| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 483, 19 November 2012
Welcome to this year's 47th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! As many of us await the stable release of Linux Mint 14, a rather quiet week has resulted in a triple first-look review of Debian GNU/Hurd, DragonFly BSD and Xubuntu 12.10. Xubuntu is perhaps the most exciting project of the three, combining a well-tested base system with a lightweight desktop environment that could deliver a winner in these days of confusing desktop interfaces. But will the traditional desktop win the hearts and minds of users in this age of touch-screen interfaces? Read on to find out. In the news section, a link to an article suggesting improvements over a stock Ubuntu 12.10 install, Gentoo developers on the verge of forking the good-old udev device manager, and an unexpected FreeBSD server compromise that reminds us only too well about the insecurities of the Internet today. Also in the news, a Question & Answers section that talks about switching to a different file system on the fly and the usual sections, including an introduction to the Ubuntu-based SalentOS. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (38MB) and MP3 (37MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
A tale of three projects
This week I had the urge to experiment with a few operating systems to which I usually don't pay attention. With that in mind I decided to give three projects very quick first-impression reviews, starting with the GNU/Hurd branch of the Debian project. Debian's GNU/Hurd is essentially a regular installation of Debian with the usual installer and userland programs, but the kernel shipping with this operating system isn't Linux, it is GNU's Hurd. Hurd hasn't led a particularly glamorous existence. Despite repeated efforts to breathe life into the project it has never gained the attention other kernel projects, such as Linux, have. That being said, some earnest developers decided to wed the Debian project to Hurd and I wanted to see what came from this union.
Debian GNU/Hurd can be downloaded as either a set of three full sized CDs or as a single 1.4 GB DVD. I opted for the DVD option. Booting from this media brings up a GRUB 2 boot menu where we are asked if we would like to launch the system installer in graphical mode, in text mode or in pseudo-graphical mode. Other options include performing an "expert" install or an "automated" install. As it turned out, the choices didn't make any difference. Regardless of which option I selected the machine would simply reboot, bringing me back to the menu. It didn't seem to matter whether I was using physical hardware, VirtualBox or KVM, I couldn't get as far as the project's system installer.
* * * * *
Let's move on to DragonFly BSD. DragonFly was originally forked from the FreeBSD project and it takes on some interesting characteristics not found in its parent. For instance, DragonFly will let kernel instances run as userland programs, making testing new kernels easier for developers. Perhaps most important though, among DragonFly's features, is the HAMMER file system. HAMMER is a next generation file system which allows for massive volumes, sub-volumes, snapshots and practically instant recovery from a crash. Despite the praise often given to this file system it has not be successfully adopted elsewhere. (At the moment there are on-going efforts to get HAMMER ported to FreeBSD.) In the past I hadn't had much luck getting DragonFly BSD to run, but I decided to take the latest release, version 3.2.1, for a spin.
The operating system comes in 32-bit and 64-bit builds and the ISO for either build is approximately 1.9 GB in size. Booting from this media we're brought to a text login screen where we are told we can login as root to use the command line interface or we can login using an "installer" account in order to run the system installer. The DragonFly BSD installer is text based and reminds me of the older FreeBSD installers (those which appeared prior to FreeBSD 9). We're asked to confirm we really want to install DragonFly, then we're walked through creating slices and partitions (the Linux community generally refers to these as partitions and sub-partitions). We're asked which file system we would like to use, the popular UFS option or HAMMER. Given the limited size of the partitions I was using I opted for UFS. From there files are copied to our local hard drive and then we are walked through a few configuration steps. We're asked to set our time zone, set a password for the root account and configure the machine's network card. When in doubt we can usually take the default options. While the installer was running I noticed there was a hint at the top of the screen saying pressing F10 would refresh the display. I thought this was odd until, during the configuration process, the installer appeared to lock-up each time I completed a step. I found that pressing F10 would cause the next prompt to appear.
