| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 792, 3 December 2018
Welcome to this year's 49th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Most operating systems in the BSD family tend to operate behind the scenes, doing duty on servers, firewalls, and on the occasional toaster. It is less common to see flavours of BSD focused on desktop usage, but that is exactly GhostBSD's niche. The GhostBSD project provides a pre-configured desktop environment, graphical package manager and the latest version offers a rolling release platform to keep users up to date with modern desktop software. This week we begin with a look at GhostBSD and its desktop features and then link to an interview with the project's founder in our News section. Another flavour of BSD, DragonFly BSD, was in the news last week as the project offers improved wireless support on the install media. Also in our News section, we talk about the Fedora team considering a pause in Fedora's rapid development cycle to address infrastructure changes. Meanwhile Fedora 27 reaches the end of its supported life, and we talk about changes coming to Redcore's software management tools. In our Questions and Answers column we talk about when to use swap space and how much. This is a topic a lot of people have suggestions about and we open the floor to feedback in our Opinion Poll, asking how much swap space our readers use. We are also pleased to share last week's releases and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Review: GhostBSD 18.10 - Changing the base
- News: DragonFly BSD improves wireless support, Fedora plans temporary pause in development, Fedora 27 reaches EOL, Redcore changes ports management tools, interview with GhostBSD founder
- Questions and answers: When to use swap space
- Released last week: Calculate Linux 18 "LXQt", BlackArch 2018.12.01, 4MLinux 27.0
- Torrent corner: 4MLinux, BunsenLabs, Calculate, Clonezilla, HardenedBSD, KDE neon, Robolinux, Slax, Ultimate Edition
- Opinion poll: How much swap space do you use?
- New distributions: Avouch Linux
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (17MB) and MP3 (13MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
GhostBSD 18.10 - Changing the base
GhostBSD is a desktop-oriented member of of the BSD family. Past versions of GhostBSD were based directly on stable releases of FreeBSD and typically offered multiple desktop editions featuring the MATE and Xfce desktop environments. The latest version of GhostBSD, 18.10, shifts its base to TrueOS. TrueOS is itself based upon FreeBSD's development (-CURRENT) branch, making running GhostBSD roughly similar to running a FreeBSD development snapshot, though the two may not be binary compatible. This arrangement gives the operating system access to the latest FreeBSD drivers and features. GhostBSD 18.10 ships one edition featuring the MATE desktop.
Along with the change in its base, GhostBSD switches to the OpenRC service manager and swaps out OpenSSL in favour of LibreSSL in the base operating system. The latest download for GhostBSD is 2.5GB in size. Booting from the live media brings up the MATE desktop with a two-panel layout. The Applications, Places & System menus are placed in the upper-left corner of the desktop while the system tray occupies the upper-right. The second panel is home to the task switcher at the bottom of the screen. On the desktop we find icons for opening the Caja file manager, the system installer and the HexChat IRC client. Opening the IRC client automatically connects us with the GhostBSD support chat room.
GhostBSD's system installer is a graphical application which I feel bears a resemblance to Calamares. The installer walks us through selecting our preferred language, our time zone and keyboard layout from lists. When it comes to disk partitioning we are given three general options: using UFS on the whole disk, manual disk partitioning with UFS, and setting up a full disk ZFS volume. I opted to experiment with the ZFS option. When using ZFS we just need to select which disk(s) to use and how large our swap space should be. We are then asked to create a password for the root account and make up an account username & password for ourselves. The account creation screen allows us to select our preferred shell, with options including sh, csh, tcsh, bash, fish, ksh and zsh. The installer then copies its files to the hard drive and offers to restart the computer.
GhostBSD 18.10 -- The system installer
(full image size: 1.4MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels
The freshly installed GhostBSD boots to a graphical login screen. Here we can enter our username and password to sign into the MATE desktop. There is a message on the login screen letting us know we can switch session options by pressing F1, but without any alternative desktops installed, nothing happens when tapping F1.
GhostBSD runs the MATE 1.20.3 desktop and my first impressions of the desktop were positive. There were no pop-ups, no welcome window and very little in the way of visual effects. The interface was responsive and uncluttered. The default theme uses a pleasantly high-contrast approach and text is usually displayed as white-on-black or black-on-white.
I experimented with GhostBSD in two test environments. When running in VirtualBox, the operating system booted and ran well. The desktop was able to dynamically resize and use my host computer's full screen resolution. GhostBSD does not allow for mouse integration, so the mouse pointer gets "trapped" inside the virtual machine's window. Another issue I had with the mouse was, in the virtual machine, the mouse was super sensitive and would zoom across the MATE desktop with very little encouragement. I was able to change this in the MATE mouse settings by setting pointer acceleration to its lowest setting and sensitivity to the highest. (By default, both options are set to their lowest level.)
