| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 765, 28 May 2018
Welcome to this year's 22nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Over the past month we have talked a good deal about popular distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora. These two distributions act as parent projects for several other distributions which add their own special twist on these operating systems. This week Joshua Allen Holm takes Pop!_OS, a customized version of Ubuntu developed by System76, for a test drive and reports on the distribution's special features. Our Opinion Poll this week talks about custom distributions developed by OEMs like System76. What do you think of hardware retailers bundling their own flavours of Linux with their equipment? Let us know your thoughts on custom OEM distributions in the comments. In our Tips and Tricks column we talk about two tools which are used to gather key information about the underlying operating system when trouble-shooting problems. Plus we talk about Haiku's effort to unify its ARM support and Solus taking back control of the Budgie desktop's development. We also share a link to a questions and answers thread with members of the KDE team. This past week we updated our Compare Packages page and we have the details below, along with the releases of the past week and the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we are pleased to welcome the Obarun distribution to our database. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Joshua Allen Holm)
Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS
Pop!_OS is an Ubuntu-based distribution from System76, a Colorado-based company that sells computers with Linux pre-installed. The first release of Pop!_OS, version 17.10, was interesting and provided a very nice experience, but mostly involved pulling what System76 felt was the best bits from various upstream sources and combining them into a cohesive whole. While Pop!_OS 17.10 was fairly conservative, Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS provides some major new features, some of which are quite interesting. For example: GRUB has been replaced with systemd-boot and a tool called kernelstub, and there is a recovery partition, so a USB flash drive is no longer needed to rescue a system (at least in theory, the recovery partition is still a work in progress).
Pop!_OS 18.04 -- The default GNOME desktop
(full image size: 323kB, resolution: 1366x768)
Like the previous release of Pop!_OS, there are two different ISOs, one for systems with Intel and AMD graphics and another for computers with NVIDIA graphics. For this review I downloaded the Intel/AMD image and copied it to a USB flash drive. It appears that the installation images get refreshed periodically as Pop!_OS specific packages get updated, with the current Intel/AMD image being 1.91GB and the current NVIDIA image is 2.07GB.
One of the major new features in Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS is the new installer. Gone is the customized Ubiquity used in Pop!_OS 17.10. In its place is a new installer that has been designed to fit in with the overall Pop!_OS theme. This installer treats all installations as OEM installations, which means that setting up a user account is handled on first boot, not during install. However, this new installer does provide a clean user interface with some nice graphics, and it defaults to setting up full-disk encryption. While I opted for the default disk partitioning, the installer does allow the user to customize their hard drive partitions, if they so desire.
Pop!_OS 18.04 -- The new system installer
(full image size: 199kB, resolution: 1366x768)
The second phase of the setup process began after I rebooted the computer. The first thing I was presented with was a text prompt to enter the password to decrypt my hard drive. Other than this text prompt there were no other text status notifications and no graphical boot splash screen. A recent update has added a boot splash screen with a graphical prompt for unlocking the hard drive. Even before the update to enable a graphical boot splash, the very spartan boot process looks very clean. The only oddity is the absolutely huge text size on the console (Terminus 16x32 is what the default settings are in /etc/default/console-setup), which is probably to make the console font readable on HiDPI displays, but on my non-HiDPI 1366x768 display it ends up looking comically large.
Once the very, very fast boot process was over, GNOME Initial Setup handled setting up various options like keyboard layout, privacy options, and setting up a new user. The process should be extremely familiar to anyone setting up Linux in the past several years. The only difference is when the steps take place. Instead of setting up everything in one step, Pop!_OS moves various configuration options and new user creation to first boot which makes it easier to set up a new computer for another user.
Pop!_OS's GNOME desktop
Aside from the custom fonts, theme, and icon set, Pop!_OS's GNOME desktop mostly sticks close to the GNOME default settings. There are a handful of tweaked settings and several extensions, but overall it is much closer to the standard GNOME experience than Ubuntu's GNOME. The extensions added in Pop!_OS provide minor enhancements, not major changes, unlike Ubuntu's more heavily customized GNOME with a dock instead of the standard dash. The new extensions in Pop!_OS 18.04 provide the ability to select various power profiles from the setting menu in the upper-right corner of the screen and a "Do not disturb" option in the notification area to silence notifications. There is also an extension that is supposed to fix the battery icon so it displays accurate charge levels, but the battery in my laptop is so old that I could not figure out if it works correctly.
