| 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: 9.1/10 from 140 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • WOL is my alternative approach to power on computer remotely beside of iDRAC/iLO (by LiuYan on 2017-05-29 01:27:05 GMT from China) |
iDRAC / iLO are for powerful solution server machines, but not for PC machines. So Wake-on-LAN is an alternative approach to power on computer remotely.
For Fedora users, there's tool 'ether-wake' provides by 'net-tools' package.
There was a bug of NetworkManager package in Fedora: after NetworkManager upgraded, the 'wake-on' flag becomes something else other than 'g', it caused all my machines can't be woke after reboot.
2 • Featured Story (by Chris on 2017-05-29 02:08:22 GMT from United States)
I see you mentioned that Void can use glibc or musl libraries; however, I missed which you chose for your install(s) in the review. Please advise.
Also, did you try both glibc and musl, how did their resource use compare? I only see one set of resource numbers provided.
3 • WOL for my NAS and my two htpc (by Ti-Paul on 2017-05-29 02:37:18 GMT from Canada)
Couldn't live without it.
My HTPCs always awake my NAS when we want to see a movie, music video or get on youtube.
After x minutes of not seeing the HTPC on the network, it goes back into sleep mode...
4 • voidlinux package search (by tim on 2017-05-29 03:08:07 GMT from United States)
From the voidlinux.eu homepage, clicking the "Packages" headerbar button leads to a nifty search available packages page. No need to repeatedly submit webform, results are updated as-you-type.
5 • @4 - void linux GUI package search and management (by Hoos on 2017-05-29 04:44:48 GMT from Singapore)
There is now available in the void repositories a package called octoxbps.
This is a graphical package manager from the developer of octopi which does for Void what octopi does for Arch/pacman-using distros, namely it enables you to search, install, remove packages.
While I don't use it for upgrading my system, it's a great tool for searching the repositories and checking on what's installed (or not) on one's system. It's also very convenient for carrying out piecemeal installation/removal of targeted packages.
6 • octoxbps (by Somewhat Reticent on 2017-05-29 05:31:51 GMT from United States)
Glad to see this! Hope to try it soon.
I tried to run as Root with the live Parabola Mate ISO but was told "You cannot run octopi with administrative privileges." (use pacman CLI? Why include octopi on the ISO then?)
7 • Get Voided (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2017-05-29 05:33:06 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the review. It's great for DW to showcase indy distros outside the Canonical/RedHat axis of evil. Steve Litt of Manjaro Experiments fame uses Void and praises its virtue.
The review focused too much on 'minimalism' which isn't even a Void goal. I would term it 'choice' since there's quite a matrix of options.
- You can run an insane list of kernels old and new
- You can run glibc or musl
- You can run ARM ARM64 x86 x86_64
- You can run any damned DE you like (without systemd)
- You can run any damned Flatpak you like
- You get fresh and updated packages by the thousands
- You get LibreSSL, yay
- You can update over tor or regular mirrors
Getting your head around vkpurge is a good idea but little advertised. Old kernels never die until purged. You also get the latest upstream kernel. There are details, but that's the basics.
The Void lead was a NetBSD dev, reflected in Void ports. Void's buildbot.net tooling ships binaries. Why can't other distros and you lazy BSDs use buildbot.net?
Void ISOs rot quickly on its rolling release. Arch does monthly ISOs, Void only does 'whenevers.' The ncurses installer? Don't hold your breath for anything graphical. The best thing that could hit Void is a white knight on a horse with thick armor and attitude to build an indy graphical installer on github and tell Void to suck a lemon if they don't like it, much as Antergos did to Arch Linux. Who knows, Void might adopt it.
Void has a few downers. The forum mod needs a personality upgrade and reminds me of Arch mods. Void hates derivatives as much as Arch. Now what was the point of open source, again? Fortunately such issues we mere end users can ignore. Newbies, tourists, tinkerers, conversationalists, and wanne-bes might ask LinuxQuestions.org for now and avoid Void's prefab discussion scene.
That said, I admire the crew's dedication, especially the lead dev, a real workhorse who maintains fine quality control on git PRs. I tip my hat to you, Juan. Sir, you rock. Your baby Void is the best thing that has happened to distroland in years.
8 • Void Linux GUI package manager (by Frankie Wilde on 2017-05-29 05:35:48 GMT from Malta)
Long time Void user here. Thanks for the review. I just wanted to add that actually there is a package management GUI wrapper called octoxbps which is similar to Calamares in Manjaro.
Feel free to check it out here: https://forum.voidlinux.eu/t/package-browser/1650
9 • WOL (by cykodrone on 2017-05-29 06:20:00 GMT from Canada)
I have no need for it, so it's one of the first things I turn off, to me, it's just another security hole.
