| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 691, 12 December 2016
Welcome to this year's 50th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One of the great things about open source software is that anyone with the time and skills can take an existing component, alter it to better suite their needs and then share the result with others. This allows for a great deal of customization and diversity. It also means Linux users are not forced into a one-size-fits-all solution. The Debian project is one of the most common starting points for custom distributions and this week we begin with a look at a Debian derivative called SalentOS. SalentOS is similar to Debian with a lightweight desktop environment and we provide more details in our Feature Story. This week we also talk about new improvements and features coming to openSUSE and cover rumours about Fedora possibly switching to a once-per-year release cycle. We also talk about elementary OS introducing a cross-desktop method for adjusting system settings and KDE neon's new LTS edition. Plus Jesse Smith talks about his favourite distributions and open source tools. As usual, we cover the distribution releases of the past week and we provide a list of torrents we are seeding. In our Opinion Poll we ask what sort of articles you would like to see more of in the new year. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (23MB) and MP3 (33MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
SalentOS 1.0 - Minimal Debian
SalentOS is a lightweight Linux distribution which is based on packages from Debian's Stable (code name Jessie) branch. The SalentOS website describes the project as follows:
SalentOS is a GNU/Linux operative system based on Debian that uses Openbox as window manager. SalentOS has been designed to combine simplicity and completeness.
The distribution is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 processor architecture. The download for the 64-bit build is 1GB in size. Booting from the downloaded ISO brings up a graphical desktop environment, running on the Openbox window manager. When the system first starts up, a window appears and asks us to select our preferred language from a list of two-letter language codes. The default language is English (gb).
Once our language has been selected, we are free to explore the Openbox-powered interface. A panel at the top of the display holds the distribution's application menu, a handful of quick-launch buttons, a task switcher and the system tray. The background rotates between wallpapers, with most of the background images displaying landscape scenes. When we decide we want to install the distribution we can launch the system installer from a quick-launch button on the panel at the top of the screen.
SalentOS 1.0 -- Running the Firefox web browser
(full image size: 835kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
SalentOS uses Debian's graphical installer to get the distribution installed on the local hard disk. The installer is fairly verbose and contains several steps. We're walked through selecting our language, location and time zone. We set a password on the administrator account and create a regular user account for ourselves. The Debian installer supports both manual partitioning and guided partitioning. While I find the installer's partition manager to be awkward to navigate, I do appreciate that the guided partitioning feature will show us the proposed file system layout and give us the chance to rearrange the suggested file systems. SalentOS gives us the chance to work with Btrfs, JFS, XFS, ext2, ext3, ext4 and LVM volumes. The installer asks us to select a nearby package mirror and gives us the chance to install the GRUB boot loader. When the installer is finished, it closes, returning us to the SalentOS live desktop.
The locally installed copy of SalentOS boots to a graphical login screen with a nice nature scene in the background. Signing into the account we created during the installation process brings us back to the Openbox-powered desktop. A welcome window appears when we sign in and asks us to connect to the Internet and then click the welcome window's OK button. Doing this dismisses the welcome window and brings up a prompt for the root password, though it was not clear to me as to why I was being asked for the password. Whether we provide the password for the root account or not, nothing happens. There is no visible change or follow-up from the system. The welcome screen (and password prompt) appeared every time I signed into my account and required some digging around in the settings to disable.
After logging in, an icon appears in the system tray letting us known there are software updates available. Clicking the icon launches the Synaptic graphical package manager. The first day I was using SalentOS, Synaptic downloaded about a dozen updates (of unknown size) and installed them for me without any problems. Synaptic and the underlying APT package manager pull in software packages from Debian's Stable repositories. Looking through the available repository mirrors it appears as though SalentOS does not supply any of its own repositories or any third-party repositories, the software we have access to is provided by the Debian project.
SalentOS 1.0 -- The Synaptic package manager
(full image size: 193kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
During my trial I tried running SalentOS in a VirtualBox environment and wished to download and enable VirtualBox guest modules to get the most out of my experience. These modules were not available in SalentOS's default repositories. This surprised me at first, but some exploring of the APT configuration files revealed only Debian's "main" repository was enabled by default. We can add other Debian repositories which feature additional software (some of it distributed under non-free licenses) by manually editing the APT package source files, located under the /etc/apt directory.
Further on the topic of available software, I found SalentOS shipped with a fairly minimal collection of desktop applications. The Firefox ESR web browser with Adobe Flash is included along with the Icedove e-mail client and the Transmission bittorrent software. LibreOffice 4 is featured along with the Evince document viewer and Mirage image viewer and editor. The distribution ships with the VLC multimedia player and a full range of media codecs. Users can also find a calculator, text editor, archive manager and bulk file renaming utility in the application menu. In the background we find Java and the GNU Compiler Collection. SalentOS diverges from Debian a little and uses SysV init as the init implementation while Debian uses systemd. The distribution runs on version 3.16 of the Linux kernel.
SalentOS 1.0 -- Running the LibreOffice application
(full image size: 300kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
As I mentioned above, I tried running SalentOS in a virtual machine first. Apart from having a limited display resolution, the distribution performed well in the VirtualBox environment. Later, once I had enabled additional repositories and installed VirtualBox's guest modules, SalentOS was able to make full use of my monitor's display resolution. I then played with SalentOS on a physical desktop computer. The distribution worked very well on the desktop hardware, properly setting up my screen resolution and playing sound out of the box. In both test environments, the distribution tended to use about 240MB of memory when logged into Openbox without any applications open.
While exploring SalentOS I made a few miscellaneous observations I would like to share. One of the first things to catch my attention was the desktop's wallpaper changes every five minutes. There is an icon in the system tray which looks like a little, orange sun. Clicking this icon gives us the chance to alter the rate of the wallpaper's change or switch to a static background.
I mentioned earlier the welcome window appeared every time I logged into my account. I also found some desktop/Openbox settings would not be remembered across sessions. For example, Openbox does not remember how many virtual desktops the user has enabled from one session to the next.
SalentOS ships with an application called SalentOS Styler which makes it easy to change the desktop's theme and panel position. The style manager can do other things for us, like turning on/off the Conky status monitor and changing the wallpaper. The style manager application is nicely laid out and I found it pleasant to use.
SalentOS 1.0 -- SalentOS Styler
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The distribution provides a control panel which is broken into six tabs (Appearance, System, Openbox, Session, Personal and Hardware). Each tab contains two or more configuration modules where we can tweak our settings. These modules help us configure hardware, set up printers and view information about our system. Most of the modules worked, launching the appropriate configuration panel or, in some cases, opening a text editor so we can tweak a text file. A few of the modules gave me problems. For example, trying to launch the Synaptic package manager or the System module resulted in an error which reported the sudo command was unable to launch the given module. Both times I tried to add a printer to my system the printer module locked up.
SalentOS 1.0 -- The settings panel
(full image size: 1.4MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Something which bothered me while using SalentOS was the task switcher would only show small buttons representing open applications. Each button had an icon and the first few letters of the window's title. This made the button look crowded and cropped. The appearance of the task switcher became worse when I moved the panel to the left of my screen. Then the icons and text disappeared, leaving me with empty, blank buttons representing my open applications. In other words, I could not tell which button represented which window, rendering the task bar useless while it was positioned to the side of the display.
What I liked about SalentOS was what I tend to like about most Debian-based projects. The distribution is stable and light, offering fast performance on a solid base. While not many repositories are enabled by default, perhaps to make SalentOS a more liberally licensed project, we can enable additional Debian repositories to gain access to a huge collection of software.
For the most part, I liked the applications SalentOS provided, though I did miss having a dedicated music player. Otherwise I liked the default applications and it was straight forward enough to add more with the Synaptic package manager.
SalentOS did not sit right with me in a few ways. One was the way the welcome window kept reappearing whenever I logged in and Openbox forgot some of my settings each time I logged out. I also didn't like that some of the control panel modules failed to launch. I usually like to have my desktop panel over on the left side of the screen and SalentOS's panel does not handle this positioning gracefully.
SalentOS 1.0 -- Changing the wallpaper with Nitrogen
(full image size: 1.5MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
In the end, I found what I liked most about SalentOS was its Debian base, but the extras which were added on (the Openbox-powered desktop, the wallpaper changer and the settings panel) mostly rubbed me the wrong way. I did very much enjoy SalentOS Styler and its many tools for tweaking the look of the desktop. SalentOS provides good performance and a relatively small memory footprint, but it also has several rough edges which need to be addressed before I can recommend the distribution.
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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)
openSUSE improves YaST and RPi support, Fedora team considers longer release cycle as Fedora 23 reaches end of life, elementary adopts cross-desktop system settings, KDE neon gets LTS branch
One of the more powerful features of the openSUSE distribution is the YaST system administration and installation utility. YaST provides a suite of configuration and installation options for users working in either a graphical or console environment. The YaST development team has been working on new safety features and debugging options. "November is over, Santa Claus's elves start to stress and the YaST team brings you one of the last reports of 2016. Let's see what's new in YaSTland. Harder to ignore installation warning: The 'Installation Settings' summary screen usually reports some non-critical errors displayed as a red text. Although the installation can proceed despite those errors, they are usually serious enough to lead to problems. That's why we decided to introduce a change to highlight them a little bit more, making them harder to overlook." A summary of other features and debugging options can be found in the team's blog post.
In other openSUSE news, the distribution is among the first (along with SUSE Linux Enterprise) to support running a 64-bit operating system on the Raspberry Pi 3 mini computer. "The latest release from openSUSE has new images available for the Raspberry Pi and joins SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Raspberry Pi in becoming the initial distributions with 64-bit for the Raspberry Pi 3. The 64-bit image of openSUSE Leap 42.2 for the Raspberry Pi 3 has been out for a couple weeks." One of the features available in the new Raspberry Pi 3 images is support for KVM virtualization: "Among things that make the openSUSE Raspberry Pi 3 images different [...] is that it is the first distro that has working Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) support. The other thing is that it can work with newer or older Linux kernels. Just like on other systems, all that is needed is to use libvirt for configuration." Additional details can be found in this news post.
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Matthew Miller, the Fedora Project Leader, has looked over the adoption statistics for Fedora releases and suggests that Fedora's rapid release cycle may be "stepping on the toes" of older releases. Miller has suggested that shifting from publishing two Fedora releases per year to publishing one major release of the Fedora distribution every June would give more time for quality assurance and provide a more relaxed upgrade cycle for the distribution's users. "What if, instead of two releases a year, we updated the Generational Core on a cycle aligned with the kernel - roughly every three months - and had one June release of Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server every year, with an optional '.1' update in November or December? Fedora Atomic would keep to two-week updates as a rolling release. And Spins could pick their own release dates, either with the editions release or separately (to get their own chance to shine)." The discussion resulting from Miller's suggestion can be found here.
Following the release of Fedora 25 in November, the project has scheduled support of Fedora 23 to end on December 20, 2016. "With the recent release of Fedora 25, Fedora 23 will officially enter End Of Life (EOL) status on December 20th, 2016. After December 20th, all packages in the Fedora 23 repositories will no longer receive security, bug-fix, or enhancement updates, and no new packages will be added to the Fedora 23 collection. Upgrading to Fedora 24 or Fedora 25 before December 20th 2016 is highly recommended for all users still running Fedora 23." Upgrade instructions for people wishing to upgrade to Fedora 24 and Fedora 25 are available on the Fedora Magazine website.
* * * * *
Daniel Fore has written a post about an approach elementary OS is using to make it easier for application developers to access system settings. The new scheme uses URLs to access settings rather than a specific application or module. "Instead of hard coding commands to open a single app, we're proposing the adoption of the cross-desktop URL scheme 'settings://' to empower developers and ensure user freedom. The specification works much like the freedesktop.org icon naming specification, outlining a set of standard URLs that developers can expect will work and allowing for intelligent fallbacks so that more specific URLs can be constructed without breaking functionality." The post explores some examples in which the URL method would be useful and mentions efforts to get other desktop environments to support the new approach.
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Jonathan Riddell has reported that the KDE neon project has created a new long term support (LTS) branch. The new LTS version is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and features the Plasma 5.8 desktop environment. As Plasma 5.8 will also receive long term support from the KDE project, this pairs a stable desktop environment with a stable operating system base. "KDE Plasma 5.8 is designated an LTS edition with bug fixes and new releases being made for 18 months (rather than the normal four months). This will please a category of user who don't want new features on their desktop but do want it to keep working and bugs to be removed. Because Neon aims to service Plasma and its users in every way we have now created the KDE neon User LTS Edition. This comes with Plasma 5.8 LTS, updated for new bug-fix releases (e.g. 5.8.5 is out at the end of this month) and will not change to Plasma 5.9 when they becomes available." Additional information can be found in Riddell's blog post. The new KDE neon LTS release can be downloaded from the distribution's website.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Favourite distributions and tools
Picking-favourites asks: What is your favourite distribution?
Jesse answers: I am not sure I have any one favourite. One of the side effects of constantly installing and trying different distributions is I get to see both the strengths and the weaknesses of a range of projects. I'm constantly running into wonderful innovations and unfortunate regressions. A distribution I like this year might blow up in my face next year, or one that had lots of bugs last year might work beautifully the next. One thing I have learned by regularly distro hopping is almost every project has good points, but none are free of problems.
As a result I tend to think less in terms of favourites and more in terms of what will work best for me in a given situation right now. I especially like to run distributions with similar core technologies to what I am using in other environments. As an example, when I was working in an office which ran Red Hat Enterprise Linux, I ran Fedora at home so I could maintain a similar environment and test new technologies as they appeared. Right now, I have a Raspberry Pi at home that came with Raspbian. Raspbian is based on Debian, which currently powers the DistroWatch server. As I was working with these two Debian systems a lot, I installed Linux Mint Debian Edition on my work laptop. The consistency of the command line tools and file system hierarchy across machines helps me stay focused on doing things rather than adjusting my thinking to fit the operating system.
I am fairly comfortable with using most Linux distributions and so, for me, it does not matter as much which distribution I am using. My preference is to run systems which are as similar as possible across all environments for consistency's sake.
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Looking-for-new-and-better-tools asks: Can you share with us some of your favourite open source tools and time savers?
Jesse answers: There are several applications I use on a daily basis and I'm not sure it's worth while going through them all. I can touch on a few highlights though. VirtualBox for running virtual machines is a big one for me. I might want to test or check something on two or three different distributions a day. Being able to download an ISO file and fire it up in VirtualBox is a huge time saver as it means I do not need to copy the image to a USB stick and reboot the computer. I can keep working on other things and use VirtualBox to quickly check for information.
