| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 563, 16 June 2014
Welcome to this year's 24th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Some people question whether we will ever see a year of the Linux desktop, a time when Linux is a common (or even dominant) player in the consumer desktop market. Some of us feel that time has already come and, this week, we explore Linux on the desktop. We start with a review of one of the more popular GNU/Linux desktop distributions, Linux Mint. Mint has become a community favourite in recent years, known for its practical and somewhat conservative approach and this week we explore the project's latest offering. In our News section we discuss Mint's successful donations program and touch on how those donations are being put to good use. We also touch upon Debian gaining MATE desktop packages and Fedora experimenting with a new desktop notification design. Plus we discuss Dell's latest pre-installed Linux offering and Canonical's closure of the Ubuntu One service. In our Questions and Answers column this week we talk about accessing encrypted partitions from a live desktop CD. As usual, we cover distribution releases from the past week and look ahead to exciting releases to come. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Initial thoughts on Linux Mint 17
As night follows the day, so too do Linux Mint launches follow Ubuntu releases. Linux Mint is a project which puts together a desktop-oriented distribution based on Ubuntu packages. The Linux Mint project tends to take a more practical and conservative approach to crafting a desktop operating system when compared to Ubuntu. While Ubuntu experiments with the Unity desktop, servers, cloud computing and mobile devices, the Mint team stays focused on producing a familiar, user-friendly, multimedia-enabled desktop solution. Starting with their most recent release, Linux Mint 17, the Mint team has announced they will be adjusting their release cycle, basing all Linux Mint releases on the most recent Ubuntu long term support release. This should make for a more stable platform and a more relaxed release cycle.
The latest release of Linux Mint comes in two editions, MATE and Cinnamon. These two editions can be downloaded in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. Looking through the release notes we find a number of small, but welcome changes. The Mint Update utility, which downloads software updates, now avoids locking the package manager and works faster. It is also able to show us what type of updates are available (upgrades or security patches). The Mint Driver Manager can now install new hardware drivers without an Internet connection, supporting local media sources for new drivers. The login manager now features a recovery mode and small tweaks have been made to improve the Cinnamon desktop. I opted to download the MATE edition of Mint 17 and found the installation media was approximately 1.2 GB in size.
Booting from the Mint media brings up the MATE desktop environment. The desktop has a traditional layout with an application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the display. The wallpaper is silver and carries the Linux Mint brand. Icons on the desktop allow us to launch the system installer and browse the local file system. The distribution's application menu features a custom layout with the menu being divided into three parts. The menu holds a Places section for local folders, an area for applications and a third section for system administrative tools.
Linux Mint ships with a lightly modified version of the Ubuntu system installer. The graphical interface quickly walks us through selecting our preferred language and optionally showing us the project's release notes. The partition manager is very friendly, allowing us to set up custom partition layouts or using various guided options that take care of dividing up the disk for us. Next we confirm out time zone, select our keyboard's layout from a list and create a user account. Then we wait while the installer copies its files to the hard drive. The installer's interface is easy to navigate and the installation process finished quickly. Rebooting the machine brings us to Mint's graphical login screen.
Linux Mint 17 - various desktop applications
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When we sign into our account the MATE desktop appears and, on the desktop, is a welcome screen. The welcome screen provides us with links to various parts of the Linux Mint website and community pages. From this welcome screen we can access the user manual, release notes, hardware compatibility database and forums. Shortly after dismissing the welcome screen I noticed an icon in the system tray which indicated software updates were available. Clicking on this notification icon brings up Mint's package updater.
While some update programs, such as the one Ubuntu uses, have been moving toward showing less information by default, the latest version of Mint's update utility is showing more. The program provides a list of available package updates, along with the version number of the currently installed package, the version number of the new update and the size of each update. We are also shown a small icon which lets us distinguish between feature upgrades and security upgrades. The Mint update utility also assigns safety ratings to each update, lettings us filter out potentially unsafe upgrades in favour of vetted packages. The first day I was working with Mint there were 147 updates available (totalling 144MB in size). Over the course of the week about another three dozen updates were made available. Each of these packages downloaded and were applied to my system without any problems.
Linux Mint 17 - the update manager and application menu
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The distribution comes with a collection of software which showcases some of the best desktop applications in the open source community. We are given the Firefox web browser and Flash support. The HexChat IRC client and the Pidgin instant messaging programs are installed for us. The Thunderbird e-mail client and Transmission bittorrent software are present in the application menu. The LibreOffice productivity suite is installed for us along with a document viewer. Mint comes with the VLC multimedia application, the Brasero disc burning software, the Banshee music player and the Totem video player. Mint provides multimedia codecs for popular media formats, allowing us to play just about any media file. The distribution features an image viewer and the GNU Image Manipulation Program.
Linux Mint 17 features several system administration utilities, including a data backup application, a domain blocker, a hardware driver manager, a network configuration tool, an app for configuring printers and another program for enabling/disabling system services. MATE comes with a control panel for altering the look & feel of the desktop environment. Mint further provides a text editor, virtual calculator and archive manager. Digging further we find Java is installed for us and the distribution ships with the GNU Compiler Collection. Network Manager is provided to help us get on-line. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.13. All of the above software worked well for me and I encountered no problems.
Linux Mint features two graphical package managers. The first one is Mint Install. I found Mint Install presents an attractive interface where we can browse through categories of software using helpful icons. Clicking on an application's name brings up a description of the software along with a screen shot. New software can be queued for installation with a click of a button and the installation takes place in the background while we continue to use Mint Install. Software can also be removed with a single button click and, again, actions are processed in the background. I found Mint Install to be a friendly package manager and it performed fairly quickly for me, making for a pleasant experience. Synaptic is the second package manager available to us. Synaptic takes a more low-level approach, focusing on lists of individual packages rather than end-user programs. Synaptic worked very quickly for me, though the interface is a bit less newcomer-friendly.
Linux Mint 17 - the settings panel and package management
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I tried running Linux Mint 17 in two test environments, one was a physical desktop machine and the other was a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both cases Mint performed well. All of my desktop's hardware was properly detected, the system booted quickly and the MATE desktop was very responsive. The distribution was stable during my time with it and I experience no system nor application crashes. Mint, while running the MATE desktop, used approximately 230MB of memory.
I usually enjoy trying out new version of Linux Mint and version 17 has been no exception. The project has a polish to it not seen in many other distributions. The Linux Mint team has done a very nice job in balancing performance, flexibility, newcomer friendliness and powerful utilities. There is a lot of functionality in the default list of available applications and the developers appear to have selected a small group of desktop programs that will work very well, as opposed to providing applications which use a specific toolkit or fit a certain philosophy. I suspect most people will be able to simply install Linux Mint and get right to work without any additional configuration or downloading more software. I really like the Mint tools, such as the Mint Update program and its ability to filter out potentially unstable upgrades. Though it took a while to grow on me, I like Mint's application menu and its flexibility, it is a menu which presents an unusual layout, but it is easy to customize to suit the user. The MATE desktop continues to hold up well and I feel the way it is presented, in its traditional layout, will appeal to many people.
Though the choice to switch to using Ubuntu LTS (long-term support) releases exclusively for Mint's base has not yet had a direct impact on the Mint community, I think this will prove to be a good move in the long term. I suspect the Mint team was doing a lot of extra work to keep up with Ubuntu's six month release cycle and moving to an approach where the operating system's development base is maintained for two years will allow the developers to focus more on Mint's unique features.
I hesitate to use terms such as "just works" or "flawless", but Linux Mint 17 is probably as close to "just works" as a desktop distribution can get. From the installer to the welcome screen to the package managers to the control panel to the range of default applications, the performance and the stability -- Mint continuously impressed me this week. I do not think I encountered a single bug or unwelcome quirk during my time with the distribution. Mint, in my option, is friendly enough to appeal to newcomers, flexible enough to appeal to more experienced users and offers a good combination of performance and features.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8 GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500 GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6 GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar)
CentOS tests early pre-release, Debian gains MATE, Canonical closes Ubuntu One, Dell launches Linux tablet, Mint receives record donations, Fedora showcases new notification system
Following last week's release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7, the focus of many users will now undoubtedly turn towards CentOS and other RHEL clones - in expectation of an early delivery of a "gratis" system based on RHEL 7. The first noises hinting at the forthcoming release of CentOS 7 started to make rounds late last week when Fabian Arrotin announced the availability of a very early pre-release: "We are pleased to announce that the first (pre-release) CentOS 7-rc tree is pushed. If you want to use it, you need to use the boot.iso media (found under the images directory), start a netinstall and point to the mentioned repository. We plan on also having a symbolic link called 'latest', as we'll probably have a new tree on a daily basis (until we're happy and will have a final release)." At this point only the most enthusiastic testers should try this pre-release as it is still very rough around the edges. Hopefully we'll be able to download a full set of reasonably stable CentOS 7 ISO images in the not too distant future.
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Fans of both Debian GNU/Linux and the classic GNOME 2 desktop received good news last week. The MATE project, a fork of GNOME 2 which strives to maintain and modernize the classic GNOME experience, has been packaged for Debian. In a post to the Debian Developers mailing list Mike Gabriel wrote: "The MATE desktop environment is a fork of what was formerly known as the GNOME v2 desktop environment. The MATE upstream developers have performed a really good job in integrating the old GNOME code with latest technologies like DConf and GSettings. The next upcoming release of MATE (which will be the 1.10 series) will also have GTK+ 3 support (if things go well!). During the last 6 months several people have worked on the provisioning of MATE packages in Debian. The initial workload has now been completed!" MATE desktop packages are available in the Debian Testing package repository and in Wheezy's backports repository for people running the Stable branch of Debian.
* * * * *
Linux distributions tend not to come pre-installed on most consumer desktop, laptop and tablet devices. Dell is slowly working to change that. The popular OEM has already rolled out the XPS 13 Laptop with Ubuntu pre-installed and, later this year, the company plans to ship Inspiron 11 and Inspiron 13 tablets with the Ubuntu operating system. The tablets are expected to be available in Asia, Europe and Africa sometime in June with world-wide availability planned for September of this year.
In less joyful news, the Ubuntu One file synchronization and music streaming service has been shut down. Canonical had announced they would discontinue the file synchronization service back in April and now Ubuntu One has shut its doors. People who still have files stored on the Ubuntu One servers can download their files or transfer them to another storage service between now and July 31. Previously we have discussed alternative options for people who wish to migrate their files to another cloud storage service.
* * * * *
Following the release of Linux Mint 17, the distribution's blog was updated with a post revealing record high donations from the project's userbase. The Linux Mint blog also mentions that a portion of the project's donations are to go towards funding contributing developers: "Many thanks also to our sponsors and to all the people who sent us donations. Since 2006, we've never seen so many donations in a single month. This support and the feedback we got from you are extremely motivating. Last month we introduced a new budget to fund benevolent developers. It turned out to be a real success within the development team, empowering members without altering relationships or having any noticeable negative impact. It's also very motivating for developers to receive from the community. Of course development is fun already and it's fuelled by the huge amount of ideas and feedback you're sending to us, not to mention the gratification they get when interacting directly with users, but for them to receive funds and participate in the growth of the project, that adds to that as well and it's a real pleasure for me to be able to include them in that."
* * * * *
In user interface design there is the challenge of providing more information to the user without overwhelming them or crowding the screen with distracting data. Ryan Lerch blogged about a new notification system which may be coming to GNOME 3.14 and Fedora in the coming months. "This new design allows for a greater amount of detail when glancing at your notifications, rather than just an icon, and the number of unread notifications. The upstream developers seem to be targeting getting this new design implemented for GNOME 3.14, so hopefully we should see this in Fedora 21 Workstation."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Accessing encrypted content from live media
Looking-for-encrypted-volumes asks: I like using Fedora as my primary operating systems or even Arch Linux on occasion. And I would like to always maintain a full encrypted hard disk on any distribution as well. The problem is that, now and then, I like to use Puppy Linux as well and so, when using Puppy Linux, I cannot figure out how to get Puppy to recognize, mount and use any kind of encrypted partition. Even beyond the point of installing all needed files in Puppy to support LVM or LUKS. I have even tried once to copy the UUID of the LUKS partition and insert it to Puppy's fstab, but even after rebooting it still doesn't recognize nor mount the partition then. This is frustrating because it makes me have to keep an open partition of 40 GB or 50 GB with my movies or music or documents so that Puppy finds it and I can play any file I have then.
It's bothersome because I want these files kept in my encrypted partition on my main OS, but I can't because of the reasons above so in essence sometimes I have two of the same files on the same hard disk just to accomplish this. And might I say that it's not only Puppy, but this can apply to any live OS, such as Ubuntu, etc. I have noticed in Linux Mint as a live OS, if I click on the LUKS partition in the file manager, it will mount and ask for the password and then I can use it. But that's the only OS I have seen that can accomplish this task. Do I need to do something else or do you have any ideas? So in summary, how can I encrypt my entire hard drive yet allow an encrypted disk to be mounted from a live CD when I wish?
DistroWatch answers: Off the top of my head, I would say what you are running into is a bug in the way some distributions detect (and manage) encrypted partitions. You mentioned Linux Mint (for instance) can see and access the encrypted partition, but others cannot. My recommendation would be to bring up the problem on the specific distribution forums or in the project's bug tracker.
It also crossed my mind that the reason some distributions are not working for you here may be because what you are doing is a bit unusual. Typically partitions are encrypted to protect against someone sticking a live CD into their computer and accessing the files on the encrypted drive. It isn't often someone uses a live CD to access their own files, especially when you have working Fedora (or Arch) systems already installed. You may have a good reason for needing both encryption on your disk and live CDs, but most people use one to thwart the other. It might make your life easier if you stuck to using locally installed operating systems to access your data, or did away with disk encryption.
