| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 805, 11 March 2019
Welcome to this year's 10th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Every once in a while a distribution comes along and introduces a new concept or a new approach to a solution and it makes things so much easier that it causes a shift in the way people deal with their computers. EasyOS may be making such a stride forward in its unusually streamlined and integrated use of containers. EasyOS integrates setting up containers with package management and makes it unusually simple to set up sandboxed applications. Our Feature Story talks more about this remarkable, experimental distribution and its features. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about managing background services and how to automatically start desktop applications. We follow this up by asking about automatically launched applications in our Opinion Poll. Plus, this week we talk about what to do with machine IDs, the Haiku developers introducing desktop polish and filesystem fixes to their operating system. We also report on Feren OS moving its package repository, and Ubuntu Studio's status as an official Ubuntu community flavour. Plus we are pleased to report on the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Review: EasyOS 1.0
- News: Devuan team debates machine ID file, Haiku improves desktop features and file system support, Feren OS changes repository servers, Ubuntu Studio considers its relationship with Ubuntu
- Questions and answers: Managing services and start-up applications
- Released last week: Ubuntu 14.04.6, Pardus 17.5, SparkyLinux 5.7
- Torrent corner: Alpine, Antergos, antiX, Berry, Exe, ExTiX, Pardus, ReactOS, Sparky, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Yunohost
- Upcoming releases: SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1 RC2
- Opinion poll: Automatically starting applications
- New distributions: HexagonOS, Olean Linux
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (19MB) and MP3 (15MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
I was in the mood to try something different this week and found myself reading a list of features that separate EasyOS from other Linux distributions. EasyOS is an experimental distribution and more likely to appeal to people who like to tinker or experiment with features than someone who wants a stable system for day-to-day use. This week an experimental approach was exactly what I wanted so I downloaded EasyOS 1.0 to give it a spin.
EasyOS was created by Barry Kauler and will probably look familiar to you if you have used a member of the Puppy Linux family of distributions. EasyOS has a similar desktop, many of the same tools and even makes the same barking sound when the desktop loads. As the project's website states:
Barry Kauler created Puppy Linux in 2003, turned it over to the 'Puppy community' in 2013. It is only natural that a lot of 'puppyisms' can be found in Easy, though, it must be stated that Easy is also very different, and should not be thought of as a fork of Puppy. Inherited features include the JWM-ROX desktop, menu-hierarchy, run-as-root, SFS layered filesystem, PET packages, and dozens of apps developed for Puppy.
The features which caught my attention were focused on containers, lightweight environments isolated from the main operating system. The project's website does a nice job of explaining this: "EasyOS is designed from scratch to support containers. Any app can run in a container, in fact an entire desktop can run in a container. Container management is by a simple GUI, no messing around on the command line. The container mechanism is named Easy Containers, and is designed from scratch (Docker, LXC, etc are not used). Easy Containers are extremely efficient, with almost no overhead -- the base size of each container is only several KB."
What this means, for the user, is we can run a web browser or e-mail client inside an isolated environment. If a malicious actor manages to take over our application, they can only affect things inside the container. All of my files and applications outside of the container remain unaffected. I can open a container, create new files, delete folders and, when the container is shutdown, all of my changes are wiped clean; it's like my actions inside the container never happened. Now that we have covered the theory, let's see how it works in practice.
EasyOS 1.0 -- Introduction to the operating system
(full image size: 353kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
My trial with EasyOS got off to a rough start. I tried booting the operating system in a VirtualBox virtual machine and ran into a kernel panic right away. I could not get the system to finish its boot process.
EasyOS 1.0 -- The welcome window with settings
(full image size: 405kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
I then switched over to running EasyOS on a laptop. The system booted, showed me its JWM-ROX desktop, which looks and acts almost exactly like earlier versions of Puppy Linux I have tried. Once the desktop loads, a welcome window appears giving us a chance to customize our time zone, language and screen resolution. We are also given the chance to enable a firewall. A new window then opened giving me a general overview of the project and showing me a diagram of the desktop with explanations of what the various components do.
As the diagram shows, many key applications and two package managers can be launched from desktop icons. More programs, in a variety of categories, can be opened through the application menu in the bottom-left corner of the screen, or via right-clicking on the desktop. The diagram shows us where the application menu is, the icon we need to click to install new application bundles and we are shown that the icons with locks in their upper-left corners are containerized programs.
EasyOS 1.0 -- An introduction to the desktop
(full image size: 330kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The main reason I was trying out EasyOS was to experiment with its custom container technology. I find containers are often useful, particularly when used to isolate desktop programs which need to process data from untrusted sources. Web browsers especially are popular targets and isolating them to prevent a hijacked browser from damaging or infecting the rest of the operating system is useful.
Containers on EasyOS seem to be set up to be used in one of two ways: running a single application in a container sandbox, or running an entire desktop environment in a sandbox. Clicking an icon for a contained application opens it on the desktop and the application works as we would normally expect. However, the application is limited in that it cannot see processes running outside its container and cannot create files outside of its own container.
EasyOS 1.0 -- Running a web browser and terminal in containers
(full image size: 207kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
While contained individual applications will probably be useful for virtually everyone, I found the contained desktop environment more intriguing. Clicking the Easy icon on the desktop opens a new, full-screen desktop environment that has been trimmed down to include a handful of desktop icons and the application menu, but without the option to logout or shutdown the system. This pristine desktop allows us to open programs, create files, delete directories, browse the web and transfer files between computers. We can do all of this without affecting files or processes in the rest of the operating system, it gives us an entire desktop environment in a sandbox that gets wiped clean when we are done with it.
Something I really like about the contained desktop is that we can switch out of it at any time, returning to the main desktop, by pressing Alt+F6. Then we can hop back into the contained desktop by clicking its icon on the task switcher. In other words, the contained desktop acts a lot like a full screen application we can switch to or away from as needed.
EasyOS 1.0 -- Running a complete desktop in a container
(full image size: 701kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
This approach to running an isolated desktop that can have its own icons, wallpaper and files makes me think this type of container would be well suited to privacy-focused distributions such as Tails. Especially if different contained desktops could be made to look like other, mainstream operating systems.
The only problem I faced while using containers came when, at one point, I accidentally launched the contained desktop twice. (It was a slip of the mouse-button finger.) Unfortunately, it seems that having two contained desktops open at the same time meant I could not switch out of the isolated environment using the Alt+F6 short-cut. Since we cannot logout of the container and the container cannot (as far as I can tell) kill its own process, there was no way to get back to the regular desktop. The best I could do was switch to a command line terminal (using Ctrl+Alt+F2) and trying to shutdown the container from there. This makes me think the desktop container could use a "sign out/destroy container" icon.
EasyOS ships with two graphical package managers, PETget and SFSget for managing the distribution's PET and SFS archives, respectively. Now, to be honest I have not done a lot of digging into the technical details of what makes up a PET package and what makes up a SFS package. However, PET packages seem to work and be managed like traditional packages on Debian, Fedora and Arch Linux. The packages reside in a repository with their dependencies and installing an application, like Firefox, optionally pulls in its dependencies too as separate packages. SFS packages are bundled with their dependencies internally. And, instead of being unpacked and installed on the system, SFS archives appear to be mounted so their contents can be accessed and run. This makes SFS archives portable and self-supporting. (I may be off on the details, but these are my impressions from using both formats are reading the provided overview on EasyOS's website.)
EasyOS 1.0 -- The PETget and SFSget package managers
(full image size: 226kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The PETget package manager has a fairly simple layout. It shows us categories of software down the left side of the window and package names with descriptions on the right. We can highlight a package and click a button to install the software and, optionally, its dependencies. This is fairly straight forward and, apart from asking us if we want the dependencies, PETget works about the same as package managers on other distributions. What puts a twist into the experience is PETget has a couple of filters. One which determines which types of packages to show and another which filters PETs based on which repository they are in. There does not appear to be a way to show packages across all repositories.
These filter options at first made me think there were very few PET packages available, but then I realized I had to switch between repositories, like flipping TV channels, in order to see all of what was available in a given category. This makes PET packages a little cumbersome to work with, but I will admit PETget worked for me without any technical issues.
SFSget, while it offers fewer packages, provided the more interesting experience. With SFSget, we can browse through a simple list of packages, paired with their descriptions. Selecting a package and clicking the Download button grabs the SFS archive and then offers to install it either on the main operating system, in its own container, or in an existing container. To me this is the intriguing part because it means we can completely isolate a game or web browser in its own container, or dump it into another container to be used with another isolated program.
EasyOS 1.0 -- Installing Chromium in a container
(full image size: 157kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
In effect, we can build multi-program containers to keep our tasks separate. For instance, I might want to run Chromium and a word processor in one container for work while I run Firefox and a terminal in another container for personal use. This allows us to keep aspects of our lives separate, a bit like Qubes OS does, but with very little overhead and no noticeable impact on performance.
I was a big fan of SFS packages inside containers. Partly because I like using sandboxing technology (such as Firejail) for Internet-facing programs, but EasyOS has taken it a step further. I do not need to manually set up launchers for container programs or do manual work to isolate specific programs. EasyOS allows me to just click a button to contain applications and it automatically adds the contained application's icon to the desktop and application menu. It is a very smooth experience.
