| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 798, 21 January 2019
Welcome to this year's 3rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The beginning of the year is a time for planning and making goals for the months ahead. This gives developers and users a chance to envision what new technology will be coming soon to their operating systems. In our News section we report on new changes coming to the Solus distribution and the Budgie desktop. The Fedora team is making plans to get a more accurate count of the project's users and we link to the details below. Plus we talk about MX Linux's new issue tracker and happily report on the NetBSD project making strides forward in their efforts to create reproducible builds. First though we would like to start with a look at Sculpt OS, an operating system based on Genode's microkernel design. Details on Sculpt and its sanboxing features are covered in our Feature Story. Then our Questions and Answers column discusses swap files and the pros and cons of using swap files as opposed to swap partitions. Our Opinion Poll this week asks whether selecting a desktop environment or an underlying operating system takes a higher priority with our readers and we hope you will share your distro-selecting criteria with us in the comments. As usual, we share the releases of the past week and provide a list of the torrents we are seeding. Finally, we are pleased to welcome Project Trident to our database. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Sculpt OS 18.09
- News: Solus team plans ahead, Fedora considering how best to count users, NetBSD reaches reproducible builds milestone, MX Linux opens a new bug tracker
- Questions and answers: Picking a location for swap space
- Released last week: Netrunner 19.01 ArcoLinux 19.01.4, deepin 15.9
- Torrent corner: Archman, ArcoLinux, deepin, Endless OS, HardenedBSD, Netrunner, Parrot, Biocom, SmartOS, Project Trident, Zevenet
- Opinion poll: Which comes first, the desktop or the distro?
- New additions: Project Trident
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (17MB) and MP3 (13MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Sculpt OS 18.09
This week I decided to take some time away from the Linux and BSD communities and try something entirely different. This led me to read about Sculpt OS, a project which is described as follows:
Sculpt is an open source, general purpose OS. It combines Genode's microkernel architecture, capability-based security, sandboxed device drivers, and virtual machines in a novel operating system for commodity PC hardware.
In case you have not encountered Genode before, it is an interesting project which strives to offer a secure environment while consuming very few resources:
The Genode OS Framework is a tool kit for building highly secure special-purpose operating systems. It scales from embedded systems with as little as 4MB of memory to highly dynamic general-purpose workloads. Genode is based on a recursive system structure. Each program runs in a dedicated sandbox and gets granted only those access rights and resources that are needed for its specific purpose.
Sculpt OS reportedly runs on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 processors as well as the ARM and RISC-V architectures. The operating system can be downloaded as a USB thumb drive image or as a VirtualBox appliance. (I opted to download both, which are just under 25MB in size, each.) The files are not labelled with any version number, but when I imported the VirtualBox appliance it was tagged as being version 18.09. This lags behind the release announcements on the website, which indicated 18.11 was the newest version at the time of writing.
I tried the VirtualBox appliance first which sets up two disks, a 23MB drive for the operating system and a 32GB disk for data storage which the documentation says we can format using included utilities.
A mere 23MB is unusually small for a modern operating system and I was surprised to find Sculpt boots to a graphical environment. A panel appears in the upper-left corner and provides information on available storage, networking information and tasks currently in progress. From this panel we can enable wired networking, mount and format hard drives, and see status updates on software we might try to install. (I will talk more on installing packages later.)
Sculpt OS 18.09 -- The graphical interface
(full image size: 212kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
At the bottom of the screen is a terminal window which appears to be showing debugging information. Most of the right-hand side of the screen is consumed by a graph which shows system components and how they relate to each other. The graph gets updated whenever we open or close a program or resource. It appears to be a way to show how processes depend on each other and, when we click on an application's entry on the graph, we are given the option to remove it from the system.
At the top of the graph is a plus sign (+) and clicking it opens a menu. The menu lists about 20 items, most of them with short names such as "vm_fs" or "top_view". Other appear to list games like "2048" and "Quake". Clicking on one of the menu items opens a panel on the left showing the selected item is being downloaded. Then we get a status message, indicating whether the item could be set up and run or not.
Sculpt OS 18.09 -- Closing applications from the graph
(full image size: 212kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
For example, I started by trying to open an item labelled "nano3d", which brought up a status message saying "nano3d requires wm". I checked and the menu did not include any item called "wm". I moved onto "2048" which brought up the same error.
After trying to open a few more items an entry for "wm" did appear at the bottom of the application menu, I guess it had been buried under other entries and only became visible once others had been opened. Running the "wm" component did allow me to open a few other items, like "2048", but the launched programs appeared in the background, behind the graph, and I was unable to interact with them. Clicking their entries in the graph allowed me to close open programs, but not use them.
There is a browser listed in the menu, which attempts to download Firefox, but eventually an error appeared saying Firefox was unavailable. Two other items, "backdrop" and "download_debian" both returned the status message "incomplete or missing". The same error was shown when I tried to open a menu item called "config_editor".
I tried rebooting a couple of times and launching items in a different order to see if downloading dependencies first would help, but it did not. The results were always the same: most menu items would not install or open, and those that did could not be interacted with using the mouse or keyboard.
Sculpt OS 18.09 -- Launching components from the menu
(full image size: 248kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
After trying Sculpt in a virtual machine for a while, I switched to trying the operating system on a physical computer, running it from a thumb drive. Sculpt failed to start at all in legacy BIOS mode. I was able to get some response from the operating system in UEFI mode. Sculpt would display the Genode logo and then lock up. The system would not proceed further and ignored keyboard and mouse input.
The Sculpt OS website suggests that the operating system is ready for day to day use, at least in some environments: "Sculpt is used as day-to-day OS by the Genode developers." Though this makes me wonder in what capacity the operating system runs on the machines of those developers. When I tried out the Haiku beta last year, the operating system had some limitations, but I could see how it could be useful to some people in environments with compatible hardware. In theory, I could browse the web, perform some basic tasks and develop software on Haiku.
