June 25, 2018

Linux Top 3: Raspbian Jessie, Qubes OS 3 and Sabayon 15.10

  • October 6, 2015
  • By Sean Michael Kerner

1) Raspbian Updates for Jessie

Though there are multiple Linux distributions for the Rapsberry Pi, the default choice for many has long been Raspbian. Raspbian is Raspberry Pi's purpose built Debian distro and now at long last it is being updated for Debian 8, aka 'Jessie'.

For many, the first thing that will be noticeable about the new Rapsbian is the boot strating into the GUI - that's right no more StartX.

The first thing anyone starting the new Jessie image from scratch will notice is that the default behaviour is to boot straight to the desktop GUI, not to the Linux command line. This was a decision taken because this is the expected behaviour for all modern computers; the default interface for a personal computer in 2015 is a desktop GUI, not just text on a screen. It is still possible to set the Pi to boot to the command line for people who prefer that – just toggle the relevant setting in the Raspberry Pi Configuration application described below.

2) Qubes OS 3.0

Qubes is a security focused Linux distribution that aims to provides a virtually isolated operating and application environment..

Qubes is now based on what we call Hypervisor Abstraction Layer (HAL), which decouples Qubes logic from the underlying hypervisor. This will allow us to easily switch the underlying hypervisors in the near future, perhaps even during the installation time, depending on the user needs (think tradeoffs between hardware compatibility and performance vs. security properties desired, such as e.g. reduction of covert channels between VMs, which might be of importance to some users). More philosophically-wise, this is a nice manifestation of how Qubes OS is really "not yet another virtualization system", but rather: a user of a virtualization system (such as Xen).

3) Sabayon 15.10

Sabayon Linux is a Gentoo Linux based distro, that had the original purpose of making a more user-friendly Gentoo desktop experience. It's a goal that is now being furthered with the new Sabayon 15.10 release which is the last distro to embrace the Calamares installer.

We switched the default installer. Anaconda served us well, but we decided to embrace the community-baked Calamares, the Distribution-independent installer!

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Linux Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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