| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 565, 30 June 2014
Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! When it comes to learning a new operating system we all need to start somewhere and most of us prefer to start with a newcomer-friendly distribution. This is why so many projects present themselves as desktop-ready versions of popular, more expert-oriented distributions. There are many distributions based on Debian, Fedora, Arch Linux and others which attempt to appeal to novice Linux users. This week we focus on distributions, lessons and tutorials aimed at helping Linux newcomers get started. We begin with a review of Chakra, a semi-rolling release desktop distribution based on Arch Linux. In our News section this week we share a tutorial for getting Fedora running on the BeagleBone hobbyist computer. We also share an interview with Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller and link to an introduction to the Linux command line and file system, provided by the openSUSE project. This week we also talk about reading and organizing e-books with open source software and talk about how Linux has taken a dominate role when it comes to running super computers. Plus we share the distribution releases from the past week and look ahead to fun new releases to come. We wish you all a terrific week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Rolling Along with Chakra GNU/Linux 2014.05
The Chakra GNU/Linux distribution is a fork of Arch Linux which strives to produce a user-friendly, KDE-centric desktop operating system. The Chakra project aims to provide one desktop environment (KDE) for one hardware architecture (64-bit x86) while maintaining a semi-rolling release platform. The semi-rolling nature of Chakra means that the base of the distribution, the GNU utilities and kernel, remain fairly unchanged while the end-user applications are updated regularly. Ideally, this should provide the user with the latest open source desktop applications while maintaining a fairly solid foundation. The latest release of Chakra, version 2014.05, ships with KDE 4.13 and the 3.12 release of the Linux kernel. The latest Chakra release also features a new backup utility (Kup) and an updated version of the Octopi package manager. The project's release notes mention that Chakra's system installer, Tribe, "Does not currently officially support UEFI, RAID, LVM and GPT, although you might find some workarounds in our forums." I downloaded the one available edition of Chakra, the ISO for which was approximately 1.75 GB in size.
Booting from the Chakra media brings us to the KDE desktop. On the screen we find a welcome widget which is divided into three sections. Along the bottom of the widget are icons for launching or accessing certain features. We can use these icons to launch the system installer, access the project's website, donate to the project, see a list of available software packages and access documentation. The upper half of the widget is divided into two tabs. The first tab contains short tips and bits of trivia about Chakra and clicking on these entries provides us with a little more background information about the distribution. The second tab displays news items pulled from the Chakra website. As Chakra is somewhat a rolling-release platform things tend to change rapidly and it is nice to be able to quickly obtain news related to the distribution's development.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2014.05 - the Welcome widget and documentation
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I decided to dive straight into Chakra's system installer, Tribe. Tribe is a graphical application which shows us the project's release notes and then asks us to select our keyboard's layout. The next screen gets us to select our location in the world from a 3-D globe and this lets the installer guess our time zone and locale information. The following screen gets us to create a user account (or multiple user accounts if we so choose). The first account we create can be granted administrative privileges. Next came disk partitioning and here I can into trouble. When I tried to access the partition manager an error was displayed on my screen indicating no devices were found attached to my computer or, possibly, I did not have permission to access storage devices. I closed Tribe and manually launched the KDE Partition Manager, making sure I had administrative access when I opened the application. Once again I was told my computer had no storage devices (or I did not have the proper permissions). I soon found that by dropping to a command line interface and running the cfdisk partitioning program I could access my devices and partition my hard disk.
With my partitions set up the way I wanted them I re-launched Tribe and proceeded through its steps. At first Tribe would not allow me to assign mount points to my new partitions, so again I turned to an external partition manager, formatted the partitions and returned to Tribe. This time I was able to tell Tribe to use one partition for my root directory and another for swap space. From there Tribe asked if I would like to install packages from the live media or, alternatively, I could download fresh packages from the Chakra repositories. The off-line option installs all available packages, but the net-install option lets us pick and choose which software packages we want. I opted for the off-line procedure. Once Chakra's files are copied to the local drive we are asked to complete two more steps. The first screen gives us to the option of customizing the system's initial ramdisk, this lets us add additional features or hardware support at boot time. The second screen asks us to confirm we do wish to install the GRUB2 boot loader. After GRUB is installed we can reboot the computer.
