| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 474, 17 September 2012
Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! With Unity and GNOME 3, it seems that many developers of open-source desktop environments have embraced the word "innovation", imposing completely new paradigms on desktop Linux users. Luckily, there are project that still continue the development of traditional environments. One of the more impressive among them (and perhaps one of the most neglected by Linux distributions) is Enlightenment - a lightweight, yet beautiful, powerful and highly configurable desktop system. The Ubuntu-based Bodhi Linux, the topic of this week's feature story, is one of the few Linux distributions specialising in integrating the latest Enlightenment 17 into a complete package. In the news section, the much-delayed first alpha release of Fedora 18 is finally declared ready for release, ex-OpenIndiana's Alasdair Lumsden describes the post-OpenSolaris world and his reasons for leaving the promising project, Miklós Vajna reflects on the history of Frugalware Linux, and a software developer highlights the ups and downs of switching from Linux to OS X. Also in this issue, a Question and Answers feature on displaying software update notifications and the usual regular sections. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (41MB) and MP3 (36MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Robert Storey)
Bodhi Linux 2.0.1 - performance with pizzazz
Enlightenment must come little by little - otherwise it would overwhelm.
-- Idries Shah
* * * * *
The path to Enlightenment is long. In fact, Enlightenment 17 has been in the works for 12 years now. The first version of this unique desktop environment was released by Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler) in 1997. Version 0.17 (E17) was born in December 2000, and is a complete rewrite of E16. A number of distros (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, to name a few) have long included an E17 package. However, these versions have so far failed to exploit the amazing eye-candy potential of the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL).
Bodhi Linux was not the first distro to offer Enlightenment, but it is by now far and away the most popular of its ilk. Plus Bodhi arguably deserves bragging rights for having as much or more pizzazz than any distro available. It was first unleashed on the world in March 2011, based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Like all early releases, it had its share of bugs and missing features, and version 0.1.6 suffered a rather scathing first review on DistroWatch in March 2011 (not written by me). I reviewed version 1.3.0 here in January 2012, and noted the rapid progress and many improvements that had been made. Today, we're going to take a look at the latest version, 2.0.1, which was released on 2012/07/30. (Editor's note: since this review was written, the developers of Bodhi Linux have released version 2.1.0.)
As to exactly what "version 2" means - the Bodhi developers have indicated that their major point naming scheme will conform to Ubuntu's LTS (long-term support) releases, which means once every 2.5 years. Thus version 1.x was based on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), which version 2.x is based on the current Ubuntu LTS, version 12.04 (Precise Pangolin). However, during the interim there will be continuous updates and improvements. All this should be good for stability, though may be disappointing for geeks who like to live on the bleeding edge of Linux kernel development.
All of the various denominations of Bodhi Linux can be downloaded from SourceForge. All will easily fit on a CD with room to spare, so no need for a DVD. Of course, best environmental practice is to burn on a USB stick, which you can do with UNetbootin.
One thing new in this latest dispensation of Bodhi Linux is the addition of a 64-bit variant. This is a landmark achievement, as previously only a 32-bit edition was available. I have both a 64-bit and 32-bit computer in my collection of adult toys, but for the purpose of this review I decided to stick with the wimpier 32-bit machine. Since Enlightenment is designed from the ground up to give good performance on minimal hardware, I decided to put it to the test on my ASUS Eee PC netbook P1015 which sports an Intel Atom N570 dual-core processor. True, there are less capable machines out there in the world, but this is the wimpiest one I currently have in my possession, so it will have to do.
If you want to try something more exotic, there is also a new version of Bodhi for the ARM processor, specifically, the Raspberry Pi.
The installation program is the same one used on standard run-of-the-mill Ubuntu, with just a few tweaks to give it the Bodhi look and feel. I won't make my readers suffer through a blow-by-blow explanation of how to click on "Yes/No" or "OK/Cancel" buttons. About the most exciting thing one can say about the Bodhi installation is how fast the whole process takes, a tribute to the "minimalist" philosophy of this distro. Depending on your hardware, five minutes is all you need, barely enough time to make a cup of coffee.
The downside (if it can be called that) is that you'll probably spend a fair bit of time post-installation adding numerous applications to make Bodhi a genuinely useful operating system. That is not a great hardship, provided you already know which packages you want. However, the need to make such efforts means that Bodhi is more likely to appeal to experienced Linux users rather than punters.