Pop!_OS 18.04 -- Power management settings
(full image size: 342kB, resolution: 1366x768)
One of the things that sets Pop!_OS apart from Ubuntu is the default selection of software. Pop!_OS comes with Firefox and LibreOffice like most distributions, but opts for using Geary for e-mail and having GNOME Videos serve as default player for both videos and music. The rest of the applications are various GNOME and Pop!_OS-specific utilities. Overall, there are fewer desktop applications installed by default, but there are enough available to do most basic computer tasks. However, if a user wants to switch to applications other than the default, a small problem arises—uninstalling any of the default applications also removed the pop-desktop package, which is how new features and new default applications get pulled in (e.g., the boot splash screen mentioned above). If I attempt to remove Geary and replace it with a different e-mail program, pop-desktop also gets uninstalled, which would mean that my computer would not get all the new Pop!_OS features.
Pop!_OS 18.04 -- Default applications
(full image size: 474kB, resolution: 1366x768)
Of all the GNOME settings tweaked in Pop!_OS, the biggest ones are the various customized keyboard shortcuts. In many ways, they are very different from stock GNOME's shortcuts. I am honestly torn on this customization. On one hand, the shortcuts make sense and provide a logical workflow, but they are non-standard. If I used only Pop!_OS, it would not be a problem, but I regularly use GNOME on CentOS, Fedora, and other distributions. I always end up using the "wrong" shortcuts when I switch back and forth between GNOME implementations. I do not expect every desktop environment to behave the same way, but having Pop!_OS's GNOME use different shortcuts than standard GNOME is a bit like if Dell or HP computers had non-standard keyboard shortcuts in Windows that only worked on Windows as installed by that particular manufacture.
If the default selection of software is not enough, the Pop!_Shop application can be used to install additional applications. On the main screen there is a selection of curated applications that fit with System76's vision of Pop!_OS as a distribution for makers and computer scientists. GitHub's Atom editor, Microsoft's Visual Studio Code, Chromium Web Browser, Steam, Signal, Slack, Telegram, and Mattermost are some of the curated options. Other applications are grouped by category and come from the Ubuntu repositories, so if a package is available in Ubuntu, it is available in Pop!_OS. The only difference is that Pop!_OS does not enable snaps by default. Snapd can be installed, but it is not included in the default Pop!_OS packages.
Pop!_OS 18.04 -- Pop!_Shop
(full image size: 234kB, resolution: 1366x768)
Other programs for installing and managing packages included Eddy, a graphical application for installing Deb packages, and Repoman, a new program for managing repositories, which provides many of the same features as Software & Updates does in Ubuntu, but fits better with Pop!_OS and Pop!_Shop. And, of course, apt and dpkg are available on the command line.
Pop!_OS 18.04 -- The Repoman repository manager
(full image size: 128kB, resolution: 1366x768)
The recovery partition
The recovery partition is a very interesting new feature, but it is not really ready to use yet. A user asked about it recently in the Pop!_OS subreddit, and they were told that it was still being worked on. However, since the top bullet point in System76's Differences Between Pop!_OS and Ubuntu document is the recovery partition, I decided to take a look at it anyway to see how it works so far.
The recovery partition can be accessed by holding down the space bar when starting up the computer. This brings up a menu that lets the user boot the current kernel, the previous kernel version, or the recovery partition. Selecting the recovery partition booted a copy of the live ISO that had been installed into a 4GB partition on my hard drive. It booted fine and I had a functional live desktop, but that is just about it.
The first time I tried out the recovery partition was on a system that had a fully encrypted drive (i.e., the default Pop!_OS installation option). However, the installer, which automatically runs when the recovery mode starts, crashes when it gets to the point where it wants to start working with the hard drive partitions. I looked through the recovery.conf configuration file and found that the ROOT_UUID option was set to the UUID of the un-encrypted partition where Pop!_OS was installed, but the partition was not decrypted and mounted. Manually trying to decrypt and mount the encrypted partition was convoluted and not exactly user-friendly. Instead, I tried to reinstall Pop!_OS without full disk encryption to see if that worked better. It did, to a point. The installer no longer crashed when it got to the partitioning options, and I could tell the installer to install Pop!_OS, but that installation failed. When I rebooted my system, I could no longer boot into Pop!_OS because the recovery installer completely messed up everything.
Despite all the problems with the recovery mode, I think it was a good idea for System76 to include the recovery partition now with the intention of fixing it in the future. Adding a recovery partition needs to be done at install, so it is not something that can get added in several months after the distribution is released without making everyone reinstall. However, given the state that the recovery partition is in, it really should not have been the top bullet point in the document describing what makes Pop!_OS different from Ubuntu. The rest of the documentation for the recovery feature seems to be held back, but that bullet point is something that should have been removed.
Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS is not perfect, but it does offer several interesting new features. The tweaks to GNOME provide some nice usability enhancements without radically changing how the GNOME desktop works. Some of the other features, like moving away from using GRUB and adding a recovery partition, are very interesting and other distributions might wish to take note of them. Granted, at present, the recovery partition does not work, but the underlying idea is a good one. Hopefully, the recovery functionality will be fixed in the near future and improved in future Pop!_OS releases. If you are looking for a solid, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution for desktop use, Pop!_OS is certainly a good choice.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo Ideapad 100-15IBD laptop with the following specifications:
- Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Core i3-5020U CPU
- Storage: Seagate 500GB 5400 RPM hard drive
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8723BE 802.11n Wireless Network Adapter
- Display: Intel HD Graphics 5500
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Visitor supplied rating
Pop!_OS has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.8/10 from 161 review(s).
Have you used Pop!_OS? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie, KDE team answers questions
Haiku developers have been working on ARM hardware ports of their operating system for some time. The ARM ports, along with the project's m68k and PowerPC builds, are still considered experimental and are not presented in the same tier as Haiku's x86 builds. However, work is moving forward and an effort is being made to unify the ARM ports. A blog post on the Haiku website explains: "Up until recently, Haiku builds for ARM have targeted individual ARM boards. The compile process for ARM images required two things: an architecture, and a target board (such as the Raspberry Pi 2). This board setting adjusted a large number of defines throughout Haiku at compile time to set the operating system up for the target ARM device. The board selection also handled placing all the propriety bits (a lot of which have sketchy licensing) into the Haiku image during compile. Haiku would then have to distribute these files (sketchy licensing and all). Over the past few years, François Revol, Ithamar R. Adema, and others have worked to add Flat Device Tree (FDT) support to Haiku. FDTs enable operating systems to obtain core knowledge of the devices they run on by simply swapping one or more compiled binary files. These files describe critical things the operating system needs to know about the hardware they run on. Really important things such as what devices exist at what memory locations. (Think video frame buffers, serial ports, etc). In a series of cryptic commits in July 2017, I removed these board-centric build steps with grand plans of making testing (and running) Haiku on ARM devices easier." The Haiku post credits the Fedora ARM port for providing the inspiration for the new, unified approach.
* * * * *
The Budgie desktop environment began its life as a part of the larger Solus distribution. However, as Budgie's popularity grew, it was spun off as an independent project. This made Budgie a more distro-neutral project, open to contributions from other Linux distributions. Budgie is now returning to its original home, under the care of the Solus project. An update to Budgie's README file states: "This decision has been made after a long time having Budgie Desktop being a separate project, which to this date has only repeatedly harmed the Budgie Desktop project due to other projects specifically looking to add vendor specific value-add and ensuring it is never upstream within this project. As such the project is now officially back under the stewardship of Solus (original authors) and will be developed with our goals in mind, as it once was. It should also be observed that Budgie has been an incredibly quiet project for almost the entire duration of the project being split out from Solus. This will now be remedied as we merge back into Solus, and all previous decisions will now be re-evaluated (Qt? Wayland? GTK+4? etc)."
* * * * *
The KDE team has published a new set of goals for the Plasma desktop and its applications. Some of these goals involve providing better privacy protecting software while others are related to infrastructure and making it easier for new contributors to join the project. "The following goals were chosen for the next three to four years: Top notch usability and productivity for basic software - this is all about getting the little details right and making KDE's software a joy to use for everyone. Privacy software - here we focus on making sure KDE's software helps you protect your privacy where you need it and gives you the necessary control. Streamlined onboarding of new contributors - KDE's software is created by volunteers from all around the world. We want to put effort into making it easier to contribute and become a part of the community." Members of the KDE team took to Reddit this weekend to answer questions and discuss the new goals.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks
Gathering system information
I really like the Tips and Tricks articles, they're very helpful. I recently found lsb_release and thought it might be worth sharing with the DistroWatch community. Although some of the more seasoned Linux users are probably already aware of this command, many other readers could find this to be a useful little tool.
I'm running Xubuntu 16.04, since 16.04.2. For a while now, I wondered how to verify that my system is up to date when LTS release updates are issued, for example, from 16.04.3 to 16.04.4. Using inxi -F only shows "Distro: Ubuntu 16.04 xenial". So, after a bit of searching on the Internet, I found what I really wanted: lsb_release. (I did notice during my search there are pre-installed GUIs for this information, but I'd rather use the command line when possible.)
After reading the man page, I found running lsb_release -d -c is exactly what I wanted.
$ lsb_release -d -c
Description: Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS
* * * * *
As a regular reader, I notice there are usually a few different tips in the articles. If you like this idea, maybe you can also include some inxi tips since inxi is another useful tool for system information.
(Editor's note: For those unfamiliar with inxi, it is a command line tool which collects key pieces of system information which are useful for debugging technical problems. This information is formatted in a way that makes it suitable for copying & pasting into a forum post or IRC channel.)
Many times over the years I've seen, on forums, where a user needs help with a problem, and is asked to post the results of inxi -F. The output of that command includes the users mac address. So, by running inxi -Fz, the mac address is hidden from public view.
