Release notes for siduction cinnamon dev release

cinnamon-siduction

We are very happy to present to you today the first integration of the cinnamon desktop  environment into siduction. Cinnamon is a modern desktop based on GTK 3 with a classic look. It has been developed and published by the popular Linux Mint distribution since 2011. Recently Cinnamon version 2.2 has made it into Jessie, Debians upcoming release. A team of several Debian developers has worked on the packaging for about three months and has matured the whole set of packages. We can expect it to be functional.

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Revisting an article on how to set up Solid State Disks with Linux

Almost three years ago I wrote a lengthy article on how to align, partition, configure and benchmark Solid State Disks under Linux. Those were the early days of these NAND flash memory devices and you had to jump through some hoops to get them to perform at their best when it comes to performance and durability. So by now parts of the tutorial have been obsolete for some time now. Graphical partitioning tools e.g. handle the alignment of these devices correctly nowadays, which they did not do back then. I have never found the time to go back to that article and bring it up to the latest.

So we are grateful, that Don, who on the forum goes as dibl, took it upon him to present us with a modernised version of this tutorial. Not only does he eliminate cruft that is obsolete or plain wrong nowadays, he also describes a different concept of trimming these devices. This method substitutes the discard parameter in your fstab, that takes care of the trimming for most of us. This method makes use of the fstrim command from the package util-linux, which, which is run, preferably when you are absent from the machine, by a script using cron on a daily or weekly turn. This prevents that discard calls TRIM every time we delete a file and slow things down. So, here we go, thanks again, Don.

Optimizing SSD-based System Performance

The goal of these configuration settings, generally, is to select and configure a suitable filesystem, to minimize erase/write cycles that don’t add to system performance, to enable TRIM, and otherwise to optimize the OS to provide a very responsive user experience.

1. Filesystem type and /etc/fstab configuration

We want to use ext4 and take advantage of the journaling feature, for data security, but we want to reduce the frequency of journal commits (writes to the SSD) from the default 5 seconds to a slower rate, to extend the life of the SSD memory blocks. The “commit” mount option controls the frequency of journal commits, and as mentioned is set to 5 seconds by default. Understanding that slowing down this frequency also raises the risk of data lost in a power loss or system freeze situation, choose a slower frequency that you are comfortable with, like “120” for two minutes, a reduction of 24x. To avoid writes caused only by reading files, use the “noatime” option. As a result, the /etc/fstab line that mounts the OS will look like this:

UUID=bea3a748-3411-4024-acd0-39f3882ddaf9 / ext4 noatime,commit=120,errors=remount-ro 0 1

For typical laptop and single-user computers, we want to mount selected filesystems as “tmpfs”, which lets the OS use memory rather than the SSD for logging and spooling. The wise user will wait for a reasonable period of time after initially installing on the SSD, before these changes are made to /etc/fstab, because until you are sure your system is stable, you should allow the logs to be written on the SSD, for later review. Logs written in memory will not survive a reboot. When you are satisfied that the system is stable and the logs can safely be lost at each reboot, add these lines to the end of /etc/fstab:

none /tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime,mode=1777 0 0
none /var/tmp tmpfs defaults,noatime 0 0
none /var/log tmpfs defaults,noatime 0 0
none /var/spool tmpfs defaults,noatime 0 0

Alternatively, you could mount these directories on a hard disk drive if one is also installed in the system – a better approach for a server, for example, where you might need to periodically review older logs.

2. Enable TRIM

Recent guidance [4] recommends using the fstrim utility periodically, rather than using the “discard” filesystem mount option. At the conclusion of the linked blog, a very handy script for use as a cron job is shown, and it is repeated here for convenience:

#!/bin/sh
#
# To find which FS support trim, we check that DISC-MAX (discard max bytes)
# is greater than zero. Check discard_max_bytes documentation at
# https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/block/queue-sysfs.txt
#
for fs in $(lsblk -o MOUNTPOINT,DISC-MAX,FSTYPE | grep -E '^/.* [1-9]+.* ' | awk '{print $1}'); do
fstrim "$fs"
done

Save it as /etc/cron.weekly/fstrim_job.

