| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 479, 22 October 2012
Welcome to this year's 43rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! It was a busy week here at DistroWatch as we worked to keep up with all of the new releases notices, especially those coming out of the Ubuntu community. Canonical launched version 12.10 of the Ubuntu distribution and it was quickly followed by several community editions, you can get all the details below. While Canonical and friends certainly took a great deal of the spotlight this week, other exciting releases also arrived. The continuation of KDE 3.5, Trinity, launched a new release as did the highly flexible NetBSD project. We also bring you news this week of Linux-based mobile operating systems looking to break into the expanding market of tablets and smart phones. Plus we cover bug report statistics being compiled by Debian developers. In our feature article this week Jesse Smith takes the Zentyal distribution, a project targeting small business servers for a test run. Read on to find out how the distribution fairs in functionality and friendliness. Also in this week's edition we cover podcasts, reviews and newsletters from Around the Web, we look forward to releases to come and we talk about the various ways available to shut down a Linux distribution. We here at DistroWatch wish you a pleasant week and happy reading!
- Review: Qubes OS and Zentyal
- News: Debian users report fewer bugs, Trinity releases bug fixes, NetBSD and Ubuntu release new versions and Android gets some competition.
- Questions and answers: Initiating a halt
- Released last week: CrunchBang Linux 11 R20121015, BlankOn 8.0 "Sajadah", OpenELEC 2.0, NetBSD 6.0, Ubuntu 12.10
- Upcoming releases: Fedora 18 Beta, ROSA 2012.1 Beta2, Mandriva Linux 2012, OpenBSD 5.2
- Around the Web: Reviews, podcasts and newsletters
- New additions: OpenELEC
- New distributions: Santoku
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (24MB) and MP3 (18MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Last week, when I went in search of a distribution with which to experiment, I thought the choice seemed obvious: Qubes OS. The Qubes project is working to produce a Xen- and Linux-based operating system with a strong focus on security. As the project's website says, "Qubes is an open source operating system designed to provide strong security for desktop computing. Qubes is based on Xen, X Window System, and Linux, and can run most Linux applications". Qubes, which comes from Invisible Things Lab, takes an unusual approach to security where the user's desktop system is divided into separate domains. Each domain gets its own virtual machine. A person might have a few of these different domains, such as one for work-related applications and files, another for casual web browsing & e-mail and perhaps another for security-sensitive tasks like on-line banking.
The Qubes project recently released version 1.0 of its Xen-based project and I was curious to see what it would be like to use such a compartmentalized system. Unfortunately, for me, the experiment came to an early end. The installer used by Qubes, Anaconda, refused to run smoothly, coming to a halt at various points through the installation. This left me with a project which sounds promising in theory, but did not run for me in practice. Still, the concept behind the project strikes me as appealing and I recommend checking it out if you have a healthy dose of paranoia.
Moving on, I still needed some open source software with which to play and, for some reason, I wasn't in the mood to try a Linux desktop distribution this week. With that in mind, I drifted through the recent DistroWatch release announcements until I found Zentyal.
The Zentyal project is based on Ubuntu Server and the latest version of Zentyal, version 3.0, is based on Ubuntu's 12.04 long term support release. The Zentyal distribution is aimed at the small business community and offers the following blurb on its features: "Zentyal can act as a Gateway, Infrastructure Manager, Unified Threat Manager, Office Server, Unified Communication Server or a combination of them. One single, easy-to-use platform to manage all your network services." Besides offering a free (and fully functional) distribution, the Zentyal team also sells cloud services for monitoring, backing up and managing servers. Support is also available from the Zentyal company with subscriptions ranging from 49.50 Euros/month to 119.50 Euros/month. I found the documentation on the Zentyal website to be quite clear and well presented. It's nice to see a company lay out exactly what potential customers can expect as it avoids unpleasant surprises later. I opted to download the Basic edition of Zentyal which is approximately 580MB in size.
Booting from the Zentyal disc provides us with two installation options, an expert mode or an automated mode, with the latter option allowing Zentyal to take over the entire hard drive. I opted for the longer expert mode approach which kicks off a series of text-based menu screens.
