| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 425, 3 October 2011
Welcome to this year's 40th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The Linux community is gearing up for the year's second release season, when we will see new versions of Ubuntu, Fedora and openSUSE. This week we saw a relatively short list of releases -- the calm before the storm -- and this quiet time seems like the perfect opportunity to look at a lesser known distribution. In this edition of DistroWatch Weekly Jesse Smith reviews ConnochaetOS, a project dedicated to free software. Also this week we bring you an interview with Kris Moore, the founder of PC-BSD, in which he talks about the desktop BSD project and how it compares to other operating systems. We also share some words of wisdom on project management from Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds and we cover the announcement of a brand new release from the GNOME project. This week we also have a guest appearance by Clement "Clem" Lefebvre, who has offered to give us a look into what goes on behind the scenes at the Linux Mint project. In last week's edition we talked about the threat of the BEAST, an exploit which breaks SSL/TLS security in web browsers, and this week Robert Storey returns with some practical advice on how to protect yourself from the BEAST. As always,
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (12MB) and MP3 (17MB) formats
Join us at irc.freenode.net #distrowatch
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A few weeks back one of our readers posted in the comments section that they were looking for a distribution which would work on an old Pentium (i586) machine. Linux is often promoted as working on older hardware, but the truth is many modern distributions are targeting i686 (and newer) architectures. This can lead to frustrating cases where discs labelled as being i386 compatible are actually built for more modern processors. Bearing that in mind I decided we should take a look at a project which really is catering to hardware which, thankfully, just refuses to die.
The word "Connochaet" may not roll gracefully off the tongue, in fact it's a mouthful, but it is the name of a surprisingly small distribution with two goals in mind. ConnochaetOS, formally DeLi Linux, is designed to be small so as to work well on older machines, and it is put together with exclusively free (as in FSF-approved) software. The operating system is said to work on Pentium I (i586) machines with 64MB of RAM or more. A disk drive of 2GB or more is recommended.
I downloaded the ISO, which weighs 390MB, and gave it a try. Booting from the CD takes us straight into the installer, which is presented as a series of text menus. It's a pretty simple installer and contains little more than the bare minimum to get the operating system up and running. We start by setting the system clock and supplying our time zone. Next we move into partitioning, which can either be automated or we can choose to carve up the disk ourselves using cfdisk. The first time through I used cfdisk to create a root partition and swap space. The installer refused to accept these, saying it couldn't locate my partitions. Going back a few steps I opted to let the installer take over the entire disk and partition things the way it wanted. This worked and I was able to proceed. Next I confirmed my preferred language and provided my keyboard layout. A note of warning here, this installer doesn't try to provide sane defaults for keyboard settings, so if you grab a copy of Connochaet, read the options carefully. Our next steps are to set a root password and create a regular user account. Lastly we are given the option of installing a boot loader (GRUB Legacy). The whole process is quick and, aside from backtracking during the partitioning section, the whole process took about ten minutes.
Booting Connochaet from the hard drive brings up a plain, blue graphical login screen. Once we're logged in we're presented with the IceWM window manager and a pleasant blue background. At the bottom of the screen we find the application menu, a series of quick-launch icons for opening terminal windows, an e-mail client, a web browser and a graphical file manager. Over in the bottom-right corner is a clock and resource usage monitors. The first thing new users will probably notice is the responsiveness of the desktop. On a fairly modern machine the small distribution flies! It also has a tiny footprint, using between 50-60MB of memory when sitting idle in the GUI. If we look at the amount of hard drive space Connochaet requires we find it only uses about 500MB, yet the developers have managed to supply a good collection of useful software.
Connochaet OS 0.9.0 -- Exploring applications
(full image size: 504kB, resolution 1366x768 pixels)
Included in the application menu we find a small web browser (XXXTerm), the Sylpheed e-mail client, the wicd network manager and XChat. We're given Abiword and Gnumeric for handling documents and a PDF viewer. A copy of MPlayer is included, as is the SimpleBurn disc writer. We're given an image viewer, a small collection of games and system monitors. There are apps for changing the look and feel of the interface, a text editor and virtual terminals. We're also given utilities for managing printers and system services. I found that the distro would play audio and most video files without any problems through the MPlayer application, though the system's volume is muted by default. In following with their commitment to libre software, the developers haven't included Flash. I didn't find Java, nor the GNU Compiler Collection either, in keeping with the distro's lightweight nature. In the background the Linux kernel, version 2.6.32, keeps things running.
