| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 1019, 15 May 2023
Welcome to this year's 20th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The official Ubuntu family of distributions offers a lot of variety. There are community editions of Ubuntu featuring almost every desktop environment, lots of different configurations, and both short-term and long-term support versions. One thing the official Ubuntu family has not embraced is a rolling release edition. This week we talk about an unofficial spin of Ubuntu which offers a rolling release running the Xfce desktop. This special edition, called Rhino Linux, is in its early stages of development, but already seems to be quite functional. Jesse Smith takes Rhino Linux for a test drive and reports on his experiences in this week's Feature Story. In our News section we discuss the NethServer project coming back from vacation with a new approach and style. Plus we share a comparison of the pfSense and OPNsense operating systems. The latter is a fork of pfSense and we link to a side-by-side comparison of the two projects. Meanwhile the System76 developers are working to improve the performance of whichever desktop application is currently in focus and Fedora 36 is nearing the end of its life. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about reverse dependencies and how to determine which applications rely on a low-level system package. This week we welcome a new project, rlxos, to our database. The rlxos distribution offers an immutable base running the GNOME desktop and Flatpak packages. Plus we are pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Rhino Linux (Beta)
One of the most recent additions to the DistroWatch waiting list is Rhino Linux. The project takes an unusual approach by offering an Ubuntu-based rolling release operating system. The project's website describes the distribution as follows:
Rhino Linux re-invents the Ubuntu experience as a rolling release distribution atop a stable desktop environment. Pacstall is at the very heart of the distribution, providing essential packages such as the Linux kernel, Firefox, Rhino Linux specific applications and theming. We have sane defaults, making the traditional desktop beautiful. With Xfce your desktop is lightweight, fast and customisable.
If this description, or even the name of the project, sounds familiar then you may be remembering Rolling Rhino Remix which we reviewed about a year ago. Back in October, the Rolling Rhino Remix project was replaced with Rhino Linux. Both projects present the user with an Ubuntu-based distribution with rolling updates. The new Rhino Linux project appears to take a more long-term view with fewer custom tools and a greater focus on providing easy access to a wide source of applications.
Reading through the Rhino Linux wiki the main feature of the distribution which stands out, apart from its rolling nature, is the package manager: rhino-pkg. The rhino-pkg utility, which is also called rpk, acts as an all-in-one package manager which gives the user quick access to multiple software sources. The wiki describes rhino-pkg:
rhino-pkg is our custom package management wrapper written in Bash. It was designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind. It will allow for you to search, install, remove, and update packages from all of our supported package manager repositories (APT, Pacstall, Flatpak, and Snap), all with easy-to-read terminal outputs to improve your experience whilst using the distribution. It is strongly recommended to utilise rhino-pkg, rather than each package manager individually.
Rhino Linux is available in builds for 64-bit (x86_64) desktop machines, Raspberry Pi computers, and the PinePhone. This is an unusual line of supported hardware, but it's nice to see a range of options. I downloaded the ISO for the x86_64 build which is 1.6GB in size.
Rhino Linux boots to a live version of the Xfce 4.18 desktop with purple, Rhino-themed wallpaper. A desktop panel is placed along the bottom of the screen. This panel holds the application menu, task switcher, and system tray. On the desktop we find a single icon for launching the Calamares system installer.
The live environment offered average performance and seemed to work well. The one problem I ran into while doing initial exploration of the system was Firefox's active tab would crash when visiting YouTube. The browser would continue to run, but any tab used to try to play a video would crash and offer to send an error report to the developers. Other websites would display without any issues.
Rhino Linux Beta -- The default Xfce desktop and notifications
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Rhino uses the Calamares system installer which offers a friendly, streamlined experience. We're walked through selecting our preferred language and offered button to see support links and release notes. Clicking these buttons to see on-line resources brings up a window asking us to select a web browser to use. Firefox isn't in the list and the browser which is offered fails to launch when selected. I also tried manually setting Firefox as the browser to use by default and it also failed to launch.
Moving on to the next screens, I was asked to pick my time zone and confirm my keyboard's layout. Disk partitioning was the next task and we're given the option of letting the installer take over a portion of the drive or manually partitioning the disk. The guided option sets up a single ext4 partition and gives us the option of enabling a swap file. We do not have the option of using a swap partition instead. Taking the manual approach to partitioning gives us a nice, point-and-click disk partitioning interface which I found easy to navigate.
The final step of the installer asks us to make up a username and password. With that completed, files are copied to the local drive. The first time I tried installing Rhino, I walked away while the installer was running and, when I came back, the Calamares window was gone. I wasn't sure if it had completed its work or crashed. When I restarted the computer, the distribution failed to boot, indicating the installer probably crashed.
I went through the process again, this time using manual disk partitioning instead of the guided option. The installer reached about 95% completion and then crashed while removing unneeded packages. Since it had, for all practical purposes, finished everything except some clean-up and installing GRUB, I decided to lend the system a hand. I performed a chroot to the target partition and ran update-grub. This set up the boot loader and, upon restarting the machine, I was able to boot into Rhino Linux.
When Rhino first boots it presents the user with a simple graphical login page. The default session option is referred to as "Xubuntu Session". Signing in the first time brings up a graphical wizard which asks us a few customization questions. We're asked to pick a dark or light theme (the dark one is the default and the one I used throughout most of my trial).
We're asked which package management options we want to enable. These options include Flatpak, Snap, and AppImage. Snap is shown as enabled by default while the others are turned off. I added Flatpak to the enabled list. We're asked if we'd like to use Nala, the more modern alternative to APT which I also accepted. Then we're asked if we want to enable the Apport service, which will send crash reports to developers. Apport was disabled by default and I left it turned off. The wizard then prompted for my administrative password twice and then prompted me to restart the computer.
Rhino Linux Beta -- Exploring the application menu
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I asked the wizard to enable Flatpak and to keep Snap (which was already selected). After the reboot I found Flatpak was enabled with the Flathub repository enabled automatically. Snap support was not installed on the system. This may be a bug or maybe Flatpak and Snap are supposed to be mutually exclusive, I'm not sure.
Once installed, Rhino provided a pretty good desktop experience. I liked the dark theme and the desktop offered average or slightly above average performance. I liked that text was large and usually high contrast, making it easier to read than the text on most Linux distributions.
One problem I ran into early on with Rhino was that the distribution's live media only booted in Legacy BIOS mode. When I tried to get it to launch in UEFI mode an error message appeared and cryptically declared I'd need to start the kernel first.
Apart from this initial hiccup, Rhino ran well on my workstation and in a VirtualBox instance. The system was medium weight, using about 570MB of RAM upon logging in and consuming 5.6GB of disk space for a fresh install.
The distribution was responsive and performed tasks quickly, though not unusually so. I'd say it was about on par with other mainstream distributions running the Xfce or KDE Plasma desktops.