We are asked to choose our preferred language and provide our location. Then we confirm our keyboard layout and set a name for our Zentyal host. We're asked for a name for a new user account and then we're asked to confirm our time zone. The penultimate screen covers disk partitioning and, despite the fact we're using a text installer, I found the partitioning section to be fairly intuitive. The installer is flexible and supports a wide range of file systems (including ext2/3/4, XFS, JFS, Reiserfs and Btrfs) and we can configure LVM layouts. With our partitions created the installer goes to work copying its files to the local drive. A few minutes later the final screen appears, asking if we would like to install a boot loader, GRUB in this case, on our hard disk. After that we can reboot the machine and get underway with Zentyal.
The first time we boot into Zentyal the distribution announces it is installing some additional packages and then we are automatically logged into a graphical interface. The Firefox web browser is launched and we are shown a web-based login screen. This login screen is hosted by our own machine and gives access to the Zentyal web dashboard and control centre.
Zentyal 3.0 -- Installing optional components.
(full image size: 178kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
Before getting into the web portal, which took up most of my focus during my trial, I want to briefly go over the software available on Zentyal's desktop. The graphical interface itself is Openbox combined with LXDE components. It's a nice, light environment and comes with just a handful of software packages. Mostly the programs to be found in the application menu are small apps that we can find in almost any distribution. We are provided with a file manager, a document viewer, text editor and archive manager. There are virtual terminals and the Firefox web browser. The distribution uses version 3.2 of the Linux kernel and, as with its parent distribution, Zentyal comes with the APT package management tools. There are no frills, no Java and no compiler. There is a music player hiding in the menu, but it's not likely to get much use given the focus of the distribution.
Logging into the web interface (with our local username and password) brings up a screen with a list of many modules represented by icons. We are asked to choose which of these modules to install. Most of the items are clearly labeled, presenting us with such optional components as “firewall”, “web server”, “anti-virus” and “backup”. A few of the other components are somewhat vague, for example, it wasn't initially apparent what the difference was between “users & groups” and “user corner”. Naturally, I decided to install them both to find out. Aside from these individual modules, there are bundles of packages put together to make common server roles easy to set up. These roles include Internet Gateway, Office Server, General Infrastructure, and Communications. Each bundle comes with a description of what is inside. I opted to try out a variety of services, including anti-virus, domain control, both “users” modules, backups and most of the Infrastructure bundle. When we click to move to the next page we're shown a list of all the items we have selected and asked to confirm these are the modules (roles) we wish to install for our server. One final configuration page then appears asking us to take any special steps we want to adjust our network connection. We're asked if the Zentyal server's network ports face out to the Internet or are internal to the network (or both). After these steps have been completed we are presented with the Zentyal dashboard.
Zentyal 3.0 -- The server's dashboard.
(full image size: 192kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
The dashboard shows us a detailed and compact summary of the server's status. A notice of available updates is displayed, system and network load are shown. Further down the page we can find our network address and a list of services and their running status. Down the left side of the page we find a menu tree listing various components and configuration options for the server. One group of settings deals with adjusting the network interfaces, another section deals with managing the server's software. I found it interesting that upstream software (sometimes referred to as “community packages”) is handled separately from custom Zentyal modules, yet both categories of software are managed in much the same manner. Other menu items help us enable, adjust and disable system services, another section deals with infrastructure concerns, such as DNS, another set of pages deals with enabling network shares. I found the menu options in Zentyal's interface to be intuitively laid out and navigation of the entire dashboard is quite easy.
The dashboard is fairly open ended, giving administrators the chance to explore and, after exploring, there were a few points of interest I'd like to share. One is that Zentyal appears to be focused on security. When we first login to the control panel one of the first things we see is notification of whether the operating system is up to date with security packages. Further, it is possible to turn on automatic updating by clicking a box. Accessing the portal is automatically done via the secure HTTPS protocol and additional modules I added on were also accessed through HTTPS. The one exception to security-by-default was the anti-virus software. The anti-virus service was turned off when I first logged in, but a click of a button enabled the scanner and also turned on the automatic check for virus definition updates. A few paragraphs ago I mentioned there were two user modules, one of which was called Users Corner. As it turns out, the “Users & Groups” module is for the administrator, it allows us to create, delete and manage both user accounts and groups, much the way we would in a desktop environment. The Users Corner module starts another web service on port 8888 and, through this portal, regular users can login and change their passwords. I suspect other options will be made available later, allowing users to personalize their accounts, but for now only password changes can be accomplished through the Users Corner.
