| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 821, 1 July 2019
Welcome to this year's 26th issue of DistroWatch Weekly!
Mandriva, previously called Mandrake Linux, was once the go-to distribution for new Linux users and people who wanted to configure their operating systems through a graphical user interface instead of from the command line. Over time most other distributions adopted graphical tools and friendlier installers and Mandriva lost some of the easy-to-use spotlight. However, while Mandriva has faded away into the history books, community projects continue its legacy of providing polished looking, friendly desktop operating systems. This week we begin with a look at OpenMandriva Lx, a project which maintains Mandriva's style while introducing a few new features of its own. In our News section we talk about new technology coming to Fedora Workstation and the GNOME desktop. Plus we talk about work going into making DragonFly BSD's kernel use less memory, and a new TurnKey appliance. Then we discuss the controversy over Ubuntu's plans for 32-bit and provide updates on the situation and explain why phasing out 32-bit support worries some people. Our Opinion Poll then asks how many of our readers still use 32-bit programs, whether they are running on 32-bit or 64-bit machines. Plus we are pleased to share the releases of the past week and list the torrents we are seeding. We wish you all a superb week and happy reading!
- Review: OpenMandriva Lx 4.0
- News: Improvements to Fedora Workstation, DragonFly BSD shrinking kernel memory usage, Turnkey updates several appliances
- Questions and answers: Ubuntu's plan to drop 32-bit packages
- Released last week: SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1, Kodachi 6.1, Raspbian 2019-06-20
- Torrent corner: ArchBang, Bluestar, Container, GParted, Kodachi, KDE neon, Raspbian, Slax, SwagArch,Tails, Trident, Zorin
- Upcoming releases: Debian 10
- Opinion poll: Running 32-bit applications
- Reader comments
|Feature Story (by Jesse Smith)
OpenMandriva Lx 4.0
OpenMandriva is a desktop-oriented distribution that originally grew from the Mandriva family of Linux distributions. Like other community projects which rose from the ashes of Mandriva, OpenMandriva places a focus on providing a polished desktop experience that is easy to install. Unlike most other community distributions in the Mandriva family, OpenMandriva uses the Calamares installer, its own custom settings panel for managing the operating system, and builds packages using the Clang compiler instead of the GNU Compiler Collection.
OpenMandriva 4.0 introduces some other changes too, including using Fedora's DNF command line package manager and switching from using Python 2 to Python 3 by default. Python 2 is still available in the distribution's repositories for people who need to use the older version of the language.
The project's latest release is available in two builds and both of them feature the KDE Plasma desktop and run on 64-bit (x86_64) machines. One build (called "znver1") is for modern CPUs while the other is a generic 64-bit build. I was unable to find any precise information on what the minimal requirements were for running "znver1" and so used the generic build for my trial. There are mentions of ARM support in the project's release notes, but at the time of writing there is just one tarball for an ARM build on the distribution's mirrors.
Curiously, on release day, the release notes also mentioned a LXQt build of OpenMandriva and a minimal desktop build. Neither of these were available on release day and it seems the release notes are out of date (or premature). The release announcement also offers a link to torrent downloads, but there were no torrents available on the server, even a week after OpenMandriva 4.0 was launched. (The following week torrent files were made available.) All of this is to say the documentation did not match what was actually available when version 4.0 became available.
The generic 64-bit build of OpenMandriva was a 2.4GB download. Booting from the project's ISO seemed to get stuck for a minute after passing the boot menu, but eventually a splash screen appeared, followed by a welcome window. The welcome screen offers us information on package versions and displays links to on-line resources. The welcome window also offers to help us change settings, which we can probably skip until after the distribution has been installed.
OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 -- The welcome window
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Dismissing the welcome window presents us with the Plasma desktop. A panel at the bottom of the screen hosts the application menu and a system tray. There are four icons on the desktop for opening the welcome window, launching the Calamares installer, donating to OpenMandriva, and joining the community. The Donate icon opens a browser to a page that links to payment options. The icon for joining the community links to various on-line forums and portals to contribute to the distribution.
