| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 615, 22 June 2015
Welcome to this year's 25th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Open source software regularly pushes into new realms, exploring new niches in software and hardware. This week we examine a number of different areas where open source is being tested with regards to hardware, software and design. We begin with a look at Raspbian, a Debian-based distribution, running on the minimal Raspberry Pi computer. Read on to find out how the Pi performs when paired with Debian software. In our News section this week we share tips on how to fix a problem with Intel drivers that has troubled some Fedora users, talk about openSUSE's efforts to adopt a new version of the GNU compiler and celebrate OpenBSD's new power-saving feature. Plus, we discuss one man's first impressions of the Debian project and concerns about a binary extension being silently added to Chromium. Our Questions and Answers column this week explores why a system may lock-up while accessing the hard disk and how to avoid this common problem. In our Torrent Corner we share a list of the distributions we are seeding and then recap the releases of the past week. In our Opinion Poll we ask how often people change operating systems and we hope to hear form our fellow distro-hoppers. Finally, we are pleased to announce our most recent donation goes to the Devuan project, a distribution which is attempting to offer users an init-neutral operating system. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: The Pi and I
- News: Fedora works around video driver issue, openSUSE builds Tumbleweed with new compiler, OpenBSD reduces power consumption on laptops, first impressions of Debian, Chromium's hidden binary extension
- Questions and answers: System freezing while deleting files
- Torrent corner: LinuxConsole, Mageia
- Released last week: Mageia 5, LinuxConsole 2.4, Black Lab Linux 2015.6 "GNOME", Robolinux 7.9.2
- Upcoming releases: Ubuntu 15.10 Alpha 1
- Opinion poll: Distro-hopping frequency
- May 2015 DistroWatch.com donation: Devuan
- New distributions: HashTag OS, Lightning Linux, Pragmatic Linux
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
The Pi and I
Some people assume, given my love of computers, alternative desktop environments and distro-hopping, that I collect gadgets and hardware the same way I amass video games, productivity suites and ISO files. However, I am generally conservative when it comes to hardware purchases. Unlike many of my fellow technology geeks, I tend to purchase lower-end equipment and keep a relatively small number of computers in my home. At any given time I usually have a desktop machine for work, a laptop for when I travel, an Android phone (it has a virtual terminal and OpenSSH so I count it as a computer) and a headless box I use for storage. Half of these machines I received for free from people throwing them out. My point is that despite my eclectic approach to accumulating software, my tendency is not to collect extra computer hardware or gadgets, no matter how appealing I find them.
Small, inexpensive hobbyist computers like the Raspberry Pi really challenge my resolve to be frugal. As tiny computers such as the BeagleBone, Raspberry Pi and CHIP came onto the scene I frequently found myself looking at their specifications and considering how much functionality I could squeeze out of the hardware. However, I do not want to simply play with a new toy for a short time and leave it to collect dust on a shelf. So, the question which always froze my mouse pointer before it reached the Buy button was: "What practical use would I actually have for such a device?" Fate eventually gave me an answer.
A few weeks ago I had to move the computer I use at home for backups. My backup machine was an old desktop box I intercepted on its way to a landfill years ago and it had been running Ubuntu Server and storing data on a couple of internal hard drives, managed by ZFS, ever since. Once the machine had been moved, I went to plug it back in. There was a small bang, some sparks and suddenly the lights on my storage system would no longer glow. It was, I realized, time to replace my old network storage box. A Raspberry Pi, I reasoned, would be an ideal replacement. The Pi draws relatively little energy, has no fans (making it silent), runs a number of open source operating systems and (by coincidence) has almost the identical amount of memory, and a processor speed similar to, my old storage box. I'd be in familiar territory, specification-wise, while getting a more efficient and quieter system. Plus, Pis are inexpensive.
I ordered a Raspberry Pi kit from CanaKit. Their kit provides the Raspberry Pi (version 2), a manual, protective case, HDMI video cable, power supply, a microSD card pre-loaded with Raspbian and a USB-powered wireless card. The kit took three business days to arrive.
Raspberry Pi 2 -- With network, USB and power cords attached
(full image size: 1.2MB, resolution: 918x800 pixels)
I had originally hoped the 8GB microSD card would offer a fresh installation of Raspbian and run a secure shell service. This would allow me to simply plug in the Pi, attach a network cable and connect to the device remotely. However, there were a few steps I had to take to get to that point. What I had to do first was attach a keyboard to the Pi and connect the tiny computer to a monitor via an HDMI cable. Booting from the Pi automatically loaded a graphical system installer where I was offered the chance to install Raspbian, along with a few other add-ons for developers. I opted for the minimal installation and basically left the Pi alone for the next ten minutes while my new copy of Raspbian was installed and configured. The installation is quite simple and the system installer can be navigated with either a keyboard or a mouse. When the installation was complete I was able to confirm OpenSSH was running. Afterwards I was able to unplug my Pi from the monitor and run the device as a headless computer.
