| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 27, 8 December 2003
Anaconda for Debian
Has any of you tried the port of Red Hat's Anaconda installer to Debian? For those who don't know, this is a project by Ian Murdoch's Progeny with the goal of making a Debian installation easy, graphical and painless by using the Anaconda installer originally developed by Red Hat and released under GPL. Last week, Progeny released the first beta of the new installer, together with two CDs' worth of Debian Sarge files. These can be downloaded from the project's information page, which also explains the reasons behind the decision to port Anaconda to Debian and current status:
"Anaconda for Debian is functional but incomplete. So far, we have changed the code that installs software to use APT instead of RPM, removed Red Hat–specific configuration hooks, and written a new tool called picax that builds Anaconda-based installation CDs from a Debian repository. Many other features are not yet working, however; please read the errata carefully before downloading Anaconda for Debian. Use in a production environment is not yet recommended."
An excellent first look at the two new Debian installers - the official one and the Anaconda port has recently been published by LWN.
Lindows fights AIDS
The picture below is taken from a news site reporting about the recent launch of LindowsCD in Japan. The event was combined with a campaign to create awareness about the dangers of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Although I could think of a few countries with a more urgent need to combat AIDS than Japan, it is always nice to see a Linux company sponsoring such an event. More pictures and a report (in Japanese) can be found here.
|Released Last Week
ThePacketMaster Security Server 1.1.0
A new version of ThePacketMaster has been released: "New Release of Security Server...again. It seems like I did this just last week. (Oh wait, I did.) The new release of the TPM security server, 1.1.0, is out. It includes: Kernel 2.4.23 to address issues found in 2.4.22 and earlier. For more information, see Isec Security Research; added wlan-ng wireless drivers for support of Prism2 chipset; added partimage for ghosting capabilities. If you have any suggestions about other security related packages you would like to see in the next version of TPM, please let me know using the feedback form." Read the rest of the announcement.
Version 3.1 of the ResNet USB Network Tester, or RUNT for short, has been released: "RUNT 3.1 has been released. The kernel has been updated to 2.4.23. A module is now available for the Cypress SL811HS USB host controller. I know nothing about this device or what uses it, so I did not include it on the bootdisk for this release. If it would be useful to anyone to be able to boot a USB storage device connected with such a controller, please email me and I will include this in future releases." See the full announcement on the distribution's web site.
AL-AMLUG Live CD 0.3 is out: "A new version of AL-AMLUG Live CD has been released with new features and packages. Version 0.3 is designed to act as a workstation for persons using temporary computers (when travelling, working in the field or don't own a computer) to access mail and to work with documents and accounts. With a 64MB or higher capacity thumb drive, it acts like a PC with customized user ID to save files and emails and more. It includes KDE, KOffice, Scribus desktop publishing, Opera web browser and email client, Quanta web development tool, Apache, PHP, MySQL, CUPS printer daemon and QTParted (a Partition Magic clone)." Read the complete announcement and visit the distribution's project page for further information and screenshots.
MEPIS Linux 2003.10.01
The MEPIS Linux project has released an updated to is 2003.10 release to correct installation issues: "Today, MEPIS LLC announced the release of MEPIS Linux 2003.10.01. This is a minor update to 2003.10 CD #1 primarily with changes to address installation time issues. The change log is here. If you have successfully installed MEPIS Linux 2003.10, you do not require this update. If you have never installed MEPIS Linux or if you encountered difficulties installing an earlier version of MEPIS Linux on a particular machine, you are invited and encouraged to try this updated version." The updated ISO is only available via BitTorrent at present, although it should start appearing on mirrors within the next day or two.
Lorma Linux 4
Lorma 4 has been released. New features: "First Distro based on Fedora Core (outside of Red Hat)! Scenario Chooser allows user to specify an installation scenario during installation; 5 installation scenarios. Optimized for i686 faster for today's computers; try it! Automount CD and floppy, instant access to CD and Floppy with one click; no mounting commands necessary, click and go! Flash plug-in fully integrated into Konqueror and Mozilla, no additional configuration required. DivX 5 codec fully integrated into Xine and MPlayer. K3B CD/DVD writer - awesome CD/DVD burning software. Synaptic online update graphical system and software updates for instant online updates...." Read the long list of features on the distribution's home page.
