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.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Changes to the Black Lab Linux Project

There are a few things I want to discuss here.  Some are changes to the Black Lab Linux Project itself, and to the class of hardware that we sell.

Due to the lack of donations to the Black Lab Linux project and lack of outside funding for the Black Lab Linux project we are cutting ALL desktop options for Black Lab Linux except for one.  We decided that we will continue with developing with the Mate desktop.  Mate will be the default desktop for 32 bit and 64 bit on the free downloads.  After Black Lab Linux 7.0 coming out in July, development will be prolonged to a new release every 7 to 9 months.  We are utilizing the Mate desktop because we understand users have different classes of machines.  Some have older hardware, some have newer hardware, some want to use VM’s and some want to utilize terminal services and we feel like the Mate desktop is both advanced enough and resource friendly enough to satisfy ALL usage scenario’s.  On the commercial side, we will develop the Mate Desktop and the KDE desktop.  For Education we will continue to develop Mate and KDE as the base systems and we will produce, XFCE, LXDE and GNOME builds for Education ONLY and these will be utilized to teach students about Linux.  We are keeping KDE on the commercial side because we do have customers and users who do subscribe to support for KDE.  Black Lab Professional Desktop, Black Lab Secure Desktop and Black Lab Education Desktop will get a Service Release every 3 months as we have been doing it for the past year.  Users of the free releases will have to rely on themselves and community support to  update between new releases.  The free release will get an ISO refresh for any critical bug fixes and security threats that could compromise the system.  We have lowered the price of the distribution on media to $19.99 + 5.00 S&H for US delivery and $30.00 USD + $5.00 S&H for all international orders.

As of today Tuesday, March 31, 2015 we are discontinuing ALL home system options.  We will continue to carry the Black Lab PUP while supplies last, I have 47 of them in case anyone is interested.  We will continue to sell our refurbished systems that are well tested and fixed and we will continue to sell our commercial hardware line.  So if you want a cost effective solution for getting into the Linux space do check out our refurbished hardware line.  We sell these machines a lot to local businesses and schools and they do have warranty options and are generally no older than a few years.  We also donate 10% of sales to various Open Source projects.

While we are a for-profit company, we have always wanted to at least keep Black Lab Linux as a free download as our way of saying thank you to the community and I will continue that trend.  I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of our users and customers who have supported us and who continue to support us.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Black Lab Linux 6.5 Released

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux 6.5.  With this release we continue to enhance and improve Black Lab Linux for public consumption.  While the base is the same, the Open Distribution Release comes in 4 flavors.  GNOME, MATE, XFCE and KDE.  The XFCE release is built into the GNOME release because of customer demand.  Some of our users who run things like legacy 64 bit hardware, terminal services and certain systems where GNOME may not run all that great.  So with that said here are some of the new features of Black Lab Linux:

1. GNOME 3.10.4
2. MATE 1.8.1
3. KDE 4.14.2
4. XFCE 4.12
5. Kernel 3.13 LTS Compatible
6. Kernel 3.16.0-31 Default Boot kernel
7. VLC 2.2
8. Firefox 36
9. Thunderbird 31.5
10. Rhythmbox 3.1
11.  FFmpeg 2.6
12.  Google Chrome 41
13.  exFAT support
14.  UEFI Secureboot support

You can find a full package listing here:

Black Lab Linux 6.5 Package List

You can download all the desktop releases from our Sourceforge Page (64 bit only.  32 bit will be released in 2 weeks)

Download Black Lab Linux 6.5 (64 bit)

You can also purchase Black Lab Linux 6.5 on Live USB, LiveSD, Live MicroSD, or LiveDVD to support the project and you get 6 months of e-mail and phone support.  You can also purchase the digital download edition for $12.99 USD which also gives you the 6 months of e-mail and phone support.

Black Lab Linux Consumer Edition
Install Medium
Order Notes:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1 released

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1.  Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1 is a distribution of Black Lab Linux that utilizes the Mate Desktop environment.

What is Mate?

Developed by users for Arch Linux the Mate Desktop is a continuation of GNOME 2 that has support for GTK2 and GTK3 applications.  Frustrated by the inconsistencies and lack of polish of the GNOME3 desktop environment the Mate Desktop team set out to develop a desktop that continued with the reliability of GNOME2 while enhancing it with modern technologies. They have created one of the most widely accepted competitors to GNOME3.

With Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1 you get the same application lineup that you get with Black Lab Linux.  Included are the following:

Linux Kernel 3.13.0-45
Mate Desktop 1.8.1
Firefox 35
Thunderbird 32
Steam Gaming Desktop
LibreOffice 4.4
Pidgin IM client
App Grid appstore

As well as all security updates until February 14, 2015 included.

Performance with the Mate Desktop is widely on par with XFCE.  Ram usage on initial boot is 301mb used. Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1 is built on the same LTS technologies as the rest of our distributions.

How do I get it?

You can download Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1 from our Sourceforge Page:

Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1 x86_64

Size: 1.7 gb

md5sum: 5f2c7ab443984230dcb4d51545406f49
SHA1: 33731252d9358741f1edbe92753e7270d7087cf4

If you have bandwidth restrictions or would like to support the Black Lab Linux project you can also purchase a bootable LiveDVD, LiveUSB, LiveSD card or you can get it on a preinstalled hard drive from our store:

Buy it Now

Live Mode

Like our GNOME Shell release to enter live mode you have to enter the following username:

Username: custom
Password: Leave it blank

Press enter and you will be into the Live desktop and you can start your testing or start installation.

Known Issues

- Slideshow is branded Ubuntu.  This will be changed in Black Lab Linux MATE 6.5

- Touchpad functionality has to be enabled in the Mouse dialog in the control center

- The installer will sometimes pick the largest disk for installation.  This includes any attached USB or Firewire Hard Drives.  If you have any external hard drives that are larger than your desired target drive please disconnect before boot.


We caught up with the lead developer and project lead for Black Lab Linux, Roberto J. Dohnert, and asked him a few questions about Black Lab Linux MATE 6.1.

Q) Why are we releasing Black Lab Linux MATE?
A) We are releasing Black Lab Linux MATE because of user demand.  Aside from KDE it has been one of the most requested desktop environments from our users.

Q) How long have we been working on this release and what made you decide to release it now?
A) We have actually produced a Mate build since Black Lab Linux 5 but that was produced for 1 specific customer.  We had updated it to 6.0 to bring that customer up to date with what we were doing with 6.0.  But the conversation about using Mate really started when we released Black Lab Linux 6.0 with GNOME3 which was a very popular release we had users write us and ask us if we wouldn't mind doing a Mate or Cinnamon build.  I gave one of our Facebook users a copy of the Mate build we were doing (without that customers customizations and specific apps) and it got passed around and so we decided to release an official build.

Q) Will Mate replace GNOME3 on the Pro Desktop and Education Desktop?
A) No.  There will not be a standalone Mate version for Pro Desktop.  We are looking at integrating Mate in with our Pro Desktop build as a "classic" experience for users who want it but lets face it, GNOME2 was extremely popular with business customers.  I can tell you that.  Red Hat, Oracle and SUSE can tell you that.  Go look at their customer forums.  You find plenty of topics asking them to integrate Mate.  Customers were using GNOME2 for years and they loved it, thats what they got used to and they dislike GNOME3 very much.  So if I can give them GNOME3 as an option along with the experience they  know and love I will do that.  Will it replace GNOME3?  Thats up to the customers and the users.  Will Education be changed?  Probably.  We sent out this build to Education users who are more open to experimentation than others and so far the Mate build has gotten high marks.  A solid 'A' if you will.

Q) Will this be updated as a standalone distribution or will it be released with our current distribution lineup?
A) When we release 6.5 we will be releasing GNOME3, KDE, XFCE, Mate builds.  We will continue to release KDE as a 32 bit build and we will start releasing a Mate 32 bit build.  All at the same time.

Q) Have you become a Mate fan and what desktop environment do you use the most?
A) Mate is a great desktop.  Its like XFCE on steroids.  I have been using KDE since 1999 with KDE 1.  I'm still a KDE fan.  I used XFCE quite a bit when KDE4 was first released because of the issues KDE4 had on its initial release.  I went back with KDE 4.6 and currently all my workstations use KDE 4.14, GNOME3 3.10 and now Mate but I always find myself booting into KDE4 more.  But Mate is very compelling because of its speed, its beauty and its all around functionality.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Black Lab Linux 6.0 SR1 Released

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux 6.0 SR1, which is Service Release 1.  The purpose of our service releases is to focus on security and application updates rather than new features.  Service Releases are provided every two to three months in between our 6 month release schedule.  Black Lab Linux 6.0 is based on LTS technologies so users can be rest assured that you will receive feature and functionality updates until 2017 and security updates until 2020.

