| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 613, 8 June 2015
Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
As time marches forward our world changes and our computing needs change with it. This week we turn our attention toward projects which are riding the wave of change and adapting to modern demands. We begin with a review of Fedora 22, the latest release from one of the community's most cutting-edge distributions. Learn what is new in Fedora 22 and how the distribution performs in our Feature Story. In our News section we discuss work the Linux Mint developers are performing on the Cinnamon desktop environment. We also talk about Ubuntu MATE seeking feedback on how best to provide installation media to its users. Plus we take a look back in time at the history of FreeBSD's code and its Unix legacy. In our Questions and Answers column we tackle the difficult subject of Secure Boot and how to find out which distributions support booting on machines with Secure Boot enabled. This week we want to know what sorts of reviews you enjoy the most and ask that you share your thoughts in our Opinion Poll. Plus we share the distribution releases of the past week and list the new distributions added to our waiting list. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora 22's KDE spin
The Fedora Project recently launched Fedora 22, the latest release of the popular, Red Hat sponsored distribution. The new version of Fedora brings with it a number of new and interesting features. The Workstation edition of the project offers users improved desktop notifications and the latest version of GNOME. The Server edition ships with XFS as the default file system and offers administrators the Cockpit management software. The Cloud edition of Fedora offers a rollback feature that allows administrators to undo changes to the base system as well as services.
The project's three branches (Workstation, Server and Cloud) are each available in 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds. There are also some ARM images available. Since I tried Fedora 21 Workstation fairly recently I decided to explore another aspect of Fedora and looked at the Fedora spins. There are spins for most of the popular desktop environments, one for gaming and another for security. In fact there are lots of spins, but I chose to focus on just one, the KDE spin. The Fedora KDE spin ships with the Plasma 5 desktop and is provided as a 1.1GB ISO file.
Booting from the live media brings up the Plasma 5 desktop environment. The background is decorated with deep blue wallpaper. The wallpaper looks slightly wrinkled and reminds me of the cave walls from classic Star Trek episodes. The application menu, task switcher and system tray can be located at the bottom of the screen. In the upper-left corner there is a button for accessing desktop settings and widget controls. There are no other icons on the desktop.
I found a launcher for the distribution's system installer in the application menu. Fedora uses a graphical system installer which begins by asking us to select our preferred language from a list. We are then brought to a hub screen where we can access various configuration modules. These modules assist us in changing our keyboard's layout, selecting a time zone, setting our computer's hostname and partitioning the hard drive. I find Fedora's manual partitioning screen to be a bit difficult to navigate, but it works and gets the job done. The installer also offers an automated partitioning option. If we take the automated option, Fedora will divide up our disk as it sees fit and does not tell us what actions it plans to take or give us a chance to alter the suggested layout. Once we have completed these configuration modules we are brought to a second hub screen where we are asked to set a password on the root account and create a user account for ourselves. We then wait while the installer finishes copying its files. When the installer is done its work we can close it and return to the Plasma desktop environment. From there we can continue to explore Fedora's live environment until we wish to reboot the computer.
Fedora 22 -- The project's release notes and news
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Booting our local copy of Fedora brings us to a graphical login screen. Signing into our account brings us back to the Plasma 5 desktop. A short time after I logged in an icon appeared in the system tray letting me know there were 133 updates waiting for me. That's an impressive number of updates to encounter on the same day the distribution is launched. Clicking on the update icon brings up a small widget which lists all the available updates. We can click a box next to each update to select whether we wish to install the new package or not (the default, thankfully, is the install all new updates). I'm not sure how much bandwidth the 133 updates required, but my system was busy for several minutes downloading and installing the new software packages. Later in the week the update widget presented me with an additional 30 packages to install. All of the 163 updates installed and my system continued to work well. After the first wave of updates I rebooted my system and found my desktop's wallpaper had disappeared. I'm not sure if its disappearance was related to the software updates or not, but it was easy enough to venture into the desktop settings panel and re-enable the default wallpaper.
I tried running Fedora's KDE spin in two test environments, in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a desktop machine. On the physical desktop computer, Fedora performed well. The distribution booted quickly, performed most tasks rapidly and offered a smooth, stable experience. My screen was set to its maximum resolution and I found both networking and sound worked out of the box. When running in the VirtualBox environment, performance was good and everything worked. I found Fedora would not make full use of my monitor's resolution when running in VirtualBox and I ended up spending some time trying to get that working and I'll talk more about installing extra software like VirtualBox's guest modules later. I found Fedora generally used around 425MB to 450MB of memory when logged into the Plasma desktop.
