| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 754, 12 March 2018
Welcome to this year's 11th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Two of the world's most famous rolling release distributions are Gentoo and Arch Linux. These projects tend to be well regarded for their cutting edge software, extensive ports/packages systems and flexibility. This week we begin by checking in on two popular children of the Arch and Gentoo families: Sabayon and Antergos. Then, in our News section, we discuss a new fork of Container Linux featuring commercial support and changes to the Solus software manager. We also talk about the OpenBSD, FreeBSD and the Clang compiler projects getting fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws. Plus we talk about Fedora getting an IoT edition, Manjaro's new ARM builds and fresh installation media from Debian. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about the growing size of the Linux kernel over time and whether its expansion is a cause for concern. In our Opinion Poll we check in to see how our readers feel about the resource usage of their distributions. Plus we are pleased to list the releases of the past week and share the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Sabayon and Antergos
- News: Kinvolk announces fork of Container, improvements to the Solus software manager, OpenBSD and Clang patch CPU bugs, Fedora's IoT edition, Manjaro builds for ARM devices, Debian updates install media
- Questions and answers: The size of the Linux kernel
- Released last week: KaOS 2018.03, siduction 18.2.0, SparkyLinux 5.3
- Torrent corner: Android-x86, Archman, HardenedBSD, KaOS, Neptune, Netrunner, OSMC, Plop, Robolinux, siduction, Sparky, Zenwalk
- Upcoming releases: Tails 3.6
- Opinion poll: The size of your distribution
- New distributions: TinyPaw-Linux
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (25MB) and MP3 (32MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Sabayon is a Gentoo-based distribution which is available in many desktop editions as well as a server edition. Sabayon strives to provide a working system out-of-the-box, saving the user a lot of time when it comes to configuring the operating system. Sabayon provides several categories of installation media. The project uses a rolling release model and the distribution's many editions are provided in Stable, Monthly and Daily snapshots. It has been about a year since the last Stable set of installation media was produced and so I decided to explore one of the monthly snapshots.
I began with the MATE edition of Sabayon's Monthly snapshot, a 2GB download which I confirmed downloaded properly using the distribution's checksums. Booting from the live media brought up a menu asking if we would like to start a live desktop environment, launch a text-based installer, start in safe mode or launch a live text console. I was surprised when taking the live desktop option booted the distribution to a text console and showed me a login prompt.
From the login prompt I was able to sign in as the root user without a password (I was unable to find another login username). I then tried running the startx command to launch a live copy of the MATE desktop, but this action did not go as planned. I ended up with a minimal graphical environment and a virtual terminal, but no desktop. This surprised me as past versions of Sabayon I have used did supply a working desktop environment on the installation media and the project's documentation suggests this should still be the case.
I then tried booting the Sabayon MATE media into a safe graphics mode and tried the text installation option. Both boot options brought me back to the text console and a login prompt. There was no clear way to get from there to running the installer.
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I next downloaded the LXQt edition of Sabayon's Monthly snapshot. The download for the LXQt flavour is 1.8GB in size. After verifying the media's checksum, I tried booting into the live desktop mode, the safe graphics mode and the text installer. All three options brought me to the same text console with a login prompt, just as the MATE edition had. This prevented me from exploring the live desktop and the system installer. It appears this inability to launch the live desktop affected all editions of the Sabayon Monthly snapshot.
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Giving up on Sabayon for the moment, I next turned my attention to Antergos, a rolling release, Arch-based distribution. Antergos takes a different approach to providing desktop flavours than Sabayon. Where Sabayon has many different installation images, one for each desktop flavour, Antergos offers just Minimal and Full install discs. The Antergos installer then provides us with an install time choice of which desktop to use.
I first tried downloading the Antergos torrent file, but the speed was quite slow, well under 100kB/s and I switched over to the direct download which provided me with speeds over 2MB/s. The full sized ISO is 1.9GB in size and booting from the provided media asks us if we'd like to boot from the local hard drive, start a live desktop environment or boot to a text console. Taking the desktop option loads the GNOME desktop.
