| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 389, 24 January 2011
Welcome to this year's fourth issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week's feature story is a first-impression review of three lesser-known distributions - the independent and minimalist Dragora GNU/Linux, the Kubuntu-based Asturix, and the Fedora-based Fuduntu, which is a very recent arrival at the distro scene. Are any of these worth devoting some hard disk space? Read the short reviews to find out. In the news section, Debian sets a release target for its forthcoming stable release, Mark Shuttleworth suggests adding the Qt toolkit to Ubuntu's default installation, Linux User & Developer gives high marks to the Jolibook netbook and the Jolicloud operating system, and GhostBSD developers announce plans for version 2.0 and beyond. Also in this issue, some clarification about Debian's position on the issue of non-free firmware and a reminder about the upcoming world IPv6 day. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Quick looks at Dragora GNU/Linux, Asturix and Fuduntu|
Dragora GNU/Linux 2.0
The Dragora project produces a Linux distribution which, according to its website, is simple, stable and completely libre. The libre part is supported by Dragora's appearance on the FSF's list of free GNU/Linux distros. The project's website is written primarily in Spanish but features translations to other languages, including English. Information on the site is sparse, but we're given downloadable ISOs, documentation on performing an install and given some information on where to find further help. The provided download image is a light 445MB in size.
Placing my new Dragora CD in the drive and booting brought me to a text boot menu. Pressing Enter launches a quick boot process and we are dumped at a command prompt as the root user. We're shown a brief help message which tells us which disk partitioning tools are available and to run the "setup" command to perform an install. I used the provided cfdisk program to create swap and root partitions and launched setup.
The Dragora installer is a series of text-based menus. Each menu screen generally asks the user to pick one of two options, making the process fairly simple, but long. We're first asked if we want to use a swap file or a swap partition, we're asked which partition to mount as the root directory (/) and we're given the option to select our preferred file system. Next up we point the installer to the Dragora source packages. Once the system finds the source packages we're asked which of the software collections we want to install. The names of the software bundles are b, d, k, l, n and t. I checked the project's installation guide and it makes no mention of what each letter represents. (I'm assuming "b" is for base, "k" is for kernel, and "d" is for development, but we're not given any clues.) We're told that, when in doubt, to install everything, so I did. Later we're given the option to install either GRUB or LILO for our boot loader, we also get to choose the location of the installed boot loader. We're asked if we want to change the login name for the root user and then we set a root password. From there the installer asks us what type of mouse we're using and which background services we want to run. The last few screens request our preferred language and time zone.
Installing is a fairly lengthy process and when it's completed we reboot and get dropped at a text-based login prompt. A helpful tip suggests that once we login we should create a non-root account. I created a regular user account and decided to move to a graphical interface. However, running "startx" as suggested in the project's documentation doesn't work and the system claims no such command exists. Further, trying to configure the system to boot into a graphical login screen (as laid out on the project's website) also fails. I ran through the install again, careful to select all available software packages and, again, found starting an X session wasn't an available option.
The project's documentation doesn't make any mention of a package manager and, so far as I could tell while poking around the OS, it doesn't have one. So what does come with the system? The GNU Compiler Collection is available, as are various other development & scripting tools such as git, Perl and awk. There is the regular suite of GNU tools, but otherwise the system is largely empty and the installed files take less than 1 GB of hard drive space. During my experiment Dragora didn't automatically detect my network card, so getting on-line proved difficult.
When I began this review the latest released mentioned on the Dragora website was 2.0 and that's the release I used. At the end of the week, as I was wrapping up this review, I noticed the download page on the Dragora site had changed and they listed 2.1 as the latest version. At that time I checked the project's download mirrors with the plan of updating my evaluation. However, at the time of writing the mirrors are offering ISO images for Dragora-1.0 and both versions 2.0 & 2.1 are missing.