A few other items stood out while I was using the Zentyal control panel. One was the firewall manager, which is broken down into sub-modules, depending on where the Zentyal server is in relation to the rest of the network. This streamlines creating rules a bit as the administrator is able to click on a network map to indicate whether the rules they are going to create relate to the server talking to the outside world, or internal network traffic and the type of traffic. A final positive characteristic I noticed was the way in which the web portal would inform the user of dependency issues. For instance, when I went to set up network shares I was informed that to enable Samba shares I should first enable the Users & Groups module and the DNS module. The interface also provided tips on setting up DNS to make the process smoother. This sort of hand holding, present yet out of the way, is welcome and, I find, reduces the reliance on documentation.
Zentyal 3.0 -- Creating network shares.
(full image size: 128kB, resolution: 1024x768 pixels)
There were a few areas where I felt Zentyal didn't perform quite as well, or perhaps it just took a period of adjustment. For instance, when we make changes to modules the changes aren't applied right away, rather the system waits until we hit a Save Changes button in the upper-right corner of the web page. This in itself seems sensible, however my first day of using Zentyal I was sometimes scrolled further down the page and didn't see the Save button and switching to a different page discarded my changes without warning. Another thing I noticed was when I enabled Samba shares the system began using 100% of the CPU and continued to do so until I rebooted the server. When it came back on-line, the CPU load was normal (mostly idling) and I had no issues accessing the new shares. The only other complaint I had was that sometimes it was hard to tell if a desired change or action had taken affect. For example, when clicking on the button to download new versions of the installed Zentyal components the interface didn't change. Later I noticed the updates had been applied, but there didn't appear to be any indication the system was working on the action when I requested it.
There are some people who feel a graphical desktop and web interfaces are unneeded for system administration. However, for people who just want to get the job done with a tool which is both quick to set up and easy to use, Zentyal does provide a compelling option. Its level of automation and the clear, nicely presented web pages are quite handy. It is easy to get the server up and running with a few modules in less than a hour without ever needing to visit the command line or edit a text file. That kind of ease of use is quite attractive, especially in a small office setting where proprietary operating systems (with graphical utilities) are often favoured. Though I have yet to try Zentyal's cloud services, with their promise of monitoring and configuration backups, they do add appeal to the distribution and, assuming they are set up with the same graceful approach, I think the additional services will add value to the overall product. The current release of Zentyal comes with approximately five years of support, thanks to its Ubuntu base, installation can be accomplished in a few minutes and configuration is easy. I ran into a few minor problems, but nothing serious during my trial and I think Zentyal would make a good home or small office server.
Debian users report fewer bugs, Trinity releases bug fixes, NetBSD and Ubuntu release new versions and Android gets some competition.
In an interesting blog post one of the Debian Developers pointed out last week that the rate at which bug reports are being submitted to the Debian project is decreasing. At first this was thought to be a direct result of the feature freeze imposed on Debian's Testing branch as we get closer to a new Debian release. However, another Debian developer decided to look at bug reports coming into the project over a longer period of time and found the rate at which new bug reports are submitted has been dropping for approximately six years. This, despite the fact that the number of software packages included in Debian has been increasing. Some people may optimistically hope this trend indicates improved quality of software in the open source ecosystem. Others are raising concerns that interest in Debian, or at least in maintaining and improving Debian, is waning. Either way it is important to keep an eye on Debian's vitality given the project's important position in the Linux community.
* * * * *
The Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) is a continuation of the popular KDE 3.5 desktop series and a welcome alternative to more modern desktop interfaces. The project's developers have been at work over the past year, fixing bugs and making improvements to the stability of the environment's code. A new release was launched last week, bringing version 22.214.171.124 into the world. People who miss the light, clean and classic desktop will be happy to learn pre-compiled packages of Trinity are available for Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Mandriva, Mageia, openSUSE and Arch. The new release does not contain any new features, which should make upgrading to the latest release a smooth process.
