| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 775, 6 August 2018
Welcome to this year's 32nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The wide range of open source operating systems offers a great deal of variety and flexibility in the way we can use our computers. Linux distributions can be designed to be ultra stable, portable, fast or customizable. This week we look at some of the flexibility which can be achieved through open source platforms. We begin with a look at Secure-K OS, a Linux distribution which is designed to be run from a USB thumb drive to provide portable, secure on-line communication. In our Opinion Poll we ask if our readers use portable, live operating systems like Secure-K and Puppy Linux. Then, in our News section, we discuss a Korora community member stepping forward to provide a spin of the dormant, Fedora-based distribution running the Xfce desktop. Plus we cover elementary OS hiring a full-time contributor and ReactOS gaining the ability to boot from Btrfs storage volumes. Our second article this week discusses whether Linux is "about choice" and, if so, what that means for its users. Plus we are happy to share the new releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we are pleased to welcome the YunoHost distribution to our database. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
- Review: Secure-K OS 18.5
- News: Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots from Btrfs
- Opinion: Linux is about choice
- Released last week: IPFire 2.21 Core 122, OPNsense 18.7, Ubuntu 16.04.5
- Torrent corner: KDE neon, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Netrunner, Pinguy, Runtu, SwagArch, Ubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Xubuntu
- Opinion poll: Portable operating system on a thumb drive
- New additions: YunoHost
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Secure-K OS 18.5
Secure-K OS is a Debian-based distribution which runs from a live USB. The distribution is designed to provide secure communication and anonymous web browsing using applications such as the Tox messaging client and Tor Web Browser. Secure-K features the GNOME Shell desktop environment and is developed by the Mon-K organization.
The Secure-K distribution is available in three editions: Enterprise, Personal and Lite. The first two are commercial offerings while Lite is free to download and try. I decided to experiment with the Lite flavour which is available as a 7.3GB image file that can be written to a USB thumb drive.
The first time we boot from the Secure-K USB drive the system brings up a graphical screen and walks us through a few configuration steps. We are asked to provide our time zone, create a username and password for ourselves and accept the project's license agreement. The license is mostly standard material, though I did note it includes a section on information Secure-K will send to its developers, including hardware, kernel and time zone information. The password we set for ourselves must be long and complex, otherwise the configuration wizard will not proceed. I would have liked if there was an override option to allow simple passwords as the first four or five I tried were not deemed good enough.
When the first-run wizard is finished, we are presented with a lightly modified GNOME Shell desktop. GNOME is set up with two panels (at the top and bottom of the screen). This gives us the Activities menu and system tray at the top of the screen, along with an icon that offers quick access to the file manager. At the bottom of the screen are icons for opening the application menu and launching secure communication tools, like the Tor Web Browser and the Evolution e-mail client. I will come back to these tools later.
Secure-K OS 18.5 -- The welcome window
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Once the desktop loads a welcome window opens. The welcome screen mentions some extra features which are available through the Personal edition of the distribution and displays links to a tutorial and on-line documentation. I found the documentation to be brief and mostly dealing with how to set up the operating system, but I found little on how to use Secure-K once it is set up.
I tried running the desktop tutorial. It started off well by labelling elements of the desktop and prompting me to click on an element to learn more about it. Clicking on the labels caused the tutorial to lock up and crash the welcome window.
While the first time we launch Secure-K it guides us through a first-run wizard, future boots present us with a graphical login screen. The operating system remembers our settings, username and password. While the persistent storage may be less secure than a read-only live distribution, having the system remember our settings does makes work more convenient.
Secure-K ships with a fairly standard collection of open source applications. The distribution includes Firefox, the Chromium web browser, LibreOffice 5 and the Evolution e-mail application. The KeePass password manager is available along with the Rhythmbox music player and the VLC media player. The application menu features a PDF document viewer, an image viewer and the Pidgin instant messaging software. In the background we find the systemd init software and version 4.14 of the Linux kernel.
Secure-K OS 18.5 -- The application menu
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Secure-K ships with a handful of tools for securely or anonymously communicating over the Internet. One of these tools is an e-mail key manager. When we first run the key manager, it asks us to provide us with our name and e-mail address. Once this information is entered, we are told keys have been generated and synchronized with a remote server. The key manager then reports we will receive an e-mail with more information. I never did receive an e-mail concerning my security keys or Secure-K account.
