| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 35, 9 February 2004
Welcome to this year's 6th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. Disappointingly, the expected release of Fedora Core Test 1 did not materialise last week (there is still no word on when it might be released), but we did get a new KDE, as well as the second beta release of Mandrake Linux 10.0. At the moment it seems that Mandrake is ahead of the pack in integrating kernel 2.6 and KDE 3.2 into the next release.
Distributions with the 2.6 kernel
In recent weeks, we started getting email from visitors asking about distributions that provide the new 2.6.x kernel. Unfortunately, the current site structure does not allow for easy package-based distribution search (this feature is under development, although it will only be available to those visitors who support DistroWatch). Nevertheless, a simple "grep" query on the server was all that was needed to reveal this information. So which ones have the new kernel?
If you are holding your breath, you might be disappointed. As of today, the query returns 14 results, most of which are either development releases or specialist distributions with a particular target market. In fact, the only full-featured, general purpose distribution shipping with kernel 2.6 is Turbolinux 10 Desktop. Those of you who follow the news on this site will remember that Turbolinux 10 was released in October 2003 with kernel 2.6.0-test5. The distribution maker promised to provide a stable version of the kernel as soon as it became available and this has now happened - the users of Turbolinux 10 can either update via the distribution's update program, or they can download the full Update Kit, which includes all security and bug-fix updates since the product release, as well as kernel 2.6.0.
Besides Turbolinux 10, other Linux distributions with the new kernel include the following:
As always, it is possible that we missed something, so if you know of another distribution with one of the 2.6.x kernel series, please mention it in the discussion forums below.
- Fedora Core, development branch (2.6.1)
- Mandrake Linux 10.0-beta2 (2.6.2rc3)
- Debian unstable, not the default kernel (2.6.0)
- Gentoo unstable, not the default kernel (2.6.2)
- Arch Linux 0.6 (development), not the default kernel (2.6.2)
- Sorcerer, not the default kernel (2.6.2)
- Conectiva Linux 10-TP2 (2.6.1)
- Magic Linux 1.2pre5, a Chinese desktop distribution (2.6.0)
- Berry Linux 0.36, a Japanese live CD (2.6.2rc3)
- Bluewall Linux 1.0, a minimalist distribution (2.6.0)
- JoLinux 1.0, a Slackware-based Brazilian desktop distribution (2.6.0)
- knoppiXMAME 1.2, a bootable arcade machine emulator (2.6.1)
- LinuxNetwosix 1.0, a specialist live CD for security operations (2.6.1)
- Shark Linux 1.06-beta2, a minimalist distribution for AMD-64, in early development (2.6.1)
New package repositories
One of the more challenging aspects of Linux distributions is the question of keeping them up-to-date with the latest and greatest software releases, without sacrificing the stability of the product. Historically, commercial distributions have been reluctant to provide packages updates for stable releases, since this would require a lot of extra work without any financial return. Instead, they have focused their efforts on new releases, with all the latest and greatest included in them. Some of the most popular distributions, including Red Hat, Mandrake and SUSE all fall into this category.
Given the above, it's nice to see that some distributions are taking a more pro-active approach towards package updates. The following is an extract from a recent Libranet newsletter:
"We are very pleased to announce the release of the Libranet update-safe archive for 2.8 and 2.8.1 users. Using this archive you will be able to keep your system up to date without running into problems encountered when upgrading from the Debian archive. There are no costs involved and Libranet will continue to be 100% Debian compatible. The new archive will give users the option of running newer versions of software, and provides the Debian package management system a safe environment to work in."
Another distribution taking a similar approach is EnGarde Secure Linux:
"I'm happy to announce the immediate availability of an APT repository for supplemental EnGarde packages. These packages are suitable for use on either EnGarde Secure Community 2, or EnGarde Secure Professional v1.5. These packages are intended for the more advanced user or the user who wants to try out new and interesting packages. I've written a quick overview
of how to get started. These packages will be supported via the engarde-users mailing list."
