| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 209, 2 July 2007
Welcome to this year's 27th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The release of the General Public Licence version 3 and the new Linux edition of Google Desktop were the primary generators of headlines on most Linux news sites during the past week. In contrast, all was quiet on the distribution development front, with only Dreamlinux, Scientific Linux and a few minor projects announcing new stable releases. But don't despair; this week's DistroWatch Weekly is still packed with interesting topics, including an interview with Clement Lefebvre from Linux Mint, a rebuttal by John Murga from the Puppy Linux forums, and information about some other interesting news of the week, such as the new PC-BSD LiveCD and the latest version of the GNU/Linux distro timeline. And if you are looking for something to test and play with during the slow months of July and August, don't miss the new distributions section which presents no fewer than 6 (six!) new distro projects that were submitted to DistroWatch last week. Happy reading!
- Interview: Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint
- Feedback: One year with Puppy Linux
- News: GPL 3, Google Desktop, GNU/Linux distro timeline, YaSTRS for openSUSE, PC-BSD LiveCD, Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.2
- Released last week: Dreamlinux 2.2 "Multimedia GL", SoL 25.00
- Upcoming releases: Fluxbuntu "Gutsy Gibbon"
- Donations: KTorrent receives US$400
- New distributions: Baltix GNU/Linux, Draco GNU/Linux, FrogLinux, pclosBE, TinyME, UW-Linux
- Reader comments
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Interview with Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint
Linux Mint is one of the surprise packages of the past year. Originally launched as a variant of Ubuntu with integrated media codecs, it has now developed into one of the most user-friendly distributions on the market - complete with a custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, a web-based package installation interface, and a number of different editions. Perhaps most importantly, this is one project where the developers and users are in constant interaction, resulting in dramatic, user-driven improvements with every new release.
DistroWatch has spoken to the founder and lead developer of Linux Mint, Clement Lefebvre, about the history of the distribution, new features in the upcoming release, and other topics of interest.
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DW: Clement, thank you very much for your time. All I know about you is that you are French, that you live in Ireland, and that you maintain Linux Mint. Anything else you'd like to add as an introduction? How old are you? What do you do for living?
CL: Hi Ladislav, thanks for having me on DistroWatch Weekly. I'm 29 years old, born in France and living in Ireland. I work as a Java developer for a telecommunication company.
DW: Linux Mint has been a resounding success. According to the DistroWatch web logs, 3.3% of Linux-using visitors browse this site with Mint, which makes it the 6th most popular Linux distribution among the DistroWatch visitors (behind Ubuntu, Debian, PCLinuxOS, Fedora and openSUSE). What do you think is the main reason for this huge success?
In its early stages I would say the fact that it was based on Ubuntu and came with multimedia codecs. The "Barbara" release is a perfect example of that: it was basically Edgy with added codecs. In Bea we changed a lot of things and made huge improvements to the base system. In Bianca and Cassandra we started to develop our own tools and bring our own innovations. But the thing is: Barbara was successful, long before we did that. In a way it is sad because the people who came towards Linux Mint first were no other than Ubuntu users looking for codecs. Adding codecs to Fedora, Ubuntu or any other distribution is actually not that hard and Ubuntu users even have Automatix to do that for them. It took some time for us to differentiate us from Ubuntu and a lot of communication to show that our purpose wasn't to add codecs to Ubuntu but to go towards our own idea of what a desktop Linux distribution should be. The presence of codecs is just a small part of the equation and unfortunately something a lot of people are obsessed about.
Since we released Bianca the difference with Ubuntu became clearer to the users and we started to get our own identity. I believe some of the reasons for the success of Linux Mint are:
- It's one of the most community driven distributions. You could literally post an idea in the forums today and see it implemented the week after in the "current" release. Of course this has pros and cons and compared to distributions with roadmaps, feature boards and fixed release cycles we miss a lot of structure and potentially a lot of quality, but it allows us to react quickly, implement more innovations and make the whole experience for us and for the users extremely exciting.
