| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 595, 2 February 2015
Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The leaders of open source projects have the ability to shape the experiences of the community. A good leader faces challenges and rises to meet them, understands what the users need and finds solutions for them. A good leader will keep a project active and on track. This week, in our News section, we turn our attention to projects going through trials and leadership changes. First we talk about Jeff Hoogland's return to the Bodhi project and learn what he is working on. We also cover last week's openSUSE Board election and welcome the restoration of Frugalware's website. Plus we link to an explanation of UNIX file system layouts, exploring what goes where. Our Feature this week talks about the ExTiX distribution, an Ubuntu spin that replaces Unity with the GNOME Shell desktop. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss protecting private data from prying eyes and then we share the torrents we are seeding this week. Plus, we received market statistics from OSDisc.com and we share those with you, below. As usual, we bring you the distribution releases of the past week and look ahead to fun, new developments to come. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First impressions of ExTiX 15.1 GNOME edition
ExTiX is a distribution based on Ubuntu with GNOME Shell as the default desktop environment. Browsing through the project's README file we find notes regarding the distribution's most recent release. ExTiX 15.1, we learn, is based on Ubuntu 14.10 and the version of the GNOME desktop shipping with this release is 3.14. ExTiX provides users with version 3.16 of the Linux kernel and Google's Chrome web browser is installed by default. The availability of Chrome is significant as people are able to watch Netflix videos using the Chrome browser. ExTiX also ships with the BlueGriffon web page editor. The main edition of ExTiX is available as a 925MB download and there is a Razor-Qt edition available which is 1.5GB in size. Both editions are built for the 64-bit x86 architecture.
Booting from the ExTiX media brings up a boot menu where we are given the choice of loading the project's live desktop environment, making use of persistent (USB) media while running a live desktop or running the live desktop entirely from RAM. We can also run a memory test from the boot menu. Loading the project's live desktop brings up GNOME Shell. The desktop is mostly empty with a dark green and black background. The GNOME Activities menu and system tray are placed at the top of the display. Looking through the Activities menu I found the project's system installer.
ExTiX 15.1 -- Visiting the Netflix website in Chrome
(full image size: 776kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The ExTiX system installer is inherited from Ubuntu and is, for all practical purposes, identical to Ubuntu's installer. We are asked to select our preferred language and given the chance to view on-line release notes. We are asked whether we wish to install multimedia support during the initial configuration and then we proceed to partitioning the hard drive. ExTiX offers automated partitioning or we can manually divide up the hard drive. I tried both approaches and found both automated and manual partitioning worked well. I like how easy the manual partitioning screen is to use. The installer supports a range of file systems, including ext2/3/4, JFS, XFS and Btrfs. We can also select a location for our boot loader from the partitioning screen. From there we select our time zone from a map of the world, confirm our keyboard's layout and then create a user account for ourselves. When the installer finishes copying its files to our drive we are asked to reboot the computer.
Booting our new copy of ExTiX brings up a graphical login screen. From here we can sign into our account using either a GNOME Shell session or an Openbox session. I experimented briefly with Openbox and found ExTiX provides just a bare bones Openbox environment. There are no additional programs or controls available, just a blank Openbox environment. We can right-click on the screen to bring up a menu allowing us to logout, open a web browser or launch a virtual terminal. This makes the Openbox environment a usable fallback option in case something breaks our GNOME desktop environment, but ExTiX obviously doesn't expect us to spend much time using the Openbox session. I was a little sorry to see there isn't any GNOME Classic option included in ExTiX. I tend to prefer GNOME's legacy interface over the GNOME Shell interface, but that's a matter of preference.
ExTiX 15.1 -- The GNOME settings panel
(full image size: 102kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Usually when I run a distribution in a virtual machine the operating system sets its screen resolution to a medium level (typically 1024x768) while I am running a live environment. Post-installation, some distributions detect they are running inside VirtualBox and offer better display resolutions. Other distributions need VirtualBox guest add-ons to be installed manually before they will offer improved screen resolutions. ExTiX was unusual in that, post-installation, my screen resolution degraded, dropping from 1024x768 to 640x480. As modern desktops are not designed to work at this resolution, this effectively broke GNOME Shell. I installed VirtualBox guest additions as usual and, upon a reboot of the virtual environment, I was no longer able to login to GNOME Shell. I could log into the Openbox session (with improved display resolution), but any attempt to access GNOME resulted in the operating system locking up and I had to perform a hard reboot. With some further experimenting I found I could install the LXDE graphical interface from the project's repositories and this served well enough for the remainder of my VirtualBox/ExTiX trial.
