| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 22, 3 November 2003
ROCK Linux in search for a new identity
Do we have too many distributions? You bet. The result is that some excellent projects are lost in the sea of distributions, most of which are nothing but modifications of other distributions. Take this interesting post by Clifford Wolf, the creator of ROCK Linux: "'ROCK Linux' fits too well into the common 'Foobar Linux' naming scheme for Linux distributions - so it's no wonder that it is so hard to promote ROCK Linux as 'built kit for Linux/whatever distribution' instead of 'yet another Linux distribution'. I'd suggest renaming the project to something different. My personal preference would be something like 'Open ROCK'. Suggestions, thoughts and feedback in any form are very welcome."
The above dilemma is not hard to understand. ROCK Linux is a unique and highly original project in that it provides a bunch of flexible bash scripts which allow users to create a new and customised binary distribution directly from source code. This can be as simple as a 10MB general purpose router, or as complex as a full-featured development workstation. Once the compile process is complete, the resulting distribution can either be installed on a remote computer via network or it can be burnt onto a bootable CD and deployed on any number of machines. It can even be compiled for an architecture different from the machine performing the compilation. While the project's documentation is certainly not as beginner-friendly and colourful as that of say Gentoo Linux, those who take their time to peruse the ever evolving ROCK Linux handbook might be pleasantly surprised to discover a true gem.
ROCK Linux is a not an ordinary rock. It is a rare diamond - precious and unique among the gravel that surrounds it.
How good or bad is Mandrake Linux 9.2?
Although it has been almost three weeks since the release of Mandrake Linux 9.2, we haven't seen many reviews of the most popular desktop distribution. Instead, we are getting a steady flow of reports about the highly publicised problem affecting users with LG CD-ROM drives and various generalised complaints about issues such as the number of bug fixes issued shortly after the final release. While the unfortunate matter of damaged CD-ROM drives is certainly a valid complaint, much of the general negativity about Mandrake Linux 9.2 on various forums, often coming from former staunch supporters of Mandrake, is not. Does the high number of bug fixes bother you? Chances are that, as with the LG CD-ROM drives, many of them only affect a small percentage of users. In fact, it is nice to see that Mandrake developers are hard at work, looking over the issues and working out the problems. I would certainly not look at the number of bug fixes as a negative point - it would be a lot worse if Mandrake developers ignored their users and went on holidays!
What are your experiences with Mandrake Linux 9.2? Any surprises or disappointments? Is it going to stay on your desktop or are you here to look for another distribution? Please discuss below.
|Released Last Week
Source Mage GNU/Linux 0.7.1
A new version of Source Mage GNU/Linux, version 0.7.1 is out: "The Source Mage GNU/Linux developers team is proud to announced the new release 0.7.1. The main difference with 0.7 is the native support of devfs (mounted on /dev as you would like to expect). Have fun!" More information on the distribution's web site, release announcement and ISO release changelog.
Aurox Live 1.0.2
A stable version of Aurox Live CD, version 1.0.2 (based on Aurox Linux 9.1), has been released: "What's new in Aurox 9.1-Live-1.0.2? It is now possible to run Aurox Live on 233MHz Pentium II with 96 MB RAM! (use 'aurox fluxbox' command when booting). Updated: Knoppix X Window autoconfiguration, Evolution (1.4.5), CD recording tools. Added: educational software (lum, tuxpaint, tuxmath, geg), Qt-designer, Qt-documentation, KDE libs API documentation, Kdevelop and extra header files - you can now generate and build an example application using Aurox Live! Fixed: /dev/ppp and other devices created, starting fluxbox is now available, mouse wheel should work now, KDE shows CUPS printers." See the complete release notes.
Devil-Linux 1.0 and 1.0.1
Devil-Linux 1.0 has been released: "The Devil-Linux development team is pleased to announce the release of version 1.0 this Halloween, October 31, 2003. Devil-Linux is a distribution which boots and runs from CDROM. The configuration can be saved to a floppy diskette or a USB pen drive (new in 1.0). Devil Linux was originally intended to be a dedicated firewall/router but now Devil-Linux can also be used as a server for many applications. Attaching an optional hard drive is easy, and many network services are included. New Features: kernel 2.4.22 with FreeS/WAN and Netfilter patches applied; kernel Security through GRSecurity; almost all software compiled with the GCC stack smashing protector; new 'setup' program for basic configuration..." More details in the release announcement. A bug-fixed Devil-Linux version 1.0.1 was released three days later.
After 9 beta releases, the new Freeduc 1.4 live CD is now ready for public consumption: "OFSET, the organization for the development of free software for education and teaching, is working with UNESCO to set up an international version of its FREEDUC distribution. FREEDUC is a GNU/Linux distribution which can be used without installation. It is specifically dedicated to the world of education and it enables an easy introduction for stakeholders of education to the 40 free software packages included on the cd-rom. The software was selected for its pedagogical values and ergonomic qualities." See the rest of the official press release. There is a bug in the Italian implementation of Freeduc 1.4, which will be fixed in the upcoming version 1.4.1.
