| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 842, 25 November 2019
Welcome to this year's 47th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Computers and software are woven into virtually every aspects of our lives. Our banking, communication, entertainment, and transportation almost always involve a computer running software and communicating with servers at some step in the process. This gives developers and system administrators access to a huge amount of information and our infrastructure and, as a result, a great deal of power. Unfortunately, while there are many great resources available explaining how to be a system administrator, there are very few books or classes on how to be a good and ethical administrator. This week we share a book on ethics in the IT field and how to be a good, not just technically gifted, administrator. At the end of this issue we would like to hear your thoughts on whether ethics should be considered a part of IT education in our Opinion Poll. First though we explore a desktop distribution called SolydXK. The SolydXK project provides a friendly, Debian-based operating system and we explore it in our Feature Story. In our News section we talk about Debian's ongoing debate on init software diversity and report on Google pushing Android kernel modifications upstream to mainstream Linux. 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: SolydXK 10
- News: Debian continues init diversity discussion, Google works to upstream Android kernel patches
- Book review: System Administration Ethics
- Released last week: Pardus 19.1, Zorin OS 15 "Lite"
- Torrent corner: Bluestar, Clonezilla, Container, Endless OS, IPFire, KDE neon, OSMC, Pardus, SmartOS, Zorin OS
- Opinion poll: Teaching ethics in IT courses
- New distributions: Wxubuntu, SNAL Linux, SharpBang
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (19MB) and MP3 (14MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
SolydXK is a Debian-based desktop distribution. Originally, SolydXK grew out of Linux Mint Debian Edition, providing desktop editions that Mint did not support. However, SolydXK soon grew into its own identity and became independent from Mint, though it does still use the same system installer.
SolydXK is available in two editions: Xfce and KDE Plasma. Since we reviewed the Xfce edition of SolydXK 9 earlier this year, I decided to try out the KDE branch of version 10.
SolydXK 10 is based on Debian 10 "Buster" and provides builds for 64-bit (x86_64) machines. In the past there were builds provided for Raspberry Pi computers, but these have been dropped with version 10. The Xfce edition of SolydXK is a 1.6GB download and the KDE edition I decided to try is a 2.2GB download.
Booting from the distribution's live media brings up the KDE Plasma desktop with a soft, blue theme. There is a panel at the bottom of the screen which holds the application menu, task switcher, and system tray. A single icon for launching the system installer sits in the upper-left corner of the desktop.
The Plasma desktop defaults to using a classic, tree-style application menu with a few modern features. The menu has a search bar and some favourite/quick-launch icons on the left side. The desktop panel also has two quick-launch buttons. Something I noticed early in my trial is hovering the mouse pointer over a launcher does not bring up a tool tip telling us the name of the launcher or a description of its program. I found this frustrating because, to me, several of the icons look similar. The distribution uses a fairly minimal icon design so a handful of the launchers look to me to just be different coloured variations of "a rectangle inside a coloured square". To avoid exploring launchers by trial and error, we can right-click on a launcher to discover its name and any context actions the icon can perform.
SolydXK 10 -- The Plasma application menu
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SolydXK uses the graphical installer from Linux Mint Debian Edition. The installer somewhat resembles other streamlined graphical installers such as Ubiquity and Calamares. We are quickly walked through picking our language, time zone and keyboard layout. We are asked to make up a username and password for ourselves. The partitioning section lists available partitions and asks us to assign mount points to existing partitions. If we need to adjust or create partitions there is a button we can click to launch the GParted partition manager. Then, once we get back to the installer, we can click another button to refresh the list of available partitions. This approach works, though it requires a little more manual work on the user's part, compared to other modern installers. The SolydXK installer supports encryption and most native Linux filesystems such as Btrfs, ext2/3/4, JFS and XFS. Once the installer copies its packages to our hard drive it offers to reboot the computer.
Booting my new copy of SolydXK brought up a graphical login screen where I could sign into the KDE Plasma 5.14 desktop. A welcome window appeared on the desktop, giving an introduction to the distribution, and providing links to the forums and a project news feed. Clicking these links does not open them in a web browser, instead the selected page is loaded in the welcome window itself. This has three drawbacks. The first is that the welcome window lacks the navigation, bookmarks and other features of a web browser. The second is that the news feed is displayed as raw RSS data, without any formatting, making it less than practical. The third is that in order to get back to the welcome screen to explore its other features the user needs to unintuitively click the windows Next button.
