| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 691, 12 December 2016
Welcome to this year's 50th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One of the great things about open source software is that anyone with the time and skills can take an existing component, alter it to better suite their needs and then share the result with others. This allows for a great deal of customization and diversity. It also means Linux users are not forced into a one-size-fits-all solution. The Debian project is one of the most common starting points for custom distributions and this week we begin with a look at a Debian derivative called SalentOS. SalentOS is similar to Debian with a lightweight desktop environment and we provide more details in our Feature Story. This week we also talk about new improvements and features coming to openSUSE and cover rumours about Fedora possibly switching to a once-per-year release cycle. We also talk about elementary OS introducing a cross-desktop method for adjusting system settings and KDE neon's new LTS edition. Plus Jesse Smith talks about his favourite distributions and open source tools. As usual, we cover the distribution releases of the past week and we provide a list of torrents we are seeding. In our Opinion Poll we ask what sort of articles you would like to see more of in the new year. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (23MB) and MP3 (33MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
SalentOS 1.0 - Minimal Debian
SalentOS is a lightweight Linux distribution which is based on packages from Debian's Stable (code name Jessie) branch. The SalentOS website describes the project as follows:
SalentOS is a GNU/Linux operative system based on Debian that uses Openbox as window manager. SalentOS has been designed to combine simplicity and completeness.
The distribution is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 processor architecture. The download for the 64-bit build is 1GB in size. Booting from the downloaded ISO brings up a graphical desktop environment, running on the Openbox window manager. When the system first starts up, a window appears and asks us to select our preferred language from a list of two-letter language codes. The default language is English (gb).
Once our language has been selected, we are free to explore the Openbox-powered interface. A panel at the top of the display holds the distribution's application menu, a handful of quick-launch buttons, a task switcher and the system tray. The background rotates between wallpapers, with most of the background images displaying landscape scenes. When we decide we want to install the distribution we can launch the system installer from a quick-launch button on the panel at the top of the screen.
SalentOS 1.0 -- Running the Firefox web browser
(full image size: 835kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
SalentOS uses Debian's graphical installer to get the distribution installed on the local hard disk. The installer is fairly verbose and contains several steps. We're walked through selecting our language, location and time zone. We set a password on the administrator account and create a regular user account for ourselves. The Debian installer supports both manual partitioning and guided partitioning. While I find the installer's partition manager to be awkward to navigate, I do appreciate that the guided partitioning feature will show us the proposed file system layout and give us the chance to rearrange the suggested file systems. SalentOS gives us the chance to work with Btrfs, JFS, XFS, ext2, ext3, ext4 and LVM volumes. The installer asks us to select a nearby package mirror and gives us the chance to install the GRUB boot loader. When the installer is finished, it closes, returning us to the SalentOS live desktop.
The locally installed copy of SalentOS boots to a graphical login screen with a nice nature scene in the background. Signing into the account we created during the installation process brings us back to the Openbox-powered desktop. A welcome window appears when we sign in and asks us to connect to the Internet and then click the welcome window's OK button. Doing this dismisses the welcome window and brings up a prompt for the root password, though it was not clear to me as to why I was being asked for the password. Whether we provide the password for the root account or not, nothing happens. There is no visible change or follow-up from the system. The welcome screen (and password prompt) appeared every time I signed into my account and required some digging around in the settings to disable.
After logging in, an icon appears in the system tray letting us known there are software updates available. Clicking the icon launches the Synaptic graphical package manager. The first day I was using SalentOS, Synaptic downloaded about a dozen updates (of unknown size) and installed them for me without any problems. Synaptic and the underlying APT package manager pull in software packages from Debian's Stable repositories. Looking through the available repository mirrors it appears as though SalentOS does not supply any of its own repositories or any third-party repositories, the software we have access to is provided by the Debian project.
SalentOS 1.0 -- The Synaptic package manager
(full image size: 193kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
During my trial I tried running SalentOS in a VirtualBox environment and wished to download and enable VirtualBox guest modules to get the most out of my experience. These modules were not available in SalentOS's default repositories. This surprised me at first, but some exploring of the APT configuration files revealed only Debian's "main" repository was enabled by default. We can add other Debian repositories which feature additional software (some of it distributed under non-free licenses) by manually editing the APT package source files, located under the /etc/apt directory.
