| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 696, 23 January 2017
Welcome to this year's 4th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
As the open source community adopts and polishes new technologies, old packages and ways of doing things tend to be left behind. This week, in our News section, we talk about several projects going through transitions. We talk about arkOS's changing infrastructure and PCLinuxOS planning to drop legacy packages. We also talk about the Solus project's evaluation of Flatpak and Snap packages for installing third-party software and report on DragonFly BSD's evolving UEFI support. Plus we share changes to the KDE neon distribution and touch on Kali Linux's new certification program, TrueOS testing OpenRC and plans to end the development of HandyLinux. First though, we explore GoboLinux, a project which takes an unusual approach to organizing its files and directories. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss accessing desktop applications remotely and invite our readers to share their tips for remote computing in our Opinion Poll. Plus we list the distribution releases of the past week and share the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we are happy to welcome the BitKey distribution to our database. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Reviews: GoboLinux 016
- News: arkOS aims to attract new contributors, PCLinuxOS plans to drop legacy packages, Solus adopting Flatpak, DragonFly BSD supporting UEFI, KDE neon to use Calamares, Kali Linux certification, TrueOS tests OpenRC, HandyLinux shutting down
- Questions and answers: Remotely running desktop applications
- Released last week: antiX 16.1, Vinux 5.1, BitKey 14.1.0
- Torrent corner: antiX, Quirky, Robolinux, Vinux
- Upcoming releases: Tails 2.10
- Opinion poll: Running desktop applications remotely
- DistroWatch.com news: Project rankings and an interview
- New additions: BitKey
- New distributions: axle OS, Daphile
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (51MB) and MP3 (33MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
When I first started using Linux one of the characteristics of the operating system I had trouble adjusting to was the way directories were named. Names like usr, etc and opt are not particularly descriptive, for example. Further, it can take a while to get used to the organizational differences which separate /bin, /usr/bin and /usr/local/bin, not to mention the practical differences between /usr/share and /usr/lib. If you struggle, as I did, to get used to the way in which most Linux distributions organize their file systems, then you may be interested in GoboLinux. GoboLinux (or Gobo, as I will refer to the distribution) is described on the project's website as follows:
GoboLinux is a Linux distribution that features a new file system organization, which departs from the traditional Unix heritage of Linux systems. Basically, this means that it is not based in directories such as /usr and /etc. The main idea of the alternative hierarchy is to store all files belonging to an application in its own separate sub-tree; therefore we have directories such as /Programs/FooPlayer/1.0/lib.
While some people might find Gobo's longer and more descriptive directory names easy to understand, the distribution is not intended to be used by beginners. In fact, Gobo is developed for more experienced users who are comfortable using a command line and compiling their own software from source code. Gobo's alternative directory structure means each piece of software added to the system is contained in its own directory. This means when the administrator wants to remove an application they have installed, removing it is as easy as deleting its directory. Leaving the user to compile software from source code and deleting directories to remove software from the system means Gobo can largely do away with traditional package management.
To allow the system to find these files, they are logically grouped in directories such as /System/Index/bin, which, you guessed it, indexes all executable files inside the Programs hierarchy.
To maintain backwards compatibility with traditional Unix/Linux apps, there are symbolic links that mimic the Unix tree, such as "/usr/bin -> /System/Index/bin", and "/sbin -> /System/Index/bin" (this example shows that arbitrary differentiations between files of the same category were also removed).
GoboLinux is available for 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. The ISO I downloaded for GoboLinux 016 was 958MB in size. Booting from the installation media brings up a text-based menu system where we are asked to select our preferred language from a list of six European languages. We are then asked to select our keyboard's layout from another list. At this point, the system drops us to a command prompt where we are logged in as the root user. The default shell is zsh. A welcome message lets us know we can run the startx command to launch a desktop environment or run the Installer command to begin installing the distribution.
GoboLinux 016 -- The Awesome application menu
(full image size: 737kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I found when running Gobo in a VirtualBox test environment, the startx command would fail with an error indicating no video screens could be found. When running the distribution on a physical desktop computer, Gobo successfully launched the graphical environment, presenting me with the Awesome desktop. The Awesome desktop uses a dark theme and most panels and window backgrounds are black. A panel runs across the top of the display and contains the application menu, task switcher and system tray. The environment is responsive and generally avoids distracting the user. I did run into two minor issues when exploring Awesome, both matters of personal preference rather than bugs. The first was I found the title bar area of windows was vaguely defined and it was not always clear where I needed to click to move windows or select them. I also found that with the default settings, Awesome would open new application windows at seemingly random points around the screen. There are ways to adjust how application windows are arranged, but the default setting left me chasing after windows and dragging them into positions better suited to my work flow.
Both times I went through Gobo's installation process I did so by running the Installer command from a terminal. The first time I ran the installer, a message appeared on my screen, letting me know no available partitions had been found and I was asked to run either the GParted or cfdisk partition managers to fix the problem. The installer then quits. I set up a new, blank partition for Gobo and re-launched the installer. This time I was shown a brief welcome message which explains how our disk should be partitioned before we try installing Gobo. Assuming our disk partitions look right to the installer, we can then proceed through a series of text menus. We can navigate these text screens using a combination of the Tab key, spacebar and Enter.
Gobo's installer shows us hundreds of packages in a list and asks which ones we would like to install. The default is to have all the available packages selected. We are then asked if we would like to install a boot loader and, if so, on what part of our disk. I noticed the installer gave me an incorrect option. I could choose between installing the boot loader on my disk's MBR or in my swap partition. I think the installer should have offered me a choice between the MBR and root partition, as is common practise. We are then asked to provide a hostname for our computer, select our keyboard's layout and select a boot theme. There is no way to preview the boot theme on the text menu, making the selection somewhat arbitrary. We then select our time zone from a list and create a password for the system's root account. The system installer gives us the option of creating additional user accounts and then copies its files to our hard drive. When the installer is finished, it drops us back to the command line (or virtual terminal).
Booting into the freshly installed copy of GoboLinux brings us to a text console where we can sign in as the root user or one of the accounts we created during the installation process. Gobo, with its default configuration, uses about 4.4GB of hard drive space and just 30MB of memory. I once again found that the distribution provided a different experience in VirtualBox compared to running on physical hardware. When running on my desktop computer, Gobo automatically set up a network connection and I could run startx to launch the Awesome desktop environment. When running in VirtualBox, Gobo failed to detect any network interface and the distribution could not launch a graphical environment.
The Distribution's documentation has a page dedicated to getting graphical interfaces running from within VirtualBox and includes two ways to get a desktop environment working. I tried both methods and neither of them worked for me, leaving me stuck with a text-only interface when testing the distribution in VirtualBox.
As it turned out, Gobo does not provide a lot of desktop software in the default installation anyway. We are given the Firefox web browser, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, a text editor and the Htop process monitor. Otherwise the Awesome application menu is pretty empty. Behind the scenes, we have access to the GNU command line tools, the OpenSSH secure shell software and manual pages. The GNU Compiler Collection (version 6.2) is installed for us along with the SysV init software. GoboLinux 016 runs on version 4.8.2 of the Linux kernel.
GoboLinux 016 -- Running the Firefox web browser
(full image size: 375kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The primary focus of Gobo appears to be the way files and directories are organized, so let's look at those. The top level of the Gobo file system, rather than having directories such as etc, usr, opt and var, instead features directories called Data, Mount, Programs, System and Users. The documentation provides a fairly clear idea of what each directory is used for:
The Data directory I was slightly unclear on. The documentation talks about two directories, Files and Depot, which did not exist on my system. The Files directory was reportedly used to store fonts, resources for compiling software and other non-executable resources. I think Files got renamed to Data. The Depot directory was said to be used as a shared space where users could store files outside of their home directories, but it appears to have been dropped in the latest release.
- Mount - Where removable devices are attached to the operating system
- Programs - Directories containing programs, with each program contained in its own sub-directory.
- System - Where the kernel, devices and links to executable programs are stored.
- Users - Where we find user accounts, including root's home directory.
Something I find interesting about the way Gobo organizes files is the new file system layout does not get rid of directories called usr, etc, dev and bin. Instead, these directories are basically pushed down a level or two. For example, if before we had a program's executable saved as /usr/bin/nasm, now we have a directory called /Programs/Nasm/Current/bin/nasm. Instead of placing device names in /dev, we find Gobo uses /System/Kernel/Devices.
This might make it seem like a big part of the Gobo file system layout is making directory names more verbose and there is some truth to that. I think, in some ways, the more descriptive names make sense. When a newcomer installs Linux, it can be difficult to find things, as names like var, opt and /usr/local/bin are not intuitive. I think Gobo addresses this problem well by naming things more descriptively. The only drawback appears to be that it takes longer to type the Gobo versions of path names.
