| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 706, 3 April 2017
Welcome to this year's 14th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
The open source community is rich with small utilities to help us use, fix or customize our operating systems. There are thousands of tools out there to navigate meta data, manipulate text, adjust images and rescue damaged files. This week we begin with an overview of one such tool, Super Grub2 Disk, a utility which boots off a CD and enables the user to boot into an operating system, even if the boot loader has been damaged or removed from their computer. In this week's issue we also explore tips concerning advanced file systems, measuring network traffic and automating the clean-up of files. We also talk about methods for cleaning up old files in our Opinion Poll. In our News section we discuss some desktop applications becoming more widely available through Snap packages and the Subgraph OS project testing routing traffic differently depending on which application is running. Plus we share a couple of announcements from the Linux Mint team concerning buying computers with Mint pre-installed and the distribution's evolving update manager. We also share the project releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Super Grub2 Disk
- News: Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes a single application's traffic through VPN, Linux Mint announcements
- Tips and tricks: Advanced file systems, network traffic, running a script at login/logout
- Released last week: DragonFly BSD 4.8.0, NixOS 17.03, Linux Lite 3.4
- Torrent corner: blackPanther, DragonFly BSD, Linux Lite, Oracle Linux, NAS4Free, Netrunner, NixOS
- Upcoming releases: Fedora 26 Alpha, Black Lab Linux 8.2
- Opinion poll: Removing old temporary files
- New additions: TalkingArch
- New distributions: heads, PureOS, DesaOS
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (49MB) and MP3 (38MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Super Grub2 Disk
Super Grub2 Disk is not a Linux distribution and, in fact, I do not think it entirely qualifies as an operating system. Yet, I believe Super Grub2 Disk (SGD) is one of the more useful projects I have encountered recently, especially for distro-hoppers such as myself. Almost everyone who tries out new operating systems, especially people who switch distributions a lot, has eventually run into a situation where installing a new operating system causes problems with their boot loader. Perhaps the new distribution does not properly detect the old one, excluding it from the boot menu, perhaps a new operating system takes over the system with its own boot loader, maybe we accidentally wipe out the directory where our boot loader was installed. Whatever the cause, installing a new operating system can leave many people in a situation where their system no longer boots properly.
SGD offers a solution for people who have (usually by accident) caused their boot loader to stop working or to no longer recognize their operating system. SGD basically acts like a portable copy of the GRUB boot loader which we can copy to a CD or USB thumb drive. When we encounter a system where the boot loader is not working, we can boot from the SGD media and ask it to detect all the operating systems on our computer. SGD scans our hard drive and presents us with a list of operating systems it has found and can boot. Then we can simply select the operating system we want to load. The operating system boots, just as it normally would, and we can then get work done or go about repairing the damage to our system.
All of this may seem a little abstract so I will walk through an example, recreating a situation I read about recently on a support forum. Someone had been cleaning up files on their hard drive and accidentally deleted their /boot/grub directory. This is the directory which stores the boot loader and its settings; without the files in /boot/grub the operating system will not boot.
In order to recreate the situation to see if SGD could help me recover, I booted into a copy of Ubuntu I had installed and ran a command to wipe out the boot loader configuration. (Note: I do not recommend doing this on your own systems.)
sudo rm -rf /boot/grub
At this point, rebooting the computer caused the system to show me a black, mostly blank screen with an error saying part of GRUB could not be found. In short, my system was no longer able to boot and had to be repaired or Ubuntu would need to be re-installed.
Normally, when something like this happens, the recovery process is relatively long. We would need to get a copy of our operating system's installation media, boot from it, figure out which hard drive partition contained the root file system, mount the partition, isolate the partition using chroot and re-install the boot loader. Then exit the chroot, unmount the partition, reboot and hope everything worked. That's the typical way of recovering from a destroyed boot loader. SGD makes the process quite a bit easier.
Super Grub2 Disk 2.02s7 -- The main detect and recover menu
(full image size: 7kB, resolution: 640x480 pixels)
When we boot from the SGD disc we are shown an options menu where we can run various tests, switch the language being used or print a list of the partitions on the local hard drive. The default option is to detect and display the available operating systems on our computer. Taking this option quickly brings up a menu where each operating system (sometimes with secondary recovery or failsafe options) is shown. The list of systems should look a lot like our system's normal boot menu, though perhaps a bit more verbose. We can then select our normal operating system from the list and SGD will boot it.
