| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 31, 12 January 2004
Welcome to this year's second edition of DistroWatch Weekly. Our apologies to all those who have had trouble visiting this site over the past week - this was caused by a failure of one of the machines providing DNS services for DistroWatch.com. The domain is resolving again, but in case a similar problem happens in the future, just a reminder that you can still visit us at http://18.104.22.168.
Xandros - a community player?
The first reviews of the recently released Xandros Desktop 2.0 are in and it is nice to see that the product continues to gather praise. With all its usability enhancements and innovative approach to desktop computing, Xandros Desktop has quite possibly done more than any other Linux company to bring our favourite operating system closer to non-technical users as a viable replacement for Windows. As such, Xandros deserves our admiration.
But product quality aside, there is one dark aspect of the company that is rarely mentioned in reviews: Xandros's involvement -- or lack, thereof -- in the Linux and Open Source Software developer community. It is a well-known fact that Red Hat employs a famous kernel developer, or that SUSE sponsors KDE and ALSA. Even some smaller Linux companies are actively contributing, a good example of which is Lindows.com's sponsorship of Gaim and other Open Source projects. These types of sponsorship deals benefit all of us - one doesn't need to be a Red Hat, SUSE or LindowsOS user to take advantage of the new features in the Linux kernel or the improved cross-platform compatibility in the latest version of the popular instant messenger. But what about Xandros? Besides the general "bug fix contributions" and a few proprietary, undistributable and closed-source applications, what exactly has Xandros done to contribute to the development of Linux and Free Software? Has it sponsored any Open Source project? Has it released any of its own work under GPL? No, as far as we know, it has not.
Given the above, should we, as a community of Linux users, support a company which bases its products on Linux and other Open Source Software without making any solid effort to contribute back? Or should we just accept that Xandros is a business, which needs to make a profit to survive and therefore is not expected to do us any favours? It would be nice if the company was capable of sponsoring third-party projects or willing to release some of its own code for the benefit of the rest of us, but is this a realistic expectation? Please discuss below.
SystemRescueCD for partition management
Have you ever needed to make some major changes to your hard disk partitions and wondered which tool to use? If so, forget the US$70 Partition Magic and download the free SystemRescueCD instead. It comes with two excellent graphical partitioning tools, which can be used without installing and configuring XFree86 (they work with the help of QtEmbedded). These are QtParted and PartGui. Between them, they are capable of creating, formatting, deleting and resizing many partition types, including FAT, NTFS, ext2/ext3, ReiserFS, JFS and XFS (resizing of JFS or XFS is not supported) and manage other aspects of your hard disks. All partition management is done in a nice graphical environment, very similar to Partition Magic itself, except that the SystemRescueCD is a lot more functional and it costs exactly zero dollars.
While the partitioning ability of SystemRescueCD is probably its most interesting feature, the CD comes with a number of other interesting utilities. One of them is Partimage, a Ghost/DriveImage clone for Linux, which is able to save and restore any partition of a hard disk into an image file. Also included are many file system and archiving tools, as well as a CD burning utility and even a free virus scanning program - Clam Anti-Virus. See these screenshots and read about the product's features for further information.
The latest version of SystemRescueCD is 0.2.9 and you can download it from here (the ISO image is about 80MB in size).
MadPenguin.org turns one
"It was one year ago today (12:00AM January 12, 2003) that Mad Penguin officially came online. In that time, we have covered more ground than similar sites that have been around for many more years. In short, we have kicked some serious penguin booty, and we have all of you to thank for it... our readers. It seems like only yesterday that MadHunter emailed me proclaiming that we had 12 users online at the same time. It was such a big accomplishment at the time considering that we were running the site on an old server out of my third bedroom on a cable connection. Soon, the site took off and it took over my Internet connection with its bandwidth usage."
