| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 669, 11 July 2016
Welcome to this year's 28th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The Linux Mint distribution has been sitting at the top of our page hit ranking charts for a while now. Mint is probably one of the more popular Linux distributions, or at least one of the more attractive ones to Linux newcomers. This week we take the project's latest release, Linux Mint 18, for a spin to find out how the new version performs. In our News section we discuss efforts to replace OpenSSL with LibreSSL in FreeBSD, link to talks regarding how long 32-bit computers will be supported by Ubuntu and look at the current status of the pfSense project. We then explore the topic of whether it is possible to prove a computer system is uncompromised and share the torrents we are seeding. We then cover the distributions released last week and, in our Opinion Poll, ask how our readers get technical support. Finally, we are pleased to welcome the DuZeru distribution to our database. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (25MB) and MP3 (37MB) formats
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Linux Mint 18
The Linux Mint project has been sitting at the top of our page hit ranking statistics for quite some time now. The project attracts a lot of attention, particularly from Linux newcomers who are looking for a familiar and friendly computing experience. The main edition of Linux Mint is based on the Ubuntu distribution with the latest release, Linux Mint 18, using Ubuntu 16.04 as a package base.
Linux Mint 18 is a long term support release and will receive security updates through to the year 2021. The project's release notes (Cinnamon, MATE) mention several new features. Some of the key items mentioned in the distribution's documentation include the introduction of the Cinnamon 3 desktop environment, updated themes and support for the Btr file system. The documentation mentions Mint supports booting on UEFI-enabled computers, but does not work with Secure Boot. Personal Package Archive (PPA) repositories can be added and removed from the command line as well as through the project's graphical repository manager.
The release notes mention Mint's update manager now makes update policies more clear. Mint users have historically been able to instruct the update manager to balance package stability against constant security updates. Mint marks some packages as safe to upgrade, others as risky and some neutral. The user has always been able to choose whether to install all security updates, most or just the ones which have been tested and shown to not adversely affect stability. With Mint 18, the update manager makes the available policies more clear to assist the user in selecting the update policy which best suits their needs.
Perhaps the most significant change though is the introduction of X-Apps. The Mint developers have noted that some GNOME applications have unusual interface designs and will not properly integrate with non-GNOME desktop environments. X-Apps are forks of GNOME applications which have had their interfaces tweaked to work consistently across multiple desktop environments.
Mint 18 is available in Cinnamon and MATE editions, with 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds offered. I decided to try the 64-bit build of the Cinnamon edition. The download for this edition was 1.6GB in size. Booting from the live media brings us to the Cinnamon desktop. The wallpaper is dark and features the Mint logo. The application menu, task switcher and system tray sit at the bottom of the screen. Icons on the desktop can be activated to launch a file manager or the distribution's system installer.
Linux Mint 18 -- The welcome screen
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Mint uses a graphical system installer which is nearly identical to its parent's installer. On the first screen we select our preferred language from a list and we are given the option of viewing the on-line release notes in the Firefox web browser. The second screen asks if we would like to install third-party software, such as Flash and multimedia support. The next screen gives us the chance to select automated or manual disk partitioning. I went with the manual option and found Mint's installer has a very friendly and streamlined partition manager. The partitioning page supports working with Btrfs, JFS, XFS and the ext2/3/4 file systems. We are then asked to select our time zone from a map of the world, confirm our keyboard's layout and create a user account. While entering our user account's name and password we have the chance to encrypt our home directory's contents. When the installer has finished copying its files to our hard drive it offers to restart the computer. Alternatively, we can return to the live desktop environment and continue to explore the live distribution.
Our fresh copy of Mint boots to a graphical login screen where we can sign into the user account we created during the installation process. From the login screen we can change our locale information and desktop session. It is also possible to launch an on-screen keyboard and type our password using the mouse and the virtual keyboard. This means a user can still login even without a working keyboard, or if we want to avoid keylogger attacks.
Once we get signed into the Cinnamon session, a welcome screen appears. This screen provides links to many Mint-related resources, including the project's release notes, the distribution's on-line chat room and documentation. Other buttons launch the device driver manager and software manager, both of which I will talk about later.
Shortly after signing into Cinnamon, an icon in the system tray indicated there were software updates available to download. Clicking the notification icon launches Mint's update manager. The first time we launch the update manager we are given an explanation on how the update manager balances system stability with software security. We are given three options: only install software updates which will not affect system stability; default to installing stable updates while displaying all available updates; and install all security updates, even those which may negatively affect system stability. Once we make our choice, we are shown a list of available software updates. There were several updates available the day Mint 18 was launched. I did not get an exact count, but the new packages all downloaded and installed without any problems.
