| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 763, 14 May 2018
Welcome to this year's 20th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Last week we talked briefly about the launch of Fedora 28 and some of its new features. This week we begin with a review of Fedora, the distribution's Flatpak support and the GNOME 3.28 desktop environment in our Feature Story. In our News section we talk about Ubuntu Studio working around dependency conflicts and Debian supplying the foundation for GNU/Linux compatibility in Chrome OS. UBports is expected to be a supported operating system on next year's Librem 5 smart phone and we share more details on that combination below. We also report on SolydXK moving its website, forum and downloads to a new domain and Canonical removing malware from its Snapcraft repository. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about how to use a file manager to locate text inside files and Debian's multiple kernel ports. Plus we cover the releases of last week and share the torrents we are currently seeding. In this week's Opinion Poll we talk about the various approaches distributions are taking to improve package updates and ask which one suits your needs best. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Review: Fedora 28
- News: Ubuntu Studio works around dependency issue, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, details on UBports running on the Librem 5, SolydXK migrating its domain, Canonical purges malware from Snap repository
- Questions and answers: Finding text in files and Debian's many flavours
- Released last week: CentOS 7-1804, ArchLabs 2018.05, Linuxfx 9.0
- Torrent corner: Antergos, ArchLabs, CentOS, CRUX, GParted, Greenie, Karoshi, Linuxfx, Robolinux, Scientific, Sparky, Tails
- Opinion poll: Atomic updates versus live patching
- New distributions: irBSD
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Robert Rijkhoff)
Fedora 28 and GNOME 3.28
I should start my review with a disclaimer. I have been using Fedora with the GNOME desktop as my daily driver for about two years. For me, Fedora strikes the right balance between shipping the latest and greatest software and providing a stable operating system. Fedora is a test-bed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and a pioneer when it comes to technologies like Wayland, SELinux, Firewalld and, dare I say it, systemd. Equally important, all these technologies are thoroughly documented.
I like Fedora better than I like the GNOME desktop environment. The GNOME desktop on my main PC has been customised quite a bit and there are only two GNOME applications I use regularly: Files and GNOME Terminal. For this review I have tried to stick with the default GNOME desktop as much as possible. In last week's newsletter we had an opinion poll about the vanilla GNOME desktop as provided by Fedora vs. Ubuntu's customised GNOME experience, and I want to share some of my thoughts on that discussion in this review.
There are three distinct editions of Fedora 28: Workstation, Server and Atomic. This review is about the Workstation (i.e. desktop) edition, but I briefly want to mention the other flavours. The latest Server release is noteworthy because it introduces a feature called "modularity". Put simply, it is now possible to choose which version of certain applications you want to install. The Atomic edition is similar to Fedora Server but is more geared towards all things containers. I haven't tried either edition but I have heard people talking about them fondly. It seems Fedora has become a serious contender for servers, in particular if you are using Docker and Kubernetes. A year ago I would never have considered running, say, NextCloud on Fedora - if only because of its rapid release cycle - but now I am not so sure.
The latest release of the Workstation edition is interesting for a few reasons. Fedora 28 ships with the latest GNOME desktop (3.28) which has improved Thunderbolt support as one of its main features. For the first time it is also possible to install a number of proprietary software packages via Fedora's software centre. Other changes include improved battery life and the inclusion of VirtualBox Guest Editions (which makes it easier to run Fedora in VirtualBox).
Fedora Workstation is available for 32-bit and 64-bit architectures and the ISO is roughly 1.7GB in size. If you are running an older version of Fedora then you can upgrade your install via the software centre or the DNF package manager. The latest Fedora ships with version 4.17 of the Linux kernel (a release candidate - the latest stable kernel at the time of the release was 4.16.8) and the latest version of systemd (version 238).
Installation and first impressions
Fedora's Anaconda installer has seen some changes. The Btr file system is no longer available and the default file system is ext4 - I think this used to be XFS, but I could be wrong. User accounts are now created when you first boot into your system and there is no longer an option to set a root password. If you prefer using su rather than sudo, you can run "sudo su" in a terminal window and then "passwd root" to set a root password. Other than that Anaconda is still Anaconda: it works and it is quite fast, but the partitioning is scary.
Fedora 28 -- Partitioning with the Anaconda installer
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The first thing I noticed after I had created my user account was that the GNOME login screen didn't give me the option to use Xorg rather than Wayland. This worried me as there are a few things that don't work properly on Wayland yet. The Shutter screenshot application, for instance, is completely broken on Wayland. I can RDP to Windows machines in a Wayland session but there are small nuisances - using Alt-Tab to cycle through open applications on the remote desktop will cycle through applications on the local machine, for instance. It turns out that the option to choose which session to run is only disabled on the first boot - after rebooting my laptop the GNOME on Xorg session was available (GNOME Classic, a desktop session resembling GNOME 2, is available as well).
Fedora 28 -- A screenshot taken with Shutter in a Wayland session
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The GNOME experience
As already mentioned, Fedora ships with a largely vanilla GNOME desktop environment. The project obviously decides which applications are pre-installed and you get a Fedora-themed wallpaper. Other than that it is up to the user to customise their desktop. Fedora doesn't in any way prevent you from customising GNOME but it doesn't help you either. Applications such as GNOME Tweaks and Dconf Editor are not installed by default and you get just one pre-installed theme (Adwaita) and two wallpapers (you can get more wallpapers by installing the f28-backgrounds-extras-gnome package).
Almost all the pre-installed applications in Fedora 28 are GNOME apps. One good thing about GNOME applications is that they have got sensible names - it is obvious what applications such as Calendar, Contacts, Files, Terminal, Software, Maps, Photos and Videos are. Another common denominator is that the applications follow GNOME's design principles. There are no application menus and just a single toolbar with a few buttons. The aim is to provide a clean, consistent and distraction-free interface.
Fedora 28 -- GNOME's activities overview
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One of the few applications that doesn't follow GNOME's design principles is Evolution. The e-mail client has an abundance of toolbars, buttons and configuration options. It also includes functionality that is already provided by other GNOME applications, such as a calendar, task list and contacts manager. Evolution is, however, nicely integrated with the desktop environment. For instance, events you add to GNOME Calendar will show in Evolution's calendar, and visa versa.
I found that there is an e-mail client available which does follow GNOME's design principles: Geary. It looks like Geary is no longer maintained and although the interface is pretty, the application itself isn't very functional. For instance, the window with settings for e-mail accounts was too tall to fit on my screen and lacked scroll bars. As a result some settings were effectively inaccessible. Geary was also the only application that froze during my trial.
Whereas Geary isn't quite ready for prime time, Photos has replaced Shotwell. Like other GNOME applications, Photos has a straight forward, clean interface. The application automatically retrieves image files from your Pictures directory and displays them in a grid. Right-clicking on an image gives you the option to edit the selected photo or to add it to an album. Like most GNOME applications, Photos has zero customisation options. There is no option, for instance, to display the structure of your Pictures directory. If your photo collection is organised in directories you will have to right-click on each and every image and assign it to an album. Good luck with that if you have thousands of photos.