Note that LVM systems and LUKS/dm encrypted filesystems add additional configuration tasks to the basic filesystem configuration described here – follow the guidance to enable TRIM at each level of your system configuration.

3. Outsource the browser cache to /run/user (guidance for single-user system, can be expanded for multi-user implementation)

Since Debian now has the shared directory /run/user/usernumber in RAM, we can outsource the cache generated during browsing to memory, and eliminate many SSD writes. For example, in the Firefox/Iceweasel address bar we enter “about:config” and confirm the warning. Now right-click in the white space and choose “New ==> String” and we create a new entry called:

browser.cache.disk.parent_directory

After double-clicking the new string, we assign it the value:

/run/user/1000/firefox-cache for the first user.

Now as user in the terminal create a directory:

mkdir -p /run/user/1000/firefox-cache

After a Firefox restart, browser caching happens in memory, not on the SSD.

For chromium-browser, the cache location is set with the --disk-cache-dir=”DIRNAME launch command option. So to outsource the chromium-browser cache:

mkdir -p /run/user/1000/chromium-cache

Open the chromium-browser launch icon for editing, change to the »Application« tab, and edit the start command to read as follows:

/usr/bin/chromium –disk-cache-dir=/run/user/1000/chromium-cache %U

In /usr/share/applications/chromium.desktop, find the line

Exec=/usr/bin/chromium %U

and edit it to read

Exec=/usr/bin/chromium –disk-cache-dir=/run/user/1000/chromium-cache %U.

Note that this will need to be done again after each chromium package update overwrites it.

The new browser cache directory in /run/user will not survive a reboot. To automate this process, put the following “auto_browser_cache.sh” script in your ~.kde/Autostart folder (for KDE users), and then chmod +x to make it executable:

#!/bin/bash
NEWDIR=/run/user/1000/chromium-cache
mkdir -p "$NEWDIR" &
sleep 1
NEWDIR1=/run/user/1000/firefox-cache
mkdir -p "$NEWDIR1" &
sleep 1
#end

Analogous cache outsourcing configuration can be made for other browsers, if they allow the user to specify the cache location, and the startup script can be adapted to add directories for each browser that the user wants to run.

For a desktop system that remains booted for long periods, and depending on the memory capacity and browsing activities, the outsourced browsing cache could grow to a problematic size and need to be manually cleared to avoid sending the system into swapping.

4. I/O Scheduler selection

Multiple sources that you can find with a google search indicate that, for SSDs, the “deadline” and “noop” schedulers perform better than the default “cfq” scheduler, with deadline getting the most recommendations. Set the scheduler in /etc/sysfs.conf as so:

block/sda/queue/scheduler=deadline

5. Virtual memory settings

Depending on how much memory your system has, and how you use it, the same tweaks to vm (swappiness, vfs_cache_pressure, etc.) that you use for a hard disk drive installation can also be applied to a system installed on a SSD. Guidance is available via google search as well as the two excellent references below. Here are the lines added to /etc/sysctl.d/sysctl.conf on one of my SSD installations:

vm.swappiness=1
vm.vfs_cache_pressure=25
vm.dirty_ratio = 50
vm.dirty_background_ratio = 3
#

Virtual Memory Tuning References:

http://www.westnet.com/~gsmith/content/linux-pdflush.htm

http://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/linux-kernel-tuning-virtual-memory-subsystem/

 

Performance Testing (from devil’s article)

Before you spend time on performance testing and benchmarking your SSD, you need to determine the firmware version you have, and then check the OEM’s website and learn whether a more recent version is available. Significant performance improvements can result merely from updating your SSD firmware — follow your OEM’s instruction to install updated firmware. To check your firmware version:

hdparm -iv /dev/sdx

6. Verify that TRIM is working (after setting the “discard” mount option as shown in #1 above).

# cd to some directory on the SSD, then
dd if = /dev/urandom of=tempfile bs=512k count=100 oflag=direct
hdparm - fibmap tempfile

