| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 288, 2 February 2009
Welcome to this year's 5th issue DistroWatch Weekly! As Linux personalities go, there is nobody more famous than Linus Torvalds, the man who started it all by developing the Linux kernel in 1991; read on for our exclusive interview with the chief architect of the most important part of your Linux distribution. In the news section, Fedora gets set to include KDE 4.2 in current and previous releases, Debian developers announce the imminent release of version 5.0 "Lenny", OpenSolaris focuses on improvements to compete with Linux, Keir Thomas releases his Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference book as a free download, netbook distribution Easy Peasy publishes a feature list of the upcoming version 2.0, and the Intel-sponsored Moblin project releases a new alpha build of its operating system for mobile devices. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the DistroWatch.com January 2009 donation is the Openbox project. Happy reading!
- Interview: Linus Torvalds, Linux kernel
- News: KDE 4.2 goes Fedora-wide, Debian "Lenny" release imminent, OpenSolaris usability focus, Ubuntu guide for free, Easy Peasy and Moblin for netbooks, interview with Fedora Project leader, end of Kurumin Linux
- Released last week: KNOPPIX 6.0, Pardus Linux 2008.2
- Upcoming releases: Slamd64 12.2, Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 4
- Donations: Openbox receives US$250
- New additions: Easy Peasy, Moblin
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (21MB) and MP3 (18MB) formats (many thanks to Russ Wenner)
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
Interview with Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux
As many DistroWatch Weekly readers will be aware, I recently spent a week in Hobart, Australia, at Linux.conf.au. The popular annual conference draws many big names from the open source world, including Linus Torvalds (pictured on the right), chief architect and creator of the Linux kernel. Linus was a Finnish university student from Helsinki in 1991 when he released the first version of the kernel he originally called 'Freax' (a play on 'Free' and 'Unix'). "I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like GNU) for 386(486) AT clones... It is NOT portable (uses 386 task switching etc.), and it probably never will support anything other than AT hard disks, as that's all I have :-(," Linus wrote to the comp.os.minix newsgroup. Ironically, almost 20 years later Linux supports more hardware out of the box than any other operating system and is the backbone of many corporate giants such as Google and Amazon.
At LCA this year I was fortunate enough to meet up with Linus and have a chat. Among other things, he confirmed that 'that blog' really is his and agreed to answer some questions for our DistroWatch readers.
* * * * *
DW: Linus, thank you very much for finding the time to talk to us during your busy schedule. It's greatly appreciated! I'm sure that many of our readers will be interested to know which Linux distribution you use and why? What do you like about it and what do you think needs improvement? Do you use the same distribution for your work machines as well as play machines?
LT: Since I only really "use" a very limited set of programs, my choice of
distribution is pretty arbitrary. My main requirement is that it's fairly
easy to install and keep up-to-date, just so that I can mostly ignore it.
And the "keep up-to-date" part really means that I want the distro itself
to be up-to-date and have good coverage (including things like making it
easy to get Flash, MP3 and other plugins); otherwise it would just degenerate
into me having to work at getting/compiling user-land components that I
really don't care too much about.
And yes, I want to use the same distribution for my own work machines as I
end up using for the other machines in the household (i.e. kids and wife),
for all the same reasons - I care about the kernel (and a very few other
programs), the rest I just want the distribution to handle for me.
As an example of some small detail that I want the distribution to handle
for me, and that I want to get handled in a timely fashion: I ended up
upgrading our DSLR [camera] after our old one was finally three generations behind.
So I expect the distro to have support for RAW format, and I expect it to
be recent, and support the latest-generation UFRaw [program]. And again - if it
isn't, the distribution is worthless to me.
At the same time, I want to be able to feel like the distribution isn't
just a random pick of bleeding-edge programs gotten out of the 'random SVN
repo of the day' kind of thing. Mistakes will happen, but I want to feel
that the distribution tries to be up-to-date without doing totally crazy
What that results in is that I want one of the "large enough" community
distributions that I can trivially download, install and update over the
net, and that is proactive but not crazy about updating. That pretty much
narrows it down to openSUSE and Fedora, with Ubuntu being a possible third
And for the last few years, it has been Fedora.
