| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 800, 4 February 2019
Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Some of us keep a lot of data on our hard drives - documents, family photos, favourite movies, copies of that website we were building, and archives of old e-mails tend to clutter up our hard drives. When we have a lot of data it helps to have it stored, or even backed up, in a central location for easy access. That is where a network attached storage (NAS) device comes in handy. This week we explore FreeNAS 11.2, a FreeBSD-based operating system which can turn a home computer or server into a file storage vault. In our Opinion Poll we continue to talk about network storage, asking if our readers use a NAS at home. We further explore the subject of storage in our Questions and Answers column where we discuss matching operating systems with file systems and the limiting factors when selecting a preferred file system. This week we also talk about Ubuntu Studio working toward making it possible to run Ubuntu Studio software on other flavours of the Ubuntu family and the Nitrux team developing a tool to manage multiple distributions on the same disk partition. Plus we link to a summary of experimental projects being worked on by the Linux Mint team. As usual, we share the distribution releases of the past week and we are pleased to list the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we are pleased to welcome the Condres OS distribution to our database. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: FreeNAS 11.2
- News: Using Ubuntu Studio as an add-on, Nitrux developing a tool to manage multiple distributions, Mint experimenting with new Cinnamon features
- Questions and answers: Matching operating systems with file systems
- Released last week: OPNsense 19.1, Tails 3.12, Alpine 3.9.0
- Torrent corner: 4MLinux, Alpine, Container, LibreELEC, Makulu, OPNsense, Slax, SmartOS, SWagArch, SystemRescueCd, Tails, Voyager
- Upcoming releases: Ubuntu 18.04.2
- Opinion poll: Do you have a NAS for home/personal use?
- New additions: Condres OS
- New distributions: Unknown OS
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (18MB) and MP3 (13MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
FreeNAS is an operating system for network attached storage (NAS) devices. The system is based on FreeBSD and features a streamlined setup process and friendly web-based administration interface.
The project's latest release is FreeNAS 11.2 and, at first, I nearly overlooked the new version because it appeared to be a minor point release. However, a lot of work went into the new version and 11.2 offers a lot of changes when compared next to 11.1, "including a major revamp of the web interface, support for self-encrypting drives, and new, backwards-compatible REST and WebSocket APIs. This update also introduces iocage for improved plugins and jails management and simplified plugin development."
The release announcement also mentions FreeNAS can backup to multiple on-line storage options, including Amazon's AWS, Azure, Dropbox and Google.
The new version of FreeNAS is available as a 575MB download. Booting from the install media brings up a text menu asking if we wish to install or upgrade the operating system, access a command line shell, or shutdown the system. Taking the install option first brought up a message letting me know FreeNAS recommends having at least 8GB of RAM on the host system. This seems like a lot to me. None of my computers (at home) have 8GB of RAM. Even my NAS-like backup server with ZFS storage only uses about 700MB of RAM, less than 10% the amount recommended for FreeNAS.
At any rate, I acknowledged the warning and then the installer asked which disk in my computer it should use for the operating system. It then warns all data will be wiped from the disk; FreeNAS does not wish to be run alongside another operating system. We are then asked to make up a password for the root account and given the chance to set up FreeNAS to boot in UEFI or legacy BIOS mode. The installer copies its files to the hard drive and then offers to reboot the computer, or open up a command line shell. The whole install process took less than eight minutes.
FreeNAS boots to a text console where we are shown a menu of configuration options and the computer's IP address. The configuration options include setting up a network connection, setting the default network route, setting DNS servers, and changing the root password. There are also menu items for resetting all options back to their defaults, launching a command line shell, and rebooting or shutting down the computer. Selecting these options presents us with prompts where we are asked to type in information, such as the address for the network gateway or a new root password.
I think it worth mentioning that there is no password protection on the console. Anyone with physical access (or VNC access to the NAS if it is on a virtual machine) immediately has root access and can access a shell, change our settings or take the system off-line. In a large business environment where the NAS is likely to be behind a locked door this approach is convenient, but in a small office or home situation I think leaving the console open and logged in as root is a risky way to operate.
Exploring the command line option, I found FreeNAS runs about 32 processes on a fresh install. My system used 460MB of Active memory and 310MB of Wired memory, with the bulk of RAM being used by ZFS and a handful of Python scripts.