10 • @7 (by Jeffrey on 2017-05-29 07:07:21 GMT from United States)
>> build an indy graphical installer on github
Please use GitLab instead. =)
11 • @6 - running octopi as root? (by Hoos on 2017-05-29 07:15:44 GMT from Singapore)
" ...tried to run as Root with the live Parabola Mate ISO but was told "You cannot run octopi with administrative privileges." "
Do you need to?
I don't know anything about Parabola, but with respect to octopi I believe you are supposed to run it as normal user, and then when you actually execute your chosen actions like installing or removing a package, that's when the program asks you for your password.
12 • Parabola Maté ISO (by Somewhat Reticent on 2017-05-29 08:37:47 GMT from United States)
Did I need to run as root? I hope not. And yet there I was, running Live as Root. Go figure! (Is that normal/expected?)
(I ran OBrevenge live once and wondered what the root password was...)
13 • The root/user schizophrenia. (by OS2_user on 2017-05-29 09:43:32 GMT from United States)
From the review: [Void] "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. ... by default, the root account uses the minimal dash shell while other accounts default to using bash." -- Just another sly way to confuse users.
The 2014 PCLinux would log into root with just click to select, no password. 2017.04 will not, and insists on two-character "password". "They" change things if useful is all I can conclude. To install and run ProFTP for one requires root. I guess might use another account MOST of the time but it's a pain switching back and forth, and any customization is per-user.
Right from login I'm hit with the cult aspects of Linux/Unix: "they" simply don't want mere users running as root and coerce you. The Tor Browser won't start as root. -- Perhaps that can be changed if find the script, but that's to jump head-first down the rabbit hole into DEEP arcana, just trying to wrest control away from "them".
But I have a PERSONAL computer to do with as wish. That's what the revolution was all about, remember? PERSONAL.
Nannying is the most off-putting aspect of Linux. Most new triers aren't expecting all to be "easy" like Windows, but certainly do NOT wish to "learn" 70's-style arcana and be frequently forced to get "permission"!
If Linux is ever going to be widely popular, all the 70's internals necessary for normal choice and administration have to be hidden under GUI wrappers, and you MUST give up the notion of "permissions" on personal computer. Permission to tinker with the system is sheer unneccessary obstacle. Hardly anyone changes items unless annoyed, and then you annoy further with "permissions"!
Only maniacs keep at Linux long enough to learn how to dodge the "permissions". -- It's a measure of how well you know Linux. -- But once know what you're doing on your own personal system, does "permission" help or hinder?
So just make root the default. Experienced users can make their own strait-jacket if want.
I know that Linux types don't want to read this. All Linux forums seem to suppress any complaint about its out-dated arbitrary time-sharing design and arcane rituals. That's a key problem holding you back! It's the 21st century, but Linux is almost literally steam-punk.
Ordinary users want to USE the system, not tend it, not learn the rituals, and especially not get "permission" to change the wallpaper (actual case on one distro).
14 • One more point, then done, not here for flame war. (by OS2_user on 2017-05-29 10:19:40 GMT from United States)
I can always find in the review or other comments pretty much my complaints, but you all go on as if the root/user distinction is normal and desirable. It's neither normal nor desirable for Average Desktop User, only for those who administer systems / servers. You're trying to force every Average up to Guru status through the hard knocks school, and that just isn't going to happen.
For that reason don't tell me I can "be root" all the time if I just put in the effort. No, I have put in a deal of effort on Linux over the course of ten years now, and always ends less well than the very experienced Jesse Smith does in his reviews. Remember, those are the distros he got working.
It's a fundamental flaw to require high degree of knowledge and persistence to use Linux. I think my experiences and uses are entirely typical, and that yours are not. People stumble into needing "permission" -- for trivial cases like setting the desktop wallpaper! -- and have no idea how to proceed, so they DON'T.
15 • @OS2-user: (by dragonmouth on 2017-05-29 12:34:51 GMT from United States)
"Most new triers aren't expecting all to be "easy" like Windows"
Windows is 'easy' only if you already know it. To learn any O/S from scratch is no harder or easier than to learn Windows from scratch.
"you all go on as if the root/user distinction is normal and desirable. It's neither normal nor desirable for Average Desktop User"
Maybe in your isolated world. One of the reasons Windows is so vulnerable is that it DOES NOT separate admin and user. A program running in user space can crash the entire system. In Linux or BSD it crashes only the user session while the system keeps running. Therefore, the distinction is not only desirable but essential.
