| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 777, 20 August 2018
Welcome to this year's 34th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
These days many people are concerned with privacy and are looking for alternatives to web-based applications, company-run e-mail services and file storage provided by commercial organizations. One way to maintain control over our data is to self-host services at home, but learning how to set up complex services at home can take a lot of time and effort. This week we begin with a review of YunoHost, a Debian-based distribution which offers a point-n-click approach to setting up popular network services and web apps. In our Tips and Tricks column we explore a variety of ways to limit the resource usage of greedy processes to prevent them from interfering with the rest of the operating system. Our Opinion Poll asks how many of our readers use methods to restrict processes to keep them from impacting system performance. In the News section we talk about Fedora making it easier to convert from one file system to another and Red Hat addressing hardware bugs. Plus we talk about Lubuntu migrating to Wayland and celebrate Debian turning 25 years old. Finally, we are pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (10MB) and MP3 (14MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
YunoHost is a Debian-based distribution for people who want to run their own private server. The distribution is particularly geared toward offering web, e-mail and media streaming services which can be set up with relative ease from a web-based interface. Or, as the project's website states:
YunoHost is a server operating system aiming to make self-hosting accessible to everyone. It is based on Debian GNU/Linux and is fully compatible with it... YunoHost's goal is to make installing and administering a server accessible to as many people as possible, without taking away from the quality and reliability of the software.
The latest version of YunoHost (pronounced "Why you no host?") at the time of writing is 188.8.131.52, which is based on Debian 9 "Stretch". The project's documentation mentions that YunoHost includes the Nginx web server, the Postfix e-mail server, Dovecot for handling mail through clients, a spam filter, LDAP service and a DNS server. A Let's Encrypt certificate manager is also listed as a feature.
YunoHost is available in a number of different builds, including ones for generic PCs, VirtualBox, the Raspberry Pi and a few other single-board computers. I downloaded the generic PC build which is 369MB in size.
Booting from the distribution's media brings up a menu offering to start a text installer, graphical installer or an advanced installer. I tried both the text and graphical installers. Both are basically Debian's standard installer with the disk partitioning section and package selection step skipped. YunoHost automatically wipes our hard drive to install itself with its own partition layout and chooses the packages it needs in order to run.
The first time I tried to install YunoHost the installer ran into an error during the partitioning section and reported it was unable to mount the new file system it had created. After that it was unable to proceed. I rebooted the computer, took the same settings again and, the second time through, the installation completed without incident. When the system installer finished the disc was ejected and the computer was automatically rebooted.
The first time I booted YunoHost the system brought up a text console. A welcome message appeared which told me my computer's IP address. The first time I started the distribution the IP address was correct, but when I started YunoHost in the future the IP address field was always blank even though the system was connected to my network.
The first time I booted into YunoHost a first-run wizard started on the text console and offered to help me configure the operating system. The prompts ask us to provide our domain name (which must be in the form of a fully qualified domain name, such as example.com). We are asked to create a password for the system's admin account. I feel it is important to keep in mind the admin account, in this case, is the account we will use to sign into YunoHost's web-based interface. The admin account does not have special access when logged into the console and cannot upgrade packages or manage the base operating system directly. The root account's password, used for performing system administration actions from the command line, is not changed from its default on the live disc. The root account's password will remain "yunohost" until we sign in and change it.
The wizard then sets up the default services as some status messages scroll by. When the wizard was done the console appeared to freeze and did not respond to further keyboard input. I was able to switch to another console to login. I found YunoHost used about 2GB of disk space with the default packages installed and the operating system consumed about 220MB of RAM.
YunoHost's web interface begins with a simple, mostly blank screen where we are asked to sign in. We can login using our admin account's password. This brings up a menu where we can access sub-menus and controls for Users, Domains, Applications, System Updates, Services, Tools and a Backup panel. I'd like to go through and give a brief overview of each section of the web-based control panel.
Users - By default, there are no accounts listed on the Users page. This appears to be because the YunoHost panel does not display system accounts, only accounts which can sign into the web-based interface and run web-based applications. To work with system-level accounts we should sign into a console or remotely access the server over secure shell.
With the click of a button we can create new accounts that will be able to sign into the YunoHost web portal and run applications. These accounts we create cannot sign into the system over secure shell or a local terminal, they only have access to the web portal. Signing into the portal will bring up a list of applications the user has been granted access to.
