| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 535, 25 November 2013
Welcome to this year's 47th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The openSUSE distribution is a community-developed operating system that experiments with cutting-edge software and powerful administration tools. This past week saw the launch of openSUSE 13.1 and reviews are starting to show up around the web. Be sure to check out our News section where we link to openSUSE's new features and a first-impressions review. Also in the news this past week we hear of features being planned (and rejected) for Ubuntu's next long term support release. Ubuntu isn't the only distribution getting new features, Debian is planning to adopt the MATE desktop environment, making the fork of GNOME 2 available in the project's repositories. We also talk about what causes organizations to migrate from proprietary solutions to Linux-based distributions. Is the primary motivation cost, security, stability or something else? In our feature this week Jesse Smith takes the GhostBSD operating system for a test drive and reports on his experiences. Also in this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly we talk about the nature of security updates and their role in keeping our computers running safely under our control. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the October 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is the FreeType project. Happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (18MB) and MP3 (32MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Ghosts in the machine: GhostBSD 3.5
The GhostBSD project started out as a fairly simple concept: take FreeBSD and put the GNOME 2 desktop environment on top of it and ship it as a live disc. Over the past few years GhostBSD has slowly grown, adding a system installer, including a graphical package manager and adding some polish. The current release of GhostBSD, version 3.5, is based on FreeBSD 9.2 and features four editions (MATE, Xfce, LXDE and Openbox) and the option of working with 32-bit or 64-bit x86 builds. The latest offering features DTrace support by default and support for one year. This version of GhostBSD includes some other interesting changes. For example, LibreOffice has been swapped out in favour of OpenOffice which is a reverse of what we typically see in the Linux community. We also find the GNOME 2 desktop has been removed and replaced with MATE 1.6.
I opted to try the MATE edition of GhostBSD, the ISO for which is approximately 1.7GB in size. Booting from this live disc brings up the MATE desktop. The background is a plain blue colour and an icon for launching the system installer sits on the desktop. At the top of the screen we find the application menu and, along the bottom of the display, we see the desktop's task switcher. Everything seemed to be working well in the live environment and so I jumped into the system installer.
The current incarnation of the GhostBSD system installer is a graphical application which is easy on the eyes and nicely streamlined. We are walked through selecting our preferred language, confirming our keyboard's layout and choosing our time zone from a list. The partitioning section of the installer basically gives us two options: we can let the installer take over the entire hard disk or we can choose to manually set up partitions. We are also asked if the installer should place a boot loader on our hard drive. Next we create a user account and set the root account's password. The installer then begins copying its files to the local drive. I found that while files were copying I was shown a lot of pop-up messages containing errors saying there were problems mounting the disk. However, despite these errors, the installer finished copying its files and declared the process a success. When I rebooted the machine GhostBSD started up without any problems and I was brought to a graphical login screen.
GhostBSD 3.5 - changing the MATE desktop's settings
(full image size: 203kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
No pop-ups or notifications greeted me upon logging in and so I dived into the operating system's application menu. There I found a collection of software that was well suited to my preferences and requirements for a desktop operating system. The Firefox web browser is included along with the Thunderbird e-mail client, the Transmission bittorrent client and the XChat IRC client. OpenOffice.org 4.0 is included n the menu alongside the GNU Image Manipulation Program. The Shotwell photo manager is included and there is a PDF document viewer in the menu. I found the Brasero disc burner was available as were the Rhythmbox audio player and the VLC multimedia player. The desktop comes with an archive manager, system monitor, text editor and virtual calculator. MATE also ships with a full range of configuration utilities for changing the look & feel of the desktop. GhostBSD comes with a complete set of multimedia codecs, though no Flash plugin is included. In the background GhostBSD runs a network mail service. The operating system is, at its core, FreeBSD 9.2 and should be compatible with modern FreeBSD software and tutorials.
Package management on GhostBSD is handled by a graphical application. The layout of this graphical package manager took me a little while to get used to as there are a number of controls (or filters) with which to work. The application is divided into two panes. On the left we are shown a tree of software categories and specific packages. Over on the right side of the window we are shown details about the currently selected package. Packages can be selected for installation with a couple of clicks. What threw me off at first is that the user can toggle between seeing a tree of software which is currently installed and packages which are available in the repositories. By default we are shown installed packages only. I found when I installed packages the system would usually report the applications I wanted had installed, but with checksum errors. Running the applications I didn't notice any problems with any of the new software, making the errors seem overly cautious.