Another utility included in Secure-K is DigitalArx. This application opens and asks us to accept a license agreement which looks to be very similar to the one we agree to during the initial configuration of the operating system. We are then asked to sign into our account with a username and password. At first I was not sure what account DigitalArx was talking about, or what the application is designed to do. According to the project's wiki it seems DigitalArx provides on-line storage, if we have an account. I did not sign up for an account and cannot comment on how well DigitalArx works.
The distribution features the Tor Web Browser. While Firefox and Chromium connect directly with the Internet and provide fast connection speeds, the Tor browser routes connections through the slower (but theoretically anonymous) Tor network. The Tor browser worked well for me, it is basically Firefox with automatic integration with Tor which is a good combination, in my opinion. My only concern with it was, when the Tor browser opens, it reports the browser is out of date. The Tor browser will offer to update itself, but the update process fails with the browser reporting it is unable to verify the package it downloads.
Secure-K OS 18.5 -- The Tor browser
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One package I was hoping to find and did not was a meta data remover. Some other security-oriented distributions, such as Tails, make it easy to remove meta data from images and documents. As far as I could tell, Secure-K does not have a similar tool.
After using Secure-K for a while it occurred to me I had not received any notification about software updates being available. This was slightly concerning considering the Tor browser had already told me it was out of date. Looking through the application menu I found Secure-K ships with GNOME Software for installing and upgrading applications. GNOME Software is a friendly, modern software centre and it makes browsing categories of desktop programs easy.
GNOME Software includes a tab for listing updates. This tab showed no available updates, even after I clicked the software centre's refresh button.
My next step was to switch to a terminal and use the APT command line tools to check for new packages. This check failed as I did not have administrator access. I then also discovered my user account did not have sudo access. To make matters worse, I did not get to set a root password during the initial system configuration and the root account was protected.
Secure-K OS 18.5 -- Trying to run sudo
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I searched the Secure-K documentation for mentions of passwords, sudo, the root account and software updates and found no relevant information. This further concerned me as it seems there is no way to upgrade existing packages, install new applications, or mount local drives.
If I had been able to get the APT tools working, I would have been pulling most software from Debian's Stable repositories. There are also two non-standard repositories: a Java PPA and a repository of Secure-K software.
I tried running Secure-K on my laptop and found the distribution worked well on the hardware. Secure-K automatically detected my wireless card and set screen resolution to its maximum level. Audio worked, though the volume was muted by default. The GNOME desktop worked well with my laptop, offering a fairly responsive environment.
My one concern relating to hardware was how quickly Secure-K drained my laptop's battery. Typically this (ageing) laptop provides me with around two hours of battery, enough to stream a movie on Netflix. Secure-K drained about 40% of the battery in 15 minutes from just signing in, opening a few programs and looking up information in the project's wiki. After that, battery usage slowed down a little, but I still struggled to get a full hour out of use out of the distribution.
Secure-K used about 500MB of RAM when signed into GNOME Shell. The distribution is not designed to be run from a hard drive, instead working off a USB thumb drive. The distribution requires a USB stick that is 8GB or larger in size.
Secure-K OS 18.5 -- Links to support resources
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I like the idea behind Secure-K. Being able to easily set up a distribution on a USB thumb drive so I can take my operating system with me in my pocket is very appealing. Having secure communication and quick access to the Tor network is also handy. I think the Secure-K developers are basically trying to provide an operating system that is like Tails, but more geared toward general purpose use. Tails is typically seen as a utility specifically for secure on-line communication, but probably not a platform for day-to-day use. Secure-K seems to be coming from the other direction and providing a day-to-day operating system that can also be used for secure communication and anonymous web browsing.
In theory, this is a good concept and I can see how it would appeal, especially if people want easy access to on-line storage and persistent settings.
Secure-K OS 18.5 -- The settings panel
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There are three main areas where I feel Secure-K runs into problems. The first is documentation. There were a couple of times when I wondered "What does this application do?", "How does this tool work?" or "What is the default root password?" and couldn't find the answer. I had to either work around issues on my own or figure things out by trial and error.
The second issue was my main user account not having sudo access. This gets in the way of installing software updates, configuring printers, and mounting local drives. So much of Secure-K seems to be set up with convenience in mind, but this was a big obstacle I kept running into.
The final concern I had wasn't with the software, but the license agreement. The license states the operating system sends information home to the developers about our system. Not a lot, but any data sent home largely defeats the purpose of having a system designed for secure and anonymous communication. It's like passing encoded notes in a dark alleyway while whistling loudly.