Chakra boots to a graphical login screen decorated by a plain, grey background. When we sign in to our account we are greeted by a configuration wizard which walks us through setting up our desktop environment. Configuration steps include selecting which common folders (Downloads, Music, Pictures, Video) to place in our home directory, which KDE theme we would like to use and which wallpaper should be featured. We are asked what style of application menu we like, with options including the Kickoff theme, the Classic KDE application menu, the Lancelot menu or a mobile-style full-screen menu filled with icons. We can optionally set the meta/super key on our keyboard to open the application menu. We can tell the configuration wizard how often we wish to check for software updates and whether to enable printing software and Bluetooth support. We are asked if we would like to enable the operating system's firewall and if we would like to run an anti-virus scanner.
With these steps completed we are shown a screen with buttons where we can launch the KDE System Settings panel, open the KDE project's documentation or open the documentation portion of Chakra's website. Pressing either of the documentation buttons opens the Rekonq web browser to the appropriate page. I ran through the first-run configuration wizard a couple of times while setting up multiple accounts. The first time through I asked for the Classic style application menu and received the Kickoff style instead. The following times I ran through the wizard I, again, asked for the Classic theme and received it. Of course we can change the default application menu at any time by right-clicking on its button or adding a new widget to the KDE taskbar.
I tried to run Chakra GNU/Linux in two environments, a VirtualBox virtual machine and a desktop computer. In both environments Chakra booted up quickly, tasks were completed quickly and the desktop was always responsive, even with file indexing and visual effects enabled. The operating system used about 380MB of memory when logged into the KDE desktop. I was happy to see this relatively low level of RAM usage after my time with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenMandriva where memory usage was almost double what Chakra requires. Chakra properly detected all of my hardware and the underlying operating system remained stable during my week with the distribution. One quirk I ran into was that, during the installation, I set aside a swap partition for Chakra to use. However, possibly because I did not manually run the mkswap program on the swap partition, Chakra did not recognize my swap partition. I ended up manually adding my swap partition to Chakra's fstab file post-install.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2014.05 - the desktop settings panel and package management
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Chakra GNU/Linux 2014.05 comes with a large collection of desktop software and all of it appears to be built using the Qt toolkit. Looking through the application menu we find the Rekonq web browser, the Konversation chat client and the KGet download manager. The Calligra productivity suite is installed for us along with the Okular document viewer and the Gwenview image viewer. In the multimedia section we find the Amarok music player, the k3b disc burning software, the Kdenlive video editor and a Youtube video viewer. Dragon Player is available for watching videos and there is a utility for downloading music from Amazon. Chakra comes with a Flickr client, the Marble virtual globe and the Qt Designer application for developers.
A section of the application menu is reserved for links to key elements of the Chakra website such as the bug tracker, forum and documentation. There are system administration utilities for creating backups of files, configuring printers and managing user accounts. Chakra comes with the Yakuake drop-down command line console, an archive manager, text editor and virtual calculator. The KGpg encryption and key management software is available for us. To help us get on-line Chakra ships with Network Manager and the KPPP dial-up networking application. I did not find Java nor Flash available in the default install, but we can find these in Chakra's Extra software repository. The GNU Compiler Collection is available in the default install and, in the background, I found the 3.12 release of the Linux kernel.
While playing with Chakra GNU/Linux 2014.05 I ran into a number of issues, mostly with applications failing to launch. The Youtubeview application and the QmlViewer application both failed to launch. The Marble virtual globe application refused to run during my tests and the Flickrview application also failed to work. I found I could play audio files without any problems in both test environments, but video files would only play when I ran Chakra on physical hardware. Attempting to play video files within VirtualBox caused the player to display a second or two of video and then stop. Typically video files play smoothly in my virtual machines so this glitch was unprecedented. All other applications ran smoothly and worked well for me.
Chakra GNU/Linux ships with the Octopi graphical software manager which acts as a front-end to the underlying pacman command line package manager. Octopi displays packages (both available ones and installed items) in an alphabetical list. Icons next to each package indicate the status of the package on our system. Clicking on a package's name displays a brief summary of the package's contents in a pane at the bottom of the window. Right-clicking on a package enables us to install or remove the selected item. Octopi has a few other features such as searching for packages by name, filtering packages based on status and managing software repositories.
