| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 414, 18 July 2011
Welcome to this year's 29th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! PCLinuxOS is an unpretentious distribution that has a large and up-to-date software repository and which claims to have a rolling-release development model. Jesse Smith takes the recently-announced version 2011.6 for a ride to see how much it progressed in recent months. Is it still one of the best distributions for novice users? In the news section, CentOS battles Scientific Linux for the position of the top free Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone, Slackware Linux users celebrate the distribution's 18th anniversary since the release of 1.0 back in July 1993, an Official Ubuntu Book author provides tips and tricks for the Unity desktop, and Raphaël Hertzog launches a fund-raising initiative to translate a popular French Debian book into English. Also in this issue, a quick look at the licenses of popular office suites, a roadmap leading to Mageia 2, and all the usual regular sections. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A first look at PCLinuxOS 2011.6|
The PCLinuxOS distribution is self-described as "a free easy to use Linux-based Operating System for x86 desktops or laptops." Originally a fork of Mandriva, the PCLinuxOS project is an independent distro that mixes and matches technology to put together an operating system which I would describe as a dark horse of the Linux community. The latest release of PCLinuxOS, version 2011.6, came out recently and I took their KDE edition for a spin.
The project's live CD weighs in at a hair under 700 MB and kicks off by showing us a graphical boot screen where we can choose whether to try the disc's live environment or launch the installer. The PCLinuxOS installer is graphical and does a nice job of balancing ease of use with providing options. We're asked to choose a keyboard layout, then we jump into choosing a disk to partition. Turning the entire disk over to PCLinuxOS is also an option. The installer supports a wide range of file systems and options, letting us select between ext3, ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, FAT and NTFS. There are also options for LVM and RAID and partitions can be encrypted by marking a checkbox. Then we wait while the installer copies its files to the hard drive. Several minutes later we're asked whether we'd like to use GRUB or LILO for our boot loader and where the boot loader should be installed. We can also set a boot loader password and the amount of time to delay before booting the default OS.
The first time we start PCLinuxOS from the hard drive we're asked to perform a few configuration steps. First we select our time zone and we are given the option of setting our clocks to local time, UTC or using one of an array of NTP servers to keep our clock synchronized. We set a password for the root account and then create a single non-root user.
PCLinuxOS 2011.6 - desktop and application menu
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Logging in for the first time we're shown a KDE 4.6 desktop with a grey background. There is an application menu at the bottom of the screen, some quick-launch buttons and the system tray. The quick-launch bar features icons for the KDE System Settings panel, the Dolphin file manager, the system's Control Center and the Synaptic package manager. On the desktop we find icons for opening the firewall configuration tool, Localization Manager, LibreOffice Manager, the Network Center and the user's home folder. There's definitely a configuration theme presented with the default launchers. The desktop effects are turned off, as are KDE's search & indexing features, making for a responsive environment.
Things got off to a bit of a rough start when I went into the KDE System Settings and started adjusting things to better suit my preferences. The system locked up while I was changing workspace settings. Upon rebooting I started poking through the icons on the desktop and found the Localization Manager would let me choose my locale, but would then insist on rebooting the machine. No option to put off the reboot was given. Fortunately the manager does wait until the user presses an OK button before restarting the machine so people have an opportunity to save work in progress.
The PCLinuxOS distribution is an unusual beast in that it uses RPM packages, but manages them with APT tools. On the command line we're able to use the apt-get and apt-cache commands and the distro includes the Synaptic package manager. During my time with PCLinuxOS I was able to install, remove and upgrade software without any problems, both from the command line and from the GUI.
The distribution manages to pack a lot of software onto the CD. At install time we are treated to Firefox 5, KTorrent, the Pidgin instant messenger client and the Thunderbird e-mail application. We also find an app for handling 3G devices, an IRC chat program and Dropbox client. There's the Choqok micro-blogger, a document viewer and Clemetine audio player. Also in the multimedia section we find the the VLC multimedia player, a CD player, TVtime and the Imagination slide show maker. The application menu also holds the GIMP, the K3b disc burner, KMyMoney, an archive manager, text editor and the Midnight Commander file manager. Peeking behind the scenes we find codecs for playing mp3 files and popular video formats. A Flash plugin is pre-installed and works with Firefox. The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is in the default install and, underneath it all, is the 2.6.38 release of the Linux kernel.
You may have noticed in the above list I didn't mention any office software, but I did say there is a LibreOffice Manager icon on the desktop. Clicking the LibreOffice icon kicks off a process which downloads Java and, it says, the base package for LibreOffice. However, when the download completed I found Java was installed, but did not find any office software on my system. Opening the Synaptic package manager I did some searches for office packages and found KOffice was available through the repositories and some clip-art for LibreOffice was listed, but I did not find packages to install LibreOffice or OpenOffice. According to this page, the LibreOffice Manager script should have installed the suite for me, but it did not work in my case, despite running it twice. As with other instances of distributions including an install script for commonly used software (like Firefox and LibreOffice), I can't help but think the users would be better served if developers simply placed the desired software in the repositories so it can be treated like any other package. This idea of having a special program to install and update software smacks too much of the situation we see on Windows where each program must be installed and upgraded separately.
PCLinuxOS 2011.6 - managing software packages
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Up to this point I've been describing how PCLinuxOS worked on my laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). I have to say the distro handled the machine well. Audio worked out of the box, as did my Intel wireless card. My desktop resolution was set to a reasonable level and my touchpad worked as expected. I found performance to be pretty good, about average for a KDE desktop. Moving over to my desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) things did not go so well. Most attempts to boot off the installation disc would result in the machine hanging. Once, while going through the various boot options, I managed to get PCLinuxOS to drop me at a text-based login prompt, but that didn't do me much good and, upon trying to reboot, the machine locked-up. Long story short, I did not install PCLinuxOS on the desktop machine.
A few weeks back I looked at the Control Center which ships with Mageia and the version of the Control Center which comes with PCLinuxOS is very similar. It's an outstanding system configuration tool and I find it both easy to use and powerful. There are some small variations in the PCLinuxOS version. For instance, because PCLinuxOS uses Synaptic for package management, this distribution's Control Center doesn't have the Software category found in Mageia. Synaptic is treated as a separate entity and takes care of all the various functions the software managing modules cover in Mageia. Likewise I didn't find any parental controls in PCLinuxOS -- there are security features, but they seem to be designed with expert users in mind. Otherwise the modules for adjusting the network, getting information on hardware, handing system services and user accounts work much the same way between the two distributions. I find the Control Center's interface to be well laid out, detailed and quick to respond, making it attractive to both novice and advanced users.
PCLinuxOS 2011.6 - Control Center
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When I tried PCLinuxOS last year I thought it was a solid, well put together distribution and its biggest issue was probably that it lives in the same family as Mandriva. On its own the PCLinuxOS project looks good. However, when placed next to its family members (Mandriva and Mageia) PCLinuxOS starts to look a little less polished. And, problems with my desktop hardware aside, that was my biggest issue this time around.
Under the hood PCLinuxOS is still a good distribution. It has a nice installer, the KDE desktop has pretty good defaults and it comes with a wide selection of useful software. It's the presentation that I feel could use some improvement. I don't mean the grey theme -- it's not my favourite colour, but at least it's not purple. No, by presentation I mean, for example, the default icons on the desktop. Most users aren't going to regularly access their firewall configuration, their localization settings or the LibreOffice Manager. Most users will want to access their web browser and e-mail client on a daily basis, but those icons aren't on the desktop or the quick-launch bar. The application menu does quite a bit of nesting in some places, even if the sub-menu has just one item in it. Synaptic is a capable package manager, but it's not as newcomer-friendly as Mageia's software manager. What it boils down to is that, if we put Mageia beside PCLinuxOS, I think an argument can be made that the latter is more appealing from a technical, "let's tweak the settings," point of view, but loses points in presentation and user-friendliness.
