| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 537, 9 December 2013
Welcome to this year's 48th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It seems as though the Mandriva community is slowly breaking up and new forks of the once-popular beginner-friendly distribution are being created. One of the more recent forks of Mandriva is the community-oriented OpenMandriva project. OpenMandriva recently celebrated its first release and we ride along as Jesse Smith takes this initial version of the distribution for a test drive. The Linux ecosystem is quite diverse and this often leads to differences in opinion on how goals should be achieved. During the month of November the question of how to handle security updates while maintaining system stability was addressed by the Ubuntu and Linux Mint developers. Read this week's opinion column to learn more about the debate and Canonical's plan to license access to Ubuntu's binary packages. Also in this week's edition of DistroWatch Weekly we hear words of wisdom from Richard Freeman, a Gentoo developer and Gentoo Council member. Plus we talk about where to get the latest development snapshots of KDE's new desktop framework and welcome new members to the Linux Foundation. As usual we will cover releases from this past week and look forward to exciting new developments to come. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (14MB) and MP3 (30MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0
OpenMandriva Lx is a community project which is derived from the Mandriva Linux distribution. Mandriva has a long history and, for much of its life, the project's future has been uncertain. In recent years this uncertainty has resulted in several projects forking the Mandriva code base and striking out on their own. OpenMandriva's first release carries the version number 2013.0 and seems to be fairly conservative in terms of features. It looks as though the project is sticking close to the original Mandriva base for now, using this first release as an opportunity to get all the necessary infrastructure in place. There appears to be just one edition of OpenMandriva 2013.0 and it ships as a live disc with the KDE 4.11 desktop. The distribution is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds for the x86 architecture. The download for OpenMandriva is approximately 1.5 GB in size.
Booting from the disc brings up a menu asking whether we would like to try the distribution's live environment or begin the install process. Choosing to try the live desktop we are then walked through a series of configuration screens. We are asked to select our preferred language from a list and then accept the distribution's license agreement. Next we are asked to select our time zone from a list and confirm the system's clock is set to the proper time. Next we confirm our keyboard's layout. The final screen asks which network services we would like to run and the available options are the CUPS printing service, the Samba file sharing software and the OpenSSH secure shell. We finally arrive at the KDE desktop. The background is soft blue. Quick-launch icons and the application menu sit at the bottom of the display along with the desktop's task switcher and system tray. When we activate the application menu the desktop turns into a full-screen, two-dimensional table of icons, similar to a mobile device's app menu. Digging through the array of icons we can find the distribution's system installer.
OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0 - the application menu and KDE desktop
(full image size: 339kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The OpenMandriva system installer is a graphical application with a surprisingly few number of steps. The first step we must complete is partitioning the local hard disk. The system installer will attempt to do this for us, if we wish, by taking over the available free space on the drive. Alternatively we can manually partition the disk using a fairly intuitive interface. The installer supports most Linux file systems, including ext3, ext4, Btrfs, ReiserFS, JFS, XFS and LVM volumes. Once partitioning has been completed we wait while files are copied from the installation media to the local drive. Afterward we are asked to select where to install the distribution's boot loader and then we can reboot the computer. Each screen of the short installation process has a button which brings up advanced options. I like this approach as it hides complexity from novice users while making available additional control for expert users. The first time we boot into OpenMandriva a graphical wizard runs and asks us to fill out a few forms. We are asked to supply a password for the root account and create a regular user account. Then we are asked which network services (CUPS, Samba, OpenSSH) we would like to run in the background. The wizard then disappears and we are brought to a graphical login screen.
Once I logged into KDE I started to notice a few things. One being that desktop visual effects were enabled. In fact, a few more were enabled than I would have liked. This didn't seem to slow down the desktop so much as it was just distracting when switching between application windows. Shortly after logging in a notification appeared in the system tray letting me know the system didn't have any "media". I wasn't entirely sure what this meant, but clicking the notification icon brought up a window saying it needed to go on-line to find repository data. Apparently OpenMandriva does not come with pre-configured software repositories and this information needs to be fetched from a server. The required repository information downloaded cleanly. At this point I expected the system would check for security updates, but this did not happen. Instead I ended up going into the operating system's Control Centre to manually check for updates.
OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0 - the distribution's Control Centre and KDE's System Settings panel
(full image size: 251kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The OpenMandriva Control Centre is a one-stop location for managing almost every aspect of the operating system. The Control Centre has a very nice interface that makes it easy for users to find the configuration options we need and most aspects of the operating system can be tweaked from within a friendly graphical interface. Using this well organized GUI we can manage software packages, download security updates and configure repositories. We can browse information concerning our hardware, configure the X display software and set up printers and scanners. We can use the Control Center to configure network connections, enable virtual private networks and enable network proxies. The panel also has modules for working with user accounts, importing documents from a Windows partition and enabling/disabling system services. We can do some other helpful things too, such as enable NFS and Samba shares, connect to remote network shares, configure the firewall, manage disk partitions and enable parental controls. I found the modules in the Control Centre worked well and I encountered no problems. I really like the OpenMandriva Control Centre as I feel it does an excellent job of making things easy for us while providing a great deal of power, not always an easy balance to achieve.
The distribution comes with a lot of useful applications, and OpenMandriva takes up approximately 5.5GB of disk space. Many of the applications provided for us in the menu are associated with the KDE desktop. We are given the Firefox web browser, the LibreOffice productivity suite and the KMail e-mail client. We are given the Amarok music player, the k3b disc burner, the ROSA Media Player and the VLC multimedia player. The distribution comes with the Kopete messaging software, the KVIrc IRC client and a document viewer. The KDE System Settings control panel is available to help us change the look and behaviour of the desktop. The Krita image editor is installed for us and the KTorrent bittorrent client is available in the menu. I found most multimedia codecs were included in the default installation. The Flash web browser plug-in was not available by default, but we can install Flash from the distribution's software repositories. In the background OpenMandriva runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.11.
OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0 - running various desktop applications
(full image size: 256kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
I tried running OpenMandriva Lx in two environments. The first was my laptop (dual-core 2GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, Intel video card and Intel wireless card). I found OpenMandriva worked well on the laptop. The system booted quickly, the desktop was responsive and my display was set to its maximum resolution. I found both sound and wireless networking functioned without any problems. I also tried running the distribution in a VirtualBox virtual machine. According to the project's release notes it is recommended we use VirtualBox version 4.3 if we want to run OpenMandriva as a guest operating system. If you're using an older version of VirtualBox it's a good idea to upgrade prior to installing this distribution. I found the operating system worked fairly well in VirtualBox. The distribution was certainly usable and ran smoothly. My only complaint was that the KDE environment was a bit sluggish in the virtual environment. It was still usable, but there was enough of a lag when interacting with windows or the application menu as to be noticeable. The distribution is a bit heavy on memory, using approximately 380MB of RAM when sitting at the KDE desktop. For comparison's sake, the openSUSE 13.1 distribution I ran last week used about half as much memory when logged into KDE.
My time with OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0 was, for the most part, a positive experience. I really like the user-friendliness of Mandriva and, since OpenMandriva is basically a re-branded Mandriva at this point, I found this distribution to be a similarly pleasant experience. The installation of OpenMandriva is easy to get through and the desktop is laid out in a way which should be fairly comfortable to newcomers. OpenMandriva labels some components differently from other Linux distributions and I found the icon theme was different, though this is really only noticeable when using tools like the KDE System Settings panel. I really like OpenMandriva's Control Centre, this central location for configuring the operating system is very easy to navigate, the icons are pretty and (best of all) all of the modules seem to work well. These past two weeks I've been spoiled by the powerful and friendly control panels supplied by openSUSE and OpenMandriva and I hope more distributions adopt similar configuration centres.
I really had only one complaint while using OpenMandriva and that was, admittedly, a matter of personal preference. The default application menu uses a large, mobile-style grid of icons and I find this approach less efficient than the traditional menu system. I believe it is also less easy for newcomers to navigate, which is perhaps surprising since the icon grid style seems to target novice users. Launching the VLC media player, as an example, requires clicking on the application menu, selecting the application tab, selecting the second page of applications and finding VLC on the page. This is a lot of moving the mouse around when compared with the traditional method of clicking the menu button, moving a little up to "Multimedia" and then over a little to the desired application. Admittedly, once we know the name of an application, we can type searches for it using the new panel, but performing a search seems slower than a couple of mouse clicks in a traditional menu. Perhaps I'm just a creature of habit, slow to adjust to the new style of launching applications. Other users may welcome the large icons in a full-screen layout rather than view it as a speed bump.