One of EasyOS's declared features is "GUIs for everything", the idea that everything can be managed through graphical tools. The distribution does a good job of living up to this goal. Apart from the standard applications such as the Seamonkey web browser, LibreOffice, some media players (with codecs), the GNU Image Manipulation Program, text editors, and so on, the distribution also offers a lot of configuration tools.
EasyOS 1.0 -- Browsing a list of applications
(full image size: 320kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
I found tools for working with the mouse and keyboard, setting up network connections, adjusting the clock, changing window manager settings, and monitoring system resources. With a few clicks we can mount drives, enable a firewall, download new packages, and set up shared network resources such as printers. Virtually everything can be handled through graphical applications. Some of the utilities are a little rough in appearance (people might say they have a classic look), and many of the tools are different from their mainstream Linux counterparts. However, all of the ones I used worked as expected.
EasyOS runs on version 4.14 of the Linux kernel and uses low-level userland tools provided by Busybox. The Busybox package is used for the distribution's init implementation.
EasyOS 1.0 -- Connecting to a network
(full image size: 363kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Hardware and performance
As I mentioned earlier, I ran into trouble getting EasyOS to run in a virtual machine. The distribution ran smoothly on my laptop though. The system booted quickly, the desktop was responsive and programs launched quickly. EasyOS played audio, connected to my wireless network and used my full screen resolution automatically. My trackpad was a little sluggish at first, but the distribution ships with configuration tools to customize virtually everything, including the mouse pointer. The distribution and its applications were stable during my trial and I ran into no hardware-related issues.
When I first began looking at EasyOS I was not sure what I was getting myself into this week. The project's documentation tends to be more focused on the technical wizardry of the distribution and less on the day-to-day practicalities. The documentation also warns EasyOS is in an development stage and users may have some problems as a result. I also thought I might be setting out to explore just a strange a remix of Puppy Linux since EasyOS also uses PET packages and many of the same technologies.
However, I came away from my experience with EasyOS feeling impressed. Partly because everything seemed to work well and blend together smoothly. The configuration tools all worked well, the application menu was arranged in a way that provided a lot of functionality without too much clutter, and the system was surprisingly responsive most of the time. But the crown jewel of EasyOS is the way it handles containers. On most distributions, containers are an add-on, an extra security feature we need to set up manually and often configure or run from the command line.
EasyOS provides an evolution in containers for desktop applications. Not only are some key components set up to run in containers by default, the package manager will offer to install applications into containers (either a fresh container or an existing one) with the click of a button. In the application menu, contained applications are marked with a little lock symbol. We do not need to use the command line or do any manual steps as we do with other sandboxes like Firejail. EasyOS containers are automatic and effective.
Inside a container we can create or delete anything and our actions are wiped clean, leaving no footprint on the host operating system. EasyOS will even let us run an entire guest desktop environment in isolation. This allows us (or a guest) to run as root inside a container, create files, download anything, and when we sign out, the whole contained desktop is wiped clean. It's a lot like guest accounts on Ubuntu, but the guest user gets to act as root in their own sandboxed environment.
Speaking of root, EasyOS takes the philosophy of running as root by default. We can change this, but we are signed in as root automatically by default for the sake of convenience. Some people see this as a security issue, only somewhat offset by the use of containers. Personally, while I am less worried about the security side of things (given the use of containers when browsing the web), I do get nervous when signed in as root as I am aware a wrong click or key combination could wipe out a partition or move a directory tree to the wrong location by accident. I prefer not to wield that level of power by default, at least not before noon.
EasyOS also shuns the idea that operating systems need to be installed locally. While it is possible to install EasyOS on its own partition, the more standard approach is to run a frugal install (allowing distributions to share a partition) or run the system live. The distribution is quite flexible in this regard, if somewhat unusual.
EasyOS may be experimental at this stage, but it is setting the bar higher for portable applications, at least from the point of view of being easy of use, and it is making containers easier than any other distribution I have used to date. I hope EasyOS's contained desktop applications migrate to other distributions as they have the potential to make users a lot safer with virtually no additional effort.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a de-branded HP laptop with the following
- Processor: Intel i3 2.5GHz CPU
- Display: Intel integrated video
- Storage: Western Digital 700GB hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Wired network device: Realtek RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast
- Wireless network device: Realtek RTL8188EE Wireless network card
* * * * *
Visitor supplied rating
EasyOS has a visitor supplied average rating of: 7.7/10 from 15 review(s).
Have you used EasyOS? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Devuan team debates machine ID file, Haiku improves desktop features and file system support, Feren OS changes repository servers, Ubuntu Studio considers its relationship with Ubuntu
A discussion has been opened up on the Devuan mailing lists concerning the topic of machine IDs. The FreeDesktop documentation indicates there should be a file (/etc/machine-id) on every Linux system which uniquely identifies the computer. While the documentation says the file should be considered confidential, it appears some applications, such as the Chromium web browser, may report an error if this file is not present. This has led some developers to question whether the unique identifier should be removed, for security purposes, or if it holds any value for administrators. Some have suggested the value should be randomized to prevent the file from being used to track Devuan users.
* * * * *
The Haiku team was hard at work in February and the project's monthly newsletter highlights several significant improvements. The Haiku developers have improved performance in spawning new processes, multiple filesystems received code and stability fixes and there were several user interface enhancements: "Rob Gill fixed the 'auto-raise' deskbar replicant, a little helper application that allows to raise windows to front automatically when using focus follows mouse. He also fixed the icon size for ProcessController replicant. Waddlesplash improved the interaction between scrollbars and layout system, allowing views to specify if they know how to handle scrolling themselves, in case the default behaviour of scrolling 1 pixel at a time over a fixed range is not appropriate. PulkoMandy fixed drawing of B_GRAY1 (monochrome) bitmaps, as part of his effort to implement a driver for old Apple StyleWriter printers which work with such bitmaps. Zach Dykstra fixed the file information dialog in Tracker, which had truncated text." The complete list of changes can be found in Haiku's newsletter.
* * * * *
The Feren OS project is moving its package repositories from SourceForge to GitHub following a series of issues with the original host. "As current Feren OS users may have noticed, there has been some issues happening lately with the SourceForge repositories for Feren OS, which have been going on for about over a week now, where the Packages file and potentially other files that APT tries to retrieve on an 'apt update' appear to return 404 errors, and therefore 'fail' to download, even though they exist. Due to this issue being random at first before getting as bad as it has now, and not showing any signs of stopping, alongside other issues happening with the SourceForge repository that are less than desirable, I am now slowly transitioning the Feren OS PPAs to a new location, before entirely retiring the old ones on SourceForge." Instructions for migrating to the new repository are provided in the project's news post.
* * * * *
The Ubuntu Studio project is a variant of Ubuntu for artists, musicians and video editors. The distribution is currently an official Community Edition of Ubuntu, but that may change as the project reportedly does not meet the criteria of a Community Edition because none of the Ubuntu Studio developers has upload access to the Ubuntu repositories. Erich Eickmeyer commented in an e-mail: "Basically, it comes down to this: nobody on the Ubuntu Studio team has upload privileges in any way. As such, these [Ubuntu Studio] tools are sitting waiting to be uploaded. So now, unless I'm wrong, each one of the packages now needs a Feature Freeze Exception to be uploaded into the repo. This is disappointing because, as of right now, Ubuntu Studio 19.04 is looking identical to Ubuntu Studio 18.10."
Steve Langasek has pointed out that Ubuntu Studio has not had any developers on their team with upload access for the past four releases. Since upload rights are a requirement for official flavours of Ubuntu, this suggests either new rights will be granted to key team members or Ubuntu Studio will no longer be an official community flavour of Ubuntu.
A post on the Ubuntu Studio website summarizes the situation, what has been done so far, and what the project plans to do in order to improve the situation.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Managing services and start-up applications
Getting-things-running asks: Please explain how to manage start-up, shutdown, logon, and logoff scripts on Linux distros with systemd.
DistroWatch answers: What we are looking at here are generally categorized as three separate groups of scripts or actions. The first group includes start-up (and shutdown) services managed by init (systemd in this case). The second group consists of programs which get run when we sign into our account. The third, and least often used group, is made up of commands we want to run when we logout.
First, let's look at services which are started and managed by systemd. These are services which, when they are enabled, will start up when the computer boots. The systemd software will monitor these services and automatically shut them down when the computer is powering off or rebooting. We can find out information about these services and manage them manually using the systemctl command line program.
To see a list of services systemd manages we can run the following command:
To only see active services we can run the below command instead:
systemctl list-units --type=service
When I run the first command, "systemctl list-unit-files", it tells me that the Bluetooth service is enabled. Personally, I typically do not use Bluetooth and want to shut off this service. I can turn off the Bluetooth service temporarily by running:
systemctl stop bluetooth
This will turn off the Bluetooth service for now, and we can confirm this by running a status check against the service:
systemctl status bluetooth
This should show that the Bluetooth service is inactive (or dead). We can start it back up again by running:
systemctl start bluetooth
Checking its status again will show us that the Bluetooth service's status is active or "Running".
