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Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0.0 "ASCII"

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When I am trying out a desktop distribution, what really tends to divide the field of Linux distributions in my mind is not whether the system uses MATE or Plasma, or whether the underlying package manager uses RPM or Deb files. What tends to leave a lasting impression with me is whether the desktop environment, its applications and controls feel like a cooperative, cohesive experience or like a jumble of individual tools that happen to be part of the same operating system. In my opinion Ubuntu running the Unity desktop and Linux Mint's Cinnamon desktop are good examples of the cohesive approach. The way openSUSE's administration tools work together provides another example. Like them or hate them, I think most people can see there is an overall design, a unifying vision, being explored with those distributions. I believe Devuan falls into the other category, presenting the user with a collection of utilities and features where some assembly is still required.

This comes across in little ways. For example, many distributions ship Mozilla's Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird e-mail client together as a set, and they generally complement each other. Devuan ships Firefox, but then its counterpart is the mutt console e-mail program which feels entirely out of place with the rest of the desktop software. The PulseAudio sound mixing utility is included, but its system tray companion is not present by default. Even the system installer, which switches back and forth between graphical windows and a text console, feels more like a collection of uncoordinated prompts rather than a unified program or script. Some people may like the mix-and-match approach, but I tend to prefer distributions where it feels like the parts are fitted together to create a unified experience.

What I found was that Devuan provided an experience where I had to stop and think about where items were or how I was going to use them rather than having the pieces seamlessly fit together. However, once I got the system set up in a way that was more to my liking, I appreciated the experience provided. Devuan offers a stable, flexible platform. Once I shaped the operating system a little, I found it to be fast, light and capable. Having a fairly large repository of software available along with Flatpak support provided a solid collection of applications on a conservative operating system foundation. It was a combination I liked.

In short, I think Devuan has some rough edges and setting it up was an unusually long and complex experience by Linux standards. I certainly wouldn't recommend Devuan to newcomers. However, a day or two into the experience, Devuan's stability and performance made it a worthwhile journey. I think Devuan may be a good alternative to people who like running Debian or other conservative distributions such as Slackware. I suspect I may soon be running Devuan's Raspberry Pi build on my home server where its lightweight nature will be welcome.

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Also: deepin 15.6 Released With New Features: Get This Beautiful Linux Distro Here

Deepin 15.6 Linux OS Launches with Improved HiDPI Support, Light and Dark Themes

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OS
Linux

Coming more than six months after the previous release, Deepin 15.6 is here with a series of new desktop improvements to allow users to disable the display scaling function for HiDPI (High Dots Per Inch) screens, a revamped Deepin Manual to help newcomers accommodate better with the operating system, as well as yet another layer of desktop optimizations.

"Its clean user interfaces and the convenient interactions reduce the browsing and searching time, allowing users to have more time to work and study. The new release - deepin 15.6, offers the dedicated interfaces and easy-to-understand logics to help users start quickly. No matter which operating system was used before, you can get started easily," said the devs.

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Fuchsia Friday: ‘Machina’ brings support for running Linux on top of Fuchsia

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OS
Android
Linux
Google

Last time on Fuchsia Friday, we dug into two prototype devices that Google is developing to run on Fuchsia, and mentioned that there’s a third “device” in the works. Today we’ll take a look at Machina, Fuchsia’s built-in emulator.

One of the greatest struggles of creating an entirely new OS, especially today, is the chicken-and-egg problem. Without good apps, why would consumers buy a product? And conversely, with no consumers, why would developers make apps?

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Also: Six Android Features You Won’t Find on iPhone, Even After iOS 12

Debian and Devuan Leftovers

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OS
  • Debian Policy call for participation -- June 2018

    I’d like to push a substantive release of Policy but I’m waiting for DDs to review and second patches in the following bugs. I’d be grateful for your involvement!

    If a bug already has two seconds, or three seconds if the proposer of the patch is not a DD, please consider reviewing one of the others, instead, unless you have a particular interest in the topic of the bug.

  • Microsoft fixed the Open R Debian package

    Thanks Microsoft for the quick fix, it is good news that those playing with Open R will not be left with a hosed system.

  • Google Summer of Code 2018 with Debian - Week 4

    After working on designs and getting my hands dirty with KIVY for the first 3 weeks, I became comfortable with my development environment and was able to deliver features within a couple of days with UI, tests, and documentation. In this blog, I explain how I converted all my Designs into Code and what I've learned along the way.

  • Debian variant offers safe homeland for systemd haters

    The Devuan project has released a v2.0 ASCII version of its Devuan fork of Debian that replaces the systemd init with OpenRC, and let’s you load other inits of your choice. The release supports several major Linux hacker boards.

    The Devuan project was announced in 2014 as a Debian fork for those who prefer other init systems to Red Hat’s systemd. Since then, systemd has seen even greater adoption in Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, which last year replaced its Upstart init in favor of systemd as part of its retreat from its Unity8/Mir desktop and convergence initiative. Yet Devuan has persisted, and has now released a more mature, Devuan v2.0 ASCII version of its systemd-free Debian distro.

