| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 667, 27 June 2016
Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
There are a lot of competing standards in the Linux community and a lot of different methods for solving the same problem. The friendly competition between developers and distributions leaves Linux users spoiled for choice, but also sometimes wondering which solution will best suit their needs. In our News section we talk about two package formats, Flatpak and snap, and the distributions backing them. These competing package formats are the topic of our Opinion Poll and we hope you will share your thoughts on these technologies in the comments. Solus was also in the news last week as the project unveiled some of its upcoming features and we share the highlights below. Our Feature Story this week talks about the GeckoLinux distribution, a desktop oriented derivative of openSUSE. Read on to find out how GeckoLinux compares to its parent. In our Questions and Answers column we discuss tablets powered by Linux and then we share the torrents we are seeding. As usual, we provide a list of the distributions released last week and we are pleased to welcome two new entries, KDE neon and RancherOS, to our database. Last week we updated the set of upstream packages we track and we list both the new and retired packages below. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (28MB) and MP3 (40MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
GeckoLinux is one of the more recent distributions to land in the DistroWatch database. GeckoLinux (or Gecko, as I will refer to the distribution) is based on openSUSE. Gecko offers two key features above and beyond what its parent provides: patent encumbered software installed by default and live desktop editions. The openSUSE project avoids shipping software with licensing or patent restrictions and offers just two editions of Leap (a full DVD and a net-install disc). The Gecko distribution provides some extra packages, including multimedia support, and provides live discs for seven different desktop environments: Budgie, Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE and Xfce. For people who want something lighter, Gecko offers an eighth "Barebones" edition.
I decided to try Gecko's MATE edition which is available as a 966MB download. While I was downloading the ISO file, I looked into why Gecko uses such long version numbers, such as 421.160527.0. I learned the first part indicates which version of openSUSE Gecko uses as a base, in this case openSUSE 42.1. The second number is the date the ISO was created, 27th of May, 2016. The final number is reserved for revisions or re-builds. In this case the trailing zero indicates no rebuilds were necessary.
Booting from Gecko's media brings up a boot screen where we are asked if we would like to launch the distribution's live desktop environment, run a memory test or boot from a local drive. Here I ran into different behaviours, depending on whether I was running Gecko in a VirtualBox environment or on my desktop computer. When running in VirtualBox, both the live desktop option and booting from a local hard drive worked as expected. When running on the desktop computer, taking the boot from a local drive option simply brought me back to the menu. Taking the live desktop option caused the system to boot, but brought me to a blank graphical screen where all I could see was my mouse pointer. I was able to switch to a text console and log into a default user account and then run startx in order to access the live desktop environment. When running in VirtualBox, the system boots to a graphical login screen where we can sign in using the user "linux" and the password "linux".
Regardless of which method was used to arrive at the desktop environment, we are treated to an implementation of MATE with the application menu, task switcher and system tray placed at the bottom of the screen. The wallpaper is green and there are two icons on the desktop. One icon launches the system installer while the other offers to install language packages. I will come back to the language packages later, but for now I would like to mention that performing any administrative action (such as launching the system installer) prompts for a password. The password for the root account is "linux".
Gecko uses its parent's graphical system installer. The installer begins by asking us to select our preferred language from a list. This first screen also gives us the chance to change our keyboard layout, again by picking the desired option from a list. At the bottom of the window we see Gecko's license agreement which simply states: "I agree not to do anything bad with GeckoLinux." The system installer then gets us to select our time zone from a map of the world. Partitioning the hard disk is dealt with next. By default, Gecko offers to automatically partition our hard drive, setting up a Btrfs volume and swap space. We can manually partition the drive if we wish. Gecko's installer offers a lot of different partitioning options and there are all sorts of different ways to view the available storage space. I think newcomers will find manual partitioning overwhelming, but if they do venture through the process they will have the ability to set up Btrfs, XFS and ext2/3/4 file systems.
