| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 396, 14 March 2011
Welcome to this year's 11th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The world of free and open-source software was dominated by three major stories last week: the release of openSUSE 11.4, the arrival of a development build of GNOME 3, and the ongoing Canonical vs GNOME conflict. These are the three topics covered in the news section where we link to some of the more interesting articles written on the subjects during the past seven days. The review section then brings a first look at Bodhi Linux, an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring Enlightenment 17, with all its bells and whistles. But how usable is the flashy desktop in its current, pre-release state? Read on to find out. Finally, for those interested in the intricacies of software licences, the Questions and Answers section is a must read as it explains the GNU Lesser General Public Licence. Happy reading!
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A peek at Bodhi Linux 0.1.6|
It seems that of late about every other distribution I'm asked to review is based on Ubuntu, typically Ubuntu 10.04. I suppose it makes sense -- Ubuntu is a popular distribution and, with its ties to Debian, the large collection of software is appealing to distro creators. There are certainly many worse bases to use for a new distribution than Ubuntu. Yet, truth be told, part of me is disappointed. One of the things I've always enjoyed about the community of Linux developers is their creativity, their willingness to start over and try something new, just to see what happens. Typically this results in plenty of examples of what not to do, but every so often a gem pops up and shows us a better way. Even APT, at one point, was a newfangled way of doing things with an uncertain future. So while Bodhi is, like several other projects, based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the promise of a completely new interface sounded appealing. After all, KDE 4 offered a new slant on the desktop concept and, despite its rocky beginnings, I've come to enjoy it a lot.
Armed with cautious optimism, I downloaded Bodhi's 414 MB ISO image and burned it to a CD. Booting off the disc starts out in the typical fashion and the distro quickly launches a graphical greeting screen which asks us if we'd prefer our text in English or Spanish. The next screen asks us which profile we'd like to use: Bare, Desktop, Ecomorph, Fancy, Laptop or Tablet/Notebook. I didn't find there was much of a difference between one and the next, except the Bare profile results in us having a mostly-empty screen. A third and final prompt asks us what theme we'd like to use. Where the Profile dialogue lets us define the shape of the desktop, the Theme dialogue let's us select from a variety of pre-defined colour combinations. I can't say any of the themes appealed to me, but one man's eye strain is another man's art.
After the third prompt, we're introduced to the Enlightenment window manager, which most of the profiles shape to look like the OS X desktop. In the top-left corner we find an application and settings menu, over to the top-right we find a system tray, virtual desktop switcher and clock. At the bottom of the screen we find a quick-launch bar, giving us fast access to Firefox, our home folder and the system installer. Moving the mouse over these quick-launch buttons causes the icons to pulse and the text to bounce, in case we weren't sure where the mouse pointer was located.
Bodhi Linux 0.1.6 - information and settings
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Bodhi's system installer is, in fact, Ubuntu's installer and I don't think there's much need to go into the details. I walked through the usual steps, the installer copied its files to my hard drive and suggested I reboot the system. Booting from the hard disk brings us to a colourful login screen and, upon logging in, we're met with prompts. The first two ask us for our preferred language and theme again. The third dialogue asks us to select which icons will appear on the desktop's quick-launch bar. Future logins don't give us these prompts, each user gets them just once.
Enlightenment has an application menu which comes across as a combination of the three GNOME menus. At the top of the menu is a place for applications, the next item down gives us a short list of key places in the file system. The third item down is called Run Everything and I'll talk about that a bit later. There are four sub-menus that deal with desktop settings and windows and a System menu comes in at the bottom. Compared to other desktop menus I found Bodhi's to be heavy on nesting, especially when we consider how few applications come with the distro. I also found the location of some items less than intuitive. For example clicking on the Enlightenment category and selecting Restart doesn't restart the machine, but logs us out of the desktop. Trying to find Synaptic turned into a bit of a hunt as it wasn't listed under System, nor Applications, nor under Settings. I found the package manager under the Settings category, through the All sub-menu under the System sub-sub-menu.
The distribution doesn't include many applications out of the box, instead Bodhi starts us off light with the idea we'll build our desired system with just the pieces we need. We're provided a virtual terminal, Firefox 4 (beta), Network Manager, Synaptic and the Enlightenment configuration tools. The config apps Enlightenment comes with are similar in style & function to those of other desktops. Some common items, such as Java, Flash and GCC are not included. Likewise multimedia codecs (or even multimedia applications) are not included in the default install and there are no network services running out of the box.
