| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 365, 2 August 2010
Welcome to this year's 31st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Here, at DistroWatch, we talk a lot about different operating systems. We look at their various approaches, versions and editions. This week we are going to take a step back and look at some of the characteristics of Linux and BSD and compare them. And we'll hear from OS gurus as they weigh in on the pros and cons of both operating systems. In the news section, we talk about developments in the GNOME community, tips on networking and changes in the openSUSE community. We will also touch on improvements coming to FreeBSD's DTrace. This week we will also talk a bit about funding in the open source community and how you can help support your favourite projects. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Money can be a touchy subject in the FOSS community. Some people feel software should be free of charge (gratis) as well as free as in speech (libre). These are nice ideals and many projects are able to provide both. However, we live in a world where money is a big factor in getting a lot of things done. Projects, especially FOSS projects, need web space, domain name registration and dedicated developers. Bigger projects like to be able to visit conventions, advertise and offer samples of their work on discs. All of these things cost money and the funds have to come from somewhere. This is why donation programs and sponsorship are so important; at the end of the day, developers still need to pay their bills.
However, just as developers need funds, so do end-users and it's not always within a person's budget to give money to their favourite open source projects. There are a lot of organizations I'd like to hand my paycheque to as thanks for their great work, but I have bills to pay, as I'm sure we all do. Fortunately there is a way many of us can financially support FOSS without spending any extra cash. That's where the
Linux Fund (as well as the
BSD Fund) comes in. About ten years ago, the Linux Fund was set up as a way to raise money for promising open source projects. Though they've had their ups and downs, the Fund is still going strong today. I had a chance to talk with Michael Dexter, Program Director of the organization, to find out what the Fund does.
DW: Let's start with some background on you. Where are you from? When did you take an interest in open source software?
MD: I am a Latvian-American from Los Angeles living in Portland, Oregon and have recently wrapped up an eight-year adventure in Latvia. I had no idea that I wanted an open source software environment back in January of 1991 when I first sat down at a UNIX terminal but I did know that I
desperately wanted something I could run on my own hardware in my dorm room. The fact that the campus computer labs were windowless was a big motivator in my new quest for software freedom. At the time, the proprietary Coherent operating system was a moderately serviceable Unix
clone and I tried both it and a Linux .99 distribution on a 386 that a friend found in the street. It got as far as "Loading Linux..............." and I literally said "I'll get back to you."
Come the second half of the 1990s I was involved with web design, hosting and desktop publishing and confess that I was impressed by Microsoft's NT Server suite on paper. It was ridiculously expensive however and I knew that it would fail to deliver on any promises that mattered to me. My research suggested that I wanted a BSD but Portland was largely a Red Hat town at the time. I tried and gave up on Red Hat 5.1 after finding that the documentation didn't match the software but
was quite impressed with Red Hat 5.2. I had finally found the elegant Unix clone that I had sought for nearly a decade.
Alas, the affair didn't last. The subsequent Red Hat 6.0 included GNOME and took the system from a delightful Unix clone to a stunningly bad Windows clone. I'd say that Fedora and Ubuntu are finally passable Windows alternatives but it was a long, bumpy road. My Red Hat experience improved when on-line updates arrived with up2date but sadly those were later revoked. Looking back, everything Red Hat did made sense at the time but we've all learned quite a bit since then.
In 2001 I accepted a job with MandrakeSoft SA on their internal IS team and gave my clients away so I could focus on the work. It was a dream job but alas did not last long thanks to MDK's aggressive growth and high burn rate. My team was terminated and I left with neither a job nor
clients. I moved to Latvia where I found myself back on my Unix quest and finally exploring the BSDs.
DW: Could you tell us what Linux Fund and BSD Fund are and how you got involved?
MD: Linux Fund pioneered the model of raising money for open source using rewards credit cards back in 1999 and has given away over $750,000 under that model. Ironically, I knew the Executive Director David Mandel back then but paid little attention to his work with Linux Fund. After all, I thought that the Unix system I needed already existed, rather than there being a huge need for innovative models for open source project funding and administration.