Browsing through the Rhino application menu, I found the system ships with a fairly small collection of desktop applications. Firefox is included and continued to crash semi-regularly when asked to play videos. I was curious what kind of package Firefox was, given that Rhino's parent distribution uses a Snap to provide the web browser, but Rhino didn't have Snap installed. Firefox was installed as a Deb package and placed in the /opt directory.
The distribution also ships with the Ristretto image viewer, the Xfburn disc burning software, and the Thunar file manager. The mpv media player is included along with VSCodium. The distribution includes the Xfce configuration modules and handy control panel. I quite like how Xfce groups and presents its settings and find them easy to use.
In the background Rhino offers us the GNU command line utilities, the GNU Compiler Collection, and manual pages. The system runs the systemd init software and the install media offered version 6.2 of the Linux kernel.
The provided software, and a lot of the future items we may wish to install, come from Ubuntu's development (devel) repository. This allows us to enjoy cutting-edge versions of software and new packages should regularly become available, especially in the middle of Ubuntu's development cycle. As mentioned earlier, when Flatpak is installed it automatically pulls from the Flathub repository.
Rhino Linux Beta -- Getting usage information for rpk
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The Rhino documentation tells us it is recommended users manage software through the rhino-pkg command which can also be invoked by typing rpk. However, if a user goes looking for a software manager in the application menu, the first thing they will find is GNOME Software, a modern software centre. I decided to check out GNOME Software since it's probably what new users will try first. I tried using the Updates tab to check for new packages. GNOME Software showed its spinning progress wheel and did nothing for the next five minutes, seemingly locking up. I left it and open the GNOME Software centre again, this time attempting to remove an installed application I didn't want. The software centre immediately crashed, underlining the point in Rhino's documentation which reminds us there are better ways to manage packages.
The rhino-pkg command is a shell script which provides high-level management of all other package managers on the operating system. It is pleasantly straight forward in its syntax. Running "rpk install package" will search for any packages with a matching name in any repository and then offer to install the one we want. The command "rpk remove package" does the same in reverse, locating matching packages on our system and using the appropriate tool to delete it. The "rpk update" command tries to upgrade all software on the system, regardless of how it was installed. Finally, "rpk search name" will try to find any matching items in the various repositories, but will not attempt to install anything. These are the only four commands we need to remember or use. The rpk command checks for items in the APT, Flatpak, and Pacstall repositories and will pass along the appropriate commands to the lower level package manager.
This approach, using a central, higher level package manager to handle everything felt to me, at first, to be overkill. As someone who already knows how to use Flatpak and APT, I felt like it was an unnecessary extra tool. This feeling was amplified when doing my first round of software updates when rpk asked me repeatedly to confirm I really wanted to update a few items, specifically kernel packages. I think the confirmation was a good idea because the kernel is a key component, I just wasn't thrilled about needing to confirm I really wanted to apply updates three times in a row.
After a while though, I started to appreciate rpk. Partly because it meant I could run one command and upgrade multiple types of packages (APT, Flatpak, and Pacstall). This approach just saved me typing in the long run. I also enjoyed the ability to "comparison shop". I could run "rpk install wesnoth", for example, and see which repositories had which versions of the game Battle for Wesnoth. Other packages could similarly be presented side-by-side, compared, and then one selected whenever I wished to install new applications.
I also learned that confirmations during the upgrade process could be skipped by passing rpk the "-y" flag, which will assume we always want to answer "yes" at prompts. This could be dangerous, but certainly faster.
Ultimately, I enjoyed having the all-in-one package manager. I do wonder if it can be expanded to offer a graphical experience that could replace GNOME Software. Right now it appears this is just a script to glue lower level package managers together so the output from, for example Nala and Flatpak, look entirely different and I suspect this will make it harder to put a nice desktop application in front of the user and tie it all together. However, for people who don't mind using the command line, rpk is quite convenient.
Rhino Linux Beta -- Installing the Falkon web browser
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It wasn't always smooth sailing. There were a few times when Flatpak failed, due to corrupted packages, while installing new software. However, in those cases a fairly clear error message was displayed and I was able to try again later, with success. This isn't a fault of rpk, just the underlying Flatpak bundle. Apart from these minor moments, rpk worked smoothly and I like how clear the package manager is in what it is doing and the information provided about packages. I like how all available packages matching our search criteria are listed with their repository to make it clear what we will be installing.
I want to underline that Rhino Linux is in its early stages of development. The snapshot I was using was a development release of a rolling platform, built on Ubuntu's development branch. In other words, we should expect some issues and unpredictability. In fact, I would have been surprised if there had not been a few problems.
Early on there were a few glitches. The live media wouldn't boot in UEFI mode which is a problem on newer hardware. I also found Calamares was prone to crashing during its clean-up phase, preventing the system from booting. I could work around these problems, but it would be a barrier for anyone not familiar with using the command line and chroot environments.
After those initial issues, things actually became pretty comfortable for me while using Rhino. The distribution is a pleasantly medium weight, I like the initial welcome wizard which helps us configure a few things, and Xfce offers a pleasant, stable user interface. The application menu is lightly populated, encouraging us to install software we need beyond the bare basics. Apart from some issues with Firefox, the included software worked well.
The key feature though of Rhino Linux is its package manager. I found it worked quite well. Really, this is just glue binding together multiple package managers behind the scenes, but it works unusually well. It's fairly quick, the packages and their sources are neatly organized, and it makes upgrading software much more streamlined for the user.
It's still early days for Rhino Linux, but it's off to a good start. If the developers can sort out a few issues with the start-up process and maybe remove GNOME Software so people aren't tempted to use it over the prescribed package manager, I think it will be a good experience.
A lot of people have been saying they'd like to see a rolling flavour of Ubuntu and now it is here. It's not an entirely smooth experience yet, but it's close. The one thing I feel is missing is a method to rescue or rollback system upgrades, perhaps using Btrfs snapshots, so that following Ubuntu's development branch doesn't break the system. Once some rollback method is in place, I think it will make Rhino a very appealing, Ubuntu-compatible rolling release platform.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
NethServer reborn in a few form, a detailed comparison of pfSense and OPNsense, System76 improves application responsiveness, Fedora 36 nears the end of its supported life
NethServer is a CentOS-based distribution which has been silent the past three years, following the release of NethServer 7.9 in November 2019. The project has shown renewed signs of life recently, publishing a beta release offering virtual machine images designed to run containerized applications. The project's beta release announcement reads: "NethServer 8 is the new NethServer version with a different architecture and a brand new UI. We changed the product but our mission has remained untouched, it is still easy to administrate and perfectly suited for small offices and medium enterprises. It's an application hosting platform that provides a simplified yet comprehensive experience for deploying, managing, and scaling your applications."
The project's FAQ page describes the key changes from version 7 to the version 8 beta: "NethServer 7 is an operating system built on top of CentOS 7. It is heavily-coupled with the underlying OS. It installs applications using RPM packages and configures them with a configuration management system called e-smith. NethServer 8 can run on different Linux distributions. It installs applications using containers and configures them using a multi-node architecture."
