| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 664, 6 June 2016
Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One positive aspect of free and open source software is that it allows developers to focus on the features they deem most important. This gives rise to operating systems which strive to be fast, or cutting edge or unusually secure. This week we explore projects with different areas of focus, beginning with a review of Sabayon. The Sabayon distribution uses a rolling release model and provides a diverse range of editions and we cover the details of this project in our Feature Story. In our News section we discuss Debian updating its media and FreeBSD gaining a feature which will help administrators manage ZFS storage. We also talk about how Qubes strives to be secure, even during the build process, and we share a new learning resource for Linux newcomers. We also share an opinion piece on the cost of developing free software and this topic extends to our weekly Opinion Poll. Plus we share the distribution releases of the past week and provide a list of torrents we are seeding. This week we are happy to donate to the Slackware Live Edition project which offers users a live desktop disc for running demos of Slackware. This past weekend we enabled IPv6 connections to DistroWatch and we hope you will help us test the new feature. Finally, we are pleased to welcome the Devuan GNU+Linux project to our database of distributions. We wish you all a pleasant week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (33MB) and MP3 (47MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Sabayon is a Linux distribution that is based on Gentoo. Sabayon takes on some of the characteristics of its parent, providing users with a rolling release distribution that can make use of both binary and source software packages. Recent snapshots of Sabayon offer support for computers running on 64-bit x86 processors along with Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 computers. Perhaps the biggest new feature of Sabayon though is the launch of Sabayon Community Repositories (SCR). These new repositories provide a way for community members to build and distribute software for Sabayon without the necessity of getting their software into Sabayon's official repositories.
There are seven editions of Sabayon, including the builds for Raspberry Pi computers. There are several desktop editions, a Server edition and a small Minimal edition. I decided to begin my trial with Sabayon's KDE edition which is a 2.7GB download. Booting from the distribution's media brings up a menu asking if we would like to run Sabayon's live desktop, perform an installation, boot to a text console, check the installation media for defects or perform a memory check. Taking the live desktop option loads the KDE desktop. The wallpaper shows a gravel road passing through farmland while a moon rises with the Sabayon logo on it. Icons on the desktop invite us to donate to the distribution, get on-line help and launch the system installer. At the bottom of the display we find the application menu, a task switcher and the system tray.
I found clicking the on-line help icon would open the Chrome web browser and bring me to a page where I could sign into a Sabayon chat room. Clicking the icon for the system installer would launch Calamares, a distribution-independent installer.
Calamares is a graphical system installer that begins by asking us to select our preferred language. On this initial screen we find buttons that link us to the Sabayon FAQ page and the distribution's release notes. These pages open in the Chrome web browser. When Chrome is launched from the Calamares installer it displays a warning letting us know the browser is being run as the root user and cautions us against doing this. The next few pages of the Calamares installer get us to select our time zone from a map of the world and select our keyboard's layout from a list. The partitioning section comes next and we can choose to either manually divide up our hard drive or wipe the disk and allow the installer to set up its own partitions. I quite like how Calamares handles manual partitioning. The disk partitioning screen is easy to navigate, responds quickly and gives us the chance to work with ext2/3/4, JFS, XFS and Reiser file systems. The disk partitioning screen also gives us the chance to decide where to place the boot loader, or to skip installing the GRUB boot loader altogether. The final step gets us to create a user account for ourselves. By default I noticed the user creation screen assumes we want to be able to log into Sabayon without providing a password, but we can click a box to disable this feature. The installer then sets up Sabayon on our disk and concludes by giving us the chance to reboot the computer or return to the live desktop environment.
I ran into a problem when I rebooted the computer and tried to explore my new copy of Sabayon. The system would boot, display a graphical splash screen for a few seconds and then switch to a text console with a login prompt. Switching to other terminals all showed the same text screen, there was no graphical login screen. I could sign into my user account and run startx to access a minimal graphical environment (the TWM window manager) which would display three virtual terminals and nothing else. This was clearly not the experience I was expecting and I did some poking through settings and log files.
I found that systemd (Sabayon's init software) was set up to boot to a graphical environment and, from my tests with startx and the live disc I knew my video card was supported. I believe the issue which caused the lack of graphical interface came from a configuration problem with the display manager services. Sabayon's KDE edition ships with three display managers (SDDM, LightDM and XDM). The SDDM service, when launched, would fail with the error "Two services allocated for the same bus name." LightDM would simply fail to start. The XDM software would run and launch a graphical login screen, but any attempt to login would immediately fail and return me to the XDM login screen.
At this point I gave up playing with Sabayon's KDE edition and downloaded the project's MATE media to see how the experience would compare. I found the MATE media was a lot smaller than Sabayon's KDE download. The KDE ISO is 2.7GB in size while MATE's is approximately 1.8GB.
Sabayon 16.05 -- MATE's Applications menu
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Despite the large difference in the size of the two editions, exploring the two installation discs provided nearly identical experiences. The MATE edition provides us with a similar desktop theme, similar controls and the same system installer. When I finished installing the MATE edition and rebooted I was brought to a graphical login screen. Signing into my account brought up the MATE 1.10.2 desktop environment. MATE provides us with two panels, one at the top of the screen and the other at the bottom. The top panel features the system tray and the Applications, Places and System menus. The bottom panel provides us with a task switcher.
Shortly after I got signed into MATE for the first time, a notification appeared by the system tray telling me all of my software was up to date and there were no packages to upgrade. This struck me as odd since I installed Sabayon 16.05 several weeks after it was released. Clicking on the update icon in the system tray gives us the option of opening the distribution's package manager. When I opened the package manager there was a warning at the top of the window letting me know my repository information was out of date. This message was replaced after a few seconds with two new messages. The first reported there were 30 updates available in Sabayon's repositories. Buttons in the message window gave me the options: Show, Update, Ignore and "srsly ignore". The Show option shows a list of available updates, with the version and size of each new package. We can click on specific packages to update them one-by-one or click the aforementioned Update button to grab all new software updates.
The second note that appeared in the software manager reported there was important news I should read on the Sabayon website. Opting to read these messages showed me two news items. The first was from February 2014 and told me OpenRC was no longer a supported init option. The second message, from September 2015, told me the KDM display manager was being replaced with SDDM. Given my experience with the SDDM software and the KDE edition of Sabayon, I'm not sure the switch was a beneficial one.
Sabayon 16.05 -- Installing updated packages with Rigo
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The software manager, which is called Rigo, not only installs software updates, it can be used to perform a wide range of tasks. Rigo's top level menu provides access to tools which help us browse alternative versions of Linux kernels, refresh our repository information, show installed applications and manage repositories. We can also browse categories of software to install. Each category displays a list of available software in alphabetical order and clicking an item gives us the option of installing it or bringing up a description of the software. I generally found Rigo worked well and I had no trouble installing and removing packages.
I had hoped Rigo would allow me to access the Sabayon Community Repositories (SCR), but this was not an option. I did some looking around the SCR website and found a tutorial for accessing the software in the SCR. At this point, the process for enabling the SCR on Sabayon is unusually long and requires adding a separate repository manager (called enman). I did walk through the process of adding one community repository (as the name implies, SCR is a collection of repositories rather than one unified collection of third-party software). I was able to install software from the repository and get it running. This requires a little command line work, but the steps required to install each package are clearly explained on the SCR website.
Sabayon 16.05 -- Installing new software packages with Rigo
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Sabayon ships with lots of useful software. Looking through MATE's application menu I found the Chrome web browser, the HexChat IRC software and the Transmission bittorrent client. LibreOffice and the Gnumeric spreadsheet application are included. The Atril document viewer, MATE Dictionary and Eye of MATE image viewer are featured too. Digging further we find a calculator, archive manager and the Pluma text editor. The Audacious music player and the VLC multimedia player are included. The mpv player is included too and Sabayon ships with a full range of media codecs. The MATE edition of the distribution provides us with plenty of tools for adjusting the look and behaviour of the desktop environment. We can also make use of the Caja file manager and a system monitor. Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. Sabayon ships with the Clang compiler, Java and systemd 226. In the background we find version 4.5 of the Linux kernel. Sabayon uses a rolling release model so version numbers will trend upward over time.
Sabayon 16.05 -- The MATE Control Centre
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While exploring the distribution I noted a few things I feel worth mentioning. One is that the application menu features entries offering to take us to key pages of Sabayon's website. This makes finding documentation and support a bit easier. I found that applications were listed in the application menu by name rather than by function. At first it seemed like no description was available for the various applications, but I found hovering my mouse over menu entries would provide an explanation of what the software did. I like this feature as otherwise new users are unlikely to know what Caja or Audacious are.
One feature I disliked was that the Chrome browser prompted for a key-ring password every time it launched. This is a semi-common feature across distributions and one I would like to see disabled.
At one point I went into the settings panel to set up my printer and found there was no Printer module. A search through the Applications menu did turn up a Manage Printers entry (it's under the System sub-menu). Clicking this module opened my web browser to a local web-based CUPS interface. This method of managing printers is a good deal more complex than the usual graphical CUPS printer manager. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate the appropriate printer with the web-based interface while the native CUPS module usually locates any nearby printers automatically.
Sabayon 16.05 -- Running various desktop applications
(full image size: 534kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I tried running Sabayon in two test environments. I began with VirtualBox and found Sabayon worked well in the virtual environment. When running in VirtualBox, Sabayon performed smoothly, the distribution was able to automatically integrate into the virtual environment and make use of my screen's full resolution. When running on my desktop test machine Sabayon got off to a good start. A network connection was set up automatically and my display was set to its maximum resolution. I did run into one problem when running Sabayon on the desktop computer. I found when playing videos on YouTube in the Chrome web browser the video was not visible. I could hear the audio playing, but the video box remained blank. One quirk of the distribution was that, in either environment, Sabayon muted audio by default. I actually like this feature as it avoids the unexpected blast of sound some distributions play when the user logs in.
