| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 974, 27 June 2022
Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Computer systems, especially complex computer systems, are constantly being improved. Software is steadily being developed to improve performance, include more features, or address flaws. This week, in our News section, we talk about two projects quickly addressing problems. The GhostBSD project published a fix for its live media while the Tails project quickly rolled out a fix for a problem in the Tor anonymity software. Also in our News section we report on the UBports project improving its ports, particularly the operating system's port to the Pixel 3a phone. We have details on how UBports runs on the Pixel 3a below. First though we dive into AlmaLinux OS. Jesse Smith recently took this clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux for a test drive and he reports on his findings in our Feature Story. Do you run Red Hat Enterprise Linux or one of its many clones? Let us know in this week's Opinion Poll. A few issues ago, people raised questions in the comments section about how information in the DistroWatch database changes over time and we address these questions below in our Questions and Answers column. 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!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
AlmaLinux OS 9.0
This week I wanted to take a moment to talk about Red Hat's new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.0. Hidden among the buzz words and marketing hype ("Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 is designed to drive enterprise transformation in parallel with evolving market forces and customer demands in an automated and distributed IT world,") there were a few key elements which caught my attention. For instance, this is the first version of RHEL which was built from CentOS Stream and I was curious to see if there were any benefits or drawbacks to the new development flow.
This release also introduces integrity measurement architecture (IMA) which helps administrators verify files have not been tampered or corrupted. System roles at install time have been expanded and I'll touch on those later. The web console, called Cockpit, can been improved upon and now includes the ability to live patch the kernel of a running system.
Originally I was going to download and test RHEL 9.0 itself, but the combination of digging through the Red Hat website looking for the proper download and the hassle of registering a fresh install was unappealing. Since AlmaLinux OS 9.0, a 1:1 compatible clone, was released within eight days of Red Hat's upstream offering I decided to just take AlmaLinux for a spin since the project doesn't put up any barriers to downloading and installing its distribution.
AlmaLinux is available for four main architectures (x86_64, aarch64, ppc64le, and s390x). These are presented in three editions of various sizes: Boot (763MB), Minimal (1.4GB), and DVD (7.6GB). Apart from the number of packages on the media there doesn't appear to be any serious difference between one edition and another. According to the AlmaLinux release announcement there are also live desktop editions for GNOME, GNOME Mini, Xfce, and KDE. These range from 1.4GB for GNOME Mini and 1.6GB for Xfce to 2.0GB for KDE and GNOME. Upon closer examination these live ISOs turned out to be for versions 8.5 and 8.6 of AlmaLinux, not 9.0. There does not appear to be any live media for version 9.0.
Further expanding the range of download options, there are images for cloud services including Amazon, Azure, Google, and Open Nebula. There are Docker images and, Raspberry Pi disk images. The Raspberry Pi images, like the live desktop images, are still built for AlmaLinux OS 8.6 at the time of writing. It feels confusing to have an announcement that talks about editions as if they were up to date and available for version 9.0 when they are for the older 8.x series. I'm not sure why the Pi and live editions were mentioned at all in the 9.0 release announcement.
Further on the subject of downloads, I ran into another problem when I tried to download AlmaLinux using the project's official torrent. All three editions of the ISO are included in the torrent. Two of the three editions would download along with their manifest file, but one manifest file and the checksum file were missing from the torrent and the torrent got stuck at 99.9% finished. Even after two days that last 0.1% was never provided. Seems the seed mirrors might be missing a few files as, even a week after release, I couldn't get the AlmaLinux torrent to finish downloading. So much for my idea of AlmaLinux not having any barriers to downloading and trying the distribution.
I eventually decided to download the DVD edition of the x86_64 build. The project describes its new release as follows:
AlmaLinux OS 9.0 is based on upstream kernel version 5.14 and contains enhancements around cloud and container development and improvements to the web console (Cockpit). This release also delivers enhancements for security and compliance, including additional security profiles, greatly improved SELinux performance and user authentication logs. Other various updates include Python 3.9, GCC 11 and the latest versions of LLVM, Rust and Go compilers to make modernizing the applications faster and easier. You can read more about it by checking out the release notes.
The DVD edition of AlmaLinux boots directly into the graphical Anaconda installer. The install process is similar to Fedora's but with more options. Particularly there is a module in the installer for selecting a role. Roles determine which packages will be installed and roles include: Server with GUI, Server, Minimal, Workstation, Custom, and Virtualization Host. On top of a selected role we can select specific groups of additional software too. These include things like network shares, a web server, remote management tools, GUI tools, development tools, container management, and an e-mail service.
There are other installer modules, apart from the role selection. These include toggles for enabling kdump and enabling security roles. It looks like GNOME is the only available desktop environment. Choosing to install a graphical set of packages installs GNOME 40.
Anaconda offers us custom or guided desk partitioning. The guided option sets up three partitions: root, /boot, and swap. These are set up on an LVM volume and the root partition uses XFS as its filesystem.
The installer copies its files, tells us the location of the distribution's license agreement, and then offers to reboot the system. The Anaconda installer is a little more disjointed and slower than other graphical installers I typically use, but it got the job done.
The first time the system boots it brings up a first-run graphical wizard. This application offers to enable location services and link us with on-line accounts (Google, Microsoft, and Nextcloud are supported). We are then asked to make up a username and password for our regular user. We are then presented with the GNOME 40 desktop.
The graphical login screen for AlmaLinux is pretty straight forward. Once we select which account we want to use we can select a session option. There are several choices, including GNOME (on Wayland), GNOME Classic (apparently also on Wayland), and then X11 sessions for both GNOME Shell and GNOME Classic.
AlmaLinux OS 9.0 -- Browsing available applications
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I tried the default GNOME on Wayland session first. It functioned, but it was relatively slow to respond and I kept running into a bug where the mouse pointer wouldn't click on the same part of the screen where the pointer was displayed. This resulted in several situations where I'd move the mouse over a text box or button, the element would highlight, but when I clicked a different control (usually about an inch away) would be activated. When I switched to the GNOME on X11 session the desktop's responsiveness improved and the bug with the mouse pointer was fixed.
GNOME is presented with a thin panel at the top of the screen. This holds the Activities button, notification area, and system tray. When the Activities area is opened a dock appears at the bottom of the screen with the application menu and launchers for commonly used programs. This is an awkward design as it means to browse the application menu for a program we want we end up moving the mouse to the upper-left corner to hit Activities, then to the bottom-right to open the application menu, then to the upper-centre to click a launcher. There are ways around this with shortcuts or a combination of the mouse and keyboard, but it's a weird setup and much more suited for touch screens than keyboard & mouse environments. It also bothered me that the Activities screen will open if the mouse moves to the upper-left corner of the display, whether we click on the button or not. This can be jarring if we didn't mean to open the overview.
As others have pointed out, it feels weird to use a desktop without minimize buttons or a normal task switcher. I often feel like GNOME is trying to hide my work from me when I'm switching between tasks and I never quite get used to it.