I think people who already use PCLinuxOS will like this release and I recommend it if you like aspects of Mandriva/Mageia, but prefer using APT for package management. It's a well-crafted project with a few interesting personal touches and an odd quirk or two, and I find that endearing at a time when so many developers are putting out clones with different themes.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
CentOS versus Scientific Linux, 18 years of Slackware, Ubuntu Unity tips, "The Debian Administrator's Handbook"
So what will it be, CentOS or Scientific Linux? In the past there was only one "real" free Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone and it was CentOS, but the long delay in delivering version 6, communication problems, resignation of a high-profile CentOS developer and, most importantly, delays in delivering errata updates, have made some people look at the hottest alternative - Scientific Linux. Here are one person's conclusions after evaluating the two distributions: "Scientific Linux is definitely on the rise, and CentOS certainly needs to air out themselves a little. But at least with version 6.0, we're still going to be going with our tried-and-true CentOS. I'm just not comfortable enough, yet, with the Scientific Linux community, mainly because they still don't quite know how long they plan to keep their products alive. Out of this look at RHEL clones, though, the single biggest thing I've discovered is that I'm going to have to keep evaluating this choice down the road."
* * * * *
Eighteen years and still going strong; which distribution could have such a tremendous staying power? Of course, we are talking about Slackware Linux, the world's oldest surviving Linux distro, which last week celebrated 18 years since the release of version 1.0: "Slackware 1.0 was released by Patrick Volkerding exactly 18 years ago on 16 July 1993 in an official release when he was still a student. At that time, it was distributed on 24 disks (yes, floppy disks) and it only had two series, A and X. No one would ever have thought that it would once become the oldest maintained Linux distribution! In 1993, there weren't many Linux distributions. Slackware was one of the first at that time alongside SLS, Debian GNU/Linux, Yggdrasil, and MCC Interim. It turned out to be so good that many other Linux distributions based themselves on Slackware, including SuSE Linux, VectorLinux, Slax, Zenwalk, Salix and many more."
* * * * *
Ubuntu's Unity desktop has been the subject of long discussions ever since the arrival of "Natty Narwhal" nearly three months ago. Some love it, others hate it, and there are always those who keep using the desktop without having properly mastered its inner workings. Matthew Helmke, one of the authors of the Official Ubuntu Book, has written an article entitled "Ubuntu Unity: A GUI for Beginners and Experts", which is a nice overview of the Unity desktop with some tips and tricks for users of all levels: "The computer mouse is a useful tool, but it can slow you down. This is a common complaint among power users. Learning keyboard shortcuts can improve productivity. Several are discussed below in 'Using Unity as a Power User,' but here's quick one to whet the appetite. Use the Special key, often called the 'Windows key' and found between the Ctrl and Alt keys at the bottom-left of the keyboard, to open Shortcuts. Like the Dash, Shortcuts is a pop-up panel. You can also access Shortcuts by clicking the Ubuntu logo at the top-left of the screen with your mouse."
* * * * *
Raphaël Hertzog, a well-known Debian developer, has emailed DistroWatch with some interesting news concerning the Cahier de l'Admin Debian, a popular Debian handbook written in French and co-authored by Hertzog. Up until now the book has only been published in French. But since it has turned out to be a huge hit among French-speaking Debian users, the authors have made a plan to translate it into English and release it under a free license: "The Debian Administrator's Handbook is the title of the translation of the French best-seller known as 'Cahier de l'Admin Debian'. Written by two Debian developers, Raphaël Hertzog and Roland Mas, it's a fantastic resource for all users of a Debian-based distribution. Given that traditional editors did not want to take the risk to make this translation, we decided to do the translation ourselves and to self-publish the result. But we want to go further than this, we want the result to be freely available (that is under the terms of a license compatible with the Debian Free Software Guidelines of course). However it's very difficult to spend several months of work without income. That's why we're going to run a fund-raising."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
There-is-a-license-in-my-office-software asks: Apparently OpenOffice.org is now under the Apache License allowing Oracle to keep the copyright. How will this affect LibreOffice?
DistroWatch answers: For those who haven't been following the many steps in The Dance of the Productivity Suites, Oracle decided to turn over the OpenOffice.org project (which they acquired from Sun) to the Apache Software Foundation. It's a bit soon to tell how this is going to affect the OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects as OpenOffice.org is still in the incubation stage of adoption.