DW: Since Fedora has dropped support for KDE 3.x in recent times, what desktop environment are you using now? Have you made the move to KDE 4.x, or dare I say it, GNOME? If so, how have you found the transition?
LT: Since I'm on Fedora, I got hit by the (bad) transition to KDE4, and as a
result I've been using GNOME for the last year or so. It's still somewhat
painful, more so when I'm on my laptop, mainly for the same old reason:
you cannot fix the mouse buttons in GNOME. (The reason this hits me more
on the laptop than anywhere else is that most laptops only have two
buttons, making the middle-button press much harder. And middle button is
what you need for the 'send to back' window action.)
I wrote the patch (including even the graphical configuration management),
I sent it in, and it got rejected as "too complicated for users". Frickin'
idiots (and I'm not talking about those alleged users).
But right now, KDE is worse. I'd like to explore alternatives, but if
you've followed my answers this far and are perceptive, you'll probably
already have figured out that the programs involved aren't on my list of
things I care about that much.
I'm well known for disliking GNOME, but it's not the "using it" part that
I dislike as much as the apparent mentality of the GNOME people who
think that all users are idiots and then limit what I can do with it for
See the difference?
So I'll use whatever works best on my machine and in my workflow, and a
window manager is not something I really care deeply about.
DW: The release of the Eee PC has introduced Linux to an even wider range of everyday consumers. What are your thoughts on Linux running in this consumer space and do you think it will help Linux gain more traction on the desktop? Do you own a netbook?
LT: I actually took an Eee PC with me to Tasmania for LCA, not because it's a
'consumer device', but because I've actually long been in the camp of
people who think that laptops should be small and light and not to be used
as desktop replacements. So I think that netbooks are really just 'laptops
And yes, I think Linux fits pretty well in that space, partly because
Linux works better on low-end hardware than say, Vista, but partly because
I think it's also a good way to enter the "mindshare" for people who, like
me, don't necessarily want a desktop replacement laptop, but simply a small
thing to take with them on trips. People don't necessarily expect the same
thing out of a netbook as they expect from their desktop - and I'm not
talking about just performance. And those different expectations may make
it easier for people who otherwise are very tightly attached to Windows to
say "OK, I want something small and easy for just travelling, and if it
doesn't run exactly the same apps that I have on my desktop I don't care".
So just the change in form-factor may end up being a way for people to be
willing to learn something new, and thus be introduced to Linux when they
might not otherwise have been ready to take that step.
DW: Do you think having so many distributions is a good thing? Should a collaboration effort exist for a single "new user orientated" distribution, or should new users just get used to the "Linux way"?
LT: I think multiple distributions aren't just a good thing, I think it's
something absolutely required! We have hundreds of distros, and a lot of
them are really for niche markets. And you need that - simply because
different markets simply have different requirements, and no single distro
will take care of them all.
Of course, people then often say "well, do you need multiple distros for
the same market" when they think about the normal desktop market and
just look at the whole issue of having openSUSE/Fedora/Ubuntu all in that
same space. But it really isn't that different - you still have the
distributions looking at and concentrating on specific issues, and you do
want the competition - and letting the markets decide which issues are the
ones that really dominate.
In addition, having multiple players just keeps everybody honest, and
allows you to compare them. It may all look a bit messy and complex, but
I'd much rather have a multi-party system over a single-party one. Even if
it's more complicated.
DW: Also, what barriers for entry do you think still exist which stop new users from trying or sticking with Linux on the desktop? Once these are overcome, do you think we'll then see "the year of the Linux desktop"?
LT: I don't think it's one thing, and I don't think it's also ever going to be
"a year". It's a combination of lots of small things, and it's this
constant slow steady drive towards a more complete solution, and getting
people to slowly try out something different. It just takes a lot of time.
People often see open source development as being something very fast, but
it really isn't. Yes, there are huge developments going on at an
incredible rate, but at the same time, quite often any particular issue
moves very slowly indeed. Think about (to pick just a totally random
example that has been discussed over the years) something like the
GIMP user interface. Has that changed as quickly as people have wished
for? Should it?
And at the same time, quite often it's really an issue of people, not
technology. You sometimes just need to get people used to a new idea and
a new way of doing things, and that takes tons of time too. Maybe the GIMP
interfaces really aren't as horrid as they are, and it's just people who
should change? It does happen.