I think Secure-K has some good ideas, but it may take more time to get the wrinkles out and flesh out the documentation.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a de-branded HP laptop with the following
- Processor: Intel i3 2.5GHz CPU
- Display: Intel integrated video
- Storage: Western Digital 700GB hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Wired network device: Realtek RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast
- Wireless network device: Realtek RTL8188EE Wireless network card
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Visitor supplied rating
Secure-K OS has a visitor supplied average rating of: 5.3/10 from 3 review(s).
Have you used Secure-K OS? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots from Btrfs
Back in May the Korora team announced it would be taking a break and the project would not be publishing a new version based on Fedora 28. Since then a volunteer has stepped forward, offering a spin of Korora that is based on Fedora 28 and features the Xfce desktop. "A past contributor, JMiahMan, has produced an Xfce ISO based on Fedora 28 and including the usual Korora additions. There are more details on this Engage item. You might find this blog post interesting too. There are plans to produce ISOs of the other desktops once Xfce is sorted. So even if you don't use Xfce it would be helpful if you could test this system on a live system or in a VM. Remember these are community produced, beta releases and not designed for day to day use (yet!) so we don't recommend installing them on a production system." More details and instructions for leaving feedback can be found in the project's blog post.
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Some good news came out of the elementary OS camp this week. elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Pantheon desktop environment. The elementary team has gained a new full-time contributor, Cassidy James. He has been working for System76 and volunteering spare time to elementary OS for a while now, but is making a shift to working for the elementary distribution full-time. "Thanks to the continued support from our community as well as a large private contribution, I now have the opportunity to do all of this full time as my career. I plan to continue to focus on the areas I've been working on as a volunteer, plus dedicate time to working with OEMs, app developers, and other parties to help keep elementary financially sustainable." More on this transition and the work Cassidy James will be doing for elementary OS can be found in this blog post.
* * * * *
Fans of ReactOS, an open source operating system which strives for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows, will be happy to learn file system support for ReactOS is expanding. One of the project's Google Summer of Code (GSoC) efforts is to get ReactOS to boot from a Btrfs storage volume. Btrfs is typically only used on Linux, but ReactOS can now read and boot from Btrfs partitions. "Freeloader is now able to read files and follow symlinks from Btrfs partition. One major issue is left here - case sensitivity. Btrfs is case-sensitive file system, so paths like /ReactOS/System32, /reactos/system32, /ReactOS/system32 are different here. But in Windows world most software is written assuming that case does not matter during path lookup. This thing is solved in WinBtrfs driver, but for Freeloader it can be a bit tricky. Right now I've implemented a hack for this, we will handle this later." Details can be found in the project's blog post.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Opinion (by Jesse Smith)
Linux is about choice
When discussing the world's Linux distributions and applications, many of which have overlapping goals, a common phrase which keeps coming up is "Linux is about choice". The "choice" meme is often used to explain why there are so many Linux distributions - people can make their operating system into whatever form they wish, so they do.
The "Linux is about choice" line is also frequently used in the context of users insisting on the implementation (or removal) of one feature or another. A few examples which come to mind are: "Why does my password need to be longer than one character, isn't Linux supposed to be about choice?" and "This application doesn't let me run it as root, but Linux is supposed to be about choice!"
Before going further, I want to clarify I'm using "Linux" here as it usually is in this context: as a short-hand to refer to the GNU/Linux family of distributions, not just the Linux kernel.
Is Linux somehow about choice though and, if so, what does that mean? If you type the phrase "Is Linux about choice?" into a web search, chances are the first result you get will be a website with a giant "NO" banner at the top and an e-mail from Adam Jackson in which he strongly states his objection to the concept: "As a consumer, yes, you have lots of choices in which Linux you use. This does not mean Linux is in any sense about choice, any more than because there are so many kinds of cars you can buy that cars are about choice."
In Jackson's case though he is explaining why it is not practical for developers to ship multiple pieces of technology which might perform the same task. He points out distributions do not have the resources to ship infinite package options like the Firefox web browser alongside the Chromium and Falkon browsers. It's a good point, but I think it dodges the core concept people who see Linux as being about choice have. Most people will probably be comfortable downloading extra software packages post-install; that is not usually what the "Linux is about choice" proponents are worried about. Typically they are concerned with software working the way they want it to. They want to be able to tweak things, override default settings and not be told by their computer's software how it is to be used.
