| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 711, 8 May 2017
Welcome to this year's 19th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
One nice thing about Linux is not every distribution needs to provide a large collection of features and desktop software. Linux distributions can be customized to fit specific needs, ranging from powerful servers to dedicated media centres to portable toolboxes. This week Joshua Allen Holm reviews the 4MLinux distribution which supplies a range of utilities and entertainment. In our News section we talk about new features coming to Linux Mint, improvements to the Haiku operating system and pfSense's roadmap. We also cover Linux Mint 13 reaching the end of its supported life and OpenBSD's first public trial of the syspatch binary update manager. Plus we share news on Fedora's expanding support for the MP3 audio format and updated Debian media. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about file system fragmentation and how to address it. Linux file systems rarely experience fragmentation, in theory, and in this week's Opinion Poll we ask our readers to let us know if their Linux drive experiences fragmentation. As usual, we supply a list of last week's releases and share the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!
- Review: 4MLinux 21.0
- News: Linux Mint 13 retired, Mint plans new features, Haiku improvements, pfSense lays out roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates, Fedora to gain full support for MP3, Debian updates install media
- Questions and answers: Checking file system fragmentation
- Released last week: feren OS 2017.0, Slackel 7.0, SME Server 9.2
- Torrent corner: Antergos, feren OS, OpenIndiana, OpenMandriva, OpenMediaVault, pfSense, Slackel, SME Server
- Opinion poll: Disk fragmentation
- New distributions: Daylight Linux, Enso OS, FyreLinux, Phoenix OS
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (93MB) and MP3 (69MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Joshua Allen Holm)
4MLinux is a lightweight Linux distribution designed to provide four key areas of functionality. With just the software available on the ISO, 4MLinux provides a wide variety of applications for performing system maintenance; playing many types of multimedia files; offering a miniserver to provide a basic web server; and it has a decent selection of games, which the distribution places in a category it calls mystery. Those four functions provide the basis of the distribution's name. Four things that start with "M", so 4MLinux.
Honestly, those four categories are very different things, so can one distribution do them all without losing focus? In 4MLinux's case, it can, up to a point. In a 550MB ISO, 4MLinux provides a lot of software to do each of its four specializations. Granted, it does some better than others, but it does not fail at any of its tasks.
Below, I take a look at 4MLinux's 21.0 release in depth. I begin with a look at the distribution as a whole, focusing on things that are shared across the entire experience, basically the desktop environment and parts of the user experience that span multiple categories. After that, I explore each of the four M's in more detail before concluding with my final thoughts.
4MLinux's desktop environment
Booting 4MLinux from a flash drive is a quick process. I was quickly and automatically logged in as root and could start working in the desktop environment. For the desktop, 4MLinux uses JVM combined with a Wbar launcher at the top of the screen that provides shortcuts to major programs. Plus there is IDesk to manage the desktop, and Conky to provide basic system status information. Wbar, IDesk, and Conky can all be switched off, but the system is already very light when they are in their default, enabled state. When I tried running 4MLinux in a (somewhat) low memory virtual machine with 1GB of RAM, the top process monitor reported the system was using only 160MB of RAM. 4MLinux was quick and responsive when run in a virtual machine or on bare metal.
4MLinux 21.0 -- The default desktop
(full image size: 194kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Out of the box, 4MLinux comes with a decent selection of software. In the JVM application menu there are shortcuts for a terminal, Internet applications, maintenance, multimedia, miniserver, and mystery. The Internet sub-menu contains Links for web browsing, HexChat for IRC, Sylpheed for e-mail, Transmission for Bittorrent, uGet for downloading, a utility to share files via Bluetooth, GNOME PPP for dial-up Internet connections, and an option to toggle Tor on and off. I will cover the contents of the four "M" sub-menus in the respective sections below. There is also a section for extensions, which contains shortcuts that will prompt the user to install a selection of add-on applications, such as LibreOffice, GIMP, various web browsers, and VLC, to name just a few.
There are two drawbacks with the software selection. One: there is no modern, graphical web browser pre-installed. Yes, they are all much heavier than Links, which does get run in its graphical mode, but 4MLinx provides a graphical application for e-mail, so including a single lightweight graphical web browser as the default would be a welcome change. Many of the major browsers, including Chromium and Firefox, are listed in the extension sub-menu for easy installation, but they need to be downloaded and installed before use. Two: some of the packages included in the menu are not actually already installed. This is to be expected for applications in the Extension sub-menu, but there are applications in the other parts of the menu that require packages to be installed from the 4MLinux disc or from the Internet.
4MLinux 21.0 -- Help and FAQ text
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In addition to the selection of software packages, 4MLinux provides a few 4MLinux-specific utilities and help files. There is an updater script to update 4MLinux, an installer script to copy the distribution to a hard drive partition, and text-based help and FAQ files. The help file and the FAQ cover a lot, but not absolutely everything. Unfortunately, the help file and the FAQ file make up the majority of the text-based help available on the system; it looks like man pages were not included in order to save space.
The overall user experience for 4MLinux is pretty good. The desktop environment is pleasant to use, giving a user a way to use the various software packages that make up each of 4MLinux's four M's without getting in the way or taking up too many system resources. Since the four areas of specialization are what set 4MLinux apart from other distributions, I will now take a look at each of them.
Maintenance is 4MLinux's best aspect. The distribution comes with a large selection of utilities pre-installed. There are applications for partitioning hard drives, backing up data, recovering deleted files, burning files to CD/DVD, and most of the other common system maintenance tasks. One drawback, however, is the fact that the included anti-virus software, Clam Anti-virus, does not have any virus definitions pre-installed. Instead, on first run the software attempts to download the virus definitions from the Internet. This does ensure that the newest virus definitions are used, but in cases where there is no Internet access, it is impossible to scan for viruses. Shipping with outdated definitions that can be used if needed is better than having an anti-virus program that can only work if there is Internet access.
The maintenance utilities that are included in 4MLinux can be found in many other distributions, but 4MLinux does have a few extras that are unique. Some of the utilities have custom shell script menus that help the user select the right options and use the programs without having to know all the various command line options. Little things like those custom scripts make 4MLinux a good choice to use as a system rescue distribution.
4MLinux can play many audio and video files without having to add or tweak anything. I had no problem playing any of the files I tried. I was even able to play a DVD movie without problems. 4MLinux should be able to play Blu-ray after installing a few extra packages from the installation disc, but I do not have the hardware required to play Blu-ray discs, so I was unable to verify if it works.
The only issue with the multimedia aspect of 4MLinux is the included software. For the most part the selection is good. There are applications to play music, movies, rip files from CD/DVD, and view/edit images. However, the selection of software for playing video files is confusing because there are five different MPlayer-based user applications. MPlayer GUI, MPlayer TUI, SMPlayer, GNOME MPlayer, and Baka MPlayer are all listed in the menu, which seems more redundant than useful. The various MPlayer applications are not all that different, so including all of them just leads to possible confusion about which one is better or the "right" application. Perhaps the worst thing is that despite including five different MPlayer interfaces, VLC is not included by default and needs to be installed from the Extensions section of the application menu. Personally, I would have preferred to have one MPlayer interface installed by default alongside VLC, but that is personal preference. I honestly had zero issues playing media with the included software.
I have mixed feelings about 4MLinux's miniserver functionality. It is does provide SSH, FTP and a useful basic LAMP stack with a nice web-based administrative interface, but in order to get the full functionality it is necessary to install a bunch of packages from the installation disc. Like much of the software that is included as add-on packages on the 4MLinux disc, I would have preferred to have the software pre-installed. Granted, installing the full set of LAMP packages only requires running a single shell script from the lamp directory on the disc (individual packages can be installed using the zk command), but if miniserver is one of the key selling points of the distribution, all of it should be included by default.
4MLinux 21.0 -- Server Admin Area displayed in Links browser
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Quibbles about having to install packages to get the full LAMP functionality aside, I do like the minisever aspect of 4MLinux. It is implemented well and provides a good, pre-configured web server for basic testing purposes, but realistically, I seriously doubt I would ever recommend using it for much more than quick and simple testing. Personally, I am far more likely to start up a CentOS virtual machine as a testing server than use 4MLinux's miniserver, but other people might find it useful.