One aspect of the partition manager I enjoyed was that it is possible to edit fstab options, so we can do things like set file systems to be read-only or disable access time information. The installer then gets us to create a user account. We can choose whether to give this account admin access (via sudo). By default, the account will sign in automatically and we can disable this option. The final screen of the installer shows us a list of actions and configuration options which will be used when setting up the operating system. We can click links in the summary to change options and jump to configuration screens. I noticed that the installer does not install a boot loader to the local disk's MBR by default, but clicking a button changes this, installing GRUB to the MBR. Once the installer has copied its packages to our hard drive we have the option of rebooting the computer or returning to the live desktop environment.
GeckoLinux 421.160527.0 -- Running various desktop applications
(full image size: 246kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
When booting into my local copy of Gecko, I found it was possible to log into either the account I created during the installation process or the default "linux" account that was present on the live disc. The "linux" user's password still works, so it is a good idea to disable this default user account early on to avoid leaving a security hole.
I found Gecko worked well in VirtualBox and included VirtualBox modules, allowing the operating system to make use of my screen's full resolution while running in its virtual machine. The MATE desktop was responsive and everything generally worked well. When running on my desktop computer, Gecko ran quickly and, once installed, worked properly with my desktop's hardware. Sound and networking functioned properly and the distribution automatically made use of my display's full resolution. Gecko's MATE edition is fairly light on resources, requiring approximately 260MB of memory.
Digging through the MATE application menu we find a collection of popular open source applications. The Firefox web browser is present along with the Thunderbird e-mail client, the Pidgin messaging software and the Transmission bittorrent client. LibreOffice is available along with the Atril document viewer. Gecko ships with the Clementine audio player and the VLC media player. The distribution ships with a full compliment of multimedia codecs, enabling us to play most media formats. The distribution provides us with the Eye of MATE image viewer, a scanner application and the Caja file manager. An archive manager, calculator and text editor are present. Network Manager is present to help us get on-line. In the background I found systemd 210 and version 4.1 of the Linux kernel.
GeckoLinux 421.160527.0 -- Managing software packages
(full image size: 639kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
After using Gecko for a while I realized I had not yet noticed any indication as to whether there were security updates available for the distribution. My initial reaction was to open the application menu and launch the YaST software manager. After looking around the software manager for a while, I was unable to find any view or tab which would let me know which updates were available. I next tried going into the YaST control centre and launching the "Online Update" module. This module opens what appears to be the software manager, but with one extra tab labelled "Patches" at the top of the window. The Patches tab shows us a list of available security updates and we can check a box next to each update to indicate if we want to download it. The available software updates downloaded and installed on my machine without any problems. When core system components, like the kernel, are updated, the software manager will advise us that we should reboot the computer in the future to apply the new changes.
The software manager, in general, is an unusually complex application. It offers us a lot of different ways to view available software and we can organize software by various groups. Despite the many tabs and groupings cluttering the interface, the software manager does work and I was able to add and remove software without any technical issues getting in the way.
GeckoLinux 421.160527.0 -- Working with Btrfs snapshots through Snapper
(full image size: 617kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The YaST control centre is probably one of the more interesting facets of any openSUSE-based distribution. From within YaST we can launch configuration modules to perform all sorts of low-level tasks, including setting up services, managing software packages, browsing hardware information, configuring security, setting up printers and managing file system snapshots. I talked about YaST and its many friendly configuration modules in some detail last November when I reviewed openSUSE 42.1. I don't want to duplicate what I said then, as Gecko's copy of YaST works exactly the same with the same strengths (such as manipulating file system snapshots) and the same weaknesses (unable to local and configure my printer).
GeckoLinux 421.160527.0 -- The MATE settings panel
(full image size: 141kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
One aspect of Gecko's MATE edition which new users may find confusing is Gecko has two settings panels. The first is the YaST control centre mentioned above and the other is MATE's configuration panel for managing the look and behaviour of the desktop environment. For the most part the two settings panels perform different tasks. One deals with the underlying operating system and the other handles the desktop environment and there is not a lot of overlap. However, there are some exceptions. For example, the MATE settings panel has a printer module which, when launched, opens the Firefox web browser and connects to the local CUPS web-based administration page. YaST has its own printer module which is a locally run application with a completely different interface.
