| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 824, 22 July 2019
Welcome to this year's 29th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Every so often it feels nice to step outside the flow of mainstream distributions and see what else is available. Smaller projects are often doing new things or introducing new applications and this week we explore Hexagon OS, a Linux distribution selected at random from the DistroWatch waiting list. Our Feature Story talks about this young project and its custom applications. While new distributions hold lots of potential, there is something to be said for long-running projects that keep performing well year after year. In our News section we tip our hats to Slackware, the world's oldest surviving Linux distribution, as the project turns 26 years old. Plus we report on Mageia publishing new media to better support some AMD CPUs, Fedora phasing out 32-bit repositories, and the launch of Fedora CoreOS. Then, in our Tips and Tricks column, we explore how to limit the amount of disk space a user can consume. We are curious how our readers keep their users from taking up too much storage space and we invite your comments in this week's Opinion Poll. 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: HexagonOS 1.0
- News: Mageia publishes media update, Fedora unveils CoreOS and plans to phase out 32-bit repositories, Slackware turns 26
- Tips and tricks: Limiting a user's disk usage with quotas
- Released last week: Q4OS 3.8, Proxmox 6.0 "Virtual Environment", Oracle Linux 8.0
- Torrent corner: ArcoLinux, Clonezilla, deepin, KDE neon, Mageia, NST, OPNsense, PClinuxOS, Proxmox, Q4OS, Slackel, SmartOS, Sparky, Univention
- Upcoming releases: Rebellin Linux 4
- Opinion poll: Limiting a user's disk usage
- New additions: AcademiX GNU/Linux
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (16MB) and MP3 (12MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Sometimes I like to pick a random distribution from the DistroWatch waiting list rather than running a tried and true distribution, just to see what options are out there in the world. The project I selected this week is called HexagonOS and is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the Xfce desktop. HexagonOS 1.0 appears to stick pretty close to its Ubuntu/Xubuntu origins, but includes a few custom utilities:
HexagonOS 1.0 contains: HexagonCentre (software manager), UBackup (a simple backup tool for your user folder), HexagonAutoDock (a tool that solve a problem with Xfce and Plank) and AboutHexagon.
Hexagon is available for 64-bit (x86_64) computers exclusively and its ISO is a 1GB download. Booting from the media brings up the Xfce desktop. A panel at the top of the screen holds the Whisker menu and system tray. A dock at the bottom of the display provides quick access to commonly used applications and doubles as the desktop's task switcher. When running from the live disc, the desktop holds a single icon for launching the distribution's graphical system installer.
One curious aspect of the desktop is the clock and calendar software displays information in another language (I believe it is Italian) while everything else (the application menu, About page, and menus in programs) all display text in English. The keyboard layout is also Italian, which took me a while to notice since the Italian layout and US English layouts are similar, but with a few characters shifted. The keyboard's layout can be changed in the settings panel with just a few clicks.
HexagonOS 1.0 -- The application menu and About window
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Like its parent, Hexagon uses the Ubiquity system installer. It begins by asking us to select our preferred language from a list, with the default option being French in my case. We are offered a link to the release notes and clicking this link does nothing. We can then select our keyboard's layout from a list and choose whether to install third-party drivers and media support. Partitioning comes next, with automated and manual options. The manual approach is quite straight forward and pleasantly easy to navigate. We then choose our time zone from a map of the world and create a username and password for ourselves. The installer finished its work quickly and without any issues during my test runs.
The freshly installed copy of Hexagon boots to a graphical login screen. We are presented with two desktop session options: Xfce and Xubuntu. Both options launch the same session - the Xfce desktop with the layout we experienced on the live disc. One unusual aspect of the desktop I noticed early on is Hexagon places the application control buttons on the left side of the window, rather than the right. Otherwise the desktop feels like a standard Xfce experience, with the addition of the dock at the bottom of the screen.
