| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 257, 16 June 2008
Welcome to this year's 24th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This is openSUSE's week as one of the oldest and most popular Linux distributions prepares for its highly ambitious release. Will the project's switch to Qt 4.x toolkit be a success? And how will the integration of the shaky KDE 4.0.x code into the distribution be received? These are some of the questions many readers are asking before the Thursday release of openSUSE 11.0. In the news section, Mandriva releases Flash 2008.1, a portable distribution on an 8 GB USB key, Debian clarifies the beta status of "Lenny", Linux Mint publishes an important security advisory for one of its utilities, and Sabayon Linux announces the imminent arrival of the final beta for its upcoming version 3.5. Also in this issue, a reader-contributed review of PC/OS 8.04, an Ubuntu based distribution with a BeOS-like user interface, links to two excellent interviews with Mark Shuttleworth, a hands-on guide on turning FreeBSD into a desktop system, and a report on how Microsoft intends to prevent Linux from becoming the operating system of choice on low-cost laptops. Happy reading!
- Reviews: PC/OS - the BeOS of the Linux world
- News: openSUSE 11.0 Gold Master, Mandriva Flash 2008.1, Debian Installer beta, Linux Mint security advisory, two interviews with Mark Shuttleworth, gNewSense - past and future, desktop FreeBSD, Sabayon 3.5
- Released last week: ArtistX 0.5, linuX-gamers Live DVD 0.9.3
- Upcoming releases: openSUSE 11.0, Parsix GNU/Linux 1.5r0
- New additions: MilaX
- New distributions: LilleLinux, Red Star GNU/Linux
- Reader comments
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
PC/OS - the BeOS of the Linux world (by Seth Corven)
PC/OS is a recent new entry into the Linux distribution world. Based on Ubuntu, it uses Xfce as its default desktop and offers a variety of user-friendly enhancements, such as out-of-the-box support for popular multimedia codecs. It also includes a collection of software development tools. Although PC/OS has yet to be added to the DistroWatch.com's distribution database, we offer this reader-contributed review for the benefit of those visitors who enjoy evaluating emerging distributions. (And as a lucky coincidence, we've just learnt that the final release of PC/OS 8.04, now renamed to PC/OS 2008, was released just as we went to press and is available for free download from the project's web site.)
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I recently downloaded the new PC/OS 8.04 release candidate 1. This distribution was one I learned about from Linux.com and have been seeing it pop up more in Internet discussions and on "newbie" channels. I used to be a long-time BeOS user so when I saw a screenshot of the distribution, I was expecting to find just a skinned Xfce, but I found much more.
PC/OS is a very young distribution, only about 60 days old since a public release. But after conversation with the creator, Roberto Dohnert, I found out that it had started life as a private distribution. The PC/OS web site claims that "this operating system concentrates on bringing ease of use and unsurpassed desktop performance to the client desktop and server arena" and that "it provides all multimedia codecs out of the box, and an easy to use and simplified interface." Also from the project's web site: "Great compatibility with older hardware to help you extend your hardware and software investments. Being based on Ubuntu, all software and hardware that is compatible with Ubuntu is compatible with PC/OS." While more and more Linux distributions promise the same thing, what sets PC/OS apart?
The desktop has many caveats. It has a layout that is very similar to the BeOS desktop. It's a generally good-looking desktop based on Xfce and it's very simple. It doesn't have the same 3D effects that Ubuntu uses and composition is turned off by default. It has a BeOS XFWM theme that's offered in different colors: Mint, which is a green theme, Metal which is metallic in nature, Be yellow which is the default, and a metallic pink theme that, as the developer blog states, "is something for the ladies". PC/OS 7.10 used the Echo icon theme which looked very unprofessional and cartoonish, but in PC/OS 8.04 the author changed the icon set to the openSUSE "industrial" icon theme which is a Tango-based icon theme and which brings a fresh and professional look to the desktop. It also helps the desktop retain some of its cutting-edge look.
PC/OS 8.04 also showcases the Fedora Nodoka style for its scrollbars, the illuminating blue gradients and user interface. It has a subtle green wallpaper which is based on a GNOME wallpaper. It has a two-panel layout. The top panel contains the "Places" applet, renamed to "Tracker", which lists the home directory, file system, and all removable media, as well as the Catfish search utility. It has a note-taking application which I like a lot. The clipboard applet, a time and date applet, a system monitor applet, and a window list applet, which lists the open applications on each desktop, are also featured. The bottom panel, which is longer than the top panel, has a hide desktop applet, a task list applet, a desktop pager applet, as well as application icons, such as the terminal, Thunderbird, Firefox, a system tray, a volume control and a trash can.
