| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 412, 4 July 2011
Welcome to this year's 27th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week's feature story is a first-look review of a little-known live CD which has the words "lightweight" and "security" in its name. Designed by the USA's Department of Defence, Lightweight Portable Security is provided to general public as a secure way to connect to the Internet without leaving any traces behind. But does the project deliver on its promise? Read on to find out whether it could become part of your arsenal of useful live CDs to carry around. In the news section, Mandriva experiments with user interface updates courtesy of a collection of new tools from Russia's Rosa Labs, Mageia developers set out to establish a reliable update mechanism for its initial release, and Bodhi Linux announces a variant of its distribution for ARM processors - with Enlightenment and touch-screen capabilities. Also in this issue, a brief exploration of alternatives to the GNOME 3 desktop environment in the Questions and Answers section. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the June 2011 DistroWatch.com donation is the Midori web browser project. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Lightweight Portable Security 1.2.1|
Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) is a product produced by the United States of America's Department of Defense and is part of that organization's Software Protection Initiative. (If you're in the military, you might prefer the abbreviated SPI-DoD-USA LPS-OSE, a tangle of letters you'll find in the project's URL and scattered throughout their website.) What all this alphabet soup basically boils down to is the Department of Defense made a Linux live CD. The idea seems to be that most publicly-used operating systems are easy to compromise and so it would be a good idea if people could use a computer without the risk of exposing their credentials and private data to malware, key loggers and such. The Department of Defense's response to this issue was to make a small Linux distro that would let people work on simple documents and browse the web without worrying about spyware or leaving behind digital tracks on the hard drive. In the department's words, "the ATSPI Technology Office created the LPS family to address particular use cases. LPS-Public is a safer, general-purpose solution for using web-based applications."
Booting off the live CD shows us a graphical boot screen with a banner letting us know that this disc came out of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Then a small dialogue box appears and asks us to view and accept LPS's license agreement. Once the agreement is accepted, we're shown the disc's desktop. The first thing to jump out at me is that LPS's desktop looks a lot like the Windows desktop of the mid-to-late 1990s. There are icons along the left side of the screen, a grey taskbar along the bottom and the launchers are designed to look like their Windows counterparts. The application menu is brought up using a button dual-labelled with Tux (the Linux mascot) and the word "Start" and the short-cut button to bring up a terminal window is marked with "C:\". Likewise, IceWM is themed so that window title bars and buttons look like those previously used by Microsoft.
The application menu contains a fairly small collection of software and includes Firefox 3.6, the PCMan file manager, the Leafpad text editor, an encryption wizard, and a secure shell client. There's a link to documentation, which is made up of local HTML pages shown to us via Firefox. There's a small drawing application, Citrix, a PDF viewer, and a calculator. For handling our network connection we're given NetworkManager. In the background we find Java and the 2.6.27 version of the Linux kernel. I was surprised to find Flash installed as it seems out of place in a product containing both "lightweight" and "security" in its name. In an additional effort to make the title "Lightweight Portable Security" sound ironic the user is logged in as root and hashed passwords are stored in the world-readable /etc/passwd file.
Perhaps it seems nit-picky to make such observations about a live CD that isn't designed to be installed to a hard drive. After all, if we're going to automatically login and everything on the disc resets when we reboot, it hardly matters, does it? Maybe, I can see the argument for storing the password wherever it's convenient, but running as root (which gives the user more access to the machine) and having Flash installed (which increases the operating system's attack surface) strikes me as asking for trouble. Do Department of Defense employees regularly need to watch YouTube videos between sending and receiving confidential documents? For that matter, if LPS is designed to be a use-and-discard live environment, why does the CD include Firefox Sync, a tool used to keep track of your "history, tabs and passwords wherever you go"?
There are other unusual characteristics lurking under the surface. For instance, all of the distro's applications are stored in the /bin directory; the /sbin and /usr/bin "directories" are just links back to /bin. We're also missing common items like the "top" command and man(ual) pages. The LPS distribution includes a secure shell client (ssh) and secure copy (scp), but doesn't include SFTP, which makes secure transfers more cumbersome.
