| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 532, 4 November 2013
Welcome to this year's 44th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Debian is well known as a conservative distribution and, as a result, the project tends not to make news headlines. However, there were a lot of things to talk about this past week in the Debian community, including whether Debian should change the way the distribution starts up and manages services. We cover recent Debian developments and debates in the News section below. This week Jesse Smith takes two of Debian's more famous children, Ubuntu and Kubuntu, for a spin and reports on his findings. Also in this edition of DistroWatch Weekly we cover openSUSE's new desktop features and the arrival of FreeBSD's new binary package manager. Plus we discuss ARM-powered technology and some resources people can use to combine the power of Linux with popular (and low cost) ARM devices. As usual we cover distribution releases of the past week and look forward to scheduled new releases on the horizon. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu 13.10 - meeting the Saucy Salamander
About two weeks ago Canonical released an updated version of Ubuntu. The new version, 13.10 "Saucy Salamander", was a relatively tame release as far as features go. The new Ubuntu comes with new "smart scopes" to help people find files, applications and on-line products through the Dash. This version of Ubuntu comes with a port to the 64-bit ARM architecture and there is an experimental phone/mobile version of the popular Linux distribution. Originally it was thought Ubuntu 13.10 would feature the new Mir display server, but the developers have opted for a more conservative approach and the distribution still ships with the traditional X display server. Mir, for those who are interested in trying it, can be found in the distribution's software repositories. Ubuntu 13.10 comes with a short nine months of security updates and no Windows installer (as was available in most previous versions). Apart from the aforementioned ARM and mobile ports, Ubuntu's Desktop edition can be downloaded in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. I opted to try the 32-bit build, the ISO for which is 895MB in size.
Booting from the Ubuntu disc brings up a graphical interface where we are asked if we would like to try running the distribution's live environment or if would we like to jump straight into the installation process. The Ubuntu system installer is, in my opinion, one of the nicer graphical installers in the Linux community. We are walked through guided or manual partitioning, and both approaches to carving the disk are quite intuitive. The system installer supports a wide variety of file systems for our disk partitions, letting users choose between ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS, XFS and LVM. Once we have divided the disk, the installer copies its files in the background while we confirm our time zone, select our keyboard's layout from a disk and create a user account. While we are creating the user account we have the option of encrypting the files in our home directory. The final page of the installer is, if I'm not mistaken, new and asks us to create a Single Sign-on account for Ubuntu One and other Ubuntu-related services. We have the ability to use an existing account or skip this step entirely if we do not wish to make use of Ubuntu's on-line services. Once the installer has finished copying its files we are prompted to reboot the machine.
I tried running Ubuntu 13.10 in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on my desktop box (dual-core 2.8GHz CPU, 6GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card). When running in the virtual environment, Ubuntu would boot to a command line prompt. From there I could sign in and manually run "startx" to access the Unity graphical interface. When running on physical hardware I was brought to a graphical login page where I could login to Unity.
Ubuntu 13.10 - Unity's Dash and Software Centre
(full image size: 523kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The Unity environment is an attempt to merge desktop workflows with mobile-style interfaces. Launch icons sit in a vertical column on the left side of the display. In the upper-left corner of the screen is a button for opening the Unity Dash, a place reserved for searching for applications, files and on-line content. Some people find the Unity desktop, with its focus on simplicity and its unified messaging system, intuitive. Others find it hampers their ability to multi-task. I'm not here to judge the design. What I will judge is Unity's performance. Within minutes it became obvious that I would not be able to use Unity for the duration of the day, let alone an entire week. In both the virtual machine and on my physical desktop Unity was painfully slow. Clicking on a button or typing a search into the Dash resulted in a delay of several seconds prior to the system responding. I could literally watch error messages slowly float into existence on the screen and closing pop-up messages took around five seconds. Any input resulted in a long delay before the interface would respond making the desktop hard to navigate. Unity tries to make use of 3-D visual effects and, when proper 3-D support is not offered by the video card (or its hardware drivers), then performance degrades in a hurry. Early versions of Unity shipped with a 2-D option which would let users access the Unity desktop without the performance draining visual effects, but that option has been dropped.
Since I wasn't able to make practical use of the Unity desktop my time with Ubuntu 13.10 was quite limited. In an effort to test drive the underlying technology available in the Ubuntu software repositories, I turned to a popular community project which is based on Ubuntu's software repositories: Kubuntu.
