Today we are proud to release siduction 2018.2.0 with the flavours KDE, LXQt, GNOME, Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, Lxde, Xorg and noX. The released images are a snapshot of Debian unstable, that also goes by the name of Sid, from 2018-03-04. They are enhanced with some useful packages and scripts, an installer based on Calamares and a custom patched version of the linux-kernel 4.15.7, accompanied by X-Server 1.19.5 and systemd 237.4.
KDE Plasma stands at version 5.12.2, while GNOME comes in at 3.26 with some packages still at 3.24. LXQt ships at 0.12.0 and Xfce at 4.12.4, while Cinnamon comes in at 3.4.6 and MATE at 1.20.0. Sadly, right now, GNOME, MATE and LXDE are largely unmaintained. If noone steps up to keep them in a releaseable state, we might have to drop these flavours with our next release. The corresponding packages will stay in the archives.
This release comes with the name “patience 2018.2.0”. How we deal with this in the future is unclear. The next release will ship whatever we come up with. Maybe it’ll be just numbers…
Meltdown & Spectre
Shortly after our last release 2018.1.0 the world made acquaintance with two vulnerabilities that will stay with us for a long time. In mitigating Meltdown & Spectre, siduction was as close to the kernel as possible to be able to get fixes in as soon as they roll out. Kernel 4.15.7 has most of the bases covered, even though there will be more coming with 4.16 expected in April.
For users to be able to easily check the status of your system regarding Meltdown & Spectre, we added the package spectre-meltdown-checker to the image. Just call it as root and you will see at a glance where we are in that regard.
Plasma 5.12, KF 5.42
We are happy to say, KDE moved up a notch in Debian and Plasma 5.12 entered Sid, accompanied by KDE Frameworks 5.42. Plasma 5.12 is a LTS release and has some nice improvements. The dash now has an extra tab which integrates plasmoids in the menu. Plasma 5.12 feels more snappy, needs less CPU and memory resources. Flatpak is fully integrated in Discover.
We have removed Ceni (for setting up
/etc/network/interfaces/) from all flavours but noX and Xorg. It interfers with Network-Manager and speaks only IPv4. Besides that it is easy enough to get a dhcp lease with
dhclient, if you have a network cable at hand. You can still find Ceni in the archive, should you want to install it.
Features of siduction 2018.2.0
Years ago we decided to not install recommends anymore for our releases or when the user installs a package. The handling of that feature in Debian was not as we thought it should be. A lot of cruft was installed to the system and we wanted to prevent that. Times have changed and so has the handling of recommends. So now the recommends that the maintainer sets for a package are installed in siduction. If you would like recommends not installed, you can override our decision in
/etc/apt/apt.conf.d/80-siduction in the line
Rotation for Journald
To prevent the journal from growing too large we have implemented a journal-rotation and a maximum size to the journal. You can overrule this setting by editing the files in
/etc/journal.conf.d/. There will be a blog post on this topic within the next days.
We built two small scripts to turn SSH on and off in the live and in the installed system. They are aptly named SSH Activate and SSH Deactivate and you can find them in your menu.
Calamares – our new installer
This is the 3rd release with the new installer built from the Calamares Installer Framework and we are quite happy with it. It is under steady developement and will in the near future improve quite a bit on LVM and LUKS2.
The partitioning is done by the brand new kpmcore 3.3.1 (git), which is also at the heart of the KDE Partition Manager (KPM). The corresponding package for that is called partitionmanager.
UEFI installs made easy
With Calamares we can proclaim full implementation of UEFI-Installs since 2017.1.0. For now we still have encryption with LUKS and LVM turned off, which Calamares offers as an option. We want to be on top of that feature before we offer it to you. Offering it means we need to be able to support this critical functionality. We do not feel we can do this adequatly at the moment, as it is an ongoing developement, that should be more mature with kpmcore 3.4.
The installer does not offer the option to opt-out software that does not
comply with DFSG, the Debian Free Software Guidelines. That means that non-free packages would be installed by default on the system. The command
vrms will list these packages. One can remove not wanted packages manually or remove them all by issuing
apt purge $(vrms -s) before or after installation
The very same topic has ruffled feathers on the debian deverloper mailing list last month with two extensive threads and a possible future solution layed out by Russ Allbery.
The following non-free and contrib packages are installed by default: non-free
* amd64-microcode – Processor microcode firmware for AMD CPUs
* firmware-amd-graphics – Binary firmware for AMD/ATI graphics chips
* firmware-atheros – Binary firmware for Atheros wireless cards
* firmware-bnx2 – Binary firmware for Broadcom NetXtremeII
* firmware-bnx2x – Binary firmware for Broadcom NetXtreme II 10Gb
* firmware-brcm80211 – Binary firmware for Broadcom 802.11 wireless card
* firmware-crystalhd – Crystal HD Video Decoder (firmware)
* firmware-intelwimax – Binary firmware for Intel WiMAX Connection
* firmware-iwlwifi – Binary firmware for Intel Wireless cards
* firmware-libertas – Binary firmware for Marvell Libertas 8xxx wireless car
* firmware-linux-nonfree – Binary firmware for various drivers in the Linux kernel
* firmware-misc-nonfree – Binary firmware for various drivers in the Linux kernel
* firmware-myricom – Binary firmware for Myri-10G Ethernet adapters
* firmware-netxen – Binary firmware for QLogic Intelligent Ethernet (3000)
* firmware-qlogic – Binary firmware for QLogic HBAs
* firmware-realtek – Binary firmware for Realtek wired/wifi/BT adapters
* firmware-ti-connectivity – Binary firmware for TI Connectivity wireless network
* firmware-zd1211 – binary firmware for the zd1211rw wireless driver
* intel-microcode – Processor microcode firmware for Intel CPUs
* b43-fwcutter – utility for extracting Broadcom 43xx firmware
* firmware-b43-installer – firmware installer for the b43 driver
* firmware-b43legacy-installer – firmware installer for the b43legacy driver
* iucode-tool – Intel processor microcode
New paste script
We have retired the old paste-script, that ran under the name
siduction-paste. It’s place was taken by what is now called
simple-paste. Simple-paste is a cli swiss army-knife for pasting, written in bash, powered by pb. It supports command output, different kinds of screenshots, (auto-)deletable pastes and much more.
32-bit architecture was retired recently
As already mentioned in the news section, with the 2017.1.0 release we retired the 32-bit architecture. The work that it took to build and maintain that architecture is in our humble opinion better invested in other places. Users that still need 32-bit can come talk to us on IRC or send a PM and we will try to find a solution for these particular cases.
Credits for siduction 2018.2.0
Alf Gaida (agaida)
Axel Beu (ab)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
Torsten Wohlfarth (towo)
J. Theede (musca)
Kernel: Torsten Wolfahrt (towo)
Buildsystem/Installer: Alf Gaida (agaida)
Grub/Themes: Hendrik Lehmbruch (hendrikL)
Cinnamon: J. Theede (musca)
Gnome: J. Theede (muscca)
KDE: Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
LXDE: Alf Gaida (agaida)
LXQt: Alf Gaida (agaida)
XFCE: Torsten Wolfahrt (towo)
Mate: J. Theede (musca)
noX: Alf Gaida (agaida)
XFCE: Torsten Wolfahrt (towo)
XORG(fluxbox): Alf Gaida (agaida)
Code, ideas and support:
Markus Meyer (coruja)
Hendrik Lehmbruch (hendrikL)
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: