| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 29, 22 December 2003
Distributions and Linux kernel 2.6.0
How many of you see this when issuing a "uname -r" command?
Probably not many. One reason is that the newly released linux-2.6.0 has only been around for a few days, arriving at a time when people in many parts of the world are preparing for Christmas holidays. But there is a second reason: a switch from linux-2.4 to linux-2.6 appears to be considerably more involved that the previous major change from linux-2.2 to linux-2.4 nearly 3 years ago. But if you desperately want to run the latest kernel without compiling it yourself and (quite possibly) breaking your existing system, what are your choices? In other words, are there any distributions out there supplying the 2.6.0 kernel? Yes, there are. But don't expect a super stable and trouble-free system from any of them.
Users of source-based Linux distributions are traditionally the first ones to get to play with the cutting edge stuff. Indeed, the latest development branches of Gentoo Linux, ROCK Linux and Sorcerer do already provide the 2.6.0 kernel sources for your compiling pleasure. None of them has moved it into their respective stable branches and don't be surprised to see a few glitches after you boot into it for the first time. Of the major distributions, Linux 2.6.0 has been spotted in the Fedora development branch, Mandrake Cooker and in Slackware's current branch in the testing/sources directory. There are still no signs of the new kernel in the Debian unstable branch.
At the moment, possibly the best way to try out the new kernel, together with other bleeding edge features, such as KDE 3.2beta and XFree86 4.4rc1, is to install the new Conectiva snapshot, called Conectiva 10 TP1 (Technology Preview 1). It was released over the weekend and is now available from the distribution's mirror sites as a single 611MB ISO image. The usual warnings apply: don't try this one on a production system. Conectiva 10 TP1 is not even a beta release, it's more like an early alpha of the upcoming Conectiva Linux 10 scheduled for Q2/2004. That said, it is fun to play with the system (despite KDE 3.2 being far too buggy for one's comfort) which gives an excellent indications of things to look forward to in the coming year. Besides Conectiva, Mandrake has also released a similar pre-beta ISO image for early testing, although the kernel version in it is 2.6.0-test11, rather than the stable 2.6.0.
Conectiva Linux 10 TP1 (full image size 312kB)
And while on the subject of the new kernel - no, the latest NVIDIA driver, version 1.0-5328 released today still does not support the 2.6 kernel series. The only way to get it work is to patch it with the minion.de patch before compiling.
Season's Greetings from DistroWatch.com
This issue of DistroWatch Weekly is the final issue of the year 2003 (issue 30 will be published on Monday, 5 January 2004). From the maintainers of DistroWatch.com, we would like to extend our warmest wishes of Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our visitors and contributors. It has been an exciting year in the world of Linux and Open Source Software development and there is little doubt that this excitement will continue after the year-end break. As always, DistroWatch will be here to bring you the latest news, monitor the development activity and generally keep you up-to-date with the ever evolving world of Linux distributions.
Once again, a big thank you for visiting DistroWatch.com and Happy Holidays, wherever you are!
|Released Last Week
LindowsOS version 4.5 has been released: "Lindows.com Inc. announced today the immediate availability of LindowsOS 4.5. This latest version taps into free worldwide calling technology by integrating SIP software into the LindowsOS operating system. LindowsOS 4.5 also delivers remote desktop sharing, integrated search features, and translation tools that place six different languages at users' fingertips." What is SIP? "LindowsOS 4.5 now comes SIP-ready with easy-to-use software, any computer with a microphone and speakers running LindowsOS 4.5 can make free worldwide calls." Read the official press release and check out the new features page for further details. LindowsOS 4.5 is available online for US$49.95 (download) or US$59.95 (retail package).
Xandros Desktop 2.0
Xandros Desktop 2.0 is now shipping. Some of the more interesting features include: "Four-click installation with automatic disk partitioning; industry-leading hardware detection and configuration; drag-and-drop CD burning in Xandros File Manager; ability to run Microsoft Office and other key Windows programs (Deluxe only); seamless sharing of files and resources on Windows networks; single-click access to a huge inventory of free Linux software." Read the official press release and check out the new features page for further details. Xandros Desktop 2.0 is available online for US$39.95 (Standard Edition) or US$89.95 (Deluxe Edition).
DeLi Linux 0.5
DeLi Linux, one of the few distributions designed for old hardware, is now available in version 0.5. From its changelog: "Enhanced delisetup. It is a (almost) complete administration tool now; new tool delipkg for installing software packages; new tool vesaconfig for configuring XFree86 with Xvesa; new xwmconfig for selecting window manager; replaced mc in the base package with the smaller mc-MP; wrote new stuff for delihelp; bugfixes in deliinstall in the root.gz disk; some cleanup of the base package." Read the download and installation instructions for information about how to get DeLi Linux up and running.