The web interface
By default, FreeNAS's web interface is available over HTTP connections only. HTTPS is not enabled out of the box, but we can set it up later. Visiting the computer's IP address in a web browser brings up a login page where we can sign in as the root user. Later I tried signing in using other account names I had created, but they did not work, it seems root is the only user able to sign into the web portal.
The web interface begins by showing us a dashboard with an overview of the server's hardware. Further down the page we can see graphs which show current (and recent) statistics on memory, the CPU, system load and temperature. There is an area for monitoring bandwidth usage, but this graph failed to load when I first started using FreeNAS.
A menu is displayed down the left side of the web interface. There are a lot of menu options and rather than dive deeply into all of them, I will give a quick listing of the menu sections and then talk about some specifics from my trial below.
The menu items are as follows:
Accounts - This top-level menu includes two sub menus, one for working with groups and the other for managing user accounts. This lets us create users who will later be able to sign in remotely or access services.
System - This group of modules deals with the FreeNAS operating system, mostly low-level stuff. Specific items include connecting to time (NTP) servers, managing boot environments, notification e-mails, managing certificate authorities, creating security certificates and installing software updates. There are two generic modules called General and Advanced which mostly deal with connecting to the NAS's web service, describing which network port to use, our preferred language and time zone.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Configuring portal connections
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Tasks - Here we can set up scheduled tasks such as running cron jobs, taking snapshots of ZFS volumes, synchronizing files with cloud services and performing maintenance on ZFS pools.
Network - This small group of modules gives us access to network connections, available network interfaces, network routes and virtual LANs.
Storage - This category handles setting up ZFS storage pools, working with file system snapshots and accessing the disks attached to the NAS.
Directory Services - Lets us authenticate users over LDAP, Active Directory and Kerberos.
Sharing - Enables setting up Apple Shares, NFS, WebDAV and Samba network shares.
Services - Lists built-in services the NAS can use, such as secure shell. We can toggle a button to enable or disable services. Most are turned off out of the box.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- A list of available services
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Plugins - There are two screens in the Plugins section, one to browse and install new Plugins. The other shows installed modules we may want to configure.
Jails - Enables the creation and management of FreeBSD style jails. There is a related section called Virtual Machines in case we need to work with services under a different operating system.
Reporting - This page shows us more detailed graphs related to our CPU usage and system load. These charts can be swapped out for others, showing ZFS statistics, memory consumption, disk usage and network traffic information.
Display System Processes - This page is basically just the output of the top process monitor in our web browser.
Shell - This page gives us access to a terminal shell from inside the web browser.
Guide - Gives us access to FreeNAS's on-line documentation.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Accessing a command line in the web browser
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While exploring and using FreeNAS's web interface I made a number of observations as I went about customizing the environment, updating the operating system and setting up an accessible storage volume. The first is I like the new interface's look and organization. I have used a handful of different NAS solutions over the years and most of them, frankly, are not organized in a way I find intuitive. FreeNAS's menu structure is pretty well organized and I feel the items are located in places which make sense. I only once had to dig for a menu item because enabling a feature occurred in one place and managing it was in another, but typically options were easy to find. This is important because there are a lot of configuration options, plugins and features. Being able to find something in the large list of modules is important. Plus the new dark theme looks good in my opinion, which made the whole experience nicer.
I found the FreeNAS interface was a bit slow to load new pages. Interacting with buttons or options on one page went quickly, but switching pages took a while. Operating from the command line interface was snappy, so the delay seems to be specific to page load times in my environment.
When setting up most NAS systems, including FreeNAS, I find there is often a certain order to the steps we need to perform. For example, my first instinct is to create a non-root user account, as I would on a server system. However, with FreeNAS we should first create a storage pool from additional disks attached to the server, then create a user account. That way we can place the user's home directory in the storage pool.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Creating a storage pool
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Earlier I mentioned the FreeNAS web interface is available over HTTP only. We can change this, but there are a series of steps we need to perform, in a set order. To enable HTTPS we need to enable a security certificate. To create the certificate we need to set up a self-signing authority. This might confuse users not familiar with setting up secure websites, but basically we are setting ourselves up as someone who can make certificates, then making one with these self-assigned credentials, then enabling the secure HTTPS connection. All of these actions can be performed under the System menu.
