| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 487, 17 December 2012
Welcome to this year's 51st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The popularity of Arch Linux, combined with the project's philosophy that appeals to more advanced Linux users, has resulted in an explosion of Arch-based distributions with a variety of desktop environments and user-friendly features. One of them is Cinnarch, a live distro that marries Arch Linux with Cinnamon (Linux Mint's ambitious fork of GNOME Shell). The result is an interesting rolling-release distribution which is still undergoing rapid development, but which has a potential to deliver a traditional desktop user interface built from cutting-edge software. Read below Jesse Smith's first impressions of this relative newcomer to the Linux distro scene. In the news section, Mandriva goes ahead with registering a non-profit association that will continue development of the once highly successful distribution, Fedora prepares to launch a new online publication designed for users and developers of Red Hat's community project, Linux Mint maintainers update the roadmap and feature list of the upcoming version 15, and Gentoo developers discuss the complexities of copyright assignments in loosely-knit software communities. Also in this issue, update on openSUSE's Tumbleweed, the Questions and Answers section that deals with OpenJDK and Oracle's Java, and an introduction to the Xubuntu-based Emmabuntüs. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (35MB) and MP3 (35MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Cinnarch 2012.11.22
The Cinnarch distribution is an interesting mix of technology. It combines the Arch Linux distribution, which features a rolling release approach to package management, with the Cinnamon desktop environment. Cinnarch is a fairly young project, still in its beta stage of development, so it should be approached with a degree of caution. The distribution is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and can be downloaded in two flavours: a full live CD (670 MB) with the Cinnamon desktop or a minimalist CD (190 MB). Whichever edition we select the installer will perform a net-install, downloading packages from an updated repository rather than from the CD. While this means we will be up to date right from the start, it also means a successful install depends on having a reliable Internet connection and any re-install will likely take longer than if we were installing from local media.
Booting from the Cinnarch media brings up a series of boot menus which ask us which language we would like to use and we are given a chance to adjust the kernel's boot parameters. A short time later we are brought to a graphical desktop environment, Cinnamon. The application menu and task switcher rest at the top of the screen. The wallpaper looks like a close-up of someone's grassy lawn. A single icon for browsing the file system sits on the desktop. After a few seconds a window appears asking if we would like to try the live version Cinnarch or run a text-based installer. It looks as though an option for a graphical installer will be added to the works later, but for now we need to use the text-based installer. Something I found interesting is that the Cinnamon environment and its menus obeyed my language preference, but the graphical welcome screen which allows us to launch the installer did not. Still, the icons in the welcome screen make it pretty clear which button we should press to start the installation so language wasn't an issue.
The first time I launched the installer it apparently downloaded and installed an update of itself and then asked that I manually re-launch the installer. I found the system installer in the application menu and this time a virtual terminal opened and started guiding me through a series of menus. First we are asked to select our language and keymap from lists. The language options are a touch cryptic, asking us to select from choices such as "aa_DJ.UTF-8", not something a novice user will be likely to recognize. Next up we select our time zone from a list and then move on to partitioning. Now, by default, the installer drops us to a Parted command prompt to handle disk partitions. People comfortable with slicing up a disk this way can proceed with the command line option, but most will probably find it easier to run the graphical GParted application from the Cinnamon menu prior to launching the installer. With the easy graphical disk partition manager available I'm not sure why the installer doesn't offer to run it as an option.
At any rate, after carving the disk we are asked to assign mount points to each partition. At this point I discovered partitions should be labelled in order to be picked up by the installer, otherwise we cannot assign them mount points. If a partition is not labelled, GParted can fix this for us. After assigning mount points the installer goes into auto-pilot and begins downloading the packages from the repositories. On my first run the installer popped up a warning saying something had gone wrong and asked me to select a repository mirror from a list. This I did and, from there, all required packages downloaded cleanly. The entire download took approximately one hour, which apparently downloaded updated versions of the packages included on the live media. This process strikes me as being a bit redundant as we already have the software we want locally and we are not given the option to select which packages we want (or do not want) from the repository.
Cinnarch 2012.11.22 - the Cinnamon desktop and settings panel
(full image size: 718kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
At any rate, the packages all downloaded and passed their integrity checks successfully. The installer then started copying its software to the local drive. At this point I started seeing a lot of messages saying software was being installed mixed with repeated errors saying "command failed to execute correctly". This continued for around ten minutes until the installer told me it had completed successfully and I was asked to answer a series of configuration questions. These questions include setting the default text editor (our options are vi or nano), what our username and password should be, what we would like for a hostname and then we set a root password. After that the GRUB2 boot loader is downloaded from the repositories and installed. With the boot loader in place the installer is done. It's a rather long and, at the moment, cryptic process in places and, given the error messages I saw, I did not expect the system to work properly. I was pleasantly surprised when Cinnarch booted for the first time without any problems.
