| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 223, 8 October 2007
Welcome to this year's 41st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The big openSUSE 10.3 release week is now behind us. All went without a hitch and many users are enjoying the newest software, improved package management, and extended support for the latest hardware in this new version. No major bugs have been reported so far, but let's wait for the first reviews before concluding that this is indeed openSUSE's best release ever. In other news, Mandriva Linux 2008 has been released to "early seeders", Ubuntu has begun accepting pre-orders for "Gutsy Gibbon", and Judd Vinet has resigned as the lead developer of Arch Linux. Finally, don't miss the featured story of this week - a Susan Linton's report on the major new release from Puppy Linux, version 3.00. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in ogg (7.9MB) and mp3 (7.6MB) formats (many thanks to Jim Putman)
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
First look at Puppy Linux 3.00 (by Susan Linton)
Puppy Linux is a 100 MB distribution that can be used as a live or installed system. Version 3.00 was released this past week to quite a bit of excitement. Many popular web sites have carried the news of this release probably because this is a major update in Puppy development. The primary difference is the use of Slackware 12.0 as the build base and Puppy's compatibility with Slackware 12.0 packages. This makes Puppy Linux 3.00 ideal for newer hardware. However, I was still skeptical when I inserted the new Puppy Linux CD into my HP Pavilion notebook.
There are many boot parameters the user can use to customize their system from the start. Some of these include loading Puppy to RAM, ignoring saved sessions, or no DMA. I booted the default configuration and was soon presented with a dialog box to choose my keyboard. The next interactive phase was the video wizard. This walks the user through setting up their graphics. The first choice is whether to use X.Org or Xvesa. Xvesa is a smaller, light-weight graphical interface ideal for older hardware. I used X.Org. Secondly, I was able to choose resolution and depth, and finally the mode. I was happy that my optimal resolution of 1280x800 was available.
The graphics setup was successful and I was taken to the Puppy desktop. My basic hardware was functional, such as the keyboard, touchpad, USB mouse, sound, and drive support. On the desktop is a Drives icon. Click it to open the Pmount graphical tool to mount, navigate, and unmount any drives or partitions found, including removable media.
However, the first area of real interest is the Internet connection. My laptop contains an Ethernet chip that is not supported natively by Linux, so I must use NdisWrapper to extract and load the Windows drivers. Although NdisWrapper has become a fairly dependable method of making a connection possible, it doesn't always work. It did in Puppy. At the command line it was as simple as typing a few commands, but there is also a graphical utility for setting up the connection. The network wizard requires several steps and clicking back and forth, but it works even with Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). I've tested maybe three distros with graphical network configurations that actually work for my chip. It's an amazing accomplishment. In addition, there's a little Blinky applet in the system tray to monitor the connection. I was impressed and ready to proceed.
The Tools of Puppy Linux
You might expect a distro of less than 100 MB to be configurable solely from the command line, but there are lots of handy graphical configuration tools and system utilities included in Puppy. It has tools to customize the desktop, set up hardware, and install Puppy to other devices.
For the desktop, there are graphical tools to set the background, select the theme, and how you interact with the interface. GTKSet contains settings for mouse acceleration, keyboard auto-repeat, font paths, screensaver, and Display Power Management Signaling (DPMS). The JWM (the default desktop in Puppy Linux) configuration has even more desktop customization settings for the theme, color, and focus model.
In the System menu we find tools to gather information, set up the printer, create partitions, format a floppy, or configure and install a bootloader. The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) browser interface is provided for the user to set up local and remote printers. Pupscan can gather any or all your hardware information and save it to a text file. Usbview shows information on your USB bus and devices. KP allows you to manage running processes. Gcrontab provides an interface for setting up cron jobs (scheduled tasks). GParted and Pdisk are available to modify your partitions. I found all of these tools straightforward and easy to use.
Perhaps the most handy are the wizards found in the Setup menu. These include the Puppy Package Manager, hardware configuration wizards, the Puppy Universal Installer and remastering applications. The hardware configuration wizards walk the user through setting up devices and support. These include the ALSA sound wizard, CD/DVD drive wizard, mouse and keyboard wizard, network wizard, and the X.Org video wizard. Also included in this menu are two ISO remastering applications and the WakePup boot floppy maker. Perhaps the most useful is the Wizard wizard, which is a container for several of the most popular system tools and wizards. All of these in this menu are simple, but useful graphical tools that allow the user to input choices through check boxes, drop down menus, and regular text areas. Many times configuration is much quicker at the command line, but these are quite useful for those without that knowledge at their fingertips.
