| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 392, 14 February 2011
Welcome to this year's 7th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Perhaps the biggest -- and the most underreported -- Linux story of the week was the release of Oracle Linux 6. This is the first (and currently the only) free "clone" of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 which was officially published in November last year and which has yet to be "cloned" by the specialists on the market - the CentOS project, or any other distributions with similar goals. Read the news section below for more information about Oracle's latest attack on Red Hat's market share. In other news, scepticism about MeeGo's future rages on while the project publishes a development roadmap, PCLinuxOS hits a new low following major repository problems, and Mageia developers hint at the first official release of the distribution in June this year. The feature story of this week's issue is a first-look review of Sabayon Linux 5.5, while the Questions and Answers section deals with improving performance by compiling applications from source code. Finally, don't miss your chance to comment on the website's switch to the Ubuntu font. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A look at Sabayon Linux 5.5|
Sabayon Linux is a distribution based on the popular source-based Gentoo project. Sabayon takes source packages from Gentoo's repositories, builds them into binary packages and puts them together in various editions, such as KDE, GNOME & Gaming. The Sabayon distro is a rolling release, meaning that the available software is always updating, always staying on the bleeding edge and, ideally, the user won't have to hop from one stable release to the next. One of the first things I noticed while on the Sabayon website is that it's dark, an observation quickly followed by noting the site has quite a mixture of large and small fonts of various colours. Parts of the site remind me of a house decorated in Christmas lights at night. A third observation is that Sabayon has a lot of tag lines, "open your source open your mind" being a nice one. Another is, "the cutest, free Operating System" and a third, "as easy as an abacus, as fast as a segway". These, along with some other statements on the site, led me to believe the writer isn't a fluent English speaker, or perhaps isn't familiar with segways.
At any rate, I grabbed the KDE edition of Sabayon 5.5, an ISO which weighs in at 2 GB, and got to work. Right away it is apparent that Sabayon embraces the Choice aspect of free & open source software. The live DVD offers several boot options, including a KDE 4.5 environment, a media center and a KDE desktop for netbook machines. There is also a media center for netbooks and both graphical and text-based installer options. It's a full boot menu.
The KDE environment is fairly standard. We get a dark blue background, the usual KDE menu and some icons for accessing help, launching the installer and sending donations to the Sabayon project. Nothing jumped out at me as being different from any other KDE live disc. The netbook version of KDE (as presented at the boot menu) is the same with a slightly different screen resolution suited for a netbook's dimensions. The media center option I found interesting. As the name implies, we get an appliance-style layout instead of a general-purpose desktop. The media center gives us an intuitive and simple way to play music & videos and view pictures. There is also a weather station page in the media center where we can monitor the weather in several locations. The layout is nice and the graphics are appealing. Running from the live disc I found the media center to be sluggish. I suspect this is partly due to my relatively low-end video card and partly because the center is running from a live disc. One of the options on the DVD's boot menu is labelled "Start Sabayon w/o boot music". I wasn't sure why this would be a desired feature until I logged into the default graphical environment. While KDE is loading the system plays a song, not a short tune, but a full-length song to let us know the sound system is working.
Sabayon Linux 5.5 - the installer and desktop widgets
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The Sabayon installer is Anaconda, the same installer used by the Fedora project, so I won't spend much time on it here. It's a solid and, I've found, capable installer and I encountered no problems setting up the system. One difference I noticed while installing Sabayon, compared to installing Fedora, is the installer asked me to create a user account before it started copying files to the hard drive, rather than during the operating system's first boot. In fact, Sabayon doesn't go through any configuration during the first boot, everything of that nature is handled at install time.
