| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 502, 8 April 2013
Welcome to this year's 14th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Much of the spotlight this week fell on Ubuntu and Ubuntu derivatives as Canonical released a beta for the upcoming launch of Ubuntu 13.04. Ubuntu is frequently a source of experimental changes and controversy and the latest beta will provide insight into the direction Canonical is taking their popular distribution. This week we will hear the opinion of Matt Harley as he compares the upcoming Ubuntu release against the latest version of openSUSE and discusses which may serve its users better. Jesse Smith will be comparing two other technologies, specifically the Btrfs and ZFS advanced file systems. Read on to find out which file systems is better suited to your storage needs. We will also be taking a look at Linux Mint's Debian Edition, a popular distribution with a semi-rolling release approach to package management. How does the Debian Edition of Linux Mint compare with the project's other editions? Open source projects are constantly evolving and this week we hear from the FreeBSD Foundation as they search for new ideas on how to improve the powerful FreeBSD operating system. We also talk about a company which is switching to Linux and taking open source into the final frontier. Later in this issue we will cover the releases, podcasts and newsletters of the past week and look ahead to exciting new releases to come. We wish you all a pleasant week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Exploring Linux Mint's "Debian" edition
Linux Mint is a project which is probably best known for taking the Ubuntu distribution and altering the graphical interface in order to appeal to desktop users. Mint combines traditional desktop environments with a collection of convenient end-user utilities to create a distribution which is beginner friendly. While most of Mint's editions are based upon the Ubuntu distribution there is a branch of the Mint project which combines Mint's practical desktop approach with a Debian GNU/Linux base. This Debian-based flavour of Mint uses software packages from Debian's Testing branch. To counter the potential stability problems caused by using a rolling release repository the Mint team maintains a series of upgrade packs which are tested prior to being released to the community. This places a safety valve between possible software regressions and the community of Mint users.
Linux Mint's "Debian" edition is offered in two desktop flavours, MATE and Cinnamon, and both offerings are available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The download images for each build are approximately 1.2GB in size. Some of the highlights of the latest release include an updated graphical installer, newer versions of most packages and a device driver manager. The device driver manager attempts to detect hardware which may not be supported by default and assists users in downloading the software required to support their hardware. The Mint website makes it clear that while Mint's Debian Edition looks and behaves in a similar fashion to Mint's Main Edition there are some important differences. The Debian-based and the Ubuntu-based flavours are not binary compatible with each other and the Debian branch of the project does not include support for EFI or Secure Boot technology.
I opted to download the 32-bit build of the MATE edition. Booting from the Mint disc brings up the MATE desktop with Mint's branding in the background. Icons sit on the desktop for navigating the file system and launching the system installer. At the bottom of the screen we find the application menu and the task switcher. The application menu is displayed using Mint's custom menu layout. This menu gives us an all-in-one approach to exploring the MATE environment as applications, system tools and file system places are all displayed together in the single menu. At the bottom of the menu is a search box which lets us locate menu items by name. I always find adjusting to the way the Mint menu works takes a while as the menu system is presented in a slightly different way from other application menus. However, once I get used to it, I find the Mint menu is convenient and pleasant to navigate.
Linux Mint 201303 "Debian" - the application menu and installer
(full image size: 253kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The system installer for Linux Mint's Debian edition is a graphical application. The installer is a custom application developed by the Mint team and it appears to be designed to look similar to Ubuntu's installer. We are walked through selecting our preferred language and then asked to select our time zone from a map of the world. We confirm our keyboard layout and there is a text box on the keyboard mapping screen to let us test our configuration. The next screen asks us to create a user account. Partitioning the hard drive is handled by GParted which can be launched from within the Mint installer. Once we have divided up the hard disk we can assign mount points to our partitions. We then have the option of installing the GRUB boot loader and we can specify the boot loader's location. The installer pauses to show us a summary of actions it will take and we are asked to confirm the settings we have provided. The installer then copies files to the local drive and, when it is finished, it offers to reboot the machine for us. The installer is fairly novice-friendly and I didn't encounter any problems while using it. I'm hoping other Debian-based distributions consider adopting Mint's installer. There are a lot of Debian derivative projects out there and many of them lack a nice, graphical installer.
