| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 682, 10 October 2016
Welcome to this year's 41st issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The KDE project, which develops the Qt-based Plasma desktop environment, turned 20 years old last week. The KDE project has long been known for making a feature-rich and highly customizable desktop environment. In an effort to help users test and preview upcoming features in the Plasma desktop, the KDE neon distribution was created. KDE neon uses Ubuntu LTS releases as a base and features the latest software packages from the KDE project. This week, to celebrate KDE's 20th anniversary, KDE neon is the subject of our Feature Story. We also share a second review this week in which Ivan D. Sanders talks about the latest version of Android-x86. In our News section we discuss an update bug which affects Fedora Workstation users, remind people running FreeBSD of upcoming end-of-life dates, report on HandyLinux dropping English translations and share benchmarks from the LXQt desktop project. Plus we cover the distribution releases of the past week and share the torrents we are seeding. In our Opinion Poll we ask how many of our readers work in information technology fields. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (47MB) and MP3 (34MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
KDE neon offers cutting edge Plasma
For people who wish to keep up with the latest developments in KDE software and the Plasma desktop, one way to get a vanilla, cutting edge preview of what is coming out of the KDE project is to run KDE neon. KDE neon is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution and live DVD featuring the latest KDE Plasma desktop and other KDE community software. Besides the installable DVD image, the project provides a rapidly-evolving software repository with all the latest KDE software. There are two editions of KDE neon, a User edition with stable releases of KDE packages, and the Developer edition which offers cutting edge development packages fresh from the build server.
At the end of September I decided to experiment with the User edition of KDE neon. The download for the User edition is approximately 970MB in size. Booting from the downloaded ISO brings up the Plasma desktop. The wallpaper is a collection of blue, purple and black regions. The application menu, task switcher and system tray sit at the bottom of the screen. The theme is mostly a combination of light grey and dark grey. On the desktop we find a single icon for launching the distribution's system installer.
KDE neon uses the Ubiquity graphical system installer it inherits from Ubuntu. The installer asks us to select our preferred language from a list and then gives us the option of downloading third-party software such as media codecs and Flash. We can also choose to download software updates during the installation process. We are then walked through disk partitioning, selecting our time zone from a map of the world, confirming our keyboard's layout and creating a user account. The installation process is pleasantly straight forward and we can typically take the defaults offered on each page. When the installer finishes setting up our new operating system we can either return to the live desktop or reboot the computer.
Once installed, KDE neon boots to a graphical login screen. Plasma is the only login session available to us and we can sign into the account we created during the installation process. The Plasma desktop looks the same as it did during the live session, but there are no icons on the desktop. We are not greeted by any welcome screen and there are no notifications or other distractions.
Shortly after signing into the Plasma desktop an icon in the system tray subtly indicates there are software updates available to us. Clicking the icon opens a widget which indicates the number of waiting updates and 42 were available the first day I was using KDE neon. At the bottom of the widget is an Update button and clicking the button launches the Discover software manager.
KDE neon 20160915 -- The Discover software manager
(full image size: 325kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The Discover application features three tabs: Discover, Installed and Update. The Update tab shows us a list of the available software updates in the distribution's repositories. Each update is listed with the package's name, version and size. I found Discover listed every update as having a size of zero bytes. We can check a box next to each update we wish to install. Clicking a button labelled Update causes the selected packages to be downloaded.
The Discover tab is used to browse the available packages in KDE neon's repositories. At the top of the Discover tab is a slide show of featured items. The slide show was choppy on my system and the individual slides appeared to be cropped at odd places or improperly sized. Toward the bottom of the tab we find lists of popular downloads and highly rated applications. A third grouping shows us available software categories. Clicking a category shows us popular downloads and highly rated apps in the selected category. Below these groupings we find an alphabetical list of apps in the category. Clicking an available application brings up a page with a description of the software. On the description page there is a space reserved for a screen shot, but no image was displayed. In the corner of the window is a button we can click to install the selected package. New applications are installed in the background while we continue to browse the Discover tab.
The Installed tab shows a list of installed desktop applications in alphabetical order. Each application entry includes a brief description and an icon. The size of the installed package is featured too, but the size is always displayed as zero bytes. We can click a button next to each entry to remove it from our system.
