| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 438, 9 January 2012
Welcome to this year's second issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The recent release of VectorLinux, a Slackware-based community distribution that has been around for well over a decade, is a curious mix of user-friendly ideas and software, put together by a tight group of highly experienced hard-core developers. As such, the product tends to make good first impression, but under the hood things can get a little rough at times. Jesse Smith has spent a week evaluating VectorLinux 7.0 - read below for his experiences and recommendations. In the news section, Mandriva once again gets into the headlines for all the wrong reasons, Ubuntu rumours (and occasionally even facts) continue on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and CentOS developers remind users to keep using the useful CR repository for timely security updates. Also in this issue, a first-look review of the Razor-Qt desktop, a lightweight environment built with the Qt toolkit. Finally, we are happy to announce that the recipient of the DistroWatch.com December 2011 donation is the Transmission project. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at VectorLinux 7.0|
I wanted to start the year off by looking at a Linux project which doesn't generally get much of the spotlight. The project I chose is VectorLinux whose team, toward the end of 2011, launched version 7.0 of their distribution. The project advertises their credo as "keep it simple, keep it small and let the end user decide what their operating system is going to be." It certainly sounds good on virtual paper, especially for people who are interested in resurrecting older hardware. The latest version of VectorLinux comes in two editions, Standard and Live. The latter doubles as both a live CD and as installation media. At the time of writing, both editions are available in 32-bit builds only and both ISOs are about 700 MB in size.
Booting off the CD brings up a boot menu which will allow us to boot into a graphical desktop or command line. Taking the default desktop option shows us some start-up messages and ultimately presents us with the Xfce desktop environment. The background is soft blue and dotted with icons for navigating the file system and bringing up various sections of the VectorLinux website. At the top of the screen we find an application menu, task switcher and system tray. At the bottom we find an OS X style launcher and task switcher. If we poke around in the application menu we'll find the installer, which is labeled "Install VL". At this point I feel it's worth noting that performing administrative actions, such as running the installer, brings up a password prompt. The password is blank.
VectorLinux 7.0 - the system installer
(full image size: 531kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The installer is probably the weakest part of the distribution. It isn't so much an application as a series of independent dialog boxes. There doesn't appear to be any way to go back to previous screens and closing one dialog just brings up the next one. In other words, don't make any mistakes and you can't abort. Each window that pops up looks like something cobbled together in Motif. That's not to say the installer doesn't work; it does, and on my test runs it did its job without any problems. I bring up the presentation because I found it to be in high contrast to the rest of my experience with the distribution, which was generally both functional and attractive.
The first thing the installer does is give us the option of launching GParted to carve up the hard disk. Once we've closed GParted we're presented with a menu which allows us to create a user account and set the root password. The normal user account creation goes into a fair amount of detail, including picking groups and setting the user's ID number. Then we move on setting the current date and time. Next up we have the option of removing optional hardware support. After that we have the option of selecting which services will be enabled at various run levels. We're then asked to choose which partition will hold the root file system and, optionally, we can provide a separate /home partition. The last step of the installer asks us where to install the LILO boot loader.
When first booting into the newly installed VectorLinux distribution the system automatically logs us in. Interestingly enough, we are logged in as the user "vl", not the user created at install time. This behaviour can easily be changed through the distro's login settings GUI. Exploring the interface I found it to be fairly standard Xfce material, with the addition of the Cairo-Dock at the bottom of the screen. One aspect of the environment I found eye-catching (though perhaps both normal and appealing to some users) is that the top bar, which holds the task switcher, will grow or shrink depending on how many applications are open. Usually this seemed like a good idea as the top bar was only as wide as it had to be and this made sure I only had to move the mouse pointer the minimum amount of distance to access items. On the other hand, I sometimes found myself chasing the application menu if a dialog box appeared. Generally though Xfce performed quickly, the interface is easy to navigate and Xfce is pleasantly flexible and tends to stay out of the way.
