| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 789, 12 November 2018
Welcome to this year's 46th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
This past week the Fedora project celebrated its 15th birthday, an event which comes shortly after the release of Fedora 29. To mark this milestone in the project's development we are focusing on the Red Hat sponsored distribution with two reviews of Fedora 29, one covering the Workstation edition and another covering the Silverblue edition. Read on to find out what Joshua Allen Holm and Robert Rijkhoff think of Fedora's latest release. In our News section we link to Fedora's very first release announcement and a list of its new-at-the-time features. Plus we cover Haiku's infrastructure outage, updated media from Debian, and report on FreeBSD 10.4 reaching the end of its supported life. We are also pleased to bring you a list of last week's releases and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Fedora 29 Workstation
- News: Fedora turns 15, Haiku experiences server outage, Debian releases updated media, FreeBSD 10.4 reaches its end of life
- Technology review: Fedora 29 Silverblue
- Released last week: Neptune 5.6, ReactOS 0.4.10, Oracle 7.6
- Torrent corner: Antergos, Archman, AUSTRUMI, CAINE, Debian, HardenedBSD, Kodachi, Neptune, Omarine, ReactOS, SmartOS, SparkyLinux
- Upcoming releases: FreeBSD 12.0-RC1
- Opinion poll: Fedora Silverblue
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Joshua Allen Holm)
Fedora 29 Workstation
Every release of Fedora has a large number of installation images to choose from. Fedora 29 is no exception. The three core options are Workstation, Server, and Atomic, but there are also spins with various alternate desktop environments, labs that focus on specific tasks, and Silverblue, which is a variant of the Workstation version that applies the principles behind the Atomic version to a desktop-focused release. (You can read more about the Silverblue edition in our Technology Review.) All of these releases are built from the same packages, though Atomic and Silverblue use rpm-ostree in place of more traditional package management tools.
Each different flavor of Fedora has its own strengths and weaknesses. Some are focused on the desktop and others designed for servers. For this review I will only be looking at the Workstation version, which features the GNOME desktop environment and a small selection of applications. Some of what I will cover will be applicable to the other spins and their respective desktop environments, but I will focus mostly on Fedora Workstation’s GNOME-based user experience.
Fedora 29 -- The default GNOME desktop
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
I began by downloading the 1.9GB Workstation ISO and copying it to a USB flash drive. I booted my computer from the flash drive and quickly had a live desktop that presented me with the option to install or try Fedora. I opted for the try option and looked around the live desktop for a while before installing. What I found was pretty typical for a recent Fedora Workstation release. There were newer versions of the standard applications, but no major surprises, so I clicked on the installer in the dash and started the installation process.
Installing Fedora 29 Workstation
Installing Fedora is done using the Anaconda installer. The experience should be familiar to anyone who has installed a recent release of Fedora. The process is handled though a series of tasks that can be completed in any order before the installer starts copying files to the hard drive.
Fedora 29 -- The Anaconda installer
(full image size: 130kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Fedora 29 Workstation cuts the number of tasks down to just three: keyboard layout, date & time, and selecting the target drive to install Fedora on. Networking is handled through the live desktop, not the installer. The installation process is streamlined, but perhaps too streamlined.
Fedora 29 -- New user creation
(full image size: 29kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
In addition to reducing the number of install tasks, the Fedora Workstation installation process handled new user creation during first boot. Instead of asking the user to create a root password and create a new user while Fedora is being installed to the hard drive, the GNOME Initial Setup wizard handles creating a new user account. The account created at this stage will be added to the wheel group, so it has sudo privileges, but the root account is not enabled by default. Personally, I am okay with the way Fedora 29 Workstation creates user accounts, but other people might want to create a root password during installation, instead of having to run "sudo passwd ..." later.
Fedora 29 -- Banner Advertisement in Anaconda
(full image size: 220kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Both parts of the install process do their job just fine, but in Anaconda every single banner advertising something about Fedora was cut off or distorted in some way. In the screenshot above, the Install LibreOffice banner has words cut off on the right side. All the images in the loop have the same issue. It does not impact the functionality of the install process, but it does not leave a good first impression. This issue has been around for at least a few Fedora versions now, and while not mission critical, it really does need to be fixed.