The KeePass password manager is another one. I have dozens of on-line accounts and I try to maintain separate passwords for each. Using KeePass means I do not need to remember each password, I just need to remember the master password for KeePass. And keep backups of my password database.
The rsync command line tool for synchronizing files is a big one for me. I am constantly backing up or sharing files and rsync does all the work for me, all I need to do is provide a source directory and destination. I did not realize how much I relied on rsync until last week when I had to rescue files from an old Windows XP computer. Looking at XP the wrong way causes a file transfer to stop, there is no resume function and no smart data transfer. Using rsync means I have a fault tolerant, resumable, efficient way to transfer files.
The GIMP plugin registry package gets a lot of use on my machines. This package provides a collection of extra tools for the GNU Image Manipulation Program. One of my favourite tools in the collection is a batch processor. This allows the user to resize, crop or otherwise manipulate photos in massive batches. A thousand wedding/vacation/family photos can be resized and converted to a different image format with a few mouse clicks.
The best tool in my toolbox though is probably shell scripting. Whenever I find myself repeating a task over and over, I turn it into a script I can run or schedule. I have a folder with around 150 scripts - tools I can pull out to greatly speed up tasks. If you have not learned how to write a Bash script, I highly recommend the practice.
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As a follow-up to last week's question about running Android applications on GNU/Linux and desktop Linux applications on Android, one of our readers provided further information. There is an add-on for the Chrome web browser, called ARC Welder, which is designed to run Android applications (APK packages). This, in theory, allows the user to run the Chrome web browser on a desktop Linux distribution, install ARC Welder and then download Android APK packages and run them in the browser. The compatibility layer is still a work in progress. I tried three different Android packages last week and none of them successfully ran in ARC Welder. However, ARC Welder is an option to keep an eye on as it may soon provide a compatibility bridge between Android and GNU/Linux.
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For more questions and answers, visit our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Porteus Kiosk 4.2.0
Tomasz Jokiel has announced the release of Porteus Kiosk 4.2.0. The Gentoo-based kiosk platform now provides version 4.4.36 of the Linux kernel, Firefox 45.5.1 ESR and Google Chrome 54, along with many other changes. "I'm pleased to announce that Porteus Kiosk 4.2.0 is now available for download. Major software upgrades in this release include: Linux kernel 4.4.36, Xorg Server 1.18.4, Mozilla Firefox 45.5.1 ESR and Google Chrome 54.0.2840.100. Packages from the userland are upgraded to portage snapshot tagged on 20161203. Short changelog for 4.2.0 release: All files utilized by the clients (wallpaper, screensaver slide show images, browser preferences, proxy pac config) can be hosted directly on Porteus Kiosk Server - no need to use 3rd party web hosting service anymore. If multiple browser tabs were set during installation then its possible to toggle between the tabs at specific time interval. This is useful for digital signage purposes. Screensaver slideshow can display images in random order instead of alphabetic order..." Further details can be found in the release announcement. Download (pkglist): Porteus-Kiosk-4.2.0-x86_64.iso (62MB, MD5), Porteus-Kiosk-Server-4.2.0-x86_64.iso (63MB, MD5).
BackBox Linux 4.7
BackBox Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution used for security assessment and penetration testing. The project has released a new stable version, BackBox Linux 4.7, which upgrades key components and fixes several bugs. "The BackBox team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, version 4.7. We thought to release a new minor version to give our users the opportunity to have a stable and up-to-date system until the next official major release, i.e. BackBox 5, still under development. In this release we have fixed some minor bugs, updated the kernel stack, base system and tools. The ISO images for 32-bit and 64-bit can be downloaded from the official web site download section." The new version ships with Linux 4.4. Existing BackBox 4.x users can upgrade to the latest release rather than perform a fresh installation. Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Jim Dean has announced the release of Korora 25, a new version of the Fedora-based distribution with various user-friendly enhancements and a choice of five desktop environments - Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, MATE and Xfce: "The Korora project has released version 25 (code name 'Gurgle') which is now available for download. Due to popular demand there is a KDE Plasma release. While it has the usual Korora extras, in order to reduce the workload in bringing this back we have made the look more vanilla. Features: Cinnamon 3.2 includes lots of refinements; GNOME 3.22 has improved support for the Wayland compositor, Wayland is now the default for the GNOME edition; Mate 1.16 focused on bug fixes; Xfce 4.12 focused on polishing the desktop and improving the user experience; derived from Fedora 25, Korora benefits from Fedora's long tradition of bringing the latest technologies to open-source software users; 64-bit only." Here is the complete release announcement.
Korora 25 -- Running the GNOME desktop
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
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: 264
- Total data uploaded: 49.1TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Future feature stories
Most of our Weekly newsletters begin with a review of a Linux distribution or other open source operating system. We tend to give priority to projects which are either A) mainstream Linux distributions, B) requested by our readers, or C) projects we find personally interesting.
This week we would like to know if it is time to shake up the weekly Feature Story column. And, if so, what would you like to see us cover? Do you want to see coverage of newer or more obscure distributions, tutorials on how to set up services, side-by-side comparisons of open source technologies, benchmarks? Leave us a comment with your preferences.
You can see the results of our previous poll on the look of the DistroWatch navigation bar here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Future feature stories
|Keep the feature stories as they are: ||419 (35%)|
| Focus more on new/obscure distros: ||266 (22%)|
| Provide more tutorials: ||262 (22%)|
| Compare and contrast similar technologies: ||205 (17%)|
| Provide benchmarks of new software: ||43 (4%)|
| Something else: ||14 (1%)|
About page, compatible hardware list and comment links
Over the past week we have introduced a few minor changes to the DistroWatch website. The About page was updated to provide a list of information and resources this website provides. Hopefully this will better answer the question of what DistroWatch is all about.
The Hardware page, which contains links to places where people can purchase computers with Linux (or BSD) pre-installed, has been updated. The Hardware page now includes a Phones and tablets section to help people find mobile devices compatible with GNU/Linux. Please e-mail us with additional links to GNU/Linux powered smart phones and tablets so we can expand the list.
Finally, in the comments section, when a person wants to reference another comment, they can write an @ symbol followed by the comment number. This will turn the @ into a link to the comment they are referencing. For example, "I agree with @22, pacman is super fast." Will provide a link to take people directly to comment #22. This should save people from scrolling back and forth between related comments.
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New distributions added to database
ToriOS is a Debian-based distribution which is designed to work on older computers, even 32-bit machines which do not support running PAE-enabled kernels. ToriOS strives to maintain the KISS principle and uses JWM to provide a lightweight graphical user interface.
ToriOS 1.0 -- Running the JWM environment
(full image size: 519kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Hawaii. Hawaii is a Linux distribution which uses Wayland exclusively as the display server and features a Qt-based desktop environment.
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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, 19 December 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 • SalentOS (by kernelpanic on 2016-12-12 01:03:40 GMT from Germany) |
SalentOS looks to me as if someone wanted to reinvent the wheel. There are already some really good small debian derivates, my favourite being antiX (special thanks to anticapitalista).
