| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 52, 7 June 2004
Welcome to this year's 23th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. The end of last week brought with it new development releases of MEPIS Linux and PCLinuxOS, as well as a brand new version of Beyond Linux From Scratch 5.1. Certainly enough good stuff to keep us all busy for a while!
- Damn Small Linux extensions
- Should we boycott Linux Today?
- Released last week
- Upcoming releases: Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4, Red Flag Linux 4.1, Yellow Dog Linux 4.0
- May donation: PCLinuxOS receives US$300
- New distribution additions: Minislack, redWall Firewall, Tablix on Morphix, SmartPeer and Knoppix 64
- New on the waiting list: Auditor security collection, GNIX-Vivo, Co-Create Desktop, FREEDOWS, Defora, HKLPG and Splack
- Reader feedback: The rise of Gentoo in China
Damn Small Linux extensions
As Knoppix derivatives go, not many of them have been able to make a major impact on the Linux distribution scene. One exception is Damn Small Linux. Although based on Knoppix, it was original enough to attract attention among users who wanted a complete, yet small and light-weight Linux live CD that could be carried around on a business card-size CD. In fact, Damn Small Linux was so successful that it quickly became a favourite distribution for owners of old computers, who were able to revive their long-forgotten machines by installing Damn Small Linux onto these computers' hard disks. The success of Damn Small Linux prompted several other development efforts (e.g. Feather Linux or Luit Linux) that later produced live CDs conceptually very similar to Damn Small Linux.
The latest addition to Damn Small Linux is so called "DSL extensions". These are extra applications not present on the 50MB CD, but available for installation with a simple command that fetches and installs the desired application from a central repository:
"During our last release we incorporated a system which makes it easy to add extensions to DSL. Over the last couple of weeks our user base has made several interesting live CD packages which can be boot from the CD, or any other place which the distro is able to read (hard drive, pen drive, etc). The users have done some good work getting these applications packaged so that they are a drop-in and there are some nice files already available."
Some of the "nice files" include Quake 2, GIMP, MPlayer, OpenOffice.org, Ruby, Samba and many others. More information about the DSL extensions can be found in this forum thread.
Should we boycott Linux Today?
A heated debated ensued over a call to boycott the Linux Today web site issued by one of the site's original founders Dave Whitinger. The reason?
"Linux Today is now being sponsored/funded by Microsoft, and they are cheerfully placing blatantly anti-Linux advertisements on their home page. This is an outrage that must be stopped."
Many views, both supporting and decrying the call for boycott were expressed, shortly after it was published on Slashdot and other web sites. Does Dave Whitinger's opinion have merit? It certainly does. Linux Today is one of the major Linux news sites on the Internet; yet it chooses to display, side-by-side, two contrasting views. On one side, we have what many of us would like to believe to be independent Linux news, while on the other, we see reports about Microsoft-sponsored "independent" research studies, FUD and propaganda disparaging Linux at every opportunity. This is not only irresponsible, it also brings into question the true motives of the people behind Linux Today.
Linux Today is not the only "Linux" site sponsored by Microsoft. I have recently deleted all my bookmarks to LinuxWorld Australia and made a conscious decision to never link to any story published by that web site. I find it completely ridiculous to visit (and to send visitors to) a site that claims to be "Australia's premier Linux news source" while it is literally plastered with large sponsored banners displaying information about the clear inferiority of Linux when compared to Microsoft products!
Another web site frequently carrying Microsoft's anti-Linux advertisements is LinuxPlanet.
Although we won't go as far as to ask you to boycott these Microsoft-funded Linux web sites - we believe that most of our readers are intelligent enough to make a decision by themselves - we are glad to see that somebody has called an attention to this double-faced practice by certain "Linux" web sites. We have also decided to remove the link to Linux Today from the list of recommended sites on the main page of DistroWatch. Also, we will not link to any news items published by Linux Today, LinuxWorld Australia and LinuxPlanet while these sites are helping to spread Microsoft's (or any other company's) anti-Linux propaganda.
|Released Last Week
A new version of OnebaseGo has been released: "I am pleased to announce version 1.5 of OnebaseGo. It comes with a number of package updates, some minor fixes in hd-installer and OLM has been updated to 2.2.3 which improves searching time. And the most important of all, it comes with a new Onebase agreement that changes the license of this product. Read the about section of the website to know more about this. You can buy the product from the Onebase store." The full announcement. The product is no longer available as a free download, but you can obtain it from the above link for US$15.00 (shipping and handling included).