4MLinux comes with a variety of games. The selection is diverse, so there should be something for most people. The games range from things like GNU Chess and solitaire to many of id Software's older first person shooters. Though in the case of the id Software games, the data files need to be downloaded before the game can be played. Also included are some old DOS games that run under DOSBox, but DOSBox has not been tweaked to provide optimal performance, so I had to manually increase the number of cycles in DOSBox to get the games to run smoothly. Another problem with the DOSBox games is that there are potentially intellectual property issues with some of the games included. There is a Super Mario game, which is most certainly not an official Nintendo game, and a Pac-Man clone that has similar issues, so if those might be a problem where you live and a cause for concern for you, you might want to avoid 4MLinux.
4MLinux 21.0 -- Installing WINE as a dependency
(full image size: 153kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
One thing that is really strange is the fact that four of the games require WINE to run even though these games have native Linux versions. If you want to play SuperTux, TuxRacer, Chromium, or GLtron, a prompt asking if the user wants to install WINE pops up. Selecting Yes installs WINE and all of the WINE games. I am at a complete loss as to why these games are using the Windows versions when Linux versions are available.
I am not a huge gamer, so I found the selection of game to be adequate. If I were able to add to the selection of games, I would have included ScummVM and a few of the games that are freely available for it, just to provide a little more diversity to the selection of games. I would also remove the problematic DOSBox games. Additionally, native Linux versions of the WINE games would be very welcome.
4MLinux provides a lot of software in a small package. For system maintenance it is good choice to have on hand. For multimedia, miniserver, and mystery it provides a useful selection of software, but there are other distributions that focus on only one of those tasks and do it better by being more focused. That is not to say that 4MLinux is bad, but it tries to do too many different things at once. To be completely honest, I think 4MLinux would be a stronger offering if it were 3MLinux and dropped the mystery aspect entirely. Maybe including just solitaire or some other light game to have as a diversion while maintenance tasks run and use the space freed up by removing the games to include some of the optional extension applications by default.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo Ideapad 100-15IBD laptop with the following specifications:
- Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Core i3-5020U CPU
- Storage: Seagate 500GB 5400 RPM hard drive
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8723BE 802.11n Wireless Network Adapter
- Display: Intel HD Graphics 5500
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Visitor supplied rating
4MLinux has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.5/10 from 10 review(s).
Have you used 4MLinux? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Linux Mint 13 retired, Mint plans new features, Haiku improvements, pfSense lays out roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates, Fedora to gain full support for MP3, Debian updates install media
The Linux Mint team's monthly newsletter for April included a number of significant announcements. The newsletter reported that Linux Mint 13 has reached the end of its supported life cycle. Version 13 of Linux Mint was a long term support release launched back in 2012 and it received five years of support. Anyone still using version 13 is encouraged to read this forum post on upgrading to a newer, supported version of the distribution.
Mint's newsletter also mentioned that version 1.18 of the MATE desktop will soon be available to people running Linux Mint Debian Edition. Further, the recent release of the Cinnamon 3.4 desktop will include a number of stability improvements: "In the upcoming Cinnamon 3.4 the settings daemon will be split into multiple processes. Each plugin (i.e. area of responsibility) will run its own process, making it easy to identify excessive CPU or memory usage and isolating crashes to only affect a particular plugin without impacting the rest of the desktop. Similarly, Nemo (the file manager) will be split into two separate processes. One for the desktop icons, which will run in isolation, and one for the file manager windows." Further details and more changes coming to Mint can be found in the newsletter.
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The Haiku project develops an open source, spiritual successor to BeOS. The Haiku project has announced a number of developments which improve the user experience of their lightweight operating system. Some of these changes include expanding support for video formats in the operating system's media player, fixing compatibility issues between Haiku's file system and BeOS's implementation of BFS, and a graphical update manager is now included in the default installation. "Brian Hill continues his work on the Software Updater, which is now included in the default image, and almost ready for production. This tool will be used to notify the user when updates are available in the repositories, and automatically apply them. No need to go to pkgman in the command line for this anymore." Further details on Haiku's progress can be found in the project's newsletter.
