| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 352, 3 May 2010
Welcome to this year's 18th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The main event of the week was, of course, the release of Ubuntu 10.04, together with a plethora of official and unofficial Ubuntu variants. The tradition dictates that we take a look at the new release. What has changed during the past six months? And would we recommend it to new Linux converts? Read on to find out. In the news section, the Linux Mint development team announces the imminent release of a candidate for version 9, Fedora develops a custom spin designed for public kiosks, and Linux Journal reviews SUSE Studio, an easy-to-use tool for developing specialist distributions and appliances. Also in this issue, good news for Linux Mint fans with a spare PowerPC-based Apple machine and a quick opinion piece about the status of OpenSolaris since it was acquired by Oracle. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the DistroWatch.com April 2010 donation is the Bacula project. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Ubuntu 10.04
Whether you're a fan of Ubuntu or not, the Canonical-sponsored creation is currently the world's most popular desktop Linux distribution. The latest release, 10.04, is a long-term support (LTS) version, meaning it will receive updates through to 2013 (the server edition gets an additional two years). Quite a few of changes have been poured into 10.04, code named "Lucid Lynx", and I was curious to see what the Ubuntu team had put together. Before trying the new release, I had a chance to pick the brain of Gerry Carr, Head of Platform Marketing at Canonical.
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DW: What improvements have gone into Ubuntu One since the last release?
GC: Desktop integration is improved. A simple right click on a file or folder allows you to select it to be synchronised and shared across your Ubuntu One machines and devices. Contact sharing has been added with integration to Evolution contact. An iPhone application has been added so you can synchronise contact with your mobile phone, and will soon be available for the most popular phones. The big change is the introduction of the Music Store with tracks from the world's most popular bands available for purchase and stored in Ubuntu One and shared across devices in a DRM-free MP3 format.
DW: Ubuntu is generally thought of as a desktop OS. What improvements have happened on your server edition in the last six months?
10.04 is an LTS (Long-Term Support) release. An LTS is really about the integration of all the major improvements and added functionality of the previous three releases and distributing them on a robust platform with five years of support (on server), more than improvements over the last six months. There is a technical overview available here
DW: It seems that whenever Ubuntu changes something there's a strong ripple of reaction that vibrates through the Linux community. Does that affect how the team makes decisions or your level of transparency?
GC: No, decisions are taken carefully and, for the most part, publicly. There is a wide variety of options for those who are interested in participating in how those decisions are reached. Consensus is more easily gained when that decision is reached openly.
DW: A while ago we heard that ShipIt was going to cut back on the number of CDs sent out. What's the current status of the ShipIt program?
GC: There is no change to the ShipIt program since the last update. We continue to invest hugely in this program to make the product available to those who need it.
DW: Once 10.04 is done, where is the focus going to turn? More social networking, new interface improvements, more hardware support? What comes next?
We'll see at Ubuntu Developers Summit in Brussels in May. Mark Shuttleworth, now VP of Product Design, has set out his intentions for it here
DW: Is there anything else you'd like to add for our readers?
GC: Ubuntu 10.04 is a great release. If you have not looked at Ubuntu in a while, you should look at 10.04. It dramatically improves the Linux desktop experience visually. Ubuntu One pushed the concept of the on-line desktop beyond where it has reached before. There are lots of cool new features like the improved boot and suspend/resume speed, social from the start. And, Software Centre is better again. We think it will attract a lot of new users to Linux.
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Installation and first impressions
I downloaded the live CD of the latest Ubuntu and popped it into my machine. After a few seconds, I was presented with a screen welcoming me to the operating system. I was given a choice of selecting various languages and then choosing whether I wanted to test Ubuntu (use the live CD environment) or install the distribution. Choosing the first option causes the user to be logged into a GNOME desktop using a non-root account. There are a few things which stand out right away, the first being the theme which has changed a lot since the previous release.
