| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 812, 29 April 2019
Welcome to this year's 17th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
In the software world, new products and releases come out all the time and, at the other end of the cycle, others fade out of existence. This week we cover versions of projects at the beginnings and ends of their lifespans. We start with a look at Ubuntu MATE 19.04, one of the many community editions of Ubuntu which came out about a week ago. Read on to learn more about Jesse Smith's experiences with Ubuntu and Ubuntu MATE 19.04. In our News section we look at some projects being phased out. Scientific Linux is now in maintenance mode and there will be no future versions of the distribution. The Red Hat team has announced they are taking over maintenance for long-term support releases of Java from Oracle, and Ubuntu community editions of 16.04 have reached the end of their life cycles. We also link to a post about Debian's refreshed install media. In our Tips and Tricks column we explain how to set up a SOCKS proxy for web browsing. Then, in our Opinion Poll, we ask how many of our readers browse behind a proxy, of one type or another. Plus we are pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
- Review: Ubuntu MATE 19.04
- News: Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support, Ubuntu 16.04 community editions reach end of life, Debian updates media
- Tips and tricks: Creating a SOCKS proxy for web browsing
- Released last week: OpenBSD 6.5, Voyager Live 19.04, Parrot 4.6
- Torrent corner: Clonezilla, Container, Debian, deepin, DragonFly BSD, Nitrux, NomadBSD, OpenBSD, OSMC, Parrot, PBXware, Slax, SmartOS, Voyager
- Upcoming releases: Fedora 30
- Opinion poll: Using a proxy for web browsing
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (15MB) and MP3 (11MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu MATE 19.04
Ubuntu and its family of community editions were updated just over a week ago with the releases of version 19.04. The new set of releases ship with version 5.0 of the Linux kernel and receive just nine months of support.
A few weeks ago we ran a poll asking which member of the Ubuntu family should be the focus on this review and the winner (on the day the new version came out), by a thin margin, was Canonical's main edition, Ubuntu itself. Ubuntu 19.04 ships with GNOME 3.32 which provides fractional scaling for the GNOME desktop along with using Python 3 as the default version of the Python language. The Alt-Tab behaviour has been changed to switch between windows instead of applications by default and there is a "safe graphics mode" available through the GRUB boot menu. These days Ubuntu and its community flavours use a merged-usr filesystem on fresh installs, consolidating executable files and libraries under the /usr directory. Otherwise not much has changed in the desktop edition of Ubuntu for this release.
I downloaded Ubuntu's 2GB ISO file and soon ran into two problems. The first was Ubuntu was unusually slow to boot, taking several minutes to get up and running. The second was the GNOME desktop was painfully slow to respond to input. During the flood of Ubuntu releases I had a chance to boot all eight flavours and found only Ubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin shared these performance issues. These problems have been reported elsewhere so I suspect this may be a driver-related issue. While these problems may be possible to trouble-shoot and may be fixed quickly, they made reviewing Ubuntu in a reasonable time frame difficult.
The next most popular distribution in our poll was Kubuntu, but I briefly reviewed it about a month ago and (apart from shipping a slightly newer version of Plasma) it doesn't look like much has changed since then. In fact, almost nothing new is listed in the release announcement, apart from a few minor package updates. Which brought me to the third most popular poll option: Ubuntu MATE.
Ubuntu MATE is provided through a 1.9GB ISO and is available for 64-bit (x86_64) machines and GPD Pocket computers. At a glance it looks like other architectures and platforms are supported on the Ubuntu MATE download page, but those links are for older versions of the distribution.
Ubuntu MATE 19.04 -- The welcome window
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Like most of the other community flavours, Ubuntu MATE's list of changes for 19.04 is pretty conservative. The team is intentionally shipping an older version of the MATE desktop, for instance (1.20 instead of 1.22) for stability reasons. The two big features are support for GPD Pocket computers and Remote Desktop Awareness (RDA). The project's release announcement explains RDA: "Our MATE Desktop 1.20 packages ship with patches to support Remote Desktop Awareness (RDA). RDA makes MATE Desktop more aware of its execution context so that it behaves differently when run inside a remote desktop session compared to when running on local hardware. Different remote technology solutions support different features and they can now be queried from within MATE components. The inclusion of RDA offers the option to suspend your remote connection; supports folder sharing in Caja; MIME type bindings for SSHFS shares and allows session suspension via the MATE screensaver."
When booting from the Ubuntu MATE media in a virtual machine the system brings up a graphical window which asks us to select our preferred language from a list and then choose to try the live desktop or start the install process. At first I tried the live desktop and found MATE to be responsive and the distribution appeared to be working properly. We can then launch the installer from the live desktop or reboot to start the install process. When running Ubuntu MATE's live media on a physical workstation, the distribution simply boots directly into the live desktop without asking for my preferred language or if I would like to install the operating system.
The distribution uses Ubiquity as the system installer. Ubiquity has not changed much in recent years and the graphical installer does a good job of guiding us through easy to navigate screens. Early on we are asked whether we should perform a Normal or Minimal install. The former places packages for several desktop applications on our hard drive while the Minimal option installs MATE and a web browser, but little else. We can also decide whether to install third-party drivers and codecs, which I did.
Ubiquity offers guided and manual partitioning. I took the manual option which was straight forward to use and supports setting up Ubuntu MATE on an ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS or XFS filesystem. I went with the Btrfs option with the hopes of using snapshots and other convenient features. The installer also asks us to select our keyboard layout, time zone and to make up a username and password for ourselves. Ubiquity worked quickly and I was soon able to reboot and begin playing with my new copy of the distribution.
Ubuntu MATE boots to a green-themed graphical login screen. From there we can sign into our user account and start using the MATE desktop. The desktop is arranged with a two-panel layout. The application menu and system tray are placed at the top of the display and the task switcher is located at the bottom. As soon as we sign in a welcome window appears. The welcome screen offers overviews of Linux and the Ubuntu MATE distribution. There are buttons provided which open the software centre (called Software Boutique) and a separate tool that just installs popular web browsers with a click. The available browsers are Chromium, Chrome, Vivaldi, Opera, Brave and Firefox. The browsers are presented without explanation or tips on why we might use one over the other.
Ubuntu MATE 19.04 -- Trying to connect to the chat room
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The welcome screen also features links to the project's resources and includes a button to connect us with the project's IRC chatroom. Clicking the chatroom button opens Firefox and the browser attempts to connect us with the chatroom through the Kiwi IRC web client. I tried to use the chatroom four times over the first two days I was using Ubuntu MATE and the connection always failed. It's not a good omen when a project's support resource does not work.
I would like to return to the subject of Ubuntu MATE's software manager. The Software Boutique application can be launched from the welcome window, the application menu or the settings panel. The Boutique displays icons for categories of software across the top of its window and clicking these icons brings up an alphabetically sorted list of desktop applications. Each program is listed with its icon and a short description. We can click a button next to a program's entry to add it to the download queue. New items are not downloaded until we confirm we want to process the queue, then we are asked to provide our password before Boutique will install the selected software.
Ubuntu MATE 19.04 -- The Software Boutique
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The first time I used Boutique it appeared as though the interface locked up once my queue of items had been installed. It turned out I had to click a button confirming software had finished downloading before I could move on and select more programs to install.
Boutique worked well and quickly and I did not encounter any real problems. I would have preferred if software categories had been labelled with text rather than simple graphics as I did not immediately recognize some categories by their icons. Something else I noticed was Boutique is only set up to install desktop applications, and not even all of those. Games and some programs, like Timeshift, do not turn up in searches. If we want more software that Boutique cannot find, Software Boutique does include a category specifically for installing other software managers, specifically GNOME Software and Synaptic.
I'd like to share a few other observations on software management. Ubuntu MATE ships with a simple graphical update manager. This tool simply lists available updates and installs them. I had no problems with this tool and it worked well. For fans of the command line we can use the APT package management tools. Ubuntu MATE ships with the Snap framework for running Snap bundles. In fact, I believe at least two programs, the welcome window and Software Boutique, are Snap packages. Flatpak can be installed from the distribution's repositories, but is not available out of the box. Finally, I think it is worth mentioning the distribution enables the Ubuntu Backports repository by default, meaning desktop software is likely to get updated over the short (nine month) span of the distribution's supported life.
I experimented with Ubuntu MATE in a VirtualBox environment and on a physical workstation. In both environments the distribution ran well. All of my workstation's hardware was detected and used without problems. When running in VirtualBox, Ubuntu MATE integrated with the virtual machine and could use my screen's full resolution. The distribution took a little longer to shutdown than usual when running in VirtualBox, but otherwise I encountered no hardware-related problems.
I found the distribution used about 400MB of RAM when signed into the MATE desktop and the operating system consumed 6GB of disk space following a Normal install.