Turning a service on or off in this way is fine for our current session, but we might want to disable Bluetooth in the future, permanently preventing the service from running. To do this we can run:
systemctl disable bluetooth
This will prevent the Bluetooth service from starting the next time we boot the computer, but it does not stop the service if it is already running. We can use the "stop" command we used above to turn off the service right now. If we change our minds, we can make sure Bluetooth support is turned on the next time we boot the computer by enabling the service:
systemctl enable bluetooth
These and more commands for managing systemd services can be found in the project's manual page. A simplified overview of systemctl commands is available in its TLDR page.
Many distributions have a Services configuration module in their desktop's settings panel which provides a graphical utility to perform the above actions through a point-n-click interface.
* * * * *
When it comes to managing which programs get started when we login, that is usually governed by the desktop environment. Desktop environments have a configuration module in their settings panel (or settings menu) which controls which programs are started automatically. On Xfce the tool is called "Session and Startup" and the programs to be run when you login are listed under the "Application Autostart" tab. You can enable or disable a new program by clicking the Add or Remove buttons at the bottom of the window. The MATE desktop and Cinnamon desktops have a similar module called "Startup-Applications". With KDE Plasma I think the module is under the "Startup and Shutdown" section of the System Settings panel. Look for the section called "Autostart".
In the rare case where a desktop may not have a module for enabling programs to automatically start when you login, you can copy the program's .desktop file into your .config/autostart/ directory in your user's home folder. Application .desktop files can be found under the /usr/share/applications/ directory. For example, if I want Firefox to start when I login, I can copy its launcher into my autostart folder like this:
cp /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop ~/.config/autostart/
More detailed instructions on how to work with auto-start applications manually and how to work with auto-start applications under the GNOME desktop can be found on the Ask Ubuntu forum.
* * * * *
Finally, let's look at running programs when we logout. Desktop environments tend not to feature tools to set up programs to run when we logout. However, most command line shells do offer a method for running commands when we sign out. This is often done to clean-up temporary files. The specifics of how to set up logout programs varies from one shell to another. Under Bash, the most commonly used Linux shell, the shell will check for the file .bash_logout in our home directory. If it exists, Bash will run any commands it finds in the file. Other shells have their own logout files they check for and the name of the file can be found in your shell's manual page.
* * * * *
Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
ReactOS is an open source operating system which strives to be binary compatible with software developed for Microsoft Windows. The project's latest release, ReactOS 0.4.11, introduces several improvements in filesystem storage, application loading and adds the ability to upgrade an existing ReactOS installation. "While the community wish-list for quality of life improvements in ReactOS is quite lengthy, one especially longstanding one has been the ability to upgrade an existing installation of ReactOS. Achieving this has required substantial effort in the USETUP module, effort that Hermès Bélusca-Maïto put considerable time into. The importance of this is twofold. The obvious enhancement is the ability to perform the upgrade, but the more substantive point is what this functionality entails for the future. For ReactOS to be usable as an actual system OS, it needs the ability to update in-place without losing user data and configuration. While requiring the user to go through the system installation process is still far from the user friendliness of other modern operating systems, it is still a substantial step forward and lays the foundation for ReactOS's maturation into an everyday driver of people's computers." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement. The operating system is available in installation and live editions.
Pardus is a Debian-based distribution jointly developed by the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and National Academic Network and Information Centre (ULAKBİM). The project's latest release, Pardus 17.5, offers several package updates and continued support through to 2021. An English translation of the project's release announcement (in Turkish) reads: "Pardus 17.5 is the latest intermediate version. To keep track of the changes, you have to keep your Pardus 17 installed system up to date. With this latest version of Pardus 17, LTS (Long Term Support) is offered through to 01.05.2021 . Pardus 17 will continue to receive updates. Pardus reserves the right to republish the current version of the current version of the disk image without notice in the future."
Pardus 17.5 -- Running the Deepin desktop
(full image size 778kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
SparkyLinux is a Debian-based distribution which is available in several editions. The Sparky team has released a new snapshot of the project's Rolling branch which is based on Debian Testing. "There are new live/install ISO images of SparkyLinux 5.7 Nibiru available to download. This is the first of this year's ISO images releasing of the Rolling line, which is based on Debian Testing 'Buster'. Changes: system updated from Debian Testing repos as of March 4, 2019; Linux kernel 4.19.16 (5.0 and 4.20.14 available in Sparky's Unstable repos); the Calamares installer updated up to version 3.2.4; user's folders such as: Documents, Music, Download, etc. are automatically created now in your home directory in Openbox and other, small window managers; Yad reinstalled to the default Debian's version + removed old libs (html mode doesn't work now); Linux kernel has been reverted to Debian's version from testing repos (amd64 / i686 non-pae) as default." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
The developers and antiX, a systemd-free distribution based on Debian's current "Stable" branch, have published an updated build, version 17.4. This is primarily a security and bug-fix release, with an updated and patched Linux kernel to mitigates several vulnerabilities: "antiX-17.4 'Helen Keller' released. This is primarily a point-release upgrade of antiX 17.3 'Helen Keller' with a newer L1TF and Foreshadow, and Meltdown, Spectre and CVE-2019-8912 patched kernel, a few bug fixes, updated translations, and some upgraded and new packages. As usual we offer the following completely systemd-free flavours for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. antiX-full, antiX-base, antiX-core, antiX-net. The 32-bit edition uses a non-PAE kernel. So what has changed since antiX-17.3 release? New 4.9.160 kernel; all packages upgraded to Debian 9.8; Firefox ESR upgraded to 60.5.1 'Quantum'; further improvements to localization of applications; more consistent icons and theme; includes tomb file encryption app." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
UBports 16.04 OTA-8
UBports is a community-developed fork of Canonical's Ubuntu Touch operating system for mobile devices. The project's latest release is UBports 16.04 OTA-8 which introduces stability improvements, extends the dark theme to the web browser and opens the door for more text to be translated. "OTA-8 is appearing as a staged rollout for all supported Ubuntu Touch devices over the next five days, completing on Sunday, March 10th. You can skip to How to get OTA-8 to get it right away if you're impatient, or read on to learn more about this release. What's new? OTA-8 is primarily a stability improvement release as we continue to work on using upstream technologies in Ubuntu Touch, increasing our project output. Morph Browser: Chris has continued his work to make the Morph Browser better, bringing the following improvements. Ubuntu Touch has an experimental system-wide dark theme that is supported by most of the core apps and many of the apps in the OpenStore. Since it is experimental, it can only be enabled using the UT Tweak Tool (though some apps such as Weather, FluffyChat and TELEports have it as a built in option). This update completes support for the dark theme in the browser." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement. The project maintains a list of supported devices which can run the mobile operating system. Installation instructions and tools are also available.
The Ubuntu team have announced the release of new install media for Ubuntu 14.04, a long-term support release. The new media provides security fixes for a vulnerability in the APT package management software. "The Ubuntu team is happy to announce the release of Ubuntu 14.04.6 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop and Server products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support. Unlike previous point releases, 14.04.6 is a security-targeted release for the purpose of providing updated installation media which protects new installations from the recently discovered APT vulnerability (USN-3863-1). Many other security updates for additional high-impact bugs are also included, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.6 LTS is also now available. More details can be found in its individual release notes." Additional details can be found in the release announcement.
ExTiX is an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution which experiments with alternative desktop environments. The project's latest release, ExTiX 19.3, is based on a snapshot of Ubuntu 19.04's development branch and features a similarly early preview of the Xfce 4.13 desktop. "A new extra version of ExTiX is ready. This version is based on upcoming Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo. ExTiX 19.3 uses the Xfce Desktop 4.13 and kernel 5.0.0-exton. Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly. This version of ExTiX Xfce4 is for non-UEFI computers. Kodi 18.2 Leia is also pre-installed in this version of ExTiX. Just start Kodi like any other program while logged in to the Xfce4 Desktop as the ordinary user live. I have enabled a few addons in Kodi. Most important the Netflix addon. NVIDIA proprietary graphics driver 418.43 is pre-installed in ExTiX 19.3. It will automatically be used if your computer has support for it." Further information is available through the project's release announcement.
ExTiX 19.3 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 290kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 1,294
- Total data uploaded: 24.2TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Automatically starting applications
This week's Questions and Answers column talked about managing background services and automatically starting applications when the user logs in. Sometimes it can be useful to start-up commonly used programs as soon as we log into our system. Is automatically starting some desktop applications a feature you use?
You can see the results of our previous poll on erasing data from old hard drives in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Automatically starting applications
|Yes I automatically start some desktop applications: ||668 (44%)|
| No I do not automatically start any desktop applications: ||854 (56%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- HexagonOS. HexagonOS is a Linux distribution that is based on Xubuntu. It features a custom configuration tool called HexagonCentre.
- Olean Linux. Olean Linux is a Linux distribution from scratch, based on LFS and BLFS concepts. It uses a rolling release update system.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 March 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 • Yeah I auto start a few things.. (by Brad on 2019-03-11 00:08:33 GMT from United States) |
I use these every day..
2 • Machine unique id's (by Mortis Climeurger on 2019-03-11 01:44:23 GMT from Canada)
@1 - Thanks for the deeply insightful comment Brad, this is why I come to Distrowatch.
Also, who's wanting to give each machine a unique ID number? You think this is a good idea? Is this something we will eventually need to carry on a flip card to present when demanded?