I found the repository management feature especially welcome as one of the first things I wanted to do was to enable the Extra software repository. Enabling the additional repository can be accomplished by clicking a check box. The Extra repository contains software built with the GTK library and features such items as Firefox, the GNU Image Manipulation Program and Flash. I found Octopi worked fairly well. It might seem a bit bare bones as far as the interface is concerned, but it worked quickly. The only problem I ran into was that, after refreshing the Octopi software database, I was unable to click the package upgrade button, it was disabled. Dropping to the command line and running pacman myself I was able to fetch and install available software updates.
Chakra GNU/Linux 2014.05 - running various desktop applications
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There are some distributions I look forward to trying more than others and Chakra GNU/Linux is certainly one project I look forward to reviewing. Mostly, I find, because I am never sure what I am walking into. The Chakra project, with its semi-rolling release nature, is an unpredictable beast. Sometimes things go very smoothly and, with other releases, the experience is filled with unwelcome quirks. This past week was somewhere in the middle as far as successful experiences go. One could say that most aspects of Chakra 2014.05 worked most of the time. For instance, most of the steps in the installer went well, except for disk partitioning where my experience quickly got complicated. The Octopi package manager worked well most of the time, except when it came to performing software upgrades. Most of the applications worked well, except for the ones I listed above.
Chakra provides most of the software I want to use, but the project's focus on software purity means we are often given (in my opinion) sub-optimal tools to perform our tasks. I will say that I am pleased the developers have eased up a little in their approach to software purity. Having GTK-based packages in a separate repository that can be managed from the package manager is preferable to having a separate package manager and isolated software bundles for GTK-based applications as was done in early releases of Chakra.
Chakra GNU/Linux does some things quite well. For people who want a fast and clean KDE experience, Chakra is quite a good choice. For people who want to experiment with the Arch approach to system administration and maintenance without a lot of time invested into setting up the operating system, Chakra is also a good choice. Where I find Chakra does not hold up as well is with quality assurance, there are often small quirks or broken applications. Chakra does stay close to the cutting edge and, while this makes for a fresh and exciting experience, one does need to be prepared for the occasional surprise.
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Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a desktop HP Pavilon p6 Series with the following specifications:
- Processor: Dual-core 2.8 GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500 GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6 GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Installing Fedora on BeagleBone, interview with Fedora's Matthew Miller, learning Linux file system, Linux on super computers
Working with small, inexpensive computers has been a booming hobby in recent years. Educational hardware such as the Raspberry Pi and the BeagleBone are cheap and run open source software, making them ideal for hobbyists and students alike. Niko Roussos is a fan of the BeagleBone Black and the Fedora distribution. In a blog post he discusses how to set up the BeagleBone to run a Fedora image: "Flashing Fedora to BB is not that difficult. The tricky part is that Fedora comes with an "initial setup" screen, which requires an HDMI monitor and a keyboard at least on first run so you can set some basic things (like root password). I wanted to do some modifications to the Fedora image, and get through this "initial setup" screen prior to flashing it on the BB. Inspired by Ebal's post, I thought Qemu as a perfect tool for this job..."
Matthew Miller recently took over the role of Fedora Project Leader and Linux.com is carrying an interview with Fedora's new leader. Miller talks about the changes coming to Fedora 21 later this year, how Fedora plans to stay relevant and his long term goals: "Other open source communities would also like to see the distribution become more enterprise friendly as the faster moving, more experimental upstream version to Red Hat Enterprise Linux," the article states. "Fedora 21 will be the first tangible step in this direction with the release split into three variations: cloud, server and desktop. They'll all be built out of a shared repository and have the same release schedule." In addition, Miller is interested in improving communication and making Fedora more newcomer friendly, saying: "Some of our mailing lists are downright hostile, and that has to change, especially because it doesn't actually reflect the reality of our community as a whole."
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The Linux command line is a powerful and complex tool. While being able to use the command line can be of great help to Linux users, learning the ins and outs of Linux shells is daunting. The openSUSE news blog is running a series of tutorials for people who want to try out the Linux command line and have no previous experience with the technology. Last week's post deals with the Linux file system, the purpose of each directory and how to navigate them.