The distribution is set up to automatically check for updates and, when new packages become available, we will be told through the notification centre. We can visit the software centre to install updates. However, AlmaLinux also enables automatic updates by default. This means new packages are downloaded and applied without user intervention. I discovered this the first time I restarted the computer. During the restart process a display opened to tell me updates were being applied to the system and I should not turn off my computer. Then the system restarted. This made for a relatively long update process and a jarring one which put a pause in my workflow. I don't mind automatic updates so much, but forcing the user into a pause and reboot cycle feels like the worst parts of the Windows experience and is something I don't encounter with any other Linux distribution. It feels like a big, unnecessary step backwards and I soon disabled the auto-update feature from the software centre's preferences panel.
I tested AlmaLinux on my workstation and in VirtualBox. When running on the workstation all my hardware was detected. I had no problems getting connected to the network through my wireless card, video performance was average, and the system was stable.
When I was testing the distribution in VirtualBox there were a few drawbacks. The main one was that AlmaLinux would not integrate with the host environment. In other words, the VirtualBox window would capture and hold the mouse pointer and the guest desktop would not dynamically resize with the VirtualBox window. I could adjust the guest desktop resolution through the settings panel.
AlmaLinux OS 9.0 -- The settings panel
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The distribution consumed about 825MB of memory when signed into GNOME. This is more memory than most distributions use, though not unusual for systems running GNOME. My fresh install took up about 4GB of disk space, plus a swap partition. This disk usage statistic probably won't be representative of other installs though. At install time we can pick a role and additional software to install with a role, which will cause disk usage to vary quite a lot. I was using a Server with GUI role (which was the default), plus a few system utilities and a web service, and Cockpit, making my system probably a bit heavier on disk than average.
Along with GNOME 40, AlmaLinux ships with a fairly minimal collection of software. We're given the Firefox web browser, the Cheese web cam utility, a text editor, calculator, and document viewer. The GNOME Files file manager is installed along with the Totem video player. GNOME Software handles finding and installing software and I'll talk more about this utility later. The distribution ships with manual pages, the GNU command line utilities, and systemd init software. The whole system runs on version 5.14 of the Linux kernel.
The Totem media player cannot play videos and it was unable to play my MP3 files. Trying to play a video caused an error to appear letting me know Totem was missing codecs and it offered to launch GNOME Software to find them. Since the codecs aren't in the default repositories this search fails. I added the RPMFusion add-on repositories and tried playing a video again. This time, when Totem failed to play the video and launched Software, the software centre reported the necessary codec had been found and was already installed. This is, of course, not accurate. I then installed all available gstreamer plugins and tried again, and was once more told by Totem the codec was missing, but told by Software it was installed.
AlmaLinux OS 9.0 -- Trying to install media codecs
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This loop of misery continued until I gave up on Totem and enabled the Flathub repository for Flatpaks. (The Flatpak framework is installed on AlmaLinux by default, though no repositories are set up for us.) I then installed the VLC player from Flathub. This allowed videos and audio files to play, but VLC was unable to produce any sound. I was more interested in the capabilities of AlmaLinux as a server so I decided to give up on multimedia support and moved on to other things.
Earlier I mentioned GNOME Software which does a decent job of being a software manager. This utility can handle working with both RPM packages and Flatpak software. The software centre also handles package updates and can be used to manage whether we see notifications about software updates. As mentioned earlier, GNOME Software can toggle automatic updates on and off.
On the whole, Software worked passably well for me. Despite the issues with the missing/installed codecs and the default setting enabling automatic updates, the software centre mostly did a good job.
We can also manage packages from the command line using the DNF package manager and the Flatpak command line utility. I find DNF to be unusually slow compared to other package managers, but it worked without any errors the handful of times I used it.
Cockpit and server software
One of the elements of AlmaLinux I was most interested in was Cockpit. This service, which was installed by default, was not enabled out of the box. I checked the AlmaLinux documentation and could find no mention of the web-based service in the project's wiki. I checked the upstream project's documentation which provided some key information like the admin portal's default network port, but not how to enable it. This is covered in the Red Hat documentation. I was able to enable the service by using systemctl on the command line.
AlmaLinux OS 9.0 -- Accessing the Cockpit portal
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We can sign into Cockpit, once the service is running, using our regular user account's name and password. Cockpit begins by showing us a dashboard of the server's resource usage.
When accessing Cockpit the software's web portal shows categories of controls down the left side of the screen and, over on the right, we can see specific items we can control. The layout is fairly clean and the interface is responsive. Using Cockpit we can view and control background services, create and manage user accounts, apply updates and toggle automatic updates. We can also manage containers. The whole environment feels pleasantly straight forward and well organized.
I used Cockpit to create a new user, remove some unnecessary services, and enable the Apache web server. With a few clicks I had a basic web service up and running.
Looking back on my experiences with AlmaLinux, there was such a lot of ground covered in under a week and with such varied results. Getting started was a painful experience. The release announcement for AlmaLinux OS 9.0 talks about multiple editions which do not (at the time of writing) exist, cutting off avenues of testing live media and running the distribution on Raspberry Pi computers. The torrent I tried to download was incomplete and there are some key pieces of documentation missing that I had to find upstream. To make matters worse, Anaconda is one of the least friendly graphical installers I have used in recent years with awkwardly placed controls and overly complicated screens.
Once I was up and running, there were several problems on the desktop side of things. GNOME on Wayland is relatively slow and had some problems compared to the GNOME on X11 session, automatic updates are slow and interrupt the flow of using the system. It feels like a functional step backwards to be using a Windows-like update system which is less convenient than virtually any other Linux distribution of the past two decades. To top it off, I couldn't get the Totem player to play videos (despite the software centre claiming I had the proper codecs) and VLC wouldn't play sound, though it works fine on other distributions on the same hardware.
I'm sure some people will write to me to point out AlmaLinux is not primarily intended to be used as a workstation platform, its main duty is as a server distribution. I agree with this idea, but the project claims (inaccurately, it seems) to offer live desktop editions of AlmaLinux and the system installer has multiple workstation and "Server with GUI" roles we can select. Running as a desktop system might not be the distribution's primary role, but it is one which is advertised and encouraged. Running GNOME is even the default role selected by Anaconda, so it would be foolish to overlook how the distribution functions in this, its default role.
On the server side of things, AlmaLinux performed better. Despite some missing documentation I had to hunt down elsewhere, it was fairly easy to get Cockpit up and running. From there, it's also pretty easy to set up containers, printing, and network services. I've said before that I like Cockpit and the positive experience continued with this review.
The two main selling points of AlmaLinux are its long-term support (of around ten years) and its stability. While I haven't used AlmaLinux long enough in this trial to properly comment on its stability, I will say that I encountered no problems in this area. Ideally, we should be able to "set and forget" AlmaLinux, and just let it run day after day and year after year. That's the appeal of AlmaLinux and, apart from the nifty Cockpit utility, it's one of the few appeals. The distribution feels awkward, slow, heavy, and the workstation side of things feels incomplete at best. The server side is a lot more promising, in terms of stability and administration tools. But it doesn't seem to offer much over other server-oriented distributions, apart from the length of its support cycle.
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Visitor supplied rating
AlmaLinux OS has a visitor supplied average rating of: 7.9/10 from 59 review(s).
