| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 467, 30 July 2012
Welcome to this year's 31st issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Despite a number of controversial decisions and the inclusion of the tablet-like Unity desktop in its recent releases, the Ubuntu distribution continues to play a dominant role on the desktop Linux market. For many the best way to ease the transition into this whole new computing world is by following a good guide. Ubuntu Made Easy by Rickford Grant and Phil Bull, a very recent book that covers the basics of Ubuntu 12.04 and the Unity desktop, is the subject of this week's feature article. In the news section, Debian developers announce the code name of the project's post-Wheezy stable version, OpenBSD's Theo de Raadt slams Red Hat and Canonical for their handling of Microsoft's controversial Secure Boot restriction, DragonFly BSD gets new desktop-oriented live DVD/USB images, and LWN's editor-in-chief questions the usability of Fedora's "Rawhide". Also in this issue, an interview with Mageia's new Q&A team leader, an overview of Oracle Linux by a Slashdot editor and a command-line session that teaches how to change desktop wallpapers on KDE, GNOME and Xfce desktops. Happy reading!
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|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Book review: Ubuntu Made Easy
A question I run into from time to time is "Where can I learn about Linux?" People new to the open source community often want a book or an instruction manual to guide them through the unfamiliar territory. It is a question I find difficult to answer definitively. Forums are fine for the question and answer format of learning, but they lack in the textbook, self-learning approach. Textbooks and websites geared towards newcomers, I find, tend to focus either exclusively on one version of one distribution (which will soon be obsolete) or are too general to be practical to a Linux novice. So while there are plenty of good books and good websites out there which can be used in combination it is a rare pleasure when I find one specific text I can recommend to people -- the masses, not just IT people looking to expand their horizons. My latest find which I feel comfortable recommending to a wide range of people, both computer enthusiasts and grandmas, is Ubuntu Made Easy by Rickford Grant and Phil Bull.
Ubuntu Made Easy isn't any bare pamphlet, the book weighs it at an impressive 484 pages, divided across twenty-two chapters and not just one appendix, but four. Each chapter focuses on one specific topic, ranging from installing the operating system to security to gaming to interacting with mobile devices. Reading the sections of this book I was struck with how much information the authors were able to get across without getting bogged down. There is a great deal of detail provided, complete with step-by-step procedures and the occasional screen shot and yet Ubuntu Made Easy doesn't suffer from the complexity or dry style of a formal textbook. Instead I found the approach of the authors to be quite informal, light and (occasionally) humorous. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's go back to the beginning.
After the handy table of contents, the authors give a little background on themselves and explain Ubuntu Made Easy (UME) was originally written in pieces, intended as tips for family members who needed a lot of hand-holding when introduced to Linux. As time progressed the detailed notes turned into chapters and a full length book began to form. In other words this book is likely to answer your questions precisely because it was written to answer someone else's. This wasn't a book put together by two guys hoping to teach the world Linux or make a buck. Instead it started as a series of instructions and it was thought those tutorials might prove helpful to a wider audience.
When I started reading the first chapter, "Becoming a Penguinista", I was a little concerned with the volume of information and terms being thrown around. The authors begin by jumping straight in, talking about what Linux is, why it is different from other operating systems (Windows is frequently referred to and it is assumed the reader has passing experience with the Microsoft product) and what a distribution is. If the reader is completely new to the Linux scene, or uncomfortable with computers in general, it will be quite a lot to process on the first time through. However, as we proceed beyond the first chapter I found the book puts assumptions and technical terms aside and gets down to practical tips and helpful hand holding. The dead tree version of UME comes with a copy of Ubuntu 12.04 (a long term support release) and the reader is walked through trying the live environment, confirming their hardware is working, trouble-shooting common issues and then installing Ubuntu. The book covers installing the open source distribution on its own, in a dual-boot environment on its own partition and within a Windows environment. Despite these many options the book is quite clear about what the options are and the pros and cons of each approach.
