| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 353, 10 May 2010
Welcome to this year's 19th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Mandriva Linux, a distribution that was one of the first to understand the concept of user-friendliness on the desktop, is apparently for sale and in negotiations with two potential buyers. That's according to some unconfirmed reports that appeared on the Internet over the weekend. But the company itself remains mute on the issue, while the development of the upcoming version 2010.1 continues unabated. In other news, Red Hat explains the genealogy of its enterprise kernels, Debian and Slackware update KDE to version 4.4.3 in their respective development branches, Sabayon announces availability of daily, bleeding-edge DVD builds, and Astaro apologises for last week's updates that went terribly wrong. Also in this issue, The Economist magazine explains the reasons for setting up a Launchpad account, while The Times urges users to abandon Windows and to switch to Ubuntu. Finally, for the fans of lighter distributions we have a first-look review of CDlinux, Canonical's announcement about a new "Unity" desktop for netbooks, news about a special edition of Unity Linux with Enlightenment, and an introduction to an inaugural release of Quirky, a new mini-distribution from the developers of Puppy Linux. There is something for everyone - happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at CDlinux 0.9.6
If you've ever looked at the project website for CDlinux, you might not have noticed anything particularly eye-catching. It's a small project with a small, simple site. And it's not a project which attracts a lot of attention. However, the open source community is full of hidden gems and CDlinux is one of them.
Before trying the distribution, I got in touch with Zhao Xun Hong, the creator of CDlinux, who invites people who speak Chinese as badly as I do to call him "Ben".
DW: Why did you start CDlinux?
ZXH: Thanks for asking. CDlinux was first started as a system rescue and maintenance tool around 2000. At that time, I and my friends all had both Linux and Windows installed on our systems. The most annoying thing was that LILO got overwritten by Windows frequently. A floppy or CD-based mini-distro would be handy to solve this problem. That's why I first started CDlinux.
DW: Will future versions have an option to install to a Linux partition? Right now it seems the options are to install with a USB drive or Windows.
ZXH: Yes, we do have a plan to support installing to a Linux partition. But that will only happen after 1.0. The truth is, we haven't found a reliable way to write GRUB's boot record to a partition yet, especially when it is a logical partition. I find that some top distros that use GRUB also have the same problem. The current installation wizard in CDlinux either doesn't write a boot record (installing to NTFS) or writes a syslinux boot record (installing to VFAT). The bottom line is that we won't destroy user's data or their original boot loader.
DW: How can volunteers help the project? Translations, coding or testing?
ZXH: Volunteers have already helped us a lot. We'll be more open and we anticipate more volunteers joining us.
DW: Are there any other thoughts you'd like to share with the readers?
ZXH: Let's work together for a brighter future for open source.
Zhao Xun Hong also mentioned in our exchange of e-mails that a few bugs had been discovered in the 0.9.6 release. To correct these, a bug-fix release, version 0.9.6.1, was released shortly after.
* * * * *
The CDlinux distribution is a small live CD which can be put to a number of useful purposes. The project attempts to balance a small image size with a wide range of features and languages, making CDlinux a good rescue tool, demo CD or USB-based operating system. The name stands for Compact Distro Linux, though its small size should not be confused with distributions targeting older hardware. The current release of CDlinux, 0.9.6, requires computers have PAE capability to run the OS, breaking ties to older hardware. The latest release comes in three flavours:
For my test drive, I grabbed the "Community" release to see what the system had to offer with all the bells and whistles. The distro kicked off with a boot menu, offering several different optional languages including French, English, German, Japanese, Chinese and Russian. Passing beyond the boot menu, the user sees the CDlinux logo for a few seconds before being logged into a Xfce desktop. The background is a pleasant blue and the icons are bright and intuitive. A taskbar lies across the bottom of the screen, equipped with an application menu, quick-launch buttons, volume control, network status and clock.
- Standard -- a small but functional desktop system
- Community -- which comes with a more complete set of features for a modern desktop
- Mini -- a small, 30 MB download, featuring console tools only
CDlinux 0.9.6 - making use of the office software
(full image size: 113kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
CDlinux "Community" edition comes with a surprisingly wide range of software for such a small download. The user is treated to Firefox (3.6), Skype, a BitTorrent client, remote desktop tools, Filezilla, AbiWord, Gnumeric, the GIMP and a PDF viewer. The application menu is rounded out with a calculator, text editor, file archiver, task manager, Pidgin IM client, an image viewer and DOSBox. The system also comes with Tor, for people concerned with their online privacy. CDlinux includes a multimedia player, partition imaging utility and the usual collection of Xfce configuration tools for adjusting the look and feel of the system. Completing the software selection are Flash and popular multimedia codecs, supporting MP3 and many video formats.