16 • Into the Void (by Jesse on 2017-05-29 13:04:34 GMT from Canada)
@2 I was using the glibc build of Void's MATE edition in the review. I did not run the musl build this time. I have in the past and haven't noticed any difference from a practical point of view. I believe musl uses a little less memory, but not enough you're going to experience a difference on any semi-modern computer.
17 • @13 - root permission (by Hoos on 2017-05-29 13:07:32 GMT from Singapore)
Is it really that difficult to have to input either the root or user password when one wishes to update the system, install or remove a package, or change system files? It just seems a prudent measure to me.
I have no desire to "dodge" the permissions at all, since it isn't a huge imposition on me. I'm an ordinary user. I just browse the web, do work on documents, listen to music and watch videos. So most of the time I won't need the root password. Entering it maybe once a week to update my system does not vex me at all the way it seems to have affected you.
I am also curious to know what distro needed root permission for setting desktop wallpaper. I have never encountered that.
18 • Debian 9 Release (by Neon User on 2017-05-29 15:15:21 GMT from Greece)
As a big Debian fan, i am really disappointed by the lack of progress in the Debian website design and the Debian installer about a months time before a new release, again. TBH, the installer froze some months ago so, nothing new. What we get for Debian 9 is a website that you need to be a Pro to find the ISO you are looking for and an installer that most users will find scary, the least. Even if they install the system successfully they will end up with a horrible selection of packages (i.e konqueror is still in there) and at least two programs for the same job (i.e konqueror and dolphin, konqueror and firefox, apper and discover, konsole and uxterm). Last time i had to reinstall, i just couldn't take the pain (this situation persists at least from Debian 5) and i installed Neon since the Debian tools are still in there and some Ubuntu tools are there too as a bonus (i.e PPAs, snaps etc)... Hoping things will change, but as far as the installer is concerned, not before 2-3 years at least.
19 • To root or not to root (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2017-05-29 15:45:16 GMT from United States)
"One of the reasons Windows is so vulnerable is that it DOES NOT separate admin and user." Haven't seen an enterprise installation, then, eh? Windows was designed to be set up with a Minimum of three authorization levels (admin, user, & guest). Many consumers prioritize ease-of-use over security, so that's the (apparent) default on most installs aimed toward consumers.
Having to enter a complicated password for nearly every system tweak (no matter how trivial) endlessly aggravates customers who aren't admins in large organizations. (Vista UAC (User Account Control) became a snarled epithet.) Of course, requiring the highest level of authorization for each and every system adjustment isn't good security, it's egregiously bad practice.
After enduring the whining of thoughtless users victimized by their own malfeasance, one may be tempted to include a modicum of nanny-state'ism, but this should be tempered with respect for their right to make their own decisions - a (nagging?) warning (or two?) should suffice, though that should be specific, clear, and complete, with a link to proper documentation.
Some refugees from the proprietary-first world are power users; many are children looking for toys. One size will never fit all.
20 • Linux permissions (by sydneyj on 2017-05-29 16:27:36 GMT from United States)
Took me about 30 seconds to find this in my sudoers file:
## User privilege specification
## Uncomment to allow members of group wheel to execute any command
# %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL
## Same thing without a password
# %wheel ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL
## Uncomment to allow members of group sudo to execute any command
# %sudo ALL=(ALL) ALL
Also, this from the Arch wiki:
To disable asking for a password for user USER_NAME:
All of this whining about passwords is just belaboring a triviality; tilting at windmills. Not a good idea to disable passwords, though.
21 • LiveCDs - one which includes the latest kernel version and another with NVIDIA (by Name (mandatory) on 2017-05-29 17:25:11 GMT from France)
Is there a distro which offers a LiveCD including the latest kernel at the time of release? I'd like to use a LiveCD with the most recent kernel without installing anything. Most distros with a LiveCD option almost always ship an older kernel. Obviously, if you only wish to use their LiveCD, you won't be rebooting to update the kernel.
I'm also searching for a distro which includes a recent [proprietary] NVIDIA driver version in the LiveCD.
But it doesn't have to include both.
22 • Live CD with latest Kernel? re:comment 21. (by Bobbie Sellers on 2017-05-29 17:44:10 GMT from United States)
Well this seems impossible to me given the speed of kernel releases and the time
it takes to produce a Live CD or more lIkely a Live DVD.
If you want access to later kernels PCLOS is up to 4.11.03 and its nVidia is up-to-date.
but if you want to make sure of the NVidia release start reading the package lists.
But running these live will not give you much of an idea of how the kernels will
work on these hardware from an install.
If you really want the latest kernels learn to compile them from source code. Then learn
to get your particular programs and all the little programs that work with the
kernels to work with your self-compiled kernels.
