizing Dinosaur on 2016-03-29 04:25:00 GMT from North America)
Isn't running everything internet through, say, the Bamboo Firewall just another version of spyware?
Aren't most major websites now designed with multiple layers of back-and-forth between servers, just to guarantee tracking?
If web standards exist, why do so many claim to need details of browser version, add-ons, and other "fingerprints"?
Isn't PCLinuxOS just starting out with GrUB2 and EFI options? Even with recent BIOS, common vendor antics guaranteed boot-from-usb to be a challenge. There's no standard for UEFI implementation, either.
67 • video conferencing software? what's that? (by imnotrich on 2016-03-29 05:37:32 GMT from North America)
Under Linux, I use SFLphone and Skype for VOIP calls, and Ekiga/Skype when I'm running Windows.
And yes, I know how easy it is for Microsoft or anyone else to tune in to my Skype calls. Not long ago I mentioned the name "El Chapo" during a call and almost immediately had law enforcement listening to that call (they forgot to mute their headset LOL).
But video conferencing? I never use video from home. Maybe 3x in the last 10 years I've used Skype for video to stay in touch with my gf, while I'm traveling in another country to a family members funeral. Other than that, I have no use for video.
68 • @44 Edubuntu without Edubuntu (by far2fish on 2016-03-29 07:07:01 GMT from Europe)
I had a similar challenge last year when I wanted to setup a laptop for my then 6y old daughter. You could be right about Edubuntu with Gnome, but I remember it like it was with Unity. Nevertheless she found the Unity (or Gnome) experience very confusing - in particular beause since she had not learned to write yet, the Dash was unusable to her.
After also trying Debian EDU (aka SkoleLinux) and Fedora SOAS, I also came to the conclusion Edubuntu has the best set of applications for preschool children. But as I mentioned above, Edubuntu with Unity (or Gnome) is not suitable for that age.
The solution was:
1. Installed Xubuntu on her laptop
2. Opted to auto-logon her account.
3. Installed the ubuntu-edu-preschool and ubuntu-edu-primary packages, which is in the official repositories.
If you Google for 'Edubuntu appguide' you will find a Wiki page that lists all the ubuntu-edu packages - and a list of applications that each of them contains, so you could in theory convert pretty much any distrobution into a Edubuntu-like install if you want. Perhaps use Puppet or Ansible or similar to automate it.
69 • @38 (by kc1di on 2016-03-29 10:19:27 GMT from North America)
In the mate 64 bit deluxe edition LibreOffice is pre-installed. and works fine. When there is a new release of Libre then a new LOmanger is created and you can get the freshest install of Libreoffice by running the new manger which is updated by refreshing synaptic. I might add that ofter PCLos is weeks and even a month or more ahead of other distros in updating Libreoffice. So you almost always get the fresh install faster.
70 • @60 Spyware distro (by SPY on 2016-03-29 10:29:09 GMT from Europe)
Android, esp. on a so-called smartphone or tablet
71 • Re:PCLOS shortcomings (installs) (by ArchVortex on 2016-03-29 12:57:01 GMT from Asia)
I don't doubt that people may have difficulty installing any distro, not just PCLOS but It may well be how users are trying to install the iso to their flashdrive. Go to the ArchWiki and use the instructions there https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/USB_flash_installation_media#In_GNU.2FLinux You can always change the bs rate from bs=4M to bs=1M or whatever you want. Here's an example of part of the inxi -Fxz from a older laptop that I just installed pclinuxos-lxde-201512.iso to test install today on:
Machine: System: Hewlett-Packard (portable) product: Presario V3000 (GC224PA#UUF) v: F.26
Mobo: Wistron model: 30B2 v: 61.58
Bios: Hewlett-Packard v: F.26 date: 04/13/2007
72 • Waiting list (by Jesse on 2016-03-29 13:54:50 GMT from North America)
>> " But when you move more distribution from waiting list to active status? This waiting list is huge and many of them are on it for a long time. "
Distributions stay on the waiting list for a year or until they reach maturity, whichever comes last. We don't move projects into the database until they have shown there will be multiple releases, documentation, maybe a place to report bugs, etc. Most projects never reach this point. They put out a single release and then go dormant. Or the project never gains any infrastructure.
Once a month I go through the list, find a project or two that has reached maturity and add it to the database. I don't see any point in cluttering the database with projects that won't be of use to our readers just for the sake of shrinking the waiting list.
73 • PCLinuxOS (by Johannes on 2016-03-29 14:00:12 GMT from Europe)
The only problem I see with PCLinuxOS is its name. How could anyone come with such a Schwarzenegger-style name for a Linux distribution? Could have bee worse though, for example MyPCLinuxOSDistribution, or LinuxPCComputerOS...
