Donate to the Black Lab Linux Project

When you donate to the Black Lab Linux Project it helps us with many things:

Domain renewals
Aging equipment replacement

How much should you donate? Any amount you wish. No matter how large or small it goes to the project. We also take hardware donations as well. Contact for details. We thank you for your support.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Kernel 3.12.7 released

Today amidst the snow storm that hit North Carolina, we are glad to announce the release of kernel 3.12.7 for Black Lab Linux.

You can download the updater script from our Sourceforge Page

This script is compatibe with OS/4 OpenLinux 13.x/14.x is is also compatible with Black Lab Linux 4.x, Ubuntu 12.x and 13.x and Linux Mint 13/14/15/16

To see whats new check out the official changelog.  We are starting to do compatibility testing with kernel 3.13 which was just released last Sunday.

Education and Enterprise users if you upgrade to kernel 3.12.7 just drop us a line so it can be added to your support portfolio.

Thank you

Saturday, January 25, 2014

E-mail questions regarding Black Lab Linux

Every time we have a new release of Black Lab Linux I always answer a few questions I get through e-mail and this gives you guys an indication that if I didnt respond to your mail, I at least got it.  So lets get started.

You claim that Black Lab Linux is compatible with Ubuntu and Debian, isnt that kind of erroneous?

Well, I dont think its erroneous.  We are source compatible with Debian and we have several applications installed that are from the Debian repositories and we have installed Debian binaries in the system.  However,  to curb confusion, we have changed our label at the top of the webpage so you, the user, doesnt feel like you have been misled.  Also, while being LSB 4.0 compliant, we are compatible with applications written to that specification.  For more information on LSB, Linux Standards Base go to their webpage

Why did you release your Enterprise desktop and server releases as downloads?

We did that for a couple of reasons.  To allow users and potential customers the ability to evaluate the systems, to allow them to test for compatibility on their systems and test any dedicated applications they have.  We have already benefited immensely from those releases.   We do understand asking someone to spend $100.00 on a release is a huge undertaking but we believe that with the feature set involved in our release and our 6 months of free phone and e-mail support is very much worth it.

How do you plan to change your image to the Linux community who thinks you guys and your products are useless?

That takes work to change an image of what people see in you and we think we can do it.  We went to some of our common haters and asked a question and started a dialogue, what would you guys like to see?  Thats part of the reason why we released Black Lab Enterprise Linux and Black Lab Server as evaluation downloads.  We started using packaging instead of just shipping a USB key, we instituted our 90 days phone support as well as our 6 month e-mail support system.  But we are not the only ones that need to change, people have this common misunderstanding that we are a commercial endeavor only and we arent, we have a free download release available.  We stand behind our distribution 100% of the way unlike some other well known Linux vendors.

There is a rumor that you guys are talking to IBM about working with them and releasing an OS/2 branded Linux distribution, how true is that rumor and will it ever happen?

Working with any partner,  I never say "whats going on with that".  Yes, we do have conversations with both IBM and Lenovo, most of them pertain to hardware compatibility.  x86 and PowerPC support.  Any software ventures I wont comment on except to say keep up with the Facebook pages and the web page for more information for any news.

Hey Roberto, Im one of the few amigans that enjoy what you do and you have always been straight up with me and I appreciate it.  If we purchase any of your hardware will we continue to get support or do all hardware vendors pull an A-EON and not support their hardware and deliver an OS that doesnt support even half the hardware.  I know you probably gave up on the Chromium support project for AmigaOS but can we get an explanation of why?

Thats a couple of questions and I will be be glad to answer.  What happened to the Chromium project for AmigaOS?  We couldnt get any AmigaOS compatible hardware.  All I personally heard was that it wasnt available and to try back later while I continued to see X1000 systems being shipped.  Also, the community spoke.  They put all their efforts and cash behind the Odyssey project.  But thats their choice and I wish them the best with it and we'll see what happens.  It wasnt because of lack of desire on our part, its because of lack of desire of Hyperion and others to let outsiders play in their sandbox and they are allowed to do that.  You dont have to take my word for it.  Look at these other companies that have tried to work with AmigaOS and have had the same problem.  The Amiga scene will not improve until either Acer pulls the licensing agreement, which I doubt they will do because Amiga Inc and Hyperion have driven the value of AmigaOS and branding to near worthlessness, or Amiga Inc. and Hyperion go bankrupt and somebody gobbles up the remains in bankruptcy court.  Which is probably not too far off.

