| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 437, 2 January 2012
Welcome to this year's first issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Enlightenment 17, in development for over a decade, has yet to become a widely-used window manager. Luckily, its niche following is occasionally exploited by a project that successfully combines its power and features to provide an attractive and usable desktop. Bodhi Linux, an Ubuntu-based system and the subject of today's feature article, is a relatively new distribution that is making dramatic strides towards creating a highly usable and enticing desktop that would work even on modest hardware. In the news section, a popular Linux review site reveals the "distro of the year", Linux Deepin improves on the Ubuntu Software Centre, Linux Mint forks GNOME Shell to deliver a more GNOME 2-like experience with Cinnamon, and a Fedora contributor explains why it's a bad idea to disable SELinux. Also in this issue, a link to a nice overview of Clonezilla Live, news about the termination of LinEx and "restructuring" of Pardus Linux, year-end comparison of our Page Hit Ranking statistics, and a tip for combining files to create an ISO image. There is more, so enjoy the read and have a great start of the New Year with DistroWatch!
- Reviews: An enlightening experience - Bodhi Linux 1.3.0
- News: Bodhi release plans, Deepin Software Centre, Linux Mint's Cinnamon, Pardus "restructuring", end of LinEx, SELinux tips, overview of Clonezilla
- Statistics: Page Hit Ranking in 2010 and 2011
- Questions and answers: Creating ISO images
- Released last week: Dreamlinux 5, ExTiX 9, Linux Deepin 11.12, Netrunner 4.0, Calculate Linux 11.12
- New additions: ROSA, siduction
- New distributions: Live Voyager, roblinux, Ubuntu Razor-qt Remix
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (37MB) and MP3 (45MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Robert Storey)
An enlightening experience: Bodhi Linux 1.3.0|
Siddhartha Gautama Buddha (also known as Sakyamuni) was born a wealthy prince approximately 2,500 years ago. At the age of 29, he gave up his privileged princely lifestyle to spend the next six years as an ascetic seeking truth. After a marathon 49 days in meditation while sitting beneath a Bodhi tree, he obtained Enlightenment.
I admire Siddhartha's patience, but I'm relieved that I only needed to spend about two minutes attaining Enlightenment, version 0.17, via the "e17" package that is available in Ubuntu. Like many others, I was driven to seek Enlightenment by despair. Mainly, despair after Ubuntu attached itself to a sinking ship called Unity, while another unenlightened contingent is grappling with the horrors of GNOME 3. Desperately seeking answers - not to mention a usable desktop window manager - I decided to give Enlightenment a try.
I was impressed. Lurking almost unnoticed in the bowels of the Ubuntu package repository, E17 proved to be a lightweight desktop manager with lots of eye candy. It's also highly configurable, if you know how. The brainchild of Carsten Haitzler (also known as Rasterman), E17 has been in development for over a decade. After discovering its charms, I figured that it was just a matter of time before someone would release a Linux distro using Enlightenment as its default desktop. And now someone has.
Enter Bodhi Linux. I cannot say with authority that this is the very first Enlightenment distro. Indeed, I know of three others (Elive, OpenGEU and MoonOS), but Bodhi is the first to attract a significant following, and the enthusiastic user base is still growing. Bodhi now sits at number 20 on the DistroWatch hit list, impressive considering the first release was 2011-03-11, a mere 10 months ago. The development team - led by Jeff Hoogland - is small, but Bodhi is based on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), the current "long-term support" (LTS) version of Ubuntu. The next LTS release of Ubuntu will be 12.04 (now in alpha), and Bodhi 2.0.0 (planned for release in the middle of 2012) will be based on it - but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Bodhi prides itself on being a "minimalist" distro, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that the current version 1.3.0 ISO file is a diminutive 374 megabytes. That makes for a pretty quick download. Although it can be run as a live CD, installation requirements are impressively lightweight - 300 MHz i386 processor, 128 MB of RAM and 1.5 GB hard disk space. Needless to say, beefier hardware will bestow a better user experience upon you, but it's nice to know that a lame computer from circa 2001 might be able to run Bodhi.
My current machine is an ASUS Eee PC netbook, which allows me to bask in the glow of moral superiority that one gains from using an energy-saving low-power device. Not to mention the fact that, like Siddhartha, I've been living the life of an ascetic (i.e. I'm unemployed) and the Eee PC was the cheapest model in the computer store. As bottom-end hardware, it lacks a built-in CD drive. Therefore, I used UNetbootin to burn the ISO file to a USB stick and booted from it. From cold start to login prompt, boot speed was an impressive 20 seconds. At boot-up, one can select different themes - the one you see here is A-Angelic2.
Bodhi Linux 1.3.0 - the A-Angelic2 theme
(full image size: 197kB, screen resolution 1024x600 pixels)
Bodhi uses the user-friendly Ubuntu installer. Survivors of previous Linux installs should breeze through the routine almost with their eyes closed. Due to the fact that this is a minimalist distro, the installation proceeds rapidly - mine required a mere 10 minutes.
Although I was expecting the desktop to be mean, lean and clean, one thing I didn't expect was "dim." I mean this not as some sort of insult (i.e. dimwitted) but rather as is in "dark and dim." Adjusting screen brightness with the ASUS's hardware key combination FN+F6 was insufficient to solve the problem - even at the maximum brightness setting, it was still too dim for my tastes. This sent me scurrying to Google to seek a solution, and it wasn't long before I was enlightened... I could recover full brightness by opening a terminal and typing this not-very-intuitive message:
sudo setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=ff
My screen looked fine after this, and indeed I had to dim it a bit with the FN+F5 key combo. I wondered if my fix would carry over into the next reboot, so I went ahead and gave that a try. To my dismay, the dim screen was reincarnated. Fortunately, I'm not a total ignoramus when it comes to Ubuntu/Debian things, though others may disagree. One thing my fellow Debianistas have managed to beat into my head is the procedure to create a script that runs each time you boot up. Thus, I did the following from a terminal (after using "su" to become root):
Used the included nano text editor to create a file named...