When we first boot into Cinnarch we are brought to a graphical login screen. Once we select our user account we can choose between logging into Cinnamon, Cinnamon 2-D or GNOME. I found both Cinnamon options worked and there didn't appear to be any significant difference between the 2-D and regular option, at least not with my particular setup. Choosing the GNOME session would just display a blank screen for a moment before returning me back to the login screen. Another option I found that would not work on the login screen was the shutdown button. I found I had to login to my account before the distribution would allow me to power down the machine.
I tried running Cinnarch on my desktop machine (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and also in a VirtualBox virtual machine. Cinnarch refused to boot on the physical hardware, even in safe video mode. However, the distribution ran without any problems in the virtual environment. When sitting idle at the Cinnamon desktop I found Cinnarch used approximately 230MB of memory. For the most part the distribution's performance was good. I find Cinnamon is usually sluggish in a virtual machine, but the build which comes with Cinnarch was certainly usable with only a slight delay in reacting to input.
Cinnarch 2012.11.22 - the distribution's website and video player
(full image size: 718kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Cinnarch comes with a small, but useful collection of software out of the box. We are provided with the Chrome web browser (complete with the Flash plugin), the Pidgin instant messenger and the Transmission BitTorrent client. The distribution comes with an audio player and video player and the Cheese webcam tool. We are given a disc burner, the Shotwell photo manager and Network Manager for handling our Internet connection. By default we do not have any productivity software, however there is an app called "LibreOffice Installer" in the application menu. Running this installer program brings up a graphical wizard which lets us decide which components of LibreOffice we would like to install. We can also choose which language packs to download with LibreOffice. I tried out the wizard and it cleanly installed LibreOffice, adding the software to the application menu automatically.
Generally I'm not fond of software being installed this way as I prefer managing all software through the main package manager. Still, this method worked well and it was very straight forward. Cinnarch comes with a collection of software for adjusting the look & feel of the desktop and we are given the usual small apps for editing text files and working with archives. Developers and people wishing to build their software from source are provided with the GNU Compiler Collection. The distribution maintains a rolling release which means the kernel is regularly updated, but at time of writing Cinnarch was using Linux kernel version 3.6.
Something I found interesting about Cinnarch is that it divides its configuration controls into two distinct groups. There are the Cinnamon settings, which handle the basic look and feel of the desktop. These settings can be accessed via the little arrow in the upper-right corner of the screen and cover such things as fonts, desktop background and visual effects. The other set of configuration tools can be accessed via the application menu and these deal more with the underlying operating system. This second set of configuration apps help us manage items such as the system's display settings, date & time, user accounts and network connections.
Software packages on Cinnarch are handled by the PacmanXG application. This graphical front-end looks a bit complex at first when compared alongside the package managers for Ubuntu and Linux Mint. There are quite a few filters, buttons and various tabs for different screens in the upper-left corner of the window. I will admit there was some tentative poking at buttons at first while I explored the interface. However, after a while I found my way around PacmanXG. I experimented with adding and updating some packages and all transactions went through without any problems. I like that while the package manager is running we're provided with a small window which shows what is going on in the background with a fair degree of detail. As a rolling release Cinnarch gets a steady flow of updates and over the course of four days I downloaded over 100 MB of software upgrades.
Cinnarch 2012.11.22 - the PacmanXG package manager
(full image size: 221kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
As I just mentioned Cinnarch is a rolling release and still in its beta stage of development. The ramifications of using such a distribution hit me on my third day when, after performing an update, my system would no longer boot into a graphical environment. The system appeared to hang part way through the boot process, stopping with a status message "Reached target graphical interface". The following day a news post appeared on the Cinnarch website explaining the problem was due to an update and a fix was provided. Following the instructions on the Cinnarch website returned my installation of Cinnarch to proper working order. This is one of those good news/bad news moments where something went wrong which shouldn't have, but I have to give the developer credit for quickly identifying and fixing the problem. If something is going to go bad, then the timely response Alexandre Filgueira gave is exactly the one users want to see.