TupiServer Linux 1.1
TupiServer Linux is a Brazilian distribution based on Kurumin Linux, but designed for server-specific tasks and with the lightweight Blane desktop environment, instead of KDE. The newly released version 1.1 has seen several important changes, including an updated hard disk installer allowing installation to any specified partition, a new control panel called "PainelX", updates to Opera and QTParted, and many bug fixes. Read the full release announcement (in Portuguese) for further details.
Aurox Linux 9.4
Aurox Linux 9.4 has been released: "After three months of development, Aurox 9.4 is now in a stable state, and can be downloaded from one of our mirrors. What's new in Aurox 9.4? First of all, we have changed the way, we prepare CDs. We have now only one set of CDs for everybody. We have now KDE 3.2.1+ which has many improvements compared to KDE 3.1.x. KOffice 1.3.1 is also a big step forward. OpenOffice.org has been upgraded to version 1.1.1. It has now Ximian look and feel, so it fits better into the GNOME environment." Read the rest of the announcement for further details. Users of a previous release can update to Aurox 9.4 with apt-get, or alternatively, perform a clean install via FTP; instructions are available on the distribution's download page. The full ISO image set will become available after the next issue of the Aurox magazine is published.
Tao Linux 1.0 Update 2
The Tao Linux project, the maker of a Linux distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, has released an updated ISO image set: "OK, as promised I've finally gone and created a new set of ISOs, folding in current updates (through RHEL3 U2 and beyond). I've also made them available via BitTorrent now (and added BitTorrent client to [contrib]). You can download now, or check out the release announcement. At the same time, Pasi Pirhonen has created new update 2 ISOs for ia64 (new), x86_64, and s390, see his release announcement."
Damn Small Linux 0.7.1
Damn Small Linux 0.7.1 has been released. From the changelog: "Added myDSL new extension type 'ci' compressed ISO (greatly reduces memory requirements); added myDSL 'optional' directory to store extensions that will not automatically load but appear on an installation menu; added mydsl-load script to load extensions on-demand; added myDSL button to emelfm to easily load extensions on-demand; added boot option 'base' to skip all myDSL functions; added powerdown.sh, a script to store commands to execute upon system shutdown; enhanced filetool.sh, dsl-restore for more command line options..."
The Quantian 0.5 has been released. From the changelog: "Re-labelling of the last 0.4.9.* release as the actual 0.5 release. No real showstoppers have appeared, so 0.4.9.6 will now also be known as 0.5 while work on the next round (0.5.9.*) should start shortly -- based on Knoppix 3.4 and the first clusterKNOPPIX release based on it."
A a new version of LAMPPIX is now available. From the changelog: "1.1: harddisk installer works now; cleanup; new Kernel: 2.6.6 (vanilla from kernel.org + KNOPPIX patch + bootsplash); use ALSA for sound; added X-CD-Roast, CUPS, Abiword, Dlume, Captive; updated a lot of packages; changed default language to English; removed all busybox symlinks and replaced those programs with their more powerful brothers; added XFree86 4.3 and use it instead of Xvesa X server; added menu entries; XAMPP package is now included within the KNOPPIX filesystem..."
Feather Linux 0.5
Feather Linux 0.5 has been released. From the changelog: "Feather is now based on Knoppix 3.4, and thus many improvements have been made. MADWIFI, prism54 and speedtouch drivers are now included, and superior hardware support is found throughout. Gimp script fixed. Due to the remaster from 3.4, more of Feather is Debian-based. Specialist packages for areas of Feather have been included. Removed picocom, added ncrypt, minicom, ndiswrapper, tcc documentation, scripts to install Ruby, Python, Folding@Home and GIMPS; CUPS has been replaced with apsfilter and ghostscript; updated Opera script to 7.51..."
Gibraltar Firewall 2.0
The Debian-based Gibraltar Firewall 2.0 has been released. From the changelog: "Version 2.0, published 2004-06-04. Many changes in the web interface: new configuration modules, enhanced usability and new features in existing modules. It also has a new license format, but version 1 licenses are still accepted. Updated kernel to version 2.4.26. This is quite similar to the 2.4.23 version of Gibraltar 1.x, but the security patches from 2.4.24 were applied, fixing the mremap vulnerability. Supply kernel modules for the Conexant ADSL USB modem..."
GoboLinux 011 has been released: "We are pleased to introduce GoboLinux 011, the new major release of GoboLinux, the alternative Linux distribution. This release features the introduction of 'Compile', a new source-based compilation system. Other distinctive features are the switch to the kernel 2.6 series (2.4 still included), adoption of the XOrg X11 server, and a large number of upgraded packages. Read the detailed release notes for more information. Choose your favorite download mirror and join the revolution!"
Linux From Scratch 5.1.1 and Beyond Linux From Scratch 5.1
This is a combined announcement about the release of Linux From Scratch (LFS) 5.1.1 and Beyond Linux From Scratch (BLFS) 5.1: "The Linux From Scratch community is proud to announce the release of LFS-5.1.1 and BLFS-5.1. The LFS patch release contains fixes for several release-process related problems that were reported shortly after the LFS-5.1 release. Several minor spelling and grammar fixes have also been made, but package and patch versions remain unchanged from LFS-5.1. You can read the book online, or download to read locally." The latest BLFS book can be downloaded from here.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4
Lycoris has announced the release of Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 due out next month: "The long-awaited next version of Desktop/LX is coming! Get ready to experience the latest update to the award-winning Desktop/LX operating system from Lycoris: Desktop/LX 1.4 (formerly known as Update 4). What is Desktop/LX 1.4 going to be like? Desktop powered by KDE 3.2.2; new kernel supports even more hardware; More high-quality Bitstream fonts; new splash screens; better support for today's applications; 52 wallpapers provided by WallpaperAday.com; faster boot sequence; increased umber of programs available in IrisTM." Read the full announcement here. Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 is available for pre-order (US$40 for the Personal edition, US$50 for the Deluxe edition) from the company's online store.
Red Flag Linux 4.1
Red Flag has announced a release of Red Flag Linux 4.1, the early access preview of which is expected to be available shortly. The distribution's download page has extensive information (in Chinese) about the release. Red Flag Linux 4.1 will be the first Red Flag release based on Asianux, developed in cooperation with Japan's Miracle Linux.
Yellow Dog Linux 4.0
Many fans of Linux on the PowerPC platform are eagerly awaiting a new release of Yellow Dog Linux 4.0 originally expected this month. However, it is going to be slightly delayed: "Yes, we are a bit behind our intended and previously announced schedule for the release of Yellow Dog Linux v4.0. We have simultaneously chosen to tackle a few relatively small, but intense and exciting projects certain to catch your attention when announced. We will wrap-up v4.0 as soon as is humanly possible. Shooting for mid-June to offer ISOs from YDL.net Enhanced." Read the rest of the announcement.
|Web Site News
May donation: PCLinuxOS receives US$300
Continuing with our programme under which 10% of DistroWatch.com's income from advertising and sale of merchandise is donated to various Free Software projects, the recipient of the May 2004 donation is the PCLinuxOS project. PCLinuxOS is a relatively new entry on the distribution scene, but it has already gained large following and received several highly complimentary reviews. The June 2004 edition of the authoritative Linux Format magazine has labelled the distribution as having "one of the nicest desktops and fantastic potential". Keep up the good work, Tex! Here is the receipt for US$300:
Total Amount: $300.00 USD
Transaction ID: 45M55377EG6561302
Item Title: pclinuxonline
Message: Hello Tex, this is a donation by DistroWatch.com towards the development of PCLinuxOS. Enjoy :-)
The much awaited new preview release of PCLinuxOS hit the mirrors over the weekend.
(full image size 205kB)
Readers are welcome and encouraged to nominate a Free Software project for the next donation.
New distribution additions
New on the waiting list
- Minislack. Minislack is a lightweight linux distribution based on Slackware Linux. Minislack is focused on Internet applications and development tools. Minislack supports all Slackware packages.
- redWall Firewall. redWall Firewall is a bootable CD-ROM Firewall based on Red Hat Linux. Its goal is to provide a feature-rich firewall solution together with a web-based interface for all the generated log files. redWall Firewall comes with Snort, SnortSam, DansGuardian and support for fwbuilder, SpamAssassin, reporting, VPN and mail alerts. Configuration files are stored on a floppy disk or a USB pen drive.
- Tablix on Morphix. Tablix on Morphix is yet another bootable CD-based Linux distribution. As the name suggests, it is based on Morphix, a modular CD distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. What is special about Tablix on Morphix is the automatic cluster configuration. This means that all you need for a functioning PVM3 cluster is a bunch of computers and a pile of Tablix on Morphix CDs.
- Knoppix 64. The Knoppix 64 project provides a 64-bit development system with an up-to-date gcc 3.4 and with -march=k8 flag for AMD64 optimisations, 64-bit linker and debugger (gdb), and a very stable 2.4.21 Linux kernel. It is suitable for benchmarking 64-bit machines. It includes a fully functional KDE desktop.
