| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 381, 22 November 2010
Welcome to this year's 47th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! OpenBSD isn't the easiest operating system to install, maintain, administer, and -- review. Jesse Smith tries the latest version in a virtual machine as well as on two computers, only to find various compatibility and hardware issues during installation. Nevertheless, once installed and configured, OpenBSD is an operating system like any other, with the added bonus of increased security through code reviews and restricted default settings. Read the full review to learn more about the recently-released version 4.8 of the most security-conscious BSD system. In the news section, the Debian project asks users to upgrade and file last-minute bug reports before the upcoming release of "Squeeze", PCLinuxOS hints that a 64-bit edition of the popular desktop distribution is in preparation, and Mandriva looks to abandon the unmaintained RPM 4.x series and replace it with RPM 5.x for better package management. Finally, six new distributions were submitted to DistroWatch last week, including the Ubuntu-based Bodhi Linux featuring the Enlightenment window manager, a Gentoo-based Liberté Linux focusing on security, and two Russian distributions - one based on Mandriva Linux while the other is a Fedora spin. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Raiders of the lost OpenBSD|
A few people asked if I would do a review of the latest release of OpenBSD (version 4.8) and it is with some reluctance that I approached the task. It's not that I have anything against OpenBSD or the developers behind the project, it's the nature of the review. Most of my distro reviews are like visiting a museum and looking at all the interesting things on display. On the virtual shelves are package managers, configuration tools and shiny new desktop environments. Tackling a review of OpenBSD is more akin to a digital Indiana Jones adventure. One enters the deep jungles of the command line, explores the ruins of text-based installers and digs up cryptic package names. In short, it's more work and less sightseeing.
Before we get into the actual running of OpenBSD, I think it's important to explore the mindset of the developers and the community surrounding it. Taking a look at the project's website shows us a lot of clues. There's the simple layout of the site and the links are generally developer oriented, pointing to change logs, patches and talks about cryptography. It's also telling to note there's no link to a user forum, instead we find a bug tracker and mailing lists -- mailing lists where people are asked to use text (not HTML) and format their lines to be 72 characters in length or less. There are manual pages, most of which expect that the reader has some experience with the UNIX family of operating systems and probably some time with the BSDs. But enough looking around, let's get down to business.
Following the announcement of the new 4.8 release took me to a page with a list of international mirrors, which passed me off to a download server. There I dug down through the directory levels, selecting my desired release version and architecture. This brought me to a folder with some packages, a few floppy images and some ISO images. Fortunately for those unfamiliar with OpenBSD there is a manual page provided in this folder so people know which file to grab. I downloaded the installation CD image, which weighs in at a light 212 MB. It had been awhile since I last installed OpenBSD and so I decided to begin with a test run in a virtual machine. I fired up VirtualBox and booted from the install image. The system starts off by displaying a prompt which reads "boot>" and, after waiting a few seconds, continues with loading the system. This being an installation disc, the installer kicks off right after the boot process. I think it's worth noting that the OpenBSD installer works entirely from the console. There are no menus or Next/Back buttons, it's all done with text prompts and typing out responses. The good news, for newcomers, is the prompts almost always come with a default, so just pressing Enter will usually be the correct response if you're uncertain.
OpenBSD 4.8 - the desktop
(full image size: 15kB, resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
At first the installer asks if we would like to perform a fresh install or upgrade an existing install. We're then asked to select a keyboard layout, enter a hostname and configure our network connection. (Again, pressing Enter through these will generally work for most people.) We're then told to set a root password and asked if we would like to have secure shell and network time services enabled. We're then asked if we would like to have an X Window environment installed and we're given the option of creating a new user account. Assuming we do create a regular user account, the installer offers to disable remote root logins, which I think is a good feature. We're then asked to select our time zone and partition the disk. This is where I ran into my first problem. After telling the installer to take over the entire virtual disk, I was given a segfault message and told that my new partition couldn't be mounted. I rebooted and went through the installer again, taking all the defaults and made it past partitioning and had arrived at package selection when I received more segfault messages and was told that the package formats were incorrect.
After confirming that my install image checksum matched the one provided by the OpenBSD project, I did some poking around on forums and found that there are known issues with OpenBSD and VirtualBox. Apparently VirtualBox doesn't act enough like real hardware for OpenBSD's taste and (unofficially at least) Oracle is uninterested in fixing the issues due to lack of demand.
My next step was to try the install on my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) and things got off to a good start. The installation went smoothly up to, and including, selecting which packages I wanted to install. The files copied over and I was prompted to reboot the machine. This I did and was instantly given a text screen which told me that my hardware was being probed and the system came to a halt. After confirming that my disc had burned cleanly and running through the install again, I once more found that my laptop would hang within seconds of powering up.