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pfSense is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD specifically tailored for use as a firewall and router that is entirely managed via web interface. There is a fork of pfSense called OPNsense and Dustin Casto decided to explore how much the two projects had diverged from each other. "I thought it may be informative to do a side-by-side comparison of the differences between the two software platforms. There has been 8+ years of development since OPNsense was born so I am personally curious in how the two platforms have diverged over the years." What follows in Casto's blog post is a detailed, side-by-side comparison of the two projects.
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One of the features System76 has provided in its Pop!_OS distribution is a scheduler which will detect which desktop application is currently in focus and attempt to boost its performance. The scheduling tool, called system76-scheduler, has been updated to improve audio latency as well. "With its second major release, system76-scheduler adds new features that further optimize system responsiveness and expand custom configuration. New PipeWire integration gives audio processes real-time priority to reduce the chance of audio stutters when the application playing audio is in the background." Details on this change and other work going into Pop!_OS can be found in the company's blog post.
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Kevin Fenzi has sent out a reminder that Fedora 36 will soon reach the end of its supported life and no longer receive security updates. "Fedora Linux 36 will go end of life for updates and support on 2023-05-16. No more updates of any kind, including security updates or security announcements, will be available for Fedora Linux 36 after the above date. All the updates of Fedora Linux 36 being pushed to stable will be stopped as well. Fedora Linux 37 will continue to receive updates until approximately one month after the release of Fedora Linux 39."
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Checking on which applications depend on a low-level package
Depending-on-too-many-things asks: Is there a way to tell which applications are affected by a package update? Sometimes my package manager wants to swap out packages or it updates a bunch of libraries and I want to know what applications I should restart.
DistroWatch answers: When an application relies on other, lower-level packages, those lower-level items are called dependencies.
When we want to find out what higher-level applications depend on a specific, lower-level package the software higher up the chain is referred to as a reverse dependency. You may sometimes see the process of checking for higher level software which depends on a package as a "reverse depends".
Most package managers have a method for displaying reverse dependencies and mention the necessary syntax in their manual pages, but this only helps after we know the terminology.
On distributions which use the APT package management software, such as Debian and Ubuntu, we can get a list of higher level packages which rely on a specific package by running "apt-cache rdepends --installed package". For instance, the following command displays a list of all programs which rely on the libcurl4 library:
apt-cache rdepends --installed libcurl4
On distributions which use the pacman package manager, like Arch Linux and KaOS, we can look up a list of reverse dependencies by running "pacman -Sii package". This will actually display several lines of information about the package, some of it relating to dependencies. We can use the grep command to filter down the results. In this example, we display all programs which rely on the zlib package:
pacman -Sii zlib | grep "Required By"
The distributions which use DNF for package management, such as Fedora, can display reverse dependencies using the following command: "dnf repoquery --installed --whatrequires package". For instance, the following command will display a list of programs which rely on the libcurl-minimal package:
dnf repoquery --installed --whatrequires libcurl-minimal
Most other package managers will provide information on how to find reverse dependencies in their manual pages or on-line documentation.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Alpine Linux 3.18.0
Alpine Linux is a community-developed operating system designed for routers, firewalls, VPNs, VoIP boxes, containers and servers. The project's latest release is Alpine Linux 3.18.0 which offers version 6.1 of the Linux kernel with signed binaries, musl libc 1.2.4 which features TCP fallback for DNS, and Python 3.11. "We are pleased to announce the release of Alpine Linux 3.18.0, the first in the v3.18 stable series. Highlights: Linux kernel 6.1 - with signed kernel modules; musl libc 1.2.4 - now with TCP fallback in DNS resolver; Python 3.11; Ruby 3.2; Node.js (current) 20.1; GNOME 44; Go 1.20; KDE Plasma 5.27; Rust 1.69; experimental support for unattended installs via tiny-cloud. Linux kernel modules are now signed; verified modules are not enforced by default, so 3rd party modules with akms still works. All packages for ppc64le, x86, and x86_64 was linked with DT_RELR. This should have reduced size of compiled binaries. Python pre-compiled files (pyc) are now shipped in separate packages. It is now possible to avoid install those and save space by doing apk add !pyc." Additional information is provided through the distribution's release notes.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.2
Red Hat, Inc. has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 9.2: "Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.2 and the forthcoming availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.8. These new releases further Red Hat's efforts to simplify and streamline complex Linux platform tasks across the hybrid cloud, from datacenters to public clouds to edge deployments, helping IT teams to better overcome staffing and skill shortages and improve efficiency in critical infrastructure areas. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.2 and 8.8 continue to expand the capabilities of system roles, Red Hat Enterprise Linux-specific Ansible content that helps bring greater consistency and efficiency at scale by automating common administrative tasks. This means that a number of common Linux roles, from Microsoft SQL Server to virtual private networks (VPNs), can be readily configured, credentialed and deployed with rudimentary Linux knowledge." See the press release and the detailed release notes for further information.
AlmaLinux OS 9.2
Jack Aboutboul has announced the release of AlmaLinux OS 9.2, the latest stable version of the project's Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone: "The AlmaLinux OS Foundation is proud to announce the general availability of AlmaLinux OS 9.2, code-named 'Turquoise Kodkod'. AlmaLinux 9.2 provides enhancements and features to the hybrid cloud's foundation and helps deliver workloads, applications and services for multiple environments faster and with less effort. This release includes security updates such as the realmd system role, a SCAP profile, and Ansible content for enhanced system checks to simplify managing security and compliance. Improvements to application streams provide compilers, runtime languages, databases and web server updates. Enhancements to the web console and new system roles make it easier to automate and standardize systems." Please see the release announcement and the release notes for more details.
The EuroLinux team have announced the availability of EuroLinux 9.2, a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.2 which includes a number of key package updates. "On May 11, 2023, we released version 9.2 of the EuroLinux operating system. It maintains compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.2. EuroLinux 9.2 repositories have been expanded to include Python 3.11, Nginx 1.22, PostgreSQL 15, new versions of Performance Co-Pilot, updated toolsets: Rust v1.66, Go v1.19 and LLVM v15. The new version of the system also introduces a variety of improvements to the web console (cockpit). The Linux kernel has been updated to version 5.14.0-284" Additional details can be found in the distribution's release announcement and in the release notes.
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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: 2,866
- Total data uploaded: 43.3TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
What do you think of a rolling Ubuntu edition?
