| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 602, 23 March 2015
Welcome to this year's 12th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One of the most prominent characteristics of an operating system is its desktop environment. The desktop is what usually provides a first impression and determines how users will interact with their computer. This week we focus on desktops, particularly those which are uncommon or offering new features. We begin with a review of Bodhi Linux, an Ubuntu-based project that ships with the Enlightenment graphical user interface. In our News column we share a video in which we see the controversial Unity desktop being run on MakuluLinux and we share new notification features coming to Fedora Workstation. We also talk about a new web server being crafted by OpenBSD developers and celebrate 30 years of GNU. In our Questions and Answers column we address how DistroWatch organizes distributions, particularly members of the Ubuntu family. Then, in our Torrent Corner, we share the open source operating systems we are seeding. Plus we cover the distributions released last week and look ahead to exciting new developments to come. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
The Return of Bodhi Linux's King
Bodhi Linux is a Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Enlightenment desktop environment. Bodhi focuses on minimalism and its small collection of default software, combined with the lightweight Enlightenment desktop, allow the distribution to run on older and low-specification hardware. Last year Bodhi's lead developer, Jeff Hoogland, left the project for several months and Bodhi development slowed. However, Mr Hoogland returned to the project earlier this year and the pace of development picked up, leading to the release of Bodhi Linux 3.0.0
Looking over the release notes for Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 we find a number of software upgrades. The latest version of Bodhi is based on Ubuntu 14.04 (a long term support release) and ships with Enlightenment 0.19.3. According to the distribution's website, the project is improving more than just the software shipping with Bodhi. "Our stable release is not the only thing that is new at Bodhi Linux this month. Our main website, AppCenter, Wiki, and Forums have all gotten complete overhauls to go alongside this new release." The new release is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. There is also a Legacy release, which I think is targeting 32-bit x86 machines without PAE support. In addition, there is a Chromebook build. I opted to try the 64-bit build of Bodhi, and found the live media for this release is 612MB in size.
Booting from the live disc brings up the Enlightenment desktop. A second later a web browser is opened to display a local copy of the project's documentation for beginners. The documentation covers connecting to the Internet, using the Enlightenment desktop, installing additional software and frequently asked questions. Oddly enough, I did not spot any installation guide. That being said, once I closed the web browser and got a clear look at the desktop, one of the icons on the desktop is for launching the system installer. Other icons launch a file manager that opens various directories in the local file system. At the top of the display there is a panel where we can find the Enlightenment application menu and quick-launch buttons for the file manager, web browser, networking configuration and an update manager. The default desktop is dark, making heavy use of shades of grey.
Bodhi's system installer is essentially the same as Ubuntu's graphical installer with an alternative, dark theme. The installer begins by presenting us with a link to the project's release notes. I found clicking on this link produced no results. Next, we are asked if we would like to manually partition our hard drive or if the installer should automatically divide up the disk based on some suggestions from us. I went with the manual option and found the partition manager to be easy to navigate. The Bodhi installer supports ext2/3/4, JFS and XFS partitions along with Btrfs volumes. When we take the manual partitioning option we can also choose where to install the distribution's boot loader. After the disk is partitioned the way we like, we are asked to pick our time zone from a map of the world, confirm our keyboard's layout and create a user account for ourselves. While creating our user account we have the option of encrypting the contents of our home directory. The installer copies the required files to our local computer and then prompts us to reboot the machine.
I found the installer worked well for me and it completed its tasks quickly. My one issue with the installer was a problem that would raise its head repeatedly during my trial and it related to the default font. The default font is small and, when a control is highlighted or selected, the font is coloured dark blue on a grey background. I found this font difficult to read. Bodhi is far from being alone with this font choice. Several distributions ship virtual terminal software that defaults to displaying directory names as dark blue text on a black background. It is a colour combination I find hard to see and I'm always eager to change it.