GNOME desktop and default applications
Fedora 29 Workstation uses the standard GNOME 3 desktop and a typical selection of popular applications. Firefox is the included web browser, Evolution is the e-mail program, and LibreOffice (except for LibreOffice Base) is the office suite. Rhythmbox is the default music player, GNOME Videos the default video player, and GNOME Photos is the default photo application. The other applications are the various GNOME utilities. The selection of default software is almost the same as any other modern, GNOME-based distribution.
Fedora 29 -- Default applications
(full image size: 1.0MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
As is typical for Fedora, Fedora 29 Workstation features the latest releases of applications, which usually means more features and polish, but this time it also comes with bugs. I have experienced more issues with the release version of Fedora 29 Workstation than I have with beta versions of earlier Fedora versions. One of the packages I always install is texlive-scheme-full, but that was not installable because of dependency issues until about a week after Fedora 29 was released. GNOME Videos (a.k.a. Totem) cannot play video full-screen on Wayland. Full-screen video playback works okay (there is some minor tearing) on X, but is unusable on Wayland. I have been using GNOME Videos on Wayland for the past several Fedora releases without any problems, but now I have to switch to using the GNOME on Xorg session, play videos in a window, or use a different video player.
Fedora 29 -- Playing fullscreen video in Totem
(full image size: 204kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Installing additional software
GNOME Software is the GUI application for installing additional software and installing updates. It works well enough, but there are some issues I would very much like to see fixed in future versions. One of the most annoying things is all the double entries for applications available from multiple sources (i.e. standard RPM packages and Flatpaks). Thankfully, this is already on the roadmap for a future release of GNOME Software, but, for now, it is an annoying issue. Another thing I would really like to see is more granular control over Flatpaks. Currently, it is either all or none when listing Flatpak applications. There is no way to remove proprietary applications from the results. Fedora has an option to enable certain third-party repositories to install certain proprietary software (e.g. Google Chrome and Steam) but the user has to actively choose to enable those repositories. It would be nice if the same enable/disable proprietary option could be extended to Flatpak. The individual Flatpak applications from Flathub show their license status, so filtering out non-open source software should be possible.
Fedora 29 -- GNOME Software showing developer tools
(full image size: 163kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
GNOME Software only displays GUI applications that are packaged with the appropriate metadata, so sometimes it is necessary to the use the command line to install additional software. This is handled with the dnf command, which provides a nice set of options for managing packages. Searching for packages, installing, upgrading, and more are all pretty straightforward using dnf. However, it would be nice to have a default GUI method for installing things like programming languages and command line utilities.
Working with modules
One of the new things in Fedora 29 Workstation is the Modularity feature. Modules allow users to select from different versions of certain packages. For example, Fedora 29 ships with Perl 5.28, but using modules it is possible to install Perl 5.24 or Perl 5.26 instead. In theory, this is a great feature, and something very useful on the server side and in containers, but it does not always work so well on desktop systems. When I tried to install Perl 5.24 with the "dnf module install perl:5.24/default" command, dnf complained about needing to use the --allowerasing or --skip-broken flags to deal with conflicts. When I used --allowerasing, dnf wanted to remove Perl 5.28 packages, which is understandable, but by extension it also wanted to remove things like git. All the other modules I tried behaved better, but Perl is a good example of something where Modularity still has issues. In fact, I could not install the standard Perl RPM group with "dnf install @perl" because it conflicts the the modules option. I had to use "dnf group install perl" instead.
Fedora 29 -- Terminal with listing of modules
(full image size: 161kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
I found that modules are a little easier to work with than Red Hat’s Software Collections, but they were not perfect. If I were using Fedora on a server or for a container image, modules would be extremely useful, but on the Workstation side, they still need work. Granted, Fedora is a distribution that is willing to try out new things, so I cannot knock them too badly because the first Workstation release with module support still has a few issues.
Fedora 29 is a good release, but there are some issues with it. Users who are interested in trying out new things and are okay with the the occasional bug should feel comfortable trying out Fedora 29 Workstation. However, users wanting a polished experience might want to hold off until a few more bugs are fixed.