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For the past decade Linux has been a powerful force in the world of super computers. Never before has that fact been more apparent than now. The Linux kernel is currently used to power 485 of the world's fastest 500 super computers. As ZDNet reports, "In the latest contest, not only did Linux dominate, but Linux showed that is slowly pushing out all its competitors. In the June 2014 Top 500 supercomputer list, the top open-source operating system set a new high with 485 systems out of the fastest 500 running Linux. In other words 97 percent of the fastest computers in the world are based on Linux. Of the remaining 16, 13 run Unix. They appear to be running IBM AIX since they're all running on IBM Power processors."
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Reading-between-the-lines asks: What open-source software can you recommend for managing e-books?
DistroWatch answers: When dealing with e-books, it is hard to beat Calibre. Calibre is an open-source, cross-platform application that allows the user to organize e-books into libraries, similar to the way most music players organize audio files. Calibre lets us tag books, create multiple libraries (sort of like play-lists) and double-clicking on a book in our library will open it in an appropriate document viewer. Calibre also interfaces with e-book readers. Plugging a mobile e-reader into our computer will cause Calibre to check to see which books in our library are already stored on the mobile device and mark these items with a small icon. When an e-reader is attached to our computer a button will appear in Calibre that allows us to send locally stored e-books to the mobile device.
Calibre, from my experience with the application, appears to support virtually every e-reader currently on the market and will even convert books in our library into a format better suited to our mobile device. Calibre has a nice interface and good documentation.
For people looking for something that is a bit more simple, perhaps just for reading e-books rather than managing them, I recommend FBReader. Like Calibre, FBReader is a cross-platform open source (GPL) application. However, while Calibre is the Swiss Army knife of e-book management, FBReader's scope simply includes being a document viewer for e-books. The application focuses on opening a text and then getting out of the way so we can start reading. FBReader supports a wide variety of book formats and allows us to adjust the font size, background colour and scrolling behaviour. FBReader does offer a library feature where we can organize our books, though the library feature is presented as more of a side-attraction while the main interface acts much like a dedicated mobile e-reader device.
|Released Last Week
Linux Mint 17 "KDE"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 17 "KDE" edition: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17 'Qiana' KDE. Linux Mint 17 is a long-term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and it brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use. The Update Manager was hugely improved. It shows more information, it looks better, it feels faster, and it gets less in your way. It no longer needs to reload itself in root mode when you click on it. It no longer checks for an Internet connection or waits for the network manager and it no longer locks the APT cache at session startup. The UI was improved, the icons were modified a bit and the changelog retrieval is now much faster and more reliable." Please refer to the release announcement, the release notes and the what's new page for further information.
Peppermint OS Five
Kendall Weaver has announced the release of Peppermint OS Five, a Lubuntu-based lightweight and easy-to-use desktop Linux distribution: "Peppermint OS LLC is excited to announce the launch of our latest operating system, Peppermint Five. Lightweight and designed for speed, Peppermint Five delivers on that promise whether using software on your desktop, online, or using cloud-based applications. Highlights: built on a long-term support (LTS) code base, Ubuntu 14.04; Peppermint Ice is our in-house built SSB manager, it has been rewritten from scratch and is now significantly more stable and more feature rich than past versions; we've fixed a number of upstream bugs present in Lubuntu, the specific project we fork from; Peppermint-Light is our new window manager and widget theme designed to offer a clean and relatively flat look and feel." Read the rest of the release announcement for a list of features and other information.
Peppermint OS Five - a lightweight distribution based on Lubuntu
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Kris Moore has announced the release of PC-BSD 10.0.2, a quarterly update of the project's desktop-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD: "The PC-BSD team is pleased to announce the availability of the next PC-BSD quarterly update, version 10.0.2. This update includes a number of important bug fixes, as well as newer packages and desktops, such as KDE 4.12.5, Cinnamon 2.2.13, GNOME 3.12.2 and more. This release also includes an alpha release of the new Lumina desktop which is being developed on PC-BSD. Other notable changes: revamped AppCafe and PBI subsystems, integrated fully with FreeBSD's PKGNG; AppCafe support for application screenshots, 5-Star rating system and comments integrated with our Wiki; unified various UI elements and keyboard shortcuts; integrated package clean-up functionality into AppCafe / PBI system...." Continue to the release announcement for full details and upgrade instructions.
