| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 748, 29 January 2018
Welcome to this year's 5th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Debian, specifically the Stable branch of Debian, is a conservative distribution which sometimes gets labelled as being out of date or being geared more toward server use than desktop or laptop computers. This week we explore some different flavours of Debian and discuss how people can enjoy the benefits of Debian's many packages and tools without being limited by Debian Stable's conservative characteristics. We begin with a look at siduction, a rolling release distribution which is based on Debian's Unstable development branch. Then, in our Questions and Answers column, we talk about Debian-based projects geared toward running on workstations and laptops. Plus we do some side-by-side comparisons of init software and boot times. In our News section we discuss SolydXK, normally a 64-bit exclusive distribution, releasing 32-bit community editions. We also cover openSUSE 42.2 reaching the end of its supported life, Mint's new code testing processes and how to build an inexpensive robot using Ubuntu. In addition, we report on Ubuntu switching from using Wayland as the default display server to returning to Xorg as the default for version 18.04. In our Opinion Poll we ask what base distribution our readers prefer when they are running a rolling release platform. Plus we share the distribution releases of the past week and provide a list of torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: siduction 2018.1.0
- News: openSUSE 42.2 reaches EOL, SolydXK releases 32-bit community editions, building an Ubuntu robot, Ubuntu 18.04 to use Xorg by default, Mint improves testing process
- Questions and answers: Desktop-friendly Debian and systemd boot times
- Released last week: Proxmox 5.0 "Mail Gateway", Netrunner 2018.01 "Rolling", DietPi 6.0
- Torrent corner: Bluestar, DietPi, Netrunner, Nitrux, Parrot Security, Redcore, Sabayon, Tails
- Upcoming releases: Ubuntu 18.04 Alpha 2, Linux Lite 3.8
- Opinion poll: Favourite rolling release base
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (27MB) and MP3 (33MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
siduction was the last distribution to have a release announcement appear on DistroWatch in the 2017 calendar year. siduction is a rolling release Linux distribution based on Debian's Unstable (Sid) branch. siduction's latest snapshot, version 2018.1.0, ships with the graphical Calamares system installer. siduction supports booting on UEFI-enabled hardware and ships with some non-free firmware and drivers. These non-free extras can be removed post-installation using a simple set of instructions on the distribution's website. The project's release announcement warns us that the distribution does not support installs with disk encryption at this time.
The latest release of siduction is available in many editions with the project providing Cinnamon, LXDE, LXQt, KDE, GNOME, MATE and Xfce editions. There is also one edition which ships without any graphical software and another with the X display software, but no desktop environment. I decided to download a few different flavours while focusing on the LXQt edition which is a 1.6GB download.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- Launching Calamares from the Cinnamon edition
(full image size: 468kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The siduction live disc boots to the LXQt desktop. The desktop is presented with a quick-launch panel at the top of the screen. A second panel containing the application menu, system tray and task switcher sits at the bottom of the display. Most of the time the quick-launch panel (called Plank) hides behind open application windows, but sometimes it popped up to cover the tops of windows. Because of this distraction I disabled the Plank panel and used a one-panel layout.
On the LXQt desktop we find three icons. One icon launches the graphical Calamares system installer. The second icon opens the Firefox web browser and displays the project's manual. The third icon opens the HexChat IRC client and connects us with the siduction chat room.
The icon which opens the manual is unusual, not in its purpose as lots of distributions have desktop icons which open a PDF or HTML user guide, but in how it displays the documentation. When clicked, the manual icon launches a local web server on our computer. It then opens the Firefox browser and tells it to connect to a host called "sidu-manual" which has an entry in our /etc/hosts file that directs the browser to the new web service running on our own computer. Usually Firefox would just open a HTML file directly or connect to a remote web server. Starting a web server to display locally stored documentation may be the most roundabout method I have ever encountered for displaying a collection of HTML pages.
