| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 40, 15 March 2004
Welcome to this year's 11th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. It comes somewhat rushed due to the fact that the hard disk with my main production system gave up on me last weekend, which meant a complete system re-install. This was the third IBM hard disk that crashed during the past three years (is this normal?), so I decided to go with Maxtor this time. Things are up and running again from a 120GB disk (plenty of space for installing new distributions ;-), so let's get on with the regular programme.
Mandrakelinux 10.0: love it or hate it?
Early reviews of Mandrakelinux 10.0, the first major distribution shipping with kernel 2.6 and KDE 3.2, appeared last week on Linux Tips For Free, OSNews and MadPenguin. Although the overall sentiment in the three reviews was overwhelmingly positive, there is no denying that Mandrakelinux 10.0 is not without its bugs. This was also reaffirmed in the discussion forums following the reviews, where many users expressed emotions ranging from a complete delight over the new release to enormous frustration when trying to install and use it. The following quotes from the OSNews forums illustrate the widely varying experiences of users:
How is it possible that the experiences vary so widely? And why is it that some of the bugs only appear on some systems, not others?
"With some concern I upgraded my heavily customised Mandrake 9.1 machine that runs mail, web, smb and ldap servers plus a heap of desktop tools. To my relief, the upgrade went without a hitch; it even managed to keep the layout of my desktop and upgrade all the icons and decorations around it. Very cool."
"Currently my Linux machine is reinstalling SUSE 9.0. That about sums up my experience with Mandrake 10. I didn't notice any speed improvements, and the system crashed several times in an hour worth of use. It felt unresponsive and sluggish. On the other hand, SUSE runs perfectly on the system."
"I have deployed Mandrake from last Saturday and I have not one issue. Everything runs just great. Great job, Mandrake Team!"
"I tried installing Mandrake 10 yesterday and it was a long, frustrating evening. It crashes when I try to set the regional settings to Norwegian at the end of the installation, it crashes when it tries to start KDE... for me this version seems rushed. Too bad because I enjoyed Mandrake 9.1 a lot."
"Installed Mandrake 10. Now it's the third machine I've installed it on, and the only problem I've had was having to change out the CDs in the proper order. This is the most trouble-free distro I've encountered."
Personally, my experiences with Mandrakelinux 10.0 were decidedly positive. It is fast, good-looking and highly useable as a desktop system. I made an effort to try and reproduce the bugs that Eugenia Loli-Queru reported in her review on OSNews, and some of them, like the Kontact bug or the BitTorrent GUI scrollbar problem, I could certainly confirm. But some others I could not. I have Frozen Bubble working great, with sound and all. I've had no problem changing the GNOME desktop theme, configuring the time zone and time server, booting from the first CD or setting up the fax. All in all, Mandrakelinux 10.0 proved to be a superb release, especially when considering that this is not the Official edition.
But others will disagree. A good example would be comparing Mandrakelinux 10.0 with Fedora Core 2 Test 1, which for me, was a total disaster, a really poor effort on Red Hat's part. Yet, the experiences of others were completely different. This is another quote from the OSNews forums:
To reiterate the original question: how can two persons' experiences differ so widely? Anybody cares to comment?
"I just tried the development Core of Fedora2. Even I do not like the new philosophy from Red Hat, I must say that no comparison can be done: faster, better worked around etc (except for GNOME 2.6 which is still in early stage) - it looks already in a better shape than the 10.0 from Mandrake."
Creating new distributions
If you are thinking of creating a new distribution, then think again. Not counting various floppy and embedded Linux projects, there are already more than 300 active distributions in existence today. Unless you have a really cool, innovative idea, don't expect to get an enormous number of followers with a yet another remastered edition of Knoppix. Instead, why not join an existing project? Here comes an open invitation from CollegeLinux:
"You've always wanted to do more on Linux, to be part of it, perhaps making your own distribution or your own package. Perhaps you didn't know it, but your very own distribution exists: CollegeLinux. The CollegeLinux development team is looking for new talent for the next release, package creation, and documentation. If you want to join a small team of developers willing to listen to your proposal or assign you a number of packages as a maintainer let us know! We are currently looking for project leaders, package developers, contributions for the new installer, documentation help (write your own how-to tutorials), support/forum moderators. Whilst for code contribution you should be familiar with C (especially for the installer) anyone can help (regardless of your coding skills). We really want to hear from you."
Visit the CollegeLinux web site for more information.
|Released Last Week
Trustix Secure Linux 2.1
Trustix Secure Linux 2.1 has been released: "This is to announce the release of Trustix Secure Linux 2.1, nicknamed "Horizon". It is the second release in the Trustix 2 series. Its main purpose is to serve as a stability release, and it is the natural successor of Trustix 2.0. In addition, we have added a few more features including Samba 3, IBM's stack protector and the XFS file system. We have also updated most of the packages to the latest stable versions." Read the rest of the announcement for further details.
