| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 614, 15 June 2015
Welcome to this year's 24th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Exploring the landscape of open source software sometimes turns up unusual combinations of software and solutions working together. This week we examine some unusual approaches and experiments involving open source operating systems. We begin with a look at Chromixium, a full featured GNU/Linux distributions which imitates Google's Chrome OS. Find out in our Feature Story what it's like to turn a generic desktop computer into a Chromebook. In our News section we talk about Debian's updated "Jessie" images, what it takes to run OpenBSD in the cloud and work Ubuntu developers are doing to make Snappy, Mir and Unity all work together. We then turn our attention to the sudo command and some common misconceptions about sudo in our Myths and Misunderstandings column. Plus, we share the torrents we are seeding in our Torrent Corner and provide a list of the distributions released last week. In our Opinion Poll this week we ask whether distributions tied to one specific platform are of interest to you, our gentle readers. We wish you all a fantastic week and happy reading!
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
First impressions of Chromixium OS 1.0
Chromixium OS is a recent addition to our database of open source operating systems. The project has an interesting goal: to mix the user interface style of a Chromebook with the power and flexibility of a full featured GNU/Linux distribution. The project's website sums up its characteristics as follows: "Chromixium combines the elegant simplicity of the Chromebook with the flexibility and stability of Ubuntu's Long Term Support release. Chromixium puts the web front and centre of the user experience. Web and Chrome apps work straight out of the browser to connect you to all your personal, work and education networks. Sign into Chromium to sync all your apps and bookmarks. When you are offline or when you need more power, you can install any number of applications for work or play, including LibreOffice, Skype, Steam and a whole lot more. Security updates are installed seamlessly and effortlessly in the background and will be supplied until 2019."
At the time of writing, Chromixium provides one build for 32-bit x86 machines. The ISO we download for the distribution is 800MB in size. Chromixium's one edition provides users with the Openbox window manager and some LXDE components for the distribution's desktop environment. Booting from the Chromixium live media brings us to a graphical login screen. The default password for the live user account is "user". Signing in brings up a desktop environment with a scenic background. At the bottom of the screen we find a transparent panel. This panel is home to quick-launch buttons, an application menu and the distribution's system tray. One of the quick-launch buttons opens the project's system installer.
Chromixium 1.0 -- Default desktop and application menu
(full image size: 812kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Chromixium's graphical system installer has a similar style to the installer used by its parent, Ubuntu, but there are a number of small differences. The installer begins by showing us the project's license agreement. We are then asked if we would like the installer to automatically partition our hard drive or if we would like to manually divide our hard disk. Taking the manual option, I found, launches the GParted partition manager. Using GParted, we can create the partitions we want and, when we close GParted's window, the installer moves on to the next step. The following screen asks us to create a user account for ourselves and then we can optionally enable the root account and create a password for the root user. The next screen asks us to assign mount points to the partitions we created earlier. We can also select the location of Chromixium's boot loader from this screen. There is a checkbox on the page which toggles "Transfer user settings" on/off. I enabled this option and nothing happened so I'm not sure if importing or transferring user settings has been implemented yet. The system installer then formats our disk and copies its files to our computer. When it is finished we are asked to select our time zone and then confirm our keyboard's layout through a series of menus. We then select our preferred language and reboot the computer.
Our local copy of Chromixium boots to a graphical login screen. Signing into the account we created at install time brings us back to the Openbox powered interface. Opening the distribution's application menu reveals an icon for launching the Chromium web browser. There are also icons for launching a minimal Chromium browser in order to access such Google services as Google Drive, YouTube, Google Docs and Web Store. The quick-launch buttons at the bottom of the screen provide access to these same services, plus there is a quick-launch button for opening the distribution's file manager.
Chromixium 1.0 -- Desktop and system settings
(full image size: 1.1MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
At this point in my trial I was wondering where the usual collection of GNU/Linux applications might be found since they were not available in the visible application menu. I found that by right-clicking on the desktop I could bring up a context menu. This menu gives us access to the distribution's settings panel and an application menu. The application menu takes several seconds to load, but it does give us a classic menu tree of software, with applications sorted into categories. The applications provided in the default installation include the Chromium web browser with Adobe's Flash plugin, the Transmission bittorrent client, an image viewer and an application for retrieving data from an attached scanner. The Brasero disc burning software is included along with the Parole media player. We are given the GParted partition manager, a hardware/system information browser and an on-screen virtual keyboard. Network Manager is available to help us connect to the Internet. We find such small applications as a text editor, archive manager and calculator. The GNU Compiler Collection is installed for us too. In the background we find the Linux kernel, version 3.13.