Fedora 22 -- System Settings panel and application menu
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Fedora's KDE spin provides users with a collection of useful software with a strong focus on KDE software and applications built using the Qt framework. We are given the Konqueror web browser, the Konservation chat client, the KTorrent bittorrent software and the KMail e-mail software. The distribution offers us the Calligra productivity suite, the KOrganizer personal organizer, the Amarok music player, the Dragon Player multimedia application and the K3b disc burning application. We can also access the Gwenview image viewer, the KolourPaint drawing software, a web cam utility and the Okular document viewer. There are a few small games installed by default along with the Dolphin file manager, the KDE System Settings panel and the Apper software manager. We can also access an account manager, an archive manager, a calculator and a text editor. The Kleopatra and KGpg privacy tools are installed for us. Network Manager is provided to help us get on-line. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 4.0. I did not find any media codecs, Flash or compilers in Fedora's KDE spin.
Fedora 22 -- The Calligra productivity suite
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When we want to install additional software we can turn to the Apper package manager. Apper shows us categories of software using a grid of colourful icons. There are also icons we can select which will show us items we have already installed along with available updates. In the upper-right corner of Apper's window there is a search box we can use for locating packages by name. I ran into a number of problems when using Apper. While the update screen would properly display and install software upgrades, clicking any of the software categories would cause an error message to appear saying "SearchGroups not supported by backend." This prevents us from browsing through the lists of available software. On the other hand, I found the search box worked and would bring up lists of packages with matching names. Clicking on a package to learn more about it caused Apper to display a description box at the bottom of the window filled with blue lines. No readable description of the selected software was displayed. I was able to click the Install button next to the packages listed in my search results and found Apper would correctly install the desired package. Another problem I encountered while using Apper was that when trying to install third-party items (ie packages not from a Fedora repository), Apper would always report the installation had failed. However, when I checked, I always found the item I had tried to install through Apper had been placed on my system and worked. In other words, Apper is overly pessimistic about whether software packages install cleanly or not.
Fedora 22 -- The Apper package manager
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As I had quickly become disheartened with Apper, I turned my attention to Fedora's new default package manager, DNF. The DNF command line package manager uses the same simple, easy to read syntax YUM previously used. DNF operates the same way, has approximately the same command line options and similar configuration files. Basically DNF appears to be exactly like YUM was, but it works a little faster. Searches especially returned faster, but otherwise DNF came across as being a small evolutionary step forward in package management. Generally speaking, DNF worked well. I did however, run into one problem.
Fedora 22 -- Managing packages and the firewall
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Earlier I mentioned that Fedora does not ship with multimedia codecs, Flash or VirtualBox modules. Fedora has a pretty strict policy when it comes to software licensing and so people who want these extras need to seek out third-party software repositories. Unfortunately, at the time I was using Fedora there was no VirtualBox repository set up for Fedora 22 yet. RPMFusion had repositories enabled for Fedora 22 (though these repositories had not been announced on the RPMFusion front page the first few days I was working with the distribution). RPMFusion makes it fairly easy to add their repositories, we simply click on a few links and Apper sets up the repositories. (Though Apper, of course, claims it was unable to set up the repositories, just like it claimed all other additions from third-parties failed.) The RPMFusion repositories give us access to a wider range of software and we can find most of the extras we want through them. The problem with DNF I alluded to before came about immediately after I had enabled the RPMFusion repositories. Suddenly installations and searches appeared to hang. DNF appeared unable to operate and I saw only "timed out" errors as clues to what was going wrong. Eventually, I reasoned that many users were all contacting the RPMFusion repositories at the same time and waited a few hours before performing any other package management actions. Eventually, DNF was able to get through to the RPMFusion servers and searches and installations began working again.
There were a few other things I noticed during my time with Fedora. One was that it is easy to hide the "toolbox" icon, the Plasma icon used to configure the desktop and access new widgets. I remember several people asking me how to hide the KDE4 version of the "toolbox" or "cashew" icon and I'm glad the KDE developers have made this an easy option to locate and toggle.
Other aspects of Fedora's KDE spin I appreciated were the power management and systemd configuration modules. These are both located in the System Settings panel. The power management module is presented in a friendly manner and easy to navigate. The systemd module is likewise easy to navigate and it makes enabling, disabling, starting and stopping system services quite easy.