Well, that was not a really productive comment, sorry for that. Good luck PCLinuxOS anyway :-)
74 • @73 PCLinuxOS name (by Jordan on 2016-03-29 14:33:29 GMT from North America)
I admit to thinking "TexStarOS" would roll off the tongue easier.. but alas no I am sure it's all been discussed over there. :D
75 • @68 Edubuntu from Xubuntu (by Pearson on 2016-03-29 14:36:15 GMT from North America)
Thanks for that. I was considering that route, but hadn't taken the time. You may be right that Edubuntu defaults to using Unity. I assumed that since "Gnome fallback" is an option that it must've been Gome 3 -- I haven't used Unity nor Gnome 3 to recognize it from experience.
I'll certainly try Xubuntu with the education stuff. My son can spell and already uses a password on our Win7 computer, so he can handle a login.
76 • @73 (by kc1di on 2016-03-29 15:23:57 GMT from North America)
If that's the only problem , their doing very well :)
after you use it for awhile it doesn't seem strange at all Just works.
77 • @65 (by Jake on 2016-03-29 15:37:51 GMT from North America)
@65: Please see https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=contributing. Jesse talked about how to help get distros from the waiting list into the database. You're probably seeing more become inactive because people are helping him with the check and pointing out they are dead. That's a bit easier because people use the database. Fewer people probably look at the waiting list, but you can help in that way.
78 • @75 Edubuntu from Xubuntu - 16.04 (by far2fish on 2016-03-29 18:12:50 GMT from Europe)
I just downloaded Xubuntu 16.04 beta 2 and gave it a spin in qemu/kvm, and the ubuntu-edu-* packages are still available in this latest LTS.
79 • DW waiting list (by bleedingedge on 2016-03-29 18:17:19 GMT from North America)
"Once a month I go through the list, find a project or two that has reached maturity and"
The bottom line is that the page is poorly maintained. Hoping to help, a while back I posted here in comments a dozen or so links on that page which lead to domain parking pages. Those have not been removed. A couple even lead to non-distro-related websites; this represents a disservice to readers, and the perp(s) are benefitting from DW providing a backlink to their sites.
80 • Waiting list (by Jesse on 2016-03-29 18:31:15 GMT from North America)
>> "Hoping to help, a while back I posted here in comments a dozen or so links on that page which lead to domain parking pages. Those have not been removed."
I appreciate you trying to help. Unfortunately, stuff posted in the comments is not tracked and is likely to slip through the cracks. If you'd like to help us prune the waiting list, please send us an e-mail with the list of dead distributions.
Details on how to help us clean up the waiting list are available on our Contributing page too. https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=contributing#waiting
81 • @72 and @77 (by Karay on 2016-03-29 19:07:58 GMT from Europe)
DW database: Thank you very much for your informative answer. I didn't know how can I check maturity of distro. By the way page of "Submit New Distribution" is different then yesterday. I see waiting list through only this point of view. Maybe I can also check these distros (with my weaker experience) in the future.
Video chat SW: Usually I use Skype for "free of charge" conference call but I have problem with it. My Skype app on Android phone is cut the conversation when I switch to an other app (calendar and G-drive what are really necessary during every call) for last 2-4 months. What I need: voice chat option for at least 4 person and multiple platform (Linux, Windows and Android). I tried appear.in and opentokrtc.com what are similar issue.
I found many other SW what hasn't all feature what I need:
no voice chat: slack.com, tox.chat, telegram.org, surespot.me, chatsecure.org
only for 2 person: whispersystems.org, voxox.com
paused development: jitsi.org
no linux support: oovoo.com
no android support: ekiga.org
maybe working (but not tested yet): google hangouts, uberconference.com, linphone.org
82 • observations after PCLinuxOS Mate test drive (by oke on 2016-03-29 19:10:31 GMT from North America)
liveusb, clicked first bootmenu entry... resulted in a dialog inviting to change keyboard. US keyboard layout is (already) highlighted and 2 buttons ('cancel' and 'next') are provided. I didn't want to change kb layout, so clicked 'cancel'. Oops, wrong choice -- led to a deadend screen informing "no jobs remaining in this runlevel" or somesuch. After a reboot, on my second run (and 3rd and 4th) I clicked the 'next' button. Oops, wrong choice -- that inevitably led to hard drive installer. Turned out the RIGHT choice, for someone wanting to run livusb without changing default kb layout, is to click the already highlighted US entry, and live boot immediately (without click on 'next' button) proceeds. Anyhow, led me to grumbling "am i THAT stupid, or is the dialogbox THAT unintuitive"?
