| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 95, 11 April 2005
Welcome to this year's 15th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week, Ladislav Bodnar - Distrowatch's creator and workaholic maintainer - was called away to Slovakia due to a family emergency. With no more than a few hours to pack and catch his flight, Ladislav dug up me, Robert Storey, to substitute for him during his absence (Gosh, he must have been desperate). In further news, Ladislav says he plans to be away for 10 days, so it looks like you'll be stuck with me next week too! However, I promise to do my best, and so without further ado, here is the news.
"You know, we've won awards for this crap."
-- David Letterman, TV talk show host
BitKeeper - No More Free Beer
It's probably safe to assume that the majority of Linux users have never installed BitKeeper. There are several reasons for this, the first being that your friendly local mirror isn't going to have a RPM or DEB file free for the downloading. That's because BitKeeper is a closed-source commercial product.
Even if it was open source, not everyone would want it since it's only of use to programmers (and not every programmer really needs it). BitKeeper is a revision control system (RCS). It allows a group of programmers in far-flung geographical locations to work on a single project and then merge their code. Thanks to BitKeeper, Linus Torvalds (currently residing in Portland, Oregon, USA) is able to work with literally hundreds of kernel hackers in Europe, Australia and other disparate locations.
One might ask why Linux kernel hackers would even consider using a closed-source product. The simple answer is that BitKeeper happens to be the best in its class. A good RCS can speed up development considerably - Linus reckons that BitKeeper has doubled productivity. However, using closed source tools to develop open source software makes many developers uncomfortable. Linus was persuaded to make the move to BitKeeper three years ago largely thanks to Larry McVoy of BitMover, who offered Linux kernel developers free use of the software.
Despite the enhanced productivity, many denounced the move to BitKeeper at the time, warning that it was always possible for BitMover to revoke the "free beer" any time they chose to do so. And now it seems that this has happened. The ostensible reason for BitMover's decision was that OSDL (the Open Source Development Lab) was paying a developer who was also working on reverse engineering BitKeeper.
Thus, it was with a heavy heart that Linus announced that he would phase out use of BitKeeper. The big question now is, what will replace it? In the pre-BitKeeper era, the revision control system used by almost every open source hacker was CVS Concurrent Versions System (read more about it on the CVS home page). Although CVS has a long and proud history, it's not without its shortcomings, and there have been several open source projects to come up with a more modern alternative.
Among the better-known candidates are Subversion (which Linus has rejected as inadequate) and Monotone. A list of other possibilities can be found here. It's entirely likely that the open source community will rise to the challenge and develop a totally new, wonderful RCS that will blow everything else away.
A lengthy (but very interesting) discussion on the whole BitKeeper controversy can be found on KernelTrap. We'd also be interested to hear your views. Considering the enhanced productivity, did Linus make the right decision to adopt BitKeeper in the first place? And what would be the best alternative now? Please comment below.
* * * * *
Ubuntu Reviews - The Flood Begins
Ubuntu Linux 5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog) was just released a few days ago and already the first reviews are trickling in. Expect the trickle to become a flood soon. A short but excellent review is posted on Forever Geek. One of the best tips is the author's suggestion to head over to the Ubuntu Guide web site. The review has some helpful reader's comments, and we'd also be interested to hear from our own readers about what they think of this new blockbuster release.
Spring time is traditionally when a large number of hot new releases hit the download mirrors. April is already shaping up to be an auspicious month for Linux/*BSD fans, and May promises to be even more interesting. Will this at long last be the year when Linux can match that "other operating system" on the desktop (and when the *BSDs finally bury commercial embedded systems?). Exciting times lie just ahead.
* * * * *
CUPS - Get the FAQs
The name "O'Reilly" is practically synonymous with good documentation for open source software, and one of the classic O'Reilly tomes is the Linux Cookbook by Carla Schroder. In recent years, O'Reilly has been releasing sample chapters from their books as PDF files, and some of these have become classic FAQs that users cherish. In this spirit, O'Reilly has released a CUPS PDF file. Go to this page and scroll down about 1/3 to find the link to the file.
CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) burst upon the Linux scene about five years ago and has greatly simplified printer configuration. It's a major advance over the old LPR system, largely thanks to the all the sophisticated CUPS printer drivers. Aside from offering basic point-and-click setup for a single user, with a little bit of intelligent tweaking you can make CUPS work as a printer server for an entire office. Grab the PDF and learn how it's done.
|Released Last Week
KANOTIX 2005-02 (32 Bit Edition) is out now: "This is a Linux Live CD based on KNOPPIX technology using mostly pure Debian/sid... This time the complete distro is based on Debian/sid (even XFree) - optimal for HD Install! Many WLAN drivers added including NdisWrapper. New Kernel 126.96.36.199 with some patches." More details including download links for FTP/BitTorrent/rsync are available here (in English) or here (in German). Download: KANOTIX-2005-02.iso (702MB).