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pfSense is a FreeBSD-based custom operating system for firewalls and routers. The project has published a summary of changes and upgrades which will be rolled out over the next year or two. Future versions of pfSense will use FreeBSD 11 as a base, offer support for UEFI and include support for the ZFS advanced file system. "We're starting the process toward pfSense software release 2.3.4. pfSense software release 2.4 is close as well, and will bring a number of improvements: UEFI, translations to at least five languages, ZFS, FreeBSD 11 base, new login page, OpenVPN 2.4 and more. pfSense version 2.4 requires a 64-bit Intel or AMD CPU, and nanobsd images are no longer a part of pfSense as of version 2.4. pfSense version 2.5 will be based on FreeBSD 12, which should bring route-based IPsec, along with support for our integrated management platform, NRDM (more about this soon), and a number of other features." Versions 2.5 and higher will also include additional encryption features and the project's blog post outlines the requirements the new encryption features will demand.
* * * * *
One of the new features introduced into OpenBSD 6.1 was syspatch, a utility for installing binary patches on the OpenBSD operating system. With the release of new errata for 6.1, OpenBSD users have a chance to try out the new syspatch utility. The errata announcement reads: "Binary updates for the amd64 and i386 platforms are also available via the syspatch utility. Note that syspatch uses the mirror configured in /etc/installurl, so all mirrors may not have the files yet."
* * * * *
The Fedora distribution has long avoided providing full support for encoding MP3 audio files due to licensing restrictions on the MP3 format. However, the patents on the MP3 format have expired and the Fedora distribution will soon be able to ship with support for both playing and creating MP3 files. Up until now MP3 encoding support has been provided by third-party software repositories. Fedora Magazine explains: "A couple of weeks ago IIS Fraunhofer and Technicolor terminated their licensing program and just a few days ago Red Hat Legal provided the permission to ship MP3 encoding in Fedora. There will be a bit of time whilst package reviews are carried out and tools that are safe to add are identified, as only MP3 is cleared and not other MPEG technologies. However, it will soon be possible to convert physical media or other formats to MP3 in Fedora without 3rd party repositories."
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The Debian project has published updated installation media for Debian 8 "Jessie". The new media includes security updates and fixes that have been made available since Debian 8 was first released, but is not a new version of the Debian distribution. The Debian website explains: "The Debian project is pleased to announce the eighth update of its stable distribution Debian 8 (codename Jessie). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 8 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old Jessie CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Checking file system fragmentation
Reorganizing-my-hard-drive asks: When I was running Windows I used to defrag my hard drive once a month to keep performance up. I have heard that it is not necessary to defrag the drive under Linux, is that true and how do I defrag my Linux drive if I want to?
DistroWatch answers: Most file systems that Linux will support, such as ext4, XFS and Btrfs, will generally avoid fragmenting your files automatically. A hard drive gets fragmented when the operating system writes part of a file in one location and another part of the same file in a different location. This breaks up files and causes pieces of large files to be scattered around the hard drive. On spinning drives this results in poorer performance as it takes longer to access all the various pieces of the file. Linux file systems generally attempt to write data to the hard drive in a way that keeps the parts of the file together.
Sometimes, usually when the hard drive is close to full (around 80% or 90% of its capacity) files may become fragmented as the system runs out of convenient places to write large files in continuous blocks. But when the disk is less than 80% full, a Linux file system will generally avoid fragmentation.
While most people do not need to worry about their Linux file system becoming fragmented, there are tools for dealing with fragmentation. As each file system works a little differently, there are different utilities for dealing with fragmentation on each file system.
The most commonly used file system on Linux is probably ext4. If you would like to check to see if your ext4 file system is fragmented you can run the following command as the root user or via sudo:
e4defrag -c /
The above command runs the ext4 defrag command. The -c option tells the program to check for fragmentation. This will cause the e4defrag program to look for fragmentation, but not attempt to repair it if any is found. The last parameter, / in this example, is the location of the file system. In our example we are checking the root (/) file system, but we could also check our /home directory using
e4defrag -c /home
The e4defrag command will produce a "fragmentation score". A score in the range of 0 to 30 indicates there is no problem. A file system with a score of 31 through 55 is slightly fragmented, but the fragmentation can probably be ignored. A score of 56 or higher suggests the drive should be defragged. We can defrag the drive by running the same e4defrag command again, this time without the -c option.
