| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 768, 18 June 2018
Welcome to this year's 25th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
A few years back the Debian project held a debate on the subject of which init software would best serve the distribution and its users. The Debian team ultimately decided to migrate from SysV init to systemd. Some developers, unhappy with the change, created a fork of Debian called Devuan and the young Devuan project released its second stable version just over a week ago. The new version, which carries the code name "ASCII", is the subject of our first review this week. In our Opinion Poll we ask which of the many init implementations for Linux and BSD is your favourite. Our second review column this week covers a cross-platform software build tool called pkgsrc, which offers users a way to build source packages on multiple operating systems. We provide an overview of pkgsrc, how to install it and how to use it in our Software Review. In our News second we talk about Red Hat Enterprise Linux being used on the world's fastest super computer and openSUSE providing support for a range of ARM-powered computers. Plus we talk about a new filesystem for Linux called NOVA and a new method for handling cron output on OpenBSD. We then share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 "ASCII"
- News: The world's fastest super computer runs Red Hat, openSUSE's supported ARM devices, new NOVA filesystem coming to Linux, OpenBSD offers better handling of cron output
- Software review: Building packages with pkgsrc
- Released last week: deepin 15.6, NethServer 7.5, UCS 4.3-1
- Torrent corner: Berry, deepin, NethServer, Parabola, Plamo, Robolinux, Sparky, Univention, Untangle, Zeroshell
- Opinion poll: Preferred init software
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 "ASCII"
A few years ago, when the Debian project opted to switch from using SysV init software to the more modern systemd alternative, the Devuan project was formed to provide a Debian-like operating system which continued to use SysV init. It took about two years for the Devuan project to get all of its infrastructure in place and release its first stable release, but the developers generally managed to deliver on their goal to provide a fork of Debian than was (by default) free of the systemd software.
The Devuan team has recently published their second stable release, codename ASCII. Devuan 2.0.0 is approximately equivalent to Debian 9 Stretch in the packages and technology it provides. Though, as before, systemd has been stripped from Devuan and SysV init is available in its place. The release announcement mentions the OpenRC service manager is also available as an alternative to systemd at install time.
Devuan 2.0.0 runs on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 processors and there are also a handful of builds for ARM-powered computers like the Raspberry Pi. I decided to try the 64-bit option and found it is available in multiple flavours, including a live disc, an install disc and a minimal disc. I downloaded a live disc that was 1GB in size and featured the Xfce desktop environment.
Booting from the live disc brings up a menu asking if we would like to start the live desktop environment, load the operating system into RAM and then launch the desktop or boot with failsafe options. Whichever option we choose, the system quickly loads from the disc and displays the Xfce desktop.
The live desktop session features a theme and wallpaper which combines grey and purple to produce a visually uninteresting first impression. There is a panel housing the application menu, task switcher and system tray at the top of the screen. At the bottom of the display we find a dock with some quick-launch icons for the file manager, web browser and virtual terminal. On the desktop are icons for opening the file manager, reading the distribution's release notes, launching the installer and changing the desktop font sizes. I really like the ability to increase or decrease font sizes with a click as it is a feature that often takes digging through multiple configuration screens. Unfortunately, the text labels under the desktop icons do not handle being resized well. When we first start using Devuan, the text under the icons reads "Small", "Large" and "_Release Notes". Increasing the size one notch makes the text read "SM", "LA" and "_RE".
Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 -- Reading the release notes
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The release notes are relatively brief, but provide information on such topics as non-free firmware (it is included for wireless support) and default repositories (non-free and contrib repositories are disabled). Default account usernames and passwords are also mentioned. While brief, the documentation gives us a good idea of what we will be starting with if we install Devuan.
Devuan has its own system installer. While there is a text-based version available, launching the installer from the live desktop opens a graphical installer. I believe it is worth covering the installer's many steps because it is almost certainly the longer installation process I have gone through to date.
First, we are asked for the root password, which is available in the release notes file. Then we are shown a screen warning us the installer's windows may not fit on small screens (or display properly in a virtual machine) and, in that case, we should use the text installer. Then I was warned that the grub-pc package was missing and might need to be installed manually, though the reason for this was unclear. We are then shown a long list of file system options, such as placing /home on a separate partition, using encryption and whether to use UUIDs in place of traditional device names in the system's fstab file. It is important to read through the entire list and toggle the right options because this will affect future options we will be shown and determine how the installer sets up our operating system. After that, we are asked to manually set up partitions using the GParted desktop software or the cfdisk text console partition manager. Then we are asked which partition should be used for the root file system and, in my case, which device will host the /home partition. Devuan supports working with just the ext2/3/4 file systems.
Next, we move onto selecting our time zone from a list. We are asked which language locales should be set up, with options being pulled from a cryptic list with entries like "en_US.UTF-8". We then select our keyboard layout from a similar set of lists. The installer then switches over to a terminal to ask if it should proceed with formatting our hard drive. Files are copied to our drive and then I was asked an unusual question. I was shown a screen with three options, with the first being to copy files to a /target directory and install the GRUB boot loader packages. The second was to open a chroot environment to perform custom actions. The third was to "continue" without installing a boot loader. I took the "copy files" option, half expecting it to fail since I'd been warned the grub-pc package was missing, but the installer accepted my choice and moved on.
We are then shown a screen asking us to create a user account. The account can be given sudo access, with additional options to "use sudo by default" and to "use sudo for shutdown only". These options don't have a clear explanation, but I think the last one implies any user with sudo access can shutdown the computer. The following screens get us to create a password for ourselves and the root account and then the installer disappears, apparently finished.
Honestly, after the long install process with odd file system, GRUB and user configuration options, I did not have high hopes that Devuan would boot the first time I went through the installation, but it did. The operating system booted and presented me with a graphical login screen where I could sign into the Xfce 4.12 desktop.
Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 -- The application menu
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The desktop was uncluttered, there were virtually no pop-ups, no welcome screen and no distractions. Xfce was pleasantly responsive. At first I wasn't a fan of the dock at the bottom of the screen taking up real estate, but I grew to appreciate having quick access to programs I was using on a regular basis.
A fresh install of Devuan took up about 3.6GB of disk space and logging into the Xfce desktop required 215MB of RAM. The distribution worked well with my desktop computer's hardware. The system booted quickly, the desktop was responsive and audio was set to a reasonable level. Videos played smoothly and I found Devuan to be stable on my desktop's hardware. My only complaint was that Devuan did not recognize or respond to my keyboard's media keys, such as the volume-up and volume-down controls.
