| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 798, 21 January 2019
Welcome to this year's 3rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The beginning of the year is a time for planning and making goals for the months ahead. This gives developers and users a chance to envision what new technology will be coming soon to their operating systems. In our News section we report on new changes coming to the Solus distribution and the Budgie desktop. The Fedora team is making plans to get a more accurate count of the project's users and we link to the details below. Plus we talk about MX Linux's new issue tracker and happily report on the NetBSD project making strides forward in their efforts to create reproducible builds. First though we would like to start with a look at Sculpt OS, an operating system based on Genode's microkernel design. Details on Sculpt and its sanboxing features are covered in our Feature Story. Then our Questions and Answers column discusses swap files and the pros and cons of using swap files as opposed to swap partitions. Our Opinion Poll this week asks whether selecting a desktop environment or an underlying operating system takes a higher priority with our readers and we hope you will share your distro-selecting criteria with us in the comments. As usual, we share the releases of the past week and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we are pleased to welcome Project Trident to our database. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Sculpt OS 18.09
- News: Solus team plans ahead, Fedora considering how best to count users, NetBSD reaches reproducible builds milestone, MX Linux opens a new bug tracker
- Questions and answers: Picking a location for swap space
- Released last week: Netrunner 19.01 ArcoLinux 19.01.4, deepin 15.9
- Torrent corner: Archman, ArcoLinux, deepin, Endless OS, HardenedBSD, Netrunner, Parrot, Biocom, SmartOS, Project Trident, Zevenet
- Opinion poll: Which comes first, the desktop or the distro?
- New additions: Project Trident
- 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)
Sculpt OS 18.09
This week I decided to take some time away from the Linux and BSD communities and try something entirely different. This led me to read about Sculpt OS, a project which is described as follows:
Sculpt is an open source, general purpose OS. It combines Genode's microkernel architecture, capability-based security, sandboxed device drivers, and virtual machines in a novel operating system for commodity PC hardware.
In case you have not encountered Genode before, it is an interesting project which strives to offer a secure environment while consuming very few resources:
The Genode OS Framework is a tool kit for building highly secure special-purpose operating systems. It scales from embedded systems with as little as 4MB of memory to highly dynamic general-purpose workloads. Genode is based on a recursive system structure. Each program runs in a dedicated sandbox and gets granted only those access rights and resources that are needed for its specific purpose.
Sculpt OS reportedly runs on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 processors as well as the ARM and RISC-V architectures. The operating system can be downloaded as a USB thumb drive image or as a VirtualBox appliance. (I opted to download both, which are just under 25MB in size, each.) The files are not labelled with any version number, but when I imported the VirtualBox appliance it was tagged as being version 18.09. This lags behind the release announcements on the website, which indicated 18.11 was the newest version at the time of writing.
I tried the VirtualBox appliance first which sets up two disks, a 23MB drive for the operating system and a 32GB disk for data storage which the documentation says we can format using included utilities.
A mere 23MB is unusually small for a modern operating system and I was surprised to find Sculpt boots to a graphical environment. A panel appears in the upper-left corner and provides information on available storage, networking information and tasks currently in progress. From this panel we can enable wired networking, mount and format hard drives, and see status updates on software we might try to install. (I will talk more on installing packages later.)
Sculpt OS 18.09 -- The graphical interface
(full image size: 212kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
At the bottom of the screen is a terminal window which appears to be showing debugging information. Most of the right-hand side of the screen is consumed by a graph which shows system components and how they relate to each other. The graph gets updated whenever we open or close a program or resource. It appears to be a way to show how processes depend on each other and, when we click on an application's entry on the graph, we are given the option to remove it from the system.
At the top of the graph is a plus sign (+) and clicking it opens a menu. The menu lists about 20 items, most of them with short names such as "vm_fs" or "top_view". Other appear to list games like "2048" and "Quake". Clicking on one of the menu items opens a panel on the left showing the selected item is being downloaded. Then we get a status message, indicating whether the item could be set up and run or not.
