| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 832, 16 September 2019
Welcome to this year's 37th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Is your computer and its network secure? Most people would assume so, especially if they have taken some basic security precautions. However, to really know whether a system is locked down or not we need to test it. There are a number of penetration testing and security distributions available and this week we begin with a look at a Debian-based penetration testing project called BlackWeb. Read on to learn more about BlackWeb, its strengths and problems. Security is not the only thing we can test and verify; this week in our Questions and Answers column we explain how to confirm whether a desktop session is running on a Wayland or X.Org server. Our Opinion Poll continues the discussion on Wayland versus X.Org sessions as we would like to know how many of our readers are running pure Wayland environments. Then, in our News section, we talk about Fedora making changes to its firewall front-end and Debian releasing updated installation media. Plus the OpenBSD team is disabling DNS over HTTPS in Firefox while the DragonFly BSD team is adopting a more flexible approach to domain name resolution and we share more information on these changes. 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: BlackWeb 1.2
- News: Fedora to use nftables with firewalld, Debian publishes updated media, DragonFly BSD makes resolving DNS more flexible, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox
- Questions and answers: Checking for Wayland and Wayland applications
- Released last week: LXLE 18.04.3, OSGeoLive 13.0, Funtoo Linux 1.4
- Torrent corner: ArcoLinux, Debian, EasyOS, Endless, KaOS, Live Raizo, LXLE, Manjaro, KDE neon, OSGeoLive, Slax, SmartOS, Volumio, Voyager
- Upcoming releases: Fedora 31 Beta
- Opinion poll: Applications running on Wayland sessions
- 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)
BlackWeb is a penetration and security testing distribution based on Debian. The project's website presents the distribution's features as follows:
BlackWeb is a Linux distribution aimed at advanced penetration testing and security auditing. BlackWeb contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as penetration testing, security research, computer forensics and reverse engineering. Starting from an appropriately configured LXDE desktop manager it offers stability and speed. BlackWeb has been designed with the aim of achieving the maximum performance and minimum consumption of resources.
There are 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) builds of BlackWeb available on the distribution's website. I downloaded the 64-bit build which is 2.6GB in size. Booting from the media brings up a menu asking if we would like to try BlackWeb's live desktop, run the installer or run the graphical installer. Taking the live desktop options presents us with a graphical login screen where we can sign in with the username "root" and the password "blackweb".
Signing in presents us with the LXDE desktop which has an unusual layout and theme. There is a transparent panel at the top of the screen which makes it look as through the application menu button is floating at the top of the screen in the centre of the desktop. The system tray also appears to be free floating in the upper-right corner. A single icon on the desktop is present for opening the file manager. At the bottom of the display is a panel containing quick-launch buttons for a virtual terminal, Firefox and a few other applications.
BlackWeb 1.2 -- The live desktop and application menu
(full image size: 110kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
After exploring the LXDE interface for a while, I decided to try installing BlackWeb. I could not find a launcher for the system installer in the live session and rebooted to start the installer from the boot menu. I soon found the graphical installer option did not work, choosing it would simply return me to the boot menu. The plain install option launches Debian's text installer. The Debian installer is not particularly attractive and there are a lot of steps to go through.
We are guided through selecting out region, keyboard layout, language and disk partitioning. These all worked pretty much as expected and with the same reliability one would expect from upstream Debian. One of the steps in the installer offers to download the latest version of packages from the network and I was asked to select a mirror. I tried three different mirrors and, in each case, the installer connected to the mirror and then produced an error indicating it could not find the files it needed. I then went back a step and chose to install packages from local media only. The installer still tried to download packages from on-line mirrors and failed again. I ended up starting over, sticking to local media and ignoring network errors as they came up.
Later in the install process, I was told the local copy of GRUB's configuration file did not match the version of the file being installed. I was asked which version I wanted to use and was given the chance to view the differences between the two copies. Opting to view the differences did not work and, instead, the installer just went ahead and installed one of the two versions without telling me which one was used.