GhostBSD 18.10 -- Exploring the MATE desktop
(full image size: 601kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels
When running GhostBSD on my desktop computer, I found the operating system performed well. This was a pleasant surprise as, in the past eight years, I don't think I have ever had a member of the FreeBSD, TrueOS & GhostBSD family both boot on my workstation and support my monitor's full resolution. Some past versions would boot, but with unusually low screen resolutions, most failed to boot at all with the default settings. GhostBSD broke this tread, running smoothly, working well with my video card and offering a pleasantly responsive desktop interface. The mouse pointer even behaved itself when running on physical hardware.
A fresh install of GhostBSD takes up about 3.8GB of disk space. When signed into the MATE desktop I found the operating system used about 310MB of active memory and 636MB of wired memory, including space set aside for ZFS. The operating system tended to use very little of my CPU, or my host computer's resources when running in a virtual machine.
The only hardware issue I encountered came when I tried to add a CUPS virtual PDF printer, a method used to turn documents into PDF files. After I had installed the cups-pdf package, I went into the printer manager. Creating a PDF virtual printer was an option and highlighted as the default action, which looked to be a good omen. However, selecting the PDF printer and clicking Next took me to a screen for installing the driver and, on this screen, all the buttons were disabled. I could not select a driver or proceed to the next step, I could only go back to the previous screen. So I had to get by without the PDF printer.
GhostBSD 18.10 -- Trying to set up a virtual printer
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels
GhostBSD ships with a pretty standard collection of software. Looking through the application menu we find the Firefox web browser, LibreOffice, the HexChat IRC client, the Pidgin messaging software, Thunderbird for handing e-mail and the Transmission bittorrent software. The Atril document viewer, a dictionary and the Cheese webcam utility are installed too. The operating system offers a full range of media codecs along with the Exaile audio player and MPlayer media player. Xfburn is included to help us burn optical discs.
GhostBSD 18.10 -- Running LibreOffice and the Pluma text editor
(full image size: 185kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels
There is a menu entry called GhostBSD Bugs which opens Firefox and navigates to the project's issue tracker. The Caja file manager is present and I found it worked well for me. There is a system monitor, the Eye of MATE image viewer and the Shotwell photo manager. A text editor, archive manager and calculator are provided. Though not enabled by default, GhostBSD ships with the Plank desktop dock, which offers a macOS-style dock at the bottom of the screen.
In the background, the operating system ships with the usual collection of BSD command line utilities and manual pages. The Clang compiler is installed by default and the system runs on FreeBSD's 12.0 kernel.
GhostBSD 18.10 -- The default media players
(full image size: 841kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels
GhostBSD offered a few different tools for handling software. The first one I discovered was the update manager, which can be found in the System menu and in the settings panel. I did not get a chance to see it in action though as the update manager consistently reported there were no new packages to download during my trial.
The second graphical package utility is OctoPkg. This tool is in the Applications menu and is roughly divided into two panes. The top pane displays packages that are either installed or available while the bottom pane displays tabs of information. The bottom pane can show us project-related news, information on a selected package and progress information.
An unusual aspect of OctoPkg is that the top pane toggles between showing us installed packages or available ones (it does not show both at the same time). Further, by default no packages are shown when the Available button is toggled. The display is empty until we type a search for packages. We can find items by name or, sometimes, using a simple description.
Once we locate the items we want, we can click a button to queue a package for installation. Once we have selected all the software we want, OctoPkg will download the desired software in one big batch and install it. GhostBSD has a repository of over 32,000 packages and most open source software we are likely to want is available. For added flexibility we can use the FreeBSD ports collection and install new software from its source code.
GhostBSD 18.10 -- The OctoPkg package manager
(full image size: 164kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels
Finally, GhostBSD ships with the FreeBSD pkg command line package manager. This utility is fast, has simple output and I find it pleasantly easy to use. The pkg command pulls in packages from TrueOS and GhostBSD repositories.
Unlike past versions of GhostBSD (and FreeBSD), the current version treats core operating system components as packages which can be managed by pkg. Past versions kept the core system separate and managed updates with the freebsd-update utility. Now things have been merged and simplified so all system upgrades can be handled by one package manager.