Further on the topic of available software, I found SalentOS shipped with a fairly minimal collection of desktop applications. The Firefox ESR web browser with Adobe Flash is included along with the Icedove e-mail client and the Transmission bittorrent software. LibreOffice 4 is featured along with the Evince document viewer and Mirage image viewer and editor. The distribution ships with the VLC multimedia player and a full range of media codecs. Users can also find a calculator, text editor, archive manager and bulk file renaming utility in the application menu. In the background we find Java and the GNU Compiler Collection. SalentOS diverges from Debian a little and uses SysV init as the init implementation while Debian uses systemd. The distribution runs on version 3.16 of the Linux kernel.
SalentOS 1.0 -- Running the LibreOffice application
(full image size: 300kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
As I mentioned above, I tried running SalentOS in a virtual machine first. Apart from having a limited display resolution, the distribution performed well in the VirtualBox environment. Later, once I had enabled additional repositories and installed VirtualBox's guest modules, SalentOS was able to make full use of my monitor's display resolution. I then played with SalentOS on a physical desktop computer. The distribution worked very well on the desktop hardware, properly setting up my screen resolution and playing sound out of the box. In both test environments, the distribution tended to use about 240MB of memory when logged into Openbox without any applications open.
While exploring SalentOS I made a few miscellaneous observations I would like to share. One of the first things to catch my attention was the desktop's wallpaper changes every five minutes. There is an icon in the system tray which looks like a little, orange sun. Clicking this icon gives us the chance to alter the rate of the wallpaper's change or switch to a static background.
I mentioned earlier the welcome window appeared every time I logged into my account. I also found some desktop/Openbox settings would not be remembered across sessions. For example, Openbox does not remember how many virtual desktops the user has enabled from one session to the next.
SalentOS ships with an application called SalentOS Styler which makes it easy to change the desktop's theme and panel position. The style manager can do other things for us, like turning on/off the Conky status monitor and changing the wallpaper. The style manager application is nicely laid out and I found it pleasant to use.
SalentOS 1.0 -- SalentOS Styler
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The distribution provides a control panel which is broken into six tabs (Appearance, System, Openbox, Session, Personal and Hardware). Each tab contains two or more configuration modules where we can tweak our settings. These modules help us configure hardware, set up printers and view information about our system. Most of the modules worked, launching the appropriate configuration panel or, in some cases, opening a text editor so we can tweak a text file. A few of the modules gave me problems. For example, trying to launch the Synaptic package manager or the System module resulted in an error which reported the sudo command was unable to launch the given module. Both times I tried to add a printer to my system the printer module locked up.
SalentOS 1.0 -- The settings panel
(full image size: 1.4MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Something which bothered me while using SalentOS was the task switcher would only show small buttons representing open applications. Each button had an icon and the first few letters of the window's title. This made the button look crowded and cropped. The appearance of the task switcher became worse when I moved the panel to the left of my screen. Then the icons and text disappeared, leaving me with empty, blank buttons representing my open applications. In other words, I could not tell which button represented which window, rendering the task bar useless while it was positioned to the side of the display.
What I liked about SalentOS was what I tend to like about most Debian-based projects. The distribution is stable and light, offering fast performance on a solid base. While not many repositories are enabled by default, perhaps to make SalentOS a more liberally licensed project, we can enable additional Debian repositories to gain access to a huge collection of software.
For the most part, I liked the applications SalentOS provided, though I did miss having a dedicated music player. Otherwise I liked the default applications and it was straight forward enough to add more with the Synaptic package manager.
SalentOS did not sit right with me in a few ways. One was the way the welcome window kept reappearing whenever I logged in and Openbox forgot some of my settings each time I logged out. I also didn't like that some of the control panel modules failed to launch. I usually like to have my desktop panel over on the left side of the screen and SalentOS's panel does not handle this positioning gracefully.
SalentOS 1.0 -- Changing the wallpaper with Nitrogen
(full image size: 1.5MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
In the end, I found what I liked most about SalentOS was its Debian base, but the extras which were added on (the Openbox-powered desktop, the wallpaper changer and the settings panel) mostly rubbed me the wrong way. I did very much enjoy SalentOS Styler and its many tools for tweaking the look of the desktop. SalentOS provides good performance and a relatively small memory footprint, but it also has several rough edges which need to be addressed before I can recommend the distribution.
