| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 373, 27 September 2010
Welcome to this year's 39th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The demise of OpenSolaris, following the project's acquisition by Oracle, has brought both anger and action from its developer community. As a result, OpenIndiana, a community fork of OpenSolaris, was born. The first development release hit the download mirrors early last week and Jesse Smith was quick to take it for a spin. How does it fare compared to desktop Linux or BSD? Read on to find out. In the news section, Fedora continues its march towards the next stable version with a public beta release, Ubuntu's "Maverick" version brings new questions about the suitability of 6-month release cycles, Mandriva reassures its user community that it will continue developing a free distribution, and PCLinuxOS and its founder get exposure in a mainstream tech publication. Also in this issue, a question and answer section that responds to those users who feel frustrated with the current state of desktop Linux. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Solaris holds a special place in my heart. It was my first taste of UNIX, back in my school days, and I probably wouldn't have become involved with the Linux community if I hadn't been searching for a free version of "this UNIX thing" so I could practise my shell scripting at home. I was thrilled when Sun announced they were releasing OpenSolaris for the community to play with, even if it was several years too late to help me with my homework. And I was very disappointed when Oracle executed OpenSolaris earlier this year. Fortunately for Solaris fans the OpenIndiana project is picking up where Sun left off. I had been itching to try a new version of OpenSolaris since February (when the last release was scheduled) and so I quickly grabbed the newly launched OpenIndiana, development build 147.
Installation and hardware support
Before diving into the contents of the DVD, first let me say that the project's web site is very much a work in progress. Many pages haven't been posted yet and the site is mostly an introduction to the project and a download page. No doubt these will be filled in later, but for now the web site is mostly bare. What we can learn in those few pages is that OpenIndiana is working with the Illumos project to make a binary compatible fork of OpenSolaris. Or what used to be OpenSolaris. Maintaining binary compatibility will allow people to freely test their systems and software with OpenIndiana prior to trying an official Solaris product.
The installation CD is an 870 MB download, which I burned to a DVD. The DVD kicks off with a GRUB (legacy) boot menu which allows the user to boot into the live environment, boot using the vesa driver or boot into a text console. The menu additionally has options for running a screen reader or magnifier. After an option has been selected, the system asks for the user's keyboard layout and preferred language. We then get a quick shot of a login screen followed by another prompt asking for our preferred language. We finally arrive at a beautiful blue-themed GNOME 2.30 desktop. The application menu, quick-launch bar and clock are at the top of the screen and the task switcher is placed at the bottom. On the desktop we find icons for the Device Driver Utility, a partition editor, the installer and Firefox. I feel the Device Driver program deserves a special mention.
When we first boot into the OpenIndiana desktop the system will check the status of our hardware drivers and, if there are any problems, will display a discreet warning in the corner of the screen. Opening the Device Driver Utility will show a nice itemized list of the hardware on our system with appropriate icons. Devices for which the operating system does not have corresponding drivers will be highlighted in a reddish-pink colour. Should we have, or know the location of, an appropriate driver package we can give its location in this window and OpenIndiana will install it. This process is so convenient, straightforward and user-friendly I think it should be a standard feature in all FOSS operating systems. It completely removes the guess work and testing phases of discovering whether the OS will run on a machine.
For instance, on my desktop machine, the utility found a (largely unused) modem for which it didn't have a driver. Everything else on the desktop (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) worked. My HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) was also handled well. However, the utility let me know that my Intel wireless card wasn't supported. Most other things such as resolution, sound and networking worked without any trouble. My touchpad handled taps as clicks, but wouldn't scroll under the default settings -- a reverse from the normal order of things. The user has the option of using the utility to submit their hardware profile, similar to the way Fedora's Smolt does on Linux machines. I sent a profile for my desktop machine and found it interesting that the utility says the hardware information was sent to Sun. This seems out of date at best and I wonder who ended up with a list of my hardware.
Next up is the system installer. The first thing the user is asked to do is handle partitions. Compared to other graphical installers (and a few text-based installers) the OpenIndiana partitioner is a bit sparse and I found it easier to divide up the disk using GParted prior to running the installer. Next the user is asked for their time zone and preferred language. (This was the third time I'd selected my language preference since booting.) The following screen creates a user account, which we are told will have administrator privileges. The installer then copies over the required files and we reboot.