Now, Im going to defend Trevor and A-EON here.  They can only work with what they have and I think Trevor does great work and from the Linux users I know that have the X1000  tell me the systems are pretty good.  I cant tell you because every order I put in has been refused, but nonetheless.  Trevor is not to blame for the current state of AmigaOS hardware support, that falls on Hyperion.  PowerPC Linux has tremendous value and tremendous usage and time and time again when people have asked me about a good PowerPC Linux box I point them to Trevor and A-EON whom the conversations I have had with any of them has always been pleasant and productive.  And I will continue to do so.

RD, why is the interface for Enterprise and regular Black Lab Linux so different?

We do that for familiarity.  Windows XP and Windows 7 have long ruled the roost of corporate desktops and so people get used to a certain look and feel.  So we have that traditional taskbar type interface to increase familiarity and reduce retraining efforts on the part of our customers.  Either way we have an internal program that if a company or user wants the traditional Black Lab Linux desktop that we send to customers should they want it.  But the current desktop for Enterprise seems to be liked so we may look at doing something similar in the free release in the future.

BLL team, do you ever plan to release your education release for evaluation like you did for Enterprise?

Not publicly, any education facility or educator that wants to evaluate Black Lab Linux for Education just needs to contact us and we will set up a way for them to get an evaluation copy for free.

Whats in store for 4.3 and 5.0?

A whole lot of improvements and changes.

How do you install the KDE desktop on Black Lab Linux?

Well, we have a KDE version now that you guys can download and use.  We also include the Kubuntu backports PPA so you can install KDE 4.12 alongside XFCE.

Hows the fundraiser going, have you guys met your goal yet?

No we havent met our goal and its going pretty good.  You guys will know if we met our goal depending on whether we release an ARM port or not.  We would as always like to thank everyone who has donated.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Black Lab Server 4.2 released

Today we are pleased to announce that today we have updated Black Lab Server.

Black Lab Server is the premier server distribution to small to medium sized businesses.  While we target the small to medium sized businesses this system packs a huge punch.

With this update we have updated the system with all bug fixes and have added just a few new features:

PostgreSQL 9.1
Debian Installer
Apple Calendar Server
Google Print server
Obex Data Server
Red Hat Cluster Suite
OpenJDK 6
Webmin 1.670
389 Admin
 Plus many more
 XFCE 4.11.2
OpenSSH Server

And many more packages and updates...

While this release includes the XFCE desktop, upon boot it boots into the command line. 

Installation Practices

If you install this on a VM or on a desktop system you will be greeted with the standard Black Lab Installation through XFCE

On a headless server you have a couple of installation options
  • If you want to do a command line install you can utilize the Debian installer and install via the command line 
  • If you want to do a GUI install you can install via SSH with GUI
You can download an evaluation copy of Black Lab Server from the Sourceforge page

Or you can purchase a license from the webpage

With the purchased copy you get 6 months of support, 3 months of phone and e-mail support and 3 months of e-mail support.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Black Lab Linux and Black Lab Enterprise Linux downloads released

Today we are pleased to announce the free downloads of Black Lab Linux 4.2 and Black Lab Enterprise Linux 4.2.

Black Lab Linux 4.2 is our open source offering.  Its completely free to download.  It is free to use and deploy across as many systems as you would like.  You will get updates to the system until April 30, 2019 as it is equivalent to Ubuntu's LTS release.  This release is available for 64 bit machines in KDE and XFCE flavors.

For more information on Black Lab Linux 4.2 you can read the release statement here for changes and whats new.

You can download Black Lab Linux 4.2 from our Sourceforge page

Black Lab Enterprise Linux 4.2 is for the first time being released as a download for evaluation purposes.  Black Lab Enterprise Linux is our complete Enterprise desktop offering.  With this download you get free phone and e-mail support for 30 days.  After the 30 days to continue support you can purchase a license from the online store

With this release you get:

XFCE 4.11, with KDE 4.12 as a download and install option
All developer tools, C++, ADA, Fortran, Objective C, Mono and Java
Multimedia authoring and playback tools such as Blender, Openshot, Inkscape, The Gimp, WinFF, Imagination, Clementine, Audacity and VLC
The Full LibreOffice suite and easy to use Database designer
Access controls, Cluster tools, Active Directory tools and NFS connectivity
Enhanced Encryption technologies (Available in Commercial release)
Support for Oracle 11g, WebObjects, JBoss and IBM WebSphere (Support past 30 days available in commercial release only)
Fully installable on a VM or local hard drive.

You can download this release from our Sourceforge Page

Bandwidth problems?   Would you like to order a starter kit, go to the online store

If you just want to donate to the project without purchasing a USB key 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.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Black Lab Linux 4.2 released

Today, January 12, 2014 we are pleased to announce the release of  Black Lab Linux 4.2.  Black Lab Linux 4.2 is our consumer oriented release targeted at general desktop users as well as power users.  Black Lab Linux 4.2 is designed for ease of use, high availability and multimedia creation and consumption.  Black Lab Linux 4.2 is your next generation platform for work and play

With this release what do we bring in terms of updates.