Though I did not intend to run the Raspberry Pi as a desktop computer, the Raspbian operating system does provide users with the LXDE desktop environment. The Pi does not have a great deal of processor speed or memory, but it does have enough resources to run LXDE and a handful of applications. So long as the user does not wish to do a lot at once, the Pi offers a fairly responsive desktop interface. I probably would not run heavier programs such as LibreOffice or Firefox on the Pi, but Raspbian does provide the Epiphany web browser and a few other desktop programs.
Since my intention was to use the Pi as a storage device, I was content to swap out the monitor and plug in an external hard drive to one of the Pi's four USB ports. I feel it is worth mentioning that the Pi probably does not have the capacity to power most external hard drives over a USB connection and I would not recommend trying to do so. However, a hard drive which includes its own AC power adaptor can be connected to the Pi. Since the Pi does not need to power the external drive, only communicate with it, the independent external drive does not tax the Pi's limited electrical output. The external drive I attached to the Pi has a capacity of 2TB. The drive features the ability to put itself into sleep mode when the storage device is not being accessed. This means most of the time my home office is virtually silent and very little heat is being generated by either the Pi or its storage media.
Earlier I mentioned my previous backup server was running Ubuntu with ZFS managing my data. I knew ZFS support was available for Debian. Both ZFS-FUSE and ZFS on Linux have been packaged for Debian and, since Raspbian is based on Debian "Wheezy", I incorrectly assumed both of these packages would be available in Raspbian. I was mistaken. It appears as though there are no ZFS on Linux packages for the ARM architecture. I had also heard that ZFS would consume too much memory and would not run properly on the Pi, but since the Pi has 1GB of RAM, the same amount my previous Ubuntu server had, I was certain memory would not be a limiting factor. I eventually found a tutorial for adding ZFS support to the Pi using an ARM port of the ZFS-FUSE software. I added the ZFS module to my system, set up a new ZFS storage pool and began copying my files to my new Pi-powered backup server.
At the time of writing, my Raspberry Pi has been running for a little over two weeks. The headless mini-computer is dwarfed by the external hard drive it sits next to. Raspbian has been running smoothly, virtually non-stop, without any glitches or problems of any kind. Though, at this time, I have so far only used the Pi as a backup device, I am considering possible future projects (and alternative operating systems) I could run on the device. I think the Pi would do well in the role of lightweight web server and there are several other open source operating systems (including Arch, Fedora, Ubuntu Snappy and FreeBSD) which have builds for the Raspberry Pi.
For now, I wish to share a few general observations about the Pi. First, the Pi does not have a fan or a heat sink - it does not need either. Even with half of the Pi's four CPU cores running steadily at 100% for hours the device does not feel warm to the touch. The Pi might as well be powered off for all the heat it generates. The external hard drive the Pi is attached to, a Western Digital My Book, sleeps most of the day. The device wakes automatically when the Pi needs to access it and spins down when not used for a few minutes. The external drive, like the Pi itself, produces virtually no heat and, when not in use, no noise either.
With the LXDE desktop running, Raspbian required approximately 250MB of memory and, when including cache, typically consumed most of its 1GB of RAM. However, after I removed the LXDE desktop and the X display server, replacing them with ZFS and DenyHosts, Raspbian's memory footprint dropped to 76MB of memory. Including cached data, my Pi is using a mere 155MB of memory. Most of the time the Pi's processor is idle. Early on I tried to put a heavy load on the device's four CPU cores and found Raspbian continued to work smoothly and the device remained cool to the touch. Once my tests were completed, I found Raspbian usually carried a load average of about 0.01 and the Pi responds faster to remote connections than my old single-core backup box did.