Launching the Calamares system installer opens the graphical application and asks us to select our preferred language from a list. The installer also gives us the option of opening a web browser to view OpenMandriva's release notes. We are then walked through selecting our time zone and picking our keyboard's layout from a list. Partitioning is pleasantly straight forward with a nice, simple interface and visual representation of our disk. The installer offered to set up partitions with ext2/3/4, Btrfs, JFS and XFS filesystems. I opted to use ext4 for my root partition. We are then asked to make up a username and password for ourselves and Calamares copies its packages to the hard drive. The whole experience is quite straight forward, allowing us to click "Next" through most steps, and quick.
The locally installed copy of OpenMandriva booted quickly in my test environments and presented a graphical login screen. The distribution offers two session options, Plasma (running on X.Org) and Plasma on Wayland. Signing into either of these sessions brings up the welcome screen again where we are shown information on key components, such as the kernel version, LibreOffice and Plasma. We are also given an overview of OpenMandriva's license.
The welcome screen has a few more tabs. One lists commonly used configuration modules that aid the user in setting up printers and adjusting the display's resolution. Another tab lists software categories and lists up to nine popular applications in each highlighted category. Clicking a button installs the selected package, after we provide our admin password. I tried installing a few items and experienced mixed results. When trying to install Tuxpaint, the install process always failed with an error saying the package was not installed, but with no reason given as to why. Other programs such as SuperTux and FileZilla did install successfully and were immediately added to the application menu. The media codecs package failed to install, again with no reason given, but it didn't matter since I could play any audio or video file I threw at the default media players.
I liked the theme and layout of OpenMandriva's desktop. It uses a mostly dark theme with bright, detailed icons and the text is pleasantly high-contrast. There were no pop-ups or other distractions. Plasma stayed out of my way and worked smoothly. The only tweak I had to make was disabling the screen locking function which would kick in after just five minutes of inactivity. This is an easy adjustment to make through Plasma's System Settings panel and the option is even shown as a short-cut on the first page of the panel to make the process quicker.
When I started playing with OpenMandriva I was running it in a VirtualBox instance. For the most part, the distribution worked well in the virtual machine. The desktop operated quickly, my host computer's full screen resolution was used and programs ran smoothly. I found the Wayland session would not work for me; trying to login to Plasma on Wayland just caused the display to lock up. However, everything else worked. I also noticed Plasma used more of my host's CPU than usual. Sitting idle at the desktop used 15% of my host's CPU, about triple what I usually expect to see. Opening the application menu and just leaving it open increased CPU usage to 20%.
OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 -- Browsing the application menu
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These performance concerns did not affect OpenMandriva when running directly on physical hardware. On my workstation, the distribution offered even better performance and relatively low CPU usage. All of my hardware was detected and the operating system was stable.
I found a fresh install of the distribution used 5.8GB of disk space and Plasma consumed 440MB of RAM. Both of these seem pretty normal when compared next to other distribution running recent versions of the Plasma desktop.
OpenMandriva ships with some familiar programs, though there is a tendency to use KDE/Qt applications over more popular alternatives. For instance OpenMandriva uses Falkon as the default browser instead of Firefox, KMail instead of Thunderbird, KTorrent over Transmission, and so on. Konservation and Kopete are included for on-line messaging, the LibreOffice suite is available, and Okular is present for viewing PDFs. The Dolphin file manager is included along with the Kwave sound editor and the Kdenlive video editor. The Kamoso webcam utility is available along with the Krita drawing program and the digiKam photo manager.
The distribution ships with the mpv and VLC media players along with multimedia codecs that played everything I threw at the system. The KDE help documentation is installed and offers a nice guide to available applications. We are also treated to Java, and a couple of text editors, including Kate and KWrite. In the background OpenMandriva uses systemd as the init implementation and runs on version 5.1.9 of the Linux kernel.
OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 -- Running the Falkon browser and Konsole
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While the distribution tends to favour KDE/Qt applications, alternatives are often available in the repositories, though I found I often did not need to use them. The software included in OpenMandriva, and the additional programs presented by the welcome window, generally provided me with the functionality I wanted during the week.
I ran into just a few problems relating to OpenMandriva's default software selection. For instance, when running Falkon from the live disc, whenever the browser would open I was repeatedly asked to create a passphrase for KWallet. This password prompt popped up at least three times whenever Falkon was opened and was annoying. The password prompt did not appear once OpenMandriva was installed, so the problem took care of itself.
An ongoing problem I noticed was that if I typed a command at the terminal which was not available (usually due to a typo) the shell would pause for a long time, then print a list of similar program names. Sometimes a suggestion was provided for another package we might want to download. While this feature is well meaning, it is ultimately more annoying than helpful as it slows down the command line experience and does not always provide helpful suggestions.
OpenMandriva Control Centre
Members of the Mandriva family are famous for their beginner friendly, powerful Control Centre. While this settings panel gets rebranded slightly for each distribution, the tools and presentation have largely stayed the same over the past decade or more. Until now.
OpenMandriva offers users a new settings panel, called OpenMandriva Control Centre. The new centre places tabs of categories along the top of the window instead of to the left. These tabs are labelled Software, Hardware, Network, System, and Security - much the same as the old panel. The tools this centre launches are often different than the old Drake tools used by the classic centres.
From the Software page we can launch the dnfdragora package manager, click buttons to enable or disable extra software repositories and launch the KBackup archiving tool. The Hardware tab presents modules for changing display settings, setting up printers and adjusting audio controls. The Network tab naturally helps us set up network connections.
OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 -- The Control Centre
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The System tab is more diverse, presenting us with tools for managing user accounts, enabling/disabling background services, enabling a guest account, setting the system clock and adjusting the desktop theme. Finally, the Security page can launch a firewall configuration tool and change the way users sign in.
I don't mind change when it streamlines things or offers a better approach to getting things done. And sometimes the new control panel does offer a fresh perspective. For instance, OpenMandriva has several additional repositories and if you try to navigate the many options through the package manager one can easily get lost trying to figure out which one we need. However, the new settings panel lets us enable the key repositories with a click or two and that is nice to have. Likewise, being able to enable the guest account with a single click is nice. I like that this distro does not assume we want a guest account while making it super easy to set up one.
That being said, I did run into some frustrations while using the new Control Centre. For instance, while it is easy to enable new repositories, not much information is provided to describe what the different repositories hold. I can enable the Non-Free, Restricted and Unsupported repositories with a click, but I don't know what is in each one. What is the difference between Non-Free and Restricted? The settings panel doesn't tell us so we need to find out elsewhere.
Most of the tools in the Control Centre need admin access to run and so I found it frustrating that I was prompted for my admin password each time I opened a new module. It would have been nice if the settings panel prompted once and passed that permission onto each module we opened.
My final complaint was that several of the tools provided throw lots of options at the user and have cluttered interfaces. The firewall tool is probably the best example of this. It features three panes and two sets of filter tabs and lists all known service names we can allow or block. There are nine different preset firewall profiles we can use. All of this is packed into one screen and it feels like overkill for a default firewall tool - probably better suited to servers in a business environment than a workstation or laptop that may be used in a couple of locations.
The background services tool felt the same way. There are two set of filters to help us navigate nearly 400 service units. This makes for a lot of clutter and extras to sift through looking for one item we want to turn on or off. The KBackup tool has a similarly busy interface. Like the above utilities, it works, but it throws everything at the user at once, as opposed to the streamlined nature of, for example, Deja Dup. To make matters worse, KBackup defaulted to saving user archives in a public location under the /usr directory instead of a private location, making it harder to protect (and even find) newly created archives.
While the new Control Centre handles low-level operating system adjustments, the Plasma desktop can be tweaked through the System Settings panel. Plasma offers lot of options, with over a dozen category groupings and a search function to help us navigate them all. Personally, I liked most of OpenMandriva's default desktop settings and did not use the System Settings panel much, but it offers a great deal of flexibility for people who want to change things.
OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 -- The System Settings panel
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Software management on OpenMandriva is primarily handled by a program called dnfdragora. This application displays groups of packages to the left of the window and specific packages, listed in alphabetical order, on the right. There are filter options to narrow down displayed items based on whether they are installed or not. Software packages are listed with their name and a brief summary. We can select which packages we want to install or remove by clicking a button next to the package's name and then clicking another button to apply our changes.
Generally speaking, I found dnfdragora worked smoothly for me. The software manager handles installs, removals and updates. We can launch dnfdragora from a variety of locations, including the Control Centre and from an icon in the system tray. The application was responsive and I did not run into any issues with it.
OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 -- The dnfdragora package manager
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I did find that the list of available software seemed limited. I'm not sure if I was missing a key add-on repository, but the options of what was available, versus what was not, was unusual. For instance I could find no package for the Calibre e-book manager, relatively few games and few terminal emulators. There was a copy of the relatively rarely used Lumina desktop, but I found no results when searching for the popular Xfce desktop. I did see more options after enabling the extra repositories, but I still came up short on some searches.
For people who prefer to work from the command line, OpenMandriva includes the DNF package manager. It also worked smoothly and I encountered no problems while using DNF.
Exploring OpenMandriva was a mostly positive experience for me, with the occasional rough patch. Right from the start I was wary going into this experiment as the documentation and release announcement did not always match what was available. After that, things looked up as OpenMandriva was straight forward to install and worked properly with all of my hardware.
Desktop performance was good, certainly better than average. The Plasma desktop ran smoother than usual, perhaps a positive side-effect of using a different compiler?
This distribution does not offer as many software options as Fedora or Debian, though there were enough packages for me to get my work done during the week without difficulty.
My one serious concern was how complex the settings modules were in the Control Centre and how different some features felt from the norm. The services and backup managers were prime examples of this unusual level of complexity. There were other little things too, like dnfdragora always defaulting to showing available updates when it opened, rather than available software. This means the user needs to adjust filters before they can see what is available to install. It is a small feature, but one which is likely to trip up people who have not used dnfdragora in the past.
On the whole, OpenMandriva is a friendly, fast, and useful distribution. Personally, I'd like to see some administration tools and a few desktop applications swapped out for more popular, and more streamlined, alternatives. But generally I think OpenMandriva offered a good desktop experience that will appeal to most users.
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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
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Visitor supplied rating
OpenMandriva has a visitor supplied average rating of: 8.4/10 from 32 review(s).
Have you used OpenMandriva? You can leave your own review of the project on our ratings page.
|Miscellaneous News (by Jesse Smith)
Improvements to Fedora Workstation, DragonFly BSD shrinking kernel memory usage, Turnkey updates several appliances
Christian F.K. Schaller has written a detailed blog post about work going into Fedora 31 which should make the operating system more attractive to desktop users. Schaller outlines improvements to GNOME, getting Wayland and XWayland to work smoothly with NVIDIA's binary drivers, fingerprint reader support, and building more applications as Flatpak packages. In particular, Flatpaks may soon be able to use a common, Red Hat supported base. "Work on Flatpak in Fedora is continuing. Current focus is on improving the infrastructure for building Flatpaks from RPMS and automating what we can.This is pre-requisite work for eventually starting to ship some applications as Flatpaks by default and eventually shipping all applications as Flatpaks by default. We are also working on setting things up so that we can offer applications from flathub.io and quay.io out of the box and in accordance with Fedora rules for 3rd party software. We are also making progress on making a Red Hat UBI based runtime available. This means that as a 3rd party developer you can use that to build your applications on top of and be certain that it will be stay around and be supported by Red Hat for the lifetime of a given RHEL release, which means around 10 years."
