| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 662, 23 May 2016
Welcome to this year's 21st issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One of the nice aspects of the open source community is people are constantly making new utilities and live discs to simplify common tasks. Whether your interest is in data recovery, penetration testing or web kiosks, there is a distribution (or two or three) out there dedicated to the purpose. This week we look at some of these focused projects, beginning with the Clonezilla disk copying software. Read our Feature Story to find out how this flexible disk cloning distribution works. In our News section we talk about a new third-party software repository for Fedora users and a change to the LPS website. Plus we cover Webconverger's new experiment with commercial features, running Wayland on DragonFlyBSD and a live edition of Slackware. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss the Linux kernel and alternative patches to the kernel. In our Torrent Corner we provide a list of the distributions we are seeding and then we share the new releases of the past week. In our Opinion Poll we talk about self-hosting network services. This past week we added some quick-links for common searches to our Search page and added the Bluestar Linux distribution to our database. All the details are included below. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (28MB) and MP3 (40MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Clonezilla Live "Wily"
One of my favourite open source utilities is Clonezilla Live. The Clonezilla project creates tools to assist people in making copies of their hard drives and disk partitions. This can be useful at home for transferring an operating system from one computer to another. It's also a quick way to backup a system's packages and configuration files. In office environments it can be a big time saver to be able to clone one generic operating system onto multiple computers quickly. While installing, configuring and updating an operating system from scratch might take anywhere from half an hour to several hours, Clonezilla can transfer a copy of an operating system across a network in ten to twenty minutes.
The Clonezilla project develops two products, a server edition and a live disc edition. They are described on the project's website as follows:
Clonezilla is a partition and disk imaging/cloning program similar to True Image® or Norton Ghost®. It helps you to do system deployment, bare metal backup and recovery. Two types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla Live and Clonezilla SE (server edition). Clonezilla Live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla SE is for massive deployment, it can clone many (40 plus!) computers simultaneously. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the hard disk. This increases the clone efficiency. With some high-end hardware in a 42-node cluster, a multicast restoring at rate 8GB/minute was reported.
Clonezilla Live is available in two different flavours, one is based on Debian while the other is built from Ubuntu packages. The project's website explains the Ubuntu edition is required when working on computers that feature UEFI/Secure Boot technology. When Secure Boot is disabled, users should be able to get along with the Debian-based flavour of Clonezilla Live.
I downloaded the Ubuntu-based version of Clonezilla Live, which was provided as a 194MB ISO file. Booting from the Clonezilla Live media brings up a series of text-based menus. We are asked to select our preferred language from a list and, optionally, select our keyboard's layout. We are then asked if we would like to run a command line shell session or run the Clonezilla software.
Assuming we decide to run the Clonezilla software, we are then asked if we would like to transfer data directly between disks/partitions. This is a handy option if we have two hard drives plugged into the same computer and want to mirror one onto the other. However, most of the time we will want to take the second option which is to work with image files. An image file is a binary copy of a hard drive or partition which can be saved to another location and then copied (or restored) back to as many other hard drives as we want. I decided to work with disk image files for the duration of this review.
Clonezilla Live "Wily" -- Selecting a storage location for the disk image
(full image size: 11kB, resolution: 800x600 pixels)
The Clonezilla wizard then asks us where disk images should be saved. The software supports a lot of methods of storing disk images, including on a local disk, a server running secure shell, a Samba share, an NFS network share or a WebDAV server. Clonezilla will even attempt to store images in RAM, though it is not a recommended option as disk images are usually large and RAM relatively small. Also, storing an image in RAM means we cannot use it after the computer reboots, so a more permanent storage area is recommended. Once we have selected which storage method to use, we are asked to provide our security credentials for that location. As an example, choosing to save data on a server running OpenSSH causes Clonezilla to prompt us for the remote server's address, our account name and password. We are then asked if Clonezilla should connect to the network using automatic (DHCP) settings or if we would like to manually provide network settings.
Clonezilla then asks if we would like to save a copy of an entire disk or just a single partition. We can then name the copy of the data we are making. Clonezilla wraps up its questions by asking if we would like to check the file system we are backing up for errors and if we would like to encrypt the disk image we are creating. I especially like the availability of the encryption option as it is possible some of our data will be sensitive and I like having an extra layer of protection for anything that will be saved to a network share.