This week we talked about Rhino Linux, a young, rolling release distribution which is based on Ubuntu. The constantly updated Rhino distribution offers users a cutting edge experience and software from a variety of sources. What do you think of having a rolling release of Ubuntu, a sort of inverse approach to Ubuntu's popular long-term support (LTS) versions? Let us know your impressions of Rhino Linux in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on whether our readers want to see more immutable editions of their distribution in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Do you want to use a rolling version of Ubuntu?
|Yes - I am using a rolling edition of Ubuntu: ||28 (2%)|
| Yes - I want to use a rolling edition of Ubuntu: ||402 (28%)|
| No - I have no need for a rolling Ubuntu: ||1020 (70%)|
New projects added to database
rlxos is an independent Linux distribution which runs on an immutable filesystem and features the GNOME desktop. The project features the Distrobox container manager to facilitate running software from multiple other distributions. It also includes support for Flatpak and includes the Bolt AI assistant.
rlxos -- Running the GNOME desktop and it settings panel
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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, 22 May 2023. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Weekly Archive and Article Search pages. 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Rolling version of Ubuntu (by Vinfall on 2023-05-15 01:27:25 GMT from Hong Kong) |
Actually Ubuntu takes packages from Debian Unstable (Ubuntu LTS based on Debian Testing) according to Ubuntu Packaging Guide (try searching sid (Debian Unstable codename) or unstable), which makes me question the need for a rolling version of Ubuntu. Taking a step further, people could have been using Debian testing/unstable if they want rolling packages. Nowadays "barebone" Debian is quite user-friendly, not the old days when you have to copy many files by hand and follow a set of instructions posted on wherever.
2 • Rhino (by DaveW on 2023-05-15 01:38:53 GMT from United States)
@Jesse The Rhino distro sounds intereesting. Please consider a follow-up review when it is out of beta. Also running the 'apt-cache rdepends --installed libcurl4 | uniq' command on LinuxMint Mate results in many duplicate lines; piping the result into 'uniq' eliminates that unpleasantness.
3 • Rolling... rolling... (by Friar Tux on 2023-05-15 02:09:48 GMT from Canada)
I voted that I would like to use a rolling release. I DON'T, but I would love to considering how they are supposed to work. My problem is that all the rolling releases I have tested so far break on the second, or third, update/upgrade. Without fail. Right now, I'm using a LTS, Ubuntu-based distro that has had no "lost-time" issues in seven years. If I could find a rolling distro with the same stability as that, I would jump to it. Sadly, as yet, I can only dream, but I will be giving Rhino a try.
4 • Rolling Ubuntu (by uz64 on 2023-05-15 02:56:30 GMT from United States)
I think it's a good idea, actually... if they could strike a balance between stability (ie. the system not breaking) and not having to back up and do a major upgrade once a year. 9 months is a joke for a support cycle, and as it is right now LTS is really the only sane way to run it. If they did it right, monthly image refreshes and small (but more frequent) updates might fit perfectly with what Ubuntu wants to be.
5 • Rolling Ubuntu (by Andy Prough on 2023-05-15 03:08:21 GMT from Switzerland)
I find it amusing that I often hear people say they would love a "stable yet rolling" distribution, not realizing that's what PCLinuxOS and Void already provide.
Instead of creating a rolling Ubuntu, which is really just beta testing from the Ubuntu development repo [which is already beta testing from the Debian unstable and experimental repos] - maybe some people should just use PCLinuxOS and Void if stable+rolling is what they want.
6 • rolling (by Jay on 2023-05-15 04:06:36 GMT from Netherlands)
The rolling choice is current versus stable; like security and convenience, they're a continuum and that means a sweet spot that's a compromise. For a workstation (that needs to be current), I feel a rolling release is critical.
I settled on a a Manjaro Stable based Arch variant that's worked out reasonably well: Mabox. I'd probably have been similarly pleased with Endeavour or Manjaro itself - my needs are intermediate and they cover a wide range of interests, few of which are mainstream.
Is Mabox perfect? No, but I'd like to think it's getting there. It's capable of tiling and it's simple to configure (or reconfigure) and while Mabox's partly focused on UI esthetics (which I have limited interest in), it's done a good job of almost all the tasks I've thrown at it.
For me, that's close enough to a win to be comfortable.
7 • Displaying reverse dependencies on Arch Linux (by Jeff P. on 2023-05-15 04:13:57 GMT from United States)
"expac" is a very small (~34 kb) program for working with pacman packages. Well worth installing if you don't have it already (sudo pacman -S expac). It allows you to query pacman's local and remote databases using printf-style strings.
So instead of typing:
pacman -Sii zlib | grep "Required By"
You can just do:
expac -S %N zlib
(Or replace -S with -Q to consider only installed packages)
Lots of other cool things you can do with this tool. For example, to find which installed packages are taking the most space:
expac '%m %n' | sort -n
8 • Rolling distros (by Friar Tux on 2023-05-15 04:34:49 GMT from Canada)
@5 (Andy) Sorry, but PCLinuxOS and Void are two of the worst offenders next to Manjaro. As I said, literally ALL the rolling distros have broken on the second or third update/upgrade, these two as well. So far, as @4 (uz64) said, "LTS is really the only sane way to run".
9 • Rollling Releases (by Bobbie Sellers on 2023-05-15 05:58:03 GMT from United States)
Well I do not use Ubuntu because I started out on Mandriva 2006. It was not a Rolling Release and was always troublesome when a new version came out about twice yearly.
I briefly ran Mageia and it was about the same as Mandriva(which gone out of business).
I settled with PCLinuxOS and it occasionally barfed back in 2014 when a new update came
along. But since 2016 when I got back to PCLinuxOS I have not had problems with updates
other people might be having problems but the PCLinuxOS Users Forum gives very good
advice. Linux 6.3.2 is the latest kernel update and we are at Plasma 5.27.5. Users
Forum gives prompt response to the problems usually. You have the attention of the
packager and many of the people who make the programs work.
So if you have a Rolling Release and any problems it is probably because of the staff.
10 • What do you think of a rolling Ubuntu edition? (by Head_on_a_Stick on 2023-05-15 06:01:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
Given the recent performance of Ubuntu in Distrowatch's reviews it will be interesting to see just how much more broken Ubuntu can get. Looks like Manjaro might finally have some competition :-)
@1: Debian testing/unstable is a development branch rather than a rolling release, it is designed to break and so probably isn't suitable for production use. Debian stable plus backports works well though.
11 • Chaos by design (by Trihexagonal on 2023-05-15 06:59:22 GMT from United States)
Some geeked out website lauded Ubuntu for its "ease of use" and among "the top choices for people who are getting started with Linux."
So having an Ubuntu rolling release makes perfect sense to me. Given they've seen the error of their ways and are trying to come back from dumbing down the user base repenting with trial by fire.
I put together this box using Kali 2021.3 GNU/Linux rolling release, upgrading the build approximately twice a week to 2023.1 as the current version. I enjoy using the rolling release, and apt, and have never had an issue with upgrading that broke the build beyond repair.
But I mix ports and pkg with FreeBSD and can work through any problems likely to arise from dong so. Skills I did not develop overnight and few people new to Linux are going to possess. Bravo.
Get out the popcorn, a train wreck in in the works.
12 • @8 Manjaro rolling release breakages?! (by Woodstock69 on 2023-05-15 08:06:03 GMT from Australia)
I've been using Manjaro for 4+ years now and I've NEVER had issues updating it and it breaking. Strange how some people have issues and others don't. *[scratching head]*
13 • rolling linux distribution (by sidro on 2023-05-15 08:48:06 GMT from Romania)
For me OpenSUSE Tumbleweed just works.