A new version of CRUX, a lightweight, i686-optimised Linux distribution targeted at experienced Linux users, has been released: "CRUX 1.3 released. See the change log for a complete list of new and updated packages. Go to the download section to download the ISO image (~194MB). Please use a mirror. Changes: USB 2.0 support added; USB storage support added; modules for most network cards added; new packages: opt/expat 1.95.7, opt/firebird 0.7, opt/fontconfig 2.2.1; removed packages: opt/mozilla (replaced by opt/firebird)..." Read the announcement and see the rest of the change log for further information.
Vine Linux 2.6r3
A new revision of Vine Linux 2.6 for i386 processors has been released. This version incorporates all security updates since the release of Vine Linux 2.6r1, including the recently discovered kernel, gnupg and rsync exploits. Detailed information about other security and bug fixes, as well as other changes can be found in the official announcement on the distribution's home page (in Japanese).
BLAG is a new Linux distribution on our list. BLAG (BLAG Linux And GNU) is a single CD product based on Red Hat 9 with many useful applications missing from the original Red Hat Linux (e.g. mp3, p2p, apt...). Version 9001 was released over the weekend: "BLAG9001 is an updated release of BLAG9000. The major changes are lots of Red Hat errata fixes (new kernel, new XFree86, new glibc), some BLAG package updates, and a handful of new packages. If you are running 9000, you can get all of these updates via apt-get or synaptic." Read the rest of the announcement.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
SmoothWall Express 2.0
The SmoothWall project has announced that SmoothWall Express 2.0 final will be released on 8 December: "We're still plowing on with deltic testing and fixing - thanks again to all those on the team and in the community who have helped with this - your input has been invaluable. That's the bad news, here's the good news - we have set a confirmed date (and time!) for the final ISO release of SmoothWall Express 2.0 - 1700 GMT Monday 8th December 2003. Keep an eye on the main site next week for more news and updates!" Read the rest of the announcement.
Gentoo Linux 2004
The Gentoo Linux project has published a new roadmap for the year 2004, setting a quarterly release schedule: "The next official release of Gentoo Linux will adopt a new year-based versioning scheme and will be called Gentoo Linux 2004. It will be released in January 2004. It will also mark our transition to a quarterly (four times per annum) release schedule. As of 4 Oct 2003, there has been one maintenance release for 1.4 for x86, and a maintenance release for PowerPC is currently being created and will be available soon. After this, efforts will be directed towards Gentoo Linux 2004." All the details of the new roadmap are available here.
|Web Site News
Many thanks to Larry Nguyen who have translated parts of the site into Vietnamese. Larry is currently working on a Mandrake-based live CD with Vietnamese support called KDLC Linux; a first release candidate of KDLC Linux is now available for download from the ibiblio mirror. Another "thank you" goes to Alan Bachumian, who has translated some of the commonly used phrases on DistroWatch into Farsi (Persian, the language of Iran). Alan has recently written a review of Shabdix (in Farsi), a Knoppix-based live CD created by the Iran Linux User Group.
Anybody interested in further translation, please take a look at this file for instructions.
How to submit new distributions
It is time to face the facts: the number of Linux distributions is growing at an alarming rate. On average, around 3 - 4 new distributions are submitted to this site every week, a fact that makes maintaining the individual pages and monitoring new releases increasingly time consuming. The DistroWatch database now lists a total of 213 Linux distributions (of which 24 have been officially discontinued) with 67 more on the waiting list. It is no longer easy to keep up. A solution? If you have put together a Linux distribution or if you have a personal favourite which has yet to be listed here, please use our new distribution submission form. Fill it in as completely and accurately as possible and your distribution will be listed within 24 hours. Please note, that floppy-based, embedded and Windows-based distributions are still excluded from listing on DistroWatch.
You can also help with completing some missing pieces. Many people are asking about the package list of the recently released MandrakeMove; unfortunately, the only way to find out is to download the ISO image, burn it onto a CD, boot into it, run "rpm -qa" and save the resulting file onto a previously mounted partition. Quite a time consuming task. If any of you happen to use MandrakeMove and would like to help to complete the information, please email me the output of "rpm -qa". This command works on most RPM-based distributions, while on Debian-based systems one can obtain a package list by executing "dpkg -l". If anybody knows how to get a list of installed packages on a Slackware-based system, please leave a comment below.