PC/OS 8.04 offers an Xfce desktop with an innovative layout
(full image size: 421kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The menu has all the applications, as well as two sections that I don't see in other distributions. A "Mobile" sub-menu which has links to different online services ranging from e-mail to map services, and an extra applications menu which contains Lightscribe, Zenmap (a graphical front-end to nmap), a document viewer that is Evince, a calendar which is Sunbird 0.8, and a scheduler application which acts as a front-end to cron.
PC/OS has a wonderful and vast set of applications. Being a developer and IT technician, I attach great importance to developers tools. For development, it has Glade which is crucial for any GTK+ programming and OpenLDEV, which is a clone of Geany and probably the most useful tool. PC/OS also ships with RealBasic Standard which is a RAD tool that will be a winner for Visual Basic developers. Aside from developer tools, the distribution also provides OpenOffice.org 2.4 and Scribus, both of which are great tools for desktop publishing and productivity work. For entertainment, it has MPlayer, Rhythmbox, VLC and some tools for editing multimedia, such as SoundConverter, Audacity, Kino and OpenMovie editor, as well as the old favorite - the GIMP. Cheese, which is a clone of Photobooth, is also included. All of these tools worked great and I was able to watch videos in different file formats, including OGG, QuickTime and Windows Media. Rhythmbox played all my MP3s and other audio files without me having to go to the Internet and download codecs and spend time setting things up.
Java and Flash are included and worked flawlessly with YouTube and all browser-based Java programs I needed to run. At work, we develop primarily in Java and PC/OS handled all the applications we have created. Firefox 184.108.40.206 is the default browser with PC/OS 8.04 (unlike Ubuntu 8.04 which provides Firefox 3 beta) and Thunderbird is included as the default email client. Likewise Open, a configuration utility that simplifies the authentication of a Linux machine on an Active Directory domain, ships with PC/OS 8.04. I also like the fact that Wine is included for those applications from the Windows world that I need to run.
On the network side of things, Skype 2.0 is included and so is gFTP which lets you connect to a remove server using SSH, FTP and a few other protocols. Transmission is there for BitTorrent downloads and Remote Desktop Viewer is also provided in this release.
PC/OS supported all of my hardware, including the printer, scanner and camera. Many of my networking devices that didn't work with Ubuntu 7.10 worked with PC/OS 8.04. I installed the distribution on two laptops, one Gateway, about 3-years old, and a newer Dell Inspiron, and also on my new Sony VAIO desktop and an old Compaq Deskpro that has a 600 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM. It ran quite well on that system. Using Xsane I was able to scan content into the system and edit it. I was also able to edit still photos and movies from my camcorder. Tape drives and all removable media worked very well with PC/OS. I am planning to install it on my wife's Toshiba with the promise that I'll set up XFWM using the Pink theme, she likes the pink. PC/OS had some issues with the Gateways NVIDIA chipset but I was able to get it fixed. On the VAIO the Xfce mixer application didn't pick up the sound card, although sound worked.
PC/OS ships as a DVD ISO image, as well as a "Minimal" install CD which I imagine is cut down to fit on a CD. I plan to write a review of the server release which I am downloading right now and I ordered a copy of PC/OS "Appliance" which is advertised as a cut-down version for kiosks and Internet appliances, as well as ultra portable laptops, such as the Eee PC.
The very few downsides PC/OS has are inherited from Ubuntu. The restricted drivers feature works poorly but PC/OS compensates for this by including Envy, which allowed me to set up my NVIDIA card correctly. Rhythmbox launches with errors regarding Magnatune and another music store which also occurs in Ubuntu 8.04. On one of my laptops PC/OS black-screened on the NVIDIA chipset, which also occurs on Ubuntu 8.04 but is fixed with a trip to the command line. The one downside not inherited from Ubuntu is 64-bit support. PC/OS is x86-only and I don't intend to test it on my 64-bit system.
PC/OS has become my distribution of choice. Not only for its nostalgic journey to the BeOS era, but because, as it advertises, everything worked out of box. I have installed it on four systems, two laptops and two desktop systems, and it works great. If you are a new Linux user, I highly recommend it. If you are a seasoned Linux user, give it a try. If you are a refugee from BeOS, it's definitely worth a look. PC/OS has a bright future. If it makes it past a year we may see it as a DistroWatch #1 pick. The developer is a nice guy, very technical and very eager to help if you have problems, and he understands the desktop user's needs. My experiences with PC/OS have been very positive and, as always, I encourage you to participate not only in this distribution but in Linux and open source in general. Overall, PC/OS is the best $1.00 I have ever spent.