Super Grub2 Disk 2.02s7 -- Listing available boot options
(full image size: 11kB, resolution: 640x480 pixels)
In my case, I selected the first Linux option available and this caused my copy of Ubuntu to load, bringing me to the usual graphical login screen. I was then able to sign in and go about re-installing my boot loader. In my case, since my copy of GRUB's configuration had been wiped out, I was able to set everything right with just two commands, re-installing GRUB and recreating my configuration:
sudo grub-install /dev/sda
When the second command had completed, saving my boot loader's configuration in its usual location, I was able to restart my computer (without the SGD disc in the drive) and my regular boot menu appeared, letting me load the distribution of my choice.
sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
I am impressed with SGD and what it can do. The disc turns what is usually a complex recovery process (especially if the recovery is done over a phone) into essentially putting the disc in the computer, pressing Enter twice and then running the two GRUB commands I listed above. I had no need to check which partition was my root, no need to mount any partitions or use chroot. I was quite happy with the recovery process SGD provides. The SGD project offers a number of options for looking up information or working with LVM or RAID installations, but for most people we can put the disc in and just press Enter to bring up a list of distributions we can boot into. The project's website states SGD is able to boot not only Linux distributions, but also FreeBSD, Windows and macOS in case we are working in a more varied environment.
If you distro-hop or run multiple operating systems on the same computer, I recommend having a copy of SGD on hand. It makes recovering from unexpected boot loader problems a lot easier.
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Visitor supplied rating
Super Grub2 Disk has a visitor supplied average rating of: 9.6/10 from 15 review(s).
Have you used Super Grub2 Disk? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes a single application's traffic through VPN, Linux Mint announcements
It can be frustrating when a person is running one distribution, but the software they want to use is only packaged for another Linux distribution. While it is often possible to work around the situation by compiling the desired application or connecting to additional repositories, these solutions are not ideal and can introduce new problems. Distribution agnostic package formats, like Flatpak and Snap, help the situation and make it easier to get programs created for one platform to run on another. The OMG Ubuntu website gives an example: "deepin envy is a condition afflicting Linux users who like the look of deepin Linux's apps, but don't want to switch their entire distro to use them. And there's finally a cure: Snaps. Snap apps allow applications to bundle in all of their dependencies, which makes it easy for apps that typically rely on a certain set of libraries to run on distributions where those libraries are not normally available (or are, but only through additional repos and installing all sorts of junk that conflicts with your current system)." The article shows off the Deepin Music application and shares the steps to install the music player on Ubuntu-based distributions.
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Sometimes routing traffic through a VPN provider is desirable for privacy or for redirecting network traffic. However, at other times we may want to access our Internet connection normally. The Subgraph OS team has introduced a method which allows one application to use a VPN while all the other applications on the system continue to use the regular network connection to the outside world. "Have you ever wanted to have just a single app use an OpenVPN based VPN, exclusively? Including for DNS resolutions? Subgraph Oz with multi-bridge support brings (experimental) support for OpenVPN sandbox network transports to Subgraph OS. This means that you can configure specific sandboxed applications so that all traffic from the sandboxed process exits through a specific OpenVPN-based VPN. This guide will explain how to do that for Chromium, while keeping the "regular" Chromium configured for clearnet. All other traffic will continue to exit over Tor. To accomplish this we rely on bridges and policy routing, both great features supported by the Linux kernel. Bridges can be configured for any sandbox, and Oz will dynamically create a new sandbox-specific routing table and create routing policy rules when OpenVPN brings the tun interface up. System firewall rules also get dynamically reloaded to enable forwarding between the interfaces." Instructions on how to test the new feature can be found in the project's documentation.