To take an example from my own sphere of development - with git, one of
the biggest hurdles used to be how different it was from what people
were used to, and people who wanted just another CVS or SVN felt it was
really hard to get your head around it. It used to be a constant issue
that required explanation on the git mailing list.
Now, the git people were obviously convinced that the whole distributed
issue was so technically superior that you really needed to understand
it, and that there was no way to make git centralized to match the
expectations of people. So for git, it really had to be about trying to
teach people, even if to some degree it's much harder to change peoples'
expectations to match the software than it usually is to change the
software to suit people.
Did it work? It seems to have. The whole thing about distributed SCMs and
how it quite fundamentally changes how you have to think about some issues
does seem to be calming down. People are getting used to git, and we're
seeing less noise about how it's such a difficult learning model with a
steep learning curve. But it literally took time. Lots of time. And it's
And that example is from something pretty technical, where there really
were some pretty damn strong arguments for it. When it comes to people
getting used to a much fuzzier "whole desktop experience" with all that
implies, it takes even longer.
DW: How much do various distributions influence the direction of the kernel?
LT: I really can't give any quantifiable numbers, but distros tend to
influence things pretty directly by simply having developers attached.
You'll find quite a few big-name kernel developers working for Red Hat and
The other thing that distros do is to interface with the debugging: one
often overlooked aspect of a distribution is the way it handles problem
reports from users, and how it feeds those upstream. Not just to the
kernel, by the way. A distribution that is actively involved in bug resolution
and in user issues is very obviously going to influence the upstream
project quite a bit.
Again, distributions can obviously do that well or badly. One of the
reasons I like using Fedora is that I know that they are particularly
active in both having developers and in trying to also track the latest
kernel fairly closely and be actively involved with bug reporting.
DW: You have been quoted as saying that releasing Linux under the GPL was the best thing you ever did. What shape do you think Linux might have taken were it not for GNU userland tools or the GPL?
LT: It's hard to imagine, really. I did have a license before the GPL, which
was a very strict "give all changes back under the same license, and no
money can change hands", and the first part of that license really was the
same as GPLv2 in spirit, if not in legal verbiage. So it's not like the GPL
is "unique" in that sense.
The same goes for much of the GNU userland - there were tons of BSD
userland, and back when I started Linux, the BSD versions were arguably
the stronger ones. The exception there was really the compiler: GCC (along
with the Binutils suite) was pretty unique, and I very much recognized
that rather early on. One of my big reasons to choose the GPL was the
recognition of how important GCC had been for Linux.
But the whole speculation of "what if" is really pretty hard. Impossible,
I'd say. A lot of the issues with license choice is about the network
effects it implies - the same way I chose to switch to the GPL partly due
to GCC, other projects choose their license due to what they see around
them, and so you see this huge accumulation of projects around a few
licenses. And that's not necessarily because the licenses themselves are
so special, but because of the network effects.
What would have happened without the GPL? Who knows? Another license like
it might have sprung up, and gathered that kind of following. Or not.
We'll never know.
DW: Can you remember the very first patch you received for Linux? Were you expecting it and how did it make you feel?
LT: I don't remember the exact first patch, and in fact I do remember how, for
the first few months, I tended not to really "apply" patches directly as
much as just rewrite them. It took me a while before I was really comfy
just applying other peoples' changes to what was my rather personal
project. Of course, it depended on the patch (and still does, to a small
degree - it still happens that I get a patch and decide that I want to do
what it does, but that it needs to be done in a different way).
But the timeline must have been that I started getting patches around
November 1991 or so. It didn't happen immediately after I released the
first version. It takes some time for people to look a project over and
actually send changes.
DW: What are the most exciting things coming up in the Linux kernel?
LT: The things I personally care about tend to not even be on the radar of
most people. The changes to the very lowest levels of the suspend and
resume model are an example of something I look at closely and think are
interesting. Most other people don't think that kind of thing matters - at
least as long as we don't break their laptops suspending ;)
Of the actual stuff that has any visible impact to users, I guess the
interesting area is that we're getting all these next-generation file systems and
they're going to battle it out. "ext4 vs Btrfs in the thunderdome."
DW: And lastly, what do you do for fun?