The two central pieces of software in LPS are Firefox (for web browsing, e-mail checking & web applications) and the encryption wizard. The wizard is an interesting and wonderfully easy-to-use program which, as the name implies, encrypts and decrypts files. Launching the wizard brings up a small window where the user can drag-n-drop files to work on, and there are large buttons at the bottom of the window labelled "Encrypt" and "Decrypt". Selecting a file and clicking a button walks the user through entering an encryption password or supplying a key. It's all fairly quick and painless. At least it's painless if you're trying to decrypt files which were encrypted by the Encryption Wizard. During my trial I encrypted some files on one machine, copied them over to the box running LPS and loaded them into the encryption wizard. The wizard wasn't able to decrypt them, so there's a compatibility issue if you're exchanging private documents with other parties. It's also important to make sure that encrypted files have a specific extension, otherwise the wizard will refuse to operate on them.
LPS 1.2.1 - running the encryption wizard
(full image size: 384kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The Lightweight Portable Security distribution did well working with my hardware. I tried running the live CD on two machines, a desktop box (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) and found that LPS was able to detect and use all of my hardware. My touchpad worked as expected, sound was set to a low, but audible, volume and NetworkManager informed me of wireless networks in my area.
According to the changelog found in the "Docs" directory, the distribution is based on Thinstation 2.2.2, a small distribution designed for thin clients), but it doesn't include a package manager or software repository. Since Lightweight Portable Security is designed to be used solely as a live CD with fairly specific goals, I think this makes sense. Chances are that if users are missing a specific piece of software, they shouldn't be trying to do that anyway, as far as the developers are concerned.
After playing with Lightweight Portable Security for a few days, I have to say I'm a bit disappointed. The one thing the distro has going for it is hardware support (it handled both my test machines well), but beyond that the experience was a series of let-downs. The distro isn't, by Linux standards, particularly lightweight (the ISO is 144 MB and LPS uses over 300 MB of RAM when sitting idle at the desktop); distributions such as SliTaz and Puppy offer more features with a smaller footprint. The system doesn't feel particularly secure either, with the user always running as root, passwords stored in the open, Flash enabled by default and Firefox Sync installed. The encryption wizard is easy to use, but seems limited in the types of encryption it can handle. And, perhaps it is overly picky of me, but if the Department of Defense wanted to rip off a Windows theme to make their software seem familiar to their employees, why did they pick a look from fifteen years ago?
I think the makers of LPS would have been further ahead if they had based their distribution off an existing Linux distro. There are plenty of small and secure Linux live CDs available and, for that matter, several full-featured ones, depending on what the Department wanted. They could have had more features or more security with an off-the-shelf distro. As it stands, LPS probably accomplishes the task it was created for, but it does not do so elegantly.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Mandriva experiments with UI changes, Mageia sets up update infrastructure, Bodhi releases distro for ARM-based touch screens
Seemingly following in the footsteps of Ubuntu (with Unity) and Fedora (with GNOME 3), Mandriva Linux has become the latest distribution to experiment with a new Linux desktop layout. The delayed first release candidate of the upcoming version 2011 ships with a number of unique utilities developed by Russia's Rosa Laboratory (website in Russian), including a "new login manager, desktop theme, plasma widgets, icons, backgrounds, splash screens, launcher, boot screens and desktop settings, as well as Mandriva Sync, Sphere helpdesk clients and Improver testing application" - all developed by Rosa. Susan Linton takes a quick look at the user interface changes in this release candidate: "It did sport some new icons, and in Linux icon sets are a hot commodity. These new ones were okay, though they didn't make me go 'ooo' and 'ah.' The 'plasma-applet-stackfolder application' was pre-set and working fine. I suppose those could be handy. But that menu... I know someone has put a whole lot of work into that new Rosa menu, but it's just not my cup of tea. It reminds me of the older GNOME 'more applications' menu or the new GNOME Shell. I don't like a large screen-size application launcher that closes automatically upon clicking something."