Chromixium does not ship with multimedia codecs. However, attempting to open a media file brings up a window letting us know we are missing codecs. The system then offers to locate appropriate codecs for playing our files. During my trial Chromixium successfully found and installed the codecs I required, allowing me to play my media files. In the application menu there is a launcher for a program that will hunt down codecs and software for reading video DVDs from the Ubuntu software repositories.
Chromixium 1.0 -- Software management
(full image size: 510kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The distribution provides users with two graphical package managers. The first offers a web-based interface and is called Ubuntu Apps Directory. Launching this package manager brings up a website which looks and acts in a very similar manner to the Ubuntu Software Centre. We can search for packages, browse through categories of software and click on packages to bring up a summary of the selected application. Unfortunately, I found whenever I clicked on the button to download and install a package the Apps Directory displayed an error saying the package could not be found. This made the Apps Directory entirely unhelpful. Luckily there is a second graphical package manager which runs as a native application. The Synaptic package manager is present to help us locate, install, update and remove packages on our system. Synaptic worked well for me and the native package manager worked quickly. My one complaint while using Synaptic to add software to my system was that freshly installed desktop software would not appear in either of the distribution's application menus. The user needs to log out and then sign back into their account before new software is added to the context application menu. During my trial a number of software updates were made available. I downloaded 33 updated packages, totalling 70MB in size. Each of these software updates installed cleanly. Chromixium pulls software from Ubuntu's repositories. There are a number of extra add-on repositories configured on the system, but they are not enabled by default. We can enable these extra repositories via Synaptic.
I tried running Chromixium on a desktop computer and in a VirtualBox virtual machine. In both environments the distribution functioned well. My screen was set to its maximum resolution in both environments and both networking and sound worked out of the box. I found the distribution's desktop was a bit sluggish, especially when accessing either application menu. Opening the main application menu took a few seconds and opening the context application menu (where the native applications are stored) took about four seconds. Launching programs tended to be unusually slow too when compared with other Ubuntu-based distributions. In either environment Chromixium required about 290MB of memory to log into the Openbox interface. This seems like a large amount of RAM for such a light graphical interface, almost twice what Debian running the MATE desktop used earlier this month.
Chromixium 1.0 -- Browsing the application menu
(full image size: 931kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I want to make it clear I do not own a Chromebook and, unless I'm mistaken, I've never used a Chromebook computer. I mention this because one of Chromixium's goals is to provide a Chromebook-like experience and, honestly, I have no idea whether it accomplishes this goal. Assuming, for a moment, that it does, I have to admit I'm entirely outside the target demographic for such a device. A computer which deals almost exclusively in on-line web services and web applications would not be useful to me. However, for a person who wants to use their computer almost exclusively for browsing the web, watching YouTube videos, checking e-mail and social networking sites, I can see how such a simplified user interface would be appealing. In a lot of ways I think Chromixium has similar design goals to Peppermint. Both projects have minimal interfaces, a focus on web apps and use local programs to round out their functionality.
My point is that people who are likely to enjoy Chromebooks and use their computers almost solely for accessing the web will probably find Chromixium quite useful. However, while it is technically possible to access more features and off-line software through Chromixium's application menu, the process is slow and awkward when compared with other desktop Linux distributions. Granted, Chromixium is still in its early stages, it just hit version 1.0, so the standalone features will probably improve in time. For now, I think Chromixium offers an interesting web-focused environment with the fallback option of using locally installed applications. The implementation has some rough edges at the moment, but I suspect it will get better in future releases.
* * * * *
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)
Debian releases an update to "Jessie", running OpenBSD in the cloud and Ubuntu mixes Mir, Unity and Snappy
The Debian project has released updated media for the Debian GNU/Linux "Jessie" distribution. The new media, which has been assigned the version number 8.1, is not a new version of Debian, rather it is a simple refresh of the distribution's installation media. Debian's announcement explains: "The Debian project is pleased to announce the first update of its stable distribution Debian 8 (codename jessie). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available. Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 8 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old jessie CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated. Those who frequently install updates from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update." The announcement goes on to provide a list of updated packages and security fixes included in the Debian update.