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Seth Corven is a database programmer and maintainer with a strong background in Linux, UNIX and IT technologies.
openSUSE 11.0 Gold Master, Mandriva Flash 2008.1, Debian Installer beta, Linux Mint security advisory, two interviews with Mark Shuttleworth, gNewSense - past and future, desktop FreeBSD, Sabayon 3.5
One of the most innovative and ambitious Linux distribution releases ever to hit the download servers is about to become reality. Yes, it's the long-awaited openSUSE 11.0, which will be formally released on Thursday, 19 June. According to a few hints given by the project's developers, all work has been completed and the CD/DVD images, together with the full directory trees, are already being distributed to the FTP and HTTP mirrors across the world. However, before we'll have a chance to evaluate the technical qualities of the new openSUSE, let's take a look at the distribution's public relations status, as presented last week by Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier at Linux.com: "Of all the community distributions, probably the least known is openSUSE. After two and a half years, the distro is not only still working out details about how its community operates -- including how its governing board is elected -- but also struggling to come out of the shadow of its corporate parent Novell, much as Fedora has emerged from its initial dominance by Red Hat. With the pending release of openSUSE 11.0, community manager Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier suggests that the distribution is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves." Also not to be missed: an excellent first-impressions review by Martin Schlander and a sneak peak by Stephan Binner.
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Mandriva has announced the release of Mandriva Flash 2008.1, a complete, portable operating system on an 8 GB USB key: "Mandriva today announces the launch of the Mandriva Flash 2008 Spring, the new product in the popular Mandriva Flash family. Take your entire desktop with you wherever you go! Mandriva Flash is a USB key containing a complete, bootable version of the Mandriva Linux distribution, letting you boot straight into your own Linux desktop on almost any computer, with no installation or alteration of the host system required. Mandriva Flash 2008 Spring offers 8 GB of space which you can organise as you like, prioritizing space for more system files or for your personal data and documents. Mandriva Flash 2008 Spring is based on the new release of Mandriva Linux. It doubles the capacity of the key from 4 GB for the previous version to 8 GB, and comes in an attractive white casing. Flash 2008 Spring's new installation feature lets you install Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring permanently onto any system with just a few clicks." Mandriva Flash 2008.1 is available for purchase from Mandriva Store for €59.00, including shipping.
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Has the Debian project released a beta of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 or not? According to developer Gunnar Wolf, the recently announced second beta of the Debian Installer for "Lenny" is not the equivalent of the second beta of Debian GNU/Linux 5.0: "Do not take this as a preview of the new Debian release - it is not. If you install a system using this version of Debian Installer, you will be tracking the Testing branch of Debian, and your system will be in a continuous state of flux." This, however, is exactly how most modern distributions manage their beta testing; as an example, the update tool of any Fedora beta release will automatically point to the development directory and will periodically upgrade the installed system to the latest "Rawhide". So while it's true that the Debian installer announcement does not constitute a beta release of the entire Debian "Lenny" (as a matter of fact, Debian does not provide any formal beta releases), it's still the easiest way to check out the current "Lenny" and to join in the testing of the distribution before its expected release in September 2008.
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The developers of Linux Mint, one of the fastest-growing distributions, especially suitable for new Linux users, have published an important security advisory regarding one of their in-house tools, mintAssistant: "A very important bug has been found in mintAssistant 2.4 which was released as part of Linux Mint 5 'Elyssa'. When the root password is not set, the root account is still active, and rather than this consequently preventing any root login, it actually means you can login as root without any password at all. This regression is due to a change in behavior in 'passwd' from Ubuntu 'Gutsy' to 'Hardy' and a request from the community after RC1 was released not to lock the root account. A fix has been released in mintAssistant 2.5. When you select not to use the root password, the root account is now given a randomly generated password." All existing Linux Mint 5 users are urged to update their distribution to fix the security issue, while new users should make sure that they download the ISO image labelled as "LinuxMint-5-r1".