Have you used AlmaLinux OS? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
GhostBSD and Tails issue hot fixes, UBports makes progress on the Pixel 3a
The GhostBSD project released a new snapshot last week which carried the version number 22.06.15. A problem was found with the operating system's live media which has resulted in a hot fix being published and the live media being replaced. The new version is labelled 22.06.18. "The last change to automount was untested, and the live ISO was [automounting] all internal drives and caused serious partitioning issues and installation problems. I am sorry to everyone who tried to install GhostBSD and had issues."
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The Tails project also published a quick fix this week, uploading new media (Tails 5.1.1) to address a problem with the Tor software. "This release fixes a high severity security issue in Tor, that affects performance and possibly anonymity." Details on the vulnerability have not been published as the Tor project is waiting for distributions to update their packages. However, the issue can cause denial-of-service or even loss of anonymity.
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The UBports team have published a new Q&A column in which they talk about development work going into various parts of the project. Of special note: the Pixel 3a phone now has much improved compatibility. "Starting with what is happening with the existing 16.04 based version of UT, Alfred was very pleased to announce the first port of Halium for a device which achieves 100% feature coverage! The device is of course the Pixel 3a, which Alfred has been working on for a long time. Since device development is continuous, this covers a greater number of features than were present when Canonical presented UT phones with a full feature set. The device initialization is much improved on previous devices. It uses UDEV in Java keyboard. It is using only one partition and does not run an initramfs like other devices. There are no audio issues now when the device goes into sleep mode, so you can listen to music in the background without it cutting out." These changes along with other updates on the mobile operating system's progress can be found in the project's blog post.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
The evolving data of DistroWatch
A few weeks ago we received some interesting questions in the comments section about DistroWatch data, users, and our database trends. Here are the queries and our responses.
Watching-for-types asks: I can't help but wonder what Ladislav thinks the future holds. This site is still just as valuable as the heady days when he hatched it, but the world has changed a lot. The names/particulars change, but for, say, the top 25 on the hits-per-day list, it seems this pattern of "types" of distros has held more or less steady. When you guys look at your own site data, are you seeing any noteworthy differences?
Jesse answers: I can't speak for Ladislav, but I can chime in with my own thoughts.
Off the top of my head one of the biggest changes I have noticed in the last 15 years is the rise of rolling releases. When I started with Linux (back in the 90s) a rolling release would be almost impossible. The barrier was due to bandwidth limits and many distros not having modern package management. New distro versions came on physical CDs often times and mostly just got security updates.
Now rolling releases are common and bandwidth is relatively plentiful. It is common to download whole DVDs of data and then upgrade almost every package every month.
Rolling releases - particularly easy to set up rolling releases like EndeavourOS, Manjaro Linux, and openSUSE Tumbleweed - are quite popular these days and would have been nearly impossible to maintain (as a developer) and run (as an end user) when I got started with Linux.
As for what the future holds, my crystal ball is cloudy. My guess is we're going to see more distributions set up with minimal, read-only bases with portable packages (or containers) running on top of the fixed base. Something similar to Android, Fedora's Silverblue, and openSUSE's Transactional Server. In the next ten years I think a lot of distributions, or at least the commercially backed ones, will use a minimal, immutable base and run almost all applications in portable sandboxes or containers.
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Where-are-we asks: Not sure it's answerable, but I was wondering about geographical/location changes in interest. Secondly, I was wondering if the interest in types of data reflected anything you might conclude about shifts in visitor interests. Are we all just the same people that keep coming back (and did we learn to ask different questions of DW)?
Jesse answers: If I understand correctly, the first part of this question is asking where our readers are located. And if the concentration of where users are located has changed over the years. I can't really answer that as we don't do much in the way of logging or tracking users. We don't have any sign-in sections of the website and we don't keep long-term data or lookup geolocation of users, beyond taking a guess at the location of an IP address for the comments section.
I will say though that, in the past few years, VPN services have become much more popular. It used to be that I'd sometimes be browsing through logs and recognize blocks of addresses from Canada or the USA or Germany. At the time I could be pretty sure that was really where the visitor was located. Now, regardless of where the IP address appears to be from, there is a good chance the visitor is behind a VPN or proxy.
The second part of this query asked about visitor interests and this question I do have a more solid answer for. When I got started with DistroWatch most of the questions I received were of a technical, often low-level nature. People tended to ask me:
Over the past five or six years many of the questions I have received in my inbox are directed not at solving technical problems or finding things, rather they are from people who want to avoid things. The common queries I get now are:
A lot of the questions I get these days are from people looking to avoid distributions from specific countries, with ties to certain agencies, or that are associated with companies. People want to avoid software that phones home or spreads outside its original scope. People are more keen on avoiding Snap, closed source blobs, and spyware. People these days seem less focused on getting their computers to work and are more worried about their computers being used to work against them.
- Which distributions do not ship with systemd?
- How can I know which distributions will spy on me?
- How do I find a good distro that doesn't contain proprietary blobs?
- How do I detect and avoid distributions which phone home?
- Can I search for distributions which are not backed by commercial interests?
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Historically-speaking asks: It would be interesting to see the DB summary graphed over time (1/5/10 years?) and see what trends might be picked up from the data.
Jesse answers: I like the way you think! I did a dive into the stats for the past dozen-plus years (June 2010 to June 2022) and graphed the summary numbers for our database. The Y-axis shows the number of projects in a given category while the X-axis displays the number of weeks since June 2010. You can click the image below to see a higher resolution version.
Summary of DistroWatch database stats 2010-2022
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It's probably not at all surprising that the number of Discontinued distributions (projects which are no longer maintained and do not have websites) has grown steadily. Most projects eventually die off and very few are resurrected, causing the pile of abandoned projects to slowly grow over time from 289 to 611.
The number of Active projects has stayed roughly static over the past dozen years. This is mostly due to a natural flow of the ecosystem and partly by design. In any given year we might receive notes of 30 to 50 new distributions which get added to our waiting list. Most of those do not survive their first full year. Generally around 5 to 10 new projects take root and prosper, surviving multiple years. Most of these get added to our database. However, at the same time, around 10 old projects will fade out of existence. A sort of natural balance seems to be maintained with around 300 projects surviving.
While this is mostly a natural flow, I find 300 is a comfortable number of projects to track and cover with news headlines and announcements. When the number of Active projects grows over 300 I have occasionally slowed the number of new projects moving in from the waiting list until a few Active projects became Dormant. Then I've "caught up", adding more projects from the waiting list once the number of Active projects has dropped again. I don't apply this approach often, maybe two or three times over the past decade, but it helps keep the amount of work required to keep up with Active projects manageable. This adjustment to the rate of projects being added to the database doesn't affect which projects get added to our database, just when they get added.
The number of Dormant projects has consistently stayed in the range of 50 and I believe this is also a reflection of the natural flow of the ecosystem. We define Dormant projects as those which are not publishing new stable releases in a set period of time. This means most projects which enter the Dormant category are usually transitioning through limbo. Either they die off in another year or two, or they publish a new stable release and get marked as Active again.
The Waiting category summary has the most variety. This is the odd category in the bunch because it's the one which reflects my work pattern as much as what is happening in the Linux community. New projects are regularly added to our waiting list, as I mentioned before we average around 30 to 50 new projects per year. However, projects only get removed from the waiting list - either due to inactivity or to be added as an Active distribution - when I find spare time to browse the list.
