| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 400, 11 April 2011
Welcome to the 400th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! With the release of GNOME 3 last week, many distributions are hard at work not only integrating the radically redesigned desktop into their products, but also considering their options with respect to the end user. These are a complex decisions, especially since opinions about the changes in the most popular desktop environment tend to vary widely. For those who dislike GNOME 3, there are other options, including the subject of today's feature review - Openbox running on top of CrunchBang Linux or the new Unity on Ubuntu; see the interview with Mark Shuttleworth in the news section. Also in the news, CentOS is facing an uphill battle trying to regain the trust of its users, Mageia's Anne Nicolas doesn't fear fragmentation in the Linux developer communities, Canonical discontinues its free CD shipping service, and openSUSE devises a new versioning system for its distribution. Also not to be missed is the regular Question and Answers section which deals with package signing and related security implications. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the March 2011 DistroWatch.com donation is the Imagination project. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at CrunchBang Linux 10|
The CrunchBang Linux distribution is a Debian-based project with a focus on providing a light, alternative desktop environment. The distro is offered in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and comes in Openbox and Xfce editions. Looking at the project's website and screenshots suggests that CrunchBang is, in style, a cousin to ArchBang Linux. Both projects have dark interfaces and provide a simple layout. For my trial I grabbed the Xfce 32-bit flavour of CrunchBang. The download page has a colourful description of the distribution: "CrunchBang Linux is not recommended for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. CrunchBang Linux could possibly make your computer go CRUNCH! BANG!" I thought this was interesting as the distro is based on Debian "Squeeze", a distribution known for its stability. The website also features a forum with active users and, from my brief time spent there, they seem to be a helpful bunch.
The CrunchBang live CD boots into a mostly-black Xfce 4.6 desktop. A task switcher sits at the bottom of the screen and a Conky status panel takes up the right-hand side. Moving over to the left of the display we find a quick-launch bar with icons for starting commonly used programs. There's no traditional application menu button; right-clicking on the desktop brings up the menu. I didn't find a system installer in the menu and so rebooted and requested the graphical installer from CrunchBang's boot menu.
CrunchBang Linux 10 - finding application and changing settings
(full image size: 99kB, resolution 1366x768 pixels)
The CrunchBang system installer is basically the same installer that comes with Debian "Squeeze". We select our preferred language and give our location. Once we have confirmed our keyboard layout we're asked to create a user account and set our time zone. The next series of screens guides us through partitioning the hard drive. Manually partitioning is a bit longer and, I found, the process is less intuitive than in most other installers. We then wait while the operating system is copied to the hard drive. We're next given the option to install GRUB. Unlike Debian's installer, we're not asked if we want to connect to repositories or install software to track package popularity.
The first time we login to CrunchBang a virtual console window appears and asks us if we'd like to customize the system. What follows is essentially a text wizard walking us through updating our package repository information, installing any available security updates and then adding optional software to the operating system. We're given the opportunity to install printer support, Java, a Zen-based kernel, OpenOffice.org (AbiWord and Gnumeric are already included at install time), FUSE file system support, and developer tools. Each screen gives a short description of each optional item and we're given a simple yes/no prompt as to whether we want the software. After the wizard finishes we're shown a list of links to the project's documentation.
Assuming we don't install any new software using the first-run wizard, CrunchBang still comes with a good collection of software for common tasks. We're given Chromium 9 for web browsing, the Transmission BitTorrent client, gFTP and the XChat IRC client. We find AbiWord, Gnumeric and Orage in the Office section of the menu, along with the GIMP and an image viewer in the Graphics category. The distro comes with VLC, a disc burner program, GParted and the Synaptic package manager. We're given access to the Xfce configuration tools for adjusting the look & feel of the system. We also get programs for editing text files, working with archives and crunching numbers. CrunchBang additionally comes with the ability to play most video and audio files out of the box and the Adobe Flash player comes pre-installed. At install time the distro doesn't run any network services. Behind the scenes the Linux kernel, version 2.6.32, keeps things running smoothly. In total, the software takes up about 2 GB of disk space.
CrunchBang Linux 10 - office software and the GIMP
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Being based on Debian, CrunchBang uses the APT family of programs for package management. The distro is also equipped with the aptitude command-line application. For users who prefer a graphical front-end to software management, CrunchBang features the Synaptic package manager. During my time with the distro I had no problems adding, removing and updating software. Something I found interesting is that CrunchBang is based on Debian "Squeeze" and, unlike its parent, CrunchBang did not require me to remove the installation media as a software source before I could use the on-line repositories. I also found it odd that by default my software sources were set to pull from servers in Germany, rather than the main servers or locations in Canada (where I live).