When I first started using Hexagon a window appeared on the desktop reporting Ubuntu 18.04 had experienced an internal error and asking if a bug report should be sent. I don't think seeing this window is a good sign, partly because the mismatched distribution name may confuse newcomers and partly because it indicates some unknown problem is happening in the background. After I had installed the first batch of available software updates, I stopped seeing the error message.
On the subject of software updates, when new packages are available an orange icon quietly appears on the dock. The icon doesn't draw attention to itself, but clicking on it opens the update manager. The update manager shows which new packages we can download and we can uncheck a box next to any we do not want to download. There were several updates available on the first day, totalling 322MB in size. Most of the update process seemed very friendly until the update manager paused to ask whether we should keep our existing GRUB configuration file or accept a new one from an updated package. I chose to keep my existing configuration.
One curious feature I noticed was each time I downloaded new packages a removable media icon would appear on the desktop. The icon indicates it represents a volume 4.1kB in size. Clicking the icon produces a “failed to mount” error and there is no indication from command line tools that any new storage media or temporary filesystem is available.
HexagonOS 1.0 -- Installing software with Synaptic
(full image size: 325kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
To install new packages, upgrade existing ones or remove unwanted items we can use the Synaptic package manager. Synaptic works quickly and organizes packages into simple lists with brief descriptions. Synaptic will also search for packages based on their name or description. Synaptic is not as beginner friendly as most modern software centres, but it works quickly and gets the job done.
I ended up running Hexagon in three test environments: a VirtualBox virtual machine, a laptop, and a workstation. Everything worked smoothly and quickly on both physical machines and, apart from changing my language and keyboard layout settings during the live session, I encountered no hardware-related problems. The Xfce desktop was pleasantly responsive and could be made unusually fast by disabling compositing.
I ran into a few minor issues when running the distribution in VirtualBox. Screen resolution was initially limited to 800x600 pixels. VirtualBox guest modules could be installed from the default repositories to fix the display limitations. From then on everything worked properly.
Hexagon is a mid-weight distribution, using about 5.3GB of hard drive space and 270MB of RAM. This puts it in the same range as other distributions running Xfce I have tried recently.
HexagonOS 1.0 -- Running LibreOffice and GNOME-Paint
(full image size: 239kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Hexagon ships with a very minimal collection of desktop software. We are treated to the Firefox web browser, a small drawing editor, the VLC media player with lots of codecs, and the Thunar file manager. There are also some small tools such as the gedit text editor, an archive manager, and the systemd init software. The distribution runs on version 4.15 of the Linux kernel.
Hexagon ships with a few custom tools. Apart from the program which tells us which version of Hexagon we are using, there are two applications users may find interesting. The first is called User Backup (UBackup). This desktop program has just one button which, when clicked, creates a Zip archive of the user's home directory. There are no options, no way to place the archive elsewhere, and no file filters. There also is no restore feature, we need to do that manually by operating on the created Zip archive. While this program works, its lack of features, progress information, and restore option make it a limiting backup solution.
HexagonOS 1.0 -- Creating an archive with User Backup
(full image size: 1.6MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The second custom program is Hexagon Centre, a simple software centre. The program's window lists five categories of software (Basic, Office, Graphics, Music, and Education). Clicking one button next to a category lists the packages included in the category. Clicking the other button installs every package in the given category. A single click on the install button downloads the whole category without confirmation and without any indication of progress. At one point I accidentally ended up downloading the Education group which effectively locked the centre for a few minutes.
HexagonOS 1.0 -- Installing packages with HexagonCentre
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The organization of some categories left me a little puzzled. For example, LibreOffice is included in the Basic, Education, and Office categories. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is listed under both Graphics and Education. The Brasero disc burning software is listed under Basic instead of Music.
On the whole, the Hexagon Centre works, though I'm not sure if it's particularly useful. It can grab batches of programs, but the inability to customize these groups makes me feel most users would be better served by a mature software centre such as GNOME Software or mintInstall.