With Service Release 1 we have tweaked the user experience per user and customer feedback to move from a Unity type look to a more traditional GNOME/Mate experience.  You also have all security updates from October to December 14, 2014.  These include.

Linux kernel 3.13.0-43.50
Linux kernel 3.17.6 for kernel 3.17 users
Firefox 34
Thunderbird 31.3
GNOME 3.10.4
GTK 3.10.8

All together there are about 200 updates to the  system.

Users who dont need a new ISO can simply update their systems with the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Users and new users who would like to get a new ISO can download it from our Sourceforge page, 64 bit only.

Black Lab Linux 6.0 SR1 x86_64

If you would like to support the Black Lab Linux Project you can purchase install media and preinstalled hard drives from us.  Our holiday pricing is still in effect until January 3, 2015.

Buy It Now

Monday, November 24, 2014

Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials

Today we are starting our Black Friday and Cyber Monday specials.  This sale runs Nov 24 - Dec 2

Black Lab Linux 6.0

Black Lab linux 6.0 on installable USB key, SD card or Live DVD.  $35.00 USD $25.00 USD + Shipping

Black Lab Linux 6.0 preinstalled Hard Drive SATA interface.  $99.00 USD $75.00 USD + Shipping

Black Lab Linux Boxed Set
Install Media

Preinstalled Computers

Black Lab Consumer Hardware

Black Lab Professional Hardware

Black Lab Refurbished Hardware 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Black Lab Linux 6.0 Released

Today we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of Black Lab Linux 6.  Black Lab Linux 6 is the fruit of over a year of labor and brings about many exciting new features and some big changes to the Black Lab Linux platform.  In Black Lab Linux 6 we focused on a few core improvements.  Usability, by changing to a UI that has strong features, accessibility, and speed.  We also have improved driver support and multimedia features that set Black Lab Linux apart from the rest.  Black Lab Linux 6.0 has also improved how we deliver updates to our users.  Being based on LTS technologies Black Lab Linux 6.0 is supported until April 2020.  All incremental updates will be released via apt-get.

Black Lab Linux 6 has the following new features:

Ubuntu 14.04.1 Base
GNOME 3 replaces XFCE as the default desktop
Thunderbird 31.2
Firefox 33
AppGrid - an alternative app store available for Black Lab Linux
TimeShift - A system restore feature for allowing full system backups
Linux kernel 3.13.0-37, Kernel 3.17.1 is available as an easy to install script
Steam Integration
GNOME Tweak tool integration
Arista Transcoder

Among these we have built in all security updates up to October 23, 2014.

Get it now

You can download Black Lab Linux 6 from our Sourceforge page

Download Black Lab Linux 6.0 (64 bit) ISO

If you are under bandwidth restrictions you can order a copy of Black Lab Linux on installable media or on preinstalled hard drives

Purchase Black Lab Linux 6.0

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Black Lab Linux 6 Beta 2 is released

Today we are pleased to announce the availability of Black Lab Linux 6 Beta 2.  As we march on to the release date of November 1, 2014 we have introduced a few new features for Black Lab Linux 6 Beta 2.

First, this is a build of our XFCE version.  We have modified XFCE so that it looks completely different different then what we have done with Black Lab Linux in the past.  It has a unique deskbar feature that makes the desktop more intuitutive and functional as well as the app dock at the bottom. 

The following fixes have been introduced in the new release:

1.  Fixed full screen Youtube
2.  USB drivers for Sun keyboards
3.  Erratic mouse behavior in virtual machines
4.  We fixed the installer crashes that were happening with previous releases
5.  Fixed HDMI flicker on Intel Based Macs
6.  Initial support for Steam machines

This will be the last beta before the release cadidate on Oct 15, 2014 which will be a feature complete release.

You can download the Beta from Sourceforge.  It is 64 bit only

Black Lab Linux 6 Beta 2 XFCE

If you would like to donate to the Black Lab Linux project.  You can view what we need help with at the Fall Fundraiser Page