At this time I am happy with my purchase. Though the Pi does have the processing power to act as a low-end desktop, I do think its low memory specification means the Pi will not be a good desktop solution for most people. The Raspberry Pi and external hard drive I purchased, combined, cost under $200USD after shipping and taxes. The Pi and its storage device are quiet, cool and have plenty of computing capacity (and memory) to spare. I think the combination makes for a very suitable backup solution for the home or other NAS or web server projects. I am looking forward to experimenting with the tiny computer more to see what fun projects I can perform with this minimal device. Suggestions for future projects and experiments are welcome.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Fedora works around video driver issue, openSUSE builds Tumbleweed with new compiler, OpenBSD reduces power consumption on laptops, first impressions of Debian, Chromium's hidden binary extension
Last week Fedora Magazine posted an article which talked about problems some Fedora users were experiencing when running the distribution's latest release on computers with Intel video cards. The article explains: "This issue appeared because of a Linux kernel change in version 4. The new Intel graphics driver uses SNA (Sandybridge New Acceleration) architecture for graphics acceleration by default. When coupled with the kernel change, the driver causes this issue. Thanks to Fedora's active community, bugs were filed in Bugzilla (Bug 1226531 and Bug 1226743) and fixes are on their way. An update to Intel driver is already in stable updates, and a kernel update (to v4.0.5) is in updates-testing repository." Instructions for installing the fix and for working around the driver issue are provided in the article.
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The openSUSE developers have been hard at work in recent weeks, adjusting packages to work with version 5 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC 5). According to the openSUSE blog, the next snapshot of the distribution's rolling release branch (named Tumbleweed) will feature GCC 5. "The newest GNU Compiler Collection was checked in today to openSUSE Factory, which is the rolling development code base for Tumbleweed, as the default compiler, so all packages will be rebuilt against GCC 5 and the next Tumbleweed snapshot will include GCC 5.1.1 The snapshot is expected later in the week, making it one of the first rolling releases to have the compiler as a default within Linux, according to DistroWatch's package tracker." Further details are available in the blog post. The new GNU compiler is expected to offer a number of performance improving optimizations and includes support for the Go language. A list of improvements provided by the new compiler are listed on the compiler's website.
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The BSDNow podcast mentioned some news last week which should excite OpenBSD users. OpenBSD's "-current" development branch includes the ability to put a computer's processor into a lower C-state, a sort of middle ground between full operation and sleep mode. Using C-states allows the processor to use less power and generate less heat. OpenBSD users who have been testing the new feature, committed to OpenBSD's -current branch by Philip Guenther, on laptop computers have noticed significant changes in the heat generated by their computers. As one tester wrote, "After booting with the new kernel I wondered what the results would be. Keeping track of hw.sensors.acpithinkpad0.temp3 on my older w500 would typically be in the 86 - 92C range and then reboot if I was wasn't
careful. This build the temperature was typically 78 - 80C, with one spike at
82C during the latter part of the xenocara build. My script checked every 17 seconds. I can say from this one test that there is a huge difference -- 10C, at least!"
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The Debian distribution has a well deserved reputation for reliability, performance and efficiency. However, Debian is not designed with newcomers or less technical savvy people in mind. Last week the Everyday Linux User site posted three suggestions on how Debian could make itself more inviting to new users. The author points out difficulties new users are likely to encounter when trying to download installation media, running Debian's live CD and inefficiencies with the project's system installer: "There are at least 5 screens which ask you either where you are from or your language. This is overkill. If I have selected the UK as a timezone it is likely that my nearest mirror would be the UK. Maybe the installer should be more intelligent and set up default options based on previous input with the option of changing them. This would cut down on user input." The full list of suggestions can be found on the Everyday Linux User website.
Chromium is an open source web browser which acts as a testing ground for Google's Chrome web browser. Since Chromium is an open source product and Chrome is not, Chromium is more often included in distribution repositories. Several Chromium users have noticed recently that the web browser silently installs additional, closed-source extensions which it then hides from the user. This behaviour has triggered a good deal of concern, especially in the Debian community where software licensing and security are high priorities. In a Debian bug report one user observes, "After upgrading Chromium to 43, I noticed that when it is running and immediately after the machine is on-line it silently starts downloading `Chrome Hotword Shared Module' extension, which contains a binary without source code. There seems [to be] no opt-out config." A similar bug has been reported to the Chromium team, stating, "I find the new behaviour of hotword (from v43 on) extremely conspicuous: Opt-in default, downloading a binary blob without notification, extension not being shown in extension list, ability to record audio... I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that. Great strategy to erode trust of any user who is even slightly concerned with security." The Chromium developers are making the closed-source module an optional feature which distributions can enable or disable as they see fit.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
System freezing while deleting files
Living-without-swap asks: I run a system without swap space and when I run "rm -rf folder" on folders with many files my computer freezes. Assuming I have understood the situation correctly, it is because my system has no swap space. Is this right and can I work around this limitation?
