| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 520, 12 August 2013
Welcome to this year's 32nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Exciting developments are brewing in the open source community. This past week WeWi unveiled a new laptop computer featuring solar panels to charge the machine's battery. The new device, which runs the Ubuntu distribution as the default operating system, is designed to work in areas where the electrical infrastructure is unreliable. Meanwhile, the Xubuntu project tackles the question as to whether the distribution should follow Canonical's example and use the new Mir graphics technology, adopt the competing Wayland protocol or stick with tried-and-true Xorg. In other news, OS/4 announces plans to make Solaris binaries run on Linux and the FreeBSD Foundation looks back on important events which have occurred in the FreeBSD community over the past six months. Also in this week's issue Jesse Smith shares his first impressions of Salix's KDE edition. Salix has its roots in Slackware, but how does it compare with its parent? Read on to find out! We will also talk about how to deal with a common problem: keeping track of the dozens of passwords we need for forums, bank accounts and e-mail. Plus we summarize the distribution releases of the past week and look at the schedule of upcoming releases. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE" edition
The Salix distribution is designed to be a small, fast operating system based on the Slackware operating system. In fact, Salix strives to maintain binary compatibility with Slackware so that packages may be shared between the two projects. Salix attempts to provide users with a clean design which features one dedicated application per task. The Salix distribution also features a package manager which handles software dependencies, giving it (in my eyes at least) an advantage over Slackware. Looking at the release notes for Salix 14.0.1 we find the project is available in several editions, including KDE, MATE, Xfce and LXDE. Each of these editions is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds. The 32-bit builds, we are warned, no longer support machines which do not feature PAE-enabled processors. We are also told the 32-bit build requires machines with i686-compatible processors, the older i486 architecture is no longer supported.
Salix OS 14.0.1 -- Running multimedia applications
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I opted to try the KDE edition of Salix which comes with the KDE 4.8 desktop. The KDE edition includes a new feature, the QupZilla web browser. The 32-bit build of this Salix edition was available as a 930MB download. At the time of writing only installation media is available and it appears as though live CDs for demo and testing purposes will be made available later. Booting from the installation media walks us through several text-based screens which gather our preferences for the system installer. We're first asked to confirm our keyboard's layout and then asked to partition the hard drive. To perform the partitioning we're given the cfdisk disk partitioning utility. Once the disk has been carved up we are asked to select one of the partitions to be used as swap space and another to be used for our root partition. We can also choose which file system to use on the root partition, with ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS, ReiserFS and XFS provided as options. The installer will let us gather the package files we need to perform the installation from a variety of locations, including network shares, FTP servers, a local hard disk or a DVD. From there we are asked if we would like to perform a full install (which copies all the packages from the DVD to the local hard disk), a basic installation (which gives us a minimal graphical desktop) or we can perform a "core" installation (which gives us just enough software for a command line experience). I decided to proceed with a full installation. We are then asked if we would like to install the LILO boot loader and, if so, where it should be installed. The installer continues by asking us which time zone we are in, which language we want to use as the system default and what, if any, kernel parameters are required to boot the operating system. The process wraps up by asking us to set a password on the root account and, optionally, creating a regular user account. There are a lot of steps and some of them will be intimidating to new users, indicating Salix is better suited to intermediate and advanced Linux users.
The first time through I attempted to install Salix with the Btrfs file system and I suspect this is what caused me problems. Once the installation completed I was unable to boot the system, or even get to a boot loader menu. I went back and ran through the installation process again, taking the default partitioning options which make use of XFS for the root file system instead of Btrfs. Otherwise my settings were the same and, upon rebooting the machine, Salix ran without any problems. Booting into Salix we are brought to a graphical login screen and, upon signing in, we are presented with the KDE desktop, version 4.8. The background is a bright blue and, on the desktop, we find icons for accessing the project's website and IRC chat room. An application menu and task switcher sit at the bottom of the display.