The Puppy Universal Installer is for installing Puppy Linux to other locations. These include USB Flash drive or USB hard drive, IDE Flash drive, ZIP drive, SATA hard drive, or IDE hard drive. This would be the tool to use if you wish to install Puppy onto your hard drive or a USB stick, for example. It's a basic file copy tool, so one would need to partition and create file systems prior to starting the install. Bootloader options are available, if a bit limited.
Puppy Linux 3.00 desktop
(full image size: 231kB, screen resolution: 1280x800 pixels)
Package management is perhaps one of the most important elements of any distro to its users. They want to know they can install their favorite applications without any problems. Puppy handles its package management through another graphical utility called Puppy Package Manager or PET Installer. PETs are the extension and format of the Puppy packages. Start the package manager by clicking the entry in the menu or the PET install icon on the desktop.
In this window there are several choices. When I click on the first button, a browser opens at the PET introduction page. It's an informative series of notes, basic HOWTOs, and links to further information for official PET collections as well as unofficial packages.
The second button opens the local PET software manager. From there I can browse, install, or uninstall PET packages. It's a simple, user-friendly interface. Divided into two frames, one side contains the list of available packages and the other the list of packages I have installed. In the middle are arrows to move packages from one frame to another. Official PETs put an entry in the menu for easy access. Perhaps a search feature might be nice, but the packages are listed in alphabetical order, so it's not so bad. The biggest drawback is that any problems encountered, such as lacking dependencies or not enough disk space, aren't reported until after the install or the fetch.
There are unofficial packages called DotPups. These are packages submitted by community members and can be accessed by the same initial PET install interface. Click on the button under the DotPup packages heading in the PET installer to be taken to a web page for more information.
This release of Puppy Linux is compatible with Slackware 12.0 This opens up their stable package repository to Puppy users. This is an exciting and useful development for the Puppy community. To use Slackware packages, just download them from a Slackware mirror to a local directory and convert them to PET packages. This is much easier than it sounds. There is a utility included in Puppy that will convert the packages for you. It's called tgz2pet, and it is used at the command line. The process is as easy as typing
tgz2pet package-version.tgz. Then install them normally through the PET install manager. I tested this process on several packages and had no problems. In addition, in the same Pet Installer, there is a dependency checker. Run this on the newly installed packages to make sure there are no missing dependencies, although PET install will usually inform you if there are any.
There is also a community project working to bring GSlapt to Puppy. This will make using Slackware packages much easier by eliminating the manual downloading and conversion of each individual package. Perhaps it will be officially integrated in future Puppy releases.
Applications and Software
No matter how much effort is put into the system tools, a distro isn't much use without a nice set of applications. Well, despite the small download size, Puppy isn't lacking much in software. They aren't flashy and full of heavy graphics. Basic functionality is emphasized instead.
For multimedia tasks Puppy includes applications to play media files, rip and burn CDs and DVDs, mix and merge sounds and files, apply sound effects, and record files. The main player in Puppy is Gxine, a GNOME/GTK+ front-end for xine. With it I could play AVI, MPEG, MOV, MP3, and MP4 files. This is also the application that is called when viewing websites in SeaMonkey for certain media formats such as streaming QuickTime videos. I could also watch Google, YouTube, and Veoh video files with no problem.
Another interesting application found in the multimedia menu is Soxgui. It is a container for several handy applications for manipulating sound bytes. This is a very handy novice tool for merging two files or normalizing sound volumes, among many other tasks. PBcdripper, Pupdvdtool, ripperX, Burniso2cd, TkDVD, and Grafpup are included for copying and burning your favorite CDs and DVDs.
Under Network we find various applications for connecting to and using the Internet. Puppy comes with three modem dialers as well as the Network wizard mentioned previously and RP-PPPoE for those using Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). There are also monitoring applications such as Firelog, Superscan, SockSpy, and Xnetload. Connect to remote hosts using LinNeighborhood, RemoteDesktop, or TightVNC. Also, RutilT is included to scan for and connect to wireless networks.
