| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 24, 17 November 2003
It was a very interesting editorial by Brian Proffitt, the Managing Editor of Linux Today. In Forcing a Choice, the author expresses his views about the recent policy changes at Red Hat and his dilemma over choosing a distribution now that his previous choice - Red Hat Linux - is no more:
"Fedora is the planned successor to Red Hat Linux and I sincerely hope this turns out to be the case. But it is never going to be exactly like Red Hat. This is not me speculating based on one or two reviews. This is me after hearing it straight from the horse's mouth, when executives from Red Hat told me directly that Fedora will indeed serve as the testbed for much of the enterprise line of Red Hat. Fedora is their chance to try things on the bleeding edge and get the kinks worked out before they bring some new functionality into RHEL."
There is ample evidence that Brian Proffitt is not the only one who feels the pain. Many Red Hat Linux users have been left in a state of limbo: the product they got to know and appreciate over many years is gone, while its replacement - Fedora Core - has yet to prove itself to be an adequate replacement.
What are your thoughts? If you used Red Hat Linux in the past, have you switched to Fedora or are you in search for a new distribution? Please discuss below.
Impi Linux, Africa's first desktop Linux distribution was unveiled last week in Johannesburg (see more about the release in the "Released last week" section below). As one would expect from a 1.0 release, the distribution still needs a little polish before it can compete with the best, but it isn't bad for a first release. As you can see from the screenshot, the desktop icons are a little cluttered, both in their arrangement and in their style/size. The Impi Linux web site touts the fact that the distribution comes with a unique accounting package called Cubit, but hard as I looked, I could not locate it. The hard disk installation program is very limited in that it attempts to take over an entire hard disk - hardly the most flexible arrangement. Even worse, the web site lacks any user forums or mailing lists and the only support option is 24-hour local telephone support at premium rates. Nevertheless, Impi Linux is a promising start, especially as it plans to support all 11 official languages in South Africa. Good luck!
Screenshot: Impi Linux - Africa's first destkop Linux distribution (full image size 492kB)
My store - a story about a Linux-only computer store (Contributed by Benjamin Vander Jagt)
On November 2nd, 2003, Vander Jagt Computers opened up a new retail store in the middle of Berkeley Springs, WV. As you would expect, this store carries computer accessories, builds new systems, and provides in-shop and on-site computer service. You can find many a product, but one thing you will never find is Microsoft Windows.
"If it's fundamentally wrong, it can't be practically right. It's official company policy to sell no traditional copyright- or patent-restricted software. We will not sell systems with Windows preinstalled. Any new or used systems that we buy that include Windows will be wiped clean. Several people have called this a risky move, but the real risk would be to attach my name to systems that are equipped with shoddy software. Already, the majority of warranty-related service consists of reinstalling Windows or fixing Windows problems. Even a lot of commercial software is no match for the free Linux alternatives."
Granted, if a customer provides his own software and requests that it be installed, Vander Jagt Computers will comply, but in virtually all cases, free software is highly recommended over proprietary software.
Response has been overwhelmingly positive so far. Most customers who enter the store for the first time have heard of Linux but don't know what it is. On display for all to play and learn with is a sub $200 used system with Slackware 9.1 running. Slackware 9.1 is preferred for its standards compliance, speed, security, and support base. Every customer who has seen Slackware 9.1 perform on this system has become a Linux fan. Many ask if Linux can be installed on their old Compaq's. Some are interested in the most secure operating system available. Others like the performance of software. All are blown away by the far superior software. Of course, it takes several minutes to explain that it's actually, positively free.
Vander Jagt Computers has two more Linux projects in the works. Firstly, Benjamin Vander Jagt will try his hand at creating a Slackware-based Linux distribution. "Slackware is the best base that I've found so far, because of its standards compliance. The software packages are mostly vanilla, which is the ideal end result for my distribution. Slackware is only lacking in automation, such as hardware detection. LILO will be replaced with GRUB, and two entries will be created for boot, the default of which ending with 'telinit 4' to automatically boot into the GDM. Of course, the GNOME menu will be reworked in the Red Hat way, and ReallySlick Screensavers will be added."
Secondly, a web server will be established for the distribution of public-domain art. Art is where the free software movement is lacking most right now, and most artists need to discover that public-domain is the most profitable way to distribute their creations. This server will store any public-domain graphics, music, games, movies, 3D models, engineering diagrams, and more. Though this server is probably going to remain free, it could theoretically charge artists a fee in the future, when it's more widely accepted that public-domain saturation is worth much more than the meager sales that artists usually starve through to begin with.
|Released Last Week
A new version of the ResNet USB Network Tester, or RUNT, is now available: "RUNT 3.0 has been released! RUNT 3.0 is based on Slackware 9.1 including kernel 2.4.22. New additions include iptraf for network monitoring, iptables, allowing RUNT to be used as a firewall, and CD/DVD writing tools. SCSI controllers are now supported through hotplug. To use CD burning tools with an IDE drive, you must use ide-scsi by identifying your drive at the boot prompt. For example put 'usb hdc=ide-scsi' at the end of the boot prompt if your CD burner is your secondary master. I'm not certain the usefulness of CD burning abilities on a 128 MB drive, but I had the space, so I left it in. You can remove the package if you don't need it. Because of increased kernel size, memtest had to be removed from the boot disk, but it can still be run if you are able to boot directly off of the USB drive." See the announcement on the project's home page.
