| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 759, 16 April 2018
Welcome to this year's 16th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
This past week we covered the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, an enterprise-class distribution featuring long term support. The phrase "long term support" in Red Hat's case means the distribution receives security updates for around ten years, but other projects apply the label to many different spans of time. To some projects long term support (LTS) may mean two years, to others three, for some projects it is five years. In our Opinion Poll this week we would like to find out how long a release should be supported to be considered LTS. In our Feature Story this week we cover a Debian-based project called Neptune. The Neptune distribution features the Plasma desktop environment and up to date desktop applications. Then we talk about elementary OS's new generation of applications and Red Hat's tool for creating and managing container images. We also discuss MX Linux's new documentation and a flavour of antiX which is based on Debian's Unstable (Sid) development branch. Plus we share some tips for people who want to manage networks and fix filenames from the command line. As usual, we share the releases of the past week and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Review: Neptune 5.0
- News: elementary's new generation of apps, building containers on Red Hat, MX publishes new FAQ, antiX introduces Sid edition
- Tips and tricks: Fix filenames, manage networks from the command line and more command line tips
- Released last week: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Clonezilla Live 2.5.5-38
- Torrent corner: Clonezilla Live, DragonFly BSD, Endless OS, LibreELEC, Neptune, Raspberry Digital Signage, ReactOS, Sabayon
- Opinion poll: How long should long term support last?
- DistroWatch.com news: Dormant and discontinued projects
- New distributions: Easy OS
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Neptune is a Debian-based Linux distribution which is built upon Debian's Stable branch. The Neptune team then provides a more up to date desktop environment and applications through their own software repositories. The latest release of Neptune, version 5.0, runs the KDE Plasma 5.12 LTS desktop and LibreOffice 6. The project's release announcement says that most of its desktop software will remain at fixed versions for the life span of the distribution since cutting edge desktop applications can typically be installed using Snap or Flatpak portable packages. Another change includes the way third-party drivers are handled:
With Neptune 5.0 we stopped officially supporting proprietary graphics card drivers. We removed the support for easy installing them from our zevenoshardwaremanager. You can however install them on your own if you need or like....
For Live System users we still provide our tools Persistent-Creator as well as Snapshot Manager. If you want to remaster our ISO or any other Debian Live or Ubuntu Casper based ISO you can do so with our tool remaster-kit. Newly included is grub-customizer a tool which allows you to set the design and options of your GRUB boot loader.
Neptune is available in just one edition for 64-bit computers and the live disc image we download is 2GB in size. Booting from the ISO displays a boot menu giving us the option of starting the system using English or German as a preferred language. The system then boots to a live KDE Plasma desktop featuring grey wallpaper with the project's branding. Large icons on the desktop launch the project's system installer, a file manager and the Discover software manager. A panel is displayed across the bottom of the screen and holds the application menu, task switcher and system tray. After playing with the desktop for a few minutes and not running into any problems, I launched the project's installer.
Neptune uses the Calamares system installer which provides users with a friendly, streamlined graphical interface. Calamares quickly walks us through selecting our preferred language, selecting a time zone and confirming the keyboard layout. In my case the system incorrectly guessed which keyboard I was using, but that was easily rectified. When it comes to disk partitioning we have two key options: automatic or manual. I went with the manual option and found the partitioning controls to be straight forward and easy to navigate. Neptune supports working with Btrfs, XFS and ext2/3/4 file systems. Then we set up a username and password for ourselves and the installer works its magic. A short time later, I could reboot the system and start playing with my brand new copy of Neptune.
Neptune boots to a graphical login screen. Here we find there are five different session options listed. These include two entries for the Plasma desktop and three variations of the Enlightenment (E16) desktop. The Enlightenment session does not look like it was meant to be used and may be included as a rescue option in case Plasma stops working. When we sign in we see a mostly empty panel at the bottom of the screen and an empty window that can be resized in the bottom-left corner. We can click on an empty part of the desktop to bring up an application & logout menu. As the session has few features, includes no wallpaper, the visible elements lack contrast and there are three separate E16 sessions listed it makes me wonder if these were planned to be included in the release or maybe got tossed in just so a second login option would be available in case Plasma went off-line.