LT: Mostly reading.
DW: Thank you again for your time and for all your work, Linus. We wish you all the very best for the future!
Linus Torvalds talking with Chris Smart at LCA 2009
(full image size: 1,900kB, screen resolution 1,920x1,440 pixels)
KDE 4.2 goes Fedora-wide, Debian "Lenny" release imminent, OpenSolaris usability focus, Ubuntu guide for free, Easy Peasy and Moblin for netbooks, interview with Fedora Project leader, end of Kurumin Linux|
The Fedora project left many users unhappy when they decided to drop KDE 3 in favour of the new KDE 4 series in their 9th release, called Sulphur. Even with all the community backlash, Fedora stuck with their decision for their recent 10 release which included KDE 4.1.2. Since this time however, the KDE project has continued to improve its code base and recently released version 4.2. As expected, packages for the upcoming release of Fedora 11 will include this updated version. Rex Dieter, founder of the KDE Red Hat project, confirms this in a post to his blog: "Work is also ongoing to bring KDE 4.2 officially to Fedora. It will be included in the upcoming Fedora 11 Alpha release, and Fedora 9 and 10 updates will follow shortly while we sort out a few remaining issues." This suggests that users running Fedora 9 and 10 will not be stuck with early versions of KDE forever and will receive updates to the latest release. While this won't stop the pain from initial installs, it might be enough to entice KDE lovers to try an updated KDE 4.2 and make the switch back for good.
* * * * *
Now that the result of the Debian vote on whether to include binary firmware in "Lenny" has been settled, the Installer team has announced "the availability of the second, and hopefully final, release candidate for the 'Lenny' installer." The release remains in deep freeze which means only packages which fix release candidate bugs will be migrated. Adeodato Simó has called for testing of the new images and writes that barring anything critical, "the weekend of February 14th is going to be our tentative target for release... The intention is only to lift that date if something really critical pops up that is not possible to handle as an errata, or if we end up technically unable to release that weekend (e.g. a needed machine crashes). Every other fix that doesn't make it in time will be r1 material." As Debian has a long cycle between releases, an updated version is scheduled with a more up-to-date kernel: "Also, our intent is that there will be a 'Lenny and a half' release half-way through the Squeeze release cycle, similarly to what was done for 'Etch', where additional hardware support will be considered." After lots of waiting, it looks like "Lenny" (firmware and all) really is just around the corner.
* * * * *
Since open sourcing Solaris a few years ago, Sun Microsystems' flagship open source operating system has made many leaps and bounds. Not content to let Linux rule the roost, OpenSolaris has been hard at work to help bring it to the same usability level as other distributions. Two of these areas include package management improvements and tighter collaboration with the developer community. Technology site eWEEK recently investigated this in an article using the latest release, 2008.11. "Taking a cue from popular Linux distributions, Sun's OpenSolaris improvements center around a bolstered software package management framework that includes both client-side tools for installing and updating applications, and back-end facilities for channeling community packaging efforts into the project," writes Jason Brooks. He also discusses where OpenSolaris needs to improve in order to attract more users from the Linux community. Perhaps taking a cue from Canonical, Sun has also launched a program to provide free OpenSolaris media to the public.
* * * * *
Keir Thomas is an author of numerous Ubuntu books, including the "Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference", which he has recently made available completely free of charge. The free version is available in digital form and is completely identical to the printed version, which is also available for purchase from Amazon.com. "At just 5.25 x 8 inches and 164 pages, Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference is a compact, yet comprehensive guide to everyday Ubuntu use. It's ideal for those who need vital information on all aspects of using Ubuntu, but who don't have time to wade through thick documentation." As one of the most popular distributions for new users, this book is a must have for anyone making the switch. "Written for anybody switching to Ubuntu, particularly former Windows users, Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference assumes zero Linux knowledge. It provides the wisdom of the expert user and concisely conveys core competencies." If you've been converting your friends, make sure you get them a copy of this book too!