The Salix distribution comes with quite a collection of software and many of the applications which are included with the KDE edition are related to either KDE or the Qt framework it is based on. We're provided with the QupZilla web browser and Adobe's Flash plugin. The menu also contains the KTorrent bittorrent client and KMail for working with e-mail. We're given the Kopete instant messenger client, the Blogilo blogging software and the Calligra productivity suite. Many other applications are available, such as the KolourPaint drawing program, the Okular document viewer and the Marble virtual globe. There are a few remote desktop applications and the Qt4 Designer app is included for developers. The k3b disc burning software is provided for us along with the Bangarang video player and Clementine music player. Codecs for playing multimedia are not included out of the box, but there is a menu item called "Install multimedia codecs" which, as the name suggests, downloads codecs for playing most popular media formats. To help us get on-line the Wicd network configuration app is included and the KPPP dial-up software is available for mobile and dial-up networking. Salix provides us with KInfoCentre which helps us gather information on our system and its hardware. Configuration apps are available to help us manage users & groups and enable/disable system services. The distribution also comes with apps for managing file archives, working with encryption, taking notes and editing text files. The KDE desktop comes with the KDE System Settings panel which gives us fine-grained control over the look and performance of the graphical interface. Digging deeper we find Java and the GNU Compiler Collection are available to users. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.2.
Salix OS 14.0.1 -- Changing desktop settings
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Salix uses a program called Gslapt for package management. This program has a fairly simple graphical interface. The top half of the application window shows us an alphabetical list of packages available in the distribution's repositories. At the bottom of the screen we are shown information on the currently highlighted item. We can click on packages to add or remove them. Gslapt can also handle package upgrades and we can choose to apply all available updates with the click of a button. I found that Salix wouldn't automatically tell me when software upgrades were available, it seems users are expected to check periodically. Gslapt allows us to search for packages based on their name or their description and I found the package manager worked quite quickly. While Gslapt isn't pretty, it is efficient and effective and I encountered no problems while using this graphical package manager.
Salix OS 14.0.1 -- Managing software packages with Gslapt
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I ran Salix on a desktop machine (dual-core 2.8GHz CPU, 6GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and found the distribution performed fairly well. The system was fast to boot up and performed tasks quickly, once KDE's desktop indexing and visual effects were disabled. Sound worked out of the box and the system automatically connected to the local network. I did find my screen didn't automatically get set to my monitor's maximum resolution, but this was easily fixed through the user-friendly KDE System Settings panel. With the default settings I found the KDE edition of Salix used approximately 300MB of RAM and, when desktop indexing was disabled, the system used approximately 260MB. This is a touch heavier than I would typically expect from a distribution running KDE, but not drastically so.
I'm not quite sure how I would rate my time with Salix. On the one hand, apart from the problem of getting the distribution to boot with Btrfs, my experiences with Salix were pleasantly bug-free. The distribution runs quickly, it has short boot times, the package manager worked well and the operating system comes with lots of useful applications. I like that the system installer is flexible and that the distribution tries to stay out of the way. There are no annoying pop-ups or distractions. On the other hand, there were aspects of the distribution which left me feeling like something was missing. Or maybe it might be more accurate to say running Salix felt like a step into the past in some ways. The distribution keeps things simple from a design perspective and this means the user is sometimes faced with more primitive-seeming tools and manual work. The system installer, for example, is powerful yet text-based and some of its menus, such as the language selection screen, appear to be designed with more experienced users in mind. The package manager is capable, but takes a very basic approach to working with software. Sometimes the system as a whole felt more like a collection of applications rather than a refined design. When using projects like openSUSE, Ubuntu or Mint I get the impression there is a unified design at work, there is a sense of components fitting together, working together. With Salix things felt more vanilla, as though packages had been assembled and provided without a sense that they were part of a greater whole.
Perhaps that isn't entirely fair. Salix certainly worked well for me and it comes with a lot of useful software (with more powerful applications in the repositories). It feels like a stable and efficient operating system. Everything I needed was provided and Salix certainly feels complete. Yet, somehow, I felt slightly awkward running the distribution, as though the currents of my work didn't flow as smoothly with Salix as it might with another distribution. Maybe it was just because I was using Calligra instead of LibreOffice or Clementine instead of Rhythmbox, little style choices I would get used to over time. All in all, I think what my experience comes down to is Salix is a capable and powerful distribution. It is a bit conservative and I think it will appeal almost exclusively to people who like Slackware, but who secretly crave software dependency resolution.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Xubuntu experiments with XMir, Ubuntu featured on solar-powered laptops, changes to OS/4
Last week we mentioned the Kubuntu distribution will not be adopting Canonical's new Mir graphics technology, with the developers deciding instead to stick with X for now with an eventual move to Wayland at a later date. The Xubuntu project, on the other hand, is seriously considering a move to Mir, but the developers wish to test the technology first. In a post to the Xubuntu developer mailing list Bruno Benitez wrote, "We need to understand how our system will behave under XMir in order to make the decision later this month whether to move our standard ISO from X.Org to XMir." People interested in trying XMir on Xubuntu can find test images and instructions for working with the XMir technology on this page.