Booting our new copy of Bodhi brings us to a graphical login screen. Signing into the account we created at install time brings us back to the Enlightenment desktop (still decorated with shades of grey). The first time we sign into our account the Midori web browser opens and displays the project's beginner guide. In the future when we login this guide will no longer appear automatically, but we can access it again through the application menu.
I tried running Bodhi in two environments, a VirtualBox virtual machine and a physical desktop computer. In both situations Bodhi performed well. My screen was set to its maximum resolution, networking was enabled and the distribution integrated automatically with VirtualBox. I found it interesting that when run on physical hardware Bodhi automatically set my audio volume to a medium level, but when running in VirtualBox my audio controls were muted by default. In both test environments the distribution performed quickly, the desktop was responsive and boot times were short. The distribution required approximately 180MB of memory when sitting idle at the Enlightenment desktop, giving the operating system a small memory footprint.
Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 -- Checking for software updates
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A short time after signing into my account I noticed a notification in the top panel indicating 41 software updates were available. Clicking the notification icon brings up a list of waiting packages we can scroll through. Next to each package name is a wrench icon which appears to do nothing and there is a green button at the top of the list I initially thought would apply all available updates, but clicking it produced no result. There is a button part way down the list of packages for opening the package manager and clicking this button brings up the eePDater update manager. The update manager shows us the list of packages to be updated along with the version number of the package currently installed and the version of the package available in the software repositories. We can select which packages to upgrade and then click a button to download the available upgrades. I found eePDater ran slowly, but it did eventually install all waiting software upgrades. Toward the end of the week another dozen updated packages became available and the update manager handled these smoothly as well. Most software we have access to is provided by Ubuntu's repositories, but there are also custom packages made available through a Bodhi software repository.
Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 -- The AppCenter
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The Bodhi distribution appears to not ship with a graphical package manager. Users comfortable with the command line can use the APT utilities in a virtual terminal to obtain new software. However, following the beginner documentation, new users are directed to use Bodhi's AppCenter. The AppCenter is a website where users can browse through a small collection of packages containing popular desktop applications. Software packages are divided into categories such as "Multimedia", "Office Software" and "Web Browsers". There are 18 categories in total and the number of packages in each category range from seven down to just two. Clicking on a package in the AppCenter brings up a short description of the item and a button we can click to install the desired package. Once we click the Install button we are prompted for our admin password and then the selected package is downloaded. I had mixed feelings about the AppCenter. On the one hand, the AppCenter is easy to navigate, we do not run into overwhelming amounts of choice and the website is well organized. On the other hand, the installation process from the AppCenter takes a long time compared with installing software via command line APT tools, we can only install one package at a time and there does not appear to be any way to remove unwanted packages once they have been installed. Further, if we want to access software not available in the small AppCenter collection of packages, then we need to use another software manager.
A little bit of looking around revealed the Synaptic package manager is available through the AppCenter. This seemed like good news and I installed the Synaptic package. Synaptic was added to my application menu, but the launcher was set to launch Synaptic without admin rights, meaning I was able to only view packages, not install, remove or upgrade software. I experimented a little with trying to edit the launcher or make a new Synaptic launcher, but trying to launch Synaptic with admin rights (via sudo or esudo) only resulted in Synaptic crashing at launch. In the end, I found the only way I could reliably access locally installed packages or install items not available in the AppCenter was to use the command line APT utilities or launch Synaptic from a virtual terminal.
Bodhi ships with a small selection of software. We are given the Midori web browser, a text editor, a software update manager and a photo viewer. The GNU command line tools and manual pages are included along with the GNU Compiler Collection. Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. Bodhi supplies the Enlightenment desktop and the Enlightenment configuration tools for adjusting the look and feel of the graphical user interface. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.16. By default there are no media codecs or Flash support.
Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 -- Finding files and programs with Run Everything
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Enlightenment provides a few methods by which we can launch applications and find documents. We can find programs through the application menu or via the command line. We can locate documents through the file manager. Another tool Enlightenment provides is the Run Everything window. Run Everything is a bit like the Run program in other desktop environments or the Dash in Unity. By typing in searches and selecting filters we can quickly use Run Everything to locate documents, applications and settings.
I'd like to focus for a moment solely on the Enlightenment desktop. I ran into a number of minor irritations while using Enlightenment. As an example, whenever the virtual terminal wanted my attention or if I pressed Tab in the terminal the window would flare red, which got distracting in a hurry and I turned off this particular feature. As I mentioned above, font size and colour made text difficult to read. I tried changing the font settings in the Enlightenment configuration panel, but even after I changed the font settings, logged out and logged back into my account, the text remained small and was not the colour I had selected. I also went looking for a way to change items in the application menu. While I found a way to create new menu entries, I could not find any way to edit existing entries, even ones I had created. I also found Enlightenment handles a bit differently in subtle ways when compared next to other open source desktop environments. The menus and window controls work in ways that are just different enough to give the Enlightenment interface an alien feel and it took me a while to adjust. I'm not suggesting Enlightenment is wrong for doing things the way it does, just that new users should give themselves a few days to adjust if coming from other open source desktops.
Bodhi Linux 3.0.0 -- Changing desktop settings
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When evaluating a distribution I feel the most important thing to look at is whether the project achieves its stated goals. Bodhi has two stated goals: to be minimal and to provide a working Enlightenment desktop environment. I think it is clear the project completes these goals. Bodhi ships with very little software, the distribution fits on a CD and Bodhi has a fairly small memory footprint. By modern standards, the project is certainly minimal. Regarding Enlightenment, Bodhi ships with a working copy of the desktop environment and, in my opinion, the Bodhi distribution ships the best working implementation of Enlightenment available. In the past I have complained that Enlightenment requires a number of annoying initial configuration steps before we can even use the desktop and, once that is done, plain Enlightenment was not much to look at. Bodhi offers users a pre-configured implementation of Enlightenment and ships with a theme that (while liberal in its use grey) looks nice. So points to Bodhi for achieving its goals.
The second thing I like to look at is whether a project offers features I want and an experience I enjoy. This is a much more subjective test since we all look for and enjoy different things. Personally, I do not like using the Enlightenment environment. I find the interface awkward and it takes me a long time to find the controls or settings I want, if I find them at all. Occasionally I would see glitches where items in an application would appear outside the program's window and the way Run Everything disappears whenever focus shifts to another window is something I find frustrating.
Putting aside my subjective views on Enlightenment for a moment, I'd like to look at another aspect of Bodhi. I believe an operating system should either provide users with all the software they are likely to need or provide an easy way to access additional software. Most distributions try to do both. Bodhi, with its minimal approach, starts us off with very little software so ideally it should make acquiring new applications easy. In my opinion it does not. We do have access to the web-based AppCenter and the interface is easy to navigate, but the AppCenter is a slow way to acquire new applications and these new items need to be located and downloaded one at a time. This makes the AppCenter slower and more roundabout than using one of several available package managers for Ubuntu-based distributions. Some people may feel that including a feature-rich software manager, such as the Ubuntu Software Centre or Mint Install, would fly in the face of Bodhi's minimalist nature, but I feel that if Tiny Core can squeeze a graphical package manager into its default install, then Bodhi should be able to include one as well.
In the end, I think whether a person enjoys running Bodhi or not will depend heavily on whether they like Enlightenment. Some people find it attractive and I will readily admit the interface is responsive. I can certainly see how Bodhi would appeal, especially since not many distributions out there support Enlightenment and almost none supply it as the default user interface. I can also see how Bodhi would appeal to people running old 32-bit hardware, especially if the processor does not support PAE. It seems most distributions these days are shifting to 64-bit or at least 32-bit with a PAE requirement built into the kernel. I think Bodhi is one of the few distributions being actively maintained that still targets such legacy hardware.
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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 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
MakuluLinux experiments with Unity, Fedora gets new desktop notifications, OpenBSD creates its own web server and the GNU Manifesto turns 30 years old
The Unity desktop environment was developed by Canonical for the Ubuntu distribution. Though Unity has been shipping with Ubuntu for several years, the desktop has not been widely used outside of the Ubuntu community with few distributions making efforts to offer Unity spins. The MakuluLinux distribution plans to be one of the first projects to offer an official Unity spin. MakuluLinux developer Jacque Montague Raymer shared a video recently in which he demonstrates the Unity desktop running on MakuluLinux with a custom theme. The Unity desktop has been controversial with some people saying it is more suitable for mobile devices than full sized desktop displays. Others feel Unity improves their work flow and window management. Do you think more distributions should make Unity spins available to their users? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts.
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The Fedora distribution will be shipping GNOME 3.16 as the default desktop environment for Fedora 22. GNOME 3.16 offers a number of improvements over previous releases, including a new approach to handling notifications. Fedora Magazine provides details and screen shots of the new notification system:
"Notifications now pop up from the middle of the GNOME top bar. Many types of notifications allow you to take action immediately through the pop-up balloon. For example, when your storage device is low on space, you can choose to examine the area that's full, or ignore the warning directly from the notification. If you're away from the computer for a while, you might have more than one notification queued up for your attention. In this case, a prominent dot marker appears next to the clock in the top bar. You can select the clock in two ways: either click it with the mouse, or use your Super+M key. (The "Super" key usually has a logo on it, and is sometimes called the Win key.) When you select the clock, you'll see a list of the most recent notifications for each app."
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The developers behind the OpenBSD operating system have long held a reputation for placing the security of their operating system at the top of their priority list. In the past the OpenBSD team has been responsible for creating the OpenSSH secure shell software to allow remote system administration and file transfers over an encrypted connection. More recently the OpenBSD team forked the OpenSSL library, creating a trimmed down and security audited LibreSSL. Now some OpenBSD developers are taking on another project, a minimal and (of course) secure web server. A series of slides [pdf] present the history, motivations and progress of the new web server, named httpd. The developers report the new server will place security and proper behaviour above performance and features. The new web server is designed to be used in environments where static pages or simple dynamic content is served. The presentation slides show the new web server will have a simple configuration and automatically sandbox itself to protect the host operating system.
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"I consider that the Golden Rule requires that if I like a program I must share it with other people who like it. Software sellers want to divide the users and conquer them, making each user agree not to share with others. I refuse to break solidarity with other users in this way. I cannot in good conscience sign a nondisclosure agreement or a software license agreement. For years I worked within the Artificial Intelligence Lab to resist such tendencies and other inhospitalities, but eventually they had gone too far: I could not remain in an institution where such things are done for me against my will. So that I can continue to use computers without dishonor, I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that I will be able to get along without any software that is not free." This quote is from the GNU Manifesto which was published by Richard Stallman 30 years ago. The document describes Stallman's views on software and his desire for software to be shared in much the same way scientists and researches share information on black holes or mathematics. 30 years later, the GNU project's software is used by millions of people around the world. GNU programs are at the heart of every GNU/Linux distribution and GNU licenses, such as the General Public License (GPL), have been applied to thousands of software projects. We are very happy to celebrate this milestone in computing history and hope to see the GNU project continue to develop and grow.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Counting distributions and their popularity
Adding-them-up asks: Over the years one thing has always puzzled me. On DistroWatch all distributions are listed in a consistent way, with one exception: Ubuntu. Ubuntu is split into its different variants/flavours: Xubuntu, Kubuntu, etc.
Other distros have a similar strategy of dividing themselves into different variants. Linux Mint, as an example, has a KDE variant, a MATE variant and a Cinnamon variant. On DistroWatch, all of the different variants are treated as a single distro. Why is Ubuntu not treated in the same way?
Just for the record, I am not an Ubuntu fan-boy, I simply wonder how you count the popularity of distros.
DistroWatch answers: I think it is a fair question, it can be difficult to determine exactly what is a distribution as opposed to what is a spin. When we determine which projects are treated as individual distributions we look at how they are managed.
Looking at the Linux Mint project, for instance, we do see two main editions (MATE and Cinnamon) and we also see various other spins such as Linux Mint Debian Edition, a KDE spin and so on. All of these various Linux Mint editions are all maintained by the same project, they are all under the same central management (more or less) and they are all presented on the same website. The Fedora spins are likewise all presented on the same website and presumably all follow the Fedora project's guidelines as to what may be included in the distribution. I believe this is why Korora, which features third-party add-ons, is run as a separate distribution rather than a Fedora spin.
Looking at Ubuntu and its various community projects, such as Kubuntu and Xubuntu, we see they are managed as separate projects. In fact, Ubuntu community distributions usually start as independently run projects and merge into the Ubuntu community over time.
We do occasionally talk about Ubuntu spins that are not separate community endeavours. For example, Ubuntu has several different spins including Desktop, Server and Cloud editions. These are all talked about, on DistroWatch, as parts of the Ubuntu brand. The Desktop, Server and Cloud editions of Ubuntu do not get separate entries on DistroWatch.
Basically, an easy way to tell if we will regard a project as being its own distribution or not is to see if it has its own website. Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu all have separate websites while Linux Mint's many flavours are all presented on one site.
As to how we count the popularity of distributions, we generally do not try to track the popularity of distributions. Our page hit ranking only tracks the number of visits each distribution's information page receives on DistroWatch. While this metric can be used to guess at the amount of interest a distribution may be drawing from DistroWatch's readership, we do not think it has any strong relation to the market share of distributions on the whole. Other times we will share statistics provided by outside sources, but it is difficult to tell if those statistics are a reflection of global market share.
Bittorrent is a great way to transfer large files, particularly open source operating system images, from one place to another. Most bittorrent clients recover from dropped connections automatically, check the integrity of files and can re-download corrupted bits of data without starting a download over from scratch. These characteristics make bittorrent well suited for distributing open source operating systems, particularly to regions where Internet connections are slow or unstable.
Many Linux and BSD projects offer bittorrent as a download option, partly for the reasons listed above and partly because bittorrent's peer-to-peer nature takes some of the strain off the project's servers. However, some projects do not offer bittorrent as a download option. There can be several reasons for excluding bittorrent as an option. Some projects do not have enough time or volunteers, some may be restricted by their web host provider's terms of service. Whatever the reason, the lack of a bittorrent option puts more strain on a distribution's bandwidth and may prevent some people from downloading their preferred open source operating system.
With this in mind, DistroWatch plans to give back to the open source community by hosting and seeding bittorrent files for distributions that do not offer a bittorrent option themselves. This is a feature we are experimenting with and we are open to feedback on how to improve upon the idea.
For now, we are hosting a small number of distribution torrents, listed below. The list of torrents offered will be updated each week and we invite readers to e-mail us with suggestions as to which distributions we should be hosting. When you message us, please place the word "Torrent" in the subject line, make sure to include a link to the ISO file you want us to seed and please make sure the project you are recommending does not already host its own torrents. We want to primarily help distributions and users who do not already have a torrent option. To help us maintain and grow this free service, please consider making a donation.
The table below provides a list of torrents we currently host. If you do not currently have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found here. All torrents we make available here are also listed on the very useful Linux Tracker website. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 33
- Total downloads completed: 17,602
- Total data uploaded: 3.0TB
|Released Last Week
Oracle Linux 7.1
Michele Casey has announced the release of Oracle Linux 7.1, a distribution rebuilt from the source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1, but featuring a custom kernel and enhancements: "We're happy to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 Update 1, the first update release for Oracle Linux 7. All packages are currently available on ULN and public yum; ISO installation images will be freely available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud soon. Oracle Linux 7 Update 1 ships with the following kernel packages: Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 3 (kernel 3.8.13) for x86-64; Red Hat Compatible Kernel (kernel 3.10.0) for x86-64. Oracle Linux 7 update 1 provides the latest features and innovations, such as: Linux container support using either Docker or LXC with UEK Release 3; comprehensive dynamic tracing with DTrace and UEK Release 3; production support for Btrfs with UEK Release 3; the latest 3rd party hardware support." The release announcement was published last Friday, but the new installation DVD images were only uploaded to mirrors today.
Chris Buechler has announced the release of pfSense 2.2.1, a security and bug-fix update of the project's FreeBSD-based specialist operating system for firewalls and routers: "pfSense software 2.2.1 release is now available, bringing a number of bug fixes and some security fixes. Security fixes: pfSense-SA-15_02.igmp - integer overflow in IGMP protocol; pfSense-SA-15_03.webgui - multiple XSS vulnerabilities in the pfSense WebGUI; pfSense-SA-15_04.webgui - arbitrary file deletion vulnerability in the pfSense WebGUI; FreeBSD-EN-15:01.vt - vt(4) crash with improper ioctl parameters; FreeBSD-EN-15:02.openssl - update to include reliability fixes from OpenSSL. A note on the OpenSSL 'FREAK' vulnerability: does not affect the web server configuration on the firewall as it does not have export ciphers enabled. pfSense 2.2 already included OpenSSL 1.0.1k which addressed the client-side vulnerability. If packages include a web server or similar component, such as a proxy, an improper user configuration may be affected. Consult the package documentation or forum for details." See the complete release announcement for further information.
A new stable release of the Neptune distribution has been made available. The new release, version 4.3, provides users with more up to date software and a number of bug fixes. "This is the third service release to Neptune 4 and comes with improvements, bugfixes and updates. This includes Chromium in version 41, VLC in version 2.2, LibreOffice 4.3.3 as well as Icedove 31.5 and many more. The foundation of this release is represented by the current Debian 7.8 ('Wheezy')." The release announcement goes on to detail a number of fixes and improvements added to this release: "This new version also offers Updates for Kdenlive which bring in better codec support aswell as a fix for the localization of video effects. Kernel 3.16.3 was updated with fixes for btrfs and nouveau. There is also better btrfs support with Grub 2.0.2 Beta 2. The problem with Persistent Creator in the live media not being able to format the persistency file on a non german localization has been solved. Smartphones and mediaplayers are now better supported with mtp library version 1.1.8. For a detailed overview take a look at our Changelog."
Neptune 4.3 -- Running the KDE desktop with default theme
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
February 2015 DistroWatch.com donation: The Xiph.Org Foundation|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the February 2015 DistroWatch.com donation is The Xiph.Org Foundation. It receives US$300.00 in cash.
According to the project's website, "The Xiph.Org Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to protecting the foundations of Internet multimedia from control by private interests. Our purpose is to support and develop free, open protocols and software to serve the public, developer and business markets." Xiph provides free and open source multimedia tools to the public. Xiph is perhaps most well known for its work on the Vorbis media codec, the Ogg media container and the Icecast audio streaming service.
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 crypto currencies 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$42,875 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 ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300)
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Distributions added to waiting list
- AndEx. AndEx is a distribution of the Android operating system for desktop and laptop computers. It can be run as a live CD.
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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, 30 March 2015. 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 184.108.40.206, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Solus is a Linux distribution built from scratch. It uses a forked version of the PiSi package manager, maintained as "eopkg" within Solus, and a custom desktop environment called "Budgie", developed in-house. The Budgie desktop, which can be set to emulate the look and feel of the GNOME 2 desktop, is tightly integrated with the GNOME stack. The distribution is available for 64-bit computers only.