Early stage or not, the OpenOffice.org project is moving to the Apache License and this isn't necessarily a good thing for OpenOffice.org or for future collaboration between OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice. The LibreOffice project is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License and the two licenses aren't entirely compatible. The GNU LGPL pushes to keep software free, putting more requirements on the developer, where the Apache License takes a more "do whatever you want" approach to freedom. Now, I'm not a lawyer, but I believe this means OpenOffice's code can be accepted into LibreOffice, but the reverse is not true.
How will this affect LibreOffice? Probably not much. I imagine the LibreOffice team isn't thrilled to see Oracle turn OpenOffice.org over to the Apache Software Foundation instead of The Document Foundation. A lot of people were willing to write off OpenOffice.org while it was under Oracle's control, but the Apache group has a long and positive history and developers are likely to feel more comfortable dealing with Apache than with Oracle, further dividing the contributors to the two suites. So it's not an ideal situation for either project.
What will make this dance more interesting is IBM transferring their Symphony office suite code to Apache. Symphony is based on OpenOffice.org and placing Symphony under the guidance of the Apache Software Foundation means improvements made by IBM to the code base can be shared with OpenOffice.org. And, for that matter, those same improvements may find their way into LibreOffice too. What I think makes this whole situation intriguing is that many Linux distributions have chosen to side with LibreOffice. Meanwhile, people on proprietary systems, if they use one of these suites, generally use OpenOffice.org. And, so far as I know, the BSD community hasn't really come down on a side yet. I find myself wondering if, in the near future, we may see one open source office suite primarily running on proprietary operating systems and a different one running on open source platforms.
A point was brought up on this blog that I think deserves consideration. The author suggests this is an opportunity to work together and focus on compatibility. The author points out that since the code can flow in one direction (OpenOffice.org to LibreOffice), it make sense for developers to work on the document handling code in OpenOffice.org and let those patches flow into LibreOffice. Then both suites could build their own interfaces separately. Essentially this would give both suites a shared (compatible) document engine, and slightly different interfaces. Of course any combined effort involving large projects is difficult, but I think there is an opening here to use one as the conservative base and the other as an experimental sister project. Similar, perhaps, to the way Ubuntu builds on top of Debian or GhostBSD builds on FreeBSD.
|Released Last Week
Pardus Linux 2011.1
Gökçen Eraslan has announced the release of Pardus Linux 2011.1: "Pardus 2011.1 'Dama Dama' is now available. Here are the basic components and their versions shipped within Pardus 2011.1 release: KDE Desktop Environment 4.6.5, Linux kernel 22.214.171.124, LibreOffice 126.96.36.199, Mozilla Firefox web browser 5.0, X.Org Server 1.9.5, GIMP 2.6.11, Python 2.7.1, GCC 4.5.3, glibc 2.12. In addition to those updates: lots of bugs have been fixed; 64-bit Skype and WINE package are now in 2011 stable repository; YALI has a System Rescue mode now; work on 2009 - 2011 distribution upgrade interface is about to finish, after the testing is complete, upgrade-manager package will be provided in 2009 repositories to ease the transition; QuickFormat application can be tested now to format USB removable disks easily.... Here is the brief release announcement.
Sabayon Linux 6 "E17", "LXDE", "Xfce"
Fabio Erculiani has announced the availability of three new Sabayon Linux 6 spins, featuring the Enlightenment 17, LXDE and Xfce desktops: "This is the last set of Sabayon 6 releases, we have Sabayon 6 LXDE, a very lightweight desktop environment for elderly systems, that fits on a single 700 MB CD. Then there is Sabayon 6 Xfce, which has been turned into a valid GNOME alternative, breaking the 700 MB size barrier, provided with multimedia and office applications, NVIDIA, AMD GPU drivers and more. Last and probably least, there is Sabayon 6 E17, it's Enlightenment 17 SVN snapshot, for the brave. Here is the full release announcement.