Apparently this is interesting work to know how to do because lots of people
are doing it. Which is why we have an embarrassment of riches at least
as far as distributions go.
23 • @ 13 root/user.... (by OstroL on 2017-05-29 19:08:08 GMT from Poland)
>> From the review: [Void] "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. ... by default, the root account uses the minimal dash shell while other accounts default to using bash." -- Just another sly way to confuse users. <<
An interesting thought. "Just another sly way to confuse users." Whether you touch you nose straight or around you neck, you still touch the nose. Su or sudo, you still change the insides.
What you have as an installed distro is installed as root. And as root, you give name to a user (pseudo user?) and let that user use your own computer. That user is you, whatever name you give yourself. Still it is the root, who owns the distro you installed and everything inside it. Only thing you can do as the "user" put something, change something in the "username' folder. You can't even write anything the folder called home. That's owned by the root, the real owner of the system you installed. You can write something in the username folder, inside the home folder. But, you can't change the name of the username folder, without becoming the root (su or sudo).
Anyone, who is using a Linux live distro can take over your computer, whether you are using Windows, OS X, BSD or Linux.
Puppy Linux's user was and still is the root, and most probably it is the most safest distro to use today.
>> But I have a PERSONAL computer to do with as wish. That's what the revolution was all about, remember? PERSONAL. <<
There aren't any multiple users nowadays, and never had been for a decade or so.
24 • @Name (mandatory) (by AV on 2017-05-29 19:59:35 GMT from India)
Try Solus - https://solus-project.com/
It has the latest kernel and does switchable graphics properly, although, you'll have to install the nvidia drivers (nothing additional needs to be done for switchable graphics to work properly).
25 • devuan torrent reminder (by david esktorp on 2017-05-29 23:11:58 GMT from United States)
Folks, when you go to download the Devuan torrent, don't be dumb like me.. remember to check the whole thing and only download what you need unless you REALLY want to seed or you actually need the whole thing. I started it and quickly walked away, not even considering that it was way more than I needed.. I came back and it was at 12gb.. (I only wanted one iso lol)
Convincing Transmission to give up on the unneeded chunks was an interesting couple of minutes.
26 • Root / god like power (by some random user on 2017-05-30 00:43:23 GMT from United States)
On my Lubuntu computer I tried to run that command, but I did not get the output that I expected.
I had to run:
sudo ethtool eth0 | grep Wake
27 • Void testing (by mikef90000 on 2017-05-30 00:47:00 GMT from United States)
Jesse was Far more patient than I was, attempting to install void in a Virtualbox VM. First time in a long time that basic VESA video was hosed (dog slow) even after installing randr and virtualbox-ose-guest (which ironically went fast).
Attempting to install octoxbps resulting in a 'missing dependencies' message. Back to the RedHat bad old days ....
And I've never seen so much whining about password prompts in Linux. I've never been prompted for the usual desktop preference actions like changing a desktop background. Perhaps these whiners are using my ancient copy of RH Linux.
28 • Footnotes Falling from the Sky (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2017-05-30 03:49:25 GMT from United States)
@16 One hardly does notice musl being more secure and stable than glibc. One only notices glibc segfaulting and granting hackers access. Likewise, dash shell for root is more secure (no history, no autocomplete) and Void does root right.
@27 Jesse needs VMs for good reason. You can try a cheap USB boot stick.
@Legacy cruft curious: Autologin is easy to set up. The responsibility for 1970s login cruft lies with DEs wedded to silly login managers nobody wants or needs. The distros just ship what they do.
29 • WOL (by AxisMann on 2017-05-30 03:56:40 GMT from United States)
My experience with WOL is that the computer I want to wake must have previously been suspended. If it was turned off by someone, then I am unable to wake it up with the WOL feature and have to physically go turn the computer on.
30 • Latest, Live (by Somewhat Reticent on 2017-05-30 06:53:52 GMT from United States)
Some ISOs can be used to generate modified ISOs; surely one such modification could include different kernel(s), or GPU driver(s)?
Most Live ISOs contain "older" kernels because most testers use them on "older" hardware first - but that doesn't mean you can't change it, and be the first to find new bugs in a new kernel.
Another approach might be to install to separate portable storage, like a USB flash stick, and restart after changes.
Eventually, it'll be possible to update kernel and drivers while running (live), of course.
31 • @21 • LiveCDs - which one includes the latest kernel version (by Hoos on 2017-05-30 08:18:59 GMT from Singapore)
You may be interested in MX Linux (current version = MX16).
It has a Live-USB kernel updater, see manual at:
When you first write your live USB from the MX Linux iso you have downloaded, it will of course contain only whatever kernel was used by the developers to create the iso image.