SolydXK 10 -- The welcome window displaying the RSS news feed
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The Next button on the welcome window guides us through optional features we can add to SolydXK. The first optional add-on is NordVPN, which we can install with the click of a button. The following pages offer to install Flash, DVD reading software, and some popular applications including the Clementine music player, the Transmission bittorrent software, and Steam. On each page of the welcome screen we are shown a small group of these popular applications and we can check boxes to mark them for installation and then click a button at the bottom of the screen to add them to the system. This process is straight forward, but it has two limitations. The first is that we can only install software from one page at a time. I was not able to select multiple packages across different pages and install them all in one batch. The second (and related) issue is that we are prompted for our admin password each time we install software from a page. This means if we want to install, for instance, four packages spread across four pages, we end up clicking the install button, entering the admin password, and then waiting a few minutes for each package to install four times. Having an option to install packages in a big batch would have been a helpful convenience.
The default Plasma desktop uses a light theme, focusing on soft blues and light greys. Personally, I found the theme a little bright for my taste, and this was easy enough to change in the desktop's settings panel. In fact, just about every aspect of Plasma can easily be tweaked in the System Settings panel. A few versions back Plasma changed the organization of its settings and I felt the transition was rough in places. However, it appears to have smoothed out and I had no trouble navigating the desktop's many settings, themes, and window behaviours. The search feature in the settings panel is welcome and makes hunting down specific options easier than browsing through modules one at a time.
SolydXK 10 -- Adjusting the theme and wallpaper
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I think SolydXK deserves some credit for being one of the few distributions I have used this year which does not lock the desktop after just five minutes of inactivity. SolydXK will blank the screen to save power, but does not lock the screen right away, which makes its defaults more suited to my style of desktop use.
A problem I ran into early on came about when I tried to change the Konsole virtual terminal's font and colours. Konsole ships with two preset settings profiles and trying to alter them fails with an error which says: "Konsole does not have permission to save this profile to: /usr/share/konsole/SolydK.profile". To get around this, we can create a new settings profile and alter it. Though we need to make the new profile the default, otherwise Konsole reverts back to its original look the next time we open the terminal.
SolydXK 10 -- Attempting to change Konsole's profile settings
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SolydXK ships with a relatively small collection of popular open source software. We are given the Firefox web browser (equipped with some useful extensions such as Adblock Origin, Privacy Badger, and HTTPS Everywhere). The Thunderbird e-mail client is included along with LibreOffice and the Okular document viewer. The X11VC Server software is included for remote desktop sessions. I found the VLC media player and the K3b disc burning software are in the application menu. Media codecs for playing audio and video files are installed for us.
SolydXK 10 -- Running Firefox and LibreOffice
(full image size: 265kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
There are also configuration tools for managing printers and the firewall. There are two file managers - Dolphin and Midnight Commander, and the KDE Help documentation. In the background we find the systemd init software, the GNU Compiler Collection, Java, and version 4.19 of the Linux kernel.
While this is a relatively small collection of software, we are able to add other popular items such as a dedicated audio player, gaming software, and torrent clients through the welcome window and the Discover software centre.
SolydXK provides users with two graphical package managers: Discover and Synaptic. Discover provides a modern interface for browsing categories and sub-categories of software. (For instance, Internet may be the category and E-mail and Web Browsers may be sub-categories.) Each entry in a category is displayed with a large icon, name and rating for the application. Clicking on an entry brings up a full page of information on the program with a screenshot. We can queue the selected application for installation or removal with single click. A search box allows us to locate items by typing an application's name or description. Discover can also check for package updates in a separate page, accessed by a button in the lower-left corner of the window.
SolydXK 10 -- Browsing software packages in Discover
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I found Discover to be easy to navigate and stable. However, its interface is sometimes slow to respond. I also found that we are prompted for our password each time we queue a program for installation or removal, making installing multiple items a slow process.