Different file systems use different commands, most of them feature more options than the e4defrag command and I recommend reading their respective manual pages. The command to defragment a Btrfs volume mounted at /home is as follows:
btrfs filesystem defrag -r /home
If you are running a system with XFS as one of the file systems, you can defragment all connected XFS partitions by running the command
These defrag commands may never need to be run as each file system generally keeps itself well organized. However, if you want to experiment to see if your file system can be better organized, these above commands will do the job.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
feren OS 2017.0
feren OS is a desktop distribution based on Linux Mint which uses the Cinnamon desktop environment and includes WINE for running Windows applications. feren OS 2017.0, which is based on Linux Mint 18.1, has been released. The new version enables automatic updates and replaces Mint's Welcome screen with one forked from the Budgie desktop. The new version includes an updated theme manager which provides previews of available themes. Also new to this release: the boot menu contains an option for enabling nomodeset to work around buggy video drivers. "'No Mode Set' for NVIDIA drivers incompatible with the other options now in the boot menu. Just look for the 'No Mode Set' option in the boot menu of the Live CD if you can't boot from the other options and/or have NVIDIA drivers... If you have to once you've installed the OS, hold SHIFT to force the boot menu to appear." Further details on the new release, along with work arounds for common issues, can be found in the release announcement for feren OS 2017.0.
Dimitris Tzemos has announced the release of Slackel 7.0, a new major build of the project's "Openbox" edition which is based on Slackware Linux (the "Current" branch) and Salix: "Slackel 7.0 Live Openbox has been released. Includes the Linux kernel 4.4.38 and latest updates from Slackware's 'Current' tree. The 64-bit ISO image support booting on UEFI systems, the 32-bit ISO image supports both i686 PAE SMP and i486 non-PAE capable systems. Full multimedia support without having to install multimedia codecs while on live environment. Of course, it is suggested to install multimedia codecs to your system after installation. Persistent file encryption has been added after installation on USB. Slackel 7.0 Openbox includes: Midori 0.5.11, Mozilla Firefox 45.9.0esr (multi-lingual edition), Pidgin 2.12.0, Transmission 2.92, wicd 1.7.4, Sylpheed 3.5.1, Mozilla Thunderbird 52.0.1, gFTP 2.0.19. Filezilla 3.24.1, SMPlayer 17.4.0 movie player, MPlayer-1.3, Exaile 3.4.5 (the application to use for managing music collection), Asunder 2.7 CD ripper, Brasero 3.12.0 for writing CDs and DVDs, GIMP 2.8.20...." Please visit the distribution's user forums to read the full release announcement (includes screenshots).
Slackel 7.0 -- The live desktop environment
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
SME Server 9.2
Terry Fage has announced the release of SME Server 9.2, the second update to the stable 9.x branch of the project's CentOS-based distribution for servers: "The Koozali SME Server development team is pleased to announce the release of Koozali SME Server 9.2 final which is the next stable release of the SME 9.x branch. SME Server is intended for use on servers in small and medium-size businesses and is based on CentOS 6.x. The latest release, SME Server 9.2, provides users with an update to the distribution's 9.x series and is based on CentOS 6.9. SME Server 9.2 includes upstream updates and bug fixes and includes local fixes and additional feature requests. Major changes in this release: updated all to Koozali branding; server manager - allow access to the server manager without SSL from the loopback, don't redirect to http when login in/out of the server manager from localhost; file server - added W10 support to SME domain, add support for specifying TLS v1.1 and TLS v1.2; LDAP - hook into the new SSL update event; mail server - update qpsmtpd to release 0.99.6...." See the release announcement and release notes for further information.