DistroWatch database summary
- Auditor security collection. The Auditor security collection is a live-system originally based on Knoppix. It provides tools for analysing the security of a system. It features a menu structure that reflects the stages of a security check: foot-printing, analysis, scanning, wireless, brute-forcing, cracking. In addition to about 300 security tools, the collection includes background information regarding standard configuration and passwords, truly extensive word lists, and more mundane productivity tools.
- GNIX-Vivo. GNIX-Vivo is a Morphix-based live CD with support for Galician (default) and Spanish. It is produced by the Asociación de Usuarios GNIX in La Coruña, Spain (web site in Galician).
- Utkarsh. Utkarsh is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Fedora Core and designed for speakers of the Gujarati (India) language. The aim of Utkarsh is to remove the hurdle due to the English language and make the computer and information technology available to the people. Another aim of the project is to keep the Gujarati culture alive and to prevent the language from becoming extinct. NewsForge has published an interview with the project founders.
- Co-Create Desktop Linux. Co-Create Desktop Linux is a new Chinese Linux distribution developed by Co-Create Open Source Software Co., Ltd. in Beijing. The distribution is based on Fedora Core and Open Desktop with a them resembling Windows XP (see screenshots). The newly released version 1.0.3 is available for download from here: (686MB). The company's web site is mostly in simplified Chinese, with some information in English.
- FREEDOWS. FREEDOWS is the latest of the constant stream of new Linux distributions coming out of Brazil. We have been unable to find any technical information about the distribution. At present, no free downloads seem be available.
- Defora GNU/Linux. Defora GNU/Linux's aim is to be a user-friendly operating system. It used to be based on Debian GNU/Linux but the development policies have changed. It is now based on the LFS guide and is currently in development. Many tools may even get rewritten, and it is being considered to re-design completely the system, eventually moving away from the UNIX model.
- HKLPG Linux. HKLPG (Hong Kong Linux Player Group) Linux is a Linux distribution based on Mandrakelinux (version 2.0 is based on Mandrakelinux 10.0 Official), but with improved support for Chinese, browser plugins and other enhancements (web site in traditional Chinese).
- Splack Linux. Splack is a volunteer effort set up to continue work on the now defunct Slackware SPARC port. We try to track the official Slackware for Intel tree, which is the original Linux distribution. Slackware is based on the KISS (Keep It Simple - Stupid) principle, which makes it easy to maintain for anyone with a bit of UNIX experience. Don't expect a lot of pointy-clicky setup tools, just learn how to use vi and set it up the good, old-fashioned, reliable way.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 303
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 7
- Number of discontinued distributions: 32
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 80
The rise of Gentoo in China
Hans Joanphan has sent us an email about a new Gentoo-specific site in China:
"I'm Hans Joanphan, a founder and administrator of a new website about Gentoo Linux. We have gathered quite a lot of experienced Gentoo users to do several projects about Gentoo. As many people said, our website is the most important Gentoo Linux community site in China. There are lots of translated documents about Gentoo on our web site, including Gentoo FAQ, and one of the projects here will apply as the official simplified Chinese translation team of Gentoo Linux later this month. Please add this link to our website (gentoo.linuxsir.org
, in a few months we will apply for a new domain name as gentoo.org.cn). By the way, I like DistroWatch, a fantastic website for both beginners and developers:)"
Boten Linux abandoned?
DG wanders if Boten Linux is still alive:
Boten Linux seems to be abandoned. None of the links on the page are working, the downloads are not available, and the creators are not responding to emails.
Does anybody know the current status of this distribution? If so, please comment below.