The distribution ships with a settings panel which should feel familiar to anyone who has used a recent version of Xfce. The desktop settings panel provides a grid of modules we can open to adjust window decorations, change the wallpaper, and fine-tune the mouse and keyboard settings. We can also enable software repositories and check for the availability of compatible third-party hardware drivers. I found all the configuration modules worked, were generally clearly labelled and well organized.
HexagonOS 1.0 -- Adjusting settings
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
On the whole, Hexagon worked well for me. Hardware support was solid, performance was above average, the included applications worked well, and the settings were easy to adjust. I had very few complaints - just two really: my keyboard layout had to be adjusted and Hexagon did not automatically work well with VirtualBox. However, both of these issues were easily addressed.
With that being said, Hexagon appears to bring relatively little, technologically, to the experience over its parent. While running this distribution I sometimes forgot that I was not simply running Xubuntu with a dock installed. The custom utilities Hexagon provides (the software centre and the backup tool) both function, but are quite limited in what they can do for the user and this makes me disinclined to use them over other solutions like Deja Dup and GNOME Software.
It's probably too soon to judge what HexagonOS will become. Right now it's just at its 1.0 release, and appears to be a first attempt to take Xubuntu and customize it with a few changes. Hopefully future versions will try more new things, polish the custom applications and distinguish the distribution from its parent.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
One of my physical test environments for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
My laptop used in this review was a de-branded HP laptop with the following
- 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
- 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
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Mageia publishes media update, Fedora unveils CoreOS and plans to phase out 32-bit repositories, Slackware turns 26
Approximately two weeks after the release of Mageia 7, the project has published a minor update, Mageia 7.1. The new media is mostly the same as the original version, but with fixes for systemd and AMD Ryzen 3000 series CPUs. "The timing for Mageia 7, just prior to the recent release of the new AMD Ryzen 3000 series of CPUs, didn't play nicely. Namely, there was an issue with the system starting up on these new CPUs that prevented any type of installation, except for a net install. So, the only solution was to release a new set of installation media, which are available to download here. It's very important to note that if you have a working system, there is nothing that you need to address. This release is primarily to fix installation on systems with the above CPUs." Details can be found in Mageia's blog post.
* * * * *
The Fedora team unveiled a few new items this week. The first is a preview of Fedora CoreOS. According to the project, "Fedora CoreOS is an automatically-updating, minimal operating system for running containerized workloads securely and at scale. It is currently available for testing on a limited set of platforms, with more coming soon." People interested in Fedora CoreOS can learn more from the distribution's Getting Started guide.
The Fedora team is also looking at removing standalone 32-bit package repositories. This would cut back on testing and block users of older 32-bit releases from upgrading to new versions of Fedora. The plan calls for maintaining multilib support, allowing older software and WINE to continue to run. "With the dropping of the i686 kernel package it's no longer possible to directly install Fedora 31 or later on i686 hardware, however, it is still a possibly to upgrade older releases as long as we continue to provide a repository. This will leave those users with an old possibly vulnerable kernel installed. The only other use/need for the repositories is to allow maintainers to debug and test fixes for multilib shipped packages, but the koji buildroot repo can be used for this use case. Multilib x86_64 repos will not be affected and all packages will still be built for i686 for this use case."
* * * * *
Slackware is the world's oldest surviving Linux distribution. The project, which was founded by (and continues to be run by) Patrick Volkerding, turned 26 years old this week. The initial announcement for Slackware 1.0 is still available on the distribution's website. "The Slackware Linux distribution (v. 1.00) is now available for anonymous FTP. This is a complete installation system designed for systems with a 3.5" boot floppy. It has been tested extensively with a 386/IDE system. The standard kernel included does not support SCSI, but if there's a great demand, I might be persuaded to compile a few custom kernels to put up for FTP." Happy birthday, Slackware!
