| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 802, 18 February 2019
Welcome to this year's 7th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Source-based distributions are renowned for being flexible and, with the proper optimizations, potentially faster than their pre-compiled binary counterparts. This week we take a look at a source-focused Linux distribution on our waiting list: Slontoo. The Slontoo project has its roots in Funtoo, and in turn, Gentoo, perhaps the most famous source-based Linux project. Our Feature story reports on what it is like to run Slontoo and use its source-based package management tools. In our News section we talk about the NetBSD team testing a newer compiler and share a reminder from the Void team about which Void-related web domains they control. Plus we talk about members of the Fedora community packaging the Deepin desktop for Fedora 30, improvements coming to Ubuntu Studio and Debian updating its installation media. In our Tips and Tricks column we discuss ambiguous terms that are often used in the open source community and what they mean in different contexts. One of these hard-to-pin-down terms is stability and our Opinion Poll asks what kind of stability our readers are looking for in their operating system. Plus we are happy to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we are pleased to welcome the EasyOS distribution to our database. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
- Review: Slontoo 18.07.1 "LXDE"
- News: NetBSD testing newer compiler, Void reminds users of its official domain, Fedora porting the Deepin desktop, Debian updates media, changes in Ubuntu Studio
- Tips and tricks: What being free, stable and light-weight mean
- Released last week: Ubuntu 18.04.2
- Torrent corner: Archman, ArcoLinux, AUSTRUMI, Clonezilla, Debian, FuguIta, MakuluLinux, KDE neon, Omarine, RancherOS, SmartOS, Tails, Ubuntu, Voyager
- Upcoming releases: SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1 RC1
- Opinion poll: What kind of stability do you want from your distro?
- New additions: EasyOS
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (20MB) and MP3 (15MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Slontoo 18.07.1 "LXDE"
It is not often that I experiment with projects from the Gentoo family of distributions. This week I decided to enjoy a change of pace and experiment with a desktop oriented distribution from the Gentoo family called Slontoo. According to the project's website,
Slontoo is an operating system based on Funtoo Linux. It uses the Linux Mint live installer to simplify the installation procedure. Slontoo tries to provide most appropriate tools for home and office use.
Funtoo is, in turn, based on Gentoo and strives to improve the technologies presented in the Gentoo meta-distribution.
Slontoo is available in three editions: LXDE, MATE and Xfce. New users can download one unified ISO (1.7GB) that contains all three desktop environments, or select from one of three smaller ISO files that each include just one desktop. I decided to download the distribution's LXDE edition which is 1GB in size. Slontoo is available for 64-bit systems only.
Booting from the live media brings up a menu asking us to pick our preferred language. Then the system boots into a graphical mode and presents us with the LXDE desktop. A panel sits at the bottom of the screen, with the application menu in the bottom-left corner. Icons on the desktop open the file manager and launch the system installer. The live desktop was responsive and the distribution appeared to be working smoothly so I jumped immediately into the installer.
As its website states, Slontoo borrows its graphical system installer from Mint, specifically the one used in Linux Mint's Debian Edition. The installer walks us through selecting our preferred language, picking our time zone from a map, and confirming our keyboard's layout. We then make up a username and password for ourselves. Partitioning the hard drive comes next and Slontoo offers to automatically set up an ext4 root file system and swap space for us. Alternatively we can manually arrange the partitions as we like, using a pleasantly simple partitioning tool. The last page of the installer asks if we would like to install the GRUB boot loader and, if so, where. Then the installer copies its packages to our hard drive. The installer took longer than usual in my test environments, but the installer did finally finish successfully.
The freshly installed Slontoo boots to a graphical login screen. A menu at the bottom of the display gives us a choice of desktop sessions, including: GNOME, KDE, LXDE and Openbox. The GNOME and KDE options do not work as they are not installed and selecting them simply returns us to the login screen. Signing into LXDE (which uses Openbox as its window manager) presents us with a blue and grey theme. The desktop is pleasantly light and responsive and generally stays out of the way. The application menu is arranged in a tree-style layout with a handful of applications in each category, making for a fully functional, but not crowded menu.
Slontoo 18.07.1 -- The LXDE desktop and application menu
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When I first began using Slontoo it was in a VirtualBox environment. Slontoo was responsive and ran smoothly in its virtual machine. However, the distribution's screen resolution was severely limited at 800x600 pixels. I tried to fix this by installing the VirtualBox guest modules, which are available in the project's software repository, but the modules failed to install. (I will talk about managing software on Slontoo more, later in this review.) I then found I could adjust the display resolution in one of Openbox's settings modules. This allowed me to set the virtual machine's display resolution, I was only limited in that I could not dynamically resize the environment's window.