KDE neon 20160915 -- Empty list of installed applications
(full image size: 170kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
KDE neon pulls in most of its software from the Ubuntu 16.04 repositories, but the distribution also features its own repositories for KDE related software. I found I did not particularly like using Discover. While the interface is fairly easy to navigate, the Discover tab is quite busy, especially with the slide show running at the top of the page. The software manager was generally slow to respond to input and did not calculate package sizes properly. Toward the end of my week with the distribution I noticed packages no longer showed up in the Installed tab, making it impossible to remove unwanted applications through Discover. We can use the command line apt-get utility to work around this issue and deal with low-level packages.
One of the prominent features of the Plasma desktop is the System Settings panel. This panel provides many modules for changing the desktop's look, layout and behaviour. Some modules will help us adjust Plasma's search features, power management and window behaviour. The KDE Connect software for communicating with Android devices is featured too. System Settings has a search feature which I find useful for digging through Plasma's many options.
KDE neon 20160915 -- The System Settings configuration panel
(full image size: 305kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
While most of Plasma's settings modules worked well, I did run into a few minor problems. One module crashed while I was adjusting window manager settings and another refused to save my changes the first time I used it, forcing me to close System Settings and try again. I also failed to find a screensaver configuration option. There are screen locking settings, but I did not find a built-in module for changing screensaver settings.
KDE neon ships with a fairly minimal collection of desktop software. The Firefox web browser with Flash support is included. We also have access to the VLC multimedia player, the Ark archive manager and the KWrite text editor. The Spectacle screen shot utility is featured along with the Gwenview image viewer. The Dolphin file manager is present along with a hardware information browser and the KSysGuard system monitor. The Konsole virtual terminal is available along with the KWalletManager password manager. KDE neon ships with codecs for playing most media files. I found Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. The distribution ships with systemd 229 and version 4.4.0 of the Linux kernel.
While the distribution does not include a lot of desktop software, we have access to many thousands of packages via the Ubuntu repositories. This allows us to install image editors, productivity software, compilers and just about any other utility we might want to use.
KDE neon 20160915 -- The application menu
(full image size: 421kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I tried running KDE neon in two environments, a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a desktop computer. The distribution, despite having a small collection of desktop software, uses about 3.5GB of disk space, but required a relatively small amount of memory - 340MB of RAM. By default, KDE neon does not integrate with VirtualBox and its screen resolution is limited. However, VirtualBox guest modules are available in the distribution's software repositories and installing them enabled the use of full screen resolution. When running on the desktop machine, I noticed my monitor would switch on and off a few times during the boot process. However, once up and running, the distribution ran smoothly on the desktop computer. In both environments, the Plasma desktop was responsive and the operating system was stable. I did run into a few application crashes, but the underlying system presented me with no problems during my trial.
While using KDE neon I made some miscellaneous observations which I will share here in no particular order. First, the software on the system appears to be built using Qt 5.7, putting us fairly close to the cutting edge of Qt and KDE technology.
Plasma's Info Centre is quite useful for finding information about memory usage, hardware, Wayland and X display software. Info Centre can also be used to toggle file indexing on and off. File indexing and search functions can be fine-tuned through the System Settings panel.
The terminal font in Konsole was quite small (9.0pt) by default. This can be adjusted in Konsole's profile editor. When I first started using KDE neon I found the default theme with its grey colouring looked washed out and I switched to a different theme. Later, I noticed Konsole's font has been reset back to its original 9pt size. It seems theme changes may override individual application settings.
One day I booted and signed into the distribution and found the wallpaper had disappeared. in its place I had a plain, black background. I was able to go into the desktop settings and restore the wallpaper. At the same time I noticed the settings widget which usually sits quietly in the corner of the desktop was rapidly flashing and flicking the word "Default". Moving the widget to a different corner of the screen caused it to stop flickering.
KDE neon 20160915 -- Default desktop theme and icons
(full image size: 233kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
With the default theme the bottom panel and application menu were opaque and a soft grey colour. It was straight forward to switch to a higher contrast theme. However, once I changed themes, the panel and menu became transparent. I looked around for a way to turn the desktop panel opaque again, but could not find a way to do this in either its settings or the theme settings.