Ubuntu 10.04 - examining its different faces
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Generally I don't pay much attention to colours and themes as they'll be changed to my preferences soon anyway, but I feel Ubuntu's altered state deserves mention. It's purple. The background, the boot screen -- it's all grape Popsicle purple. The window borders are a dark grey and the text is white, making for a strong contrast. The window buttons (minimize, maximize and close) have been shuffled over to the left-hand side of the titlebar. For the most part, I didn't mind these adjustments, it took a few minutes to get used to the button placement, but after that I was okay with the new look & feel. Or I was until I encountered the purple terminal window with bright white text and flashing cursor. After that, I decided it was time for a change. People who aren't crazy about the new look and layout can change it with three mouse clicks via the Appearance configuration tool.
The system's installer hasn't changed much since the last release. The user is asked to select their preferred language, confirm their time zone and choose a keyboard layout. Then the installer moves onto disk partitioning, allowing the user to choose to use the entire disk or manually partition. The manual partition screen is a good mix of friendly, simple and flexible. Ubuntu offers a wide range of supported file systems, including the ext2/ext3/ext4 family, ReiserFS, JFS and XFS. The next step prompts the user to create an account and set a password. The installer then lets the user change the boot loader settings and starts copying files.
Ubuntu 10.04 - running in the installer
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At this point I made the mistake of leaving the installer unattended. When I returned, twenty minutes later, the installation appeared to be stuck at about 80% completion. The installer was downloading files very slowly. I clicked on the Skip button and the progress bar started moving again, until it hit about 90% and then stopped to slowly download more files. I clicked Skip again and the progress bar zoomed ahead to 95% and halted. This time there was no skip button and no indication of why it had stopped, the installer simply froze for about four minutes. It finally finished its job and allowed me to reboot the machine.
Applications and package management
Ubuntu comes equipped with GNOME 2.30 and all of that desktop environment's usual array of configuration tools for adjusting the look and feel of the system. The application menu contains Firefox (3.6), OpenOffice.org (3.2), Evolution, F-Spot, Empathy, Gwibber and an assortment of games. We also find a BitTorrent client, disc burner, movie player, music player, package managers and the Ubuntu One storage client. Out of the box, the latest Ubuntu doesn't support playing MP3s, viewing common video formats or Flash.
Ubuntu One, for those who haven't used it before, is a service which essentially gives the user a small chunk of remote server space. This space, which is free of charge for the first 2 GB, can be used to remotely backup the user's contacts, bookmarks and documents. Users are then able to retrieve their files from the One service onto other computers or share the data with other people. This seems to be Canonical's way of mixing the traditional desktop experience with the much-hyped cloud and it looks like it will work well for people. Especially those who have small amounts of data to backup and would like their files to be backed up automatically.
Ubuntu 10.04 - getting help and using the cloud
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Ubuntu comes with two graphical package managers, the first of which is the well-known Synaptic. The powerful front-end is very useful, but can be intimidating for novice users and so there is also the Ubuntu Software Center. The Software Center groups packages in categories and also allows users to search for items by name or by key words. It has a nice, friendly look and, like Synaptic, it uses the APT system to handle packages in the back-end. My only complaint about the Software Center is that it was sometimes slow to respond. Occasionally, I'd be browsing through items and the interface would come to a halt for a few seconds, then catch up to my input.
Ubuntu 10.04 - installing packages and staying social
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Actually, most of the glitches I encountered while using Ubuntu were package management related. For instance, the first time I ran my fresh install of Ubuntu, I opened up the Help documentation and browsed through, randomly clicking items. When I clicked on the link to install a graphical firewall configuration tool, I received an error message. As it turned out, I had to refresh the package list first. It's a very minor point, but I ran into the same quirk with PCLinuxOS 2010 and I think automatically refreshing the package list, or suggesting the user manually install the item, seems like a better solution than throwing up a vague error message.
