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Debian

Why Debian Is the Gold Standard of Upstream Desktop Linux

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Linux
Debian

If you don’t follow the fortunes of Linux distributions, you might think that the days of Debian’s dominance are long since gone. However, superficial appearances can be deceiving. Not only does Debian consistently appear in the top ten of Distrowatch’s page hit ranking, it’s used as the base of the majority of other distributions as well, far eclipsing rivals like Fedora and Red Hat or openSuse. In fact, Debian might be said to be the most influential distro ever.

That may seem an overstatement, but the figures are hard to argue with. For at least eight years, Debian has been by far the most dominant distribution. Some details of its dominance have changed, but the overall pattern has been constant. Without Debian, modern Linux would be vastly different.

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BlackWeb 1.2

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Reviews
Debian

BlackWeb is a penetration and security testing distribution based on Debian. The project's website presents the distribution's features as follows:

BlackWeb is a Linux distribution aimed at advanced penetration testing and security auditing. BlackWeb contains several hundred tools which are geared towards various information security tasks, such as penetration testing, security research, computer forensics and reverse engineering. Starting from an appropriately configured LXDE desktop manager it offers stability and speed. BlackWeb has been designed with the aim of achieving the maximum performance and minimum consumption of resources.

There are 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x86_64) builds of BlackWeb available on the distribution's website. I downloaded the 64-bit build which is 2.6GB in size. Booting from the media brings up a menu asking if we would like to try BlackWeb's live desktop, run the installer or run the graphical installer. Taking the live desktop options presents us with a graphical login screen where we can sign in with the username "root" and the password "blackweb".

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Free as in Sausage Making: Inside the Debian Project

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Debian

Recently, we’ve been having some discussion around the use of non-free software and services in doing our Debian work. In judging consensus surrounding a discussion of Git packaging, I said that we do not have a consensus to forbid the use of non-free services like Github. I stand behind that consensus call. Ian Jackson, who initially thought that I misread the consensus later agreed with my call.

I have been debating whether it would be wise for me as project leader to say more on the issue. Ultimately I have decided to share my thoughts. Yes, some of this is my personal opinion. Yet I think my thoughts resonate with things said on the mailing list; by sharing my thoughts I may help facilitate the discussion.

We are bound together by the Social Contract. Anyone is welcome to contribute to Debian so long as they follow the Social Contract, the DFSG, and the rest of our community standards. The Social Contract talks about what we will build (a free operating system called Debian). Besides SC #3 (we will not hide problems), the contract says very little about how we will build Debian.

What matters is what you do, not what you believe. You don’t even need to believe in free software to be part of Debian, so long as you’re busy writing or contributing to free software. Whether it’s because you believe in user freedom or because your large company has chosen Debian for entirely pragmatic reasons, your free software contributions are welcome.

I think that is one of our core strengths. We’re an incredibly diverse community. When we try to tie something else to what it means to be Debian beyond the quality of that free operating system we produce, judged by how it meets the needs of our users, we risk diminishing Debian. Our diversity serves the free software community well. We have always balanced pragmatic concerns against freedom. We didn’t ignore binary blobs and non-free firmware in the kernel, but we took the time to make sure we balanced our users’ needs for functional systems against their needs for freedom. By being so diverse, we have helped build a product that is useful both to people who care about freedom and other issues. Debian has been pragmatic enough that our product is wildly popular. We care enough about freedom and do the hard work of finding workable solutions that many issues of software freedom have become mainstream concerns with viable solutions.

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Debian Community Team (CT) and miniDebConf19 Vaumarcu

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Debian
  • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities (August 2019)

    The Debian Community Team (CT) had a meeting where we discussed some of our activities, including potential new team members!

  • miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus – Oct 25-27 2019 – Call for Presentations

    We’re opening the Call for Presentations for the miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus now, until October 20, so please contribute to the MiniDebConf by proposing a talk, workshop, birds of feather (BoF) session, etc, directly on the Debian wiki: /Vaumarcus/TalkSubmissions We are aiming for talks which are somehow related to Debian or Free Software in general, see the wiki for subject suggestions. We expect submissions and talks to be held in English, as this is the working language in Debian and at this event. Registration is also still open; through the Debian wiki: Vaumarcus/Registration.

New Distro Releases: EasyOS Buster 2.1.3, EasyOS Pyro 1.2.3 and IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 136

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GNU
Linux
Security
Debian
  • EasyOS Buster version 2.1.3 released

    EasyOS version 2.1.3, latest in the "Buster" series, has been released. This is another incremental upgrade, however, as the last release announced on Distrowatch is version 2.1, the bug fixes, improvements and upgrades have been considerable since then. So much, that I might request the guys at Distrowatch to announce version 2.1.3.

  • EasyOS Pyro version 1.2.3 released

    Another incremental release of the Pyro series. Although this series is considered to be in maintenance mode, it does have all of the improvements as in the latest Buster release.

  • IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 136 is available for testing

    the summer has been a quiet time for us with a little relaxation, but also some shifted focus on our infrastructure and other things. But now we are back with a large update which is packed with important new features and fixes.

Releasing Slax 9.11.0

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Debian

New school year has started again and next version of Slax is here too Smile this time it is 9.11.0. This release includes all bug fixes and security updates from Debian 9.11 (code name Jessie), and adds a boot parameter to disable console blanking (console blanking is disabled by default).

You can get the newest version at the project's home page, there are options to purchase Slax on DVD or USB device, as well as links for free download.

Surprisingly for me we skipped 9.10, I am not sure why Smile

I also experimented with the newly released series of Debian 10 (code name Buster) and noticed several differences which need addressing, so Slax based on Debian 10 is in progress, but not ready yet. Considering my current workload and other circumstances, it will take some more time to get it ready, few weeks at least.

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Also: Slax 9.11 Released While Re-Base To Debian 10 Is In Development

Debian: Norbert Preining, Thomas Lange, Jonas Meurer and Ben Hutchings

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Debian
  • Norbert Preining: TeX Services at texlive.info

    I have been working over the last weeks to provide four more services for the TeX (Live) community: an archive of TeX Live’s network installation directory tlnet, a git repository of CTAN, a mirror of the TeX Live historic archives, and a new tlpretest mirror. In addition to the services that have already been provided before on my server, this makes a considerable list, and I thought it is a good idea to summarize all of the services.

  • FAI.me service now support backports for Debian 10 (buster)

    The FAI.me service for creating customized installation and cloud images now supports a backports kernel for stable release Debian 10 (aka buster). If you enable the backports option, you will currently get kernel 5.2. This will help you if you have newer hardware that is not support by the default kernel 4.19. The backports option is also still available for the images when using the old Debian 9 (stretch) release.

  • Jonas Meurer: debian lts report 2019.08

    This month I was allocated 10 hours. Unfortunately, I didn't find much time to work on LTS issues, so I only spent 0.5 hours on the task listed below. That means that I carry over 9.5 hours to September.

  • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, August 2019

    I prepared and, after review, released Linux 3.16.72, including various security and other fixes. I then rebased the Debian package onto that. I uploaded that with a small number of other fixes and issued DLA-1884-1. I also prepared and released Linux 3.16.73 with another small set of fixes.

Debian 10 Buster with GNOME 3: I didn't expect it to be this fast, but that could be the SSD talking

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GNOME
Debian

I don’t know how much of it is Debian 10 and how much is swapping a 5400-RPM hard drive with an M.2 NVMe SSD, but my 2-year-old laptop is FLYING now that I’ve ditched Windows 10 and the 1 GB magnetic drive that came with it.

And this is with GNOME 3. The stock or lightly/heavily-favored desktop environment in Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu looks great, runs with no hesitation (in constrast to Windows 10) and doesn’t have me thinking that I need anything else for speed-related reasons.

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Debian 10: Playing catch-up with the rest of the Linux world (that’s a good thing)

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Linux
Debian

I've been using Debian 10 for three months now (yes, before it was officially released via a testing channel), and, as you would expect, it is a super solid release. This is remarkable only because I did not have the same experience at all on Debian 9. My initial foray into Debian 9 was fraught with problems, and I went scurrying back to Debian 8 in a hurry. I tried again after a year and had better luck, but this time around I've had no problems at all on either the desktop or server (it's worth noting, though: before you upgrade, back up any PostgreSQL data, since Debian 10 moves from PostgreSQL 9.6 to 11, a significant migration for any live servers).

While I plan to wait for at least a one-point release before I test updating any production servers, Debian 10 looks like a great release. I fully expect to be running Debian 10 servers well into the mid 2020s.

On the desktop side, I still prefer Arch Linux to Debian on my main machine. This might sound like diametrically opposed distros to compare—Debian is focused on stability and changes at a glacial pace, while Arch is a rolling release with updates on a daily basis—but in my experience these have both been the most stable, reliable distros I've used. The chief difference is that one updates all the time to achieve that stability while the other updates hardly at all. They may take different approaches, but they arrive at the same result.

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Purism's Debian-Based PureOS Linux Goes Stable for Rock Solid Releases

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OS
Debian

PureOS is Purism's in-house developed operating system based on the well-known Debian GNU/Linux OS, which the company is currently deploying on all of their Librem laptops, as well as the Librem 5 smartphone. Until now, PureOS was delivered only as a rolling release where you install once and receive updates forever.

However, due to the privacy and security-focused Librem 5 Linux phone, which will start shipping to customers on September 24th, the company decided to create a stable version of PureOS that contains well-tested components for a rock solid release, without any bleeding-edge software, which may not always work as intended.

