| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 803, 25 February 2019
Welcome to this year's 8th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Whenever we connect our computers to the Internet they transmit data which gives away information about ourselves such as what operating system we are running, what our interests are, who we associate with, and what software we use to communicate. In recent years more people have been turning to operating systems which attempt to limit the amount of data we leak to the Internet with Septor being one of the available options. This week we begin by sharing Joshua Allen Holm's review of the Septor distribution. In our News section we talk about Nitrux and NetBSD exploring new virtual machine options that should offer better performance and we talk about Project Trident's feature for syncing local packages with software repositories. Plus we share plans to upgrade pfSense to use version 12 of FreeBSD as its base. In our Opinion Poll we talk about how to reduce distractions on the desktop by preventing window focus stealing and, in our Opinion Poll, we ask you what the best method is for making sure focus doesn't shift to a new window. Plus we are thrilled to share the releases of the past week and list to the torrents we are seeding. We wish you a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Septor 2019
- News: NetBSD and Nitrux explore new virtual machine options, Project Trident enables syncing packages with repositories, future pfSense versions to be based on FreeBSD 12
- Questions and answers: Preventing applications from stealing window focus
- Released last week: Kali Linux 2019.1
- Torrent corner: BackBox, EasyOS, Elastix, Kali, KDE neon, Manjaro, PBXware, PCLinuxOS, Slax
- Opinion poll: Preventing a window from stealing focus
- Reader comments
Listen to the Podcast edition of this week's DistroWatch Weekly in OGG (11MB) and MP3 (8MB) formats.
|Feature Story (by Joshua Allen Holm)
Septor is a security-focused distribution based on Debian Testing (Debian "Buster" at the time of writing). Its focus is to provide programs connecting to the Internet with the ability to use the Tor network, along with a few other privacy/security focused applications. Unlike Debian, Septor's ISO does not provide a choice of desktop environments; it comes with the KDE Plasma 5.14 desktop environment with some layout and theme customization. The ISO also comes with non-free firmware, unlike the standard Debian ISOs, so various wireless adapters and other devices work automatically. Septor's 1.9GB ISO functions as both a live image and as installation media, so for this review I tried out both ways of using the ISO.
Septor 2019 -- KDE Plasma desktop
(full image size: 680kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Running Septor as a live image
I started by trying the live desktop. I had to disable Secure Boot first, but other than that I had no issues booting the flash drive and starting up the live desktop. The time to get to a working desktop was not particularly quick, nor was it extremely slow, but the length it did take makes Septor a less than ideal candidate for a quick, emergency "I need a secure Linux desktop NOW" flash drive.
The problems with the live image are not limited to boot speed. The version of LibreOffice included on the ISO will not start. I tried LibreOffice Calc, Impress, and Writer and they all produced a Signal 11 error. The problem persisted after installing Septor to my hard drive, but went away after updating the packages.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing with the live image is the fact that it includes Tor Browser Launcher, which is used to install the Tor Browser, but there is no alternative browser installed. Until Tor Browser Launcher installs Tor Browser, there is no way to browse the web. And because the live image lacks any sort of permanency, Tor Browser needs to be reinstalled every time the live image is run. Because of that issue I tried using the live image on several local public wi-fi networks to see how long it would take to get Tor Browser installed and running. Times ranged from approximately 5 minutes using the wi-fi at my local public library to almost 15 minutes using the wi-fi at a small local restaurant. Suffice it to say that Septor's live image is not an optimal choice for using on an emergency, secure OS flash drive.
Once I was done trying out the live image, I rebooted my computer and selected the install option from the boot menu. This started a Septor-themed variant of the standard Debian graphical installer. Just like with standard Debian's graphical installer, my trackpad was not detected/did not work, so I had to just use the tab key to navigate through the install process. I also could have rebooted and selected the text install option instead, but using Tab and Enter was easy enough.
Septor 2019 -- Installer language selection
(full image size: 52kB, resolution: 800x600 pixels)
I ran into a few additional problems when trying to install Septor. I had to be connected to the Internet in order to complete the installation. I was able to skip over the network configuration step by canceling, going to the overview of install steps, and selecting the next step, but problems arose again when it came time to configure the timezone/date & time options. I was also able to cancel, go to the overview of install steps, and skip that step, but that was tedious. The biggest problem came when the installer tried to install GRUB, which failed completely. I ended up needing to switch my computer from EFI to Legacy Boot mode, before Septor would successfully install.