ConnochaetOS uses the pacman package manager to install, upgrade and remove software from the system. The pacman program is fast, terse and performed well during my trial. For users unfamiliar with handling software from the command line, the developers have provided manual pages on their website, which guide the user through the basics. My only issue when dealing with the distribution's software wasn't a problem with pacman, but rather with the small repositories. A quick glance at the repo revealed about 500 packages, quite a small collection. Of course, the distro is focused on being light on resources and completely libre, and this restricts the packages which can appear in the repositories, sometimes more than I would have expected. For instance, I can understand omitting Flash support, but I noticed Gnash is also missing. Aside from Gnumeric and Abiword I didn't find any office suite packages and, again with the libre restriction, some multimedia packages are omitted.
Connochaet OS 0.9.0 -- Syncing with the software repositories
(full image size: 554kB, resolution: 1366x768)
The libre aspect also shows up in the realm of hardware. Connochaet was able to get up any running on my desktop machine (2.5GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM, NVIDIA video card) without any problems. It ran like lightning, not surprising since everything included in the install could fit nicely in memory. On my laptop (dual-core 2GHz CPU, 3GB of RAM, Intel video card) Connochaet worked quickly, but failed to handle my Intel wireless card. The Intel card requires non-free firmware with is, of course, stripped from the distribution. My laptop display worked, though I had to fiddle a bit to get the resolution I wanted.
While using Connochaet I was of two minds. On the one hand, the project does pretty much what it was designed to do. It uses very few resources and it delivers basic functionality using free software. I especially appreciate its performance and I'm impressed with the low memory usage I saw during my trial. But a big front has a big back and the same characteristics which make Connochaet a success also carry a downside. Namely, this distribution, being so compact and freedom oriented, probably won't appeal to people with modern (or semi-modern) equipment. What it really boils down to is that Connochaet is, as we can expect from a project targeting low-end hardware, focused on the essentials. And the essentials is something the distribution does well. We have a working graphical environment, software compiled to run on early Pentium machines, a web browser, a word processor, e-mail... Really everything we'd need to take that old machine out of the basement and get it running for the local school or library. And being so good at filling this niche means that people looking for additional features, such as wider support for video codecs, Flash, full-featured desktop environments and more development tools, won't find what they're after with this distribution. Connochaet isn't trying to be a one-size-fits-all product, it's targeting a specific audience and I think it's doing it well. Ideally I'd like to see a graphical package manager added to the system as a lot of users find it easier to install and search for software via a GUI. Otherwise, the distro provides a fairly friendly experience and provides a way to resurrect old equipment. Worth a try if medium-sized projects like Zenwalk have proven to be too heavy.
Kris Moore explains PC-BSD, Linus Torvalds on project management and GNOME releases version 3.2
When we think of open source desktops we typically think of Linux distributions. However, in recent years, the PC-BSD project has been gaining notice for its easy to install and use approach to BSD. Kris Moore, the founder of PC-BSD, recently joined the FLOSS Weekly show to talk about PC-BSD, licenses and how the project compares to Linux distributions. The chat is available on the FLOSS Weekly website.
* * * * *
Linus Torvalds, father of the Linux kernel, has had a lot of experience in project management and leading a diverse group of developers. Last week he shared some insight as to what goes into managing a large project and some of the issues to avoid. One of the gems he share is, "...even if you wrote 100% of the code, and even if you are the best programmer in the world and will never need any help with the project at all, the thing that really matters is the users of the code. The code itself is unimportant; the project is only as useful as people actually find it. The rest of the interview is available on HP's website.
Also in developer-related news, a new version of GTK+, the toolkit behind the GNOME desktop, has been released. Version 3.2 of the popular toolkit includes preliminary support for the Wayland display server and HTML5. The new HTML5 support means applications based on GTK+ can be run in a web browser. A demo of the GNU Image Manipulation Project running in a browser is
available on YouTube.