My experience to date with Cinnarch has been about what one would expect with a beta release. There are some really good points to be had, such as the way the Cinnamon desktop is put together, the default applications and the package manager, once I got used to it, was a utility I appreciated. On the flip side I found the installer in general to be overly complex and, given the warning messages it kept throwing at me, I really did not expect Cinnarch to work when I tried to boot into it the first time. I have to say also that I'm not a fan of net-installs, especially when I'm testing distros as it means a longer install process which might be interrupted by a flaky connection. I hope future versions of Cinnarch provide a local media install option. The distribution didn't take to my physical hardware, but worked in a virtual machine without any issues. I'll be curious to see if future versions, perhaps with a newer kernel, are able to boot on my machine. The broken update in the middle of the week was unpleasant, but it was fixed quickly so I'm not sure whether to put that incident in the "pro" or "con" column of my experiences.
In short, I would say that if someone is interested in playing with Arch Linux and they want a quick and easy way in, then Cinnarch will provide that. If you're a fan of Cinnamon and want to play with a cutting edge distribution then Cinnarch is also a good option. However, with the quick pace of updates and the current installer I would suggest we take Cinnarch's "beta" label seriously and limit its use to test machines and virtual environments for now. I wouldn't be comfortable at this point putting it on a production machine as my primary operating system.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Mandriva registers OpenMandriva association, Fedora launches new magazine, Mint updates roadmap, openSUSE empties Tumbleweed repositories, Gentoo discusses copyright assignments
Mandriva's long and turbulent history is about to take another sharp turn, it seems. Having failed to transform a successful Linux distribution into a money-generating enterprise, the Paris-based Linux company has decided to liberate their core product from commercial shackles and hand it over to the community - in the form of a non-profit OpenMandriva association. Susan Linton reports in "OpenMandriva: It's Almost a Done Deal": "Today Charles-H. Schulz blogged to share that 'the statutes of the OpenMandriva Association have been sent to the French authorities and the incorporation process has thus started.' Schulz admits originally being skeptical that Mandriva would ever be truly open, that was until he spoke personally with Mandriva SA CEO Jean-Manuel Croset. Schulz continued by saying that the transition to the new community directed project and migrating all the infrastructure is 'somewhere around 80%' complete and that none of it would have been possible without the commitment from Jean-Manuel Croset. He said: 'It is not everyday you see an example of a community who gains its independence with the blessing and dedication of its former steward.'" Will the new OpenMandriva be able to attract their old user base "back home" or is this a matter of "too little, too late" from the once highly popular desktop Linux project? Only time will tell.
* * * * *
Distribution newsletter and magazines are nothing new in the world of free operating systems, even though, historically, very few have been able to sustain high-quality article production over long periods and even some excellent ones, such as the much-loved and multi-lingual Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, eventually closed down. Now there is a new attempt at creating a distro-specific online publication. Máirín Duffy blogs about the new Fedora magazine's planning and design: "The Fedora marketing team is working on launching a Fedora-focused online magazine for the Fedora users and developers. The idea first came when some folks on the team had a discussion about FWN (Fedora Weekly News) and its future. They determined that it might be a cool thing to revive FWN and the Fedora Insight project (which was meant to be a Drupal-based online Fedora community) with a new site that features, as Ruth explained: short, informative content like you might think of FWN for; longer form stories, interviews, and articles; the technical content that Fedora used to create to some extent for Red Hat Magazine (which is in high demand but no longer exists); cultivated content from Planet; the content that Insight was already meant for, like board meeting minutes or announcements."
* * * * *
Linux Mint 14 was released only recently and its secondary editions are still in beta testing, but the developers are already making plans for the distribution's next major update. The WebUpd8 website looked through the recently updated roadmap and published a concise summary of what to expect in Linux Mint 15: "Linux Mint 15 is expected to ship with Cinnamon 1.8 which will include new features like: Desktlets (desktop widgets) - three such desklets should be available by available by default, including system monitor, picture slideshow frame and terminal; Cinnamon settings - ability to browse, install, remove and update Cinnamon themes, applets, extensions and desklets remotely; Bumpmaps support (defines transparent textures which look like sculpted glass); a control center that integrates both Cinnamon and GNOME settings into one tool; Rethink Cinnamon 2D - fallback to a non-shadow CPU-less intensive session in software rendering mode; configurable color schemes for themes; calendar events similar to KDE's implementation; new and improved applets - upgrade menu applet with mintMenu features, new email notifier and pulse-like RSS reader applets." There is much more, so head for the above link for further details and screenshots.