Having collected our input, Clonezilla starts copying our data to a remote image file. We are shown progress bars indicating how much work has been done. There are also "time elapsed" and "time remaining" clocks. In my scenarios I found Clonezilla tended to take from ten to twenty minutes to save a hard drive image. When Clonezilla is finished it asks if we would like to re-run the Clonezilla wizard, reboot, power off the computer or drop to a command line prompt.
The saved image data ends up being placed in a directory, usually on a remote server. The directory carries the name we provided for the image. Inside the directory we find a collection of files, one for each partition we imaged and a few other files containing meta-data. I generally found the image data Clonezilla created was around one-eighth of the size of the original partitions I had cloned.
Clonezilla Live "Wily" -- Saving a disk image to a remote server
(full image size: 10kB, resolution: 800x600 pixels)
One of the nice aspects of Clonezilla is that restoring a disk or partition from an image is virtually the same process as creating an image of a disk. The wizard's steps are almost identical. We boot from the Clonezilla live media, select where Clonezilla can find disk images, connect to the network, provide the Clonezilla wizard with our credentials for the remote server and then, instead of choosing to clone a disk, we ask Clonezilla to restore a disk. We are then shown a list of disk images Clonezilla was able to find on the remote server and we select one. Then we choose which local disk or partition to over-write with the image and Clonezilla goes to work. I found that having the restore process almost identical to the cloning process makes Clonezilla easy to navigate as the steps and their order are the same each time.
There are several things I like about Clonezilla. One positive characteristic is that the project exemplifies doing one task and doing it well. Clonezilla is a very focused project, it clones hard drives and partitions and that is all. It provides many ways to save and restore these images and Clonezilla can work in several different environments, but ultimately it just saves and restores disk images and I like that.
Another thing I like is that Clonezilla fills an important and practical niche. I personally have saved myself hundreds of hours of work by using Clonezilla rather than manually installing operating systems to new computers. This is a utility I highly advise system administrators and computer enthusiasts keep on hand.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, I find Clonezilla easy to use. The concept of imaging disk drives and, often times, the practice of imaging drives can be complex. To save an image of a partition, compress it, encrypt it and send it over the network to a remote server would require several steps from the command line. With Clonezilla's step-by-step wizard and on-screen hints the process is relatively short. The steps are orderly and the prompts usually provide good default options, making it relatively easy to save and restore partition images.
In short, if you need to deploy a lot of machines quickly, or archive hard drive data, Clonezilla is a wonderful, time-saving tool to have. I have been using it for several years now and it is one of my favourite Linux-based utilities.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
New Fedora community repository, LPS website switches to HTTPS, Webconverger introduces commercial option, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland and a live edition of Slackware
People who use the Fedora distribution will have an additional way to gain access to third-party software and packages which are not compatible with Fedora's licensing restrictions. The UnitedRPMs project provides a software repository with multimedia packages and other items which are not available through Fedora's official repositories. "What is the purpose of this project? Well, maintain a solution for people with unstable Fedora distributions, increase technical skills, create a Copr-like build system for packages with licensing problems. UnitedRPMs it's not a branch maintenance of other projects, it is only a road to give the user a fast solution without fool bureaucracy where everyone can help." Adding the UnitedRPMs repository to Fedora requires running just a single command which can be found on the project's website.
* * * * *
The Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) distribution, a live CD developed by the United States of America's Department of Defence, has updated its website. The LPS project no longer accepts plain HTTP connections to its website with these connections simply being dropped. People who wish to learn about LPS and download the distribution will need to connect to the website using the HTTPS protocol. (Updated links are available on our LPS information page.) Visitors to the LPS website will note that the Department of Defence is using a security certificate which cannot be verified so the authenticity of the LPS website cannot be confirmed.
* * * * *
The Webconverger project, in an effort to fund continuing development and handle rising costs, is introducing a commercial aspect to the web kiosk distribution. "From yesterday, configuring a device requires payment authorization. The new Stripe based billing system should make it painless for new subscribers who have just one or two machines to purchase a subscription. If you do encounter a problem, please email support. The trial is 30 days and the initial price is 9.99USD a month. Our pricing is flexible and for large deployments and for the likes of non-profits and charities, we ask you please to get in contact with email@example.com. We are hoping this new revenue stream will give us the resources to tackle our issue list, improve the Raspberry PI & Android versions and grow." The distribution can still be downloaded and tried for free and the source code is still publicly available, the commercial aspect deals with customizing the operating system. The project's announcement has more details.
* * * * *
Support for the Wayland/Weston display server has been moving forward on DragonFlyBSD to the point where several applications will run on the Wayland display software. This mailing list post provides the steps needed to get the software up and running. It's not a smooth, easy process yet, but one developer was able to get the Nautilus file manager, Xfce terminal and Firefox running on Wayland thanks to the XWayland compatibility software. "In summary: I am very much impressed. On this machine, Wayland/Weston feels faster than X. It's stable, or at least so far. With Xorg I can't switch between VT and graphical screen more than twice; the screen hangs after two switches. With Wayland it just works."
* * * * *
Last week Eric Hameleers released version 1.0.0 of his live edition of Slackware, called liveslak. The new live edition will likely form the base of Slackware's official live disc when Slackware 14.2 is released later this year. Hameleers writes, "For demonstration purposes I have generated a new set of ISO images using liveslak version 1.0.0. There are ISO images for a full Slackware (64-bit and 32-bit versions), 64-bit Plasma 5 and MATE variants and the 700MB small Xfce variant (also 64-bit). They are based on Slackware-current dated `Thu May 12 01:50:21 UTC 2016'." Further information on this live edition of the venerable Slackware distribution along with download links can be found in Eric's blog post.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Comparing kernel components
Looking-for-a-more-responsive-system asks: I was wondering why CFS/CFQ is used in the main kernel instead of BFS/BFQ, which has advantages overall. Also why the pf-kernel patch is not integrated in the main kernel?
DistroWatch answers: There are a few reasons the BFS process scheduler did not make it into the kernel before now. One was that the CFS process scheduler was in place and worked fairly well. Another was that the kernel developers appeared to not want to include two schedulers in the kernel, preferring, it seems, to let distributions such as Zenwalk and PCLinuxOS patch BFS into their kernels as desired.
Perhaps the most important reason though for BFS not being included in the mainline Linux kernel comes from the BFS developer himself. He wrote the following on the BFS scheduler's frequently asked questions page:
Are you looking at getting this into mainline?
The BFQ I/O scheduler faces a similar issue. CFQ already exists and works fairly well. Rather than have two competing I/O schedulers in the kernel at the same time, it looks as though the kernel developers want to slowly merge BFQ in, replacing CFQ. For people who really want to explore BFQ and its impact on performance, there are a number of distributions which have adopted the BFQ scheduler.
No really, are you?
Really really, are you?
No. They would be crazy to use this scheduler anyway since it won't scale to
their 4096 CPU machines. The only way is to rewrite it to work that way, or
to have more than one scheduler in the kernel. I don't want to do the former,
and mainline doesn't want to do the latter. Besides, apparently I'm a bad
maintainer, which makes sense since for some reason I seem to want to have
a career, a life, raise a family with kids and have hobbies, all of which
have nothing to do with Linux.
As for why the pf-kernel patches have not been merged, pf-kernel is actually a collection of changes rather than one particular feature. The main benefits to using pf-kernel are the BFS and BFQ scheduler patches, which as we covered above, face their own roadblocks.
* * * * *
Desiring-good-hardware-support-in-other-kernels asks: Why don't other open source projects like Haiku and FreeBSD port Linux kernel drivers to their operating systems?
DistroWatch answers: I hear this question come up semi-frequently in conversations about MINIX, Haiku and FreeBSD. There are two main reasons drivers from the Linux kernel cannot be ported to the kernels of other operating systems.
The first hurdle is the license. Linux kernel code is licensed under the GNU General Public License (version 2), which is a relatively restrictive open source license. Unless a Linux developer is willing to dual-license their code under a more permissive license, their driver code cannot be used by other, more permissively licensed projects.
The second issue is that kernels are designed in different ways and, while they perform similar tasks, their pieces are not interchangeable. Asking why FreeBSD does not use Linux drivers is roughly equivalent to asking why a Volkswagen Beetle owner doesn't put a 18-wheeler engine in their car so it can pull more weight. The idea sounds nice in the abstract, but starts to fall apart when you look at the design of the two items being worked on.