With Sculpt though, I was unable to get the operating system to do anything, from a user's point of view. The small OS could download packages and load some of them into memory, and it could display a graph of related components. Sculpt could connect to my network and mount additional storage. All of this is good and a fine demo of the Genode design. However, I (as a user) was unable to interact with any applications, find a command line, or browse the file system. All of this put a severe damper on my ability to use Sculpt to do anything useful.
Genode, and by extension Sculpt OS, has some interesting design goals when it comes to security and minimalism. However, I don't think Sculpt is practical for any end-user tasks at this time.
* * * * *
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
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Solus team plans ahead, Fedora considering how best to count users, NetBSD reaches reproducible builds milestone, MX Linux opens a new bug tracker
The Solus project has published a roadmap describing what the project's developers will be working on during 2019. The project's blog outlines work planned for the Budgie desktop, the package manager and the distribution's infrastructure. The roadmap includes plans for a new version of Budgie: "Budgie 11 development will officially (re-?)start in April. This development will occur internally on our Development Tracker until it is in a more ready state, in which case it will be available under our GetSolus GitHub organization. This will enable us to iterate on Budgie 11 at a pace which won't compromise our other higher priority and more time sensitive development efforts, as well as allow us to evolve and experiment with various Budgie 11 components. April will be focused on starting the development of these components, starting with budgie-daemon and budgie-desktop-shell." Along with the behind-the-scenes improvements, the release of Solus 4 is planned for the first quarter of 2019.
* * * * *
Counting Linux users is always a challenge since most distributions do not track installations. Some projects make an effort to estimate usage by counting downloads, unique IP addresses contacting download mirrors, or other methods, but they all have limitations which can cause great over- (or under-)estimates. The Fedora project is examining options for getting a better user count using unique identifiers through the package manager. The proposal reads: "Right now, we estimate installed Fedora systems by counting unique IP addresses which show up in our updates mirror statistics. We need better data than that. There are some proposals for more complicated systems, but a quick thing we can do now to greatly improve what we have without a gigantic new infrastructure. This is an update of a previous proposal to use a UUID to distinguish unique systems, as openSUSE does." (Data collected by openSUSE's zypper package manager can be found on the project's Metrics website.) Any user tracking tends to raise concerns in the open source community and LWN has an article discussing some issues with the proposal along with alternative options for counting Fedora users.
* * * * *
NetBSD has been working toward reproducible builds, a strategy to make sure people using the same source code end up with the same binary files following the build process. Being able to reproduce a build is important for making sure the source code a person has really does match the executable program they have installed. The NetBSD project has made good progress according to the project's reproducible test data. "Reproducible NetBSD is an effort to apply this to NetBSD. Thus each NetBSD target is built twice, with a few variations added and then the resulting files from the two builds are compared using diffoscope. Please note that the toolchain is not varied at all as the rebuild happens on exactly the same system. More variations are expected to be seen in the wild." The build run on January 12th shows all 56 test packages were built in a reproducible way.
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The MX Linux distribution has been attracting a lot of attention lately. It has received positive reviews and the project has been quickly climbing our page hit ranking for the past year. With the project's growing number of users, the developers have decided it is time to upgrade their bug tracker. "With the growing user-base for MX and antiX, we've decided to change our old bug tracker out for an improved Bugzilla-based bug manager. The new system is available at bugs.mxlinux.org. The new system allows us to assign bug reports to certain team members automatically, and allows for easier tracking of bug reports. Users are able to view all existing bug reports without signing in to an account. If you wish to file a bug report, you will need to register for a bug tracker account. Users that file reports will receive status updates when action happens on their report. Reports may be filed for MX and antiX (please choose the correct project for your situation when filing a report)."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Picking a location for swap space
Looking-for-a-place-to-put-swap asks: Some Linux distros (e.g. Ubuntu) are moving away from using a separate swap partition and using a swap file instead. Is there an advantage to this? Are there any problems? Isn't it slower to go through the file system to write to swap?
DistroWatch answers: Before getting into the pros and cons of swap files, I would like to mention that Ubuntu still supports working with swap partitions as a place to put unused data. The installer has the ability to use a swap file instead of a separate partition, but users can decide which approach (partition or file) they prefer.
As to the advantages of using a swap file instead of a swap partition, there are a few. One is that a swap file is easy to remove or resize. If we decide later that we need a larger swap space, or less swap space, it is quick and easy to create a new swap file of a different size and remove the old one. It only takes a few commands in a virtual terminal to make the adjustment with no need to restart the computer. By contrast, if we want a different sized swap partition we may need to shut down the system, boot off a live disc, and resize the disk partitions. Depending on where the swap partition is, this may result in resizing or moving other partitions too.
The bottom line is swap partitions are more fixed and harder to change later while swap files can be added, removed or resized at whim. In fact, I wrote a tool for FreeBSD which automatically monitors and resizes the swap file without intervention from the user.
On a related note, another advantage to using a swap file is that it does not take up a partition on the drive. Some disk formats have a restricted number of partitions and, though this is not usually a limiting factor anymore, in years past there was an advantage in not using up a precious partition slot.
As to disadvantages, there can be some, depending on the environment and file system. In fact, the swapon manual page lists a number of scenarios where swap files may cause problems on Linux systems:
The swap file implementation in the kernel expects to be able to write to the file directly, without the assistance of the filesystem. This is a problem on preallocated files (e.g. fallocate) on filesystems like XFS or ext4, and on copy-on-write filesystems like Btrfs. It is recommended to use dd and /dev/zero to avoid holes on XFS and ext4.
As to whether using a swap file is slower than a swap partition, at the moment the two options offer the same performance. In the past there was some overhead to using a swap file, but these days there is no performance penalty to using a swap file.
swapon may not work correctly when using a swap file with some versions of Btrfs. This is due to Btrfs being a copy-on-write filesystem: the file location may not be static and corruption can result. Btrfs actively disallows the use of swap files on its filesystems by refusing to map the file.
One possible workaround is to map the swap file to a loopback device. This will allow the filesystem to determine the mapping properly but may come with a performance impact.
Swap over NFS may not work.