Assuming we get through the installation stage the following chapters introduce us to open source desktops with a focus on Unity. The book walks us through using the launch bar and navigating the Unity Dash. The text offers several hints as to how to get the most out of Unity using short-cuts and lenses. We then move on to getting connected to the Internet and several connection methods are covered, including wireless cards, ADSL modems, mobile broadband and dial-up. The dial-up section is especially nice to see as Ubuntu 12.04 does not come with GNOME PPP as previous versions did and the book tells readers how to deal with this setback.
Ubuntu Made Easy provides a gentle learning curve, introducing us to the web via Firefox, covering how to get Flash and how to manage bookmarks & add-ons. Future chapters guide the reader through installing software, applying updates, customizing the look and feel of the desktop, playing multimedia files and acquiring additional codecs. Just as importantly we're also told what codecs are, what browser add-ons are and what a bookmark is. The authors are very unassuming about the reader's level of computer experience and they have a gift for explaining things (like codecs and disk partitions) in ways I suspect most people will understand. The book goes on to cover many more topics, including a section on using LibreOffice, playing video files (including DVDs from foreign regions), accessing the partitions of other operating systems in a dual-boot environment, installing Windows software using Wine and trouble-shooting common issues. We get walked through some basic security tips, installing special lenses for the Unity Dash, reporting bugs and connecting with other Linux users to get help and exchange solutions.
There are several things I like about this book. Despite the incredibly wide range of technical subject matter covered in UME, making it a one-stop resource for Ubuntu users (and a helpful reference for people using other distributions), the entire volume is presented in a light, cheerful tone. The authors believe Linux should not only be useful, but that it should be fun too. Whether they're going over the steps required to pull photos off a digital camera or introducing the reader to the basics of the Linux command line, the book comes across as cheerful and treats the subject matter as though we are on an adventure. The text tends to assume we are following along, trying out mini-projects with the authors and it makes for a hands-on approach which should be immediately practical to most computer users. It was hard for me, even after over a decade in the Linux community, to resist tinkering with my system as I was reading this book, their positive "can-do" attitude is infectious.
As I mentioned earlier, the book jumps straight into the Linux pool right from the start and some people may find it a bit overwhelming getting through the first two chapters, which cover a lot about Linux distributions in general and the various ways to get Linux onto a machine. However, once the reader gets over that first hurdle, it is a smooth run from there through the rest of the book. Once we get passed installing Ubuntu and the basics of the desktop I feel a novice Ubuntu user could jump ahead (or back) to any chapter, focusing on their areas of interest. My impression is Ubuntu Made Easy is a clear, helpful book and it provides a great way to introduce people to the Linux community. If you know of someone thinking of making the switch to Penguinland, consider getting them this book -- either the physical text which comes with a live CD or give them an electronic copy and burn a CD for them. It will be a great way to introduce them to open source software.
Ubuntu Made Easy is available from No Starch Press and Amazon.com in both dead-tree and electronic editions.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian 8.0 "Jessie", OpenBSD on Secure Boot; DragonFly BSD live options; Fedora "Rawhide" status; Oracle Linux overview, interview with Mageia's Claire Robinson
Many readers following Debian GNU/Linux are starting to focus on the project's next stable release which goes under the code name of "Wheezy". The distribution's testing branch that will eventually become stable has recently been frozen and, as the tradition dictates, this event also coincided with naming of the post-Wheezy stable version. Release team's Adam Barratt writes on the distribution's debian-devel-annouce list: "It has become a tradition that the reward for reading all the way through our first post-freeze mail is to be one of the first few to know the name of the next release. Continuing in that vein, we are happy to announce that Debian 8.0 will be known as 'Jessie'." The not-so-good news is that the Wheezy bug count is unusually high for a product considered "frozen": "As mentioned in the freeze announcement, the number of RC bugs in Wheezy is still significantly larger than would normally be expected at the start of a freeze. Please feel encouraged to fix a bug (or three) from the list to help get issues resolved in testing."
* * * * *
Microsoft's highly contentious Secure Boot feature that will become standard on all new computers shipping with the upcoming Windows 8 operating system continues to divide the open-source developer community. The latest person adding fuel to the fire is Theo de Raadt, the founder of OpenBSD. Last week he attacked Red Hat and Canonical for being traitors and for sacrificing open-source ideals for money and power. ITwire's Sam Varghese reports: "OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt has slammed Red Hat and Canonical for the way they have reacted to Microsoft's introduction of "secure" boot along with Windows 8, describing both companies as wanting to be the new Microsoft. 'I sense that disaster is coming, and hope that someone has the moral strength to do the right thing,' he said. 'I fully understand that Red Hat and Canonical won't be doing the right thing, they are traitors to the cause, mostly in it for the money and power. They want to be the new Microsoft.'" Responding to the question about OpenBSD's plans to counter Microsoft's controversial move, de Raadt responded: "We have no plans. I don't know what we'll do. We'll watch the disaster and hope that someone with enough power sees sense."
* * * * *
The major BSD-based operating systems are often viewed as too technical by many users, but a number of user-friendly (almost Linux-like) variants have periodically appeared on the Internet to provide alternatives for those not willing to get their hands dirty. The latest BSD getting such attention is DragonFly BSD. Although Matthew Dillon's project has provided a basic live DVD/USB image for several years, more desktop-oriented flavours are now also available. One of them is Mahesha DragonFly BSD: "Juraj Sipos wrote to describe Mahesha DragonFly BSD, a live DragonFly BSD image which has additional software pre-installed and which can easily be set to understand Sanskrit. It's available in DVD and USB editions." A few days later the same website reported about an Xfce-flavoured live DragonFly BSD: "Sascha Wildner's been working on his own DragonFly BSD live images, in DVD and USB forms. It uses Xfce along with a number of other packages. They are XZ compressed, so they are nice and small for download, but make sure you have something that knows that format."
* * * * *
Like most independent distributions, Fedora continues to maintain a development repository where new and updated software packages are first uploaded for initial experimentations. Called "Rawhide", this branch has been a popular venue for experienced users and software developers to get the first taste of the upcoming Fedora release. Unfortunately, it seems that in recent years the quality of Rawhide has deteriorated to the point where it breaks far too often and, worse, Fedora developers often don't bother to fix the problems for long periods of time. Jonathan Corbet, the editor-in-chief of Linux Weekly News, reports in Left by Rawhide: "Could it be that almost nobody is actually running Rawhide any more? The fact that it could be unusably broken for weeks without an uproar suggested that the actual user community was quite small. One answer that came back read: 'In the week before F15 change freeze, are you really surprised that nobody's running the F16 dumping ground?' At various times your editor has, in response to Rawhide bug reports, been told that running Rawhide is a bad idea. There seems to be a clear message that, not only are few people running Rawhide, but nobody is really even supposed to be running it."
* * * * *
Oracle Linux, a distribution derived from Red Hat Enterprise Linux, is sometimes treated with suspicion by the Linux community, due to Oracle's dubious reputation when it comes to supporting and maintaining open-source projects. But the company's Linux distribution might be an exception. Launched in 2006 as a strictly commercial offering, Oracle Linux is now not only available for free download from many anonymous FTP servers, the company even provides software updates free of charge. Well-known Slashdot editor Jonathan Pater, better known as "CowboyNeal", has written an overview of Oracle Linux for the popular website: "If you're already perfectly happy with your RHEL or CentOS Linux install, Oracle Linux is a hard sell, even at the price of free. After toying about with the system, I'd say it's at least worth a hard look. As it is, you get the benefits of CentOS or Scientific Linux, with Oracle's own stuff bolted on, and their enhancements, even minus Ksplice, make a compelling argument to use Oracle Linux. If you are setting up a machine to use Oracle's database software, Oracle Linux is the best choice, since it has been designed to support Oracle DB, and is the same Linux that Oracle uses in-house."