Minor issues of style aside, I think OpenMandriva is a good desktop distribution. It doesn't feel all that different from Mandriva or Mageia, nor do I think it is designed to be different -- at least not yet. I suspect, over time, this fork will grow and develop in new directions. For now OpenMandriva is a friendly, stable, capable distribution that holds up the tradition of its close relatives in the Mandriva/Mageia community. It may not, as of yet, hold any special characteristics over its cousins, but it doesn't appear to be held back by any unique problem either.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Interview with Gentoo developer, live discs with KDE development snapshots, new members join Linux Foundation
The Gentoo Monthly Newsletter, published on December 1, carries an interview with project developer Richard Freeman. The interview talks about Freeman's past coding experience, his views on the Gentoo project (including its future) and his work as a Gentoo Council and Trustee member. The interview gives some insight into the Gentoo project, its developers and what makes the distribution so appealing to some users. One touchy topic Freeman addresses is the subject of money in open source projects: "I'd love to see the Foundation have a more active role in improving Gentoo. We actually have a fair amount of money in our rainy day fund, though pressures with some of our sponsors are forcing us to dip into that a bit more heavily than we've had to in the past. I think a challenge here is how to do this while preserving the community that we have. Many FOSS communities have suffered when previously volunteer work became compensated." The entire interview can be found on the Gentoo blog.
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Fans of bleeding-edge technology and KDE will find a friend in Project Neon. The project provides the latest builds of KDE technology, such as the KDE Frameworks 5, and packages them on top of the Kubuntu distribution. This allows users to simply download a CD-sized ISO image, pop it into their computer and instantly have a snapshot of the latest technology to come out of the KDE community. The latest ISO images and instructions for using them are available from the shade slayer blog. People wishing to experiment with the KDE/Kubuntu snapshots should be aware that while it is possible to install the distributions from the live disc, it is not recommended people attempt to install the Neon snapshots on their computers directly. Instead it is suggested that curious users install the snapshots into a virtual machine.
Neon 5 - running the latest KDE Frameworks 5
(full image size: 118kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
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The Linux Foundation is "a non-profit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux and collaborative software development." The Foundation supplies a distribution-neutral forum where projects can be maintained and designed without disproportional influence from external developers, companies or distributions. The Linux Foundation recently gained three new members, one of which carries a name familiar in many homes. The three new members are Cloudius Systems, a start-up company developing an operating system to handle virtualized cloud workloads, the HSA Foundation, a non-profit focused on developing open-standard architecture specifications, and finally Valve, a video game company which has recently become well known for its influence in Linux gaming and for developing a Linux-powered gaming console. It is always good to see companies take an active interest in Linux and it is especially nice to see such a diverse group join the Linux Foundation.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Mint, Ubuntu and online banking
At the end of November some Linux news sites picked up and ran with a mailing list post made by a Canonical employee, Oliver Grawert. The post, which talks about Linux Mint, makes the statement that the Mint developers purposefully hold back security updates to their distribution: "I would say forcefully keeping a vulnerable kernel, browser or Xorg in place instead of allowing the provided security updates to be installed makes it a vulnerable system, yes. I personally wouldn't do on-line banking with it." Grawert links to a file in the Linux Mint code repository which he claims contains a list of packages which "will never update".
Unfortunately Grawert did not fully understand the nature of the file to which he linked. The file contains a list of packages which may be updated and the number next to each package name indicates how stable the Mint developers consider the package to be. Packages with numbers 1, 2 & 3 next to their names are packages which are updated by default. Packages marked with a 4 or 5 are packages which are not automatically marked for upgrade due to stability concerns, but the user can choose to install these upgrades as well if they think it necessary. In other words, Grawert was incorrect on two points. First, the updates are not forcible kept off the system, the user has the choice as to which updates they wish to apply. Second, the distribution's web browser is not a package marked as unstable. The Firefox browser is marked as a level two update, meaning it gets upgraded by default.
Other Ubuntu developers apparently also misunderstood the nature of Mint's update process. Benjamin Kerensa, for example, stated, "It is unclear why Linux Mint disables all of their security updates although to some degree they have tried to justify their disabling of kernel updates by suggesting that such updates could make a system unstable." Kerensa went on to say security updates for Firefox are sometimes delayed, adding, "This puts Linux Mint users at risk and is one of the key reasons I never suggest Linux Mint to anyone as an alternative to Ubuntu." The idea that Mint disables security updates is, of course, incorrect.