The package manager also has a button that will initiate a check for updates and allow us to download all available software updates. I found that around half the time I attempted to check for software updates the package manager would crash, the other half it operated smoothly. This may be a little off putting to users, but on the plus side, the graphical software manager is a very friendly step up from working with the traditional FreeBSD command line tools for software management. One aspect of GhostBSD's software selection I found odd was that the default terminal shell is Fish, even for the root user. Usually changing the root account's shell away from /bin/sh is frowned upon in FreeBSD circles and, personally, it took me some time to get used to Fish. For my own user account I ended up switching to another shell.
GhostBSD 3.5 - managing software packages
(full image size: 214kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
I ran GhostBSD in a VirtualBox virtual machine and on a physical desktop computer (dual-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 6 GB of RAM, Radeon video card, Realtek network card). In the virtual environment GhostBSD performed beautifully. Everything worked out of the box, the operating system smoothly handled scaled and full-screen displays and the MATE desktop was responsive. I ran into a problem early on with running GhostBSD on my physical hardware. The live CD did not properly start the X graphical software and I had to manually tweak the configuration to get a desktop environment. Otherwise GhostBSD ran smoothly on my desktop computer. The combination of the operating system's FreeBSD base with the MATE desktop used about 100 MB of active memory, a fairly small footprint for the functionality available.
I was fairly happy with my experience with GhostBSD this week. In the past I have enjoyed GhostBSD because of the project's ability to showcase what a FreeBSD-based operating system looks like running on a live disc with a functional desktop environment. There are not a lot of live discs available in the BSD communities and I was happy to see GhostBSD take on the challenge. At first the project wasn't installable on a local drive and simply worked as a demo disc. As time has gone on the GhostBSD project has matured. With the release of version 3.5 I feel GhostBSD has moved beyond the position of a niche product or a simple demo disc and has moved into the realm of being a general purpose platform suitable to people with mid-level experience with open source operating systems.
GhostBSD 3.5 - running various desktop applications
(full image size: 286kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
A little while ago I reviewed PC-BSD 9.2 and enjoyed my time with that project. The PC-BSD operating system has a nice installer, worked fairly well for me and came with a lot of great administrative features. So many and so powerful were PC-BSD's features, I was willing to overlook some sluggishness in its performance and some of the complexity it presented. GhostBSD, while it uses the same FreeBSD 9.2 base, offers the user a very different flavour of BSD. GhostBSD has a simplified installer, a very responsive desktop, one unified approach to package management and a more streamlined approach. In my mind PC-BSD is ideal for developer workstations, corporate environments and power users.
GhostBSD is a product for the home user who wants to put their installation disc in the drive, confirm their system will boot it and then simply start using their computer. GhostBSD offers an easy installation, enough software for most people to get started and a fairly straight forward package manager to supply additional functionality. The MATE desktop is fast, the configuration tools simple and the provided applications useful. This novice-friendly approach means GhostBSD skips out on some of the powerful tools offered by its PC-BSD cousin, but it also means GhostBSD may be more appealing to a beginner or the causal home crowd.
In the past I have been hesitant to recommend GhostBSD for anything beyond being used as a demo disc. It had a good design and I liked the developer's approach, but I felt it lacked key features and the installation didn't always work for me. I feel GhostBSD's time has come. The project feels complete now, it feels polished and I feel it will work well as a desktop operating system. GhostBSD seems to me to now be about on a user-friendliness level with intermediate Linux distributions. If you have been hopping Linux distributions and looking for something different, then GhostBSD is offering a fast, friendly and stable desktop experience.
* * * * *
This is my third review of a project from the BSD family in the past six weeks and some people have been asking why my focus has seemingly shifted away from Linux distributions. This column is primarily about Linux distributions and so I feel it worth mentioning why I've been spending so much time looking at BSD-related projects.
The first reason is, simply, that I feel most of the really interesting Linux distributions are either about to be released or I have recently reviewed them. Fedora, Mint and openSUSE, for example, are about to see new releases at the time of writing and I am looking forward to trying them. However, until those releases happen I need to cover something else. Other leading projects, such as Ubuntu, I looked at recently and they won't show up on my to-review list again for another six months.
The second reason for my shift in focus is I feel the BSD communities, especially the FreeBSD-based projects, are where the interesting developments are happening these days. Over in FreeBSD land we have efficient PBI bundles, a mature advanced file system in the form of ZFS, new friendly and powerful system installers, a new package manager (PKG-NG), a powerful jail manager and there will soon be new virtualization technology coming with the release of FreeBSD 10.0.
