| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 478, 15 October 2012
Welcome to this year's 42nd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It has been a relatively slow week for new releases in the open source community. Many of the big projects, including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and FreeBSD, are in the process of fixing critical bugs and getting ready to launch new versions of their respective projects. In the mean time we decided to use this lull to talk about a project known for its calm, steady progression. We refer to, of course, Slackware, the world's oldest surviving Linux distribution. This week Jesse Smith takes the venerable project for a spin and reports on his findings. Read on to find out what the conservative distribution brings to the table. In the news this week we cover a new file system developed by Samsung for the Linux kernel and we talk a bit about something called The Internet Of Things. We also look at the interesting new way Webconverger is handling system updates and cover the latest developments from the Ubuntu distribution. Also in this week's edition we discuss accessing multiple home machines that reside behind a firewall. Additionally we take a look at the releases of the past week and provide easy access to news, reviews and podcasts from Around The Web. We here at DistroWatch wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (16MB) and MP3 (31MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
It may sound strange, but I always get a little excited when I see a new Slackware release announced. I say "strange" because I don't use Slackware on a regular basis and, for that matter, the distribution is very conservative, meaning there are rarely any shiny new features. However, this plain approach, these largely uneventful releases, are what make Slackware so appealing to its user base. Very little happens in Slackland, or perhaps it might be more accurate to say very little ever goes wrong.
The release announcement for Slackware 14.0 suggests, as usual, a fairly tame release. The new Slackware comes with an up to date version of Firefox, the 3.2 release of the Linux kernel and includes Network Manager as one of the utilities available for getting on-line. Also new to this release is the Clang compiler, which has been gaining followers as an alternative to the GNU Compiler Collection. The two compilers are made available side-by-side allowing the user to select their preferred development tools. Slackware is offered in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and users can download the distribution as a series of CD images or as one medium sized (2.4GB) DVD. I opted to try the 32-bit build of the DVD.
Booting from the DVD we are asked if we would like to set any specific boot parameters and then we are asked to confirm our keyboard layout. The DVD then brings us to a text mode login prompt with a number of notes advising us on how to partition our hard drive and how to enable swap partitions prior to installing should we find ourselves using a computer with a small amount of RAM. We can login to the text console using the username "root" without a password. We are then advised we can partition the local hard drive using either the fdisk or cfdisk programs and then kick off the installer by running the command "setup". Before getting into the installer, I'd like to say this is something I appreciate about Slackware. The distribution can look primitive, yet the user is lead through the initial stages one step at a time. When in doubt we can usually just take the recommended or default option.
The distribution's installer is a series of text-based menus. While a good deal of options are presented, options we might not find in most other distributions, Slackware's installer does a pretty good job of explaining each step and we can mostly take the defaults as we walk through the process. One of the first things we will be asked to do is select our root partition and format this partition. Supported file systems include ext2/3/4, Btrfs, XFS, JFS and ReiserFS. We are then asked which software packages we would like to install. There is a pretty big list, including everything from the base system, to networking, to the X graphical system to desktop environments, development tools, the kernel's source code and games. Even the Emacs text editor gets its own software category. I opted to install just about everything, minus the kernel source code, the Xfce desktop, games and the aforementioned Emacs. I then waited while the installer copied over the selected items. My selections totaled 6.2GB of data (once packages were uncompressed) and took a little over an hour to install.
Once all of our software has been copied to the hard drive we're then taken through several configuration steps. We are asked if we would like to install a boot loader (LILO in this case). We're asked to confirm our screen's resolution, enter any custom kernel parameters and choose a location for our boot loader. Then we are asked to tell the installer what type of mouse we use (if any) and then we create a hostname for our machine. We are asked which services we would like to run in the background and we can check off our choices from a list. Then we can opt to choose a custom font, set our time zone and select a window manager from those installed. The last step in the process before we reboot the machine is to set a password for the root account.
Slackware 14.0 -- Playing media files.
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The first time we boot into Slackware we are brought to a text login prompt where we can login as root. I took this opportunity to create a regular user account and change the system's default init level so that, in the future, the distribution would boot to a graphical environment. I noticed at this time the root user had e-mail waiting, one message contained a welcome message with information on the Slackware project. The other e-mail suggested users visit the Linux Counter website to let the world know they exist.
After a reboot Slackware brought up a graphical login screen from which I could login to the KDE desktop. Slackware 14.0 comes with KDE 4.8 and the graphical environment is laid out in the traditional style. At the bottom of the screen we find an application menu and task switcher. The desktop is empty, devoid of any widgets or icons. At first I found the graphical interface to be quite sluggish, but after disabling desktop effects and search indexing KDE became much more responsive.
