| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 820, 24 June 2019
Welcome to this year's 25th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Most people use operating systems to run applications. Put another way: people are usually more interested in the tools they can use with their operating system rather than the operating system itself. This often leads to people wanting to run applications native to one operating system on another platform. As a result we often see people using tools like WINE and virtual machines to get packages working across multiple systems. In our Tips and Tricks column we discuss Anbox, a tool which can be used to run Android applications on a GNU/Linux desktop. Anbox is not only useful on the desktop, but may also pave the way to allowing GNU/Linux users to run Android applications on their mobile devices. Our Opinion Poll asks whether our readers use Anbox or a similar technology to run Android software on GNU/Linux systems. In our News section we discuss Debian's ongoing work to port packages to the RISC-V CPU architecture while Ubuntu plans to drop 32-bit packages and Zorin partners with Star Labs. We also link to a helpful guide from Red Hat which discusses a networking vulnerability that was recently discovered in the Linux kernel and how to deal with it. In our Feature Story this week we take quick looks at Clear Linux and Guix System, two experimental distributions. Clear Linux places a focus on performance and optimizations while Guix System showcases advanced package management techniques. Plus we are pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1
- News: Debian's progressing RISC-V port, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit packages, Red Hat explains networking bug, Zorin partners with Star Labs
- Tips and tricks: Running Android applications on GNU/Linux with Anbox
- Released last week: PCLinuxOS 2019.06, DragonFly BSD 5.6.0, Alpine 3.10.0
- Torrent corner: Alpine, Container, DragonFly, IPFire, OSMC, PCLinuxOS, SmartOS, Tails
- Opinion poll: Running Android apps on GNU/Linux
- New distributions: bluebuntu
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Clear Linux 29590
Clear Linux is a rolling release distro that places a strong emphasis on performance. The distribution focuses on providing optimizations for Intel (and compatible) CPU platforms and often scores well in benchmark tests.
I previously experimented briefly with Clear Linux in 2017 and found it to be very minimal in its features. The distribution presented users with a command line interface by default and, while it was possible to install a desktop environment from the project's repositories, it was not focused on desktop computing. These days Clear Linux is available in several editions. There are separate builds for command line and desktop editions, along with cloud and specially tailored virtual machine builds.
I downloaded the distribution's live desktop edition which was a 2.2GB compressed file. Expanding the download unpacks a 2.3GB ISO. It actually took longer for me to decompress the file than it would have to download the extra 100MB so the compression used on the archive is probably not practical.
Trying to boot from the live desktop media quickly resulted in Clear Linux running into a kernel panic and refusing to start. This was done trying version 29410 of the distribution and, since new versions come along almost every day, I waited a while and then downloaded another version: Clear Linux 29590. The new version had an ISO approximately the same size and, after it passed its checksum, it too failed to boot due to a kernel panic.
I have used Clear Linux on this system before and, though it technically utilizes an AMD CPU, that was not an issue during my previous trial. The current situation does make me wonder if Clear Linux might have optimized itself so much that it is no longer capable of running on previous generation processors.
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Guix System 1.0.1
Since my time with Clear Linux was cut short, I decided to experiment with another operating system, this time turning to Guix System. Guix is a package manager in the same family as Nix and Guix System (formerly Guix System Distribution) is built around the Guix package manager. Through Guix, the operating system provides advanced package management features such as transactional upgrades and roll-backs, reproducible build environments, unprivileged package management, and per-user profiles. It uses low-level mechanisms from the Nix package manager, but packages are defined as native Guile modules, using extensions to the Scheme language.
The Guix System project recently published version 1.0.0 which introduced a new installer as previously the distribution was set up manually from the command line.. The developers then published an update, version 1.0.1, to fix a path error which prevented the Xfce desktop from loading in some situations. I downloaded version 1.0.1 which, when compressed, was a 244MB download. Once the ISO was decompressed, it took up 1.3GB of space.