Earlier I mentioned an icon on the desktop which can be launched to install additional language translations. I did not need to install any language packages, but went through the process, just to see what it would be like. Clicking the icon prompts for the root password and then opens a virtual terminal. At the terminal we are prompted several times to confirm the validity of third-party repository signing keys. Next we are asked for permission to install the "desktop-translations" and the "MozillaFirefox-translations-common" packages. Once these are installed we are then given the chance to install the "MozillaThunderbird-translations-common" package. Once these have been installed, the virtual terminal closes. There are no follow-up instructions or any indication anything has changed. Virtual terminals, signing keys and specific packages are not things most end users are going to feel comfortable working with so I'm a bit puzzled as to why language translations are handled this way. It seems to work, just not in a way I suspect newcomers will enjoy.
This week what I was interested in was exploring the differences between GeckoLinux and openSUSE Leap. Do they share the same strengths and weaknesses, does Gecko follow through on its promise to provide a working live disc and patent encumbered extras?
Gecko does follow through on its plans to provide live discs which gives us the chance to demo many different desktop environments with openSUSE as the underlying operating system. I think Gecko does a pretty good job of this. I did run into a little hardware related trouble early on where, it seems, my video card did not want to work with Gecko's live disc. However, this problem was worked around by signing into a text console and running startx. Gecko does provide media codecs and I was able to play all my media files without jumping through the many hoops required to get multimedia working properly on openSUSE.
While Gecko does follow through on its goals (and does so fairly well), Gecko still does not feel like a beginner-friendly distribution. The tools provided by openSUSE are very powerful and I very much enjoy working with YaST and I greatly appreciate the way Btrfs snapshots are integrated with the rest of the operating system. I have no complaints about Gecko (and openSUSE) on a technical level, only with regards to the distribution's user friendliness. In other words, I feel Gecko makes openSUSE more convenient for intermediate and experienced Linux users, but not necessary more accessible for beginners.
* * * * *
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)
Fedora supports Flatpak, an overview of Fedora's software licenses and Solus plans new features
Last week we talked about efforts to port Ubuntu's new snap packages to other distributions. Snap packages contain applications or services along with their dependencies, allowing them to run (in theory) just about anywhere without affecting other installed packages on the operating system. Snap has competition though. Flatpak is another package format which bundles dependencies and strives to make application packages work across multiple distributions. The Flatpak website states: "The Linux desktop has long been held back by platform fragmentation. This has been a burden on developers, and creates a high barrier to entry for third party application developers. Flatpak aims to change all that. From the very start its primary goal has been to allow the same application to run across a myriad of Linux distributions and operating systems. In doing so, it greatly increases the number of users that application developers can easily reach." The rest of the Flatpak release announcement lists some available applications and the security features of the package format.
The Fedora distribution has already unveiled support for Flatpak packages, stating the distribution's graphical software manager will work with Flatpak: "Flatpak (formerly xdg-app) is another building-block feature, with Software able to track installed Flatpaks and adding more features in the future as the technology develops."
Marking the release of Fedora 24 last Tuesday, Anwesha Das published some statistics relating to Fedora's software packages and their licenses. The blog post includes charts which show how many packages are distributed under each software license. The MIT, GPL and BSD licenses were clearly the most popular and Das has further provided statistics on the various versions of the GPL. "To give a shape to this project I have downloaded all the .spec files using 'Python Request Module' (a thanks to Kenneth Reitz for writing it). I have downloaded only the approved packages for Fedora. There are total 19,221 approved packages in Fedora repository as found on 20.06.2016, among those 1,124 were dead packages. Another note of gratitude must be given to the Fedora Infrastructure developers who wrote, and maintained such nice documentation which a newbie like me can easily understand."
