| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 333, 14 December 2009
Welcome to this year's 50th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! As we near the end of another eventful year, the development of distributions tends to slow down a gear or two. This is perhaps a good time to take a look at some of the lesser-known projects. Today's feature article covers LinuxConsole, a small distro that started as a modified Mandriva for gaming consoles, but has since matured into a full-featured operating system in its own right. Read on for a complete review. In the news section, TuxRadar evaluates the most popular KDE-centric distributions, the Archiso-live project delivers a slick Arch Linux live CD with a friendly hard disk installer, Ubuntu sets out goals for its next stable release, and Katana announces a useful multi-boot suite containing today's most popular security distributions. Also in this release, the Q&A section hints at some reasons why Kubuntu is sometimes considered a neglected brother of the Ubuntu family, while a brief statistics section looks at online sales of low-cost CDs with free operating systems. All this and more in this issue of DistroWatch Weekly - happy reading!
- Reviews: A look at LinuxConsole 1.0.2009
- News: openSUSE wins KDE distro comparison, Archiso-live delivers working installer, Ubuntu presents 10.04 feature list, Katana reveals multi-boot security suite
- Questions and answers: Kubuntu a second-class citizen?
- Statistics: CDs sold by online vendors
- Released last week: Sabayon Linux 5.1, Ultimate Edition 2.5
- New additions: KahelOS, Unity Linux
- New distributions: BioPuppy Linux, Comunix GNU/Linux, dwmarch, Matriux, Quirky, SCLive, ShepherdPup, Simplicity Linux, TOP Linux
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (44MB) and MP3 (41MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A look at LinuxConsole 1.0.2009
The LinuxConsole distribution is one of those small projects which quietly put out releases, gradually improve and - rarely get attention. The project, headed by Yann Le Doare, recently released version 1.0.2009 of this distribution and I decided to take a look at what it had to offer. The current release comes in three flavours: Multimedia, which is a small live CD designed to enable you to get on the web, listen to music and play videos; the full CD edition, which comes with a complete GNOME desktop; and the DVD edition, which includes all the packages from the CD with some extras thrown in. There is also a tool, called Jukebox, which allows the user to build their own custom install image. This is similar to Slax's ISO builder and allows for a great deal of flexibility. For my test drive, I downloaded the Multimedia image.
While downloading, I took a quick look at the project's web site. It has a clean, simple layout which appeals to me. The site is easy to navigate and comes with some basic documentation, help forums, a news section and, of course, a download page. One thing which makes LinuxConsole stand out right away on the site is a mixture of English and French. The login form asks, "Forgot your password?" right next to the news announcement stating, that the Multimedia edition is "Pour les ordinateurs anciens, ou les système avec peu d'espace disque". While I speak passable conversational French, that skill doesn't extend far into technical terms and it made me shy away from trying my luck with the Jukebox build-your-own feature. I'd like to add that during the course of the week I was using LinuxConsole, more and more of the text on the site changed to English and translation is an on-going process.
To test this distribution, I put the Multimedia CD in my desktop machine, which has a 2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM and a NVIDIA graphics card. My test drive also included my LG laptop, which has a 1.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM and an ATI graphics card. To see how the distro works on lower-end hardware, I also ran it in a virtual machine. Once the LinuxConsole image was downloaded and burned to CD things progressed very smoothly. The CD provides the option to select your preferred language and has a live desktop up and running in seconds. The desktop is easy to look at and comes with a few icons for navigating folders and launching Firefox (version 3.5). The windows are themed to look like Mac OS X, but this can be changed to any of the fifteen different styles.
LinuxConsole 1.0.2009 - the default desktop with the IceWM window manager
(full image size: 119kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
System and hardware configuration
The application menu has a small, but well-ranged selection of software, including XMMS for audio playing, MPlayer for watching videos, a PDF viewer, a virtual terminal window, tools to burn CDs, a calculator and some games. There's also a file browser and a configuration center. A quick run through the application menu demonstrates that everything works and the system is responsive, even when running in a virtual environment with 256 MB of RAM. The configuration centre is a good combination of simple and powerful. From here, the user can add user accounts, set passwords, change desktop settings and screen resolution, add and remove software modules, manage Samba settings and change the network configuration. While the controls are basic-looking, everything works which allows for a flexible system.
LinuxConsole 1.0.2009 - the configuration center
(full image size: 87kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
The LinuxConsole CD comes with the ability to install the operating system on the local hard drive. When booting the live CD, the option to install is on the boot menu, along with the various language choices. The installer is one of the simplest I've seen and it's all done with ncurses menus. The installer allows the user to select a preferred language and the size of the swap partition (0 - 512 MB) and then goes to work. Total install time was about five minutes on both of my machines. I found it interesting that the installer will not remove or edit existing partitions, it uses up only the free space on the disk. If no free space is found, the installer asks the user to run fdisk and switches over to the live CD's desktop.
During my time with the distribution, LinuxConsole handled my hardware well. My keyboard, USB mouse and sound card were all detected and configured properly. My only complaint was that the sound was muted on my first boot, though there's a sound mixer control on the application menu to adjust volume. Multimedia, including audio CDs and videos, were played without any problems. The video cards on both my desktop and laptop were picked up, but my resolution was restricted to low and medium settings. This turned out to be a limitation of the default graphics driver. More advanced drivers from NVIDIA and ATI are available in the distribution's package repository and come on the DVD edition. My network connection was detected and enabled automatically on my desktop, though on my laptop, my wireless card didn't seem to function. I later found the wicd network manager in the repositories, so not all is lost for users who need a wireless connection.
By default, LinuxConsole logs the user in as root, without a password. This is true both for the live CD and for the local install. The root account is automatically logged in, regardless of other user accounts created on the system until a root password is set. Once a root password is created, booting LinuxConsole will provide a standard login screen. There are a few other quirks about this distribution, mostly user account-related, which make me think it's designed to be used as a live CD more than a system installed to a hard disk. For example, passwords aren't stored in a protected shadow file, as on most distros; instead, the hashed passwords are kept directly in the /etc/passwd file. Regular users can browse just about anywhere on the system, including the root user's folder. Users can't delete or edit most files, but they can see just about everything. Another thing I noticed is that when the system is run without a root password, logging out of the desktop causes the system to shut down. Once a root password has been created, logging out of the desktop takes the user back to a login screen and from there there doesn't appear to be any way to power off the machine, short of logging in as root and issuing the shutdown command.
To be fair, when I asked on the LinuxConsole forum about the way passwords are stored, Yann Le Doare promptly provided a script which transfers all account password hashes into a standard shadow file. This file isn't readable from regular user accounts. Also, for the paranoid, LinuxConsole has a feature in the configuration centre which allows the file system to be mounted in read-only mode. My point is that, while on the surface, this distro may not appear to be security conscious, it's fairly trivial to lock it down. Following that thinking, I was happy to see that no Internet-facing services ran by default. The LinuxConsole distribution comes with an OpenSSH server (disabled) which can be started for remote access.
When it comes to installing software, LinuxConsole has an approach similar to Slax's modules. The package manager launches Firefox and the user is taken to a web page which contains a list of various software packages. Each module has a name, a description (including package size), a download link and a list of dependencies, if any - most modules appear to be self-reliant. Installing new software is as easy as clicking the download link and then running the Install a LinuxConsole Module program from the application menu or clicking on the downloaded package file. There's a wide range of software to be had in the repository, including OpenOffice.org, CD burning software, instant messaging clients, several games and multimedia applications. Most modules are aimed at desktop users, but there are also some developer tools and a copy of WINE thrown into the mix. I downloaded and ran a handful of packages. Each one added itself to the application menu and ran without any problems. It is possible to disable or delete unwanted modules with a few mouse clicks in the configuration centre, making package management blissfully easy.
LinuxConsole 1.0.2009 - the Firefox web browser showing available software installation modules
(full image size: 94kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
I didn't really expect LinuxConsole to provide software updates since it's small distribution which seems to be aimed at being a good live CD. I was mistaken. There is an option on the application menu called LiveUpdate and running this program causes the system to download a package file containing patches. According to the package's description, this file is updated regularly, almost on a daily basis.
After using the system for a while, I really started to appreciate its performance. LinuxConsole is generally quick to respond and after several days of poking at the configuration centre there were no stability issues. (I ran into a small problem when I logged out during a patch update, but that was obviously self-inflicted.) The icons are pleasant to look at, most of the themes are nice and the application menu makes finding things easy. There are a few quirks which set this operating system apart, such as running into a menu in French, or finding English phrases which don't sound quite natural. Those occasions are rare, but happen from time to time. Whether you find this endearing (as I do) or annoying will likely vary for each person. I think this distro has a home-brew personality in the best sense of the term.
