| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 818, 10 June 2019
Welcome to this year's 23rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
At the end of May openSUSE published a new release of the distribution's Leap branch. This stable branch of the openSUSE project shares code with SUSE Linux Enterprise and offers some special features not found in most Linux distributions. Robert Rijkhoff took openSUSE Leap 15.1 for a spin and reports on his findings in our Feature Story. With the new release now available, openSUSE 42 is nearing the end of its supported life and we discuss this in our News section. We also share highlights from FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report and link to work being done to shrink DragonFly BSD's install media. Then, in our Question and Answers column, we discuss how to measure, and reduce, boot times. Let us know how quickly your computer can start-up in our Opinion Poll. Plus we are pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
- Review: openSUSE Leap 15.1
- News: openSUSE 42 approaches end of life, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces media size
- Questions and answers: Improving boot times
- Released last week: NetBSD 8.1, Zorin 15, Enso 0.3.1
- Torrent corner: ArchBang, ArcoLinux, AUSTRUMI, Clonezilla, Condres, Enso, HardenedBSD, IPFire, NetBSD, SmartOS, Zorin
- Upcoming releases: FreeBSD 11.3-RC1
- Opinion poll: Boot times
- New distributions: Resilient Linux
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Robert Rijkhoff)
openSUSE Leap 15.1
openSUSE is one of those distros I have always been interested in but which I had never used for more than a few hours. Recently the project released Leap 15.1, which was a good enough reason to give the distro a proper spin.
The distro hardly needs an introduction. It is a community project sponsored by SUSE, one of the larger commercial Linux vendors. openSUSE maintains two distros: Tumbleweed is a rolling release distro and upstream to SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE). Leap is a stable (non-rolling) distro that is downstream to SLE. A new version of Leap is released roughly once a year, and each version is supported for 18 months. The Leap 15.x series as a whole is supported for three years.
openSUSE is probably best known for the Btrfs file system, Snapper and YaST. As Leap 15.1 is a relatively small, conservative upgrade from 15.0 I will mainly focus on these features. I will also have a look at where things may be heading.
Upgrading from 15.0
I started my trial by installing Leap 15.0. I went with the default KDE Plasma desktop and the default partitioning scheme: the installer gave me a /boot/efi partition, a Btrfs root file system and an XFS /home partition). The reason for starting with the previous release was partly to get an idea of what has changed in 15.1 and partly to test the upgrade process.
The upgrade worked but it was more involved than system upgrades in Ubuntu and Fedora. This is mainly because you need to manually move the /var/cache directory to a separate Btrfs subvolume. I gather that openSUSE is working on making upgrading the system easier and that you may only have to run "zypper --releasever 15.2 dup" when Leap 15.2 comes out. If you have ever upgraded a Fedora install then that command will look very familiar.
openSUSE 15.1 -- Upgrading from Leap 15.0 to 15.1
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The upgrade process is described quite well on the wiki (see the link above). One thing I appreciate is that the documentation strongly recommends disabling third-party repositories before starting the upgrade and to run the "zypper dup" command only after switching to the multi-user target (the equivalent of what used to be runlevel 3).
Visually, Leap 15.0 and 15.1 look pretty much the same. Leap 15.1 has the same wallpaper and the Plasma desktop has moved forward ever so slightly, from version 5.12.5 to 5.12.8 (the current stable version is 5.15.5). Similarly, most pre-installed applications are a little more up to date than they were but by no means "bleeding edge". The same goes for the kernel (4.12) and systemd (234). This is of course by design - for users who want the latest and greatest software there is Tumbleweed.
openSUSE 15.1 -- Plasma desktop after the upgrade
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Fresh install (KDE Plasma and GNOME)
For a fresh installation there is a single ISO that lets you install Leap with either the KDE, GNOME or IceWM desktop (there are two server versions on the ISO as well - more about them later). As there is a lot of stuff on the image it is rather large (over 4GB). If you prefer a smaller ISO then you can download the network image, which is just 120MB. Of course, you will then have to download all packages you need during the installation process but it should save a fair amount of bandwidth.
openSUSE uses its own installer. As the default ISO doesn't include a live environment (there are separate ISOs for that) I am not able to show you pretty screen shots but I can report that the installer works very well. For the most part you can just click the Next button a handful of times. However, if you don't want to go with the defaults then there are plenty of customisation options. For instance, you've got the option to enable various "testing" or "debugging" repositories and towards the end of the install you can disable or enable services like the firewall and SSH (the default is to have the firewall enabled and SSH disabled).