- It is a Debian-based distribution and as such it is very solid and it comes with one of the greatest package managers.
- It is compatible with and uses Ubuntu repositories. This gives Linux Mint users access to a huge collection of packages and software.
- It comes with a lot of desktop improvements which make it easier for the user to do common things.
- There is a strong focus on making things work out of the box (WiFi cards drivers in the file system, multimedia support, screen resolution, etc).
DW: How did you come up with the idea to launch Linux Mint?
I started using Linux in 1996. It was Slackware and I was quite happy with it. I learnt a lot about the internals of the system thanks to that distribution. A few years later more and more distributions became available and at the same time people started to get fast Internet at home with faster and faster download speeds. So I started distro-hopping... a lot :) I enjoyed many different distributions and for different reasons. As I became more experienced with Linux I started asking myself how I could contribute back. I spent a lot of time helping out on different IRC channels and writing tutorials and reviews on the web. Eventually I even got paid for it and started writing for LinuxForums.com
(you can still read some of my contributions here
). I specialized more and more on distribution reviews and after a while I became expert (or so I thought anyway :)) at seeing pros and cons in each one of them.
Looking at all the other distributions, I got a very precise idea of how I would make the perfect desktop if I was to do it myself. And because everything is easy when you're having fun, it wasn't long until I was producing my first ISO files.
DW: Every Linux Mint review I've read concluded that Linux Mint is more user-friendly than most distributions. How do you define the world "user-friendly"? How do you get and test your ideas for any "user-friendly" features that you introduce into the distro?
CL: Most feedback comes from the community; all we need to do is listening to what they say. They've been asking for some features for years and some of the answers we've given them simply aren't acceptable to them. Tweaking fstab to mount their Windows partition, tweaking sources.list to install Skype... My wife uses Linux Mint and there is no way she'd go editing these files. If we want to make a system user-friendly, we need to make it intuitive and easy-to-use. You shouldn't have to ask for help to achieve common things and you should definitely not have to tweak system configuration files manually for this to work. It's great to be able to tweak things but you shouldn't have to for it to work out-of-the-box the way most people want it to work.
DW: Please name three features of Linux Mint that you are the most proud of.
MintInstall is my favourite innovation. You browse a software portal
containing .mint files, you choose your software and one click later it's there in your menu. Before mintInstall you had to browse the Web to find that software, eventually edit your sources.list with a new repository, add a security key for that repository to work, update your cache and eventually find the name of the package(s) you wanted to install. This was a repetitive task and an obstacle for novice users to install third party software on their systems. We've automated this with mintInstall. The .mint file contains all the instructions for the installation of the software (names of the packages, URL for the repositories, their keys, instructions to run before and after the installation) so the user doesn't need to worry about things that do not matter to him. The portal also acts as a central place where users can search for software packages and browse them by category. Finally, mintInstall doesn't use your own sources.list and it doesn't alter it so your system is safe and your sources remain unchanged. It replaces the need for both Gnome-App-Install and the upcoming Click'N'Run.
I'm also very proud of mintMenu, although credits go to S. Chanderbally who developed USP (Ubuntu System Panel) which mintMenu forked from and Lars-Peter Clausen who is now the main developer of mintMenu since the release of Bianca. USP already was the best GNOME menu in my opinion. It had more features and brought a lot of improvements to the default GNOME menu. It was also inspired by SUSE's SLAB but implemented in a much better way and made much more responsive and faster. We forked USP2 before it became stable and started by cutting some of its features and fixing existing ones. Eventually Lars took over and, as users asked for new features, he considerably improved it.
In the third position I would hesitate between mintDesktop and mintDisk. Users prefer mintDisk as it acts as a replacement for fstab and gives them more features to deal with FAT/NTFS partitions. For instance they can give aliases to their partitions and define shortcuts to them. I personally prefer mintDesktop, one of the least visible innovations in Linux Mint, because as a developer it makes my life way simpler. Whether it is to add home folders and GNOME templates, to ease GNOME configuration, or to allow auto-mounting of Windows Network Neighbourhoods in ~/Network, it provides a way to do things faster and simpler.