Meanwhile, over in the Linux camp, I feel as though things have reached a plateau. We are seeing small improvements and an increase in polish. For instance, the latest releases from Ubuntu & Kubuntu were solid, incremental improvements. Looking at the release notes for Slackware and the feature list for Fedora I get the impression we will see welcome improvements, but nothing that breaks new ground, nothing that gets the blood pumping. I think openSUSE may be the exception this year as their work with the advanced file system Btrfs looks promising. Their work tying Btrfs with the openSUSE administration tools may be great for users, but openSUSE seems to be the only distribution adopting Btrfs whole heartedly.
What it comes down to is I feel the BSDs are working with some cool new features and placing them on top of a stable base. I think GhostBSD and PC-BSD in particular are interesting projects that are doing important work and I feel they deserve to be in the spotlight.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
openSUSE 13.1 ships, Debian to package MATE, Canonical plans feature list for Ubuntu 14.04, motivations behind Munich migration
The big news of the past week was the release of openSUSE 13.1. The openSUSE distribution is a cutting-edge operating system which comes with many great user-friendly software packages, a powerful installer and very flexible administration tools. Already reviews of the latest release are appearing and the distribution seems to be holding up well to inspection. One reviewer writes: It's a perfect OS for those who want their privacy to be respected. It's a very user-friendly operating system for those who wants to migrate from Windows. In a nutshell, it's a modern GNU/Linux OS which will take care of your computing needs."
* * * * *
It has been nearly two years since the proposal to include MATE, a fork of the classic GNOME 2 desktop, was raised in Debian's bug tracker. While the idea of packaging and supporting MATE met some opposition at first, the task has moved ahead and Debian is close to having a complete MATE desktop available in its repositories. While there is not an official time frame for making MATE available, MATE should be packaged in time for Debian's next release, code named "Jessie". Having MATE packaged by Debian not only gives Debian users an extra desktop option. Debian is the base for many other Linux distributions and this will make the classic desktop interface available to derivative projects as well.
* * * * *
There are some attractive new features being planned for next year's launch of Ubuntu 14.04. One of the new features will be improved TRIM support for solid-state drives (SSDs). When the operating system can send TRIM commands to the disk this allows the disk to mark unused areas of the disk as being free to be wiped and reused. Over a long time line enabling TRIM support in the operating system can greatly improve disk performance. There are a few avenues by which TRIM support can be enabled and the Ubuntu team is looking at introducing a method which should not impact operating system performance. The exact approach the developers will take is still up for debate, but any solution should make the combination of Ubuntu and SSDs more attractive to end-users and administrators.
While Canonical is going ahead with improved SSD support for Ubuntu the company is being conservative when it comes to other technologies such as the Mir display server. The new display server, which has been developed to replace the aging X graphical software, was expected to ship with Ubuntu 13.10. Due to some problems with multi-monitor support Mir was delayed until Ubuntu 14.04. However, as Ubuntu 14.04 will be a long term support release, the developers are cautious about adding new, unproven software. Mark Shuttleworth was asked whether Mir would be shipped with Ubuntu 14.04 and he responded: "What we'll do with 14.04 is we'll do point releases which introduce support for new hardware at the kernel level and at the X level, but we won't do point releases of 14.04 which introduce Mir and Unity 8. Now, Mir and Unity 8 are in the archive, and they will become, I imagine, more and more useful and usable, and by not making them part of the base release we probably have more flexibility to update them so they may become usable for people. But we certainly will not switch from vanilla X to Mir during the course of the maintenance life of 14.04."
* * * * *
Some organizations prefer to use Linux over proprietary solutions because Linux can save them money. Others appreciate the stability or the security Linux brings to the table. Peter Hoffman, the man who organized Munich's migration from Windows to Linux, says the primary asset Linux provides is freedom. TechRepublic has an article which looks back on the long-term migration Munich made from Windows to Linux, its costs and benefits. "Free software was ruled the better choice by Munich's ruling body, principally because it would free the council from dependence on any one vendor and future-proof the council's technology stack via open protocols, interfaces and data formats," said Hoffman. According to the city the migration to Linux had the added bonus of saving the tax payers approximately ten million euros.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Security updates -- the what and the why
Dealing-with-security-updates asks: I still to this day have no clear understanding of the impact of "security updates" in the Linux world. I have searched this subject many times over the years and all the replies I find are pretty much exactly the same: "You need them, just do it." Updates to packages that require a bug fix, add an overlooked tweak or an upgrade (such as a browser) I can understand, but what exactly are the threats to my system that fall under the heading of "security"?