OpenIndiana dev-146 - administration tools
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First impressions and software applications
OpenIndiana does not boot quickly. The first time I started the system post-install, the system took about five minutes to reach the login screen. Later start-up times were improved, but still dragged compared to most Linux distros. After logging in, I found the installed system was much the same as the live DVD environment, though without desktop icons. A little poking around showed the system (once up and running) wasn't so much slow as heavy. Running on a physical machine with 2 GB of RAM, OpenIndiana did fairly well; however, trying to cram the OS into a virtual machine with 1 GB of memory caused a noticeable drop in responsiveness. I think a good deal of the overhead comes from the ZFS file system which is nicely integrated into the system. OpenIndiana has some slick GUI tools for dealing with ZFS and the file browser has a built-in "time slider" that allows quick access to file system snapshots. When using OpenSolaris last year I had stability issues with the snapshots feature, but I encountered no problems this time around.
The application menu is light for an operating system which comes on a DVD. Included are Firefox (3.6.8), Thunderbird, Pidgin, Rhythmbox, Totem for playing videos, GParted and Java. We also find the usual collection of applications, including a text editor, file archiver, CD ripper, disc burner, a document viewer and accessibility programs. Not to be found on the system are popular media codecs and Flash. Instead, when the user tries to open a media file, a codec helper pops up and offers to help the user purchase the required codec. The prices strike me as being a bit high and, for most regions of the world, unnecessary.
There were a few surprises regarding what was not available on the menu. OpenIndiana is a branch of OpenSolaris, which was managed by Sun Microsystems. I expected the OS would be used as a platform to show off other (former) Sun technologies. For instance there was no OpenOffice.org to be found on the menu, nor in the package manager. Java was pre-installed, but not the associated developer tools. Likewise, I didn't find a copy of VirtualBox. In fact when running in VirtualBox, OpenIndiana doesn't integrate with the host operating system the way some modern Linux distros do. I think it's a shame that more work hasn't been done to incorporate these projects into the platform. I think Sun, and Oracle, lost an opportunity there to show what they could achieve.
OpenIndiana dev-146 - searching for packages
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That's not to say there aren't some good tools which come with OpenIndiana. There are applications with nice interfaces for handling core files, services, the firewall, users and packages. For the most part, these tools are about what a user could expect to find on a Linux or desktop BSD system. I like their layout and I found them intuitive to use. The package manager especially mimics Synaptic both in appearance and behaviour. At the moment the project's repository is a bit light with just over 2,000 packages available. Hopefully that will grow as OpenIndiana matures. One item that stood out was the ZFS snapshot manager. It provides a nice interface for setting up what is included in a snapshot and when snapshots take place.
System administration and security
The thorn in my side as far as OpenIndiana was concerned was in relation to security, specifically root-level access. The system installer mentions that the user account created at install time will have root access. This does not appear to be the case as any admin-type action I tried to preform was met with a request for the root user's password. The first time I saw this and my password was rejected I realized no password had been set for root during the setup process. I created a root password and went back to change settings. At which point I found the root password was rejected as my user did not have permission to elevate my privileges to the root level. Next I went into the user account manager and changed my user's roles to include elevating my access to root-user level. And I realized I had just performed these account changes with my regular user account!
Going down through the menu of administration tools I found that about half would let me use them and change settings with the root password and the other half would deny me access saying my user account was not permitted to act as root, even with the root password. I'm sure there is some role I can change somewhere to make my account be able to effectively su in all cases, but it is a pain to have this kind of inconsistency. Why would security be configured in such a way that by default I can easily manage system packages and accounts, but not be able to change settings for core file dumps and system services? Speaking of services, as one might expect from an operating system which has its ancestry in servers, the OS runs secure shell and Sendmail by default. Under the default settings root is unable to remotely login to a shell.
OpenIndiana dev-146 - managing system processes
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Perhaps it's not fair to make a judgement call so early given that this is OpenIndiana's first release and they're just getting started, but this initial offering felt more like an early beta than a final release. The system is stable and there are some good features in place. I liked the installer and the Device Driver Utility is a great point in the operating system's favour. Hardware support was a little better this time around than it was a year ago on OpenSolaris. But the heavy nature of the operating system combined with the fickle privilege escalation and small package repository makes OpenIndiana an unappealing choice right now for a desktop system. Hopefully these matters will get ironed out as the project matures.
There is one other thing I feel should be addressed. OpenIndiana seems to be lacking a focus. It has its roots in server technology, but it has become memory hungry, runs a desktop and uses a graphical installer. On the other hand it lacks the range of applications and drivers one might expect in a desktop system. Some people have told me it's more of a testing ground for people migrating, testing and developing across platforms, but if that's the case where are the great development tools and virtualization software?
