| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 157, 26 June 2006
Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week's issue features a first look review of Xandros Desktop 4, a new version of the commercial desktop distribution released last week. Is it worth the asking price? As always, it depends... In the news section we'll take a brief look at DrakLive, a script responsible for creating all recent builds of Mandriva One, highlight what looks like growing dissatisfaction with the state of affairs among Gentoo developers, and direct your attention to a couple of interesting links - a Creative Commons & Fedora Project competition and a desktop NetBSD guide. Finally, good news for the fans of Ruby on Rails - a new PCLinuxOS-based live CD features a complete and pre-configured Ruby on Rails development environment for the coders of database-backed web applications. Happy reading!
- News: DrakLive, Gentoo pains, Open Video Contest, desktop NetBSD, College Linux, Sabayon Linux
- First Looks: Xandros Desktop 4
- Released last week: Damn Small Linux 3.0, Puppy Linux 2.01
- Upcoming releases: NepaLinux 1.1
- Site news: Requests for Xgl, MINIX
- New distributions: Gnu-HALO, Rails Live CD, Frankie Linux, Tmxxine
- Reader comments
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
DrakLive, Gentoo pains, Open Video Contest, desktop NetBSD, College Linux, Sabayon Linux|
The development of Mandriva Linux 2007 was finally launched last week with the alpha release of Mandriva One 2007. Although it represents little more than the current Cooker snapshot and the first impressions of both the GNOME and KDE live CDs were not particularly favourable, this is to be expected from an early development release. But perhaps more interesting than the product itself is the technology behind it. Called DrakLive, this set of scripts, similar to mklivecd or Linux-Live, is responsible for all recent builds of Mandriva One. The main advantages of DrakLive are tiny "initrd" script, reliable hardware auto-detection with "harddrake", the ability to create a bootable system for USB storage devices, and read-write system with Unionfs. With DrakLive now working so well, the only problem for the Mandriva developers is how to keep the number of Mandriva One live CDs to a manageable level - with five supported language sets, each with two different desktops and for two different architectures, it's easy to see why the success of DrakLive is rapidly becoming a headache for the developers!
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Is the Gentoo Project in trouble? Recently, signs of dissatisfaction with the way things are done at Gentoo have started appearing with increasing regularity. Jochen Maes in Leaving Gentoo: "Today I resigned from my beloved project Gentoo." The author quotes lack of respect and trust from other Gentoo developers, ongoing power struggles, and frequent signs of disregarding Gentoo policies as the main reasons for his decision. Joshua Jackson in State of affairs: "...the fact that working on Gentoo has not been as much fun as it has in the past has made me consider retiring." The author also reveals that a growing number of Gentoo developers now consider leaving the project. What's going on? Are these examples just isolated incidents or is the popular source-based distribution going through the toughest period in its existence? If you are a Gentoo developer reading this page, please share your views in the forum below.
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Creative Commons and the Fedora Project have announced a video contest promoting flexible copyright, open media formats and the Fedora Project. The video submissions should be under 30 seconds and the winner will receive a Fedora-branded Sony camcorder. The first 150 entries will also get a pair of Fedora flip-flops - surely, a reason enough to enter the competition and send in your entry as soon as possible. If you have an idea for a short video promoting the above-mentioned values and projects, please visit the competition page at CreativeCommons.org for more details.
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Do you enjoy the philosophy behind NetBSD, but have found it difficult to set it up as a desktop system? If so, you might find this idea by Alexandre Vincent useful: "For those interested in some hints to install NetBSD on a desktop machine, I started a quick and dirty install guide where I put together some tips to have a nice OS to work with on a daily basis. I think it’s worth looking for a default desktop setup which will keep the NetBSD main features, key points and characteristics, while satisfying more and more users, including everyday desktop users, who just use the system for their everyday needs." The first draft of the guide is available here and the author welcomes suggestions for improvements.