Despite these problems, the installation eventually completed successfully and, upon restarting the computer, my new copy of BlackWeb loaded and showed me a graphical login screen. The first time I signed into my desktop I noticed three things. The first is we are greeted by a pop-up the first time we log in that asks if we want to save clipboard history. We are warned the clipboard may contain passwords or other information that is stored in plain text and therefore may be readable by others. Once we answer Yes or No, this pop-up does not appear again.
The second thing that was immediately apparent was the installed desktop session looked completely different from the live media desktop. LXDE is displayed with a more classic layout - one opaque panel placed at the bottom of the screen. There is no quick-launch dock and the only icon on the desktop opens the trash folder.
Finally, I found the desktop to be very responsive. Menus snap open as soon as they are clicked and most programs open almost immediately. This made for a pleasant, responsive environment.
BlackWeb 1.2 -- Error when running beef utility
(full image size: 120kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
BlackWeb's application menu has a classic, tree-style layout. The menu places all of the distribution's penetration testing tools in one sub-menu while the rest of the menu mostly contains typical open source tools. Items like Firefox, a document viewer, the PCManFM file manager, and the Deluge torrent client are included. There are a few media players and note taking programs.
BlackWeb uses Wicd to connect with networks instead of Network Manager, but otherwise most of the utilities are pretty standard. The distribution runs systemd's init software and version 4.9 of the Linux kernel.
BlackWeb 1.2 -- Connecting to wireless networks
(full image size: 122kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The sub-menu containing security tools is further broken down into sub-categories. There is one batch of tools for cracking passwords, another for exploring and exploiting wireless networks, one for running exploits on compromised systems, and so on. There are also tools for listening to network traffic, examining binary files and exploring databases. Almost all of the launchers open a virtual terminal window and run their corresponding program in the terminal window. These tools almost universally need some parameters to do anything useful, so the effect is that the program fails to do anything and prints out a page of usage tips in the terminal window. Most of the time it would be more straight forward to simply run the desired tool from the command line, unless we are exploring these tools for the first time. I did appreciate having the menu categories though as it means we can quickly discover which security auditing tools are available.
One of the first things I wanted to do was try to recover or reset my root password. I had originally tried to use sudo to perform administrative tasks, but my user did not have sudo access. I then discovered I must have made a typo when creating my root password because I could not sign in to that account. This seemed like a good chance to guess (or brute force) my root password. Unfortunately, I soon discovered that while there was a menu entry (and a manual page) for the John The Ripper password cracker, the executable was not available. In a similar vein, several of the password guessing tools, such as Johnny, rely on John to do their work in the background. Without root access and without John installed, guessing the password was not going to work. I ended up rebooting and setting the password in recovery mode.
BlackWeb 1.2 -- The Johnny password guessing utility
(full image size: 125kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
It was a good thing I was able to reset the root password as a number of the included tools require root access. The rootkit hunter, for instance, needs root permissions to function properly. Given how often I wanted to run tools as root, I was surprised the first user on the system was not granted sudo access and menu entries are not set to run sudo-like permission elevation when these tools are run from the application menu.
To be fair to the distribution, when we run BlackWeb from a live disc instead of installing it, we are always signed in as the root user and these permission issues do not exist.
I ran into some hardware-related problems while exploring BlackWeb. The first was that writing the distribution's ISO file to a thumb drive resulted in media which would not boot. I had to modify the ISO with isohybrid before writing it to the USB drive, something most distributions do for us.
Later, I found BlackWeb would not integrate with VirtualBox and, with the default settings, could not make full use of my screen's resolution. We need to install VirtualBox guest modules to fix this. However, VirtualBox modules are not available in the default repositories and we need to find the necessary packages elsewhere. Otherwise, BlackWeb worked well when running in a virtual machine.
The distribution worked fairly well on my laptop. The system booted quickly and ran smoothly. However, there is no working volume control on the desktop and sound was muted. When I launched the PulseAudio mixer (from the application menu) the mixer was unable to connect with PulseAudio as the service appears to be disabled. This means we cannot play any audio files or hear audio in videos.
