| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 806, 18 March 2019
Welcome to this year's 11th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
There are a lot of Linux-based distributions in the world, hundreds in fact, and sometimes it can be difficult to know what sets projects with similar goals apart. This week we begin with a side-by-side comparison of two similar projects: Kubuntu and KDE neon. Both run the Plasma desktop on top of an Ubuntu base, but are there any features which set them apart? Our Feature Story explores the similarities and differences between these two projects. In our Opinion Poll we would like to hear which of these two distributions our readers prefer and why. People who want to compare more projects side-by-side may be interested in testing an early version of znx, a tool for deploying multiple distributions on the same device without the need to partition the disk. Plus we talk about the Debian Project Leader election and congratulate Ubuntu Studio on continuing its official Community Flavour status. SUSE announced this week that it is now an independent entity and we cover this change in our News section. We are also pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!
- Review: Kubuntu versus KDE neon
- News: Debian gears up for an election with no candidates, Ubuntu Studio maintains official Community Flavour status, SUSE becomes independent
- Technology review: Managing multiple operating systems on one drive with znx
- Released last week: Univention 4.4-0, ROSA R11
- Torrent corner: Arco, Berry, Container, EasyOS, Endless, IPFire, Lakka, PCLinuxOS, ROSA, SmartOS, Ultimate, Univention, Voyager
- Upcoming releases: Tails 3.13
- Opinion poll: Kubuntu or KDE neon
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
Kubuntu versus KDE neon
Often times when I'm browsing open source forums I run into variations of the query "Why do we need KDE neon when we have Kubuntu?" Or, possibly the inverse: "What is the benefit to running Kubuntu when we have KDE neon?" Sometimes the question is more neutral: "What is the difference between running Kubuntu with backports and running KDE neon?"
These are fair questions. While Kubuntu tends to be seen as being more geared toward end users and KDE neon tends to be regarded as being a way for curious testers to try out the latest KDE technology, there is a lot of overlap between the two projects. Both are based on Ubuntu, both feature recent releases of the KDE Plasma desktop, and both stick pretty close to a vanilla KDE experience. This got me wondering if there is much of a difference between the two projects from the end-user's point of view. Are they basically the same experience with slightly different configurations, or are there practical differences in play that would make a users choose one over the other?
I decided to find out. I downloaded a snapshot of the User edition of KDE neon and a copy of Kubuntu. Since KDE neon is based on Ubuntu long-term support (LTS) releases, specifically Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, I opted to download Kubuntu 18.04.2 in order to make sure the base operating systems were as close to the same as I could get. Then I started comparing the two side-by-side.
Before installing these two distributions, there are a couple of noteworthy differences. The first is that Kubuntu runs on 32-bit and 64-bit x86 machines and its ISO is 1.8GB in size. KDE neon has a slightly smaller ISO at 1.4GB, and also supports 64-bit x86 machines. However, KDE neon does not offer a 32-bit build, instead providing an aarch64 build for Pinebook computers.
While both versions of the distributions I downloaded were based on Ubuntu LTS (specifically Ubuntu 18.04 LTS in this case) with five years of security updates, the Kubuntu project publishes new releases every six months with the non-LTS versions offering nine months of support.
Booting from the KDE neon live disc presents us with the Plasma desktop. On the desktop is a single icon which launches the Ubiquity installer. There is a panel at the bottom of the desktop that holds the application menu launcher and system tray.
KDE neon 20190215 -- The KDE neon desktop and application menu
(full image size: 756kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Starting the graphical Ubiquity installer brings up a screen which asks us to select our preferred language and offers a link we can click to update to the latest version of the installer. Clicking the update link did nothing on my system. The next page offers to download new packages and/or third-party software such as media codecs and wireless card support. The installer then walks us through partitioning the hard drive, selecting our time zone and creating a user account. The install process is pleasantly quick and easy.
