| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 692, 19 December 2016
Welcome to this year's 51st issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
There is a saying that good things come in small packages and one of the smaller and more visually attractive distributions is Bodhi Linux. The Bodhi Linux project released version 4.0.0 earlier this year and Joshua Allen Holm presents his thoughts on the distribution and its custom Moksha desktop environment in this week's Feature Story. Also in this issue, Jesse Smith explores a security package called Cappsule which is designed to protect the operating system from compromised processes. In our News section we discuss a new configuration suite from Calculate Linux, a collaborative effort between Solus and Ubuntu MATE to improve the application menu and the CoreOS distribution's name change. As usual, we report on the distribution releases of the past week and supply a list of torrents we are seeding. In our Opinion Poll we talk about approaches to process isolation and security. This week we added a new search feature which makes it easier to find old reviews and articles from past editions of the Weekly. Plus we are happy to report this month's DistroWatch donation goes to the UBports project to assist in bringing GNU/Linux to a wider range of smart phones. We will be on holiday next Monday, but we will return with a new DistroWatch Weekly on January 2, 2017. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (26MB) and MP3 (34MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Joshua Allen Holm)
Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 review
For users with older computers, some of the modern Linux distributions can be too resource intensive. Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 is a lightweight distribution designed for those users. The minimum system requirements are a 500MHz processor, 128MB of RAM, and 4GB of disk space. The recommended requirements are a 1.0GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and 10GB of disk space. Available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, as well as a "Legacy" release for really old 32-bit systems, Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 can easily bring new life to older computers.
Bodhi Linux offers a couple of download options beyond the 32-bit/64-bit choice. There is a Standard release and an AppPack version. The Standard release is very bare-bones with only a minimal set of pre-installed options, while the AppPack version comes with a larger number of bundled applications. The ISO for the 64-bit Standard version is 647MB and the 64-bit AppPack version is 1.21GB (about twice the size). For the purposes of this review, I opted for the Standard version, so I could customize my system as I wished. However, I will be mentioning some of the AppPack version's additional software throughout this review.
Installing Bodhi Linux
The live USB I made using the ISO file I downloaded booted quickly, and I was presented with a very nice looking desktop with a helpful quick start guide, which provided a lot of useful information about Bodhi. Honestly, I did not spend much time poking around in the live environment and immediately started the installer. Though from my limited experience using the desktop while the installer ran, the live version is very usable.
Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 -- The Quick Start Guide
(full image size: 150kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, so there were no real surprises when it came to installing. The installer is the standard Ubiquity installer with just a few theme changes and Bodhi-specific information screens. The only problem I had was the fact that the custom theme used seems to not have an image for unchecked check boxes and unselected radio buttons. A selected option has a mark, but nothing is displayed in front of non-selected options, making it hard to figure out where to click. Users who have never used Ubiquity before might not even know they are being presented with options they can choose. Overall, it is a minor flaw, but something that should probably be addressed.
The Moksha desktop
Bodhi's desktop environment is called Moksha. The Bodhi website describes this desktop as "a continuation of the Enlightenment 17 desktop," which "consists of the back porting of bug fixes and features from future Enlightenment releases, as well as the removal of half finished/broken things E17 contained."
Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 -- The Moksha desktop
(full image size: 820kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
For a lightweight desktop environment, Moksha is beautiful without needing a lot of system resources. On my system, with no extra applications running, the RAM usage was approximately 120MB, give or take a few megabytes either way. Despite low RAM usage, Moksha and the default applications have some wonderful graphical effects. The mouse cursor has a glowing green outline when the mouse or trackpad button is clicked. Terminology, the terminal application, has a glowing blue text cursor and, when doing something that would trigger a boring error beep on most systems, Terminology's window flashes red. This red flash is not a simple, quick color change, it is actually a polished animation. It alerts the user that something went wrong without being overpowering or needlessly distracting.
While I cannot find much wrong with Moksha overall, beyond a general sense of it being a little rough around the edges, I have to say that the graphical effect for the clock in the system tray is super distracting. The current time is displayed in glowing green numbers, which looks really nice, but all the non-current digits are also displayed in light gray. The effect is similar to a digital alarm clock using various lines to create the various numbers by only lighting certain elements, but in the case of Moksha's clock, the numbers are not the LED-style seen on alarm clocks, so you can see nine other digits stacked underneath the currently active digit. I will admit I am nitpicking here, but I found clock's display to be way too jumbled.
While Moksha is very nice, there are a few minor drawbacks with the default applications. The included text editor, ePad, is one of the most spartan text editors I have ever used. It is functional, but there are very few options to customize it. It is the same way for a lot of the bundled apps in the Standard version. The applications are nice, but basic. They might be enough for some people, but could be very limiting for others. Thankfully, the distribution does provide a nice selection of more robust alternatives through its package manager.
Installing and updating software
Like I noted above, I used the Standard version of the install media, so my system did not have much software installed. It came with the Midori web browser, the Terminology terminal emulator, PCManFM file manager, ePad text editor, ePhoto image viewer, and a handful of system utilities for adjusting various settings and updating software. The AppPack version includes a much longer list of bundled software including key applications like LibreOffice and the VLC media player.
Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 -- The AppCenter software manager
(full image size: 89kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The default method for installing software in the Standard version is the Bodhi AppCenter. This web-based AppCenter contains a rather limited number of packages, but the ones that are included are the big name applications. For web browsers, Chromium and Firefox are available to install and the office category provides lighter applications, like Abiword and Gnumeric, and full office suites, including both Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice. It is the same for all the other software categories; the big name applications are there, but overall selection of software is very limited. This drawback can easily be bypassed by installing the Synaptic package manager (which comes included by default in the AppPack version) and installing software from a much larger selection of packages, basically anything available in the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS repositories.
Even without resorting to installing Synaptic, I was able to add enough software to my system to make it usable. I had a web browser, e-mail client, terminal, office suite, video player, and a few other utilities. While I could have easily installed from the AppPack install media and had most of these applications included by default, I like that I could start from a minimal desktop and select the packages I wanted.
Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 -- The update manager
(full image size: 690kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
System updates are handled using the eepDater utility. This basic utility does exactly what it is supposed to, so there is not much to say about it. Run the updater, select which updates you want to install, and it installs them. For the entire time I used Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, I had zero problems with the updater, which is a testament both to the updater and the Bodhi team's ability to make their extra packages mesh with the Ubuntu base. When dealing with distributions that are a base distro plus extras, sometimes things can get broken or messed up, but I saw none of that when I was using Bodhi.
Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a lightweight Linux distribution for their older computers, or anyone who wants something just a little different. While the Moksha desktop is not perfect and it still has a few minor rough edges, it is a functional, traditional desktop. The only real negative with Bodhi is the small number of applications available though Bodhi's AppCenter, but even that is easily bypassed by installing and using the Synaptic package manager.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo Ideapad 100-15IBD laptop with the following specifications:
- Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Core i3-5020U CPU
- Storage: Seagate 500GB 5400 RPM hard drive
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8723BE 802.11n Wireless Network Adapter
- Display: Intel HD Graphics 5500
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu, CoreOS becomes Container Linux
The Calculate Linux team has announced their first beta release of Calculate Utilities. The Utilities package features a suite of server configuration tools which will help the administrator perform common tasks. "The first beta of Calculate Utilities 3.5 has been made available. The brand new sys-apps/calculate-utils package now features server configuration tools, even though only basics are supported for the time being, such as database deployment, LDAP server configuration, creating accounts for Unix users, files and configuration backups, etc. We completely rewrote the server utilities. Server templates were moved to the Calculate overlay. Two more USE flags, backup and server, were added to the package, which stand respectively for creating backups and server configuration." Further information on the Utilities suite and its features can be found in the project's blog post.
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The Solus and Ubuntu MATE projects are working in collaboration to build a better application menu for the MATE desktop environment. The new menu is called Brisk and is written in C in order to offer better performance. The This Week In Solus newsletter reports: "Brisk Menu will be featured in the ISO snapshot for our Solus MATE Edition and the work done on Brisk Menu will be ported back to Budgie 11. Additionally, we're proud to announce that the Ubuntu MATE project has expressed enthusiasm about Brisk Menu and is helping to fund development of it, so all MATE desktop users can benefit from a fast, modern menu implementation. The Ubuntu MATE project will be integrating Brisk Menu as soon as it can replace the core functionality of MATE Menu, and will see that Brisk Menu is packaged for Debian and made available in the Debian and Ubuntu archives." Ubuntu MATE's lead developer, Martin Wimpress, confirmed the ongoing collaboration in an Google+ post.
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The CoreOS distribution is a Linux-based project for servers. The distribution is designed to be streamlined for running containers and provides rolling updates. The project has announced a change in the name of the distribution from CoreOS to Container Linux. "Over the years, CoreOS (the brand) has grown to represent not just a product but the leadership and expertise we provide to our customers and in the open community. So to differentiate our company from this widely used product, we have renamed CoreOS Linux to 'Container Linux by CoreOS' and have given it a new logo as well. Further information can be found in the project's announcement.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Technology Review (by Jesse Smith)
Cappsule - Lightweight virtual machine security
One of our readers sent me a link to Cappsule and recommended I look into it. Cappsule is a product of Quarkslab which strives to improve security by isolating processes. The project's website states:
Cappsule is a new kind of hypervisor developed by Quarkslab (to our knowledge, there's no similar public project). Its goal is to virtualize any software on the fly (e.g. web browser, office suite, media player) into lightweight VMs called cappsules. Attacks are confined inside cappsules and therefore don't have any impact on the host OS. Applications don't need to be repackaged, and their usage remains the same for the end user: it's completely transparent. Moreover, the OS doesn't need to be re-installed nor modified.
At this time, Cappsule is still in development and carries the beta tag. The software can be installed from a Deb package on an existing instance of Ubuntu 16.04. Alternatively, there are VMware and VirtualBox appliances we can download in order to test the Cappsule software before we install it locally.
I decided to try the VirtualBox appliance first. I downloaded the 2.1GB compressed archive, confirmed the appliance's checksum and tried to import it into VirtualBox. Importing the appliance failed due to storage-related errors. I then created a new virtual machine and tried to attach the provided virtual hard disk, which again failed.
Though not off to a great start, I decided to try installing Cappsule directly on an existing copy of Ubuntu 16.04.1. I downloaded the 540kB Deb package and tried to install it. The package was missing a dependency, specifically the xserver-xorg-video-dummy package. I installed this missing item and then installed the Cappsule Deb package.
According to the project's documentation, Cappsule includes a background daemon which we need to start before using Cappsule. After that, we should be able to run commands inside cappsules by prefixing our commands with virt exec. For example, we might run "virt exec firefox" or "virt exec vi". At first, the virt command was not recognized and I found this was due to the program being installed in the /usr/local/cappsule/usr/bin directory which had to be added to my user account's command path. With this done, I tried running virt and got back an error: "Client error: cannot connect to cappsule server."
As it turned out, the server was not running yet. I launched the server (it needs to be run with root or sudo privileges) and tried again. Once more I was told virt could not connect to its server. A little experimenting showed the Cappsule server was terminating immediately upon launch, not running in the background as expected. To work around this, I ran the Cappsule server in debugging mode. The only thing debugging mode offered me was an error which read: "finit_module: File exists", followed by the daemon shutting down.
A trip back to the project's documentation lead me to realize Cappsule is available in two flavours, one apparently for desktop applications and another for command line programs or services. Since the Desktop version appears, judging by the documentation, to be trickier to get working smoothly, I removed the Desktop version of the package and installed the Server edition.
Trying to run the Server edition of Cappsule worked (or did not work) exactly the same as the Desktop edition. The daemon would crash and I could get no helpful error messages out of the debugging mode. A side-effect of installing the Server edition was, when I rebooted Ubuntu, my operating system would only boot to a command line interface. I was no longer brought to a graphical login screen at boot time. Even once the Cappsule packages had been removed, Ubuntu still only booted to a text console. I could login, but not launch a graphical environment as Cappsule had changed my X software settings.
At this point, Cappsule does not appear to be a practical tool. I could not import the virtual machine appliance and neither of the two Deb packages provided me with a working copy of the Cappsule daemon. Adding insult to injury, removing Cappsule effectively removed my ability to run graphical software on my installation of Ubuntu. The project has some documentation, but it's still sparse and mostly covers what Cappsule is without diving a great deal into how it works or how to trouble-shoot issues.
For now, people hoping to isolate their processes would probably be better served by Firejail, Qubes OS or a virtual machine.
|Released Last Week
Karanbir Singh has announced the release of CentOS 7-1611. The new release is derived from Red Hat Enterprise linux 7.3 and offers a number of new features, including SHA2 support in OpenLDAP, Bluetooth LE and a technology preview of Btrfs. "Since release 1503 (abrt>= 2.1.11-19.el7.centos.0.1) CentOS-7 can report bugs directly to bugs.centos.org. You can find information about that feature at this page. Various new packages include among others: python-gssapi, python-netifaces, mod_auth_openidc, pidgin and Qt5. Support for the 7th-generation Core i3, i5, and i7 Intel processors and I2C on 6th-generation Core Processors has been added. Various packages have been rebased. Some of those are samba, squid, systemd, krb5, gcc-libraries, binutils, gfs-utils, libreoffice, GIMP,SELinux, firewalld, libreswan, tomcat and open-vm-tools..." Further information can be found in the project's release notes.
OLPC OS 13.2.8
James Cameron has announced the release of OLPC OS 13.2.8, the latest version of a specialist distribution developed under the initiative of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project to provide children in developing countries with low-cost laptops. This release is still based on Fedora 18, but it ships with updated Sugar, the distribution's default desktop user interface: "We're pleased to announce the release of OLPC OS 13.2.8 for XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75 and XO-4. Features: new Sugar 0.110 with completed translations; updated activities Speak 52, Measure 53, Maze 26.1, Implode 17, GetBooks 16.2, Clock 18.1 and Chat 83; add sugar-erase-bundle feature, for use by deployment scripts. Fixes: fix Fedora secondary mirror references so yum can work; remove Sugar Web Account control panel as it does nothing; remove Simple-English-Wikipedia on XO-1.5 to fit into 2 GB limit for some models; add forward and back buttons in help view; display activity instance title in join requests...." Read the release announcement and release notes for further details and installation instructions.
Proxmox 4.4 "Virtual Environment"
Proxmox Virtual Environment (VE) is a Debian-based distribution used for running virtual appliances and containers. The latest release of Proxmox VE, version 4.4, allows for the creation of unprivileged contains through the distribution's graphical interface. The project has also a new dashboard: "Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH today released version 4.4 of its server virtualization platform Proxmox Virtual Environment (VE). In addition to numerous improvements and updates the open source solution Proxmox VE brings a new dashboard for Ceph and cluster. The new Ceph dashboard gives the administrator a comprehensive overview of the Ceph status, the Ceph monitors, the Ceph OSDs, and the current performance and utilization of the Ceph cluster. Together with the existing disk management the new dashboard simplifies the ease-of-use and administration of Ceph storage and paves the way to the complete software-defined data centre." Additional information can be found in the distribution's release announcement.
MX Linux 16
MX Linux is a mid-weight, Debian-based Linux distribution which uses Xfce as the project's default desktop environment. The project has announced the release of MX 16, code name "Metamorphosis". While based on Debian's Stable branch, MX Linux uses the SysV init software rather than the newer systemd init technology. "MX-16 (Metamorphosis) released. The dev team of MX Linux is pleased to announce the release of MX-16 - code named "Metamorphosis". Built on the reliable and stable Debian Jessie (8.6) base with extra enhancements from the antiX live system, it also comes with numerous up to date applications provided by the MX Linux packagers. Just like previous versions of MX, this release defaults to SysV init. Available in 32- and 64-bit. Both ISO files weigh in at around 1.2GB in size. The new release is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds with the 32-bit ISO featuring a kernel that does not require PAE support to boot. Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
MX Linux 16 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Lucas Villa Real has announced the release of GoboLinux 016, an independently-developed distribution characterised by a custom (and very un-UNIX-like) file system hierarchy. This release of GoboLinux, the first stable version in over 2.5 years, ships with a minimalist desktop based on the Awesome window manager: "We are pleased to present release 016 of GoboLinux, the Linux distribution featuring a re-thought file system structure. GoboLinux was created out of a desire to try new approaches in the Linux distribution design space. GoboLinux 016 continues this journey, with a focus on the exploration of novel ideas aiming to make the system simpler yet functional. The GoboLinux ISO image serves both as an installation disc and a live environment, with a graphical desktop featuring Awesome WM. In fact, due to the modular nature of the GoboLinux file system, every program available in the image can be used directly from the Live environment." Read the detailed release notes for further information.
GoboLinux 016 -- Running the Awesome window manager
(full image size: 713kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Linux Mint 18.1
The Linux Mint team has announced the release of an update to the project's 18.x branch. The new version, Linux Mint 18.1, is available in two editions (Cinnamon and MATE) and is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The new release offers Cinnamon users a new screen saver that displays more information and provides media controls even when the screen is locked. On computers which feature accelerometers, the Cinnamon desktop can now rotate when the device's orientation changes. Both editions offer upgrades to the X-apps programs with the Xplayer media player now offering the ability to blank screens not being used to display video. Also, the update manager can display a list of available kernel versions with recommendations. "The screensaver in Cinnamon 3.2 was redesigned and rewritten from scratch in Python. Not only does it look better, but it's also much faster, more responsive and more customizable than the old one. Background slide shows set in Cinnamon continue to play in the new screensaver. On laptops the battery power is shown, so you can see if you're running low without having to log in. We also thought about music fans. You no longer need to unlock the screen to mute the sound, and if you're throwing a party and using your computer as a jukebox, you can have the media controls right there in the screensaver, so you can let people skip to the next song without giving them access to your session. The screensaver can also show if you missed notifications (not their content, for privacy reasons, but how many)." Additional information can be found in the project's release announcements (Cinnamon, MATE).
The GeckoLinux project is an openSUSE-based, desktop oriented distribution. The project provides eight different editions with live discs for testing purposes. The latest version of the distribution, GeckoLinux 422.161213.0, is based on openSUSE 42.2 Leap and includes many package updates. "Changes to all GeckoLinux Static editions: The base system has been updated to openSUSE Leap 42.2, with updated versions of the Linux kernel (4.4.36), systemd (228), GTK3 (3.20), Qt (5.6.1), and glibc (2.22). Also the GeckoLinux language-installer.sh script for non-English language packs has been updated to be more reliable and easy to use. Also the script created by Mindaugas Baranauskas to ensure that Xorg correctly starts has been significantly improved, and SiS graphics support has also been included. Perhaps the most important change is that the old yast2-live-installer that served us well for past releases is no longer supported by openSUSE and no longer works. Therefore, it has been replaced by the Calamares universal installer framework." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
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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
Process isolation can improve security, especially when running network services which may be compromised by outside attackers. This week we discussed Cappsule, a technology created to help isolate running processes from each other. In past articles we have talked about other technologies, such as Qubes OS and Firejail, which seek to isolate processes from the rest of the operating system. There are several other ways to sandbox applications, including using Linux containers, virtual machines and FreeBSD jails.
This week we would like to know what, if any, technology you use to keep your applications and services isolated from the rest of the operating system. If you are using one we do not list here, please tell us about it in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on the types of feature stories we publish here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|Cappsule: ||6 (0%)|
| Firejail: ||169 (12%)|
| FreeBSD jail: ||79 (5%)|
| Linux container: ||79 (5%)|
| Qubes OS: ||50 (3%)|
| Virtual machine: ||465 (32%)|
| Other: ||33 (2%)|
| None: ||585 (40%)|
Search for past articles and mobile fonts
DistroWatch has been around, providing reviews and news, for over 15 years now. Over the past decade and a half we have accumulated well over a thousand reviews, tips and Questions & Answers columns. In order to make finding past articles and guides easier, we have introduced a new search page.
The new Articles Search page helps readers find past articles using key words. There are also filters to assist in finding articles of a specific type, such as a distribution review or Tips & Tricks column. We hope this search page will be useful for people looking for tutorials or a look back at older versions of distributions.
Last month, when we introduced the mobile version of the DistroWatch website, we received lots of constructive feedback. One requested feature was the use of larger font sizes, particularly on the front page. This has been implemented and it should now be possible to read the front page of DistroWatch in portrait mode, even on small smart phone screens, without zooming in.
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December 2016 DistroWatch.com donation: UBports
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the December 2016 DistroWatch.com donation is UBports. The project receives US$300.00 in cash.
The UBports project works to port the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system to additional devices, particularly Android-powered smart phones. "UBports is a team of developers and a meeting place for developers that wish to port Ubuntu Touch to as many devices as possible, this is a place where developers can talk to other developers, learn from each other and help push Ubuntu to more devices as a team, or by yourself but with community support if you wish." At the moment, phones with Ubuntu Touch pre-installed are all out of stock and UBports provides a method by which people can get Ubuntu running on their devices with relatively little effort. We reviewed Ubuntu Touch running on the Meizu Pro 5 earlier this year.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and crypto currencies are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has made 146 donations for a total of US$46,381 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300), GIMP ($350), Kodi ($300), Devuan ($300), hdparm ($350), HardenedBSD ($400), TestDisk ($450)
- 2016: KeePass ($400), Slackware Live Edition ($406), Devil-Linux ($400), FFmpeg ($300), UBports ($300)
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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, 2 January 2017. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
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(Tips this week: 5, value: US$25.29)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
RUNT (ResNet USB Network Tester) was Slackware Linux designed to run from a 128MB USB pen drive. It consists of a boot floppy image and a zip file, similar to "zipslack". It was intended to be a fairly complete Linux installation for use as a testing tool capable of booting on any x86 computer with a USB port and a bootable floppy drive. The boot floppy was based on Slackware's bare kernel. It contains an initial ramdisk to load USB-storage related modules and it pauses for 5 seconds to allow the drive to initialize. The bootdisk also contains Memtest86, a very useful RAM testing tool, which can be started by typing memtest at the boot prompt. The zip file contains a UMSDOS filesystem designed to be extracted onto a 128MB pen drive with an MSDOS filesystem using 2K clusters.