I was a bit disappointed I couldn't find anything interesting about Dragora and no reason to recommend its use. I don't mind using an extremely light system if it comes with good documentation (such as the OpenBSD project provides), but Dragora doesn't really give us anything with which to work. Given that this experience made for a short evaluation, I turned to some projects I'd looked at previously to see what they've been up to in recent months.
* * * * *
In the first half of 2010 I sat down with Asturix 2, an Ubuntu-based distribution which focused on Spanish localization and being compatible with Windows software and networks. At the time it ran fairly well, though I had trouble with some of the Asturix-specific software, leaving me with the impression that the distro was basically Ubuntu, in Spanish. Fine for people who primarily read/write Spanish, but not particularly appealing to anyone outside that demographic.
A representative from the Asturix project contacted me at the beginning of 2011 and announced the availability of Asturix 3. With promises of fixed bugs and a fresh start urging me on, I downloaded the project's latest offering. I will say this for them: the distro has changed a lot, giving the project a whole new feel. The DVD, which is 970 MB in size, boots into a welcome screen which asks if we'd like to try the software (run from the DVD) or install to the local hard drive. We're also invited to select our preferred language. Taking the live DVD option presents us with a KDE 4.5 environment (Asturix 2 used GNOME) with an attractive green & white wallpaper. The desktop seemed to be in good working order and I launched the system installer.
Asturix is still based on the Ubuntu family (one assumes Kubuntu, judging from the desktop environment) and the installer will be familiar to people who have installed Ubuntu 10.10. We run through the usual process of selecting a language, partitioning the hard drive, creating a user account, setting a time zone and picking a keyboard layout. The process was fairly painless until, near the end, the installer tried to download packages from a slow server. Faced with waiting seventeen hours for the download to complete, I hit the skip button, which didn't accomplish anything. Aborting and running through the installer again landed me a faster connection resulting in a three minute download and a freshly installed OS.
My first impression of Asturix 3 is that it's Kubuntu with its toe dipped into the concept of cloud computing. Most of the items featured in the application menu are local programs, but there's a scattering of cloud items, most of them associated with Google services. Following the Google trend, the system's web browser is Chromium 7. Also in the application menu are OpenOffice.org, the GIMP, a document viewer, Amarok, K3b and VLC. We additionally find Kopete, KTorrent, and KOrganizer. Stirred into the mix are little apps, including a text editor and archive manager. In the background the system features Java and, depending on the settings selected during install, we may also find multimedia codecs and Flash.
While the application menu doesn't feature Firefox, it does include a Firefox installer. Unfortunately the installer didn't work on my machine. Any attempt to install Firefox via the menu short-cut would result in my download reaching 99% and freezing. I ran into a similar issue when using the LinuxConsole distribution and I hope it's not the beginning of a trend. We have package managers and repositories for a reason -- organized, functional software management -- and having a menu littered with malfunctioning launchers for software already included in the repositories does not add value to a distribution.
Speaking of software management, missing from the application menu are the popular package managers (Software Center & Synaptic) usually found in Ubuntu-based distros. Users wishing to use a graphical package manager will find KPackageKit, which is accessible via the menu or as a module of the KDE System Settings suite. The first time I tried to install a package I was told an error had occurred and the process couldn't be completed. A second attempt caused the package manager to crash. The third time I managed to get a package to download and install. I had no problems grabbing updates or removing unwanted software. Looking behind the scenes shows Asturix uses Ubuntu's repositories and some PPAs and that packages can also be managed with the APT collection of command line tools.
Asturix 3 - updating software
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Beyond flirting with cloud-based computing and making package management unnecessarily difficult, Asturix has a few features which stand out. If you have a webcam, Asturix supports facial recognition. The idea being you can take photos of yourself and then the authentication system will compare the person sitting in front of the computer with your photo. If the photo matches the face in front of the webcam, it'll log you in. I haven't tried this yet, but it strikes me as an interesting idea. It would certainly be convenient, and I'm curious as to how well the authentication software handles photographs held up in front of the lens and beards. If you, dear readers, have tried this form of authentication, I'd like to hear about your experiences.
