| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 679, 19 September 2016
Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Rolling release distributions allow developers and users to experiment with new features as soon as they become available. People who want to stay on the cutting edge of open source technology often like to run rolling release projects in order to keep up to date. This week, in our News section, we talk about two rolling release distributions: openSUSE Tumbleweed and KaOS. The openSUSE project is introducing a range of upgrades to their Tumbleweed edition and KaOS has unveiled a new first run wizard. Our Feature Story this week covers OpenMandriva, a project which does not use a rolling release update method, but which has made some interesting changes for their 3.0 release. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss 32-bit verses 64-bit operating system features and performance. Plus we share the distribution releases of the past week and provide a list of torrents we are seeding. In our Opinion Poll we talk about the names of open source projects and how they are perceived. This week we welcome Refracta, a Devuan-based distribution, to our database. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (26MB) and MP3 (38MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
OpenMandriva Lx 3.0
OpenMandriva is a member of the Mandriva (formally Mandrake Linux) family of Linux distributions. OpenMandriva strives to be a newcomer friendly, desktop operating system. The latest release, version 3.0, features version 5.6 of the KDE Plasma desktop environment and the Calamares system installer. This release of OpenMandriva was compiled using the Clang compiler which is unusual for a Linux distribution as most distributions use the GNU Compiler Collection to build their software. From the end-user's perspective the choice of compiler will probably have no practical impact, but it does suggest the OpenMandriva team sees either a practical or philosophical benefit to using the liberally licensed Clang compiler.
OpenMandriva is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. I downloaded the project's 64-bit build which is approximately 1.8GB in size. Booting from the project's media brings up a menu asking if we would like to start a live desktop session or launch the Calamares system installer. Taking the live option brings up a graphical configuration wizard which asks us a handful of questions. We are asked to select our preferred language from a list, accept a license agreement, select our keyboard's layout from a list and confirm our time zone. With these steps completed, the wizard disappears and the Plasma desktop loads. The desktop displays an application menu, task switcher and system tray at the bottom of the screen. The wallpaper is a soft blue and, on the desktop, we find an icon which will launch the Calamares system installer. Other icons on the desktop are available for launching a welcome screen and accessing the OpenMandriva website.
The welcome screen opens automatically shortly after the desktop loads. The welcome screen provides us with a basic overview of the OpenMandriva project. The welcome window is divided into six tabs and I will come back to the information and features available through the welcome window shortly.
OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 -- The Plasma application menu
(full image size: 318kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The OpenMandriva system installer is a graphical application which begins by getting us to select our preferred language from a list. On this first page of the installer we can choose to open the project's release notes in a web browser. The following screens ask us to select our time zone from a map of the world and confirm our keyboard layout again. Next, we reach the disk partitioning section of the installer. The Calamares installer gives us the chance to either wipe our hard disk and install OpenMandriva or manually divide up the disk. The manual disk partitioning screen is fairly easy to use while providing a lot of options. The installer supports working with MBR and GPT disk layouts and we can format partitions with ext2/3/4, JFS, XFS, HFS, Btrfs, f2fs and Reiser file systems. The system installer also supports working with LVM volumes. The next screen gets us to create a user account for ourselves. The user account can be made to login without a password and we have the option of giving the user account system administrator powers. Next, Calamares shows us a summary of the actions it will take and waits for our confirmation before it proceeds with formatting our disk and copying files to our hard drive. When the installer is finished it gives us the choice of rebooting the computer or returning to the live desktop environment.
Booting our new, local copy of OpenMandriva brings us to a graphical login screen. From the login screen we can sign into our user account using one of several session types. Apart from the default Plasma desktop environment, we are given the chance to login to Plasma running on a Wayland session, the LXQt desktop or the Openbox window manager. The Plasma on Wayland session failed when I tried it, immediately crashing and returning me to the login screen. The LXQt session would load and work, but it had some obvious issues. For example, icons tended to be invisible. I also found when running LXQt, the application menu button appeared at the bottom of the screen, but clicking it opened the application menu at the top of the display. This resulted in a lot of extra mouse movement when trying to launch applications and it looked uncoordinated. The Plasma on X session worked, but offered several surprises of its own which I will come back to later.
OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 -- The Configuration tab of the welcome window
(full image size: 484kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Upon signing in the welcome screen appears. The welcome screen features six tabs. Two tabs, labelled Welcome and About, provide a brief overview of what OpenMandriva is. A third tab, called Features, shows us a list of key features and package versions. For example, the Features tab lets us know OpenMandriva supports booting on EFI-enabled computers. Another tab, called Configure, provides us with quick access to configuration modules. These modules help us set up networking, connect to printers, download software updates and select a desktop theme. The Applications tab gives us a quick way to download popular open source applications. This tab is further divided into software categories and we can click on any of the listed packages to install the software, assuming our account has admin access. The final tab is called Contribute and it gives us access to on-line resources such as OpenMandriva's documentation, mailing list and bug database. I quite like the welcome screen as it gives us quick access to a lot of tools and software as soon as we login. This lets us dive right into setting up the distribution without hunting through the application menu for configuration tools.
Looking around the desktop, I noticed a green icon in the system tray. Clicking on this icon brings up a notification box which lets us know if there are software updates available in OpenMandriva's software repositories. The first day I was running OpenMandriva there were 30 updates waiting. Clicking on Update button in the notification launches the Discover package manager. At this point, Discover seemed to hang. The application sat on the Updates page, endlessly trying to load a list of available updates. After several minutes of no disk or network activity and I closed the window. I then tried launching Discover again and, once more, the package manager was unable to provide a list of updates. At this point, I went into OpenMandriva's Control Centre and opened the update manager module which was able to list the available updates. The update module was also able to download and install the new packages with no problems.
OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 -- The KDE System Settings panel
(full image size: 299kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
On the subject of control panels, OpenMandriva ships with two. The first is KDE's System Settings panel where we can manipulate the look and behaviour of our desktop environment. The System Settings panel helps us manage themes, adjust window behaviour, change alerts and enable/disable visual effects. The modules in the System Settings panel generally worked well for me, with one exception. I was unable to get the module which manages printers to allow me to add a new printer to the system. The printer module kept prompting me for my password and rejecting my credentials.
The second settings panel, Control Centre, deals with lower level aspects of the operating system. The Centre is divided into categories which help us quickly find modules which will help us work with software packages, hardware, security and networking. There are configuration modules for adding or removing software from the system, downloading updates and managing repositories. There are tools to help us set up printers and scanners. I found the Control Centre's printer manager worked well and I did not run into the credentials issue I had when using the System Settings panel. Other modules provide us with hardware information, create and monitor network connections and work with user accounts. There are also modules for managing background services and setting up network shares. Oddly enough, I found the Samba shares created in the Control Centre were not visible to the local Dolphin file manager, though I was able to confirm the shares were active from another system. There is a firewall module which supports multiple zones, handy for people running OpenMandriva on portable computers. There is a module included called Snapshot which I suspect is there to work with file system snapshots or backups. The Snapshot module always crashed immediately when I tried to launch it. Other modules tended to work well. OpenMandriva's Control Centre is easy to navigate and the individual modules tend to be simple and straight forward to use. I think these settings modules will appeal to newcomers as well as more experienced users.
OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 -- Configuring the operating system from the Control Centre
(full image size: 407kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
One of the quirks I ran into while using the Control Centre was the module for adding and removing software showed both 32-bit and 64-bit packages in its search results and package lists, greatly padding the number of packages displayed to the user. I also ran into packages which, when downloaded, failed to pass their signature verification step. The software manager offered to continue the installation (which is not recommended) or abort. Aborting caused all queued packages to be discarded along with the corrupted package.
OpenMandriva ships with a large collection of applications. Digging through the application menu we find the Firefox web browser (without Flash support), the Qupzilla browser, the Blogilo blogging client and a desktop sharing application. The KTorrent bittorrent software is included along with the KGet download manager and the Akregator feed reader. The Kopete messaging software is included along with the KMail e-mail client and the Konversation IRC application. Network Manager is available to help us connect to a variety of network types. LibreOffice is included, as are the Okular document viewer, the KOrganizer personal organizer and the skrooge money manager. The Krita painting application is included too, with the digiKam digital camera manager and the Kamoso web cam manager. OpenMandriva ships with a full range of media codecs along with the Clementine audio player, the SMPlayer media player, the VLC multimedia player and the mpv media player. The distribution also ships with the Kwave audio editor and the Kdelive video editor. The distribution features a number of other utilities, including the Ark archive manager, the Kleopatra key manager and KDE Connect which helps us share information between the distribution and a mobile Android device. OpenMandriva ships with two virtual terminals (QTerminal and Konsole) as well as two file managers (Dolphin and PCManFM). In the background we find systemd version 231 and version 4.6.5 of the Linux kernel.
OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 -- Running Firefox and LibreOffice
(full image size: 257kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
There seems to be a lot of duplication in the distribution's selection of software. I sometimes got the impression OpenMandriva was intended to be set up with two main desktop sessions (Plasma and LXQt) with the idea one set of applications would be used under LXQt and a different set would be used when running Plasma. This would make sense, except that there is not much benefit to seeing all the applications for both desktops in the same application menu as things quickly get crowded.
