| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 714, 29 May 2017
Welcome to this year's 22nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Part of finding the right Linux distribution is selecting the project which offers an ideal balance between efficiency and ease of use. Some people want to be able to perform tasks with a few mouse clicks or even have common tasks automated for them. Others prefer a light, high performance operating system, even if it means more effort is required to accomplish tasks. The Void distribution walks a careful line between being minimal and providing a user friendly environment and we explore this unusual distribution in our Feature Story. Also in this week's edition we discuss how to remotely wake a computer from sleep mode using a feature called Wake-on-LAN. We talk about Wake-on-LAN again in our Opinion Poll where we ask how many of our readers use this helpful feature. In the News section we explore what happens to automated Ubuntu bug reports and new KDE packages coming to Solus. Plus we share changes to TrueOS's development cycle along with Debian's planned release date and news that PrimTux is experimenting with a 64-bit, UEFI-enabled build. In addition, we share the distribution releases of the past week and provide a list of torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Returning to the Void
- News: Solus packages more of KDE, Ubuntu automated bug reports, PrimTux tests UEFI compatibility, changes to the TrueOS release cycle, Debian 9 gets release date
- Tips and Tricks: Waking up your computer remotely
- Released last week: Devuan 1.0.0, GuixSD 0.13.0, Alpine 3.6.0
- Torrent corner: Alpine, BitKey, Devuan, DuZeru, GuixSD, LibreELEC, Parabola, Peppermint, Sabayon, SystemRescueCd
- Upcoming releases: Fedora 26 Beta
- Opinion poll: Wake on LAN
- New additions: Live Raizo
- New distributions: Debian-Reiser4
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (102MB) and MP3 (75MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Returning to the Void
Void is an independently developed, rolling release Linux distribution. The Void distribution runs on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 processors as well as several ARM boards including the Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone and Cubieboard2. The Void distribution is available in Cinnamon, Enlightenment, LXDE, LXQt, MATE and Xfce editions with some additional desktop environments offered through the project's software repositories. There is also a plain edition which I believe sets up a minimal command line environment.
There are a number of features which set Void apart from most other Linux distributions. Void uses the XBPS package manager for working with source and binary packages. Void was an early adopter of OpenBSD's LibreSSL library which acts as a drop-in replacement for the OpenSSL security library. Further, Void has an init implementation called runit which is unusually small and simple. Another interesting feature of Void is the distribution can use one of two C libraries. Most Linux distributions use the glibc library. Void does provide glibc and also offers installation media with the lightweight musl library.
I decided to download the Void project's MATE edition which is 637MB in size. Booting from the supplied media brings up a screen where we can choose between starting the distribution's live environment or loading Void into RAM and then launching the desktop environment. The latter option uses more memory, but makes the distribution run faster and frees up the drive or port where our installation media is located.
The live disc boots to the MATE 1.16 desktop environment. At the top of the screen we find a panel containing the MATE menus (Applications, Places and System) along with a system tray. At the bottom of the screen we find a second panel which acts as a task switcher. The desktop's background is a blue-to-green gradient. There are a few icons on the desktop for launching the file manager.
Void 20170220 -- Running Firefox on the MATE desktop
(full image size: 96kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I did not find any icon or menu entry for launching the Void system installer. We can begin the installation process by opening a terminal window and running the void-installer command as the root user. For people who have not set up a Void system before, I recommend reading the project's wiki page on performing an installation. The documentation points out that Void's system installer does not offer automated or guided partitioning so we may wish to partition our hard drive prior to launching the installer using one of the provided disk management utilities such as cfdisk.
Void's system installer presents us with a text menu run in a terminal window. The menu lists configuration steps the installer must take and we can explore these steps in the order of our choosing. The Void installer reminds me of the system installers used by Slackware and older versions of FreeBSD. Void's installer walks us through selecting our keyboard's layout, enabling & configuring a network connection and selecting a language locale. We are also asked to pick our time zone from a list and create a password for the system's root account. We can then create a user account for ourselves, and choose a location where the boot loader should be installed. The installer asks us to select mount points for available partitions. I found the user must write out the name of each mount point, such as "/", "/home" or "/var" as the installer does not recommend default mount points. Void supports formatting new partitions with a variety of file systems, including Btrfs, f2fs, XFS and ext2/3/4. I decided to use ext4 during my trial. With these steps completed, the installer starts copying the distribution's files to the hard drive, showing the per cent of work completed and the number of files that have been copied.