There were some surprises to be found on the compact distro. For example, the system comes with Avast anti-virus, but the software requires a registration code to run. The distribution also comes with WINE, allowing the user to run many Windows programs. In fact, the Games section of the application menu contains shortcuts to running games which come with Windows instead of the usual collection of Linux time-wasters.
CDlinux 0.9.6 - web browsing and multimedia
(full image size: 162kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Something which really sets CDlinux apart from other distributions is its installer. The system installer allows the user to transfer the system from the live CD to either a USB drive or to place it inside a Windows partition. There is no option for a typical standalone hard drive install. Reading through the documentation on the project's web site shows it is possible to install CDlinux locally in a standalone fashion, but that's not really what the operating system is designed to do.
Having used CDlinux primarily as a live CD and not a regular install, looking at the distribution's security takes a slightly different twist. For instance, I wasn't regularly checking for package updates. However, there were some points of interest. The user is logged in under a non-root account, "cdl", and it's possible to perform administrative tasks using sudo. The only network service I found running out of the box was a secure shell server. By default, the user isn't given a password which prevents remote logins. Setting a password for "cdl" enables remote secure shell connections. I found CDlinux would mount any local drives during the start-up process, giving access to all recognized partitions. Plugging in new devices, such as digital cameras, would cause the device to be mounted and a corresponding icon to appear on the desktop.
CDlinux 0.9.6 - installing CDlinux and imaging the disk
(full image size: 115kB, screen resolution 1366x768 pixels)
During my time with CDlinux, I tested the distro on two physical machines and in a virtual environment. The little distribution worked very well on my desktop machine, (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) properly setting up audio and giving my desktop the desired resolution. I encountered no problems on the desktop. My HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) was handled well for the most part. Again, my screen was set to the maximum resolution, sound worked out of the box and my touchpad was configured properly. Unfortunately, the system didn't pick up my Intel wireless card, nor my Novatel mobile modem. The distribution is based on Slackware and the connection shows in the system's performance. The desktop is light and responsive, the distro feels simple and functional. During my tests with the virtual environment, I found the Community edition of CDlinux would run Xfce smoothly with less than 256 MB of memory. If less than 128 MB was available, the OS would drop into a text console at start-up. According to the project's website, the Standard edition will boot up with 64 MB of RAM available.
CDlinux is a well-crafted mini-distro which manages to pack a lot of functionality into a small image. It has the ability to function as an on-the-road desktop for people who want to carry their operating system in their pocket and it also has tools, such as the partition imaging software, which make it a good rescue CD. It's fairly light on resources, making CDlinux feel like a smaller version of KNOPPIX and additional functionality can be added to the distro using Slackware packages, making CDlinux suitable for a wider range of tasks. The only thing I felt missing was an option to install the distribution to the local hard disk. While this could be done manually, I'm looking forward to seeing it as a feature of the system's graphical installer. I think CDlinux fits in nicely with the family of other small distributions, such as SliTaz GNU/Linux and Damn Small Linux in the mini-distro niche.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Mandriva for sale, RHEL 6 kernel genealogy, Ubuntu "Unity" desktop, KDE 4.4 in Debian and Slackware, Sabayon daily builds, Unity Linux with Enlightenment, Astaro update troubles
Let's start this week's news section with some bad news: it appears that Mandriva S.A., a Paris-based company that has been developing the popular Mandriva Linux distribution for over a decade, is for sale. That's according to this post at Mandriva Linux Online (in French). The article claims that the company's financial situation has deteriorated dramatically this year and selling the enterprise is the only alternative to closing it down completely. It mentions two potential buyers - a London-based lightapp Ltd and Linagora from France, both of whom have apparently entered into negotiations with Mandriva. There has been no official word from the troubled company, but the article quotes a procès verbal du CA as published on the Boursorama forum (in French) last week. Mandriva has been through numerous ups and downs throughout its short history, but up to this point it has always succeeded in finding a way out of trouble. But even if the company does get sold, there is a strong possibility that the new owners will continue the development of the distribution with the existing team. In the meantime, the Mandriva's development branch (Cooker) keeps moving towards the new stable release, with a large number of updates to Perl-related packages and KDE 4.4.3 over the weekend.
* * * * *
In contrast with Mandriva, Red Hat, Inc is a picture of financial health, with its share price, profits and customer base on the increase despite the prolonged economic downturn. A new version of the company's flagship product, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, has recently entered beta testing. Although these are very early days of a distribution that will be supported for many years after its release, the more technically-minded users and system administrators will probably enjoy reading the article entitled Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Kernel: An Overview and Genealogy to learn more about the most crucial part of the operating system: "When Red Hat announces a new major Red Hat Enterprise Linux release, such as with the recent Beta availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, invariably among the first questions asked is, “What is the kernel version number?” The answer to this question is never a simple one-number reply. The construction of an enterprise-caliber kernel is an extremely complex exercise that requires close evaluation of hundreds of individual features and interactions. This blog outlines how we create our Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernels."
* * * * *
The Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), the bi-annual meeting of key people responsible for the development of the distribution, starts today in Brussels, Belgium. As with previous events, a flurry of press releases is expected to hit the wires during the week. The first among them is an announcement about a new "Unity" desktop environment (Mark Shuttleworth's blog has a more detailed post on the subject) designed for the Ubuntu Netbook edition: "Canonical today unveiled a new desktop environment called 'Unity' at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) in Belgium. Unity will be the desktop environment for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition, released in October 2010, and is available today to developers building applications for the netbook environment. Unity is designed for netbooks and related touch-based devices. It includes a new panel and application launcher that makes it fast and easy to access preferred applications, such as the browser, while removing screen elements that are rarely used in mobile and netbook computing."
Ubuntu Light powered by Unity - a new desktop design for netbooks
(image courtesy of Canonical.com)
It's always nice to read about a Linux distribution's success in reaching new frontiers, well beyond the realm of technical users. In this respect, it was interesting to note that The Economist, one of the world's most respected magazines, has recently opened a Launchpad account. Matthew Revell asked a representative of the publication for their reasons and plans: "We're migrating the existing Economist.com stack from ColdFusion/Oracle to a LAMP stack running Drupal. At present, we're about half way through -- if you visit a blogs page, channel page, or comments page they will be served from Drupal, but the home page and actual articles are still served from ColdFusion. There's a migration and synchronisation process happening in the background between Oracle and MySQL. ... We chose Launchpad for its usability, mostly the workflow around reviewing code (merge proposals). It provides excellent tools for managing distributed teams, and we are a very large distributed team, with three locations where development is occurring on either side of the Atlantic."
On a related note, another venerable British publication, The Times, now urges users to stop using Windows and to use Ubuntu instead: "You know that thing that happens on your computer, when you are using Windows? When you ask it to do something, and it thinks about it, and then it keeps thinking, and then you go off and make a cup of tea, and it's still thinking, and you want to head-butt the wall, again and again, until gets all smeared and red and bloody and bits of your brain are raining down on to your shoes? Yes? Well, there's a way to stop that happening. Stop using Windows. Use Ubuntu instead. ... My Ubuntu setup is faster than a PC and prettier than a Mac. But best of all, when you ask it to do something, it does it. Or, at worst, it doesn't do it. It doesn't think about it, for hours, and then mysteriously go off the idea. It doesn't crash. It doesn't break. I don't know why everybody doesn't use it."
* * * * *
Following the recent release of KDE 4.4.3, two distributions that have been resisting the upgrade to the 4.4 series have now jumped on the bandwagon. The first one is Slackware Linux which promptly announced that its development tree is now in beta, with the upcoming release of version 13.1 just around the corner. The other one is Debian GNU/Linux, which has accepted KDE 4.4.3 into its "unstable" branch: "Today, the 3rd of May 2010, KDE SC 4.4.3 has been uploaded to Debian sid (unstable). This is the first of the 4.4.x series that Debian has had (outside of the experimental repository and an unofficial repository), and so far the whole of it is awesome. There is a new KDM login window which looks great. Upon logging in, Strigi and Nepomunk start up and begin the indexing of the local system (and, likely my FUSE-mounted drives, since it probably doesn't know better and I didn't stop it). Nearly everything has a new release, including a newer Kontact suite (4.4.3) for email and calendaring. I had to re-add my local file for my local address book, but the Akonadi (network-accessed) resources such as my home Kontact calendar and my Google address books all worked fine after the upgrade to KDE SC 4.4.3."
* * * * *
The Sabayon Linux project announced last week that a set of daily ISO images of the distribution's GNOME, KDE and CoreCD editions for both the x86 and amd64 architectures are now available from its download mirrors: "After several weeks of testing and ironing, we are happy to announce the public availability of daily (or nightly if you prefer) Sabayon Linux (Standard and CoreCD editions) ISO images. The aim is to improve packages and general system functionality testing during a release's life cycle by providing always up-to-date installable Live CDs and DVDs. Our stable releases are just 'snapshots' of these ISO images, so you will be able to know (and report) about possible hardware and software issues before a new version is published." The announcement is concluded by the usual word of caution: "This is the bleeding edge of bleeding edge, do not use them on production systems." If you are interested in checking out the progress the Sabayon development team has made since its last stable release, see the iso/daily directory on the project's download mirrors.