# here we read the sectors from the tempfile

From the output we copy the number immediately under “begin_LBA” and insert it in the next command:
hdparm - read-sector 1234567 /dev/sdx
# 1234567 replaced with the number from the previous command and /dev/sdx with your device ID

The output should be a longer string. Next:

rm tempfile
sync
hdparm -read-sector 1234567 /dev/sdx

# replace 1234567 and /dev/sdx with your values

The sectors will not be cleared instantly due to caching — wait for some seconds. Then repeat the last command (hdparm – read-sector …) — it should (after a short while) come out all zeros. That means TRIM works! If you have problems with “discard” on your SSD and you have verified that your SSD does support TRIM, you can use fstrim which is in the current util-linux package (check “man fstrim”), or use the tool “DiskTrim” from http://disktrim.sourceforge.net/.

7. Throughput Benchmarking

CAUTION: You can benchmark your SSD to a premature death by subjecting it to frequent comprehensive benchmark tests!

7a. Simple hdparm test:

hdparm -tT /dev/sdx

Run it twice in rapid succession — normally the second run is fastest.

7b. hdparm with O_DIRECT kernel flag:

hdparm --direct -tT /dev/sdx

7c. More reliable benchmark using dd:

# cd to some directory on the SSD, then
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=tempfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync, notrunc
1024 +0 records in
1024 +0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 2.18232 s, 492 Mb/s

Now (as root) clear the buffer cache to force reading directly from disk:
# echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
$ tempfile dd if=of=/dev/null bs=1M count=1024
1024 +0 records in
1024 +0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 2 , 55234 s, 421 Mb/s

Now we have the last file in the buffer cache and measure its speed:
$ dd if=tempfile of=/dev/null bs=1M count=1024
1024 +0 records in
1024 +0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 0.122594 s, 8.8 Gb/s

For the most accurate possible value for your SSD, re-run the last command 5 times and average the results.

7d. Other benchmarking tools are bonnie++ and compilebench. Have fun!

REFERENCES:

[1] Debian Wiki https://wiki.debian.org/SSDOptimization

[2] Arch Wiki https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Solid_State_Drives

[3] SSD Endurance Testing http://techreport.com/review/25889/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-500tb-update

[4] Trim Guidance http://blog.neutrino.es/2013/howto-properly-activate-trim-for-your-ssd-on-linux-fstrim-lvm-and-dmcrypt/

It’s that time of year again

The temperatures are dropping, outside your window and even more so within Debian. In less than a month Debian will go into hibernation to prepare for the next stable release Debian 8 »Jessie«. The upcoming freeze leads, even more so than with other Debian releases I remember, to a flurry amongst the developers. Everybody tries to get their latest developements into sid to have a chance to see them integrated in Jessie in a couple of months.

That being said, me abstaining from this blog for a while due to time restraints does not mean, your favourite distribution is not moving forwards. Everyone watching our git repositories will know we are constantly busy improving what we already have. So what have we been doing? Besides working on a better integration of systemd into our build tools we are concentrating on two releases: for one, 2014.1 has still not materialized, even though a lot of work has already been devoted to it.

The reason for that is that at this moment, there is only one desktop environment that could undoubtedly be released as is and that is XFCE. This is due to the fact that there has been no major updates for quite some time now. On a close second rank is KDE SC, which is, despite the upcoming switch to it’s fifth iteration, in pretty good shape. Gnome has just been updating (or is still in the process of doing so) to 3.14, with some glitches to be ironed out still.

Then there is the LXDE/LXQT/Razor-Qt conglomerate. As you will know, LXDE and Razor-Qt are going together under the Qt framework to form a new desktop environment. Razor-Qt will not be released by us anymore, it is practicaly dead, while LXQT is not quite where it needs to be for a release. As LXQT 0.8 is still not released (a 0.8rc1 might be due these days), LXQT unfortunately will not make it into Jessie. We will for sure let you try out a dev-release once LXQT is worthy of it.

Another desktop environment that will definitely make it it into debian’s next release is cinnamon. And that is the second relesase I told you we were working on. Before sicution 2014.1, in a matter of days, we will bring to you a dev-release of siduction cinnamon. Longtime supporter musca has commited himself to bring cinnamon into shape for siduction and I can tell you that a lot of love went into this project. So soon you will see a rather polished dev-release bringing the cinnamon desktop to siduction. You now may hold your breath.

Release notes for siduction LXQt Dev Release

Please welcome a new linux citizen!

We are very happy to present to you today, straight from LinuxTag conference in Berlin, the first integration of the shiny new desktop environment LXQt into a distribution image. This is clearly labeled as a Dev-Release, so do not trust it, it might kill your kittens, although the developers of LXQt flagged it as being beta status. The image is to be found on this and other mirrors.

The released image, that is only available for 64-bit for now is a snapshot of Debian unstable, that also goes by the name of Sid, from 2014-05-08. They are enhanced with the lightweight LXQt desktop environment, some useful packages and scripts, our own installer and a custom patched version of the linux-kernel 3.14-3, accompanied by X-Server 1.15.1.

LXQt, the new kid in town

LXQt, the kingpin of this release is a shiny new desktop environment, that , remarkebly enough, came to live through a merge, not a fork. The desktop envirmonments LXDE (GTK+ 2) and Razor-Qt (Qt 4) bundled their ressources and, on May 7, after more than a year of development, released a first beta version LXQt 0.7, based on top of the Qt 4 framework. The developers say, the port to Qt needs just a bit more RAM than LXDE did, but performance is said to be as blazingly fast as we know LXDE is.

As with our latest full release from January 2014 we again make use of Systemd as init system in version, which Debian will also ship, starting with the release of Debian 8 “Jessie”, expected in early 2015. It is clearly the most technicaly advanced of the init systems at hand.

New commands

Here is a little cheat sheet with some of the commands that are new for booting, handling services and logging with systemd:

Handling Services

  • systemctl list-units – List all units (where unit is the term for a job/service)
  • systemctl start [NAME...] – Start (activate) one or more units
  • systemctl stop [NAME...] – Stop (deactivate) one or more units
  • systemctl disable [NAME...] – Disable one or more unit files

Check man systemctl for more information. For your comfort we also ship systemd-ui, which is called with the command systemadm.

Changing Runlevels, Reboot and Shutdown

Changing runlevels is also different from sysvinit. What was known as runlevel 3 is now multi-user.target, init 5 changes to graphical.target:

  • systemctl isolate graphical.target – Will take you to what you know as init 5
  • systemctl isolate multi-user.target – Will take you to what you know as init 3
  • systemctl reboot – Shut down and reboot the system
  • systemctl poweroff – Shut down and reboot the system

Logging with Systemd Journal

    Journal is a great win over the agedsyslog. Logging starts earlier, which for sure was one of the backsides ofsyslog. Also there is commands that give you tailored information at your fingertips.

  • journalctl –all – gives you the full journal of the system and all users
  • journalctl -f – gives you a live view of the journal as it grows (used to be tail -f /var/log/messages)
  • journalctl -b – shows the log of the last boot
  • journalctl -b -p err – shows the log of last boot, limited to the priority ERROR
  • journalctl –since=yesterday – since Linux people normaly do not reboot much, this is limiting it more than -b

That is only the tip of the iceberg, more is to be found on Lennart Poetterings blog

Since we still ship a compatibility package called systemd-sysv, you can also continue to use the commands you are used to for now, other than the ones for the journal. Besides that we set up systemd in a way, where you can use all the above commands for the journal as plain user, no root needed.

Our Resources

siduction Forum
siduction Blog
Git Archive
Distro News
Bug-Tracker
siduction-Map

Support can be obtained on our forum as well as on IRC. The relevant channels on OFTC-Network are #siduction for english support or #siduction-core, if you like to join in and participate. On your desktop you also find an icon that takes you to the right channel for support, depending on the chosen language.