Ubuntu MATE ships with a familiar collection of popular desktop applications, including Firefox, Thunderbird and Transmission. LibreOffice is included along with the Atril document viewer and the MATE Dictionary. The Shotwell photo manager and Eye of MATE image viewer are included too. There is a simple scanning utility, archive manager and calculator included too. Backup archives can be created and restored through Deja Dup, which I find pleasantly straight forward to use.
The distribution includes the Cheese webcam tool, the Brasero disc burning software, the VLC media player and the Rhythmbox audio player. We have the option of installing media codecs through Ubiquity and I was able to play media files out of the box. The gufw utility is provided for setting up a firewall. The distribution ships with the MATE help documentation and an Additional Drivers tool for installing third-party hardware drivers. Redshift is provided to make our screens more pleasant to look at in the evenings.
Ubuntu MATE 19.04 -- Adjusting the look of the desktop with Ubuntu Tweak
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Digging further we find the GNU Compiler Collection is installed and systemd provides Ubuntu MATE's init implementation. Behind the scenes we find version 5.0 of the Linux kernel. Generally speaking, the included applications worked well for me. I found I did not need to install many extra tools and the provided programs were both functional and easy to use.
Errors and issues
During my time with Ubuntu MATE I ran into a number of errors and small problems, most of them occurring in the first day or two of use. The second time I logged into the desktop the Brisk menu immediate crashed, causing a pop-up letting me know and its process had to be restarted. The first time the screensaver came on, I pressed keys and moved the mouse and nothing happened. The screen remained blank. I had to switch to a text console and stop the screensaver manually and then switch back to the desktop session to get back to MATE.
A few times during the first day error messages popped-up saying an internal error had occurred and asking if a crash report should be sent to the developers.
Though perhaps a design choice rather than a bug, I was disappointed to find that despite not wanting any swap space enabled, Ubuntu MATE automatically created a swap file for me on the root partition. The file is about 700MB in size. This is a potential problem for three reasons. First, the swap file takes up the better part of a gigabyte and that is space I wanted to use for something else. Second, the swap file is not enabled, meaning that even if RAM did fill up, I still would not have swap space to use. The file is taking up space without providing any benefit. Third, I chose to install on a Btrfs volume and the documentation relating to Linux swap space goes out of its way to repeatedly point out swap files do not work properly with Btrfs prior to Linux 5.0 and only work under specific configurations that are not applicable to Ubuntu MATE with Linux 5.0 and newer. In other words, if I did enable the swap file manually in order to use it, it is likely my data would get corrupted as a result.
Ubuntu MATE includes a central settings panel which is filled with useful modules for customizing the operating system and the MATE desktop. Most of the settings are pretty standard and allow us to change the look of the desktop, create firewall rules and manage printers. These modules all worked well for me and were pleasantly boring.
Ubuntu MATE 19.04 -- The settings panel and firewall rules
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A couple of settings I did find interesting were in the Windows and MATE Tweak modules. Going into the Windows module opens up window manager settings and these helped me improve MATE's performance, particularly when compositing was disabled. The MATE Tweak tool offers some useful features too, such as moving window control buttons and enabling the HUD.
The HUD, which previously got a lot of attention back when Ubuntu was using the Unity 7 desktop by default, allows the user to press a button (typically the left Alt key) to open a search window that lets us type the name of the menu item we want to access in the active application. For instance, if I want to change the character colour in LibreOffice, with the HUD I do not need to remember if colours are set under the Format or Styles menus. I tap "Alt" and type "character" and the appropriate menu item is selected, with related options shown in the search box. The HUD does not work with all applications, Firefox refused to work with the HUD for instance, but most programs I tried did work and this made navigating applications with large menus easier to use. I would like to see more desktops enable a HUD.
Ubuntu MATE 19.04 -- Using the HUD with LibreOffice
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Earlier I mentioned installing Ubuntu MATE on a Btrfs volume. While the distribution does not ship with Timeshift, the snapshotting program is available in the repositories and works with the distribution's Btrfs volume layout. This makes it wonderfully easy to automatically take snapshots of our files at regular intervals and restore deleted or overwritten files later. I was happy to see how smoothly the distribution ran on the advanced filesystem and hope the developers lower the bar to creating snapshots in future releases.