Upon booting the locally installed copy of Linux Mint we are brought to a graphical login screen. The first time we sign in we are shown a welcome screen. This welcome window contains many links which will open a web browser and connect us with key parts of the Mint website. We can use the welcome screen to quickly reach the project's forum, documentation, the community website and the hardware database, among other pages. Shortly after logging in an icon appeared in the system tray letting me know software updates were available for the system. Clicking this icon opens the Mint update application. The update app shows us a list of packages which can be upgraded. The information shown includes the package's name, the package's size, the version we currently have installed and the latest version available in the repositories. Throughout the week I installed several updates and encountered no problems with the upgrade process.
Linux Mint comes with a useful collection of popular applications. Browsing through the application menu we find the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client, the Pidgin instant messenger software and the XChat IRC chat client. The Transmission bittorrent client is installed for us along with a PDF viewer, the LibreOffice suite and the GNU Image Manipulation Program. The Brasero disc burner is installed for us as is the Banshee audio player and the Totem video player. Mint comes with several administration utilities which assist us in configuring the firewall, adding or removing user accounts, managing printers and creating backups. Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. There is a useful little app for uploading files via a drag-n-drop interface which will copy files to remote FTP or secure shell servers. There is an application for profiling the system, getting hardware information and running benchmarks. There are small apps for editing text files, working with archives and taking notes. Mint Debian Edition comes with the GNU Compiler Collection, the Flash web browser plugin and codecs for playing popular multimedia formats. Under it all sits the Linux kernel, version 3.2.
Linux Mint 201303 "Debian" - Control Center
(full image size: 138kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
One application which I feel deserves special mention is the Device Driver Manager. This program attempts to detect hardware on our system which may not be well supported by our existing kernel or drivers. The Manager will assist us in detecting wireless cards, video cards and our CPU and offer to fetch packages which may give us better hardware support. For instance, the 32-bit build of Mint Debian Edition can use one of two kernels. The first is designed to work with 486-compatible machines and has no PAE or multicore support. The other is a 686-compatible kernel with both PAE and SMP support. I found the 486 version of the kernel was installed by default, but the Device Driver Manager properly detected that my CPU could work with the 686 version of the kernel and benefit from its additional features. With a button click the manager downloaded and installed the more appropriate kernel. I like this approach as it means Mint is taking the safer, more conservative option by default while making it easy for users to upgrade to a kernel which better fits their needs.
Linux Mint 201303 "Debian" - Device Driver Manager
(full image size: 192kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The distribution comes with two graphical package managers. The first is Mint Install, a modern-looking application which allows users to browse categories of software navigating via a web-like interface. Applications are presented in lists and are displayed with their user-supplied rating. Clicking on a package brings up a screen which shows a detailed description of the package, a screen shot and user reviews. Software packages can be installed or removed with the click of a button and the user can continue to browse for additional software while Mint Install processes requests in the background. I found Mint Install to be a responsive and easy to use package manager. The second package manager is Synaptic, which will appeal to the more traditional crowd. Synaptic is a no nonsense package manager which allows users to create batch jobs of actions to be performed. The interface is a bit more complex while giving a more package-oriented view of the system compared with Mint Install's application-centric view of the operating system. I used both graphical front-ends and found they both performed well and I encountered no problems while using either one.