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Some of the most interesting news to surface this past week was word that a Canadian firm, WeWi, was working on a solar-powered laptop which could be deployed in Ghana, followed by other locations. The laptop, which features long battery life, a small price tag and solar panels, is expected to ship with Ubuntu as the default operating system. The laptop, called the SOL, is expected to ship with conservative specs which will allow the operator to run on battery power for a surprising eight to ten hours. WeWi's founder, David Snir, claims the machine's solar panels will recharge the laptop's depleted battery in two hours and make the device ideal for regions where the electrical power grid is unreliable. While not a high-specification machine, Snir says, "It's not an amazing computer, but for people who are just getting into computing, using web tools or word processors, it's absolutely perfect. For the price, we've managed to really package a nice computer - especially with the four solar panels, which are expensive."
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On Wednesday the OS/4 project announced some exciting new changes to its Enterprise platform. Perhaps the most interesting development is the project's commitment to getting Solaris modules to work on Linux. "A tool is used in ZFS for Linux that allows you to use Solaris modules in Linux. We have expanded that so you will be able to run Solaris binaries under OS/4 Enterprise Linux. These binaries will require little to no modification of code in order to run. As we get closer to launch in December we hope to have a list of compatible applications so it's not so hit and miss." The announcement goes on to say KDE will be replacing Xfce, by popular request, as the default desktop in the Enterprise edition of OS/4.
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The FreeBSD Foundation released its semi-annual newsletter this past week. In it the Foundation discussed upcoming BSD-related events, current projects being worked on (including UEFI support) and improvements to FreeBSD's documentation infrastructure. The newsletter also talks a good deal about fund raising and changes which have been made in their approach. It is encouraging to see that, due to the Foundation's new attitude toward fund raising, they have collected over $365,000 so far this year, about six times more than was raised by this time last year. The newsletter acknowledges that more companies appear to be developing solutions based on FreeBSD and this is creating positive developments for the project.
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OpenMandriva is a community distribution grown from the Mandriva project. A recent discussion between community member Nicolas Pomarèd and developer Bernhard Rozenkränzer gives us some insight into the OpenMandriva development and testing process. The exchange covers the distribution's release schedule, issues which are blocking the next release and the number of beta and release candidate builds the project plans to create. It is an interesting and open look at an open source project in progress and the issues developers face when pushing out software to a large number of users. Bernhard Rozenkränzer comments, "Cooker is usable and in pretty good shape. It is still difficult to have any precise schedules -- and this is unlikely to change anytime soon, there's simply no way to guarantee some delivery date if the number of contributors is small enough for 1 "missing person" to matter, and there's 0 guaranteed availability. We're a community project now -- with all the advantages it brings, but also the few disadvantages it brings (no full-time developers with guaranteed availability)."
|Question and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Managing many passwords easily
Lately I have been getting more worried about protecting my on-line identities and I'm wondering about how to choose a good password that'll be easy to remember. Any tips on creating complex passwords that are easy to keep straight?
The easiest solution is probably to install a password manager on your system. A good password manager will help you keep track of your user names, the websites or accounts associated with those user names and even generate complex passwords for you. Some password managers also make it fairly easy to synchronize your login credentials across multiple computers. The beauty of a password manager is we only need to remember one password (the one for the manager itself) and the application remembers all of our many other passwords.
One such application is called KeePass and it is the Swiss army knife of password managers. It allows for flexible account management, lets us sort accounts into categories based on their type/location and supports strong encryption. KeePass also makes it easy to generate complex passwords of varying length. In additional, it is possible to export our database of passwords to another machine for synchronization or backup purposes. KeePass will do some other nice things for us, such as copy our account name or password to the system's clipboard so that we can simply paste our credentials into another application. The KeePass manager makes it as easy as possible to store many passwords and retrieve them just by remembering one pass-phrase.