NO NO NO...You are all going in the Wrong direction...Freedom is That Way...Up the road not down the road...y'all need to turn around now.
3 • Autostart (by DaveW on 2019-03-11 01:58:28 GMT from United States)
Is it safe to say that most modern distros have a list of programs that are automatically started? If so, then the question that should be asked is, have you added any programs to the list? I have; I've taken some off, as well.
4 • Auto Start (by M.Z. on 2019-03-11 01:59:53 GMT from United States)
The only program I set to auto start is Yakuake, because when I hit F12 in KDE I want my drop down terminal, though I'd prefer not to have to play with so many KDE settings to do it post install. Otherwise I change Cinnamon to start the terminal with Ctrl-F12, just for the sake of speed & consistency.
5 • Autostarting applications. (by Gregory Zeng on 2019-03-11 02:15:47 GMT from Australia)
It would be good if Linux had ways to check autostarts. One bothersome application is the update checks. Generally useful, but not every time, please. The other compulsory autostart is Gkrellm. It explains to me if any application or process is hoggy my CPU, drives, etc. and if the machine is locked, forcing a hard & cold reboot.
6 • Autostart Desktop Applications Question (by Andy Figueroa on 2019-03-11 02:31:01 GMT from United States)
Heck no. Gross.
7 • Machine ID (by Andy Figueroa on 2019-03-11 02:32:34 GMT from United States)
Crap, where did that come from? Yes, I have one in Gentoo. I'm not happy.
8 • Machine ID (by DaveW on 2019-03-11 02:55:28 GMT from United States)
Manjaro, Arch, the Ubuntus and derivatives also have it. The ones I see are all 128 bit random binary. Is that good or bad?
9 • "Gross" If Done Wrong (by M.Z. on 2019-03-11 05:17:52 GMT from United States)
"Heck no. Gross."
That's why you load them in the background. Set Yakuake to not open automatically, for example. I'm sure you could do the same thing with Clementine, though I want my music player tucked away on the lower right desktop/workspace after I launch it, not hiding behind some icon automatically. That's just a user preference thing for me. I'm sure there are a few around who want some window appearing automatically; however, I can't see doing anything but a innocuous background load or two myself.
It's not hard to do auto starting in an out of the way fashion, if you have the right program.
10 • Machine ID (by Antonie van der Tweel on 2019-03-11 07:47:12 GMT from Netherlands)
Is this file somehow hidden ? I don't see it on Debian 8, 9 or Kubuntu
11 • Machine ID (by Icarus on 2019-03-11 09:04:16 GMT from United States)
I was unaware of the /etc/machine-id file after 10+ years of running linux systems. Sure enough, my system has one. Good to know I've been broadcasting a tracking ID no different than proprietary OSes all this time (or at least as long as I've been using systemd).
12 • Autostart? (by Ostro on 2019-03-11 09:49:12 GMT from Poland)
Well, its better autostart as less as possible apps, if possible. Better check your /etc/xdg/autostart from time to time.
13 • autostarting=yes (by blob69 on 2019-03-11 10:02:43 GMT from United States)
I autostart application/programs via .xinitrc
These are redshift, xterm, vlc, palemoon/firefox, xscreensaver-demo, and finally pavucontrol.
SOme of this depends on what machine I am using.
14 • Easy OS (by Bob Hayden on 2019-03-11 10:43:35 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the review of Easy OS. I have followed Puppy since version 2 and think Barry Kauler is a genius. Whether one likes his distros or not, they are always innovative. That's appreciated in a world where most Linux distros are just cosmetic redecorations of one another. While I really need the huge package repository of something like Debian for my main OS, I always keep a Puppy CD at hand and install at least one version of Barry's OSs on all my machines. These are my go to OSs to boot when other OSs tank. They let me do open heart surgery on other OSs without putting up all kinds of obstacles to protect me from myself.
15 • Machine ID (by Steel on 2019-03-11 11:25:37 GMT from Germany)
Unique Machine ID stinks. It is present in Manjaro and Arch as well as devuan and debian. I delete it quite often so a different one is generated.
I would welcome a new random number every boot, along with no system D would be another good reason to move more than just servers to Devuan..
I wish for Firefox as delivered set to opt in for data reporting not as is, opt out in all the distros I have installed recently.
I disconnect from Internet for first start of any browser before allowing access to the internet.
In Manjaro I have also added dummy packages to stop geolocation (Ihope).
I am not at all happy that tracking technology is included as standard in mainstream linux distributions.
I would not be as bothered if it was all opt in for those who are blithely unconcerned.
16 • Machine Id (by Garon on 2019-03-11 12:17:31 GMT from United States)
If Devuan has this machine id, then systemd had nothing to do with it. Maybe you should ask who doesn't have it?
17 • Machine ID (by Chris on 2019-03-11 12:50:07 GMT from United States)
No /etc/machine-id file on Salix 14.2. Slackware for the win!! (again)
18 • Machine ID etc (by Friar Tux on 2019-03-11 14:18:15 GMT from Canada)
Not the least bit concerned about this machine ID silliness. Every computer is uniquely ID'ed in various ways. It has to be to be able to communicate on a network. This does not means people will know the colour of your underwear, or how much money you have in the bank, or if you honestly paid your taxes, and such. It just means the when you machine puts out a call, the network/Internet knows which machine to answer. I'm surprised that most of you fellow geeks are getting your shorts in a knot over this.
As for auto-starting stuff, I have one or two that I like started (plus the background services). My only beef, so far, is that almost all the postit/sticky note applications do NOT auto-start. Yes, I have the auto-start option checked in Preferences AND they're entered in System Settings > Auto-start Programs. The ONLY stickies program ( yes, only in capitals) that auto-starts is Indicator-Stickynotes, So, kudos to Umang Varma for getting it right. OK, enough ranting, I'm getting THAT LOOK from The Wife again.
19 • Machine-id is used by Dbus (by SA on 2019-03-11 14:25:31 GMT from France)
When I used a BSD system recently, I installed it with the command line.
I ran commands to install packages, and I notice that for instance, NetSurf would not run if there was not a /etc/machine-id (there was a DBus error message)
I had to run "dbus-uuidgen > /etc/machine-id" (as root)
(I don t remember the exact name of "dbus-uuidgen:")
Most GUI software would not start, without this file. (Firefox and others)
I even made a mistake by using another "uuidgen" command (not from Dbus) and it would not start too.
(this was a very shorter uuid that was generated)
20 • Machine ID... (by Sitwon on 2019-03-11 14:27:51 GMT from United States)
Are you paranoid that your machine is broadcasting uniquely identifiable information about you?
Test your invisibility with this free tool from the EFF: https://panopticlick.eff.org/
Not all unique IDs can be sanitized or avoided, but Tails is probably your best bet if you want to avoid easily uniquely identified... as long as you don't mind sticking out as someone who is deliberately trying to avoid being identified.
It's like walking around wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and a black hoodie. Other people might not be able to see your face, but you look just like every other anon who is probably up to no good.
At this point, you can't effectively avoid being uniquely tracked on the Internet. Either, stop using the Internet entirely, or change your model of "privacy" to accept that certain data is going to be collected as a cost of entry. For both social and technological reasons, there's no going back now.
21 • machine ID (by Ronald on 2019-03-11 14:35:00 GMT from United States)
I'm glad that Slackware 14.2 and Slackware-Current doesn't use Machine IDs.
22 • Unique Machine ID? (by CPUID on 2019-03-11 15:30:14 GMT from United States)
@20 "there's no going back now"?
Not if accept defeat already.
First identify "Chromium" as Google, then you have a focus for where to start getting our privacy back.
23 • @15 Unique ID? (by Ostro on 2019-03-11 15:55:33 GMT from Poland)
Worried about your machine's unique ID? Why should you? After all, it is yours, and you are unique. Hmm...
24 • Slackware Machine ID (by Angel on 2019-03-11 16:21:26 GMT from Philippines)
@17, @21 look in /var/lib/dbus/machine-id
See comment by Friar Tux @18
25 • Machine ID (by Mortis Climeurger on 2019-03-11 16:30:19 GMT from Canada)
So the cats outta the bag, it would seem.
Linux distros (most) are just as sneeky as the commercial OS.
What happened to the days when Linux OS would koo mainstream OS users by saying such things as "Come over to linux, buddy, we understand your concerns about privacy" "We're different, we wont track you"
Ha, seems we've all been taken in once again...does it ever end?
Take systemd for example. Im not sure whats up with it but my spidey senses are tingling and 'they' sure are trying real hard to get it embedded in every flavour of Linux.
Because they think its a great bit of code?
Ya, no one pushes this hard for somethng unless theres a really good reason for it.
And to those who say "I have nothing to hide, so I dont care about being tracked", Shame!
Just because you have fallen, lost your moral compass and wish to be an assigned cog, in an emotionless, privacy void machine does not mean we all should follow suit.
I for one am still human and wish to remain so, enjoingy the freedoms to explore this world unabated.
Is it too late for u thoughs? Has the clock struck 12?
I say no, though it is hard to see through the veils of War...and if you havent realized it yet, Yes, humanity Is at war and under attack. Not a war of weapons this times, but a war of ideas, of words, of legislation.
