| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 655, 4 April 2016
Welcome to this year's 14th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Linux distributions offer a wide range of environments in which people can work and play. On one end of the spectrum we have simplified and streamlined graphical interfaces like GNOME Shell, while at the far end we have powerful and complex command line interfaces. This week we explore both, beginning with a review of the Parsix GNU/Linux distribution. Parsix is based on Debian and features the GNOME desktop environment and Joshua Allen Holm's review explores the perks and pitfalls of Parsix. In our Tips and Tricks column we cover a variety of programs which can be run from the command line to perform common tasks. In our News section we talk about Sabayon's new community repositories, Red Hat's free developer subscription and Fedora's quest to become more modular. We also talk about Debian's efforts to produce an official cloud image, Bq's Ubuntu tablets and Ubuntu software showing up in an unexpected place. Plus we share the torrents we are seeding and cover the releases of this past week. Also, we have added a sitemap for DistroWatch to make this website easier to navigate and created an archive of our past Tips and Tricks articles. In addition, we launched a fresh news feature called Headlines. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Joshua Allen Holm)
Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5
Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 is desktop-friendly distribution based on Debian. Built on Debian's Stable branch, Parsix comes with a useful selection of applications and some nice customizations, but so do many of the other Debian-based and Ubuntu-based distributions. So what exactly is Parsix's niche? What does it do better than its competition? I downloaded the 1.3GB 64-bit ISO and gave Parsix 8.5 a trial run in order to try to find out.
Booting from the Parsix ISO provides six options: "Boot or Install Parsix" with text mode, failsafe video, and failsafe alternative boot/install options; "Test CD for Defects"; and "Boot from First Hard Disk." After using the "Test CD for Defects" option to check the ISO for errors, I selected the standard "Boot or Install Parsix" option, which resulted in a fairly quick load time. The GNOME desktop was ready to use and the installer was readily available on the desktop.
Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 -- Running GNOME Shell
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
After looking around at the live desktop, I started the installer. While perfectly functional, Parsix's installer is not as friendly as Ubuntu's Ubiquity or Red Hat's Anaconda installer. In fact, Parsix's installer is actually a text mode installer which is displayed graphically using Xdialog. Booting using the text mode option and running parsix-installer from the command line provides the exact same installer with all the same options. The installer works, it provides useful options to partition a hard disk and set up a root password and user account, but it is not anything special. It gets the job done, but nothing more.
Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 -- The Parsix system installer
(full image size: 1.0MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
I should note that there is one major drawback I found with Parsix before I had even installed it. At first I tried running Parsix in a virtual machine, but no matter which virtualization software I used, GNOME Shell would crash when I tried to open the Activities overview. After a couple of crashes, GNOME disabled all the extensions before restarting, which resulted in the desktop behaving properly, but without the Parsix customized theme. For some strange reason, Parsix's customized GNOME Shell theme was unstable under virtualization. However, everything works perfectly fine on a bare-metal install.
Once I had booted the ISO and installed Parsix on physical hardware, the experience went perfectly. The desktop was stable and was fairly light on memory usage compared to other GNOME 3-based distributions that I have tried; the system used only between 500MB and 550MB of RAM right after starting the desktop environment. The custom GNOME Shell theme looks very nice. The Parsix logo - a flower based on a design found at the ruins at Persepolis - is used in place of the "Activities" label in GNOME Shell's top bar. The GTK+ theme used is a custom Parsix theme and the icon set used is Faience. In addition, Parsix enables icons on the desktop, so Home and Trash folders appear there, and the minimize and maximize buttons have been turned back on in application windows. However, despite all the nice customization I found it very odd that for some strange reason the only folder to appear in a user's home directory is for the Desktop directory. There are no Documents, Music, etc. directories created when setting up a user account during installation.
Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 -- The GNOME application menu
(full image size: 1.0MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The pre-selected software included in Parsix 8.5 is a nice mix of the standard GNOME applications and a good selection of extra programs. LibreOffice is there for editing documents. GIMP and Inkscape are both installed for editing graphics. Parsix includes Iceweasel, Evolution, Liferea and FileZilla for various Internet tasks. The VLC media player is the default application for playing videos and music. Users who need to run other operating systems in a virtual machine will find VirtualBox already installed. In addition, two useful command line applications, htop and Midnight Commander, are included and have icons making them easy to launch from the graphical desktop.
Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 -- Using a dictionary and the htop process monitor
(full image size: 688kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Beyond the standard GNOME applications and the big name extra software, Parsix ships with two programs I had never heard of before. The first is Grisbi, a financial management tool. Much simpler than GnuCash, but still very powerful and useful, Grisbi lets a user manage their finances with ease. The other is xFarDic, a bilingual English-Persian dictionary and language tool. Users can use xFarDic to look up definitions and it includes a Leitner box utility for helping a user to memorize new vocabulary words.
For many users the default applications in Parsix should be enough to do most basic tasks, but plenty of additional software packages are in the distribution's repositories. Unlike some distributions that use another distribution as a base, Parsix does maintain their own repositories, so it is not just Debian repositories plus an extra repository or two for customization. There are four repositories available: Parsix Official, Parsix Continent, Parsix Wonderland (Multimedia), and Security. Looking through the available packages listed in Parsix's GNOME Packages graphical software manager, I found just about every single program that I might want to install, including packages to completely change to a different desktop environment. Packages are available for all the major desktop environments, should a user want to switch to something other than Parsix's default GNOME desktop.
Parsix's greatest weaknesses are the documentation and support forums. Right on the project's website is a notice asking for help with the documentation, which is very out of date. The support forums are not much better. Neither the English nor the Persian forums are particularly active. The most recent posts in some of the forums are from 2015, and some are even older than that. The content that is available in the documentation and forums is good, but often too out of date to be usable.
Overall, I liked Parsix 8.5, but even after spending time with it, I am not sure what its specific niche in the Linux ecosystem is. It is a polished desktop distribution and it looks nice, but it is not really unique in that respect. The Persepolis inspired logo and inclusion of an English-Persian dictionary point to a possible niche - a Persian-friendly or Persian-focused distribution, but it could do much more than it does in order to best fill that niche. The Persian localization in Parsix is not any better than it is in other distributions. Many of the installed programs do not have Persian names, so they still appear in English when using the Persian localization. Bizarrely, switching Parsix to Persian did not even change the direction of GNOME Shell to a right-to-left orientation; it places the desktop icons on the right, but the top bar and Activities overview do not switch direction. Trying the same thing on Fedora 23 works as expected.
Nitpicks about Parsix's place in the multitude of Linux distributions aside, it is a good distribution. There are some things that need to be fixed, especially the problems running under virtualization and the failure to create a full set of folders in a user's home directory, but it is a good release. If Parsix's visual customization appeals to you, give it a try. You might like it. If they do not appeal to you, there are, of course, plenty of other options to choose from.
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Hardware used in this review:
My physical test equipment for this review was an Acer TravelMate X483 laptop with the following specifications:
- Processor: Quad-core 1.5GHz Intel Core i3-2375M CPU
- Storage: Seagate 500GB 5400 RPM hard drive
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Networking: Qualcomm Atheros AR9462 Wireless Network Adapter
- Display: Intel HD Graphics 3000
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Sabayon launches community repositories, Red Hat offers free developer subscriptions, Fedora seeks to become more modular, Debian plans cloud edition and updates Jessie, Ubuntu tablets and running Ubuntu binaries on Windows
The Sabayon project released a new snapshot of their distribution last week. Along with the launch of Sabayon 16.04, the project also announced a new set of community repositories which fill a similar roll to Arch Linux's Arch User Repository. "The Sabayon Community Repositories infrastructure will build repositories for the community, and it is managed by the community itself. There is a main Community repository while there is room to add other repositories, 'slots', that SCR Developers are free to use. More on how it works will come later. Currently we are in alpha state, but we are having great results, some packages are already available to the public. The goal here is to have a system like AUR for Arch and PPA for Ubuntu where Sabayon Community Developers (who are community members first) maintain multiple repositories or packages of the Community repository." Further information on the new community repositories can be found on the SCR website.
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Red Hat now offers free subscriptions to their Red Hat Enterprise Linux product for developers. "Today, Red Hat announced the availability of a no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux developer subscription, available as part of the Red Hat Developer Program. Offered as a self-supported, development-only subscription, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Suite provides you with a more stable development platform for building enterprise applications - across cloud, physical, virtual, and container-centric infrastructures. Red Hat SVP Craig Muzilla added some good points in his blog, too." Developers can register and download Red Hat Enterprise Linux for free from Red Hat's Download page.