Package management on Bodhi is handled via the APT tools, if you're working from the command line, and through Synaptic if you prefer a graphical interface. Packages are mostly pulled from Ubuntu's repositories, though there is a Bodhi-specific repository in the list of package sources. I encountered no issues when adding or updating software -- Synaptic performed well, as usual. The Bodhi project puts out frequent releases and an effort has been made to make sure the software provided in the live disc images is up to date, saving us from installing a lot of security updates post-install. One item I missed having was an indicator or system tray icon showing whether security updates were available.
Bodhi Linux 0.1.6 - reading project documentation in Firefox
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Bodhi didn't work well with my hardware, considering the usual excellent performance I get from Ubuntu-derived projects. On my desktop machine (2.5 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) my screen was set to a suitable resolution, but I found all my audio output devices were muted. Not that it made a big difference as, out of the box, Bodhi doesn't include any multimedia applications. On my laptop (dual core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card) I had a similar experience, with my screen working fine, but with audio disabled. Bodhi is one of the few members of the Ubuntu family to not work with my Intel wireless card. My touchpad was picked up and worked as expected without any issues. On both machines I found the distro performed well, though, despite the low resource usage of Enlightenment, the desktop didn't appear to be any more responsive than a typical install of Ubuntu with the GNOME desktop. While testing in a virtual machine I found Bodhi would boot with as little as 128MB of RAM.
My time with Bodhi can pretty much be summed up as one aggravation after another. I was willing to accept the stream of pop-ups that come with creating a new account or using the live disc. I was okay with trying a different menu structure. Starting with a bare-bones system and building from the ground up is even a concept I can get behind for people who like a lean operating system. After all, these are things we have to walk through once and they're done. But day-to-day usage of Bodhi completely rubbed me the wrong way. The pulsating icons, the small bouncing text and the fuzzy borders around text that made it harder to read all contributed to making me want to spend as little time with the environment as possible. The menu layout appears designed to hide items rather than provide easy access to them.
And then there is the Run Everything application, a program which is designed, in theory, to provide quick access to anything on the system -- a sort of control panel meets application menu meets file browser. The documentation describes it as "a very powerful, but often misunderstood application. As such it often intimidates new users and is therefore underused." It goes on to suggest that new users' first reaction might be to "panic" upon seeing the UI. Having fought with Run Everything for several minutes and getting unreliable results from it, I can understand why it might be "underused". Once I got the hang of Run Everything and started finding it useful there were still surprises, like having the utility's window close if I clicked outside the Run Everything window. The Run Everything application and my trials with it describe my general impression of Bodhi: the developers seem to be going out of their way to make their interface so alien and so flashy that it will turn away potential users.
I can't deny Bodhi brings something new to the table; the desktop it provides is certainly different. Judging from the number of downloads the project has experienced thus far it must be appealing to quite a lot of people. However, I didn't find anything to recommend the distro. It is, in my opinion, mostly glitter and little substance.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
On numbering openSUSE's releases, GNOME 3 frustrations and delights, Ubuntu vs GNOME saga
As expected, openSUSE 11.4, a major new version of one of the world's oldest and most popular Linux distributions, was released last week. Judging by the first reviews and the reaction of users in public forums, the release is excellent - perhaps the more leisurely 8-month development period has done wonders for the distro. But what is the future of openSUSE? And does the current versioning scheme need a change? Andreas Jaeger ponders on how to name and number future openSUSE releases: "openSUSE does not have major and minor numbering, even if it seems so. Right now there is no difference in any way between what we would do for openSUSE 11.4 or 12.0 -- and no sense to speak about openSUSE 11 or openSUSE 11 family. We also have no process on how to name the next release (when to increase which part of the number). Here are some options, if I miss some, please tell me and I will then soon setup a poll. I list the next version we would use as well as how the following would be called as an example." Read the linked article for some interesting options.