I was particularly impressed with the partitioning tool. The installer suggested a different layout from the one I got when I installed Leap 15.0 - instead of a separate XFS /home partition the installer now gave me a single Btrfs root partition. If you prefer a custom layout you can select either a "guided" or "expert" partitioner. The former asks you a series of questions to guide you through the partitioning step-by-step while the latter option is a full-fledged partitioner that assumes you know what you are doing.
My main tweak to the default set-up was that I chose to encrypt my laptop's hard drive. Here I ran into a slightly annoying issue: when I boot my laptop I have to enter the encryption password twice: first to get to the GRUB bootloader and then to decrypt the root partition. There is some information on the wiki about this issue but the suggested solution didn't work for me.
I also had a quick look GNOME, which is my preferred desktop environment. The GNOME version is 3.26.2, which is the exact same version that was used in Leap 15.0. The desktop has very few customisations (all extensions are disabled) and the default session uses Wayland rather than X.Org. Other sessions are available, including GNOME on X.Org, GNOME Classic and SLE Classic. The latter is presumably the desktop that is shipped in SUSE Linux Enterprise. It has a more traditional layout, with a single panel at the bottom of the screen. Interestingly, the SLE Classic option also uses Wayland by default.
openSUSE 15.1 -- The GNOME desktop, running the GNOME SLE session, and lots of aliases
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Whereas the main desktops are near-standard implementations, the command line experience has been customised: openSUSE seems to like aliases. I am not a great fan of distros adding lots of aliases, in particular if they do things such as adding the -i option to rm. The aliases in openSUSE shouldn't get in your way, and there are a few I quite like. Using "..." to navigate up two directories is quite handy and linking "ls-l" to "ls -l" neatly deals with the sort of typos I make too often.
Software and package management
Leap ships with a fair amount of pre-installed software. Among others, you get Firefox (the extended support release), KMail, the full LibreOffice suite, GIMP, digiKam, Dragon Player, VLC and the Konsole terminal emulator. The only applications I missed were a password manager and a torrent client.
openSUSE 15.1 -- LibreOffice Writer, VLC and system information
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openSUSE's Plasma desktop comes with two graphical applications for managing software: Discover and YaST. I was not overly impressed with Discover. I found the navigation a little awkward and applications were listed in random order. To give an example, when I opened Discover the first three applications that were presented to me were GNU Emacs, GNOME Tweaks and Simple Scan - I doubt the average user will want to install any of those applications; GNOME Tweaks won't tweak Plasma and there is already a KDE scanning application installed (Skanlite).
Another is that Discover failed to install Flatpak applications. I could enable the Flathub repository via Discover's settings menu but installing Flatpaks didn't work, for no apparent reason. Discover would typically show it was installing an application (and sometimes causing a high system load) and then quietly fail.
openSUSE 15.1 -- Discover busy not installing the Sublime Text flatpak
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The YaST software manager is more traditional and more advanced, although it doesn't have support for Flatpaks either. For "normal" applications YaST worked much better though. For example, Discover listed just three web browsers in the category "Internet > Web Browsers" (Firefox, Falkon and SeaMonkey). YaST showed many more browsers, including Chromium and Konqueror.
Interestingly, the set-up instructions for openSUSE on the Flathub website state that "Flatpak applications can only be installed using the graphical Software application on either Tumbleweed or Leap 15.0 and later". Perhaps the site means Flatpaks only work with the GNOME Software application as, speaking generically, I found the opposite was true: the graphical software managers didn't handle Flatpaks but I could install them via the command line just fine.
openSUSE 15.1 -- Sublime Text as a Flatpak
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Speaking of the command line, you can also manage software via zypper. I found zypper easy to use and, compared with Fedora's DNF, relatively fast.