My overall impression of Fedora 22, or at least the KDE spin of Fedora 22, is that the distribution is a good desktop system once it has been set up. As is usually the case with Fedora, the problems I encountered happened early on. Fedora's installer and the Apper package manager are not particularly intuitive and, in the case of Apper, the utility is actually quite buggy. The DNF package manager, while a step forward in terms of performance, doesn't handle unresponsive servers all that well. DNF does give us some performance gains though so I have hopes for a smoother, more fault tolerant package manager in the near future. Fedora does not ship with a number of popular items, such as multimedia codecs, and we need third-party repositories in order to acquire these extras.
Once Fedora is set up, once the extra software has been located and installed, then Fedora performs well. The distribution offers good performance and good hardware support. It may take a while to get everything configured the way we want it, but from that point on the day to day operation of the distribution flows smoothly. I wouldn't recommend Fedora to Linux newcomers, but people who are generally familiar with how Linux distributions work will probably enjoy the cutting edge software and performance Fedora offers.
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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)
Linux Mint developers release Cinnamon 2.6, Ubuntu MATE seeks feedback on installation images and FreeBSD's history
Last week the Linux Mint project launched a new version of the Cinnamon desktop environment. Cinnamon uses GNOME 3 technology to create a classic desktop environment, similar in look and feel to the legacy GNOME 2 environment. The Cinnamon developers have been working hard to make their desktop environment faster and more reliable. "A huge amount of work was done to review the CPU usage in various parts of Cinnamon and many improvements were made. Performance was gained by optimizing how Cinnamon reacts to particular events and reducing the number of tasks or repeated tasks it performs. The menu, for instance, is refreshed about 6 times as less as before... signals resulting from connecting a USB device are grouped together and lead to 1 action, reducing 4 concurrent reactions into a single one." Multiple panel configurations and multiple monitor support have been improved and the file manager now performs operations in sequence rather than in parallel. The new file manager behaviour avoids swamping the computer's processor and disk with file operations. Cinnamon 2.6 is already available to Linux Mint Debian Edition users and will appear in the upcoming release of Linux Mint 17.2. More details on Cinnamon 2.6 can be found on the Linux Mint Segfault blog.
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The Ubuntu MATE distribution is a community project which aims to combine Ubuntu packages with the classic MATE desktop. Many users regard Ubuntu MATE as a return to the way Ubuntu used to work, prior to the launch of the controversial Unity desktop environment. Martin Wimpress, Ubuntu MATE co-founder and project lead, is considering expanding Ubuntu MATE's editions with the possibility of a new, minimal ISO for people who want to run MATE without a lot of applications. Wimpress is running a poll on his Google Plus page where he asks for feedback on Ubuntu MATE's installation image options. "Would you install an Ubuntu MATE alternative image suitable for burning to CD-ROM that contains the base Ubuntu operating system, MATE Desktop, Firefox, Ubuntu MATE settings/tweaks/integrations but none of the applications such as LibreOffice, Pidgin, Rhythmbox, VLC, etc? The meta packages and tasks to support this already exist in what will become Ubuntu MATE 15.10 and it is possible to install Ubuntu MATE 15.10 `basic' edition using the mini.iso and ubuntu-mate-core meta package or task. Question is, do we need an alternative image? Would you use it?"
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Unix has a long and interesting history along with a correspondingly tangled family tree. The original Unix operating system spawned a huge collection of children, cousins and clones which makes navigating the politics of modern Linux/BSD/MINIX/Unix community forums a truly bizarre experience. For those of us interested in operating system history there is help to be found. A document called A Repository with 44 Years of Unix Evolution offers us a written history of Unix complete with diagrams and graphs that outline where modern open source Unix (particularly FreeBSD) came from. "As can be seen in Figure 1, a modern version of Unix (FreeBSD 9) still contains visible chunks of code from BSD 4.3, BSD 4.3 Net/2, and FreeBSD 2.0. Interestingly, the Figure shows that code developed during the frantic dash to create an open source operating system out of the code released by Berkeley (386BSD and FreeBSD 1.0) does not seem to have survived. The oldest code in FreeBSD 9 appears to be an 18-line sequence in the C library file timezone.c, which can also be found in the 7th Edition Unix file with the same name and a time stamp of January 10th, 1979 - 36 years ago." The document contains all sorts of interesting bits of trivia and will make it easier to understand where modern FreeBSD comes from.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Working with or around Secure Boot
Working-with-Secure-Boot asks: Almost all new PC's now have UEFI (along with bootloader locking). It would be a huge help in evaluating distros to know if/how they support UEFI.
I am having a helluva time finding any that will work with some Windows 8 tablets I have been trying to install a Linux distro onto since it seems various how-to's suggest merging the EFI directory from a few distros (some rather exotic) into others' installation structures, and it seems rather haphazard how well that will work, depending on the tablet. Knowing which distros have UEFI support included would be a very useful "check item" for searches, and reviews that include how it actually works would also be very helpful.
Better yet, a FAQ with pointers to tutorials on how to work with/around UEFI and locked boot loaders would also be a huge help. The only extensive one I found a while back was written by someone who was clearly not a native English speaker, and there was a lot of awkward translation that made the article difficult to understand.
DistroWatch answers: Regarding having a way to see which distributions have UEFI support, I agree, and it would be nice if more projects made it clear on their websites whether the distribution is UEFI-friendly and whether it will work in Secure Boot environments. The good news is most Linux distributions (and FreeBSD) now have UEFI support. The Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu and openSUSE distributions (along with their community derivatives) can all work with UEFI. Some members of the Mandriva family have UEFI support, though sometimes their UEFI support is in its initial stages. Slackware has also adopted UEFI support. However, Secure Boot support is a bit more limited. At the time of writing I think members of the Fedora family, Ubuntu family and openSUSE support booting on machines with Secure Boot technology. Other distributions will probably require Secure Boot be disabled in order to work.
Each year DistroWatch updates the list of packages we track in each distribution. It is our intention to make it easier for our readers to discover which distributions support UEFI and which ones support Secure Boot shims by tracking the packages which provide these features. Specifically, we will, from now on, track the efibootmgr and shim packages. The availability of these packages usually indicates a distribution supports booting on UEFI-enabled hardware. Hopefully this will help people make better informed decisions as to which Linux distributions best suit their needs. More information on which packages we are tracking can be found below
The main problem I feel you are facing is tablets with Windows 8 are often designed specifically to prevent running alternative operating systems. Secure Boot has the unfortunate effect (possibly by design) of making it difficult to install alternative operating systems on a device. Trying to run Linux on a Windows 8 tablet is a little like modifying a race car to fly, it's not likely to be easy.
Part of the issue is it is actually illegal in some regions to work around the Secure Boot lock and that is why you're not likely to find many tutorials on installing Linux on Windows 8 tablets. There is an additional problem in that different device makers implement UEFI and Secure Boot differently. This means a tutorial on how to disable Secure Boot on an Acer computer will be different than a tutorial for disabling the feature on a Dell computer. There is no standard and that makes writing general purpose how-to articles very difficult. My first advice would be to sell the Windows 8 tablet and purchase a tablet specifically built with Linux (or at least alternative software) in mind.
That being said, it is possible to install Linux on some tablets that ship with Windows 8. One of our enterprising readers pointed me to a thread on the Ubuntu forums which discusses the steps required to install Ubuntu on the HP Stream 7 tablet. Thank you, Rory, for the link.
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. 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: 67
- Total downloads completed: 40,324
- Total data uploaded: 7.3TB
|Released Last Week
Porteus Kiosk 3.4.0
Tomasz Jokiel has announced the release of Porteus Kiosk 3.4.0, a small Gentoo-based distribution designed for Internet-only web kiosks: "I'm pleased to announce that Porteus Kiosk 3.4.0 is now available for download. Linux kernel has been updated to version 3.18.14 and supports much wider range of the hardware including x86-compatible tablets, and embedded and industrial devices. Default ISO size has been reduced to 36 MB as the browser component is not present in it and must be downloaded from the network during installation. Packages from the userland are upgraded to portage snapshot tagged on 2015-05-30.Here is a short overview of the most notable features introduced in this release: added initial support for Google Chrome as an alternative browser to Mozilla Firefox; updated UEFI component to support PCs equipped with 32-bit EFI firmware; Kiosk Wizard offers a possibility of loading and saving the kiosk configuration on removable devices...." See the complete release announcement and the detailed changelog for more information.
Ryan Finnie has announced the release of Finnix 111, a small Debian-based live Linux distribution for system administrators - now with experimental support for the armhf architecture: "Finnix 111 released. Finnix is a small, self-contained, bootable Linux CD distribution for system administrators, based on Debian 'Testing'. Finnix 111 includes support for the ARM architecture, OverlayFS support, as well as other features and bug fixes. Finnix 111 introduces support for the ARM (armhf) architecture, in addition to existing x86 and PowerPC architecture support. Finnix 111 for ARM is currently classified as a 'technology preview', and primarily targets the Versatile Express A9 platform, as emulated by QEMU. This makes it easy to download and test via QEMU on a standard PC without special hardware. Additional platforms are planned for the future. Finnix for ARM has been successfully tested on the Raspberry Pi 2." See the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Calculate Linux 14.16.2
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 14.16.2, an updated version of the Gentoo-based distribution for desktops (with KDE or Xfce), servers and media centres: "We are happy to announce the release of Calculate Linux 14.16.2. Main changes: a lighter and more Gentoo-friendly Splashutils tool is finally preferred to Plymouth; OpenRC bootup comes parallel by default; network interfaces got back their classic names; fewer packages in CLD and CLDX, fewer dependencies in CMC and CLS; Chromium problem fixed in CLDX - feel free to open as many tabs as you need; USB 3G/4G modems now work correctly; the default update checkup interval was set to 24 hours; CLD and CLDX flavors both delivered with SMPlayer YouTube browser; in CLD, the GParted editor was replaced with KDE Partition Manager; Python 3.4 included everywhere..." Here is the full release announcement.