Another surprise I ran into while still exploring the live desktop environment was the network icon in the system tray cannot be used to adjust network settings. The network icon indicates whether data is being transmitted over the network, but clicking on it does not help us set up new connections. There is a separate tool for connecting to networks called Connman.
siduction uses the Calamares system installer. We start off by selecting our preferred language from a list and then the installer shows us the project's release notes. We are walked through the usual steps of selecting our time zone from a map, confirming our keyboard's layout and creating a username and password combination for ourselves. Calamares offers both guided and manual disk partitioning. I went with the manual option and liked the simple, streamlined approach the partitioning screen uses. I also like that we can select where we want to install the distribution's boot loader. The whole installer is pretty straight forward to use and offers reasonable defaults. Once the installer has copied its files to our hard drive, it offers to reboot the computer.
Our new copy of siduction boots to a graphical login screen. Signing into our account brings us back to the LXQt desktop. The desktop still has a two panel layout, but the manual and installer icons have been removed from the desktop. A launcher for accessing the siduction IRC chat room remains on the desktop.
The desktop uses a dark theme for the application menu and window borders. I noticed no distractions, no pop-ups and no notifications. The LXQt desktop is pleasantly responsive and seems designed to stay out of our way as much as possible.
Digging into siduction's application menu we find some common open source programs such as the Firefox web browser, the Thunderbird e-mail client, the HexChat IRC client and LibreOffice. The Calibre e-book manager is featured along with the GNU Image Manipulation Program and Inkscape for working with images. There are some less common items too such as the qBittorrent software, the qpdfview document viewer, an e-book editor, the LXImage viewer and the Nomacs image manipulation application.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- Running LibreOffice and Zim
(full image size: 260kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
While most distributions use Network Manager to help users get on-line, siduction ships with Connman to provide easy point-n-click network configuration. We can also find the Ceni network interface manager in the application menu. There are also menu short-cuts for launching and deactivating the OpenSSH service. By default, OpenSSH is disabled.
On the multimedia front, siduction ships with the Audacious audio player along with mpv and SMPlayer for displaying videos, Xfburn for burning discs and a desktop application for browsing YouTube videos. The distribution provides media codecs for most audio and video formats. Rounding out the selection we find the Zim Desktop Wiki and note taking program, three text editors (Vim, FeatherPad and JuffEd), an archive manager and an e-book viewer. Behind the scenes we find siduction uses systemd for its init system and version 4.14.10 of the Linux kernel. siduction is a rolling release and new kernels become available frequently.
Generally speaking, siduction's applications worked well. The distribution's software may be on the bleeding edge, but I was able to get work done without any unpleasant surprises. I found the provided applications often duplicated effort and it was curious how much focus was placed on e-books. There are applications for managing e-books, editing them and reading them. There are three text editors in the menu and two of them are virtually identical in features and layout.
The only serious quirk though revealed itself when I tried to play videos. If I opened a video file from the file manager, the SMPlayer application would open. Then a mpv window would open to play the video. The video would only be shown in the mpv window, but mpv's controls wouldn't work. I could only control playback and volume from the SMPlayer window. This issue was only magnified when I used the YouTube browser app. Clicking a video in YouTube Browser would open a new SMPlayer window, which loaded the video and then opened a mpv window to show the video. In short, I had three windows open whenever I wanted to see a YouTube video: one for searching, one for controlling playback and one for viewing.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- Finding and playing a YouTube video
(full image size: 283kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
siduction ships with the Synaptic package manager. This venerable package manager can be used to find software by name, install, remove and upgrade packages. Synaptic can also be used to enable and disable software repositories. Synaptic doesn't have the modern look of GNOME Software or mintInstall, but it works quickly and I had no problems using it. One feature of Synaptic I especially appreciated was, when performing package upgrades, the package manager would let me know which services had been upgraded (or had dependencies which had been updated). A list of services would then be shown and I could check boxes next to services I wanted to restart. This helps us avoid running out of date (and possibly insecure) services and is a lot more convenient than rebooting to make sure all our running processes are up to date.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- Using Synaptic to check for software updates
(full image size: 223kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
siduction is a rolling release distribution and gets a huge number of package upgrades. The first day I was running the distribution there were 100 new packages waiting to be upgraded, totaling 175MB in size. The next day there were 50 new updates, totaling 85MB in size. A few days later 66 new packages were available, resulting in a 157MB download. When running siduction we should be prepared for a steady stream of relatively large package upgrades.