By default openSUSE doesn't ship with proprietary codecs but, as with other distros, you can install them by enabling a third-party repository. For openSUSE, the place to go is the Unofficial Guide to openSUSE Leap. You can either click a button to get your codecs via YaST or copy and paste a couple of zypper commands.
YaST and Snapper
YaST is a graphical front-end for working with settings and services that require admin privileges. Options include everything from managing software to partitioning and configuring the firewall. I personally didn't find YaST particularly useful. I don't, for instance, need a graphical interface to view the output of systemctl and journalctl commands, and I am used to working with firewalld on the command line. I did use YaST to try to get my printer to print and the utility was fairly helpful; it did various checks before pointing me to the /var/logs/cups/error_log file (which, unfortunately, didn't solve the issue - I needed to install a driver from the manufacturer. The driver isn't available for openSUSE, and manually installing the RPM failed because of dependency issues).
openSUSE 15.1 -- Viewing journalctl entries via YaST
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In general, I find YaST useful as an extra layer of protection. It is all too easy to break things when administrating an operating system, in particular when you rely on information from some random website that may be incorrect or out of date. YaST's graphical interface will prevent many such blunders. I am glad YaST exists and after using openSUSE for a week it seems odd that other distros don't have a similar settings menu.
I was more interested in Snapper, which is openSUSE's tool for managing Btrfs snapshots. You can use Snapper to create snapshots of your Btrfs file system, check differences between snapshots and roll back unwanted changes. How this works is best illustrated with an example. As a test I installed Apache and PHP and created a simple PHP file on my localhost to confirm that everything was working correctly. I then wanted to change some settings in Apache's configuration file. As that is a risky operation I first created a "pre" snapshot:
# snapper create --type pre --print-number --description "Before php.ini tweaks" --cleanup-algorithm number
The --print-number option returns the snapshot ID (in my case 48), which you need for the "post" snapshot. I then edited the config file and took the "post" snapshot:
# snapper create --type post --pre-number 48 --description "After php.ini tweaks" --cleanup-algorithm number
After restarting Apache I found that - surprise, surprise - I had broken my localhost. Instead of displaying PHP files Apache suddenly asked me what I wanted to do with the PHP file I had requested (i.e. open it in Kate or save it to the disk). Running "snapper diff 48..49" quickly revealed the issue: I had disabled PHP support by changing "engine = On" to "engine = Off". To undo that change I could simply run "snapper undochange 48..49" (and reboot the system).
openSUSE 15.1 -- Using Snapper to debug an error in Apache's php.ini file
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The same way I could roll back system updates we can also use Snapper for the home directory, which is part of my Btrfs root partition, I first needed to create a config for "home" (using "snapper -c home create-config /home"). After that I could take snapshots of my home directory and undo any changes I made.
The examples just scratch the surface of Snapper but I hope it demonstrates just how powerful the tool is. If you want to find out more, a good place to start is the Snapper portal on the openSUSE wiki.
Transactional server (with a desktop environment)
I mentioned earlier that there are two Leap server versions that can be installed via the ISO: you can deploy either a standard or transactional server. The latter uses Btrfs and Snapper to provide transactional (also known as "atomic") updates that can be rolled back should anything go wrong. Put simply, instead of updating packages on the running system updates are applied by creating a new snapshot and you can then boot into the new snapshot (or roll back to a previous one). It is similar to what Fedora is doing with Silverblue (which I wrote about last year) but there are a few differences: openSUSE's transactional server doesn't use rpm-ostree, and zypper is still used in the background as the package manager (in Silverblue Fedora's DNF package manager has been removed completely).
Another difference is that Silverblue is focused on the desktop, whereas openSUSE's transactional server is very much focused on servers (the clue is in the name). However, I thought it would be interesting to install the transactional server in GNOME Boxes and then install a desktop environment. As my test laptop has only 4GB of memory I decided to install the relatively light-weight MATE desktop:
# transactional-update pkg install patterns-mate-mate
This will install everything you need to get a working desktop environment. You may need to make sure that the target unit is set to "graphical" (the old runlevel 5) and you probably want to disable automatic updates/reboots:
# systemctl set-default graphical.target
Once you are up and running you can update your system with "transactional-update up". Installing packages is done using "transactional-update pkg install <package>. For instance, as a test I installed the Leafpad text editor with "transactional-update pkg install leafpad".