My test machines have low-end video cards and so it was interesting to find Asturix turns on desktop effects out of the box. Even in a virtual environment the effects are all enabled. Some of the effects are quite nice, growing menus and minimizing/maximizing windows were attractive. Depending on your taste, the blue ghostly glow around active windows may be an appealing trick or a distraction. Unfortunately these effects made my desktop quite sluggish and I disabled them. With the effects turned off KDE was responsive and I found my normal day-to-day tasks easy to perform.
It may sound like I'm picking on Asturix and that's not my intention. I have to give them credit for taking something which had problems (some flaky apps and limited language support) and throwing it out to start fresh. It's the sort of move which takes courage & commitment. However, in starting fresh they've introduced a new collection of problems (bad package management and a heavy desktop). The old problems have been solved, but at the expense of a new set. The good news, for the Asturix developers, is these problems are fairly easy to fix if they add Synaptic and Software Center to their app menu and disable desktop effects they'll have a solid platform.
* * * * *
Fuduntu is a small project I reviewed in the last quarter of 2010 and, at the time, I planned to write a quick review of the distro (which I regarded as being a re-spin of Fedora 14 with some codecs and buggy performance improvements) and not think of it again. However, the project's developer, who goes by the nickname Fewt, had an unexpected reaction to my criticism of his pet project: he welcomed it. In fact, post-review, Fewt set up an on-line poll and invited Fuduntu users and DistroWatch readers to tell him what worked, what didn't and what they would see as improvements. Since then, a handful of minor updates have been released and I took the latest one for a test drive.
The current installation ISO is about 1 GB in size and doubles as a live disc. Where Asturix tossed the baby out with the bath water, giving the project a whole new approach, Fuduntu has taken small steps, tweaking little things and swapping out a few packages. I won't go into the details of the installation process as it's much the same as it was previously.
Once the install and first-run wizard tasks are completed, we are re-introduced to Fuduntu's GNOME desktop. Some minor changes are immediately apparent. Though the wallpaper and theme are the same, I found the desktop was quicker to load this time around. The desktop feels a bit more responsive, perhaps due to fixes applied to the cgroup implementation. I also note the change log mentions the BFS kernel scheduler has been removed. Another minor change is the collection of nicer-looking fonts, which I appreciated after several hours of screen reading. The menu button has been removed from the title bar of application windows, making them appear thinner than before. Netbook users will probably appreciate the thinner bars. A few apps have been replaced, for example VLC is now included at the expense of Totem. The Likewise Open program has been added, allowing administrators to easily join Active Directory networks. Fuduntu features a good collection of pre-installed software including most of OpenOffice.org, the GIMP, Empathy, Thunderbird, a CD burner and the GNOME configuration tools. The distro additionally has Fedora's administration tools for setting up a firewall, managing services and creating user accounts.
Fuduntu 14.8 - applications
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I did encounter a few minor problems, or at least things I would like to see done differently. The most obvious issue being the GUI front-ends for package management. This isn't really Fuduntu's fault, the project uses the same package manager as its base, Fedora. The current GUI package manager Fedora offers is slow, painfully so at times. The update tool works, but doesn't really give us a good idea of what's going on, so during updates we just get a slow-moving progress bar with no sense of how long the process will take or which files are currently being downloaded. The only other quirk I ran into, which isn't a bug so much as, I suspect, an oversight is that the project's website advertises that Adobe Flash comes pre-installed on the system. On my install this was not the case, there was no Flash plugin in Firefox, the distro's pre-installed web browser. Flash and Gnash were both available in the project's repository though, making it a simple install.
