| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 799, 28 January 2019
Welcome to this year's 4th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Technology moves ever forward and many people find it easier to keep up with software developments in incremental steps rather than in leaps forward. People who like a little change at a time benefit from running rolling release distributions such as KaOS. This week we begin with a look at KaOS, a distribution which focuses on one desktop (KDE Plasma) and one application toolkit (Qt), along with the project's latest developments. We also talk about preparations being made for a new version of Debian and link to refreshed Debian 9 media. Plus we talk about Canonical publishing a version of Ubuntu for embedded devices and link to the details in our News section. Then we talk about a book for people who are interested in penetration testing. The book is called Linux Basics For Hackers and we share thoughts on the book's contents. As usual, we are pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. Next week we will be updating our Major Distributions page and use our Opinion Poll to invite readers to suggest a new project to be added to the overview of major projects. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Review: KaOS 2018.12
- News: Debian 10 freezes while Debian 9 gets a media refresh, Ubuntu publishes IoT release
- Book review: Linux Basics For Hackers
- Released last week: Porteus Kiosk 4.8.0, Parrot 4.5
- Torrent corner: ArchLabs, Archman, AUSTRUMI, ClonOS, Debian, Live Raizo, Nitrux, Parrot, Porteus Kiosk, Robolinux
- Upcoming releases: Tails 3.12
- Opinion poll: Which distro should be listed as a major project?
- New distributions: Abalar Libre, BlueLight, EQuilibrium Level Three
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (17MB) and MP3 (12MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
KaOS is an independent desktop Linux distribution that features the latest version of the KDE desktop environment, the Calligra office suite, and other popular software applications that use the Qt toolkit. KaOS employs a rolling-release development model and is built exclusively for 64-bit computer systems.
Some changes have come to the KaOS distribution lately, including the migration of applications to OpenSSL 1.1 (from OpenSSL 1.0) and KDE Plasma 5.14 is now in the project's repositories. KaOS currently ships with a welcome window called Croeso which offers a lot of customization options for first-time users. Croeso replaces the old Kaptan welcome screen.
KaOS has dropped support for Qt 4 which has not received active development for a while. The latest snapshot also updates Calamares and introduces a fix to make sure systems with Btrfs volumes should install properly on UEFI-enabled computers. Further, the project's release notes warn the distribution cannot be installed on a RAID system.
The latest snapshot of KaOS is 1.9GB in size. Booting from this media brings up the KDE Plasma desktop. The interface features a blue and grey theme with the desktop panel displayed vertically down the right-hand side. I think KaOS may be the only distribution I have used which places the panel in this manner.
Once the live desktop loads we are shown a welcome window which offers to open the distribution's guide (which features installation instructions), launch the Calamares installer, display on-line documentation, show us the operating system's default passwords, or open the user forum. The forum and documentation links are opened in the Falkon browser.
The Calamares installer offers a nice, graphical point-n-click experience to quickly set up Linux distributions. The installer begins by asking us for our preferred language and showing us the project's release notes. We are asked for our time zone and keyboard layout. Calamares offers guided or manual partitioning with the manual option presenting a nice, easy interface that includes a graphical representation of the local disk. I decided to set up KaOS on a Btrfs volume, though ext2/3/4, XFS, Reiser, JFS and LVM volumes would have also been possible. We are then asked to make up a username and password and the installer then shows us progress while it copies packages to the hard drive. Once finished, the installer offers to reboot the computer.
My fresh copy of KaOS booted to a graphical login screen. The elements on the screen are placed over on the right-hand side, rather than in the middle or to the left as found on other distributions. We can sign into the Plasma desktop running on either a Wayland or X.Org session and I will talk a bit about both of these later. Next to the password box there is a toggle for showing the password we are typing. I think this is the first time I have observed an option to show the user's password on a GNU/Linux login screen.
A problem I faced with the login screen is elements are presented with text in low contrast. This made it difficult to read session options, for example.
KaOS 2018.12 -- The welcome screen
(full image size: 388kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Once I got signed in a new welcome window appeared. This one features several tabs that give us access to project news and customization options. Some of these customization modules deal with the look of the desktop (the theme, fonts, wallpaper, and window decorations) while others show more advanced modules to configure the firewall, systemd services and user accounts. I played around with a few of the modules, making little tweaks to the desktop. The only component I ran into trouble with was the firewall module. The interface did not respond to input when run from the welcome menu. Later I opened the firewall configuration tool via another method and it worked for me without further problems.
KaOS 2018.12 -- Managing the firewall
(full image size: 313kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Shortly after I began using KaOS, a notification appeared in the system tray letting me know package updates were available. Clicking the notification icon itself doesn't do anything, but right-clicking on it gives us the option of opening the Octopi package manager, launching the update manager, or changing settings related to when the system looks for new packages. The update manager shows us a list of available updates and offers to install them in a terminal window. We are then prompted for the root password and then prompted again to confirm we really want to install the updates. The updates appear to be presented in an all-or-nothing manner as I did not see any way to unselect specific packages from the update process.
KaOS 2018.12 -- Downloading software updates
(full image size: 371kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Another characteristic I noticed early on is the text on the clock widget is unusually small. Menus, virtual terminals and window title bars typically used a medium-sized font, but the clock was too tiny to read easily. I tried looking through the clock settings and font settings without finding a way to resize it. I did find it amusing though that swapping out the digital clock widget for another, like the fuzzy clock, presented the opposite problem. The fuzzy clock's font was so large it could only show three letters at a time ("quarter to five" would show as just "ter") even after I increased the panel's width.
Wayland and X.Org
When I first started using KaOS I was running the Plasma desktop in an X.Org environment. At first the desktop was a little slow to respond, which is not uncommon with larger desktops as they often load extra services, index files and perform other background actions. Shortly after getting started I left the computer alone for a few hours, then came back and found Plasma had gotten slower while I was away. It could take five seconds for the desktop to respond to mouse clicks or keyboard input and resizing or maximizing a window could take ten seconds - a most unusual turn of events. After disabling file indexing and most visual effects, the desktop remained slow to respond.
Some looking around revealed that the X.Org display server was using over half of my computer's RAM and this was, in turn, causing the system to swap heavily as it struggled to find room for my handful of applications. I decided to reboot and start fresh, keeping an eye on my system's memory consumption. When I first signed in, KaOS used a little less than 500MB of RAM in total, about what I would expect. Over time though the X.Org server gradually used more and more. I repeated the experiment a few times and found X.Org typically grabbed about 10MB of memory per minute. At this rate the system could fill its memory in under a day with a few applications open, necessitating a reboot.
I switched over the to Plasma Wayland session and generally had a better experience, at least concerning memory. While the Wayland session was a little laggy and produced visual artefacts when run in a virtual machine, when run on physical hardware Wayland was smooth and responsive. Initial memory usage was about the same (around 500MB) and tended to stay low. My only real issue with the Wayland session was the mouse pointer, which was unusually large most of the time (it changed size occasionally). I also found the mouse pointer was choosy about when it would change shape, particularly when moved over hyperlinks in a web browser. Sometimes the pointer morphed to indicate it was over a link and sometimes it did not, which made web browsing a little confusing at first. Otherwise the Wayland session worked well for me. This is one of the first times I have preferred using a Wayland session over the default X.Org session on any distribution.
KaOS 2018.12 -- The Wayland session with large mouse pointer
(full image size: 347kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Apart from some performance issues in the virtual machine, KaOS worked well in both of my test environments. It was quick to respond on the desktop and all my hardware was properly detected. When run in VirtualBox, KaOS integrated with the virtual environment and could use my display's full screen resolution.
KaOS uses Octopi as its graphical package manager. Octopi is fairly simple in its design, listing available package names and allowing us to perform basic searches. Packages are listed with just a short name and version number. Clicking on an item and selecting the Info tab at the bottom of the window provides some terse information and a one-line description of the package. Octopi sets up batches of installation and removal actions and processes them all at once.
I did not run into any problems with Octopi, but I think its layout and limited package descriptions indicate it is best suited to more experienced Linux users. For people who prefer to use the command line, the pacman package manager can be used.
KaOS ships with a collection of software that mostly fits into the KDE/Qt family of applications. The Falkon web browser is included along with the Quassel IRC client. The KDE Connect service is offered to coordinate actions with Android phones. The K3b disc burning software is included along with the Kamoso webcam tool, and the MPV and SMPlayer media players. A wide range of media codecs are available by default. Gwenview and Krita are offered to view and edit images.
KaOS 2018.12 -- Managing system settings from the welcome screen
(full image size: 384kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The Calligra productivity software is featured in the menu instead of LibreOffice and Okular is present for reading PDF documents. KaOS also offers the Dolphin file manager, the KDE Partition Manager, the KGpg encryption software, and the KDE help documentation. Digging further I found Java is included along with the GNU Compiler Collection. KaOS uses systemd for its init implementation and runs on version 4.19 of the Linux kernel, though new versions are periodically packaged and released.
There is a Skype entry in the application menu, but it just opens a web browser and takes us to the Microsoft Live login page. Another entry, called Seafile, had me puzzled at first. The program asks us to select a folder where it can put files, then asks us for a server name and our e-mail address, but does not say why or what the program does. The application does not offer any help, just a button for signing into accounts. I later found Seafile is a cross-platform file synchronization service.
While KaOS uses a different set of software than what I typically use (Calligra versus LibreOffice, MPV versus VLC, Krita versus GIMP) I mostly found myself comfortable with the alternative programs. The only one which gave me trouble was the Calligra suite. I have used, and enjoyed, Calligra before, but it has changed in recent versions and I found the changes made using its word processor difficult. For example, the suite features a big dock to the right of the window. I could move it, but not remove it, and the dock uses a lot of screen space. There did not appear to be any settings in the menus relating to the dock and clicking what looked to be its close button attached the dock to the top of my document, taking up most of the application window. I tried switching to Calligra's "distraction-free" mode, but this caused the word processor to take up the entire screen and remove all of its menus and I could not find a way to revert back to normal mode, and had to use Alt-Tab to switch windows. After fighting with the suite for a few more minutes I finally removed it and installed LibreOffice.
KaOS 2018.12 -- Struggling with Calligra's layout
(full image size: 60kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Another problem I ran into was the inability to configure printers. I could open the printer configuration module in the System Settings panel, but it would not allow me to browse the network for printers or manually set up a new printer. I could also not enable printer sharing. Any action I attempted was met with errors saying I did not have proper permission or access was forbidden. The printer module does not prompt for a root or sudo password, effectively locking out the user.
My overall impression of KaOS at the moment is not great. My trial started out well. I like the project's focus and its efforts to try to polish one desktop. The installer offered a good experience and the distribution is easy to get set up. The welcome window has evolved nicely and makes it easy to customize the system right from the start.
However, using KaOS - trying to run it as a platform to get things done - proved to be a challenge. Part of this is a matter of taste or personal preference and I will completely admit that half the issue is conditioning. I'm used to having a mixture of GTK+ and Qt software while KaOS just uses Qt applications and I had to either adapt or swap out components in order to be productive. The problems I faced with Calligra and its interface were an extreme example of this, but there were other hurdles too. Everything from Dolphin to Gwenview seems to be set up differently compared next to other distributions, with panels down the left side instead of across the top, or on the right side rather than the left. The developers probably have a good reason for doing this, but it means the user needs to unlearn their experiences from other distributions before feeling at home on KaOS and my week-long trial did not afford me enough time to make the transition.
KaOS 2018.12 -- Browsing files in Dolphin
(full image size: 496kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
A minor complaint I had was with font colour. Looking back over the above screen shots the reader can see sometimes text is white on a black background, other times black on white, another time it is green on white, on the login screen it is dark blue on grey. Fonts were often smaller than I liked and sometimes lower-contrast than I'd like.
I do want to give the project credit for offering a pretty good Plasma on Wayland session. This is a rare accomplishment and I feel as though KaOS's implementation of Wayland is nearly on par with its X.Org experience. Wayland still stutters in a virtual machine, but it performed very nicely on my hardware.
Wayland working pretty well is especially important in the face of the X.Org memory leak I experienced. X.Org's expanding size necessitated a daily reboot of KaOS in order to reclaim my RAM and this is not a problem I have had on any other distribution. KaOS is a rolling release often on the cutting edge and I hope this issue is not a problem I run into elsewhere.
I ran into a bunch of other little issues, such as the irregular font sizes and the inability to set up printers and gradually became convinced that it would be difficult for me to be productive while running KaOS. The distribution does some things well and several things differently which makes it an interesting project. However, for me it is not a practical tool at the moment for getting things done.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
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Visitor supplied rating
KaOS has a visitor supplied average rating of: 7.7/10 from 41 review(s).
Have you used KaOS? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian 10 freezes while Debian 9 gets a media refresh, Ubuntu publishes IoT release
The Debian distribution does not have a fixed release schedule, famously shipping "when it is ready" rather than on a specific date. Still, there are milestones in the project's development and we have reached a significant one: the beginning of the Testing repository freeze. The freeze marks a time when the Testing repository mostly stops changing, apart from bug fixes and critical updates. Jonathan Wiltshire announced the freeze in a mailing list post: "We're pleased to announce that the freeze for Debian 10 'Buster' has begun. On January 12th we stopped accepting transition requests and we are working to complete the remaining transitions in progress. This also means that autopkgtest regressions have now become migration blockers. Other stages of the release are on target. They are: 2019-02-12 Soft freeze (no new packages, no re-entry, 10 day migration); 2019-03-12 Full freeze." The release of Debian 10 "Buster" is likely to occur shortly after the Full freeze.
In other Debian news, the project has released updated media for version 9 "Stretch". The new media includes security fixes, but is not a new, independent release. "The Debian project is pleased to announce the seventh update of its stable distribution Debian 9 (codename Stretch). This point release incorporates the recent security update for APT, in order to help ensure that new installations of Stretch are not vulnerable. No other updates are included. New installation images will be available soon at the regular locations."
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Fans of Internet of Things (IoT) devices should be happy to learn that Canonical has published a new release of Ubuntu for embedded devices. The new release, Ubuntu Core 18, focuses on providing a minimal platform with Snap packages and long term support. The announcement reads: "Immutable, digitally signed snaps ensure that devices built with Ubuntu Core are resistant to corruption or tampering. Any component can be verified at any time. All snaps on Ubuntu Core devices are strictly confined, limiting any damage from a compromised application. Ubuntu Core 18 will receive ten years low-cost security maintenance, enabling long-term industrial and mission-critical deployments. Updates are delivered with a device-specific SLA, ensuring that change is managed by the manufacturer or the enterprise and providing a rapid response to any vulnerabilities that are detected over the device lifetime." Ubuntu Core 18 images can be found on the distribution's IoT download page.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Book Review (by Jesse Smith)
Linux Basics For Hackers
Some people tend to think of computer hacking as a dark, mysterious art form. In the minds of many, partly thanks to TV shows and movies, hackers are seen as dangerous, immoral actors and their skills are cause for suspicion. However, what rarely gets talked about is the skills required to hack into a computer has a huge overlap with the skills required to securely maintain a computer system. Hacking and system administration are really two sides to the same coin, both jobs require that the individual knows how the system works, what it can do, and what its weak points are.
I bring this up because, at first glance, people probably have a flash of either excitement or suspicion when they see the title Linux Basics For Hackers, written by someone going by the pen name OccupyTheWeb. It looks dangerous, in a digital way, and one might wonder what forbidden secrets lurk between the covers. However, learning the basics of being a hacker is really similar to learning how to be a system administrator, approached from a different angle. The skills are mostly the same, the final application of those skills is just different.