# systemctl disable rebootmgr.service
# systemctl disable transactional-update.timer
When you install a package a new snapshot is created. To start using the new snapshot you need to reboot your machine.
openSUSE 15.1 -- Leafpad installed on the transactional server (running the MATE desktop)
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I didn't come across any unexpected issues while running the MATE desktop on top of the transactional server. One thing to be aware of, though, is that the YaST software manager won't work. After I had installed Leafpad the software manager correctly listed the application as being installed but trying to remove it triggered an error (as the command "zypper remove leafpad" no longer works).
openSUSE 15.1 -- Trying to uninstall Leafpad via YaST's software manager
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I have no idea if openSUSE has any plans for building a transactional desktop operating system. I would certainly be interested - it was a lot of fun!
Leap 15.1 is a relatively minor upgrade from 15.0. As the Leap 15.x series will be supported for another two years the software will slowly get more out of date. Both the kernel and systemd version in Leap 15.1 are the same versions that were used in 15.0, though some graphics hardware support has been ported from the 4.19 kernel to openSUSE's 4.12 kernel. The Plasma desktop was bumped to a slightly newer version, while the GNOME desktop is still stuck at 3.26.2. Of course, this is not a criticism. I am only pointing out that Leap is very much a distro that aims to be stable and reliable. If you want more up to date software then you may want to consider Tumbleweed.
The distro itself is indeed rock solid. The only real issue I encountered was that I couldn't resolve the issue with my printer. That is not something openSUSE can be blamed for but it is worth noting that a smaller distro such as openSUSE may not be on the radar of companies that write proprietary drivers.
In general, I feel there are a few things that could be improved: I was unable to install Flatpaks via the graphical software managers; it is annoying that I have enter the password to decrypt the hard drive twice during the boot process and the upgrade from 15.0 to 15.1 involved quite a bit of manual work. Other than that I was very happy with openSUSE Leap.
Most of this review was about the features that make openSUSE stand out from the crowd: YaST, Btrfs and Snapper. YaST is a tool that really should be adopted by other distros - the option to perform various advanced administrative tasks via a graphical interface is fantastic. The Btrfs file system and Snapper worked perfectly fine and I found it easy to get started with snapshots.
Because of openSUSE's many unique features the distro does have a fairly steep learning curve. That is all the more true for the transactional server, which builds on top of Btrfs and Snapper to enable atomic updates. Thankfully, I found that, by and large, openSUSE's documentation is excellent.
Finally, if you are interested in openSUSE then you might want to listen to episode 122 of the Destination Linux podcast - it features a long interview with Richard Brown, who is the distro's chairman.
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Hardware used for this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo Z570 laptop with the following specifications:
- Processor: Intel Core i3-2350M, 2.3GHz
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Wireless network adaptor: Qualcomm Atheros AR9285
- Wired network adaptor: Realtek RTL8101/2/6E 05)
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Visitor supplied rating
openSUSE has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.8/10 from 365 review(s).
Have you used openSUSE? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
openSUSE 42 approaches end of life, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces media size
Marcus Meissner has published a reminder to openSUSE users that openSUSE 42 will soon reach the end of its supported life. "On June 30th 2019 the openSUSE Leap 42 release series will reach its end of life, after 4 years of lifetime (42.1 was released in fall 2015). openSUSE Leap 42.3 will receive no further maintenance or security updates after that date. It is recommended for openSUSE Leap users to upgrade to the recently released openSUSE Leap 15.1. Deployments with software that relies on Leap 42 technology and cannot be moved to 15 right now may consider evaluating a (commercial) SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP4 subscription and migrate the workload to SUSE Linux Enterprise. With the upcoming SP5, SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 receives maintenance and support until 2027."