Across several boots, I quickly discovered the liveboot was ridiculously slow unless I first disconnected my hard drive. Even with HDD uncabled, this PCLinuxOS Mate is by far the slowest liveboot (chalk it up to extremely thorough autodetection?) compared to dozens of other distros I've testdriven throughout the past year.
as @51 already mentioned, PCLinuxOS-ized version of synaptic does not provide a gui tab to view "installed files" for a given package. I did not attempt to use "dpkg-query -L " via terminal, but another post here mentioned dpkg query did not work.
The reason leading to my intent to check installed files for a given package: the PCLinuxOS-ized version numbers are odd/weird for various programs. Some bear a higher "version number" than that listed on a project's homepage. I intended to check (via synaptic "installed files" list) whether any changelogs were provided.
Relatively speaking, the Mate v1.12.1 (as provided in PCLinuxOS Mate) seems "very old". Having experienced v1.18 in various distros, I felt hamstrung several times while using the v1.12.1 caja file manager, etc. and discovering that various expected features were absent. Also -- and don't blame me -- I didn't mess with changing the default theme or the fonts or anything during testdrive -- I noticed several quirks I've not encountered with other distros using Mate. For instance, in the caja "compact view", regardless of chosen zoom level the icons are misaligned with the filename text, often misaligned AND overlapped.
Due to default mouse acceleration or sensitivity and/or the 1px border of the default theme, while testdriving PCLinuxOS Mate I found the window grab/drag rezizing to be tediously difficult.
The PCLinuxOS ControlCenter is handy but, confusingly (especially to a new user) the desktop menu redundantly includes links to access many of the same settings.
I will continue to recommend the monthly PCLinuxOS html/PDF newsletter as a wonderful learning resource, but I personally would not recommend this PCLinuxOS Mate distro to my acquaintances.
83 • PCLinuxOS MATE (by Wim Willemsen on 2016-03-29 19:44:04 GMT from Europe)
@82 Mate v1.12.1 is the stable version at this moment:: http://mate-desktop.org/
84 • Video chat (by K.U on 2016-03-29 20:53:48 GMT from Europe)
A video chat program that should be mentioned is Firefox Hello. It can also be enabled in Iceweasel by setting 'loop.enabled' to 'true' in the about:config page.
85 • More news / announcements (by Jesse on 2016-03-29 22:16:07 GMT from North America)
We are experimenting with getting news stories that are covered in the Weekly up earlier in the week along with release announcements from smaller open source projects. This is something we are playing with on a trial basis to see if there is any interest. If you'd like to see what we have got in place so far, the work in progress news/releases page can be found here: https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=headlines
86 • Initially slow Live (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2016-03-30 00:30:04 GMT from North America)
"… liveboot was ridiculously slow unless I first disconnected my hard drive…"
Busy making additional file-system search database(s) (like akonadi+nepomuk), perhaps? If so, perhaps another boot-time parameter would help
Unless it's simply a dying hard drive, of course.
87 • @ 74 (by tony on 2016-03-30 02:11:03 GMT from Asia)
You are right.
It was discussed for a week and voted for by the forum users
88 • Distro name (by izto on 2016-03-30 05:43:36 GMT from North America)
Disliking the name PCLinuxOS, seriously? It's like finding the perfect woman with an ugly name: You'd be silly to skip a date just because of it.
PCLinuxOS is perfect because it clearly shows what it is, and its intended target. What does Debian, Ubuntui, Suse, Mageia, Arch, Gentoo... tell you? Absolutely nothing, and the same could be said for most distribution names, they are totally meaningless... unless you dig deep enough and read a dictionary of a totally unknown language. Yeah, that's preferable, right?
There are only a handful of names of the whole bunch that tell you something clearly right away, and the best name of them all is PCLinuxOS.
89 • Pclinuxos (by Linux2006 on 2016-03-30 10:29:03 GMT from Europe)
I am using Pclinuxos since 2006, and tried many other distros and i can tell you this:
Pclinuxos is the desktop linux
everything else? tries and failures.
90 • MATE 1.18 (by JohnnyNB on 2016-03-30 10:47:13 GMT from North America)
I don't see any MATE 1.18 . 1.12 is stable and 1.13 is development.
