| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 574, 1 September 2014
Welcome to this year's 35th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! One of the strongest characteristics of open source software, with its freedom to develop and tweak, is choice. The open source ecosystem provides us a massive range of choices from distributions to desktop environments to text editors and web browsers. This gives us a great deal of flexibility when it comes to setting up our computers. This week we focus on alternative technologies and options. In the News section this week we discuss Haiku OS, an operating system which carries the legacy of BeOS, and ponder whether the Haiku project should adopt the Linux kernel rather than continue development on its own kernel. We also talk about Wayland, a new display server technology, and how it is being supported by two major open source desktops. We also talk about progress being made on Lumina, a desktop environment specifically developed for PC-BSD, and we wish the Linux kernel a happy birthday. Also in this week's edition we talk about Ubuntu Kylin, a community project based on Ubuntu that ships with some special features. Plus we discuss making the Linux command line more context aware. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the August 2014 DistroWatch.com donation is the iTALC project. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (34MB) and MP3 (38MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First impressions of Ubuntu Kylin 14.04 "Enhanced"
Following my review of the Deepin distribution I was asked if I would also give my impressions of the Ubuntu Kylin project. Like Deepin, the Ubuntu Kylin distribution is based on the Ubuntu operating system and is developed in China. The latest release of Ubuntu Kylin, version 14.04, is a long-term support release and includes some enticing features.
"In this final release, the Linux kernel is upgraded to 3.13 and Unity is upgraded to 7.2. Specifically designed for efficient Chinese input, 14.04 LTS has the Sogou Input Method, a typing tool that provides intelligent predictive search and auto-complete. Sogou, combined with Kingsoft WPS office suite, makes Ubuntu Kylin 14.04 LTS even faster and easier to use when creating documents and browsing the web. The new release also includes Kingsoft Kuaipan, the cloud file syncing application, which offers a maximum of 2TB personal cloud storage and provides rapid access to files and content to any Kuaipan-compatible device over the web. A lightweight Ubuntu Kylin software centre is provided to support both Ubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin archives. Users can easily enjoy popular Chinese applications co-developed by [the] Ubuntu Kylin team!"
Ubuntu Kylin (hereafter referred to as Kylin) ships in two flavours, Community and Enhanced. The Community edition features open source software only while the Enhanced edition offers proprietary applications and codecs. Both editions of the distribution are available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. The first problem I ran into with Kylin came when I tried to download the 1.5GB ISO for the Enhanced edition. Each time I tried to download this ISO I would get about half of the desired file before my connection to the server would drop. Attempts to resume the download would fail with an access denied error. I believe this issue arose from problems with the cloud storage/distribution provider which hosts the Kylin images. I contacted the Kylin project and was quickly given a direct (and working) link to the distribution's Enhanced ISO.
Booting from the distribution's image brings up a graphical screen where we are asked if we would like to try a live version of Kylin or launch the distribution's system installer. Opting to launch the installer brings up the Ubuntu system installer. We are asked to select our preferred language and offered a chance to read the distribution's release notes. Clicking the link to see the project's release notes opens the Firefox web browser and displays the Ubuntu website. Next we are asked if we would like to download software updates and if we would like to enable third-party multimedia support.
Next we can choose whether to let the installer partition our hard drive for us or we can manually divide up the disk. Taking the manual option gives us plenty of flexibility as JFS, XFS, Btrfs and the ext2/ext3/ext4 file systems are supported. The manual partitioning screen further gives us the ability to select where the distribution's boot loader will be installed. The following screens ask us to confirm our time zone, select our keyboard's layout from a list and create a user account for ourselves. We can optionally choose to encrypt our home directory. Once the system installer finishes copying its files to our hard drive we are asked to reboot the computer.
Kylin boots quickly to a graphical login screen. From this screen we have the option of logging into the user account we created during the installation process or, alternatively, we can login to a guest account which is wiped clean after each use. Upon logging in we are brought to the distribution's Unity desktop. The background features a range of bright colours. Down the left side of the screen we find quick-launch icons (this side bar also acts as Unity's task switcher). Along the top of the screen we find a unified menu bar and the system tray. On the desktop are two icons that open the file manager to our home directory and the system's trash can. Most items we can see display text using the language we selected at install time. For example, the calendar, the Unity dash and most programs displayed text to me in English. However, the desktop icons and a few of the apps running in the system tray (including a weather app) displayed information in (I believe) a Chinese dialect.
I tried to run Kylin in two environments, on a desktop computer and in a virtual machine provided by VirtualBox. Kylin refused to boot on my desktop machine which surprised me as Ubuntu and Xubuntu ran well on the same hardware. Kylin did run in the virtual environment, though the desktop interface was sluggish when responding to input. Unity is not a desktop that performs well in a virtual machine. Other than the slow interface, Kylin ran well in VirtualBox, it booted quickly and I experienced no stability issues. The distribution required approximately 500MB of memory when logged into Unity.
Ubuntu Kylin 14.04 - Unity's dash
(full image size: 395kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Back when I reviewed Ubuntu 14.04 I talked a bit about the Unity dash and HUD. While I don't want to repeat everything I wrote before, I do want to touch on these features. The Unity dash is a one-stop menu for locating applications, documents, music and other items. The dash allows us to see lists of items (applications for example) and we can type search results, filter displayed items and even install software from the repositories via the dash. I like that the dash can be navigated with either the mouse pointer or the keyboard. By default Kylin displays search results from third-parties such as Amazon in the dash. This feature can be disabled in the System Settings panel.
The HUD is a utility I find very useful. When running an application we can tap the ALT key and then type the name or description of a feature we want to utilize. For example, while creating a text document we can tap ALT and then type "spell" to bring up the application's spell checker. The HUD is useful to me for two reasons. First, it means I can easily access the features of an application even if I don't know where a feature is located in the program's menu. This is especially nice to have when using applications that have large menu systems such as LibreOffice or the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Second, I like to keep both hands on the keyboard as I find switching to using the mouse breaks my work flow. The HUD lets me quickly access features using only the keyboard without requiring that I learn application-specific short-cuts.
Ubuntu Kylin 14.04 - running Kingsoft Office
(full image size: 367kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kylin ships with a useful collection of software. Digging through the Unity dash we find the Firefox web browser with the Adobe Flash plugin enabled. I also found the Thunderbird e-mail client, the Pidgin messaging software and the Transmission bittorrent client. The dash featured the Empathy messaging software, a remote desktop client and document viewer. Both the LibreOffice and the Kingsoft Office productivity suites are installed for us. I find LibreOffice does a nice job of providing a wide range of features and applications while supporting open document formats. The Kingsoft Office software has a more narrow focus and beautifully supports Microsoft's proprietary document formats. My only complaint with regards to Kingsoft Office was that the suite's applications did not integrate well with the Unity desktop and maintained its own menu and window controls.
Kylin supplies us with a Chinese calendar application, the GNU Image Manipulation Program, an image viewer and the Shotwell photo manager. We also find a few games, the Brasero disc burning software and the Cheese webcam utility in the dash menu. Kylin ships with the Rhythmbox audio player and the SMPlayer video player along with a full range of codecs for playing popular multimedia formats. I found an archive manager, text editor and backup utility in the dash too. There are programs for changing the appearance of the desktop, managing user accounts and Network Manager helps us get on-line. The distribution ships with the GNU Compiler Collection and the Linux kennel, version 3.13.
Two applications in particular caught my attention while I was running Kylin. The first was Youker Assistant. This application is present on the quick-launch bar by default and acts as a control panel for Unity and the underlying operating system. Youker features a series of tabs that allow us to clean up cache files, purge our account of browser cookies, change desktop themes and get information on our computer's hardware. I especially like that Youker will hunt down and remove cookies and cache files used by multiple web browsers as using Youker for this task is faster than launching multiple web browsers and hunting for the proper clean-up feature in each one. I found that some settings that Youker adjusts do not take effect until after the user logs out of their account and logs in again. For example, desktop themes and the appearance of the mouse pointer require a logout/login.
Ubuntu Kylin 14.04 - Youker Assistant
(full image size: 479kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
The second application to catch my attention was labelled Kuaipan. According to the Kylin website this application is a cloud storage client. "Kingsoft Kuaipan for Ubuntu Kylin is the Linux client of Kingsoft Cloud storage service co-developed by Ubuntu Kylin team and Kingsoft Cloud Company, which allows safe and fast synchronization between your Linux machine and the Kingsoft Cloud." This was a welcome feature to find, especially when we consider Canonical shut down their Ubuntu One cloud storage platform earlier this year. I did run into a snag though when I discovered the sign-up website for Kuaipan is written entirely in Chinese so I was not sure of the directions provided or the terms of service. In the end I opted to not sign up for a storage account. It is my hope the website will be translated (the local client software already features an English translation) as I am sure many Ubuntu users would be interested in a native cloud storage client.
Package management on Kylin is handled by three graphical applications. The first is Ubuntu Software Centre, a modern package manager which allows us to browse through categories of desktop applications and click on items to see full descriptions, screen shots and user reviews. New software can be installed with the click of a button and removing unwanted software also takes one click. The Software Centre downloads and installs new packages in the background while we continue using the package manager. The second front end is Ubuntu Kylin Software Centre. This application features a similar interface to Ubuntu Software Centre, but the text in the interface is written entirely in Chinese. So far as I could tell, the two programs look and work in a similar manner.
The final front-end is a small software updater and this application simply shows us a list of packages which can be upgraded on our machine. The software updater then downloads and installs newer versions of available packages. During my trial with Kylin I did two batches of updates. The first day I ran the distribution I grabbed 42 MB of packages and, a few days later, I downloaded another 94 MB of updates. In both cases the software updater retrieved and installed the updates without any problems. Kylin pulls some software from the Ubuntu repositories while also maintaining its own software repositories for custom extras.
Ubuntu Kylin 14.04 - managing packages with Ubuntu Software Centre
(full image size: 360kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
In most ways Ubuntu Kylin is very similar to its older sibling, Ubuntu. The distribution has a very friendly installer, five years of support, features the Unity desktop and ships with a lot of great desktop software. Users have the option of installing proprietary software and multimedia support at install time. Kylin pulls much of its packages from the Ubuntu repositories, providing users with a large collection of software.
There appear to be three areas in which Kylin breaks away from Canonical's flagship distribution. The first is language. Kylin is specifically built with Chinese speakers in mind. The system installer defaults to Chinese (or more precisely, simplified Chinese as used in mainland China; there is no support for the traditional Chinese character set preferred in Taiwan and Hong Kong and no support for other Chinese dialects, such as Cantonese, either) and the default keyboard layout is also set up for mainland Chinese speakers. While most utilities will work in a variety of languages, a few applications display Chinese characters exclusively. I found this characteristic of the distribution to be in contrast to Deepin. While the Deepin project is also based in China, Deepin takes a neutral stance on language and all of Deepin's tools appear to be multilingual.
The second key point of contrast I found was that Kylin ships with some configuration tools in the default install that Ubuntu does not. The Youker utility stands out as it provides several helpful configuration options and the ability to clean up unwanted files. Kylin also ships with a few nice extras such as a weather applet and a nice system monitoring applet. The same or similar tools are available in Ubuntu's software repositories, but I enjoyed having them installed by default.
Third, I found Kylin ships with some proprietary extras that will probably appeal to most users. Specifically the cloud storage software and the Kingsoft Office suite. I know some people are not fans of Kingsoft due to its closed-source nature, but I must admit it is one of the more user friendly office suites available to Linux users. Kingsoft also does an excellent job at handling Microsoft document formats and, in my tests, Kingsoft imported Microsoft Word documents a little more reliably than LibreOffice did. Given Canonical's recent move to shut down their cloud services, I think it is nice Kylin is filling that vacuum, offering their users on-line storage. I did not get a chance to try the on-line storage feature, so perhaps people who have tried Kuaipan cloud storage can share their experiences in the comments section below.
During much of my trial with Kylin it was terribly tempting to simply think of the distribution as a re-spin of Ubuntu with a different default language. However, this thinking is unhelpful for two reasons. First, a Chinese language re-spin of Ubuntu on its own would be a worthwhile task as it would appeal to around a seventh of the world's population. Second, as I pointed out above, Kylin does expand upon its Ubuntu base, adding a few helpful features, a capable office suite, online storage and a few other goodies. Kylin provided me with a stable working environment, a friendly desktop and a wide range of tools. The interface was sluggish when run in a virtual environment, but otherwise I had no complaints during my time with Ubuntu Kylin.
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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)
Haiku developers consider adopting Linux kernel, GNOME and KDE improve Wayland support, PC-BSD updates Lumina, Linux turns 23 and GParted 10
Should an operating system still under heavy development adopt mature components from an existing operating system or create their own? That is the central question in a discussion on the Haiku Development mailing list. One Haiku team member, Sia Lang, suggested Haiku OS might benefit from adopting the Linux kernel rather than continuing to craft their own kernel. Linux already has many hardware drivers, is stable and works in many environments, making it an attractive component. However, other developers feel the Haiku project would be better off forging its own path and using its specially crafted kernel. It is an interesting discussion with many good points being made by both sides of the debate.
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Wayland is a promising new display server technology which may soon replace X, the software which draws images on the screen and allows us to interact with application windows. Transitioning from X to Wayland will require desktop environments and graphical toolkits that interact well with the new technology. Both GNOME and KDE are moving forward with their support for Wayland. Fedora Magazine reports on GNOME's Wayland status: "There are some very attractive features to test, for example captive portal support in GNOME Shell and better RDP support in Vinagre." Meanwhile, in the KDE camp, developer Martin Graesslin is moving forward on getting the KDE window manager working on Wayland: "With the initial release of Plasma 5.0 behind us I also started to look more in the direction of Wayland again. Now I'm kind of in full flow on Wayland work and kwin_wayland is progressing nicely. Yes, KWin 5.1 will introduce a new binary called kwin_wayland to complement the kwin_x11 binary which got introduced in KWin 5.0."
The continued delay of the alpha release of Fedora 21 may be frustrating for some Fedora fans (currently the release date is set to 9 September), but others are patiently looking forward the project's first "nameless" release. Last week the FedoraFTW website posted a good summary (with screenshots) about some of the new and exciting default applications in Fedora 21 "Workstation" edition: "I've downloaded the latest pre-alpha Fedora Workstation 21 and ran it inside GNOME Boxes to look at what applications were in the Live media by default. DevAssistant - this is a tool aimed at developers, featuring a clear Welcome screen where various programming languages are presented. GNOME Logs - namely, a newly-redesigned logs application that follows the latest design trends. GNOME Maps - a map application that has seen a significant evolution when compared to its Fedora 20 incarnation. Notes - with it you can create and organize your notes, this application feels more robust and crash-prone in Fedora Workstation 21 pre-alpha."
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Back in April we discussed a new desktop environment being developed by the PC-BSD team. The new desktop, called Lumina, sits atop the Fluxbox window manager and is put together using the Qt toolkit. A post on the PC-BSD blog talks about the many improvements to Lumina. When we first reported on the project Lumina was very much in its infancy, but now the desktop boasts several key features: "The major new utility is the 'Insight' file manager with ZFS snapshot integration, multimedia player, and image slide show viewer capabilities built right in by default. It also has a new snapshot utility and the desktop configuration utility has been completely rewritten." The latest version of Lumina also supports plugins and a new configuration panel. Ken Moore gave an interview on BSD Talk last week in which he covers the new desktop environment in detail.
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August 25th marked the 23rd anniversary of Linus Torvalds unveiling the Linux kernel to the world. Torvalds acknowledged the occasion in a mailing list post in which he also declared Linux 3.17-rc2 available for testing. Linux had humble beginnings as a hobby operating system with Torvalds stating: "I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like GNU) for 386(486) AT clones." When asked if Linux would be portable to architectures other than x86 Torvalds replied: "Simply, I'd say that porting is impossible. It's mostly in C, but most people wouldn't call what I write C. It uses every conceivable feature of the 386 I could find, as it was also a project to teach me about the 386." Today Linux runs on many different hardware architectures and is the kernel behind such powerful and popular operating systems as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu and Android.
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Finally, a note about one more anniversary - maybe less glamorous than the one mentioned above, but still extremely useful. GParted, a popular graphical utility for managing disk partitions, celebrated 10 years of existence last week: "The GParted team is happy to announce the tenth anniversary of GParted. The first public release of GParted was version 0.0.3 on August 26th, 2004. Over the past 10 years, much has happened. Following are some statistics: over 300 people have contributed to GParted; many GNU/Linux distributions now include GParted; translators have worked to make GParted available in over 50 different languages; GParted is used in over 220 countries around the world; there have been over 17 million downloads from Sourceforge alone. To mark the occasion, questions were posed, and following are responses shared by some key contributors."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Working with Bash completion
Feeling-incomplete asks: I installed the package bash-completion on openSUSE, but it does not become active whatsoever. User intervention is needed, but I don't know where to look and what line to change in any of the Bash configuration files to enable it. And YaST has offered no luck either. Any ideas?
DistroWatch answers: First, for people who may not know, the bash-completion package is a bit of software which makes the Bash command line shell more context aware. Normally, when we run the Bash shell (or most other command line shells) we can begin to type the name of a file and press the TAB key. The shell will try to figure out the full name of the file we began typing and fill in the remainder of the file name. This is quite convenient when working with files with long names or files which contain unusual symbols in the name. What the bash-completion package does is allow Bash to be aware of the context in which it is used.
As an example, on most distributions if you open a Bash shell and type "sudo rebo" and press TAB, the shell probably will not be able to find any programs or files matching that series of letters. However, if you have the bash-completion package installed Bash will be smart enough to figure out that commands starting with "sudo" may be followed by a command stored in a location the super user typically accesses while a regular user does not. When bash-completion is installed typing the command "sudo rebo" and pressing TAB will cause the shell to locate the reboot command and you end up with:
Having Bash act in a context aware fashion can be more useful. For example, when bash-completion is installed Bash will recognize known host names. This means we can use the secure shell program to access a server with a long name such as williamthegreat.com simply by typing "ssh will" and tapping the TAB key, assuming the hostname is in our /etc/hosts file. Likewise the bash-completion package lets us quickly access jobs running in the background or the names of users on the local system, given the proper context.
I had a chance to sit down in front of an openSUSE machine and installed bash-completion. Just installing the package is not enough to make it work. To activate the software one needs to logout of their account and then login again. This performs a sort of refresh on the Bash shell, enabling context aware completion.
If the completion feature is not working for you I recommend checking out the bash-completion README file. There is an on-line copy on Debian's website. Otherwise, bringing up the issue on the openSUSE forums may provide answers.
|Released Last Week
Zbigniew Konojacki has announced the release of 4MLinux 9.1, a minimalist and lightweight desktop Linux distribution featuring the JWM window manager: "4MLinux 9.1 'Allinone' edition final released. The status of the 4MLinux 9.1 series has been changed to stable. The final release has all the features included in 4MLinux 9.1 Rescue, Media, Server and Game editions. Two major changes in the 4MLinux 9.1 series. The first one is the replacement of thttpd with Apache, meaning that 4MLinux has joined the family of LAMP servers. There is a self-explanatory online demo at server.4mlinux.com. Skype is now available as a downloadable extension. UVC and gspca webcams are supported out of the box. The minimal build of PulseAudio (required by the newest Skype for Linux) has also been added (more info available here)." Read the brief release announcement which includes a screenshot of the default desktop.
4MLinux 9.1 - the default window manager
(full image size: 576kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kali Linux 1.0.9
Mati Aharoni has announced the release of Kali Linux 1.0.9, a bug-fix update of the Debian-based distribution designed primarily for penetration testing and forensic analysis tasks: "Now that we have caught our breath after the Black Hat and DEF CON conferences, we have put aside some time to fix an annoying bug in our 1.0.8 ISO releases related to outdated firmware as well as regenerate fresh new ARM and VMware images (courtesy of Offensive Security) for our new 1.0.9 release. With this release come a few more updates worth mentioning. We are pleased to announce that we have updated our Raspberry Pi Kali image to support the new B+ model so that now it works out of the box. This single image now supports all Raspberry Pi models. We have also included two more images to our Kali ARM image collection for the Odroid U3 and Cubox-i ARM computers." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information and to learn about the new Kali tools website.
Absolute Linux 14.10
Paul Sherman has announced the release of Absolute Linux 14.10, a new version of the project's lightweight desktop distribution based on Slackware Linux 14.1 (with updates from Slackware's "Current" tree) and featuring the IceWM window manager: "Absolute 14.10 released. This is a 'first' release based upon Slackware Linux 14.1 It has been a long road back, but here it is. Everythibng has caught up to Slackware (x86), up to and including a recompile with patch for the latest glibc security patch of 20140826. Even have PulseAudio working to keep the Skypers happy. The base install still fits easily onto a CD. If you want to burn a DVD or, more likely, plop the ISO image onto a USB stick, there is also a 'large' version of the ISO image, which includes LibreOffice, the kernel source, Calibre, Inkscape, Skype, Artha dictionary and thesaurus and several developer tools." Visit the distribution's home page to read the brief release announcement.
Cathy Lin has announced the release of Deepin 2014.1, a bug-fix update of the Ubuntu-based community distribution with a highly customised and intuitive desktop environment: "Deepin 2014.1 released. In this version, we focus on enhancing the system stability. Meanwhile, the system performance has been optimized thoroughly and the major improvements are as follows: added the anti-freeze function of Dock in background; fixed the system freezing bugs caused by Dock; for desktop, we have resolved the problems of right-click menu and multiple screen display; the response speed of the right-click menu has been improved significantly and its memory has been reduced by 90%; muti-display function has solved the problems of novice guide malposition and wrong display of wallpapers; a soft control function of screen brightness has been added in Control Center's display module...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details and screenshots.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
August 2014 DistroWatch.com donation: iTALC|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the August 2014 DistroWatch.com donation is iTALC, a didactical tool for teachers. It receives US$350.00 in cash.
Teachers and the outmost benefactors of this specialist software. Some of its features include: "see what's going on in computer labs by using the overview mode; control computers remotely to support and help students; show a demo screen (either in full screen or in a window) - the teacher's screen is shown on all student's computers in real time; lock workstations to get undivided attention of students; send text messages to students; remotely reboot students' computers; remote log in and log out and remote execution of arbitrary commands or scripts; home schooling - join lessons via VPN connections just by installing iTALC client." Visit the project's home page for more information.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and Bitcoins are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$40,825 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC
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New distributions added to database
- Exherbo. Exherbo is a source-based Linux distribution inspired by Gentoo Linux. Designed primarily for developers and advanced users who are expected to take an active role in the development of the distribution, Exherbo offers a decentralised development model, original code, and a fast and flexible package manager called Paludis.
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Porteus Kiosk. Porteus Kiosk is a lightweight Linux operating system which has been restricted to allow only use of the web browser. Furthermore, the browser has been locked down to prevent users from tampering with settings or downloading and installing software.
- Wallstone Creativity Desktop. Wallstone Creativity Desktop is based on openSUSE, has many of tools for writing, editing, converting documents, scanning documents, handling images and photos.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 September 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 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|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Apricity OS was a Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. Apricity features a trimmed down desktop (GNOME or Cinnamon) and provides the ICE Site Specific Browser to integrate web-apps into the desktop environment.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Questions and answers: Logging sudo usage|
|Questions and answers: Clearing out dot files from the home directory|
|Questions and answers: Using Flatpak vs Snap|
|Tips and tricks: Command line weather, ionice, rename files, video preview snapshot, calednar, ls colour settings|
|Tips and tricks: Nix package manager on alternative Linux distributions|
|Questions and answers: Managing many passwords easily|
|Questions and answers: The number and diversity of Linux distributions|
|Tips and tricks: Find common words in text, find high memory processs, cd short-cuts, pushd & popd, record desktop|
|Questions and answers: Using noexec to prevent social engineering attacks|
|Questions and answers: Performing off-line upgrades|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|