I ran into a few unusual issues when running the distribution. One was the way the desktop theme and icons kept changing from one login session to the next. Sometimes when I logged in icons would be quite large and widgets would be more widely spaced. This made Plasma look like it was set up to be used on a touch device. Other times, when I logged into the same Plasma session, the icons would be a lot smaller and the theme appeared to be set up for a more traditional desktop experience. There did not appear to be any set pattern to which theme I would get when I logged in, the widget and icon size seemed to change at random.
OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 -- The large icon view
(full image size: 344kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Another problem I ran into was the operating system was slow to perform tasks and the desktop was unusually sluggish to respond. Booting to a login screen took over a minute, more than twice the time Linux usually takes to boot on this hardware. To login to Plasma took an additional two minutes or more, when usually booting and signing into a desktop session on the test computer takes under a minute. Applications tended to take about three to five times longer to load on OpenMandriva compared to other distributions I have used recently. Once programs were running, they were slow to respond to input and I sometimes found myself pausing while typing so the text editor or word processor could catch up.
To make matters worse, there did not appear to be any obvious cause for the reduced performance. OpenMandriva performed slowly both on my physical desktop computer and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. I tried disabling file indexing, turned off desktop visual effects and changed the theme. Looking at the top process monitor, there were not any processes using a lot of CPU cycles. The PulseAudio service did constantly use about 5% of my CPU and, while launching new applications, Plasma Shell would spike for several seconds, but no processes consistently used a lot of CPU or blocked other processes. In both test environments, OpenMandriva used about 650MB of memory. This is more than average, but not a significant amount of RAM for the test environments.
While the latest version of OpenMandriva does not introduce many new features, there are definitely some changes at work in this release, most of them not for the better. In this release Plasma operated at a pace I usually only observe when running a 3-D desktop (such as GNOME Shell or Unity) in a virtual machine without 3-D acceleration. The system seemed to struggle to even boot, grinding the hard drive for several minutes and amassing large load averages. There were some strange display bugs, like the LXQt menu opening at the top of the screen instead of at the bottom where the menu button was. The changing theme was also jarring.
On top of this, the update widget did not work, necessitating a trip to the Control Panel to acquire security updates. Most configuration modules worked, and configuration has always been a strong point in the Mandriva family. However, the System Settings printer module did not work for me and I could not get the Snapshot module to run.
I would rather distributions not display both 32-bit and 64-bit builds of packages in their graphical software managers. Both OpenMandriva and Korora have done this lately and it just pads the list of packages and is likely to confuse users. The package manager should know which architecture we are using and filter available software accordingly. I was further concerned to run into situations where package signatures could not be verified. Maybe it was a case of a corrupted download, but it could be something more serious and the package manager does not handle the situation gracefully. We can install the bad package or abort, dropping all queued actions. I think a Retry option to download the package from another mirror would be a nicer solution.
Usually I enjoy using OpenMandriva as it tends to have a newcomer friendly approach and a great Control Centre. This time around though the distribution performed too slowly to be practical for me to use and introduced too many bugs for me to consider version 3.0 beginner friendly.
* * * * *
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)
openSUSE updates and KaOS adds first run wizard
The openSUSE distribution has been updating many of the components in the project's rolling release edition over the past two weeks. Going through the list of changes to the rolling release edition, called Tumbleweed, we can see the project has updated their copy of the Linux kernel to version 4.7.2, VirtualBox has been bumped to version 5.1.4 and LibreOffice 220.127.116.11 is available in the Tumbleweed repositories. The Plasma desktop has been upgraded to version 5.7.4 and GNOME 3.22 is expected to be made available later this month. The project's compiler and systemd implementation have been updated too. "The GNU Compiler Collection updated to version 6.2.1, systemd added some sub-packages and python-setuptools updated from version 23.1.0 to 26.1.1. Python provided the most updates for the snapshot. The snapshot was a complete rebuild of the distro, so there are several package updates needed to be installed." A full list of changes can be found in the project's news announcement.