Hot on the heels of the GTK+ announcement came word that GNOME 3.2 has been released and is available for download. Improvements to the popular desktop environment include shorter buttons and title bars, contact management and integration with on-line accounts. If that wasn't enough, the developers are already looking forward to GNOME 3.4, which they report will include better extension support, social network integration and better HTML rendering in e-mail messages.
Rounding out the news from the GNOME project, one of the founders of the popular desktop environment spoke out recently about why he feels Linux has not gained a greater share of the desktop. Miguel de Icaza was quoted as saying, "To be honest, with Linux on the desktop, the benefits of open source have really played against Linux on the desktop in that we keep breaking things." He adds, "It is not only incompatibilities between Red Hat, Ubuntu, Suse, but even between the same distribution. Ubuntu from this week is incompatible with the one nine months ago." While Miguel's words have upset many in the Linux community who are quick to defend their favourite operating system, others acknowledge the long-term Linux developer raises a valid, and common, concern.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
A look behind the curtain
A few weeks ago I received the following question:
"I'd like to know more about how a distribution works. I suspect the
answers differ across the spectrum, but how are they organized, why do
they do what they do, what are the costs and how do they meet them? I
guess I understand Red Hat, as a commercial venture, but what about
It's been many years since I was involved in the developing of a distribution and so, to better answer the question, I reached out to the developers of several community projects. The first response came from Linux Mint developer and founder Clem Lefebvre. Today he shares with us the story of how Mint got started, what drives the developers, their challenges and how they pay for their infrastructure.
Clement Lefebvre (Linux Mint) answers:
I can't say for other projects but I can try and explain Linux Mint a little. Whether it's in a large company or a small structure, projects reflect the organization, the behaviour, the ideas and motivation of the key people who are empowered to lead them. In a small structure, projects can be totally independent and lead by a very small number of people, or sometimes even just one person. We're all different and that makes each project and distribution unique in the way they are organized, their goals, and the way they achieve them. So with this said, how representative of a community project is Linux Mint? I don't know.
Why do we do it?
What drives us is passion; passion for software, development and Linux. It starts when you're not only using a technology but you feel the need to tinker with it. It goes beyond the technology and you're quickly seduced by the social aspect, the collaboration of so many, the free gift you're given, the idea of sharing and the political aspect of Free Software. You find yourself involved and like many others you feel like you're part of something big and you want to contribute back to it. You help out existing projects to improve the Linux desktop and other users to migrate to it. This is the fun part and something a lot of people experience within the Linux community. You're part of a community, the Linux community as a whole, made of millions of people, who together achieved something beautiful and decided to give it to the World. There's no real need to describe this, because it's all in here, in each and everyone of us. If you're reading me on DistroWatch right now, and you're taking the time to come here every week and follow this website, then you surely know what I mean. What you're doing is getting involved in something you feel a passion for.
Now, the important aspect of this, is that many people feel this way. To lead a project successfully, you need passion, time, skills, motivation, feedback, recognition, resources and most importantly you need to know exactly what you want to achieve. You don't wake up one morning thinking "I want to be successful, let's start today". I don't think projects start like that, and I don't even think companies start like that either. That process which leads to the creation of a project, is the same that drives so many people to contribute to our community. It starts with people, their passion, the time they invest and the skills they apply... give them some recognition and feedback and you'll see their motivation double. If they have a vision they'll achieve it and find ways to gather the resources they need and maximize the time they can spend. At the start of every project there's one person's vision and motivation which got lit by either early success, recognition or stubbornness.