OpenSUSE is the only solution that provide efficient way of snapshots to rollback.
After 2 years of openSUSE I must say is perfect form me, without breaks.
14 • @5 and @8 Void Linux (by Hoos on 2023-05-15 09:34:25 GMT from Singapore)
I'm going to have to agree with @5 on Void here. I'm surprised that @Friar Tux was able to break Void after 2 or 3 updates.
My Void installation has been running without issue for 5-6 years. I can accumulate 2 to 3 months of updates and proceed to upgrade my system without any problems. I carry out updates as and when I feel like it without a care and without taking any precautions. I don't have to check a forum for update warnings first (note: Void has a reddit page) or make backups prior to any updates.
15 • Rolling Ubuntu? (by Kazlu on 2023-05-15 09:36:45 GMT from France)
I personally have no use case that would be fulfilled with a rolling Ubuntu, but if some people like the idea, please go ahead.
I have reserved as to the pertinence of the idea. Ubuntu is mostly geared towards people looking for an easy to use system, with little knowledge of the underlying system, and let's add gamers in the target audience (whose Linux knowledge may vary).
For the first category of users, a rolling release may not be the best idea. By nature, a rolling distro less stable than a, well, *stable* distro. Sooner or later it will break, not necessarily fatally, but small perks will happen every now and then due to an update. In that case, you better have a recovering scenario ready. OpenSUSE Tumbleweed and Linux Mint manage backup and recovery pretty well (even though Mint is not a rolling release) and guide the user *at install time or just after* to set up a recovery scenario. Once you recovered from an issue, you have to either solve it or hold updates hoping the next one will not break anything. So you need to know what you're doing and users that want things to just work by clicking on an update button will not know that. Moreover, there is a difference between using a rolling distro that uses repositories *designed* with a rolling distro in mind (Arch, Manjaro, OpenSUSE Tumbleween, etc.), and one that uses development repositories (Rhino, Debian untsable, etc.). The latter is more likely to break or not work as intended.
For gamers, well, I do not know how games will work on a moving base. That might be a good way to get recent hardware to work though, since you can update drivers as soon as an improvement is available.
My personal experience that may explain my point of view: I spent some time with Manjaro about a decade ago. I was pretty pleased with the performance of the OS and the freshness of the available software (although Firefox updates should not have been withheld for 2 weeks every time like other packages in my opinion, I wish there was a short cut for security updates). However, every now and then, I had a problem that needed caring. The one I remember the most is that after a while, my desktop froze and even though the mouse worked and I was able to open a few menus, almost no application would launch. Rebooting did not solve anything. I eventually learned that packages stored in cache but not being cleaned up ended up filling my system partition after weeks of updates. I learned to clear cache while keeping up to 3 versions of each packages through one command and never had this problem again. But every small problem like that demanded some digging to be solved. It was a great way to learn about Linux! But eventually as my life evolved I considered I did not have enough spare time to dedicate to that, especially since problems can happen at any time. I now use MX Linux and upgrade only when necessary (change of computer or Debian base reaching EOL) through a fresh install, that I can do whenever I set up some spare time to do it. So no, I don't really need fresh software, therefore I am enjoying the stable end of the spectrum!
16 • rolling release breakdowns (by crayola-eater on 2023-05-15 11:24:44 GMT from United States)
In my mind, all it takes is the timing of your upgrade. Should you perform an upgrade on you system in the middle of a repro upgrade of an item with multiple dependencies, the odds of a breakage go way up.
17 • Rolling releasse (by James on 2023-05-15 11:57:44 GMT from United States)
I run both, but have had the most trouble with rolling releases. I only use the system updater and only update when it suggests I do, but I still run into problems. The last one was my Bluetooth quit working on an update on Parrot. This is where it gets hairy, trying to fix these kinds of problems. Make the wrong install to fix the problem and you can break the system. Right now I have been running Sparky and it has been doing good so far, but I have had problems with Sparky in the past when it was in newer development.
18 • rolling version (by Carlos Felipe on 2023-05-15 12:53:14 GMT from Brazil)
I would like a 5 year old LTS version of Fedora. I can't install Fedora on a college machine and pray that a good soul will update it when the need arises.
19 • @12 (by Head_on_a_Stick on 2023-05-15 13:18:19 GMT from United Kingdom)
Sorry, I was just trolling. I've never even used Manjaro :-P
20 • Rhino Linux (by stefan on 2023-05-15 14:18:31 GMT from United States)
Anyone remember Rhino Linux for the Playstation 2? It was a Debian distro.
21 • Rhino Linux future development (by AJStrong on 2023-05-15 16:31:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
Hey all, Rhino Linux project lead here.
I want to start by saying I wish you did this review next week, as we are dropping a major UX and UI overhaul. We’ve made our own custom XFCE Desktop Experience called Unicorn with features similar to spotlight search, an app grid and Exposè/Virtual desktops dashboard. We plan to convert this into a full desktop environment based on xfwm4-wayland when time and development resources permit.
Aside from that, arguably another great feature is that it’s powered by Pacstall.
Great review, we plan to hopefully have our first (non-beta) disk images released in June.
AJ - Project Lead for Rhino Linux.
22 • Rolling releases (by Will on 2023-05-15 16:44:15 GMT from United States)
Ugh. Point releases, please. I don't care for rolling releases. I find them to have more bugs, more uncertainty, and they give me more headaches (arch, tumbleweed, etc). So hard for mere mortals to troubleshoot issues involving dependencies.
If you like bleeding edge, go for rolling releases. For the stability minded, it's a nightmare.
23 • Casto's Comparing OPNsense and PfSense (by Garrett on 2023-05-15 15:51:20 GMT from United States)
Casto's blog review comparing these two projects was really in-depth and I appreciate the effort that went into it. One of the most common questions asked when comparing alternatives like this is "what's different?". I'd like to see more of this style of review.
24 • Rolling Ubuntu (by bittermann on 2023-05-15 17:00:18 GMT from United States)
A rolling release of Ubuntu would be great for a lot of uses but in practice it has more bugs and issues. Manjaro seems to do it well but its Arch based and not Debian if that is your thing.
25 • Great idea (by alwan on 2023-05-15 17:46:09 GMT from Indonesia)
Actually, you can treat ubuntu "regular" release as rolling.
Edit the sources.list and you will have a newest ubuntu version regularly.
26 • @12 Manjaro (by Alex on 2023-05-15 18:19:41 GMT from United States)
Don't update your Manjaro or Arch for that matter for six months or longer and then try to. I guarantee you'll have problems. I have many computers and some I just don't use that often anymore. Those that sit idle for some time without regular maintenance of the software ALWAYS have problems in my experience. I like the idea of rolling releases but I think it is true enough that they require more care from the operator.
27 • Rolling releases (by bluep on 2023-05-15 19:28:16 GMT from United States)
I think each big distro should have a rolling release version.
Personally, I've been using PCLinuxOS for over a year and never had issues with apt-get dist-upgrade. It never gave me a black screen after an update.