Ubuntu MATE 19.04 -- Making snapshots with Timeshift
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When I began using Ubuntu MATE my trial started off well. The live environment worked smoothly and the Ubiquity installer performed as expected. However, during my first day or two with the distribution, I ran into a number of problems. I was unable to connect with the IRC support channel, the distribution gobbled up disk space with a swap file I didn't want, and I ran into a number of crashes that affected either the interface or the underlying operating system. In short, for the first day or two I was frustrated with Ubuntu MATE and by my initial impressions of Ubuntu itself.
However, my opinion of the distribution warmed over the course of the week. MATE is wonderfully snappy and I like its theme. The project ships with a lot of top-notch applications which make getting to work very easy. I like that the MATE Tweak tool let me arrange the desktop the way I wanted and the HUD is a joy to use.
One of my few lingering issues was with Software Boutique. This software manager seems geared toward beginners who will only want to install a few items, but it does not scale up well and cannot install command line tools, some desktop software and some games. Which means we will almost certainly need to install at least one other software manager to get all the tools we want.
In the end, I feel Ubuntu MATE is doing a lot of things well. The overall design is good and I think newcomers will especially appreciate this distribution. However, there are a handful of bugs and little design problems that should be addressed before the next long-term support release which is due a year from now.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card, Ralink RT5390R PCIe Wireless card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
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Visitor supplied rating
Ubuntu MATE has a visitor supplied average rating of: 9/10 from 221 review(s).
Have you used Ubuntu MATE? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support, Ubuntu 16.04 community editions reach end of life, Debian updates media
A post on the Scientific Linux announcement mailing list indicates that there will not be a release of Scientific Linux 8. The project plans to deploy CentOS 8 instead and modify it as required to suit the team's needs. "Toward that end, we will deploy CentOS 8 in our scientific computing environments rather than develop Scientific Linux 8. We will collaborate with CERN and other labs to help make CentOS an even better platform for high-energy physics computing. Fermilab will continue to support Scientific Linux 6 and 7 through the remainder of their respective lifecycles."
* * * * *
Oracle is the company which currently owns and leads the development of the Java language and related tools. Since Java is often used in enterprise environments, developers want new versions of the Java language to be supported for longer periods of time. However, Oracle tends to offer shorter support cycles for Java and this, along with other limitations, has led Red Hat to take over support of Java's long-term support releases. Packt reports: "Yesterday, Red Hat announced that it will serve as a steward of OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11, following the transition from Oracle. 'With this transition', says Red Hat, 'we are affirming our support of the Java community and following a similar path that led to its leadership of both the OpenJDK 6 and OpenJDK 7 projects.' At the end of January 2019, Oracle officially ended free public updates to Oracle JDK for non-Oracle customer commercial users. These users will no longer be able to get updates without an Oracle support contract. Additionally, Oracle has changed the Oracle JDK license (BCPL) so that commercial use for JDK 11 and beyond will require an Oracle subscription."
* * * * *
The Ubuntu Studio team have published a reminder that version 16.04 of their distribution has reached the end of its supported life. Users are advised to upgrade to newer versions. Other community editions of Ubuntu 16.04, that received three years of support, will also be reaching their end of life dates and should likewise be upgraded to newer releases. "As of today, April 25, 2019, Ubuntu Studio 16.04 LTS has reached the end of its support cycle. We strongly urge all users of 16.04 to upgrade to Ubuntu Studio 18.04 and add the Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA for support through April 2020, which is when our next LTS release, 20.04, is expected. Ubuntu Studio 16.04 LTS will no longer receive community support from this point forward."
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The Debian project has published updated install media for Debian 9 "Stretch". The new media, which carries the version number 9.9, is not a new release of the operating system, but offers install media with up to date bug fixes. Details on the new media can be found in the project's news post: "The Debian project is pleased to announce the ninth update of its stable distribution Debian 9 (codename Stretch). This point release mainly adds corrections for security issues, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories have already been published separately and are referenced where available."
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Creating a SOCKS proxy for web browsing
There are times when it is useful to be able to redirect our web traffic through a third-party computer, called a proxy. A proxy makes it appear as though our web browsing is originating from a different location. This might be done for any number of reasons, such as seeing if a website displays alternative content to visitors from different locations. It can also be used to check whether a website is off-line or merely not responding to visitors from your network. A web proxy can also be useful for testing the speed of a network connection if it appears a connection from a specific location is being throttled.
Whatever the reason for wanting our web connection to appear it is coming from a different place, it is fairly easy to set up a proxy using just three things:
Once we have these three things, we need to perform two basic steps. The first is to connect to the remote computer, whether it is a friend's home PC or a virtual private server (VPS), using OpenSSH. Then we need to tell our web browser how to use the new connection we have established.