When running ExTiX on physical hardware I found GNOME Shell worked well and my screen was set to its maximum resolution automatically. GNOME Shell was actually quite responsive on my physical hardware and performed faster than GNOME usually does on my computer. In both physical and virtual environments I found ExTiX was slow to start-up, but the distribution performed well once the boot process was finished. The distribution required about 490MB of memory to run GNOME Shell (on physical hardware) and approximately 230MB to run LXDE in the virtual environment.
The distribution ships with a small collection of software which includes the Chrome web browser, the Firefox web browser, the Transmission bittorrent client and the Pidgin instant messaging software. The AbiWord and Gnumeric productivity applications are installed by default, as is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. ExTiX ships with an image viewer, the Gucvview web cam utility, the Xfburn disc burning software and the mtPaint drawing application. The distribution includes an archive manager, a calculator and the Leafpad text editor. We also find the BlueGriffon web page editor in the Activities menu. At install time we have the option of installing popular media codecs and Flash. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.16.
Software management on ExTiX is handled by the Synaptic package manager. Synaptic presents us with a simple interface where available packages are listed in alphabetical order. Synaptic allows us to create batches of actions (such as installing, removing or upgrading software) and then it processes these queued actions all at once. Synaptic enables us to search for items by name and we have some filtering options to help us find the software we want. Synaptic may not have the prettiest of interfaces, but the application does perform actions quickly and gives us a lot of progress information while it is working. For the most part ExTiX pulls software from Ubuntu's repositories. The distribution does feature a few custom repositories that provide updates to the Chrome web browser and the GNOME desktop.
ExTiX 15.1 -- The Synaptic package manager
(full image size: 118kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
While playing with ExTiX I ran into a few minor problems, though nothing particularly serious. For instance, I couldn't get the Additional Drivers utility to start. As it turned out, my hardware was detected and used well anyway, but I had hoped to find more up to date video drivers. Another problem I ran into at first made me wonder if I was seeing a problem with the system or with myself. About one in every seven searches I performed on the GNOME Activities screen would come out garbled. For example, if I typed in "synaptic" the Activities search box might show I was searching for "ynasptci" or a search for "office" might yield results for "oficfe". At first I put this down to fat-finger typing, but then I started experimenting more carefully, typing much more slowly and found letters were regularly slowing up in the improper order. This is an interesting bug, one I suspect is connected to the search box gaining/losing focus while I am typing in it, and it is a problem I don't think I have encountered before.
Were I to try to sum up ExTiX with one word I might choose eclectic. The design of ExTiX feels somewhat unfocused. Just as an example, the distribution ships with a modern version of GNOME Shell with all the features turned on and the fallback desktop isn't GNOME Classic, as we often see with other distributions, but rather a blank Openbox environment. Likewise, we have two of the most popular web browsers (Firefox and Chrome) available, suggesting ExTiX is targeting average desktop users, people who want Netflix to "just work", for example. But then we are treated to AbiWord and Gnumeric, rather than the more popular LibreOffice productivity software. ExTiX ships with Synaptic, a venerable package manager, rather than the more modern Ubuntu Software Centre, but one of ExTiX's talking points is the project's cutting edge build of GNOME. What I'm trying to say is I'm not sure who ExTiX's target audience is. Some tools are very modern and simple (Chrome), others are more obscure (AbiWord), some are powerful and complex (GIMP) while others are very straight forward to use with minimal features (GNOME MPlayer). ExTiX's style, while unusual to me, certainly is not a bug, but I did have trouble putting my finger on what sort of user ExTiX is trying to attract.