* * * * *
Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
The Netrunner development team has announced the release of Netrunner 19.01, a significant update of the project's desktop-oriented Linux distribution (with KDE Plasma) based on Debian's "Testing" branch. This release brings a new default desktop theme, additional web applications, and various Plasma add-ons and tweaks: "After a busy holiday season, the Netrunner team is happy to announce the immediate availability of Netrunner 19.01 'Blackbird'. Here are the main updates as of our snapshot of Debian 'Testing': KDE Plasma 5.14.3, KDE Frameworks 5.51, KDE Applications 18.08, Qt 5.11.3, Linux Kernel 4.19, Firefox Quantum 64.0, Thunderbird 60.3. Blackbird ships with a new theme called 'Netrunner Black' based on a dark, yet not too harsh contrasting visual. Using the Kvantum theme engine plus the Alpha-Black Plasma theme allowed us to create a more 3D-looking design. For those who prefer the classic look, going back to the well-known LNF is a three-button click explained under 'Tips' in our current Readme section. Moving the mouse into the lower right corner now visibly activates the 'Minimize all Windows to show Desktop' function with a light glow." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information and screenshots.
Netrunner 19.01 -- Running the KDE Plasma desktop
(full image size: 388kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
Erik Dubois has announced the release of ArcoLinux 19.01.4, a new version of the project's Arch-based, desktop-oriented distribution. Some of the features include a new version of the Calamares installer, additional icons and themes, and some bug fixes: "ArcoLinux -D -B 19.1. Upgrading Calamares gives us a chance to get an improved graphical installer. It may overcome issues people were having in the past. All ArcoLinux Calamares configurations have been looked at and improved. When we upgraded our systems on 2019-01-01 it resulted in a VirtualBox with a look that was too bright. Hence we could not read it. We looked for a solution and found one in kvantum-qt5 and kvantum-theme-arc. Use the script in your ./bin/stay-rolling/18.12-to19.1. It will install the missing packages if you are not doing a clean install with the 19.1 ISO image. Numix icons, theme and plank are now maintained by Erik Dubois on the AUR. They have been part of ArcoLinux since the beginning. Remember to get rid of the obstructing file. We have added this Stargate-themed conky to the collection." Read the full release announcement for more information and screenshots.
deepin is a Debian-based desktop distribution which features the custom-made Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE). The project's latest version is deepin 15.9 which features improved touch screen support, better power management and several desktop performance enhancements. "New features: Multiple gestures, tap and see - for touchscreen devices, multiple gestures are supported, including click, double click, long press to call out the context menu, slide up and down and others. Working together with onscreen keyboard, you are able to enjoy the free operations on touchscreen. New feature - Smart Mirror Switch in update settings. Switch it on to connect to the quickest mirror site automatically, which speeds up the download and installation to save your time. Control Center: Supported dragging and dropping pictures to change boot menu background; fixed the crash caused by keyboard settings module; supported checking password strength; fixed the bug that the default applications list was not refreshed; fixed the bug that the prompt text was not hidden automatically after switching off "Auto-download Updates"; fixed the incorrect time on Time Settings page; fixed the null pointer exception when update; fixed the bug that the current language was not identified when searching the language." Additional details can be found in the distribution's release notes.
Project Trident 18.12
Project Trident is a new member to the DistroWatch database and a desktop operating system based on TrueOS (which is, in turn, based on FreeBSD's development branch). The first official stable release of Project Trident is based on technologies from FreeBSD 13.0-CURRENT and features the Lumina desktop environment. "This version is based off the 18.12-stable branch of TrueOS (FreeBSD 13-CURRENT), using the new TrueOS distribution framework with several add-ons by Project Trident itself. The packages with this release were created from the TrueOS ports tree as-of January 7th. We are planning to release regular updates to packages every week or two depending on the state of the ports tree at any given time. In this release, both the Chromium and Iridium browsers have also been fixed and function normally again. 18.12-RELEASE has been a long time in development, and we wish to say a bit 'Thank You!' to everybody who has been helping test out the pre-release versions, find issues, submit fixes both to us and to upstream FreeBSD/TrueOS, and in general being a wonderful and supportive community! We look forward to continuing to work with all of you in making Project Trident amazing!" Additional details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Zevenet is a load balancer and application delivery system based on Debian. The project's latest release, Zevenet 5.9 Community Edition, includes several package upgrades, moves its base to Debian "Buster" and makes a leap from the i686 architecture to 64-bit. " Good evening, we are proud to announce the new release of Zevenet CE 5.9, this is based in: A complete operating system upgrade kernel 4.19 based in Buster a new WebGUI interface based in Angular, new L4xNAT core based in nftables, with new load balancing algorithms and an easier way of configuration for farm guardian. The detailed features are: [networking] IPv6 support; [system] 64-bit support; [farms] new L4xNAT core based on nftables and nftlb; [farms] supported additional L4xNAT load balancing protocols: SIP FTP, TFTP, SCTP, AMANDA, H323, IRC, NETBIOS-NS, PPTP, SANE and SNMP; [farms] add L4xNAT direct server return support; [gui] new WebGUI with Angular6 based in ngx-admin template; [api] new Zevenet API 4.0 [guardian] an easier configuration system for farm guardian." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Endless OS 3.5.4
Will Thompson has announced the release of Endless OS 3.5.4, the latest version of the project's Linux-based operating system with a simplified desktop (forked from GNOME 3) and without any package management system. The latest version introduces new parental controls for applications: "Administrator users may now control which apps can be installed or launched by standard users on the same computer. The following controls are available: restricting the apps shown in the app center based on their content rating - for example, if the option is set to show apps suitable for age 3, violent video games will not be visible in the app center; prohibiting installing new apps entirely; restricting access to certain apps which are already installed on the system. In this initial version of the feature, it is not possible to restrict access to built-in apps, including the web browser, file manager, text editor and video player. We expect to enable this in a future version of Endless OS." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of changes. Endless OS 3.5.4 is available in several languages.
* * * * *
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: 1,208
- Total data uploaded: 23.4TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Which comes first, the desktop or the distro?