Fuduntu has made a handful of small changes since I last ran the distro and I think they've been for the better. Nothing big has been overturned, but each of the little things has, in my opinion, improved the over-all experience. Fewt has taken the bleeding-edge, development platform of Fedora and made a pretty good home OS out of it. It still feels like "Fedora: Desktop re-spin", but in a good way. If the developer takes the extra step of replacing Fedora's crippled package and update tools with something more user-friendly, I'll actively recommend Fuduntu for home users.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Debian sets release target, Ubuntu warms to Qt toolkit, Jolibook review, GhostBSD update
Good news for those readers who wait impatiently for the new stable release of Debian GNU/Linux - we now have a target date for a release, set for the 6th of February. This was announced by Neil McGovern from the Debian release team: "Now that a release candidate of the installer has been uploaded and tested, a few issues have been identified today. This should turn into RC2 by the end of the week. This means we are able to begin the final preparations for a release of Debian 6.0 'Squeeze'. Following on from above, we now have a target date of the weekend of 5th and 6th February for the release. We have checked with core teams, and this seems to be acceptable for everyone. The intention is only to lift that date if something really critical pops up that is not possible to handle as errata, or if we end up technically unable to release that weekend. Every other fix that doesn't make it in time will be r1 material." As promised in the above update, the second release candidate of the Debian Installer was also released last week.
One of the hot topics accompanying the new release of Debian GNU/Linux is the issue of non-free firmware. As this is an issue that, judging by various blog and forum posts around the web, is far from clear, Debian developer Alexander Reichle-Schmehl has written an excellent summary of the situation entitled "Myths and facts about firmware and their non-removal from Debian: "Debian's announcement to release 'Squeeze' with a completely free Linux kernel caused quite some attention, which is actually a good thing. However, it also seems to have caused quite some uncertainty and was often partially misunderstood and miss-quoted. I'll try to summarize and answer some of the questions in this blog post. Myth: 'Debian removed all firmware files from its kernels.' Fact: No, it's just about the kernels which will be shipped with the upcoming release of Debian 6.0. The kernels in the current stable release, Debian 5.0, remain as they are... Well, of course we will release security updates for them, but they will still contain the same firmware files as the present kernels. Myth: Debian is ripping stuff out of its kernels. Fact: Debian moved some firmware files from its main archive to the non-free part of the archive. They are still there, just in the part of archive for stuff not satisfying our Free Software Guidelines."
* * * * *
The majority of desktop Linux users who prefer one of the more full-featured desktop environments probably run either GNOME (using the GTK+ libraries) or KDE (built with the Qt toolkit). The proponents of these two development tools have not always seen eye to eye, but many end users, including Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth, now recognise that there is no perfect tool for developing Linux applications. As a result, future versions of Ubuntu could include the Qt toolkit as part of the default install: "Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth has announced that plans for future versions of Ubuntu, beyond 11.04 'Natty Narwhal', will now incorporate the inclusion of the Qt user interface libraries and may include applications based on Qt. 'We'll need to find some space on the CD for Qt libraries,' he said, noting that Qt will sit alongside GNOME's GTK+ libraries. The addition of Qt support will allow developers a choice of toolkit when developing their applications for the Ubuntu desktop as 'there's plenty of best-in-class software written with Qt'." The original blog post by Mark Shuttleworth is available here, while Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu community manager, has also commented on the subject.
* * * * *
Still looking for that perfect netbook? You could do worse than getting the colourful Jolibook, pre-installed with the Ubuntu-based Jolicloud, a distribution featuring an extensive integration of online services. Linux User & Developer has taken a quick look at the recent arrival on the netbook market and gave the Jolibook a perfect five out of five: "It's remarkable to consider that Jolicloud started life as a small project dedicated to producing an easy-to-use operating system to be adopted by schools and a means of recycling old and otherwise defunct hardware. ... What started out as an act of tech philanthropy has metamorphosed into the height of open source chic. That said, the Jolibook is not without its faults, nor is it the cheapest netbook in its class. Still, it's by far the best Linux netbook you'll find on the market today, and one that doesn't compromise Linux's advanced capabilities for the sake of appealing to the masses."