The other instance came when I was using the Rhythmbox music player. Clicking on the Ubuntu One on-line store displayed a message saying that MP3 support needed to be installed before accessing the store. So I clicked on the Install MP3 plugins button. A progress bar appeared and... nothing happened. After five minutes, I stopped the process, refreshed my package list manually and tried again. Once more, the progress bar appeared and... nothing happened. Eventually, I fired up the Software Center and manually installed MP3 support, resolving the issue. After that, navigating the online store was quick and easy. While trouble-shooting Rhythmbox's MP3 support, I found that the Ubuntu One login and synchronisation services were running in the background, regularly using about 2% of my CPU, even though I didn't have an Ubuntu One account yet, nor was I making use of the One applications. I like the idea of the service, but I'm wary of what it might be doing when it should be sleeping quietly in the background.
Hardware and security
For my trial with the distribution, I used a generic desktop PC with a 2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of memory and NVIDIA video card. I also used my HP laptop, which sports a dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM and an Intel video card. To round out the experiment, I ran Ubuntu in a virtual machine to see how it would perform with fewer resources. Ubuntu's ability to detect my laptop's hardware was, as usual, excellent with everything working out of the box. My mobile modem, touchpad, wireless card, video card and audio worked without any problems. For the most part things went well on the desktop too, except sound wasn't working with the default configuration. It's possible to swap out PulseAudio for another sound system, such as ALSA, to get sound working, but I found this odd as sound has worked on this same hardware with Ubuntu's previous two releases. While running in the virtual environment, Ubuntu worked well with 512 MB of memory and continued to function with 256 MB, though performance was slightly reduced.
Where security was concerned I didn't run into any serious issues. All network services were disabled by default, it was easy to limit permissions on new user accounts and the distro receives regular updates. My only complaint was finding user home directories open for reading by default, but it's a setting easily changed. The installer allows home folders to be encrypted, offering additional security for people with laptops.
This release of Ubuntu branches off in several directions, trying new things. We're seeing changes on the surface with new colours, new icons and new button placement. We're also seeing changes behind the scenes with a new attempt to reduce boot time and a strong focus on social networking. On the one hand I think this willingness to experiment is a good thing, but I have to wonder at the timing. Version 10.04 is a long-term support (LTS) release, which means Canonical will be supporting it for the next three to five years, on the desktop and server respectively. Ideally, I would think they'd want to push out a solid, stable, tame release for the occasion, not a release which tries a lot of new things to see what will stick. A few of the programs, such as the Software Center, PulseAudio, GRUB 2 and aspects of Ubuntu One feel like they're in the beta stage, not in the ready-for-LTS stage.
I had the opportunity to ask Canonical's new CEO, Jane Silber, how the Ubuntu team balances their push to stay on the cutting edge with maintaining a stable platform. She confirmed that it can be a struggle and that they are constantly trying to make the right choice between the two extremes. Ms Silber went on to mention that Ubuntu's LTS releases get an extra beta stage during the development cycle, allowing additional testing and bug-fixing. Some planned features are also kept in reserve until the following (non-LTS) development cycle.
Something else I find interesting about Ubuntu's approach is that the distribution doesn't ship with Flash and popular media codecs pre-installed, but those items are included in the repositories. The Ubuntu team seems to be walking a fine line between requiring codecs (for the One Music Store) and not wishing to include them to avoid shipping non-free software.
This release has a lot of focus on being on-line, all the time. The Ubuntu One service really highlights this concept, as do the social networking tools. These are welcome and it's nice to see Ubuntu embrace the increasingly mobile and connected market. Where I found the always on-line concept less welcome was when using the installer. The system installer tries to grab the current time from the network and it stalled twice while trying to download packages I hadn't requested. The intent may have been to provide a convenience, but the result was annoying.