Antergos 18.2 -- The Cnchi installer
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The live GNOME desktop has a panel placed at the top of the screen which holds the GNOME Activities menu, a clock and the system tray. There is a dock down the left side of the screen. The dock features launchers for commonly used applications and the system installer. The bottom icon on the dock opens a full screen grid of application launchers. I did not spend much time with the GNOME desktop, deciding to jump right into the installer.
Antergos uses a custom graphical installer called Cnchi. This installer updates itself when the live desktop first launches, insuring we always have the latest version of Cnchi. The installer, for the most part, is a lot like Ubuntu's Ubiquity installer or the distro-neutral Calamares installer. We are walked through selecting our preferred language, region of the world and time zone. We are asked to select which desktop environment we want to use with options including Cinnamon, Deepin, GNOME, KDE Plasma, MATE and Xfce. We can also go with the Openbox window manager or a text console with no graphical interface. Unfortunately we cannot select multiple desktops at install time in order to try out different environments. I decided to try the Deepin desktop.
The next screen of the installer asks us to customize which applications and features are added to Antergos. On this page we can choose to install such optional packages as the Chromium and Firefox web browsers, the OpenSSH service, Steam, PlayOnLinux, printing support, Bluetooth and accessibility packages. I kept things pretty light, installing Firefox, LibreOffice and a firewall manager. The installer then asks if we would like to sort the priority of package mirrors or let the system do it for us.
One of the last screens of the installer deals with disk partitioning. The installer offers us guided options where we can have LVM or ZFS volumes set up for us and choose whether our /home directory should be kept on its own volume. Alternatively we can use the manual partitioning approach which offers a very easy, streamlined approach to creating file systems. I found it worth noting that while the guided partitioning options include a ZFS option, the manual partitioning screen does not. Most other file systems can be accessed manually, including Btrfs, ext4, f2fs and XFS.
The first time I tried to set up Antergos, I went with the automated ZFS partitioning option as I am a big fan of ZFS snapshots. Unfortunately, halfway through the install process, Cnchi crashed and was unable to recover. I then went through the installer's steps again, taking the same desktop and package options, but using the ext4 file system. The second time through the installer completed successfully.
When I got Antergos installed, the system booted to a graphical login screen where a pop-up greeted me saying: "An error was detected in the current theme that could interfere with the system login process." We are then asked to select an action: load the default theme, load a fallback theme or cancel. Trying to take the fallback theme just caused the same error to appear over and over again. Taking the default theme made my screen go blank for a few seconds and then I was shown a clock I could click on to start the login process. The theme error returned each time I booted the system, so apparently the default theme does not stick across reboots.
Antergos 18.2 -- Running Deepin Music and the Deepin File Manager
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The first time I logged into my account a full screen message appeared which announced: "Welcome, system updated successfully. Current edition: rolling." Clicking an Enter button under the text completed the login process and brought me to the Deepin desktop. The update message did not return during later logins.
Once signed in, the Deepin desktop appeared with a dock at the bottom of the screen. The desktop is otherwise empty most of the time. One button on the dock opens a full screen display of application icons. Another button opens the Deepin settings and notification panel which is displayed down the right side of the screen. The desktop was responsive, stable and worked well in my test environments. For readers interested in the Deepin desktop's special features, I covered it in more detail in another review earlier this year.
Antergos 18.2 -- The Deepin application menu
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While playing with Antergos, I ran the distribution on two test systems. When run in a VirtualBox environment Antergos worked well and automatically integrated with the virtual environment. This allowed the distribution to make full use of my host computer's screen resolution. The distribution also performed well on my desktop computer, running quickly and smoothly. Antergos running Deepin without extra background services (such as Bluetooth or OpenSSH) used about 500MB of memory. My relatively minimal collection of add-on packages (Firefox, LibreOffice and GUFW) took up about 6.5GB of disk space.