Booting from the Guix System (hereafter simply referred to as Guix) media brings up a series of text-based menus. These menus ask us to select our preferred language and our region of the world from lists. We are then given the choice of installing the distribution manually from the command line or using a guided installer. I went with the guided option.
We are then asked to select our time zone and keyboard layout from more lists. The text-based installer then asks how we would like to handle partitioning: guided, guided with encryption, or manual. I went with the manual option and discovered the installer itself cannot be used to create, delete or resize existing disk partitions. If we need to change the disk's layout we can switch to a terminal shell and run the cfdisk utility, or run a live distribution with a partitioning tool prior to working with Guix. Once the disk is partitioned the installer then guides us through assigning partitions to mount points and, optionally, formatting partitions with the Btrfs, ext4, or FAT filesystems. We can also assign a partition to be used as swap space.
Next, the installer asks us to make up a hostname for the system, create a password for the root account and create at least one username/password combination. We can create additional user accounts if we wish. We are then asked to pick one or more desktop environments to install with options including GNOME, Xfce, MATE, Enlightenment, Openbox, awesome, i3, and ratpoison. I decided to go with MATE. The last step asks what extras we would like to enable with the three options being OpenSSH, Tor and Mozilla NSS certificates. I stuck with just the certificates.
The installer then disappeared and the screen went blank for a while, then printed a message which read: "shepherd: Service cow-store has been started." Then it looked like the installer was downloading packages and the system displays progress as packages are copied to the hard drive. In my case the copy process took a little over an hour. Once the installer finishes we can reboot the computer to get started using Guix.
The first time I loaded Guix the boot process took an unusually long time. At one point the system appeared to lock up for about five minutes before continuing. In the end, from boot menu to graphical login screen, the start-up time totalled about ten minutes. Curiously, after the first boot, Guix started up considerably faster, generally taking less than a minute to arrive at the login screen.
Signing into my account from the login screen brought up the MATE desktop. The interface uses a two-panel layout with the Applications, Places and System menus in the upper-left corner of the screen. The system tray is placed in the upper-right. The second panel houses the task switcher and sits at the bottom of the display.
Guix system 1.0.1 -- Running the Icecat web browser
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Guix System currently runs version 1.22.0 of the MATE desktop. I found the desktop was generally responsive and presented with default settings and themes. This makes the interface somewhat less appealing to look at than MATE on other distributions, but familiar and easy to navigate.
When I ran Guix inside a VirtualBox virtual machine I found the system did not automatically integrate with the host system. In particular, resizing the VirtualBox window would not resize the MATE desktop. However, I could go into the MATE settings panel and manually adjust the display to fit my monitor. The MATE desktop worked smoothly and performance tended to be good. There was some sluggishness when moving or resizing windows, but this could be fixed by disabling compositing in the MATE settings.
When running on a workstation, Guix generally performed well. Most of my hardware was detected and the distribution ran quickly on my physical hardware. My one issue when testing Guix on a physical machine was the operating system could not detect my computer's wireless card. I suspect the wireless card requires non-free firmware which the GNU project does not wish to distribute.
An issue I ran into in both test environments was I could not shut down or reboot the computer from within the MATE session. I could logout of the MATE desktop and shutdown or reboot from the graphical login screen, but I could not poweroff the machine while logged in.
When signed into the desktop, Guix used about 375MB of RAM and a fresh install consumed 3.8GB of disk space. These resource requirements are a little on the low end, but the distribution also ships with few applications and services, and resource requirements naturally climbed as I added more features.
Guix ships with a small collection of desktop utilities, including a document viewer, dictionary, text editor, archive manager and the Caja file manager. NetworkManager is included to help us get on-line, and there is a system monitor and the MATE settings panel. I did not find any web browser, media player or productivity software on the system. The basic GNU command line tools and manual pages are available. In the background we find Guix runs the Shepherd init software and version 5.1.2 of the Linux kernel.