* * * * *
Rolling-release distributions, the type where the software components keep getting updated to their latest upstream versions, are all the rage among users who love to live on the bleeding edge of software development. So when openSUSE created "Tumbleweed", a rolling-release repository of software packages, some saw it as a more attractive way of running the latest applications than updating to a new stable openSUSE version every nine months. One obvious problem with a rolling-release model is that the software repository needs constant updates which requires a highly dedicated developer team and which, apparently, is no longer the case with Tumbleweed. Erwin Van de Velde explains the situation in "Tumbleweed tumbles from my computer": "Tumbleweed was great when using openSUSE 12.1, moving forward at a high pace. With the release of openSUSE 12.2 though, the Tumbleweed users were left in a void: suddenly the Tumbleweed repository became empty for several weeks, leaving users like me with the choice of upgrading to openSUSE 12.2 (and in fact downgrading some packages like the Linux kernel) or staying with openSUSE 12.1, but since the 'old' Tumbleweed repository had disappeared as well, this was not really in option: no security updates, nor the possibility to add new packages of the previous available Tumbleweed repository."
* * * * *
When you contribute software to a large open-source software organisation, who owns the copyrights? This is a question Gentoo developers have been discussing in recent weeks, highlighting the complexities of informal arrangements that often exist in loosely defined software developer communities. Gentoo coder Richard Freeman's blog post entitled "Gentoo and Copyright Assignments" gives an excellent summary of the situation: "The two situations I'm aware of where this has come up in the last month or so both concern contributions (willing or not) from outside of Gentoo. One concerns a desire to be able to borrow eclass code from downstream distros like Exherbo, and the other is the eudev fork. In both cases the issue is with the general Gentoo policy that all Gentoo codes have a statement at the top to the effect of 'Copyright 2012 Gentoo Foundation.' Now, Diego has already blogged about some of the issues created by this policy already, and I want to set that aside for the moment. Regardless of whether the Foundation can lay claim to ownership of copyright on past contributions, the question remains, should Gentoo aim to have copyright ownership (or something similar) for all Gentoo work be owned by the Foundation?"
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
OpenJDK versus Oracle Java
Grinding-my-own-beans asks: Are the applications like Java OpenJDK and Icedtea-webkit that I see used in Linux equal to the capabilities of Oracle's Java? Both in terms of Java's strengths & weaknesses and exploits? When reading about Java exploits do they refer only to Oracle's proprietary Java? In other words, is using the open-source variants safe when its proprietary counterpart isn't?
DistroWatch answers: Let's look at the capabilities first. The big strength of Java is supposed to be the idea that a developer can build his software once and have it run on any platform using any Java virtual machine. This is the ideal. Most of the time one Java implementation will work just as well as another, much the same way software developed on one GNU/Linux distribution should compile and run on another. Most of the time it works smoothly. However, there are always edge cases. Some Java implementation may contain features another does not, or a Java developer may code for a specific feature or implementation. Most of the time you can get by with one Java implementation just as well as another, but there will always be a few exceptions, corner cases to break the rule.
As to whether one Java implementation will be affected by exploits targeting another implementation, that is a bit tricky to answer. While different Java implementations use different code they all work from a similar design, a common blueprint. Some exploits will affect multiple implementations because there is a flaw in the blueprint. Other exploits rely on a specific flaw in a specific implementation. Put another way, some exploits will affect multiple implementations of Java while other exploits target one specific version of Java.
When you hear of a new Java exploit coming out, I recommend looking at the CVE entry for the exploit. It should specify which implementations are vulnerable. If you're still not sure if you might be affected, I recommend joining your distribution's security mailing list and discussing the specific exploit there. When in doubt it is probably best to assume your installation of Java will be affected until you are able to confirm otherwise.
|Released Last Week
Tomáš Matějíček has announced the final release of Slax 7.0, a Slackware-based live CD with KDE 4.9.4 that fits onto a 220 MB CD: "I'm happy to announce the final release of Slax version 7.0, code name 'Green Horn'. After more than three years of silence Slax is back in action and is better than ever before. Slax 7.0 is the major update of the Slax Linux live operating system. It includes the newest Linux kernel, KDE 4 desktop, GCC compiler and lots of other stuff in a 210 MB download. Furthermore it's available in more than 50 localizations, so you can get a Slax that speaks your language. Big thanks to everybody who helped with development and testing. The work didn't end now, actually it rather just started. I'm going to prepare a modules section for the website and bring Software Center in Slax to life. The next step, however, is to start supporting buildscripts." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshot.