* * * * *
Ubuntu derivative, Easy Peasy, is a distribution aimed squarely at the netbook market and makes a great replacement for default netbook operating systems. According to Easy Peasy developer, Jon Ramvim, the upcoming 2.0 release will be based on Ubuntu 9.04 ("Jaunty Jackalope") and is expected to be "released some time after April." He writes that users can expect the new version to be better looking, contain more netbook features, will use a "new file system which brings faster booting, loading and work flow" and more. It will also sport Jaunty's new notification system, for which he includes a video from Canonical. The distribution has become very popular since its humble beginnings as a script which customised a generic Ubuntu install for Eee PC netbooks. The name comes from 'Easy PC', as in 'an Easy operating system for your PC'.
* * * * *
Still on the topic of netbooks, the explosion of this new market was due in part to Intel's new Atom processor which has since become a major revenue stream for the company. It has not just been investing in the netbook hardware arena however, but also in software. In 2007 Intel set up a community website for Moblin, "a Linux-based software platform for building visually rich, dynamic, and connected applications that run on devices based on Intel Atom processor technology. Moblin's common core allows application portability for running on devices such as MIDs and netbooks." Recently, the project announced the availability of an alpha release of version 2. While this version ships with Xfce, the release notes mention this will not be the case in the final version, "The user interface is under heavy development. The final user interface will look very different than the current user interface and will not be based on Xfce." The operating system has been tested on the Acer Aspire One, ASUS Eee PC 901 and Dell Mini 9. DesktopLinux.com has posted a review of this alpha release.
Moblin 2 Alpha - a Fedora-based distribution for netbooks and other mobile devices
(full image size: 462kB, screen resolution 800x600 pixels)
* * * * *
This week we provide a link to an interview by technology website Neowin whose forum members pose questions to Fedora project leader, Paul Frields. When asked what makes Fedora unique, Paul replies: "What makes us unique, as I mentioned earlier, is that we do everything the open source way. You'll never hear us announcing that Fedora is open sourcing a product we use, because we start with 100% free and open source, always. I think building a free software distribution without using free software completely defeats the point of what you're doing. Anyone should be free at any time to look at the Fedora Project, say, 'I can do that better,' and then fork whatever they want to do a better job. Our job, as Fedora, is to make sure they never need to do that." Paul completes the interview answering what features will be available in Fedora 11, citing "20 second start-up... ext4 as the default file system... finger print reader upgrades... multi-seat, for two or more users to work on the same machine... Windows cross-compiler," and more.
* * * * *
Finally, a sad news for many Brazilian Linux users who have enjoyed the largest community distribution ever developed in South America - Kurumin Linux. After some two years of uncertainty, the project has now officially closed its doors. This follows some difficult decisions by the project founder Carlos Morimoto in 2007 and Leandro Santos (the founder of Kalango Linux and the project leader of Kurumin NG) last week. Kurumin Linux was a highly popular distribution mainly due to its support for common hardware available in Brazil, the full support for Brazilian Portuguese, an excellent control centre and amazing desktop eye candy, and superb documentation written by the project's founder. It's a disappointing end of a truly unique and successful project. Additional reporting can be found on Kurumin NG (in Portuguese), BR-Linux.org (in Portuguese) and VivaLinux! (in Spanish).
Kurumin Linux 7.0 - the end of the road for the popular Brazilian distro
(full image size: 455kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
|Released Last Week
Klaus Knopper has released KNOPPIX 6.0, a brand new version of the popular Debian-based live CD, now with LXDE as the default desktop and ADRIANE, an audio desktop for the visually impaired. From the changelog: "KNOPPIX 6.0.0 / ADRIANE 1.1. Complete rebuild from scratch, based on Debian 'Lenny' (draft); new boot procedure with highly parallelized hardware detection and configuration; LXDE as default desktop; OpenOffice.org 3.0.1; Firefox / Iceweasel 3.0.5; starts blind-friendly, talking ADRIANE menu by default (use boot option 'knoppix' for directly booting into graphical desktop; very reduced software collection in order to easily fit on CD; NetworkManager (support for Debian interfaces enabled); 'flash-knoppix' - create bootable USB memory stick from CD; began porting KNOPPIX 5.x boot options and features to the new system (not complete yet)." Read the full changelog for further information.