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College Linux is back! According to Professor David Costa from Robert Kennedy College in Switzerland, what used to be a desktop Linux distribution based on Slackware is about to become a server live CD based on Debian: "We are just finishing alpha testing of the new release which will focus on learning how to manage your own server via a live CD. Yes, yes, I know - there are hundreds of live CDs but College Linux will be just better (or at least that's what we hope)." The revived home page of the distribution promises that the new live CD is "a fully capable PHP5, Perl and Ruby web server, pre-loaded with GEdit and Vim for editing scripts with syntax highlighting. College Linux includes tools to back up and restore your web site from a USB pen drive or from your collegelinux.org account." That's all we know for now, but expect further information and the first public release as soon as Switzerland is eliminated from the World Cup ;-)
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Finally, news about a name change of the popular RR4 and RR64 Linux, a Gentoo-based live DVD, which is approaching its first stable release. According to the project's home page, the distribution is now called Sabayon Linux: "The world's first and fastest Gentoo-powered distribution now changes its name. A change of style and unification for the RR4/RR64 Linux projects. Our mission is simple: making things that just work, using one of the most scalable operating systems." But what does Sabayon mean? "Sabayon is an Italian dessert made with egg yolks, sugar, a sweet liquor (usually Marsala wine), and sometimes cream or whole eggs. It is a very light custard, which has been whipped to incorporate a large amount of air." There you have it. A Linux distribution as a culinary delight?
Xandros Desktop 4
I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Xandros Desktop, a commercial desktop Linux distribution designed for novice users - for deployment in home and office environments. Although I tend to be critical of companies that build their commercial products from Free Software without ever releasing any of their own work under the GPL and without sponsoring any open source projects, there is something about this distribution that makes it a great introductory Linux system for those who are looking for an alternative to Windows. Xandros Desktop is a beautiful, stable and well-designed operating system with near-perfect hardware detection and many unique enhancements you won't find in any other distribution. And at US$40 for the Basic edition and US$70 for the Premium edition, it is certainly good value for money.
Xandros Desktop 4: The default desktop
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After downloading the two CDs of Xandros Desktop 4 Premium, I started out this short review by browsing their content. At first glance, the included software seemed to be somewhat less up-to-date than the software included in Xandros Desktop 3 at the time of its release, but that's because Xandros 4 is based on Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 "sarge" (or more precisely, on a Debian Core system as released by the DCC Alliance). As such, Xandros Desktop 4 ships with the Linux kernel 2.6 15, glibc 2.3.2, GCC 3.3.5, X.Org 6.9.0 and KDE 3.4.2. Additionally, many development packages, such as Autoconf and Bison, are no longer present on the installation CD, while Postfix has now replaced Exim as the preferred mail server program. Mozilla is also gone, but the Ruby programming language has been included for the first time. As usual, the system includes proprietary graphics drivers from ATI and NVIDIA.
Not much has changed in the system installer either. It still provides two ways of installing Xandros Desktop - it's either the novice-friendly "Express install", with barely any questions asked, or the "Custom install" for experts. The only noticeable change since Xandros 3 is the availability of several journaled file systems; while Xandros 3 forced users to format their root partition with ReiserFS, Xandros 4 allows them to choose a file system from a list of options that includes ext3 (default), ReiserFS and Reiser4. Unlike some other beginner-friendly operating systems on the market, Xandros Desktop requires users to set a root password and create at least one user account.
The commercial nature of Xandros Desktop became rather obvious after the first boot when the first-run wizard demanded an "activation code". The way it works is that Xandros supplies each paying customer with a 25-digit serial number, which then has to be transmitted back to Xandros after system installation to obtain the "activation code". Having used nothing but Linux and BSD operating systems for a few years, the whole procedure made me feel as if I was being thrown back some six years in time, but the intended market audience of this product is unlikely to consider this a drawback, I suppose.
Other than this little trip down the memory lane, the first-run wizard also provided options to change some of the basic configuration options (e.g. system language and time zone settings) and set up printing. It then offered to help with migrating email, calendars, address books, bookmarks, files and setting from Windows by the way of Versora Progression Desktop (included with the Premium edition only, but users of other editions can buy it separately). Since I had nothing to migrate, I couldn't test this feature, but if it works as advertised, it certainly sounds like a useful utility for the first-time Linux users wishing for a smooth transition from Windows to Linux.