On the technical side of things, I find myself applauding the Ubuntu team for trying so many new and potentially successful ideas. The One storage service, the music store and the Software Center are all good concepts and off to a strong start. Yet, at the same time, I find myself reluctant to advocate this new release due to its experimental, unconventional nature. There are a lot of good things in 10.04, but people coming from other platforms will need a period of adjustment. Over on the political side, and it's hard to keep open source politics separate from Ubuntu, I think Canonical is making important progress. Ms Silber stated that over 80 ISVs were certifying their software to work with 10.04 and that, to date, 50 servers, desktops and laptop machines were certified to work with the latest Ubuntu release. Canonical is pushing to get software developers and OEMs to work with the Ubuntu platform, which, given the nature of open source, means the rest of the Linux community benefits from their efforts.
In closing I would like to thank Mr Carr and Ms Silber for taking the time to answer questions and also Ms Ostrofsky for offering me so much assistance.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Ubuntu 10.04 features list, Linux Mint for PowerPC, Fedora Kiosk spin, overview of SUSE Studio
Any new release of Ubuntu is always a big event on the Linux distro calendar and last week's announcement of version 10.04 was no exception. Unlike some of the previous Ubuntu release days, the project's infrastructure held up without any major troubles - the web site was kept available throughout the day and the main download mirrors was fast and responsive. Those of you who have installed the new release or who have upgraded from a previous release, please do share your experiences in the comments section. For those who still hesitate, perhaps this comprehensive round-up of new features in Ubuntu 10.04 could give you the proverbial nudge: "Ubuntu's mantra with the third LTS release is 'Light', which is also the name of its new theme. Lucid Lynx, the most lightweight Ubuntu release yet, also boasts less bloatware. The major casualty in this of course is GIMP, which although still a fixture on almost all the other major distributions has now been dropped so that you get a lean, light machine. So without further ado, we present our pick of the features that have got us champing at the update bit."
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As has become tradition, a new Ubuntu release also means increased activity among the developers of its many derivatives. Among them, Linux Mint is probably the most popular, so its no surprise that many users are keeping an eye on the project's blog. The good news is that the first public release candidate of Linux Mint 9 is currently being approved for release: "The latest ISO is passing all my tests and I'm approving it for an RC release. It still needs to go through Exploder's testing and it requires his approval before it can go out publicly. The moonlight plugin was removed because of a bug that made Firefox unstable. The browser would crash, sometimes immediately after being launched. New software: Gwibber, Startup Manager and p7zip were added to the default selection. No more references will be made to community editions; these editions will now become official and efforts will be made for them to be released as early in the release cycle as possible. Linux Mint used to have a Main and an x86_64 edition. We're trying to remove the gap between the two and to brand them identically. a single edition, available in both architectures. Our goal this time around is also to release their stable versions at the same time."
Linux Mint 9 RC - Isadora comes with a new software manager and many improvments
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How would you like to run Linux Mint on your (oldish) PowerPC-based Apple hardware? If your response is affirmative, we have some good news for you. As Jeroen Diederen kindly let us know, the first unofficial PowerPC edition of Linux Mint with LXDE (based on Debian 5.0 "Lenny", rather than Ubuntu), is now available for download: "After hours and hours of hard work I can now tell you with a lot of pride that a first version of an installer for Linux Mint 'LXDE' based on Debian 'Lenny' is a fact. This means that this is the first official installer of Linux Mint for PowerPC. For the moment only a 32-bit edition is available as I don't have a 64-bit machine. The advantage of LXDE over GNOME, KDE or Xfce is that it is much snappier on old G3/G4 machines. The Mint themes make the desktop look a lot sexier than standard Debian. Linux Mint 'LXDE' PPC comes with a huge amount of pre-installed programs, aimed at the desktop user." The project doesn't provide installation ISO images; instead one needs to install a minimal Debian system and convert it to Linux Mint by following these installation instructions. A screenshot can be found here.
