Linux Top 3: Clonezilla, Raspbian and LPS
1) Raspbian 2016-02-03
Raspbian is often considered to be the *default* distro for the Raspberry Pi (though of course the Pi has no true default as it's just hardware..). Raspbian is based on Debian, optimized for the ARM chipset and small memory of the Raspberry Pi. The Raspbian 2016-02-03 milestone update is the latest release and according to Rapsbian developer Simon Long, "For most people, this is primarily updates and bug fixes to the existing Jessie image ."
The other big item is the introduction of an experimental OpenGL driver:
In this release we are shipping an experimental OpenGL driver for the desktop which uses the GPU to provide hardware acceleration. This is turned off by default – if you want to enable it, you can find it in the command-line version of raspi-config, under Advanced Options->GL Driver. Due to memory requirements, this will not work on Pi 1 or Pi Zero boards – it is solely for Pi 2. (raspi-config will only allow it to be enabled on a Pi 2; be warned that if you enable it on a Pi 2 and then move that SD card into a Pi 1 or Pi Zero, the Pi will not boot.)
2) LPS 1.6.4
The Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) distribution is intended to be used as a live CD to help users remain private. While the idea of a privacy focused distro is not unique (think Tails), LPS is developed by the U.S. Department of Defense.
LPS-Public allows general web browsing and connecting to remote networks. It includes a smart card-enabled Firefox browser supporting CAC and PIV cards, a PDF and text viewer, Java, and Encryption Wizard - Public. LPS-Public turns an untrusted system (such as a home computer) into a trusted network client. No trace of work activity (or malware) can be written to the local computer. Simply plug in your USB smart card reader to access CAC- and PIV-restricted US government websites.
The new 1.6.4 update was officially released on June 30th, providing new version of many of the user applications and is now based on the Linux 3.18.25 Linux kernel.
While Raspbian is focused on the Raspberry Pi and LPS on privacy, Clonezilla is somewhat more task based. The Clonezilla distro is also a live CD, but its' sole purpose is to help enable a partition and disk cloning application.
The new 2.4.5-23 updates is a bug fix update, but it is also based on a newer version of Debian too.
* The underlying GNU/Linux operating system was upgraded. This release is
based on the Debian Sid repository (as of 2016/Feb/10).
* Linux kernel was updated to 4.3.5-1. From Linux kernel v4, the default
union file system has been changed to overlay
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at LinuxPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist