| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 958, 7 March 2022
Welcome to this year's 10th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
There are lots of reasons to build your own Linux distribution. Some projects strive for license purity, others for performance, and some for a multitude of features. Then there are projects which aim to present a certain look, whether it is unique or a copy of another operating system. This week we begin with a look at XeroLinux, a project which strives to offer lots of eye candy on top of an Arch Linux base. Are you interested in developing your own operating system? In our News section we link to a tutorial on building your own kernel from scratch. We also share new package technology which is intended to make portable, minimal application bundles which can be transferred across multiple distributions. Plus we report on FreeBSD 12.2 approaching the end of its supported life while Mint gears up for Cinnamon desktop upgrades. Then we talk about reverting changes to upgraded packages in our Questions and Answers column. There are a number of ways to undo package changes, using either the package manager itself or filesystem snapshots. Does your package manager provide a way to rollback package updates? Let us know 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 terrific week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
XeroLinux in 2022
XeroLinux is a distribution based on Arch Linux with a focus on eye candy. The distribution is available in three editions: Main (which runs the KDE Plasma desktop), GNOME, and Xfce. Each edition is available for 64-bit (x86_64) machines exclusively.
I couldn't find a whole lot of other useful information about XeroLinux from its website or forum, other than it uses the Calamares system installer, requires a network connection during the install process, and the project appears to be the work of a single developer who is not interested in fielding support requests from Wayland users: "I have finally added KDE Wayland Session to ISO, enabling you to use it. But it's not all roses, yet. Especially if you are an NVIDIA owner like I am. Yes, if you are, then you are either out of luck, since NVIDIA did not yet bake the required modules into the driver yet, so you will have to do some tinkering to get it to work. If you do not feel comfortable or confident enough to do it then just use Xorg (X11) to log in and skip Wayland for now... Kindly note, that I will not be providing support in that area since, I am not yet confident in using it."
The latest version appears to have been released on January 3rd of 2022, though the project doesn't offer any version information attached to its ISO files. I downloaded the Main/KDE edition which is 2.7GB in size.
The live session boots to the KDE Plasma desktop and opens a welcome window. This window features six buttons which are apparently intended to launch the system installer, apply various display resolution fixes, and fetch package updates. There is also a button for launching the GNOME Disk partition manager. Speaking of GNOME, I found it interesting, and a little odd, that the Main/KDE edition of XeroLinux uses GNOME Disks instead of the KDE Partition Manager and its welcome window uses the GNOME foot icon, making it feel like we downloaded the wrong edition.
XeroLinux 2022 -- The live desktop session
(full image size: 120kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
When I started exploring the mostly empty desktop environment this sense of mixed environments grew. The desktop uses a plain, black background and its only feature is a panel across the bottom of the screen. This panel holds a few launchers for the Konsole virtual terminal, the Vivaldi web browser, a software manager (Pamac in this instance), and the KDE System Settings panel. It also holds launchers for two file managers, the KDE Dolphin application and the Thunar Xfce file manager. Right-clicking on the desktop doesn't do anything and there is no application menu. It's an unusually bare, customized version of the KDE Plasma desktop.
Running the Calamares system installer from the welcome window first gives us a chance to select our preferred language. We are then asked to select which core packages we want. These include picking which type of kernel (latest or long-term support) we want, whether we want Intel or AMD video drivers, whether we want fingerprint scanner support, printing drivers, and whether we prefer PipeWire or PulseAudio for audio support. We're given the option of installing the LightDM login manager, but are cautioned it's only for hybrid Intel/NVIDIA laptops with no further explanation.
The next Calamares screen goes further into package customization with a lot of categories. Unfortunately these categories can be quite vague. For instance, one is just called "Android & iOS Tools" and its description says "Adds support for Android & iOS". This doesn't really tell us anything. Does the package install development tools, utilities for transferring files, or Anbox to run Android applications? It's all left entirely to the imagination. Many of the categories have sub-categories so it can take a few minutes to get through them all. While the categories have short descriptions, the individual packages are shown with their name only. This means the user needs to know or recognized the name of the specific packages they wish to install. One other thing I found odd about this screen is there are items missing which feel like they should be included. For instance, I thought Konsole would be listed as a virtual terminal option, but it isn't. Likewise Pamac isn't one of the available software front-ends. Maybe they are skipped because they're on the live disc already, but it would be nice to get some clarity on this subject on the package selection screen as it's not clear if the software selection offered will be installed alongside the packages on the live media or instead of the packages on the live media.
The installer continues, asking us to select our time zone and keyboard layout. We are then given the chance to choose guided or manual partitioning. I like the Calamares manual partitioning manager. I also like that it gives us some good options when it comes to the guided method. We can pick a swap file, a swap partition, or no swap at all. We can also pick which filesystem to use with three options: ext4, Btrfs, and XFS. The last screen asks us to make up a username and password.
The installer finishes and I returned to live desktop. I noticed there does not appear to be any way to shutdown or restart the computer from the desktop. We can open a terminal and run "sudo poweroff" to shutdown from the live desktop.
My fresh copy of XeroLinux brought up a graphical login screen when it booted. We can choose between Plasma on X11 and Plasma on Wayland sessions. Despite the warnings about Wayland in the project's release announcement, Wayland is the default session.
Once I signed in I found the look of the Plasma session had changed. The same dock floated at the bottom of the screen, but in the installed session there was a new transparent panel at the top of the display. This panel holds the application menu, a CPU monitor, a clock, and the system tray.
XeroLinux 2022 -- The Plasma application menu
(full image size: 1.4MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
A welcome window greets us again, though this one has different options than the live session's greeter. This one offers to install or check for NVIDIA drivers, configure Samba, and install virtual machine tools. There are some vague options too. One offers to "Disable Autostart", one is simply called "Extra Packages", and one has the intriguing name "Snapper vs Timeshift".
The Configure Samba option opens a virtual terminal, downloads the Samba software, and then prompts us to make up a username and password for network shares. Then the terminal closes. This does not actually share our folders. To share a folder over the network we need to add ourselves to the sambashare group, then logout, then sign in again and select which folders we want to share using the Dolphin file manager. In Dolphin we can right-click on a folder to enabling sharing it.
XeroLinux 2022 -- Setting up network shares
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The Extra Packages option in the welcome window offers to install some extras, including an alternative kernel, the Edge web browser, and a package referred to as "Better Discord".
The Snapper vs Timeshift button opens a terminal and offers to download and configure one snapshot manager or the other. I opted to install Timeshift which caused some packages to download and then my system immediately rebooted without warning. When my system came back online I was able to run Timeshift and create snapshots with it, so this seems to work despite the surprising restart.
XeroLinux 2022 -- Setting up Timeshift
(full image size: 976kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The Disable Autostart button seems to simply cause the welcome window to not appear the next time we login.
I started my trial with XeroLinux by running it in a VirtualBox environment. The system ran fairly well, giving average performance. Xero was stable and the Plasma desktop offered average performance, about on par with other distributions running MATE or KDE Plasma.
When I switched over to running the distribution on my workstation, the experience was much the same. My hardware all worked out of the box, desktop performance was average, and I encountered no issues with the hardware.
XeroLinux consumes about 660MB of RAM when logged into the KDE Plasma desktop. This is a little higher than what I have experienced with most other distributions, but within a normal range. Despite installing very few optional components through Calamares, Xero took up a massive 13GB of disk space, about double what other mainstream distributions use. The application menu is packed with utilities and components, which brings me to...