Bodhi Linux 2.0.1 - the Enlightenment 17 desktop
(full image size: 517kB, screen resolution 1024x600 pixels)
It's always a good idea to start off every new Debian/Ubuntu installation by opening a terminal and running sudo apt-get update followed by sudo apt-get dist-upgrade. Like everything else in Bodhi, it doesn't take too long to upgrade because so little was installed to begin with.
If you're a command line guru, you should already be well familiar with adding packages with sudo apt-get install PACKAGE_NAME. If you don't know which apps you want, expect to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the included synaptic package manager - start it from a terminal by typing sudo synaptic. Bodhi is unique in offering another option, the Bodhi Linux AppCenter. You can find instructions for using it here. Note that it only works directly with Midori, Firefox and Opera, not Chromium or other browsers. However, the "Download" option (for *.bod packages) can be used and is browser agnostic.
Speaking of Midori (the default browser in Bodhi), many users choose to immediately nuke it and install either package firefox or chromium-browser, followed the package ubuntu-restricted-extras which greatly enhances the online multimedia experience. If you want Opera, grab it from the Opera website. Other tantalizing packages in the Ubuntu repositories that I installed include evince (PDF viewer), libreoffice, geeqie (image viewer), gnome-mplayer, ksnapshot, ktorrent, vlc (video player), k3b (CD/DVD burner), gimp (image editor), p7zip-full and gftp. My preference for a lightweight MP3 player is aqualung, but there are many others that boast a lot more bells and whistles.
Enlightenment is a highly customizable interface, and Bodhi provides some tools to make the decorating process easier. You'll probably want to explore the Settings Panel (Main_Menu --> Settings --> Settings_Panel), which is self-explanatory. USB automount is not enabled by default, but most desktop users will want to change this straight away. To do so: Main_Menu --> Settings --> Settings_Panel --> Files --> Places, and mark the Mount volumes on insert checkbox.
However, even this will not cause a file browser to pop up automatically when you insert a USB memory stick or external hard drive. Fortunately, the default file manager, PCManFM, displays pluggable media in its side panel, so no need to manually point-and-click your way to the /media directory - fairly straightforward, but not immediately intuitive.
Printers are an endangered species, but there are still people around who occasionally need a dead-tree copy of their work. If you want to set up a printer, you'll first need to install the package bodhi-printing. If your machine is made by HP, you'll also need package hplip. Once you've got these requisite programs in place, plug the printer into a USB port, turn it on, then open a terminal and type: "sudo system-config-printer." From this point, the rest of the procedure should all be intuitive.
One useful (but non-intuitive) thing to know is that if you botch your configuration settings badly enough, you can start all over again by opening a terminal and deleting the hidden e directory, like so: "rm -fr ~/.e". After doing so, log out and log back in again.
Last but not least in the configuration follies, you'll occasionally want to update. Unlike the various flavors of Ubuntu, Bodhi does not inform you when you need to update. So periodically you should open a terminal and manually do a "sudo apt-get update" followed by "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade." You can also do this via Synaptic.
This is strictly optional. Even if you don't speak a foreign language and have no desire to learn one, there is something unaesthetic about stumbling onto a web page and seeing nothing but little blank rectangles where non-Roman script should be. By default, the Bodhi live CD includes fonts for a few scripts besides the Western Roman alphabet, including Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek and Vietnamese. Unsupported scripts include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Khmer, Hindi and Thai. If you would like to add Unicode fonts for those scripts, try installing the following packages:
However, merely adding fonts is not the same as full-fledged language support. You also need, for example, input methods, as well as support for menus. This is one area where Bodhi is just a little weak. You can navigate to Main_Menu --> Settings --> Settings_Panel --> Language option, but when you get there you'll find that it only allows you to choose languages which you've already installed. It doesn't give you the option to download other language packages (which is an option in the *buntus). Fortunately, there are easy one-click installs for language packs on the Bodhi site here. You can find a more detailed explanation on how to set up a foreign language in the Bodhi Wiki. Then run "dpkg-reconfigure lightDM (or lxdm)". The new setting will take effect upon reboot.