In both test environments, Sabayon's MATE edition used approximately 270MB of memory. The distribution tended to be a little slow when booting, but once the system was up and running, desktop performance was solid.
Sabayon is a distribution which tends to do a lot of interesting things and it does enough things differently to keep me intrigued. The rolling-release, hybrid source/binary approach is something I find unusual enough to keep me coming back, for example. Sabayon has an unusual software manager, Rigo, which works pretty well and I like that it provides news headlines along with software updates. Sabayon offers lots of different editions, giving just about everyone something they like.
I was enthusiastic this time around to explore the SCR. This community effort seems to be in its early stages and I think there should be an easier (or automated) way to enable community repositories. Despite the configuration steps required, the SCR will provide a wider ranger of software to Sabayon's users and I think it's a welcome feature.
The problem I tend to have with Sabayon (both in the past and again this week) is the project feels like it has been stretched too thin. There are lots of interesting ideas and a huge selection of options to be had, but I feel the quality of the features suffer. Being unable to get a desktop environment running on the KDE edition was the strongest example. Little glitches in the package manager, which kept showing me "news" from years ago, were another. The patchy printer support was something most users probably will not be able to navigate on their own.
All in all, I think Sabayon is doing good things and I think the distribution will appeal to people who like rolling releases. There are a few rough spots in the distribution, but I think working through those is generally worth the experience Sabayon offers.
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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)
Debian releases updated media, FreeBSD adds ZFS daemon, Qubes explains security practises and a new educational resource
The Debian project has released updated media for both Debian 7 "Wheezy" and Debian 8 "Jessie". The new installation images are not distinct versions of Debian, but provide security updates and fixes to the existing versions. "The Debian project is pleased to announce the fifth 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."
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The FreeBSD operating system has gained a new feature to improve disk handling and manage faults in ZFS storage pools. The new feature is provided by the ZFS fault management daemon (zfsd) and should be included in the upcoming release of FreeBSD 11.0. The zfsd service "Deals with hard drive faults in ZFS pools. It manages hot spares and replacements in drive slots that publish physical paths." The new service is not managed directly, but rather operates automatically based on a pre-set configuration provided by the system administrator.
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Most of us tend to consider the security of the packages we run. We want to make sure they come from trusted sources, such as a distribution's repository, and that the software is up to date. Few of us pause to consider whether the server which originally built the software, or the developer's computer where the source code was written, might be compromised. Joanna Rutkowska of the Qubes OS project does think about such avenues of attack and has written about the steps Qubes takes to keep their build processes secure. One example of the measures the Qubes project takes involves not trusting remote servers: "We have always built all the official Qubes packages and ISO images on our private computers, i.e. ones whose physical security we can reasonably guarantee. This is because we have always assumed all external infrastructure (aka 'the cloud') to be untrusted. Indeed, because datacenter personnel can always (stealthily) read/write the memory of systems or VMs running in their datacenters, allowing the build process to run there would always make it possible for external parties to either tamper with the build process and/or steal the release signing keys, if these were also uploaded, as many projects do."
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Learning a new operating system can be difficult. Everyone, at some point, needs to start with the basics and learn how the system works. In an effort to help Linux newcomers, a new website has been created which teaches people what Linux is, how to use it, how to work with packages and how to use the command line. The website, called Linux Journey, takes an on-line classroom approach to learning, providing exercises the reader can try and questions which test knowledge. For people who are new to Linux or who wish to brush up on a specific topic, Linux Journey is well worth a look.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Opinion (by Jesse Smith)
The cost of free software
In early May, a blog post appeared on the Slax website which read: "Build server machine (where Slax modules are compiled) is down since I'm reducing costs. From now on, I will be running the module builds only locally in virtual machine, occasionally, manually, few times per week."
The change from using a dedicated build server to running builds in a virtual machine probably will not change much for Slax users, but the post does highlight a common thread I have been seeing in recent years. Many open source projects are regularly in need of funding. Back in 2009, the OpenBSD project reported it was in "dire need" of infrastructure upgrades and needed funds. This call for donations was echoed by the OpenBSD team again around the end of 2013 which resulted in a lot of public attention and, ultimately, more money flowing into the project. More recently, the HardenedBSD project has asked for help maintaining the infrastructure of the security-oriented project. Last year the NTPD project, a critical piece of software for most Internet-connected computers, was almost abandoned due to a lack of funding. The previous year, OpenSSL's Heartbleed bug highlighted how little support the critical security software had been receiving from its many users.
I could go on, the open source graveyard is littered with tombstones (or final blog posts) which indicate projects were ultimately discontinued due to a lack of funding. And I believe this highlights an important blind spot in the open source community: We tend to assume that because these projects give away their software without cost, the software can also be developed without cost. This is simply not the case.
Small projects can sometimes be created and maintained in a person's spare time and hosted on free services such as SourceForge, but any non-trivial project requires a heavy investment in time and, often, money. Domain names, download servers, computer equipment, even the electricity to run a developer's workstation ultimately requires funding. In the end, the creators of successful open source projects often end up paying the costs of developing and giving away their software for free. This means other, less expensive commitments tend to take priority over their open source projects.
In fact, while writing my first draft of this column, the Webconverger project posted the following message on their website: "Webconverger will always be open source, meaning you can check out the source code and fork Webconverger. Unconfigured it's still the best operating system to surf privately in my opinion. But there is no such thing as free of cost software. Since 2007 I've been working on Webconverger, mostly part time alongside my full time employment. However my circumstances have changed, I have a newborn sucking up all my spare time and I need this to be full time and enough to meet a Singaporean Employment Pass."
As a result of these "real life" changes, the Webconverger distribution now charges for installations that are configured. The software can still be downloaded for free and the source code is still available, but to get the most out of Webconverger now requires a payment. A similar message was posted later the same day by the lead developer of Pinguy OS: "Thinking about killing off Pinguy OS. It is costing me more to run than I get from the project. The project is a sink hole. For the last 12 months I have been personally financing the project to keep it afloat. The project isn't self-financing anymore."
Another example comes in the wake of the release of gNewSense 4.0, which is based on Debian 7. Debian 7 "Wheezy" is a few years old now and transitioned from full security support to limited long term support just before gNewSense 4.0 was released. This raised some security concerns on the gNewSense mailing list, to which gNewSense's lead developer, Sam Geeraerts, replied: "I agree that gNewSense lags too much. I do my best to keep it going while finding a balance with other commitments. I want to get started on version 5 as soon as possible. I'll gladly accept offers for help and I'm happy to mentor new volunteers."
The unfortunate truth is, most software developers need to work other jobs in order to develop software they give away for free. Donations and volunteers can help reduce the cost of an open source project, but it is rare to find an open source project that actually makes more money in donations or sales than it costs to maintain the software.
Some people will, perhaps correctly, point out that open source software projects that cannot raise funds are simply being rejected by the market. Projects that are worthwhile and valuable will gain funding while projects people do not value will not receive donations due to a digital form of natural selection. I believe there is some truth to that. Many Linux distributions ask for donations, but chances are only the more popular ones will be able to attract enough users to support their infrastructure.
However, I also think relying on popularity for funding means critical, behind-the-scenes software will never be funded. While many of us directly use our web browser or media player, most of us do not work directly with OpenSSL, the network time protocol or our operating system's C library. Yet these are critical pieces of our operating system and we need them to work properly, ideally even securely. Someone, perhaps several someones, are needed to maintain these projects, patch their security flaws and keep them up to date with changing dependencies. Those people need support if we, the community, are going to reap the benefits of their hard work.
Luckily, the open source community seems to be waking up to the fact that critical pieces of infrastructure need to be actively maintained and funded. The Core Infrastructure Initiative was created by many organizations which rely on and recognize the importance of a healthy open source ecosystem. This is a step in the right direction, but it is still rare to find open source projects and distributions which are successfully supported by their users. At the same time, it is all too common to see project's like Slax get scaled back due to expenses.
I think it is wonderful we live in a world in which people tinker with software they find interesting and I think it is even better that people are so willing to give away their creations for free. Open source software, given away freely, is a gift. Unfortunately, I think it is a gift that we, as a community, are taking for granted. I hope, in the future, we see fewer projects being shut down due to a lack of funds and more projects thriving with the support of their users.
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: 200
- Total data uploaded: 36.8TB
|Released Last Week
Porteus Kiosk 4.0.0
Tomasz Jokiel has announced the release of Porteus Kiosk 4.0.0, a major new release of the project's Gentoo-based distribution of Linux designed for web kiosks. The biggest change is a switch to the x86_64 architecture following Google's decision to drop support for the 32-bit Chrome browser on the Linux platform: "I'm pleased to announce that Porteus Kiosk 4.0.0 is now available for download. The Linux kernel has been updated to version 4.4.11, Mozilla Firefox to version 45.1.1 ESR and Google Chrome to version 50.0.2661.102. Packages from the userland are upgraded to the Portage snapshot tagged on 20160528. Here is an overview of the most notable features introduced in this release: added support for setting default microphone in case you have multiple capture devices in the system; it's now possible to download screensaver slideshow ZIP archive every X minutes; import certificates function has been extended to also support Citrix Receiver certificates...." Read the release announcement and the changelog for further information.