This is a good time to open a bottle of your favourite beverage and celebrate: MadPenguin.org is definitely one of the more imaginative Linux web sites on the Internet: with original content, comprehensive reviews, wealth of tips and tricks and other useful information, it is worth a bookmark and a daily visit! Congratulations and many happy returns!
|Released Last Week
A new bug fix release of the SLAX live CD is now available: "This release is mainly a bug fix one, but there are also some new features. The most interesting news are: fixed USB mouse detection; added floppy automounting; fixed dbdiff (configsave and configrestore); added auto-configrestore from flashdisk or floppy or disc partition; added kdepim (kmail etc); added Czech (cs), German (de), Brazilian (pt_BR) and French (fr) KDE language support; fixed loadlin (DOS) parameters, I didn't test it yet but it should boot from DOS; modified HorizSync in X config file to get better display." The full changelog.
Onebase Linux 2004
The Onebase Linux project has unveiled a new web site, as well as a new release - Onebase Linux 2004: "We are pleased to announce this new revolutionary Onebase Linux release that incorporates lots of new features and major changes in its package manager." Read the rest of the official announcement.
Devil-Linux has been updated: "Due to the new kernel vulnerability I released version 1.0.4 of Devil-Linux. Changes: removed gcc, binutils, distcc from standard; backported kernel 2.4.24 patches (rtc info leak, mremap vulnerability); upgrade-config now correctly sets directory permissions and owner/group; jail script has new command DELETE; domino jail script now empties the lib and etc directories before creating the jail..." See the rest of the changelog.
A new version of SystemRescueCD has been released. From the changelog: "Updated the kernel to Linux-2.4.23; added several floppy disk images: FreeDOS, Memtest, Gag; added LDE (Linux Disk editor); added sys-apps/ms-sys (Like the DOS "sys" command); updated Samba to 3.0.1; updated QTParted to 0.4.1 (many bug fixes); updated partimage to 0.6.3_beta14 (bug fixes); many minor updates."
After two release candidates, the new GoboLinux 010 has been released: "A new look for a new era! GoboLinux 010 is out, with lots of improvements over 007. Among the new features are: a new installer, hardware detection, new custom themes. As usual, a number of packages were also upgraded." Visit the GoboLinux web site to read the announcement and to find out more about the project.
MandrakeSoft's live CD product, MandrakeMove is now available for free download: "Everything for Office, Multimedia and Internet on a single live CD: the final version of MandrakeMove Download Edition is now publicly available for download. Make your Windows friends discover how powerful and friendly Mandrake Linux is: this couldn't be easier than with MandrakeMove! MandrakeMove also offers a commercial version with handling of a USB stick that automatically stores personal data. Now available for purchase at MandrakeStore."
AL-AMLUG Live CD 0.4
The AL-AMLUG project has released a new version of the AL-AMLUG Live CD: "A new release of the Arch Linux based distribution of AL-AMLUG Live CD 0.4 is now available for download. Version 0.4 is a compressed file system (zisofs), running a bit faster. It's an 376MB ISO image (before 693MB) with more programs (XMMS multimedia player, pppconfig and nfs-utils), upgraded hardware detection, improved HD installer with network configure script, and a new font (ttf-ms-fonts) setting." Read the official announcement and further details at the AMLUG Project Logbook.
Buffalo Linux 1.1.0
Buffalo Linux 1.1.0 has been released: "This MAJOR release includes five kernels, all based on 2.4.24. Also includes the available updates from Slackware 'current'. Many bug fixes and much better integration with Codeweavers' CrossOver Office. Also available as separate downloads are the 2.4.24 kernels for: i486, i586, i686, ipent3, ipent4 -- these can be used to upgrade the earlier 'rc3' to the latest kernel (if desired). The 1.1.x series will continue code cleanup and patches and will likely include a kernel 2.6 option in later releases."
OpenDesktop is a product of OpenDesktop.net, an open source developer community of Chinese software developers. The project is sponsored by several large software companies, universities and research centres from around China. The OpenDesktop distribution is designed for business and home desktop market and its main features are simplified installation procedure, high compatibility with Windows and ease of use. It is based on Fedora Core and released under GPL. The project's first stable version was released over the weekend, and is now available for download. More information at OpenDesktop.net (in simplified Chinese).