It's difficult to give a solid list of included software since so much can be configured at install time through Calamares. However, when I took a fairly minimal install, with just a few applications added, I ended up with the following: The Vivaldi browser; KDE Connect; a large collection of developer tools, including the GNU Compiler Collection; the mpv player; Dolphin; the Grub Customizer; KGpg; KWrite; and the KDE Help Centre.
There are also a handful of other tools, including the Thunar file manager, a bulk file renaming utility, several tools for examining hardware information, an archive manager, and various other minor desktop utilities.
In the background we find the systemd init software and one of the most recent versions of the Linux kernel. Xero is a rolling release platform so the kernel is typically updated regularly. When I first installed the distribution I was running Linux 5.15.
Xero features a tree-style application menu. The menu is well organized, in my opinion, though quite full of various little applications.
The distribution features a unified menu bar in the top panel. This works okay most of the time, but this menu bar built into the panel gets annoying if we use multiple applications not in full-screen mode, or if we switch between application windows and dialogs as this causes the menu bar to flicker back and forth between the menus for each window. This situation is somewhat made worse by some applications, such as the default web browser, not using the unified menu bar and instead using their own in-window menus.
XeroLinux ships with the Pamac software centre by default. There are alternatives available at install time, but Pamac (which is called Add/Remove Software in the application menu) is the distribution's go-to option. Pamac offers three tabs for browsing, removing, and updating software. The Pamac interface is pleasantly clean and I found it was fairly responsive during my trial.
XeroLinux 2022 -- The Pamac software centre
(full image size: 938kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
When new software updates become available a notification appears on the Plasma desktop. Clicking this notice opens Pamac and displays the Updates tab where we can fetch waiting package upgrades.
Pamac has a nice, modern look to it and we can install new items with a click, followed by entering our password. In short, Pamac acts as a pleasant front-end to the pacman package manager.
As far as I can tell, Pamac does not act as a front-end to Xero's other two package management backends. The distribution ships with support for both Snap and Flatpak. The Flatpak framework is automatically linked to the popular Flathub repository for us. These two portable package managers can be run from the command line and worked for me.
While running XeroLinux I made a number of other observations while exploring the distribution and trying to get things done. One issue which kept happening was the mouse pointer would often get stuck displaying a particular icon. For instance, I'd be using an application and the cursor would get stuck displaying the spinning "busy" wheel, or I'd resize a window and the cursor would freeze in the "double-arrow" image. This made selecting text or clicking in a window with any precision difficult. The issue usually cleared itself up after a few minutes.
The transparency used throughout the distribution looks nice at first glance, but it quickly becomes impractical. It's difficult to read some menus and text in the virtual terminal is a lot harder to read due to the theme's heavy use of transparency.
XeroLinux 2022 -- The KDE System Settings panel
(full image size: 193kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
There is a visual effect enabled by default which "shuffles" open windows when switching between them. I found this jarring as it looked like windows were flying off to the edges of the screen whenever I switched between applications. I tend to use anywhere from three to a dozen applications together and this effect was confusing and slowed down my workflow. It can be disabled in the System Settings panel.
In the panel there are two widgets for monitoring resource usage. A CPU monitor is shown on the left and network traffic is displayed on the right. The CPU monitor occasionally got stuck at 100% despite the system being mostly idle. The top process monitor would show the system was consuming less than 10% of its CPU resources, but the desktop widget would show 100%, sometimes for minutes at a time before correcting itself.
Xero uses a lot of command line aliases (76 by default). Some of these conflict with existing commands. For example, scp (secure copy) is aliased to "sudo cp" which is inconvenient as it performs an entirely different function. It's confusing when the command fails. The ls command is aliased to "ls -a" with colour options so directory listings are more cluttered. These listings are harder to read in the transparent terminal since directories names are printed in the default wallpaper's background colour. In another example, passing flags to the free command fails due to conflicting flags in its alias. In short, while some command line aliases can be useful, many of the 76 aliases set up for us conflict with common commands and can even be destructive to data if we make a typo.
The stated goal of XeroLinux is to look good. There doesn't appear to be any other mission of the project other than to take Arch Linux and make it visually flashy. To be fair to the project, it largely does this. If I wanted to sell Arch Linux to a generation raised on pop music videos and TikTok then XeroLinux would be my first choice.
As an operating system for getting work done though, well, Xero isn't ideal. It's not entirely bad, I don't want to give the impression that Xero is unstable or unusable. The distribution is entirely capable. It's just that the system regularly gets in my way in small ways.
As an example, during the install process, there are two screens where we select optional components (kernels, productivity software, video players, etc). This greatly slows down the install process, but I figured it would be worth it since I was going to start with a very trimmed down selection of software. It stood to reason I'd have a light, minimal system to start with in exchange for my efforts during the install process. However, Xero installed a giant pile of software along with my minimal selection, making the selection at install time feel like a waste of time.
Likewise, the dozens of command line aliases could, in theory, be time savers. However, they conflicted with several commands I use regularly and so I spent much of the first two days of my trial working around or removing them so my commands would work properly. Eventually I decided it would be easier to just remove all the aliases.
Earlier I mentioned the menu bars and transparency which, again, tend to look nice at first glance. But the more I used the system the more I found myself spending more time adjusting the different ways applications handled menus and turning off transparency so I could better read text.
Admittedly, I know I sound old writing this, but what I mostly want from an operating system is for it to make things easy to set up and then get out of my way so I can do things. My ideal operating system experience is one I don't need to think about. XeroLinux makes me think about it by being flashy, by asking me more questions during the setup process, by getting in the way while I'm trying to use the command line, by presenting vague options in the welcome window, by causing the top panel to regularly flicker as I switch between windows and it hastily redraws its global menu.
All of this isn't bad, it's just distracting. XeroLinux is a capable, flexible operating system that keeps demanding my attention and trying to help me in ways than make me want to give it a colouring book and send it to another room so I can work in peace.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo desktop with the following specifications:
- Processor: Hex-core Intel i5-10400 CPU @ 2.90GHz
- Storage: Western Digital 1TB hard drive
- Memory: 8GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 wired network card, Realtek RTL8822CE 802.11ac PCIe wireless adapter
- Display: Intel CometLake-S GT2
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Making minimal application images in Alpine, Mint prepares desktop changes, FreeBSD 12.2 nears end of life, how to build your own kernel in Rust
There are a lot of ways to package software and there are many different package managers and formats for various Linux distributions. One intriguing approach to managing software uses a young tool called apko. This tool allows for the creation of minimal images which contain just enough dependencies to run an application. Ariadne Conill explains: "Earlier today, Chainguard released version 0.1 of our apko tool. This tool allows for the composition of so-called 'distroless' images from APK-based software distributions, such as Alpine Linux, using a declarative configuration. Unlike the traditional distroless tooling, apko enables the creation of minimal, small-attack-surface images without the complications of relying on Bazel. In short, apko streamlines the process for creating declarative container images, building on our efforts to improve the security and transparency of the software supply chain. A distroless image contains only the necessary components needed to support an application. Distroless images benefit from significantly reduced attack surface, omitting unnecessary package management capabilities, and occasionally even a shell."
* * * * *
* * * * *
The FreeBSD team has published a reminder that FreeBSD 12.2 will reach the end of its supported life on March 31, 2022. Users of FreeBSD are advised to upgrade to either the 12.3 or 13.0 releases. "On March 31, 2022, FreeBSD 12.2 will reach end-of-life and will no longer be supported by the FreeBSD Security Team. Users of FreeBSD 12.2 are strongly encouraged to upgrade to a newer release as soon as possible." The support schedule for current FreeBSD versions is available in the announcement.