K12LTSP Linux 4.0
A brand new K12LTSP Linux, version 4.0 and based on Fedora Core 1, has been released: "K12LTSP 4.0 (K12 Linux Terminal Server Project) released on December 17. K12LTSP is FREE Linux desktop server software with a successful record of saving millions of dollars for schools, public agencies and businesses. Developed in 2001 by Oregon educators as a FREE alternative for schools using the Microsoft Windows(tm) operating system, K12LTSP is now used widely around the world. Version 4.0 represents a significant step forward in speed, ease of use and features. More than 50,000 schools, government agencies and businesses downloaded K12LTSP last year." Read the rest of the press release.
White Box Enterprise Linux 3.0
White Box Enterprise Linux (WBEL) was born from the ashes of Red Hat Linux, to fill the gap between Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Its initial creation was sponsored by the Beauregard Parish Public Library in DeRidder, LA, USA, which had several servers and over fifty workstations running Red Hat Linux and were left high and dry by Red Hat's recent shift in business plan. The WBEL's first initial release, version 3.0, is now available: "WBEL 3.0 final is now available for your downloading pleasure. Movement is happening on AMD64 and IA64 ports. Watch this space for details or join the -devel mailing list and get involved." Visit the distribution's web site for more information.
MandrakeMove, a bootable live CD based on Mandrake Linux 9.2, has been released: "MandrakeMove is available! - MandrakeMove is a special version of Mandrake Linux which focuses on Office/Internet/Multimedia features and comes with a USB-key to save configuration and personal data. And no need to install anything: MandrakeMove is a live CD! Order now at MandrakeStore. Mandrake Club Members benefit from an early access to MandrakeMove Download Edition, and Silver Members and above are offered to download a MandrakeMove ISO with all USB capabilities plus additional commercial add-ons such as RealPlayer, FlashPlayer, NVidia drivers and others." Find out more on the MandrakeMove product page. MandrakeMove costs US$69.90 (inclusive of a 128MB USB key) or US$129 (inclusive of a 256MB USB key).
The first stable version of Nasgaïa has been released: "Nasgaïa-1.0 is now available, it comes on two CDs, the 1st (Nasgaia-1.0.iso) is the installation CD, with binaries. The second one, completely optional (nasgaia_source_1.0.iso), contains the sources of the CD1 plus some extra sources (notably kde3). To celebrate this occasion, we've written an article and an interview that LinuxFrench has kindly published. As you can guess with the site's name, this article is in French." Nasgaïa is a GNOME-centric Linux distribution optimised for the i686 architecture and designed primarily for French speakers.
A Christmas edition of GeeXboX has been released: "It's Christmas time! So comes the new release, ready to be put under Xmas tree :-) Most of the changes are essentially bug fixes and hardware support just to please more and more users. Here's part of the Changelog: new remotes support (this feature was broken in previous release when used with autoplay function); switch MPlayer to 1.0pre3 release and ALSA to 1.0rc2; support for DirectFB video mode; support for 3Dfx cards..." See the rest of the announcement on the distribution's home page.
Source Mage GNU/Linux 0.8
Source Mage GNU/Linux, version 0.8 and code name "Mending", has been released. From the changelog: "sorcery 1.6 is used (no more lockexec); latest stable grimoire; kernel 2.4.23 with XFS patches; raid support, wifi, lvm added (untested)... feedback needed; JFS support added while installing; plain WIP help file during install; depends for eagle driver are available now on base system."
Aurox Linux 9.2
Aurox Linux 9.2, code name "Water" has been released: "Most important updates since Aurox 9.1: OpenOffice.org 1.1 (with Polish and other dictionaries), KDE 3.1.4, GNOME 2.4.1, libxine 1.0.0RC2, MPlayer 1.0pre2. With fluxbox, sylpheed, mozilla-firebird and rox-filer, you can use a graphical environment on slower machines (no KDE or GNOME is needed). New packages: Blender, Sodipodi, Scribus, tools for mobile phones, internet communicators, games (trackballs, pingus, glaxium, enigma)." There are 4 ISO images provided for download with available language choices being French, German, Polish and Spanish. Find out more about the Aurox Linux on the distribution's web site.
A new version of Devil-Linux is now available: "It's time for another maintenance release of Devil-Linux. We mainly updated some sources because of vulnerabilities and fixed some minor issues. Here are the details: jail script now works fine with subdirectories; updated zlib to v1.2.1, vsftpd to v1.2.1, sagator to v20031201, pcmcia-cs to v3.2.7, lftp to v2.6.10, iANS to v2.3.63b, e1000 to v5.2.22, e100 to v2.3.33, cyrus-sasl to v2.1.17, cyrus-imapd to v2.1.16, SpamAssassin to v2.61, cvs to v1.12.4; ownership of /etc isn't changed anymore to root during boot; updated kernel mppe patch (fixes pptp problems); added kernel patch against do_brk vulnerability; fixed dhcrelay init script." See the rest of the announcement for further details.