LinuxConsole 1.0.2009 - MPlayer with its configuration dialog in French
(full image size: 75kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
At the end of the week, I found myself liking LinuxConsole. It's not perfect, but it has a clean way of doing things. The modular design is well done and the system is very light. The range of functionality is good for a mere 200 MB download and I'm sure my experience would have gone even smoother had I downloaded the DVD image, which contains all the bells and whistles. There are a few things I'd like to see worked on for the next release, the most important area probably being documentation. Some basic things are covered on the web site, but for the most part, the user is left to click on things to find out what will happen.
The other area being user accounts, or more specifically, the security and privileges placed on regular users. Regular users shouldn't be able to access the entire file system under the default settings. On the other hand, they should probably be able to reboot the system when they're logged in locally. That being said, I think LinuxConsole is an excellent distribution for someone who has some previous Linux experience and wants to set up a single-user PC. It would also turn an old laptop into a nice portable media device or gaming console. I think Yann Le Doare has done a great job putting together this distro. It has the charming appeal of a labour of love, and I look forward to what this project delivers in the future.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
openSUSE wins KDE distro comparison, Archiso-live delivers working installer, Ubuntu presents 10.04 feature list, Katana reveals multi-boot security suite
Let's start this week's news section with a link to an interesting article published recently at TuxRadar. Entitled "Get the best KDE Linux distro", it evaluates some of the more interesting KDE-centric distributions, including the recent releases from Slackware Linux, Chakra (an Arch-based live CD), sidux (based on Debian's unstable branch), Kubuntu, Mandriva One, openSUSE, Sabayon Linux and PCLinuxOS, for usability, looks and integration with system utilities. The verdict? The best KDE distribution today is openSUSE 11.2: "Our winner is openSUSE. It's a distribution that's got the professional sheen and gloss that only Novell can bring, and it's a distribution that always manages to bundle a cutting-edge KDE installation that will last you the full nine months of the distribution cycle. The custom artwork looks great, and shows that the packaging team has a great understanding of what KDE is capable of and what users need from their desktop. YaST is always going to be unwieldy, but its fantastic integration into the KDE desktop (it's written in Qt) makes Linux feel much closer to its Windows and OS X competitors than other KDE distributions."
In the meantime, the first retail boxes of openSUSE 11.2 went on sale last week: "Retail versions of openSUSE 11.2 are once again available. For the first time, the retail box is being handled by a partner, Open-SLX. Open-SLX is founded and lead by Stefan Werden, a former SUSE employee who approached Novell this summer and proposed to take on the retail box distribution in the future. After some negotiation Stefan signed a contract with Novell and is now allowed to pursue the retail box on his own. With openSUSE 11.2 Open-SLX's main goal is to keep the retail box alive and improve sales of openSUSE in the retail market. With openSUSE 11.3 Open-SLX has declared an interest in adding value to the box product so that there is a real difference between free download version and box in retail to purchase." At the time of writing, the openSUSE 11.2 boxes seem to be available in Europe only - you can get them directly from the above web site, but if you don't speak German, you can try Amazon UK (£49.99). For German users, there are a couple of other options, including SUSE Shop (€59.95) and Amazon Germany (€51.45). Buying the retail box is always a nice way of supporting your favourite distribution, especially if you are new to Linux and if you need comprehensive printed documentation.
* * * * *
With Arch Linux having become such a popular distro, often praised for its rolling-release model of installing once and keeping it updated forever, we thought it would be a good time to take another look at Archiso-live. Archiso-live is an Arch Linux live CD that boots into an Xfce desktop and has a graphical system installer. In the earlier releases the installer did not work correctly, but the more recent ones come with a much improved version. We installed in on a test machine and can confirm that it was able to transfer the entire live CD onto a hard disk partition with no problems. Of course, if you install Arch Linux this way, you'll be "cheating", since easy, click-and-point installation isn't part of the "Arch way" of doing things. Nevertheless, as a method of testing this exciting distro, the "Archiso-live way" is a great time-saver. The latest version at the time of writing is 20091208 and it can be downloaded from here: archiso-live-2009-12-08.iso (685MB, MD5).