Yoper Ydesktop 1.2
Yoper Ydesktop 1.2 is out. From the release notes: "Yoper Limited is proud to announce the release of version 1.2 of Yoper Ydesktop V1. This release contains a large number of bugfixes and software changes which include: Yoper synced with LFS-5 and recompiled from scratch with gcc-3.3.2.; supermount on the fly CD mounting, no CD unmount or eject required any more, new Yoper boot splash screen; emerge world implemented; new Qt-3.2.1 and KDE 3.1.4; new Kernel 2.4.22 used to compile Yoper; update all packages to latest as of 20.10.2003; NVIDIA ethernet drivers; shadow passwords set not to expire; new OpenOffice 1.1..."
OpenNA Linux 1.0
After nearly two years of development, OpenNA Linux 1.0 has been released. From the release notes: "The version 1.0 contains many new features and enhanced functionality as compared with previous versions of OpenNA Linux. Security notes: All components of the operating system are protected against the exploitation of buffer overflow vulnerabilities in process stacks. All permission files and directories have been reviewed and improved for high security. All configuration files and software have been rewritten & rebuild with high security in mind. The Grsecurity kernel patch with most of the entire security features that it provides has been implemented into the kernel." More features.
A new version of the SULIX live CD is now available. The most important changes in version 1.1 are: new Linux kernel 2.4.22, support for USB pen drives, implementation of Knoppix's "Persistent Home" for easy restoration of saved settings, inclusion of SHFS kernel module, new lm-sensors and Hungarian implementation of OpenOffice 1.1. More information on the distribution's web site (in Hungarian).
Flonix is a new distribution on our list, a live CD based on Damn Small Linux. The developers have just released build 17, with the following changes (changelog in French): "Updated web server; addition of xnet to develop dynamic PHP-based web sites (with libmysql); new server menu." Find out more on the distribution's web site.
The ISO image of Lycoris Desktop/LX Update 3 has reportedly been released for general enjoyment. Since the lycoris.org site seems to be down at the moment, here is a quick list of some of the mirrors that carry the ISO: planetmirror.com (Australia), sunet.se (Sweden) and ibiblio.org (USA).
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Xandros Desktop 2.0
Xandros Desktop 2.0 will be released on 24 November. That's according to this ZDNet report: "Xandros sells a version of Linux geared for the average desktop user. The company plans to release version 2.0 of its software on Nov. 24, said Dave Finklestein, vice president of sales and marketing for the 35-person company." The product is currently undergoing closed beta testing.
Fedora Core 1
The first official release of Red Hat's Fedora Core 1 is expected before the end of this week - instead of today, as originally planned - due to a schedule slip: "We had to respin FC1 today for a non-technical issue (that's all I can say, sorry), which resets the clock for release. We have to start over again with the export process, and I don't think they work weekends, so we have to slip until after we hear back from them and then sync to mirrors. Wednesday the 5th is slightly possible, a day later more likely."
Texstar's PC Linux OS?
Something is cooking over at PCLinuxOnline: "I've been working on a live bootable Knoppix style CD based on Mandrake 9.2 with all of my cool mods and updated applications/desktop programs and everything setup to work right out of the box such as Java, Flash, urpmi and NVIDIA drivers. Hopefully the ability to also install directly to your hard drive. A complete desktop solution featuring over 1.5 gigs of desktop applications. I've already had a successful preview last week and if everything goes good this weekend maybe another preview that more people can test next week. What is neat about this is if we can get all the issues ironed out with the mklivecd project then YOU can make your own bootable live CD as well." The above post is by Texstar, a well-known contributor of up-to-date RPM packages for Mandrake Linux. Certainly something to look forward to, no?
|Web Site News
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Thank you all for helping to spread the word to all corners of the globe :-)
New on the waiting list
- Flonix. Flonix is a light-weight GNU/Linux operating system for personal computers. It is based on Knoppix. There are two editions: Flonix USB Edition can be installed on an USB flash drive or compact flash card (64MB and more) and Flonix CD Edition, which is a live CD.
DistroWatch database summary
- Lunatix GNU/Linux. "The idea behind Lunatix is to supply a small, clean Linux distribution for expert users. No nonsense, with an extremely fast install; just simple. There are no networking daemons distributed by default in order to ensure maximum security on a network level after the initial installation. The user (or system administrator) has to compile optional programs or daemons himself (or herself) which allows the user to build a system specific to their needs while maintaining a clean secure Linux core distribution. To serve expert users, enough basic tools for networking and C++ coding are included for a quick start. All core features are listed below."
- Number of distributions in the database: 190
- Number of discontinued distributions: 24
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 65
No reader feedback items this week.
That's all for now, keep well and see you next Monday :-)
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• 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|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• 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|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
MoviX, MoviX², eMoviX
MoviX was a package that allows you to create bootable CDs able to boot & autoplay your multimedia files. It was intended mainly to play video files but if you want it can be used to play also audio files. I plan to release eventually a distro similar to MoviX but aimed at audio only, so stay tuned! The philosophy behind MoviX was to make possible to generate video/audio CDs that are self-sufficient, i.e. that you can play on every PC regardless of what was installed on it: just insert the MoviX CD inside a CD/DVD-ROM and boot the PC from there! MoviX2 was a small Linux distro on CD aimed at playing multimedia: when you boot your PC with the MoviX2 CD the distro should be able to start X-Window and launch gmplayer, the GUI interface to mplayer, so that you are left with a nice user-friendly interface you can control by your mouse. At that point you can safely remove the MoviX2 CD and play all multimedia files you want: DVD [no zone constraint], VCD, DivX, avi, mpg, mp3, ogg etc.
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