I ran the latest release of Slackware on my laptop (dual-core 2GHz CPU, 4GB of RAM, Intel wireless and Intel video cards) and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. On the laptop Slackware worked well. The newly included Network Manager detected nearby wireless networks, sound was set to a low volume, but worked without any problems. Performance was about on par with other popular distributions. By default my screen wasn't set to its maximum resolution, but this could be fixed through the System Settings panel. While sitting idle at the KDE desktop the operating system used about 275MB of memory. When running the distribution in VirtualBox I ran into a few problems. Slackware in the virtual machine wouldn't allow me to set a high screen resolution and performance was quite slow. In fact, installing Slackware in the virtual machine took approximately three hours and boot times were about double what I would expect from other full sized distributions. Something I found interesting about the 32-bit build of Slackware was that the packages installed from the DVD were compiled for the i486 architecture, which is getting a bit dated. On the other hand, the default Slackware kernel used to install the operating system requires the computer's processor be PAE-enabled, a feature old i486 machines didn't support. It struck me as an odd combination to use as the default configuration.
Slackware 14.0 -- Desktop settings and applications.
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The selection of software which is installed will vary a good deal depending on which categories of packages we select at install time. I opted to install just about all of the end-user software, minus the Xfce desktop components, and it gave me a large collection of applications. Included in the application menu were Firefox, KMail, the KTorrent bittorrent client, the Pidgin instant messenger client, the SeaMonkey browser suite and the Thunderbird e-mail client. XChat was included, as was the gFTP file transfer software. There were a number of multimedia players, including Amarok, Audacious, the Dragon Player and Juk. The menu also featured KPlayer, MPlayer and a disc ripper. The classic XMMS player was included too. These multimedia programs were installed alongside a full array of codecs for playing popular media formats. The Calligra office suite was installed along with a document viewer and the GNU Image Manipulation Program. I didn't find Java nor Flash installed on the system, but we are given two compilers, the GNU Compiler Collection and Clang. For graphical application development we are provided with KDevelop and the Qt4 Designer programs. The application menu also holds a small collection of games and educational apps.
Slackware comes with a number of programs to make KDE more accessible, including a screen magnifier, accessibility options for the mouse pointer and a screen reader. The Kleopatra and KGpg programs are included to help protect our documents and manage security certificates. Of course, the distribution comes with other small programs for editing text files, managing archives and there is a virtual calculator. Behind the scenes, version 3.2 of the Linux kernel keeps things running smoothly.
The way Slackware handles packages is different from the way most other distributions manage their software so I want to spend a little time talking about it. Slackware does, technically, have package management, though on a very basic level and the package manager doesn't resolve dependencies. This tends to lead to some confusion. As the Slackbook states, "Apparently many people in the Linux community think that a packager manager must by definition include dependency checking. Well, that simply isn't the case, as Slackware most certainly does not. This is not to say that Slackware packages don't have dependencies, but rather that its package manager doesn't check for them. Dependency management is left up to the sysadmin, and that's the way we like it."
However, what the book doesn't say is why slackers like it that way. A Linux.com article sums up a few reasons. Personally I find it strange people are still opposed to something so useful (and, on modern distributions, reliable) as dependency checking, especially since it can be turned off in distributions which support the feature. However I'm not here to talk about other distros and how they do things, but rather Slackware and how it works.
Slackware comes with a few tools for package management, the one which will probably feel the most familiar to users of other distributions is slackpkg. The syntax of slackpkg and its actions are quite close to those of APT and YUM, but without the dependency resolution. Assuming we have installed most of the contents of the Slackware DVD dependencies shouldn't be a problem. Before using slackpkg we need to manually edit its configuration file and select one of the many available repository mirrors available. We are warned to only select one mirror to avoid confusing the package manager. At the time of writing there were no updates waiting for me, but I was able to experiment (successfully) with adding and removing software using slackpkg. For people who would like to benefit from dependency resolution there is the third-party tool, slapt-get. This program has a syntax and behaviour closely related to APT's and I found it worked well. I did find the build of slapt-get I installed, which was labeled as being built for Slackware 14, by default would connect to Slackware 13.37 repositories. Editing the slapt-get configuration file allowed me to switch to Slackware 14.0 repositories and everything worked smoothly from there.