While Void's installer was working, I left the computer alone and, when I returned, I found the screen saver had activated, locking me out of the live desktop. A password is required to access the desktop environment again. The password for Void's live user is "voidlinux".
When the locally installed copy of Void boots the distribution presents us with a graphical login screen. Signing into the account created during the installation process brings us back to the MATE desktop. The default environment is fairly bare bones. There are a few popular applications available through the MATE Applications menu and there is a settings panel, but otherwise the graphical environment is minimal. There were no pop-up notifications or indicators letting me know if software updates were available.
I explored running Void in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on my desktop computer. At first, Void did not integrate with the VirtualBox environment. Even once I had installed the VirtualBox guest modules from Void's repository, full screen resolution still did not work in the virtual environment. I tried following the instructions for VirtualBox guests without any improvement. I eventually discovered that my Void guest was missing the xrandr package. Once I had installed this package I was able to reboot to get the guest operating system to use my computer's full display resolution.
On the physical desktop computer Void worked very well, detecting all of my hardware and running smoothly. In both environments I found audio was muted by default and the audio level is adjustable from the volume control in the system tray.
Void 20170220 -- Experimenting with the Lumina desktop
(full image size: 1.7MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
What impressed me about running Void was that the distribution uses a minimal amount of resources. The installation ISO for Void's MATE edition is still small enough to fit on a CD. The distribution, when signed into MATE, uses about 230MB of RAM and a fresh installation of Void uses just 2GB of disk space. Void is not in the running for the world's smallest Linux distribution, but it is notably smaller and lighter by default than most of the mainstream distributions. Part of what makes Void smaller is the low number of pre-installed applications, but Void also trims the fat in other areas, particularly the init implementation. Void's runit init software is very small and boots the system quickly.
Void ships with a small number of applications. Looking through the uncluttered Applications menu we find the Firefox ESR web browser (without Flash support), an image viewer and an archive manager. The distribution includes a text editor, a PDF document viewer and a dictionary. There are no multimedia applications included by default, but I found media players and codecs in the distribution's repositories. I found that I had to do some hunting to find all the codecs I wanted, there are a lot of media codec packages and I eventually just installed all of the various GStreamer (gst) packages.
Void 20170220 -- Running LibreOffice on the MATE desktop
(full image size: 171kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Void's MATE edition ships with the Caja file manager, Network Manager for getting us on-line and the GNU Compiler Collection. The Void installation medium ships with version 4.9.11 of the Linux kernel, but during my trial Linux 4.10 was available as an update. I also found most popular applications such as LibreOffice, VLC and the GNU Image Manipulation Program were available in the software repositories.
Void uses a package manager called the X Binary Package System (XBPS). There are a few separate utilities which make up the XBPS family and which one we use will depend on the function we are performing. I mostly used xbps-query to find packages I wanted to install and the xbps-install utility to actually download new packages and updates. During my week with Void a total of 209 software updates were made available, reaching 445MB in size. This high load of updates is probably unusual, it just so happened that the installation media I was using was three months old and there were several updates available when I began my trial.
Void 20170220 -- Using XBPS to install software updates
(full image size: 79kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I found the XBPS utilities worked very quickly. The output from the XBPS commands is terse, but I found the provided information to be clear. I was also pleased to find that Void provides an on-line web interface for finding packages in the project's repositories as this may be more appealing for new users than typing command line queries.
One issue I had when installing software using XBPS was not a bug, but rather an inconvenience. I found, on a few occasions, that packages I installed would not automatically draw in run-time dependencies - items that, when using other package managers, might be called "suggested packages". For example, installing VirtualBox guest modules did not pull in xrandr and installing Rhythmbox did not cause any media codecs to be installed. Given Void's lightweight nature, not installing associated packages might be considered a positive feature by Void's community, but I would have preferred having these related components installed automatically.