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Limiting a user's disk usage with quotas
Whenever two or more people have access to a computer, there is a chance one of them will consume a lot of disk space, taking over and filling the disk. Chances are if you have worked in an office or shared a computer at home, you have run into a situation where one person archives everything or downloads a lot of material and fills the disk to capacity, preventing others from saving their own documents.
Linux, and related operating systems in the UNIX family, have a tool for preventing users from consuming more than their fair share of disk space called quotas. An administrator can set quotas on specific users, or groups of users, to limit how much of the disk they can use for storage. This week I want to look at a few simple examples of using quotas.
The first thing we need to do is install the quota package. On Fedora and related distributions this can be done by running "sudo dnf install quota", on Debian and Ubuntu we can run "sudo apt install quota", and on the Arch Linux family of distributions the command "sudo pacman -S quota-tools" will get us started.
The next thing we need to do is edit the /etc/fstab file to indicate we want to use quotas on a specific filesystem. Usually quotas will be placed on the /home partition, but we can assign quotas elsewhere too. Let's assume I have an entry for the /home partition in my fstab file which looks like this:
/dev/sda2 /home ext4 defaults,noatime 1 2
We can enable quotas for specific users by adding the "usrquota" option. Now the entry for my /home partition looks like this:
/dev/sda2 /home ext4 defaults,noatime,usrquota 1 2
To make this change take effect we need to re-mount our /home partition. Otherwise the change will not take effect until the computer is rebooted.
sudo mount -o remount /home
Our filesystem is now ready to use quotas, but no quota information is in place yet. We can initialize the filesystem with fresh, blank quota information using the quotacheck program:
sudo quotacheck -cmu /home
The quota information is in place and we can now turn on disk quotas:
sudo quotaon /home
Now quotas are enabled on our computer, but we have not set any limits on specific users. This means everyone can still write as many files as they want to our disk. To limit a user, run the following command where the last parameter is the account name of the person to limit. Here I limit the user named "Jesse":
sudo edquota jesse
When we run the edquota (edit quota) command it opens a text editor where we can see the current number of blocks of disk data the user is consuming, along with "Soft" and "Hard" limit settings. A Soft limit is how much data a user can consume within a given grace period, while a Hard limit is how much data a user can store in total, but then no more can be written to the disk. I recommend sticking to using the Hard limit as it is easier to visualize and avoids confusing users with time constraints. A typical quota entry for a user may look like this:
The amount of space used and the limits specified are listed in one kilobyte (1kB) blocks rather than in bytes. This means if we want to limit a user to 1MB of space, roughly a million bytes, we would set the hard limit to be "1024" (1024 x 1kB). A 1GB limit would be listed as "1048576" (1024 x 1024 x 1kB). And a 100GB limit would be entered into the edquota file as "104857600". Here we see an example of a 100GB quota limit:
|Filesystem ||blocks ||soft ||hard ||inodes ||soft ||hard
|/dev/sda2 ||400 ||0 ||0 ||80 ||0 ||0
For the sake of simplicity, I am going to ignore inode quotas as most systems will run out of storage blocks before they run out of inodes. Once the file is saved and we quit the text editor, the new quota settings are applied. We can check that they are in place for the user Jesse by running:
|Filesystem ||blocks ||soft ||hard ||inodes ||soft ||hard
|/dev/sda2 ||400 ||0 ||104857600 ||80 ||0 ||0
sudo quota jesse
This will show the same information that we saved in the text editor when we ran edquota above.
You might be wondering what happens if the user tries to save more data than their disk quota allows. Basically, for that user, the disk acts as though it were full. Downloads will stop once a quota is reached, copy commands will no longer work and will report "Disk quota exceeded." They will need to delete some files in order to free up space if they want to save new information to the drive. Meanwhile everyone else using the computer can continue to use the disk normally.
We can copy quota limits from one user to another. For instance, now that we have placed a quota limit on Jesse, we can copy the same limitations to the user named Mike by running edquota with the "-p" flag:
sudo edquota -p jesse mike
Now both users how a maximum quota of 100GB. We can remove these restrictions at any time by running edquota again and changing the Hard Blocks field to zero. The value of zero in the edquota file indicates there is no limit.