KNOPPIX 6.0 - now with LXDE as the default desktop
(full image size: 230kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Clonezilla Live 1.2.1-37, 1.2.1-39
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.1-37, a Debian-based live CD containing Clonezilla, a partition and disk cloning software similar to Norton Ghost: "Clonezilla live 1.2.1-37 (stable) released. In this release, we have two new languages and some improvements in cloning Microsoft Windows. The details: based on Debian 'Lenny' repository on 2009-01-26; Italian and Spanish language files were added; collecting hardware info is now faster; functions to save and restore hidden data between Master Boot Record (MBR) and 1st partition were added; the option to use ntfsreloc (-e1 auto) to fix CHS based on the value of EDD was added; miscellaneous minor bug fixes." Read the complete release announcement for more details.
Pardus Linux 2008.2
Ekin Meroğlu has announced the release of Pardus Linux 2008.2, an independently developed desktop distribution and live CD featuring a variety of unique technologies: "The second update release of Pardus Linux 2008, Pardus Linux 2008.2 'Canis aureus' is out. With this release, core technologies like PiSi and COMAR are updated to provide new features. YALI is also updated to offer a smoother and more reliable installation experience. The enhancements in Mudur initialization system provide a faster and more robust start-up process, along with a better remote file system support. Pardus is offered as two variants to support ever-increasing number of languages: one installation CD with support for Turkish and English only and another installation CD with support for 11 languages." Read the release announcement and release notes for more information.
MOPSLinux is a Russian desktop-oriented distribution based on Slackware Linux. Version 6.2, released earlier this week, is based on Slackware Linux 12.2 with an improved system installer, a user-friendly package management system, a choice of two desktops (KDE 3.5.10 or KDE 4.1.3), 3D desktop effects with Compiz Fusion, and a new desktop design. New features include: a choice between simple and expert installation modes; default installation of pre-selected packages; ability to upgrade from earlier versions of MOPSLinux; support for RAID arrays; support for installation on USB drives; inclusion of NVIDIA and ATI proprietary graphics drivers. The system is built on Linux kernel 184.108.40.206, with X.Org Server 1.4.2, Firefox 3.0.5 and OpenOffice.org 3.0.0. For further information please read the full release notes (in Russian).
MOPSLinux 6.2 - a Russian desktop distribution based on Slackware Linux
(full image size: 1,223kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
GeeXboX 1.2, a minimalist distribution designed to turn a personal computer into a multimedia home theatre, has been released: "Today marks the GeeXboX 1.2 release that was awaited for such a long time. This is a really important step for the project, being the very latest release from the 1.x series. The 1.2 took quite a long time to emerge but brought a lot of features, the most important ones being the x86_64 architecture support and the HDTV and widescreens optimizations through X.Org inclusion. We've also added a brand new tool, called Win32 installer that allows installing GeeXboX to a current hard-disk without the need of partitioning and formatting it again. GeeXboX 1.2 is the last version that relies on our original MPlayer OSD-based blue screen user interface. Over the years (and especially last months), a lot of efforts have been made to work on the upcoming 2.x series, that will feature a complete rework of the UI, based on the ultra fast and shiny Enlightenment toolkit." Read the release announcement for a full list of changes.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
January 2009 donation: Openbox receives US$250.00|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the January 2009 DistroWatch.com donation is Openbox, a minimalist, highly configurable window manager. The project is one of the rising stars of open source computing, with a number of distributions, including VectorLinux, CrunchBang Linux or SliTaz GNU/Linux, now offering Openbox as the default window manager. For a full list of distributions that provide Openbox please visit the DistroWatch search page.
With this donation, the total sum of money DistroWatch and its partners have given to a variety of open source software projects has surpassed US$20,000. See below for a full list of projects that have received a DistroWatch donation.
As always, this monthly donations program is a joint initiative between DistroWatch and two online shops selling low-cost CDs and DVDs with Linux, BSD and other open source software - LinuxCD.org and OSDisc.com. These vendors contributed US$50.00 each towards this month's donation to Openbox.
Here is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the program (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$20,033 to various open source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NdisWrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and SabayonLinux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250).
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 9 February 2009.
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Vital Data Forensic or Rescue Kit (FoRK)
The team at Vital Data have been in development to adapt the Knoppix live CD for use as a forensic imaging and previewing tool. They have previously been using the Penguin Sleuth Kit to obtain images in the field, but wanted something more user-friendly for their staff and colleagues to be able to use efficiently without requiring a high level of Linux knowledge.