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Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth continues to be the most interviewed person in the Linux world. Two new interviews were made available online last week; the first one with Linux-Magazine Italia: "I do believe that free software will come to be widely recognised, trusted and used by everyday computer users, as opposed to being limited to specialists as it is today. Hopefully Ubuntu will play a part in that, but I don't think one platform will dominate that free software era like Windows dominated the proprietary software era. Ubuntu is focused on specific needs, and there are other versions of Linux or BSD that meet others." The second interview comes courtesy of Linux Weekly News: "We are willing to put in drivers that are not yet open source, because we figure it's more important to give everybody's grandma the opportunity to actually run free software applications on a free software environment, even if they need some proprietary drivers to get their hardware going. That puts us squarely in the pragmatist camp rather than the purist camp."
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For those who disagree with the above-mentioned "pragmatism", there is always gNewSense, an Ubuntu-based distribution that meticulously strips any non-free components from its parent before providing the result for free download. Bruce Byfield investigates this FSF-endorsed distribution in a 2-page article entitled gNewSense, the Present and the Future: "gNewSense began at a conference in Tunis in 2005 when Paul O'Malley heard Mark Shuttleworth and Richard Stallman talking about the possibility of a politically free version of Ubuntu, whose various incarnations include proprietary wireless drivers and access to non-free video drivers. O'Malley raised the idea on chat channels, and the project began in June 2006 when Brian Brazil joined the project. The first release in November 2006 was immediately endorsed by the Free Software Foundation, making it one of only half a dozen distributions with that distinction. In fact, the Free Software Foundation donated a build machine and server space for gNewSense during initial development."
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FreeBSD is often considered a server operating system and we won't be far from the truth if we state that its server installations outnumber its desktops by a considerable margin. But that doesn't mean that the most popular of the BSD operating systems cannot be used effectively on a developer's workstation or a general desktop system. In fact, just a few simple commands is all that's needed to turn a basic FreeBSD 7.0 installation into a full-featured desktop with GNOME: "Saying that FreeBSD is an excellent choice to build a server upon would be stating the blatantly obvious. Sadly though, FreeBSD as a desktop OS is a much less common sight. This is a shame, particularly for developers who could have a desktop that closely mimics the configuration of FreeBSD servers in a remote data center. Very useful if you need to test things locally! ... This article assumes that we're building a system completely based on ports, even if installing them takes more time. For a desktop system having the very latest software can be a major improvement."
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Almost a year has passed since the initial release of Sabayon Linux 3.4, a Gentoo-based distribution featuring the absolute bleeding edge in Linux and open source technologies. But while the release frequency of this distribution has slowed down considerably since its early days, work on the upcoming version 3.5 continues as normal. In fact, Sabayon Linux 3.5 is now getting very close to release time: "After months and months and months of hard work, I am happy to say that Sabayon Linux 3.5 final will enter the final beta testing stage within 48 hours and will stay there for a couple of weeks. All I can say is that the difference between 3.4 and 3.5 is really really huge. During this period we've worked out all the concerns we collected about 3.4, like binary packages (Entropy), security updates, ease of use, speed, hardware support, and we are now ready to steadily enter the top 5 distro arena. After 3.5, expect our exciting and impressive release cycle to be back, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 and so on!"
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Finally, something for those who have expressed negative sentiment towards last week's feature story (see Computex 2008 - Linux ultra-portables galore) that criticised Microsoft's attempt to hijack the successful ASUS Eee PC for its own anti-Linux propaganda. According to an article entitled Microsoft to limit capabilities of cheap laptops, the software giant is trying to stifle the growth of low-cost Linux laptops by not only offering deep discounts on Windows XP, but also by forcing the manufacturers to reduce Linux compatibility on their hardware: "Microsoft plans to offer PC makers steep discounts on Windows XP Home Edition to encourage them to use that OS instead of Linux on ultra low-cost PCs (ULPCs). To be eligible, however, the PC vendors that make ULPCs must limit screen sizes to 10.2 inches and hard drives to 80 GB, and they cannot offer touch-screen PCs." These requirements were part of a confidential document that Microsoft had recently sent out to hardware manufacturers: "The program is outlined in confidential documents that Microsoft sent to PC makers last month, and which were obtained by IDG News Service. The goal apparently is to limit the hardware capabilities of ULPCs so that they don't eat into the market for mainstream PCs running Windows Vista, something both Microsoft and the PC vendors would want to avoid."