Neptune 5.0 -- Running LibreOffice
(full image size: 182kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I spent almost all my time with Neptune logged into the Plasma 5.12 desktop. The desktop uses a fairly dark theme with touches of blue, which I found easy to look at. I especially like the way the theme looks in the Dolphin file manager. I also found Neptune's virtual terminal's use of soft green and white text on a solid, black background pleasant. Distributions often try to dress up the terminal with transparency or a blinking cursor and I find those too busy and hard to read. Neptune's terminal may not be flashy, but it's very easy on my eyes.
One of the few visual effects Neptune uses is whichever window has focus has a thick shadow around it. This gives the active application the illusion of depth. It's a subtle enough effect that I liked it and, while it didn't add anything to my experience, it did not annoy or distract me the way most desktop effects do.
Shortly after signing in for the first time, I checked the desktop's notification area, which (among other bits of information) told me the software on my system was up to date. This seemed unlikely given Neptune 5.0 was over a week old and so I launched the Discover software centre from its desktop icon. Discover also reported there were no updates available and, the first time I ran Discover, there was no button present to force the software manager to check again. I then turned to a second package manager, Muon, which looks like Debian's Synaptic, but with buttons and a layout which look more naturally a part of the Plasma desktop. Muon has a button to check for software updates and it quickly told me there were 30 new packages available, totalling 67MB in size. These were downloaded without incident. I'll come back to these two graphical software managers again later.
I played with Neptune in two test environments and, in both situations, the distribution performed well in most aspects. My desktop computer's hardware was detected and used properly. Neptune was able to integrate automatically with my VirtualBox environment and use my host system's full screen resolution. The distribution was relatively light on resources, using around 420MB of RAM when logged into Plasma. A fresh install used about 6.5GB of disk space.
My only hardware-related concern while using Neptune was that, while Plasma was responsive, the way it drew on the screen was choppy. This is an unusual experience for me. Usually I find desktops are either quick or slow, but typically consistent either way. Neptune's Plasma was different. If I clicked on a menu, for instance, the menu would react right away (lighting up or showing a button being depressed). But then the menu would draw slowly, sometimes leaving gaps in the middle for a second. Other times I might close a dialog window and the window would immediately begin to fade, but then the animation would pause and I'd be left with a half-faded window for a moment. Then, instead of continuing to fade, the window would simply vanish and be replaced by the application behind it.
I played with different display options to see if I could fix this, but the default settings seemed to offer the best experience, the alternatives tended to be, if anything, worse. The jerky drawing was not always noticeable, but when it did happen it gave the impression of a video buffering.
Neptune ships with a fairly standard set of open source applications, though there is a slight preference for KDE/Qt software on display. The distribution ships with such popular items as the Chromium web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client and LibreOffice. The GNU Image Manipulation Program and Inkscape are included for working with images and Okular is present for reading PDFs. There are a few text editors, including KWrite and ReText. The Konversation messaging software is included along with the Konqueror web browser and the Kamoso webcam manager.
The distribution features some multimedia applications, including the Amarok audio player and the VLC media player. For people who want to edit their sound and video files, the Audacity and Kdenlive editors are available. Neptune includes a full range of media codecs, allowing us to edit and play most multimedia files.
Rounding out the offerings, we find the Latte application dock, the Back In Time backup utility and the zuluCrypt application which makes it easy to work with encrypted files and volumes. Network Manager is available to help us get on-line. Neptune uses systemd as the distribution's init software and runs on version 4.14 of the Linux kernel.
The software included in Neptune generally worked well for me. The included programs made it pretty easy for me to get my work done and operated smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised with how the Amarok music player has come along. In the KDE4 days, I tended to find Amarok slow and full of pop-ups and almost always replaced the application. This time around I found Amarok loaded and ran quickly and did not cause any headaches.