Extremely useful (excellent control center), flexible (choose stable, testing or sid as you like), and unbelieveably easy on resources, mostly due to a lean and clean setup and a nice selection of small window managers like ice-wm, fluxbox and some more.
So why put so much energy in building just another distribution on the same base filling the same niche instead of just offering help and/or contribute in any way to an already existing distribution?
no offense meant here, but I just don`t see the sense in doing so, sorry.
2 • MX question (by Justinian on 2016-12-12 01:15:36 GMT from Philippines)
Am getting excellent performance on a Centrino laptop running by flash drive installed with MX15 November, the only exception being ADI Soundmax recognition. Will the newer kernel on the upcoming MX16 offer further advantages? Thanks for this highly responsive 32-bit distro.
3 • Going in circles (by Atle on 2016-12-12 01:50:16 GMT from Norway)
Yet another Debian spinnoff. I do not even know the number of Debian spinnoffs, but its boring reading. Please provide some room for those that brings INNOVATION to Linux and not the "circle runners".
The most interesting thing to me is always "New additions to the waitlist", cause there are the few signs of true INNOVATION. And only there.
I know its fun it someone makes number fourhundred and fiftyfour out of debian and changes the window manager and wallpaper. But its running i circles.
Like why is not FatDog64 even on the list? Its because its filled up with a whole lot of Debian spinnoffs. The entire list is possibly full of nothing but the same with small or few tweaks.
I used to look forward to Mondays as others goes to church on Sundays. But I realize DistroleWatch is now settled with this style and thats it.
Are there any sites that have a focus on Linux and INNOVATION? I'll check in later to see if there are some respond to that question as I am getting tired of Debian spinnoffs
4 • Some innovation from me (by Atle on 2016-12-12 01:59:21 GMT from Norway)
First of all i like to correct that not all of the top 100 list is full of Debian spinnoffs. But maybe more close to 50%.
So here comes the idea. Like Debian is the "mother of many". So lets say that Debian and others distroes that has "children" was somehow marked as such and if you click on that, the top100 list changes with all the debian spinnoffs just collapses into just Debian? That includes ALL debian spinnoffs like ubuntu, Mint and what not?
They are all basically the same with little changes made.
In this was those that does the stuff from scratch are somehow more visible and you do not need to "check out" another Debian with a new name and a few tweaks?
Is that a good idea? Just tossing it out for the wolfs to chew on...
5 • Future feature stories (by Vukota on 2016-12-12 02:15:54 GMT from Montenegro)
I think you are doing pretty good job with these stories. Its just a question what is your VISION for the future of the DW and what money, effort and resources you have at disposal and are willing to use to make those goals (vision). It can become many things, but it can stay where it is as well.
From my standpoint, I would like to see more in these reviews what is it that sells that distro to the potential users and what users the distro cater to. What is it that makes it different from the rest of the pack (good, bad, what particular need it fills, interesting features and setup, innovations it brings, etc.). When we speak about real top 10-20, I would like to hear what changed. Is distro doing something better/differently than it used to.
Performance tests are almost always biased, so I don't see a real value in them. How-To instructions are useful, but then, web is full of them, and they are soon obsolete and they require many man hours to stay up to date. What might be helpful is to gather/organize links to those resources so they can be found in some well organized and structured way. Today some of those that exist on DW, can't be even searched well to be useful. What might be interesting (and I don't often come to see them) is thorough review of different Linux applications (similar to review of distros), as different distros doesn't always have in common repositories all nice applications for particular need, properly configured and fresh versions.
6 • Debian spins and new distros (by Doug on 2016-12-12 02:29:25 GMT from United States)
@4 Not all spinoffs are just like Debian with a few tweaks.
Ubuntu has is different from Debian, and not in a good way.
They are just different, and I never really cared for Ubuntu.
Linux Mint, a spinoff of Ubuntu is much better than either Debian or Ubuntu.
Debian sometimes will not work on my laptop. The hardware sensor just doesn't pick up my
hardware. Ubuntu does a much better job of that, but Ubuntu just rubs me the wrong way.
Whereas Linux Mint is great.
To say they are basically the same is like saying Chocolate Ice cream is the same as Vanilla with a few tweaks. They are very different.
That said, I agree most of the Debian spinoffs don't provide much that is new beyond a few tweaks.
@poll I voted for "Focus on more new/obscure distros" as I love to see new and different distros.
7 • Opinion Poll, Etc. (by cykodrone on 2016-12-12 02:39:54 GMT from Canada)
I voted "Something else" because it should be a balance, that simple. Stories for n00bs and stories for vets.
My favourite distros; PCLOS on SSD port 0 and Devuan 1.0 Beta2 on SSD port 1, Devuan's former HDD drive has been turned in to a dedicated torrent server drive. I got rid of Ubuntu Xfce (it wasn't Xubuntu) 14.04.x, too many smatterings of a certain init system lingering about, gave me the willies, lol.
Fedora on a server? Seriously? I would rather play Russian roulette, lol, but that's just me.
elementary's url scheme sounds interesting, but will it work and be adopted is another story.
Excuse the off topic but Devuan's six month HPD rating is at 108 (at the time of writing this), getting close to that ever elusive 100 or under.
8 • Fedora's version EOLs (by Jordan on 2016-12-12 02:42:51 GMT from United States)
Good to see Fedora considering extending support for each release. Korora users will benefit from that, as will the other Fedora based distros.
9 • Linux spinoffs: Arch, Deb, Redhat, etc. (by Greg Zeng on 2016-12-12 03:11:37 GMT from Australia)
Examining these many spins in close detail shows the bad upstream faults. Poor user-friendliness, missing apps, "boring", anti-ergonomic, etc.
For example, instead of repairing Synaptic Package Manager in PCLOS, Ubuntu-derivatives & Mint-derivatives, they continue its shortcomings, or try to re-invent the wheel with a new app. Luckily a few have noticed my complaint of too many strange fonts (non-English & Braille).
Poor feedback is not reaching the upstream coders. The downstream coders are unable to give their findings to the upstream coders. Other critics and "reviewers" are ignored. The potential end-users are hurt with their Linux experiences.
My interest is getting open-source Linux (& Distrowatch) away from the very tiny minority of devoted fanboys, to the general public. Perhaps an independent Linux marketing association might be needed, free of financial accountability to any small group of commercial interests? Something allied to the Linux Foundation, which has Microsoft, but not Apple, as one of its big financial supporters? https://www.linuxfoundation.org/members/corporate
10 • salentOS review states sysv... but DW salentOS page shows systemd (by bert on 2016-12-12 03:26:44 GMT from United States)
salentOS review states sysv... but DW salentOS page shows systemd, leaves me wondering which of those is correct
@2 MX has a lively support forum. Makes little sense to ask here in DW news comments "will some future MX kernel support my "ADI Soundmax"? (whatever that is)
@3 well, I appreciated reading the review. Nope, I can't agree that too many respins is boring. Yes, I too wonder why FatDog64 is absent from the DW list; it is several years mature, well developed, and quite commendable IMHO. Hmm, collapse the DW listing by parent distro? Not sure I understand what benefit that would bring (help readers discover additional 'independent' distros?) but it's an interesting proposition nonetheless.
What is boring: scrolling past blahblah comments stating "So, my name's Joe and my favorite color is blue and my favorite distro is...". Stop, you're just talking to hear yourself talk. I don't care what your fave color is & I don't care to bore you with what my fave color is. Okay? Okay.