If we fail at winning this war, then our punishment will be an electronic prison cell where every thought will be known, judged and the appropriate punishments dished out up too And including, removal.
Those with insight who can look far down the roa where this is all headed, will understand what I'm saying.
Your Children and your Childrens children will never know what freedom is...and still yo arer willing to roll over and say "Ah yes, I have nothing to hide"
Really? What complete selfishness.
We should have put the brakes on the electronic age instead of leaving itunchecked to run amuck and in All the wrong directions... but it seems most people cant see beyond their nose, let alone 'down the road'.
I, for one, have no cell phone nor tablet nor Any electronic device be it handheld or vehicle mounted. This one computer I use sparingly because, well, lets face it...being Outside In reality is much more enjoyable and satisfying than being connected to data...borning electronic data.
So, think about it, if you will from time to time, will you?
The most important gift you can pass on to your family and future generations isnt wealth or fame, but unabated Freedom and ones own Privacy to just think a thought all for yourself, and in that thought, find you are Human, and not a cog in a machine.
26 • /etc/machine-id and MAC addresses (by nano-me on 2019-03-11 16:53:29 GMT from United Kingdom)
@15 etc: I just checked Devuan 2.0: mine has no /etc/machine-id file. Chromium emits a message complaining that this file is missing, but otherwise seems to work [displays lkml.org]. People running Firefox/Chromium with Firejail can try [temporarily] setting the machine-id to a random value with
firejail --machine-id firefox
however, I don't know how to verify that this works [help?].
I would be more worried that the MAC address of the ethernet device [12 hex digits] appears to be visible to web sites? Whilst I believe the MAC address can be changed [temporarily] using firejail:
firejail --net=eth0 --mac=00:11:22:33:44:55 firefox
but my experiment with this failed!
27 • Re: Machine ID... (by Sitwon on 2019-03-11 17:00:42 GMT from United States)
Don't be mad at me. Try Panopticlick. Read the source code for it. Read up on what else the EFF has to say about their tool.
Yeah, you found and plugged this ONE leaky hole, but you're using a colander as your boat. Don't be mad at me for pointing out the truth to you.
It is literally impossible to participate on the modern Internet without necessarily giving up a significant amount of information that could be used to ID you at the least as a unique visitor.
Tap your own network traffic and inspect what is coming and going from your network and why.
Load up Tails and try Panopticlick again, while watching you tap.
It doesn't matter how paranoid you want to be, or how how high you want to stand on your ideological horse. The nature of the modern web negates your idealistic and antiquated vision of "privacy". You need to adapt your model if you want to regain any meaningful protection of your rights.
You can't stop the collection of the data, but you can advocate for policy changes to restrict how that data can be used and shared.
I could dump days worth of videos to public talks given at hacker conferences around the globe over the past decade that all say the same thing: privacy is dead and policy/oversight is our last and only resort.
28 • Firejail and machine-id (by Jesse on 2019-03-11 17:02:16 GMT from Canada)
@26: If you run Firejail with "--machine-id" it will generate a random ID if the /etc/machine-id file already exists. However, if /etc/machine-id does not exist, then Firejail does not create the file or ID inside the sandbox.
You can verify this by running
Assuming the file exists on your machine, the above three commands will yield two different ID strings.
29 • /etc/machine-id [addendum] (by nano-me on 2019-03-11 17:13:13 GMT from United Kingdom)
I just noticed that on my Void Linux machine /var/lib/dbus/machine-id contains a 33 hex character string, though this file is blacklisted [hidden] by my use of Firejail. As I have never used systemd, this must be a dbus "initiative".
30 • The Standared For 'machine-id' & Actual Issues (by M.Z. on 2019-03-11 17:52:11 GMT from United States)
According to the link in the DW post about the original discussion:
"This ID uniquely identifies the host. It should be considered "confidential", and must not be exposed in untrusted environments, in particular on the network. If a stable unique identifier that is tied to the machine is needed for some application, the machine ID or any part of it must not be used directly. ..."
My precursory searches on the topic didn't reveal much about the how & why of actual uses in the real world; however, my instinct tells me the best use would be as part of a crash report to ID the machine where something is going wrong. If the ID is unique & know only to the local admin rather than the whole world, one could trace back where the issue happened & recreate whatever caused a crash as part of troubleshooting problems. Again, the best use I can think of given the standard says to keep it private.
The question is, what is machine-id actually used for in the real world, both good & bad? I feel fine with Privacy Badger installed in Firefox & won't worry about privacy issues dealing with machine-id unless I hear good reason to think this is being abused.
I do worry about my privacy & would like to know if there is any good reason to start to worry about this, but it needs to be a bona fide source that knows these issues & thinks it's a problem.
31 • machine-id confidential? (by Mike on 2019-03-11 19:50:21 GMT from United States)
"This ID uniquely identifies the host. It should be considered "confidential", and must not be exposed in untrusted environments ..."
Um, lots of confusion here - wouldn't expect a file that is "confidential" to have these permissions:
mike@debian:/etc$ ls -l machine-id
-r--r--r-- 1 root root 33 May 29 2017 machine-id
This file is obviously not confidential, it's world readable.
32 • re: machine-id confidential? (by nano-me on 2019-03-11 20:13:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
33 • autostart (by 32 on 2019-03-11 20:31:14 GMT from Canada)
Usually I use this feature more like an autostop..... as in I usually stop things like blue-tooth. Then any other stuff that doesn't really need to start automatically.
34 • @25 Mortis Climeurger: (by dragonmouth on 2019-03-11 20:47:13 GMT from United States)
As a wise man once said "If you believe you don't need a right to privacy because you have nothing to hide, then you don't need the right of free speech either, because you obviously have nothing to say."
35 • Ubuntu Studio (by D. Esktorp on 2019-03-11 20:49:18 GMT from United States)
Yet another redundant project sings its swan song, as the affiliate's misplaced sense of entitlement publicly clashes with the marketing interests of the brand owner. Godspeed, Ubuntu Studio. Ride the Shuttleworth Express deep in to the darkest hours of the night. May your rebirth be phoenix-like and without a silly name. Praise be to the mighty Canonical. Choke out any runts or weaklings who might sully thy sacred, gilded reputation.
The problem with any of these *Studio distros is that they are always trying to play too wide of an audience, with too small of a team. I'm all for decentralization, but the amount of lost efficiency between these overlapping distros has always been absurd. When you have 3+ projects with identical goals, simultaneously struggling to exist (Ubuntu* KX* 64 Studio, etc?) the solution to pool energies seems obvious.
And Ubuntufolk, please stop with these pretentious cliquey 'Council' heirarchy systems that accomplish nothing but inflating egos and tearing projects apart. It's so archaic and weird. Just because you're sitting in a chair doesn't mean you have to refer to yourself as a chair.
36 • Ubuntu studio (by jeffrydada on 2019-03-11 21:27:27 GMT from United States)
How do we save UB Studio? I use this OS daily as my recording studio. How can those of us who use this OS encourage Ubuntu to give upload acess to UB Studio devs?
37 • @36 only humility can save them now (by D. Esktorp on 2019-03-11 21:56:28 GMT from United States)
The Ubuntu Studio people should not cry or grovel for something they are probably not going to get. It's as if they must be publicly humiliated in exchange for free repository space. That's all this is really about; getting someone else to pay the bills and only secondarily about riding the Ubuntu's marketing coattails. I doubt they really care about namesake. The bottom line is always money.
If they are strategic thinkers, the Ubuntu Studio guys will place a low priority on non-audio packaging and forge an alliance under the banner of Filipe Coelho (FalkTX). He needs the assistance and they need the guidance. However, I doubt they are humble enough to commit to KX Studio without a guarantee of permanently holding the reins.
38 • autostart (by Titus_Groan on 2019-03-11 22:55:00 GMT from New Zealand)
Never really thought about it.
When I shutdown and then later bootup, the desktop and all applications that were open when I shutdown are all back where I left them.
i.e. Firefox tabs are up and open unless a login for the site is required, then the site login page is displayed.
File manager reopened where I left it. It may be complaining about a missing USB device if I have removed it after the shutdown tho'.
The terminal is open but no longer open as root, but that is quickly remedied.
I consider an open root terminal a security risk, so I am happy to do that.
So, I guess, for me, auto-start is automatically enabled.
So that's what is missing in those other distros!, I never really noted it as an issue ;-)
39 • Ubuntu studio (by jeffrydada on 2019-03-11 23:06:07 GMT from United States)
Brilliant! KX and UB Studios should merge!! falkTX allready has a repo, I already do this in my own studio UB Studio with KX Studio repos!! It just makes sense.
40 • Privacy vs anonymity (by Angel on 2019-03-12 02:18:00 GMT from Philippines)
I think people confuse privacy with anonymity. If I want the pizza guy and the mailman to deliver, I need to give them an address so they will know where I live. If I go out in my car, it has markings to identify it as mine to anyone with the means and interest. These are not violations of privacy. But if I want to remain anonymous, when I go out I need to don my Groucho mask, sneak out unseen to a car with fake plates, looking very suspicious. To make calls I'd need a "burner" phone, and I could never ever order pizza, which would be a tragedy!