At its core Linux Basics For Hackers (LBFH) is a textbook which teaches the reader how to operate a GNU/Linux distribution from the command line. What sets the book apart from other sysadmin books is largely the flavour or the angle the author takes. For instance Kali Linux, a penetration testing distro, is used as the reference distribution instead of Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The skills discussed and the tips offered are similar, but always with a stronger aim toward using the system for personal benefit rather than examining the background on subjects and how to lock down the operating system.
LBFH has 17 chapters, each of them averaging just over ten pages long, making for a terse, rapid-fire approach to learning Linux. The book covers how to install Kali, how to navigate the file system, some common shell commands (cat, cd, and ls) and then goes on to explore practical topics. We are walked through file and directory permissions, editing configuration files, system logging, connecting to networks, finding files, scanning network ports, and managing software packages. Later on we get into using databases, Bash scripting, some basic Python scripting, and managing storage devices.
On the surface these topics probably do not sound all that different from the ones covered in such texts as The Official Ubuntu Server Book or the Linux Bible. The subject matter is mostly the same, but LBFH is different in a couple of important ways:
The first is the book skips over most of the hand holding and background information on topics. LBFH assumes we already know how to use an operating system - specifically some knowledge of Windows is assumed, but a little Linux experience wouldn't hurt. We are not taught the history of command names or why directories are set up the way they are. We are told what we need to know to use Linux, not why the operating system works the way it does. The chapters are short and generally just offer some basic examples and a few tips, enough to get us started. Exploring ideas in depth or learning why things work the way they do is left up to the reader. Hackers are expected to be curious and continue learning via other methods.
Second, many examples are geared toward investigating the operating system or even exploiting it rather than locking it down or understanding it. The differences are mostly minor, but it puts a different focus on the examples. For instance, the shell script we learn to write scans the network for open ports rather than scanning logs. When we learn about shell variables it is to turn off logging of our command line history rather than changing the default editor. The database section talks about reading tables of information, not how to properly create our own database. The skills we pick up are the same as in a sysadmin textbook, but the focus is a little different.
Third, there is a section of the book about trying to stay anonymous and secure on-line. While system administrators usually want to gather information and track their users' actions, LBFH encourages us to stay anonymous and leave no footprints. This is a set of skills most users will likely benefit from knowing in this always on-line age.
While reading LBFH I found a number of things I enjoyed about the book and a few points I didn't like. Let's look at the detractors first. The first concern I had, and the one which I suspect will affect potential readers the most, is that the explanations are short. The book covers almost 20 topics in about 200 pages, which does not give us any time to explore topics in depth. This makes LBFH a good reference book or introductory text, but it means we may be left wanting more information. As an example, the chapter on shell scripting does not cover the (in my opinion) important subjects of conditional statements and loops. At the end of the chapter there is a table of commonly used script commands and the testing operator ([) is mentioned, but without an example or further explanation, and the "if" keyword isn't mentioned at all. Likewise, the section on logging mentions different types of logs, but very little information is provided on what each log file is used for or how that would be helpful for future hackers or system administrators.
My second concern is with typos. Any book, even textbooks, will contain a few typos - authors are only human, after all. This is a minor issue, but one which may cause confusion. For example, the networking section mixes up the terms "MAC address" and "IP address". Luckily it is usually clear what the author means from the context. In other areas, such as scripting examples, the intent is not always clear and it will cause some of the presented scripts to not work due to syntax errors.
My final point is a bit more important, in my view. There are a handful of places in the text where incorrect information or commands are used and, in the latter case, the command output the author expected to see is still provided. For instance, an error appears in the section on directory navigation where we are told we can use the command "cd .. .." to go up multiple levels. This example was later corrected on the publisher's website.
There are a few more examples of these kinds of errors in the chapter on processes. For instance, the book states that a zombie process is one that misbehaves or is frozen, when zombie processes are really ones that have been terminated, leaving their meta-data behind. Later, the book suggests we can remove zombie processes with the kill command, which will not work since zombie processes have already terminated. The chapter also states sending processes the SIGHUP signal will cause them to be restarted with their original PID which is not the case. There are a handful of mistakes like this which left me puzzled as to how they came to be included in the text.
Shifting gears over to the positive aspects of the book, paradoxically, LBFH's primary weakness (terse explanations) may also be one of the strongest points in its favour. The book is a delightfully light and fast read. A dedicated reader can get through the chapters and exercises in a couple of days. It is one of the shortest "how to use Linux" texts I have read and it covers a wide range of topics. Most of the material will be applicable to most Linux distributions and almost all of it will apply to the Debian and Ubuntu family of distributions. While I would not recommend this book for Linux beginners, people who are already familiar with desktop Linux and want to pick up command line basics quickly will greatly benefit from this quick-and-light approach.
As someone who has always favoured the administrative side of the hacker/sysadmin skill set, I found it worthwhile reading about the technology I use from the other side's point of view. To offer a good defence we should know how to think like an attacker and LBFH provides this necessary insight. I wouldn't say LBFH can replace an in-depth text like Linux Bible, but it is a good companion read in order to get an alternative perspective.
Finally, I like that most of LBFH is immediately practical. Some Linux textbooks spend a lot of time on theory or edge cases and LBFH is more streamlined. The author focuses on the commands and scenarios most people will find useful most of the time. Little time is spent on corner cases or legacy situations. This means the examples and suggestions will almost all be useful right from the beginning and the exercises listed at the backs of the chapters are practical.
In the end, I came away liking LBFH. Its quick and dirty approach to exploring and using a Linux system was welcome. I like that it is more hands-on and less theory. Having theory and background can be useful for people who want to become expert administrators, but for home users who want to know the basics and learn how to leverage the power of the command line, LBFH is an good guide. The book does not deal much with hacking directly, but does set us up with the skills required to test our systems, regain access to a wireless network we lost the password for, and set up home video surveillance. It is a text full of practical examples and, some rough edges aside, I think it will be helpful to a lot of people. I wouldn't suggest it for a Linux beginner, but for someone who is comfort with running a Linux desktop and wants to gain more immediately practical skills, this book is a good place to start.
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- Title: Linux Basics For Hackers
- Author: OccupyTheWeb
- Published by: No Starch Press
- Pages: 203
- ISBN-10: 1-59327-855-1
- ISBN-13: 978-1-59327-855-7
- Available from: No Starch Press
|Released Last Week
Porteus Kiosk 4.8.0
Tomasz Jokiel has announced the release of Porteus Kiosk 4.8.0, an updated version of the project's specialist distribution designed for web kiosks - based on Gentoo Linux, with a choice of Firefox or Chrome browsers: "I am pleased to announce that Porteus Kiosk 4.8.0 is now available for download. Major software upgrades in this release include: Linux kernel 4.19.16, X.Org Server 1.20.3, Google Chrome 70.0.3538.110 and Mozilla Firefox 52.9.0 ESR. Packages from the userland are upgraded to portage snapshot tagged on 2019-01-19. Short changelog: added support for the 'onscreen buttons' to the Firefox browser - back, forward, home, print, etc; it is possible to set default paper size for the printer directly in the kiosk configuration - 'A4' and 'Letter' sizes are available in the wizard by default but other ones are supported as well; added possibility of forcing the 'fbdev' DDX driver which in some cases - depending on the GPU card - offers higher screen resolution than the VESA driver; it is possible to set a custom port number on which the VNC service will be listening." See the release announcement and changelog for further details.
Lorenzo Faletra has announced the release of Parrot 4.5, the latest stable version of the project's specialist distribution designed for penetration testing, digital forensics and privacy protection, based on Debian's "Testing" branch: "Parrot 4.5 is officially released and there are some major changes under the hood. We are in 2019 now, and computers that are not capable of running 64-bit operating system are mostly legacy computers that are not capable of running modern and complex applications. Additionally, many programs and frameworks are no longer available for 32-bit x86 systems. We have been releasing 32-bit images since the beginning of the project and we worked hard to provide fresh binary updates for the i386 architecture for a while, but nowadays 32-bit-only computers are no longer capable of running a full pentest campaign or providing hardware-accelerated support to our security protection systems. Parrot 4.5 no longer provides live ISO files for the i386 architecture." Read the comprehensive release notes for further details.
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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: 1,218
- Total data uploaded: 23.6TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Which new distro should be listed as a major project?
DistroWatch maintains a Major Distributions page where we provide summaries for, and history on, ten major projects. These projects tend to be either highly popular or significant for historical purposes.
This past week, while updating some of the information on this page, we realized Mageia, once highly popular for its ease of use, has been relatively quiet in recent years and seems to have fallen out of the spotlight. With this in mind, we are considering replacing Mageia on our Major Distributions page with one other project. Ideally, the replacement distribution should be one which has also gained popularity for being easy to use. We are interested in which distribution our readers think should take over the spot.
You can see the results of our previous poll on picking a distribution based on its core or the desktop in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Which new distro should be listed as a major project?
|Manjaro Linux: ||1097 (20%)|
| MX Linux: ||1572 (29%)|
| elementary OS: ||563 (10%)|
| Solus: ||658 (12%)|
| Kali Linux: ||103 (2%)|
| Other: ||348 (6%)|
| Leave Mageia on the page: ||1112 (20%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- Abalar Libre. Abalar Libre provides a custom GNU/Linux operating system for Spanish-speaking users in schools and education centres.
- BlueLight. BlueLight, formerly called OS.js Linux, is a lightweight web-based Linux distro powered by OS.js. It uses the power of Electron to run a cloud based operating system, OS.js, to provide the user with a more web-based experience.
- EQuilibrium Level Three. EQuilibrium is a GNU/Linux distribution featuring the KDE desktop and Chromium as its primary interface. The distribution is designed to be used with on-line web services.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 4 February 2019. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • "Major" distribution (by dave esktorp on 2019-01-28 00:39:12 GMT from United States) |
The conundrum here is that Manjaro and MX Linux qualify for the same reason of being popular variants of existing "Major" distributions, so that would become a question of which one is more popular. According to Distrowatch, that would be Manjaro.
However, where Manjaro is based on Arch, MX Linux is not based on Debian, but a significantly modified variant of Debian; AntiX. For this reason, I believe AntiX, despite its popularity, should be considered for this position. Devuan or Artix would qualify for the same reason, but they're not as popular.
Barring any unforeseen deathblows by IBM & Co, Greek Linux (Linux w/ systemd strained out) seems to be here to stay.
My first choice would be Antix.
My second choice is MX Linux.
I say all this because being systemd-free has become one of the most distinguishing characteristics to be found between "Major" distributions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure ALL of the existing "Major" distributions use systemd.
2 • Major distros (by brad on 2019-01-28 00:40:12 GMT from United States)
I voted for Manjaro to replace Mageia, but I would also advocate dropping CentOS, and replacing it with MX Linux; the reason for dropping CentOS is that Fedora (another RH "clone") is already represented.
When I first came to DistroWatch, looking for ideas and recommendations for distributions to try, I went through most of the ten (they were the same ten as currently listed). I found (and feel) that the Major Distributions listing is valuable to those who are curious about Linux, and want to experience it for themselves.
3 • Major Distros - Gentoo/Puppy (by Dick Tator on 2019-01-28 01:19:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
Firstly, Put Gentoo back where it belongs. This is not about popularity, but about a position in the big scheme of things. Some of your suggested alternatives as major distros? P-L-E-A-S-E...
Gentoo also has the much trumpeted option of not using systemd. Although my BSD days are behind me, I believe FreeBSD does not use it either, for the reference of poster #1.
I feel this list is important too. It helped me with grasping the Linux ecosystem back in the day. Maybe there needs to be a second list for the top beginner's distro?
Another suggestion is Puppy Linux, because of its frugal system requirements. I would acknowledge it is another "based on" distro though and looks a little lack luster since Barry Kauler retired...
4 • find command (by David on 2019-01-28 01:19:54 GMT from United States)
For the incorrect command:
find / -user root -perm 4000
what they meant to say was simply:
find / -user root -perm -4000
which is the correct answer. -perm 4755 will only find files with *exactly* those permissions.
5 • Calligra Office (by Whoom on 2019-01-28 01:39:40 GMT from United States)
Calligra Office has a terrible UI, I hate that dockable pallet, I wish I could it move it/get rid of it
6 • Mageia (by Charlie on 2019-01-28 01:42:38 GMT from Hong Kong)
Mageia just adopted a slower pace of development, its community is still active, the testing repo is also getting updates and Mageia 7 is preparing to release. Under the same principle, Slackware should also be removed as well.
Slackware has its history, Mageia also has its historical roots, the once popular Mandrake Linux, and it has its own configuring tool - MCC (Mageia Control Center).
I don't oppose or question the status of Manjaro, but it looks like some sort of a spin of Arch Linux. Manjaro may be a major distro as well, but Mageia shouldn't be removed.
7 • Seems Gentoo is missing from Major Distributions List. (by Gabriel Garratt on 2019-01-28 01:46:45 GMT from Canada)
Seems Gentoo is missing from Major Distributions List.
8 • If Mageia is being replaced (by saltygreysoup on 2019-01-28 01:54:10 GMT from Australia)
Solus fits the bill, due to its independent platform, desktop, package manager etc..
I love MX, but the majority of distros in the top ten are either flagships of their platform or really popular.
I have a soft spot for Mageia too, my choice, if one has to go, it's PCLinuxOS...
Could make it a Top 20 or 12...
9 • Major Distributions (by sydneyj on 2019-01-28 02:09:49 GMT from United States)
Whether or not it is a replacement for Mageia, Gentoo really must be added to the Major Distribution list. It is important to all the Linux community, regardless of the number of users.
10 • Mageia isn't dead @#5 (by Marcos Pereira de Sousa on 2019-01-28 02:18:32 GMT from Brazil)
Nobody is saying that Mageia is dead; only "not so popular anymore" to be one of the top ten.
That being said, all of the Linux desktop distros qualify as "niche" I am afraid...so please we must consider the well laboured, getting attention and love, as being the actual demonstrators of Linux in the desktop world, and that mainly for novices.
Let's dinamize that top ten list in this difficult times.
11 • "Popularity" of distros on DistroWatch, and statistics. (by R. Cain on 2019-01-28 02:55:15 GMT from United States)
Most people comment on, and--unfortunately--form opinions about the popularity of distributions based on the very first 'Page Hit Ranking' list they see on DistroWatch's home page--the "Last 6 Months' page hit ranking.
If you want to get a more accurate picture of what's going on, there is, on this same Home Page, a menu item in the upper right-hand corner entitled ' • Page Hit Ranking'. Click on this, and you'll get a PHR for all major distros for the last 12-, 6-, 3-, and 1-month periods.
For example, today these periods list the following in the 1-2-3 positions:
Manjaro, Mint, MX; Manjaro, MX, Mint; Manjaro, MX, Mint; and MX (4487), Manjaro (3787), and Mint (2214).
If you *really* want an accurate statistical picture, simply change the 'Data Span' on the Page Hit Ranking list you're familiar with from "Last 6 Months" to "Last 7 Days". The reason for this is that averaging over a very long period of time hides 'real time' fluctuations. Put another way, looking at the short-term average tells you what is really happening in 'almost real time'. Compare today's 'Last 7 Day' average with the 1-month average given above: MX-Linux (4405); Manjaro (3620); and Mint (2315).
Takeaway: beware of people--including distro developers (and I've had my share of these)--who will tell you that the only thing "...which really counts..." is DistroWatch's "Last 6-Month" average. They are simply manipulating the statistics to suit their own purposes.