I found Devuan did not integrate into its VirtualBox environment and could not make use of my computer's full screen resolution while running as a guest. Further complicating things, I could not find VirtualBox modules in the distribution's repositories. I was able to install the build-essential package and then build VirtualBox's generic guest modules. After that, I was able to increase Devuan's screen resolution.
Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 -- Running Firefox and LibreOffice
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Devuan ships with an unusual combination of popular open source applications and some less common programs. Popular items include Firefox, LibreOffice, the GNU Image Manipulation Program and the VLC media player. But then we are also given the lesser known Quod Libet music player, the Ex Falso media tag editor and the mutt terminal e-mail client. The Orage Calendar application, a PDF document viewer and printer manager are present too. The Thunar file manager is included along with a tool to rename groups of files and there is a process monitor. Devuan ships with the Wicd network manager to help us get on-line. In the background we find version 4.9 of the Linux kernel.
The operating system includes a handful of tools to adjust the look and behaviour of the Xfce desktop. Most of these worked very well for me and I was able to easily change the theme, fonts and window behaviour. Back when Devuan's release candidate came out, I tested the distribution and run into a problem with the utility which changes the desktop wallpaper. This program would lock-up and use 100% of my CPU, even after the window had been closed. The runaway process had to be killed manually through the task manager. I was pleased to find that problem had been fixed by the time the final Devuan 2.0.0 release was published. This was perhaps the only significant difference I encountered between testing the release candidate and the final release.
Earlier I mentioned Devuan did not work with my keyboard's media keys and I believe that goes hand-in-hand with another issue: Devuan does not have a volume control widget in the system tray. There is a PulseAudio control panel we can launch from the Xfce application menu, but by default there is no global volume control; each application is left to handle audio volume (or not) on its own.
Software on Devuan can be handled through the Synaptic package manager or by using the APT command line tools. Synaptic is a fast and capable package manager which can install, remove and upgrade software. It can also perform simple searches and configure software repositories. Synaptic handles package installs and upgrades in batches rather than queuing actions in the background like most modern software centres. It also takes a package-oriented view of managing software rather than focusing on desktop software, the way mintInstall and GNOME Software do. I was happy to find Synaptic performed its actions quickly and without any problems.
Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 -- Managing packages with Synaptic
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Much of Devuan's software is over a year old at this point and some users may wish to get more up to date desktop software. One way to do this is by using Flatpak packages. While Flatpak support is not included in Devuan by default, the Flatpak framework can be installed from the repositories. This allows us to install and run Flatpak bundles. Projects which supply AppImage packages can also be accessed. Unfortunately Devuan users cannot make use of Snap packages due to that technology's reliance on systemd, which is excluded from Devuan.
When I am trying out a desktop distribution, what really tends to divide the field of Linux distributions in my mind is not whether the system uses MATE or Plasma, or whether the underlying package manager uses RPM or Deb files. What tends to leave a lasting impression with me is whether the desktop environment, its applications and controls feel like a cooperative, cohesive experience or like a jumble of individual tools that happen to be part of the same operating system. In my opinion Ubuntu running the Unity desktop and Linux Mint's Cinnamon desktop are good examples of the cohesive approach. The way openSUSE's administration tools work together provides another example. Like them or hate them, I think most people can see there is an overall design, a unifying vision, being explored with those distributions. I believe Devuan falls into the other category, presenting the user with a collection of utilities and features where some assembly is still required.
This comes across in little ways. For example, many distributions ship Mozilla's Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird e-mail client together as a set, and they generally complement each other. Devuan ships Firefox, but then its counterpart is the mutt console e-mail program which feels entirely out of place with the rest of the desktop software. The PulseAudio sound mixing utility is included, but its system tray companion is not present by default. Even the system installer, which switches back and forth between graphical windows and a text console, feels more like a collection of uncoordinated prompts rather than a unified program or script. Some people may like the mix-and-match approach, but I tend to prefer distributions where it feels like the parts are fitted together to create a unified experience.
Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 -- Running the Falkon browser using Flatpak
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What I found was that Devuan provided an experience where I had to stop and think about where items were or how I was going to use them rather than having the pieces seamlessly fit together. However, once I got the system set up in a way that was more to my liking, I appreciated the experience provided. Devuan offers a stable, flexible platform. Once I shaped the operating system a little, I found it to be fast, light and capable. Having a fairly large repository of software available along with Flatpak support provided a solid collection of applications on a conservative operating system foundation. It was a combination I liked.
In short, I think Devuan has some rough edges and setting it up was an unusually long and complex experience by Linux standards. I certainly wouldn't recommend Devuan to newcomers. However, a day or two into the experience, Devuan's stability and performance made it a worthwhile journey. I think Devuan may be a good alternative to people who like running Debian or other conservative distributions such as Slackware. I suspect I may soon be running Devuan's Raspberry Pi build on my home server where its lightweight nature will be welcome.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
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Visitor supplied rating
Devuan GNU+Linux has a visitor supplied average rating of: 9/10 from 246 review(s).
Have you used Devuan GNU+Linux? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
The world's fastest super computer runs Red Hat, openSUSE's supported ARM devices, new NOVA filesystem coming to Linux, OpenBSD offers better handling of cron output
Several news sites have reported that the world has a new fastest super computer, capable of performing 200,000 trillion calculations per second (200 petaflops). The new super computer, named Summit, was built by IBM and uses a combination of Power9 processors and NVIDIA graphics cards. The computer's operating system: Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Network World reports: "If you knew that the top ten fastest supercomputers in the world today all run a variant of Linux, Red Hat's role in Summit might not be such a surprise. But don't stop there. The benefit to users of having a familiar OS (many national labs and research centers run Red Hat Enterprise Linux on their systems) makes Summit approachable in a way that older supercomputers have generally not been. The requirements for flexibility and scalability required for IT operations are considerably more important when it comes to supercomputing with its highly specialized components. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides stability, support, and its open nature."
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At the end of May the openSUSE team released version 15 of their distribution. The openSUSE distribution not only runs on laptops, workstations and servers, it is now also available on a wide range of ARM single board computers. Douglas DeMaio writes: "The release of openSUSE Leap 15 two weeks ago is following up with its Build to Scale theme by offering images for Raspberry Pis, Beagle Boards, Arndale board, CuBox-i computers, OLinuXino and more. openSUSE has plenty of supported ARM boards to allow makers to simply create. openSUSE is providing makers the tools to start, run and grow a project on micro devices to large hardware. The new, fresh and hardened code base that supports modern hardware is stable and offers a full scope of deployments. Makers can leverage openSUSE Leap 15 images for aarch64 and ARMv7 on Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded devices. Since openSUSE Leap 15 shares a common core with SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) 15 sources, makers who find success with a project or device can more comfortably transition to an enterprise product in the future should certifications become a requirement." A list of supported ARM-powered computers can be found in openSUSE's wiki.