A bugfix release of the SLAX live CD is now available. From the changelog: "X fonts are configured properly now, international characters should work OK; initrd contains codepage cp437, a module for access to vfat filesystems; udev is started even with nohotplug boot argument; MySLAX creator upgraded to 1.7 and finaly works OK; fluxbox command replaced by flux one; gui* scripts start xwindow in vesa mode, use xconf for hw autodetection; fixed slax-install, heavily tested; SLAX doesn't boot from USB when installed as a LiveCD. It will be fixed soon!" Download: slax-5.0.1.iso (190MB). BitTorrent access is also provided.
DragonFly BSD 1.2.0
The second major release of DragonFly BSD is out: "This release represents a significant milestone in our efforts to improve the kernel infrastructure. DragonFly is still running under the Big Giant Lock, but this will probably be the last release where that is the case. The greatest progress has been made in the network subsystem. The TCP stack is now almost fully threaded... It goes without saying that this release is far more stable than our 1.0A release. A huge number of bug fixes, performance improvements, and design changes have been made since the 1.0A release." Find the release sites and the full release notes on dragonflybsd.org. Download: dfly-1.2.0_REL.iso.gz (81.5MB).
KNOPPER.NET is announcing KNOPPIX 3.8.1: "In a few days, KNOPPIX Version 3.8.1 will be available on the mirrors. It's an update for the 3.8 Cebit 2005 Edition, featuring: kernel 2.6.11 as default; write support for all virtual directories (i.e. live-installation of software without writable media is possible) in a running live system, made possible through UNIONFS; native support for ipw2200 (Centrino2) WLAN chipsets; permanent homedirectory on harddisk (even on NTFS); KDE 3.3.2, Gimp 2.2.4, OpenOffice 1.1.4 and many updates; wallpaper and bootscreen graphics design by newthinking communications." Download from one of the mirrors: KNOPPIX_V3.8.1-2005-04-08-EN.iso (686MB) or KNOPPIX_V3.8.1-2005-04-08-DE.iso (686MB). A BitTorrent tracker is also provided here.
Ubuntu Linux 5.04
Ubuntu Linux 5.04, code name "Hoary Hedgehog", is now available. It offers the following new features: Simple and fast installation, live CD's for Intel x86, AMD64 and PPC, GNOME 2.10.1, Firefox 1.0.2, first class productivity software, and X.org 6.8.2. Read the announcement and the complete release notes. Quick download links for the i386 architecture: ubuntu-5.04-install-i386.iso (587MB) and ubuntu-5.04-live-i386.iso (625MB). Install CD and live CD images for AMD64 and PowerPC computers are also available.
Kubuntu 5.04 has been released: "Kubuntu is the result of several months' effort to get KDE 3.4 into Ubuntu's main repository and create the first major derived Ubuntu distribution. It is not a fork of Ubuntu but an official project of it, sharing the same package archive and infrastructure. It is possible to convert an Ubuntu system to Kubuntu or vice versa. Features of Kubuntu 5.04: KDE 3.4, HAL support for removable devices, Ubuntu-powered out of the box hardware configuration, OpenOffice.org office suite, Gwenview image viewer, amaroK music player, K3b CD and DVD burner, Konversation IRC chat, Kaffeine video player," and it is available as a live CD. Read more in the release announcement, and please download by BitTorrent if possible: kubuntu-5.04-install-i386.iso (572MB), kubuntu-5.04-live-i386.iso (619MB). CD images for AMD64 and PowerPC computers are also available.
YES Linux 2.2.2
YES Linux Release Team would like to announce the immediate availability of YES Linux 2.2 Build 2, which features many updates: "The two most exciting new features are User Management and Autonomous Backup Applications. User Management allows the management of Users and Groups for access to YES Administration and Websites. YES Backup allows for efficient backups of all critical system data and is XML configurable." Read more in the official release announcement. A list of installed applications will be available from the support site. Download from here: yes-2.2.2.iso (458MB), or get it via BitTorrent.
Plamo Linux 4.02
Plamo Linux is a Japanese distribution based on Slackware Linux. New features in the recently released version 4.02 include the following: kernel 2.4.29 with unicon patch; glibc has been upgraded to 2.3.3 and KDE to 3.4.0; improvements in FS fonts, the default font in Plamo Linux; updated /etc/rc.d/rc startup scripts; easier X and user setup with xplamoconfig; the murasaki hot plug utility has been upgraded to version 0.8.10; reorganisation of the content of Plamo CD images; various bug fixes. See the release announcement (in Japanese) for more details. Download: plamo-4.0-050401_01.iso (629MB) and plamo-4.0-050401_02.iso (669MB).