Damn Small Linux 0.5
Damn Small Linux 0.5 has been released. From the changelog: "Local .xinitrc, Save/Restore user settings menu option, boot time "restore" option (type "knoppix restore" at boot), mount.app program now recognizes the USB drive. Firebird now runs as user damnsmall, added sqlite, removed ispell, flwriter and replaced them with Ted-gtk w/ US English spell check, removed option to set frequency (didn't work quite right) and added option to set dpi. Thank you to Robert Shingledecker for the major code and debugging contribution in this release."
A bug fix version of a recently released Freeduc CD is available for download. Changes include the following: "WIMS fully working; GCompris sound and Python board working; Italian XFce Desktop back in good shape; DrGeo 0.9.11prerelease." Find out more on the distribution's web site.
A new Knoppix build, version 3.3-2003-11-14 is available. From the changelog: "V3.3-2003-11-14 (Updates/Bugfixes). Euro symbol works again in konsole, but font scanning at startup is slow (fontconfig?); added bittorrent ncurses client; ALSA package update; 'knoppix testcd' option is now more verbose; changed default timings in monitor detection (may give better results with DDC-capable monitors, but you will probably have to use 'knoppix vsync=60' for non-DDC-capable TFT displays); the usual bunch of Debian package updates."
Mandrake Linux 9.2 ISO images
The much awaited Mandrake Linux 9.2 ISO images are now available for free download from various mirrors worldwide. Please note the warning regarding the LG CD-ROM drives: "Warning: Some LG CD-ROM drives have a firmware bug and should be updated before any installation attempt. Please consult lgerrata"
Bonzai Linux 3.1
A new release of Bonzai Linux is out: "After hard and long nights of development, version 3.1 of the Bonzai Linux distribution has been released. Bonzai Linux is optimized to fit on a 180MB mini CD. It is based on the current stable Debian distribution called 'woody', containing a customized version of boot-floppies and an easy to use installer. Bonzai uses Kernel 2.4.20 and includes the light-weight windowmanager XFce4 to make installation on older machines possible. Login.app allows you to log in to your system. Synaptic has been added to make package installation easier. Bonzai Linux should be used as a strong and stable base for your Debian based Desktop PC and can be enhanced with all your favourite Debian packages." Read the complete announcement in English or German.
Impi Linux 1.0
Impi, a Zulu word for describing a group of warriors, has given the name to Africa's first desktop Linux distribution - Impi Linux. Version 1.0 has just been released: "Created by the Gauteng Linux Users Group in Johannesburg, Impi Linux is mainly based on Debian GNU/Linux with components borrowed from Knoppix. The desktop window manager is GNOME and the OS comes complete with OpenOffice.org as the office productivity suite, Cubit as the business accounting application and Mozilla as the web browser. Impi Linux was created from the best software available in the open source world, to give South African users a stable, virus free and very cost effective business operating system. Impi Linux is not just an operating system, it comes bundled with every application that you need to run your business. Impi Linux will eventually support all of the eleven official languages in South Africa." More information on the Impi Linux web site and in Africa's own Linux distribution by Tectonic.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r2
Martin Schulze has posted an update on the upcoming Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r2 release: "I am preparing the second revision of the current stable Debian distribution (woody) which will probably be released soon. This report is to allow people to comment on it and intervene whenever this is required. If you disagree with one bit or another, please reply to this mail and explain why these things should be handled differently. There is still time to reconsider."
ASP Linux 9.2
The developers of ASP Linux have announced a new upcoming release - version 9.2. This will be based on Fedora Cora 1 and will be available for purchase or download in the middle of December. This announcement is part of an open letter to ASP Linux users published on the distribution's web site (in Russian).
EvilEntity Linux 0.3
A new release of EvilEntity Linux is under preparation: "DR-0.3.0 is coming along. Base6 is complete and we now need developers to build XGN packages to expand upon Base6. There are a number of things that would help us out tremendously. Maintaining, supporting, and advancing a top notch operating system is an overwhelmingly massive task. Currently EvilEntity is understaffed in the most explicit and drastic sense of the word. To help develop EvilEntity you need, 2-4 hours a month free time, to be able to follow simple directions, to be reliable, and to be able to research and solve problems. If you want to help, e-mail me." Find out more on the distribution's web site.
