| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 517, 22 July 2013
Welcome to this year's 29th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Converting computer users from Windows to Linux isn't always an easy task, but there are distributions that try hard to recreate a Windows-like experience in Linux to make new users feel more at home in their new operating system. One of such distributions is Zorin OS. The "Lite" edition of the project's latest version is the subject of this week's review by Jesse Smith who enjoyed the experience despite not being the distribution's target market. The featured article is followed by a news section which starts with a celebratory article on the 20th anniversary of Slackware Linux, then continues with the weekend report about a security breach at UbuntuForums.org before concluding with two interesting articles about UberStudent, an Ubuntu-based distribution for students, and Raspbian, a Debian-based distro for the Raspberry Pi minicomputer. Also in this week's issue, a Questions and Answers section on the importance of the Tor anonymity network, an introduction to a distribution that features no fewer than 53 window managers on one live CD, and the usual regular sections with the weekly release roundup. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (15MB) and MP3 (32MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First look at Zorin OS 7 "Lite"
Running a Linux-based operating system can be a wonderful experience. Linux distributions have relatively few security problems, are typically stable and are set up to have convenient access to massive amounts of gratis software. Perhaps I'm preaching to the choir here, but I feel Linux distributions offer some of the best desktop solutions available today. The problem, as I see it, is that many people either aren't aware that Linux-based solutions exist or are not comfortable transitioning from their current desktop operating system to something different. I understand the transition can be a difficult one, I made it myself and it wasn't entirely smooth -- there was definitely a learning curve going from Windows to Slackware. Fortunately there are developers out there who recognize that a lack of familiarity is one of the big hurdles to entering the Linux community and they have tackled the task of making Linux distributions that will be feel familiar to new users. One of these distributions is Zorin OS.
Zorin is a project which attempts to bridge the divide between the Windows world and Linux desktop distributions. It does this by setting up the desktop environment to be somewhat Windows-like in appearance and the project also makes it fairly easy to run Windows software by way of WINE. The Zorin project recently released Zorin OS 7 Lite. This distribution is based on Lubuntu 13.04 and ships with the LXDE desktop. The Lite edition is designed with the idea of helping people who were running Windows on lower-spec hardware keep their machines alive by way of a Linux-based solution.
Zorin OS 7 "Lite" - browsing the project's website
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The ISO image for Zorin OS Lite is 790 MB in size. Booting from this media brings us to a boot menu where we are given the option of either immediately launching the system installer or, alternatively, trying the distribution's live environment. I decided to jump directly into the installation process. Zorin uses the Ubuntu project's graphical installer and it quickly walks us through the usual steps. We select our preferred language, partition our hard drive and confirm our time zone. Then we confirm our keyboard's layout and create a user account for ourselves. The steps are all fairly straight forward and the process goes quickly. Once the installation process is complete Zorin prompts us to reboot the machine. Loading up the locally installed copy of the distribution brings us to a graphical login screen, the appearance of which brings to mind blue honeycomb. Zorin allows us to login using either our user account (created at install time) or we can login using a guest account which will be wiped clean after we logout.
When we have entered our user name we also have the option of selecting the style of our graphical interface. The default is the standard LXDE desktop with a traditional layout. In addition there are several others labeled "Netbook Desktop", "Nexus 7", "Openbox" and "LX Games". The Openbox option takes us to a completely blank graphical interface powered by the Openbox window manager. Most people probably will not want this option, but it does give us a way into the system should the default desktop become corrupted. The other session options, "Nexus 7", "LX Games" and "Netbook Desktop" all bring up variations styled after the interfaces of mobile devices. Generally these interfaces consist of large icons filling the screen and tabs along the top of the display allowing us to filter the icons displayed. Personally I didn't find these mobile-like options appealing for a desktop system and focused solely on the default LXDE offering.