This is why you'll see the Waiting list summary climb slowly for a few months, then suddenly drop. Then slowly climb again and drop once more. The drops are me cleaning up the list, removing dead projects or adding promising ones to the main database.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
KaOS is an independent, rolling release distribution which focuses on providing a polished KDE/Qt desktop environment and associated applications. The project's latest snapshot is KaOS 22.06 which ships with KDE Plasma 5.25 and an updated Calamares system installer. "Calamares now uses the 3.3 branch. There are no releases with it yet, but it comes with enough improvements that it is a better fit for KaOS. The integration with KPMCore has improved, LUKS support is more robust and there is now an option to not encrypt the boot partition when encryption is chosen for the install. Some GUI improvements have been implemented too. But for most, the biggest news for this release will be Plasma 5.25. KDE Plasma 5.25 redesigns and enhances how you navigate between windows and workspaces. The Overview effect shows all of your open windows and virtual desktops. Gestures on touchpads and touchscreens put Plasma at your fingertips. The dominant colour of your background picture can be applied to all components that use the accent colour." Additional information can be found in the project's release announcement.
TrueNAS 22.02.2 "SCALE"
iXsystems has announced the release of TrueNAS SCALE, version 22.02.2. The new release of this network attached storage platform improves deduplication performance, allows multiple containers to use the same Intel GPU, and improves the pool importing process. "The details of TrueNAS SCALE 22.02.2 are in the release notes. There are over 160 new bug fixes and improvements that will provide another significant quality jump from the RELEASE version. Notable inclusions are: Increased Dedup performance with SHA-512 checksum default. Improved pool importing in corner case situations. Allow multiple containers to use same shared Intel GPU. Cloudsync Azure Custom Endpoints enable the use of Government Clouds. UPS Monitoring and Reporting fixes. Clustered SMB APIs. TrueCommand uses these APIs to simplify cluster deployment. Middleware Performance Improvements with increased drive counts." Further information is provided in the release announcement.
TrueNAS 13.0 -- The web-based dashboard
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SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP4
SUSE has announced the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 SP4, the fourth service pack of the company's enterprise-class Linux distribution designed mainly for developers and administrators to deploy business-critical workloads. The new service package includes extended search for packages across repositories (even those not enabled) and 389 Directory Server replaces OpenLDAP. "The OpenLDAP server (package openldap2, part of the Legacy SLE module) has been removed from SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP4. The OpenLDAP client libraries are widely used for LDAP integrations and are compatible with 389 Directory Server. Hence, the OpenLDAP client libraries and command-line tools will continue to be supported on SLES 15 to provide an easier transition for customers that currently use the OpenLDAP Server. To replace OpenLDAP server, SLES includes 389 Directory Server. 389 Directory Server (package 389-ds) is a fully-featured LDAPv3-compliant server suited for modern environments and for very large LDAP deployments. 389 Directory Server also comes with command-line tools of its own." Further information is provided in the company's release notes.
Bryan Poerwo has announced the release of EndeavourOS 22.6, the latest stable version of the project's Arch-based, "terminal-centric" Linux distribution featuring a customised Xfce desktop. Code-named "Artemis", the new release brings an improved support for the ARM architecture: "We are proud to present the 'Artemis' release, named after the upcoming NASA mission to the moon and I do refer to that mission for a reason, but more on that later. Artemis is our regular ISO refresh release, so users who already are running EndeavourOS don't have to install this release, you already are up-to-date. Besides the regular updates and improvements on the ISO image and the installation process is this release the first ISO that brings EndeavourOS ARM closer to the main release. Just like NASA's Artemis mission will be to go back to the moon and also lay the foundation for the future (Mars) missions, the Artemis release is laying the foundation for the future of EndeavourOS ARM. From the launch of our ARM branch in 2020, it was always our goal to integrate the ARM install process as an option on the main ISO release. After a lot of brainstorming and perseverance, we are proud to present you with our first milestone step in bringing the two projects closer together." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 2,736
- Total data uploaded: 42.2TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
Do you use RHEL or a clone?
This week we began with a review of AlmaLinux OS, a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In the past few years, the number of Red Hat's clones has increased a lot. Meanwhile Red Hat has made it possible to run its official Enterprise Linux distribution free of charge in many situations. Do you currently run Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or one of its many clones? Please tell us which clones you run, if any, in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on openSUSE Leap versus openSUSE Tumbleweed in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Do you run RHEL or a clone?
|I run RHEL: ||50 (3%)|
| I run a clone: ||229 (13%)|
| I run multiple clones: ||73 (4%)|
| I run RHEL and a clone: ||25 (1%)|
| I run RHEL and multiple clones: ||28 (2%)|
| I do not run RHEL or any clones: ||1404 (78%)|
Donations and Sponsors
Each month we receive support and kindness from our readers in the forms of donations. These donations help us keep the web server running, pay contributors, and keep infrastructure like our torrent seed box running. We'd like to thank our generous readers and acknowledge how much their contributions mean to us.
This month we're grateful for the $89 in contributions from the following kind souls:
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Talos. Talos is a minimal, immutable operating system for running Kubernetes.
- Orchid Linux. Orchid Linux is a Gentoo-based, French Linux distribution which offers a text-based system installer and multiple desktop environments.
- DAT Linux. DAT Linux is a Linux distribution for data science. It brings together a collection of open source data science tools and apps into a ready-to-run desktop environment. The distribution is based on Ubuntu. The custom DAT Linux Control Panel provides a centralised one-stop-shop for running and managing dozens of data science programs.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 4 July 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)
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1 • Distrowatch data (by Brad on 2022-06-27 00:36:41 GMT from United States) |
Jesse, thanks for the metadata - ~300 "active" distros are an awful lot to keep track.
2 • Torrent woes (by Brad on 2022-06-27 00:40:11 GMT from United States)
Speaking for myself, I've never been able to successfully download a distro via Torrent - and this is with a speedy Broadband connection.
I understand that using Torrent is a "nice" way to make sure that more people have access to more distros, but I usually just give up after a few hours of slow-to-no progress, and download the distros "directly".
3 • RHEL Clones (by Marc on 2022-06-27 00:42:41 GMT from Australia)
I like to download and try RHEL clones in a vm.
I never use them for long as a desktopas I feel they dont move fast enough although I get thats what they are suposed to do
As a server I am just a home user and use Proxmox for most things in a vm and it does what I want
4 • Release Models (by Bob on 2022-06-27 01:36:28 GMT from United States)
Just for fun, I had a look at the break-down of release models:
13 fixed LTS
5 • Torrents (by Jesse on 2022-06-27 01:37:12 GMT from Canada)
@2: It sounds like you may have a firewall issue or a quality-of-service block happening at your ISP. Do all torrents struggle to download or just Linux ISOs? If it's the former then your ISP is probably messing with your network traffic, but if it's the latter then it suggests you're trying to download torrents which don't have many seeds yet.