Overclockix 3.8 has been released: "All new Overclockix 3.8 with Unionfs, 2.6.11 kernel, prelinking, KDE 3.4, and many new tools. Version 3.8 is the first build ever with boinc DC project, now also with apt-build and the beginnings of optimizing select packages for i686. Unionfs allows transparent overlay of a ramdisk filesystem over the CD filesystem, so you can edit anything or install/remove applications while booted live. Based on KNOPPIX 3.8 CeBIT release. Too other many new features to list here, so try it today." Read the full release announcement on the distribution's home page. The latest release of Overclockix can be downloaded via BitTorrent: Overclockix_3.8.iso.torrent (687MB).
Linuxo Live! 0.3
Linuxo Live! is a Serbian distribution and live CD based on PCLinuxOS. Version 0.3, released yesterday, comes with the following changes and features: KDE has been upgraded to 3.4.0, Linux kernel to 2.6.10 (an optional kernel 2.6.11 is also available) with much improved hardware support, including SATA drives. As for office suites, OpenOffice.org has been upgraded to version 1.1.4, while KOffice, with complete localisation into Serbian, is now also included. Many other software packages have been translated into Serbian. Other applications updated to newer versions to Linuxo 0.3 include the amaroK audio player, GQview image viewing application and K3B CD/DVD burning program. Find more details in the release announcement (in Serbian). Download: linuxo-0.3-CD.iso (695MB).
tinysofa classic server 2.0
A new version of tinysofa classic server has been released: "tinysofa classic server 2.0 (Ceara) is now generally available. This is a major release which culminates many months of development and testing, and incorporates the latest in open source technology. 'Ceara' features: the Linux 2.6.11 kernel, grsecurity support, APT for advanced package management, the next generation PHP 5 environment (5.0.3), high availability features such as DRBD (0.7.10) and UCARP (1.1), the latest development tools and languages (GCC 3.4.3, Python 2.4), and much more." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement and to learn more about the new product. Download: Ceara.i586.iso (350MB). The ISO image is also available via BitTorrent.
Kalango Linux 3.1
Kalango Linux is a Brazilian distribution/live CD based on Kurumin Linux. The new version 3.1 is a refinement of Kalango 3.0, with the main new features being improved hardware auto-detection and boot speed-ups, as well as the inclusion of Floppy/CD/DVD drive supermount as a standard feature. Several new applications have been added to the system - Amarok, Evince, Gparted are the most interesting among them. Read the full release announcement on the distribution's home page (in Portuguese) and visit the screenshots page for some eye candy. Download from here: kalango_3.1.iso (507MB); also available via BitTorrent.
Gibraltar Firewall 2.2
Gibraltar Firewall has been updated to version 2.2. From the changelog: "This is the 'speed' release, improving the speed of the web interface significantly and also solving a previous issue with license checks on high-volume systems. Updated kernel to 2.4.30-rc4 (which has been released as 2.4.30 with no changes) with the usual patches. New features: arptables, tcp-window-tracking, tproxy, GeoIP and Unionfs modules (now for testing, they might get used in a future release). This release also adds the ndiswrapper and rt2400 modules. Replaced FreeS/WAN by Openswan. This also needs the ipsec-tools package...." Download: gibraltar-2.2.iso.bz2 (175MB).
BIG Linux 2.0
BIG Linux 2.0 has been released. This has to be one of the most interesting and fun distribution releases for a long time - mainly due to its 3D capabilities. Pictures are worth a thousand words, so head for the project's announcement page (in Portuguese) to view the newly introduced way of 3-dimensional manipulation of application windows. Both GNOME and KDE are supported. For the best 3D effect you should use the CD on a computer with a powerful processor and a 3D accelerated graphics card. By default, the BIG Linux live CD boots into a non-3D KDE desktop, so you will have to select a KDE 3D or GNOME 3D option from the initial GRUB boot menu. Warning: the distribution only supports Portuguese. Download: BIG_LINUX-2.0.iso (663MB).
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Mandrakelinux becomes Mandriva Linux
Though some thought it was a belated April Fool's joke, the news turned out to be true: Mandrakesoft will be changing the name of the company and its products. The company will now be known as Mandriva and its Linux distribution as Mandriva Linux: "After spending weeks balancing pros and cons, Mandrakesoft has decided to change its name! The name change will apply worldwide to both the company and its products. ... Why Mandriva? This new name, simple and efficient, is the synthesis of Mandrakesoft and Conectiva. This will further a smooth transition and will build on our existing brand recognition in the IT world. Mandriva is the new name for the company. Mandriva Linux is the new name covering products. Additional derivations follow directly: Mandriva Club, Mandriva Store, Mandriva Expert and so on." Read the full press release for details.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Mini-Review: FreeBSD 5.4-RC1
Here at Distrowatch we've gone gaga over FreeBSD. Well maybe not gaga, but we're happily running it on our server, dishing out web pages like this one for all of you to enjoy. Previously we were running Debian Woody, and our reason for switching to FreeBSD 5.3 was simply because we desired up-to-date goodies and didn't want to wait for Debian Sarge. It could all change tomorrow - in the fast moving world of open source software, yesterday's "unstable" could become today's rock-solid must-have server distro. But for now, Distrowatch is powered by FreeBSD.
Thus, we are more than a little interested that FreeBSD 5.4 is almost ready to roll. It might seem inappropriate to review an operating system release candidate (RC) rather than waiting for the final version to come out. However, there is nothing wrong with taking a sneak peak. The final version is anticipated for release at the end of this month - the impatient may want to peruse the release schedule and then head straight for the download mirrors. Just remember to resist the temptation to run a release candidate on a mission critical system.
I reviewed FreeBSD on Distrowatch almost one year ago here. Since then, there have been a number of significant improvements. Unfortunately, the OS has not shed all its bugs, and even has gained a few new ones.
Installation from CD (as opposed to a network install) has changed significantly in one important respect - it now requires two CDs if you want a full working system with KDE, Gnome and all the trimmings. While some may bemoan this fact, I consider it a positive move. Quite simply, you can't squeeze 3GB of software onto a 700MB CD, even with data compression. Of course, if all you want is a minimalist install, then all you need is CD No. 1, but most users will not likely be satisfied with that.
Unfortunately, the two-CD approach still has some rough edges. During the installation, I encountered messages like the following:
This is disc #1. Package apache-2.0.53_1 is on
disc #2. Would you like to switch discs now?
I dutifully replied "yes" and switched disks, only to soon be greeted with this message:
This is disc #2. Package taglib-1.3.1 is on
disc #1. Would you like to switch discs now?
I lost count how many times I had to shuffle the two CDs before I could get all the packages installed. I'll guess and say it was a dozen, but it felt like more. Needless to say, this is rather tedious, and at times I felt like throwing something at the monitor. It was fortunate that the pizza guy didn't arrive until after the installation was finished - scraping Mozzarella cheese and pepperoni off the LCD screen is probably even less fun than it sounds.
Other than this one glitch, the other problem I encountered with my desktop installation was the notorious "geometry bug". This bug, which has been mentioned many times in the annals of FreeBSD folklore, has existed since The Ark and sadly is still with us. The problem stems from the fact that FreeBSD doesn't like to share a hard disk with another OS. If you can devote the entire drive to FreeBSD, this will be a non-issue, but many people including yours truly prefer to have a dual-boot machine. Although you can force FreeBSD to install on the same drive alongside Linux or Windows, there is a risk of messing up the drive's geometry, which could possibly result in data loss. I've solved the problem by installing two drives in my desktop machine, but that wouldn't be an option on a laptop.
The geometry bug, still alive and well
Speaking of laptops, there's more bad news, or at least there was for me. I have two notebook machines: an ancient IBM ThinkPad iSeries 1200, and a ThinkPad X31 of recent vintage. The iSeries 1200 happily ran FreeBSD 5.3, but it refused to boot the 5.4-RC1 CD, and instead regurgitated the following error message:
Read Error: 0xbb
Could not find Primary Volume Descriptor
It's my understanding that others have reported similar problems, so it's possible that this issue will be resolved before the final release.
More seriously, my X31 appears to be unhappy with FreeBSD's ACPI power management - in order to turn off the machine, I have to remove the laptop's battery and unplug the AC power line. This problem existed with 5.3 as well, and 5.2 was even more disastrous (it would lock up half way through the install). Interestingly, FreeBSD 4.11 installs and runs on this laptop without a hiccup - go figure.
Post-install, I had one minor configuration issue - my mouse trackwheel wasn't automatically supported. After a little bit of Googling, I found that the solution was to add a ZAxisMapping line to the InputDevice section of file /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xorg.conf, so that it looked like this:
Option "Protocol" "Auto"
Option "Device" "/dev/sysmouse"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
So What's New?