Still want to argue that all is fair and square in the world of ultra-portable computers?
|Released Last Week
64 Studio 2.1
Daniel James has announced the release of 64 Studio 2.1, an updated version of the Debian-based distribution designed for musicians and digital artists: "64 Studio 2.1 'A Minha Menina' released! 64 Studio is a GNU/Linux distribution tailor-made for digital content creation, including audio, video, graphics and publishing tools. Version 2.1 is the first update to the second stable release of 64 Studio. It is named after a song by Jorge Ben, recorded by Os Mutantes and covered by The Bees. New versions of applications such as Ardour and Rosegarden are the main reason to upgrade, plus general bug fixes and updates from Etch. It's not meant to be a bleeding edge release; it only contains necessary changes. It's a recommended upgrade for all 64 Studio users, without fear of system breakage." Read the press release for information about upgrading from a previous release and other information.
Matteo Garofano has announced the release of Voltalinux 2.1, a server-oriented distribution based on Slackware Linux and using NetBSD's pkgsrc package management system: "As expected, after the release of Slackware Linux 12.1, Voltalinux 2.1 (code name 'Livorno') is out. It benefits from the many new features in Slackware: HTTP and FTP install, new kernel, installation on LVM and RAID, etc. Also includes the benefits of the new features found in the NetBSD's pkgsrc port system, such as upgraded packages and a better management system. As usual, Voltalinux comes with more then 150 packages (compiled with the pkgsrc port system) intended for server use, including Postfix, Exim, Dovecot, ClamAV, Pure-FTPd, Bftpd, Squid, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Bind, MaraDNS, etc." Here is the brief release announcement.
MilaX, formerly known as Damn Small Solaris, is a desktop and server mini-distribution based on OpenSolaris. Its creator, Alexander R. Eremin, released the latest version yesterday: "MilaX 0.3.1 released. Changes: Based on OpenSolaris Nevada 89; for systems with more than 512 MB of RAM the live image is mounted from the memory and it's possible eject the MilaX CD after booting; added IceWM, removed JWM; added Conky, removed Torsmo; added XChat, Xpad, IFTop, CDPR; restored Dillo; added screen resolution and X keyboard layout scripts; two editions: desktop and server (non-GUI), the server version includes Apache, PHP, Samba and NFS servers, GCC, GMake, Midnight Commander, Pine, Mutt, Elinks, Lynx and other utilities." Here is the short release announcement.
NexentaCore Platform 1.0.1
Erast Benson has announced the release of NexentaCore Platform 1.0.1, a base operating system combining the OpenSolaris kernel with Debian utilities and Ubuntu software packages: "This is to announce availability of NexentaCore 1.0.1 - Debian Native OpenSolaris environment and platform. Release highlights: based on OpenSolaris b85+ (x86 32-bit and 64-bit, non-debug), with critical patches from b87, b88 and b90; ZFS write-throttle fixes; now ZFS-root is the only default method for installation; significantly improved speed of boot_archive creation - up to 5 times faster; support for new SAS/SATA controllers: Areca, LSI Mega, IBM ServeRAID; many small improvements and bug fixes for APT repository. Related news: NexentaCore 2.x 'Hardy' is under active development right now." Here is the full release announcement.
StartCom Enterprise Linux 5.0.2
Eddy Nigg has announced the release of StartCom Enterprise Linux 5.0.2, an updated version of the distribution built from the source code for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2: "StartCom is pleased to announce the availability of StartCom Enterprise Linux AS 5.0.2. This update release provides various enhancements for virtualization, encryption, cluster storage, but also desktop improvements. The Xen hypervisor makes the running of multiple virtualized server instances with its performance improvements and live-migration support for fully virtualized guests more efficient and reliable. Added kernel features include new asynchronous kernel crypto hardware driver APIs which were backported from the upstream kernel. Also new is the OpenSwan package which supports IKE 2 for IPv6. StartCom Enterprise Linux AS-5.0.2 is available for Intel i386 and AMD x86_64 architectures." Read the full press release for more details.
Marco Ghirlanda has announced the release of ArtistX 0.5, a Debian-based live DVD with a large collection of free audio, video and graphics software: "ArtistX is a free live GNU/Linux DVD which turns a common computer into a full multimedia production studio. It is based on Debian GNU/Linux and contains nearly all available free audio, 2D and 3D graphics, and video software for the GNU/Linux computing platform. ArtistX 0.5 is based on Debian Live software for creating live CDs and includes the 2.6.25 kernel, KDE 3.5, Compiz 0.7.7 and about 2,500 free multimedia software. Main features: based on Debian Sid; Debian multimedia packages; KDE menu customization (a first try)." Visit the distribution's home page to read the release announcement.