Trouble at CopperheadOS

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OS
Android

LWN reviewed CopperheadOS, a security-enhanced Android distribution, in 2016. Unfortunately, the company behind CopperheadOS appears to have run into internal trouble; we don't dare venture a guess as to the specifics, even after watching the situation for a few days, beyond the fact that there is clearly a dispute between the founders.

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More on Devuan GNU/Linux 2.0

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  • systemd-free Debian-based Devuan 2.0 ASCII has been released

    Debian based Devuan 2.0 has been released. Devuan doesn’t use systemd and the new release allows you to choose between SysVinit and OpenRC init systems.

  • Devuan ships second stable cut of its systemd-free Linux

    Systemd-free Linux distro Devuan has released its stable Version 2.0.

    The project's last release candidate was released in May, and as you'd hope, not much has changed between then and full release.

    Because it's written by purists, we should include the full name of the release: it's Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0 ASCII Stable.

  • Devuan GNU/Linux 2.0 "ASCII" Operating System Launches for Init Freedom Lovers

    Devuan, the open-source GNU/Linux distribution designed to offers users a stable, reliable, and free operating system that doesn't depend on the systemd init, has been updated to version 2.0.

    Continuing project's tradition to offer users alternatives to systemd and its components, Devuan GNU/Linux 2.0 is dubbed "ASCII" and it's based on the Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system series. It comes with a large variety of desktop environments, among which we can mention KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon, MATE, and LXQt.

    However, Devuan GNU/Linux 2.0 ships with Xfce as default desktop environment. Many other desktop environments are available after installation, and Devuan GNU/Linux's expert install mode lets users choose between the SysVinit and OpenRC init systems instead of systemd.

Devuan, Canonical and Ubuntu

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Ubuntu
  • Devuan ships second stable cut of its systemd-free Linux

    Systemd-free Linux distro Devuan has released its stable Version 2.0.

    The project's last release candidate was released in May, and as you'd hope, not much has changed between then and full release.

    Because it's written by purists, we should include the full name of the release: it's Devuan GNU+Linux 2.0 ASCII Stable.

  • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 531
  • Empowering developers to embrace Linux

     

    There is a huge opportunity for businesses to embrace new technologies and move their company forward. Open source and snaps are simple solutions, but ones that gives the most vital innovators in a business - developers - the tools they need to be confident in launching some of the world’s most utilised software.    

  • R 3.5.0 on Debian and Ubuntu: An Update

    R 3.5.0 was released a few weeks ago. As it changes some (important) internals, packages installed with a previous version of R have to be rebuilt. This was known and expected, and we took several measured steps to get R binaries to everybody without breakage.

    The question of but how do I upgrade without breaking my system was asked a few times, e.g., on the r-sig-debian list as well as in this StackOverflow question.

AsteroidOS 1.0 is a promising open-source smartwatch OS with plenty of room for improvement

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OS
GNU
Linux

Built entirely on GNU/Linux technologies, AsteroidOS offers a very basic, spartan experience. It features notification mirroring and a few apps like a calendar, calculator, and weather to get you by. In its current state, it's a neat project, but the best I can say for real-world use is that it works. When compared to watchOS, Wear OS, and Tizen, it has a very, very long way to go. Luckily, the developer knows this and has a few additions planned for future updates.

I've spent the better part of two weeks with AsteroidOS on my LG Watch Urbane as my primary smartwatch — the absolutely horrendous LG Watch Style battery life and being unable to pair my Gear S3 with my Pixel 2 XL on Android P DP2 certainly helped this period not feel so bad (no, I haven't tried DP3 yet). I don't mean to imply that AsteroidOS is a negative experience; it's just that it feels like several large steps backwards after what I've grown accustomed to in recent years.

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Sailfish OS 2.2.0 is now available for Jolla devices & Sailfish X

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Linux

One of the biggest and most feature packed Sailfish OS updates is now available through early access on Jolla devices and Sailfish X! This update’s name is Mouhijoki, which is a river in Finland with roots from the lake Mouhijärvi. Mouhijoki is only 11,5 km long. It runs through farming field sceneries, with occasional cottages and saunas in Pirkanmaa area close to the city of Tampere.

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BSD Leftovers

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OS
BSD
  • OpenBSD on APU4

    Today I got an APU.4B4

    This is how I got OpenBSD installed on it.

  • libcsi - Crypto Simplified Interface
  • It’s UNIX. On A Microcontroller.

    It’s difficult to convey in an era when a UNIX-like operating system sits in your pocket, how there was once a time when the mere word was enough to convey an aura of immense computing power. If you ran UNIX, your computer probably filled a room, and you used it for Serious Stuff rather than just checking your Twitter feed. UNIX machines may still perform high-end tasks, but Moore’s Law has in the intervening years delivered upon its promise, and your phone with its UNIX-like OS is far more powerful than that room-sized minicomputer of the 1970s. A single chip for a few cents can do that job, which begs the question: just how little do we need to run UNIX today? It’s something [Joerg Wolfram] could advise you upon, because he’s got a functional UNIX running on a microcontroller.

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