As you might expect, the most noticeable new feature of 5.4-RC1 is the updated package collection. KDE 3.4, without a doubt, is a stunning achievement. Although I don't run KDE as my desktop, I do make heavy use of KDE tools such Konqueror and Kthesaurus. The new KPDF 3.4 is a vast improvement over its predecessors, eliminating any need I felt for Adobe Acroread (which is no longer included with 5.4). I was also pleased to see that Xemacs now resides on the installation CDs, eliminating the need to compile it from ports. Xemacs occupies a special place in my heart, as I use it to do just about everything (including writing this).
Speaking of ports, I was much relieved to find that 5.4-RC1 fixed the many broken ports of 5.3 (notably KDE). However, I did encounter one broken port, /usr/ports/www/mod_geoip, which we use here on Distrowatch to detect which country a web surfer is connecting from. However, everything else worked just fine.
IPFW - FreeBSD's packet-filtering firewall system - is still there, but clearly it is being pushed into retirement by PF (which was also present in 5.3). PF was originally incorporated into OpenBSD, but it has taken the rest of the *BSD world by storm and has attracted envious looks from Linux users as well.
Many of the other numerous improvements in 5.4-RC1 are below the surface, but no less significant. A lot of effort is going into removing the giant lock and replacing it with "fine-grained locking", though this is being done in bits and pieces and is not yet complete. Another work-in-progress is the ULE scheduler, which will improve performance. CARP (Common Address Redundancy Protocol) support is now included (CARP allows multiple hosts on the same local network to share a set of IP addresses). As you might guess, the above-mentioned improvements are geared towards making FreeBSD a more powerful server.
The Power to Serve
I may get flamed to ashes for saying this (it wouldn't be the first time), but FreeBSD has always felt to me more like a server OS than a desktop system. Sure, you can run it on the desktop - indeed, I'm doing so right now - but it requires more effort than the average Linux distro. With 5.4-RC1, that has not changed, but there is no doubt that FreeBSD remains a formidable competitor to Linux in the server space. And competition is, for the most part, a good thing. But both my notebook computers continue to run on Debian (actually Kanotix), and probably will continue to do so for quite some time.
|Tips, Tricks and Hints
Copying a VCD
Thanks to DVDs and the upcoming Blu-Ray and/or HD-DVD disk formats, many people are convinced that video CDs (VCDs) are dead. That may eventually turn out to be the case, but it's a little premature for the funeral, especially since video enthusiasts continue to churn out their own home-grown VCDs. And in some countries at least, VCDs can still be bought, even if only in the street market and enclosed in a plain brown wrapper.
The question of how to copy a VCD in Linux gets asked periodically on the mailing lists, and is often left unanswered. In most cases, copying with nice user-friendly GUI tools like K3b and XCDRoast will fail. The usual resulting error message alludes to a problem with copying multi-session CDs.
I'm currently living in a tropical climate and I recently had the need to copy an ancient (but cherished) VCD which was turning moldy. You didn't know that mold could grow on a CD? Where I live, mold can grow on a door knob. Anyway, I needed approximately two hours of Googling to find the solution to my VCD copy problem. Actually, the info that I found applied to OpenBSD rather than Linux, but with just a little bit of tweaking and I was able to get it working on my beloved Debian desktop too. And so now I will share this recently acquired knowledge with the rest of the world.
The solution was to turn to the command line. And once I knew the proper syntax, it was quite easy to create a simple Bash script. On my Debian machine, the CDROM drive is /dev/cdrom and the CDR drive is /dev/cdrom1. Assuming that your computer is set up the same way, the following script should work for you (note: you may have to run it as root):
cdrdao read-cd --device /dev/cdrom toctoc
cdrdao write --device /dev/cdrom1 toctoc
Not only did the above work, but it copied the VCD much faster than Nero Burning Rom (the Windows program that came with the CD burner). Not that I have Windows installed on my computer (but my "significant other" does).
Since I do have OpenBSD, I decided to repeat the experiment, this time using OpenBSD's slightly more convoluted syntax. The following script worked for me:
cdrdao read-cd --device /dev/rcd0c --datafile disc.bin toc
cdrdao write --device /dev/rcd1c --datafile disc.bin toc
All that's left to do is fire up Mplayer and enjoy.
* * * * *
And that's the news for today. See you all next week!
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Polar Bear Linux
Polar Bear Linux was a source-based GNU/Linux distribution derived from Linux From Scratch. All software packages are provided in the form of source code, which are compiled during installation. This has many advantages, as well as a major drawback in the time it takes to install the system (approximately 9 hours for a base system). Polar Bear Linux uses a simple package manager called Tarball Package Manager (TBPKG).