- Access to a remote computer running the OpenSSH (secure shell) service
- A local copy of the OpenSSH (ssh) client
- A web browser.
Connecting to the remote computer is easy, we just need to open a terminal window and run the ssh command and give it a random port number, preferably in the range of 1,025 through to 65,535. In this example I am going to use 12,701, for no particular reason other than I suspect it will not be used by any other service. In this tutorial, I am connecting to remote computer example.com and signing in using the account name "jesse":
ssh -D 12701 firstname.lastname@example.org
What this does is set up a local network port (12,701) on our computer which listens for connections. Those connections are then forwarded to the example.com server, which acts as a proxy and sends them out into the Internet. Our web traffic then looks like it is coming from the remote computer at example.com.
The next step is to tell our web browser to connect to the proxy over port 12,701 instead of talking directly to websites over the Internet. How we do this will vary depending on which browser we are using.
Changing Firefox's proxy settings
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When using Firefox, go to the Preferences panel. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says Network Proxy and click the Settings button. In the Connection Settings page that appears, select Manual Proxy Configuration. Then, in the SOCKS Host field put localhost and put 12701 in the Port field. Underneath these fields we can select SOCKS version 4 or 5. We want to use version 5. Click the OK button to start using the proxy.
With Falkon (formerly QupZilla) enabling the proxy is similarly easy. We can open the Preferences menu, select the Browsing page and click the Proxy Configuration tab. Click the Manual Configuration radio button. Then change the type of connection from HTTP to SOCKS5. Put localhost as the name of the computer and 12701 as the port. Then click OK.
Changing Falkon's proxy settings
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Some other browsers do not have SOCKS proxy support built into their settings panels, but can use either browser extensions or command line options to enable proxy settings. In which case most proxy extensions offer the same options and fields as Firefox and Falkon, shown above.
Whichever browser we are using, we can stop sending our network connection through the proxy, by going back into the network settings and choosing "No proxy" from the list of proxy options. In the terminal, type "exit" and press Enter to close the connection to the remote computer.
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Additional tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
OpenBSD is an open source operating system designed with the goals of being simple, secure and offering correct documentation. The project's latest release is OpenBSD 6.5 offers Clang on the mips64 architecture, improves wireless performance, and the unveil() function now handles protecting filesystem assets above the process's directory. "Installer improvements: rdsetroot(8) (a build-time tool) is now available for general use. During upgrades, some components of old releases are deleted. Security improvements: unveil(2) has been improved to understand and find covering unveil matches above the working directory of the running process for relative path accesses. As a result many programs now can use unveil in broad ways such as unveil("/", "r"). unveil(2) no longer silently allows stat(2) and access(2) to work on any unveiled path component." The new release also offers LibreSSL 2.9.1 and OpenSSH 8.0 which include security improvements. Further details can be found in the project's release notes and in the changelog.
Voyager Live 19.04
The developers of Voyager Live have published a new version of their Ubuntu-based distribution. The new version, Voyager Live 19.04, is based on Ubuntu 19.04 and features the GNOME 3.32 desktop environment. An English translation of the release announcement reads: "I introduce to you Voyager GE 19.04 that continues the adventure with the desktop GNOME Shell, version 3.32, that introduces new features. With the promise finally realized to have a light GNOME system, fast, fluid and powerful. This version is based on the Linux 5.0 kernel and the distribution Ubuntu 'Disco Dingo'. 19.04 is an intermediate version upgrade with nine months of support, preparing for the future 20.04 LTS (Long-term Support) version that will have 5 years of support. LTS versions happen every two years, when Voyager will be available in two editions: GNOME Shell and Xfce. Also you can choose according to your wishes and capacity machines. The general idea of Voyager is to introduce in the GNOME Shell pre-installed extensions and scripts grouped in a box that optimize the system with a choice of necessary software. The desktop includes redesigned ergonomics. A video presentation and pictures are available."