Apart from XBPS, the Void distribution has recently introduced support for portable Flatpak packages. I couldn't find any information on working with Flatpak in the Void wiki, but there is a blog post which talks a little about Flatpak. To work with Flatpak applications we first need to install the flatpak package using XBPS. Then we can install Flatpak bundles from various places, including Flatpak.org.
I found Flatpak applications would install, but they are not added to the MATE application menu and there are no launch icons added to the desktop. To launch a Flatpak program we need to either run a long terminal command such as "flatpak run org.gnome.gedit" or we can set up a short-cut to run this command for us. I found Flatpak applications would work, though the process of installing the Flatpak framework, installing packages and then launching them from the command line is still a bit cumbersome. For most programs it probably makes sense to stick with using Void's XBPS whenever possible.
Settings and other notes
Void's MATE edition ships with a control centre where we can access modules for adjusting the state of the desktop environment. I like MATE's settings panel as I find it easy to navigate and the controls are presented in a simple, user friendly manner. I also like that MATE makes it easy to move the window controls to the left or right side of application windows as it is a feature I'm finding increasingly useful.
Void 20170220 -- The MATE settings panel
(full image size: 162kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
While exploring Void I noticed a few characteristics I found interesting. For instance, the distribution sets up a root account for us and also sets up sudo. This means we can use su to gain administrator access, and select user accounts can also use sudo to perform admin tasks. I found I preferred using sudo as, by default, the root account uses the minimal dash shell while other accounts default to using bash. The root account could be changed to use more feature rich shells, but I try to avoid changing root's shell as, on some systems, this can cause problems.
I think Void is one of the more interesting operating systems I have used this year. While the distribution does not have many eye-catching features on display, there are a number of unusual things going on in the background. Void uses the runit init software rather than the more popular systemd or SysV init implementations. The XBPS package utilities are, I believe, unique to Void and work quite well. Void is also taking an uncommon approach by offering editions with two different core system libraries (glibc and musl).
Void is quite minimal compared to mainstream Linux distributions, but it is not as bare bones out of the box as Tiny Core or Arch. Put another way, Void starts us off with a relatively small platform, but the tedious work of configuring package management and installing a desktop environment are handled for us. I find this middle-weight style very pleasant as the essentials of a desktop system are in place, but little more.
The distribution uses a rolling release model which means the packages available in Void's repositories are up to date. Plus, with Void's new Flatpak support, we have access to a wide range of portable Linux packages from upstream developers.
Void probably will not suit new Linux users. The distribution's text-based system installer and command line only package management suggest the distribution is targeting a more experienced section of the Linux community. Personally, I also found hunting down some packages a bit more work on Void than on mainstream distributions, but this is balanced against Void's relatively light nature.
I think more experienced users, especially those interested in rolling release operating systems, will enjoy Void. However, people who want friendly, graphical configuration tools and package management will not find those on this distribution.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
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Visitor supplied rating
Void has a visitor supplied average rating of: 9.2/10 from 75 review(s).
Have you used Void? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Solus packages more of KDE, Ubuntu automated bug reports, PrimTux tests UEFI compatibility, changes to the TrueOS release cycle, Debian 9 gets release date
The Solus distribution is currently in the process of packaging KDE software, including the KDE Plasma desktop environment. The KDE project maintains a large catalogue of software, including K3b and Kdenlive, and Solus team member Peter O'Connor is working to make all of this KDE software available to Solus users. "Peter's ambition is to eventually support a full Plasma stack on Solus, and through his long standing commitments to this work already, and to Solus as a project, he will be the official maintainer for KDE items in the distribution. The argument of stack complexity is already met and nullified. In a nut shell, the Plasma desktop is currently a slowly evolving future option for Solus, and at present isn't currently officially supported." Further details are available in a Solus blog post.
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If you have ever run the Desktop edition of Ubuntu you have probably observed the occasional pop-up window reporting that one service or another has crashed and the system will send a bug report. Curious people may wonder where those bug reports go and what information is contained in the reports. The errors.ubuntu.com site has an index of bug reports with statistics on the received reports. The site allows visitors to view bug report statistics based on time, release version and hardware architecture. There are also links to the reports and the information that has been uploaded to the Launchpad issue tracker. As the site claims, there are millions of Ubuntu users generating thousands of reports so this page can give a strong indication of which parts of the operating system are causing users problems.