openSUSE 11.4 - complete with KDE 4.6 and LibreOffice
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Last week's alpha release of Fedora 15 didn't just deliver the first public development snapshot of the distribution's latest version, it was also the first time any major Linux distro incorporated the brand-new GNOME 3 into its operating system. But as is often the case with any software project, a radical change is bound to result in increased blogging activity among the users of the software. Fedora's Martin Sourada writes a few thoughts on Blogspot: "There's substantial difference between KDE 4.0 and GNOME 3.0 release -- while KDE 4.0 was just a premature release, GNOME 3.0 is broken by design. No amount of minor releases can fix that. ... Unless you want a highly usable open-source software for tablet, GNOME 3 probably isn't for you." Another GNOME user who goes under the name of Jack Dostoevsky vents his frustrations on Reddit: "GNOME Shell does not work on dual monitors. There is no easy way to make changes to GNOME Shell. There is no minimize button unless you enable it through gconf-editor. Where are my places? There is no easy way to go back to Gnome 'classic'." Others disagree, however. As Anuradha Shukla points out at Unixmen, those buttons can be redundant in modern computing: "What the loss of the buttons gives GNOME 3 is a powerful yet simple user interface that quickly makes up for the loss of any redundant buttons. They are traded for excellent user-friendly features. The user interface is consistent in quality and it is only the buttons that have been removed, not the maximizing or minimizing features."
Fedora 15 alpha - Fedora is the first major distribution carrying the new GNOME 3
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* * * * *
The ongoing Canonical vs GNOME saga was another topic that continues to occupy the prime spots on many Linux news sites and forums. GNOME's Dave Neary adds to the discussion in a blog post entitled "Lessons Learned": "There are a number of things we can do to move forward from where we are now: improve processes and structure for freedesktop.org (this will require buy-in from key GNOME and KDE people), make the operation of GNOME (and the operation of individual modules) more transparent to outsides, cut out a lot of the back-channel conversations that have been happening over the phone, in person and on IRC, in favour of documented and archived discussions and agreements on mailing lists and Wikis, and work to ensure that people working on similar problem areas are talking to each other." This is one of the more sensible posts on the subject and is definitely worth reading if you want to understand the depth of the problem between the developers of the most widely-used desktop Linux distribution (Ubuntu) and the developers of the most popular open-source desktop environment (GNOME).
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Using the GNU Lesser General Public License
Concerned-about-the-legalities-of-linking-options asks: Using GCC with options such as -fwhole-program, -combine, or -flto enables inlining optimizations, even when just linking against files. Is it risky for commercial software developers to link with unknown compiler flags (maybe if a distribution enables flto by default) against LGPLed libraries, or doesn't this count as a violation?
DistroWatch answers: It had been some time since I read the GNU Lesser General Public License. In fact, the last time I read the LGPL it didn't have a "v3" at the end of its name. After getting this question I did a quick read through and the conclusion I came to was that optimizations and different forms of linking will not affect the requirements of the license. (I'm not a lawyer and this isn't legal advice.) However, the Wikipedia article on the GNU LGPL talks about different forms of linking (static vs dynamic), which made me wonder if I missed something. Hoping to clear things up I wrote to the Free Software Foundation and put the question to them. I soon received a reply from Brett Smith, a Licensing Compliance Engineer with the FSF. He had the following to say about the LGPL:
The special permissions in the LGPL -- the ones that let developers use the covered library with proprietary software, and distinguish the license from the GPL -- are available to any program that uses the original work as a library. Developers are allowed to use LGPLed libraries with proprietary software whether they use static or dynamic linking, or any number of linking optimization techniques, as long as they only use the library's defined APIs (as opposed to copying source directly into the new project, or other forms of modification).
Now, when someone distributes a proprietary program that uses an LGPLed library, there are some conditions to follow. Some of these are basic and universal; for example, the program has to display a notice that it's using the library under the LGPL's terms, and should include a copy of the LGPL. The LGPL also has conditions that are designed to ensure that users can modify the original library, and use their modified version with the proprietary program. There are a few different methods you can use to comply with these conditions in the LGPL, and it's true that some distributors won't be able to use some methods depending on the details of how the software links with the library. But every distributor should be able to use at least one option, and therefore use the LGPL's special permissions.
The LGPL's goal is to provide computer users with some limited control over the software they run, by letting them study, change, and distribute the covered library, even when it's used in conjunction with proprietary software. Discouraging adoption of LGPLed libraries by imposing artificial limits about how they can be used in conjunction with proprietary software would hamper our efforts to achieve those goals. Hence, the LGPL has been written carefully to make sure that many developers can use its special permissions, regardless of what technical decisions they make when they link to the original library.
Thank you, Brett, for your time and kind efforts.
|Released Last Week
IPFire 2.9 Core 47
Michael Tremer has announced the release of an updated version of IPFire, a Linux-based firewall distribution: "Today we release IPFire 2.9 Core 47. IPFire 2.9 Core 47 is a bug-fix release and it brings minor feature updates. The most important change, beside the security update of the PHP scripting language, is the opportunity to configure the VLAN IDs that are used for IGMP streaming. PPTP servers that require a host route for the dial-in connection are supported from now on. List of changes: updated PHP to 5.3.5; changed Snort rule download to current Snort version; add SSH ECDSA hostkey for new encryption algorithms; fix add-on service PID/memory display if the add-on name contains numbers; proxy.cgi - fix file name of NTLM authenticator; add outgoing firewall group settings to backup." Here is the full release announcement.