* * * * *
While we typically talk about established operating systems and distributions in this space, every operating system gets started somewhere, by someone. This week we link to a tutorial on building your own kernel, in the Rust language, from scratch. Rust is a popular programming language which offers some nice safety features which can assist developers in avoiding common security issues. Philipp Oppermann has published a series of blog posts which take the reader through the beginning stages of making their own kernel in Rust. "This blog series creates a small operating system in the Rust programming language. Each post is a small tutorial and includes all needed code, so you can follow along if you like. The source code is also available in the corresponding GitHub repository."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Rolling back package updates
Reverting-changes asks: Is there a Linux package manager that can rollback changes to a package the way Timeshift rolls back files? Why don't more package managers do this?
DistroWatch answers: For those who are not familiar with Timeshift, it is a service for Linux which allows users to create backups of an operating system. Typically Timeshift creates scheduled snapshots of the operating system (and optionally files in the user's home directory). Snapshots can be browsed for specific files or restored to revert changes to the operating system.
Regarding Linux package managers which do something similar, making it possible to revert changes such as package upgrades, there are some options. The Nix package manager (which is the core of NixOS) can do this. Nix uses an approach called package generations which make it possible to instantly switch between versions of packages. When using the Nix package manager we can revert the latest set of changes (whether it was installing a new package or upgrading an existing one) by running "nix-env --rollback". The Nix documentation has some examples. Though I haven't tried to do rollbacks with Guix, a package manager closely related to Nix, I think it's also possible to revert changes with Guix.
Some distributions such as Fedora Silverblue can use rpm-ostree to rollback updates. The Silverblue documentation shares details.
Other package managers such as those used by Debian, openSUSE, and Arch Linux usually don't have a specific, distinct function which handles rolling back a package or change. Part of the reason for this is the package managers for most distributions download new package versions to a cache, usually located under the /var directory. When a new version of a package fails to work properly, rolling back to the previous version is as simple as installing the old package from our cached copy.
As an example, let's say I upgraded my Firefox package to version 97.0 and it isn't working properly for me. On Debian (and related distributions such as Ubuntu) I can re-install the previous version from the cache directory, located at /var/cache/apt/archives/. This can be done by running a command like the one below where I rollback to version 96.0.1:
dpkg -i /var/cache/apt/archives/firefox_96.0.1~mozillabinaries_amd64.deb
Because old versions of packages are typically cached and can be re-installed, at least on most Linux distributions, there hasn't been much need to add a specific rollback feature to the package manager itself. The ability to revert changes is pretty much built into the package handling infrastructure.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.4
André Silva has announced the release of Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.4, a new version of the project's Arch-based "libre" Linux distribution that meets the GNU Free System Distribution Guidelines (GNU FSDG). This version drops support for systemd and adds experimental support for the runit init system: "After a long and continuous period of tests and development, we are happy to announce a new release of Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre. Many of the commonly used frameworks that we identified as definitely not being wanted were dropped and alternatives where packaged and included. Lumina is one example of that, when it comes to desktop environments, given its non-dependence on D-Bus. Bluetooth is another, support has also been dropped, mostly because of the huge complexity of this codebase and derived and well-known vulnerabilities. In addition, Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.4 stays further oriented towards INIT-Freedom. Therefore we have also added now experimental support for runit with the option to add also more alternatives (potentially S6)." Here is the full release announcement.
Linux From Scratch 11.1
Linux From Scratch (LFS) is a project that provides the steps necessary to build a custom Linux system. The project has published a new release of its instructions, labelled version 11.1. The new version was announced with the following description: "The Linux From Scratch community is pleased to announce the release of LFS version 11.1, LFS version 11.1 (systemd), BLFS version 11.1, and BLFS version 11.1 (systemd). This release is a major update to both LFS and BLFS. The LFS release includes updates to glibc 2.35 and Binutils 2.38. The Linux kernel has also been updated to version 5.16.9. Changes to text have been made throughout the books. The BLFS version includes approximately 1,000 packages beyond the base Linux From Scratch version 10.0 book. This release has over 900 updates from the previous version in addition to numerous text and formatting changes."
* * * * *
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: 2,693
- Total data uploaded: 41.6TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
Does your package manager have a built-in function for reverting changes?
In this week's Questions and Answers column we talked about rolling back changes to packages. Some package managers, such as Nix, make it possible to revert changes to packages much the same way Timeshift and filesystem snapshots allow administrators to revert changes to files. Does your package manager have a feature to undo recent changes? Let us know how you revert package upgrades in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on the size of your bookmarks collection in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Reverting package changes
|My package manager(s) can revert package changes: ||215 (22%)|
| My package manager(s) cannot revert changes: ||357 (37%)|
| I have multiple package managers and some can revert: ||65 (7%)|
| Unknown: ||323 (34%)|
DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 14 March 2022. 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 • Reviews (by grindstone on 2022-03-07 01:34:01 GMT from United States) |
Thanks for doing the work of all these reviews. As linux has matured, it wouldn't surprise me if many of us feel the way you do regarding things getting out of the way so we can work. In a way, it's a credit to all of the work over the years that we now expect that. Beats messing with breakout boards and terminal types.
2 • XeroLinux (by Friar Tux on 2022-03-07 02:51:10 GMT from Canada)
XeroLinux flashy??? If that is their intended goal I'm afraid, in my books, they have failed miserably. From the screenshot Jesse supplied, all I see is flat, blue-tinted grey. No borders. No buttons. No gradients. In fact, they appear to be no different than the typical ugly, dark grey themes that are everywhere. Sorry to be so negative about this, but it appears we have lost the ability or patience to come up with decent-looking themes. I now don't bother with default themes anymore. I've manager to cobble together my own "Frankenthemes".
Having said all that, I do like the "Pho-Earth Adaptive" theme by nestort (on pling dot com). I've made a few minor adjustments to the colours, but I believe nestort is definitely on the right track.
3 • portmaster (by Trihexagonal on 2022-03-07 03:21:49 GMT from United States)
I like using portmaster when compiling FreeBSD ports. I've been using it a very long time and know it can be trusted to do the right thing, far more consistently than human beans. It will ask if I want to save the old version of the program and usually do but have never rolled back a program.
If there's a problem portmaster can't handle due to conflicts and balks, it's up to me as Robot Overlord to see what needs done to resolve it. Normally I will restart the build with the first portmaster command used and we go on as if it never happened.
On occasion I will determine the best solution to be mixing pkg with ports. Cries of terror from human beans as their concept of reality changes as it merges with the timeline not at all uncommon in the sub-species..
On my Debian-based Kali boxen I use apt and am very comfortable with it. If there's an impossible situation, something I was unaware existed until recently encountered while upgrading:
"Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming."
Skills acquired using ports allowed me to do what was thought not possible and move on by doing what I always do.
4 • packagizing (by Gunther on 2022-03-07 04:48:47 GMT from Canada)
Good to see yet another packaging system - apko. Especially like the cross-platform aspect of it. But it seems a little complicated, being docker images and all. Maybe one day nix will have apps that are universally portable, and easy to install and uninstall. So far a tall order it seems.