When creating a new pool the interface doesn't seem to give any indication of where the pool is mounted. This is information we need if we are to create user accounts with home directories in the pool or network shares. Pools are, I found, created under /mnt/<poolname>. So a home directory in the Data pool for my user might be located at /mnt/Data/jesse
When I first started using FreeNAS I performed a check for software updates, which failed. An error was displayed indicating the network could not be reached. It turned out that FreeNAS had correctly used DHCP to get an IP address and I could therefore access the web portal over my local network, however no Internet gateway had been set up and DNS was not working. I supplied the network gateway and two DNS servers which allowed the system to check for updates. New patches were found, downloaded and installed without any further issue. I like that the update module provides a link to the project's release notes so we can get a sense for new developments before installing the patches.
When I first began using FreeNAS the status dashboard would not show network statistics and graphs, but following the first wave of updates the network graph started to work.
On the subject of network errors, sometimes when trying to download items such as plugins, an error would be displayed saying FreeNAS could not access the network due to a missing gateway. When this happened I could still ping outside servers from the NAS and check for software updates, it was just when downloading plugins the system failed to connect to remote servers,
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Error when downloading plugins
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There is a feature on FreeNAS which allows us to set up cloud storage and remote host accounts. This lets us connect to a service like Dropbox, or a server running FTP or OpenSSH. Once a remote service's credentials have been provided we can schedule tasks to synchronize files with this service. I had limited success with this feature. When I tried to set up a secure file transfer (SFTP) connection, the web interface would not accept just a username and password as credentials, it wanted a key file. There is a tip on the page which says if we do not have a key file to leave the field blank, but when the key file field is empty, the provided credentials cannot be saved.
I was able to set up credentials to connect to an FTP service and confirmed the connection worked from FreeNAS's command line. However, any time I tried to push or pull files across the connection the sync task failed without an error to indicate why it was unable to complete.
During my trial I tried to install a few plugins. There is quite a list of plugins available, including media servers, bittorrent clients, and various database tools. Whenever I tried to install a plugin, it would download and then the web interface would lock up during the installation process. None of the plugins installed successfully, even after waiting for the process to complete for 30 minutes.
I was able to enable a few built-in services, such as secure shell and Samba shares, and these worked without issue.
Creating snapshots and boot environments was quite easy and I like how straight forward it is to make a snapshot and schedule future snapshots. This makes it easier to recover from a bad update or to rescue a file that was deleted on the NAS.
Another feature of FreeNAS I appreciate is the system will prompt before performing any destructive tasks. Not only does the system offer a typical "Really do this? OK or Cancel" style prompt, but the web interface will also show a checkbox we need to click to confirm the action. This may seem like overkill to some people, but I like the extra speed bump that prevents us from wiping out potentially large amounts of data.
FreeNAS 11.2 -- Managing user accounts
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In my opinion, FreeNAS is probably one of the easier NAS solutions to set up and it has probably the nicest web-based interface I have used. The web portal looks nice, I think it is well organized and there are a huge number of features. Further, FreeNAS offers good documentation and is fairly light on resources. The base system is smaller than 1GB on the disk and typically uses less than 1GB of RAM.
I also like the support for ZFS, an advanced file system well known for its reliability, snapshots and ability to handle vast amounts of data. FreeNAS makes setting up ZFS volumes, and user accounts on these volumes, a point-n-click process and I applaud the developers for that.
On the negative side of things, some features did not work for me. I struggled with plugins and file synchronization through the web portal (working with files from the command line worked fine for me) and getting networking set up properly took more effort than I had expected. I was also a bit concerned about the lack of local security. If your server is headless or in a locked room, it is not a big deal to have root logged in, but for a lot of environments it is not advisable to leave root logged in at the console.
I think whether FreeNAS is a good choice for managing storage will depend a lot on how comfortable the administrator is with FreeBSD. For people who are comfortable setting up a FreeBSD server and manually adding storage pools, there may not be a lot of added benefit to FreeNAS. However, if you want to manage a lot of storage space and other services through a polished point-n-click web interface rather than manually doing everything through the command line, then FreeNAS is an excellent tool. There are a few rough edges to work out, I think, but on the whole I found FreeNAS made administering ZFS volumes and related services pleasantly straight forward.