Linux Mint 18 -- Selecting an update policy
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Mint's application menu is divided into three vertical columns. On the left we find quick-launch buttons for common tasks. Down the middle we find application categories and the right column features specific applications in the selected category. There is a search box available to help us locate applications using either the program's name or a description. For example, searching for the term "Word" brings up the LibreOffice Writer application, a suitable alternative to Microsoft Word.
Speaking of applications, Mint ships with a relatively small, yet useful collection of software. Digging through the application menu we find the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client, the HexChat IRC software, the Pidgin instant messenger and the Transmission bittorrent client. The LibreOffice productivity software is featured along with the Xreader document viewer. The GNU Image Manipulation Program is included along with the Pix image viewer/image browser. The Banshee audio player, Brasero disc burning software, VLC media player and Xplayer video player are included. Mint optionally provides us with multimedia codecs and the Adobe Flash player, providing us with the ability to play just about any media file. Mint ships with a calculator, archive manager, text editor and USB image writer. In the background we find systemd 229 and version 4.4 of the Linux kernel.
I explored using Mint in two test environments: a desktop computer and VirtualBox. When running in VirtualBox everything worked well. Mint automatically integrates with VirtualBox and can make use of the host computer's full screen resolution. The Cinnamon desktop can be a bit sluggish when running in a virtual environment (a problem Mint's MATE edition does not share), but the sluggishness can be mostly negated by enabling 3-D effects and providing the VirtualBox instance with more video memory. When running on the physical desktop computer, Linux Mint performed very well. Networking and sound worked out of the box, my display's full resolution was used and Cinnamon performed well. In either test environment, Mint required from 360MB to 370MB of memory when logged into Cinnamon.
The only issue I ran into came about when I was trying to boot the live media on my desktop computer. While Mint would boot on the desktop computer, the display was left blank. I could hear the login sound play and the computer responded to keyboard input, but I was unable to see anything. Rebooting the computer and selecting Safe Graphics mode from the live disc's boot menu solved the issue and allowed me to use the live media without further problems.
One of the nicer features of Mint 18 is the System Settings panel. This control centre provides the user with easy access to most desktop and operating system settings. From the System Settings panel we can access modules which help us alter power management settings, set up printers, add or remove user accounts, configure the firewall and access the device driver manager. We can change the look and feel of the desktop, install Cinnamon extensions and Desklets (desktop applets). I found the System Settings modules worked well for me and I encountered no problems.
Linux Mint 18 -- Adjusting system settings
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Earlier I mentioned the device driver manager, which we can access from either the welcome screen or from the System Settings control panel. The driver manager will search our computer for devices which could benefit from downloading additional or third-party drivers. These extra drivers are described along with the hardware they support and can be enabled or disabled with a click. I quite like the device driver manager which ships with Mint 18, it is pleasantly easy to understand and navigate.
Mint 18 provides us with two graphical package managers, both which act as front-ends to APT. The first graphical front-end is called Software Manager. It begins by displaying a screen of software categories, each one represented by a large icon. Selecting a category presents us with a list of available applications. Each entry includes the name of a program, an icon, a brief description and a user-supplied rating. Clicking on an entry brings up a full page description of the selected software along with screen shots and an Install/Remove button. Clicking the Install button causes the software to be downloaded in the background while we continue to browse the available items.
Linux Mint 18 -- Browsing available software
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The second graphical package manager is Synaptic. The Synaptic application displays all available software items in a long, plain-text list. We can apply filters to the list or search for items with a specific name. Clicking on a package's name will display a summary of the package at the bottom of the Synaptic window. We can queue up multiple packages to install or remove and process them all at once. While Synaptic is installing or deleting packages, the interface is locked. Though Synaptic may seem less user friendly in some aspects, it is useful for quickly finding specific packages, especially low-level dependencies.
During my trial, Mint 18 provided me with a stable, friendly and problem-free experience. The distribution has a installer which is simple to use, a good collection of documentation and an excellent selection of default software. The configuration tools are straight forward to use, the software manager is easy to use and everything generally just worked the way I wanted it to. The one problem I ran into during my whole trial was the video display issue when running from the live disc, and that was quickly solved by switching to the fail-safe graphics mode from the live disc's boot menu.
I was curious to try X-Apps and I generally found these to be an improvement. I dislike the mobile-style interfaces GNOME applications tend to use and how they break consistency with other applications. X-Apps provide the same functionality as their GNOME counterparts, but improve the interface to work the same as all the other desktop applications. Most of the changes are small, but make working with the text editor or video player a much less frustrating experience.
Linux Mint 18 -- Comparing GNOME's Totem to Mint's Xplayer
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The one complaint I think people may have with Mint's Cinnamon edition is the desktop tends to be sluggish if suitable video drivers are not available. This may be a problem for people running Mint in a virtual environment or on hardware without solid driver support. This issue can be side-stepped by using Mint's MATE edition which is more forgiving where video cards are concerned and which offers a very similar desktop experience.