It remains to be seen how these initiatives work out in the long run, but they certainly provide an extra incentive for those users who would like to keep their systems up-to-date.
|Released Last Week
Kalango Linux 1.0
Kalango Linux 1.0 has been released: "Slightly delayed, Kalango 1.0 final is released. Based on Kurumin 2.05, some of the changes since the release candidate 1 include: added Samba, Swat and Smbfs; replaced Kword and Kspread with Abiword and Gnumeric; added CCK (Centro de Controle do Kalango), which provides for a more intuitive organisation of system configuration scripts; added SGP (Simple Gerenciador de Pacotes)..." See the full changelog (in Portuguese).
Screenshot: Plenty of eye candy in the Kurumin-based Kalango Linux 1.0
(full image size 304kB)
KnoppiXMAME is a bootable arcade machine emulator with hardware detection and autoconfiguration, powered by Knoppix, Debian, X-MAME, and gxmame. Version 1.2, with kernel 2.6.1, was released yesterday. From the changelog: "KnoppiXMAME 1.2 has changed it's GUI/WM again. Now it's pretty GTK+ with metacity. The newest GXMame also uses GTK+. The biggest new feature in 1.2 is the 'addroms' boot parameter. Giving this boot option will start up the new addroms utility which allows knoppixmame to remaster a custom ISO with ROMs added from within itself. All filesystems are supported, but NTFS write support is still experimental." See the distribution's project page for further information.
STUX GNU/Linux 0.6.3 and 0.6.4
Version 0.6.3 of STUX GNU/Linux has been released. Changes: "Fixed bug that prevented access to disk partition used to save configuration file (for FAT32 partitions only); fixed bug in Mozilla package that prevented location bar to work properly; Mozilla 1.4 upgraded to Mozilla 1.5; updated cloop; new look and feel; introduced a new experimental service that lets you download and install 'stux packages' (applications configured to work with Stux Live CD)." See the full changelog for further details.
LinuxTLE, version 5.5 and code name "Samila", has been released. LinuxTLE is a Linux distribution created in Thailand by the OpenTLE project (web site in Thai) and based on Fedora Core with many desktop-friendly enhancements. It includes a multitude of kernel driver modules, multimedia applications, Thai documentation, a Thai-enabled OpenOffice and other localised applications. The OpenTLE project is the main driving force behind Linux adoption in Thailand. The latest version of LinuxTLE is available for free download from mirrors.
Mandows is a new Linux live CD (with a supported hard disk installation option) made in France, based on Mandrake Linux and with GNOME 2.4 as its default desktop environment. Version 1.4 was released yesterday. The new version includes a i686-optimised kernel 2.4.22, OpenOffice.org 1.1, k3b, a script to generate GeeXboX multimedia ISO images, and all the usual Mandrake utilities. Visit the distribution's web site for further information (in French) and screenshots.
ESware Linux 365 2.1
A new, freely downloadable version of ESware Linux has been released. Version 2.1 comes with an optional Linux kernel 2.6.0, as well as installation improvements, updated Spanish translations and various usability enhancements throughout the GNOME desktop environment. The release announcement (in Spanish) can be viewed on the distribution's community page.
The KANOTIX project has produced a new release of the Knoppix-based KANOTIX live CD, version 02-2004 and code name "Bug Hunter": "Compared to Bug Hunter 1 these are the differences: SMP enabled kernel due to user wish; Fritz!Card PCI/USB support via CAPI driver; fixed Eagle USB support (did not work with BH1); fixed kanotix-installer (this time installation on SCSI drives works); ALSA 1.0.1 included for live usage - will work after HD install too." Read the announcement in English or German.
Linux LiveCD Router 1.9.0
Version 1.9.0 of the Linux LiveCD Router has been released. From the changelog: "Version 1.9.0 February 2004. Added Webmin Web Manager and Shorewall Firewall; Linux kernel 2.4.24; driver for BeWAN PCI ADSL; updated documentation on /opt/doc." Visit the distribution's web site for more details about the product. Linux LiveCD Router is a Linux-based live CD designed to share a broadband connection over WiFi. It can be used with DSL, cable modem, T1, ISDN, and dial-up connections.
The Knoppix live CD has been updated. From the changelog: "V3.3-2004-02-09 (Updates). Kernel 2.4.24-xfs; KDE 3.1.5 from Debian/unstable; Mozilla 1.6 from Debian/unstable; fixed Knoppix-Terminalserver problem with new libacl; XFree86 3.4 from Debian/experimental; removed prelink (caused memory leaks under certain conditions); removed for space reasons: kjots, kcoloredit; added prism54.org drivers for wireless cards..."
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Hancom Linux 4.0
Hancom Linux has published development details of the company's upcoming Hancom Linux Professional 4.0. Expecting to include kernel 2.6 and KDE 3.2, the first development release is scheduled for later this month, while the final version should be available in June. More details on this page (in Korean).
The developers of the Dyne:bolic live CD are preparing a new release, version 1.2: "...two remarkable new things in the upcoming dyne:bolic. 1. Revamped PD framework: with the direct help of GEM developer Johannes Zmoelnig, IEM developer Thomas Musil and electromusician Michael Pinter, dyne:bolic now offers a full blown PD installation featuring fully functional GEM, Zexy and IEMlib extensions! 2. New Jack framework to connect input and outputs of various music programs: it will be possible to chain together different audio applications processing the output of one into the input of another, like with UNIX data pipes!" See this mailing list post for further details.
|Web Site News
Order your own official DistroWatch T-shirt from Hackerthreads.
New on the waiting list
- KANOTIX. KANOTIX is a Linux Live CD based on Knoppix technology using Debian/sid. The included XFree86 is from Debian/experimental. The main specs are: GRUB based startup from CD, ACPI support, DMA default on, additional support for DSL modems (Fritz!Card DSL and Eagle USB), optimal for HD install (you get a working Debian/sid install in about 10 minutes!), no SMP kernel (needed for some drivers), kernel with XFS, forcedeth (for nForce NIC) and device mapper patches.
- KnoppixMAME. KnoppixMAME is a bootable arcade machine emulator with hardware detection and autoconfiguration. It works automatically on all modern and not-so-modern hardware, including gameports and joysticks. It is powered by Knoppix Debian GNU/Linux, X-MAME, and gxmame.
- Shark Linux. Shark Linux is a new distribution of a Linux-based operating system. The goal of Shark Linux is to provide a stable environment with easy administration, targeting 64-bit AMD Opteron and Athlon 64 processors. Shark Linux aims to become a hardware optimised operating system with its own unique set of management tools and new functionality of the ANSI console for administrator use. Combined with ease of use and optimised code, it should outperform other out-of-the-box systems from the start. Shark Linux is derived from the Gentoo Linux project.
- Linux Guadalinex. Guadalinex is a Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux and developed by the government of Andalucía (Junta de Andalucía) in Spain.
- Mandows. Mandows is a French live CD based on Mandrake Linux with support for hard disk installation.
DistroWatch database summary
- Antlinux. Antlinux will be a mini-distribution of Linux, with an eye on small footprint applications such as run-from-CD versions of Linux.
- 3DMAXX Linux. 3DMAXX Linux is a distribution bundled with many Linux hardware benchmarking applications like NBench, SPECview, and other great programs, including a soon-to-come full 64-bit Linux benchmarking suite designed to be a clone of Futuremark's famous 3DMark 01 and 03.
- Number of distributions in the database: 256
- Number of discontinued distributions: 31
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 57
On Apache2, KDE in Gentoo
"A couple of corrections concerning Gentoo. You have Gentoo listed as not supporting httpd (Apache2). That's not true--in fact, Apache2 is the default Apache! If I were to type "emerge apache" into my command line, it will download, install, and compile Apache 2.0.48. This applies to both a stable (export ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86") and an unstable (export ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="x86") system. Secondly, Gentoo includes KDE 3.2 and current versions of related packages (KDevelop 3.0, Quanta 3.2) in its unstable branch ("~x86")."
Since similar questions concerning Apache2 in Gentoo arrive frequently in my mailbox, here comes the explanation. For some strange reason, Apache2 is not listed in Gentoo's online package database. Once it's listed there, it will magically appear on DistroWatch's Gentoo page as well. As for the KDE question, the Gentoo page on DistroWatch is only updated twice a day, so there might be up to a 12-hour delay between the time Gentoo packages are updated and the time the Gentoo page on DistroWatch is updated. This holds true for other distributions, too.
"I want to mention a particular distro/modification called PCQLinux, brought out from time to time by the PCQuest computer magazine of India, and distributed free with their magazine. It is only a slightly modified form of Red Hat, and the latest version was based on RH 8."