Given the size of Sabayon's installation disc, it's no surprise the distribution plops 4.5 GB of data down on the hard drive. This gives us a good collection of software, including Firefox 3.6.13, some instant messaging clients, OpenOffice, KOrganizer, a document viewer and image viewer. Additionally we get the VLC multimedia player, the Clementine music player, a CD player, and a disc burner. In an unusual move, Sabayon supplies us with graphical PPP clients (in both GNOME and KDE flavours) and a copy of Firewall Builder. There's a group of small KDE games to pass the time and the usual desktop configuration tools. In the background we find Java, the GNU Compiler Collection, a Flash plugin and codecs for playing most popular multimedia formats. For people who need to make use of applications written for Windows, Sabayon provides WINE in the default install.
Adding, removing or updating software on Sabayon is a bit of a mixed experience. For starters, the system refers to its graphical package manager by different names, depending on where you are. For example, clicking on the system tray update notification icon gives us the option to launch the generic-sounding "Package Manager". However, the desktop icon is called Sulfer and the package manager, once launched, calls itself "Entropy Store". All links lead us to the same place, a small window with a bar of buttons across the top, a large text box in the middle and some buttons along the bottom. The buttons at the top of the page give us the ability to refresh our package list from the Sabayon mirrors, see pending actions and search for items by name. In the text area we see a list of available packages with an action icon (such as install/remove) next to each item. We're given the name of each package, a description, and a rating. There is also a number provided for each package, but I'm not certain of what the number represents. Perhaps it tracks how many downloads or votes each package has?
At the bottom of the page is a Commit button to kick off pending actions. Sulfer (or the Entropy Store) is functional, but I have two complaints. The first is that the GUI is slow to respond. The time between clicking on a button and the visible reaction from the GUI was typically three or four seconds on my machines. This makes searching for items, scrolling or selecting several items for an action terribly slow. A quick check showed the package manager was using around 50% of my CPU while sitting idle. Similarly, the update notification app would generally use around 15% of my CPU at login time and run for several minutes. My other complaint was with the appearance. The package manager uses the same multicoloured, small-font approach as the project's website and it feels like the developers are trying to squeeze too much into the kaleidoscoped space. The GUI did have points in its favour. During downloads the user is shown plenty of progress information, including over-all progress, download speeds, and which package is being fetched. An addition I liked was a button to skip to the next available mirror in case our default server is slow or stalled.
Sabayon Linux 5.5 - the package manager
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I started my experiment with Sabayon on my desktop machine (2.5 Ghz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card). The distro properly set up my screen resolution and most basic functionality was there post-install. Unfortunately sound didn't work out of the box and took some tweaking to get up and running. Performance was generally sluggish, even with desktop effects turned off. There always seemed to be a small delay between mouse & keyboard input and a corresponding response from the system. Moving over to my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) performance was much better. With or without desktop effects turned on the system was immediately responsive. My screen resolution was handled well and audio worked from the start. By default the touchpad worked, but did not handle taps as clicks -- this behaviour can be easily activated in the KDE System Settings panel. On the laptop my Intel wireless card was not recognized. I tried running Sabayon in a VirtualBox virtual machine using my laptop as the host and Sabayon worked there fairly well, but, as with my desktop machine, interface responsiveness suffered. While the distro will boot and login with 512 MB of RAM, I wouldn't recommend trying to run Sabayon with less than 1 GB of memory available.
No system is without problems and while running Sabayon I encountered a few. Performance, as I've mentioned above, was a problem on its own. A bug I stumbled into early on came from, apparently, logging out. At one point I had logged in, disabled desktop effects and logged out, planning to log back in again to make sure the "desktop effects temporarily disabled" pop-up wouldn't reappear. Instead, upon logging out, the system crashed. Not just X, but the underlying system became unresponsive. After I powered off the machine I found Sabayon would no longer boot. The system would crash immediately after the boot loader screen and the recovery console didn't do any better. I grabbed the Sabayon DVD, re-installed and went through the same steps, but was unable to recreate the crash. Another glitch I ran into a few times was at some logins a KDE folder view widget would appear on the desktop, showing me the icons in my desktop folder. This transparent folder view would usually appear directly over my desktop icons, making a mess of the desktop. The folder view wasn't consistent and would appear on every second or third login.