The distribution is light in memory and, when signed into LXDE, uses just 160MB of RAM. The number of tools on the disk though uses up quite a bit of space. A fresh install of BlackWeb consumes 8.1GB of space.
During my exploration of this distribution I made a few other observations. When I first downloaded the distribution I was sceptical of the project's claim that there were several hundred forensic and penetration tools included on the disc. As it turns out, the claim is correct. I counted 304 of these types of tools in the application menu. Granted, some may not work, and a few are quite similar to others, but the majority are unique and there are about 300 to choose from.
A minor annoyance I ran into was the GRUB background is varied, with light and dark spots. This makes it difficult to see and change the text in the boot options. When I was trying to boot into recovery mode, I had to be careful not to make any typos since I wouldn't be able to see the text I was editing.
The project's website has documentation on some of the hacking utilities included on the ISO. However, many of the documentation links lead to pages which simply say "This topic does not exist yet." The documentation will hopefully be fleshed out over time.
The distribution's tools identify it as "BlackWeb 9.9 Stretch", a mixture of the project's name and its parent's version. The latest stable edition is based on Debian 9 Stretch while a new version of BlackWeb is being developed and looks to be based on Debian 10.
Package management on BlackWeb is handled by the APT command line tools. When using APT I ran into two problems. The first is that, even when we try to perform a network install of BlackWeb, the distribution leaves the optical media in the APT sources list. This short-circuits package management until the local media is removed from the /etc/apt/sources.list file. The other problem is there are custom repositories set up for the distribution. These repositories connect us to the hackpedia.org server. This repository cannot be reached and this blocks package management until the repository entries are removed. Once these extra repositories are deleted, a new entry for Debian needs to be added before package management works the same as it would on Debian 9. This problem also occurs on the live media, making it impossible to install or update tools until we manually fix the repositories APT uses.
While I was using BlackWeb, I often had mixed feelings about the distribution in its current state. There are some things this project has done very well. There is a forum, issue tracking, and the source code is all published and easy to find. I really like how the hacking tools are organized in LXDE's menu and there are a lot of tools available. Shipping with a lightweight desktop that uses so little memory makes for a pleasant experience and I like that the project is working toward providing on-line documentation for its utilities. Finally, I like that BlackWeb includes a wide range of penetration testing tools. It's not just password crackers or a fancy wrapper around Metasploit; there is a lot of variety in the tools and approaches a person can use.
On the other hand, I ran into a number of problems and hurdles that slowed me down while using the distribution. There were a few issues with the installer and the live session feels oddly configured - especially when we consider how different LXDE looks once installed. Most of the included tools do not have on-line documentation yet, though hopefully that will change over time. Since some tools need root access to run, I would have liked the first user to have sudo access and to have had those tools run with sudo so I did not need to re-run them manually. A few tools either didn't work for me or, in the case of John, were missing, and this could be polished. Package management was a poor area for BlackWeb as APT does not work out of the box and requires us to remove at least three repositories and manually add another before it will work. Lastly, audio did not work out of the box as it seems PulseAudio is not configured and there is no functioning volume control.
BlackWeb 1.2 -- Trying to adjust audio volume
(full image size: 99kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
On the whole. BlackWeb feels like a good design that is off to a rough start. There are a lot of good resources being assembled, both on the disc and on the website. The distribution feels to me like a younger, lighter version of Kali Linux. Hopefully, over time, the default configuration will be polished and the documentation will expand to provide descriptions and examines of the included tools.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a de-branded HP laptop with the following
- Processor: Intel i3 2.5GHz CPU
- Display: Intel integrated video
- Storage: Western Digital 700GB hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Wired network device: Realtek RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast
- Wireless network device: Realtek RTL8188EE Wireless network card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora to use nftables with firewalld, Debian publishes updated media, DragonFly BSD makes resolving DNS more flexible, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox
A small, yet helpful, change is being planned for the future release of Fedora 32. The project plans to change the backend used by firewalld to use the kernel's nftables instead of the older iptables. Upstream, firewalld already uses nftables and Red Hat adopted nftables as the backend for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 earlier this year. How will this adjustment benefit Fedora users? The change proposal explains this will simplify and isolate firewall rules: "Fewer firewall rules (rule consolidation). All of firewalld's primitives will use the same underlying firewall (nftables) instead of duplicating rules both in iptables and ip6tables. In nftables rules can match both IPv4 and IPv6 packets. This reduces the number of firewall rules by half. firewalld's rules are namespaced. With nftables firewalld's rules are isolated to a 'firewalld' table. A separate firewall (or user) can create its own independent ruleset and firewalld will never touch it. Netfilter upstream is focusing on nftables, not iptables."