* * * * *
While Linux has always struggled to gain a share of the desktop space, the open source kernel has gained large portions of the mobile market as a base for Android. The Android operating system has done very well on tablets and smart phones, but it is not the only Linux-based solution available. Tech writer Eric Brown has a list of mobile operating systems which are looking to challenge the dominate Android OS. The battle for the mobile market has really been heating up this year and it will be interesting to see which players come out on top and which quickly disappear.
* * * * *
It's not often the NetBSD project makes the news. The operating system, which is best known for its ability to run on a wide range of architectures, recently hit a milestone, version 6.0. The new release runs on over 50 hardware platforms, improves disk quotas and enhances multi-core support. The addition of a new file system, CHFS, has been introduced and experimental support for the popular Raspberry Pi computer has been added. Many other little fixes and enhancements have made it into this release and fans of the flexible OS will definitely want to give it a test run.
* * * * *
Also making headlines this week was the Ubuntu distribution and its entourage of community projects. The popular Linux distribution went gold with version 12.10 last week and first impression reviews were already appearing the same day. The latest version of Ubuntu contains some controversial features, including the Unity desktop, search results featuring on-line products and tighter integration with web apps. This version of Ubuntu also increases the size of the distribution's default download image to be larger than a single CD. Have you tried the latest Ubuntu release? Leave us a post with your thoughts on it below in the comments section.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Initiating a halt
I always hear people use the commands "halt" or "reboot" or "shutdown -h" or "shutdown -r" for shutting down or
rebooting a Linux system from the command line. That's fine, but I have come to a fixed habit of rebooting simply by typing "init 6" or shutting down and turning off the computer using "init 0", but these are never mentioned
anywhere as options. Am I mistaken in doing this versus the common commands everyone else uses? Run "init 6" and boom, it is done! Why type more than necessary to accomplish the same thing?
From a practical sense, on a home machine with just one user (at a time), there isn't much of a difference. As you've discovered, running "init 0" will turn off the machine and "init 6" will reboot the computer. The reason the "shutdown" command is generally preferred (either "shutdown -r" to reboot or "shutdown -h -P" to poweroff) is that the shutdown command takes steps to bring down the system cleanly. If you run "init 0" everything immediately gets killed and the computer is on a one-way trip to a halted state, whether the users realize it or not. The shutdown command allows us to set a time to shutdown which could be immediately or it could be a later point in the future. Either way, when we get close to the appointed time the shutdown command will warn other users on the system and prevent new users from logging in. This makes shutdown a bit more polite than a simple "init 0".
Another thing to keep in mind, especially with the various competing init systems out there, is that init runlevels (zero for off, six for reboot, etc) may not always mean the same thing from one operating system to another. We are accustomed to the tradition of runlevel 0 meaning "poweroff" and we are used to runlevel 6 meaning "reboot", but there is always the possibility of these values being redefined. We see a touch of that now where Upstart's default runlevel for a multiuser system is "2", while Slackware typically boots into runlevel 3 or 5, depending on its role. Both these init systems still define zero and six the same way, for now, but that could change in a future version. The shutdown command is unlikely to get redefined.
|Released Last Week
BlankOn 8.0 "Sajadah"
Ainul Hakim has announced the release of BlankOn Linux 8.0 "Sajadah" edition, an Indonesian distribution with a collection of Islamic software, based on Ubuntu. Some of the new features of the release include: Manokwari BlankOn desktop; QiOO - Al Quran in LibreOffice; Zekr - Al Quran translations and voice Tartil online; Minbar - prayer time reminder; Stellarium - an application to see the solar system and a planetarium; support the writing of Arabic alphabet; calculator Zakat Indonesia; Nawala DNS - a DNS domain filter; Hijra - an Islamic calendar; Monajat - a prayer viewer applet; Thawab - an encyclopedia and ebook viewer and books.... Read the release announcement (in Indonesian) for more details.
Stephan Raue has announced the release of OpenELEC 2.0, a Linux-based distribution featuring the XBMC media centre and designed for home theatre PCs: "We are happy to announce to our users and partners the release of the OpenELEC 2.0 operating system with embedded XBMC V11. OpenELEC is a Linux distribution that aims to allow people to use their Home Theatre PC (HTPC) in the same manner as any other device attached to a TV - like a DVD player or Sky box. Turn on your box, and OpenELEC is ready for usage in less than 10 seconds - as fast as some DVD players. A simple remote control is all you need to complete the experience. With OpenELEC you do not need to worry about updating, as the whole operating system will seamlessly self-update everything automatically when connected to the Internet (this includes XBMC)." See the release announcement for a detailed list of features and some screenshots.