A little discouraged, but determined to see this review through, I turned to my desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and ran through the installer once more. Again, on physical hardware, the install went smoothly and at this point I was feeling grateful that the OpenBSD install can be completed in ten minutes. Upon rebooting the system started up and, about one minute later, I arrived at a graphical login screen. I logged in with my regular user account to find a mostly-empty desktop. The background is a fuzzy grey and we're given a terminal and a virtual desktop map. Clicking on an unoccupied area of the desktop brings up a menu which allows us to launch a few applications or logout. Available programs include a calculator, process monitor (aka the top command) and a screen magnifier. As you might expect, the system doesn't require much memory, generally using less than 100 MB including cache.
OpenBSD 4.8 - the accessibility option
(full image size: 14kB, resolution 800x600 pixels)
A fresh install provides a fairly sparse environment, populated mostly by standard UNIX command-line tools, the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and a handful of text-based games. To retrieve more software, we'll have to turn to the package manager. As with most aspects of OpenBSD, package management is a more hands-on experience than it is with Linux distributions or OpenBSD's cousin, FreeBSD. As with other BSDs, the OpenBSD system includes a kernel and basic userland programs together. They make up a platform upon which we can add third-party ports and packages. To install binary packages first we have to tell the package tool where we can locate new packages. It may seem odd for people coming from Linux that we have to set an environment variable to tell the package manager were the repository is; however, it's something we have to do just once and the process is outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions. After we tell the package tool where our repository is, we can use the command line tool, pkg_add, to download, install and upgrade new software.
For people who like to compile their software, OpenBSD has a ports collection. Again, the ports tree needs to be downloaded and installed manually and, again, the process is laid out in the project's documentation. Once the ports tree is in place it's fairly simple to locate a piece of software we want to install and kick off the build process. I installed a handful programs via the packages repository and a few through ports and found that all of them installed and worked without any problems. It's a theme I saw repeated often during my time with OpenBSD: the initial configuration may look daunting, but once it's in place, things run smoothly.
As I mentioned before, OpenBSD separates the base system from third-party packages. While packages can be easily updated using the pkg_add command, keeping the base system up to date is a bit more complicated. The project doesn't release binary updates, which means users need to apply patches to the source code. Users are required to get a copy of the code, manually apply patches, compile and re-install components. It's a more involved process than we find on most other operating systems, but the good news is that OpenBSD has very few patches for each release -- typically in the range of a dozen. The developers maintain mailing lists to let users know when patches are available.
OpenBSD 4.8 - testing the compiler
(full image size: 13kB, resolution 800x600 pixels)
On the topic of patches, the big drawing factor with OpenBSD is their proactive approach to security. The project has a strong focus on security and stability with their website proudly stating, "Only two remote holes in the default install, in a heck of a long time!" An impressive claim and the operating system lives up to it. Much of this is due to continuous code reviews, but part of being secure is having a small attack area and that means not having vulnerable programs installed and running on the system. There are very few network services running by default: secure shell (if it's enabled during install), Sendmail and a time daemon. Immediately after an install OpenBSD is very bare by modern standards which means that the user will be required to install anything they want to use. The project gives us a solid foundation on which to build and then leaves the user to build their own house the way they see fit, if they can. All projects find a balance between out-of-the-box functionality and security and the OpenBSD team strongly favours security.
I've already mentioned hardware a little in this review and I have just one more thing to add on the subject. As of the time of writing I have been unable to get sound working on my system. The graphical interface runs without any issues on my desktop machine, though the resolution is low. The network card is recognized and automatically connects on start-up so the only missing piece of the puzzle is sound.
When looking at OpenBSD and evaluating it, I think it's important to keep in mind what the project's goals are. This isn't a project trying to make a great desktop OS (though I have talked with people who happily use OpenBSD on their desktops) and it's not making the most powerful server system. The OpenBSD team is interested in producing correct, secure code and they do that. Fortunately their work boils over into other areas of the open source world -- OpenSSH being an excellent example. The operating system is small and simple, resulting in low-resource requirements and a responsive environment. I don't think that many people would accuse OpenBSD of being intuitive, but the community does have sound documentation and the project's processes are very open. These characteristics make OpenBSD not only a good firewall or server, but also a great teaching tool. If you're the sort of person who enjoys building their system from the ground up, OpenBSD is a suitable place to begin. My only complaint while trying out the new release was in regards to hardware. I wasn't able to get OpenBSD running in VirtualBox, nor on my laptop and, so far, I don't have sound on my desktop. Otherwise it was a good adventure and I applaud the developers for producing another solid release.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Debian "Squeeze" in last-minute testing, PCLinuxOS to get 64-bit edition, Mandriva switches to RPM 5.x
With the fast approaching end of the current year, there isn't much time left for the Debian GNU/Linux developers to release "Squeeze", the project's upcoming new stable version -- that's assuming that it does release before the end of the year, as indicated in some of the recent release updates. Chances are good though, as one can sense increased urgency with each new release update. The latest one comes from Neil McGovern who urges the "brave" to upgrade, to test the system installer, and to report bugs: "It's time for another release update as we move, like a glacier, inevitably and unstoppably towards the release. Help is needed in this area. On one hand, since Squeeze is almost in its final form, it is a good time for the brave to upgrade their systems, and inform of any troubles by filing a bug against the upgrade-reports package. If you have new systems to install, testing of the Debian Installer would be most welcome. On the other hand, we also need help in processing those bug reports, particularly those filed against upgrade-reports. If you think you could help with this, please do!"