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The latest release of the Kubuntu distribution is also fairly tame in terms of features, but there are some key components and additions I feel are worth mentioning. The first is there are now commercial support offerings available to Kubuntu users via EmergeOpen. This is good news, especially for companies or non-profit organizations interested in deploying large Kubuntu installations. Also new with this release is a wireless network manager built into the Kubuntu system installer. This helps users get on-line and grab up-to-date packages when a wired network connection is not available. Kubuntu also comes with a new package manager, called Muon Discover. This new package manager brings a sleek interface to software management. Also worth mentioning are a new, simplified user account manager and an updated version of the KDE desktop -- Kubuntu ships with KDE 4.11.
The ISO file I downloaded for Kubuntu was approximately 1GB in size. Booting from this media image takes us through the same steps I experienced with the Ubuntu disc. The installer has the same steps, though it features a different theme. Where the Ubuntu system installer has rich, friendly colours, Kubuntu's version of the installer looks business-like and calm. The Kubuntu installer also features an additional screen which allows us to set up a wireless network connection. This connection allows the installer to download updated software, locate language packs and attempt to guess our time zone. The first time I tried to install Kubuntu I allowed the system installer to connect to the network and this resulted in the installation proceeding very slowly. It does not appear to be possible to skip downloading software repository information or language packs and it seems I was stuck with a slow mirror on Kubuntu's launch day. After about two hours the installer appeared to lock-up during its final stage and I was unable to proceed. I forced a reboot and found the Kubuntu operating system was not able to boot to a login prompt. I went back to square one and ran through the installation process again, this time with the network cable unplugged. Kubuntu installed inside twenty minutes without any problems and, upon rebooting the computer, Kubuntu brought me quickly to a graphical login screen.
On the login screen we are given the option of logging into our user account or logging into a guest account. The guest account has no password to protect it and is wiped clean after each use. It can be nice to have an account which is not protected by a password for when friends wish to borrow the computer, but it can also be a security hole. For this reason, Kubuntu provides an easy way to disable the guest account in the distribution's System Settings panel. When I first logged into Kubuntu I found the desktop was laid out in the traditional manner with the application menu, task switcher and system tray positioned at the bottom of the display. At first the system felt a little sluggish, but I found that once desktop effects, which are enabled by default, had been turned off the system was quick to respond.
Kubuntu 13.10 - KDE System Settings panel and application menu
(full image size: 496kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
One of the first things I tried to do once I got settled in was to run the software update application to check for security updates. The first time I ran the graphical update app it didn't appear to be working and a check showed the package information database had been locked. Presumably package information was locked while the system checked for updates in the background. Later I performed another check and the update manager worked, but I was warned that one of the repositories the manager had connected to had a bad security certificate. This meant the integrity of the package repository was in question and it was risky to proceed with downloading updates. In the end I proceeded with the updates, but I was concerned for the remainder of my trial that a repository may have been compromised.
Speaking of package management, I mentioned previously Kubuntu has a new graphical software manager. This application adds a little flash to package management. The new software manager allows us to search for software, browse categories of applications and queue packages for installation. There are other nice features too. For example, the package manager lists popular software items so we can get an idea of what was useful for other people. I suspect this new Discover software manager is meant to make package management in Kubuntu a similar experience to package management in Ubuntu with a bit more flash and recommended items. For the most part I think the new approach is good. The Discover front-end allows users to find software, install items with a single click and clicking on an item brings up a detailed description of the software, including screen shots. For people who would like a more traditional form of package management, Kubuntu ships with a no-frills graphical software manager that gives the user more fine-tuned control over individual packages rather than focusing on desktop-level applications, giving the user access to over 42,000 packages. Both the new Discover software manager and the traditional package manager have the ability to detect, download and apply security updates.
Kubuntu 13.10 - the new Discover package manager
(full image size: 278kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kubuntu comes with a small collection of desktop applications, most of which are associated with the KDE desktop. The distribution ships with the Rekonq web browser, the KTorrent bittorrent client, the KMail e-mail application and the Quassel IRC client. The KPPP dial-up software and Network Manager are available to help us get on-line. The distribution comes with the LibreOffice productivity suite and a document viewer. Kubuntu comes with a few multimedia applications, including the Amarok music player and the Dragon video player. Depending on our choices at install time we may also have access to media codecs for most popular multimedia formats. Kubuntu also comes with the k3b disc burning software, a screen magnifier, virtual calculator, file archive manager and text editor. We are given the KInfoCenter for discovering the characteristics of our computer's hardware. There is a utility called "Additional Drivers" which will help us find third-party hardware drivers for our system. In the background the distribution runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.11.