Xandros Desktop 4: First Run Wizard
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It's worth noting that the system's hardware detection was flawless on this 5-year old test box. For the record, I installed Xandros Desktop 4 on a custom-built system using Intel Pentium 4 1.4 GHz, an ASUS P4T mainboard, a Matrox Millennium G450 graphics card, 384MB or RDRAM, a Realtek 8139too network card, an on-board Intel sound card, and a 17-inch generic LCD monitor by Lemel.
Once on the desktop, it's hard not to notice the philosophy behind Xandros Desktop, i.e. to create an operating system with a desktop that strongly resembles Windows - both good and bad aspects of it. As an example, clicking on the "Xandros Security Suite" icon in the system tray will launch an application front-end with options to configure various security options. The first item on the list is an anti-virus utility, proudly alerting the user to the fact that the computer "is not protected against viruses". It recommends setting up regular virus scanning and complete a system scan with the included "Xandros Anti-Virus" (which, in reality, is just a graphical front-end to the open source ClamAV). Besides the presence of anti-virus software, the structure of menus, the terminology used on the desktop, and the "Xandros File Manager" are further indications about the effort Xandros has made to turn its Linux distribution into an operating system a Windows user would feel instantly comfortable with.
Xandros Desktop 4: Xandros Security Suite
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While on the subject of the "Xandros Security Suite", it is worth noting that it has some truly useful options up its sleeves as well. One of them is "Firewall Control", off by default, but with a friendly recommendation to turn it on. There is also a "Firewall Wizard", which provides a simple interface for switching on and off services and traffic - both outgoing and incoming. Another item in the suite is called "File System Protector"; after turning it on, I was informed that my system "is checked regularly for suspicious anomalies (possibly indicating the presence of intruders' rootkits)." This feature is provided courtesy of "xas", or "Xandros Anti-Spyware", although I wasn't able to find out how exactly it works and what it does to check for rootkits.
Xandros Desktop 4: Xandros Firewall Wizard
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Another feature unique to Xandros products is "Xandros Networks", a web-based interface for managing software and for installing additional packages not available on the installation and applications media. Experienced Linux users will probably want to turn on the "Expert View" from the "Settings" menu in order to obtain more detailed information about each package and to be able to install development and other specialist software. As an example, although the GNOME desktop is not available for installation, many popular GNOME packages, such as AbiWord, Beagle, Evolution or Inkscape, can be installed from the "Expert View" interface. Besides managing software, Xandros Network also provides security and bug-fix updates, the availability of which is indicated by a flashing icon in the KDE system tray.
There is an option in the left-hand pane of Xandros Networks called "Xandros Shop". This carries a confusing mixtures of commercial software (e.g. CrossOver Office, Paragon NTFS, StarOffice), open source software available to paying members only (e.g. Inkscape, Quanta Plus) and open source software available to all for free. One interesting anomaly I discovered while experimenting with Xandros Networks was that if I selected Inkscape from the "Shop" menu, I wasn't able to download and install it, because I wasn't a Premium member, but if I turned on the "Expert view" and selected Inkscape from the "graphics" menu, I could then install it without having to become a paying member of Xandros Networks! The newly installed graphics package was even added to the KDE menu for easy access.
Xandros Desktop 4: Xandros Networks is a web-based application for installing and uninstalling software
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While on the subject of installing software, I was surprised to see that Xandros Desktop lacks a financial management package. There is no GnuCash or KMyMoney available for installation and I wasn't able to locate any other package that a Xandros Desktop user could use to track income and expenses. I thought this was a major omission of an operating system that has "Home Edition" in its name to indicate its target market.
