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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 517

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News

Welcome to this year's 29th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Converting computer users from Windows to Linux isn't always an easy task, but there are distributions that try hard to recreate a Windows-like experience in Linux to make new users feel more at home in their new operating system. One of such distributions is Zorin OS. The "Lite" edition of the project's latest version is the subject of this week's review by Jesse Smith who enjoyed the experience despite not being the distribution's target market.

The featured article is followed by a news section which starts with a celebratory article on the 20th anniversary of Slackware Linux, then continues with the weekend report about a security breach at UbuntuForums.org before concluding with two interesting articles about UberStudent, an Ubuntu-based distribution for students, and Raspbian, a Debian-based distro for the Raspberry Pi minicomputer. Also in this week's issue, a Questions and Answers section on the importance of the Tor anonymity network, an introduction to a distribution that features no fewer than 53 window managers on one live CD, and the usual regular sections with the weekly release roundup.

Happy reading!




More in Tux Machines

CORD becomes a Linux Foundation project

Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD), an open source integrated solutions platform for service providers leveraging merchant silicon, white boxes, and open source platforms such as Open Network Operating System (ONOS), OpenStack, Docker, and the cloud operating system XOS, is now part of the Linux Foundation as a new independent project. The Linux foundation is already home to many open source networking projects, including OpenDaylight and ONOS, so CORD is a natural fit for the non-profit foundation. Read more

Google beefs Linux up kernel defenses in Android

Future versions of Android will be more resilient to exploits thanks to developers' efforts to integrate the latest Linux kernel defenses into the operating system. Android's security model relies heavily on the Linux kernel that sits at its core. As such, Android developers have always been interested in adding new security features that are intended to prevent potentially malicious code from reaching the kernel, which is the most privileged area of the operating system. Read more

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal. Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it! Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it. One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk. This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing. Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time. Read more

Proprietary and Microsoft Software