SUSE LINUX 9.0 FTP install
A message on the SUSE FTP server promises to have SUSE Linux 9.0 ready for FTP install before the end of this week: "This directory is the placeholder for the upcoming SUSE Linux 9.0-ftp distribution. As usual, it will be published some days after the product is available on CDROM/DVD media. The SuSE Linux 9.0-i386-ftp distribution will be available during the weekend of November 22/23 on the mirrors and on ftp.suse.com."
Turbolinux 10 Desktop, English edition
The world-wide release of Turbolinux 10 Desktop, originally scheduled for last week, was postponed until 25 November. Find out more on the distribution's product page.
Aurox Linux 9.2
Aurox Linux has announced a new release, version 9.2, the first beta of which should be available for testing this week: "We are very close to brand new Aurox Linux - 9.2 (Water). We're now testing our work, a beta version should be on FTPs in a couple of days. The most 'visible' changes are: OpenOffice.org 1.1 (with many dictionaries included), brand new GNOME 2.4.1 and Light Desktop - new group of packages for slower machines (Fluxbox, Mozilla Firebird, rox-filer and Sylpheed) - so no heavy environments are necessary. We have included NTFS support (built as a separate package) and several additional libraries. There are also some applications included in this version - the full list will be published with the beta release."
LinuxInstall.org now supports Fedora Core 1|
LinuxInstall.org now supports Fedora Core 1 by offering 3 CD-SET or 1 DVD for $10 anywhere in the world including shipping cost from http://linuxinstall.org/fedora.php.
2003 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards
The 2003 LinuxQuestions.org Members Choice Awards have begun. There are awards for Distribution of the Year, Browser of the Year, Multimedia App of the Year and many other categories. Winners will be able to pick up their awards at LinuxWorld. Last years winners include Red Hat, PostgreSQL and Mozilla.
|Web Site News
The truth about DistroWatch Timesavers
The Timesavers idea came about in January this year. It was meant to replace the donations button and give those who join some real value and extra features not available to non-members. Unfortunately, as the time progressed and the site expanded, I found myself severely short of time to code the promised features. With every day bringing in more and more work, it is extremely unlikely that I will be able to find the necessary time to do the work.
Also, the idea hasn't been all that well received - on average, we get about 2 new members per week. This brings in some US$30 odd every week, so you can see why Timesavers has not been a priority, especially since advertising and writing is a lot more lucrative. Granted, with lack of promised features, there isn't much incentive to join, but still.
In short, I need external help to implement the Timesavers features. Here is the deal: anybody who wishes to do the work, please email me. You'll get complete freedom to implement the features, including the choice of a coding language (PHP, CGI, Python, Ruby, whatever) and you'll get to keep 75% of the income generated by the new Timesavers Programme, which you helped implementing. You can even set the Timesavers admission fee. The promised features include custom comparison tables, search engines and other features, please see the Timesavers page for all the details.
If nobody is interested in helping, then we'll officially discard the idea. Those of you who have joined, but wish to have your joining fee refunded, please email me. Some of the planned features will still be implemented, but they will be free for all.
Many thanks to Luis Fonseca Carvalho De Matos to translate parts of the site into Portuguese (Portugal) and to
Jens H. Kruuse for corrections to the Danish translation. If you are interested in translating the site's introduction and navigation menus into your language, please see this page for details.
- Penguin Sleuth. Containing many useful tools, Penguin Sleuth is an adapted version of the Knoppix Linux Live CD. It includes tools that are useful when performing a forensic computer analysis.
- Plan B. Plan-B is a bootable Linux environment without the need for a hard drive, it runs entirely in ram or from the CD, based on a basic, stripped installation of Red Hat Linux and the fundamental workings of the SuperRescue CD. A list of tools and utilities are also included for projects such as: forensics/data recovery, system/network analysis and security scanning temporary network device/server, IDS/NIDS system, network status report creation.
- Impi Linux. Impi Linux is South Africa's first desktop Linux distribution. Created by the Gauteng Linux Users Group, Impi Linux (Impi is a Zulu word for describing a group of warriors) is mainly based on Debian GNU/Linux with components borrowed from Knoppix. The desktop window manager is GNOME and the OS comes complete with OpenOffice.org as the office productivity suite, Cubit as the business accounting application and Mozilla as the web browser. Impi Linux was created from the best software available in the open source world, to give South African users a stable, virus free and very cost effective business operating system. Impi Linux is not just an operating system, it comes bundled with every application that you need to run your business. Impi Linux will eventually support all of the eleven official languages in South Africa.
- Pingwinek. Pingwinek is a modern Linux distribution made in Poland. The main desktop is GNOME and it currently supports Polish and English languages. The project also provides a Live CD edition.