Logging into LXDE we find a blue honeycomb wallpaper. The system's application menu and task switcher sit at the bottom of the display. The graphical environment is pleasantly uncluttered. A few minutes after I started poking around the application menu a window appeared and let me know updated packages were available in the distribution's repositories and the software update utility offered to download them for me. The update app shows a little information about each package and we can get further details if we so choose. While the newer software packages were downloading I noticed the update app refers to the distribution as "Ubuntu 7", an amusing combination of the parent distribution's name and Zorin 7. All updates downloaded and applied smoothly and I encountered no problems from applying updates during my week with Zorin.
The distribution comes with a small, yet effective, collection of software. We are given a copy of the Chrome web browser, the Geary e-mail client and the Pidgin instant messaging software. Zorin comes with the AbiWord word processor, a document viewer and image viewer. The Audacious music player and the GNOME front end for MPlayer are available in the application menu. Zorin comes with popular multimedia codecs and Adobe's Flash player too. There is a program available for changing the desktop's theme and layout, two graphical package managers and a utility for importing wireless networking drivers from Windows. There is a small application for working with the distribution's firewall and another for handling user accounts. Network Manager is installed for us and automatically connects us to the local network. We are provided with a text editor, archive manager and calculator along with a system monitor for watching processes. In the background we find Zorin runs on the Linux kernel, version 3.8. I think, based on past experience, the full edition of Zorin OS comes with a copy of WINE for running Windows binaries, but it is not present by default in the Lite edition.
Zorin OS 7 "Lite" - changing the appearance of the desktop
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There are two programs listed in the application menu which I believe are unique to the Zorin distribution and deserve special mention. One is a web browser manager. This utility is quite simple. It displays icons for four web browsers (Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Midori). By clicking a button we can install or remove any one of these web browsers. It's like having a tiny package manager dedicated entirely to web browsers. I used the web browser manager a couple of times and it worked well for me. The other application that I feel deserves to be mentioned is referred to as "Zorin OS Lite Extra Software". It is similar in concept to the web browser manager and allows for the quick one-click installation of popular software. Using this tightly focused package manager we can click icons to install WINE, the VLC multimedia player, mtPaint, a spreadsheet application and a few other items. Opting to install the offered WINE package automatically installs the PlayOnLinux software too which makes it much easier for us to run third-party software built for the Windows platform.
Zorin OS comes with two graphical package managers, apart from the highly specific (and limited) software managers listed above. The first is called Software Centre. It features a nice, modern interface where we can browse bright icons representing software categories and desktop applications. We can click on entries to get a full page description of the software, complete with screen shots and user-supplied ratings. While browsing we can queue items to be installed with a click. Actions wait in the queue and are all processed in one big batch. Zorin also comes with the Synaptic package manager. Synaptic is a little less flashy and focuses more on working with individual packages instead of desktop applications. Like the Software Centre, Synaptic lets us create batches of actions to perform on packages and these actions are all processed at once. Both package managers worked smoothly for me and I encountered no problems. Most packages accessible to us are provided by the Ubuntu software repositories with a few specific items coming from the Zorin project's custom repositories. We are also connected to repositories run by Opera and Google giving us access to those companies' proprietary web browsers.
Zorin OS 7 "Lite" - browsing available software packages
(full image size: 343kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
I tried running Zorin OS Lite on my desktop computer (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and found the two were a good fit. Zorin booted quickly and ran smoothly. My desktop was set to my screen's maximum resolution, sound worked out of the box and the LXDE desktop is wonderfully responsive. I also tried running Zorin in a virtual machine, courtesy of VirtualBox, and experienced similar results. In the virtual environment Zorin was fast and responsive. The distribution is fairly light, using around 100MB of RAM to run the LXDE interface.
In the past I have used earlier releases of Zorin OS, typically the project's full-featured edition. Despite some of the convenience that is achieved by the full-sized edition of Zorin OS I always felt a little out of place when I was using it. Perhaps because it has been ages since I ran Windows at home and Zorin OS is a distribution aimed at making Windows-to-Linux converts feel comfortable. Personally, I feel better having fewer connections with the Windows world. I've also felt that earlier versions of the full Zorin desktop were either a little cluttered or a bit sluggish.