On its own, Mint 18 impressed me with its ease of use, array of software, media support and friendly utilities. However, where I think Mint really shines is when we compare Mint to its parent. Mint and Ubuntu mostly use the same packages and both strive to provide friendly desktop environments. When Ubuntu 16.04 launched a few months ago I tried it and found the desktop regularly crashed, the software manager would lock-up, Ubuntu failed to integrate with VirtualBox and the desktop was incredibly slow to respond. While Mint shares a lot of software with its parent, the Mint developers have managed to avoid all of the problems I encountered with Ubuntu and I was very pleased with this.
I was quite happy with Mint 18 and I would recommend it for most people, particularly Linux newcomers. The distribution manages to deliver a feature-rich, friendly experience with a minimal amount of problems.
* * * * *
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)
Merging LibreSSL into FreeBSD, Ubuntu discusses phasing out 32-bit support and pfSense publishes status report
Attila Gyorffy embarked on an interesting experiment recently, exploring how difficult it would be to replace FreeBSD's OpenSSL security library with the LibreSSL library. LibreSSL is a fork of OpenSSL that was created by the OpenBSD developers. The LibreSSL fork removes older code and strives to be more secure. Gyorffy experimented with swapping out FreeBSD's copy of OpenSSL to see how the base system and FreeBSD's ports would work with LibreSSL. "Thanks to Bernard Spil and the HardenedBSD team's ongoing efforts to increase security in the FreeBSD operating system we are now at a point where incorporating LibreSSL into the FreeBSD base system is a relatively straight forward option." While a few packages failed to work with LibreSSL, the experiment was mostly a success. Details of Gyorffy's trial with LibreSSL can be found in his blog post.
* * * * *
Lately we have been seeing more Linux distributions dropping support for 32-bit x86 architectures. While many people still run 32-bit operating systems, the practice is slowly eroding. Dimtri John Ledkov recently opened the topic on the Ubuntu developer mailing list, making a case for phasing our 32-bit support slowly over the next two and a half years. "Building i386 images is not 'for free', it comes at the cost of utilizing our build farm, QA and validation time. Whilst we have scalable build-farms, i386 still requires all packages, autopackage tests, and ISOs to be revalidated across our infrastructure. As well as take up mirror space & bandwidth. Thus the question is what can we and what should we do to limit i386 installations before they become unsupportable?" Ledkov's proposal and the resulting discussion can be found here.
* * * * *
Jim Thompson posted a status update for the pfSense firewall project last week. In his post, Thompson talked about some of the great achievements the pfSense project has made in the past six months. Some of the project's impressive new features include fine-grained updates, a new and more responsive web interface, and performance improvements. Thompson also reports the project will be losing one of their key developers, Chris Buechler. "As we enter this new era, Chris Buechler has informed us that he will be leaving the project to pursue a career outside of pfSense and Netgate. On behalf of the company and community, I thank Chris for his passion and dedication to the pfSense project. He worked hard to help build pfSense into an open source project that is recognized and respected worldwide as the best-in-class open source firewall and router based on FreeBSD."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Proving the system is secure
Checking-all-the-locks asks: Linux's claim to fame, or one of them at least, is that is it secure. Is it possible to prove, really prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that my system has not been compromised?
DistroWatch answers: It may be possible, but unless you built your own computer from scratch and wrote all of its software yourself, it will be very difficult to completely prove the system was never compromised. The problem is it is quite a challenge to prove a negative (ie I have not been hacked), while it is relatively easy to prove something has happened.
As an example, if I want to know whether my software is spying on me, I can set up a program like Wireshark to monitor the network and listen for outgoing data that should not be there. Assuming I see data leaving the system that should not be there, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that the system is spying on me. My security has been compromised. But if I do not see any unnecessary network packets, is it because my system is clean or is the malware waiting long periods of time before reporting, or is the spyware sneaky enough that it manages to disguise its traffic as something legitimate?
The same problem arises when scanning a hard drive for malware. If my anti-virus scanner recognizes a malicious file on my drive, then I know my system was compromised. But if the anti-virus scan turns up nothing, is it because my system is clean or is the malware hiding in memory? Is there a new and unknown virus the scanner doesn't know about, or could it be my operating system was hacked and is blocking the anti-virus from working properly?
I am sure you can see how a paranoid mind could drive a person mad trying to prove that their applications, their compiler, their kernel, their hardware and the developers of their software are all trustworthy and secure. Which is why most reasonable people will satisfy themselves with being mostly sure their computer is secure.
For the most part Linux users run software that has been vetted and placed in a distribution's repositories. We run operating systems built with open source tools where it is unlikely a backdoor will be covertly introduced. We might run anti-virus software and occasionally check our network traffic to see if anything looks out of place. And, when these security checks come up negative, we take it at face value that we are probably secure. It is not definite, it is not a 100% certainty that the computer is uncompromised, but it is as close as we are likely to get while spending a reasonable amount of time on the subject.
