| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 13, 1 September 2003
Cool Linux - not just a cool name
Cool Linux is an excellent live CD. If you are getting tired of the endless stream of "new", modified Knoppix-based bootable CDs , then you might be pleasantly surprised by the latest release candidate of Cool Linux, version 2.3. It is based on Red Hat Linux, but it excludes KDE and GNOME, while providing the light-weight IceWM as its only graphical environment. As a result, the CD includes many applications that tend to be left out from other live CDs due to space limitations, such as Blender and VMware (trial edition). Cool Linux also includes the NVIDIA drivers, it has superior hardware auto-detection and it comes with a choice of two Linux kernels to boot from. Cool Linux is an expertly designed distribution for general purpose workstations.
And it comes from Russia. Created by Andrei Velikoredchanin, Cool Linux originally started as an after-hour Linux experiment on the computers that belonged to the author's employer. According to an older interview, Andrei couldn't afford to buy his own computer, so he stayed at work late to create what he called "Emergency CD", a command-line-only, bootable rescue tool kit based on Red Hat Linux. This he later expanded into a general purpose live CD with a cool name. You can find the project's descriptions, screenshots and download locations on this page.
Those of you who find the Lindows.com marketing strategies and the company's constant barrage of press releases a little too omnipresent at times might not know that Lindows.com has recently turned its attention to the Japanese consumer. Yes, Lindows.com is expanding and Japan has been deemed fit for a mass migration to LindowsOS. These days, hardly a day goes by without a Lindows.com announcement in the Japanese Linux media with last week's launch of the Japanese edition of LindowsOS 4.0 dominating many headlines. As always, a picture is worth a thousand words so check out this photo essay to get the feel of the launch atmosphere and to see what the excitement is about.
Will Lindows.com succeed in generating a decent income from its Japanese operation? Japan is not the easiest market to conquer during the best of times, which these are clearly not, and many domestic Linux companies are struggling to attract paying consumers. Sure, Japan is a technologically advanced nation, so it is hardly surprising that Linux is so big over there; the country's publishing houses produce no fewer than six different monthly magazines with exclusive Linux content and accompanying CDs and DVDs. The bookstores are well stocked with books on Linux. But like most people in many other parts of the world, the Japanese are also more likely to download a free distribution from the Internet than to subscribe to Click-N-Run. Still, you have to give Lindows.com credit for boldly going where so many others have failed. We will keep an eye on the company's progress in the land of the rising sun and revisit the subject in a future issue of DistroWatch Weekly.
|Released Last Week
Damn Small Linux 0.4.5
Damn Small Linux 0.4.5 was released. Changes: "For 0.4.5, there is now generic printer support. Fluxbox and most X applications are running under user 'damnsmall' instead of root. For convenience, I added sudo. I also added Microcom (a very small serial terminal emulator). And for the kids, I added Oneko. 0.4.5 has a bug fix; now the swap partition should be properly recognized which makes DSL more compatible with low ram systems. There is another browser added in 0.4.5, a tabs and frames enabled, patched version of Dillo (still only 335k and very fast!). Finally, there are a few small desktop enhancements...I remapped the icons so that they fit in the smallest resolution setting. I made the enhance feature smarter, so that it will not launch duplicate applications, but will bring bbpager into theme compliance. There is a new theme: FoggyNight..."" Find out more from the release notes and package list.
Kurumin Linux 2.02
A new bug fix release of Kurumin Linux came out last week. New in version 2.02 is the inclusion of ALSA 0.9.4 drivers, libraries and modules, updates to glibc 2.3.2, cdrtools 2.0a16, k3b 0.9 and xine 1-rc0a and a downgrade of samba to version 2.2.3a, among other changes. See the Kurumin 2.02 page (in Portuguese) for further information about what else is new in this version.