6 • The future... (by Friar Tux on 2022-06-27 01:45:06 GMT from Canada)
I voted "I do not run RHEL or any clones". Many, many years ago, my very first Linux distro was Fedora. It scared me back to Windows. Over the years, I tried Fedora multiple times but it never quite worked for me. Once, I even found a free version of RHEL - can remember the name - and according to my notes, it offered up the same issues as Fedora. CentOS was about the best RHEL brand distro of the three, but even it had issues I could not be bothered to deal with.
As mentioned many times before, for me, a distro MUST work out-of-box, with no post install monkeying about. And it must not break after an update or up grade. Very few distros do this for me.
"As for what the future holds"... I really like Jesse's answer, though I foresee an OS "to rule all" OSes. I believe in 5 - 10 years, we will see the rise of a non Linux/ BSD/ Windows/ Apple/ Google/ etc., operating system that will allow the use of any/all install formats, letting the user run any app/program from any proprietary and open source format. I also believe it will be voice operated, removing the need for mouse and keyboard, thought these will still be available for hobbyists. (Basically, for those that have seen the sci-fi movie Colossus (1970), one AI with workstations in most households. But without the world domination issue.) Maybe I'm just dreaming, but we do presently have the technology.
7 • Torrents (by DaveW on 2022-06-27 01:52:05 GMT from United States)
My experience with torrents is that for popular distros (Mint, MX, etc.) they work well, especially just after a new release. The less popular distros frequently have fewer seeds, and tend to download very slow.
8 • Alma Linux as Workstation (by Alex on 2022-06-27 01:57:19 GMT from United States)
What is the advantage of using something like Alma or Rocky as a workstation? If you want long term support is the Ubuntu LTS or Debian Stable not good enough? The latter two have a lot more "mainstream" user packages available out of the box. Typing this right now from a Debian Bullseye installation that has been running without drama on my laptop since week 2 of release.
9 • AlmaLinux live media oddities (by eco2geek on 2022-06-27 02:48:47 GMT from United States)
There are live media for AlmaLinux 9 in the AlmaLinux repo here:
They appear to have been released fairly recently. (There also appear to be images for the Raspberry Pi.)
However, I tried both the KDE live image and the XFCE live image from a USB stick and got kernel panics from both. (Yes, the checksums matched.) So I gave up.
The live v8.5 KDE image runs fine (I'm posting from it now), although for some reason it doesn't see any of the partitions on my local hard disk. So its usefulness is somewhat limited.
10 • set and forget! (by postertom on 2022-06-27 03:20:22 GMT from United States)
Outstanding review. More like a research paper!
"we should be able to "set and forget" AlmaLinux, and just let it run day after day and year after year"
That would be a huge upside for some of us. The 5 year options are fine for me personally, but each time I install something new for my wife, there is wailing and gnashing of teeth.
"Rolling releases... are quite popular these days"
I think that the trend says something about the preferences of the bulk of active Linux fans. Seems like most of the people here could not care less about "set and forget".
11 • Testing with VirtualBox vs. KVM (by Microlinux on 2022-06-27 06:09:41 GMT from France)
Over the last few years, Distrowatch has done pretty much all of its testing with VirtualBox, which causes lots of issues. Just move to KVM with Virtual Machine Manager. It has way better performance, is 100% Open Source (integrated into the kernel) and you don't have to worry about all this Guest Addition nonsense. All the virtio drivers run perfectly.
Here's how you setup a simple KVM hypervisor on a headless Rocky Linux server:
12 • RHEL-clones and RPMFusion (by Dan on 2022-06-27 06:13:31 GMT from Germany)
Just a note, with RHEL clones you should not install the RPM Fusion repo, but EPEL. Same group, different repo.
13 • RHEL (by penguinx86 on 2022-06-27 06:52:17 GMT from United States)
I ran RHEL for a while, when I studied for the LPIC-1 certification exams. I haven't ran it since the free trial period expired. I tried Fedora for a while, til an update killed my laptops wifi adaptor. From now on, I'm sticking with Linux Mint, because Mint is the only distro that is compatoble with my laptop wifi adapter with no hassles.
14 • RHEL quality (by Daniel on 2022-06-27 07:36:23 GMT from Czechia)
I never undestand how RHEL can be so popular and how its users praise it for reliability and stability. For me it is Fedora with tons of packages removed and tons of bugs introduced. Both in desktop and server. At least server has less bugs then desktop, which is usually completely broken.
And I never understand how this can be done. RedHat is great developer many great software used all around in distributions. But when RedHat put his work in its distribution, suddenly is such broken...
15 • Alma Linux 9 torrent (by Jeffrey on 2022-06-27 08:38:37 GMT from Czechia)
I wonder what might have caused the incomplete torrent download for Jesse. According to my command history, I added the Alma 9 torrent to transmission-daemon on 28th May, and it downloaded everything within a few hours (perhaps within half an hour; I didn't check back that soon). My ratio for that torrent is now 8+, and it's seeding as we speak.
16 • RHEL (by Charlie on 2022-06-27 10:06:57 GMT from Hong Kong)
After RHEL opens to personal use for free (up to several machines actually), I seldom bother to install clones. Clones are for hosting and vps companies for mass and production deployments.
But I would like to say clones are easier to update, you don’t need a RH account, don’t need to login and refresh your subscription status.
17 • Red Hat (by Mitchell on 2022-06-27 12:04:48 GMT from United States)
Last time I tried the Red Hat was around 20 years ago now. It loaded from something like 8 floppies and ran fine if I recall correctly. But the main lure was the hat offer which came in the mail weeks later. Still have that hat, and no...I do not have those floppies.
Those days were filled with experimentation and observation...distro hopping galore. Eventually, I needed to settle on a daily driver and get work done. I still like to window shop though!
Sometimes commercial interest clouds the overall simplicity smaller projects offer. Mint has grown out of something Ubuntu lacked or did not offer. Debian keeps plugging along even though their website can be overly complicated. One of my favorite distros was Foresight: their ten minute install was the
Back in the day, I even ran my brother-in-law's small website from Slitaz on an older box tucked into the basement. Puppy always performed well and was stable, there was Mepis, Antix, Damn Small Linux and many others along the way. DEs have grown and morphed into other DEs.
Red Hat proved too large for me even back then, but they have contributed a lot into the Linux community. I can appreciate the history and leave it at that...
18 • Almalinux for desktop (by Flonix on 2022-06-27 13:05:03 GMT from Italy)
I would advise those who want to use Alma/Rocky/RHEL as a desktop to stay on version 8 for at least 1 year (it is supported until May 2029). The reason is that EPEL 8 is much better equipped with software than EPEL 9. Always remember that, for full availability of multimedia content, EPEL must be installed first, and only then RPMfusion.
19 • VirtualBox (by Jesse on 2022-06-27 13:44:47 GMT from Canada)
@11: >"Over the last few years, Distrowatch has done pretty much all of its testing with VirtualBox, which causes lots of issues."
Testing with VirtualBox doesn't _cause_ a lot of issues. It can sometimes _expose_ a few issues. It's usually a very smooth experience.
> "Just move to KVM with Virtual Machine Manager. It has way better performance"
KVM is Linux-only while VirtualBox is much more widely used, easier to set up, and more popular in the distro testing crowd. Using VirtualBox will let people know how an OS being tested will work on VirtualBox running on Windows, FreeBSD, or Linux. Using KVM is tied strictly to Linux.