In the case of Linux Mint it started with me. I discovered Slackware back in 1996 and I fell in love with it, with Linux and also at the time with Free Software (I'm not as radical as I used to be when it comes to Open Source and Free Software, but I was at the time). So like many others then, and many others now, I spent a lot time and passion in diverse activities related to Linux. I advocated and promoted Free Software, I helped people migrate to it, I wrote articles and tutorials, I spent a good part of my life on the IRC... and one day somebody came to me and offered to pay for my articles. I was getting good feedback from readers and with a little bit of extra money I had the recognition and resources needed to spend more time on this and to develop it more than just a hobby. That's when you start working at night and spending less time with the family... there's a fine line between a hobby and that thing you're doing so often, and if it keeps your attention while at work and takes time away from your social life, you need some level of recognition and success from it to be able to go further. So, I was lucky and from there I decided I would try and publish my own articles. I named my website Linux Mint and I wrote even more. I wrote a lot of reviews and continued to tinker with Linux.. and then some day I decided to learn a little more about live CDs, packaging, repositories and how distributions were made. It gave me an opportunity to use my skills as a developer, which I really enjoyed, I was full of ideas for the Linux desktop and motivated to implement them, and as what I was doing got popular, it was only a matter of time before I wanted to dedicate all my time to it.
So that doesn't explain why we do it, but you can see how it started, and you can see it started the same way it starts for people when they take the time and effort to contribute to Linux, and this is something many of you are doing on a daily basis.
Now, why do we continue to do it? Well... it's the best thing in the World isn't it? A vision, an implementation, feedback, improvement, success. You work at improving what you like best, and you get both a feeling of achievement and recognition from it. That would drive anybody so you can imagine how passionate we are, just as passionate as you when you give that time. We can see how Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS do, and we're confident about ourselves. We can feel the joy we give to people with everything we do, and the joy they give back to us. We're having fun messing with one of the most high-tech and open technologies there is, we invent new things, we're supported by a huge community of people, we love our project as much as they do and we can take over the World without a rush. These are some of the reasons we do what we do, and you can feel these with any contribution you make to Linux, plus the feeling of being part to something bigger. As a distribution we're at the center of this and we experience it on an even larger scale.
What are the costs and how do we meet them?
The biggest problem is to find time. That is the most costly resource in a project and the hardest to get. If you want to achieve what you want, at some stage you're going to need to do it full time. To you that means leaving your job, to the project that means buying your time. And it only gets worse, because sooner or later you want to do more and you simply can't do it by yourself anymore. That's where we're at, at the moment. Getting things done by volunteers is one thing, knowing you can reliably expect results is another. At some stage you need to get other people full-time into the project and that is the most costly resource. For them to leave their job and to join the project full-time you need to be able to guarantee you'll be able to gather an income for them, and you'll need to be sure it's going to work for the project. It's a complicated process to say the least, and unlike a company with an HR department, we're a project made of developers who share a passion, that means no experience in management, recruitment or the sort of skills you need to efficiently gather what is needed the most here: time.
Other than this there's a lot of costs but we're meeting them comfortably. What costs money is the infrastructure needed to serve such as large user base. Our business model grows proportionally with the size of our user base. So, as the user base gets bigger, the costs raise, but so does the income. When the project starts and the user base is small, the costs are insignificant, and so is the income. As things get bigger, they both rise in proportion. Now we're dealing with a network of dedicated servers, some of which are costly, and other IT related expenses (hardware, outsourcing, contracts..etc) but none of that matters as we're able to either use our income to pay for all of this, or use the project itself to reduce the bill (for instance via partnerships or sponsorships).
The reason we're successful is because we're driven by what we do and focused on the product itself, so it's extremely important we don't deviate from it. For this reason our business model comes almost entirely from the product's success and the Linux Mint community of users. Our most precious asset is our community, our most needed resource is time. Rather than engaging in activities we're not interested or specialized in, such as merchandising, support, and other areas that distributions and companies usually use within their own business model, we chose to focus solely on development and to raise the income entirely from the product. To achieve this we rely on one of the most passionate communities there is, a community which supports us every single day, with donations, sponsorships, and most importantly with time given to us. We're getting a lot of help from our community, whether it's support, artwork, promotion, development... at least half of the work that goes in each release comes from the community, it's like doubling the manpower and getting more done for free. You can look at the income generated by donations, sponsorships and you get an idea with a figure on it. Add to this the income we generate from people's activity and interaction with advertising, and above all, add all the time they're giving to the project which translates into more work done and less time for us to find.