For the most part the default applications worked well. One of the few issues I ran into was with the screen lock functionality. If I left the computer alone for half an hour, the screen would lock. When I came back, sometimes the screen would show me a password prompt and allow me to login. Other times the screen would remain blank and not respond to input. In these instances, I could switch to a text terminal using Ctrl-Alt-F2 and then switch back to the desktop (Ctrl-Alt-F7). At that point the password prompt would appear and I could access my MATE session again.
A complication some users of Guix System may have is the distribution does not have a graphical front-end to its Guix package manager, and local guides can be hard to find. The MATE help files do not extend to package management, the Guix manual page simply refers us to the Info page, and there is no web browser. This makes it is somewhat challenging to learn about this distribution's centrepiece, its advanced package manager. Even the command "guix --help" only lists the commands the package manager recognizes without any explanation. This makes it difficult to find out, for instance, what the difference is between "guix archive", "guix pack" and "guix package". In short, we should either already know how to use Guix or have a second computer available to look up documentation and examples.
I experimented a little with the package manager, usually following examples in the on-line documentation, but sometimes just running commands which looked familiar to see what they would do. For instance, running "guix refresh" appears to download package data, but then stopped with an error, reporting the user needed to set a token environment variable, which could be found on GitHub. This seemed like a poor arrangement since the distribution doesn't ship with a web browser or Git client.
The "guix upgrade" command can be used to upgrade installed packages. Sometimes this command completed silently and, one assumes, successfully. Other times the command would print a message saying the user should run two other commands: "Consider running 'guix pull' followed by 'guix package -u' to get up-to-date packages and security updates." This seems strange since "guix upgrade" is an alias to "guix package -u". This advice is printed even if the last two commands to be run were "guix pull" followed by "guix upgrade".
Guix system 1.0.1 -- Asked to run update after updating
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I further discovered that "guix search <word>" could be used to locate packages by name or description. Then the "guix install <package>" would download and install the package. I found "guix search" tends to return a lot of unrelated programs and the results typically were not helpful. Usually I had better luck using "guix package --list-available | grep <word>" to list all available packages and then filter down the ones I might want by keywords.
It is worth noting that the package manager installs programs into the path of the user who runs the package manager. In other words, if I install the Icecat web browser, the browser is in my path, but not visible to other users. Each user gets their own collection of applications. At first this may seem complicated and problematic as it means each user needs to install their own copy of programs. However, it also allows for some flexibility. I can install cutting-edge browsers and development tools while another user installs long-term support versions and conservative tools. Guix allows each user to set up their applications independently.
While Guix, in theory, allows for some very flexible and powerful package management, including roll-backs on transactions, isolated package stores for each user, and generational package versions we can move through, forwards or backwards, I ran into several problems in practise. For example, when I first installed the Icecat browser ("guix install icecat") the download appeared to have completed successfully. But then I could not launch the browser; it was not in my path. I re-ran "guix install icecat" and it again appeared to complete successfully and then I could launch the browser.
Similar issues cropped up often. For instance, after installing Icecat, I installed a few other desktop programs and then found Icecat had disappeared from my path again. The new programs worked, but the web browser did not. I simply downloaded the browser again and then it worked, along with my other applications. This happened a few times with various programs, like the GNU Image Manipulation Program and LibreOffice seemingly disappearing from my path and working again once I had run "guix install <package>" again.
A less significant problem was newly installed programs were not added to my application menu until I had rebooted the computer. I tried logging out and signing back into MATE, but that was not enough to make programs like LibreOffice show up in my menu. Rebooting though did make freshly installed programs appear in the menu.
Guix system 1.0.1 -- LibreOffice running, but not showing up in application menu yet
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Last, and probably least, I found the Guix package manager to be slow. Granted, it has a lot of extra things to do, but installing even small applications which would take a matter of seconds using pacman or apt could take a few minutes. Guix offers us a lot of flexibility and power, but it comes with a performance trade off.
