| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 528, 7 October 2013
Welcome to this year's 40th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! People, both inside and outside the open source community, tend to generalize the capabilities of free and open source software. It's common to hear all open source projects being lumped together or to hear people talk about what Linux can do or how the BSDs work, as though all GNU/Linux and BSD variants were created equally. The truth is each open source operating system is not equivalent, the ecosystem is not level like the surface of a calm pond where all features are shared. Rather each distribution has its own strengths and weaknesses, its own features, bugs and design goals. This week we highlight some of these differences and look at projects adopting new technologies. In this issue of DistroWatch Weekly we will cover Haiku's final moves to adopt modern package management, the Debian project's plans to better support advanced file system technology via ZFS and we check in with Canonical's progress with Mir, the alternative display server. We will also hear from two developers of popular live distributions, Klaus Knopper of the KNOPPIX distribution and Barry Kauler, creator of Puppy Linux. In our Questions & Answers section we look at ways developers can create their own customized Linux distributions and Jesse Smith takes Semplice, a Debian-based operating system, for a test spin. Read on to learn how well Semplice's latest release works. As usual we cover releases from the past week and look ahead to exciting new developments in the open source world. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First impressions of Semplice Linux 5
Semplice Linux is a distribution based on the Debian GNU/Linux project. Specifically, Semplice is built using software from Debian's Unstable branch. The Semplice developers use the software packages in the Unstable repository and combine them with a custom graphical installer. The project's website also mentions that the distribution comes with support for encrypted LVM volumes and that Semplice is focused on being fast, light on resources, "rock solid" and elegant. This is accomplished by combining the Unstable Debian base with the Openbox window manager. The distribution is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and the ISO provided on the website weighs in at approximately 620 MB.
Booting from the distribution's live media brings up a graphical interface with a single window. This window contains three tabs which invite us to select our keyboard's layout, our preferred language and our time zone. Once we confirm these settings are correct the window disappears and we are shown an Openbox interface. The background is bright blue. At the bottom of the display we find a task switcher and system tray. Right-clicking on the background brings up the distribution's application menu. One of the top-level items in the menu is an entry for the distribution's system installer.
Semplice Linux 5 - visiting the project's website
(full image size: 398kB, screen resolution 1280x960 pixels)
Semplice's system installer is a graphical application. The program presents a friendly interface and walks us through the usual steps. We are asked to confirm our preferred language, our keyboard's layout and the local time zone. We are asked if we would like to check for updates to the system installer in the distribution's repositories. I did perform this check and the installer did find an updated version of itself on-line. I downloaded this update and the installer restarted itself to perform the upgrade. We are asked to create a user account for ourselves and, optionally, we can enable the root account. By default Semplice sets up the first user account with sudo administrative access and disables the root account. However, we have the option of enabling the root account and setting a password to protect it. When we get to the disk partitioning screens we have the option of a guided path where the installer will try to divide our hard disk for us. Alternatively we can manually partition the local disk.
I found manual partitioning was a little awkward, mostly due to the screen's layout. I also found that when I tried to create LVM volumes the installer wouldn't allow it. There is a dialogue which asks us to name our new volume and that screen's "OK" button was disabled, preventing me from proceeding. There are traditional file system options available too, including ext2/3/4 and ReiserFS. Once the disk has been partitioned we are asked if we would like to install the GRUB boot loader. With this done the final step we are presented with is enabling/disabling certain features and services. Semplice's installer allows us to decide at install time whether we need Bluetooth support, printing software, productivity software, visual desktop effects, web apps and proprietary packages. Once we check off which items we do (or do not) want the installer copies its files to the local disk. This only takes a few minutes and, when the process has completed, we are prompted to reboot the computer.
The Semplice Linux distribution comes with a good deal of useful software. Right out of the box we are given the Chromium web browser, the Claws Mail e-mail client, the XChat IRC software and the Pidgin instant messaging software. The gFTP file transfer client is installed for us along with the uGet download manager, a document viewer and the GNU Paint drawing program. The AbiWord word processor and the Gnumeric spreadsheet applications are available in the menu too. I found MPlayer on the system as well as the xfburn disc burner and the Exaile audio player. There was a copy of Tetris in the Games sub-menu and I found a text editor, calculator, image viewer, file manager and archive manager present.
There were a handful of configuration utilities in the application menu allowing us to easily work with network settings, system services and user accounts. There were also apps for managing the appearance of the Openbox window manager. Among the applications were web app entries which opened a minimal web browser to the Twitter and Facebook websites. There is also a link to the Semplice project website. Digging deeper I found Semplice comes with a full range of multimedia codecs and Adobe's Flash plugin. With the default installation the system runs a secure shell service. I also found the GNU Compiler Collection was available. In the background the Linux kernel, version 3.10, kept things running.
Semplice Linux 5 - running various desktop applications
(full image size: 241kB, screen resolution 1280x960 pixels)
I ran into a few minor issues while I was working with Semplice. For example, when running the "top" process monitor in a virtual terminal the system statistics were missing from the top of the screen. With a little exploring I found the virtual terminal's colours were set up in a way which made the text invisible. Changing to a different colour scheme worked for a short time, but the next time I opened a terminal the colours had reverted back to their defaults. My settings were always lost when the terminal was closed. Another instance where settings were not respected showed up post-install. While I was setting up Semplice the installer asked which services I wanted to enable. These included Bluetooth, printing support, web apps and a few other items.
I told the installer to skip Bluetooth support and not to install printing software. However, once Semplice had been installed I went into the services manager application and found both Bluetooth and printing services were installed and enabled. A third curious problem came up when I tried to connect to the distribution's secure shell service. Any attempt to connect via secure shell resulted in the connection being reset and dropped. I soon found this problem came from the distribution not generating host keys for OpenSSH to use. Once these keys were manually generated I was able to make use of the secure shell server.
Software packages are handled by the Synaptic graphical package manager. Synaptic fills in as the distribution's software updating application and general purpose package manager. The venerable application may not have the eye candy offered by more modern package managers, but Synaptic is quite capable. It allows us to create batches of actions to perform and the program works quickly, offering us detailed information while it is working. The distribution pulls packages from a few different software repositories. Semplice, by default, pulls software from Debian's Unstable repositories as well as some custom Semplice repositories. When I first installed the distribution there were 137 updates waiting for me, weighing in at approximately 135MB in size. By the end of the week I had installed over 200 updates totaling around 200MB in size. Semplice, being based on Debian's Unstable branch, is effectively a rolling release distribution and will typically receive a rapid stream of cutting-edge packages.
Semplice Linux 5 - managing packages and services
(full image size: 299kB, screen resolution 1280x960 pixels)
I tried running Semplice Linux on my desktop machine (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card) and in a virtual machine powered by VirtualBox. Despite several attempts using different kernel parameters I was unable to get Semplice to boot on my physical computer. On the other hand, Semplice ran well in the virtual environment. While running in VirtualBox I found the distribution booted quickly, was responsive and was (for the duration of my trial) stable. The distribution was fairly light on memory, using approximately 130 MB of RAM.
My time with Semplice was, in a word, okay. I realize that's not a ringing endorsement, nor is it meant to be dismissive. Semplice, overall, performed well, it comes with a lot of good software and I think its system installer is nicer than Debian's, at least for desktop systems. The administrative tools Semplice comes with are helpful and, with access to Debian's repositories, the distribution gives us a huge pool of software packages from which to draw. The project stays fairly close to the cutting edge and users will need to be mindful of that if they wish to avoid downtime following package upgrades, but at the same time it gives us a chance to experiment. On the flip side, there were a few problems I ran into. The installer didn't appear to respect my choice of system services and I wasn't able to make use of encrypted LVM volumes.
There were other little problems like the virtual terminal not remembering my settings. Plus, I couldn't help shake the feeling that Semplice, with its fairly user-friendly style, might have been better off using LXDE instead of plain Openbox for the graphical interface. Not that I have anything against Openbox, but LXDE provides a nice, familiar interface for new users and would probably make more people feel at home while carrying approximately the same resource footprint. Another issue was Semplice didn't run on my physical hardware. I try not to hold this against distributions as what works for me may not work for others and, for that matter, what works for other people doesn't always run for me. Still, other Debian-derived projects, such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint Debian Edition, typically run smoothly on this hardware so I was surprised to find Semplice did not. One final issue was the way the OpenSSH service was running, but no host key was provided, causing secure shell connections to drop. It was a minor thing to create new host keys, but it would have been nice to have secure shell working right from the start.
In short, my first impression of Semplice is the distribution looks nice, makes a few improvements over plain Debian (at least for desktop/laptop users) and comes with a good selection of default software. However, it does have some rough edges. Perhaps nothing serious, nothing that would scare away an intermediate Linux user, but there were a few problems which I hope will get smoothed out in future releases.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Haiku gains package management, Ubuntu delays Mir on desktops and Debian works toward ZFS support
The Haiku project is a descendant of BeOS which attempts to create a modern, open source operating system with a focus on having a responsive user interface even under heavy system loads. In the past we talked about the introduction of a ports and package management system to Haiku. Having an official package manager should make it easier for developers to supply software to Haiku users and it will make it easier to install software on the Haiku system. Last week functional package management was introduced into the main Haiku code repository and users should soon be able to make use of the exciting new feature. In a blog post entitled "Package Management Goes Live" it was announced, "When manually moving packages into or out of one of the "packages" directories, the package daemon does now resolve the package dependencies and suggests and performs download and installation or deinstallation of additional packages as necessary. Regardless of the method of activating a package (manually or via the package manager) the daemon does now also -- as specified in the package -- extract default settings files, create Unix users and groups, and run post-installation scripts."
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Mir is an alternative display server being developed by Canonical for the Ubuntu operating system. The new display technology was designed to replace the aging X software and run across all Ubuntu-powered devices, including desktops, laptops and mobile phones. Originally the Mir team had hoped to ship Ubuntu 13.10 with Mir enabled by default and it looks as though this goal will be pushed back to a later release. In a blog post detailing plans for Mir one developer noted, "While we are on track to successfully deliver Mir for Ubuntu on smart phones, we are unfortunately not going to be able to deliver Mir + XMir + Unity 7 as the default experience on the desktop. Mir has made tremendous progress and is currently available [in] the Ubuntu archive for use, but there are still some outstanding quality issues that we want to resolve before we feel comfortable turning it on by default. Many of these issues live in the XMir part of the stack, which provides the integration between the X server and the underlying Mir system compositor. More specifically, the multi-monitor support in XMir is working, but not to the extent we'd like to see it for all of our users." More information on Mir's development can be found on the Ubuntu wiki.
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FS is an advanced file system which supplies many powerful features and data management tools to system administrators. The ZFS utilities have become popular in the Solaris and BSD communities, but adoption of ZFS has been slow in the Linux community due to concerns over the software's license. The Debian GNU/Linux project is working on adopting the powerful file system technology and adopting it in such a way as to avoid licensing conflicts. "The remaining question for D-I official acceptance is the way of how binary ZFS kernel modules can be handled. Upstream ZoL project said the modules can be distributed legally in binary form, but Debian's FTP Team still haven't [made] a decision." If successful, this would allow Debian administrators to automate scheduled file system snapshots, quickly recovery corrupted operating systems by way of boot environments and create massive data storage pools.
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The Puppy Linux project has been an ongoing labour of love for Barry Kauler for ten years now. The project has become well known as a user-friendly live CD for low-resource machines. Unfortunately it looks as though the project's days may be numbered. Kauler posted on his blog that he is considering retirement from the Puppy project: "I started the Puppy Linux project in 2003, so I have been at it for ten years. Enough, it is finally time to retire. I know that I have announced my retirement before, then not done it. However this time it is looking much more certain. I don't plan to just suddenly pull the plug, rather just put Woof (and Puppy) in "maintenance mode" for the next year (or as long as I deem necessary), while a few things get sorted out. `Maintenance mode' means that I will continue to work on Woof, but just focused on essential fixes, rather than any new features." Kauler went on to say that he is looking at other Puppy-related projects and hopes to continue to be involved in the project, even if he is no longer leading Puppy's development.