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When people consider OpenBSD, we often think about the operating system's impressive security record, the developers' insistence on correct documentation and OpenBSD's conservative nature. Rarely do we hear people talk about OpenBSD running as a cloud instance. However, Steven McDonald has posted an article exploring the steps required to launch an instance of OpenBSD on OpenStack. McDonald writes, "One of my recent personal interest projects was to get OpenBSD cloud images running on our OpenStack cluster. I used and extended the same pcib software we use for building our Linux images. In doing so, I learned some cool new things about OpenBSD and learned more about its limitations. Overall, I found adapting OpenBSD to the cloud to be a surprisingly straightforward experience, given that the OpenBSD developers eschew the complexity of x86 virtualisation. I credit this to the OpenBSD project's approach of emphasizing simplicity, correctness and portability in its design choices." The details of getting OpenBSD to run on OpenStack can be found in McDonald's article.
* * * * *
The developers at Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, have a lot of new technology in the pipeline. Canonical is developing its own display server (Mir) to run its own desktop environment (Unity) and its own package manager (Snappy). So far Ubuntu users have typically seen these technologies working separately in test builds. Canonical employee Will Cooke has posted news which indicates we will soon see these various technologies all working together. "Sebastien Bacher has got a Snappy build of Desktop Next for i386. We need to turn it into an installable image now, and work out why amd64 didn't work. Progress is being made every day." The Desktop Next branch of Ubuntu is where Mir and the latest version of Unity are being tested. By the time Ubuntu 15.10 arrives later this year we may see all three technologies working together on one platform.
|Myths and Misunderstandings (by Jesse Smith)
Myths and Misunderstandings: sudo
A common query I encounter on technical forums is whether a given distribution uses a root account or if it uses sudo. Some people, particularly those who have learned how to use Linux from running older distributions, tend to have a preference for managing their operating systems using a root account. They do not want to see the root (administrator) account replaced by sudo. In a similar vein, I sometimes encounter people asking why distributions such as Ubuntu do not have a root account. In both cases there is a misunderstanding as to what sudo does and how systems using sudo are configured.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when it comes to the root account vs sudo debate is that the two are not mutually exclusive. Distributions, such as Ubuntu, which use sudo for performing administrative tasks also have a root account. Likewise, distributions which primarily use a root account for system administration purposes can be made to work with sudo.
All Linux distributions (at least all the ones I have encountered) have a root account. You can confirm this by opening a terminal and checking the list of user accounts on the system. This can be done using the command
One of the first lines you should see from the above command will look like the following, indicating the root account is present:
The reason people often think distributions which use the sudo command do not have a root account is the root account is usually locked by default. This is done for security purposes. The first thing a remote attacker is likely to do when attempting to gain access to your system is guess the root account's password. An attacker knows all Linux systems have an account called root and they probably do not know your login name, so the easiest way to break into your system is to try to login as root while guessing commonly used passwords. Distributions which leave the root account locked by default automatically close this common avenue of attack.
Now, if you are a person who wants to use the root account instead of using sudo, then all you need to do to use the root account is unlock it and create a new password for the root user. This can typically be done by running the following commands
sudo passwd root
The two commands above create a new password for the root account and unlock it. Afterwards anyone who knows the password will be able to sign into the root account to perform administrative tasks.
sudo passwd -u root
Some people may wish to adjust their systems in the opposite way, ignoring the root account and working with sudo instead. Most distributions have a sudo package in their repositories which can be installed and documentation explaining how to switch from using root to using sudo. The Arch wiki, Debian wiki and the CentOS wiki all provide fine examples of enabling sudo on systems that traditionally use root for administrative tasks.
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. 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, make sure to include a link to the ISO file you want us to seed 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 are also 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: 72
- Total downloads completed: 42,625
- Total data uploaded: 7.4TB
|Released Last Week
REMnux is a lightweight, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution for assisting malware analysts with reverse-engineering malicious software. Designed to be run as a virtual machine appliance, REMnux ships with a number of debugging and software analysis utilities. The latest release of REMnux, version 6, offers users several application updates and improved upgrade tools. "I'm excited to announce the v6 release of the REMnux distro, which helps analysts examine malware using free utilities in a Linux environment. REMnux v6 updates the tools that were present in the earlier revisions of the distro and introduces several new ones. Moreover, it implements major architectural changes behind the scenes to allow REMnux users to easily apply future updates without having to download the full REMnux environment from scratch. The simplest way to get the latest REMnux distribution is to download its virtual appliance OVA file, then import it into your favorite virtualization application such as VMware Workstation and VirtualBox. After starting the imported virtual machine, run the `update-remnux full' command to update its software. For detailed instructions, please see REMnux installation instructions." A list of analysis tools REMnux provides is available in the distribution's release announcement.
