| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 90, 7 March 2005
Welcome to this year's 10th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week we will tell you about a secret meeting of Debian developers in Vancouver where they were to unveil their "Stunning New Release Strategy", give you a link to a valuable resource that will turn you into a better system administrator of Debian-based systems and direct you to a great new HOWTO to configure multimedia on SUSE LINUX. Also, a surprise for fans of the amaroK media player - a new PCLinuxOS-based live CD, bundled with some great free music. Enjoy!
Debian's "Stunning New Release Strategy"
It seems that the Debian developers can no longer bear the criticism of the community and media for not having produced a stable Debian release in over 2.5 years and are finally springing into action. They gathered in Vancouver last weekend to discuss what needs to be done to declare Sarge stable and even to look ahead at the post-Sarge release process: "Andreas Schuldei has helpfully secured sponsorship from NUUGF to bring the release team together with several ftp masters, buildd maintainers, and a few other stakeholders in the release process for a physical meeting to work out whatever needs to be worked out to get sarge out the door, and to begin preparations for a timely release of etch. ... More (much more) information will be available after the weekend, when we'll be able to present our Stunning New Release Strategy <tm> to the rest of the project." Read more in this mailing list post.
* * * * *
Still on the subject of Debian GNU/Linux, a reader has sent us a link to a new resource for Debian system administrators. Called Debian-Administration.org, this web site is "a simple weblog which is designed to contain interesting and useful information related to the system administration of Debian GNU/Linux systems. It is not an official part of the Debian project, instead, it is an independent community portal." Despite being a new web site, Debian-Administration.org contains a number of interesting tips and tricks that should be of interest to anybody running Debian or a Debian-based Linux distribution. Certainly a good resource worth bookmarking.
* * * * *
What do you do if, after installing SUSE LINUX, you discover that you cannot play any of the common multimedia files? Simple, follow the instructions in this step-by-step HOWTO, as published by Mad Penguin: "SUSE LINUX is one of the better desktop Linux distributions on the market today, providing a functional and aesthetically pleasing environment for the new Linux user as well as seasoned veterans. One thing that puzzles many users is the lack of proper multimedia support in SUSE. The developers have basically crippled it from playing virtually all types of multimedia content that's common on the Internet today. This can be a frustrating dilemma for new users, so I have written a short HOWTO to help you get everything in order on your new desktop."
amaroK Live - a new approach to a live CD
(contributed by Greg Meyer)
A reader has sent us news about an interesting new distribution called amaroK Live.
"Based on PCLinuxOS, it is not so much a live CD distribution as it is a demonstration and an extension of the operating system into a specific use. It is a stripped down live CD with a fully functional amaroK music player bundled with the tracks commissioned last year by Wired Magazine, which are distributed under the Creative Commons Sampling Licenses. It includes - among other major artists - tracks by the Beastie Boys and David Byrne.
I thought this might be of interest to your readers at several levels. One, it is applications like amaroK that will eventually convince users of MS Windows to make a switch to a *nix system. For most people it is not about the OS but about the applications that are available to use on it. Two, We plan on keeping it up to date with every new amaroK release, so it will stay current and I guess could be called a distribution unto itself. Three, it is an interesting extension of the project started by the Creative Commons licensing technique, which includes many of the principles embodied in free software.
Additionally, this is a way to expose more people to PCLinuxOS, so a project could use a demonstration CD like this to try to market a distribution. This particular live CD leaves the PCLinuxOS installer intact, so one could run the installer and then connect to Texstar's Ibiblio.org repository and update to the latest and greatest version of everything.
amaroK is a next generation media player written for the KDE user environment, but lot's of people use it in XFCE or GNOME because it supports gstreamer as the playback engine and is not heavily dependant on all of KDE. There is more info about amaroK available here and more info about amaroK Live here."
amaroK Live - a specialist audio distribution bundled with great free music
(full image size: 1,012kB)
|Released Last Week
GNIX-Vivo is a Linux live CD designed for the speakers of Galician, a regional language in the Galicia province in Spain. A new version of the distribution was released over the weekend - it is version 0.8.22, which has many corrections, bug fixes, and package updates. The development of GNIX-Vivo is led by Pedro Silva and many volunteers who contribute to the project. Work has already started on a new version, which will be more modular and will be released as a live DVD with a larger package set. More information about the release is available in the release announcement (in Galician).