I ran CrunchBang on two machines, a generic desktop machine (2.5 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) and my HP laptop (dual-core 2 GHz CPU, 3 GB of RAM, Intel video card). The distro detected and used all of my hardware on both machines. My screen resolution was set properly, audio volume was set to a reasonable level and wireless networking was a point-n-click setup. The one quirk I ran into was that the shortcut keys (listed on the Conky panel) didn't work on my laptop. They did, however, work on the desktop machine and in a virtual machine running on the same laptop. CrunchBang doesn't require much RAM, using approximately 75 MB upon logging in and I found that most simple tasks could be performed with 128 MB or less. Responsiveness was good, not amazing, but typical for the Xfce desktop.
Considering the relatively sparse look presented in the project's screenshots and the low-resource attributes of Xfce it may seem odd that my biggest complaint when using CrunchBang was that I found myself disabling so many features. The most obvious unwanted feature is probably the Statler Says pop-up which displays fortunes a few minutes after logging in. Some other things that annoyed me until I turned them off included the pop-up quick-launch panel, the Conky status display, the flashing terminal cursor and faux window transparency. Each of these items has its place, but I felt they were in uncomfortable contrast with what could have been a simple, minimal environment.
CrunchBang Linux 10 - browsing the web and using Heybuddy
(full image size: 98kB, resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Preferred desktop layout & look aside, I didn't run into any serious problems with CrunchBang aside from a few application crashes. The VLC player crashed once trying to open a file and my terminal window was killed during a desktop theme change. CrunchBang does have some good things going for it: the distro has side-stepped the repository problem I faced with plain Debian while keeping the parent project's vast collection of software; the non-free components I wanted were installed by default and I liked the first-run wizard, which gives us the option to add common extras. All of my hardware was picked up and there are applications provided out of the box for common tasks. I would have liked to have seen more applications pre-installed (an email client, dedicated music player and Pidgin come to mind), but I suppose there's only so much room on the CD. Once the system was up and running and looking the way I wanted it to, the experience was pleasantly boring. Nothing really jumped out at me as being great or terrible. Thus far I haven't found any niche CrunchBang fills -- its resource usage, install process and user-friendliness seems to be about on par with plain Debian, so I'm not sure who this project is targeting. My conclusion is CrunchBang appears to be a good tool, I just haven't found any task for it.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
CentOS updates legacy branch, openSUSE creates new versioning scheme, Ubuntu discontinues free CD service, interviews with Mark Shuttleworth and Anne Nicolas, GNOME 3 on Arch Linux
The developers of CentOS, the most popular among the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clones, have finally released version 5.6, some three months after the upstream release. This has alleviated some of the pressure the project's user community has been putting on the developers in recent months. However, CentOS 6 is still nowhere to be seen and as long as this situation persists, there will be critics (the CentOS mailing list is a rather rough place to be at the moment). LWN's editor-in-chief Jonathan Corbet summarises some of the issues facing the project: "The real problem is not delayed gratification; it is that there have been no CentOS 5 security updates since January 6, and only one since December 14, 2010. During this time, RHEL 5, on which CentOS 5 is based, has seen updates for dbus, Exim, Firefox (twice), GCC, hplip, OpenJDK, kernel (thrice)... Since these updates are based on the 5.6 release, CentOS cannot easily pass them on to its users until they, too, have a 5.6 base. Since that base has been slow in coming, all those security updates have been blocked." So what's the solution to the problem? According to LWN, it's the web hosting industry that could help: "One suspects that the hosting industry is getting a better deal than many. Now would be a good time for the top beneficiaries of the CentOS project to roll up their sleeves and put some serious time into making it better."
* * * * *
In recent weeks the openSUSE has been discussing the way its distro releases are numbered, with an effort to create some sort of a logical system that would be easy to understand. Now, following a poll and feedback, the project has reached a consensus - the next release will be openSUSE 12.1: "Recently, the project took these discussions to a poll, to gauge community feeling about the different options. Generally, the community expressed that they wanted a scheme that was uniquely openSUSE's and reflected our release methodology. We looked at other distros for examples, and while we felt many had come up with excellent versioning schemes for their distros, none properly reflected our own cycle. From this discussion and results of the poll, we have come up with the following scheme: The .x shall henceforth reflect the month of release: 1 = November, 2 = July, 3 = March. We will no longer ship a .0 version. This solution brings a meaningful rationale to the scheme, without completely revising the look. And thus, our next release in November will be 12.1. In July 2012, we will ship 12.2 and in March 2013, we will ship 12.3. Then in November 2013, we will ship 13.1."