Slackware 14.0 -- Package management with slackpkg
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Most of the time I was able to find the software I wanted in the official Slackware repositories, however, there were some items I wanted which were not available. Here is where I ran into a bit of a pickle. A quick search for up to date third-party Slackware repositories didn't yield positive results. There are third-party repositories out there, but the ones I looked at weren't up to speed with the 14.0 release (some hadn't caught up to 13.37 yet). The Slackware release notes suggest visiting Slackbuilds.org, which is home to many build scripts and the site provides links to source code. The first few days I was running Slackware Slackbuilds hadn't caught up with the new release, though by the end of the week they were providing build scripts for Slackware 14.0. Using Slackbuilds requires manually hunting down the proper software, downloading the source code and then building it, making Slackbuilds less attractive than the ports systems offered by Gentoo and FreeBSD and much less convenient than package management on most other Linux distributions.
The hunt for third-party software aside, my time with Slackware went fairly well. The distribution comes with a good deal of useful software, the desktop tended to stay out of the way and performance was normal for a modern Linux distribution. I found some of the default package options a bit strange (the Calligra office suite being installed rather than LibreOffice, for example), but the packages provided got the job done. Setting up Slackware on a new computer took longer than doing an installation of Fedora, openSUSE or Ubuntu, but once it is in place, the user can largely forget about the operating system and just go to work.
As the rest of the Linux ecosystem changes Slackware has a tendency to stay relatively fixed. The distribution's installer, package management, init system, website and file system layout have stayed remarkably consistent over the years. Whether this consistency is good or not will likely vary a great deal depending on the individual. Shortly after the release of Slackware 14.0 there were the usual comments from people on tech forums wondering if Slackware really brings anything worthwhile to the Linux community, if the distribution does anything which sets it above other distributions rather than merely apart. The answer is yes on both accounts, provided one is looking for the specific things Slackware provides. People looking for new technology, convenient features, lots of packages in the main repository, automatic package management (and dependency resolution) and a friendly installer will not find what they want in Slackware. That's not what it's here to do. What Slackware does do is remain consistent and reliable from one release to the next. Slackware today will work the same as the previous release and the next release will likely work the same as this one. It is a vanilla distribution, meaning very little is changed from the upstream sources and administrating a Slackware box will probably feel familiar to people who usually admin BSD or other UNIX-like operating systems. Slackware has a well deserved reputation for being tested and for being reliable. However, in my mind, perhaps the best characteristic of Slackware is this: the distribution does what it says it will do, no more, no less. It is rare a person runs into surprises when running Slackware because the distribution tells you exactly what it is going to do and then, with your command, does that and only that one thing. This approach means there is more manual work to installing and running Slackware compared with other distributions, but it also means things seldom go wrong. Running the Slackware distribution is a boring experience and, as the Slackbook says, that's the way slackers like it.
Samsung releases a new file system, Webconverger unveils a new update system and Ubuntu experiments with donations.
Last week Samsung unveiled a new file system with an implementation for the Linux kernel. The new file system is named F2FS and is aimed at NAND flash memory-based storage devices. The developers hope to improve performance for SSDs and SD cards. Along with the appropriate kernel patches, userland tools for formating devices with F2FS have been released. At this time the new file system has not been widely tested and does not yet come with integrity checking or recovery tools so it isn't advisable to use it on production systems. However, it is good to see a file system designed specifically with flash storage devices in mind, especially given their increasing popularity.
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The Internet Of Things is a phrase used to describe a world in which many common objects are interconnected via the Internet. It envisions a world in which luggage, packages, airplane seats and cars are linked together, allowing people to access not just web pages about things, but the things themselves. The Contiki operating system is designed with this Internet Of Things in mind. It is a small operating system which can run on low-resource, battery-operated devices. These devices can, through Contiki, be connected to the Internet. Adam Dunkels, Contiki's creator, took some time to talk about the little OS. He discusses the goals behind the Internet Of Things, the balance between optimizing code and making things easier and he brings up the first Internet connected Lego brick. It's an interesting read, especially for people who like the idea of having their household appliances accessible from their personal computer.
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The Webconverger team recently released version 15 of their web kiosk distribution. The distribution, which is based on Debian, is designed to be run on public terminals where only web-based pages and services need to be accessed. With version 15 the developers behind Webconverger have tried something new, system updates using the git version control software. The idea is to have installations of Webconverger connect to a managed git repository and have the operating system seamlessly sync using git protocols. It is an interesting idea and should make it easier to insure system integrity and allow administrators to roll back to previous versions of packages in the event something breaks.
