| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 375, 11 October 2010
Welcome to this year's 41st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Over the last few years Android has become a highly respected operating system powering many smartphones. As a result of this success, last week's announcement by Acer about the release of a dual-boot netbook with Android pre-installed piqued our curiosity and we decided to try it out. How did Google's operating system fare on a real computer? And does Android have a potential to be a serious challenger to other, better-established Linux distributions on the netbook market? Read on to find out. In the news section, Canonical announces the release of Ubuntu 10.10 family of Linux distributions, Debian release team hints at a possible arrival of "Squeeze" before Christmas, Fedora Project Leader tries to change the perception that Fedora is just a distro, and the Mageia project continues setting up its infrastructure in preparation for a first release. Also in this issue, a question and answer section that explains the relationship between solid state drives and file systems in these popular devices, and a brief introduction to Pinguy OS, the latest addition to the DistroWatch's distribution database. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Ladislav Bodnar)
First look at Acer Aspire One D255 with Android|
Over the past couple of years Android has become a well-established player in the smartphone market. This success has prompted many industry analysts to speculate that it couldn't possibly take too long before Google's Linux-based operating system expanded into other areas of mobile computing, notably to netbooks and tablet PCs - especially given the spectacular success of Apple's iPad. As a result, last week's announcement by Acer detailing the product launch of a series of netbooks in dual-boot (Windows/Android) configuration wasn't a major surprise. But it did create enough attention in tech media; after all, this was the first time a major hardware manufacturer started offering a personal computer pre-installed with Android.
Things tend to happen fast in technologically advanced Taiwan where Acer maintains its corporate headquarters so it didn't take long before Taipei's retail stores started displaying the first of these dual-boot netbooks. As a curious geek, I needed little convincing and soon I saw myself parting with NT$9,999 (US$324, €232) for an Acer Aspire One D255. This is a 10-inch netbook powered by Intel Atom N450 (1.66 GHz, 512 kB cache), 1 GB of RAM, a 160 GB hard disk, with Microsoft Windows XP and Google Android as the two available operating systems. For those interested in details about the integrated peripherals please see the output of lspci below.
Acer Aspire One D255 - the output of lspci
This was actually the cheapest of the several dual-boot Aspire One netbooks launched last week. While the other models seemed to have slightly better hardware specifications, their higher price was (presumably) also justified by the presence of the newer Windows 7 on them (again dual-booting with Android). Since I have no use for either of the Windows versions, I decided to buy the lower-priced Windows XP/Android combination, rather than the more expensive Windows 7/Android configuration. This article offers a first look review of this interesting netbook, with a focus on the Android part of the dual-boot setup.
Most Linux users will be familiar with the term "dual-boot" - it simply implies that a computer comes with two operating systems and the user can choose which one to load at boot time. But upon the first boot, I discovered that Acer has given the term "dual-boot" a slightly different meaning; the system automatically booted into Windows XP without giving any choice to the owner of the computer. This, as it turned out, was a deliberate decision on the part of the manufacturer - you absolutely have to accept the Microsoft Windows XP licence agreement before being allowed anywhere near the Android part of the deal. This struck me as a rather strange decision, but that's how it is with these "dual-boot" netbooks from Acer.
The last time I used any flavour of Microsoft Windows was about eight years ago, so I largely forgot what it was like to go through the process of setting up a (pre-installed) Windows computer. My patience was severely tested while I kept clicking on a series of incomprehensible screens and when I watched a program installing something, then rebooting, installing something again, then rebooting once more, I had to leave and get a cup of coffee. When I returned half an hour later and when Windows XP finally appeared in its full glory, I was once again reminded of the sad state of affairs in the world of proprietary software - a pop-up screen prompting me to urgently update the anti-virus database, an icon proudly offering a "free" 60-day trial of Microsoft Office... Why would anybody put up with this nonsense at a time when there are so many excellent operating systems available for free download is beyond me...
But let me get back to the purpose of this feature - a first look at the Acer implementation of Android on its newest netbooks. The user guide included with the computer calls this non-Windows part of the system "Instant-on for Android", which I found a rather intriguing name. Will the operating system really come up in an instant? After reading the guide my expectations were (perhaps unrealistically) high so inevitably I ended up being disappointed. Android booted in 16 seconds. Granted, this compares well with Windows XP on the same machine which takes good 60 seconds to arrive at the desktop with all the default services running, but Acer has once again stretched the definition of a word. What is instant, though, is the shutdown speed. Since there is no shutdown button anywhere on the desktop, pressing the power button seemed like the only way to turn off the computer and that does happen in an instant. More of a "instant-off" system then.