- PCLinuxOS. PCLinuxOS is a community based non-profit distribution initially based on Mandrake Linux. Just think of it as Mandrake Linux enhanced by Texstar on a single bootable live CD with 1.5GB of desktop applications and the ability to install right to your hard drive with everything ready to work out of the box. NVIDIA drivers, Flash, Java, urpmi setup, and of course all the cool application updates by Texstar. And if we get all the bugs out of the mklivecd program then YOU can make your own Mandrake-style bootable CD as well.
- SystemRescueCd. SystemRescueCd is a linux system on a bootable CD-ROM for repairing your system and your data after a crash. It also aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the partitions of the hard disk. It contains a lot of system utilities (parted, partimage, fstools, ...) and basic ones (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It aims to be very easy to use: just boot from the CD-ROM, and you can do everything. The kernel of the system supports most important file systems (ext2/ext3, reiserfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs, iso9660), and network ones (Samba and NFS). SystemRescueCd is based on the Gentoo Live CD.
New on the waiting list
- The SuperRescue CD. According to SuperRescue's developer H Peter Anvin, the SuperRescue CD is no longer in development: "At this time I don't see myself having time to work on SR, so unless someone takes it over I don't really expect to see another release." Those who found the SuperRescue CD useful might be interested in H Peter Anvin's Plan B rescue CD instead: "Plan B is not a continuation of SuperRescue, although it's to some degree a 'spiritual descendant' -- it borrows a fair number of concepts from SR. Plan B is more heavily focused on recovery and forensics."
Removed from the waiting list
- Dappix. Dappix is a Danish variant of Knoppix. The web site is in Danish.
- Echelonlinux. "Echelon Linux is a distribution which is able to monitor and to manage your network. It is based on Knoppix."
- Kalango Linux. Kalango Linux is a new Brazilian (or Portuguese?) distribution based on Kurumin.
- KDLC. KDLC (Khởi Động Là Chạy) is a Vietnamese variant of Knoppix. The web site is in Vietnamese.
- White Box Enterprise Linux. "This product is derived from the Free/Open Source Software made available by Red Hat, Inc but IS NOT produced, maintained or supported by Red Hat. Specifically, this product is forked from the source code for Red Hat's _Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3_ product under the terms and conditions of it's EULA."
- X-evian. X-evian is a Spanish variant of Knoppix. The web site is in Spanish.
DistroWatch database summary
- Edunix due to product unavailability.
- Number of distributions in the database: 199
- Number of discontinued distributions: 25
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 69
On categorising distributions
Thank you all for suggestions about how best to categorise the distributions. This is taking shape and we'll probably have several categories and sub-categories to choose from:
If we left out any category that you would like to see included, please comment below.
- Package management (RPM, DEB, TGZ, SRC...)
- Parent distribution (Red Hat, Debian, Slackware...)
- Architecture (Intel, PowerPC, Alpha, AMD-64...)
- Target hardware (i386, i586, i686, old hardware...)
- Target focus (Server, Desktop, Firewall, Security, Multimedia...)
- Language (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese...)
- Installation type (text mode, graphical, live CD, floppy-based...)
- Free download (yes, no)
On Red Hat/Fedora split
Counting the votes of those who commented about the issue of splitting Red Hat and Fedora, it seems that most posters (7) are in favour of creating a separate Fedora page, while 3 were against it and 6 voted in favour of delaying the split. As always, there are many valid arguments either way, so let's just keep things unchanged for the time being, but we will create a new Fedora page as soon as the project enters its next beta stage.
That's all for today, keep well and see you next Monday :-)
1 • Distro Category (by John Gabriel at 2003-11-17 10:49:07 GMT) |
Memory Requirement Caregories:
2 • Distro Category (by David on 2003-11-17 11:45:11 GMT)
Used (default) Desktop Environment (KDE, Gnome, XFce, CDE, Rox, XPde...)
3 • Distro Category (by Sven at 2003-11-17 12:23:23 GMT)
something that indicates how easy/hard the distro is to use and manage
4 • Number of distributions in the database: 199 (by W T Zhu on 2003-11-17 12:45:46 GMT)
Previously I thought that we would have the 200th distribution around Christmas. Now it seems it will come right this week :-)
5 • Mepis (by Siacs on 2003-11-17 13:09:30 GMT)
I Urge Everyone to go try Mepis Linux.Its a very polished live CD that includes all the latest software.Installs to your hard drive with the click of a button.The official release will be in about a week.