To be able to act as a testbed for Debian, we are introducing our own bug-tracker. Let me explain how you can help us and Debian by submitting bugreports for broken packages. Weathered users will know how to file bugs directly with the Debian BTS (Bug Tracking System). For users not so comfortable with the system we have reportbug-ng preinstalled.

If you think, you found a bug in a Debian package, please start reportbug-ng and put the name of the package in the adressline on top. The app will now search through the already filed bugs for that package and show those. Now it’s up to you to determine, if “your” bug has already been reported. If it is, ask yourself if you have anything relevant to add to this report or maybe even a patch. If not, you are done for this time. If the bug has not been reported yet and you are not familiar with the BTS yet, you may report the bug in our Bug-Tracker.

That obviously goes for siduction packages as well. We will sort the bugs for you and file them in the appropriate place, if it’s reproducible. Please look out for a forum post with more detailed info on the bug-tracker soon.

Speaking of release and our planned release cycle. There is nothing we can tell you other than that we strive for 2-4 releases per year.

As we are always looking for contributors, here is what to do: Come to IRC to channel #siduction-core and talk to us about what you would like to do within the project, or where you think you could help. As you will notice if you scroll down, we have no art-team at the moment. If you are willing and capable, talk to us.

Hardware Tips

If you should own a ATI Radeon graphics accelerator, please use the failsafe option, when booting the Live-ISO. This option will add the cheatcodes radeon.modeset=0 xmodule=vesa to the Kernel bootline, so that you can boot to X. Before installing, on the Live-ISO, please install firmware-linux-nonfree. To do so, please open your /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list with your favourite editor as root and append contrib non-free to the end of the first line. Save the edit and do:

apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree

If you install the operating system now, the package will be installed also, preventing you from a garbled screen when first rebooting. Mind that if you rebootbefore installing the system, the changes you made will be lost.

If your system has wireless network, this will probably not work out of the box with free drivers, so you better start with wired network connected. You might want to use the script fw-detect to get information on wireless drivers. The installer will prompt you for any missing firmware and guide you through the process of installing it.

Last but not least a hint for users of the kernel based virtual machine KVM. The developement of a frontend for the kernelbased virtual machine (kvm) has begun as a fork of qemu with the name qemu-kvm or short “kvm”. Since qemu version 1.4 all patches of the kvm fork have been integrated back into the qemu source. Also there has been much progress in the field of virtualization. So there is a lot of outdated documentation around. We have a current worksheet for Qemu in our wiki.

Credits for the dev release of siduction LXQt

Core Team:

Alf Gaida (agaida)
Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
Axel Beu (ab)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
Hendrik Lehmbruch (hendrikl)
Markus Meyer (coruja)
Tom Wroblewski (GoingEasy 9)
Torsten Wohlfarth (towo)

Maintainers of the siduction Desktop Environments:

GNOME: Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
KDE: Ferdinand Thommes (devil), José Manuel Santamaría Lema (santa)
LXDE: Markus Meyer (coruja)
noX: Alf Gaida (agaida)
Razor-qt: Alf Gaida (agaida)
XFCE: Torsten Wolfahrt (towo)
LXQt: Alf Gaida (agaida)
 

Art Team:

missing in action :)
Seriously, we need contributors for siduction release art!

Code, ideas and support:

ayla
bluelupo
der_bud
J. Hamatoma (hama)
Markus Schimpf (arno911)
Joogi
musca

Thank you!

Also thank you very much to all testers and all the people giving us support in any possible way. This is also your achievement.

We also want to thank Debian, as we are using their base.

And now enjoy the new linux citizen that came from a merger, not a fork!

On behalf of the siduction team:
Ferdinand Thommes

It’s that time of year again – LinuxTag is here

Yes, it is. LinuxTag (LT) conference and fair starts tomorrow. We have a new location, moving away from Berlin Messe, the big convention center, to a more cozy place called The Station. So everyone involved is real excited about how the new concept is going to pan out. We again share a booth with Debian and Kanotix.

