| 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)
* * * * *
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 18.104.22.168. 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
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 22.214.171.124, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
GeckoLinux is a Linux spin based on the openSUSE distribution, with a focus on polish and out-of-the-box usability on the desktop. The distribution features many desktop editions which can be installed from live discs. Some patent encumbered open source software is included in GeckoLinux which is not available in the default installation of openSUSE. Special attention has been given to the quality of the font rendering. GeckoLinux provides two main editions, Static (which is based on openSUSE Leap) and Rolling (based on openSUSE Tumbleweed).