Finally, I would like to point out that if you maintain a separate, unencrypted partition for copies of videos and documents, then you are effectively rendering the encrypted partition ineffective. If you do need to continue using live CDs then I would recommend maintaining the two data partitions differently. One partition can be encrypted and store your private documents, things you do not need to access often. The other partition can remain unencrypted and hold files which are not of a sensitive nature (video files, music and such). Setting up these two data partitions to hold different documents will probably be easier in the long run than wrestling with various live environments to make them work with your encrypted file system.
|Released Last Week
Manjaro Linux 0.8.10
Phil Müller has announced the release of Manjaro Linux 0.8.10, the latest update of the Arch Linux-based distribution that comes in KDE, Xfce and Openbox flavours: "On behalf of the Manjaro team, I'm pleased to announce the release of Manjaro Linux 0.8.10. Our team has worked hard over the last three months to put together the most refined and user-friendly Manjaro release to date. This release includes our flagship Xfce edition, feature-rich KDE edition, lightweight Openbox edition and our minimal 'Net' edition. Although the general layout of our supported environments has not changed dramatically, there have been look-and-feel improvements, including a modern graphical bootsplash, new default theme (Menda) and a new look for our welcome screen." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of new features.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
Red Hat, Inc. today announced the released of the long-awaited Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the latest version of the high-end Linux distribution for enterprises: "Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the latest major release of the company's flagship platform." Some of the most prominent features of the release include: "Enhanced application development, delivery, portability and isolation through Linux Containers; significant file system improvements, including XFS as the default file system; cross-realm trust to easily enable secure access for Microsoft Active Directory users; powerful and secure application runtimes and development, delivery and troubleshooting tools." Read the press release and check out the detailed release notes for further information.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 - the default desktop of the "Workstation" edition
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GParted Live 0.19.0-1
Curtis Gedak has announced the release of GParted Live 0.19.0-1, the new stable build of the project's Debian-based live CD that features a number of utilities for disk management and data rescue work: "The GParted team is proud to announce the stable release of GParted Live 0.19.0-1. This live image includes fixes to improve booting on UEFI firmware computers and it has undergone extra testing to ensure it works with motherboard BIOS RAID. Items of note include: based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2014-06-11; updated Linux kernel to 3.14.5; updated Syslinux to 6.03-pre13; increased minimum requirements to 160 MB of RAM; CD/DVD tray is no longer ejected on shutdown or reboot; contains GParted 0.19.0 application which includes a refactored OperationDetail code to address random crash behaviour." Here is the brief release announcement.
Anke Boersma has announced the release of KaOS 2014.06, a desktop Linux distribution featuring the Pacman package manager and the latest KDE desktop together with many popular KDE-centric applications: "KaOS is proud to announce the availability of the June release of a new stable ISO image. The last two months worth of updates were done to good 1,100 packages and to stay with the policy that a first 'pacman -Syu' should be uncomplicated for new users means a new ISO image was needed. At the base of the system some of the updates include Linux kernel 3.14.6 with the futex bug fix included, GCC 4.8.3, LLVM 3.4.1, Qt 5.3.0, OpenSSL 1.0.1.h, MESA 10.2.1, Bash 4.3.018, Poppler 0.26.1. Systemd 213 was part of the updates tested but did not make the cut. With this ISO, KaOS makes the switch to present XFS as the default file system. The latest KDE 4.13.2 version is available." Read the full release announcement for further details, screenshots and explanatory links.
Ronnie Whisler has announced the final release of LXLE 14.04, a Lubuntu-based distribution made for older computers and featuring the LXDE desktop. Some of the notable features include the following: "LXLE acronym change, originally 'Lubuntu eXtra Life Extension' which made sense before Lubuntu had an official LTS release, since 14.04 however, LXLE will now adopt the nomenclature 'LXDE eXtra Luxury Edition' and we think this release doubles down on that; to better support 32-bit hardware we updated 12.04.4 to be virtually identical to LXLE 14.04 64-bit release including features, updated software and system components; PCManFM additions such as open directories and text as root, create shortcuts, rename base icon names, copy to folder, right click desktop trash to empty; Launch (Fehlstart), Run (Gexec), and Terminal (RoxTerm) all have hotkeys enabled to open them using the keyboard for faster access...." Read the release announcement for a full list of features.
LXLE 14.04 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with a custom LXDE desktop
(full image size: 1,720kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Artemis-OS. Artemis-OS is a Kubuntu-based distribution used for penetration testing.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 June 2014. 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 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|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Freepia was small GNU/Linux distribution designed to run on VIA EPIA-M mainboards. It currently only runs on the M-9000 and M-10000 (ezra and nehemia CPU) but with some modifications like kernel and X11 modules it should run on others too. The main goal of this project was to build a full-featured, low-noise media box to play movies, MP3s, images, etc. It uses freevo as its media viewer, but in the future there may be support for others, like mythtv or vdr.