Clonezilla Live 2.4.6-25
Steven Shiau has announced the release of a new version of the Clonezilla Live disk cloning software. The new release, Clonezilla Live 2.4.6-25, is based on Debian's Unstable (Sid) branch and features version 4.5.4 of the Linux kernel. "This release of Clonezilla Live (2.4.6-25) includes minor enhancements and bug fixes. Enhancements and changes: The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is based on the Debian Sid repository (as of 2016/May/29).Linux kernel was updated to 4.5.4-1. Partclone was updated to 0.2.88. Some segfault issues have been fixed. Add support for boot parameter ocs_preload*. It can be used to fetch tarall/zip/sh files from http(s), ftp, tftp, and local URL then extract to /opt/. Thanks to Aaron Burling (aaron_burling _at_ lkstevens wednet edu) for this idea and providing sample codes. Add package dos2unix..." A full list of changes and bug fixes can be found in the release announcement.
Linux Lite 3.0
Jerry Bezencon has announced the availability of a new release of Linux Lite, a lightweight distribution based on Ubuntu. The new version, Linux Lite 3.0, features a number of significant changes, including an overhaul of the graphical software manager. "Linux Lite 3.0 Final is now available for download. A lot has changed since Series 2. We have a new Login Manager, new boot theme, Lite Software has had an overhaul, new system theme (Arc), we've added Share Hardware Configuration (Lite Info), Folder access from the menu and upgrades are now automated and seamless in Series 3. In addition, there has been a lot of bug fixes and adjustments since the Beta release, thanks again for your feedback. Default Wallpaper - the default Final wallpaper represents the colors of our gem codename - Citrine accompanied by the Linux Lite logo. Lite Software - Lite Software has had an overhaul. We've added icons where there were Select boxes (thank you Misko). This helps people who identify with images and branding to easily locate their favorite software. You can select multiple programs to install by holding down Ctrl or Shift. We've also added Audacity (audio editor), Calibre (eBook reader and manager) and Pinta (Windows Paint.Net look-a-like) thanks to your suggestions." Additional details and several screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
Linux Lite 3.0 -- The default desktop environment
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Alpine Linux 3.4.0
Natanael Copa has announced the launch of Alpine Linux 3.4.0. Alpine Linux is a lightweight distribution which uses the musl C library and the BusyBox userland utilities. The latest version of the distribution supplies users with version 1.14 of the MATE desktop and version 4.4 of the Linux kernel along with LibreOffice 5.1. "Noteworthy changes when upgrading: The PHP packages got renamed from php to php5. The service cron got renamed to crond. BusyBox ping now use unprivileged ICMP sockets so binary does not need to be suid root. This means you need to be in group with gid 999-59999 for being allowed to send pings. Most ruby-* packages were removed. Use gem instead." The release announcement has further details.
Melody Zou has announced the release of deepin 15.2, an updated version of the desktop-oriented, Debian-based distribution with a custom desktop environment called Deepin. This version delivers a new screen for launching applications and many updated packages, including the latest LTS Linux kernel: "deepin 15.2 adopts a new Launcher interface and intuitive search, adds safe boot support, and uses the 4.4 LTS kernel optimized and compiled by the deepin kernel team. System performance and resource allocation have been significantly improved. Also, this version comes pre-installed with the more stable CrossOver 15. The Launcher interface is more friendly and the search box is placed at the top of Launcher. The classification of applications is simple and clear and users can customize icon locations using the free sorting mode. Remote Assistance is an independent application now, deeply integrated with the distribution. No matter where you are, your friends or engineers can connect to your PC and to solve the problems you've encountered." Here is the full release announcement with screenshots.
Slackel 6.0.6 "Openbox"
Dimitris Tzemos has announced the release of Slackel 6.0.6 "Openbox" edition, a new version of the project's lightweight Slackware and Salix-based distribution that is available both as a live or an installation image: "Slackel 6.0.6 Openbox has been released. Slackel is based on Slackware and Salix. It includes the Linux kernel 4.4.11 and the latest updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree. The 64-bit ISO image supports booting on UEFI systems. The 32-bit flavor supports both i686 PAE SMP and i486, non-PAE capable systems. Many improvements in Slackel-live-installer have been done. In 'Basic' installation, wicd is fully functional as is PCManFM in browsing network shares. Full multimedia support without having to install multimedia codecs while on live environment. Of course it is suggested that you install multimedia codecs to your system after installation. Slackel 6.0.6 Openbox includes the Midori 0.5.11 web browser, Claws-Mail 3.9.2, SMPlayer 16.4.0, Transmission 2.84...." Visit the distribution's user forum to read the release announcement (includes videos).
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
How can open source projects best raise funds?
As we mentioned in our Opinion column this week, open source projects such as Linux distributions, often struggle to raise funds to support development. This tends to be a common problem for all community projects and results in many open source projects being discontinued.
This week we would like to know what you think is the best way for open source projects to raise money to support their development and infrastructure. Do you think fundraising campaigns via Kickstarter make sense, or perhaps offering commercial support options? Should developers offer multiple editions under different licenses to encourage the purchase of commercial options? Please leave us a comment with your thoughts on the subject.
You can see the results of our previous poll on hardware support life times here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
How can open source projects best raise funds?
|Fundraising campaigns (Kickstarter or Indiegogo): ||200 (18%)|
| Commercial support: ||153 (14%)|
| Commercial/non-free editions: ||96 (9%)|
| More clear/flexible donation options: ||415 (37%)|
| Other: ||45 (4%)|
| I do not know: ||210 (19%)|
IPv6 support and package searches
One of our goals for 2016 was to get IPv6 connections working for the DistroWatch website. The IPv6 protocol is slowly becoming more popular and we suspect support for IPv6 will be necessary for many developing areas around the world. We are pleased to announce IPv6 is now enabled and working. If you have access to an IPv6 Internet connection, please let us know if you run into any problems accessing DistroWatch.com.
We have also improved our Search page a bit. Searches for distributions which include a specific package should now take half the time they did before. Some other minor changes have been performed with regard to package searches. For example, it is now possible to not only search for a distribution which includes a specific version of a package, it is also possible to search for a distribution which excludes a specific version of a package. As an example, let's say we really wanted the latest version of VLC (currently version 2.2.3). We can search for distributions which include VLC 2.2.3. But then what if we found out there was a hypothetical bug in VLC 2.2.3 and we wanted to use any version besides 2.2.3? We can search for distributions which do do not ship VLC 2.2.3 as well. Alternatively, we could search for distributions which include earlier releases, like the VLC 2.1.x series.
* * * * *
May 2016 DistroWatch.com donation: Slackware Live Edition
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the May 2016 DistroWatch.com donation is Slackware Live Edition (liveslak). The project receives US$406.00 in cash.
The Slackware Live Edition project attempts to provide a live disc which can be booted to demonstrate Slackware, the oldest surviving Linux distribution. The project's website describes the project as follows: "Slackware Live Edition - It is a version of Slackware (14.2 and newer) that can be booted and run directly from a DVD or a USB stick. It is distributed as an ISO image and meant to be a showcase of what Slackware is about. You get the default install, no customizations, but with all the power. You do not have to install Slackware to your hard disk first to experience it first-hand. The combination of scripts, bitmaps and configurations to generate the ISO images are called project 'liveslak'." Additional details can be found on the project's website.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and crypto currencies are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has made 144 donations for a total of US$45,681 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300), GIMP ($350), Kodi ($300), Devuan ($300), hdparm ($350), HardenedBSD ($400), TestDisk ($450)
- 2016: KeePass ($400), Slackware Live Edition ($406)
* * * * *
Distributions added to the database
Devuan GNU+Linux is a Linux distribution forked from Debian in 2015. The project's primary goal is to provide a variant of Debian without the complexities and dependencies of systemd, an init system and services manager originally developed by Red Hat and later adopted by most other Linux distributions. Devuan's initial beta release was made available in April 2016, together with an upgrade path from Debian 7.0 "Wheezy" and a possibility to switch to Devuan from Debian 8.0 "Jessie". The distribution adopted Xfce as its default desktop.
Devuan GNU+Linux 1.0.0 Beta -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 461kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- KimTu GNU/Linux. KimTu is a general purpose operating system which essentially a fork project Simbios which is derived from Debian.
- Karma Load Balancer. The goals of Karma Load Balancer (KLD) are to provide a community led load balancer that is easy to deploy and is based on the Zen Load Balancer Community Edition. Easy deployment, security and performance are at the heart of the project.
- DebWrt. DebWrt is all about running Debian GNU/Linux on embedded devices, for example wireless routers. DebWrt connects two very powerful technologies: Debian and OpenWrt.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 13 June 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)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Slackware Live Donation (by rel on 2016-06-06 02:45:43 GMT from North America) |
Kudos for donating to Eric's project. Slaklive is fantastic and I'm sure it will bring more people to the Slackware ecosystem. Slackware 14.2 is expected soon with many new goodies... Support the project - head on over to the Slackware store and pre order a copy - https://store.slackware.com/
2 • Funding Open Source Projects... (by tom joad on 2016-06-06 02:59:51 GMT from Europe)
Lordie, good question.
Like many I like the free part of Open Source. And like rational folks I know there ain't no free. Some one is funding open source projects. Granted most of it is spare time, labor of love effort and the like. But some folks are donating to different projects.
I do buy versions of Parted Magic because I like it and think it is a superior product. That and it is not that expensive. I hope Patrick keeps it cost effective. I pay $9 for one copy a year.
Tor has a nice idea. It will piggy back on Amazon purchases if one uses the 'smile' program. Tor is another indispensable product that is a must have.
One of the problems with funding Linux OS's is the pool of users is small. Selling support to end users is not possible because we are 'propeller heads' who tend to know how to make it work.
Commercial support is gone too because I gather a very few distros have taken that area too.