Lunar Linux 1.4.0
A new version of Lunar Linux has been released: "Lunar-1.4.0 (General P. Fault) ISO is released. Large changes in this ISO compared to the 1.3.3 version. A small list of the major changes include: linux-2.4.25 kernels. gcc-3.3.3 is the default compiler supported in Lunar now; ncurses-5.4 is installed on the ISO; perl-5.8.3, gettext-0.14.1, openssh-3.8p1, coreutils-5.2.0, updated lfirsttime.8, curl-7.11.0 added and more. For a full list of changes see the ISO.Changelog. No xdelta is available from the 1.3.3 ISO as the xdelta would be around 90Meg, while the iso.bz2 file is only 114Meg." The full announcement.
A new version of the OnebaseGo live CD is out: "With the high success of the first release of OnebaseGo portable OS with its capability to add/remove applications, this version comes with olm-go-1.1, a few fixes including kernel and lots of customisations. Users who utilise OnebaseGo as a portable OS, are recommended to get this new version. Please support the development by purchasing it from the store ($9.00)." The announcement.
Screenshot: OnebaseGo 1.1: a flexible and customisable live CD with a hard disk install option.
(full image size 150kB)
A new version of BLAG (BLAG Linux And GNU) has been released. From the release notes: "BLAG9002 (trike) is a significant update of BLAG9001. The major changes are lots of Red Hat updates (kernel, XFree86, apache), many BLAG package updates, and piles of new packages. A new desktop, XFce, is now on the CD. It is lightweight, but user friendly and cute. BLAG now includes more wireless kernel drivers so more gear works out-of-the-box. Airsnort & airtraf have been added. Winmodem drivers (hsf, ltmodem, slmodem) added...."
Quantian 0.4.9.5 is a new development version on the road towards stable Quantian 0.5. From the changelog: "Updated R packages based on the first pre-release of the upcoming 1.9.0 version, updated CRAN packages and a few new CRAN packages: multcomp, mvtnorn, relimp, and the uebercool rgl. Updated Octave packages based on the just released 2.1.56, and a matching octave-forge release. Improved support for Scientific Python, though scipy.test() still moans, we hope to sort that out shortly. The ftnchek package for Fortran'ers..."
A new stable version of Rubyx has been released: "New stable release 42. It contains loads of new packages; Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird, Epiphany, Gnomemeeting 1.00, Kde 3.2.1, Gnome 2.4.2, linux-2.6.4 ... There have been some important bugfixes and improvements to the rubyx script itself, so please upgrade!" Rubyx is a new source-based distribution written in Ruby; it is, in the words of the Rubyx creator, "the most progressive Linux distro out there, with features people have yet to grasp. The package management system is, to say the least, revolutionary. If you haven't tried it yet, please do!" Find out more on rubyx.org.
Feather Linux 0.3.8
Feather Linux 0.3.8 has been released. What's new? "Fixed Sylpheed size; added MPlayer config files; added Arno's iptables script and fwb-run; fixed xterm menu colours; added online manpages and HOWTOs links on the Fluxbox menu; added wman, an online manpage viewer script; added Getting Started HOWTO; changed Opera script to work properly from HD; made small changes to the HD install script; added Mutella, fbset and Chipmunk Basic; feather now runs as user knoppix; rewrote restoration system - now you need to type restore=sda1 restore=hda1, etc; added script to install the Gimp."
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Rubyx is a new source-based distribution written in Ruby. The developer of Rubyx is Andrew Walrond and he has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his project for DistroWatch. If there is anything you'd like to know, please ask in the forums below or email me directly. The interview will be published next week.
|Web Site News
Submitting new distributions
If you'd like to see your distribution listed on DistroWatch, please fill in the Submit Distribution form in full, including the package list. Incomplete submissions will simply go on the waiting list, together with 60+ other distributions. The form was created in order to eliminate the tedious work of looking up the information, often in foreign languages, so please try helping out if you can. If you fill it in full, your distribution will be listed within 24 hours, otherwise it might take months. Also, please check that the distribution does not already exist in the database before filling in the form. You can find the complete list of all listed distributions on the Statistics page.
Order your own official DistroWatch T-shirt from Hackerthreads.
New on the waiting list
- Slavix. Slavix is an operating system based on Morphix, Knoppix, Debian GNU/Linux. Its purpose is to make it easy for anyone to switch to GNU/Linux and start using free (as in freedom) software. Slavix is oriented towards a home computer user. It is a live CD system, which means you can run it off CD-ROM without having to install anything to hard drive. All you need to do is burn the Slavix image file to a CD, put it in your CD-ROM and reboot. It will start up, auto configure itself and in about 3 - 5 minutes it's ready to use! Slavix will not touch your hard drive or mess with you data! Hard disk installer is included and it is fairly easy to use.
DistroWatch database summary
- Linux Octoz. Linux Octoz is a French distribution in early development.
- SciLix. SciLix is a Morphix-based live CD developed by the Faculty of Science at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia.
- Number of distributions in the database: 272
- Number of discontinued distributions: 31
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 65
On Linux package management
"With the variety of Debian builds springing up, debs and the apt utility are also becoming unreliable. Bootable CDs with the Knoppix engine are major offenders. It's very easy to acquire enough missing dependencies and broken packages to totally disable apt. Often the only reasonable option is to rebuild (I'm doing that now).