Septor's default settings and software selection
Once I got Septor successfully installed on my computer I started looking at the default software selection. Most of it is fairly typical: various KDE applications and utilities, GIMP, LibreOffice, and VLC media player, but the Internet applications are somewhat atypical. Instead of Firefox, Septor uses Tor Browser (which, like I noted about is not actually installed until the Tor Browser Launcher application is run the first time), Thunderbird, HexChat, OnionShare, QuiteRSS, and Ricochet IM. All the default Internet applications either use the Tor network by design or are configured to use Tor. For example, Thunderbird comes with the TorBirdy extension pre-installed.
Septor 2019 -- Application menu showing Internet applications
(full image size: 625kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Septor also comes with a few utilities designed to assist the user with security. The Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit provides a way to strip metadata, that could potentially be used to identify a user, from various file types. The tool is straightforward and easy to use, simply select a file and if it is a supported file type it can be stripped of problematic metadata by clicking the Clean button. Septor also includes VeraCrypt, but like a few other applications included in Septor, it is almost unusable because of theme and color issues. In the screenshot below you can see how VeraCrypt has GUI elements that are impossible to read or can only be read when the mouse is hovering over them.
Septor 2019 -- VeraCrypt with theming problems
(full image size: 496kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
The graphical issues present in VeraCrypt and other programs seem limited to GTK-based programs and can be fixed by changing the settings for what themes are used for GTK applications from Adwaita to Breeze. However, given how broken VeraCrypt and other applications are using the default settings, this issue should have been fixed by the developers, not by end-users needing to change settings. In the process of trying to find a fix for the display issues with GTK applications, I tried various other look & feel options and also discovered that selecting the Septor Look And Feel with the option "Use Desktop Layout from theme" checked does not correctly restore the default Septor panel layout and desktop background. I could easily change the background back to the Septor one manually, but I ended up copying various files from /etc/skel to my home directory to get the default Septor panel layout back.
Septor 2019 -- Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit
(full image size: 562kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Personally, I had no issue with the default software selection. Septor comes with a well-rounded collection of software. The only thing I ended up adding was a second web browser, Firefox ESR, so I had a browser that was not tied into the Tor network. There are various settings and theme issues that I noted above, but no issues with the default software selection itself.
Installing and updating software
When it comes to installing and updating software, Septor is exactly like Debian. On the command-line packages can be installed using apt or dpkg, and the Synaptic package manager and gdebi are the pre-installed GUI tools for graphical installation of packages. Septor uses Debian's repositories for most of its packages, but there is also a Septor repository with Septor specific packages. The Debian packages come from Debian mirrors and the Septor repository is hosted on SourceForge. Septor comes with the apt-transport-https package installed, but the repositories listed in /etc/apt are all still configured to use plain HTTP connections.
Septor 2019 -- The Synaptic package manager
(full image size: 95kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
While the default selection of software is well-rounded, there is plenty of software in the Debian repositories, so replacing one of Septor's default applications with something different should not be a problem. However, the Septor specific repository only contains a small list of packages, with over half installed by default, so there are not a lot of extra Septor exclusive applications for Septor that are not in standard Debian.
When I first installed Septor about three weeks after the ISO was released, I ended up needing to install a sizable number of packages with my first "apt upgrade." These packages fixed many of the problems I had when using the live image, but there were a lot of updates, and there continued to be updates almost every day. It looks like /etc/apt/sources.list is tracking Debian "Buster," not "Testing," so hopefully things will calm down once Debian 10 "Buster" is released.
Septor's concept is good, but the implementation needs some work. Like I noted above, the live image has numerous issues that make it a poor choice to use as an emergency flash drive. A refreshed ISO would fix some of the problems, but not all. Once installed and updated Septor is better, but there are still the issues with some applications being almost unusable because of issues with the themes and colours. Those are fixable by tweaking a few settings, but the user should not need to make those fixes themselves.
Overall, I did not dislike Septor, but I have a hard time recommending it over Tails or any distribution with Tor Browser installed. However, once a few more of the issues I experienced get fixed, Septor might make a good choice to put on a spare laptop for privacy-focused web browsing. Septor is interesting, it just needs more polish.