DistroWatch does an admirable job of providing you with *all* the data you need in order to arrive at your own very-well-informed conclusions. It's all there; just look for it.
12 • Major Distros (by Stephen on 2019-01-28 02:55:31 GMT from United States)
@1 Slackware does not use systemd, nor does PCLinuxOS
Re major distros, while Manjaro, MX, and Elementary - like Mint - are popular and no doubt have done much useful development to make using their parent distros more usable, like Mint they're not significant in terms of technology or influence on other distros (though Mint has been very influential in its desktop environment development, and Elementary is following a similar path) and if I'm not mistaken (perhaps I am) Manjaro and MX - like Mint and Elementary - rely mostly on the repositories (mirrored or otherwise) of their parent distros. Kali is much the same, but also very much a single-purpose distro. Does the list need more thinly-skinned pseudo-distros, no matter how popular they may be?
In short, I don't see Manjaro, MX, Kali, or Elementary as belonging. Of existing members of the list, I don't see that Mint is a very good fit, and PCLinuxOS is treading water at best.
The others on the Major Distros list are all alive and - with the exception of CentOS - have many living offspring (and seeing that CentOS is both a stand-in for RHEL and has a huge number of users in its own right - plus complies and hosts all of its own packages, its presence on the list makes good sense).
But I would drop Mageia, LinuxMint, and PCLinuxOS as being insufficiently influential or important.
I would replace them with 1) Gentoo (as other have said), 2) Alpine (which seems to be constantly growing in influence and spin-offs in the lightweight server and appliance market), and 3) one other on which I don't have a strong opinion.
Solus is an intriguing choice to fill the last spot, being entirely original and seemingly quite popular, but so far it's not had much influence outside of its own borders except through its development of Budgie. Maybe leave the 10th spot open until another distro comes along which properly defines a new approach and spawns a family of variants like most of the others on the Major Distros list have.
13 • Opinion Poll (by Daniel on 2019-01-28 03:37:11 GMT from United States)
"These projects tend to be either highly popular or significant for historical purposes."
Does bus factor matter? How many of the projects on DistroWatch.com would survive the departure of their three largest contributors?
Arch Linux, Debian, and Gentoo have seen the departure of their respective founders (something several projects like Void Linux and Solus have recently experienced) without significant disruption and these three have a relatively large number of contributors, but Gentoo no longer makes the list of major distributions. Gentoo has a long history, and has served as a base for Chrome OS and projects like Container Linux.
I do not wish to see a repeat of the speculation that has surrounded Slackware at times (e.g. https://distrowatch.com/?newsid=02084 and https://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20120416&mode=67) and I also think that fledgling projects should be given the opportunity to get their legs underneath them rather than being instantly written off at their inceptions (although the burden is on those newborn projects to prove that they can survive), but I do think long-term viability (proven or perceived) is an honest consideration with regard to what makes a distribution major.
As for Mageia, I wouldn't consider it or OpenMandriva (or PCLinuxOS for that matter) major distributions. Mandrakelinux was a major distribution. Since "ideally, the replacement distribution should be one which has also gained popularity for being easy to use" was a stated consideration (one I don't necessarily agree with), my vote was for elementary OS.
14 • Opinion Poll (by feed3 on 2019-01-28 03:44:08 GMT from Malaysia)
Should be Gentoo replacing Mageia.
Historically, it is a very important distro. It might not a very popular mainstream distro but even Google is the fan of it, don't they?
15 • Follow-up to #13 (by Daniel on 2019-01-28 04:22:28 GMT from United States)
Clarification: I did not mean viability is the only consideration as to what makes a distribution major, just that it is a consideration.
Indeed, Mandrakelinux didn't survive mismanagement and a changing environment, but in its day, it developed drakconf and drakxtools, something that pushed the user experience forwards. These seem to primarily be in maintenance mode now, if not actively being discarded (maybe the codebase has become too cumbersome).
I guess another consideration I look at is what does a project bring that makes it stand out from the rest of the crowd.
16 • @15: It's "something that pushed the user experience forwards." (by Marcos Pereira de Sousa on 2019-01-28 04:43:03 GMT from Brazil)
It's "something that pushed the user experience forwards."
Indeed. Just like MX-Tools & MX-Tweak, for example, make us feel the desktop these days.
17 • Major distros (by bones on 2019-01-28 04:43:43 GMT from United States)
Agree with several others that said Gentoo should be back on the list. This shouldn't be a popularity contest.
18 • Major distributions: should Mageia really be replaced? (by Brenton Horne on 2019-01-28 05:10:40 GMT from Australia)
I actually wrote an email requesting the list be revised, but Mageia is often considered the successor to Mandriva, which is very important in the Linux world, historically. Mageia has a long development cycle, similarly to Slackware, and they are working on Mageia 7, so I do not think it should be removed. PCLinuxOS gets my vote for being ditched, it too is Mandriva-based, but it is an earlier fork of it that even still uses apt-rpm, which is ancient (>10 years since its last update), so isn't really a successor to it.
Solus is a distro I think most deserves to be added, as it is independent, regularly updated, popular, beginner-friendly, fast and aesthetically pleasing. Its development team is also resilient, as they had a crisis when their lead dev unexpectedly went missing for a few months and they still managed to weather that storm and keep on going, just as strong as ever. I am against adding another derivative distro to the list (with the other being Mint), as both Manjaro and MX Linux have their parent distributions (or in MX's case, its grandparent, Debian) already listed on the major distro page.
Please, for goodness sake, do not add Kali to the list. It's a distro that, as it is, is already overtried by beginners that have just watched Mr. Robot and think they can become expert hackers overnight by using Kali. Adding it to the major distro list would likely just encourage them further.
19 • @17 etc. (by kernelkurtz on 2019-01-28 05:12:50 GMT from United States)
Typing this from MX. But despite the recent surge in popularity, MX is not a major distro. It's derivative, of Debian. Just as Manjaro is of Arch. AntiX and Devuan would both be closer to major (though either is a stretch, pun intended).
The suggestion of Alpine above is an interesting call. It's a solid maybe.
Any list of majors that doesn't have Gentoo on it is ... wrong.
20 • New major distro (by Jyrki on 2019-01-28 05:26:23 GMT from Czech Republic)
I would definitely drop Mageia, CentOS, PCLinuxOS and replace them with something new. I would add Solus, Alpine - two original distros..and put Gentoo back on the list.
It's tempting to say Manjaro should be added, but I think it's sufficient to mentioned it in the Arch section - like it's now. And the same applies to MX Linux that would be mentioned while talking about Debian.
I would also not mention FreeBSD among linux distros. It's different operating system.
21 • Did I miss what "major" means? (by Let's be serious on 2019-01-28 06:22:39 GMT from Greece)
Aren't we talking about "major" distributions here? Doesn't "major" mean a stable, long-standing, full-featured, well-supported distribution with original tools? I don't see how derivatives like Manjaro or MX fit this bill. They may be popular but so is Kali. Not to mention Antix(!), which is clearly not a distribution someone would choose to use in a productivity environment.
Even the thought of substituting Mageia with Manjaro or Antix(!) alongside distributions like Debian and OpenSUSE is a joke!
22 • Derivitives (by R Hoagland on 2019-01-28 06:47:32 GMT from United States)
If we're excluding Manjaro and MX because they're based on other distros, then we'll have to exclude Mint and Ubuntu off the list as well...
23 • "Major Distros" etc. (by M.Z. on 2019-01-28 08:07:10 GMT from United States)
As with other, I think a 'Major Distro" should have a legacy & wider impact on the world of free & open operating systems, rather than being a flavor of the month. There are a lot of ways to slice things & popularity can be an important factor; however, it should take either an important legacy/impact several years at the top to really be a 'Major Distro". All of the current group qualify far better than the suggested newcomers, though it is good that such projects are getting so much, they should need to maintain it for a good deal of time to be major though.
"If you *really* want an accurate statistical picture, simply change the 'Data Span' on the Page Hit Ranking list you're familiar with from "Last 6 Months" to "Last 7 Days". "
Wait, so you think we should ignore the big picture signal and concentrate on the daily noise? Why not create & concentrate on hourly data for that matter? Or does hyper analyzing data about the number of times a description was looked at on DW not actually tell you all that much?
From the page about DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking:
"The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more."
It's an interesting indicator _Not_ a statistically valid poll or a truly accurate method for tracking Distro popularity. You seem to be hunting for things to confirm what you believe (eg. 'x Distro that's hot this week is Great!'), which is a way to create confirmation bias, not a path to informed discussion.
"They are simply manipulating the statistics to suit their own purposes."
What are you trying to find in the freaking hit page rankings? How in the heck is looking at something for a longer period of time manipulative? Could it be that hyper-focusing on shorter time periods is your own way of manipulating data because you like some recent trend?
DW description pages give you information that can be used to make an informed selection.
DW hit page rankings tell you what page was looked at by different IP addresses.
Many of us all like to see our preferred Distos do well in that minor indicator, but it is possible to read WAAAY to much into it.
24 • major distros (by Iohannis on 2019-01-28 08:54:07 GMT from United States)
Remove Mageia and don't replace it with anything. Maybe there are only nine or eight distros that can qualify as "major." Certainly don't replace it with a "used to be major" distro or some small project without a lot of influence or upstream contribution. You can always add another distribution later without rushing.
25 • Top Ten Distributions: (eleven listed) ... (by Gregory Zeng on 2019-01-28 09:09:19 GMT from Australia)
The official Distrowatch (Dw) page shows ELEVEN names The order presented is: Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, Mageia, Fedora, openSUSE, Arch, CentOS, PCLinuxOS, Slackware, FreeBSD.
An independent word-count & analysis of the descriptions of these chosen eleven should be done. Debian-base is THE most popular & favored by 137 system creators, in the hundreds listed by Distrowatch. RPM-base is the second most popular; only favored by eight (8). The Distrowatch list is very obviously wrong, since RPM is also used Mageia, Fedora, openSUSE, PCLinuxOS & many others.
There are various ways to choose which ten are to be chosen. Loudness of the supporters creates "factoids". My choice of criteria would be more explicit. In order of importance: funding (several types), commercial support, base used as foundation for "children" by developers, size support communities, Distrowatch commentators, historical importance, etc.
Distrowatch imho should be aware that past or existing readers are NOT the target audience. If Linux, BSD & other open-source operating systems are its target audiences, the FUTURE audiences are to be preferred. Eventually we should see less emphasis on the major operating systems, and the growth of the Distrowatch systems, plus others (Android, etc). This SHOULD be the future direction of Distrowatch, in my professional opinions.
26 • Freedom of choice (by Alburgheiro on 2019-01-28 09:43:43 GMT from Russia)
Developers need jobs. Corporations have jobs. Were you an independent developer working on free software projects, would you voice your opinion against the interests of whom could become your next employer and/or sponsor?
27 • Major distro's (by Rene on 2019-01-28 10:02:07 GMT from Netherlands)
KDE Neon should be added!
As it is a distribution from KDE itself and the Linuxworld should be very thankfull to what KDE has done for Opensource.
Also it is a very clean distro with not many things preinstalled.(i almost typed bloatware)
28 • Major projects (by Argent on 2019-01-28 10:08:31 GMT from United States)
Personally would think that Debian, Arch, Fedora, openSuse, and Slackware would be considered major projects with Devuan, Manjaro, Ubuntu, LinuxMint, AntiX/MX, elementary, and VOID with many others be all derivatives based off of the major projects.
Are we looking at popularity or structure, the development team capability, and assets?
29 • major distros (by Vukota on 2019-01-28 10:09:37 GMT from Serbia)
Neither Mageia nor CentOS belong to the "major". Both of them have history, but CentOS tends to be free replica of commercial parent (thus popular) and Mageia just have history and nothing more (from my point of view).
Now, from what should fill the gap, I agree that neither Manjaro nor MX fits the bill. Manjaro is (IMHO) just a remix of arch merged with something from ubuntu and MX is lacking in part of "influence" and "original".
Gentoo and Puppy would be better fit for "major". Solus have elements to become "major", but I think its not there yet.
30 • Croeso (by Lyn Thomas on 2019-01-28 12:01:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
Nice to see a welcome screen named Croeso, which is the Welsh for Welcome!
31 • Major Distro (by kc1di on 2019-01-28 12:16:59 GMT from United States)
I think if popularity is the criteria for selection the manjaro must be added. But I think the criteria for the category of Major Distribution should be If the distro in question spurs the creation of other distros that is based upon their work.
IE Debian, Ubuntu, Redhat or Fedora, Slackware and Arch. They all have at least one or more Distros directly related to their work. JMHO.
32 • Major distributions (by Eureka on 2019-01-28 13:09:06 GMT from Switzerland)
Considering originality, historic importance, intrinsic value and significance, there are, IMO, currently seven major Linux distributions: Debian, Ubuntu, OpenSuse, Fedora, Arch Linux, Gentoo and Slackware.
So, I would replace Mageia with Gentoo and remove Mint, PCLinuxOS, FreeBSD, CentOS.
VoidLinux and Solus have the potential to become major distros, but we have to wait and see how thex develop in the future.
33 • major distro (by Tim on 2019-01-28 13:31:33 GMT from United States)
I'm not sure the concept of "major distro" has much validity or is that helpful for folks trying to decide what to use.
What I'd recommend instead is to put together a "family tree" of distros, much like the charts on Wikipedia.
Obviously upstream distros like Debian, Gentoo, Arch, Slackware, Fedora are super important because the others are based off them. But what will help people find their home are statements like "this is in the Debian family, and here's what sets it apart." This one's kind of like it, but with an Arch base, etc.
Linux isn't a contest... there's some distros better for some people. But having an idea how the constellation of distros is organized will help people find the right one for them.
34 • MX should be mentioned under hte "debian" entry (by baldyeti on 2019-01-28 13:33:33 GMT from Belgium)
MX is debian-derived, hence not major IMO (note there is confusion with a page called "major" yet listing Top10 distros - two different notions)
But could DW include MX in its list of "Suggested Debian-based alternatives" in the debian presentation on that TopTen page, please ?
35 • Major distributions (by luca on 2019-01-28 13:40:42 GMT from Switzerland)
Well, define Major distribution:
a) - Popular Distribution?
b) - Innovative / Revolutionary Distribution?
* b1) - Must in still active development?
* b2) - For historically purpose, could also be dormant?
a) - Popular Distribution:
Copy and paste the ranking of DW.
b1) - Innovative / Revolutionary Distribution (Active):
- Gentoo for reasons already mentioned above
- Knoppix for the first « popular » Live CD distribution.
b2) Innovative / Revolutionary Distribution (Dormant):
- Down Small Linux for Credit Card sized live distribution (<50MB) and suitable for very old PC (i486).
- Mandrake as « friendly and f*ckable » distribution who used the "Release Candidate" concept very inappropriately (they used to announce and release 5-6 Release Candidate for the Mandrake 9 series, and at the end of that messy, the final release of Mandrake 9.1 made LiteOn CD-Drive unrepeatable broken).
36 • Major Distributions (by Tim on 2019-01-28 13:48:31 GMT from United States)
When I just looked at the poll, I voted for one of the given choices, but now that I read these replies, I would agree that Gentoo should be considered a major distribution. I had no idea that it had been left out.
37 • Family tree (by Jesse on 2019-01-28 14:46:10 GMT from Canada)
@33: We have a family tree of distributions, along with a periodic table style grouping of distros: https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=family-tree
38 • Major Distributions (by Kazlu on 2019-01-28 14:57:34 GMT from France)
This is a tough question whose answer depends on the actual definition of "major distribution" Distrowatch would chose... In my opinion it would be good if that were clearer. Otherwise it's just an endless debate :)
On the major distributions page and the poll question of this week, several elements seem to contradict in some way this definition. I'll try to take those elements separately and provide answers for each.
