| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 8, 28 July 2003
The birth of the Red Hat Project
The releases of Red Hat's new beta versions last week were overshadowed by the upcoming changes at Red Hat, notably the creation of a more community oriented distribution and withdrawal from retail sales. While clear policies and guidelines have yet to be specified, there is little doubt that this is a good move, a win-win situation for both parties - the Red Hat developers on one hand and the company's customers and users on the other.
The developers on Red Hat's payroll will be able to concentrate on the more lucrative Red Hat's offerings - the development and support of the enterprise class products, as well as custom solutions for companies. Let's face it, the twice-a-year release schedule of an extremely popular operating system does put a strain on those responsible for quality control, so giving part of this responsibility to the user community makes a lot of sense. The users should also benefit by seeing the often requested features, which until now were hitting the stubborn wall of Red Hat, Inc and the company's interests. In fact, LinuxCompatible.org reports that an RPM front-end called yum (Yellow dog Updater, Modified) has been spotted in the latest Rawhide, the Red Hat's development branch, and it will more than likely be part of the next beta release. Red Hat's reluctance to include and support any dependency resolving installation utility meant that users had to install one of the third-party applications (yum, apt4rpm) to avoid dependency nightmares often associated with installation of binary packages on a Linux system. Similarly, the out-of-the-box multimedia support on any recent Red Hat release was less than satisfactory and this is another area which could change in the near future.
Gone from the shelves?
Red Hat's withdrawal from retail sales means that those bright red (and white) boxes will no longer occupy shelves of software stores. Is this a trend? Mandrake's recent history suggests that the French company is also less than enthusiastic about getting their boxes out to retailers, relying instead on the MandrakeClub and online sales for most income. Other consumer-friendly distributions such as Xandros, Lycoris and Lindows don't seem particularly keen to use the traditional brick-and-mortar way of selling their products either. This leaves SuSE as the only distribution relentlessly pursuing this route. It will be interesting to see whether this will continue in the future, especially since SuSE has been increasingly successful in getting large enterprise accounts. Surely, these high-profile, large-volume deployments will have to take precedence over high-cost and low-profit options generated by sales of retail boxes. On the other hand, being the only brand left on the shelves could be a strong motivator to continue producing them. What do you think?
|Released Last Week
LinuxInstall.org 1.4, a single CD, Red Hat-based distribution for novice users was released: "Here is a list of major changes from last release: First of all, release number has been changed back to 1.x to respect other distro cycles; Mozilla 1.4 RPM packages have been re-compiled to make sure they are fully compatible with existing plugins; as a new plugin family, QuickTime Movies can now be played in Mozilla with the help of MPlayer; Evolution 1.4.3 RPM packages are included; OpenOffice.org 1.1RC RPM package comes with custom design Gnome Office Menu icons for easy launching; Scribus 1.0 RPM package, which is a desktop publishing software, is included..." LinuxInstall.org 1.4 can be ordered from here (US$5 - 10).
Arch Linux 0.5
The Arch Linux 0.5, code name "Nova" was released: "Over the last seven months we've added a million package updates, PAM support, LVM support, GRUB support, and a ton of other little things that you may not notice, but are working behind the scenes to make your Arch Linux experience as smooth as possible. We've provided two ISO images with this release: the full-size image contains all official packages and the base-only image contains only base packages needed to get your system up and running." A review of Arch Linux 0.5 is in the works and this will be preceded by an interview with Judd Vinet, the creator of Arch Linux later this week. If you still have any questions you'd like to ask Judd, please mention them in the discussion forum.
Damn Small Linux 0.4.1
The developers Damn Small Linux, which is full CD-based distribution on a business card size CD, released version 0.4.1: "Now in 0.4.1 there is the choice of two X servers -- Xvesa and Xfbdev. Xfbdev uses the framebuffer provided by the Linux framebuffer device. That means it may be a much better choice for older laptops. In fact I have a couple of old laptops (Pentium I) that were completely incompatible with Xvesa but worked very well with the framebuffer server. The key is to use a FB that your laptop can support -- this has to be selected at boot time. In the case of these two Pentium Is fb800x600 did the trick. (If your hardware supports it, Xvesa is still preferred because it is more flexible and faster.) Also new for 0.4.1 is the emelFM file manager. I liked worker a lot, but emelFM is simpler and has practically no learning curve. Also, emelFM is smaller than Worker, and I needed the room!"
Not one, but three releases of Knoppix 3.2 appeared last week, the most recent is version 3.2-2003-07-06. See the changelog for information on what's new.
- Red Hat Linux 9.0.93, code name "Severn" - the first beta of the next stable version of Red Hat Linux, which will be known as "Cambridge" (version number has yet to be decided).
