| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 348, 5 April 2010
Welcome to this year's 14th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! A variety of topics, ranging from Sony's controversial decision to remove Linux support from PlayStation to Ubuntu's announcement about "Maverick Meerkat", are discussed in this week's issue of your favourite distro-related magazine. The publication starts with a first-look review of Asturix 2.0 "Business" edition, a relatively new, Spanish distribution based on Ubuntu, before it continues with the usual round-up of news and links to interesting articles of the past week, including a story about the upcoming beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, an update about Puppy Linux 5 series, and a link to an overview of Unity Linux, a minimalist Mandriva-based operating system. Then we have the regular Questions and Answers section which looks at a simple way of converting an RPM package into a DEB for easy installation on any Debian-based system. Finally, the Site News section presents the latest DistroWatch donation which goes to Libre Graphics Meeting, before it introduces Puredyne, an Ubuntu-based distribution designed for creative artists. Happy reading!
- Feature: Peering down the business end of Asturix
- News: Yellow Dog warns against PS3 updates, Red Hat hints at RHEL 6 beta arrival, Ubuntu announces "Maverick Meerkat", Puppy prepares version 5, overview of Unity Linux
- Questions and answers: Using "alien" to convert RPM to DEB
- Released last week: Linux Mint 8 "LXDE" and "Xfce", SimplyMEPIS 8.5, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5
- Upcoming releases: DragonFly BSD 2.6, Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 2, openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 5
- Donations: Libre Graphics Meeting gets US$300
- New additions: Puredyne
- New distributions: Fnestree, Linux Caxradonya, Netrunner
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (30MB) and MP3 (42MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Peering down the business end of Asturix
One of the fascinating things about open source software is the way in which it can be adapted to suit many different, previously unexplored tasks. Linux, with its flexibility, can be used in many different niches. Take, for example, Asturix. The Asturix project is an attempt to make a better operating system both for the world in general, and Spanish speakers in particular. The project recognizes that Linux users often need to interact with applications and networks that aren't always open-source friendly and have tailored their offering to make those situations as easy as possible. To achieve their goals, the Asturix team has created three editions of their distribution:
Both the Business and Desktop editions have 32-bit and 64-bit variants and, for my experiment, I decided to try Asturix Business. The Business DVD weighs in at about 1.2 GB and downloading it gave me time to look over the project's web site. By default the site displays in Spanish, but there are a wide range of language translations offered, including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Russian. Aside from addressing the project's goals and offering downloads, the site also provides a Wiki (mostly in Spanish), a forum, a news section and a contact form. Navigation is easy and the layout is a bright, pleasant combination of white and green.
- Business - for use in offices
- Desktop - for people at home
- Lite - designed with older computers in mind
Live mode and system installation
Upon booting the live DVD, it becomes obvious that Asturix sits on an Ubuntu base. The boot menu is very similar, though I found that selecting any language other than Spanish didn't alter the text on the boot options. The menus at the bottom of the screen changed, but not the central menu. The DVD will boot into live mode, check the media for errors or start an OEM installation. Choosing to explore the live environment first, I was shown a splash screen which reminded me of the northern lights, followed a minute later by a GNOME desktop. The layout is very similar to Ubuntu's, with the menu bar across the top of the screen, but the brown and orange colours have been replaced with bright, cheerful blues and greens. After looking around a little, I decided to install Asturix, but I wasn't able to find an installer. I rebooted and, at the boot menu, chose to run the installer.
Asturix uses the Ubuntu system installer, which makes for a straightforward and surprise-free process. Users are asked to select their preferred language, time zone and keyboard layout. The user is then tasked with setting up partitions and selecting an account password. It's an easy and pain-free experience and takes very little time to complete.
Asturix 2.0 - using and managing screenlets
(full image size: 595kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
One of the first things a new user is likely to notice about the Asturix desktop is the collection of screenlets down the right-hand side of the display. There is a Google search bar, notepad, calendar and analogue clock. Some people may find these useful, others may see them as extra clutter. Unfortunately, the screenlets don't remember if they've been dismissed and return each session unless they've been turned off from the Startup Applications utility.