11 • Debian derivatives (by M.Z. on 2016-12-12 03:44:40 GMT from United States)
@3 & 4
Having used both straight Debian and to a much larger extent Mint, I can say definitively that there are big differences between Debian based distros & Debian and that there are real differences & changes going on among the derivatives. I think Mint in particular has a great set of tools that have been evolving & improving for years that set it apart and make it far better for average users than straight Debian or Ubuntu for that matter. Not only that Mint also has it's own independent desktop in Cinnamon that builds on designs not only from old versions of Gnome, but from KDE as well. I know Mint is the exception rather than the rule, but it started off in much the same way as the distros you seems so disinterested in.
Anyway, I don't mind hearing about Debian based distros a bit more than others because I know there are just more of them around. Other distros are great as well, but I can see so much difference between Mint & Debian it's really in a different league altogether in terms of desktop use. That's because Debain is an outstanding foundation to build & innovate on, not some kind of limiting factor. My main distros are Mageia, Mint & PCLinuxOS & I would say they are all better & more polished desktop systems than Debian, but Mint really took Debian to the next level with the tool set they put in place on top of Debian & they manage to be the best desktop distro around in my opinion. It's pretty great for 'just another Debian based distro', & I hope others build great projects on top of Debian & other distros as well & I hope to hear about them here on DW. Maybe some plucky little projects never take off, but you never know what the next Mint will be or what it will be based on; however, the beauty of open source is that they can build on whatever version of Linux they feel like & pull code & ideas from any other open project.
12 • Hawaii (by Saleem Khan on 2016-12-12 06:12:49 GMT from Pakistan)
And Hawaii is based on? Or is it an independent project?
13 • Feature stories (by Gary W on 2016-12-12 06:30:33 GMT from Australia)
I enjoy the balance between the mainstream and the weird & wonderful, so I voted for the Distrowatch team to continue their great work.
As for Debian vs. the rest, I think of Debian as a box of parts, not a packaged distro like so many others. It can be made into whatever an experienced user wants, so it's no surprise to me that it's the "mother" of many other distros.
14 • Why not Debian with Cinnamon? (by Bashir Barrage on 2016-12-12 07:57:01 GMT from Lebanon)
I suggest to those that like Linux Mint to go ahead and try running Debian with Cinnamon DE. Cinnamon is one of the options for a DE during Debian's install. This way, you end up with a faster and more flexible system, and with all of Linux Mint's benefits too.
15 • Re: Hawaii (by Chris on 2016-12-12 08:20:01 GMT from United States)
@12: Hawaii looks like it is a display manager based on Qt and Wayland. It should be able to run on top of Fedora, although in theory their webpage says it can run on top of any distro.
16 • Release cycles and Long Term Support (by Microlinux on 2016-12-12 08:30:24 GMT from France)
I'm the manager of a small Linux-based IT company in South France. I'd like to state that one of my major sources of frustration in my job - besides printers - is a sort of general consensus on frantic release cycles. KDE and Fedora, I'm looking at you. The KDE folks consider 18 months a "long term support", which is nothing short of ridiculous. I'd suggest these guys deploy a Linux-based network in an administration or SMB and then see how their 18-month-support fares in a production environment.
In his book "Trop vite" ("Too fast"), French writer Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber describes the unholy consequences of speed and acceleration on nearly every aspect of our modern lives: not only the IT sector, but also finance, politics, friendship, love, etc. I'd recommend it to anyone.
17 • Future Feature Stories (by Andre on 2016-12-12 10:05:25 GMT from Canada)
There are really only a handful of popular "base" distributions and it's what people decide to run on top of them that differentiates them for most. So why not feature more reviews on this differentiating element. This week's review, for example, could have taken a look at the Openbox window manager's current status and been just as, if not more, enlightening.
Whatever you decide to write about in your featured article, I'll probably keep on coming back to read it because I find it to be a great way to keep an eye on what's new and what's still around in the open-source world.
18 • salentOS (by anuradha on 2016-12-12 10:56:17 GMT from United States)
Salent OS was here for a long time--from February 2014--the earlier distros were based on Ubuntu. The new release is based on Debian. The base of Salent OS, whether it is Ubuntu or Debian, is the same. Try to appreciate some nice apps created by Gabriele Martina, rather than comparing it with other Debian based distros, especially Antix.
19 • The Survey (by phoenix00 on 2016-12-12 11:48:49 GMT from Canada)
/voted #3 "Provide more tutorials"
Make the transition to Linux easier for those of us who are stuck on/grew up with/want to experiment with/trying to find an excuse to use Linux. The learning curve is still far too steep, with ordinary everyday tasks far too difficult. When the usual forums/community support response is "RTFA" it truly doesn't help anybody.
20 • Fedora Release Cycle (by Jason B on 2016-12-12 11:50:27 GMT from United States)
Ive always been a fan of Fedora, it was the first to adopt GNOME3 as the default interface. I enjoyed the yum package manager, and it allowed me to become comfortable with systemd(mixed bag there), However I have moved to Debian Jesse because I think their release cycle was a bit ridiculous. I'd have to agree with Matthew Miller, that Fedora would benefit from an annual release as apposed to a bi-annual. Any time I did use Fedora, I found it to be exteremely buggy. (mind you that was kinda fun) However there has to be a good balance between cutting edge and stability. With Debian, I do believe they are on the other end of this. I'm using Jesse for stability, however it does bother me i need to mix and match packages from stable, testing, and unstable just to get to versions other releases have had for a while. If there could be a distribution that walks the line between both ideological paths, it would be a joy to run. I think changing the release cycle would make me return to Fedora, possibly full time, and possibly to start helping with development. I just stopped trying Ubuntu Development because I realized I dont agree with their choices. Especially developing Mir instead of working with Wayland.
"However, our evaluation of the protocol definition revealed that the Wayland protocol does not meet our requirements. First, we are aiming for a more extensible input event handling that takes future developments like 3D input devices (e.g. Leap Motion) into account. "
Really Ubuntu, arent you jumping the gun? maybe you should get touch working on some phone and tablets.... and OH! you might want to release them worldwide! Ubuntu, you should just use Wayland until you need to start using 3D inputs... im sure it'll be awhile
21 • Mir/Wayland (by curious on 2016-12-12 12:37:08 GMT from Germany)
While Mir is definitely not ready for general use (and it might not ever be really good), having an alternative to some RedHat-mandated "innovation" is definitely a good thing. Gnome 3, systemd, PulseAudio and especially GTK3 come to mind.
22 • Survey (by Ian L on 2016-12-12 13:13:49 GMT from United States)
I enjoy the feature stories, but usually read them backwards from Conclusions, and skim the details only if the conclusions highlights something of interest. Sometimes I read install details later if considering installing a different distro.
I support more numerical ratings or rankings, so voted for "benchmarks" for comparing distributions or software packages. Ratings could also be subjective, on a scale of 0 to 10 or whatever.
For example, "The distribution is stable and light, offering fast performance on a solid base." Sounds OK, but how does it compare with WattOS, which "strives to be as energy-efficient as possible so that it can be used on low-specification and recycled computers," for example? So, SalentOS is a 9 on lightness and WattOS is a 10, or what?