These statements sparked off the sort of distro war many Linux users love to read about and comment on. Quotes and commentary spread around and Linux Mint's founder, Clement Lefebvre, eventually saw fit to make a statement. He pointed out that Linux Mint uses the same Firefox package the Ubuntu distribution does, meaning there is no delay between when Ubuntu gets a web browser update and when Mint users receive the same update. He also explained Mint's policy of filtering unstable security updates and how users can choose to install these potentially troublesome packages. Clem went on to say, "I personally talked to the legal department at Canonical (for other reasons, they're telling us we need a license to use their binary packages) and it is clear they are confused about LMDE and Mint. They don't know what repositories we're using and they don't know what we're doing."
In a follow-up blog post Grawert responded to the generated controversy, pointing out his views on Linux Mint are his personal opinions, not the views of Canonical. He also suggested that this back and forth of statements had revealed a potential issue which could be addressed. "Hey Clem! So how about we take a look at this and improve that situation for you, obviously something in Ubuntu doesn't work like you need it, Canonical puts a lot of time and money into improving the QA since about two years. I think it would be really helpful to sit down and look if we can improve it well enough for both of us to benefit (Ubuntu from your feedback and you from improvements we can do to the package quality)." In a later comment Clem stated that he is open to looking at how Mint organizes security updates and making changes following the release of Linux Mint 16.
I bring up all of this back and forth between the Ubuntu developers and the Mint team to highlight a few points. One is that while many people in the Linux community enjoy a good controversy and fight (often resulting in pointless flame wars) this is typically not representative of open source projects themselves. Many developers are more interested in getting things done, either independently or collaboratively) than arguing. What started as a casual remark on a mailing list a month ago may, in fact, end up helping both the Linux Mint and Ubuntu distributions. These two projects are not so much in competition as they are symbiotic.
My second point is that this exchange brings to light a problem which many developers seem to have. Quite often developers of one distribution are not aware of the features, policies or designs of other projects. Many Linux (and BSD) developers appear to be ignorant of the practices of other projects and I think this is unfortunate. Distributions should be borrowing ideas and technology from each other, but too frequently we see duplication of effort. Too often we see distributions struggling with problems which have been solved elsewhere. It is my hope that more developers will do as Grawert and Clem did last week and try to benefit from working together.
Third, and I think this is a point other Linux news websites are ignoring, Clem claims he has been asked by Canonical's legal department to license the binary packages used by Ubuntu. To me this is a scary thought. Ubuntu is a base distribution for many projects, some of them (such as Mint and Kubuntu) are quite successful. Clem's statement makes me wonder if Canonical has approached other open source projects about licensing the right to access Ubuntu's package repositories. If so, what might follow? Would derivative distributions need to pay to use Canonical's packages? How would Canonical enforce such a policy, with lawyers, by blocking access to the repositories if a user isn't using Genuine Ubuntu? Canonical would certainly have the right to restrict access to its packages, they are on Canonical's servers after all. However, most Linux distributions are quite open about allowing anyone to access their software repositories and I wonder if Canonical might be acting in a short-sighted manner if they are trying to license access.
With these thoughts in mind I contacted Canonical and asked if they could shed any light on the issue. At the time of writing I have not received a reply. An e-mail to the Linux Mint project asking for details yielded much better results. Clement Lefebvre responded the following day and, while he wasn't able to go into specific details as talks with Canonical are still on-going, he was able to share a few pieces of information. When asked if Canonical was hoping to collect a fee for using their binary packages, Clem responded, "Money isn't a primary concern. Although the original fee was in the hundreds of thousands pounds, it was easily reduced to a single digit figure. The licensing aims at restricting what Mint can and cannot do, mostly in relation to the OEM market, to prevent Mint from competing with Canonical in front of the same commercial partners."
Clem went on to indicate Canonical has not offered any threats nor discussed enforcing any licensing terms. When I asked what Mint's plans were concerning the licensing deal Clem answered, "We don't think the claim is valid (i.e. that you can copyright the compilation of source into a binary, which is a deterministic process). With that said, Ubuntu is one of Mint's major components and it adds value to our project. If we're able to please Canonical without harming Linux Mint, then we're interested in looking into it. As negative as this may sound, this is neither urgent nor conflictual. It's a rare occasion for Canonical and Linux Mint to talk with one another and although there are disagreements on the validity of the claim, things have been going quite well between the two distributions and both projects are looking for a solution that pleases all parties."