The LXQt edition of siduction features a fairly simple settings panel. Most of the included modules are there to help us tweak the look of the desktop environment. We can also enable or disable start-up programs which run in the background when we login. Plus we can adjust keyboard short-cuts and locale/language options. One item I found odd was, by default, the preferred web browser is set to be QupZilla, which is not installed. This setting appears to be ignored as clicking a hyperlink opens the Firefox browser to display the desired page.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- The settings panel
(full image size: 277kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
The settings panel includes some other modules for managing the underlying operating system. One module launches the Synaptic package manager, another is available for setting up printers and one module helps us create and manage user accounts. The module I used the most though was the one which opens the Connman graphical network manager. Connman has a different layout than Wicd or Network Manager, but performs in the same role: helping us set up wired and wi-fi connections. I found Connman worked well for me and I liked the simple, clean layout of the utility's tabs. There is probably more information presented in Connman than most people will need, but I think administrators will appreciate the level of detail offered.
I experimented with siduction in two environments. When I ran the distribution in a VirtualBox virtual machine, the distribution ran smoothly and without problems. Once the distribution was installed, it was able to integrate with VirtualBox and use my host computer's full screen resolution. I had a similarly good experience when running siduction on a desktop computer. My hardware was all properly detected, the LXQt desktop was very responsive and the system remained stable during my trial. In either test environment, siduction required about 5GB of hard drive space and 220MB of memory when logged into the LXQt desktop.
siduction 2018.1.0 -- The Connman network manager
(full image size: 220kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
At one point I thought siduction had failed to detect my desktop computer's wireless card. It turned out my wireless interface had been detected, but had been deactivated by default. The Connman network configuration tool had an option for activating my wireless network interface with a button click.
Running siduction was a pretty good experience for me. The distribution is very easy to set up and the Calamares installer gets the user up and running with fewer steps than Debian's system installer. The LXQt edition of siduction works quickly and the desktop environment is pleasantly lightweight. I found LXQt generally provided me with all the features I wanted to use while staying out of my way, which was appreciated.
One of the few concerns I had was with the confusing way video playing worked on the distribution. I think it would have been easier if siduction simply shipped with VLC or Totem for playing videos. Otherwise, the applications which shipped with the distribution worked well and I found running siduction was generally pleasantly boring.
For people who like running cutting edge software and want to take advantage of Debian's massive supply of open source software, I think siduction is an excellent option. The user needs to be prepared to handle a lot of updates, dozens or (in my case) maybe even hundreds per week. But if you don't mind installing waves of updates, then siduction offers good performance, an easy to use installer and a wide range of desktop editions. I especially appreciate the Synaptic feature which allows us to restart services which have been updated and I suspect people running network services will really like having this ability.
siduction didn't really do anything which stood out as different or amazing, but on the other hand I didn't run into any serious problems. The distribution provided a solid, easy to use rolling release with a huge amount of software in the repositories and handled all my hardware beautifully. I think people who like running openSUSE Tumbleweed or Arch Linux may want to check out siduction as an alternative, especially since the distribution can be set up with little more than a few mouse clicks.
* * * * *
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
* * * * *
Visitor supplied rating
siduction has a visitor supplied average rating of: 9.1/10 from 20 review(s).
Have you used siduction? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
openSUSE 42.2 reaches EOL, SolydXK releases 32-bit community editions, building an Ubuntu robot, Ubuntu 18.04 to use Xorg by default, Mint improves testing process
Version 42.2 of the openSUSE distribution is reaching the end of its supported life. The openSUSE news page reads: "The minor release of openSUSE Leap 42.2 will reach its End-of-Life (EOL) this week on January 26. The EOL phase ends the updates to the operating system, and those who continue to use EOL versions will be exposed to vulnerabilities because these discontinued versions no longer receive security and maintenance updates; this is why users need to upgrade to the newer minor; openSUSE Leap 42.3." Information on how to upgrade can be found in the distribution's documentation.