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Another long celebrated live CD is KNOPPIX, a Debian-based distribution which acts as a Swiss Army knife for system administrators. The KNOPPIX distribution provided a friendly desktop interface on a live CD before most distributions began the practice and the project continues to be highly useful to this day. The Everyday Linux User blog has an interview with the creator of KNOPPIX, Klaus Knopper, in which the developer talks about KNOPPIX's past, the community, feedback from users and the project's future. It is an interesting talk with a developer who has been creating useful (and freely available) utilities consistently for over a decade.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Making a custom distribution
Building-something-new asks: I am interested in building my own custom distribution. What tools are available to help me do this?
DistroWatch answers: The right tool for building your own custom distribution will vary depending on your level of experience and just how unique you want your distribution to be. For instance, if you would like to base your distribution off of Ubuntu (or a derivative of Ubuntu) you can use a nice point-n-click graphical utility called Ubuntu-Builder. The Ubuntu Builder software allows you to take Ubuntu (or a distribution based on Ubuntu, such as Linux Mint) and customize the system. Ubuntu-Builder features a nice, friendly interface and allows the user to easily test and rebuild the Ubuntu ISO image. This allows for a great deal of customization on top of an existing distribution base.
Another way to go would be to use SUSE Studio. The SUSE Studio website allows users to build custom operating systems using the packages and technology which are available in openSUSE. The SUSE Studio website helps users create ISO images and virtual machine images of the customized operating system. The website is fairly straight forward to use and gives the user access is a large selection of software.
More adventurous people may want to look at Linux from Scratch. The Linux from Scratch website provides step-by-step instructions for building a Linux-based operating system from the ground up. This is a good deal more work than using a graphical point-n-click method of building a custom operating system. However, Linux from Scratch will give you a low-level, highly flexible approach to building your ideal Linux distribution. It requires a level of comfort with the command line, but following the Linux from Scratch instructions provides a very educational experience.
I suspect the important question to ask yourself now is: are you looking to make small adjustments to an existing operating system in order to make it better suit your needs, or do you wish to create something that is uniquely yours? The Linux from Scratch project will help you start with practically nothing and work up to a full operating system whereas SUSE Studio and Ubuntu-Builder are utilities best suited to customizing existing operating systems.
|Released Last Week
Manjaro Linux 0.8.7.1 "MATE", "Enlightenment"
The Manjaro development team has announced the release of two community-built editions of Manjaro Linux 0.8.7.1 - one featuring the MATE desktop and the other the Enlightenment window manager. Both editions come with Linux kernel 3.10.12, X.Org Server 1.14.2 and Firefox 23.0.1; the MATE desktop is at version 1.6.1 while Enlightenment is version 0.17.4. From the "MATE" edition release announcement: "On behalf of the Manjaro Turkey community we are happy to announce our MATE respin of Manjaro Linux 'Ascella'. With this release the Turkish community adds a nicely-styled install media, in addition to all officially released editions by Manjaro developers. This respin is based on the stable branch and it can be used on a daily basis and easily installed by graphical or text installers." The "Enlightenment" announcement contains much of the same text, but adds a warning about a known issue: "Sadly we missed to add any polkit agent to these install media."
NetBSD 6.1.2, 6.0.3
Jeff Rizzo has announced the availability of NetBSD 6.1.2 and 6.0.3, two new updates to the NetBSD 6.1 and 6.0 release branches: "The NetBSD project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.1.2, the second security and bug-fix update of the NetBSD 6.1 release branch, and NetBSD 6.0.3, the third security and bug-fix update of the NetBSD 6.0 release branch. They represent a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons and if you are running a prior release of NetBSD 6.x, you are recommended to update." Some of the changes in the 6.1.2 release include: "virtio(4) - fixed a panic during shutdown on KVM; uhci(4) - fixed USB device enumeration in some cases, fixed some ops on big-endian machines...." See the brief release announcement and read the more detailed release notes for further information.
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the release of Sparky Linux 3.1, a set of lightweight Debian-based distributions coming in "LXDE", "Ultra" (with Openbox and JWM) and "CLI" flavours: "SparkyLinux 3.1 'Annagerman' LXDE, Ultra and CLI are out. New ISO images of SparkyLinux 3.1 providing a few changes and system improvements, such as: Linux kernel 3.10.11; all packages have been updated from Debian's 'testing' repositories as of 2013-09-27; added a TeamViewer client for remotely controlling other machines; added Sparky APTus - a small, simple and lightweight front-end for apt-get for upgrading and cleaning up the system, installing and removing packages; added Minitube - a lightweight video player for YouTube videos; added Gnote - a lightweight notes taking utility; added Osmo - a lightweight personal organizer; added Radio Tray - a very small application for listening to Internet radio...." Here is the brief release announcement.
FreeBSD 9.2, the latest update in the stable 9 branch, has been released: "The FreeBSD Release Engineering team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 9.2-RELEASE. This is the second release from the stable/9 branch, which improves on the stability of FreeBSD 9.1 and introduces some new features. Some of the highlights: The ZFS file system now supports TRIM when used on solid state drives; the virtio(4) drivers have been added to the GENERIC kernel configuration for amd64 and i386 architectures; the ZFS file system now supports lz4 compression; OpenSSL has been updated to version 0.9.8y; DTrace hooks have been enabled by default in the GENERIC kernel; DTrace has been updated to version 1.9.0; Sendmail has been updated to version 8.14.7; OpenSSH has been updated to version 6.2p2; import unmapped I/O support from head/." Here is the brief release announcement and release notes for more information.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10
Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.10, the latest update of the distribution's legacy 5.x branch: "Red Hat, Inc, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, announced today the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10, the latest minor release of the mature Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 platform. With an emphasis on providing greater stability for critical applications, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10 offers enhanced features for reliability and security, including an updated version of OpenSCAP - the open source Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) configuration scanner, which meets the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) SCAP 1.2 standard. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.10 reiterates Red Hat's commitment to a 10-year life cycle for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5." Read the press release and the detailed release notes for more details.
Michael Letschin has announced the release of NexentaStor 3.1.5, a new version of the project's specialist distribution optimised for virtualisation and network-attached storage - based on the Illumos kernel and ZFS file system: "Nexenta is pleased to announce the availability of our latest software release, NexentaStor 3.1.5. This new software release is available now for download from Nexenta Community. This new release is available to both our Enterprise edition users as well as our NexentaStor Community. In addition to general maintenance fixes, NexentaStor 3.1.5 includes key enhancements in the following areas: AutoSync performance and reliability enhancements; NDMP updates. As previously communicated to the community, the licensed capacity for NexentaStor 3.1.5 remains 18 TB usable. NexentaStor 4.0 Community edition continues to move forward, and we will provide updates on the progress of that release later this quarter." Read the release announcement and consult the release notes (PDF format) for further information.
Point Linux 2.2
Peter Ryzhenkov has announced the release of Point Linux 2.2, a desktop Linux distribution based on Debian's "stable" branch and featuring the MATE desktop environment. This is a minor update to Point Linux 13.04.1 released in June. From the release notes: "This minor release brings some notable changes and prepares Point Linux for the next big release. Point Linux version numbering policy has been changed. The 13.04.X release is renumbered to 2.X. Changes in distribution: Firefox 24.0, Thunderbird 24.0, and LibreOffice 4.1; KVM/QEMU SPICE support; fast user switch enabled; up-to-date Debian packages. Changes in Point Linux installer: Vietnamese locale support; Windows 8.1 detection; NetworkManager connections (e.g. WiFi) established in the live CD/USB session transferred into newly installed system; screensaver lock enabled by default if system was installed without auto-login turned on."
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
New distributions added to waiting list|
- Zandu OS. Zandu OS is a general purpose desktop and server operating system.
- OSDDlinux. This open source operating system is designed to allow students, academicians and researchers to contribute toward drug discovery/designing.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 14 October 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 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.
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Core was designed and constructed around one simple philosophy: to be the absolute minimum of what was required for a Linux operating system. Core was designed to be the basis for a larger, more complete operating system constructed by the end user. It contains only what was necessary to boot into Linux and download, compile and install other software packages.