| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 372, 20 September 2010
Welcome to this year's 38th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The developers of Linux Mint have recently created a stir by releasing a Debian-based, rolling-release variant of their distribution. In today's feature story Jesse Smith takes a look at the project's first attempt at creating an operating system that, in theory, you'll never have to reinstall. In the news section, the Fedora engineering team votes to keep Upstart as the default initialisation system in version 14, the openSUSE developers prepare the distribution for migration to GNOME 3, former Mandriva employees and contributors decide to fork the distro to create Mageia, and Ivan Voras looks ahead at some of the main technical features that are being implemented in the next major release of FreeBSD. Also in this issue, a quick follow-up on the recent questions and answers feature regarding PC-BSD and a new addition in the DistroWatch database in the form of OpenIndiana, a community fork of OpenSolaris. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Rolling in Mint
There are a lot of things I like about the Linux Mint distribution. One is that they aren't reinventing the wheel. Linux Mint is less an independent from-the-ground-up distro and has been more of the icing on the Ubuntu cake. It's changing (I think improving) the Ubuntu experience without starting over from scratch. Essentially this means that the Mint team is able to introduce new ideas and features to the user without wasting resources on the underlying base. Another point in its favour is that I can easily slap an install on a new computer in twenty minutes and have all the basics right there with no configuring, no tweaking and no adding extra repositories. It's really the pizza delivery to your door in under thirty minutes distro.
Some people like to make their own crust or hand-pick and chop all the toppings for that truly custom exactly-the-way-I-want-it feel, but if you want a good pizza and you want it now with no hassles, then Mint is a great choice. And it's not as if they just offer one option, they have a selection which includes GNOME, KDE, Xfce, LXDE, Fluxbox, OEM and no-non-free-software editions (in 32-bit or 64-bit releases). Apparently the developers (and the Mint community) have decided there need to be more shades of Hulk available and so the Mint team has put together Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE). Where other editions of Mint rest on the back of Ubuntu, LMDE pulls packages from Debian's Testing repository, making LMDE a rolling release distribution.
According to the Linux Mint website, LMDE is compatible with Debian, but not with Ubuntu, and represents an experiment in resting the Mint icing (I call it the Mint Layer) on other cakes, making Mint more independent. This being the first stage of the Debian experiment the only LMDE flavour available is a 32-bit GNOME DVD release. I grabbed the ISO off the project's web site and gave it a test drive.
Linux Mint 201009 "Debian" - web browsing and multimedia
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The live DVD, which weighs in at about 875 MB, starts out by booting through a short series of text screens that terminate in a green-themed GNOME desktop. There are some folder short-cuts on the desktop and a link to the system installer. The taskbar and application menu sit at the bottom of the screen. Generally I found the performance of the system to be good considering it was running from a live disc.
I tested "Mintian" on two physical machines and a virtual machine. LMDE performed well in each case, detecting and properly using all of my hardware on the desktop (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and on my HP laptop (2 GHz dual-core CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). My tricky Intel wireless card worked without any tweaking and everything functioned properly out of the proverbial box. In the VirtualBox environment Mint had smooth mouse integration. Encouraged by the live tests, I launched the installer.
Mint's installer for the Debian edition is a little different than the regular Mint installer. It has the same feel and goes through the same motions, but there are a few minor differences. After going through a preferred language screen, selecting a time zone and confirming my keyboard layout we come to the partitioning section. This screen seems to be the most changed from the regular Mint installer. Choosing to edit partitions causes GParted to launch. Once partitions are created, setting mount points is done by double-clicking on a partition entry. I would have preferred to have an obvious Edit Partition button, but this is the installer's début. No doubt, things will get polished as feedback is submitted. After that, we're back in familiar territory with creating a regular user account and confirming where (and if) we want GRUB installed. The installer copies over the required files and we're done. Rebooting brings us to a graphical login screen.
Linux Mint 201009 "Debian" - the system installer
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The first time a user logs into their desktop a welcome window pops up greeting the user and providing links to the forums, the project's web site and various other useful items. The next thing I noticed was there were updates available for LMDE. In fact, two days after the release was announced, I found there were 280 updates waiting. The next day there were five more and the next work day there were another four... Rolling releases are not for the faint of bandwidth.
Actually the first torrent of updates took longer than expected because after starting the download, I walked away to do something else. When I came back I found after the updates had been fetched, the system had paused to confirm I actually wanted to install them all. There was another pause later to tell me GRUB was trying to update but couldn't figure out where it was supposed to be installed. A third pause for confirmation occurred before the update process was complete. After the first giant collection of packages, future updates were applied smoothly. I'm not sure if the GRUB issue was a result of a problem with the bootloader, the installer or something else, but I think the problem revolves around the system's UUIDs.
Linux Mint 201009 "Debian" - the system administration tools
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The Linux Mint Debian Edition DVD comes with a well-rounded collection of software. Included in the application menu are Firefox 3.6.8, OpenOffice.org 3.2, Thunderbird, F-Spot, GIMP, Transmission, Pidgin and MPlayer. The user can also find a disc burner, archive manager, text editors, VLC, Rhythmbox, and all of the GNOME configuration tools. Additionally there are applications for configuring the firewall, programs for uploading or sharing files and GParted. Like the other members of its family, LMDE comes with codecs for playing popular multimedia file formats and the Flash browser plug-in. On my systems all of these worked well out of the box.
I was a little surprised to see Firefox and Thunderbird labelled as they were, and at the versions offered. The Debian team refers to their modified Firefox web browser as Iceweasel and the version available in Debian Testing is 3.5.12 at the time of writing. Likewise, the Icedove package in Debian Testing is at version 3.0 while LMDE's Thunderbird package is at version 3.1.1. So it appears the Mint team is pulling those items from their own repository instead of relying on Debian's packages.
On the topic of packages, LMDE uses the familiar APT family of programs to add, remove and upgrade software on the system. The distro also comes with the graphical front-ends - Synaptic and Software Manager. These two programs have very different feels to them. Synaptic has a lot of details and options available and is more suited to people familiar with how packages work on a Linux system. The Software Manager has a simplified interface which trades out some features in favour of being novice-friendly. I used both managers to add and remove programs and found they worked without any problems.
Linux Mint 201009 "Debian" - managing packages
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Generally, I found LMDE's performance to be good. According to Mint's web site, they expect this edition to be a little faster than the main (Ubuntu-based) Mint edition; however, I didn't see much of a difference. Boot times were about the same for me whether I was using main Mint or the Debian flavour. Once on the desktop, performance and responsiveness were almost identical on my hardware. I did find LMDE to be light on resources. I performed some trial runs with different memory settings in a virtual environment and found LMDE would boot into a desktop smoothly with 512 MB of RAM. I could also login and run applications with 256 MB of memory, though performance suffered a bit. With a swap partition turned on I was able to boot into GNOME with 128 MB of RAM, though performance at that stage had degraded to the point of being unusable.
So, for me, performance wasn't really better or worse on LMDE compared to Mint's main edition. Which I feel brings up a question: if someone installed Linux Mint (main) and Linux Mint (Debian) on two similar computers and logged me into a desktop, would I be able to tell one from the other? Without doing things like checking the repository sources, I honestly don't think I could tell the difference. Both Mints have the same applications, they use the same themes and to me they felt the same. This shows, I feel, that the Mint team has accomplished their goal of making the Mint Layer distribution independent. They've demonstrated they can switch from one base to another if they see a need, giving them freedom to choose which platform best suits their ends.
I do have a concern about LMDE, or more specifically, its timing. The Debian edition has been released at a point where Debian's Testing repository is relatively quiet. Debian development is in a feature freeze right now where they're fixing bugs in preparation for their next stable release. During this period the Testing repository LMDE pulls from is going to be comparatively calm. Once Debian "Squeeze" gets out the door, if LMDE continues to track the Testing repository, the users are going to be hit with a flood of packages moving from Debian Unstable into Debian Testing. What seems like a stable system now is likely to become a rougher ride when that happens.
