After the Debian Desktop Team made the call for proposing themes, a total of twelve choices have been submitted, and any Debian contributor has received the opportunity to vote on them in a survey. We received 3,479 responses ranking the different choices, and softWaves has been the winner among them.
LinkSprite’s $25, 64 x 50mm “pcDuino4 Nano” SBC is a re-spin of FriendlyARM’s NanoPi M1, offering a quad-core H3, Raspberry Pi expansion, and 3x USB ports.
Can you be a pcDuino without the Duino? For its latest open source pcDuino board, LinkSprite has switched from Arduino compatibility to a 40-pin Raspberry Pi expansion interface, breaking the mold of the three pcDuino SBCs, and five models total, that made it into our June HackerBoard SBC survey. The new pcDuino4 Nano, which is on pre-sale for $25, follows the $40 pcDuino3 Nano, which fell directly in the middle of the pack of our reader rankings of community-backed SBCs, but was the most popular of the pcDuino models overall.
After releasing the first Test build of the upcoming Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 "Nev" operating system a couple of days ago, today, October 23, 2016, the Parsix GNU/Linux development team announced the availability of new security updates for all supported Parsix GNU/Linux releases.
Parsix GNU/Linux 8.10 "Erik" is the current stable release of the Debian-based operating system, and it relies on the Debian Stable (Debian GNU/Linux 8 "Jessie") software repositories. On the other hand Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 "Nev" is the next major version, which right now is in development, but receives the same updates as the former.
What do distributions like Qube OS, Subgraph, Tails, and Whonix have in common? Besides an emphasis on security and privacy, all of them are Debian derivatives -- and, probably, this common origin is not accidental.
At first, this trend seems curious. After all, other distributions ranging from Slackware and Gentoo to Arch Linux all emphasize security and privacy in their selection of tools. In particular, Fedora's SE Linux can be so restrictive that some users would rather disable it than learn how to configure it. By contrast, while Debian carries many standard security and privacy tools, it has seldom emphasized them.
Similarly, Debian's main branch consists of only free and open source software, its contrib and non-free branches not being official parts of the distribution. With many security experts favoring the announcement of vulnerabilities and exploit code rather than relying on security through obscurity, the way that many pieces of proprietary software do, this transparency has obvious appeal.
Yet although the advantage of free software to security and privacy is that the code can be examined for backdoors and malware, this advantage is hardly unique to Debian. To one or degree another, it is shared by all Linux distributions.
More from Susan: Why Use Linux, Systemd Complications, Debian's Security
There are probably some people living in the world today who still haven't heard of systemd, though I doubt that any of them read DistroWatch. More digital ink has been spilled debating the topic of init systems than any other in techie history. There is probably nothing I can say about systemd that hasn't already been said, and no argument either for or against it that hasn't been repeated ad nauseum. So I won't waste this review seeking converts for The Cause™. I don't expect the issue to be finally settled until the Sun swells up to become a red giant and evaporates the Earth.
Geeks determined to resist the systemd juggernaut have several options. For me, the most interesting project is Devuan, a fork of Debian. I will say by way of disclosure that I have downloaded Devuan, installed it, used it for months, and like it. However, it does have a few flaws - the installer in particular needs some more work. The first beta forces you to do a network install that - depending on your Internet connection speed - can take an hour or more. This has defeated curious newbies who decide to give up long before the first boot-up prompt appeared.
It was my search for a quick and easy way to get Devuan up and running that led me to Refracta, a unique distro that fills a niche that has long been neglected. Refracta's existence predates the systemd wars - it was originally based on Debian 5.0, otherwise known as "Lenny." But when Debian 8.0 "Jessie" went full systemd, Refracta moved to the Devuan camp.
Refracta's chief selling point is this: it's a live image that can be quickly installed, customized, and re-installed back to live media again. So basically you can roll your own live CD, configured for your hardware and tweaked to suit your personal tastes. It is currently my favorite distro, and I'd recommend it to any Linux geek who has had a little bit of experience. A total Linux newbie might feel more comfortable with a distro that mimics Windows' point-and-click friendliness, but once you've got the basics down, Refracta is easy to get used to.
It's also worth mentioning that even without being installed, a Refracta live CD or USB stick makes an excellent diagnostic and rescue tool. It contains quite a few command line utilities that aren't in a default Devuan or Debian installation, including gddrescue, testdisk, smartmontools, hdparm, lm-sensors, iftop, and iptraf. I have personally used testdisk to recover data from a crashed hard drive.
It's been a few months since Next Thing Co's C.H.I.P. computer was successfully funded on Kickstarter as "the world's first $9 computer" along with the PocketCHIP, a C.H.I.P. powered, battery-backed handheld with physical keyboard. Next Thing Co shipped to their backers over the summer whole in November they expects to begin shipping mass production orders on the CHIP and PocketCHIP. Over the past few weeks I've been playing with these low-cost ARM devices.