The Professional Hacker's Linux Assault Kit (PHLAK) project has announced a new updated release of PHLAK, version 0.2-1: "PHLAK 0.2-1 released! Some of the major bug fixes include: ifconfig issue when installed fixed; documents with formatting problems fixed; includes some new Knoppix autodetection scripts; many more... A few new features are: a cleanup of the 'cruft' (that's why it's a smaller ISO, don't worry all the tools are still there); document system redesigned and more docs added; added option to the syslinux option screen (phlak desktop=sneaky)..." Read the rest of the announcement.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Aurox Linux 9.3
Aurox is working on a new Aurox Linux release, version 9.3: "This release will contain many changes. First of all, Aurox 9.3 will be based on Fedora Core. Since Red Hat stopped developing their distribution we cannot base our work on Red Hat 9, which will be soon outdated. We believe that free community spirit will help the Fedora Project. Aurox 9.3 (and further) will have all the features that were present in previous versions: multimedia support (MP3, DVD, all kinds of video files), educational software, games. Since the very beginning of Aurox we emphasised language support -- Aurox 9.3 will have Polish installer as usual (a feature still missing in Fedora). Aurox 9.3 will provide KDE with its original look & feel and a "Light Desktop" for slower machines. Expected release date: 15 March 2004. If you want to help, visit our site and subscribe to aurox-devel list!"
The AGNULA GNU Audio Distribution project is entering its final testing phase before the release of version 1.1.0: "As we approach the release of AGNULA/DeMuDi 1.1.0 (which should hopefully go out on Jan 15, 2004) we'd like to spread awareness on the availability of the debian packages we've been working on in the past weeks. These packages are built against a frozen snapshot of Debian Unstable (and specifically, the snapshot frozen at 15/11/2003) but they should work on Sarge systems too, as there hasn't been any major upgrade between the two. They won't work without major overhaul on Debian Woody systems, unfortunately - please read our information about how to use a subset of our Debian packages installing from CD or installing over the network on a stable Debian system." Read the rest of the announcement.
|Web Site News
Many thanks to Dino F Avdibegovic for his translation of DistroWatch navigation menus and common phrases into Bosnian. If you'd like to see this site in your language, please take a look at this page for further information.
Thanks to the effort by HackerThreads.com and their talented graphics designers, we are pleased to offer you the official DistroWatch T-shirt! It costs US$16.95 (that's close to nothing in euro terms nowadays :-), and wearing it will make you the object of enormous envy of any passers-by, as well as an instant attraction by the opposite sex. Guaranteed, or your money back! But even if you are not interested in buying one, do take a look at it - you'll more than likely agree that it's one of the better Linux T-shirts out there!
- JoLinux Linux. JoLinux is a Brazilian Linux distribution designed for desktop use. It is based on Slackware Linux.
- Kalango Linux. Kalango Linux is a Brazilian Linux distribution designed for desktop use. It is based on Kurumin and uses the Debian package management tools.
- ASLinux. ASLinux is a Spanish desktop Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux.
- Bluewall GNU Linux. Bluewall is a GNU/Linux Distribution that allows you to install a system from a small set of preconfigured binary packages based on Debian GNU/Linux (stable/unstable). Bluewall doesn't have any specific installation procedure, the idea behind it is that you can get installed GNU/Linux in the way you want, using command line tools and treating every part of the OS as modular as possible. Bluewall is a minimalistic live CD distribution for x86 platforms.
- OpenDesktop Linux. OpenDesktop is a product of OpenDesktop.net, an open source developer community of Chinese developers. The project is sponsored by several large software companies, universities and research centres from around China. The OpenDesktop distribution is designed for business and home desktop market and its main features are simplified installation procedure, high compatibility with Windows and ease of use. It is based on Fedora Core and released under GPL.