Sculpt OS 18.09 -- Closing applications from the graph
(full image size: 212kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
For example, I started by trying to open an item labelled "nano3d", which brought up a status message saying "nano3d requires wm". I checked and the menu did not include any item called "wm". I moved onto "2048" which brought up the same error.
After trying to open a few more items an entry for "wm" did appear at the bottom of the application menu, I guess it had been buried under other entries and only became visible once others had been opened. Running the "wm" component did allow me to open a few other items, like "2048", but the launched programs appeared in the background, behind the graph, and I was unable to interact with them. Clicking their entries in the graph allowed me to close open programs, but not use them.
There is a browser listed in the menu, which attempts to download Firefox, but eventually an error appeared saying Firefox was unavailable. Two other items, "backdrop" and "download_debian" both returned the status message "incomplete or missing". The same error was shown when I tried to open a menu item called "config_editor".
I tried rebooting a couple of times and launching items in a different order to see if downloading dependencies first would help, but it did not. The results were always the same: most menu items would not install or open, and those that did could not be interacted with using the mouse or keyboard.
Sculpt OS 18.09 -- Launching components from the menu
(full image size: 248kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
After trying Sculpt in a virtual machine for a while, I switched to trying the operating system on a physical computer, running it from a thumb drive. Sculpt failed to start at all in legacy BIOS mode. I was able to get some response from the operating system in UEFI mode. Sculpt would display the Genode logo and then lock up. The system would not proceed further and ignored keyboard and mouse input.
The Sculpt OS website suggests that the operating system is ready for day to day use, at least in some environments: "Sculpt is used as day-to-day OS by the Genode developers." Though this makes me wonder in what capacity the operating system runs on the machines of those developers. When I tried out the Haiku beta last year, the operating system had some limitations, but I could see how it could be useful to some people in environments with compatible hardware. In theory, I could browse the web, perform some basic tasks and develop software on Haiku.
With Sculpt though, I was unable to get the operating system to do anything, from a user's point of view. The small OS could download packages and load some of them into memory, and it could display a graph of related components. Sculpt could connect to my network and mount additional storage. All of this is good and a fine demo of the Genode design. However, I (as a user) was unable to interact with any applications, find a command line, or browse the file system. All of this put a severe damper on my ability to use Sculpt to do anything useful.
Genode, and by extension Sculpt OS, has some interesting design goals when it comes to security and minimalism. However, I don't think Sculpt is practical for any end-user tasks at this time.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Solus team plans ahead, Fedora considering how best to count users, NetBSD reaches reproducible builds milestone, MX Linux opens a new bug tracker
The Solus project has published a roadmap describing what the project's developers will be working on during 2019. The project's blog outlines work planned for the Budgie desktop, the package manager and the distribution's infrastructure. The roadmap includes plans for a new version of Budgie: "Budgie 11 development will officially (re-?)start in April. This development will occur internally on our Development Tracker until it is in a more ready state, in which case it will be available under our GetSolus GitHub organization. This will enable us to iterate on Budgie 11 at a pace which won't compromise our other higher priority and more time sensitive development efforts, as well as allow us to evolve and experiment with various Budgie 11 components. April will be focused on starting the development of these components, starting with budgie-daemon and budgie-desktop-shell." Along with the behind-the-scenes improvements, the release of Solus 4 is planned for the first quarter of 2019.
* * * * *
Counting Linux users is always a challenge since most distributions do not track installations. Some projects make an effort to estimate usage by counting downloads, unique IP addresses contacting download mirrors, or other methods, but they all have limitations which can cause great over- (or under-)estimates. The Fedora project is examining options for getting a better user count using unique identifiers through the package manager. The proposal reads: "Right now, we estimate installed Fedora systems by counting unique IP addresses which show up in our updates mirror statistics. We need better data than that. There are some proposals for more complicated systems, but a quick thing we can do now to greatly improve what we have without a gigantic new infrastructure. This is an update of a previous proposal to use a UUID to distinguish unique systems, as openSUSE does." (Data collected by openSUSE's zypper package manager can be found on the project's Metrics website.) Any user tracking tends to raise concerns in the open source community and LWN has an article discussing some issues with the proposal along with alternative options for counting Fedora users.