Let's start with "very active forums or mailing lists where you can ask questions if you get stuck." and close the topic quickly: I think all the distros in the current list, suggested in the poll or in the comments check this criterion easily.
"The bewildering choice and the ever increasing number of Linux distributions can be confusing for those who are new to Linux. This is why this page was created."
So if this page is here to point new Linux users to what they need, I suppose the goal is to present some variety of options considering the beginner's possible citeria of choice. Easy to use and working out-of-the-box (Ubuntu or Mint, maybe not both), very customisable (Arch?), rolling release (Arch again?), long lifetime (CentOS), free software (Trisquel), etc. It would be good to have one for each. People looking for easy-to-use systems and people looking to learn and tinker should all get something to eat :)
"are generally considered as most widely-used by Linux users around the world."
This is a completely different criterion. And I won't even try to tell which is the most used between Manjaro, MX, Mageia or elementary...
"be either highly popular or significant for historical purposes."
Neither MX, Manjaro, Kali, elementary OS, Solus, or even Mageia or PCLinuxOS for that matter plays in the same category as any of the other distributions in the "major" page IMO. But Gentoo does, historically it's influence was important and it brings something unique to the table, even if it's not that trendy today. Just like Slackware. And it stil has it's afficionados. Just like Slackware. Now if you absolutely want to have 10 distros, well OK, then mayyyyybe elementary OS, Mageia, Manjaro or PCLinuxOS can be considered. They all bring something, but much smaller. However, Kali is really a niche distro, MX and Solus are still a bit young. Puppy is also interesting, as it has been influent in the field of distros made to work from RAM only. Was it the first one to work like this? Or did it launch the trend? Knoppix maybe? I'm not sure but Puppy was the first I came across which did that.
"Ideally, the replacement distribution should be one which has also gained popularity for being easy to use."
Ah. That's again something different. This is not a criteria that Slackware checks for example :D Manjaro is great fot people who tinker a bit, they is not fit for people who want their system to just work and be forgotten. MX is nice but elementary OS and Solus are more geared towards non tinkerers, right?
As for "Mageia [...] has been relatively quiet in recent years and seems to have fallen out of the spotlight", as others have said, the same can be said for PCLinuxOS or even Slackware. If Slackware can still play the card of major past influence, PCLinuxOS is on par with Mageia here.
39 • Major Distributions (by Kevin on 2019-01-28 15:25:16 GMT from United States)
Seeing some discussions in the comments on DistriWatch's page hit rankings reminded me of something I realized long ago. There is a flaw in using those to determine a distro's popularity. I've been using Gentoo off an on for many years. But I almost never view Gentoo's page on DistriWatch. I already know about Gentoo. There was a time in the past when I did a lot of distro hopping. The information on DistroWatch was invaluable during those times. I follow DistriWatch Weekly and occasionally view pages for distributions I'm not familiar with, but might want to try under VirtualBox. So, more often than not the distribution pages I view are for distributions I'm not running. Just because I view a distribution's page doens't mean I use that distro. Some of the distros I've used for a significant amount of time as my main desktop distros include Slackware, Debian, Arch, Gentoo, CRUX, and SourceMage. I rarely view their DistroWatch pages because I'm already familiar with them.
40 • Major Distributions.. (by meremortal on 2019-01-28 15:29:46 GMT from United Kingdom)
ArcoLinux with a current average visitor rating of 9.38 surely deserves to be included in the Arch Linux derivatives in Major Distributions.
41 • Arch derivatives (by Jyrki on 2019-01-28 15:38:22 GMT from Czech Republic)
I'd also include Artix, alternative for those who want Arch without systemd
42 • Calligra? (by CS on 2019-01-28 16:02:30 GMT from United States)
Never being a KDE user I've never once heard of Calligra. It looks like Office 97 after a bad acid trip. Hard to believe anyone would ship with that included!
I also second the idea of Alpine, everything else in the poll falls squarely in the "other" category for me. DW is so desktop-focused there may be a challenge in setting proper expectations (e.g. don't use Alpine as your Ubuntu replacement) but it's an interesting thought.
43 • Emmabuntüs (by Roger on 2019-01-28 16:05:48 GMT from Belgium)
I would like to elect Emmabuntüs because they have a very worthwhile project and it runs well.
I don't think a project has to be popular to be on this list, but has to be important for what they do and what their goal is.
Linux Mint is first and I am a fervent user, but don't lose track of the smaller projects that have a vision.
Second choice would be Peppermint, nice but not as polished as Mint, my philosophy as always be that Linux has to be as easy as Windows otherwise it will not be used much.
These days it's better and works right from install, not like Win10 which seem to be a real drag to use and you are always in fear to start your PC for the dreaded updates that take forever.
44 • Manjaro, of course (by Jordan on 2019-01-28 16:10:48 GMT from United States)
With MX waiting in the wings for when CentOS drops off.
45 • Major distros (by David on 2019-01-28 17:03:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
What should be the qualification for being on the list? Surely distros which combine widespread appeal and fulfill a significant need. A distro which just duplicates the features of others fails on the last factor, a niche product on the first. I voted for Manjaro on both counts.
Some voters seem unfamiliar with the products they comment on: Fedora and CentOS are not alternatives! ɪf you want a free enterprise-class distro, it has to CentOS: Debian belongs on servers.
46 • Major Distros (by Stephen on 2019-01-28 17:18:27 GMT from United States)
@12 - Thinking of the case of CentOS some more, perhaps it should be replaced by Red Hat. CentOS has a huge share of the no-cost server distro market, but it's Red Hat that is the influential one. A blurb about Red Hat could include mention (with links) of CentOS, Scientific, SpringDale, etc. as no-cost rebuilds from RHEL source.
So I would:
Drop: Mageia, Mint, PCLinuxOS
Replace: CentOS with Red Hat
Add: Alpine, Gentoo, and ???
I really can't think of a 10th Linux distro that's significantly influential to deserve a spot on a "Major 10" list. Solus is innovative but its OS technology (as opposed to Budgie) has yet to prove especially influential, and Void and NixOS are in the same boat. Puppy has spawned a small family of derivatives, but its purpose is quite narrow.
Perhaps Linux From Scratch (LFS)? It has actually spawned a few children, and experience with it seems to be common in the background of many people who found or work on distros.
47 • Major distros create their own repositories (by Andy Prough on 2019-01-28 17:20:52 GMT from United States)
Major distros put in the time to create and cultivate their own repositories. Debian, Fedora, Arch, openSUSE - these are major distros.
Any distro that relies primarily on the repository work of the major distros (primarily speaking here about the hundreds of offspring of Debian) should be considered a secondary distro.
48 • Major Distros (by Andy Figueroa on 2019-01-28 17:43:01 GMT from United States)
A better definition for "Major Distro" is necessary. Eventually, "historically significant" also becomes irrelevant. By my way of thinking, Mageia, Slackware, and PCLinuxOS have become irrelevant in the Linux ecosphere (I don't like that word).
MX is now relevant, not just because of popularity, but in-part because it's the new Mepis and what it's doing with the antiX developed technology.
Gentoo is relevant because of what it continues to contribute to the Linux ecosphere.
49 • 10 'Major' Distros (by Buster on 2019-01-28 17:48:25 GMT from Canada)
As has been pointed out, the list has been asked to do too many things:
a) State the underlying base distros for the plethora of existing distros.
b) Preserve the history of development through innovative distros.
c) Note the popularity of distros.
d) Be welcoming to newcomers.
It would be easier, and much more fun, to avoid this by making at least two or three lists:
a) The major 'underlying' distros and their children.
b) The most significant distros of 2019.
c) The best distros for newcomers to start with.
One list has too many conflicting aims.
50 • Major distros (by lincoln on 2019-01-28 18:01:07 GMT from Brazil)
I believe that data can enrich opinions, besides Page Hit Ranking, Google Trends data can provide another indicator of popularity, influence, interest, and curiosity to define major distros. Data provided by google trends from 2018-01-28 to 2019-01-20 and comparison of base in Ubuntu (distro highly popular according to google trends). We have:
Kali Linux 9.84615384615385
Linux Mint 7.71153846153846
Fedora Linux 5.69230769230769
Arch Linux 4.55769230769231
Manjaro Linux 1.88461538461538
elementary OS 1.01923076923077
with Mageia, PCLinuxOS, Slackware, FreeBSD, Puppy Linux, OpenBSD, Netbsd, DragonFly BSD, MX Linux and SolusOS reaching <=1.
I soon advocate that Kali Linux and Gentoo are on the list of major distributions.
51 • Source-based Major Distros (by Nathan on 2019-01-28 18:02:30 GMT from United States)
Looking at the major distros page, I see no source-based distro. It's great to have at least one "easy to use" distro on that list... but most of the entries fall in that category! Replace Mageia with Gentoo, and that's a start.
There are several ways that one could go about assembling a major distros list. The most obvious is to rank all of the independent distros and take the top 10. That way pioneering distros get the spotlight, while the derivative distros are just that - derivative.
The above is not fair for distros which contribute a high-level good but stand on the shoulders of giants for the low-level OS. Linux Mint, for example, should at least qualify as a major distro because it is the development platform for Cinnamon. Likewise, Ubuntu should qualify because of its mindshare. Not saying that these two definitely should be on the list, just that the definition should allow for them.
52 • Major Distros... (by Marcos Pereira de Sousa on 2019-01-28 18:29:37 GMT from Brazil)
We could first identify a basic list of linux user types; then make polls about the distros that acomplish, serve and cater more at each one of that list of user types; excessively niche use cases being agruped to reduce the list if necessary...
I believe that is a start.
53 • CentOS (by b(-_-)d on 2019-01-28 19:11:23 GMT from United Kingdom)
Just a word in favor of keeping CentOS on the list. As basically, a free version of RHEL, CentOS runs 27.8% of the world's Top500 supercomputers according to the latest figures. A further estimated 7.4% run either RHEL itself or another of its or CentOS' derivatives.
Since 46.6% of the Top500 run no named Linux version, though all 500 do run Linux btw, and 10.2% have a proprietary system whose origins are obscure, this makes CentOS by far the most popular OS on these massive machines and first choice for many small servers too.
CentOS has a unique importance and place in the Linux ecosystem and in my view, deserves its position in the list. Fedora may be fine on your desktop (I've tried it and don't use it), but on a server where stability and long term support (LTS) are paramount, no freaking way.
So the two are not to be confused! CentOS is also a valuable learning aid, for those intending one day to enter the corporate and business world, where RHEL is likely to predominate.
Actually, I hated the move of CentOS 7 to systemd, but with LTS I am OK for now, anyway...
54 • Major Distros (by daspicer on 2019-01-28 19:22:49 GMT from Philippines)
I think the current list should remain intact, with Gentoo added to make it an even dozen.
55 • Major Distros (by Titus_Groan on 2019-01-28 19:46:14 GMT from New Zealand)
best would be to define what makes a major distro.
My criteria would include :
Does the distro maintains it own full repo?
so Debian would definitely count, as does Mageia.
Or, Does it maintain it own kernel line?
Ubuntu would be included here, as would Mageia.
Or does it send patches upstream for the betterment of all Linux users?
Yes, Mageia does.
Does it contribute financially to FOSS projects.
Yes, Mageia does, because these later 2 make Mageia a real Linux community disto.
56 • Major (by Dimon on 2019-01-28 19:58:59 GMT from Russian Federation)
If debian + ubuntu, then arch + manjaro
Gentoo has to be - this is a major. If there is no Gentoo, then there is no Slackware.
If there is no Mageia, then there is no PCLinuxOS.
Mint, CentOS, MX, elementary OS, Kali is not majors.
Perhaps Solus, but this is still too early to say.
My list: Manjaro, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Arch, PCLinuxOS, Mageia, Slackware, Gentoo
57 • Distros (by Carney on 2019-01-28 20:17:14 GMT from United States)
It's crazy to drop Linux Mint, which is at or near the top of mindshare and DistroWatch rankings.
Keep PCLinuxOS. It's influential enough to have its own derivatives and spinoffs, it's independent of the usual Debian/Ubuntu vs Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS binary, it's unique in resisting systemd while being pragmatic about codecs and drivers.
On the basis of uniqueness and covering bases, I might recommend ReactOS.
I also think it's increasingly bizarre, given marketshare and mindshare, to ignore the ChromeOS family - either ChromeOS itself, or Chromium OS, or CloudReady.
58 • Major (by Aleks on 2019-01-28 21:13:55 GMT from Russia)
If debian + ubuntu, then arch + manjaro
Gentoo has to be - this is a major. If there is no Gentoo, then there is no Slackware.
If there is no Mageia, then there is no PCLinuxOS.
Mint, CentOS, MX, elementary OS, Kali is not majors.
Perhaps Solus, but this is still too early to say.
My list: Manjaro, Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, Arch, PCLinuxOS, Mageia, Slackware, Gentoo
59 • Major Distros (by Michael Doblado on 2019-01-28 21:51:28 GMT from United States)
I actually created my own "major" distribution list based on responsiveness to security issues. Passing through a parent distro's patches isn't enough, because a derivative distro's implementation may so diverge from the parent that a patch isn't relevant or doesn't exist- e.g, MX includes a variety of codecs and software (like adobe flash, eh!} that Debian doesn't patch. Based on this criteria, I would only include as majors the following: Debian, Arch, Fedora/Red Hat, OpenSuse, Ubuntu, Gentoo,
60 • Mageia (by tux on 2019-01-28 21:52:15 GMT from France)
Mageia est une très belle distribution.
Sans doute la plus accessible avec son Centre de Contrôle Mageia CCM, elle est forcément dans le top
61 • Mageia is underrated (by Bruno Cornec on 2019-01-28 22:32:21 GMT from France)
As a Mageia packager I consider of course that the distro is important. But not only for me, but a lot of Linux newcomers as it provides a large choice of desktop env, the MCC allowing a graphical admin of a lot of features, an easy installation process. And what is largely not considered for the server usage as well, with nice security tools (msec), various kernels, auto_inst for automatic deployment, and overall lots of packages maintained by a small but dedicated community.
62 • Regarding the review of KaOS (by eco2geek on 2019-01-28 23:34:39 GMT from United States)
Jesse, there's something I don't understand about your KaOS review. If you didn't want the taskbar on the side, why didn't you change it? I'm running KaOS from live media, and that's the first thing I did. (It also solves the "unreadable clock" problem.) I can't imagine why you'd leave it on the side of the screen for an entire week.
Having the toolbar on the left-hand side in Dolphin, the file manager, is an unusual configuration, and it's the first thing I changed when firing up Dolphin. How to move it to the top is kind of unintuitive, but not impossibly so.
The same for the fonts - if they were too small, why didn't you enlarge them? If you didn't like the theme, which does have a sort of gray-on-gray lack of contrast, why didn't you choose another theme that gives you better contrast?
In your reviews, it seems that you frequently leave things set as they come out of the box, even if you don't like the settings, during your entire review period. Why? In KDE, you can change the look and feel of just about any UI element.
A couple of things I liked about KaOS: the live media offers to install a proprietary driver if you have an NVIDIA card. (Chakra and Manjaro live media also do this.) Also, Yakuake (a drop-down terminal emulator) is set to run on startup. Press F12 to use it.