Some of the advertised new features in Xandros Desktop 4 are "Xandros Music Manager" and "Xandros Photo Manager". After launching each, however, I was somewhat disappointed to see that these are just re-branded editions of the open source amaroK (version 1.4.0) and digiKam (version 0.8.2-beta1). Although excellent and capable applications, they are hardly unique to Xandros Desktop. On a positive note, the distribution provides out-of-the-box MP3 playback and drag-and-drop encoding, iPod compatibility, and support for a large number of digital cameras. Also included are the Skype Internet telephony software with free 30 SkypeOut calling minutes, Xandros File Manager, and the latest version of CrossOver Office. Firefox (with pre-configured Flash, Java and RealPlayer plugins) is the default browser, while Thunderbird is the preferred email client.
Xandros Desktop 4: Xandros File Manager with a Windows Explorer-like user interface
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After spending a weekend investigating the latest product from Xandros, I have mixed feelings about Xandros Desktop 4. On one hand, there are many excellent enhancements that would make a Windows convert feel right at home and a reasonably good selection of applications (despite the surprising omission of a money management package). On the other hand, it's certainly not an operating system for geeks who would likely be put off by product activation, virus warnings, and other unpleasant reminders of our computing past with that other operating system. That said, if you are looking for a Linux system for your less technically inclined parents or friends, then the US$40 Xandros Home 4 is not a bad choice. Built on Debian GNU/Linux, it's stable, intuitive, comes with excellent hardware support and a decent mixture of applications for most common computing tasks.
Xandros Desktop 4 is available for purchase (and immediate download) from Xandros Online Store.
|Released Last Week
Puppy Linux 2.01
Puppy Linux 2.01 has been released. From the release notes: "Booting from CD in a RAM-challenged PC (32 - 128M RAM) has significant performance improvement; ALSA sound has been upgraded to version 1.0.11 to recognise recent sound chips; Tcl/Tk has been upgraded to 8.5a4 and now has font antialiasing that automatically works on all Tcl/Tk GUI apps; the audio recorder/editor is now mhWaveEdit, version 1.4.8, replacing the Snack library and XS editor; Perl is upgraded to version 5.8.6 and now includes GTK modules; GPRename is a GTK-Perl application for batch file renaming...."
PC-BSD 1.11 has been released. What's new? "Updated installed ports to current versions as of 6-12-06; updated KDE to 3.5.3; removed linux-base-rh9 port from default install, allowing PBI developers to install their own; added additional video drivers to default kernel (Intel 3D, Voodoo, etc); adding users now uses the /usr/share/skel template; cleaned up fonts, uses Sans Serif family by default now; allowed users to change account icon in kdmrc; changed console resolution to 800x600; cleaned up /etc/resolv.conf; fixed IPV6 hostname in /etc/hosts." See the release announcement, release notes and changelog for further information.
Parsix GNU/Linux 0.80.1
Alan Baghumian has announced the availability of Parsix GNU/Linux 0.80.1, a bug-fix update to the earlier release of the KANOTIX-based live CD: "An updated version of Parsix GNU/Linux is available now. This version mainly fixes some reported bugs after the release of version 0.80. There are very slight package updates to fix some bugs. Fixed bugs are: Totem crash on some systems; human theme display problem on ATI chips; GNOME theme tool missing tab problem; FAT and NTFS automount during boot in live mode. We have also added SMP kernel support." Here is the full release announcement.
Grafpup Linux 1.0.4
Nathan Fisher has announced the release of Grafpup Linux 1.0.4: "It's with great pleasure that I announce the availability of Grafpup 1.0.4, in both Standard and Deluxe ISO flavors. This release marks kind of a coming of age for Grafpup, and is intended to be the final release in the 1.x series. The standard ISO contains up-to-date versions of all the best 2D graphics software and other tools for graphic designers. This should be enough to please just about anyone interested in using Linux in a publishing or design environment." More details about the new release can be found in the release announcement.
The regional government of Extremadura in Spain has announced the final release of gnuLinEx 2006, a Debian-based distribution designed for deployment in the region's government offices and schools. The new version is built on top of the Linux kernel 2.6.16, with X.Org 6.9.0 and GNOME 2.14 as the default desktop. KDE 3.5 is also available from external repositories. All packages included on the download CD are Free Software, but users who wish to install proprietary drivers and other non-free programs can do so via the AptLinex utility. One of the new features in this release is a graphical control panel for system administration. Find more information in the gnuLinEx 2006 guide (with screenshots) and in this changelog published by Barrapunto (both links in Spanish).