* * * * *
Good news for those PCLinuxOS users who have been crying for a 64-bit edition of the popular desktop distribution. The optimism is based on a brief message posted by the project's lead developer. OStatic reports: "Bill 'Texstar' Reynolds, founder and lead developer of PCLinuxOS, said in a blog post today that a new 64-bit version is in the works. Details are sketchy at present, but users have been asking for this for a long time. Reynolds said that he has finished building the first 1,000 packages. First he "upgraded GCC to 4.5.1, glibc 2.12.1, X.Org 1.9.x then started rebuilding the libraries.' Once those are complete he'll begin on the desktop packages. Unfortunately, there is no estimated time for release because there are still about 12,600 more packages to go before making ISO images and testing. This comes on the heels of several quarterly updates for the various 32-bit versions of the distribution released around the period from the last week of October to first week in November."
PCLinuxOS 2010.10 - released last month, though never officially announced
(full image size: 926kB, resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
A quick update on Mandriva Linux, coming from a blog post by Per Øyvind Karlsen. The topics mentioned include, new "Cooker" manager, increased activity in Mandriva's development branch, and the upcoming switch to RPM 5.x: "The most interesting and controversial thing is taking over RPM maintenance and now working on preparing the final bits and pieces in place for getting some of the biggest and neatest changes with regards to RPM in Mandriva since probably forever. A lot of new things will now come now that we're not only maintaining obsolete versions of RPM with no interaction and participation in upstream, but we actually help drive it and will be able to satisfy more user requests, distro interest, credibility and more. In the end, I think we will end up being able to be the awesome alternative in the forked world. I expect to upload a new release of RPM 5.x to main/testing by tomorrow, hopefully ironing out the last remaining rpmdb conversion issues, then porting the few remaining related packages (perl-URPM has already been rewritten to pure RPM 5.x native API, with many improvements."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Getting a Linux tablet PC
Upgrading-from-the-stone-kind asks: Where can I get a Linux tablet, like an iPad but with Linux installed?
DistroWatch answers: After Apple released their iPad, the tablet market really exploded with cheap mobile devices, many of them boasting Linux under the hood and a large collection of them never materializing beyond a rumour. I'm probably not the best person to recommend any one device as I haven't jumped onto the tablet trend yet -- I like my computers to have large screens and keyboards. So I'm hoping that folks who have actually purchased a Linux-based tablet will chime in below.
That being said, I do know some people who have tried/reviewed tablets running Linux and I'll pass along a few of those. First off, I think it's worth mentioning that in some ways the tablet market feels a lot like the dot-com bubble in that there are a lot of good-looking options on the table, but it's not easy to tell which company will deliver and which will disappear overnight. It's worth doing some background checking on a company before purchasing from them.
Something to keep in mind when shopping around for a tablet running Linux is that a lot of places don't like to say the word "Linux" out loud. Instead they usually talk about running Android or "an open platform". Unfortunately a lot of consumers either aren't familiar with the term "Linux" or, if they are, equate it with geeky, hard-to-learn technology. The Android brand doesn't have that baggage so that's the label companies like to use. Doing a Google search for "Linux tablets" isn't likely to be as helpful as a search for "Android tablets".
- I find that people keep singing the praise of Nokia's N900. Technically it's more of a smart phone than a full-sized tablet, but I haven't heard an ill word spoken by anyone who has purchased one of these devices.
- The RealEase company has a device called the Shogo, which looks like it could be a good Linux-based tablet. The device features a 10-inch screen and has a price tag of US$500.
- Potential buyers may also be interested in the WeTab (apparently the name "WePad" was just a little too risky). The WeTab has an 11.6-inch screen, runs Linux in the background and costs about €449.