On the topic of applications, the list of available programs include Firefox 3.0 for web browsing, Evolution for e-mail, the Ekiga softphone, Pidgin for instant messaging, a BitTorrent client, OpenOffice.org, an audio player, video player and a disc burner. Asturix also comes armed with graphics software such as the GIMP, F-Spot and Cheese webcam tool. GNUCash is offered, as is Java and WINE. Popular multimedia codecs are installed, enabling users to play MP3 files and most video formats out of the box. Flash is available and works when browsing with Firefox. The distro is also armed with a wide range of configuration tools, for adjusting the system's look and feel, managing user accounts, handling drivers and installing software.
Asturix 2.0 - changing settings and web browsing
(full image size: 595kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Most of the applications and their menu entries obey the preferred language setting, but there are a few exceptions. In the System Tools sub-menu we find a collection of Asturix-specific programs which display in Spanish only. The first item is an update tool and, though my Spanish isn't great, I think this utility is specifically for upgrading from one major release version to the next one. Since I was already using the latest version, I wasn't able to make use of this program. The next item is a CD/DVD burner which works in the expected manner.
The third program is for installing applications and it caused me some frustration. The installer has two tabs, the first is for installing extras, such as Java, Flash and codecs. In the Business edition these packages are already available on the system and downloading them isn't required. The second tab lists several software categories, such as Graphics, Internet and Multimedia, and prompts the user to select one. Clicking any of the options causes the system to prompt for the user's sudo password and then nothing happens. There's no network activity, so it seems there's either a bug in the software or perhaps, once again, everything is already installed in the Business edition. It's hard to tell for certain as there's no message displayed. Another place where the user encounters Spanish, regardless of language settings, is the Help screen. The documentation gives, among other things, the user instructions on installing new software, virus protection, handling office documents and there's an explanation regarding screenlets.
Being based on Ubuntu, Asturix uses APT and its family of related tools for package management, including Synaptic. Software is drawn from Ubuntu's repositories, providing the user with over 26,000 available packages. This characteristic also makes Asturix compatible with other flavours of Ubuntu. During my time with Asturix, I had no trouble installing, removing or upgrading software and Synaptic performed quickly, as usual.
During my experiment with the operating system, I used two machines. One was a generic desktop with a 2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM and an NVIDIA graphics card. The other was my HP laptop, which sports a dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM and an Intel video card. For the most part Asturix handled my hardware very well. On my desktop machine, video worked without any problems, as did my network connection. Sound was very faint, even with the volume turned all the way up, a problem I've experienced before with Ubuntu 9.04. Similarly, most devices worked on my laptop, including the video card, audio system, the touchpad and my Novatel mobile modem. Asturix's only issue on my laptop was with the Intel wireless network card, which failed to function. Performance on both machines was good and the system remained responsive and stable the entire time I was using it.
The topic of security on Asturix is a bit more complicated than with many other distributions. This is partly because of the way Asturix tries to be friendly to Windows users and partly because of the project's relationship to Ubuntu. For example, Asturix runs the Samba service, as well as secure shell, by default. Though no directories are shared (via Samba) by default, this opens a potential attack vector. On the other hand, I was happy to note that clicking on a Windows executable file doesn't launch the file, instead it opens the virus scanner to check the binary. Windows executables can be launched by right-clicking on them (and selecting the run option) or by selecting their entry in the Applications menu.
Some users will see the default behaviour as a security service while others may be put off by it. Personally, I think it's a reasonable default. While on the subject of the virus scanner, I noticed at install time that the scanner carried no virus definitions. When manually asked to search for definition updates, the scanner failed to locate any. This concerns me as a virus scanner without a definition file isn't providing anything other than a false sense of security. Another concern in my mind is that Asturix 2.0 is based on Ubuntu 9.04, which has an 18-month life span ending in October 2010. Since Asturix 2.0 launched in February, that gives their users a short eight months of security updates. After October, users will need to upgrade or risk running unpatched machines.
