| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 25, 24 November 2003
SUSE LINUX 9.0 FTP Edition
Several users have suggested that DistroWatch should be slightly more "newbie-friendly" by providing some more basic content in an easy-to-understand language. Since SUSE has just released their complete 9.0 distribution to the FTP servers (and mirrors), perhaps a simple installation walk-through for those who have never done it will be useful.
Firstly, you have to meet some basic conditions before you can start:
Now follow these steps:
- You have to have a broadband connection. There is no way to install the FTP edition of SUSE LINUX via a modem connection, even if you have plenty of patience.
- If your broadband connection is of a PPPoE type (i.e. requires username and password to log in), you will not be able to proceed with installation. A good workaround is to buy a broadband router with a built in DHCP server; they are inexpensive, easy to setup in a web browser and save you plenty of time and hassles.
If you've never installed Linux before, you will be pleased to know that SUSE's 9.0 installer is now able to resize a Windows XP partition, create some empty space and setup your boot loader to dual boot Windows and SUSE. Once you get to a stage where the installation program starts downloading and installing the necessary files, you can take a long break - even with a broadband connection and a fast mirror, count on at least 3 hours before the default installation with KDE and OpenOffice completes. Also please note that SUSE no longer ships the NVIDIA driver, which you will have to download and install separately if you want 3D capabilities. The NVIDIA module compiles cleanly on SUSE Linux 9.0, but you will have to install the kernel sources (with YaST, SUSE's configuration utility) before attempting to compile the NVIDIA drivers.
- Find an available, complete mirror before you start the installation (SUSE provides a list of German and international mirrors). Once you find one, you need to get its IP address by "pinging" the FTP server. This you can do by typing 'ping ftp.suse.com' (replace 'ftp.suse.com' with the mirror of your choice) on the command line (this command works both in Linux and in DOS) and record the numerical string you receive (in the ftp.suse.com example, this would be 188.8.131.52). Write it down, because you will need this number later. Be smart and don't use the main SUSE FTP server to install SUSE Linux.
- Besides recording your chosen mirror's IP address, you will also need to write down the exact path of the 9.0 directory on the server. In case of SUSE's main FTP server at ftp.suse.com, this would be 'pub/suse/i386/9.0', but each mirror is different, so get the right path from the mirror you chose to use. Write it down.
- Download the boot.iso image which you can find in 9.0/boot directory of your chosen mirror. On ftp.suse.com this image would be here. Its size is 22,708,224 bytes.
- Burn the ISO image onto a CD. In case you don't have a CD burner, you can initiate the installation from a set of floppy disks downloadable from the same directory as the ISO image. The process is considerably more involved, so read the README files (also available in the same directory) before you proceed.
- Boot from the CD, select the "Install SUSE LINUX" option and follow the instructions. They are logical with the only "gotcha" being the need to load the correct kernel module (hardware driver) for your network card. This is done from the main menu, but you will need to know the exact name of your network card's kernel module. Get out the relevant documentation and be prepared to search the Internet to find the answer.
- Once your network card module is loaded, you will be able to access the FTP server you chose previously. Just select "Network" as your type of installation, select "FTP" as your source, fill in the IP address and path you have written down in the first two steps and you are ready to go.
Once you get to know and enjoy SUSE, and end up using it on a regular basis, consider buying the full boxed product. Those in North America can take advantage of Amazon's current special on the SUSE Linux 9.0 Professional edition at US$38.95 (update: this special is no longer available and the price is back at US$64.99), which includes the most comprehensive documentation of any Linux distribution by far. SUSE LINUX is also rapidly rising in terms of usage, especially due to recent unpopular policy changes at Red Hat and apparent lack of quality control at MandrakeSoft.
Whatever you do, have a lot of fun :-)
Screenshot: SUSE LINUX 9.0 Download Edition
(full image size 264kB)
|Released Last Week
The ADIOS project has released ADIOS 2.00, a Red Hat-based live CD developed by the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane: "ADIOS boot CD version 2.00 November 2003 now has support for LIDS (Linux Intrusion Detection System) and SELinux. The ADIOS live CD uses a compressed loopback filesystem and has support for UML (User Mode Linux) virtual machines. It is a custom installation of Red Hat 9 running kernel 2.4.22 and supporting X11 windows desktop environments of KDE, Gnome and IceWM. The ADIOS live Linux boot CD ISO images are located at the download site /iso/adios. Previous versions of ADIOS and addendums are also available. Before starting, read the ADIOS BootCD Installation Guide. Here is as example of ADIOS BootCD Resource web page."
A new version (3.3-2003-11-19) of the Knoppix live CD has been released. From the changelog: "V3.3-2003-11-19 (Updates) - vpnc (Open Source Cisco client); prelink; qt3-designer; lots of updated packages; removed, for space reasons: selfhtml, sodipodi, abiword, karbon."