Damn Small Linux 3.0
Damn Small Linux 3.0, now with support for Unionfs and a new desktop theme, has been released. From the changelog: "New DSL now boots to Unionfs; new boot option 'legacy' to boot without Unionfs; moved MyDSL local extension loading functionality from emelfm to MyDSL desktop icon; new mountable MyDSL extension type unc with automatic branch management; adjust Getting Started / Dillo screen to support booting 640x480; added ACPI modules for newer power management support; New FUSE support; new sshfs support for simple remote network mounts; new theme 'A Penguin with a Hat'; new unc extension section in the MyDSL repository."
Berry Linux 0.71
Damn Small Linux 3.0 comes with an arty desktop theme
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Yuichiro Nakada has announced a new release of Berry Linux, a desktop-oriented, Fedora-based live CD with support for Japanese and English. Berry Linux 0.71 has undergone a number of package upgrades; these include Linux kernel upgrade to Kernel 22.214.171.124 with SMP, ndev/udev and bootsplash patches, GCC 4.1.1, Ndiswrapper 1.17, MPlayer 1.0pre8, Firefox and Thunderbird 126.96.36.199 (Japanese and English), Sylpheed 2.2.5 (Japanese and English), WINE 0.9.15 and SIM 0.9.4. Proprietary NVIDIA display drivers, Xgl and Compiz are also included. For more details please see the distribution's changelog.
PLD Linux Rescue CD 1.99 and 2.00
The PLD project has released a specialist text-only mini live CD based on PLD Linux: "PLD Rescue CD is a bootable disk that contains a live Linux distribution based on PLD Linux (188.8.131.52 modular kernel). Furthermore, this version uses transparent compression (SquashFS) to fit about 180 MB of software onto a single mini CD 50 MB in usable form. PLD Rescue CD can be used to rescue ailing machines, perform intrusion post-mortems, act as a temporary secure Linux-based workstation (using SSH, VPN connecting to remote host - other networking clients are also supported), install PLD Linux, and perform many other tasks that we haven't yet imagined." Visit the PLD Linux Rescue CD project page to find out more.
Michael Creel has announced the release of a new version of ParallelKnoppix. What's new? "Sync to KNOPPIX 5.0.1 CD (en); Ogg Theora screencast of setup captured with Istanbul (provided); PVM-POVRay HOWTO by Janos Tolgyesi and Mahsa Nemati; GROMACS is in /usr/local: user reports are welcome; various minor improvements and bugfixes." Also, the Linux kernel has been updated to version 2.6.17, while XFree86 has been replaced with X.Org 7.0. Here is the brief release announcement.
Xandros Desktop 4
Xandros Corporation has announced immediate availability of Xandros Desktop 4, a novice-friendly desktop Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux: "Xandros, the leading provider of easy-to-use Linux alternatives to Windows desktop and server products, today announced a new line of consumer desktop products targeting home and multimedia users: Xandros Desktop Home Edition and Xandros Desktop Home Edition - Premium." Read the official press release and visit the Xandros product pages to learn more about the new release and to see a handful of screenshots. The two editions of Xandros Desktop 4 are available for purchase (and immediate download) from the company's online store.
Ultima Linux 8.0.1
Martin Ultima has announced the release of Ultima Linux 8.0.1: "The Ultima Linux Project is pleased to announce the immediate release of Ultima Linux 8.0.1, the newest version of the popular distribution, for all x86-compatible personal computers, and hopefully our last x86-only release before version 8.1. As usual, it brings many new applications, updated packages, and not to mention important security updates! Among the updates are new versions of Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org, The GIMP, and other popular applications...." Read the release announcement and release notes for a detailed list of changes.