Puppy Linux 0.7.9
Puppy Linux, version 0.7.9, has been released: "Puppy version 0.7.9 is uploaded. The ISO file is 44.2M. Release notes: This version is still 'Red Hat based', meaning that Puppy requires a i686 class of CPU minimum. Minimum RAM requirement is 128M, except for the new lo-RAM USB installation. There is now a script that makes it very easy to install Puppy on a USB memory device, such as a Flash card. Furthermore, the script has an option of a lo-RAM installation, which will work on PCs with much less than 128M -- a minimum has not yet been tested. This script is in the 'Utilities' menu." Read the rest of the release announcement for additional details.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Fedora Core 2
The Fedora developers have announced a release schedule for the Fedora Core 2, due to enter the beta testing phase on 2 February 2004 and planned to be released on 5 April 2004: "We have set a very aggressive schedule for Fedora Core 2. Red Hat considers two items absolutely 'stop-ship' — that is, we will slip the release if necessary to include them. These two items are the 2.6 Linux kernel and SELinux functionality integrated into the distribution. Other areas of technology that the Fedora Community (Red Hat and third parties together) will focus on will include GNOME 2.6 (tight schedule, particularly dependent on Gtk+ 2.4), KDE 3.2, more Java software using gcj (Ant, Tomcat, Jakarta, Eclipse, but not Mozilla plugins, AWT, or Swing), and integrating work on other architectures (at least AMD64, and possibly also SPARC)." More information on this page.
MIKO GNYO/Linux 1.6
Japan's MIKO GNYO/Linux project has announced that version 1.6 of its Debian-based live CD will be release on 30 December. More information in this roadmap (in Japanese).
|Web Site News
Many thanks to Kostas Tsakaloglou for the Greek translation and Andrius Kurtinaitis for the Lithuanian translation of the site's navigation menus. Anybody interested in further translation, please take a look at this file for instructions.
- White Box Enterprise Linux. What is the goal for White Box Linux? To provide an unencumbered RPM based Linux distribution that retains enough compatibility with Red Hat Linux to allow easy upgrades and to retain compatibility with their errata SRPMs. Being based off of RHEL3 means that a machine should be able to avoid the upgrade treadmill until October 2008 since RHEL promises errata availability for five years from date of initial release and RHEL3 shipped in Oct 2003. Or more briefly, to fill the gap between Fedora and RHEL. Why was White Box Linux created? White Box Linux's initial creation has been sponsored by the Beauregard Parish Public Library in DeRidder, LA USA out of self interest. We have several servers and over 50 workstations running Red Hat Linux and were left high and dry by their recent shift in business plan. Our choices were a difficult migration to another distribution or paying Red Hat an annual fee greater than the amortized value of our hardware. So we chose a third path, made possible by the power of Open Source.... White Box Linux.
- vnlinuxCD. vnlinuxCD is a Vietnamese live CD Linux distribution based on Mandrake Linux.
- STUX GNU/Linux . STUX GNU/Linux is a Linux system that runs from a CDROM; STUX can automatically load and save main configuration and personal files on a writable partition. It is based on Slackware Linux.
New on the waiting list
- LinuxInstall.org. The LinuxInstall.org distribution has been discontinued: "It's been a great year for LinuxInstall.org Project where I learned so much about Linux Distribution and Linux Community. I'm so proud of being in this community and I want to continue to be part of the community and be more active in this community. So I've decided to become Fedora Project Community Service Provider instead of being independent Linux Distribution Personal Project." Find more information here. LinuxInstall.org has been retired to the Discontinued Distributions and removed from all statistics.
Removed from the waiting list
- Ignalum Linux. "Ignalum Linux distributions are designed from the ground-up specifically for enterprise computing. Ignalum is located in Markham, Ontario, Canada. The privately held company was founded in the year 2002 with a vision of creating a cost-effective, installation-friendly, complete Linux-based operating environment offering full Windows compatibility. Ignalum is dedicated to the development and promotion of Linux-based operating systems and applications."
- Orangecell.org Linux. Orangecell.org is a fast, easy to configure distribution that is compiled from source Code (Like Gentoo LINUX). It has an intuitive user interface for retrieving and installing packages. It autodetects the best available settings for your machine and compiles from that.
DistroWatch database summary
System-Down Linux. There has been no stable release and very little activity on the distribution's web site during the past 6 months.
- Number of distributions in the database: 221
- Number of discontinued distributions: 26
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 65
On page hit ranking
"I am just curious why there is sudden huge drop in number of clicks on most distribution pages. Has there been any change in the way you are collecting stats or are the users not interested in checking out."
The above question came from a visitor from Pakistan and here is the explanation: this is normal before and during the Christmas holidays. People need to do cleaning, shopping, preparing... Christmas is the biggest holiday in the Christian world and the majority of DistroWatch visitors do come from Christian countries (America, Europe, Australia...). There is nothing to worry about it, the drop is perfectly normal at this time of the year.
With this note, we'll close for today and for the year 2003. See you all on 5 January 2004, with DistroWatch Weekly, issue 30!
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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