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Linux Journal ran an article this past week on a new filesystem for Linux called NOVA (NOn-Volatile memory Accelerated). One of the selling points of NOVA is its ability to run in non-volatile RAM, memory which can be used across reboots. NOVA is also a log-based filesystem which offers some interesting benefits: "One of NOVA's main claims to fame, aside from supporting non-volatile RAM, is that it is a log-based filesystem. Other filesystems generally map out their data structures on disk and update those structures in place. This is good for saving seek-time on optical and magnetic disks. Log-based filesystems write everything sequentially, trailing old data behind them. The old data then can be treated as a snapshot of earlier states of the filesystem, or it can be reclaimed when space gets tight." More on NOVA and its current status can be found in the Linux Journal article.
* * * * *
System administrators have always faced a challenge when it comes to dealing with scheduled tasks. Specifically, each task that runs likely generates output which is e-mailed to the administrator. Most of the messages will be simple confirmations that everything went according to plan, but sometimes the output will indicate something went wrong. It is not a good idea to discard all of the messages and it can be cumbersome to set up filters to deal with the torrent of e-mails. Job Snijders has published a patch for OpenBSD's implementation of cron which allows the administrator to discard all output in cases where jobs complete successfully, but also be e-mailed a command's complete output if the job fails. "To improve the situation I propose to add a simple crontab(5) convenience option called '-n' (mnemonic 'No mail if run successful'). Note that options already are a thing in vixie cron ('-q' has existed for decades?), but are not part of POSIX. With this 'no mail if success' option you can do things like:
* * * * * -n cp -rv src/ dest/
With the above example crontab(5) entry you'll only receive a mail from cron(8) if the cp(1) encountered some kind of error. You'll also have in that e-mail up until what point cp(1) actually was able to copy files." The NetBSD team has already adopted the new cron feature.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Software Review (by Jesse Smith)
Building packages with pkgsrc
The pkgsrc framework is an interesting, cross-platform approach to managing software. The pkgsrc project creates a framework for compiling software on a range of operating systems, allowing users to use the same framework and tools on a variety of operating systems. Or, as the pkgsrc website states:
pkgsrc is a framework for building third-party software on NetBSD and other UNIX-like systems, currently containing over 17,000 packages. It is used to enable freely available software to be configured and built easily on supported platforms.
Using pkgsrc, we can compile open source software on just about any flavour of UNIX-like operating system and have it build and run the same way on each system. The pkgsrc framework has been tested and works on Illumos flavours, macOS, Linux, NetBSD and MINIX. The pkgsrc framework automatically downloads and manages dependencies for us. This takes a lot of the work out of getting up to date software running on a variety of operating systems.
According to the pkgsrc website, setting up the ports framework should be a straight forward process. We need to run a CVS command to download the framework, change into a directory in the framework and run a command to set up (bootstrap) the framework to work on our system. In theory, this should be accomplished with three commands we can copy and paste from the pkgsrc website:
cvs -firstname.lastname@example.org:/cvsroot checkout pkgsrc
The first issue I ran into while setting up pkgsrc was that my distribution (and in fact, I think most Linux distributions) no longer ship the CVS version control software by default. Luckily, most distributions still offer it as a package and I was able to install CVS on my MX Linux box by running "sudo apt install cvs".
The second problem I ran into was the space I had set aside for pkgsrc was not large enough. The pkgsrc framework alone takes up about 1.4GB of disk space. Then, after it has been through the bootstrap process and we have downloaded some source code and built a few packages, pkgsrc can easily take up 4-5GB of space.
Another hurdle I had to cross came about when I tried to run the bootstrap command. This failed, reporting that my echo command was not BSD compatible and that I should try using another shell. I switched from using bash to csh, as I typically use either csh or tcsh on FreeBSD and this seemed to work for a while. Trying to run bootstrap again failed and I was told I'd need to either run the script as the root user or run the script with the parameter "--unprivileged". I went with the latter option.
The bootstrap script went to work for a few minutes, but eventually failed with another error, reporting "unknown variable modifier". This seemed to be an issue with the shell I was running so I switched shells again, swapping out csh for ksh. Running the bootstrap process once more, from ksh, completed the bootstrap process. The script took approximately ten minutes to complete.
At this point we have a collection of software build recipes which are organized into a tree of directories. Each piece of software we can install is set up in its own directory inside a higher level category directory. This means we can jump into a directory like "net/nmap" or "multimedia/vlc" or other "category/program" pairing. Then the pkgsrc website says we can run "make install" to install the selected program.
At first this did not work, with any attempt at running the make command resulting in the error "missing separator". This is a semi-common problem with GNU's make program and, consulting the documentation (found in a README file in the pkgsrc directory) I learned pkgsrc requires that we use bmake instead of GNU's make. The bmake program can be found in a directory the bootstrap script sets up, called pkg. In my case this meant I could run /home/jesse/pkg/bin/bmake in order to start the build process. I feel it worth mentioning that I also tried using my distribution's own implementation of bmake, but it would not work. Using the version of bmake which ships with MX Linux to build pkgsrc's software always resulted in an error reporting circular dependencies had been detected. Running pkgsrc's bmake in the same directory would successfully resolve dependencies for the desired software.
At this point I felt like everything was in place and I could get to work installing and working with the software pkgsrc provides. I could install new packages by switching into a program's directory and running /home/jesse/pkg/bin/bmake install and remove items by running /home/jesse/pkg/bin/bmake deinstall. Software installed this way would end up in my pkg directory. This meant it was not in my user's normal path and I could not simply type its name to have it run. But I could type the full path, like /home/jesse/pkg/bin/program. As you might suspect, I soon added this location to my path manually to cut down on my typing.
Comparison to other cross-platform software options
In the past, I have written overviews of other cross-platform package managers and approaches. I have talked about Nix as well as Flatpak, Snap and AppImage. Each approach has some pros and cons to it. Nix, for example, is fairly easy to set up and provides package version snapshots, allowing us to roll back broken updates. Flatpak works well across Linux distributions, but is awkward to use from the command line and appears to be focused on just providing desktop software. Snap is easy to use, but is set up to use just one repository by default and has trouble working on Linux systems that do not feature systemd. AppImage is highly portable, but usually does not have a central package manager.
In comparison, what sets pkgsrc apart is it is designed to work across many operating systems. The pkgsrc framework should work about the same, whether we are running it on MINIX, Debian or NetBSD. This makes pkgsrc much more flexible than the approaches mentioned above.