With the recent release of openSUSE 11.4, many users have welcomed the new repository, called Tumbleweed, which allows the more experienced among them to run openSUSE as a rolling-release distribution, similar to Arch Linux. As such, they no longer need to wait for the project's next major release before running the latest software applications. Anastasios Ksouzafeiris shares his experiences with upgrading to and running Tumbleweed: "Tumbleweed is the name of the repository that, once added to your openSUSE installation, allows the whole system to be regularly upgraded to the latest and greatest software, without the need of ever upgrading the OS to a newer, major version of the distribution. The good news is that 'latest and greatest' doesn't mean 'bleeding edge'. That may be the case with the openSUSE Factory repository, but not with Tumbleweed. The bad news is that by turning openSUSE into a rolling distro you'll find yourself re-compiling and re-installing any closed-source drivers you rely on more often than you're probably used to -- and in most cases that entails some extra labor. But that couldn't possibly stop me from trying Tumbleweed, so I set off to a quest for transforming a local openSUSE 11.4 VMware virtual machine (GNOME edition)."
* * * * *
Ubuntu's dramatic rise to fame was always heavily "sponsored" by the deep pockets of the distribution founder, Mark Shuttleworth. This is especially true when one considers the project's willingness to ship official CD sets to users across the globe - free of any charge. Unfortunately, this unusual generosity has now come to an end: "Today it was announced that ShipIt, the free CD service that Canonical has been running since the inception of Ubuntu, will be discontinued. Why? A few reasons. Firstly, CD distribution is not really as effective as it used to be, and it is expensive. These days, particularly with the availability of low-cost, hi-speed Internet growing across the world, more and more people are simply downloading the ISO images and burning them to a CD or installing from a USB stick. Canonical felt like it would make better sense to reduce the investment in snail-mail CD distribution and focus it more on LoCo Teams and use those savings to invest in other areas of the project." Does this mean that local Ubuntu communities will still get the free CDs? The answer is positive: "We are still going to provide approved LoCo Teams with CDs!"
One more on Ubuntu - a link to an interview with Mark Shuttleworth as published by Linux User, where the Ubuntu founder talks, among other things, about the forthcoming changes in the distribution: "On the enterprise front, the biggest changes have been in cloud computing and virtualisation. We were the lead distribution to adopt KVM, and that has now become an industry standard in Linux. Ubuntu has taken off on EC2 and Rackspace public clouds, where people are doing amazing innovation, and we've added some features just for cloud deployments that make it easier to keep your infrastructure in the cloud up to date and manageable. We also shipped the only free and open cloud infrastructure, which lets you create your own cloud with a few servers and the standard Ubuntu Server CD. On the desktop front, we introduced Unity, the brand new desktop experience that is designed and tested for usability and efficiency. We will make that our default desktop in 11.04 this April, and we have an implementation both for high-end computers with OpenGL and for low-end computers where memory and graphics are less advanced, in Qt."
* * * * *
Among the frequently expressed opinion on many Linux websites and blogs is the topic of excessive "fragmentation" in the Linux community. Too many distributions, too many applications designed for the same task, not enough collaboration between different groups... Speaking to Toolinux, Anne Nicolas, the former vice president of engineering at Mandriva Linux and the current head of the Mageia project (a fork of Mandriva), believes that there is no need to fear fragmentation (article in French): "It's not fragmentation that one should fear, but rather repetition, exclusivity and stagnation. We launched Mageia to give the project keys back to the community, to build a community around healthier and more dynamic operating rules and to allow the community to organise and innovate within the distribution." The interview also expands on the reasons for forking Mandriva Linux, touches on the subject of collaboration with the Mandriva developers, details the work which has received most of the developers' focus, and covers other related topics.