Come 2007 there was a BSD-related storage project that I needed for a product I was developing and I realized that it really should belong to the commons. It was also way out of my budget. These facts led me to seek out a non-profit that I could partner with to raise money for the
work and someone recommended that I talk to Linux Fund. The project itself was shelved but Linux Fund had recently become a full 501(c)(3) non-profit and I worked with Linux Fund to set up BSD Fund for similar projects of cross-BSD interest. One thing lead to another and three years later I have found myself Program Director for both initiatives and loving every minute of it.
Today, both organizations raise money with rewards cards and that money goes largely to community events and overhead. They also raise money for specific projects that we believe fill neglected needs in the community. Some of our recent and current projects are the LiVES video editor, an Ubuntu LoCo community event, some Gnash and Inkscape features, the gEDA/PCB circuit board design tool and some compiler work.
I am pleased to report that I have recently added UK corporate and Canadian personal Linux Fund credit cards to the portfolio and I can safely say this is the last thing I thought I would be the world expert in.
DW: Where does the money come from? How much is donations, fund raising, the cards? Is there any income from advertising or corporate sponsors?
MD: We are striving towards a balance of all revenue sources to help grow during this recession. Linux Fund has always relied on card revenue and is expanding into direct fund raising and event organization. Corporate sponsors have tightened up significantly this last few years and we are
relived to see individuals step up and give, especially from outside the US where they might not be able to get a tax write off for their donation. The mission clearly outweighs tax benefits for the majority of our donors and that is very encouraging.
DW: Please tell us about the credit card. How does it help raise money? Are there fees or a point system?
MD: Just as some cards gain you airline points or credit at your favourite store, our cards generate a small contribution every time you use them. The card holder doesn't see any additional fees but as you may know, merchants are charged a number of fees to offset fraud and reward the
various financial institutions who are involved in the transaction. Those fees include a percentage for customer rewards and our share happens to benefit open source. Despite the small size, these
contributions can really add up. I humbly invite you to purchase your next computer and event travel with one of our cards as we just may be a sponsor of the event you are attending!
DW: Where are the cards available and how can FOSS fans get the card?
MD: We currently offer the Linux Fund and BSD Fund personal cards in the USA, a Linux Fund personal card in Canada and the UK Business Credit Card in the United Kingdom. You can apply for the USA and UK cards on-line and by phone and the questions are quite routine for something of
this nature. The Canadian application is by phone and we are negotiating to launch a corporate card in the US and personal card in the UK. Our success with our current programs will directly advance these. We have a few more countries in various stages of negotiation and we would appreciate any and all help making these programs successful. Visit linuxfund.org/cards and bsdfund.org/card for more information about each card and if you get one, do make sure you make your payments on time. Like root access, these are tools you must use with discipline.
DW: There are a lot of great projects out there. How do you decide who gets funding?
MD: Our event funding is simple: We try to fund every volunteer-driven community event out there. This is an ambitious goal but with more cardholders, we could get a modest grant to every major event and quite a few smaller ones. We cannot speak highly enough about community events like SCaLE, LinuxFest NW, Ohio LinuxFest, Florida Linux Show, SE LinuxFest, OggCamp, BSDCan and the like. We're proud to be supporting more and more events outside the US and we feel that such events are critical to the success of software projects. There is no substitution for getting away from the computer and meeting face to face, not to mention over good food and drink.
For our partner projects, I work with a number of peers and advisers to identify projects that appear to fill a pressing need or have never graduated from promising to production status. Examples of pressing needs are the need for competitive engineering tools for Electronic Design Automation and Computer Aided Design. These sound like niches but the resulting systems are used by everyone. Example "1.0" milestone projects include the LiVES video editor, the OGD1 graphics device and the pcc compiler.