One interesting side-effect of separating web portal accounts from system accounts is that we can install a web-based virtual terminal and have the user run it. But they cannot sign into the virtual console unless we set up a separate, system-level account for them.
Domains - The Domains page starts off by showing us the first domain we set up (using the first-run wizard) and gives the option of creating new domains. We can add SSL certificates and check a domain's DNS information from this page.
Applications - At first there are no web applications installed. However, clicking a button brings up a list of several web-based apps we can install. There is a terminal emulator, RSS feed reader, the Ampache media streaming service, an arcade game, Nextcloud, the phpMyAdmin console and a handful of others.
YunoHost 184.108.40.206 -- Browsing applications
(full image size: 107kB, resolution: 1239x1024 pixels)
I tried a few of the simple applications and confirmed they worked. We can set each application to be available to only certain users, or let all users access an installed service. I like the potential flexibility this gives us as it means we can limit access to a login console or phpMyAdmin panel for some users.
System updates - The updates panel should list low level package updates, which are provided mostly by Debian and a YunoHost repository. This page also has a section for showing web application updates. I was not using YunoHost long enough to have any updates appear in this panel. The system was up to date at install time and remained that way for the next few days I was using it.
Services - By default YunoHost runs several network services in the background. The Services page lists these and provides buttons to enable/disable and start/stop these services. The operating system runs a Postfix e-mail service, Dovecot, a firewall, the Nginx web server, the fail2ban security software, MySQL and the OpenSSH secure shell. Sometimes while toggling services on/off an error message would appear saying the systemctl program did not recognize the name of the given service. However, the enable/disable action typically completed successfully anyway.
YunoHost 220.127.116.11 -- Managing background services
(full image size: 115kB, resolution: 1239x1024 pixels)
Tools - The tools page offers access to low level information, for the most part. There is a monitoring tool for checking the resource usage of the system. The firewall tool lets us open and close ports. There is a page which brings up a list of security advisories for popular packages such as Wordpress and the Linux kernel. Another tool just shuts down or reboots the server. One tool is called Migrations and I'm not entirely sure what actions it will perform, but it appears to offer advice on switching between major package versions, such as from PHP 5.6 to PHP 7.0.
YunoHost 18.104.22.168 -- Browsing tools and status messages
(full image size: 102kB, resolution: pixels)
I like the Tools panel. It seems to be a miscellaneous group of items that did not fit elsewhere, but the tools do provide useful information and I found each one easy to navigate.
Backup - The Backup page is very simple and provides a button to create a new archive of our system and its data files. We can toggle three boxes which control whether to back up our configuration files, user data, and mail. Once an archive, which is saved in tar format, has been created it can then be destroyed or restored with another click from the Backup page. I tested the Backup page's features and they all worked, allowing me to roll back the system to an earlier point in time.
Command line interface
Apart from the web interface, YunoHost provides a command line utility which provides the same basic features. This allows us to address problems or install new web applications over a secure shell connection. The functions are all run through one unified program called yunohost. Running this program we can then specify a category like the ones list above ("backup", for example) and then an action to perform. The help text for the yunohost command is a little sparse, but there was enough there to help me navigate through adding and removing applications, checking status information and restoring a backup.
YunoHost 22.214.171.124 -- Blocking network ports
(full image size: 68kB, resolution: 1239x1024 pixels)
At this point I have only set up YunoHost, created a few user accounts and installed a handful of applications. While I may play with it further, my main focus going into this trial was how well the framework of the distribution functions. That is: is it easy to install, how hard is it for new users to add services and accounts, and is it straight forward to keep the system up to date? Basically, I wanted to know whether I could give this distribution to someone who wanted to set up home-based network services for the first time and expect them to be able to use it. Based on my experiences so far with YunoHost, my answer is: probably.
The distribution does make it pretty easy to create user accounts and install web-based services. In fact, YunoHost does this quite well. The admin panel is very streamlined, uncluttered and easy to navigate and getting something like a game of Hextris or a media streaming service installed is about as easy as a few mouse clicks. Managing the firewall, monitoring the system and creating backups are nearly as easy. The administrator still needs to figure out how to get backup archives off the disk to another location for safe keeping, but the bulk of the work in backing up and restoring the operating system is done for us.