The Back In Time application may be overwhelming for new users. It is a highly flexible backup tool, with a lot of options. This gives the user a lot of choices when it comes to selecting files to archive and where to store backups. However, the Back In Time interface is cluttered and is probably intended for more advanced users. Less experienced users may wish to install another backup tool such as Deja Dup.
Neptune 5.0 -- Setting up a backup job
(full image size: 311kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
In a similar vein, zuluCrypt is a powerful encryption tool which can deal with files and secure volumes. While zuluCrypt is also very flexible and offers lots of options, most users will probably prefer the Plasma Vaults software, which is built into the desktop and offers a more streamlined experience.
Earlier I briefly mentioned Neptune's two graphical package managers, Discover and Muon. Muon provides easy access to low level packages and can be useful for people who want to hunt down one specific library or command line tool.
Discover, which is easily accessed from its desktop icon, is designed to make it easy to browse categories of software. We can locate items by name or by browsing through categories of desktop applications. Applications in a given search or category will be displayed with a brief description and an Install/Remove button. Clicking on an entry brings up a page with a more complete description of the software and screen shots.
Neptune 5.0 -- The Discover software manager
(full image size: 482kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
When I first started using Neptune, the Discover software manager would not show me available updates. But later in the week new packages would be listed and I could click a single button to install all waiting updates. My only other complaint was that once, while searching for new packages, Discover crashed and I had to relaunch the software manager.
In the distribution's release announcement Flatpak and Snap are mentioned as possible methods for users to stay up to date with the latest desktop software. Neptune does not include support for either of these portable package formats by default, but the Snap and Flatpak frameworks can be installed from Neptune's repositories.
Neptune ships with Plasma's new System Settings panel, which I discussed previously in my review of Plasma 5.12. The settings panel is fairly easy to navigate, but I think the new two-pane layout is not a great choice for the multiple layers of settings modules. A problem I faced this week is that I'm accustomed to how older versions of the settings panel would prompt before discarding changes. Typically when exiting a module a message would be displayed asking if we would like to apply or discard the adjustments we had made. The latest version of the panel does not prompt us to save changes and, after a few minutes, I realized all my desktop adjustments had been lost and must be redone.
One aspect of Neptune I did appreciate was the screen does not lock or launch the screensaver after five minutes. I've noticed that several desktop distributions, particularly those running GNOME, will lock the screen very quickly. It seems like every time I turn around I need to unlock the screen again, until I change the setting. Neptune doesn't do this. The screen will go into low power or sleep mode after 30 minutes, but will not lock unless we ask it to, or change the default settings.
Neptune 5.0 -- The System Settings panel
(full image size: 269kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Also on the topic of settings, I like that searches performed in the application menu will display settings modules as well as applications. This meant I did not need to open the application menu, search for settings, open the settings panel and then type "lock screen" to find the lock timer. Instead, I could just search for "lock screen" from the application menu and open the appropriate settings module with one click. It's a little feature, but a nice time saver.
Earlier I mentioned Neptune offers two Plasma login sessions. These appear to be identical, except one session is identified as being for Plasma 5.10 and the other for 5.12, but we can use them interchangeably and both launch Plasma 5.12. By default the distribution does not provide a Wayland session, but we can install the Wayland Plasma session option. I tried this, but found Wayland was effectively unusable. The screen resolution was lower, visual artifacts appeared all over the page and bringing up any menu caused the screen to go blank for a few seconds. Based on my limited trial, I recommend sticking with Neptune's default X session.
One frustration I ran into with Plasma came about when using one of my favourite new features. In my recent review of Plasma 5.12 I mentioned that I could use the Meta + number key combination to quickly access open windows rather than tabbing through them. Neptune offers this feature, with one catch: the quick-launch icons on the panel count as numbered items. This meant tapping Meta + 1 didn't switch to my first open window, it launched the Chromium browser. To access my first open application I had to type Meta + 3. I understand why this happens, the two launch icons are numbered objects and this gives us a fast way to open them. But it was frustrating when I accidentally hit the 2 instead of 3 and had to wait while Thunderbird opened. And remembering to press 5 instead of 3 when I wanted the third window was not exactly intuitive. This can be worked around by removing the quick-launch buttons.