Then when you look at a distro summary page, the list of ratings could also appear, similar to how many other products are rated by reviewers.
WattOS has also gone back and forth between Debian and Ubuntu. "Why" stories can be interesting. What does this give me that the "big names" do not. I find those bits in the reviews, but it feels like digging. Maybe I'm just a lazy reader. :)
23 • Innovation (by PW on 2016-12-12 13:31:13 GMT from Germany)
there are some interesting small distros of course that deserve attention, that are truly innovative.
one can easily use the search engine of DW to - for example - look up systemd-free distros, because nowadays those tend to be very innovative in regard of software-decisions (because it gets harder and harder to backport sth like gnome3 and such to a non-systemd-distro as this software relys on it more and more) and therefore support the upstream-projects.
One can foresee a divergence in the near future of systemd-only distros, which include all the software that will be too hard/impossible to port back to sysVinit/runit/openRC/placeYourFavouriteInitOnlySoftwareHere, and non-systemd-distros that will evolve with independent software and desktopEnvironments and audio-drivers and whatnot.
24 • SalentOS init software (by Jesse on 2016-12-12 14:18:16 GMT from Canada)
@10: "salentOS review states sysv... but DW salentOS page shows systemd"
They are not mutually exclusive. Lots of projects use one init system, but have others available for installation. SalentOS runs SysV init, but you can swap it out for systemd if you want. If you look at SalentOS's full package listing, you will see both systemd and SysV packages are available, the default just happens to be SysV. https://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=salentos&pkglist=true&version=1.0.1#pkglist
25 • SalentOS 1.0 - Minimal Debian (by Tim on 2016-12-12 14:41:31 GMT from United States)
I thought Debian was already a minimal distro. Every time I have ever installed it, I had to install my own desktop (which was almost always Openbox). Maybe they mean a distro that is minimal but configures itself, which to me does not really mean "minimal".
26 • Future Feature Stories (by Tim on 2016-12-12 14:51:39 GMT from United States)
I vote to keep them the way they are. If some other hot topic or idea comes up, it could simply be added as a separate article in the current DistroWatch Weekly format.
27 • Improving the Featured Stories page (by Mark A on 2016-12-12 15:33:21 GMT from United States)
First I will make the side comment that I am in large agreement with the comments of @ 5 and @ 23.
That noted, I think more featuring of less know distros would be a good thing, not to indulge the distro hopping mentality of some who like change for change sake, but because that is where most of the innovation in Linux currently resides. I feel there are whole areas of distros pushing the envelop on new file systems and how programs and OS interact that are not getting the focused attention they deserve. Also there are distros that are streamlining what a distro is through doing less better.
PS a thumbs up for Subgraph OS getting some attention on the wait list.
28 • Links in the comments (by Pearson on 2016-12-12 15:43:35 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the links in the comments. Mashes reading much easier.
@16, is the book "too fast" available in English?
29 • Forgot to Mention (by Mark A on 2016-12-12 15:50:43 GMT from United States)
Thank you very much for adding ToriOS to the Distrowatch listings. One of the reasons some of us are strongly drawn to the Linux OS environment is because it counters the corporate appliance mentality of discarding tech linked to production cycles and whim. Thumbs up for sustainable tech that recognizes we can't all have the latest or greatest, but still can have decent performance.
30 • Future feature stories (by Roy Davies on 2016-12-12 16:17:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
@5 Keep doing what you do best. Plenty of feature variety on plenty of distros, architectures, packages, tutorials, reviews, is what DW is all about. Long may it remain so.
31 • SakentOS and Debian (by David on 2016-12-12 17:55:27 GMT from United Kingdom)
A reviewer once called Debian less a distro than a kit for making distros, and I think they had a point. I could imagine running, say, Mint as my default but not Debian itself. SalentOS offers the combination of a Debian Stable base with OpenBox. As far as I can tell, no other distro does: OpenBox with Testing or Unstable, but not with Stable. I'd say that makes it a valuable contribution, if you like OpenBox of course. And yes you could install Debian and switch to OpenBox, but anyone who thinks any GUI will run perfectly on any distro has obviously never tried OpenSUSE or Fedora with something other than KDE or Gnome.
32 • Reviews (by Jordan on 2016-12-12 18:18:28 GMT from United States)
@22 Ian.. yes I do the same as to the scrolling down to "conclusions," most often. Once in a while I'll start at the beginning and read through, but not very often.
And, as you say, if there is something that jumps out at me in the "conclusions" paragraph(s), I'll scroll back up and read further.
33 • Survey & Distro proliferation (by dragonmouth on 2016-12-12 19:59:17 GMT from United States)
I would like to see more articles about new/obscure distros AND more tutorials.
If we are going to complain about too many spinoffs of distros let's not single out just Debian. Between its database, its Waiting List and Evaluation list, DistroWatch keeps track of something like 1200 distros. Do we NEED that many distros? How many other distros are there that DW doesn't know about or doesn't bother tracking for one reason or another??? How many of these distros are truly unique or innovative? I would suggest that the vast majority of distros/re-spins/spinoffs differ from the others only in relatively minor details. Most of them are "I can do it, too" copy-cat creations.
HOWEVER, let's not forget that it is the Linux culture that not only allows but encourages the constant duplication of effort. So we have have to endure the endless re-invention of the wheel in the hope that someone, somehow, somewhere will actually create something unique and/or innovative. Why complain about some coder creating another re-spin of Debian when Canonical insists on having its own version of every major Linux package?! Why did Canonical insist on rewriting Wayland as Mir instead of adding its efforts to improve Wayland? Why did Canonical insist on developing its own "universal installer", Snaps, when another one, AppImage, has already been in use for a few years? Why does Canonical insist on re-inventing the wheel with its Ubuntu Software Center instead of assisting in improving Synaptic, which is the standard package manager for all other Debian-based distros?
34 • Openbox: BunsenLabs or GALPon MiniNo (by cpoakes on 2016-12-12 21:23:36 GMT from United States)
@31 There are at least two other Debian stable distros based on Openbox that come to mind. BunsenLabs Linux is the (sanctioned) successor to CrunchBang, an Openbox stable distro since squeeze. GALPon MiniNo is another, also an OB distro since at least squeeze.
As you point out, OB distros provide an important function - a default, working OB environment. CrunchBang introduced me to lightweight OB systems. While I now "roll my own" from Debian stable, CB introduced me to the other elements needed to round out the window manager (compositor, task bar, file manager, wifi manager, power manager, wallpaper manager, sound controls, et al). Without such examples, simply installing the openbox window manager on a favorite distro is disappointing and/or frustating.
35 • Duplication of effort? Freedom of choice? Smaller distros? Display servers... (by Einar on 2016-12-12 22:47:21 GMT from Norway)
I agree that there are many smaller distros that look quite similar and are built upon the same "mother" distro. Sometimes they add value by tweaking desktops or adding new packages or repos or things like that and sometimes they do not add that much, but often they are made for a particular purpose and by people devoted to that purpose. Sometimes the purpose might even be just to educate themselves on how distros are built. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm not convinced the people that make the smaller distros would contribute to the larger distros if they did not make the smaller ones.
Some of the distros that started out as a one-man show has grown into large communities, like Linux Mint or Solus. If these people did not go at it at their own, some of the innovation and choice in the open source world would not be there today. Not just these distro themselves, but also the wider Linux ecosystem has gained from their work by having more choice in desktops and software. (Even if I don't personally use any of their stuff.)