The distribution's CD contains a good collection of default software. These applications tend to be GTK+-based and cover a wide range of functionality. We're given the Firefox web browser, Pidgin for instant messaging, XChat, the gFTP client and Zenmap. There's a disc burner, the Exaile media player, the MPlayer multimedia player and Xine. In the Office menu we're given AbiWord and Gnumeric, along with the Orage calendar application and a thesaurus. There's a PDF viewer, the GParted disk manager, the htop process viewer and the Grsync backup tool. There's a diagram editor, the GIMP, Inkscape and Shotwell. For developer tools we're provided with GCC, the Glade IDE, Geany and a graphical front-end for CMake. There's a system configuration tool called vasm, and a wide selection of tools for managing the look & feel of Xfce. As usual, we have a text editor, calculator and archive manager. VectorLinux comes with Java and Flash, popular multimedia codecs and the 3.0 version of the Linux kernel.
VectorLinux 7.0 - running various applications
(full image size: 350kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
I tried running VectorLinux on two physical machines, my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) and a generic desktop box (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card). On both machines VectorLinux booted fairly quickly and, once at the desktop, the system was very responsive. The Xfce environment is pleasantly light and, even with the extra launch bar, I found it to be fast. On both machines all of my hardware was detected and configured out of the box. My Intel wireless card was activated and picked up local networks without any input on my part and VectorLinux set my screen resolution to its highest setting on both computers. I found when sitting idle at the desktop VectorLinux would use about 128 MB of memory, leaving plenty of room for applications.
VectorLinux comes with the gslapt package manager. The gslapt interface is similar, I find, to Synaptic's -- plain, straight forward and suited to performing a batch of actions all at once. At the top of the window we find buttons for refreshing the package list, performing queued actions and marking all available upgrades for installation. In the middle of the window we find a list of available packages in alphabetical order and we're able to search for software by name. All in all, I found gslapt worked smoothly and I like that it provides detailed information on the actions it is performing. It's a fairly good all-in-one package manager, with no extra bells or whistles and I was able to find software I wanted in the repositories, such as games, administration tools and LibreOffice. One thing I did miss when running VectorLinux was any sort of notification when new software upgrades were available. Checking for updates requires the user to open the package manager, refresh the repository information and apply any updates. Maybe the lack of notification is part of the "keep it simple, keep it small" philosophy, but it's a feature I like to have on desktop systems.
While I'm on the subject of things I missed or that bothered me, I have a few others (mostly minor) which caught my attention during my trial with VectorLinux. Perhaps the biggest issue I had was with the Cairo-Dock, the launch bar placed at the bottom of the screen. Sometimes it would pop-up over windows I was working in when I didn't want it, other times it refused to appear when I wanted to use it, Cairo-Dock's behaviour rarely felt consistent and I eventually disabled it. Fortunately this is easy to do, thanks to Xfce's flexible and easy-to-navigate settings. In a similar vein I discovered a few quirks on the command line. For example, VectorLinux comes with (and suggests the use of) Midnight Commander, a file manager. Well and good, but the default terminal's short-cut keys interfere with Midnight Commander's control keys, so it may be best to only use the venerable file manager if you're running from a real text screen. Though not itself a problem, I found it odd that VectorLinux comes with the gFTP client, yet it's one of the few distributions I know of which doesn't include a command line telnet or FTP client out of the box. Lastly, the application menu includes a top-level entry called "Help". The link this entry points to doesn't exist, which is likely to frustrate users looking for assistance.
VectorLinux 7.0 - browsing the web and using Cairo-Dock
(full image size: 454kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
It would be accurate to say there were a lot of little things which bothered me in this release, but it's also fair to say that VectorLinux has a number of points in its favour. It detected and used all of my hardware properly, performance was first-rate, codecs and Flash are available in the default install and it comes with a lot of useful software. Whether these pros and cons balance each other out will be a matter of taste. My overall impression of VectorLinux 7.0 is perhaps best described by comparing two types of applications. You know how some graphical applications are obviously front-ends to command-line programs, Grsync would be an example. It's apparent they're an attractive layer which is just going to take your input fields and run them through a command line program in the background.
Other graphical applications appear to be designed to really be naturally graphical, not just pretty entry fields. Even if they do ultimately pass your data off to a command line program their work flow is smooth enough you don't think about it. Take K3b as an example; it uses behind-the-scenes components, but the design is smooth and abstract enough that we typically don't consider what's going on under the surface. Running this distribution felt like using the former. The installer, the vasm configuration utility, the splash screen shown at boot time and the package manager all feel like a thin layer over a command-prompt driven operating system. For intermediate and advanced users who know the command line and are comfortable with it, but prefer the convenience of point-n-click interfaces, I think VectorLinux is a good option. It's especially well-suited to older hardware. It installs quickly, runs fast and stays out of the way. Less experienced users are likely to be put off by the approach and will want a smoother, more beginner-friendly set of tools than what the distribution provides.
VectorLinux has some odd behaviour and, in my eyes, undesirable defaults, but it also comes with good configuration tools and a responsive, clean environment. It's not something I'd recommend to most desktop users, though it is perhaps a good stepping stone for people interested in Slackware and that family of Linux distributions.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Mandriva in bankruptcy threat, latest on Ubuntu-powered devices, CentOS on CR repository
Mandriva Linux, once the top distribution in this site's Page Hit Ranking statistics, has had a turbulent history, coming close to a bankruptcy on several occasions. News reports about the latest round of financial troubles started appearing over the weekend after Mandriva CEO Dominique Loucougain had sent a notice to shareholders threatening to cease operations as early as next week. Susan Linton reports for OStatic: "Wolfgang Bornath posted the text from a letter shareholders received from Dominique Loucougain, president of the executive board of Mandriva SA dated December 23, 2011. It provided proof that the news was true. He wrote on the Mageia forums: 'In late December the CEO sent a notice to all shareholders. Mandriva needs a raise in capital, otherwise it will have to cease operations on January 16th. The main investor is OK with the raise and declared that they would give the money all by themselves if necessary. But the former main investor Occam (who is now Linlux) does not agree to the raise.'" The author concludes the story with a plug for Mageia, a community distribution formed in 2010 by former Mandriva developers and contributors: "While the news about Mandriva is sad knowing they are teetering on the edge of oblivion, if the worst should happen, Mageia is there." For more on the situation see also these articles by Computerworld and ITworld, with further discussions on Slashdot, LinuxFr (in French) and Mandriva Brazil (in Portuguese).
* * * * *
Continuing with rumour mill, the expected move by Canonical into the mobile device market has given rise to speculation that an Ubuntu-powered tabled PC could be announced as soon as this week, during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 which starts tomorrow (Tuesday) in Las Vegas. ExtremeTech's Ray Walters has even created a mockup of a tablet (pictured on the right) which he named "ShuttlePad", in reference to Canonical's founder Mark Shuttleworth. But the author also remains sceptical about the company's chances to succeed in a market that is already dominated by powerful players. From "Canonical announcing Ubuntu 'concept' device at CES": "As far as market penetration in the US, it's going to be difficult for a non-carrier-supported device to make much of an impact. With the smartphone market already saturated with products from Google, Apple and Microsoft, the device is going to have some killer feature to attract consumers. Being able to run Android apps in some sort of emulation mode isn't going to do the trick. Any kind of Ubuntu-based device is going to be a niche product for Linux geeks and the more technical user at best. There are just too many smartphone options already on the market that are already entrenched in the hearts and minds of the consumer."
Another piece of hardware Ubuntu has reportedly been interested in targeting with its software is the television. Direct from CES, PC Pro's Barry Collins has the latest, together with the first screenshots: "Canonical has demonstrated Ubuntu TV for the first time, as the company moves to broaden the reach of its open-source OS beyond the PC. Plans for versions of the Linux distro for tablets, smartphones and TVs were unveiled last year, and now the television is - perhaps surprisingly - the first of those to arrive. The company is showing off the first Ubuntu TV at CES here in Las Vegas, and Canonical expects the first Ubuntu-powered television to be on the shelves by the end of this year. Silber told us Canonical was in discussions with a number of television manufacturers, but couldn't confirm any signed deals. It will face stiff competition from Google - which only last week added LG to its roster of Google TV manufacturers - and Apple, which is widely tipped to be working on an internet television after making little impact with successive generations of its Apple TV hardware. Silber however remains confident that Ubuntu TV can offer something different to its two formidable rivals."