The downside to using pkgsrc is, when it is used outside its native NetBSD, it's more difficult to set up. The documentation seems to assume we are running the framework on NetBSD (or another flavour of BSD) and I had to go through some trial and error to get any software to compile. Unfortunately, even once I could build some packages, pkgsrc failed to successfully build most items I tried to install. This makes me think the pkgsrc contributors probably do not test ports across each platform.
Ultimately, pkgsrc is the most flexible portable software management tool of the ones mentioned in this article. However, at the moment, it is also the one I have had the least success with as far as getting software running on my operating system. Unlike the other portable package managers (like Nix and Flatpak), pkgsrc requires the user to compile software from source code which makes installing new software a slower process.
I think pkgsrc is probably best suited to more niche platforms, like MINIX, where the operating system's existing package manager is unlikely to be able to provide the software we want. On most Linux distributions, which have larger repositories of pre-packaged applications, pkgsrc is less practical.
|Released Last Week
Alessio Fattorini has announced the release of NethServer 7.5. The NethServer distribution is based on CentOS and provides a friendly, web-based administration panel. The project's latest release includes the Fail2Ban security software, the ability to set up wi-fi hotspots and more flexible control over software updates. "We have deployed a new panel to manage the software center. It allows to select how NethServer deals with upstream updates and configures automatic software updates. The Locked policy is selected automatically when CentOS releases a new minor version. It limits updates to repositories specific to the current version When NethServer is ready to upgrade, the new upgrade procedure can be started. The software center section of the Admin's manual was updated accordingly. Read it carefully! Icaro Hotspot - Hotspot's main goal is to provide Internet connectivity via wi-fi to casual users. Users are sent to a captive portal from which they can access the network by authenticating themselves via social login, SMS or e-mail. Icaro is a complete Hotspot written in Go and Vue.js. It uses CoovaChilli as access controller which can be configured and installed inside NethServer." Further information and screen shots of the new features can be found in the project's release announcement and in the release notes.
Univention Corporate Server 4.3-1
Univention Corporate Server (UCS) is a Debian-based server distribution that offers an integrated management system for central administration of servers, Microsoft Active Directory-compatible domain services, and functions for parallel operation of virtualised server and desktop operating systems. The Univention team has published a point release update for the distribution's 4.3 series, Univention Corporate Server 4.3-1. The release announcement mentions the following changes: "The UMC system diagnostic module has been extended with additional tests. They support the administrator to check the system health of the UCS system and the whole domain. The management system usability and configurability has been expanded. The expected usability has been improved in several places, for example when configuring email addresses or DNS settings. A content-security-policy has been integrated in the UCS management system to increase the browser security by protecting web cookies. Various security updates have been integrated into UCS 4.3-1, e.g. Apache2, the Linux kernel and Samba4. A complete list is available in the release notes."
Untangle NG Firewall 14.0
Untangle NG Firewall is a Debian-based network gateway with pluggable modules for network applications like spam blocking, web filtering, anti-virus, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention, VPN, SSL VPN, firewall, and more. The project's latest release, version 14.0, offers more control over VPN connections and directing traffic based on the port and protocol being used. "Key updates provide more control, more visibility and lower costs for SD-WAN. Tunnel VPN connections can bind to specific WANs, allowing configuration of multiple tunnels for multi-WAN sites and ensuring each tunnel is using the desired physical WAN connection. Administrators can direct traffic to the most desirable WAN connection based on criteria like ports and protocols. Tunnels can be set up without NAT so that the cloud firewall has full visibility into the network. This gives the ability to centralize policies across the whole network from the cloud firewall." Additional information can be found in the distribution's release announcement.
deepin is a Debian-based Linux distribution which strives to provide an attractive and user-friendly experience via the Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE). The project's latest release, deepin 15.6, features a new welcome window and a quick settings navigation bar. There is also a new launcher window, designed to use less screen space along with a new user's manual. "The newly added welcome program demonstrates and guides deepin personalization. When boot after deepin installation, the welcome program will be automatically shown, playing video introduction and guiding you to set desktop mode and icon theme, which can be opened later by clicking "dde-introduction" icon in Launcher. The navigation bar sticks on the left of the Control Center. Click the module icon on the left to quickly skip to the settings you want, no need to scroll up and down any more. Moreover, display scaling function is integrated in Control Center for HiDPI screens." Further information and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
deepin 15.6 -- The settings panel
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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: 899
- Total data uploaded: 20.1TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Preferred init software
We began this week's issue with an overview of Devuan GNU+Linux, a distribution which got its start by providing a Debian-like experience with an alternative init software. These days there are a lot of init implementations available in the open source ecosystem, ranging from the classic SysV init, to the legacy Upstart, the widely used systemd, and a handful of others. There are some more interesting init projects like Void's runit and OpenRC. This week we would like to find our which init software is your favourite.
If your distribution currently does not run your preferred init software, please let us know in the comments which init implementation your distribution currently uses and which one you would like to be running.
You can see the results of our previous poll on running Android-x86 on laptop computers and workstations in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 25 June 2018. 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)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Where is "don't give a flying fart"? (by zoof on 2018-06-18 00:17:16 GMT from United States) |
I find both SysV init and systemd fine. I've used OpenRC. They all worked fine.
2 • Systemd FTW (by Jake on 2018-06-18 00:36:47 GMT from Brazil)
Very easy to use, common init, easy to manage, quick.
3 • Init System (by Rev_Don on 2018-06-18 00:45:55 GMT from United States)
I'm more concerned with the overall quality and usability of the distro is and how well the Init system is implemented than which one they use.
4 • Poll (by DaveW on 2018-06-18 00:52:52 GMT from United States)
This poll really needs a "don't care" option. I do not pick a distro based on what init software it uses, but on whether it does what I need.
5 • Good riddance to OpenSuse Leap 15! (by OS2_user on 2018-06-18 00:59:18 GMT from United States)
Two weeks ago, I posted that installed the above and was for once of late pleasantly surprised that it worked, though groused about not even seeing my 1600x900 monitor. So, with "advice" (from someone who first suggested that I buy another monitor) resolved to, er, set the resolution.
So, again through settings, nothing missed; again looked for discovery of monitor's capabilities, no such. Was going to start browser and look up that Weekly to add TEXT to startup file -- as though it's the 1980s! Ran mouse down to open program menu and -- got no menu! Just the "Applications" title with nicely rounded corners, and it only flashed up for a second!
Surely a top-level KDE problem, not underlying system. The mouse kept working, repeated the above and right-click menu, but NO list, let alone shutdown option.
It was literally second time booted that installation. Real hardware: an old stock Dell. Visibly working fine. NOT monkeyed with. Windows 7 runs fine on it, so not likely bad RAM or any other excuse.