To illustrate the point, below are screen shots of Shotwell and Photos. In Shotwell, I can easily select all the photos in a directory named alms_houses. In Photos, I have no way of displaying the same collection of images, unless I move each individual photo to an album.
Fedora 28 -- Searching for photos of alms houses in Shotwell
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Fedora 28 -- Searching for photos of alms houses in GNOME Photos
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After exploring Photos a bit more I found that the application didn't display all my photos. For instance, Photos retrieved only five images of a directory containing 18 photos - the other 13 were missing. I wanted to compare the number of photos in my Pictures directory with the number of photos in Photos but alas, to keep the interface clean and simple Photos doesn't reveal the number of images the application is managing.
At this point I should mention Documents. As the name suggests, Documents is a document manager. Like Photos, it finds files of a certain type (such as PDFs and LibreOffice documents) and displays them in a grid, and it is possible to create collections of documents. I have made quite an effort in the past to use Documents. I used to even change the "title" and "keywords" tags in PDFs (using Exiftool) to get everything neatly organised. But then Documents failed me: new documents wouldn't be displayed and tags I had added or changed were suddenly ignored.
The default music player is Rhythmbox. Like Evolution, the application has a more traditional interface. To get a more GNOME-like experience I tried Music. As you might guess, Music tries to automagically retrieve music from the Music directory. At first, it didn't find any music files but after I had rebooted my laptop the application suddenly worked. Once Music was up and running I found the application to be very nice indeed. The application organises your music collection by album, song and artist and has the option to create playlists. That is all I need a music player to do, and in the case of Music I therefore appreciated the minimalist interface.
Fedora 28 -- GNOME Music
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The only non-GNOME applications in the latest Fedora are Firefox (version 59) and LibreOffice (version 6). GNOME does have its own web browser, called Web, but it is not pre-installed in Fedora. I tried Web and kept it as the default browser. It rendered web pages perfectly fine (Web uses the WebKit engine) and out of the box it blocks adverts and other nuisances, such as social media buttons designed to track you. Third party cookies are disabled by default and DuckDuckGo is the preferred search engine (Google and Bing are also available). It is nice to have a browser with sensible default settings. I was also pleased to find that Web can manage GNOME extensions without having to install an addon (in Firefox you need the GNOME Shell Integration addon).
Fedora 28 -- GNOME Web and Firefox
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A final application I want to mention is Boxes, which is GNOME's application for running virtual systems. Compared with VirtualBox the interface is very minimalist but it has all the options I need and a few nice extras. For instance, when you create a new virtual machine you can now install various Linux and BSD operating systems without having to hunt for the relevant ISO image - Boxes will download the ISO for you and then create the virtual machine. Among the available ISOs is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. To install RHEL you do need to create a Red Hat Developer account, however, which involves handing over an excessive amount of personal data and agreeing to ridiculously long terms and conditions.
Fedora 28 -- Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux in Boxes
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One of the headline features of Fedora 28 is the option to enable selected third party software repositories from within GNOME Software. Like many other distros, Fedora only includes free and open source software. To install various proprietary applications and codecs you can add third party repositories such as RPM Fusion via the command line. These third party repositories are provided by users and not endorsed or supported by the Fedora project.
When you open Software in Fedora 28 the new feature is clearly advertised and the repositories can be enabled with the click of a button. Alternatively, selecting "Software Repositories" from Software's menu will also let you enable (or disable) the new repositories. The third party software repositories are fairly empty at the moment: the only repos available are for Google Chrome (from Google's repository), PyCharm (from the Copr repos), NVIDIA graphics drivers and Steam (both from RPM Fusion).
Fedora 28 -- Managing software repositories in GNOME Software
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I tried the new feature by enabling the Google Chrome repository and found it didn't quite work. When I tried to install the Chrome browser via Software I got a message to say that I needed to enable the repo I had just enabled.
Fedora 28 -- Software asking if the Google Chrome repository should be enabled
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After double-checking that the repo was indeed enabled already I decided to hit the "Enable and Install" button. That resulted in an error: Software told me that Chrome couldn't be installed because the Google Chrome repo was already enabled. As with the Music application, the solution was "turning it off and on again" - after I had rebooted my laptop I could install Chrome.
Fedora 28 -- Software refusing to install Google Chrome
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In general, GNOME Software felt a little buggy. Installing and removing software from the default repositories worked fine but Software failed to notify me of available software updates. A week into my trial the Updates tab in Software still showed that my software was up to date. Running "dnf update", however, showed that there were in fact 231 updates waiting to be installed.
Fedora 28 -- Software up to date?
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As a final note on the repositories, Fedora includes the Linux Vendor Firmware repository. The repo provides firmware updates for your hardware, provided that the hardware vendor has made updates available to the excellent fwupd project. (Unfortunately, my Thinkpad X220 isn't on the list of supported devices).
Fedora's release announcement failed to mention Flatpak. The package format markets itself as "the future of application distribution" and has close ties with Fedora. I looked into Flatpak about a year ago and didn't find it all that useful. Flatpaks I installed worked fine but always use the Adwaita theme. Unless you use GNOME's default theme your Flatpak applications look rather out of place.
To install Flatpak applications you first need to add the FlatHub repository via the command line:
sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
Once that's done you can install Flatpak applications via Software. I installed Gradio (an application to find and listen to on-line radio stations). As I expected, Flatpak applications still don't blend in with any custom theme you might have installed. As I am quite happy with the legacy way of application distribution I decided to remove Gradio and the Flathub repository. To my surprise, though, that didn't work. I could uninstall Gradio but I couldn't get rid off the Flathub repository. When I tried removing the repo in Software I was told that I didn't have permission to do so (and I wasn't prompted for my password). Running the command
sudo flatpak remote-delete flathub
resulted in another error: "Can't remove remote 'flathub' with installed ref runtime/org.gnome.Platform/x86_64/3.26".
Fedora 28 -- The Gradio Flatpak using the Adwaita theme
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For this review I used Fedora Workstation with a vanilla GNOME desktop environment, and I tried to use native GNOME applications as much as possible. I found vanilla GNOME to be a mixed bag. There were many aspects I really liked but there also a few things that made me cringe.
Let's start with the positives. The documentation is quite good - it is well written and covers all the basics. I also quite like how GNOME handles notifications; they are displayed underneath the clock and clicking on the clock brings up a menu that shows recent notifications. The notification area is also used to display calendar appointments and what music is playing. At first I saw the notification area as an ugly, humongous monster but I grew to like it.
Most GNOME applications are pretty, and the absence of toolbars and buttons encouraged me to learn various keyboard shortcuts. After a few hours I no longer missed the minimise button on windows - using the Super-H shortcut is quicker and easier than clicking with the mouse on a minimise button. GNOME applications also use a pleasantly consistent work flow. For instance, applications such as Files, Music and Photos all give you the option to mark items as a "favourite", which in effect is a handy bookmarking system. Similarly, to perform a search in applications such as Files, Web and Software you simply start typing. It takes a little time to get used to but it soon becomes second nature. Having to use the Ctrl-F keyboard combination to do a search now feels a little slow.