That's all for this week, see you all next Monday :-)
|• Issue 554 (2014-04-14): Review of FreeNAS, OpenSSL bug, Fedora.next, Robolinux Stealth VM, measuring memory|
|• Issue 553 (2014-04-07): Puppy 5.7 "Slacko", end of Ubuntu One, file encryption with GPG|
|• Issue 552 (2014-03-31): Tanglu 1.0, Ubuntu GNOME LTS, SliTaz for ARM|
|• Issue 551 (2014-03-24): Linux Mint "Debian" 201403, call for end to proprietary firmware, LVM|
|• Issue 550 (2014-03-17): Review of NixOS 13.10, Lubuntu seeking feedback, Android-x86 4.4-rc1 impressions|
|• Issue 549 (2014-03-10): ClearOS 6.5 and UCS 3.2, Gentoo interview, Ubuntu app contest, Into the Core|
|• Issue 548 (2014-03-03): Review of Mageia 4, FreeBSD console driver, filtering web content, Pitivi fundraiser|
|• Issue 547 (2014-02-24): Chakra 2014.02, Ubuntu privacy, preventing unwanted remote logins|
|• Issue 546 (2014-02-17): Review of PC-BSD 10.0, Red Flag closure, Ubuntu and systemd, SlackE18, Fedora book review|
|• Issue 545 (2014-02-10): Impressions of FreeBSD 10.0, Debian votes systemd, Ubuntu file manager, server security|
|• Issue 544 (2014-02-03): Netrunner 13.12, openSUSE future, Ubuntu Touch in emulator, running commands in multiple places|
|• Issue 543 (2014-01-27): Review of Korora 20, FreeBSD 10.0, DNF, ZFS rescue CD, Bridge Linux interview|
|• Issue 542 (2014-01-20): QupZilla, Ubuntu with MATE, Arch on Raspberry Pi, best applications|
|• Issue 541 (2014-01-13): openSUSE 13.1 and Zentyal 3.3, CentOS joins Red Hat, Bodhi on Chromebooks|
|• Issue 540 (2014-01-06): SMS 2.0.6 and SME Server 8.0, Hawaii desktop, PHR statistics 2013, more on multi-part archives|
|• Issue 539 (2013-12-23): Centrych 12.04.3, Fedora 20 and its spins, dividing archives across multiple discs|
|• Issue 538 (2013-12-16): Mint 16 review, RHEL and CentOS 7 plans, SteamOS, Windows XP replacement suggestions|
|• Issue 537 (2013-12-09): OpenMandriva 2013.0, Gentoo developer interview, project Neon, Linux Mint and security|
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Issue 527 (2013-09-30): Tiny Core Linux 5.0, SteamOS, moving operating system to new computer|
|• Issue 526 (2013-09-23): Look at ArchBang 2013.09.01, BSD Now, kernel stats, command-line tips|
|• Issue 525 (2013-09-16): The Official Ubuntu Server Book, FreeBSD 10 and OpenBSD 5.4, Skype alternatives|
|• Issue 524 (2013-09-09): Look at LXLE 12.04.3, Ubuntu's new package format, Secure Boot and dual-booting|
|• Issue 523 (2013-09-02): OpenIndiana 151a8, openSUSE "Evergreen", GNOME and DuckDuckGo, running apps from RAM|
|• Issue 522 (2013-08-26): Look at gNewSense 3.0, Ubuntu Edge fundraising failure, exploring GPL|
|• Issue 521 (2013-08-19): Review of Korora 19, Fedora considers return to "Core", Haiku package management|
|• Issue 520 (2013-08-12): Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE", Xubuntu experiments with XMir, managing passwords with KeePass|
|• Issue 519 (2013-08-05): Review of Porteus 2.0, Kubuntu lays out plans for Wayland adoption, adjusting system swappiness|
|• Issue 518 (2013-07-29): MidnightBSD 0.4, Razor-qt, Ubuntu Edge, mounting infected drives|
|• Issue 517 (2013-07-22): Zorin OS 7 "Lite", Slackware turns 20, UbuntuForums compromise, Raspbian as home server, Tor|
|• Issue 516 (2013-07-15): Review of Fedora 19 "KDE", Shuttleworth on Mir, Seth Vidal, Kingsoft Office for Linux|
|• Issue 515 (2013-07-08): Whonix 0.5.6 and Deepin 12.12, MintBox, processor capabilities, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 514 (2013-07-01): Peppermint Four, Mir, Mandriva forks, ThinkPenguin on libre hardware|
|• Issue 513 (2013-06-24): Look at ROSA, PC-BSD updates, Xen4CentOS6, Slacko vs Precise, Mageia interview, shells|
|• Issue 512 (2013-06-17): Trisquel 6.0, RHEL 7 with GNOME Classic, from Linux to FreeBSD, first look at Wayland|
|• Issue 511 (2013-06-10): Mint 15 impressions, GNOME Classic, Ubuntu Community portal, Absolute OpenBSD|
|• Issue 510 (2013-06-03): Impressions of aptosid 2013-01, Wayland comes to Raspberry Pi, maintaining DNS settings|
|• Issue 509 (2013-05-27): Mageia 3, Debian GNU/Hurd, RebeccaBlackOS with Wayland, ports|
|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
|• Issue 507 (2013-05-13): Impressions of Calculate Linux, 13.4, Ubuntu's portable packages, mintDrivers|
|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Full list of all issues|