Sabayon Linux 5.5 - building a firewall
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After using Sabayon for the past five days I'm not quite sure of what to make of the distribution. There are some aspects of the project I very much enjoy. For instance, I like the many options provided on the DVD at boot time, making the live disc very flexible. There is a good compilation of software provided out of the box. I like that Fluxbox is offered as a possible session on the login screen for people who want a lighter environment and, though I don't use them myself, I like seeing the PPP clients available in the application menu. Items I wanted were easy to find, there's a handy update notification app next to the clock to help keep users secure and I didn't find unwanted network services running.
On a completely subjective note, I appreciated Sabayon's slightly dark theme. Many designers seem to want to paint everything white or shiny and I find the darker shades easier to look at for long periods of time. On the flip side I ran into a handful of issues. Hardware being an important one, with audio not working properly on my desktop machine and wireless not working on my laptop. Performance on the desktop machine was poor and, on both computers, using the package manager was tedious. The crash I experienced on my first install and the way the folder view widget kept reappearing every few logins makes me think Sabayon 5.5 could have benefited from more testing before being released. There are a lot of options and editions available from the Sabayon project and I think the price is some overlooked bugs. If you have a modern machine, want a lot of options and don't mind a rolling release that stays on the cutting edge, Sabayon might very well be for you.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Oracle releases free RHEL 6 clone, MeeGo's future in doubt, PCLinuxOS has a bad day at office, Mageia interview
Ah, the cheeky Linux devs at Oracle! While the world eagerly awaits the release of CentOS 6 and Scientific Linux 6, the two most popular free Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clones, Oracle Corporation quietly releases Oracle Linux 6! This came late on Friday night California time, so there is no mention of the release (at the time of writing) in the company's usual press release channels and the only places this has been announced is the Oracle Linux blog (see the above link) and this mailing list post. Also, it is no longer called "Oracle Enterprise Linux", just "Oracle Linux". Meanwhile, the above blog post also claims that "Oracle Linux 6 is free to download, install and use," which effectively makes the distribution a free RHEL clone, with the shortest release delay from the upstream vendor. Naturally, given the traditional Linux users' distrust of large corporations in general and Oracle in particular, a large-scale migration from CentOS to Oracle is unlikely. Nevertheless, this is an interesting move and if you read the Oracle Linux blog, you will certainly notice that the company employs some highly-skilled and passionate Linux developers who seem to operate fairly independently of Oracle's corporate structures. So, if you are tired of waiting for CentOS 6, do give Oracle Linux 6 a try - chances are that you will be pleased with the product.
Oracle Linux 6 - another free Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone?
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One Linux distribution that did get into the headlines last week was MeeGo, an Intel/Nokia project that promises to bring Linux to all sorts of mobile devices, including netbooks. But the news headlines were conflicting. While some called the readers' attention to the project's updated roadmap (with MeeGo 1.2 scheduled for April and MeeGo 1.3 for October 2011), others, like this article by ITWriting, claim that MeeGo is a "NoGo": "A sad post yesterday from MeeGo contributor Andrew Wafaa suggests that MeeGo on netbooks may no longer happen: 'Basically by all accounts MeeGo is stopping all work on the Netbook UX. Yup, all our hard work is now almost for nothing :-(.'" The H Open Source also covers the story, quoting a leaked memo from Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop: "'We thought MeeGo would be a platform for winning high-end smartphones. However, at this rate, by the end of 2011, we might have only one MeeGo product in the market.'" The story continues: "Earlier reports had noted the temporary closure of the MeeGo themed branch of Qt. If development on the Notebook and Handset UX's has been halted, it would leave only the IVI (in-vehicle infotainment) and Connected TV UX in active development."