Most Plasma applications feature a Help option in their menu which will open a manual. Selecting this option opens the Firefox web browser and presents us with the application's on-line manual. Most applications do properly display their on-line help pages, but it seems some manuals have not yet been written. For example, the KWalletManager application did not have an on-line manual at the time of writing.
The KDE neon distribution is an interesting way to see what new technologies are coming out of the KDE project. The combination of a stable base, as provided by Ubuntu LTS releases, and the cutting edge KDE software makes for a convenient way to try out the latest versions of Plasma. The distribution is fairly minimal in the software it supplies, basically giving us just the Plasma desktop and a few important utilities.
I think it is pretty clear KDE neon is not intended to be used as a day-to-day desktop distribution. While it is an easy way to see what the KDE team is creating, the system does not have many features or applications. The Plasma desktop is not tweaked or polished in the same way it would be if we were running KaOS or openSUSE so what we get is quite vanilla. This might appeal to some people, but I tend to prefer customized flavours of Plasma that have been dressed up.
KDE neon shows us Plasma in progress, meaning there are rough edges. There were a few crashes and minor problems for me to deal with during this experiment. None of the issues was really deal breaking, but there were the rough edges one gets from running development software. If you are interested in the latest changes in the KDE project, then this distribution is an easy way to see what is coming out of the developers' computers.
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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)
Fedora warns of update bug, FreeBSD reminds users of EoL dates, HandyLinux drops English support and LXQt benchmarks
Adam Williamson has posted an informative advisory letting Fedora users know there is a bug in the Fedora Workstation update mechanism which can cause the desktop and the active update procedure to crash while the DNF package manager is updating software. This can result in data loss and corruption of the RPM package database. "Recently several reports of people getting 'duplicated packages' and 'kernel updates not working' have come through to us in QA from Fedora 24 users. I managed to get one reporter to explain more specifically what happened, and it sounds a lot like what's happening is that something in the 'dnf update' process can cause a GNOME or X crash, possibly depending on hardware or package set installed. When that happens, the update process is killed and does not complete cleanly, which is why you get 'duplicated packages' and other odd results." Further investigation has revealed that some specific hardware configurations, when coupled with a service being restarted during a package update, can trigger the bug. It is recommended Fedora users either run package updates from a text console or via off-line updates to avoid desktop crashes.
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Xin Li of the FreeBSD team sent out an e-mail on October 3rd to remind people that multiple branches of the FreeBSD operating system will be reaching their end of supported life later this year. "Dear FreeBSD community, At 23:59 UTC, December 31, 2016, FreeBSD 9.3, 10.1 and 10.2 will reach end-of-life and will no longer be supported by the FreeBSD Security Officers Team. Users of FreeBSD 9.3, 10.1 and 10.2 are strongly encouraged to upgrade to a newer release as soon as possible." People still using the affected versions of FreeBSD can upgrade to 10.3 or 11.0. A support schedule is available on the FreeBSD website.
* * * * *
HandyLinux is a distribution designed with Linux beginners in mind. The project is based in France and primarily offers French language support, though English translations have been available. Unfortunately, the project has had to drop English language support for future versions due to lack of contributors and interest in maintaining the translations. The project's announcement suggests that people who run HandyLinux and want English language support may wish to transition to Debian after HandyLinux 2.x reaches its end of life in May of 2018.
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When the LXDE project decided to merge with Razor-qt to create the Qt-based LXQt desktop environment, some people were concerned about the direction of the project. In particular, some people raised concerns over the amount of memory the new Qt-based desktop would consume compared to the GTK-based LXDE environment. The LXDE blog has some memory consumption figures which explore how LXQt compares to LXDE, Xfce, GNOME and Cinnamon. "It has always been rumoured that Qt is bloated so programs written in Qt should be bloated. Some even argued that the LXDE developers made a wrong decision on the migration to LXQt. Why not replace the assumptions with some experiments? In fact, LXQt 0.11 even uses slightly less memory than Xfce (with GTK+ 2). After cold boot, LXQt uses 112MB in the testing environment." Information on the testing environment used and the results can be found in the LXDE project's blog post.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Distribution Review (by Ivan D. Sanders)
Android-x86 6.0 review - not there yet
Android-x86 version 6.0 is the newest version of the Linux distribution released on September 13, 2016. Android-x86 is based on Android (yes, the popular mobile operating system) 6.0, also known as Marshmallow. The Android-x86's goal is, "To provide complete solution for Android on Eee PC platforms first and then to provide solutions for common x86 platforms as well."