GoboLinux 016 -- Adjusting audio volume
(full image size: 709kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The other thing the Gobo file system does for us is it places programs in their own, stand-alone directories. We can find and remove a program from the operating system by simply removing its entry from the /Programs directory. In a way, this side-steps the issue of a package manager dropping files all around the file system. New packages are bundled in one spot and easily removed. We don't necessarily need a package manager to keep track of where everything is, because each program is wrapped up in a directory bearing its name.
Which brings me to the subject of package management. The Gobo documentation discusses installing new software via the InstallPackage command. This seemed straight forward until I realized I did not know the names of any available packages. A few, like GIMP or Firefox, we might be able to guess through trial and error. I thought to look in the repositories directly to browse packages in my web browser, but the repository information was not where Gobo's wiki says it is. I eventually managed to track down the Gobo software repository and found only a few dozen packages were available. Any other software we want should be installed from its source code.
GoboLinux 016 -- Installing a package
(full image size: 615kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
When I first got into Linux, I was a bit thrown by the short, cryptic directory names. Over time I grew to appreciate the short, non-descriptive directory names as they cut down on the amount of typing I had to do, but I can understand why people would want longer, clearer names. On the other hand, I think Gobo's insistence on reworking the way programs are organized, really only makes sense for operating systems that do not have any form of package (or ports) management. In my opinion, the user should not need to worry about where their software is stored or how it is organized because the package manager will handle installation and clean-up for them. Gobo appears to be taking the view that new software will likely be installed from source code with (possibly) customized build settings and no form of ports management (as Gentoo and the BSDs use) or package management (as most other Linux distributions use) will be available.
What I'm coming around to is that Gobo appears to be addressing two separate problems: non-descriptive directory names and package organization. The descriptive directory names probably only make sense for Linux newcomers who are having trouble finding their way around while the approach to organizing program files will probably only appeal to users with enough experience to want to perform custom builds of their software rather than using a ports/package manager. I suspect that the intersection of these two groups is probably small.
It probably seems like I'm putting down GoboLinux for its unusual approach. And, admittedly, I do think not many people will benefit from the distribution's design. But, at the same time, I am impressed with how the Gobo team has implemented their unusual design choices. The system really ventures outside of the norm with respect to file system layouts and package organization and the new design works. The developers have managed to adjust the way an entire operating system is organized and do it transparently. From a technical side of things, I find the implementation of GoboLinux impressive. Its design may not appeal to me, but the way the design was put into practise is, in my opinion, cool to see first hand.
From a practical point of view, Gobo's sparse and out of data documentation, relatively few pre-installed packages and unusual approach will probably turn away most potential users. But I do applaud the developers' efforts in making something unusual and interesting. As a proof-of-concept, Gobo is fun to look at and it gives the user a new perspective on the classic Linux file system layout.
* * * * *
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)
arkOS aims to attract new contributors, PCLinuxOS plans to drop legacy packages, Solus adopting Flatpak, DragonFly BSD supporting UEFI, KDE neon to use Calamares, Kali Linux certification, TrueOS tests OpenRC, HandyLinux shutting down
The arkOS distribution is a lightweight flavour of Arch Linux ARM that runs on embedded devices and servers. The arkOS project is going through a period of reorganization in an effort to streamline development and attract new contributors. The project is moving from GitLab to GitHub in an effort to make itself more accessible to a larger pool of developers and automated builds will be tested using the Jenkins build suite. The project is also considering becoming less dependent on Arch Linux for its base: "Up until now, it's been necessary to use just one Linux distribution with arkOS, and that is Arch Linux. Back when this project was founded, systemd was still a new thing and it wasn't entirely possible to create a cross-distro project with such deep roots into system management. Now that systemd is being extended to other platforms (notably Debian Jessie), it is possible to liberate arkOS from being an Arch-only project." Additional details can be found in the arkOS blog post.
* * * * *
A post from the PCLinuxOS Twitter account suggests the project is going to be doing some cleaning of its software repositories this year. PCLinuxOS is a rolling release distribution, but tends to be conservative when it comes to swapping out packages and changing the user interface. The project's post reads, "Things going away in 2017: Legacy GRUB, Legacy GDM and KDE4." At the time of writing, PCLinuxOS already has KDE's Plasma 5.8 desktop available as a session option and GRUB2 (the replacement for GRUB Legacy) has been available to PCLinuxOS users for over a year.
* * * * *
The Solus project is planning to use Flatpak to provide its users with quick access to third-party software and applications whose licenses prevent them from being included in the distribution's repositories. While both Snap and Flatpak were considered for the job, the Solus team chose the latter for several reasons: "Firstly, and very importantly to us, the so-called 'Chrome distribution issue' has already been conquered by Endless OS, utilizing Flatpak. On the other hand, this is still (to the best of my knowledge) at the prototype stage with Snaps. OK, let's not get hung up completely on a single example. From the perspective of integration, Snap (snapd and snapcraft) represents the biggest integration challenge. To correctly and fully integrate it would require modification of the build system (which disables networking by default for security!) to provide a full set of builds for the packages and their dependencies. Additionally, AppArmor (not used by Solus) is also required. On the other hand, integrating Flatpak into Solus was as trivial as packaging ostree and Flatpak, barring some minor changes which we're already upstreaming." Further information on the adoption of Flatpak and the problem Solus plans to solve with Flatpak packages can be found in the project's blog post.
* * * * *
The DragonFly BSD project is improving the operating system's support for UEFI-enabled computers. In a brief post on DragonFly BSD Digest, Justin Sherrill reports: "The DragonFly installer now supports UEFI directly. There's a uefi(8) man page now, and there's even rconfig support, though not enough people realize how awesome rconfig(8) can be." Details about DragonFly BSD's evolving UEFI support can be found in this mailing list post.
* * * * *
The KDE neon distribution is an Ubuntu-based project which features the latest software from the KDE project, particularly the KDE Plasma desktop environment. Jonathan Riddell has announced that KDE neon will transition from using Ubuntu's Unbiquity system installer to the distribution-neutral Calamares installer. "It's been a long standing wish of KDE neon to switch to the Calamares installer. Calamares is a distro independent installer used by various projects such as Netrunner and Tanglu. It's written in Qt and KDE Frameworks and has modules in C++ or Python. Today I've switched the Developer Unstable edition to Calamares and it looks to work pretty nicely." Some of the changes the Calamares installer will bring with it are mentioned in Riddell's blog post.
* * * * *
Kali Linux is a popular distribution for performing penetration testing. The Kali Linux team has announced a new certification program which will teach people how to properly use the Kali Linux platform. "After almost two years in the making, it is with great pride that we announce today our new Kali Linux Professional certification - the first and only official certification program that validates one's proficiency with the Kali Linux distribution. If you're new to the information security field, or are looking to take your first steps towards a new career in InfoSec, the KLCP is a 'must have' foundational certification. Built on the philosophy that 'you've got to walk before you can run,' the KLCP will give you direct experience with your working environment and a solid foundation toward a future with any professional InfoSec work. As we continually see, those entering the Offensive Security PWK program with previous working experience with Kali, and a general familiarity with Linux, tend to do better in the real world OSCP exam." Details on the certification program and a new book, "Kali Linux Revealed: Mastering the Penetration Testing Distribution", are available on the project's website.
* * * * *
TrueOS (formerly PC-BSD) is a rolling release operating system based on FreeBSD. The TrueOS team is currently testing the OpenRC init software as a potential replacement for FreeBSD's RC. OpenRC is already used by some Linux projects and is an init option for Gentoo users. A post on the TrueOS website covers some of the benefits of the change: "With OpenRC, TrueOS boot times have been reduced from generally over one minute to around ten seconds. The organization of service config files lends itself to simpler manipulation of individual services. OpenRC also provides more reliable service status by using the start-stop-daemon or the built-in supervisor. So, TrueOS now starts faster, is more/differently organized, and is more reliable." Documentation for using OpenRC on TrueOS can be found in the project's Handbook.
* * * * *
The HandyLinux distribution is a beginner friendly project based on Debian. The distribution features a custom application menu which was designed to make using Linux easy for newcomers. HandyLinux is also, primarily, a French language distribution and a good platform for French speaking people. Sadly, the HandyLinux project is shutting down. In a farewell blog post the project explains that the distribution did not attract enough community support. An English translation of the post reads, in part: "Let us rejoice in the disappearance of this distribution which has shown that an additional distro is not the best idea because, apart from the dispersion of development resources, there is also (and above all) dispersion of support resources . It is this aspect that HandyLinux has lacked: not enough people to form a solid community and able to face the inevitable attacks as soon as one has a hair of success." The project's website, forums and other resources will remain in place for over a year, until April 6, 2018. This should give HandyLinux users time to migrate to other platforms.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Remotely running desktop applications
Working-from-afar asks: Can I login to my Linux computer from another computer and run desktop apps so that they show up on my screen, even if someone else is using the computer?