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More in Tux Machines

Fedora: GSoC, Fedora Program Management, PHP, Fedora Infrastructure, Test Day and EPEL

  • Fedora Community Blog: GSoC summer 2019: Fedora Gooey Karma

    The day GSoC projects list was published I started sorting out all the organizations that I’d enjoy working with. Being a Linux user/enthusiast I filtered down to a bunch of Linux distros and desktop managers. Sorting out all the projects, Fedora-Gooey-Karma seemed to be a project that suited the skills I have. Once I was sure that Fedora Gooey Karma is a project that I would love to work on during the summer, I mailed @sumantro about the project. We talked about the project on mails.

  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-37

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 31 Beta is go! I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

  • PHP version 7.2.23RC1 and 7.3.10RC1

    Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests (for x86_64 only), and also as base packages. RPM of PHP version 7.3.10RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 30-31 or remi-php73-test repository for Fedora 29 and Enterprise Linux. RPM of PHP version 7.2.23RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 29 or remi-php72-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

  • Karsten Hopp: Onboarding Fedora Infrastructure

    I'm using / working on Fedora since FC-1 and just recently joined the Infrastructure team.

  • Fedora Community Blog: Fedora 31 Gnome Test Day 2019-09-18

    Wednesday, 2019-09-18 is the Fedora 31 Gnome Test Day! As part of changes Gnome 3.34 in Fedora 31, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

  • EPEL Bug: Bash errors on recent EL-8 systems.

    Last week, I got asked about a problem with using EPEL-8 on Oracle Enterprise Linux 8 where trying to install packages failed due to bad license file. I duplicated the problem on RHEL-8 which had not happened before some recent updates.

Games: CodeWeavers, gamepad and Cascade

  • Linux 5.4 To Fix Many Newer 64-bit Windows Games On Wine / Steam Play

    A kernel patch from CodeWeavers is landing in the Linux 5.4 kernel and will help some 64-bit Windows games run nicely under Wine (and the likes of CrossOver / Valve's Proton) with newer Intel and AMD systems. With the few x86 Assembly patches for Linux 5.4 is a UMIP addition by CodeWeavers' Brendan Shanks that ends up being quite important for running a number of Windows games under Proton/Wine on newer AMD/Intel Linux systems.

  • You may want to hold off on Linux Kernel 5.3 and systemd 243 if you use a gamepad

    Did you do a big system upgrade recently and notice you're having gamepad issues? You're not alone. Time to downgrade perhaps. To be clear this might only be an issue for the more bleeding-edge distributions which update more often, or those of you who are doing some manual updates to their system. The distributions that update more slowly like Ubuntu are likely unaffected right now.

  • Cascade – a turn-based text arcade game

    I wrote this game about 20 years ago. Glad to see it still compiled out of the box on the latest Linux distro! Download it from here. If anyone can remember the name or any details of the original 1980s MS-DOS game that I copied the idea from, please let me know in the comments.

GNOME's Sammy Fung and Bin Li

  • Molly de Blanc: Meet the GNOMEies: Sammy Fung

    Sammy is a freelancer, community organizer, and GNOME enthusiast from Hong Kong. For almost 20 years, Sammy has been using, GNOME and building community in Asia.

  • Bin Li: GUADEC 2019

    Thessaloniki is very peaceful place, every morning I liked to walk along the seaside to the venue. As usual, it was a great and enjoyable GUADEC, thanks to everyone who helped to make it. In core days I attended a lot of great talks in this year, I learned a lot of latest status of GNOME, and here are my favorite talks, “Managing GNOME Sessions with Systemd“, “State of the Shell“, “Packing up Boxes“, “Modernizing Desktop Linux Development with Containers“, “Is the Linux Desktop Really Dead?“. I also enjoy watching Lighting talks every year. In this year Britt Yazel’s lighting talks, I knew the GUADEC App was based on Connfa, and it’s also an open source project. This App is very convenient, I could check schedule at any time.

SUSE: YaST Development Sprint 84 and SUSE 'in Space'

  • Highlights of YaST Development Sprint 84

    The YaST Team finished yet another development sprint last week and we want to take the opportunity to let you all glance over the engine room to see what’s going on. Today we will confess an uncomfortable truth about how we manage the Qt user interface, will show you how we organize our work (or at least, how we try to keep the administrative part of that under control) and will give you a sneak peak on some upcoming YaST features and improvements. Let’s go for it!

  • Lunar Vacation Planning

    HPE, one of SUSE’s most important partners in High-Performance Computing and the advancement of science and technology, is now building NASA’s new supercomputer named “Aitken” to support Artemis and future human missions to the moon. HPE’s “Aitken” supercomputer will be built at NASA’s Ames Research Center and will run SUSE Linux Enterprise HPC (co-located where the Pleiades supercomputer – also SUSE-based – has been advancing research for several years). Aitken will run extremely complex simulations for entry, descent and landing on the moon as part of the Artemis program. The missions include landing the next humans on the lunar south polar region by 2024 (on the rim of the Shackleton crater, which experiences constant indirect sunlight for a toasty -300 degrees Fahrenheit).