* * * * *
The Solus project is planning to publish a minor update release next month. The project has published a list of features users can expect to see in the point release, including full disk encryption and improved language support. Users can also expect to see enhancements to the project's graphical software manager: "The Software Center in Solus 1.2.1 will feature a background service to automate the checking of software updates, which will discretely notify users of updates and will remain in Raven's Notification View until the user has acknowledged it. The background service will also abide by the user's connection settings, such as disabling the background service on a metered connection, and provide the user with the ability to toggle that functionality on/off. In addition to the background service, the Software Center will include a more advanced mechanism for installing third party software to replace the existing, admittedly primitive prototype."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Running GNU/Linux on tablet computers
Wanting-Tux-on-a-tablet asks: Are there any tablets that work properly with Linux? I'm not interested in Android, but being able to run something like Debian on a tablet without a lot of fussing about with config files. Does this exist?
DistroWatch answers: When we put aside Android tablets and focus exclusively on tablets powered by GNU/Linux, the list of options shrinks considerably. Bq sells a tablet that ships with Ubuntu pre-installed. You can find specifications and purchasing links on the Ubuntu website.
There are other options, but they tend to stray into do-it-yourself (DIY) territory where you will need to either install the operating system or assemble some parts. For example, you can purchase a Raspberry Pi with the Raspbian distribution and attach a case and touch screen to it. See the Adafruit website for more details on how to assemble a Raspberry Pi powered tablet running Linux.
It is possible to install Linux distributions on some tablets, usually by either rooting the device or disabling Secure Boot. For example, the Geek.com website has a tutorial that walks the reader through installing Ubuntu on a Surface Pro.
For other devices, it is worth looking at the Linux on Android website for ways to turn an existing Android mobile device into a tablet running a GNU/Linux distribution.
* * * * *
Past Questions and Answers columns can be found in our Q&A Archive.
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 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. 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: 207
- Total data uploaded: 37.9TB
|Released Last Week
Josh Strobl has announced the release of Solus 1.2, a new version of the project's Linux distribution that features a custom desktop (Budgie) and package manager (eopkg): "We are proud to announce the release of Solus 1.2, the second minor release in the Shannon series of releases. Solus 1.2 builds upon the groundwork of 1.1 and 1.0, with continued improvements to Budgie, a huge focus on software optimizations, in addition to laying the framework for providing a performant gaming experience. Solus 1.2 furthers us on our journey to realizing the future of home computing. We have continued to improve Budgie over the course of the Solus 1.2 development cycle, with development changes shipping in Solus 1.2. This release features a multitude of bug fixes and some of the following highlighted improvements: fix stretching of GTK+ Switches in CSS themes; fixed some untranslatable strings; icon and GTK+ themes are now properly detected using our new ThemeScanner; notifications will no longer expand Raven; resolved drawing issues for Calendar, Sound and MPRIS applets...." Continue to the release announcement which includes a number of screenshots.
Solus 1.2 -- Default desktop and application menu
(full image size: 898kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Suman Chakravartula has announced the release of Rockstor 3.8-14, an updated version of the project's CentOS-based distribution designed for use as Network-Attached Storage (NAS) nodes: "I am happy to announce that Rockstor 3.8-14 is now released. We've added big new features including an interface to power down HDDs to reduce noise and conserve electricity, and a way to browse and download logs almost too easily with a few clicks on the UI. As usual, there are many enhancements and bug fixes. 34 issues were closed altogether by the hard and smart work of eight different contributors. We welcomed new contributors in this 3.8-14 release cycle, the most we've had so far working together on one release. ... Here is the long list of issues we closed in this cycle: add anacron-like feature to task scheduling; add support for policy driven powering down of HDDs from the UI; add feature to browse and download various log files from the UI; significantly improve UI templates; add different support flows for stable and testing channel users; improve Active Directory info pop-up...." Read the rest of the release announcement for a detailed list of changes.
Alessio Fattorini has announced the release of NethServer 6.8, a new stable version of the server-oriented distribution, featuring a web-based management console and based on CentOS 6.8: "I'm proud to announce that NethServer 6.8 has been released and is publicly available. It is the newest long-term support release. There are tons of major changes to NethServer and it's impossible to cover them all in detail here, so here are some of our favorite highlights: based on the recently-released CentOS 6.8 operating system; SELinux policy changed from permissive to disabled; package collectd upgraded from version 4 to 5; new interface module for managing policy routing rules; new configuration for the multi-WAN monitoring along with a new interface; better spam filtering by using the DNS-based Blackhole List (DNSBL); support for CIDR and IP ranges as source and destination for proxy bypass; it's now possible to create a bond with specific mode from the Network page...." See the release announcement for a detailed introduction to all the new features.