* * * * *
NetBSD has been working toward reproducible builds, a strategy to make sure people using the same source code end up with the same binary files following the build process. Being able to reproduce a build is important for making sure the source code a person has really does match the executable program they have installed. The NetBSD project has made good progress according to the project's reproducible test data. "Reproducible NetBSD is an effort to apply this to NetBSD. Thus each NetBSD target is built twice, with a few variations added and then the resulting files from the two builds are compared using diffoscope. Please note that the toolchain is not varied at all as the rebuild happens on exactly the same system. More variations are expected to be seen in the wild." The build run on January 12th shows all 56 test packages were built in a reproducible way.
* * * * *
The MX Linux distribution has been attracting a lot of attention lately. It has received positive reviews and the project has been quickly climbing our page hit ranking for the past year. With the project's growing number of users, the developers have decided it is time to upgrade their bug tracker. "With the growing user-base for MX and antiX, we've decided to change our old bug tracker out for an improved Bugzilla-based bug manager. The new system is available at bugs.mxlinux.org. The new system allows us to assign bug reports to certain team members automatically, and allows for easier tracking of bug reports. Users are able to view all existing bug reports without signing in to an account. If you wish to file a bug report, you will need to register for a bug tracker account. Users that file reports will receive status updates when action happens on their report. Reports may be filed for MX and antiX (please choose the correct project for your situation when filing a report)."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Picking a location for swap space
Looking-for-a-place-to-put-swap asks: Some Linux distros (e.g. Ubuntu) are moving away from using a separate swap partition and using a swap file instead. Is there an advantage to this? Are there any problems? Isn't it slower to go through the file system to write to swap?
DistroWatch answers: Before getting into the pros and cons of swap files, I would like to mention that Ubuntu still supports working with swap partitions as a place to put unused data. The installer has the ability to use a swap file instead of a separate partition, but users can decide which approach (partition or file) they prefer.
As to the advantages of using a swap file instead of a swap partition, there are a few. One is that a swap file is easy to remove or resize. If we decide later that we need a larger swap space, or less swap space, it is quick and easy to create a new swap file of a different size and remove the old one. It only takes a few commands in a virtual terminal to make the adjustment with no need to restart the computer. By contrast, if we want a different sized swap partition we may need to shut down the system, boot off a live disc, and resize the disk partitions. Depending on where the swap partition is, this may result in resizing or moving other partitions too.
The bottom line is swap partitions are more fixed and harder to change later while swap files can be added, removed or resized at whim. In fact, I wrote a tool for FreeBSD which automatically monitors and resizes the swap file without intervention from the user.
On a related note, another advantage to using a swap file is that it does not take up a partition on the drive. Some disk formats have a restricted number of partitions and, though this is not usually a limiting factor anymore, in years past there was an advantage in not using up a precious partition slot.
As to disadvantages, there can be some, depending on the environment and file system. In fact, the swapon manual page lists a number of scenarios where swap files may cause problems on Linux systems:
The swap file implementation in the kernel expects to be able to write to the file directly, without the assistance of the filesystem. This is a problem on preallocated files (e.g. fallocate) on filesystems like XFS or ext4, and on copy-on-write filesystems like Btrfs. It is recommended to use dd and /dev/zero to avoid holes on XFS and ext4.
As to whether using a swap file is slower than a swap partition, at the moment the two options offer the same performance. In the past there was some overhead to using a swap file, but these days there is no performance penalty to using a swap file.
swapon may not work correctly when using a swap file with some versions of Btrfs. This is due to Btrfs being a copy-on-write filesystem: the file location may not be static and corruption can result. Btrfs actively disallows the use of swap files on its filesystems by refusing to map the file.
One possible workaround is to map the swap file to a loopback device. This will allow the filesystem to determine the mapping properly but may come with a performance impact.
Swap over NFS may not work.