28 • Rolling Releases (by NormanF on 2023-05-15 19:19:27 GMT from United States)
The middle way is to convert Ubuntu* LTS into a semi-rolling release through adding backports to your sources list.
That way you can get the latest desktop version without risk of breakage.
Or stick with point releases like Fedora and openSUSE.
29 • missing Opinion Poll choice.... (by Steve on 2023-05-15 20:18:26 GMT from United States)
You forgot the option of not using Ubuntu for any reason, let alone any other forks of Debian or, for that matter, the far too many forks of Ubuntu.
30 • Rolling in the Void (by nsp0323 on 2023-05-15 20:47:46 GMT from Sweden)
@16 wrong, on Void you'd get a warning that packages are being re-build and upgrade would abort. No harm done and you can try a few hours/days later. My Void install is from October 2017 and never broke.
31 • Rolling Ubuntu (by Otis on 2023-05-15 21:30:59 GMT from United States)
Well, not all rolling distros are the same, and not all of them can even be described in the same breath let alone as a general category of linux. I used to think otherwise, then I looked back on my off and on nightmares with some and satisfaction with others.
Some roll slowly, after a lot of testing.. so they are almost point releases in that respect. Easy to like those.
Others plow through right away and yep they break the system often.
Read through the various distro home site descriptions and look for phrases that smack of "cutting edge" and stay away. Conversely, if you see "rolling release after thorough testing" or some such, you may have a very different experience.
32 • That's how we roll (by Raul Enre Lisi on 2023-05-16 02:05:36 GMT from United States)
The reason all of you fixed-release lovers have fewer issues is because by the time you get the updates, we rolling-release users have already found and reported the bugs, giving the developers a heads-up on fixing them. We do the testing and you reap the benefits.
33 • Rolling Ubuntu (by cor on 2023-05-16 02:22:11 GMT from United States)
I don't see a need for a rolling Ubuntu. I'm happy with the way Ubuntu LTS. I've been using since 16.04 with no issues.
34 • Rolling distro (by Saleem Khan on 2023-05-16 04:27:24 GMT from Pakistan)
Arch Linux is the only rolling distro I would ever recommend and those who say arch breaks I would love to know how did they manage to break it because my arch Linux is still working from it's time of installation since 2009 . You will definitely break arch Linux or in that matter any distro if you don't know what you are doing with it.
My second rolling distro is PCLinuxOS which I have been using since it's version 0.92 and the only time I had to do a fresh install it when the development team asked for a fresh install due to major changes in its core packages else I am unable to break this distro as well unless I intentionally plan to run # rm -rf / on it .
Third rolling distro I use is PLD Linux for past 5 years , it works as fine as day one and though it is tricky to update it but it is resilient enough to break even if you try to because it won't let update to break it unless you know how you are updating it.
And the last rolling distro I am using for past one year is Joborun , again just like any distro if you don't want to break it it won't .
You can use any rolling distro if you are aware of the basics of using a rolling distro and follow the wiki or else you can easily break an LTS version of Ubuntu as well.
35 • Rolling releases @34 (by kc1di on 2023-05-16 10:23:28 GMT from United States)
Just want to say that I don't use many rolling releases, not because the break but because of personal preference and familiarity with debian derivities.
But there is one exception I as @34 use PCLinuxOS and have had an install of it on one machine for 4+ years with no major problems. It's maybe not considered a true rolling release but it works.
36 • Ubuntu (by RetiredIT on 2023-05-16 11:07:53 GMT from United States)
I think it would be nice if Ubuntu just went away. After all they haven't put out a really good release since Maverick 10.10. I would not even shed a single tear!
37 • Ubuntu (by RetiredIT on 2023-05-16 11:11:44 GMT from United States)
Oh, I forgot to mention that Dedoimedo hasn't reviewed anything related to Ubuntu for the past 9 years since 2014. That should tell you something!
38 • Ubuntu reviews (by Jesse on 2023-05-16 11:28:50 GMT from Canada)
@37 It tells me you have not read Dedimedo's reviews. He reviewed Ubuntu in 2017 and 2018. Has reviewed the Kubuntu edition fairly consistently for the past five years.
We link to these reviews on our information pages for each Ubuntu flavour.
39 • @ 36 (by James on 2023-05-16 11:46:44 GMT from United States)
"I think it would be nice if Ubuntu just went away."
There are literally thousands of people that disagree with you. If you don't like it, don't use it. There are many distributions I have used I didn't like or found lacking, but I never disparage them to others.
40 • @39 James: (by dragonmouth on 2023-05-16 12:26:37 GMT from United States)
Easier said than done. Unfortunately, the tech writers and pundits are IN LOVE with Ubuntu. Even though Ubuntu is down on DistroWatch distro list and hasn't been anywhere near the top since Mint took over, most of them still push it to the exclusion of other distros. Just look at all the "X Best Linux Distros" articles. At least 5 or 6 distros mentioned in every article are Ubuntu and/or its derivatives. Every once in a while, they mention Fedora or Arch. Based on their prevalent mention in articles, one would think *buntu == Linux.
Ever since Woody Woodward stopped the development of SimplyMEPIS, I have been using PCLinuxOS which, IMO, is as easy to learn and use as any of the *buntus, has a community as active, if not more so, than Ubuntu and does not try to emulate Windows.
41 • Rhino (by gplcoder on 2023-05-16 13:28:31 GMT from Canada)
Just tried Rhino Linux on a Dell Precision (this laptop has dual video, Intel integrated and discrete Nvidia Quuadro, every Linux distro except Mint has failed to present the video properly on the laptop panel and external hdmi video). Well Rhino failed the video test, the video did display on the laptop panel correctly at hd but there is no external video (just like mx), the external was detected in the display panel but nothing happens when I try to activate the external video. I told Rhino that I wanted Flatpak and apt but no snap and that installed properly. I asked for dos/mbr partitions with a bios boot and I got gpt partitions on a bios boot which caused the dreaded 'invalid partition table' boot error. Fortunately, Mint did the same thing to me so I know how to deal with it. Overall, the OS did install and update correctly. I am going to change the laptop to an old Dell Optiplex with a slow hdd and Intel chipset including video and try the video test again. Most distros pass this test no sweat. The idea here is a very long-term rolling installation just like my Gentoo very long-term test.
42 • @33 (by stefan on 2023-05-16 16:44:28 GMT from United States)
Some people actually need the latest and greatest packages. I know a lot of people love the LTS releases and do not like to upgrade.
43 • @8 - claim of PCLinuxOS "breaking" (by Andy Prough on 2023-05-16 18:26:05 GMT from United States)
>"@5 (Andy) Sorry, but PCLinuxOS and Void are two of the worst offenders next to Manjaro. As I said, literally ALL the rolling distros have broken on the second or third update/upgrade, these two as well."
That's a very odd thing to say without giving any details. What is your definition of "broken"? Are you saying that PCLinuxOS became un-bootable after an update? Because that's hard to believe, given how good its reputation is for stability.