Style choices aside, most of the software included in ExTiX worked well. I did have some trouble early on with running the distribution in a virtual environment, but once I switched to using the LXDE desktop, the distribution ran smoothly in VirtualBox. ExTiX performed well on physical hardware and I found GNOME to be quite snappy when running on my desktop machine. I suspect this distribution will appeal mostly to people who like Ubuntu, but would prefer GNOME Shell over Unity for their default desktop environment.
* * * * *
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 2.8GHz AMD A4-3420 APU
- Storage: 500GB Hitachi hard drive
- Memory: 6GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8111 wired network card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Jeff Hoogland's return to Bodhi, openSUSE elects new Board members, Frugalware's website restored and a discussion on file system organization
Last September we reported Jeff Hoogland would be stepping down as the Bodhi project's lead developer. After being away for a few months, Mr Hoogland returned, offering new ISO images. "Just over four months ago I announced that I was stepping down from the active role I had maintained in the Bodhi Linux project since it started a little over four years ago. Today I am happy to share that I am returning in my full capacity as project manager/lead developer and I come bearing gifts!" The announcement includes links to new release candidate images for Bodhi's upcoming 3.0.0 release.
What change in the wind brought Mr Hoogland back to the Bodhi project? In an e-mail conversation with Bodhi's founder he stated, "I opted to step back from the project midway last year when I knew a slew of personal commitments would make it difficult for me to devote proper time to the project. I did not want to simply go silent without letting people know I would be on a break from things. With the new year I have more time for personal projects than I did at the end of 2014 and the folks who had wanted to take the reins of the Bodhi project were still working to get their feet underneath themselves and get a new stable release out. My goals for the first part of 2015 are to both get the stable Bodhi 3.0.0 finally released (in February if we stay on track) and then get better documentation written about the processes that I do so that in the event I ever need to step away again new folks can more easily transition into the work that I do for the project."
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The openSUSE project held an election last week to choose its Board members. "In this election we had 3 seats to be elected, all for a standard 2 year (24 months) term: Robert Schweikert and Kosta Koudaras' terms were coming to expiration. Peter Linnell's seat was up for election as he got appointed in the board as a replacement for Richard Brown." The voting has concluded and the results were posted to openSUSE's Announce mailing list.
* * * * *
Last month some of our readers may have noticed the Frugalware website was off-line and some questioned whether the project was still active. The good news for Frugalware fans is the distribution's website was on a server that crashed, but the project's website has been restored. "We had a server failure on our main server, but we were able to restore the server to working order. This process took around three weeks as we do not have speedy access to where it is physically located. We have since recovered."
* * * * *
People who are first introduced to Linux and BSD operating systems often struggle with the layout of the file system. On UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems the directory names tend to be short and, to the uninitiated, cryptic. What, many people wonder, is the difference between the /bin directory and /sbin? What is the point of having /usr/bin and /usr/local/bin? There are three main factors in deciding where programs are kept on a UNIX file system: whether the program is statically or dynamically linked, whether the program is a system administration tool and whether the program is a part of the base operating system or an add-on. This Reddit post has a more complete explanation on how Linux and BSD file systems are organized.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Destroying encrypted data
Leaving-no-trace asks: I want to find a method for erasing my hard drive or an encrypted partition if the wrong password is entered a certain number of times. While I use a complex password I'd prefer the drive be erased if accessed by an unauthorized party.
DistroWatch answers: Wiping the hard drive in response to entering the wrong password is one of those ideas that sounds good on television, but is not particularly practical in real life. When dealing with real life threats, you are likely to face one of two scenarios.
First, you face the possibility the person trying to break into your files is an amateur and unlikely to have the means to either guess your complex password or the ability to break the encryption on your hard drive. In this scenario there is not much of a threat and, so long as your change your password on a regular basis, you don't gain anything by destroying your data. With complex passwords, it will likely take far too long for someone to brute force their way into your data. It just is not practical from their perspective.
In the second scenario you have a professional trying to break into your system. If this happens, the professional will be working from a binary copy of your hard drive and they will be able to brute force the copy (or copies). This means they will not be working with your original drive and so your original disk will never get wiped. Further, it won't matter if the copy gets destroyed, because an endless supply of copies can be cloned. Furthermore, it takes time to wipe a hard disk. If a professional thinks they have accidentally triggered a disk wipe they are likely to pull the plug long before the majority of the data on the drive has been erased.