I think this is an impressive release as far as an initial test on a new platform is concerned. However, I do find myself wondering if the effort put into this project might serve a proportionally small group of users. There are three key points to LMDE: the Debian Testing repository, the Mint layer and it is a rolling release. I find myself thinking people who really enjoy Mint and don't want to perform re-installs are probably better served with Mint's main edition which comes with long term support. Users who are familiar enough with Debian to know they want to run Debian's Testing branch are probably comfortable installing plain Debian. People who use a rolling release because they want to constantly stay on the leading edge aren't going to find that in Debian Testing. My conclusion thus far is LMDE is for people who specifically want to run Debian Testing, but want to have everything pre-installed and configured for them. And if that is the case then Mint now appears to have the best solution available for those users.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Former employees fork Mandriva, Fedora chooses Upstart over systemd, openSUSE prepares for GNOME 3 migration, changes in FreeBSD 9
Perhaps the biggest news of the week was the announcement about Mageia, a fork of Mandriva Linux created by the former employees of the troubled company which has recently laid off a large number of its engineers. From the announcement on the new project's home page: "Forking an existing open source project is never an easy decision to make, and forking Mandriva Linux is a huge task. It was not an impulsive decision. We all spoke a lot before: former employees, Cooker contributors and user communities. We collected opinions and reactions in the past weeks as we needed to get some kind of global agreement and to gather, before going ahead. We believe a fork is the best solution and we have decided to create a new distribution: Mageia." The interesting part of this solution is that the long list of people getting involved includes not only former employees, but many well-known (volunteer) contributors, members of popular users' groups and fans of the distribution. Of course, these are still very early days and there is nothing to download and test as yet, but this is certainly good news for those who have enjoyed Mandriva Linux and would like it to continue in one form or another. Watch this space - as soon as there is a release you'll be the first to know....
* * * * *
Last week it was decision time for the developers of Fedora, a project that has a reputation for always trying to stay on the cutting edge of Linux development. This time the showdown was between Upstart and systemd, two modern ways of system initialisation that are responsible for improved boot speeds. Systemd was a strong candidate to replace Upstart (which in itself is a relatively recent addition to Fedora), but as a critical component of an operating system it was always a tough (and risky) call to go ahead with a completely new code. So Fedora 14 will still use Upstart: "The Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) has decided to use Upstart instead of systemd as the standard init system for the Fedora 14 Linux distribution, which is expected to be released in November. Systemd, an alternative to SysV Init and Upstart, released in late April and used in the alpha of Fedora 14, is now scheduled to become part of the standard system in Fedora 15. Among the reasons for this decision are some problems testers recently found during the systemd test day. The decision was made following a prolonged IRC discussion. The main developer of systemd, Lennart Poettering, didn't contribute to the discussion and wasn't too pleased about the decision - among other things, because he has apparently already fixed many of the bugs that were discovered during the test day."
* * * * *
openSUSE is another distribution that has recently started development work on a new release, version 11.4, due in March 2011. One of the main features of the release is expected to be GNOME 3. In an interview published last week, Vincent Untz talks about the new version of the popular desktop: "Q: If you say GNOME 3 won't be evolutionary, does this mean that GNOME 3 will not be based on what currently is GNOME 2? After all evolution is about inheritance. A: Part of GNOME 3 is based on GNOME 2. Actually, a lot of work happened for GNOME 2.30 and 2.32 to migrate our applications to GNOME 3 technologies and most of those technologies are actually compatible with GNOME 2, which is why we've been able to do so. However, some other parts of GNOME 3, and the most visible one is GNOME Shell, are new components." And what is so special about GNOME Shell? "First, it's important to note that GNOME Shell is designed for computers, and not all kind of devices (but GNOME itself is not just for computers: the GNOME platform can be used and is used to power all kind of devices, like phones, GPS, medical devices, etc.). The shell has several nice design features, though. It's designed in such a way that it should work well on netbooks as well as on bigger computers and using a touchscreen as input has been part of the design from the start too."
* * * * *
To conclude our brief round-up of upcoming releases, here is an update about FreeBSD 9, the next major version of the popular free operating system. From Ivan Voras' How is FreeBSD 9 shaping up: "The venerable UFS has finally received integrated journalling. Earlier it was possible to use gjournal, but it was a bulk-data journalling effort, making no distinction between data and metadata, requiring a large journal. The SUJ mode is an add-on to SoftUpdates, extending it to record a very small intent-log journal for the edge-cases where it required a (light version of) fsck. This development makes UFS a fully fsck-less file system in the common case. Users of UFS quotas will be happy to finally have 64-bit quota counters, allowing more than 2 TB quota rules, and security-conscious will probably soon endorse NFSv4-style ACL security rules. Default tuning for the UFS has also changed a bit (by me), making it significantly faster with devices which support tagged queueing (like SATA with AHCI) and where disk access latencies are high (like in virtualized environment)." This is a rather technical overview of some of the upcoming changes, but if you are a fan of FreeBSD, it's a great document to learn more about some of the new features that the project's developers are currently working on.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
On PC-BSD's licence, development team and hardware support
A few weeks ago I put out a call for questions from readers for Dru Lavigne of the PC-BSD project. The responses were immediate and great. We got a lot of good questions and I forwarded them to Dru. A few weeks later, questions regarding PC-BSD continue to arrive in my inbox. Personally I think this is good and I'm hoping to do more of these interactive interviews where our readers supply the questions. But we have to cut off the flow at some point, otherwise Dru will be typing out responses from now until the new year.
Since I feel no sincere question should go unanswered, I saved the queries. Here are some of those questions and my not-official-PC-BSD answers.
Hoping-to-study-the-nuts-and-bolts asks: Is PC-BSD fully open-source and where can one find the sources for maintenance or learning?
DistroWatch answers: The PC-BSD project is open-source. Originally the project used the GNU GPL, but they have more recently moved to the BSD family of licenses. For people interested in the source code, there are instructions on how to check-out the code using SVN. You can also browse the code on-line.
Looking-for-the-man-behind-the-curtain asks: Do you have an idea of the developer's ages and status?
DistroWatch answers: I'm not certain what you mean by status. If you mean whether or not they are married, I don't have any information on that. There is a page on the PC-BSD website with a list of current and past team members. I imagine privacy laws would prevent any specific data on the developers' ages. If you'd like to get to know the people working on the project, check out their forum and say "hi".
Hurting-on-hardware asks: The big block that keeps me from using PC-BSD is hardware. My WiFi and some other devices don't work. Who can I talk to about improving hardware support?
DistroWatch answers: There is a section of the PC-BSD forum which is dedicated to hardware issues. You can ask questions regarding your specific devices there. Should it turn out that your device isn't supported at all, you can make a feature request here.
Looking forward, I plan to do a review of the upcoming release of Debian Squeeze and chat with one of the team's developers. Do you have a question you would like to see addressed in that interview? Then drop me a line with your question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Released Last Week
Momonga Linux 7
Yohsuke Ooi has announced the release of Momonga Linux 7, a Japanese community distribution loosely modelled on Fedora. New features: the installation DVD includes both desktop and server packages; major packages include Linux kernel 188.8.131.52, glibc 2.12, X.Org Server 1.8.2, GCC 4.4.4, GNOME 2.30.2, KDE 4.5.0, Firefox 3.6.9; new kernel features include KSM (Kernel Samepage Merging), memory compaction, Btrfs and NILFS2 file system support, native ZFS file system support; faster boot-up (15 seconds on Intel Atom with SSD disk); new widescreen backgrounds; new default Japanese input method (iBus + Mozc replaces SCIM); new default Japanese font (Meguri); support for connecting iPod Nano, iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad to the system and playing the content in Rhythmbox, Amarok, Shotwell and Digikam. Please see the release announcement and release notes (both links in Japanese) for further details.
Momonga Linux 7 - a major new release of the Japanese community distro
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Version 2010-02 of aptosid is the first official release of what was previously known as sidux, a cutting-edge, desktop Linux distribution based on Debian's unstable branch: "Now that aptosid has opened its gates, we have the pleasure to announce the immediate availability of the aptosid 2010-02 'Keres' release. Aptosid is created by the same team of volunteers developing software under the Debian Free Software guidelines and continues what has been started in November 2006 under the name 'sidux'. New features in aptosid 2010-02 are kernel 184.108.40.206 and KDE 4.4.5. Kernel 2.6.35 doesn't only improve and stabilise hardware support for newer devices, it also features improved power-saving support for ATI Radeon and Intel graphics cards and improved hardware video acceleration." Read the release notes for a detailed list of changes and new features.
Superb Mini Server 1.5.3
aptosid 2010-02 - the distribution's first release under the new name
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Superb Mini Server, a Slackware-based server distribution, has been updated to version 1.5.3: "Superb Mini Server (SMS) version 1.5.3 released (Linux kernel 220.127.116.11). This minor release upgrades packages to Slackware 'Current' and brings the latest stable versions of several server packages such as Apache, PHP, Dovecot, MailScanner and Squid. There is also Dovecot 2.0.2 version available in testing. SMS 1.5.3 brings LTPS 4.2 as easy as installing the package, look here for more information and a demo video of LTSP running. LTSP 4.2 is available in 32-bit edition only. The MySQL package split pre-installs databases to mysql-data, so if your are upgrading, backup you MySQL databases and restore it after, or install MySQL package with 'installpkg' and ignore mysql-data package. Doing a 'mysql_upgrade' is recommended. ProFTPd now starts at boot. And don't forget to secure and optimize your server after installation, a guide is available here." The release announcement.
Nanni Bassetti has announced the release of CAINE 2.0, an Ubuntu-based live distribution featuring a collection of forensic tools in a user-friendly environment: "CAINE 2.0 'NewLight' is out. CAINE (Computer Aided INvestigative Environment) is a live distribution created as a project of digital forensics. It offers a complete forensic environment that is organized to integrate existing software tools as software modules and to provide a friendly graphical interface. CAINE includes scripts activated within the Nautilus file browser designed to make examination of allocated files simple. Currently, the scripts can render many databases, internet histories, Windows registries, deleted files, and extract EXIF data to text files for easy examination. The Quick View tool automates this process by determining the file type and rendering with the appropriate tool." Visit the project's home page to read the release announcement and to learn more about the distribution.
CAINE 2.0 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with a collection of forensic tools
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Joern Lindau has announced the release of Toorox 09.2010, a Gentoo-based live DVD with a graphical system installer: "As from today Toorox 09.2010 is available as a 'GNOME' edition, too. Most users are working either with KDE or with GNOME as the desktop, So I have decided to make a Toorox 'GNOME' edition too. Toorox 09.2010 comes with GNOME 2.30.2. This was customized to resemble the 'KDE' edition (Systemconfig and Starter in the panel - hard disk overview and Process Manager on the desktop - Oxygen icons, colour theme). The system comes without any Qt dependency; all applications that depend on Qt were replaced by similar GTK+ programs: K3b - Brasero, KTorrent - Deluge, Kopete - Empathy and Pidgin, Amarok - Exaile, VLC - gxine, KMail and Kontact - Evolution, Kwin Effects - Compiz. It contains Linux kernel 2.6.34 and the X.Org Server was updated to version 1.8.2." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Salix OS 13.1.1 "Xfce Live", "LXDE Live"
Toorox 09.2010 - a Gentoo-based live DVD with GNOME
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George Vlahavas has announced the availability of two live editions of Salix OS - with Xfce or LXDE desktops, and integrated hard disk installers: "We are very pleased to announce the immediate dual release of Salix Live 13.1.1 as well as Salix Live 13.1.1 LXDE edition. Both live CDs closely match their respective counterparts - Salix 13.1.1 standard release and Salix 13.1.1 LXDE edition, with the added inclusion of all bug fixes and security updates that have since been made available. As with previous versions, Salix Live is based on the tried and proven Linux-Live scripts that have been natively upgraded to support kernel 18.104.22.168 along with the latest Squashfs 4.0 with LZMA compression and Aufs2 file system. LiveClone utility is a new addition that has also been natively developed to assist you with the creation of your very own customized live CDs or USB drives." Here is the full release announcement.
Nexenta Core Platform 3.0.1
Anil Gulecha has announced the release of Nexenta Core Platform 3.0.1, a server operating system combining the OpenSolaris kernel with GNU application userland: "On behalf of the Nexenta project, I'd like to announce the availability of the Nexenta Core Platform 3.0.1. Over the NCP 3.0, this release includes fixes to nexenta-zones and additional backports from ON to b134. Features" based on OpenSolaris build 134+ backports and fixes from later releases; ZFS deduplication support; Crossbow support; over 13,000 packages in the repository; based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS 'Hardy Heron' repository; this includes latest dpkg/APT, GCC, Binutils, Coreutils, Perl, Python, Ruby, Qt libraries, GTK+ libraries; SMF support added to server applications like Apache, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Exim...." Here is the brief release announcement.
IPFire 2.7 Core 40
Jan Paul Tuecking has announced the release of IPFire 2.7 Core 40, a specialist distribution for firewalls with a focus on easy setup, good handling and high level of security: "This is the day we release Core Update number 40 which includes the following changes: added a French web interface translation; updated strongSwan to 4.4.1, OpenVPN to 2.1.2, Snort to 22.214.171.124, Python to 2.7; updated drivers - Intel igb network driver 2.3.4, add Huawei Android usbids to option driver, compat-wireless version 2.6.35; changes on the outgoing firewall - re-added the mac filter, fixes on firewall groups; changes on the QoS module - fixed QoS device detection on connection type change, changed QoS port field length to be able to enter port ranges; added IPTV over ADSL (entertain) support (Germany); added DHCPd and dnsmasq configuration customization feature...." Visit the project's news page to read the full release announcement.
Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.0
Rubén Rodríguez has announced the release of Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.0, a 100% libre distribution based on Ubuntu: "As our special way to celebrate the Software Freedom day, we are pleased to announce that Trisquel 4.0 LTS is ready for download. It is our second long-term support release; it comes in the usual GNOME flavor and with a light LXDE based environment in the shape of the new 'Mini' edition. 'Netisntall' images are also available for servers and custom installations. Soon we will also add an international DVD with a big translation set - the standard images contain complete support for English and Spanish - and educational and professional environments as well. This release is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and it contains just free software, including Linux-libre kernel 2.6.32, X.Org 7.5, GNOME 2.28, LXDE 0.5...." Read the release announcement for full details.
Qomo Linux 1.0.0
Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.0 - a free (libre) distribution based on Ubuntu's latest long-term support release
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Qomo Linux, a product of China's Red Flag, is a free community distribution (the relationship between Red Flag Linux and Qomo Linux is roughly equivalent to the one that exists between Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora). Yesterday the project announced the release of Qomo Linux 1.0.0 as part of the Software Freedom day celebrations that is taking place at various universities around the country. The new version of Qomo Linux is a live CD with a hard disk installation option; the main components include Linux kernel 2.6.35, KDE 4.5.0 desktop, glibc 2.12, GCC 4.5.0 and X.Org Server 1.8.0, while among the available graphics card drivers there are the proprietary NVIDIA 256.53, Nouveau 0.0.15, Intel 2.12, ATI 6.13.1 and Radeon HD 1.3.0. The announcement also provides a note on future stable Qomo releases - from now on they will be published twice a year (in the third week of each March and September). See the release announcement (in Chinese) for further information, a changelog and a handful of screenshots.
Qomo Linux 1.0.0 - a Chinese community distribution sponsored by Red Flag
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Thierry Nuttens has announced the release of NuTyX Attapu, a French desktop Linux distribution based on Gentoo Linux, but using binary software packages. This release no longer has a year-based version number; from now on, all future NuTyX releases will be named after provinces of Laos, a country in south-east Asia. From a technical point of view, the biggest change compared to the 2010 release series is that NuTyX now comes in the form of a live CD (with Xfce 4.6.2) and a live DVD (with KDE 4.5.1) and a graphical system installer. The binary packages are now compressed with LZMA which allows for faster downloads. There is also a new version of the graphical package manager (built with Qt), a new logo and artwork, new Wiki and a new, detailed user manual. For further information please read the release announcement which can be found on the project's updated home page (all content in French only).
Linux From Scratch 6.7
NuTyx Attapu - a major new release of the French Gentoo-based distribution
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Bruce Dubbs has announced the release of Linux From Scratch 6.7, a free book that teaches how to build a base Linux operating system from scratch - either from an existing Linux installation or from a live CD: "I'm pleased to announce the release of Linux From Scratch (LFS) version 6.7. This release includes numerous changes to LFS 6.6 (including updates to Linux kernel 126.96.36.199, GCC 4.5.1, glibc 2.12.1) and security fixes. It also includes editorial work on the explanatory material throughout the book, improving both the clarity and accuracy of the text." Other major changes include update to GRUB 1.98, make 3.82, Perl 5.12.1, udev 161 and various small patches to fix compilation errors. See the brief release announcement and refer to the full changelog for a complete list of changes.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to database
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Mageia. Mageia is a fork of Mandriva Linux created by former employees and leaders of various Mandriva users groups. It's a community project which will be managed by a non-profit organisation.
- Ultimate Desktop Linux. Ultimate Desktop Linux is a modified flavour of Ubuntu with the goal of making it a viable alternative of Microsoft Windows family of operating systems. Ultimate Desktop Linux aims to create a distribution that provides an up-to-date and coherent Linux system for desktop and laptop computing. It includes a number of carefully selected packages from the Ubuntu distribution and retains its powerful package management system which allows easy installation and clean removal of programs. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work this operating system contains all the applications you'll ever need, from office suite to programming tools and multimedia applications.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 27 September 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
BlackArch Linux is an Arch Linux-based distribution designed for penetration testers and security researchers. It is supplied as a live DVD image that comes with several lightweight window managers, including Fluxbox, Openbox, Awesome and spectrwm. It ships with over a thousand specialist tools for penetration testing and forensic analysis.