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Visitor supplied rating
FreeNAS has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.4/10 from 9 review(s).
Have you used FreeNAS? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Using Ubuntu Studio as an add-on, Nitrux developing a tool to manage multiple distributions, Mint experimenting with new Cinnamon features
The Ubuntu Studio team has been working on a method to enable users of other flavours of Ubuntu to enjoy the benefits of running the Ubuntu Studio suite of software. The team's goal is to allow people to use Ubuntu Studio's optimizations and applications as an add-on to other distributions. The project's blog explains: "One of the visions for Ubuntu Studio has been the ability for users of other Ubuntu flavors to essentially 'bolt-on' Ubuntu Studio to their existing installation. This will be easily available for those users beginning with Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo. It will be a 2-step process: 1) install the 'ubuntustudio-installer' package, and 2) Launch it and select the features you want. It will allow you to install any of the meta packages along with the under-the-hood performance tweaks that Ubuntu Studio includes by default." This should allow more people to try Ubuntu Studio's software without requiring a lot of tweaking or installing a separate operating system.
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The Nitrux team is working on a special operating system management program called znx. The znx software is designed to make it easier to experiment with multiple operating systems and multiple versions of operating systems. "A typical desktop operating system consumes about 4-5GB after installation, so that's at least 4-5GB consumed for every new root folder partition. All this complexity is unnecessary, and with that in mind, we developed znx. With znx, every single operating system that it deploys remains as a single file in the storage device, effectively consuming less space. Utilizing znx means the complexity of using more operating systems decreases. You may ask yourself if znx works by utilizing the ISO files of Linux distributions, wouldn't that mean the ISO files that it deploys to the storage device would be Live CDs? Yes and no, let me explain..." More information on znx can be found in this blog post and on the znx GitHub page.
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The Linux Mint team mentioned a number of exciting developments in their January newsletter. The distribution earned a record $22,803 from donations in December of 2018 and the team is planning a number of ambitious projects to improve the Cinnamon desktop experience. One of these experimental projects separates Cinnamon components into separate processes, which could improve performance and make the desktop more secure. "Michael Webster is working on something really complicated, something we've talked about since the dawn of time: splitting Cinnamon into multiple processes. He's studying the possibility of having applets run in their own process and render objects remotely. This is very ambitious and pretty much R&D at this point. We're hoping he'll succeed with a prototype. Failing that there's also the idea of keeping the rendering of the applet content in Cinnamon itself and only delegating the processing (similar to dbus–menu), or to keep Cinnamon and applets together and split away the WM."
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Matching operating systems with file systems
File-system-naive asks: I'm guessing that since "File System" is not listed as a criterion on the Search Distributions page, any OS can be installed on any file system. If that is not the case, what factors determine whether an OS is compatible with a given file system?
I envision (in a business, not home, context) using a partitioning tool to format a disk (or even RAID) in preparation for a desired file system, then installing the OS. I might prioritize a file system that provides integrity+reliability+security+snapshot-ability over speed. Which OSes will adapt immediately to this selected file system? Which OSes do not work "out-of-the-box", but could work with some effort? Which OSes will never work? (Example: Perhaps I've "landed" on OrangeFS as ideal. Can I run LMDE3 on top of it instead of ext3?) If my thinking is naive, what additional concepts should I first understand? Ultimately, once I'm sold on a (well-researched) specific file system, I'd like to distinguish the distros that include it by default or, at least, can play nicely with it.
TL;DR: Assuming a certain file system, which distros are recommended?
DistroWatch answers: There is a lot of ground to cover here so I am going to try to keep my answers brief. This may gloss over some finer points of file systems and operating systems, so please forgive me when I speak in generalities and ignore some corner cases.
In short, you cannot install every OS on any file system. Every operating system supports working with one or more file systems and will (usually) only boot on file systems it recognizes.
