| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 494, 11 February 2013
Welcome to this year's sixth issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It has been an exciting week for users of open source software with big announcements coming out of the Ubuntu and GNOME projects. In this week's edition of DistroWatch Weekly we will look at the new developments underway in the GNOME community and look at the changes coming to Unity, Ubuntu's primary desktop environment. We also bring you news of Canonical's plans to launch a phone powered by the popular Ubuntu distribution. This week we turn a spotlight on server operating systems. Jesse Smith takes FreeBSD 9.1 for a spin and reports on his experience and how it compares to running Linux distributions on home servers. Plus we take a look at which Linux distributions are preferred for hosting web servers. In the Questions and Answers section we look at the common problem of broken software following an upgrade and share tips on how to deal with this issue. As always we look at the distribution releases of the past week, look forward to new releases to come and share news, reviews and podcasts from Around the Web. We wish you a pleasant week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (21MB) and MP3 (34MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Bringing home FreeBSD 9.1
At home I have an old machine which, around a decade ago, performed as someone's desktop computer. Abandoned by its former owners, it now sits in my home and gets used as a test bunny whenever I'm feeling experimental. For the past several months the machine has been running Ubuntu Server, partly because Ubuntu is quick to install and, when I break it, it's quick to re-install. In addition Ubuntu's installer was the first of several which was able to run on the hardware. The machine has been holding up well with Ubuntu and I've had no problems setting it up as a web server, ownCloud server, file server and test bed for ZFS-on-Linux technology. Still, I find when my computers work too well for too long I get bored. In order to experience some excitement I started thinking about what other operating system I might put on my test box and settled on FreeBSD.
There are a number of different download options for FreeBSD. The project supports four different architectures (i386, amd64, sparc64, powerpc64) and the i386 build is available in a few different flavours. We can download a CD-sized ISO, a 2.5GB DVD image or an image for USB flash drives. I opted to work with the DVD image. Booting from the downloaded image brings up a text menu asking if we would like to run the FreeBSD installer or make use of the command shell available on the media. Jumping into the installer we are asked to confirm our keyboard map and provide a hostname for our computer. We are then asked which optional components (games, documentation, ports and system source code) we would like to install. The next series of text-based menus deal with partitioning.
The partitioning section is where I hit my first snag. By default FreeBSD uses UFS as its file system, but one of the perks of running a FreeBSD system is having built in support for ZFS and its many advanced features. According to the FreeBSD documentation the installer supports ZFS. Maybe it does, but I couldn't get it to work. When I specified I wanted to set up partitions or slices using ZFS the installer would accept the order, then when I tried to proceed to the next step (formatting the hard drive) an error would appear saying the ZFS partition (or slice) could not be accessed. Following this I would be asked to restart the install process, beginning from the first screen of the installer. After my fourth attempt I finally gave in and accepted UFS as my primary file system.
After partitioning has been completed we are asked to set a root password and configure the system's network card. Here I ran into another problem as the installer wasn't able to make use of DHCP through my network card and I had to manually configure my connection. We are then invited to enable system services, such as secure shell support and network time synchronization. Our next step is to create a user account and fill in all its details, such as the user's shell, group and even the permissions on the user's home directory. Earlier I mentioned there are some optional packages we can install, including games, documentation and source code. I opted to install the documentation package. The installer informed me it was unable to perform the installation of the documentation package, though it was not clear as to why. With that the installation and initial configuration was complete and I was able to reboot the system to begin using FreeBSD.
Booting FreeBSD brings us to a text console where we are presented with a login prompt. My first order of business upon logging in was to check for system updates. At time of writing no updates to FreeBSD 9.1 were available. Looking around a little we find the system comes with a complete collection of UNIX userland tools and documentation in the form of man and info pages. As FreeBSD is currently in the process of switching their build processes from the GNU Compiler Collection to the Clang compiler both compilers are present on the base system. During the installation process I had requested OpenSSH be enabled and I found this service running in the background. The secure shell provided by OpenSSH allowed me to login remotely and I had no problem enabling public key logins. The system is quite clean, less than 30 process run on the default install and the system only uses around 50MB of active memory. Of course a server without services isn't much more than an ineffective space heater so my next task was to install additional software.