Despite all the negativity surrounding the project, Linux.com has put out an excellent article entitled "Getting Started with MeeGo": "The MeeGo project is about to celebrate its first birthday, but there may still be Linux and open source developers who aren't quite sure how it relates to other Linux-based distributions for tablets, netbooks, or phones - like Android, Chrome OS, or the netbook remixes of popular desktop distros. MeeGo takes a different approach, aiming to be a vendor-neutral Linux platform for a variety of devices. If you're a developer, that is a key distinction, because it means it is easier to get started writing or porting apps to MeeGo, even digging in to the platform itself. At its essence, MeeGo is a collaboratively-developed Linux OS designed for use on non-PC consumer computing devices. That means MeeGo is not intended to run on typical desktop systems or servers, which are already well-served by existing distros. But it is meant to replace the roll-your-own approach taken by most consumer electronics OEMs that want to build a product around Linux."
MeeGo 1.1 - the current stable release with a user-centric interface and support for many netbooks
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Maintaining a Linux distribution may bring some glory to the creator, but it is inevitable that, at some point, the fatigue, infrastructure problems, or one or two nasty remarks on a public forum, may lead to wanting to abandon the project. This was the case of PCLinuxOS' Bill Reynolds who showed such negative thinking last week. Susan Linton reports in "Is PCLinuxOS on the Ropes?": "A labor of love is how lead developer Bill 'Texstar' Reynolds once described his work on PCLinuxOS. But a recent exclamation by Reynolds could lead one to speculate that PCLinuxOS may be on the ropes. In response to repository hosting issues of the last two weeks, Reynolds said this morning, 'This distro is becoming a major pain in the ass.' This latest problem that arose week before last started when the primary PCLinuxOS repository host, ibiblio.org, decided to move. Until the move was completed, there would be no new updates. Notices were posted, but users were impatient and many didn't see the notice, so emails flooded the developers' inboxes. Uploads finally became possible, but rsyncing to other mirrors wasn't working. After a few emails back and forth, the ibiblio.org issue was resolved and mirrors began catching up with the updates. Everything was looking good when out of nowhere came the email saying that the host for the PASS repository is restructuring and Reynolds should find a new home for it."
* * * * *
Finally, a quick link to an interview with Mageia developer Romain d'Alverny as published by Muktware (including a hint about the possible date of the first official release): "Confidence is already here and Mageia grows out of it today. From the 17 people that triggered the fork, about 600 people volunteered to contribute, about 50+ of them are very active to this day, more than 150 people and several companies support us upfront with their money and hardware/hosting resources. All this happened upfront so the project benefits from huge positive expectations from both committed people, potential users and involved people. The project will justify this confidence if the collaboration within the project is fruitful (day-to-day life of the project) and if it delivers a strong, good product (next milestone is on June 1st for the first stable release of the distribution). History tells us that forecasts are rarely more than a wish. Of course, we expect Mageia to grow; we'll do our best so that it does and we welcome people that want to help us in this goal."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Improving performance with custom-compiled source packages
Feeling-the-need-for-speed asks: Can custom-compiled source packages really improve performance compared to pre-compiled binary packages? If yes, by how much?
DistroWatch answers: Yes, software that is compiled specifically for your system will often provide a performance boost compared to binary packages provided by distributions. The packages in distro repositories are designed to work across a wide variety of machines and so will leave out optimizations. When we compile software to work specifically for our processor we can throw away the backward compatibility restrictions and gain more efficient programs. Linux Magazine featured an article a while back by Christopher Smart comparing standard Ubuntu packages with custom-made Gentoo software. Some of the tests resulted in similar results for both custom and pre-built software, but in some cases there's a dramatic difference.
There is a downside. Compiling your own software to get these performance boosts takes time. So, before you start compiling replacements for all your applications, take a look at what you stand to gain and what it's going to cost. For example, it might take you several hours to compile LibreOffice and the result will be a slightly lighter, slightly faster office suite. But do you really need LibreOffice to be faster? Usually the bottleneck with such programs is how fast you can type. In that case you're looking at a big investment in compile time verses very little benefit. On the other hand, if you're running a web server that gets millions of hits a day and you need to process requests as quickly as possible, a 5% boost in your server's performance can be a significant improvement.