OpenIndiana is an open source operating system based on Illumos which continues the tradition of OpenSolaris. The OpenIndiana project has published a new release, version 2017.04. The new version includes support for USB 3.0, the MATE 1.16 desktop and an updated Xorg server. "The most notable change for this snapshot is related to hardware support. OI now fully supports USB 3.0 devices. Intel video drivers were significantly improved by Gordon Ross. The list of supported hardware has significantly extended. Xorg was updated to 1.18.4 version, so if you use any third-party modules - they might need recompilation or update (notably, the VirtualBox Guest Additions). MATE was updated to 1.16 version. We started shipping GTK+3 applications. Several GNOME 2 applications, which don't have MATE analogs, were updated to GNOME 3 versions. A lot of end user applications are delivered now as 64-bit only." Additional information on OpenIndiana 2017.04 can be found in the project's release announcement and the more detailed release notes.
Alessio Fattorini has announced the release of NethServer 6.9. The NethServer distribution is a Linux distributions for servers which is based on CentOS and features a web-based administration interface. The new release features improved support for Let's Encrypt security certificates, version 5 of Shorewall and the ability to import contacts from Outlook 2016. "We're happy to announce that NethServer 6.9 has been released and is publicly available. We're confident that, as always, it will achieve our mission: making sysadmin's life easier with open source. This is thanks to the most vibrant, supportive and friendly community in the open source space (and not just open source). Based on the recently released CentOS 6.9 operating system. The traffic shaping web UI doesn't list VLAN reds interfaces, but it's possible to assign the RED role to a VLAN. Now it's possibile to add trafic shaping to red VLANs. Also, creating a port forward, VLAN reds now are listed in the WAN IP (red interface) section." Further information on NethServer 6.9 can be found in the project's release announcement and release notes.
Version 2.3.4 of pfSense, a specialist FreeBSD-based operating system designed for firewalls and routers, has been released: "We are happy to announce the release of pfSense software version 2.3.4. This is a maintenance release in the 2.3.x series, bringing stability and bug fixes, fixes for a few security issues, and a handful of new features. On the 2.3.4-RELEASE Dashboard you'll find a few additional pieces of information - the BIOS vendor, version, and release date (if the firewall can determine them) and a Netgate Unique ID. The Netgate Unique ID is similar to a serial number, it is used to uniquely identify an instance of pfSense software for customers who want to purchase support services. For hardware sold in our store, it also allows us to tie units to our manufacturing records. This ID is consistent across all platforms (bare metal, virtual machines, and hosted/cloud instances such as AWS/Azure). We had originally intended to use the hardware serial number or the UUID generated by the operating system, but we found that these were unreliable." See the release announcement and release notes for further details.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not 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 in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 396
- Total data uploaded: 64.0TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
In this week's Questions and Answers column we talked about disk fragmentation. Fragmented files are usually not a problem on Linux as Linux file systems tend to tidy themselves automatically. However, we would like to test this idea by finding out if any of our readers are running drives that have fragmented. Are your partitions fragmented and, if so, by how much?
People using the ext4 file system can get a fragmentation score by running the command e4defrag -c /.
You can see the results of our previous poll on running Android apps on GNU/Linux last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|My disk has a fragmentation score of zero: ||567 (40%)|
| My disk has a fragmentation score of 1-30: ||267 (19%)|
| My disk has a fragemtnation score of 31-55: ||11 (1%)|
| My disk has a score of 56 or higher: ||16 (1%)|
| I do not know: ||343 (24%)|
| I am running a file system other than ext4: ||206 (15%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- FyreLinux. FyreLinux is an openSUSE-based desktop distribution for 64-bit x86 computers. The distribution features two Qt-based desktop environments: KDE and LXQt.
- Enso OS. Enso OS is a desktop Linux distribution based on Xubuntu.
- Phoenix OS. Phoenix OS is an operating system that is based on Android-x86 for desktop, tablet and laptop computers.
- Daylight Linux. Daylight Linux is based on Debian 9 "Stretch" and features the LXDE desktop.
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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 May 2017. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|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 |
Sorcerer was a source-based Linux distribution. Source tarballs are downloaded directly from software project home pages or as patches when an old source was previously downloaded. Sources are compiled for the architecture and with the optimisations that the system administrator specifies. Sorcerer has both command-line and menu-driven source management programs.