DragonFly BSD, like many other BSD operating systems, doesn't default to a graphical user interface. When we boot into DragonFly we're brought to a text-based login screen. Logging in we can navigate around the command line, create new user accounts and install additional software from a ports collection (more on ports in a moment). By default DragonFly is a fairly light system, using just 20 MB of RAM and taking up approximately 2 GB of hard drive space. In the background a mail server and a secure shell are running. One thing I discovered early on in my trial was that OpenSSH would block login attempts by default, requiring the secure shell server to be configured before users could login remotely.
Should we wish to install third-party software on top of DragonFly BSD we can do this by selecting software from a ports and packages collection. All software is available in the form of source code and most ports also provide pre-built binary packages for our convenience. I found the process of acquiring new software on DragonFly to be quite similar to the way we install software on FreeBSD or NetBSD. The primary difference appeared to be that when I downloaded binary packages they would be installed in the /usr/pkg directory (rather than /usr/local) and the /usr/pkg directory isn't in the user's default path. This means if we install an application called "foo", by default we need to specify its entire path, such as "/usr/pkg/bin/foo". Updating our user's path gets around this inconvenience.
Though I only played around with DragonFly BSD for a day my overall impression was fairly good. Not because the system itself is particularly friendly or easy to use, but because the project has excellent documentation. The DragonFly Handbook is well organized and the instructions are clear. This makes it fairly easy to dive into DragonFly if we already have a basic understanding of BSD or Linux operating systems. My only serious issue with DragonFly was with regard to hardware. The operating system wouldn't boot in VirtualBox and, on physical hardware, it wasn't able to find my wireless network card, nor could I get X running for a graphical interface. I suspect DragonFly is mostly run on physical servers anyway, reducing the need for a wide range of hardware support.
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On that note, let's look at a project which is designed with desktop users in mind: Xubuntu. After my review of Ubuntu several people pointed out that I've never done a review of Xubuntu. All of the exciting developments seem to happen in Ubuntu and Kubuntu, leaving the relatively calm Xubuntu out of the spotlight. Let's take a moment to shine that light on Xubuntu 12.10. The ISO we download for Xubuntu is approximately 693MB in size. As with its siblings in the Ubuntu community, the Xubuntu disc boots into a graphical environment where we are asked whether we'd like to try the distribution, running it from the CD, or install the operating system. The system installer is the same as Ubuntu's (and other members of the Ubuntu family) and I encountered no problems getting the disk partitioned and the distribution installed.
Once Xubuntu is installed and we boot from the local hard drive we're brought to a graphical login screen. Xubuntu supports regular user accounts and there is also a guest account which can be accessed without the need of a password. The desktop is laid out in an elegant manner with the application menu and task switcher placed at the top of the display. Icons for accessing the file system are placed on the desktop and the wallpaper is neutral blue. I found the clean layout and colour theme calming and pleasant.
Something I found odd about browsing the application menu of Xubuntu was that items are named in three different ways. Some items in the menu are labeled with the application's name, such as "gThumb". Others are labeled according to their job, such as "File Manager", and another group has a combination of name and description, such as "Firefox Web Browser". Some other programs available in the menu are the Ubuntu Software Centre for managing packages, the AbiWord word processor, Parole for watching videos and an app called gmusicbrowser for playing audio files. The Orage calendar is included along with a disc burner, many little programs for editing text files, dealing with archives and other common tasks. There are a handful of programs to help us adjust the look and feel of the desktop too. Network Manager is included to help us get on-line and the Linux kernel, version 3.5, provides an excellent range of hardware support. Whether multimedia extras such as Flash and mp3 playback support are included will depend on our choices at install time. Software package management is handled by two programs, a simple graphical software updater and the Ubuntu Software Centre. I found both programs worked quite well and provide the user with a huge collection of software via the Ubuntu repositories.
Xubuntu did a good job of detecting and using my hardware. I was able to get on-line without any problems, my screen was set to a medium resolution by default and audio worked out of the box. The Xfce desktop doesn't require much memory and I found logging in to my account used approximately 180MB of RAM, fairly low by today's standards.