Pie Box Enterprise Linux 4 AS
Pie Box Enterprise Linux 4 AS has been released: "PixExcel today released version 4 of its Pie Box Enterprise Linux product. Pie Box Enterprise Linux 4 AS is built from the source RPMs of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 AS. The only packages modified are 'redhat-logos', 'redhat-artwork', 'anaconda-product' and 'firstboot'. These packages are changed in order to remove Red Hat's trademarks from all artwork and to skip the RHN registration step immediately after installation. All other packages remain unchanged from those released by Red Hat and there are no packages added or removed. This results in a product that is fully compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. Features of Pie Box Enterprise Linux 4 AS include the Linux 2.6 kernel, SELinux, GNOME 2.8, Samba 3.0, Logical Volume Manager 2, PCI Express support and NFSv.4." The press release.
A new version of ParallelKnoppix has been released. From the changelog: "Allows up to 200 nodes. R, with MPI and clustering packages added. I'd appreciate hearing about tests of PVM and the R SNOW and R MPI packages. Tutorial now explains how to use the GUI re-master scripts for easy addition of packages and/or personal files. It is possible to create a personalized CD/DVD without rebooting, if you have a CD/DVD burner in addition to the CD drive you boot from. Octave updated to 2.1.66, since we have a Makefile.env for MPITB that works with Debian unstable - thanks Thomas Weber!" Find more information on the distribution's home page.
Peanut Linux 12.1
This is an updated version of the recently released Peanut Linux 12.0. What's new? "12.1 is out. Same packages... but with some spice added: RPM dependencies - fixed; some software updates - gaim-vv, etc; apt-get/synaptic - lets you get the files you want from the main Peanut repository (pnut project inspired); aptitude - console based synaptic like frontend for apt (modified for use with Peanut from Debian source); updated installpkg and removepkg scripts; CD now boots from peanut.sfs directly instead of peanut.gz (for those with two CDROMs, we're trying to find how to go about with it, so just disable your first CDROM for the moment); F-prot antivirus - for cleaning those viruses in Windows!" Here is the release announcement.
Peanut Linux 12.1 - an installation CD and a bootable live CD in one
(full image size: 364kB)
CentOS 4.0 has been released: "The CentOS team is pleased to announce availability of CentOS 4.0 i386 (ia32). This product supports i586 and i686 processors, including all compatible platforms. Major new features include the Linux 2.6 Kernel, SELinux, udev replacing the /dev system, X.Org, MySQL4, CyrusIMAPd, GNOME 2.8 and KDE 3.3. These improvements along with many more are detailed in the release notes available online." Here is the full release announcement.
Monoppix is a live CD Linux distribution based on Knoppix. Its main purpose is to showcase and spread the Mono technology, which is a free .NET framework implementation to Linux/UNIX operating systems. The CD includes Mono runtime environment, compiler and class libraries, Mono-enabled Integrated Development Environment, ASP.net web server, MySQL database, and Quickstarts and Mono tutorials. Monoppix 1.0 was released today: "What's new in this release: MySQL support, including the ByteFX ADO.NET managed provider (XSP sample included, uses compiled codebehind); XSP code runs in ramdisk, GTK# for desktop applications (sample included)...." Visit the distribution's web site for further information.
The grml distribution is a bootable CD based on Knoppix and Debian with collection of GNU/Linux software especially for users of texttools and system administrators. It provides automatic hardware detection and it can be used as a rescue system or for analysing systems and networks. Version 0.3 was released today: "Release 0.3 - code name 'Hustenstopper'. Fixed several bugs. Improved hardware detection. Several improved, updated and extended configuration files. Special new features: use of udev (Linux configurable dynamic device naming support); multitail running on tty12; grml-templates: this package includes several templates for use with LaTeX, C, C++, Qt, tpp, Makefile,...; showing cpu-status inside GNU screen." More details are available in the release announcement.
LinEspa is a Knoppix-based live CD optimised for Spanish and Latin American users and featuring the XFce desktop. Version 0.30 was released today. Changes and improvements include the following: graphical interface XFce 4.2.0; Mozilla Firefox 1.0.1 in Spanish; new menu for accessing applications; problems with NVIDIA graphics cards fixed; OpenOffice.org updated and pre-installed with a Spanish dictionary and spell checker; graphical boot splash (when booting from hard disk); support for ACPI; support for Windows networks from a new archive manager in XFce; option to install the live CD in text mode; support for Intel and Prism2 WiFi cards; new manager of WiFi networks (Linespa GUIFI).... Find more information in the release announcement (in Spanish).
Knopperdisk 0.3.0 has been released: "Here it is, Knopperdisk 0.3.0! Thanks to some people on the gentoo-embedded IRC channel I was able to drop libiconv and gettext and thus saving some space. I also decided to drop support for ext2 formatted USB devices since this only complicates things. The long awaited feature to boot directly from the USB device has been added and mostly because of this I decided to make this release version 0.3.0. Changelog: kernel 2.6.11; added support for USB input devices; uclibc upgraded to version 0.9.27; added bind-tools, clamav, iptables; several common Gentoo updates." More details can be found on the distribution's news page.