Common x86 platforms include Intel's Core (including i3, i5, and i7), Xeon, Pentium, Atom, and virtually all their modern CPUs. AMD also makes x86 CPUs, specifically the Athlon, Sempron and Opteron lines.
What does this mean? Android-x86 aims to bring Android to basically all current PCs and CPUs. Does Android-x86 complete that goal with their 6.0 version?
Very first impressions
The Android-x86 ISO is only 671MB and is available from their website. They do not provide a torrent version to download from their website. I was able to put the ISO on a USB drive for use very simply with Ubuntu's provided Startup Disk Utility. I left plenty of space available on my system (100 GB of storage) just for this test and I formatted it ahead of time with the ext4 file system (in my case the partition was /dev/sda6).
I rebooted my computer and the USB read perfectly. I booted immediately to the Android-x86 installation and started the installation process. I was taken aback slightly with what I saw next.
The Android-x86 installation process is simple. It is reminiscent of a PacBang, ArchBang, or other architect style installation with the blue screen and simple options to select. No GUI is present, but using the arrow keys, Enter, and Escape is the next best thing. I sent the installation to /dev/sda6 and completed the process with no issues. It updated my GRUB boot loader and even my rEFInd had no problem automatically detecting the new OS upon reboot.
Android-x86's welcome and setup
Android-x86 6.0 -- Browsing available apps
(full image size: 558kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
I wasn't phased by the installation, but I was happy to be out of there and on to a more modern interface, and it is beautiful. The setup asked if I wanted to copy my current Android device's setup to my computer. Thankfully, I use a modern Android phone, so yes, why not? That sounds great! I followed the directions and interacted with my phone a little (the process required Bluetooth on the phone and the computer), and, poof, I was up and running.
And it was great. My GMail account was setup; my calendar, Play Store, all these settings were imported from my phone. My computer knew me. Opening the Play Store gave me the option to download what apps I wanted from my current Google account. It was seamless, like getting a new phone. So easy and modern.
Android-x86, the next big thing?
At this early point in my Android-x86 experiment, my mind was blowing up with possibilities. Is this going to be the next big thing? Is this the perfect desktop that can compete with Apple's OS X/macOS and finally destroy the Windows phone for good? Think of the possibilities! Is this an Android experience that can run Android apps and a Linux desktop environment?
But this euphoria did not last long. Android is not a Linux desktop environment. Android-x86 brings Android to personal computers, and it delivers the Android environment, but it stops there. It is Android and the development team seems to want it to remain Android.
Android-x86 6.0 -- System notifications
(full image size: 2.0MB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
Let's explore Android-x86 a little more. Install apps from the Play Store and they go to the second screen. To get back to the first screen simply use your touchscreen like your phone and swipe back, or you can use two fingers on your touchpad to swipe back. Either that or a click on the mouse and a drag to the side will also change screens.
What works great? Maps works great, as do GMail and Calendar. I had no problems with other basic Android/Google apps.
I installed Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Underground to get the Amazon Instant Video app (you have to allow third party software to install the .apk from Amazon Underground), Netflix, a couple of the most popular games, etc. Prime music worked great. Pandora worked great. Amazon video and Netflix? This is where my errors started.
Android-x86 6.0 -- Switching between tasks
(full image size: 2.2MB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
Nothing actually worked after install, but after a restart the games worked, and they were cool! I have never had so much fun playing Angry Birds than on my computer, weirdly enough. Games that require you to move your phone (accelerometer) for moving, steering, and leaning, do not work well on the computer (unless you happen to have an accelerometer on your computer). Android-x86 on your computer is the equivalent of using your Android phone sideways, the way you would probably watch videos. This means that games and apps without landscape support do not work well, unless you want to turn your screen (or in my case, laptop). If your game plays with the phone aligned vertically only, it is not good for this environment.