KeePass 2.18 -- Browsing account credentials
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Besides KeePass there are other password managers out there, some of them with interfaces that are more novice friendly. The Revelation password manager, for example, may be less intimidating to new users when compared next to KeePass. Regardless of which password manager you use, make sure to do two things. The first is to maintain backups of your password database. This is generally as simple as telling the password manager to export the database and then copying the exported file to another hard drive. The other important thing is to make sure you do not forget the password which unlocks the password manager. You might end up writing down the password or picking something easy to remember, but whatever method you use it's important to know the master password, otherwise you won't be able to access your many saved passwords stored by the application.
|Released Last Week
IPFire 2.13 Core 71
IPFire 2.13 Core 71, the latest stable release of a hardened firewall distribution offering corporate-level network protection, has been released: "This update comes with some new features and minor bug fixes. It is now possible to assign a wireless adapter as the RED interface. A GUI has been written where you can configure wireless access points, to which the IPFire system will connect when in reach. You will be able to configure backup access points, to which IPFire will switch when the first one is down or out of reach. You can prioritize them, so that you can connect to the best one when ever that is possible. All common encryption technologies are supported. A new GUI has been written on which you are able to define different name servers than the public name servers for your DNS zones. The Intrusion Detection System (IDS) snort has been updated to version 2.9.5." Read the complete release announcement.
Linux Deepin 12.12.1
Linux Deepin is the leading community distribution from China featuring the Deepin Desktop Environment based on GNOME Shell. Linux Deepin 12.12.1 was announced today as an enhancement (and also a bug-fix) of the previous 12.12 release. New functions include the deepin-notifications plugin for the desktop, where users can check the notifications sent by utilities or the OS. As an important component of the desktop, Deepin System Settings now supports wallpaper selection via the personalization module and automatic login via the accounts configuration module. The Software Center has been upgraded for more convenient software installation/uninstallation. The dmusic-plugin-baidumusic plugin has been developed for better online music experience. Last but not least, the Deepin team has been maintaining a weekly archive on recommended applications. Read the full release announcement (in Chinese) for further information including screenshots.
SparkyLinux 3.0 "GameOver"
SparkyLinux 3.0 "GameOver" edition, a lightweight, fast, and simple Linux distribution designed for both old and new computers, has been released: "'GameOver' 3.0 is built on SparkyLinux 3.0 'Annagerman' and compatible with the 'testing' branch of Debian GNU/Linux 'Jessie'. Sparky 3.0 'GameOver' features Linux kernel 3.9.8-1; all packages updated from Debian testing repositories as of 2013/08/02; sparky-installer bug has been fixed; added new tools: blueman, ddm, disk-manager, dropbox client, gponting-device-settings, hardinfo, htop, joystick, jstest-gtk, lxtask, matchbox-keyboard, rcconf, uget; added new games: blobby, blockout2, brainparty, chromium-bsu, flare, funnyboat, lbreakout2, ltris, minetest, pingus, smc (Secret Maryo Chronicles), teeworlds, tetzle, widelands...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information like how to log into the live system.
Sam Geeraerts has announced the third major release of gNewSense, a Debian-based Linux distribution built strictly from fully free software: "The stable release of gNewSense 3.0 is a fact. With the help of GNU Linux-libre and various other people helping to check and hack on freedom issues, we've been able to produce a new major version that aligns with the Free Software Foundation's freedom guidelines as well as Debian's quality standards. You'll find that the look has changed from previous releases, marking the change from Ubuntu to Debian as a base. We also support 3 architectures now: i386, amd64 and mipsel (Lemote Yeeloong)." Check the one sentence's announcement on the gNewSense homepage and the message from the project's mailing list.
gNewSense 3.0 -- The default GNOME desktop
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The standard desktop edition of Porteus 2.1, a Slackware-based mini-distribution with a choice of multiple desktops, has been released, along with the "Kiosk" edition: "Major additions since our 2.0 release include restructuring our layout to have standalone ISOs for five desktop environments (KDE 4, Razor-qt, MATE, Xfce and LXDE) and adding optional prepackaged modules for Google Chrome, Opera, LibreOffice, AbiWord, print/scan support and development software, all available through a new download interface that allows users to build and download customized ISO's. Additional modules (browsers, development, office, printing) and AMD/NVIDIA video drivers can also be found inside the 'modules' and 'drivers' folders." Read the full release announcement for both changelogs.