A new version of Helix, a Knoppix-based Linux live CD with tools for forensic analysis, is now available: "Helix 1.6 has been released. This edition has many new improvements and updates. Some of the major changes are a complete rebuild of the 2.6.10 kernel that has support for LVM, Cowloop, SquashFS, SATA, etc. Helix now uses UnionFS to create an overlay file system so you can temporarily write to the CD. Helix now exclusively uses the XFce 4.2 window manager. Many new forensic tools have been added to include a few Stego tools. The hardware detection has been greatly improved with this release and should now 'see' most RAID devices/SATA devices, etc. In addition the drivers for the Intel Centrino G cards (IPW2200) have been added." See the full release announcement and changelog for more information.
YES Linux 2.2.0
YES Linux 2.2.0 has been released: "YES Linux Release Team would like to announce the immediate availability of YES Linux 2.2 Build 0. This is the first build of the YES Linux 2.2 version. This release features more updates to features than to new features such as a new JDK, PHP, Apache, kernel, firewall, and resin. Two of the new features are the inclusion of an Intrusion Detection System - IDS (modsecurity.org) and an anti-spam module integrated into Apache. Also we upgraded the YES Linux Introduction process to now include a step-by-step wizard as well as the one screen advanced step." More details in the release announcement.
ZoneCD is a Morphix-based bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software pre-configured to create a WiFi gateway. Version 0.6 has been released with the following changes: "Added USB as configuration medium option; added auto-configuration for Prism II/2 PCI and PCMCIA cards; added firmware and hostap utility for cards with SSF; added auto-reboot dialog configuration; added Samba 3.0.10, xdm 4.3.0, rxvt, poptop (pptpd), ppp, Asterisk, Zaptel 1.0.2; added PPTP passthru to open mode, added cron to [re]start nocat if it crashes; updated DansGuardian to 2.8.0...." Find more details in the release notes.
FoRK is a Knoppix-based live CD designed for use as a forensic imaging and previewing tool. A new bug-fix version was released today: "The FoRK development team has taken time out from their beta testing of version 1.0.4, in response to demand for the features promised in FoRK 1.0.2 (which was withdrawn when a bug in the network acquisition module was found), to test and release a bugfix version. Version 1.0.2.01 has had the acquisition interface tested in a variety of scenarios to ensure there are no more bugs. Members may download FoRK 1.0.2.01 from the download section." Read the release announcement for more information.
Zen Linux 1.1
Zen Linux 1.1, code name "Shitake" (which, incidentally, means "mushroom" in Japanese), has been released: "Zen Linux v1.1 (Shitake) release is now available. Highlights: UnionFS is now in the initrd phase - it is now possible to apt-get new packages while running via the live CD and all changes made to the live system will be transferred to disk during install. Added the Zen Linux Conversions Framework - it is now possible to convert Core to another 'flavor' such as GNOME or KDE." See the release announcement for further details.
Zen Linux 1.1 - a Debian-based live CD with many interesting features
(full image size: 1,728kB)
A new version of the AUSTRUMI live CD has been released. From the changelog: "Added inkscape - SVG editor; added gcrontab - a crontab editor for cron system; added xmail - an Internet and intranet mail server; added airsnort, crond, e3, gitmail, gputty, sqlite for PHP; removed gcombust, added simplecdrx; removed tea, added bluefish; removed gps, added htop; updated a lots of programs and libraries; updated kernel (2.6.11)." See the distribution's home page for more information about the new release.
Buffalo Linux 1.7.0
Buffalo Linux 1.7.0 has been released: "The new Buffalo version 1.7.0 is a major upgrade. It includes the latest 2.6.11 kernel (with 188.8.131.52 still included for those not wanting the 'bleeding-edge'), the latest X11 release from X.Org 6.8.2 and over 120 individual package upgrades. Because of the extent of changes no download upgrade is provided. Instead, use the Upgrade script (copy to your hard drive), to move up from a previous Buffalo version. Included in 1.7.0 are updates to AbiWord, Gimp, Sylpheed, and a demo version of Win4Lin, plus many updates to the desktop window manager 'bundle' packages." Read the full release announcement on the project's home page.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
A new version of the popular KNOPPIX live CD will be released later this week, during the CeBIT exhibition in Hannover, Germany. That's according to this announcement at Heise.de (in German). The new version will include the latest pre-release kernel 2.6.11, KDE 3.3.2, OpenOffice.org 1.1.4, Firefox and Thunderbird, as well as a new file system - the increasingly popular Unionfs which allows making temporary changes to files on the CD. It is not clear whether this version will be released publicly, but judging by a similar release during last year's CeBIT, we will have to wait for Knoppix 3.9 before we can taste the new features (unless, of course, you will be lucky enough to attend the show).
Fox Linux 0.7
The developers of Fox Linux have announced that version 0.7 will be released within the next two weeks. The new version will resolve some of the reported bugs and missing dependencies, and it will also add new features. Find out more in the announcement, which also includes a handful of screenshots.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
February 2005 donation: the AbiWord project
Continuing in the one-year old tradition of donating 10% of DistroWatch's income from advertising to various open source project, the February 2005 donation goes to the AbiWord project. This completes our first year of the donation programme, a joint initiative between DistroWatch and LinuxCD.org, which contributes US$50 every month. During the last 12 months we donated a total of US$3,010 to the projects listed below, as well a Tsunami relief fund. Many thanks to our sponsors, especially LinuxCD.org, Xandros Corporation, Turbolinux, MEPIS Linux, Libranet GNU/Linux, LinuxSoft, and many small advertisers who have contributed the funds to run this web site. We hope to continue with the donation programme for many more years in the future!
The AbiWord word processor is one of the best-known open source projects around: "Like most Open Source projects, AbiWord started as a cathedral, but has become more like a bazaar. AbiWord is part of a larger project known as AbiSource, which was started by the SourceGear Corporation. The goal of the project was the development of a cross-platform, Open Source office suite beginning with AbiWord, the project's word processor. SourceGear released the source code to AbiWord and a developer community quickly formed around the project. SourceGear has since then stopped working on the project. The developer community has since then continued to make improvements and increase the quality of AbiWord. Version 1.0 was released in April 2002, followed by Version 2.0 in September 2003."
Despite having been recently relegated to the "extras" in Fedora Core, the fact is that AbiWord remains an important word processor and the only one that supports all major computing platforms available today - Windows, Mac OS, Linux, *BSD and UNIX. And although it does not have some of the more advanced features found in OpenOffice.org, AbiWord will probably satisfy the needs of the vast majority of word processor users, while still maintaining its light-weight status and the ability to run on older computers. As such, we thought that AbiWord was a valuable project worth supporting.
Here is the PayPal receipt for our donation:
This email confirms that you have paid 'cinamod at hotmail.com' $220.00 USD using PayPal.
Transaction ID: 4UL82666U3434742T
Total: $220.00 USD
Item Title: Support AbiWord Development
Message: This is a donation by DistroWatch.com as part of our programme to sponsor open source development projects. Keep up the good work :-)
This is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme:
New distributions addition
- EzPlanet One Linux. EzPlanet One Linux is a Fedora-based Linux distribution tuned for enterprise solutions. EzPlanet One integrates advanced technologies, flexibility, high availability, security, quality. Built with the enterprise in mind, it features also several tools for the professionals and individual users that make its use more fun. Most of the latest advances in technologies available for Linux have been included in the EzPlanet One distribution. For example it supports most wireless network adapters, including those that do not have specific Linux drivers. EzPlanet One is ready to be used for your server infrastructure and your desktop clients. Quality is the secret of a robust and unbreakable foundation for the technical architect, with the tools and the ease of use to suit system administrators, bank managers, personal assistants, chief financial officers and beginners.
- Kate Linux. Kate Linux is a light-weight Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux.
- Monoppix. Monoppix is a live CD Linux distribution based on Knoppix. Its main purpose is to showcase and spread the Mono technology, which is a free .NET framework implementation to Linux/UNIX operating systems. The CD includes Mono runtime environment, compiler and class libraries, Mono-enabled Integrated Development Environment, ASP.net web server, MySQL database, and Quickstarts and Mono tutorials.
New on the waiting list
- Fantoo. Fantoo is a new, non-commercial Ukrainian distribution based on Gentoo Linux. Its focus is on multimedia applications.
- FeniX. FeniX is a new Brazilian desktop Linux distribution and live CD based on Debian GNU/Linux.
- GnomeLiveCd. GnomeLiveCD is a Linux distribution with the goal to create a live CD to demonstrate GNOME. The initial impetus was to be able to send a GNOME LiveCD to journalists and news agencies so that they can test and talk about GNOME without installing it, but others have expressed interest as well. Ideally, the infrastructure for this will be flexible, so that it can be trivial to customise and re-target, for example, to distribute a version with a custom splash screen for a specific conference, to change the language for distribution by non-en_US GNOME groups, or to change the software set to market to different groups (artists, developers, etc).
- J-Nix. J-Nix is a desktop Linux distribution based on PCLinuxOS with focus on ease of use and designed for novice Linux users.
- LG3D LiveCD. LG3D Live CD is a live CD based on Games Knoppix which boots into an experimental snapshot of Sun Microsystem's Project Looking Glass 3D.
- QuickLinux. QuickLinux is a new Chinese Linux distribution built from source RPMs for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 392
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 49
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 93
That's all for today. See you all next week!
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
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