Where I feel the distribution runs into trouble is mostly little details, and a few general concepts. For example, asking the user to create an "admin" password but leaving the root password as the default is both likely to confuse people and leave a permanent security hole on the servers of most inexperienced hobbyist administrators. On the topic of accounts, it makes sense, from a security standpoint, to separate web accounts from system accounts. But, this means there may be some confusion as to why, once an account has been created, it cannot log into the system. Little concepts like this may throw new users and I don't feel these issues are well addressed by the documentation.
The first time through, the system installer failed during the partitioning section. It worked the second time though with the same settings, so I'm not sure if this is a semi-persistent bug or a one-time error with my system.
On the whole, YunoHost performs well. It's light on resources, it offers a lot of common network services home administrators will probably want and it is pretty easy to run and maintain. There are a few little wrinkles in the experience, but in general I found the distribution to be straight forward to use. For people looking to set up a home server, this is probably a good platform on which to build.
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Visitor supplied rating
YunoHost has a visitor supplied average rating of: 9.3/10 from 4 review(s).
Have you used YunoHost? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora makes it easier to convert file systems, Red Hat responds to hardware bugs, Lubuntu plans migration to Wayland, Debian turns 25 years old
Most people set up their operating system on a file system and continue to use that file system for the life span of the operating system. However, while it is rare to want to change which file system is in use, it is possible to convert one file system to another. This process can even be (mostly) automated by a tool called fstransform. The fstransform documentation states: "The program fstransform does the following: it takes a device with a file system on it (even if almost full) and transforms the device to a different file system type, in-place (i.e. without backup) and non-destructively (i.e. it preserves all your data). It works even if the file system is almost full." Fedora Magazine has an article on fstransform, how to use it on Fedora, and some precautions to take to avoid data loss during the transition.
* * * * *
Hardware bugs affecting popular makes and models of CPU have been in the news a lot this year. One of the more recent revelations has been the L1 Terminal Fault attack, mostly known by its ominous-sounding name Foreshadow. The Red Hat team has put together a series of blog posts which explain the Foreshadow issue, how it works and why it is a problem. While CPU bugs have serious security implications, Red Hat reports the fix should be relatively painless for Foreshadow: "The L1TF attack against bare metal machines is trivial to mitigate through a few lines of kernel code (that is available in all of our errata releases, and has also been submitted for inclusion in upstream Linux). This mitigation has no measurable performance impact and requires systems be promptly patched."
* * * * *
The Lubuntu project has announced plans to gradually migrate from using the X display server to running the LXQt desktop on a Wayland session by default. This change is expected to take place in about two years (with the release of Lubuntu 20.10) and will make use of Mir as the Wayland implementation. More information on this change and other plans for future versions of Lubuntu can be found in the project's newsletter.
* * * * *
We are pleased to report that Debian, one of the world's largest Linux distributions, has reached its 25th birthday. An announcement on the Debian website reports: "When the late Ian Murdock announced 25 years ago in comp.os.linux.development, 'the imminent completion of a brand-new Linux release, [...] the Debian Linux Release', nobody would have expected the 'Debian Linux Release' to become what's nowadays known as the Debian Project, one of the largest and most influential free software projects. Its primary product is Debian, a free operating system (OS) for your computer, as well as for plenty of other systems which enhance your life. From the inner workings of your nearby airport to your car entertainment system, and from cloud servers hosting your favorite websites to the IoT devices that communicate with them, Debian can power it all." Happy birthday, Debian!
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Limiting resource usage
Generally when we run applications we want the program we are working with to be fast and responsive. Ideally, we want videos to play smoothly and web pages to load quickly. For this reason, the underlying operating system usually provides the programs we run with as many resources as they request. So long as there is not too much competition from other applications and services, the programs we run will get to use as much of our CPU, memory and disk as they want.
Sometimes though we do not want a program to get all the resources it wants. Number crunching programs may use up too much CPU time and cause other applications to stutter. A service that scans our hard drive to index files will make opening and saving documents slower. A program that consumes too much RAM may cause the system to slow down or rely heavily on swap space which will make the computer unresponsive. This article explores four utilities which can be used to limit a process's resource usage and prevent the system from getting bogged down.
One of the easiest tools to use when trying to limit a process's impact on the operating system is nice. The nice command reduces the priority of an application or service so that it does not use the CPU as much when other processes want a turn. This is especially useful if we are running several programs at once and want to accomplish something in the background that will not slow down other programs. For example, if we are running checksums on multiple files to confirm their integrity the nice command will make sure the CPU-intensive checksum process does not impact other tasks we are performing, such as browsing the web.
