FAQ for release: DAT Linux 1.0, November 2022
Get the PDF version: https://datlinux.com/DAT Linux FAQ.pdf
What is DAT Linux?
DAT Linux is a Linux distribution for data science. It brings together all your favourite open-source data science tools and apps into a ready-to-run desktop environment.
It’s based on a customised Ubuntu* (called a re-spin**), further improved with custom-built tools for supporting the easy management of dozens of software apps and tools for data science.
*Ubuntu 22.04 “jammy”
**Re-spin of the Lubuntu desktop environment
What data science applications are supported?
Please see the 📶️ Home page for a detailed run-down of supported apps: https://datlinux.com
Who should use it?
DAT Linux is perfect for students, professionals, academics, or anyone interested in data science who doesn’t want to spend endless hours downloading, installing, configuring, and maintaining applications from a range of sources, each with different technical requirements and set-up challenges.
Who shouldn’t use it?
Linux generally, and Ubuntu/DAT-Linux specifically, is open and free to use by anyone, without any restrictions.
If there are policies in a corporate setting with, say, specific restrictions on users’ computing environments, it can be run from a USB boot device or virtualised environment.
Otherwise DAT Linux can be installed anywhere, on as many desktops as needed.
See the ⬇️ Download page for recommended system specs: https://datlinux.com/download
See the 💬️ Support page for getting help: https://datlinux.com/support
What about support?
The main DAT Linux Support landing page can be found here: https://datlinux.com/support
Visit the DAT Linux Github Community channel to post any feedback, issues, or general questions related to DAT Linux: https://github.com/dat-linux/community/discussions
The GOLD level of sponsorhip includes priority community support. See Sponsor page for more information.
⚠️ NOTE: DAT Linux comes with no guarantees or warranty.
How can I report issues?
For now, please post any issues on the DAT Linux Github Community channel: https://github.com/dat-linux/community/discussions
Does DAT Linux have multi-language support?
Yes, to an extent. DAT Linux related icons and tool-tips in the menus will be localised; as are the title, tabs, launcher buttons, and tool-tips on the control panel. Launcher scripts (such as when installing or running a script-oriented DAT Linux app) are so far only in English.
In terms of the OS generally, you should find most basic language packs are available. The easiest way to check is switch your locale (in the “LXQT Configuration Settings” tool), re-login, and try it out.
Otherwise, to check for a language pack, run:
check-language-support -l de(eg, for German) or
check-language-support -l de_CH(eg, for Swiss German)
If required, install it using:
sudo apt -y install $(check-language-support -l de)
Language/locale support for individual GUI programs (DAT Linux managed or otherwise) may vary, so please consult an app’s documentation and follow any guidelines.
What does ‘DAT’ stand for?
Nothing. Other than being cool looking and sounding, and the first three letters of ‘data’ in ‘data science’. It’s pronounced like ‘cat’, or you could spell it out as d.a.t. - whatever works.
What about an upgrade pathway?
DAT Linux is based on Ubuntu 22.04 “jammy”, which is a long term support (LTS) release of Ubuntu. DAT Linux official releases will be based on the LTS releases of Ubuntu. (DAT Linux 2.0 will therefore come along shortly after Ubuntu 24.04).
In the interim, if you do a manual release upgrade (to, say a future 22.10, or 23.04 release) there is a risk of causing problems to DAT Linux dependencies.
An announcement on this will be posted when future Ubuntu releases are made, with recommendations/instructions provided. If a new DAT Linux is developed based on a future non-LTS release, it will follow a minor version numbering scheme (eg 1.1, etc).
NOTE: Users on the “1.0 release candidate (RC)” edition do not need to do a full upgrade to 1.0 (final), but should update the APT repo. Please follow the instructions here: https://github.com/dat-linux/community/discussions/6
What systems is DAT Linux available on?
Currently, only x86_64 for desktop. Please post any suggestions on the DAT Linux Github Community channel:
What’s the DAT Linux Control Panel?
This is the user interface to the ubiquitous DAT Linux installer (which takes care of juggling a variety of installation methods), as well as providing easy access to all the apps, help, and management tools.
Note that there are also shortcuts in the main menu for accessing all apps & tools, without the need to open the control panel.
Why no Anaconda?
Anaconda (aka conda/miniconda) did not meet a key goal of DAT Linux - which is to provide ubiquitous and easy access to dozens of data science apps, regardless of their origin.
Conda istelf is also bloated, and it doesn’t have all the apps we wanted. They’re also very often not the latest (possible) releases - which undermines another core tenet of DAT Linux.
Will more apps be added?
This depends on demand and suitability. Have an idea for an app to include? Then post it on Github Community channel:
If or when new apps are added, these will show up as new icons or menu items upon a Control Panel package (ie apt) upgrade.
How do I update or remove any supported data science applications?
Open the “DAT Uninstaller” or the “DAT Updater” support apps, as necessary. Then follow the prompts.
What happens to configuration or application settings after uninstall?
That depends on the app. Some apps will leave settings files in your home directory, and their settings may be restored when you reinstall the app.
If this is important, please do your own research and backup before uninstalling, as whilst it won’t intentionally remove them, DAT Linux will not actively preserve your custom settings or data for apps.
What happens if a DAT Linux app notifies me of a software update?
Please do not update any supported apps independent of DAT Linux. The DAT Updater will more than likely have noticed a software update, so use it instead.
What about operating system updates?
System updates are perfectly safe to perform (you may see a desktop notification, or update options via a package manager application).
The dat-linux-ctrl-pnl package may be updated as part of a system upgrade, and this is safe to do. It will keep the DAT Linux management tools up to date, without affecting your apps and settings. A “what’s new” icon may appear in the control panel.
Is auto-update / notification available?
Not yet, but this feature is being considered for a future upgrade.
Can I run multiple versions of the same app?
This is potentially possible in the future, but not currently a feature via the control panel*. When you first set-up an app it will install the latest version at that time. Updating will upgrade to the candidate (latest) version, but remove the version it replaced.
*If this is essential please go to the Github Community channel and request instructions and advice on how to do this at the command line. https://github.com/dat-linux/community/discussions
What is this ‘System Info’ desktop application thingy?
If you know what a ‘conky’ is, then that’s what this is. If you don’t, then it’s just a ‘sticky’ desktop widget.
The info panel gives you a snapshot view of your system and DAT Linux apps and their versions (if installed).
The ‘DAT System Info’ desktop widget is hidden, how do I recover it?
Check if it resides in another workspace.
Otherwise, run the ‘DAT System Info’ icon in the control panel (‘DAT Linux Admin’ tab) or via the main menu / launcher, and it will reappear.
It always acts as an on/off toggle.
Can I disable ‘DAT System Info’ from launching when I login?
Sure, just delete (or backup) the file:
To restore it, just restore the file:
~/.config/autostart/DAT_Conky.desktop from where you backed it up.
Alternatively, uninstall it using the “DAT Uninstaller” - it’s named ‘dconky’.
Note, this app does not conflict with a standard ‘conky’ you may have installed separately. It’s an independent binary and uses a non-standard configuration.