For the most part, I was happy with Neptune. I like the style of the Plasma desktop which is generally presented without frills or distractions. I like the somewhat muted colours and the default settings, such as the lack of a trigger-happy screen lock. Mostly, I was happy to see how some applications I hadn't used in a while were coming along. Amarok and Discover both have made strong progress recently and I'm finding them to be capable tools when, in the past, I wasn't a fan of either.
The default programs generally worked well for me and Plasma's performance was generally good. I did notice some stuttering on the desktop, and I could probably fix that by tweaking the performance or compositing, or by switching to a third-party driver. But with the default settings, the stuttering was probably my biggest complaint.
Neptune 5.0 -- The Amarok music player
(full image size: 530kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
What I tended to find with Neptune was if I stuck with the default settings and used applications in the normal or most straight forward fashion, then things went smoothly. But when I stepped off the straight and narrow path, things tended to unravel. Trying Enlightenment or Wayland sessions, for example, did not work well, but things went smoothly while using Plasma's X session. Checking for updates as soon as I logged in resulted in no packages being found, but if I waited for things to settle in the background and gave the operating system a few minutes, I'd eventually be told updates were available and could install them with a few clicks.
There are a few rough edges here and there, but on the whole Neptune worked well. The stable Debian base combined with the latest version of Plasma, Chromium and LibreOffice were a good mixture. It gives us a solid base with lots of new features and I think that's a good combination, especially for me. There are some edge cases where I ran into minor problems and I didn't like that the settings panel didn't warn me before discarding changes, but otherwise I had a good week with Neptune. I think it's a good fit for relative newcomers to Linux and people looking for a balance between reliability and fresh desktop software.
* * * * *
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
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Visitor supplied rating
Neptune has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.9/10 from 11 review(s).
Have you used Neptune? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
elementary's new generation of apps, building containers on Red Hat, MX publishes new FAQ, antiX introduces Sid edition
The elementary OS team has been working on making their own application ecosystem, providing software for users and a way for developers to monetize their projects. The team has published a recap of the progress their application platform has made over the years. They also talk about changes arriving soon which will help developers launch new apps in the elementary store. The post is mostly an overview for app developers and discusses program meta data, standardized directory structures and application branding. The details can be found in this blog post.
* * * * *
One of the big news items this past week was the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, the most recent upgrade to the company's 7.x series. The new version includes a tool called Buildah. "With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5, we now fully support using Buildah to create Docker and OCI-compliant container images. Buildah was introduced in 7.4.3 as a tech preview, and moves to fully supported in this release. With Buildah, you can now create container images without needing to run a container runtime daemon. You can create images from scratch (without a base image) or with a base image such as one of the many Red Hat Enterprise Linux container images provided via the Red Hat Container Catalog. Buildah also allows you to inspect images and mount their root filesystem, without running the image, to add or change content in the image." More information on Buildah can be found on the software's GitHub page.
* * * * *
The MX Linux project has published a new documentation page of frequently asked questions. This page offers some general overview of the distribution, its repositories, support cycle, installing alternative desktops and customizing the operating system. There is also a section dedicated to working with portable package formats such as Flatpak, AppImage and Snaps. The new FAQ page is available in French and English.
* * * * *
The antiX project creates a lightweight, systemd-free distribution based on Debian. When antiX 17 was first released it was based on Debian's Stable branch, but a second set of ISOs have been uploaded which provide antiX fans with a Debian Unstable (Sid) base. "I have made available Net and Core versions of antiX for 32- and 64-bit architectures built from Debian Sid repos. Kernel used is 4.15.14, systemd-free. Net needs a wired ethernet connection, Core should work ok for most boxes with a wired or wifi connection. These ISO files are meant for those who know their way around Debian Sid. Things may break." The new Debian Sid flavours of antiX can be downloaded from the antiX Download page.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Fix filenames, manage networks from the command line and more command line tips
Do you ever receive files from people who have placed spaces in the filename, making it difficult to type on the command line? Have you ever received files that are named with odd symbols or with multiple underscore characters? Unwanted or duplicate characters in a file's name can make it hard to type or cause problems if the file is handled by a script. We could rename each file one at a time, but luckily for us there is a program that is designed specifically to clean up filenames.
