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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 485

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Linux

Welcome to this year's 49th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Creating new distributions is a popular pastime nowadays and many developers are happy to hack around to build something that would incorporate their unique and interesting ideas. This week's feature story looks at a trio of lesser-known Linux distributions - the Debian-based Snowlinux 3, the Arch-based Manjaro Linux 0.8.2 and the CRUX-based Kwort Linux 3.5. Can they compete on the already highly crowded free operating system market? Read on to find out Jesse Smith's findings. In the news section, Linux Mint releases a set of re-spun DVD images to address critical issues discovered in version 14, Fedora continues to work on the redesigned Anaconda system installer, and Debian fine-tunes the upcoming "Wheezy" release with focus on bug-fixing. Also in this issue, how would you define a "distribution" and how is one different from a re-spin? Finally, don't miss the link to an interview with Canonical's Jane Silber where she talks about the future of Ubuntu. Happy reading!

Content:

Reviews: Quick looks ta Snowlinux 3, Manjaro Linux 0.8.2 and Kwort Linux 3.5
News: Linux Mint releases updated images, Fedora redesigns Anaconda, Debian intensifies "Wheezy" bug fixing, Ubuntu defends Unity
Questions and Answers: Defining a distribution
Released last week: Salix OS 14.0 "Xfce", aptosid 2012-01
New additions: VAST (VIPER Assessment Security Tools)
New distributions: Cylon Linux, Rebellin
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More in Tux Machines

Kernel Space/Linux

  • Linux Kernel 4.7.6 Is Out with MIPS and OCFS2 Improvements, Updated Drivers
    Today, September 30, 2016, renowned Linux kernel developer Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the release of the sixth maintenance update to the latest stable Linux 4.7 kernel series. Linux kernel 4.7.6 comes only five days after the release of the previous maintenance version, Linux kernel 4.7.5, and, according to the appended shortlog and the diff from the last update, it changes a total of 76 files, with 539 insertions and 455 deletions. In summary, it updates multiple drivers, adds improvements to various filesystems and hardware architectures, and improves the networking stack.
  • Linux Kernel 4.4.23 LTS Has ARM and MIPS Improvements, Updated Filesystems, More
    Immediately after announcing the release of Linux kernel 4.7.6, Greg Kroah-Hartman proudly informed the community about the general availability of the Linux 4.4.23 LTS kernel. The Linux 4.4 kernel is a long-term supported branch, the latest and most advanced one, used in many stable and reliable GNU/Linux operating systems, including Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) and Alpine Linux 3.4. Therefore, it is imperative for it to receive regular updates that bring fixes to the most important issues, as well as other general improvements.
  • From NFS to LizardFS
    If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that we started our data servers out using NFS on ext4 mirrored over DRBD, hit some load problems, switched to btrfs, hit load problems again, tried a hacky workaround, ran into problems, dropped DRBD for glusterfs, had a major disaster, switched back to NFS on ext4 mirrored over DRBD, hit more load problems, and finally dropped DRBD for ZFS.
  • IBM's Ginni Rometty Tells Bankers Not To Rest On Their Digital Laurels
  • BUS1, The Successor To KDBUS, Formally Unveiled -- Aiming For Mainline Linux Kernel
    BUS1 has been in development as an in-kernel IPC mechanism building off the failed KDBUS project. An "RFC" will soon be sent out to Linux kernel developers about BUS1 and the subject will be discussed at next month's Kernel Summit. David Herrmann, one of the BUS1 developers, presented at this week's systemd.conf conference about the new capability-based IPC for Linux. He talked about how BUS1 is superior to KDBUS, how BUS1 is similar to Android's Binder, Chrome's Mojo, Solaris' Doors, and other common IPC implementations.
  • A New Wireless Daemon Is In Development To Potentially Replace wpa_supplicant
    In addition to the BUS1 presentation, also exciting from the systemd.conf 2016 conference is a thorough walkthrough of a new wireless daemon for Linux being developed by Intel's Open-Source Technology Center. Intel has been developing a new wireless daemon for Linux to potentially replace wpa_supplicant. This new daemon isn't yet public but the code repositories for it will be opened up in the next few weeks. This new daemon has improvements around persistency, WiFi management, reduced abstractions for different operating systems and legacy interfaces, and changes to operation. This daemon is designed to be very lightweight and work well for embedded Linux use-cases especially, including IoT applications.

Software and Games

Red Hat and Fedora

  • Red Hat, Logicalis in digital transformation partnership in Latin America
    PromonLogicalis, a provider of information technology and communication solutions and services in Latin America, and Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, announced a collaboration that aim to help organizations navigate the digital transformation of their infrastructures to pave the way for cloud and the software-defined technologies, and to advance open source technology awareness in the region. Open source is delivering significant advancements in many areas of technology through community-powered innovation, including cloud computing, mobile, big data, and more. And, as companies embrace modern technology as a competitive advantage via digital transformation efforts, many are turning to open source because of the flexibility and agility it can enable.
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  • An Easy Way To Try Intel & RADV Vulkan Drivers On Fedora 24
    Fedora 25 should have good support for the open-source Vulkan Linux drivers (particularly if it lands the next Mesa release) while Fedora 24 users can now more easily play with the latest Mesa Git RADV and Intel ANV Vulkan drivers via a new repository. A Phoronix reader has setup a Fedora Copr repository that is building Intel's Vulkan driver from Mesa Git plus the RADV Radeon Vulkan driver re-based from its source (David Airlie's semi-interesting GitHub branch). Fedora COPR, for the uninformed, is the distribution's equivalent to Ubuntu PPA repositories.
  • Meeting users, lots of users
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Linux Devices

  • 96Boards SBCs host Intel Joule and Curie IoT modules
    Gumstix announced two SBCs this week, based on Intel Joule and Curie IoT modules and built to 96Boards CE and IE form-factor specifications, respectively. At Linaro Connect Las Vegas 2016, where earlier this week Linaro’s 96Boards.org announced a new 96Boards IoT Edition (IE) spec, Gumstix announced support for 96Boards.org’s open SBC standards with two new single-board computers. Both SBCs will be available for purchase in October.
  • ORWL — First Open Source And Physically Secure PC, Runs Linux And Windows
    ORWL is the first open source, physically secure computer. Using a secure microcontroller (MCU) and an ‘active clamshell mesh’, the device makes sure that nobody breaks the security of the system. Its maker, Design Shift, has also launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply.
  • Purism Is Still Hoping To Build A GNU/Linux Free Software Librem Smartphone
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