* * * * *
Hardware used in this review
My physical test equipment for this review was a Lenovo Ideapad 100-15IBD laptop with the following specifications:
- Processor: 2.2GHz Intel Core i3-5020U CPU
- Storage: Seagate 500GB 5400 RPM hard drive
- Memory: 4GB of RAM
- Networking: Realtek RTL8723BE 802.11n Wireless Network Adapter
- Display: Intel HD Graphics 5500
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Visitor supplied rating
Septor has a visitor supplied average rating of: 7.9/10 from 26 review(s).
Have you used Septor? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
NetBSD and Nitrux explore new virtual machine options, Project Trident enables syncing packages with repositories, future pfSense versions to be based on FreeBSD 12
Hardware accelerated virtual machines are coming to the NetBSD operating system. The NetBSD Virtual Machine Monitor (NVMM), which can support up to 128 virtual machines, is available for testing. "The NVMM driver provides hardware-accelerated virtualization support on NetBSD. It is made of an ~MI front-end, to which MD back-ends can be plugged. A virtualization API is provided in libnvmm, that allows to easily create and manage virtual machines via NVMM. Two additional components are shipped as demonstrators, toyvirt and smallkern: the former is a toy virtualizer, that executes in a VM the 64-bit ELF binary given as argument, the latter is an example of such binary." Technical details, build instructions and screenshots can be found on the project's website.
* * * * *
Another project which is working to provide high performance virtual machines is Nitrux. The Nitrux developers are using technology called VMetal to run copies of Microsoft Windows in order to provide more games and applications to Nitrux users, ideally with very little performance impact. "Over the past weeks, we have published videos about a new feature that we want to add to Nitrux 2.0 called VMetal. With VMetal we hope to bring our users the ability to run Windows software to their Nitrux systems. Although we mainly want to add VMetal to Nitrux for the gaming aspect of it, it is without a doubt the best way to make use of Windows software without the need for dual booting Microsoft’s operating system. What is VMetal? VMetal allows users to run Windows in parallel to Nitrux with the aim to provide users of access to Windows software meanwhile they can still use their Linux desktop at the same time." Additional information on VMetal and other Nitrux projects can be found in this blog post.
* * * * *
Project Trident is rolling out a series of new features in the operating system's latest round of updates. One of the features enables the administrator to synchronize installed packages with those in the Project Trident repositories. This allows packages to be either upgraded or rolled back as needed to keep the system in sync. "When starting updates, there will now be a prompt about whether to perform a 'full' update (forcibly resync your system with the versions of packages in the repository). This option takes a bit longer to download/perform the updates, but is very useful if your system has gotten out of sync with the repo from manually testing packages or you are moving backwards to an older version of the package repository." More details about new features coming to Trident can be found in the project's blog post.
* * * * *
Netgate, the company behind pfSense, has reported via their newsletter that their operating system for firewalls and routers is about to get a version bump and future releases will be based on FreeBSD 12. "pfSense 2.4.5 snapshots have been shut down so that we can prepare for the master branch to be switched over to pfSense 2.5.0 running on FreeBSD 12.x. The version bump to 2.5.0 was warranted due to the operating system moving to a new major version. This post on the Netgate forum will cover the major details on the next release of pfSense that you need to know."
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Preventing applications from stealing window focus
Trying-to-stay-focused asks: Is there a desktop environment in Linux which prevents, through an option, applications in the opening state/phase from stealing the focus from the running/current one? I want a newly launched application to start "behind" or "under" the current window. Even if an input is required, for example a password, this should still open "behind" or "under" the current window. Such a required activity should only be displayed in the panel (for example, by flashing). Stealing focus is very annoying!
DistroWatch answers: There are desktop environments with built-in options that help prevent an application from stealing focus from the currently active window. Typically the desktop's window manager can be set to discourage focus stealing, at least from applications which are already open. (New application windows almost always grab focus when the window first opens, on any desktop.)
When using KDE Plasma, for example, you can go into the System Settings panel, open the Window Management module and select the Window Behaviour page. There you should find a tab called Focus with an option called Focus Stealing Prevention. By default this is typically set to "Low", but you can raise the value to "High" or "Extreme" to block windows from stealing focus.
If you are running the Xfce desktop, the focus stealing feature is a little harder to deal with because elements of it are located in two different places. First open the Window Manager settings tool. Click the Focus tab and remove the check from the box labelled "Automatically give focus to newly created windows". Then open the Window Manager Tweaks tool, again click the Focus tab. Make sure "Activate focus stealing prevention" is checked/enabled. Then disable the "Honor standard ICCCM focus hint". Finally, under the title "When a window raises itself", set the value to "Do nothing".
