| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 756, 26 March 2018
Welcome to this year's 13th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
There is a trend in technology to add increasing complexity to our operating systems, while creating layers of abstraction to hide the messy details away from the user. However, some software projects try to keep things technologically simple and do not hide the inner workings of the distribution. This week we explore two projects which focus on the Keep It Simple philosophy. The first is the NuTyX Linux distribution which encourages users to get their hands dirty with configuring and maintaining the operating system. Robert Rijkhoff shares his experiences with this unusual distribution in our Feature Story. The other project we focus on this week is SysV init, an older init implementation which is now gearing up for a new release. Our Opinion Poll this week asks how people feel about staying on the cutting edge of software development - do you like to blaze a trail or stick with tried and true technology? In our News section we discuss VenenuX offering a special point-of-sale edition and Neptune providing updated KDE Plasma packages for Debian. Plus we discuss openSUSE's package search portal and running SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi computer. We are happy to share the new releases of the past week and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we updated our package database, removing dormant projects and adding ten new items. The details of this package overhaul are covered below. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (26MB) and MP3 (33MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Robert Rijkhoff)
NuTyX is one of only two Linux distributions in the DistroWatch database based on Linux From Scratch. The distro caught my attention as I am hoping to one day find the time and courage to build a custom Linux distro from source. NuTyX seemed to be a distro that would allow me dip my toes in Linux From Scratch.
NuTyX is available for both 32- and 64-bits computers and, by default, uses SysV for system initialisation. For people who just want a working system out of the box there are ISOs for various desktop environments, while more adventurous users can try a minimal ISO. Interestingly, it is also possible to install NuTyX from within another Linux operating system. As my aim was to tinker I chose the latter option.
The installation is done via a script called install-nutyx. There are various things that need to be done before you can run the script. You need to make sure you have a spare partition and you will need to format the partition and mount it on /mnt/NuTyX. After downloading the "base collection" and running the script you also need to manually add NuTyX to GRUB. The documentation is minimal and not always correct for all distributions - it, for instance, explains that the GRUB entry should be created in /boot/grub/grub.cfg while, on my Fedora system, that path should be /boot/grub2/custom.cfg - but I got the job done in about five minutes.
NuTyX 10.0 -- Installing NuTyX from within Fedora
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After rebooting my laptop and selecting NuTyX from the GRUB menu I was presented with a basic graphical installer via which I had to select my keyboard layout and network card, confirm the current date and time and create a user account. By default NuTyX doesn't create an account for the root user but you can do this manually.
At this point we have only got the above-mentioned base collection installed. A "collection" is a group of packages that provide a certain function. The base collection provides the bare minimum (just 111 packages) so you will almost certainly want to enable other collections. For instance, there are collections for command line utilities and graphical applications as well as collections for six different desktop environments (GNOME, KDE, LXDE, LXQt, MATE and Xfce). I couldn't find any information about how to get access to these collections but did get a fairly quick response to a question I posted on the NuTyX forums. The trick is to manually add collections to your /etc/cards.conf file. As most of the NuTyX forums can only be accessed by creating an account I will present my cards.conf file here:
# Base collection
In this cards.conf file I only enabled the GNOME and MATE desktop environments. To enable other desktops, simply replace "gnome" or "mate" with the name of your preferred desktop.
# CLI utilities
# GUI utilities
# GNOME desktop
# MATE desktop
# Branch (see https://www.nutyx.org/en/dictionary#13)
NuTyX's package management tool is called Cards, which is an acronym of Create, Add, Remove and Download System. Cards is a fork of CRUX's pkgutils utilities and can be used to manage binary packages and to compile and install packages from source. It is not recommended to mix both methods, and as a new NuTyX user I decided to stick with managing binary packages.
Cards' syntax is straight-forward. After I had updated my cards.conf file, for instance, I could refresh the repositories and check for updates with the commands "sudo cards sync" and "sudo cards diff". We can search for packages with "sudo cards search <package> and install a package with "sudo cards install <package>". To make things even easier there are six aliases for Cards commands. For instance, instead of running "sudo cards sync; sudo cards diff" we can simply run the command "check". Personally, I found the aliases counter intuitive - running the "check" command without "sudo cards" just feels wrong.
NuTyX 10.0 -- Exploring packages and aliases
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Like NuTyX itself, Cards is somewhat minimal. It covers all the basics though, and it is very fast. I also appreciate the Packages section on the NuTyX website, which can be used to search for packages and collections.