In short, when Linux users say that their operating system should be about choice, what they are hoping for is the developer of a given application or distribution will make it work the way they want it to work. And I think this indicates that the significance behind the phrase "Linux is about choice" has been altered, or even lost, over time.
I feel it is important to remember that in the early days of Linux the various distributions were created largely by and for computer enthusiasts. Many, if not most, of the Linux users of the 1990s were either developers or system administrators, accustomed to compiling code, writing scripts and working from a command line. This set Linux apart from commercial offerings from Apple and Microsoft whose operating systems were mostly proprietary and targeting mass markets. These days the open source nature of Linux may not seem unusual, but in the 90s Linux stood out from most other widely available operating systems. Today we have the BSDs, Haiku, OpenIndiana, parts of macOS are open source, and even Microsoft is releasing tools under open licenses. However, back in the 90s Linux's open source license was in strong contrast to its competitors like Solaris, Mac OS and Windows.
It is difficult to properly convey how much of a contrast the open nature of Linux distributions presented to the closed source standards of the time. With proprietary software, when you encountered a bug or wanted a new feature, your best bet was to contact the vendor and hope they addressed your concern. Then, if they made the change you wanted, it might take a few weeks to a few months for the floppy disk with the upgrade to arrive in the mail. The process was slow and entirely in the control of the software vendor. Linux, and its close cousins like the BSDs, introduced a huge change for developers and system administrators because we had the ability to download a program's source code and fix it ourselves right away.
Minor software tweaks and easy bug fixes were no longer available at the whim (and on the time table) of a distant company, they could often be implemented in a few hours. Not only that, but if you shared a problem with others, sometimes another developer would step in and help solve it with you so both parties would benefit. It was a big leap forward.
When I came into the Linux community in the late 90s, Linux did have a reputation for being about choice. Not just because there were a variety of distributions we could use, multiple desktop environments that could be installed, and a dozen different text editors. Those existed and did indeed provide a buffet of choice. But when most of us talked about Linux being about choice we were talking about the power and freedom to fix things ourselves. If you didn't like something, you could change it, given enough skill and time. The Linux community was largely made up of people who saw the open source nature of the ecosystem as an opportunity to customize it, fix it and add features as we saw fit. We had the choice to craft our software as we desired and it was a revolutionary step forward compared to using closed systems where we had to use what was sold to us.
Over time Linux distributions became more popular and gained interest from a larger audience. More polished desktop products like Red Hat Linux, SuSE and, eventually, Ubuntu did a lot to bring mass appeal to Linux. The community was no longer primarily made up of developers and tinkerers, but also included more mainstream users and businesses. With this shift in the community there also came a shift in attitude with regards to software. More and more software became viewed as something to be consumed rather than something to be cooperatively maintained.
While the growth of the Linux community brought along many advantages (more third-party vendor support, more hardware drivers, more purchasing options) there were some unfortunate changes too. The phrase "Linux is about choice" stayed with us, but I believe half of its meaning has been lost. People still expect the same level of customization Linux has always offered, but without the implied responsibility of implementing the changes they want to see on their own. Linux is about choice because we have the freedom to craft it to suit ourselves, not because someone else is going to customize it for us.
To me, the open source nature of Linux distributions is a bit like having a garden plot. I like having the freedom to grow whatever I want in it. Planting the seeds I like and weeding the rows takes effort, but I end up with the crop I want at harvest time. My operating system, like my garden, is always a product of my needs, skill and effort. Unfortunately, a vocal minority of the Linux community expects their garden to grow exactly what they want without taking time to plant seeds or do any maintenance. They are often disappointed because while they have the freedom to completely customize as they like, they have not contributed to the process.
Something I notice when spending time in the BSD communities is that they are still at a point where the end user is expected to work toward the features or fixes they want to see. One of the more common responses to requests for a new program or port is to direct people to the relevant documentation so they can get started. There is a more prevalent do-it-yourself attitude in BSD circles which seems to be increasingly rare in the Linux community
Luckily Linux is still about choice, but we should remind ourselves that freedom must be paired with the will to act in order to be useful. Having choice without the motivation to get involved will leave users living with the choices others made for them.