For people who want to manage software in batches or deal with lower level packages, SolydXK also ships with Synaptic. The Synaptic package manager is fast, processes batches of actions on packages, and can also check for software updates.
Most of the distribution's software comes from Debian's repositories. There is also a separate SolydXK repository for some special items and customizations. Some of the applications in Debian's repositories are over a year old, but most of the desktop applications are modern enough to not have their age make a practical difference.
I started by exploring SolydXK in a VirtualBox environment. The distribution integrated with the virtual machine and was able to make use of my host computer's full desktop resolution. I did experience some performance lag in VirtualBox. Windows would respond slowly and menus did not snap open as quickly as I would have liked. In the Plasma settings panel I found the compositor was set to try to balance performance against animation smoothness. Adjusting this to favour performance fixed the issue and, after that, the Plasma desktop was pleasantly responsive.
SolydXK 10 -- Changing desktop settings
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When I tried SolydXK on my physical workstation, everything worked smoothly. Plasma, with the default settings, worked quickly and was highly responsive. The system was stable and all my hardware was properly detected.
SolydXK is relatively light in memory, using around 400MB to 430MB of memory. This amount seemed to vary a bit after I first logged in and I suspect some checks or searches for software updates were happening in the background after my desktop session finished loading. While light in memory, SolydXK took up more than an average amount of disk space. A fresh install used about 7GB of my disk.
I experienced one crash with SolydXK. Once, when shutting down the operating system, everything locked up as I was being logged out. The desktop froze and the system would no longer respond to keyboard input. Eventually I had to force a reboot. This happened only the once and I'm not sure what triggered the problem.
For the most part, I enjoyed my time with SolydXK. The distribution's solid Debian base combined with a polished KDE Plasma experience and a friendly system installer is a great combination. I felt the distribution presented enough default software out of the box to handle most common tasks, while Discover and the welcome window provide easy methods for acquiring more programs.
Apart from one crash during a shutdown, the distribution ran smoothly and worked well with my hardware. I like that SolydXK takes care of a lot of little things like wireless firmware, codecs, and notifying us when updates become available. The distribution did lag a little at first when run in a virtual machine, but this can be quickly fixed in the settings panel, and the desktop ran quickly on physical hardware.
Most of the complaints I had when dealing with SolydXK were matters of taste, not technical problems. For instance, I like a darker theme while the distribution uses a lighter one, which an easy adjustment to make. The welcome screen handles one page of software at a time, prompting us for a password whenever we want to install a new package. This isn't convenient, but it's not a bug at all; it is a speed bump rather than a pothole.
I think SolydXK does a good job of taking plain Debian and adding a layer of friendliness to it. This distribution has similar software, similar strengths and weaknesses, as plain Debian, but with the rough parts polished, the initial setup made a little more friendly, the pieces fitting together with a little more cohesion. SolydXK seems like a good choice for Linux newcomers and people who want a friendly desktop distribution with long-term support.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card, Ralink RT5390R PCIe Wireless card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
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Visitor supplied rating
SolydXK has a visitor supplied average rating of: 9.1/10 from 98 review(s).
Have you used SolydXK? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian continues init diversity discussion, Google works to upstream Android kernel patches
Last week we reported on Debian introducing a general resolution on init software diversity. At the time the Debian team had proposed three possible paths forward: working to maintain init diversity, focusing on systemd while offering some support to alternatives, or focusing exclusively on supporting systemd. The project has added a fourth option to the ballot: supporting non-systemd init options, but without blocking new progress or features. "Ideally, packages should should be fully functional with all init systems. This means (for example) that daemons should ship traditional init scripts, or use other mechanisms to ensure that they are started without systemd. It also means that desktop software should be installable, and ideally fully functional, without systemd. So failing to support non-systemd systems, where no such support is available, is a bug. But it is not a release-critical bug. Whether the requirement for systemd is recorded as a formal bug in the Debian bug system, when no patches are available, is up to the maintainer."