Cooperation can happen between kernel projects. Code, designs and specifications do sometimes flow between various open source kernels. But the situation does not allow code to simply be copy and pasted from one kernel into the other.
* * * * *
Past Questions and Answers columns can be found in our Q&A Archive.
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 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. 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: 196
- Total data uploaded: 36.2TB
|Released Last Week
The Linuxfx team has launched a new version of their Ubuntu-based distribution. The new release, Linuxfx 7.4.2, features mostly improved hardware support, productivity software and media support. An English translation of the project's release announcement (Brazilian Portuguese) reads: "This new version of Linuxfx is the latest 7 series and brings several new features included. Start using the new CTOs interface and all the features of the systems developed by Linuxfx Software for the area of biometrics and access control. This version contains the most current tools for production and even Internet browsing, as well as providing extra security against malicious websites or other content potentially harmful to your computer." This release features support for running in a VirtualBox environment. Download (MD5): linuxfx-ctos-7.4.2.iso (1,776MB).
Dejan Petrovic has announced the release of ChaletOS 16.04, a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu and designed for Linux newcomers. The new release focuses mostly on the look and feel of the distribution's desktop environment: "What is new in new release of ChaletOS? New LTS support, new kernel and new Software Center. But beside that, with what is ChaletOS so different from other distributions? Themes are improved so they can work with GTK3 and GTK2 engine. Also, now they are more complete, and include details for many applications. Icons are redesigned. We used Emerald icons and we redesigned them so they are more suitable for ChaletOS style. Style Changer is rewritten and templates are made from scratch. Many community derived Conky styles are rewritten and adapted for ChaletOS. Start Point is new application that can help new users to start using ChaletOS or Linux. It contains collection of video material, articles from websites and recommendations for different applications." The full details and a screen shot can be found in the project's release announcement.
ChaletOS 16.04 -- Displaying the default desktop and application menu
(full image size: 511kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Ziliang Guo has announced the availability of ReactOS 0.4.1, a minor release of the built-from-scratch operating system which tries to clone the design of the Microsoft Windows NT platform: "The ReactOS team is proud to announce the release of version 0.4.1 a mere three months after the release of 0.4.0. The team has long desired an increased release tempo and the hope is that this will be the first of many of faster iterations. Due to the brief period of time between the two releases, 0.4.1 is ultimately a refinement of what was in 0.4.0. That is not to say that there are no new features of course, and a few highlights of both categories are listed below: Activation Context - a fix that came in just a tad too late for 0.4.0, this resolved a problem in the loader that prevented applications depending on various versions of the MSVCRT library from working properly; BTRFS support - initial read and write support introduced via importing of the WinBtrfs driver; shell - general usability improvements such as properly rendering icons and improved folder views...." Here is the complete release announcement.
The ExTiX project has released a new version of their Ubuntu-based distribution. The new version, ExTiX 16.2, features the KDE desktop and is based on packages from Debian's development branches and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. "ExTiX 16.2 KDE DVD 64-bit is based on Debian 8.4 Jessie/Debian 9 Stretch and Ubuntu 16.04. The original system includes the desktop environment Unity (Ubuntu). After removing Unity I have installed KDE Frameworks 5.15.0 with KDE 4.15. KDE Frameworks are 60 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms." The new version ships with version 4.4 of the Linux kernel. Additional information on ExTiX 16.2 can be found in the project's release announcement.
Chris Buechler has announced the release of pfSense 2.3.1, an updated version of the project's FreeBSD-based operating system designed for firewalls and routers. This is minor bug-fix release, although it also includes a number of important security updates: "We are happy to announce the release of pfSense software version 2.3.1. This is a maintenance release in the 2.3.x series, bringing a number of bug fixes, two security fixes in the GUI, as well as security fixes for OpenSSL, OpenVPN and FreeBSD atkbd and sendmsg. This release includes a total of 103 bug fixes. 79 regressions in 2.3 have been fixed, mostly minor issues in the new GUI. Several of these are significant issues, and have resolved nearly all the post-upgrade problems encountered in 2.3-RELEASE. 24 issues affecting 2.2.x and prior versions have also been fixed."" Read the release announcement and check out the features and changes page for further information.