Kubuntu boots off the live media and presents us with a welcome screen where we are asked if we would like to try the live desktop or jump straight into the installer. On this page we can click a link to open a web browser which will show us a list of past Kubuntu releases and, optionally, release notes for each version. Proceeding with the installation will bring up a prompt asking if we want to perform a Normal install (with a full suite of desktop software) or a Minimal install, which basically just sets up a bare Plasma desktop with a web browser. I opted to do the Normal install as it was the default. The rest of the install process was the same as it was with KDE neon, where we are asked if we want to download third-party packages, how we want to partition the hard drive, and what we want to name our user account.
Both installers worked well and, though there were sometimes delays while packages were downloaded over the network, both distributions installed without any problems.
KDE neon boots to a graphical login screen where we can sign into either a Plasma on X.Org session or a Plasma on Wayland session. Signing into our account presents us with an empty desktop with a red and star-covered wallpaper. A modern, single-pane application menu enables us to launch programs. I am not a fan of this style of application menu as it takes more clicks and mouse movement to get around, though this can be offset by using the menu's search bar to look up programs. The Plasma desktop uses a grey theme combined with fairly colourful icons.
Kubuntu boots to a similar graphical login screen and offers a Plasma on X.Org session only. Kubuntu features purple & brown wallpaper and there are two icons on the desktop for launching the Dolphin file manager. Kubuntu uses the same application menu as KDE neon does, though the panel and menu have a darker, charcoal background. I liked the darker theme used by Kubuntu as I found it made the text and icons stand out more.
With both distributions there are virtually no distractions or notifications. When software updates were available, an icon in the system tray would light up. Otherwise Plasma pleasantly stayed out of my way.
Kubuntu 18.04.2 -- Running the Plasma desktop
(full image size: 640kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
It should not be any surprise that, since the two projects share a common base, they perform almost identically in the same test environments. Both distributions integrate nicely with VirtualBox and can make use of the host machine's full screen resolution. Both projects detected all of my workstation's hardware, allowing them to play audio, detect my wireless card, connect to the Internet and stream videos. I found both distributions were a little sluggish to start and respond when run in VirtualBox. Both were still usable, but there were slight delays to input in the virtual machines. When run on physical hardware both systems were responsive.
There were some small differences in relation to hardware and performance. KDE neon used 370MB of RAM (memory usage was approximately the same whether I signed into the X.Org or Wayland sessions) and the distribution used 4.8GB of disk space. Kubuntu used 380MB of RAM (almost an identical amount), but was smaller on the disk, using 3.6GB of my disk's storage capacity. I found this interesting as Kubuntu ships with a good deal more applications. Which brings me to...
Kubuntu, at least when it is installed with its Normal software set, ships with more application out of the box than KDE neon. Kubuntu offers users KDE Plasma 5.12 with the Qt 5.9.5 library. The Firefox web browser, KMail, the KDRC remote desktop client and LibreOffice are all installed for us. The KTorrent bittorrent client, the Akregator feed reader and Kontact address book are included. Digging further through the menu we find the Okular document viewer, the Gwenview image viewer and the Skanlite scanner program. The Cantata music player, VLC multimedia player and K3b disc burning software are also offered. Kubuntu can be installed with codecs for playing most audio and video files.
Kubuntu 18.04.2 -- Running Firefox and LibreOffice
(full image size: 378kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
There are a number of other small programs too, including an archive manager, the Kate text editor, Kleopatra for managing security certificates and the Dolphin file manager. There are also common applications such as a task monitor and log viewer. Kubuntu ships with version 4.18 of the Linux kernel and uses systemd for its init software. (I believe Kubuntu 18.04 originally shipped with version 4.15 of the kernel and it was updated for media refreshes, bringing it to 4.18 when Kubuntu 18.04.2 was made available.)
KDE neon offers users KDE Plasma 5.15 and version 5.12 of the Qt libraries. Like its cousin, it ships with Firefox, VLC, Okular and Gwenview. The same task monitor, Dolphin file manager and Konsole virtual terminal are present. KDE neon ships with the same Ark archive manager, but uses KWrite instead of Kate for text editing. KDE neon also makes it easy to find the KDE Help documentation. In the background we again find systemd being used for init and version 4.15 of the Linux kernel.