The developers of Sabayon, a Gentoo-based distribution, have announced the availability of Sabayon 15.06. The new release features several package upgrades, including an update to the 4.0 Linux kernel. Sabayon makes proprietary video drivers available for improved graphics performance and ships with a lot of desktop functionality out of the box. "We changed a lot of things under the hood, and with this release we wanted to show them up also on the surface. All the flavors received the deserved love. We moved to 4.0 kernel, gcc 4.9.2, systemd 216, x265 support, primus for high performance graphics on optimus card, prepared Entropy for Plasma 5, libav 11.3, Kodi (the new name of XBMC): the complete ChangeLog files related to this release are available on our mirrors. We have some very exciting improvements in the pipeline. The ChangeLog files related to this release are available on our mirrors." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Sabayon 15.06 -- Running the Xfce desktop
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Diversity of reviews
We receive a lot of requests to do reviews of one open source project or another. Some people ask us to seek out and review lesser known distributions, particularly ones sitting on our waiting list. Other people want us to diversify by reviewing more non-Linux operating systems, such as the BSDs or MINIX. While some readers would like us to focus primarily on mainstream distributions, exploring the options people tend to use most. We already try to strike a balance between these requests, but we would like to get a better feel for the sorts of topics our readers want to see. With that in mind, this week we ask that you chime in with the sorts of reviews you want more of. Do you want more mainstream reviews, looks at lesser known Linux distributions, more non-Linux operating systems, occasional open source application reviews, or a balance of all the above? Feel free to go into detail regarding what you want to see in the comments section.
You can see the results of last week's poll on rolling vs fixed releases here.
I want more reviews on
|Mainstream Linux distros: ||348 (22%)|
| Obscure Linux distros: ||422 (26%)|
| Non-Linux OSes: ||176 (11%)|
| Applications: ||228 (14%)|
| Books: ||44 (3%)|
| All of the above: ||375 (23%)|
| Other: ||16 (1%)|
Changes to our package database
Every year, around this time, we update the list of packages we track in the DistroWatch database. As the open source climate changes some packages fall out of favour or are no longer maintained. Meanwhile, new software arrives on the scene and provides new functionality. Here is a list of new packages we are now tracking:
In an effort to keep our list of tracked software tidy, we have ceased tracking the following packages: bluefish, fetchmail, procmail, Xmas and YUM.
- Bitcoin, an innovative payment network and a new kind of money
- DNF, a new package management library and a fork of YUM
- efibootmgr, a Linux user-space application to modify the Intel EFI boot manager
- kde-workspace, a package containing components that provide the KDE desktop environment.
- Kodi, a media player and entertainment hub for digital media
- LibreSSL, an implementation of SSL and TLS protocols, forked from OpenSSL
- Plasma Desktop, a desktop environment
- shim, a bootloader to chain-load signed boot loaders under Secure Boot
- tmux a terminal multiplexer
- ZFS, an advanced file system and volume manager maintained by the Illumos community
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Chili-OS. Chili-OS is a Mint-based distribution for mid-to-low end computers featuring the Xfce desktop environment.
- CrunchBang Plus Plus. CrunchBang++ is an open source and completely free of cost computer operating system, designed as a continuation of the CrunchBang Linux distribution, based on newer Debian 8 "Jessie" packages and built around the minimal and lightweight Openbox window manager. CrunchBang++ is also known as CBPP or #!++ or CrunchBang Plus Plus.
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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, 15 June 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 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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SteamOS is a Debian-based Linux distribution designed to run Valve's Steam and Steam games. It also provides a desktop mode (GNOME) which can run regular Linux applications. In addition to a stable Debian base, SteamOS features various third-party drivers and updated graphics stack, a newer Linux kernel with long-term support, and a custom graphics compositor designed to provide a seamless transition between Steam, its games and the SteamOS system overlay. The base operating system is open-source software, but the Steam client is proprietary.