The operating system includes a settings panel with a pretty standard set of modules for adjusting the appearance of the MATE desktop. There is a notable lack of tools for managing the lower level parts of the operating system (such as the firewall and administrator authentication), but there are plenty of tools for tweaking the desktop.
Generally, the settings modules worked well. For instance, the screen saver kept coming on too frequently for my taste and it took just a few clicks to fix this. There is an option to switch window buttons from the right to left side of applications and this worked, though it had a side effect: the Applications menu disappeared and I had to logout and sign back in to get the menu back.
When the user signs in the system plays a sound and I had assumed I could turn this feature off under the Sounds module. Instead I found the login audio clip under the Start-up Applications module. The search for this option reminded me that everything is easy to find once you know where to look.
GhostBSD 18.10 -- Desktop settings
(full image size: 924kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels
GhostBSD enables several different ways to perform administrator tasks. We can sign in directly as the root user (or use su) to switch to the root account. The first user we create can also use sudo to perform administrative actions. An alternative to sudo, called doas, is increasingly popular in the BSD communities and it is enabled by default too. The doas tool has several entries in its configuration file which allow members of the wheel group (which includes the first user account we create) to perform several tasks without providing a password. This allows our account to adjust network settings, install updates and lock packages without entering our password. Personally, this approach is more convenient (and less secure) than I'd like and I opted to remove these extra lines from the doas configuration, but I can see the appeal for users who want to quickly perform common functions without the hassle of entering their password.
I think boot environments deserve a special mention. When we set up GhostBSD on a ZFS volume it enables us to create file system snapshots and boot environments. A boot environment is a file system level snapshot of our operating system. Using a tool called beadm we can create snapshots whenever we are about to update the operating system or make a configuration change. Then, if anything goes wrong, we can simply restart the computer and select an existing snapshot from the boot menu. This not only allows us to undo mistakes, but means GhostBSD can survive almost any software error or broken upgrade.
One boot environment feature I especially liked is that when we boot into an older snapshot the last active snapshot (the default one) is automatically mounted under the /mnt directory. This allows us to quickly compare a snapshot to the broken environment, restore missing files or copying over configuration files we know worked in the past.
I was tentatively optimistic going into my experiment with GhostBSD. The shift from a stable FreeBSD base to a rolling TrueOS base was one which I had hoped would bring new features and hardware support, but I was also concerned the result might be rough around the edges. For the most part I was pleased with what GhostBSD 18.10 provided. In my opinion the MATE desktop performs well and looks good. One minor glitch aside, I had no complaints with the desktop experience.
I was very happy to find that GhostBSD would work with my desktop computer, a rare event for me when using FreeBSD or TrueOS. I'm hopeful this means future versions of FreeBSD will also work with this hardware. The only issue I ran into concerning hardware was GhostBSD was unable to work with a wireless network card I plugged into the machine during my trial.
I liked the default applications GhostBSD shipped with. The software included is mostly similar to what we would find in a mainstream Linux distribution and most of the extra applications I wanted could be found through the package manager. Speaking of package management, I think OctoPkg is capable, but not particularly user friendly. Even as a low level package manager, it takes some getting used to, compared to Muon or Synaptic. OctoPkg works, but I'm hoping future versions of GhostBSD are able to adopt a more beginner friendly software manager.
Unlike past versions of GhostBSD (and FreeBSD), this release unites managing the core operating system and third-party packages under one package manager. This is likely to be convenient for users as they no longer need to switch between pkg and freebsd-update to get all their security fixes. However, I think it is too soon to tell if this change brings any problems with it. I am curious to see how well upgrading end user applications mixes with core system security fixes. I am also curious to see how GhostBSD will handle future versions based on TrueOS's rolling release platform.
On the whole, I think GhostBSD is about as easy as it gets when setting up a BSD-based desktop system. Its installer is easy to use, the desktop is pre-configured, there are a small amount of useful applications available out of the box. It's a very positive experience, in my opinion. One of the few problems I think Linux users may face when trying GhostBSD is the lack of certain closed-source applications such as Steam and the Chrome web browser. These are not available on GhostBSD. For people who stick with open source applications, GhostBSD will probably provide everything they need, but people who want to watch Netflix or play big name games, this system may not be able to deliver those experiences. These restrictions aside, I'm very pleased with GhostBSD's latest offering and think it is a pleasant way to get the FreeBSD experience with a quick and easy set up process.
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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
GhostBSD has a visitor supplied average rating of: 7.3/10 from 35 review(s).