DistroWatch answers: Yes, you can. In fact, the idea of multiple people working (locally or remotely) on the same computer is one of the key design features of Linux and other UNIX-like operating systems. There are a few different approaches we can take to achieve running desktop applications remotely, depending on our preferences.
Perhaps the most traditional method of logging into a Linux system remotely and running desktop applications, whether someone else is logged into the remote computer or not, is to use OpenSSH and a technique called X forwarding. This gives you a command line interface to the remote computer. Then, when you launch desktop applications from your command line, the remote computer runs the application and displays it on your local desktop.
The initial set up is fairly straight forward. The remote computer, the one that will be hosting your applications and files, needs to be running the OpenSSH server service. On most distributions this can be achieved by simply installing the openssh-server package. If you're running a firewall on this computer, make sure you leave the OpenSSH port (by default it is port 22) open.
The computer you will be sitting at needs to have the OpenSSH client software installed. Most Linux distributions include the OpenSSH client in the default installation. Then you can connect to the remote computer using the ssh command with the hostname or IP address of the remote computer.
ssh -Y remote-host-ip
The above command will open a command line on the remote computer. You can then run commands such as firefox, gedit or abiword in order to launch desktop applications. These programs run on the remote computer, but display their windows on your desktop.
Another approach is to use virtual network computing (VNC). The initial set up is fairly similar to the first approach. We need to install a VNC server on the remote computer and a VNC client on our local computer. There are several VNC programs from which to choose. Personally, I like running x11vnc as the service on the remote computer and xtightvncviewer as the client on my local machine. These two packages may not have many features, but they are extremely easy to use. Simply install the x11vnc package on the remote computer and run the x11vnc command. Then, on the local computer run:
In this case remote-host-ip is the IP address or hostname of the remote computer and 5900 is the default port number we are connecting to. The above command connects to the remote computer and displays whatever is on the screen at the time. You can then interact with the remote system as if you were there, though with a slight lag in desktop responsiveness.
By default, x11vnc does not require a password to connect to the server from a remote computer. It is a good idea to change this behaviour via one of x11vnc's authentication methods, such as the -usepw parameter. The x11vnc manual page provides a list of security options.
The only problem with x11vnc is that, by default, it shows us what is on the screen of the remote computer. Which is fine if no one else is using it, but if the remote computer is being used by someone else, then we probably want to have our own, private desktop session, and not interfere with what they are doing.
In situations where we want to start a fresh desktop session rather than connect to an existing graphical session, we can use Tight VNC Server. The Tight VNC Server package works a lot like x11vnc, but it creates a new desktop session we can connect to and use remotely. Once the tightvncserver package has been installed, it can be run with a simple command:
The server will listen on a network port of 5900 or higher. The first session will usually be served on port 5901, the second on 5902 and so on. We can then connect to the remote computer using the xtightvncviewer application as shown above.
The Ubuntu community documentation has a page dedicated to the various ways to set up VNC connections and explores security options to protect the VNC server.
* * * * *
For more questions and answers, visit our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
A new version of antiX, a Debian-based distribution featuring a simple desktop built around several lightweight and rarely-used window managers, has been released: "antiX 16.1 'Berta Cáceres' released. Bug-fix version, including all updates from Debian 'Jessie' and security-patched kernels. Existing users of antiX 16 do not need to download and install; simply update via the repositories. So what is new? Not a lot, but we have included two excellent new applications - live-kernel-updater and live-usb-maker. Debian 8.7, but free of systemd. And it fits on a CD. Great live USB features. As usual, antiX comes in 3 flavours for both 32-bit and 64-bit processors: Full - 4 windows managers (IceWM, Fluxbox, JWM, herbstluftwm); Base - 3 windows managers (Fluxbox, JWM, herbstluftwm); Core-Libre - no X window, just enough to get you connected and ready to build. Uses a 'libre' kernel. Customised 4.4.10 LTS kernel with fbcondecor splash." Visit the project's home page to read the brief release announcement.
The Vinux distribution is an Ubuntu-based project developed for blind and partially sighted people. Vinux provides screen readers, Braille support and high contrast icons. The latest release from the project, Vinux 5.1, is based on Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS and offers three desktop environments: Unity 7.2.4, GNOME 3.10.4 and MATE 1.8. "This release features not just the Unity Desktop, but GNOME Shell and the ever popular GNOME 2 fork called MATE, though we primarily will support Unity only. Remember we recommend that when possible users perform updates on a regular basis. This will enable the Vinux team to update packages, and introduce new features. Vinux 5.1 is based upon Ubuntu 'Trusty Tahr' 184.108.40.206 LTS." The release notes mention a regression in console speech changes: "We are unable to include the Vinux 4.0 console speech changes due to Vinux 5.1 not using ConsoleKit any longer, please see the wiki for more information. To use speechd-up log in to your desktop session and run sudo speechd-up from a GNOME terminal or add a start-up item to do it automatically upon login." The release announcement has further details.
Vinux 5.1 -- Running the Unity desktop
(full image size: 989kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
BitKey is a specialist, Debian-based distribution designed for Bitcoin users - it provides useful utilities to perform highly secure air-gapped Bitcoin transactions as well as tools for most paranoid Bitcoin users, such as Warpwallet for generating a "brainwallet". It is developed by the TurnKey Linux project. The distribution's first release, version 14.1.0, was announced yesterday on its GitHub page: "BitKey 14.1.0. Changes: refreshed component versions and base operating system to Debian 'Jessie'; manually verified and signed integrity of upstream components; new Bitcoin apps - warpwallet, coinbin and libbitcoin-explorer (bx); new packages - secure-delete, dosfstools (mkfs.vfat); added background color labels to boot modes; desktop UX - cut and paste, improved keybindings." See also BitKey's website to learn about the product's features and to read about its security modes.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not 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: 280
- Total data uploaded: 53.7TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Running desktop applications remotely
In our Questions and Answers column this week we talked about running desktop applications remotely. We would like to get an idea of what approach our readers prefer to use to access their desktops from a distance. Do you use X11 forwarding, VNC or some other method? Leave us a comment with your tips for accessing a desktop remotely.
You can see the results of our previous poll on bittorrent clients here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Running desktop applications remotely
|I use X11 forwarding: ||240 (17%)|
| I use a shared VNC connection: ||41 (3%)|
| I use a private VNC connection: ||130 (9%)|
| I use another method: ||146 (10%)|
| I do not run desktop applications remotely: ||869 (61%)|
Project rankings and an interview
This past week we introduced two new features to DistroWatch. The first is a page where our readers can submit mini-reviews and ratings of distributions. Each week we share our views on open source operating systems and we are making it possible for you to submit your own thoughts and ratings. To go along with the ratings people submit, we have created another page which displays distributions ranked by their average rating. We hope that, over time, as more reviews are submitted these reviews will help newcomers find projects best suited to their needs.
In other news, Dedoimedo interviewed our own Jesse Smith and the text of that interview has been posted. The interview covers the past and future of DistroWatch, Star Trek, yoga and fragmentation in the Linux community. They also discuss the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. The following is a brief quote from the interview: "Whenever someone publishes a new project they have started and asks for feedback, someone in the forum/mailing list/Reddit thread will ask why the person bothered, why create yet another distribution, text editor or configuration tool? I say: do it because you can, because it's educational, because creating things is fun! Do it because making something and sharing it with the world is more interesting than trivializing other people's hobbies on the Internet. The open source community benefits when we participate, even in small ways, so please get involved. As we say in Canada, pick up a stick and get in the game! It's more fun to play than to sit on the sidelines."
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
BitKey is a Debian-based live distribution containing specialist utilities to perform highly secure air-gapped Bitcoin transactions. It contains a swiss army knife of handy Bitcoin tools that support a wide range of usage models, including a few very secure ones which would otherwise be difficult to perform. The system boots into one of the three available modes: "cold-offline" - for creating a wallet and signing transactions; "cold-online" - for watching the wallet and preparing transactions; "hot-online" - standard usage but less secure as the private keys are known to the computer which is connected to the internet. BitKey also provides tools for generating "brainwallets", for the most paranoid of Bitcoin users. The live CD provides a simple desktop based on the Metacity window manager with quick links to the Bitcoin tools and Chromium for web browsing.
BitKey 14.1.0 -- Running the Metacity window manager
(full image size: 1.6MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- axle OS. axle is a small UNIX-like hobby operating system. It is independently developed and not a derivative of Linux. Everything used within axle is implemented from the ground up, aside from the bootloader (GRUB). axle is mainly interfaced through a command line shell.
- Daphile. Daphile is a dedicated media server and player. The operating system is designed to be run on headless computers. The system stores and plays media files and is intended to be easy to use.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 30 January 2017. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. 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 • Gobo packages (by DaveW on 2017-01-23 01:43:27 GMT from United States) |
It seems like the Gobo file structure would eliminate the need for Flatpak, Snap and the like. Am I correct or am I missing something?