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The Linux Mint newsletter at the end of March shared several interesting announcements. One was that the MintBox Pro and Airtop, both small computers shipped with Linux Mint as the default operating system, are now available. These are small, silent computers which should handle most general purpose computing needs. The newsletter also mentioned new improvements coming to the distribution's update manager: "We're improving the Update Manager again. It still has the same mission and tackles the same issues (keeping your computer safe, providing bug fixes and protecting you from regressions) but it will present things differently. Levels will be refined to better filter updates depending on their level of impact on the operating system and without worrying about their origin. Most updates will be level 2. Application updates which do not impact the OS will be level 1. Toolkits and desktop environments or libraries which affect multiple applications will be level 3. Kernels and sensitive system updates will be level 4. As for level 5 it will be very rare (no updates qualify in there yet and none should unless something goes very wrong upstream) and it will be dedicated to non-recommended broken/dangerous updates. The Manager will insist on staging and reviewing updates depending on their level. The notion of updates vs regression is central and these core concepts need to be understood by users, but presenting them without enough guidance leads to indecision and incomprehension. We've seen bloggers and Debian developers alike completely miss the point on this, so we had to present things differently and make things simpler by adding explicit recommendations here and there for users to make an actual strategy." These and other changes to Linux Mint can be found in their March newsletter.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Tips and Tricks (by Jesse Smith)
Advanced file systems, network traffic, running a script at login/logout
This week I would like to share some quick tips that I ended up sharing recently in response to questions we received. They are, in no particular order:
Protecting-my-data asks: I am performing a new install. Are advanced file systems like Btrfs and ZFS safe to use now on Linux? Is there any benefit to using them over ext4?
DistroWatch answers: These days both Btrfs and ZFS are generally considered safe for most scenarios. Not many distributions have really embraced either file system (ZFS for licensing reasons and Btrfs because of its ongoing development). Usually you can set up and use either file system on Linux, but most distributions do not include tools for managing snapshots, automatically taking snapshots before configuration changes or otherwise taking advantage of the features these systems offer. (openSUSE is an exception and includes YaST modules for working with Btrfs.)
While either file system will probably work well for you, it is still a good idea to keep regular backups, regardless of what file system you use. Hard drive failure, data corruption or a stolen laptop will all destroy your access to your files. For this reason I like to have both on-site and off-site backups of anything important, no matter what file system I am using to store my data.
The main benefits of Btrfs and ZFS for a home user include easy volume management across multiple devices, snapshots of files in case something gets deleted, deduplication of identical files, boot environments in case an update breaks the operating system and mirroring data across drives to guard against hardware failure.
* * * * *
How-much-data asks: How can I find out how much data my computer is downloading so I know if I'm near my ISP cap?
DistroWatch answers: If you are only concerned with getting the network traffic statistics from one computer (or one computer at a time) then you can use either the ifconfig or ip commands to check your system's network traffic. Running the ifconfig command without any parameters will display a list of all your computer's network interfaces. At the bottom of each entry there will be a line with two fields (RX bytes and TX bytes). These two fields show us the amount of traffic that has been received and transmitted by each network interface.
The ip command works much the same way. Running the command
ip -s link
will show us all our system's network interfaces. Near the bottom of the information for each interface are the fields RX: bytes and TX: bytes. Personally, I prefer the output of the ifconfig command as it will show the amount of data transmitted in gigabytes (GB) which is easier to read than the number of individual bytes.
While ip and ifconfig are useful for tracking network traffic while the operating system is running, a reboot will reset the counters on each interface. Plus the traffic records are only for the local computer, not any other devices on your network. If you have other computers on the network or want better long-term accounting, then usually the ISP's router will have a page which shows network traffic usage. Some service providers also offer a status page on their website you can log into in order to check day-to-day usage and bookmarking it may be easier than trying to track your network traffic across multiple devices and reboots.
* * * * *
Tidying-up-my-account asks: Is there a way to run commands automatically when I login/logout to do things like clear browser history or erase temporary files?
DistroWatch answers: There are a couple of ways to run a command or script when the user logs in or logs out. If you are using a graphical desktop environment, then most desktops have a settings option called Startup Applications, Autostart or Startup Services. Check your desktop's Preferences menu or control panel and it will probably have a module for running commands when you login.
If you are running in a command line environment then your shell will have its own scripts it will run when you sign in or logout. Most Linux distributions use the bash shell and if you look at the bottom of the bash manual page you can find a list of files the shell looks at when a user logs in or out. In particular you will probably want to use the .bash_profile file to execute commands when you login and .bash_logout to run clean-up scripts when you logout. If these files already exist, add whichever command you would like to run to the bottom of the existing script.
One other thing to consider is, if you are specifically concerned with your web browser's history, most browsers have a private browsing mode. Enabling private mode will cause the browser's history for the private tab/window to be forgotten when the window is closed.