Have you used GhostBSD? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
DragonFly BSD improves wireless support, Fedora plans temporary pause in development, Fedora 27 reaches EOL, Redcore changes ports management tools, interview with GhostBSD founder
The DragonFly BSD team is working to make it easier for people to connect to wireless networks immediately after installing the operating system. This is being done by making the wpa_supplicant package available on the install media. Justin Sherrill gives some background on the new configuration: "Bear with me; this is the history: wpa_supplicant is the program DragonFly uses to connect to most wireless networks. It's been part of the base system for some time, but if you start it up, you will see a warning (at boot time) about how this version is deprecated. Installing from dports puts a newer version in place. As is the case with most third-party included in any operating system's base, there's always lag between the newest version of software and what's been included in." The faster moving port of wpa_supplicant will be available on the install media for DragonFly BSD 5.4.
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The Fedora team is considering taking a temporary break from the distribution's rapid, six-month release cycle in order to address changes to the project's infrastructure. Paul Frields has suggested that, following the release of Fedora 30, the team might put off working on Fedora 31 in order to address behind-the-scenes changes. "We should skip the F31 release cycle and leave F30 in place longer in order to focus on improving the tooling and testing changes. These tooling changes will improve the overall reliability of Fedora, and
will decrease the manual effort and complexities involved in producing the distribution artifacts. Although we've done this before to make 'editions' happen, the intent is to track this multi-team effort more actively so we can use the time as well as possible, and give the work maximum transparency." Further details and background on this proposal can be found in Frields' post.
Frields also posted this week on Fedora Magazine to remind Fedora users that version 27 of their distribution has reached the end of its supported life. "With the recent release of Fedora 29, Fedora 27 officially enters End Of Life (EOL) status on November 30, 2018. This impacts any systems still on Fedora 27. If you’re not sure what that means to you, read more below. At this point, packages in the Fedora 27 repositories no longer receive security, bug fix, or enhancement updates." Further information, including upgrade instructions, can be found in the announcement.
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Redcore Linux is a Gentoo-based desktop distribution which is making some adjustments to the way ports and packages are handled. The project's latest status update reports: "As you already know, vasile was used to manage the system (binary, hybrid, source) modes for Redcore Linux (for more details, read here) . And although this strict design and separation worked well, it seems it has hindered some potential users. I've been asked by many advanced Gentoo Linux users to just nuke the strictness, and to rethink the design to be more flexible. After lots of thinking I did just that. So, as of version 2.1812, vasile lost its ability to manage system modes, and they're effectively deprecated. However, it gained the ability to configure/reconfigure portage in a way sisyphus can use its new hybrid options (details bellow). While vasile lost some features, sisyphus our portage wrapper package manager gained many new features. The biggest one being its new ability to manage both binary and source (ebuild) packages." The status update includes examples of how the new versions of these tools will work.
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Eric Turgeon, the founder of GhostBSD recently gave an interview with FreeBSD Bytes to talk about how GhostBSD got started, what sets the operating system apart, and what comes next for the project. When asked what GhostBSD feature was most likely to attract new users, Turgeon replied: "ZFS, I started to use ZFS in 2017, and I can not live without it, it has made my file system administration super productive and straightforward. I have my development all under a dataset that I can send to my other machines, and it saves me time when I reinstall GhostBSD or TrueOS. I don't have to 'git clone' everything." The rest of the interview can be found in the FreeBSD Bytes article.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
When to use swap space
Should-I-use-swap asks: I've been told that I should create a swap partition for Linux, and that it should be twice my RAM. But I'm wondering if it's really necessary. Can I still put my computer to sleep if I opt-out of swap?
DistroWatch answers: Swap space is typically used in two scenarios. The first is when the operating system runs out of room in RAM for applications and needs some place to temporarily put data. A hard drive is slow compared to RAM, but space on a drive tends to be plentiful, so it makes for a good place to put data not currently being used.
Whether having swap space will be useful or not in this first scenario will depend a lot on how much RAM you have in your computer and what programs you are running. If you have a small amount of RAM (under 4GB) or if you run a bunch of heavier applications, then it is a good idea to have swap space.
Having twice as much swap space as RAM might be overkill though. These days most computers have more RAM than back when the "swap space should be double the size of RAM" guideline was created. These days I suggest most people have a swap space approximately the same size as RAM. So if you have a computer with 8GB of RAM, make a swap partition that is 8GB too. If you have 16GB of RAM then you might want to skip having swap space entirely as most workloads on Linux (at least on a desktop computer or laptop) will not require that much memory. (I rarely use more than 3GB of RAM, unless I am running virtual machines.)