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It seems as though the developers at Canonical are reconsidering their move to place Amazon search results in the Ubuntu Dash. The decision to feature Amazon results raised a number of complaints, some from people who don't want their operating system to display advertisements and others from people who didn't want their operating system sending keyword searches for local items to third-party servers. While Canonical hasn't removed the offending feature, they have introduced a way to easily turn off the Amazon ads. Work has also gone into filtering out content which some users may find offensive. While this seems like a step in the right direction, it does not appear to have won over wary users, nor addressed their key concerns. As one commenter on the story wrote, "The Amazon results should be opt-in, not opt-out and the products should be placed in their own lens."
Ubuntu unveiled another new idea this week, making it easier for users of the popular desktop distribution to donate money. When visitors to the Ubuntu website choose to download the Ubuntu Desktop edition they will be presented with a screen asking if they would like to make a donation. Contributors can choose where their donation goes (toward hardware support, performance improvements, desktop development, coordination with upstream, etc). People not wishing to donate financially can skip directly to downloading the Ubuntu ISO image. The donations model has worked well for other projects such as Linux Mint and it will be interesting to see the reaction of Ubuntu's user base.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Connecting to multiple machines behind a router
Running multiple servers asks:
Could you expand your tutorial on setting up access to your home PC to include access to a PC on your home LAN?
For example, suppose jesse.is-a-geek.net translated to your router's IP address, and you had a few machines on your home LAN (maybe with 192.168.*.* addresses, maybe using IPv6). How would you access different PCs or servers behind the router from the Internet? I tend to use different ports which the router forwards to the appropriate service (typically ssh and/or http and/or https) and machine, but wonder if there's a better way?
What you are describing, forwarding different ports on the router to different machines, is certainly the easy way to go and the most likely approach to work across multiple brands of routers. This would allow you to connect to your home IP address and specify a specific port to get access to a machine behind the firewall. For instance I could connect to jesse.is-a-geek.net, port 22 to get secure shell on my main machine (with IP address 192.168.0.100) and I could connect to the same hostname, port 23 to get forwarded to a second machine with IP address 192.168.0.101.
Depending on what kind of home set up you have there could be other solutions. For instance, some people might have multiple web servers (usually in virtual machines) on their home network. Rather than assign each server its own port, you could associate each website a different hostname and set up multiple virtual hosts on one server. Having multiple websites or web services running on one machine is often easier to manage than having one website per server. For a complete overview on virtual hosts and how to configure them I recommend reading Apache's documentation.
One solution, which isn't at all elegant, but which I've found useful in situations where the person connecting to my home network can only use a specific outgoing port, is to leave one home machine on all the time. Have all incoming connection requests go to that one machine. Then allow the user to login and manually connect to other machines on the network. For example, let's say I was at an office where I could only connect to remote networks using port 80. At home I could set my router to forward incoming connections on port 80 to a local machine running secure shell. Once I was logged in via secure shell on that one machine I would have the ability to connect to other resources on my home network. It's a roundabout way to go, but useful if you are contracting in places with strict firewall rules.
Do any of our readers use another method of connecting to multiple machines behind their home router? Let us know your solution in the comments section below.
|Released Last Week
Kai Hendry has released Webconverger 15, a specialist Debian-based distribution for web kiosks featuring the latest Firefox web browser: "Webconverger 15 realises a design goal to seamlessly upgrade. A feature that no other Linux distribution has. Currently upgrades only works on the writable install version, not the live / read-only version that you will try at first. You might be wondering what 486: and 686-pae: mean. You should be safe with the default 686-pae: live kernel choice, though if it doesn't work on ancient hardware, that is what the 486 kernel is for. In the future we will endeavour to reduce these options and make the kernel choice automatic. What else has changed? Firefox 15.0.1; xinput= touch screen calibration API; log= debug API; restored i486 support for old PC hardware; chrome=debug for browser debugging and testing; fix PDF support which was accidentally broken in 14.1; restore printing support with CUPS." Read the rest of the release notes for more details.
Lars Torben Kremer has announced the release of Snowlinux 3.1, a bug-fix update of the project's Debian-based distribution for the desktop available in GNOME 2, Xfce and E17 editions: "The team is proud to announce the release of Snowlinux 3.1 GNOME 2, Xfce 4.8 and E17 released. Snowlinux 3.1 is a bug-fix release for GNOME, Xfce and E17. It solves many bugs and it also brings many features to the users. CTRL+ALT+Backspace restarts the X server if it has hung up. Click on tap was activated and lots of bugs were solved." See the release announcement for a full list of new features and some screenshots.