One of the more attractive features to find its way into FreeBSD in recent years is pkg-ng, a "next generation" package manager which provides FreeBSD users with modern package handling similar to Debian's APT or Red Hat's YUM. The pkg-ng software works with binary packages which have been built from the FreeBSD ports collection. Trying to run pkg-ng the first time causes the software to bootstrap itself, enabling the default repository. So far, so good. However, performing searches for packages turned up no results. Checking for repository updates showed the local package database was up to date. Having used pkg-ng last year I was a bit puzzled as to the lack of available software packages. Some browsing of the FreeBSD website revealed binary packages for pkg-ng and the traditional FreeBSD package management tools had been taken off-line following a security breach in late 2012. At the time of writing the repository of binary packages has been off-line for approximately two months and there is no estimate as to when the repository may be brought back on-line. This means software must be added to the system and upgraded by compiling software in the FreeBSD ports collection.
There were several pieces of software I wanted to install on my FreeBSD machine. These included a FTP server, the Apache web server, PHP, MySQL and ownCloud. The FTP server, Apache, PHP and MySQL server all built and installed. I found the FTP server would start and operate without any problems, however Apache refused to start. After some failed attempts to get it running the problem turned out to be Apache didn't like my machine's hostname ("xena") and required a fully qualified hostname in order to start. I provided Apache with a complete (though fake) domain name and it worked properly from then on. I also found that by default installing the PHP language does not provide PHP support for the Apache web server. I went back and reconfigured the PHP port and rebuilt it. This provided me with a PHP module which I could add to Apache and my web server was up and running.
The ownCloud software provided its own set of challenges. Getting the software installed from its port was easy, but I soon found ownCloud was installed with file system permissions which would prevent the service from being accessible. Additionally, the ownCloud port provides configuration steps to assist the user in enabling the cloud service on Apache services. The steps provided did not yield a working ownCloud system. Tweaking the ownCloud permissions and adjusting the software's configuration allowed me to access my newest web service. FreeBSD has long had a more hands-on reputation compared to Linux distributions and so I expected a little more manual configuration to be required. This was par for the course. What I did find odd however is that, by default, the PHP port does not supply a module for Apache and requires the user to specifically build this module. Considering how server oriented FreeBSD is I am surprised no one has created a unified Apache-MySQL-PHP (AMP) port for the operating system yet. It would certainly speed up the initial set up process.
One of the benefits of running FreeBSD is the excellent built-in support for the feature-rich file system called ZFS. FreeBSD comes with a modern implementation of ZFS which allows for the storage of massive amount of data, instant recovery from system crashes, instant file system snapshots, mirroring and data deduplication. FreeBSD provides a good deal of clear documentation for dealing with ZFS's many features and it makes setting up new file systems fairly straight forward. While I wasn't able to get ZFS working using the system installer, I was able to add devices and partitions post-install and migrate my users' home directories to ZFS. In the past people have claimed ZFS requires large amounts of memory to work. However, for simple home use I have found ZFS's memory use hardly shows up on the system at all and multiple devices with hundreds of gigabytes of data can be stored without any problems on a system with 512MB of RAM.
In the end, I did get all the services and features I wanted installed and running. The process of getting everything in place on FreeBSD required a good deal more time compared to performing similar setups with Ubuntu or CentOS -- around six hours for installing the operating system and compiling packages on FreeBSD next to an hour to install and configure everything with Ubuntu Server. Most of the extra time was due to compiling third-party software rather than having convenient binary packages. Another delay came from trouble-shooting Apache and ownCloud errors which I did not experience upon installing the same services on Ubuntu. Still, the end results achieved with both operating systems are quite similar. Aside from the time required to get all the pieces in place, the main practical difference is the organization of those pieces once they have been added to the system. Where Linux distributions tend to intermix the operating system, applications and services, FreeBSD makes a clear separation.