Gentoo Linux 11.0
Joshua Saddler has announced the release of Gentoo Linux 11.0 live DVD featuring up-to-date software packages and a selection of desktop environments: "Gentoo Linux is proud to announce the availability of a new live DVD to celebrate the continued collaboration between Gentoo users and developers. The live DVD features a superb list of packages, some of which are listed below. System packages include Linux Kernel 2.6.37 (with Gentoo patches), accessibility support with Speakup 3.1.6, Bash 4.1, glibc 2.12.2, GCC 4.5.2, Binutils 2.21, Python 2.7.1 and 3.1.3, Perl 5.12.3. Desktop environments and window managers include: KDE SC 4.6, GNOME 2.32, Xfce 4.8, Enlightenment 1.0.7, Openbox 126.96.36.199, Fluxbox 1.3.1, XBMC 10.0.... The live DVD is available in two flavors: a hybrid x86/x86_64 edition, and an x86_64 multilib edition." See the release announcement for full details.
Gentoo Linux 11.0 - a new version of the (non-installable) live DVD by the popular source-based distro
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Alpine Linux 2.1.5
Jeff Bilyk has announced the release of Alpine Linux 2.1.5, a small distribution designed for x86 routers, firewalls, VPNs, VoIP boxes and servers: "We are pleased to announce the Alpine Linux 2.1.5 release. This release includes an update to use 188.8.131.52-based kernels. Various packages have bug fixes from upstream. Among these are Asterisk 1.8.3, Samba 3.5.8, Dovecot 2.0.11, BIND 9.7.3 and OpenSSL 1.0.0d. The package manager has fixes that solve issues when upgrading to edge. Important note when upgrading from version 1.10: the 2.0 series introduces an ABI-incompatible version of uClibc with NPTL threading support. This means that you cannot mix packages from older releases with 2.0. To upgrade you will need to make sure that you only have 2.0 repositories in your /etc/apk/repositories list." Read the full release notes for further information.
Scientific Linux 6.0 "Live"
Urs Beyerle has announced the release of Scientific Linux 6.0 "Live" edition, a set of live media built from the Red Hat-based Scientific Linux 6.0: "Scientific Linux 6.0 live CD/DVDs are officially released. They are available for the 32-bit and 64-bit platforms and come with following window managers: LiveMiniCD - IceWM; LiveCD - GNOME and IceWM; LiveDVD - GNOME, KDE and IceWM. Software was added from RPMforge, EPEL and ELRepo to include additional file system support (NTFS, ReiserFS), more secure network connection (OpenVPN, VPNC, PPTP), and several rescue and file system tools (TestDisk, dd_rescue, ddrescue, GParted). For SL6 the way how the live CD was built has completely changed; it is now based on Fedora LiveCD Tools. If you install the live CD to hard drive, the installation of the live image is now done by Anaconda, similar to the normal SL6 installation." Read the release announcement and visit the project's home page to learn more.
Joli OS 1.2
Joli OS 1.2, a new name of an Ubuntu-based distribution formerly known as Jolicloud, has been released: "Following up on our previous blog posts on the new direction for Jolicloud and the Joli OS 1.2 feature list, we’d like to share with you some of the features that are available in the new Jolicloud desktop and Joli OS 1.2. Both of which are now available. We enhanced the design and fine-tuned the user interface. Features like application sharing (the little star) can now be found more easily. We have included lots of cool new wallpapers. Now you can easily create your own applications in seconds; just type in the URL of your favorite site and Jolicloud will add it as an application to your Launcher. You can even share your creations with friends. Link your Dropbox account to your Jolicloud and access your files from any instance of your Jolicloud desktop." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information and screenshots.