* * * * *
Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
The Netrunner development team has announced the release of Netrunner 19.01, a significant update of the project's desktop-oriented Linux distribution (with KDE Plasma) based on Debian's "Testing" branch. This release brings a new default desktop theme, additional web applications, and various Plasma add-ons and tweaks: "After a busy holiday season, the Netrunner team is happy to announce the immediate availability of Netrunner 19.01 'Blackbird'. Here are the main updates as of our snapshot of Debian 'Testing': KDE Plasma 5.14.3, KDE Frameworks 5.51, KDE Applications 18.08, Qt 5.11.3, Linux Kernel 4.19, Firefox Quantum 64.0, Thunderbird 60.3. Blackbird ships with a new theme called 'Netrunner Black' based on a dark, yet not too harsh contrasting visual. Using the Kvantum theme engine plus the Alpha-Black Plasma theme allowed us to create a more 3D-looking design. For those who prefer the classic look, going back to the well-known LNF is a three-button click explained under 'Tips' in our current Readme section. Moving the mouse into the lower right corner now visibly activates the 'Minimize all Windows to show Desktop' function with a light glow." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information and screenshots.
Netrunner 19.01 -- Running the KDE Plasma desktop
(full image size: 388kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
Erik Dubois has announced the release of ArcoLinux 19.01.4, a new version of the project's Arch-based, desktop-oriented distribution. Some of the features include a new version of the Calamares installer, additional icons and themes, and some bug fixes: "ArcoLinux -D -B 19.1. Upgrading Calamares gives us a chance to get an improved graphical installer. It may overcome issues people were having in the past. All ArcoLinux Calamares configurations have been looked at and improved. When we upgraded our systems on 2019-01-01 it resulted in a VirtualBox with a look that was too bright. Hence we could not read it. We looked for a solution and found one in kvantum-qt5 and kvantum-theme-arc. Use the script in your ./bin/stay-rolling/18.12-to19.1. It will install the missing packages if you are not doing a clean install with the 19.1 ISO image. Numix icons, theme and plank are now maintained by Erik Dubois on the AUR. They have been part of ArcoLinux since the beginning. Remember to get rid of the obstructing file. We have added this Stargate-themed conky to the collection." Read the full release announcement for more information and screenshots.
deepin is a Debian-based desktop distribution which features the custom-made Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE). The project's latest version is deepin 15.9 which features improved touch screen support, better power management and several desktop performance enhancements. "New features: Multiple gestures, tap and see - for touchscreen devices, multiple gestures are supported, including click, double click, long press to call out the context menu, slide up and down and others. Working together with onscreen keyboard, you are able to enjoy the free operations on touchscreen. New feature - Smart Mirror Switch in update settings. Switch it on to connect to the quickest mirror site automatically, which speeds up the download and installation to save your time. Control Center: Supported dragging and dropping pictures to change boot menu background; fixed the crash caused by keyboard settings module; supported checking password strength; fixed the bug that the default applications list was not refreshed; fixed the bug that the prompt text was not hidden automatically after switching off "Auto-download Updates"; fixed the incorrect time on Time Settings page; fixed the null pointer exception when update; fixed the bug that the current language was not identified when searching the language." Additional details can be found in the distribution's release notes.
