| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 748, 29 January 2018
Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Debian, specifically the Stable branch of Debian, is a conservative distribution which sometimes gets labelled as being out of date or being geared more toward server use than desktop or laptop computers. This week we explore some different flavours of Debian and discuss how people can enjoy the benefits of Debian's many packages and tools without being limited by Debian Stable's conservative characteristics. We begin with a look at siduction, a rolling release distribution which is based on Debian's Unstable development branch. Then, in our Questions and Answers column, we talk about Debian-based projects geared toward running on workstations and laptops. Plus we do some side-by-side comparisons of init software and boot times. In our News section we discuss SolydXK, normally a 64-bit exclusive distribution, releasing 32-bit community editions. We also cover openSUSE 42.2 reaching the end of its supported life, Mint's new code testing processes and how to build an inexpensive robot using Ubuntu. In addition, we report on Ubuntu switching from using Wayland as the default display server to returning to Xorg as the default for version 18.04. In our Opinion Poll we ask what base distribution our readers prefer when they are running a rolling release platform. Plus 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: siduction 2018.1.0
- News: openSUSE 42.2 reaches EOL, SolydXK releases 32-bit community editions, building an Ubuntu robot, Ubuntu 18.04 to use Xorg by default, Mint improves testing process
- Questions and answers: Desktop-friendly Debian and systemd boot times
- Released last week: Proxmox 5.0 "Mail Gateway", Netrunner 2018.01 "Rolling", DietPi 6.0
- Torrent corner: Bluestar, DietPi, Netrunner, Nitrux, Parrot Security, Redcore, Sabayon, Tails
- Upcoming releases: Ubuntu 18.04 Alpha 2, Linux Lite 3.8
- Opinion poll: Favourite rolling release base
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (27MB) and MP3 (33MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
siduction was the last distribution to have a release announcement appear on DistroWatch in the 2017 calendar year. siduction is a rolling release Linux distribution based on Debian's Unstable (Sid) branch. siduction's latest snapshot, version 2018.1.0, ships with the graphical Calamares system installer. siduction supports booting on UEFI-enabled hardware and ships with some non-free firmware and drivers. These non-free extras can be removed post-installation using a simple set of instructions on the distribution's website. The project's release announcement warns us that the distribution does not support installs with disk encryption at this time.
The latest release of siduction is available in many editions with the project providing Cinnamon, LXDE, LXQt, KDE, GNOME, MATE and Xfce editions. There is also one edition which ships without any graphical software and another with the X display software, but no desktop environment. I decided to download a few different flavours while focusing on the LXQt edition which is a 1.6GB download.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- Launching Calamares from the Cinnamon edition
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The siduction live disc boots to the LXQt desktop. The desktop is presented with a quick-launch panel at the top of the screen. A second panel containing the application menu, system tray and task switcher sits at the bottom of the display. Most of the time the quick-launch panel (called Plank) hides behind open application windows, but sometimes it popped up to cover the tops of windows. Because of this distraction I disabled the Plank panel and used a one-panel layout.
On the LXQt desktop we find three icons. One icon launches the graphical Calamares system installer. The second icon opens the Firefox web browser and displays the project's manual. The third icon opens the HexChat IRC client and connects us with the siduction chat room.
The icon which opens the manual is unusual, not in its purpose as lots of distributions have desktop icons which open a PDF or HTML user guide, but in how it displays the documentation. When clicked, the manual icon launches a local web server on our computer. It then opens the Firefox browser and tells it to connect to a host called "sidu-manual" which has an entry in our /etc/hosts file that directs the browser to the new web service running on our own computer. Usually Firefox would just open a HTML file directly or connect to a remote web server. Starting a web server to display locally stored documentation may be the most roundabout method I have ever encountered for displaying a collection of HTML pages.
Another surprise I ran into while still exploring the live desktop environment was the network icon in the system tray cannot be used to adjust network settings. The network icon indicates whether data is being transmitted over the network, but clicking on it does not help us set up new connections. There is a separate tool for connecting to networks called Connman.
siduction uses the Calamares system installer. We start off by selecting our preferred language from a list and then the installer shows us the project's release notes. We are walked through the usual steps of selecting our time zone from a map, confirming our keyboard's layout and creating a username and password combination for ourselves. Calamares offers both guided and manual disk partitioning. I went with the manual option and liked the simple, streamlined approach the partitioning screen uses. I also like that we can select where we want to install the distribution's boot loader. The whole installer is pretty straight forward to use and offers reasonable defaults. Once the installer has copied its files to our hard drive, it offers to reboot the computer.
Our new copy of siduction boots to a graphical login screen. Signing into our account brings us back to the LXQt desktop. The desktop still has a two panel layout, but the manual and installer icons have been removed from the desktop. A launcher for accessing the siduction IRC chat room remains on the desktop.
The desktop uses a dark theme for the application menu and window borders. I noticed no distractions, no pop-ups and no notifications. The LXQt desktop is pleasantly responsive and seems designed to stay out of our way as much as possible.
Digging into siduction's application menu we find some common open source programs such as the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client, the HexChat IRC client and LibreOffice. The Calibre e-book manager is featured along with the GNU Image Manipulation Program and Inkscape for working with images. There are some less common items too such as the qBittorrent software, the qpdfview document viewer, an e-book editor, the LXImage viewer and the Nomacs image manipulation application.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- Running LibreOffice and Zim
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While most distributions use Network Manager to help users get on-line, siduction ships with Connman to provide easy point-n-click network configuration. We can also find the Ceni network interface manager in the application menu. There are also menu short-cuts for launching and deactivating the OpenSSH service. By default, OpenSSH is disabled.
On the multimedia front, siduction ships with the Audacious audio player along with mpv and SMPlayer for displaying videos, Xfburn for burning discs and a desktop application for browsing YouTube videos. The distribution provides media codecs for most audio and video formats. Rounding out the selection we find the Zim Desktop Wiki and note taking program, three text editors (Vim, FeatherPad and JuffEd), an archive manager and an e-book viewer. Behind the scenes we find siduction uses systemd for its init system and version 4.14.10 of the Linux kernel. siduction is a rolling release and new kernels become available frequently.
Generally speaking, siduction's applications worked well. The distribution's software may be on the bleeding edge, but I was able to get work done without any unpleasant surprises. I found the provided applications often duplicated effort and it was curious how much focus was placed on e-books. There are applications for managing e-books, editing them and reading them. There are three text editors in the menu and two of them are virtually identical in features and layout.
The only serious quirk though revealed itself when I tried to play videos. If I opened a video file from the file manager, the SMPlayer application would open. Then a mpv window would open to play the video. The video would only be shown in the mpv window, but mpv's controls wouldn't work. I could only control playback and volume from the SMPlayer window. This issue was only magnified when I used the YouTube browser app. Clicking a video in YouTube Browser would open a new SMPlayer window, which loaded the video and then opened a mpv window to show the video. In short, I had three windows open whenever I wanted to see a YouTube video: one for searching, one for controlling playback and one for viewing.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- Finding and playing a YouTube video
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siduction ships with the Synaptic package manager. This venerable package manager can be used to find software by name, install, remove and upgrade packages. Synaptic can also be used to enable and disable software repositories. Synaptic doesn't have the modern look of GNOME Software or mintInstall, but it works quickly and I had no problems using it. One feature of Synaptic I especially appreciated was, when performing package upgrades, the package manager would let me know which services had been upgraded (or had dependencies which had been updated). A list of services would then be shown and I could check boxes next to services I wanted to restart. This helps us avoid running out of date (and possibly insecure) services and is a lot more convenient than rebooting to make sure all our running processes are up to date.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- Using Synaptic to check for software updates
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siduction is a rolling release distribution and gets a huge number of package upgrades. The first day I was running the distribution there were 100 new packages waiting to be upgraded, totaling 175MB in size. The next day there were 50 new updates, totaling 85MB in size. A few days later 66 new packages were available, resulting in a 157MB download. When running siduction we should be prepared for a steady stream of relatively large package upgrades.
The LXQt edition of siduction features a fairly simple settings panel. Most of the included modules are there to help us tweak the look of the desktop environment. We can also enable or disable start-up programs which run in the background when we login. Plus we can adjust keyboard short-cuts and locale/language options. One item I found odd was, by default, the preferred web browser is set to be QupZilla, which is not installed. This setting appears to be ignored as clicking a hyperlink opens the Firefox browser to display the desired page.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- The settings panel
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The settings panel includes some other modules for managing the underlying operating system. One module launches the Synaptic package manager, another is available for setting up printers and one module helps us create and manage user accounts. The module I used the most though was the one which opens the Connman graphical network manager. Connman has a different layout than Wicd or Network Manager, but performs in the same role: helping us set up wired and wi-fi connections. I found Connman worked well for me and I liked the simple, clean layout of the utility's tabs. There is probably more information presented in Connman than most people will need, but I think administrators will appreciate the level of detail offered.
I experimented with siduction in two environments. When I ran the distribution in a VirtualBox virtual machine, the distribution ran smoothly and without problems. Once the distribution was installed, it was able to integrate with VirtualBox and use my host computer's full screen resolution. I had a similarly good experience when running siduction on a desktop computer. My hardware was all properly detected, the LXQt desktop was very responsive and the system remained stable during my trial. In either test environment, siduction required about 5GB of hard drive space and 220MB of memory when logged into the LXQt desktop.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- The Connman network manager
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At one point I thought siduction had failed to detect my desktop computer's wireless card. It turned out my wireless interface had been detected, but had been deactivated by default. The Connman network configuration tool had an option for activating my wireless network interface with a button click.
Running siduction was a pretty good experience for me. The distribution is very easy to set up and the Calamares installer gets the user up and running with fewer steps than Debian's system installer. The LXQt edition of siduction works quickly and the desktop environment is pleasantly lightweight. I found LXQt generally provided me with all the features I wanted to use while staying out of my way, which was appreciated.
One of the few concerns I had was with the confusing way video playing worked on the distribution. I think it would have been easier if siduction simply shipped with VLC or Totem for playing videos. Otherwise, the applications which shipped with the distribution worked well and I found running siduction was generally pleasantly boring.
For people who like running cutting edge software and want to take advantage of Debian's massive supply of open source software, I think siduction is an excellent option. The user needs to be prepared to handle a lot of updates, dozens or (in my case) maybe even hundreds per week. But if you don't mind installing waves of updates, then siduction offers good performance, an easy to use installer and a wide range of desktop editions. I especially appreciate the Synaptic feature which allows us to restart services which have been updated and I suspect people running network services will really like having this ability.
siduction didn't really do anything which stood out as different or amazing, but on the other hand I didn't run into any serious problems. The distribution provided a solid, easy to use rolling release with a huge amount of software in the repositories and handled all my hardware beautifully. I think people who like running openSUSE Tumbleweed or Arch Linux may want to check out siduction as an alternative, especially since the distribution can be set up with little more than a few mouse clicks.
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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
siduction has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.8/10 from 27 review(s).
Have you used siduction? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
openSUSE 42.2 reaches EOL, SolydXK releases 32-bit community editions, building an Ubuntu robot, Ubuntu 18.04 to use Xorg by default, Mint improves testing process
Version 42.2 of the openSUSE distribution is reaching the end of its supported life. The openSUSE news page reads: "The minor release of openSUSE Leap 42.2 will reach its End-of-Life (EOL) this week on January 26. The EOL phase ends the updates to the operating system, and those who continue to use EOL versions will be exposed to vulnerabilities because these discontinued versions no longer receive security and maintenance updates; this is why users need to upgrade to the newer minor; openSUSE Leap 42.3." Information on how to upgrade can be found in the distribution's documentation.
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The SolydXK distribution has announced the availability of 32-bit builds of the project's latest release, version 201801. These new builds are community editions and may not carry the same level of support as the official releases. "As for the regular ISOs, the 32-bit ISOs are fully updated, including the latest kernel release with the Meltdown vulnerability patch. The ISOs come with a system configuration tool called SolydXK System Settings. Following is a list of features added since the 201707 releases: Device Driver Manager (DDM) has been integrated. Debian Plymouth Manager has been integrated. Add new partitions to fstab. Safely remove old kernel packages." More information can be found in the project's announcement. Download links can be found on the SolydXK Community Editions page.
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Have you ever wanted a robot of your very own, but did not feel you had the skills or finances to create a digital friend? Kyle Fazzari is here to help: "Some time ago I created a blog/video series that walked the reader through creating a prototype using the Robot Operating System (ROS) and taking it to production using Ubuntu Core. However, that series was intended more for robotics professionals; it assumed quite a bit of ROS knowledge, and required some costly equipment (the robot was about $1k). Well, Ubuntu is also for hobbyists (and kids!) who don't want to shell out $1k to play with robots. Thus, this series was born: one that doesn't assume any ROS knowledge, and uses hardware that's so inexpensive you could give it as a Christmas gift. I present you with a robot that costs less than $100: The CamJam EduKit #3, which is a wheeled robot kit you assemble and control with a Raspberry Pi." The series begins on this page.
Will Cooke has posted a message on Ubuntu Insights which indicates the next release of Ubuntu, version 18.04, will use Xorg as the default display server with Wayland as an alternative option. This is a reverse of the situation users experienced when running Ubuntu 17.10 where Wayland was made the default desktop session option. "17.10, released in October 2017, ships with the Wayland based graphics server as the default and the Xorg based equivalent is available as an option from the login screen. When we started out on the GNOME Shell route for 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) we knew that we needed to have Wayland as the default option otherwise we wouldn't know if it would work well for our users in the LTS only six months later. The LTS is supported for five years meaning that we need to be certain that what goes out the door on release day will be maintainable and sustainable for the duration and will serve all our users and customers needs, which is no mean feat. As we are roughly half way through the Bionic development cycle, the time was right for us to review that decision and make a call on whether or not Wayland is the right default display server for Bionic. We have decided that we will ship Xorg by default, and that Wayland will be an optional session available from the login screen." The rational for using Xorg as the default display server is covered in Cooke's post.
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The Linux Mint team is currently preparing for upcoming releases of both Mint's main edition (based on Ubuntu) and their Debian-based edition. The developers are making use of several new tools which make it easier for them to test, build and check software for bugs with more work being done automatically. This should allow the Mint team to detect and remove many problems in the software before it ever reaches the users. "Every single commit, every single pull request automatically triggers a build in Linux Mint 18, Linux Mint 19 and LMDE 3. If the build fails in any of these environments, we can see it straight from GitHub. This allows us to merge some of the pull requests much faster than before. Debian packages are now also built automatically for each new commit. Going forward we'll probably start using continuous integration to also perform unit and functional tests. Source code is also now scanned for every commit and pull request, against various linters and analyzers. Static code analysis doesn't detect everything, but it can detect potential issues and thus prevent some potential bugs from ever happening at all." More updates can be found in Linux Mint's January newsletter.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Desktop-friendly Debian and systemd boot times
Hunting-for-wireless-support asks: Would you happen to know of any stable distros based on Debian which have wireless that works out of the box and that have all needed WINE programs?
DistroWatch answers: While Debian itself has a policy on providing software distributed under open source licenses and may not automatically include certain extras, like non-free firmware, most Debian-based desktop distributions will include these extras for the sake of convenience. If you visit our Search page you can select a few options from the drop-down box to pin-point Debian-based desktop Linux distributions. The first five or six results you get will be popular, Debian-based projects likely to include wireless support.
Most Debian-based projects will include the same WINE packages. Though, of the results you will get on our Search page, I think Zorin OS may be one of the few which ships with WINE installed by default. If you seem to be missing a WINE package then you might want to install WINE right from the upstream WINE repository itself. Instructions for installing stable and development versions of WINE can be found on the WineHQ website.
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Testing-init asks: Does systemd really make computers boot faster?
DistroWatch answers: About three years ago I wondered the same thing: would systemd's parallel approach to starting services make boot times shorter? In brief, my conclusion (based on limited testing at the time) was that systemd did not provide a faster boot experience than SysV init. Of course, at the time systemd was relatively new and boot processes tended to still rely on old init scripts.
Over the past three years I have not gathered any new data, only making anecdotal observations when I was testing a distribution with relatively long or short boot times. Based on what I have encountered, systemd can sometimes be faster than other init implementations, but it can also be slower. The speed depends more on which distribution is being used than which init software, in my experience. I have observed some Linux distributions with systemd booting in under 15 seconds and some taking a full minute on the same hardware. I think which services are started plays a larger role than the init software at work.
With that being said, I like to test things and had some spare time this week. In order to perform a rough comparison of init software, I downloaded and installed a copy of Ubuntu 16.04.3 Server edition and Debian 9.3.0. Both operating systems were set up with the bare minimum base systems and no extra services. No desktop environments were installed. I booted both operating systems using the default systemd init software. Ubuntu booted four times in a row with a consistent 24 second boot time from GRUB menu to login prompt.
I next replaced systemd with the Upstart init software and went through the same cycle of four start-ups. Using Upstart, Ubuntu consistently booted in 24 seconds. In short, there was no difference in start-up times when comparing systemd and Upstart.
I then switched to using Debian. Launching Debian with systemd gave me boot times of 15 seconds, making Debian noticeably faster than Ubuntu. I then swapped out systemd for SysV init and started Debian four times in a row. Debian with SysV init steadily provided boot times of 17 seconds, marginally slower than systemd.
In short, systemd can provide slightly faster boot times over SysV, but apparently not Upstart, the init implementation it replaced on Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and openSUSE. I think it is very interesting to note that Debian running SysV init is faster than running Ubuntu with either systemd or Upstart, even though both operating systems were running approximately the same software and no extra services.
Of course, the debate over which init software is best suited to a job rarely focuses on start-up times. There are a lot of other factors to consider, such as size, overall design, how services are controlled and other features. Small changes in boot times alone do not indicate a strong benefit for one approach over another.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Proxmox 5.0 "Mail Gateway"
Proxmox is a commercial company which offers specialized products based on Debian. The company recently launched Proxmox Mail Gateway version 5.0 based on Debian 9 "Stretch". "Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH today announced the major release of its open-source email security solution Proxmox Mail Gateway 5.0. The Proxmox Mail Gateway is a full featured mail proxy deployed between the firewall and the internal mail server and protects against all email threats focusing on spam, viruses, trojans, and phishing emails. Version 5.0 is now completely open-source and licensed under the GNU AGPL v3. The Mail Gateway is a complete operating system based on Debian Stretch 9.3 with a 4.13.13 kernel, and has a new RESTful API, includes support for all ZFS raid levels, comes with LDAP, IPv4 and IPv6 support, and with a new interface framework based on Sencha ExtJS. For businesses Proxmox offers a new subscription-based support model with access to a stable enterprise repository." Further information can be found in the company's release announcement and highlights post.
Netrunner 2018.01 "Rolling"
One of Netrunner's editions is a rolling release based on Manjaro and offering users a rolling release platform with the KDE Plasma desktop environment. The Netrunner team has published a new snapshot, version 2018.01, which features KDE Plasma 5.11.5, Firefox 57 "Quantum" and the YaRock music player. "For the first time, we ship YaRock, a Qt-based music player which also happens to greatly support a wide selection of free on-line Radio stations. A nice bonus feature is when clicking on any artist or song name during play will automatically open the browser and perform a search. SUSE's ImageWriter is back, as is the Firefox Pre-Load to make the browser appear almost in an instant when clicked. Discover also re-enters the default list of applications with its integrated update feature via PackageKit/AppStream. Using the new sidebar layout, we resorted the various modules so now almost all theming related settings can now be found under 'Plasma Tweaks'." Additional information and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
Netruner 2018.01 "Rolling" -- Featuring the Plasma desktop
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DietPi is a Debian-based Linux distribution, primarily developed for single board computers such as the Raspberry Pi. DietPi also runs on other architectures, including x86 computers and Odroid machines. The project's latest release, DietPi 6.0, is based on Debian 9 "Stretch". "All DietPi images have been re-created. Existing installations (v159 or lower), can no longer be updated, or supported. To continue support, users must install the latest v6.0 image. All images are now Debian Stretch (excluding Odroid's) ARMbian based images are now mainline kernel 4.13+. Native PC (EFI): is now an ISO, with Clonezilla bundled. Simplifies installation via Rufus write. If you are happy with your existing installation of v159 (or lower), you are not required to install the v6.0 image, however, we cannot continue to provide support for v159 (or lower) installations. Minor notes: The XMAS tree has now been taken down, stored away on GitHub history for next year. Hope you all had a good one." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Redcore Linux 1801
Redcore Linux is a Gentoo-based distribution designed to be run on desktop and laptop computers. The Redcore project has announced the release of Redcore Linux 1801 which reduces memory requirements for installation and includes fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre CPU bugs. "It is my pleasure to announce that Redcore Linux 1801 Intercrus STABLE ISO image is now ready and available for download from the usual place. I won't go through all the changelog since Redcore Linux 1710 once again, you can read it in the Redcore Linux 1801 BETA announcement here. Here's a brief changelog since BETA: resync with Gentoo portage tree (27.01.2018); Linux kernel LTS 4.14.14 with MuQSS and UKSM enabled by default for maximum desktop performance; Linux kernel LTS 4.9.77 with MuQSS, BFQ and UKSM enabled by default available in the repository; both kernels have KPTI for Meltdown mitigation and Retpoline for Spectre mitigation enabled by default mesa is updated to 17.3.3 , KDE frameworks updated to 5.42..." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Parrot Security OS 3.11
Parrot Security OS is a Debian-based, security-oriented distribution featuring a collection of utilities designed for penetration testing and computer forensics. The project's latest release, Parrot Security OS 3.11, includes fixes for Metasploit and PostgreSQL as well as a new automobile hacking menu which includes tools for testing real world cars. "This new release introduces many improvements and security fixes compared to the previous versions. It includes by default all the Spectre/Meltdown security patches currently available and an updated version of the Linux 4.14 kernel. A new car hacking menu now contains a collection of useful open source tools in the automotive industry to test real world cars or simulate CANBus networks. Metasploit and PostgreSQL are now patched to work flawlessly out of the box in live mode. Other important updates include Firefox 58, increased installer stability, many updated security tools and some important graphic improvements." Further information 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: 720
- Total data uploaded: 17.4TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Favourite rolling release base
Running a rolling release operating system allows the user to constantly keep up with new versions software. Since the operating system is always up to date, large upgrades when new versions are released become unnecessary.
There are a lot of rolling release projects in the open source community and we would like to find out which ones our readers prefer. Do you run an Arch-based rolling release, perhaps a member of openSUSE's Tumbleweed family, or perhaps you like to compile your own packages with a Gentoo-based rolling distribution? Let us know which rolling release distribution you run in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on using HiDPI screens in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Favourite rolling release base
|Arch Linux: ||677 (29%)|
| Debian: ||405 (18%)|
| FreeBSD: ||47 (2%)|
| Gentoo: ||105 (5%)|
| openSUSE: ||140 (6%)|
| Slackware: ||62 (3%)|
| Void: ||71 (3%)|
| Other: ||170 (7%)|
| I do not run a rolling release OS: ||619 (27%)|
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 February 2018. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Debian with firmware (by Matt on 2018-01-29 00:37:17 GMT from United States) |
The non-free firmware is available on the unofficial Debian installation images:
2 • openSUSE tumbleweed (by Tom Tumbler on 2018-01-29 00:39:36 GMT from Canada)
I normally use openSUSE tumbleweed with a tumbler full of weed to roll-it-up, until I, myself starts rolling round and round after couples of puffs.
3 • rolling-release (by brad on 2018-01-29 01:03:57 GMT from United States)
Manjaro, but I have experimented with all others except for slackware and void-based distros.
I had to check which distros were slackware-based rolling-release; the database lists only Zenwalk.
There are no distros in the DB that are Void-based.
4 • Rolling release (by Bruce on 2018-01-29 01:16:43 GMT from United States)
I use Sparky Linux which is based on Debian Testing and find that it covers every thing I need. I use a combination of Openbox with the xfce Goodies.
I am heatedly satisfied.
5 • Out-of-the-box Debian-based distros & rollers (by Brenton Horne on 2018-01-29 01:38:22 GMT from Australia)
Funnily the two most popular Debian-based desktop distros (assuming HPDs are infallible as a measure for this), Linux Mint and Ubuntu, both lack out-of-the-box proprietary Broadcom WiFi support, which I'm guessing is what the asker is looking for. Nor does MX Linux for that matter, only elementary OS and Zorin OS out of the top five have it (although #6, deepin, does too). You can install it easily on Mint and Ubuntu's live sessions though as they have the necessary packages already in their package cache. But even if you select the option to install proprietary third-party software in the installer they do not have such support out-of-the-box.
As for rollers well I have a hard time picking just one. I have all the rollers mentioned in the poll installed on my PC aside from FreeBSD (which I am not installing mostly due to driver issues, but I have tried it in VMs before) and Slackware current (although I do plan to get current and I do have 14.2 installed). The one I use the most is Arch Linux, but they all have their merits. I know which one I like the least though, Debian unstable, as it seems the buggiest.
6 • Rolling Release vs. Testing (by Winchester on 2018-01-29 01:56:44 GMT from United States)
Slackel is based on Slackware Current . Zenwalk "Rolling" .... same deal. The new beta release of Absolute Linux has also made the switch to Slackware Current.
Slackware Current , like Debian Testing distributions are not considered to be "true" rolling releases.
Gentoo, Solus, Arch, Void Linux, Chakra, OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, and KaOS are considered true rolling release distributions.
PClinuxOS is classified here as "semi-rolling". I will have to look into the details of that.
I have had success with all of the above "true" rolling release projects except for Chakra which was not compatible with my hardware. Arch seems to require the most attention. Solus might be the most beginner friendly of them.
7 • debian based distros and wireless (by dolpin oracle on 2018-01-29 02:03:31 GMT from United States)
@5 - just to clarify a point...mx linux does indeed ship with broadcom proprietary drivers enabled by default, along with an automatic configuration at first boot of the live media that selects either the proprietary or the open-source, depending on the parts installed on the system. antiX 17 does as well I think.
8 • antiX WiFi (by Brenton Horne on 2018-01-29 02:13:44 GMT from Australia)
@7 MX Linux was a guess, I knew that antiX didn't, MX Linux is based on it and I didn't see why they wouldn't include it, but if you say it is I'll believe ya.
9 • Broadcom drivers (by Jesse on 2018-01-29 02:38:13 GMT from Canada)
@7 @8: Both MX and antiX include Broadcom drivers on the installation media, though some assembly may be required to get them working.
10 • Manjaro (by Starskeptic on 2018-01-29 02:43:24 GMT from United States)
I'd used Ubuntu since 2005, with windows and OS X mixed in there; tried Manjaro this past Fall and am completely sold - no more distro hopping for me.
11 • Rolling Release (by cflow on 2018-01-29 02:49:22 GMT from United States)
For me, I'm surprised how Void is an option in the poll, yet Solus is not. What was the reason behind that?
Solus is indeed a rolling release in my eyes when I use it. It is just that the people behind the distribution try to polish their ISO's for stability, user experience, and features - and number them kind of like in fixed releases. But updates are definitely in a rolling release manner.
12 • antiX WiFi (by Brenton Horne on 2018-01-29 03:05:55 GMT from Australia)
@9 Well I'll be, I just fired up an antiX 18 live session in a VM and while I know on my actual machine it doesn't automatically detect my Broadcom BCM4352 WiFi chip I ran:
find /lib/modules -name "wl.ko"
and it found the Broadcom kernel module, so you're right. I also just used this method to confirm that this is also true for MX Linux 17. Although whether you can call it truly "out-of-the-box" is up for debate, given that it didn't work out-of-the-box for me on my actual machine. To be clear I am aware that all distros require you to enter your WiFi credentials (well duh right? Just mentioning in case yas are wondering if this is why I say so many are lacking this), but with antiX it didn't detect my WiFi networks.
I once mentioned in an email to DistroWatch that maybe adding Broadcom proprietary drivers to the list of packages tracked in the DistroWatch database may be worthwhile. This query may be better answered by this as what the database tracks is what's present in the ISOs of each release, or a base installation, if I'm not mistaken.
13 • Stable Debian distros with wireless all needed WINE programs (by dhinds on 2018-01-29 03:10:49 GMT from Mexico)
Try Sparky Multimedia Edition if you like Openbox
14 • Rolling release experience and test (by TuxUser on 2018-01-29 03:24:46 GMT from Canada)
A few years ago (2013), I took a test. I have installed 5 rolling release distribution: Sabayon, Arch, Slackel, PCLinuxOs and Siduction. All distributions have been installed with KDE.
None of these Distributions were on my main desktop computer. I only did update each system once a week. In order to see how long one or other of Distributions will have the first problems.
After 4 weeks Sabayon was the first to have problems (loss of graphical environment).
The second was Slackel (problem with boot init at the 7th week).
The third was Siduction (kernel panic around the 13th week).
Arch was next in the fourth month. Crash kde session
PCLinuxOS has never had any problems for up to 8 months. I stopped the test after nine months.
I did this test just for curiosity. at this moment (it's not a fake story).
I've been running Debian stable for 4 years. On my Laptop I used Debian for a long time but now I'm on OpenBSD and Zenwalk in second place.
In conclusion, if I were to use mainly a Rolling Release, I would probably opt for PCLinuxOS or give a chance to Manjaro.
15 • rolling broadcom (by wally on 2018-01-29 03:26:00 GMT from United States)
Like Mint rolling.
As someone who helps newb friends with Linux, Broadcom is a PITA.
16 • OpenBSD as rolling release (by Billy Larlad on 2018-01-29 03:33:48 GMT from United States)
I use OpenBSD's -current development branch as a rolling release. Tremendously smooth in more than four years of use on several machines!
Debian Unstable has also worked well for me. From about 2012 to mid-2017 I had used Debian Testing, but whenever packages broke they stayed broke for anywhere from days to weeks to months. Somehow unstable seems to have fewer problems, and the problems that do crop up get fixed in very short order.
17 • siduction and smplayer (by enrico on 2018-01-29 05:43:11 GMT from Italy)
I want to comment on bug with smplayer on siduction review: it's not distro related, it's smplayer that has this bug, if you use move engine to play videos it makes a new window to play it, it's easy to solve, change media player engine from mpv to MPlayer and smplayer work as expected with only one window, it work perfect on all my PC, with Ubuntu Manjaro etc etc.
Good work with the site, keep going
18 • Perfered Rolling Distro - PCLinuxOS (by M.Z. on 2018-01-29 06:34:19 GMT from United States)
The big surprise to me was that PCLinuxOS was left off the options list. I suppose there are other contenders that could also be but on the list as well, but PCLOS is a long established distro & a strong contender for most wide spread & easy to use rolling distro.
19 • PCLinuxOS (by Brenton Horne on 2018-01-29 07:54:35 GMT from Australia)
A few folks are referring to PCLinuxOS as a rolling distro, I agree with this designation but oddly if you search for rolling release model distros (1) with DistroWatch itself it doesn't come up. It seems like DistroWatch classes it as semi-rolling given this search's results (2). Its table (on its article https://distrowatch.com/pclinuxos) says 'Rolling' for apt (which I'm guessing is it when regularly updated) and 'Semi' for the 2017.11 release. It seems like DIstroWatch is counting the 'Semi' only in its search results.
This search (3) shows independent rolling distros if anyone is interested and somehow couldn't set up this search themselves. There's quite a few that are omitted in the poll, which is hardly surprising as most of them do not have derivatives (granted nor does Void so that's odd) in DistroWatch's database, others are very unpopular (e.g. Exherbo, paldo) so who would bother, while others are probably too relatively new (e.g. Solus) for them to possibly have offspring.
20 • SystemD Start Up Times & Rolling Release Distros (by Paul M on 2018-01-29 08:20:29 GMT from Canada)
When I first began using Linux as my daily driver OS, I ran Ubuntu for several years. Then, I started to notice how bloated (and unstable) Ubuntu had become in comparison to other distros... slow boot times, broken dependencies with the "Automatic Updates", driver conflict issues, X-org DVI display problems, ALSA/Pulseaudio bizarre audio behavior, etc... ad naseum. And, after some distro-hopping - first Linux Mint, then PCLinuxOS, Fedora, openSUSE, and Arch - I settled on Debian Stable and haven't looked back.
That being said, it comes as no surprise to me that Jesse found Debian to be noticeably faster on boot than Ubuntu, regardless of the init system used. I also find Debian to be much faster than Ubuntu - in almost every way. I would even go further to add that my overall experience with Debian Stable has been MUCH more "Stable" than Ubuntu or any of the other rolling release distros that I have ever tried.
And that is why I always will avoid using a rolling-release distro (not even Debian Testing - no thanks!). For me, for my daily driver desktop OS, I want to keep it lean & clean... and that's what you get with Debian Stable releases. Yes, the kernel and the programs may not be bleeding-edge... but who wants that kind of instability for a daily work machine? That's a trade-off that some may be willing to make to get the latest versions of programs... but not me.
21 • Rolling Release (by ptyerman on 2018-01-29 09:47:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
I did run Manjaro for a while but it broke badly after some updates, as did Debian testing but that was half expected.
I went back to LTS releases and have stuck with them since. Rolling releases are far too crash happy for my liking, I prefer to switch on and go without worrying if the next update will foobar my OS!
22 • Rolling release (by OstroL on 2018-01-29 10:09:10 GMT from Poland)
Most probably the best rolling release is Debian testing. You can find the up to date Debian Testing live installable iso here, https://cdimage.debian.org/cdimage/weekly-live-builds/amd64/iso-hybrid/ straight from Debian itself.
23 • @14 (by Simon on 2018-01-29 10:20:22 GMT from New Zealand)
Rolling release is fun for playing with recent software and sometimes, if you're very lucky and/or you don't use a lot of different software, the whole system can work for months before something breaks...but in the end, something always breaks. It's still usable on a machine that you depend upon to do stuff *if* you're careful to keep enough backups of working systems that you can simply revert to one of those if something turns out to be broken when you really need it urgently...and with the competent user communities you often get around rolling release distros (Gentoo, for example) it won't be long before it's fixed and you can make a new working system backup. So there's never really any need, even on a rolling release distro, to be unable to do something for more than the few minutes it takes to restore from a backup.
However, like #20 above (Paul), I prefer the likes of Debian stable now: I don't want to be unexpectedly unable to do stuff for even a few minutes, as it's annoying and, at just the wrong time, potentially costly. Ubuntu/Mint LTS is good too...as are CentOS and Slackware if you don't mind putting a lot of work into setting things up, building packages etc.; which can be worth it, when the system you've built will then work reliably for years. After around 20 years of Linux on many different distros, I've come to value dependability above bells and whistles. I'm happy to wait a few more months for the improvements that "bleeding edge" distros are already enjoying: we still get them, only by the time we get them, they work properly. More importantly (to me and others who don't mind fixing bugs at certain times, e.g. when building new systems), they keep working, month after month: you don't fire up a program that worked last week only to discover that an update has broken it.
24 • Stable Debian distros with firmware (by DraganF on 2018-01-29 11:18:42 GMT from Serbia)
The non-free firmware is available on Serbian Linux KDE and Openbox Edition.
25 • systemD boot times OK, but ... (by curious on 2018-01-29 11:33:45 GMT from Germany)
... what about shutdown times?
That is the main difference I have noticed so far: the distros I have tried may have booted slightly faster (or slower) with or without systemd - the dfference is hardly noticable.
But quite a few systemD distros (and ONLY these) have had excessively long shutdown times.
This is fixable, if you don't mind messing with the systemd configuration (and know what to change and where to find it), but it shouldn't happen in the first place - and doesn't with other init systems.
26 • antiX WIFI (by anbticapitalista on 2018-01-29 11:59:11 GMT from Greece)
There is no antiX 18. Latest is antiX-17
27 • Rolling release (by Bonky Osmond on 2018-01-29 12:25:33 GMT from Nicaragua)
I have Run Gentoo and Calculate (gentoo based) for a lot of trouble free years.
I have Slackel and Slackware current both running which I had some teething issues when first installed not sure the issues were Rolling related.!!
have Void on trial sadly i dont use it enough to really make an assesment but have had minimal troubles..
Me and Debian dont get along never have since the dawn of time well Linux
I ran Manjaro for the first 2 yrs and had no problems then it started to spiral out of control...kept getting issues with programs crashing on startup, and it got slow.....seem to remember GTK was involved but they also stopped supporting their openbox distro so as i didnt need it dumped it
28 • Rolling release (by Fox on 2018-01-29 12:28:33 GMT from Canada)
About a year ago the president of our local Linux club made a presentation on how to install Arch Linux. Going through his steps, it didn't seem that difficult, so I was inspired to try it. It worked well on a netbook, so I decided to install it on a second computer as well (an iMac) and see how long it would go before breaking. It has yet to break on either computer. I still don't use it as my main distro, but I am impressed that it has gone this long without problems. A few years ago I tried Manjaro on the same netbook, and I ran into a problem after about 4 months. It was fixable, but like previous posters, I value stability, and Ubuntu 17.10 is current enough for me.
29 • Rolling Release (by Hank Richards on 2018-01-29 13:01:10 GMT from United States)
Manjaro, used it for months no problems. I don't know if any distros do it automatically, but I have to update the package database from time to time.
30 • antiX WiFi (by Brenton Horne on 2018-01-29 13:32:17 GMT from Australia)
@26: thank you sir, I stand corrected. Must be too eager for a new release :P. The ISO I used was for version 17.
31 • Rolling Release (by mandog on 2018-01-29 13:56:20 GMT from Peru)
Arch here since 2005 had maybe 3 breakages in that time. and they were all sorted in 24 hrs, Arch users care, That is why they only support arch installed the Arch way because if its not installed the Arch way its not Arch. I have tried many so called easy arch installs and only Archbang was a viable option.
Sadly because of the name Archbang can be no more Archbang, Thank you Mr Green I know you are trying to keep the project low key on Sourcforge, and wish you the best of luck in the future. your work and family commitments must take priority. just call it Bang instead.
Now testing Artix as well very stable seeing its a new openrc distro I feel it will totally replace Arch for me in the near future.
As for the rest they are all unstable apart from Gentoo.
Debian must be the biggest joke of all the last time, I installed Debian the last release could not even install abiword due to missing deps it took 6 months for the deps to appear in the stable repro total joke.
32 • wifi (by Tim Dowd on 2018-01-29 14:20:07 GMT from United States)
Linux wifi is still the biggest pain about using Linux- mostly because certain companies don't seem interested in supporting it. At this point Linux is at the "it just works" stage in almost every aspect but this.
I realized a year ago the easiest solution: buy a wifi dongle that works- even if you have built in wifi. They're about 5-15 USD, and that means that if your time is worth minimum wage, buying one is cheaper than spending more than 2 hours dealing with a crappy driver.
It's not elegant, but I was waiting since 2014 for the Realtek 8188EE to not be terrible with Linux. Now things work great because its blacklisted. I really like Atheros chipsets.
@31, Debian isn't a joke... but unfortunately I had a lot of trouble with the last release (stretch) too. The previous two were great, and hopefully the next one will be too.
33 • @20 Ditched Ubuntu (by Ditchy Dutchkinson on 2018-01-29 14:33:20 GMT from Canada)
"...hen, I started to notice how bloated (and unstable) Ubuntu had become in comparison to other distros... slow boot times, broken dependencies with the "Automatic Updates", driver conflict issues, X-org DVI display problems, ALSA/Pulseaudio bizarre audio behavior, etc... ad naseum..."
Ubuntu has a long story of getting bloated. Upon first BIOS corruption, I guessed so called human-error, I could not fix or reflash. I have to scrap the hardware. Up on 2nd time BIOS corruption, I thought Ubuntu is not perfect-fit for my hardware, I trashed and ditched Ubuntu. While someone re-flashed my BIOS and brought it back.
34 • siduction (by alotovkrap on 2018-01-29 14:35:47 GMT from France)
I had the same problems as you with videos; I would roll the mouse, but when in ful-screen mode there was no cursor over the video, and no controls. Other than that it was not a bad experience. Aprt from having the same tor problem as LMDE; strictexit nodes do not work.
35 • Stability of Rolling Release Distributions (by Winchester on 2018-01-29 14:47:44 GMT from United States)
I can testify that I have several rolling release distributions installed for a couple of years now and they all have been very stable except for the Debian Testing-based Parrot Security OS which broke a few months back.
Arch requires a little bit of intervention once in a while.
Solus has run into only one problem the entire time,which was with the LightDM log-in display manager,maybe because,at that time,I chose not to update that package while updating other packages. Easily fixed.
PClinuxOS has not had an issue of instability or breakage outside of PCmanFM-Qt. OpenSUSE Tumbleweed with LXQt .... same thing despite massive amounts of updates .... once I removed the "Packman" repository from the equation.
Even Paldo has not faltered on me,although I rarely boot into it and have to manually remove old kernels.
Smooth sailing with Calculate Linux Desktop and Gentoo as well. One VirtualBox-guest-additions update would not go through under Calculate but,I edited the "package-accept-keywords" file and the next update for that package went off flawlessly.
So,I believe the instability,breakage aspect is greatly exaggerated when it comes to some rolling release distributions. That has been my opinion formed from a couple years of experience living with them,anyway.
36 • Rolling Distro (by BushPilot on 2018-01-29 15:46:45 GMT from Canada)
I have been running Antergos and Debian 10 (SID) along side Debian stable for the past 4 months. Antergos xfce broke a few times but SID has not so far. Upgrades are a real pain for me as is the instability of rolling release. I also found that SID or Antergos does not offer me any real advantage over Debian stable, so why both with them?
37 • @31 (by aquila on 2018-01-29 15:50:09 GMT from France)
"Debian must be the biggest joke of all the last time, I installed Debian the last release could not even install abiword due to missing deps it took 6 months for the deps to appear in the stable repro total joke."
Be careful, when you are laughing. Don't get choked!
"Arch here since 2005 had maybe 3 breakages in that time."
Don't know what you are doing here, when you have such a stable distro for last 12 years!
38 • rolling release (by Bobbie Sellers on 2018-01-29 15:52:50 GMT from United States)
I have used PC-LinuxOS64 for a couple of years now and previously to the changes
to accommodate UEFI and GTP. In the lapse I used Mageia 4.1 and 5.
Before the change PCLinuxOS hung up on some display driver problems but
that is a problem for people who fail, in the install process, to discard unneeded
I have run PCLOS on several laptops, a Compaq with dual core AMD, an HP
with AMD A10 4 core, and Dell E6420 with i7 and E 6520 with i5. In addition
for a friend I administer his use of a Dell E 6510 and we have had no real
problems particularly since the forced update to KDE's Plasma 5.
Before PCLinux and Mageia I used Mandriva from 2006 to 2010.1 until
2012 when I started looking for a replacement,
My paid-for Mandriva 2011 quit working on my hardware which was
likely a display driver problem that I was unprepared to deal with
Dealing with other non-rolling releases I have spent hours upgrading users
to later versions of Ubuntu and to the 64 bit versions but these users
don't want to know Linux and prefer to defer upgrades until some failure.
bliss - Running the Radically Simple distro, PCLinuxOS64 2018.1
39 • @20 (by Per on 2018-01-29 15:57:22 GMT from France)
"When I first began using Linux as my daily driver OS, I ran Ubuntu for several years. Then, I started to notice how bloated (and unstable) Ubuntu had become in comparison to other distros...blah, blah, blah"
Use Kubuntu instead. Initial system load is just 0.39GB! It never breaks these days.
40 • Running Debian testing Xfce (by debianxfce on 2018-01-29 16:11:27 GMT from Finland)
Debian testing Xfce is a stable, light, compatible and easy to use rolling release distribution.
41 • Post # 35 (by Winchester on 2018-01-29 16:31:12 GMT from United States)
Just because one rolling release distribution may not be stable with a given set of installed packages DOES NOT mean that they all are unstable.
See post # 35.
Some have many updates,others only a couple times a week,such as Solus .... not much different from Debian stable in the amount of updates. The main difference being that the updates continue to be available throughout the lifetime of the distribution and do not stop at at set point in time in the future.
42 • Debian is a REAL joke for all the times! (by Lenny Laconi on 2018-01-29 17:41:44 GMT from Canada)
@ # 31
"Debian must be the biggest joke of all the last time, I installed Debian the last release could not even install abiword due to missing deps it took 6 months for the deps to appear in the stable repro total joke."
Debian spirit is already long been already dead and buried with Debian 5.0 (Lenny).
On 6th release they squeeze beyond their capacity of developers, and.
on 9th release they stretch everything beyond the ethics of Debian.
Most of the users - newbies never get past of installer issues.
Debian IS the BIGGEST joke of all the times.
43 • Rolling... (by c00ter on 2018-01-29 17:57:01 GMT from United States)
Wow, Arch currently leading @ 29% blows my mind, and I'm an Archer. From prior comments I can only imagine derivative users are including themselves in this poll. *sigh* Over the years I've run all in the poll, but it really boils down to one thing; the user taking a *real* interest in whatever distro they are using and understanding why they are using it, specifically.
44 • Rolling (by Martin on 2018-01-29 18:55:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
I am a new user of rolling release distros and I am trying out Artix as I am trying to avoid Systemd...
I picked Arch on the poll as Artix is based on Arch.
45 • Arch is the biggest joke (by Lenny Laconi on 2018-01-29 19:22:01 GMT from France)
Arch is the biggest joke too, even afraid of Archbang...
46 • Rolling (by Mitch on 2018-01-29 20:40:58 GMT from United States)
Other - I used Foresight back in the day, and loved it. Rolling release and a snappy install speed on hardware over a decade ago was pretty sweet! The fastest installation around, and probably would still pummel some today. How bought that Foresight Ken Van Dine?!
47 • "biggest joke" (by Vukota on 2018-01-29 21:00:11 GMT from Serbia)
Yes, both Debian and Arch are joke if you are not the target user for the distro. No distro is error prone or bug free. Debian has outdated software/drivers. I haven't seen it too broken on the hardware where it was configured and made working. Arch (and Arch based distros), gets broken often, especially if you don't babysit it regularly, but you get bleeding edge software. In the similar way others have their own problems and advantages. If you are looking for something headache free (easy to maintain) and between these two, Mint is your friend as it auto upgrades itself with a good recent track record (although not considered rolling distro).
48 • Debian is not a joke (by imnotrich on 2018-01-29 22:01:20 GMT from Mexico)
Debian is not a joke, in fact it is the rock solid foundation for many of the greatest distros out there.
However, by itself Debian is just the foundation. After every install you're often faced with weeks or months of troubleshooting, configuration, tinkering and using your Google Fu skills to find solutions for both hardware and software issues. Plural. As in MANY.
Sometimes your tinkering/solutions will break something else, and you're back to square one. Which, at least for me made it unsuitable for work/as my daily driver.
I used Debian almost exclusively for years when Linux was my hobby, but now that I use Linux primarily for work I've no choice but to go with Linux Mint Cinnamon. With Mint, I can still get my fingernails dirty but things I consider to be basic functionality are up and running out of the box. Not so with Debian.
Sorry Ian. May you RIP.
49 • Rolling Releases (by Tom on 2018-01-29 23:21:00 GMT from Germany)
Not running a fully rolling distribution, but KDE Neon keeps KDE rolling, which is already an important part
50 • Void (by mcg on 2018-01-29 23:53:21 GMT from Finland)
Rooling relase Void Linux! All you need is Void Linux not only rolling-relase, LibreOffice, Runit etc.
51 • Rolling distros (by Grraf on 2018-01-30 00:07:55 GMT from Romania)
Been with the arch derivate known as Manjaro for about 4yrs and encountered about 5 major issues 3 of wich were easily&quickly dealt with by following the instructions in their forum while the other 2 were self-inflicted by my own experiments/inexperience with kernels&drivers&AUR: guess what their wiki and custom built tools helped me fix my mess in about 10minutes both times despite me being at those points most familiar with debian testing(wich i coincidentally dumped for Manjaro) then with arch...
Bottom line stick with the default options(preferably avoid AUR)&read the forum update's sections and its unlikely anything will go wrong/won't a have an easy fix... otherwise if u go looking for trouble with stuff from the AUR/mess around and modify kernels/drivers then the thing u need is to at least be familiar with manjaro's chrooting&MHWD tools so u can clean up yr own mess instead of shifting the blame from yrself on to other people( like most idiots these days complaining its the window that's poorly made not hammer's fault for smashing trough it)
PS:been with debian testing for about 2years (before moving to manjaro) and at that time it was an endless bug fest and the aptitude/apt-get/synaptic trio wasn't doing it any favors either... glad i bailed before my hair turned gray...nowadays i don't even bother checking a distro unless its got the 'pacman' (it's simple&sane approach quickly became a priceless commodity for me)
PPS: PCLinuxOS & LMDE are about as rolling as brick is...(don't get me wrong but theyr update cycle is so slow that its barely faster then some of the non rolling distros)
52 • Rolling Release (by Fernando on 2018-01-30 00:54:44 GMT from Argentina)
I use SparkyLinux (debian "testing"-based distro) with MATE desktop without problems.
53 • Rolling Distros & Non Rolling (by Armand on 2018-01-30 04:45:31 GMT from United States)
Over the last 15 years I have tried over 25 distros; rolling, semi-rolling and fixed. I have found only Mint and PCLinuxOS (running on tower for over 2 years) consistently are the easiest to install, recognize all the hardware and have no problems over the long term.
If a distro does not install properly and does not recognize hardware, I jettison it, not worth my time. Running MX on a Dell 5420 i5 for the last 5 months, no problems. This laptop has bcm4312 but I don't recall having any difficulty at the installation or getting the wireless to work at that time.
54 • Wayland (by OstroL on 2018-01-30 11:32:48 GMT from Poland)
Will Wayland ever be ready? After more than 9 years of "development" neither RedHat nor Ubuntu is going to implement it fully as default. Nvidia being a graphics related specialised company won't touch it. Nvidia can't afford to have screen tearing problems that plague Wayland.
55 • rolling release (by anbticapitalista on 2018-01-30 12:03:10 GMT from Greece)
Various flavours of antiX with debian sid repos on my desktop. The oldest running version on the desktop is antiX-12-sid 32 bit.
56 • @ # 53 (by Harry Hopper on 2018-01-30 14:40:05 GMT from Canada)
I am a distro hopper too, sometimes 3 distos in a day which is way faster than changing my attire.
In accordance with the ranks on DW Page Hit Ranking of top 100 only 20 at-the-most worked for me like a charm. These were - in accordance with rank - zorin, antiX, MX Linux, PCLinuxOS, Lubuntu, puppy (fatdog flavour), LXLE, xubuntu, Devuan, Bodhi, KNOPPIX, BlackArch, Alpine, Slax, wattOS, Pararabola, Vector, Calculate, Trisquel, and RoboLinux.
None out-of-top 10.
And, of course, Gentoo, Arch and Slackware - slackel and derivatives & co. FreeBSD and Dragonfly.
57 • Wayland way, way, off... (by OS2_user on 2018-01-30 15:01:27 GMT from United States)
Like OstroL, I just came across this in The Register: "Ten years' worth of effort to replace the Xorg graphics framework has been given a "must try harder" mark by Ubuntu, which says its next release will not use Wayland by default." -- Incredible. A major well-funded Linux org can't come up with a slightly better Xorg?
I asked a couple months ago "Why Wayland"? And now I'm confirmed in opinion that instead of fixing up basics, programmers tried to put in place a vast new plan with every "cool" feature they could think of.
Appears to be ten years of wasted effort. Surely change will now be put off by anyone reasonable, and the whole project will dies. The effort could have been put into any number of useful improvements, for instance replacing the horrid arbitrary 1960s command line shells with ANY new plan (copied from MS-DOS, say).
Oh, well, huh?
As I've said, Linux-on-the-desktop types had better QUIT adding features. Xorg seems to be adequate for windowing and video.
58 • @11 Solus not Void? (by pepa65 on 2018-01-30 15:14:08 GMT from Thailand)
Why should Void not be listed as a rolling release distro?? I have been testing it for over a year, and it is rock solid hasn't broken yet. (It is recommended to not leave too many kernel versions lingering about, as it will slow down upgrades when needing to build modules.)
Nothing against the suggestion to include Solus, or PCLinuxOS (really should have been there!), but Void is a very valid option that is unique and stands out. It also uses Runit instead of Systemd, another outstanding feature.
59 • @ # 57 Way... way... off (by Quick Questions on 2018-01-30 15:24:42 GMT from Canada)
Whole development cycle is rolling a way... way off during past couples of years to hatch golden-eggs in their utopia.
"I asked a couple months ago "Why Wayland"? And now I'm confirmed in opinion that instead of fixing up basics, programmers tried to put in place a vast new plan with every "cool" feature they could think of."
Any user ever asked, except yourself,
Why systemD? How to run systemD in a single user mode?
Why UEFI or linuxboot?
Why GRUB has grown so fat?
Why linux kernel is so bloated and installs the modules that end-users never need?
Technology has gone messier than ever before, where anything comes-in and anything goes-out. And, final end result is smoke of entropy that ever can be sorted out.
For experience linux users, LFS Linux from the scratch is only the way.
60 • Rolling: Surprise (by mchlbk on 2018-01-30 16:12:01 GMT from Denmark)
Slow Win10 laptop. Tried Ubuntu, Mint, LMDE, Antix etc. Worked but still too slow.
Tried Manjaro (LXDE community spin) and to my surprise it not only works, it's significantly faster than any other OS I've had on this laptop.
It's been running without issues for a few months. Having never tried Arch-based before I don't know what to expect.
Only issue so far: Boinc won't work. There's probably a solution, but I can't be bothered to look it up.
61 • Poll & Xorg (by Tony on 2018-01-30 19:49:14 GMT from Bulgaria)
I roll with Void Linux because it's awesome. I run it as main OS on my production PC but I also have a stable as rock Mageia just in case something happens to Void (which is normal). On all other PC's & single board PC's I use Debian (DietPi). And about about Ubuntu switching back to Xorg - that is an excellent move for an LTS release!
62 • Wayland and XOrg and Ubuntu 17.10 DE (by TheTKS on 2018-01-30 20:36:37 GMT from United States)
I installed Ubuntu 17.10 on my kid's laptop, with minimal modifications, to see what the new DE would look and work like.
No problems with display or usability *on 17.10 as I installed and configured it on this laptop* under Wayland, except for Synaptic not working. For that there's a workaround, but I just logged out and then back in under XOrg.