A new version of SystemRescueCd has been released. From the changelog: "The system can be installed on an USB stick (128 MB or better); added network tools: iptraf, nmap, pppoeconf, netcat; added support for i810-FrameBuffer (for Dell laptops); updated QtParted to 0.4.1_pre4 (many bugfixes), QtEmbedded to 3.2.3; DAR (Disk Archiver) to 2.0.0; Clam-AntiVirus to 0.65; Ntfsprogs to 1.8.0, ChkRootKit to 0.42b; removed the warning at kernel boot about cud driver; added testdisk, unace, smartmontools, ren, rename; made ISO smaller (removed translation files); an HTML version of the manual is available from the CD-ROM; fixed problems in the FI (finish) keymap." See the distribution's web site to find out more about the project.
Puppy Linux 0.7.8
This is a new release from the Puppy Linux project: "Puppy live-CD version 0.7.8 uploaded. The ISO is now 41MB, and has the 'kitchen sink' in it, including Mozilla web browser and Scribus desktop publishing. Release notes: To run Puppy, just burn the cd-puppy.iso to CD and boot up your PC from the CD. This version of Puppy runs in a 48M ramdisk. Yes, Mozilla, Scribus, everything, the entire filesystem, is in the ramdisk, so no application has to ever be loaded off the hard drive. This means speed, speed, speed! Puppy so far has been developed on a Redhat 8.0 host, however I am now going to investigate rebuilding Puppy from scratch using Slackware 9.1. Slackware is designed to run on a minimum 586 class CPU. Also, I plan to design Puppy to run on PCs with very little RAM, as little as 32M. I'm reluctant to predict anything, as this is basically a fun project and I follow whims, but roughly this is what to expect in the next release." See the complete release announcement.
Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r2
The second revision of Debian Woody has been officially released: "This is the second update of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (codename 'woody') which mainly adds security updates to the stable release, along with a few corrections of serious bugs. Those who frequently update from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update. Please note that this update does not produce a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 but only adds a few updated packages to it. There is no need to throw away 3.0 CDs but only to update against ftp.debian.org after an installation, in order to incorporate those late changes. Upgrading to this revision online is usually done by pointing the 'apt' package tool to one of Debian's many FTP or HTTP mirrors." See the the official announcement for a complete list of changes.
SUSE LINUX 9.0 Download Edition
As reported in last week's DistroWatch Weekly, SUSE LINUX 9.0 is now available for FTP/HTTP installation directly from remote servers. The usual download rush has made many mirrors hard to access, but you can try your luck by searching for an available one on these lists of German and international mirrors. Installation is not difficult; first download the boot.iso (21.7MB) and burn it onto a CD, then boot from it and let the installation program guide you through the process. If you get stuck, you can refer to our earlier review of SUSE LINUX, which includes instructions for FTP installation and other helpful hints.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
College Linux 2.5
College Linux has announced an imminent release of version 2.5, based on Slackware Linux 9.1: "CollegeLinux 2.5. is scheduled to be released on the 30 November next. Still finishing the last details, but it will be worth the wait."
|Web Site News
New on the waiting list
- ViruX. ViruX Linux Live CD is a Swedish distribution based on Linux from Scratch and Knoppix. The ViruX web site is in Swedish. The addition of ViruX has brought the number of distribution in the DistroWatch database to 200.
Removed from the waiting list
- AnNyung. AnNyung is a Korean Linux distribution based on Red Hat Linux.
- LIIS Linux. LIIS Linux is a Latvian Linux distribution based on Skolelinux.
- gnUserLinux. gnUserLinux is a new Debian-based distribution by Bruce Perens. It's pronounced "User Linux", the gn is silent but present in the written form. The name is meant to mean "GNU Linux with the User in the middle." Find out more in What Would UserLinux Look Like? and UserLinux – The Leaning Linux Tower of Babel? by LinuxWorld.
- Correction: KDLC is a Vietnamese Linux live CD based on Mandrake, not on Knoppix as we incorrectly reported last week.
DistroWatch database summary
- BlueSock Linux has not updated their web site since the release of beta 1 on 20 June 2003.
- Number of distributions in the database: 200
- Number of discontinued distributions: 25
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 71
On categorising distributions
This is an updated list which will be used to create a searchable database of distributions based on various categories. Some of the suggested categories have been rejected; as an example, categorising distributions based on memory requirements is difficult since many distributions provide minimum requirements for various usage scenarios. Other rejected suggestion was an "ease of use" category, which is too subjective to have any useful meaning and "speed" category, which would require some extensive benchmarking (and watch for the flames if Gentoo happens to end up on any position other than the very top :-)).
If we left out any category that you would like to see included, please comment below.
- Package management (RPM, DEB, TGZ, SRC...)
- Parent distribution (Red Hat, Debian, Slackware...)
- Architecture (Intel, PowerPC, Alpha, AMD-64...)
- Target hardware (i386, i586, i686, old hardware...)
- Target focus (Server, Desktop, Firewall, Security, Multimedia, Educational, Children...)
- Language (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese...)
- Installation type (text mode, graphical, live CD, floppy-based...)
- Free download (yes, no)
- Default desktop environment (KDE, GNOME, IceWM, Fluxbox...)
Last week's call for a volunteer coder to take over Timesavers has resulted in 4 applications. One of the applicants has already started investigating the file layout and he seems to have accepted the challenge, so things should start moving forward shortly. We'll keep you up-to-date with the progress.
That's all for today, keep well and see you next Monday :-)
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