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PrimTux is a Debian-based, French distribution designed with running on older computers in an educational setting in mind. The project is testing out a new, 64-bit build of PrimTux with support for UEFI-enabled hardware. A short news post provides links to the installation media being used for testing the new build.
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The TrueOS project creates a cutting-edge, rolling release operating system based on FreeBSD. The TrueOS project is looking at making a number of changes in the coming months, both to its release cycle and init software. The TrueOS developers plan to support two separate init implementation, the classic FreeBSD init system (RC) and the OpenRC init implementation. OpenRC is expected to be faster and provide some new features while the RC init software will allow TrueOS users to maintain stronger compatibility with FreeBSD. The TrueOS developers will also begin maintaining two separate project branches, STABLE and UNSTABLE: "As we've continued working on TrueOS, we've heard a significant portion of the community asking for a more stable 'STABLE' release of TrueOS, maybe something akin to an old PC-BSD version release. In order to meet that need, we're redefining the TrueOS STABLE branch a bit. STABLE releases are now expected to follow a six month schedule, with more testing and lots of polish between releases. This gives users the option to step back a little from the 'cutting edge' of development, but still enjoy many of the benefits of the 'rolling release' style and the useful elements of FreeBSD Current. Critical updates like emergency patches and utility bug fixes are still expected to be pushed to STABLE on a case-by-case basis, but again with more testing and polish." Additional information can be found in this blog post.
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The Debian project tends not to set firm release dates as the Debian developers prefer to release a new version of the distribution when it is ready, rather than sticking to a schedule. However, as the preparations for the next version of Debian are nearing completion, the Debian Release Team has put forward an expected date for the launch of Debian 9 "Stretch". The tentative release date will be June 17th, 2017. Additional details and Debian's final freeze date are in this mailing list post.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Waking up your computer remotely
Have you ever put a server to sleep at work, arrived home and realized you wanted to access the server's files remotely? Or have you gone away on a trip and realized you wanted to remotely access your home computer which is currently in sleep mode? In these sorts of situations you usually need to contact someone and ask them to press the distant computer's power button. However, there is another solution. Most modern computers can be powered on remotely through a feature called Wake-on-LAN (WOL). Computers with Wake-on-LAN enabled can be sent a special signal over the network to get them to switch from a low power mode to fully on-line.
When we want to use WOL the first thing we should do is make sure the feature is enabled on the computer we wish to be able to wake up. The WOL feature can be checked for using the ethtool command line program. This utility is available in the software repositories of most Linux distributions and just needs to be given the name of our network interface. If you are unsure what your network interface's name is you can get a list of all your system's network interfaces by running the ifconfig command:
In my case, my network interface is named eth0. To check to see if WOL is enabled on eth0 we run the ethtool command and pass it the name of our network interface. In this example I am using the grep command to filter out extra information I do not need. I only want to see lines which mention the Wake-On-LAN functionality.
ethtool eth0 | grep Wake
The above command should display two lines which indicate if WOL is supported. The lines may look like these:
Supports Wake-on: pumbg
The second line, "Wake-on: g" is important. The "g" indicates the system will respond to a WOL signal sent over the network. If the Wake-on field is set to something else, like "d", then the WOL feature is available but disabled. We can enable WOL on this card using the ethtool program again. Here we set the WOL feature to wake the computer if a special packet, represented here by "g", is sent to the computer.
ethtool -s eth0 wol g
In same cases a check for WOL capabilities might not return any information or the "Supports Wake-on" line might not include the letter "g" at the end of the line. If this happens it probably means the computer's WOL capability has been disabled. With most computers, the WOL feature can be turned on by rebooting the computer, entering the BIOS and enabling either the "PCI power-up" or "PCI wake up event" option.