* * * * *
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: 213
- Total data uploaded: 39.6TB
|Released Last Week
Network Security Toolkit 24-7977
Ron Henderson has announced the release of Network Security Toolkit (NST) 24-7977, the latest version of the project's Fedora-based distribution featuring a large collection of network security applications: "We are pleased to announce the latest NST release - 'NST 24 SVN:7977'. This release is based on Fedora 24 using Linux Kernel 4.6.3. This release brings the NST distribution on par with Fedora 24. Here are some of the highlights for this release: NST will now be delivered as a 64-bit image only, 32 bit images have been retired; a new multi-traceroute (MTR) networking tool has been developed for NST 24, this tool provides an interactive traceroute visual using Scapy; a new interactive 3D pie chart depicting the results from a ntop Deep Packet Inspection (nDPI) is now an integral part of the NST WUI Network Packet Capture protocol decode; added the SSLyze project for analyzing a server's SSL configuration to the NST Networking Tools Widget; a darkness/lightness Google Map control has been added the NST Map Tools...." Read the full release announcement for more details.
KDE neon 5.7
Following the release of KDE's Plasma Desktop 5.7 earlier today, a new version of KDE neon is now also available. KDE neon is distribution based on the latest stable Kubuntu, but it is developed at a more rapid pace and it features a cutting-edge desktop stack, including the latest Plasma. From the release announcement: "KDE neon 5.7. When version numbers merge to a singularity we reach the perfection that is KDE neon 5.7. Featuring the newly released Qt 5.7 and the freshly built KDE Plasma 5.7. If you're using KDE neon 'User' edition you can just update as normal. Those who have yet to allow it to take over their computer can download the images to fix that pronto." KDE Plasma 5.7 delivers a large number of improvements, including better support for kiosk, much improved integration with the Wayland windowing system and a new system tray and task manager; see the Plasma 5.7 announcement for further details and screenshots. KDE neon 5.7 is available for x86_64 systems only.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Finding technical support
Every operating system has its flaws or its unintuitive corners that are difficult to navigate. We all need help at some point to sort out technical problems or learn how to perform tasks.
This week we would like to know where our readers turn when they need technical support. Do you use your distribution's forum, visit mailing lists, type the question into a search engine, ask a friend? Please let us know how you approach trouble-shooting issues in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on preferred command line shells here. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
I primarily get my technical support
|On distribution forums: ||367 (23%)|
| On mailing lists: ||19 (1%)|
| From web searches: ||957 (59%)|
| Distribution documentation/wiki: ||204 (13%)|
| By asking a friend: ||6 (0%)|
| From books: ||16 (1%)|
| Support chat rooms: ||26 (2%)|
| Other: ||36 (2%)|
Distributions added to the database
DuZeru is a Brazilian Linux distribution that is based on Debian's Stable branch. DuZeru ships with the Xfce desktop environment and is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit x86 builds.
DuZeru 2.3 -- Running the Xfce desktop environment
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* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 18 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 776 (2018-08-13): NomadBSD 1.1, Maximum storage limits on Linux, openSUSE extends life for 42.3, updates to the Librem 5 phone interface|
|• Issue 775 (2018-08-06): Secure-K OS 18.5, Linux is about choice, Korora tests community spin, elementary OS hires developer, ReactOS boots on Btrfs|
|• Issue 774 (2018-07-30): Ubuntu MATE & Ubuntu Budgie 18.04, upgrading software from source, Lubuntu shifts focus, NetBSD changes support policy|
|• Issue 773 (2018-07-23): Peppermint OS 9, types of security used by different projects, Mint reacts to bugs in core packages, Slackware turns 25|
|• Issue 772 (2018-07-16): Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4, UBports running desktop applications, OpenBSD auto-joins wi-fi networks, boot environments and zedenv|
|• Issue 771 (2018-07-09): Linux Lite 4.0, checking CPUs for bugs, configuring GRUB, Mint upgrade instructions, SUSE acquired by EQT|
|• Issue 770 (2018-07-02): Linux Mint 19, Solus polishes desktop experience, MintBox Mini 2, changes to Fedora's installer|
|• Issue 769 (2018-06-25): BunsenLabs Helium, counting Ubuntu users, UBports upgrading to 16.04, Fedora CoreOS, FreeBSD turns 25|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
MEPIS Linux is a Debian-based desktop Linux distribution designed for both personal and business purposes. It includes cutting-edge features such as a live, installation and recovery CD, automatic hardware configuration, NTFS partition resizing, ACPI power management, WiFi support, anti-aliased TrueType fonts, a personal firewall, KDE, and much more.