...with this content...
setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=ff
Then I made the file executable...
chmod +x /etc/init.d/brightness.sh
Finally, I set up the system to run this script on every boot-up...
update-rc.d brightness.sh defaults
Upon the next reboot, I still saw a slightly dim screen after I logged in, but I could easily adjust it to full brightness with the hardware keys, this time without the need to run my script again. On subsequent reboots, I no longer needed to make any adjustments. All things considered, an effective workaround, and safe to leave it in place even if the original bug (whatever it might be) gets fixed in a subsequent update.
Speaking of updates, with my screen issues safely out of the way, updating Bodhi's software packages was my next highest priority. This was my first hint that Bodhi might be a little intimidating for Linux newbies. Most of the *buntus have an "update-manager" utility that informs you when new packages are available and nags you to install them. Bodhi does no such thing, thus you must resort to the command line with the following:
sudo apt-get update
(Or better yet, "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade".) Since Bodhi installs very few packages by default, the first update/upgrade should go relatively fast. With this task accomplished, you may want to reboot (important if your update installed a new kernel) before installing new packages.
sudo apt-get upgrade
Making Bodhi Useful
Like Siddhartha himself, the default install of Bodhi is ascetic, if not outright famished. You'll need to beef things up with quite a few packages to make the bare bones desktop genuinely useful. Debian/Ubuntu veterans are most likely already familiar with Synaptic, which puts a nice warm fuzzy point-and-click interface onto Debian package management. If Synaptic isn't warm and fuzzy enough, fire up the included Midori web browser and visit the Bodhi Linux Appcenter. If you find a package you like, click the "Install Now" - this is just the same as installing via Synaptic, only with a prettier interface.
What you should not do if at all possible is to click the "Download" button in the Appcenter. If you ignore that advice and plunge ahead, what happens is that you will download a *.bod file. This is a unique Bodhi approach that isn't especially intuitive. After you've downloaded, for example, file bodhi-printing.bod, you then have to first make it executable. This can be done on the command line with the sudo chmod +x filename.bod command, or you can do it with point-and-click by right-clicking them and editing their properties. Once made executable, you can then double-click the bods which will launch the installer. The only reason why Bodhi offers up the *.bod files is so that they can be transferred to computers that have limited or no Internet access. Even the Bodhi developers don't advise you to take this approach if you can get online instead.
Card-carrying geeks and other fans of the traditional command line interface will probably find it easiest to just forget all the above. Rather, open a terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install package-name
Bodhi does have repositories of its own with some packages that are not in the standard Ubuntu base. As I've already hinted, there is an important printing package (important if you have a printer, that is). Not surprisingly, it's named bodhi-printing. If you have an HP printer, you'd be well-advised to install package hplip-gui.
I live in Asia, so Asian-language support is a rather big issue with me. One thing I soon discovered is that Bodhi does not have any Asian fonts installed. Visit a page in Chinese, Japanese or Korean, and all you'll see are little boxes with numbers in them where the Asian script should be. This can be remedied by installing a few unicode fonts - at the minimum, I'd suggest installing package ttf-wqy-zenhei.
Once you've got all your preferred applications installed, check to see if they appear some place in the main menu. If for any reason they aren't, you can always create a launcher for your favorite app as follows: Settings --> Settings_Panel --> Apps --> Create_Launcher, click Applications and type in /usr/bin/My_Favorite_App. After this, your favorite application should appear in the main menu: Applications --> Other --> My_Favorite_App.
There are no codecs installed by default, so if you plan to watch or listen to any multimedia, the package ubuntu-restricted-extras will work wonders. Nevertheless, I did encounter a few sound problems, some of which I could resolve, others not.
The first audio glitch I ran into was that I my USB plug-and-play headphones didn't work with the default ALSA sound server. Fortunately, my cry for help was answered in this thread. At least in the current rendition of Bodhi, it's necessary to disable internal audio in order to get USB audio working. That is not the case in some other distros I've tried that use PulseAudio instead of ALSA, but for now PulseAudio doesn't seem to work at all in Bodhi. Anyway, without further ado, to make USB audio work, create a hidden dot file in each user's home directory named .asoundrc with the following content:
After you've done this and logged-out/logged-in, the new setting will take effect. Your USB audio should work fine. On the downside, if you have any standard analog headphones, speakers or microphone, they will cease functioning until such time that you delete ~/.asoundrc or rename it. Admittedly, this is a somewhat ugly hack, but it gets the job done.
A more stubborn problem I experienced was that certain recording programs did not work at all with Bodhi - in particular, professional programs that rely on the Jack sound server. My most critical voice recording program, Google-Talk, functioned flawlessly - blessedly, it does not rely on Jack. But I couldn't do jack when I attempted to record with Mhwaveedit. I spent some time searching online for solutions, and among the suggestions were to install the packages jackd and qjackctl (for starting and configuring jackd). Despite my best efforts, Mhwaveedit would stubbornly spit out an error message about not being able to start the Jack server (used by other Jack-enabled applications such as Ardour and Hydrogen. According to the documentation on Mhwaveedit, it is supposed to work with both ALSA and Jack, so this remains a mystery. For now, the issue is unresolved.
Bodhi does not, as yet, offer any nice touchy-feely user-friendly tools to add or delete user accounts. For this you have to rely on good old-fashioned Unix command line tools.
To add a new user:
sudo adduser user-name
To delete a user:
sudo deluser user-name
To change a user's password:
sudo passwd user-name
To give the new user sudo (administrative) privileges, add him/her to the admin group:
sudo adduser user-name admin
If you want to know more, check out the man pages:
Auto-mounting External Devices
Although not everybody needs or wants this feature, most users expect that when they plug an external USB device into their computer, an icon will pop up on their desktop. Some distros (Puppy comes to mind) automatically put in icon on your screen but the device doesn't auto-mount - you have to click it first, which is no big deal. Most modern operating systems will, however, instantly auto-mount USB gizmos, and immediately thereafter will load some sort of file manager showing the content of the device.
In Bodhi, auto-mounting is turned off by default. To turn it on use Main Menu: Settings --> Settings Panel --> Files --> Places, click the checkbox "Mount volumes on insert" and (if you like) "Open filemanager on insert". Unfortunately, I experienced mixed results with this. Yes, my USB devices would auto-mount, and the default file manager PCManFM would open. But after a reboot the system reverted to its former non-mounting state. Having to turn this on each time was annoying, and the result was often unpredictable.
Adding insult to injury, PCManFM has an abominable interface. As an example, when you want to umount a device, you have to unintuitively right-click on its name in the column on the left (rather than the icon itself) and select "eject" rather than "umount." I could live with that (indeed, I'd really be impressed if PCManFM actually ejected my USB memory stick rather than merely umounted it). However, PCManFM had the considerably rude habit of randomly refusing to umount the device and popping up an error message informing me that the device as "busy," even though it wasn't.
Bodhi Linux 1.3.0 - don't believe PCManFM
(full image size: 49kB, screen resolution 804x565 pixels)
Since I am obviously not a fan of PCManFM, I replaced it with the far more elegant (but still lightweight) Xfe file manager. Once installed, it appeared in the main menu under Applications --> System_Tools. To make Xfe the default file manager use Main Menu: Settings --> Settings Panel --> Files --> Places, click "Use a custom file manager" and type "/usr/bin/xfe". Log out and log back in for the new settings to take effect.
Unfortunately (I'm beginning to hate that word), even the pretty face of Xfe did nothing to solve the problem of USB auto-mounting failing to work whenever it felt like it. This sent me scurrying to the Bodhi Linux forum to search for a revelation, but I found no joy there. It became apparent that not everybody is having this problem, so maybe it's just my hardware.
In the end, I decided to deploy a brute force solution by installing the USBmount package, plus the recommended but optional Pmount. This unfailingly mounted whatever USB device I could throw at it. These will appear as folder /media/usb0, /media/usb1, /media/usb2, etc, but it will not put an icon on your desktop no matter how hard you push, pull or reboot. The documentation for USBmount indicates that to umount, you can just pull out the device - a good thing, because I could not get Xfe (let alone PCManFM) to umount devices mounted by USBmount, unless I started Xfe with root privileges (sudo xfe) which isn't really recommended.
Actually, let me backtrack - one feature of Enlightenment is that you can assign any GUI application to have root privileges without resorting to the sudo command. To do this, first start the application as normal. Then right-click on the top border - the menu that pops up starts with the program's name. Put the mouse cursor over it and you'll see a pop-up submenu, starting with "Edit Icon". Click that and a dialog box appears. The third field of the dialog box (where it says "Application") can be edited: put the word "gksu" in front of the application's name and click "Apply." Now close the application - next time you open it, you'll be prompted for your password, and then the app will run with root privileges. Use this feature with caution - running a file manager with root privileges gives you (among other powers) the ability to delete system files with a mere mouse click. For this reason, you may wish to have one file manager set up with root privileges and another without.
All things considered, I think the auto-mounting and file browsing in Bodhi needs a little attention, and hopefully will improve in future releases.
Despite a few quirks and a somewhat buggy audio setup, I was overall very pleased with Bodhi Linux. So pleased, actually, that I will continue to use it despite the fact that I'm finished writing this review. I can honestly say that this is one of the most fun distros I've ever used - maybe not quite nirvana, but getting close.
Linux newbies will perhaps be unsettled by the need to occasionally go to the command line to perform administrative tasks. If point-and-click everything is required, there are other distros that better serve this need.
On the other hand, tech-savvy refugees from GNOME 3, Unity and (dare I say it) KDE should be pleased by the speed of the attractive Enlightenment desktop. Bodhi's developers deserve kudos for producing the first really usable Enlightenment-based Linux distribution. This is just possibly the best OS yet to restore a tired old computer suffering from bad karma and a wimpy CPU.
Bodhi Linux is less than a year old, and I think it's only fair to cut the developers some slack as they stamp out bugs and add new features. Hopefully they can accomplish all that without hurting the currently superb performance. With a rapidly growing base of users, I expect that we will be hearing about Bodhi for quite some time.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Bodhi release plans, Deepin Software Centre, Linux Mint's Cinnamon, Pardus "restructuring", end of LinEx, SELinux tips, overview of Clonezilla
Continuing with the theme from the feature story, Bodhi Linux developer Jeff Hoogland has published a release schedule for the distro's upcoming releases, up to July 2014. With Bodhi being based on Ubuntu's LTS (long-term support) versions and with point releases provided every three months, the first major new release is only expected in July 2012: "With the recent release of Bodhi Linux 1.3.0 I've had a few questions as to what our release cycle is exactly. I'd like to take a short moment today to clarify what exactly on current release schedule looks like. Our version numbering looks something like this: x.y.z, where x represents a major release, y represents an update (or point) release and z represents a bug fix release. We have a two year major release cycle. These releases will be centered around each new Ubuntu long term support (LTS) release. Our goal is to release our new major version in the July following the release of an Ubuntu LTS. Because we have such a long major release cycle, we will be releasing our 'update' releases every three months. The goal of update releases is to keep the software on the live CD current and continue making small improvements to the default look of the system. Finally our bug fix releases will happen as needed when an issue is discovered with the default configuration."
* * * * *
Igor Ljubuncic, the webmaster of Dedoimedo and a keen reviewer of free operating systems, has compiled a list of "best" distributions of 2011. The winner? Despite all the recent negative media coverage, the somewhat surprising champion is Ubuntu 11.10: "In my testing, Oneiric Ocelot, for all its silly name, was virtually spotless. It worked without any problems on both low and high-end hardware, in complex multi-boot configurations, with pretty much everything and anything tested. Ocelot is also visually pleasing, it is fast and responsive. Unity is becoming more and more normal, and with the ability to move the Launcher to the bottom, you're all set. What more, Ubuntu is turning into a true brand, allowing you to buy programs, games and music from within the desktop, which is quite nice. I may not be the target user for Ubuntu and its new interface, but the charm and practicality cannot be denied, even by hardcore geeks. It's not quite Mac, but it definitely is not GNOME 3, as you can actually interact with your desktop and you have shortcuts. Aesthetics aside, and most importantly, everything works. As simple as that." CentOS 6, Kubuntu 11.04, Chakra GNU/Linux 2011.09 and Linux Mint 12 have all made Dedoimedo's shortlist for 2011.
* * * * *
It is not often that an English-language Linux website takes an interest in a Chinese distro. But Joey Sneddon, an editor of OMG! Ubuntu!, was so impressed with the software centre in the recently-released Linux Deepin 11.12 that he brought attention to it in "Is This the Best Software Store on Linux?" "Some distros simply ship Ubuntu's Software Centre as standard. And why not? It does the job admirably. But for the developers of Linux Deepin it wasn't quite what they were looking for – they wanted something that not only looked that bit flashier but allowed users to complete basic packaging tasks from the same window with relative ease. All goals in mind for Ubuntu's Software Centre, but Linux Deepin needed it now. And so the Linux Deepin Software Centre was created. The Software Centre comes with a number of really neat features that, whilst likely breaking all sorts of designer conventions, are brilliant – and useful – touches." The author follows up the above post with another, hinting that the Linux Deepin Software Centre might soon be available for installation on Ubuntu, pending a complete translation of the open-source software package into English.
Linux Deepin 11.12 - a Chinese Ubuntu-based distribution with a heavily-tweaked GNOME Shell
(full image size: 1,913kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Linux Mint, once a project that was content to make small usability improvements to Ubuntu based on user feedback, is seemingly taking giant steps to distance itself further from its parent. The latest indication confirming the above observation is Cinnamon, a Mint-initiated fork of GNOME Shell. Andrei Alin from Web Upd8 explains in "Cinnamon: GNOME Shell Fork With A GNOME 2-Like Layout": "Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint founder, has started working on a GNOME Shell fork called Cinnamon, which tries to offer a layout similar to GNOME 2, with emphasis on 'making users feel at home and providing them with an easy to use and comfortable desktop experience': 'Cinnamon is a Linux desktop which provides advanced innovative features and a traditional user experience. The desktop layout is similar to GNOME 2. The underlying technology is forked from GNOME Shell.' Why fork GNOME Shell? According to Clement Lefebvre (who talked about this on IRC @ #mate), the reason is that even though extensions are cool, you can only do a small amount of stuff with them and you can't control interactions between extensions, their loading order and so on. Among the features that we'll probably see in Cinnamon are GNOME 2-like notifications and system tray icons, option to change the panel position and other panel options like auto-hide, etc."
* * * * *
Potentially bad news for the fans of Pardus Linux, a distribution funded and developed by the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey. Based on whatever little communication we've had from the Pardus team, chances are that the project's days are numbered. Or more precisely, it is currently undergoing "restructuring", at least according to some rumour-like posts published here (in Turkish) and more recently on the Pardus mailing list: "According to what Ozan Caglayan (a Pardus developer who is also a TUBITAK employee) says, there is a strict order to keep silent given by the Pardus staff. Due to ongoing regulations and restructuring for the last 3 months in TUBITAK, some (three developers as far as I know) have resigned, and some (three others) have left for other reasons. Rumors say that the development of the corporate edition will continue, but the personal edition (2011.2 as we know it) will stop! There is nobody denying or confirming this rumor among the Pardus staff. Also another source says that according to the information he got from different sources in TUBITAK and the manager of the department which develops the Pardus Project in TUBITAK, the project will continue from where it left in January 2012." Let's hope we hear a more official word soon!
* * * * *
More bad news, this time from Spain. LinEx, a Debian-based distribution developed by the Extremadura regional government and deployed widely in local schools and government offices, has closed down: "A PARTIR DEL 31 DE DICIEMBRE DE 2011, EL PROYECTO LINEX DEJA DE EXISTIR... VIVA LA LIBERTAD !!" That's all we know officially. But José Luis Redrejo Rodríguez, one of the developers of LinEx, has offered some insight on the debian-project mailing list, suggesting that the move to discontinue LinEx is political rather than technical: "The new people in charge of the Extremadura government don't like the good press and name that LinEx and free software gave to the previous party in the government. And they want to change things. I don't say they're going to remove all the free software we have in education (I don't think that's technically possible, and also we can not afford it ), but they maybe will move from Debian to Ubuntu or to openSUSE or Fedora. They are firing all the people who made the previous situation possible. Also, they are in negotiation with some very big and famous privative companies, to put some applications (office applications mainly) in their privative clouds, etc." It's interesting to see that free software can play such an important role in politics these days...
* * * * *
Security-Enhanced Linux (or SELinux for short) has been an integral part of Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (as well as all of their derivatives) for many years. While few users would question the usefulness of this extra security layer in preventing attacks, some of its limitations might prompt the less security-conscious users to disable SELinux on their systems. Jeff Sheltren has this advice (and a bunch of SELinux tips and trick) for such users: "Stop Disabling SELinux!" "I see a lot of people coming by #centos and similar channels asking for help when they're experiencing a problem with their Linux systems. It amazes me how many people describe their problem, and then say something along the lines of, 'and I disabled SELinux...'. Most of the time SELinux has nothing to do with the problem, and if SELinux is the cause of the problem, why would you throw out the extra security by disabling it completely rather than configuring it to work with your application? This may have made sense in the Fedora 3 days when SELinux settings and tools weren't quite as fleshed out, but the tools and the default SELinux policy have come a long way since then, and it's very worthwhile to spend a little time to understand how to configure SELinux instead of reflexively disabling it. In this post, I'm going to describe some useful tools for SELinux and walk through how to configure SELinux to work when setting up a Drupal web site using a local memcached server and a remote MySQL database server -- a pretty common setup for sites which receive a fair amount of traffic."
* * * * *
Finally, a link to a useful article by Jack M. Germain featuring Clonezilla Live, a utility live CD designed for disk cloning tasks. From "Clonezilla: A Drive-Duping Monster With a Fearsome Face": "Backing up data and restoring a crashed computer are two of those 'I wish I hadda' moments in the life of every computer user. When you maintain a collection of computers for your job or organization, those tasks can be critical. One of the fastest and most reliable ways to restore an afflicted computer is to copy its previously saved image onto the hard drive. This is particularly useful when the cure for what crashed your computer is a failed hard drive. Clonezilla is one of my top choices for open-source imaging solutions. But using it comes with a caveat: Its interface is intimidating. Interface aside, Clonezilla ranks among the most popular open-source options. It is a bit more challenging to use than my long-time favorite EASEUS Disk Copy. But Clonezilla gets the job done with a bevy of options to select. Hence, it often scares away the less technically comfortable users."
|Statistics (by Ladislav Bodnar)
DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics in 2010 and 2011
DistroWatch's Page Hit Ranking once again attracted much attention in the tech media in 2011, perhaps more than it deserved. It was largely the change in the top spot that triggered it - after occupying it for nearly six years, Ubuntu found itself letting one of its own derivatives, Linux Mint, take over the number one position in early November 2011. This, in turn, resulted in a string of opinions, analyses and speculations in the Linux media, blaming the Unity desktop, the loss of communication between the developers and users, and even the Ubuntu BDFL Mark Shuttleworth's iron fist rule for "losing users". This is unlikely what happened. Although there is no doubt that some formerly happy Ubuntu fans have switched to Mint, it's also possible that Canonical's flagship product has attracted many new users - the kind that have not yet discovered (and may never discover) DistroWatch and the zillions of other free operating systems available on the Internet.
Nevertheless, due to all the attention Linux Mint received late last year, there is little doubt that this distribution is growing rapidly. The record US$9,175 in voluntary donations in November 2011 is perhaps the clearest indication of how much its users appreciate Clement Lefebvre's vision. The effort of the development team to make GNOME 3 resemble the familiar GNOME 2 desktop has received high marks in many reviews. And with the recent news about Linux Mint's GNOME Shell fork called Cinnamon, there is even a stronger case for many GNOME 2 fans to take a closer look at Mint and its future releases. In a word, the momentum is clearly behind Mint and although these forces tend to shift a lot, we are witnessing a start of an interesting period of battle between the "modern" touch-screen type of user interfaces (as represented by Unity and GNOME 3) and the "traditional" desktop looks. Only time will tell whether the former can garner the love of desktop computer users.
Away from the top spot contest, there are several distributions that have embarked on noticeable upward movements. Among them, Mageia, a Mandriva fork developed mostly by ex-Mandriva employees and contributors, is the highest new entry at number 15. Scientific Linux, a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), has also made an impact, although it's likely that the distribution will start losing some of its glamour now that CentOS has finally caught up with Red Hat's releases. Other new distributions in the list are all Ubuntu-based - Zorin OS, Bodhi Linux and Pinguy OS. The biggest loser of the year is Tiny Core Linux, which, together with Kubuntu, Dreamlinux, Red Hat Enteprise Linux and Zenwalk Linux, no longer appears in the top 25 list.
As always, the DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics shouldn't be taken too seriously - they are a fun way of looking at what's hot and what's not among this site's visitors, but they almost certainly do not reflect install base or distribution quality.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Creating ISO images
Combine-them-together asks: How can I make an ISO image out of a collection of files on my hard drive?
DistroWatch answers: The easiest way I can think of to make an ISO image and place various data files inside it, like a backup archive, is to use a disc burning tool such as K3b. If we install and run the K3b application one of the options it gives us is making a new data project. We can then add all the files we want from our file system into the project. Then click the Burn button and, when the burn dialog box appears, click the box marked "Only create image". Clicking on the "image" tab will give us the option of choosing where to save the resulting ISO file.
K3b - creating an ISO image file
Another option is to use the command line. We can use the genisoimage command, sometimes called mkisofs, to take the contents of a given directory and copy it into an ISO file:
genisoimage -o myimage.iso MyFiles/
Once the ISO file has been created using either of the above methods we can access its contents by opening it with an archive application. Ark, for example, will open and browse ISO images. We can also use the command line, mounting our image using:
When we are done accessing the image we can unmount the ISO using
mount -o loop myimage.iso mount-point
Generally speaking it's probably best not to use ISO images as archives. Technically they work, but they don't feature compression or other nice features found in more popular archive formats.
|Released During Last Two Weeks
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 10.2, a Debian-based live CD designed for Internet kiosks: "Without further delay may I present Webconverger 10 with an accompanying site redesign. At 9.0 - 10.2 you will notice the usual Flash update, Firefox 8, additional firmware for Ralink wireless and quite a few removed packages. The removed packages are mostly unnecessary for trying Webconverger. I think it's better to customise Webconverger with your chosen locale than altering the boot menu and then choosing the appropriate dictionary once Webconverger is booted. Likewise printing is best left as a customisation option, as it makes the initial download a bit too bulky otherwise. There are a couple of other additions in this release that warrant blog posts in the new year." Here is the complete release announcement with a screenshot.