2 • KDE neon : ubiquity vs calamares (by Tran Older on 2017-01-23 03:13:42 GMT from Vietnam)
Please do not replace ubiquity with calamares in User Edition. Calamares DID crash a couple of times on the process of installing Manjaro (Arch-based) and Netrunner (Debian-based). And when it did not crash, the percentage of the installation bar did not fully reflect the process. While calamares is very promising, it is not yet as stable and easy to use like ubiquity or yast.
3 • TrueOS and OpenRC (by cykodrone on 2017-01-23 04:06:44 GMT from Canada)
I don't understand the obsession with boot times, how the init system and operating system behave after booting are what is important to me. Who boots/reboots so much that a few seconds would matter? Also, in this day and age of SSDs, booting is naturally faster.
I don't run applications remotely, I even have remote access to my router by my ISP's 3rd party vendors blocked (there were 3). Poke around in your router's software, you'll find them if there are any, if you can't disable them, change the passwords if possible.
4 • "Latest Packages" - NEW (Linux Kernels) !! (by Greg Zeng on 2017-01-23 04:13:06 GMT from Australia)
"01/20 linux • 4.9.5"
Followed the links above, in this week's issue of Distrowatch. It missed "01/15 linux 4.9.4".
It also fails to mention http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/ **
This link has ALL the Linux kernels, from "v2.6.24-hardy/" to the very latest "drm-intel-nightly/ 2017-01-23 03:20".
Difference is, no compilation from source code needed. Compilation is tedious, CLI, slow, skilled and very error-prone. Most Desktop Linux users are using Ubuntu-based distributions, such as Mint, Lite, Zorin, Neon, Peppermint, Watt OS, Xubuntu, etc. Some non-Ubuntu-based operating systems also have their own versions of Grub-Customizer also.
Most Desktop users just need to select the three necessary files from the link ** above, for any of the six or so CPU types available: "ALL", "IMAGE" and "HEADER". Temporarily copy these to the Linux Desktop. Double-click on each of them, in the order listed, and they will auto-install.
Alternatively, run the following command from a Linux terminal where the three files are placed: "sudo dpkg -i *.deb"
If you want to select which Linux kernel of many, or which operating system of many, then you need have installed Grub-Customizer, or similar, in Linux. This application is installed in only very few distributions, atm. Otherwise you need to install it with a few CLI commands:
When the choice and preferred order of operating systems is made, this is just cut-paste of the lines. No more CLI rubbish.
: INSTALLING GRUB-CUSTOMIZER
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
sudo apt-get update
echo Y | sudo apt-get install grub-customizer
: RUNNING GRUB-CUSTOMIZER
: Do not close the terminal window until customizing ends.
5 • remote desktop client (by django on 2017-01-23 04:14:46 GMT from Suriname)
I use nomachine nxserver and clients to reach my desktop from abroad and am quiete happy with what I have seen up till now.
6 • Remote access. (by Ankleface Wroughtlandmire on 2017-01-23 05:26:45 GMT from Ecuador)
TeamViewer for NAT / firewall traversal, or if it's a VPS I've had excellent results with X2Go (open source).
7 • Remote Client (by X2Go Shill on 2017-01-23 05:33:57 GMT from United States)
I use X2Go myself because unlike VNC, I can have passwords longer than 8 characters, and the connection takes place over ssh. It runs on nxserver as the backend but is much easier to setup.
8 • TigerVNC (by hobbitland on 2017-01-23 06:34:33 GMT from United Kingdom)
For remote login I use TigerVNC. Its the only VNC server that supports dynamic resizing of the remote desktop. So you can resize the desktop based on the screen resolution of the viewing client.
Also I use VNC over a ssh tunnel. I wrote a "svncviewer.py" wrapper to make it easy for me so don't have to worry about the details.
Running a separate VNC session is better than using your desktop for security reasons. Viewing real desktop remotely is a security risk. Screen has to be unlocked and otehrs can and control your screen.
9 • Refuse (by Thesim on 2017-01-23 06:44:06 GMT from Italy)
ssh -X ipserver
10 • unable to submit mini-review (by ams on 2017-01-23 07:06:48 GMT from United States)
My submission attempt on the "mini-review" apparently failed, so am posting here what I drafted
Instead of of delivering on their promise to protect and preserve user choice, the devuan developers have undertaken a perverse course of action -- "eliminating" systemd -related files (.service files, etc) from existing packages drawn from jessie repository & redistributing those packages otherwise unmodified/unimproved. Several other distro releases which are based on debian jessie, including antiX 16, DebianDog64, MX Linux 16, have shown that avoiding systemd as default init while preserving users' choice is, in fact, possible.
DW hasn't provided much guidance in terms of quantifying a rating value. The '4' I have chosen represents my expectation that five or under "means" less-desirable, or less admirable, or less viable than average. I've held back, didn't slap a subjective '1' here, with due respect toward the fact that devuan has succeeded in the task of (raising awareness about preserving init choice and) building out a build and repo server infrastructure.
11 • About HandyLinux death and DFLinux (by Frederic Bezies on 2017-01-23 07:16:38 GMT from France)
HandyLinux was hostily forked by some of its user to create a so-called accessibility version, which is not really accessible after all.
So HandyLinux creator decided to move on into a new project, called DFLinux (DF = Debian Facile, in english Easy Debian) which is french speaking only and which can be downloaded here : https://lescahiersdudebutant.fr/dflinux.html
You can read : "`DFLinux` prend la suite du projet HandyLinux qui accompagne les débutants sur Debian depuis 2013. " -> "`DFLinux` takes over the HandyLinux project which accompanies beginners on Debian since 2013."
Had to add this. Free software world is full of good willing people... Or not!
12 • Another Review For GoboLinux (by Edword Bill on 2017-01-23 07:41:27 GMT from Turkey)
I found another review for GoboLinux here: https://fosspost.org/2017/01/22/gobolinux-a-linux-distribution-with-new-filesystem-hierarchy/
The conclusion is as the writer states:
"GoboLinux introduces a lot of new ideas and designs into the Linux distributions world. Things like the filesystem hierarchy and the compiling scripts are amazing examples of what “modernizing” Linux distributions may really mean. However, the distribution wasn’t intended to be “user-friendly” or “ready-out-of-the-box”.
Because of this, it can be said actually that the distribution manages to achieve its goals. An experianced user with a lot of time would definitely enjoy using and tweaking GoboLinux to fit his needs and learn in his way".
13 • Poll (by Andy Mender on 2017-01-23 07:56:00 GMT from Austria)
While I use X11 forwarding via SSH mostly, I think the poll should contain a "X11 forwarding + SSH" option. Sometimes we do need to login to Windows machines also :D.
I really like the idea of GoboLinux. Nix is also worth looking into. It makes for incredibly reproducible server deployments and the "one-config" design is similar to the /etc/rc.conf we're so familiar with ;).
14 • @10 (by Hoos on 2017-01-23 07:57:45 GMT from Singapore)
I suspect you need to present an actual review of the distro's latest iso, ie, put it through its paces and let us know whether it installs and runs well or terribly, etc.
Right now, your statement is more a general opinion of their direction/method for creating their distro and the quality of their forum software and forum posts.
I've tried Nelum-Dev1 (devuan-based) before. Nelum was ok live I guess, kind of an echo of the old Crunchbang, but I didn't find it interesting enough to install for real on my computer. As for Devuan beta, I had lots of issues with the installer and gave up.
But my point is that in the 3 and a bit lines above I probably "reviewed" Devuan and a derivative distro more than you did in your post.
15 • correction: inaccurate examples (by ams on 2017-01-23 08:14:53 GMT from United States)
With MX Linux 16 and DebianDog64 and a few others listed at without-system.org, it is easy/trivial for a user to switch to systemd init. Maybe the switch is TOO easy, as in, could happen "accidentally" if a user tries to install (for instance) gnome shell. With antiX 16, a user desiring to switch would need to remove apt-pinning and adjust repo priority to prefer package versions from debian's repository.
16 • antiX and systemd (by anticapitalista on 2017-01-23 08:41:43 GMT from Greece)
Just to make it clear about antiX and systemd.
antiX has decided to free itself of systemd by not including it nor libsystemd0. That means we repack certain packages with systemd or libsystemd0 dependencies, eg cups, util-linux, mate and many others. Users will find systemd service files on antiX since they are packaged upstream (Debian in our case) in some packages to make them compatible with systemd eg rsync, but they do not depend on either systemd or libsystemd0.
Of course users are free to do whatever they like with their installation of antiX, but we advise them not to use systemd. If they want a lightweight systemd Debian, they would be better installing Debian and not antiX.
17 • @3, Boot times (by Tommi Nieminen on 2017-01-23 09:34:40 GMT from Finland)
”I don't understand the obsession with boot times, how the init system and operating system behave after booting are what is important to me. Who boots/reboots so much that a few seconds would matter?”
It depends. If I have a quick task to do, do I care to switch on my desktop computer if it takes a minute just to boot, then a while to get logged in, yet another while to get the relevant program opened etc.?
Yes, SSDs made a big difference, but still, I think you shouldn’t just ridicule the “obsession” with boot times as it’s plainly a relevant thing for many of us.
18 • RE: Boot times (by Andy Mender on 2017-01-23 11:08:05 GMT from Austria)
I think it's more relevant for spinning VMs and containers. One would like the init and service manager to be slim so that booting is as fast as possible and service management doesn't take too much of the container's performance away.
On a regular desktop it's more of an "obsession", I think, than an actual need/gain.
19 • RE: Gobo packages (by asyncial on 2017-01-23 12:32:56 GMT from Germany)
"It seems like the Gobo file structure would eliminate the need for Flatpak, Snap and the like. Am I correct or am I missing something?"
That is an interesting question. I think it depends, on how Gobo handles depencies (if it handles them at all). The thing about Flatpak and Snap is to eliminate the differences of different Distributions for developers, so it creates a runtime, which is the same on every system (at least, that's what I heard).
I would say GoboLinux eliminates the need for a package manager, because you don't have to track the files. Your command to remove a package would be rm -rf and rmdir. That's really nice, as it is using standard unix tools to achieve that goal. The problem remaining ist the handling of dependencies, which would stay the responsibility of the user.
20 • Dedoimedo Interview (by mechanic on 2017-01-23 12:39:30 GMT from United Kingdom)
A couple of things from this interesting interview:
How young Jesse Smith looks!
I notice he likes Peppermint - one of the things I always try with a new distro is running various youtube videos - the latest Peppermint fails this test on my system although the previous version was quite happy running them. Neither html5 or Flash players seem to run. It's this kind of issue that keeps me running Windows here.
21 • @Dedoimedo@20_What-3-main? (by gee7 on 2017-01-23 13:08:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for such an interesting edition of Distrowatch this week, team. And special thanks to Jesse for the work he is doing updating the Distrowatch search and for giving an full interview with Dedoimedo - yes, mechanic, Jesse does look young ion his photo there (and full of a young man's energy) but what fascinated me was the rounding of a nerd - Jesse has many interests, it appears, but 3 of his main ones may well be Computing, Tractors and Yoga.
For me, I have a variety of things I like to do or research, but 3 of my main interests are Computing, World Cinema and hand-made Pottery ... Off topic, I know, but I wonder what 3 main interests round off other Linux readers here?
@20 There is a Linux OS waiting for you with information about it on Distrowatch, mechanic, so no need to keep running Windows. It is extremely rare for a Linux OS not to be able to display YouTube videos so you just chose the wrong one in trying out Peppermint, or maybe there was an error in your download or other reason. Devuan is highly flexible as is Linux Mint Mate. Please try again, the Linux world is welcoming.
22 • New ratings (by vw72 on 2017-01-23 13:59:45 GMT from United States)
I think that it would be more useful on the new ratings page if the distros are first sorted by the number of ratings and then the actual ranking. One person rating their distro a 10 is less useful than multiple people rating a distro. For instance which is more useful to a view, a bunch of 10 ranked distros that were rated as such by one person each or a distro rated at 9.2 as an average of 30 people?
Listing by number of reviews first would also be another indication of popularity (at least by those willing to do reviews), compared to the simple page hit rankings.
Just a thought -- and another great issue of Distrowatch!
23 • Remote apps (by nightflier on 2017-01-23 14:01:19 GMT from United States)
I've found X11 forwarding via SSH to be too slow to be of practical use when connecting via the Internet. VNC does much better, and I do use that from time to time. However, most of my remote computing is done via RDP, tunnelled trough SSH. Say what you want about Microsoft, but their remote desktop is good. I'll RDP to a Windows machine in the office, then VNC from there to Linux.
24 • Second thought on new ratings page (by vw72 on 2017-01-23 14:04:18 GMT from United States)
It might be useful, and garner more input, if there were categories to rate, such as Ease of Installation, Community, Documentation, Hardware Compatability, etc. as indicated in the outdated graphic from Linux Format Magazine: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CAinBMkj-_8/UA6_l-3juDI/AAAAAAAAALI/PsCOJX-T9Mw/s1600/distro_stats_lg.png
People could simply assign a value from 1 to 5 for each category and those are combined for a total score. Then on the actual distro page, the average of each category can be displayed to help people in choosing a distro.
25 • Interests (by Jesse on 2017-01-23 14:12:12 GMT from Canada)
>> "what fascinated me was the rounding of a nerd - Jesse has many interests, it appears"
I believe the world is as interesting as our interest in it. I like to learn and explore almost every topic. I'm curious about almost everything from airplanes to zebra behaviour.
@1: "It seems like the Gobo file structure would eliminate the need for Flatpak, Snap and the like. Am I correct or am I missing something?"
Gobo's file system structure and technologies like Flatpak and Snap seem to be solving two different problems. Gobo deals with organizing files and making them easy to clean up. But Gobo doesn't do anything to handle dependencies or security. Flatpak and Snap fix the dependency issue (from the user's point of view) and add extra security features.
26 • remote wayland (by Libcha on 2017-01-23 14:13:18 GMT from Czech Republic)
Long enough I use ssh -X (or -Y) to tunnel Xorg via ssh. I found this feature particularly handy. I'd like to ask anybody for a clue, how to do the same with Wayland. Shall I expect, that in the future, when Wayland replaces messy Xorg, this feature disappears? Thanks.
27 • Remote apps (by a on 2017-01-23 14:46:53 GMT from France)
I use TigerVNC as the client and x11vnc for the server, as copy-paste doesn’t work when using TigerVNC server. TightVNC was noticiably slower than Tiger, and IIRC copy-paste worked randomly.
I’ve also briefly tried xpra which worked very well, but it doesn’t show the whole screen.
28 • Gobo Linux (by Sam on 2017-01-23 15:01:45 GMT from United States)
Here we are in 2017 and today's review of Gobo Linux sounds exactly like the experience I had testing the distro back in 2009.
29 • remote access (by wally on 2017-01-23 15:09:43 GMT from United States)
I use x11vnc, but I only run it on demand, so ssh to start vnc server, then vinegre to access.
30 • remote desktopping with XRDP (by Mark D on 2017-01-23 15:19:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm surprised no one has mentioned XRDP in relation to remote desktops.
You can install it easily on a server (it was pretty much as simple as apt-get install on ubuntu, then allow the port in the firewall),
then you can connect to it using Windows remote desktop, or Vinagre in Linux.
What's nice is that you can log in to it without disturbing people already using the machine - each logged in user gets a new session.
31 • x11 (by Tim Dowd on 2017-01-23 15:56:16 GMT from United States)
I use x11 over ssh on my home network for a couple reasons
The first is that I have a computer with all our music on it hooked up to the home stereo system. X11 means that this can be controlled via any computer in the house, or even an android phone pretty easily.
The second is that it makes older PCs somewhat useful. All they have to run is a lightweight desktop, and the resource intensive stuff can be on the server. This isn't fast, but if the only thing you'd be doing with the PC was checking email or the weather it can be good enough and convenient
32 • Daphile (by Tim Arnold on 2017-01-23 16:06:48 GMT from United States)
A great self-contained audio-server. Well supported and well documented. The guy that runs it is pretty responsive as well. Gets my vote !!
33 • remote access (by Steve S on 2017-01-23 16:15:46 GMT from United States)
I use VNC as a convenient way to access and do things on a Raspberry pi3.
I have Xubuntu on the pi with vnc4server. I can access it from Ubuntu with the Remmina client, which can also make an SSH connection,
34 • Ranking projects (by Jesse on 2017-01-23 17:18:10 GMT from Canada)
@22: I see your point and I have updated the Ranking page to allow people to sort by either average rating or by number of votes, whichever they feel will be more useful. Hopefully, over time, all projects will get more votes and the ratings will balance out to reasonable averages.
35 • Devuan and antiX (by cykodrone on 2017-01-23 17:46:59 GMT from Canada)
I thought we weren't allowed to veer off topic in the comments? I've been using Devuan (bare metal HDD) since the first beta, there was a glitch in the installer but I found a way around it at the time. I installed Devuan Beta2 to an SSD (got rid of the HDD install), the installer glitch was fixed. The only issue I have with it is right-clicking in the Xfce GUI is a little clumsy, like there's a lack of precision, sometimes it's sluggish, sometimes it's too responsive, like involuntarily activating the top item in right-click menu, causing an unwanted action and the menu to disappear. This GUI problem could be due to my choice of window manager and/or theme(s), not completely sure, I would have to experiment more. Other than that, I find it fairly stable and usable, I've customized my Devuan install to the mammary glands with very few problems, if any at all.
You can't compare antiX and Devuan, I'm not knocking antiX, it's a great and honourable distro, but it's all over the road, by that I mean a smorgasbord of repo choices (different package levels and 3rd party maintained sources). I'm guessing they avoid the major DEs (even Xfce) because the lesser known and used DEs are easier to sterilize and keep free of systemd, and an indication of how deep systemd's roots are in the two major cabal DEs (Gnome and KDE). At least Devuan's default thoroughly maintained and supported DE is Xfce, which seems to be the last normal survivor on the gtk island, I've noticed MATE is taking a beating from the Gnome 3/systemd cabal, it's having an identity crisis, half of the apps are opening with a Gnome 3 look in an old gtk2 interface, a GUI dog's breakfast (aside from the bugs caused by trying to merge the two). Both distros want to be systemd free, but one wants to be cool and cutting edge (which it is), the other wants to be a mirror image of a stable, boring and bland Debian (but without the bloated init that wants to be a kernel). You're comparing a floor model economy car to amphibious flying machine.
Devuan can upgrade safely from Debian Wheezy, creating that ability was no small feat, this was one of it's major intended features. Yet another huge difference between Devuan and antiX.
When all the smoke clears, it depends on what the end user needs and wants, not what doesn't suit your needs or excite your tastes. FYI, Devuan does have backports (that's where I found Kodi for Devuan), for those who can't resist messing around and living a little dangerously.
I am going to give antiX a thorough run for it's money soon (on the other SSD), I'm getting fed up the breakage in a gtk based PCLOS install.
I dumped Debian near the end of Wheezy's normal support cycle when they announced their lack of init choice in Jessie (this is why I left proprietary operating systems, I don't like being forced or told what to use or run). Devuan is the closest replacement for Jessie out there, antiX is more like a systemd free Siduction.
36 • Remote Use, Installers, & Kernels (by M.Z. on 2017-01-23 19:09:20 GMT from United States)
For using apps remotely I've used Team Viewer a fair amount, though only to use proprietary Windows apps on Linux. It's been very useful, though I would like a bit higher resolution. I may try some of the other methods discussed here in DW, but once you get Team Viewer going it's very easy to go to any OS you want remotely.
Funny, my main installer issues recently have been related to bugs in the ubiquity series of installers. I would like to have a better alternative, especially one that bridges many distros like the Calamares installer is trying to do.
You seem to be complaining about a superseded kernel not showing up in the DW package tracking list. Why continue to list kernel 4.9.4 after 4.95 is already out? I've had 4.9.5 installed on my PCLinuxOS desktop for days & it came straight from the official PCLOS repos.
Don't get my wrong, there are probably more than a few users of Ubuntu family distros interested in what you're talking about; however, the DW list tracking packages if for official upstream packages. If they start trying to track downstream stuff the people saying 'me too' will quickly create a massive logjam of thousands of things to track. After all many big distros have 10,000+ packages. It's far easier & simpler to track the upstream projects & it's distro agnostic, is a good for all users regardless of the popular distro of the moment.
37 • Mini-reviews and ratings (by Vukota on 2017-01-23 19:52:46 GMT from Montenegro)
Great addition to the DW (form for mini reviews and ratings). I think people will love it. I would also suggest to add voting for the reviews, so that good reviews can have better visibility. Also, few additional fields might be a good thing to have like "What was the hardware/environment you used for testing?", "Were you able to install the distro?", "Problems unresolved?", "Pros?", "Cons?", "How do you rate your technical knowledg?", "What was the intention of the install/usage of the distro/system?", "Whom would you suggest to try this distribution?". Also good thing may be to provide an optional field for e-mail with a way for people to be able to correct and/or add update to their review.
About GoboLinux, I think the guys were trying to reinvent the wheels. Yes, directories in Linux are confusing, but deviating from the "standards" is not always good. No matter what you pick for the name, it will be "strange" for someone. Not everyone is speaking English, but they have to "know" what those things are. It would be better spent effort to split directories where the apps, libraries and their different version are installed, than to try to reinvent different names for something that already just works. Its enough that different distros place same configuration files in different places and name them differently (for not so good reasons), but moving files around for even less good reasons gets my down vote.
38 • Rankings... (by Vukota on 2017-01-23 20:11:24 GMT from Montenegro)
I forgot to add. I agree with other comment(s) that number of reviews (and length of them) should be included somehow in rankings. One review with vote of 10 vs. 10 reviews with more detailed reviews and average vote of 9 to me is in reality like comparing 6 with 10. Maybe voting should go 1-5 and score from 1-10 to be calculated based on the number of reviews and scores (votes) given, so that 1 five can not be higher than 10 fours, but 1 five may be equal or higher than 10 threes.
39 • HandyLinux (by mikef90000 on 2017-01-23 23:49:48 GMT from United States)
I've revisited using HandyLinux several times because it offered a simple UI suitable for the less computer literate or for cases like kiosks. Unfortunately the lack of good English documentation kept me from customizing the UI more.
Request to HandyLinux devs - please consider packaging the UI source separately where it can be preserved and possibly improved for us non-French speakers.
40 • mini-reviews: any link? (by Hoos on 2017-01-24 04:38:46 GMT from Singapore)
Is there a link on the Home page to the "visitors' mini-reviews" landing page?
41 • mini-reviews (by bigsky on 2017-01-24 04:54:45 GMT from Canada)
@40 That's also what I was wondering but my best guess is that there are none at the moment ? Time will tell. Anyhow this was a good read this week. Keep your stick on the ice.
42 • Remote apps (by argent on 2017-01-24 06:02:19 GMT from United States)
Don't remotely use anything to connect to my main PC's, maybe in the future will have a need but not ATM.
Comment about Devuan, personally found it to work perfectly and better than it's parent Debian. Have some apps like Kodi that works with Devuan ascii/ceres but not with Debian testing or sid!
Maybe it is the machine and not the the distribution. Get better GTK rendering and fonts are sharper and clearer, perhaps being more black in appearance is the reason. Have nothing but a great experience with Devuan and happy about it's existence and the work they are doing with a systemd-less image. Will be patient with the idea "that it will be ready when it's ready"!
Like antiX, but something with the distribution causes it not to play well with other drives on the eight drive PC, scrambles the UUID and become not accessible. Works fine by it's self, but as soon everything is reconnected then it's nothing but havoc.
43 • PcLinux abandoning Grub Legacy (by GreginNC on 2017-01-24 12:40:58 GMT from United States)
Sad to hear PcLinuxOS is doing away with grub legacy as that was one of the main things I liked about it. I've always despised Grub2 and really didn't care for Lilo. Grub legacy was straight forward to use and always reliable, it's sad to see what is likely the last distro still using it by default abandoning it. What's next the inclusion of Systemd?
44 • Reviews link (by Jesse on 2017-01-24 12:56:33 GMT from Canada)
@40: No, but there are links to the visitor reviews and rankings on our Sitemap page. There are links on every distribution's page to their ratings/reviews page, in the Popularity section.
45 • @43 (by a on 2017-01-24 17:06:15 GMT from France)
I also don’t like the complexity of grub2. I recommend syslinux: it’s simple and easy.
46 • PCLinuxOS (by M.Z. on 2017-01-24 17:43:32 GMT from United States)
One big difference in the Grub policy vs the systemd policy is that Grub 2 has been in there as an option for a good long time. Given that I think the chances of Systemd being the only option in PCLOS is basically 0, though I don't find much to dislike about Systemd in Mageia so I don't really care. I'd also note the Grub customizer is in there as well & I've been using the two for some time in PCLinuxOS; however, I admit I don't think it is quite as easy & automated as I'd like.
47 • File system names/paths (GOBO) (by Jordan on 2017-01-24 17:45:07 GMT from United States)
When I first looked at Zorin, I expected to see something we see described in the GOBO review; more intuitive (read, "Windows-like") file names/hierarchies.
Not the case with Zorin, but we do see it now (as a work in progress I presume) with GOBO. I do like the idea, but by now I've come to understand the unix/linux way.. so.. it'll be there as a choice for newer users I suppose.
48 • @35 Deuvan & AntiX (by Martin on 2017-01-24 19:05:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Thanks for your comments, I found that an interesting review of Deuvan. I have tried it in the past, but was waiting for a stable release to come out, it sounds as though you find the current release to be stable. I must try it again.
AntiX is a thoroughly reliable and stable distro with a very helpful and enthusiastic following, I have used it for many years now.
49 • Dedoimedo interview (by Dr David on 2017-01-25 03:43:49 GMT from United States)
Wait, on the airspeed of an unladen swallow. Are you referring to a European swallow or ... ;-)
Keep up the good work Distrowatch, I love it !!!
50 • Remote Desktop access and remote desktop use (by Martin on 2017-01-25 23:13:23 GMT from United States)
One BIG oversight that was solved by Microsoft since 1995. Yes, that is 2 decades ago and to this day, NO LINUX SOLUTION has surfaced.
