Release Notes for siduction 2021.3.0 »Wintersky«

Just before the holidays, we present you siduction 2021.3.0. This edition is called “Wintersky”. User and password for the live session are siducer/live.

With that out of the way, we need to inform you of some changes. Those who have read our call for collaboration in the forum know that we lack the time to adequately maintain siduction in its current incarnation. Therefore, we have decided to stop publishing some desktop variants for the official release for the time being. We will stop shipping Cinnamon and LXDE in addition to MATE, which was already missing in the last release, and concentrate on KDE Plasma, LXQt, Xfce, Xorg and noX.

Official Releases and Test-Builds

We will continue to provide images for all desktop environments, including the officially discontinued desktops, on the test builds server every 4 – 6 weeks, if they can be created without extra work. The images on test builds are unofficial and will continue to be tested only by booting and installing them. If users from the community can be found who want to maintain one of the desktops, it can be promoted back to the officially supported desktops. Of course, all discontinued desktops are still installable through packages via the repositories.

What’s new this time around?

The flavours and versions we offer for siduction 2021.3.0 are KDE Plasma 5.23.4, LXQt 0.16, Xfce 4.16, and the Xorg and noX images, where Xorg comes with the window manager Fluxbox, while noX does without X altogether. The released images of siduction 2021.3.0 are a snapshot of Debian Unstable, also codenamed Sid, from Dec. 23, 2021, enriched with some useful packages and scripts, a Calamares-based installer and a customized version of the Linux kernel 5.15.11, while systemd is at 249.7-1.

iNet Wireless Daemon

The iNet Wireless Daemon (iwd), which we already shipped with siduction 2021.1.0 for the flavors Xorg and noX, is now also responsible for WiFi on Plasma, LXQt and Xfce. iwd is lightweight and establishes connections to WiFi faster than was possible with wpa_supplicant. iwd works stand alone or together with NetworkManager, systemd-networkd and Connman. Our implementation works with NetworkManager, you can just configure it the same way you are used to. If you prefer to have wpa_supplicant back, you can follow the steps below:

First, iwd.service is stopped and masked, then NetworkManager.service is stopped, /etc/NetworkManger/conf.d/nm.conf is renamed, wpa_supplicant.service is unmasked and started, and finally NetworkManager.service is started again:

  • sudo systemctl stop iwd.service
  • sudo systemctl mask iwd.service
  • sudo systemctl stop NetworkManager.service
  • sudo mv /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/nm.conf /etc/NetworkManager/conf.d/nm.conf~
  • sudo systemctl unmask wpa_supplicant.service
  • sudo systemctl start NetworkManager.service

Now you should be able to reconnect your wireless device via wpa_supplicant. Two things iwd can’t do yet are connections via WPA/WPA2 Enterprise and handle hidden networks correctly.

doas as alternative for sudo

We have also shipped doas pre-installed before. We do not replace sudo, but offer doas as a lightweight alternative. Both can be installed and configured at the same time and be alernatingly used. So far, there is no bash_completion for doas, so we created and included one ourselves. Thus, doas is available as a full-fledged replacement for sudo for desktop use.

Make doas ready for use

doas is shipped without a configuration file in Debian. Therefore, it is necessary to create one first and to equip it with the basic rights:

  • nano /etc/doas.conf

and add the line:

  • permit keepenv :[user]

where [user] is replaced with the corresponding user without the brackets. The whole thing works also without password, then the line looks like this:

  • permit keepenv nopass :[user]

If sudo is already configured and thus a group named sudo exists, the line is also sufficient:

  • permit :sudo

On multi-user systems, members of the wheel group are authorized with the permit :wheel line. For more options, see the man page. Additional information is provided in a blog entry and a detailed article.

Other than that …

New in sid and thus in siduction is PipeWire as a replacement for PulseAudio and Jack. In the future, it will also take care of the video section. We have also replaced ncdu with the much faster gdu and preinstalled CopyQ as a clipboard manager. We removed Digikam from the image because of its size of ~ 130 MByte.

Plans for Calamares

We are excited to see, that Calamares meanwhile masters the encryption of the installation. As a small Christmas present, during the installation we show a small slideshow with some of our wallpapers from the last 10 years. For the near future, we have more plans with Calamares. We want to release an image where the desktop environment as well as single packages can be selected for it in the installer.

Non-free and Contrib:

The following non-free and contrib packages are installed by default:

Nonfree:

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

Contrib:

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

Remove Non-Free:

Currently, the installer does not offer the possibility to deselect packages that do not comply with the DFSG, the Debian Free Software Guidelines. This means that packages such as non-free firmware are installed on the system by default. The vrms command will list these packages for you. You can remove unwanted packages manually or all together by typing apt purge $(vrms -s) before or after installation. Otherwise, our remove-nonfree script can do this for you.

Installation notes and known issues

  • If you want to reuse an existing home partition (or another data partition), you should add it after the installation and not in the Calamares installer.
  • With some Intel graphics processors on some devices, the system may freeze shortly after booting into Live. To fix this, you must set the kernel parameter intel_iommu=igfx_off before booting again.

Credits for siduction 2021.3.0

Core Team:

Torsten Wohlfarth (towo)
Hendrik Lehmbruch (hendrikL)
Ferdinand Thommes (devil)
Vinzenz Vietzke (vinzv)

Code, ideas and support:

Alf Gaida (agaida) (eaten by the cat)
Axel Beu (ab) 2021†

Axel Konrad (akli)
der_bud
Markus Meyer (coruja)
Stefan Tell (cryptosteve]

Many thanks to all involved!

This is also thanks to you. We would also like to thank Debian, as we stand on the shoulders of giants.
And now have fun!

On behalf of the siduction team:

Ferdinand Thommes

11 thoughts on “Release Notes for siduction 2021.3.0 »Wintersky«

  1. unable to get past the grub menu. it freezes at rule based manager for device events and files. installed (debian sid) and it boots perfectly.

  2. unable to get past the grub menu. second install attempt now freezes at lsb: adaptive readahead daemon not giving up yet

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