With all that said, there are ways to wipe a disk if the right actions are not taken. An easy way to do this is to set up a dummy user name and password. Logging into the dummy account launches a script that overwrites the local drive with random data. (Of course, this is not an easy thing to test without putting your data in danger.) A more practical approach is to use hidden volumes. These are encrypted directories that live inside encrypted (or password protected) partitions. Think of having an invisible box hidden inside a locked box. The idea is that someone might gain the password to open the first box, but they might not notice the second box hiding inside. The Ubuntu documentation has a page explaining the concept.
Keep in mind that if you plan to experiment with encryption and/or wiping your hard drive, you should keep backups of your data. After all, for most people, hard drive failure or accidental deletion are more likely to occur than having someone try to brute force their way into our encrypted files.
Bittorrent is a great way to transfer large files, particularly open source operating system images, from one place to another. Most bittorrent clients recover from dropped connections automatically, check the integrity of files and can re-download corrupted bits of data without starting a download over from scratch. These characteristics make bittorrent well suited for distributing open source operating systems, particularly to regions where Internet connections are slow or unstable.
Many Linux and BSD projects offer bittorrent as a download option, partly for the reasons listed above and partly because bittorrent's peer-to-peer nature takes some of the strain off the project's servers. However, some projects do not offer bittorrent as a download option. There can be several reasons for excluding bittorrent as an option. Some projects do not have enough time or volunteers, some may be restricted by their web host provider's terms of service. Whatever the reason, the lack of a bittorrent option puts more strain on a distribution's bandwidth and may prevent some people from downloading their preferred open source operating system.
With this in mind, DistroWatch plans to give back to the open source community by hosting and seeding bittorrent files for distributions that do not offer a bittorrent option themselves. This is a feature we are experimenting with and we are open to feedback on how to improve upon the idea.
For now, we are hosting a small number of distribution torrents, listed below. The list of torrents offered will be updated each week and we invite readers to e-mail us with suggestions as to which distributions we should be hosting. When you message us, please place the word "Torrent" in the subject line and please make sure the project you are recommending does not already host its own torrents. We want to primarily help distributions and users who do not already have a torrent option. To help us maintain and grow this free service, please consider making a donation.
The table below provides a list of torrents we currently host. If you do not currently have a bittorrent client capable of handling the linked files, we suggest installing either the Transmission or KTorrent bittorrent clients.
Archives of our previously seeded torrents may be found here. All torrents we make available here will also be listed on the very useful Linux Tracker website. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 14
- Total downloads completed: 1434
- Total data uploaded: 555GB
OSDisc.com sales in 2013 and 2014|
Measuring the popularity of Linux distribution is not an easy task. While some data, such as our Page Hit Ranking (PHR) statistics, Google trends, online polls and download counts can give some indications as to what many users of free operating systems prefer, each of these data sets has its flaws and a larger than acceptable margin of error. To add to the mix of available statistics, here is another piece of information, this time from OSDisc.com. OSDisc.com is a popular online store selling CDs, DVDs and USB storage media with free operating systems. The site owners were kind enough to compile their sales data for the past two years and these are summarized below. The third column of each table represents the percentage of each distribution's share of the total number of sales made by OSDisc.com for the specified period.
Along with the distribution share data OSDisc.com kindly provided, they also offered this bit of significant information:
"Sales increased by nearly 50% last year, so the stats look a bit odd. Linux Mint grew by 2.5 times. It grew so much faster than the others that many of the projects have a lower market share even though they grew in absolute numbers. Ubuntu [sales], for example, increased by 30% last year, but its market share decreased from 15.8% in 2013 to 15% in 2014."