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As Docker containers and the Internet of Things become ever more popular, there is increasing pressure on distributions to be small and modular. The Fedora Project has created the Modularity Working Group which seeks to "Define and maintain the Fedora Base Module and guidelines and tools for other modules. This includes releasing the Fedora Base Module in artifact form on a regular schedule - as a Docker base image, as an installable minimal system, and possibly in other ways in the future." The new group will seek to reduce dependencies for increased security and performance. Additional information can be found on the project's wiki.
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The Debian project is currently working on creating official Debian cloud images for deployments on various cloud services. Steve McIntyre began a discussion which explores some of the requirements for the new cloud images: "We have a few requirements agreed for such images to be classed as official (i.e. blessed and released by Debian), and one of these is that they should be built on Debian hardware, controlled by the (increasingly inaccurately named) Debian CD team.
To get things going in time for Stretch, we're going to need to co-ordinate our work..." Cloud images should allow Debian to better compete with Canonical and Red Hat cloud deployments.
In other Debian news, the Debian project has released updated installation media for Debian 8 "Jessie". The new media does not represent a new version of Debian, but does bring the installation media up to date with available security fixes. "The Debian project is pleased to announce the fourth update of its stable distribution Debian 8 (codename Jessie). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 8 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old Jessie CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated." Further information and download links can be found in the announcement. Debian released a similar update to the distribution's 7.x "Wheezy" branch at the same time.
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People who would like to run GNU/Linux distributions on tablet devices are one step closer to getting their wish as last week Bq made Ubuntu powered tablets available for pre-order. The OMG! Ubuntu website has more details: "Bq will ship the M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet within the EU and to select countries outside of it, including the USA. A full list of delivery locations can be found on the Bq website. Deliveries are planned to get underway in the second week of April - which means, fingers crossed, you should have your tablet by the time Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is released!"
In another Ubuntu-related story which had all the trappings of an elaborate April Fools prank, both Microsoft and Canonical announced last week that it will soon be possible to run Ubuntu command line applications on Windows 10. This does not require Ubuntu packages to be recompiled and it does not involve using a virtual machine or software container. Instead the technology involved appears to resemble WINE working in reverse: native Ubuntu applications running on Windows with the help of a compatibility layer. Dustin Kirkland wrote for Canonical: "I imagine some of you - long time Windows and Ubuntu users alike - are still wondering, perhaps, `Why?!?' Having dedicated most of the past two decades of my career to free and open source software, this is an almost surreal endorsement by Microsoft on the importance of open source to developers. Indeed, what a fantastic opportunity to bridge the world of free and open source technology directly into any Windows 10 desktop on the planet. And what a wonderful vector into learning and using more Ubuntu and Linux in public clouds like Azure. From Microsoft's perspective, a variety of surveys and user studies have pointed to bash and Linux tools - very specifically, Ubuntu - be available in Windows, and without resource-heavy full virtualization."
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Command line tips and tricks
Linux distributions and the BSDs derive a lot of their power and flexibility from having a rich command line interface. While with many modern flavours of Linux it is not necessary to use text-based shells, there are still many helpful utilities to be found on the command line. This week I want to explore six commands I personally find useful.
Do you want to know what the weather is like in your area, but do not want to go through the steps of opening a web browser, finding a weather website and looking up your city or town? Luckily there is a quick and easy command to check the weather in most locations from the command line. To check the weather in London, England, run the command:
This command will display a chart which shows the day's temperature range on the left side of the screen and the amount of expected precipitation on the right. The middle of the chart displays periods of expected rain, snow and cloud cover for the day. The finger command is used to query a remote server, graph.no in this case, and return text information. The graph.no server has been set up to return weather data for the city specified before the "@" symbol.
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Do you ever find yourself copying large files or several files from one place to another and wishing the action did not impact your hard drive's performance when you wanted to load another file or launch an application? To keep long file copy operations from impacting your system's performance, prefix the copy command with ionice. For example, to make a backup of a big file run:
ionice -c 3 cp bigfile.mp4 backup.mp4
The ionice command, when run with class (or level) 3 priority, will cause the copy command to only proceed when the system has no competing input or output operations in progress. This makes the system run more smoothly, though copying the file may take longer.
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Do people send you files with a mixture of upper-case and lower-case letters in the file name? When you copy files off a digital camera, does it bother you that the images are typically saved with names in all upper-case letters? I like to keep my files organized with all lower-case names. Luckily, the rename utility makes converting file names all to one case easy. Let us assume we have two image files, "IMG_20160222.JPG" and "My-Family-Photo.JPG". We can convert both of these file names to all lower-case using the following command:
rename 'y/[A-Z]/[a-z]/' *.JPG
The rename program looks for all files with the .JPG extension in the current directory and changes every upper-case letter it finds in a file name to its lower-case equivalent. As a result, we end up with "img_20160222.jpg" and "my-family-photo.jpg".
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Have you ever been watching a video and thought you would like to take a snapshot of what was on the screen, either to use it as a wallpaper or to share it with someone? The mplayer command can help with that. All you need to know is the point in time of the image in the video you want to take. Let's say there is a beautiful image five minutes and twelve seconds (5:12) into a video and I want to have a still image of it. I can run the mplayer command as follows:
mplayer -vo png -ss 5:12 -frames 1 my-video.mp4
The screen shot of the video, my-video.mp4, will be saved in the current directory as "00000001.png".
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When you need to see a calendar in a hurry you can run the cal command without any arguments to see a calendar page of the current month. However, I usually find it more useful to run
Running cal with the "-3" parameter displays a calendar on the screen with the previous, current and next month. This can make finding dates easier if you are near the end of the current month.
* * * * *
Finally, something I have noticed over the years is many distributions default to displaying directory listings (produced with the ls command) in colour. This can be useful for identifying different types of files and their permissions at a glance. When we know directories are displayed in blue, executable files in green and so on, it can be easier to get a feel for a directory's contents quickly. However, I find it difficult to read the dark blue text of directory names. To get a directory listing with all text displayed in the same, high-contrast colour I use the command:
If you prefer the colourless version of ls you can create a bash shell alias for the command using:
alias ls='ls --color=never'
Placing the above alias in your ~/.bashrc file will disable colour in directory listings each time you open a terminal.
I hope you find the above examples useful, I certainly have over the years. Please feel free to share some of your own quick command line time savers in the comments.
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Additional tips and tricks can be found in our Tips and Tricks 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: 180
- Total data uploaded: 33.6TB
|Released Last Week
The Sabayon project produces a Gentoo-based distribution that provides a great deal of functionality out of the box. The Sabayon team has released Sabayon 16.04 which features a number of updates to the installer, kernel and desktop applications. Perhaps the most significant change though is Sabayon's new community repository. "The Sabayon Community Repositories infrastructure will build repositories for the community, and it is managed by the community itself. There is a main Community repository while there is room to add other repositories, "slots", that SCR Developers are free to use. More on how it works will come later. Currently we are in alpha state, but we are having great results, some packages are already available to the public. The goal here is to have a system like AUR for Arch and PPA for Ubuntu where Sabayon Community Developers (which are community members first) maintain multiple repositories or packages of the Community repository." Additional information is available on the Sabayon Community Repositories website. The Sabayon project provides a range of editions, including builds for GNOME, KDE, MATE and Xfce. Additional information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Guix System Distribution 0.10.0
Ludovic Courtès has announced the release of a new version of the Guix System Distribution (GuixSD). GuixSD is an operating system built with the Guix package manager. The new release, GuixSD 0.10.0, offers reproducible builds for several key packages, plus the GNOME desktop environment and over 600 new packages in the project's repositories. "It's been almost five months since the previous release, and many things happened! The highlights include: Our grafting mechanism for security updates has been fixed to be generally applicable. Read this post for more information on the challenges behind this. Substitutes are now fetched by default over HTTPS and from a faster mirror. A number of packages have been made bit-for-bit reproducible, including glibc, Perl, Emacs packages, and Python packages. This work was simplified by Guix challenge and by the new --check and --rounds build options, and also by the insight gathered from other reproducible builds efforts. GNOME is now available, via the gnome-desktop-service procedure. 639 new packages, about as many package updates, greatly simplified by the addition of new importers and auto-updaters. A wealth of bug fixes, documentation improvements, Emacs niceties, and more!" See the release announcement and the release notes for additional information.
The OpenBSD project has announced the release of OpenBSD 5.9. The OpenBSD project focuses on providing code and documentation that are correct and of high quality. This has lead to OpenBSD being regarded as a highly secure and reliable operating system. The new release features W^X (write or execute) security for 32-bit x86 processors, many new and improved hardware drivers and support for installing OpenBSD on GPT partitioned hard drives. This release features a forked version of the "less" command and network stack improvements. Updated versions of LibreSSL and OpenSSH are included as well and feature several security enhancements. A complete list of new features and improvements can be found in the project's release announcement and in the more detailed changelog.
Bodhi Linux 3.2.0
Jeff Hoogland has announced the release of Bodhi Linux 3.2.0. This is an update to the Bodhi Linux 3.x series and features key kernel and desktop improvements. "This is our last scheduled update release of the Bodhi 3 branch. Existing Bodhi 3 users do not need to re-install to obtain this latest release - they simply need to perform all of their current system updates. In addition to shipping with the latest software in the repositories this release also includes a number of small improvements. Most notably: Moksha 0.2.0 is here by default. Linux Kernel 4.2 for improved hardware support. Multi-Language support for the installer again. Improved UEFI support. A number of small improvements/bug fixes to the default Radiance Theme LibreOffice 5.1 (in the AppPack releases)." Bodhi Linux 3.2.0 is available in Standard, AppPack (full) and Legacy (for older computers) editions.
Bodhi Linux 3.2.0 -- Running the Moksha desktop
(full image size: 699kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Domen Kozar has announced the launch of NixOS 16.03. NixOS is built with the Nix package manager which isolates packages and provides atomic package installations, removals and upgrades. NixOS 16.03 is a fairly minor upgrade for the project, featuring updates to the kernel and systemd along with improvements to the Nix package manager. "NixOS community is proud to announce the third NixOS stable release 'Emu' 16.03. This is a low profile release, but it contains many small improvements. We had 10,567 commits from 448 contributors in this release spanning over six months. The release brings many improvements including Nix 1.12.2, systemd 229, kernel 4.4 and many packages updates." Additional information can be found in the project's release announcement and release notes.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Ubuntu tablets and phones
As we mentioned in our News section, Canonical's Ubuntu operating system is making inroads into the mobile market. Bq has succeeded in launching Ubuntu phones and is now accepting pre-orders for Ubuntu tablets.
This week we would like to know whether our readers are interested in owning Ubuntu-powered mobile devices. If you have already purchased a phone running Ubuntu, please share your impressions of the device in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on video chat software here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
When it comes to Ubuntu tablets and phones...
|I own one or more Ubuntu mobile devices: ||43 (3%)|
| I have pre-ordered a Bq phone/tablet: ||34 (2%)|
| I do not own one and plan to order one later: ||388 (25%)|
| I do not own one nor plan to purchase one: ||709 (46%)|
| I have an Android device and installed Ubuntu on it: ||66 (4%)|
| None of the above: ||295 (19%)|
Exploring DistroWatch with our sitemap, our new Headlines page and tips archive
DistroWatch is regularly growing, gradually adding new resources and ways to access our database of information. Some of our resources have been tucked away and are not immediately easy to find from the front page.
In an effort to make DistroWatch's resources easier to find we have added a sitemap, which can be located through the menu at the top of every page. The sitemap groups resources into categories, which we hope will make specific pages and data easy to find.
Another new feature we rolled out this past week is the Headlines page. We occasionally hear from readers who would like to know more about desktop environments, minor package releases and news tid-bits. These are items we wanted to provide, but we did not want to clutter up our front page with additional announcements. This resulted in the creation of Headlines, a page that will feature announcements of individual software packages and news stories.
Put another way, if our front page and Weekly offer meals of information and major distribution releases, Headlines is intended to provide light snacking between meals throughout the week.
If you are involved with an open source project and would like to have announcements or bits of news about your project appear on our Headlines page, please send us an e-mail with Headlines in the subject line and the content you want to share in the body of the e-mail. Further guidelines on sending us submissions can be found on our Contributing page.
Finally, we know it can be frustrating trying to locate fun tips and command line tools we have mentioned in the past. With this in mind, we have created an archive of past Tips and Tricks columns. The archive also features old Myths and Misunderstanding articles. This archive, along with our other resources, can be found through our sitemap.
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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, 11 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)
- Joshua Allen Holm (feature review)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Linux From Scratch
Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides you with the steps necessary to build your own custom Linux system. There are a lot of reasons why somebody would want to install an LFS system. The question most people raise is "why go through all the hassle of manually installing a Linux system from scratch when you can just download an existing distribution like Debian or Redhat". That is a valid question which I hope to answer for you. The most important reason for LFS's existence is teaching people how a Linux system works internally. Building an LFS system teaches you about all that makes Linux tick, how things work together, and depend on each other. And most importantly, how to customize it to your own taste and needs.