91 • One man show (by Benito on 2016-03-30 10:55:26 GMT from Europe)
I have to laugh at the same old "one man show" comments. The guy along with friends has been doing PCLinuxOS for the better part of 15 years but hey you never know when he might quit, right? LOL
92 • PCLinuxOS (by Willi,amp. on 2016-03-30 12:49:12 GMT from Europe)
I started with Mandrake 9, progressed through to PCLos, with which I had many trouble free years until recently when I could not make a fresh install from the current Iso, plus the update, without it crashing on the restart. PCLos knew about the fault but did nothing to correct it. I waited for the new ISO because it was due, if a little late, but now we have it and it's 64 only. They've joined the laptop brigade and turned their backs on the thousands of reliable '32' Desktop machines . . . and me. Early-on Linux was about making older, simpler equipment run better than the new 'you know who' rubbish, but that seems to be forgotten by the new generation of distro compilers. New is seldom better than tried and trusted so I now have to look elsewhere. Mageia is steady, upgrades without fuss, and I feel quite at home again. But in searching for a replacement I also found Sparky and I am impressed. So goodbye old friend, you served me well for so long, and I wont forget.
93 • @92 (by tony on 2016-03-30 14:07:15 GMT from Asia)
Just to let you know there is a Remaster Section where everything, included 32bit seems to get updated every month or so.
If you are interested , of course.
94 • Micrsoft Planning Take-over of Canonical/Ubuntu (by Georgia Savage on 2016-03-30 14:26:50 GMT from North America)
Is this the thin edge of the wedge that Microsoft is so good at?
95 • Ackkkk! How many Linux desktops do we need? (by Ben Myers on 2016-03-30 16:52:39 GMT from North America)
Just saw another announcement for a Linux with yet another Linux desktop. Just how many Linux desktops do we need? 20? 30? 50? 100?
96 • Microsoft and Ubuntu (by Ben Myers on 2016-03-30 17:05:11 GMT from North America)
I don't think that Microsoft is going to take over Ubuntu. But given Microsoft's long-standing track record of co-opting its rivals, I would be extremely leery were I Mark Shuttleworth.
Here is what Microsoft has co-opted in the past, just from my memory, without research:
OS/2 (IBM screwed up by insisting that OS/2 run on a weak 286 hardware. Microsoft pulled the plug on its OS/2 team, and left IBM alone and naked with OS/2.)
Java (so Sun sued, and got Java removed from Windows XP)
PC Relocator (This product allowed people to move their precious Windows apps from one computer to another. Microsoft wants to sell you new software licenses. They bought the eisenWorld, the maker of the product, then killed the product.)
They also held guns to the heads of Central Point (misc Windows utilities) and Diskeeper Corporation (defragmenter) to incorporate their products into Windows itself.
Rather than license industry standard Postscript fonts and font management from Adobe, Microsoft bought Bauer, developer of a Postscript clone (doubtless based on early Ghostscript), kludged it into Windows and called it TrueType. We all still pay the price because WYS is not always IWYG. HP has gone down the same path with its Postscript-emulation in laser printers, and so Postscript print jobs sometimes crap out on HP LaserJets.
97 • @95 Which new Linux and new Linux Desktop? (by Pearson on 2016-03-30 18:24:26 GMT from North America)
Did you see the announcement on Distowatch, or somewhere else?
98 • 94 • 96 • Lying Azure Eyes (by Kragle on 2016-03-30 18:43:12 GMT from North America)
"containers instead of virtual machines (VMs)" … "target audience is "…(cloud)…" developers, not desktop users"
Claims of loving Open-Source may be a smoke-screen for seducing developers in the current frenzy to find the perfect return-to-mainframe container-tech mix.
99 • Moksha (Enlightenment) - Bohdi (by Ben Myers on 2016-03-30 19:38:18 GMT from North America)
Bohdi announced an updated distro with the Moksha desktop. It says "Moksha (Enlightenment)". Now, is the desktop Moksha or Enlightenment? If the former, why do we need yet another one? Or is it simply a renamed Enlightenment, to confuse us all? Like I said, how many different and incompatible Linux desktops do we all need?
100 • @91 @88 (by Jordan on 2016-03-30 20:27:19 GMT from North America)
I like that about the name, izto.
As far as laughing about the "one man show" thing 15 years is a long time for a guy to dedicate to this thing. I admire TexStar!
Just hoping the bus never crosses his path. Meanwhile, I also like the talk about other devs over there true to TexStar's vision.
101 • Control Center (by kilgoretrout on 2016-03-30 21:51:21 GMT from North America)
Anyone that ever ran Mandrake back in the day knows exactly where PCLOS's "Control Center" came from and it didn't originate in the great State of Texas!!! It's nothing more than the old Mandrake Control Center(MCC) and the collection of Mandrake "drake" utilities as updated by the current Mageia developers with a slightly different interface for PCLOS disguising its true origins. MCC was part of Mandrake when I first began using linux back in 2002, it continued after the name change to "Mandriva" and it remains in Mageia, the current community successor to Mandriva. Give credit where credit is due.