DW: In one of Linux Mint's recent newsletter you mention the upcoming Mint 3.1. What can we expect in the new version? Is there still anything that can be improved on? How do you decide which new features will be added and which won't make it?
CL: There's a constant flow of great ideas and a lot of them end up in our forums. We look at each one of them, discuss them with the community, we review their ideas, they review ours and we take notes of interesting ones within our Wiki. Eventually we start implementing them and when we're happy with the result and have made a significant step forward, we release it and it becomes 3.1 :)
We don't follow any quality process and we don't freeze anything until the release of the BETA. At the moment, we're implementing a first-run wizard called mintAssistant. Among other things, it asks the users a series of questions to fine-tune the installation. Some of the questions are: whether they want to enable kernel updates, the root account and fortunes in terminal, which theme they prefer, whether they want fstab or mintDisk to manage their Windows partitions, whether they prefer a GNOME or a Mint desktop layout, etc.
We're also having a brainstorm at the moment and some very interesting ideas are coming up which we would like to implement for Celena (Linux Mint 3.1). One of them is the ability to share files over the Internet. When a file is bigger than a few megabytes, it becomes really hard to send it by email and most novice users don't know how to share it or how to send it to their friends. The idea is to make the whole process of finding web space and transferring the file via FTP transparent to the user. The users should just right-click the file and select "Share on the Internet", then see a dialog appear with a progress bar and eventually a label telling them the link to the file. They can then send that link to their friends by email. Online storage and file transfer should be taken care of by the system and made transparent to the user.
We're also thinking of something called mintSpace which would consist of an extra home folder. That folder would be mounted on the system but its physical storage would be remote so you could access it from your live CD no matter where you are, provided you're connected to the Internet. This is more of a long term idea though and it won't make it into Celena. Ulteo mentioned some ideas about something similar and I wouldn't mind seeing what they're working on before reinventing the wheel :)
DW: How many developers work on Linux Mint?
Well, it's a community driven project and it's constantly changing as people take on new tasks and finish or give them up. At the moment, we've got three distribution maintainers, one for the Xfce Community edition, one for the E17 Community edition and myself for all other editions (Main, KDE and Light). I also mentioned Lars who has taken lead development on mintMenu. Carlos is also our main artist and leads a community driven sub-project called mintArt which focuses on making the distribution better looking. We also have a lot of people devoting time to other aspects of the distribution such as server maintenance, support, etc... This thread
gives an idea of who's working on what.
DW: Are there any plans to introduce a native 64-bit edition of Linux Mint?
CL: There have been a lot of talks and a sub-project dedicated to it. A study was made by that sub-project and they came to the conclusion that the 64-bit Ubuntu Edgy base wasn't appropriate and didn't offer enough to be maintained for Bianca. Things might have changed with Feisty but the sub-project didn't follow on that. There is no official plan to maintain a 64-bit edition of Linux Mint. Of course the community can take responsibility over this and we might see community editions of 64-bit architectures in the future. The community is currently releasing an Xfce edition and they've proved they could take over entire sub-projects.
A community-developed Xfce edition of Linux Mint 3.0 was released for testing last week.
(full image size: 181kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
DW: Canonical has been on the lookout for talented developers and community leaders. Have you ever thought about joining the company? Has anybody from Canonical ever contacted you to discuss the possibility of working on Ubuntu full-time?
CL: I was recently listening to Jono Bacon on LugRadio and his interview in the Linux Action Show. I've also heard a lot of interviews from Mark Shuttleworth but never got the opportunity to talk directly to either of them. They seem like really nice guys and I'm sure Canonical is a wonderful company to work for.
