| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 681, 3 October 2016
Welcome to this year's 40th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
A lot of the open source community focuses on features and some distributions strive for stability, but few make security and documentation top priorities. This week we turn our attention toward OpenBSD. The OpenBSD operating system has a well deserved reputation for security and for producing accurate documentation. Our Feature Story this week explores how to set up OpenBSD and how well OpenBSD works as a desktop operating system. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss a deal which some claim will wed HPE and SUSE and what this deal's impact might be on openSUSE. In the news last week DragonFly BSD improved support for alternative SSL libraries in the project's port collection and a serious bug was found in systemd which affects many Linux distributions. We also share an upgrade for the Mintbox Mini computer, warn eager FreeBSD users not to install early builds of version 11.0 and say a sad farewell to Debian contributor Kristoffer Rose. Plus we share the distribution releases of the past week and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. In this week's Opinion Poll we explore which flavours of BSD are the most popular. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (22MB) and MP3 (32MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
OpenBSD 6.0 - an exercise in precision
The OpenBSD project is well known for its strong focus on security and for its precise documentation. The OpenBSD operating system generally gives preference to security and properly behaving software over features. OpenBSD is lightweight, sparse and relatively locked down by default. This makes the platform particularly popular among administrators who need a firewall or other minimal and stable platform.
OpenBSD 6.0 introduces many small changes and a handful of important ones. Looking through the release notes we find support for the VAX platform has been dropped. There have been several security updates to the OpenSSH secure shell service. Perhaps one of the more interesting security features in the operating system is strict enforcement of W^X: "W^X is now strictly enforced by default; a program can only violate it if the executable is marked with PT_OPENBSD_WXNEEDED and is located on a file system mounted with the wxallowed mount option. Because there are still too many ports which violate W^X, the installer mounts the /usr/local file system with wxallowed. This allows the base system to be more secure as long as /usr/local is a separate file system. If you use no W^X violating programs, consider manually revoking that option."
I decided to play with the 64-bit x86 build of OpenBSD which is 226MB in size. Booting from this ISO presents us with a text console where we are asked if we would like to install OpenBSD, upgrade an existing copy of the operating system or perform an auto-install. I chose to perform a normal installation.
At first, OpenBSD's system installer can seem a bit intimidating. It uses a text interface and will ask us a bunch of technical questions and this can put off newcomers. However, there are two nice aspects of OpenBSD's installer. One is that the installer almost always provides a sane default for us to use. This allows people to simply press Enter at most prompts. One of the few times we cannot get by simply pressing Enter is when we provide a password for our account. Otherwise we can fly through the installation process more or less on autopilot. The other nice feature is OpenBSD's installer is fast. We can get through the prompts in a minute and the copying of package files only takes a few minutes more. Even on older computers, a fresh installation of OpenBSD is likely to take less than ten minutes.
The installer walks us through choosing a keyboard layout, configuring the network, creating a root password and (optionally) creating a regular user account. We also have some choices to make regarding packages. The installer lets us decide whether we want to install graphical software and a window manager. We can also pick whether to install console games and documentation. I decided to install just about everything and enabled the graphical environment. Partitioning can be set up for us or we can manually divide up the disk. By default, OpenBSD creates many smaller partitions for /usr/local, /var, /tmp and the X11 display software as well as swap and /home partitions. While there are some security benefits to more fine-grained partitions, many people will probably prefer to set up a root partition and two more for /home and swap, assigning more space to each mount point. When the installer finishes setting up the operating system we are asked to reboot the computer.
OpenBSD boots to a graphical login screen where the user can sign into their account. OpenBSD, by default, uses a fairly minimal graphical environment. Upon signing in a virtual terminal opens on a blank background. A grid in the bottom-right corner of the screen shows the available virtual workspaces.
Apart from the window manager, OpenBSD is fairly minimal. We have access to the usual collection of Unix/Unix-like command line utilities, detailed manual pages and a package manager (pkg_add). Other tools, such as a minimal web server, the doas privilege assignment utility and the PF firewall are available too. With all of the base components installed, OpenBSD can still squeeze into a file system about 1GB in size.