HOW do you get sound to accompany and video you start in your remote desktop session???
How do you get your remote desktop server to see the USB or files you have on your local machine (client) so that the remote server app can access and use?
How to you get your remote desktop server to print thru your client session to your local printer?
Can your session have both encryption AND compression to significant impact a positive performance session?
XRDP was a project started some time ago that started with this intent. BUT NOONE step forward to help .... even when he offered money.
No, to me, Remote Desktop in Open Source is still DEAD.
51 • Remote Desktop access and remote desktop use (by Martin on 2017-01-25 23:22:29 GMT from United States)
My comment merely intends to suggest that an Remote Desktop Server, today, doesn't have an great performing multimedia solution for users. Neither on a local LAN or the WAN.
If you merely want a Xdesktop without multimedia features, this was solved years ago in open source. But, if you want a true experience that matches what you get at an Linux console running X desktops, then Remote Multimedia X Desktops does not exist, IMHO.
52 • Yup, another month of chasing my "Tails!" (by tom joad on 2017-01-25 23:26:20 GMT from Netherlands)
First I want to say I like Tails...I do. And I like to use it and I do on a daily basis.
But every month or so I seems chase my tail to get the new rev up and running only to have to repeat the process again in short order. The constant installing from scratch following frequently changing instructions and process seems little more than busy work. And I guess entertainment for the former Microsoft software engineers who put it together.
Maybe it only seems like a 'microsoft' product.
Presently I am stuck at the restore or create image apparent 'loop' using the Gnome disk manager. I have been restoring and creating for the better part of the afternoon while not restoring or creating much of anything usable to access the internet.
Of late I am given to using a sand box hardened Tor to access the internet. I am using it now to opine now. And tor is apparently working on a sandboxed version of their product too. "Come on, guys, hurry but a lot of us are waiting for a rational more protected access to the internet."
While I am waiting for another restore, create task to finish I was thinking about the folks who live in "enemy" Territory who need a usable, intuitive and protected way to access the internet. It must be scary to government facilities to access the internet on the sneak. And millions have to do it on the sneak too or suffer dearly. For me to chase my tail with this product nothing much awful will happen to me. But in 'enemy' Territory...well, you get the picture.
I wonder if the former Microsoft software engineers have ever reflected on the real world consequence of not having their product configured or install correctly? I wonder if they lay awake reflected on the utter tediousness of their software.
Nah, I truly doubt it. They sleep well I am sure, they are not in enemy terrority after all.
Oh, the latest restore, create has finished. Perhaps this time it may work...may indeed. I've been 35 mintues in the process. Everything with tails takes hours too. That is not a bug, it is feature I am sure.
53 • x2go is great but no 3D (by Scott Dowdle on 2017-01-26 00:01:02 GMT from United States)
If you want a terminal-services type remoting protocol (single user, or multi-user each with their own independent desktop), then x2go is for you. There is also a desktop-sharing package for x2go if you need it.
x2go connects over ssh and provides a really fast (especially compared to VNC) environment. It also does sound, filesharing, and printing if configured properly. Over a fast LAN, video playback works fairly well.
One thing x2go doesn't do is 3D stuff... so no desktop environments that require 3D (GNOME3, Unity, etc). Works great with XFCE, MATE, etc.
x2go is in the standard Fedora repos, in EPEL for RHEL/CentOS. For Debian and Ubuntu, the x2go-client is stock, but you have to get x2go-server from a third-party repo. Instructions on the x2go site.
54 • Re; My Tails travails... (by tom joad on 2017-01-26 03:34:54 GMT from France)
I never got the Gnome disk manager to do the install as the Tails documentation said that it would. It looked as though it did do what it was supposed to do however. More illusion.
So I had to fall back to the old school way. I burned the ISO to a DVD and went on from there. That worked as it does. I have Tails installed on a USB drive. I am happy to use something that will keep some of the internet dark forces at bay.
Six weeks from now there will a few tweaks here and there in Tails. Me, I will be back in the weeds again attempting to get another rev up and running.
I have some hope that the Torproject will have their 'sandboxed' tor browser up and running soon.
Lastly, from my experience I think there is a real world need for a user friendly and more secure distro like Tails. I really do. I used LPS, now TENS, for a time but I have a new computer. This computer is EFI and TENS is not so that is a no go. At least I don't want to putz with it to see if it will go. No time. Off my soap box. Thanks for enduring my mini-rant.
55 • @20, 25 etc â€¢ Dedoimedo Interview (by Greg Zeng on 2017-01-26 04:08:45 GMT from Australia)
Like most Dw readers, spead-reading meant that we missed, above: http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/interview-distrowatch.html
Seems my suspicions were correct. A self-taught, isolated, youngish geek, devoid of senior corporate experiences, atm. Photo was taken over ten years ago. JS has English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL)? I used to be a high school teacher (STEM), 1971, Australia.
Seems to me that there is no true Linux-guru on the planet. Researchers are researching (more & more about less & less: PhD); "teachers" (including "writers" are overwhelmed by the knowledge explosions and the heavy, heavy politics. End-users & codes are instantaneous fanboys. Retired senior executives like myself are surprised about the popularity of Windows, & failures of the Unix-derivatives (Apple, Androids, Lunux's & BSD's).
"Do you think Linux is ready for mass consumption?
JS: Yes, I definitely do."
Seniors like myself know this to be false. Linux ergonomics (hence market-ability) is extremely poor. Linux seniors know this: no universal package containers, no universal installer that just "works", no running-kernel-update (yet), poor updating procedures, limited range of applications, no easy roll-back process, extremely inconsistent ways on closing the operating system.
"The" computer operating system which might be Windows-10", with severe reservations, atm. Terrible updates, crazy roll-back processes, extremely demanding on all computer resources (CPU, GPU, memories, storage, multiple redundancies, page-files, etc).
Linux is so promising, that Microsoft, etc (but not Apple) are contributing to the Linux projects, with direct funds, staff & otherways. BSD-based Unix's are trying to unseat Linux's flaws, but atm cannot match the coder numbers of the other systems (Ms, Apple, Linux).
All operating systems need an open-source coding, marketing approach imho. So open & easy, that even the Putin plutocracy can help the billionaire oligarchs to dominate this planet, with the assistance of our Australian lad, Wikileaks. Who will be the Putin of the computer world? Microsoft, Google or Apple to conquering the iSheep?
56 • @55 (by gee7 on 2017-01-26 11:41:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
I do not understand your post, Greg, about speed-reading and missing some factor unknown. I read the interview on Dedoimedo slowly before I read this week's Distrowatch and I found Jesse's answers to be amusing, honest and revealing of his integrity. Nor do I agree with your criticism: to be "devoid of senior corporate experiences" is not a flaw for a person who works as a journalist and is involved in practical Linux coding problems and bug repair, as other valuable experiences fill the time, though, for example, "to be devoid of integrity and an eagerness to learn new skills in a fast-changing world" would be. Any man or woman who has had to earn a living using practical skills and who becomes self-employed develops a self-reliance and an understanding of the world that can be considered superior to the mind-set of someone who knows only the corporate world.
Yes, Linux is ready for mass consumption - with 2% of the known market it is already used by a sector of the mass market, and that sector is growing annually. Statistics from mainland China are not included in the percentage breakdown as they are not available, though over the last decade I have come across various statements giving out the information that the Chinese government was starting to bring their own version of Linux into local and national government departments because they did not trust Microsoft. Any information on Chinese Linux statistics would throw some light on the matter, if anyone can refer a source ...
57 • @55 lots of BS (by curious on 2017-01-26 11:51:26 GMT from Germany)
Linux IS ready for mass consumption.
The main reason people use an operating system (Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android or whatever) is because it comes ready-installed on their machine. Only very few people care enough to change it - and among those, Linux is probably the favorite.
But until Linux comes ready-installed on new devices, its market share, at least "on the desktop", will remain small.
Oh, and thanks for dissing the main contributor to distrowatch. As if one needs "senior corporate experience" to be a Linux-guru ...
And btw. "no universal package containers, no universal installer that just works, no running-kernel-update (yet), poor updating procedures" is true for Windows as well.
58 • @55 (by SlackCliMax on 2017-01-26 12:45:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
Apple has been known to give back to the BSD community. When BSD started out in 1974 it was open software. AT&T (in their infinite wisdom) made it proprietary.
So by your logic the FreeBSD Foundation and others are small time operations. I don't think so.
59 • Regarding the interview (by Jesse on 2017-01-26 13:18:37 GMT from Canada)
>> Seems my suspicions were correct. A self-taught, isolated, youngish geek, devoid of senior corporate experiences, atm. Photo was taken over ten years ago. JS has English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL)"
If you had read the interview you might have noticed, I'm not solely self-taught. I started out self-taught in elementary school (grade school, I think they call it elsewhere), but I took computer courses in high school, college and later, when I entered the job market.