Asturix 2.0 - getting help and using the virus scanner
(full image size: 595kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
After using Asturix for a week, I found several things I enjoyed about the system and a number of items I did not. Looking at the project in general, I think it's great there is a distribution specifically targeted toward helping Spanish speakers in a variety of environments. A quote attributed to philosopher José Ortega y Gasse reads: "Excellence means when a man or woman asks of himself more than others do." And I think the developers are doing just that, taking a Ubuntu base and adding to it, tailoring it to a more specific purpose. I like that their Business edition comes equipped with WINE, Samba, codecs and a virus scanner. It's little touches like these which make the distribution more attractive to newcomers. The variety of editions to match different needs is also welcome, giving users the flexibility to run Asturix on lower-end or modern machines.
On the other hand, there are a number of places where Asturix doesn't deliver. As mentioned above, the virus scanner didn't update itself on my machines and the custom package manager feels unfinished - it would be nice if the distribution's software installer gave more information to the user about what it was (or was not) doing. Right now, Asturix looks like a viable choice for moving home users from Windows to Linux and, if the project adopts Ubuntu's upcoming LTS release as their new base, I think they may be able to appeal to businesses too.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Yellow Dog warns against PS3 updates, Red Hat hints at RHEL 6 beta arrival, Ubuntu announces "Maverick Meerkat", Puppy prepares version 5, overview of Unity Linux
The controversial decision by Sony to remove the option to install "other OS" on its PlayStation 3 generated many heated debates last week (the blog post where this was announced had over 6,200 comments at the time of writing). In response, Fixstars Solutions, the developer of Yellow Dog Linux (YDL) and other specialist solutions for the PowerPC platform (including Sony PlayStation), has issued a statement warning their users not to upgrade to the new firmware: "Sony has announced that the 3.21 firmware that will be released on April 1st 2010 will remove the 'Other OS feature' on old, large form factor PlayStation 3s. This will affect all versions of all Linux distributions for the PS3 including Yellow Dog Linux and Yellow Dog Enterprise Linux. If you upgrade to the new firmware, you will NOT be able to run Yellow Dog Linux. If continued use of Linux on your PS3 is desired, do not update the firmware on your PS3 after March 31 2010. ... Fixstars remains committed to providing updates and support for its PowerPC and Cell Linux products through the end of the scheduled lifetime. For YDL 6.2, updates will continue until the end of July 2010 and for YDEL 6.1, updates will continue until end of April 2012."
* * * * *
The first beta of the long-awaited Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 will arrive later this month. That's according to Tim Burke, vice president of platform engineering at Red Hat, who revealed the information to InternetNews: "We overlap on our releases as it takes many years to produce the new version - RHEL 6 - which is currently in development. Within the coming month we'll have our beta release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6." This will be Red Hat's first major release since RHEL 5 which was made available back in March 2007: "Burke added that Red Hat will have some additional announcements on RHEL 6 likely coming out of their Red Hat Summit event in June. RHEL 6 will be the first major version update for Red Hat since the first release of RHEL 5 in 2007." Red Hat will continue supporting its current offerings according to the company's errata support policy, with RHEL 4 reaching end of life in February 2012, while RHEL 5 will continue to receive security updates until March 2014.
* * * * *
Mark Shuttleworth has revealed the code name for the next release of Ubuntu, expected to arrive in October 2010: "Our mascot for 10.10 is the Maverick Meerkat. This is a time of change, and we're not afraid to surprise people with a bold move if the opportunity for dramatic improvement presents itself. We want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move. We will deliver on time, but we have huge scope for innovation in what we deliver this cycle. Once we have released the LTS we have plenty of room to shake things up a little. Let's hear the best ideas, gather the best talent, and be a little radical in how we approach the next two year major cycle. Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social - everything we want in a Perfect 10. We're booting really fast these days, but the final push remains. Changes in the toolchain may make us even faster for every application. We're social from the start, but we could get even more tightly connected, and we could bring social features into even more applications."
* * * * *
Speaking about future distro releases, Barry Kauler, the founder and lead developer of Puppy Linux, has announced the upcoming release of Puppy Linux 5 - now in three different editions: "I have been in discussion with playdayz. We are planning to hit DistroWatch with a triple-whammy, three simultaneous releases of Puppy 5.0. We are also aiming for about 5 weeks from now. Lucid Puppy 5.0 - this is built by playdayz from Ubuntu 10.04 packages. Wary Puppy 5.0 - this will be based upon 'Quirky' with the rolled-back X.Org. I will probably use Openbox and Fbpanel to get around the problem with icon rendering in JWM. I intend to use the 22.214.171.124 kernel if it is released in time. Very Wary Puppy 5.0 - same as above except using the 126.96.36.199 kernel from Puppy 4.3.1. This one will be recommended for those on dial-up Internet."