On FreeBSD the process of enabling quotas is very similar to how it is on Linux distributions, however, the option we set in the /etc/fstab file is written "userquota" instead of "usrquota" and the administrator needs to enable quotas in the global configuration file, /etc/rc.conf.
Looking at the steps above for enabling quotas on traditional filesystems, where we need to enable the feature, initialize quotas, and convert between bytes and blocks, it probably seems like a lot of extra work. And it is. However, some filesystems make things easier for their users. For instance, the ZFS advanced filesystem enables the quota feature by default. Administrators can set a quota for a given user with just one command, without translating between block sizes or editing the /etc/fstab file. For instance, the following command limits user Jesse to having 10GB of files on a ZFS storage volume called zroot/usr/home:
sudo zfs set userquota@jesse=10GB zroot/usr/home
We can check if a user has a quota and, if so, how large it is, but running a similar command:
sudo zfs get userquota@jesse zroot/usr/home
Quotas for a specific user can be removed by setting the quota size to "none", for example, here we remove the disk quote for user Jesse on the ZFS volume:
sudo zfs set userquota@jesse=none zroot/usr/home
The administrator can check how much data each user has on a given ZFS volume, and what their total quota is, by running the userspace command, followed by the name of the ZFS sub-volume:
zfs userspace zroot/usr/home
It is worth noting that ZFS usually compresses data, so the size of the file, as listed by tools like ls, may not reflect the size of the file on the disk. Quotas set by the administrator on ZFS volumes limit the amount of disk space the user can consume, not the total uncompressed size of the file. This means mostly empty files or files that can easily be compressed, like text files, may make it look like the user is going over their quota limit when really the data is just compressed on the disk.
* * * * *
Additional tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
Q4OS is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Debian. The distribution's latest release is Q4OS 3.8 which is available in two desktop editions: KDE Plasma and Trinity. "Q4OS Centaurus is based on Debian Buster 10 and Plasma 5.14, optionally Trinity 14.0.6, desktop environment, and it's available for 64-bit and 32-bit/i686 PAE computers, as well as for older i386 systems without PAE extension. We are working hard to bring it for ARM devices too. One of the Q4OS specific goals is the ability to have Plasma and Trinity desktop alongside each other installed. Users can switch back and forth between more advanced Plasma or efficient Trinity desktop. Both desktops can independently coexist side by side and don't interfere with each other. Plasma is being the logical primary choice for most of users, so it's considered to be the default option, which is also obvious from the Q4OS downloads site. Q4OS 3.8 will receive five years of security updates. Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Q4OS 3.8 -- Running the KDE Plasma desktop
(full image size: 111kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Proxmox 6.0 "Virtual Environment"
Proxmox is a commercial company offering specialised products based on Debian GNU/Linux, notably Proxmox Virtual Environment and Proxmox Mail Gateway. Proxmox Virtual Environment is an open-source virtualisation platform for running virtual appliances and virtual machines. The company's latest release is Promox 6.0 "Virtual Environment" which is based on Debian 10 "Buster" " Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH, developer of the open-source virtualization management platform Proxmox VE, today released its major version Proxmox VE 6.0. The comprehensive solution, designed to deploy an open-source software-defined data center (SDDC), is based on Debian 10.0 Buster. It includes updates to the latest versions of the leading open-source technologies for virtual environments like a 5.0 Linux kernel (based on Ubuntu 19.04 'Disco Dingo'), QEMU 4.0.0, LXC 3.1.0, Ceph 14.2 (Nautilus), ZFS 0.8.1, and Corosync 3.0.2. Proxmox VE 6.0 delivers several new major features, enhancements, and bug fixes." Further information can be found in the company's release announcement.