With a clear milestone identified, the work needed to complete that milestone is assessed, reviewed and budgeted, and the resulting budget is presented to the board of directors for review and hopefully approval. If approved, we approach the public for money and effectively allow them to vote with their pocketbooks.
We often get requests from projects for funding but would prefer that they actively publish project road maps, development budgets and even hardware and event wish lists. Good budgeting skills can really benefit a project in the long run, especially when it comes time host an event or incorporate by forming a non-profit or joining a conservancy. The Google Summer of Code initiative has actually been a great catalyst for this kind of public budgeting.
DW: Are there any projects which don't yet exist, but you'd like to see created? A gap which you feel needs to be filled?
MD: I personally would like to see an open source equivalent to Filemaker but I think the entire open source community should first seriously consider some major "no new features" project housekeeping given the number of projects that either lie abandoned, lack critical documentation or sustainable communities. Few projects are truly devoid of merit and there are countless under appreciated gems out there. Human nature and years of itch-scratching are probably to blame but active
projects would really benefit from taking stock of their goals, sub-projects and key assets like documentation. As a colleague of mine put it, "a utility without good documentation is of no utility at all." Perhaps an open source idea exchange like www.halfbakery.com is needed for aborted projects to be dropped into before being pruned from the world's repositories while everything else is tightened up. Project resurrection is an exciting endeavour and we should never underestimate the value of old but proven code.
As for a specific gap, again, open hardware from electronics to architecture is a very exciting challenge. As an AutoDesk representative put it, "If God didn't design it, one of our customers did." Having literally all of humanities' technical designs from kitchen utensils to stadiums and jumbo jets tied up in proprietary formats that require proprietary software is arguably a life-threatening oversight. That's without even taking patents into consideration. We've built a technical world that a select few people truly control.
The more I am involved in the community, the more I realize that it is in its infancy. We must accept that software never costs anything to duplicate and that some day, foundations and institutes may very well dominate the software industry. To get to that point will take years of hard work and a general reprogramming of the industry. Seeing the 90% penetration of open source into supercomputing proves that unimaginable change is both possible and logical.
DW: Anything else you'd like to add? A personal view or advice/requests to the community?
MD: Beside my previous humble requests and humble opinions, I hope that if you don't support Linux Fund, you do support one or more of the dozens of other software foundations. I have compiled a growing list of them at linuxfund.org/foundations and look forward to the time when these foundations share equal mind share and funding with the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the United Way, the Sierra Club and countless other household names.
Not wishing to simply sit on the sidelines, I called the phone number provided on the Linux Fund's website and put myself through the card application process. As far as card applications go, it was fairly standard. The whole call, including hold time, going through the disclaimers and providing my information took just over ten minutes. I'm hoping in the future that we'll see an on-line application form for Canadians (and other countries) as it could speed up the process and appeal to more people.
As Michael said, proper use of a credit card requires a level of discipline. Some people get along very well with credit cards, while other people have difficulty in budgeting their purchases. If you're the sort of person who feels comfortable maintaining a credit line, the Linux Fund (or BSD Fund) card is one way in which you can support open source without making a direct donation. Simply buying groceries, purchasing clothes or paying bills with a Fund card will help, in a small way, to support community events and various open source projects.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Improvements to DTrace in FreeBSD, guides to networking and changes in the openSUSE project
It may not have a lot of flash or hype, but CentOS is a popular choice right now for web servers. According to this blog entry the project (which is based on the source code of RHEL) makes up nearly 30% of Linux web servers. Apparently there is a strong demand for an enterprise-level distribution without the cost of support contracts. Are you running a server? If so, please tell us which distro you're running in the comments section.
* * * * *
Are you a network administrator? Are you going to be? Do you want to know how healthy your network is? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes", you will be happy to know there is a new book out called Network Flow Analysis. The book, available from No Starch Press, was recently given a positive review on DragonFly BSD Digest. Worth a read if you're interested in computer networks.
* * * * *
One of the more exciting technologies to come out of Solaris in recent years is DTrace. The dynamic tracing utility helps developers and administrators track down and correct problems. It can be thought of as a debugging tool which can be used on applications and the operating system. Up to this point, FreeBSD has had kernel-only DTrace support. However, this will be changing as there is an
effort underway to bring userland support to FreeBSD's DTrace implementation.
* * * * *
Here at DistroWatch we usually talk about new distros coming out. However, as new releases appear, so too do others disappear. Last week we talked about the new openSUSE 11.3 release and last week also saw the discontinuing of openSUSE 11.0. As Marcus Meissner stated on the project's Announce mailing list, "openSUSE 11.0 was released on June 17 2008, making it 2 years and 1 month of security and bugfix support."
In other openSUSE news, the project has
recently announced that Jos Poortvliet is their new Community Manager. The new leader "holds a degree in
Organisational Psychology from the University of Utrecht and has gained
valuable experience in several professional roles ranging from Project
Manager at KPN to Service Level Manager at Royal Bank of Scotland. Last but
not least, Jos is a leading member of the KDE Marketing Team and has helped
Akademy and the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit attract a vibrant and
* * * * *
There has been talk on and off for a while now about the possibility of Linux Mint producing a Debian-based release. Fans of Debian's Testing repo may not have much longer to wait. According to this post on Mint's blog, the project hopes to see firm results on this project in August. It should be interesting to see how the Mint team handles the dynamic nature of Debian Testing. Are you looking forward to a Debian base with the additional tools and add-ons Mint brings to the table?
* * * * *
The much-awaited release of the GNOME 3.0 desktop has been delayed. Originally scheduled to come out in September 2010, the GNOME project has decided to wait and ship 3.0 in March of 2011. In its place, a new stable release of the 2.x series (2.32) will be released in September. On the one hand, this shows the developers are invested in pushing out a polished 3.0 release. On the other, is raises some concerns for application developers who are already migrating to the GTK+ 3 library. Have you tried the new GNOME Shell? Let us know what you think of it in our comments section.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
An opinion on the differences between BSD and Linux
Curious about penguins and daemons asks:
Your website motto says "Use Linux, BSD." Could you talk a little about the differences, how they compare to each other? Do you recommend one or the other?
It is difficult to talk about what makes Linux and BSD different from each other (or similar to each other) because there are so many variants of each. At the moment, there are literally hundreds of Linux distributions and quite a few BSD flavours to pick from. So really, when examining the two, people usually have to do so using generalizations. As an example, most of the big name Linux distros have easy-to-use graphical installers (but some distros don't). On the other hand, most BSD systems don't have a GUI installer, but at least one does. As you might guess, with so many different projects on both sides, there are almost always exceptions to the rules.
It might be easiest to look at what they have in common. Both Linux and BSD belong to the family of UNIX operating systems (some might point out that BSD is a descendant of UNIX, where Linux is a UNIX-like operating system) and they have a lot in common on the surface. The various Linux and BSD systems generally have the same sort of file system layout, use similar command-line tools and can generally compile and run the same software.
From my point of view, the big thing I notice when switching between Linux and BSD are the ways in which packages are managed. Linux, or GNU/Linux, systems tend to be made up of small modules (packages). I visualize a GNU/Linux distro as a chemical model where the atoms are linked together. You can add and remove pieces and reshape the module. Each "atom" is a small piece of the bigger whole. The BSDs, on the other hand, divide up the pieces of the system differently. The kernel and some of the basic tools are all managed under one project. Then other software, such as desktop environments and office software are placed on top of that foundation. And I think this difference indicates that the important differences between the two camps are more philosophical than technical.
In my experience many of the Linux users I meet are more idealistic when it comes to their software and software freedoms. A good example of this is the "Year of the Linux Desktop" concept which pops up on a regular basis. Most of the big name Linux distros come across as more novice-friendly than the BSD projects. There are exceptions on both sides, but the Linux community seems to more actively recruit new members.
Development seems to progress at different rates and in slightly different fashions. Take sound for instance. On the Linux side, we bounced from OSS to ALSA to PulseAudio. In the BSD camp we saw steady work to improve OSS. When ZFS came out, FreeBSD adopted and ported the new file system to their OS. In the Linux camp we saw efforts to create ext4, plus an effort to create BtrFS and a project to port ZFS as a module. The developers in BSD seem to make a concentrated effort to get one thing working properly while Linux developers will offer multiple solutions. There's a joke in the BSD community that Linux coders are about three years ahead... in changing their minds.
Most of my experience is with Linux systems, and so it's usually the operating system I recommend to people. That way I will be better able to help them trouble-shoot and, at the moment, I think Linux has slightly better driver support too, which is important for home users. However, I feel it is important to balance this out with some pointers from experienced professionals. With this in mind I asked Kris Moore (founder of the PC-BSD project) and Matt Nuzum (from the Canonical team) to weigh in on the subject.
DW: Kris, what differences do you see between BSD and Linux?
KM: There are a number of important differences at the very core of BSD and
Linux. When you install FreeBSD, you are getting a complete operating
system, kernel + userland, which is designed to function together in a
very coherent manner. On the Linux side, your "operating system" may
vary greatly from distro to distro, or even from install to install,
because Linux at its heart is only a kernel and a subset of various
tools up to the discretion of the distro packager / installer.
DW: What about similarities?
Aside from software itself, there is an important license distinction as
well. Both open-source licenses advocate freedom, however freedom means
different things to different people. The Linux kernel and many of its
components are released under various forms of the GPL license, which
requires users / developers to adhere to its terms and conditions in
order to keep any development / usage GPL compliant, by giving source
code back to the community, restricting DRM (GPL3) and more. The BSD
license on the other hand is also open-source, but carries with it no
expectation or demands on future usage / development. BSD-Licensed code
may be taken and used for any purposes, without having to worry about
"staying within compliance".
KM: While at the heart both systems are different, they do share a lot in
common with each other. Most of the same applications can and do run on
both, from services such as Apache, to desktop and productivity tools
such as KDE, OpenOffice, FireFox, Wine and more.
DW: Why do you feel BSD is a better platform?
KM: The license is a huge plus for me, plus the way the core operating
system is designed feels much more "natural" and intuitive. The
stability of their development process is a huge plus, ABI's are very
stable and we deal with less "bit-rot" than I've experienced on various
flavors of Linux.
DW: Can you identify something you feel the Linux community does better than
KM: Because of Linux changing so rapidly they are often ahead of us in
certain areas, like hardware driver support. A lot of open-source
desktop applications are developed on Linux, so it can take a bit longer
for a release to make it into the FreeBSD ports tree, although this has
become much better over the years.
DW: Thank you, Kris. Matt, what are some of the differences between Linux and BSD?
MN: Linux is a re-implementation or copy of the UNIX system that shares a
common ancestor with BSD. It was designed to feel familiar to UNIX and
BSD users (and in many ways it does), however the underlying
architecture to create the system is quite different in some important
ways. For example, configuring a firewall, choosing which programs
start automatically or installing a driver for your system will be
different between BSD and Linux.
DW: What are some similarities between the two systems?
MN: The UNIX and FOSS philosophies are the common bond. Many of the
command line and graphical tools are the same or function the same in
both systems. As an example, developers for both Linux and BSD use
OpenSSH to connect to their server, Vim or Emacs to edit their source
code and GCC to compile it. Both BSD and Linux servers commonly run
the Apache web server, Samba and CUPS for file and printer sharing
and MySQL or PostgreSQL for database work. If you have a BSD or Linux
desktop then you probably run GNOME or KDE on top of
X.org and browse the web with Firefox.
DW: Why do you think Linux is the better platform?