VirtualBox also integrates better with the host OS while KVM tends to be relatively awkward to use for testing desktop platforms. VirtualBox's graphical output tends to be better/faster than KVM's on my equipment, so the performance situation is actually in VirtualBox's favour.
> "[KVM] is 100% Open Source (integrated into the kernel) and you don't have to worry about all this Guest Addition nonsense. "
VirtualBox is open source and integrated with the Linux kernel. VirtualBox hasn't needed separate guest additions for the past four years.
Why would I switch to a slower, less portable, less integrated testing environment that requires a separate management tool to use smoothly with VirtualBox is faster, already integrated with the kernel, and more portable?
20 • Jesse - "... the rise of rolling releases" (by Tim on 2022-06-27 14:07:18 GMT from United States)
Well, I guess so, but my favorite distro, the venerable rolling release Arch Linux, has been falling, falling, falling, and it continues to fall. I have been running Arch Linux for more that eight years, and it just gets better and better. Do you have any idea why it has fallen so far in the rankings?
21 • Arch (by Jesse on 2022-06-27 14:11:25 GMT from Canada)
@20: The page hit rankings don't measure popularity, they measure how many people visit the project's information page. Arch doesn't announce new versions/snapshots which is the most common boost to PHR stats.
22 • Red Hat clones (by tim on 2022-06-27 14:15:05 GMT from United States)
Well, I run Fedora on a notebook PC, but I do not consider it to be a Red Hat clone. They are pretty closely related, but not close enough to say "clone".
23 • Many a long year since I ran RHEL (by DaveT on 2022-06-27 14:26:14 GMT from United Kingdom)
2002 to 2013 the charity I worked for ran RHEL to keep the trustees and various backers happy. I was the IT Manager and would have rub debian but there we go... My pc and some others ran debian.
We skip happily over the Chief Executive Officer being questioned about embezzling funds!
(he did but got away with it)
He was a **** and we need say no more...
24 • AlmaLinux kernel panics? (by Scott Dowdle on 2022-06-27 15:21:16 GMT from United States)
@eco2geek - Perhaps you are trying to run AlmaLinux on Proxmox VE? If so, the default CPU type won't work. If you switch from that, you won't get a kernel panic. I'm not sure who to blame for that issue.
@Jesse - While Virtualbox is available for more OSes and KVM is indeed Linux-only, if one is using Linux as the host OS, why would one care? I don't try to run the same VM image on multiple OSes. I'm not sure if Virtualbox VMs still need guest tools or not. I think they do.. but many distros may include the Virtualbox tools pre-installed... making people think they aren't needed anymore... because they didn't have to install them. Many Linux distros include the KVM virtio drivers pre-installed these days too. Why use KVM when it requires a separate tool to be installed to manage it? Hey, at least half of KVM (the kernel side) is likely already installed... and having to install what management tool you want to use (there are a few different ones to pick from [virt-manager, GNOME Boxes, cockpit-machines, and a QT/KDE tool I forgot the name of, and even, indirectly, Proxmox VE]) isn't any more difficult than having to install Virtualbox... and KVM is maintained with the kernel so you don't have to worry about running newer kernels and potential breakage... and waiting for Oracle (cough) to update... but if you prefer to continue to use Virtualbox, more power to you.
I do concede that perhaps Virtualbox is better geared for graphical Linux VMs than KVM, but if I'm going to cede that, then KVM is better suited for non-graphical Linux VMs. There are also a slew of tools that work with the KVM native disk images (qcow2) so I don't feel weary about claiming that the KVM ecosystem is more broad. Stating that KVM is used by a lot of large cloud providers most likely isn't a selling point for home users, but it doesn't hurt to mention.
25 • @24 KVM vs Virtualbox (by Linux Revolution on 2022-06-27 15:56:24 GMT from United States)
Good summation on KVM. I'd also like to add that KVM is a level 1 hypervisor vs Virtualbox's level 2. Leve 1 hypervisors tend to have better performance since it runs closer or on bare metal passing through more hardware to guest VMs.
Since I run exlusively a Linux desktop, I run all my gui based VMs in KVM including Windows 10. Years ago I moved away from Virtualbox for the fact that Windows 10 needed re-activation after importing the VM to another host pc or a re-installed host pc OS. This doesn't seem to be the case with KVM/Virt-Manager. I've saved off the qcow2 image and moved it around freely without having to re-activate the Windows 10 with a product key.
With a Linux host, KVM is definitely the way to go IMO.
26 • VirtualBox vs KVM (by Jesse on 2022-06-27 16:30:35 GMT from Canada)
@24: > "@Jesse - While Virtualbox is available for more OSes and KVM is indeed Linux-only, if one is using Linux as the host OS, why would one care?"
Because around half of our readers are not running on Linux. I'm trying to review things that are useful for them. I'm not optimizing the situation for myself, but for what other people are likely to be using.
> "I'm not sure if Virtualbox VMs still need guest tools or not."
They don't and have no for four years, as I mentioned in my above comment.
> "many distros may include the Virtualbox tools pre-installed... making people think they aren't needed anymore... because they didn't have to install them. "
People don't need to install VirtualBox tools because the add-on drivers are in the kernel. It's not a matter of having a package installed or not, the driver is a kernel module.
> "KVM is maintained with the kernel so you don't have to worry about running newer kernels and potential breakage"
So is VirtualBox. That's not a benefit one way or the other.
27 • Red Hat opinion (by Jyrki on 2022-06-27 16:31:06 GMT from Czechia)
To me, Red Hat is 90's Microsoft of Linux world. I try to stay away from anything they do.
28 • @20 Arch popularity (by Alex on 2022-06-27 14:57:46 GMT from United States)
I think the Arch-based distros like EndeavourOS and Garuda are siphoning off hits from ArchLinux proper. That said, I would bet that overall if you count all the Arch-based distros together, ArchLinux probably has never been more popular. It is much, much easier to install Arch now than it ever has been before. Maintaining it still requires some weekly research before blindly running sudo pacman -Syu
29 • RHEL Clones (by Otis on 2022-06-27 19:43:03 GMT from United States)
I'm not sure why yet, but I like AlmaLinux. As showcased in the review, there are issues and frustrating ones at that. I keep Alma on a separate drive and am always going back to it to try and make it "just work." Still short of that. Something odd about this, in that when I have ongoing issues with a distro I habitually merely dump it and move on. Something is making me stick with Alma and I have not figured it out yet. Maybe it has to do with the fact that RedHat (5.2 I think) was my very first foray into Linux many many moons ago.
30 • RH (by Tad Strange on 2022-06-27 20:12:55 GMT from Canada)
I've never really gotten along with Redhat. Even in the old days I preferred anything .deb to .rpm.
I tried several of the clones recently and for me they were not worth bothering with - I don't need a server, and as a desktop they all leave very much to be desired, starting with Gnome. I followed several guides to making a functional KDE desktop out of various 'Hats, but none worked terribly well.
I started downloading the KDE image of Alma that was posted above, then thought better of it - bare Debian is preferable to another 'Hat.
Funny. Back when I had the unfortunate assignment of setting up a large Unifi system, Ubuntu server is what the manufacturer recommended. I don't remember why.