Superb Mini Server 1.6.1
Just announced - a new minor update to Superb Mini Server (SMS), a Slackware-based distribution for servers: "Superb Mini Server version 1.6.1 released (Linux kernel 188.8.131.52). This minor release upgrade brings the latest stable Linux kernel version 184.108.40.206. SMS 1.6.1 features the latest stable releases of various packages, such as Perl 5.14.1, MySQL 5.1.58, Postfix 2.8.4, CUPS 1.4.7, httpd 2.2.19, Samba 3.5.9 and GCC 4.5.3. In SMS.Native.CD-Extra.iso added trunk version of iscsitarget package, an open source iSCSI target, built for stock SMP kernel (220.127.116.11-smp), and latest sources of OpenbravoERP MP0.1. SMS now has officially a wiki page with video tutorials and basic tasks for configuring SMS in various situations. There is also an smsdoc.pdf book in PDF format, which will be updated frequently. Read the rest of the release announcement for a full changelog.
Stefan Lippers-Hollmann has announced the release of aptosid 2011-02, a desktop distribution based on Debian's unstable branch and featuring the latest KDE and Xfce desktops: "Now that kernel 2.6.39 and KDE 4.6 have entered the archive and stabilised in sid after the 'Squeeze' release, we have the pleasure to announce the immediate availability of the final aptosid 2011-02 'Imera' release. New features in aptosid 2011-02 are numerous integration and stabilisation fixes. Kernel 2.6.39 doesn't only improve and stabilise hardware support for newer devices, it also improves latency and general system performance. Starting with KDE 4.6 and Xfce 4.8, HAL has now become obsolete and got replaced by event-driven udev-based alternative which allows to run common desktop setups without the HAL daemon. Read the detailed release notes for more information.
aptosid 2011-02 - a new release of the Debian "sid"-based distribution
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Linvo GNU/Linux 2010.12.6
Ivo Georgiev has announced the release of Linvo GNU/Linux 2010.12.6, a Slackware-based (installable) live DVD with GNOME 2.32, custom package manager, multimedia codecs support and other user-friendly features: "Linvo 2010.12.6. This is probably the last maintenance release of the GNOME-powered 2010.12 series. It features a couple of bug fixes (e.g. dependency handling) and improvements (e.g. smooth download progress bar) to LinvoApp, the distinctive applications management system. Unfortunately, some applications (mostly obsolete) have been removed from the website because they were not built right by the LinvoApp automatic builder, so now we're down to only 125 applications. Of course, LinvoApp is still beta and you can always use the traditional Gslapt to install software if you miss something which is not in the Applications category." Here is the brief release announcement.
Yuriy Stanchev has announced the release of NetSecL 3.2, a hardened openSUSE-based distribution with tools for penetration testing, but also suitable as a general desktop product: "NetSecL 3.2 comes with a brand new LXDE which increased dramatically the performance, we closed many bugs and also gained more compatibility with openSUSE 11.4. The grsecurity kernel is updated to 18.104.22.168, please check installation instructions if you wish to use it. And here is the work we have done: ext4 issue with grsecurity is resolved; booting in VM with new grsecurity resolved; new Metasploit; Firefox 5; updated Exploit-db repository; grsecurity kernel, locked from zypper - you can update the whole system without worrying; Snort-inline reintegrated (get Snort rules and change them to drop; size of the ISO image smaller by 200 MB." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
PCLinuxOS 2011.07 "KDE MiniMe"
Bill Reynolds has announced the release of PCLinuxOS 2011.07 "KDE MiniMe" edition. This product is designed for more advanced users who prefer to install a minimal KDE-based (version 4.6.5) system and extend it later via the distribution's online repositories. From the release announcement: "PCLinuxOS KDE MiniMe 2011.07 for 32-bit computers (works on 64-bit computers too) is now available for download. What's new? The kernel was updated to version 22.214.171.124. Additional kernels, such as a PAE kernel for computers with more than 4 GB of memory, are available from our repositories. A BFS kernel for maximum desktop performance and a standard kernel with group scheduling enabled. X.Org Server was updated to version 1.10.3. Mesa updated to 7.10.3 and libdrm to version 2.4.26."