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Away from the glamorous universe of high-tech shows, a more mundane world is awaiting many CentOS users who have finally been able to upgrade their installations to version 6.2 and thus catching up with the upstream vendor (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). The CentOS project has been criticised for not providing timely point releases, although its optional "Continuous Release" (CR) repository was designed to meet the security updates while the latest point release was being worked on. And even though users running CentOS 6.2 no longer need it, Johnny Hughes believes it's a good idea to have the CR repository enabled: "We have put a Continuous Release (CR) repository in place for both CentOS 5 and CentOS 6. This repository can be installed via the simple command 'yum install centos-release-cr'. The purpose of the CR repository is to allow the CentOS Project to push some of the security updates if we are having issues with a point release build (like we did with both CentOS 6.0 and CentOS 6.1). If we are not going to meet the 2-4 week goal for our point release, we will push out the packages we have gotten to build properly while continuing to work on the problem packages. This repository is totally optional and was not needed with CentOS 6.2, but we recommend it be installed if you want to get your security updates as fast as possible." The author also reminds users of CentOS 4 that the product will reach end of life in February 2012.
|Sneak Peeks (by Jesse Smith)
The Razor-qt desktop environment
One of the big news items in the open source community at the end of 2011 was the arrival of the Razor-qt desktop environment. Razor-qt is a light desktop environment in a similar vein with LXDE and Xfce. However, where Xfce and LXDE are based on the GTK+ framework, making them a lighter sibling to GNOME, Razor-qt is put together using Qt, the same technology upon which the KDE desktop is built. The Razor-qt team recently pushed out version 0.4 of their environment and I decided to take a look at the offering.
Before getting into the technology itself, I will say that a lightweight desktop based on Qt is something which I've been hoping to see for several years. I am a big fan of Qt and, while I also like the KDE desktop, I find KDE is a bit heavy for older machines and its interface is busier than one usually finds in other desktops. Having a low-resource desktop environment using the powerful Qt toolkit strikes me as a great way to enjoy all the benefits of Qt without the overhead involved in running KDE. In short, there is great potential here to entice new users and developers who might be interested in the benefits of Qt, but who aren't comfortable with KDE.
Razor-qt 0.4 - running with multiple applications open
(full image size: 152kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Logging into Razor-qt for the first time brings up a prompt asking which window manager we would like to use with the desktop. Installed window managers are detected and displayed in a list. As I am running KDE on my desktop these days KWin was the only option presented. The Razor-qt desktop is laid out in the classic manner with the application menu, task switcher and system tray at the bottom of the screen. The default background is a soft, deep blue and an analog clock widget sits in the top-right corner of the display. On my system no icons were displayed on the desktop. The application menu appears to have been borrowed from KDE and is displayed in the classic layout.
Something I noticed early on is that Razor-qt doesn't, by default, start many programs. Items such as a network connection manager, volume control and clipboard aren't present. A quick look at Razor-qt's settings shows we can set such utilities to start when we login, but by default we're given a very plain environment in which to work. While this lacks a certain convenience, it does mean we can easily craft our own interface starting with a very simple framework.
Since I just mentioned the environment's settings, this seems like a good point to talk about Razor-qt's two main configuration tools. One is labeled Razor Desktop Configuration and the other is called Razor Session Configuration, both can be found in the application menu. The former deals with options such as which file controls the contents of the menu, the background wallpaper and whether we see icons on the desktop. The Session Configuration tool lets us adjust which programs are launched at login, which window manager to use and default applications for opening files. I found the settings straight forward and, while there aren't many options at this time, both panels worked well.
Razor-qt 0.4 - configuration panels
(full image size: 224kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
For me perhaps the only unusual aspect of using Razor-qt was the desktop's Edit Mode. Right-clicking on the desktop allows us to activate something called Edit Mode where the background dims and we can adjust the environment's widgets. Unlike KDE, which allows the user to directly interact with widgets, Razor-qt requires that we change modes before we can alter the position of these items. We can click on and drag widgets around the screen, remove them and add new ones. At the moment only a few widgets are available, mostly for demonstration purposes, but they worked well enough. Exiting Edit Mode is accomplished by right-clicking on the desktop again and unchecking the proper box.