Isolated is certainly debateable, I've worked in both big, urban offices and small, rural settings. I've certainly worked in corporate settings, though not at the CIO-level if that is what you mean by senior.
Not that it matters, but the photo was not taken ten years ago, the camera that took the picture had its clock reset to an earlier date. English is my first language, French is my second.
>> "Seniors like myself know this to be false. Linux ergonomics (hence market-ability) is extremely poor. Linux seniors know this: no universal package containers, no universal installer that just "works", no running-kernel-update (yet), poor updating procedures, limited range of applications, no easy roll-back process, extremely inconsistent ways on closing the operating system."
You may feel that way, but I know several seniors who are quite happy with Linux. They find it less hassle than using other systems because Linux typically just works for them. It keeps running and updating without issue. They don't need universal installers because everything is packaged for them in the software manager. You seem to projecting your own experiences onto others, but your experiences (while valid) and computing needs are not universal.
Around 50 million people or so use Linux as a desktop operating system. That's a pretty big market, so I think Linux certainly has proven itself ready for the masses at this point.
60 • Trolls (by a on 2017-01-26 13:55:25 GMT from France)
Don’t waste your time answering trolls Jesse… I liked the interview btw and was glad to read that you also think distro maintainers shouldn’t jump at new (and broken) software.
61 • Seriously? (by Rando McGillicutty on 2017-01-26 20:45:28 GMT from United States)
On a planet of over seven billion people, fifty million is 'yuge'?! You're deluding yourself. Cheap servers, computation nodes, and embedded all make sense as a place for linux; a desktop for the masses not so much.
62 • @ Jessie on you interview (by Jake on 2017-01-26 20:47:25 GMT from France)
"For example, if you are running Windows and you don't like Windows 10, your choices are to stick with an older version (and disable the sneaky automatic upgrade process) or use Windows 10 anyway and deal with its problems."
You don't use Windows 10, and your non-Linux OS is FreeBSD. You also said, if you had a magic wand, you'd like to see distribution developers distro-hop more.
I've been using Linux distros since 2005, meaning had distro-hopped a lot. In the mean time used Windows for specific apps, and later dropped Windows 7 completely and stayed only with Linux. Found Windows 10 (I got it free with a laptop at highly discounted price).
I still have my only Linux box, and this laptop with Windows 10 and few Linux on dual boot in it. Strangely, this Windows 10 is not giving any problems, not even trying to update without my allowing it.
Question; how can you or anyone can tell how bad Windows 10 without using it? Shouldn't we also "hop" a little to see how the other side doing?
63 • Trying the other side (by Jesse on 2017-01-26 21:09:02 GMT from Canada)
@62: "You don't use Windows 10, and your non-Linux OS is FreeBSD...how can you or anyone can tell how bad Windows 10 without using it?"
First of all, I didn't comment on the quality of Windows 10. I was talking about people who want to upgrade Windows, but also don't like some of the features in the new version. There are lots of people who like some aspects of Win10 and not others. I didn't say I thought Win10 was good or bad.
Second, while I do not run Windows at home, I do have to support it for clients. To say I haven't used Windows 10 would be inaccurate. Not only have I used it, I've had to install it, fix it and recover broken systems that were running it. I'm in a pretty good position to say what I do or don't like about the operating system.
64 • Trolls & Linux Volume (by M.Z. on 2017-01-26 22:21:43 GMT from United States)
If you're referring to #55 as a troll, I'd say that while his posts rarely seem all that great to me he posts here often & he does seem genuine. I've seen plenty of trolls, good (as in you want me to argue with a dancing what on youtube?), as well as lots of bad & misinformed stuff meant to start an argument. The last few times someone called troll here on DW I think it was an over reaction. Let's try not to bring out the 'T' word unless it is really warranted.
I find it hard to believe that tens of millions of any group of people could be considered a small number. As a bit of a car buff I can tell you that last I heard the top three car manufactures were all in the ballpark of 10 million sales a year. In addition Wikipedia lists less than 30 countries that exceed that 50 Million user estimate, while most of the other 196 on the list have far less. In fact if you put all Linux users from the above estimate into their own country they would rank as right between South Korea (#27) & Columbia (#28).
Anyway, I find the whole notion of 50 million people being a tiny number fairly laughable. It may not be the biggest number, but it is fairly respectable. Also you're treading far closer to what #60 was talking about than #55 was.
65 • Chrome (by V2 on 2017-01-27 03:54:18 GMT from United States)
Anyone else use Chrome Remote Desktop? Seems to work without many issues so far, even through corporate fire walls. Can even control Windows boxes. All you need is the Chrome or Chromium browser and the app from the store. One issue is that on Linux it starts a new session so it does not seem to let you control an already running session.
66 • Running desktop applications remotely (by far2fish on 2017-01-27 10:24:38 GMT from Europe)
I voted "I use X11 forwarding", which is my preferred method.
In hindsight I probably should have voted "I use another method", because often I find X forwarding blocked by sshd_config or network complexity.
So while X11 forwarding is my preferred option, I often find that I have to explicitly set the DISPLAY variable to point back to my client.
There is also the odd occasions where I connect to a server through VNC, which is only when I have to run a long running graphical installer, and do not want to transmit screen refreshes over the network.
I also enjoyed reading the Dedoimedo interview, and while I skipped through some parts of it, it was really nice to get some context on Jesse. And it makes me cherish even more the time and effort he puts into keeping this site running.
67 • linux on the desktop (by Tim Dowd on 2017-01-27 14:27:09 GMT from United States)
I'm with @57 on this discussion. Linux isn't on many desktops because it isn't the default. For most, a computer is a tool that does a specific task for them, and they're not going to change until you give them a reason.
For what it's worth, I wait until I have family or friends complaining about their not-that-old computer being entirely nonfunctional and then I ask if they'd mind if I installed Linux on it for them. They're usually blown away by how much better the computer works.
That most people haven't switched for Linux is a different issue than whether "Linux is ready on the desktop." It absolutely is ready. The only major issue I have at this point is that Apple won't release drivers to make my iPhone work with Linux... and my hope is that someday Ubuntu phone will make that a non-issue for me.
Also, Jesse, thank you for all your work. You've immensely helped me over the years and I don't like seeing people criticize you
68 • Greg Zeng (by Jordan on 2017-01-27 14:40:18 GMT from United States)
You position yourself here, via your posts, as the "final word" in various aspects of linux discussion, even to the point of accusing others of being "trolls" if they do not agree with you and/or of they present a view of things as they see it as opposed to your stated views. You even go so far as to accuse disagreement as likely because someone didn't read things thoroughly or slowly enough, putting them on the defensive.
There is a lot to be learned here at DW. You can even learn here, believe it or not.
69 • Gobo (by Somewhat Reticent on 2017-01-28 12:58:29 GMT from United States)
Like NixOS or ZeroInstall, with dependency-checking easier for human?
70 • Distrowatch & Linux (by Bill on 2017-01-28 23:59:01 GMT from Canada)
There is so much I like about Linux. The reason I like it over Windows is the stability it has given me for the past several years. So reliable and fast and able to provide me with all of the applications I need for my computing needs. I am not knocking Windows as it has given me a start in computing that has proven to be helpful in moving to Linux.
Thank you Jessie for your fine web site. It is my favourite place to travel to for information and insight to making computing a truly satisfactory endeavour.
71 • @70 Distrowatch & Linux (by mandog on 2017-01-29 15:40:26 GMT from Peru)
I think that goes for a lot of readers las well
Its a shams the last couple of weeks have been slightly marred with name calling no need to get personal its only a comments page after all.
72 • DW & Linux (by zephyr on 2017-01-29 22:15:16 GMT from United States)
DW has a lot to offer and personally enjoy the comments section, respect everyone's comments when pertaining to distributions or applications. Questions and Answers is my first stop each new week and have learned a great deal.
Tolerance of others, no one is is a Linux guru in my opinion, Linux is ever changing and even the most seasoned has to get caught up occasionally. Ones opinion is exactly that but don't think it is worth the argument if we have to offend one and another. DW is all about information for me, and many others who would like to share knowledge or helpful hints.
Many distributions have forums where the trolling is common place, avoid them and don't use their distributions either. Don't expect anyone or everyone to agree with any statement or finding I may post regarding a specific application or distribution. Appearance and functional capabilities is usually met with different skill level and knowledge. Linux simply has something for everyone.
Let's please keep DW and it's contents professional, no doubt a lot of hard work goes into this site weekly and for one appreciate it and all the folks who comment here in this section.
Number of Comments: 72
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Kubuntu is a free, user-friendly Linux distribution based on KDE's desktop software and on the Ubuntu operating system. It has a biannual release cycle. Besides providing an up-to-date version of the KDE desktop at the time of the release, the project also releases updated KDE packages throughout the lifetime of each release.