That said, I don't buy into the "distraction-free" philosophy. The GNOME desktop certainly looks very clean - there is just one panel with a few items. Personally, though, I like to be able to open applications with the click of a button, and I like to see what applications I have got open at all times (whether via a dock or task bar). I can't get used to constantly opening the "Activities overview" to access applications, work spaces and the search menu. It feels like I am using a mobile phone desktop environment on a PC.
My main gripe with GNOME, though, are applications such as Photos. In Shotwell, I can instantly see how many photos I have. I can easily find images by browsing to the relevant directory. I can choose which directories photos are imported from, and if Shotwell's toolbars become too overwhelming I can simply hide them. GNOME Photos has stripped all these functions and assumes that I am happy to spend hours organising my photo collection in a new way, by adding them to albums. And then Photos doesn't even find images in the directory it is supposed to automatically retrieve images from.
Of course, this is my personal opinion, and it is more about GNOME than it is about Fedora. As I mentioned in the introduction, I like Fedora for its release cycle, package manager and because it is at the forefront of many new technologies. I work in a web hosting environment with many CentOS and CloudLinux servers, and Fedora seems a natural fit. Plus: GNOME can be tweaked.
As for Fedora itself (sans-GNOME), it seems Fedora 28 is another solid release. I upgraded one my PCs from version 27 to 28 without any issues. SELinux hasn't thrown any mysterious alerts at me yet. Updates are applied quickly and cleanly and just about all software I want to use is available. It is a pleasantly boring experience.
I also like where Fedora is going with the third party repositories. Fedora's project leader, Matthew Miller, recently talked on the Late Night Linux podcast about how Fedora is trying to find the right balance between software freedom and providing a functional system. He was unapologetic about the third party repos: "[...] being a theoretical, pure freedom distribution that doesn't actually work on anybody's hardware doesn't help anybody." I very much agree and hope Fedora will add more third party repositories. At the same time I would like to see better integration of Flatpak repositories and applications.
Finally, I should mention that there are various Fedora spins. If you don't like GNOME, you have the option to install Fedora with the KDE, Xfce, LXQt, LXDE, MATE, Cinnamon or Sugar on a Stick desktops.
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Hardware used for this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo Thinkpad X220 with the following specifications:
- Processor: Intel Core i3-2520M, 2.5GHz
- Memory: 8GB of RAM
- Wireless network adaptor: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205
- Wired network adaptor: Intel 82579M
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Visitor supplied rating
Fedora has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.4/10 from 226 review(s).
Have you used Fedora? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu Studio works around dependency issue, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, details on UBports running on the Librem 5, SolydXK migrating its domain
A new version of the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) was launched recently. The new version, 2.10, includes several improvements that artists will no doubt wish to use. However, library compatibility issues can make upgrading the GIMP package difficult, as the Ubuntu Studio team explains: "Unfortunately for our users that use MyPaint and GIMP, MyPaint (1.2) uses libmypaint 1.2. GIMP 2.10 uses libmypaint 1.3. The two libmypaint versions cannot currently be installed at the same time. This means that, until we devise a solution or MyPaint 1.3 is released (whichever comes first), MyPaint and GIMP 2.10 cannot be installed at the same time. This discrepancy is causing problems in the official Ubuntu repositories and in upstream Debian Testing." In these situations, a portable package format that isolates programs from the rest of the operating system is useful. There are Flatpak and Snap packages of GIMP 2.10 available for people who wish to upgrade and side-step library dependency issues.
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The ability to run GNU/Linux applications will soon be coming to the Chrome OS platform. Chrome OS is itself based on the Linux kernel, but is set up to run a different family of applications, preventing users from running traditionally packaged Linux programs. A write-up on Venture Beat reports: "Support for Linux apps means developers will finally be able to use a Google device to develop for Google's platforms, rather than having to depend on Windows, Mac, or Linux machines. And because Chrome OS doesn't just run Chrome OS-specific apps anymore, developers will be able to create, test, and run any Android or web app for phones, tablets, and laptops all on their Chromebooks. Without having to switch devices, you can run your favorite IDE - as long as there is a Debian Linux version (for the curious, Google is specifically using Debian Stretch here) - code in your favorite language and launch projects to Google Cloud with the command line."
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UBports is a community driven continuation of the Ubuntu Touch operating system for mobile devices. UBports has joined efforts with Purism to create a smart phone that runs fully open source software. The phone, called the Librem 5, is expected to launch in early 2019. As more details of the phone are revealed it seems UBports on the Librem 5 may complete Canonical's original vision of a convergent, entirely open device which can seamlessly act as both a mobile device and a desktop computer. The UBports blog says: "And what about convergence? Does the proposed Librem 5 support the dream of convergence? The answer is: yes! About midway down their store page, it says: 'Enabling the path for a true convergence device, capable to work as a phone, making video and audio calls, encrypted messaging, e-mail, web browser, that can also become a full desktop computer with an option for a compatible keyboard, mouse, and monitor. It can be a desktop computer and phone all-in-one.' This means that, with the successful production of the Librem 5 device, UBports' dream of true convergence will be able to live on in a brand new device as well as remain possible in the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 devices for those who have already purchased or wish to purchase used."
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The SolydXK website and forums are migrating from their current SolydXK.com domain to SolydXK.nl. A post on the project's blog reports: "Today I've started migrating the solydxk.com domain to Europe. This process can take a few days. It is possible that during this time the solydxk.com site will not be available. Do not worry! I'll probably be working feverishly to get everything in order. The following domains were already migrated: forums.solydxk.com can now be visited at forums.solydxk.nl; repository.solydxk.com is now provided by repository.solydxk.nl. Check the 'Sources.list' page on our forum for further information. downloads.solydxk.com is now downloads.solydxk.nl. Here you can download the ISOs even if the solydxk.com site is off-line."
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A collection of Snap packages have been identified which contain a hidden, cryptocurrency miner. The miner, which was bundled in Snaps such as 2048buntu, would run in the background when a Snap was activated. The Snaps were identified and removed over the weekend. The discovery of the hidden code has raised questions about the verification steps a package needs to go through before being published in the Snapcraft store.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Finding text in files and Debian's many flavours
Peeking-inside-files asks: One thing that bugs me is that I can't find a good file manager. With Windows Explorer, you can set the search engine to go search in the files, and this option is vital for me. I sometimes have to search in my folder to find lyrics that fit with the theme I've decided. So far, I've read a lot on the subject, and I've tried Caja, Konquest and Dolphin (the last two were supposed to be the best) and none of them support this feature. Do you know one that can do that kind of search?
DistroWatch answers: The Dolphin file manager has an option for finding text inside files, though the feature is located in an unusual place. In Dolphin, browse to the folder you want to search. Then select the Edit menu, select Find and then click the Content tab. Type the word (or words) you wish to locate and press Enter. A list of files in the current directory tree containing that text will be displayed.