Razor-qt 0.4 - Edit Mode
(full image size: 229kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Since I have had front row seats to most of the early releases of KDE and GNOME (most infamously KDE 4.0), I went into my trial with Razor-qt assuming there would be the occasional problem. A few rough edges are to be expected in a 0.x release. Surprisingly there really weren't any big issues. During the week I used Razor-qt it functioned smoothly. I didn't see any crashes or poor behaviour. The desktop was responsive and, even with a few applications in the system tray, the environment used less than 50 MB of memory.
My reaction to Razor-qt at the end of the week is that the environment is more capable and more stable than I would expect from a 0.4 release. My system runs KDE smoothly, so I may be in a poor position to judge Razor-qt's performance, especially for low-resource machines, but I found the desktop to be quick to respond. There were no stability issues and I found most of the controls intuitive. I think managing widgets and the switch between using mode and editing mode could be a little more obvious and I would like to see some more options, especially where fonts and colours are concerned. However, those minor issues aside the experience was quite good. Certainly better than I would expect from such a young project.
In short, there are a few rough edges to smooth down, but the foundation is solid, small and useful. Once I had my start-up applications configured to include things like wicd and a volume control, logging into Razor was like logging into KDE's little, less complicated sibling. I'm not ready to make Razor-qt my default desktop at this point, but the work done so far speaks to a very promising future. For those interested in trying Razor, packages for Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora, Arch Linux and a few other distributions are available. People comfortable with compiling their software from source can find Razor-qt's source code on the project's website.
|Released Last Week
Gentoo Linux 12.0
David Abbott has announced the release of Gentoo Linux 12.0. The live DVD is meant to merely showcase the current cutting-edge state of Gentoo and it does not provide a hard disk installation program. From the release announcement: "Gentoo Linux is proud to announce the availability of a new live DVD to celebrate the continued collaboration between Gentoo users and developers. The live DVD features a superb list of packages, such as Linux kernel 3.1.5, X.Org Server 1.10.4, KDE 4.7.4, GNOME 3.2.1, Xfce 4.8, Fluxbox 1.3.2, Firefox 9.0, LibreOffice 220.127.116.11, GIMP 2.6.11, Blender 2.60, Amarok 2.5, VLC 1.1.13, Chromium 16.0 and much more. Special features: writable file systems using Aufs so you can emerge new packages; persistence for $HOME is available. The live DVD is available in two flavors: a hybrid x86/x86_64 edition, and an x86_64 multi-lib edition."
Gentoo Linux 12.0 - a new live DVD showcasing the latest and greatest in Gentoo development
(full image size: 1,860kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
BackBox Linux 2.01
Raffaele Forte has announced the release of BackBox Linux 2.01, an Ubuntu-based distribution and live DVD tailored to penetration testing and security assessment tasks: "The BackBox team is proud to announce the release 2.01 of BackBox Linux.The new release includes features such as Ubuntu 11.04, Linux Kernel 2.6.38 and Xfce 4.8.0. What's new: system upgrade; performance boost; new look; improved start menu; bug corrections; new sections such as Forensic Analysis, Documentation & Reporting and Reverse Engineering; new hacking tools and updated tools such as Dradis 2.8, ettercap 0.7.4.2, John the Ripper 1.7.8, Metasploit 4.2, Nmap 5.51, SET 2.5.2, Sleuth Kit 3.2.1, w3af 1.0, weevely 0.5, Wireshark 1.6.3." Here is the full release announcement with system requirements.
James Nixon has announced the release of FreeNAS 8.0.3, the latest update of the project's FreeBSD-based system designed to provide free Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services. What's new? "Use smaller block and frag sizes for /etc and /var; import a build tweak to nuke /var/db/pkg to save 7 MB of space; other build tweaks to remove non-essential features and packages from the image; disable output to /var/log/console.log in non-debug builds to avoid unnecessary duplication in /var/log/messages; upgrade ATAidle to 2.6; upgrade Nut and net-snmp to 2.6.2 and 5.7.1, respectively; import Omnibus build system fixes to fix the fact that the 8.0.3-BETA1 image was broken due to the environment of the build machine where it was produced on; increase the /var size from 74 MB to 160 MB so that Samba will be able to service requests copying large sets of files...." Read the rest of the release notes for a complete changelog.