I only played with Guix System for a few days, but the big issue which kept leaping out at me was the distribution's unpredictability. I was never sure from one hour to the next if a package I had installed would still be available, or if programs were still going to be in my application menu, or if software had been properly updated after running "guix pull; guix upgrade" since the system would immediately tell me to run those same commands over again. These concerns, along with the performance impact of using Guix for package management, make me think most users will not find this distribution has a practical approach.
My own findings surprised me somewhat as I have used, and enjoyed, NixOS in the past and appreciated Nix's many advanced package manipulation features without experiencing the same problems. In fact, I have recommended people run Nix on other distributions as the package manager can be dropped onto other systems like Debian and work smoothly and independently of the host system's default package manager. Nix and Guix share a lot of the same goals and designs, but the practical results were, for me, like night and day. The underlying concepts were similar, but the practise of using Nix and Guix were entirely different and the latter, in my experiments this week, was unreliable.
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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
Guix System has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.4/10 from 16 review(s).
Have you used Guix System? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian's progressing RISC-V port, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit packages, Red Hat explains networking bug, Zorin partners with Star Labs
RISC-V is an open instruction set for CPUs which has gained attention in recent years as more people seek to run their operating systems on open hardware. RISC-V is a potential alternative to popular CPU architectures such as x86 and ARM. Debian has a RISC-V port with many packages already building for the young architecture, but there is still work to be done. Part of the issue facing Debian's RISC-V porting efforts is a lack of available hardware for testing packages. A status update on the RISC-V port mentions: "Due to several reasons, among them the limited availability of hardware able to run this Debian port and the limited options to use bootloaders during all this time, the instructions to get Debian running on RISC-V are not the best, easiest, more elegant or very up to date. This is an area to improve in the next months. Meanwhile, there's a Debian RISC-V's wiki page with instructions to get a chroot working in a HiFive Unleashed board as shipped, without destroying the initial factory set-up. Specially Vagrant Cascadian and Karsten Merker have been working on the area of booting the system, and there are instructions to set-up a riscv64 QEMU VM and boot it with u-boot and opensbi."
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Steve Langasek has reported that Ubuntu will be dropping support for 32-bit packages in Ubuntu 19.10 and future versions. "The Ubuntu engineering team has reviewed the facts before us and concluded that we should not continue to carry i386 forward as an architecture. Consequently, i386 will not be included as an architecture for the 19.10 release, and we will shortly begin the process of disabling it for the Eoan series across Ubuntu infrastructure." Information on this change and how it will affect people running Steam or other 32-bit packages can be found on Ubuntu's Discourse forum. The removal of 32-bit libraries may also affect people wishing to run 32-bit programs through WINE and other compatibility software, such as some console emulators.
* * * * *
Flaws in the way the Linux kernel, and some builds of other kernels such as FreeBSD's, process TCP networking have been discovered. The issue could be used by attackers to crash or otherwise disrupt a system that accepts TCP connections (which most servers and many workstations do). Patches to fix these flaws are available and many distributions have already fixed the issue. Red Hat has a detailed write-up on how the networking flaw works and offers steps to workaround the bug on machines that do not yet have the fix.
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One of the tallest hurdles to getting new people trying Linux is the fact most computers ship with another operating system pre-installed. This is gradually changing as more companies are bundling flavours of Linux with their hardware. In a recent move the Zorin OS project partnered with Star Labs, a company based in the United Kingdom which sells laptops with Linux pre-installed. "Creating a Linux desktop experience that's accessible to everyone has always been our mission at Zorin OS. Today we're taking the next step in this mission by making Zorin OS easier for the masses to access: on new computers powered by Zorin OS. With computers designed to work with the software, we're aiming to partner with computer manufacturers to provide the most optimised and beautiful Zorin OS experience. To kick-start this new effort we're excited to collaborate with Star Labs, a UK-based manufacturer specialising in computers designed for Linux. Their critically-acclaimed lineup of laptops is now available with the choice of Zorin OS 15 Core pre-installed." An overview of two laptops that now ship with Zorin OS can be found on the project's blog.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Running Android applications on GNU/Linux with Anbox
When people learn that the popular mobile operating system Android runs on the Linux kernel, they tend to wonder: Can I run my Android apps on my Linux desktop? Unfortunately, the answer has typically been negative. While GNU/Linux distributions and Android both have a kernel in common, most of their components are different. If I may indulge in a car analogy, both airplanes and my car have wheels, but that doesn't mean my car will fly like an airplane, because their designs are very different.