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Dan Walsh has published an interesting blog post where he talks about a Fedora Kiosk spin, a specialist and secure Fedora variant that could be used in public terminals: "Imagine a machine sitting at a library, that had no operating system on it, except a live DVD. The live DVD has a disabled root account, and the only user account is xguest. The xguest account can only talk to web ports and when you log out, all files and processes get destroyed so there is nothing left in the user account for the next user to search for. And since all processes are destroyed on log out, you can be assured that no one left a process to watch your keystrokes. If the machine gets hosed up for any reason, the library can just reboot the machine and have a clean system. A couple of goals of mine, would be to get livecd-to-pxeboot to work. Then you could have a machine in your environment that could download the operating system over the network and have no media available at the machine." The Fedora Kiosk project has its own page on Fedora Wiki with the first live CD build now available for download and testing.
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SUSE Studio, a tool for creating custom openSUSE-based distributions, keeps receiving attention in Linux media. Last week, it was the turn of Linux Journal which published a step-by-step exercise in online virtual appliance creation: "Making custom Linux distributions can be an arduous task. Luckily, there are companies out there that are looking to make the process more friendly. Previously, I reviewed the Reconstructor Web UI, a web-based Debian/Ubuntu customization utility, and today, I'd like to present you with a SUSE-based alternative called SUSE Studio. Although SUSE Studio does have some offline components (such as SUSE Studio Onsite and the rest of the SUSE Appliance Toolkit), this review will focus on the online components which are freely available at susestudio.com. For those that are following along at home, I'll assume that you already have an account with SUSE Studio (if not, you can request a free invitation via this page). A quick bit of history: SUSE Studio was released in July of 2009, and has a variety of web-based customized Linux build options. It uses Kiwi to build and customize virtual appliances. SUSE Studio also has its own mascot, named Dister."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
The future of OpenSolaris
Staring-at-the-Sun asks: I just downloaded and installed OpenSolaris 2009.06. My question is, is this project doomed to extinction? I cannot get anybody over at OpenSolaris to comment on the future of OpenSolaris.
DistroWatch answers: Honestly, I don't have any more information on the status of OpenSolaris than anyone else. Which apparently includes the OpenSolaris developers. But whether Oracle plans to continue the project or not, when an open-source project goes quiet and starts missing scheduled release dates, those are pretty good signs it's time to start looking at alternatives.
Even if, down the road, Oracle chooses to continue the project (or if the developers create a fork) I think they've lost some credibility during this transition. Everyone seems to be keeping quiet and that's not the way to maintain an open-source project. If they don't know anything now (and that would be understandable given the change in ownership), Oracle should at least have posted a notice saying, "We'll let you know for sure by this date: _____." The delay in release and the silence show poor judgement by the management.
Fortunately most of the big features in OpenSolaris, such as ZFS, have been ported to other operating systems, so you should be able to find what you're looking for with another project. If OpenSolaris worked on your hardware, then chances are that an operating system like PC-BSD will too.
|Released Last Week
Ubuntu 10.04, the latest version of the popular Linux distribution for desktops and servers, has been released: "The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long-Term Support). This release incorporates the Desktop edition and the Server edition. The Server edition can be used on physical servers, on Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), and on Amazon's EC2 public cloud. Code-named 'Lucid Lynx', 10.04 LTS continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. We are also pleased to announce Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook edition, which is not a long-term support release. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS will be supported for three years on desktops and five years on servers. Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook edition will be supported for 18 months." See the release announcement, press release, release notes and feature list for further information.
The Kubuntu development team has announced the release of Kubuntu 10.04, an Ubuntu variant featuring the latest version of the KDE 4 desktop: "The Kubuntu team is proud to introduce our latest release - 10.04 LTS, the 'Lucid Lynx'. This is our first long-term support release featuring the KDE Plasma desktop. Our selection of tools and applications will provide you with all that you need for most of your tasks, with many more available just a few clicks away. Whether browsing the web, playing your music, composing an email or connecting with your friends on social networks, Kubuntu 10.04 LTS brings you a stable, innovative and attractive platform for all your desktop needs." Read the rest of the release announcement which includes a list of new features and a handful of screenshots.