Even if the many distros and desktops and window managers make it a bit confusing for new users to choose, the freedom to fork is one of the core principles that make free software great. Gnu+Linux is more exciting/useful than Windows or Mac OS because we can choose between so many great distros and do not just get a "one size fits all" thing where one company decides what their users get.
When it comes to Mir, I think Cannonical had different technical goals than Wayland and that was why they developed Mir. They wouldn't have done it if Wayland fit their needs since they obviously are not afraid of using technologies developed originally by RedHat, Suse or the wider Linux community. Mir has shipped on mobile phones and tablets for over a year and both Mir and the X compatibility layer Xmir works well on my M10 Ubuntu tablet even if it hasn't come to the Ubuntu desktop yet (as default). What isn't yet good enough for the desktop isn't Mir and XMir, but Unity 8 for desktop use. It works on the tablets and phones, but to be good enought to replace Unity7 on the desktop, it needs a bit more work. That is why we don't see Unity8 and Mir as default on Ubuntu. Of course, Wayland has shipped on phones by Jolla for even longer and is now default in Fedora 25, which is great.
I think having two choices is better than one for display server in the long run. Ideas could pop up in either one and either be implemented in one or the other, or if they are good and suits their purpose, in both. A bit of friendly coopetition never hurt the quality of software. You might disagree with Cannonical's decisions on Unity, Snaps and Mir, but with free software, nobody is forcing you to use their offering if you don't like the direction they are going in. Their contribution in code could be reused by other projectes with other ideas. More GPL code in the world is a win for everyone.
Instead of complaining that someone is creating something we can choose to use (or not) with the freedoms the GPL gives, let's be thankful to the people that make the world a better place by giving us the fruits of their work.
36 • Wow... (by Hello on 2016-12-13 00:11:01 GMT from United States)
Wow, another stupid "I want to change things on the site just for change and to make it stupider", I really feel the Linux world is inheriting all the curses of Windows that I thought we escaped from. This makes no sense to change things just for change. Leave it as it is since everything as it is on the site is fine. But I guess you are just like Microsoft, you want to change everything just for change. This is just really stupid, it seems to me the Linux world is becoming like Microsoft with not listening to user's thoughts and opinions and just changing everything.
37 • @16 • Release cycles and Long Term Support (by Microlinux) (by Elcaset on 2016-12-13 01:30:25 GMT from United States)
I completely agree with your comments. I'm a long time KDE user. I prefer to use distros that are supported for at least 3 years. Five years is even better. Having a DE supported for at least a few years would be much better to maintain. Also, I'm not running in a production environment. I'm just a desktop user, maintaining several systems of my own, & a few for friends & relatives.
38 • @37 • Release cycles and Long Term Support (by Greg Zeng on 2016-12-13 02:40:05 GMT from Australia)
"I'm a long time KDE user. I prefer to use distros that are supported for at least 3 years. Five years is even better."
Many contradictions here. Afaik the only "stable" desktop environment is Xfce. The worst, most unstable is KDE PLASMA. Cinnamon, Unity, LXDE, Enlightenment GNOME, MATE & LXQt are in rapid, constant change.
Canonical's Ubuntu is the strangest. Instead of helping with industry standards, they are trying to Apple-ify Linux with unusual versions of Wayland (Mir) and Xfce (Unity). Xfce can easily imitate Unity, and out-do it in every way; intellihide the seemingly unlimited task bars on all four sides, etc.
What is the best LTS kernel in Linux has just been released yesterday: version.
As I have published elsewhere on the internet:
Linux Kernel 4.9 is LTS (long term support).
"It has been confirmed that Linux kernel 4.9 release will be the next LTS kernel branch. This Long Term Release is expected to receive fixes and updates for a couple of years. If everything goes as expected, kernel 4.9 will arrive towards the end of November 2016."
which is based on:
Greg K-H: "The LTS kernel has nothing to do with the "normal" kernel cadence or release cycle or stability at all. It's all for those companies that somehow feel that sticking with a specific kernel version fits their business/product model."
This URL i very helpful to most Linux desktop users are running Ubuntu-based Linux distributions. The Ubuntu-based users (Mint, Zorin, Peppermint, (neon, Lxle, Bodhi, Ultimate, ... ) just need to go to the above url. Download the three relevant DEB files to your Desktop. Double-click on these, and they will very easily, very quickly auto-install."
39 • Openbox on Debian (by Robin on 2016-12-13 05:18:20 GMT from United Kingdom)
40 • Featured stories (by zephyr on 2016-12-13 11:22:31 GMT from United States)
Enjoy many aspects of DistroWatch, difficult to say what exactly I enjoy more. Find Questions and Answers to be out front, always interesting and enlightening.
Kudos to all the folks at DW for trying to make the user experience more pleasurable, for one not complaining as is.
41 • Openbox on debian (by slick on 2016-12-13 11:37:52 GMT from United States)
Frankly have tried a few of the so-called #! CrunchBang replacements and found them to be a bit bloated and overly consuming of memory on first boot. Simply over done with extra apps which everyone may not want or need. One had so many pipe menus it absolutely strangled the look and feel.
Highly recommend Star which is a minimalist distribution, very small under 600mb and very small memory foot print. Comes with just enough applications to get you up and running. Just might be what you are looking for, very stable and compliments both Debian and Devuan..
Currently run "star-livinia-ob-64-2016SEP23.iso" and frankly could not ask for a better distribution, stable, fast, light and dependable.
42 • Post 31 Response (by Keith M. on 2016-12-13 11:39:27 GMT from United States)
OpenSUSE Tumbleweed runs exceptionally well with LXQT via the Gecko Linux respin.
43 • SalentOS Welcome Window Conclusions (by Keith M. on 2016-12-13 11:54:41 GMT from United States)
" SalentOS did not sit right with me in a few ways. One was the way the welcome window kept reappearing whenever I logged in and Openbox forgot some of my settings each time I logged out. I also didn't like that some of the control panel modules failed to launch. I usually like to have my desktop panel over on the left side of the screen and SalentOS's panel does not handle this positioning gracefully. "
The auto-starting "Welcome Window" can very easily be prevented from starting.
There is an OpenBox autostart configuration file somewhere in your home directory ...... in .config if I recall correctly. To stop this window from autostart,either comment out the according line or delete the line from the config file. Very easy.
As far as characteristics of the SalentOS panel go,they are probably inherent to any implementation of the Tint2 Panel.
On the previous version of SalentOS,I installed aDeskBar with almost all custom launchers except for maybe the clock. The default power and volume "plugins" of aDeskBar were no good so I made my own launchers (reading from the exec= lines from the desktop files located in /usr/share/applications).
44 • linux difficulty (by Harold on 2016-12-13 20:37:36 GMT from United States)
not to disagree with phoenix00 about the difficulty of learning to use Linux....
I use Windows 7 some and mostly PCLOS to do my computing.
I recently had a really difficult (for me) experience trying to help someone set up a new laptop with Windows 10 on it. Not having seen or used said windows os before, it is a real chore trying to find ways to do any of the things that you were able to do with XP or Windows 7. I am afraid I was very little help for my friend. She had to upgrade her os because the new tax program won't work on XP. I don't doubt that she will wish many times she had done something else. Like most people around me, they only use their windows computers and have no idea what version os they have or anything about how to change any part of it.