There have been attempts to bring Android applications to GNU/Linux desktops and phones over the years and one of the more promising efforts toward that goal is Anbox. Anbox is a technology which puts the Android operating system inside a Linux container (LXC). This allows the unique Android components to run in isolation from the rest of the operating system and launch Android apps in their own windows on the user's GNU/Linux desktop.
Anbox is somewhat tied to the Ubuntu and UBports family of distributions. The install instructions rely on using the APT package manager, Snap packages and Ubuntu PPA repositories to get Anbox up and running. The install instructions can basically be broken down into three steps: installing the necessary Linux modules, installing the Anbox Snap, and then making it possible to install Android apps into Anbox.
In brief, here are the command line steps we need to take on Ubuntu, or a related distribution, to get Anbox working:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:morphis/anbox-support
At this point there should be two new device files on our system. Specifically, we should find /dev/ashmem and /dev/binder now exist. We can test this by running:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install linux-headers-generic anbox-modules-dkms
sudo modprobe ashmem_linux
sudo modprobe binder_linux
ls /dev/ashmem /dev/binder
If the two devices are in place, their names will display after the ls command. Otherwise an error will be shown, indicating which file is missing.
The next step is to install the Anbox snap package. It is a large download and this can take a few minutes, even on a fast connection.
sudo snap install --devmode --beta anbox
Once installed the Anbox snap took up about 400MB of space on my drive.
The Anbox Application Manager
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At this point, assuming the package installs properly, we should have a new entry in the application menu called Anbox Application Manager. Launching this entry will open a window which shows apps that have been installed on Anbox. There are a handful of common Android apps pre-installed for us, including a photo gallery, contact manager, music player, calculator, clock, e-mail app and file manager. Some of these would open and work for me and others did not. The calculator worked as did the contact manager. The clock and e-mail apps opened, but showed only blank windows. The file manager failed to start on my machine and trying to open the music player caused Anbox to crash.
In short, I was experiencing mixed results. However, I was impressed that some Android applications were running at all. That is a big step forward.
Changing Android settings in Anbox
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Most people will probably want to try running other applications. It does not look as though Anbox can use the Google Play store to install software, but with the proper tool installed on our system we can download Android APK package files and install them. To do this we need to install a utility called Android Debug Bridge (ADB):
sudo apt install android-tools-adb
Then, once we have downloaded an APK package from the web (or other source) we can install it into the Anbox Application Manager, adding it to the Anbox window, by running
adb install package-name.apk
I tried this with a handful of applications, including a chess program (which worked perfectly), Firefox for Android (which failed to start), WhatsApp (which failed to install), and a game called Flow Free (which did not run). Again, a mixed experience.
Playing chess via Anbox
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The Anbox technology certainly holds promise. It can run some applications and I have watched demos where UBports developers have got Android packages running on their mobile platform. I think Anbox will certainly help bridge the app gap between Android and GNU/Linux mobile systems. However, the experience is not polished or entirely reliable yet. I wouldn't expect to watch Netflix or use Android's Skype app on my GNU/Linux desktop in the near future. Still, Anbox has made strong strides forward. Anbox is already running more smoothly and working better than it did a year ago and I'm hopeful progress will continue to be made.