This year we have two big surprises for our visitors. For one we do a Linux quiz with valuable prices, like a Intel NUC mini-pc, a Raspberry Pi, accompanied by a book with projects for it, a beginners book about learning Python and t-shirts and USB-Sticks.

Secondly we will have our by now traditonal release for LT. This one is kind of special, as it is the first official appearance of a new desktop environment. Today the teams behind LXDE and Razor-Qt have, with a little help from siduction, released the first version of the united LXQt desktop environment, based on the Qt framework, LXQt 0.7.0. During LT we will offer an image for download and on display at LT that features the newcomer.

2

So, if you are in town, come see us on community day, which is on Saturday, May 10th, when admission is €10 only. We throw a little party at our booth with beer and snacks at 16:00, announcing the winners of our little quiz.

Fix Release for siduction 2013.2 December

Due to a very tenacious bug in our installer, that took some time to fix and after some stabilization for systemd, we decided to put out a set of fresh images. Besides the fixes we ship KDE 4.12.1 with this set of images called siduction 2013.2.1. The bug in the installer affected mostly users that had an install of our predecessor aptosid installed at some point and had one of their greek codenames still in /etc/aptosid-version or used non-asci characters in the installer. So that was fun. We also tried to ship kernel 3.13, but due to a still unsolved regression it would not boot past busybox in KVM or VBox. So we went back to 3.12-8 for siduction 2013.2.1. For 2014.1 we will keep on working on the instsaller UI, which is too cluttered overall.

Release notes for siduction 2013.2 with systemd

We are very happy to present to you the final release of siduction 2013.2 – December. siduction is a distribution based on Debian’s unstable branch and we try to release a few new snapshots over the course of each year.

Since the release of the RC we have ironed out some nasty bugs with language-packs, unicode handling in the installer and stabilization within systemd. We believe, that there is no release critical bugs left, so here we go.

siduction 2013.2 – December is shipped with 5 desktop environments: KDE SC, XFCE, LXDE, Razor-Qt and GNOME, all in 32- and 64-bit variants. From the included DEs this time around only LXDE fits on a CD with 700 MegaByte. But as CDs become more irrelevant with every day, we are not too worried about this and recommend to use USB-Sticks for installation.

The released images are a snapshot of Debian unstable, that also goes by the name of Sid, from 2013-12-30. They are enhanced with some useful packages and scripts, our own installer and a custom patched version of the linux-kernel 3.12, accompanied by X-Server 1.14.5-1.

Besides those desktop environments we also include noX, which had it’s premiere with the last release and is an environment without X. There is, last, but not least, an image that listens to the name of Xorg and it features the minimal window manager Fluxbox on top of X.

New in this release cycle is the use of Systemd. While Debian is still discussing, what init system to use in the future, siduction has decided to go with Systemd. It is the most technicaly advanced of the init systems at hand, besides that, even if Debian should decide to go with Ubuntu’s Upstart, for various reasons we will not follow them there. Until we have a section on systemd in our manual, we will help you out with some of the most used commands in systemd

What is new

As mentioned above we have taken a step into the possible future of Debian and implemented systemd into siduction as our new init system. Here is a cheat sheet with some of the commands that are new for booting, handling services and logging:

Handling Services

  • systemctl list-units – List all units (where unit is the term for a job/service)
  • systemctl start [NAME...] – Start (activate) one or more units
  • systemctl stop [NAME...] – Stop (deactivate) one or more units
  • systemctl disable [NAME...] – Disable one or more unit files

Check man systemctl for more information. For your comfort we also ship systemd-ui, which is called with the command systemadm.

Changing Runlevels, Reboot and Shutdown

Changing runlevels is also different from sysvinit. What was known as runlevel 3 is now multi-user.target, init 5 changes to graphical.target:

  • systemctl isolate graphical.target – Will take you to what you know as init 5
  • systemctl isolate multi-user.target – Will take you to what you know as init 3
  • systemctl reboot – Shut down and reboot the system
  • systemctl poweroff – Shut down and reboot the system

Logging with Systemd Journal

    Journal is a great win over the agedsyslog. Logging starts earlier, which for sure was one of the backsides ofsyslog. Also there is commands that give you tailored information at your fingertips.