MN: It used to be that Linux was a copy of UNIX, following on the
coat-tails of the likes of BSD and Solaris. However, in the last 10
years it has gone ahead in many key ways. The first catalyst for
change was better driver support for common PC computer systems which gave it a big boost.
Then, as more users and developers adopted Linux, it started to
become the platform for innovation and BSD and UNIX trailed behind.
Now it is common to see new software updates including new features
and improvements released first to Linux and then made compatible with BSD.
DW: Please share something you like about the BSD family of systems.
MN: There are several variants of BSD, each with different merits. Two
excellent examples are OpenBSD and NetBSD.
OpenBSD developers are motivated by a desire to maintain their
outstanding security track-record. They review their code and
implement features that help ensure that the operating system will
withstand even the most motivated attack. Furthermore, it has also
historically boasted one of the most robust TCP/IP networking stacks.
These two features combine to make it an excellent choice for networking infrastructure.
NetBSD has as a core value the desire to accommodate a great variety
of platforms. It runs on a diverse collection of computers so its
maintainers strive to create a system that is flexible and portable.
DW: Thank you, Matt.
|Released Last Week
Clonezilla Live 1.2.5-35
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.5-35, a new stable version of the specialist live CD designed for hard disk partitioning and cloning: "This release of Clonezilla Live includes major enhancements, changes and bug fixes. The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is based on the Debian sid repository (as of 2010/Jul/20). The Linux kernel was updated to 2.6.32-17. This release was created by live-helper 2.0~a19-1.1drbl, and live-initramfs 1.236.2-1drbl-3 is used. Partclone was updated to 0.2.11. Default to use VGA 800x600 for Clonezilla Live. Most of the netbooks do not support 1024x768; 800x600 is the common one for most of the computers, and it's good enough for Clonezilla Live. Program prep-ocsroot was improved to work with sshfs/cifs path with space. Program ocs-iso is able to create the recovery ISO larger than 4.5 GB." You can read the
full announcement here.
Linux Mint 9 "KDE"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 9 "KDE" edition: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 9 KDE. Linux Mint 9 KDE is available in 32-bit and 64-bit as a liveDVD, via Torrent and HTTP download. Based on Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, Linux 2.6.32, KDE 4.4.4, X.Org 7.5 and Amarok 2.3.0, this edition features a lot of improvements and the latest software from the Open Source World. Featured improvements in this release: KDE Network Manager, new applications, 30,000 applications catalogued and reviewable both online and in the new software manager, brand new incremental backup tool for both data and software selection, USB and Windows installers, 3 years support, look and feel improvements." Read the rest of the
Mint 9 KDE
(full file size: 392KB, resolution 800x600 pixels)
Eric Turgeon has announced the availability of GhostBSD 1.5, a FreeBSD-based live CD with GNOME and a work-in-progress graphical system installer: "GhostBSD 1.5 is out. We have updated to Gnome 2.30. Now you can install GhostBSD by terminal commands and a list with pc-sysinstall. The partitions supported to install GhostBSD are UFS, UFS+S (plus soft updates7), UFS+J (plus journaling8), ZFS, and SWAP. A 'how to install' is on the desktop. With GhostBSD in your hard drive you have Linux-f10 compatibility that means you can install Linux apps and Linux flash. Cups ready to use. Compiz installed and ready to use. This is the first installable version. Not so user friendly. But I have promised something. The last month all was going wrong and I decide to go with pc-sysinstall. Now for the next 6 mount I will work on a graphic installer for 2.0. GhostBSD amd64 is coming the next week." The full
release announcement is here.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 9 August 2010.
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Neptune is a GNU/Linux distribution for desktops. It is based on Debian's stable branch, except for a newer kernel, some drivers and newer versions of popular applications, such as LibreOffice. It also ships with the latest version of the KDE desktop. The distribution's main goals are to provide a good-looking general-purpose desktop with pre-configured multimedia playback and to offer an easy-to-use USB installer with a persistence option.