In fact, the reluctance of the PCLOS community and devs to openly acknowledge the extent to which they relied, and currently rely, on Mandrake, Mandriva, Mageia in PCLOS is something that mars an otherwise excellent distro.
102 • PCLinuxOS (by ernstfree on 2016-03-31 00:15:58 GMT from Europe)
After seven years of continuous use ...
PCLinuxOS, for me, is the best solution for a stable rolling release distro.
103 • @ 101 (by tony on 2016-03-31 02:41:11 GMT from Asia)
Your comment makes no sense in the real world.
Everyone comes from someone.
Everything comes from something.
As someone said before:
104 • @101 Control Centre; #99 Bodhi Moksha (by Hoos on 2016-03-31 04:07:35 GMT from Asia)
Have PCLOS developers ever denied where the CC came from? I thought it was always clear that the distro's roots were in Mandrake and that the CC's base was from there.
A simple Google search brings up this link with the explanation:
I have no idea if the justifications are correct because I was never interested in Enlightenment, but if enough people agree with it and Moksha's implementation is good, there's its raison d'etre right there.
Look at MATE's origin.
105 • Bohdi & PCLinuxOS (by M.Z. on 2016-03-31 06:09:32 GMT from North America)
@95 - desktops
Yeah there are a lot of desktops for Linux, & there are obviously lots of devs interested in creating DEs. If you want to use free & open software you have to let the developers of such software create/fork software as they see fit. The Bohdi project decided that Enlightenment was getting too heavy a few months or so back & they forked. Such is the way of open source.
@101 - PCLinuxOS
That's sort of a 'well duh' thing that you seem to be hyperventilating about. Indeed the PCLinuxOS website freely admits that they use code from various other projects:
"The packages in our software repository may be original creations but may also contain repackaged and modified packages from Fedora, OpenSuse, Mageia, and Mandriva released under the GPL. PCLinuxOS packages may also contain patches and bug fixes from any other Linux open source distribution. The PCLinuxOS team would like to thank these distributions who may have indirectly contributed to the PCLinuxOS distribution."
from the bottom of the page here:
Now how did they not acknowledge the help of other projects?
106 • @105 PCLOS (by Jordan on 2016-03-31 13:26:01 GMT from North America)
Well, yeah. Open source linux stuff. Irony is that linux distros are inspired by, fed off of and created by one another across many distros and other open source projects.
The #101 post seems strange, with that in mind. But as I re-read it I just get the feeling that the person writing it hasn't looked closely at the PCLOS website and may not have thought much about just what linux is about, and may have missed what PCLinuxOS does wrt full disclosure.
107 • Ubuntu Bash Coming to Win10 (by Stunned on 2016-03-31 16:39:38 GMT from North America)
Bash on Windows 10? What?!?
108 • 94 • 96 • 107 • The Azure Bash (by Kragle on 2016-03-31 18:08:22 GMT from North America)
Currently, there's a fashion push toward "containers", just like the frenzy to design the most addictive "smart" device interface
Of course, Windows has had FOSS CygWin for POSIX emulation including a bash shell, from the late '90's; KDE and GNOME, Qt, even coLinux have all been available for years, but without love, like GNUWin32 and UnxUtils they bloom and wilt because the ground is shallow and starved
Some popular freeware started in the Linux world, and migrated to Windows using these features
109 • PCLinuxOS (by Ronald Buckman on 2016-03-31 21:02:15 GMT from North America)
I switched to the PCLinuxOS Xfce community edition. It's running well so far. I like that PCLOS doesn't split packages into as many components as Debian and Ubuntu and that PCLOS is staying away from systemd.while still being newbie friendly. I went with Xfce since it usually polls as the most popular GTK+ desktop, and I've used it in Xubuntu and Slackware, though MATE is close to its equal in quality.
110 • @ 103,104,105,106 (by kilgoretrout on 2016-04-01 02:33:31 GMT from North America)
@103,104,105 and 106
For starters, the author of the article seems blissfully unaware of the fact that the PCLOS Control Center is simply a repackaged version of a decade old MCC package.
And you all seem to be blissfully unaware of the somewhat minor scandal that occurred here several years ago regarding PCLOS's packaging practices. To elaborate, a poster here claimed that after examining the source rpms for Mandriva and PCLOS it appeared that the vast majority of PCLOS's rpms were being built off of Mandriva's source rpms but that PCLOS was removing identifying information in their source rpms which would have revealed this practice. While not illegal to do so, it is considered bad etiquette to remove this info as it deprives the original builder of credit for his/her hard work. Basically, the PCLOS packagers were passing off the work of the Mandriva packagers as their own. PCLOS at first vigorously denied that they were using Mandriva source rpms to build the majority of their distro but later acknowledged that this was the case and promised not to take out the Mandriva identifying info from their source rpms in the future.