Android on Acer Aspire One D255 - the default desktop
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The default desktop is fairly spartan. There is a toolbar at the top of the screen with indicators for the keyboard layout, wireless and wired connections, battery status and time. None of these icons offer any tooltips or right/left-click options. There are four application icons at the bottom (more can be added), there is an analog clock widget, a tab that brings up the full list of all installed programs and a peeled top-left corner of the wallpaper with an arrow underneath. Clicking on it brings up a dialog asking the user whether she really wants to switch to Windows XP now. Once again I found Acer's terminology misleading - in this case the term "switch" means simply "reboot". Then again, what was I expecting?
Like on many Android smartphones, there is a virtual desktop on the right and left of the home screen which can be accessed by pressing the appropriate arrow key or by holding and dragging the right mouse button. The home screen can be reached from any place by pressing the Windows key. The running programs are not minimised to a taskbar; instead they are managed (stopped) from Settings -> Applications. Similar to any smartphone implementation of Android, a context menu, which appears as a series of icons along the bottom of the screen, can be accessed with a right click.
Android on Acer Aspire One D255 - the context menu
If the default desktop seemed bare, the number of available applications did even more so. There are two browsers (Firefox 3.5.1 and Mobile Safari), a music player, an image viewer, a (cumbersome) file manager, a handful of desktop widgets and a few configuration utilities. That's it. Now if you are thinking that this is not too bad for a default system and that there are thousands of Android applications available from the Market and other third-party repositories, you'll be shocked to find out that this isn't the case on Acer's Android. None of the two browsers understands "market://", so there is no straightforward way to install any new applications! In effect, Acer's Android is locked down and impossible to extend (unless you are a seasoned hacker who could probably find a way).
Android on Acer Aspire One D255 - list of available applications
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This was a disappointing discovery. I own an Android smartphone (HTC Desire) and one of the reasons I like it so much is the availability of many interesting Android applications that can be installed with a single click. Why did the responsible decision makers at Acer think that taking this away from the user was a great idea is hard to understand. Did they actually try the Android part of their dual-boot netbooks? And if that wasn't enough, another horror discovery was the inability to use the touchpad to scroll up and down in any application, including Firefox (though, curiously, a mouse wheel worked reasonably well). For this basic function you can either use the arrow keys or you can drag the scrollbar in the relevant direction. This certainly takes away much pleasure from using Firefox, perhaps the only application of any value on Acer's Android!
Android on Acer Aspire One D255 - the settings screen
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Speaking of Firefox (a somewhat surprising inclusion at the expense of Google Chrome), it comes with Google toolbar installed by default and a comprehensive range of plugins, including Shockwave Flash, Acrobat Reader and the MPlayer plugin that will play just about any audio and video format directly in the browser. From this point of view, Firefox is well-configured for browsing any content. At least in theory. Unfortunately, I found that, like on many Android smartphones, YouTube videos and other Flash content don't play smoothly.
Android on Acer Aspire One D255 - the Firefox browser
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Booting from USB drive
At this point I came to a conclusion that Acer's Android is far too limited and buggy an operating system to keep it on the computer. But before wiping the hard disk clean (and getting rid of Windows XP as well in one swoop), I thought I'd give it a test by booting into Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook edition from a USB key. This proved to be a much more pleasant experience - the system detected and set up all hardware correctly (including the wireless network and the webcam). Running Ubuntu also provided an opportunity to look at the content of the hard disk which was impossible with Android, since it includes no terminal or other command-line tool. So as a matter of interest, the 160 GB hard disk is divided into three partitions - an 11 GB /dev/sda1 (a boot partition, which also contains images that would restore the system to the original state), a miserly 4 GB /dev/sda2 containing the Android operating system (only 1.4 GB is used) and a whopping 135 GB /dev/sda3 partition containing Windows XP (14 GB is used). So that's how much space (and respect) Android gets from Acer!
Ubuntu 10.10 "Netbook" edition features the new Unity user interface.
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The Android implementation on Acer's recently launched dual-boot netbooks feels more like a technology preview than a usable product. It is buggy and inextensible, with no possibility to install extra applications from the Android Market or any other repository. As such, it is limited to basic tasks, such as Internet browsing, web interaction, image viewing and media playback. It's hard to say who the product is intended for - the Windows crowd will take one quick look and never boot into it again, while any Linux geek will surely prefer a proper Linux distribution or one of the netbook-oriented variants. Perhaps the only positive point is that by providing a Linux-based alternative on its netbooks, Acer was forced to build these computers from Linux-friendly hardware components, so there are no unwelcome surprises when it comes to hardware support.