Unless we choose to include a lot of add-on packages during the install process, Antergos offers a pretty small collection of applications. Deepin applications, such as Deepin Movie, Deepin Music, Deepin file Manager and the Deepin Terminal, are included. We also have access to a text editor, system monitor, calendar and image viewer. Network Manager is present to help us get on-line and the GNU Compiler Collection is present to help us build software. Antergos uses the systemd init implementation and runs on Linux 4.15, though newer kernels will become available through the distribution's rolling release model.
Antergos 18.2 -- Using LibreOffice and configuring the firewall
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Of course we have the option of installing additional applications and here I ran into an unusual quirk of the distribution. In the application menu there are three entries for managing software: Software Update (which launches Pamac), Software (which opens GNOME Software), and Add/Remove Software (which again opens Pamac). Either Pamac launcher would work, opening the package manager and giving us easy access to new packages, categories of software we can browse and new updates.
The GNOME Software application would launch, but it was unable to work with the Antergos repositories and all categories displayed in GNOME Software (and all searches) showed only blank screens. I am uncertain why GNOME Software was included, but it was useless on this system. As an alternative to both GNOME Software and Pamac we can use the Pacman command line package manager which is well known for its speed and short command line parameters.
Antergos 18.2 -- Pamac (foreground) and GNOME Software (in the background)
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For the most part, using Antergos went smoothly. I have been finding the Pamac package manager increasingly pleasant to use lately. I like its speed and the organization of files strikes a pretty good balance between making things easy to find and giving the user direct access to low-level packages.
I very much like the Deepin settings panel. The way it makes the settings options one big, long page where we can jump to a specific section is great. Especially early on this layout is excellent because I do not need to jump into a series of modules. I can simply scroll through everything and tweak any settings I want to adjust in one, quick browse through the settings. This makes customizing Deepin faster than customizing GNOME or KDE's Plasma.
Antergos 18.2 -- The Deepin settings panel
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My time with Antergos was not all great. I did run into situations where the window manager would lock up. This meant applications continued to work, but I could not move windows, click on anything or open new desktop programs. Killing the runaway window manager process from a terminal would fix the issue.
This was a rough week for me testing distributions and a reminder that while rolling release distributions can be useful and convenient for those who want to stay up to date with the latest software, periodic snapshots is not an ideal way to maintain quality control. The user ends up getting whatever packages are in the repository at the time the installation media is created, for better or worse. And, in this case, I ended up facing some serious bugs.
The two Sabayon Monthly images I tried were pretty much useless, failing to provide access to an installer or live desktop environment. The Antergos image was better, but still featured a number of issues, such as crashing when trying to use ZFS, displaying theme errors on the login screen and I ran into instability issues with the window manager. The inclusion of a non-functional copy of GNOME Software in the distribution may be a simple oversight, the result of the Deepin desktop package pulling in an extra software manager. However, that would suggest to me that the current version of the Deepin desktop hasn't been thoroughly tested by the Antergos community.
Both of these distributions have a lot to offer - lots of convenient desktops, up to date packages and, in theory at least, Antergos offers ZFS support out of the box. I especially like that Antergos lets us customize so much of our software up front. However, in practise, the monthly snapshots of both distributions had some flaws I think will turn away casually curious users.
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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
Antergos has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.1/10 from 261 review(s).
Have you used Antergos? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Kinvolk announces fork of Container, improvements to the Solus software manager, OpenBSD and Clang patch CPU bugs, Fedora's IoT edition, Manjaro builds for ARM devices
Container Linux is a minimal server distribution which includes specialized tools to keep the system up to date. Container Linux was recently acquired by Red Hat. Following the acquisition, a company called Kinvolk has announced they will be releasing a fork of Container Linux called Flatcar Linux. The Flatcar Linux website states: "We do not foresee Flatcar Linux significantly diverging from the upstream Container Linux project in the near-term. Changes mostly consist of a set of patches to remove trademarked terms. Ideally, this would continue to be the only changes. Flatcar Linux will only diverge from the upstream project if fundamental changes are made to it. In this respect, one can view Flatcar Linux as a guaranteer of the Container Linux project as it is today."