OpenBSD 6.0 -- Installing packages from the command line
(full image size: 827kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
Most people, at least those like me who like to run desktop environments, will want to add additional software to the operating system. OpenBSD offers users a large collection of third-party ports and, for popular architectures, pre-built binary packages are also available. The pkg_add command line package manager requires that we select a package mirror before we can install new software. The OpenBSD website provides documentation which explains how to set a mirror using an environment variable. Once we have selected a mirror, pkg_add will install packages for us and resolve any dependencies automatically.
I decided to set up my usual collection of desktop applications, installing such extras as Firefox, the GNU Image Manipulation Program and LibreOffice. I also wanted a fuller desktop experience and installed Lumina, a Qt-based desktop environment with minimal dependencies. With OpenBSD's default configuration, the graphical login screen does not present the user with available desktop session options the way most Linux distributions do. Instead, each user can list their preferred desktop environment in their ~/.xsession file. I found the Lumina desktop, along with the other packages I wanted, installed and functioned without any problems. The only package I wanted and was unable to find was the Qupzilla web browser.
OpenBSD 6.0 -- Running the Firefox web browser
(full image size: 321kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
Soon, I had a comfortable desktop environment. I was able to work on documents, check e-mail, browse the web and watch YouTube videos via Firefox's HTML5 support. For people who need Flash support, the GNU Flash implementation, called Gnash, is available in OpenBSD's repositories. When the Gnash plugin is installed, Firefox automatically detects it and uses it to play Flash content.
I found the Lumina desktop components had changed a bit since the last time I used Lumina as part of a review. The configuration panel has been divided up differently and there appears to be more fine-grained control provided by the configuration modules. I also found the keyboard short-cut keys and settings were saved and utilized more reliably. The lightweight Lumina desktop (version 0.9.0) running on the minimal OpenBSD operating system provided a very responsive environment which required a mere 170 MB of memory.
OpenBSD 6.0 -- Running the Lumina desktop
(full image size: 925kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
OpenBSD switched last year from using the popular sudo privilege assignment software to using the project's custom doas utility. The doas software has a simplified syntax and features less code than sudo. The functions of the two commands are similar, but I find configuring doas to be more straightforward and it involves less cryptic configuration files. While doas is available by default on OpenBSD, the utility rejects all attempts to use doas until a configuration file has been created by the root user. This prevents new users from accidentally getting more access than they should been assigned.
I attempted to run OpenBSD on my laptop and in a VirtualBox environment. I found the operating system performed quite well in VirtualBox. The system booted in a few seconds, the base operating system and its applications were stable. The system performed well and used less than 200MB of memory. OpenBSD did not boot on my laptop computer. I have heard OpenBSD tends to do well with laptop hardware, particularly wireless networking cards, but was unable to verify the operating system's reputation.
OpenBSD 6.0 -- Testing the Gnash plugin on Flash content
(full image size: 176kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
OpenBSD is a project I think is great for firewalls and, in many situations, servers. However, I have been reluctant in the past to recommend (or even use) OpenBSD as a desktop operating system. OpenBSD is, out of the box, fairly minimal and, like do-it-yourself Linux distributions such as Arch Linux, it can take some time to get OpenBSD set up the way I want it. Desktop environments and most graphical applications are added to the system post-installation and even the package manager needs to be pointed at the proper mirror; it doesn't work without being configured.
That being said, there are several aspects of OpenBSD which can make it an appealing desktop system. The initial installation of OpenBSD happens very quickly, taking just a few minutes, and most of my set up time this week was spent just downloading third-party applications. OpenBSD defaults to secure configurations, locking things down. As an example, my regular user account was not able to shutdown the system while logged into Lumina with the default settings. Access to perform most tasks must be explicitly granted. This may be inconvenient at times, especially on a single-user system, but it does mean OpenBSD protects us with its default settings, so a user really needs to go out of their way to break things.
OpenBSD has very basic package management and security updates are often applied manually. There are third-party repositories that can be used to automate security updates, but I do not think they are officially supported at this time.