Finally, regarding Calligra, you really need a display that's wider than it is tall (e.g. 16:9 or similar) in order to use it, since that panel on the right hand side is what allows you to modify the program's settings. If your monitor has enough room, you can easily see both panes. It's not exactly my cup of tea, but I could probably get used to it.
63 • KaOS (by Jesse on 2019-01-29 00:10:50 GMT from Canada)
@62: "Jesse, there's something I don't understand about your KaOS review. If you didn't want the taskbar on the side, why didn't you change it? "
I did change it. Did you look at any of the screenshots in the review?
"The same for the fonts - if they were too small, why didn't you enlarge them?"
I did. My point is not that the user is stuck with settings a certain way, but that the default settings are not great. In any distro you can change fonts or locations of things. Ideally a distro should offer good and consistent defaults. My commentary about KaOS's default layout isn't that it cannot be changed, it's that it's not consistent and not familiar to new users.
"It seems that you frequently leave things set as they come out of the box, even if you don't like the settings, during your entire review period."
That is not accurate. I start by using settings "as is" and note the good and bad ones, because most users do not change settings. Then I change the options I don't like.
"you really need a display that's wider than it is tall"
Definitely not, that would be terrible for my workflow. I can't stand wide-screen setups. Ideally my screen would be about 50% taller than wide since most of what I do involves writing and coding.
64 • KaOS review (by eco2geek on 2019-01-29 00:23:37 GMT from United States)
> I did change it. Did you look at any of the screenshots in the review?
Yes, of course. The panel is on the left-hand side in some of them, on the right-hand side in others, but never on the bottom (or top, as it is by default in Calculate Linux). In other words, you didn't change it from vertical to horizontal.
> I start by using settings "as is" and note the good and bad ones, because most users do
> not change settings.
I hope that's not true. KDE gives users the power to extensively tinker with the GUI, and people should take advantage of it, rather than living with things they don't like.
Thanks for your reviews. I look forward to them.
65 • KaOS panel (by Jesse on 2019-01-29 00:32:24 GMT from Canada)
@64 " you didn't change it from vertical to horizontal."
Why would I change the panel to be on the top or bottom? I prefer desktop panels vertically aligned.
It's true that most users don't change any settings from their defaults. If you work in IT support for a while you quickly learn most users don't adjust the defaults for anything. Many are not aware of the process, that's why good defaults (even in highly flexible desktops like Plasma) are so important.
66 • KaOS review (by eco2geek on 2019-01-29 00:50:25 GMT from United States)
@65: Knowing that you prefer a vertical set-up in general makes it easier for me to understand your review. (If I could offer a suggestion, you could mention that fact in your reviews.)
Thanks for your replies.
67 • Desktop placement (by Dhoni on 2019-01-29 01:01:49 GMT from Indonesia)
@63 @64 @62
IMO every person got their own habits on how their desktop look alike and how they use it to acomodate their work.
For example, for DE with panel i always put the panel at top, full shortcut etc. While on my 2nd display the panel at top but only showing icon of app running on 2nd monitor. Thats the placement i use to get maximum productivity.
one thing that bother me on KDE is their icon and stuff to big for old laptop/monitor with low resolution. I hope they got some tweak tools for it.
68 • Mageia (by Saptech on 2019-01-29 01:09:00 GMT from United States)
I would keep Mageia as a major distro...it has been around since it forked from Mandrake/Mandriva, it is a solid distro. One reason it doesn't get a lot of hits on DW is because once installed, there are not many issues with it. It is still alive & kicking, the devs are working on version 7. MCC is one of the best tools around.
69 • @47 Major distros (by pengxuin on 2019-01-29 01:39:30 GMT from New Zealand)
couldnt agree more.
there is a lot of work involved in building packages and maintaining a repo set.
It is what sets the Major distros apart from the derivatives.
as an aside, I see that user reviews of some distros returns a "0" vote if the review is less than stellar . As I have put in a review, I kept an eye on the votes.
the votes peaked at about "30", but now the votes are "0". How is this possible?
if the reason is someone voted "not helpful", particularly if it mentions factual, repeatable failings of the distro, it is still a vote and should contribute to the overall tally.
70 • openSuse?? (by BadWolfPlays on 2019-01-29 02:49:49 GMT from United States)
People keep talking about openSuse not being based on any previous Distro. That is wrong. openSuse/Suse Linux Enterprise was ORIGINALLY based on Red Hat. As was Fedora and EVEN Mandrake. So, they do HAVE parent Distros.
I really think the Major Distributions page NEEDS to have relevant criteria of WHAT determines a major distribution. Truth be told, there are ONLY 5 MAJOR distributions out there:
2. Red Hat
Most of the so-called major distros ON the Major Distributions page have a parent OR a grandparent.
So, what exactly IS the criteria for being on the list?
71 • Major Distros (by GreginNc on 2019-01-29 04:33:58 GMT from Canada)
My vote was a kneejerk vote for MXLinux, while MX is a very good it really doesn't meet the criteria as I understand it. Gentoo certainly does deserve its place on the list and had I known it was not listed I would have certainly voted other and mentioned it here in the comments. I am not a current of former user of Gentoo so not a personal fan of the distro, but its history and contributions to the Linux ecosystem define it as a "Major Distro" as much as any can make that claim.
72 • Re: 69 (by Daniel on 2019-01-29 04:49:26 GMT from United States)
I agree with the general sentiment you expressed, but it must be balanced against other considerations, otherwise distributions like Vine Linux and Pisi Linux, which maintain repos and build their own packages, could be construed as major distributions. In the case of Pisi Linux, it also has its own unique package management system, which EvolveOS'/Solus' eopkg was, at least at one point in time, based on (eopkg may have been subsequently rewritten or otherwise may have diverged greatly). But I doubt any of us consider Vine Linux or Pisi Linux to be major distributions.
If looking at the ten independent Linux distributions with the most DistroWatch.com page views as stated by Nathan in #51 (please note: I am somewhat taking Nathan's quote out of context, and he points out a problem with this method in that post), that yields Debian, Fedora, Solus, openSUSE, Arch Linux, PCLinuxOS, Mageia, Puppy Linux, Slackware, and 4MLinux, but it leaves out Gentoo, and I certainly don't believe some of those ten distributions with more DistroWatch.com page views Gentoo have more active user communities, more developer resources, better documentation etc. than Gentoo. If also including one non-Linux open-source OS project in the list (as the major distributions list currently does), that would result in ReactOS being included over FreeBSD. Again, I don't think anyone believes ReactOS dwarfs FreeBSD as a project, yet it has more DistroWatch.com page views.
Hypothetically, if a distribution had its own repo infrastructure and all it really did was package the work of another distribution (in other words, they did build their own binaries, but they were still a derivative distribution which was wholly reliant on the maintenance and patching done by the upstream distribution), does that add a tremendous amount of value for users or the ecosystem over a derivative distribution that didn't create its own binaries, but which was focused on user experience improvements?
What about derivative distributions that include additional binaries outside of the packaging efforts of an upstream distribution (i.e. these derivatives are predominately reliant on the repos of a parent distribution, but they provide their own repos in addition), particularly if many of these derivative distributions' packages are, at least in part, based on their own software development work (e.g. Linux Mint and elementary OS)? Linux Mint receives a lot of page views, and it is fairly popular. I can see a few potential arguments against it being considered a truly heavyweight project (as well as some obvious arguments for its inclusion as a major distribution), but, regardless, I don't a see plausible argument that in 2019 Puppy Linux should be considered a more impactful distribution than Linux Mint, even though Puppy Linux is an independent Linux distribution and Linux Mint isn't, and even though Puppy Linux seemingly has more derivatives based on it than Linux Mint does (as per the listings on DistroWatch.com).
Ubuntu maintains its own repos and builds its own binaries, yet the majority of the software in its archive is merged unmodified from Debian. Ubuntu is clearly a derivative of Debian, but that should not keep it from being acknowledged as a major distribution.
[If any developer or otherwise user of Vine Linux, Pisi Linux, or Puppy Linux reads this post, no insult was intended.]
73 • Crux, the Daddy of Arch (by Jenny Taylor on 2019-01-29 05:25:10 GMT from Canada)
Not to throw a spanner in the works or to shatter anybody's comfortable illusions, but don't the folk at Arch themselves say they are following the example set by Crux?
And if we are looking for parent distros, maybe we ought to emphasise the role of the BSDs? Or as some have said, what about Linux From Scratch? Or Minix? And OpenIndiana?
Defining the most influential distros is essentially a matter of opinion. But it is certain those that cropped up recently and will vanish as abruptly, ought not to complicate this intention.
74 • The Major Distro list is a list of most widely used distros (by Someone on 2019-01-29 07:24:04 GMT from Germany)
At least that is what the introduction text says. It should therefore be renamed to "List of Most Widely Used Distros". If you do want a "Major Distros" list then you should use other criteria, e.g. is it an independent distro, does it have a novel approach, what is the heritage, does it is have derivatives, and yes popularity will come in as well. For me the list would be: Debian, Slackware, Arch, Gentoo, OpenSuse, Fedora, Alpine, Linux from Scratch, and add Ubuntu as well because of its popularity. I agree also with the honorable mentioning of FreeBSD.
75 • Re #70 - "openSUSE?" (by Andy Prough on 2019-01-29 07:59:09 GMT from United States)
>>>"People keep talking about openSuse not being based on any previous Distro. That is wrong. openSuse/Suse Linux Enterprise was ORIGINALLY based on Red Hat. As was Fedora and EVEN Mandrake. So, they do HAVE parent Distros."
That is not correct. openSUSE is the community distro for SuSE, which started in Germany in 1992 as a distributor of SLS Linux and Slackware Linux packages. The 1.0 SuSE release in 1994 was a collection of German-language Slackware packages.
Meanwhile, totally separately, Bob Young and Marc Ewing started RedHat in America in 1993, and released their first distribution in 1994.
SuSE did begin to use RedHat's RPM package management system after awhile, but maintained its own stable of packages and created new technologies that weren't in use by any other distro, such as YAST, SuSE's GUI control panel.
You are correct, of course, that Fedora and Mandrake are/were based on RedHat. SuSE was based on Slackware and SLS, and all three pre-dated RedHat's first release.
76 • Major Distributions (by ivanhoe1024 on 2019-01-29 08:16:42 GMT from Italy)
I voted for Manjaro Linux, since it undoubtedly gained an important role worldwide, it's the most popular and versatile non-deb based distribution atm, probably deserves it.
I agree, although, with other comments about Gentoo. Despite not being popular, I think it is one of the "major distribution" by definition. It's very peculiar, started back in the old days, still active... It represents a chunk of Linux History as Red Hat, Debian, Suse, Slackware, it surely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Even Slackware is not a popular distro nowadays, and still I think it should be there where it is, as long as it is still supported and developed. At least Gentoo deserves it more than PCLinuxOS, imho...
77 • Major (by Dimon on 2019-01-29 08:22:57 GMT from Russia)
Mint directly uses Ubuntu and Debian bases. Its main significance is DE Сinnamon. If Mint Cinnamon, then eOS Pantheon, Solus Budgie, deepin, etc.
If you focus on popularity (rather than historical significance) then instead of PCLinuxOS, Mageia, Slackware and Gentoo should be Mint, Manjaro, MX and elementary.
In theory, the list should be expanded, because there were highly popular distributions, although on the basis of others.
78 • Major does NOT mean popular. (by Gabbi Garratt on 2019-01-29 09:51:44 GMT from United States)
There is a big difference while referring major Linux distributions and talking about their derivatives at the same time.
Major Distribution Debian --> stage 0.
For example Ubuntu is derived from Major Distribution Debian --> stage 1,
Linuxmint is derived from Debian derived Ubuntu --> stage 2
The branches has to cut-off when we talk about major.
There is also a big difference between Major Distributions and Popular Distributions.
One would rather say Ubuntu and Linuxmint as popular ones, but, not major.
Few people already said that, or slready suggested.
@ #70 • openSuse?? (by BadWolfPlay)
I really think the Major Distributions page NEEDS to have relevant criteria of WHAT determines a major distribution. Truth be told, there are ONLY 5 MAJOR distributions out there:
2. Red Hat
Most of the so-called major distros ON the Major Distributions page have a parent OR a grandparent.
@ #54 • Major Distros (by daspicer)
I think the current list should remain intact, with Gentoo added to make it an even dozen.
79 • majors (by mmphosis on 2019-01-29 10:36:31 GMT from Canada)
Take these stats with a grain of salt.
Mac OS 4.15%
I am not so interested in what is currently popular as I am interested in what currently works. There are so many distros it is overwhelming! There are so many package managers it is overwhelming. When I see the word “major”, I need to ask what does major mean?
bloated Feature packed distros: Debian Mint Mate elementary ubuntu
Distros with a different way of doing package management? arch nixos, ...
Distros with “major” backers? fedora suse gentoo canonical
Older Distros: slackware
tiny distros: puppylinux.com | tinycorelinux.net | small linux distros for routers
Distros that have a specific utility: partioning, media, kiosk, ...
Linux without systemd. NuTyX Void
Linux From Scratch
All of the distros that I didn't mention: your distro(s) to the top of the list please, ...
80 • Major distro list needs logical criteria and no BSD (by Dxvid on 2019-01-29 10:57:14 GMT from Sweden)
In my opinion the major distro list needs to be based on some well defined and open criteria. Also if it's not possible to define a criteria that results in exactly 10 distros, it might be better to have a list of 4, 7, 9, 12 or 15 major distros.
FreeBSD shouldn't even get mentioned in a major distro list, and if you still do it you could as well also mention Windows, Mac OS X, iOS and other more popular operating systems that aren't Linux distros.
Also the list only contains 1 of the 4 major distros out there: Ubuntu. It doesn't have RedHat Enterprise Linux, or SuSE Linux Enterprise, or the most popular of them all Android used by a couple of billion people. Oracle Linux or Gentoo doesn't get a mention either. But Mageia, PCLinuxOS (never even heard of outside of distrowatch), and FreeBSD (not Linux distro) gets a mention.
My list of major distros would've looked something like this:
1 - Android
2 - Ubuntu
3 - Debian
4 - RedHat
5 - CentOS (just a cheap clone of RedHat)
6 - SUSE
7 - OpenSUSE
If more than 7 is needed add these for historical reasons:
8 - Gentoo (not many users)
9 - Slackware (not many users)
If usage inside docker counts add this one too:
10 - Alpine
If well supported but not very popular distros should be added:
11 - Oracle Linux (more or less a RedHat clone used to run Oracle software)
If more than 11 needed add these hobbyist/home user distros:
12 - Linux Mint
13 - Arch Linux
14 - Fedora
15 - Raspbian
If even more hobbyist/home user distros needs to be added, just fill with whatever distros are stable at the moment and usable in reality on a wide range of modern computers.
Don't add the small hacker specific distros used by a very small group of criminals and police forensics employees, or ones that only ship a live CD/DVD without install in the list of major distros, don't list distros usable only in virtualbox on a Windows machine for a hobbyist trying out Linux once (they should work in reality to be called "major distro").
81 • family tree (by Tim on 2019-01-29 10:58:01 GMT from United States)
@ Jesse, I had not seen that, thank you
I honestly think things right now are pretty good, so I don't want to nitpick. But what I'd add isn't so much a historic family tree, but a current representation of upstream/downstream.
Everyone who uses say, Xubuntu, is ultimately dependent on what goes on in Debian Unstable. Everyone who uses say, Manjaro, is dependent on what goes on in Arch.
In a very real way, they're part of both projects. So I think rather than discuss what a major distro is, sorting every distro into what upstream family it currently is in and then trying to distinguish them from one another in those families might be a helpful thing to do.