My experience with Zorin's Lite edition, however, was very positive. The distribution finds a nice balance between features and performance. The distribution is easy to install and carries an interface that is both attractive and responsive. Zorin comes with several tools to ease the burden of package management, the system ships with codecs, Flash and an easy way to gain Windows compatibility. The one-click installation of PlayOnLinux and the many installation scripts that framework offers greatly reduce the work required to run Windows software on the Linux platform. During my week with the Lite edition I didn't run into any serious bugs or stability issues. It was a pleasantly smooth week and I think newcomers to the Linux community will appreciate the work put into this distribution.
|Miscellaneous News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
Slackware turns twenty, security breach at UbuntuForums.org, overview of UberStudent, Raspbian as perfect home server
Incredible as it sounds, last week marked exactly 20 years since the famous release of Slackware Linux 1.0! The modest beginnings of Patrick Volkerding's contribution to Linux started with the .99pl11 alpha kernel included on one of the distribution's 11 floppy disks (you'd need additional 13 of them if you were optimistic enough to want to turn your computer into a graphical workstation). Susan Linton looks back at Slackware's long history by citing some of the quotes from her own past reviews: "Slackware has never been accused of being cutting edge, instead opting for stability and usability. It did employ udev but I found no hardware issues other than it detecting my BIOS-disabled on-board sound before my Sound Blaster Live! Little edit of this file and that was resolved." And another one: "In the past I enjoyed Slackware for its ease of configuration, all set up nice and easy in a few start-up files. But these days, one really doesn't have to mess with that too much. I personally didn't have to change a thing. All my hardware was detected properly and functioned perfectly upon boot." Interestingly, Patrick Volkerding too must have forgotten about the unique achievement as the Slackware "Current" changelog, which happened to be updated on 16 July, makes no mention of the anniversary either.
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The otherwise quiet weekend in terms of interesting Linux-related news was rudely interrupted on Sunday with reports about a massive security compromise affecting Ubuntu's primary user forum - UbuntuForums.org. A temporary page that replaced the busy communication channel explained what happened: "Ubuntu Forums is down for maintenance. There has been a security breach on the Ubuntu Forums. The Canonical IS team is working hard as we speak to restore normal operations. This page will be updated regularly with progress reports. Unfortunately the attackers have gotten every user's local username, password, and email address from the Ubuntu Forums database. The passwords are not stored in plain text, they are stored as salted hashes. However, if you were using the same password as your Ubuntu Forums one on another service (such as email), you are strongly encouraged to change the password on the other service ASAP. Ubuntu One, Launchpad and other Ubuntu/Canonical services are NOT affected by the breach." The latest entry in the site's progress report at the time of writing confirms the unfortunate event: "Site taken down, this splash page put in place while investigation continues."
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The UberStudent distribution, while probably not one of the most widely-used operating systems in the universe, is a very useful tool, especially if you are a student and need to have good open-source educational programs ready at your fingertips. Last week TechWorld's Rohan Pearce wrote an interesting overview of the UberStudent project with explanatory quotes from project founder Stephen Ewen: "What differentiates UberStudent from other Linux distribution designed for tertiary education is that it delivers 'pedagogical cohesion' says Stephen Ewen. 'Standard Linux desktops are barebones,' partly due to the legacy of having to fit on a single CD, says Ewen, 'and in a lot of ways assume you already know Linux, or else have weeks or even months to climb a learning curve to learn how to customise it for a particular task set.' By contrast the Linux distribution that Ewen is at the helm of -- the education-focused UberStudent -- 'responds by providing a complete, out-of-the-box system not just for doing every day home computing tasks, as does a standard desktop, but for learning, doing, and teaching the core academic skills required to excel in higher education, regardless of the academic major. Those core areas are research and writing, studying, and self-management,' Ewen adds."