The wonderful tools which were previously attracting people to OpenSolaris (ZFS, DTrace) have been ported to other operating systems. OpenIndiana doesn't showcase Sun/Oracle technology; all it really does is give people an open source version of Solaris. And, if you're into tweaking operating systems or you're considering a migration to Oracle solutions, then I suppose that's all OpenIndiana needs to be. As a former fan of Solaris, I was hoping to find something which stood out, something the operating system could hang its hat on, and I didn't find that. OpenIndiana isn't a bad system by any means, but I haven't found a reason, besides curiosity, to run it either.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Fedora prepares for beta release, Mandriva reasserts its continuity, Ubuntu and 6-month release cycles, PCLinuxOS - past and present
Along with the final release of GNOME 2.32, this week will also see the delivery the last public development builds of Fedora 14 (beta) and Ubuntu 10.10 (release candidate) - the two most popular GNOME-centric distributions. For Ubuntu, this will be a near-final build, with just a minimum number of release-critical bug fixes expected to take place between now and the final release on October 10th. For Fedora, things are progressing in a slightly more leisurely manner as the project's next stable version is not expected until early in November. That said, the list of accepted features in Fedora 14 is now nearly completed. Some of the more interesting upgrades include Perl 5.12 and Python 2.7, while the KDE desktop has been brought up to version 4.5 and the NetBeans development environment is at version 6.9. Overall, it doesn't look like the new Fedora release is brimming with many cutting-edge features, but maybe that's a good thing - a little slowdown in the ever-evolving world of a Linux distro's development can't be a bad thing. Besides, it's entirely possible that many Red Hat developers are currently focusing their attention on the upcoming release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, but as soon as that's out of the way, expect Fedora development to pick up strongly once again.
Fedora 14 beta comes with new artwork and desktop theme.
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* * * * *
Ubuntu's development cycle will culminate in two weeks when the project's "Maverick Meerkat" release is scheduled to hit the download mirrors around the world. Although this fast development rhythm has been the distribution's feature for several years, there are those, like ITWire's Sam Varghese, who question the reasoning behind such frequent release plans: "Over the last week, I've been playing around with the beta of the forthcoming Ubuntu release - 'Maverick Meerkat' or version 10.10 - which is scheduled to be officially unveiled on October 10. And I have just one question to ask: why is it being released at all? What major changes are present to justify an upgrade? If all that the new version has to show is incremental changes in version numbers of major applications, why is there the need for so much hoo-haa? Is Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, guilty of becoming a prisoner of its own hype, and unable to revert to some kind of commonsensical schedule that would reflect the correct state of affairs?" The author answers his own question: "We don't need the staged releases, we don't need to be given the impression that a great deal is happening when someone is basically running on the same spot. GNU/Linux has never resorted to hype to propagate itself - good software that does what it promises to do, never goes out of style. A yearly release is something that I could live with."
* * * * *
Mandriva is fighting back. Following a series of bad publicity reports about the state of the company's finances, employee lay-offs, and a new fork founded by well-known former Mandriva developers (Mageia), the company has published an announcement on its official blog. The article, written by current CEO Arnaud Laprévote, insists that Mandriva (the company) is alive and well and that Mandriva Linux (the distribution) is certainly not about to be discontinued: "The next version of the Mandriva community distribution will be available in the first quarter of 2011. The community version of the Mandriva distribution is the one on which the Powerpack distribution, the Corporate Desktop distribution and the Mandriva Enterprise Server distribution are based upon. From a desktop point of view, Mandriva intends to be the best KDE distribution in the world: easy-to-use, stable, rich-featured and with excellent localization. Even if the community distribution will be KDE-focused, we will encourage the community to build GNOME, LXDE, Xfce, E17, etc. editions as value options. The infrastructure to help the community to do that will be put in place." In related news, Per Øyvind (one of the developers still in Mandriva's services) writes that rumours about Mandriva's demise have been greatly exaggerated, while an official press release, published by Vanessa Wall, provides minutes from Mandriva's annual general meeting which took place on September 17th, 2010.
* * * * *
Those Mandriva users who are still perturbed by the continued uncertainty surrounding their favourite distribution might consider another option (besides Mageia) - PCLinuxOS. Although the project hasn't been making many headlines recently, the developers continue to work quietly on the distribution. ITPro's Richard Hillesley reports in PCLinuxOS - Rolling on a river: "The inspiration behind PCLinuxOS, also known as PCLOS, is Bill Reynolds, who is known to fans of PCLinuxOS as Texstar. PCLinuxOS began as an offshoot of Mandrake/Mandriva, to which Texstar had been a long time contributor of third-party packages. The objective was to build a fast, reliable distribution of Linux, that was both a Live distribution on the model of Knoppix and a fully installable and flexible Linux desktop, driven by Reynolds' passion to make the perfect software package. 'I love to package,' he explained. 'It is like a puzzle where all the pieces have to fit together or the code doesn't work. That is my favourite part of doing PCLOS.'" The 4-page article investigates the history of PCLinuxOS before concluding that "PCLinuxOS exists unapologetically to satisfy the demands of its own community, but in doing so reaches a much larger audience. As Reynolds sees it: 'We're just enjoying Linux technology and sharing it with friends who might like it too. We hope you have enjoyed the ride as well.'"