NuTyX is a small project and the number of packages available is therefore limited. That said, there were only a handful of applications that I couldn't find in the repositories/collections. My favourite music players (moc and Quod Libet), password manager (pass), screenshot tool (Shutter) and RSS reader (Liferea) weren't available. There were, however, decent alternative applications. For instance, the Keepassx password manager and music players such as Rhythmbox and Clementine are in the repos.
Another thing worth mentioning is that most of the software NuTyX provides is bang up to date. In my cards.conf file I had enable the Current branch, which is roughly equivalent to Debian's Testing branch (other NuTyX branches are Stable and Development). When I installed the MATE desktop I was pleasantly surprised to find that I got MATE 1.20, which was released on February 7th. Similarly, I got VLC 3.0, which was released on the February 9th. NuTyX 10 was released on January 17th, so clearly new packages are being made available very quickly.
NuTyX 10.0 -- MATE, Firefox and LibreOffice
(full image size: 371kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Almost all the software I tried worked. The one exception was Claws Mail, which somehow wasn't able to securely connect to my mail server. I also found that launching the vi text editor would open a rather minimal editor called e3 (you can undo the damage by deleting the /bin/vi symbolic link).
Getting a working desktop environment
Installing a desktop environment in NuTyX is easy enough. To get the MATE desktop I needed to install just three packages: mate, mate-extra and lxdm (the login manager). That won't give you a fully functioning desktop environment though. Applications such as a browser, e-mail client and office suite need to be installed separately. The same goes for fonts - by default only one font family is installed ("Luxy").
NuTyX 10.0 -- Searching for fonts
(full image size: 243kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The real work starts after you have installed your favourite applications and things like fonts. One of the first issues I encountered was that MATE ignored the (UK) keyboard layout I had selected during the install. The output of the locale command and the contents of the /etc/sysconfig/console file were correct but MATE's Keyboard Preferences showed I was using the US keyboard layout. To change the layout I had to install xorg-setxkbmap and edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-keyboard.conf file.
NuTyX 10.0 -- Correcting the keyboard layout
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There are many other things that won't work out of the box. You may need to install a driver for your graphics card and a package to get your laptop's trackpad working (xorg-xf86-input-synaptics). If you want wireless Internet you will want to install network-manager-applet. If you want the usual home directories ("Documents", "Downloads" etc.) you can install xdg-user-dirs. If you find that there is no "Suspend" option in the logout menu you need to install pm-utils. The list goes on.
NuTyX 10.0 -- Configuring wireless connections
(full image size: 1.3MB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
In other words, many of the things that work out of the box in distributions such as Debian and Fedora need to be done manually in NuTyX. This is, of course, by design - NuTyX is based on Linux From Scratch and made for tinkerers. I was anticipating there would be issues to be solved and found the experience quite gratifying - it is nice to fix issues, and in the process I learned a few things about the various packages needed to get a proper desktop Linux system.
That said, there were two things I wasn't able to fix: I couldn't find a way to change my monitor's brightness level and I wasn't able to connect to a VPN. I also ran into a few small bugs. I found, for instance, that changing your user password in MATE doesn't work because the passwd utility isn't in /usr/bin/ (with NuTyX the binary is /bin/passwd).
NuTyX 10.0 -- Changing the user password
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Still, I did manage to get a usable desktop environment. And I have to say that I greatly enjoyed the MATE experience. The default configuration doesn't look great but after installing the Arc Theme (available in the repositories), replacing the traditional menus with the Brisk menu and tweaking the panels I had a fairly modern-looking desktop that was still blazingly fast.
NuTyX 10.0 -- The MATE desktop with the theme and icons
(full image size: 101kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The main criticism I have of NuTyX is that the project's documentation is lacking. For a project that is based on Linux From Scratch I expect much more information about how the distro works. Worse, some of the documentation is incorrect and/or poorly written. I have already mentioned the information about manually adding NuTyX to GRUB, which refers to a configuration file that has different locations on different distros. The same is true for the documentation about wireless networks. The information did point me in the right direction: I needed to create a file named /etc/sysconfig/ifconfig.wlp3s0. However, what the contents of that file should be was unclear.
NuTyX 10.0 -- Exploring the NuTyX documentation
(full image size: kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
I realise this criticism is a little unfair. As far as I can tell NuTyX is the work of a single person whose first language is French. The person has done an amazing job. Still, while trying to fix various issues I found that the NuTyX website rarely provided useful documentation. I also found it frustrating that information I found elsewhere on-line often wasn't applicable to NuTyX. If you want to use a VPN you will find plenty of information for mainstream Linux distros. With NuTyX you are pretty much on your own.