Lastly, before purchasing a device, I recommend visiting the Android Tablet Forum. It's a place for users and enthusiasts to talk about, review and exchange tips regarding their Android Tablets. It makes for a good introduction into what is available on the market.
|Released Last Week
Untangle Gateway 8.0
Dirk Morris has announced the release of Untangle Gateway 8.0, a Debian-based network gateway with pluggable modules for network applications: "The 8.0 is now available! It contains a new Bandwidth Control application and many platform enhancements. Changelog: added ability to import/export rules and settings in tables; new 'Session Viewer' to view sessions currently being scanned; sessions now shown as stat at top of rack; DNS is now bypassed by default; new kernel for additional features required for Bandwidth Control and QoS; new ExtJS toolkit for UI; new QoS implementation for more functionality and better usability; added the Bandwidth Control application for bandwidth and traffic shaping; added Bandwidth Monitor for real-time session viewing; Bandwidth Control reports for viewing bandwidth usage on the network...." See the release announcement and changelog for a complete list of changes and new features.
Unity Linux 2010_02 "Unite17"
The growing trend of developing Linux distribution featuring the latest Enlightenment 17 continues with the release of Unity Linux 2010_02 "Unite17": "We have another Unite17! A few sentences of the changes: brand-new exterior and interior, because I took the liberty of using the testing repositories. E17 at least not alpha, but beta - of course, there are still some annoying bugs, such as that if you want to start an application, which would need administrator rights, some incomprehensible error message appears; transparency works with minimum of memory while in use; the minimum system requirements at least PIII 900 MHz processor and at least 384 MB of RAM, OpenGL compatible graphics card; the CD image size is 2.5 GB, so it's not small; new Linux kernel (188.8.131.52), updated applications, and two new browser add-ons - Chrome TV plugin, which allows all the available Internet TV broadcast monitored, and an open-source YouTube video downloading add-on." Here is the full release announcement with a screenshot.
Soren Jacobsen has announced the release of NetBSD 5.1: "The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce that version 5.1 of the NetBSD operating system is now available. NetBSD 5.1 is the first feature update of the NetBSD 5.0 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed critical for security or stability reasons, as well as new features and enhancements. Please note that all fixes in security/critical updates are cumulative, so the latest update contains all such fixes since the corresponding minor release. Some highlights include: RAIDframe parity maps, which greatly improve parity rewrite times after unclean shutdown; X.Org updates; support for many more network devices; Xen PAE dom0 support; Xen PCI pass-through support." See the release announcement and release notes for a complete list of changes.
Zafer Aydogan has announced the release of Jibbed 5.1, a NetBSD-based live CD featuring automatic hardware detection and the Xfce desktop: "And again it's NetBSD time. A new version of the Jibbed live CD has finally arrived. It is freshly built from the NetBSD 5.1 sources, which is the first feature update of the NetBSD 5.0 branch. It includes many bug fixes and contains the latest packages from pkgsrc. As always, it uses X.Org from base and the Xfce desktop. Jibbed is a bootable live CD based on the NetBSD operating system that works directly from a CD without need for a hard drive. Automatic hardware detection provides support for a wide variety of graphics cards, sound cards, network interfaces, and USB devices. This live CD showcases a complete NetBSD environment, including compiler sets, and provides features like tmpfs to simulate read-write access on read-only media." Here is the brief release announcement.
Jibbed 5.1 - a NetBSD-based live CD with the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 110kB, resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list
- Bodhi Linux. Bohdi Linux is a lightweight, Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the Enlightenment 17 window manager.
- CoreBiz. CoreBiz is an Ubuntu-based distribution developed by Linux Information Systems AG in Munich, Germany. It is aimed at small and middle-sized companies which want to invest in open-source operating environments, thus completely replacing any proprietary IT infrastructure. The project's website is in German.
- Liberté Linux. Liberté Linux is a secure, reliable, lightweight and easy-to-use Gentoo-based live USB Linux distribution intended as a communication aid in hostile environments. Liberté installs as a regular directory on a USB/SD key, and after a single-click setup, boots on any desktop computer or laptop.
- Lin2Go. Lin2Go is a minimalist, Slackware-based Linux distribution.
- MagOS Linux. MagOS Linux is a Russian desktop distribution based on Mandriva Linux. The project's website is in Russian.
- RFRemix Linux. RFRemix Linux is a Fedora remix adapted to Russian-speaking users and complying with the legislation of the Russian Federation. RFRemix includes free and proprietary software and a more configurable interface. RFRemix is 100% compatible with Fedora, using RPMFusion and its own repositories. The project's website is in Russian.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 29 November 2010.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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 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 184.108.40.206, 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|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Ark Linux was a Linux distribution designed especially for desktop use, primarily for people without prior Linux experience. Its main goal was ease of use, and the inclusion of many tools end users will need. Ark Linux was fully Open Source and Free Software, meaning, basically, you can freely redistribute it in both modified and unmodified form.