Emmabuntus 1.00 "Debian"
The Emmabuntus project has announced the launch of a new branch of the distribution. Emmabuntus releases to date have been based on Xubuntu, but the distribution's new branch is based on Debian Stable. "On the technical side, this new version looks a lot like Emmabuntüs 3, which is based on Xubuntu 14.04 LTS, but is lighter and faster, according to our very first tests. So we are able to reuse the full set of the Emmabuntüs 3 tutorials hosted on the Developpez.com site, with the noticeable exception of the installation guide which shall be edited to take into account the specific Debian Life Installer." A full list of features and tweaks to the underlying Debian platform can be found in the distribution's release announcement.
Ultimate Edition 5.0
Ultimate Edition is a distribution based on Ubuntu which strives to provide an easy to use desktop operating system. The project has announced the launch of Ultimate Edition 5.0 LTS which is based on Ubuntu 16.04. The new release is currently available in a MATE 64-bit edition, though other desktop flavours and 32-bit builds are planned. " What is Ultimate Edition 5.0? Ultimate Edition 5.0 was built from the Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerius tree using a combination of Tmosb (TheeMahn's Operating System Builder), almost completely re-written & work by hand. Tmosb is also included in this release, allowing you to do the same. This release is a long term supported (LTS) release, supported until the year 2019. This release is most certainly worthy of the Ultimate Edition title. I have received 0 and I do mean 0 negative feedback! Currently I have only built the tip of the iceburg, initiating with a 64-bit Lite based on MATE 1.14.1. I have full intentions of building a 32-bit of the same, a Full version based on GNOME, a Gamers Edition, perhaps another Lite version based off Xfce and, time permitting, a Developers Edition." Additional information and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
Point Linux 3.2
The Point Linux project, a desktop distribution based on Debian's Stable branch, has announced the availability of Point Linux 3.2. The new release is available in MATE and Xfce editions and is based on Debian 8.5. The two editions ship with MATE 1.8 and Xfce 4.10, respectively. Key features of the new version are listed in the release notes (MATE, Xfce): "Inability to install from custom made flash drives fixed. Firefox package replaced with Debian's firefox-esr. Thunderbird is not installed by default. Flash plugin removed due to security reasons. Plymouth theme changed to spinner. Up to date Debian Packages. Do not show 'virtualbox kernel service is not running' banner. Boot from local drive ability fixed in LiveCD boot menu." Point Linux 3.2 is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds.
The Fedora Project has announced the launch of Fedora 24. The new version of Fedora ships with GNOME 3.20 and the Fedora graphical package manager supports working with Flatpak packages. Though Fedora still uses X as the default display server, Wayland is available as an alternative display technology. "The Fedora 24 Workstation release features GNOME 3.20, with many usability improvements such as easier input device and printer settings, a better search interface, shortcut windows for keyboard commands, and more convenient music controls. Flatpak (formerly xdg-app) is another building-block feature, with Software able to track installed Flatpaks and adding more features in the future as the technology develops. The Software app has also grown features to provide a full system upgrade directly from the desktop from one Fedora release to the next, and the ability to provide labelling as well as reviews of available software. Fedora 24 continues our work on the X replacement, Wayland, a next-generation graphics stack. Although this release will not default to Wayland, it includes many improvements and is available as an option for users to try out, and potentially will be the default stack in Fedora 25." Further details can be found in the release announcement. Fedora is available in Workstation, Server and Cloud editions.