At this point we have enabled the WOL feature on the computer, but we may lose the capability after the computer reboots. To make the feature last across reboots, run the following command as root to have the ethtool program turn on WOL at start-up.
echo "@reboot /usr/bin/ethtool -s eth0 wol g" >> /etc/crontab
At this point the WOL feature is enabled and set up to activate each time the computer boots. Before we leave the computer we want to be able to wake up, we need to do one more thing: get the computer's MAC address. A MAC address identifies the computer on the network, it is like an IP address that usually does not change. We can get the MAC address using the ifconfig command and looking for our interface's "HWaddr" field. In this example, we find the MAC address for the eth0 interface, filtering out unnecessary information using grep.
ifconfig | grep eth0
The third column in the output from the above command should be the MAC address. In my case this address is 40:a8:f0:01:45:ea. Using this MAC address I can go to another computer on the same network and use the wakeonlan program to wake up the first computer. (Please note, some distributions may package the wakeonlan program as wol.)
If you are trying to wake up the target computer from outside the local network then you can also use the wakeonlan command and pass it your network's IP address.
wakeonlan -i 188.8.131.52 40:a8:f0:01:45:ea
When using the WOL feature from outside your local network you may need to open a port on the network's router and forward that port to the computer you wish to wake up. How this will be done will depend on the router, but any network port can be forwarded. The wakeonlan command will accept a numeric port to use on the command line. The following example uses port 7272 on my router to connect to address 184.108.40.206
wakeonlan -p 7272 -i 220.127.116.11 40:a8:f0:01:45:ea
Wake on LAN can be a helpful tool if you want to leave your computers in sleep mode most of the time to conserve energy, but also wish to be able to access the computers remotely from time to time. It takes a little preparation to enable the WOL feature, but once it is in place it requires no effort to maintain. For convenience, I like to place my computers' MAC addresses in a file I keep on my laptop or phone so I can access them at any time, even if they have been suspended.
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More tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
Guix System Distribution 0.13.0
The Guix System Distribution (GuixSD) is a GNU/Linux distribution which showcases the Guix advanced package manager. GuixSD runs on the Linux-Libre kernel and features the GNU Shepherd init software. The latest version of GuixSD, 0.13.0, supports booting on UEFI-enabled computers and can be installed on the Btrfs advanced file system. "The GuixSD installation image now supports UEFI. GuixSD can also be installed on Btrfs now. GuixSD has support to run system services (daemons) in isolated containers as a way to mitigate the harm that can be done by vulnerabilities in those daemons. See this article from April. A new guix pack command to create standalone binary bundles is available. We presented it in March. Guix now runs on the brand-new 2.2 series of GNU Guile. The transition led to hiccups that we have been addressing, in particular for users of guix pull. Among other things though, the noticeable performance improvement that comes for free is welcome!" A list of package upgrades and new features can be found in the project's release announcement.
With the current craze surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, here is a timely release of BitKey - a specialist, Debian-based distribution and a Swiss-army knife designed specifically for Bitcoin users and fans. The live CD image comes with a range of useful utilities to perform highly secure air-gapped Bitcoin transactions as well as tools for the most paranoid among the Bitcoin users. This updated build ads a new paper wallet generator as well as printer and scanner support (via CUPS and SANE). The included Chromium browser has also been updated. "Changelog for BitKey 14.2.0: upgraded base distribution to Debian 'Jessie' 8.8; new Bitcoin application - Bitcoin Paper wallet; added printer support; added on-screen keyboard; manually verified and signed integrity of upstream components." This brief changelog can be found on the project's GitHub page, but see also BitKey's website at BitKey.io for a full list of features and security guidelines.
Alpine Linux 3.6.0
Natanael Copa has announced the release of Alpine Linux 3.6.0. Alpine Linux is an independent, minimal operating system that is well suited to running servers, routers and firewalls. Version 3.6.0 introduces support for 64-bit POWER machines, 64-bit IBM z Systems computers and features many up to date packages, including PHP 7.1, LLVM 4.0 and version 6.3 of the GNU Compiler. "Noteworthy changes: the 'llvm' package has been changed to be provided by a versioned 'llvmX' package, which is presently 'llvm4'; the '-grsec' kernel-related packages have been renamed to '-hardened'. Development-related changes: MD5 and SHA-1 hashes have been removed from APKBUILDs, being obsoleted by SHA-512; 'set -e' is now implied in APKBUILDs, automatically failing the build upon unhandled failing commands; a 'check()' function has been added to APKBUILDs that allows packages to run test suites after 'build()', ensuring no regressions have occurred, this has been implemented for a number of packages, and policy onward will be to have them either be present or explicitly opted-out of with good reasoning." A complete list of changes and credits can be found in the release announcement.