However, once you are running the live system on USB, you can check the Debian backports or MX's own repositories for other kernels (MX usually has an up-to-date Liquorix kernel in their repo) , and install the one that suits you on the live system. Then run the kernel updater tool and you can write the newly installed kernel to the live USB, thus modifying your live USB on the fly.
32 • @31 (cont); @30 (by Hoos on 2017-05-30 08:23:19 GMT from Singapore)
@30 said: "Some ISOs can be used to generate modified ISOs; surely one such modification could include different kernel(s), or GPU driver(s)?"
MX Linux has easy graphical tools to help you install AMD/ATI and Nvidia drivers.
And then there is a tool to remaster your live USB, once you have installed your new kernel and the proprietary graphical drivers that you want.
33 • debian (by ausrocker on 2017-05-30 08:40:29 GMT from Australia)
Debian Stretch is still pretty broken in "kde and mate". What happened to release when its ready.
Serious graphical flaws in Kde with severe screen tearing and garbled txt on moving windows. WTF
Mate desktop: Wallpapers dont work the wallpaper wont change lol...removed it immediately.
Xfce working well no problems so far all good.
34 • Void Linux (by Simon Wainscott-Plaistowe on 2017-05-30 09:00:07 GMT from New Zealand)
Looking forward to trying Void. Perhaps it will strike a good balance between functionality and resource usage, to breathe new life into some of the older hardware gathering dust in my garage.
35 • Void Linux (by NoName on 2017-05-30 09:57:30 GMT from Czech Republic)
Very happy that distrowatch is giving review to really original, independent Linux distributions like Void beside others is.
I have no problem with installing system via text commands, why not? What is wrong in that? Do I need to see colorful icons and progress bar to get things done? No, I would rather to observe what is going underneath, what installer is really doing.
I have absolutely no issue with managing packages via command line, it's fast, direct approach with minimum distractions and you can see what is really being installed. Why I would need to graphical interface? What is so big benefit from it? Do we need to have everything in graphical interface? Why? Or it's better to have visible awareness what is going on?
Things which are important for me are:
* It has its own packages system, repository is quite big and you can really select what will be installed and what not.
* It has its own init system, which is fast, readable and understandable and trustworthy.
* It provides a lot options regarding Windows Managers or Desktop Managers
* Sane secure and stability approach in order to chose good ways like LibreSSH, MUSL library, independent and readable init system etc.
Thes are - for me, really important things and features, not how beautiful are icons, wallpapers and meanwhile using the very same bases like systemd, DM, libraries etc.
I wish more distributions like Void Linux is, and perhaps less so call distributions, which in fact are not
36 • Void Linux (by Jordan on 2017-05-30 12:25:13 GMT from United States)
I have come to see dlstros such as Void, Gentoo, Arch, etc as learning distros; to know what is needed to accomplish various tasks and what is being done "in the background." There was a time when I thought I'd end up with a favorite base linux such as one of those and just make my own and that would be that.
I've since come around to the understanding that I do like the gui and some of the other included conveniences of a "polished" distro such as Solus, which is my default now on two laptops.
Learning is good. It gives another range of choices on what one might land on as a favorite distro later on.
37 • @36 about learning Linux (by OstroL on 2017-05-30 14:28:34 GMT from Poland)
Have a look here, http://www.funtoo.org/Category:Articles
38 • @33 (by denethor on 2017-05-30 14:31:27 GMT from Serbia)
???????? Debian Stretch is not yet released!
39 • funtoo (by Jordan on 2017-05-30 21:38:25 GMT from United States)
I should have added that I began this "learning" journey in 1996. I confess to .. ... .... .....
...... b e i n g v e r y w e a r y o f d i s t r o h o p p i n g a n d b u i l d i n g .
40 • Count me another... (by Reziac on 2017-05-31 00:00:30 GMT from United States)
...who wants to run as root and not have all the damn passwords. I've been trawling distros again looking for one I can love, and some demanded...
...a password to access my own network??! (the box I wanted to access isn't passworded; it was the linux distros that wanted a password) ... in one case, re-enter the password for each file! mind you these were recent, up-to-date distros, not hoary old UNIX wannabes.
If someone breaks into my house and has their way with the linux box, I already have more trouble than a password can prevent. Just let me do what I want on my own box and stop telling me I can't, or "you might harm your computer" (I know that, why do you think it's a test box?) I'm not a server farm, I'm not a sysadmin, I'm a user. Let me USE the damn thing without hindrance.
Might be part of why the distro with the best longevity at my house is... Puppy.