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Frustrated-with-the-state-of-Linux asks: What are Linux distros doing right? I'm saying, nothing is ever solved, nothing moves to a usable state (I fear accessing my NTFS drives, who knows if Samba, FUSE, etc. are actually in working order). There is no information centralized that is actually relevant, only information that is out of date. (I've learnt to never ask anything on a forum, even after "googling", but to re-install instead.) Are there actual "eyes on the code"? Or just a cycle of buggy alphas and orphaned packages? Who's putting out these 101 distros and what kind of back-ends are they building into them to steal data or track users? Linux seems worse and worse the more I learn about... Any thoughts on these points?
DistroWatch answers: Before I get into the point-by-point questions, I want to address the over-all sense of disappointment in this e-mail. When people are first introduced to Linux it's easy to have high expectations. A lot of people in the GNU/Linux community are all too happy to declare the virtues of their favourite operating system while ignoring flaws. As a result, I think a lot of people enter into the Linux community with the thoughts that Linux systems don't have to protect against malware, that the systems are 100% reliable, that open source is a large, friendly commune full of people perfecting each other's code and helping everyone. The unfortunate truth is that there is no perfect operating system, no perfect development model and all communities are made up of individuals. And, for that matter, all operating system environments are made up of individual components.
The reason I bring this up is that the questions presented here sound to me like they're painting the entire GNU/Linux community with the same brush. I think that's not an entirely fair way of looking at things. There are millions of Linux users in the world and, as with any large group, one shouldn't judge the herd by the actions of a segment. For every handful of projects that never become stable there are some which mature and become rock-solid and useful. For all the poorly maintained manual pages, there are a few which are kept current. Certainly there are projects where little or no code review is done, but some projects take code quality and security seriously. And this is generally true across operating systems. Spend enough time observing any large OS community and you'll find a mix of precious gems and mediocre mud.
The overall tone of the questions indicates to me that there is a concern with quality and stability. So I would recommend examining some of the Linux distros which focus on those areas. Debian GNU/Linux, CentOS and Slackware Linux come to mind as platforms which have been around for a long time and have well-deserved reputations for quality. You might also consider looking at the BSDs, which tend to focus on security and stability rather than pushing new features. There may be more of a learning curve with BSDs, but they're solid systems.
On to the individual questions. What are Linux distros doing right? The big name distros are creating solid, polished operating systems that many people can use on their main computer system on a day-to-day basis. Sure there are dozens of small projects that appear and disappear with the seasons, but there are some really great distributions available. There's a good list of quality systems here on DistroWatch. Technologies such as Samba, FUSE and NTFS drivers have been stable for years now. I use them almost on a daily basis and have, for quite some time, without any problems. However, as with any storage technology on any operating system it's a good idea to keep regular backups.
Forums really aren't all that different from everyday life. I find that people often respond in the same way they're approached. So be nice when asking questions on forums. It doesn't always work, on forums as with physical interactions, some people will be rude. Ignore them and focus on the people who do have the desire to help. Also, are there eyes on the code? Most of the core projects have occasional review. The smaller, lesser-known projects often do not. There's no hard and fast rule about peer review. The key difference between open and closed source is that people have the option to examine open source code. Whether that option is used varies with the project.
If you're worried about who is making the hundreds of minor Linux distributions floating around the net, don't use them. Pick a well-known operating system with a good reputation. Developers can put anything they want into their products, so do a little research before you download. Again, the DistroWatch's Top Ten page is a good place to start.
|Released Last Week
Andrew Gillis has announced the release of VortexBox 1.5, a Fedora-based Linux distribution that can turn an unused computer into an easy-to-use music server or jukebox: "We are pleased to announce the release of VortexBox 1.5. As always our goal it to make VortexBox work with any media player. The recent release of iTunes 10 does not work with the old VortexBox DAAP server. We took this opportunity to replace the DAAP server in VortexBox with a better one. The new DAAP server not only works with iTuens 10 but it can server FLAC files to iTunes by encoding them as WAV files inline. This reduces the need to keep a mirror of your music files in MP3 format. We also updated the latest Squeezebox server and added a control panel to control the services on VortexBox. Thanks to everybody who helped with features and bug fixes for this release." Here is the brief release announcement.