The operating system and the software we install on FreeBSD are divided, making for a clean working environment. I found FreeBSD used slightly less memory and ran fewer processes than my old Ubuntu Server install, though the difference is quite small. Setting up a FreeBSD server takes a bigger investment and makes for a more educational experience compared with Ubuntu which provided more of a quick install-and-go experience. Both have proven to be stable and both come with several years of support. FreeBSD is a powerful and useful platform, though the lack of binary packages does give me pause as it means (at least for the time being) future security updates will require more work and each update will require additional compile time. It is my hope the FreeBSD team is able to restore the pkg-ng repository to its former glory as its binary packages are a big time and energy saver for the project's users.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
Web server statistics, Ubuntu enhanced search, Anaconda, PC-BSD updates, GNOME developments
The number of users each Linux distribution has is a famously difficult statistic to nail down, however that fact doesn't prevent people from trying. The website W3Techs has put together some numbers and graphs in an attempt to judge the market share of popular Linux distributions on web servers. The graphs show the current leader in web server installs is the community-run Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Another community project, CentOS, takes second place while two commercial distributions, Ubuntu and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), take third and forth places, respectively. It is perhaps interesting to note that, according to W3Tech's statistics, both Debian and Ubuntu (two closely related projects) are increasing in market share while Red Hat and CentOS (two other closely related projects) have dropped in popularity over the past twelve months.
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In recent months the Ubuntu developers have placed an increasing emphasis on search with the Unity Dash being the focal point of their efforts. Going forward the Dash is going to receive more attention which will not only provide users with more search lenses (now called "master scopes"), but the search system will gather feedback about which scopes return desired results and learn to tailor its results to the user's preferences. Ubuntu Community member Alan Bell writes, "This means that your client might have 100 or more locally installed search scopes, but the server will advise it which are likely to give good results. Now for the scary bit, once you have looked at the results and perhaps clicked on something then your client pings the server again to tell it which scope produced the most relevant result. This means that the server can learn from this feedback about which scopes produce high quality results for that keyword, and perhaps rank that one a bit higher in future recommendations lists." The new, smart master scopes feature is expected to be included in the upcoming release of Ubuntu 13.04.
The Ubuntu community also learned this past week that the popular Linux distribution will be coming to mobile devices in the final months of 2013. Michael Hickins of The Wall Street Journal reports Ubuntu may begin shipping on smart phones in October. "Smart phones running the open source Ubuntu operating system will be available to customers beginning in October 2013, according to Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical Ltd. Canonical provides services for corporate customers using Ubuntu open source software. Application developers will have access to the smart phone operating system, which is optimized for the Galaxy Nexus handset manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co., in late February."
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Fedora's new system installer, the revamped Anaconda, has come under heavy criticism from many quarters, including reviewers and even some well-known Linux developers, many of whom questioned the reason behind the radical redesign of a well-established tool that has been around for years. But as explained by Will Woods, one of the developers of the new Anaconda, the rewrite of the ageing installer was long overdue: "Back in August 2009 we were trying to redesign the storage UI to handle modern storage needs. This turned out to require rewriting a lot of the storage backend code (again) because the existing Anaconda code was basically all duct tape and bubble gum, creaking under the strain of modern demands. You might think I’m exaggerating, but keep in mind that Anaconda was originally written in 1999, for Red Hat Linux 6.1. It was designed to run off a 1.44 MB floppy disk, using the still-newish Linux 2.2.x kernel. In 2009 it still had its own custom initrd init system called 'loader' written entirely in C. So Anaconda had its own copy of stuff like mount, losetup and mknod, but no Bash before the GUI started. Good luck trying to debug anything!"
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Dru Lavigne, a well-known FreeBSD and PC-BSD developer, has written an interesting post in which she quotes Kris Moore, the founder of PC-BSD, voicing his dissatisfaction with the PC-BSD release process. To take the project into the future, he believes, it needs to switch to a rolling-release style of OS updates: "First of all, I want to let you know, that I’ve personally not been satisfied with the frequency of PC-BSD releases and updates. With us tracking the upstream FreeBSD releases, it has really tied our hands getting new releases out to the public. The past couple of releases had a delay of almost a year between them, which is WAY too long in my opinion. To further compound the problem, our build system wasn’t designed to do frequent updates of packages and our utilities, which made getting updates out to the community a long and tedious process. This is all going to change. What we are looking at going to now is more of a “Rolling-Release” model, first for our utilities and system packages, and eventually for the FreeBSD base itself." Exciting times ahead for those who prefer to run FreeBSD on their desktops.