Apart from Linux Mint taking the top spot from Ubuntu, there were a few other interesting changes. For example, this past year we can see Slackware, SimplyMEPIS, and Scientific Linux dropping off the list to be replaced by Manjaro, Linux Lite and LXLE. These newcomers to the list may suggest an increased interest in novice friendly, lightweight Linux distributions.
|Released Last Week
GParted Live 0.21.0-1
Curtis Gedak has announced the release of a new stable version of GParted Live, a Debian-based live CD featuring a range of software for disk partitioning and data rescue tasks: "The GParted team is proud to announce a new stable release of GParted Live. This live image contains GParted 0.21.0 which fixes an off-by-one sector error in GParted's internal block copy algorithm, and removes unnecessary duplicate actions when resizing a partition. Items of note include: based on the Debian's 'Sid' repository as of 2015-01-27; replaced i486 live image with i586; increased minimum requirements to 256 MB of RAM. This release of GParted Live has been successfully tested on VirtualBox, VMware, BIOS, UEFI, and physical computers with AMD/ATI, NVIDIA, and Intel graphics." Here is the brief release announcement.
BackBox Linux 4.1
Raffaele Forte has announced the release of BackBox Linux 4.1, an updated build of the Ubuntu LTS-based distribution designed for penetration testing and forensic analysis tasks: "The BackBox Team is pleased to announce the updated release of BackBox Linux, the version 4.1. This release includes features such as Linux kernel 3.13, EFI mode, anonymous mode, LVM + disk encryption installer, privacy additions and armhf Debian packages. What's new: new Ubuntu 14.04.1 base; handy Thunar custom actions; RAM wipe at shutdown and reboot; system improvements; upstream components; bug corrections; performance boost; improved anonymous mode; predisposition to ARM architecture (armhf Debian packages); predisposition to BackBox Cloud platform; new and updated hacking tools." See the release announcement for system requirements and upgrade instructions.
BackBox 4.1 -- Default desktop environment
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Arjen Balfoort has announced the release of SolydXK 201501, an updated set of the project's Debian-based Linux distributions offering a choice of Xfce (SolydX) or KDE (SolydK) desktops: "The team has been toiling night and day to make the transition to Debian 'Jessie' and Debian 'Wheezy' as smooth as possible for you. Everything is ready and you should now be able to upgrade. With this transition come new ISOs and what better way to celebrate this new start than with a nice 'nip 'n tuck'? For both SolydX and SolydK the themes have changed. SolydK comes with the QtCurve theme, SolydX with Greybird and both use the fabulous Evolvere icon theme. After the installation you will be presented with a complete new welcome screen and most SolydXK tools were updated as well. We hope you're going to like this new version." See the release announcement for further information and links to upgrade instructions.
Black Lab Linux 6.0 SR3
The Black Lab Linux project has announced an update to the distribution's Professional Desktop edition. "Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Professional Desktop 6.0 Service Release 3 or SR3. Black Lab Pro Desktop 6.0 SR3 is a major upgrade to our pro desktop line of distributions. With this release we worked on a few issues with memory consumption, security and speed. With the Black Lab Pro Desktop we deliver it in two different desktops, KDE and GNOME Shell . While these are commercial releases we do offer a cut down version of it available for download from our website. While we do not release for download all of the features of the retail release it is far from being crippled. The KDE release boots only consuming 480MB of RAM and the GNOME Shell release boots using only 545MB of RAM." See the release announcement for full details and a screenshot.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Distributions added to the database|