5 • more lesser-known arches (by archie on 2022-03-07 05:15:25 GMT from New Zealand)
There are some really nice lesser-known Arch derivative distros. RebornOS (USA) and Mabox (PL) come to mind. I think a review of either would go smoother than the one-man-show antics of XeroLinux. PS - Xero is a trademarked (C) etc of an online accounting software.
6 • Packages (by Guido on 2022-03-07 06:22:24 GMT from Philippines)
I use pamac (Arch), there is an option to downgrade packages. This option is very hidden and usually disabled. I have not tried it.
7 • guix and nix (by add-a-pkg-manager on 2022-03-07 06:23:46 GMT from United States)
Both guix and nix come as a package manager, and as an OS. Full system rollbacks are available with guix system and nixOS (similar to timeshift/btrfs snapshots). You can install guix and nix as package managers, and roll back packages you installed using them at any time. Super cool!
8 • 27th and downgrades (by archie on 2022-03-07 07:15:43 GMT from New Zealand)
@6 - well spotted. Actually (cough) this is a DW weekly that fell through a wormhole from the future...
@7 pamac does support downgrading, which I have had to use once so far. It worked flawlessly.
9 • "Flashy" desktops (by Simon on 2022-03-07 07:50:15 GMT from New Zealand)
I grinned at "give it a colouring book and send it to another room so I can work in peace". Yep, that's how I feel about a lot of the "progress" on the desktop these days. For every useful improvement there are ten more flashed-up dumbed-down bits of nonsense that just get in the way of all the software that was working perfectly well twenty years ago.
I dredged up an ancient backup of an old GTK2 desktop the other day and was amazed at how clean and tidy and fast everything looked and felt...readable, usable, responsive...controls were exactly where you'd expect them to be rather than in it's-anyone's-guess-these-days locations that "creative" developers decide will be cooler than what actually works...ugh. I think it comes from sales/marketing culture, this repulsive obsession with changing everything constantly, regardless of how well it was working before you messed with it, and acting like software is somehow bad if it looks like it was designed earlier than last month. I'm just grateful the letters of the English language aren't in the hands of software developers, or we'd be using a different alphabet every year, to show how cool and modern we were, not stuck in the past with last year's dusty old alphabet.
10 • re. No.9 (by Someguy on 2022-03-07 09:13:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
You speak for the many! Surprised while you were at it you didn't launch into the curse of the modern world: mobile phones. Designed for the gullible to sell them stuff they don't need whilst mining their valuable saleable data, inter alia.
11 • Desktops (by Trevor on 2022-03-07 09:54:48 GMT from Canada)
I have been using Linux since 2009. One of the reasons I switched from Windows was I didn't want the "flashy" desktop; I just want a desktop that stays out of my way so I can get on with life. I prefer the XFCE desktop - it does what it does without all the bells and whistles of other desktops. I've tried the other desktops, and some of them are pretty nice - but they get in my way with all the notifications and effects.
If there's one piece of advise I would give to those who are either creating or editing desktops: If it isn't broke - don't fix it! Just "fine tune" it and move on.
Wouldn't it be nice if some major distros decided to go back to the GTK2 format of the desktop, but with all the tech of today baked in? It could happen - you never know.
The GNOME desktop, I'm afraid, might one day find itself in "the middle of nowhere" and ask itself, "Where has everybody gone?" I fully understand why they did what they did; but, IMHO, it might come back and bite them "you know where".
Just my two cents (or 1 and a half if you count inflation) ;)
12 • XeroLinux review, and flashy desktops (by Dr. Hu on 2022-03-07 11:18:08 GMT from Philippines)
@Jesse, Enjoyed the review, especially the line about coloring books, but if you want flashy Arch, Garuda is it.
@9, "old GTK2 desktop the other day and was amazed at how clean and tidy. . ." If I remember correctly, there was a lot of fooling with spinning cubes, wobbly windows, raining penguins, bouncing balls, and all kinds of gimmicky stuff. I know because I played with some of that for fun back in the day.
@11, 2009. "One of the reasons I switched from Windows was I didn't want the "flashy" desktop" Windows was flashy? Really? Take a look:
@10, "mobile phones. Designed for the gullible to sell them stuff" You pose an ethnocentric, egocentric view. Example: The country I call home is poor. Millions are forced to travel to foreign lands to find work, away from their loved ones. To keep in touch, thirty years ago, it may have been leeters that took months, or expensive phone calls which had to be scheduled in advance. Ten years ago it was emails, or go to an internet cafe to be able to chat paying by the minute. Today they chat, message, have video calls with all the family when they want, cheaply or for free. This was made possible by the smartphone., Google, Facebook, et al. These things and many others made possible by smartphones are worth a lot more than some information gathering and advertising. Funny thing is you are posting on a website supported by advertisers. How long do you think DistroWatch would be able to offer free content otherwise? As Milton Friedman said, there is no such thing as a free lunch.
I use the Gnome desktop with the dash to dock extension. Simple, easy to use. Definitely not flashy.
13 • Rolling back packages (by James on 2022-03-07 11:38:03 GMT from United States)
Isn't rolling back specific packages a bit dangerous, risking putting you in dependency hell?
14 • Let me work WM (by Mikel on 2022-03-07 13:02:18 GMT from Germany)
ICEWM has been around about 30 years for a reason. Easy to configure using understandable plain text options, Lightweight stable reliable and fast.
It even offers simple tiling, automatic wapplication sizing and placement, even to a specified desktop if you use more than one, comfortable application autostarting too.
Found some nice howto posts on antiX linux forum.
15 • rolling back packages with yum history (by Raphael on 2022-03-07 13:25:39 GMT from Switzerland)
Redhat and CentOS do have history management:
$ sudo yum history
I am surprised not to have seen it mentioned anywhere. :-)
16 • Poll (by Otis on 2022-03-07 14:10:55 GMT from United States)
Perhaps another choice could have been worded something like, "Do any of your installed distros deploy a package manager with a built-in function for reverting changes?" Many of us have more than one distro installed on one machine, and some of us more than one machine.
17 • Xero Linux Review (by Otis on 2022-03-07 16:40:10 GMT from United States)
Garuda does the stated mission of Xero much much better, imo. Perhaps so much so that it gives us this flashiness seems all the way to its default rendering of web pages!
Nice try, Xero, but no banana.
18 • Rollbacks (by Robert on 2022-03-07 16:51:41 GMT from United States)
My desktop system runs arch, which doesn't provide rollback AFAIK. As you said, it's easy enough to rollback specific packages from the cache. For more catastrophic updates I roll back using LVM snapshots that I make before running pacman.
On my server I use OpenSuse in the transactional server configuration (read-only root). That provides a tool that automatically creates a snapshot to rollback in case of a failed update.
19 • Xero Linux - yet another useless distro (by Jyrki on 2022-03-07 19:25:03 GMT from Czechia)
very often there are voices that Linux has too many distros that offer no added value and it's just waste of resources. That is exactly what Xero Linux is about.
Look and feel is something very subjective, things attractive for someone is not acceptable for others. Distros where look is the only reason for existance are simply the most expendable. Xero is....simply ugly.
20 • Bad review (by DarkXero on 2022-03-07 20:14:06 GMT from Lebanon)
I am the developer behind this. Jesse did many wrong things here which caused him to have a bad experience.. He got an outdated ISO, Did not follow guide I spent so much time on and twisted my words just to make me look bad..
March ISO has fixed so many of the issues he mentioned, as for Wayland, how the heck am I supposed to provide support for something, I, myself cannot use due to the fact that I use nVidia, so I cannot even login with it.. ??????