* * * * *
GhostBSD is a project developing an easy-to-use, FreeBSD-based live CD featuring the GNOME desktop. FreeBSD News has contacted the project's developers and asked them about their plans for 2011: "GhostBSD will have a new version (2.0) in Q1 of 2011. We are working hard to have the GUI installer finished (the graphical installer) and, if possible, make an application installer (a repository for easy installation and removal of programs) like other operating systems have (but with that we have a little problem, because we want not to compromise the security of the system, so we need to continue working hard in this part). We would like to publish the repository, but we don't want to publish anything incomplete or buggy. For this, maybe (the repository of applications) can come in the next version (after 2.0). Also, we'll start building the first alpha of GhostBSD for servers. At first we thought about starting this at the end of this year, but a few more developers have joined us and we can start this edition earlier, ahead of schedule."
GhostBSD 2.0 beta - a FreeBSD-based live CD with GNOME
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|Advocacy (by Jesse Smith)
The World IPv6 Day
In place of a Q&A this week, I'd like to talk about an upcoming event. June 8, 2011 has been declared World IPv6 Day. The event, being led by Google, will see a handful of the Internet's large websites enable Internet Protocol version 6. In theory most users won't notice the difference and we'll all be able to access Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others on June 8th, just like we would every other day.
But where theory meets practice there are often sparks, so it's a good idea to see if your system is ready now. To help with that, there's this test site. The site will test your system to see if you can reach IPv4 websites and IPv6 sites. It will also test to see if, assuming you can't reach an IPv6 website, your web browser will properly fall-back to trying IPv4 in a reasonable amount of time. This last point is key because the proposed World IPv6 Day is less about moving everyone from the old protocol to the new one than it is about making sure websites will continue to function, regardless of which protocol is in use. In the past we've seen some websites, such as Google, provide separate IPv4 and IPv6 URLs in an effort to cater to both groups of users. Ideally websites should be able to offer one URL, regardless of client protocols. And, ideally, users should be able to connect to their favourite websites, regardless of which protocol they're using.
For people who are currently on IPv4 (and that's most of us), it is possible to set up a tunnel which allows access to IPv6 websites. Ubuntu's website has a good article on creating an IPv6 tunnel when your computer is stuck with an IPv4 address. I recommend reading the article, which is fairly distro-neutral, because it's good to experiment with IPv6 now to avoid a rushed implementation later.
For more information on IPv6 Day, please see this FAQ page.
|Released Last Week
Clonezilla Live 1.2.6-59
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.6-59, a new stable version of the specialist live CD containing an open-source disk cloning utility: "This release of Clonezilla live includes major enhancements, changes and bug fixes. Major enhancements and changes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository (as of 2011-01-13); Linux kernel was updated to 2.6.32-30; live-boot was updated to 2.0.14-1 and live-config was updated to 2.0.14-1; language files were updated; option '-q1' (force to use dd) was added as an option in expert mode for device to device clone, this could be useful if you want to clone an encrypted partition; another example custom-ocs-2 was added, it can be used to save and restore dual-boot systems...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a full list of changes and bug fixes.
Saline OS 1.0
Anthony Nordquist has announced the release of Saline OS 1.0, a lightweight, Debian-based distribution and live DVD featuring the Xfce desktop: "I am proud to announce the immediate availability of the first Saline OS stable release, a fast and full-featured operating system using Xfce as the graphical desktop environment. Debian 'Squeeze' is now in deep freeze, making it stable enough for everyday use on desktop, laptop and netbook computers. Saline OS 1.0 will follow Debian's stable branch and receive automatic updates from the official Debian backports repositories until the subsequent releases of Saline OS 2.0 and Debian 7.0 'Wheezy'. I would like to take this time to thank Debian for being the best base anyone could ever ask for." Read the brief release announcement and visit the distribution's about page to learn more about Saline OS.