Newer updated kernel which helps eliminate bugs and also brings driver support and improved hardware support.

New stack which is the engine which drives the GUI interface and features.  With improved support for touch interfaces and input methods, Black Lab Linux can be installed on a variety of machines including first generation 64 bit machines to brand new Intel i7 systems..

We also revamped the UI due to user demand so the OS gets out of the way of whatever task you are trying to accomplish.

XFCE 4.11, with this highly innovative and light user interface it is low power and low memory so more of your system memory is dedicated to your applications than powering the UI.

For the first time ever, we are also releasing a KDE release for users who prefer the KDE desktop and that release ships with KDE 4.12

LibreOffice 4.1.4,  this is the de-facto standard of open source office suites.  With LibreOffice you have document compatibility with all Microsoft Office formats including the newer XML based formats, as well as other legacy document formats.

Chromium 31.  Web browsing and web applications are very important to the average user, and for this we have included the award winning Chromium Web Browser which is the standards based platform to host your web applications, very fast and very simple to use.  Chromium being cross platform, its also the same across multiple platforms so you will feel right at home.

Thunderbird 24 with the lightning extension for reading your mail and keeping up with important dates and times.  You can also sync your Google calendar events for off-line use.

Audacious 3.4 for listening to streaming music as well as all your mp3, AAC and WMA music files

VLC for watching streaming video as well as video files on your hard drive in all formats.  VLC also supports DVD and Blu-Ray playback.

Camorama for taking photos from your webcam

Audacity 3, for audio production

OpenShot Video editor for making your own home videos

Steam Client for accessing all of your Valve Steam games.  We are also compatible with the SteamOS.

gMTP for managing files on your Barnes and Noble Nook devices, and Amazon Kindle Fire, Fire HD, and Fire HDX tablets as well as a plethora of other audio and video players.

Calibre ebook management which allows you to read ebooks in all different formats from proprietary to free formats.  We also include the LRF Viewer to read Sony's ebook format.

These are only some of the application updates that you get with Black Lab Linux 4.2, they are to numerous to go over here.  Overall you get over 200 system and application updates.  With Black Lab Linux 4.2 you aren't just upgrading your operating system, its like you are getting a brand new computer.

For more information take a look at our video on Black Lab Linux 4.2.

Black Lab Linux 4.2 is available today for purchase.  The Free download will be available January 27, 2014.


You can also download Black Lab Linux 4.2, 64 bit only through digital download for $10.00 USD a download link will be e-mailed to you:

Black Lab Linux Digital Download

We also have whats called Starter kits for new users and users who are new to Linux which include, a Black Lab Linux t-shirt, Installable USB or SD card, and a new Install guide that will walk you through every step of installing Black Lab Linux.

Black Lab Linux Starter kit - T-shirt, LiveUSB, Install Guide
Desktop Environment

For user reviews and what people are saying about Black Lab Linux visit this section of our webpage

We are also having our New Years fundraiser, for those of you that wish to donate to this distribution you can do so.  The amount of your donation doesn't matter and with the funds raised it helps with maintaining the distribution by: 

Replacing aging equipment
Maintaining web presence
Paying developers
Acquisition of ARM hardware for us to port Black Lab Linux to the ARM platform.  If you wish to donate hardware as some have elected to do you can contact me directly,

Monday, January 6, 2014

Black Lab Linux Starter kits now Available

Black Lab Linux Starter kits are now available for purchase.

With the starter kit you get a Black Lab Linux t-shirt, Black Lab Linux Installable Live USB and an install guide.

Makes a great gift or you can show your support for Black Lab Linux.

T shirt sizes, Small - X-Large are 45.00 USD + 7.00 USD shipping.  T-Shirt sizes XX-Large - XXX Large, 48.00 USD + 7.00 USD Shipping.

They are available starting today, January 6, 2014


Black Lab Linux Starter kit - T-shirt, LiveUSB, Install Guide
Desktop Environment

Black Lab Enterprise Linux 4.2 video

In this video we cover the upcoming changes in  Black Lab Enterprise Linux 4.2

for the YouTube HD version:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Black Lab Linux New Years Fundraiser

Today we start the New Years Fundraiser for Black Lab Linux. With the funds raised it helps with maintaining the distribution by:

Replacing aging equipment
Maintaining web presence
Paying developers
Acquisition of ARM hardware for us to port Black Lab Linux.

Your donation can be any amount. If everyone who reads this webpage was to donate $5.00 USD this fundraiser would be over in a day. Our goal for the fundraiser is $5,000.oo USD