Kongoni GNU/Linux 2011
Robert Gabriel has announced the release of Kongoni GNU/Linux 2011, a Slackware-based desktop distribution built exclusively from libre software: "I'm very happy to announce the stable release of Kongoni 2011 (code name 'Firefly'). Most bugs and glitches have been removed and we can say now that Kongoni is ready for the stable release. Some extensive work has gone into the live CD and initrd. We have moved to initramfs for the live CD, udev is used now and there is no limitation in space when creating the initramfs as we dropped dd and mkfs.ext2 in favor of cpio. This also should make the live CD a bit faster and much more reliable. KDE has been updated to version 4.6.5 due to some bug fixes, IceCat updated to version 5.0, Gnash updated to version 0.8.10-dev, BackInTime 1.0.8 added as a default backup tool and LibreOffice 3.4.1 is now available in the repository." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Kongoni GNU/Linux 2011 - a Slackware-based distribution consisting of free software only
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Sylvain Balbous has announced the release of PapugLinux 11.1, a minimalist, Gentoo-based live CD featuring the Fluxbox window manager, some development tools and several version control system programs: "PapugLinux 11.1 is available for download, this is a major release in term of package updates. We choose to focus our additions on development tools for this version. The great Python language comes in 2 versions (2.7 and 3.1) and we also include Subversion and the very popular Git as version control systems. This could make PapugLinux a great bundle to start to learn Python or simply browse the open-source projects all over the world. The live running mode uses new tools and another compression format, this results in more content in a smaller size." Here is the brief release announcement.
PapugLinux 11.1 - a lightweight Gentoo-based live CD
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Chakra GNU/Linux 2011.04-r2
The regular monthly re-spins of Chakra GNU/Linux 2011.04, a desktop distribution originally forked from Arch Linux, continue with the latest update: "The Chakra development team is proud to announce the second respin of 'Aida'. We added lots of package updates and KDE got updated to 4.6.5 with our patches added. Also we updated our hardware detection and added the latest drivers. So what changed with this release: CInstall, our bundle handler got a fresh user interface; Burg theme got updated; complete rewrite of our init scripts; support for systemd added (installation via repositories); small fixes to some packages. Other features to mention: Linux kernel 2.6.39 series; X.Org 7.6 stack with Mesa 7.10.3 and X.Org Server 1.10.3...." See the full release announcement for more details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Mageia 2 roadmap
Mageia has published a roadmap leading to the distribution's second stable release. The development tree known as "Cauldron" will reach alpha status in the middle of November 2011 and the entire cycle will consists of two alphas, two betas and one release candidate. The final release of Mageia 2 is scheduled for 4 April 2012. One other interesting point is that Mageia is aiming for a 9-month release cycle, which is similar to openSUSE's and it might also have a periodic LTS (long-term support) release. Anne Nicolas explains: "The release cycle for Mageia will be 9 months. We think it's a well-balanced choice, providing an up-to-date distribution that's also stable. It should also give us enough time to build the specifications, develop, package, innovate and finalize it. Each Mageia release will be supported for 18 months. We will have a global review of our resources before the next release to check that we can still provide support according to our first plan. If all is going well, then we will think about releasing an LTS version every 18 months, to be supported for 3 years."
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Bigtux. Bigtux is a Ukrainian Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. The project's website is in Russian.
- LuninuX OS. LuninuX OS is an Ubuntu-based distribution with GNOME, multimedia support and custom look & feel.
- Snowlinux. Snowlinux is a Debian-based distribution and live CD with GNOME.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 25 July 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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|Random Distribution |
Shark Linux was a new distribution of a Linux-based operating system. The goal of Shark Linux was to provide a stable environment with easy administration, targeting 64-bit AMD Opteron and Athlon 64 processors. Shark Linux aims to become a hardware optimised operating system with its own unique set of management tools and new functionality of the ANSI console for administrator use. Combined with ease of use and optimised code, it should outperform other out-of-the-box systems from the start. Shark Linux was derived from the Gentoo Linux project.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Tips and tricks: Manipulating PDFs|
|Tips and tricks: Keep terminal programs running, using the at command, reverse OpenSSH connections|
|Tips and tricks: Advanced file systems, network traffic, running a script at login/logout|
|Tips and tricks: GRUB Customizer|
|Questions and answers: systemd|
|Questions and answers: RHEL 6, useful shell tips|
|Questions and answers: Comparing kernel components|
|Questions and answers: Playing a game of What-If|
|Tips and tricks: Check free disk space, wait for a process, command line spell-check, shutdown PC when CPU gets hot|
|Myths and misunderstandings: Wayland, Xorg and Mir|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|