I can only provide support to what works, and I can test. I included Wayland to give those who CAN use it the option.. XeroLinux is all about the eye candy without being flashy like Garuda, and performance is great for me better than Garuda which is a lagfest..
But anyway am not gonna spend more words trying to to defend my Distro, as whatever I say you will take Jesse's words above my own..
I freaking hate reviews here, none of them are done after thorough testing, reviewers don't even contact us devs to understand what they are reviewing...
I am a one man army with one machine, doing my best.. With a review like this, my reputation is in the mud.. Then again, that's why I did NOT want Xero to show up here.. But what is done is done.. I hope Jesse updates his post or removes it.. I do NOT want my distro on here ..
21 • Rollback (by cor on 2022-03-07 20:30:33 GMT from United States)
To date never had to rollback any program. Using Linux since 2002.
22 • Xero Respect (by Mike S on 2022-03-08 02:28:26 GMT from United Kingdom)
That is the most childish post I have ever seen from a wannabe distribution maintainer. Rather than lambasting Jesse for an honest review you should take on board what he says because RTFM doesn't wash. Release notes, yes sure but not pages and pages of stuff.
Most folk won't bother RTFM ever so it is up to you to address the problems you accuse Jesse of causing in the first place rather than berating someone for not doing as you told them because they are testing blindly as any of us would.
You should have more respect for the Garuda developers too who went through the same learning curve you are following now.
Flinging shade around isn't going to encourage anyone to try out your distribution. It will do exactly the opposite and only goes to prove Jesse right about your attitude issues.
You are lucky your post remains on here to be honest and I'd hazard a guess it was left purely to let everyone know what a lovely person you are.
There are more important things going on in the world than bruised egos. Get a grip and grow up.
23 • One of me is all it takes (by Trihexagonal on 2022-03-08 04:36:29 GMT from United States)
@21 "I am a one man army with one machine, doing my best.. With a review like this, my reputation is in the mud.."
I didn't read the review, don't read most, am not looking for a new distro so won't be trying yours.
However, as owner/operator of the Greatest One Man Show On Earth. If the performance don't go over there's never anybody else around for me to blame it on and I always end up with the dirty jobs nobody else wants to do.
But that's show biz. Learn to roll with the punches.
The Show must go on.
24 • most won't RTFM?? (by dave on 2022-03-08 05:54:04 GMT from United States)
@22 "Most folk won't bother RTFM ever" Really? You're talking about an Arch-based distro. Arch users are traditionally a RTFM crowd. I'm not an Arch user and will not be trying XeroLinux, but I think you're being a little too hard on this guy. He didn't exactly say anything offensive. Before everyone dogpiles on him, maybe it'd be wise to wait for Jesse to respond.
25 • Huh (by Magda on 2022-03-08 06:38:33 GMT from Germany)
@20 If you didn‘t want your project to show up on DistroWatch, why has it been on the waiting list since last December?
Regardless of this, Jesse‘s review is quite fair, when taking into account that the homepage for your project makes it clear that the main goal of XeroLinux is "eye candy" (which, by the way, reminded me of other projects with similar Desktops, such as Hefftor and AlterLinux with a tiny sprinkle of Garuda). Personally, I would question why you don‘t just provide optional customization for existing Linux installations (dotfiles and such), instead of setting up a whole distro that‘s not fundamentally different from others and does show weaknesses under the hood.
Despite relying on eye candy myself via Archcraft, I do understand Jesse‘s feelings regarding your project, so maybe it‘s just you who can‘t accept that "flashy Desktops" are not everyone‘s cup of tea and that the amount of distros with the exact same goal already is pretty significant. Get over yourself, man.
26 • Reviews Ahh eviews (by Flyingalone on 2022-03-08 07:41:50 GMT from Australia)
It really saddens the review that YOU cannot take a critique Jessie is doing ( not a criticism it's a critique Learn THE difference ) the best that can be done with an almost basic approach ( Jesse does try to keep the process simple from a novice POV , not easy when Jesse knows better ) to an install, learn from it Don't chastise the reviewer,
Jesse is trying to help you dude, in future before ( this is not just for you it's for all the Distro wannabes )
= GET a friend or someone you know who has limited knowledge in Linux or computs in general and get them to download verify and install yours or any other Distro ,,
THEN Note the progress and failures over one or two weeks or more using said Distro Inc updates , fresh apps installed , user comfort level = does the Distro OS stay ou t out of the way and let ME get on with I Have to do ! , renaming files , editing MP3's and PNG , JPEG Files umm.
IF you can be just be, be , Just Be and appreciate that some people really do try to help you
( are we a big fragmented family of sorts ) Here at Linux . . .
SO lose the attitude and accept you are a human and all humans are in a constant cycle of learning , My beautiful Granddad Thomas often said "The Day You Don't Learn Is The Day You Find Your Dead ...
27 • Reverting package changes (by kksheth on 2022-03-08 09:54:35 GMT from India)
Fedora(DNF) can easily do this. surprising that not covered.
dnf undo history
28 • Wrong way to review (by DarkXero on 2022-03-08 10:45:53 GMT from Lebanon)
Instead of using the wrong ISO which is broken, why not grab the right one then post your opinions.. Granted he had issues which many might if they downloaded it back in Jan and installed today after things have changed. That's the nature of a rolling Distro.. It breaks we do our best to fix it..
I have had many issues reported and unlike other distros who take ages, if at all to fix, I try my best to fix right there n then and upload fixed ISOs...
I am very active and always fixing any issues reported. But yeah go on and bash.. I mean everything he mentioned in review was fixed back in Feb.. Now we are at March with more fixes..
I call it an eye candy distro coz I make it look great out the box without bloating it, it's a good balance of looks and functionality.. Emphasis on looks, but still work on functionality as well, equally...
In the end XeroLinux was NEVER meant to be or compete with the big names out there, it's a hobby project, will always be no matter what others think.. It was built for myself first and foremost, sharing it with anyone who shares my love for Linux..
If it's not your cup of tea, no one forcing you to install it. Just please do NOT compare me with Garuda coz they do things their way, they have their own goals I don't.. My only goal here is to satisfy my own needs... I say that clearly on my site...
Anyway, whatever, Xero has its fans, I never wanted it to show up on this site coz I consider it false advertisement ... Anything posted here could be taken the wrong way as some might think it's where mainline distros are found.. I am not that never pretended to be.
With that, I hope Jesse deletes any mention of it from the site.. Whoever decided to suggest it might have not meant anything wrong, I say thanks, but no thanks...
29 • Garuda (by Otis on 2022-03-08 12:37:37 GMT from United States)
@20 "..lagfest.." ?? Not on my machines. I got rid of it because it was just not my cup of tea and a bit too tedious in "down tweaking" the beauty for my eyes (I doubt very much that Mr. Kumbhar would come in here and trash Jesse over his critiques and stated observations of his distro). But.. feh.. you're hurt by Jesse's review and by some of the comments in here. Well, you put it out there, bro. I mean, perhaps you feel beyond criticism.. that's a recipe for lifelong anxiety I'd think in the business of crafting distros.
30 • Just a thought.. (by Otis on 2022-03-08 12:49:18 GMT from United States)
...perhaps if we were to summarize Jesse's review of Xero Linux it would be that it seems to be an immature distribution at this point, a state of affairs common in new linux or BSD projects. But that characterization seems accurate given what he experienced with it on his machine, and that seems to also be reflected in the behavior/words of the dev/maintainer of that distro in post @20 here; the immaturity.