* * * * *
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)
openSUSE improves YaST and RPi support, Fedora team considers longer release cycle as Fedora 23 reaches end of life, elementary adopts cross-desktop system settings, KDE neon gets LTS branch
One of the more powerful features of the openSUSE distribution is the YaST system administration and installation utility. YaST provides a suite of configuration and installation options for users working in either a graphical or console environment. The YaST development team has been working on new safety features and debugging options. "November is over, Santa Claus's elves start to stress and the YaST team brings you one of the last reports of 2016. Let's see what's new in YaSTland. Harder to ignore installation warning: The 'Installation Settings' summary screen usually reports some non-critical errors displayed as a red text. Although the installation can proceed despite those errors, they are usually serious enough to lead to problems. That's why we decided to introduce a change to highlight them a little bit more, making them harder to overlook." A summary of other features and debugging options can be found in the team's blog post.
In other openSUSE news, the distribution is among the first (along with SUSE Linux Enterprise) to support running a 64-bit operating system on the Raspberry Pi 3 mini computer. "The latest release from openSUSE has new images available for the Raspberry Pi and joins SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Raspberry Pi in becoming the initial distributions with 64-bit for the Raspberry Pi 3. The 64-bit image of openSUSE Leap 42.2 for the Raspberry Pi 3 has been out for a couple weeks." One of the features available in the new Raspberry Pi 3 images is support for KVM virtualization: "Among things that make the openSUSE Raspberry Pi 3 images different [...] is that it is the first distro that has working Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) support. The other thing is that it can work with newer or older Linux kernels. Just like on other systems, all that is needed is to use libvirt for configuration." Additional details can be found in this news post.
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Matthew Miller, the Fedora Project Leader, has looked over the adoption statistics for Fedora releases and suggests that Fedora's rapid release cycle may be "stepping on the toes" of older releases. Miller has suggested that shifting from publishing two Fedora releases per year to publishing one major release of the Fedora distribution every June would give more time for quality assurance and provide a more relaxed upgrade cycle for the distribution's users. "What if, instead of two releases a year, we updated the Generational Core on a cycle aligned with the kernel - roughly every three months - and had one June release of Fedora Workstation and Fedora Server every year, with an optional '.1' update in November or December? Fedora Atomic would keep to two-week updates as a rolling release. And Spins could pick their own release dates, either with the editions release or separately (to get their own chance to shine)." The discussion resulting from Miller's suggestion can be found here.
Following the release of Fedora 25 in November, the project has scheduled support of Fedora 23 to end on December 20, 2016. "With the recent release of Fedora 25, Fedora 23 will officially enter End Of Life (EOL) status on December 20th, 2016. After December 20th, all packages in the Fedora 23 repositories will no longer receive security, bug-fix, or enhancement updates, and no new packages will be added to the Fedora 23 collection. Upgrading to Fedora 24 or Fedora 25 before December 20th 2016 is highly recommended for all users still running Fedora 23." Upgrade instructions for people wishing to upgrade to Fedora 24 and Fedora 25 are available on the Fedora Magazine website.
* * * * *
Daniel Fore has written a post about an approach elementary OS is using to make it easier for application developers to access system settings. The new scheme uses URLs to access settings rather than a specific application or module. "Instead of hard coding commands to open a single app, we're proposing the adoption of the cross-desktop URL scheme 'settings://' to empower developers and ensure user freedom. The specification works much like the freedesktop.org icon naming specification, outlining a set of standard URLs that developers can expect will work and allowing for intelligent fallbacks so that more specific URLs can be constructed without breaking functionality." The post explores some examples in which the URL method would be useful and mentions efforts to get other desktop environments to support the new approach.
* * * * *
Jonathan Riddell has reported that the KDE neon project has created a new long term support (LTS) branch. The new LTS version is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and features the Plasma 5.8 desktop environment. As Plasma 5.8 will also receive long term support from the KDE project, this pairs a stable desktop environment with a stable operating system base. "KDE Plasma 5.8 is designated an LTS edition with bug fixes and new releases being made for 18 months (rather than the normal four months). This will please a category of user who don't want new features on their desktop but do want it to keep working and bugs to be removed. Because Neon aims to service Plasma and its users in every way we have now created the KDE neon User LTS Edition. This comes with Plasma 5.8 LTS, updated for new bug-fix releases (e.g. 5.8.5 is out at the end of this month) and will not change to Plasma 5.9 when they becomes available." Additional information can be found in Riddell's blog post. The new KDE neon LTS release can be downloaded from the distribution's website.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Favourite distributions and tools
Picking-favourites asks: What is your favourite distribution?