Pardus Linux 2011
Gökçen Eraslan has announced the release of Pardus Linux 2011: "Pardus Linux 2011 is now available. Major features in this release are: the latest Linux kernel 2.6.37 provides an up-to-date hardware support; the bootsplash technology used in Pardus 2009.2 is replaced by the new Plymouth engine; YALI, the installer of Pardus, gained LVM/RAID and UUID support; Pardus 2011 comes with the latest KDE 4.5.5; Kaptan, the desktop customization tool, now optionally captures your picture and sets it as your avatar in KDE; GNOME NetworkManager 0.8.2 is now the default networking back-end; all GTK+ applications are rendered with Oxygen style; LibreOffice is the default office suite; Mozilla Firefox 4.0 beta 9 is the default web browser." For further details please read the release announcement.
Pardus Linux 2011 - the new version comes with LibreOffice, Firefox 4 and many small improvements
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Calculate Linux 11.0
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 11.0, a Gentoo-based distribution for desktops and servers: "A new version of the Calculate Linux distribution has been released. Major changes: added binary repositories for Calculate Linux Desktop (CLD, CLDG and CLDX) and Calculate Directory Server (CDS) with rolling-release support; new minimalistic distro Calculate Scratch Server (CSS) is now available; more user-friendly interface; support for the combined storage of user profiles for different editions of Calculate Linux Desktop; better support for netbooks; added support for Canon printers; updated Portage to version 2.2...." Here is the full release announcement
Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 Update 6
Oracle has announced the release of Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 Update 6, an enterprise class distribution with a subscription service based on the recently released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6: "Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux Release 5 Update 6 for x86 (32-bit) and x86_64 (64 -bit) architectures. Bug fixes added by Oracle: fix filp_close() race; fix missing aio_complete() in end_io; check to see if hypervisor supports memory reservation change; enable entropy for bnx2, bnx2x, e1000e, igb, ixgb, ixgbe, ixgbevf; add Xen PV netconsole support; shrink_zone patch; fix aacraid not to reset during kexec; patch rds to 1.4.2-20; fix BUG_ONs to not fire when in a tasklet; fix lockup of the tx queue; properly unmap when getting a remote access error; fix locking in rds_send_drop_to(); fix qla not to query hccr...." See the release announcement and release notes for a complete list of bug fixes and other improvements.
Greenie Linux 8.1M
Stanislav Hoferek has announced the release of Greenie Linux 8.1M, an easy-to-use Ubuntu-based distribution pre-configured for use by Slovak and Czech speakers: "Another version of Greenie Linux, an operating system prepared especially for Ubuntu lovers in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, is here. Among the new features, a few applications were added to the Linux distribution (e.g. programs for manipulating PDF files, to see the temperature in console, and to download entire websites) and some useful programs for those who dual boot with Windows (e.g. software for CD/DVD burning and for reading ext4 partitions) were added to the DVD image. A few problems have been fixed, new wallpapers and documentation (especially about digital photography) added. The system is actualised with the newest software in the Ubuntu 'Maverick' branch." Read the rest of the release announcement (mostly in Slovak, with a brief English summary at the bottom of the page).
* * * * *
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
- Conducit Linux. Conducit Linux is a German Debian-based distribution designed for beginning Linux users. The project's website is in German.
- Exherbo Linux. Originally a fork of Gentoo Linux, Exherbo Linux is a source-based distribution for developers and advanced users, designed for "people who know what they're doing with Linux".
- GNUGuitarINUX. GNUGuitarINUX is a lightweight, Debian-based distribution and live CD featuring a real-time kernel and configured to have the smallest latency possible. It has several programs, but the most important one is Rakarrack, a richly featured multi-effects processor emulating a guitar effects pedalboard. Everything is preconfigured to work out-of-the-box, so users can try and enjoy many great guitar programs that are not available on the Windows platform.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 31 January 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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RoFreeSBIE was a FreeBSD-based live CD and DVD, installable on hard disk. Its main goal was to promote FreeBSD as an excellent educational tool and mobile desktop.