Leszek Lesner has announced the release of Neptune 4.0 (formerly known as ZevenOS "Neptune" edition), an updated release of the project's Debian-based distribution with KDE 4.13.2 as the default desktop: "The Neptune team is proud to present the release of Neptune 4.0, code name 'It's all about you'. This version focuses on user requests and it brings a bunch of new ground-breaking changes, like Linux kernel 3.13.11, KDE SC 4.13.2, systemd 204, Encode 3.0, Recffmpeg 1.8.5, LibreOffice 4.2, Chromium 35, default Btrfs, a brand new design and so much more. We modernized the look and feel of Neptune without loosing the touch of simplicity and easy going with the introduction of our new design. We aimed to create a distraction-free desktop experience. The base of Neptune 4.0 is the Linux kernel 3.13.11 with bunch of new drivers, fixes and support of new hardware." Read the rest of the release announcement for further information.
Neptune 4.0 - the default KDE desktop
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Parsix GNU/Linux 6.0r1
Alan Baghumian has announced the availability of an updated build of Parsix GNU/Linux, version 6.0r1, a distribution based on the latest stable release of Debian GNU/Linux and featuring the GNOME 3.10 desktop: "We are proud to announce the immediate availability of Parsix GNU/Linux 6.0r1, code name 'Trev'. This is the first re-spin of the Parsix GNU/Linux 6.0 series and it merges security and bug fix updates as of June 22, 2014. Trev 6.0r1 ships with GNOME Shell 3.10.3 and updated Linux 3.12.20 based kernel, built on top of the rock-solid Debian 'Wheezy' (7.0) platform. All base packages have been synchronized with Debian 'Wheezy' repositories as of June 1, 2014. Main changes: X.Org Server 1.14.5, GNU Iceweasel 30.0, Chromium Browser 35.0, LibreOffice 3.5.4, VirtualBox 4.3.10, VLC 2.0.6...." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Jared Dillard has announced the release of pfSense 2.1.4, a free network firewall distribution based on FreeBSD: "2.1.4 follows very shortly after 2.1.3 and is primarily a security release. Packages also had their own independent fixes and need updating. During the firmware update process the packages will be re-installed properly. Otherwise, uninstall and then re-install packages to ensure that the latest version of the binaries is in use. Other fixes: patch for Captive Portal pipeno leaking issue which leads to the 'Maximum login reached' on Captive Portal; remove text not relevant to Allowed IPs on the Captive Portal; remove units from burst as it is always specified in bytes; add column for internal port on UPnP status page; make listening on interface rather than IP optional for UPnP...." See the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Linux Mint 17 "Xfce"
Clement Lefebvre has announced the release of Linux Mint 17 "Xfce" edition: "The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 17 'Qiana' Xfce. Linux Mint 17 is a long term support release which will be supported until 2019. It comes with updated software and brings refinements and many new features to make your desktop even more comfortable to use. The Update Manager was hugely improved. It shows more information, it looks better, it feels faster, and it gets less in your way. It no longer needs to reload itself in root mode when you click on it. It no longer checks for an Internet connection or waits for the network manager and it no longer locks the APT cache at session startup. Linux Mint 17 features Xfce 4.10, MDM 1.6, a Linux kernel 3.13 and an Ubuntu 14.04 package base." See the release announcement, the release notes and the what's new page for further details.
Kai Hendry has announced the release of Webconverger 25.0, the latest version of the specialist distribution for web kiosks, based on stable Debian GNU/Linux 7.0: "Webconverger 25 release. Highlights of this 25.0 signed and tagged release, making Webconverger an even better web kiosk: new super simple whitelist= filtering option; new numlock API, to assist deployments in banks and such for numpad data entry; incorporated Firefox 29/30-based Australis user interface refresh, being very careful to minimise its impact on our conservative user base; downsized 397 MB to 375 MB, losing around 22 MB; NVIDIA video card support restored with the Nouveau driver; various SSL and flash security updates." Read the full release announcement which includes a link to a raw changelog on GitHub.