Linux Mint is funded by its community. The money I'm getting out of it represents more or less a quarter of my salary. It's not enough for me to work full time on it but I get enough flexibility and freedom from my current employer to be able to do both my daytime Java development work and my evening-time Linux Mint project :)
If Canonical wanted me to work for them I would be delighted, of course. The question would be how much freedom they would give me and Linux Mint. The default presence of codecs and proprietary technologies in Mint wouldn't be an obstacle for Canonical to actually sponsor the distribution (as "Multimedia Support 1.0" shows in Cassandra Light Edition, we can easily distribute an edition with no codecs and no commercial components and just have all that installed by clicking an icon on the desktop. mintInstall makes the whole process seamless now). The real obstacle would probably be the nature of Linux Mint itself, its organization, and its approach to technology. Both distributions are technologically similar but they're heading in two different directions.
DW: How serious are you about Linux Mint? Do you see yourself still developing and releasing new versions in 5 years time? Or is it something of a hobby that you enjoy doing now, but who knows what will happen in the future?
CL: I never had so much fun, I never had so many people around me telling me how much fun they're having. I'm loving every bit of it :) I don't know if I'll still be working for that telecommunication company in 5 years time, I don't know if the community will still be funding Mint or if a company we created was to sell support worldwide to finance it or even if it merged with another distribution or got bought by some other company. I really don't know what the financial landscape will be and how this distribution and its structure are going to grow, but as far as development goes, you can be sure I'll be there working on the latest tools and trying to impress the crowd in the forums with the latest improvements and the latest release notes :)
Linux is all about fun, and as far as fun goes I'm right where I want to be :) We're here to stay. This is what we love doing, this is what people want and whether the name changes, this or that happens, we'll still be doing the same as long as its fun for us and for our users.
DW: What are the most exciting and most frustrating parts of being a developer of a Linux distro?
CL: The most frustrating part is FUD and pre-conceived ideas. I read here and there people talking about Linux Mint as if it was Automatix 3. They have no idea about what we do and how we do things, some of them even think we ship ATI/NVIDIA drivers. Distro bashing is quite irritating as well. Last week's DistroWatch Weekly got its fair share of PCLinuxOS bashing and to be honest I don't look forward to getting bashed myself.
The most exciting parts of it are community feedback, innovation and development. Most of my time is spent on the forums. People are passionate about the latest release, that gratifies us and it also allows us to see what can be improved. While talking with the community about ideas for the next release, we sometimes get fantastic ideas. Development is a lot of fun too and particularly when we involve the community with the progress we make. A little screenshot, some news here and there and people get really excited :)
The Linux sphere is also very interesting. It has its own press, its own news, things happen, new software and libraries get released, there's something new everyday. You're probably very excited about this as a Linux user and as the maintainer of DistroWatch. When it comes to a distribution, it adds even more excitement as some of these events can directly affect you, your plans and what you're working on at the moment. I can't wait to reject a patent deal with MS (although I doubt they're interested in community-driven distros), I can't wait to include Compiz Fusion in Celena, I can't wait to see what Novell is putting in SUSE 10.3. Every day gets more and more exciting, and we're part of it and we're working hard at making the whole Linux show even more impressive.
I wish people could stop ranting about this and that and realise they're actually part of something which is extremely exciting. It's important to give credit where credit is due, it's important to understand the advantage of open-source and the freedom of free software, but if we're not having fun we may as well leave everything behind. Technology is all about fun, and Linux more than anything else.
We've got the best operating system in the world, with new versions released every day and in more than 300 different flavours. This is fun at its best and I hope passion doesn't prevent people from enjoying it.
DW: Clement, thank you very much and all the best with your project!
Feedback on "One year with Puppy Linux"
Last week's feature story -- One year with Puppy Linux -- was probably one of the most controversial articles DistroWatch has published for some time. While a number of people agreed with the sentiment expressed in the story, others saw it as a needless attack on an excellent Linux distribution. John Murga, the founder and moderator of the official Puppy Linux forum, also responded to the article by emailing us his rebuttal. Although he admitted that he was upset when he wrote the email, he gave DistroWatch permission to publish it in this issue of DistroWatch Weekly.