One of the nicer features of the Kubuntu distribution is the System Settings panel. This panel is available in all distributions shipping with KDE, but I think Kubuntu throws in a few extra features that I do not recall seeing in other Linux distributions to date. One feature is the ability to turn off the guest account, another is the account management system, which appears to have received a very nice overhaul since Kubuntu 13.04. I also noticed a social media account manager in the panel which allows us to keep in touch with contacts in a way which integrates nicely into the desktop. I haven't used this feature enough to decide whether I like it or not, but I think the idea of having a multi-protocol chat & notification client built into the desktop has the potential to be useful.
Kubuntu 13.10 - running various applications
(full image size: 340kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
I ran Kubuntu in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on my desktop box, the same one I used to test Ubuntu. Kubuntu performed fairly well in both situations. On the physical hardware Kubuntu ran quickly and I experienced no hardware related problems. Running in the VirtualBox environment I found Kubuntu ran a bit slowly while desktop visual effects and KDE's file indexing were enabled. Once these two features were disabled Kubuntu ran smoothly in the virtual environment. The distribution used approximately 200MB of RAM while sitting idle at the KDE desktop.
Looking back on my time with Kubuntu 13.10 the thing which stood out the most was that not much stood out. Apart from having some network issues which slowed things down during my first installation attempt, my time with the distribution was quite good. The installer is nicely laid out, the KDE 4.11 desktop is quite polished, providing a clean, feature-rich environment. I like that Kubuntu comes with a guest account for those odd times people wish to borrow my computer. I'm also happy to see there is an option in the KDE System Settings panel to turn off the guest account for people who see the guest account as a security concern. The new user account manager is slick and easy to use, I'm quite happy to see it included in this release. So far I'm tentatively happy with the new Discover software manager. It looks pretty and it seems to work well enough. The software manager's interface is a little busy for my taste, but otherwise I have no complaints. I think most people will take to it and those who don't can fall back on the older package manager. Overall, Kubuntu 13.10 feels like a stable, mature release that has some nice new features, but nothing ground shaking that would put off existing users. I'm actually sorry this version is not a long-term support release and will only receive security updates for nine months, the short support cycle seems to be the only weak point in an otherwise excellent desktop operating system.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian debates new init system, openSUSE shows off GNOME features, FreeBSD switches to new package manager
Members of the Debian project, one of the Linux community's largest and longest-living distributions, had a lot to talk about this past week. The first topic of interest is the idea that Debian could benefit from having a new init system. To date Debian has used a more traditional init system to get the operating system from a cold start to a running environment and some people feel Debian would benefit from using a more modern init system such as Upstart or systemd. The suggestion kicked off a heated debate on the Debian mailing lists as people chimed in with their opinions for or against each option. As a result, Debian's tech committee as been asked to vote on the decision as to which direction (if any) Debian will take in the future. While the decision is unlikely to affect desktop users directly, it will impact system administrators and package maintainers who may soon face a new approach to managing services.
Debian developers and fans will also be happy to know the venerable distribution is becoming increasingly popular, especially on web servers. A recent W3Techs report shows that Debian has over 30% of the Linux web server market with Ubuntu and CentOS close behind with a little over 25% of the market each. The Debian GNU/Linux distribution and its child, Ubuntu, both appear to becoming more popular in the web server space at the expense of traditional enterprise-oriented distributions such as Red Hat and CentOS.
In unrelated news, the Debian project is now officially hosting on-line copies of the distribution's manual pages. These pages are available for installed applications, but sometimes it is useful to be able to read a page of documentation without installing the corresponding package. This new addition to the Debian website will allow users to browse and read documentation for software without the requirement of installing anything.
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The next release of openSUSE, version 13.1, is scheduled to arrive in two weeks and the project is happily putting new features on display. This week the openSUSE News Team put the distribution's GNOME desktop deployment on display. The distribution's upcoming release is expected to ship with GNOME 3.10 which features a unified system menu, easier application menu navigation and a new Classic mode. The Classic mode replaces GNOME 3's old Fallback mode and is intended for users who miss the look and feel of the GNOME 2 interface. The openSUSE distribution typically stays on the cutting edge and this release will give many users a chance to see the latest work available from the GNOME project.
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The FreeBSD project has been experimenting with a new binary package manager, PKG-NG, for several months now and it looks as though the modern package manager is finally ready for production. A mailing list post by Bryan Drewery states
"We are pleased to announce that official binary packages are now available for pkg, the next generation package management tool for FreeBSD. Pkg allows you to either use ports with portmaster/portupgrade or to
have binary remote packages without ports." The post goes on to say the old package tools, such as pkg_install, will be depreciated in approximately six months. Drewery also went on to provide details on how to begin using PKG-NG and, if necessary, how to switch from using the old Ports method of package management to the new style. The new PKG-NG utility is expected to simplify package management by unifying the installation, removal and upgrade procedures in one user-friendly utility.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
ARM devices, tablets and Linux distributions
Over the past few weeks I have received a number of questions regarding running GNU/Linux distributions on tablets, tablets that will work with open source desktop environments and ARM devices which are compatible with GNU/Linux distributions. While these are technically separate topics, there is enough overlap I would like to address these questions all together.