So not ready but usable with still serious limitations. The biggest issue for me would be the crash behaviour noted in the Ubuntu news release.
As for the DE - I'm not sure I'll ever get to really like GNOME, whether stock or as transmogrified for 17.10. I like the look of stock GNOME enough, but I think at best I could get used to using it. I found Unity better. Will stick with Xubuntu and Slackware/KDE for main distros, and Kubuntu and elementary occasionally.
63 • Some disappointment during install. (by harry on 2018-01-30 22:21:34 GMT from United States)
Lets start with Shark Linux as I as have tried to install two versions to hard drive with corrupt files and made two coasters. Maybe they are saying install something else. What is it with there downloads? The Absolute Linux site has been down about a week or more. Slackware that I like and have built powerful a 14.1 system years ago still has the silly cfdisk, fdisk install partitioning. I thought it was 2018. 14.2 would only recognize one of my hard drives. So what do I have to do disconnect my other hard drives, and use Rescatux to build back the grub after I reconnect them? I don't trust most of these releases partitioning software that can't recognize other drives in your system as you will get burned and your other drives will get erased and loose data which has happened to me before. Also all distros should make the Nvidia or ATI driver easier to install with out all the bull about how to disable the nouveau driver or how to disable X which depending on the distro could be about twenty or more different ways. I guess that's why we like Linux so much. If you really want to save time and get things done use Windows.
64 • paldo (by subg on 2018-01-31 00:48:14 GMT from Canada)
Rolling release daily driver for the last six years or so.
65 • Tumbleweed (by vstan on 2018-01-31 04:01:50 GMT from United States)
Tumbleweed is the only real rolling release I've used as a daily driver. It's pretty good; lots of customization, lots of available software. Not a big fan of YaST though, its Wayland support needs work and the terminal interface is challenging (more so than other ncurses apps).
In Tumbleweed, Snap doesn't work super well either; the backeneds for its use in Discover and GNOME Software are unavailable.
My optimal distro would likely use a bit more vanilla versions of applications than Tumbleweed, without branding, and provide git versions of most applications, as well as the latest system software.
66 • @58 (by cflow on 2018-01-31 04:46:56 GMT from United States)
That's way beyond the point: Void and Solus are rolling releases, but for some reason, this poll suggests that Solus is not worth even giving as an option, but a very less popular distro than it, like Void is - Despite that Solus is as equally innovative in its own right.
Nothing much against Void as a Distro - Just that if it deserves this much attention as a poll option, Solus definitely should be one as well.
67 • Rolling release (by Giorgos Exis on 2018-01-31 10:43:10 GMT from Italy)
Running PCLinuxOS, since July 2016 on my laptop (Asus F555L-AB) and on my netbook (ACER Aspire One D-271) without any problem, so far. I am updating my systems every 3-4 days.
68 • Void! (by P.D. on 2018-01-31 15:57:59 GMT from Germany)
yes Void! Best one i had in years. (mostly) very sane policies with everyhing. No user repository like AUR (official at least), which is very wise.
i run it on my laptop, some RaspberryPi and my server. It is a very good experience for 1.5years now.
69 • Rolling Release (by Lawrence on 2018-01-31 16:11:36 GMT from United States)
I tried Manjaro but found that after a few months the distro crashed. (I had added some programs which I needed from the Arch repository and that probably caused the problem.)
I currently use GeckoLinux Tumbleweed and have had no problems with it.
I especially like the fact that it installs the latest kernels and it also has a file-checking program to make certain that nothing interferes with anything else. (Sometimes it asks questions and a bit of common sense gives you the correct answer.)
My questions here are: (1) Does siduction 2018.1.0 also install the latest kernels and (2) is there some means by which the distro checks for incompatibilities within programs?
Thanks for any help.
70 • Rolling Release (by Robert Collard on 2018-01-31 17:45:25 GMT from United States)
Currently using Manjaro with both Stable and Testing as a dual boot on the same Desktop.
Tried many others and found problems either with the forums or the systems.
Manjaro is an offshoot of Arch Linux, with compatible software.
Kernels are up to date and fast. Upgrades in Testing are often and later moved to Stable.
71 • KDE neon not a rolling release per se (by james s on 2018-02-01 18:26:19 GMT from United States)
If one looks at the KDE Neon site it is "not quite" being a "distro" and it is described as "not quite" being a "rolling release".
So taking that into consideration, I have been using nothing but the KDE Neon developer edition on one "midrange" machine and the stable / user edition on another "midrange" ( dual core AMD 4g ram etc. machine) since Neon was started and have not had one single error of any kind.
again, I have never had any kind of problem. It is as stable as Kubuntu.
72 • For me Arch Linux is the perfect distro (by Oriol from Catalonia on 2018-02-02 00:15:00 GMT from Spain)
On my laptop old Acer Extensa 5620 (2008-01), I installed Arch Linux beside Windows Vista dual booting.
Today Vista is completely useless, but Arch Linux is the same installation 10 years ago, with no breakages in all this time. Never.
1. Read "latest news" on archlinux.org (for manual intervention on updates if necessary - one every 4-6 months)
2. pacman -Syu (or yaourt -Syua) every week.
3. if any package do not work, then "downgrade" it waiting for its fixing to upgrade.
Just to this point is the general recomendation to general maintenance of Arch, but I have a little trick against the panic to breakages.
TRICK: I have the same Arch Linux installation on a USB 8 Gb with the same packages, and first, ever, update usb. If all is ok, update PC. If not then I wait to fix usb prior to update PC.
Conclusion: ARCH IS ENOUGH STABLE AND THE LAST 2-3 YEARS VERY STABLE LIKE A DEBIAN ROCK.
PS.: On my new laptop I have W10, Fedora (for UEFI) and Arch Linux, and I expect the laptop die in 2028 with the same Arch installation.
73 • Manjaro/Arch (by Jordan on 2018-02-02 13:33:31 GMT from United States)
Manjaro has been moving up the PHR steadily, and for good reason, not the least of which it's an Arch based roller.
It's also passionately developed and maintained.
74 • good trick (by Tim Dowd on 2018-02-02 17:14:19 GMT from United States)
That's a good idea with the USB drive. If I ever go back to rolling I'll do that
75 • Pclinuxos semi rolling (by Tym on 2018-02-03 05:24:46 GMT from United States)
Pclinuxos is described as a conservative semi-rolling release because it keeps a stable core and only rolls non-critical packages. (A rolling wrapper )This is less cutting edge ,but more stable over time.
76 • @72 (by laptop killer on 2018-02-03 08:46:17 GMT from Portugal)
If you expect your acer to last 20 years, you are not using it correctly.
77 • Siduction and Synaptic (by Oscar Laboy on 2018-02-03 16:22:12 GMT from Puerto Rico)
Just my two cents: NEVER use Synaptic to install or upgrade in Debian SId. As the manual indicates:
"Package managers like adept, synaptic and kpackage are not always able to account for the huge amount of changes which happen in Sid (depedency changes, name changes, maintainer script changes, ...).
This is not the fault of the developers of those tools though, they write excellent tools for the debian stable branch, they are simply just not suitable for the very special needs of Debian Sid.
Use whatever you like to search for packages, but stick with apt-get for actually installing/removing/dist-upgrading.
Package managers like adept, synaptic and kpackage are at the least, non-deterministic (for complex package selection), mix that with a quickly moving target like sid and even worse an external repository of questionable quality (we don't use or recommend those, but they're a reality on your user systems) and you will be courting disaster."
78 • rolling releases (by alexander on 2018-02-04 01:43:13 GMT from Australia)
i have tried many of them
and multiple flavours of a few
I installed all my usual software to each and most crashed before the job was done
two survivors only remained
debian testing which required several of my programs to be installed outside its repos, not kali which died on many nvidia laptops
pclinuxos which had every one of my programs in its repo and working.
among those who failed
any distro without a gui package manager was dismissed as a waste of my time
if a program was missing or failed I in stalled it outside the repo
Number of Comments: 78
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