In this review I have only really scratched the surface. Earlier, I mentioned that you can use the Cards package manager to build packages from source. That was something I wanted to cover in this review, and I did test the "ports method" in a virtual environment. Sadly, I failed at the first hurdle: the very first package, xorg-server, wouldn't install because of a missing dependency (xcb).
At that point I decided to give up on NuTyX's more esoteric features. There was another interesting option I had wanted to check - moving from SysV to systemd - but, frankly, I was slowly losing the will to live.
That is not to say that I had enough of NuTyX. I am happy with the NuTyX MATE install on my laptop. True, I didn't get everything to work but it does feel like it is my own distro. Plus, it is the most responsive distro I have ever used. The system boots very fast, searching and installing packages takes just a few seconds and even large applications such as Firefox and GIMP launch instantly. I am not sure if that is the result of less bloat but it sure is a pleasant experience.
In summary, if you like tinkering and are interested in Linux From Scratch then NuTyX is an excellent place to start. Getting everything to work will take plenty of effort and the project's documentation isn't great, but there is a forum with a friendly and helpful developer. Also, there are plenty of interesting features to explore. You will need stamina though - lots of it!
* * * * *
Hardware used for this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo Thinkpad X220 with the following specifications:
- Processor: Intel Core i3-2520M, 2.5GHz
- Memory: 8GB of RAM
- Wireless network adaptor: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205
- Wired network adaptor: Intel 82579M
* * * * *
Visitor supplied rating
NuTyX has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.1/10 from 12 review(s).
Have you used NuTyX? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
VenenuX offers POS edition, Neptune supplies KDE packages for Debian, openSUSE's package portal, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi
The VenenuX project has released a special installation disc which is based on Debian and features an installer for the Open Source Point of Sale software. Despite its name, the Point of Sale software handles a wide range of business and accounting needs, including dealing with customers, inventory and barcode management. The new Point of Sale edition of VenenuX also features commonly used applications such as the Firefox web browser. The special edition of VenenuX can run on 32-bit x86 machines and can be downloaded from the project's SourceForge page.
* * * * *
The Neptune distribution runs on a Debian base and provides users with an up to date KDE Plasma desktop. The Neptune project provides its users with a newer version of Plasma than Debian's Stable branch does, so the Neptune developers have created a script which allows Debian users to install Neptune's Plasma packages. "As we got so many requests from Debian 9 users that wanted to upgrade their installation of Plasma 5.8 to Plasma 5.12 we created an upgrade script that will take care of importing our kde-repo into the system and upgrading the desktop to Plasma 5.12. All you need to do is download the script make it executable and execute it as root. (If you want to know what the script is doing take a look at its source code first.)" The upgrade script can be downloaded from the Neptune news post.
* * * * *
David Kronlid has written to notify us that the openSUSE package search portal has been updated. "It's much faster than the previous one and it has a new design. (It's a rewrite in a new language and I haven't found any bugs yet.) It's done by
volunteer work and still not perfect so it can't really be compared to Google, but it's an improvement." The package search website not only finds software packages for openSUSE's official repositories, but also locates packages in community repositories. Links and download options are presented for each package. In some cases packages built for other distributions, such as Debian, are listed and can be downloaded for installation on alternative platforms.
* * * * *
The Slax project will soon be publishing a new release of its Debian-based live distribution. Along with the many changes listed in the Slax roadmap, the project plans to sell USB thumb drives with copies of Slax on them. The distribution's blog post reads: "A few users requested a possibility to purchase Slax pre-installed on an USB drive, so I'll offer such possibility after the new version is released. If you like, you can support Slax by buying such USB device directly from this website. And if you don't like, you can simply download it for free as usual."
* * * * *
Fans of the SolydXK distribution may be happy to learn they can now run the desktop distribution on a Raspberry Pi 3 single board computer. While the current disk images for the Pi 3 are still in the early stages of development, they do boot and run a desktop environment. A post on the SolydXK blog reports: "For a client I needed to create a desktop client for a Raspberry Pi 3. Unfortunately, there was too little time and Raspbian was chosen to solve the client's issue. However, I thought it was a shame not to do anything with the work I had done. So, I finished the image and I now plan to release it as a community effort. This image is based on Michael Stapelberg's 64-bit image. It follows Debian Buster and, as this is current Testing, it will have some bugs that need attention." The blog post includes a download link and invites testers to report their experiences in this forum thread.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Opinion (by Jesse Smith)
SysV init - Init's alive!
Usually I like to use this space to discuss third-party software, command line tips or other people's technical problems. This week, if you will indulge me, I would like to discuss a project that I am directly involved with.