KDE neon 20190215 -- Adjusting settings and checking for updates
(full image size: 427kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Both distributions feature the KDE System Settings panel and, by default, the panel is presented in a two-pane mode. Categories of settings are displayed down the left and specific settings are shown on the right.
Kubuntu 18.04.2 -- Adjusting the look of the desktop
(full image size: 430kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
When running both projects, I found they played multimedia files smoothly and without problem on my workstation, but VLC would crash when asked to play video files when I ran either distribution in VirtualBox. Audio files would play on both distributions in either test environment.
Both Kubuntu and KDE neon notify the user of software updates by highlighting an icon in the system tray. Clicking this icon pops up a widget which lets us know new packages are available and we can click a button to open the Discover software manager. Discover will then display a list of available updates and let us select which ones we want to download. The process is smooth and gives us flexibility in what we want to install.
KDE neon 20190215 -- Installing software using Discover
(full image size: 369kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
Discover is used for installing and removing desktop software too. Discover's overview of settings and available categories of applications can be found in a sidebar to the left. A list of available software in a selected category is shown on the right. Programs are listed with their name and icon and we can click a single button to queue a package to be installed or removed.
Kubuntu 18.04.2 -- Browsing available applications
(full image size: 383kB, resolution: 1280x1024 pixels)
I found Discover worked fairly well. Sometimes the software manager would lock up for a few seconds when switching between pages, but otherwise it functioned as expected. Discover offered the same experience on both distributions for all practical purposes. My one complaint with Discover is that it prompts us before performing any install or removal action. We can queue up as many new packages as we want to be downloaded, but then we need to sit and babysit Discover, putting in our password for each item in the action queue.
Kubuntu also ships with the Muon package manager. Muon looks a lot like Debian's Synaptic and deals with lower level packages rather than just desktop programs. Muon has a nice look to it and I found its interface easy to navigate. This was appreciated as Muon offers a good deal of software categories, information and software management options. I do not think KDE neon has a similar GUI tool for managing non-desktop packages, but both projects can make use of the APT command line tools for low-level package management.
X.Org and Wayland
I briefly tried the KDE neon session option that runs the Plasma desktop on Wayland. While it was functional, I kept finding little problems that made the experience less enjoyable than the default X.Org session. Most of these involved the inconsistent handling of the mouse pointer. I also found some application windows would open partially off screen. These issues were not really serious in the big picture, but they did convince me to focus on using the X.Org session for most of my trial.
Kubuntu with backport PPA
I wanted to try running Kubuntu with the latest available Plasma desktop available. There is a page on the KDE website which explains how to enable a repository of backports which provides newer versions of packages. I followed its instructions and, while many packages were updated, when the process was done (and I had rebooted) I was still running Plasma 5.12. The 5.12 release appears to be almost identical, functionally speaking, to the newer 5.15 release on KDE neon.
At first, I saw very little difference between the two projects. Kubuntu and KDE neon support different secondary CPU architectures (32-bit x86 and aarch64, respectively), and the live media boots to a slightly different initial screen, but otherwise the two projects offer very similar first impressions. Kubuntu gives us the option of installing more software with its Normal package set, so it is probably a better choice for less experienced users, however, like the default colour themes, it's a small difference.
Once I got started using the two distributions I still did not notice much difference. KDE neon had a Wayland session available by default while I would need to install Wayland separately on Kubuntu, but otherwise the two projects offered nearly identical experiences in applications, hardware support, settings and software management.
For the first couple of days I did not run into any key features that separated the two, even though the two desktops were running different versions of Plasma. Eventually, I did start to spot a few minor details that set the two projects apart, and I suspect they could all be explained by Kubuntu running a slightly older version of Plasma. The software manager, Discover, had a more polished layout on KDE neon; its elements line up better on the screen. The Spectacle screenshot tool has fewer save options and better defaults on KDE neon too. After a while I started to notice KDE neon offered a slightly more responsive desktop than Kubuntu, though I'm not sure if this resulted from which default services are run or improvements in Plasma's code.