I've only been using Xubuntu for a little over a day, but so far the experience has been quite good. The installer is very easy to use, the Xfce desktop is stable and responsive. I really like that the Xfce developers have stayed focused on making minor improvements to their project rather than dropping their working code and chasing after new paradigms. I feel as though Xubuntu has managed to benefit from the vast array of software and technology available in the Ubuntu repositories without getting caught up in unstable new features. I quite like the combination of the elegant Xfce desktop with modern technology such as the Ubuntu Software Centre.
Xubuntu 12.10 - the Xfce desktop settings
(full image size: 233kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
I did have a few minor complaints after playing with Xubuntu. Nothing serious, but little things which I'd like to see either fixed or changed. One was that the system installer asks if we would like to download all available updates at install time and I opted into this to avoid manually downloading updates post-install. However, the first time I logged into Xubuntu a pop-up appeared to let me know there were 21 updates available to be downloaded. It appears as though my instruction at install time was not followed. Another thing which bothered me was that I wanted to change around some of the items in the application menu. I found the menu editor, made my changes and later found those changes hadn't been applied. Logging out and in again still showed the original application menu and returning to the menu editor showed my changes had been reverted. I tried making changes several times, adjusting different menu items and my changes never stuck. Additionally, on the topic of the application menu, I find some of the default programs unusual. I suspect some of the choices were a reflection on the limited space on the Xubuntu CD. Having AbiWord as the only productivity program and Parole as the video player stuck me as unusual and not all that appealing. I think if these choices were made in order to save space then it would be nice to have a DVD edition of Xubuntu with a full office suite and more popular multimedia applications.
The above minor concerns aside, Xubuntu 12.10 worked well for me. It's relatively light on resources, it remained stable during my short time with it and the interface was very responsive. It has a nice mix of dependable software, like Xfce and the Ubuntu installer, but it also has newer features which give the user all of the benefits of modern package management and hardware support. I found using Xubuntu to be pleasant and happily uneventful.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
What do to after installing Ubuntu 12.10, Gentoo forks udev, FreeBSD security compromise
So you installed Ubuntu 12.10 and now what? Well, there is still quite a bit to do and Julian Fernandes will happily guide you through the next steps: "Another Ubuntu version is out and, once again, many users rush to download and install the orange operating system. But release after release we ask ourselves: what to do after installing Ubuntu? Installed Ubuntu and have no clue about what to do now? There is no easy answer for this question, because every person have different needs, but in this post you will find some essential steps to make your Ubuntu desktop perfect. It’s a compilation of software and tips I use to make my Ubuntu ready for daily use. Ready? Then let’s get to work. The first thing to do after your install Ubuntu is update it. Canonical usually release a update package after the release, so this step is really important. Open Unity’s dash with the >Super< key (the one with the Windows logo) and type software channels, clicking on the result after that. When the software is open, configure it like the images below."
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An average Linux developer is a surprisingly stubborn individual, never easy to please. The latest conflict in the distro world is over the well-established udev device manager which is now forcefully being replaced by Fedora's systemd. But some developers fear that this is yet another exercise of commercialism over common sense. Gentoo developer Richard Yao is the latest to add discontent over the situation: "It is no secret that many of us are unhappy with the direction that udev has taken under the leadership of the systemd developers. That includes Linus Torvalds, who is 'leery of the fact that the udev maintenance seems to have gone into some 'crazy mode' where they have made changes that were known to be problematic, and are pure and utter stupidity. After speaking with several other Gentoo developers that share Linus' concerns, I have decided to form a team to fork udev. Our plan is to eliminate the separate /usr requirement from our fork, among other things. We will announce the project later this week." Similar concerns have been expressed by some of the Debian developers in Gentoo guys starting a fork of udev.