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The Solus team has announced changes are coming to the distribution's software manager. The overhaul to the software manager includes faster start times and more responsive controls. The interface is more flexible, allowing the user to navigate with mouse, keyboard or touch. "As a result of the redesign, the Software Center starts very quickly, and feels good to use. Users are not left waiting ages for content to appear, and can instead focus on discovering software to help them, rather than navigating arbitrary lists of packages. We've also been having discussions on improving the integration of the Third Party repository. Instead of a dedicated Third Party section, we'll be leveraging the upcoming Software Center's plugin-based architecture, making a Third Party repo plugin and enable Third Party items to be surfaced alongside native repo items throughout the browsing experience, so you could expect to see Google Chrome in the Web Browsers category, Slack and Skype for Linux in Instant Messaging, and so on. Like we'll be doing with snaps in a future release of the Software Center (post Solus 4), we'll visually differentiate Third Party items to communicate to the user where the software is coming from." Details on current and planned changes can be found in the project's news post.
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At the beginning of the year we discussed two significant flaws in commonly used CPUs which could cause malicious programs to steal data from other processes. These CPU bugs were commonly referred to as Meltdown and Spectre. While developers of popular operating systems such as Linux, Windows and macOS were quietly told about the CPU bugs and given time to work around them before news of the exploits went public, developers of other open source operating systems, like the BSDs, were not given this courtesy. This left BSD and compiler developers to scramble to catch up with fixes for these two classes of hardware flaws.
OpenBSD lead the pack in publishing patches to deal with the CPU bugs, and other projects have been quick to follow. FreeBSD is currently working on patches which should be available soon and the Clang compiler team has also included Spectre fixes in the compiler's 6.0.0 release.
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The Fedora project will soon be getting a new edition designed to work on Internet of Things (IoT) devices. IoT operating systems are generally lightweight, virtually always on-line and need to be both stable and able to handle updates without user interaction. According to this blog post, the new IoT branch will be an official edition of the Fedora project and be supported by its own Working Group. "So the Fedora Council has approved my proposal of IoT as a Council Objective. I did a presentation on my IoT proposal to the council a few weeks ago and we had an interesting and wide ranging discussion on IoT and what it means to Fedora. I was actually expecting IoT to be a Spin with a SIG to cover it but the Council decided it would be best to go the whole way and make it an Official Edition with a Working Group to back it! Amazing! One of the side effects of IoT being an accepted Objective is that the Objective Lead has a seat on the Council." Information on the IoT edition's mission and goals can be found on the Fedora wiki.
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The Manjaro Linux project is working towards providing ARM builds for single-board computers such as the Raspberry Pi. In a forum post titled Manjaro-ARM relaunch, one of the developers talked about what components are in place for Manjaro's ARM branch and what work is left to do: "I am proud to announce, that we are almost there. What we have ready now: Build server to build the Manjaro specific packages. Repo server to sync packages from Arch Linux ARM and putting our own in. A couple of mirrors doing daily syncs. A test minimal image of Manjaro-ARM 18.022 to get started. Only Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 are supported at the moment. A couple of package managers. Website is getting rebuilt. What we still need to really get going: Image/Edition maintainers, willing to produce install images for various devices. More package maintainers, mainly kernel maintainers. Image testers. We need testers with RPI 2/3s, Odroids and Beaglebones. More mirrors are always welcome. The mirror would need about 50GB of space. (repo is around 30GB now)."