What I really like about OpenBSD though is its performance. The system is very light, runs on older equipment and on a wide range of architectures. The system requires relatively little disk space (the base system, Lumina and my applications totalled about 2GB in size) and only a few hundred megabytes of memory. This makes OpenBSD quite appealing for people running older equipment.
OpenBSD can be intimating with its do-it-yourself approach, but once one becomes familiar with the system, the user is rewarded with a very simple, consistent and well documented working environment.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a de-branded HP laptop with the following
- Processor: Intel i3 2.5GHz CPU
- Display: Intel integrated video
- Storage: Western Digital 700GB hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Wired network device: Realtek RTL8101E/RTL8102E PCI Express Fast
- Wireless network device: Realtek RTL8188EE Wireless network card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
DragonFly BSD builds dports with LibreSSL, a systemd denial of service bug, the Mintbox Mini, FreeBSD 11.0 delayed and Debian says good-bye to Kristoffer Rose
LibreSSL is a fork of the OpenSSL security and encryption library which was started by the OpenBSD developers. Many projects are switching to using LibreSSL due to proactive security audits and the removal of legacy code from the library. The DragonFly BSD project has already adopted LibreSSL into the base system and is introducing support for LibreSSL in the project's ports system. In a post on DragonFly BSD Digest Justin Sherrill shared this news: "It's now possible to build dports using LibreSSL instead of OpenSSL. Set SSL_DEFAULT in make.conf to the appropriate port name, and start building. Use synth for fastest results, of course. LibreSSL will eventually become the default library. This is in addition to the previously-mentioned, already-completed in DragonFly 4.7, base system switch to LibreSSL." Details and documentation for the supported SSL libraries can be found in John Marino's mailing list post.
* * * * *
The systemd software has made its way into most mainstream Linux distributions, replacing SysV init and Upstart. The systemd software is responsible for, among other things, setting up most Linux distributions at boot time, managing background services and cleanly shutting down the machine. Last week a bug was found which allows any user to crash systemd using a one-line command. This effectively acts as a denial of service attack, affecting systemd, but leaving the rest of the system running. Most distributions running systemd have published patches and the issue has been fixed in the upstream systemd code. While the bug was quickly fixed, its existence fuelled the fires of the systemd controversy on many message boards and raised concerns about systemd's complexity.
* * * * *
The Mintbox Mini is a small, fan-less computer that runs the Linux Mint operating system. The Mintbox has received an upgrade and is currently available in two editions: Mintbox Mini and Mintbox Mini Pro. "This new unit also features better passive cooling thanks to an all-metal black housing. It has an extra USB port (for a total of 2 USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports) and we also spotted powered eSATA and a microSIM slot. Production started and Compulab started to take orders." Specifications are available on the Linux Mint blog.
* * * * *
While many people discovered and downloaded early builds of FreeBSD 11.0, Glen Barber warns FreeBSD users that they should hold off on installing version 11.0 until the official release announcement. The installation media which appeared on the download mirrors several days ago contained bugs and, as a result, the FreeBSD project is rebuilding their installation media for version 11.0. "Although the FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE has not yet been officially announced, many have found images on the Project FTP mirrors. However, please be aware the final 11.0-RELEASE will be rebuilt and republished on the Project mirrors as a result of a few last-minute security fixes we feel are imperative to include in the final release." People who have prematurely installed version 11.0 will be able to install security fixes once the final release has been announced.
* * * * *
The Debian project had to say good-bye to contributor Kristoffer H. Rose when the team learned Rose has passed away in mid-September. The Debian project reported: "The Debian Project recently learned that it has lost a member of its community. Kristoffer H. Rose died on September 17th after a long battle with myelo fibrosis. Kristoffer was a Debian contributor from the very early days of the project, and the upstream author of several packages that are still in the Debian archive nowadays, such as the LaTeX package Xy-pic and FlexML. On his return to the project after several years' absence, many of us had the pleasure of meeting Kristoffer during DebConf15 in Heidelberg." We would like to offer our thanks to Rose for his many contributions to open source and our condolences to his family and friends.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Was openSUSE just purchased?
Going-green asks: I have heard that openSUSE has been purchased by HP. What will this mean for openSUSE and does it mean we are likely to see HP offer better Linux support?