Here is a customization trick to change the font colour scheme:
inxi -c 95
Note: 95 is for a terminal, running in X - like xTerm. Running inxi -h will show a short list of choices, from 94 to 99, for different display types in the -c options.
* * * * *
More tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
Emmabuntüs is a desktop Linux distribution designed to be run on older computers. The project has released a new version based on Debian 9 Stretch featuring the Xfce desktop environment. The LXDE desktop can easily be installed as an alternative interface. "This Debian Edition 2-1.02 version includes the following fixes and enhancements: Based on Debian 9.4 Stretch. Addition of utilities to automatically detect and configure the printer devices. Addition of Shutter. Addition of Darktable, but only for the 64-bits version. Addition of the LXDE installation icon within the Xfce menu. Modification of the script handling the screen saver images in order to be able to turn it off. Update of the Wiki. Updates of HPLip 3.18.4, TurboPrint 2.45, Skype 8.20 (64-bits version only), VirtualBox-guest-dkms 5.2.10, MultiSystem 1.0423." Additional information on the new version can be found in the project's release announcement.
The openSUSE team has announced the release of openSUSE 15, a new major milestone for the distribution which allows for easier migration to SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE). The project's release announcement states: "openSUSE Leap 15 now allows migration to SLE, brings a new partitioner, integrates the Groupware Kopano, moves to Firewalld - and also comes distributed by Linode (for Cloud and infrastructure setups) and on high-end hardware like Tuxedo Laptops (other Cloud and hardware vendors will follow). On top of that, Leap 15 introduces a system role selection with classic 'server' or 'transactional server' role with transactional updates and a read-only root file system. This brings in all the benefits of atomic updates to the full scope of deployments, from the Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded devices to classical server and desktop roles. Apart from that, Leap 15 has been continually optimized for cloud usage scenarios as virtualization guest and at the same time offers a great variety of desktops, including KDE and GNOME and features the return of Live images for simple test-driving." The distribution's download page offers full DVD and net-install images. There are also live disc editions for KDE Plasma and GNOME.
openSUSE 15 -- Running the KDE Plasma desktop
(full image size: 435kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
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: 864
- Total data uploaded: 19.8TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
OEMs shipping a customized operating system
This week we shared a review of Pop!_OS, an Ubuntu-based distribution developed by System76. Pop!_OS is offered as a pre-installed option on System76's laptops and desktops. Having a custom distribution like this lets the OEM better control the user experience, tailoring the desktop and drivers to match their hardware.
We would like to know what our readers think of OEMs creating a customized distribution as opposed to using an available distribution like Fedora or Ubuntu. Is having a custom distribution an appealing option, or would you prefer to see OEMs sell their hardware with an existing flavour of Linux?
You can see the results of our previous poll on GNOME removing the ability to launch programs from Nautilus in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
OEMs shipping a customized operating system
|I prefer the custom distro option: ||221 (12%)|
| I prefer OEMs use a generic distro: ||571 (30%)|
| I prefer to have no OS pre-installed: ||784 (41%)|
| No preference: ||323 (17%)|
Improvements to the Compare Packages page
Our Compare Packages page provides a way for DistroWatch visitors to quickly compare the available packages between two distributions. If you want to know which project is more cutting edge, Manjaro Linux or Fedora's Rawhide branch, the Compare Packages page can show you.
This week we made some improvements to the comparison table. When a package in a distribution is up to date with its upstream stable version, the package's version number is displayed in green. Packages in a distribution which are development releases are shown in red with a broken-line border.
* * * * *
New projects added to database
Obarun is an Arch Linux based distribution featuring the S6 init software in place of systemd. Obarun provides a live disc featuring the JWM graphical interface. Utilities, such as pacopts, are included for working with Arch's repositories, including the Arch User Repository (AUR).
Obarun 2018.05 -- Running the JWM graphical interface
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1232x943 pixels)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- MODICIA OS. MODICIA OS is a desktop Linux distribution, based on Xubuntu. The operating system features an interface which should appear familiar to macOS users. Samba and WINE are pre-installed to make it easier to share resources over the network and run Windows applications.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 4 June 2018. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on the command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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BitKey is a Debian-based live distribution containing specialist utilities to perform highly secure air-gapped Bitcoin transactions. It contains a swiss army knife of handy Bitcoin tools that support a wide range of usage models, including a few very secure ones which would otherwise be difficult to perform. The system boots into one of the three available modes: "cold-offline" - for creating a wallet and signing transactions; "cold-online" - for watching the wallet and preparing transactions; "hot-online" - standard usage but less secure as the private keys are known to the computer which is connected to the internet. BitKey also provides tools for generating "brainwallets", for the most paranoid of Bitcoin users. The live CD provides a simple desktop based on the Metacity window manager with quick links to the Bitcoin tools and Chromium for web browsing.