Typically the nice program is run and just passed the name of another program to run. For example, here we run an MD5 checksum on a file called Fedora-28.iso:
nice md5sum Fedora-28.iso
Different programs can be run with different "nice" values. The more "nice" a program is, the more it stays out of the way of other processes using the CPU. The default "nice" value of most programs is zero. A program started by the nice command is assigned a "nice" value of 10. We can specify a niceness value as high as 19. This is accomplished by using the "-n" parameter:
nice -n 19 md5sum Fedora-28.iso
We have written about nice before and have examples for using nice and adjusting the niceness of a program that is already running.
* * * * *
While the nice command reduces the priority of programs which want to use our CPU, it does not do a lot to reduce the amount of disk input/output (I/O) a process uses. When we have a program that does not perform a lot of number crunching, but does read data frequently from the disk, then we need a different tool. The ionice command works in a very similar fashion to nice, but forces processes to stay out of the way when accessing the hard drive. This is especially useful if we have a background program that constantly indexes files. We probably do not care how long the indexing takes, but we want to keep it from making other programs lock up when accessing the disk.
The ionice command is typically used to either launch a new program or force a running program to be more polite. Here we run a backup job, using the rsync program, and force it to only access our files when the disk is idle. This is accomplished by using the "-c" flag and passing the number 3, which means the process has a low or "idle" priority.
ionice -c 3 rsync -a ~/Documents/ ~/Backups/
To adjust the I/O niceness of a running program we need to pass its process ID number (PID) to ionice. If my rsync program from the past example needs a lower priority and has a PID of 1234 we can adjust it like this using the "-p" flag:
ionice -c 3 -p 1234
* * * * *
While the nice command will make a process be polite and not use up too much of our CPU's time when there are other processes competing for CPU cycles, nice will not throttle the total amount of CPU cycles a process uses. The nice command prevents one process from getting in the way of others, but it does not prevent one lone process from using up all the CPU cycles available if it has no competition. Put another way, if you are running 20 different programs, nice will force one to step aside, giving the others priority. But if we are running just one active task then it has no competition and can use up 100% of our CPU's time.
Sometimes we want to limit a process's CPU usage so that our CPU doesn't get hot, or so that one process will never use more than 50% of our CPU's time in case something else wants to run later. We can do this with a tool called cpulimit.
The cpulimit command basically throttles a task so that it does not use more than a given amount of CPU time. We can launch Thunderbird and tell it to only use half of our CPU's resources by running:
cpulimit -l 50 thunderbird
The "-l" flag specifies a limit, in this case 50%. We can limit an existing process using its PID by providing the "-p" flag. A process with PID 1234 can be limited as follows:
cpulimit -l 50 -p 1234
We have talked about cpulimit and provided more examples of it in use in a past issue.
* * * * *
So far we have covered limiting competition for the CPU, throttling processes so they do not take up too many CPU cycles and forcing processes to limit their disk input/output. Another key resource on any system is memory. There are a number of tools which prevent tasks from using too much RAM, and one of them is earlyoom, which stands for Early Out Of Memory. The earlyoom utility monitors the amount of memory and swap space currently available. If the amount dips below a certain amount (usually 10% of both, by default) then earlyoom tries to trigger the termination of the process which is using too much memory.
While earlyoom does not target one specific process, it will try to kill off the program which is using the most memory, freeing up RAM for the remaining processes. Generally, earlyoom waits until memory and swap are nearly full before terminating any programs. The earlyoom program can be run directly by a user, but is typically set up as a service which starts up automatically in the background and monitors the system without user intervention. This way if any user launches a program, such as a web browser, that misbehaves and consumes a lot of RAM the program will be shut down automatically without the user needing to do anything. This is particularly useful when we consider systems with full RAM and swap often become unresponsive and it may not be possible for the user to run new commands while the system juggles swap space.
* * * * *
There are a lot of Linux tools for dealing with aggressive or resource-heavy processes. The above utilities can be used, separately or together, to keep programs from consuming too many resources or interfering with desktop performance. The trick is matching the right tool with the resource or performance issue being addressed.