* * * * *
These and other tips can be found in our Tips and Tricks archive.
|Released Last Week
DragonFly BSD 4.8.0
The DragonFly BSD operating system is a former fork of FreeBSD which is now independently developed. DragonFly BSD is well known for its performance and advanced HAMMER file system. The project's latest release, DragonFly BSD 4.8.0, supports booting on UEFI-enabled computers, improves kernel performance and includes updated Intel video drivers. "The installer can now create an EFI or legacy installation. Numerous adjustments have been made to userland utilities and the kernel to support EFI as a mainstream boot environment. The /boot filesystem may now be placed either in its own GPT slice, or in a DragonFly disklabel inside a GPT slice. DragonFly, by default, creates a GPT slice for all of DragonFly and places a DragonFly disklabel inside it with all the standard DFly partitions, such that the disk names are roughly the same as they would be in a legacy system. The i915 driver has been updated to match the version found with the Linux 4.6 kernel. Broadwell and Skylake processor users will see improvements." Further information can be found in the project's release notes.
Oracle Linux 6.9
Oracle has announced the release of an update to the company's Oracle Linux 6 distribution. The new version, Oracle Linux 6 Update 9, includes multiple updated kernels, including two new "Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel" packages and a "Red Hat Compatible Kernel" package. The new update to the 6.x series also includes a number of significant bug fixes. "Oracle Linux 6 Update 9 fixes a regression introduced in glibc in the upstream release that could cause Oracle Database to fail to start in certain circumstances. This regression was found and fixed during Oracle's extensive testing of Oracle Linux with Oracle products. Customers using other Linux distributions with Oracle Database are encouraged to talk to their Linux provider about whether they also have a patch available." Further information on the new release can be found in the company's release announcement and release notes.
Linux Lite 3.4
Jerry Bezencon has announced the release of a new version of Linux Lite, a beginner friendly distribution based on Ubuntu. The new version, Linux Lite 3.4, makes it easier to schedule software updates, install third-party drivers and create a restore point for the operating system. "Linux Lite 3.4 Final is now available for download. Linux Lite continues its focus on Security by providing our latest application, Lite Updates Notify. This application is a desktop notification that informs the user of all available updates. You can set Update reminders anywhere from once every hour to once every 3 weeks. Continuing our focus on Security, Lite Welcome has a fresh new look, reminding you after a fresh install of Linux Lite to - install updates, install drivers and set a restore point. This release also brings 4 new features to Lite Tweaks, Hibernate and Suspend, Login and Logout Options, Manage Save Sessions and zRam. With Hibernate and Suspend, you can select whether or not to show these options on the Logout screen. The Login and Logout Options feature allows the administrator to enable or disable Login and Logout window options. These 2 new features are particularly useful for multi-user set ups. zRam is a compressed RAM block device for faster I/O and is perfect for older computers." Additional details and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
Linux Lite 3.4 -- The welcome screen
(full image size: 1.0MB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
NixOS is an independently developed Linux distribution which uses the Nix package manager to handle packages and system configuration. NixOS offers many advanced package management features, including roll backs and atomic package operations. The project's latest release, NixOS 17.03, ships with the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment which replaces KDE 4. The PHP packages have been updated to version 7 and the Nix package manager includes a number of new features. "In addition to numerous new and upgraded packages, this release has the following highlights: Nixpkgs is now extensible through overlays. See the Nixpkgs manual for more information. This release is based on Glibc 2.25, GCC 5.4.0 and systemd 232. The default Linux kernel is 4.9 and Nix is at 1.11.8. The default desktop environment now is KDE's Plasma 5. KDE 4 has been removed. The setuid wrapper functionality now supports setting capabilities. X.org server uses branch 1.19. Due to ABI incompatibilities, ati_unfree keeps forcing 1.17 and amdgpu-pro starts forcing 1.18. Cross compilation has been rewritten. See the nixpkgs manual for details. The most obvious breaking change is that in derivations there is no .nativeDrv nor .crossDrv are now cross by default, not native. The overridePackages function has been rewritten to be replaced by overlays." Additional information can be found in the distribution's release notes.
Netrunner is a Debian-based Linux distribution which features a customized KDE Plasma desktop environment. The Netrunner project has announced the release of an update to their distribution, Netrunner 17.03 "Cyclotron". The new release features KDE's Plasma 5.9 desktop, version 4.9.0 of the Linux kernel and the extended support release of Firefox 52. "Netrunner 17.03 'Cyclotron' ships with an upgraded stack of KDE Software plus its usual selection of applications like LibreOffice, Kdenlive, Gimp, Audacious, Steam, Skype, Transmission, VirtualBox, Krita, Inkscape and many more. Here are some versions of what is shipped in Netrunner Desktop 17.03: Linux Kernel 4.9.0-1, Plasma 5.9.3, Frameworks 5.31, Qt 5.7.1, KDE Applications 16.12.2, Firefox 52-ESR, Thunderbird 45. With Cyclotron, we took the chance and switched some parts in while replacing others: Firefox-Plasma 52.0.1 has been updated to the Firefox ESR release channel, meaning it will keep receiving security fixes, but stay stable as to not break kmozillahelper as easily." Further information on Netrunner 17.03, along with screen shots, can be found in the project's release announcement.