NetBSD 6.0, a major new update of the free and highly portable UNIX-like operating system available for a large number of platforms and processor architectures, has been released: "The NetBSD project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.0, the fourteenth major release of the NetBSD operating system. Changes from the previous release include scalability improvements on multi-core systems, many new and updated device drivers, Xen and MIPS port improvements, and brand new features such as a new packet filter. Some NetBSD 6.0 highlights are: support for thread-local storage (TLS), Logical Volume Manager (LVM) functionality, rewritten disk quota subsystem, new subsystems to handle Flash devices and NAND controllers...." Read the full release announcement and release notes for more information.
Ubuntu 12.10 has been released. Featuring many popular open-source applications, up-to-date Unity desktop and new cloud-related features, the latest version of Canonical's Linux distribution for desktops and servers is ready for download: "Ubuntu 12.10 introduces innovations that bring together desktop and cloud-based experiences, representing the next stage in the transition to a multi-device, cloud-based world. New Previews give large, clear previews of content as it appears in the Dash search results, giving users a quick way to get more information to help find what they are looking for. The new Web Apps feature makes frequently used web applications available through the desktop." Read the release announcement and see the release notes for further information.
Ubuntu 12.10 -- The Unity desktop.
(full image size: 843kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Following the release of Ubuntu 12.10 earlier today, Kubuntu 12.10 is the brand-new version of the project's Linux distribution showcasing the latest KDE desktop: "The Kubuntu community is proud to announce the release of 12.10, the Quantal Quetzal. This is the first release to burst free from the limits of CD sizes giving us some more space for goodies on the image. It also does away with the alternate installer images, adding advanced partitioning options to the desktop image. Built on Ubuntu's core and polished with KDE's applications and workspaces, Kubuntu 12.10 is a grand example of friendly, fast and beautiful software." See the full release announcement and read through the detailed release notes to learn more.
Distribution Release: Xubuntu 12.10, an official Ubuntu project providing a desktop operating system with Xfce as the distribution's preferred desktop, has been released: "The Xubuntu team is glad to announce the immediate release of Xubuntu 12.10, code-named Quantal Quetzal. Xubuntu 12.10 will be supported for 18 months. New features: Xfce 4.10; completely rewritten offline documentation; in the application menu, all settings-related launchers are now grouped under the Settings Manager; updated artwork, including new wallpaper, documentation looks and updates to LightDM, Greybird and Ubiquity slideshow; new versions of Catfish and Parole. Notable bug fixes: no more window traces or 'black on black' in installer." Read through the brief release announcement and the more detailed release notes for additional details and known issues.
Lubuntu 12.10, a new version of the lightweight Ubuntu variant featuring the LXDE desktop environment, is out: "Lubuntu 12.10 is now available. Features: based on the lightweight LXDE desktop environment; PCManFM, a fast and lightweight files manager; Openbox, the fast and extensible, default window manager of LXDE; LightDM, using the simple GTK+ greeter; Chromium, the open-source version of Google Chrome. Improvements since Lubuntu 12.04: update of the visual identity of Lubuntu, including a completely new icon theme, a new wallpaper and improvements to the current theme, a selection of community wallpapers, and Improved integration of many applications with the new artwork. A new version of the session manager is available, including more customizations and integration options." For more information please see the release announcement and the release notes.
Edubuntu 12.10, a special flavour of Ubuntu designed for educational institutions, was also released yesterday as part of the Ubuntu product family: "The Edubuntu development team is proud to announce the release of Edubuntu 12.10. Edubuntu 12.10 is a regular release bringing updated software and a few improvements. For larger deployments and environments where a stable, well tested system is preferred, the Edubuntu development team strongly recommends staying on the long-term support releases (current release is 12.04.1). LTSP users should also remain on Edubuntu 12.04 LTS as 12.10 is lacking Unity support for LTSP and has been reported to be much slower than 12.04. This new release is well suited for home users and users who wish to use the latest versions of the available software." Read the release announcement and release notes for further information.