I tend to run conservative distributions, preferably ones with longer support lives. When I am not testing the latest releases of various distributions, I like to run systems which are, if nothing else, not going to surprise me. I also tend toward running operating systems which use fewer resources - Void, MX Linux and FreeBSD can commonly be found on my hard drives. So it is probably not surprising that around the end of 2017 I realized nearly half the computers I use were running SysV init rather than the more modern systemd or even Upstart.
Now, whether you like SysV init (hereafter referred to as simply "init" to separate it from OpenRC or systemd) you can probably appreciate that I was curious as to who, if anyone, was maintaining init's ageing codebase. There had not been a new, official release of init for several years. Was this because init was small and old with a codebase that got so much attention that any bugs were squashed years ago? Were the developers quietly pushing out patches for old versions without publishing a new release? Was the code simply being left to rot? I decided that I should find out since init was at the core of several distributions I was using.
At first glance, the upstream project appeared to be dead. Development had continued in the code repositories for a time after the last release (version 2.88), but the bug tracker and mailing list painted a picture of a project which had gradually run out of stream a few years ago. However, people had continued checking the code and writing patches. I found that several Linux distributions maintained multiple patches to fix small bugs, clean up documentation or improve performance. People had gone looking through the code and fixed problems. Then, without activity upstream, the developers had added their patches to their distributions' init packages and moved on.
The result was that there were several distributions running init, but some were running slightly different versions of init. Logs from init might look a little different across Linux distributions, manual pages might have different explanations for certain features. While it was good people had been fixing init as needed, those fixes were not being picked up and shared by the rest of the Linux ecosystem.
I wanted to improved on this situation. Relatively few Linux distributions may be running SysV init these days, but projects like antiX, Devuan and others continue to ship the classic init software. Other projects still use init, if only as a jumping off point for OpenRC to run. I thought it would be best if these conservative systems could all benefit from bug fixes, documentation improvements and new features. Since I hoped to unify the various branches of changes that were forming, I wanted to avoid forking init, so I approached the upstream team. They were welcoming and I became the newest member of their team. Then, with some guidance and kind words from developers who had worked on init in the past, I got to work combing through the patches and bug reports.
It was slow going working on an unfamiliar codebase and trying to stitch fixes together. Sometimes distributions had fixed the same problem, but had done it differently and I tried to put together the best solutions from the bug reports and patches available. At the end of February I was able to upload a new beta package of init for testing. Trying out the new beta on various test systems, both x86 and ARM, has gone well and a stable release should be available soon.
There are a few reasons I'm bringing the new work going into init to light. The first is I am hoping Linux distributions will test and adopt the new release that is about to be published. It would be nice to get everyone using the same code with the same fixes. That will hopefully make it easier to distributions to share improvements in the future and for users to submit bug reports.
The second reason is working on projects like this takes time. Working on patches and trying to find (and test) speed improvements on init takes resources and effort and it would go more smoothly if the project was funded, by either individuals, companies or downstream distributions that use the code. The work will get done with or without help, but I hope it can be done quicker with the support of people who are still using init for one reason or another.
The third reason is I would like to invite people to submit issue reports and feature requests to the upstream bug tracker. SysV init was sleeping, but it's not dead and can be improved to suit its users' needs. I think something which put people off using systemd was that it introduced a revolution in init software while many people prefer a gradual evolution of technology, with small improvements rather than radical new designs. I would like to find out what people who are using init, or are considering using it, want from their init software.
|Released Last Week
Soren Jacobsen has announced the release of NetBSD 7.1.2. NetBSD is a lightweight operating system specifically designed to run on a large range of hardware and processor platforms. Version 7.1.2 is a security and bug-fix upgrade: "The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 7.1.2, the second security and bug-fix update of the NetBSD 7.1 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons. If you are running an earlier release of NetBSD, we strongly suggest updating to 7.1.2. Changes between 7.1.1 and 7.1.2: security advisory fixes - NetBSD-SA2018-003 remote DoS in IPsec (IPv6) and NetBSD-SA2018-004 remote memory corruption in IPv6; disable compat_svr4 and compat_svr4_32 by default on all ports; disable compat_ibcs2 everywhere but on Vax; remove svr4, svr4_32, ibcs2, freebsd from the module autoload list; disable LSRR (loose source and record route) and SSRR (strict source and record route) by default; amd64 - make the direct map non-executable...." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
GParted Live 0.31.0-1
Curtis Gedak has announced the release of GParted Live 0.31.0-1, a new stable version of the project's live disc with a collection of tools for managing disk partitions and rescuing files. This release comes with the brand-new GParted 0.31.0 utility which is developed by the same team: "The GParted team is pleased to announce a new stable release of GParted Live. This release includes GParted 0.31.0, patches for libparted for FAT file system operations, and other improvements. Items of note include: add support for changing UDF label/uuid and show UDF disk usage; rollback specific failed partition change steps; based on the Debian Sid repository as of 2018-03-20; Linux kernel updated to 4.15.4; libparted fixes check FAT32 crashes and resized FAT32 not recognized by Windows. This release of GParted Live has been successfully tested on VirtualBox, VMware, BIOS, UEFI and physical computers with AMD/ATI, NVIDIA and Intel graphics. Note that the X desktop did not display on old Acer Aspire laptops; the workaround is to select 'Other' modes of GParted Live and choose GParted Live." See the release announcement for further details.