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In other GNOME-related news, The H reports GNOME developers will soon begin work on a new distribution independent sandbox model for applications. This should allow third-party applications to be bundled with all of their dependencies in a single file and installed on the user's computer just by clicking on the application archive. The application would be installed in an isolated area of the file system for added security. "GNOME developer Alexander Larsson writes that the entire concept is to go hand in hand with efforts to improve app isolation. For example, the developers plan to use techniques that are also used for containers to mount each app image in a separate area. Only the programming interfaces that are listed in the manifest will be available in these areas. The apps are not planned to have direct access to a user's home directory."
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Over the years more and more businesses have turned to open source software to help them run their infrastructure. The low cost, the ability to audit the source code and the extendability provided by open source products are great features for enterprises. However, giving away one's source code raises certain challenges when it comes to turning a profit. Last week Katherne Noyes wrote a blog post in which she talks with the CTO, CEO and a Vice President of the successful ownCloud project. They discuss the problems ownCloud tries to solve and why they feel it has been successful as a business. Frank Karlitschek says ownCloud got its start when, "`Three years ago I had an opportunity to keynote at a KDE event in San Diego, and I thought, let's look a bit into the future,' he recalled. `I could already see the trend of things moving to Dropbox, which was pretty much the only solution for cloud at the time. I thought this was interesting, but I also saw problems.' Specifically, Karlitschek identified privacy and cost issues for home users, and was inspired to launch an open source project to help solve those problems."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Broken packages and possible solutions
Recently I have been receiving e-mails with a common theme from several Linux users. The common characteristics of these e-mails are that the person writing has been using a piece of software (perhaps a network service, perhaps a game) and, following an update, the software has stopped working. In every case either no error message appears on the user's screen or the error that appears on the user's terminal is cryptic and may indicate a segmentation fault or perhaps a missing library function. A Google search of the error message doesn't reveal any obvious causes or solutions. The final thing each of these e-mails have in common is that the person writing to me is running Arch Linux. Having had the chance to help several people through this situation I would like to share the solutions we have found that fixed the problem.
The most common cause of a program or service no longer working properly after an upgrade appears to be out of sync repositories. It takes time for packages to get replicated across all repositories and some repositories fall behind in their updates. This puts the repository out of sync with the rest of the Arch community. When this happens check the package manager's mirror list and try pulling from a mirror in a different region. There are plenty of Arch repository mirrors out there from which to choose. Once you have updated your mirror list, try updating your malfunctioning package and its dependencies.
In some cases it seems that simply removing and re-installing the program which is malfunctioning can correct the issue. I suspect this also means the local system is out of sync with the main Arch repositories and the user simply needs to let time pass before attempting to update their system again.
It may be that you have uncovered a bug. Sometimes packages are broken when they are upgraded. Be sure to check the Arch Linux forums to see if anyone has experienced the problem or has found a solution. If no one else has reported the problem, be sure to file a bug report so the developers can look into the matter.
Should you be in a hurry for a fix and no one is coming to your aid, consider building the malfunctioning package from its source code. Most open source projects include details on their website or in their source code archives on how to compile their software. This can be of great help to people looking to fix their own problems. Building a package from its source and linking it to the libraries on your own system may correct the problem or at least give you a better place from which to trouble-shoot the problem.
I hope the above suggestions will prove useful, both to Arch users and to anyone else who has run into problems following an upgrade.
|Released Last Week
Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0r2
Alan Baghumian has announced the availability of an updated build of Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0, a desktop distribution and live DVD based on Debian's "testing" branch: "To celebrate our 8th anniversary, we decided to release an updated version of Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0 code name 'Gloria'. This version ships with a brand-new kernel based on Linux 3.2.37 and merges Debian testing updates as of January 30, 2013. Parsix 'Gloria' is the project's first release with the GNOME 3 series and it ships with LibreOffice productivity suit by default. Gloria has a brand-new software package manager. Highlights: GNOME 3.4.2, X.Org 7.7, GRUB 2, GNU Iceweasel 18.0.1, GParted 0.12.1, Empathy 184.108.40.206, LibreOffice 3.5.4, VirtualBox 4.1.18. The live DVD has been compressed using Squashfs and xz." Read the rest of the release notes where you can find more information and upgrade instructions.