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Additional tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
Zorin OS 12.4
Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based distribution which strives to provide a desktop interface that will look familiar to Windows users. The project has published an update to the distribution's 12.x series, offering improved hardware support and bug fixes. The release announcement for Zorin OS 12.4 states: "We are pleased to announce the release of Zorin OS 12.4. This new release brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance enhancements and hardware support out of the box. Zorin OS 12.4 introduces an updated hardware enablement stack. The newly-included Linux kernel 4.15, as well as an updated X server graphics stack, add compatibility for newer computers and hardware in Zorin OS. In addition, new patches for system vulnerabilities are included in this release, so you can have the peace of mind knowing that you're using the most secure version of Zorin OS ever. After installing Zorin OS 12.4, you will have the latest versions of the pre-installed packages. That means fewer software updates will need to be downloaded after installing Zorin OS onto your computer. All editions of Zorin OS 12.4 - Core, Lite, Ultimate, and Business - are available to download immediately."
Barry Kauler has announced the release of a new version of the lightweight Quirky distribution. The new version, Quirky 8.6, is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and contains mostly bug fixes and minor improvements over previous 8.x releases. "Quirky Linux 8.6 is the latest in the 'Xerus' series, binary-compatible with x86_64 Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS, though built with woofQ and architecturally very different from Ubuntu. Quirky is an experimental distribution, that forked from Puppy Linux a few years ago, and has followed a different path, exploring some new ideas. Continuing the Puppy tradition, Quirky has a 'complete' suite of applications, drivers and utilities, in a very small size. Version 8.6 is an incremental upgrade from 8.5, with package upgrades and architectural improvements. The SeaMonkey web browser is now 2.49.4 and the Linux kernel 4.14.63. EasyShare, simple network file and printer sharing, continues to evolve, and now supports connection to an Android phone." Further information can be found in the distribution's release announcement and in the release notes.
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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: 983
- Total data uploaded: 21.1TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Limiting process resource usage
In our Tips and Tricks column this week we discussed various ways users can limit resource usage of applications. This can keep the system running smoothly when an ambitious program tries to gobble up too many resources. We would like to know how many of our readers use resource limiting tools to keep runaway processes in check.
You can see the results of our previous poll on whether to review Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Various website updates
Our website received two significant updates this week, thanks to generous readers who volunteered their time and efforts. Enrico Bella kindly updated our Italian translation and made suggestions for improving translations across languages.
Over the weekend Jeffry Allred also came forward with an detailed review of all the distributions on our waiting list - pointing out which ones are no longer maintained and which may be worth re-evaluating. This has helped us trim the waiting list and highlighted a few we plan to look at more closely in the coming month.
Thank you to these volunteers and the many people who continue to send us suggestions, feedback and updated information. It makes our tasks here easier.
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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, 27 August 2018. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • Limit CPU usage (by Mike on 2018-08-20 00:53:52 GMT from Australia) |
I use 'nice' because it was set up automatically by 'Back in Time' and I wasn't sure what it did. This was a great article,thanks.
2 • "without backup" = "begging for disaster" (by OS2_user on 2018-08-20 01:12:10 GMT from United States)
Re the Fedora "fstransform": I wouldn't advise anyone try to convert a file system on the fly. Vastly safer way is make a backup FIRST. Then you have a backup. You can swap the 2nd drive in physically and use it, or reformat the existing and copy to it. -- With the last 3T WD I bought new at $50, there's NO reason to risk loss. Whether pro or home.
I'd say Fedora is actually making these assumptions: 1) the data IS backed up elsewhere, would be only lose a little of recent 2) the system is highly reliable 3) and powered by UPS / EPS so losing power in middle of this foolishness won't happen: otherwise, you'd have TWO file systems! -- sure: the program MIGHT have crash recovery. -- Risk it if you want! You know you want to. Won't bother ME. -- I just do things the obvious way, rather than try fancy stunts. (By the way, I've never actually lost a byte with OS/2 except for hardware failures -- and even then I'd a full backup except for what was working on.)
3 • Mint Debian (by Jon Wright on 2018-08-20 01:29:17 GMT from Hong Kong)
I've been running Mint Debian for a week now. I mentioned last week how the resource usage was very high, but running MATE desktop brings it down significantly. Install a few Caja packages and fix gksu to get the file manager working in a familiar way, then install a few (more) MATE packages to get the Control Center and panel filled out ... then you have a solid desktop. I've gone through my usual post-install songsheet and everything goes smoothly. Using 723MB with a few services already installed. This 'beta' could be the best release of 2018.
BTW Jesse, you omitted hardware used in review.
4 • Yunohost (by tuxUser on 2018-08-20 01:41:34 GMT from Canada)
I have also tested this promising system. I am a regular server user. Cpanel, Webmin etc ... Yunohost saves us a lot of time. On the forum there is a lot of problem with the DNS. The tutorial on the website is not bad but it gets lost in explanation.