- Chinese: ttf-wqy-zenhei
- Hindi: ttf-devanagari-fonts, ttf-indic-fonts
- Japanese: fonts-vlgothic
- Khmer: fonts-khmeros
- Korean: fonts-nanum
- Thai: fonts-thai-tlwg
If your psyche demands sticking to "mainstream" then Bodhi Linux may not be for you. Distros based on Enlightenment are rather thin on the ground. On the other hand, Bodhi is based on Ubuntu LTS, and thus boasts an enormous repository of stable packages. As such, it has mainstream support just below the surface.
Given the Unity debacle, Bodhi offers a lesson about what Ubuntu could have been - fast, intuitive, good-looking and configurable. Furthermore, despite the fact that only a handful of developers are working on Bodhi and Enlightenment, progress has been rapid. When I last reviewed Bodhi in January, I encountered a number of problems such as not being able to get my microphone or printer to work. Happily, these issues have been resolved, and Bodhi seems very usable. I have no problem recommending Bodhi Linux even to Linux newbies.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Fedora 18 alpha goes gold, interview with OpenIndiana's Alasdair Lumsden, Frugalware history, from Linux to OS X
It was harder than a childbirth, but after three long weeks of postponements, the first alpha release of Fedora 18 has finally been approved for release by the project's QA team. From "Fedora 18 Alpha is hereby declared GOLD", as published by Jaroslav Reznik on the Fedora's Test-Announce mailing list: "At the Fedora 18 alpha go/no-go meeting that just occurred, the Fedora 18 alpha release was declared gold. Fedora 18 alpha will be released Tuesday, September 18, 2012. Thanks to everyone who helped to make it possible to ship 'Spherical Cow' out of the doors to the wild journey for beta and general availability!" Fedora 18 features list include 256 colour terminals, Active Directory support, new display manager infrastructure, Eucalyptus cloud computing software, GNOME 3.6, MATE and KDE 4.9 desktop environments, GNOME iBus support with a new Pinyin engine and iBus typing booster, enhanced version of the Liberation fonts, improved Anaconda installer, offline updates, Perl 5.16 and Python 3.3, Samba 4, and many others. The expected final release of Fedora 18 has been moved to 27 November 2012.
* * * * *
The OpenIndiana project has been in the state of flux ever since Oracle terminated support for OpenSolaris, with a number of competing projects (often with conflicting interests) trying to move forward the discontinued distribution. The recent resignation of OpenIndiana leader Alasdair Lumsden has only highlighted the complex world of the operating system that held so much promise when it was originally open-sourced by Sun Microsystems. Alasdair Lumsden has talked to Unixmen about the situation and his reasons for resignation: I viewed OpenIndiana as the 'Debian distro' of the Illumos world -- it was to be a community-maintained general-purpose distribution that couldn't disappear because the company maintaining it decides to pull the plug. It's also the only widely used Illumos-based distribution that has a graphical environment that can function as a desktop OS (although desktop was never a space we wanted to compete in -- Solaris was always a server operating system). OpenIndiana was also a continuation of OpenSolaris. A large numbers of OpenSolaris machines (perhaps even most of them) were upgraded to OpenIndiana because it was just a 'pkg update' away. This gave OpenIndiana the largest user base of any of the other Illumos based distributions."
* * * * *
Frugalware Linux is one of those unpretentious distributions that quietly continue to exist, even though its mind share and user base don't seem to increase much with time. But with 17 stable releases and an 8-year history, the project has certainly proved its staying powers. Miklós Vajna, the founder of the project, reflects on the distribution's ups and down in "Frugalware history": "It all started with this announcement about 8 years ago. It was a one-man show before, there was a manually written ChangeLog but even then there were already quite a few packages, so don't ask me when I started hacking on this. Yes, normally there would be a first commit in git, but remember this was before git existed, and I hated centralized CVS so much that we didn't use anything. Looking back, it was all quite lame. I used a mail address called "mamajom" (English translation could be "momonkey"), tied to an ISP, with a lengthy signature at the end of every mail I sent and I was using my IRC nick instead of my real one everywhere. OTOH, I made some decisions I'm happy about even today. The first four developers were all Hungarian and despite of this, I forced every code, test and documentation to be in English, to possibly turn the project into an international one in the future. And that proved to very, very useful."