I have received a fair amount of feedback about the piece you published about Puppy Linux on DistroWatch and the comments you posted afterwards.
I have been running the board at a loss for a few years and have always tried to ensure it is the most diverse environment, creating many areas for anything from political discourse to just general bitching and even multi-language help.
In the over two years I have running it I have only ever banned ONE member, and I have managed to bring together many conflicting views and demographics (an example
I do believe my board is different. However, early this year a group did form, pushing their own web sites and trying to fork the project. They where never banned or censored on the forum, although they were from other sites after they successfully used your site to try to fragment the community. It is out of this group that this FUD comes from.
But these people are still posting freely to my forum, because: 1) FUD is fine, as long as people get to weigh it up against the real world and can judge it at face value. 2) As the facts tend to become apparent.
However, what you have done is give this particular piece of FUD a platform to transcend this, as the contrast is NOT immediately available. And you state you did this due to the fact that the story stuck a chord with you because of your own experiences with ANOTHER board. I hope you see the obvious problem with this reasoning (!). And it is specially ironic considering it was YOU who censored my releases of Mean Puppy (eventually causing me to abandon the project - thanks).
I would like to think you'd do some due diligence, have a look at the forum and what I have tried to do, and maybe even issue an apology. But somehow I suspect that'll never happen. So I'll just leave you with the knowledge of what you have done and hope you feel in some way accountable.
GPL 3, Google Desktop, GNU/Linux distro timeline, YaSTRS for openSUSE, PC-BSD LiveCD, Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.2
Headlines of many Linux news sites were dominated by two events during the past week: the final release of the General Public License (GPL) version 3 and the availability of the Linux edition of Google Desktop. The former was preceded by heated debates, especially after Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, openly dismissed the idea that his famous product would switch to the new license. But others, such as the GNU software developers and other proponents of free software, are likely to start re-licensing their own products in the next few months. On the Google Desktop front, the name of the product is actually somewhat misleading; as reported in this review by Linux.com, Google Desktop is really just a desktop search engine similar to Beagle. Good perhaps for those who depend heavily on other Google products and services, but not particularly unique or useful for the rest of us. Or do you have a different opinion? If so, tell us in the forum below.
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Andreas Lundqvist, the maintainer of the Distro timeline chart, has emailed DistroWatch with the details about the latest updates on the project's front: "The timeline has evolved into a rather big project - the latest version lists 179 distributions (including name changes, hence a few less unique distributions) and has been renamed 'GNU/Linux distro timeline', licensed under the GNU Free Documentation Licence (GFDL). It is now distributed both in vector (thanks to the help of Aleksandar Urošević who helped me with the transition) and bitmap form. Recently I have been focusing on adding old-time distributions rather than the ever increasing amount of tiny-mod-of-popular-distro distros." The latest version of GNU/Linux distro timeline chart is 7.6 and its PNG edition is available for viewing here.
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Many Mandriva users are probably familiar with EasyURPMI, a web-based tool for generating a list of popular package repositories for Mandriva Linux. Now the openSUSE users can enjoy a similar utility: "YaSTRS is a simple tool that generates a shell script to add a number of popular YaST repositories to your openSUSE installation. In order to provide a high-quality database, all mirrors are automatically validated on a regular basis. The system is currently in beta testing, so bug reports are welcome." The product, available for all supported processor architectures, includes the popular openSUSE repositories of Packman and Guru. If you are an openSUSE user, check out the new YaST Repositories Script generator (YaSTRS) by visiting this page.
On a related note, a brand new web site dedicated to openSUSE themes, icons, wallpapers and other desktop art was launched at SUSE-Art.org.