* * * * *
It's never a pleasure to report a compromise of a well-known open-source project, but it seems to be a norm of these days of Internet troubles. The latest one is FreeBSD whose servers have suffered a break-in through a stolen SSH key. From the announcement by the project's security officer: "On Sunday 11th of November, an intrusion was detected on two machines within the FreeBSD.org cluster. The affected machines were taken offline for analysis. Additionally, a large portion of the remaining infrastructure machines were also taken offline as a precaution. We have found no evidence of any modifications that would put any end user at risk. However, we do urge all users to read the report available at here and decide on any required actions themselves. We will continue to update that page as further information becomes known. We do not currently believe users have been affected given current forensic analysis, but we will provide updated information if this changes. As a result of this event, a number of operational security changes are being made at the FreeBSD Project, in order to further improve our resilience to potential attacks."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Switching file systems on the fly
Curious-about-file-systems asks: 1) I know a file system type code can be changed via a program for a given file system, then all is fine after a reboot, but can a file system itself somehow be changed under any one partition, and the OS and its data still be intact after a reboot? For example, perhaps, an ext4 partition changed to ext3 on the fly by some program? 2) Regarding ReiserFS, I actually read a great article from Wired magazine where a journalist interviewed Hans Reiser. The writer found that within the ReiserFS source code, at the very end, a line or two from the end perhaps, Hans Reiser added some phrase within it relating to his beliefs, frustrations or theories. I cannot recall what it was though. Where would I find the source code for ReiserFS, in the Linux directory tree, /usr/src or another place?
DistroWatch answers: 1) In some cases, yes, it is possible to convert one file system into another. One of the attractions of Btrfs is the ability to convert a given ext3 or ext4 partition to Btrfs and, if necessary, convert back to ext4 afterward. A decade ago it was also common for people to convert from ext2 to the journaled ext3 file system. It's the sort of operation you want to prepare for by making backups of your data first, but it is possible to make the change. Also, I feel it important to point out that the ext2/3/4 and Btrfs family of file systems is a bit of a special case as it is generally assumed people will convert from one up to the next and tools have been made to assist system administrators in moving from older file systems to newer ones in the family. It's less likely you will find file system utilities for switching between file systems which aren't so closely related. For example, I don't recall ever hearing of a tool for converting ext4 to ZFS or UFS to XFS, those are big jumps. When switching between those file systems I think you would have to backup your data, reformat the partition and then copy the data back to the new file system.
2) Someone once told me our lives are 10% what happens and 90% how we react to those events. As such I've always been disappointed by the way in which the tech media (in general) handled the Hans Reiser trial. There was a distinct lack of decorum, a lot of sensationalist reporting and no small number of conspiracy theories put forward in an effort to generate page hits. The Wired article in question, to which I will refrain from linking, seems to fall under the conspiracy theory category as the author pretends there are clues about the trial, or at least Han Reiser's philosophies, hidden in the source code. There are none. The source code in question, that of the Reiser4 file system, is available on SourceForge. The section referenced by the Wired article begins on line 77,340 of the source code and ends on line 77,449. The comment block explains how parts of the file system, specifically znodes, work. While interesting from a technical perspective, the code comment doesn't contain any information beyond dealing with znodes.
|Released Last Week
Manuel Kasper has announced the release of m0n0wall 1.34, a tiny FreeBSD-based operating system for firewalls: "m0n0wall 1.34 released. m0n0wall 1.34 is a maintenance release with low-priority security fixes for CSRF/XSS issues in the webGUI. Changes in this release: eliminate modifying GETs from webGUI pages; make rule moving and deletion on shaper rules page work like for firewall rules; add csrf-magic for CSRF protection in webGUI; fix potential XSS in diag_ping.php and diag_traceroute.php; increase key size of auto-generated webGUI certificates to 2,048 bits; update default webGUI certificate/key; remove domain name handling from dhclient-script and change ARP command not to use sed (not used/available in m0n0wall); change virtualHW version to 7 for VMWare image to avoid errors in ESX 4." Visit the project's download page to read the full changelog.