Incognito Live System 0.10
Version 0.10 of Incognito Live System (also known as TAILS) has been released. New features in this release of the project's Debian-based live CD with strong privacy-preserving features include: "Tor upgrade to 0.2.2.35; install Iceweasel 9.0 from the Debian Mozilla team's APT repository; update Torbutton to 18.104.22.168; support viewing any YouTube video that is available in HTML 5 format; use Scroogle (any language) instead of Scroogle (English only) when booted in English; install the NoScript Firefox extension; disable third-party cookies, they can be used to track users, which is bad; do not transparently proxy outgoing Internet connections through Tor, instead drop all non-Torified Internet traffic; applications have to be explicitly configured to use Tor in order to reach the Internet; upgrade Vidalia to 0.2.15, this version will not warn about new Tor versions...." See the rest of the release announcement for a detailed list of changes.
IPFire 2.11 Core 55
Michael Tremer has announced the release of IPFire 2.11 Core 55, a specialist Linux distribution for firewalls: "Today, we are going to release two new core updates for the IPFire firewall distribution. Core Update 54 - minor feature enhancements and bug fixes. This core update comes with some updates for network hardware that will give more speed and reliability. The web proxy service has been updated as well and consumes less memory in some circumstances, among other improvements. The intrusion detection system rules download is working again for the latest rule set and the hardware status section in the web user interface recognizes more hard drives. Core Update 55 - six security updates in OpenSSL, OpenSSH has been updated to version 5.9p1." Read the full release announcement additional details.
Jay Flood has announced the release of Porteus 1.1, a Slackware-based live CD with a choice of Trinity (a KDE 3 fork), KDE 4 and LXDE desktops: "The Porteus community is pleased to announce the official and final release of Porteus version 1.1. This release is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions and includes several bug fixes and some new features. Chief among them are a new graphical installer and a completely overhauled Porteus package manager, which now allows users to download hundreds of software packages with automatic dependency resolution through a clean GUI interface. There have been vast improvements since our version 1.0 release, here are the main changes: upgraded to Linux kernel 3.1.8 with BFS scheduler and ASPM patch; upgraded NDISwrapper to latest stable version; dropped Broadcom driver as the kernel supports most devices...." Here is the full release announcement.
Porteus 1.1 - the i486 edition comes with the Trinity desktop
(full image size: 637kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
December 2011 DistroWatch.com donation: Transmission|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the December 2011 DistroWatch.com donation is Transmission, a cross-platform BitTorrent client. The project receives US$250 in cash.
Transmission is a fairly simple BitTorrent client with only limited number of tools found in other popular download utilities, so simplicity is perhaps its greatest strength. That said, Transmission still boasts some powerful features: "Encryption, a web interface, peer exchange, magnet links, DHT, µTP, UPnP and NAT-PMP port forwarding, webseed support, watch directories, tracker editing, global and per-torrent speed limits, and more." It also has the lowest memory footprint of any major BitTorrent client. If you'd like to find out more, the project's about page is a good place to start.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$30,190 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
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New distributions added to database
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New distributions added to waiting list
- DRBL Live. DRBL Live is a specialist Debian-based live CD featuring Diskless Remote Boot in Linux (DRBL), a free software solution for managing the deployment of GNU/Linux operating systems across many clients.
- Lena Linux. Lena Linux is a distribution intended to be installed on a 4 GB Flash drive or SD card. It is geared towards the creative do-it-yourself programmer, musician or artist who wants to get straight into developing home-brew cross-platform applications and games with the least hassle.
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DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 16 January 2012.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on the command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Full list of all issues|
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Keysoft was an openSUSE-based distribution designed with visually impaired users in mind. The distribution ships with the GNOME desktop environment, the Orca screen reader and Braille display drivers. Keysoft ships with the WINE compatibility software to facilitate working with software built for Windows. Keysoft was primarily a German distribution, though multi-language support was available.