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.9.5AS (Advanced Server), code name "Taroon", see the release notes.
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.9.5WS (Workstation), code name "Taroon", see the release notes. Both enterprise class products come on 3 CDs of which the second and third CDs are identical. Download from mirrors.
- Mandrake Linux 9.2 Beta 1 "has arrived to offer you the opportunity of an entertaining summer bug squashing". See the beta information page for details.
- ClarkConnect Broadband Gateway 2.0rc2. The beta page provides the full changelog.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Gentoo Linux 1.4 for PowerPC
The PowerPC edition of Gentoo Linux 1.4 is now available for pre-order: "Our new Gentoo store is now accepting pre-orders for Gentoo Linux 1.4 for PowerPC, PowerPC G3, PowerPC G4, and the KDE/GNOME PowerPC LiveCD, which now contains both desktop environments on one CD. Thanks to the Gentoo PowerPC team for their excellent work!"
Lorma Linux roadmap
The developers of Lorma Linux, a Red Hat-based, i686-optimised Linux distribution, have produced a road map and expected feature lists for their upcoming releases of both desktop and server editions. Version 4 is expected before the end of this year and version 5 about one year later.
|Web Site News
Five new distributions, three of which are live CDs, were added to the DistroWatch database last week:
New on the waiting list
- FIRE, formerly known as DMZS-Biatchux, is a portable bootable CD-based distribution with the goal of providing an immediate environment to perform forensic analysis, incident response, data recovery, virus scanning and vulnerability assessment.
- Onebase Linux is a new source distribution with a web-based interface for software installation. Although still in early development and a little rough around the edges, it promises to be user-friendly and powerful.
- Phayoune Linux is a Thai Linux distribution based on Linux From Scratch. Available editions include Desktop, Secure Server, Secure Firewall and Live CD editions.
- RPM Live Linux CD is a 120MB RedHat-based distribution that runs completely from CD, fits into around 80MB of RAM and is nearly indistinguishable from a system installed on a hard disk.
- Slackware Live CD is a 200MB Slackware-based live Linux distribution on CD. It features many add-ons, including scripts to create your own live CD.
Another bumper week of new submissions - six new distributions were added to waiting list:
DistroWatch database summary
- Dux Linux - the web site lacks information about the project, although Dux Linux 0.1beta is now available for download.
- Flonix - a French derivative of Knoppix.
- Kinneret - an Israeli Linux distribution for schools, fully localised.
- OpenSlackware GnuLinux - a Romanian Slackware-based distribution with security as its primary goal.
- Penguin Sleuth Bootable CD - a CD-based distribution with tools for data forensics.
- SPB Linux Bootable CD - a mini distribution running from a USB memory stick.
- Number of distributions in the database: 161
- Number of discontinued distributions: 21
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 53
On DistroWatch icons, logos and banners
One more logo was submitted last week - time to make a decision?
- "I have created a banner, not sure where i should send it in to, I'll give you a link, tell me what you think."
All opinions are welcome.
That's all for this week, keep well and see you next Monday,
1 • Banners (by John Gabriel at 2003-07-28 14:50:19 GMT) |
Banners 1 & 2 are quite nice, but I think 3 is the best because it is the only one that graphically expresses the worldwide nature of Distrowatch. One of the most interesting qualities of DW is the way incorporates Linux news from all over the world.
2 • Banners (by John Gabriel at 2003-07-28 14:51:33 GMT)
Whoops. Meant Banner 4 not 3. Sorry.
3 • Arch & banners (by me on 2003-07-28 15:18:40 GMT)
Ask Arch about their community, how it may differ from the community that some other similar projects have?
Yea, banner 4 looks perhaps the most pro & pretty one too.
4 • About RHL (by Anonymous on 2003-07-28 15:42:12 GMT)
The rhl-devel lists doesn't seem to have much traffic. I really wonder why any community developer should switch from Debian/Mandrake/Gentoo/... to RedHat while RedHat has the final saying over everything.
5 • Banner 4 all the way! (by Isamoor at 2003-07-28 15:58:16 GMT)
Banner 4 all the way! That little globe is my favorite icon. 1 and 2 aren't bad either.
I did a little reading on Arch. I like the idea of Pacman. Sounds like it's still got a few rough edges.
After reading the documentation for awhile though, I was rather confused about compiling form source and then integrating it into Pacman? It sounded like there was a simple command ("make package" or something) but then it also sounded like I had to edit my own special Makefile or something. I really like the simplicity of checkinstall, especially on slackware based distros. Why can't it be that simple to integrate a source install into Pacman?