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The Android operating system, commonly used on mobile devices, is based on the Linux kernel. Google currently uses a heavily modified version of the Linux kernel for Android, changing thousands of lines of code to create their custom Android kernel. Google is currently looking at getting their changes introduced back into the Linux project, reducing their maintenance costs and potentially improving Linux device support. An article on Android Police explains: "At this year's Linux Plumbers Conference, Google engineers held talks about the company's efforts to get Android as close as possible to the mainline Linux kernel. Not only would this reduce technical overhead for Google and other companies, because they would no longer have to merge thousands of changes into each new Linux kernel version (and Google would no longer have to support Linux kernel versions for six years), but it could also benefit the Linux project as a whole. For example, the growing number of ARM-based Linux phones and computers could see improved performance and battery life." While this move does offer benefits for both developers and users, it is important to note that the proprietary device drivers many Android phones and tablets use would not become available upstream.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Book Review (by Jesse Smith)
System Administration Ethics
Some of our readers may be familiar with a website called Dedoimedo as we often link to detailed reviews of Linux distributions which appear on the site. Dedoimedo's author, Igor Ljubuncic, and I have exchanged the occasional message over the years and he interviewed me as few years ago, covering a range of topics from DistroWatch, to Star Trek, to the future of open source computing. It was a thoroughly fun experience and so, when Igor mentioned he was looking for someone to perform a technical review of a book he was working on, I enthusiastically took the job.
Part of my positive response came from my appreciation of Igor's writing style, which I find smooth and easy to follow. Mostly though I was intrigued because he and his fellow author, Tom Litterer, were tackling a subject that is both dear to my heart and generally overlooked: ethics in the IT field.
Most textbooks and course material in the field of system administration deal with how to do things. Sometimes authors will discuss technical side-effects of certain tasks, like how limiting the rate of connections allowed by a firewall can block legitimate traffic on a complex web page. However, it is extremely rare to see books for administrators discuss the ethical elements of their decisions. This feels like an important gap in IT-related education. These days computers are involved in virtually every part of our lives: shopping, banking, information gathering, communication, work presentations, storing legal documents, gaming, and media streaming. For most people, computers are constantly monitoring, interacting with, and affecting our lives, whether we are aware of it or not.
With this in mind, it is concerning that so much of a system administrator's, or a software developer's, education focuses on how to do things and not whether those things should be done. Or, perhaps more importantly, how things should be done ethically. There are a lot of things administrators can do with good intentions which have nasty side-effects if not handled in a mindful manner.
This is where "System Administration Ethics: Ten Commandments for Security and Compliance in a Modern Cyber World" enters the scene. The book explores why ethics in IT is important, explores the type of scenarios that can arise which can result in poor outcomes, and offers tips on how we can make better decisions, for businesses, for clients, and for the general population.
Throughout the book there is a running narrative, a sort of morality play. In each chapter we ride along with a new system administrator who witnesses examples of ethical and questionable behaviour in his new workplace. The book then highlights good choices the characters have made and identifies bad choices that could have been handled better. The book also sets out some frameworks for making good IT decisions. As the book points out, often times unethical behaviour happens because administrators are rushed, are trying to fix something on the fly, or are facing resource limitations. People are not necessarily trying to act poorly, but are often pressured into acting quickly, possibly without proper procedures in place. Having good frameworks for actions and the decision making process can help a lot and the book outlines how to get better about making tough choices in an IT environment.
In short, System Administration Ethics explores why ethical decisions in an IT environment are important, gives some clear examples of good and poor behaviour anyone who works in the field will probably recognize, and shows us ways to make ethical decisions easier (and bad choices harder) by putting new processes in place. I think it's a good read on a topic that is often overlooked. We, as a society, rely so much on administrators making good choices, but few guides or resources exist to encourage good choices to be made. Hopefully this book gets more people in the field thinking about how we can introduce better, safer behaviour into the IT field, cutting down on data breaches and unethical monitoring in the process.