Mehdi Magnon has announced the release of Sabily 11.10, an Ubuntu-based distribution customised to include a collection of Islamic software and artwork: "The Sabily team is proud to announce the release of the new version of Sabily 11.10, codename 'Uhud'. What's new: new 'Uhud' pictures and wallpapers, new Plymouth and GDM themes; Hijra - better support for GNOME 3, added GNOME Shell extension; Thawab - added support for configurable themes, added bok2ki script; Monajat - prayer times reminder and Azan player; fonts-hosny-amiri - Arabic Naskh style typographically oriented font. New applications: Alfanous - Quranic search engine; GNOME Shell extension Islamic date and time - GNOME Shell extension providing Islamic date/time functions; GNOME Tweak Tool - a tool to customize advanced GNOME 3 options." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional details an an important note about Nanny, the parental web control tool.
Sabily 11.10 - an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a collection of Islamic software
(full image size: 651kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Linpus Linux 1.6 "Lite Desktop"
Linpus Technologies has announced the release of Linpus Linux 1.6 "Lite Desktop" edition, a Fedora-based distribution with GNOME 3 and several user interface enhancements: "Linpus announced today the release of Linpus Lite Desktop Edition. Linpus Lite Desktop Edition is an extremely powerful yet versatile desktop, all-in-one, notebook and netbook operating system. Based on GNOME 3, it has a significant array of enhancements that make it is the ideal choice whether you require productivity, entertainment or lead an extremely social, connected online life. In the first instance, productivity, Linpus has worked hard to improve the user experience in a number of ways. In particular to reduce the number of clicks to launch, view and manage your applications." Read the full press release and this Quick Start Guide (in PDF format) for more information.
Oracle Linux 6.2
Oracle has announced the release of Oracle Linux 6.2, a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux which is free to download, but requires a paid contract for security and other updates: "Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 6.2 for x86 (32-bit) and x86_64 (64-bit) architectures. Oracle Linux 6.2 includes both a 32-bit and a 64-bit Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. By default, both the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel and the Red Hat Compatible Kernel are installed. Unbreakable Enterprise kernel shipped in this update has following driver updates: updated igb to version 3.0.6-k, be2net to version 4.0.160r, bna to version 184.108.40.206, bnx2 to version 2.1.11, bnx2x to version 1.70.00-0...." See the release announcement and release notes for further details.
Karanbir Singh has announced the release of CentOS 6.2, the latest version of the community distribution built by compiling the source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS 6.2 for i386 and x86_64 architectures. CentOS 6.2 is based on the upstream release EL 6.2 and includes packages from all variants. All upstream repositories have been combined into one, to make it easier for end users to work with. All updates released since upstream 6.2 release are also released to the CentOS 6.2 mirrors. With this release we are now back to a regular, managed and tested release path and time scales. However, for the time being, we are going to retain the CR/ repository in the event it's needed in the future to push ahead-of-release updates." Read the release announcement and release notes to learn more about the new release.
PUIAS Linux 6.2
Thomas Uphill has announced the release of PUIAS Linux 6.2 (code name "Pisa"), a distribution built by compiling the source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2, with extra repositories with additional software packages. It is maintained by the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University in the USA. The announcement was made last week, but the installation DVD images only appeared on the project's download server yesterday. "PUIAS Linux 6.2 released. We are publishing the final PUIAS 6.2 today and we made it the default for PUIAS 6. Machines on automatic setup can expect to receive the update tonight - if you would like to keep your machines at 6.1 for now consider either stopping your rsync of the main mirror or creating /etc/yum/vars/releasever file with content 6.1 on such machines." Here is the brief release announcement.
Chris Buechler has announced the release of pfSense 2.0.1, an updated version of the project's FreeBSD-based operating system for firewalls: "The pfSense 2.0.1 release is now available. This is a maintenance release with some bug and security fixes since the 2.0 release. This is the recommended release for all installations. As always, you can upgrade from any previous release to 2.0.1, so if you haven't upgraded to 2.0 yet, just upgrade straight to 2.0.1. For those who use the built-in certificate manager, pay close attention to the notes below on a potential security issue with those certificates. The following changes were made since 2.0 release: improved accuracy of automated state killing in various cases; various fixes and improvements to relayd...." Here is the brief release announcement.
AbulÉdu is an Ubuntu-based French Linux distribution designed for young children, featuring a collection of educational software running on top of a highly customised GNOME desktop. A new live DVD, version 11.08, was released yesterday and announced on the project's home page (in French). AbulÉdu 11.08 is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS with lots of new applications and enhanced tools, such as LibreOffice 3.3, OOo4Kids with dictionaries, AbiWord, LyX, Firefox 7.0 with AdBlock Plus, DansGuardian, Thunderbird, Pidgin, TuxPaint, GIMP, Scribus, Stellarium, VLC, Audacity, TBI Sankoré 3.1, Dr Géo, Tux Math, Tux Type. It also includes all of AbulÉdu's LeTerrier pedagogics tools. The live DVD offers a possibility to test the distribution, to surf safely on the Internet, to connect to a school server in order to get one's home work done or to read private emails, and to connect the AbulÉdu client to an LTSP server. See also the features page for more information and screenshots.
AbulÉdu 11.08 - a French Ubuntu-based distribution for children
(full image size: 745kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Bodhi Linux 1.3.0
Jeff Hoogland has announced the release of Bodhi Linux 1.3.0, an updated version of the project's Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the latest Enlightenment 17 desktop: "The Bodhi team and I are happy to announce our next update release - Bodhi Linux 1.3.0. While you will not find any earth-shattering new features in this release there are many minor improvements. Most notably you will find the use of the new 'itask' module in three of our profiles, it is far more flexible than our old taskbar module. Also worth noting is that our installer slideshow has gotten a much needed makeover, along with further updates to our on-disc documentation and a pretty new installer icon. Software-wise you will find a fresh Enlightenment desktop built from SVN this week and the Midori 0.4.2 web browser. As this is just a minor release current Bodhi users can easily update their systems to these packages following the directions here." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Ulrich Dangel has announced the release of Grml 2011.12, a Debian-based live CD with an excellent collection of GNU/Linux software and scripts for system administrators: "We have just released Grml 2011.12 'Knecht Rootrecht', just in time to put it under the Christmas tree. There were quite a lot of changes between RC1 and the new stable release. The most important ones are: update to Linux kernel 3.1.6; easier remastering with grml-live and existing Grml ISO images; new GRUB boot theme; syslinux will indicate its boot menu with one beep; GRUB will indicate its boot menu with three beeps; enable all mixer controls at start-up and set volume to 75%; reworked and more flexible GRUB configuration file handling; grml2usb - use the GRUB configuration from the ISO image instead of creating a new one; additional key bindings for Fluxbox; fix keyboard layout bug." See the release announcement and release notes for a full list of changes and new features.