ROSA 2012 "Enterprise Linux Server"
Konstantin Kochereshkin has announced the release of ROSA 2012 "Enterprise Linux Server", a server distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux: "The ROSA team is happy to announce ROSA Enterprise Linux Server (RELS) 'Helium' 2012 server operating system. RELS 2012 is based on a combination of a package base from Red Hat, the world leader in the server operating system market, modern open technologies from upstream and brand-name ROSA tools and applications. This allows to achieve binary-level compatibility with popular enterprise applications and at the same time extend the system functionality, e.g., for easier integration with existing corporate networks, visual server configuration and management, etc." Read the rest of the release announcement for features, technical specifications and other information.
Tails 0.14 has been released. Tails is a Debian-based live system with the goal of providing complete Internet anonymity for the user. From the release announcement: "Tails (The Amnesic Incognito Live System) version 0.14 is out. All users must upgrade as soon as possible. Notable user-visible changes include: Tor upgrade to 0.2.3.24-rc, enable stream isolation; upgrade Iceweasel to 10.0.10esr, with anonymity enhancing patches from the TorBrowser applied; fix Iceweasel's file associations No longer should you be prompted to open a PDF in the GIMP; hardware support - upgrade Linux kernel to 3.2.32, support more than 4 GB of RAM, support more than one CPU core; fix memory wiping at shutdown; gpgApplet can now handle public key cryptography; add a persistence preset for NetworkManager connections; better support setting up persistence on large USB sticks...."
Peppermint OS Three-20121105
Kendall Weaver has announced the release of an updated build of Peppermint OS Three, a lightweight Linux distribution with Openbox, based on Ubuntu 12.04: "We're proud and happy to announce the first re-spin of Peppermint Three in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions. The downloads are live now via our standard download links and are also available for purchase in both CD and USB format. The re-spins offer a fully updated install as of November 5th, 2012, so you aren't left needing to download hundreds of megabytes of updates immediately after the install. In addition, we changed the desktop notifications back to the way they were in Peppermint Two after several users noted that the way they were implemented in Three seemed to be a bit of a step backward compared to the previous iterations. For users already running Three that also want this, it's actually quite simple: simply install the packages 'notify-osd' and 'notify-osd-icons'." Continue reading the release announcement for further details.
Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0
Alan Baghumian has announced the release of Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0, a desktop Linux distribution with GNOME Shell, based on Debian's 'testing' branch: "Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0 (code name 'Gloria') brings tons of updated packages, faster live boot, improved installer system and quality new features. This version has been synchronized with Debian testing repositories as of November 7, 2012 and brings lot of updated packages compared to Parsix 3.7. Parsix Gloria is the project's first release with the GNOME 3 series and it ships with LibreOffice productivity suit by default. Gloria has a brand-new software manager package. Highlights: GNOME 3.4.2, X.Org 7.7, GRUB 2, GNU Iceweasel 16.0.2, GParted 0.12.1, Empathy 22.214.171.124, LibreOffice 3.5.4, VirtualBox 4.1.18 and a brand-new kernel based on Linux 3.2.28 with TuxOnIce, BFS and other extra patches. The live DVD has been compressed using Squashfs and xz." See the detailed release notes for more information.
Parsix GNU/Linux 4.0 - a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution with GNOME Shell
(full image size: 778kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Dream Studio 12.04.1
Dick MacInnis has announced the release of Dream Studio 12.04.1, an Ubuntu-based distribution featuring a collection of open-source applications for creating graphics, videos, music and websites: "Dream Studio 12.04.1 has been officially released. New features include: upgraded base system, based on the Ubuntu 12.04.1 install disc; many upgraded packages, such as Ardour, Blender, and GIMP; the Dream Studio audio indicator by default, instead of QJackctl; the addition of a hardware-specific software installer for some audio hardware; the addition of all the KXStudio repositories; the addition of slowmovideo by default, as well as a new graphics repository; many, many, small tweaks and performance upgrades. This is the latest release in the 12.04 series for Dream Studio. Any current 12.04 users will be upgraded automatically." Here is the brief release announcement.