Kubuntu 10.04 - a new look of the Ubuntu variant for KDE fans
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Mythbuntu 10.04, a specialist flavour of Ubuntu designed for home theatre PCs, is ready for download: "Mythbuntu 10.04 has been released. It is very important to note that this release is only compatible with MythTV 0.23 systems. Previous Mythbuntu releases can be upgraded to MythTV 0.23 with the builds located here. For a fuller explanation see here. Changes from Mythbuntu 9.10: snappier front-end; better integration with system services like Upstart and ConsoleKit; new MCC plugins; simplified live front-end; MythTV 0.23 build 24104 is included; preview of the upcoming MythNetvision plugin (this application is still undergoing rapid development, so please do not file bug reports on this release); Mythbuntu theme fixes; new theme - ArcLight." Here is the complete release announcement with additional links to relevant changelogs.
Edubuntu is a partner project of Ubuntu Linux, a distribution suitable for classroom use. The project latest release, version 10.04, was announced yesterday: "We are proud to announce the much anticipated Edubuntu 10.04 release. What's new? With version 10.04, Edubuntu extends on the work that is done in the previous version. Edubuntu's installation is now purely graphical, and allows for LTSP installation directly from the live disc. The Ubuntu Netbook edition interface is now shipped with the Edubuntu disc, and can be installed as an option after the system installation has completed. The new Edubuntu menu editor allows an administrator to create custom menu profiles and apply it to users and groups as well as export them to share them with colleagues or friends." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information.
Edubuntu 10.04 - the project's first release that includes a graphical system installer
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Xubuntu 10.04, a popular Ubuntu variant featuring the Xfce desktop environment, has been released: "Xubuntu 10.04, codenamed the 'Lucid Lynx', is the latest and greatest version of Xubuntu. Building on the success of Xubuntu 9.10, Xubuntu 10.04 looks forward to continuing the tradition of being a light-weight and easy-to-use Linux distribution built on top of the high-quality and feature-rich core of Ubuntu. Some of the highlights of the 10.04 release include: Xubuntu now uses PulseAudio to provide an improved audio experience; settings menu has been tidied to make it easier to configure your Xubuntu desktop; the Ubuntu Software Center introduced in Ubuntu 9.10 replaces the 'Add/Remove...' option provided in earlier Xubuntu versions; XSane has been replaced in favor of SimpleScan to ease setup and operation of scanners." See the release announcement and release notes for additional details.
Ubuntu Rescue Remix 10.04
Andrew Zajac has announced the release of Ubuntu Rescue Remix 10.04, an Ubuntu-based live CD/USB that provides a command-line interface environment and includes some of the best free and open source data recovery and forensics tools available: "Version 10.04 'Lucid Lynx' of the very best free/libre open-source data recovery software toolkit based on Ubuntu is out. This release of Ubuntu Rescue Remix features a full command-line environment with up-to-date versions of the most powerful free/libre open-source data recovery software including GNU ddrescue, PhotoRec, the Sleuth Kit and GNU fdisk. Packages new to the Rescue Remix include aoetools, array-info, ext3-grep, gptsync, kpartx, and Scrounge NTFS. This ISO image is compatible with the excellent USB Startup Disk Creator that is included with Ubuntu since 9.04." For more information please read the release announcement.
Michael Prokop has announced the release of grml, a Debian-based live CD with a large collection of GNU/Linux software especially for system administrators and users of text tools. What's new? "VNC boot option - booting with vnc=yourpassword and the startx boot option automatically starts the VNC service for user 'grml' using graphical remote access with provided password; DMRAID-related boot options - nodmraid to not enable present DMRAID devices, dmraid=on to automatically enable any present DMRAID devices and dmraid=off to actively try to stop any possibly present DMRAID devices; new boot option bootid for improving reliability of boot process; more robust network booting - the boot option ethdevice and its surrounding code has been extended so it is possible to specify multiple devices at once." See the detailed release notes for a complete list of changes and new features.
grml 2010.04 - a new version of the excellent Debian-based live CD for system administrators
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Yoper Linux 2010
Tobias Gerschner has announced the release of Yoper Linux 2010, an independently developed distribution optimised for desktop use: "After an extended RC1 period and a few hiccups with our main server we are finally happy to announce the immediate availability of Yoper Linux 2010. The RC2 feedback was a big thumps up from all sides. So what's in it? A well-tuned 2.6.33 kernel with focus on desktop interactivity and rich driver functionality. For those who look at gaining an extra inch of interactivity get the kernel-bfs package installed. It contains an alternative CPU scheduler which is aimed at the average desktop CPU, instead of the broad range of CPUs the main kernel scheduler has to support. The release is available with the following desktop environments: KDE 4, KDE 3, LXDE and XFCE." Here is the brief release announcement.
Yoper Linux 2010 - now in four different desktop flavours
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Ubuntu Studio 10.04
Ubuntu Studio 10.04, an official Ubuntu sub-project with a real-time kernel option designed for creative media specialists, has been released: "Ubuntu Studio is a multimedia editing/creation flavor of Ubuntu, built for the GNU/Linux audio, video, and graphics enthusiast or professional. The Ubuntu Studio team is very excited over its seventh release: 'Lucid Lynx' 10.04, available as a 1.3 GB DVD image. Numerous improvements have been implemented for this release, but here are some of the more notables. Upgraded applications: Aeolus 0.8.2, Ardour 2.8.6, Audacity 1.3.11, Hydrogen 0.9.4, Blender 2.49b, Kino 1.3.4. New applications: Rakarrack 0.3.0, MuseScore 0.9.6, SubtitleEditor 0.30.0. Kernels: generic kernel will be installed as default; low-latency kernel is also available in Abogani's PPA; real-time kernel will be available in Ubuntu Studio PPA. Pulse Audio built against Jack is available." Read the full release notes for further information.
Kahel OS 05-01-2010
Meric Mara has announced the release of KahelOS 05-01-2010, an Arch-based, desktop-oriented Linux distribution with GNOME as the default desktop: "The May One version of KahelOS installer (KahelOS 050110) is dedicated to all the laborers around the world. The highlight of this installer is the easier and friendlier way to do installation in a just a few steps, unlike the first two installer release. Improvements that you may discover: Compiz Fusion is enabled by default; font clean-up and improvements; improved hinting and rendering of fonts; massive clean-up of unnecessary packages, saving disk space; massive optimization of PNG, MNG, TIFF and GIF packages; new boot splash, background and theme; out-of-the-box easy file-sharing; Mabuhay Welcome Center with introduction of KahelOS; iBus is now the default alternative input bus; include all possible WiFi firmware by default." Read the remainder of the release announcement for more details.
KahelOS 05-01-2010 - a desktop distribution with GNOME based on Arch Linux
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Ultimate Edition 2.6
Ultimate Edition is an Ubuntu-based live and installation DVD with hundreds of extra packages, pre-configured media codecs and custom artwork. Version 2.6, based on Ubuntu 10.04, was released today. From the release announcement: "Ultimate Edition 2.6 is fast and lacks no feature. Wireless was my number 1 concern, it works out of the box. I have embedded many features I am certain you will be glad to have. I will be honest in informing you that some of you ATI users will be capable of firing up Compiz Fusion (all GPUs will be supported in the same aspect in the future). I have introduced Cheese for you webcam users. Cinelerra, K3d and Kdenlive are just a few new tools in this release. We have put GIMP back in as well. There are tools that go well beyond the call of duty. I will not tell you what Ultimate Edition 2.6 has in store for you. Take it for a spin you won't be sorry."