* * * * *
Finally, a link to an interesting interview with Claire Robinson, a UK-based developer who was recently elected as Mageia's Q&A team leader. Asked about her Linux background Claire replies: "I tried the early Fedora Core's and Ubuntu's, both of which had not long started but eventually settled on Mandriva, as it had just become, which suited me well. I used Mandriva to power my little business. I reported bugs and used the forums a bit but never really contributed beyond that. When I heard of the fork, I noticed most of the names I recognised as being active contributors were migrating to Mageia so I thought I should follow them and installed Mageia 1 when it became available. I saw one day on #mageia IRC channel that somebody was asking the best way to help out. I joined in and somebody suggested to try the QA team, which was just really being established. I attended a meeting on IRC and the rest is history."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Changing desktop background from command line
Needing-a-change-of-scenery asks: Is there a way I can change my desktop background from the command line?
DistroWatch answers: It is possible, though on modern desktops it isn't exactly simple. Changing the desktop's background is something developers assume you will be doing from within the comforting embrace of a GUI. That being said there are some hacks you can perform on the command line to change the background. Let's take a look at how we can do this in KDE 4.
First, if you want to find out what the path is to your current background image, run:
kreadconfig --file plasma-appletsrc --group Containments --group 1 --group Wallpaper --group image --key wallpaper
Next, if we want to change the path to our wallpaper we run:
kwriteconfig --file plasma-appletsrc --group Containments --group 1 --group Wallpaper --group image --key wallpaper /path/to/my/image.jpg
Just substitute the image path I used at the end of the line with your own. If you try this you will probably notice your background image hasn't changed. That is because we need to get Plasma, the program which handles the KDE background, to re-read its configuration. One way to do that is to shut down the Plasma process and then re-launch it:
For people running the GNOME 3 desktop or the Unity desktop life is a little easier when it comes to adjusting the background. From the terminal we can run the following to get the path of our current background image:
gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri
In order to change the background to a different image we can run:
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:////path/to/my/image.jpg
People still running an older version of GNOME (or MATE) should be able to get by with:
gconftool-2 -type string -set /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename "/path/to/my/image.jpg"
The Xfce desktop uses a concept called backdrops, so if you're running Xfce make sure you have created a backdrop under the Settings Manager's Desktop Control app. Then run the following commands to set your wallpaper and refresh the desktop:
echo -e '# xfce backdrop list\n/path/to/image.png' > $HOME/.config/xfce4/desktop/backdrops.list
Looking over the above options, this is probably one of those times when it's easier to use the graphical configuration tools provided by the desktop environment rather than dropping down to the command line.
|Released Last Week
Peppermint OS Three
Kendall Weaver has announced the release of Peppermint OS Three, a major new version of the project's lightweight desktop Linux distribution based on Lubuntu: "We are proud to announce the release of Peppermint OS Three in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds. This version is based on Lubuntu 12.04 and, as always, uses some features from the ever-awesome Linux Mint. Here's a quick overview of some of the details associated with this release: the Chromium stable repository is now enabled by default; a very light theme and default artwork; fewer default web applications in the menu as we feel that we'd rather not clog everything up by default; ships with GWoffice by default - this is a desktop Google Docs client that is lightweight and runs completely independent of Chromium; GIMP 2.8 is in the Peppermint repository; Linux Mint's update manager...." See the full release announcement for further information.
Peppermint OS Three - a lightweight distribution based on Lubuntu
(full image size: 209kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Linux Mint 13 "KDE"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of the "KDE" edition of Linux Mint 13: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 13 KDE. KDE is a vibrant, innovative, advanced, modern-looking and full-featured desktop environment. This edition features all the improvements from the latest Linux Mint release on top of KDE 4.8. The highlight of this edition is the latest KDE 4.8 desktop, which features the following improvements: Kwin optimizations; redesign of power management and integration with Activities; the first QtQuick-based Plasma widgets have entered the default installation of Plasma Desktop; new display engine in Dolphin; new Kate features and improvements; functional and visual improvements in Gwenview." Read the release announcement and check out the what's new page and the release notes to learn about the new features and known issues.