* * * * *
Finally, a quick question (and something to discuss in this week's comments section below). Have you ever thought about switching from Linux to, say, OS X? Judging by various statistics in recent years, there is no doubt that Apple has been highly successful in increasing its market share, while desktop Linux has been largely stagnating. So how does OS X compare to Linux? Software developer Bozhidar Batsov has taken his time to give us an honest comparison of the two second-tier desktop operating systems on the market. As expected, Linux wins on the package management front and also in the availability of development tools, but OS X seems light-years ahead in terms of desktop polish and application quality. "From Linux to OS X - One Year Later": "The transition was initially painful - I felt very odd dragging application icons to the Applications folder to install them. To be honest I was quite puzzled about what I was supposed to do the first time I had to install an application this way (it didn't have those helpful hints with the arrows most applications do). The Linux distro package management is definitely infinitely better, or at least it seems so from where I'm standing. Luckily for me most of the tools I use are available from the third-party Homebrew package manager for OS X. It's like an extremely basic version of the mighty Gentoo Portage, but it generally gets the job done. On a more positive note - I was impressed with the quality and responsiveness of the OS X desktop and the fact that Emacs key bindings are used by default in its editor toolkit."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Displaying update notifications
Do-I-have-updates asks: I have two machines at home. One is a desktop running Ubuntu and the other runs Debian. When I SSH into the Ubuntu desktop it tells me if there are updates available and whether any of them are security patches. When I login to the Debian machine it doesn't show this information and I have to remember to check manually for updates. Is there a way to display the update notification on the Debian machine?
DistroWatch answers: I believe you are referring to the text which typically appears when logging into Ubuntu (and derived) distributions which reads like the following:
6 packages can be updated.
The above statements are displayed by the apt-check script. This Python script is located on Ubuntu boxes in the /usr/lib/update-notifier directory. If you would like to see it in action try running the following on a Ubuntu box (or a on a related distribution such as Linux Mint):
3 updates are security updates.
Assuming the above command works on your distribution you can add that line to the .bashrc file in your home directory. This will cause the update notification to appear when you login. Either copy/paste the above line or run:
echo /usr/lib/update-notifier/apt-check --human-readable >> ~/.bashrc
On distributions which do not include the apt-check script it is still possible to get notification of available upgrades. On distributions which include the apt-get command run the following line:
apt-get -s upgrade | tail -n 1
You should see a message which says something like:
3 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 3 not upgraded.
This tells us that, if we were to attempt to update all available packages right now three packages would be upgraded and another three (probably kernel upgrades) would be held back unless we specifically wanted to update them as well. Again, the above command line can be added to the .bashrc file in your home directory to have it run each time you login.
Similar commands exist on distributions which do not use the apt-get package manager. The openSUSE distribution, for example, will give you notification of updates when you run:
With distributions which use the YUM package manager you can get similar results by using:
yum -C check-updates
A word of warning: Sometimes the output from update checks will announce that there are new packages waiting to be downloaded when, in fact, the operating system is entirely up-to-date. The notice telling us of the availability of updates is generally cached for a set amount of time and so you may find yourself logging in and attempting to perform upgrades, only to be told your system is up to date. I often see posts on forums asking why updates aren't working because of this cached information. The problem should resolve itself after the cached data is updated, usually after a day goes by or after a reboot.
|Released Last Week
Epidemic GNU/Linux 4.0
Version 4.0 of Epidemic GNU/Linux has been released. Epidemic is a Debian-based Brazilian desktop Linux distribution featuring the KDE desktop and a number of user-friendly enhancements. Some of the custom applications in this 64-bit only release include: eMod - a graphical utility for creating a custom build of Epidemic; eUpgrade - a graphical tool designed to perform a full system upgrade; eKwin - an application which allows single-click enabling or disabling of KWin effects; Einstaller - the distribution's intuitive system installer. The release also comes with newly added support for German (besides Portuguese, English and Spanish); new user manual; an integrated theme for GRUB, Plymouth, KDM and KSplash; Linux kernel 3.2.23. Read the full release announcement (in Portuguese) for more details and screenshots.