GALPon MiniNo 2.0
Miguel Anxo Bouzada has announced the release of GALPon MiniNo 2.0, a Debian-based distributions for legacy computers - the ones made twelve (or more) years ago: "On 16 November 2002 the Pontevedra Linux Users Group, Grupo de Amigos Linux de Pontevedra 'GALPon', was formed in Vigo, a city in the province of Pontevedra, in Galicia in north-west Spain; its objective was to promote the use of GNU/Linux and free software in general, while offering a meeting point for all enthusiasts for this software. Today, 10 years later, to commemorate that day, we are releasing the latest version of our 'distro' GALPon MiniNo v_2.0 aka 'Ártabros' and we are launching this new website which we hope will be more user friendly than the earlier one. It is our hope that this latest version of GALPon MiniNo will be useful and we look forward to your continuing support and your suggestions for further enhancements." Visit the distribution's news page to read the brief release announcement.
GALPon MiniNo 2.0 - a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution with LXDE
(full image size: 172kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Canaima GNU/Linux 3.1
Canaima GNU/Linux is a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution from Venezuela. An updated build, version 3.1 based on "Squeeze", was released a couple of days ago. According to the project's website, the distribution is built in the spirit of social and technological policies leading to increased knowledge, innovation and technological independence in Venezuela and is meant for use in government organisations and communities of users. Some of the changes in this release include: software updates to LibreOffice 3.4, Cunaguaro 8.0 web browser with complete support for HTML 5, Turpial 1.6.6, Amigu 0.7.2; new applications, such as Ucumari - a control centre based on Ailurus Centro, Canaima Instalador - a new system installer written in Python.... Read the release announcement and also the detailed release notes (both links in Spanish) for further information.
Kwort Linux 3.5
David Cortarello has announced the release of Kwort Linux 3.5, lightweight distribution based on CRUX with a custom package management tool: "Finally Kwort Linux 3.5 has arrived. We have been testing this release for a month and it needed just one public release candidate to get a known bug-free system. Those who installed RC1 can upgrade to the final version with kpkg. In this version our system received a complete update, from the toolchain to the latest X11 applications. This might be the last i686 version as we are planning to move to x86_64 for our next release. We are rolling this release with Linux kernel 3.5.4, the latest stable version of Chromium (Firefox is available on the CD image in more/xapps). The latest LibreOffice is also available on the CD image for you to install with kpkg. Most noticeable changes are in the installer and kpkg, as both got a speed up and also I gave kpkg the ability to upgrade a single package or the whole system." Visit the project's home page to read the complete release announcement.
Manjaro Linux 0.8.2 "LXDE"
Philip Müller has announced the release of Manjaro Linux 0.8.2 "LXDE" edition, an lightweight desktop distribution based on Arch Linux: "The culmination of substantial refinements and exciting new developments, Manjaro 0.8.2 is the most polished, feature-rich, and accessible release yet. A lot of people asked me for a LXDE edition. Here it is. It has the same look and functionality as our Xfce edition. With this release you get a better EFI-support through rEFInd, it includes support for Steam gaming, automatic desktop notifications for new system updates, and -- developed exclusively for Manjaro -- a user-friendly graphical interface to easily manage and maintain the system. A more detailed overview of the improvements in the 0.8.2 release is as follows: the default Linux kernel series has been changed to 3.4-longterm for better upstream support; LXDE got updated to 0.5.5...." Read the full release announcement for more details, screenshot and a link to the changelog.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to the database|
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 26 November 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.
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Neptune is a GNU/Linux distribution for desktops. It is based on Debian's stable branch, except for a newer kernel, some drivers and newer versions of popular applications, such as LibreOffice. It also ships with the latest version of the KDE desktop. The distribution's main goals are to provide a good-looking general-purpose desktop with pre-configured multimedia playback and to offer an easy-to-use USB installer with a persistence option.