When choosing a computing environment, each individual has their own criteria and priorities. Some people want to build a system from the ground up using a minimal base, others want to have as many features available as possible right from the start. Some people put a strong emphasis on the desktop environment while others might feel picking the right package manager is the most important first step.
This week we would like to find out if our readers prefer to pick a distribution first and then use whichever desktop environment it supports. Or do you prefer to pick which desktop you are going to use first and then look for distributions that supports your chosen desktop? Let us know what is the most important factor in selecting your distribution in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on tools for limiting process resource usage in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
New projects added to database
Project Trident is a desktop-focused operating system based on TrueOS, which in turn is based on FreeBSD. It uses the Lumina desktop as well as a number of self-developed system administration utilities.
Project Trident 18.12 -- Running the Lumina desktop
(full image size: 988kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 28 January 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
|Reader Comments • Jump to last comment
1 • OS | Desktop first (by Romane on 2019-01-21 00:43:41 GMT from Australia) |
I select my OS first, which over the last few years has tended to stabilise on Debian. I feel that thew base of the system is the more important, as that is the first point for the stability of the entire system.
Then I select my desktop environment, based on various criteria including established stability, functionality available out of the box, ease of configuration etc.
The reality is, however, that the overall system, to be of practical worth and use, must be stable, perform tasks in a manner suitable to the user, be configurable to the satisfaction of the user, and have available the applications which serve the needs of the user. Thus, iMHO, it really does not matter whether one chooses the OS first, the the desktop environment first. Provided the two work together in a closely-knit whole, this would be the generally expected outcome for, I would consider, a majority of users (speaking subjectively).
2 • Desktop or distro? (by Roger on 2019-01-21 01:20:16 GMT from Belgium)
My first choice is Linux Mint with Mate, when Mint ever drops Mate I will change to Ubuntu Mate, for that reason I have one desktop running Ubuntu Mate to keep an eye on it.
So for me the two are linked, one thing will always sure and that's it will be Debian based.
I feel comfortably using this line of distro's and know what I have to install to have the environment that I want to use.
3 • Deskto/Distro (by Reinaldo on 2019-01-21 01:41:48 GMT from Venezuela)
Distro first, it has to be either Debian proper, or Debian based....then desktop, preferably KDE Plasma
4 • Desktop/Distro (by Dan on 2019-01-21 01:44:41 GMT from United States)
My preference is choosing the desktop first. I have tried modern, Gnome and don't like it. KDE, I feel as if I am in someone else's house, I know where things are but just not comfortable using it. XFCE, I am very comfortable here but there are a few workarounds. MATE is my choice and I feel I am the most productive. It doesn't matter what distro I try with MATE - Mint (my preferred), PCLOS, Ubuntu MATE or Gecko, all very productive for myself.
5 • Desktop/Distro (by Bones on 2019-01-21 01:49:17 GMT from United States)
No desktop, no distro: OpenBSD, and either cwm or dwm window managers.
6 • desktop preference (by Trihexagonal on 2019-01-21 02:20:44 GMT from United States)
FreeBSD from the ground up compiling ports for 3rd party programs with Fluxbox as a WM.
7 • Desktop/Distro (by Toggle on 2019-01-21 02:25:57 GMT from United States)
What matters most to me:
1. No systemd
2. Debian or Slackware base
3. any of several midweight desktops (xfce, lxqt, and their ilk.)
Then comes negotiable things like is Firefox stock or will I have to manually purge chrome?
You know, little things.
8 • Genode (by DaveW on 2019-01-21 02:30:07 GMT from United States)
I downloaded and imported the Genode virtualbox appliance. It installed and booted successfully. After connecting to the internet, I could install and start several of the applications. However, the most successful of these showed rather dimly in the background of the screen, and could not be controlled. A quick scan of the documentation on the Genode website did not uncover any useful user guide, although I admit I could have missed something. I agree that it is not ready for general use.
9 • Swapfiles on BtrFS (by Pikolo on 2019-01-21 02:35:54 GMT from United Kingdom)
BtrFS has recently had swap files reenabled in kernel(apparently it supported them before, but it was disabled while various teething issues were being fixed), but it'll take time to trickle down to users - it's a feature of the yet to be released 5.0 kernel: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Btrfs-Swap-Files-Linux-4.21 (The article was written before the major version number changed)
10 • Pleased Trident has been added; desktop/distro (by Brenton on 2019-01-21 02:53:10 GMT from Australia)
The Trident Project was well worth adding, I was actually expecting to wait longer for that, but I am happy to be proven wrong in that.
On most distros, aside from when I'm giving the major desktop environments a go (like when testing new releases of them), or when I've only just installed the distro and haven't managed to switch it out for i3, I tend to use i3. It is lightweight, stable, simple and allows for a fairly mouse-free experience. On NixOS I've found getting i3pystatus to work with my preferences, a pain, so I just stick to KDE.
11 • Desktop & Distro (by M.Z. on 2019-01-21 03:01:21 GMT from United States)
I kind of look at the DE & Distro together. More than A couple of times I've said 'that looks interesting, but why use Gnome?'. I also look at other distinguishing features like control centers.
What exactly do you think the D in BSD stands for? Might it be that the terms are interchangeable?
12 • Opinion poll (by seacat on 2019-01-21 03:15:13 GMT from Argentina)
Desktop and Distro together...
Distro: Debian or debian-based
13 • I pick the distro, not the DE (by Jason Hsu on 2019-01-21 04:06:56 GMT from United States)
I currently use SparkyLinux, which uses LXDE. I've also used MX Linux (Xfce), Linux Mint Debian Edition (MATE at the time), and CrunchBang Linux (LXDE after I added it to OpenBox). This proves that there are multiple ways to provide a user-friendly interface. LXDE, Xfce, and MATE all provide a lightweight, simple, and user-friendly interface. I've always found that I get the best experience when I use the distro's main DE, because it's what the development team and fellow users know best. The more I deviated from this setup, the more I was on my own.
14 • Distro-DE (by Bill S on 2019-01-21 04:18:46 GMT from United States)
I choose Mint because Clem has been kind enough to include files like ia32-libs which is not available in most distros yet needed for applications I use daily and also I can use compiz reloaded for fun. Secondly, I choose Mate as the DE because it is still open to letting the users modify and change the desktop and themes and panels and icons. Mint Mate, thanks Clem and dev team.