When I log in to my bank's website, it knows my machine. It needs no machine-id file. It fingerprints my browser. If I log in to my web mail from an new device, I'll get a notice asking: "Is this you?" It knows the machine I normally use. To the readers here I may be just a name and country location, but the DW servers get an IP address, etc. There's all kinds of information about me being broadcast when I'm online. I can limit that, but eliminating it would be impossible and/or very inconvenient. I can of course remain in my hut and cower a la Mortis @25, or if I want to be anonymous, I can don the virtual Groucho mask, get in my fake plates car and damn the ID files. Quite a few ways to do that when wanted.
Funny, but sometimes the effort to be less identifiable can backfire. Just by using Linux one's possible identity is already in a small percentage of the population. Good place to look and see:
41 • machine-id and startup times (by Tony Zark on 2019-03-12 02:40:20 GMT from New Zealand)
Yikes! Thanks for the light on /etc/machine-id. There are SO many hidden crevices in Linux distros now, it has become like the jump from DOS to Win95 - nobody has the full picture any longer of what is where. Checked Mint, MX and Manjaro - all infected.
And speaking of infections, I recently needed to get a Win10 for one specific task. For fun we (a group of friends) compared startup times, etc. Yes, its a fresh, uncluttered install for now, times may expand with usage.
Power switch turned on to login screen: Linuxes 49s to 55s, Win10 24s
Pressing enter after pw to useable desktop: Linuxes 13s to 36s, Win10 3s
Click on Firefox to browser ready to use: Linuxes 21s to 23s, Win10 7s
Open youtube (click to fully loaded): Linuxes 5s to 7s, Win10 5s
Shutdown clicked to machine off: Linuxes 6s to 7s, Win10 23s
The machines were:
Win10 was Dell i7
Mint Cinnamon on Samsung i7
Manjaro Cinnamon on MSI i3
Manjaro xcfe on HP i5
It was good to take a real, hard look at the 'landscape'.
42 • Privacy (by Pat Menendez on 2019-03-12 03:14:08 GMT from Canada)
This silly notion about online privacy and security. "When I log in to my bank's website, it knows my machine" is pure rubbish. Data mines, tracking cookies, etc., etc do not and can not provide even the least bit of privacy or security. Their one and only purpose is to deny us any privacy or security. I can log into any computer NEVER used before and log into email or social media, as can anyone with my user name and password! So after the fact I get an email stating that my account was logged into from a different machine. Way too little way too late! Websites that refuse to let you open them without allowing them to set a data mine or 20 or 80 is inexcusable! I find the information or product elsewhere! By their very nature ALL web browsers are set by default to deny the user any privacy or security! Your mobile phone as well is set by default to deny you any privacy or security. And we accept that willingly and gladly. it is no longer a slippery slope! The majority are drowning in the stinking slough at the bottom of the slope. The NSA, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, etc., etc. demand unfettered access to all our data and in the utterly nonsense guise of "service" or "security". The majority of users are more than willing to sell their soul. We have neither privacy or security now! It was all a lie! It is appalling to me that any distro or software willingly trades it's users privacy, install a "back door", for whatever they get out of it. There should be NOTHING "opt out"! All tracking technologies, machine ID, back doors, etc., should be "opt in" and any website that refuses to let you access it without disabling privacy or security features, including allowing them to set data mines, should be black listed as unsafe. Any website that sets a tracking pixel etc., without consent should be fined for invasion of privacy! It is not lost. We can claw back the internet but it will take tough legislation that will be fought vigorously every step of the way by "big data".
43 • /etc/machine-id should not be unique. end of story. (by F U Google. on 2019-03-12 03:39:23 GMT from United States)
set /etc/machine-id as 0 or 1 and forget it.
44 • Privacy, etc. @42 (by Angel on 2019-03-12 03:47:07 GMT from Philippines)
I don't see how you can misunderstand unless it's on purpose. It is quite simple. If I log in to my bank from a different machine, I have to play 20 questions. Matter of convenience, not extra security. My web mail service knows which machine I use, sometimes down to brand and model of device. That's a fact, not an endorsement. The point is that no ID file is needed to identify a particular machine. I don't see how my bank's keeping cookies and such violates my privacy, since as soon as I log in, they figure it's me. I can't very well log in to my bank account anonymously.
There is no God-given right to use Google. It is a service provided at a cost. Don't want to pay the price? Don't use it. Same goes for other web merchants, services. etc. Any time I go out in public I take risks. I go shopping, some marketer could be observing what I choose or don't, what I pick up and put back. Going on the web is like going out in public. Want anonymity? Learn how to preserve it, or stay home.
45 • @40 (by Its me on 2019-03-12 03:47:12 GMT from United States)
@40. Very funny comment. Thanks for the link provided. Interesting. Most of the other paranoid comments I quickly pass over.
46 • Zealots on privacy, etc. (by Angel on 2019-03-12 09:45:11 GMT from Philippines)
One mark of those who yearn to save one from oneself is the use of "we." Who is "we?" If they include me, they are mistaken. I did not appoint a savior. Then there's the "selling of one's soul." If my soul consists of whether someone at my location eats lots of Goobers, loves beef jerky, or even orders crotch-less panties; and if in return for that information I am offered a host of incredible conveniences, then hell yes! I will gladly sell.
Then there's the call for legislation. (There ought'ta be a law.) So for fear that someone or may steal (or just view) my chickens, I should call in the fox to guard them?
Google and others want to make money from me. That's the purpose of their data gathering. In return, among countless other things, I can be in a strange city, ask my phone for a restaurant and I can get something like: "Two blocks, turn left, on the right." If we drive Google and others out of business, who will provide those conveniences? The governments? For what motive? Profit motive I understand, but governments are by nature coercive. I doubt that anytime in the future the Microsoft police will come to my door announcing: "You are under arrest for having an Apple device in MS country." But something like that from a government? Definitely possible, or probable. I trust MS. Amazon, Apple, Google, et al. with my data a lot more than I would trust the governments of China, the US, the EU, the UK, Russia, and on and on. . .
47 • @44 (by blob69 on 2019-03-12 09:56:42 GMT from United States)
@44 - About logging into bank account, and may I add any account online particularly sites like google; why then following your argument, does google, should you decide to use a different machine to login, then balk, and make you identify yourself?
48 • Machine id (by Sundar on 2019-03-12 11:00:19 GMT from India)
Machine ids are in different forms. Mozilla firefox generates random dir name to keep its profile.
Atleast that should be sufficient, because those who care about their unique id they can delete and recreate their profile and still use the browser. I think some other browsers also do the same to keep their unique id.
If the unique id is generated for each bootup then it is good. Or atleast unique machine id can be used for each bootup or for a week or permenantely (if it is corporate).
49 • Privacy (by jan on 2019-03-12 13:52:08 GMT from Poland)
It seems like machine-id is just another ID that if used improperly can cause a lot of harm (but this likely was not the purpose of its creation). For the lovers of convenience, I'd like to refresh your memory about what was going on in Germany before WWII. There were conducted a number of population censuses, heavily aided by American business - i would even say enthusiastic support especially of IBM and its CEO Thomas Watson - for his efforts to further the practical use of statistics in the services of the Third Reich he received a Medal of Merit in person from the hands of Adolf Hitler. Now, as far as the convenience goes, population censuses are very convenient - the make it easier for the goverment to plan for new hospitals, roads, lay out development plans for the future, or if the need be, precisely locate the areas with the highest population of the unwanted element, like, in the case of the Third Reich - the Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and other untermenschen - so that as to make it so much more easier and convenient to load them quickly and efficiently into cattle railcars and ship them to death camps. It is not a fairy tale, but an account of how the technology can be used to exterminate millions of people in an efficient and convenient from the point of view of the government way. So if you like convenience, please reflect that if you get by chance (or by algorithm) categorized in a unique group of people, judged to be the enemy of whoever controls the algorithm, you, my friend, are already a toast - and there is not much you can do - they already know how to conveniently find and remove you.
50 • @18 (by Jeremy on 2019-03-12 13:53:01 GMT from Moldova, Republic of)
> when you machine puts out a call, the network/Internet knows which machine to answer.
Sorry to break it to you, but you don't (well, shouldn't) need any unique-id-file for network communication. IP addresses (and MAC addresses in case of one hops) are used for that. (Seriously??!)
51 • @41 startup times (by mandog on 2019-03-12 13:53:25 GMT from Peru)
Really you must be a windows freak
Arch Linux using Gnome desktop = 12-13 secs to a working fully working functional desktop.
I mean fully functional.
Win10 go make a coffee while it reaches a fully functional desktop 3mins, turn off fastboot as its suspend not a cold boot, Arch Linux gnome from suspend= 2secs, win10= 15secs, win7= 6secs,
Firefox Arch= 2 secs cold boot, then instant. win10 15sec cold boot, then 5secs, if pre-started in the boot start menu 8-10 cold boot then 5secs
This is on a Amd 6 core 8gb ram.
52 • Machine-Id (by Semiarticulate on 2019-03-12 14:52:30 GMT from United States)
Oh Debian, how swiftly you are falling from grace. Going back to an LFS approach is starting to sound like the reasonable thing to do. I've gotten comfortable with operating systems that "just work", but there is obviously a price to be paid for that convenience.