I have to operate both Windows and Linux systems. In other respects Linux is very close to parity with, if not superior to, Windows. But, I have to note that, the typical Windows 'user' would never accept this kind of unreliability. The whole situation really needs to be resolved if Linux is to survive as a desktop OS.
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
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|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Issue 687 (2016-11-14): NAS4Free 10.3.0.3, Fedora gains MP3 playback, budgie-remix becomes Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu flavours compared, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 686 (2016-11-07): FreeBSD 11.0, rolling release trial #2, Debian announces supported architectures, Simplicity switching to antiX base, farewell to Mythbuntu|
|• Issue 685 (2016-10-31): elementary OS 0.4, SUSE gains ARM support, Mint improves language support, Dirty COW explained, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Issue 682 (2016-10-10): KDE neon 20160915, Android-x86 6.0, Fedora warns of update bug, HandyLinux drops English translation, LXQt benchmarks|
|• Issue 681 (2016-10-03): OpenBSD 6.0, DragonFly BSD to support LibreSSL in ports, systemd denial of service bug, upgraded Mintbox Mini|
|• Issue 680 (2016-09-26): Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0, blocking applications at the firewall, Lenovo controversy, Ubuntu running on the Nextcloud Box|
|• Issue 679 (2016-09-19): OpenMandriva 3.0, 32-bit vs 64-bit performance, openSUSE updates, KaOS unveils first run wizard|
|• Issue 678 (2016-09-12): Apricity 07.2016, Mageia adopts DNF, KDE neon to use Wayland, FreeBSD updates Linux compatibility, creating cron jobs|
|• Issue 677 (2016-09-05): Peppermint OS 7, Manjaro updates leadership, TrueOS becomes rolling release, organizing files, creating torrents|
|• 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|
|• Issue 675 (2016-08-22): Gentoo LiveDVD "Choice Edition", moreutils, Ubuntu improves terminal convergence, MATE packaged for Openindiana, FreeBSD improves video support|
|• Issue 674 (2016-08-15): Zenwalk Linux 8.0, Ubuntu phone follow-up, Lubuntu transitioning to LXQt, Steam running on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 673 (2016-08-03): noop linux and EasyNAS, Debian's GnuPG switch, Fedora "Flock", using "nice"|
|• 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|
|• Issue 668 (2016-07-04): Fedora 24, Linux Mint plans for 18.1, FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD improve their file systems, comparing Flatpak, Snap and AppImage|
|• Issue 667 (2016-06-27): GeckoLinux 421, Fedora supports Flatpak, Solus unveils new features, running GNU/Linux on tablets|
|• 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|
|• Issue 662 (2016-05-23): Clonezilla Live, new Fedora community repository, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland, a live edition of Slackware and kernel components|
|• Issue 661 (2016-05-16): FreeBSD 10.3, OpenMandriva adopts Clang, Debian adds ZFS packages, PCLinuxOS drops 32-bit and comparing CentOS with RHEL|
|• Issue 660 (2016-05-09): Ubuntu MATE 16.04, Mint's xapps, FreeBSD Quarterly Report, Debian updates 32-bit support, addressing GPL violations|
|• Issue 659 (2016-05-02): Ubuntu 16.04, compiling custom kernels, Cinnamon 3.0, Sabayon launches ARM build, Devuan ships Beta release|
|• Issue 658 (2016-04-25): Kali Linux 2016.1, elementary OS 0.3.2, Debian elects Project Leader, Fedora 24 feature preview, Nard reaches 1.0|
|• Issue 657 (2016-04-18): Redox, Linux Mint improves update manager, planned Fedora 24 features, Ubuntu 16.04 getting Snappy packages|
|• Issue 656 (2016-04-11): Qubes OS 3.1, Whonix offers bug bounties, Puppy's family tree, setting up disk partitions and running bash on Windows|
|• 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|
|• Issue 651 (2016-03-07): Korora 23, Linux Mint improves security, Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3 computers, trying different file systems|
|• Issue 650 (2016-02-29): Haiku in 2016, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, 30 years of MINIX, Fedora plans Atomic Workstation|
|• Issue 649 (2016-02-22): Zorin OS 11, openSUSE launches new editions, Linux Mint website compromised, sandboxing applications using Firejail|
|• Issue 648 (2016-02-15): XStream Desktop 153, Raspbian unveils OpenGL feature, free hardware, Ikey Doherty talks desktop design|
|• Issue 647 (2016-02-08): Tails 2.0, KDE project launches Neon, Manjaro unveils ARM support, FreeBSD's quarterly report|
|• Issue 646 (2016-02-01): deepin 15, Mint plans X-Apps, FreeBSD to support boot environments, logging into the desktop as root|
|• Issue 645 (2016-01-25): Linux Mint 17.3 "Xfce", Chromixium changes its name, Ubuntu tablets coming soon, Linux vs BSD comparision|
|• 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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