I would be okay with a few rough edges if they were just limited to the new features, but the two show-stopper bugs I had were playing full-screen video with GNOME Videos and being able to install texlive-scheme-full. Only the latter has been fixed, while video playback remains an issue. Playing full-screen videos in GNOME Videos on Wayland has worked perfectly on my hardware for the last several Fedora releases, but in Fedora 29 it is unusable. The video playback bug has already been reported in Red Hat’s Bugzilla, but the bug is still classified as new.
Overall, Fedora 29 Workstation is worth checking out, but I have to say "buyer beware" and encourage people to check to make sure all of the things they need are in a functional state before making the switch or upgrade. Things should be fixed in a few weeks, but I have honestly run beta releases of previous Fedora versions that had fewer issues than the final release of Fedora 29.
* * * * *
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
* * * * *
Visitor supplied rating
Fedora has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.4/10 from 358 review(s).
Have you used Fedora? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora turns 15, Haiku experiences server outage, Debian releases updated media, FreeBSD 10.4 reaches its end of life
The Fedora team is celebrating the distribution's 15th birthday. Fedora Core 1 was launched on November 6, 2003. The brand new distribution featured the GNOME desktop, the YUM package manager and a fancy graphical interface was displayed while the operating system was booting. Fedora Magazine has a look back on the details of the distribution's first release: "On November 6, 2003, Red Hat announced Fedora Core 1, the first software release of the Fedora Project. This announcement marked the beginning of a collaborative project between Red Hat and its user community."
* * * * *
The Haiku team ran into some problems while performing a server upgrade this week and a number of the project's services were taken off-line. "This evening a standard operating system upgrade has once again turned fatal. Our infrastructure still depends on a single bare metal server at Hetzner which continues to be our downfall. This evening a (tested) OS upgrade failed resulting in maui going MIA. I requested KVM access to attempt repair of maui after it was missing for ~15 minutes, however we were stuck waiting almost two hours for the KVM from Hetzner." At the time of writing most of Haiku's infrastructure has been restored, but a few components, including the Discuss forum, are still off-line. Updates on the situation can be found on Haiku's Status page.
* * * * *
The Debian project has published new installation media for the distribution's Stretch release. The new media is not for a brand new version of Debian, but includes security updates for packages in the original Debian 9 "Stretch" release. "The Debian project is pleased to announce the sixth update of its stable distribution Debian 9 (codename Stretch). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 9 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old stretch media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror."
* * * * *
The FreeBSD team sent out a notice this week to remind people that FreeBSD 10.4 has reached the end of its supported life. "Dear FreeBSD community, as of October 31, 2018, FreeBSD 10.4 reached end-of-life and is no longer supported by the FreeBSD Security Team. Users of FreeBSD 10.4 are strongly encouraged to upgrade to a newer release as soon as possible. " People still running the FreeBSD 10 series are advised to upgrade to version 11.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Technology Review (by Robert Rijkhoff)
Fedora 29 Silverblue
One of the more interesting Fedora 29 releases is Silverblue (previously known as Atomic Workstation). Silverblue is all about "atomic upgrades" and "container-focused workflows" on the desktop. To explain what that actually means it is probably best to start by discussing what problems Silverblue aims to solve.
OSTree and immutable upgrades
In Fedora Workstation updates are made available as when they are ready. When you run dnf update you might get a new version of the Linux kernel, some updated libraries, the latest version of Firefox and LibreOffice, and so forth.
Silverblue uses OSTree for the core operating system. Instead of pushing individual packages to the updates repository the Silverblue team builds complete "deployments". Each deployment has a version number, commit ID and GPG signature, and when you update your system the new deployment is shipped as a whole.
To illustrate, the below screen shot shows the output of the command rpm-ostree status. I took the screen grab after I had first updated my Silverblue 29 install. It shows there are two deployments: version 29.20181030.0 is the current deployment (as indicated by the white dot) and version 29.1.2 is the previous deployment (in this case the last beta release).
Fedora 29 Silverblue -- The output of rpm-ostree status
(full image size: 402kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The main advantage of this approach is that upgrades are "immutable". When you update a Fedora Workstation install there is always the risk that something goes wrong and that your system is left in an inconsistent state. Silverblue ships a complete deployment and therefore doesn't have that problem: if your system were to crash during an upgrade you would simply stay on the current deployment.
Another benefit is that Silverblue gives you the option to roll back to the previous deployment. If, for whatever reason, a new Silverblue version causes issues then you can run rpm-ostree rollback to revert to the previous deployment. To start using a new deployment you will need to reboot your computer (the new deployment will be the default item in your GRUB menu).
The one thing I didn’t like about rpm-ostree is that it presented me with tens of "Authentication is required to update software" dialogues during my trial. Every time I logged in to the desktop the window would appear and after my laptop had been suspended for a few hours there would typically be five or six pop-ups waiting for me.
Fedora 29 Silverblue -- An Authentication Required dialogue popping up during the initial system set-up
(full image size: 126kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The output of journalctl --unit=rpm-ostreed showed that the system did a "libostree pull", so my best guess is that the system runs rpm-ostree update --check to see if new updates are available. Whatever the rationale behind the pop-ups, they got on my nerves.
OSTree file system hierarchy
OSTree uses a somewhat different file system hierarchy. The /var directory is the only directory that is preserved when you upgrade the system and directories such as /home, /opt and /srv have therefore been moved to the /var directory. There are symlinks to these directories, so you can still navigate to /home as you normally would.
Fedora 29 Silverblue -- Inspecting the file system hierarchy and partitions
(full image size: 164kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
I was wondering how this would affect the /etc directory. I found that changes I made to my /etc/hosts file were preserved when updating the system, so it seems OSTree does some magic in the background to prevent customisations from being overwritten. If you are interested in file system hierarchies, there is a long, technical explanation of the file system layout in the OSTree documentation.
As an aside, Silverblue uses the same installer as Fedora Workstation, including the Fedora Workstation branding. That means that you need to be careful when it comes to partitioning. The installer will let you manually mount partitions such as /home even though that directory doesn't exist in Silverblue (the mount point should be /var/home). If you want to use a custom partition layout you can find some guidance in the install guide.
Silverblue's core operating system is just that: a base system. When you first boot into the GNOME desktop you will find just a handful of applications. You get Firefox, a file manager, a terminal and GNOME's software centre. Basic graphical tools such as a text editor and document viewer are not pre-installed.
Fedora 29 Silverblue -- The collection of pre-installed applications
(full image size: 965kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
To get more desktop applications you can install Flatpaks. The Flathub repository is not enabled by default because it includes non-free software. That is fair enough, but it is unfortunate that GNOME Software doesn't provide any information about how to install software. Without the Flathub repo the software centre is almost completely empty and searches for common applications yield no results.
Enabling the Flathub repository is easy enough (just follow the instruction on flathub.org) but I had no luck installing Flatpaks via GNOME Software. For instance, when I tried to install GNOME Music I got the error "dl.flathub.org not available". The error message pointed me to the GNOME Music web page for more information, which provided zero information about installing GNOME Music as a Flatpak. As far as I can tell GNOME Software can't install a Flatpak if it has one or more dependencies that also need to be installed.
Fedora 29 Silverblue -- Trying to install the GNOME Music Flatpak using GNOME Software
(full image size: 319kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Installing Flatpaks via the command line worked fine and I didn’t encounter any major issues with the applications I installed. The only real issue I have with using Flatpaks is that there aren't that many of them. In particular web browsers are in short supply: I could only find Beaker (an "experimental browser for the peer-to-peer web") and Eolie (a new browser from the GNOME team).
In all likelihood you will want to install packages that are not part of the base image and not provided as a Flatpak. In Silverblue, RPMs are installed via the rpm-ostree utility and kept separate from the core operating system. Instead, they are layered on top of the base image.
To illustrate how this works, the below screen shot shows the output of the command rpm-ostree status after I installed four RPMs: xfreerdp, pass, vim-enhanced and youtube-dl. The first deployment shows these four RPMs as "layered packages" while the second deployment is the deployment currently in use (as indicated by the white dot).
Fedora 29 Silverblue -- A new deployment with layered packages
(full image size: 372kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Because the newly installed RPMs are not part of the current deployment it is not possible to use them straight away: you need to reboot your computer to boot into the new deployment. This is arguably one of the main disadvantages of using rpm-ostree. You can't quickly install, say, youtube-dl and start downloading online videos: you need to reboot first.