For an end user who doesn't care about the base, Xubuntu and Manjaro might seem very similar. But most users probably are most comfortable in one family and this would help them find distros similar to one they want but in a family they know best.
82 • Mageia (by Pascal 621 on 2019-01-29 11:43:34 GMT from France)
Mageia is still a reference distribution.
A worthy heir to Mandrake and Mandriva, ease of use is his main feature.
Very stable, and pleasant everyday, it must be in my opinion in this ranking.
83 • Red Hat <--> CentOS (by J.M.Dyer on 2019-01-29 11:58:38 GMT from United States)
I may be wrong, but isn't CentOS code-identical to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but with the Red Hat name and artwork swapped out for the CentOS versions?
84 • Major Projects page and Parrot (by Jim on 2019-01-29 12:22:08 GMT from United States)
I didn't vote on the major projects poll. I don't use the page. If I am looking for a new distro I use the search page, it lists the OS's with the features I want (and I know what I want), and I decide from there.
I am also using Parrot, which I am very impressed with as a privacy, security OS. I started with 4.2 and have seen the OS improve rapidly, now at 4.5. If you are looking for privacy and security I would give it a try.
85 • Mageia (by /\/\aurice on 2019-01-29 13:05:31 GMT from United Kingdom)
I graduated to Mageia via SuSE and Mandriva, and have been with it since early days.
After occasional forays into Windows I am always glad to be back in the so much more convenient and practical world of Mageia, now on the brink of a new version.
86 • replacement for mageia (by hwms on 2019-01-29 13:21:48 GMT from United States)
One of the best distros I have ever used has fallen way down the Distrowatch ranking list and it may not be considered a major distro. PCLOS is my favorite distro even though I keep looking at others sometime.
87 • Gentoo (by dave esktorp on 2019-01-29 13:30:43 GMT from United States)
Thanks for reminding me about Gentoo.. that definitely deserves the position on the Major Distro list. I don't use it but I'm still surprised I forgot about it.. Gentoo was the first non Red Hat Linux I can remember hearing about.
88 • Major Distributions (by T-Khan on 2019-01-29 15:27:45 GMT from Russian Federation)
Replace PCLinuxOS with Gentoo and leave Mageia alone.
89 • DistroWatch's statistics: an uncomfortable truth...for some. (by R. Cain on 2019-01-29 17:11:09 GMT from United States)
One more sad case of refusing to learn, in order to justify that believing only what one wants to believe is more fun. And easier. And it doesn't require any of that new 'four-letter word'--thinking.
Somewhat similar to someone's mis-spelling a word three times in one paragraph, and then claiming that this particular form of total lack of intelligence is 'just a typo'.
I suggest you read one of the best selling books ever--in more than 60 years on the subject, "How to Lie with Statistics", ( ISBN 10: 0393310728 ISBN 13: 9780393310726) by Darrell Huff. But be warned: there's some _really_ heavy stuff in here like "rolling average', 'mean', 'mode', 'normal distribution'...
...and JUST as importantly (harder to stomach, but certainly easier; all one has to do is click on a hyperlink with one's Chromebook):
"Reading comprehension is a big problem in open-source"
https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/linux-reading-comprehension.html ; and
"More reading comprehension issues in Linux"
90 • Major Distributions (by Tony Harbour on 2019-01-29 17:49:24 GMT from United States)
In my opinion it is not up to DistroWatch or any other so called "in the know" group or persons to determine what a major distro is or is not. All this talk of dropping a particular distro in favor of another reeks of fanboyism and arrogance. DistroWatch is not the be all and end all of Linux just as Ubuntu is not the be all and end all of Linux. Many of these so called major distros are no better than those some of you wish to downgrade. DistroWatch would serve the Linux community better if it would stay out of the "Popularity business" and focus more on the actual promoting of Linux in ways that would be beneficial to the whole of the Linux community irregardless of the Distro. Major Distro?. Minor distro?. Who the hell cares. It is Linux and that is the most important thing after all. Linux is beautiful because of its diversity. When you label a distro as a lesser distro you are in fact discounting all the hard work and effort that goes into creating and maintaining these fine operating systems. It is a shame some of you cant see the Forrest for the trees. I am a linux supporter and a long time Linux user and I feel I have the right to share my opinion. Same on you that consider doing this. It is not your place to do so.
91 • Major Distributions (by Simeral Punjam on 2019-01-29 20:31:05 GMT from United States)
This shouldn't be that complicated. Rather than suggest renaming the topic or redefining it or asking for more lists, I'll just answer the question: Replace Mageia with MX Linux. While Manjaro, Mint and MX all have high popularity on the DW counts, if you choose the average rating filter¸ MX comes out way ahead (highest of all the majors and surpassed only by specialty distros). Manjaro and Mint are far behind. Also, there is a big reason for the recent interest in MX, notice that it is by far the highest rated distro that is systemd-free (yes, it uses shim). The list through the years has always been for distros that people could go to and feel confident of a smooth installation and a great general-purpose desktop with lots of applications. Notice how so many of the DW reviews for the non-majors have so many problems with installation and run-time issues? The ones that make the list, what ever you want to call it, were always expected to offer a smooth and trouble-free experience, especially for beginners or people that want general-purpose flexibility. Much less important for this list is the "heritage" or "history".
92 • 2 distro (by 2distro on 2019-01-29 21:09:35 GMT from Australia)
There is only 2 major distributions namely with systemd and without systemd
93 • 2 distro many flavours (by 2distro on 2019-01-29 21:14:17 GMT from Australia)
Within these 2 distro are the various flavours
94 • Opinion poll. (by Antony on 2019-01-29 21:37:43 GMT from United Kingdom)
I can see the point of DW having an overview of prominent distros, their features and their possible attractions as an aid to those new to Linux.
However, I think interchangably describing the listed distros as Major Distributions and Top Ten Distributions is problematic. I think most of us who have used Linux for a long time would not think that the list properly represents what is meant by Major. I also think that Top Ten (which is not necessarily synonymous with Major by the way) is not a good title either. Even if instead it was the case (just for the sake of argument), that Major was never used or implied _in the first place_ by DW - and was only ever described as Top Ten Distributions, it would not be good to use such a description as 'Top Ten'.
Major/popular/Top Ten/today's top distributions: I think things are a little blurred, and there is probably a need for DW to review the situation. Unfortunately, I think DW has unintentionally caused a bit of confusion/misunderstanding and stirred up a bit of a hornets nest with all this
Now, I am a Mageia supporter and user. I voted for Mageia in the poll. But, I have to admit that I don't think the list is adequetly defined in the first place - and so, the poll is pretty much meaningless as a result. If it was simply a list of Major Distributions, then a requirement for any opinion or poll would never arise - Major Distributions = Major Distributions.
Aside from all that, and leaving Mageia out of the eqaution, I fail to see how Kali, Solus or Elementary could be considered as Major (I have used each of them, and mean no disrespect). As I said, the definition is not clear, but if someone to ask me to list the 'Major' Distributions, I would only list a handful - and none of the suggested alternatives in the poll would feature. I think it is a little awkward when it comes to Mageia, because of the Mandrake heritage - while Mandrake was a spawn of Red Hat, it was revolutionary and undeniably immensely popular and well-regarded. Mandrake (and the whole idea behind it) is an important part of the Linux distribution legacy. The only current distro (realistically) able to provide a such a continuity is Magiea - and in my mind at least, is of significant importance.
FWIW, I have used Linux since the mid-90's (and my last alternative/dual OS was Win95). As a result, there are not many distros I have not used. Highlights along the way for me include Mandrake, Mepis, sidux and Pardus. I routinely have had two or three distos installed at a time, and for the last few years this has included openSUSE and fedora. However, as of Mageia 6, I simply have no need for more than one distro - it provides all I need, is highly dependable and is no bother at all with my nvidia card and proprietary drivers (needed for X-Plane).
Thanks for bearing with me,
95 • Opinion poll. (by Antony on 2019-01-29 22:07:52 GMT from United Kingdom)
"... all have high popularity on the DW counts"
"... Much less important for this list is the "heritage" or "history"." This is a perfectly fair comment of course, but is the list properly defined in the first place?
Trouble is, Majors is one of the DW terms used - and is open to mis/interpretation. Even your use of "highest of all the majors" seems to mean that you do not feel the Majors is not entirely appropriate for the DW list.
96 • Correction (by Antony. on 2019-01-29 22:14:44 GMT from United Kingdom)
Sorry, it should read "...seems to mean that you do not feel 'Major' is an entirely appropriate term for the DW list."
97 • The hobbyists need validation that they're 'professionals', don't they? (by R. Cain on 2019-01-30 05:07:56 GMT from United States)
Next 'major' distribution Opinion Poll list:
Leave Mageia on the page
Wait...what? _KALI LINUX_ ?!!!
Isn't this a "pen-testing" (penetration-testing) distribution for use by serious, trained professionals, the indiscriminate use of which can get one into SERIOUS LEGAL trouble if not used in a judicious, serious, extremely sensitive and discrete professional manner?
Didn't we, just last week, determine that almost half of all current Linux 'users' are simply no more than hobbyists: dabblers and distro hoppers, who most certainly do NOT qualify as serious, much less as 'serious, discrete trained professionals'.
Hare-brained individuals flying drones in commercial-aviation flight paths? You ain't seen nuthin' yet--wait 'til the dilettantes discover what havoc they can wreak with 'pen-testing' software.
98 • One solution would be to split into several "major" categories (by Dxvid on 2019-01-30 05:27:25 GMT from Sweden)
Reading more comments here and reading the introduction to the list of "major" distros my conclusion is that you should make several top lists based on different criterias. It's simply not possible to put CentoOS, PCLinuxOS, Arch, Slackware, FreeBSD or Mint in the same top list and have a logical and well defined criteria.
OpenSUSE/SLE and Ubuntu(with various subprojects) can however be put in almost any list as they are user friendly, run everywhere on almost anything, have excellent desktop and server and hardware support, are stable, have documentation, receive security updates daily and can offer paid support to those who want. You can even run them on IoT devices, in huge clustered megacomputers with IBM risc CPUs and in Kubernetes clusters if you want.
But very few distros are a good fit for almost every user case. Most distros focus on one thing, for example RedHat focuses on providing the most stable server distro, Mint focuses on being free and user friendly for home users.
A bit of brainstorming... You could for example make "major" lists based on these criterias:
- server top list
- professional user desktop top list
- home user desktop top list
- hobbyist/play around/testing top list
- most user friendly Linux top list
- "historical" or oldest distros still alive top list
- penetration test and forensics
- IoT top list
- distros offering best paid support top list with comparison of support response times divided by price, or price per CPU socket, or other ranking.
And also have open, well defined and logical criterias to the different top lists. No need to have a fixed number in a top list. Also maybe drop the word "major" altogether as there's no consensus? Or keep the word "major" and add other classical search words like "top list" and the year "2019" to catch search results: "major home user desktop Linux distros 2019 top list" would help with SEO a bit.
99 • Major Distributions (by T-Khan on 2019-01-30 05:28:45 GMT from Russia)
Replace PCLinuxOS with Gentoo and leave Mageia alone.
100 • Favorite distros (by krasitsky on 2019-01-30 05:30:02 GMT from Russia)
1) MX Linux
2) Manjaro XFCE
101 • More ignorant FUD againsXorg (by Steve Bergman on 2019-01-30 06:28:43 GMT from United States)
From the KaOS review:
"Some looking around revealed that the X.Org display server was using over half of my computer's RAM"
Meaning that the author ran "top", looked at the Xorg RSS number, compared it to his total RAM, and jumped to a TOTALLY INCORRECT conclusion. The RSS number reported by "top" is the total amount of memory logically mapped by the video chipset. This includes its own onboard memory. And that memory is generally mapped MULTIPLE, MULTIPLE TIMES, for different purposes. I guarantee you that Xorg was *NOT* using half this guy's system RAM, and that its system RAM use was, in fact, quite modest. Probably in line with what Wayland would use. I do wish that people would take the time to get these things right.
102 • Mageia (by igorbogd on 2019-01-30 06:39:34 GMT from France)
you indicate that Mageia has been relatively quiet in recent months.
In fact, Mageia does not always release new versions. Version 7 is currently in preparation, and there has been no alpha 1 and alpha2 but directly a beta1.
So less emphasis on the distrowatch site.
However, this distribution is perfectly maintained.
The current version 6.1 is very successful.
The community is very responsive.
The francophone forum knows a number of visits up!
Distrowatch must of course cite Mageia in the reference distributions.
103 • Major Distributions (by Joe on 2019-01-30 11:36:06 GMT from United States)
Replace Mageia with Gentoo. Leave the rest alone.
104 • Distro Watch (by some random user on 2019-01-30 13:38:08 GMT from United States)
I believe Distrowatch would do themselves (and everyone else) a favour if they dropped those lists, and just listed known current distros in alphabetical order with some brief info about each.
105 • X.Org and KaOS (by Jesse on 2019-01-30 13:49:08 GMT from Canada)
I think it's interesting that you read my account of X.Org's memory consumption on KaOS, immediately assumed I read the output of "top" and "free" incorrectly, assumed you knew what was happening on my system, insisted that I (a fan of X.Org) am spreading misinformation about X.Org, and claimed *I* am the one jumping to conclusions.
What actually happened is, when my system started swapping, I checked the output of top, looking at the %MEM field. X.Org's process was using over 50% of my RAM by that time.
I then checked the "free" command and confirmed that used memory (not including cached and shared memory) was full. I was essentially out of available RAM and swap was being used.
I then rebooted and re-tested the system multiple times to confirm X.Org would always start using around 1% of my memory and quickly grow (by the rate indicated) to fill available space.
The results on KaOS were then compared against X.Org's RAM usage on two other machines running different distros. As I stated in the review, the other machines' X.Org memory usage (%MEM in top) never went above about 2%, even when run for days. As I concluded inthe review this appears to be a KaOS-specific issue, not one which affects multiple distributions.
106 • Apparent popularity (by Hypoon on 2019-01-30 15:59:03 GMT from United States)
Many people have already mentioned that Gentoo belongs on the list, and I agree (with bias since Gentoo is my distribution of choice). I won't repeat what has already been said.
Does anyone have the statistics to see if Gentoo's apparent decline in popularity coincides with the switch to "rolling release"? They formerly published regular live CDs, but Gentoo's strength comes from it's deep customizability and unique package manager, both of which are somewhat useless on a live CD. Without publishing live CDs, Gentoo no longer has regular release announcements.
The majority of the news on this site is release announcements, so this inherently underrepresents Gentoo (and perhaps other similar distributions). Gentoo is still very much alive, but there's not as much "news", so new Linux users browsing DistroWatch are unlikely to hear about it. This seems like a disservice to both DistroWatch and Gentoo, but I don't know how to fix it.
I would love to know if anyone has statistics which might support or refute my theory. Perhaps Gentoo's popularity is systematically underrated?
107 • Major distributions (by Simon on 2019-01-30 20:34:16 GMT from New Zealand)
I'll add my voice to the many who've said that Gentoo should be on the "major distributions" list...and I am not a Gentoo user myself. It's a unique and historically important distro, still very much alive...and far more productive in terms of contributions to upstream packages than most of these silly little vanity projects that configure a few themes and default packages and then get called "distributions" just because they advertise themselves as such. Gentoo influenced the Chrome OS that is now one of the mostly widely used operating systems in the world...it deserved its place in the "major distrubutions" list, and the decision to remove it seems to have been based on Distrowatch clicks and the rising popularity of Arch rather than anything substantial.