Zentyal Server 5.1
Zentyal Server is an Ubuntu-based distribution developed with the intention of making setting up a server and network services easy. The developers have published Zentyal Server 5.1 which is based on Ubuntu's 16.04 LTS release and offers improved hardware support. "Zentyal Server 5.1 is based on the latest Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS and comes with the most recent versions of all the integrated software. Most important new features and improvements include: Linux 4.13: Ubuntu HWE Kernel with support for recent hardware and not vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre. New IDS/IPS module. New FTP module. Integration of SOGo 4.0. Integration of ejabberd 17.07. In addition, this version comes with important bug fixes, usability and performance improvements, specially in Network, Samba, DNS and HTTP Proxy modules (see full changelog for details)." Further information and upgrade instructions can be found in the project's release announcement. Zentyal Server is available in Commercial and community (called "Development") editions.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found in our Torrent Archive. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 781
- Total data uploaded: 18.6TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Running legacy or new software
Whenever there is a leap forward in technology, some people like to ride the cutting-edge to enjoy new experiences and features, while others hang back in order to continue using what has been working for them. We see this sort of divide when major new desktop versions such as KDE4 or GNOME Shell are launched. Some people jump on the new version while others run forks of the old versions like Trinity or MATE. We see a similar divide between people taking advantage of systemd's new features while others prefer to use familiar init software like Upstart or SysV init.
This week we ask whether you prefer to stay on the cutting edge of technology or hold back, using legacy versions of software. Do you embrace new options like GRUB2, GNOME Shell, KDE Plasma and systemd or do you prefer familiar software like GRUB Legacy and the MATE desktop?
You can see the results of our previous poll on educational videos in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Running legacy or new software
|I prefer to run new technologies: ||516 (26%)|
| I prefer to run legacy technologies: ||363 (18%)|
| I evaluate each on a case-by-case basis: ||930 (46%)|
| I have no strong preference: ||201 (10%)|
Package database updated
Once a year the DistroWatch package database gets updated. During this time we remove old packages which are dormant and insert new packages which our readers have suggested as being useful or popular. Packages in our database can be used as part of searches and new releases are tracked in the left-hand sidebar on our front page.
This year we made an unusually large number of changes to our package database, adding ten new packages and removing ten others. We removed the following items: Alpine, Banshee, Cinelerra, gFTP, kdelibs, Miro, NcFTP, ProFTPD, RazorQt and vsftpd.
We also renamed a few packages to make them easier to find or distinguish from other packages. The lxde-common package was replaced with lxpanel and lxqt-common was replaced with lxqt-panel. The man package was replaced with man-db.
Finally, the following items were added to our database:
Further information on which packages we currently track and what changes are planned for the future can be found on our Packages page.
- Docker - a program that performs operating-system-level virtualisation, also known as "containerisation".
- Flatpak - a framework for Linux application sandboxing and distribution.
- Krita - a cross-platform application that offers an end-to-end solution for creating digital art files from scratch.
- libdvdcss - a library designed for accessing DVDs like a block device.
- Lua - a powerful, efficient, lightweight, embeddable scripting language.
- Lzip - a lossless data compressor.
- MyPaint - a nimble, distraction-free and easy tool for digital painters.
- qBittorrent - a P2P BitTorrent client.
- Rust - a systems programming language that runs blazingly fast, prevents segfaults and guarantees thread safety.
- snapd - a tool that enables systems to work with portable .snap files.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- Rocket Show. Rocket Show is a Raspbian-based Linux distribution for Raspberry Pi 3 computers. The Rocket Show distribution is used to provide light shows, audio and video for stage performances.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 2 April 2018. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
|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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Freespire was once a community-run Linux distribution sponsored by Linspire. Freespire was discontinued in 2008. Starting in 2017 Freespire became a free operating system based on Ubuntu and run by PC/OpenSystems LLC. Freespire features the Xfce desktop environment.