I used Void for about a year and a half recently, and I had one single package that didn't work right after one update. The system was not "broken" at all, just the one piece of software would not do what I normally wanted it to, so I used an earlier version. But this happens on all distros - the upstream developers of some program sometimes put out a new release that isn't working the way users expect.
44 • Rolling (by Reyfer on 2023-05-16 18:26:06 GMT from Venezuela)
I don't know what Rolling Releases are....I just use Debian Sid since 2019 and I have had no issues, just a constant flow of up to date packages
45 • PCLinuxOS (by Friar Tux on 2023-05-16 22:25:37 GMT from Canada)
@43 (Andy) My definition of broken is quite simple - if it doesn't do want it is supposed to do, it is broken. I keep a record of all the distros I test. Between 2016 and 2023, I have tested PCLinuxOS 14 times. Of those 14 times, 12 did not install due to some error or missing file. Twice it installed. Both times, after the second update (about 1 1/2 weeks' use - I update every Friday), it stopped working. What was wrong isn't important to me. IT STOPPED WORKING, meaning I could not get stuff done. If I have to constantly mess about to keep my OS working then that OS is not for me. The one I'm presently using is an LTS Debian/Ubuntu derivative that has not glitched in seven years. Now, to me, THAT is an OS/distro worth having.
As for Void, I tried it once but it stopped working after the second update - about three weeks later. So... broken.
46 • PCLinuxOS - a solid rolling Distro for me (by M.Z. on 2023-05-16 23:15:01 GMT from United States)
Funny, I'm in the camp that got at least a few good years out of a PCLinuxOS install. I think I ran it for about 5 years with only one significant issue. As they say, your millage may vary, but it was very solid for me until the hardware was mostly unusable.
47 • Rolling Distro (by Pat Menendez on 2023-05-17 01:12:37 GMT from Canada)
I've tried Manjaro and other Rolling release distros over the years to disastrous results. Garuda looked interesting so I tried it and I love it! Fast. Stable. As up to date as you can get. There are updates almost every day but I have gone to just letting it go till I get a popup that the system is out of date and then manually update the system. The update is never less than 1.3 gig often close to 2 gig. (I have a lot of software installed). I've had the same installations for over a year and not one hint of an issue with an update! It works flawlessly on my seriously overclocked 8th gen and this antique Dell laptop with an old 3rd gen CPU. For safety it does have Snapper or TimeShift which are in the grub should an update bork the system. After years of seeing failure after failure with rolling releases, it's nice to finally see it working perfectly. I have not doubt whatsoever that Void is great. I tried it (and others in that direction) and liked it but it didn't have the software I want / need or new versions. Sometimes you want a bit more than just stability. I had years of good service with PCLinuxOS starting in 2007 too. I've got Antix installed and still running flawlessly after 5 years on an old 2nd gen K with an overclock. For me the next best after Garuda is Rosa. Completely different concepts but the best in their respective class for big plasma desktop.
48 • @18 • rolling version (by Carlos Felipe from Brazil) (by Cubehead on 2023-05-17 11:33:13 GMT from Netherlands)
"I would like a 5 year old LTS version of Fedora. I can't install Fedora on a college machine and pray that a good soul will update it when the need arises."
While there is no 5-year-support LTS version of Fedora, there is a 10-year-support LTS version of RHEL.
Yes, it is somewhat harder to set it up, but one has to do it only once over the lifespan of the PC.
You can set it and forget it. Literaly. No breaking extensions, if it must have Windows touch.
Gnome and Gnome-classic ("Mate") are preinstalled, as well as are X-Org and Wayland.
Applications can be installed either from the repository (old) or as Flatpak (new).
That way, one can easily have the old and the newest application versions simultaneously.
49 • @25 • Great idea (by alwan from Indonesia) (by Cubehead on 2023-05-17 11:44:11 GMT from Netherlands)
The best thing is that one doesn't even have to edit anything.
One can just open the update settings, and in the third tab, at the bottom, there is a menu choice between LTS or 6-month versions.
50 • @28 • Rolling Releases (by NormanF from United States) (by Cubehead on 2023-05-17 11:59:01 GMT from Netherlands)
Or one just lets it upgrade every 6 months.
One click in the update settings.
51 • @45 FriarTux: (by dragonmouth on 2023-05-17 12:21:02 GMT from United States)
"Of those 14 times, 12 did not install due to some error or missing file. "
From reading your posts, I would say that it is something you are doing or your hardware rather than then the rolling distros. I know it is anecdotal but, over the years, I have installed and used most of the versions of PCLOS, form Minimal to Full Monty. Never had a hiccup or a glitch, either installing or updating.
Be that as it may, if it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work. Time to find another distro. Between you, me and the four walls, I don't use any *buntu for the same reason you do not use rolling release distros. Apparently me/my hardware and *buntus are not sympatico. There are too many other distros to get hung up on any particular one.
52 • @34 • Rolling distro (by Saleem Khan from Pakistan) (by Cubehead on 2023-05-17 12:27:44 GMT from Netherlands)
"Arch Linux is the only rolling distro I would ever recommend and those who say arch breaks I would love to know how did they manage to break it because my arch Linux is still working from it's time of installation since 2009. You will definitely break arch Linux or in that matter any distro if you don't know what you are doing with it."
Most people I know don't really know what they do, and many Arch users will need something from AUR from time to time. Most Arch users are Manjaro or simmilar users.
Then one leaves the PC lying around for the next 3 years because one has 5 others. Three years later, one starts the PC again, and it works fine—unless one tries to update it.
After the restart, nothing will work as it is supposed to. Fedora would update and upgrade, and you could continue where you left off.
Another thing is the "system breaks" understanding. I don't know a single person who cares about OS. They care about their applications.
If an application doesn't work properly after the latest update, it is the system that broke, as the application one needs is the "system" and not the underlying system.
Last but not least, even if and when everything works fine but only a system appearance theme breaks, it's again the system that broke—nobody cares for OS or the system library that caused it, or a standards change, or... but the theme that one used last 3 years and which one liked isn't supported anymore and it has some ugly shades and is now broken—just as an example for easier understanding.
* Please do not try to persuade me that I'm wrong here, because I don't care. I'm not trying to engage in a discussion on rolling vs. LTS; I'm simply stating where the most real-life problems come from. I see people coming for support every day, and I see how they tick. Your agreement or disagreement won't change their mind or what I have to endure. ;)
53 • @42 (by stefan from United States) (by Cubehead on 2023-05-17 12:46:56 GMT from Netherlands)
"Some people actually need the latest and greatest packages. I know a lot of people love the LTS releases and do not like to upgrade."
That's exactly why people invented Flatpak and Snap.
54 • Rolling distros&Rhino (by grraf on 2023-05-17 09:10:04 GMT from Romania)
Why anyone would want a rolling ubuntu distro is beyond me, beside its miriad of PPA's and an amalgam of non native flat&snap packs you are just inviting even more chaos and destruction.