Arjen Balfoort has announced the release of SolydXK 201506, an updated set of the project's Debian-based Linux distributions with a choice of Xfce (SolydX) or KDE (SolydK) desktops, plus several community-built editions: "It is time for a new release. The new ISO images are based on Debian Jessie's first point release. Several bugs have been patched since then and this release promise to be absolutely rock solid. Frank has built the 32-bit community editions. These community editions are built and supported by the community. You can download these ISOs from the Community editions page. From the same page you can also download a SolydX edition for the Raspberry Pi 2. I was looking for a cheap system for my son to learn Linux and some programming but perhaps there are people out there that could use it. You can find installation instructions on the download page." Here is the full release announcement.
SolydXK 201506 -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 200kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Clonezilla Live 2.4.2-10
Steven Shiau has announced the availability of a new version of Clonezilla Live. The Clonezilla distribution is a Debian-based live disc for manipulating, copying and restoring images of hard disks and disk partitions. The new release, Clonezilla Live 2.4.2-10, offers bug fixes for restoring partitions on machines with UEFI support and cloning swap partitions on disks with GPT layouts. There are also a number of new features and package upgrades: "The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is based on the Debian's 'Sid' repository as of 2015-06-08; Linux kernel has been updated to 4.0.2; the default Unionfs file system has been changed to overlay, therefore if you edit boot parameter manually, you have to use 'union=overlay', no more using 'union=aufs'; switched to use systemd instead of SysVInit, following the way in upstream; switched to use live-config v4, all boot parameters should remain the same; Partclone has been updated to 0.2.78..." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Anke Boersma has announced the release of KaOS 2015.06, the latest release of the rolling-release Linux distribution featuring the KDE Plasma 5 desktop: "KaOS is proud to present the 2015.06 ISO image. The policy is, once a first 'pacman -Syu' becomes a major update, it is time for a new ISO image so new users are not faced with a difficult first update. With the magnitude of changes the last two months, the new ISO image is more than due. Most notable major updates are the Boost/ICU stack, GnuTLS/Nettles stack, a new glibc 2.21 and Binutils 2.25-based toolchain, a move to libpng 1.6 series, Linux kernel 4 (4.0.5) and systemd 220. The latter now made the logical step to merge a bootloader with an init system. With this ISO image KaOS moves to the systemd-provided systemd-boot for UEFI installs, while gummiboot is depreciated. With Linux kernel 4.0.5, a much simpler way for users to make sure their Intel microcode is always updated on boot, is implemented. The needed in-kernel modules are now built in such a way that systemd can handle the microcode updates." See the release announcement for more details, screenshots and known issues.
The IPFire project, which makes an independent open source firewall solution, has announced an important security update to their distribution. The new release, IPFire 2.17 Core Update 91, patches known OpenSSL and IPsec vulnerabilities. "This is the official release announcement for IPFire 2.17 – Core Update 91. This update comes with various security fixes - most notably fixes for six security vulnerabilities in the OpenSSL library and two more vulnerabilities in strongSwan. OpenSSL security vulnerabilities: There are six security vulnerabilities that are fixed in version 1.0.2b of openssl. This version contained an ABI breakage bug that required us to wait for a fix for that and rebuild this Core Update... StrongSwan IPsec security vulnerability: In strongSwan 5.3.1, a security vulnerability that is filed under CVE-2015-3991 was fixed. A denial-of-service and potential code execution was possible with specially crafted IKE messages. IPFire ships now version 5.3.2 which fixes an second vulnerability (CVE-2015-4171)." The IPFire project recommends installing the new security update and rebooting the distribution to make sure these serious vulnerabilities have been patched. Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Voyager Live X8
he developers of Voyager Live, a Debian-based distribution, have announced the release of Voyager Live X8. The new release of Voyager Live is based on Debian 8 "Jessie" and ships with Xfce 4.12 as the distribution's default desktop environment. According to the project's website, Voyager X8 ships with version 3.16 of the Linux kernel and seeks to gain performance by shipping with Xfce desktop environment. The release announcement also lists popular desktop software available in, including Conky, Smtube, Kodi/XBMC Media Center, VLC, GIMP, Clementine, CoverGloobus, RadioTray, Slingscold, Skippy-xd, Kazam, and Transmission. This release of Voyager includes support for booting on UEFI-enabled hardware and offers different installation media for people who wish to work with (or without) UEFI support. Version X8 of Voyager is intended to be a long term support release with five years of security updates. Further information on Voyager X8, along with a collection of screen shots, can be found in the project's release announcement (in French).