When I tried to run Slontoo on a workstation, the first hurdle I ran into is the distribution will not boot in UEFI mode. It did boot in legacy BIOS mode though. The distribution ran smoothly on the workstation, using my screen's full resolution, playing audio and otherwise behaving well. Slontoo was not able to detect the workstation's wireless card, but otherwise functioned well.
Slontoo 18.07.1 -- Customizing desktop settings
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The distribution was light on memory, using just 130MB of RAM when logged into LXDE. The system used around 6GB of hard drive space, which is fairly typical in my experience these days, at least for mainstream distributions.
What do we get for 6GB of disk space? Looking through the application menu we find Aurora (a nightly development build of Firefox), the Deluge torrent client, the Sylpheed e-mail client and the Gajim chat client. LibreOffice is provided along with the Atril document viewer and the GNU Image Manipulation Program. Leafpad and Geany are provided to edit text documents and PCManFM is the default file manager.
The gxine and LXMusic media players are included along with a range of media codecs, allowing us to play most audio and video files out of the box. There is also an account manager, several settings modules for customizing the desktop and the Xfburn disc burning software. In the background we find SysV init is paired with OpenRC to provide service management. The install media provides version 4.14 of the Linux kernel, with new versions made available on a regular basis.
Slontoo 18.07.1 -- Running Firefox and browsing installed applications
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I think it is worth noting that the included software is, at the time of writing, about six months out of date. The Firefox browser warns us on its start page that it is out of date and provides a link to download a newer build. Which brings me to the topic of software management.
Slontoo, unlike most distributions, deals with packages it builds from source code. This means that if we want to install a new web browser or update the kernel or LibreOffice, our system will download the necessary source code and rebuild the package. This is a slower process than dealing with binary packages, which is the more common approach. Working with source code bundles gives us the ability to customize software, but does put more stress on our local system as compiling software requires a lot of disk reads and CPU resources.
Software management on Slontoo can be handled through a graphical package manager called Porthole. The Porthole application is divided into three panes. The pane on the left shows us software categories and recent search queries. The right pane shows us packages in a selected category (or search). A third pane at the bottom of the window displays information on the currently highlighted package.
When I first launched Porthole the application warned me that it should be run with root access. For some reason, this is not done through the application menu entry. We can either launch Porthole from a command line using sudo or put up with a warning displayed in the program's upper-right corner letting us know it is not being run as root. Not having root access does not seem to have a practical effect though as Porthole always prompts us for our sudo password whenever it needs to perform actions that affect the system.
Whenever we sync our package database, or install or upgrade software, a terminal window opens, prompts us for our password, and then shows detailed status information while the underlying package manager (emerge) works. When I first ran a sync on the software database a message appeared letting me know the portage package should be updated before doing anything else. I performed a search for portage and updated it, with the action completing successfully.
After that I consistently ran into problems using Porthole. Trying to perform a full package upgrade failed while checking dependencies, trying to install specific packages also usually failed. The fact a failure had occurred was not always obvious though. The status window always shows that an action completes, but not whether it was successful. We need to scroll back, sometimes through several pages of output, to find out if there were any errors.
Slontoo 18.07.1 -- Updating software with Porthole
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I switched to using the emerge command line package manager directly and this yielded more positive results. Using emerge I was able to install some packages and trying to perform a large software update kicked off without dependency issues. I did run into other problems though. Some packages still failed to install. When trying to bring the system up to date, I found there were over 450 packages queued to be upgraded. After the first handful of small items installed I did some rough calculations on the remaining time left and realized it would take over 40 hours to complete all of the software updates. Compiling software from source code has its drawbacks, not only in time spent, but in system resources. Slontoo was quite a bit slower and disk access lagged noticeably while updates were being built.
After a few days I stopped experimenting with Slontoo, cutting my trial short. Which is unfortunate, as I think Slontoo does a number of things well. I like that the project offers a number of desktop environments and gives us the choice of a unified disc with all three desktop. I like that LXDE is so light and responsive (most of the time), and the default theme looks quite nice.
I do think the project suffers a bit from not having its own documentation. Slontoo has a very inactive forum and none of its own documentation, meaning we need to look elsewhere, such as the Gentoo project, to locate information on the distribution. Likewise, we need to find support through other means.
However, my biggest issue by far was with software management. Actually, software presented me with two challenges. The first was the default software on the LXDE edition was not great. Much of it was less mainstream, not always up to the challenge, or just less familiar to me. So I wanted to replace most of it and upgrade all of it. The second (and bigger) challenge is it takes hours to install many of the software packages I wanted. Included updates, I wanted to install over 500 packages, which would take about two days in total.
On a binary distribution I can usually install all the software I need in under 30 minutes, but with Slontoo it would take 40-50 hours, during which time my disk access and desktop performance would be greatly restricted. It made for an impractical working environment.