Andrew Gillis has announced the release of VortexBox 2.1, a Fedora-based distribution designed to turn an unused computer into an easy-to-use music server or jukebox: "This release is a roll-up of a lot of features and fixes we have been working on since the last release. This release includes Logitech Media Server 7.7.2. Backups now support more than 2.2 TB drives. This is great for 3+ TB VortexBoxes. We have the latest Fedora kernel with upgraded audio drives. The new ALSA drives now have better support for USB audio devices. We are now using ALBUMARTIST instead of BAND tag in the FLAC to MP3 mirroring. We have experimental support for some leading-edge features. VortexBox Player now has DSD support. You can play your DSD rips directly. We now support Bluetooth audio devices through VortexBox Player. Blu-Ray ripping is working well but it still not 100%. We added Plex Media Server to the applications available for installation." Here is the full release announcement.
Bodhi Linux 2.0.0
Jeff Hoogland has announced the release of Bodhi Linux 2.0, an Ubuntu-based distribution and live CD featuring the latest Enlightenment 17 desktop: "Bodhi Linux 2.0.0 released. Well boys and girls the wait is finally over. After two months in the making 2.0.0 is officially our stable release. This build features the stable Linux 3.2 kernel, PCManFM file manager, the latest version of the Midori browser and finally the brand spanking new Terminology terminal emulator. Bodhi 2.0.0 is our first stable release to be offered in both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. The Bodhi team and I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who made this release possible. Most notably the E17 team and our community of testers!" Read the rest of the release announcement which includes a few screenshots.
Bodhi Linux 2.0.0 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with Enlightenment
(full image size: 205kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
LuninuX OS 12.00
LuninuX OS 12.00, an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a customised GNOME 3 desktop with GNOME Shell, has been released: "Release 12.00 stable. Code-named 'Purple Possum', 12.00 is based on Ubuntu's 12.04 LTS with the latest software upgrade and modifications; this release have great improvements in beauty, speed, responsiveness and reliability. While it was a demanding task, all the feedbacks and recommendations that were gained through the releases of beta 1 and beta 2 helped LuninuX OS 12.00 LTS get better - it will meet more of your needs and essentials than before. You will get great support for software and hardware in the future as well. Here are a few of the software packages included in this release: Chromium, Emerillon, Liferea, Pinta. Thank you and enjoy!" Here is the brief release announcement.
LuninuX OS 12.00 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with GNOME Shell
(full image size: 954kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Zorin OS 6 "Educational", "Gaming"
Artyom Zorin has announced the availability of two new editions of Zorin OS 6, an Ubuntu-based distribution, designed for students and gamers: "The Zorin OS team has released Zorin OS 6 Educational and Gaming, the education and gaming-oriented editions of our operating system designed for Windows users and those who are dissatisfied with the Unity and GNOME Shell offerings. At the core of Zorin OS 6 lies our new, unique desktop environment named 'Zorin Desktop'. We also include our innovative Zorin Look Changer which allows users to choose between the Windows 7, XP and GNOME 2 graphical interfaces (in Educational) plus the Mac OS X, Unity and Windows 2000 interfaces in Zorin OS Gaming." Here is the full release announcement."
Bruno Gonçalves has announced the release of BigLinux 12.04, a Kubuntu-based Brazilian distribution for the desktop (with support for Portuguese and English languages). The developers consider this a release candidate, but if no show-stopper bugs are reported within a week, it will become 12.04 final. Some of the changes in this release include: qBittorrent replaces KTorrent; soundKonverter replaces Big Audio Converter; Pidgin replaces Empathy as the preferred instant messaging client; included GIMP 2.8.0 with a single-window mode by default and several additional plugins; default theme remains unchanged, but most packages have been updated from upstream; includes KDE 4.8.4, Firefox 14.0.1, Chromium 18.0.1025.168, LibreOffice 3.5.4. Read the brief release announcement (in Portuguese) as published on the project's user forum. Download the live DVD image from here: BigLinux.12.04.iso (1,346MB, MD5).