Internet is a separate menu and in it are some nice applications and old favorites. SeaMonkey is the primary browser suite of Puppy, but Firefox is available through the Puppy Software Manager. The light-weight NetSurf is also included. Pidgin and Meebo could be used for instant messaging. Axel, Xwget, PupCtorrent, and Transmission are available for file sharing and downloading needs. The gFTP client is there for transferring files to and from FTP servers. Graphical SSH clients are also included.
There are also a few graphics applications. There is Inkscape Lite and mtPaint for creating and "gimping" photos and images. GTKSee is included for image viewing. Grabc and ColorExplorer are there for picking or finding HTML codes for colors. The GIMP is available through the PET installer for those needing more power, although you will need to download some dependencies from Slackware mirrors.
The Document menu contains the word processing and editing applications. AbiWord is the office suite included in the Puppy image, but OpenOffice.org is available. MP, Leafpad, Geany, and e3 are available for smaller tasks. Also included are an online dictionary, PDF viewer, and a PDF converter. Under Calculate we find several Math related applications, such as personal finance software, a spreadsheet, some calculators, and a handy unit converter. Namely, these include ExpenseTracker, Gnumeric, and HomeBank. In the Personal menu are Agenda event manager, DidiWiki personal Wiki, Gpasman (password manager), Ical (appointment book), and NoteCase. There are a few games too; these include Rubix, Gem Game, Bubbles, Tkmines, and Gtkfish.
There are also several graphical file system tools. ROX-filer is the main file manager. There is PRename for batch renaming, several search tools, and a couple of mount tools. I found MUT to be superior to Pmount because one click will mount the media and open a file manager. In addition, Partview, Fragger, Gdmap are also present.
My Conclusions of Puppy Linux
The first thing I noticed was that Puppy Linux is not particularly pretty. The interface seems a tad outdated and the default wallpaper, despite being informative, is probably one of the least attractive I've seen. The included alternate background images aren't much better. It's too bad really that the developers don't spend a bit more time and a few megabytes to enhance the first impression of this otherwise wonderful little distro. However, like all Linux distributions, these looks can be changed to taste. In fact, Puppy can be made to look as beautiful as any other distro out there. Just peruse this Puppy forum thread where community members are showing off their gorgeous Puppy desktops.
While the applications are handy and are a fairly complete starter set, they are lesser known and sometimes unconventional or unfamiliar in appearance. There are other applications available, but the Puppy repository is a bit limited. The DotPup packages extend the offerings, but they too are limited. It helps that Puppy is compatible with Slackware and one can use those packages, but you still may have to do some looking around to find just what you want.
While Puppy has the power of a newer kernel at its foundation and ultimately any hardware supported by other distros will mostly likely be supported in Puppy too, perhaps not everything that is normally "automagically" available in most distros will be functional at first boot of Puppy. One example might be the Internet connection, which may require at least clicking around in the Network wizard. In addition, one may have to do a bit of manual tweaking to get everything working. As stated previously, there are handy dandy wizards for many common areas if needed; however, advanced needs like laptop power saving will require command line work. I was able to load any module I needed, so the foundation is there.
The init and session saving scripts were rewritten for this release of Puppy. The boot-up is fairly fast. However, I experienced a few problems when trying to boot the live system while using the option to ignore the last saved session when I received a kernel panic. Upon the next boot of the live system, some of my customizations were lost, but not all. Subsequent saves and default reboots restored my session as expected.
