Donations

If you just want to donate to the project without purchasing any product you can donate here.

Your donations will be used for the following purposes
Finance the distribution
Pay for things like website maintenance
Purchase Equipment
Fund the work of developers

Why donate? Black Lab Linux is free of cost to download and funding is necessary to keep Black Lab Linux free to download as well as aid in costs of maintaining a distribution

How much should I donate? Anything you want to donate, the amount doesnt matter.






Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Black Lab Linux 6.0 Preview available

Today we are pleased to announce the public preview of Black Lab Linux 6.0.  With Black Lab Linux 6.0 we make some significant changes to the Black Lab Linux 6.  These changes are highlighted below.

Switch to GNOME 3, our default desktop switches to a highly customized release of GNOME 3 as our default

GNOME Classic, while Black Lab Linux 6 will be primarily available with hardware we are going to continue to make our community edition available and users will be able to use GNOME Classic with older hardware.

Mate 1.8 Repositories enabled.  For users who want a classic GNOME 2 type experience you will be able to use MATE

Base system based on Ubuntu 14.04

FFmpeg, while Ubuntu removed FFMPEG from the 14.04 repositories we will be making it available

Timeshift System Recovery and Restore

Along with these changes we have made massive changes to the core kernel and other packages.

You can download the Black Lab Linux 6 Preview from Sourceforge:

Black Lab Linux 6.0 Preview

Known Issues:

Older NVIDIA cards may not work during install.  We are working on this issue and hope to have it fixed by Beta 1

Defaults to a login screen:  Leave the username as is and leave the password blank.

Details lists Ubuntu 14.04 as the distro, we have changed that with preview 2

This Preview is not meant to be used on production machines.  We offer no warranty expressed or implied from data loss incurred from your usage

Friday, July 25, 2014

E-Mail Questions for July 2014

Alright guys, we are going to go over our e-mail questions for Black Lab Linux.  a bunch of these questions are in regards to Black Lab Linux 6 since I have been promoting it so heavily on the web, Facebook, Google +, etc.  So without further ado, here go the 10 questions for the month of July.  Something new Im doing is that I gave the team your questions so they also chime in to some of them because they take a very active role in the decision making.  Now, if I dont list your question here make sure you check your mail because I think I replied to all the questions I had.  If I didnt reply, send it back to me. rjdohnert_at_pc-opensystems.com.

1. Steven Cochrane asks: When can we expect to see Black Lab 5.1 and Black Lab 6.  We keep seeing different dates?

Roberto J. Dohnert writes:  Our release dates are approximate, so when we say October or November we will release a more secure date the closer we get.  Black Lab Linux 6 is right now scheduled  for release in February, but Im looking to do a christmas release.  But that depends on the team and how soon they get this stuff done.

2. Michelle Roister asks: Why are you doing a GNOME 3 release for Black Lab Linux 6?  Isnt your distro XFCE only or are you looking at the modernization factor?

Roberto J. Dohnert writes:  We listened to our partners and our mutual customers.  Red Hat who is a partner, along with mutual customers have told us that they wanted a common desktop environment.  Its very hard to sell to commercial customers when they have two user paradigms that they have to consider.  So with GNOME 3 we heavily customized it to be easier to use, and for those that have lower system requirements we also have GNOME Classic, which is the RHEL default desktop, but even our default GNOME 3 configuration uses less than a gig of RAM and is less resource intensive than a stock GNOME 3 setup but if you like certain features of GNOME 3 they are available.  We dont remove anything but rather make them non-active.  GNOME 3 will take the place of XFCE on our Enterprise and Education releases but, those customers that subscribe to custom configurations will continue to get the XFCE and KDE desktops as their default at their choice.

Will XFCE continue to be the default for our community editions?  That depends on a couple of factors.  1.  User feedback  2.  Community contributions 3.  Financial's.  Sales and donations from the community.  Which is very important.  But right now, we are planning for an XFCE, KDE and GNOME 3 release.

3. Nicholas Evans writes:  Isnt the 3.8 kernel series a little out of date?  Why is it the default in Black Lab Linux 5.1?

Roberto J. Dohnert writes:   What we do is take a snapshot of the most stable kernel and we incorporate that into the release.  kernel 3.8 which is pretty stable has already reached end of life from the kernel community but we will continue to support that kernel, but Black Lab Linux 5.1 will have the 3.11 kernel instead.

Layla Davidson writes:  One thing many members of the Linux community forget is that Linux kernel development is so rapid that they release new versions every 3 months so at some point we have to stabilize and maintain one kernel.  We are not a cutting edge distribution but rather one that focuses on stability and performance.