Unfortunately, PCQuest provides very little information in terms of technical details to consider it for inclusion in the DistroWatch statistics. Sorry, as far as I am concerned, PCQLinux doesn't even exist. Not until PCQuest creates a publicly accessible page with technical information (and preferably also download links) on it. All distributions providing insufficient technical details about them are listed on the Related Links page.
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
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|• Issue 676 (2016-08-29): Korora 24, Fedora 25 to use Wayland by default, Linux turns 25, PC-BSD becomes TrueOS, finding software licensing information|
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|• Issue 672 (2016-08-01): Ubuntu Phone 15.04, Solus embraces rolling release model, interview with Jane Silber, FreeBSD Quarterly Report|
|• Issue 671 (2016-07-25): Slackware 14.2, Point Linux 3.2, OpenBSD disables usermount, KaOS releases significant changes, Fedora 22 reaches end of life.|
|• Issue 670 (2016-07-18): Linux Lite 3.0, Bodhi team plans 4.0.0, pfSense changes licensing, running software across distributions, Linux Mint upgrade path|
|• Issue 669 (2016-07-11): Linux Mint 18, proving a system is secure, LibreSSL in FreeBSD, Ubuntu plans phasing out 32-bit, pfSense status report|
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|• Issue 666 (2016-06-20): Comparing more live update methods, Ubuntu's snap packages, Antergos drops 32-bit media, GeckoLinux unveils Rolling edition, learning Linux resources|
|• Issue 665 (2016-06-13): BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen, Fedora 24 delayed, NetBSD grows in size, Clonezilla questions|
|• Issue 664 (2016-06-06): Sabayon 16.05, Debian updates install media, the cost of free software, Qubes explains secure build process|
|• Issue 663 (2016-05-30): Comparing live update methods, Ubuntu MATE's progress, distros debate systemd change, DistroWatch turns 15|
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|• Issue 657 (2016-04-18): Redox, Linux Mint improves update manager, planned Fedora 24 features, Ubuntu 16.04 getting Snappy packages|
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|• Issue 655 (2016-04-04): Parsix 8.5, Sabayon's Community repository, Red Hat offers free subscriptions, Ubuntu tablets, command line tips|
|• Issue 654 (2016-03-28): PCLinuxOS 2016.03, Using signatures to create a web of trust, Arch Linux rolls out Pacman update, GuixSD packages GNOME|
|• Issue 653 (2016-03-21): Antergos 2016.02.21, Debian prepares for election, a Unix-like OS written in Rust, watching Netflix on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 652 (2016-03-14): ReactOS 0.4.0, Debian swaps Iceweasel for Firefox, Fedora moving forward with Wayland, Verifying ISO files|
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|• Issue 650 (2016-02-29): Haiku in 2016, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, 30 years of MINIX, Fedora plans Atomic Workstation|
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|• Issue 646 (2016-02-01): deepin 15, Mint plans X-Apps, FreeBSD to support boot environments, logging into the desktop as root|
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|• Issue 644 (2016-01-18): Kwort 4.3, Sabayon tests ARM images, Slackware adopts PulseAudio, running Linux without GNU software|
|• Issue 643 (2016-01-11): Solus 1.0, Mint provide upgrade path to 17.3, Fedora developers work on stability, running the LXQt desktop|
|• Issue 642 (2016-01-04): paldo GNU/Linux, vetting distro repositories, Fedora plans to adopt GCC 6, Ian Murdock passes|
|• Issue 641 (2015-12-21): Arch Linux, Qubes OS to ship on Librem laptops, ALT offers start kit images, the spread of systemd and launchd|
|• Issue 640 (2015-12-14): Chakra GNU/Linux 2015.11, removing meta-data from files, Ubuntu to remove on-line dash searches|
|• Issue 639 (2015-12-07): OpenBSD 5.8, openSUSE gathers Summer of Code proposals, running WINE on a live disc, Enlightenment adds Wayland support|
|• Issue 638 (2015-11-30): Qubes OS 3.0, KaOS with Plasma, NetBSD 7.0, Fedora seeks Wayland testers, scheduling tasks|
|• Full list of all issues|
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