Epidemic GNU/Linux 4.0 - a user-friendly distribution from Brazil
(full image size: 1,117kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
IPFire 2.11 Core 62
Michael Tremer has announced the release of IPFire 2.11 Core 62, a specialist distribution of Linux for firewalls: "Today, we are releasing the 62nd Core update for IPFire 2.11. This update fixes some security problems and also adds some new functionality. We recommend that you update your IPFire installations as soon as possible if you are using the outgoing firewall in mode Fixed: outgoing firewall permits hosts on BLUE to access the Internet. In earlier releases, it was possible for hosts on the BLUE network to access resources on the Internet which are allowed by the outgoing firewall although no permission has been granted to the host (blue access). This is a moderate risk." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional information.
Parted Magic 2012_09_12
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 2012_09_12, a specialist live CD providing utilities for disk management and data rescue tasks: "Parted Magic 2012_09_12. GParted LVM support - this is a list of new LVM features: physical volume creation, checking, resizing (no compaction, just adjusting size above highest used block), moving (using GParted's offline move capability), activation and deactivation, deletion. A large number of programs have been updated: Midnight Commander 4.8.4, Firefox 15.0.1, kmod 10, ALSA libraries 1.0.26. OpenSSH 6.1p1, X.Org Server 1.12.4, Linux kernel 3.5.3. The split_initrdimg.sh has been updated so it works with atftpd again. There were actually two issues. The bigger initbase file was 41 MB and atftpd can only handle 32 MB maximum file size." See the project's news page for a complete list of bug fixes.
Super OS 11.10
Joaquim Salvador has announced the release of Super OS 11.10, an Ubuntu-based distribution with extra applications, media codecs, browser plugins and other enhancements: "Super OS 11.10 released. New: improved multi-language support with additional translations and language-specific fonts; improved virtual machine support (VirtualBox and VMware); added programs - Audacity, Blender, OpenShot, PiTiVi, MyPaint, Pinta, Inkscape, Pidgin, GIMP, Synaptic, VirtualBox, Thunderbird, Gdebi, OpenJDK; removed Java (replaced with OpenJDK); Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera, all of them with support for webm and Adobe Flash content. Super OS (formerly Super Ubuntu) is a variant of Ubuntu 11.10 with added software and tools, with the goal of making it more usable, in particular for users without an Internet connection." See the project's release announcement and the features page for further information.
José Antonio Calvo has announced the release of Zentyal 3.0, a major new version of the project's Ubuntu-based distribution for small business servers: "The Zentyal development team proudly presents Zentyal 3.0, a new stable version of the Linux small business server. This version introduces significant new features. Highlights: new distribution base - Ubuntu 12.04, providing new versions of all the packages and services managed by Zentyal; improved performance - there is now a global cache to speed up all the requests to the Redis configuration backend; improved reliability - new locking and transactions systems have been developed to avoid any risk of data incoherence or corruptions; Samba 4 integration - a full replacement of the Windows Server Active Directory, which allows Zentyal to join as additional controller of an existing AD domain." Read the detailed release notes for more information and upgrade notes.
Bodhi Linux 2.1.0
Jeff Hoogland has announced the release of Bodhi Linux 2.1.0, the latest update of the Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Enlightenment 17 desktop: "I'm happy to release to everyone our first scheduled update of Bodhi Linux's 2.x.y branch - version 2.1.0. There are a number of wonderful changes and improvements to this disc over our 2.0.1 disc released a couple of months ago. The first thing you will notice is four fresh themes along with the elegant E17 Black and White theme appearing on this version of Bodhi's live CD. We have a fresh build of Enlightenment and Terminology pre-installed on the disc. Beyond that our repositories contain the latest LibreOffice 3.6.1, Firefox 15 and Chromium 21 among a number of other current applications. The default kernel for this release is based on Linux 3.5." See the full release announcement for further details and screenshots.
Bodhi Linux 2.1.0 - an update that includes a number of new Enlightenment themes
(full image size: 233kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
openSUSE 12.2 "Edu Li-f-e"
Lars Vogdt has announced the release of openSUSE 12.2 "Edu Li-f-e" edition, an openSUSE variant specifically tailored to schools: "The openSUSE Education team once again presents Li-f-e (Linux for Education), built on hot-new openSUSE 12.2, including all the post-release updates. As always, this edition of Li-f-e comes bundled with a lot of softwares useful for students, teachers, as well as IT administrators of educational institutions. Apart from stable versions of KDE and GNOME, Cinnamon is also available. The Sugar desktop suite makes a comeback. Li-f-e also gives full multimedia experience right out of the box without having to install anything extra. The live installable DVD image stands at 3.3 GB as an incredible array of software from the open source-world." See the release announcement for more details and screenshots.