There is another disadvantage: the rpm-ostree utility doesn’t have many common DNF commands. In particular, you can't do a search for RPMs or display information about a package. For me personally that wasn't much of an issue. I have been using Fedora for many years and know exactly which packages I want to install. For new users, though, it is really awkward to not be able to have an equivalent of commands like dnf search and dnf info.
The Silverblue docs do acknowledge that not being able to query the repositories is an issue, and it also provides a workaround. I want to mention the workaround not because it is a solid alternative but because it illustrates another feature that sets Silverblue apart: the distro supports the latest and greatest container tools out of the box. Both Podman and Buildah are installed, which means that you can spin up a Fedora 29 container and run, say, a dnf info command. In the below screen shot I ran podman --rm fedora:29 dnf info perl-image-exiftool to return information about the perl-image-exiftool package.
Fedora 29 Silverblue -- Using podman to run a DNF query
(full image size: 423kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
It is quite impressive that this can be done with a relatively short one-liner. As said, though, deploying a container just to run a DNF command is more trouble than it's worth: on my laptop the command executed in just under two minutes.
Mostly, you will want to use containers to run everything from web servers to package managers like Pip. Again, the idea is to keep those things separate from the base operating system. For me this came as a bit of a shock. I know the basics of Docker but have always installed a LAMP stack via a distro's package manager. I understand that it makes sense to use containers (if only to have an identical development and production environment) but it is a huge departure from how I have always worked.
Silverblue arguably has a rather large Marmite Factor. If you don't care for Flatpaks and containers then Silverblue might be painful to use. For me, though, Silverblue holds a lot of promise. In fact, I think it is the most exciting distro I have used since I first installed Linux about a decade ago. It is a radical rethink of how desktop operating systems work and to my mind Silverblue's approach makes a lot of sense.
That said, Silverblue is a work in progress and I would be reluctant to install it as my daily driver. It is perhaps telling that the release announcement for Fedora 29 mentioned Silverblue last and that it linked to the project's documentation rather than the project's home page (which would provide you with links to the documentation and the ISO). Silverblue isn't quite ready for prime time just yet. I am hopeful, though, that Silverblue will become a viable replacement for Fedora Workstation.
|Released Last Week
Leszek Lesner has announced the release of Neptune 5.6, the latest stable version of the project's Debian-based desktop Linux distribution featuring the KDE Plasma 5.12 desktop: "We are proud to announce version 5.6 of Neptune. This update represents the current state of Neptune 5 and renews the ISO image so if you install Neptune, you don't have to download tons of updates. In this update we have improved hardware support further by providing Linux kernel 4.18.6 with improved drivers and bug fixes. Updated the DDX drivers for AMD/ATI and Intel as well, providing Mesa 18.1.9. The X.Org Server has been updated to version 1.19.6 which fixes several bugs and brings speed improvements. Other main changes in this version are the update of systemd to version 239 and KDE Applications to version 18.08.2. Network-Manager has been updated to 1.14 to improve WiFi network stability and speed. Plasma Desktop has been updated to 5.12.7 to provide bug fixes. It includes fixes for Krunner to allow setting the web shortcuts and spell-checking options for its plugins. connections with sftp via KIO are now more stable and reliable even after reconnecting to a device." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Colin Finck has announced the release of ReactOS 0.4.10, the latest version of the project's open-source operating system which is developed with the goal of running Windows applications and drivers in an open-source environment. The new release allows booting from a Btrfs file system and there are also various front-end and stability improvements: "The ReactOS project is pleased to announce the release of version 0.4.10, the latest of our quarterly cadence of releases. The project has seen an increasing emphasis on consistency and stability over the past few months, an emphasis the rapid release schedule helps re-enforce to provide a better end-user experience. Even as new pieces of functionality are added, all this would be for naught if a user could not access them reliably. The headline feature for 0.4.10 would have to be ReactOS’ ability to now boot from a Btrfs formatted drive. Parallel to this effort was more basic work needed to expose the option to use Btrfs in the ReactOS installer and boot loader. The combined effort proved fruitful indeed and users are invited to try out Btrfs support in 0.4.10." Read the release announcement with screenshots for full details. As always, ReactOS is available in Live and Install builds.