31 • RHEL (by Swilson on 2022-06-27 21:30:15 GMT from United States)
I work for a large company, Enterprise wise hands down RHEL. For personal use Fedora
32 • @26 Red Hat opinion (by Nick on 2022-06-27 22:19:51 GMT from Austria)
> To me, Red Hat is 90's Microsoft of Linux world. I try to stay away
from anything they do.
Both Red Hat (now IBM-owned) and 90's Microsoft are just two huge corporations./
Red Hat is not monopolistic, and even Oracle makes their RHEL clone.
RH is heavily involved in development of Linux kernel, GNU libc, GCC, GTK+,
GNOME, systemd, PulseAudio, PipeWire etc., so to stay away you need to run *BSD
or Haiku and a GTK-less environment.
33 • KVM vs VirtualBox (by Charlie on 2022-06-28 01:50:44 GMT from Hong Kong)
Suddenly saw this debate.
For me, as 99% of my time spend on desktop, I found VirtualBox performs better than KVM when I need to run a GUI system. KVM, theretically as a level 1 hypervisor, should br more resources friendly, but it's really difficult to set up even with GUI tools.
I can easily get a Linux desktop VM running in VirtualBox wihtout much settings but under KVM even I tweak and tweak I cannot get exactly what I've been using under VirtualBox (a X11 driver, auto mount shared folders, copy and paste between VM and host). KVM may be a solution for headless VM, but clearly not on desktop.
Moreover, Linux use cases are full of variety, while most of the readers here are under a Linux-only environment, in the whole world it's not. Personally I have Macbook with macOS as my main OS, but I also has a mini PC with both Linux and Windows installed, my time spent on the three OSes are 60%, 35% and 10%. VirtualBox is crucial for me as it provides a unique experiences on these three platforms when I need to run VMs.
34 • @27 (by Charlie on 2022-06-28 02:21:46 GMT from Hong Kong)
> To me, Red Hat is 90's Microsoft of Linux world. I try to stay away from anything they do.
You do know Red Hat hires a lot of kernel developers right?
And Red Hat directly involves or even initiates many open source projects, including but not limited to GNOME, LibreOffice, pulseaudio/pipewire, systemd and many free fonts...
35 • Oracle Virtual Box (by Titus_Groan on 2022-06-28 04:21:58 GMT from New Zealand)
Like all software tools, they have their limitations and or quirks.
When you are familiar with the limitations / quirks, they can be very useful tools.
Limitation / quirk: earlier versions allowed "UEFI capable .isos" to install and run in the Virtual Box as a UEFI system.
However, real metal UEFI installs of the same .iso would fail.
After some head scratching, (and many variations of real metal installs,) it was determined the UEFI implementation of the then .isos were at fault.
36 • AlmaLinux, VBox guest tools in kernel and @25, KVM (by Justme on 2022-06-28 04:58:00 GMT from United States)
I learned two things today. I learned that the guest tools have been included in the kernel for some years. Coincidentally, my ignorance may be the reason for something that's puzzled me before; that Jesse seems to have problems with VBox that I don't have. First thing I do, no matter how well behaved the distro is, I mount and run Guest Additions.
Curiosity got me today. I downloaded AlmaLinux and installed it on VBox. Got mouse capture problems, no automatic resizing, same as Jesse, even the keyboard was iffy. I installed kernel-devel and the proper headers, then Guest Additions. All was immediately fixed. Runs beautifully.
I'm a daily user of VBox, and sometimes it can be a PITA. The other day, a Devuan testing kernel upgrade disappeared the vboxdrv. After some fussing, I found it in the wrong folder and moved it. Sometimes I can't get a VM to start when my version of VBox doesn't match the version of the Extension Pack. There are other niggles, but for the most part, It works well.
@25, "the fact that Windows 10 needed re-activation after importing the VM to another host pc or a re-installed host pc OS" That is not a fact. I've run Windows VMs for quite a few years. Right now I have Windows 10 and 11. I've copied them and moved them around many times. Never have they needed re-activation.
37 • AlmaLinux and RedHat clones (by Tom on 2022-06-28 06:49:20 GMT from United States)
It looks like AlmaLinux is still rough around the edges. And how big those images are, a "boot" option at 763 MB? What can they possibly put that takes so much? As for the "DVD" option, they better rename it to "portable SSD" or "BluRay". Those are fat installers to say the least.
But the strangest decision of all is Anaconda. I don't dislike it outright, but it is infamous for not supporting LVM, so using that for a RedHat clone looks like a big mistake.
Still, we need good RedHat clones after this unpopular idea of moving CentOS upstream. The typical arrangement we like at work is RedHat for the main production server and clones for the development and CI/CD tests. That removes most of the hassle of installing RHEL and dealing with the licences, while covering all bases and provides more support for the important parts.
38 • KVM vs. VirtualBox (by Microlinux on 2022-06-28 12:34:31 GMT from France)
The problem with VirtualBox is that it makes you jump through burning loops to work correctly. See here for example:
And if you really think that VirtualBox has better performance than KVM, then I'd rather politely withdraw from the discussion.
39 • The evolving data of DistroWatch (by José Augusto on 2022-06-28 14:11:38 GMT from Brazil)
Very interisting questions and answers. But, for me, the data I would like to see is the sum of stats for each "family" of independent distributions. I mean, all stats from debian and its derivatives, all stats from arch and its derivatives, etc. This sum applied for a time period, like, for example, 1 year. And, of course, the results plotted year by year. The purpose of this is to follow the evolution of the linux ecosystem. Sure you can also consider some special non independent cases, like ubuntu and its derivatives. Such profile will present the strengh of each community, as the distributions based on the same seed usually have some degree of cross contribution.
40 • rhel (by dave on 2022-06-29 00:39:43 GMT from United States)
Years ago, I briefly used a VPS that was Red Hat based, but that's the extent of my experience. I don't currently run any servers, but when I do, they tend to use Debian. RHEL use seems to be mostly limited to-- as the name implies.. 'enterprise' usage. So unless a person wants to get a job with a corporation that relies upon RHEL, I don't see the need to even consider it.
41 • Use RHEL ? (by John on 2022-06-29 01:45:43 GMT from Canada)
Use RHEL ? I said yes because that is my Workstation at work. It is not bad, but some things are a bit trying to me.
At home, Slackware.
42 • Re: Do you use RHEL or a clone? (by Fed up on 2022-06-30 01:22:47 GMT from United States)
I use older variants.
The newer (8+ or so) are COMPLETELY broken and fail to boot (can't find root).
The release quality of Red Hat and Ubuntu is so bad, that I'm thinking of giving up on all together.
Also, to echo others here: 7/8GB isn't really a DVD size. Admittedly, it's better than 10gb, so I'm seeing an improvement, but really, it should be around 4GB, or utilize multiple discs, like Debian does.
