| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 737, 6 November 2017
Welcome to this year's 45th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One approach distribution creators sometimes use to make new users feel at home is to make their operating system look or behave like another platform. Zorin OS takes on a Windows-like theme, ZevenOS tried to imitate BeOS and Peach OSI is designed to resemble the macOS desktop. This week we begin with a review of BeeFree OS, a distribution which takes on characteristics of Windows, Ubuntu and Linux Mint. We follow up this review with an Opinion Poll which asks whether imitating other operating systems is a positive approach to making users feel more comfortable. In our News section we talk about Canonical joining the GNOME Advisory Board and improvements Solus is bringing to the upcoming release of Solus 4. Plus we cover new security features available to people running Tails and the Slax distribution coming back to life. In our Tips and Tricks column this week we share quick fixes for common Linux problems, such as an unresponsive desktop environment and flushing swap space. Then we cover last week's releases and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. We are pleased to welcome a new security-focused distribution called heads to our database. We are also happy to report the Void project receives this month's DistroWatch donation and we share some of Void's unusual features below. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
- Review: BeeFree OS 18.1.2
- News: Canonical joins GNOME Advisory Board, Solus works on software manager and Wayland support, a Tails status report, Slax may be returning to life
- Tips and tricks: Quick tricks to fix small problems on Linux
- Released last week: NethServer 7.4, OpenIndiana 2017.10, 4MLinux 23.0
- Torrent corner: 4MLinux, NethServer, OpenIndiana, Pardus, PrimTux, SwagArch, SystemRescueCd
- Upcoming releases: Fedora 27
- Opinion poll: Desktop environments that look like other operating systems
- DistroWatch.com donation: Void
- New additions: heads
- New distributions: Obarun
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
BeeFree OS 18.1.2
BeeFree OS is a Linux distribution which tries to combine characteristics of Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Windows 7. Specifically, BeeFree OS uses Linux Mint as a base and includes Mint administration utilities and the Cinnamon desktop. The desktop is themed so that windows have the look of applications running on Ubuntu's Unity desktop. The application menu is arranged to resemble the Windows 7 Start menu.
In addition to these features, BeeFree offers a few other special characteristics. The distribution includes the BeeBEEP peer-to-peer (P2P) chat and file sharing application. The project also supports downloading software from an on-line store and these packages are portable, allowing them to be installed on a computer which does not have a working Internet connection.
The latest release of BeeFree OS at the time of writing is version 18.1.2 and is based on Linux Mint 18.1. The distribution is available exclusively for 64-bit x86 computers. The project is available in just one edition, featuring the Cinnamon desktop and its installation disc is 1.8GB in size.
The project's live disc boots directly into the Cinnamon desktop environment. The desktop has a dark theme with a panel placed across the bottom of the display. The panel includes an application menu, task switcher and system tray. The task switcher displays small icons for each window rather than a wider button containing the name of the application. When moving the mouse over a window's button a preview of the application window's contents is displayed. The application menu's button is labeled "Stark" instead of "Start", perhaps to avoid a trademark dispute. On the desktop are icons for opening the Nemo file manager and launching the system installer.
BeeFree OS 18.1.2 -- The application menu
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BeeFree OS uses the Ubiquity system installer, a friendly, graphical installer which will be familiar to users of Ubuntu and Linux Mint. BeeFree does not appear to have customized the installer at all (clicking the installer's link to view release notes brings up the release notes for Linux Mint 18) and I will skip over the details. I found the installer worked well for me, walking me through the usual steps of disk partitioning and creating a user account.
BeeFree OS boots to a grey login screen where we can sign into the account we set up at install time. Logging in brings us back to the Cinnamon desktop. We are not greeted by any welcome screen or pop-ups, however there is an icon which appears in the system tray letting us know security updates are available.