Thank you, your help is much appreciated!
New on the waiting list
- BLAG Linux And GNU. BLAG is a Linux distribution based on Red Hat Linux 9 and reduced to one CD. It includes useful applications missing from Red Hat Linux (e.g. mp3, p2p, apt, etc...), as well as a suite of graphics, internet, audio, video, office, and peer-to-peer file sharing applications. BLAG is up-to-date with all Red Hat errata fixes at time of release and uses synaptic for easy upgrades. The name stands for Brixton Linux Action Group, which works to overthrow corporate control of information and technology through community action and to spread Free Software.
- Buffalo Linux. Buffalo Linux is a derivative distribution based on Vector and Slackware. It is targeted at the small business workstation market. This is the free base version; enhanced versions with pre-installed database access (DB2 and Oracle) and Microsoft product execution using CodeWeavers products are available at US$25 over licensing costs.
- cAos. cAos is a Linux distribution created by the community, for the community. The purpose is to provide a stable rpm based Linux solution for organisations and individuals that do not need or want to purchase their Linux solution or support for it. The kernel and almost every application that makes up a Linux distribution are free and supported by their respective development groups. cAos is simply a project that allows them to integrate together into a usable product. This distribution is focused on becoming an enterprise level community produced solution.
- Feather Linux. Feather Linux is a Linux distribution based upon Knoppix 3.3, which can fit on a 50MB CD. It aims to have a wide range of desktop applications and to be relatively simple to use and set up. Its target market is anyone who wants a small Linux CD they can carry around, or for older machines.
- Gentoox. Gentoox is an adaptation of the popular Linux distribution called Gentoo. It is compiled from Stage 1 with full optimisations to run on a Microsoft Xbox games console. Software or hardware mods are required.
- KnoppMyth. KnoppMyth is an attempt to make the installation of GNU/Linux and MythTV as trivial as possible. It includes everything needed to get your set-top box up and running in as little time as possible. KnoppMyth is based on Knoppix. It is targeted at anyone looking for a set-top box solution.
- Linux LiveCD Router. Linux LiveCD Router allows you to share your broadband connection and use DSL, ADSL, cable modem, T1, fixed IPs, ISDN, dial-up, WIFI, build you own access point and more. Free download!
- MUMi-LinuX. MUMi-LinuX is a Linux distribution for dedicated servers and desktops, developed by Muammer Altuntas, Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus. It uses TAR.GZ packages and is optimised for the i686 architecture. MUMi-LinuX Desktop is an easy-to-use Live CD with an option to install it on hard disk.
DistroWatch database summary
- Condorux. Condorux is a Peruvian Linux live CD based on Knoppix; the web site is in Spanish.
- Ehad. Ehad is a single CD remastering of Mandrake with full Hebrew support.
- Generations Linux. Generations Linux™ is a GNU/Linux distribution that boots and runs completely from CD-ROM media. It includes a large base of powerful recent Linux software and desktop environments, including the lastest Linux kernel,v 2.4.22 with XFS support, the K Desktop Environment (KDE) with office tools, games, multimedia, graphics, productivity, software development, Internet, and support for laptops.
- OpenGET. OpenGET is a Chinese Linux live CD based on Morphix; web site in simplified Chinese.
- ASLinux. ASLinux is a new commercial Debian-based distribution made in Spain.
- Number of distributions in the database: 213
- Number of discontinued distributions: 24
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 67
On DistroWatch T-shirts and mugs
"I think you should consider a DistroWatch T-shirt where someone else does the hard work and part of the price goes to your site. I'd buy a DistroWatch T-shirt. There are a few places that will sell a t-shirt if you send the logo and give you about one third of the retail. Can't remember any off the top of my head but they exist."
Is anybody interested in setting this up? CafePress.com seems like a good place to offer DistroWatch merchandise, but any other web site offering similar service will be fine. I don't think I have the time to get this going, but if you are interested in helping out, please get in touch (email address at the bottom of the page). You will get to keep 75% of the profits.
That's all for today, keep well and see you next Monday :-)
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