Debian Project Aims to Keep the CIA Off Our Computers

Lunar, one of the lead developers on the Debian ReproducibleBuilds project, has recently outlined a serious security hole that could impact all open-source software, including most Linux distributions. It potentially exposes users to unwanted scrutiny from third parties, including security agencies. His project is designed to close this hole.

Goodbye, Pi. Hello, C.H.I.P.

A new mini-computer is on the way, and it looks like it may be the Raspberry Pi killer we've all been waiting for (sorry Pi). C.H.I.P. is its name, and it looks set to wipe the floor with its established competitor on several counts: 1. It's completely open source. I don't just mean the software, either.

More PXE Magic

In this article, I've decided to follow up on a topic I wrote about not in my column directly, but as a feature article called "PXE Magic" in the April 2008 issue.

Aptosid - An Overview

aptosid might sound like a package management tool, but it's actually a desktop-orientated (KDE4 or XFCE) Debian derived Linux distro. It's more than a mere respin of Debian, but does it have what it takes to distinguish it from all of the other desktop distros?

Customize a Distro with Remastersys

Remastersys is a complete system backup tool, but it can also be used to create your own customized remix of an Ubuntu or Debian installation. Basically, you customize a running system and create an install disk that will recreate it. If you've ever wanted to create your own distribution, you won't believe how simple this is to use. Mikebuntu, here we come...

Spotlight On Linux: CrunchBang

CrunchBang is a lightweight Linux distribution based on Debian. It comes in OpenBox and XFCE editions, and a very dark visual theme. It's the OpenBox version that I took a look at.

Popcon - Are You In Or Out?

Those of you who regularly install Debian may have noticed a prompt that asks you if you would like to install Popcon, the Debian Popularity Contest. Popcon gathers statistics about package usage and periodically submits it to Debian.

Spotlight on Linux: ZevenOS-Neptune 1.9.1

ZevenOS is a German-born project that offers Debian-based and Ubuntu-based versions of their BeOS-like system. ZevenOS is based on Ubuntu (Xubuntu) and ZevenOS-Neptune is based on Debian Testing. The main purpose is to preserve some of the features of BeOS in a modern, capable operating system.


APTonCD is a GUI tool that can extract the .deb packages that you have manually installed on your machine and selectively copy them to an ISO image that can be burned to a CD or DVD. The tool can then be used, on another machine, to restore those packages.

Alien - Use Any Package On Any Distribution

Sometimes, a utility or an application that you want to install is impossible to find in the format of your distribution. Alien is a utility that can convert one package type into another. It can get you out of a fix when you can't find a package for your distribution, and it is also useful for package maintainers who want to distribute packages for distributions that they don't run. It can work with Slackware, Debian and RPM packages as input and output types.