Jesse answers: I am not sure I have any one favourite. One of the side effects of constantly installing and trying different distributions is I get to see both the strengths and the weaknesses of a range of projects. I'm constantly running into wonderful innovations and unfortunate regressions. A distribution I like this year might blow up in my face next year, or one that had lots of bugs last year might work beautifully the next. One thing I have learned by regularly distro hopping is almost every project has good points, but none are free of problems.
As a result I tend to think less in terms of favourites and more in terms of what will work best for me in a given situation right now. I especially like to run distributions with similar core technologies to what I am using in other environments. As an example, when I was working in an office which ran Red Hat Enterprise Linux, I ran Fedora at home so I could maintain a similar environment and test new technologies as they appeared. Right now, I have a Raspberry Pi at home that came with Raspbian. Raspbian is based on Debian, which currently powers the DistroWatch server. As I was working with these two Debian systems a lot, I installed Linux Mint Debian Edition on my work laptop. The consistency of the command line tools and file system hierarchy across machines helps me stay focused on doing things rather than adjusting my thinking to fit the operating system.
I am fairly comfortable with using most Linux distributions and so, for me, it does not matter as much which distribution I am using. My preference is to run systems which are as similar as possible across all environments for consistency's sake.
* * * * *
Looking-for-new-and-better-tools asks: Can you share with us some of your favourite open source tools and time savers?
Jesse answers: There are several applications I use on a daily basis and I'm not sure it's worth while going through them all. I can touch on a few highlights though. VirtualBox for running virtual machines is a big one for me. I might want to test or check something on two or three different distributions a day. Being able to download an ISO file and fire it up in VirtualBox is a huge time saver as it means I do not need to copy the image to a USB stick and reboot the computer. I can keep working on other things and use VirtualBox to quickly check for information.
The KeePass password manager is another one. I have dozens of on-line accounts and I try to maintain separate passwords for each. Using KeePass means I do not need to remember each password, I just need to remember the master password for KeePass. And keep backups of my password database.
The rsync command line tool for synchronizing files is a big one for me. I am constantly backing up or sharing files and rsync does all the work for me, all I need to do is provide a source directory and destination. I did not realize how much I relied on rsync until last week when I had to rescue files from an old Windows XP computer. Looking at XP the wrong way causes a file transfer to stop, there is no resume function and no smart data transfer. Using rsync means I have a fault tolerant, resumable, efficient way to transfer files.
The GIMP plugin registry package gets a lot of use on my machines. This package provides a collection of extra tools for the GNU Image Manipulation Program. One of my favourite tools in the collection is a batch processor. This allows the user to resize, crop or otherwise manipulate photos in massive batches. A thousand wedding/vacation/family photos can be resized and converted to a different image format with a few mouse clicks.
The best tool in my toolbox though is probably shell scripting. Whenever I find myself repeating a task over and over, I turn it into a script I can run or schedule. I have a folder with around 150 scripts - tools I can pull out to greatly speed up tasks. If you have not learned how to write a Bash script, I highly recommend the practice.
* * * * *
As a follow-up to last week's question about running Android applications on GNU/Linux and desktop Linux applications on Android, one of our readers provided further information. There is an add-on for the Chrome web browser, called ARC Welder, which is designed to run Android applications (APK packages). This, in theory, allows the user to run the Chrome web browser on a desktop Linux distribution, install ARC Welder and then download Android APK packages and run them in the browser. The compatibility layer is still a work in progress. I tried three different Android packages last week and none of them successfully ran in ARC Welder. However, ARC Welder is an option to keep an eye on as it may soon provide a compatibility bridge between Android and GNU/Linux.
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For more questions and answers, visit our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Porteus Kiosk 4.2.0
Tomasz Jokiel has announced the release of Porteus Kiosk 4.2.0. The Gentoo-based kiosk platform now provides version 4.4.36 of the Linux kernel, Firefox 45.5.1 ESR and Google Chrome 54, along with many other changes. "I'm pleased to announce that Porteus Kiosk 4.2.0 is now available for download. Major software upgrades in this release include: Linux kernel 4.4.36, Xorg Server 1.18.4, Mozilla Firefox 45.5.1 ESR and Google Chrome 54.0.2840.100. Packages from the userland are upgraded to portage snapshot tagged on 20161203. Short changelog for 4.2.0 release: All files utilized by the clients (wallpaper, screensaver slide show images, browser preferences, proxy pac config) can be hosted directly on Porteus Kiosk Server - no need to use 3rd party web hosting service anymore. If multiple browser tabs were set during installation then its possible to toggle between the tabs at specific time interval. This is useful for digital signage purposes. Screensaver slideshow can display images in random order instead of alphabetic order..." Further details can be found in the release announcement. Download (pkglist): Porteus-Kiosk-4.2.0-x86_64.iso (62MB, MD5), Porteus-Kiosk-Server-4.2.0-x86_64.iso (63MB, MD5).