Android-x86 6.0 -- Dealing with screen orientation
(full image size: 429kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
Netflix did not work initially but worked after a restart. I could play videos and watch movies at my leisure through the Netflix app on my computer! A Netflix package is not available on other distros, and would be kind of cool (although Netflix does work through Chrome on desktop Linux). The same is true for Amazon Prime Music. There is no app for that on other distros, but it worked great on Android-x86, so that impressed me. If there is someone who can port that to a regular Linux distro, please get it done! Amazon music does not work through any browser or app on other Linux distros currently. If you want to watch content on Android-x86, you can use Netflix, YouTube, or perhaps some other network (CBS, ABC, CW) apps. Amazon video did not work through the app or through any browser, although it did play a commercial for me in the app, so I felt like it was very close. When I tried to take a screen shot of a movie on Netflix, Android-x86 identified that I was watching Netflix and would not allow me to do so (I suppose due to copyright issues).
Android-x86 6.0 -- Browsing Netflix
(full image size: 932kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
Getting a little deeper
HDMI worked flawlessly, but it just replicated my screen. Using the Alt key and pressing an arrow will take you to the tty2 terminal, background command line interface, where you can play around a bit. GNU's make program is not installed, nor is sudo. Also, you are the root user by default. On Android (the ARM version) there is a solution for make called Terminal IDE, available through the Play Store. It has a number of other cool uses too. Terminal IDE did install from the Play Store, but it is not intended for x86 platforms and cannot use the app's subsystem. This means I was unable to make install or compile other Linux software (I really wanted to try to get a full version of Steam running and test games... silly me).
Android-x86 6.0 -- Browsing the file system
(full image size: 95kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
I thought that since this is Android, maybe it would interact with my Android phone through USB in some cool way, but I was wrong. I could not get my phone to interact with Android-x86 through the USB other than charging (remember, initial setup was done using Bluetooth).
Do you want to edit documents using Android-x86? There are some free apps for this, but after trying most of them I definitely recommend the Google Docs app.
Android-x86 is pretty cool. The setup process blew my mind and was very easy. But after that, it failed to woo me. I think I was expecting a Linux distro and Android, which this is not. This is Android for your computer. There were a lot of errors along the way, but it was fun to explore. This distro is not for the everyday desktop Linux user. In my opinion it still feels like a beta, as not everything worked as I wanted it to. Also, there is not a ton of documentation or support through a community or forum.
Android-x86 6.0 -- Encountering an error
(full image size: 76kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
I would say that if you are a die-hard Android user, or a developer, Android-x86 may be for you. Otherwise, stick the some of the more popular distros. As a side note, this may be good for kids, but it may also prove frustrating for them when things do not work as they do on mobile Android. One more note: Android-x86 Marshmallow was released after Android released Nougat so there is a delay in getting new releases.
Memory (RAM) Android-x86 used from my machine at rest after boot-up:
Used: 1,854MB, Free: 8,025MB, Total 9,880MB
* * * * *
Summary of hardware used for this review:
- ASUS ZenBook UX302LA-BHI5T08
- Intel Core i5-4200u CPU @ 1.60GHz (Haswell)
- Micron/Crucial M500 480GB 2.5-inch SATA III MLC (6.0Gb/s) Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
- Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400
- 10 GB (1x 2 GB, 1x 8 GB) DDR3 RAM
- Intel Wireless-AC 7260
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: 244
- Total data uploaded: 45.3TB
|Released Last Week
NixOS is an independent Linux distribution which features the Nix package manager. Nix provides many special package management features, including declarative statements, snapshots and package rollbacks. The latest version of the distribution, NixOS 16.09, offers many new security features and more efficient use of disk space. "In addition to numerous new and upgraded packages, this release has the following highlights: Many NixOS configurations and Nix packages now use significantly less disk space, thanks to the extensive work on closure size reduction. For example, the closure size of a minimal NixOS container went down from ~424 MiB in 16.03 to ~212 MiB in 16.09, while the closure size of Firefox went from ~651 MiB to ~259 MiB. To improve security, packages are now built using various hardening features. See the Nixpkgs manual for more information. Support for PXE netboot. See Section 2.3, 'Booting from the "netboot" media (PXE)' for documentation. X.org server 1.18. If you use the ati_unfree driver, 1.17 is still used due to an ABI incompatibility. This release is based on Glibc 2.24, GCC 5.4.0 and systemd 231. The default Linux kernel remains 4.4." Further details and a list of new supported services can be found in the project's release notes.