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In this day and age many of us use a simple home server for sharing files, streaming videos or performing various specialist tasks. With the recent arrival of low-cost ARM-based computer boards, the price for owning a simple server has come down to historic lows as a €30 Raspberry Pi could be all that's needed to cover most users' needs. Linux Journal's Brian Trapp explains how to set up the hardware and how to install Raspbian (a Debian-based distribution developed specifically for the Pi) to function as a perfect home server: "For a home server, you'll need a medium-size SD Flash card for local storage. It's possible to use a USB thumbdrive for booting, but that would use up one of the two precious USB slots. The Flash storage card doesn't need to be large, but the faster the better. I chose a name-brand SD card with an 8 GB capacity and class 10 speed rating. For backups and multimedia files, a large hard drive with a USB dock is a must. I chose a 1.5 TB hard drive and a Calvary EN-CAHDD-D 2-bay USB 2.0 hard drive dock. This dock has a feature to run two drives in RAID-0 mode, which could be useful someday. Finally, the RPi doesn't come with a power supply, but most smartphone chargers supply the required 5V over micro USB. To see if the RPi was fussy about the power source, I swapped through three different micro-USB cell-phone chargers for power supplies. I tried each one for about a week, with no issues on any of the units."
|Question and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
What is Tor and why is it important
Why-Tor asks: In your review of Whonix you mention that the distribution connects to Tor. What is Tor and why is it important for maintaining privacy?
DistroWatch answers: Tor is a network of computers which is designed in such a way as to prevent surveillance software from figuring out who is talking to who and, perhaps more importantly, from where. Usually when we visit a website or a chat room there is a traceable connection formed between us and the remote service. This means anyone watching the traffic being passed across the network can figure out two things: 1. Approximately where we are physically in the world. 2. That a connection has been made between our computer and another specific service.
There are a few reasons we might not want this. Some websites will filter connections from specific parts of the world. On-line stores may adjust prices based upon the location of the person visiting the website. Using Tor allows us to mask our real location. Other people may wish to hide their connection making it harder to tell with whom they are in communication. This can be useful for whistle blowers or people living in countries which discourage freedom of expression. I may not want anyone listening to my network traffic to know my political leanings, for example, and therefore use Tor when visiting political websites.
When we connect to the Tor network data passed to and from our computer does not go directly to its destination. Instead our network traffic goes to one computer in the Tor network, then gets passed to another computer and, after bouncing around a little, leaves the Tor network and heads for its destination. While bouncing around inside the Tor network our data is temporarily encrypted to prevent people from identifying its contents so long as it remains inside Tor's internal network.
In a lot of ways using Tor is like passing notes in a classroom. If we scribble a note to a friend, get up and walk across the room to give it to the other person everyone can see exactly who we are communicating with and where the note passer was sitting. The instructor can easily intercept us and instantly knows exactly who to scold. A safer approach would be to write a note and pass it to the person next to us, who then passes it to another person, who passes it to another person who then passes it to the final person. If the note is intercepted partway through the chain it's going to be difficult to tell who originally wrote it (assuming we didn't sign our name). And not signing our name is an important aspect of using Tor. The Tor network can help hide our location and our associations, but that privacy goes out the window the minute we hand out our name or address or login credentials. Signing into a website or identifying ourselves while using Tor is the Internet equivalent of going to a masquerade ball and handing out business cards.
The Tor network can help keep us anonymous and it can hide our associations to a point, but it's important to use Tor with other recommended security practices. Besides not identifying ourselves it is also a good idea to use encryption on our connections to limit the effectiveness of intercepting our digital notes. It may also be possible to identify a person on the network by things like their web browser's fingerprint. In short, Tor is a very useful utility and one part of an array of tools for staying anonymous and protected on-line.
|Released Last Week
PCLinuxOS 2013.07 "KDE MiniMe", "LXDE", "MATE"
New maintenance releases for three editions of the PCLinuxOS distribution were announced yesterday. Featuring a minimalist KDE, as well as LXDE and MATE desktops, the new version is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit computer systems. From the PCLinuxOS 2013.07 "KDE MiniMe" announcement: "Maintenance release - PCLinuxOS KDE-MiniME 2013.07. KDE 4.10.5, Linux kernel 3.4.52, PulseAudio enabled by default." From the PCLinuxOS 2013.07 "LXDE" announcement: "Maintenance release - PCLinuxOS LXDE 2013.07. LXDE panel bug-fixes, Linux kernel 3.4.52, volume control panel applet added, PulseAudio enabled by default." From the PCLinuxOS 2013.0715 "MATE" announcement: "Maintenance release - PCLinuxOS MATE 2013.0715. MATE 1.6.x, Linux kernel 3.4.52, PulseAudio enabled by default. All of the MATE desktop applications plus Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin...."