Univention Corporate Server 4.4-1
Univention Corporate Server (UCS) is an enterprise-class distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. The project's latest version is an update to the distribution's 4.4 release, bringing with it performance improvements and application recommendations based on what administrators have installed previously. "The most obvious change is certainly the new app suggestion system in the Univention App Center. Based on the apps already installed in the UCS environment, administrators receive recommendations for suitable supplementary apps. These recommendations are based on the most common already existing combinations, e.g. the combined use of apps like Nextcloud or ownCloud with the Let's Encrypt application. Another improvement was the handling of interruptions during updates in the App Center. UCS 4.4-1 also brings a whole range of improvements to the area of Windows Services. Thus there are changes in the integration of Samba when dealing with server-side Windows profiles, in that the respective paths are now hidden in the file share, so that users no longer damage their profile unintentionally." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement and in the release notes.
Network Security Toolkit 30-11210
Network Security Toolkit (NST) is a bootable live CD based on the Fedora distribution. The toolkit was designed to provide easy access to best-of-breed open source network security applications. The project's latest release is based on Fedora 30 and offers a number of enhancements. "Here are some of the highlights for this release: The NST WUI now supports geolocation of photos or videos that have embedded geotagged information. This provides the security professional with potential location and speed discovery when conducting a forensic analysis. The combination of using the ExifTool utility for metadata extraction with the NST Mapping Tools provides this geolocation capability. The NST WUI Directory Browser page has been enhanced to facilitate the entry point for photo and video geolocation. At first, if many images appear to overlap at the same location on the Google Map, a thumbnail representation will be presented. One can then zoom in to provide better image location separation to reveal individual photo or video detail. If a video image can be geolocated (e.g., One generated by a Garmin Dash Cam 55), one can view and control the video with a new NST Map Data Layer Editor tool." Additional details can be found in the project's release announcement.
SparkyLinux is a lightweight, Debian-based distribution. The project has switched its 5.x branch over from Debian Testing to Debian Stable, making the 5.x branch a more static release. SparkyLinux 5.8 is the first new snapshot based on the Stable branch. The release announcement states: "There are new live/install media of SparkyLinux 5.8 'Nibiru' available to download. This is the first release of the new stable line, which is based on the Debian 10 'Buster'. Changes: based on Debian 10 stable Buster now; repositories changed from Testing to Stable; system upgraded from Debian stable Buster repos as of July 14, 2019; Linux kernel 4.19.37-5 (i686 and amd64); Linux kernel 4.19.57-v7+ (ARMHF); the Calamares installer updated up to version 3.2.11; apt-daily.service disabled; sparky-tube installed as default; removed old third-party repositories."
SparkyLinux 5.8 -- Running the LXQt desktop
(full image size: 1.9MB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
OPNsense is a HardenedBSD-based specialist operating system (and a fork of pfSense) designed for firewalls and routers. The project's latest release is OPNsense 19.7 carries the codename "Jazzy Jaguar" and offers several new features. "For four and a half years now, OPNsense is driving innovation through modularising and hardening the open source firewall, with simple and reliable firmware upgrades, multi-language support, HardenedBSD security, fast adoption of upstream software updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD licensing. 19.7, nicknamed "Jazzy Jaguar", embodies an iteration of what should be considered enjoyable user experience for firewalls in general: improved statistics and visibility of rules, reliable and consistent live logging and alias utility improvements. Apart from the usual upgrades of third party software to up-to-date releases, OPNsense now also offers built-in remote system logging through Syslog-ng, route-based IPsec, updated translations with Spanish as a brand new and already fully translated language and newer Netmap code with VirtIO, VLAN child and vmxnet support." Additional information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Oracle Linux 8.0
Simon Coter has announced the release of Oracle Linux 8.0, the first stable version of the project's enterprise-class server distribution built from the source code of the recently-released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8: "Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 8. With Oracle Linux 8, the core operating environment and associated packages for a typical Oracle Linux 8 server are distributed through a combination of BaseOS and Applications Streams. BaseOS gives you a running user space for the operating environment. Application Streams provides a range of applications that were previously distributed in Software Collections, as well as other products and programs, that can run within the user space. Oracle Linux 8 introduces numerous enhancements and new features. Highlights include Application Streams, where multiple versions of user space components can be delivered and updated more frequently than the core operating system packages." See the release announcement and the release notes for further information.