So there was a history here of PCLOS deliberately concealing the nature and extent to which their distro relies on Mandrake-Mandriva-Mageia. And historically, they've been very touchy about the whole subject. That's pretty much what I was on about.
111 • Control Centre (by Jesse on 2016-04-01 03:02:54 GMT from North America)
>> "For starters, the author of the article seems blissfully unaware of the fact that the PCLOS Control Center is simply a repackaged version of a decade old MCC package."
I am very well aware where the Control Centre comes from, in fact I have mentioned it plenty of times over the years. Just go back and read the other reviews I have written about the Mandrake family of distributions. Heck, I've even done development work on it in past years. But where it comes from doesn't matter at all. All that matters is that it is included in PCLinuxOS and it works quite well.
I'd also like to point out that stripping out branding from packages is not only common, but good legal practice. Downstream projects often do that, not to conceal where a package came from, but to avoid trademark lawsuits. (See CentOS and Red Hat, for example.) Remember, when PCLinuxOS was created, Mandriva was still a commercial company and it would be legally risky not to strip out identifying information from their packages at the time. Your accusations leave out the context of the situation.
Finally, it's not really accurate to say PCLinuxOS ships an old version of the Mandrake Control Centre. The MCC gets forked by each distribution which uses it and the software takes on unique features and quirks in each fork.
112 • FBI ransome ware (by firstname.lastname@example.org on 2016-04-01 12:22:24 GMT from North America)
the latest release of Rescatux loads to the FBI ransome ware screen.
113 • @110 CC etc (by Jordan on 2016-04-01 13:59:50 GMT from North America)
I recall that old dust up about the code branding and the PCLOS folks making the contrite mistake of promising to leave the branding in their package coding.
It was all not relevant then beyond the enjoyment of the fight and the line drawing in the sand and it's not relevant now (for many reasons most of which are highlighted in post #111).
What the hell? You're bringing that up as if to legitimize your issues with the way a Distrowatch review was worded? Get a life, dude.
114 • @111 (by kilgoretrout on 2016-04-01 14:36:15 GMT from North America)
@111 "I'd also like to point out that stripping out branding from packages is not only common, but good legal practice. Downstream projects often do that, not to conceal where a package came from, but to avoid trademark lawsuits. (See CentOS and Red Hat, for example.) Remember, when PCLinuxOS was created, Mandriva was still a commercial company and it would be legally risky not to strip out identifying information from their packages at the time. Your accusations leave out the context of the situation."
First off, they're not my accusations. IIRC at the time they came from the community rep for Mandriva, not me. And, after some initial resistance, they were acknowledged by PCLOS as accurate. Second, there were no trademark issues here and this was not a case of "stripping out branding from packages". It was a case of altering the spec file in the source rpm to conceal the fact that the original packager was a packager associated with Mandriva. While not illegal, at the time it was considered bad form and not customary to do so in the sense that you were depriving the initial packager of credit. Many of these packagers were unpaid volunteers and a big motivation for undertaking the work was to get credit for the work and build up a reputation in the community. Third, PCLOS, after initially denying the charges, admitted to the practice and said going forward they would no longer alter the spec file in that manner.
This entire drama took place right on this board many years ago over a period of several weeks. At that time, PCLOS and Mandrake/Mandriva were rivals, kind of like Mint and Ubuntu today, Mandrake/Mandriva was the most popular distro at the time and was in the process of being displaced by Ubuntu. PCLOS was a Mandrake spinoff made by Tex who was a well-known and well respected packager for Mandrake. Basically, Tex took Mandrake and updated the most popular user facing applications like firefox, kde, and other userland applications to create PCLOS. At the time, if you wanted the latest version of kde, you would have to wait for the next release of Mandrake/Mandriva which were on a six month release cycle and you would have to reinstall the OS every six months. Tex had the vision create a more stable rolling release that didn't have to be reinstalled every six months to get the latest userland software that most users were primarily interested in. If not the first, he was one of the first to create a livecd from which you could install the OS, something which is common today but was unique at the time. So Tex did a lot of very innovative things and should be given credit for that. However, at the time PCLOS was very reluctant to acknowledge the extent to which their distro relied upon Mandrake/Mandriva and this bred some resentment in the Mandrake/Mandriva community not unlike that which existed, and continues to exist, between Debian and Ubuntu. That is the real context of the kerfuffle that occurred.