DistroWatch answers: I suspect the issue here is one of terminology. You wrote that you understand the need for updates to packages which contain bugs or web browser upgrades. These situations mentioned are examples of security fixes. A security fix is any software upgrade which fixes a software bug (or configuration) which could be used by a person or program to compromise the security of your applications or operating system. Not applying security updates leaves your system open to attack and may result in your computer being used in ways you do not wish it to be used.
Basically, when a distribution releases a security update they are saying, "We found a mistake in this piece of software which could let bad people control your machine. Here is a new version of the software that fixes that mistake." It is almost always a good idea to install these security updates as it is a great line of defense against people who would like to take over the operation of your computer. Basically, security updates are a subset of bug fixes which protect your computer from being compromised. Machines which are compromised are typically used to attack other machines, send spam e-mails, steal your private information, mine bitcoins or anything else the attacker wishes.
|Released Last Week
Patrick d'Emmabuntüs has announced the release of a minor new update to Emmabuntüs, a Xubuntu-based distribution designed for refurbished computers destined for humanitarian organisations: "The Emmabuntüs team is pleased to announce the 5th maintenance release of Emmabuntüs 2 1.06 based on Xubuntu 12.04.3. For this version 1.06 the following fixes and improvements have been made: updated packages for Xubuntu 12.04.2, codecs and extensions contained in web browsers (Firefox, Chromium) and the Thunderbird mail reader; update extension for LibreOffice 2.3 Language Tools and documentation included in the distribution; update Cairo-Dock 3.3.2; remove the obsolete Medibuntu repository; add a link on the desktop pointing to the new tutorials included in the distribution; add setup menus in Portuguese and German." Here is the brief release announcement.
Network Security Toolkit 18-5413
Ron Henderson has announced the release of Network Security Toolkit (NST), version 18-5413, a specialist Fedora-based live DVD with a large collection of open-source network security tools: "We are pleased to announce the latest NST release: NST 18 SVN:5413. This is an interim release which includes all of the NST and Fedora 18 package updates since 2013-04-13 rolled into a fresh ISO image. Here are some of the highlights for this release: the NST WUI Network Interface Bandwidth Monitor 2 application is available; integrated the ntop application, ntopng, into the NST WUI; ntopng is a network traffic probe used for high-speed web-based traffic analysis and flow collection; a new NST WUI Geolocation Application, ntopng IPv4 hosts, is available using host information derived from ntopng; several new tools that allow you to convert files to different formats were added to the NST WUI...." Read the detailed release announcement to learn more.
The openSUSE project has announced the release of openSUSE 13.1, a major new version of one of the oldest and most popular Linux distributions available today: "Dear contributors, friends and fans: the release is here! Eight months of planning, packaging, adding features, fixing issues, testing and fixing more issues has brought you the best that free and open source has to offer, with our green touch: stable and awesome. This release did benefit from the improvements to our testing infrastructure and much attention to bug fixing. While a combination of over 6,000 packages supporting 5 architectures can never be perfect, we're proud to say this really does represent the best free software has to offer! The latest desktops (five of them!), server and cloud technologies, software development tools and everything in between are included." Read the comprehensive release announcement for more information, additional links and screenshots.
openSUSE 13.1 - the default KDE desktop
(full image size: 1,606kB, screen resolution 1280x1024 pixels)
Univention Corporate Server 3.2
Univention has announced the release of Univention Corporate Server 3.2, a Debian-based, enterprise-class operating system for servers: "We are very happy to announce the availability of Univention Corporate Server (UCS) 3.2. Highlights are: the operation of the Univention Management Console has been optimised and simplified in a number of points, e.g., there are now simplified wizards for creating users and internal system users are no longer shown in the basic setting; UCS now provides a SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) identity provider - the external service is then registered via a cryptographic certificate and trusted by the identity provider; the Univention App Center has been expanded; Samba 4 has been updated to Version 4.1; Bridges, bondings and VLANs can now also be configured in the Univention Management Console...." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Turnkey Linux 13.0
Liraz Siri has announced the release of TurnKey Linux 13.0, a major new version of the project's Debian-based set of highly specialised virtual appliances for severs: "TurnKey Linux 13, code-named 'satisfaction guaranteed or your money back' celebrates five years of TurnKey Linux and is based on the latest version of Debian GNU/Linux (7.2). The release includes 1,400 ready-to-use images - 330 GB worth of 100% open source, guru integrated, Linux system goodness in seven build types that are optimized and pre-tested for nearly any deployment scenario: bare metal, virtual machines and hypervisors of all kinds, 'headless' private and public cloud deployments, etc. New apps in this release include OpenVPN, Observium and Tendenci. We hope this new release reinforces the explosion in active 24x7 production deployments (37,521 servers worldwide) we've seen since the previous 12.1 release." See the full release announcement for more information. The multitude of specialist TurnKey Linux virtual appliances are ready for download from SourceForge.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5
Red Hat, Inc. has announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5, the latest update in the 6.x series of Red Hat's enterprise-class Linux distribution: "Red Hat, Inc. today announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5, the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 expands Red Hat's vision of providing an enterprise platform that has the stability to free IT to take on major infrastructure challenges and the flexibility to handle future requirements, with an extensive partner and support ecosystem. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 is designed for those who build and manage large, complex IT projects, especially enterprises that require an open hybrid cloud. From security and networking to virtualization, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 provides the capabilities needed to manage these environments." Read the press release and consult the detailed release notes for more information.
OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0
After many months of development the inaugural release of OpenMandriva Lx is out: "The OpenMandriva community is proud to announce our first release, OpenMandriva Lx 2013.0. The introduction of OpenMandriva 2013.0 represents a major update from the previous version of Mandriva. This is the first release under the new name, OpenMandriva Lx, and is also the first release under the community of the OpenMandriva Association. With that in mind, here are some of the new features: OpenMandriva Lx features new kernel called NRJ as for energy; KDE 4.11.2 provides a clean, unified desktop for OpenMandriva; this release provides a KDE 4.11 installation featuring ROSA's SimpleWelcome launcher, a winner of the latest contest...." For more information please read the release announcement and check out the release notes.
Ultimate Edition 3.7
Ultimate Edition 3.7, an Ubuntu-based distribution with a customised KDE as the default desktop, has been released: "I would like to announce the release of Ultimate Edition 3.7. Ultimate Edition 3.7 was built from the ground up, debootstrapped from the Ubuntu 12.10 'Quantal Quetzal' tree. This release I tried to build from Ultimate Edition 3.6 base, but had a ton of networking-based issues. I scrapped everything and went back to square one and issues melted away, perhaps a fix at the root level? I know don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Many repositories have been added to increase software availability. The kernel was pulled from the X.Org 'Crack Pushers PPA' 3.7. Ultimate Edition 3.7 has a comprehensive set of software packages. KDE is the default desktop environment." Read the rest of the release announcement for more information, screenshots and notes on the upcoming 3.8 release.
Ultimate Edition 3.7 - an Ubuntu-based distribution with KDE and much eye candy
(full image size: 620kB, screen resolution 1024x768 pixels)
Calculate Linux 13.11
Alexander Tratsevskiy has announced the release of Calculate Linux 13.11, a new version of the project's Gentoo-based distribution for desktops (with KDE or Xfce), servers and media centres: "We are happy to announce the release of Calculate Linux 13.11. Calculate Linux Desktop, featuring either the KDE (CLD) or the Xfce (CLDX) environment, Calculate Directory Server (CDS), Calculate Media Center (CMC), Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS), Calculate Scratch Server (CSS) are all available for download. Major changes: better domain performance; graphical interfaces do not hang when the network in the domain is down; if LDAP remains unresponsive for some time, the connection will be recovered with user privileges; waiting for the LDAP server when unlocking a domain user's session; applications are now running faster thanks to LDAP caching...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a list of changes and bug fixes.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
October 2013 DistroWatch.com donation: FreeType|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the October 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is the FreeType project, an open source software library designed to render fonts. It receives US$300.00 in cash.
As one of those works-behind-the-scenes tools, barely noticeable yet essential, especially on the desktop, FreeType is described as "a software font engine that is designed to be small, efficient, highly customizable, and portable while capable of producing high-quality output (glyph images). It can be used in graphics libraries, display servers, font conversion tools, text image generation tools, and many other products as well. Note that FreeType is a font service and doesn't provide APIs to perform higher-level features like text layout or graphics processing (e.g., colored text rendering, ‘hollowing’, etc.). However, it greatly simplifies these tasks by providing a simple, easy to use, and uniform interface to access the content of font files." Please visit the project's overview page for a more detailed description and a list of features.
