| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 1, 9 June 2003
|Welcome to DistroWatch Weekly
Last week, DistroWatch.com completed its second year in existence. In the beginning, this site was nothing more than a single-page table comparing basic characteristics and most important packages included in 10 popular Linux distributions. Many people found the page a useful reference and suggestions for improvements soon started coming in. Two years later, with 10,000 unique visitors each day and 100GB of file transfer every month, DistroWatch truly is a popular Linux distribution news and reference site. A big THANKS to all of you who have loaded the pages and took the time to write in with suggestions.
We have a useful news and reference site, but where to go next? Up until now, and with the exception of several reviews, DistroWatch has been a factual site, presenting little besides figures, tables, statistics and comparison charts. Perhaps one thing missing from the menu was some sort of an opinion column, a discussion about recent issues and happenings in the Linux distribution world. This is how the idea to publish DistroWatch Weekly came about.
How will the column be structured? The section you are reading now will either comment about a recent event or focus on a particular distribution we find worth mentioning. The next section, called Released Last Week will re-cap all distribution releases over the past week. In the Expected This Week section, we'll try to alert users on any upcoming releases that might appear within a week or so. This is a miss-and-hit thing as a released-when-ready philosophy is a dominant form of coding for most non-commercial and even many commercial Linux projects. The Web Site News will highlight any web site changes, including new features, new distributions added to the database and anything that could go to a web site changelog. Finally, the Reader Feedback section will answer some of the questions brought up by visitors over the past week.
DistroWatch Weekly will also have an area for reader comments. It will be experimental at first, to see how things go. While it is impossible to expect completely flame-free and sucks/rulez-free comments when the topic of discussion is "Linux distributions", please try your best to use common sense when posting. There is a reason why there are over 300 Linux distributions out there. There are people who spend enormous amount of their time coding something they strongly believe in and provide the rest of us with hours of great entertainment once the product is released. If the result sucks, give those developers feedback by providing suggestions and reporting bugs. If it rulez, explain the reasons. There are no guidelines for posting, but all comments that intend to insult, are irrelevant or provide no value, will be deleted.
|Released Last Week
Lorma Linux v.3. The effect of v.3 release took the developers of this Red Hat-based distribution by surprise as many people swarmed the main FTP server in order to download the ISO image. Luckily, new mirrors appeared swiftly so if you have been unsuccessful in getting Lorma Linux, visit the download page again. Why would a new distribution attract so much attention? It seems that the Lorma Linux developers have successfully addressed issues that some users of Red Hat consider as drawbacks - they've eliminated the bloat, replaced Gnome with KDE as the default desktop, included multimedia applications together with the DVD decoding library (one of the great advantages of developing a Linux distribution outside of US) and recompiled all packages for the i686 architecture. We have yet to see any reviews, but Lorma Linux seems like an excellent effort at a distribution designed for home use.
Trustix Secure Linux 2.0 Beta 3. The third beta of Trustix 2.0 still includes many package version updates, which is a good indication that more betas/release candidates will follow. Linux distributions with security as their primary feature tend to have very long development cycles and Trustix is no exception. Don't expect the final release of Trustix 2.0 very soon.
Knoppix 3.2-2003-06-06. Late Friday in Europe saw another Knoppix update with the usual range of package version upgrades, improved hardware detection database and other minor new features.
|Expected This Week
Two popular Linux firewalls should release new development versions of their products. ClarkConnect Broadband Getaway will announce the first beta of the upcoming 2.0 release - based on Red Hat 9, this promises to be a major upgrade. The release has been delayed several times, so expect a long development cycle. In the meantime, SmoothWall has announced an imminent release of the fifth beta of SmoothWall 2.0, code name "Orient". No other details are available at this stage.
|Web Site News
Two new distributions have been added to this site's database last week. One of them was Lorma Linux, a Red Hat-based Linux distribution developed by a small group of Linux enthusiasts at Lorma Colleges in San Fernando City in the Philippines. The other one is LinuxConsole, a Debian-based Live CD from France, developed with a primary objective to satisfy gamers and multimedia users.The total number of distribution on this site's database has risen to 148, of which 17 have been either discontinued or inactive for more than 2 years.
As usual, several new distributions were submitted for inclusion. These have all been queued up and if you haven't seen the long queue, it is available here (as part of the "About" page). It lists 31 new distributions, which are currently on a 3-month waiting list. New in this week's queue: EduLinux, Quantian and Sentry Firewall CD.
Last week has seen the return of Mandrake Linux back to the top of the Page Hit Ranking statistics. This will no doubt cheer up many readers who have written in with complaints and disbelief over Yoper's prolonged stay at number one. Yes, Yoper is not even close to being a widely used distribution, it is probably not the best distribution either. But the Page Hit Ranking simply counts how many times a distribution-specific page on DistroWatch has been visited and Yoper's page count has been very high over the last few months -- and no, it wasn't due to somebody's cheating or manipulating the counter. It was due to a combination of Yoper's clever advertising and catchy press releases that attracted visitors' attention. If anything, it shows that people are still hungry for new products and new distributions.
This being the first issue of DistroWatch Weekly, we don't have any reader feedback just yet, but maybe we could give you some background about DistroWatch and its team. I did say "we", but up until fairly recently, the entire web site was developed and maintained by myself. Things have become more of a team work after several regular contributors have offered help. I have to mention Robert Storey, who is in fact a professional writer of travel guide books and mad about everything Linux. More of his excellent reviews will follow soon. Also many thanks to Andrew Balsa who contributed the recent Mandrake 9 development series of reviews.|
The site has also become more internationalised with several volunteer translators joining the team. There are too many to list them all, but my special thanks go to Ossama Khayat in Kuwait and Zhu Wen Tao in China, who have made the most effort to bring Arabic and Chinese readership to this site and offer content in their native languages. Knowing that even people in countries where English is not widely spoken can benefit from the information here is perhaps the greatest satisfaction coming out from maintaining DistroWatch. (On a related note, if there is somebody who can offer help with translation of a few common terms into Korean, please email me - I'd really appreciate your help).
Finally, a few past reader comments -- to keep in line with this section's title:
"Just a little mail to tell you how impressed I'm about your site. This is such of a HUGE work, I don't know how you're doing to handle all that by yourself and so perfectly! It's so complete and accurate! It's the only web site I visit everyday and I advice it to all the people asking me a good web site about Linux. Keep the good work :-)" (Nicolas Heinen)
"This site is extremely well done and has obviously been very well thought out, executed, and maintained. It looks like maximum effort went into making this page easy to use and easy to understand. The information presented has saved me an enormous amount of time and effort, and made it very easy for me to select the Linux system I want. Thank you so very much for providing such a great service." (Catalina Ramos)
Unfortunately, we cannot satisfy everybody:
"DistroWatch is a site that is esthetically bad. I don't like it." (a poster on linux-egypt.org forum)
Until 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)
|Linux Foundation Training
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|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
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|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
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|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
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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|
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