Optimization is generally best suited to repetitive tasks such as compiling, number crunching and encoding multimedia. When you're dealing with a program which is already suitably fast or spends most of its time waiting for user input, you (the user) won't notice much difference. For instance, as a test, I took a small program and built it with the default compiler options. Then I built the same program using some standard optimizations. The optimized program was almost exactly twice as fast and 25% smaller. However, the unoptimized program was quick enough and my machine fast enough I couldn't tell the difference between the two without using the time command.
I have a feeling some hard-core Gentoo users are going to be kicking down the door to my inbox, pointing out smaller, more efficient applications are an art form and how not optimizing is needless wasteful. Some might even pull the environmental card and point out optimization can save on the electric bill. All fair points. For people who like to push the limits and enjoy efficiency for efficiency’s sake, then compiling your own software will give you that smaller, faster binary. Optimized applications can result in your computer using less electricity, though compiling said applications might use even more electricity. As with most things, it's a balancing act.
|Released Last Week
Marco Ghirlanda has announced the release of ArtistX 1.0, an Ubuntu-based live DVD containing some of the best free multimedia and graphics software available today: "After many years of continuous development and nine versions, the ArtistX 1.0 multimedia studio on a DVD is finally here. It's an Ubuntu-based live DVD that turns a common computer into a full multimedia production studio. ArtistX 1.0 is created with the Remastersys software for live DVDs and includes the 2.6.32 Linux kernel, GNOME 2.30 and KDE 4.5, Compiz Fusion and about 2,500 free multimedia software packages, nearly everything that exists for the GNU/Linux operating system organized in the GNOME menu. Main features: based on Ubuntu 10.04 'Lucid Lynx' with all updates (from April 2010), Compiz for 3D desktop effects; most of GNU/Linux multimedia packages and the very easy Ubiquity installer." Visit the project's brand-new home page to read the release announcement.
ArtistX 1.0 - a minor bug-fix update
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Sabayon Linux 5.5 "SpinBase", "CoreCDX"
Fabio Erculiani has announced the release of Sabayon Linux 5.5 "SpinBase" (a minimalist system designed to create Sabayon spins) and "CoreCDX" (a minimalist system with X.Org and Fluxbox) editions. Some of the new features in these releases include: "Bootable image suitable for a CD or USB thumb drive; shipped with desktop-optimized Linux kernel 2.6.37 (group scheduling patch, TuxOnIce, Aufs 2.1) and glibc 2.11; ext4 file system as the default, Btrfs (experimental), encrypted file system support; installable in less than 5 minutes; completely customizable system after install, thanks to Entropy package sets it's possible to install GNOME, KDE or X.Org in no time; Entropy and Portage ready...." Here is the full release announcement.
CrunchBang Linux 10 R20110207
Philip Newborough has announced the release of CrunchBang Linux 10 R20110207, a lightweight Debian-based distribution for the desktop: "CrunchBang 10 'Statler' has been in development since early last year. The first alpha release came out in March 2010 and several development builds have followed whilst Debian 'Squeeze' remained in testing. Now that 'Squeeze' has migrated from testing to stable, CrunchBang 'Statler' will also adopt the stable moniker. The new CrunchBang 10 'Statler' R20110207 images were built on Monday, 7th February 2011 using the stable Debian 'Squeeze' and CrunchBang 'Statler' repositories. Changes from the previous builds have been kept to a minimum. The changes that have been made include: Chromium browser (version 9) replaces Google Chrome stable; Debian Installer (GUI & text) replaces the previous Live Installer; other minor changes and bug fixes." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
CrunchBang Linux 10 R20110207 - a stable release based on Debian GNU/Linux 6.0
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Jörn Lindau has released Toorox 01.2011, a Gentoo-based live DVD with GNOME: "A new version of the Toorox 'GNOME' edition is finished and you can get it from the download area as a 32-bit or a 64-bit system. The Linux kernel is 2.6.37-gentoo which is patched with the famous '200 lines patch' from Mike Galbraith. It gives you a significant performance boost if you start several processes at the same time. The GNOME desktop environment was updated to version 2.32.1 and X.Org Server to version 1.9.2. This one now makes use of udev only. GRUB 2 is now the default bootloader, but GRUB legacy is there too. The Toorox installer can now identify operating systems, which are already installed on your hard disk and make a menu entry for them. If you want to keep your installed GRUB, the installer can modify your boot menu (GRUB 2 + GRUB legacy). Now there's a direct link on the desktop to the Toorox IRC chat channel." The release announcement.