* * * * *
The last item in today's news section is about the biggest event of the past week by far - the release of GNOME 3. While the first major GNOME update of the popular desktop project since July 2002 brought many diverse opinions, it's unlikely that many end users would have tried the release since it will take some time before it appears in any of the big distributions. Apart from trying one of the live CDs with GNOME 3, only those users who follow the development or experimental branches of the main distributions, such as the Arch Linux testing tree, had a chance to experience the brand-new desktop: "GNOME 3.0.0 packages are now available in the [testing] repository. These bring with it an update to GTK+ 2, as well as the new GTK+ 3. This is a major update and you should take note of a couple of things: GNOME 3 will replace GNOME 2 once it gets moved to [extra]; GNOME 3 has two modes, 'standard' mode (gnome-shell) and 'fallback' mode (gnome-panel + metacity); panel applets using Bonobo aren't supported any more and packages depending on it will be dropped; PulseAudio is now required to run the GNOME desktop; some packages exist in separate versions for GTK+ 2 and GTK+ 3, these typically have a name like 'packagename3'." More information and upgrade instructions are available on the Arch Linux Wiki.
The visual look of GNOME 3.0 is rather different from its predecessor
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|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
All about package signing
On-the-dotted-line asks: Over the past few weeks there has been a bit of an upheaval with regards to package signing (or the absence of it) in the Arch Linux project. For those of us who don't touch source code too much, what exactly is package signing, how does it work, and what are the security implications to not using it?
DistroWatch answers: Over the past month I've been feeling increasingly sympathetic toward the Arch Linux developers. They've been cruising along fine for years, doing what they do so well. Then a few people point out that Pacman, the Arch Linux package manager, doesn't feature package signing and suddenly there are thousands of people up in arms as if the Arch people kicked a puppy. (I mean the cute little animal, not the cute little distribution.) As much as I like the practice of package signing I don't think the Arch team deserves all the flak they're getting.
At any rate, let's talk about signing. What is package signing? Digitally signing a package or a message is a little like putting an ink signature on a document, as you would with a personal cheque. It's a way of verifying the item (message, package, cheque) came from the person you think it came from. A person's digital signature should be unique, letting us know where the package originated. Signing also incorporates a method by which we can verify whether a package or document has been altered since it was signed by the author.
For example, let's say I create a package called FooBar. I sign FooBar with my digital signature, which puts my unique identifier on it and additionally takes a "fingerprint" of the file. Then I send the file to you. Given the included signature (and fingerprint) you can verify that the package came from me and that it has not been altered. Assuming that you trust me, you can then install the package. Were someone to intercept the package before you get it and were they to modify the package, the signature would no longer be valid and you would know not to install the package. Or, if the person who intercepted the package replaced my signature with their own, you'd know it wasn't from me and wouldn't trust it. In short, package signing tells you where an item came from and that it hasn't been tampered with. This is useful when we're installing software because we can be fairly certain that the software in our distribution's repository is trustworthy. When software isn't signed we're at risk of someone breaking into the repository server and replacing software with malware. It's also possible for an attacker to intercept our network traffic and send us the wrong package and, without signing, we might not be able to tell the difference.
In theory the only way someone can send you a package that looks like it came from me is if they get their hands on my signing key, a bit of data that's kept private. If you'd like to experiment with signing your files and messages I recommend trying KGpg which is a graphical front-end for GnuPG. KGpg makes it easy to create your own keys and sign messages. You may also want to read this document on how to use GnuPG to sign and verify files.
|Released Last Week
Zenwalk Linux 7.0 "Core"
Jean-Philippe Guillemin has announced the release of Zenwalk Linux 7.0 "Core" edition, a minimalist, but extensible distribution based on Slackware Linux: "Zenwalk Core 7.0 is ready. Zenwalk Core 7.0 is the base foundation of Zenwalk - everything except the X server and desktop environment. Installation process takes about 10 minutes and then you are free to install just the packages you need to create your very own desktop environment or your highly optimized and secured server. Zenwalk Core features the 188.8.131.52 kernel with BFS scheduler, KMS and many performance tweaks. Two kernels are available - the standard one supporting SATA or PATA disks, and a bigger kernel supporting any disk technology from SATA to SCSI. Note: the next version of Zenwalk Core will most probably be included in Zenwalk Standard edition as an installation option." Here is the brief release announcement.
Linux Mint 201104 "Xfce"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 201104 "Xfce" edition, a Debian-based rolling-release distribution: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint Xfce. Linux Mint Xfce is rolling on top of a Debian 'Testing' package base and uses the same repositories as Linux Mint Debian edition. This offers the following advantages to Linux Mint Xfce: a huge performance boost; a continuous flow of updates which allows users to keep their system up to date without waiting for new releases; a more mainstream desktop and software selection; an easier maintenance for the team which makes it easier to release in both 32-bit and 64-bit with every Linux Mint Debian edition release." See the release announcement for full details.