I'm certain that many of us knew this time was coming, but it saddens me all the same now that it is here. There was no way that Linux was going to be left free to skirt all the spying and data mining. And now that Linux has become such a behemoth, it is all-too-easy to slip in "features" such as this.
If this is where the modern desktop is taking us, then I'm going back to the command line where I'm comfortable anyway. A small LFS base with carefully chosen applications sounds like the order of the day; a system that can be understood from top to bottom. The days of blindly trusting the software we are given have come and gone.
I foresee software taking a step backwards. There are those who don't mind being sheered and will continue to use what they are given, but the tech-savvy who care about the important things will be looking for a different path forward. I'm excited, and apprehensive, about what the future of computing will look like.
53 • @49, Privacy vs convenience (by Angel on 2019-03-12 15:35:41 GMT from Philippines)
So by letting Google feed me ads or info about a merchant around the corner selling things I may want rather than on the other side of the world selling something on no interest to me, I am only a step or two away from being labeled a member of the untermenschen and risk prompt extermination. Got it. Thanks! I'll take my chances.
54 • uuid (by Tim on 2019-03-12 16:03:39 GMT from United States)
I think the first time I ever saw anything like this was when I tried to make a second copy of a virtual machine running an older version of Ubuntu. Virtualbox wouldn't mount the machine, because it had the same uuid as the other. I can see the importance in this case- if I had the virtual machines with access to different services Virtualbox wouldn't have an easy time distinguishing them. Maybe that's a reason, especially on servers where virtualization is common?
55 • @53: " letting Google feed me ads" (by Sir Veiled on 2019-03-12 17:07:54 GMT from United States)
You do have some choice about what see -- for now -- but soon every site will require what you don't mention there: "letting" them surveil you to unique identify or you get zero "service".
In other comments you talk about banking over the internet, but have you ever stopped and thought that privilege could be removed from you forever with literally just one click? You wouldn't be eating, or paying any bills. You'd be as already predicted in "1984", an UNPERSON.
China is already surveilling people and giving a "good citizen" score: if lose it, then you don't get to ride trains. That's a frightening degree of social control, and it'll soon be in place everywhere.
On the "machine ID": there's no good reason for it.
56 • Real Uses Vs. Both Naive & Paranoid (by M.Z. on 2019-03-12 18:18:45 GMT from United States)
The unique ID that I found an actual use for was UUIDs on my hard drive partitions. It seem that when you give a partition a UUID that is statistically impossible to for your computer encounter elsewhere, you eliminate problems related to different drives in & getting two partitions both labeled sda1 or whatever. I've used this on occasion to point /etc/fstab to different partitions on my system, specifically while multi-booting with a shared /data partition. There could be a potential similar benefit to machine-id as @54 points out, though I'm not sure where it is needed & why.
"...There was no way that Linux was going to be left free to skirt all the spying and data mining. ..."
That happened years ago & it was called the "Unity Shopping Lens". The makers of Ubuntu decided it would be nice to fund their project in part by collecting info about what users were typing into the search mechanism built into the Unity desktop & using that info to display adds right in the desktop regardless of whether you intended to search the web or local files.
I for one was & am strongly against sending personal info over the web like that & tracking users. There was a lot of talk about how benign the spyware feature that tracked you local searches was, how it could be opted out of if you know where the setting was, & how it generated revenue for Canonical; however, there was also back pedaling related to the spying & attempts to water down the effect before the feature was completely killed. It killed Ubuntu as a serious option for me long before that & the Unity desktop was also killed by Ubuntu & replaced with Gnome 3 & its mess of a UI. The one good thing that came of it was that the biggest name in desktop Linux backed down & gave users back some of the privacy that they should have a right to.
We have already had actual fights over real privacy concerns on Linux & the side of privacy rights won. I still don't see any actual harm related to unique ID's, though I'm more than happy to get loud when there is a real privacy concern.
57 • Serial madness (by CS on 2019-03-12 18:37:39 GMT from United States)
If you're alarmed about /etc/machine-id, please, for the love of god, don't run dmidecode unless your tinfoil hat is firmly secured in place.
58 • @53 (by Icarus on 2019-03-12 19:09:55 GMT from United States)
I've never seen anyone quite so enthused about exchanging all of his personal information for such a trifling amount of mediocre service. Good for you, I guess. But dumb and evangelical isn't a great combo. Some of us do care about our privacy and will happily pass on exchanging it for the benevolence of ad-infested glacially slow web services. No one wants to prevent you from exercising your right to idiocy, we just don't want to be opted in to it by default without informed consent.
59 • Security and Privacy Concerns (by dragonmouth on 2019-03-12 20:28:40 GMT from United States)
Resistance is futile! We are heading towards a Borg hive mind. Pretty soon everything will be known about everybody. Unfortunately, the requisite hive mind integration and organization are nowhere on the horizon.
60 • machine-id (by GreginNC on 2019-03-12 21:25:50 GMT from United States)
To all those saying there is no /etc/machine-id in X distro I found mine in /var/dbus/machine-is. Just a heads up to us locate not just look in a certain location.
61 • machine-id followup (by GreginNC on 2019-03-12 21:57:34 GMT from United States)
I guess I spoke out of ignorance before. Apparently the /var/lib/dbus/machine-id is a different file with the same name so PcLinux doesnt have the one under discussion. From what I.ve read the one I found is rewritten on just about every boot while the one in /etc/machine-id IS created by Systemd. I must assume that the reason a distro like devuan has it is from whatever compatibility workaround they use to use software from Debian.
62 • machine-id, convenient idiocy (by Angel on 2019-03-12 22:49:55 GMT from Philippines)
@61. It's the same file. When systemd is present, the one in /var/lib becomes a symlink to the one in /etc.
@58, I've managed to make it through a war, traveled, lived and spent time in some unsavory places. Know computers and communications pretty well. Have done troubleshooting and consulting. One time I had my credit card used fraudulently. That was in Colombia back in the Escobar days, when they used those sliding carbon paper thingies. Called the bank to replace the credit card, and used others I carried meanwhile. Once someone tried to download a trojan to my Windows PC, caught by the AV. I shudder!
Still wander a bit in my old age, this week on my way to Macau and Hong Kong. Yep, Google knows about that since I used it to search for needed info, and will use their maps while there. I suppose all this time I could have been intelligent and stayed private under the sheets at home with my tinfoil hat on, but it's more fun been a convenient idiot.
63 • Tails and the machine-id (by tom joad on 2019-03-13 02:48:53 GMT from United Kingdom)
Tails seems to create a new machine-id on ever boot. Every time I have looked at it, the ID was very different. In my limited number of usb's and cd's I have found no other software that does that.
64 • @49 Numbers, "Birth certification", big wars = profitable large scale murder (by mannersmaketh on 2019-03-13 03:27:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Bro, do you even read red cross reports? When information rivers get polluted we go back to the source. Remember the legend of the minotaur.
65 • start times (by Pete56 on 2019-03-13 03:50:47 GMT from New Zealand)
Cold start vs coming out of hibernate - not any comparison. Funny, most Win10 systems churn for 2-3 minutes from cold to login, and another minute+ from login to desktop loaded. I find the times recorded very strange... maybe the fresh install was at play.
I think we all instinctively know that Linux from the kernel up has "had the talk" with the men in dark suits. But we love to deny that and are proud of being "so secure." The machine-id should be no surprise. How many other 'gifts' await our eventual discovery? Linux is very fragmented with 1000's of distros, exposing a huge attack surface from an OpSec point of view. But even if Linux is "under management" it is miles ahead of MacOS or Windows, esp W10 which is a privacy nightmare at best.
66 • Machine Id. So? (by Garon on 2019-03-14 12:34:54 GMT from United States)
Everybody acts like this is something new. It is not. I can't believe how many people here want to be isolationist. When someone can give a real world example of the damage that a machine-id has done, then I will give it more credence. Until then it's not worth my time to worry about. "Stay calm and slowly back away".
67 • @66 Machine ID (by Friar Tux on 2019-03-14 17:33:58 GMT from Canada)
Thank you Garon. I agree whole heartedly. Machine ID/data collection (the computer version for the sake of this thread) HAS been going on for years. Why we are just now soiling our undies over it I really don't get. It cannot be separated from normal, everyday computer use. Nor do we want to try. True, there are a few tinfoil hats out there finding demons under every rock but, though they squeak the loudest, they are not in the majority (thank God). By the way, to #49, I was born in Germany, just after the war, and my Grandfathers, both were conscientious objectors (one even suffered a blown ear drum in one of the concentration camp pressure chambers. I say this to tell you that using that census by IBM as an argument against machine ID is ridiculous. Counting the populace has been going on since long before ancient Egypt. And for the same reasons you mentioned in your comment. Machine ID is nowhere near the counting-the-populace idea. If it were I would be four different people. However, any network I'm on can tell all four of my computers from the other and direct the require response to the right machine - thanks to machine ID.
68 • /etc/machine-id (by DaveT on 2019-03-14 20:56:24 GMT from United Kingdom)
I run OpenBSD on my laptop so I was somewhat perturbed that it had a /etc/machine-id, and even more perturbed when I discovered it doesn't change after a reboot!
Mr. Grumpy intends to do something about that...