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Puzzled-about-Debian-in-search-results asks: When I search for BSD-based operating systems on DistroWatch, Debian comes up as the first result. Why?
DistroWatch answers: While Debian is primarily known for being a Linux distribution, the project also maintains special editions which use kernels other than Linux. Debian has one flavour built around the Hurd kernel and another which runs on the FreeBSD kernel. While these flavours are not generally recommended for daily use, they are interesting branches of the Debian family tree.
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More answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Karanbir Singh has announced the release of CentOS 7-1804, the latest update in the CentOS 7 series. The new release is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 and includes several bug fixes. "I am pleased to announce the general availability of CentOS Linux 7 (1804) for across all architectures. Effectively immediately, this is the current release for CentOS Linux 7 and is tagged as 1804, derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 As always, read through the release notes - these notes contain important information about the release and details about some of the content inside the release from the CentOS QA team. These notes are updated constantly to include issues and incorporate feedback from the users." Further information on CentOS 7-1804 and its supported architectures can be found in the release announcement.
ArchLabs is an Arch Linux-based distribution featuring the Openbox window manager as the default graphical user interface. The project's latest release, ArchLabs 2018.05, removes LightDM and swaps out the deprecated gksu software in favour of pkexec. "LightDM has been completely removed, as a result you will be auto-logged in to your desktop. For those who prefer to use LightDM, you can reinstall this from AL-Hello. Openbox has been set as default but you can change this by editing your ~/.xinitrc and changing your session to your preferred WM/DE. All ArchLabs related packages have been refreshed. Jgmenu especially has had an update and is in fine form. We are really happy with jgmenu, it is developing into one of the best menu utilities out there for Linux. We have a new default wallpaper, created by Karl Schneider, considerable inspiration (as usual) comes from BunsenLabs and this time Manjaro and their new Openbox spin had an influence on the outcome as well. Neofetch has been removed and replaced with Al-Info, this can display an ASCII ArchLabs and your system information." Additional information can be found in the distribution's release announcement.
Linuxfx is a Brazillian distribution based on Ubuntu. The project's latest release, Linuxfx 9.0, is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and features the KDE Plasma 5.12 desktop environment. The project's latest release ships with WPS Office for working with documents in place of LibreOffice; multiple web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Tor Browser are available for browing the web; Skype and Thunderbird are installed for communicating; K3b is present for burning optical media; VLC and Deadbeef are providing for watching videos and listening to music; and TeamViewer for providing remote assistence. The Sentinel ctOS software and the embedded Soundfx audio processor are also included. Information on accessing these programs can be found in the release announcement (in Portuguese) along with additional information on Linuxfx 9.0.
Linuxfx 9.0 -- Running the KDE Plasma desktop
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Scientific Linux 7.5
Scientific Linux is a distribution built by re-compiling the source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and providing some additional packages and features. The project has announced an update to the distribution's 7.x series, Scientific Linux 7.5. The release announcement states: "Major differences from Scientific Linux 7.4: sl-release is updated to use the 7.5 repos; OpenAFS is now version 22.214.171.124; the kmod was published with the 7.5 security kernel; Anaconda crashes no longer offer to open a bugzilla with TUV; NetworkManager.i686 is no longer packaged for SL7. Known issues: If you have NetworkManager.i686 installed you must 'yum remove NetworkManager.i686' before upgrading. Applications which depend on exiv2-libs may need to be rebuilt. Users of ZFS On Linux should review."
Fredrik Rinnestam has announced the release of CRUX 3.4, a new stable version of the distribution's lightweight, x86-64 optimised Linux distribution designed for experienced Linux users: "We are happy to finally announce the release of CRUX 3.4. The toolchain has been updated to include glibc 2.27, GCC 7.3.0 and Binutils 2.29.1. CRUX 3.4 ships with a 4.14.40 installation kernel and X.Org 7.7 with X.Org Server 1.20.0. The ISO image is processed with isohybrid and is suitable for burning on a CD and putting on a USB drive. UEFI support is available during installation with dosfstools, efibootmgr and grub2-efi added to the ISO image. Important libraries have been updated to new major versions which are not ABI compatible with the old versions. We strongly advise against manually updating to CRUX 3.4 via ports, since these changes will temporarily break the system. Please note that there may still be packages that need updating which are not included on the ISO imgage. These packages will need to be updated/rebuilt manually." See the release announcement and release notes for further information.
SparkyLinux is a Debian-based distribution featuring three different development branches and multiple editions. The project has released a new update to its Stable branch, based on Debian 9 Stretch. "New live/install ISO images of SparkyLinux 4.8 'Tyche' are out. Sparky 4 is based on Debian stable line 'Stretch' and built around the Openbox window manager. Sparky 4.8 offers a fully featured operating system with a lightweight LXDE desktop environment; and minimal images of MinimalGUI (Openbox) and MinimalCLI (text mode) which lets you install the base system with a desktop of your choice with a minimal set of applications, via the Sparky Advanced Installer. Sparky 4.8 armhf offers a fully featured operating system for single board mini Raspberry Pi computers ; with the Openbox window manager as default; and a minimal, text mode CLI image to customize it as you like." A list of changes can be found in the project's release announcement.
Greenie Linux 18.04
Greenie Linux is a Slovak desktop distribution based on Ubuntu MATE and optimised for users in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The project's latest version is Greenie Linux 18.04. "The new version of the Greenie operating system is here. Greenie 18.04 is based on Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS. Kernel 4.15, LibreOffice 6, GIMP 2.10, MATE 1.20 and much more packages are included. A good selection of programs will allow beginners to use this system immediately. It includes the OpenTTD game (including expansion packs), terminal tools and aliases, add-on fonts or pre-installed WINE. As opposed to Ubuntu MATE, the system is cleared from language packs, fonts, or documentation in languages that are useless for users in Slovakia, Czech Republic or Poland." Further details can be found in the rest of the release announcement, which is written in Slovak (an English translation is included at the bottom of the page).
Greenie Linux 18.04 -- Running the MATE desktop
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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: 850
- Total data uploaded: 19.5TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Atomic updates versus live patching
In recent months we have seen mainstream Linux distributions move to make package upgrades better. In this case "better" can take different forms. Fedora and openSUSE have been working on atomic updates using off-line updates and file system snapshots, respectively. This will hopefully make updating either operating system more reliable. Meanwhile, Ubuntu is focusing on live kernel patching which will allow administrators to apply security updates without a reboot.
In this week's poll we would like to find out which approach our readers prefer. Do you like the improved reliability and atomic nature of Fedora's and openSUSE's approach? Do you like the idea of being able to keep a system running after applying kernel security updates as Canonical and Red Hat are offering? Let us know what your preferred update process looks like in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on distributions shipping vanilla GNOME versus a customized GNOME desktop in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Distributions added to waiting list
- irBSD. irBSD irBSD is a digital forensic suite based on the NetBSD operating system for cryptography, penetration testing, data recovery, reverse engineering, privacy and other security tasks with pkgin package management and Ratpoison as the default window manager. irBSD is configured for USB mediums and x86_64 platforms.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 21 May 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)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • snap malware and cryptomania (by vern on 2018-05-14 02:09:13 GMT from United States) |
"A collection of Snap packages have been identified which contain a hidden, cryptocurrency miner."