Sadly, this is an issue which prevents me from using any primarily source-based system. I do sometimes use source packages, but it is always a rare exception in order to customize a package, not a regular occurrence. Waiting hours for a package upgrade or for a new utility to install that I plan to use right away is just not practical.
Even if building packages from source code had been practical, or if I had been willing to run it as a series of late-night jobs while the computer wasn't in use, the Porthole front-end did not function well. The application does not provide clear status messages and often fails where the command line tools succeed, making it unreliable.
In short, Slontoo has some nice features, a good installer and a pleasantly lightweight desktop. But I don't think its source-focused approach is practical for most people to use as a daily-driver. If the project adds a binary repository like Calculate Linux does, or perhaps even publishes monthly ISOs to keep the install media fresh, I will happily revisit it.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card, Ralink RT5390R PCIe Wireless card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
NetBSD testing newer compiler, Void reminds users of its official domain, Fedora porting the Deepin desktop, Debian updates media, changes in Ubuntu Studio
The NetBSD operating system is famous for running on a wide variety of CPU architectures. While this portability is very useful, it means upgrading the compiler and related code development tools can be a tricky process requiring lots of review. Matthew Green has announced that he is working on upgrading the NetBSD ports compiler to version 7 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and is inviting people to test the transition: "I plan to switch amd64 and arm64 to GCC 7 soon. i386, sparc, mips, ppc, and alpha are probably ready and tested enough for anyone else to try out. 32-bit arm is only just now working so not well tested yet. hppa, m68k, vax, and sh3 all build but have not been tested yet. ia64 and ppc64 are currently not building, and I haven't looked at the hopefully revived riscv port yet, or the or1k. If you'd like to test now from -current, build a clean tree with 'build.sh -V HAVE_GCC=7'. It should just work." A list of the optimizations and other improvements in GCC 7 can be found on the compiler's Changes page.
* * * * *
The Void project is proactively publishing a statement on their website, letting people know that the domain voidlinux.eu is not under the control of the Void team. The official Void website can be found at voidlinux.org. "We would like to warn people of a domain name that is no longer under Void Linux control. voidlinux.eu lapsed in its original registration, and was purchased by an unknown third party before Void Linux could regain ownership. At this time, please assume that anything involving voidlinux.eu is not related to Void Linux, and should be considered potentially malicious. Of course, if the person who owns the domain now would like to transfer it to our control, we'd be grateful, and will update voidlinux.org to indicate if this happens."
* * * * *
Zamir SUN and Bowen Li are working to bring the Deepin desktop environment to Fedora. The duo is working to get Deepin packages included in Fedora's repositories in time for the launch of Fedora 30 (scheduled for the end of April 2019). An overview of the effort and instructions for trying out Deepin on Fedora using packages or a live disc can be found on the team's proposal page.
* * * * *
The Debian project has published updated installation media for Debian 9 "Stretch". The new media includes bug fixes for packages, but does not represent a new version of the distribution. "Please note that the point release does not constitute a new version of Debian 9 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old stretch media. After installation, packages can be upgraded to the current versions using an up-to-date Debian mirror. Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages, and most such updates are included in the point release."
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The Ubuntu Studio team has announced a number of new changes coming to their multimedia-focused distribution. The Ubuntu Studio developers have set up a backports PPA to deliver new features to people running version 18.04 of their distribution. The team is also swapping out the discontinued JACK routing tool Patchage in favour of Carla. The Meta Installer has been updated too to tweak existing Ubuntu community editions to make them use Ubuntu Studio technology. "In the past, Ubuntu Studio Meta Installer had been a tool used to install meta-packages of various creative application categories. Now, Ubuntu Studio Installer can be used to install not only those meta-packages, but also the under-the-hood tweaks used to enable real-time audio processing and reduce the default swappiness, which dictates when the system starts moving unused portions of RAM to the hard drive swap file. This increases overall performance for most applications, but is not recommended for systems with less than 4GB of RAM. Also included is the low-latency Linux kernel, as well as the option to move the low-latency kernel to the top of your GRUB bootloader menu, making it the default which is especially useful for audio production."
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
What being free, stable and light-weight mean
There are a number of commonly used terms which get thrown around in the open source community which, because they are often used without further context, can be confusing. The confusion is often compounded because the meaning of the terms can be ambiguous, with different definitions in different situations. Let's look at a few of these terms and try to clear up their meanings in different contexts.
I want to start with the term free. When used in open source circles, the word free can mean one of two different things. Free can mean that something has no monetary cost, as in "I can download this software for free." However, free can also refer to software which is distributed under a special subset of open source licenses that make it "free software". Free software, in this context, refers to software the user can audit, modify and redistribute. The GNU project describes free software as follows:
"Free software" means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, "free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free beer". We sometimes call it "libre software," borrowing the French or Spanish word for "free" as in freedom, to show we do not mean the software is gratis."