Of course, this is Acer's first attempt at delivering an Android-powered netbook, so one can understand the difficulties of creating a workable solution from something that is much more suited to running on smaller handheld devices with touchscreens. Still, the manufacturer is guilty for making very little effort at customising the product for a 10-inch screen or, indeed, for not choosing to dual-boot Windows with a proper Linux distribution that would be so much more suitable for running on the netbook. Perhaps Acer will realise its mistake and provide a better Android implementation for its next release or it might even deliver online updates that would address some of the bugs and inconveniences. Unfortunately, by that time my Acer netbook will be running a real, full-featured Linux operating system, instead of this bizarre Windows XP/Android combination.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Ubuntu delivers "Maverick Meerkat", Debian hints at release in December, Fedora Project Leader interview, Mageia updates
As expected, Ubuntu 10.10 was released and formally announced on 2010-10-10 at exactly 10:10:10 Universal Time. Since this highly auspicious day fell on a Sunday, the reaction from the media was largely limited to smaller Linux web sites and blogs, with the mainstream media expected to pick up the news on Monday. Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth commented on the event on his blog, hinting that the "Maverick Meerkat" release was a challenge due to reduced development time and its status as the first post-LTS version: "Well done everyone on a tight but crisp post-LTS release. Maverick was a challenge, we wanted to realign the cycle slightly which compressed matters but hopefully gives us a more balanced April / October cadence going forward based on real data for real global holiday and weather patterns :-) . There was an enormous amount of change embraced and also change deferred, wisely. You all did brilliantly. And so, ladies an gentlemen, I give you Mr Robbie Williamson and the Maverick Release Announcement. Grab your towel and let's take the Meerkat out on a tour of the Galaxy ;-)" For those interested in technical aspects of Ubuntu 10.10, Phoronix has performed its usual round of benchmark tests.
Ubuntu 10.10 - the latest release of the world's most popular desktop Linux distribution
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* * * * *
The 4th quarter distro release season has become quite a phenomenon over the years. This year, however, will be different. Since openSUSE has switched to a 9-month release cycle, it is presently in the very early stages of the development process for version 11.4, while Mandriva's financial troubles forced the company to abandon any plans for a new release this quarter. The good news is that, perhaps, with a large dose of luck, we will be able to report a new stable release of Debian GNU/Linux before the end of the year. From the Debian's Release Team meeting minutes (and release update): "We hope to have sorted out all the details and resolved the remaining blockers by the end of October, with the focus during November being on translation updates, testing and coordination with different teams to prepare the new release. This means that it's possible to have a release out in time for Christmas, but to do this we need YOUR help. Please, squash bugs, write release notes, squash bugs, support our translators and squash some bugs." The report also notes with satisfaction that the publication of release notes for Debian GNU/Linux 6.0 "Squeeze" is progressing well and that calls for installation and upgrade tests will follow shortly.
* * * * *
Before a possible new Debian version hits the download mirrors, all eyes will turn to the Fedora development team which promises to deliver another interesting release early next month. But is Fedora a distribution? In an interview published by CIO Update, Fedora Project Leader Jared Smith promises to change the perception that Fedora is nothing more than just another Linux distro: "A lot of the time we think of Fedora as just the bits and the bytes that we burn on a CD every six months and ship out, but Fedora is more than that, it has to be a community," Smith said. "As such we have to concentrate on building that community and taking care of the community as much as we take care of the bits and bytes." The current Fedora leader also talks about his previous involvement in Asterisk and touches on some of the challenges his new role brings to the table: "Too many times it's the same people that do the work, especially around release time when a lot of things have to happen. I would hope that we could scale our community, to where anyone of a number of people can step up to the plate to take care of things. I think we're making progress, there is still a lot of work to do, but we're moving forward."
* * * * *
Another week and another update on Mageia, a new distribution currently being launched by former developers of Mandriva Linux. Since last week, the project has published a new Mageia Values page, set up a phpBB dedicated forum (not yet publicly available), and even started populating its mirrors with a proper directory structure. From the Another Busy Week blog post by Anne Nicolas: "Team organization: at the beginning of this week we will propose a process and some advice to start various teams work. One of the first tasks will be to elect one representative for the Mageia council and also to choose a leader and a co-leader. In order to organize this choice, Olivier Thauvin has finalized the version 2.0 of Epoll thanks to Mageia community's help for debugging and translation. You can test it right now, Epoll will be installed and configured for Mageia. Build system and Mageia environment hosting: we are waiting for an answer to get the Mageia build system hosted in some good conditions for the project. As soon as we have a definitive answer, we will rack the servers and start setting up the build system."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
File systems for SSDs
Looking-for-a-solid-solution asks: What is a good file system for SSDs?
DistroWatch answers: For those not familiar with the term, SSD stands for solid state drive. These are disk drives which differ from traditional spinning disks in that they don't have moving parts. Solid state drives are appealing because they have faster access (read) times, can take more physical abuse and typically make less noise. The trade-off is that SSDs have a limited number of writes they can handle in their life time. Or, more specifically, there are a limited number of writes which can be performed on each section of the device. This limitation has given birth to some general rules to follow concerning the use of solid state drives:
Personally I think that items two through five are a waste of time and carry more risk than reward. Item one I think is good general practice for most machines as it improves performance by cutting down on the number of writes to a disk. There are very few drawbacks (regardless of which type of disk you are using) and most people at home can turn off the atime feature without problems. However, the other commonly quoted rules of thumb carry a higher price.
- Disable access time stamps (atime).
- Do not enable swap space.
- Use a file system better suited for use with SSDs.
- Disable file system journaling.
- Disable logging.
Avoiding having a swap partition strikes me as a poor idea. Swap gets used only when the system's memory is full and the operating system needs temporary storage space. Many modern machines (those which are likely to have SSDs) probably have enough memory and swap will be used rarely. And in the cases when memory is full it's a good idea to have extra space rather than force the operating system to deal with limited resources.
Items three and four make the assumption that most modern file systems, such as ext3 and ext4, are not well suited to solid state drives. Part of the reason for this is they have a built in journal which helps maintain data integrity in case of a crash. And it is true that ext2 doesn't have a journal and will result in fewer writes to the disk. However, the above rules are a bit dated. Years ago SSDs had a very limited number of writes in their lives and at that time it was important to limit the number of times data were sent to the disk by whatever means possible.
But times have changed. Solid state drives coming out now support millions instead of thousands of writes. Where an old SSD might have lasted months or a few years with a journaled file system, a modern disk should last decades. Even with journaling enabled. The trade off has become that you can save a few years of your drive's life by turning off journaling, but it means you run the risk of losing data any time there is a power failure or the machine locks up. It's probably not worth the risk.
In a similar vein, turning off logging is usually a bad idea. Yes logging increases writes to the disk, but again, the amount of time it will take off a SSD's life is small compared to the overall life of the drive. Linux is getting better at handling SSD's quirks and we've come to a point where SSDs have a reasonable life span. If you're in an environment where you have a lot of log messages and you're worried about the life span of your disk, you can redirect the log writes to another server.
What it boils down to is that SSD technology has not been static. In the last few years the drives have improved, the way in which the Linux kernel handles the drives has also improved. Most people at home aren't going to need to make any changes to their system in order to squeeze more life out of their solid state drives.
|Released Last Week
Ben Gras has announced the release of MINIX 3.1.8, a very small, UNIX-like computer operating system based on a microkernel architecture and targetted primarily at embedded systems and low-power laptops: "MINIX 3.1.8 is released. Major features: new package management infrastructure: - pkgsrc and pkgin; UNIX Domain Socket support; multi-boot support; ext2 support; ACPI driver; full APIC mode including IO APICs; experimental AHCI support. Known issues: VirtualBox - MINIX 3.1.8 cannot be installed without hardware acceleration support (VT-x, AMD-V), workaround - see user's guide; VirtualBox 3.1 cannot boot MINIX, please use VirtualBox 3.2; some packman packages have not been ported to pkgsrc yet." Visit the project's release notes page for additional details.
Andrew Wafaa from the openSUSE's Goblin team has announced the release of Smeegol 1.0, a Linux distribution for netbooks featuring the MeeGo user interface built on top of an openSUSE base system: "The openSUSE Goblin team is pleased to announce the first public release of Smeegol. Smeegol is based on the netbook user interface from the MeeGo project. Smeegol offers the latest Banshee - a powerful music player, a new Evolution Express as mail and agenda client, and several additional social networks. Smeegol is an openSUSE volunteer effort by the Goblin Team to create an openSUSE interpretation of the MeeGo user experience, offering compelling advantages of the openSUSE infrastructure." Read the full release announcement for further information.
Smeegol 1.0 - a distribution for netbooks combining the openSUSE base with the MeeGo user interface
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Network Security Toolkit 2.13.0
Paul Blankenbaker has announced the release of Network Security Toolkit (NST) 2.13.0, a Fedora-based live DVD with a collection of tools designed for testing network security: "We are pleased to announce the latest NST release: NST 13 (version 2.13.0) which is based on Fedora 13 using Linux kernel 220.127.116.11. The release has focused on building a framework for the geolocation and rendering of network entities including the management and configuration of back-end geolocation methods and database repositories. Here are some of the highlights for this release: created a framework for geolocating network entities with NST; manage and configure the geolocation methods and database repositories; geolocate hosts discovered by ntop; geolocate IPv4 address conversations from a network packet capture...." Read the rest of the release announcement to learn more about the release.
ArchBang Linux 2010.10
Willensky Aristide has released ArchBang Linux 2010.10, a lightweight desktop distribution and live CD based on Arch Linux: "ArchBang Linux 2010.10 is out in the wild. Reported issues have been addressed. It comes with the vesa video driver. To install your video driver, remove vesa by running as root 'pacman -R xf86-video-vesa' and then run 'pacman -S your-video-driver'. If you have a recent NVIDIA card, run 'pacman -S nvidia nvidia-utils' and run 'nvidia-xconfig' and you're done. For other video cards, simply run 'Xorg -configure' after you have installed your video driver. Don't forget that you can always build Arch Linux with Openbox from scratch by following my guide. Changes: VLC was switched for SMPlayer, Geeqie for GPicView; added Geany, Dropbox, Minitube, Pidgin, Radio Tray, Cheese and xdg-menu." Here is the brief release announcement.
Calculate Linux 10.9
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 10.9, a Gentoo-based distribution with KDE, GNOME and Xfce desktops: "After five months of development a new version of the Calculate Linux distribution is released. There are three DVD images for download - KDE (CLD), GNOME (CLDG) and Xfce (CLDX). Major changes: new installer cl-install with graphical front-end cl-install-gui; migrate to the new format of templates by Calculate 2.2 utilities that allow to selectively modify the configuration files of supported types; support for custom templates with the extension '.clt'; auto-tuning the configuration files of new versions of packages in the installation process with the possibility of AutoCorrect...." More details in the release announcement.
ZevenOS 1.9 "Neptune"
Leszek Lesner has announced the release of ZevenOS 1.9 "Neptune" edition, a distribution built from Debian's testing branch and intended for desktops and workstation: "We are proud to announce the release of ZevenOS Neptune 1.9. ZevenOS Neptune is a ZevenOS distribution based upon Debian 'Squeeze', except for a newer kernel and some drivers. In this version we aimed for creating a fast running live system for USB sticks. Therefore we developed an easy to use USB installer as well as a persistent creator that allows to store changes. This version carries on the code name and philosophy of 'NextGeneration' by providing a modern KDE 4 desktop with tons of multimedia software as well as a brand-new, polished design. As this version was also designed for computer science students it also includes the Eclipse development platform and some network diagnostic tools. Technical data: Linux kernel: 18.104.22.168, X.Org 7.5, KDE 4.4.5." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional details and screenshots.
ZevenOS 1.9 "Neptune" - a Debian-based distribution for desktops and workstations
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At 10:10:10 UCT on 10-10-10 Canonical announced the release of Ubuntu 10.10: "The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce Ubuntu 10.10. Focused on home and mobile computing users, Ubuntu 10.10 introduces an array of online and offline applications to Ubuntu Desktop edition with a particular focus on the personal cloud. Ubuntu Netbook Edition users will experience an all-new desktop interface called 'Unity' -- specifically tuned for smaller screens and computing on the move." Also includes a brand-new Ubuntu font family, a redesigned system installer, the latest GNOME 2.32 desktop, Shotwell as the new default photo manager, and a number of other features. See the release announcement, press release and release notes for further details.
Jonathan Riddell has announced the release of Kubuntu 10.10, an official Ubuntu variant featuring the KDE 4 desktop: "The Kubuntu team is proud to announce the release of 10.10, the latest version of our popular Linux distribution. Kubuntu is one of the Ubuntu distributions and is based on KDE software. With the combination of its Ubuntu backbone, the amazing KDE platform and applications, plus a few unique extras, 10.10 aims to provide the best fusion of stability, beauty and up-to-date software. Whether working, browsing the web, playing your music, composing an email or connecting with your friends on social networks, Kubuntu 10.10 brings you an innovative and attractive platform for all your desktop needs!" The release features KDE 4.5.1, a new combined desktop/netbook CD image, and Reconq, a new default web browser. Read release announcement for a detailed list of new features illustrated by screenshots.
Jonathan Carter has announced the release of Edubuntu 10.10, an Ubuntu flavour designed primarily for deployment in schools: "The Edubuntu team is proud to announce the release of the latest version, Edubuntu 10.10, which is now available for download. The Edubuntu project is a group of people that aim to deliver the best of educational free software in an easily installable medium. We are part of the larger Ubuntu community and our main body of work is the Edubuntu installation disc, which installs Ubuntu along with educational tools and packages available in the Ubuntu software archives. We aim to make Ubuntu a great choice for the computing needs of children, students, parents, teachers and schools, bringing many of the best educational open-source applications and tools to the Ubuntu operating system." Read the release announcement for more information.
Ben Dailey has announced the release of Mythbuntu 10.10, a specialist variant of Ubuntu designed for home theatre PCs: "Mythbuntu 10.10 has been released. With this release, we are providing mirroring on sponsored mirrors and torrents. It is very important to note that this release is only compatible with MythTV 0.23.1 systems. Previous Mythbuntu releases can be upgraded to a compatible version with the builds located at here, for a more detailed explanation see here. Highlights: swanky new installer; Mythbuntu-bare, a backup and restore utility for your MythTV configuration files; MythTV 0.23.1; preview of the upcoming MythNetvision plugin; Mythbuntu theme fixes." Read the complete release announcement for more details and a list of known issues.
Xubuntu 10.10, an official Ubuntu variant featuring the Xfce desktop environment, is out: "Xubuntu 10.10, code-named 'Maverick Meerkat', is the latest and greatest version of Xubuntu. Some of the highlights include: Xubuntu now uses Parole, the Xfce Media Player, to provide an improved audio/video experience; Xfburn has replaced Brasero for a more resource-conscious CD/DVD burning tool; Xfce task manager has replaced GNOME task manager, providing similar function with fewer resources required; Gnumeric has been updated to version 1.10.8, and AbiWord is now version 2.8.6; a brand-new theme from the Shimmer team has been introduced." Read the release announcement and release notes to learn more about the new release.
Xubuntu 10.10 - Ubuntu with Xfce and a collection of lightweight applications
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Julian Lavergne has announced the release of Lubuntu 10.10, an unofficial Ubuntu flavour featuring the lightweight LXDE desktop environment. Some of the features of this release include: "based on the lightweight LXDE desktop environment; PCManFM 0.9.7, a fast and lightweight file manager using GIO/GVFS; LXDM, a lightweight GTK+ display manager; Chromium, the open-source build of Google Chrome; based on Ubuntu 10.10. Improvements since Lubuntu 10.04: added Update Notifier to get notification of available updates; added Xpad to create quick notes (similar to Tomboy); added Ace of penguins to provide some games; removed Parcellite which is not maintained upstream; pyNeighborhood was replaced by GVFS support of PCManFM; replace Xfce task manager with LXTask for tasks monitoring; Evince is now used for reading PDF files; a new and fresh theme; new slideshow is available during the installation to describe Lubuntu and its features....." Read the full release announcement for a detailed list of all major changes.
Lubuntu 10.10 - a lightweight Ubuntu with the LXDE desktop and Google's Chromium browser
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* * * * *
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, 18 October 2010.
Ladislav Bodnar and Jesse Smith
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 22.214.171.124, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Underground Desktop was a GNU/Linux distribution targeted at the desktop user. It was based on Arch Linux. Its main features are ease of installation, kernel optimisation for modern processors (i686), and the KDE desktop.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Tips and tricks: Keep terminal programs running, using the at command, reverse OpenSSH connections|
|Questions and answers: Several "what if" security questions|
|Myths and misunderstandings: ZFS|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Questions and answers: Office licenses|
|Questions and answers: What an ELF is and an HTTPS option|
|Tips and tricks: Adding an AppImage to the application menu|
|Tips and tricks: Check free disk space, wait for a process, command line spell-check, shutdown PC when CPU gets hot|
|Myths and misunderstandings: The massive memory myth|
|Questions and answers: Using a distro with upstream packages|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|