Semplice Linux 2.0.0
Eugenio Paolantonio has announced the release of Semplice Linux 2.0.0, a lightweight desktop distribution based on Debian's "unstable" branch and featuring the Openbox window manager: "The Semplice team is proud to announce the immediate release of the stable release of the 2.0.x branch (code-named 'emily') of Semplice Linux. The Semplice live system contains: Openbox 3.5.0, the window manager used in Semplice; Linux kernel 3.1.6, bringing the latest and greatest drivers and performance; Chromium web browser 15.0.874.121 based on the WebKit rendering engine; Exaile 0.3.2.2, a music manager and player for GTK+ written in Python; GNOME MPlayer 1.0.4, the power of MPlayer combined with a friendly interface; AbiWord 2.9.1 and Gnumeric 1.10.17; Pidgin 2.10.1 Internet messenger, a graphical, modular instant messaging client; Guake terminal 0.4.2, a GTK+ drop-down terminal." More information can be found in the release announcement and in the more detailed release notes.
Semplice Linux 2.0.0 - a lightweight Debian-based desktop distro
(full image size: 110kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Superb Mini Server 1.6.3
An updated build of Superb Mini Server (SMS), a Slackware-based distribution for servers, has been released: "Superb Mini Server version 1.6.3 released (Linux kernel 220.127.116.11). This Christmas release features an upgraded Linux kernel and new glibc. If you upgrading the proper way is to boot your machine into a single-user mode and do the upgrade as describe in the SMS Wiki. The glibc 2.14.1 library comes full of patches, including restoring RPC symbols. SMS 1.6.3 brings updates, security patches and the latest stable software releases, such as BIND 9.8.1-P1, ClamAV 0.97.3, CUPS 1.5.0, Dovecot 2.0.16, Postfix 2.8.7, Samba 3.6.1 and Squid 3.1.18. New packages in this release include libarchive and libstatgrab, a library that provides statistics, and SSHFS-FUSE were you can mount file systems across networks over SSH. A new package is Postfix Admin, a web GUI to configure virtual domains for postfix." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Tiny Core Linux 4.2
Robert Shingledecker has announced the release of Tiny Core Linux 4.2, a nomadic, ultra-small graphical desktop operating system: "Team Tiny Core is proud to announce the release of Core 4.2. The main theme for the 4.2 release is the re-factoring of Tiny Core Linux to be highly modular by focusing on its core. With the Core project one starts with the kernel (vmlinuz 2.4 MB) and core.gz 5 MB. Micro Core 8 MB is simply the kernel + core.gz - this is the foundation for user created desktops. Tiny Core is simply the kernel + core.gz + Xvesa.tcz or Xorg.tcz + Xprogs + fltk-1.10.tcz + (user's choice of window manager) + wbar.tcz. The original Tiny Core becomes simply an example of what the Core project can produce, a 12 MB GUI desktop. 4.2 also introduces Core Plus, a simple way to get started using the Core philosophy with its included community-packaged extensions." Read the full release announcement for a detailed changelog.
Calculate Linux 11.12
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 11.12, a Gentoo-based distribution set with focus on desktop and server computing: "Calculate Linux 11.12 has been released. Major changes: updating the Portage trees has become much faster since we migrated on Git; binary repositories are better handled now that all changes are synchronized with Portage updates; support has been added for PXE network booting; from now on, you can specify the domain and the domain password when booting from a live CD or a live USB or via PXE; language and time zone preferences can now be specified for any newly created ISO image; software - Linux kernel 3.1.6, X.Org 7.4, KDE 4.7.4, GNOME 2.32, Chromium 16.0.912.63...." The release announcement.
Endian Firewall 2.5
The Endian development team has announced the release of Endian Firewall 2.5, an updated version of the project's Red Hat-based specialist distribution for firewalls: "Endian Firewall (EFW) Community version 2.5 is now available. This release introduces new features and lots of bug fixes that make EFW 2.5 a significant improvement in the development of the Endian product family. Release notes: the whole process management in the background of the system has been rewritten - with the new Endian Jobsengine the boot procedure now takes only half as long as before; some major changes have been made to various proxy and anti-virus settings - this resulted in almost 200 MB of memory being freed in a fully configured system; many small improvements have been made and hundreds of bugs have been fixed; supports trusted time-stamping using OpenTSA...." See the complete release announcement for more information.
Clemens Toennies has announced the release of Netrunner 4.0, a Kubuntu-based desktop distribution featuring a carefully-tuned KDE desktop and integrated KDE and GNOME applications: "Just 24 hours after RC came out, we officially release Netrunner 4.0 'Dryland' into the open. Dryland comes with quite a lot of changes regarding the look and features: built on Kubuntu with default integration of GNOME and WINE; one system for new users and power users; full suite of user workspace applications; KDE's Plasmoids make the system expandable; Linux kernel 3.0.0, KDE 4.7.3 desktop, LibreOffice 3.4.4 office suite, Mozilla Firefox 7.0.1 web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird 7.0.1 email client and calendar, VLC 1.1.12 media player; Clementine 0.7.1 music librarian...." Read the brief release announcement and visit the more detailed features page to learn more about the project's latest release.