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People running DragonFly BSD may have noticed their operating system is consuming less RAM these days, due to improvements in the kernel. Efforts have been made to free up RAM from the kernel, making more memory available to userland processes: "The prime motivation for this commit is to target about 1/20 (5%) of physical memory for use by the kernel. These changes significantly reduce kernel memory usage on systems with less than 4GB of RAM (and more specific for systems with less than 1TB of RAM), and also place more reasonable caps on systems with 128GB+ of RAM. These changes return 100-200MB of RAM to userland on systems with 1GB of RAM, and return around 6.5GB of RAM on systems with 128GB of RAM." Further details on these memory improvements can be found in Matthew Dillon's mailing list post.
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TurnKey Linux is a project which publishes a library of ready-to-use software services which are designed to immediately work once the operating system is installed. This makes setting up a web server, forum or torrent server (to name a few) very quick and easy. The TurnKey project has published many new updates and bug fixes, along with a new appliance: "TurnKey Redis appliance is a new addition to the library. Redis can be used as a database, cache or message broker. It supports many different data structures. Redis has a range of advanced features. It is generally used in conjunction with other software (especially when used as a DB or cache) but can be set up in a cluster and/or for High Availability (HA) - hence the value of it as a stand-alone appliance." Further details on the available updated packages can be found in the project's blog post.
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These and other news stories can be found on our Headlines page.
|Questions and Answers (by Jesse Smith)
Ubuntu's plan to drop 32-bit packages
Should-we-mourn-32-bit asks: What is the deal with Ubuntu dropping 32-bit builds? Aren't most distributions already 64-bit? It seems like this should not be a big deal, so what am I missing and what possible affect could it have on the Linux community?
DistroWatch answers: In case some of our readers have not heard, one of Ubuntu's developers announced recently that Ubuntu 19.10 (and presumably future versions) would no longer offer new 32-bit packages. A key element of this announcement is that Ubuntu is not just dropping installation media for 32-bit machines (as several distributions have), they are also ceasing builds of updated 32-bit packages.
Often times a distribution will stop supporting 32-bit builds, meaning you cannot install their newer versions on computers running 32-bit CPUs. We need to download the 64-bit build (ISO file) to install the distribution and it will only run on 64-bit computers. However, it is usually still possible to install and run 32-bit packages on a 64-bit operating system. This is because 64-bit kernels can still run 32-bit applications and many 64-bit distributions still provide 32-bit copies of libraries in their repositories.
What the Ubuntu team appeared to be saying was that they will not only cease providing 32-bit ISO files, preventing their distribution from running on 32-bit machines, but they are also working on cutting out 32-bit libraries at some point in the future. "This means we will not provide 32-bit builds of new upstream versions of libraries," was a key phrase in the announcement. The result is that 32-bit programs, which rely on having 32-bit libraries available on the system, will no longer work.
I feel it is important to note two things at this point. The first is that while the Ubuntu team has indicated they will not be providing new versions of 32-bit packages, at least one developer has said the distribution plans on providing existing 32-bit packages for Ubuntu 19.10. What this would mean is Ubuntu 19.10 users would be able to install the same 32-bit packages that are already available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. This is not ideal, as those packages are older, but it would provide a level of 32-bit support.
The second important point is that it seems the Ubuntu team is still sorting out how to handle the transition away from 32-bit. The intention is there to phase out 32-bit packages, but the exact method and time-line is still being worked on. Right now it looks like Ubuntu will be providing some 32-bit packages for Ubuntu 19.10 and 20.04, though which ones and with how much support is still unclear. In other words, if you use 32-bit software: don't panic - nothing is set in stone yet.
For some people this potential lack of 32-bit packages won't be a big deal. Most open source software is perfectly capable of running in pure 64-bit environments and the Ubuntu team seems to be counting on this fact to let them drop 32-bit packages in the future. However, there are some important corner cases to be considered.
One of these is that most Windows software is either 32-bit or uses 32-bit installers. This means running Windows programs through WINE may no longer be an option if this plan goes through. Likewise, some older programs which haven't been ported to 64-bit will need to be dropped or patched. Another potential victim of the move to pure 64-bit environments is Steam, which runs using 32-bit libraries.