4. Sandra Corens asks:  Who does your icons and wallpapers?  You have some beautiful works as part of your distribution?  What desktop OS do they use?  Are you like Microsoft which uses a Mac for image development?

Cristobal Molina writes:  That would be me, for Black Lab Linux work I use Black Lab Linux for everything with the GIMP and Inkscape.  Some of the wallpapers are chosen from the web under a free license.  For work I use Mac OS X so I use a Macbook Pro dual booted with Mac OS X 10.9 and Black Lab Linux.

Simon Lincoln writes:  I help with some of the artwork and I help choose the wallpapers.  I use a Black Lab BriQ and a Lenovo Thinkpad.  All with Black Lab Linux.

5. Evan Krause asks:  What release of GNOME 3 are you using with Black Lab 6 and what extensions do you use?

Roberto J. Dohnert writes:  The experimental builds use GNOME Shell 3.10 but we will be shipping GNOME Shell 3.12 for the Alphas, Betas and final.  The extensions we use are as follows:  Impatience, Taskbar, Caffeine and Topicons.

6. Andreas Dorrand asks:  I came across Black Lab Linux from your posts in the Linux kernel mailing list and being a kernel developer how do you make your distro so kernel developer friendly?  Linus himself has said Debian and Ubuntu by default are inadequate for kernel development but Black Lab Linux serves me rather well.

Roberto J. Dohnert writes:  Well, Black Lab Linux is LSB compliant but we also provide headers and binary kernels that are based on the stock Linux kernel so developers can go in the same direction that the core Linux kernel development teams goes in.  On our sourceforge page we also provide the stock Linux kernel source code as well as the modified Debian/Canonical kernel sources.

7. Steven Norman asks:  What features are you most proud of in the new releases of Black Lab Linux 5.1 and Black Lab 6?

Roberto J. Dohnert writes:  The new system restore and recovery feature.  Windows and Mac converts have asked us for that functionality for a long time.  Its also nice because hoppers can restore their old system rather easily without having to reinstall everything.  All they do is take a snapshot of their system as they like it.

Layla Davidson writes:  Spotify, definitely Spotify.

Cristobal Molina writes:  Steam, Springseed, webapps and Kindle Fire sync.

Simon Lincoln writes:  Everything, I really like that even though Black Lab Linux is considered a stability distro we stay relevant and provide updated packages for everything.  Most distros dont do that

Daniel Burcaw writes:  Easy to use backups and good business quality software.

8. Paul Cruz asks:  Will Black Lab 6 still have Gambas, Mono and Netbeans?

Roberto J. Dohnert writes:  Yes, the Black Lab SDK contains those three as well as a few others.

9.  Charles Orene asks:  Will the price go up for Black Lab 6?  Will you continue that stupid as hell practice of charging for Black Lab Linux for the first 30 days?

Roberto J. Dohnert writes:  The price will remain the same across the board.  The prices you see now are what we will continue to charge.  Yes that practice will continue to be utilized.

10.  Tom Greene asks:  As a business customer what can I expect from Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6?  Will we still have the same schedule even if we dont upgrade?

Roberto J. Dohnert writes:  Lower TCO, new management tools, better hardware support and new features that surpass whats available today.  For people with mixed environments we are including tools so you guys can manage every one of those environments from within Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6 and Black Lab Education Linux 6.

We will continue to support Black Lab Enterprise Linux 5.x until 2019, and Black Lab Enterprise Linux 6 will be supported until 2025.

I want to thank everyone who sent in questions and we hope our answers are satisfactory.  I think we offered a good mix of whats ahead and whats here and now.

Thanks very much.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Black Lab Linux vs PC/OS Desktop/LX

Some people have asked us, whats the difference between Black Lab Linux and PC/OS Desktop/LX.

Black Lab Linux is our community offering.  Its free to download, free to use and anyone is free to contribute to Black Lab Linux.  You can contribute code, bug reports, graphics along our community guidelines.  It is a purely community endeavor.  Its funded by the community and it is enhanced by the community at large.  Black Lab Linux is our equivalent of the Fedora Project by Red Hat and its equivalent to the CentOS project as we are not a bleeding edge distribution but rather focused on stability.

Releases of Black Lab Linux are released on a 6 month schedule, we have a feature freeze about a month before we ship where we audit contributed code and test.  During this month we also contribute any enhanced kernel code or package code back to those projects ie kernel code goes back to kernel.org, XFCE code is contributed back to the XFCE project.

How do we support this?  Its supported with e-mail support or forum support.