* * * * *
The Debian team has published updated install media for Debian 9 "Stretch" and Debian 10 "Buster". The new media is not a new version of the distribution, but does include bug fixes to reduce the amount of updates a new user needs to download. "Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 10 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old Buster media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror." The announcements for Buster and Stretch include further details.
* * * * *
On most Unix-like operating systems there is a file called /etc/resolv.conf which contains information on domain name servers, the servers which help our computers translate domain names, like example.com, into IP addresses. While placing information about domain name system (DNS) servers into a text file is straight forward, it does not elegantly handle situations where computers connect to multiple networks which may all have their own specific DNS settings. To deal with these sorts of situations openresolv is being imported into DragonFly BSD: "Roy Marples has imported openresolv 3.9.2 to DragonFly. This is a replacement for the old-style /etc/resolv.conf file. The more complicated your network, the more you will appreciate this tool." Information on how openresolv works can be found on its developer's website.
* * * * *
The developers of Firefox and Chrome, two of the world's most popular web browsers, are testing a feature which encrypts domain name lookups and transmits them over the secure HTTPS protocol. This special type of domain name lookup is called DNS over HTTPS (DoH). The intention is to hide the names of servers a user is contacting by encrypting the DNS traffic, which is usually sent across the network in a way which makes it visible to anyone watching for it. While the added security sounds appealing to many users there are two issues some people are raising against DoH being included in web browsers. The first is this allows the web browsers to ignore system-wide DNS settings, which side-steps the administrator's configuration and may prevent host-based ad blocking tools from working. The second is all DoH lookups are sent to a single, third-party such as Cloudflare. This may allow Cloudflare to collect a large amount of information about most web users.
The OpenBSD team has decided to remove the DoH feature from their Firefox package to avoid having the operating system's DNS settings side-stepped. "While encrypting DNS might be a good thing, sending all DNS traffic to Cloudflare by default is not a good idea. Applications should respect OS configured settings. The DoH settings still can be overridden if needed."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Checking for Wayland and Wayland applications
Looking through windows asks: Is there a way to tell whether the desktop environment I am currently using is running on Wayland or not? And is it possible to detect if my desktop application is using Wayland or XWayland?
DistroWatch answers: Yes, there are tools for detecting whether your current desktop is running on a Wayland or X.Org session. Perhaps the easiest way you can check this is by opening a virtual terminal and running the following command. This should work on most Linux distributions:
The above command prints out the value of the XDG_SESSION_TYPE variable. The command should print either "x11" on your terminal, indicating your desktop session is running on X.Org, or "wayland" if you have signed into a Wayland session.
To see if one of your desktop applications is running as a pure Wayland program, or under either X.Org or XWayland, you can run a command line tool called xprop, which is short for "X properties". Running xprop will cause your mouse cursor to turn into a cross. The next window you click on will cause xprop to display the information it can find on that application in your terminal. Clicking on a Wayland program should not result in xprop displaying any information. Clicking in a program running in X.Org/XWayland mode will display the program's icon, process name and window identity information.
* * * * *
Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Ronnie Whisler has announced the release of LXLE 18.04.3, a new version of the project's Lubuntu-based distribution targeting primarily older and low-specification desktop computers. This release brings various changes to the default application set, including a switch from LibreOffice to AbiWord/Gnumeric: "After many weeks of tweaks, adjustments and issues addressed the final version of LXLE 18.04.3 is being released for public criticism. This release concentrated on slimming down the distribution; providing computing essentials with a focus on low system resource usage while maintaining ease of use. Issues addressed: GParted launcher fixed; driver manager updated; simple image reducer fixed; keyboard input method updated; PPA library additions corrected; Xarchiver contextual menu fixed. Replaced applications: GIMP replaced with Pinta; Htop replaced with Lxtask; Sakura set as default terminal; FBreader replaced with Bookworm; OpenShot video editor replaced by PiTiVi; Libreoffice replaced with Abiword/Gnumeric/Spice-Up. Removed applications: PulseAudio Equalizer; Lubuntu Software Center; Java OpenJDK." Read the complete release announcement for further details.
Astrid Emde has announced the release of OSGeoLive 13.0, an important new release from the project that develops a specialist Lubuntu-based distribution featuring a large collection of open-source geospatial software and free world maps: "Version 13.0 of the OSGeoLive GIS software collection has been released at the International Conference for Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) in Bucharest, Romania. It was handed out to delegates and used in many workshops. Highlights for this release include: new applications - MapCache, GeoExt, t-rex, actinia; additional Python modules like Fiona, rasterio, cartopy, pandas, geopandas, mappyfile; improved documentation and four new translations, now supporting English, German, Spanish, Finnish, French, Italian, Japanese and Hungarian; version updates to many of the included packages. Version 13.0 has improved the Python experience a lot. With the introduction of Jupyter, OSGeoLive can be used in Python training, which supports the rising usage and relevance of Python in geospatial architectures." Here is the full release announcement with links to talks and presentations of the new version.
OSgeoLive 13.0 -- Running the LXDE desktop
(full image size: 3.2MB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
Funtoo Linux 1.4
Daniel Robbins has announced the release of Funtoo Linux 1.4, a source-based distribution created by the original founder of Gentoo Linux in 2009. This version is probably the last one in the 1.x series as the author of the announcements suggests that work on Funtoo Linux 2.0 will begin shortly: "Funtoo Linux 1.4 is now to be considered officially released. Some changes in the last several weeks include: updating to GCC 9.2.0 to address an upstream compilation bug; additional testing/fixing of dependencies; new debian-sources and debian-sources-lts kernels; debian-sources-lts will now default to using 'custom-cflags' USE by default - this will give you a more optimized kernel; -march settings from your subarch mix-in will be applied to your kernel compilation as well - this appears to result in a noticeable performance improvement. I will continue to update documentation on the wiki relating to 1.4, and of course, 1.4 development continues with pull requests and issues reported to bugs.funtoo.org. I hope to start 2.0 development in about a month." Here is the brief release announcement, with further technical details provided in the release notes.
The Manjaro Linux team has announced the release of Manjaro Linux 18.1.0. The new version includes a graphical front-end for managing Snap and Flatpak packages through a tool called "buah". This version also presents an install-time option to include LibreOffice or FreeOffice. "After six months of development, version 18.1 of Manjaro Linux is now available. Juhraya offers numerous improvements, especially with regard to Office productivity applications and package management. Until now, only LibreOffice has been preinstalled. The latest version of Manjaro give you now a choice during installation. With the latest stable version 18.1 of the operating system, you can opt for the no-cost Office suite FreeOffice 2018 from the German software developer SoftMaker, still go for LibreOffice or even skip to install any Office Suite at all. The FreeOffice suite targets users who value seamless compatibility with Microsoft Office. It uses the current Microsoft file formats DOCX, XLSX and PPTX natively." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Manjaro Linux 18.1.0 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 497kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Endless OS 3.6.3
The Endless OS team has published an update to their distribution's 3.6 series. The new update offers a few new key features to help the computer's owner lock down the system and also fixes some issues with booting and logging into the desktop. "Endless OS 3.6.3 was released to existing users today. Images for new installations will be available soon. It is now possible to restrict users' access to web browsers via parental controls. This will prevent the user from running the built-in web browser, or any of the browsers available through the app centre (including Chrome and Firefox). It is now possible to apply parental controls to administrator users, as well as standard users. This allows you to (for example) hide violent games from the app center, or prevent yourself from running certain installed apps (similar to 'digital wellbeing' features on other platforms). If your administrator user has a password set, the password is required to change these settings. Startup and login errors fixed: Between 3.6.0 and 3.6.2, there were two known issues which could prevent you from booting or logging into your computer. Both are addressed in this release." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
* * * * *
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: 1,610
- Total data uploaded: 28.0TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
Applications running on Wayland sessions
In our Questions and Answers column this week we talked about detecting Wayland and X.Org desktop sessions as well as determining whether a specific application was purely a Wayland program or built to run in an X.Org environment. We would like to find out, from people running Wayland desktop sessions, are your applications all purely Wayland or do you also run X.Org applications?