Toorox 01.2011 - a Gentoo-based live CD with support for English and German languages
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Oracle Linux 6
Oracle Corporation has announced the release of Oracle Linux 6, a distribution based on the recently released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6: "Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 6 for x86 (32-bit) and x86_64 (64-bit) architectures. Oracle Linux 6 includes many new features, including: ext4 file system installed by default; XFS as an optional file system; ftrace - a tracing framework for analyzing performance and latency in the kernel; Performance Counters for Linux (PCL) and perf - a subsystem that keeps track of hardware and software events without affecting performance; powertop - a new user space tool that helps you reduce server power usage by identifying power hungry processes; latencytop - a Linux tool aimed at identifying where system latency occurs; yum-only access to Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN)...." See the release announcement and release notes for a detailed list of features and changes compared to the upstream release.
Untangle Gateway 8.1
Dirk Morris has announced the release of Untangle Gateway 8.1, a specialist distribution for firewalls, gateways and routers, based on Debian GNU/Linux 5.0: "We are pleased to announce general availability of Untangle 8.1. Our latest version includes a new application for caching web content as well as a host of enhanced features and improvements. Web Cache stores copies of online files passing through it; subsequent requests for the same files may be satisfied from the cache if certain conditions are met, rather than being re-downloaded each time. Web caching can help organizations increase responsiveness of web applications and save bandwidth costs. Key features include: stores frequently requested items locally; serves content from local cache; decreases bandwidth usage; decreases response time; supports the caching of web content and software updates." More details can be found in the release notes.
Pinguy OS 10.04.2
Antoni Norman has announced the release of Pinguy OS 10.04.2, a minor update of the Ubuntu-based distribution for the desktop with long-term support: "Released Pinguy OS 10.04.2 'Revisted'. As 10.04 is long-team support I didn't want it to fall behind. This is an updated version, it's a bit bigger then what it was before (by 300 MB) because I didn't build this from scratch, I just updated the existing 10.04.1.2 image. As of Thursday, 10th February, this was fully updated. I have added TeamViewer 6 to the install. After talking to a few people it seems many people that use Pinguy OS have installed it on a friend's or family's PC. Having TeamViewer 6 pre-installed will help them to give support and maintain their installs." The new release has many more new features, so see the release announcement if you wish to learn more.
Frugalware Linux 1.4
Miklós Vajna has announced the release of Frugalware Linux 1.4, an independent community distribution with a large software repository and Arch's Pacman package management tool: "The Frugalware developer team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Frugalware 1.4, our fourteenth stable release. The only added feature since 1.4rc2 is LibreOffice; additionally, 109 changes have been made to fix minor bugs. If you didn't follow the changes during the development releases, here are the most important changes since 1.3: updated packages - Linux kernel 2.6.37, X.Org Server 1.9, GNOME 2.32, KDE SC 4.5, Drupal 7, Python 2.7 to name a few major components; missing KOffice localization packages are back; new LCD font rendering available in GNOME; OSS 4 has been added; systemd is now available as an alternative to sysvinit...." Read the rest of the release announcement for further details.