While trying to FIX a basic problem, it's exceptionally infuriating when an even more basic problem pops up! KDE should just simply NEVER lose its MAIN function of starting programs! NEVER!
I wouldn't try to tune the radio in a NEW car when the steering wheel has just come off in my hands! Didn't even bother pushing the power button to shut down and try again, just yanked the power cord. DONE with OpenSuse forever.
Folks, I haven't found one reliable in last year. Despite prior hopes for Linux, I'm exhausted. A big LACK and then UNUSABLE just during initial testing! -- Doesn't help if "works for you". Perhaps you're more patient and ignore flaws or like to "fix" them.
Yes, I should stop reading and commenting here, then. It's become morbid humor, though.
6 • Init choice, does it matter or not (for me) (by TheTKS on 2018-06-18 01:19:57 GMT from Canada)
As a home desktop user who just wants things to work so I can work (except when I’m tinkering), choice of init system probably doesn’t impact me directly.
Still, I voted Sys V because:
- My favourite distro, Slackware, uses it, and runs incredibly stably and starts up quickly enough for my needs
- Systemd doesn’t get the vote because: my other main distro, Xubuntu, and another I use from time to time, elementary (and I like both distros) have given me a systemd related problem (eventually solved); the developer’s attitude during its development (which I could overlook if his solution gave something clearly superior to the alternatives, for my use); and I just can’t shake a mild mistrust of its approach, even though I can’t point to anything specifically impacting me (aside from the one problem)
7 • Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 ascii? for the Raspberry Pi (by Tux_Raider on 2018-06-18 01:46:06 GMT from United States)
where is the raspberry pi image of Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 ascii?
i searched their website and found the x86 and x86_64 iso images, but none for the raspberry pi, (armhf?) i have a raspberry pi 3 b+ and an extra microSD card i would love to give Devuan a spin on it,
i noticed that rasbian with the default install is consuming 25% of the CPU just doing nothing, i would rather find something less resource hungry just sitting there idling, freeing up resources for apps, i been wanting to do afew things with my pi, but mostly as a SDR radio server on my LAN, (rtl-sdr dongle) maybe openwebrx server too open to the World Wide Web if the little thing can handle it
8 • Raspberry Pi images (by Jesse on 2018-06-18 01:49:12 GMT from Canada)
@7: You can either go to our Devuan information page and follow the Download link or jump directly to the Devuan ASCII download server to get Raspberry Pi images: https://files.devuan.org/devuan_ascii/embedded/
9 • RE: 8 (by Tux_Raider on 2018-06-18 02:16:46 GMT from United States)
thanks!!! downloading now, i will put it on soon
i am grateful to the old school linuxes like slackware and since debian jumped over to the borg (systemd) i am glad for Devuan stepping up with a non-systemd debian fork
thanks again :)
10 • Runit (by jcjordyn120 on 2018-06-18 02:34:42 GMT from United States)
I use runit as it's simple and the amount of code in PID 1 should be absolutely minimal.
11 • init (by Qyu Lee on 2018-06-18 02:47:56 GMT from Canada)
I do not think that I ever had a chance for s6 exposure. Apart from that, I have passed by many more than listed on the poll. Only systemd or SysV remained main-stream and is the main choice for Linux users. Upstart and SystemStarter have been faded-out.
In Debian Family, Jessie was the first release with full-implementation of systemd.
Where as Devuan forked for SysV for the init lovers. Devuan (jessie) picked-up old hardware nicely than Debian (jessie). Devuan team did a nice good job.
I do not have any personal preference either for systemd or SysV over one another.
I never had any problems with most recent distros I have tried, they all were with systemd or OpenRC.
12 • As long as it starts (by M.Z. on 2018-06-18 03:33:24 GMT from United States)
I'm with the other commenters. I don't worry about my init system so long as my desktop starts. Quicker & more reliable are pluses, but I mostly just want a decent open source solution for all my software including init. I'm glad those that care about init have a choice, & I hope people can be civil about it.
13 • Devuan, and why I don't like software like systemd, Unity, Gnome, snap (by mmphosis on 2018-06-18 03:47:04 GMT from Canada)
I downloaded the netinst for Devuan for amd64. I understand that amd64 means it will also run 64-bit on Intel chips, that's not confusing to anyone else? I am looking at Devuan because it seems to have most of the same programs that I use on Xubuntu: xfce, firefox, vlc. The mutt email client mentioned in the review seems odd, but I might try it out because although Thunderbird is okay, I find that it has it's problems.
Ubuntu does stuff with GRUB, so I skipped the grub stuff in the Devuan installer and had to carefully and manually type some very very long commands to get things to boot from GRUB. I wish I could telnet into GRUB like I can telnet into Open Firmware on a new world PowerPC Mac, but I digress.
I suffered through Unity and now that Unity is gone, Gnome things are getting in the way. I want a simple fast desktop that I can modify: xfce works for me. I don't really care about systemd, from the start it looked similar to launchd on Mac, but again I like simple and fast and both systemd and launchd add "yet another" layer that I don't need. I don't care which init, but it needs to be simple and fast, and it has to work.
Ubuntu and Xubuntu have worked for me because, in my opinion, they are the easiest to install. Easy to install means easy for people to get started in something they probably will be confused about at first. Easy to install also means more people using Linux which I think is a great thing.
I used the text-based Devuan installer because that is what their site suggested. Gparted, and other Partition Managers are nice, but they should not get in the way when installing. It is definitely a slog to get this type of distro installed, but I have a better idea of what I am getting myself into, and what I don't want to get myself into.
The "snap" software on Ubuntu is definitely out for me. When this began showing up in Ubuntu, I tried to delete it but it keeps coming back in some form. I recently tried an AppImage and I think this is the way to go, but I could very quickly change my mind if anything goes sideways. Flatpak seems like "yet another" type of format, only rather than Ubuntu Flatpak comes from fedora? Nothing against fedora, but each distro seems to have it's own package manager or software format and frankly it is tiresome.
I've done almost all of the steps in the Linux From Scratch (LSF) document. Maybe LFS is the way I should be going, but I would like to try Devuan as it seems closest to the Linux desktop that want to be running.
14 • init (by Hoos on 2018-06-18 04:50:27 GMT from Singapore)
I didn't participate in the poll.
If I like a distro, the init system doesn't matter. However, it is good that there continues to be alternatives to systemd. I'm all for choice, particularly on as divisive an init (plus plus) system as systemd.
I have systemd, sysV and runit distros on my multiboot machine.
15 • Preferred init software (by Subaru on 2018-06-18 05:02:39 GMT from Japan)
I tend to like SysV more than SystemD however I don't get a chance to use it much, maybe my next big project will be trying to switch SysD with SysV on my system :3
16 • @13 - flatpak (by Hoos on 2018-06-18 05:05:13 GMT from Singapore)
"...Flatpak seems like "yet another" type of format, only rather than Ubuntu Flatpak comes from fedora?"