You can see the results of our previous poll on large programs running in memory in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Applications running on Wayland sessions
|I am running pure Wayland applications on Wayland: ||16 (1%)|
| I am running X.Org applications on Wayland: ||13 (1%)|
| I am running a mix of Wayland and X.Org applications on Wayland: ||102 (9%)|
| I am not running a Wayland session: ||872 (77%)|
| Unsure/Other: ||123 (11%)|
|Website News (by Jesse Smith)
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 September 2019. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Wayland (by mcellius on 2019-09-16 00:56:12 GMT from United States) |
Unfortunately, not all apps run on Wayland yet. For example, gparted won't run on my system (Ubuntu 19.04 - the same with earlier versions) when running Wayland. I'd prefer to use Wayland because in general it feels that most things run a little faster on it, but until more things run on Wayland I'll stick with X-org. (Yes, more and more programs are running on Wayland all the time, but there are still key ones that do not.)
2 • wayland dealbreaker (by linuxista on 2019-09-16 02:56:26 GMT from United States)
Gnome on wayland is somewhat crashy, whereas Gnome on Xorg is rock solid. In any case, until wayland allows reassigning mouse buttons with libinput, I'm not even interested in trying.
3 • wayland error (by pierdolony on 2019-09-16 03:04:07 GMT from United States)
i open a terminal, "su - root", try to run gui app (ex: some filemanager) and it fails with error: "Cannot open display:"
anyone know why?
tried it on several distros running wayland, so its not distro specific
4 • @3: wayland error (by Titus_Groan on 2019-09-16 04:26:00 GMT from New Zealand)
likely the way that those "several distros" have set up their Wayland session.
Mageia is certainly able to run, for example: Dolphin, as root.
$ su -
root password: ********
5 • Wayland @1 (by pengxiun on 2019-09-16 04:43:15 GMT from New Zealand)
applications that require root privileges under wayland should request administrator / root password after you invoke them (from launcher or terminal command).
If they do not, then
a: raise a bug for your distribution,
b: change to a distribution that does.
6 • No Wayland - I use Nvidia (by morgan cox on 2019-09-16 09:44:06 GMT from United Kingdom)
As a Nvidia user my understanding is that Wayland in KDE with Nvidia is not usable at present.
Would like to start playing with it soon .
7 • X ...or Wayland (by OstroL on 2019-09-16 10:36:48 GMT from Poland)
They say old is gold, so still it is X.
Wayland doesn't have many followers, except one company, now sold to IBM. And, IBM has an old fashioned bureaucratic thinking. Doesn't bring in money, would go. Gnome is pretty buggy too, and with Wayland...well...
8 • X.Org (by Chris on 2019-09-16 12:29:36 GMT from United States)
It's X.Org for me, because I run Nvidia proprietary graphics. Besides, I've been running Linux with X.Org for 10 years and, if it ain't broke, and all that.
9 • X (by Tim on 2019-09-16 13:55:36 GMT from United States)
I'm still with X, for all the listed reasons Ostro and Chris said. I know it and it works great. I'll change when someone gives me as the end user a reason to.