Linux Mint 201303 "Debian" - software management
(full image size: 234kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
I tried running Linux Mint on two machines, my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 4 GB of RAM, Intel video card, Intel wireless card) and on a desktop machine (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card). I found Mint ran well on the laptop. Boot times were short, my screen was set to its maximum resolution and wireless networking worked out of the box. Sound worked and the desktop was very responsive. On the other hand, Mint's Debian Edition refused to boot on my desktop machine, an issue I wasn't able to resolve. In addition to these two test environments I ran Mint inside VirtualBox and found the distribution worked well in the virtual machine. In the virtual environment Mint still had short boot times, the desktop was quick to respond and I encountered no problems. Memory usage was generally low, typically between 160 MB and 190 MB when logged into the MATE desktop.
Running Linux Mint's "Debian" edition was a very pleasant experience for me. While the distribution wouldn't run on my desktop machine, it performed flawlessly on the laptop. The MATE desktop which ships with Mint is fast, polished and easy to navigate. Package management is both intuitive and quick and the various Mint configuration utilities make administering a Mint desktop quite easy. A good deal of software is included out of the box and there is a huge repository of Debian packages available along with some third-party software provided by the Mint team. Having a distribution based on Debian's Testing repository gives the user a relatively stable rolling release experience with the added benefit of having major upgrades vetted by the Mint team.
All in all Mint's Debian branch offers a pleasant experience with a friendly graphical installer, useful tools and lots of software all in a convenient package. The one detractor Mint's Debian Edition may have is, oddly enough, Mint's own Main Edition. While the Debian branch of Mint is a fine distribution its technology base prevents users from having access to certain helpful features available in other Mint editions. For example Mint's Debian Edition isn't able to use Ubuntu PPAs, it is missing some third-party software packages built for Ubuntu, and One storage & store support is missing. It would also appear as though the kernel which ships with Mint's Debian Edition doesn't have all the hardware support available in the Main Edition. These features tend to be edge cases and many people will probably get along fine without them, but I still suspect the strongest competitors to Mint Debian Edition are Mint's other flavours.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu vs openSUSE, the FreeBSD Foundation calls for project ideas, PC-BSD rolling-release update, Linux prepares for blastoff
The diversity of the Linux ecosystem gives birth to a lot of speculation and debate as to which distribution is the best and, more importantly, best for what purpose. Matt Harley recently set out to compare two popular distributions, openSUSE and Ubuntu, and explore what makes these two distributions attractive to different types of users. He discusses user friendliness, configuration, hardware support and software management among other points. He suggests: "For newer users, Ubuntu is still the best distribution choice overall. There's less stuff to get lost with, discovering new software is easier, and keeping the system in good working order is a no-brainer." Fans of openSUSE will appreciate his closing comment: "If you're an advanced user, you'll want openSUSE. For anyone who has a firm understanding of how the Linux desktop works, wants to get things done quickly and wants a ton of GUI control over their desktop, openSUSE is the distribution you will want to use. I can't state this enough."
* * * * *
Many open source projects are made up of volunteers, people who work on software in their spare time for fun, out of curiosity or in order to improve the tools they use on a daily basis. The FreeBSD Foundation would like to give developers the opportunity to work on the FreeBSD operating system for all of those reasons and, possibly, get paid for their work. The Foundation is currently accepting proposals for projects which would be of benefit to the FreeBSD community. Development projects which are accepted by the Foundation will be able to receive funding in order to compensate developers for their time and expenses. Proposals will be accepted through to April 26, 2013 and accepted submissions will be announced on May 17, 2013.
* * * * *
The PC-BSDi project has recently adopted an optional rolling-release approach to package management for users who wish to keep up-to-date with the latest available open-source software. This new rolling-release approach introduces binary package management to PC-BSD which works much the same way as binary package management on most Linux distributions. As PC-BSD is completely compatible with FreeBSD and TrueOS this means that users of all three projects will be able to make use of the new package repositories. The PC-BSD blog reports: "This package repository is frequently updated, usually bi-weekly, with the latest and greatest from the FreeBSD ports tree. We will be using this repository for the PC-BSD rolling release edition, but it can also be used anywhere else you need packages on a PC-BSD or FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE system. This can include FreeBSD, TrueOS, PC-BSD, Jails and more. Getting setup to use this new repository is easy, and only requires minimal configuration." For instructions on how to access the new repositories on FreeBSD, PC-BSD and TrueOS visit the PC-BSD wiki.