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The Debian project is updating the distribution's installation media. While the new media does not feature a new version of Debian, it does offer packages containing bug fixes and security patches that have become available since the release of Debian 9 "Stretch". The new installation images carry the version number 9.4.0. A list of bug fixes and download links can be found in the project's announcement.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
The size of the Linux kernel
Watching-things-grow asks: With all the drivers being added to Linux, I wonder how big the kernel will get in the future. How much bloat does the kernel add?
DistroWatch answers: Relative to the hardware resources (disk space and memory) available on most modern computers, the Linux kernel, despite its many available drivers, is not very large. When measuring the size of the kernel we can mostly focus on two aspects: the size of the core kernel that gets loaded into memory, and the total size of the optional drivers which are only loaded into memory as needed. Most hardware support is provided through modules which are stored on our disk and only loaded when needed. This means our system's memory usage does not need to expand as the kernel gains additional hardware support as unused drivers are simply left on the disk.
So, how big is the Linux kernel? On my MX Linux system the kernel itself is about 4MB and there is about another 187MB of optional, loadable modules. In all, the whole kernel with all its optional hardware support takes up a little less than 200MB of disk space. On the minimal OviOS distribution the kernel's total on-disk size comes to about 62MB. Enso OS, which is built using Ubuntu packages, has a core kernel of about 7MB and 209MB of modules on the disk.
Around 216MB of disk space on the upper end may seem like a lot of storage for a kernel, but very little of those modules are loaded into memory when the kernel is running. Usually Linux just requires the core kernel and a small selection of modules to handle the video card, printer and other add-ons. If you are wondering just how much space your kernel takes up in memory you can run the following command to get a rough overview:
dmesg | grep Memory
The kernel's size in memory will likely be a little under 10MB. When we consider that even low-end laptops, modern smart phones and most single board computers (such as the Raspberry Pi) have at least 1,000MB of memory, we can see the kernel is not using a significant amount of space.
The kernel does grow over time. If we look back about 14 years, there was an informal poll on LinuxQuestions which shows the core Linux kernel tended to range from just under 1MB in size, up to about 2MB. So the kernel does gradually get larger over time, but most of that growth is in the optional modules which sit on disk and do not use up our system's memory. And all those optional modules, even on heavier distributions like Ubuntu, are still only using about 200MB of disk space.
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More answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
KaOS is an independent, rolling release distribution which focuses on providing polished desktop experience using KDE and Qt-based software. The latest snapshot of the project's installation media includes many rebuilt packages, KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS and includes the Falkon web browser. "A GCC 7.3.0, Glibc 2.26 and Binutils 2.30 based new toolchain has moved to all users. This new toolchain required a rather large rebuild of many packages. Since this also includes new systemd, Filesystem and Mkinitcpio. it is fair to say the whole base of your system will be replaced. Upstream has combined all the tiny, fully mature proto packages into one, Xorgproto package, which for KaOS users means replacing some twenty five proto packages with Xorgproto. There was also a move to Qt 5.10.1 and Plasma 5.12, thus it will be clear a new ISO is due. Falkon has replaced QupZilla as the default web browser. Falkon is a continuation of QupZilla, now developed on KDE development infrastructure." Further information cen be found in the project's release announcement.
Ferdinand Thommes has announced the release of siduction 18.2.0, a set of rolling-release distributions based on Debian's "unstable" branch and featuring the latest versions of a number of popular desktop environments: "Today we are proud to release siduction 2018.2.0 with the KDE, LXQt, GNOME, Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, LXDE, X.Org and noX flavours. The released images are a snapshot of Debian 'unstable' from 2018-03-04. They are enhanced with some useful packages and scripts, an installer based on Calamares and a custom-patched version of the Linux kernel 4.15.7, accompanied by X.Org Server 1.19.5 and systemd 237. KDE Plasma stands at version 5.12.2, while GNOME comes in at 3.26 with some packages still at 3.24. LXQt ships at 0.12.0 and Xfce at 4.12.4, while Cinnamon comes in at 3.4.6 and MATE at 1.20.0." Here are the full release notes.