The Cinnamon desktop has a settings module called Windows. In the Windows module, click the Behaviour tab. Then enable the option "Prevent focus stealing".
I suspect other desktop environments have similar options - GNOME does, though I think it is only accessible through a command line tool - but these are the ones I can think of at the moment. Unfortunately, none of them are perfect. Newly opened windows and highly stubborn windows can still steal focus away from the window you are currently using. There is another approach you can use, if you plan to keep using the same window for long periods of time. If you right-click in the title bar of a window, in nearly every Linux window manager and desktop environment, you should see an option called "Always on top" or "Keep above others". Enabling this option will keep the current window above all the others, in almost every situation. The only down side is you need to either minimize the window or right-click the title bar again and disable the "Always on top" option to allow other windows to move to the top of the window stack.
I tend to find this last option the most useful (and the most portable across desktop environments) when I am working in the same window for long stretches and do not wish to be distracted.
* * * * *
Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Kali Linux 2019.1
Kali Linux is a Debian-based distribution with a collection of security and forensics tools. The project's first release of 2019 offers wider support for ARM devices and an updated version of Metasploit: "Welcome to our first release of 2019, Kali Linux 2019.1, which is available for immediate download. This release brings our kernel up to version 4.19.13, fixes numerous bugs, and includes many updated packages. The big marquee update of this release is the update of Metasploit to version 5.0, which is their first major release since version 4.0 came out in 2011. Metasploit 5.0 is a massive update that includes database and automation APIs, new evasion capabilities, and usability improvements throughout. Check out their in-progress release notes to learn about all the new goodness. Kali Linux 2019.1 also includes updated packages for theHarvester, DBeaver, and more. For the complete list of updates, fixes, and additions, please refer to the Kali bug tracker changelog." Additional information can be found in the project's release announcement.
Kali Linux 2019.1 "Lite" -- Running the Xfce desktop
(full image size: 845kB, resolution: 1366x768 pixels)
Barry Kauler has announced the release of EasyOS 1.0.8. EasyOS is an experimental Linux distribution which uses custom containers along with many of the technologies and package formats pioneered by Puppy Linux. The new version offers up new network utilities, French and German editions along with the default English edition, and some bug fixes. "It has arrived, a new release of EasyOS! The previous x86_64 release was version 1.0, and it is essential to read that announcement. Most important, as explained in above link, do not download the ISO file, unless your PC is unable to boot from USB. Preferred option is to download easy-1.0.8-amd64.img.gz and write it to a USB stick. If you don't know how, simple instructions here. Lots of little improvements since then, and some not-so-little, such as adoption of Alex Suykov's minibase network utilities, which is now the default network manager, given the name 'UltraSNS'. There are two non-English builds, French and German, with considerable input provided by L18L and esmourguit (names on the Puppy Forum). There were some other languages built for 1.0." Further details and information on known issues 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. 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: 1,266
- Total data uploaded: 23.9TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Preventing a window from stealing focus
In our Questions and Answers column we discussed how to prevent application windows from activating and taking focus away from the window we are currently using. We would like to know what method our readers use to prevent focus stealing. Please leave us a comment with your solutions.