DistroWatch answers: A few weeks ago there were rumours, largely due to this ZDNet article, that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) had purchased SUSE and would therefore own SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) and openSUSE. There was some speculation as to what this might mean for openSUSE users and how this would benefit people running SLE on HP equipment.
The rumours were less fact than fiction though. The SUSE Blog published a post last week, clarifying the situation. As it turns out, while HPE is working out a deal with SUSE's parent company, Micro Focus, the deal will not result in HPE owning or controlling SUSE. "HPE would not be acquiring Micro Focus or SUSE with this proposed transaction. SUSE ownership would be unchanged. SUSE would remain a business within the Micro Focus company and Micro Focus will remain independent of HPE. SUSE would not be owned in any way or controlled by HPE. SUSE would obviously continue to be a key part of the new, larger Micro Focus organization just as it is a key part of Micro Focus today. So no change there, either. And the SUSE leadership team, business strategy and goals all remain unchanged and completely focused on continuing to deliver and support the enterprise-grade open source solutions."
There is some talk about SUSE and HPE working on mutually beneficial deals for OpenStack deployments, which will help customers of either organization with their cloud-based services. However, it looks as though the openSUSE distribution will remain unaffected by the deal between HPE and Micro Focus. For those of us not running our own cloud services, it will be business as usual.
* * * * *
For more questions and answers, visit our Questions and Answers archive.
Bittorrent is a great way to transfer large files, particularly open source operating system images, from one place to another. Most bittorrent clients recover from dropped connections automatically, check the integrity of files and can re-download corrupted bits of data without starting a download over from scratch. These characteristics make bittorrent well suited for distributing open source operating systems, particularly to regions where Internet connections are slow or unstable.
Many Linux and BSD projects offer bittorrent as a download option, partly for the reasons listed above and partly because bittorrent's peer-to-peer nature takes some of the strain off the project's servers. However, some projects do not offer bittorrent as a download option. There can be several reasons for excluding bittorrent as an option. Some projects do not have enough time or volunteers, some may be restricted by their web host provider's terms of service. Whatever the reason, the lack of a bittorrent option puts more strain on a distribution's bandwidth and may prevent some people from downloading their preferred open source operating system.
With this in mind, DistroWatch plans to give back to the open source community by hosting and seeding bittorrent files. For now, we are hosting a small number of distribution torrents, listed below. The list of torrents offered will be updated each week and we invite readers to e-mail us with suggestions as to which distributions we should be hosting. When you message us, please place the word "Torrent" in the subject line, make sure to include a link to the ISO file you want us to seed. To help us maintain and grow this free service, please consider making a donation.
The table below provides a list of torrents we currently host. If you do not currently 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 here. All torrents we make available here are also listed on the very useful Linux Tracker website. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 242
- Total data uploaded: 45.0TB
|Released Last Week
Promox 4.3 "Virtual Environment"
Proxmox "Virtual Environment" (VE) is a Debian-based platform for running and managing virtual appliances, containers and virtual machines. The latest version of the distribution, Promox 4.3 "Virtual Environment", includes a number of upgrades to the project's documentation and improvements to the graphical interface. "The new reference documentation is created like the former Proxmox technical documentation: man pages are auto-generated based on the code, help content itself is written by the developers via comments in the code. Then for generating the docu the Proxmox VE project uses asciiDoc. To participate in the documentation project users can send a patch to the open source project for proposing new content. The former documentation, the Proxmox VE wiki, stays public, links to the reference documentation, and hosts all the how-tos, use cases, etc. The updated vertical GUI structure is one of the main advancements made to the GUI of Proxmox VE 4.3. Proxmox developers re-arranged some of the horizontal menus in the GUI framework Sencha ext JS 6 introduced with Proxmox version 4.2 and they are now vertical. This structure also allowed the Proxmox developers to build groups, add icons, and optimize the logical navigation structure. The flat design of the sencha theme made this step essential as menus weren’t very well recognizable. The vertical structure now shows every menu in a single line." Further information is available in the project's release announcement.
