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10 Best Lightweight Linux Distros For Old Computers | 2018 Edition

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GNU
Linux

Linux is known to serve the needs of everyone. If you’re having some old desktop or laptop, there are many lightweight Linux distros that you can install and enjoy a lag-free computing experience. From a variety of options, you can choose Puppy Linux, Lubuntu, or Linux Lite. You can also install Arch Linux or Debian and use a lightweight desktop environment.

Some of you might be running insecure Windows XP on your old computers due to machine’s outdated hardware configuration. But, you don’t need to do that anymore. There are tons of Linux distributions that are specifically built to cater the needs of such laptops and desktops. Apart from being lightweight, these operating systems are fast and secure.

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Linspire Rises From the Dead

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GNU
Linux
  • Linspire rises from the dead (in name only)

    Linspire is a Linux distribution that’s designed to be easy for Windows users to learn. In fact, the original developers used to call the operating system Lindows, before changing the name.

  • Lindows rises from the grave! Freespire 3.0 and Linspire 7.0 Linux distros now available

    About 16 years ago, a for-pay Linux distribution caused quite a stir all because of its name -- Lindows. Yes, someone actually thought kicking the billion dollar hornets nest that is Microsoft by playing off of the "Windows" name was a good idea. To be honest, from a marketing perspective, it was brilliant -- it got tons of free press. Microsoft eventually killed the Lindows name by use of money and the legal system, however. Ultimately, the Linux distro was renamed "Linspire." Comically, there was a Lindows Insiders program way before Windows Insiders!

    After losing the Lindows name, the operating system largely fell out of the spotlight, and its 15 minutes of fame ended. After all, without the gimmicky name, it was hard to compete with free Linux distros. Not to mention, Richard Stallman famously denounced the OS for its non-free ways. The company eventually created a free version of its OS called Freespire, but by 2008, both projects were shut down by its then-owner, Xandros. Today, however, a new Linspire owner emerges -- PC/OpenSystems LLC. And yes, Lindows is rising from the grave -- as Freespire 3.0 and Linspire 7.0!

Servers With GNU/Linux and Microsoft's Continuing Strategy of Gaming the Numbers by Taking Over Parked Domains

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GNU
Linux
Server
Microsoft
  • Amazon has quietly released a game changer for its cloud: Linux software that runs on corporate servers

    Amazon's cloud business quietly just took a big step outside the cloud.

    Last month, soon after Amazon Web Service's giant tech conference, the company started offering its enterprise customers a new version of the Linux operating system it calls Linux 2. The new product marks a departure for the cloud-computing juggernaut, as the software can be installed on customers' servers rather than run from Amazon's data centers.

    Amazon will rent access to Linux 2 to its cloud customers. But it's also making the software available for companies to install on their servers. There they can use it to run many of the most popular server software programs and technologies, including Microsoft's Hyper-V, VMware, Oracle's VM VirtualBox, Docker, and Amazon's Docker alternative, Amazon Machine Image.

  • December 2017 Web Server Survey

    The noticeable spike in Apache-powered domains in May 2013 was caused by the largest hosting company of the time, GoDaddy, switching a large number of its domains from Microsoft IIS to Apache Traffic Server (ATS) . GoDaddy switched back to using IIS 7.5 a few months later.

    Today, Apache still has the largest market share by number of domains, with 81.4 million giving it a market share of 38.2%. It also saw the largest gain this month, increasing its total by 1.53 million. This growth was closely followed by nginx, with a gain of 1.09 million domains increasing its total to 47.5 million. While Microsoft leads by overall number of hostnames, it lags in 3rd position when considering the number of unique domains those sites run on, with a total of 22.8 million.

Open-source civil war: Olive branch offered in trademark spat... with live grenade attached

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GNU
Legal

A few days before the Christmas holiday, the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) made a peace offering of sorts in an ostensible effort to resolve its trademark dispute with the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC).

In September last year, SFLC sued the SFC claiming that the SFC trademark "Software Freedom Conservancy" is confusingly similar to the SFLC's "Software Freedom Law Center" trademark.

The SFLC was formed in 2005 to provide legal services for open-source projects. And in 2006, it helped set up the SFC, so it could provide infrastructure support – including legal services – for open-source developers.

That shared history and similarity of purpose has made the intellectual property dispute between two organizations rather confusing to folks in the open source community.

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The Top 10 Linux Desktop Distros of 2017

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GNU
Linux

It has been an engaging year for the Linux and open-source community. For example, Ubuntu ended Unity 8 development as well as their plans towards convergence and switched to using GNOME. Slack OS virtually rewrote its binaries to be Debian-based; Kali Linux became more popular, and Skype finally released a Linux version worth writing home about.

With such an eventful 2017 for most Linux distributions, I imagine many of our (potential) readers are wondering which Linux distributions have been the hottest this year, and probably why.

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Multiple-guess quiz will make Brit fliers safer, hopes drone-maker DJI

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GNU
Security
Legal

Meanwhile, security researcher Jon Sawyer has published a root exploit for DJI drones called DUMLRacer. It would appear to allow the technically competent dronie to completely ignore DJI's height and location restrictions, which form a large part of its please-don't-regulate-us-out-of-existence offering to governments around the world.

In his tweet announcing the release, Sawyer said: "Dear DJI, next time I ask for some GPL source code, maybe don't tell me no."

At the heart of DJI's software is GNU General Public Licensed (open source) code. While the firm does publish some of its source code, as previously reported, the company is not exactly clear about what elements of its drones' firmware are based on GPL-licensed code. The GPL contains a provision stating that anyone can modify GPL-licensed code provided that the source of any publicly available modded version is also made public, as the GPL FAQ makes clear.

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Private Internet Access creator, London Trust Media, acquires Linux Journal

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GNU
Linux
Web

Over the years, with your help, we have supported many worthy projects and events in the open source space. At the beginning of December, Carlie Fairchild posted a farewell to the Linux community in a post titled “Linux Journal Ceases Publication.” We know that some of our users may have also read this message, given the strong overlap between those that care about privacy and those that care about freedom and open source software. Needless to say, upon reading the news, we immediately reached out to see how we could help.

Many members of our team have been Linux Journal readers for years – even since before they worked with Private Internet Access. We truly believe that Linux Journal needs to be there to chronicle our journey into a more open future. Private Internet Access is proud to announce that our parent company, LTM, has acquired Linux Journal. 2018 is going to be a big year for Linux – and we will continue to play our part in facilitating this.

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Also: Happy New Year- Welcome to Linux Journal 2.0!

Arch Linux 2018.01.01 ISO and More

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GNU
Linux
  • Arch Linux Kicks Off 2018 with First Snapshot Powered by Linux Kernel 4.14 LTS

    Arch Linux devs don't have time to rest either, so they're kicking off the new year with the first ISO snapshot for 2018, bringing up-to-date components and latest security fixes.

    Arch Linux 2018.01.01 ISO snapshot is here, and it's the first to use the latest Linux 4.14 LTS kernel. While December's Arch Linux ISO snapshot was still powered by a kernel from the now deprecated Linux 4.13 series, January 2018's release is using Linux kernel 4.14.9 for all new installs, while the recently released Linux kernel 4.14.10 is still in testing.

  • Arch monthly December

    Arch Linux Trusted Users, Developers and members of the Security team have been at 34C3 and even held a small meetup. There was also an #archlinux.de assembly where people from the irc channel could meet each other. Seeing how much interest there was this year, it might be worth it to host a self organized session or assembly with more stickers \o/

Linux Mint-based feren OS GNU/Linux kicking off with yet another new Snapshot!

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GNU
Linux
  • 2018, kicking off with yet another new Snapshot! (Changes)

    If you're reading this on January 1st, well, Happy New Year! Meanwhile, to kick off 2018, a new snapshot of feren OS has been released for computers with the 32 bit architecture and the 64 bit architecture, and like the previous snapshot, it comes with plenty of updates, and for this release, a seriously big change.

  • feren OS Devs Kick Off 2018 with New ISO Snapshot, Plan Linux Mint 19 Rebase

    While others are still partying like it's 1999, the developer of the Linux Mint-based feren OS GNU/Linux distribution is the first to kick off 2018 with the release of a new ISO snapshot.

    Based on Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia," January 2018's ISO snapshot of feren OS comes with several enhancements and updated components. Among these, we can mention a new set of wallpapers to start the new year fresh and in style, as well as Linux Mint 18.3's brand-new Software Manager to replace GNOME Software.

    Of course, Software Manager comes with Flatpak support so you can install Flatpak apps on feren OS. The new ISO snapshot also delivers on developer's promise to make custom Themer Theme support, allowing users to create and install Themer Themes. There's also now a Themer Store to make installing themes easier.

GnuCash 3.0 Open-Source Accounting Software to Bring a CSV Price Importer, More

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GNU
OSS

The GnuCash development team just released today GnuCash 2.7.3, another unstable snapshot towards GnuCash 3.0, a major release of the money management application that will introduce use a new versioning scheme for point releases consisting of only two digits instead of three like it was until now.

"Notice that we've decided that beginning with the upcoming major release we will use two-digit release numbers and that the next stable release will be 3.0. Maintenance releases will be 3.1, 3.2, etc. The next unstable release will be 3.900 and will lead to 4.0," reads today's announcement.