In the end, I came away feeling that both projects, for most people, effectively offer the same experience. Kubuntu's theme looks a little nicer and is a little less bleeding edge. KDE neon offers the very latest KDE software, in stable or cutting-edge editions. Unless a person absolutely needs less common hardware support, or wants to test a brand new KDE feature, I think most users will be equally happy with either distribution.
* * * * *
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, Ralink RT5390R PCIe Wireless card
- Display: AMD Radeon HD 6410D video card
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Debian gears up for an election with no candidates, Ubuntu Studio maintains official Community Flavour status, SUSE becomes independent
The Debian project regularly holds elections for the position of Project Leader. The elections happen in three stages: first candidates are nominated, the nominated developers then state their platforms and campaign, and then the developers vote for their preferred candidate. Developers typically nominate themselves. However, this year the nomination period came and went and no one, including the current Project Leader, entered their name into the race. When this happens, the period for nominations gets extended by an extra week to give potential candidate more time. However, there have been questions raised as to what happens if none of Debian's thousand developers steps forward to become Project Leader? LWN has the answer: "This being Debian, the constitution naturally describes what is to happen in this situation: the nomination period is extended for another week. Any Debian developers who procrastinated past the deadline now have another seven days in which to get their nominations in; the new deadline is March 17. Should this deadline also pass without candidates, it will be extended for another week; this loop will repeat indefinitely until somebody gives in and submits their name.
Meanwhile, though, there is another interesting outcome from this lack of candidates: the election of a new leader, whenever it actually happens, will come after the end of Lamb's term. There is no provision for locking the current leader in the office and requiring them to continue carrying out its duties; when the term is done, it's done. So the project is now certain to have a period of time where it has no leader at all. Some developers seem to relish this possibility."
Since this story was originally published, five candidates have put forward their bid to become the next Debian Project Leader during the extended nomination period. The campaigning candidates are: Joerg Jaspert, Jonathan Carter, Sam Hartman, Martin Michlmayr, and Simon Richter.
* * * * *
Last week we discussed Ubuntu Studio developers working at gaining upload rights to the Ubuntu repositories, a requirement for official community flavours of the Ubuntu family. The Ubuntu Studio team reported two of their team members now have access, fulfilling the requirements and allowing development of Ubuntu Studio 19.04 to continue. "During a meeting of the Ubuntu Developer Membership Board on March 11, 2019, two Ubuntu Studio developers, Council Chair Erich Eickmeyer and Council Member Ross Gammon, successfully applied for and received upload rights to Ubuntu Studio's core packages, fulfilling the requirements...."
* * * * *
SUSE, the company which develops and supports SUSE Linux Enterprise and the community-run openSUSE, has announced that it is becoming an independent entity and will no longer be owned by Micro Focus. SUSE is now independently managed and is adjusting its management positions to match. Details on the change can be found in SUSE's news post.
* * * * *
These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Technology Review (by Jesse Smith)
Managing multiple operating systems on one drive with znx
One of the problems with dual-booting multiple distributions is, typically, each operating system needs to be set up with its own partition - sometimes multiple partitions. This can lead to all sorts of inconveniences if we start out planning to run two operating systems on the same disk and later want to add a third. If we don't have any spare space on the disk, we may end up resizing multiple partitions to make room, risking damage to the existing distributions.
To help deal with this situation, along with other problems related to updating Linux distributions, the Nitrux team is working on a tool called znx. They describe the utility as follows:
znx is a tool that lets you deploy multiple operating systems and keep them updated without having to re-partition the drives. It's all about simplicity and reliability.
How does znx do this? Basically it allows the user to download multiple Linux distributions and write their ISO files to an external drive or a USB thumb drive. The znx tool then sets up a boot menu on the removable drive so that we can select which distribution we want to load. Changes we make and data files we are working on are saved to a partition of the drive, providing persistence. The data partition is set up as a Btrfs volume, making it possible to mount and retrieve files from it on any Linux distribution.