The Chapeau project develops a Fedora-based distribution which includes software not permitted under Fedora's licensing policies. Chapeau also strives to present users with a more beginner-friendly desktop environment and applications. The Chapeau project has released a new version, Chapeau 24, which is derived from Fedora 24 "Workstation" and features the GNOME 3.20 desktop environment. Chapeau 24 also provides support for the WINE compatibility software for running Windows applications, Steam, DVD playback and LibreOffice 5. "Compared to Chapeau 23 the following custom features have changed in Chapeau 24: Transmission is bundled as the default torrent client. nmap now included by default. Includes 5 more lightweight games: Chess, Mines, Reversi, Neverball & Neverputt. Moving on from 23, Wayland is no longer explicitly disabled in GDM's config. More Chapeau wallpapers." Additional features and known issues can be found in the project's release announcement.
Chapeau 24 -- Running the GNOME desktop
(full image size: 1.0MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Qubes OS 3.2
Joanna Rutkowska has announced the release of Qubes OS 3.2, a new stable release of the Fedora-based desktop Linux distribution whose main concept is "security by isolation" by using domains implemented as lightweight Xen virtual machines. From the release announcement: "I'm happy to announce that today we're releasing Qubes OS 3.2. This is an incremental improvement over the 3.1 version that we released earlier this year. A lot of work went into making this release more polished, more stable and easier to use than our previous releases. One major feature that we've improved upon in this release is our integrated management infrastructure, which was introduced in Qubes 3.1. Whereas before it was only possible to manage whole VMs, it is now possible to manage the insides of VMs as well. The principal challenge we faced was how to allow such a tight integration of the management engine software (for which we use Salt) with potentially untrusted VMs without opening a large attack surface on the (complex) management code."
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
What is your preferred BSD?
This week we reviewed OpenBSD and welcomed a new release of FreeBSD as FreeBSD 11.0 was launched. To mark these occasions, one of our readers asked if we would run a poll asking which flavour of BSD our visitors use most. While the BSDs generally attract less attention than GNU/Linux distributions, they are widely used in many different environments. If you are currently running one of the BSDs on a desktop, server or firewall, which one do you use most?
You can see the results of our previous poll on where people run Linux here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
What is your preferred BSD?
|DragonFlyBSD: ||56 (3%)|
| FreeBSD: ||408 (24%)|
| NetBSD: ||60 (4%)|
| OpenBSD: ||242 (14%)|
| pfSense: ||58 (3%)|
| Debian GNU/kFreeBSD: ||20 (1%)|
| Other FreeBSD-based: ||117 (7%)|
| Other OpenBSD-based: ||4 (0%)|
| Other NetBSD-based: ||0 (0%)|
| Other BSD flavour: ||31 (2%)|
| I do not run any of the BSDs: ||688 (41%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- Subgraph OS. Subgraph OS is a security-focused operating system. Subgraph OS integrates with the Tor network for anonymous web browsing and offers encrypted chat and e-mail features.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 10 October 2016. 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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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.
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U-lite (formerly Ubuntulite) was a light-weight distribution, based on Ubuntu, designed to run comfortably on old and low-resource computers. It comes with a careful selection of applications, such LXDE (featuring the Openbox window manager), Kazehakase web browser, Sylpheed mail client, AbiWord word processor and Gnumeric spreadsheet. Unlike most light-weight distributions, U-lite strives to provide a complete user experience out of the box.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Questions and answers: Why is Debian "out-of-date"?|
|Tips and tricks: Play nicely, drop secure shell sessions cleanly, check init's name|
|Tips and tricks: Limiting resource usage|
|Tips and tricks: Verifying ISO images|
|Tips and tricks: Shell switching, battery charge, getting the system's IP address and dealing with stubborn processes|
|Tips and tricks: Copying columns of text, organizing files, creating torrents|
|Questions and answers: Blocking applications at the firewall|
|Tips and tricks: Command line weather, ionice, rename files, video preview snapshot, calednar, ls colour settings|
|Myths and misunderstandings: Wayland, Xorg and Mir|
|Tips and tricks: Reverting to older kernel under Ubuntu|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|