Evolve OS is a Linux distribution built from scratch. It uses a forked version of the PiSi package manager, maintained as "eopkg" within Evolve OS, and a custom desktop environment called "Budgie", developed in-house. The Budgie desktop, which can be set to emulate the look and feel of the GNOME 2 desktop, is tightly integrated with the GNOME stack. The distribution is available for 64-bit computers only.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- AOSC OS. AOSC OS is an independent Linux distribution focusing on adapting new technologies such as systemd. The distribution supports both PKG and RPM package managers.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 9 February 2015. 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)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 764 (2018-05-21): DragonFly BSD 5.2.0, Tails works on persistent packages, Ubuntu plans new features, finding services affected by an update|
|• Issue 763 (2018-05-14): Fedora 28, Debian compatibility coming to Chrome OS, malware found in some Snaps, Debian's many flavours|
|• Issue 762 (2018-05-07): TrueOS 18.03, live upgrading Raspbian, Mint plans future releases, HardenedBSD to switch back to OpenSSL|
|• Issue 761 (2018-04-30): Ubuntu 18.04, accessing ZFS snapshots, UBports to run on Librem 5 phones, Slackware makes PulseAudio optional|
|• Issue 760 (2018-04-23): Chakra 2017.10, using systemd to hide files, Netrunner's ARM edition, Debian 10 roadmap, Microsoft develops Linux-based OS|
|• Issue 759 (2018-04-16): Neptune 5.0, building containers with Red Hat, antiX introduces Sid edition, fixing filenames on the command line|
|• Issue 758 (2018-04-09): Sortix 1.0, openSUSE's Transactional Updates, Fedora phasing out Python 2, locating portable packages|
|• Issue 757 (2018-04-02): Gatter Linux 0.8, the UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook, Red Hat turns 25, super long term support kernels|
|• Issue 756 (2018-03-26): NuTyX 10.0, Neptune supplies Debian users with Plasma 5.12, SolydXK on a Raspberry Pi, SysV init development|
|• Issue 755 (2018-03-19): Learning with ArchMerge and Linux Academy, Librem 5 runs Plasma Mobile, Cinnamon gets performance boost|
|• Issue 754 (2018-03-12): Reviewing Sabayon and Antergos, the growing Linux kernel, BSDs getting CPU bug fixes, Manjaro builds for ARM devices|
|• Issue 753 (2018-03-05): Enso OS 0.2, KDE Plasma 5.12 features, MX Linux prepares new features, interview with MidnightBSD's founder|
|• Issue 752 (2018-02-26): OviOS 2.31, performing off-line upgrades, elementary OS's new installer, UBports gets test devices, Redcore team improves security|
|• Issue 751 (2018-02-19): DietPi 6.1, testing KDE's Plasma Mobile, Nitrux packages AppImage in default install, Solus experiments with Wayland|
|• Issue 750 (2018-02-12): Solus 3, getting Deb packages upstream to Debian, NetBSD security update, elementary OS explores AppCentre changes|
|• Issue 749 (2018-02-05): Freespire 3 and Linspire 7.0, misunderstandings about Wayland, Xorg and Mir, Korora slows release schedule, Red Hat purchases CoreOS|
|• Issue 748 (2018-01-29): siduction 2018.1.0, SolydXK 32-bit editions, building an Ubuntu robot, desktop-friendly Debian options|
|• Issue 747 (2018-01-22): Ubuntu MATE 17.10, recovering open files, creating a new distribution, KDE focusing on Wayland features|
|• Issue 746 (2018-01-15): deepin 15.5, openSUSE's YaST improvements, new Ubuntu 17.10 media, details on Spectre and Meltdown bugs|
|• Issue 745 (2018-01-08): GhostBSD 11.1, Linspire and Freespire return, wide-spread CPU bugs patched, adding AppImage launchers to the application menu|
|• Issue 744 (2018-01-01): MX Linux 17, Ubuntu pulls media over BIOS bug, PureOS gets endorsed by the FSF, openSUSE plays with kernel boot splash screens|
|• Issue 743 (2017-12-18): Daphile 17.09, tools for rescuing files, Fedora Modular Server delayed, Sparky adds ARM support, Slax to better support wireless networking|
|• Issue 742 (2017-12-11): heads 0.3.1, improvements coming to Tails, Void tutorials, Ubuntu phasing out Python 2, manipulating images from the command line|
|• Issue 741 (2017-12-04): Pop!_OS 17.10, openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots, installing Q4OS on a Windows partition, using the at command|
|• Issue 740 (2017-11-27): Artix Linux, Unity spin of Ubuntu, Nitrux swaps Snaps for AppImage, getting better battery life on Linux|
|• Issue 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Full list of all issues|
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BrlSpeak was a Braille and speech mini-distribution of GNU/Linux based on Debian. Characteristics: installable on a FAT partition without having to repartition the hard disk; no longer UMSDOS as in the past but in a loopback; available in 3 versions: basic (mini), braille and vocal (braille + some speech applications).