We can download znx as an AppImage archive that should run on any modern Linux distribution. The archives on the project's Releases page do not have the .AppImage extension, instead they are simply called znx_development and znx_stable. The Stable edition is the one I downloaded and its archive is about 1MB in size. The source code for both versions is available.
I downloaded the Stable znx AppImage, made it an executable file and plugged in an external drive. One of the first things I discovered about znx is that it needs to be run by the root user, or using sudo, otherwise it refuses to run, even to display the program's help text. Running "sudo znx -h" does provide useful usage information, including some examples. Here is a short summary of the commands znx will accept:
To get started using znx we need to initialize the external disk we will be using to store multiple distributions. This will wipe the disk of any existing data. We can do this with the znx init command and giving it the name of our external disk:
|init <device>|| Initialize the storage device.
|deploy <device> <image> <URL | path>|| Deploy an image on a storage
|update <device> <image>|| Update the specified image.
|revert <device> <image>|| Revert to the previous version of the image.
|clean <device> <image>|| Remove the backup that is created during an update.
|remove <device> <image>|| Remove the specified image.
|list <device>|| List the deployed images.
sudo ./znx init /dev/sdb
The initialization command sets up two partitions on the target disk. The first is a small, 131MB FAT partition and the second is a Btrfs volume which takes up the remaining space.
We can then download and install (deploy) a distribution by running the deploy command and providing it with the name of the distribution we want to install and the URL of its ISO file. The location of the ISO file can be either a remote URL or a local file on our computer. I started out by trying the example command which downloads and deploys Nitrux:
sudo ./znx deploy /dev/sdb nitrux/stable http://repo.nxos.org:8000/nitrux_release_stable
I discovered a few interesting things early on and one of them is the image name we provide ("nitrux/stable" in this case) must be in the format "distro/branch". For example, "debian/stable". We cannot provide just a distro name such as "Puppy" or "Nitrux". We also cannot put decimal points in the branch name. For instance, "mint/tessa" would be okay, but "mint/19.1" is not. Providing a name znx does not like results in the cryptic error:
znx: Error: The image name must match the extended regular expression: '^[[:alnum:]_-]+/[[:alnum:]_-]+$'.
Assuming the deploy command completes successfully, we can see which distributions are installed on our external drive by running the command
sudo ./znx list /dev/sdb
After confirming Nitrux had installed to my external drive I rebooted the computer and, at first, nothing happened. I soon discovered the problem was my system was booting in legacy BIOS mode. The systems installed by znx only work when the system boots in UEFI mode. Armed with this information I was able to boot into Nitrux and explore the distribution from the external drive. Files I created during the session were saved to the drive's Btrfs volume and could be accessed again in later sessions.
So far things were going well. Once I had sorted out the command line syntax and some more of znx's naming restrictions I felt comfortable with the utility. One other restriction is znx will not allow there to be any spaces in an ISO's filename. Even if the filename's spaces are escaped or the filename is quoted on the command line, znx will still report an error. In other words "slackware-12.0.iso" is okay, but a file called "slackware 12.0.iso" cannot be used.
I then tried installing a few other distributions, including Linux Mint 19.1, Slontoo, and the latest snapshot of Archman GNU/Linux. None of these distributions were able to boot from the znx managed external drive. Each of the distributions appeared in the disk's boot menu, but trying to run them brought up a black screen with the text "Press any key to continue". I would then be returned back to the boot menu. I looked through the znx documentation for clues to fixing this problem, but the supporting documentation is still very brief at this stage and I did not find any help there.
At the moment it looks as though znx might only work with the Nitrux distribution, though that is my conclusion so far based on only four tests. It may be that other distributions will work and I just had a run of poor luck.
In short, at this point I think znx is an interesting idea and I like how easy it makes creating a USB thumb drive I can load up with multiple distributions to try out later. Plus the built-in file persistence is a nice feature. In fact, I have a few more thoughts to share about file persistence.
When we are running a distribution off the external drive, files we create or edit in our home directory get saved to the drive's Btrfs volume. This volume can be mounted from any other distribution, revealing our files under the disk's data directory. When I was running Nitrux, for example, my files ended up under data/home/user/ which was easy enough to find and it made transferring files between my main distribution and the one on the stick a lot easier.