Otherwise, all the applications and the system as a whole offered good performance and stable operation. It could be a wonderful start, especially for anyone wishing to be a little different, someone needing to save space and resources, or those requiring a portable solution. It'd be really great on a desktop with minimal input, and could be useful on a laptop with a bit more. It may not be the prettiest at the party, but it has a great personality.
openSUSE 10.3 released, Mandriva 2008 seeded, Ubuntu 7.10 available for pre-order, Judd Vinet resigns as Arch Linux project leader
The long-awaited openSUSE 10.3 was finally released last week as scheduled. Besides all the improvements, updated packages and new features, one noticeable difference between this release and the old stable version 10.2 is the amount of community coverage following the launch of news.opensuse.org a few months ago. This site has now become the official mouthpiece of the project, with daily coverage of openSUSE topics that include interviews with the developers, introduction to new features, and updates about community happenings. It culminated in the excellent Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 10.3: A Plethora of Improvements, published just before the product's official release. The openSUSE news site is a fantastic effort of the writers - the articles are clear and concise, they include screenshots to illustrate the points, and they reveal much of what's happening under the hood of openSUSE. We are still waiting for any comprehensive reviews, but judging by the first impressions found in the blogsphere, the reaction is mostly positive. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section.
openSUSE 10.3 includes a plethora of improvements and the latest open source software innovations.
(full image size: 536kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
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Next on the release calendar - Mandriva Linux 2008. Slightly delayed from the original release schedule, the ISO images of Mandriva's "PowerPack" and "Free" editions were finally made available to the "early seeders" over the weekend. There is still no news as to when the official launch might occur, but based on the distribution's previous releases, some point later this week looks like a realistic candidate. Mandriva Linux 2008 is based on Linux kernel 126.96.36.199 and includes glibc 2.6.1, a release candidate of GCC 4.2.2, X.Org 7.2 (xorg-server 188.8.131.52), KDE 3.5.7, GNOME 2.20.0 and all the usual open source software packages. The commercial "PowerPack" edition and the freely downloadable "One" live CD also come with proprietary graphics drivers, while the "Free" edition is limited to free software only. While Mandriva's recent release candidates didn't get as much media and blog coverage as the openSUSE ones, those users who took the time to report about their experiences were mostly impressed with the new product. Will Mandriva Linux 2008 mean a major breakthrough for the company that has historically struggled to keep their finances in the black? Let's hope so!
* * * * *
One of the exciting, but somewhat controversial feature of the upcoming Ubuntu 7.10 is CompizFusion, enabled by default wherever supported by the suitable graphics card. But what exactly is CompizFusion and why is it such an interesting technology? Forlorn's Blog attempts to answer the question: "Compiz is a window manager, which means that it takes care of all the basic needs to interact with the windows on your desktop - like moving, minimizing and resizing. In GNOME the default window manager is Metacity. Most people won't have even heard about it, because it's integrated into the desktop environment and its name is not mentioned anywhere. This results in the fact that the usual user isn't aware of the mere existence of such software or rather that it's a separated application that can be replaced like any other on Linux. The bottom line is: Ubuntu's desktop effects are not just an enhancement of the desktop environment but a replacement of a specific part of it."
On a related note, Ubuntu's ShipIt system has started accepting pre-orders for "Gutsy Gibbon".
* * * * *
It is always a sad occasion when the founder of a distribution decides to leave the project he created. But such is life - the developers' interests and availability of free time are factors that can change easily throughout a person's life. Arch Linux's Judd Vinet has not been involved with the distribution for several months so his resignation came as no surprise to most of his co-developers: "I plan to step down as leader of Arch Linux and pass the torch. The reason for this is that I do not have the time to devote towards a leadership role in a project the size of Arch Linux, and Arch deserves someone who does. It needs some work, it needs some unification, and it needs someone at the helm who can devote a lot of time to it. I've given it a lot of thought, and based on the state of things, all-round competencies, initiatives, and willingness, I would like to pass this leadership role on to Aaron Griffin, also known as 'Phrakture' on IRC and the forums." Besides the formal announcement, the founder of Arch Linux gave a few hints about his future plans on his personal blog. So thanks for a great distribution and let's hope that the project will continue to go from strength to strength despite Judd's absence!
* * * * *
It was, by general consensus, one of the most entertaining posts for some time. Answering the usual "what is the best distro" question, a poster in last week's DistroWatch Weekly came up with the following parody (reprinted here for those who don't read the comments, but who enjoy a good laugh every now and then): "This is an interesting meta discussion, but I just have to post here to mention the Greatest Linux Distro out there: (fill in the blank). I just can't believe everybody is not using (fill in the blank) and so many crappy distros like (fill in the blank), (fill in the blank) and (fill in the blank), are still ranked high in the page hit rankings here. Before I discovered (fill in the blank) I was always trying to get my (fill in the blank) to work properly and my (fill in the blank) to at least (fill in the blank) let alone (fill in the blank). Now, everything just works! I've even decided to contribute several dollars to the developer(s) of (fill in the blank) even though I can't afford it with my part-time job as a (fill in the blank) at (fill in the blank), but at least it is a token of my (fill in the blank). For those of you who have not yet tried (fill in the blank), I urge you to go to www.(fill in the blank).com and download the ISO and let the magic begin. (fill in the blank) for President!"
|Released Last Week
Puppy Linux 3.00
Barry Kauler has announced the release of Puppy Linux 3.00: "Puppy 3.00 released. This Puppy is a massive upgrade from the previous (v2.17.1) version. I decided to aim for close binary compatibility with Slackware 12.0, with the objective of being able to install Slackware packages and have all or most of the required dependencies already in place. To that end, I used all the building block packages from Slackware 12, such as glibc 2.5, GCC 4.1.2 and GTK+ 2.10.13. Most of the libraries in Puppy are now from Slackware. Another major thing that I have done is totally rewritten the key scripts that control how Puppy boots up, is configured, and shuts down. Then there are some major breakthroughs, such as finally getting periodic flushing of RAM to Flash drive working properly." Read the complete release notes for a detailed list of changes and improvements.
A new major version of SystemRescueCd, a Gentoo-based distribution with focus on disk partitioning and data rescue tasks, has been released. What's new? "Added PXE network booting support; added a 64-bit kernel (rescue64) to chroot on a 64-bit Linux; added a 32-bit alternative kernel (vmlinuz2) based on 184.108.40.206; updated the default 32-bit kernel (rescuecd) to 220.127.116.11 (with Reiser4); added Partimage client with SSL support; updated the e1000 network driver; updated the 'Offline NT Password & Registry Editor' disk (Vista support); added option 'minishell' to debug the initramfs and the start-up scripts; updated Squashfs to version 3.2 (with LZMA support); optimized and cleaned the linuxrc start-up script; updated Oscar (French tool to backup computers); updated ntfs-3g to 1.913...." Read the changelog for more details.
Yoper Linux 3.0.1
Tobias Gerschner has announced the release of Yoper Linux 3.0.1: "The Yoper team is proud to announce the first (and only) maintenance release of Yoper Linux 3.0, code name 'Titanium'. This release ships with Kernel 18.104.22.168, including the Ken Colivas patch set with the SD scheduler, X.Org 7.3, KDE 3.5.7, KOffice 1.6.3, Firefox 22.214.171.124 and a vast range of other cutting-edge desktop packages. The unstable repository also contains a kernel with the CFS scheduler for those who are keen to compare their performance under different workloads. Since 3.0 there have been more than 500 new or updated packages, as well as numerous bug fixes and clean-ups. If you have Yoper 3.0 installed, simply use the smart upgrade function to update the packages. There are only minor and mostly visual differences between a default installation of 3.0 and 3.0.1." Here is the full release announcement.
Novell has announced the release of openSUSE 10.3: "Novell today announced the availability of openSUSE 10.3, the newest version of the award-winning community Linux distribution. Enhancements to openSUSE 10.3 include the newest versions of the GNOME and KDE desktop environments, including a KDE 4 preview. OpenOffice.org 2.3 makes sharing files easy, and the newest version of AppArmor protects the Linux operating system and applications from attacks, viruses and malicious applications. OpenSUSE 10.3 also now includes MP3 support out of the box for Banshee and Amarok, which are the default media players in openSUSE. In addition, openSUSE 10.3 offers the latest open source applications for developing applications, setting up a home network and running a web server." Read the press release and release announcement for more information.
Parsix GNU/Linux 0.90r2
Alan Baghumian has announced the availability of the second revision of Parsix GNU/Linux 0.90: "An updated version of Parsix GNU/Linux 0.90, code,name Barry, has been released. Barry r2 merges all published updates from Parsix and Debian testing repositories as of Oct 3, 2007. Several bugs have been solved, including installer crash problem in languages other than English. Highlights: GNOME 2.18.3, Linux kernel 126.96.36.199 with CK and Suspend2 patches, OpenOffice.org 2.2.1, GNU Iceweasel 188.8.131.52, Pidgin 2.2.0 and more. Users who regularly update their systems using apt, do not need to download this version. Note that this is the last maintenance release of Parsix Barry series and will be supported until one month after the next release of the Parsix GNU/Linux project, called 'Ramon' (version 1.0)." More details in the release announcement and release notes.