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The FreeBSD project has published a status report which provides summaries of changes and new developments to the operating system and its infrastructure. A couple of key changes include testing unified package management of the base system and ports, using the LLVM linker as the default FreeBSD linker, work going into improving the project's FUSE support, and efforts to improve FreeBSD's Secure Boot support. "UEFI Secure Boot support, developed by Semihalf, has been merged with sjg's Veriexec support, resulting in a unified library named libsecureboot. This library is used for verification of kernel and modules by the loader. The library uses BearSSL as the cryptographic backend. The library supports loading trusted and blacklisted certificates from UEFI (DB/DBx databases) and can use them as trust anchors for the verification. The library is also used by Veriexec to verify and parse the authentication database (called 'manifest') in the kernel. Previously the manifest was verified and parsed by a userspace application, then sent to the kernel via /dev/veriexec, which was a significant limitation and a security weakness." Further information can be found in the project's Quarterly Status Report.
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Typically an operating system's install media grows from one release to the next as more features, options and languages are added. The DragonFly BSD team is fighting that tend and reducing the size of packages on the operating system's media. "The next release of DragonFly should be smaller; Sascha Wildner and Rimvydas Jasinskas have removed or substituted enough packages on the installer image to drop the package disk usage 50%." Details on how this was done can be found in a mailing list post.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Improving boot times
Getting-up-and-running-faster asks: Is there is a tool which shows the services that are slowing down boot time? How can I find stalled processes and speed up my boot times?
DistroWatch answers: There are methods for discovering which processes are slowing down the boot process. Most distributions these days run the systemd init software and, assuming your distribution uses systemd, there is a special utility for analyzing the boot process and the time services take to start-up. To confirm your distribution uses systemd, run the following command in a terminal, it will let you know whether your operating system is running systemd.
grep systemd /proc/1/comm && echo I am using systemd || echo I am not using systemd
Distributions using systemd can run the following command to see which processes start at boot time and how long each takes to get up and running:
The output will be a list of start-up services, sorted in order by how much time they take to get up and running. It may look like this:
The systemd-analyze program can also show bottlenecks in start-up performance. The following command shows services starting up with indicators of at what time they started and how long they took to start:
The output from the critical chain parameter may look like this:
The numbers after the "@" symbol show when the target was reached and the number after the "+" shows how long a service took to start. In the above examples we can see that the networkd-dispatcher service is taking an unusually long time (14.7 seconds) to start, which is roughly half the total boot time. We may need to fix its configuration or figure out why it is taking so long to complete its tasks.
- networkd-dispatcher.service @17.696 +14.732s
- basic.target @17.652s
- sockets.target @17.651s
Alternatively, we might want to start networkd-dispatcher sooner rather than when it is needed. systemd can start background services either when they are needed (on demand) or in parallel. Enabling a background service which takes longer to boot can get it started sooner and possibly reduce the overall boot time. We can enable a service as follows:
systemctl enable networkd-dispatcher
In my case networkd-dispatcher was already enabled so this would not improve my boot times. Another way to go is to disable a service we do not need from the start-up process. Basically turning off services we do not use. For instance, I do not think I will need networkd-dispatcher so I can turn it off with the following command:
systemctl disable networkd-dispatcher
I then rebooted and re-ran the "systemd-analyze critical-chain" command and found my boot times improved by six seconds. Here is my list of start-up services with the problematic program disabled:
Basically, one of the easiest ways to improve boot times is to figure out which services are running that we do not need and disable them, or uninstall them. The systemd-analyze utility is great at identifying not only which services start, but which ones are causing the most delays.
- kerneloops.service 26.031s +247ms
- network-online.target @25.989s
While the above options work with distributions running systemd, should we find ourselves using a distribution that runs another implementation of init, such as SysV init, then we can look for clues as to what is slowing down the boot process in the /var/log/boot log file. The log file is more crude than systemd's analyzing utility, but it will show when services are starting. Since SysV init services tend to start in groups, seeing gaps in service start times will tell us which group of services are slowing down the process. For instance, in the following log entries we can see a long gap (three seconds) between two services starting, which suggests a bottleneck:
Fri Apr 26 10:25:20 2019: [....] CPUFreq Utilities: Setting ondemand CPUFreq governor...CPU0...CPU1... ok
Once again, we can look at either improving the service's configuration or disabling it from starting at boot time.