Don't know about that, but Flatpak works with non-systemd distros out of the box (ditto Appimage).
Snap requires systemd, so unless someone has the technical knowledge to bypass that, it does not seem to be a good universal choice for a "sandboxed, all-dependencies included" format.
For myself, I only use flatpak and appimages, but only where my distros' repositories don't have a particular program that I need.
17 • Poll confusing (by JS on 2018-06-18 06:07:05 GMT from United States)
I don't understand the poll at all. Busybox? Since when are boxes busy? what do they do? Nosh? What does Linux have to do with food? OpenRC and RC, what does it differ if I fly my model plane openly? Runit? What in the world is an runit? How does it differ from an sunit? What is s6? It is a linux way of saying six? And, what about systemd? Please tell me that is a misspelling. Surely SysV is one, right? So, I see Upstart here, and wonder what politics have to do with it. Now, I can understand "other", but what "other"? Other or maybe it was intended to be spelled "Mother"? This poll is so confusing. I am a Windows user.
18 • "You can't always get what you want" (Rolling Stones) (by denk_mal on 2018-06-18 06:17:35 GMT from Germany)
What I am using is very different from what I want.
I am using those init system that came along with tie distro I have to install.
So if the customer wants this or those distro I will (or must) use the init system that is preinstalled.
For now I will use systemd (debian, ubuntu), sysvinit (devuan), S6 (docker container) and busybox (some embedded systems)
I optimize the init systems by Hand (except systemd of course; too error-proune!) so none of them are faster, more stable or smoother than all the other init systems for now.
If I had a free choice I wiil choose sysvinit (KISS and most documented) or S6 (kiss and really usable out of the box) and if I can defer an init system I kick out systemd (too complex, less documented and to many dependencies to other, not wanted daemons and software)
19 • Devuan (by heri on 2018-06-18 06:42:07 GMT from Germany)
I do care about an init system that wants to make even my desktop choice a dependancy which triggered the move to devuan, at first on my netbook, which is a good testbed or a pain in the rear depending on how you look at it. All the hardware is working correctly even wifi reliable which is not usual. Devuan installation is more complex than Manjaro or Mint but nothing difficult, just more about preferences than quick and dirty.
The desktop is in no way flashy but gets the job done without distraction. In any case you can change it any way you like.
On any Distro I regard the basic software which comes with the installation as a suggestion, Thunderbird and Firefox get removed before an internet connection is established. Telemetry should be an opt in choice and the user respected if he says no. I use claws Mail and palemoon along with Falkon and Netsurf for browsing, installed latest Libreoffice and VLC.
Only thing I miss is the newer version of Gimp, the version available in the official repositorys is much less capable. .
An unassuming grey mouse with superpowers, Devuan is Fast Booting has low resource requirements and is in my experience totally stable. Highly recommended.
20 • #5 what seems more plausible? (by Tired... on 2018-06-18 06:58:57 GMT from Sweden)
... what seems more plausible? That this is a universal problem with a few million users who blindly accepts the DE not starting applications etc? Or something on your end?
If you have a bug, report the bug - this comment field is not where that happens.
Even asking in the Opensuse subreddit, the IRC channel etc is better (but only slightly) as a way to fix your bug.
Finally, Plasma runs perfectly fine here - not because I fixed anything, or because I accept that applications don't run (??? who would do that???) but because it does and it seems like that is the norm (otherwise there would be quite the uproar)
Finally. You yanking out a powercord in rage instead of turning the machine off is not a practical way to deal with problems.
21 • Preferred init software (by ibuidan on 2018-06-18 08:04:21 GMT from Romania)
I've tried to run SliTaz (Busybox init software) installed onto an USB disk ext4 filesystem and I do not get it why at sometime when starting the default session ( executable script ), the programs get into ages of waiting to load to memory and to start running.. Also even though I choose the 64bit kernel image. Slitaz (tazpkg) architecture is i486 ! so I gave up on using SliTaz.
I run Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with systemD and with Budgie Desktop installed from onto hard disk as daily driver. The live cd of Solus hangs in trying to start the display manager in trying to boot in live session so I cannot install Solus using this computer !
I have used debootstrap to create my customized Ubuntu 18.04 squashfs root filesystem for to copy it onto Slax disk as a rootfs.sb module onto an ext4 filesystem ( for to use Slax persistent changes); the init sofware here is systemD .
I want to run newer, bleeding edge software, (Budgie desktop) so I've chose to run Ubuntu instead of Devuan GNU/Linux.
22 • Deepin on Ubuntu base - memory usage at 650MB! (by OstroL on 2018-06-18 09:02:35 GMT from Poland)
If you'd install the deepin ppa from launchpad on Ubuntu base, you'd get a nice DE with low memory footprint. You can see an interesting post and a screenshot here, https://bbs.deepin.org/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=158378&extra=page%3D1
It says, it is 650MB at idle!
That is less than memory Deepin 15.6 uses at idle, which is >1.1GB.
23 • systemd is not just an init system anymore (by Mathew on 2018-06-18 09:09:17 GMT from Canada)
the problem i have with systemd is simply it is not just an init software anymore.
I accumulates multiple functionalities into one monolithic bunch of code (sometimes very buggy, proven. just crawl their issues on github).
Why should my init software provide a DNS resolver? (and do it badly?)
Why should my init software interfere with linux basics like username handling? (https://github.com/systemd/systemd/issues/6259)
Just have a look here and make up your own view: http://without-systemd.org/wiki/index.php/Arguments_against_systemd#Absurd_bugs_and_responses
24 • In Praise of Runit, The systemd Dilemma, and The Discovery of Other Init Systems (by win8linux on 2018-06-18 09:15:59 GMT from Philippines)
I personally wish that more distributions would adopt runit as their init system. It's like systemd, but much more minimal. It's quite straightforward to use, doesn't use binary logs, boots and shutdowns very quickly, is compatible with SysV init scripts, and is portable to any POSIX-compliant system.
If only Ubuntu et al. used it, we'd have many of the init-related benifits of systemd without the other cruft. I know that the various components of systemd can be compiled seperately. But when the expected behavior of a distro using said init system is to have the same features available as with others utilizing it as well (read: everything in the systemd repo), it becomes somewhat heavy in comparison to the other entrants.
This week's poll was quite good, in my opinion. Not only is it a way to generate more discussion around init systems, but it may also have helped others discover that there are more init solutions beyond systemd, Upstart, SysV, and OpenRC. I didn't know about nosh and s6 init beforehand and now I'm interested to learn more about them out of curiosity.
