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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 493

Filed under
Linux

Welcome to this year's fifth issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The little-known UberStudent probably won't be on the radar of most users looking for a happy computing environment, but as the distribution is based on Ubuntu and offers an excellent collection of software designed for learning and teaching academic computing, chances are that it has started to find some niche among the student population. However, as Jesse Smith points out in today's feature article, the recently-released version 2.0 is actually an excellent all-round operating system for everyone, not just teachers, learners and undergraduates. Read below to find out more.

In the news section, the OmniBoot compilation DVD arrives in version 1.0 with over 150 boot options and dozens of operating systems, and a note on an interesting trend among Linux distributions to replace the Oracle-controlled MySQL with a more open fork called MariaDB. Also in this issue, a detailed review of the brand-new Enlightenment 0.17 window manager, a link to an interesting article suggesting five alternatives to Ubuntu for the desktop, and the usual regular columns and DistroWatch database updates. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the January 2013 DistroWatch.com donation is MariaDB Foundation. Happy reading!

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More in Tux Machines

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

Pithos 1.2

  • New Version of Linux Pandora Client ‘Pithos’ Released
    A new release of open-source Linux Pandora client Pithos is now available for download.
  • Pithos 1.2 Improves The Open-Source/Linux Pandora Desktop Experience
    Chances are if you've ever dealt with Pandora music streaming from the Linux desktop you've encountered Pithos as the main open-source solution that works out quite well. Released today was Pithos 1.2 and it ships with numerous enhancements for this GPLv3-licensed Pandora desktop client. Pithos 1.2 adds a number of new keyboard shortcuts for the main window, initial support for translations, an explicit content filter option, reduced CPU usage with Ubuntu's default theme, redesigned dialogs and other UI elements, and more.