  • journalctl –all – gives you the full journal of the system and all users
  • journalctl -f – gives you a live view of the journal as it grows (used to be tail -f /var/log/messages)
  • journalctl -b – shows the log of the last boot
  • journalctl -b -p err – shows the log of last boot, limited to the priority ERROR
  • journalctl –since=yesterday – since Linux people normaly do not reboot much, this is limiting it more than -b

That is only the tip of the iceberg, more is to be found on Lennart Poetterings blog

Since we still ship a compatibility package called systemd-sysv, you can also continue to use the commands you are used to for now, other than the ones for the journal. Besides that we set up systemd in a way, where you can use all the above commands for the journal as plain user, no root needed.

Gnome

As Gnome is still pretty new in our release cycle, here is a few hints on how to run it:

There are two ways to start your gnome-session:

* gnome-fallback, which implements the GNOME2 look
* GNOME, which implements the GNOME3 look and desktop-effects

To be able to start gnome as a gnome3-session, your videocard must be accelerated. Users of ATI graphic cards must have firmware-linux-nonfree installed to be able to launch GNOME3. By default in live mode gnome-fallback is started. After installation, GNOME3 mode is enabled. That means, users of ATI cards must install firmware-linux-nonfree before starting the installer.

Boot cheatcode “gnome”

If you want to force a GNOME3-session even in live mode, you can use the cheatcode gnome to the kernel-bootline. This does not work for users with ATI cards other than with a persistent overlay on a USB device.

And besides that?

We ship, for the second time, noX as an official release, which was introduced first in October 2012 as development release. As there is no graphical environment, you need to use cli-installer as root to run the installation.

XFCE is being shipped in version 4.10.1 and is as reliable as ever. Contrary to Gnome, XFCE stays away from shipping systemd code for now.

For our KDE SC users we packaged the latest available version KDE SC 4.11.4. The rewrite of siduction-settings-kde is basicaly done, a few adjustments to colours and other small changes were made before the final release.

Razor-Qt is still on a slightly modified version 0.5.2, which has better plugins and overall functionality. This will be improved even more with the upcoming version 0.6, which already is in our razorqt/next repository for the brave at heart. We will release this sometime and then switch over to lxde-qt, which will be the product of Razor-qt and LXDE joining forces with Qt as base. Other than that all Qt versions of apps have been updated.

This is probably the last release of LXDE as we know it in siduction. As mentioned above. LXDE goes together with Razor-Qt to form a new DE based on Qt.This release of LXDE is ahead of Debian due to us working with LXDE upstream. That means that pcmanfm, lxappearance and lxappearance-obconf are freshly packaged upstream versions. Also our version of Midori is slightly ahead of Debian.

A lot of time consuming changes again went into adapting the codebase we forked to our needs. This time the former bluewater-manual base was completely changed. We went from static pages to Django and adjusted the appearance to the siduction look and make it match our new website that we just launched a couple weeks ago. Work on the sidu-manual, as it is called now, is ongoing to make it a lot easier to add new content than before.

All in all we closed more than 170 bugs since the last final release.

The installer offers btrfs still as an experimental filesystem. Please be careful if you use it and always backup your data.

Our Resources

siduction Forum
siduction Blog
Git Archive
Distro News
Bug-Tracker
siduction-Map

Support can be obtained on our forum as well as on IRC. The relevant channels on OFTC-Network are #siduction for english support or #siduction-core, if you like to join in and participate. On your desktop you also find an icon that takes you to the right channel for support, depending on the chosen language.

To be able to act as a testbed for Debian, we are introducing our own bug-tracker. Let me explain how you can help us and Debian by submitting bugreports for broken packages. Weathered users will know how to file bugs directly with the Debian BTS (Bug Tracking System). For users not so comfortable with the system we have reportbug-ng preinstalled.