I'm afraid this will continue on some other level, as some or of the opinion that they can get ritch using some crypto technology.
2 • Against my better sense... (by OS2_user on 2018-05-14 02:38:57 GMT from United States)
Tried Scientific Linux 7.5 -- net install since otherwise requires double-layer DVD that I don't have.
On Dell Optiplex 330, dual-core, so ordinary nowadays that was given to me.
Slow booting, eventually to big icons, three having exclams for attention. -- Apparently in 529 megabytes is no Live CD or anything but installer! -- I'd not yet connected network (waiting to see what good or bad popped up); when did, no joy. "Help" doesn't work, apparently needs network, but doesn't even tell you that much! Reboot, thinking wasn't initialized. Still no network. OH. THEN down at bottom I notice "Network" -- not enabled yet not flagged for attention! You're supposed to know must be clicked ON...
Then "Context" works, but must select (it's got a suspicious "testing" too that probably okays spying). Still no source, so no chance of selecting software... NEEDS something with wacky name, possibly for me to actually type a long name in... Well, NO obvious way to proceed in this huge but dull adventure game, so QUIT!
Yes, it's too complex for me. Especially with zero help off-line.
Just glad didn't succeed in writing over Windows 7! That was a test too, and now think permanent! All had to do was put DVD in, partition, and click okay: even found a Dell background.
3 • mining (by Romane on 2018-05-14 02:45:57 GMT from Australia)
If it can be abused, in the current society we can be certain that someones (plural) will deliberately abuse it. Sadly, all this does is place suspicion also upon the honest developers and the honest packages. This issue with Snap packages reminds me of the issue with embedded malware and so on in Windows 3rd party installable applications.
It is all a matter of trust, and when trust is breached, not only the miscreant is affected, but also the genuine contributors to the open-source world. Most users will be like me - no programming skills, unable to audit the code, thus, what the source code will make the application do. It makes me very thankful for all the reliable developers out there who are trustworthy, and whose activities help me to retain at least a reasonable level of trust in what I run.
Once trustworthiness raises it head, regaining full trust is almost impossible - there will always remain some doubt.
But then, I don't use Snap or any of the other current efforts to make packages cross-compatible. But then, Debian (Buster) has pretty well everything I need in its standard repositories.
4 • @1 malware (by pengxuin on 2018-05-14 02:46:08 GMT from New Zealand)
I agree entirely, but sadly, not just Snaps or flatpaks.
Unfortunately PPA's are also at risk, by those that would poison the PPA via fair means or foul.
I have heard it rumored that crypto-miners are offering a reward to developers to poison packages for inclusion in distro's official repos, so by extension PPA's.
5 • Atomic/Transactional Updates (by Andy Figueroa on 2018-05-14 03:21:20 GMT from United States)
Not a poll I can vote in meaningfully. I would be very happy to have both features and be able to use either (or both) on a case-by-case basis.
6 • Updates (by cflow on 2018-05-14 05:58:37 GMT from United States)
To me, the best feature low level updates could have is making the restart button never mandatory ever again.
There has been an on-running joke on Windows, where they don't trust casual users to restart to apply security updates. Thus the OS forcefully restarts - regardless of the importance of tasks that the computer ran.
Making kernel updates and such live would make Linux more desirable in so many ways, from ever-running servers to the computer-illiterate.
7 • Fedora and GNOME (by aguador on 2018-05-14 07:23:18 GMT from Netherlands)
I appreciate the reviewer's comments on the GNOME desktop. For the life of me I do not understand how a desktop with a dumbed down interface continues to be the default for so many distros. It and the late but not lamented Unity are the only two DEs that I have refused to have on my machines, and that's a pity given the quality of many GNOME applications.
8 • Finding text in files (by aguador on 2018-05-14 07:52:39 GMT from Netherlands)
Double Commander allows searches inside files, including archived files. The option is located toward the bottom of the search window and allows setting a number of parameters. I used Dolphin in a KDE4 system, and it is a top notch FM, but DC is not only a competent FM, but one that is jack AND master of all trades!
9 • Finding text in files (by Richard on 2018-05-14 08:05:39 GMT from France)
I use Linux Mint MATE 18.3 with the default file manager caja.
The search tool allows you to search in any folder and provides an option
"contains the text" which works perfectly!
10 • Gnome...Fedora review (by OstroL on 2018-05-14 10:40:05 GMT from Poland)
"I like Fedora better than I like the GNOME desktop environment."
I like Ubuntu better than the Gnome DE, likewise.
11 • Fedora review (by kc1di on 2018-05-14 11:45:15 GMT from United States)
Good review. I try to lie Fedora and install each new edition but always come away with the feeling is very unfinished Tried both gnome and mate desktops. But still just don't feel at home.
Seems I'm always back to Mint Cinnamon and that just suits my needs with limited amount of fuss.
12 • poll (by Jordan on 2018-05-14 12:35:33 GMT from United States)
I could not muster the moxie to care about those choices. I run a distro and adhere to its update schema, whatever it is. My favorite distros are rolling releases and non-systemd.
13 • Snaps-cryptocurrency miner (by Pat on 2018-05-14 12:50:46 GMT from Canada)
A big criticism of snaps is around security issues and this is the realization of most peoples fears. When I read about the cryptocurrency miner I checked to see if snaps was install on my system (Kubuntu), fortunately it's not, however I understand that it's installed by default on Ubuntu.
14 • Chrome OS and Debian compatibility (by cykodrone on 2018-05-14 12:58:18 GMT from Canada)
Goggle is the new Microslop, swallow and destroy.
15 • Snaps... (by Kazan on 2018-05-14 13:14:59 GMT from United Kingdom)
Snaps are sort of closed source packages, so a backdoor can be included. For the moment, we know of cryptocurrency malicious scripts in them. No way to trust Cannonical.
16 • Finding text in files (by Luke on 2018-05-14 13:31:25 GMT from United States)
A question about finding text in files, and not even a single mention of grep, even as a side-note?
Son, I am disappoint. I prefer ag (the silver searcher) personally, though at work I routinely need to use grep as well.
Also, fuzzy matching/fuzzy searching is a bit trickier, but it may actually be a *better* solution for the asker. As far as I can tell, Windows search does not provide this. Sublime text can do it (though its fuzzy searching is sort of specialized for programming), and a quick bit of Googling shows there are command-line tools (tre-agrep, etc.) that do it, too.
For an operation that is vital to the asker, it is vital that we point out that recursively searching in files is not an operation that is tied to a file manager...indeed, there are far better tools available.