6 • Banner (by Anonymous on 2003-07-28 16:33:58 GMT)
I like #5, it shows some attitude.
7 • Banners (by Henrique Maia on 2003-07-28 16:40:40 GMT)
Banner 3. Plain simple.
Banner 5 is very good, but maybe too aggressive, I suppose.
8 • My thoughts (by Nick at 2003-07-28 17:24:45 GMT)
The new RH beta sucks... The new Mandrake sucks... I guess I have elevated to a higher plane. Time to try a source distro, or roll my own.
9 • Banners, in general. (by MadHunter at 2003-07-28 17:27:17 GMT)
I think they are all really good. Use all of 'em! ;)
10 • Oops... browser problems. (by MadHunter at 2003-07-28 17:33:37 GMT)
Sorry about the duplicate post there. Was messing around with Mozilla-Firebird and inadvertantly resent form data when I refreshed the screen after changing my fonts...
11 • banner (by John Wallace at 2003-07-28 17:36:59 GMT)
i think your orginal two are the best
i vote for #1 & #2 in that order
thanks for all your excellent work and the knowledge you pass onto
us," linux distrowatchers"
12 • My vote (by TheClient at 2003-07-28 17:37:59 GMT)
Banner 4. Clean & simple.
13 • banners, etc. (by Bob at 2003-07-28 17:38:41 GMT)
I cast my vote for banner #4. They're all great, but #4 just sort of stands out with a bit more sophistication.
With respect to the new Red Hat ß, I kind of like it. It may not be a hacker's dream, but, as a desktop distro, it's pretty polished. I'm just getting to know it, so these are preliminary thoughts. I also find the Lycoris Build 75 ß to be pretty user friendly as a desktop distro, despite the fact that it's not cutting edge. It's also a polished distro. And I like J.A.M.D. 0.0.0.6. It seems as though the Red Hat clones are taking over.
On the Slackware end of things, I like Peanut 9.5 (proves that good things come in small packages). College 2.3 is okay.
As for Debian, I love Knoppix and Damn Small Linux, but I can't get through the regular Debian Woody installation without wanting to kill myself. Dynabolic is pretty cool also.
I'm still partial to Elx, and am awaiting the release of PowerDesk 3.0 at the end of this month (if they're on schedule).
14 • banner (by mike at 2003-07-28 18:00:02 GMT)
Me thinks banner 1 & 2 if you plan to modify the website to match. If not then banners 3 & 4 are more simple in design and should fit in without any changes. Or just do what you want, but don't change the content. That's what keeps us coming back! Great Job.
15 • Banners (by Penguin Domesticus on 2003-07-28 18:01:15 GMT)
I vote for #4 too. I would give a shared silver medal to #5, #2 & #3. Number 5 is the funniest but maybe too big, and isn't the penguin from the GoTux wallpaper series (license?)(http://www.kde-look.org/index.php?xsortmode=high&page=0) which may have a bit too anti-MS idea...
16 • banner (by flubie at 2003-07-28 18:12:40 GMT)
I vote #4 and #5
17 • Banner (by Charles at 2003-07-28 19:46:51 GMT)
I vote for #4.
18 • Banner (by JConnell on 2003-07-28 20:04:51 GMT)
Definately #2/#1, those look great.
19 • banner (by matt on 2003-07-28 20:14:18 GMT)
i vote #4. i might have voted #5, but its SO big
20 • Redhat Retail (by Devilotx at 2003-07-28 21:16:01 GMT)
I picked up Redhat 8 Retail at my local best buy, I knew I could grab it free online but I wanted a manual and what not.
Now currently running dual Systems at home (XP and RH9) I feel happy when I see the redhat and Suse boxes on the shelf, it gives us all a shot at choice on the desktop.
now where are my retail Lindows boxes at best buy ;)
21 • Banner (by Matt Parlane at 2003-07-28 21:20:32 GMT)
One more for #4.
22 • Red Hat 9.0.93 (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2003-07-28 21:25:44 GMT)
I favor Red Hat 8.0 most often, almost never recommend Red Hat 9, and am totally stunned at Red Hat 9.0.93. It does not look good.
Next I'm going to try Mandrake 9.2. After using Mandrake 9.1, which I've hated for a long time, my opinions of it are changing, as I'm actually getting more compatibility and speed out of it, and it includes more of the software I like (such as tiny window managers). I think the rumors are true. The tides (for precompiled sets) are turning towards Mandrake. Of course, I have to actually try MKD 9.2 beta before I can make a good prediction.