* * * * *
Development, unannounced and minor bug-fix releases
The table below provides a list of torrents DistroWatch is currently seeding. If you do not 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 in our Torrent Archive. Thanks to Linux Tracker we are able to share the following torrent statistics.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 353
- Total data uploaded: 60.6TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Removing old temporary files
One of the tips we covered this week looked at ways to perform tasks at login, including cleaning up old files. Removing old temporary files, cached data and unused configuration files is a common house cleaning task most of us need to perform eventually to prevent the unused data from ballooning out of control. This week we would like to find out what method you use for clearing out old temporary and configuration files from your home directory.
You can see the results of our previous poll on gaining elevated access for administrator tasks in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Removing old temporary files
|I use an application like BleachBit: ||507 (34%)|
| I run a custom command/script to remove old files: ||133 (9%)|
| I rely on applications to clean up after themselves: ||177 (12%)|
| I regularly discard my old home directory and start fresh: ||68 (5%)|
| I do not perform any disk cleaning: ||486 (32%)|
| Other: ||134 (9%)|
New projects added to database
TalkingArch is a respin of the Arch Linux live ISO, modified to include speech and Braille output for blind and visually impaired users. Arch Linux is designed to be simple, lightweight and flexible. TalkingArch retains all the features of the Arch Linux live image, but adds speech and Braille packages to make it possible for blind and visually impaired users to install Arch Linux eyes-free.
* * * * *
Distributions added to waiting list
- heads. The heads distribution is a GNU/Linux distribution which features 100% free/libre software. heads is based on Devuan and runs a Linux kernel with the binary blobs removed. The distribution is designed to protect users' privacy on-line and features Tor integration.
- PureOS. PureOS is a Debian-based Linux distribution which features tools for helping the user remain anonymous and avoid tracking when browsing the web.
- DesaOS. DesaOS is an Ubuntu-based distribution developed to support the application of information technology in rural areas. DesaOS able to run on computers with lower specifications.
* * * * *
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 10 April 2017. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 788 (2018-11-05): Clu Linux Live 6.0, examining RAM consumpion, finding support for older CPUs, more Steam support for running Windows games on Linux, update from Solus team|
|• Issue 787 (2018-10-29): Lubuntu 18.10, limiting application access to specific users, Haiku hardware compatibility list, IBM purchasing Red Hat|
|• Issue 786 (2018-10-22): elementary OS 5.0, why init keeps running, DragonFly BSD enables virtual machine memory resizing, KDE neon plans to drop older base|
|• Issue 785 (2018-10-15): Reborn OS 2018.09, Nitrux 1.0.15, swapping hard drives between computers, feren OS tries KDE spin, power savings coming to Linux|
|• Issue 784 (2018-10-08): Hamara 2.1, improving manual pages, UBports gets VoIP app, Fedora testing power saving feature|
|• 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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OpenLab GNU/Linux was an easy-to-use Slackware-based distribution featuring innovative and user-oriented design. Developed in South Africa since 2001, the product takes shape in the form of an installable live CD. It also includes OLAD (OpenLab ADministration tool) and many other innovations ranging from backend systems, such as the hyperdrive suite which simplifies the handling of removable media, to user-level enhancements, such as the highly integrated desktop theme complemented by the award-winning Nuvola icon set.
|Tips, Tricks, Myths and Q&As |
|Questions and answers: Rapid fire questions and answers|
|Tips and tricks: Ubuntu's Snappy package manager|
|Tips and tricks: Command line weather, ionice, rename files, video preview snapshot, calednar, ls colour settings|
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|Questions and answers: Maintaining DNS Settings|
|Tips and tricks: Basename, for loop, dirname, aliases, bash history, xsel clipboard|
|Tips and tricks: Working with media files on command line|
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|Myths and misunderstandings: The value of version numbers|
|More Tips & Tricks and Questions & Answers|