All this happened a long time ago and you may not have been aware of this history. Also, Mandrake was one of the first distros to create a comprehensive GUI configuration tool and their Control Center was something that really set them apart from other distros at the time(2001-2002). I don't know if you were here at that time. But if you created a unique piece of software and if someone else took it, made some minor changes and slapped their name on it without acknowledging your work, I think you can understand how resentments could arise even though the software license gave the subsequent dev the legal right to do so. That's the kind of dynamic that was involved here.
115 • History (by Jess on 2016-04-01 14:49:48 GMT from North America)
>> "I don't know if you were here at that time. But if you created a unique piece of software and if someone else took it, made some minor changes and slapped their name on it without acknowledging your work, I think you can understand how resentments could arise even though the software license gave the subsequent dev the legal right to do so"
I was around for that (and before), I've been involved with Linux for a long time. And, no, I quite disagree with your suggestion. The whole point of using open source licenses is precisely to give people the right to do what they want with your source code. Anyone (including myself) who publishes their source under a free license is encouraging others to take and use their program in whatever way they like. So long as the license is followed, there is no reason to be upset by people doing what you've encouraged them to do.
I have witnessed a few forks grow out of my work and spread in ways i had not intended. It made me thankful, not resentful, because that meant I was helping others to create things they wanted. That's the whole spirit of open source software.
As for your take on the history between Mandrake and PCLinuxOS, I think your perspective is somewhat slanted. You're putting a rather unique (and hostile) take on the views of a minority group of community members. I was here at that time and it all seemed like business as usual, except to, perhaps, a few vocal members of each distro community being overly dramatic.
It's the same with the other example, Ubuntu and Debian, you mentioned. Debian and Ubuntu co-exist peacefully and share patches. Most of the developers are quite happy with the arrangement. Just a small group of community members try to make it seem combative, it isn't. Not for the majority of the people working on both projects.
116 • long time ago (by M.Z. on 2016-04-01 15:02:25 GMT from North America)
So despite the fact that you admit the thing you are so upset about happened a long time ago, you can't admit that PCLinuxOS currently does acknowledge the contributions of others? Or is it simply that you can't let sleeping dogs lie? Either way it seems rather irrelevant and pointless to argue over. PCLOS does good things & much like all big open source projects they lean on work done by others. They are perfectly open about this on their website & I don't think there has been a problem worth worrying about on this topic for some time.
117 • @115 @116 (by kilgoretrout on 2016-04-01 17:01:46 GMT from North America)
@115 "As for your take on the history between Mandrake and PCLinuxOS, I think your perspective is somewhat slanted. You're putting a rather unique (and hostile) take on the views of a minority group of community members. I was here at that time and it all seemed like business as usual, except to, perhaps, a few vocal members of each distro community being overly dramatic."
Peoples perceptions on that point will vary based upon who they were dealing with in those communities and their own views on the subject. Judging the amount of resentment within those communities is clearly very subjective. But I feel my characterizations of the situation are fairly evenhanded and accurate. You obviously disagree and tend to minimize things, at least as seen from my perspective. I'm content to leave it at that and agree to disagree.
@116 "So despite the fact that you admit the thing you are so upset about happened a long time ago, you can't admit that PCLinuxOS currently does acknowledge the contributions of others?"
Not particularly upset and no one has asked me to admit anything so don't know where you're coming from on that. As you rightly point out, PCLOS does currently acknowledge the contributions of others. However, there is a history here and that's what I was pointing out. If you or others find that upsetting, annoying or irrelevant, then I apologize for that.
118 • A tribute thing (by Kragle on 2016-04-01 20:14:12 GMT from North America)
Comment 101 open its topic in a one-sided truculent manner, an open invitation to defensive response(s); it stimulated discussion which elicited additional data that provided improved perspective and balance
"If you or others find that upsetting, annoying or irrelevant, then ..." you've chosen a reaction
Some licenses (i.e. Creative Commons) mandate Attribution, vs. GPL/Apache "freedom" to forget history
Meanwhile, some distro communities contribute to each other for the common good
119 • @101 pcLinux (by mandog on 2016-04-01 20:31:18 GMT from South America)
As far as I'm aware Anybody can fork any open source software subject to the licence involved, change it improve it, call it what they want, the only requirement is they release the source code that is the basic part of Linux.
120 • Different sporting Codes, Grades & Teams in software. (by Greg Zeng on 2016-04-02 07:13:01 GMT from North America)
Interesting comments this week, with many defensive & emotional memories.
1) Different sporting codes: (Hand-ball, Tennis and Squash; A: Text-install, B: Pre-compiled and C: Compiled; Gentoo, Manjaro, and Debian-based operating systems).
2) Different grades within the code: (A-professional, B-advanced, and C-beginners; as in A: RedHat and Debian; B: Fedora and Ubuntu-Unity; C: PCLOS, Mint and Zorin).