15 • Counting Users (by Johnah on 2019-01-21 04:26:20 GMT from New Zealand)
Interesting how Fedora are trying to improve their estimate of the number of users. As I have several machines all updating, and one external IP to to world - that would seem to be like one machine updating like mad. Using a better system makes sense. We of course do not want to see Redmond-like tracking, but it would be quite interesting to see theses internal user counts for a few distros and then even more interesting to line them up and compare against the clicks-per-day counters here on DW.
Thanks for the reviews of wierd and wonderful distros like Sculpt OS. A lot of distros and products have excellent ideas and implement some great tech - but are not quite ready for the real world. In some ways all these distros are "too many" and contribute to the Dillution and Fragmentation of the Linux Desktop. Maybe that is why we are still waiting for the Year of the Linux Desktop. It has actually been and gone, become mainstream. Problem is ex-Win/Mac devs are at a loss on "so for which of the 2,000 distros / desktop combinations do I develop package for?" And the Mac guys are SO close, as OS-X is essentially BSD with the NEXXT desktop manager on top.
16 • Desktop vs Distro (by Armand Reyes on 2019-01-21 05:35:40 GMT from United States)
I have used Linux exclusively at home for about 15 years, I have installed well over 50 distros, (38 of the current top 100) Different DE and different OS, after all this time I prefer Mate followed by Xfce and KDE.
Currently I have 3 units running MATE with these three distros,
Mint LMDE3 - DEB
PCLOS - RPM
Sparky - DEB
I have spare hard drives and will keep trying different distros all the time just to see ease of installation, start time from pressing the button to desktop and the packages they provide if they are not DEB or RPM.
17 • Distro or desktop (by Simon on 2019-01-21 06:27:27 GMT from New Zealand)
Yes, distro first, because all the important stuff (reliability, stability, package availability, etc.) is determined by that. I have some strong preferences re desktop environment, but all of the popular environments can be made fairly usable with a bit of tweaking...the same can't be said for distros, some of which are great, others of which are rubbish.
18 • Distro & DE (by Peter on 2019-01-21 06:34:32 GMT from Australia)
My distro of choice is openSUSE (has been for 10 + yrs) and then DE (depending on current state of same). Started out with KDE 3.x (10.2, 10.3, 11.0, 11.1) then KDE4 on 11.2 (later in 2016 on 13.2), Gnome 2.32 (on 11.4 for 3.5/4 yrs [2012 -2015) due to hardware constraints, Plasma 5 on Leap 43.1-3 and currently on Leap 15.
My second distro of choice is Ubuntu Mate and I chose it because they do the best Mate DE according to my needs and perceptions. openSUSE does not have a team working on Mate DE and I found their version lacking the polish and usability of the Ubuntu Mate version and last I tried the Mint Mate 19 I had issues with the themes and gave up on it. Started installing (though not using much) UM from version 16.10 and I am currently on 18.04.x and staying there until next LTS release.
19 • distro and desktop (by Alejandro Paz on 2019-01-21 06:51:10 GMT from United States)
openbsd installed on a 4G flashrive. tmux wm, ted's wm, cwm, and fvwm. regex, GLOBs, find, and grep for directory and file management. works very well.
20 • Distro vs DE (by Eureka on 2019-01-21 07:04:42 GMT from Switzerland)
I first look for a good distro and then look if that distro supports my preferred DE (XFCE and KDE Plasma), and so I use Calculate Linux XFCE and OpenSuse Leap KDE, both of them very good distros.
21 • Distro or Desktop. (by Moody Mellon on 2019-01-21 07:14:55 GMT from Canada)
I neither particular about any distro as I tried plenty nor about ant particular DE as again I tried plenty. As long as it works and serves the purpose, who cares dat!
22 • distro first? (by Angel on 2019-01-21 07:14:55 GMT from Philippines)
I suppose I'll choose distro first, for repositories, packaging and facility to add outside software. I favor some DEs (Right now, KDE-Plasma) but I can usually tweak most major ones to my liking, even the dreaded dwarf, so far.
@ 11, So when I use a particular version of BSD, am I running a BSD distro, which will seem redundundant, or a BS Distro, which will read like the spreading of manure?:)
23 • Arch for me+plasma+lightweight apps (by Brad on 2019-01-21 07:26:19 GMT from United States)
I enjoy Archlinux and it's philosophy of K.I.S.S. With that, and my current specs, I enjoy Plasma w/o kde apps (but I use Mostly lightweight apps). Once I figured out arch install years ago, I haven't looked back.. & once I went from a 10 yr old computer to a 4 yr old one, I went from xfce to plasma. I tried Mint, and don't get me wrong it's nice, it just works.. but I found it hard to enjoy tinkering with things..
24 • Desktop / Distro (by RoboNuggie on 2019-01-21 07:46:41 GMT from United Kingdom)
FreeBSD exclusively with MWM as desktop.
25 • Desktop first (by DrWhen on 2019-01-21 07:56:37 GMT from Spain)
Xfce --> Debian --> Distro
26 • Swap partition vs file (by Alexandru on 2019-01-21 08:30:01 GMT from Romania)
"It only takes a few commands in a virtual terminal to make the adjustment with no need to restart the computer. By contrast, if we want a different sized swap partition we may need to shut down the system, boot off a live disc, and resize the disk partitions."
This is not entirely true. If your physical memory is sufficient, or the disk has a spare partition, you can do it without restarting the computer.
Scenario 1 (physical RAM is sufficient):
# swapoff -a
# swapon # you can see it used as output of "free" command before putting it in /etc/fstab permanently.
Scenario 2 (change swap partition when physical RAM is insufficient)
# free # observe it is added to available memory, note the old swap partition
# , adjust /etc/fstab.
In this scenario you can use temporary swap partition or swap file.
A system can have as many swap spaces (both partitions and files) as desired. One advantage of using swap partition (valid for me) is one swap partition can be reused for many distributions installed on the same computer. In this case, if /etc/fstab mounts the swap partition by UUID, the swap partition *should not be formatted* on new distribution installation.
27 • Old computers (by Alburgheiro on 2019-01-21 08:50:39 GMT from Russia)
Last week there was an interesting discussion regarding distros for old hardware.
I have an old Ideapad netbook which was virtually unusable with any major modern OS. Even after upgrading the RAM to the maximum 2Gb and replacing the hard drive with an SSD, using in in an OS that was less than 6 years old was a pain, if at all possible.
Modern distros with which it became usable:
1.- Funtoo, with the full system compiled with Atom optimisations. This was by far the distro that provided the best Desktop responsiveness and overall performance.
2.- Antix. Excellent, until the wireless card stopped working all of a sudden. Hardware-locked...
3.- Bodhi, fair enough. Responsiveness may have improved with a Liquorix 9.14 kernel. I am considering recompiling a skimmed-down version of it with Atom optimisations.
Currently running Bodhi for it provides the best trade-off between usability and performance.
28 • New Kernel version is my criterion (by MCBuhl on 2019-01-21 09:11:01 GMT from Europe)
I started with Ubuntu, then I was hit by a bug in the kernel that was mitigated by next release - that never came to Ubuntu. So I looked for a distro that has new kernel releases fastly in their repos.
29 • distro or desktop (by john on 2019-01-21 09:59:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
If like me you have a system with limited ability then some of the more resource hungry desktops are not an option, therefore I have to choose desktop first.
30 • distro or desktop (by Argent on 2019-01-21 10:20:54 GMT from United States)
Most logical would be to choose the distro that has a netinstall or minimal install, basic kernel and install whatever you want and then configure.
Use Void, Arch and Devuan and quite happy.
31 • Re. 27 - Distros for old PCs (by Tim Parkin on 2019-01-21 11:10:47 GMT from United Kingdom)
Just found minimo and ToriOS
Tori is running ok on an acer inspire one with half a gig of ram and minino on an eeepc with a whole gig. But there are fewer and fewer distros for these old machines
32 • #31 Distros for Old PCs (by Paul on 2019-01-21 12:05:06 GMT from United States)
Puppy still runs fine on older gear. I tested it with a 13 year old Celeron 1.2 mhz p4 with 512 mb of ram and an old Voodoo gaming video card, worked great. I also tested Antix 17 on a pc that will be 10 years old this coming July, worked awesome.
I even gutted Debian and customized it for older gear and it ran very well on 8, 9, 10, and 11 year old pcs and laptops. Of course, lightweight DEs only.
And for the adventurous, there is always Tiny Core, the child from the dormant project Damn Small Linux.
33 • Desktop first (by Christian on 2019-01-21 12:07:32 GMT from Brazil)
I choose the desktop before the distro. Distros are, IMO, very similar nowadays. However, the desktop experience is tailored to each distro. Therefore, I currently have Peppermint, because it offers a very unique and functional desktop and ICE apps rocks (better than running proton apps, or installing snaps or flatpaks - that are also available).
I also have Fedora, because I like to have a vanilla Gnome desktop. In addition, I also have KDE Neon, because it offers the best KDE desktop.
So, first I've decided the desktops I wanted (Peppermint - vanilla Gnome - vanilla and latest KDE), then I've decided among the distros that could offer it. So, I'd say first the desktop.
34 • distro or desktop (by Fox on 2019-01-21 12:24:55 GMT from Canada)
I prefer Debian-based distros and Gnome-based desktops, as I have developed proficiency in both. I have experimented with KDE from time to time, but as #4 noted, about "I feel as if I am in someone else's house" when using it.
My regular distro is vanilla Ubuntu, as it has always been reliable on whatever computer I put it on. I liked the Unity desktop, but I now like Ubuntu's implementation of Gnome shell even more. My late 2015 iMac, is running Mint Cinnamon, which came about because at first, only Mint would boot it up without a 5 minute delay. (Problem was the video card.). Since 18.04 came out, Ubuntu now boots it up normally, but I have configured Cinnamon to work much like Gnome and I'll stick with it for now. I wanted a lightweight, reliable secondary distro for my Dell xps 13 2 in 1, and my criterion was that it had to be Debian-based. I ended up going with MX Linux, as it is light and attractive, and easily configured with the vertical dock I am used to. It's a bit buggier than Ubuntu on this laptop (Thunderbird crashed a few times at first), but is very good overall and I'm sure it will get better with time.
35 • Which comes first, the desktop or the distro? (by Jim on 2019-01-21 12:26:44 GMT from United States)
1. Mate Desktop 2. Debian based
Dual booting Ubuntu Mate and Parrot Home Security.
36 • #33 Plain Vanilla Gnome (by Paul on 2019-01-21 12:36:02 GMT from United States)
If you like plain vanilla Gnome as a desktop then the default Debian stablewith Gnome Desktop is as plain ( and IMHO ) and boring as one can get.
It works great and uses less resources than other implementations of Gnome but it is .....
Gnome "vanilla city."
37 • As A Side Note (by Paul on 2019-01-21 12:41:00 GMT from United States)
I decided to setup a virtual machine with Debian Stable and a Vanilla Gnome Desktop. My settings were boring as well.
The VM was configured with two CPU cores and 2 gigs of ram with Debian Stable and Plain Gnome.
I was amazed at how well it actually runs in the VM and how the used resources were not as heavy as in Mint or Ubuntu. ( still no LXDE )
I'll bet it is even better with some actual hardware.
I'll check that out when I have some free time and report back with the results.
38 • Distro or DE? (by dragonmouth on 2019-01-21 12:50:32 GMT from United States)
Order of importance:
1) NO systemd
3) Debian-based distro other than *buntu
39 • For Any Interested Party (by Paul on 2019-01-21 12:58:55 GMT from United States)
Not long ago, I gutted Debian Stable and customized LXDE under the hood.
The results is a different implementation of LXDE that made me very proud of the results.