Launched in 2004, this monthly donations programme is a DistroWatch initiative to support free and open-source software projects and operating systems with cash contributions. Readers are welcome to nominate their favourite project for future donations. Those readers who wish to contribute towards these donations, please use our advertising page to make a payment (PayPal, credit cards, Yandex Money and Bitcoins are accepted). Here is the list of the projects that have received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme (figures in US dollars):
Since the launch of the Donations Program in March 2004, DistroWatch has donated a total of US$37,105 to various open-source software projects.
- 2004: GnuCash ($250), Quanta Plus ($200), PCLinuxOS ($300), The GIMP ($300), Vidalinux ($200), Fluxbox ($200), K3b ($350), Arch Linux ($300), Kile KDE LaTeX Editor ($100) and UNICEF - Tsunami Relief Operation ($340)
- 2005: Vim ($250), AbiWord ($220), BitTorrent ($300), NDISwrapper ($250), Audacity ($250), Debian GNU/Linux ($420), GNOME ($425), Enlightenment ($250), MPlayer ($400), Amarok ($300), KANOTIX ($250) and Cacti ($375)
- 2006: Gambas ($250), Krusader ($250), FreeBSD Foundation ($450), GParted ($360), Doxygen ($260), LilyPond ($250), Lua ($250), Gentoo Linux ($500), Blender ($500), Puppy Linux ($350), Inkscape ($350), Cape Linux Users Group ($130), Mandriva Linux ($405, a Powerpack competition), Digikam ($408) and Sabayon Linux ($450)
- 2007: GQview ($250), Kaffeine ($250), sidux ($350), CentOS ($400), LyX ($350), VectorLinux ($350), KTorrent ($400), FreeNAS ($350), lighttpd ($400), Damn Small Linux ($350), NimbleX ($450), MEPIS Linux ($300), Zenwalk Linux ($300)
- 2008: VLC ($350), Frugalware Linux ($340), cURL ($300), GSPCA ($400), FileZilla ($400), MythDora ($500), Linux Mint ($400), Parsix GNU/Linux ($300), Miro ($300), GoblinX ($250), Dillo ($150), LXDE ($250)
- 2009: Openbox ($250), Wolvix GNU/Linux ($200), smxi ($200), Python ($300), SliTaz GNU/Linux ($200), LiVES ($300), Osmo ($300), LMMS ($250), KompoZer ($360), OpenSSH ($350), Parted Magic ($350) and Krita ($285)
- 2010: Qimo 4 Kids ($250), Squid ($250), Libre Graphics Meeting ($300), Bacula ($250), FileZilla ($300), GCompris ($352), Xiph.org ($250), Clonezilla ($250), Debian Multimedia ($280), Geany ($300), Mageia ($470), gtkpod ($300)
- 2011: CGSecurity ($300), OpenShot ($300), Imagination ($250), Calibre ($300), RIPLinuX ($300), Midori ($310), vsftpd ($300), OpenShot ($350), Trinity Desktop Environment ($300), LibreCAD ($300), LiVES ($300), Transmission ($250)
- 2012: GnuPG ($350), ImageMagick ($350), GNU ddrescue ($350), Slackware Linux ($500), MATE ($250), LibreCAD ($250), BleachBit ($350), cherrytree ($260), Zim ($335), nginx ($250), LFTP ($250), Remastersys ($300)
- 2013: MariaDB ($300), Linux From Scratch ($350), GhostBSD ($340), DHCP ($300), DOSBox ($250), awesome ($300), DVDStyler ($280), Tor ($350), Tiny Tiny RSS ($350), FreeType ($300)
* * * * *
New distributions added to waiting list
- Wakawa Linux. Wakawa Linux is a Debian-based distribution with a focus on the Openbox and MATE graphical user interfaces.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 2 December 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 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|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
|Random Distribution |
TA-Linux was a free Linux distribution that targets Linux power users. Its main goal was to have a small base installation that the end-users can expand to include the software they need. The secondary goal was to support as many different architectures as possible, at this time x86 was fully supported with Alpha, Sparc, PPC and PA-RISC around the corner. Extra software not included in the base was handled using a system resembling the *BSD ports system, called Collection, which handles installation, upgrading and dependencies. The primary way of installing new software was to download the source, compile and install it (totaly automatic). The user can also choose to install already built binary packages, also automaticaly using the Collection system.