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If you are interested in BSD live CDs, here is another interesting option: PC-BSD LiveCD. Although it's not clear whether this is an official sub-project of PC-BSD or just an independent initiative of a PC-BSD developer, this CD is probably one of the best live desktop BSD products built to-date. Based on FreeBSD 6.2, it includes KDE 3.5.6, X.Org 7.2, Kaffeine media player with support for MP3, OGG, DIVX and MPEG formats, Konversation IRC cleint, Smb4k samba client, Fusefs file system, Midnight Commander, and a total of 503 pre-compiled FreeBSD ports. The PC-BSD live CD is not fully automatic though; it boots into a terminal and it requires running "X -configure" before launching the KDE desktop with "startx". Download it from here: pcbsdlive240607.iso (637MB, MD5).
PC-BSD Live - a live CD edition of PC-BSD
(full image size: 263kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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The updated Yellow Dog Linux 5.0.2 DVD is now available for free download. Originally released on 14 June, the new version offers a number of improvements and package updates over the previous release, most notably: "Linux kernel 2.6.22-rc4; Software Development Kit v2.0 for Cell Broadband Engine; more than 70 bug fixes and updates; continued support for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems; beta IBM 'System p' support." The new DVD of this specialist, Fedora-based distribution for PowerPC processors can be downloaded from one of these mirrors or directly from this FTP server: yellowdog-5.0.2-20070629.iso (3,765MB, MD5).
|Released Last Week
Martin Willner has announced the release of Server optimized Linux (SoL) version 25.00: "SoL - Server optimized Linux 25.00. Features: Fast and easy installation system with RAID wizard; supports network (over PXE) and DVD installation; optimized for modern CPU architectures; ready to use as XEN dom0 or domU; features QEMU mode to boot right from Windows; integrated server development workbench tools; full-featured diskless training; software: Nagios monitoring tools, IPVS, Heartbeat, DRBD, keppalived cluster tools, Xen 3.1.0 and QEMU 0.9.0, X.Org 7.2, Zope 2.10.3 application server, Apache 2.2.4 with PHP 5.2.1 extension, Enlightenment E17 desktop; MySQL 5.0.x and MySQL GUI Tools, PostgreSQL, Firebird and SQLite database backends...." Please visit the project's home page to read the complete list of features.
Scientific Linux 4.5
Connie Sieh and Troy Dawson have announced the release of Scientific Linux 4.5, a distribution rebuilt from source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: "Scientific Linux 4.5 has been officially released. This release took a little longer because of changes in the installer. Although you cannot use Scientific Linux 4.5 as a Xen virtual host, it can now be installed as a Xen paravirtual guest. This gives a significant speed increase over fully virtualized guests. We want to thank all those tested, retested, contributed, and worked with the developers. We think the Scientific Linux community is one of the best to work with. We hope you enjoy the release." Here is the brief release announcement.
Dreamlinux 2.2 "Multimedia GL"
The Multimedia GL (MMGL) edition of Dreamlinux 2.2 has been released: "If you are searching for an operating system that allows you to: be free, communicate with the whole world, read, write and produce art, music, drawings, images, etc, you now have no excuses not to give Dreamlinux 2.2 Multimedia GL Edition a try. Packaging the best office, electronic publishing, image, design and digital painting open source software, Dreamlinux 2.2 MMGL Edition allows you to produce professional quality contents. Joining the proven Linux OS base and a well organized and clean desktop you will experience a new way to deal with your computer." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Evinux is a French live CD featuring the Xfce desktop. The project announced a new major release earlier this week; the new Evinux 200701 is based on Debian Etch and KNOPPIX 5.1.1, it comes with Linux kernel 2.6.19, Xfce 4, Iceweasel, Icedove with Enigmail, AbiWord, Gnumeric, Grisbi, GParted... It is designed to work in French but should accept other languages. The particularity of this release is that it's the first one which is not made as a remastered build of KNOPPIX, but with a "debootstraped" Debian Etch with all the necessary KNOPPIX packages to let it work as a live CD. For more details please read the full release announcement (in French).
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Fluxbuntu "Gutsy Gibbon"
The Fluxbuntu project, which develops a light-weight Ubuntu variant designed for older computers, has published a release update and a schedule for its upcoming release "Gutsy Gibbon": "We are maintaining a strict schedule for Gutsy Gibbon in order to release the final versions of Fluxbuntu on time. We will start building Gutsy CD images on the Tribe 3 deadline which is July 19th (so you all will have something to test). Tribe 1 and Tribe 2 are broken since Ubuntu Gutsy itself is in an extreme state of change." For more information please see the release update and release schedule.