The Webconverger project has released a new version of its Debian-based web kiosk distribution. The new release, Webconverger 35.1, features better hardware support (courtesy of the Linux 4.5 kernel), Firefox 46 and various security updates. This release also introduces a commercial aspect: "From yesterday, configuring a device requires payment authorization. The new Stripe based billing system should make it painless for new subscribers who have just one or two machines to purchase a subscription. If you do encounter a problem, please email support. The trial is 30 days and the initial price is $9.99USD a month. Our pricing is flexible and for large deployments and for the likes of non-profits and charities, we ask you please to get in contact with firstname.lastname@example.org. We are hoping this new revenue stream will give us the resources to tackle our issue list, improve the Raspberry PI & Android versions and grow." The Webconverger software is still free to download and try. Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Calculate Linux 15.17
The Calculate Linux project has announced a new version of their Gentoo-based distribution. The new release, Calculate Linux 15.17, features the KDE Plasma 5 desktop, faster compression via XZ and the default Python version is 3.4. "We are happy to announce the release of Calculate Linux 15.17. Calculate Linux Desktop, featuring either the KDE (CLD), the MATE (CLDM) or the Xfce (CLDX) environment, Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS), Calculate Directory Server (CDS), Calculate Scratch Server (CSS), Calculate Media Center (CMC) are all available for download. Main changes: Calculate Linux Desktop was updated to KDE 5. Testing and stable updates now coming separately and labelled as such. Multiple instances, built with different USE flags, are available in a special repository (binpkg-multi-instance). The main Git mirror migrated to Github. Faster XZ compression on multi-core processors. The XZ algorithm will be used from now on for initramfs, the kernel and its modules. File moving and renaming issues fixed for OverlayFS. Defaulting to Python 3.4. More efficient mirror selection for updates..." Additional details and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
These days more and more people are becoming concerned about their privacy and the implications of large companies having access to their digital information. As a result, some people like to self-host many of the on-line services they find useful.
Projects such as ownCloud make it fairly easy to set up synchronized storage at home, and there are many solutions for running e-mail services, backup storage and websites from home.
This week we would like to find out how many of our readers self-host some or all of their on-line services. Please leave us a comment describing your self-maintained services.
You can see the results of our previous poll on Alpha/Beta testing here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|I do not host any of my own on-line services: ||541 (59%)|
| I host one on-line service: ||121 (13%)|
| I host a few services: ||182 (20%)|
| I host all of my own on-line/cloud services: ||70 (8%)|
Quick access to common searches
We often receive e-mails from people who are trying to find a distribution with a specific set of characteristics. Visitors to our website are frequently looking for beginner friendly distributions, projects which support UEFI or Linux distributions that do not use systemd. To make it easier to find the appropriate projects we have added a box to the top of our Search page. This box contains quick links to commonly searched for features. Clicking a link will take visitors to the appropriate search results without the requirement of filling out a search form. We hope this will speed up the process of performing common searches and make it easier for visitors to find what they need.
Distributions added to the database
Bluestar Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution that is based on Arch Linux. The Bluestar distribution features up to date packages, a full range of desktop and multimedia software in the default installation and a live desktop DVD.
Bluestar Linux 4.5.1 -- Running KDE's Plasma desktop
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Budgie-Remix. Budgie-Remix is a distribution which combines the Budgie desktop environment (produced by the Solus project) with the base packages from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.
- Nelum-Dev1. Nelum-Dev1 offers users a live disc with a desktop environment which is based on the Devuan distribution.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 30 May 2016. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
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 |
During LinuxTag 2004 the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the company credativ unveiled the Linux Government Desktop. The Linux Goverment Desktop has been developed within the scope of the project ERPOSS which evaluates Open Source Software in government environments. Composed entirely of free software the distribution was available as a live CD as well as an install CD. One of the highlights brought by the Government Desktop was the fact that it saves the whole data on encrypted filesystems. Furthermore KMail was preconfigured to send and receive encrypted e-mail (GnuPG and S/MIME) and to make use of all kinds of authority certificates. The package was completed by integrated spam and virus protection and a preconfigured personal firewall.