Joli OS 1.2 - an updated release of an Ubuntu-based distribution for netbooks formerly known as Jolicloud
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Tony Sales has announced the release of Vinux 3.0.1, an updated version of the Ubuntu-based distribution designed for blind and visually impaired users: "The Vinux 3.0.1 release, based on Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS, is now available for download. This combines all of the accessibility of Vinux 3.1 with the stability of Vinux 3.0 as well as a few completely new features. In addition to the existing three screen readers (Orca, Speakup and YASR) this release also includes Emacspeak, 'The Complete Audio Desktop' pre-configured and ready to go out of the box. You can now create audio books from text-based files using our exclusive Audiobook converter package, browse our new HTML-based Vinux manual to help get you started, install the latest version of LibreOffice using an EasyInstall script, and customise your desktop experience with Ubuntu Tweak." Visit the distribution's news page to read the release announcement.
openSUSE 11.4, a major new update of one of the world's most popular Linux distributions, has been released: "We are proud to announce the launch of 11.4 in the openSUSE tradition of delivering the latest technology while maintaining stability. The 11.4 release brings significant improvements along with the latest in free software applications. Combined with the appearance of new tools, projects and services around the release, 11.4 marks a showcase of growth and vitality for the openSUSE project. openSUSE 11.4 is based around Linux kernel 2.6.37 which improves the scalability of virtual memory management and separation of tasks executed by terminal users." Continue reading the release announcement to learn more about the features in this release.
Fusion Linux 14
Valent Turkovic has announced the release of Fusion Linux 14, a Fedora-based live DVD with extra software and improved out-of-the-box usability: "Fusion Linux 14 'Thorium' is officially out. This release has been in the making for the last 5 months. Work on this release started even before Fedora 14 got released, which is the base for Fusion Linux 14. We had a lot of features, desktop components and overall polish to tie together into one coherent whole before making this release. Features and highlights: a brand new custom-made theme; post install welcome wizard script; Skype removed so Fusion Linux can be freely redistributed; multimedia support (Flash, MP3 and DivX playback); better hardware compatibility for Broadcom wireless cards; mintMenu; DockbarX; GNOME Do; Compiz Fusion." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
Fusion Linux 14 - a Fedora-based distribution with mintMenu and other usability improvements
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Calculate Linux 11.3
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 11.3, a Gentoo-based distribution for desktops and servers: "The new version of the Calculate Linux 11.3 distribution has been released. All editions of distribution are available for download: Calculate Linux Desktop with desktop KDE (CLD), GNOME (CLDG) and Xfce (CLDX), Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS), Calculate Directory Server (CDS) and Calculate Scratch Server (CSS). Major changes: updated KDE 4.6.1 and GNOME 2.32 desktop environments; includes LibreOffice instead of OpenOffice.org; improved integration of GTK+ applications in KDE; full removal of the HAL package; support for installation on /dev/cciss device (HP servers); added support for Samsung printers; fixed installation on USB hard disks." Here is the full release announcement.
John Combs has announced the release of GhostBSD 2.0, a FreeBSD-based live CD with GNOME, package manager and simple system installer: "GhostBSD 2.0 is released. Great news for this release of GhostBSD as it now supports auto-mounting USB devices. Some of the changes in the release: new logo, bug fixes, new live file system, more improvements to GDM (no more white screens during boot). GhostBSD 2.0 is based on FreeBSD 8.2; it includes GNOME 2.32, Rhythmbox 0.12.8_3, Pidgin 2.7.7, Firefox 3.6 and Thunderbird 3.0.11. GhostBSD 2.0 can be installed to hard disk with a simple terminal installer written in Python. You can now also install and delete application with a package manager call Bxpkg." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshot of the default desktop.
GhostBSD 2.0 - a FreeBSD-based operating system for the desktop
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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, 21 March 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• 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 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Refracta is a Linux distribution based on Devuan GNU+Linux (a systemd-free fork of Debian), designed primarily for home computer users and also for use as a system rescue and recovery disk. It provides a simple and familiar layout using the Xfce desktop. Other desktop environments and additional software packages are available from the Devuan package repository. Besides providing a Linux distribution on a live CD, the project also develops useful tools, such as refractainstaller, refractasnapshot and refracta2usb which allow users to customize the installation and create custom live CD or live USB images.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Questions and answers: Frustrated with lack of "polish"|
|Questions and answers: Tracking and identifying users through web browser data|
|Questions and answers: In search of "better" applications|
|Tips and tricks: Tools for rescuing the operating system and data files|
|Tips and tricks: Advanced file systems, network traffic, running a script at login/logout|
|Questions and answers: Switching file systems on the fly|
|Questions and answers: Distributions for older hardware|
|Tips and tricks: Hiding processes from other users, get geographical location of IP address|
|Tips and tricks: Fix filenames, manage networks from the command line and more command line tips|
|Tips and tricks: Command line weather, ionice, rename files, video preview snapshot, calednar, ls colour settings|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|