In the end of the day, money is only a metric to measure time and power and it doesn't measure it all. Sometimes we spend money on things we can get for free, because the time we don't spend in getting them is more valuable than the money itself. So how do we do? We can tackle any problem and pay for what we need. We can engage in expensive projects (we recently decided to mirror Debian for instance and we're now confident enough in our new servers to have all LMDE users point to them). We're almost ready to scale up, to hire, to rent offices, the financial aspect of this isn't the main issue anymore. Our biggest problem is to buy time. Because unlike everything else in the project that's been getting better and better since the start, finding the time to achieve what we have in mind has become harder and harder. Do you achieve twice as much when you've got twice as many developers? What are big companies and their large IT staff doing wrong to let small projects like ours challenge them? How do we manage to become more productive and to take on bigger projects? We don't need to worry about the money, the community removes that problem for us and allows us to focus on what really matters, finding the time that we need. This is the real challenge.
|Security (by Robert Storey)
Taming The BEAST: Java Unplugged
In last week's DistroWatch Weekly, I wrote a brief article about the BEAST, a proof-of-concept exploit that pokes a potentially serious hole in SSL/TLS, the technology that makes secure online shopping "secure."
Since the BEAST only affects SSL and TLS 1.0, my admittedly lame suggestion was to install the Opera browser and enable TLS 1.1 and 1.2. The suggestion was indeed lame because - as I noted at the time - it does no good to have TLS 1.1/1.2 enabled if the web site you're connecting to doesn't support it. And most don't. In fact, using TLS 1.2 on a site supporting only version 1.0 is more of a protest than practical advice. It was my hope that by installing Opera, we could at least shame Google Chrome and Firefox to add support for TLS 1.2, which would be a good start.
Despite the feelings of moral superiority that one might gain from a protest, it doesn't necessarily get us where we want to go. That is to say, we need a solution that works right now, unless of course you don't mind giving up online banking, credit card purchases, and possibly your bank account.
Java, on the other hand, is another story. I speak here not of Java the programming language, which underlies much good software such as LibreOffice. Nor Java the coffee beans, or the island in Indonesia. Rather, it's the Java plug-in for your browser that you can probably live without. However, do note that nuking the Java plug-in will disable some web sites, notably Facebook video chat. Some corporate apps like Citrix are also Java-based, and thus are likely to halt in their tracks without the plug-in. However, the majority of Linux users will probably not even notice.
So without further ado, here is how to kill the Java plug-in on the three most popular Linux browsers:
Type "opera:plugins" in the address bar and hit Enter
Type "about:plugins" in address bar and hit Enter
When attempting the do the above, if you find no sign of the Java plug-in, that would indicate that it was never installed on your system, in which case you were safe from the BEAST all along. Indeed, my current distro of choice, AntiX, does not have it by default. But you needn't make any assumptions - check to see if your web browser is Java-enabled (or not) by going to the Java Tester web site.
Meanwhile, browser vendors are working on quick fixes of their own. Actually, Firefox has proposed killing Java by default. Chrome is working on a more convoluted solution that would allow the Java plug-in, but it's still in the testing phase and may have issues with some web sites. It appears that every solution but the best one (using TLS 1.2) will be tried first.
|Released Last Week
Tiny Core Linux 4.0
Robert Shingledecker has announced the release of Tiny Core Linux 4.0, a major new version of the world's smallest graphical desktop Linux distribution: "Team Tiny Core is proud to announce the release of Tiny Core Micro Core 4.0. Change log: updated Linux kernel to 3.0.3, udev to 173, glibc to eglibc 2.13, e2fsprogs base libraries to 1.41.14, GCC base libraries to 4.6.1, util-linux base libraries to 2.19.1; updated eglibc for 486/586 support; updated base Xlibs (Micro Core users need to get new Xlibs.tcz); updated all the custom core utilities to use the new repository area; new loadcpufreq to handle module loading; updated ondemand for console-based extensions via Freedesktop Exec=cliorx prgname; updated tce-load and tce-audit for dynamic kernel dependency processing; adjusted .xsession to handle X start-up failure...." Read the rest of the changelog for further technical details.