According to w3techs, 37% of all websites are hosted on Linux. Of those, the great majority are (not surprisingly) running either Ubuntu, Debian or CentOS. Next on the list? Gentoo.
108 • Great Criterion & Very High Bar for inclusion on Major Distributions List. (by R. Cain on 2019-01-30 20:56:47 GMT from United States)
"...To me this feels [like] this project is still living in its glorious past..."
You ARE talking about Mint Linux, right?
I think you've solved the problem of which distros make it onto the list: ONLY those distros which ARE NOT living in their glorious past(s). This will also have the added two benefits of making the list very much shorter.; and making it a lot more accurate.
109 • Mageia status (by David W. Hodgins on 2019-01-30 21:31:59 GMT from Canada)
Just posting to debunk some very fake news here.
Mageia is not dead and has not been abandoned.
As shown by https://advisories.mageia.org/ Mageia 6 has received 57 updates so far
this year (30 days).
The first beta of Mageia 7 has been released and received very positive feedback. The
second beta is on hold pending the fix of two critical problems:
- Plasma support on some older graphics cards
- Gnome dropping support for the systray applet.
Both of these are being worked on. When fixes or workarounds have been implemented,
the second Mageia 7 beta will be tested and then released.
Regarding the release schedule: While the initial plan was to have a new release every 8
months with 16 month support for each release, that turned out not be be realistic do to
a wide variety of situatons such as adding uefi support, the kde to plasma transition, etc.,
that took much longer to implement before the changes were stable.
We do not publish a new releases until we are satisfied with the quality. If that means a
year or more between releases, so be it.
As the leader of the quality assurance team, a member of the council and board teams, I am personally responsible for much of the decision making on when to publish updates and new releases.
Mageia is not a business. There are no sales, advertising, or paid personnel, or user
tracking. The limited expenses it does have are completely covered by donations. It's
the creation of people who volunteer their time due to their passion for the project.
Now, speaking from a purly personel point of view. I don't care how Mageia does in
popularity polls such as dtistrowatch. It doesn't matter. The only people who's opinion
does matter to me are the people who actually participate in the creation of it.
I'm responding here as there are discussions on the Mageia mailing lists by people who
do care about the fake news being published here.
Btw, there is a reason I'm a member of the qa team, not the atelier team. Marketing
does not interest me. Technical issues do.
Regards, Dave Hodgins
110 • Major Distros (by Friar Tux on 2019-01-30 22:03:48 GMT from Canada)
#33 (Tim) That's how I found which Distro I wanted to use. After testing out a few dozen, I found Debian to be the most issue-free. Ubuntu appeared to improve Debian, and Linux Mint seemed to improve Ubuntu. So far, after three years, I has not been disappointed. Mint has never had even the slightest issue ever. We have it on two HP laptops (Mint/Cinnamon 19.1 on mine, 18.3 on my wife's) an we just go to our hearts' content with no interruptions.
#37 Jesse) Thanks for the 'family tree/periodic table'. I wish I had found those sooner. They're great.
111 • Irony Abounds (by M.Z. on 2019-01-31 00:27:45 GMT from United States)
I'm not hunting through statistics in the DW HPR so the fact that you think any justification at all is needed demonstrates something about comprehension on your part. I believe nothing more than this- If everyone has settled on a reasonable data time span & you invent one to suit your needs then you love lying to yourself with statistics.
Wait & see what happens to your preferred distro at the end of 6-12 months rather than inventing conspiracy theories about why that project is 'being kept down'. If it's a good project it will keep attracting attention no matter what story you invent, or even if you stop commenting on it.
112 • Major Distributions - Active distributions (by Bobbie Sellers on 2019-01-31 04:25:18 GMT from United States)
Ok terminology is confusing
Are Major distributions in that they produce Source Code that
downstream distributions use.
Debian SC is used by Canonical as well as many other
interesting distributors to produce Ubuntus and all
its merry spins and distribution as well as Knoppix
the first Live distribution which could be run from a
CD when I joined the GNU Linux users.
Red Hat SC is used by fewer but important distributions
to create CentOS and Scientific Linux. Interesting to
note is that it was forked by Mandrake to use KDE
instead of Gnome. This continued into the Mandriva
daiys and now even systemd has been adopted by
Mageia and by Open Mandriva(RU).
Slackware is the cause for many distros that make
Slackware easier to install. It is for experts along with
Now you do not see many releases from PCLinuxOS
but it is a rolling release with constant updates,
Presently I am using Linux 4.20.5 and today updates
came down for Firefox to version 65 and to Thunderbird
to version 60.5.0. No system D here.
Mageia appears similarly slow to update but it has
version 7 brewing in the Caulron and I have played
with the Beta which is a fine bit of work.
Mint makes frequent releases based on Ubuntu
and less frequent releases base on Debian.
Gentoo is used by many other useful distribution
including Live CDs for various purposes. We
presently have a Gentoo distribution that is a
few years old and a Sabayon that is a bit
older. The files I have show no systemd.
Anti-X is a fine minimalist distro based on Debian
but not requiring the use of systemd.
Devuan now at version 2 is also based on Debian
but forked from Debian to keep the distro free
And that is all I am going to write because the
distributions, major or minor are really what
the Distrowatch site is all about.
I advise if you don't like a program like systemd
that your read the package lists. If you would
rather roll your own use Slackel which a
LUG member is very happy with. Or go further
and read Linux From Scratch.
bliss - PCLinuxOS 64 2019.1 on a Dell E6540
113 • Major Distros... (by Marcos Pereira de Sousa on 2019-01-31 04:53:21 GMT from Brazil)
@98 - Thanks for your brainstorm, Dxvid. You have provided here the rationale necessary when I was having that feeble insight in comment @52.
I couldn't put it better !
The use case drive the list.
114 • Major Distributions (by Jim Stevens on 2019-01-31 06:40:41 GMT from United States)
About two or three times a month, somebody comes to me and says they want to try using Linux and were told to see me. I try to explain some the the major variations and levels of expertise required and then tell them to come back and see me after they have checked out the Major Distributions link on DW (and explain what caught their attention). The Major Distributions list is an "organic" combination of a lot of things, but those on the list are (almost) always used by a lot of people and provide a good support community. Those that said (earlier) Mint should be off the list because it is three levels removed from a source distro (Debian) are missing a really big point. Ubuntu made Debian a lot easier, more up-to-date and more popular, and Mint made Ubuntu more responsive to the user community (as opposed to the sponsor). All three have a legitimate place on the list and none should be removed. FreeBSD probably does not belong on the list, but DW explains their reasons for putting it there - fine then. CentOS also feels a little out of place, but it stands in for the "server" editions. With the exception of Slackware, I would tell a new user that any distribution on the list would make a great starting point. They can't go wrong but can advance from there once they know where they are going. Twice I've had someone start with Kali and in both cases they eventually went back to the list (Mint in both cases) before they were satisfied (I warned them). Now as important as Gentoo is, like Kali, I would never recommend either to a beginner - that might be a good way to have the interested person return to Windows. Let them advance there as their interest directs them. I would also caution against any rolling release (Arch) though it has a place on the list. I believe the list belongs there (to those that would like it removed). I would not tell someone to just peruse an alphabetical list with 100 entries (as someone suggested) - the sad fact is, most distros are a disappointment. Few are really decent. The list must stay and as it stands now it's very good. I have no objection to replacing Mageia either way. Neither would I object to the removal of CentOS, Slackware or FreeBSD (which is number 11, anyway). I would like to see MX Linux on the list because that is where a lot of people are finding comfort lately - I think that one really is becoming "major" and should be on the short list for people that are looking for guidance. It's also a more robust systemd-free entry than PCLinuxOS (though the latter may or may not be easier for beginners). Experts know how to use the Search Page. Beginners need the Major Distributions list, and I need it to tell them were to look first - it's the only starting point on the web for new, interested parties (what else is there - Wikipedia - no, only DW and the list is the starting point).
115 • Ubuntu : systemD exploit (by Gabbi Garratt on 2019-01-31 10:35:44 GMT from United States)
The exploit script, written in Python 3, targets the 20180808.0.0 release of the ubuntu/bionic64 Vagrant image, and assumes that address space layout randomization (ASLR) is disabled. Typically, ASLR is not switched off in production systems, making this largely an academic exercise.
The script exploits CVE-2018-16865 via Linux's alloca() function, which allocates the specified number of bytes of memory space in the stack frame of the caller; it can be used to manipulate the stack pointer.
Basically, by creating a massive number of log entries and appending them to the journal, the attacker can overwrite memory and take control of the vulnerable system.
116 • comments on Distrowatch (by some random user on 2019-01-31 14:21:16 GMT from United States)
As far as the comments on Distrowatch ( https://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20190128 ) go, it only illustrates how Linux users are sometimes their own worst enemy. The fanboi bull-ca-ca of bashing every other distro except their own favorite distro has helped keep Linux from gaining larger acceptance among computer users, and from becoming mainstream.
This junk should stop.
117 • Vertical vs Horizontal (by Jordan on 2019-01-31 15:06:10 GMT from United States)
I admit to not seeing a vertically aligned display for over twenty years. I'm almost startled that there are people expressing that as a needed preference given the multitasking (more than one app opened) done by most coders etc.
To each his own, eh?
118 • Screen alignment (by Jesse on 2019-01-31 15:15:13 GMT from Canada)
@117: "I admit to not seeing a vertically aligned display for over twenty years."
No? It's fairly common with people who use graphs, spreadsheets and code on a regular basis. Most of the geologists I know use vertically aligned screens too for reading logs/charts. It was quite common in one office I worked in recently for people to use two screens, one horizontally aligned for office work (e-mails, presentations) and another vertically for the above-mentioned tasks.
119 • poll (by dolphin oracle on 2019-01-31 17:54:58 GMT from United States)
given that chromeos is based on gentoo (with a huge installed base), surely that qualifies as gentoo as "major".
120 • Major distros (by wramby on 2019-01-31 18:22:57 GMT from United States)
Personallyy I feel a "Major distribution" is one that is not based on any other distribution but that is the base for other distributions. That would pare your list down to ~6.
That said, if not to be simply about the base, then Elementary OS should be on the list for the same reason that I believe Linux Mint is on the list; it is going to be the introductory distribution that many newcomers to Linux will try first in order to get their feet wet with Linux, so to speak.
121 • MX Linux ? (by dieu on 2019-01-31 18:49:53 GMT from France)
première fois que j'en entends parler.
une distribution "encore" basée sur Débian, il y a assez dans les distributions de références.
debian, ubuntu, mint .....
first time I hear about it.
a "still" distribution based on Debian, there is enough in the reference distributions.
debian, ubuntu, mint .....
122 • major dissing (by Friar Tux on 2019-01-31 18:56:30 GMT from Canada)
#114 (Jim Stevens) You, sir. get the award for best comment, in my books. I cannot agree more. Thank you for posting.
#116 Well said. And from the comments, here, quite true.
Jesse, a wee suggestion (gleaned from these comments). Perhaps, DW could start a more prominent/noticeable page for beginners. i,too, like #114, send new-comers to DW, but they usually come back with, 'Which page? They have so much info, where do I start?' Maybe something simply with a detailed description. (Though I have to admit, I usually steer them toward Mint/Cinnamon as I'm quite partial to that one, and it appears to have no issues.)
123 • Somebody can't thimk gud or orijinal (by R. Cain on 2019-01-31 19:55:33 GMT from United States)
“...I'm not hunting through statistics in the DW HPR...”.
We all KNOW that. If you were, you’d be (more) knowledgeable.
“... you love lying to yourself with statistics...”.
Can’t think of anything original to say, huh?
“...Wait & see what happens to your preferred distro at the end of 6-12 months...”
Here’s the data you asked for; I’m certain that *you* will be able to find a conspiracy theory on my part *somewhere* here...
Linux Mint--#1 on DistroWatch’s Page Hit Rankings from 2011 through 2017.
Linux Mint 17.3--the VERY BEST of all Linux distributions going into 2017.
Linux mint 18--introduced June, 2016. Never occupied DW #1. No Mint Linux has ever been in the #1 spot since Mint 17.3, and most certainly have never been deemed the best of any Linux distro, by anyone. Now, about your...
“...inventing conspiracy theories about why that project is 'being kept down'...”
Please tell us ALL what conspiracy theories of mine you are referring to. Your *modus operandi* seems to rely as much on fabrications as much as it does on not being able to spell common words. You are to be commended on your knowledge of the complicated, two-syllable abbreviation, “typo”, however, to which you ascribe your lack of common knowledge.
Oh, wait...darned. I just gave you an absolutely GREAT excuse for a rejoinder and the continuation of the verbal diarrhea, to wit: your demands of me were for only "...6-12 months...”
Ah, well; there’s an old Chinese curse--"May you live in in interesting times”. Looks like we’re all going to get another interesting post.
“It’s a poor brain as can’t think of at least two or three different ways to spell a word."--Andrew Jackson
“I well understand the honourable gentleman’s desire to speak on; he needs the practice badly.”--Sir Winston Churchill
124 • vert... horiz... (by Jordan on 2019-01-31 21:21:32 GMT from United States)
@118 well.. the geeky folk I know most often have more than one app up on the screen and shape according to their needs.. dragging and dropping, doing their geeky good things, on wide screen monitors/displays.
That's from googling "science lab computers."
125 • Deserves has got nothing to do with it. (by edcoolio on 2019-01-31 22:40:16 GMT from United States)
The winner should be MX LINUX. The other top-two do not go through any effort whatsoever to provide i386/i686 versions. MX does, and therefore provides a wider solution for more equipment.
I would like DW to reward the greatest success with the greatest effort and capability among the widest range of equipment. That is MX Linux.
Now they just need a bunch of ARM versions.
-Some people here seem to be confused.
DW, however, was very clear:
"Which new distro should be listed as a major project?" and "Ideally, the replacement distribution should be one which has also gained popularity for being easy to use."
This does not describe Gentoo or any of the many minor distros out there. Yeah, I said it. MINOR. Did I say "unimportant"? NO. Would anyone in their right mind describe it as a major project that has gained popularity for being easy to use? Of course not. Maybe some derivatives, maybe some forks, but not Gentoo The same could be said of Puppy and many others, but I won't go there.
126 • Major (or not) distributions... (by Ostro on 2019-02-01 07:36:32 GMT from Poland)
Actually, this is Distrowatch, so it should "watch" for all kinds of distributions, major or not. Especially, those that are not. Those more or less one-man distros keep the user interest on Linux up than those "major" ones.
127 • Major distributions (by zephyr on 2019-02-01 09:01:18 GMT from United States)
@126 Ostro: Thanks for commenting favorably on so-called "one-man" distributions. One individual can be the author and many others involved as a collaboration. Found this to be true with many very good, stable distributions who have a very small team or less.
Personally, if a distro says what is claims and just work OOTB, and the so-called major distributions throw something out here as a final release and too buggy to use, would believe the one-man distro is just lacking visibility and a Linux best-kept secret.
Major distributions from 2 years ago on DW compared to those now is a product of sloppiness and systemd.
128 • Major Distrobutions (by euge on 2019-02-01 20:18:47 GMT from United States)
I have contemplated and though through that all of the good people on here that voted. I see many thoughtful ideologies that sum up many pertainant credible solutions to your major scheme of things. My thoughts on what they bring to the table as game changer, reliability, what they bring to the GNU/Linux community, and timeless longevity.