Mandriva Linux 2011 RC1 - the Rosa start menu
(full image size: 209kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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In contrast, Mageia, a fork of Mandriva Linux maintained by many former Mandriva developers and contributors, has been focusing on setting up a proper infrastructure for continued development, rather than large-scale user interface changes. Following the project's successful first release, the project's next challenge is to manage package updates, security fixes and backports: "The release of Mageia 1 marks a turning point for the distribution, because end users are now encouraged to install and use it on a daily basis -- and up until now, most of those users were still running Mandriva, which continued to receive regular package updates. A user switching to Mageia is likely to encounter several distinct package update scenarios: security updates to close specific vulnerabilities, incremental bug-fix updates, and new packages that for one reason or another were not ready for inclusion with the initial release of Mageia 1. Each scenario has its peculiarities, although for simplicity's sake, it is in the project's interest to provide as uniform a testing and update process as possible." The author concludes the article with an interesting observation: "As many old Linux veterans will tell you, getting the first release out the door is not nearly as taxing as setting up a smooth development, testing, and release process that is sustainable over a multi-year period."
* * * * *
Bodhi Linux might be a relatively new distribution with a somewhat eccentric user interface (Enlightenment 17), but it certainly isn't short of ambition. Last week the project announced the initial alpha release of Bodhi Linux for ARM processors, a Debian-based distribution optimised for touch screen devices: "If you have used Bodhi before then you may be aware that one of the profiles we offer by default is one that is optimized for touch screen devices. Over the past couple of months since we added this layout we have had many requests from users to get Bodhi running on embedded touch screen devices. Today I am happy to announce the first availability of an alpha version of Bodhi Linux for ARM devices. The ARM edition of Bodhi is built on top of a Debian base, which provides stability on top of the speed the Enlightenment desktop provides. The first target devices Bodhi Linux plans to 'officially' support are the ArchOS Gen8 tablet computers." If you own one of these devices and are interested in seeing Enlightenment on it, head for the above announcement for links to installation instructions and support forums.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Alternatives to GNOME 3
Three's-a-crowd asks: I've been trying GNOME 3 for a month and I can't get it to work how I want. What alternatives to GNOME 3 can you recommend? Is there a GNOME 2 project like Trinity for KDE?
DistroWatch answers: When GNOME 3 first came out there was quite a bit of talk about a fork. There for a while it looked like EXDE was going to launch a GNOME 2 fork, similar to the KDE 3.5 Trinity fork. However, it seems support for EXDE never reached a point where the project could get off the ground. And it's not surprising really -- even the GNOME team said this about GNOME 2: "GNOME 2 had a long life, and parts of it became difficult to maintain over that period. As a result, continued releases of the entire GNOME 2 desktop were never a practical option for the GNOME Project, and several parts of the old GNOME 2 desktop will not receive new releases after GNOME 3 is released." So if the GNOME team feels they can't properly maintain GNOME 2, what chance do the rest of us have?
Since a fork doesn't seem likely, let's look at other options. One way to go is to use a distribution which is still using GNOME 2. In fact, at this stage, that should be fairly easy as most major distributions (aside from Fedora) seem to still be on GNOME 2. Projects such as Scientific Linux and Debian Squeeze will be using GNOME 2 for the next several years. The last Ubuntu LTS release will support GNOME 2 for about two more years. So if you don't need to be on the cutting edge of technology, there are plenty GNOME 2 distributions.