* * * * *
Finally, a link to a long and comprehensive article about Unity Linux, a minimalist distribution whose foundations were first laid by a group of disgruntled PCLinuxOS developers and users in March 2009: "Unity Linux is not a conventional distribution of Linux. It's a core on which developers can build their own distribution of Linux. We've set out from the start to provide an excellent minimum graphical environment that gave developers 'just enough graphics' for them to create something. The smaller, the better. We elected to go with Openbox because of its size and stability. We selected using Mandriva as our base because of the number of packages they provide and the quality of those packages. We pushed LXPanel as a minimal panel because it provides just enough functionality for distro developers to see what they've installed after they've installed it. Also, it is familiar to most people whereas Openbox's right-click menus may not be. All in all, our target for the core release is developers. We're not designing this basic desktop to be used by end users."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Using "alien" to convert RPM to DEB
Doesn't-like-the-packaging asks: How can I install RPM packages on a distribution that doesn't use RPM?
DistroWatch answers: Sometimes life hands you lemons (I mean RPM packages) and you're stuck trying to make lemonade (install them). There are a few ways to do this. The first way would be to download and install the RPM Package Manager. Some distributions which don't generally use RPM will still have it in their repositories for just such occasions. Once RPM is set up on your system, try to install your package:
rpm -ivh package_name.rpm
Unfortunately, RPM won't resolve dependencies for you, so if you're missing supporting software on your distribution, you'll have to install it manually.
The other approach would be to use alien, a program which converts software packages from one format (such as RPM) to another (such as DEB). Alien uses several other tools, including RPM, GCC, make and dpkg-dev, to convert files from one package format to another. Once you have alien installed with its dependencies, you can convert files using:
fakeroot alien -d package_name.rpm
The above command will create a DEB package, which can then be installed using:
dpkg -i package_name.deb
Once again, there may be some dependency issues to be resolved before your package will install and run properly. There are a few benefits to using alien. The first being that once your foreign software is installed, it'll be handled by the same package manager as the rest of the software on your system. Hopefully this will avoid breaking your software during future upgrades or uninstalls. The other benefit to alien is that it will handle more formats besides RPMs and DEBs. Alien supports converting LSB, TGZ and PKG packages too, making it a handy tool to have around, regardless of your distribution's packaging method.
A word of warning: it's generally a bad idea to install foreign packages which will become essential parts of your system. Components such as the C library, kernel and init (among others) should come from your distribution's regular repositories. Installing foreign software into critical roles is likely to break your system.
|Released Last Week
Marc Poirette has announced the release of PureOS 2.0, a Debian-based distribution and live CD featuring the KDE 4 desktop: "PureOS 2.0 2010 is available, it's built with the Linux-Live scripts 6.2.9. What's new? Linux kernel 2.6.33 with Squashfs 3.4 and LZMA; KDE 4.3.4, Iceweasel 3.5.8 with Strata aero theme and Icedove 188.8.131.52 with Lightning 0.9; OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 (Calc, Draw, Math and Writer) with help; GIMP 2.6.8 with help, Gwenview with KIPI plugins and Okular; Akregator, FileZilla, qBittorrent, Kopete and wicd; K3B, VLC and Songbird 1.4.3; smxi/sgfxi scripts and scripts for module management; GParted, Krusader...." See the release announcement for additional details together with a list of all included packages.