Clonezilla Live 1.2.10-14
Steven Shiau has announced the release of Clonezilla Live 1.2.10-14, a new stable version of the project's Debian-based live CD designed for disk cloning tasks: "This release of Clonezilla Live (1.2.10-14) includes major enhancements and major bug fixes: the underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded, this release is based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2011-09-22); Linux kernel was updated to version 3.0; Partclone was updated to version 0.2.29; gDisk was updated to version 0.8.0 and compiled without Unicode support; iPXE was updated to 20110910 from iPXE Git repository; German language files were added; by default when a GNU/Linux system is restored, the udev hardware records in the restored OS will be removed; source tarball for all the packages in Clonezilla Live was added...." See the release announcement for additional info.
DoudouLinux 1.1, an updated version of the Debian-based distribution designed for young children, has been released: "After three months of intensive work, we are very pleased to announce that our first update of DoudouLinux 'Gondwana', version 1.1, is now out! Thanks to the involvement of many new contributors, it is available in 25 officially supported languages, instead of 15 previously. The 10 new languages are Czech, Danish, German, Hungarian, Latvian, Malay, Norwegian (Bokmål), Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal) and Telugu. This release also brings minor fixes and a new tool to easily set the user name on the local network for Empathy, the instant messaging application. Other changes: Songwrite is now in its latest version to solve language issues; translation issues with Stopmotion and Vkeybd (the piano keyboard) have been solved...." See the release announcement and release notes for more information.
Josh Paetzel has announced the release of FreeNAS 8.0.1, a new stable version of the project's FreeBSD-based operating system providing free Network-Attached Storage (NAS) services: "On behalf of the FreeNAS development team I'm pleased to announce FreeNAS 8.0.1-RELEASE. Changes since 8.0-RELEASE: divorced the volume members in the database from the FreeBSD devices; support exporting ZFS zvols (virtual devices) as device extents via iSCSI; the GUI now has an event notification system; the email backend has been refactored; many many changes in the GUI to help it validate and sanitize inputs that are passed to the backend daemons; added UPS functionality; added rsync client and server functionality; added the ability to schedule cron jobs in the GUI; vastly improved and reworked snapshot replication." Read the rest of the
release announcement for further details and some errata notes.
Calculate Linux 11.9
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 11.9, a Gentoo-based distribution set for a variety of uses: "Calculate Linux 11.9 has been released. Major changes: Calculate Linux now has a new flavor - Calculate Media Center; local user profiles will be updated in a new way - changes will be made only when programs are installed; installation on a soft RAID partition and LVM partition supported; support added for Btrfs and NILFS2 and we've fixed the problem with installing on JFS; ext4 comes as the default file system at install; single-user installation mode added to allow login without entering the password...." See the full release announcement for a full list of main changes.
ArchBang Linux 2011.10
Willensky Aristide has announced the release of ArchBang Linux 2011.10, an Arch-based desktop distribution featuring the lightweight Openbox window manager: "ArchBang 2011.10 is out in the wild. You don't need it if you already have ArchBang running smoothly on your system. It's basically 2011.10 RC2 with the following following changes: updated DOC; urxvt scrollbar color adjusted; Jumanji replaced by Firefox Nightly; icons in the applications menu; clarity icon theme instead of GNOME; 2 pixels top desktop margin so you can right-click on the desktop even when a window is maximized; you can edit keyboard layout configuration while installing ArchBang. Note: NetworkManager was updated today so you can remove it from 'autostart' once you update it since it will launch the applet automatically." Here is the brief
release announcement with a screenshot.
ArchBang 2011.10 -- The latest ArchBang desktop
(full image size: 406kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
DistroWatch database summary|
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 10 October 2011.
Jesse Smith and Robert Storey
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• 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 220.127.116.11, 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu or Linux Mint pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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Stella is a CentOS-based Linux distribution with focus on user-friendly desktop computing with GNOME 2 and out-of-the-box support for many popular multimedia formats. Besides standard upstream software, the project also maintains its own repository containing LibreOffice and a variety of useful desktop applications.