Alternatively, there's Xfce. The Xfce desktop environment is, in a lot of ways, basically a light version of GNOME 2. I find the developers do a nice job of putting together a low-resource, but fully capable desktop. I suspect a lot of people who don't like the latest generation of GNOME are probably migrating to Xfce.
|Released Last Week
The KDE edition of PCLinuxOS 2011.6, a new update of the beginner-friendly distribution with rolling-release update mechanism, has been released: "PCLinuxOS KDE 2011.6 for 32-bit and 64-bit computers is now available for download. The Linux kernel was updated to version 184.108.40.206. Additional kernels are available from our repositories such as a PAE kernel for computers with more than 4 GB of memory. A BFS kernel for maximum desktop performance and a standard kernel with group scheduling enabled. X.Org Server was updated to version 1.10.2. Mesa updated to 7.10.3 and libdrm to version 2.4.26. These updates bring enhancements to the PCLinuxOS desktop including speed, 3D desktop support for most Intel, NVIDIA and AMD/ATI video cards, better font rendering, black screen fixes for most NVIDIA cards, better Flash playback and more." The release announcement has more information and screenshots.
PCLinuxOS 2011.6 - a new respin of the beginner-friendly desktop distro
(full image size: 483kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Tony Sales has announced the release of Vinux 3.2, an Ubuntu-based distribution optimised for the needs of blind and visually impaired users: "I am happy to announce the release of Vinux 3.2, based on Ubuntu 11.04. This is a cutting-edge release featuring the latest versions of Orca (3.1.2) and Speech-Dispatcher (0.8) from the daily-build repositories. This version is available as CD and DVD in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The DVD version provides the same software as the CD but with the addition of LibreOffice and some non-free multimedia codecs. The default desktop is Classic GNOME 2.x but Unity is available from the GDM login screen if your video card supports 3D. This release includes the Pico TTS voices in addition to Espeak...." Visit the project's news page to read the full release announcement.
Untangle Gateway 9.0
Dirk Morris has announced the release of Untangle Gateway 9.0, an updated version of the project's Debian-based distribution for gateways, firewalls and routers: "We are pleased to announce general availability of Untangle 9.0. Our latest version includes a new application for seamless integration with other Untangle or third-party firewalls via IPsec as well as a host of enhanced features and improvements. Untangle's easy-to-configure IPsec module allows for seamless integration with third-party firewall products. Tested platforms include: Cisco, Sonicwall, and Astaro. Key features include: orovides support for all current encryption protocols; no per-tunnel licensing; seamless integration with existing IPsec VPN networks; full mesh tunnel support." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Clemens Toennies has announced the release of Netrunner 3.2, a Kubuntu-based desktop distribution: "We just released Netrunner 3.2 for download. Changes from the last version are as follows: added LibreOffice (office suite) 3.3.2 to replace OpenOffice.org; added Clementine (music player); added Deluge (torrent client); added Dropbox (including Kfilebox for Dolphin); added Skype (VoIP); added GNOME NetworkManager to replace KNetworkManager; updated KDE desktop to 4.6.2, Firefox browser to 5.0, Flash plugin to 10.3.181.26, Thunderbird (email client including Lightning calendar) to 3.1.10, VLC (media player) to 1.1.10, Wine (Windows environment layer) to 1.3.22, Pidgin (messenger client) to 2.7.11, GIMP (graphic program) to 2.6.11." Here is the complete release announcement.
Calculate Linux 11.6
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 11.6, a Gentoo-based distribution: "Calculate Linux 11.6 has been released. Major changes: added support for selecting the network manager between OpenRC and NetworkManager; added support of network configuration to the console installer; for better device support and boot speed udev has been integrated into initramfs live CD; GRUB 2 is the default bootloader; added detection of installed operating systems; added screen splash auto-resolution; added video driver choice menu, additionally the nouveau and the proprietary ATI driver are supported; free video driver with support for KMS are used by default...." The release announcement.
Calculate Linux 11.6 - a Gentoo-based distribution for desktops and servers
(full image size: 530kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Fusion Linux 14.1
Valent Turkovic has announced the release of Fusion Linux 14.1, "a Fedora remix done right": "Fusion Linux 14.1 'Thorium' is officially out. This release has been in the making for a few months, and it is mostly an update to our initial release. The biggest new feature is LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice.org and two biggest bugs squashed. One bug prevented Firefox 4.0 from starting while using it as live USB or live DVD and other bug was a dependency issue that prevented updates from being downloaded. We hoped with this release to make all desktop components more stable and add an overall desktop polish. Features and highlights: new download managers - Tucan and Uget; new remote desktop application - Remmina; a brand-new custom-made theme; multimedia support out of the box...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details and screenshots.