3) Different teams in the same grade of a code: (C: Compiled: DEB or RPM: Mint vs Ubuntu; Mageia vs PCLOS vs Centos); (B: Pre-compiled; Arch vs Manjaro vs Netrunner (Manjaro-based)). (A: Text-code; Slackware, Gentoo, Arch.
Early users to Linux used to be proud that they knew about text-installations. Those of us who focus on work-productivity however know that end-user productivity can be reached only by freedom from the code-cutters. So we valued real-time audio-visual-tactile interactions with real humans. Religious crazies valued the unchanging written codes of CLI, so they dominated Arch, etc.
Reviews, comments should compare like with like. Inter-team jealousies, bickering, rivalry, accusations, etc are normal, expected at Level-3: Brand-names in the same marketplaces.
Apple, Microsoft, Canonical, Redhat, Distrowatch & others seem to not understand the evolution of operating systems.
Apple is the crazed legal bully. Microsoft is the drowning, desperate dinosaur, trying to sneak-attack Nokia, Linux, etc.
Google with its "open" attitude to its own Linux distributions and applications, might best understand open software. So far Google has not yet legally chased the forks of neither Android nor Chrom* codes.
121 • @92.93 No PCLinuxOS 32B (by Willi,amp. on 2016-04-02 11:17:39 GMT from Europe)
Thank you Tony for taking an interest. I have searched the PCLinuxOS site and found nothing about a Remaster Section. They've now removed everything referring to 32B ISO's.
122 • @121 --re-Remasters (by tony on 2016-04-02 11:34:09 GMT from Asia)
There are still 32bit remasters.Depends on which DE you use
Here is the link
123 • GeeXboX (by CJ on 2016-04-02 11:38:32 GMT from North America)
Why has GeeXboX been removed from the database? You have openELEC and OSMC listed. GeeXboX is also compatible for RspberryPi.
124 • GeeXBox (by Jesse on 2016-04-02 12:49:50 GMT from North America)
>> "Why has GeeXboX been removed from the database?"
It hasn't been removed, it's still there.
125 • Trademarks (by Freetux on 2016-04-02 12:57:24 GMT from Europe)
"to avoid misrepresentation of -xyz's Distro- trademark, material in the original distribution covered by the trademark must be stripped off or removed from the redistribution"
PCLinuxOS did it well and needed not to give credit (it's the other way around), nor to be vocal about doing what they had to do.
126 • @125 (by Jordan on 2016-04-02 16:23:40 GMT from North America)
Trying to find PCLinuxOS's relationship with "..marerial ..covered by the trademark.."
How is that defined, and where? Just curious.
127 • @112 Re: FBI ransome ware (by adrian15 on 2016-04-02 21:49:34 GMT from Europe)
> the latest release of Rescatux loads to the FBI ransome ware screen.
Finally someone notices it ! Can you please share with us what were your initial thoughts while experiencing it ?
Thank you for not specifically saying that it was an April Fools' Day joke so that others could believe the joke more easily.
More info at: http://www.supergrubdisk.org/2016/04/02/happy-rescatux-2016-april-fools-day/ .
128 • @128 (by Freetux on 2016-04-03 02:14:04 GMT from Europe)
129 • Package managers vs front-ends (by Andy Mender on 2016-04-03 08:45:03 GMT from Europe)
It seems confusion got into the most recent post on Manjaro Linux 16.06. Pamac is NOT a package manager. Arch Linux, Manjaro Linux, etc. use pacman as the package manager and both Pamac and Octopi are GUI front-ends.
Such confusion may lead to people assuming that either Manjaro Linux doesn't use pacman, but Pamac as its 'de facto' package manager, making it thus different than Arch Linux, or that Pamac is required for package management on Arch-based systems.
I just wish this would not happen as often as it does...:( Usually it's just a quick Google search away.
130 • GeeXboX (by CJ on 2016-04-03 13:56:51 GMT from North America)
It doesn't show up when you go to select distro or in the search for multimedia and raspberry pi.
131 • GeeXBoX (by Jesse on 2016-04-03 14:50:17 GMT from North America)
@130: GeeXBoX shows up as 17th on the list of distributions when you search for the items you specified: https://distrowatch.com/search.php?ostype=All&category=Multimedia&origin=All&basedon=All¬basedon=None&desktop=All&architecture=All&package=All&rolling=All&isosize=All&netinstall=All&status=All
132 • sniffy (by captain block on 2016-04-03 20:20:21 GMT from Europe)
these comments are becoming more and more frequent. Perhaps we need to make a distrowatch web forum(s)?
Number of Comments: 132
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