Calculate Linux 12.0
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 12.0, a Gentoo-based distribution for desktops and servers: "Calculate Linux 12.0 released. Major changes: Calculate Utilities 3 are now used to install and set up your system - network client-server solutions via SOAP/WSDL are supported, both console and graphical interfaces are implemented, multiple installations are supported, system settings can now be configured either from the command line or in a graphical environment; Calculate Linux Xfce has a better appearance - the new Adwaita theme, a bigger menu, somewhat better response, Geeqie as the default image viewer; a new start page; GIMP was updated to version 2.8 and has now a one-window interface by default." Read the release announcement for more details and screenshots.
Calculate Linux 12.0 - a Gentoo-based distribution with KDE, GNOME or Xfce desktops
(full image size: 781kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Kororaa Linux 17
Chris Smart has announced the release of Kororaa Linux 17, a Fedora-based distribution optimised for desktop computing: "It is my pleasure to announce the release of Kororaa 17 (codename 'Bubbles') which is now available for download. Derived from Fedora 17, this release comes with the usual Kororaa extras out of the box, such as: tweaked KDE and GNOME base systems; experimental support for Cinnamon desktop in GNOME; third party repositories (Adobe, Chrome, RPMFusion, VirtualBox); Firefox as the default web browser (with integration theme for KDE); instant messaging client (Kopete for KDE, Empathy for GNOME); micro-blogging client (Choqok for KDE, Gwibber for GNOME); full multimedia support; Adobe Flash plugin installable via package manager...." See the release announcement for additional information and screenshots.
Kororaa Linux 17 - a Fedora-based distribution with KDE or GNOME desktops
(full image size: 1,242kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Vine Linux 6.1
Daisuke Suzuki has announced the release of Vine Linux 6.1, the oldest and most prominent community distribution of Linux in Japan. This release, code-named "Pape Clement", comes after about a year of development and includes the following software applications and features: Linux kernel 3.0.38 with long-term support; Mozilla Firefox 14.0.1 and Thunderbird 14.0; X.Org Intel driver with support for Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge microarchitectures; LibreOffice 3.5.5; Adobe Flash Player 11.2 and Adobe Reader 9.4; OpenJDK 1.6 runtime; MPlus Outline and Aoyagi fonts; all errata notices since the release of Vine Linux 6.0. It is recommended that all 6.0 users upgrade to the 6.1 release as soon as possible. Read the release announcement and release notes (both links in Japanese) for system requirements and other information.
Parted Magic 2012_07_28
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 2012_07_28, a specialist live CD with a large collection of utilities for disk management and data rescue tasks: "The most ambitious release of Parted Magic to-date. LVM hang fixed; garbled Russian translation problem with Clonezilla fixed; added NFS 4 support for Clonezilla; TrueCrypt hang fixed; ROXTerm 2.6.5 replaces LXTerminal; fixed 'cryptsetup luksOpen' bug; SVG icons now look like they are supposed to; added LOG support to iptables kernel driver; HAL has been removed. You can now boot Parted Magic from Linux RAID partitions (/dev/md*). Device Mapper and LUKS Crypt should work in the next release. I'm hoping to get Parted Magic to boot from encrypted USB drives real soon." Visit the project's news page to read the release announcement which includes a brief changelog of updated software packages.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Pantheon Linux. Pantheon Linux is a modern Linux operating system based on the Arch Linux distribution. It works out of the box with great support for all modern-day computing needs.
- ProxLinux. ProxLinux is a Lubuntu-based distribution using the lightweight LXDE and Openbox environments. Rather than using the LXPanel the desktop takes full advantage of a full-featured right-click menu.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 6 August 2012. To contact the authors please send email to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, suggestions and corrections: news, donations, distribution submissions, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (feedback and suggestions: podcast edition)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
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.