I will admit that it is a personal idea of how I wanted to use LXDE for older hardware but it runs really well, boot and shutdown times are great, clean and efficient. I stripped all the bloat sodtware because anyone can install what they want if needed.
I have screenshots of my fresh boot using only 164 - 175 mb !
Anyway, the following link will show you how I customized LXDE with a working transparency and custom app icons.
I hope somebody out there likes it because I put a lot of time in trying something new.
This project was why I love Debian so much. All Linux is great but Debian is my
"go to OS."
40 • Poll query (by Jordan on 2019-01-21 13:35:43 GMT from United States)
Desktop or Distro? Heck the first thing I read about a distro I might consider is whether it's got XFCE as the default or at least on the list DEs.
41 • He who really wants to all over get happy with Linux as a solid work base ... (by Gerhard Goetzhaber on 2019-01-21 14:32:46 GMT from Austria)
... should learn combining just those things sufficient for his individual needs and preferences!
It's not only about desktops but (among even others) file systems, boot modes and kernel versions as well. Me, I insist on using XFCE and XFS exclusively, and I always trim the spectrum of my distros - as there are OpenSUSE, Fedora, Debian Testing and, only recently, Xubuntu Next (from 19.04 daily build) - to fit all my requirements. After a six years since changing over from Windows completely, my results have become truly great with this. So guys and girls, never give you up - though the way is a hard one!
42 • Distros & DEs (by c00ter on 2019-01-21 15:24:45 GMT from United States)
Arch + whatever DE or WM suits my fancy st the time. Add in the AUR and who needs anything more?
43 • Desktop/Distro (by Lancre on 2019-01-21 16:12:39 GMT from United States)
Distro family - Ancestry must include Debian
Desktop - I prefer KDE, but Xfce is OK too.
Specific Distro - currently Solydk
44 • Desktop and Distros (by Bobbie Sellers on 2019-01-21 16:12:48 GMT from United States)
Well first I pick work-a-likes.
After running Amiga OS on Amiga computer for a considerable time
I switched to Mandriva with KDE 3.x. I learned to use that pretty
well so I moved to PCLinuxOS when Mandriva failed again with
When that computer failed I moved to another fork of
Mandriva i.e. Mageia. When I learned that the PCLinuxOS
had learned to deal with UEFI and GPT I moved back.
45 • Desktop/Distro (by BrianG on 2019-01-21 17:09:33 GMT from United States)
Distro has to be based on Debian or Slackware. My DE of choice is Xfce.
46 • Distro or DE (by Friar Tux on 2019-01-21 17:20:10 GMT from Canada)
I'm somewhere between voting option 1 and 2. My DE of choice is Cinnamon as it's not as bloated as KDE but not as stark naked as XFCE or Mate. My distro of choice is Mint as It has never yet failed me even once. Most of the other hundred or so distros I've tried have issues. I've noted in the comments here, a lot of folks seem to like Mate. I've tried it but find it way too limited. I like Cinnamon for its applets and desklets as I find them more convenient than having programmes open and running all over the place. Oh yes, and I prefer Cinnamon over Gnome as Gnome makes my laptop look stupidly like a giant cell phone - dumb idea.
47 • distros for old equipment (by Bobbie Sellers on 2019-01-21 17:20:30 GMT from United States)
I have run Mandriva 2009.1 on an old Inspiron 4000 from the late 1990s
by reducing the graphic demands. It was barely usable with 4 Virtual
Desktops and only 384 GiB of ram, so I reduced the VD to a single one
and it was usefully functional for a long time. Graphic memory was
8 Megabytes. And this was running on a 700 MegaHertz Coppermine
processor. Call it an i686 Pentium.
There are a lot more distributions out there with less cpu , graphic and
memory intensive requirements. Many use special desktop management
4MLinux is one which started out much smaller but if you can get it
on a older machine it should be lively.
Puppy distributions are also a good thing to try out,
AntiX and MX adhere to the low memory requirements but
allow you to add in what you need. Heads is very compact
and even has a .386 version.
As to age of machines it has less to do with age than with
specifications. Older machines like my former Inspiron 4K
are more expensive to which to add memory in smaller
amounts. Parts and repairs are harder to find.
Presently running a Dell E6540 with PCLinuxOS Plasma5 on 8 GiB of
ram an full i7. Not very new no...
48 • Desktop or Distro (by Ed on 2019-01-21 18:28:43 GMT from United States)
I answered "It varies between the above" on the survey.
My goal is to get a system that works. A system that can find and install my wireless printer, and not have to reinstall it every time the printer power cycles. A system where the wifi works. A system that works with my photography workflow and my related scripts. A system that does not have programs randomly crashing. etc.
I will occasionally try shiny new desktops on different distros, but I always seem to come back to Mint with xfce or Cinnamon, because they just work for me.
49 • Desktop or Distro (by Martin on 2019-01-21 18:49:18 GMT from United Kingdom)
Order of importance:
1. No SystemD
2. Fluxbox or Openbox
3. Debian or Arch based.
50 • Desktop or Distro (by Peter on 2019-01-21 19:08:15 GMT from Netherlands)
In my case very simple...i use Xubuntu on all my machines, with the taskbar on the bottom so my wife thinks it almost windows:-)
As long it works on my weakest machine it wil work on the rest...
I try new distro's in VB but mostly for fun.
51 • Distros and desktops (by Robert on 2019-01-21 20:16:37 GMT from United States)
I also think of the disto and desktop as a complete unit.
On the distro side I like Arch and rpm distros, but I'm pretty much open to anything but debian based distros.
For desktop, I really prefer KDE, and MATE is also pretty good, but absolutely no Gnome.
After the basics, it just comes down to whether the distro can easily do what I want it to do. Mostly this is a non-issue, except sometimes virtualization with hardware pass through.
52 • DE or Distro (by Pixel S. on 2019-01-21 20:47:39 GMT from United States)
My personal order of importance:
1. KDE, LXDE, or MATE. I don't like GNOME at all.
2. RPM, but I'm fine with most Debian-based distros too. I'm not a very big fan of Arch-based distros.
At present, I'm experimenting with the Mandriva family of distros (PCLOS, Mageia, etc.) in VirtualBox. I'm pretty happy with most of them.