Archiso-live - an Arch Linux live CD with Xfce and a graphical system installer
(full image size: 144kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
With the arrival of the first alpha of Ubuntu 10.04, code name "Lucid Lynx", it was only a matter of time before the first articles summarising the main new features and improvements in the distribution's next release started to appear on the Internet. One of them, entitled ""What will Ubuntu 10.04 bring to the table?"" has a nice, concise list of things to look forward to in April next year. That includes a major change in the look and feel department: "Even though GNOME 3 will not be released in time for 10.04, Lucid Lynx will be getting a major face lift. The Ayatana Team of Ubuntu developers are working on an enhanced version of GTK+ that will include RGBA support. What does this mean? You know that sleek Aero interface that Windows Vista and 7 used by default? A Linux take on that theme will be enabled, out of the box, for 10.04. If you are more visual, then take a look at Figure 1 for a reference. Upon first glance I would immediately say that theme could be taken care of with the help of a few Compiz and Emerald tweaks. It can. But this is out-of-the-box goodness. This is not preferences hacking, this is global transparency for all applications. And this is transparency on the widget level - not border and window level." The article also talks about the coveted 10 second boot for netbooks, general improvements in speed and responsiveness, and Ubuntu Software Centre as the default package installation tool.
* * * * *
Finally, news about a very useful tool for security professionals and enthusiasts. John Dunning has emailed DistroWatch to let everyone know that he has released Katana 1, a portable, multi-boot security suite. Here is the project's description in his own words: "Katana v1 (Kyuzo) has just been released. Katana is a portable multi-boot security suite designed to fulfil many computer security needs. The idea behind this tool is to bring together many of the best security distributions and applications to run from a USB Flash drive. Instead of keeping track of dozens of CDs and DVDs loaded with your favorite security tools, you can keep them all conveniently in your pocket. Katana includes distributions which focus on penetration testing, auditing, password cracking, forensics and honey pots. It includes the following distributions: BackTrack 4-pre, the Ultimate Boot CD 4.1.0, Ophcrack LiveCD 2.3.1, Damn Small Linux 4.4.10, Slax 6.0.0, Organizational Systems Wireless Auditor (OSWA) Assistant 0.9.0.6g and Damn Vulnerable Linux 1.5. An option to add addition distros is also available." The product comes in the form of a 5.4 GB compressed file available for free download from a number of mirrors. Once downloaded, it can be installed to an 8 GB USB Flash drive in just a few steps. Happy hacking!
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Kubuntu a second-class citizen?
Disappointed-with-Kubuntu asks: I've been an avid Linux user since 1999, being both a KDE and Xfce fan. But what is wrong with Kubuntu? Every release it seems to be a promising let-down and it never runs as smooth as Mandriva or openSUSE (I'm using a P4 3.00 GHz HT with 2 GB of RAM and Pentium Dual Core 3.00 GHz with 2 GB of RAM). Ubuntu is structured so well it almost seems to me as if they didn't care about their own Kubuntu. Maybe you could shed some light on this for me or at least enlighten me to your opinion as to why Kubuntu seems to lag so far behind Ubuntu and why it doesn't have LTS (long-term support) releases.
DistroWatch answers: The Kubuntu distribution does get a lot of flak for not being as polished as Ubuntu or even Xubuntu. It's not a distro I use, so I can't really comment on the quality.
My guess would be that there are three factors involved. The first being that Ubuntu is the first-born, the distribution which gets the most attention. It's the flagship distro and probably gets more focus from the developers. People are likely to judge the Ubuntu family based on their experience with, well, Ubuntu, right? The second thing that comes to mind is that KDE (the desktop used by Kubuntu) has gone through a lot of changes recently. Even people who usually love KDE have been complaining about it. I think once the KDE 4 desktop settles down and people grow accustomed to it, Kubuntu will become more polished and more popular. And the third factor? You need to remember that Kubuntu started as a community project that was only taken under Canonical's umbrella at a later time. While I don't have any hard figures, it's likely that Ubuntu has a lot more well-paid, in-house developers than Kubuntu, which still depends largely on the work done by volunteer community. As such, the quality is likely to wary from release to release.