You can install an OS on any of the file systems supported natively by its kernel. This means you can install Windows on NTFS, FreeBSD can be installed on UFS or ZFS, Linux distributions can generally be installed on ext2/3/4, JFS, XFS, Btrfs, and Reiserfs. Some distributions may have exceptions or add-on options, but generally speaking Linux distributions will boot on the above list of file systems or a subset of them.
So basically if a file system is supported by the operating system's kernel without an add-on like FUSE or a third-party kernel module, then you can usually install the OS on that file system.
When it comes to Linux, the installer will usually recommend one or more file systems to use, depending on your situation. For example, most home-focused distros run on ext4 by default as it is a good, fast, general purpose file system. Enterprise distros like Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise typically recommend XFS and Btrfs, respectively, for the massive amounts of storage and flexibility they offer.
With all that being said, you have some wiggle room if you keep your data on one file system and your operating system on another, which is fairly common. I recommend installing your OS on whichever file system its installer recommends. Then pick the best file system for your data later from the list of ones your OS supports. This will offer you more options and allow you to upgrade your OS later without affecting your data.
You specifically mentioned OrangeFS. While OrangeFS can work with Linux systems, it appears to be a recent addition to the kernel. (You traditionally needed to install the OrangeFS package as it was not included in the kernel.) This means most installers do not yet support OrangeFS and you will not be able to install Linux Mint on top of it. But you should be able to attach OrangeFS storage to your Mint system after you set up Mint on ext4 or Btrfs and make sure OrangeFS support is enabled.
In short, I recommend you install your distribution on whichever file system its installer suggests. Then find a separate file system for your data that can work with your kernel (such as Linux) and enable it. This will open up more options and avoid the issue of whether your kernel (and installer) can work on the file system you want to use for your data.
For the most part, since all Linux distributions use the Linux kernel, they can all work with the same file systems. The installers for different distributions may add or remove some options, but ultimately you can use any Linux-supporting file system for a data partition with any distro, you just may not be able to boot from it. For example, any Linux distro can work with ZFS, but very few distributions include support for booting from a ZFS volume because the file system is not included in the kernel.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
MakuluLinux is a Debian-based desktop distribution which ships with many applications and media codecs installed out of the box. The project has published an update, MakuluLinux 2019.01.25, to its Core series which experiments with mouse gestures. This allows users to optionally use their computer almost entirely without the aid of a keyboard. "The optional gesture system will let users navigate their computers with barely even having to touch a keyboard if that is their wish. The more traditional users don't have to enable gestures, they can simply use the operating system in much the same way they are used to navigating Linux. Core also offers many 'instant access' features like a one-click wallpaper changer or one-click 3D option, easily control every aspect of your OS with a simply few clicks." Further information and a list of supported features can be found in the distribution's blog post. The page also features a video of the gestures system in action.
MakuluLinux 2019.01.25 -- Initial desktop customization
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The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) is a Debian-based live DVD/USB with the goal of providing complete Internet anonymity for the user. The project's latest release is Tails 3.12 which introduces a new install method: "The biggest news for 3.12 is that we completely changed the installation methods for Tails. In short, instead of downloading an ISO image (a format originally designed for CDs), you now download Tails as a USB image: an image of the data as it needs to be written to the USB stick. ISO files are still available for people using optical media and virtual machines. The distribution includes some additional changes: "Starting Tails should be a bit faster on most machines. Tell users to use sudo when they try to use su on the command line. Update Linux to 4.19. Update Intel and AMD microcodes and most firmware packages. This should improve the support for newer hardware (graphics, Wi-Fi, etc.). Remove Liferea, as announced in Tails 3.9. Update Tor Browser to 8.0.5. Update Thunderbird to 60.4.0." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Alpine Linux 3.9.0
Alpine Linux is a lightweight distribution which features the BusyBox userland utilities and the musl C library. The project has published a new release, Alpine Linux 3.9.0, which expands hardware architecture support and switches its security library from LibreSSL to OpenSSL. "New features and noteworthy new packages: Support for armv7; Switch from LibreSSL to OpenSSL; Modloop is now being signed; Improved GRUB support; GRUB users should check if their config is generated correctly and have emergency boot media prepared. Significant updates: Linux 4.19; GCC 8.2.0; Busybox 1.29; musl libc 1.1.20; Go 1.11.5; LXC 3.1; PostgreSQL 11.1; Node.js 10.14.2; Crystal 0.27; Zabbix 4.0.3; Nextcloud 15.0.2." The release announcement also mentions that the Firefox browser will only be available on the x86_64 build of Alpine Linux due to its dependency on Rust.
OPNsense is a specialist operating system (and a fork of pfSense) designed for firewalls and routers. The project's latest release, OPNsense 19.1, shifts the operating system's base from FreeBSD to HardenedBSD which includes a number of security enhancements. "The 19.1 release, nicknamed "Inspiring Iguana", consists of a total of 620 individual changes since 18.7 came out 6 months ago, spread out over 12 intermediate releases including the recent release candidates. That is the average of two stable releases per month, security updates and important bug fixes included! If we had to pick a few highlights it would be: The firewall alias API is finally in place. The migration to HardenedBSD 11.2 has been completed. 2FA now works with a remote LDAP / local TOTP combination. And the OpenVPN client export was rewritten for full API support as well." Further details and links to the project's download mirrors can be found in the release announcement.
SystemRescueCd is a Linux system on a bootable CD-ROM or USB drive, designed for repairing a system and data after a crash. The distribution's developers have published SystemRescueCd 6.0.0 which deviates from previous releases in two significant ways: 32-bit support has been dropped in favour of a 64-bit build, and the base distribution has been switched from Gentoo to Arch Linux. The project's changelog reports: "System is now based on ArchLinux and built using archiso and its dependencies. Kernel and user space programs are now fully 64-bit (dropped 32-bit support). Boot options are the ones provided by new upstream rather than old version. Graphical environment based on xorg-1.20.3 and xfce-4.12. Implemented 'setkmap=xx' option on the boot command line to setup keyboard. Updated kernel to Long-Term-Supported linux-4.19.19. Updated filesystem tools: e2fsprogs-1.44.5, xfsprogs-4.19.0, btrfs-progs-4.19.1. Updated disk tools: gparted-0.33.0, lvm2-2.02.183.
LibreELEC is "just enough OS" to run the Kodi media centre. LibreELEC is a Linux distribution built to run Kodi on current and popular hardware. The project's latest release, LibreELEC 9.0, includes a number of security improvements. "Changeable SSH passwords and a default firewall configuration have been added to combat the increasing number of HTPC installs that can be found on the public internet. The increase is partly due to simple maths; our userbase has grown so the number of users inappropriately exposing their HTPC to the internet has also grown. The static password for libreelec is present on most/all password dictionary lists so it’s important we start encouraging users to change it (the first-run wizard will prompt when SSH is enabled). More people are using VPN services for privacy without realising this exposes SSH/SMB/Web services. To combat this problem we have added simple firewall configurations for Home/Public networks; the Home configuration blocks inbound connections from non-private networks, e.g. traffic from the Internet to the public IP address used with the VPN connection." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
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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: 1,230
- Total data uploaded: 23.7TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Do you have a NAS for home/personal use?
This week we began with a review of FreeNAS, a FreeBSD-based storage solution. While many NAS solutions are designed for offices and enterprise environments, they can be equally useful in the home. We would like to find out how many of our readers use a dedicated NAS device or operating system at home. Please let us know which operating system your NAS uses in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on selecting a distribution for our Major Distributions page in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Do you have a NAS for home/personal use?
|Yes - I have a NAS at home: ||671 (36%)|
| No - I do not have a NAS at home: ||1204 (64%)|
New projects added to database
Condres OS is a rolling release distribution based on Arch Linux. The distribution is available in nine editions (most of them for various desktop environments) and ships with convenience features such as desktop icons enabled (on GNOME), the ICE site specific browser, and the TLP power management software.
Condres OS 19.02 -- Running the MATE desktop
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Unknown OS. Unknown OS is a Debian-based distribution which strives to keep the user anonymous when on-line and attempts to side-step fingerprinting methodology.
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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, 11 February 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 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 184.108.40.206, 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|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Boston University Linux
Boston University Linux (or BU Linux for short) was a CentOS-based distribution specifically tailored for the Boston University environments. Among the more interesting enhancements are network installation, Kerberos authentication, tight default security, automatic security updates, OpenAFS file system, and extra software applications.