43 • Red Hat (by Justin on 2022-06-30 22:01:51 GMT from United States)
I want to like Red Hat, but I haven't figured out what there is to like over other distributions. In the old days of Fedora Core, it felt like a non-stop stream of updates that would sideline me for a couple hours (used it for a project; had no say in the matter). Boot was slow and continued to be slow years later when someone showed me Mint and I saw fast booting. To be generous, I saw other distros use some equally long boot sequence, so maybe they were slow to adopt improvements? Weird considering all the software tech that starts there. Anaconda is slower and more painful than other installers. The Arch Way is maybe a little worse because I have to remember steps, but an Arch Guide on one half of the screen and a terminal on the other would be at least as good. I started with KDE (go Knoppix!) but everyone told me how much better Gnome was. I never really saw it. I used Mate and Cinnamon because Ubuntu was on Unity and failed to install properly at the time (the build chain was only supported on Ubuntu). The worst thing was working in a company where no one wanted to use their Red Hat support line because they said it was a pain, so they relied on me to solve their problems. I swear their stuff is intentionally complicated, requires training and certification, as a way of profiting off open source. Good for them, I suppose, to be profitable, but seems almost like a Microsoft model of locking you in and making you "need" them.
At the same time, Red Hat has offered technologies, while controversial, have improved the Linux ecosystem. Kernel development today is also the majority large companies. I guess I like having them around as an option as long as I don't have to use them. I avoid anything in the RPM tree for the reasons above, but just because it doesn't suit me doesn't mean it's bad. I'm happy to have an ecosystem where the diversity can exist. Monocultures are bad and tend toward the lowest common denominator. Linux users in my experience are not typical users, so once you're at "for the masses" scale, stuff has to become so stupid, so restrictive because you have to protect users from themselves. Maybe that is what Red Hat is really doing, and why stuff is such a pain (or resembles Microsoft like systemd being compared to svchost.exe)... it's just necessary with large numbers of people and unique situations.
44 • Enterprise OS (by Leon on 2022-07-01 12:35:03 GMT from France)
Another bad review, but not because of the bad distro, but because of the bad reviewer.
Namely, a good reviewer should always be aware of what it is reviewing, and it would inform oneself about the product, before it starts reviewing. One can't set one set of testing rules and apply them to everything and anything. It just doesn't make sense, as enterprise needs are often very different, or even the opposite of consumer needs.
RHEL and clones (Alma, Rocky, Springdale) are enterprise OS's -- nothing for some "a distro MUST work out-of-box, with no post install monkeying about"-likes. They are not the target for the enterprise grade products.
On an enterprise product, nothing is supposed to work out-of-box -- that's the job of admins, which will prepare the custom images before deployment.
Upon fresh install, nothing works -- as it should be. No sound, no printing, no ... you name it, but everything is there, and everything will work if activated.
Those monkeying at home with some enterprise distros, here RHEL clones, should know that first thing to do is install / activate the following:
At the position 3, one would mount the VBox extensions, from the VBox menu.
After that's done, you'd like to add Flatpak, as without it, it's completely useless at home.
Epel is a must, but Epel won't save you the day. Most applications a some kJunk that should have been thrown out many years ago, but nobody bothered to do it, and of those very few applications in there, there is nothing one would really want to install. Inkscape 0.92.3 is in Epel, but 1.2 is available as Flatpak -- just as one single example. The same goes for all the rest.
The advantage of such enterprise OS and Flatpak is, that one can "set it and forget it, and just let it run day after day and year after year", and it won't break after an update or upgrade.
It won't even need the upgrade, in fact -- with 10-year support, it'll run longer then the HW on which it is installed.
45 • @44 Leon: (by dragonmouth on 2022-07-01 13:05:26 GMT from United States)
"On an enterprise product, nothing is supposed to work out-of-box"
Maybe in the company you work for.
In all the companies I know of, the management wants the new system deployed yesterday. Sys Admins DO NOT have the luxury of time to fioddle-faddle with software that does not work. If it doesn't work first time, every time then companies do not purchase that system. They move on to the one that does work without too much adjusting.
46 • Monkeying about... (by Friar Tux on 2022-07-01 13:31:34 GMT from Canada)
@44 (Leon) Ahhh, but if this enterprise distro does NOT work out of box, it has failed. As admin, my job is to keep things working smoothly and safely - not having to fix or activate things that should be working automatically. IF this is your definition of an enterprise distro, then I would be wise, as an admin, to find something else.
As for Jesse's review, I find it mirrors my own testing of the distro - though it appears Jesse got better results than I ever did. So far, I find the reviews from the guys at DW quite fair and well done. But as all reviews go, they are the opinions of the reviewer. You can take it or leave it. So far, I'll take it as most of the reviews have mirrored my own experience. Also, I take into account the reviewers past experience and knowledge. DW has been around a while, and the guys running it are quite knowledgeable regarding Linux.
47 • Admin says ... (by Leon on 2022-07-01 17:26:03 GMT from France)
You people just can't read properly. What I'm talking about is basically 'Windows autostart'. ;)
Will say, everything working, but only IF activated.
@45 (by dragonmouth)
You misunderstood something here. "Upon fresh install, nothing works -- as it should be. No sound, no printing, no ... you name it, but everything is there, and everything will work if activated." -- "EVERYTHING WILL WORK IF ACTIVATED". ;)
We are talking about services, not about broken OS. ;)
@46 (by Friar Tux)
Another one who can't read. ;)
"... AND EVERYTHING WILL WORK IF ACTIVATED"!
Activating features is not 'fixing', and no, it shouldn't be 'working automatically'. What one needs should be activated, not more, not less, and RHEL can't know what I need, right?
Nothing works automatically in a good enterprise OS. In Windows server, not even web browser could connect the internet, if the admin didn't activate / allow it first -- and that's exactly how it is supposed to be.
I tell who is allowed to do what and if -- nothing should be just working, and make me extra work. Activating some feature is a matter of seconds; searching for what all is running and deactivating 90 % of it is a hard work.
It's less work to activate the few desired features, then to deactivate all that shouldn't work.
Reviewers past experience and knowledge on one thing, doesn't imply reviewers past experience and knowledge on another thing, or on all things. ;)
48 • DW review(s) (by Otis on 2022-07-01 18:40:08 GMT from United States)
@46 yep. In addition, the small blurb at the bottom of each review, to me, highlights the most important aspect of said review(s): The reviewer names the specs of the machine that the distro was deployed upon. That needs to be looked at carefully, as we know how various Linux distros install and behave differently on different hardware. And there's a lot of varying hardware out there.
49 • @47: (by dragonmouth on 2022-07-01 21:24:36 GMT from United States)
"We are talking about services, not about broken OS"
No, Leon. YOU are talking about services.
When a corporation buys a software system (O/S, services, applications) it expects everything to work first time, every time. Otherwise they go to another vendor.
50 • What broken OS? Alma, RHEL (by Mr. Hu on 2022-07-01 23:54:05 GMT from Philippines)
Somehow the idea has been planted that, because Jesse had some trouble downloading from AlmaLinux servers, and had some problems with Virtualbox, the OS is 'broken".
Quote: "I tested AlmaLinux on my workstation and in VirtualBox. When running on the workstation all my hardware was detected. I had no problems getting connected to the network through my wireless card, video performance was average, and the system was stable."
First, AlmaLinux is not Red Hat, it's a substitute for those who want to have RHEL but don't want to pay for it. RHEL is an enterprise distro, not directed at home users who may want to play with it in Virtualbox.
Number of Comments: 50
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