DistroWatch answers: I suspect one of two things is happening in the situation described. First, it is possible the rm command is using up the remaining available memory on the system, causing the operating system to dump cached data out of memory in order to make room. Alternatively, the operating system is running out of memory and killing off processes which is causing the interface to freeze. If the operating system is, in fact, running out of memory then having swap space probably would not help. Whether the operating system is dumping processes from memory or moving unused memory out to a swap partition, the system will still pause (freeze) for brief periods.
Assuming the operating system is running out of memory during the removal of a large directory tree, my recommendation is to kick a few large programs out of memory before the removal begins. Large applications like mainstream web browsers, productivity software and e-mail clients often use a lot of RAM. If the system is starving for memory, then try closing these applications prior to running the rm command. Having fewer programs in RAM will give the operating system breathing room in which to work.
With that being said, I suspect something different is causing the system to stutter or freeze. Disk access is typically one of the slowest tasks a computer performs and the operating system can appear to hang while waiting for disk operations to complete. This is especially true when creating or removing many files. To keep the operating system running smoothly while the rm command is accessing the hard disk, try running the command with the ionice program. The ionice program reduces the priority of a command, reducing its impact on system resources. For example, I could run
ionice rm -rf MyFolder
The above command removes MyFolder and its contents from the hard drive, but tries to prevent the removal of files from interfering with other tasks accessing the disk. The ionice program can even be used to only allow a process to access the disk when it should not affect other disk reading/writing processes at all. In the following example we remove a folder again, using the -c flag to make sure the removal has a minimal impact on other running processes
ionice -c 3 rm -rf MyFolder
I think the important thing to do is to figure out what is causing the system to freeze while a directory is being removed. The easiest way to do that is to open two terminal windows. In the first window run the rm command to delete a large directory of files and, in the second terminal window, run the top command and pay attention to the "%Cpu(s)" line. Particularly the "wa" field on that line. The "wa" number lets us know how much time the system spends waiting for input/output tasks (like removals) to finish. If this "wa" field gets high, over 25% or so, then that means your system is probably freezing, waiting while the rm command finishes its work. Running the rm command through ionice as shown above should fix the problem.
Be sure to keep an eye on the amount of memory used too. If the "free" memory field gets close to zero then the operating system is running out of RAM. At such times it makes sense to close some unnecessary programs and free up more memory.
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: 75
- Total downloads completed: 43,430
- Total data uploaded: 7.8TB
|Released Last Week
Yann Le Doaré has announced the launch of LinuxConsole 2.4. LinuxConsole is an independent, lightweight distribution which offers easy installation steps and a simple desktop environment, provided by LXDE. The latest release ships with version 4.0.5 of the Linux kernel, the Qupzilla web browser and new Chinese and Russian locales. "This release is easy to try or install. It could be installed on computers used by children or teenagers. You can install many games, educational, Internet and music software. The CD ISO contains all libraries, the LXDE Desktop, drivers and the game SuperTuxKart. The DVD ISO comes with many applications, like LibreOffice or the game 0AD. A new tool is also available to install third-party software, like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Steam and Skype." Further information on this release, along with a screen shot, is available on the project's home page.
Black Lab Linux 2015.6 "GNOME"
The developers of Black Lab Linux, a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu, have announced the launch of Black Lab Linux 2015.6 "GNOME" edition. This new version is a long term support release with security updates being made available until the year 2020. "Today we are releasing the new build of Black Lab Linux GNOME 2015.6. This spin uses the GNOME desktop Environment 3.10 and is based on the LTS technologies that power our distributions. We have set it up with a unique layout which makes it ideal for traditional keyboard and mouse desktop users as well as users with touchscreen systems. This release is 64-bit only although we are considering a 32-bit release if the community requests it. This release is fully supported until the year 2020 as our other releases. You can also order this desktop environment pre-installed on systems and on your USB Keys and SD cards." Further details and a screen shot can be found on in the project's release announcement.
Black Lab Linux 2015.6 -- Running the GNOME Desktop
(full image size: 512kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
John Martinson has announced the release of Robolinux 7.9.2, the latest update of the project's Debian-based distribution featuring an optional (and commercial) virtual machine pack for running Windows seamlessly alongside Robolinux: "Robolinux is pleased to announce version 7.9.2 LTS (until 2018) 'X12+ Privacy & Security' which has many enhancements, plus maintenance and upstream security updates, the newest VirtualBox, Firefox and Thunderbird versions as well as three exceptional new applications. After releasing 'Apex X12 Privacy & Security' in version 7.9.1 May 1st, 2015, we asked our users what enhancements and new applications they would like added to Robolinux. They said: 'We would like the Robolinux 7 series to have long-term support and we want a download manager, a better text editor and a better screen-capture program. The result is version 7.9.2 which will now be supported through 2018 and we added the following applications: Uget downloader manager, Shutter screen capture and Medit." See the project's SourceForge page to read the rest of the release announcement.