And I like Banner 2 myself. It fits in with the current DWW icon, and it looks like very professional newspaper banner. If the current DWW icon is scrapped, then I'd vote for banner 6. Banner 1 doesn't need to be so big to convey the same idea, banner 3 looks like a newsletter header (which might not be a bad thing), banner 4 looks too much like SuSE for my tastes (and I don't see the significance of the planet Earth in the logo), and banner 5 is yet another mean penguin picture, and it may convey the impression that DistroWatch is an opinionative site. Just my thoughts...
23 • #4 with a side of fries! (by Adam Doxtater at 2003-07-29 03:27:28 GMT)
My vote is for #4 :)
24 • Banner (by motub on 2003-07-29 04:43:28 GMT)
#6, #4, #3, #2, in that order. Am I the only sucker for shiny brushed metal and engraved tezt? I also like the way that #6 is so monochrome that Tux becomes really noticeable as the only colored object-- yet the object is still soft and flowing, not jarring or garish.
#4 is very clean and businesslike. #3 is also nice, if you want a page-spanning banner, and I prefer the smaller, thinner version of the first banner, meaning #2.
Thumbs down on #5, both because of its size and because I don't like mena/mischieveous Tux images-- certainly not on a site like this.
Great work by all contributors, though. Thanks!
25 • Banners (by Jerry at 2003-07-29 06:49:45 GMT)
I like #4. Professional looking and clean
26 • Banner vote (by Offer on 2003-07-29 06:58:24 GMT)
I vote for #4 because it looks so good, but also since it says "Put the fun" rather than "Put fun" like some of the other banners, which I feel doesn't sound as good. If #6 were to be changed to "Put the fun" I would vote for it as my second favourite.
In a related matter, I think it would be nice if the banner on the top of the page was a link to the homepage.
27 • banner #4 (by david on 2003-07-29 08:40:20 GMT)
Just another vote for banner #4. All the pros has already been said, thus i don`t have to reason. The banner could be a bit larger though.
A DWW logo could be made merging #4 and #1. The Globe as base picture and the same font, colours, and style as in #4 with the layout of #1. Sorry for not doing it just speaking of, but i'm not so skilled at graphical design.
28 • Banner vote (by Vic on 2003-07-29 10:53:08 GMT)
#4 is great, very clean
I like #5 too, but Tux does not look very happy on that banner, which stands in contrast to the purpose of the website.
#2 is also very nice...
29 • Banners (by Matt at 2003-07-29 18:35:21 GMT)
I like 4, but the serif style font bothers me.
30 • Banner (by Zor on 2003-07-29 22:39:58 GMT)
My vote goes to #6. Nice silver brushed mono look. Discrete, not too big, simple, but stylish characters. Smooth contrast with colored Tux. And of course the looking glass (watching Tux -- meaning the Distros, ergo: DistroWatch) -- kinda like a metaphor.
Second places goes to #4: clean/simple/stylish enough, not "overdone", you might say: the right touch. But nonetheless I think #6 is just a tad better!
Thanks to all the designers! You've all done a wonderful job. In my opinion, everyone's a winner, just by taking the time to design a logo -- which can be time consuming!
31 • Banner (by Michael at 2003-07-30 00:46:57 GMT)
I like banner 5.
32 • Banner (by AlanS at 2003-07-30 01:34:35 GMT)
Banner 5 rocks.
33 • Banner (by warpengi on 2003-07-30 04:36:46 GMT)
I vote 1 & 2 in that order
34 • Banner (by Spearmint at 2003-07-30 13:09:12 GMT)
Use none! Where can i send my logo?
35 • Banner (by Spearmint at 2003-07-30 13:30:20 GMT)
I have another typeface that you can you use with that globe on banner 4. Email me that globe if you want to see the change. I can make a proposal for the logo and banner then.
36 • For Spearmint (by Leo on 2003-07-30 19:00:22 GMT)
You can reach Ladislav at: firstname.lastname@example.org (see footnote of this very webpage) :-)
37 • My votes (by Leo on 2003-07-30 19:02:05 GMT)
Banner: #4, though the fonts need some smoothing. But is it nice and simple
Logo: It is nice but I think a few more candidates would really be needed before making a decision ...
38 • vote-o-tron (by Runsible at 2003-07-30 20:52:26 GMT)
I think 1 & 2 are the purdiest. Especially 1.
39 • Logo-Discussion (by Gundo at 2003-08-01 09:24:49 GMT)
Only one banner is WATCHING->
therefore # 5 - is best for DistroWATCH
40 • No brainer (by Bob at 2003-08-03 00:23:30 GMT)
4 and 5 (in that order of course)
41 • Hey Spearmint.... (by Bob at 2003-08-03 00:24:38 GMT)
Why not come up with your own banner instead of copying one of the existing ones?
Number of Comments: 41
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