Fri Apr 26 10:25:21 2019: [....] Starting network connection manager: NetworkManager ok
Fri Apr 26 10:25:24 2019: [....] Starting NetBIOS name server: nmbd ok
For people running spinning hard drives, if the necessary resources are available, one of the easiest ways to improve boot times is by switching to using a solid state drive (SSD). SSDs are better at reading small, randomly placed files which tends to improve start-up times.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
NetBSD is a free, secure, and highly portable UNIX-like open source operating system available for many CPU platforms. The project's latest release is NetBSD 8.1 which provides minor improvements and enhancements over NetBSD 8.0. The project's release announcement reports: "The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 8.1, the first update of the NetBSD 8 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons, as well as new features and enhancements. Some highlights of the 8.1 release are: x86: Mitigation for INTEL-SA-00233 (MDS). Various local user kernel data leaks fixed. x86: new rc.conf(5) setting smtoff to disable Simultaneous Multi-Threading. Various network driver fixes and improvements. Fixes for thread local storage (TLS) in position independent executables (PIE). Fixes to reproducible builds. Fixed a performance regression in tmpfs. DRM/KMS improvements. bwfm(4) wireless driver for Broadcom FullMAC PCI and USB devices added. Various sh(1) fixes. mfii(4) SAS driver added. dhcpcd(8) updated to 7.2.2. httpd(8) updated." A complete list of changes can be found in NetBSD's changes file.
Zorin OS 15
The Zorin team have announced a new version of Zorin OS, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a Windows-theme desktop environment. The project's new version, Zorin OS 15, ships with Zorin Connect (based on KDE Connect) for sharing information between devices, improved performance, and scheduled theme changes: "We've designed the desktop to better adapt to the environment around you, so using Zorin OS is more comfortable throughout the day. Zorin Auto Theme is a new feature which automatically switches the desktop theme into Dark mode at sunset and back to light mode after sunrise. You can enable Zorin Auto Theme by opening the Zorin Appearance app and clicking the middle Background option in the newly-redesigned Zorin theme switcher. A new adaptive desktop background option has also been introduced, which automatically changes to match the brightness and colors of the environment at every hour of the day. Night Light is also new to Zorin OS 15, which gradually reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the screen at night. It can be enabled from the Displays panel in the Settings app. Not only do these features reduce eye strain and make it more comfortable to use your computer, they also help maintain your body's natural circadian rhythm, helping you to sleep better and wake up refreshed the next day." Further details and screenshots can be found in the distribution's release announcement.
Zorin OS 15 -- Zorin's default deskop and application menu
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Enso OS 0.3.1
Enso OS is a Linux distribution based on Xubuntu. Enso features the Xfce desktop with Gala, imported from elementary OS, as the default window manager. The project's latest release, Enso OS 0.3.1, is based on packages from Ubuntu 18.04 and features improvements to the software manager. "Built on the latest LTS release of Ubuntu, version 18.04 Enso includes all the latest security and system packages from the main Ubuntu dev branch and these packages will be supported by Ubuntu for the next 3 years. The most notable changes for this minor release are within our application management tool (a fork of the elementary project's brilliant AppCenter). The home page has been adapted have a cleaner look with the category selector moving to a list view on the left-hand side, a few colour changes to the view and the addition of the Games category. Starring of your favourite applications is now possible through the application view, this will allow us to determine which applications are deemed most helpful by our users and will in time be the driving factor of which applications are displayed on the home page, so start starring!" 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: 1,442
- Total data uploaded: 25.9TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
In our Questions and Answers column we talked about ways to examine and improve start-up times. Boot times vary a lot depending on hardware, enabled services and which init software is being used. We would like to hear how long it takes to get your computer up and running, from the time you power it on until it arrives at the login screen.
You can see the results of our previous survey on when our readers first discovered DistroWatch in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
|My computer starts in under 5 seconds: ||129 (7%)|
| My computer starts in 6-15 seconds: ||554 (32%)|
| My computer starts in 16-30 seconds: ||455 (26%)|
| My computer starts in 31-60 seconds: ||313 (18%)|
| My computer starts in 60+ seconds: ||218 (12%)|
| Unsure: ||80 (5%)|
|Website News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Distributions added to waiting list
- Resilient Linux. Resilient Linux is a Debian-based distribution for workstations and servers which features a read-only filesystem for the operating system to protect against attacks and corruption. The filesystem may be encrypted at install time for additional privacy.
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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, 17 June 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 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on the command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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