41 • Doofus Patrol Report (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2017-05-31 05:22:05 GMT from United States)
@23 "Anyone, who is using a Linux live distro can take over your computer, whether you are using Windows, OS X, BSD or Linux."
@40 "If someone breaks into my house and has their way with the linux box, I already have more trouble than a password can prevent."
Not if "your computer" means a USB stick or SSD in a portable USB case. That device you may carry or store in a safe. All the attacker has, even with physical site access, is a barebones computer, not your data. Lesson: If you guys want to redo *nix security, at least think outside the box. Literally: your PC is the box.
And involve real experts. This talk of running as root is stupid. It was a poor choice for Puppy. Sure, it makes things easier. Some things should not be easy. What's easy for you is easy for intruders, frenemies, hackers, botnets, spammers, and spies.
It's possible to change 1970s timeshare cruft, but just gutting it out is dense. Only do that with replacements ready. Meanwhile consider who wrote ConsoleKit and systemd if you dislike how things were "fixed."
The general trend in security is isolation/sandboxing. Giving processes root just so you can forget a password is crazy. If you have trouble remembering passwords, go visit diceware.com and apply that method. There are simpler ways to manage security than ripping it out.
@35 "Why I would need to graphical interface?"
A package dependency graph is hard to emit to TTY, or a timeline of package install history, or sorting options for listings. Show me world time zones or locale country flags in your TTY. How about keyboard layouts? Good luck with that, captain.
The typical ncurses installer thingy is shell script, hardly a decent language. I see no problem having one, only in pointless resistance to graphics BECUZ MUH LEANNESS. A ready-made solution called Calamares can use Nuitka to emit machine code if you want that. It's just wasted effort to stick with ncurses and shell script.
Thinking it's less effort to maintain a faux-GUI shell script mess over a real-GUI real-language app is incorrect. Besides, gurus install by hand. Presumably ncurses serves non-gurus. For them a graphical installer would do best.
My pet peeves about installers: (a) stop requiring a swap partition (b) allow ext4 creation sans journal (c) allow user assignment of kudzu like /var/cache to tmpfs (d) make RAID an expert option, stop obsessing on it (e) let expert users set all $XDG_ and $KDE_ variables.
@35 "Things which are important for me are"
Another real draw is the buildbot.net setup. I'm mystified why other distros can't get a clue. They still build packages by hand. The robots are here, put them to work!
42 • Void Linux review (by Andy Mender on 2017-05-31 12:56:44 GMT from Austria)
Nice to see a review of Void Linux once more. Also, tons of "agreed" to Arch Watcher. However, I feel like sometimes the DW reviews spend too much time on "I installed app X, Y, Z" or "this is my desktop", rather than on the unique features of a distribution. Void Linux uses runit and LibreSSL by default (it's NOT a drop-in replacement for OpenSSL btw!), and offers musl libc as an alternative to the venerable glibc. Surely, size and fast booting are not the only goals of runit, correct? Furthermore, what's special about musl libc? Maybe a few words on that? Instead, there is too much focus on MATE, which we all know anyhow :(.
43 • WOL and Mint: The Incredible State of Almost (by Vakkotaur on 2017-05-31 13:50:17 GMT from United States)
I've been trying this for a couple days now and gotten... well, not nowhere, but not where I think I ought to be, either.
1. WOL (PCI Wakeup...) is enabled in "BIOS"
2. I can set WOL to be "g"
3. I can suspend the machine, wake it remotely.. ONCE.
Something is re-setting WOL to "d" - despite various scripting suggestions here and various places on the web. The network interface config GUI has a WakeOnLAN section, and I've checked "Magic" and that seems to... do nothing, despite a reboot or three.
Obviously I am missing something. I'll happily RTFM. Can anyone point me at "TFM" so I can R it?
44 • #42 • Void Linux review (by mandog on 2017-05-31 13:52:39 GMT from Peru)
I've been using void for over a year and you know i have not even signed in to the forums,
Easy setup with the CLI installer only the most basic applications so I can choose what I want installed nearly as good as the netinstall,
LTS and current kernels installed after update so you always can fall-back very fast and very stable.
Void is a Gem
45 • Debian-Reiser4 (by Jordan on 2017-05-31 14:32:47 GMT from United States)
Ugh... I still get uneasy when I see that name.. the name of a man who confessed to strangling his wife. And it's still the name of a file system.. and now a distro. Just have to live with some things in the world.
46 • Reiser • RTFM • Void_Linux • … (by Fairly Reticent on 2017-05-31 15:28:42 GMT from United States)
@45 Part of dealing with humans is realizing they are not singularities.
I prefer to encourage good behavior (developing better software).
Better than throwing out the baby … and confession should be good therapy.