Maybe we are down to flat out just begging for money? I know that is not all that palatable to a lot of folks. Just ask, "Hey send us a couple of bucks or a Five..." Maybe put a tin cup icon on the opening screen or something. How about making a gif with sound that plays for a few seconds. How about, "Hey, dude, how about giving us a couple of bucks. I mean we see you here all the time. You must like our stuff..." Maybe just keep it, short, light, simple and funny and then get out of the way to leave folks alone.
Maybe a distrowatch pledge to send a few bucks along to distro that we have been using for a bit. I know some do that anyway but make it a pledge to do it.
One last thought, maybe if the necessary CC code were installed in distro pages to kind of make it easy and visible. Just be like my tin cup idea...be very, very up front with it to let the user decide. Then get out of the way. But tell folks donations ARE very welcome...do it HERE!
Sorry for the ramble but I noticed there were no comments which I thought was unusual. Maybe my ramble will get it started.
3 • Open Source funding ideas. (by IE Hichez on 2016-06-06 03:09:36 GMT from North America)
I'd like to suggest to take notice of LxLE linux, they force users to answer question about an ad with a captcha. This can be taken even further by showing a 30 seconds commercial ad or two 15 seconds ads which cannot be skipped with related captchas that must be answered before you can download the ISO. Thus, ad revenue can be generated with every download. I think Google would like that audience very much, especially on Distros that have thousands of downloads in every release cycle. Hulu and others are doing it. I think it could work in the OSS too.
4 • Re Open Source Funding (by EarlyBird on 2016-06-06 04:18:03 GMT from North America)
3) IE Hichez - Your idea of ad banners has merit, but repeated intrusive ads will drive people away. Use of captchas introduces furthur problems such as sometimes rendering simple browsers unusable on such sites. One example of such overkill would be edn. com (Electronic Designers News); keeps pumping that visual pollution. To see how advertising SHOULD be done, just look right here at THIS site. There are ads, but no captchas, no dancing, flashing animations, and browsers like links and Dillo are able to access the site!
Part of the problem in the open source world is smaller market share. Then divide that by the sheer number of potential sites that could use help, and you have to split that even more. Again, THIS site has done a laudable job giving donations to worthy projects.
Many Linux users (myself included) have limited or no income and use Linux because we can't afford the "commercial" options (though the "free" option would appear to be technically superior....). Unexpected things like medical problems can do that to you. What little bit I could spare this year was donated to the hospital that literally saved my life.
When I have had money available, it has gone to things I have used such as Slackware ( as recommended by #1 - rel). Established, I know what I'm getting, and they publish an address where I can send a physical snail mail payment. Won't use a credit card on-line.
Which brings up another problem: how to safely provide donations. Paypal might be a possibility? But I would want to set it up at a bank where I DON't have my main savings! Too many local instances where due to internal bank "mistakes", "Courtesies" to "established" customers to provide overdraft coverage, etc. have been know to allow fraudsters access to one's money. Even how banks provide "protection" to their customers accounts can be problematic and something they don't like to discuss. And of course that would mean having to have a second bank within walking distance.
Have not looked into Bitcoin, as these days I can't afford to spend money on "non-necessities", but it might be a suitable payment option for donations?
People do not like to admit many are struggling financially these days, which may partly account for difficulty raising funding. Perhaps businesses that use open source software could contribute more, rather than simply thinking of all the money they are saving by not using commercial software. They also have the benefit of tax benefits for such donations. My understanding is that corporations like Redhat and IBM already support kernel programmers, but there are tons of smaller business that may be in a position to contribute and don't.
Perhaps some open source programs that benefit the community (such as open source medical record keeping software) might be eligible for some government funding?
Just throwing those thoughts out there.....
5 • Options, options... (by azuvix on 2016-06-06 05:41:25 GMT from North America)
Actually, I'm in favor of free software developers asking for money any way they like, whether that's having a blatantly obvious place to donate on their site, charging for a download, making special changes for a fee, selling physical copies, selling support, whatever. Moreover, they shouldn't make it ridiculously cheap - no one wants to starve.
Why am I so quick to say "take my money"? It's simple. Free software developers are consciously choosing to make their code free, and that's a social contribution that deserves a bigger reward than any proprietary effort. And where I've had operating systems and software that haven't let me down ever since ditching Windows, I feel I owe something back, at least as much as I ever would have paid for proprietary licenses over the years...
6 • Raising funds (by slick on 2016-06-06 06:35:10 GMT from North America)
kudos to all with the suggestions thus far, keeping up a distro or developing software can be expensive for many while others may not feel the pinch when it comes to fees that open source software can produce.
Let's keep Linux alive, and for that matter FOSS too, someone has to foot the bill to get you "free" software.
Personally, don't have a donate button. For those who do, wish all the success you deserve for your hard work.
Thanks DistroWatch for bringing this topic to light.
7 • Bountysource (by Kleer Kut on 2016-06-06 06:47:41 GMT from Planet Mars)
LXLE says they will use 75% of donations towards bounties via Bountysource to keep LXDE moving into the future. I like the idea that people can shell out a few dollars each which can add up to a significant sum to get work done. You can target specific work to be done instead of donating and hoping it goes towards what you want or need. This could also have benefits such as attracting new talent to collect bounties and reduce the work and overhead of distro's so they can focus on other tasks.
It doesn't exactly fix the problem of security issues and important things that hide behind the scenes being neglected, but distro's that collect money through Bountysource can then put up bounties themselves. From what I understand, they only take a cut when you take money out, so the same money can change hands several times to get important work done without a penalty. Also, if people with a large audience shine a spotlight on things being neglected then funds can be crowd sourced without some of the drawbacks of a kickstarter campaign.
8 • Open Source Funding (by Alexandru on 2016-06-06 07:37:02 GMT from Europe)
The funding of open source software is a difficult topic in both technical and moral aspects. Technically, if somebody is very good in software development, he is a noob in marketing. Morally, if some software is available for free (as in beer), why to pay for it?
I think proper funding of open source projects can be done at two levels:
1. Upstream projects (who actually writes the code) can engage their users (usually level 2 projects) into discussion of what features are the most welcome and to get paid for development (rather than paid for distribution). That is, the feature is started to be implemented only when there is sufficient funds already gathered for it. An example of this approach is Haiku fundraising.
2. End-user products (e.g. Linux distributions) can be funding by selling customization to interested parties. These projects are usually more about putting all software to work together than about actually writing the code.
Usually an end user of some product is unaware of its dependences, so he will not pay for the technology behind it. However, he will pay for software specially prepared for his specific needs (level 2), say a Linux distribution. If user's desire requires modifications or extensions of some upstream project, the product maker (and not end user) will request this feature support from upstream and will be happy to financially support it (level 1). It is undesirable to pay different Linux distributions for the same feature of upstream project all them use.
And last, but not least, the international digital funding is still not easily available at global level. It should exist (or it should be popularized) an established infrastructure for it.
9 • Open Source Funding (by John Wilson on 2016-06-06 07:53:33 GMT from Europe)
It must be remembered that good open source projects will generally be offered support from many sources. Sadly lower profile projects often turn into a labour of love for the person or small team that produce it.
Ultimately - when "singularity" occurs and A.I's will be able to write our software for us, we will only have to worry about our own imminent extinction and the funding of software will be moot.
10 • OSS Funding (by Andy Mender on 2016-06-06 07:55:02 GMT from Europe)
Great review as always, Jessie! I too often had problems with Sabayon installs, thereby I simply moved to its predecessor, Gentoo Linux. It's difficult, though once set up, things just work. I think rolling releases are the safest bet in terms of system upgrades. One can easily control how and when are specific software packages installed/built. Next would probably be minor point releases with small batches of software updates.
Per funding, I think it is a tricky matter. Often projects place a 'donate' button on their website, though some do an ugly kick in the jewels like Simplicity OS. I believe it should be outright clear to the user that the project needs funding, though not in a way that discourages him/her to give money.
Commercial funding is troublesome, because it ties the project to a company, unless the project is a company service targeted at Unices (see: FreeNAS). It can be beneficial, though, as a company ran distribution is less likely to just disappear.
11 • commercial methods (by Alan on 2016-06-06 08:01:09 GMT from Europe)
some commercial software developers work in a similar vein to how Elementaryos use bountysource: https://www.bountysource.com/teams/elementary
all the issues or features are costed and the customer (read us) pays for the things that are important to them.
The costs have a percentage added that then covers the core development and project goals.
I think we should see more of this, as developers still have to eat, so to take a leave from how businesses operate is not a bad thing. We get the source code after all!
12 • Funding (by Garbanzo on 2016-06-06 08:17:54 GMT from Europe)
Donations, of course. Plus another way, more ads on their home web page, is fine by me. Put a note on the web site, for those that use ad-blockers, turn them off if you like the project and want to help support it.
13 • fundraising and Slackware live (by Hoos on 2016-06-06 08:50:56 GMT from Asia)
I have no suggestions for bigger/more ambitious fundraising methods, but I feel a distro or open-source project should always have a "donate" link or button in a conspicuous place on their site. Be frank about what you need. If there is a target amount to raise for the year/period/project, include the target, explain why you need it and the deadline, and set out the current amount raised.
There will always be people who would want to contribute to the project. Not everyone will contribute and each contributor's donation may not be a lot, but it all adds up.
I would also like to commend those distros that remind the readers that they should also donate to the parent distro/development project. As a result, I have made small contributions to Debian as well as antiX/MX, and Arch as well as Manjaro.
Slackel (user-friendly derivative of Slackware Current + Salix) has live images that also include an installer that works within the live image. I think Salix has the same.