Voyager X8 Live -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 596kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Philip Müller has announced the launch of Manjaro 0.8.13. Manjaro is an Arch-based distribution with friendly text and graphical system installers and the project offers many desktop utilities out of the box. "After four months of development we are happy to present to you Manjaro 0.8.13. This time we ship Xfce 4.12 tweaked and patched to have the best Xfce experience possible, Plasma 5.3.1, KDE Frameworks 5.10.0 and latest KDE Apps 15.04.1!" The announcement goes on to list specific upgrades to the project's Xfce and KDE editions. New improvements can also be found in the distribution's system installer: "We worked also hard to improve our graphical installer Thus and our system tools to make the installation and usage of Manjaro as easy and smooth as possible. With this install media we now support Manjaro to be installed on MMC/SD-Cards as well. This will allow some of you to install our distribution to smaller devices without hard drives. Also this install media fixes the issue we had with RAID0 and ext4." Further information on this release can be found in the project's release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Reviewing obscure distributions
Last week we asked what sort of feature reviews you, our readers, were interested in seeing. Most people voted either for a variety of different topics or in favour of more obscure Linux distributions. This week we have a follow-up question: When we review more obscure flavours of Linux, are you interested in Linux distributions which are tied to a specific platform? For example, are you interested in projects like Raspbian or the Amazon Linux AMI distro which are designed to work with one particular platform? Or would you rather we focus on general purpose operating systems design to run on any desktop, laptop or server? Alternatively, would you like to see us focus more on what unique features a distribution offers rather than where that distribution runs?
You can see the results of last week's poll on review diversity here.
Obscure distribution reviews
|Review platform specific distributions: ||53 (4%)|
| Review general purpose distributions: ||376 (29%)|
| A mixture of both: ||409 (32%)|
| Focus on unique features: ||448 (35%)|
Distributions added to waiting list
- SmallWall. SmallWall is a fork of the now discontinued m0n0wall project. SmallWall provides an easy to use embedded firewall solution based on the FreeBSD operating system.
- GNUrama Linux. GNUrama Linux is an independent distribution which features the pan package manager. According to the project's website, GNUrama Linux is intended for use by developers and advanced users who want to exercise complete control over their distribution.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 22 June 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 768 (2018-06-18): Devuan 2.0.0, using pkgsrc to manage software, the NOVA filesystem, OpenBSD handles successful cron output|
|• Issue 767 (2018-06-11): Android-x86 7.1-r1, transferring files over OpenSSH with pipes, LFS with Debian package management, Haiku ports LibreOffice|
|• Issue 766 (2018-06-04): openSUSE 15, overview of file system links, Manjaro updates Pamac, ReactOS builds itself, Bodhi closes forums|
|• Issue 765 (2018-05-28): Pop!_OS 18.04, gathering system information, Haiku unifying ARM builds, Solus resumes control of Budgie|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
White Box Enterprise Linux
What was the goal for White Box Linux? To provide an unencumbered RPM-based Linux distribution that retains enough compatibility with Red Hat Linux to allow easy upgrades and to retain compatibility with their errata SRPMs. Being based off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 3.0 means that a machine should be able to avoid the upgrade treadmill until October 2008 since RHEL promises errata availability for 5 years from date of initial release. Or more briefly, to fill the gap between Fedora and RHEL. Why was White Box Linux created? Its initial creation was sponsored by the Beauregard Parish Public Library in DeRidder, USA out of self interest. We have several servers and over 50 workstations running Red Hat Linux and were left high and dry by Red Hat's recent shift in business plan. Our choices were a difficult migration to another distribution or paying Red Hat an annual fee greater than the amortized value of our hardware. So we chose a third path, made possible by the power of open source.... White Box Linux.