deepin is a Debian-based distribution featuring the custom Deepin desktop environment and associated tools. The project has published a new stable release, deepin 15.11. The new version features a Cloud Sync feature in the control panel and introduces the ability to burn optical media through the distribution's file manager. "Welcome to deepin 15.11 release. Compared with deepin 15.10, deepin 15.11 comes with new features - Cloud Sync in Control Center and disc burning function in Deepin File Manager. Besides, kwin window manager was fixed and optimized for better stability and compatibility, and a number of bugs were fixed. In deepin 15.11, you will enjoy smooth and better user experiences! Attention: deepin Unstable version is officially not supported since deepin 15.11. For Unstable version users, please download Stable version here and install it as soon as possible." Tips for checking which version you are running along with screenshots of deepin's new features can be found in the project's release announcement.
Slackel 7.2 "Openbox"
Dimitris Tzemos has announced the release of Slackel 7.2 "Openbox", an updated build of the project's lightweight desktop distribution based on Slackware Linux and Salix. The new version comes with a set of new graphical tools that improve the creation and transfer of Slackel ISO images: "Slackel 7.2 Openbox has been released. It includes the Linux kernel 4.19.59 and the latest updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree. The new version is available in 64-bit and 32-bit builds. The 64-bit ISO image support booting on UEFI systems. The ISO image is 'isohybrid' and can be used as installation media. New tools: instonusb - a GUI tool written in C to install Slackel, Salix 32-bit and 64-bit live ISO images to a USB stick, it can also create an encrypted persistent file; multibootusb - a GUI tool written in C to create a live USB image including 32-bit and 64-bit live editions of Slackel and Salix and to choose the one to boot in live environment at boot time; sli - a complete GUI installer as in other distributions. Live ISO image: persistent file encryption after installation on USB devices has been added; medialabel="USB_LABEL_NAME" parameter added." Read the detailed release announcement for more information.
* * * * *
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: 1,517
- Total data uploaded: 26.8TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
Limiting a user's disk usage
In our Questions and Answers article we talked about limited the amount of disk space a user can consume. We would like to know if you place any usage restrictions on your own (presumably shared) computers. Do you use quotas, loopback devices, sandboxes, or virtual machines in order to restrict the amount of data a person can store? Let us know how you manage storage space in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on do-it-yourself routers and firewalls in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Limiting storage space usage
|I use quotas: ||42 (4%)|
| I use a sandbox: ||4 (0%)|
| I use virtual machines: ||34 (3%)|
| I use a loopback device: ||2 (0%)|
| Each user gets their own partition: ||54 (5%)|
| I use another method: ||15 (2%)|
| I do not limit storage usage: ||838 (85%)|
|Website News (by Jesse Smith)
New projects added to database
AcademiX GNU/Linux is a Debian Stable-based distribution which works with software which can be used at all levels of education from grade schools through to university. AcademiX includes an installation utility (called EDU) that can be used to install a variety of applications in mathematics, physics, chemistry, geography, biology, statistics, electronics, amateur radio, graphics, office, programming - which are accompanied by virtual interactive labs. The distribution uses the MATE desktop by default.
AcademiX GNU/Linux 2.2 -- Running the MATE desktop
(full image size: 204kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 29 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 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.
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 |
Pearl Linux OS
Pearl Linux OS is a distribution based on Ubuntu. Pearl uses components of the LXDE and Xfce desktop environments to create a desktop experience which looks similar to Apple's OS X desktop environment. The project calls this hybrid desktop PearlDE. Pearl Linux OS is available in several editions, including GNOME, MATE and PearlDE.