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Additional tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
The developers of PCLinuxOS have announced the release of the project's latest stable build, version 2019.06. This systemd-free and beginner-friendly distribution features the just-released KDE Plasma 5.16 and the very latest Linux kernel 5.1.10: "PCLinuxOS 2019.06 KDE Full Edition has been released and is now available for download. Linux kernel 5.1.10, KDE Applications 19.04.2, KDE Frameworks 5.59.0, KDE Plasma 5.16.0. This ISO image comes with the standard compliment of KDE applications plus LibreOffice. Some additional applications include: Timeshift - backup and restore utility; Bitwarden - a free and open-source password management solution; Darktable - photo manipulation software; GIMP - image editing software; digiKam - image management software; Megasync - store your files in the cloud; Teamviewer - control another computer from yours; Rambox - store many applications in one place; Simplenotes - a note-taking application with markdown support; Kodi - a multimedia center; Kazam - a screen capture utility; Calibre - the one stop solution for all your e-book needs; Skrooge - banking software...." Here is the brief release announcement.
DragonFly BSD 5.6.0
The DragonFly BSD team has published a new stable version of the project's operating system. The new version, DragonFly BSD 5.6.0, introduces improved video driver support, performance improvements for the HAMMER2 advanced filesystem, and speed improvements for virtual machine environments. "HAMMER2: The filesystem sync code has been rewritten to significantly improve performance. Sequential write performance also improved. Add simple dependency tracking to prevent directory/file splits during create/rename/remove operations, for better consistency after a crash. Refactor the snapshot code to reduce flush latency and to ensure a consistent snapshot. Attempt to pipeline the flush code against the front-end, improving flush vs front-end write concurrency. Improve umount operation. Fix an allocator race that could lead to corruption. Numerous other bugs fixed. Improve verbosity of CHECK (CRC error) console messages." Further details can be found in the release announcement.
Alpine Linux 3.10.0
Alpine Linux is a community developed operating system designed for routers, firewalls, VPNs, VoIP boxes and servers. The C library used is musl and the base tools are all provided by BusyBox. The project's latest release is Alpine Linux 3.10.0 which introduces new hardware support and makes the LightDM display manager available in the distribution's repositories. Some key packages have also been dropped, removing legacy support and unmaintained items. The removed items are Qt4 (replaced by Qt5), TrueCrypt and MongoDB. "We are pleased to announce the release of Alpine Linux 3.10.0, the first in the v3.10 stable series. New features and noteworthy new packages: Support for Pine64LTS; iwd, a modern alternative for wpa_supplicant (EAP is not working yet); serial and Ethernet support for ARM boards; ceph, a distributed object store and filesystem; LightDM, a cross-desktop display manager." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
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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: 1,461
- Total data uploaded: 26.1TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
Running Android apps on GNU/Linux
One advantage Android has over GNU/Linux systems, especially in the mobile market, is the former's vast collection of software. With many users, whether they like Android or not, relying on Android apps it makes competition in the mobile ecosystem difficult. The Anbox project is working to get Android apps running on GNU/Linux systems, on both mobile and desktop machines.
This week we would like to know if you are using Anbox or another technology to run Android programs on GNU/Linux distributions.
You can see the results of our previous poll on renaming files in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Running Android apps on GNU/Linux
|I use Anbox on my desktop/laptop: ||9 (1%)|
| I use Anbox on my mobile device: ||14 (1%)|
| I plan to use Anbox in the future: ||185 (14%)|
| I use another tool to run Android apps on GNU/Linux: ||41 (3%)|
| I do not run Android apps on GNU/Linux: ||1097 (82%)|
|Website News (by Jesse Smith)
Distributions added to waiting list
- bluebuntu. bluebuntu is a distribution based on Xfce which uses the Openbox window manager and offers a classic Windows-style appearance.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 1 July 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 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|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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Slax is a minimalist desktop live CD based on Debian's "stable" branch. It boots into a simple desktop using the Fluxbox window manager which offers a small collection of applications, including the Chromium web browser, a text editor and a calculator. Prior to version 9.x, Slax was a Slackware-based live CD featuring the KDE desktop and a wide collection of pre-installed software for daily use together with useful recovery tools for system administrators.