* * * * *
Linux based operating systems have achieved great success in many markets. The open-source kernel powers operating systems running on millions servers, desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Now Linux will be voyaging into a new frontier: space. United Space Alliance, a NASA contractor which is involved with operations on the International Space Station (ISS), is migrating many of their key systems from Windows to Linux. This migration to open source includes the world's first "robonaut", a humanoid robot which will assist astronauts on the space station with mundane or dangerous tasks. The robot, named R2: "can be manipulated by onboard astronauts with ground controllers commanding it into position and performing operations. The Linux training from the Linux Foundation will help NASA developers ensure that R2 can be a productive addition to the ISS." This move not only expands Linux's influence out of this world, but will also provide feedback to the community as Linux distributions get tested in a new and challenging environment. It is an exciting new chapter in Linux use and development.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Comparing file systems -- ZFS and Btrfs
Looking-for-a-new-file-system asks: With ZFS support on Linux reaching a new milestone which is the better choice for Linux users, Btrfs or ZFS? Why might I choose one over the other?
DistroWatch answers: A good deal of what separates the two file systems, Btrfs and ZFS, has less to do with technical merit and more to do with communities and licensing. I suspect many people make their decision as to which file system technology to use based on which community they are in rather than the benefits of using one advanced file system or the other. Which isn't to say the choice is entirely political, but rather different communities will have better (or worse) support for one technology or the other.
ZFS first appeared in OpenSolaris back in 2005 and was licensed under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL). This fairly liberal licensing allowed ZFS technology to spread from OpenSolaris to FreeBSD, OS X, PC-BSD, FreeNAS, NetBSD, OpenIndiana and other liberally licensed operating systems. The technology has had seven years to mature, developers have had time to shake out the bugs and just about anywhere you go in the Solaris/BSD communities you can find ZFS support and documentation. However, ZFS support hasn't gained as much of a foothold in Linux circles because the CDDL, under which ZFS is licensed, isn't entirely compatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL) which is used by the Linux kernel. This means the source code for ZFS cannot be merged with the Linux kernel and distributed. Instead Linux distributions need to find another way to support ZFS, either using add-on kernel modules (as supplied by the ZFS on Linux project) or they can supply a ZFS userspace driver. Neither solution is ideal and it tends to make Linux administrators uneasy about adopting ZFS.
Btrfs, on the other hand, was developed specifically to work with Linux and is licensed under the GNU General Public License. Both the origin of Btrfs and its license suggest it is unlikely to see wide spread usage outside of the Linux communities. At the same time the fact that Btrfs was designed to work specifically with the Linux kernel meant that it could be adopted into the Linux source code early on in its development and lots of people have been able to work on Btrfs without worrying about changes to the kernel's interfaces which might cause incompatibilities. Having Btrfs built into the kernel makes it a more attractive file system for Linux distributions which means we are more likely to find support for Btrfs in Linux installers and in the documentation of various distributions. One of the few drawbacks to adopting Btrfs on Linux at this stage is Btrfs is still fairly young. The technology was introduced into the Linux kernel in 2009 and the code is still under "heavy development", which means it's risky to use Btrfs on production systems. Choosing to use either ZFS or Btrfs on Linux carries a small amount of risk as ZFS is rarely given official support by distributions and Btrfs is still developing fast enough so most distributions aren't ready to treat it as a first-class file system.