|Released Last Week
IPFire 2.21 Core 122
IPFire is a Linux distribution for firewalls which offers a range of security tools and is designed to be easy to set up. The distribution's developers have released IPFire 2.21 Core Update 122, which features an upgraded Linux kernel and a corresponding removal of the grsecurity patches. "The distribution was rebased from our old long-term supported kernel to the new kernel 4.14.50. Most importantly, this kernel improves the security of the system, increases performance and makes the core of IPFire more up to date and modern again. This update also enables mitigation against Meltdown and Spectre on some architectures. On Intel-based platforms, we update the microcode of the CPUs when the system boots up to avoid any performance penalties caused by the mitigation techniques. Unfortunately, grsecurity is incompatible with any newer kernels and has been removed. This is connected to the decision of the grsecurity project to no longer open source their patches. Luckily the kernel developers have backported many features so that this kernel is still hardened and secure. ARM systems won't be able to install this update due to the kernel change which also requires changes on some bootloaders." Further details can be found in the release announcement.
OPNsense is a FreeBSD-based specialist operating system designed for firewalls and routers. The project has released OPNsense 18.7 which introduces better IPv6 support, improved routing, a pluggable backup framework that features an Nextcloud option, and the ability to boot from a ZFS root volume. "These are the most prominent changes since version 18.1: improved WAN DHCPv6 and SLAAC connectivity and tracking; functional IPv6 Rapid Deployment (6RD) support; improved default route handling and gateway switching; OpenVPN default setup improvements for IPv6 and RADIUS attribute support; Dpinger gateway monitoring integration; password policies for local authentication and coupled TOTP; Monit core integration to eventually replace the legacy notifications; OpenSSH access via group and shell selection instead of privilege; pluggable backup framework with new Nextcloud option; sytem tunables are now also used as loader tunables; unrestricted VLAN usage for e.g. Xen; QinQ interface removal; firmware GUI speedup, improved error parsing and console reboot hint; ZFS on root boot support (installer support is pending, but opnsense-bootstrap works)..." Further details can be found in the release announcement.
The Ubuntu team has announced the availability of a new point release for the distribution's 16.04 long term support branch. Ubuntu 16.04.5, along with its community editions, features updated packages, security fixes and additional hardware support. "Like previous LTS series', 16.04.5 includes hardware enablement stacks for use on newer hardware. This support is offered on all architectures except for 32-bit PowerPC, and is installed by default when using one of the desktop images. Ubuntu Server defaults to installing the GA kernel, however you may select the HWE kernel from the installer bootloader. As usual, this point release includes many updates, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement and in the release notes.
Netrunner 2018.08 "Rolling"
The Netrunner team has published a new snapshot of the distribution's Manjaro-based Rolling edition. The new snapshot, Netrunner 2018.08 "Rolling", features updated KDE Plasma packages, improves GTK+ application integration into the default Plasma desktop and upgrades the Krita drawing software. "GTK Apps now use Kwin borders integrating nicely with the rest of the Plasma desktop environment. Krita is shipped as 4.x release, which got some nice overhauls and features compared to previous version. System Settings - Plasma Tweaks: Using the new sidebar Layout, we sorted all the revamped UI-related KCM modules into one section called 'Plasma Tweaks' for easy configuring Plasma to your liking. 2018.08 comes with some new Plasma Theme that has some transparency built in to allow for experimenting with the new Blur options. It also features a new default wallpaper style, because why not." The release announcement includes a list of key package upgrades and screen shots.
Netrunner 2018.08 "Rolling" -- Netrunner featuring the KDE Plasma desktop
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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. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 971
- Total data uploaded: 20.9TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Portable operating system on a thumb drive
This week we shared a review of Secure-K OS, an operating system which is designed to be run from a USB thumb drive. We would like to find out how many of our readers use such an operating system. Do you have a distribution such as Secure-K OS, Tails, or Puppy that you carry around with you on a removable drive? If so let us know which one you prefer in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on upgrading software packages from source code in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Portable operating system on a thumb drive
|I carry a removable drive with a live distro with me: ||597 (28%)|
| I have live distros on a removable drive at home: ||984 (46%)|
| I do not run live distros from a removable drive: ||540 (25%)|
New projects added to database
YunoHost is a Debian-based distribution which strives to make it easy to quickly set up a server and host web applications. The distribution can be managed through a custom command line utility or through a web-based administration panel.
YunoHost 3.0 -- The web-based administration panel
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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, 13 August 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 22.214.171.124, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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Slackel is a Linux distribution and live CD based on Slackware Linux and Salix OS. It is fully compatible with both. It uses the current version of Slackware and the latest version of the KDE desktop. The Slackel disc images are offered in two different forms - installation and live.