Parted Magic 2012_10_10
Patrick Verner has announced the release of Parted Magic 2012_10_10, a specialist Linux live CD providing utilities for disk management and data rescue tasks: "Parted Magic 2012_10_10. This version of Parted Magic includes GParted 0.14.0 with LVM support and X.Org Server 1.13.0 with the latest drivers. I noticed some Reiser4 patches for the 3.5 kernel so it was included again. The reiser4progs package was patched to work with GParted and the 3.x kernels. Rdesktop was removed in favor of FreeRDP and its GUI Remmina. Two plugins were added to SpaceFM so you can mount Samba shares and use ClamAV directly from the file manager. Several minor bugs have been addressed. A large number of programs have been updated: Python 2.7.3, Mesa 9.0, Firefox 16.0, Linux kernel 3.5.6...." Visit the project's news page to read the release announcement.
GParted Live 0.14.0-1
Curtis Gedak has announced the release of GParted Live 0.14.0-1, a new stable version of the project's utility live CD containing tools for disk management and data rescue tasks: "The GParted team is proud to announce a new stable release of GParted Live. The big news with this release is the added ability to move, resize, check, create, and delete physical volumes under Logical Volume Management - LVM2 PV. This major addition to GParted 0.14.0 is thanks to work by Mike Fleetwood. Other bugs fixed in this release include: fix crash when ESCape key pressed in dialogs containing number entry spin buttons; fix mounted file system size and usage determination for ext2/3/4; Fix ReiserFS UUID reading issues on Fedora and CentOS. The GParted Live 0.14.0-1 image is based based on the Debian 'Sid' repository as of 2012-10-11." Visit the project's news page to read the full release announcement.
Zenwalk Linux 7.2
Jean-Philippe Guillemin has announced the release of Zenwalk Linux 7.2, a Slackware-based desktop Linux distribution with Xfce as the preferred desktop environment: "We are happy to release Zenwalk Linux 7.2. After several months of rescheduling we think it's time to let this new jet fly. Zenwalk 7.2 is loyal to its design - providing 1 application per task, everything needed to work, play, code and create, in a single 700 MB CD image, through a 10 minutes automatic install process on any recent computer. Zenwalk 7.2 runs on kernel 3.4.8 with BFS scheduler. The Zenwalk desktop is based on the Xfce 4.10, GTK+ 2.24.10 and 3.4.4, with unique look and feel and perfect ergonomic integration of the application set - LibreOffice 3.6.2, Firefox and Thunderbird 15.0.1, GIMP 2.8.2 and much more. The Netpkg package manager has been improved with multiple mirrors support and better performance." Here is the full release announcement.
Dimitris Tzemos has announced the release of Slackel 14.0, a Slackware-based Linux distribution featuring the KDE 4.8.5 desktop and a good collection of KDE-centric software applications: "Slackel KDE 14.0 has been released. A collection of four KDE ISO images are immediately available, including 32-bit and 64-bit installation images as well as 32-bit and 64-bit live images that can be burned to a DVD or used with a USB drive. The software included in live images is exactly the same as that present in the standard Slackel KDE 14.0 installation DVDs. The Slackel live DVD images includes Linux kernel 3.2.29 and were built using SaLT (Salix Live Technology). Slackel KDE 14.0 includes the stable 14.0 tree of Slackware Linux and KDE 4.8.5 accompanied by a very rich collection of KDE-centric software." Read the rest of the release announcement for more details.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Around the Web
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New distributions added to waiting list|
- PiBang Linux. A Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi. It is inspired by Crunchbang Linux and based on Rasbian.
- Safe Internet For Kids. A browser-only operating system with content filtering.
- Core17. A re-spin of the Tiny Core distribution featuring the Enlightenment graphical interface.
- Quá ít. A Linux distribution with the latest drivers, but which tries to be stable enough to solve problems in daily work situations with modern computers.
- Turing Linux. Turing Linux is an operating system comprising a minimal base just sufficient to support VirtualBox, providing quick access to other operating systems.
- Rescatux. Rescatux is a GNU/Linux rescue CD. Rescatux comes with Rescapp, a user friendly wizard that will guide users through their rescue tasks.
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DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 22 October 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 |
Zenwalk Linux (formerly Minislack) is a Slackware-based GNU/Linux operating system with a goal of being slim and fast by using only one application per task and with focus on graphical desktop and multimedia usage. Zenwalk features the latest Linux technology along with a complete programming environment and libraries to provide an ideal platform for application programmers. Zenwalk's modular approach also provides a simple way to convert Zenwalk Linux into a finely-tuned modern server (e.g. LAMP, messaging, file sharing).