I'm also an arch linux user been one since way back around when widows Vista reared its ugly head and all data on my partitions got corrupted, made me swear to never touch anything M$ made again...
In all my years using arch I have only found myself glaring at a black screen a few times when there was a nvidia driver f'up(was easy enough to just chroot to my install and get rid of said buggy driver) other then that a few hickups with networkmanager and my adsl connection(quickly solved via temporary downgrading 1-3 libs) but those were a few isolated instances across years of use(and 3PCs later(i happen to have gaming as a hobby) beside those all was smooth sailing and got to enjoy early access to latest techs&driver feature(heck even now i'm writing this from my new gaming pc sporting intel's recent Arc770 gpu).
In my experience only folks that struggle with rolling distro issues are the ones that either dip into the AuR or prematurely try to go and toy around with new kernels/drivers without having the necessary knowledge to revert those changes in case smth goes wrong or have the common sense of holding on to a stable kernel branch in addition to whatever newer kernel they wish to fiddle with...other then that there is the whole overreliance on the GUI tools some 'newb frendly rolling distros' provide(that will inevitably fail/not report/prompt for some changes in configuration files) to do system wide updates instead of just sipping a cup of tea and watching the output of their sudo pacman -Syyu in a terminal for a few minutes like any sane person would normally do in order to save themselves any future hedaches.
Would I recommend rolling distros ?! without a doubt its the way to go, that is if you are an experienced enough user capable of chrooting to install/remove a kernel/driver via the terminal in case problems do happen to arise once every blue moon(it isn't as if live usb sticks for distro don't exist to allow you to just connect to the internet do some research on yr current issue)
55 • Rolling VS stable+Flatpaks (by Kazlu on 2023-05-17 13:23:55 GMT from France)
@52 and @53 are spot on here.
For a lot of users, and especially people who do not really know how a computer works but just want to use it (typically the kind of people who would go for Ubuntu), having a stable base with up-to-date Flatpak/Snap package is the way to go. They will not see the difference between that and a rolling distro, as long as themes and fonts are correctly handled. And the risk of having anything break is far lower.
Still not what I would do, but many people would.
Then again, as long as there are people interested in a rolling Ubuntu, please carry on, it's great if that is wh
56 • (by Kazlu on 2023-05-17 14:43:54 GMT from France)
...it's great if that is what you want.
(Sorry I slipped)
57 • ROLLING RELEASES (by NICK VLAHOS on 2023-05-17 17:06:59 GMT from United States)
"If it isn't "BROKEN" Don't "FIX" it !!
58 • Ubuntu ubiquity (by JeffC on 2023-05-17 23:50:50 GMT from United States)
A couple of years ago I did a search for Linux and a problem I was working on; every result was for Ubuntu.
I then did the same search but for Debian and the problem; the results were for Debian and Arch and Fedora and....
59 • Ubuntu, rolling and whatever (by El Guapo on 2023-05-18 02:21:11 GMT from United States)
Nothing avant garde about Ubuntu 'rolling". Tried it back in 2015-16 on Ubuntu 15.10.
Tried it again when Rhino Remix came out to see what the hoopla was about. Same same. Apt would upgrade and add a caveat at the end: You asked for "devel" we re giving you "kinetic". (Kinetic was the next release at the time.) No big issues. Gnome would show a popup once in a while about something crashing, but it could be closed and ignored. I suppose you can call it 'rolling" but it's just as easy to wait until the next release is coming out, change /etc/apt/sources.list and go on from there. I've done that several time with no injuries. Need also to update ant PPA's. I'm perfectly happy with Apt and Synaptic, so I have no hankering for rpk or Nala. I can see the usefulness of rpk for some who use different packages, but I run Ubuntu unsnapped and have a measly one flatpak and one appimage. Everything else is .deb except Firefox which is on the tarball with a .desktop file for the menu. Contrary to DW's and others' experiences, Ubuntu has been solid, installing and running, for many years. I would run Mint, but don't like the desktops offered.
Rolling vs Fixed: From all the posts, I glean that some people love rolling and some prefer fixed, and ne'er the twain shall meet. I've rolled with very few problems. Last, ran EndeavourOS for over a year. Nice. But I don't need the latest and don't really need to be constantly updating. I have four installs, and some only run occasionally, which is not ideal for rolling. To each his own.
60 • M$ Ubuntu! (by Larry on 2023-05-18 04:03:59 GMT from Germany)
I prefer Debian unstable (sid). It's the closest to "rolling" as I want and it's very enjoyable to use.
IMO, the only way I see Ubuntu rolling is into Microsoft's loving arms.
61 • Pacnews (and pacsaves?) (by Cheker on 2023-05-18 18:19:39 GMT from Portugal)
I suspect a large portion of the users whose Arch installations bork after a handful of updates don't look at their pacnews and don't merge those changes. If you ignore them, given enough time, your system will break. It's something to be aware of when you're using an Arch distro.
Number of Comments: 61
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|• Issue 1039 (2023-10-02): Zenwalk Current, finding the duration of media files, Peppermint OS tries out new edition, COSMIC gains new features, Canonical reports on security incident in Snap store|
|• Issue 1038 (2023-09-25): Mageia 9, trouble-shooting launchers, running desktop Linux in the cloud, New documentation for Nix, Linux phasing out ReiserFS, GNU celebrates 40 years|
|• Issue 1037 (2023-09-18): Bodhi Linux 7.0.0, finding specific distros and unified package managemnt, Zevenet replaced by two new forks, openSUSE introduces Slowroll branch, Fedora considering dropping Plasma X11 session|
|• Issue 1036 (2023-09-11): SDesk 2023.08.12, hiding command line passwords, openSUSE shares contributor survery results, Ubuntu plans seamless disk encryption, GNOME 45 to break extension compatibility|
|• Issue 1035 (2023-09-04): Debian GNU/Hurd 2023, PCLinuxOS 2023.07, do home users need a firewall, AlmaLinux introduces new repositories, Rocky Linux commits to RHEL compatibility, NetBSD machine runs unattended for nine years, Armbian runs wallpaper contest|
|• Issue 1034 (2023-08-28): Void 20230628, types of memory usage, FreeBSD receives port of Linux NVIDIA driver, Fedora plans improved theme handling for Qt applications, Canonical's plans for Ubuntu|
|• Issue 1033 (2023-08-21): MiniOS 20230606, system user accounts, how Red Hat clones are moving forward, Haiku improves WINE performance, Debian turns 30|
|• Issue 1032 (2023-08-14): MX Linux 23, positioning new windows on the desktop, Linux Containers adopts LXD fork, Oracle, SUSE, and CIQ form OpenELA|
|• Issue 1031 (2023-08-07): Peppermint OS 2023-07-01, preventing a file from being changed, Asahi Linux partners with Fedora, Linux Mint plans new releases|
|• Issue 1030 (2023-07-31): Solus 4.4, Linux Mint 21.2, Debian introduces RISC-V support, Ubuntu patches custom kernel bugs, FreeBSD imports OpenSSL 3|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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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.