KDE neon 5.8
Hot on the heals of KDE's Plasma Desktop 5.8, released yesterday, comes a new version of KDE neon, a fast-evolving Ubuntu-based distribution built by KDE and Kubuntu developer Jonathan Riddell: "The KDE neon builders have been firing away this afternoon and Plasma 5.8 LTS is now available in the User edition archive. If you don't already have KDE neon installed you can grab the latest User edition ISO image to install it on your hard disk. A feature I've been wanting for ages in KDE is the ability to install plugins from within the application. This was made more urgent when we added Gwenview in KDE neon and had to choose between either an empty Plugins menu or adding a dependency on Kipi Plugins which brought in Konqueror and several KDElibs 4 tools. So I got round to coding the feature based on discussions I'd had previously and work on the Samba browser in Dolphin I'd done before." Continue to the release announcement for more information and screenshots, and see also the Plasma 5.8 announcement for a detailed list of new features and more screenshots.
KDE neon 5.8 -- Running the Plasma 5.8 desktop
(full image size: 830kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Superb Mini Server 2.0.9
A new build of Superb Mini Server (SMS), version 2.0.9, has been released. This new version of the Slackware-based distribution for servers, brings a new Linux kernel and upgrades to most server packages, while leaving the base system unchanged. "Superb Mini Server version 2.0.9 released (Linux kernel 4.4.22). This release brings upgrades to server packages and the latest LTS kernel branch, version 4.4.22. Server packages upgrade include Postfix 3.0.7, Samba 4.5.0, Dovecot 2.2.25, BIND 9.10.4-P3 and MySQL 5.5.52. We still keep Apache httpd 2.2.31 as our default web server, but we moved to PHP 5.6.26 since PHPMyAdmin needed it. Besides, PHP 5.4 has reached end-of-life so mind the new /etc/httpd/php.ini if you are upgrading. Most likely inn our next release we will switch to Apache httpd 2.4 as our default web server, so you better look for migration tips. Apache httpd 2.4 is in the testing repository for those who have switched already. This release also brings support for the Let's Encrypt certificates." Here is the full release announcement.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Do you work in an information technology field?
Linux initially gained a lot of its following from software developers and system administrators. This has given rise to the stereotype which suggests people who use Linux or one of the BSDs tend to work in technology fields.
This week we would like to put that idea to the test and find out how many of our readers work in IT and related fields.
You can see the results of our previous poll on favourite BSD flavours here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Do you work in an information technology field?
|I am a local software/application developer: ||184 (10%)|
| I am a system administrator: ||240 (13%)|
| I am a database administrator: ||27 (1%)|
| I work in DevOps: ||45 (2%)|
| I am a web developer: ||72 (4%)|
| I am a network administrator: ||56 (3%)|
| I work in another IT field: ||284 (15%)|
| I do not work in an IT field: ||962 (51%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- Subgraph OS. Subgraph OS is a security-focused operating system. Subgraph OS integrates with the Tor network for anonymous web browsing and offers encrypted chat and e-mail features.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 17 October 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)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 1, value: US$10.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
SNAPPIX was a KNOPPIX-based live CD Linux distribution with a pre-integrated SNAP Platform. It attempts to integrate the best open source Java components into an easy-to-use toolkit, revolving around an open source JVM implementation, the Eclipse IDE, and Apache Tomcat.
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|Questions and answers: In search of "better" applications|
|Tips and tricks: Tools for rescuing the operating system and data files|
|Questions and answers: Balancing privacy with ease of use|
|Tips and tricks: Adding an AppImage to the application menu|
|Tips and tricks: Keep terminal programs running, using the at command, reverse OpenSSH connections|
|Tips and tricks: Working with images from the command line|
|Tips and tricks: Adding an AppImage to the application menu|
|Tips and tricks: Copying a VCD|
|Tips and tricks: Advanced file systems, network traffic, running a script at login/logout|
|Tips and tricks: Command line weather, ionice, rename files, video preview snapshot, calednar, ls colour settings|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|