Devuan GNU+Linux 1.0.0
After approximately two years in development, the Devuan GNU+Linux project has announced the first stable release of the Devuan distribution. Devuan is a fork of Debian with the SysV init software used in place of Debian's systemd package. Services which rely on systemd to function have similarly been replaced with other software offering equivalent functionality. "Many of you might remember November 2014 when we announced that we were going to fork Debian. Well, we have done exactly that. It has been a long process, but now over two years later, we proudly present Devuan Jessie 1.0.0 Stable. There have been no significant bug reports since Devuan Jessie RC2 was announced only three weeks ago and the list of release critical bugs is now empty. So finally Devuan Jessie Stable is ready for release! As promised, this will also be a Long-Term-Support (LTS) release. Our team will participate in providing patches, security updates, and release upgrades beyond the planned lifespan of Debian Jessie." Additional information can be found in the release announcement.
Devuan GNU+Linux 1.0.0 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 194kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Peppermint OS 8-20170527
Mark Greaves has announced the release of a new version of Peppermint OS, a lightweight distribution based on Lubuntu. The new version, Peppermint OS 8, includes both UEFI and Secure Boot support on 64-bit computers. The project's site Specific Browser feature supports a range of web browsers, including Chromium, Chrome, Firefox and Vivaldi. "Peppermint 8 (Peppermint-8-20170527) highlights: Still based on the 16.04 code base, but now with the 4.8 kernel series and upgraded graphics stack via the HWE offering rolling kernel and graphics stack upgrades as they become available upstream. Mesa 17.0.2 for an improved gaming experience. The Peppermint 8 ISO images now have an 'OEM Install' option, allowing computers to be shipped with Peppermint pre-installed (and with additional software pre-installed) where the user will be prompted for their own language, location, keyboard layout, and account details on first boot, allowing the system configuration to be unique to the new owner. Talking of keyboard layouts, in response to user requests Peppermint 8 now has much improved keyboard layout handling, including the ability to easily configure then swap between multiple layouts from the system tray (or Left-Alt+Left-Shift keyboard shortcut). Added volume management, so external drives are now auto-mounted when plugged in and DVD's auto-played in VLC , a utility for changing these settings can be found in the much expanded Peppermint Settings Panel." Additional features and changes can be found in the project's release notes.
Peppermint 8-20170527 -- Running a hybrid LXDE/Xfce desktop
(full image size: 967kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
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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 in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 423
- Total data uploaded: 65.8TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
In this week's Tips and Tricks guide we discussed waking up a remote computer by sending it special signals over the network. For our Opinion Poll we would like to find out how many of our readers use the Wake-on-LAN feature on their own machines. Alternatively, if you did not use WOL before, are you planning to use it now?
You can see the results of our previous poll on using SELinux and AppArmor in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|I do use WOL: ||210 (16%)|
| I do not use WOL and will not: ||892 (68%)|
| I have not used WOL but plan to now: ||203 (16%)|
New projects added to database
Live Raizo is a live distribution based on Debian to experiment the system administration on simulated networks and real devices. It contains simulators of networks and systems (GNS3, VirtualBox, QEmu, VPCS) and also Debian virtual machines already integrated into GNS3. Live Raizo also includes tools to interact with real devices: minicom, Putty, Wireshark, as well as DHCP, DNS, FTP, TFTP and SSH servers.
Live Raizo 8.17.05.17 -- Running the Fluxbox window manager
(full image size: 29kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Debian-Reiser4. Debian-Reiser4 is a Debian 8 "Jessie" spin which enables working with, and installing to, the Reiser4 file system.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 5 June 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)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 1, value: US$10.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Freepia was small GNU/Linux distribution designed to run on VIA EPIA-M mainboards. It currently only runs on the M-9000 and M-10000 (ezra and nehemia CPU) but with some modifications like kernel and X11 modules it should run on others too. The main goal of this project was to build a full-featured, low-noise media box to play movies, MP3s, images, etc. It uses freevo as its media viewer, but in the future there may be support for others, like mythtv or vdr.