Clicking the update icon in the system tray opens the graphical update manager. The first time we run the update manager we are asked to select one of three update policies. One policy displays and automatically selects all available package updates, another displays and selects only updates known to be stable and safe, while the third policy automatically selects stable updates while showing the remaining packages which might pose a risk if they are upgraded. This allows us to find a balance between keeping our system running the same from day-to-day and keeping up with security updates at a potential risk of breaking functionality.
BeeFree OS 18.1.2 -- Managing software updates
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Once a policy has been selected, the update manager displays the available software updates along with each package's safety ranking. We can select which software updates we want to install. The update manager worked well for me, successfully applying all available security updates.
I experimented with BeeFree in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a desktop computer. When running in VirtualBox BeeFree integrated with the virtual environment and was able to make use of my host computer's full screen resolution. The desktop lagged a bit when the distribution was running in VirtualBox, even with 3-D support enabled. I was able to coax some more speed out of the Cinnamon desktop by disabling visual effects, but the desktop always lagged a little.
I encountered no problems with BeeFree on my desktop hardware. My computer's hardware was all properly detected and the Cinnamon desktop was very responsive on my physical computer. In either environment a fresh installation of BeeFree used around 7GB of hard drive space and 360MB of RAM when logged into the Cinnamon desktop.
For the most part, BeeFree OS ships with the same applications and software as Linux Mint 18 does and it uses the same core packages as Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Popular items in the application menu include the Firefox web browser (with Flash support), the HexChat IRC client, the Thunderbird e-mail software and LibreOffice. Network Manager is available to help us connect to the Internet. The Transmission bittorrent software is included along with the GNU Image Manipulation Program and the Brasero disc burning software. BeeFree makes media codecs available along with the Rhythmbox audio player, the VLC multimedia player and the Xplayer video player. BeeFree includes the Mint Help documentation, Mint's domain blocker and the Nemo file manager.
In addition, we are given a settings panel with controls for adjusting the look and feel of the Cinnamon desktop and its extensions. There are also configuration modules for setting up printers, managing user accounts and blocking access to websites. BeeFree ships with Java, the GNU Compiler Collection and systemd as the init software. The distribution runs on version 4.4.0 of the Linux kernel.
Generally speaking, the applications which ship with BeeFree all worked well. The default collection of software covers a wide range of functionality without overly cluttering the application menu. The configuration tools worked well and it was easy to set up new users and connect to a printer.
One thing I kept noticing is the BeeFree team has left Linux Mint branding intact in their distribution. The Help documentation viewer, for example, refers to the distribution as Linux Mint and uses screen shots from Mint to demonstrate how to access features. The package management tools not only pull from Ubuntu's and Mint's software repositories, but tend to refer to the operating system as Linux Mint. The bookmarks which are included by default in Firefox are all for Linux Mint's resources. The only BeeFree customization I noticed was Firefox's default start page is YouTube where a video showing a Lego-style Deadpool character automatically plays.
BeeFree OS 18.1.2 -- The BeeBEEP chat application
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There are two applications included in BeeFree which I do not think I have encountered elsewhere. One is the BeeBEEP messaging software. BeeBEEP is a peer-to-peer instant messaging application which allows people on the same local network (LAN) to send text-based messages and files to each other. The layout of the BeeBEEP application is pretty simple, reminding me of IRC clients like HexChat. Other people using BeeBEEP on the LAN are detected automatically and I like that there is no requirement to have a central chat server set up. I was hoping to find a way to use BeeBEEP over the Internet, but it appears to be focused on scenarios where users are all on the same local network, like in a business.
There is another tool included in BeeFree OS called B1 Free Archiver. This utility appears to be a fairy standard file archiver. I did not notice anything about it which stood out, either in favour of using it or any bugs.
BeeFree inherits Linux Mint's software management tools. Synaptic is present for people who want to manipulate specific packages and manage repositories. Synaptic worked well for me and performed its installation and removal actions quickly. The distribution also ships with the mintInstall software manager. I really like mintInstall. It has a friendly, straight forward interface where we can select a software category and see a list of available packages, ranked with user ratings. mintInstall worked quickly for me and I think it's one of the more easy to use software managers currently available. It may not have a lot of features, but it makes browsing for and installing software quick and easy.
BeeFree OS 18.1.2 -- Installing software with mintInstall
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A third option BeeFree users have when it comes to installing software is visiting a web-based software repository called CenterFree.cf. The CenterFree site shows us lists of applications grouped by popularity and by category. Clicking on a category header brings up a box near the top of the page where we can browse all items in the selected category. Clicking on a specific package displays a full description of the application along with a screen shot. We can click a download button to download an archive containing the desired application and its dependencies. While most software managers are designed to be used while on-line so that dependencies can be downloaded at install time, the CenterFree packages can be ported to another computer and installed, even if the computer has no network connection.
I had thought CenterFree packages would be recognized and opened by BeeFree's web browser, but I was mistaken. There is no action associated with the CenterFree packages. To install one of these archives we need to open a virtual terminal, make the archive executable and then run it from the command line. The package will then unpack itself, prompt us for our sudo password to gain admin privileges and install itself.
BeeFree OS 18.1.2 -- Browsing applications on CenterFree
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This process of installing applications is not exactly convenient, the way a point-n-click approach would be, but it does appear to be portable and new applications I installed were automatically added to BeeFree's application menu. One of the few lingering complaints I had about the process of using the CenterFree repository is the website is not secured using HTTPS, pages (including checksums) are transmitted over plain HTTP. And, while checksums of packages are displayed, I do not think packages are signed. This makes using CenterFree less secure than using the distribution's built-in package manager, but most of the available software is the same.
Sometimes when a distribution tries to combine together ideas or technology from multiple sources, it creates something brilliant, like mixing peanut butter and chocolate. Other times the execution comes across more like an unfinished platypus. BeeFree -- with its Mint-based operating system, Ubuntu-themed desktop and Windows application menu -- feels like it falls in the latter category. To some people, this combination of styles may hold appeal, but I feel the implementation is not yet polished enough. The interface's background colours switch between green, purple and orange a bit too often for my taste.
BeeFree OS 18.1.2 -- Adjusting desktop settings and adding a printer
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While the look of the distribution did not appeal to me, the CenterFree application bundles do hold promise. There are many popular applications featured, including the WPS productivity suite, and the idea of having off-line bundles I could port across distributions certainly appealed. I think the on-line app store still needs a little work to make it more user friendly though. The website should probably be secured by HTTPS and, ideally, the BeeFree distribution should recognize CenterFree bundles and be able to install them without a trip to the command line. In short, I like the concept, I just think the approach needs some final touches to make the on-line store easier for newcomers to use.
In the end, I came away from using BeeFree OS thinking that the project may hold some promise, but I think more time is needed for the distribution to go from a mash-up of other projects to having its own, polished identity and style.
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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
BeeFree OS has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.4/10 from 5 review(s).
Have you used BeeFree OS? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Canonical joins GNOME Advisory Board, Solus works on software manager and Wayland support, a Tails status report, Slax may be returning to life
In October, Canonical released a version of Ubuntu with GNOME set as the default desktop instead of Canonical's Unity desktop. The move brings GNOME to many more computer users and will likely make GNOME Shell one of the most widely used open source desktop environments. Following this change, Canonical has joined GNOME's Advisory Board. A post on the GNOME website reports: "The GNOME Foundation is pleased to announce that Canonical, creator of the Ubuntu operating system, has joined the GNOME Foundation Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is a body of stakeholder organizations and companies who support the GNOME Project by providing funding and expert consultation. The board includes Google, the Linux Foundation, and the Free Software Foundation, among others." This move will likely result in more fixes and improvements flowing from Canonical back upstream to the GNOME desktop, to benefit all GNOME users.
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The Solus developers are looking at making some important changes for the upcoming launch of Solus 4. The project is currently working on re-introducing Wayland support, improving the software manager and making sure Snap packages work. "Very quick update regarding upcoming Solus 4 (sorry they've been sparse): We're planning a Budgie 10 QoL update to merge Stefan Ric's work on the tasklist improvements (and other small bits) to give it some much needed love! MATE edition will get some love and brought in line to be consistent with the other editions (gonna make it pretty!) We'll have a new Software Center release to address some basic usability issues like lack of queuing/cruddy navigation/lack of translations as well as snapd support. We're working to improve the NVIDIA situation and investigating a switch to libglvnd, enabling of wayland-egl/eglstreams. We're planning on turning Wayland support back on in Solus." These and other changes are listed in the project's announcement.
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It has been about four years since we last saw a major release from the Slax distribution. Slax was a Slackware-based distribution that was small and modular with a live desktop environment. Slax may be coming back, but there will be significant changes to the project. "The main decision I had to make is to abandon Slackware. Yes it's true, next Slax is not going to be based on Slackware. Sorry Slack fans. The reason is simple: laziness. I am too lazy, really, really lazy. When I prepared Slax from Slackware, I had to patch kernel with aufs, configure, recompile, etc. etc. Then compile other software from sources, fight dependencies, and so on. I enjoyed doing that in the past, but now I'm not in the mood anymore. So, I've selected a different base for Slax. And it is, prepare yourself, hold it, hold it, Debian." The reasons for this change and other technical details of the upcoming resurrection of Slax can be found on the project's blog.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Quick tricks to fix small problems on Linux
Sometimes, when using computers, things go wrong. Not to the point of smoke coming out of the computer, but programs lock up, the desktop becomes unresponsive or things just slow down. Today we are going to take a look at some common annoyances and how to work around them.
Have you ever found yourself running a task that used up quite a lot of RAM and, after the task was completed, your Linux desktop was still slow for a while afterward? When you perform tasks that fill up your computer's memory, such as opening a lot of web browser tabs, compiling large software projects or running a virtual machine, your operating system punts information it is not using right at that moment from memory into swap space. This is quite handy as it means your applications can continue to stay open while just using up space on your disk, not in precious RAM.
The downside to this scenario is when your memory intensive task is complete and RAM is once again available, the operating system doesn't know if it should pull data from slow disk space, back into RAM. Maybe you want that memory for something else. Linux does not know if it should move data from swap back into memory until you try to use one of your already open applications. When you start clicking on open applications, the system needs to pause and pull that application's data back in from swap and this makes the application respond slowly.
To get around having our applications lock up or stutter after they have been exiled to swap space, we can force Linux to flush swap, reloading all data back into RAM all at once. This takes a few seconds, but means no waiting for our already open applications to respond when we want to use them again. Flushing swap is pretty easy to do and just requires that we temporarily disable swap. With swap disabled, data is loaded back into memory automatically to prevent losing information. We can flush and disable swap with the swapoff command, run as the administrator:
Later, if we want to use swap space again, perhaps leading up to performing another memory intensive task, we can re-enable swap space by running swapon:
To see what the current status of swap space is - whether it is enabled and how much swap space is occupied - we can run the following command:
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If you have ever been using your Linux computer and had the desktop completely lock up, making it impossible to switch between windows, logout or even switch to a command line terminal, then you know the uncomfortable feeling of wondering if you are about to lose work in progress. There are at least two tricks you can try with a machine that appears to be entirely locked up. The first is to remotely log into the system using a secure shell. However, if OpenSSH is not installed on your system, or you do not have another computer on hand you can use to access your frozen computer, there is a feature called Magic SysRq. On Linux, if you hold down the ALT key and the SysRq key at the same time, you can then tap a third key to send a command to the Linux kernel. In some circumstances this will allow you to cleanly shut down the system and possibly avoid data loss.
There are around two dozen possible commands we can send to the kernel using the ALT SysRq method, but the most common series of commands is one which asks all running processes to shut down cleanly, writes data in memory out to the disk and then reboots the operating system. This sequence is achieved by holding down ALT and SysRq and then slowly typing the letters
r e i s u b
I found that combination of letters difficult to remember until someone told me that, whenever Linux locks up, remember: raising elephants is so utterly borning.
Earlier I mentioned typing the letters in the above sequence slowly. This is because pressing "ALT SysRq E" asks programs to shutdown cleanly, and then "ALT SysRq I" immediately kills all running processes. We should leave a few seconds in between to give programs a chance to close on their own before we order the Linux kernel to close them forcibly. In a similar manner the S key causes the system to try to synchronize data to our disk, and then the U remounts the disk in read-only mode. We should give the synchronize function a few seconds to finish working before we jump to the next step.
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Sometimes our desktop might lock up, or a game might cause our system to freeze, but the keyboard is still responding. When this happens, we can often switch to a command line interface, even though the desktop is not responding, and terminate the program that is causing the trouble.
The first thing to do is to switch to a command line terminal. We can do this by holding down the CTRL key, the ALT key and pressing a low-numbered function key - I typically use F2. The "CTRL ALT F2" combination should open a text interface where we can login using our regular username and password.
Once we have signed into our account, we can try to close troublesome programs using the killall command. For example, if I think my game MeowMix is causing the problem, I can run the following:
To get back to the desktop to see if that worked, we can hold down the keys "CTRL ALT F7" (or sometimes "CTRL ALT F8"). If it didn't work, we can jump back to the terminal using "CTRL ALT F2" again, and then start trying to shut down other programs. When unsure of which program is causing an issue, we can often find out by running the top program to get a snapshot of programs using a lot of our computer's CPU resources:
top -n 1
Usually the program listed at the top of the list is most likely to be the issue and we can use killall to shut it down. If that doesn't work, it may be time to remember how utterly boring it is raising elephants.
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More tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
Alessio Fattorini has announced the release of a new version of NethServer, a CentOS-based distribution for servers. The new NethServer release, version 7.4, introduces improvements to Samba and Active Directory integration. The new version also will inform the user when new upstream releases are available. "The new release automatically updates the domain controller and warns on upstream updates. Proxy, web content filter, anti-virus and IPS were updated and got an improved web user interface. In addition, it contains some enhancements (Speedtest in diagnostics panel, new bandwidth measuring, prevent intrusions with rule categories). Last but not least we are proud to present an up-to-date cloud and VoIP server. Account provider improvement: The local Active Directory account provider is now able to apply updates to the Samba DC instance automatically. The latest provided Samba DC version is 4.6.8. More features: Besides local active directory NethServer supports remote AD and LDAP(local/remote). IP changing possible. Account provider changing from LDAP to AD and vice versa is supported." Additional information can be found in the distribution's release announcement and in the release notes. Download (MD5): nethserver-7.4.1708-x86_64.iso (857MB, torrent).
OpenIndiana is an open source operating system based on the Illumos project and a member of the Solaris family. The project has released a new version, OpenIndiana 2017.10, which features updates to the display server and the MATE desktop environment. The new version also supports binary compatibility with Solaris 10u10. The release announcement reads: "We have released a new OpenIndiana Hipster snapshot 2017.10. The noticeable changes: Xorg server was updated to 1.19.5. MATE was updated to 1.18. Text installer now can perform basic OpenIndiana installation to existing ZFS pool (for example, in parallel to another OpenIndiana installation). Cluster suite was updated. ABI compatibility for Solaris 10u10 binaries was added. We've started to remove GNOME 2 applications and libraries. Be warned if (by some strange reason) you still haven't switched to MATE." Additional information can be found in the project's release notes.
The 4MLinux project has announced the release of a new version of its small Linux distribution designed to handle system maintenance, multimedia, games and miniserver. The new version, 4MLinux 23.0, offers many package upgrades to desktop applications, databases and development tools. "The status of the 4MLinux 23.0 series has been changed to STABLE. Create your own images with GIMP 2.8.22, edit your documents with LibreOffice 22.214.171.124 and GNOME Office (AbiWord 3.0.2 with Gnumeric 1.12.35), share your files using DropBox 37.4.29, surf the Internet with Firefox 56.0 and Chromium 61.0.3163.100, stay in touch with your friends via Skype 126.96.36.199 and Thunderbird 52.4.0, enjoy your music collection with Audacious 3.9, watch your favorite videos with MPlayer SVN-r37931 and VLC 2.2.6, play games powered by Mesa 17.0.4 and Wine 2.19. You can also setup the 4MLinux LAMP Server (Linux 4.9.52, Apache 2.4.28, MariaDB 10.2.9, PHP 5.6.31 and PHP 7.0.24). Perl 5.24.1 and Python 2.7.13 are also available." Further information and a screen shot can be found in the project's release announcement.
4MLinux 23.0 -- The default desktop with status panel
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Pardus, a Debian-based Turkish Linux distribution for desktops and servers, has been updated to version 17.1. The new release offers three separate ISO images with distinct names that indicate the purpose - Xfce, DDE (Deepin Desktop Environment) and Server. The release notes are available in Turkish only, but an online translation service reveals a changelog in this interim release of Pardus: The default name of the download directory has changed from 'Downloads' to 'İndirilenler'; the system settings menu has been enhanced; the default printer test page has been redesigned; the password of the pre-defined 'pardus' user is removed when the live system is turned on; the crash that occurred when the gdebi program was run with a graphical interface was fixed; the crash in certain parts of the gnome-disks program have been fixed; new desktop wallpapers added; many packages have been updated; the theme has been refreshed; Deepin Desktop Media support added; many security and system performance patches have been added." Further information on the software available in Pardus 17.1 can be found in the project's release notes.
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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. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 629
- Total data uploaded: 16.3TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Desktop environments that look like other operating systems
Some distributions dress up their desktop environments to resemble other operating systems. For example, ZevenOS was designed to resemble BeOS and Zorin OS imitates the Windows desktop. This week we would like to find out what our readers think of desktops themed to look like other operating systems. Do you see them as a useful tool that makes migration to Linux easier? Or would you prefer distributions develop their own look and avoid familiar-looking interfaces?
You can see the results of our previous poll on Ubuntu switching the default desktop from Unity to GNOME in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Desktop environments that look like other operating systems
|I like distros that try to look familiar: ||362 (16%)|
| I prefer didstro that develop their own look: ||1024 (46%)|
| No strong preference: ||846 (38%)|
October 2017 DistroWatch.com donation: Void
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the October 2017 DistroWatch.com donation is Void. The project receives US$250.00 in cash.
Void is an independently-developed, general-purpose operating system based on the Linux kernel. It features a hybrid binary/source package management system which allows users to quickly install, update and remove software, or to build software directly from sources with the help of the XBPS source packages collection. Other features of the distribution include support for Raspberry Pi single-board computers (both armv6 and armv7), rolling-release development model with daily updates, integration of OpenBSD's LibreSSL software, and native init system called runit.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our donations to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and crypto currencies are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has made 150 donations for a total of US$47,589 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300), GIMP ($350), Kodi ($300), Devuan ($300), hdparm ($350), HardenedBSD ($400), TestDisk ($450)
- 2016: KeePass ($400), Slackware Live Edition ($406), Devil-Linux ($400), FFmpeg ($300), UBports ($300)
- 2017: Armbian ($308),
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New projects added to database
heads is a privacy-focused Linux distribution designed to make it easy for users to access the Internet anonymously using the Tor network. heads is based on Devuan and features only free (libre) software. The Linux kernel has had non-free blobs removed.
heads 0.3.1 -- Running the Openbox window manager
(full image size: 1.0MB, resolution: resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Obarun. Obarun is an Arch Linux-based project which replaces the systemd init software with S6. Obarun is available for 64-bit x86 computers exclusively.
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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, 13 November 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)
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|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 |
Sorcerer was a source-based Linux distribution. Source tarballs are downloaded directly from software project home pages or as patches when an old source was previously downloaded. Sources are compiled for the architecture and with the optimisations that the system administrator specifies. Sorcerer has both command-line and menu-driven source management programs.