PureOS 2.0 - a Debian-based distribution with KDE 4
(full image size: 513kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Roberto Dohnert has announced the release of PC/OS 10.1.1, a bug-fix update of the Ubuntu-based desktop distribution: "We are pleased to announce the delivery of PC/OS OpenWorkstation 10.1.1 PC/OS GNOME 10.1.1 as well as PC/OS WebStation 10.1.1. With this release we bring many bug fixes and enhancements to the platform. This release is a bug fix and precursor to the release of PC/OS 11. Some of the highlights of this release include: Linux kernel 2.6.31 PAE, with physical address extensions, users of 32-bit PC/OS can now use more RAM on 64-bit systems; Gigolo is replaced with pyNeighborhood; FileZilla is now included; Empathy has been upgraded to version 2.29.93; Empathy has been replaced with Meebo; GNOME Games has been replaced with FlashChess3...." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Warren Woodford has announced the release of SimplyMEPIS 8.5, a beginner-friendly desktop Linux distribution with KDE 4, based on Debian GNU/Linux: "For SimplyMEPIS 8.5 we started with the stable Debian 'Lenny' core and then selectively introduced updated packages that make SimplyMEPIS 8.5 a more timely operating system. Specifically, 8.5 uses a 2.6.32 kernel for up-to-date hardware support. It has the new KDE 4.3.4 desktop, yet retains much of the familiar MEPIS/KDE look and feel, so users can slowly become familiar with the new features in KDE 4.3. The new MEPIS Welcome Center guides users through their first steps with MEPIS including finding documentation, connecting with the community, and optionally installing additional applications and language packs." Read the full release announcement for further information.
SimplyMEPIS 8.5 - the project's first release featuring KDE 4
(full image size: 400kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5
Red Hat, Inc. has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.5, the fifth update of its commercial, enterprise-class Linux distribution: "Red Hat is pleased to announce the availability of the latest update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, release 5.5. Highlights of the release include hardware enablement for the Intel Boxboro-EX platform, AMD Magny-Cours processor and IBM Power 7 processor. Virtualization is improved, with support for multiple 10 GigE SR-IOV cards, and automatic usage of hugepages for virtual guest memory when enabled on the system. Interoperability improvements include updates to OpenOffice.org for Microsoft Office 2007 filters, Samba for Windows 7 compatibility and boot support for virtual machines using Microsoft-based PXE services." See the release announcement, press release and release notes for a detailed list of changes and improvements.
Vyatta has announced the release of Vyatta 6.0, a Debian-based distribution for firewalls and routers: "Vyatta today announced Vyatta 6.0, the latest release of the company's open network operating system containing complete routing and network security software. Vyatta version 6.0 includes the new Vyatta Remote Access API which enables customers to control Vyatta systems using in-house and third-party network management and provisioning systems. This version of Vyatta includes more than 30 enhancements for both the Vyatta Core and Vyatta Subscription edition, and introduces the first Vyatta Plus enhanced services. The Vyatta Remote Access API dramatically simplifies network management for large deployments of Vyatta systems within enterprises and cloud-based service providers." Read the full press release and download the detailed release notes (in PDF format) for further information.
Untangle Gateway 7.2
Untangle 7.2, a Debian-based network gateway with pluggable modules for network applications, has been released: "We are pleased to announce general availability of Untangle 7.2. Our latest version includes a new free application for Internet access control, as well as a host of enhanced features and improvements." These include updates to Captive Portal, Directory Connector and Reports: "Captive Portal supports a wide array of authentication mechanisms, from basic local directory-based authentication (on the Untangle server) to authentication through an Active Director server or RADIUS server when coupled with Untangle's Directory Connector. Untangle's AD Connector has been renamed Directory Connector. This is because it now supports both Microsoft Active Directory server, and RADIUS server." See the release notes for additional remarks about the many improvements in this release.
Linux Mint 8 "LXDE" and "Xfce"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the availability of two new community editions of Linux Mint 8 - with Xfce and LXDE desktops: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 8 Xfce Community edition. Based on Xubuntu 9.10 'Karmic Koala', Linux 2.6.31, Xfce 4.6.1 and X.Org 7.4, Linux Mint 8 Xfce CE features a lot of improvements and the latest software from the open-source world. Featured improvements in this release: OEM installation, possibility to ignore updates, configurable menu places, multiple selection in the Software Manager, new system tray File Uploader with support for drag and drop and multiple files uploads. Based on Linux Mint 8 Main edition, Openbox 184.108.40.206 and PCManFM 0.5.2, Linux Mint 8 LXDE edition features a complete and familiar desktop experience while being low on resource usage and is suitable for a good variety of older hardware." Here are the two release announcements - Mint 8 "Xfce" and Mint 8 "LXDE".