Tails 0.20, a Debian-based live system focusing on Internet privacy and anonymity, has been released: "Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 0.20, is out. All users must upgrade as soon as possible: this release fixes numerous security issues. New features: Install Linux kernel 3.10.3-1 from Debian unstable; Iceweasel 17.0.8esr + Torbrowser patches. Bugfixes: Prevent Iceweasel from displaying a warning when leaving HTTPS web sites; Make Iceweasel use the correct, localized search engine; Fix Git access to HTTPS repositories. Minor improvements: Install Dasher, a predictive text entry tool; Add a wrapper around TrueCrypt which displays a warning about it soon being deprecated in Tails... The next Tails release is scheduled for around September 19." Read the full release announcement.
elementary OS 0.2
Cassidy James has announced the release of elementary OS 0.2 (code name "Luna"), a single-CD Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a traditional desktop layout, a simplified file manager and the Midori web browser: "Typically a release article is focused on a few key points of a new product. We'd highlight the new features, problems solved, and encourage you download the latest version right away. But if you're reading this right now, chances are that you've been following along. You've read our beta 1 and beta 2 articles along with the miscellaneous application update articles as well as our updates on typography and icons. So instead of that song and dance, we're going to tell you our story." Read this long story (with screenshots and videos) announcing "Luna" to find out more.
Netrunner 13.06 "Stealth"
Clemens Toennies has announced the first prototype of Netrunner SE 13.06, where SE stands for the stealth edition of the Kubuntu-based desktop distribution. In this edition, certain software components have been replaced with their more secure counterparts. From the release announcement: "This version of Netrunner is shipped with privacy and security in mind. This means that you are able to use the Internet more securely and possibly circumvent censorship. You are able to encrypt E-Mail messages with GPG and chat securely with your friends via text, audio or video. You can encrypt files and folders or use an encrypted home partition. Netrunner SE 13.06 is built upon Netrunner 13.06 and comes with the following features and changes: Firefox with pre-configured Tor, FoxyProxy, HTTPs Everywhere and NoScript (surf anonymously, surf onion links, circumvent censorship); Thunderbird with Enigmail; Vidalia as Tor configuration tool; Pidgin with OTR support for encrypted text chats...." Here is also an introduction to the stealth edition.
Jon Tibble has announced the release of OpenIndiana oi_151a8, a new pre-stable build of the operating system originally forked from OpenSolaris (after Oracle's decision to discontinue the project). From the release notes: "OpenIndiana oi_151a_prestable8 aka oi_151a8 is a bug and security fix release with some big version bumps and also the first rebuild of the JDS in the pre-stable series. This is an ISO release. This release has changes to ZFS and kernel/libc interactions that mean child zones will not work with global zones upgraded to a8 until they are brought in sync to a8 themselves. Other changes: bump Illumos to hg:14087:9919574e3322 git:7256a34efe; backout sgml util removal for now; include beta vmxnet3s driver; bump Apache to 2.2.25; bump Autoconf to 2.69; bump BIND to 9.6-ESV-R9-P1; bump OpenLDAP to 2.4.35; bump OpenSSL to 0.9.8y; bump PHP to 5.2.17; bump Samba to 3.5.21; bump Wireshark to 1.8.8...."
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- TaraEllaCS. TaraEllaCS is a Linux distribution which attempts to create a friendly portal to a virtual world.
- Betryal. The main goal of Betryal Linux is to make an open source operating system which can be easily used by people living in the country of Hungary.
- SnowBird Linux. SnowBird Linux is a remix based on Fedora which has been developed to act as a replacement for Windows based desktops.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 19 August 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)
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 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Why was Virtual-Linux created? Well, I was pretty tired with the silly bootdisks you can download, plus I wanted to learn more about the Linux core. I then decided to build a ramdisk based system of my own, and after a while I ended up with a cdbased rescue system with a builtin firewall. Then, after having tested a few of the existing big cdbootable systems that were very slow and had very poor performance, a new project started to take shape in my mind. After some late nights investigating some existing soloutions, my own concept was born: 1. Use a commercial distribution as base (Mandrake Linux). 2. Implement as much as possible of the original functions without many hardware/memory requirements. 3. Put as much software as possible on one cd. 4. Make it easy to configure / Autodetect as much as possible. 5. Implement live filesystem compression. 6. Ramdisk Compression.