* * * * *
- Title: System Administration Ethics: Ten Commandments for Security and Compliance in a Modern Cyber World
- Authors: Igor Ljubuncic and Tom Litterer
- Publisher: Apress
- Pages: 290
- ISBN-10: 1484249879
- ISBN-13: 978-1484249871
- Available from: Amazon
|Released Last Week
Pardus is a GNU/Linux distribution jointly developed by the Scientific & Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and National Academic Network and Information Centre (ULAKBİM). The project's latest update is Pardus 19.1. An English translation of the project's Turkish release notes reads: "Version 19.1 of Pardus, which is developed by TÜBİTAK ULAKBİM has been published. Pardus 19.1 is the first interim version of the Pardus 19 family. Changes: update notification desk has been added to Xfce and GNOME editions; Pinta and GIMP image editor application will be installed in Xfce and GNOME editions; GNOME interface improvements have been made; Pardus Mazağa application has been improved; updates with more than 200 packages and patches have been introduced to the installed system; over 2,000 packages have been updated in the repository; Firefox version 68.2 has been updated to be the default web browser; default email client Thunderbird has been updated to version 68.2.2; VLC is the default media player and it has been updated to 3.0.8; default office suite applications have been updated to LibreOffice 6.1.5."
Zorin OS 15 "Lite
Artyom Zorin has announced the release of Zorin OS 15 "Lite" edition, an Ubuntu-based, beginner-friendly desktop Linux distribution designed for older and low-specification computers. It features the Xfce 4.14 desktop. From the release announcement: "We're excited to announce the release of the Zorin OS 15 Lite, our lightweight operating system for old and low-spec computers. With Zorin OS 15 Lite, we've condensed the full Zorin OS experience into a streamlined operating system, designed to run fast on computers as old as 15 years. With version 15, we've gone the extra mile to make the Xfce 4.14-based desktop feel familiar and user-friendly to new users, especially those moving away from Windows 7 leading up to the end of its support in January 2020. By pairing the most advanced and efficient software with a user-friendly experience, we've made it possible for anyone to extend the lifespan of their computers for years to come. We’ve refreshed and refined the look and feel of the Zorin OS Lite desktop with a new, more welcoming desktop theme. It has been designed with clarity and simplicity in mind, minimizing the visual load of the interface so the content takes center stage."
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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: 1,711
- Total data uploaded: 28.9TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
Teaching ethics in IT courses
In our book review this week we talked about ethics in IT and how the ethical concerns of the industry are rarely taught in classes or discussed in system administration books. Other professionals, such as medical doctors and engineers, cover ethics as a part of their training, but system administrators rarely do, focusing instead on the technical aspects of how to perform tasks, not whether a task should be performed. Do you think ethics is a topic which should be taught in IT classes or should ethics be an entirely separate course? Let us know why in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on running a distro's main edition versus running a community spin in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Teaching ethics in IT courses
|Ethics should be included in all IT courses: ||570 (54%)|
| Ethics should be included in long/full courses and skipped in short ones: ||142 (14%)|
| Ethics should be a separate course: ||177 (17%)|
| Ethics should be available as an optional IT credit: ||113 (11%)|
| Other: ||45 (4%)|
|Website News (by Jesse Smith)
Distributions added to waiting list
- Wxubuntu. Wxubuntu is a distribution based on Xubuntu 20.04's development branch. The project includes WINE to facilitate running Windows applications.
- SNAL Linux. SNAL stands for Simple, Networked, and Live. The project is based on Arch Linux and features networking tools, the i3 window manager, and Firefox.
- SharpBang. SharpBang is a Debian-based distribution featuring a desktop environment provided by Openbox/Tint2.
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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, 2 December 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|
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 |
Centrych OS was an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that provides a unified look & feel, as well as support for both KDE/Qt and GNOME/GTK+ applications. It uses the Xfce desktop environment with two distinct profiles - one that has the Oxygen/Qt look of KDE, while the other provides the Greybird/GTK+ look of Xubuntu. Some other interesting features of the distribution include the ability to do a simplified sign on and quasi two-factor authentication for systems with full-disk encryption, and the availability of the latest versions of certain high-profile applications, such as GIMP or LibreOffice.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Questions and answers: Mixing RPM packages made for different distributions|
|Questions and answers: Running Android apps on a desktop Linux system|
|Questions and answers: Disk mount options|
|Tips and tricks: Package compression compared|
|Tips and tricks: A journey to get Falkon 3.1.0 running and problems with portable packages|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Tips and tricks: Find common words in text, find high memory processs, cd short-cuts, pushd & popd, record desktop|
|Tips and tricks: Adding an AppImage to the application menu|
|Questions and answers: Reading status information from top|
|Questions and answers: Launching tasks when computer is idle|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|