The detox command can work on a single file, a whole directory of files or even an entire directory tree. The detox command automatically removes spaces, duplicate underscores and mix-matched character encodings. In its simplest form the detox program takes one file as its sole parameter. In the following example the file named "a b c" is renamed to "a_b_c".
detox a\ b\ c
We can find and fix the naming of all the files in a directory tree by using the "-r" flag. The following command fixes the naming of all the files in the New-Files directory:
detox -r New-Files
Finally, if we want to see how detox would rename our files without actually performing the rename, we can use the "-n" parameter. This shows us a list of all the files that would be renamed and how detox would change their filenames.
detox -r -n New-Files
* * * * *
When working in a desktop environment it is usually easy to set up network connections on Linux by using one of the desktop network configuration tools such as Wicd or Network Manager. However, if we look up tutorials for configuring a network connection from the command line the documentation usually has us adjusting cryptic text files by hand. Luckily, there is a friendly network configuration tool for the command line. The Network Manager Text User Interface (nmtui) program can be used to set up and edit network connections and it works with wireless connections. The nmtui program can also change our computer's hostname.
The text-based Network Manager front-end can be launched by simply running nmtui from the command line. It then displays a series of menus to guide us through setting up our network connection(s).
* * * * *
Have you ever been reading a text file and wanted to quickly figure out the number of the line you were looking at? Perhaps you want to tell someone to fix a typo and want to know how to direct them to the proper line. The nl program can help with that. nl prints out a text file with the number of each line to the left of the text.
By default, running nl on its own and just passing it a single file will display line numbers at the beginning of lines with text. Empty lines are not counted. For example, if we run
We might get the result
1 This is a line.
If we want to count empty lines then we can use the "--body-numbering" parameter to include all lines. Here we display the contents of my-file.txt again, numbering all lines:
2 This is another line.
3 We are skipping empty lines.
nl --body-numbering=a my-file.txt
Which outputs the following to the terminal:
1 This is a line.
3 This is another line.
5 We are not skipping empty lines.
* * * * *
People who spend a lot of time on the command line will eventually see the terminal display get messed up in one way or another. Perhaps the terminal's colours get changed or a character encoding changes the display. When this happens we can either logout and/or switch to another terminal. Alternatively, we can reset the current terminal. Simply running the reset command will re-initialize the terminal's output (including colours) without affecting any background jobs or other work in progress.
* * * * *
These and other tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive. Simplified manual pages with examples for the above commands and more can be found in our Simplified Manual Pages.
|Released Last Week
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5
Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.5, the latest update of the company's enterprise-class Linux distribution. The new version includes several performance improvements and easier access to system administration functions through the cockpit management system. "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.5 can help reduce the overall learning curve for new Linux systems administrators, troubleshooters, and developers by making complex tasks, like systems management, easier through enhancements to the cockpit administrator console. Provided as a simplified web interface, these enhancements are designed to eliminate many of the complexities involved with managing Linux-based systems, including network and storage set-ups. Additionally, new functionality and integration with Windows-based infrastructure is offered in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, including improved management and communication with Windows Server implementations, more secure data transfers with Microsoft Azure, and performance improvements for complex Microsoft Active Directory architectures." See the company's press release and the technical release notes for further information.