I do see that Gentoo does match this criteria; but so does MX Linux. The MX/Mepis community has all of this and more. Just look at the history and timeless efforts that are instilled in what MX/Antix do. They have survived with a stunning base. they bring that Out-Of-The-Box experience, there own personalized MX Toolkit, and a very stable OOTB experience. That is what set Mepis apart from the crowd back in the early 2000's. MX and the heritage of Mepis must be on the list.
Oh and I might state to add KDE Neon and remove CentOS. KDE is the King and the first. Neon is KDE.
129 • Reading too much into Hit Page Ranks (by M.Z. on 2019-02-02 00:21:14 GMT from United States)
"-“...I'm not hunting through statistics in the DW HPR...”.
We all KNOW that. If you were, you’d be (more) knowledgeable."
Again from the DW site:
"The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more."
You are trying really hard to read tea leaves & prove climate patterns with a simple hobbyist weather station.
"Please tell us ALL what conspiracy theories of mine you are referring to."
"Takeaway: beware of people--including distro developers (and I've had my share of these)--who will tell you that the only thing "...which really counts..." is DistroWatch's "Last 6-Month" average. They are simply manipulating the statistics to suit their own purposes."
So my takeaway is that you are very worked up about the equivalent of a backyard hobby weather station & what it's monthly numbers reveal about climate change, especially given this months polar vortex affecting said station. You can read a lot into that if you want to, but the reality is there isn't much to gain from it. What you want is the equivalent of a global average mean temperature for the year from multiple reliable sources, that is if you wanted any real data on climate, or skipping the metaphor, Linux usage. Sadly there aren't that many great sources of Linux usage numbers.
Get as worked up as you want to about spelling from whenever, or make all the quotes you want. You are still getting way too worked up about hit page ranking & its kinda sad.
130 • On #129 (by M.Z. on 2019-02-02 00:53:21 GMT from United States)
"...given this months polar vortex affecting said station..."
Come to think of it, that might be considered last moths polar vortex. Hardly worth mentioning given the context, but some have an excessive obsession & sad degree of anger with minor errors.
131 • Data Wanted (by Marcos Pereira de Sousa on 2019-02-02 04:08:53 GMT from Brazil)
@129 "What you want is the equivalent of a global average mean temperature for the year from multiple reliable sources"
"Sadly there aren't that many great sources of Linux usage numbers."
But there are great possibilities: Computers & Software. Globally. Year after year.
Remember the NTP system? I bet that any software system to collect the data we want
(hardware & software running in a machine, including distro name etc) would cost a little fraction of that system. Scans of the net would collect the data at nodes, protected, encrypted, signed, protocolized and whatnot, by the month or whatever. All the paranoia raging today with tampering in IT would guarantee the data reliability.
I am proposing a software solution. Good for developers & engineers & managers & users & makers alike. Something to be in the keep of the FSF or equivalent.
That last quoting phrase will turn "Luckily there are many resources. Let's do it."
132 • MX linux (by ivan maqr- on 2019-02-02 07:14:32 GMT from Canada)
MX linux is not a reference distribution, never heard before either.
it's only debian with XCFE ....
133 • @132 (by anticapitalista on 2019-02-02 12:32:00 GMT from Greece)
@132 said "MX linux is not a reference distribution, never heard before either.
it's only debian with XCFE ...."
It may not be a reference distro, but MX Linux is a lot more than debian with XCFE.
134 • Major Distrobutions (by Tony on 2019-02-02 12:58:37 GMT from United Kingdom)
Many of the top Linux are derivative.
They add a feature or specialise by adding software or tools that makes a minor improvement to the user experience
Why not have a league with the base distro at the top followed by the most popular derivative distros?
135 • Best Data on OS Usage Share & Distros (by M.Z. on 2019-02-02 17:15:50 GMT from United States)
Well there are certainly things covering overall usage share of OSs, though they can be somewhat contradictory when you dig into the numbers a bit. The thing about them it there is very little good data on the topic of specific Linux Distros, which is what DWs HPR give a minor indicator of via the interest of viewers of DW pages about specific Distros.
The best place to start is probably here:
And one of the better primary sources is probably here:
My big takeaways are this:
Android (and possible Linux by extension- depending on how you count) owns the #1 spot it total OS market share & total device installs when you combine mobile & desktop.
Windows still dominates the desktop & Mac is still solidly #2.
Generic desktop Linux seems to be at around 1-2% of the desktop, though it could be at 3-5%+ depending on how you count ChromeOS & what you want to read into 'Unknown' OS stats.
So that's probably a reasonable broad picture, but again there is very little data on specific Linux versions. I'm sure one could dig up some info on browser IDs, but then you have issues like many Distros being identified generically as 'Linux' (as is the case with Mageia & LMDE), and with other Distros being identified with their parent (the non-Debian versions of Mint ID as 'Ubuntu" for instance), and you realize there isn't great data there either.
Browser ID is the best widespread generic marker I can think of & I don't think most Linux users like being tracked that much (though that could just be me). I sort of like letting website know I run Linux, but I also run 'do not track' headers & tracking protection. I think there are limits on what users would want to give out about themselves, though I wouldn't mind generating anonymous aggregated data on myself.
I think there are also internal metrics that distro makers use such as 'total FTP downloads per release' or 'PCs running updates', but that data isn't widely available. That data would have to be combined & aggregated to be particularly useful in comparing Linux Disto popularity & not all Distros will use the same metrics. There are also questions on that front of what users would consider acceptable data collection.
Anyway I think it's a bigger can of worms than you seem to, but if there was a way to generate reliable anonymous data I would like to see it implemented.
136 • @132 it's only debian with XCFE .... (by Anonymous on 2019-02-02 18:05:32 GMT from Australia)
it's only debian with XCFE ....
it's debian based with Xfce less systemd
137 • "May you live in interesting times" (by R. Cain on 2019-02-02 18:54:47 GMT from United States)
I was wrong; I admit it. Here's the very serious error--
@123 --"...Your *modus operandi* seems to rely as much on fabrications as much as it does on not being able to spell common words..."
Your modus operandi includes, as three VERY MAJOR elements, changing the subject, insulting the good graces and courtesy of the very people whose information you use--whenever it suits YOUR purposes (@129 --I'm sure Jesse Smith is ecstatic about your claiming that DistroWatch is "...the equivalent of a backyard hobby weather station..."); and talking (no, make that "arguing") in circles. You need to look up the word "tautology". On second thought, you might want to have someone do it for you...
"...make all the quotes you want..."
Thank you for your largesse; I will, and here's one that suits your lack of comprehension and perceived superiority perfectly--
"I would rather argue with a hundred idiots, than have one agree with me."--Sir Winston Churchill
Get a Chromebook.
138 • Linux For Work & For Hobby Uses & DW HPR (by M.Z. on 2019-02-02 22:26:27 GMT from United States)
I get where you are going with that, but Linux does some extremely important things on stock markets, in server rooms & in supercomputers, so it's a bit of a complex topic. Personally I do nearly all my important computing on Linux & I believe it could suit most important tasks well. The problem this week seems to stem from inability to recognize that one has built up something too much. The terms on the DW HPR page include:
'...a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website.'
'They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions.'
So it would be fair to say that tracking interest among DW visitors & Linux hobbyists is an important task in DW site, but not necessarily anything definitive or statistically accurate. Linux can very easily be used by hobbyists but it can also be much more than that. Sadly the DW page rankings are being misinterpreted as far more than they are, or more than they were ever intended to be. It's a bit of a hobby project tracking interest among Linux hobbyists.
To extend the prior weather station metaphor, a well done home weather station may or may not be well calibrated, but it certainly won't be a critical part of predicting the weather for an entire continent. The home weather station gives a good picture of what occurs locally, but a better source of data would have all of it's instruments calibrated periodically according to a set of standards. To get a truly accurate picture well calibrated stations are cross checked against each other & other sources like satellite data to come of with scientifically rigorous information.
In the case of DW HPR we are just seeing what the Linux enthusiasts & hobbyists who frequent DW are looking at. This provides a great picture of potential user interest, but it is not statistically rigorous & doesn't have any sort of cross checks to guess any margins of error. As one possible cross check, the data from DW could be combined with info on completed FTP downloads from a few Distros & we could compare DW interest VS total downloads over time. That would of course leave out BitTorrent, but it would create a better picture of what's happening in the real world & how it corresponds with DW HPR.
As an example of an interesting factor to mess up DW HPR, I noticed a YouTube video & cross checked myself & found that Mint & Manjaro both have their DW pages far higher on Duckduckgo & Google search results than Ubuntu, which is almost certainly a fair bit more popular than Manjaro in real installs. Clicks off of these would easily skew the reality of Distro use vs DW HPR.
Anyway, basically Linux if for both serious & hobby tasks, while DW HPR is more on an interesting metric useful to guesstimate interest rather than define usage, as it is not statistically valid measure.
139 • re: DW HPR (by M.Z. on 2019-02-02 22:31:12 GMT from United States)
Ignoring the disappearing comment, that search thing probably has a lot to do with real use vs DW HPR. I mean if the DW page on Ubuntu isn't even on the first page of Google search results, why wouldn't it be far lower than Manjaro on DW regardless of real use?
140 • 135 • Best Data on OS Usage Share & Distros (by M.Z. on 2019-02-02 17:15:50 GMT (by Marcos Pereira de Sousa on 2019-02-03 05:28:34 GMT from Brazil)
@135 Thanks for your post & links. Indeed that's the way it is. Agree 100%. Cheers
141 • @ #138 • Linux For Work & For Hobby Uses & DW HPR (by M.Z.) (by Stan Statton on 2019-02-03 06:02:41 GMT from United States)
@ #138 • Linux For Work & For Hobby Uses & DW HPR (by M.Z.)
Heres is my two cents,
Data Collection ans statistical analysis is subjective terms wrapped around the object called subject,
and purely subjective. It help to predict the trends, but, most often proven to be absolutely wrong in
real-life with more than one complex variables.
Here are just two examples:
Statistical Analysis for the data bearing only one variable is very easy. Same as either to be "true" or to be "false". The authenticity of such analysis bears probability only 0.5 to be proven to be true. Not even close to 1.
Statistical Analysis for the data bearing two variables bears probability only 0.25 to be proven to be true when facts are not subjectively altered.
When I asked my kid, Do you like x=Oranges or y=Apples?
0 0 -> doe not like any, definitely not true because eats sometimes.
0 1 -> likes apples, definitely not true because never pick-on apples.
1 0 -> likes oranges, definitely not true because never pick-on oranges.
1 1 -> likes both, this is only the possibility left considering above threes are true
All above possibilities bears probability of 0.25 to be true, but, in reality, real scenario is absolutely different.
The Statistical Data Analysis gets more and more complex When more variables than just two are involved,
a = egg omelet b = pan cakes
a b x y
0 1 0 1 -> likes apple juice with pan cakes.
1 0 1 0 -> likes orange juice with an egg omelet.
All above possibilities bears probability of 0.12 to be true bearing real facts, but, in reality, real scenario is still absolutely different when more choices are offered.
Statistical Analysis helps to keep data analyst busy pulling hairs,
and makes readers happy if results match their choices or preferences.
It can be proven absolutely wrong when reference and time coordinates are different.
If any one reading this is a Data Analyst, here is a puzzle for you:
Can you predict a direction of next swing of the leaf on the tree when wind is blown.
possibilities are : 2.34854258277e+108
probability : 4.25795984e-109
Rest is real fun.
142 • slightly different perspective (by tim on 2019-02-03 06:07:47 GMT from United States)
CentOS and FreeBSD, although currently listed on the "Major" page, each has garnered fewer than 100 reviews by DW readers. Of the candidates for addition listed in the poll, if each of them has elicited 100+ ...isn't that an indication that we, collectively, have already indicated that these are "Major" distributions?
143 • ChromeOS (by Tim on 2019-02-03 11:03:36 GMT from United States)
I'm not sure how ChromeOS doesn't get counted as Linux. If you open a terminal and type uname -a it identifies itself as Linux. If you download Crouton it runs Ubuntu or Debian in a chroot. One of my favorite Linux devices right now is a retired school chromebook that's a great little portable media player.
And there's millions of them in US schools
144 • Major Project-- New Distribution. (by R. Cain on 2019-02-03 18:06:57 GMT from United States)
As to the "Major Project" new distribution--
Based on "Reader Ratings', my vote goes to MX-Linux, with a Reader Rating of 9.4 out of 567 reviews. Manjaro's Reader Rating is 8.5, and 846 reviews.
Unless I've missed something, MX-Linux has the highest Reader Rating--9.4--of any of the top-10 distros; and possibly the highest of the top 20--for any (recent--1-month through 12-month) time span.
Just as 'controls' of sorts: Ubuntu has a Reader Rating of 7.5 with 389 reviews; and Mint has a score 0f 8.6, and 774 reviews.
145 • MX linux ????? (by Linus Torvalds on 2019-02-03 22:27:25 GMT from United States)
take debian, and adjust xcfe, it's a bit light?
but it's not a reference distribution
146 • Mageia is an important distribution (by margar on 2019-02-03 22:32:27 GMT from Romania)
Mageia is easy to use.
She has a control center.
It is different from others. It is a reference distribution, like Debian, Mint ...
147 • Can ChromeOS be considered a "REAL"Linux? Should it be? (by R. Cain on 2019-02-03 22:40:01 GMT from United States)
An interesting point, and question, is raised here. To paraphrase a well-worn chestnut: "Wikipedia is your friend."
A lot of points are raised which most Linux purists can point to as invalidating ChromeOS as a 'true' Linux distribution, but perhaps the most damning are the following:
"...Early on, Google provided design goals for Chrome OS, but has not otherwise released a technical description..."
"...Chrome OS code is only supported by Google and its partners and only runs on hardware designed for the purpose..."
The fact that Google made it impossible to print to any "standard" printer--which you may have used for years with Linux, Windows, or Macs--has done nothing to endear ChromeOS to the masses. You have to print via one of Google's own concoctions--which goes through, and belongs to, Google, of course--called "Google Cloud Print", because, as Google says, "...developing and maintaining print subsystems...simply isn't feasible."
"...In 2016, Google included "Native CUPS Support" in Chrome OS as an experimental feature that MAY EVENTUALLY become an official feature..."
No; sorry...ChromeOS is NOT Linux. It doesn't matter how many millions are used in schools--that only speaks to the marketing juggernaut of Google, and not to any technical superiority--paradoxically, just the exact opposite.
Send your 'thank-you' notes to Google. If it works for you, get a Chromebook. And a Google Cloud Print account. And make very certain that you stay really, REALLY close to a WiFi connection.
148 • Chrome OS (by Jesse on 2019-02-03 23:08:04 GMT from Canada)
The big strike against Chrome OS being counted alongside other distributions of Linux, is its closed license. Its license specifically prohibits its use as an open source operating system: "You may not (and you may not permit anyone else to) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, decompile or otherwise attempt to extract the source code of the Software or any part thereof, unless this is expressly permitted or required by law, or unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by Google, in writing." - https://www.google.com/intl/en/chromebook/termsofservice.html
That's a big part of why most Linux sites don't explore Chrome OS.
149 • Chrome-OS (by Titus_Groan on 2019-02-04 00:02:02 GMT from New Zealand)
probably a better option is to remove Chrome-OS and install something more to your liking.
Usually the hardware specs are pretty good, especially if you can get one with a HDD and change it for a SSD and up the RAM to something more useful, say 8GB.
usual cause for sale appears to be dead battery, but you can probably pick up a new battery for about the same as the sell price of the used Chromebook.
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