14 • Sabayon - desktop manager (by Hoos on 2016-06-06 09:31:33 GMT from Asia)
I installed Sabayon KDE last Nov/Dec and it's been rolling just fine - with one caveat. I didn't have a problem with installation but that is probably because mine is a non-UEFI setup.
Regarding your problems when you tried to boot into your newly installed KDE system, and the update news you got when you updated in MATE, I wonder if you misread the update news or if there is some issue with the update news I receive when I update.
First, my Sabayon KDE came with lightdm as the default desktop manager
Second, I'm sure that the SDDM news item I see whenever I update states that SDDM has been deprecated and should be replaced with another DM, not that SDDM is now in use.
According to you, your live image continues to have SDDM, XDM and lightdm. I'm surprised because I thought SDDM would have been removed from all recent Sabayon images since they aren't using it anymore.
My caveat on my partition's proper bootup - when I first boot into Sabayon, the first attempt to log into my account at the lightdm login screen always fails. There will be a flash and then we are back at the screen. After that, you can log in.
I am not sure why that happens. I tried checking for 2 instances of lightdm running at boot but I can't find anything.
Apart from that, my Sabayon installation has been a smooth way to roll with the latest KDE Plasma 5, with none of the plasma updates causing any hiccups to the system.
However, I always update using the equo package manager via commandline. I only use the GUI Rigo for installation or removal of individual packages or applications.
15 • Sabayon review (by Thomas F. on 2016-06-06 10:03:56 GMT from Europe)
"The distribution tended to be a little slow when booting"
B*tthurt systemd fans coming in 3.... =D
16 • To fund or not to fund, that is the .... (by Someguy on 2016-06-06 10:08:27 GMT from Europe)
I have lots of hobbies. Sometimes I swap stuff, sometimes I give away surplus. I neither ask nor require anyone to fund me. If someone does me a favour, I try to reciprocate in kind. If someone offers me a Linux OS to try, I send comments, if any are appropriate. For my Mint working systems, I am sometimes moved to send a donation. If I was still in business, I might purchase subscriptions to RH or buy support for Centos. My IT manager would buy service and services for my servers.
17 • Opinion Poll: Missing option: recurring (monthly) fundraisers (by tuxayo on 2016-06-06 10:54:45 GMT from Europe)
or the future https://snowdrift.coop/
18 • The Funding Question (by Platypus on 2016-06-06 11:24:04 GMT from Oceania)
1) When there are good quality products that truly meet my needs I'll donate. I still run (having paid for it) Total Commander under (paid) Crossover. It does the job better than any of the two panel programs on offer in Linux.
2) If there are too many similar products our there I won't pay. For example, I would never buy (or donate to) a Linux audio player project because there are just too many of them and a new one seems to be released each year. But I would be willing to support Audacity (and I have) because it fills an important niche.
3) I am willing to pay a reasonable amount for an Office product that is **truly seamless** with MS Office. (Don't start yapping at me about LibreOffice, WPS, MS Office on Crossover, Play-on-Linux and all the rest.) I need something that produces documents that when opened in MS Office, cannot be detected as composed by another product. I need a product that opens documents produced in MS Office that open (and run) flawlessly. And I'm not talking about high school essays for here.
Unfortunately I have to pay for a VM to run MS office to do my work. MS Office under Wine (and its derivatives) is over rated. You can't even do a proper cut and past using your mouse in Crossover/MSOffice2010.
Wouldn't it be great if the money I spent on the VM AND MSOffice went to a worthy team that produced a truly seamless product with MS Office.
19 • Donations (by Eric on 2016-06-06 13:12:32 GMT from Europe)
Just a suggestion: what if distrowatch would go the wikipedia way? So asking for donations that go directly to distributions? I know, even I myself ignore that, but once a year I take the hassle to donate a few bucks to wikipedia.
So the deal would be that you either direct it straight to the donator's distro of choice or, if no choice is being made, distribute it by voting, randomly, or whatsoever.
If distrowatch would serve such an option, I would certainly donate at least once a year to my favourite distro(s).
20 • Sabayon (by Scrumtime on 2016-06-06 13:13:30 GMT from North America)
I always like to try Sabayon when it realeases new distros.....I have an old version which runs perfectly still on a very old PC...
Sadly for quite a while many versions have been very poor...as of yet I cant install this version ......which is odd as i rarely have issues
The recent Calculate and Gentoo releases have been more that what I need so I may not try too hard with Sabayon
Open source funding
I often wonder whether too many devs try to be 1 man shows and stretch themselves too far....maybe more help needs to be accepted which would free up time etc to earn money, have a life etc.....
Ok it may be hard to find some "partners" who are a perfect fit .but maybe some can offer some other resources like server space etc. How many Distro s are trying to develop with a very small collection of people which are spead very thin, yet refuse help from outsiders.. and in the end put out lower standard produce.......maybe asking for help could just ease pressure as much as asking for money as many people really dont have that but do have time
How about a review on "Support Forums" it may take a while to do but it would be interesting to see which ones are well organised, easy to use, helpful, or down right rude or inactive...
Manjaro always had a nice forum ..recently the changed to a new Mobile tablet / phone friendly thing which is hard on the eyes and difficult to work with...+ you need to "earn" badges to access different levels..has little tags etc etc like a social media site.. and it has lost all its Old stuff Tutorials and the likes,and im not even sure if the Wiki is still accessible... Horrible
Arch linux has an awesome Forum... just be careful what you ask for. and expect rude insulting replies.....
Ubuntu seems to be Good though never using Ubuntu I never go there.
some smaller distros have outstanding really friendly helpful forums........sadly some seem like they have been forgotten
I guess many people will opt for a Distro when they can see there is a easly friendly place to aire concerns or get help...
21 • Donation/funding (by Jordan on 2016-06-06 13:18:46 GMT from North America)
Aggressive campaigning for distro donations doesn't work for me, personally. But a nice paypal or donate button at the site in plain view gets my attention and money.
I've even had to hunt around for a donate link.
There are a lot of people who just want to support linux at every turn. It should be easy but not to seem like an obligation, in my opinion.
22 • Donation/funding (by Steve Dietz on 2016-06-06 13:29:29 GMT from North America)
The Ubuntu Mate suggested donation is quite tolerable (at least to me).
23 • Supply and demand makes the free world go round (by far2fish on 2016-06-06 13:33:48 GMT from Europe)
If there are too many open source projects that tries to do the same thing, there will be a mismatch between supply and demand, and thus more difficult to get funding. One example could be the high number of Debian and Ubuntu derivates.
When that is said I think we have a morale obligation to donate to some of the open source projects we rely on. The logical place to start is to donate to our primary distro. Also support the software we rely most on. Does not have to be a high donation. If most people donated a few dollars each, I think it would help the projects a lot.
24 • Funding transparency (by far2fish on 2016-06-06 13:48:55 GMT from Europe)
One thing I forgot to write in my previous comment was that I think it is important that the projects have full transparency in how they are receiving and how they using the money.
LinuxMint is a great example of the former. For the latter I have seen projects listing their annual costs as a meter, and then the meter gets filled as donations flow in.
25 • open sourse funding (by John on 2016-06-06 15:29:34 GMT from Europe)
I will donate money to a Linux OS project if I use it as stable workstation for a spell. The rest I just play around with and then remove. If it is good enough to stay it gets a contribution.
I also contribute on a monthly basis to a blogger using https://www.patreon.com/EABT This would be a good platform some open source projects might want to check out.
26 • Distrowatch's_starter_education_on_the_reality_of_"free"_Distros (by k on 2016-06-06 15:46:57 GMT from Europe)
Really highly educational opinion article Jesse, THANK YOU very much, the care and effort
really "shine". Possibly crowd-funding and campaigns like Wikipedia uses might enable survival,
but so many distros and projects.
Being truly impecunious, I have mostly tried to help encourage others to fund distros and
projects I feel might be most worthy quality by testing and promoting them. For example, in order of "vital need" of most users: Tails, Tor, antiX, and LMDE2.
Without these, I would probably not be using this or any computer.
BUT, I do not know the funding needs of any distro.
Is there a factual (reliable) site where one might find the "true" cost overruns of all the projects?
27 • @18 The funding question (by fox on 2016-06-06 16:49:18 GMT from North America)
I mostly agree with Platypus' comment #3; I would gladly pay for an Office product that is native to Linux and "truly seamless" with MS Office. In fact I have paid for Crossover, which allows me to run Office 2010 with very few problems. I also have LibreOffice, WPS and Softmaker Office, all of which have made great strides to full compatibility over the years, but are not quite there yet. I do use LibreOffice whenever I can, which are those situations where I am not sharing or collaborating on documents. I look forward to the day that LibreOffice is 100% compatible with MS, and this version of DistroWatch has me thinking that it's about time I donated to them to help them make this possible.
28 • Donation/funding (by mandog on 2016-06-06 16:55:28 GMT from South America)
I'm involved on a installer project. We don't want funding or donations we do it in the spirit of helping users to get over the hurdle of installing our favourite distro that some of its users feel a installer is not required. we do not even advertise the fact its word and mouth.
29 • Donation/funding (by Bill S. on 2016-06-06 17:38:05 GMT from North America)
As long as the open source projects are not too pushy about it, I respect them when they ask for donations. If I use their product, I usually donate, as in the case of Linux Mint; I've given something like 7 donations equalling about 2x the cost of Windows 7.
So just don't push me, I'll give in my own time and pace.
30 • First world problems (by Poet Nohit on 2016-06-06 19:01:52 GMT from North America)
It often doesn't occur to people that the whole donation process is just quid pro quo. You are given a lot. It makes sense that people demand a lot, in return.