- Soyombo. Soyombo is a Mongolian live CD distribution based on Morphix and built by the OpenMN project. The OpenMN project is also working on Mongolian support for GNOME, KDE, OpenOffice.org and other applications.
Soyombo - a Linux distribution with support for Mongolian (full image size 711kB)
New on the waiting list
Removed from the waiting list
DistroWatch database summary
- FRUSTIX. FRUSTIX is a live CD Linux OS which can be booted right off of a CD drive. Booting from this CD gives you a complete basic Linux with some applications and games.
- Number of distributions in the database: 236
- Number of discontinued distributions: 26
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 61
DistroWatch in Investor's Business Daily
No, we are not ready for an IPO just yet, but we were still pleased to see that Investor's Business Daily took interest in Linux distributions in its article entitled "Smaller Versions Of Linux Start Popping Up". Besides mentioning your favourite Linux web site, the author also talks about Puppy Linux, Damn Small Linux, LinuxInstall.org and a few other Linux distributions. The article is available to subscribers only at investors.com.
- A reader wrote: "Congratulations on being quoted in today's (Jan 8, 2004) edition of Investor's Business Daily."
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
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|• 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|
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|• 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|
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|• 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|
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|• 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|
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|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Issue 682 (2016-10-10): KDE neon 20160915, Android-x86 6.0, Fedora warns of update bug, HandyLinux drops English translation, LXQt benchmarks|
|• Issue 681 (2016-10-03): OpenBSD 6.0, DragonFly BSD to support LibreSSL in ports, systemd denial of service bug, upgraded Mintbox Mini|
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|• Issue 678 (2016-09-12): Apricity 07.2016, Mageia adopts DNF, KDE neon to use Wayland, FreeBSD updates Linux compatibility, creating cron jobs|
|• Issue 677 (2016-09-05): Peppermint OS 7, Manjaro updates leadership, TrueOS becomes rolling release, organizing files, creating torrents|
|• Issue 676 (2016-08-29): Korora 24, Fedora 25 to use Wayland by default, Linux turns 25, PC-BSD becomes TrueOS, finding software licensing information|
|• Issue 675 (2016-08-22): Gentoo LiveDVD "Choice Edition", moreutils, Ubuntu improves terminal convergence, MATE packaged for Openindiana, FreeBSD improves video support|
|• Issue 674 (2016-08-15): Zenwalk Linux 8.0, Ubuntu phone follow-up, Lubuntu transitioning to LXQt, Steam running on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 673 (2016-08-03): noop linux and EasyNAS, Debian's GnuPG switch, Fedora "Flock", using "nice"|
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|• Issue 671 (2016-07-25): Slackware 14.2, Point Linux 3.2, OpenBSD disables usermount, KaOS releases significant changes, Fedora 22 reaches end of life.|
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|• Issue 669 (2016-07-11): Linux Mint 18, proving a system is secure, LibreSSL in FreeBSD, Ubuntu plans phasing out 32-bit, pfSense status report|
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|• Issue 667 (2016-06-27): GeckoLinux 421, Fedora supports Flatpak, Solus unveils new features, running GNU/Linux on tablets|
|• Issue 666 (2016-06-20): Comparing more live update methods, Ubuntu's snap packages, Antergos drops 32-bit media, GeckoLinux unveils Rolling edition, learning Linux resources|
|• Issue 665 (2016-06-13): BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen, Fedora 24 delayed, NetBSD grows in size, Clonezilla questions|
|• Issue 664 (2016-06-06): Sabayon 16.05, Debian updates install media, the cost of free software, Qubes explains secure build process|
|• Issue 663 (2016-05-30): Comparing live update methods, Ubuntu MATE's progress, distros debate systemd change, DistroWatch turns 15|
|• Issue 662 (2016-05-23): Clonezilla Live, new Fedora community repository, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland, a live edition of Slackware and kernel components|
|• Full list of all issues|
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