P.S. Does anyone here know more details about nosh init? Some light research turned up some dead links such as the one I found on Hacker News: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/jonathan.deboynepollard/Softwares/nosh.html
25 • Void Linux and runit (by mcg on 2018-06-18 09:41:57 GMT from Finland)
Void LInux and runit. Nothing more.
26 • screen resolutions (by Tim Dowd on 2018-06-18 10:00:01 GMT from United States)
My best guess at your resolution problem is that you're missing a piece of firmware for your graphics card. As Jesse pointed out in the review of openSuse, it doesn't include non-free software by default. I had a similar problem on Debian a few years back, similar to this one
I never was able to get it resolved- I was short on time that year so I switched to Mint and Ubuntu which ship non-free software. They worked fine.
27 • init systems (by Romane on 2018-06-18 10:07:19 GMT from Australia)
Honestly, I fail to see, and have always failed to see, what the kerfuffle is about init systems. I honestly do not care what init system my distro uses - if it works, what else really matters. Truth be told - nothing!!. Init systems is one of the things I ignore about whatever distro I choose to run.
Really, it is just another version of "Windows is better than Mac is better than Linux" garbage.
Let the boffins, who devote their time, effort and energy into voluntarily keeping our systems running, and too often under-appreciated, work out what init system they prefer to work and develop with. They are doing a damn fine job on *all* the init systems to make sure they do just that - work.
28 • Voted for SysV init (by TuxRaider on 2018-06-18 10:14:34 GMT from United States)
my all time favorite init system is Slackware's BSD style scripts in /etc/rc.d, but the old SysV style init is good too, i like them because they are human readable shell scripts that can be edited with any text editor,
i tried systemD because i wanted to see how it was and i agree that it is trying to do too much which is not part of the init system's parameters, and what made me mad about it is i would kill a service daemon that was not critical but consuming about 15% cpu and systemD decided to start it up again without my explicit permission.
Write programs that do one thing and do it well.
Write programs to work together.
Write programs to handle text streams, because that is a universal interface.
29 • poll re init system (by Simon on 2018-06-18 11:49:20 GMT from New Zealand)
Exactly #28. Actually the poll needs an "anything but systemd" option, which might have beat systemd.
30 • Devuan "Ascii" (by César on 2018-06-18 11:54:05 GMT from Chile)
Well, i download and install Devuan ASCII.
I tried with KDE, but IT'S HORRIBLE, the wifi after boot the desktop don't works, only wired connection works, synaptic don't works too (repos error says), aptitude even worst, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, KDE plasma hangs, error after error. Please don't install KDE in Devuan Ascii.
After this horrible start, i tried a second chance, but this time i install Mate.
Now the system WORKS, everything fine, no problem, fast, stable, clean system, nothing extra, 650 at idle RAM required, CPU not forced.
I continue use Devuan because i never like SystemD.
Greetings from Santiago de Chile.
31 • 22 • Deepin on Ubuntu base (by Saleem Khan on 2018-06-18 11:55:50 GMT from Pakistan)
@22 , is this PPA regularly updated? I have Deepin installed and would try this PPA on Bionic if it is kept updated with Deepin released latest updates.
32 • Don't care which init, EXCEPT (by curious on 2018-06-18 11:55:51 GMT from Germany)
... that it must be bug-free and that it should not cause shutdown times of 3 minutes (instead of about 5 seconds).
33 • @31 Deepin on Ubuntu base (by OstroL on 2018-06-18 12:25:29 GMT from Poland)
Yes, it is regularly updated. It is now on Bionic, but you can install it on Cosmic too. I've a feeling that the ppa is coming from Deepin team itself. I just tried it on Cosmic and I got 724MB at idle. Mine is a Pentium. The memory usage is quite nice for such a fully fledged DE!
34 • init Software (by R. Cain on 2018-06-18 13:13:25 GMT from United States)
Ten choices for "...which init software is your favourite....", when most people have never heard of some--perhaps most--of these?
Most people HAVE heard that SysVinit is THE init system for Unix,and Linux; and has been for years; and that it has--and does--work admirably...for years on end.
What most people don't understand is the ease with which SysVinit can be maintained, IF it's ever necessary, versus the opposite situation with systemd.
This penchant for replacing a rock-solid part of the Unix/Linux system and replacing it with a much more complex alternative simply for the sake of replacement is part of the problem which exists with Linux in general ( e.g., over eight HUNDRED distros in your database).
How about a simple poll-- "Do you prefer 'SysVinit', or 'systemd' ."
At the very least, this might get people to seriously educate themselves to the differences.
35 • Systemd (by Systemd on 2018-06-18 13:17:04 GMT from Portugal)
Plenty bigger issues to “solve” in desktop Linux than system d for distraction.
36 • One of the more interesting weeks (by Barnabyh on 2018-06-18 14:02:59 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the review. I have not tried Devuan yet so was wondering. Sounds like Devuan and Flatpak would be a good alternative for when a full, fresh Slackware install is too much and one wants Xfce. Bit like Salix, minus the convenient tools to add codecs etc. And of course a different base if that matters.
Also, thanks for the primer on pkgsource. I had heard of it but had not explored yet how it would fare in comparison.
37 • 7 • Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 ascii? for the Raspberry Pi (by Tux_Raider on 2018-0 (by mvdvarrier on 2018-06-18 14:04:23 GMT from India)
Rasbian with the default install is consuming 25% of the CPU just doing nothing,
I also have such an experience with Raspbian. With the help of top command it has been known that the cpu cycles are consumed by some python processes. when I killed python , the cpu consumption floored to zero. I cannot under stand what is happening. If the python is not terminated , it is continuing with no ending.
38 • Opinion Poll (by Fantomas on 2018-06-18 09:28:50 GMT from United Kingdom)
Right now I am using /SysV init/ and I enjoy it, so I voted for this one. Also another one that I would love to see more is /OpenRC/ Am not aware of any decent usable Distro that uses OpenRC. As of today Jun.2018 I am forced to use /systemd/ by design on other Distros that I use, and I dislike it - always have - always will. Also I wish lots of Success for the Devuan Linux Team. I have tried it long time ago and it did not detect other Distros on the HDD, wiping everything and the Software was very Old, making it desirable to run off-line perhaps. Other than that it was very stable. I did not have the time to test the /devuan_ascii_2.0.0 from 2018-Jun-06/ Thank you.
39 • 7 • Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 ascii? for the Raspberry Pi (by Tux_Raider on 2018-0 (by mvdvarrier on 2018-06-18 14:05:10 GMT from India)
Rasbian with the default install is consuming 25% of the CPU just doing nothing,
I also have such an experience with Raspbian. With the help of top command it has been known that the cpu cycles are consumed by some python processes. when I killed python , the cpu consumption floored to zero. I cannot under stand what is happening. If the python is not terminated , it is continuing with no ending.