If you think, you found a bug in a Debian package, please start reportbug-ng and put the name of the package in the adressline on top. The app will now search through the already filed bugs for that package and show those. Now it’s up to you to determine, if “your” bug has already been reported. If it is, ask yourself if you have anything relevant to add to this report or maybe even a patch. If not, you are done for this time. If the bug has not been reported yet and you are not familiar with the BTS yet, you may report the bug in our Bug-Tracker.

That obviously goes for siduction packages as well. We will sort the bugs for you and file them in the appropriate place, if it’s reproducible. Please look out for a forum post with more detailed info on the bug-tracker soon. If all this seems to complicated for now, feel free to use the bugs-thread on the forum for now, it will keep working until final release.

Should you have wondered, where the codename ‘December’ comes from, let me tell you that we name our releases after famous rocksongs. Collective Soul had a hit with December in 2005 and it perfectly fits our release date.

Speaking of release and our planned release cycle. There is nothing we can tell you other than that we strive for 2-4 releases per year.

As we are always looking for contributors, here is what to do: Come to IRC to channel #siduction-core and talk to us about what you would like to do within the project, or where you think you could help. As you will notice if you scroll down, we have no art-team at the moment. If you are willing and capable, talk to us.

Hardware Tips

If you should own a ATI Radeon graphics accelerator, please use the failsafe option, when booting the Live-ISO. This option will add the cheatcodes radeon.modeset=0 xmodule=vesa to the Kernel bootline, so that you can boot to X. Before installing, on the Live-ISO, please install firmware-linux-nonfree. To do so, please open your /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list with your favourite editor as root and append contrib non-free to the end of the first line. Save the edit and do:

apt-get update && apt-get install firmware-linux-nonfree

If you install the operating system now, the package will be installed also, preventing you from a garbled screen when first rebooting. Mind that if you rebootbefore installing the system, the changes you made will be lost.

If your system has wireless network, this will probably not work out of the box with free drivers, so you better start with wired network connected. You might want to use the script fw-detect to get information on wireless drivers. The installer will prompt you for any missing firmware and guide you through the process of installing it.

Last but not least a hint for users of the kernel based virtual machine KVM. The developement of a frontend for the kernelbased virtual machine (kvm) has begun as a fork of qemu with the name qemu-kvm or short “kvm”. Since qemu version 1.4 all patches of the kvm fork have been integrated back into the qemu source. Also there has been much progress in the field of virtualization. So there is a lot of outdated documentation around. We have a current worksheet for Qemu in our wiki.

Credits for siduction 2013.2

Core Team:

Alf Gaida (agaida)
Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
Axel Beu (ab)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
Hendrik Lehmbruch (hendrikl)
Markus Meyer (coruja)
Tom Wroblewski (GoingEasy 9)
Torsten Wohlfarth (towo)

Maintainers of the siduction Desktop Environments:

GNOME: Angelescu Ovidiu (convbsd)
KDE: Ferdinand Thommes (devil), José Manuel Santamaría Lema (santa)
LXDE: Markus Meyer (coruja)
noX: Alf Gaida (agaida)
Razor-qt: Alf Gaida (agaida)
XFCE: Torsten Wolfahrt (towo)

Art Team:

missing in action :)
Seriously, we need contributors for siduction release art!

Code, ideas and support:

ayla
bluelupo
der_bud
J. Hamatoma (hama)
Markus Schimpf (arno911)
Joogi
musca

Thank you!

Also thank you very much to all testers and all the people giving us support in any possible way. This is also your achievement.

We also want to thank Debian, as we are using their base.

And now enjoy!

On behalf of the siduction team:
Ferdinand Thommes

New website launched

After just two weeks of tinkering, we moved our website over… Well no, not really, let me start over :)

Together with the first release of siduction we also wanted to move our website away from Zikula, the CMS that we had used before. We find it unnecessarily complicated in administration without at the same time offering an adequate plethora of options and nifty tools, specially when it comes to things like spam protection. First off we had an intensive look at Joomla, did not really warm to it though. At least, in the process, I learned a lot about setting up Joomla with multiple languages, which a year ago was anything but straight forward. Continue reading