10 • Ubuntu Wayland (by vern on 2019-09-16 15:05:53 GMT from United States)
Wayland on Ubuntu works flawlessly. I have never had an issue.
11 • Wayland compatibility (by Juan on 2019-09-16 18:39:00 GMT from Panama)
I'm on Xorg because Wayland can't support neither the Mac menu funtionality nor the compositor in my desktop environment (appmenu and compiz). Until those 2 become supported Wayland won't be usable for me.
12 • Wayland doesn't meet my needs (by Chris on 2019-09-17 02:28:18 GMT from United States)
Wayland on Fedora 30 is good enough now that I can use it for a while without noticing it's not Xorg, but only if I'm not doing much. If I try to do real work on it, I quickly trip over a bunch of little things that might be tolerable individually but which together are pretty annoying.
It starts with the fact that you can't remap the mouse buttons (I like the middle button to open menus and the right to paste and (in file managers) stand in for a double-click. For this, Wayland is doubly broken: Even in Fedora, which tries to simulate it, the time-saving select-and-click copy-paste doesn't work consistently. And remapping mouse buttons doesn't, either.
Likewise for various window manager features (in Gnome, at least; I hear it's worse on KDE).
Wayland's GUI performance seems about the same as Xorg's on my Intel based system.
13 • Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith) (by nothanks on 2019-09-17 07:29:52 GMT from France)
Usually, in my opinion, the Polls ends up down in the drain.
Is that because the users are Grinches? Or because the devs chose to go against the flow?
14 • X.org vs Wayland (by Simon Plaistowe on 2019-09-17 08:25:59 GMT from New Zealand)
X.org all the way until such time as Wayland becomes mature enough to compete. Then I'll re-evaluate.
15 • Still in X11 land (by SuperOscar on 2019-09-17 12:18:17 GMT from Finland)
I recently bought a Radeon graphics card to replace my old Nvidia card so that I could at least try out Wayland sessions (in openSUSE Leap with KDE Plasma). No luck. After a couple of seconds, Wayland sessions just quietly log me out without even an error message.
This seems to be the current situation pretty much elsewhere, too. Sometimes Wayland might survive long enough for the user get annoyed with a bug or “feature”, but most often it just crashes.
16 • Wayland or Whyland? (by Nasoj on 2019-09-17 14:55:12 GMT from Mexico)
In my brief and traumatic experiences using Whyland, the results have always been predictably the same, either a) the application crashes such as when needing to SU and app like Gedit and it just refuses to open or b) the performance is lackluster and choppy on my older warhorse of a laptop. Wayland may be an improvement over Gnome, but that theoretical improvement is useless unless it translates into the real world, which still, it does not. So Wayland in my books is still Whyland until further evidence to the contrary.
17 • No Way Land (by Ark on 2019-09-18 09:16:13 GMT from France)
It's impossible to use wayland in a normal enterprise environment. Problems for remote desktop apps (like Teamviewer), problems with sudo apps (like Gparted) and just overall other minor problems that never happens in x.org. And as someone who's just interested in stability, what does wayland bring onto the table for that ? Nothing yet.
18 • Wayland.. (by OstroL on 2019-09-18 09:44:29 GMT from Poland)
Thoughts born in one person's mind cannot be moved to another person's mind. Most thoughts can be explained by word (or by code as in Linux), but not everything. Even though some people say, that anyone can be replaced, it cannot be done. The person goes, the thoughts also go. the others might continue, but the result is not the same. One example, Budgie desktop and Solus. Budgie is still stuck at 10.5, since the main developer left with his thoughts.
Same with Wayland, I suppose.
19 • Wayland (by Jordan on 2019-09-18 14:54:11 GMT from United States)
What will new users of Linux, or users who just don't care about cli etc, notice about a distro with Wayland as opposed to x.org etc? What's are the differences that the casual escapee from Windows will experience?
20 • Wayland Development (by M.Z. on 2019-09-18 19:53:08 GMT from United States)
"Wayland may be an improvement over Gnome..."