François Dupoux has released an updated version of SystemRescueCd, a Gentoo-based live CD containing a collection of utilities for disk management and data rescue tasks. What's new in version 2.1.0? "Updated standard kernels to 184.108.40.206 (long-term kernel: rescuecd + rescue64); alternative kernels re-based on linux-220.127.116.11 (most recent kernel); patched alternative kernels with loop-aes-3.6b (encrypt disks using AES); updated Testdisk to 6.11.3 (checks and undeletes partitions + PhotoRec); updated hdparm to 9.36 (utility to change hard drive parameters); updated the Xfce desktop environment to new major version 4.8; updated gDisk to 0.7.1 (the package has been renamed gptfdisk); 32-bit kernels (rescuecd + altker32) compiled for i586 instead of i686." Here is the complete changelog.
CTKArch is a minimalist, Arch-based Linux live CD (with a hard disk installation option) using the Openbox window manager. A new update of the distribution, version 0.7, was released yesterday: "CTKArch 0.7 released. It took some time because I've implemented something quite interesting: the possibility of turning your live CD into a 'nomad installation', by saving all system changes to the persistent data partition. The script for add-on creation and the installer have required quite big changes to support this and the add-ons without conflicts. Read the documentation, it's full of interesting info! If you have already installed 0.7 with the RC1 ISO image, don't even think of reinstalling - it will give the same result on your hard disk. However, you will certainly want to update the live image on your Flash memory stick or CD/DVD-RW." Here is the release announcement in English and French.
CTKArch 0.7 - a minimalist desktop system with Openbox, based on Arch Linux
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Karanbir Singh has announced the release of CentOS 5.6, a Linux distribution built from source packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6: "We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of CentOS 5.6 for i386 and x86_64 architectures. CentOS 5.6 is based on the upstream release EL 5.6 and includes packages from all variants including Server and Client. All upstream repositories have been combined into one, to make it easier for end users to work with. CentOS 5.6 is the sixth update to the CentOS 5 distribution series; it contains a lot of bug fixes, updates and new functionality." Read the release announcement and release notes for further information.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
March 2011 DistroWatch.com donation: Imagination|
We are happy to announce that the recipient of the March 2011 DistroWatch.com donation is the Imagination project, an open-source DVD slideshow maker. It receives US$250.00 in cash.
Developed by Giuseppe Torelli, Imagination is "a lightweight and simple DVD slideshow maker written in C language and built with the GTK+ toolkit." The author writes on the project's website: "I noticed a lack of a user-friendly DVD slideshow maker for GNU/Linux, so I started developing Imagination. True, there are some other GUIs which do the job, but they usually require a lot of dependencies to be installed first and often their interfaces are bloated. Imagination has been designed from the ground up to be fast, light and easy-to-use. It requires the FFmpeg encoder to produce the movie file and libsox to handle the audio. That's correct, you don't need any other third-party software, I like the KISS principle."
Included with the software are many transition effects: "Imagination at present features 69 transition effects, random function to automatically set a random transition on all of the selected slides, cut, copy and paste ability on the slides, Ken Burns ability, text on the slides with some text animations, ability to add an empty slide with a gradient editor and export of the slideshow as OGV Theora/Vorbis, widescreen FLV video and 3GP for mobile phones." Visit the project's screenshot page to see Imagination in action.
Giuseppe Torelli has emailed DistroWatch with a brief thank-you note: "Thank you so much for your generous donation! I've never received a so big an amount of money for Imagination!"
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal and credit cards are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$27,480 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Liquid Lemur Linux. Liquid Lemur Linux a Debian-based distribution. It uses the latest Xfce desktop, the latest Zen Kernel from Liquorix, Cairo-Dock, and all the usual everyday applications.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 April 2011.
Jesse Smith and Ladislav Bodnar
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• 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 18.104.22.168, 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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|Random Distribution |
Rocks Cluster Distribution
Rocks is a complete "cluster on a CD" solution for x86 and x86_64 Red Hat Linux clusters. Building a Rocks cluster does not require any experience in clustering, yet a cluster architect will find a flexible and programmatic way to redesign the entire software stack just below the surface (appropriately hidden from the majority of users). Although Rocks includes the tools expected from any clustering software stack (PBS, Maui, GM support, Ganglia, etc), it is unique in its simplicity of installation.