Netrunner 4.0 - a Linux distribution based on Kubuntu 11.10
(full image size: 1,751kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Linux Deepin 11.12
Linux Deepin, a free, user-friendly, and full-featured community distribution from China based on Ubuntu, announced its 11.12 release on the last day of the year. This release employs GNOME Shell with a lot of tweaks as the default desktop. Deepin Software Center is upgraded to the official 2.0 version, with features like download management and improved search experience. Deepin-Scrot 1.0, an easy-to-use yet smart utility for taking screenshots, made its début. Upgrade from earlier versions, like Deepin 11.06, is not encouraged; please try a fresh installation instead. Although currently only the Chinese Simplified edition is available, multiple ISO images will be provided, each designed for a dedicated language (Chinese Traditional, English). Check the full release notes (in Chinese).
Arne Exton has announced the release of ExTiX 9, an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution for 64-bit computers with GNOME Shell and Razor-qt as the available desktop environments and the latest stable Linux kernel: "ExTiX 9 x64 is a remastered build of Ubuntu 11.10. The original system includes the Unity desktop with GNOME 3.2. In ExTiX 9, I have installed GNOME Shell and Razor-qt so that everyone can compare the two desktop environments. I have replaced the original kernel 3.0.0-14-generic with 'my' kernel 3.1.6-extix. Why? Support for many different kinds of hardware has been added in the latest stable kernel. So if you have acquired new hardware which is not supported in Ubuntu 11.10 and/or Linux systems based on Ubuntu 11.10 it might be worth testing ExTiX 9. There is, among other things, support for brand-new USB devices, like printers and cameras." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement.
ExTiX 9 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with a choice of GNOME Shell or Razor-qt
(full image size: 914kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Ferdinand Thommes has announced the release of siduction 11.1, a desktop-oriented distribution and live CD/DVD based on Debian's "unstable" branch, recently forked from aptosid: "We are excited to present to you, after last week's release candidate, the first final release of siduction, a new distribution based on our great mother Debian's 'Unstable' branch and forked from aptosid. This first release ships three desktop environments - KDE SC, Xfce and LXDE, all three in 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The released images represent a snapshot of Debian 'Sid' from 2011-12-30, improved with a few useful packages and scripts, an installer, and our own, patched version of kernel 3.1-6 and X.Org server 18.104.22.1682." Read the remainder of the release notes for further details.
The first announcement of 2012 goes to aptosid and the project's brand-new release, version 2011-03: "We now have the pleasure to announce the immediate availability of the final aptosid 2011-03 'Ponos' release. New features are in particular kernel 3.1 and numerous integration and stabilisation fixes. Special focus has been cast upon improving the system compatibility with new hardware platforms and various corner cases. Kernel 3.1 doesn't only improve and stabilise hardware support for newer devices, it also improves latency and general system performance, particularly vastly improved I/O scheduling for LVM and MDADM on SSDs. Among the new features are initial Xen dom0 and PCI passthrough support as well as nested virtualization for KVM on Intel and AMD CPUs." See the detailed release notes for more information.
aptosid 2011-03 - the project's latest version includes newly-added support for virtualisation features
(full image size: 566kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
openSUSE 12.1 "Edu Li-f-e"
Jigish Gohil has announced the release of openSUSE 12.1 "Edu Li-f-e", an edition of openSUSE designed specially for educational institutions: "openSUSE Education team is proud to present another version of openSUSE - Edu Li-f-e (Linux for Education) based on openSUSE 12.1. Li-f-e comes loaded with everything that students, parents, teachers and system administrators of educational institutions may need. Software for mathematics, chemistry, astronomy and servers, like KIWI-LTSP, Fedena school ERP, Moodle course management, full multimedia, graphics, office suite, many popular programming languages, including AMP stack, Java, C, C++, Python and Ruby, latest stable GNOME and KDE desktop environments are all packed in this release. To know more about openSUSE Education project, file bugs, request enhancements, participate, or to get in touch with us visit the education portal." Here is the full release announcement as published today on news.opensuse.org.
After a long pause, the Dreamlinux project has sprung to life with the release of version 5 on the first day of the new year. Dreamlinux is a Debian-based desktop distribution featuring the latest Xfce desktop, a Mac OS X-like user interface, the SoftMaker office suite and a recent Linux kernel from the 3.1 series. From the features page: "100% Debian 'Testing' compatibility; minimalist desktop with the most recent stylized Xfce 4.8 full of new custom features; safe updates through dist-upgrade; powerful modern installer which allows for an easy and swift installation in less than 5 minutes; exclusive boot system which makes for a quick initialization - can be installed from a DVD media or any Flash memory, VFAT-formatted device; Ruby Lua, Vala, C, C++, Python and Perl programming environments, plus common development libraries already in place for immediate use."
Dreamlinux 5 - a Debian-based distro with a customised Xfce desktop
(full image size: 2,098kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- siduction. The siduction distribution is a desktop-oriented operating system and live medium based on the "unstable" branch of Debian GNU/Linux. Forked from aptosid in late 2011, siduction offers three separate live media with KDE, LXDE and Xfce desktops. The project also promises regular releases, an open development model, and friendly relationship with its developer and user community.
siduction 11.1 - an aptosid fork with a community-oriented approach
(full image size: 237kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- ROSA. ROSA is a Russian company developing a variety of Linux-based solutions. Its flagship product, ROSA Desktop, is a Mandriva-based distribution featuring a highly customised KDE desktop and a number of modifications designed to enhance the user-friendliness of the working environment.
ROSA Desktop 2011 - a Russian desktop distribution based on Mandriva Linux
(full image size: 156kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 9 January 2012.
Robert Storey, Ladislav Bodnar and Jesse Smith
|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.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
OSMC (formerly Raspbmc) is a Debian-based minimal Linux distribution that brings the Kodi media centre software to a Raspberry Pi, Apple TV and Vero devices. This device has an excellent form factor and enough power to handle media playback, making it an ideal component in a low-cost HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer) setup, yet delivering the same Kodi experience that can be enjoyed on much more costly platforms.