Maybe you just miss typed something there, but no Wayland was never meant to be a replacement for any one Desktop Environment, it lets all the DEs draw their various GUI programs in a better way. Gnome is just out front in implementing it, though I think they would be better off doing a lot of other things related to their basic DE design first, if they wanted an improvement in Gnome.
"What will new users of Linux,... notice about a distro with Wayland as opposed to x.org etc?"
Wayland development began as a response to the problems some folks noticed while working on the guts of the old X11 system. To my understanding they took the guts of the way X11 was being used, (which has to do with making Qt & Gtk draw most things), and turned it into a complete redesign that is supposed to simpler and more secure, while also being more reliable & accurate.
I think the only thing a user might notice, if they were observant, is that things should be crisper, faster, and more accurate once Wayland is working properly. It's still early days for Wayland, so things are probably not there yet, but it's in a state where it is starting to be used more & should see more rapid improvements.
Sadly the Linux user base can be both fickle & obstinate at once, all while being very opinionated at early release software. Sure plenty of us can be fickle distro hoppers that seek out the new & interesting, but just as many like to complain loudly about early software not working right. We even complain about the fact that things are going to change & we make sure to put it in a way that can discourage the devs who gifted us with this free & open software. I don't think we should be threatened by an an open, modifiable path to improvement that can be used in many projects.
I'm all X11 for now & I'm glad the option to stay that way will be around for some time to come, but I'm glad Wayland is there & I look forward to seeing how it progresses.
21 • @ 20 (by OstroL on 2019-09-18 20:56:33 GMT from Poland)
"I think the only thing a user might notice, if they were observant, is that things should be crisper, faster, and more accurate once Wayland is working properly. It's still early days for Wayland, so things are probably not there yet, but it's in a state where it is starting to be used more & should see more rapid improvements."
10 years is quite enough these days to come out with a highly advanced system. For example Android.
The problem with Wayland is "the early days" had never stopped being that way. And, the original thought maker had gone, doing something else. People, who think of something, come back after a while, even to the company that threw you away. Example Steve Jobs and iPod, iPad, iPhone.
People, who think the project won't go forward, goes away, leaving it and start something. Example, Budgie DE and Solus. The thought maker went away, and now trying to create games. Budgie DE was to become 11, but never grew from 10.5. The thought maker started many projects, and dropped them half way.
It is the same with Wayland!
22 • Discord on Wayland (by Michael on 2019-09-19 09:24:21 GMT from United States)
I found that when using discord on wayland I cannot use global hotkeys like I do on Xorg. I read it was designed this way for security (if I remember correctly). Bit too secure for my liking!
23 • Wayland or Whyland? Addendum (by Nasoj on 2019-09-20 15:57:10 GMT from Mexico)
@M.Z yes it was a typo. What I wrote was, "Wayland may be an improvement over Gnome..." however what I meant to write was; Wayland Gnome may be an improvement over Xorg Gnome.
On a sidenote, can the editor write or publish an article on how to optimize memory and processes in Gnome? I want to run a Gnome desktop but with only the bare minimal processes necessary so as to consume the least memory and cpu usage as possible. I'm sure other readers would like to know how to put Gnome on a diet also.
24 • Re: Wayland Development (by M.Z. on 2019-09-20 23:41:49 GMT from United States)
"The problem with Wayland is "the early days" had never stopped being that way."
Cynicism & prognostication are both fairly easy to come by, but it seems to me that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 including Wayland by default just created a massive incentive for the biggest Linux support company in the world to make sure Wayland works. Red Hat has thousands of employees, $ billions in assets, and release & QA processes that major businesses the world over seem to approve of.
I suppose that RHEL 8 could get treated like Windows Vista by businesses if there are enough serious issues; however, in the long run 'Wayland will never work' seems like a far worse prediction than 'rockets will never be cost effective to reuse' & there were some very serious experts predicting that not too many years ago.
Number of Comments: 24
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|• 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|
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