That said, if you find yourself in a position where your only justification is mere survival, then it probably isn't worth doing. What's the point in doing anything that you don't enjoy on its own merits?
How is a project better than more popular equivalents? That's the real question. This is the information I come here to find every week.
31 • Funding is a profession. Engineers are the problem. (by Greg Zeng on 2016-06-07 05:37:22 GMT from Oceania)
Retired now for years from the non-profit industries. We employed professional fund raisers to cover our costs. As I mentioned to the Ubuntu communities, they need our professional skills, more than anything else.
Many amateurish opinions here in the comments section. Linux (Red Hat excepted) seems to know how to use professional skills best, especially in funding. Canonical, etc are amusing, with their marketing "mistakes", based on marketing ignorance. Apple & Microsoft, like IBM was are sunset industries stuck on the old paradigms imho.
Donald Trump seems to be on the crest of a marketing paradigm, using ultra-modern technology, like Twitter. Sensationalist promises, based on raw ignorant emotion, just like Apple's products were and continue to be. Linux seems doomed to the one per-centers, imho, until it gets its ergonomic fundamentals correct.
The reason that Debian, Ubuntu & LibreOffice have so many forks and derivatives, is that too many engineers do not have the teamwork and skills needed to tell the pig-headed upstream idiots that the "emperor" has such tattered clothing. My research into the forks & derivatives shows that each has noticed a fault in the upstream. Many "children" make exactly the same incoherent discovery about the "parent", such as the inclusion of braille and other foreign languages.
The complaints about adherence to ISO or Microsoft compatibility (LibreOffice, etc) are ignorant as well. Both parent "standards" are usually deliberately and knowingly incompatible, even with themselves. Each later version of Office, etc ... has deliberately known, troublesome incompatibilities with previous versions.
The solution is having the engineer types learning how to work in larger, cooperative teams. Germany, Japan, Sth Korea,... seem to be ahead in solving this human resource problem perhaps, in hardware production. We human resource people still do not know the answer, but at least we know what the problem really is: stubborn engineers, imho.
32 • sabayon (by Potash on 2016-06-07 07:57:06 GMT from Europe)
I used sabayon before it even took that name. Always tempting to "cheat" at a gentoo install. But sabayon has always been the slowest to boot distro i ever used, far too many bells and whistles added, too many boot options, too many DE, and the fact its always been bleeding edge inevitably made instabilities common. Props to them for still going all these years later- BUT- they never really improved- if you want gentoo, go through the effort to install it properly.
33 • Funding not only use paypal (by david on 2016-06-07 09:40:28 GMT from Europe)
Just adding this about funding. I tried giving a lump sum of money via paypal to slackware a couple of years ago. Nightmare. Paypal cancelled the donation. Returned the money to my bank (not like what they do to others that is wait for you to have about a thousand in your paypal account then suspend and freeze the money indefinently) account and then restricted ie suspended my paypal account. All for no good reason. I suppose what I am getting at is reliability. Paypal may be easy for most people, but for some it sucks. There needs to be more donation avenues. Anything other than paypal.
34 • open source funding (by contribute or else on 2016-06-07 10:00:56 GMT from Europe)
Since open source exists to avoid corporate clampdown I don't buy more advertising. Why not allow use of open source OS or app for one year, then automatically and regularly enquire why you haven't donated, until adequate donation happens? A bit like Libre Office when you upgrade, but they don't seem to know I have donated and still bother me, even on the same machine with an upgradable copy installed. Whatever system, it needs to work.
35 • Raising funds (by Kazlu on 2016-06-07 12:23:58 GMT from Europe)
Fundraising campaigns are efficient but are one-shot events. I feel that most projects shutting down due to cost reasons lack regular income more than one-shot big donations, in order to keep the infrastructure going for example. For that, I don't know what is the best option, and it's probably better to have several. I think commercial support and non-free editions are a good idea (provided there is a standard free edition), although I won't pay for these personnally... I am more prone to donate for fundraising campaigns or regular donations from time to time to various projects. I can deal with most of the problems I meet myself and I would dislike to pay for support. For a business, paid support is a good option in my opinion, but for individuals it is probably not very interesting. And if you do not have at least one free edition, you shoot yourself in the foot because there will be many less users ready to try (and even less ready to keep and use) your software.
I suppose it would also be a good idea, whenever possible, to try to mutualize your ressources with other projects, even if they are different, and to share the costs. I am thinking, as an example, of two small distros that need a building machine: they could share one, each project using it one out of two days, thus cutting the cost down by a factor two. Thinking further, it may be possible to join a bigger project like a big distro or a desktop environment. I am thinking about Midori that is now part of the Xfce desktop. Think also about antiX and MX, that share at least a part of their website but even source code and repositories, yet they stay different distros (although relatively close to each other). But all that are possible solutions to *cut costs*, not to *raise funds*!
36 • way to search for certain keywords in Repositories w/o downloading OS (by Some Random User on 2016-06-07 14:48:33 GMT from North America)
I saw at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_Linux_distributions that openSUSE has the most Approximate number of pre-compiled packages (at 69,367), but when I searched in the Package Manager (YaST) for example for IPv6 I found less packages with the keyword of IPv6 then I found in Ubuntu's Ubuntu Software Center/Synaptic.
Since it takes time to download different distros, verify the MDsum (or what it is called), burn the image to CD/DVD/USB-jump thumb drive, boot the computer, and as need install the distro - before searching the Repositories for the keyword(s) that I want to search for.
I was wondering: If there a way to search for certain keyword(s), but not for/by package name, in the Repositories without downloading the OS?
37 • Poll on 32-bit vs 64-bit computing (by 32bit user on 2016-06-07 15:23:34 GMT from North America)
Will you do that poll again about 32-bit vs 64-bit computing (REF = http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20150629 ), so that you show the most up to date info?
38 • Sabayon.. PayPal.. (by Jordan on 2016-06-07 16:05:17 GMT from North America)
I'm surprised that Sabayon has survived as long as it has. I know, as soon as something like that is said about a distro a user or two will come along and say they've been using it with no problems for fifty years or whatever.
But, as mentioned in earlier posts (and in the review here), it has wings but they don't flap. When the wings do flap, the thing might get off the ground but not very far or for very long; it's real pretty junk, as always. Slow boot or no boot. I doubt is I'll ever download it again.
PayPal is my instrument of choice for donating to distro devs and other things, such as various memberships, shopping and online gaming. Never, ever had an issue. I do see some issues with PayPal talked about here and there, even in the news now and then. Just makes me wonder about things other than PayPal's reliability, which has been 100% for me for several years now.
39 • Distro Funding (by Michael Sauft on 2016-06-07 18:32:34 GMT from North America)
Distros should use any means necessary to raise funds. My favorite is putting advertisements in the "Start" menu and the live tiles. Of course, distros should continue to do this even after users pay for a license. To guarantee future revenue streams, distros should add pop-ups to users on older versions of the distro asking them to "Upgrade Now" and then scheduling that upgrade for them. I'm sure they would want the distro if they were forced to use it (especially if the developers give it away for free, for like maybe the first year). Just remember to include all sorts of telemetry and data collection (this should be a dependency of the base system, preferably baked into the init). Distros can no longer solely rely on "Linux Genuine Advantage" to guarantee revenue from ungrateful distro pirates.
Adding compatibility to natively run some Ubuntu binaries might help too...
40 • ROSA (by Jordan on 2016-06-07 20:00:31 GMT from North America)
Wow.. second day with ROSA "Fresh" KDE. I used to hate KDE.
Don't like to use the old phrase, "just works," but I have to. This distro seems to be spot on.
Waiting for a down side. Shouldn't do that. ;)
41 • Funding method that does NOT work (by RollMeAway on 2016-06-07 20:35:07 GMT from North America)
Distros that demand money up front, before downloading, or installing.
Elive comes to mind. There have been several others.
If I don't even know it will work on my machine, or
if I'm going to like the operating system,
WHY would I pay money before hand?
42 • Funding the Development of Libre, Open-Source Operating Systems (by dhinds on 2016-06-08 03:48:48 GMT from North America)
Since the development and use of Libre, Open-Source Operating Systems is clearly beneficial for the regional economy, State and Local governmental agencias should encourage the use and continued develpment of free, opensource software in educational institutions by providing subsidies for that purpose.
43 • tails-i386-2.4.iso (by Kiss Mya on 2016-06-08 06:04:27 GMT from Europe)
Downloading from DistroWatch lasts 6 hours. Tails.boum.org, there is no longer a download link.
Why are people being bullied, "Welcome to the Tails Installation Assistant" is an endless road to hell.
44 • RE: 43 Tails (by ladislav on 2016-06-08 06:10:47 GMT from Asia)
We only inform. Tails 2.4 was spotted on the server and duly announced, so we informed our readers. If you cannot download it, please complain to Tails. I tried the link a minute ago and it worked just fine, so I cannot help you. But do try our other downloads - you might just download a real gem :-)
45 • Pay Less to Pals After Middleman Fees and MS Seats (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2016-06-08 17:47:08 GMT from North America)
"Give me MS Office on Linux" pleas belong on MS forums. Run MS Office on Win/Mac if it's your requirement.
LibreOffice is more compatible among MS Office versions than MS Office itself. MegaSuck will continue breaking compat with Linux AND PREVIOUS VERSIONS OF ITS OWN STUFF to corral and milk the herd. The longer you stay with MS, the longer you suffer. When LO reaches 100% compat, I prophesy a "new and improved" mystery file format shall emerge from the bowels of MegaSuck. Reverse engineering cruftware is great (thx LO), but FOSS needs a Next Big Thing and Killer App to call its own, not cloneware. I don't know what. Until MegaSuck decides to let some market slip from its iron grip you won't find better compat work than LO.