* * * * *
While on the subject of testing bleeding-edge releases, here is something for the fans of Enlightenment 17. The Hungarian branch of the Unity Linux project has announced the availability of Unite17, a live CD based on Unity Linux 2010 RC1 with the latest development build of the Enlightenment window manager: "The Unite17 project is pleased to announce its first Unite17 version. What is inside? Based of Unity Linux RC1 core (Openbox removed); Linux kernel updated to 18.104.22.168; Enlightenment E17 0.16.999.063, does not include Ecomorph; themes, wallpapers; aMSN, Skype 22.214.171.124, Transmission, Mozilla Firefox 3.6 and Thunderbird, MPlayer, XMMS. This Unite17 release is a 'raw' system, I hope you will like it. Please remember that Enlightenment DR17 is under heavy development, it is not stable." Here is a quick download link for those who wish to take a look at the release: unite17.iso (718MB, MD5).
* * * * *
Most operating systems in use today come with update functionality that corrects security issues and important bugs discovered after the product's release. But how do you know that these updates will work as intended? Last week the CEO of Astaro, the producer of Astaro Security Gateway (ASG), had to publish an apology after the company's engineers issued not one, but two disastrous updates in one day, preventing Astaro machines from connecting to the Internet and disabling web and mail proxy functionality: "Systems with IPS activated could not download the new patterns because all network connectivity was blocked. As is usual, systems with IPS deactivated do not download new patterns either. ... Then, incredibly, at 12:25 CEST our Up2Date servers began distributing anti-virus (AV) pattern version 12407 which included a signature incompatible with the AV engine our systems are running. On systems with dual AV scanning enabled the web proxy was not working and the mail proxy was not forwarding email." Although many ASG users were not amused by the events, it's always nice to see the CEO explaining the situation, apologising for the troubles and outlining steps that should prevent such mishaps in the future.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Linux hardware support
Frustrated-with-hardware asks: Why is Linux still unable to produce simple, user friendly solutions to basic problems like getting a commonly sold laptop, using a major manufacturer's video card, to output video to a TV screen? Together with the built-in microphones on laptops that can't be used and the built-in webcams on laptops that can't be used, this inability after having reached considerable maturity in development is more than a little disappointing.
DistroWatch answers: The world's wide variety of hardware is the thorn in many an operating system's side. Linux actually has remarkable built-in driver support, possibly the best of any operating system I've used. So why are there so many issues with video cards, microphones and webcams? The problem largely rests in two areas.
1. Hardware manufacturers. The reason other operating systems (such as Windows and OS X) appear to have such good driver support is because when you get a new webcam or printer, you generally get a CD with drivers from the manufacturer. The OS itself doesn't need to come with those drivers, because the hardware vendor is supplying them. If you go grab a vanilla Windows install disk, you'll quickly find a lot of hardware doesn't work out of the box, you'll need to manually get drivers from the manufacturer.
The Linux community is growing, but doesn't have enough market influence to cause some vendors to supply drivers for the Linux kernel. This results in kernel developers trying to fill the gaps where they can.
2. The other big factor is the consumer. One aspect of running Linux is taking responsibility and making sure you buy hardware that will work with your operating system. Take a look at a hardware compatibility database or ask around your distribution's forum before buying a new video card, printer or webcam. It'll save a lot of hassle. It will also, gradually, send a message to hardware vendors. For example, I almost always buy HP printers now, because they've had a pretty good track record running with Linux and I avoid Canon machines because their Linux support has been, in my experience, poor. One person making that choice isn't tipping the scales, but a few million users buying a specific brand, and politely stating to the vendor why, can make a difference. When you're buying equipment, don't be afraid to ask the sales person if their hardware is compatible with Linux and make sure you can return the item if the device isn't recognized. Linux does support a range of video cards, microphones and webcams if you're willing to shop around.
|Released Last Week
Anil Gulecha has announced the release of NexentaStor 3.0.2, an enterprise-class unified storage solution built upon the foundation of the open-source Nexenta Core Platform and OpenSolaris, including the ZFS file system: "On behalf of the NexentaStor team, I'm happy to announce the release of NexentaStor Community Edition 3.0.2. This release is the result of the community efforts of Nexenta partners and users. Changes over 3.0 include: many fixes to ON/ZFS backported to b134; CIFS/DFS support backported; multiple bug fixes in the appliance. With the addition of many new features, NexentaStor CE is the most complete and feature-rich gratis unified storage solution today. Quick summary of features: ZFS additions - deduplication (based on OpenSolaris b134); free for up to 12 TB of used storage; Community edition supports easy upgrades; many new features in the easy-to-use management interface; integrated search." Here is the brief release announcement.
DEFT Linux 5.1
Stefano Fratepietro has announced the release of DEFT Linux 5.1, an Ubuntu-based live CD featuring some of the best open-source applications dedicated to incident response and computer forensics: "DEFT Linux 5.1 is ready. What's new? Update - Sleuth Kit 3.1.1 and Autopsy 2.24; update - Xplico to 0.5.7 (100% support of SIP - RTP codec g711, g729, g722, g723 and g726, SDP and RTCP); update - initrd; Dhash report bug fix (reports were not generated); DEFT Extra bug fix (a few applications do not work if the operator click their icons, added the dd tool for x86_64 machines). Since 3 June we have been developing DEFT Linux 6 (based on Lubuntu 10.10 'Maverick Meerkat') that will be released on 2 December 2010." Read the full release announcement for more information.
PCLinuxOS 2010.1, a bug-fix update of the recently released version 2010, is now available for download: "PCLinuxOS 2010.1 KDE 4 edition is now available for download. Linux kernel updated to 126.96.36.199-bfs. Linux kernel 188.8.131.52 also available from our software repository, KDE SC desktop upgraded to version 4.4.3. Added support for Realtek RTL8191SE and RTL8192SE WiFi cards. Added support for Microdia webcams. Added vim console text editor. Added udftools. Fixed CD-ROM ejection when using the copy-to-RAM feature. Fixed KDE new widget download. Updated NVIDIA (195.36.24) and ATI fglrx (8.723) drivers. Updated all supporting applications and libraries from the software repository which include security updates and bug fixes. Please note if you have already installed the PCLinuxOS 2010 release you can simply update it from the Synaptic software manager." Here is the brief release announcement.
Quirky is a new Linux distribution created by Barry Kauler, the founder of Puppy Linux, "as an avenue to explore new ideas." The project's inaugural stable release was announced earlier today: "This first release is quite straight, not very 'quirky'. Some of the interesting ideas that I want to try are still to come. The focus for now is to test a lot of the new stuff in Woof, such as Rerwin's analog and 3G modem detection/setup scripts. Here is a summary of features specific to Quirky 1.0: GRUB Legacy and Grub4dos; Flsynclient - synclient GUI configuration of touchpad; Openbox, Fbpanel, JWM window managers; numerous updated applications (AbiWord, Pmusic); 184.108.40.206 kernel, updated firmware, bug-fix patches; new tray applets - Traytemp, Powerapplet, Freememapplet, Retrovol...." Read the complete release notes for more information.
Dimitris Papadatos has announced the release of Monomaxos 5.0, a Greek Ubuntu-based desktop distribution on a DVD: "This is the fifth release of the Monomaxos Linux operating system localized for the Greek language that comes as a live DVD. It supports playback of every kind of multimedia material (including HD video) and any kind of Internet content out of the box and can also be used for setting up a stand-alone Media Center (including XBMC Media Center). It contains OpenOffice.org 3.2 in Greek with enabled spelling check (also in English). A large variety of open-source software installed in this live DVD provides solutions for all needs of the modern user and makes a powerful operating system for use on desktop or laptop PCs." Visit the project's home page to read the brief release announcement.
Monomaxos 5.0 - a Greek desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu
(full image size: 920kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
VectorLinux 6.0 "KDE-Classic-Live"
Robert Lange has announced the release of VectorLinux 6.0 "KDE-Classic-Live" edition, a live CD featuring the legacy KDE 3 desktop: "The VectorLinux team is happy to announce the release of VectorLinux 6.0 KDE-Classic-Live. KDE 3 veterans will appreciate that this release retains the solid KDE 3.5.10. There are many updates compared to the original, install-only release. The Live-installer has been improved. Live mode makes it simple to test compatibility with your hardware before committing to a permanent installation. KDE-Classic is configured with full web and multimedia capabilities out of the box. Firefox has all the plugins that VectorLinux users are used to - Flash 10, MPlayer and Java. Further functionality from VLC and Xine ensures that you will be able to handle all common audio and video formats. Amarok is ready for your music collection. The King of CD/DVD burning, K3b, is also included." Here is the full release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 17 May 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Ark Linux was a Linux distribution designed especially for desktop use, primarily for people without prior Linux experience. Its main goal was ease of use, and the inclusion of many tools end users will need. Ark Linux was fully Open Source and Free Software, meaning, basically, you can freely redistribute it in both modified and unmodified form.