You can see the results of our previous poll on types of stability in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Preventing a window from stealing focus
|I set my window to keep above others: ||115 (11%)|
| I use the Prevent Focus Stealing feature of my desktop: ||136 (13%)|
| I only use one application at a time: ||82 (8%)|
| I use another method to block focus stealing: ||43 (4%)|
| I do not block focus stealing: ||692 (65%)|
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 4 March 2019. Past articles and reviews can be found through our Article Search page. To contact the authors please send e-mail to:
|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 841 (2019-11-18): Emmabuntus DE3-1.00, changing keys in a keyboard layout, Debian phasing out Python 2 and voting on init diversity, Slackware gets unofficial updated live media|
|• Issue 840 (2019-11-11): Fedora 31, monitoring user activity, Fedora working to improve Python performance, FreeBSD gets faster networking|
|• Issue 839 (2019-11-04): MX 19, manipulating PDFs, Ubuntu plans features for 20.04, Fedora 29 nears EOL, Netrunner drops Manjaro-based edition|
|• Issue 838 (2019-10-28): Xubuntu 19.10, how init and service managers work together, DragonFly BSD provides emergency mode for HAMMER, Xfce team plans 4.16|
|• Issue 837 (2019-10-21): CentOS 8.0-1905, Trident finds a new base, Debian plans firewall changes, 15 years of Fedora, how to merge directories|
|• Issue 836 (2019-10-14): Archman 2019.09, Haiku improves ARM support, Project Trident shifting base OS, Unix turns 50|
|• Issue 835 (2019-10-07): Isotop, Mazon OS and, KduxOS, examples of using the find command, Mint's System Reports becomes proactive, Solus updates its desktops|
|• Issue 834 (2019-09-30): FreedomBox "Buster", CentOS gains a rolling release, Librem 5 phones shipping, Redcore updates its package manager|
|• Issue 833 (2019-09-23): Redcore Linux 1908, why Linux distros are free, Ubuntu making list of 32-bit software to keep, Richard M Stallman steps down from FSF leadership|
|• Issue 832 (2019-09-16): BlackWeb 1.2, checking for Wayland session and applications, Fedora to use nftables in firewalld, OpenBSD disables DoH in Firefox|
|• Issue 831 (2019-09-09): Adélie Linux 1.0 beta, using ffmpeg, awk and renice, Mint and elementary improvements, PureOS and Manjaro updates|
|• Issue 930 (2019-09-02): deepin 15.11, working with AppArmor profiles, elementary OS gets new greeter, exFAT support coming to Linux kernel|
|• Issue 829 (2019-08-26): EndeavourOS 2019.07.15, Drauger OS 7.4.1, finding the licenses of kernel modules, NetBSD gets Wayland application, GhostBSD changes base repo|
|• Issue 828 (2019-08-19): AcademiX 2.2, concerns with non-free firmware, UBports working on Unity8, Fedora unveils new EPEL channel, FreeBSD phasing out GCC|
|• Issue 827 (2019-08-12): Q4OS, finding files on the disk, Ubuntu works on ZFS, Haiku improves performance, OSDisc shutting down|
|• Issue 826 (2019-08-05): Quick looks at Resilient, PrimeOS, and BlueLight, flagship distros for desktops,Manjaro introduces new package manager|
|• Issue 825 (2019-07-29): Endless OS 3.6, UBports 16.04, gNewSense maintainer stepping down, Fedora developrs discuss optimizations, Project Trident launches stable branch|
|• Issue 824 (2019-07-22): Hexagon OS 1.0, Mageia publishes updated media, Fedora unveils Fedora CoreOS, managing disk usage with quotas|
|• Issue 823 (2019-07-15): Debian 10, finding 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system, Will Cooke discusses Ubuntu's desktop, IBM finalizes purchase of Red Hat|
|• Issue 822 (2019-07-08): Mageia 7, running development branches of distros, Mint team considers Snap, UBports to address Google account access|
|• Issue 821 (2019-07-01): OpenMandriva 4.0, Ubuntu's plan for 32-bit packages, Fedora Workstation improvements, DragonFly BSD's smaller kernel memory|
|• Issue 820 (2019-06-24): Clear Linux and Guix System 1.0.1, running Android applications using Anbox, Zorin partners with Star Labs, Red Hat explains networking bug, Ubuntu considers no longer updating 32-bit packages|
|• Issue 819 (2019-06-17): OS108 and Venom, renaming multiple files, checking live USB integrity, working with Fedora's Modularity, Ubuntu replacing Chromium package with snap|
|• Issue 818 (2019-06-10): openSUSE 15.1, improving boot times, FreeBSD's status report, DragonFly BSD reduces install media size|
|• Issue 817 (2019-06-03): Manjaro 18.0.4, Ubuntu Security Podcast, new Linux laptops from Dell and System76, Entroware Apollo|
|• Issue 816 (2019-05-27): Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, creating firewall rules, Antergos shuts down, Matthew Miller answers questions about Fedora|
|• Issue 815 (2019-05-20): Sabayon 19.03, Clear Linux's developer features, Red Hat explains MDS flaws, an overview of mobile distro options|