Project Trident 18.12
Project Trident is a new member to the DistroWatch database and a desktop operating system based on TrueOS (which is, in turn, based on FreeBSD's development branch). The first official stable release of Project Trident is based on technologies from FreeBSD 13.0-CURRENT and features the Lumina desktop environment. "This version is based off the 18.12-stable branch of TrueOS (FreeBSD 13-CURRENT), using the new TrueOS distribution framework with several add-ons by Project Trident itself. The packages with this release were created from the TrueOS ports tree as-of January 7th. We are planning to release regular updates to packages every week or two depending on the state of the ports tree at any given time. In this release, both the Chromium and Iridium browsers have also been fixed and function normally again. 18.12-RELEASE has been a long time in development, and we wish to say a bit 'Thank You!' to everybody who has been helping test out the pre-release versions, find issues, submit fixes both to us and to upstream FreeBSD/TrueOS, and in general being a wonderful and supportive community! We look forward to continuing to work with all of you in making Project Trident amazing!" Additional details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Zevenet is a load balancer and application delivery system based on Debian. The project's latest release, Zevenet 5.9 Community Edition, includes several package upgrades, moves its base to Debian "Buster" and makes a leap from the i686 architecture to 64-bit. " Good evening, we are proud to announce the new release of Zevenet CE 5.9, this is based in: A complete operating system upgrade kernel 4.19 based in Buster a new WebGUI interface based in Angular, new L4xNAT core based in nftables, with new load balancing algorithms and an easier way of configuration for farm guardian. The detailed features are: [networking] IPv6 support; [system] 64-bit support; [farms] new L4xNAT core based on nftables and nftlb; [farms] supported additional L4xNAT load balancing protocols: SIP FTP, TFTP, SCTP, AMANDA, H323, IRC, NETBIOS-NS, PPTP, SANE and SNMP; [farms] add L4xNAT direct server return support; [gui] new WebGUI with Angular6 based in ngx-admin template; [api] new Zevenet API 4.0 [guardian] an easier configuration system for farm guardian." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Endless OS 3.5.4
Will Thompson has announced the release of Endless OS 3.5.4, the latest version of the project's Linux-based operating system with a simplified desktop (forked from GNOME 3) and without any package management system. The latest version introduces new parental controls for applications: "Administrator users may now control which apps can be installed or launched by standard users on the same computer. The following controls are available: restricting the apps shown in the app center based on their content rating - for example, if the option is set to show apps suitable for age 3, violent video games will not be visible in the app center; prohibiting installing new apps entirely; restricting access to certain apps which are already installed on the system. In this initial version of the feature, it is not possible to restrict access to built-in apps, including the web browser, file manager, text editor and video player. We expect to enable this in a future version of Endless OS." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of changes. Endless OS 3.5.4 is available in several languages.
* * * * *
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: 1,208
- Total data uploaded: 23.4TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Which comes first, the desktop or the distro?
When choosing a computing environment, each individual has their own criteria and priorities. Some people want to build a system from the ground up using a minimal base, others want to have as many features available as possible right from the start. Some people put a strong emphasis on the desktop environment while others might feel picking the right package manager is the most important first step.
This week we would like to find out if our readers prefer to pick a distribution first and then use whichever desktop environment it supports. Or do you prefer to pick which desktop you are going to use first and then look for distributions that supports your chosen desktop? Let us know what is the most important factor in selecting your distribution in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on tools for limiting process resource usage in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Which comes first, the desktop or the distro?
|I pick my distro first and use a supported desktop: ||880 (40%)|
| I pick a desktop first and then select a distro that has it: ||575 (26%)|
| It varies between the above: ||426 (19%)|
| I select distro and desktops separately and find a way to make it work: ||287 (13%)|
| Other: ||35 (2%)|
New projects added to database
Project Trident is a desktop-focused operating system based on TrueOS, which in turn is based on FreeBSD. It uses the Lumina desktop as well as a number of self-developed system administration utilities.
Project Trident 18.12 -- Running the Lumina desktop
(full image size: 988kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 28 January 2019. 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 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• 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|
|• 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, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Vinux is an Ubuntu-derived distribution optimised for the needs of blind and partially sighted users. By default Vinux provides two screen readers, Braille display support and a friendly community. When booting the live Vinux image, the users are greeted by the Orca screen reader that enables them to navigate the graphical Unity desktop using keyboard commands. Additionally, Brltty provides grade 1 and 2 Braille output via Orca.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Questions and answers: Balancing privacy with ease of use|
|Questions and answers: Anbox, ZFS on root, init software for Linux Mint Debian Edition 3, Debian's many kernels|
|Tips and tricks: Gftp and Sftp - Like Peanut Butter and Jelly|
|Questions and answers: Getting to know how the system works|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Questions and answers: Trusting binary packages|
|Myths and misunderstandings: The spread of systemd and launchd|
|Tips and tricks: Gathering system information with osquery|
|Questions and answers: Discovering device names and recovering deleted files|
|Tips and tricks: Using GRUB with XFS|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|