69 • please don't disparage or demean the effort of those striving to protect privacy (by tim on 2019-03-14 22:30:11 GMT from United States)
Although YOU (or some among us) may have "just now" become aware of the machine-id fingerprinting, thankfully some among us keep an eye open for and strive to mitigate such privacy-infringing behaviors.
Nov 2013: discussion (and formulated action) to intervene regarding machine-id
Elsewhere (firejail bugtracker, for instance) you can confirm the detail mentioned in comment #26. A WEB BROWSWER is bent on reading this file, and complains if the file does not exist or is not readable. If you're "okay with that", bless your heart, but please respect the fact that some of us are not "okay with that".
Who said (who would dare to decree, and how dare they?) that this file should be present in every operating system installation across the linuxverse? Well, freedesktop.org did, in a sense... and via Chrome's behavior, Google is colluding with freedesktop toward enforcing the "decree". If you're "okay with that", with loss of the freedom to say "no" (or the ability to enforce "none ya damn business!") understand that some of us are not.
"You have a choice. You can choose to NOT use Chrome browser" is beside the point.
"Fifty other ways they can track you anhow" is beside the point.
Those who do not demand their freedom will get everything they deserve.
70 • DBus (by RJA on 2019-03-15 01:00:10 GMT from United States)
@69 It's likely DBus that's complaining. Based on what post #19 said.
I'm a bit surprised I didn't recall complaints from people about this a good while ago, like people did with systemd.
71 • EasyOS Puppy @14 (by puppunculus on 2019-03-15 09:54:33 GMT from Russia)
@71There are Puppy / Quirky and such example as Tiny Linux what can be good for people what don't like when something unintentionally changed / broke on their system.
Such people like to reinstall whole OS if they got any hw/sw problem
I think that EasyOS's innovations will be apprehended in other Puppy forks and eliminate need in fairjails/containers.
Also I would like to see in the future wine/dosbox gui's for create containers for such alien technologies on EasyOS/Puppy.
72 • EasyOS (by nano-me on 2019-03-15 14:15:45 GMT from United Kingdom)
@14 and @71. EasyOS: Barry Kauler has built a number of interesting ideas into his latest creation, which I "installed" from USB. I like "Everything is a Container". I don't mind "Everything is a GUI". However, I am worried with promoting the idea of running as root [remember MS Windows], even though privilages can be dropped down to an ordinary user on a per-container basis. Containers only stop harm escaping into the wider OS.
His container code is 590 lines of C compared to 29,000 for Firejail [although the latter has an extensive CLI and UI]. I still can't decide if containers are a better isolation mechanism than the more memory-intensive QubesOS and its Xen VMs.
73 • What wrong with MS Windows? (by Akoy on 2019-03-15 14:56:35 GMT from United Kingdom)
>>I don't mind "Everything is a GUI". However, I am worried with promoting the idea of running as root [remember MS Windows],...
I remember, and use it in the evening, everyday. So, what's wrong with MS Windows..?
74 • re: what's wrong with MS Windows..? (by nano-me on 2019-03-15 15:14:07 GMT from United Kingdom)
@73: I meant that Windows only in recent years made the distinction between Administrator and User capabilities. There is a place to discuss why anything coming out of Redmond is a Poc, but this is not it [eg DistroWatch is for Linux & BSD].
75 • anti-tracking apps (by Jordan on 2019-03-15 17:44:40 GMT from United States)
I've installed a few here and there, including adjusting settings in the Firefox web browser to avoid the tracking that nearly all websites do now.
There's a link to "Privacy Badger" here in this comments area. I highly recommend it.
For some reason people who are of the mind to do what I am doing about being tracked are being attacked here and there. I find that fact interesting anywhere, but particularly here at a linux/bsd website.
76 • @74 re: Admin vs User on Windows (by Rev_Don on 2019-03-15 18:18:53 GMT from United States)
"I meant that Windows only in recent years made the distinction between Administrator and User capabilities."
They made that distinction back in the mid 1990's with NT and in 2001 with XP for mainstream users. That isn't that recent.
77 • @68 • /etc/machine-id (by DaveT on 2019-03-16 10:24:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
update: I edited /etc/machine-id on my laptop running OpenBSD so it is an empty file. And happily everything still works.
I use fluxbox as the window manager and have very little software from Freedesktop.org.
I grepped through the OpenBSD source code and found no reference to it. Ported applications from linux are a different matter of course.
78 • Privacy Thoughts (by M.Z. on 2019-03-16 17:59:14 GMT from United States)
Well, I've heard a whole lot of nothing regarding actual harm from machine-id. I do think privacy is a serious topic & recommend things like Duckduckgo & Privacy Badger to anyone who cares. The only post that seemed like it might have something relevant linked to a thread about installing things via usb, which is sorry, neither authoritative, nor relevant (that I could see).
If you want people to take privacy seriously you do yourself & our cause harm by coming up with irrelevant non-issues. When there is no harm & you jump to attack, you just make us all look like uninformed people search for a fight, rather than intelligent advocates for a better way of doing things.
Regarding browsers & such looking at machine-id, well that's potentially a bit creepy; however, you don't seem to be saying anything about machine-id actually being involved in tracking, just being a bit eerie. For a point of comparison, there are vaccine-haters howling at the wind about how their kids developed autism at the same time they received vaccines. That's extremely unfortunate, but there is a time test scientific principle that correlation does not necessarily equal causation. What does the overwhelming majority of science say regarding vaccines? All non-debunked info says kids start showing autism symptoms at the same time they should be scheduled for vaccines; however, aside from a coincidence in timing there is absolutely no link between vaccines & autism. Indeed railing against vaccines has done far more harm than good for children's health than scheduled vaccinations by any reasonable measure.
Now to a similar, though admittedly far lesser degree, people seem to be doing the quest for privacy harm by over-blowing machine-id as if it were a serious part of privacy issues. Okay, so a unique ID tag can be creepy, there is a bit of correlation there, but I see no intelligent reason to think this is a cause of privacy problems. I poked around a little and came up with a big fat nothing that substantiates machine-id fears. Perhaps we would be better off with fewer unique IDs of all kinds, but that's about all I think can be reasonably said against machine-id. I'm open to changing my mind if someone finds a good reason, but most of what I see is fear-mongering, which is never good.
We should be worried about privacy issues, let's just be worried about the right ones.
79 • Machine-ID (by Kragle von Schnitzelbank on 2019-03-17 02:21:12 GMT from United States)
I, for one, appreciate someone noticing yet another point of vulnerability (machine-id). Few programmers consider defensive measures when first developing software; hindsight is not always timely enough to forestall damage.
On the vaccine analogy,
Flu vaccine is, at best, effective at prevention only 18% of the time; anyone have similar data for the current issue (measles)? Converseley, how effective is Quarantine?
Any vaccination depends on immune system response - is that capability always measured before vaccination? Isn't that just one reason suppliers demand immunity ... from liability? ("If there's no danger, why demand this?")
I wonder whether any (security) distro other than TAILS includes anonymizing this?
(If you have nothing to hide, why are you wearing clothing?)
80 • @79 (by Mgv on 2019-03-17 13:39:18 GMT from Romania)
Dude, if I would meet you in person, would you have your face covered? How many door handles have you left your fingerprints on?
There is a problem of perspective, I see you mention some isolated facts, you generalize and you speculate the worst case scenarios. While skepticism is to some degree healthy and kudos for championing it, the extreme of skepticism - paranoia - is quite unhealthy.
We aren't isolated entities, we are part of society: identification, reliance on others and exchange should happen every day in order for us to move forward. And when the model of trust is broken we should be there together to set is straight. You cannot foresee all use cases of a uid when it is created, as some have tried to explain there are cases where an ID is required. And policies should be put in place and enforced in order for the legitimate use of that ID to function.
And we must be vigilant and participative all the time, not only when we crawl out from under the bridge...
81 • privacy (by dick on 2019-03-17 15:03:00 GMT from Canada)
@79 (If you have nothing to hide, why are you wearing clothing?)
Outside... it is 30 below,
have to go out and shovel snow,
do not want to freeze... little-joe.
82 • machine-id (by Newby on 2019-03-17 21:22:43 GMT from Canada)
@77 DaveT re machine-id:
Tried your suggestion about editing machine-id so it was an empty file. When restarting X (with startx, and using xfce), X would not start. Got a dbus error message about invalid machine-id. Programs running from terminal, no problem; but X was completely inoperative. Fortunately, had made backup and simply restored the file.
Reading up about dbus, found it is used by a lot of programs. I gather some of this has to do about identifying stuff on a network, but if that is the case, then this is truly worrying. Thought that was what MAC addressing was used for. Personally, not knowledgeable enough to understand why this is needed. Was this just a bad design decision in the development of dbus, or is there something more nefarious going on?
Number of Comments: 82
Display mode: DWW Only • Comments Only • Both DWW and Comments
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on the command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Polar Bear Linux
Polar Bear Linux was a source-based GNU/Linux distribution derived from Linux From Scratch. All software packages are provided in the form of source code, which are compiled during installation. This has many advantages, as well as a major drawback in the time it takes to install the system (approximately 9 hours for a base system). Polar Bear Linux uses a simple package manager called Tarball Package Manager (TBPKG).