As to whether you can put your computer to sleep without RAM, the answer is yes. You can use sleep (or suspend) functions as they keep information in RAM and do not write data out to the disk. However, if you want to use the even more effective power saving mode of hibernate then you will need swap space. The hibernate feature saves information from RAM on your swap partition, so you will need swap space to use hibernate. Probably as much swap as you have RAM.
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More answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Calculate Linux 18 "LXQt"
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 18 "LXQt" edition, a new variant of the project's Gentoo-based set of distributions with LXQt as the default desktop: "We are happy to announce the release of a new Calculate Linux Desktop flavour, featuring the LXQt desktop and therefore named CLDL. CLDL is the fifth little one in the Calculate Linux Desktop family, providing a fully-fledged workplace for both office and home. This new distribution perfectly combines the advantages of Qt 5, which is indeed the base for its interface, with the low system requirements of the Openbox window manager. CLDL is localized out-of-box in all standard European languages. CLDL offers the same sleek design as other Calculate Linux desktops, which means that you will immediately feel familiar with it. Note that in Firefox, an ad blocker is turned on by default while telemetry is disabled. CLDL implements single user authentication for Calculate Directory Server, roaming user profiles and sharing access privileges to network devices with Windows clients. Calculate Linux Desktop LXQt comes with LXQt 0.13, PCManFM-Qt 0.13 for file management, Firefox 63.0.3 as the Internet browser...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information and screenshots.
BlackArch Linux 2018.12.01
A new version of BlackArch Linux, an Arch Linux-based distribution with a collection of over 2,800 penetration-testing and security tools, has been released: "Today we have released a new BlackArch Linux ISO and OVA images. Here is the changeLog: added more than 150 new tools; enabled wicd service by default; removed dwm window manager; removed wmii window manager; added bactl package (script to configure and set up BlackArch environment); included every tool of BlackArch except: cuda-/oclhashcat, vmcloak, theZoo; included Linux kernel 4.19.4; included wordlistctl; updated BlackArch installer to version 1.0.3; updated default ISO files (synchronised with archiso's template); package QAs (runtime checks) were performed prior the ISO image build; updated all BlackArch tools and packages including configuration files; updated all system packages; updated all window manager menus (Awesome, Fluxbox, Openbox); re-added multilib." Visit the project's blog to read the full release announcement.
4MLinux 27.0 has been released. 4MLinux is a project building a set of Linux distributions for desktops (with JWM, 32-bit only) and servers (with the complete LAMP stack, 64-bit). The new version comes with assorted improvements on the multimedia and gaming fronts: "The status of the 4MLinux 27.0 series has been changed to STABLE. As always, the new major release has some new features: optional support for AV1 video coding (encoding via FFmpeg and decoding via VLC and mpv), an option to disable PulseAudio with one click (important for those who use 4MLinux to play classic video games such as DOOM), better support for display drivers when 4MLinux is running in KVM (important for those who use a VNC client to manage 4MServer). LazPaint (small yet powerfull raster image editor with layers) and Blender (professional 3D computer graphics software) have been added as downloadable extensions. Additionally, some good news for gamers: more engines available for XBoard (GNU Chess, GNU Shogi, Fairy-Max) as well as more video games to play (Duke3D, Liero, Strifle). A few small terminal-based games have been added, too." Here is the brief release announcement.
4MLinux 27.0 -- Default desktop and the application menu
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
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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: 1,143
- Total data uploaded: 22.4TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
How much swap space do you use?
In our Questions and Answers column we talked about what swap space is used for and how much of it a person is likely to need. This week we would like to find out how much swap space, if any, you use on your main computer.
You can see the results of our previous poll on using Haiku in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
How much swap space do you use?
|I do not use swap space: ||398 (23%)|
| Less than 1GB: ||72 (4%)|
| 1-2GB: ||298 (17%)|
| 3-4GB: ||332 (19%)|
| 5-8GB: ||326 (19%)|
| 9-16B: ||141 (8%)|
| More than 16GB: ||66 (4%)|
| I use a variable size swap space: ||73 (4%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- Avouch Linux. Avouch Linux is a desktop distribution available in GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXQt, and Xfce flavours.
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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, 10 December 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 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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|Random Distribution |
OSMC (formerly Raspbmc) is a Debian-based minimal Linux distribution that brings the Kodi media centre software to a Raspberry Pi, Apple TV and Vero devices. This device has an excellent form factor and enough power to handle media playback, making it an ideal component in a low-cost HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer) setup, yet delivering the same Kodi experience that can be enjoyed on much more costly platforms.