Frugalware Linux 1.8
James Buren has announced the release of Frugalware Linux 1.8, a general-purpose distribution for intermediate and advanced Linux users: "The Frugalware developer team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Frugalware Linux 1.8, our eighteenth stable release. No new features have been added since 1.8rc2, but 157 changes have been made to fix minor bugs. If you didn't follow the changes during the pre-releases, here are the most important changes since 1.7 in no particular order: updated packages - Linux kernel 3.7.5, X.Org Server 1.13.2, GNOME 3.6, KDE 4.9, LibreOffice 3.6.3, Mozilla Firefox 18.0.1 to name a few major components; video decoding acceleration is now enabled in most multimedia applications; CPU scaling should now work out of the box on i686 and x86_64; Mesa 7.11 drivers revived to support hardware that Mesa upstream dropped support for...." Here is the brief release announcement.
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 17.0, a specialist distribution designed for web kiosks - now based on Debian's "testing" branch: "Webconverger 17.0 is exciting for two reasons: new installer allowing you the choice to install to a USB stick and whole base is upgraded from 'Squeeze' to 'Wheezy'. The 'install' term can be misinterpreted as a straight copy of image. Install in Webconverger parlance means you are creating a read/write store. When you follow the USB guide you are: downloading the ISO; 'dd-ing', that is plonking the image upon the USB stick, without partitioning the USB stick (this is tricky); the new installer allows you to partition (tricky bit solved) the USB stick and use it as a read/write store." Read the full release announcement for more information and to see a photo of the installation screen.
Linpus Linux 1.9 "Lite"
Linpus Linux 1.9 "Lite", a desktop Linux distribution featuring a customised GNOME 3 desktop with HTML 5 widgets and support for touch screens, has been released: "Linpus, a leader in the field of open-source software in the consumer space, announced the release of the latest version of their Linux distro, Linpus Lite. Linpus Lite has both full touch-based and mouse and keyboard-style launchers that can be easily swapped between through a menu item on the top bar or a touchpad gesture. Both look and user experience are designed to match whether you want to interact with the device through touch or through your keyboard. In addition, for key applications multi-touch behavior has also been added. Linpus has also worked very hard on web app integration in several ways. Anyone with a Chrome webstore account can login and automatically sync their Chrome applications to the launcher." See the press release for more information.
Linpus Linux 1.9 "Lite" - a live CD with a customised GNOME 3 desktop
(full image size: 482kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Chakra GNU/Linux 2013.02
Anke Boersma has announced the release of Chakra GNU/Linux 2013.02, the project's brand-new series featuring the KDE 4.10 desktop: "Chakra 2013.02 'Benz' (a code name that will follow the KDE 4.10 series) has been released. KDE 4.10 is about the most polished release KDE has put out to date; one feature that stands out is the fast improvements of Nepomuk. Our tools have gotten a lot of attention too, the live image has switched to using GFXboot - this will give many more options for language and keyboard settings and it adds a few hardware checking tools in a visually pleasing way. Tribe has now a dedicated keyboard page - this will avoid issues with setting the desired keyboard. The 'Dharma' artwork theme is fully updated and integration is set for all parts of the live image, GRUB bootloader, KDM and the installed desktop." See the release announcement for further details and screenshots.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Around the Web
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New distributions added to database|
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New distributions added to waiting list
- CoreSec Linux. CoreSec Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution for penetrating security holes online and offline.
- GOVOnix. GOVOnix is a project based on the Xubuntu distribution where the Xfce desktop has been replaced with MATE.
- IprediaOS. IprediaOS is a Fedora-based Linux distribution that provides an anonymous environment. All network traffic is automatically and transparently encrypted and anonymised.
- RhinoLinux. RhinoLinux is an Ubuntu-based desktop-oriented distribution which aims to provide many different desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE, MATE, Unity and Xfce.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 February 2013. 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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SuperX is a desktop-oriented computer operating system based on Linux, using a highly customized KDE desktop environment. Originally developed in India, SuperX is published by Libresoft, a startup with a free and open source software business model. SuperX is available in multiple variants, from a freemium variant for home users to a professional variant for enterprise users. SuperX strives to be "Simple User friendly, Powerful, Energetic and Robust eXperience".