Voyager Live 19.04 -- Running GNOME Shell
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Lorenzo Faletra has announced the release of Parrot 4.6, an updated version of the project's distribution set designed for penetration testing, digital forensics and privacy protection, all based on Debian's "Testing" branch. Besides the usual builds, this version ads a new ISO image - Parrot Security featuring the KDE Plasma desktop: "We are proud to announce the release of Parrot 4.6, an important Parrot OS update that comes out after three months of heavy development. When we first added KDE, it was an experiment. We love MATE but we'd heard great things about KDE and decided we could try and support two desktop environments. Because of the work required to change everything from MATE to KDE, we started with KDE Home. The feedback was immediate, you guys loved it. The recurring request since has been: 'how do I add the tools?' We heard you and it is finally here! A Security edition featuring the KDE Plasma desktop environment. We now offer both MATE and KDE images for the Home and Security editions." Read the rest of the release notes for a list of system changes and updates.
A new stable version of deepin, a Debian-based desktop distribution featuring the Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE), is now ready for download. This release downgrades the system to Debian's stable branch, but users who are on deepin 15.9 (based on Debian "Testing") can continue using it as usual. However, deepin 15.10 is now the recommended variant as it includes long-term support. From the release announcement: "Compared with deepin 15.9, deepin 15.10 introduces new functions such as files on desktop auto merge, wallpaper slideshow, separate switches for system sound effects, and supports dragging the tray icon out in fashion mode. In addition, many bugs have been fixed and the existing functions optimized. Besides that, deepin 15.10 is newly built and released using Debian stable repository, in this way, system stability and security is greatly improved, bringing users more stable and efficient experiences. The unstable repository will continue to be maintained for the next three months. deepin 15.10 is released in both stable and unstable editions. Stable edition users can update from 15.9.2 beta to deepin 15.10, or install from the 15.10 ISO image. Unstable edition users can get deepin 15.10 through a system update."
Clonezilla Live 2.6.1-25
Steven Shiau has announced a new release of Clonezilla Live. Clonezilla is a Debian-based distribution which can be used to create disk and partition images, transfer those images and clone them to a different device. The project's release announcement mentions the following improvements available in Clonezilla 2.6.1-25: "Enhancements and changes from 2.6.0-37: The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is based on the Debian Sid repository (as of 2019/Apr/20). From this release the AMD64 version works for uEFI Secure Boot. Linux kernel was updated to 4.19.28-2. Partclone was updated to 0.3.12+git00e0212. Package ezio-static was updated to 1.1.8. Package vbetool was added. Thanks to Joerg Schiermeier for asking this. Package mbmon was added. Add USB NIC modules in initramfs of live system. A new mode for Clonezilla lite server was added: massive deployment from raw device using bittorrent mechanism. For Clonezilla lite sever, change ezio_seeder_extra_opt as ezio_seeder_opt. Add two more options: ezio_leecher_opt and ezio_common_opt in drbl-ocs.conf. These three options can also be overwritten if it's assigned in boot parameters."
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 1,377
- Total data uploaded: 25.2TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Using a proxy for web browsing
In our Tips and Tricks column this week we talked about using a remote computer as a web proxy over a secure shell connection. There are other ways to make a web connection appear to originate from another location, including using the Tor network, free web-based proxies, and virtual private networks (VPNs). This week we would like to hear how many of our readers use one of these proxies wen web browsing.
You can see the results of our previous poll on backup solutions in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Using a proxy for web browsing
|I use a SOCKS proxy: ||39 (3%)|
| I use a VPN: ||302 (25%)|
| I use a web-based proxy: ||70 (6%)|
| I use another proxy: ||44 (4%)|
| I do not use a proxy: ||774 (63%)|
DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 6 May 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
|• Issue 848 (2020-01-13): elementary OS 5.1, accessing USB ports directly, NetBSD expanding Wayland support, Fedora phasing out old Python packages|
|• Issue 847 (2020-01-06): Android-x86 9.0, Hypberbola switching to BSD base, Debian votes on init diversity, slow adoption of Wayland and delta packages|
|• Issue 846 (2019-12-23): NomadBSD 1.3, Tails publishes boot fix, Arch update requires intervention, Purism launches server lineup, password protecting files|
|• Issue 845 (2019-12-16): OpenIndiana 2019.10, BunsenLabs' "Lithium" preview, MX-Fluxbox, 10 years of Tails, installing local packages|
|• Issue 844 (2019-12-09): Project Trident Void alpha, alpha installer for "Bullseye", SparkyLinux portable edition, dealing with large log files|
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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FaunOS was a portable, fully integrated Linux operating system with over 600 pre-installed packages. Based on Arch Linux, it was specifically designed to run from a portable USB memory device (such as a USB Flash drive). It can also be configured to boot from other media, such as DVD, and even the internal hard drive. FaunOS was a live desktop system designed to run without setup on most modern x86-based systems.