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 21.0, an updated version of the project's Debian-based distribution for Internet-only kiosks and similar deployments: "Webconverger 21 release. Firefox 22 and Flash security updates; fixed an issue whereby the installer would not show up on a small subset of machines; upgraded to syslinux 6 which should make the boot experience slightly smoother; re-introduced support for allowing pop-ups via the prefs= API; prefs= API has been beefed up so you can practically script Firefox to do whatever you want using autoconfig files; removed the proprietary Google Talk plugin in favour of WebRTC; TTF Liberation fonts are back to improve compatibility with Windows renderings. In other news we are working on a Webconverger Raspberry PI port, finally. With the caveat that it will only be used in web signage use cases (Neon) and not as a kiosk browsing machine. We were recently interviewed about Neon if you want to learn more." Here is the brief release announcement with a screenshots.
Salix OS 14.0.1 "Xfce"
George Vlahavas has announced the release of Salix OS 14.0.1 "Xfce" edition, a Slackware-based distribution featuring the latest Xfce desktop environment: "Salix Xfce 14.0.1 is ready. There have been a lot of updates in the 14.0 branch, including several security updates that prompted this new release. Salix Xfce 14.0.1 is based on Xfce 4.10 and it comes with an updated 3.2.45 kernel that fixes several security issues, LibreOffice updated to version 4.x, Java security updates, an update to Midori, our main browser, to version 0.5.2 along with an updated Webkit engine that includes a lot of stability fixes, plus a lot more security updates to several packages like Flash plugin, Pidgin, Perl, X.Org etc. A couple of minor bugs that were also present after the original 14.0 release are fixed now. Also, the screensaver is disabled by default now, as it seems there were a few cases with some graphics cards acting up with certain 3D screensavers." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
OLPC OS 13.2.0
Daniel Drake has announced the release of OLPC OS 13.2.0, a Fedora-based Linux distribution developed under the initiative of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project to provide children in developing countries with low-cost laptops: "We're pleased to announce the release of OLPC OS 13.2.0 for XO-1, XO-1.5, XO-1.75 and XO-4. OLPC OS 13.2.0 is a new software release focusing on cleaning up a few edges from our previous release, and finishing off support for the new XO-4 laptop. Features: XO-4 power management is now stable and enabled by default; Bluetooth support as a purchase option; in the Clock activity, you can now use the touchscreen to drag the clock hands to another time, a useful exercise for learning about time; drop-down lists are sub-optimal for touch, they have been replaced by more intuitive and touch-friendly UI elements in Record; the pinch-to-zoom touch gestures in Image Viewer behave much better than before...." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
DEFT Linux 8
Stefano Fratepietro has announced the release of DEFT Linux 8, a Lubuntu-based distribution and live DVD featuring a collection of open-source tools for digital forensics and penetration testing: "Dear guys, we did our best to turn the DEFT 8 beta version into stable -- also by listening to your precious suggestions and feedback -- and here we are. You can download the DEFT 8 final stable ISO image (which now includes DART 2). The stable version has been checked against common bugs but we are human and pretty busy with our jobs so if we missed something, just drop a line to bug at deftlinux.net and we'll collect suggestions and bug fixes for the next release. A big thank to the DEFT team and to all the supporters. Stay tuned, because much more is yet to come, such as the release of the DEFT 8 virtual appliance (a pre-configured virtual machine you will be able to launch on your workstation by means of VMware Workstation or VMPlayer or Virtualbox); the DEFT 8 user manual; the updated website." Here is the brief release announcement.