45 • Favorites (by Didier Spaier on 2016-12-13 21:02:18 GMT from France)
@Jesse: I recommend to people wanting to learn how to write a shell script to *first* read the POSIX specification of the Shell Command Language:
1. This helps writing portable scripts
2. This is much easier to read than bash's man page and provides examples not found in "man bash"
3. Although this be not explicit, the writers of bash's man page of course assume that the reader already knows the POSIX specification.
4. People reading http://tldp.org/HOWTO/Bash-Prog-Intro-HOWTO.html will learn how to write a *bash* script (and is 15 years old). Learning ho to write a shell that can run on any POSIX compliant shell is more useful in my opinion.
5. Those of the bash extensions that I fins useful are generally not in the scope of shell scripting.
As an aside, I often find the GNU extensions not that useful. This is true for instance for sed. I wrote a really big sed script (actually a mix of shell and sed):
without feeling a need for any of these extensions.
46 • Openbox on Debian (by cooper on 2016-12-15 05:49:07 GMT from United States)
SalentOS has improved with running just a Debian base, however can't get pass the bloat, same with BL and other CrunchBang wannabe's. BL has way to much bl-apps that just congest a distribution to the point where it is just difficult to configure anything. Not like CrunchBang at all.
Took a look at Galpon miniNo and found it a very nice and fast distribution. Like using Openbox and truly a minimalist dream.
Looking for a very minimal install without the bloat, might try Sparky with their minimal gui install.
47 • Future_feature_stories_targeted_towards_urgent_needs (by k on 2016-12-15 06:48:01 GMT from Netherlands)
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smartphone#Market_share ,
Apple iPhones make up second most used in the world, and yet
-- after Apple latest "updates" -- most Linux distros will not mount
an iPhone to allow access to user files, including photos and videos.
Another urgent need relates to rapid market share growth of tablets
and laptop/tablet "hybrids" with 32-bit UEFI on 64-bit processor,
"secure boot", detachable keyboards, apparently being monopolized
by Microsoft Windows 8 and 8.1, according to numerous postings
and articles on the internet and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8#Market_share_and_sales .
Many avid Linux users will doubtless find a way -- there ALWAYS is --
to run live Linux distros -- highly recommend Knoppix 7.7.1 by the way --,
and even brave installation on hard-disks of such Linux hostile, but
DistroWatch more greatly assist with more resources and tutorials
targeted to such urgent needs.
It is not enough to list distros with UEFI support.
48 • Need to know (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2016-12-15 15:05:46 GMT from United States)
"It is not enough to list distros with UEFI support." Indeed.
SecureBoot support should be discover-able too.
blame Apple Inc. for mounting issues, not Linux developers,
remember that statistics published on the web are usually inaccurate, often wildly so.
49 • @20 (by Simon on 2016-12-15 22:03:34 GMT from New Zealand)
Absolutely. Anything shorter than an annual release cycle places it in the "hobby" distro category: it's fun if you're just playing around and want to preview bleeding-edge stuff...but if you want to use an OS for serious work, you don't want to be distracted from what you're doing by adjusting to new package versions and functionality twice a year. If you want a Red Hat compatible desktop at present it's better to go with the likes of CentOS, because you can set it up and depend on it, without having to waste time re-configuring things (and sometimes de-bugging things) due to system upgrades. If Fedora doubled its release cycle to twelve months, it would become (just barely) a viable desktop OS, roughly a Red-Hat-based equivalent of the Debian-based desktop distros (Ubuntu, Mint, etc.), rather than just a developer/hobbyist OS.
50 • 'Future Features' (by Dave Postles on 2016-12-16 19:13:09 GMT from United Kingdom)
@47 Low RAM (2Gb) notebooks with 32-bit UEFI on 64-bit processor.
I usually buy from PCSpecialist to my spec, but I saw the Medion Akoya S2218 and thought I'd see what I could do with it. It turns out very little. I've tried all sorts and all distros. The only one to work is TAILS from a usb stick. Not even Knoppix will run nor any multiarch. I've fiddled with the shell to map, but to no avail. All I can say is: beware. TAILS boots and runs fine, but it still looks a bit shitty with an antiquated Gnome 2 and poor desktop.
51 • Re: 'Future Features' (by k on 2016-12-16 22:31:53 GMT from Germany)
@50 by Dave Postles
I had the same experience early on, TAILS worked, but no others,
until I tried the SolydXK developer route via virtualbox installation onto
a USB with Fat32 formatted boot partition, see https://solydxk.com/get-support/tutorials/#persistent .
Aside: I use OpenSuse 42.2 leap with the virtualbox from its Yast repo, extpack from
virtualbox site, and dkms from packman repo. OpenSuse has really excellent docu-
mentation, so it worked fine.
Just that detachable keyboard does not work so NO ENCRYPTED nor PASSWORD
login, and linux distro has to have virtual keyboard.
Once successful with SolydK USB, tried Linux Mint, but it requires a USB with at
least 10 GB, and all I have is an 8 GB, so then Fedora 25. Okay, even turns desktop
with orientation of the computer/display -- Wayland works :) -- but left too little memory
left for user "space", so I just installed Knoppix 7.7.1 "over" Fedora, using Knoppix-flash
installer from another USB that already had Knoppix 771 on it, the installer notified/confirmed target USB already had Fat partition -- okay, proceed --, but this
live installation had to be without encryption. Anyway, works like Santa Klaus intended. :)
Go Dave go, all the best of luck to you, and get Linux on that machine.
52 • OpinionPoll-FutureFeaturesDistroW (by CucumberLinux on 2016-12-17 21:53:28 GMT from Germany)
I seriously enjoy DistroWatch the way it is. (Information is what I care about!)
No need for tutorials, because there is plenty of them on the net. Unless DIstroWatch, has more people to do stuff with, then be my guest. Other then that. Just stay like you are. If you change to much of this fancy crap I see on Websites those days, it would totally made me not even navigate your Website anymore. I have done that with Websites like Chip.de , just one example. They have changed so much, where I stopped using their Website at all, zero for me.
Just my stupid humble opinion. Sorry for my grammar. Greetings to all of you.
53 • release cycles (by M.Z. on 2016-12-18 06:57:25 GMT from United States)
"If Fedora doubled its release cycle to twelve months, it would become (just barely) a viable desktop OS"
So what you're saying is that Fedora should maintain it's current 13 month support cycle? You do know that that is already their release policy right? They may release roughly every six months, but every release gets 1 year & a month of support. I think that's perfectly adequate given the target audience; however, I do think it was a mistake for Ubuntu to abandon the same basic support cycle in favor of just 9 months of support for short ter releases. I also sort of wonder why Fedora didn't have an LTS from the start that had the same support cycle an RHEL, which would have eliminated the need for CentOS, but I suppose that's a hindsight sort of thing.
Anyway I plan to do upgrades on my current Fedora install at least a month or two after each new release, but I could easily skip every other release if I wanted to. It's nice to have that option even if I don't wait that long to upgrade. I do somewhat prefer the longer release cycles of all the other distros I use on most of my Linux installs, but for some things I like keeping something highly secure & cutting edge like Fedora around.
Number of Comments: 53
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