On the technical side of things both Btrfs and ZFS have a good deal in common. They both allow administrators to manage huge amounts of data spread out across multiple storage devices. Both file systems allow for snapshots, restores and transferring the complex file system to another machine. For many people the features offered by either file system will be suitable. There are some differences which may tip the balance in favour of one technology or the other. For instance Btrfs is compatible with the ext4 family of file systems. This means we can convert an ext4 file system to Btrfs and then convert Btrfs back to ext4. This makes it easy to experiment with Btrfs or grow a Btrfs implementation out of an existing Linux installation. As mentioned earlier ZFS has gained widespread usage on other platforms and administrators should be able to export ZFS pools from other operating systems to Linux or from Linux to another operating system, which can be convenient. Btrfs has a really nice "diff" feature which allows users to compare the contents of a file as it currently exists against the contents of a previous version of the file. This is especially ideal for developers as they can track changes to code or documentation using the file system's snapshots. In my opinion the ZFS command line utilities have a nicer syntax and I find the manual pages easier to read.
I think the issue of which technology to use comes down to this question: Do you want to use a file system which has been around long enough to become stable and work consistently across multiple operating systems, or do you want a younger technology which is specific to Linux and will likely receive support from your distribution? Personally I would recommend trying both file systems on a test machine, load them up with data, make snapshots, perform restores, intentionally attempt to corrupt the data and then try to rescue the file system. See which technology you feel is best suited to your situation.
|Released Last Week
Slackel 3.0 "Openbox"
Less than two weeks since the release of 2.0, the developers of Slackel, a lightweight Slackware-based distribution, have announced the release of version 3.0: "Slackel 3.0 Openbox has been released. Slackel is based on Slackware Linux and Salix OS. This is an update release. Changes are: Linux kernel 3.4.8 and lots of updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree. Slackel 3.0 Openbox includes the Midori 0.4.9 web browser, Claws-Mail 3.8.1, Transmission, SpaceFM, OpenJRE 7u9, Rhino, Icedtea-web, Pidgin, gFTP, wicd. AbiWord, Gnumeric and ePDFviewer office applications are included. Whaawmp is the default movie player, Exaile 3.3.0 is the application to use for managing your music collection, Asunder CD ripper, Brasero for writing CD/DVDs and more. In the graphics section Viewnior 1.3, GIMP 2.8.4 and Scrot the snapshot utility." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshot.
Patrick d'Emmabuntüs has announced the availability of an updated version of Emmabuntüs, a Xubuntu-based distribution with the Xfce desktop and a large number of pre-installed applications: "The Collective Emmabuntüs is pleased to announce the availability of the third maintenance release of Emmabuntüs 2 1.04 based on Xubuntu 12.04.2. This distribution was designed to facilitate the refurbishing of computers given to humanitarian organizations, especially Emmaüs communities (where the name comes from), and to promote the discovery of Linux by beginners, but also to extend the life of the equipment and to reduce waste caused by over-consumption of raw materials. This update is delivered to improve the use of Emmabuntüs 2 in digital public spaces, and in organizations using Emmabuntüs." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Pear Linux 7
David Tavares has announced the release of Pear Linux 7, a highly customised Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution with GNOME 3.6: "Pear Linux 7 is available. You will find in this version: Linux kernel 3.5, LibreOffice 4.0.1, Pear OS software center, MyPear 4, Pear Cleaner 2.1; based on Ubuntu 12.10 without Unity and the GNOME panel; new Pear Linux Shell (7.0) based on Wingpanel and plank; new Pear Linux and icon theme, splash and login screen; new desktop notifications with notification center; new Pear OS software center; new mission control; new virtual desktop switcher; based on Linux kernel 3.5, but you kernels 3.7.10 and 3.8.5 are available in the repository; CleanMyPear - a cleaning system...." See the full release announcement for further information and screenshots.