Rémi Verschelde has announced the release of Mageia 5. Mageia is a community distribution which started as a fork of the Mandriva project, but which now operates as an independent distribution. "After more than one year of development, the Mageia community is very proud to finally deliver this long-awaited release, Mageia 5. This release announcement is a big sigh of relief, an `At last!' that comes straight from the heart of the weary - tired as one can be after long days of hard but rewarding work. And still, we chose to take our time to fix major issues and have a high quality release, without rushing it. Maybe our best release so far, taking into account the impressive work that was done on the installer, both to add new features and to get rid of old bugs." The new release features UEFI support (though not Secure Boot), version 3.19 of the Linux kernel, KDE 4.14 and GNOME 3.14. Cinnamon, MATE, Plasma, LXQt and Xfce desktop are also available. Installation media, live discs and a network install ISO are offered as download options. More information on the new version of Mageia can be found in the project's release announcement, the release notes and errata.
Mageia 5 -- Running the KDE desktop
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Maycon Schneider has announced the launch of Mangaka Nyu. The new release represents the project's first stable release since the project was revived earlier this year. "After a month of development containing the last 64-bit Linux image, various bug-fix and software implementation, we reached the final stage of our 2GB DVD of LINUX MANGAKA NYU in a focus of a real multimedia Linux distribution with almost needed contents for our Anime & Manga community in customization, tools, beauty, simplicity, free, lightweight. We made some graphical changes as well to look more professional and eye-caring." The release announcement includes a note suggesting new users should disable updating and third-party downloads during the installation process.
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Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
At DistroWatch we talk a lot about different distributions and, in order to review new technologies, we run a different open source operating system every week. We are constantly changing desktops, package managements and configuration tools, swapping out one way of doing things for another. This week we would like to know how often our readers install a new operating system. Do you distro-hop every week or do you tend to stick with one distribution for a long time? Or perhaps you dual-boot, juggling between several operating systems at once? Feel free to share the details of your distro-hopping experiences in the comments section.
You can see the results of last week's poll on niche distributions here.
|Multiple times a week: ||119 (5%)|
| A few times per month: ||290 (13%)|
| More than once a year: ||581 (25%)|
| Less than once a year: ||733 (32%)|
| I dual-boot multiple distros: ||561 (25%)|
May 2015 DistroWatch.com donation: Devuan
We are pleased to announce the recipient of the May 2015 DistroWatch.com donation is Devuan. The project receives US$300.00 in cash.
Devuan is a fork of the Debian distribution with the intended goal of providing an operating system which offers users a choice of init software. The project's website explains: "Have you tried to opt-out of the systemd change in Debian™ and stay with sysvinit, or whatever other init you prefer? You will quickly notice that is not a matter of choosing packages and in fact Debian offers no choice. We want freedom of choice, we want Init Freedom! We are working towards a stable, production ready fork of Debian Jessie, free from the entangling web of dependencies imposed by systemd."
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 crypto currencies 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$43,825 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), SME Server ($350), OpenStreetMap ($350), iTALC ($350), KDE ($400), The Document Foundation ($400), Tails ($350)
- 2015: AWStats ($300), Haiku ($300), Xiph.Org ($300), GIMP ($350), Kodi ($300), Devuan ($300)
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Distributions added to waiting list
- Pragmatic Linux. Pragmatic Linux is an Arch based distribution which strives to offer simplicity, minimalism, and code elegance.
- Lightning Linux. Lightning Linux is a distribution which ships with the GNOME Classic desktop environment.
- HashTag OS. HashTag OS (also called #OS) is a Linux distribution, based on openSUSE, that features the custom ALPHA graphical user interface.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 29 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Full list of all issues|
Star Labs - Laptops built for Linux.
View our range including the Star Lite, Star LabTop and more. Available with a choice of Ubuntu, Linux Mint or Zorin OS pre-installed with many more distributions supported. Visit Star Labs for information, to buy and get support.
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Sun Java Desktop System
Sun Java Desktop System was a comprehensive, secure, highly affordable enterprise desktop solution that was simple to use and works with existing infrastructure. The software consists of a fully integrated client environment based on open source and standards including a GNOME desktop environment, StarOffice productivity suite, Mozilla browser, Evolution e-mail and calendar client, Java 2 Standard Edition, and a Linux operating system. Future releases of Java Desktop System are planned to support workstations and Sun Ray thin clients running the Solaris Operating System.