Fedora 24 Workstation -- Running GNOME Shell
(full image size: 714kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Peppermint OS 7
The developers of Peppermint OS have announced the launch of a new version of the lightweight Ubuntu-based distribution. The new version, Peppermint OS 7, is based on Ubuntu 16.04 and uses LXDE as the default desktop environment. "Team Peppermint are pleased to announce our latest operating system Peppermint 7, it comes in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions with the latter having full UEFI/GPT/Secure Boot support baked in, a new version of Ice (our in house Site Specific Browser framework) is also included with full Firefox web browser support as well as Chromium/Chrome. Along with the shift to the 16.04 (Xenial) code base, Peppermint 7 continues our policy of choosing the best components from other desktop environments, wherever that may be, and integrating them into a cohesive whole with our own software. This time around whilst staying with LXDE core session management for lightness and speed, we've listened to our users who demanded a more modern, functional, and customizable main menu and switched out lxpanel in favour of the xfce4-panel and whiskermenu. We've also added a new 'Peppermint Settings Panel' to further consolidate settings into one place." Additional information can be found in the project's release announcement and release notes.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Cross-distro package formats
A week ago we talked about snap packages and how Ubuntu is hoping to get their package format adopted by other distributions. This week we learned Fedora is supporting another packaging format called Flatpak. At this time it appears as though the Canonical and Red Hat backed distributions will be focusing alternative cross-distribution package formats.
This week we would like to ask which format do you think is likely to gain wider adoption - Flatpak, snaps or another format like AppImage?
You can see the results of our previous poll on using 32-bit vs 64-bit operating systems here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Cross-distro package formats
|AppImage: ||189 (13%)|
| Flatpak: ||144 (10%)|
| Snap: ||226 (16%)|
| Other: ||15 (1%)|
| Too soon to tell: ||636 (44%)|
| None of them: ||241 (17%)|
Updated list of tracked packages
We have a tradition where once a year, in June, we update the list of open source packages we track. Obsolete packages or packages no longer receiving support from upstream are dropped from our list and new, interesting or popular packages are added.
This year we dropped three packages from the list of upstream software we track: KDE Workspace, ndiswrapper and ixnetd.
And we added five new packages to our list:
As new distribution releases come out, we will add information on these new packages to our software database. If you would like to suggest additional software we can track, please e-mail us with the name of the upstream software and its website.
- Budgie Desktop - a simple desktop environment featuring heavy integration with the GNOME stack
- Calibre - an e-book library management application
- Firejail - a Linux namespaces sandbox program
- Lumina - a lightweight desktop environment for use on any UNIX-like operating system
- Qt Creator - a cross-platform IDE tailored to the needs of Qt developers.
* * * * *
Distributions added to the database
KDE neon is a Kubuntu-based Linux distribution and live DVD featuring the latest KDE Plasma desktop and other KDE community software. Besides the installable DVD image, the project provides a rapidly-evolving software repository with all the latest KDE software. Two editions of the product are available - a "User" edition, designed for those interested in checking out the latest KDE software as it gets released, and a "Developer's" edition, created as a platform for testing cutting-edge KDE applications.
KDE neon -- Running the Plasma desktop
(full image size: 901kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
RancherOS is a tiny Linux distribution that runs the entire operating system as Docker containers. This includes system services, such as udev and rsyslog. RancherOS includes only the bare minimum amount of software needed to run Docker. This keeps the binary download of RancherOS very small. Everything else can be pulled in dynamically through Docker.
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Distributions added to waiting list
- MyNAS. MyNAS Storage Appliance is a Network Attached Storage (NAS) platform to store your data in a robust and secure manner using the ZFS advanced file system. MyNAS is based on CentOS.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 4 July 2016. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
- Jesse Smith (feedback, questions and suggestions: distribution reviews/submissions, questions and answers, tips and tricks)
- Ladislav Bodnar (feedback, questions, donations, comments)
- Bruce Patterson (podcast)
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 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|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Black Lab Linux
Black Lab Linux (formerly OS4 OpenLinux) is a user-friendly, commercial desktop and server Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Some of its most interesting features include support for popular browser plugins, addition of packages for multimedia production, content creation and software development, and an innovative desktop layout based on GNOME Shell. Separate editions with KDE and Xfce desktops are also available. The company behind the distribution also sells a desktop mini-system with Black Lab Linux pre-installed.