VectorLinux 6.0 "SOHO Deluxe"
Robert Lange has announced the release of VectorLinux 6.0 "SOHO DELUXE", a commercial edition with KDE 4.5.0 as the default desktop, out-of-the-box multimedia support, and extra application on the second CD: "The VectorLinux development team is proud to announce the release of VectorLinux 6.0 SOHO Deluxe. This release is based on the KDE 4.5.0 Plasma desktop and latest Xfce as a secondary desktop. Updates from the public release include Digikam 1.4.0, GIMP 2.6.10, K3b 2.0, Scribus, OpenOffice.org, Amarok 2.3.1, KMyMoney, GnuCash and additional games and system updates. Kernel version is 220.127.116.11 which adds new wireless network possibilities. There have been speed and stability improvements. The GUI installer has seen further refinements and is the default installer." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Quirky 1.3, a small desktop distribution similar to Puppy Linux, but built with a different toolset: "Quirky 1.3 released. This is built from the 'forked' Woof that I have been discussing recently, and is an opportunity to evaluate the changes in Puppy files and streamlined searching in the 'init' script. A small amount of package upgrading since 1.2, but mostly this release is a test bed for the advances in Woof. In particular, 1.3 is built with the 'simplified file names'. Apart from simplified names, there is also an id-string appended to the files, plus streamlining of the search-code in the 'init' script. 'Rerwin' has also made many advances in analog and 3G modem detection, configuration and usage, that are in Woof. Build 1.3 is for us to thoroughly test these new ideas." See the release announcement and release notes for further details.
ArchBang Linux 2010.09
Willensky Aristide has announced the release of ArchBang Linux 2010.09, a variant of Arch Linux featuring Openbox as the default window manager and a selection of lightweight applications: "ArchBang Linux 2010.09 'RELOADED' is out. It's entitled 'RELOADED' because we went back to our original combination (ArchBang = Arch Linux + Openbox). The 64-bit edition is the only one available at this time but by the end of the week the 32-bit edition should be available as well. Changes: no more LXDE; removed xdg-menu for dmenu (dynamic menu); Thunar is back and PCMan File Manager is out; new theme; just VLC for your media needs (removed Exaile and GNOME MPlayer); added GIMP; Xfburn instead of Graveman; Gnumeric added; Evince instead of Xpdf; places pipe-menu; Linux kernel version 18.104.22.168." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement.
Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.2
ArchBang Linux 2010.09 - an interesting variant of Arch Linux with Openbox
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Phil Miller has announced the release of Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.2, an Arch-based distribution and live CD featuring the KDE desktop: "We did it! Now with our new page layout and CCR open for public we also have 0.2.2 ready - our second point release of 'Jaz'. This time tribe got a rework to fix bugs we found during last week. We improved CInstall to handle packages and bundles better. Packer will build packages from our community repository now. Your all welcome to add your packages there - we might add them to our binary repositories. Some users reported some issues with VLC and MPlayer. Those are gone now. NVIDIA and ATI drivers got updated and hardware-detection-scripts will find them properly now." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Clonezilla Live 1.2.6-24
Steven Shiau has announced the availability of a new stable release of Clonezilla Live, a free Debian-based live CD designed for disk cloning tasks: "Stable Clonezilla Live 1.2.6-24 has been released. This release includes major enhancements, changes and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded, it is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2010-09-21; new file system support, Btrfs, was added in this release - it has been tested successfully with Ubuntu 10.10 beta and openSUSE 11.3 restoration; Russian language was added; program makeboot.sh was improved to allow running with full path; option '--force' was added for grub-install (grub2); the Linux kernel was updated to 2.6.32-23; Partclone was updated to 0.2.15; gPXE was updated to 1.0.1...." Read the full release announcement for a complete list of changes.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
- Upstream OS. Upstream OS is a full-featured, openSUSE-based distribution with no-branding. Its primary feature is the ability to clone it and to build a custom distribution with the tools provided.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 4 October 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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 |
VLOS (Vidalinux Desktop OS) was a powerfull, stable and easy-to-use Linux distribution. The desktop components are based on the best projects of the open source community including the GNOME desktop environment, Firefox browser, Evolution mail and calendar client, Gentoo Linux system and portage package manager. VLOS includes additional multimedia and productivity applications for the home user including media players, browser plugins for Flash, RealPlayer, PDF viewer, media, graphics design and administration tools.