BackBox Linux 4.7
BackBox Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution used for security assessment and penetration testing. The project has released a new stable version, BackBox Linux 4.7, which upgrades key components and fixes several bugs. "The BackBox team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, version 4.7. We thought to release a new minor version to give our users the opportunity to have a stable and up-to-date system until the next official major release, i.e. BackBox 5, still under development. In this release we have fixed some minor bugs, updated the kernel stack, base system and tools. The ISO images for 32-bit and 64-bit can be downloaded from the official web site download section." The new version ships with Linux 4.4. Existing BackBox 4.x users can upgrade to the latest release rather than perform a fresh installation. Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Jim Dean has announced the release of Korora 25, a new version of the Fedora-based distribution with various user-friendly enhancements and a choice of five desktop environments - Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, MATE and Xfce: "The Korora project has released version 25 (code name 'Gurgle') which is now available for download. Due to popular demand there is a KDE Plasma release. While it has the usual Korora extras, in order to reduce the workload in bringing this back we have made the look more vanilla. Features: Cinnamon 3.2 includes lots of refinements; GNOME 3.22 has improved support for the Wayland compositor, Wayland is now the default for the GNOME edition; Mate 1.16 focused on bug fixes; Xfce 4.12 focused on polishing the desktop and improving the user experience; derived from Fedora 25, Korora benefits from Fedora's long tradition of bringing the latest technologies to open-source software users; 64-bit only." Here is the complete release announcement.
Korora 25 -- Running the GNOME desktop
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
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: 264
- Total data uploaded: 49.1TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Future feature stories
Most of our Weekly newsletters begin with a review of a Linux distribution or other open source operating system. We tend to give priority to projects which are either A) mainstream Linux distributions, B) requested by our readers, or C) projects we find personally interesting.
This week we would like to know if it is time to shake up the weekly Feature Story column. And, if so, what would you like to see us cover? Do you want to see coverage of newer or more obscure distributions, tutorials on how to set up services, side-by-side comparisons of open source technologies, benchmarks? Leave us a comment with your preferences.
You can see the results of our previous poll on the look of the DistroWatch navigation bar here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Future feature stories
|Keep the feature stories as they are: ||419 (35%)|
| Focus more on new/obscure distros: ||266 (22%)|
| Provide more tutorials: ||262 (22%)|
| Compare and contrast similar technologies: ||205 (17%)|
| Provide benchmarks of new software: ||43 (4%)|
| Something else: ||14 (1%)|
About page, compatible hardware list and comment links
Over the past week we have introduced a few minor changes to the DistroWatch website. The About page was updated to provide a list of information and resources this website provides. Hopefully this will better answer the question of what DistroWatch is all about.
The Hardware page, which contains links to places where people can purchase computers with Linux (or BSD) pre-installed, has been updated. The Hardware page now includes a Phones and tablets section to help people find mobile devices compatible with GNU/Linux. Please e-mail us with additional links to GNU/Linux powered smart phones and tablets so we can expand the list.
Finally, in the comments section, when a person wants to reference another comment, they can write an @ symbol followed by the comment number. This will turn the @ into a link to the comment they are referencing. For example, "I agree with @22, pacman is super fast." Will provide a link to take people directly to comment #22. This should save people from scrolling back and forth between related comments.
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
ToriOS is a Debian-based distribution which is designed to work on older computers, even 32-bit machines which do not support running PAE-enabled kernels. ToriOS strives to maintain the KISS principle and uses JWM to provide a lightweight graphical user interface.
ToriOS 1.0 -- Running the JWM environment
(full image size: 519kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Hawaii. Hawaii is a Linux distribution which uses Wayland exclusively as the display server and features a Qt-based desktop environment.
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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, 19 December 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: 1, value: US$5.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Freespire was once a community-run Linux distribution sponsored by Linspire. Freespire was discontinued in 2008. Starting in 2017 Freespire became a free operating system based on Ubuntu and run by PC/OpenSystems LLC. Freespire features the Xfce desktop environment.