DEFT Linux 8 - a distribution for digital forensics and penetration testing
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Linux Mint 15 "KDE"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of the "KDE" edition of Linux Mint 15: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 15 'Olivia' KDE. KDE is a vibrant, innovative, advanced, modern looking and full-featured desktop environment. This edition features all the improvements from the latest Linux Mint release on top of KDE 4.10. Here are a few examples of what is new in KDE 4.10: a new screen locker makes Workspaces more secure; KWin now detects some virtual machines and enables OpenGL compositing if possible; the proprietary AMD driver now has OpenGL 2 support; printer setup, maintenance and job control are improved with a new implementation of the Print Manager; Dolphin has seen many bug fixes, improvements and new features, e.g. transferring files to and from a phone or other mobile device has become easier with support for MTP devices, which show up in the Places panel." Continue reading the release announcement and the what's new page for more information.
Patrick d'Emmabuntüs has announced the availability of the updated build of Emmabuntüs, a Xubuntu-based distribution designed specifically for refurbished computers given to humanitarian organisations: "The Emmabuntüs team is pleased to announce the fourth maintenance release of Emmabuntüs 2 1.05 based on Xubuntu 12.04.2. This distribution was designed to facilitate the refurbishing of computers given to humanitarian organizations and to promote the discovery of Linux by beginners, but also to extend the life of the equipment and to reduce waste caused by over-consumption of raw materials. This update is delivered to improve the use of Emmabuntüs 2 and allow JerryClan Ivory Coast easily recondition machines and develop a Jerry/Emmabuntüs set of services. This service is based on a free mobile tracking application by SMS for tuberculosis patients, as well as M-Pregnancy for monitoring pregnancies and pregnant women." 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
|DistroWatch.com News (by Ladislav Bodnar)
New distributions added to database|
- LinuxBBQ. LinuxBBQ is a multi-purpose operating system based on Debian's "unstable" branch and spiced up with kernels and tools from siduction, Grml and Linux Mint. LinuxBBQ offers different flavours and desktops which are released as "editions" (with no version numbers) and which can be customised and remixed by the user. The individual editions are built to include most major desktop environments (with the exception of GNOME) and there is a special edition offering a choice of no fewer than 53 window managers - everything from aewm to xmonad.
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New distributions added to waiting list
- Birds Linux. Birds Linux is a Sabayon-based distribution designed for students of technical and vocational schools.
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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, 29 July 2013. 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 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• Issue 783 (2018-10-01): Quirky 8.6, setting up dual booting with Ubuntu and FreeBSD, Lubuntu switching to LXQt, Mint works on performance improvements|
|• Issue 782 (2018-09-24): Bodhi Linux 5.0.0, Elive 3.0.0, Solus publishes ISO refresh, UBports invites feedback, Linux Torvalds plans temporary vacation|
|• Issue 781 (2018-09-17): Linux Mint 3 "Debian Edition", file systems for SSDs, MX makes installing Flatpaks easier, Arch team answers questions, Mageia reaches EOL|
|• Issue 780 (2018-09-10): Netrunner 2018.08 Rolling, Fedora improves language support, how to customize Kali Linux, finding the right video drivers|
|• Issue 779 (2018-09-03): Redcore 1806, keeping ISO downloads safe from tampering, Lubuntu makes Calamares more flexible, Ubuntu improves GNOME performance|
|• Issue 778 (2018-08-27): GuixSD 0.15.0, ReactOS 0.4.9, Steam supports Windows games on Linux, Haiku plans for beta, merging disk partitions|
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 22.214.171.124, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• Issue 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• Issue 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
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DesktopBSD was an operating system based on FreeBSD and the FreeSBIE live CD. Its main goal was to provide a desktop operating system that was easy to use, but still has all the functionality and power of BSD. In the long term, DesktopBSD wants to build an operating system that meets most requirements desktop users have, like installing software, configuring power management or sharing an internet connection.