Sabayon Linux 10
Fabio Erculiani has announced the release of Sabayon Linux 10, a Gentoo-based distribution with a choice of four desktop environments (GNOME 3, KDE, MATE and Xfce): "We're once again here to announce the immediate availability of Sabayon Linux 10 in all of its tier 1 flavours. If you really enjoyed Sabayon 9, this is just another step towards world domination. Linux Kernel 3.5.4 with BFQ iosched, GNOME 3.4.2, KDE 4.9 (4.9.1 available in a few days), Xfce 4.10 and LibreOffice 3.6 are just some of the things you will find inside the box. Gentoo hardened kernels, improved Rigo - a new way of browsing and installing applications, more ZFS integration work, Mesa 9 stack, Amazon EC2 support, Infinality FreeType patches, and much more." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information and screenshots.
Sabayon Linux 10 - the default KDE desktop
(full image size: 213kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Lightweight Portable Security 1.3.6
Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) is a Linux live CD with a goal of allowing users to work on a computer without the risk of exposing their credentials and private data to malware, key loggers and other Internet-era ills. A minor maintenance update, version 1.3.6, was released yesterday: "Changes in Version 1.3.6 - maintenance release, released 14 September 2012: updated Firefox to 10.0.7 ESR; updated Firefox extension - HTTPS Everywhere 2.2.2; updated Firefox extension - NoScript 2.5.4; updated Thunderbird to 10.0.7 ESR (Deluxe only); updated Pidgin to 2.10.6 (Deluxe only); Flash not updated to 22.214.171.124 (it crashes with YouTube); updated Java to 6u35; updated OpenSSH to 6.1p1; removed Firefox extension blocklisting, which generated spurious warnings; minor bookmark updates." See the complete changelog for further details.
Hanthana Linux 17
Danishka Navin has announced the release of Hanthana Linux 17, a Fedora-based distribution on a 3.5 GB live DVD with a large number of applications, media codecs and custom artwork: "Hanthana Linux 17 (Sithija) is released. Hanthana Linux 17, the latest release of Hanthana was published on the 3rd anniversary of the Hanthana Linux project. In addition to the host of applications, the new release has the official LibreOffice guide provided by The Document Foundation added as well. Hanthana Linux is not just another Fedora respin. As a project it facilitates the deployment of free and open-source software amongst the every-day PC user as well as the localization of FOSS software and documentation, and it provides training workshops as well." Read the release announcement for additional information and a screenshot.
Hanthana Linux 17 - a Fedora-based distribution from Sri Lanka
(full image size: 1,483kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- KaarPux. KaarPux is a Linux distribution, where everything is build (automatically) from source. It is aimed at developers who want to build and explore a Linux distribution where they have complete control over the build process.
- Lxpup. Lxpup is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Puppy Linux and featuring the LXDE desktop environment.
- Vulnix. Vulnix is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu's server edition, with deliberate configuration vulnerabilities that serve as an exercise for finding and removing weaknesses in a Linux server.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 24 September 2012. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Robert Storey (feedback on this week's review of Bodhi Linux)
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
White Box Enterprise Linux
What was the goal for White Box Linux? To provide an unencumbered RPM-based Linux distribution that retains enough compatibility with Red Hat Linux to allow easy upgrades and to retain compatibility with their errata SRPMs. Being based off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 3.0 means that a machine should be able to avoid the upgrade treadmill until October 2008 since RHEL promises errata availability for 5 years from date of initial release. Or more briefly, to fill the gap between Fedora and RHEL. Why was White Box Linux created? Its initial creation was sponsored by the Beauregard Parish Public Library in DeRidder, USA out of self interest. We have several servers and over 50 workstations running Red Hat Linux and were left high and dry by Red Hat's recent shift in business plan. Our choices were a difficult migration to another distribution or paying Red Hat an annual fee greater than the amortized value of our hardware. So we chose a third path, made possible by the power of open source.... White Box Linux.