In short, while most open source software works perfectly well in the pure 64-bit environment Ubuntu's team is proposing, there are some important exceptions and non-free corner cases which would stop working if this plan is implemented. This is making some people, particularly gamers who use Steam and people who run Linux but have a Windows program they need for work, upset.
To be fair to Ubuntu's developers, there are ways to get 32-bit programs running on an otherwise pure 64-bit system. Snap packages may offer an alternative, along with Linux containers. In a pinch, a virtual machine could be used to run a 32-bit compatible system on the desktop. Some enterprising people could set up PPA repositories with needed 32-bit dependencies. However, all of these approaches have important limitations or drawbacks. They generally rely on enabling third-party repositories, or large downloads, or performance handicaps. None of them would be nearly as smooth and transparent as the existing, multi-architecture packages available in the default repositories.
A bigger concern though is: who makes and supports the 32-bit solutions? It seems Ubuntu does not want to put the effort into maintaining a 32-bit repository in the long-term that is kept up to date, so that leaves the question of who will provide 32-bit packages. At the moment it seems unlikely that WINE or Valve (the company behind Steam) will step forward to fill the gap, leaving it up to members of the Ubuntu community to provide a solution.
Unfortunately, this change (in whatever form it takes) is not going to only affect Ubuntu. There are approximately 50 distributions based on Ubuntu. In the long term, once support for Ubuntu's 18.04 LTS branch reaches the end of its life, those 50+ projects are also going to want a solution to enable their users to run 32-bit software.
There are some potential solutions to the current plan to phase out 32-bit packages from Ubuntu. For instance, some people have discussed setting up an add-on repository (PPA) which would provide all the same 32-bit libraries Ubuntu currently offers. There have been suggestions that System76 will set up a 32-bit package repository for Pop!_OS which would, in turn, be compatible with Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distributions. It is even possible the Ubuntu team will reconsider their course and maintain 32-bit packages for a longer period of time.
However, if none of those alternatives appeal, there are still plenty of Linux distributions which are either 32-bit or make it possible to run 32-bit packages on a 64-bit base. In fact, I think there are about 75 in our database which offer a 32-bit build and are not based on Ubuntu, so people still running 32-bit applications have plenty of options.
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Additional answers can be found in our Questions and Answers archive.
|Released Last Week
Eben Upton has announced the release of a major new version of Raspbian, a Debian-based distribution for the Raspberry Pi single-board computers. The updated build, version 2019-06-20, is the first image based on the upcoming release of Debian 10 "Buster". Information about the new Raspbian was provided as part of today's blog post announcing the brand-new Raspberry Pi 4: "To support Raspberry Pi 4, we are shipping a radically overhauled operating system, based on the forthcoming Debian 10 'Buster' release. This brings numerous behind-the-scenes technical improvements, along with an extensively modernised user interface, and updated applications including the Chromium 74 web browser. ... Some advice for those who are keen to get going with Raspbian Buster right away: we strongly recommend you download a new image, rather than upgrading an existing card. This ensures that you’re starting with a clean, working Buster system. If you really, really want to try upgrading, make a backup first."
Raspbian 2019-06-20 -- Running a graphical interface
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SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1
The SUSE team has announced the release of a new service pack (SP) for SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE). The new update, SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1, offers security improvements, techniques to reduce downtime during security patches, and a smoother transition from openSUSE Leap to SUSE Linux Enterprise: "Improved hardware-based data security - This release offers full support for AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) technology. SEV enables guest virtual machines to run in encrypted memory, helping to protect them from memory scrape attacks from the hypervisor. Enhanced Arm server support - In SP1, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm 15 has doubled the number of supported System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processor options. Reduced downtime for updates - Transactional updates (a tech preview with SP1) offer a significant reduction in the maintenance window for updates, providing more production uptime. Simplified installation with enhanced Modular+ - The Unified Installer can now be used to install more portfolio products, including SUSE Manager, SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time and SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service. Faster and easier transition from community Linux to enterprise Linux - It now takes just a few clicks for developers and operations to move a openSUSE Leap system to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server." See the release announcement for further details.