31 • Immature ? (by DarkXero on 2022-03-08 13:47:59 GMT from Lebanon)
Yes, I agree with that assumption. It will always be immature... As I build it to satisfy MY needs not the needs of others. In my case the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many..
I was convinced to put it out there, when it went against my better judgement.. I am no dev, never pretended to be one. I just use the tools at my disposal and don't try to reinvent the wheel..
I take all kinds of constructive criticism, but here, it's way more, it's like Jesse went out on a vengeance spree.. He did make some good points, but more often than not he took out his frustrations in BOSS mode..
I admit it, right here n now, MOST other custom distros out there are way more advanced than I will ever be.. But advanced does not always mean better...
Anyway, that's my last reply to this... Use it, or don't, everyone has their preferences, as have I, so I do not mind it.. Just do not compare me to anyone or any other distro.. Just take it as its own entity....
Enjoy or don't... The way that review is written, pushes others not to even test in a VM.. Geez.. My problem isn't that no one will use Xero, it's just the way he wrote the Article..
Oh and Xero is not Zero (0) it's Ksero meaning I know in Greek... XeroLinux translates to I know Linux... Just an FYI...
That said, I will be working on a redesign of the site from ground up, I will explain better what Xero actually is clarifying the matter... So there are no wrong expectations...
Now see ya in another life...
32 • Snarky phrase were better avoided. (by nooneatall on 2022-03-08 18:00:32 GMT from United States)
I think the review fair up to last phrase:
"All of this isn't bad, it's just distracting. XeroLinux is a capable, flexible operating system that keeps demanding my attention and trying to help me in ways than make me want to give it a colouring book and send it to another room so I can work in peace."
I'll guess that "colouring book" just popped into mind and the effect wasn't fully considered. Right after stating that XeroLinux is "capable, flexible" it's a pretty deep stab. -- Especially when compared to distros which Jesse can't even get to boot, yet merely states the fact.
Even worse: "don't be childish" is simply infuriating to person who put in much work -- to make XeroLinux as he likes.
To say the least, snark doesn't promote Linux. No sign yet of softening, either.
33 • package manager (by john on 2022-03-08 18:49:27 GMT from Canada)
As a Slackware user, I voted 'no' on package rollback. But in theory, you can revert updated packages to the old one quite easily. All you need to do is save the original package and subsequent packages installed.
IIRC, upgradepkg(8) will replace the installed packages with whatever package you want. So I can revert to an old package without any issues. Even jumping back a few releases. simple.
So I guess I should have voted 'yes' :)
34 • Xero Linux (by Simon Plaistowe on 2022-03-08 20:26:33 GMT from New Zealand)
Here in New Zealand the Xero accounting system is very popular (https://www.xero.com).
If I were a gambling man, I'd bet that if XeroLinux ever becomes popular, they'll be hearing from Xero's lawyers.
35 • On the creation of a new Linux distribution. (by R. Cain on 2022-03-08 23:39:10 GMT from United States)
There have been almost incalculable volumes written about “the problem” with Linux. And always, “the problem” resolves itself into the “problem” of the absolute myriad of Linux “distros”, because Linux distros are so easy to write. Some people (a lot) even go so far as to propose a sophomoric enforcing of collaboration amongst distro developers, so that not so much “...energy is wasted...” in the inevitable duplication of effort.
There is no “problem” with Linux. The current brouhaha is an example of how easy it is to develop a Linux distro by one person, with one machine, simply because it can be done, and the fact that that person wants to pour considerable energies into such an adventure. Whether or not certain decisions made in the creation of this venture are ill-advised will be sorted out and taken care of by “the marketplace”, whatever “the marketplace” is, in the case of Linux distributions.
Only one thing is certain: if one has ‘thin skin’, and one doesn’t make not only reasonable decisions, but ground-breaking decisions---i.e., if one doesn't have something of *real substance* to add to what already exists in the Linux "distroscape"---in the construction of this, the latest and greatest distro ever, one should direct all those not-inconsiderable energies elsewhere. One's ego will end up considerably less bruised.
36 • Xero review (by noise-or-nous on 2022-03-09 00:22:49 GMT from Canada)
@31 The XeroLinux review seems fair - some good points, some bad - but that's the job of a reviewer. Look on the bright side - a lot of ppl will know about your distro now, and may check it out and offer some improvement suggestions. Don't be like some ppl, who are always upset and make lots-a-noise coz they can never get over some issue in life...
37 • Own distro (by Cheker on 2022-03-09 02:12:45 GMT from Portugal)
So to answer one of the opening questions that got lost in the drama, and I was actually curious to see what the comments would look like this week, yes, I intend to at least try to make my own distro someday, based off of LFS. I will probably not publish it though, as I have no intention of maintaining it afterwards - it will just be a learning experience, one of those things you do once in your life, and then never again.
38 • XeroLinux and rolling back package manager (by Andy Figueroa on 2022-03-09 05:05:01 GMT from United States)
It seems like a shame to waste electrons on a one-man hobby distribution with a web site.
Gentoo's portage package manager can easily roll-back package upgrades by masking the updated package version, on the condition that the older version is still in the repository. Often, older version will have been removed from the repository due to serious bugs and/or security issues. In such cases, the user may need to manage the older package in their own local repository.
Also, in most any distribution packages and their versions often do not exist in a vacuum. The upgraded package may have dragged along with it some or even numerous dependencies, so a roll-back may require reversion of more than just the package in question.
With regard to Guix, stating, " I think it's also possible to revert changes with Guix" is the equivalent for "I don't know" and not especially helpful. I mean that as constructive criticism.
39 • Xero ambivalence (by Justme on 2022-03-09 08:49:26 GMT from United States)
Time on my hands and thinking of changing distros, so I gave XeroLinux a try. No problem installing, although with a few more choices than needed. I dislike Vivaldi, so I chose the "browsers" option and ended up with every browser known to man, along with Vivaldi. But it booted and ran fine on VBox.
I understand Jesse's frustration with a desktop that behaves like a kid shouting "Look at me daddy!" while one is trying to do something, but that is easily remedied. A few clicks in Settings stops the jumping, wobbling windows, and a few more clicks on the dock's configuration tames the zooming icons on the dock. Then you are left with a pleasant and very good-looking desktop, set up just like I would set up my own KDE. The translucency seemed fine to me, though they might not be everyone's choice. That's also easily remedied..
But there's this: I downloaded and installed ArcoLinuxB KDE, moved the panel to the top, installed latte-dock, the Layan global theme and the Tela circle icons. After adjusting the translucency effects, I ended up with an almost similar desktop, minus the Kvantum style applications and of course the jumping, wobbling windows. Maybe one hour of my time, but hey! I'm retired. But do these modifications call for a new, separate distro?
40 • Package Managers (by penguinx86 on 2022-03-09 10:46:01 GMT from United States)
I never thought about reverting updates for a package. I am a diehard Synaptic user. If a package has a problem, I simply uninstall it and reinstall it. For stuff that isn't in the repository, I use dpkg occasionally. I'm not sure if stuff installed with dpkg ever gets updates. I don't use apt very much, unless it's some oddball package and there's no other way to install it. I played around with dnf and rpm, but I'm not a big fan of them. They seem more complicated to use than synaptic and dpkg. The only reason I tried dnf and rpm was to study for the LPIC-1 certification exam. Worst case if a package gets totally hosed, I simply reinstall the OS and start over.