* * * * *
The SolydXK distribution has announced the availability of 32-bit builds of the project's latest release, version 201801. These new builds are community editions and may not carry the same level of support as the official releases. "As for the regular ISOs, the 32-bit ISOs are fully updated, including the latest kernel release with the Meltdown vulnerability patch. The ISOs come with a system configuration tool called SolydXK System Settings. Following is a list of features added since the 201707 releases: Device Driver Manager (DDM) has been integrated. Debian Plymouth Manager has been integrated. Add new partitions to fstab. Safely remove old kernel packages." More information can be found in the project's announcement. Download links can be found on the SolydXK Community Editions page.
* * * * *
Have you ever wanted a robot of your very own, but did not feel you had the skills or finances to create a digital friend? Kyle Fazzari is here to help: "Some time ago I created a blog/video series that walked the reader through creating a prototype using the Robot Operating System (ROS) and taking it to production using Ubuntu Core. However, that series was intended more for robotics professionals; it assumed quite a bit of ROS knowledge, and required some costly equipment (the robot was about $1k). Well, Ubuntu is also for hobbyists (and kids!) who don't want to shell out $1k to play with robots. Thus, this series was born: one that doesn't assume any ROS knowledge, and uses hardware that's so inexpensive you could give it as a Christmas gift. I present you with a robot that costs less than $100: The CamJam EduKit #3, which is a wheeled robot kit you assemble and control with a Raspberry Pi." The series begins on this page.
Will Cooke has posted a message on Ubuntu Insights which indicates the next release of Ubuntu, version 18.04, will use Xorg as the default display server with Wayland as an alternative option. This is a reverse of the situation users experienced when running Ubuntu 17.10 where Wayland was made the default desktop session option. "17.10, released in October 2017, ships with the Wayland based graphics server as the default and the Xorg based equivalent is available as an option from the login screen. When we started out on the GNOME Shell route for 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) we knew that we needed to have Wayland as the default option otherwise we wouldn't know if it would work well for our users in the LTS only six months later. The LTS is supported for five years meaning that we need to be certain that what goes out the door on release day will be maintainable and sustainable for the duration and will serve all our users and customers needs, which is no mean feat. As we are roughly half way through the Bionic development cycle, the time was right for us to review that decision and make a call on whether or not Wayland is the right default display server for Bionic. We have decided that we will ship Xorg by default, and that Wayland will be an optional session available from the login screen." The rational for using Xorg as the default display server is covered in Cooke's post.
* * * * *
The Linux Mint team is currently preparing for upcoming releases of both Mint's main edition (based on Ubuntu) and their Debian-based edition. The developers are making use of several new tools which make it easier for them to test, build and check software for bugs with more work being done automatically. This should allow the Mint team to detect and remove many problems in the software before it ever reaches the users. "Every single commit, every single pull request automatically triggers a build in Linux Mint 18, Linux Mint 19 and LMDE 3. If the build fails in any of these environments, we can see it straight from GitHub. This allows us to merge some of the pull requests much faster than before. Debian packages are now also built automatically for each new commit. Going forward we'll probably start using continuous integration to also perform unit and functional tests. Source code is also now scanned for every commit and pull request, against various linters and analyzers. Static code analysis doesn't detect everything, but it can detect potential issues and thus prevent some potential bugs from ever happening at all." More updates can be found in Linux Mint's January newsletter.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Desktop-friendly Debian and systemd boot times
Hunting-for-wireless-support asks: Would you happen to know of any stable distros based on Debian which have wireless that works out of the box and that have all needed WINE programs?
DistroWatch answers: While Debian itself has a policy on providing software distributed under open source licenses and may not automatically include certain extras, like non-free firmware, most Debian-based desktop distributions will include these extras for the sake of convenience. If you visit our Search page you can select a few options from the drop-down box to pin-point Debian-based desktop Linux distributions. The first five or six results you get will be popular, Debian-based projects likely to include wireless support.
Most Debian-based projects will include the same WINE packages. Though, of the results you will get on our Search page, I think Zorin OS may be one of the few which ships with WINE installed by default. If you seem to be missing a WINE package then you might want to install WINE right from the upstream WINE repository itself. Instructions for installing stable and development versions of WINE can be found on the WineHQ website.
* * * * *
Testing-init asks: Does systemd really make computers boot faster?
DistroWatch answers: About three years ago I wondered the same thing: would systemd's parallel approach to starting services make boot times shorter? In brief, my conclusion (based on limited testing at the time) was that systemd did not provide a faster boot experience than SysV init. Of course, at the time systemd was relatively new and boot processes tended to still rely on old init scripts.