STUX GNU/Linux 0.9.1
A bug-fix version of STUX GNU/Linux has been released - just four days after the developers of the Slackware-based live CD released version 0.9. What's new? "Removed automatic configuration for NVIDIA video cards. Autoconfiguration caused problems for some models of NVIDIA video cards. Now, to load NVIDIA official drivers, you have to explicitly use the boot option 'nvidia'. Updated kicker sidebar image that was forgotten reporting STUX version 0.7. Removed some directories from the root folder." Visit the STUX news page to find a more detailed list of features and the most recent changelog.
GeeXboX 1.0 has been released: "After more than 3 years of perpetual development, GeeXboX finally reaches its long awaited 1.0 release. The most noticeable thing probably is the support for DVD menus; this feature that had been requested so many times by so many people and that was unfortunately missing from MPlayer is now part of GeeXboX. Also, a lot of work has been done on the playback of network streams from SHOUTcast WebRadios, WebTVs or even RTP/RTSP streaming so that you should now be able to easily watch any kind of network or broadcasted stream from your GeeXboX media center." Read the release announcement to learn about all the new features in this media-oriented Linux distribution.
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Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The NepaLinux has published a tentative release plan for the upcoming versions 1.1 and 2.0: "In September 2006, NepaLinux 1.1 and later in January - February 2007, NepaLinux 2.0 are being planned for release. While the NepaLinux 1.1 would be a relatively bug-free version of the existing NepaLinux 1.0, we plan to include more new features and applications in NepaLinux 2.0. In every new release, we would be focussing on making the administration part of NepaLinux, i.e. installation and troubleshooting as simple as possible." Visit the project's home page for full details.
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Summary of expected upcoming releases
Requests for Xgl and MINIX|
As reported over the past two weeks, the database of tracked packages on DistroWatch has been updated. The site now tracks a total of 194 packages on each distribution-specific page; to see them all, remember to select the "All tracked packages" radio button and hit "Refresh" from the section just above tables. One package that was often requested but was eventually turned down was Xgl. Although we agree that the functionality this package provides has promising future and it would be nice to see which distribution are on the fore-front of 3D desktop Linux enhancements, the fact remains that Xgl is still an immature product at this time. In fact, there hasn't even been an official release, so there is no "version" to track, and those developers who wish to include Xgl functionality in their distribution have to obtain the sources directly from a subversion repository. Let's hope that Xgl will mature during the next few months and that we will be able to add it to the list of tracked packages during the next update in June 2007.
Last week DistroWatch received an email from Andy Tanenbaum, the founder and lead developer of MINIX. As many of our readers are likely to know, MINIX is an independently developed free operating system whose main characteristic is small size and modularity, thus making it suitable for deployment on embedded devices and older computers. Andy Tanenbaum has asked us to include MINIX on DistroWatch, as an interesting alternative to Linux and BSD systems. What do our readers think? If you'd like to see MINIX listed on the site and monitored in the same way as Linux and BSD operating systems, please let us know in the discussion forum below.
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Frankie Linux. Frankie Linux Frankie is a Slackware-based live CD containing the Linux desktop operating system for PC. Lots of useful applications are included.
- Gnu-HALO. The Gnu-HALO Project is an experimental Linux distribution that takes some new and some old-but-rarely-used ideas regarding operating system layout, user interface design and system security and puts them all together in one package. The live CD is built from SLAX using Unionfs and SquashFS. With the intent of being more of an operating system than another Linux distribution, Gnu-HALO will include standardized core libraries and base the desktop environment on KDE for broadest support.
- Rails Live CD. Rails Live CD is a live CD distribution based on PCLinuxOS and featuring the Ruby on Rails development environment.
- Tmxxine. Tmxxine is a new Linux distribution dedicated to the development of open source time travel. Based on Puppy Linux, it features voice synthesis, Xara Vector Drawing, Audacity, NVU, Java, 007 Blowfish single file encryption, JWM and XFce Window managers.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
That's all for today. The next issue of DistroWatch Weekly will be published on Monday, 3 July 2006. See you then :-)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• 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.
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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.