* * * * *
KaOS is a rolling release distribution which focuses on providing a polished desktop experience using the KDE Plasma desktop. The latest snapshot of KaOS features a few new features to help set up and customise the distribution. "A new addition for KaOS is a first run wizard. It will run on the newly installed system and enables with just a few clicks to adjust mouse behaviour, menu launcher, desktop theme, used wallpaper, colour scheme, widget style, window decoration and virtual desktops used. With one click this Wizard will also link to KaOS Documentation and all contact info. Another first on this ISO is a new tool to write ISO files to USB. Not only does IsoWriter write to USB it also gives the option to recover your USB stick after using it for an ISO, something that regular dd copy or the previously used Imagewriter were not able to do." The Plasma desktop and base system have also received updates and the details are available in the project's news post.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
32-bit vs 64-bit performance
If someone is willing, install both a 32-bit and 64-bit version of any popular distro, that provides both, side by side, on a 64-bit machine.
Then run comparisons of memory usage, speeds, etc. Any and all benchmarking available.
Wouldn't it be interesting if the 32-bit version was faster, and used fewer resources? Otherwise give us laggards some convincing statistics, for why we should trash our 32-bit systems. More than one distro, and more than one desktop interface would help be helpful.
There have been many of 32-bit vs 64-bit benchmarks performed over the decade and a half since 64-bit x86 computers became available to the general population. The two technologies have been compared side-by-side in just about every imaginable scenario across multiple operating systems, desktop environments, roles (server and desktop) and workloads. A quick search will turn up pages of benchmarks tracking 32-bit vs 64-bit performance over the past ten years.
To summarize those many benchmarks, 64-bit is almost always faster in every role, with every desktop environment, on every operating system. Sometimes it is a small difference, with 64-bit performing 10% faster. Other times 64-bit systems perform 400% faster.
This is not particularly surprising since 64-bit systems can process more data at once, have access to more memory and the processors have more registers than their 32-bit cousins. With all the advantages 64-bit systems have when it comes to processing data, it would take a very unusual setup or a small miracle for a 32-bit processor to outperform a 64-bit system running the same software.
When 64-bit machines first appeared on the market, proponents of 32-bit operating systems correctly pointed out that there were some situations in which running a 32-bit operating system, even on 64-bit hardware, made sense. Some software was slow to migrate to 64-bit and some bugs lingered. These corner cases have since been resolved and now the reverse is usually true, with 64-bit software being supported better than 32-bit builds. It's more common now to see bugs which only affect the 32-bit build of an application.
One point in favour of 32-bit systems is 32-bit applications require slightly less memory to run compared to 64-bit programs as the 32-bit memory pointers are smaller. The memory consumption of 64-bit software was a concern in the early days of 64-bit computers as many consumer machines were sold with 1GB or 2GB of RAM. These days though computers tend to sell with 4GB of RAM or more, making the difference in memory consumption unimportant. Whether an application requires 100MB of memory or 120MB makes little difference on a computer that has several gigabytes of RAM.
At this point the only reason to stick with 32-bit processors is probably financial. Buying a new computer costs money and if you still have a 32-bit system that is running and meeting your needs, then finances may outweigh performance. Though when we consider modern 64-bit systems tend to also use less electricity than older 32-bit hardware, a new 64-bit system may pay for itself in a few years due to lower electricity costs.
For someone buying a new computer, there really is no reason to prefer a slower 32-bit system over a 64-bit powered machine. The 64-bit processor will not only be faster, it will also offer a number of virtualization and security features not found on 32-bit systems.
* * * * *
For more questions and answers, visit our Questions and Answers archive.
Bittorrent is a great way to transfer large files, particularly open source operating system images, from one place to another. Most bittorrent clients recover from dropped connections automatically, check the integrity of files and can re-download corrupted bits of data without starting a download over from scratch. These characteristics make bittorrent well suited for distributing open source operating systems, particularly to regions where Internet connections are slow or unstable.
Many Linux and BSD projects offer bittorrent as a download option, partly for the reasons listed above and partly because bittorrent's peer-to-peer nature takes some of the strain off the project's servers. However, some projects do not offer bittorrent as a download option. There can be several reasons for excluding bittorrent as an option. Some projects do not have enough time or volunteers, some may be restricted by their web host provider's terms of service. Whatever the reason, the lack of a bittorrent option puts more strain on a distribution's bandwidth and may prevent some people from downloading their preferred open source operating system.
With this in mind, DistroWatch plans to give back to the open source community by hosting and seeding bittorrent files. For now, we are hosting a small number of distribution torrents, listed below. The list of torrents offered will be updated each week and we invite readers to e-mail us with suggestions as to which distributions we should be hosting. When you message us, please place the word "Torrent" in the subject line, make sure to include a link to the ISO file you want us to seed. To help us maintain and grow this free service, please consider making a donation.