@43 I remember the Full Manual from bygone days - complete documentation, critical examples, cross-referenced, self-documenting code. Trackable updates.
Nothing like the pile of obfuscation, irrelevancies, and contradictions from Go-Fish (Giiggle).
There's a thoughtful 2015 presentation of reasons for (and against) Void_Linux at troubleshooters.com/linux/void/whyvoid.htm by Steve Litt.
Much security is theater, including passwording.
47 • Reiser (by Brian Vaughan on 2017-05-31 16:58:09 GMT from United States)
@45 Almost as bad as Reiser himself was his legion of admirers and apologists; collectively, they represent the very worst of the tech community, with callous disregard for human life and outright misogyny.
He should not be granted any honors by retaining his name on software, and I refuse to use any software with his name on it.
48 • @46 (by Vakkotaur on 2017-05-31 17:46:48 GMT from United States)
I was ready to take that seriously until I saw "self documenting code."
I've met more unicorns than self-documented code.
49 • huh? (by Jordan on 2017-05-31 21:22:56 GMT from United States)
I'm really happy that the murderer had "good therapy." Whether he fancies himself a "singularity" or not.
Meanwhile, let's change the name of that file system and the distro.
50 • Reiser (by dragonmouth on 2017-06-01 00:03:05 GMT from United States)
I guess that you drive a car with no license plates because they are made by criminals, many of them being convicted rapists and murderers. :-) Do you also absolutely refuse to use Linux Mint because of Clement Lefebvre's political views?
51 • Reiser (by mcellius on 2017-06-01 01:11:53 GMT from United States)
Perhaps I'm strange, but I use Ubuntu and have never bothered to check out the criminal records of Mark Shuttleworth, of the employees of Canonical, nor of the many contributors to the project. Heck, I don't even know the criminal histories of either Deb or Ian, and since Ubuntu is based on Debian I guess I should care about such things, too. Linus himself has used bad language! I use the Ext4 filesystem: what if it turns out some of its contributors might be serving time? For that matter, I use software that might have been written in C or Python or other programming languages that might have contributors who are not model citizens! Oh, and since I use the Internet I rely upon TCP/IP - I'm sure at least a few of its contributors are at least somewhat less than perfect!
Come to think of it, I don't know the criminal records of the checkers at my grocery store, either, or of the mechanics who work on my car, or of the construction workers who built my home. Sheesh!
Unlike you, I don't get uneasy thinking about any such things. I guess I must be older than you, because I always figured that learning to deal with such things was part of growing up.
52 • Common sense (by Doug on 2017-06-01 03:04:58 GMT from United States)
I love to read common sense. It is so rare these days.
We have all done bad things, some of us got caught.
Even if someone did prison time, or are in prison still, why can't they contribute?
If we didn't allow those who have done time to contribute, how would they be able to live and not commit another crime?
I prefer Reiserfs for my computers.
53 • Good Actors Bad Actors (by Arch Watcher 402563 on 2017-06-01 03:51:53 GMT from United States)
@46 "Much security is theater, including passwording."
If you mean the way most people do it, yes: "p@ssword" and "12345" are jokes.
If you mean real passwords, no: diceware.com gives real entropy. Intelligence agencies would not build cracking supercomputers to defeat theater.
Installers could link to diceware.com when they prompt the user to set passwords. Use real dice unless you want "all your base are belong to us" from stupidass website implementations. Some things should not be done online.
I will say *nix should adopt additional security techniques, like keyfile fobs triggered by udev, or password autoentry to cover forgetfulness and deniability use cases. You can't surrender a password you don't know yourself.
I don't know much about USB Armory, but Void runs on it.
54 • @ 51 "I use Ubuntu" (by OstroL on 2017-06-01 05:48:20 GMT from Poland)
I'm glad someone said "I use Ubuntu." I was thinking of asking, if anyone here use Ubuntu, and at least mcellius is using it. Some people come out to say, they use Mint emphasizing they don't use Ubuntu. As though Mint is made out of Fedora.
55 • @54 @51 "I use ...." (by zcatav on 2017-06-01 12:14:52 GMT from Turkey)
I use Debian Jessie, Ubuntu 16.04 and TrueOS current (formerly PC-BSD) on different machines with different purposes.
56 • Sleep command in KDE after WOL? (by Dojnow on 2017-06-02 09:50:51 GMT from Bulgaria)
Is there a sleep command in KDE like this one: DISPLAY=:0 qdbus org.kde.ksmserver /KSMServer logout 0 2 2 #remote shutdown
57 • @56 Re: Sleep command in KDE after WOL (by far2fish on 2017-06-02 10:31:18 GMT from Europe)
I got a bit confused when you said 'sleep', 'logout' and 'shutdown' in the same sentence.