Over the past three years I have not gathered any new data, only making anecdotal observations when I was testing a distribution with relatively long or short boot times. Based on what I have encountered, systemd can sometimes be faster than other init implementations, but it can also be slower. The speed depends more on which distribution is being used than which init software, in my experience. I have observed some Linux distributions with systemd booting in under 15 seconds and some taking a full minute on the same hardware. I think which services are started plays a larger role than the init software at work.
With that being said, I like to test things and had some spare time this week. In order to perform a rough comparison of init software, I downloaded and installed a copy of Ubuntu 16.04.3 Server edition and Debian 9.3.0. Both operating systems were set up with the bare minimum base systems and no extra services. No desktop environments were installed. I booted both operating systems using the default systemd init software. Ubuntu booted four times in a row with a consistent 24 second boot time from GRUB menu to login prompt.
I next replaced systemd with the Upstart init software and went through the same cycle of four start-ups. Using Upstart, Ubuntu consistently booted in 24 seconds. In short, there was no difference in start-up times when comparing systemd and Upstart.
I then switched to using Debian. Launching Debian with systemd gave me boot times of 15 seconds, making Debian noticeably faster than Ubuntu. I then swapped out systemd for SysV init and started Debian four times in a row. Debian with SysV init steadily provided boot times of 17 seconds, marginally slower than systemd.
In short, systemd can provide slightly faster boot times over SysV, but apparently not Upstart, the init implementation it replaced on Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and openSUSE. I think it is very interesting to note that Debian running SysV init is faster than running Ubuntu with either systemd or Upstart, even though both operating systems were running approximately the same software and no extra services.
Of course, the debate over which init software is best suited to a job rarely focuses on start-up times. There are a lot of other factors to consider, such as size, overall design, how services are controlled and other features. Small changes in boot times alone do not indicate a strong benefit for one approach over another.
* * * * *
Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Proxmox 5.0 "Mail Gateway"
Proxmox is a commercial company which offers specialized products based on Debian. The company recently launched Proxmox Mail Gateway version 5.0 based on Debian 9 "Stretch". "Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH today announced the major release of its open-source email security solution Proxmox Mail Gateway 5.0. The Proxmox Mail Gateway is a full featured mail proxy deployed between the firewall and the internal mail server and protects against all email threats focusing on spam, viruses, trojans, and phishing emails. Version 5.0 is now completely open-source and licensed under the GNU AGPL v3. The Mail Gateway is a complete operating system based on Debian Stretch 9.3 with a 4.13.13 kernel, and has a new RESTful API, includes support for all ZFS raid levels, comes with LDAP, IPv4 and IPv6 support, and with a new interface framework based on Sencha ExtJS. For businesses Proxmox offers a new subscription-based support model with access to a stable enterprise repository." Further information can be found in the company's release announcement and highlights post.
Netrunner 2018.01 "Rolling"
One of Netrunner's editions is a rolling release based on Manjaro and offering users a rolling release platform with the KDE Plasma desktop environment. The Netrunner team has published a new snapshot, version 2018.01, which features KDE Plasma 5.11.5, Firefox 57 "Quantum" and the YaRock music player. "For the first time, we ship YaRock, a Qt-based music player which also happens to greatly support a wide selection of free on-line Radio stations. A nice bonus feature is when clicking on any artist or song name during play will automatically open the browser and perform a search. SUSE's ImageWriter is back, as is the Firefox Pre-Load to make the browser appear almost in an instant when clicked. Discover also re-enters the default list of applications with its integrated update feature via PackageKit/AppStream. Using the new sidebar layout, we resorted the various modules so now almost all theming related settings can now be found under 'Plasma Tweaks'." Additional information and screen shots can be found in the project's release announcement.
Netruner 2018.01 "Rolling" -- Featuring the Plasma desktop
(full image size: 117kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
DietPi is a Debian-based Linux distribution, primarily developed for single board computers such as the Raspberry Pi. DietPi also runs on other architectures, including x86 computers and Odroid machines. The project's latest release, DietPi 6.0, is based on Debian 9 "Stretch". "All DietPi images have been re-created. Existing installations (v159 or lower), can no longer be updated, or supported. To continue support, users must install the latest v6.0 image. All images are now Debian Stretch (excluding Odroid's) ARMbian based images are now mainline kernel 4.13+. Native PC (EFI): is now an ISO, with Clonezilla bundled. Simplifies installation via Rufus write. If you are happy with your existing installation of v159 (or lower), you are not required to install the v6.0 image, however, we cannot continue to provide support for v159 (or lower) installations. Minor notes: The XMAS tree has now been taken down, stored away on GitHub history for next year. Hope you all had a good one." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Redcore Linux 1801
Redcore Linux is a Gentoo-based distribution designed to be run on desktop and laptop computers. The Redcore project has announced the release of Redcore Linux 1801 which reduces memory requirements for installation and includes fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre CPU bugs. "It is my pleasure to announce that Redcore Linux 1801 Intercrus STABLE ISO image is now ready and available for download from the usual place. I won't go through all the changelog since Redcore Linux 1710 once again, you can read it in the Redcore Linux 1801 BETA announcement here. Here's a brief changelog since BETA: resync with Gentoo portage tree (27.01.2018); Linux kernel LTS 4.14.14 with MuQSS and UKSM enabled by default for maximum desktop performance; Linux kernel LTS 4.9.77 with MuQSS, BFQ and UKSM enabled by default available in the repository; both kernels have KPTI for Meltdown mitigation and Retpoline for Spectre mitigation enabled by default mesa is updated to 17.3.3 , KDE frameworks updated to 5.42..." Further information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Parrot Security OS 3.11
Parrot Security OS is a Debian-based, security-oriented distribution featuring a collection of utilities designed for penetration testing and computer forensics. The project's latest release, Parrot Security OS 3.11, includes fixes for Metasploit and PostgreSQL as well as a new automobile hacking menu which includes tools for testing real world cars. "This new release introduces many improvements and security fixes compared to the previous versions. It includes by default all the Spectre/Meltdown security patches currently available and an updated version of the Linux 4.14 kernel. A new car hacking menu now contains a collection of useful open source tools in the automotive industry to test real world cars or simulate CANBus networks. Metasploit and PostgreSQL are now patched to work flawlessly out of the box in live mode. Other important updates include Firefox 58, increased installer stability, many updated security tools and some important graphic improvements." Further information can be found in the project's release notes.
* * * * *
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. We also maintain a Torrents RSS feed for people who wish to have open source torrents delivered to them. To share your own open source torrents of Linux and BSD projects, please visit our Upload Torrents page.
Torrent Corner statistics:
- Total torrents seeded: 720
- Total data uploaded: 17.4TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Favourite rolling release base
Running a rolling release operating system allows the user to constantly keep up with new versions software. Since the operating system is always up to date, large upgrades when new versions are released become unnecessary.
There are a lot of rolling release projects in the open source community and we would like to find out which ones our readers prefer. Do you run an Arch-based rolling release, perhaps a member of openSUSE's Tumbleweed family, or perhaps you like to compile your own packages with a Gentoo-based rolling distribution? Let us know which rolling release distribution you run in the comments.
You can see the results of our previous poll on using HiDPI screens in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Favourite rolling release base
|Arch Linux: ||677 (29%)|
| Debian: ||405 (18%)|
| FreeBSD: ||47 (2%)|
| Gentoo: ||105 (5%)|
| openSUSE: ||140 (6%)|
| Slackware: ||62 (3%)|
| Void: ||71 (3%)|
| Other: ||170 (7%)|
| I do not run a rolling release OS: ||619 (27%)|
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 5 February 2018. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 1, value: US$20)
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 777 (2018-08-20): YunoHost 220.127.116.11, limiting process resource usage, converting file systems on Fedora, Debian turns 25, Lubuntu migrating to Wayland|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
feren OS is a desktop Linux distribution based on Linux Mint's main edition. The feren OS distribution ships with the Cinnamon desktop environment and includes the WINE compatibility layer for running Windows applications. The distribution also ships with the WPS productivity software, which is mostly compatible with Microsoft Office, and the Vivaldi web browser.