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OSS Leftovers

  • Why no more new AND successful FOSS projects in the last ten years?
     

    If you ask me, the new, successful FOSS projects should be project that fix, replace, rewrite, whatever… the really unglamorous, low-level tools, libraries and so on that would make that happen. Yes, I know that this is really unlikely to happen under current business models and until IoT everywhere, new iPhones every year and the like are perceived as higher priorities, regardless of their environmental impacts and, very often, sheer lack of sense.

  • FOSS Backstage - CfP open
    It's almost ten years ago that I attended my first ApacheCon EU in Amsterdam. I wasn't entirely new to the topic of open source or free software. I attended several talks on Apache Lucene, Apache Solr, Hadoop, Tomcat, httpd (I still remember that the most impressive stories didn't necessarily come from the project members, but from downstream users. They were the ones authorized to talk publicly about what could be done with the project - and often became committers themselves down the road.
  • Liveblogging RIT’s FOSS projects class: initial questions for community spelunking
    Stephen Jacobs (SJ) and I are co-teaching “Project in FOSS Development” at RIT this semester, which basically means “hey students, want to get course credit for contributing to a FOSS project?” The class is centered around 5 project sprints of two weeks each. The first 3 weeks of class are preparing for the sprint periods; the week before spring break is a pause to reflect on how sprints are going. Otherwise, class efforts will be centered around executing project work… (aka “getting stuff done”).
  • Design’N’Buy launches All-In-One Designer on Magento Open Source 2.2
    Design’N’Buy announces the launch of their flagship product – the AIOD on Magento Open Source Version 2.2. With the launch of web to print solution on Magento Version 2.2 , Design’N’Buy becomes first event in web to print industry to offer complete eCommerce printing solution for printers on one of the widest and latest technology platform.
  • Singapore: Blockchain startup Bluzelle raises $19.5m through ICO
    Singapore-based decentralised database provider Bluzelle has announced that its initial coin offering (ICO) has raised $19.5 million in funding, according to a press statement.
  • Blockchain Startup Bluzelle Raises $19.5M USD In ICO
    Bluzelle’ advisor list includes the likes of Brian Fox, creator of GNU Bash, Alex Leverington, one of the original Core ethereum developers, Prashant Malik, co-creator of Apache Cassandra and Ryan Fugger, the original creator of the cryptocurrency Ripple.
  • The Document Liberation project announces five new or improved libraries
    The Document Liberation Project has announced five new or improved libraries to export EPUB3 and import AbiWord, MS Publisher, PageMaker and QuarkXPress files.
  • Lawsuit accuses PACER of milking the public for cash in exchange for access
    The federally run online court document access system known as PACER now finds itself listed on a federal docket. Its overseer, the US government, is a defendant in a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing the service of overcharging the public. The suit, brought by three nonprofits on Thursday, claims millions of dollars generated from a recent 25-percent increase in page fees are being illegally spent by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AO). The cost for access is 10 cents per page and up to $3 a document. Judicial opinions are free. This isn't likely to break the bank for some, but to others it adds up and can preclude access to public records. The National Consumer Law Center, the Alliance for Justice, and the National Veterans Legal Services Program also claim in the lawsuit that these fees are illegal because the government is charging more than necessary to keep the PACER system afloat (as is required by Congress).
  • Is the Most Massive, Illegal Paywall in the World About to Come Down?
    A groundbreaking lawsuit is poised to decimate what is arguably the most unjust, destructive, and it now sounds like illegal paywall in the world, the Public Access to Court Electronic Records, PACER. PACER is the federal government court documents repository. Every federal court document, for every case, lives in PACER. It’s essentially a giant FTP document repository with a horrendous search system bolted on, not dissimilar to EDGAR. PACER was created in 1988 to enable access to court records electronically. Initially available only in courthouses the system was expanded to the web in 2001.
  • Codasip Announces Studio 7, Design and Productivity Tools for Rapid Generation of RISC-V Processors
    Codasip, the leading supplier of RISC-V® embedded processor IP, today announced that it has launched the 7th generation of its Studio, the unique IP-design and customization software that allows for fast configuration and optimization of RISCV processors, customer-proprietary processor architectures, and their accompanying software development toolchains.
  • EE4J Code Begins the Journey to Open Source
    The EE4J project, which was created to manage the Eclipse Foundation’s stewardship of Java EE technologies following Oracle’s decision to open source them, is starting to gain traction. Soon after the project was created, EclipseLink and Yasson (the official reference implementation of Java JSON Binding, JSR-367) became the first two projects to be transferred under the EE4J umbrella. As reported in December, the announcement was made that seven more projects were being proposed.

Database SQLite 3.22.0 Released