What do I mean by funded by the community?  Your donations and purchase of USB keys go back to the project.  We renew web domains, advertise, pay the core team of developers, replace aging equipment and contribute to the projects from where we benefit.  Obviously, the more donations we get in we can keep the lights on, developers get paid more and for those projects we contribute money to, they stay happy and they have incentive to continue coding.   Developers can only do things so long as a labor of love at some point they like to eat.  We do encourage people to contribute to open source projects, even if you dont contribute to Black Lab Linux.  It shows appreciation for what we do as developers.

Now,

What is PC/OS Desktop/LX, PC/OS Education/LX and PC/OS Core/LX?  These are strictly a commercial endeavor by PC/OpenSystems LLC.  These are based on the work that goes into Black Lab Linux.  Desktop/LX gets pushed to system builders, OEM's like ACER, Dell and HP.  It is bundled on the hardware we sell as well.  It is beta tested by a much smaller group than the group that beta tests Black Lab Linux.

How is it released? Desktop/LX, Education/LX and Core/LX are updated every 12 to 14 months.  If we have a critical security fix it is made available when needed and everyone is notified.  For users who need newer kernels and hardware support we deliver that in easy to install scripts until they become a part of and rolled out with the distribution.

It is supported by whats called yearly subscription services which have to renewed every 12 months or they become self service.  We have remote, phone, or onsite support available.

Do we do servers?  no, if a contract requires server support we support Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Oracle Unbreakable Linux whichever the customer prefers.

Black Lab Linux 5.0.2 released

Black Lab Linux 5.0.2 has been released.  This reverts Black Lab back to the 2 panel layout and removes Docky.  Some people have ran into a problem with Docky where it crashes in live mode and takes lightdm with it.  If you have those problems with Black Lab 64 bit crashing in live mode you can download the new release from here.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/os4online/files/rel502/

Thursday, June 5, 2014

HP Printing and Imaging Driver available for Black Lab Linux

Today we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new HP Printing and Imaging Driver for Black Lab Linux 4.x/5.x as well as PC/OS Desktop/LX and PC/OS Education/LX. This driver is available for users with newer HP printers released within the last year. This driver is fully supported by PC/OpenSystems LLC on the commercial desktop systems as well as on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7 and Oracle Linux 6. You can download it from the TechWeb site.

 http://blltechweb.blogspot.com/p/downloads.html

Black Lab Linux 5.0.1 released

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux 5.0.1.  With this release we bring some pretty good technologies to our linux desktop to make it the most stable, and easiest to use yet.

First, we have rolled up all the security updates for this release so you guys are getting the latest bug fixes and application updates.  With Black Lab Linux 5.0.1 we also changed the UI and included a new dock for application launching and "taskbar." With Black Lab Linux you also get the following applications

 1). Linux kernel 3.5.0-51
 2). Docky
3). GTK 3.6
4). Gstreamer 1.2
5). OpenSSH 6.2
6). Revelation Password Manager
7). Ice (Webapp creation tool)
8). Firefox 29
9). Thunderbird 24.5
10). Google Maps, Google Voice and Drive Web Apps
11). Dropbox 1.6
12). Audacious
13). VLC
14). Openshot Video Editor
15). Audacity
16). Maya Calendar
17). Dates (32 bit)
18). GNOME Disk Utility
19). Abiword
20). Gnumeric
21). Font Manager

Black Lab Linux 5.0.1 is available for 64 bit machines and 32 bit machines

Download 64 bit Release

Download 32 bit Release


If you have bandwidth restrictions or would like to purchase a copy of Black Lab Linux on a Live USB or Live DVD, you can order that from the Black Lab Store

The Black Lab Linux Project survives off of donations from the community.  If you guys would like to donate to the Black Lab Linux Project it is very helpful.  Your donations go to paying developers, maintenance, replacing aging equipment, advertising and maintaining the projects web presence.  So help us keep the lights on.  Your name will be listed on the site and your donation is greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Black Lab Workspace Manager development starts

Today we are pleased to announce the development of our new default desktop for Black Lab Linux; Workspace Manager.  Workspace Manager will be fully compatible with all XFCE applets and tools, many of them will not be changing from what the XFCE project delivers. We will have some exciting features that will be integrated. We will be integrating:

Slingshot
Skippy XD
Nautilus
WallCH
Black Lab Imager
Secure Wipe

And many many more. While the target for this will be Black Lab Linux. Users of Red Hat, Debian, SUSE will be more than welcome to compile it for their own platforms and can contribute etc. Many of these features will be integrated with XFCE 4.11 and Black Lab, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4 so the change will not be very drastic come Workspace Manager 1.0 wiith Black Lab 6.1