ArtistX 0.5 - a distribution for artists and musicians
(full image size: 628kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Myah OS 3.0 "Box"
Jeremiah Cheatham has announced the release of Myah OS 3.0 Box edition, a full-featured desktop Linux distribution built around the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE): "Myah OS 3.0 Box is now available. This is a complete Linux solution built around the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. The LXDE desktop is designed to be the smallest, fastest and yet fully functional desktop for UNIX/Linux systems. It's important to note that Box is not meant to be a light system. Instead it's meant to be a fully functional system built around a light desktop. There are many extremely light Linux systems out there already like Damn Small Linux and Slax. Myah OS 3.0 Box is for people who want a full blown system built around a light desktop. Box comes with much of the same software that was found in Mouse Pro." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Myah OS 3.0 "Box" - a desktop distribution featuring the Openbox window manager
(full image size: 355kB, screen resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
linuX-gamers Live DVD 0.9.3
The linuX-gamers live DVD is a live "boot-and-play" distribution offering instant access to a variety of games, including Blobby2, BzFLag, Foobillard, gl-117, Glest, Neverball, Nexuiz, Sauerbraten, Torcs, Tremulous, Ufo:AI, Wesnoth, Warsow, Warzone 2100 and World of Padman. An updated version of the live DVD was released yesterday: "linuX-gamers.net Live 0.9.3 released. Recently our chief developers released a new version of linuX-gamers.net live-DVD. This version was used on the LinuxTag exhibition in Berlin. Changes: base and mastering environment rebuilt to support custom mastering; easy network configuration GUI; support for chipsets of recent boards; easy display setup GUI; video settings saved to USB sticks." Here is the brief release announcement.
Greenie Linux 3.0.2H
Stanislav Hoferek has announced the release of Greenie Linux 3.0.2, an enhanced, Ubuntu-based distribution designed primarily for Slovak and Czech-speaking users. Some of the most important changes since Greenie Linux 2.x series include: based on Ubuntu 8.04; new versions of included applications; improved Bash aliases for easier execution of certain commands; addition of VLC as the default movie player; addition of gThumb as the default photo viewer; reduction of the distribution size to fit on one CD; removal of Frets on Fire, Wesnoth and MPlayer; inclusion of a third desktop environment - in addition to GNOME and Openbox, LXDE is now also available; various minor improvements and bug fixes. Visit the distribution's home page (in Slovak) to read the full release announcement.
Greenie Linux 3.0.2H - an enhanced, Ubuntu-based distribution for the desktop
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VectorLinux 5.9 "SOHO"
Robert Lange has announced the release of VectorLinux 5.9 SOHO edition: "We have released VectorLinux 5.9 SOHO. It has been a year since our last SOHO release and from all reports this is our best yet. Starting from the ground up with our 5.9 standard release, we have taken VectorLinux to a new high. This is absolutely the fastest KDE 3.5.9 desktop you will find anywhere with a optional Fluxbox desktop for power users. The eye candy is amazing, with four special themes to select from at installation time. We have fixed most of the oddities and bugs found in the standard release and have made many improvements to our in-house utilities. Everything is updated and patched so no need to worry about homeland security. The amount of software available on this 2-disc set will simply amaze." See the release announcement and product page for further information.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Annual package database update|
The annual package database update on DistroWatch moves into the second week of soliciting suggestions. Among the popular votes last week were Git (a version control system) and mc (Midnight Commander), which will be added to the list, while gFTP will be retained due to popular demand. If there are any other applications that you want DistroWatch to track, you have one more week to cast your vote - either by commenting in the forum below or by emailing us directly (see the bottom of this page for contact details).
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New distributions added to database
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New distributions added to waiting list
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DistroWatch database summary
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 23 June 2008.
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Linux Foundation Training
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|• 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 220.127.116.11, 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|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
White Box Enterprise Linux
What was the goal for White Box Linux? To provide an unencumbered RPM-based Linux distribution that retains enough compatibility with Red Hat Linux to allow easy upgrades and to retain compatibility with their errata SRPMs. Being based off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 3.0 means that a machine should be able to avoid the upgrade treadmill until October 2008 since RHEL promises errata availability for 5 years from date of initial release. Or more briefly, to fill the gap between Fedora and RHEL. Why was White Box Linux created? Its initial creation was sponsored by the Beauregard Parish Public Library in DeRidder, USA out of self interest. We have several servers and over 50 workstations running Red Hat Linux and were left high and dry by Red Hat's recent shift in business plan. Our choices were a difficult migration to another distribution or paying Red Hat an annual fee greater than the amortized value of our hardware. So we chose a third path, made possible by the power of open source.... White Box Linux.