* * * * *
Now a question for the readers. Last year I performed a series of reviews on open source NAS projects. Each NAS solution was evaluated on how easy it was to set up, features, stability and the user interface. In the coming weeks I hope to perform a similar side-by-side comparison of various server distributions. Each open source server operating system will be set up as though it were being used in a home or small office environment. Distributions will be evaluated on how easy they are to install, the steps needed to enable certain services, performance and ease of maintaining the server. My question is which server distributions would you, the readers, like to see evaluated? At the moment I have a list which includes Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, Slackware and probably one of the BSDs. Should you have a distribution you feel should be on the list, please e-mail your suggestion(s) to email@example.com.
|Released Last Week
Canaima GNU/Linux 4.0
Canaima GNU/Linux 4.0 has been released. Canaima is a government-sponsored Venezuelan distribution based on Debian's stable branch. Code-named "Kerepakupai" (named after the world's highest waterfall), this major new release incorporates many new features and updated applications, including the following: GNOME desktop environment with GNOME Shell 3.4; Linux kernel 3.2; X.Org 7.7 X window server; LibreOffice 4.0.1 office suite; Cunaguaro 22.0 web browser (a Firefox fork); Guácharo 17.0.5 mail client (a Thunderbird fork): GIMP 2.8 image manipulation program; a software centre; Canaima welcome screen based on huayra-bullets; Jockey hardware detector; Canaima dynamic desktop backgrounds; Inkscape 0.48 vector graphics editor; Python 2.7 and 3.2, Perl 5.14 languages. Read the rest of the release announcement (in Spanish) for more information.
Jean-Michel Philippe has announced the release of DoudouLinux 2.1, an updated release of the Debian-based distribution designed specifically for children up to 12 years old: "DoudouLinux version 2.1 is out. After a few months of gestation, this is the first update of DoudouLinux 'Hyperborea' 2.0. Of course it brings several improvements, updates, fixes and two new applications. Indeed we are particularly proud to announce that two new services are now officially available to our users and supporters. Our online shop, the Doudou Shop, is now open. It is managed by the DoudouLinux association, our non-profit organization dedicated at supporting the project growth and development. You will find nice DVDs with the DoudouLinux Hyperborea graphics as well as promotional materials. Our new partner, Écodair, based in Paris, is starting a DoudouLinux computer range." Here is the release announcement with a list of major changes and improvements.
ROSA 2012 R2 "Desktop Fresh"
Ekaterina Lopukhova has announced the availability of an updated build of ROSA 2012 "Desktop Fresh" edition, a desktop Linux distribution featuring an enhanced KDE 4.11.3 desktop: "ROSA is announcing a new major release pack for the 'R' series of its distributions - the ROSA Desktop Fresh R2. The 'R' lineup is targeted to the experienced users who care for fresh updated versions of the software and for those with new modern hardware. The R2 release includes all the updates, bug fixes and features added since the R1 release. The ROSA Desktop Fresh R2 is based on the KDE graphical desktop environment. The GNOME and LXDE editions are expected shortly as well. Users already using the ROSA Desktop Fresh 2012 R1 will get all the updates through the stardart software update process. The ROSA Fresh R2 features: better Btrfs support; KDE updated to version 4.11.3...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of improvements.
ROSA 2012 R2 - running the KDE desktop
(full image size: 685kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Distribution Release: PCLinuxOS 2013.12 - Bill Reynolds has announced the release of PCLinuxOS 2013.12, the holiday update of the project's "KDE", "FullMonty", "MiniMe", "LXDE" and "MATE" editions: "Happy holidays from PCLinuxOS. The PCLinuxOS team is happy to announce the availability of PCLinuxOS 2013.12, quarterly maintenance release ISO images. All PCLinuxOS ISOs for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems have been updated with the latest software updates and bug fixes from the software repository. The Linux kernel was updated to the stable release 3.4.70. The KDE on Full Monty, Standard and MiniMe editions was updated to version 4.11.3. The Mate ISO image got an updated theme from Linuzoid and reworked default desktop layout." Here is the brief release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Raspberry WebKiosk. Raspberry WebKiosk is designed for the cheapest possible web kiosks and multi-user web workstations with the Raspberry Pi microcomputer base.
- tuxtrans. tuxtrans is a distribution for language translators based on Xubuntu.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 16 December 2013. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
|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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Plamo Linux is a Japanese Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux. The installer, and many text-based and graphical tools have been updated to include Japanese language support.