MoviX 0.8.0 was released: "After exactly 8 months of tests and prereleases, the stable 0.8.0 version of MoviX is finally available! Hope it won't take 9 months for 0.9.0 ;-) There are a few important changes from 0.8.0rc2: better remotes support; reduced system size; Italian translations (thanks to Walter Sammarchi). Till now only Hauppauge and Logitech remotes are supported. Everyone is invited to send to me or post on the forums configuration files for more remotes. This should be trivial for (Win)Lirc users, and I'll post soon a tutorial for all others. A new pre-release series should be out by the weekend, less stable but with new nice features, so stay tuned!" Find out more on the distribution's project page.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Aurox Linux 9.1
Aurox Linux has been expanding its web site, creating multi-lingual user forums and translating parts of it into other languages, including English. A new version is currently under development: "Aurox Linux is a European Linux distribution, published in 5 languages and available in 11 countries. Aurox Linux 9.1 will be available in September."
Red Hat Linux Beta
Red Hat has announced that new information concerning the Red Hat Linux project will be made available before 15 September 2003. This came as a reaction to a lengthy thread on the beta mailing list where some testers expressed dissatisfaction with Red Hat's failure to adhere to the original beta release schedule and lack of openness about the delay, despite the initial intent. According to some comments on the list, one of the reasons delaying the second beta version, originally scheduled to be released on 18 August, was a planned inclusion of the new GNOME desktop environment, version 2.4.
|Web Site News
RE: Page Hit Ranking changes
Thank you all for comments regarding the Page Hit Ranking changes. The idea of only ranking those distributions which have been around for at least one year has met with plenty of resistance and has been discarded. Everything is back to the original format. But the experiment did serve a useful purpose - if in the future there are still people who complain that the ranking is unfair, at least I have a page where I can direct them to read your opinions.
- Beehive Linux is no more: "If you got redirected here trying to get to beehive.nu, well it's gone. For good. Really. Probably. My primary reason for starting a Linux distribution at the time (late 2000) was simply that RedHat, SuSE, and yes Debian were full of crap in the base install that we didn't need or want when building servers in a server farm. That and darn little was optimized for hardware built in this millennium. So fine, I'll make my own. It was a huge amount of work for one guy (you have no idea how much), but it was mostly fun - except for compiling Gnome, which is a tangled nightmare. And it was rewarding to steadily climb up the world rankings at distrowatch.com to a high of #9 in the world. My reasons for stopping Beehive are 1) Mac OSX simply kicks ass as a desktop. Been using it as my only desktop since 10.0 came out. No more futzing with configs, things just work. 2) Gentoo works well enough, and it's reasonably easy to mod the build configs for a given package (Apache, MySQL, Postgres, etc) to put the install where I want it. Overall it's 'good enough' and the Portage tool is really nice. So there you have it. It was fun, but I have better things to do with my life."
- Dynasoft Linux, a Chinese distribution has also been moved to the "Discontinued Distributions" section. It's web site has been inaccessible for several weeks.
New on the waiting list
- Freepia is small GNU/Linux distribution designed to run on VIA EPIA-M mainboards. It currently only runs on the M-9000 and M-10000 (ezra and nehemia CPU) but with some modifications like kernel and X11 modules it should run on others too. The main goal of this project is to build a full-featured, low-noise media box to play movies, MP3s, images, etc. It uses freevo as its media viewer, but in the future there may be support for others, like mythtv or vdr.
DistroWatch database summary
- DebToo is Debian, Gentoo-style or Debian recompiled for your system. Why?
You get Debian's benefits, like their stellar package management, with *completely* optional optimization.
- Gentoox is Gentoo for the Xbox.
- Navaho Linux is a Linux distribution, loosely based around Red Hat Linux, that has been tuned to provide a platform with the highest performance, stability and security to support the Navaho Server Suite.
- Overclockix is a new Knoppix-based live CD.
- Plan B is a bootable Linux environment based on a basic, stripped installation of Red Hat Linux and the fundamental workings of the SuperRescue CD.
- Number of distributions in the database: 169
- Number of discontinued distributions: 24
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 63
Reader's comments will return next week.
That's all for this week, keep well and see you next Monday :-)
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