SparkyLinux 3.4 "MATE", "Xfce", "Base"
Paweł Pijanowski has announced the release of SparkyLinux 3.4 "MATE", "Xfce" and "Base" (Openbox) editions, a set of Debian-based distributions with several lightweight desktop user interfaces: "SparkyLinux 3.4 'Annagerman' MATE, Xfce and Base (Openbox) is out. As usually, the new ISO images of SparkyLinux provide tons of updates, some changes and system improvements, such as: Linux kernel 3.14; all packages upgraded from Debian's 'Testing' repository as of 2014-06-23; MATE 1.8; Openbox 3.5.2; Xfce 4.10; support for installation on machines with EFI; systemd is the default init system now; menu of Openbox (Base edition) has got a few extra scripts; added new package - hardinfo; teamviewer has been updated up to version 9. New application in SparkyLinux repository: sparky-live-usb-creator – a tool for creating bootable live USB disks, it's a GUI front-end for the 'dd' command." Here is the brief release announcement.
John Martinson has announced the release of Robolinux 7.5.4, a new update of the project's Debian-based distribution that comes with a pre-configured VirtualBox for running Windows as a "guest" operating system: "We've been listening to our user base and have delivered many popular upgrades plus expert tech support for Robolinux version 7.5.4. New features: now you can now run Netflix in Robolinux, the necessary Silverlight emulator plugin has been added to the Robolinux 'Proprietary & Other Software Installers' so the user can install it in just one click; the powerful and very popular Linux Plex Media Server has been added to the Robolinux 'Proprietary & Other Software Installers'; Skype has been updated to the newest version 4.3; the excellent Kdenlive video editor has been added; we updated UNetbootin to the newest version which fixes the older version DVD error bug...." The announcement with a full list of new features can be found on the project's SourceForge page.
SME Server 9.0
Ian Wells has announced the release of SME Server 9.0, the first stable release of the project's server oriented distribution that is based on CentOS 6: "The SME Server development team is pleased to announce the release of SME Server 9.0 which is based on CentOS 6.5. SME Server is the leading Linux distribution for small and medium enterprises. SME Server is brought to you by Koozali Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation that exists to provide marketing and legal support for SME Server. It is with the deepest regret we have to inform you that on Wednesday 11th June Chris Burnat passed away. He was one of the most ardent supporters of Koozali SME Server and we all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. We dedicate this release of SME Server 9.0 to Chris. Without him it would be nowhere near ready. If you download and use it, please remember him and his work, and that of all the other contributors who work tirelessly to make Koozali SME as good as it is." Here is the full release announcement.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
May 2014 DistroWatch.com donation: Krita|
We are pleased to announce that the recipient of the May 2014 DistroWatch.com donation is Krita, a raster graphics editor for KDE. The project receives €240.00 in cash.
What is Krita? The project's FAQ page describes the software in the following words: "Krita is a KDE program for sketching and painting, offering an end–to–end solution for creating digital painting files from scratch by masters. Fields of painting that Krita explicitly supports are concept art, creation of comics and textures for rendering. Modelled on existing real-world painting materials and workflows, Krita supports creative working by getting out of the way and with a snappy response. Note that when we say 'Krita is a KDE program', that doesn't mean you need to run the Plasma Desktop to run Krita. It means that Krita as a project is proud to be part of the wonderful KDE community and uses the great framework technology that the KDE community develops. You can run Krita on Windows, GNOME, Xfce, and if you spend some effort even on OS X." The Krita features page further illustrates the capabilities of the application.
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$39,775 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), GNU Octave ($300), Linux Voice ($510)
- 2014: QupZilla ($250), Pitivi ($370), MediaGoblin ($350), TrueCrypt ($300), Krita ($340)
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New distributions added to database
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New distributions added to waiting list
- BannokOS. BannokOS is a desktop distribution based on Linux Mint, featuring the MATE and KDE desktop environments.
- Live Raizo. Live Raizo is a live Debian-based distribution to simulate networks and system administration experiments.
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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, 7 July 2014. 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 843 (2019-12-02): Obarun 2019.11.02, Bluestar 5.3.6, using special characters on the command line, Fedora plans to disable empty passwords, FreeBSD's quarterly status report|
|• Issue 842 (2019-11-25): SolydXK 10, System Adminstration Ethics book review, Debian continues init diversity debate, Google upstreaming Android kernel patches|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
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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 |
OpenLX is a beginner-friendly Linux distribution made in India. Based on Linux Mint, it includes many additions, updated packages and user-friendly enhancements designed specifically for desktop use. It also comes with a number of games, multimedia and graphical programs, development tools, and support for Indian languages.