Slax 7.0 - marking the revival of the first Slackware-based live CD
(full image size: 352kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 16.0, a Debian-based live Linux distribution designed solely for accessing web applications: "Webconverger 16.0 showcases the proven DOOH Neon Web signage OS, under the new chrome=neon switch to Webconverger users. The only difference now really between the Neon and Webconverger products, is the extra monitoring offered in Neon, which would not be appropriate in Webconverger for privacy reasons. What's new: new chrome=neon and black background Neon theme; New homepage= expansions for WEBCID, WEBCVERSION and finally USBID for simple physical authentication in POS use cases; new noescape option for further locking down of install boot; update Firefox 17.0.1 and Flash update; bug fixes for https_proxy, xinput and disabling add-ons. Those using the install version, your will enjoy safely and silently upgrading to these new features and fixes." See the full release notes for additional details and links to relevant resources.
LuninuX OS 12.10
Emmanuel Appiah has announced the release of LuninuX OS 12.10, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a customised GNOME Shell desktop interface: "It has been a long long long journey but we have made progress. The task to improve already good quality does not mean stop when it's good enough, it simply means make it better and with the release of LuninuX OS 12.10 'Quite Quail', you will see how much better it has been made. Some of the major changes are Opera as the default web browser with privacy plugins, boxes for virtual machines, OpenJDK and many more. You can download the release on the download page and as an option to purchase a USB/DVD media that will be mailed to you." Here is the brief release announcement.
LuninuX OS 12.10 - an Ubuntu remix with GNOME Shell
(full image size: 1,321kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Superb Mini Server 2.0.2
Superb Mini Server (SMS) 2.0.2, another minor update of the Slackware-based server distribution, has been released: "Superb Mini Server version 2.0.2 released (Linux kernel 3.2.35). This is a bug-fix and security release, featuring security enhancements, packages upgrades, new features and the latest 3.2.x branch kernel. In this release we focus, amongst other things, on two recent SMS reviews. We fixed a few bugs in smsconfig and added new features and improvements. Services now force start/stop even if they are disabled, except Sendmail, but beware if services are not enabled they will not auto-start at boot. The same force start/stop feature added in Webmin also. The smsconfig utility also features a backup option, which backs up /etc with xz by date and restores it upon selection by date. SMS 2.0.2 features a secure wizard function to help you secure and optimize your server." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
GParted Live 0.14.1-1
Curtis Gedak has announced the release of GParted Live 0.14.1-1, a bug-fix update of the project's utility live CD containing tools for disk management and data rescue tasks: "The GParted team is proud to announce the stable release of GParted Live 0.14.1-1. This is a maintenance release that includes important bug fixes and it also adds more language translation updates. Two important bugs fixed in this release are: fix Linux software RAID device detection; fix logical partition grow overlaps extended partition end. The GParted Live 0.14.1-1 image is based on the Debian 'sid' repository as of 2012-12-13." Visit the project's news page to read the full release announcement and which also contains a link to the GParted 0.14.1 release notes.
Univention Corporate Server 3.1
Univention has announced the release of Univention Corporate Server 3.1, a Debian-based server operating system for enterprises: "The IT infrastructure software specialist Univention has published version 3.1 of its server operating system Univention Corporate Server (UCS). With UCS 3.1, the Bremen-based manufacturer of open-source software is offering organisations an easy-to-use operating and management solution for internal or cloud-hosted IT infrastructures. Thanks to the newly integrated component Univention App Center, it is now even easier to expand these infrastructures with additional applications. In addition, UCS 3.1 also includes an updated version of Samba 4 for the provision of Active Directory-compatible domain services and a tool for the simple migration of Microsoft Active Directory to UCS." Here is the full press release with additional links.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database|
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- DBLab. DBLab is an desktop Linux distribution incorporating features from Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Zorin OS, Pear Linux and Lubuntu and available in GNOME 3, Cinnamon and Openbox flavours.
- LinuxBBQ. LinuxBBQ is a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution available in a variety of variants - with GNOME 3, MATE, Openbox or Xfce desktops.
- Tiki OS. Tiki OS is a Linux distribution built with SUSE Studio and featuring the GNOME 3 desktop.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 24 December 2012. To contact the authors please send email to:
- 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 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Neptune is a GNU/Linux distribution for desktops. It is based on Debian's Stable branch, except for a newer kernel, some drivers and newer versions of popular applications, such as LibreOffice. It also ships with the latest version of the KDE desktop. The distribution's main goals are to provide a good-looking general-purpose desktop with pre-configured multimedia playback and to offer an easy-to-use USB installer with a persistence option.