Pear Linux 7 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with a custom GNOME 3 desktop user interface
(full image size: 1,376kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Roberto Dohnert has announced the release of OS4 13.4, an updated release of the user-friendly, Xubuntu-based Linux distribution: "Today we are pleased to announce the release of OS4 OpenDesktop 13.4. With this releases we bring in a lot of updates as well as some new functionality to enhance one of the most popular Linux distributions around. OS4 OpenDesktop 13.4 comes in a 32-bit release as well as 64-bit release. Since the 32-bit release is still somewhat popular we decided to keep producing the 32-bit release. With this release we bring in over 200 updates to applications and as well as the core system. With this release we include: Linux kernel 3.2 which provides new drivers as well as stability enhancements to the kernel; Firefox 20.0; Thunderbird 17.0.4; Google Maps replacing Nokia Maps...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Around The Web (by Jesse Smith)
* * * * *
* * * * *
|DistroWatch.com News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Random distribution button, new news filtering option, questions about Pisi Linux and Ubuntu GNOME|
Just a couple of notes about some of the recent changes on DistroWatch.com. Firstly, as many correctly concluded (although some did not), last week's news about removing most of the distributions from the DistroWatch database was indeed an April Fool's joke.
Secondly, many of you have noticed a new addition to the site's navigation bar - a "Random Distribution" button. This was requested by Ryan, a devote DistroWatch reader and distro hopper: "I love to go on DistroWatch to find new distros to use in VirtualBox and to put on old computers, but I have one problem. Well, it's not very much a problem, but it's something I wish there was. I wish there was a button you could press to take you to a random active distribution, because I get very lost in there sometimes.". The new button does exactly that - it will take you to a random active distribution's page on DistroWatch. So far the "toy" has been very popular - it received over 32,000 clicks in the first five days of its existence!
Another addition to the front page is an option to display news about stable distribution releases ONLY (i.e. hide all news items that deal with development, alphas, betas, release candidate, milestones, etc.). This is useful when you are researching a popular distribution or want to look up information about an older release - now you don't need to wade through dozens of development news items to find what you are looking for. Just choose "Release: Stable" from the drop-down box in the News Filtering Options rectangle (just above the first news item on the main page).
We have removed Pisi Linux from DistroWatch. This is a distribution that intends to succeed the "old" Pardus Linux (when it was an independent distribution with its own package management called "Pisi", rather than the current Debian-based variant). Unfortunately, we have found the project still rather immature at this stage - it has changed name three times already and the communication with the distribution developers have been rather unpleasant, with many conflicting requests and confusing emails. Also, the project's SourceForge page continues to claim that "as of 2013-03-14, this project is no longer under active development," which has been denied by the project's official website. All in all, adding Pisi Linux to DistroWatch so early was perhaps a little premature so we would like to give it a bit more time to mature and settle down. We'll revisit the decision in the future once things start to improve - until that happens we are sorry to say that you won't see any announcements on DistroWatch. If you are interested in this project please visit their official English-language website for news and information.
Finally, an answer to questions by a number of readers who wanted to know why the new Ubuntu GNOME (an official Ubuntu subproject featuring GNOME Shell, rather than Unity as the default user interface) had not been added to DistroWatch. The reason is that, unlike other Ubuntu subprojects, including the recently-added UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu GNOME doesn't have its own project infrastructure (web site, logo, support options, etc.). On DistroWatch, such a distro is considered an "edition" of its parent, rather than a distribution in its own right. Yes, it's an arbitrary rule, but we had to draw a line somewhere because periodically there are calls to list even editions (e.g. Linux Mint "Debian" edition and many others) as separate distributions. As always, there will be opposing views on this issue and since it's not possible to please everybody, we'll have a-distro-must-have-its-website rule. Good news for those who wish to see Ubuntu GNOME listed as a "distribution" (and bad news for those who don't) - the project's leaders tell us that they are planning to set up their own website in the near future.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- MakuluLinux. MakuluLinux is a custom Linux Mint remix which features multiple desktop environments, multimedia codecs, WINE's compatibility layer and Steam.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 15 April 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 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|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 126.96.36.199, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• 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 or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Freespire was once a community-run Linux distribution sponsored by Linspire. Freespire was discontinued in 2008. Starting in 2017 Freespire became a free operating system based on Ubuntu and run by PC/OpenSystems LLC. Freespire features the Xfce desktop environment.