Ubuntu Studio 12.10
Ubuntu Studio 12.10, a new version of the official Ubuntu variant compiled to give sound, video and graphics artists a free computing platform on which to unleash their creativity, is out and ready for download: "Ubuntu Studio is the Ubuntu flavour designed for content creation. Improved interface: a new web page, the help button on the main menu points there; Task Manager has been switched to System Monitor for better memory use display; a main menu tool has been added to setting to allow the user to change their menu; add/fix text Plymouth theme; set up Software Centre menu items for our workflows; fixed submenu icons for accessories, education and network. New software include: Xfce updated to version 4.10; Linux kernel (low latency) is now version 3.5." See the complete release notes for more details.
Pear Linux 6
David Tavares has announced the release of Pear Linux 6, an easy-to-use Ubuntu-based distribution for the desktop. What's new? "Based on ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS without Unity and the GNOME panel; new Pear Linux Shell (6.0); new Pear Linux Panel (1.0.4); new Pear Aurora 1.0.5 - a new window manager for Pear Linux; new Pear Linux theme and new icon theme; new Dock - the dock is no longer based on Docky (Mono code has been removed), it is now faster and uses fewer resources; new boot splash and login screen; new desktop notifications; new Pear Appstore 6.1.0; new Pear WiFi 1.0 (installer for Windows WiFi drivers); new Mission Control; new Virtual Desktop Switcher; new social applications for Facebook, Twitter and Google+; new version of the Alt-F2 command...." See the release announcement for additional details.
IPFire 2.11 Core 63
Michael Tremer has announced the release of IPFire 2.11 Core 63, a bug-fix version of the project's specialist distribution for firewalls: "Today, we are releasing the 63rd Core update for IPFire 2.11. This update fixes some minor problems and fixes two security issues in Apache. Software updates: Apache 2.2.23 - because of CVE-2012-2687 aka CVE-2008-0455 and CVE-2012-0883; DHCP 4.2.2 - because the older version got confused with VLANs; fireinfo 2.1.6 - ignore some more invalid ID strings. Other bug fixes: the long awaited OpenVPN fragment/mssfix bug has been fixed and the network VLANs initscript is not too noisy any more. Despite that, some invalid HTML output was generated by the index.cgi script." Here is the brief release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Around the Web
* * * * *
* * * * *
New distributions added to the database|
- OpenELEC. OpenELEC is a Linux-based embedded operating system built specifically to run XBMC, the open source entertainment media hub. The idea behind OpenELEC is to allow people to use their Home Theatre PC (HTPC) like any other device one might have attached to a TV, like a DVD player or Sky box. Instead of having to manage a full operating system, configure it and install the packages required to turn it into a hybrid media center, OpenELEC is designed to be simple to install, manage and use, making it more like running a set-top box than a full-blown computer.
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Santoku. Santoku is dedicated to mobile forensics, analysis, and security.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 29 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• 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|
|• 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, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
Vine Linux is a supreme Linux distribution with integrated Japanese environment for desktop PCs and notebooks. Project Vine was founded by six members of the Project Japanese Extension (JPE) in 1998 and has been developing Vine Linux with help of many members and volunteers. Vine Seed, the development version of Vine Linux, is a public software repository, which all developers are welcome to join and contribute to. Out-of-the-box Kanji support is available throughout most applications and Japanese input support is provided by either the FreeWnn (or Wnn6 in the commercial "CR" edition) or the Canna input server.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Tips and tricks: Extracting package lists from various distributions|
|Questions and answers: Menu names versus command line names|
|Questions and answers: Anbox, ZFS on root, init software for Linux Mint Debian Edition 3, Debian's many kernels|
|Tips and tricks: Command line tips - using ffmpeg, awk and renice|
|Tips and tricks: Limiting resource usage|
|Questions and answers: Getting to know how the system works|
|Questions and answers: Sharing files on home network|
|Tips and tricks: Find common words in text, find high memory processs, cd short-cuts, pushd & popd, record desktop|
|Myths and misunderstandings: GPL |
|Questions and answers: File systems for USB flash drives|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|