53 • your test of Sculpt (by Andrea on 2019-01-21 21:28:54 GMT from Italy)
I'm not a fan of the user manuals, but maybe your test was a total failure because you didn't care to read at least the first paragraphs of the manual.
Reading and following here
I was able to install some modules, to switch from backdrop to applications (hint: it's F12) and so on.
Maybe it's not ready for everyday use, but it works.
54 • DE or Distro? (by dave esktorp on 2019-01-21 21:29:56 GMT from United States)
Before I decide either of these
I need to know it's
Ｓ Ｙ Ｓ Ｔ Ｅ Ｍ Ｄ － Ｆ Ｒ Ｅ Ｅ
55 • Distro or Desktop (by Steve L on 2019-01-21 21:57:54 GMT from United States)
Distro first with concerns in order of importance:
1 - NO systemd
2 - supports Mate or Xfce desktop
...with that in mind, my current desktop preference is PCLOS w/MATE
Now servers are an entirely different matter since having a desktop on a server is asinine. For servers I lean towards FreeBSD, but anything without the systemd virus or that insists on using a GUI desktop interface is a consideration.
Because of the minimal install ISO they provided, I was a huge fan of CentOS up thru version 6. it was mostly perfect of servers. Of course, with v7 and the inclusion of the systemd virus, my use of CentOS ended.
56 • typo in comment 55 (by Steve L on 2019-01-21 22:01:22 GMT from United States)
In that last paragraph it should say:
"mostly perfect for servers"
57 • The distro is an obstacle (by CS on 2019-01-21 22:30:09 GMT from United States)
Since the distro is an obstacle to what I need to get done I choose the one I think will cause the least grief. That means mainstream, good long term support. Mint when I have no choice but to use a Linux desktop (i.e. primary laptop has gone tits up) and CentOS all the way for containers. And since this is distrowatch I'm compelled to point out that systemd makes that startup fast and reliable!
58 • distro || desktop (by lincoln on 2019-01-21 22:54:06 GMT from Brazil)
Distro first. Even because I believe that the behavior of the desktop needs to be evaluated within the operating system. Criteria that I take into consideration for the choice of operating system include:
- 100% open source
- quick and easy security updates
- standards of quality
- amounts of software
- community governance
- open bug tracking system
- robust package management system
- easily configurable
Yes, I use Debian.
59 • Berkly Software Distribution (by M.Z. on 2019-01-21 23:12:42 GMT from United States)
"So when I use a particular version of BSD, am I running a BSD distro..."
Check with the English department at Berkley if you want to be 100% sure on that one, but I'd skip the redundancy while keeping in mind that the D stands for Distribution. It may be hard to track down the UC Berkley English department, but would probably be easier than asking the FreeBSD hackers as it apparently takes 1169 of them to screw in a light bulb:
60 • @59 BSD and light (by Angel on 2019-01-22 01:46:01 GMT from Philippines)
Funny, but must have been more than that. While there was one commit of a working light bulb, none of the 1169 screwed it in.
61 • distro or desktop (by Titus_Groan on 2019-01-22 07:17:13 GMT from New Zealand)
must be self complete, i.e no PPAs, so Debian qualifies and most Debian derivatives.
If you need a PPA, your distro is not real distro, because it relies on input from users who may have nothing to do with "your" distros development. This includes all the 'buntus and derivatives.
another one that irritates me no end is "Distro_name_here: Ubuntu done right." if its "Ubuntu" done right, get rid of the "Ubuntu" part and start from Debian.
Funnily, you never hear (or read) :"Debian done right"
desktop : less important, or just use a window manager, as any needed applications available from distro repos can be installed as required.
taskbar at the top, bottom, or side, QT or GTK aesthetics are a non issue for me.
probably the most important requirement for me is auto-complete / memory fill when using a terminal
62 • nonsystemd -> Debian -> xyz desktop (by Moody Mellon on 2019-01-22 07:44:18 GMT from Canada)
There are many readers here who prefers nonsystemd -> Debian -> xyz desktop.
I would suggest them to have a look at Devuan Derivatives (@ devuan.org/os/partners/devuan-distros) with different DE. and, if you still wanna go extra-miles, walk through devuan/live-sdk probably you might roll-up your own flavor. Some derivative brewers have gone extra miles and did really a good job. Mostly almost all are equipped with refracta installer and refracta snapshot for customization.
I also use arch, gentoo, slack, pclos (incl.derivatives) time to time side-by-side apart from devuan or debian.
63 • non-stsemd (by Rooster12 on 2019-01-22 10:37:33 GMT from United States)
@62 Moody Mellon: Prefer Devuan derivatives also, run STAR Xfce and JWM, along with CROWZ Fluxbox and Openbox. Both are very minimalistic, fast and super unbloated. Everything just works and system(d)eath-free. These distros are built with live-build and take a look by running live. Does use the Debian-installer which I much prefer as well.
STAR also has a roll-your-own distro, called DIY and has a tar.gz and readme to support it, worked first try but don't want to get into the distro building.
64 • distro (by Tim on 2019-01-22 11:25:04 GMT from United States)
I look for MATE first, and then pick a distro. In recent years its all the same because I think Ubuntu MATE exactly hits my needs.
65 • desktop first (by Dxvid on 2019-01-22 13:24:07 GMT from Sweden)
In the nineties I was evaluating Linux and compared it to Windows. I have tried most desktop environments and window managers that have appeared since then. I liked KDE a little better than the rest and have used the distros that support it best since the nineties. Started off with RedHat, then Mandrake and all of it's following distros, then SUSE and OpenSUSE. I also like LXDE and LXQt, but today's computers have plenty of CPU-cores and RAM so I mostly use KDE.
66 • Distro or Desktop (by Dan on 2019-01-22 16:14:59 GMT from United States)
I don't use desktop environments, Awesome WM always.is my choice.
Number of Comments: 66
|• 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|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 184.108.40.206, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
knopILS was a variant of the Knoppix live CD with support for Italian.