Following the recent release of Toorox "GNOME" edition, Jörn Lindau today announced the availability of a new "KDE" variant, a Gentoo-based live DVD built on top of the Linux kernel 2.6.39 and featuring the KDE desktop (version 4.6.4). From the release announcement: "A new version of the 'KDE' edition has been finished. This contains all improvements of the recent 'GNOME' edition. The kernel is Linux 2.6.39-gentoo-r1. KDE has been updated to the recent version 4.6.4. Also the latest version of IceCat 5.0 has been built in. Nearly all packages have been updated - GCC 4.5.2, X.Org Server 1.10.2, VLC 1.1.10, LibreOffice 3.4.0, Audacious 2.5.3. Both torrent files (32-bit and 64-bit) are stored in the download section."
Mahdi Fattahi has announced the release of AriOS 3.0, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a unique look & feel and loads of extra software: "I'm very happy to announce the release of AriOS 3.0 final, a complete operating system based on Ubuntu 11.04. In this version the focus has been on more polish and providing a better set of default programs. Noteworthy points and changes in this version: Unity has been removed as I think it still lacks a lot of features and customization options; downgraded Compiz to 0.8.6 to avoid the problems reported with the new version shipped in Ubuntu 11.04; Sessions - you can choose between three sessions at login: AriOS, AriOS-2D and GNOME Classic; Alt+F2 shortcut has been assigned to Synapse, the smart, semantic launcher." Read the release announcement for a full list of changes and known issues.
AriOS 3.0 - an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution
(full image size: 1,428kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Parted Magic 6.3
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 6.3, a utility live CD with software for disk management and data rescue tasks. Besides the usual i486 image, Parted Magic now also exists in i686 and x86_64 flavours for more modern computers. From the release announcement: "This release fixes a few obscure typos and bugs in some of our scripts. Pburn and Pfilesearch have been added for testing. There are no menu entries yet, so run 'pburn' from the command line. The main reason for this release was to add more kernel CPU options. Parted Magic now comes in i486, i686, and x86_64 editions. The only testing I've done with x86_64 was on my i7 machine. I've successfully chrooted into a 64-bit Slackware 13.37 and ran some command-line programs. The i686 CPU is set to PIII, so if you are running a PII, use the i486 version instead."
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
June 2011 DistroWatch.com donation: Midori|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the June 2011 DistroWatch.com donation is Midori, a fast and lightweight web browser.
Midori was one of the most frequently requested packages in our annual package database update concluded last week, and is often included as the default web browser in small and lightweight distributions. Some of its features include: "Full integration with GTK+ 2; fast rendering with WebKit; tabs, windows and session management; configurable web search; user scripts and user styles support; straightforward bookmark management; customizable and extensible interface; extensions such as Adblock, form history, mouse gestures or cookie management." Visit the project's features page to learn more about this interesting web browsing alternative.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$28,390 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 Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310)
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
- LPS. Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) is a Linux-based live CD with a goal of allowing users to work on a computer without the risk of exposing their credentials and private data to malware, key loggers and other Internet-era ills. It includes a minimal set of applications and utilities, such as the Firefox web browser or an encryption wizard for encrypting and decrypting personal files. The live CD is a product produced by the United States of America's Department of Defence and is part of that organization's Software Protection Initiative.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 11 July 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|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|
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TalkingArch is a re-spin of the Arch Linux live ISO image, modified to include speech and Braille output for blind and visually-impaired users. Arch Linux is designed to be simple, lightweight and flexible. TalkingArch retains all the features of the Arch Linux live image, but adds speech and Braille packages to make it possible for blind and visually impaired users to install Arch Linux eyes-free.