Frugalware Linux 1.4 - with the latest Linux kernel and LibreOffice
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Marc Poirette has announced the release of PureOS 3.0, a Debian-based distribution with GNOME, but with the latest Linux kernel, LibreOffice and other software from Debian's experimental repository: "PureOS 3.0 is available. This is an update of the GNOME edition (based on Debian's testing branch), with some packages from the experimental repository. Main features: Linux kernel 2.6.37 with Squashfs 4.0 and LZMA compression; GNOME 2.30 with Docky; LibreOffice 3.3.0 with Base, Calc, Draw, Impress, Math and Writer (experimental repository); Iceweasel 3.6.13 (experimental repository); Icedove 3.0.11 with Lightning; NetworkManager, Transmission and FileZilla; multimedia - Songbird 1.8.0, VLC and Brasero; graphics - GIMP, Evince, Simple Scan and Eye of GNOME; system -GParted, smxi/sgfxi scripts, scripts and Nautilus actions for modules management...." Read the full release announcement which includes a complete listed of pre-installed packages.
PureOS 3.0 - a Debian-based desktop distro with some experimental packages
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* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New font on DistroWatch.com|
As many of you have noticed, DistroWatch now uses the free Ubuntu font which was made available as part of Ubuntu 10.04 and which became the default font on the distribution's desktop. The thinking goes that the Ubuntu font is released under a free license, it has generally received positive reviews, and it is a "Linux" font, specially developed by one of the main Linux players on the market. So why keep using the old Microsoft fonts on a website dedicated to free operating systems? However, since this is a highly intrusive change that some people might not appreciate, here is a chance to voice your opinion. Do you like/dislike the new font? Would you prefer the option to revert back to the old style sheets (which had Arial as the default font)? Please comment below or send an email to distro at distrowatch dot com. (For those running a website and wanting to switch to the Ubuntu font, you can find instructions in this blog post, in French).
Update: Based on feedback, it's clear that the Ubuntu font is not the most readable when it comes to long paragraphs and other large blocks of text. So as a matter of compromise, the Ubuntu font will only be used for headlines while general text will switch to Red Hat's Liberation Sans font as the default font. Arial remains the fall-back font for those readers who don't have Liberation Sans installed.
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- iGolaware Linux. iGolaware Linux is a fully-packed Ubuntu 10.10 derivative. It includes OpenOffice.org 3.2 (for word processing, presentation and spreadsheet documents), Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13 and Google Chromium 8.0 (web browsers), Evolution mail (for e-mail), Gwibber (social client), aMSN (MSN Messenger), XBMC 10.0 (media center), GIMP and Inkscape (for graphics manipulation), Shotwell (photo manager), Kdenlive NLE (for semi-professional video editing), PlayOnLinux (for many programs designed for Windows, including many games), Nanny (parental control), Deja Dup (easy backup). This is not to mention all the codecs that are built in and the great theme chosen for this release.
- Nisix Linux. Nisix Linux is an Italian distribution based on Linux Mint. The project's website is in Italian.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 21 February 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• 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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Build Your Own (BYO) Linux
Can you answer yes to any of these questions? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a Linux distribution where you knew what every file or directory was for? Do you dislike downloading applications for your particular distribution? When you want to remove an rpm, do you find that you can't because it will break a dependency? Do you think Linux distributions, in general, have too much junk you won't ever use but you can't remove things because your distribution won't function without them? Do you want to learn to configure Linux without using vendor tools? Are you just plain curious how things work? If this sounds like you, you've came to the right place. Together, we'll create your own personal Linux distribution. You decide what goes in and what doesn't. We'll compile applications from the authors' original source code, not code tinkered with by a commercial distribution. Not only will you gain a much better understanding of how linux works and a little bit of programming knowledge on the side, you'll take pride in the fact that you did it yourself.