Zenwalk Linux 4.8
Jean-Philippe Guillemin has announced the release of Zenwalk Linux 4.8 "The Zenwalk Team is happy to announce the Zenwalk 4.8 release. After several release-candidates, it seems that we are ready for a very stable release. Kernel is now at 184.108.40.206, with its new wireless stack, tickless clock and 1000 Hz scheduler for better reactivity while lowering power consumption (ideal for laptops). Talking about applications, the very visible change in 4.8 is the substitute of Firefox and Thunderbird into the equivalent GNU licence versions, named Iceweasel and Icedove. Video and X.Org auto-configuration has been improved to handle wide-screen monitors as well as to provide full features for Synaptics touchpads. The fine-tuning of the user interface continues with new desktop artwork, new bootsplash." Read the full release announcement to learn more about the new features in Zenwalk Linux 4.8.
Arch Linux 2007.08-2
Tobias Powalowski has announced the release of Arch Linux 2007.08-2: "Arch Linux 2007.08-2 'Don't Panic' has been released. This is the first release to use our new repository layout. There are two ISOs - FTP and Core. Changelog: kernel 220.127.116.11 usage; disabled arch_addons hook by default, it is now triggered by arch-addons boot parameter; fixed the nasty /dev mount bug; fixed the /dev/ttyS0 errors if no serial port is installed in the system; fixed repositories in install environment to fit to both architectures; fixed km to not show broken characters after exit; fixed GRUB installation with XFS file system; fixed package clearing if setup option was chosen; added PPTP client to install environment; added sdparm to install environment; added all free wireless drivers to install environment...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete list of changes.
Granular Linux 2007 "Fireworks"
Here is something interesting for the Linux distro testing community: a distribution with four desktops (KDE, Xfce, Enlightenment and Looking Glass 3D) and complete multimedia support - all on an installable live DVD: "On behalf of Team Granular, I happily announce the immediate availability of the first DVD edition of Granular Linux - FunWorks 2007. Some of the major features include: four desktop environments - KDE 3.5.7, XFce 4.4.1, Enlightenment (E17) and Looking Glass (LG3D), updated most major and small applications, more stable, bug-free and feature-rich release, 5.5+ GB of software packed in just 1.92 GB live DVD, and out-of-the-box support for virtually all multimedia formats, and improved support for Flash, Java and media streaming in web browsers." Read the full release announcement and visit the screenshots page for further information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
- Alegna Linux. Alegna Linux is a Spanish distribution based on Ubuntu. Besides standard Ubuntu, it offers better localisation into Spanish, popular multimedia codecs and browser plugins, and out-of-the-box support for 3D desktops with Beryl.
- Elbuntu. Elbuntu is an Ubuntu-based distribution with an objective of providing the maximum eye candy for the end user using the Enlightenment window manager and related libraries.
- KinuX Linux. KinuX Linux is a new Brazilian desktop distribution based on Slackware Linux. Its main features are "Candy" - a universal package manager, "KKaroto" - a media centre developed with C++, Xine and Qt, and "Copier" - a very simple installer.
- Linius. Linius is an openSUSE-based Portuguese Linux distribution, developed for the use at Portugal's Ministry of Justice.
- Mythbuntu. Mythbuntu is a derivative of Ubuntu with the focus on providing a simple way of setting up a MythTV box using Ubuntu sources.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 15 October 2007.
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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ClearOS is a small business server operating system with server, networking, and gateway functions. It is designed primarily for homes, small, medium, and distributed environments. It is managed from a web based user interface, but can also be completely managed and tuned from the command line. ClearOS is available in a free Community Edition, which includes available open source updates and patches from its upstream sources. ClearOS is also offered in a Home and Business Edition which receives additional testing of updates and only uses tested code for updates. Professional tech-support is also available. Currently ClearOS offers around 100+ different features which can be installed through the onboard ClearOS Marketplace.