Watchout Libranet . Of course it's a free download
6 • bad URL at Pingwinek (by Grzegorz Dąbrowski at 2003-11-17 13:14:26 GMT)
The URL is: (...)distribution=pengwinek but should be distribution=pingwinek
7 • Fedora (by z5rz on 2003-11-17 14:55:37 GMT)
I've been a RedHat user for about 2 years. First 7.2 and then 9.0. Both purchased copies (just to let you know I am not a total leach :-) ). I still consider myself a newbie. I have now downloaded Fedora and am using it. I also have tried most of the other distros. I was really surprised by the comments in the editorial on this site. Linux is still coming of age. I haven't tried one distro that makes everything on my computer work at setup out of the box. Whether it be the scanner, the tv card, network, ntfs partitions, wireless cards, dvd movies etc. I still have to find the mp3 drivers or the dvd decoders or insert a config file for samba here or there. Some distros do many of these well, others few. The bottom line, the Fedora distro is in my experience still one the best. It is free. It is still the RedHat I am used to. And its got a tremendous community and support behind it. RedHat, in making a business decision, did in my humble opinion, the honorable thing. They turned it over to the community and continue to allocate resources for it. There are other good distros out there. I just happen to think that the current new path of this distro is a very very good thing. Remember, the only constant is change. Think about how else this could have gone.
8 • Fedora (by JOE at 2003-11-17 15:28:37 GMT)
I agree with Grzegorz I,ve been using Red Hat with apt and synaptic to add the media back and stay updated for over a year so Fedora is just taking the place of what would have been Red Hat 10 for me. I,ve been real happy with Fedora and feel its done a lot to make it easy for third party plugins.Thank,s Fedora
9 • Fedora (by Goth on 2003-11-17 15:48:21 GMT)
I've been using Red Hat since 8.0 and currently testing Fedora.... I can't tell right now if I'll stick to it or not, but meanwhile I'm downloading Mandrake
10 • Fedora (by Fredg on 2003-11-17 15:55:05 GMT)
Too early to tell for me on Fedora long term, but my critical Red Hat 7.3 server will be EOL on 12/31. From what I have seen so far of Fedora, I will not be replacing my 7.3 server with it.
What I am looking at now is one of the RHEL 3 rebuilds.
11 • Redhat Fedora Problem (by Ian Pohl at 2003-11-17 16:00:23 GMT)
I have been using RH since version 5.0 and feel that I have had my legs removed from under me.
I have been providing Redhat solutions for alot my my clients, and even went as far as doing the certification.
Using Fedora which in there words is a Bleeding-edge release, is like running beta software. ( NOT FOR PRODUCTION LEVEL INSTALLATIONS).
So yes I am looking for an alternative that is maybe not to commercial.
Novell has just acquired SUSE....How long do you think it is going to be before we see the same thing happening there.
Maybe the LFS handbook is the way to go and just do it all yourself.
12 • Goodbye RedHat (by John Hinton at 2003-11-17 17:10:29 GMT)
I've been using RH since 5.2. Have purchased many boxed editions and maintained RHN subscriptions. Now in what appears to be a totally mixed up and unclear RHEL move from RH, it looks like RedHat was no where near ready to announce when they did (not even a package list for the variants?).
My hosting business has mission critical servers. Fedora is no answer. RHEL seems to direct me towards what appears to be proprietary webservers and lots of bloatware.
I don't think my managed server customers are ready to pay an additional $30 or more per month to have RHEL on their machines. (Gee, I think I could do M$ stuff for less?)
RedHat has left the harbor with an unfilled boat, leaving behind the huge root core of small business techies which put them where they are today. The door is wide open for another distro and I predict that after a short term success, RedHat will begin to suffer, as the tech community jumps on board one of the other 'friendly' cruise linuxers.
RedHat sold me subscriptions to RHN, with the guise that I will be taken care of with regards to timely and stable updates and patches. What is the next lie?
Now I'm faced with changing OSes on a large number of webservers running a LOT of custom configs. I'm having a really tough time sitting down right now.
13 • Fedora Core: More bugs than the beta! (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2003-11-17 17:44:54 GMT)
At least with the beta I could get the nVidia drivers installed so that GLX doesn't keep crashing!
I'm getting kernel panics, slow slow performance, and improperly detected hardware. Nothing will build right anymore. What's really puzzling is that Red Hat 8.0 was able to detect a lot of this stuff right, so what happened? And why are they hiding OpenOffice? I'm totally puzzled. I'll certainly give them another chance with their next version, but what I think all the Linux distributions could use is much better adherance to the standards.
My first Linux was Red Hat 8.0, and I have tried about 50 Linux's so far. I stuck with Red Hat for over a year, convinced that it was the greatest choice. However, 9 and then Fedora disappointed. Sure, 8.0 and 7.3 are solid, but I can't use stuff that old. I recently switched to Slackware, of course. I can't really provide Red Hat / Fedora for my customers. Mandrake 9.2 seems to be lacking PPP out of the box, and since that's all this town has, Mandrake's not a choice. SuSE 9.0 looks interesting, and I'll likely be using it when it comes out, but at the moment, only two choices look usable: Slackware and J.A.M.D.