Kubuntu does have LTS releases, which match up with Ubuntu's (see this page). The 8.04 release was an exception, a difficult decision made over concerns of long-term unsupportability of the older, KDE 3 code base. However, it has been confirmed that Kubuntu 10.04, expected in April 2010, will indeed be an LTS release. Finally, if you are using Kubuntu and you find an issue, I recommend reporting it to the project's bug tracker. It might not get fixed, but it provides feedback for the developers.
|Statistics (by Ladislav Bodnar)
CDs sold by online vendors
As part of the never-ending discussion about the popularity of distributions, I always thought it would interesting to see what people buy when they order CDs and DVDs from online stores - i.e. when they have to part with some cash in the process. Unfortunately, neither of the two DistroWatch associates that advertise low-cost CDs with Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris and other free software (OSDisc.com and LinuxCDs.org) on this web site provides any sale statistics. However, OSDisc.com does make some information available to each individual associate. So while I don't know the total number of their sales, I do know the number of sales made through clicks on DistroWatch. For what they are worth, I've summarised them in the table below. The third column represents the total number of CDs, DVDs and USB Flash drives sold between 1 October 2009 and 13 December 2009.
It is interesting to note how well some of the utility distros, such as SystemRescueCd and Parted Magic, do in online sales. Another surprising observation is that there were no records of sales for some well-known distributions, such as CentOS or Gentoo Linux, while FreeBSD and Arch Linux recorded only two sales each. This would suggest that readers buying media with free operating systems online are more likely to be less technical users, preferring the user-friendlier distributions over the more "geeky" ones. Finally, Mandriva Linux has, somewhat unexpectedly, finished on the second spot, beating both openSUSE and Fedora. This could suggest the growing popularity of the French distribution, although another factor worth noting is the fact Mandriva Linux 2010 came out before both openSUSE 11.2 and Fedora 12, so its latest version has a "longer sales period" in the statistics table than the new releases from either openSUSE or Fedora. It would be interesting to revisit these numbers at a later stage, once more data are available.
|Released Last Week
Ultimate Edition 2.5
Glenn Cady has announced the release of Ultimate Edition 2.5, an Ubuntu-based live DVD in over 3 gigabytes - with GNOME, KDE, Xfce and thousands of applications: "Ultimate Edition 2.5 was built off Ultimate Edition 2.4 (Ubuntu 9.10 based), all upgrades pre-installed as of current. It has KDE, Xfce and GNOME, user-selectable at login, three new themes and tons of applications. This release is huge, obviously bigger then Ultimate Edition 2.4. I am not going to spend my time writing a web page, just a post, even though it is a very worthy release and deserves a web page. I have a lot on my plate in programming and other activities. It has been out about a week, forum users have been grabbing it left and right." For more information please see this brief release announcement.
Ultimate Edition 2.5 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with GNOME, KDE and Xfce
(full image size: 1,216kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Chris Buechler has released pfSense 1.2.3, a specialist firewall distribution based on FreeBSD: "pfSense 1.2.3 is now available! This is a maintenance release in the 1.2.x series, bringing an updated FreeBSD base, some minor enhancements, some bug fixes, and a couple of security updates. We have been waiting a few weeks in anticipation of a FreeBSD security advisory for the SSL/TLS renegotiation vulnerability, which came last week and allowed us to finalize the release. Change list: upgrade to FreeBSD 7.2; embedded edition switched to NanoBSD; dynamic interface bridging bug fix; IPsec connection reloading improvements; dynamic site-to-site IPsec; sticky connections enable and disable; ability to delete DHCP leases; polling fixed; ipfw state table size; UDP state timeout increases...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a complete list of changes and enhancements.
Sabayon Linux 5.1
Fabio Erculiani has announced the release of Sabayon Linux 5.1, a Gentoo-based desktop distribution with GNOME or KDE desktops: "The best, refined blend of GNU/Linux, coming with bleeding edge edges, is eventually here. Features: based on the new GCC 4.4.1 and glibc 2.10; ships with a desktop-optimized Linux kernel 2.6.31; provides extra server-optimized and OpenVZ-enabled kernels in repositories; installer now available in multiple languages; complete ext4 file system support; features X.Org 7.5 and up-to-date FLOSS, NVIDIA, AMD video drivers; containing GNOME 2.28 (with GNOME Shell) and KDE 4.3.4; outstanding 3D desktop applications (Compiz, Compiz Fusion and KWin)...." See the release announcement for a complete list of new features and changes.