|• Issue 814 (2019-05-13): Fedora 30, distributions publish Firefox fixes, CentOS publishes roadmap to 8.0, Debian plans to use Wayland by default|
|• Issue 813 (2019-05-06): ROSA R11, MX seeks help with systemd-shim, FreeBSD tests unified package management, interview with Gael Duval|
|• Issue 812 (2019-04-29): Ubuntu MATE 19.04, setting up a SOCKS web proxy, Scientific Linux discontinued, Red Hat takes over Java LTS support|
|• Issue 811 (2019-04-22): Alpine 3.9.2, rsync examples, Ubuntu working on ZFS support, Debian elects new Project Leader, Obarun releases S6 tools|
|• Issue 810 (2019-04-15): SolydXK 201902, Bedrock Linux 0.7.2, Fedora phasing out Python 2, NetBSD gets virtual machine monitor|
|• Issue 809 (2019-04-08): PCLinuxOS 2019.02, installing Falkon and problems with portable packages, Mint offers daily build previews, Ubuntu speeds up Snap packages|
|• Issue 808 (2019-04-01): Solus 4.0, security benefits and drawbacks to using a live distro, Gentoo gets GNOME ports working without systemd, Redox OS update|
|• Issue 807 (2019-03-25): Pardus 17.5, finding out which user changed a file, new Budgie features, a tool for browsing FreeBSD's sysctl values|
|• Issue 806 (2019-03-18): Kubuntu vs KDE neon, Nitrux's znx, notes on Debian's election, SUSE becomes an independent entity|
|• Issue 805 (2019-03-11): EasyOS 1.0, managing background services, Devuan team debates machine ID file, Ubuntu Studio works to remain an Ubuntu Community Edition|
|• Issue 804 (2019-03-04): Condres OS 19.02, securely erasing hard drives, new UBports devices coming in 2019, Devuan to host first conference|
|• Issue 803 (2019-02-25): Septor 2019, preventing windows from stealing focus, NetBSD and Nitrux experiment with virtual machines, pfSense upgrading to FreeBSD 12 base|
|• Issue 802 (2019-02-18): Slontoo 18.07.1, NetBSD tests newer compiler, Fedora packaging Deepin desktop, changes in Ubuntu Studio|
|• Issue 801 (2019-02-11): Project Trident 18.12, the meaning of status symbols in top, FreeBSD Foundation lists ongoing projects, Plasma Mobile team answers questions|
|• Issue 800 (2019-02-04): FreeNAS 11.2, using Ubuntu Studio software as an add-on, Nitrux developing znx, matching operating systems to file systems|
|• Issue 799 (2019-01-28): KaOS 2018.12, Linux Basics For Hackers, Debian 10 enters freeze, Ubuntu publishes new version for IoT devices|
|• Issue 798 (2019-01-21): Sculpt OS 18.09, picking a location for swap space, Solus team plans ahead, Fedora trying to get a better user count|
|• Issue 797 (2019-01-14): Reborn OS 2018.11.28, TinyPaw-Linux 1.3, dealing with processes which make the desktop unresponsive, Debian testing Secure Boot support|
|• Issue 796 (2019-01-07): FreeBSD 12.0, Peppermint releases ISO update, picking the best distro of 2018, roundtable interview with Debian, Fedora and elementary developers|
|• Issue 795 (2018-12-24): Running a Pinebook, interview with Bedrock founder, Alpine being ported to RISC-V, Librem 5 dev-kits shipped|
|• Issue 794 (2018-12-17): Void 20181111, avoiding software bloat, improvements to HAMMER2, getting application overview in GNOME Shell|
|• Issue 793 (2018-12-10): openSUSE Tumbleweed, finding non-free packages, Debian migrates to usrmerge, Hyperbola gets FSF approval|
|• Issue 792 (2018-1203): GhostBSD 18.10, when to use swap space, DragonFly BSD's wireless support, Fedora planning to pause development schedule|
|• Issue 791 (2018-11-26): Haiku R1 Beta1, default passwords on live media, Slax and Kodachi update their media, dual booting DragonFly BSD on EFI|
|• Issue 790 (2018-11-19): NetBSD 8.0, Bash tips and short-cuts, Fedora's networking benchmarked with FreeBSD, Ubuntu 18.04 to get ten years of support|
|• Issue 789 (2018-11-12): Fedora 29 Workstation and Silverblue, Haiku recovering from server outage, Fedora turns 15, Debian publishes updated media|
|• Full list of all issues|
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|Random Distribution |
TA-Linux was a free Linux distribution that targets Linux power users. Its main goal was to have a small base installation that the end-users can expand to include the software they need. The secondary goal was to support as many different architectures as possible, at this time x86 was fully supported with Alpha, Sparc, PPC and PA-RISC around the corner. Extra software not included in the base was handled using a system resembling the *BSD ports system, called Collection, which handles installation, upgrading and dependencies. The primary way of installing new software was to download the source, compile and install it (totaly automatic). The user can also choose to install already built binary packages, also automaticaly using the Collection system.