Most Windows/Mac people don't know LibreOffice exists. That's why they're still using MS Office. All to whom I expose LibreOffice express shock it exists, and gladly install. Small teams can collab in LO until a final export in MS Office format, tweaked to perfection by a teammate who owns a seat. We'll do well just to get the word out, aka "yapping."
Funding - Use Dwolla.com over PayPal. It's cheaper and honest. PayPal isn't regulated as a bank and can legally steal your money. Come to that, nowadays even banks aren't regulated as banks. They can steal your money, too.
I would donate to some projects if they would post a location to mail cash. Most offer PayPal and I refuse to use PayPal. One of the FOSS outfits like EFF or FSF might begin taking cash payments on behalf of projects. Or ... Distrowatch?
46 • Funding (by Cág on 2016-06-08 20:19:49 GMT from Europe)
I suppose that making people pay for software tends to drive them away. I think people usually donate to what they like, this is a proper solution for individual developers or a small team. When a project grows, something like 501(c)(3) will help a lot. Moving a company towards commerce is a very bad solution for the open source world, since companies rarely (read: never) care about users, unless they pay them. Open source is not something you should sell, 'tis not a product and more like a tool you resolve your problems with, your instrument, and probably something you can base your commercial solutions upon. Best projects were made as a hobby, as a part-time job, not for money but for idea and fun. And not that capitalism is bad, here it simply works in a different way comparing to proprietary software.
Just my two eurocents.
47 • Tails 2.4 direct downloads & page (by अगली बार ठीक से साइट खोज on 2016-06-08 21:03:50 GMT from Europe)
"@43 Kiss Mya
"Tails.boum.org, there is no longer a download link."
Yes there is:
"Why are people being bullied, "Welcome to the Tails Installation Assistant" is an endless road to hell.""
I provided a link to the direct download of the 2.4 ISO and OpenPGP signature in addition to instructions on how to verify the ISO.
Here you'll find the direct download links from that page:
48 • @45, funding, dwolla and mail payment (by Hoos on 2016-06-09 04:50:27 GMT from Asia)
I just checked and Dwolla is for US-only payment. And payment by mail? If you're posting a cheque, they don't necessarily clear across national borders. Either the sender has to have a cheque account in the country where the money is to be sent, or he/she would need to pay extra to purchase an international money order or bank draft. Bank charges are expensive and may cost more than the bank draft if you're contributing a small sum.
So for international payments, while I understand some people encounter problems with Paypal, it is very convenient, especially for small sums.
And not every open source project provides an alternative option of direct credit card payment by internet (bypassing Paypal). They would probably need to pay the bank charges for that facility and also comply with various financial rules.
49 • Comments • (by Somewhat Reticent on 2016-06-09 15:40:06 GMT from North America)
In the US, mailing cash is discouraged (unsupported, illegal, insecure, not controlled/bled by banks/government)
Licensing extremes do not support robust markets (neither GPL/BSD nor fully-proprietary)
Communities should materially support Freed Open-Source, though no group should control it
Some transparency helps; negotiation skills required
Try-before-you-buy(big) is critical, but even bandwidth isn't (cost-)free
50 • funding (by Bonky on 2016-06-09 16:07:59 GMT from North America)
I can't help wondering how long things would stay "friendly" if people paid even voluntarilly for a product specially if it didn't work etc..
parting with money, even small amounts can cause a lot of upset to a lot of people..
I have no trust with Pay Pal who i can't actually set up an account with to recieve here..so stuff them..
I do have some bank transfers to some distros but its rarely easy to sort that out as not all devs want money going into accounts due to tax issues
Just tried Sabayon ...as it used to be good......didnt run good in a VM for me very sluggish....
I have also just installed Calculate and am impressed with that so far...similarly with Slackel and Porteuse.....
51 • Donations, Distros and Operating Systems (by Lekha on 2016-06-09 18:48:41 GMT from Europe)
The comments on donations are quite pathetic. Most people like to have free operating system or a distro, but never ever pay for it or even at least write a good comment on it and/or say a thank you.
Most of guys, who comment here don't really know the difference between an operating system and a distro. They talk about so many forks of Debian, Ubuntu and so on.
Regarding Debian forks, actually there are only one forks, and that is Devuan. All others are someone's installed system, including Ubuntu, squashed into one file and with isolinux or syslinux (or some other application) to open it is someone else's computer. Most of them also have an installer, so that distro could be installed in your computer. Ubuntu has a "forked" repository, i.e, forked .deb packages, but what you download as Ubuntu iso is someone's installed system squashed into one file. You can install Ubuntu (and its "derivatives") without using its installer.
Debian is an installer with a large repository of packages, just like Arch Linux. In Debian's installer iso, you'd find an installer and storage of .deb packages. Funtoo and Gentoo does it bit differently, but both of them are an installer pointing to dedicated repositories.
There are just a few (4 or 5) "Linux" operating systems out there (eg, Distrowatch's list), but the rest is someone's installed system squashed into a file.
For example, Manjaro is someone's installed system. It's XFCE edition for example, doesn't have to be 1531MB, but about 890MB, and that is known to the person, who created it for others to download and install.
Some years ago, Mandriva (as a business) decided that it is too costly to keep a business venture going on, so stopped "developing" it. But, anyone (or a group) could store the "packages" and create another distro. Mageia also could be installed in bare metal without using its installer.
Pinguy is calling quits, and I can understand that. If you are giving out your own installed system, then you should give it free, and not ask for donations--not everyone likes your installed version, would they? Of course, you can sell it like Zorin, but then you should be upfront about that. Elive is upfront about a fee, but you can install it without his code, only who needs such a distro?!
Sometime ago, Bodhi creater couldn't go on and handed it over to another guy (or a group), but he came back, because of the popularity of Bodhi, the niche product. Bodhi created its own niche repository, and it has its dedicated users.
Mint also has its own repository, and Mint is famous for trying to prove that Ubuntu security is not safe, and Mint makes it safer. Utter nonsense, but it makes money. After all, no one can live without an income.
52 • Mint is heavier than Ubuntu (by Awas on 2016-06-09 21:19:50 GMT from Europe)
If Mint 18 Sarah is based on Ubuntu 16.04, and Mint's Cinnamon is much lighter than Ubuntu's Unity DE, how come Mint iso is 1.62GB, while Ubuntu is just 1.4GB?
53 • Majaro superior to its parent (by Jordan on 2016-06-09 22:03:26 GMT from North America)
Uggh... ROSA finally began to show hiccups and craziness. It took four days of use, but finally it began to happen.
I remember having trepidation about keeping Manjaro on by main laptop for a long time, but confidence replaced that over time; Manjaro is really the best out there.
As far as it being a "squashed" version of other distro, the "other distro" won't work for long or won't even set up properly on some common hardware.
54 • 53 • Majaro superior to its parent (by mandog on 2016-06-09 23:32:37 GMT from South America)
What a load of Blaa Blaa Manjaro takes arch packages sits on them that makes it what 2 weeks behind. The other distro lasted 10 years before the HD went up in smoke no reinstalls you can't make claims like that for Manjaro, Its not Arch that is the problem its the users that break it why because they can't be bothered to Use their eyes and read and learn, Why have something that someone else dictates what apps you will have when you can build your own system instead,
Not say Manjaro is not a good choice for the lazy user or to brag I use Arch but Manjaro would not be If It was not for the work done by the Arch Devs now would it.
55 • clarify (by Jordan on 2016-06-09 23:34:27 GMT from North America)
Sorry about double post, but previous one has two different subjects and it looks like the ROSA comments lead up to the Manjaro comments.. no.. A few days ago I complimented ROSA as being solid etc, but that turned out to be too soon as it is having issues with multimedia and holding various settings etc.
Then I commented on Manjaro.. different subject altogether but only to say it is 100% solid and is my default distro. Also mentioned that it's better than its "parent" in response to the post #51.
56 • @54 arch etc (by Jordan on 2016-06-09 23:37:43 GMT from North America)
Who cares about Arch if Manjaro sets up more readily and works better? Of course we give credit to the "parent" distro/devs. I contribute to Arch and to Slackware and to Gentoo, but I use none of those.
The Manjaro devs, and other devs of "child" distros out there, perfect things for us. It is not about laziness, it is about a finished product. If you want to consider Arch or Slackware finished products, go ahead; enjoy.
57 • MCC/Interim Linux (by Jordan on 2016-06-10 01:14:30 GMT from North America)
If Mandog etc wants to get away from downstream distros, perhaps the old MCC or Interim Linux code is available.
If we get away from child distros altogether, we'll have no distrowatch. Just a few parent distros to keep track of and use.
And likely no comments area such as this one for the mandogs of the linux world to pretend they're the only real linux users because they use Arch. lmao
58 • Sabayon login twitches (by TheOneLaw on 2016-06-10 06:47:53 GMT from Asia)
"My caveat on my partition's proper bootup - when I first boot into Sabayon, the first attempt to log into my account at the lightdm login screen always fails. There will be a flash and then we are back at the screen. After that, you can log in."
wifes machine does this also, (runs xfce) and seems like some sort of wm issue
59 • @14 and @58 (by far2fish on 2016-06-10 07:30:07 GMT from Europe)
I have also had similar issues with LightDM on Antergos with Gnome. Also black screen after hibernate. Solved it by installing and activating GDM instead.
60 • @51 operating systems??? (by notarch on 2016-06-10 08:15:33 GMT from Europe)
Stop the bullshit. Neither Debian nor Arch are "operating systems". GNU/Linux is an operating system. Debian and Arch are distributions.