40 • OpenRC (by bison on 2018-06-18 14:26:21 GMT from United States)
I voted OpenRC. Of all the modern alternatives to systemd it seems to have the most traction, and it doesn't interfere with SysV init.
If there were a mainstream distro based on Debian and/or Ubuntu that used OpenRC, I would probably switch to that distro.
41 • systemd (by nobody-important on 2018-06-18 14:55:57 GMT from Canada)
systemd gave us log files that cannot be read with a simple text editor and must be viewed via a translator of some sort, complicating the debugging of log files.
The other problem, as noted by Mathew from Canada, is that systemd is growing day-by-day, invading other areas of responsibility.
I was sorry to see Linux Mint accept systemd. Good thing we have Devuan, Puppy Linux, and a few others which remain systemd-free.
Kudos to Distrowatch for allowing for the search of distributions "Not systemd."
42 • systemd (by Voila Violates on 2018-06-18 15:23:11 GMT from Canada)
@ # 27
Really, it is just another version of "Windows is better than Mac is better than Linux" garbage.
Windows and Mac are commercial implementation where as all developer has to bow a strong ring leader before stuffing nasty stuff into it. Where as Linux swings like a pendulum where every single distro's goal is different.
@ # 41
"systemd gave us log files that cannot be read with a simple text editor and must be viewed via a translator of some sort, complicating the debugging of log files."
Well, then, systemd definitely violates one (or may be more) rule(s) of The Basic Foundation of Linux". all log must be plain.txt and must be human readable was one of the transparency goal in promoting linux. Anyway Linux tree is over grown in multi-dimensions without any control.
@ # 13
"I've done almost all of the steps in the Linux From Scratch (LSF) document. Maybe LFS is the way I should be going, but I would like to try Devuan as it seems closest to the Linux desktop that want to be running."
That is only the best way to get what exactly you want from Linux.
43 • Init systems (by bigbenaugust on 2018-06-18 15:24:12 GMT from United States)
I run MX on most of my machines. While Debian-based, it uses sysvinit for the system init and systemd-logind for user sessions only. An interesting bit of trickery. But I may have to install Devuan again somewhere now that 2.0 has gone gold.
Having lived through the sysvinit-to-binary-init transition with Solaris back in the day, it can be done without too much pain and suffering. But the continual systemd land grab and the attitudes involved there are not necessarily the right way to go about it.
44 • init systems (by Spanky on 2018-06-18 15:25:55 GMT from United States)
I didn't vote, because you forgot the "Anything but systemd" option. Try and watch it, next time.
I don't much care which init system I use, as long as it works and doesn't try to take over everything else on the system. That's where systemd fails, IMO. On new releases, I usually have to debug some new issue I shouldn't have to debug, and its usually systemd related. I have had to do 'the trick' to get syslogs working again, and have had to replace the resolver just to get internet access. I just wanna do MY work, guys. If I want to do Linux development, I'LL give YOU a call.
To answer your question: I've used SysV, OpenRC, and runit, and like them all. In general, though, I don't care. I don't care if it takes 29 seconds or 32 seconds to boot the system. If systemd just initted the system - and worked - I wouldn't be posting this.
45 • init Software (by R. Cain on 2018-06-18 15:42:14 GMT from United States)
@35--You need to read the very last sentence: "...At the very least, this might get people to seriously educate themselves to the differences.", It always helps to know the subject.
@34: "...and replacing it with a much more complex alternative simply for the sake of replacement is part of the problem..." IS "...the [the major] plenty bigger issues..." (@35) to which you refer.
A good example, from @41:
"...systemd gave us log files that cannot be read with a simple text editor and must be viewed via a translator of some sort, complicating the debugging of log files.
"The other problem, as noted by Mathew from Canada, is that systemd is growing day-by-day, invading other areas of responsibility...."
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."--Leonardo da Vinci
46 • Init poll (by David on 2018-06-18 15:53:00 GMT from United Kingdom)
I'm another one who wanted a "who cares?" option! In 20 years I've only had to adjust the init system twice, once with System V, once with systemd. Neither was particularly difficult, once I'd found an on-line guide.
If systemd is really the disaster that some people claim, then I'd expect SUSE to try poaching some RHEL customers by avoiding it! To judge from the interminable denunciations at LinuxQuestions, the objectors are the usual anti-business ideologues and conspiracy theorists.
47 • @13 Re AMD64 (by Rev_Don on 2018-06-18 15:57:49 GMT from United States)
"I understand that amd64 means it will also run 64-bit on Intel chips, that's not confusing to anyone else?"
Not at all, but then I've been working with computers since the 1970s. AMD created the 64bit extension set that is used on x86 processors so they named it AMD64. Intel copied it to integrate into their processors and called it X86_64, but most people still refer to it as AMD64.
48 • Devuan Review, Summit's OS, Init Poll (by cykodrone on 2018-06-18 16:04:08 GMT from Canada)
I've been running Devuan since it's since it's very first beta release after being estranged from Debian stable. While the review was fine, Devuan is not trying to be some glossy user friendly top of the DW charts OS, it's written and maintained by developers and systems admins, these people are used to white characters rushing by on black screens. Debian was (don't know about now) also much like Devuan, a bare bones DYI, roll up your sleeves, scrape some knuckles and get your elbows dirty OS. My systemd free alternative and second (backup) OS on my machine is PCLinuxOS, if somebody wants glossy and more user friendly, that may be a better choice. A bit more fragile than rock solid (like diamond solid) Devuan but a great alternative choice none the less, PCLOS has better multimedia and web browser support anyway.
Summit is running systemd? Is that wise, being buggy spyware and all.
Ha, the init poll results pretty much mirrors an actual election, the anti crowd split the vote so the 'hold your nose' candidate could run away with the win. I use the default init in Devuan but voted OpenRC, it seems to be the most sensible and more functional alternative to systemd.
Number of Comments: 48
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Eridani Linux 6.3 was an updated and enhanced version of the downloadable release of Red Hat Linux 6.2 with all the updates and a number of extra applications and utilities. Eridani Linux 6.3 now also contains many updates and new features from Red Hat Linux 7.0, but retains the binary compatibility of the 6.x tree. If you're looking for an affordable copy of a Red Hat 6.2/7.0 hybrid and don't want the hassle of downloading the bug-fixes and security updates, look no further! It's also worth noting that Eridani Linux uses a stable compiler release, so there was no need to dig around for other compilers to compile your kernel.