DragonFly BSD 5.2.0
The DragonFly BSD project, which is an independent fork of FreeBSD, has released a new version. The new stable release, DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, includes fixes for Meltdown and Spectre CPU attacks, improvements to the project's HAMMER2 file system and better graphics acceleration. "DragonFly version 5.2 brings Meltdown/Spectre mitigation, significant improvements to HAMMER2, ipfw, and graphics acceleration.... Big-ticket items: Meltdown and Spectre mitigation support; Meltdown isolation and Spectre mitigation support added. Meltdown mitigation is automatically enabled for all Intel CPUs. Spectre mitigation must be enabled manually via sysctl if desired, using sysctls machdep.spectre_mitigation and machdep.meltdown_mitigation. HAMMER2 - H2 has received a very large number of bug fixes and performance improvements. We can now recommend H2 as the default root file system in non-clustered mode. Clustered support is not yet available." More information can be found in the project's release announcement and in the release notes.
Clonezilla Live 2.5.5-38
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 2.5.5-38, the latest stable release of the project's specialist utility live CD, based on Debian's "unstable" branch, designed for disk cloning and backups: "This release of Clonezilla Live (2.5.5-38) includes major enhancements and bug fixes. Enhancements and changes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system has been upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2018-03-30; Linux kernel has been updated to 4.15.11; Partclone has been updated to 0.3.11 with some libraries also updated; new image format is used in this release, it is different from the one saved by Partclone 0.2.x; new massive deployment mechanism BitTorrent was added; Clonezilla has to convert the original image to the special format when BitTorrent mode is used and this will require more disk space in the image repository; switch keymap configuration method from console-data to keyboard-configuration." See the full release announcement for a complete list of changes and other technical notes.
ReactOS is an open source operating system which strives to provide binary compatibility with Microsoft windows applications and drivers. The ReactOS project has released a new version, ReactOS 0.4.8, which brings many improvements to the desktop interface. "Taskbar settings and dialogs have been rewritten by Giannis so now the auto-hide, toggle lock and always on top options work. These settings were visible before but as you might have noticed they've never been working at all. Meanwhile, David fixed several bugs and glitches of the notification area. Thanks to him, Giannis and Hermès, now balloon notifications are properly supported, queued and shown while a range of tooltip problems have been solved. Talking about the notification tray, due to Ged’s work, icons of killed and finished process are now automatically removed, even when apps crash. This is something that Windows doesn't even provide with Win10, and many Windows users may have noticed." Additional information can be found in the project's release announcement.
* * * * *
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. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 808
- Total data uploaded: 19.0TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
How long should long term support last?
Several projects claim to offer long term support (LTS) for their software. However, the actual length of the "long term" support varies quite a bit from one project to the next. For some projects, long term may be defined as two or three years. For others it is five years. Some enterprise-class projects offer ten years of support in their LTS offerings.
This week we would like to find out where our readers think the barrier is between short and long term support.
You can see the results of our previous poll on time spent running the same Linux distro in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
How long should long term support last?
|At least 1 year: ||29 (1%)|
| At least 2 years: ||171 (7%)|
| At least 3 years: ||525 (22%)|
| At least 5 years: ||1088 (45%)|
| Between 5-10 years: ||384 (16%)|
| 10 years or more: ||230 (9%)|
Dormant and discontinued projects
In past years DistroWatch maintained a page dedicated to Linux distributions which were no longer maintained. This collection of discontinued or inactive projects bid a fond farewell to notable projects which were no longer being maintained. Over time, as more and more projects were quickly born and (often as quickly) died, this page fell out of date.
The Dormant and Discontinued page has been brought back to life and up to date. The left side of the page describes projects currently listed in our database as dormant while the right-hand sidebar lists the many discontinued projects we have tracked in the past.
We hope it will offer long-time readers with a trip down memory lane and provide a historical record for quickly finding projects no longer in active development.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Easy OS. Easy OS shares a lineage with Puppy Linux and Quirky while introducing container support. Easy OS also features software rollbacks, snapshots, and easy file sharing over the network.
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DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 April 2018. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. 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: 2, value: US$12.80)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Grml is a bootable CD (live CD) based on Debian GNU/Linux. It includes a collection of GNU/Linux software especially for users of text tools and system administrators. It also provides automatic hardware detection. Grml can be used as a rescue system, for analysing systems and networks, or as a working environment. Due to on-the-fly decompression, Grml includes about 2 GB of software and documentation on the CD.