Nine Linux distros to keep an eye on in 2015

In today's open source roundup: Nine Linux distributions worth watching in 2015. Plus: Security problems in North Korea Linux 3.0, and Xubuntu or Linux Mint Xfce for an old laptop?

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Nicolas Rougier

Watch these nine Linux distributions in 2015

There are many different Linux distributions available, but not all distros are created equal. ITworld has a list of nine Linux distributions that are worth watching in 2015.

Bryan Lunduke reports:

Predictions are fun. We all enjoy tech predictions at the beginning of each year. This isn't that. This is a list of the nine Linux Distributions that I feel will be the most interesting to watch during 2015. We're talking both desktop and mobile here because, let's face it, Linux is everywhere. (Note: I say these will be the most "interesting to watch," not necessarily the best or the highest quality. Just the most interesting and entertaining to keep tabs on.)

Ubuntu Touch
elementary OS
Sailfish and Firefox

More at ITworld

North Korea Linux 3.0 security vulnerabilities

The latest version of North Korea Linux has gotten quite a bit of media attention. But now the press has shifted to reporting on vulnerabilities in North Korea's version of Linux.

Richard Chirgwin reports for The Register:

Well, that didn't take long: mere days after North Korea's Red Star OS leaked to the west in the form of an ISO, security researchers have started exposing its vulnerabilities. According to this post at Seclists, the udev rules in version 3.0 of the US and the rc.sysint script in version 2.0 are both world-writable. Both of these have root privilege.

Because of the slack file permission management in Red Star 3.0, the device manager for HP 1000-series LaserJet printers, /etc/udev/rules.d/85-hplj10xx.rules, can be modified to include RUN+= arguments. These commands will run on on the udev daemon as root. There's a demonstration at github.

More at The Register

Xubuntu or Linux Mint Xfce for an old laptop?

The Xfce desktop is available in different distros, including Xubuntu and Linux Mint. But which version should a user pick? A redditor asked and got some interesting answers.

Alexkrysel asked whether he should use Xubuntu or Linux Mint Xfce for his old laptop:

I want to install Linux on my old laptop and I'm unsure which one of these two distros I should use. I assume they are very similar since Mint is based of Ubuntu and sadly my googling didn't result in anything helpful, aside from Mint being better for playing DVDs, which is not something that matters to me.

More at Reddit

Tyco5150: "I have an old laptop and I tried both. In my opinion Linux mint feels faster and snappier for me. They are both great OS's."

Xefelqes: "I'm currently on Xubuntu and I couldn't have been more happier. VERY lightweight and just perfect for any beginner. Anyway, just boot into a live session of any distro and see for yourself - this is the best way."

Linuxllc: "Can't go wrong with either. I'm using Linux Lite which is also a Xfce DE. It's very light indeed. You also could try out Crunchbang. It's very light just using Openbox with Tint2. It's a very fun Linux distro. Don't take long to figure out how to customize it. If you don't like the default settings. "

Haitechan: "I prefer Xubuntu, it's a little more lightweight than Mint, but both are nice options. However, I'm currently using Manjaro and it's a delight to use: my printer got detected automatically (I had to resort to debs to get it working under Xubuntu) and the community is super friendly. Also you have nice utilities like choosing your kernel with just a few clicks. I suggest try Manjaro and see if it suits your tastes."

More at Reddit

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