At the moment znx is still in its early stages. It will probably need some polishing to make the command line more forgiving and to get it working with other distributions. Still, the concept is good and I like that it uses Btrfs to do the heavy lifting, allowing us to roll back operating system updates and share data files between systems. The znx tool is off to a good start and I suspect I will be using it more in the coming years once other distributions work seamlessly with it.
|Released Last Week
Univention Corporate Server 4.4-0
Univention Corporate Server (UCS) is an enterprise-class distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. The project's latest release is Univention Corporate Server 4.4-0, which is based on Debian 9 "Stretch". "Univention is pleased to announce the availability of Univention Corporate Server (UCS) 4.4-0, the fourth minor release of UCS 4. It provides several feature improvements and extensions, new properties as well as various improvements and bugfixes. Here is an overview of the most important changes: With this release the new app Admin Diary is available, with which administrative events of all UCS instances of a domain can be viewed and evaluated centrally. Changes to users, groups or other objects in the directory service can be tracked just as easily as updates to servers or (de-)installations of apps. The Admin Diary is delivered as two components: a backend for data storage in an SQL database and a frontend for integration into the UMC. Recording of events is part of UCS 4.4 and is automatically activated when the backend is installed. The self-service app has been enhanced in two areas: End users can now use the self-service web interface not only for changing passwords, but also for editing their own contact information. Administrators can now use the self-service to invite new users by mail. In this process, new users are send a self-service token that they can use to add their password and contact information to the prepared account in the UCS domain." Additional details can be found in the project's release announcement.
Svetlana Savelyeva has announced the release of ROSA R11, a new stable version from the project that develops a set of desktop-oriented distributions (originally forked from Mandriva Linux). The new release is available in four variants featuring KDE 4, KDE Plasma, LXDE and Xfce desktops. Some of the improvements in this release include: updated Linux kernel 4.15; updated desktops - KDE Plasma 22.214.171.124, LXQt 0.14.0 and Xfce 4.13.2; added support for installing system on M.2 and NVME SSD storage devices; added file system support for FfFS flash drives to the ROSA installer; improved graphic subsystem when ROSA is used as a guest system in virtual machines based on KVM and Hyper-V; added firmware to installation images to support Epson scanners; the system now creates a universal initrd instead of a hardware-specific one by default; the new btrfs-progs 4.19.1 now includes support for zstd compression algorithm.... See the release announcement and release notes (both links in Russian) for further information.
ROSA R11 -- Running the Plasma desktop
(full image size: 223kB, resolution: 1920x1080 pixels)
* * * * *
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: 1,307
- Total data uploaded: 24.3TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
Kubuntu or KDE neon
We started this issue with a look at Kubuntu and KDE neon and some of the little differences which separate them. While the two projects have a lot in common, they offer slightly different approaches and we would like to know which one our readers prefer.
You can see the results of our previous poll on automatically starting desktop applications in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Kubuntu or KDE neon
|I prefer Kubuntu: ||342 (19%)|
| I prefer KDE neon: ||349 (20%)|
| I like both the same: ||137 (8%)|
| I do not like either: ||383 (22%)|
| I have not tried them: ||568 (32%)|
DistroWatch database summary
* * * * *
This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 25 March 2019. 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.
|Random Distribution |
WOMP! was a micro Linux distribution focused on multimedia. It takes only 13 to 30MB depending on the selected options on a bootable CD, and allows playing a wide range of multimedia files (video/audio/image) without installing any software on the computer's hard drive. Additionally, WOMP! can also be installed on the hard drive - either to run in memory just like a bootable CD, or to run from a read-only loopback file which was interesting for machines with low memory. It can then be booted either by a floppy boot disk or by a bootable CD. WOMP! uses FrameBuffer for playing videos and X for interacting with the user. Hardware acceleration was provided by vidix. Cards that support vidix include nearly all ATI and Matrox cards, and more recent NVIDIA cards.