Oracle Linux 7.6
Avi Miller has announced the release of Oracle Linux 7 Update 6, the latest version of the company's enterprise-class Linux distribution built from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.6: "Notable new features in this release: Pacemaker now supports path, mount, and timer systemd unit files. Although previous releases of Pacemaker supported service and socket systemd unit files, alternative units would fail. Pacemaker can now manage path, mount and timer systemd units. Package installation and upgrade using rpm can be tracked using audit events. The RPM package manager has been updated to provide audit events so that software package installation and updates can be tracked using the Linux Audit system. Software installation and upgrades using yum are also tracked." Further details on new features can be found in the release announcement and in the release notes. ISO files can be downloaded through the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud.
Nanni Bassetti has announced the release of a new major version of CAINE (which stands for Computer Aided INvestigative Environment), an Ubuntu-based distribution with a collection of utilities for forensics and incident response. Version 10.0 is based on Ubuntu 18.04: "CAINE 10.0 "Infinity" is out. Linux kernel 4.15, based on Ubuntu 18.04 64-bit, can boot on UEFI, UEFI with Secure Boot, Legacy BIOS, BIOS. The important news is that CAINE 10.0 blocks all block devices (e.g. /dev/sda) in read-only mode. You can use a GUI tool named BlockOn/Off which is present on CAINE's desktop. This new write-blocking method assures that all disks are really preserved from accidental writing operations because they are locked in read-only mode. If you need to write to a disk, you can unlock it with BlockOn/Off or by using 'Mounter' to change the policy to writable mode. New tools, new OSINT, Autopsy 4.9 on-board, APFS ready, Btrfs forensic tool, NVME SSD drivers; SSH server disabled by default; OSINT - Carbon14, OsintSpy added; mobile - gMTP and ADB added; added Recoll, Afro, Stegosuite; many fixes and software updates; CAINE has Windows IR/Live forensics tools; new release of Arsenal Image Mounter and HibernationRecon...." Visit the project's home page to read the full release announcement.
CAINE 10.0 -- Running the MATE desktop
(full image size: 588kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
SparkyLinux is a Debian-based distribution featuring three different development branches and multiple editions. The project has released a new update, SparkyLinux 4.9, to its Stable branch, based on Debian 9 Stretch. "New ISO images feature security updates and small improvements, such as: full system upgrade from Debian stable repos as of November 8, 2018; Linux kernel 4.9.110 (PC); Linux kernel 4.14.71 (ARM); added key bindings of configuration of monitor brightness (Openbox); added key bindings of configuration of system sound (Openbox & LXDE); added cron configuration to APTus Upgrade Checker. Added packages: xfce4-power-manager for power management; sparky-libinput for tap to click configuration for touchpads; xfce4-notifyd for desktop notifications; sparky-artwork-nature package features 10 more new nature wallpapers of Poland." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
* * * * *
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: 1,115
- Total data uploaded: 22.0TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
In our second review this week we talked about Fedora Silverblue, which takes an interesting approach to managing software. Silverblue introduces atomic updates and treats the core operating system as one whole component, kept separate from other applications and data.
We would like to know what you think of this approach which focuses on portable package formats and containers to get work done. Do you like the atomic nature and separation of tasks? Do you think the requirement to reboot to use new versions of software is too inconvenient? Have you tried running Fedora Silverblue? We would like to hear your impressions of this unusual edition of Fedora in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on IBM purchasing Red Hat in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|I have run Silverblue and like it: ||37 (4%)|
| I have run Silverblue and do not like it: ||35 (3%)|
| I have not used Silverblue but like the concept: ||467 (44%)|
| I have not used Silverblue and do not like the concept: ||350 (33%)|
| Other: ||162 (15%)|
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 19 November 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 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|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 18.104.22.168, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
FreePBX (formerly AsteriskNOW) is a Linux distribution with an open-source, web-based graphical user interface that controls and manages Asterisk (PBX), an open source communication server. FreePBX is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). FreePBX can be installed manually or as part of the pre-configured FreePBX distribution that includes the operating system, Asterisk, FreePBX GUI and assorted dependencies. FreePBX is based on the CentOS distribution while maintaining its own software repositories. The distribution is free to download and install with support offered through a paid subscription.