First up, if you are interested in tinkering with an inexpensive ARM device, such as a Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard, Pandaboard or other low-end hobbyist device then you may wish to read this document maintained by the Fedora Project. The project has in-depth release notes, detailed documentation and an up-to-date list of supported ARM-based hardware. This is a good place to get started if you are looking to experiment with ARM technology or if you plan to set up a low-energy home server or low-spec desktop system. The Fedora distribution is very open and comes with a lot of great documentation which makes it a good starting point for people who like to tinker. Especially people who want to play with low-end ARM hardware.
Now if you want to run a Linux-based operating system on your tablet or smart phone then you may be interested in the mobile edition of Ubuntu. Right now only a few new Nexus devices are officially supported. The Ubuntu wiki has some great documentation on how to install the open source operating system to a mobile device. This will appeal to people who have higher-end hardware and want to run a Linux-based distribution that is geared specifically to their mobile device.
Another way to go would be to look at devices which support running KDE's Active interface. The KDE website has some documentation which lists supported devices and, in some cases, instructions are supplied for installing KDE's interface on specific devices. The documentation is a bit sparse in places, but it will give potential users an idea of which devices will work with KDE Active and, in some cases, which devices are compatible with the openSUSE distribution.
Next, for people who have purchased (or are planning to purchase) a Raspberry Pi computer, you will probably wish to visit the Raspbian website. The Raspbian distribution is a rebuild of Debian GNU/Linux with packages compiled to work with the Raspberry Pi's hardware. Installation instructions are available on the website and are fairly straight forward.
Finally, a word on ARM devices. General purpose laptop and desktop computers, even modern ones which ship with Secure Boot, are generally designed in a way that makes it easy to install an alternative operating system, such as a Linux distribution. Small consumer devices, such as tablets and mobile phones, are not always designed with such flexibility in mind. If you plan to install an ARM port of a Linux distribution on your device, do some research ahead of time to find a device that supports alternative operating systems. Otherwise you run the risk of purchasing a device that is not supported or, even worse, designed to prevent the installation of alternative software.
|Released Last Week
Clonezilla Live 2.2.0-16
Steven Shiau has released a new stable build of Clonezilla Live, a Debian-based distribution with software for disk cloning and backup tasks: "This release of Clonezilla live (2.2.0-16) includes major enhancements and bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system has been upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2013-11-29; the Linux kernel has been updated to 3.11.6; the drbl package has been updated to 2.6.8 and Clonezilla to 3.8.2; the partclone-utils package has been updated to 0.2.1; the tcplay package has been updated to 1.1; this release was built with live-build 3, so the live-boot has been updated to 3.0.1 and live-config to 3.0.23-1; the UEFI secure boot is now supported in the amd64 Ubuntu-based Clonezilla live, it's not supported in the Debian-based one because Debian does not release any signed EFI pre-bootloader 'shim'; this release uses gfxmode=auto and removes load_video and faekbios in grub.cfg...." Here is the full release announcement.
Tails 0.21, a Debian-based distribution designed for anonymous Internet browsing via the integrated Tor technology, is out and ready for download: "Tails, The Amnesic Incognito Live System, version 0.21, is out. All users must upgrade as soon as possible: this release fixes numerous security issues. Notable user-visible changes include: don't grant access to the Tor control port for the desktop user; don't allow the desktop user to directly change persistence settings; install Iceweasel 17.0.10esr with Torbrowser patches; patch Torbutton to make window resizing closer to what the design says; add a persistence preset for printing settings; support running Tails off more types of SD cards; add a KeePassX launcher to the top panel; improve the bug reporting workflow; prefer stronger ciphers when encrypting data with GnuPG; exclude the version string in GnuPG's ASCII armored output....." See the release announcement and changelog for a full list of changes and known issues.
Tails 0.21 - the default desktop environment
(full image size: 46kB, screen resolution 1280x960 pixels)
Salix 14.0.1 "Ratpoison"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 14.0.1 "Ratpoison" edition, a lightweight Slackware-based distribution with a rather unusual and geeky window manager that bears the name of this Salix flavour: "Salix Ratpoison 14.0.1 is ready. This is a very special release for us, as Ratpoison makes for an experience that is completely different. The aim of the Ratpoison edition is to create a system that is fully usable with the keyboard only, no mouse required. Ratpoison is a window manager for X 'with no fat library dependencies, no fancy graphics, no window decorations, and no rodent dependence'. Ratpoison uses a workflow that is similar to that of GNU screen, which is very popular in the terminal world. All interaction with the window manager is done through keystrokes. The application selection for the Ratpoison edition is rather special. The main reasoning behind selecting any of the default applications included in this release is their ability to be used completely with the keyboard." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Superb Mini Server 2.0
Superb Mini Server (SMS), a Slackware-based distribution designed for servers, has been updated to version 2.0.6: "Superb Mini Server version 2.0.6 released (Linux kernel 3.4.67). This is a maintenance release focusing on server package updates, such as Postfix 2.10.2, Samba 4.1.0, OpenLDAP 2.4.37, Dovecot 2.2.6, and adding a little VPN touch up to the distribution. For this release we thought best to stay with the 3.4.67 LTS kernel. The latest LTS kernel 3.10.17 is available in the SMS repository if anyone wants to upgrade. The 64-bit live CD ships with the 3.10.17 kernel though. New packages in this release are: OpenConnect client for Cisco's AnyConnect SSL VPN, openl2tp - an L2TP client/server, PPTP point-to-point tunneling protocol client, PPTP point-to-point tunneling protocol server, and strongSwan - an open source IPsec-based VPN solution. As you may notice, we didn't follow Slackware's 'Current' tree and we stay with glibc 2.15 and GCC 4.7.2." Here is the full release announcement.
Nick Holland has announced the release of OpenBSD 5.4, a free, multi-platform UNIX-like operating system with focus on portability, standardisation, correctness, proactive security and integrated cryptography: "We are pleased to announce the official release of OpenBSD 5.4. This is our 34th release on CD-ROM (and 35th via FTP). We remain proud of OpenBSD's record of more than ten years with only two remote holes in the default install. As in our previous releases, 5.4 provides significant improvements, including new features, in nearly all areas of the system: new platform for systems based on the Cavium Octeon MIPS-compatible processors, supported machines include Portwell CAM-0100, Ubiquiti Networks EdgeRouter LITE; new platform for OMAP3/4 and AM335x systems using an ARM Cortex-A8 or Cortex-A9 CPU...." Visit the OpenBSD 5.4 release page to read the full list of changes and improvements.
Thomas Genty has announced the release of GeeXboX 3.1, a free Linux media centre distribution for embedded devices and desktop computers: "A new GeeXboX release has arrived. GeeXboX 3.1 is an upgrade that integrates XBMC 12.2 'Frodo'. Like the previous version, you can use GeeXboX to watch and record live TV. In addition to our usual x86 ISOs, this release is also available for several embedded platforms, with working full HD video and graphics acceleration for most of them. Supported platforms are: i386; x86_64, Cubox v1, v2 and Pro; Raspberry Pi; Utilite from Compulab; Cubieboard 1. New features: XBMC Media Center 12.2 frontend; PVR support for DVB Digital TV to watch and record live TV with vdr and tvheadend; support for full HD videos on Utilite, and Cubox RaspberryPi. System: Linux Kernel 3.10.9 (for x86 devices); systemd 206; BusyBox 1.21.1; Connman Network Manager 1.9; X.Org Server 1.14.1; Mesa 9.2.2; OPKG Package Manager 0.18...." Continue to the release announcement for further details and a screenshot.
OS4 OpenLinux 14.1
Roberto Dohnert has announced the release of OS4 OpenLinux 14.1, an Ubuntu-based desktop Linux distribution with a customised Xfce 4.11 as the default desktop: "Today we are pleased to announce the new releases of OS4 OpenLinux 14.1 and PC/OS Enterprise Linux 4.1.6. With these new releases we bring a few extra new features to OS4 OpenLinux. With 14.1 we have brought new enhancements to the kernel and we have updated the package lineup. We also go back to the lighter radiance themes as the default and we have the ambiance and greybird themes for those that like the darker themes. Features: Xfce 4.11; Audacious for audio and VLC for video; Pinta 1.4 for image manipulation; GNOME Office as the default office suite; Chromium as the default browser; Thunderbird as the default mail client; Dates as the default calendar application; Contact as the system address book; Arandr for multi-monitor support; FreeDOOM...." Here is the full release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Wax OS. Wax OS is a 64-bit only distribution which offers a friendly desktop operating system.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 11 November 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 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|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 22.214.171.124, 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|
|• 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.
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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.