Often times (but not always) software which is offered under a libre license is also available at no cost, which can further confuse the matter. This can lead to people assuming all libre software should be available at no charge, but this is not the case. The price of software is independent of its license. The GNU project also weighs in on the subject of charging money for distributing software:
Since free software is not a matter of price, a low price doesn't make the software free, or even closer to free. So if you are redistributing copies of free software, you might as well charge a substantial fee and make some money. Redistributing free software is a good and legitimate activity; if you do it, you might as well make a profit from it.
Unfortunately people often use the term "free software" without context, not letting people know whether they mean free of charge, or freely licensed.
* * * * *
Stable is another term which has multiple meanings in regards to software. Stable can refer to software which rarely changes. Distributions with fixed releases that only publish security updates are typically referred to as being stable in the sense they do not introduce changes.
The term stable can also refer to software that runs without crashing or causing problems. In other words, stable can refer to how well a program or distribution operates rather than how frequently it changes.
The difference in meaning can cause problems when discussing the approaches different distributions take and how users perceive them. For instance, the Arch Linux distribution is a rolling release which is constantly changing. It is definitely not stable in the sense of being static or unchanging. However, many users of Arch find that the distribution is stable in that it continues to run without causing them problems.
In the reverse situation, a dormant Linux distribution which has many bugs, but no longer receives updates, is very stable in that it never changes. However, it is not stable in the sense of being reliable.
Some distributions, such as Slackware and Debian, tend to publish releases which are viewed as being stable in both senses of the term - unchanging and reliable.
* * * * *
The term light-weight gets tossed around a lot when referring to Linux distributions. While there is no set definition of what qualifies an operating system as light-weight, the term generally refers to one of two characteristics: the amount of RAM the operating system uses and the amount of CPU resources a system consumes. Specifically, "light-weight" distributions typically run window managers or desktop environments which use fewer resources than mainstream distributions do.
Some people try to extend the term to also refer to the size of the distribution's installation image or its size on the hard drive. However, while those characteristics do have an impact on the initial download and setup time of the operating system, they do not affect day-to-day usage. As a result, the size of the operating system's ISO and its space on the hard drive are typically ignored in favour of looking at the amount of CPU and RAM required to login and perform basic tasks.
Light-weight distributions typically ship with either only a command line, the LXDE desktop, or a minimal window manager like Fluxbox, Openbox, or JWM. Distributions which ship with Xfce are often thought of as "mid-weight" systems while projects running GNOME or KDE Plasma tend to be thought of as "heavy" or, more politely, "feature-rich".
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Additional tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
Adam Conrad has announced the release of Ubuntu 18.04.2, a set of updated builds of the project's flagship Linux distribution with long-term support. Most of the official Ubuntu sub-projects, notably Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Kylin and Xubuntu, have also been updated to version 18.04.2: "The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server and Cloud products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support. Like previous LTS series, 18.04.2 includes hardware enablement stacks for use on newer hardware. This support is offered on all architectures and is installed by default when using one of the desktop images." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
* * * * *
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: 1,257
- Total data uploaded: 23.8TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
What kind of stability do you want from your distro?
In our Tips and Tricks column we discussed two types of stability - reliability versus an unchanging system. We would like to know which of these two types of stability do you look for in your distribution? Do you want your system to be up to date with the latest package while remaining reliable, or do you prefer a system that sticks with tried and true software in order to be consistently reliable?
You can see the results of our previous poll on process monitors in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
What kind of stability do you want from your distro?
|I want reliability and static packages: ||274 (12%)|
| I want reliability and updated packages: ||1807 (81%)|
| I prefer new packages over reliability: ||119 (5%)|
| I do not require stability: ||12 (1%)|
| Other: ||27 (1%)|
New projects added to database
EasyOS is an experimental Linux distribution which uses many of the technologies and package formats pioneered by Puppy Linux. The distribution features custom container technology called Easy Containers which can run applications or the entire desktop environment in a container. Packages, desktop settings, networking and sharing resources over the network can all be controlled through graphical utilities.
EasyOS 1.0 -- The welcome screen
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DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 25 February 2019. 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 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|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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Mockup was a desktop operating system, based on the Morphix live CD. The project's goal was to create an Open Source operating system that was easy to use - a live CD which can be installed on a hard disk. The desktop environment was based on new and exciting technology, such as udev, hotplug and HAL for hardware detection and automatic device files creation. The whole desktop was written using Trolltech's Qt 4 with both vector and bitmap graphics, with antialiasing. Where supported by the hardware, translucency and drop shadows are also provided for interesting effects.