Linux Kodachi 6.1
Warith Al Maawali has announced the release of Linux Kodachi 6.1, the latest stable build of the project's Xubuntu-based distribution and live DVD with built-in privacy and anonymity features: "Version 6.1 based on Xubuntu 18.04 LTS. Changelog: Linux kernel upgrade from 4.19 to 5.0; added Zelcore wallet; added Sphere anonymous browser; added Remmina remote tool; added simplescreenrecorder; added Riot chat; added Tox chat; added Zswap swap compression tool; added XnView; added IP verify on security services; added Mullvad VPN service; added Mullvad DNS; added 3 new profiles for Kodachi browser (Light, Loaded, Noscript and Ghacks); added Firefox plugins (Privacy badger, Decentraleyes, Multi Account containers, AudioContext finger printing, Private bookmarks, Do not track me Google, Searchonymous, NoScript, LibreJSCanvas Defender, PeerName); added new bookmarks on Kodachi browser; added BTC donations balance - now you can see how much Kodachi has received in donations live on the screen; Conky performance improvement lsof to lsof -n; memory tools will now show you keyboard status as well; fixed a bug where VPN password is rejected if it contains the $ character; fixed a few DNS bugs." Here is the complete changelog.
Project Trident 19.06
Project Trident is a rolling release operating system based on TrueOS. The project latest release, Project Trident 19.06, features many application and base package upgrades. "This is a significant package update for the repository, not just for applications, but also for some of the base system packages. There are a lot of changes from upstream FreeBSD and TrueOS in this release, from additional '-bootstrap' base packages to the renaming of the 'zol' flavor of base packages to 'nozfs', as the 'zol' version of the ZFS packages was also renamed to 'openzfs'. In addition to this, a ton of the default settings from upstream TrueOS were changed. We have tried to track down and re-enable every setting which Project Trident needed from TrueOS, but if you find some functional regression (particularly when it comes to which kernel modules are loaded by default), please let us know so that we can track that down and re-enable any additional settings as needed." Further details can be found in the project's release announcement.
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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: 1,473
- Total data uploaded: 26.2TB
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Opinion Poll (by Jesse Smith)
Running 32-bit applications
In this week's Questions and Answers column we talked about some cases where it is still useful to have 32-bit packages on a 64-bit operating system. Having 32-bit libraries means it is possible to run older or proprietary software that is not 64-bit compatible.
When we like to know if you still run 32-bit software, whether it is on a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system.
You can see the results of our previous poll on running Android applications on GNU/Linux in last week's edition. All previous poll results can be found in our poll archives.
Running 32-bit applications
|I run 32-bit applications on a 32-bit OS: ||419 (22%)|
| I run 32-bit applications on a 64-bit OS: ||862 (45%)|
| I do not run 32-bit applications: ||511 (27%)|
| Unsure: ||115 (6%)|
|Website News (by Jesse Smith)
DistroWatch database summary
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This concludes this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The next instalment will be published on Monday, 8 July 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|
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|Random Distribution |
Linux Bootable Business Card (LNX-BBC)
The LNX-BBC was a miniature Linux-based GNU distribution, small enough to fit on a CD-ROM that has been cut, pressed, or molded to the size and shape of a business card. In 1999 Duncan MacKinnon, Tom Crimi, and Seth David Schoen started work on the project at Linuxcare. Linuxcare printed 10,000 copies of the "Linuxcare Bootable Business Card" to be distributed at the then-upcoming LinuxWorld Conference and Expo. The give-away mini CD-ROMs were a huge success and have generated steady praise and thanks for their rescue capabilities, attracting many other developers to the project. The BBC went through seven versions, five of which were pressed into business-card sized CD-ROMs and handed out at trade shows or distributed by mail to Linux User Groups around the world.