41 • personalizing distros (by Otis on 2022-03-09 14:45:44 GMT from United States)
@39 yep I am of the ilk that no matter the distro's stated mission it ends up looking like all the others I've tried. If my screen had a voice it would probably say, "why do you change distros at all, every one of them ends up with a transparent bar at the bottom, no icons on the desktop, your same favorite wallpaper you've been using for decades, a dark theme, roll up instead of maximize when double-clicking the title bar, etc etc and all the same bookmarks in the same browser, Firefox, whether it's Suse, Garuda, GhostBSD, MX, Manjaro, or yes even Windows, you give me the same look and functions.. why are you changing distros?"
Welllllll..... It's fun. And yes, I do fall for the spiel the distros homepages put out there as to its "complete, elegant system out of the box" etc.. Plus, yeah I perceive some sort of ... difference from distro to distro but not much when you get down to it, really...and if what I want to do becomes too much of a chore I happily with an evil grin destroy it and cover it with another one... and along comes ... ???? Linux or BSD.
42 • personalizing distros (by marcos on 2022-03-09 15:09:34 GMT from Brazil)
@41 Otis: "...and if what I want to do becomes too much of a chore I happily with an evil grin destroy it and cover it with another one..."
Bingo, that's it. My primary question: How much work?
But I am less immutable...bookmarks & aliases, yes, but I like some little new decoration, if it is dark of course...
43 • Morphable OS (by Friar Tux on 2022-03-09 16:48:29 GMT from Canada)
@41 (Otis) Here, here!! I became to that same realization a few years ago. So much so that I rarely switch distros anymore. I use one, with a DE, that is easily morphable (as you may already know - Linux Mint/Cinnamon). Now, if I like something in a particular distro and/or DE, I simply recreate it in Mint. So, at the moment, I have a pretty awesome operating system, both visually and practically.
44 • @38 "one-man hobby" (by nooneatall on 2022-03-09 17:29:46 GMT from United States)
"It seems like a shame to waste electrons on a one-man hobby distribution with a web site."
Hmm. I dimly recall some other little hobbyist had something to do with Linux way back... What was the name? I'm sure starts with "Lin..." (opens dictionary to stir memory) Lincoln, Abraham? Lind, Jenny? Linnaeus, Carolus? ... Ah. Linzer torte is oddly close... Oh, right. Linus Torvald! You should look up on Wikipedia before disparaging a "one-man hobby".
If you were attempting sarcasm, doesn't read to me that way, given the other put-downs of XeroDark above. His efforts don't cost you or me any precious "electrons", and again, unlike many, his distro works, and snark DOES NOT HELP Linux.
45 • Xeros review (by Andy Prough on 2022-03-09 19:46:49 GMT from United States)
I thought the review was positive overall, mainly just a few criticisms of looks and desktop effects, but overall sounds like Xeros worked fine and achieved its mission. That's not a bad start, this distro could have a promising future.
I agree with @32, the "coloring book" comment was probably a bit of unnecesarry snark. But overall I don't see anything in the review that would drive away the distro's target audience, which describes itself on its homepage as "an eyecandy lover's wet dream". That kind of user probably won't be offended by the "coloring book" comment at all - might be a bit of a popularity driver for Xeros in fact.
46 • Xeros (by archie on 2022-03-09 22:47:56 GMT from New Zealand)
@44 - a good point. "Just a little hobby project.." now practically runs the world.
And good on the one-man for tackling the creation of his own distro. It is beyond what I would attempt.
In fact, if you are a Linux developer / contributor, please take a moment to receive some love and thanks. Like right now. Thank you.
47 • XeroLinux (by Danny on 2022-03-09 23:18:43 GMT from United States)
Well, I've been running it for 4 or 5 months I guess. I've had a few issues (yes, the maintainer is learning, and I have reported packaging issues like last week), but I know my way around and had no problems.
When Xero appeared on the waiting list, I posted a comment saying 'Don't call it a distro, it's just a desktop design on top of ArcoLinux', but...here we go :)
I appreciate his efforts and I personally like this zing better than the Garuda one, which frankly makes me nervous (all those hot colors).
I also see the comment (and understand it) that many people always end up with the same desktop setup. I umm, truly do want to see something different, I thrive on differences (and lack any artistic talent of my own).
48 • Xero vs Garuda (by Justme on 2022-03-10 02:34:05 GMT from United States)
@41, @42, I may not have been clear. I like the look of the Xero desktop, and it's already set up much the way I would do it. I don't always end up with the same desktop look and wallpaper. I often change DEs, themes, icons, etc, although I tend to stay with dark themes. I do end up with a configuration that makes it easy for the way I prefer to work, but dull it is not. My point is that if I can recreate the Xero desktop look in a short time by installing stuff readily available in the repos, and since looks is Xero's reason for being, is it really a distro, or as @47 says, "just a desktop design"?
Garuda has been mentioned several times, and that's quite different. Admittedly, the "Dragonized" editions are flamboyant. Unfortunately that's all most people see. But Garuda is much more than that. They offer good, buttoned-down, pre-configured editions with anything from Gnome to i3, BSP, Sway, Wayfire, and even a barebones KDE. That's a whole lot more than just a desktop look.
49 • Xero (Linux, not the accounting system) vs Garuda (by Otis on 2022-03-10 14:21:28 GMT from United States)
@48 thank you for bringing that out about the differences. Huge.. Garuda being a robust suite of choices beyond mere looks, as you say, while Xero (not pronounced "zero" as the maintainer says, but ... still... well, anyway..) is as explained in Jesse's review.
50 • Pamac & snap & flatpak (by gicu on 2022-03-10 16:55:39 GMT from Moldova)
Pamac supports both flatpak & snap
you just need to install:
> sudo pamac install libpamac-snap-plugin libpamac-flatpak-plugin
> sudo pacman -Syu libpamac-snap-plugin libpamac-flatpak-plugin
and then in pamac GUI settings to enable both,
and you will be able to install snaps & flatpaks from pamac UI
pamac also supports aur, usually aur plugin is installed alongside pamac
51 • xero ksero (by what's in a name? on 2022-03-10 22:47:10 GMT from Canada)
@34 "if XeroLinux ever becomes popular, they'll be hearing from Xero's lawyers"
Yep, just like Lindows, OpenBeOS, LinuxFX win-like theme, SCO & ReactOS code controversies, etc. Some in the open source community do like to cause unnecessary trouble for themselves. Oh well, k-sero-sero...