Is what you are looking for a way to suspend or hibernate the computer?
If that is the case, you can use one of these on a systemd distro:
sudo sudo systemctl suspend
sudo systemctl hibernate
Or on a non-systemd distro:
58 • Void (by Scuttlebuck on 2017-06-03 07:10:29 GMT from Nicaragua)
I gave Viod a try about a year back and to be fair i haven't used it much , but it was easy to install and set up and has updated with no issues and is running very nicely
I now run Gentoo, calculate, slackware , Salix, and Void......in 3 different countries...I dont see me ever drifting back to distro hopping I think I have found the best you can get
Reiser ......Never heard of Him never knew he strangled his wife....but why does that stop him making useful contributions to the Linux community ? is he supposed to crawl into a hole and die with his ideas going to waste..Reiser FS is supposedly good though never had a need to try it
59 • TrueOS (by Dave Postles on 2017-06-03 07:49:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
Anyone else having issues with this? I performed an upgrade (leaving my laptop to do it overnight) - disaster - can't even login now. I therefore used the torrent to obtain a new version of stable - K3B aborted writing the disk of the .iso. Although I like the product, it's not the first time that I've had issues with it (not least using AppCafe).
60 • I use... (by OstroL on 2017-06-03 08:48:22 GMT from Poland)
I use Ubuntu with Openbox (my own from scratch) and also trying Ubuntu 17.04 with Unity and added Gnome 3. Had been using Debian, Devuan (created few isos and uploaded to internet for others Openbox and Xfce), but I prefer the Ubuntu base and Openbox. Its a waste of resources to use a desktop environment, even in a 8GB ram touch screen laptop. I don't need a DE, just the apps.
A desktop environment has a launcher, a panel to hold open apps and a whole lot of interconnected apps, which one really doesn't need. With Openbox, you add what you want, and most importantly, you have access to the menu on any point on the screen. The booting and shutting off is so quick, its a pleasure. Openbox can be quite pretty too, once you configured it. Tint2, plank dock help you with your work and and conky gives you the info you need. Why waste energy on a DE? Cannonical had found that in a hard way, spending lot of energy to build and maintain a DE for last 6 years.
61 • @57 Re: Sleep command in KDE after WOL (by Dojnow on 2017-06-03 14:56:04 GMT from Bulgaria)
No. "DISPLAY=:0 qdbus ..." allows clean KDE-session exit and shutdown|reboot|logout remotely without sudo.
62 • Void_Linux (by Fairly Reticent on 2017-06-03 16:46:15 GMT from United States)
Is Void_Linux able to run Live? For how long? Several ISOs I've tried start ignoring attempts to start an app, even when nothing else is running - after only a few minutes.
63 • @62 Void_Linux (by mandog on 2017-06-03 18:01:53 GMT from Peru)
Yes works fine but does not like to have programs installed in live mode its not designed to do that, writing this in live mode from ram
64 • BSD on the desktop (by M.Z. on 2017-06-04 03:51:21 GMT from United States)
@59 - TrueOS
"Anyone else having issues with this?"
I tried BSD on the desktop a number of times, at least before they switched the name from PC-BSD to TrueOS. Sadly it never really worked out for me. I understand there are a fair number of tools to revert to old 'Snapshots', but I haven't really tried desktop BSD in a while. FreeBSD based systems were always rock solid when I used it as a firewall OS, but an utter failure as a desktop. Anyway, no tips, but I feel your pain.
65 • Void Linux / Linux Boot Speed (by Winchester on 2017-06-04 09:45:17 GMT from United States)
I have tried Void Linux twice last year. Both the Cinnamon and Enlightenment versions. The live ISO's worked but,I could not log-in after installation on my hardware. Maybe the other versions such as MATE,LXQt,and LXDE are better with Void??
As far as boot times go (post # 60) ..... the fastest operating systems to boot-up of those which I have tried have been Solus with its in-house desktop and WattOS r8 LXDE (the Debian based version with the OpenBox window manager).
66 • BSD (by scuttlebuck on 2017-06-04 12:47:20 GMT from Nicaragua)
I have had quite a history with BSD failures from my first attempt early 2000s ...even when i have got it running OK it always seems to have a serious breakdown along the way
the old PC-Bsd at times i could get going and seemed quite nice but if you dared update or do anything overly adventurous it would usually end up beyond repair.
Had a lot more success with Ghost BSD but it was a 1 man show and seemed a bit slow to develop which was a shame
Though I have seen and still do see BSD systems running good as Desktops and Servers with no problems at all...
Number of Comments: 66
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