Ultimate Edition 2.6 - an Ubuntu-based distribution on a live DVD with extra software
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Tiny Core Linux 2.11
Robert Shingledecker has announced the release of Tiny Core Linux 2.11, a minimalist Linux distribution in 10 MB: "Team Tiny Core is pleased to announce Tiny Core Linux 2.11. The major theme for this release is the adoption of the freedesktop.org standard. Our implementation provides better support of modern desktop environments while still supporting legacy window managers. Also new is Universal OnDemand for both DEs and legacy WMs, thus providing users with more options for even faster booting and efficient use of memory. All users are encouraged to upgrade to this release as doing so will better prepare you for the next major release version 3.0. Change log: new freedesktop system menu and extension support for flwm, LXDE, XFCE, JWM, and Hackedbox; updated BusyBox to 1.16.1; updated desktop.sh for freedesktop support; new tc2freedesk for freedesktop support; added new 'Power Off' (exit) button to wbar...." Read the rest of the changelog for further details.
Julien Lavergne has released Lubuntu 10.04, an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the lightweight LXDE desktop: "Lubuntu 10.04 is now available for download. Lubuntu is a Ubuntu variant using the LXDE desktop. It's designed to be a lightweight and easy-to-use desktop environment. Lubuntu is actually not part of the Ubuntu family, and not build with the current Ubuntu architecture. This release is considered as a 'stable beta', a result that could be a final and stable release if it were included in the Ubuntu family. Please note also that Lubuntu 10.04 is not a LTS version. Features: based on the lightweight LXDE desktop environment; PCManFM 0.9.5, the rewrite of PCManFM using GIO/GVFS; LXDE, a new and lightweight GTK+ display manager; Chromium, the open-source edition of Google Chrome; based on Ubuntu 10.04." More information about the product can be found in the release announcement.
Lubuntu 10.04 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with LXDE and Openbox
(full image size: 164kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Jon Ramvi has announced the release of EasyPeasy 1.6, an Ubuntu-based distribution optimised for netbooks: "The team has been working hard to bring you the best netbook experience: EasyPeasy 1.6. Features: new boot system and new boot artwork (uses Plymouth); 25% faster boot; sports full removal of the HAL package, making EasyPeasy faster to boot and faster to resume from suspend; brand new interface; built in integration with Twitter, identi.ca, Facebook, and other social networks with the MeMenu in the panel; Likewise Open, which provides Active Directory authentication and server support for Linux, has been updated to version 5.4; new default open source-driver for NVIDIA hardware; improved support for NVIDIA proprietary graphics drivers; all packages are upgraded." Here is the brief release announcement.
EasyPeasy 1.6 - a distribution optimised for netbooks, now based on Ubuntu 10.04
(full image size: 977kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
April 2010 DistroWatch.com donation: Bacula receives US$250.00|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the April 2010 DistroWatch.com donation is Bacula, an open-source backup and recovery tool. It receives US$250.00 in cash.
According to the project's web site, "Bacula is a set of computer programs that permits the system administrator to manage backup, recovery, and verification of computer data across a network of computers of different kinds. Bacula can also run entirely upon a single computer and can backup to various types of media, including tape and disk. In technical terms, it is a network client/server-based backup program. Bacula is relatively easy to use and efficient, while offering many advanced storage management features that make it easy to find and recover lost or damaged files. Due to its modular design, Bacula is scalable from small single computer systems to systems consisting of hundreds of computers located over a large network."
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$24,178 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), Bacula ($250)
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 10 May 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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 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|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Nanolinux is an open-source, free and very lightweight Linux distribution that requires only 14 MB of disk space. It includes tiny versions of the most common desktop applications and several games. It is based on the "MicroCore" edition of the Tiny Core Linux distribution. Nanolinux uses BusyBox, Nano-X instead of X.Org, FLTK 1.3.x as the default GUI toolkit, and the super-lightweight SLWM window manager. The included applications are mainly based on FLTK.