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Summary of expected upcoming releases
June 2007 donation: KTorrent receives US$400|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the DistroWatch.com June 2007 donation is the KTorrent project. It receives US$400.00 in cash.
KTorrent is a graphical BitTorrent client for KDE. With the increasing number of distributions using the BitTorrent protocol to distribute their files, KTorrent has become an indispensable tool for any serious distro hopper. Its graphical interface has improved dramatically over the last few versions and the amount of information and configuration options is simply astonishing. It's undoubtedly one of the best graphical BitTorrent clients available today!
As always, the monthly donations programme is a joint initiative between DistroWatch and two online shops selling low-cost CDs and DVDs with Linux, BSD and other open source software - LinuxCD.org and OSDisc.com. These vendors contributed US$50.00 each towards this month's donation to KTorrent.
Here is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Programme in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$13,740 to various open source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NdisWrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a PowerPack competition), digiKam ($408) and SabayonLinux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400)
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Translations of Top Ten Distributions page
Many thanks to Jose Tadeu Barros who have translated the Top Ten Distributions page into Portuguese (Brazilian). The story is now available in 11 languages: Czech, Dutch, English, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish and Swedish. Translations to other languages are most welcome - if you'd like to help, please email your work to distro at distrowatch dot com (preferably in plain text format using UTF-8 encoding).
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Baltix GNU/Linux. Baltix GNU/Linux is an Ubuntu-based live CD localised into Latvian and Lithuanian languages. Besides standard packages normally present in Ubuntu, Baltix also includes extra educational software and the light-weight IceWM window manager.
Baltix GNU/Linux 2.7 - an Ubuntu-based distribution optimised for Lithuanian and Latvian users
(full image size: 371kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
- Draco GNU/Linux. Draco GNU/Linux is a distribution based on Slackware Linux and pkgsrc. Inspired by NetBSD, Draco separates the base system and "third-party" packages, which makes it a very clean, small and stable distribution. The pkgsrc utility gives Draco access to over 8,000 packages and selected binary packages from the pkgsrc tree are available for every release.
- FrogLinux. FrogLinux is an Ubuntu-based, easy-to-use desktop Linux distribution developed in Quebec (Canada). Among its most interesting features are support for French, automatic network, printing and graphics card configuration and optimised software packages. FrogLinux is available in the form of an installation CD/DVD, live CD/DVD, and bootable medium for USB storage devices.
FrogLinux 1.6 - a French Canadian distribution based on Ubuntu
(full image size: 371kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
- pclosBE. pclosBE (or PCLinuxOS Business Edition) is a PCLinuxOS-based distribution optimised for small and home offices. Two editions are being developed: the pclosBE Desktop edition, which will include a variety of business oriented software, and the pclosBE Server edition, which will provide a simple way of setting up most kinds of servers.
- TinyME. TinyME is a PCLinuxOS-based mini distribution. The project's main purpose is to deliver a light-weight operating system (with Openbox as its desktop) for older computers, while preserving the same levels of functionality and configurability as found in most heavy-weight Linux distributions available on the market. Here is a mini review with screenshots.
- UW-Linux. UW-Linux is a Polish, general-purpose mini distribution based on Slackware Linux.
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DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 9 July 2007. Until then,
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on the command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Porteus Kiosk is a lightweight Gentoo-based Linux operating system which has been downscaled and confined to allow the use of one application only - the Firefox web browser. The browser has been locked down to prevent users from tampering with settings or downloading and installing software. When the kiosk boots, it automatically opens Firefox to the user's preferred home page. The browsing history is not kept, no passwords are saved, and many menu items have been disabled for increased security. When Firefox is restarted all caches are cleared and the browser reopens with a clean session.