Sabayon Linux 5.1 - a Gentoo-based distributions with many of the latest packages and custom package management
(full image size: 430kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kai Hendry has released Webconverger 5.8, a specialist, Debian-based distribution for web kiosks, with Firefox as the only available desktop application. What's new in this release? "The big difference with this release is using i686 builds instead of i486. This means that Webconverger will not boot on very old PCs and some cheap CPUs like Geode. If this is problem for you, let me know! For the rest of us with i686-compatible hardware, Webconverger should be a litter faster. In other news, the spelling from the previous release 5.7 with Firefox 3.5 should now be working for you. The CJK support might not quite work on these free images; however, if you purchase Webconverger with Chinese (or Korean or Japanese) support I will ensure all the relevant fonts and input tools are pre-installed." Check out the release notes for further information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
- KahelOS. KahelOS is a Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. Its desktop edition comes with pre-configured GNOME as the default desktop environment, GNOME Office productivity suite, Epiphany web browser, GIMP image manipulation program, and other popular GTK+ and GNOME applications. Like Arch Linux, KahelOS maintains a rolling-release model of updating software packages using its parent's repositories. A server edition is also available. Both the desktop and server editions come in the form of installation CDs with text-based installers, but no live media.
KahelOS 090909 - an Arch-based desktop distribution with GNOME
(full image size: 145kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Unity Linux. Unity Linux is a minimalist distribution and live CD based on Mandriva Linux and PCLinuxOS. The project's main goal is to create a base operating system on which more complete, user-oriented distribution can be built - either by other distribution projects or by the users themselves. Unity Linux uses Openbox as the default window manager. Its package management is handled via Smart and RPM 5 which can download and install additional software packages from the project's online repository.
Unity Linux 2010 Beta 1 - a minimalist Mandriva-based distribution with Openbox
(full image size: 294kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- BioPuppy Linux. BioPuppy Linux is a minimal Linux operating system and electronic workbench for bio-informatics and computational biology. It has been designed to meet the needs of beginners, learners, students, staffs and research scholars. BioPuppy Linux is available as a live and installation CD, containing all the required software to boot the computer with ready to use bio-informatics tools. BioPuppy is based on Puppy Linux.
- Comunix GNU/Linux. Comunix GNU/Linux is a Debian and KNOPPIX-based distribution with a modified KDE desktop that resembles that of Windows XP. The web site of the project, created in Uruguay, is in Spanish.
- dwmarch. dwmarch is a small Arch Linux-based live CD using the minimalist dwm window manager.
- Matriux. Matriux is an Kubuntu-based security distribution consisting of powerful open-source tools that can be used for various purposes including, but not limited to, penetration testing, ethical hacking, system and network administration, cyber forensics investigations, security testing and vulnerability analysis. It is a distribution designed for security enthusiasts and professionals, but it can also be used as a desktop system.
Matriux 0.9.4 - a Kubuntu-based security distribution
(full image size: 102kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- Quirky. Created by Barry Kauler, the founder of Puppy Linux, Quirky is a small, experimental distribution with some "quirky" ideas. These include extremely small size, a desktop optimised for wide-screen netbooks, and a concept where the initial ramfs and complete file system is built into the kernel so that Quirky is only one file.
- SCLive. SCLive is a Slackware-based distribution and live CD featuring the latest SystemC OSCI simulation kernel, the required g++ compilers and libraries, an integrated development environment, debugger, and waveform viewer. Additionally, SCLive has both a Verilog and VHDL simulator to cover all of the hardware description languages commonly in use. The distribution also features essential applications to make it a useful working environment, including an Internet browser and a file manager.
- ShepherdPup. ShepherdPup is a compact, freely-distributable distribution designed as a tool for Christian evangelism. Focusing on bible study and personal evangelism, it can be easily remastered by individual evangelists or groups to suit the needs of a community. ShepherdPup is based on Puppy Linux.
- Simplicity Linux. Simplicity Linux is a Puppy Linux-based distribution for desktops and netbooks.
Simplicity Linux 9.10 - a Puppy-based distribution with Xfce
(full image size: 1,229kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
- TOP Linux. TOP Linux is a Puppy-based distribution with internationalisation features, troubleshooting tools, and Windows-like desktop interface (using the Xfce desktop). It is specifically designed for use in developing countries.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
And this concludes the latest issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 21 December 2009.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Refracta is a Linux distribution based on Devuan GNU+Linux (a systemd-free fork of Debian), designed primarily for home computer users and also for use as a system rescue and recovery disk. It provides a simple and familiar layout using the Xfce desktop. Other desktop environments and additional software packages are available from the Devuan package repository. Besides providing a Linux distribution on a live CD, the project also develops useful tools, such as refractainstaller, refractasnapshot and refracta2usb which allow users to customize the installation and create custom live CD or live USB images.