Despite this, Microsoft is a dead man walking. (-:
14 • On categorising distributions: (by Bob on 2003-11-17 17:49:52 GMT)
15 • Target Focus (by Leo on 2003-11-17 18:14:43 GMT)
Here go my 2cts:
1) Target focus is very interesting as a category, but it will be a little tricky to implement. Some distros (like Suse, Mandrake, etc) have two, perhaps three or more main targets: desktop, server, corporate ... You may want to allow for up to ...3, maybe 5 target focuses
2) Educational, Kids, etc ... these are important items for target focus I think
16 • categorising distributions (by GYS at 2003-11-17 19:44:40 GMT)
I would like to see a category for secure or hardened distros, as suggested.
Will it be feasible to rate distros for "speed" on defined hardware ? (e.g Vector Linux is generally felt to be "fast", some people feel Red Hat 9 is a bit "slow".)
17 • Fedora Core 1 (by Andreas on 2003-11-17 20:30:05 GMT)
I've been using Red Hat since 7.1 and I switched immediately to Fedora. So far I don't anything to complain about. I also work as a linux sysadmin and I'm currently working on switching over to Fedora desktops. I've deployed a couple of "beta" desktops and so far everyone seems to be very happy with them. Time will tell if Fedora succeeds, but I sincerely hope so.
18 • Fedora (by kmp on 2003-11-17 21:06:31 GMT)
I've been using Red Hat as my primary desktop since 8.0. Before that, I used Debian, Mandrake, and Gentoo. I've used it at work as a server platform since 6.2. Fedora Core 1 is just as stable as the previous Red Hat releases and is a nice upgrade. I like the community oriented approach of Fedora and will contiue to use it on my personal machines and non-critical work machines.
For the servers, we are buying RHEL 3. We use mostly proprietary apps that need a certified distro. Both RHEL and SUSE's SLES are priced similarly, and our skillbase is Red Hat, so its an easy choice.
That said, I do have a few gripes with Red Hat:
1. Red Hat needs to do better communicating its intentions. Its been confusing, first announcing the shortened lifespan of RHL, but offering only the high end RHAS. Finally, they released cheaper versions in the RHEL line, but then killed off RHL completely for Fedora. And now, they release Red Hat Professional Workstation for $99, which isn't too bad....yet they don't plan to offer renewals for it after 1 year? Then they wait months after announcing the RHL change to announce academic pricing. They need to get their plans together and not sow such confusion!
2. The AMD64 RHEL options are way too expensive. AMD64 is a low cost platform. We need a Red Hat supported OS that is equally inexpensive.
3. The Standard and Premium RHEL pricing is about right. The Basic pricing needs to be cheaper. I think the 50% discount they are offering right now to RHN customers should become the normal price.
19 • Fedora Core 1 ? (by Tim at 2003-11-18 04:38:11 GMT)
Fedora core now there is something, if you are in Canada and you can only go online through ADSL then do not upgrade. I plan to look for something else that will at least let this computer use my dsl. Knoppix is greate wile on the disk but not on the drive again DSL is a problum.
If like me ADSL is all you've got what can you do, and what distro can you use? I am looking for something else....
20 • Don't have a warm fuzzy Fedora so far (by Rick at 2003-11-18 07:34:30 GMT)
I upgraded one RH 9 system using Fedora Core 1. I went ahead despite the warnings about potentially incompatible RPMs. How bad could it be with as few things as I'd installed on that system?
No networking after the upgrade. Does this mean that even the RH 9 security and bug patch updates were a problem? Dunno, but I'm already missing the QA that used to go into RH releases.
So I'm looking for a new distro. I'd like more frequent technology updates than I'm likely to get from RH Enterprise products. But am I willing to go the Fedora route with the uncertainties there about security updates? Not clear. I really did appreciate the update service that RHN provided. That's why I paid for it. I'm not happy to lose it - especially since some of the subscriptions continue long past the end of life date for RH 9.
21 • Call for Timesavers (by warpengi at 2003-11-18 07:58:01 GMT)
I joined Timesavers for the planned comparison section and to support this excellent site. It would sure be nice to see the implementation of the features.
I know somewhere out there in Distrowatch land is someone with the skills and time to make this happen. Step up and add your support to a top-notch, timely, relevant, useful and tasteful Linux web-site and make a little money doing it too.
22 • Here comes the 200th distribution @distrowatch.com (by W T Zhu on 2003-11-18 09:29:02 GMT)
Virux Live CD
23 • RE: Call for Timesavers (by ladislav at 2003-11-18 11:17:26 GMT)
There is some interest. I've had a few offers from people living in USA, Australia, Pakistan, Latvia...We haven't finalised anything yet, but it looks like Timesavers will live on.
24 • Vander Jagt story, ppp and Mdk 9.2 (by Leo on 2003-11-18 14:57:46 GMT)
Very refreshing to read this story, thanks Ladislav. I'd love to see thousands of small businessess grow in this direction all over the world.
Benjamin: I don't understand your problem with Mandrake 9.2. I use it at home, over a dial-up ppp connection, all working "out of the box". I used slack in the past, but I honestly think Mandrake is much more appropriate for desktop usage and rapid server deployment. It is nice and polished, and sofrware installation/upgrade is a snap from the control center. Even a 100 Mb of software upgrades can be done over ppp while you sleep. For a traditional unix-like server, slack would be good too.
But the point is: ppp is available by default in Mandrake, though the easiest way to allow a user to use it is to get them to use kppp. When you set up a user account for a costumer you can show them how to put their info in kppp, it is just a few steps and it works great.
Best luck with your business !
25 • John Hinton - Goodbye Red Hat (by John Lowell on 2003-11-18 20:12:29 GMT)
John Hinton is right on target when he says:
"RedHat sold me subscriptions to RHN, with the guise that I will be taken care of with regards to timely and stable updates and patches. What is the next lie?"
The only person who's shown more contempt for the GNU/Linux community and who might be more oily than Bill Gates is Matthew Szulik. I got out when the subscriptions came in and have never looked back, John. It's time for the community to dissociate itself from this bird.
26 • RedHat, Fedora and ... (by robT on 2003-11-18 20:34:09 GMT)
Sun. It just struck me yesterday, but didn't Sun base their Linux desktop on RedHat? If that is the case, is it merely coincidence that RedHat dumps the desktop and Sun picks it up? And for what it's worth, I doubt if RedHat cares much about how widely Fedora is accepted/used. They have to put the effort into REL anyway.
27 • RE: RedHat, Fedora and ... (by ladislav at 2003-11-18 22:59:41 GMT)
It just struck me yesterday, but didn't Sun base their Linux desktop on RedHat?
No, Sun Java Desktop System is based on SUSE.
28 • Fedora <=> Mandrake Cooker ? (by Chris at 2003-11-19 01:39:31 GMT)
On the one hand the way RH put's it in their PR I could be forgiven for comparing Fedora to Mandrake Cooker (or worse).
On the other hand, SuSE have been charging for their OS just like RH now want to do, with great success.
(I used Mandrake for a while after trying RH and then finally settled on SuSE 9 Pro. The perfect replacement for a Windows Power Desktop user needing to get stuff done IMHO)
So what's the problem, could it be that the 'loyal' community of RH are having a difficult time digesting the fact that they will have to pay for it in future?
Or is RH's asking price to steep for what you get?
How much longer can the bankrupt Mandrake keep giving away their OS as free ISO's too?
I like open source & Linux & I am willing to pay a realistic price for a quality disro.
(My hobby OS is Gentoo 1.4 for fiddling about)
29 • RE: Redhat and Fedora (by Honaby at 2003-11-19 02:57:44 GMT)
I started my Linux adventure with RHL 7.0 and upgraded to every release RH has till 8.0. Then I stumbled upon an FTP server called SUSE.com then everything changed! Its like wow!!! I did'nt know that FREE OS can be as good as it gets! And only SUSE linux made feel that way. I tried alot of linux distros including Mandrake's but still SUSE is the best for me.
The only hope that I have is that FEDORA will fill in the gaps that is missing on REDHAT Linux. I really wish that the quality that SUSE has can also be found on a true FREE distribution like FEDORA. Unlike SUSE which doesnt offer ISO's.
30 • Fedora (by jeanmm at 2003-11-19 13:22:14 GMT)
Fedora is the first Linux I ever installed on my computer. When I read about the reasons to separate home users from Redhat's corporate clients, I find it really shocking. RedHat would not exist as it is nowadays without feedback and support from all it's users, especially home users, who paid an immense tribute to improve all parts of Redhat's distribution.
I did not choose Fedora, it's merely the only known distribution to start on my computer (Packard Bell Imedia 6007a), and only when I change my USB keyboard and mouse for PS2 ones. So for example if a user with the same PC doesn't know anything about USB and PS2, he would merely come to the conclusion that Fedora is a very poor distribution, and would decide to never install Linux.
Now I will try to install a second distribution, if possible Mandrake, and then I will have choice. I have great doubt for Fedora's future if some Redhat representatives continue to make some insane public declarations. This is one of the reason to not rely only on Fedora/Redhat. Sure I'm not alone.
Redhat's users and generally speaking Linux and Linux users do not deserve what some people at Redhat's premises decide and think. Long live Linux and people acting positively for Linux.
31 • Re: Fedora <=> Mandrake Cooker ? (by Leo on 2003-11-19 15:46:55 GMT)
Chris: I think you are mixing different things a bit.
SuSE has been charging, yes, and not providing free (gratis) isos. But they have a full range of products. From very expensive, corporate solutions to home user / small office.
Mandrake decided to be totally open: isos for free, home products, the club, and also corporate solutions, and then cooker for enthusiasts and testers.
RedHat has decided to drop the middle range: the home user/small business. You either use Fedora, and it is not clear whether Fedora will be more like the old standard redhat, or more like Cooker, a testbed. This is exactly where the concerns begin ...
32 • UserLinux (by Leo on 2003-11-19 15:56:05 GMT)
I am sure you are aware. But this is something to watch out for: http://www.userlinux.com/
Bruce Perens is behind it, he seems to have big, real big companies behind, and a very sensible approach:
( http://www.linuxworld.com/story/37872.htm )
"Also, the most important thing about UserLinux is that it is an attempt to change the economic paradigm of the Linux distribution. We feel that creating a Linux distribution doesn't work as a profit-center, and that it is better viewed as a cost-sharing exercise. So, the customers involved in UserLinux will be paying for the engineering of creating a Free Software system, rather than for boxes, "seats", or user licenses. The system will be certified to various standards and vendor requirements with their funding, and the result will be given away. The customers get all of the copies they need with no incremental cost per seat added. They will have to pay for service."
So, there you have it, o corporate backed, free as in gratis, free as in libre, Debian based, Desktop and Server oriented distro. It's gonna be a big thing, no doubts about it. I think that in a year time or so it will be in the group of the "big five", with RedHat, SuSE, Mandrake and Debian.
33 • Leo (Thanks! / Mandrake) (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2003-11-20 02:50:51 GMT)
Many thanks! ^_^ It's going quite well. Everyone's thrilled about it, and attention is really increasing. There are even talks about a contract with the High School I'm next to, which would really let Linux shine!
As for Mandrake, honestly speaking, Mandrake, Red Hat, and SuSE are very refined right out of the box, but I can only ever treat them as training wheels because of how far they stray from standard. For example, it was a torturous experience to try to install the 2.6 kernel in any of them...which I could never do. Slackware, however, took it the very first try. When I used the big three, whenever I saw a program available in .tgz source, I'd have to read the directions for how to modify things to make it work. Everything in Slackware works, tho. It's as though when a developer makes something for "Linux" in general, they really only need to make it for Slack.
While modification makes a big difference off the starting line by having a nicely refined package, it hurts in the long run when it becomes virtually impossible to install what you want. I've even consistently been able to manually unpackage stuff from practically any distribution into Slackware and have it magically work.
I'm considering making a modified Slack, which is almost hypocritical, but the way I plan to modify it is to expand upon all the packages and submit the source code to the authors. For example, instead of copying and rearranging the KDE menu entries and placing them in GNOME, making a tool that will gather KDE entries and do that for me. I want to stay standard while eliminating the need for the terminal.
34 • Kalango is Brazilian (by Ariszlo at 2003-11-20 12:40:03 GMT)
Every screenshot of Kalango shows the icon of the Brazilian keyboard layout:
35 • Linux Distros? (by Mike O'Melia at 2003-11-20 12:52:55 GMT)
I am very dissappointed in RH. Sure, they should get monies from companies who use their product for profit (service). They should have offered a better solution for their loyal user base (than Fedora!)
I think their loyal user base should get RHEL at a fair, low, ONE time price (free would be good!) AND have access to updates. As it is now, they are forcing a HUGE segmentation in the user and market place. And in the long run, they will only create more competition for themselves.
36 • RH / FEDORA (by pr0c on 2003-11-20 20:14:11 GMT)
Stuff like Redhat just pulled in relation to Fedora etc is why I use a distro like Debian. I never have to stop and think .. is Debian going to be around next year? Is company xyz going to buy them? Are they going to change their plans in a drastic way? Are they going to make me look like an ass to my customers?
When you stop to think about it... Mandrake, Redhat, Suse could all be sold / bankrupt / change their business plans etc at any point without reguard to the end user. Distros like Debian would be far less likely to go out from under you. Just a thought....
37 • My store story as no contact or website or e-mails ? (by Anonymous on 2003-11-21 06:23:44 GMT)
My store story as no contact or website or e-mails ?
38 • Open Letter To Red Hat (by John Lowell on 2003-11-21 08:36:08 GMT)
Just noticed this at OSNews:
It seemed pertinent. My oh my! :-)
39 • My store story (by Benjamin Vander Jagt at 2003-11-21 21:51:12 GMT)
Yeah, I didn't want the story to be an advertisement but an inspiration for other computer store owners to make the exodus from the old copyright- and patent-restricted software. Plus, I don't have my T1 set up yet, so I don't really have a website.
40 • Re: Open Letter To Red Hat (by Leo on 2003-11-22 03:06:37 GMT)
Very interesting read, recommended. What as ass the lady from red hat's customer service. What an arrogant attitude. And talking about arrogance, the latest interview to Szukik on slashdot says it all. RedHat is heading for the corporate sector, and the corporate sector only. They are leaving their userbase behind, now that they are big enough. Let's see how it goes for them. I'll personally support other distros ...
Number of Comments: 40
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