If you have your own domain name with a registrar. The problems begin my friend. We can not give an ip address like this: 126.96.36.199 (dns target) at our registrar domain name.
You must specify a server name like this:
Yunohost is easy to use but they have to work Wiki with clear explanations with screenshoot or small video by function type. Not one
45 minutes video. But 1 minutes. Clear, Simple, Direct how to on screen.
I tested all the server distributions. Although they all want to be Lambba user oriented, I can tell you that none succeed. You must have the knowledge to install, use and especially maintain a security server at home.
In conclusion: Great Work!
5 • Hardware (by Jesse on 2018-08-20 01:53:03 GMT from Canada)
@3: I didn't run YunoHost on any physical hardware for this review, it was done entirely in VirtualBox as I wasn't testing compatibility, just features. Though YunoHost should run on any hardware Debian works with, including some single-board computers.
6 • limiting a process (by MikeOh Shark on 2018-08-20 02:21:00 GMT from Turkey)
In Mint 13 I noticed that when the updater ran my system would become nonresponsive for a minute or two. It was annoying. I added
taskset -cp 2,3 $(pgrep mintUpdate)
renice -n 19 $(pgrep mintUpdate)
to my startup and the problem went away. In Mint 19 I tried the same BUT now mintUpdate starts checkAPT.py. How do I make sure a process started by another uses the same niceness?
7 • Family of nice (by Jesse on 2018-08-20 02:38:58 GMT from Canada)
@6: "How do I make sure a process started by another uses the same niceness?"
This happens automatically, you won't need to do anything. Child processes inherit niceness values from their parents. If you assign a program, like your shell, a nice value, it automatically gets passed onto its children.
8 • Linux Kernel 4.19 GPS/GNSS subsystem - Limiting process resources. (by Larry Limitter on 2018-08-20 03:06:37 GMT from Canada)
If new released linux kernel 4.19 supports GPS/GNSS subsystem on low level system bus, some users would like to Limit process resource usage by different means.
9 • Limiting CPU Useage (by penguinx64 on 2018-08-20 03:14:40 GMT from Bahrain)
I don't limit CPU useage. I'm running Mint on a laptop with an AMD quad core A8 processor, 16gb of RAM and an SSD. Most of the time there are plenty of resources available. But sometimes the system bogs down when I run Virtualbox guests. Thanks for these tips. I'll give them a try.
10 • Nice? (by edcoolio on 2018-08-20 04:18:26 GMT from United States)
I do not use the nice command.
I do, however, tend to minimize background processes, stripping my system(s) to the minimum I need for the task at hand.
One thing that I do not like are processes running in the background that will never be used or that are used so little that I prefer to run them as necessary.
Cutting out the bloat in the 'buntu seems like a full time job these days...
11 • Cutting out the bloat in the 'buntu seems like a full time job these days... (by Larry Limitter on 2018-08-20 04:56:07 GMT from Canada)
@ # 10
"Cutting out the bloat in the 'buntu seems like a full time job these days..."
Many lone linux distro brewers might stop brewing and only those who are funded might continue. Many users might walk-away from linux, and many users might dump all tech-tools in the garbage. Seems like end-phase has already begun.
Do not get surprised if you can not find many incl. myself very frequent here.
12 • Resources limiting (by zykoda on 2018-08-20 07:05:08 GMT from United Kingdom)
With 8GB RAM, 4 CPU cores, SSDs, Gigabit LAN and 350 Megabit WAN systems are faster today. Limiting resource usage is a rare necessity. GRUB2 os_prober is a slowdown with multi-boot. I see core under-use (<30%) most of the time. Competing processes from several users is where resource limiting is useful.
13 • Debian and offshoots (by OstroL on 2018-08-20 09:28:04 GMT from Poland)
Well, at least a review of Debian based distro is here today at DW,, even though it is quite an unknown one. It would've been much nicer, if there had been a feature story on Debian and its footprint our new history for last 25 years. The review of this unknown distro shows how embedded Debia is in our environment.