And whether something is a fork or not has nothing to do with the way in which it is distributed. "Someone's installed system squashed into a file" is a perfectly valid method of distributing a fork of a distro project, or a distro project that isn't a fork.
61 • @60 Operating systems... (by AsWas on 2016-06-10 15:45:08 GMT from Europe)
> GNU/Linux is an operating system. Debian and Arch are distributions.<
Hmm...where can I download this operating system?
Distibutions or not, Debian and Arch are both installers with a large repo. There isn't anyone's installed system squashed into a file. But Manjaro, Mint are!
62 • @60 Operating systems... (by AsWas on 2016-06-10 19:06:59 GMT from Europe)
The first line in https://www.debian.org/ is "Debian is a free operating system (OS) for your computer. An operating system is the set of basic programs and utilities that make your computer run."
63 • OS vs Distro (by Jordan on 2016-06-10 21:16:56 GMT from North America)
OSwatch would be just as good as Distrowatch. ;)
But hey, Manjaro is my Operating System. Chevy Malibu is my automobile, even though it is only a derivitive of some primitive thing from way back when. ;)
64 • funding-donations (by slick on 2016-06-11 01:18:58 GMT from North America)
Definitely two distinct camps of people developing Linux distributions. Some who do it as a passion to produce a useable and dependable distribution without financial return, and those who are seeking monetary remuneration for their endeavors.
Either way, it should work OTB. What is wrong is when you pay for something broken!
Those who produce and develop applications, programs, etc should be paid a salary or at least a fee depending on what they produce.
It is no secret that Linux will end up proprietary eventually. Microsoft will see to that!
65 • OS vs Distro semantics (by M.Z. on 2016-06-11 05:34:26 GMT from North America)
@51, 60 etc.
This is really a bunch of silly semantics. All distros are effectively OSs, some just happen to be down stream of other distors that act as a foundation to either lightly retouch or build something more complex upon. As per the glossary pages here on DW covering distros & OSs:
"It is perhaps easiest to think of a distribution as an operating system, like OS X or Windows, which can be run on a computer."
"Some popular examples of operating systems include Windows, OS X, Android, GNU/Linux distributions and the BSDs."
See how interchangeable those are according to this very website? It's also worth noting that the upstream BSDs are very much built from the ground up to be complete operating systems regardless of the fact that the D in BSD stands for Distribution. The terms OS & distro are quite interchangeable in the context of Linux & BSD, because distro is shorthand for any OS in those two families of Unix like operation systems. Perhaps there is some technical merit that one could apply to differentiate a 're-spin' or other sort of minor re-branding from a full blown 'distro', but a distro is an OS & functionally they all act as operating systems to make your computer do things. If if looks like a duck & quacks like a duck, it's a duck.
66 • @ 63 • OS vs Distro - Jordan (by Lekha on 2016-06-11 11:51:21 GMT from Europe)
> But hey, Manjaro is my Operating System.<
Sure, Your installed Manjaro is nice for you, but you are blocked. Your freedom to use the best packages that come from the Arch world is curbed. You are directed to a personal repo of one persen. You as a Manjaro user is stuck with packages having security issues for a while, and that while can be quite a long while. Arch Linux has more than 6000 packages in its binary repositories. Do you think, a solitary guy (or with two other pals) could monitor all those packages 24/7?
Any distro out there (and in Distrowatch's hit list) that has a squashfs file and some type of installer to put that 'unsquashed' file in to your hard disk (or any other disk) partition, add you as the user, and make you a home directory etc are actually someone's installed system given to as something new. Those are always late than the original. Manjaro is always late than Arch. Mint is always late than Ubuntu and even have lot of bugs for not being compatible with the original. Mint's Synaptic Package Manager is one such example. Sure, Mint's dev is a very good marketing person, and Mint earns money.
Linux Lite or Voayager for example, say outright that they are highly configured system of the mother distro, so you cannot upgrade to the next release of the mother distro.
You are very welcome to use other people's installed systems, if you can't make your own, or even pay them some money for doing so. So, the morale is, if you are using any such distro (OS), you should pay for it.
67 • "blocked" by Manjaro repos (by Jordan on 2016-06-11 18:59:39 GMT from North America)
Oh please. I can get any package from any repo I want to get, Manjaro, Arch or you name it. Any linux user knows that.
Lack of freedom over a conscious choice made by a user? That is too amusing to even respond to in a serious tone. I'm surprised there are people out there in the linux user world who think in those terms. Open your eyes. It sounds as if you're missing out on a lot.. by your own choice.
68 • @67 "blocked" - Jordan (by Lekha on 2016-06-11 20:05:09 GMT from Europe)
Did it ever cross your mind, why the (any) Manjaro live iso cannot be logged in without a username and a password? (It doesn't really matter, whether the username is manjaro or not)
You don't have the choice, and you don't know why. You don't know how to find why you need a username to boot your Manjaro live iso. If you knew, you wouldn't have replied as above.
69 • Mint (by M.Z. on 2016-06-11 22:07:13 GMT from North America)
Several incorrect assertions in there. I for one haven't found Mint to be particularly 'buggy', & I'm fairly certain that both versions of Mint are fully comparable with their upstream projects. I can confirm that Mint isn't 'always late', because it releases when ready rather than at some arbitrary set date, & furthermore the Debian based edition actually released 2 weeks prior to the distro it's based on. See here:
70 • @69 Mint - M.Z. (by Awas on 2016-06-12 15:49:17 GMT from Europe)
Of course, Mint is buggy. Open Mint's Synaptic, and see if you can install those apps, which the Ubuntu users can. This blocking of Synaptic is to give an allusion that Mint is better than Ubuntu.
And, the lateness of releasing a Mint based on Ubuntu 16.04 is also to give an allusion that the Mint "dev" checking all the Ubuntu packages to see, if they are not good enough. Mint is earning of an allusion.
If Mint 18 Sarah is based on Ubuntu 16.04, and Mint's Cinnamon is much lighter than Ubuntu's Unity DE, how come Mint iso is 1.62GB, while Ubuntu is just 1.4GB?
71 • unblock Mint's Firefox blockade (by Awas on 2016-06-12 17:11:09 GMT from Europe)
Btw, if you want to be free of the money-earning blocked of firefox by Mint, before installing, open Nemo as root (in Terminal sudo su > nemo) and when nemo opens as root, enable show hidden files and go to /etc/skel and delete the .mozilla folder. And, then install.
You can do that after installing too. Enable show hidden files in nemo, and delete the .mozilla folder, before opening Firefox the first time. You are going to be somewhat free, at least in browsing the internet. Don't worry, when you start Firefox teh first time, it'd create a .mozilla file, and that'd be for you. Later, it'd adjust for your needs.
72 • Mint (by M.Z. on 2016-06-12 17:24:50 GMT from North America)
I install lots of things through Synaptic & have no idea what your talking about. There are no problems I can see, but if you care to get specific rather than vague I could actually check. With regards to the Mint release policy, neither you nor I have any idea about what technical difficulties the Mint team has prior to the release of any Ubuntu based version of Mint, nor whether the problems relate to Mint created software or fixes from upstream that are being waited on. I could care less what you project onto the reasons for waiting till the release is ready, those are your projections & issues & have nothing to do with Mint. As for the size of the iso, well freaking out about 200 MB is just an absurd reason to dislike a project. I don't know if it's the method of compression for the iso or the programs installed, nor do I care. Arguing that its an issue is justing reaching for a reason to have an issue with the project.
Few if any Mint users care about the things you are talking about, we find real reasons that Mint is better for us. Mint creates lots of useful tools that help connect to faster software mirrors, make using PPAs easier, gives us more control of updates, etc. Also Mint focuses on providing useful & instantly usable DEs while Ubuntu makes Unity which I personally find useless. I suppose there could be some virtue in creating something extra distinct & showy like Unity, but a DE that's instantly usable to the vast majority of PC users is something that suits me & most other Mint users as a smarter solution. I don't really have any moral objection to Ubuntu since they stopped shipping with spyware, so if you find it useful that's nice & you should go use it. Please use what you feel like, but don't go around inventing attacks on other projects.
73 • Firefox on Mint (by M.Z. on 2016-06-12 18:07:00 GMT from North America)
Firefox on Mint is exactly exactly as Firefox has for as long as I can remember. It's providing all the expected behaviors every time you type into the search box, & if you click on an add generated in the search results some money is sent to open source projects, as it has been for as long as I can remember. The only difference is that with the default Firefox settings in Mint some money gets sent to Mint. Also you can add to the search engines or switch them to default as you see fit. It's just a variation on the expected behavior that's good for Mint the same way it's good for Firefox by default. I actually consciously click on ads generated in this way to tip the Mint folks.
I'd also point out that not only is this more or less the expected behavior, but's it's far more ethical than the behavior that the Unity desktop was engaging in prior to the latest release.
74 • @ MZ 72, 73 (by Awas on 2016-06-12 20:03:14 GMT from Europe)
BTW, have look at http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3035 post no: 169, and Clem's answer, and no: 307 and Clem's lack of reply. The answer in post 169 was a try of an allusion...
75 • "blocked" by Manjaro repos?? (by Jordan on 2016-06-12 20:13:57 GMT from North America)
Huh? I don't know what more to say.. maybe a question: have you ever used Manjaro and were prevented from using an Arch repo?
If the answer is "yes," then you don't know how to use parent repos for a child distro (I like to use "parent" and "child" as opposed to "branch" or whatever.. you know what I mean).
This is rediculous. You would have only Gentoo, Arch and Slackware linux out there? No child distros because you'd feel "blocked" from using the repos of those early historic distros? What?
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