17 • Fedora (by Ron on 2018-05-14 13:37:49 GMT from United States)
I really enjoyed the review of Fedora/Vanilla Gnome. It is the first review I have enjoyed in years here on Distrowatch. Most reviews of Fedora do not look at it from the view of it being a work in progress and it not being for newbies. Seems like most reviews are geared to newbies. Please notice I said most, not all. I can usually see by who is doing the reviewing just how it is going to end. Ha. Fedora is cutting edge and as such it can be difficult to get around if you do not know what you are doing. I have learned over the years to use Fedy or Easylife or just to Google and find how to add repos to enable me to install what I want that is not provided with the install.
As far as Vanilla Gnome goes. I just fix it to look and operate the way I want it to. I like the dock on the bottom so I install extensions and use Tweaks to set up stuff the way I like it. I have been using Red Hat/Fedora since 2000 and just like it. I am not a computer geek so I google a lot and learn that way. I am 67 and I like physical books to learn from so I use my chromebook as a "book" and learn that way to make things my way. I like Fedora. It has its faults, then so does every other distro. I also have Manjaro on another laptop and it can be difficult sometimes too. So, I say once again, thank you for a well balanced review of Fedora!!! How refreshing.
18 • Review (by JonG on 2018-05-14 13:54:51 GMT from United States)
Good review, even though I'll probably never again install a big full blown OS with all the extra apps & bells & whistles & eye candy the developers think I want or I'll need. But that's why I use Linux, it's all about personal choice & convenience & performance & cost. Thanks.
19 • Finding text in files (by dick on 2018-05-14 14:03:57 GMT from Canada)
Perhaps give the program Recoll a try.
20 • Snaps vs APT (by vern on 2018-05-14 14:32:15 GMT from United States)
Snaps is one of the first things I uninstall in xubuntu. Not because of malware, but because it adds stuff that a normal install doesn't.
I did a snap install just to check the install size. Cancelled. Then did a normal apt install. The size difference was noticeable.
21 • Snaps (by I'maNottaHera on 2018-05-14 15:25:52 GMT from United States)
Nice idea - in theory. However reading about the cryptomining thing, just reassures me that Snaps still has some QA (Quality assurance) issues. Until QA is improved, I will not use it for anything.
22 • shotwell (by Tim Dowd on 2018-05-14 15:31:04 GMT from United States)
I'm concerned about one thing mentioned in the review- Is GNOME planning to discontinue supporting Shotwell?
I don't have any beef with other photo managers, but Shotwell's been a constant for me for a decade and I love it.
23 • @ 20 RE Snaps vs APT (by Carson on 2018-05-14 15:41:25 GMT from Canada)
This is because a snap has all its dependencies bundled with it, while some of the dependencies for something installed from the repos might already be on your system
24 • Live vs Reboot (by wally on 2018-05-14 15:48:58 GMT from United States)
Both systems make good sense for me depending on which system I'm updating.
For some, reboot is no problem, for others, it is involved enough that I hold off. In the second case, a dependable live update would be nice so I could always stay patched without having to reboot and rebuild my environment.
25 • Fedora, OSTree, Flatpak, etc. (by c00ter on 2018-05-14 16:01:20 GMT from United States)
I find the concepts of OSTree, Atomic updating, and Flatpak intriguing. Imagine an OS with Marley's ghosts--past, present, and future operating systems--ready to boot at a touch. Imagine installed and installable applications isolated from each other and an OS protected from them. Imagine the whole thing being handled by one GUI utility, GNOME Software. The whole concept is Container Linux writ small, small enough even for desktop users. Or large as a an enterprise. Flatpak application theming issues seem to pale in significance when considered in that light, @Jesse. Of course, who wants a fugly desktop? :D
26 • aucun son (by vauthier on 2018-05-14 16:08:32 GMT from France)
je vient d’installer Fedora 28 mais pas de son général pourtant avec pulse audio sa devrais fonctionner mes pas pour moi déjà avec Fedora 27 j'en avais déjà pas alors dur dur
27 • Fedora (by jeffrydada on 2018-05-14 16:36:42 GMT from United States)
I would also like to add that alongside of the optional desktop spins Fedora has "labs". Speciallized OSes for Graphic Design. Music Creation, Astronomy, Gaming, Robotics, Science, Security and Python Classroom. They also have an installable "everything" edition that allows you to pick your favorite DE and select from various package suites during the install. This is nice for those who like to pick and chose which apps get installed. You can get a very lean, fast system this way.
28 • Live updating and Gaming (by My name is what it is on 2018-05-14 18:59:33 GMT from Sweden)
No, I don't think so. Live updating can interfere with system performance during game play like with Minecraft. If you have a powerful computer, it can still affect gameplay. Live updating is dead for the gamer.
29 • Updates (by Mitch on 2018-05-14 19:43:14 GMT from United States)
Updating is a necessary tool in warding off those who would help themselves to our stuff for profit. Red Hat, and many others, have become viable by providing services and competent products. Reasonable safety...regardless of the OS or use of a system, we want to assume our data and personal info are reasonably safe. But...man will always attempt to profit at the expense of another, and in this year of a digital age, where there is less face to face, this only conjures more manipulation. Exposing Intels' cpu flaws, or unraveling hidden mining in a snap ferrets out offenders to the public. Regardless...again Linux admins and programmers are pressed to supply the safeguards we the public demand. This is sure to increase overhead and operating costs, where as, only the profitable and zealous to help endure the hardships for us, the end users! All updating, whether Atomic, Snapped or Flatpacked, regardless of a reboot, is done 100% on the part of the end user in good faith. Companies which violate this basic tenant will be held to much greater scrutiny in this digital age and the next to come. Where word travels at the speed of light there will be no place for the ferrets to hide! To the mighty programmers and coders - we salute and thank you! To the ferrets - there's more than one way to skin a ferret...
30 • I want live updates / @2 (by Fantomas on 2018-05-14 19:50:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
I voted; I want live updates (no rebooting)
@2 / The only thing about Scientific Linux I like is the Name. We wait, maybe one day..I like the Idea. Thank you.
31 • Fedora review og Gnome (by Gnome3 on 2018-05-14 22:19:55 GMT from Portugal)
This part here, is a bang in the nail:
"It feels like I am using a mobile phone desktop environment on a PC"
I've never used a smartphone, so I never felt like that :))))
32 • Atomic updates (by Stan on 2018-05-14 23:01:31 GMT from Netherlands)
Unless you are running a rack mounted server nobody should be afraid of reboots. Thus atomic updates is the best that you can get.
33 • Fedora review (by Ben on 2018-05-15 08:17:11 GMT from United Kingdom)
I've been using Fedora as my main OS for a couple of years and I don't have any of the problems you describe in this review, especially with Software and Flatpak.
Software: whenever there are updates, I receive a prompt from the system inviting me to update, even if I didn't open Software
Flatpak: I tried Flatpaks last year but gave up when noticing they didn't integrate with my custom theme. After Fedora 28 upgrade, I decided to give it a try again. I went on flathub website, clicked the button "Quick setup" which opened Software with a button to install the flathub repository, I didn't use any command line instruction for this. Then I went on installing 2 flatpaks: Skype and the GIMP. And tada!! To my surprise both of them used my custom theme and even had the 3 window buttons as I setup for my standard applications.