14 • unnecessary background processes (by cykodrone on 2018-08-20 13:28:03 GMT from Canada)
Never used 'nice', nice to know (pun intended), but do shut off useless processes via other methods, CL and otherwise (I am NOT a systemd user). A kajillion background processes reminds of a certain monopoly OS, where I got in the habit of hunting down and making sure things that don't need to be running won't start at boot. The great irony, that hand-holding OS (actually very buggy, complicated, and Swiss cheese security wise) turned me in to an uber geek, go figure, at least it was good for something. :)
Here is a good example, I don't own or use any bluetooth devices, but yet almost every OS I have tested or used insists on enabling it at boot. I get the 'just in case' mentality, just sayin'.
15 • Happy Belated Birthday Debian (by cykodrone on 2018-08-20 13:34:59 GMT from Canada)
Sir Ian Murdock is one of my many FOSS heroes, second only to Linus, but I can assure you, he is spinning in his grave because Debian is now infested with and beholden to buggy bloat written by a corporation. Blasphemy. Democratic distro my rear.
16 • @18, Time traveling (by Angel on 2018-08-20 13:40:45 GMT from Philippines)
There are several degrees of paranoia among internet users. Some don't wish to be followed or located at all. It's a bit of extra bother, but to each his own. For example: I was on Distrowatch two weeks ago, and someone posted a link to an SSD card holder from China. I clicked on the link. Next day, as I was reading Yahoo news, an ad for those very same card holders appeared. Some people may be spooked by that. Me, I don't mind. Makes my Google searches more tailored and productive, among other things. Not that the spooky followers are as good as some think. Some Chinese company keeps trying to sell me giant rock crushers, earth movers and cranes. How they got the idea I need them or would have a use for them, I don't know. In any case, when I want to go private, I con do it as well as anyone else.
17 • @20 (by OstroL on 2018-08-20 14:43:21 GMT from Poland)
"Some Chinese company keeps trying to sell me giant rock crushers, earth movers and cranes."
Well, they've already sold you a laptop, don't they? Even if your mobile is an iPhone, it is also made in China, even if they say, it had been designed in the US. The Chinese are very hard working, effective people. I've been there. What a country!
18 • Linux on a usb stick. (by willi-amp. on 2018-08-20 15:12:38 GMT from United Kingdom)
Two weeks ago 'Comments' item 4, by Bob. He wrote, ‘MX linux is amazing on a USB. I put it on a USB and installed it to a 16G USB’. I’m just a linux user, not that clever, but by following Bobs simple instructions I successfully made a stand-alone USB stick installation. If only all instructions were as succinct and that easy to follow. Thanks Bob,.and thanks MX.
19 • Nice reminder (by Norm on 2018-08-20 15:40:33 GMT from United States)
Thanks for the nice writeup and notes on CPU limit functions.
Last time I used nice was in 1991 on a Unix machine. I wounder if that means I am old and mean?
In any case; it is a great function, if you are running FE models, and want to do something else while it churns in the background.
Thanks again for the nice reminder!
20 • used cpulimit for ffmpeg on vps (by dmacleo on 2018-08-20 17:12:11 GMT from United States)
was playing around running clipbucket on vps with all vid conversions (1080,720,etc) working using ffmpeg.
so had to limit process somehow, set up bash cmd that ran cpulimit (set process ffmpeg to 60%) by cron every minute.
seemed to work better than nice did for this issue, vps host said never crossed any TOS/usage limits.
21 • Limiting resource usage (by AboTaha on 2018-08-20 20:11:25 GMT from Saudi Arabia)
Many thanks for the very informative article about Limiting resource usage.
22 • Cpulimit (by Tim on 2018-08-20 21:57:21 GMT from United States)
This was a really good article on limited resource usage, I thank you for it.
I used to use cpulimit quite a bit when encoding video. I had an old 32 bit Compaq laptop and if you just let it go while doing that it ran so hot you could smell it. I always found it useful to use with the Top command and the PID. I haven’t needed it on any of my machines in the last 3 or 4 years.
23 • OS/2 reliability (by qweo on 2018-08-21 02:09:04 GMT from Russia)
OS2_user, did you use HPFS then, JFS or, perchance, FAT?
24 • About limiting resources (by SA on 2018-08-21 08:30:45 GMT from France)
A tool that is useful in some cases: cpufrequtils
It has two commands: cpufreq-set (to run with sudo) and cpufreq-info (as normal user)
With this you can set up either a fixed frequency, either a range of frequency for your processors.
(and each core can have a different frequency "setting")
I have put it in the crontab (with "@reboot") for a laptop that did have too much 'heat'. (in summer)
Number of Comments: 24
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 188.8.131.52, 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|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
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