Linux Mint 8 "LXDE" - a lightweight distribution designed for older computers
(full image size: 939kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Dan Stowell has announced the release of Puredyne 9.11, an Ubuntu-based distribution with real-time kernel designed primarily for music production and video editing: "Announcing the new release of Puredyne: Puredyne 9.11. After an intensive 3-day development sprint in Helsinki, this release made possible thanks to Pixelache and HIAP. Problems fixed in this release: amSynth loading crash; terminal dircolour theme; Fluxus menu entry; WhySynth menu entry; locale generation; Mixxx jack interface; booting without hard disks; appearance with two monitors; removed default Emacs key bindings for GTK+ applications; Emacs appearance improved; application launch keyboard shortcuts; coding style for build hooks; Irssi default intro text." Here is the full release announcement.
IPFire 2.5 Core 37
Jan Paul Tuecking has announced the release of IPFire 2.5 Core 37, a specialist firewall distribution with a web-based configuration interface and a custom package manager: "Today we are going to release IPFire 2.5 Core 37. It brings the following changes: update of OpenSSH to 5.4p1, OpenSSL to 0.9.8n, Apache to 2.2.15; update of sslh to current stable; update of MadWiFi to latest stable; update of lm_sensors to current stable; enabled identd lookup for Squid; fix Cyrus SASL autorun; fix Pakfire ping test to use ICMP again; fix ath5k (no txbuf available); fix disk (media/hardware) graphs with Xen; fix temp readings for some Atom boards; fix urlfilter wasting much memory; add eject command-line tool; add possibility to change the SSH port from 222 back to standard port 22.... Because of the security updates of SSH and SSL, we recommend that all users install this core update." Please find further details in the release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Fedora 13 delay
Jesse Keating has announced that the beta release of Fedora 13, previously scheduled for release later this week, has been delayed by a full week: "Despite a heroic effort by developers and testers, we have not been able to reach beta release criteria by the time of the go / no-go meeting. There are still unresolved bugs and unknown test results. Because of this we've enacted a 1 week slip of the beta release date. ... Because this is the second slip in the Fedora 13 cycle, we have also decided to bump the rest of our release dates by 1 week." The beta release of Fedora 13 is now expected on 13 April, while the final release has slipped to 18 May.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
March 2010 DistroWatch.com donation: Libre Graphics Meeting receives US$300.00|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the March 2010 DistroWatch.com donation is Libre Graphics Meeting, an annual working conference for free software graphics application users and developers. It receives US$300.00 in cash.
According to information provided on the web site dedicated to the conference, "the fifth edition takes place between 27 - 30 May 2010 in Brussels, Belgium. Teams from GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, Krita, Scribus, Hugin, Open Font Library and many other graphics projects gather to improve their software and discuss new ideas for interoperability and shared standards." The organisers intend to raise US$10,000 to cover the cost of the conference, but at the time of writing less than a third of this amount has been generated. If you use some of the excellent free graphics tools that exist today, please consider donating a few dollars or euros to help with organising the meeting and to get as many developers as possible to attend. You can donate via Pledgie's Libre Graphics Meeting page.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$23,928 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 Sabayon Linux ($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), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300)
* * * * *
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Fnestree. Fnestree is a lightweight, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with Fluxbox as window manager.
- Linux Caxradonya. Linux Caxradonya is a lightweight Indonesian distribution with Openbox, based on Lubuntu.
- Netrunner. Netrunner is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu with a focus on options that won't make it into mainline Ubuntu and alternatives to some mainline Ubuntu decisions. Some features are WINE included by default, some selected Qt/KDE applications in the GNOME desktop, and no Mono.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 12 April 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Puppy Linux is yet another Linux distribution. What's different here is that Puppy is extraordinarily small, yet quite full-featured. Puppy boots into a ramdisk and, unlike live CD distributions that have to keep pulling stuff off the CD, it loads into RAM. This means that all applications start in the blink of an eye and respond to user input instantly. Puppy Linux has the ability to boot off a flash card or any USB memory device, CDROM, Zip disk or LS/120/240 Superdisk, floppy disks, internal hard drive. It can even use a multisession formatted CD-RW/DVD-RW to save everything back to the CD/DVD with no hard drive required at all.