Flatpak now appears mature enough to be used as my default application format.
34 • freedom of choice in updates (by Dxvid on 2018-05-15 09:48:06 GMT from Sweden)
I want distro maintainers to give us freedom of choice, not decide for us how updates should be applied. OpenSUSE 15 will give us 2 choices. SUSE 15 will give us 3 choices. Certain machines will work better with one way of applying updates, other machines will work better with another way.
On a desktop, laptop or on servers running behind a load balancer, or running in a cluster atomic updates might be better as they are reliable and offer quick rollback possibility if something fails. While a very important central server might need the highest possible availability and minimize the number of reboots per year to maybe one reboot per year or once every second year.
35 • Atomic/Transactional (by Roy on 2018-05-15 20:00:21 GMT from United States)
I like to see what the change will do before I reboot. But then that reminds me of the commercial, "Would you like your heartburn now or later?" You can become used to breakage if you are a beta tester.
36 • @Jesse, flatpak erros (by Ricardo on 2018-05-16 04:06:48 GMT from Argentina)
$ sudo flatpak remote-delete flathub
Can't remove remote 'flathub' with installed ref runtime/org.gnome.Platform/x86_64/3.26
That's surely because flatpak apps (and I believe snaps also) use runtimes to avoid shipping the same libraries on each package.
For example, on my system (Slackware 14.2 64 bits) I have one flatpak installed as a user, which installed a couple of runtimes as dependencies:
$ flatpak list
To remove flathub, you might need to remove your installed runtimes first.
37 • Fedora + Google (by digiblooms on 2018-05-16 04:28:41 GMT from Australia)
* Comprehensive Fedora review. A quality distro, that can sometimes detect hardware that other distros can't. Boxes is especially useful - a distrohopper's besta-testa, if you like. Don't care for Gnome though, it's too cumbersome.
* The way things are going, Google will have the second most number of OS's compared to Linux - with Android OS, Chrome OS, Fuchsia OS, Project Vault OS (defunct?), and probably more in the future.
38 • Fedora and Gnome (by Andy on 2018-05-16 15:00:43 GMT from United States)
@7 - I could not agree more. Having tried Gnome 3.xx numerous times I find that it takes more time to simply set up all my windows and various apps on multiple desktops than it's worth. Efficient? Please... Try dragging and dropping a file from nautilus into a browser window on a small laptop and tell me how that's a step in the right direction.
I return again and again to KDE, which vastly speeds up my workflow and looks every bit as nice as Gnome. How are the big distributions not doing the same? Another nice point about KDE is its flexibility. One could set it up to be every bit as inaccessible and wonky as Gnome if preferred.
39 • Snaps (by Justin on 2018-05-16 16:56:34 GMT from United States)
@29: You raised an interesting question for me. In a world of fake news and misdirection, I suppose it's possible that one might intentionally poison competing formats to discredit them and discourage their use. Breaking down trust breaks down society--nothing functions in the absence of trust. The best we can do is to verify where we can (or build in systems that force accountability) and don't become breakers of trust ourselves.
40 • @38 (by Angel on 2018-05-17 00:32:22 GMT from Philippines)
Ok. I just dragged and dropped a file to a browser window? What's the problem? KDE can be a beautiful DE. Recently I installed Manjaro, KaOS, Kubuntu and Bluestar. With the Latte dock, I set up KDE to look and work as I want. Still too many bells, whistles and complexities. I chose to use Gnome with Plank. My choice. I like its simplicity. Should I start feeling deprived of all the adjusting and messing around, I can always install Cinnamon or Mate, Still, KDE is a fine DE. Enjoy!
41 • @40 (by Andy on 2018-05-17 11:23:09 GMT from United States)
I should have been more clear. I believe Gnome enthusiasts suggest setting up different apps on different virtual desktops. For example, on the cheap 11" laptop I travel with, I usually have Firefox full-screen on desktop 1, a few nautilus windows and maybe a terminal on desktop 2, and libreoffice writer full screen on desktop 3. From that point, dragging a file from nautilus into firefox is quite a bit more time-consuming than it is on a traditional desktop (KDE, Cinnamon, MATE, etc.). From Firefox, hit super button. Click desktop 2. Select relevant nautilus window and drag to desktop 1. Click super button. Drag and drop file. Click super button. Drag nautilus window back down to desktop 2. Click desktop 1. Click super window. I know there are keyboard shortcuts for much/all of this, but still doesn't that seem like a lot of extra work (see below)?
In KDE, I also have Firefox maximized. Click dolphin in panel to restore, drag/drop file, click minimize on dolphin. Done. Maybe there's a better way? I have to use OneDrive for work, so I am *constantly* dragging and dropping files...
My point is that KDE, out of the box, works the way most people expect. Gnome seems to now be the DE that requires adjusting, plugins, extensions just to get it to the way that people work. Obviously not a new complaint. I just don't get why it seems so popular.
42 • @40 (by Darryl on 2018-05-17 13:38:34 GMT from United States)
First off, I'm a Linux noob.
I've tried MATE, KDE, and Gnome desktops. MATE is ok, KDE is easy and most like Windows IMHO and Gnome just plain sucks.
Gnome is just too aggravating for someone like myself trying to dump Windows.
Most people who use computers aren't geeks. Gnome seems to be designed from the ground up for the super geek who enjoys memorizing a thousand key combos to get anything done in a timely fashion. Another annoyance is the stupid tablet interface. I don't need huge icons on a 26" desktop monitor.
The one thing Microsoft and Apple got right is they designed their systems to be usable by the computer illiterate. You know... normal people.
Linux has so much wasted potential because the creators of desktop environments forget that.
43 • Manjaro slow update server speed. (by fanfi777 on 2018-05-17 13:43:41 GMT from United States)
Right now I am testing and updating Manjaro here in the US. 870M will take about 807 min according to stats at the bottom of the update page. Mind you ,I am on a fast speed internet. With such a lousy stat I find myself wondering how Manjaro got so high on the totem pole.
44 • @41 (by Angel on 2018-05-17 13:57:26 GMT from Philippines)
Seems to me that you are making it way too difficult. One app per workspace is not mandatory nor useful many cases. With Firefox and Nautilus open, Alt+Tab to focus Nautilus and drag all you want. Or Super for Overview, click on Nautilus to focus, same again. Or you can use a dock, as I do, or the dash to dock extension, and then you can click same as if on a panel. Ubuntu's version already gives you a dock on the side which can also be set to hide to save screen space.
Yes, I do some tweaking, but I would do the same in KDE. If you look at the latest release of Bluestar Linux, that's more to my liking. My point is that if you like KDE, by all means use it and be happy. If that were my only choice, I'd use it happily too, but I prefer something else, and just because one prefers this over that is no reason to try to demean that which you don't use.