SparkyLinux is a Debian-based distribution featuring many editions and desktop flavours. The project's latest release is SparkyLinux 5.3, which is a rolling release platform based on Debian's Testing branch. "Changes: Full system upgrade from Debian Testing repos as of March 7, 2018. Linux kernel 4.15.4 as default (4.15.8-sparky is available in Sparky 'unstable' repo). The default system installer, Calamares, updated up to version 3.1.12. Added packages to support Btrfs and XFS file systems. Cleaning out old files configs. Added new tool for cleaning your system from old files and configs: BleachBit. Missing language package installer (a part of APTus) has gotten GNOME, KDE and Qt language package installation option. gdebi has been removed; local-stored debs can be installed via APTus-> Install-> Install package. CLI edition has been re-configured; it uses sudo as default after installing it on a hard drive as well." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Neptune is a Linux distribution based on Debian's Stable branch. The project's latest release, Neptune 5.0 "Refresh", is based on Debian 9 Stretch and includes KDE's Plasma 5.12 LTS desktop. Version 4.14 of the Linux kernel has been backported to provide additional hardware support: "This version marks a new iteration within the Neptune universe. It switches its base to the current Debian Stable "Stretch" version and also changes slightly the way we will provide updates for Neptune. We will no longer strive to bring in more recent versions of Plasma, kernel or other software on our own. With Snaps, Flatpaks and AppImages being more and more popular and mature these days we strongly believe these are the ways to go if you want to try out bleeding edge software. We on the other hand strive to provide the most stable and best desktop user experience out there. This is why we decided you to provide the latest LTS release of Plasma version 5.12 together with KDE Applications 17.12 as well as KDE Frameworks 5.43. For good hardware support we provide Linux Kernel 4.14 from the Debian Stretch Backports repository. This ensures also up to date kernel updates in the future for improved security. " Further information and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
Neptune 5.0 -- Running the Plasma desktop
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Netrunner is a Debian-based Linux distribution featuring the KDE Plasma desktop. The project has launched a new version, Netrunner 18.03, which builds on Debian's Testing branch and includes the Plasma 5.12 LTS desktop, version 4.14 of the Linux kernel, LibreOffice 6 and Firefox 58. "Netrunner 18.03 ships the latest packages from Debian's Testing snapshot repository. From 18.03 onwards, we also decided to include even more packages directly from upstream, so it will be most compatible when enabling the continously updating testing repo. Compared to the previous 17.10 release, 18.03 comes with the following updates: KDE Plasma 5.12.2, KDE Frameworks 5.42, KDE Applications 17.08.3, Qt 5.9.2, Linux Kernel 4.14, Firefox Quantum 58.0.1, Thunderbird 52.6.0, LibreOffice 6.0.2" Additional details and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
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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: 767
- Total data uploaded: 18.3TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
The size of your distribution
In this week's Questions and Answers column we talked about the size of the Linux kernel and how it, like most software, grows in size over time. Now, we would like to find out how you feel about the size of your operating system. When you look at the amount of resources (disk space, memory, CPU usage) your operating system is consuming, do you think lean enough or is it too heavy for your needs and hardware?
You can see the results of our previous poll on KDE Plasma's best new features in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
The size of your distribution
|My OS is too heavy for my needs/hardware: ||268 (14%)|
| My OS is very lean and fast on my hardware: ||769 (40%)|
| My OS is about average for my hardware: ||892 (46%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- TinyPaw-Linux. TinyPaw-Linux is a penetration testing distribution for networking and wireless auditing. TinyPaw-Linux is based on Tiny Core Linux.
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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, 19 March 2018. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 188.8.131.52, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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BackBox Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution developed to perform penetration tests and security assessments. It is designed to be fast and easy to use. It provides a minimal yet complete desktop environment, thanks to its own software repositories, which are always updated to the latest stable versions of the most often used and best-known ethical hacking tools.