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|• Issue 1029 (2023-07-24): Running Murena on the Fairphone 4, Flatpak vs Snap sandboxing technologies, Redox OS plans to borrow Linux drivers to expand hardware support, Debian updates Bookworm media|
|• Issue 1028 (2023-07-17): KDE Connect; Oracle, SUSE, and AlmaLinux repsond to Red Hat's source code policy change, KaOS issues media fix, Slackware turns 30; security and immutable distributions|
|• Issue 1027 (2023-07-10): Crystal Linux 2023-03-16, StartOS (embassyOS 0.3.4.2), changing options on a mounted filesystem, Murena launches Fairphone 4 in North America, Fedora debates telemetry for desktop team|
|• Issue 1026 (2023-07-03): Kumander Linux 1.0, Red Hat changing its approach to sharing source code, TrueNAS offers SMB Multichannel, Zorin OS introduces upgrade utility|
|• Issue 1025 (2023-06-26): KaOS with Plasma 6, information which can leak from desktop environments, Red Hat closes door on sharing RHEL source code, SUSE introduces new security features|
|• Issue 1024 (2023-06-19): Debian 12, a safer way to use dd, Debian releases GNU/Hurd 2023, Ubuntu 22.10 nears its end of life, FreeBSD turns 30|
|• Issue 1023 (2023-06-12): openSUSE 15.5 Leap, the differences between independent distributions, openSUSE lengthens Leap life, Murena offers new phone for North America|
|• Issue 1022 (2023-06-05): GetFreeOS 2023.05.01, Slint 15.0-3, Liya N4Si, cleaning up crowded directories, Ubuntu plans Snap-based variant, Red Hat dropping LireOffice RPM packages|
|• Issue 1021 (2023-05-29): rlxos GNU/Linux, colours in command line output, an overview of Void's unique features, how to use awk, Microsoft publishes a Linux distro|
|• Issue 1020 (2023-05-22): UBports 20.04, finding another machine's IP address, finding distros with a specific kernel, Debian prepares for Bookworm|
|• Issue 1019 (2023-05-15): Rhino Linux (Beta), checking which applications reply on a package, NethServer reborn, System76 improving application responsiveness|
|• Issue 1018 (2023-05-08): Fedora 38, finding relevant manual pages, merging audio files, Fedora plans new immutable edition, Mint works to fix Secure Boot issues|
|• Issue 1017 (2023-05-01): Xubuntu 23.04, Debian elects Project Leaders and updates media, systemd to speed up restarts, Guix System offering ground-up source builds, where package managers install files|
|• Issue 1016 (2023-04-24): Qubes OS 4.1.2, tracking bandwidth usage, Solus resuming development, FreeBSD publishes status report, KaOS offers preview of Plasma 6|
|• Issue 1015 (2023-04-17): Manjaro Linux 22.0, Trisquel GNU/Linux 11.0, Arch Linux powering PINE64 tablets, Ubuntu offering live patching on HWE kernels, gaining compression on ex4|
|• Issue 1014 (2023-04-10): Quick looks at carbonOS, LibreELEC, and Kodi, Mint polishes themes, Fedora rolls out more encryption plans, elementary OS improves sideloading experience|
|• Issue 1013 (2023-04-03): Alpine Linux 3.17.2, printing manual pages, Ubuntu Cinnamon becomes official flavour, Endeavour OS plans for new installer, HardenedBSD plans for outage|
|• Issue 1012 (2023-03-27): siduction 22.1.1, protecting privacy from proprietary applications, GNOME team shares new features, Canonical updates Ubuntu 20.04, politics and the Linux kernel|
|• Issue 1011 (2023-03-20): Serpent OS, Security Onion 2.3, Gentoo Live, replacing the scp utility, openSUSE sees surge in downloads, Debian runs elction with one candidate|
|• Issue 1010 (2023-03-13): blendOS 2023.01.26, keeping track of which files a package installs, improved network widget coming to elementary OS, Vanilla OS changes its base distro|
|• Issue 1009 (2023-03-06): Nemo Mobile and the PinePhone, matching the performance of one distro on another, Linux Mint adds performance boosts and security, custom Ubuntu and Debian builds through Cubic|
|• Issue 1008 (2023-02-27): elementary OS 7.0, the benefits of boot environments, Purism offers lapdock for Librem 5, Ubuntu community flavours directed to drop Flatpak support for Snap|
|• Issue 1007 (2023-02-20): helloSystem 0.8.0, underrated distributions, Solus team working to repair their website, SUSE testing Micro edition, Canonical publishes real-time edition of Ubuntu 22.04|
|• Issue 1006 (2023-02-13): Playing music with UBports on a PinePhone, quick command line and shell scripting questions, Fedora expands third-party software support, Vanilla OS adds Nix package support|
|• Issue 1005 (2023-02-06): NuTyX 22.12.0 running CDE, user identification numbers, Pop!_OS shares COSMIC progress, Mint makes keyboard and mouse options more accessible|
|• Issue 1004 (2023-01-30): OpenMandriva ROME, checking the health of a disk, Debian adopting OpenSnitch, FreeBSD publishes status report|
|• Issue 1003 (2023-01-23): risiOS 37, mixing package types, Fedora seeks installer feedback, Sparky offers easier persistence with USB writer|
|• Issue 1002 (2023-01-16): Vanilla OS 22.10, Nobara Project 37, verifying torrent downloads, Haiku improvements, HAMMER2 being ports to NetBSD|
|• Issue 1001 (2023-01-09): Arch Linux, Ubuntu tests new system installer, porting KDE software to OpenBSD, verifying files copied properly|
|• Issue 1000 (2023-01-02): Our favourite projects of all time, Fedora trying out unified kernel images and trying to speed up shutdowns, Slackware tests new kernel, detecting what is taking up disk space|
|• Issue 999 (2022-12-19): Favourite distributions of 2022, Fedora plans Budgie spin, UBports releasing security patches for 16.04, Haiku working on new ports|
|• Issue 998 (2022-12-12): OpenBSD 7.2, Asahi Linux enages video hardware acceleration on Apple ARM computers, Manjaro drops proprietary codecs from Mesa package|
|• Issue 997 (2022-12-05): CachyOS 221023 and AgarimOS, working with filenames which contain special characters, elementary OS team fixes delta updates, new features coming to Xfce|
|• Issue 996 (2022-11-28): Void 20221001, remotely shutting down a machine, complex aliases, Fedora tests new web-based installer, Refox OS running on real hardware|
|• Issue 995 (2022-11-21): Fedora 37, swap files vs swap partitions, Unity running on Arch, UBports seeks testers, Murena adds support for more devices|
|• Issue 994 (2022-11-14): Redcore Linux 2201, changing the terminal font size, Fedora plans Phosh spin, openSUSE publishes on-line manual pages, disabling Snap auto-updates|
|• Issue 993 (2022-11-07): Static Linux, working with just a kernel, Mint streamlines Flatpak management, updates coming to elementary OS|
|• Issue 992 (2022-10-31): Lubuntu 22.10, setting permissions on home directories, Linux may drop i486, Fedora delays next version for OpenSSL bug|
|• Issue 991 (2022-10-24): XeroLinux 2022.09, learning who ran sudo, exploring firewall tools, Rolling Rhino Remix gets a fresh start, Fedora plans to revamp live media|
|• Issue 990 (2022-10-17): ravynOS 0.4.0, Lion Linux 3.0, accessing low numbered network ports, Pop!_OS makes progress on COSMIC, Murena launches new phone|
|• Issue 989 (2022-10-10): Ubuntu Unity, kernel bug causes issues with Intel cards, Canonical offers free Ubuntu Pro subscriptions, customizing the command line prompt|
|• Issue 988 (2022-10-03): SpiralLinux 11.220628, finding distros for older equipment and other purposes, SUSE begins releasing ALP prototypes, Debian votes on non-free firmware in installer|
|• Issue 987 (2022-09-26): openSUSE's MicroOS, converting people to using Linux, pfSense updates base system and PHP, Python 2 dropped from Arch|
|• Issue 986 (2022-09-19): Porteus 5.0, remotely wiping a hard drive, a new software centre for Ubuntu, Proxmox offers offline updates|
|• Full list of all issues|
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kmLinux was a German Linux distribution intended for schools and other educational establishments. It was based on SUSE LINUX and was developed by the Association for Free Software and Education for the school authority of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
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Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the highly anticipated StarFighter. Available with coreboot open-source firmware and a choice of Ubuntu, elementary, Manjaro and more. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.