People complain about Gnome forcing you to do this or that. Forcing? Really? These developers work on their dream desktop, and they offer it for free (as in beer). Offer, not force. I like it. Others don't. Okay with me. As the old saying went, different strokes for different folks.
45 • @43 (by Sam on 2018-05-17 15:15:16 GMT from Philippines)
Hi. Just like most linux distributions, Manjaro allows you to tweak your mirrorlist to get the best download / update speed possible relative to your location. You can do so either by using the GUI package manager (pamac or octopi) or by using the command-line (pacman-mirrors). If you prefer to do it manually, you can also edit /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist by hand using a suitable text editor of your choice to prioritize the download mirrors nearest to your location.
46 • @42 (by Angel on 2018-05-17 15:37:13 GMT from Philippines)
And someone came to your house and told you to use Gnome or else? Darryl, if you use Windows, or Macs, (I do use Windows too) you get one choice of desktop. You can tweak a few things, but not many. Linux offers you many choices. You don't like one, use another. Seems to me that you are not looking for Linux, you are looking for a Windows Wannabe. You want it to be like Windows, go ahead, but don't tell me my choice sucks just because you aren't capable of using it. I'm 72 years old and still willing to try new and different things. Don't know how old you are, but if you must be spoon fed, that's your choice.
47 • @43 (by vern on 2018-05-17 18:20:54 GMT from United States)
How come you got so far behind in your updates, if you needed 807MB.
I'm unsure if that's updates or if your downloading the current ISO.
FYI. My manjaro updates have always been fast. I'm also in the US.
48 • PC desktops (by M.Z. on 2018-05-17 22:38:46 GMT from United States)
Why be so aggressive toward someone who tried your preferred desktop & thinks it sucks? It seems that these Linux DEs are out there wanting to be tried by any & all potential Linux users, doesn't it?
It just so happens that most traditional PC users are likely to find stock Gnome to be be a very bad option. The UI is meant for people like you that like to do things differently & when other people try it & hate it they may well say so. You don't win any converts by attacking people for their poor opinion of Gnome. You just make them hate Gnome more.
"The one thing Microsoft and Apple got right is they designed their systems to be usable by the computer illiterate. ... Linux has so much wasted potential because the creators of desktop environments forget that."
I think it's well worth pointing out that much of the software in Gnome is reused to great effect in Cinnamon. I agree that Gnome has become fairly terrible since version 3 came out: however, Cinnamon uses Gnome software quite heavily & even gives back some improvements to the upstream project while producing an excellent traditional PC desktop.
Anyway, the point is that while Gnome 3 is a total waste for regular desktop users, a good deal of it does get reused elsewhere. If Gnome 3 were closed source like Win & Mac, then it would be a total waste & truly worthless junk for most potential Linux users. Luckily it is GPL licensed, which makes it 'Free & Open Source Software' & that makes the code available for reuse in other projects like Cinnamon. Personally I find Cinnamon, KDE & XFCE too all be really good options for those who like a traditional PC desktop. I think there are plenty of good options, though I'd steer people clear of Gnome unless they said they wanted something fairly different from a regular desktop.
49 • Gnome (by lupus on 2018-05-18 06:41:35 GMT from Germany)
When people turn away from Microsoft in order to find something different, I'm glad there is gnome cause it's different. While it suits my needs perfectly it is to heavy on the older hardware which was one of the main reasons to turn away from Microsoft in the firstplace. KDE tries so hard to become Windows that only the hardened Desktop tinkerers with newer Hardware seem to like it. I simply hate it cause I wanted something fresh, a new approach. And that's the reason why Linux does make sense. You try out new things, learn so much in doing so. At the moment I'm with the deepin desktop cause it does so many things right from the start, same with budgie which I still like even against the Solus Software obstacles.
I like it when a DE is usable right from the getgo if it's too slow or I will have to make more than say 3 alterations to work for me, I'm goint to be looking in another direction but certainly never again going closed source.
50 • @48 (by Angel on 2018-05-18 07:26:58 GMT from Philippines)
There is a difference between trying something like a desktop and declaring it sucks. The first is a personal preference, the second is a put-down of the product and those who offer it . "I don't like it so therefore it must suck since I am sole judge of all that is good.."
I am not an evangelist seeking converts. I don't give a damn who uses what DE or not, or whether they use Linux or not for that matter.
51 • Correction Re: 50 (by Angel on 2018-05-18 10:28:12 GMT from Philippines)
Difference between trying and not liking and declaring it sucks.
52 • @49 (by Pat on 2018-05-18 12:14:15 GMT from Canada)
"KDE tries so hard to become Windows that only the hardened Desktop tinkerers with newer Hardware seem to like it."
I have tried Gnome and had to spend hours "tinkering" with it, not knowing anything about tweak tools or extensions, I had to figure this stuff out, trying different extensions to make it usable.
With KDE I opened up the systems settings and checked or unchecked a few boxes and within 10 minutes I was up and running.
As far as newer hardware, my computer is a 8yr old generic Acer I got at Walmart, KDE idles at 400M of ram while Gnome is sluggish consuming over 1G of ram at idle.
53 • MATE (by Tim Dowd on 2018-05-18 16:10:58 GMT from United States)
I don't have much to contribute to this discussion- I generally agree with the sentiment that a strength of Linux is that we have desktop choice and that most of this is preference.
That said, I don't understand why MATE doesn't get more highly praised on the list of desktops. I can't think of a single fault it has right now- it's full featured, based on GTK 3, highly customizable. I can't figure out why it's not the default on more distributions. It's the closest to "just works" I've ever found in a desktop.
54 • Opinion Poll (by on 2018-05-18 20:07:04 GMT from France)
Atomic updates versus live patching. Can we stick to this weeks Opinion Poll? No disrespect, there is very smart people commenting on this forum, and I always enjoy reading the content, but this Gnome talk is starting getting somehow aggravating, leading no where. Do not want to step on anybody s feet, but this Gnome talk is boring.
55 • Implied Opinion (by M.Z. on 2018-05-18 22:08:17 GMT from United States)
"There is a difference between trying something like a desktop and declaring it sucks. The first is a personal preference..."
#42 said he tried a few DE, used IMHO to describe one, & then declared that Gnome sucked in a way that implied it was also an _Opinion_. You seem to take offence at others opinions easily. I also have bad feelings about Gnome & hear plenty of slams against my preferred KDE: however I try not to take offence. I do try to correct misrepresentations like #52 did, but that's it. Try not to take offence at an opinion, it makes life happier for everyone.
56 • Gnome, KDE, & Rust (by Andi from Indonesia on 2018-05-20 09:15:46 GMT from Indonesia)
I used to a long time original gnome fan and dislike windowish KDE trinity really much, back when i was a collage student. When modern gnome came, i make shift to xfce then recently accidentally to KDE plasma, then i surprised how light, easy, modern and professional it is, It's a perfect fit to me. I keep on trying to love new gnome but i cant, i cant go back to Mate either.
I want to see rust's operating system in the database or any review.
Number of Comments: 56
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|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
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|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
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|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
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|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
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|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
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|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
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