The table below provides a list of torrents we currently host. If you do not currently have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found here. All torrents we make available here are also listed on the very useful Linux Tracker website. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 237
- Total data uploaded: 44.5TB
|Released Last Week
Melody Zou has announced the availability of an updated release of deepin, a Debian-based, desktop Linux distribution with a custom desktop environment and several in-house applications: "deepin 15.3 brings a highly customizable dock, while the wallpaper setting is more visual and convenient. Meanwhile, this version includes Deepin File Manager, Deepin Image Viewer, new Deepin Terminal and other Deepin applications to enrich the whole ecosystem." Besides feature enhancements, this version also fixes a large number of bugs: "Fixed the issue in display module where double-screen switching is occasionally invalid; fixed the issue in display module where contents on desktop are misplaced after switching double screens several times; fixed the issue in network module where new users are required to identify when logging in to use the network; fixed the issue in sound module where sound play cannot be manually switched to an external HDMI device...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information and screenshots.
Slackel 6.0.7 "Openbox"
Dimitris Tzemos has announced a new release of Slackel, a Slackware- and Salix-based distribution. The new version, Slackel 6.0.7 "Openbox" supports booting on UEFI-enabled systems when the 64-bit build is used. The 32-bit build of Slackel now supports booting on both PAE and non-PAE computers. "Slackel 6.0.7 Live Openbox has been released. Slackel is based on Slackware and Salix. The 64-bit ISO images support booting on UEFI systems. The 32-bit ISO images support both i686 PAE SMP and i486, non-PAE capable systems. ISO images are isohybrid. Includes the Linux kernel 4.4.20 and latest updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree. The 64-bit iso supports booting on UEFI systems. The 32-bit flavor support both i686 PAE SMP and i486, non-PAE capable systems. Full multimedia support without having to install multimedia codecs while on live environment. Of course it is suggested to install multimedia codecs to your system after installation. A full list of package updates, system changes and a screen shot can be found in the project's release announcement.
The developers of Android-x86, a desktop operating system based on Android, have announced the first stable release of Android-x86 6.0. This version carries the code name Marshmallow and ships with version 4.4.20 of the Linux kernel. This release also includes F2FS support, fixes suspend/resume bugs related to wi-fi connections and introduces HDMI audio support. "We created universal images for most x86 platforms. This release contains two files. One is the 32-bit x86 ISO and the other is the 64-bit x86_64 ISO. Both can be boot from legacy BIOS and newer UEFI firmware. You can choose one of them depends on your devices. In doubt, try the 32-bit ISO for legacy BIOS devices and 64-bit ISO for UEFI devices." Additional information on Android-x86 6.0 and how to set up the operating system can be found in the project's release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
What is in a name?
Open source projects often receive criticism for having unusual, complex or even somewhat offensive names. There are people who question the practise of recursive names like GNU (GNU is not Unix) or acronyms such as GIMP and how these names are received by the public. Some projects, like git, while popular in developer circles have names which may be offensive to people depending on their culture and location. Some other projects like LibreOffice and PCLinuxOS have names which are simply unusual or difficult to say.
This week we would like to know if you have ever avoided using or recommending a piece of software due to its name. Have you recommended OpenOffice over LibreOffice because it was easier to say, or suggested Krita over GIMP because of the ideas associated with the latter's name? Please leave us a comment with your thoughts on the topic below.
You can see the results of our previous poll on preferred web browsers here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
What is in a name?
|The name does not matter to me: ||1251 (71%)|
| I do not worry about the names but recommend nicely named projects to others: ||282 (16%)|
| I do factor in the name when selecting software: ||240 (14%)|
New distributions added to database
Refracta is a Linux distribution based on Devuan GNU+Linux (a systemd-free fork of Debian), designed primarily for home computer users and also for use as a system rescue and recovery disk. It provides a simple and familiar layout using the Xfce desktop. Other desktop environments and additional software are available from the Devuan package repository. Besides providing a Linux distribution on a live DVD, the project also develops useful tools, such as refractainstaller, refractasnapshot and refracta2usb which allow users to customize the installation and create custom live DVD or live USB images.
Refracta 8 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 2.1MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 26 September 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
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Fermi Linux LTS (Long-Term Support) was a distribution based on Scientific Linux, which was in essence Red Hat Enterprise Linux, recompiled. It was Scientific Linux with Fermilab's security hardening and customised configurations to allow an administrator to install Fermi Linux and have the machine meet Fermilab's security requirements with little or no extra configuration. Since Fermi Linux LTS was based on Scientific Linux, it shares it's goal that if a program runs and was certified on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, then it will run on the corresponding Fermi Linux LTS release. Fermi Linux has since merged with the Scientific Linux project, becoming a special edition or add-on to Scientific Linux.