| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 33, 26 January 2004
Welcome to this year's fourth edition of DistroWatch Weekly. If you are wondering why it comes out later than usual, the reason is simple: since many people have been complaining about the web site's pages loading very slowly recently, I decided to spend some time to look through the PHP code and identify the bottlenecks. It turned out that main reason for the site loading slowly was a function translating common phrases into various languages based on visitor's IP address or language preference. This function was fine back in early days when we only offered a handful of linguas, but it became inadequate now that we support some 34 languages. The code rewrite required quite a bit of effort and you should find it worthwile, since the script's execution speed seems to have increased considerably. If, however, you find any bugs due to the new code, please let us know.
Now that this is out of the way, let's get on with the regular program.
Are you happy with your current distribution?
DistroWatch tends to attract two types of visitors. One of them comes here to look for a particular distribution to satisfy a particular requirement, while the other is simply interested in the latest news, development and in keeping up-to-date with ideas and innovation comming from the Open Source community. But do we have a third type? Users looking to replace their existing distribution with a new, "better" one?
In other words, how satisfied are you with your present distribution? This would be an interesting idea for a poll to see how happy the users of the main Linux distributions are with their current products. Unfortunately, polls like that tend to be limiting in choices, so perhaps a forum discussion is a better option. First, let's venture out and do a bit of guesswork, based on discussions on various public mailing lists and user forums. It is probably not too far from the truth to say that users of Slackware, Debian, and probably also Gentoo, are the ones least likely to consider a switch. On the other end of the spectrum, the level of dissatisfaction, as well as uncertainty with the state of the Fedora Project, quality of the recent releases of Mandrake Linux seem to indicate that users of those two distributions are more likely to consider a new one.
As an example, news about last week's beta releases of Mandrake 10.0 PCLinuxOS 2K4 were posted on the main page at about the same time, but during the hours following the announcements, more people checked out the PCLinuxOS page than the Mandrake page. Given the worrying signals that have been coming out of MandrakeSoft (see Is Mandrake pulling a Red Hat?), would you consider switching to a completely free, community-developed "clone" of Mandrake Linux from a well-established, but commercial Mandrake proper? Or do you intend to support Mandrake no matter what? Please discuss bellow.
As reported by Linux Weekly News, Slashdot and other publications, Cooperative Linux (or coLinux for short) is a new product that makes it possible to run Linux from within Windows 2000/XP. According to the information on the coLinux's web site, "coLinux is a port of the Linux kernel that allows it to run cooperatively alongside another operating system on a single machine. For instance, it allows one to freely run Linux on Windows 2000/XP, without using a commercial PC virtualisation software such as VMware." As such, coLinux is a modified Linux kernel, not a complete Linux distribution; you will still need a third-party distribution (Knoppix and Debian have been tested to work with coLinux) to take advantage of this new tool. Still, it sounds like a very interesting product, so if you'd like to try it, here is the link to the coLinux's download page at SourceForge.
|Released Last Week
Feather Linux 0.3.3
Feather Linux 0.3.3 has been released: "Changelog from 0.3.2 to 0.3.3: fixed SciTE; added Firebird and OpenOffice.org install scripts; added mount.app, portmap and nfs-common, and chntpw; changed default Fluxbox theme; updated Sylpheed to 0.9.8a; added proxy configuration option to setup; added script to save configuration to a floppy." The full changelog.
Gibraltar Firewall 1.2
This is a new version of Gibraltar Firewall. From the changelog: "Version 1.2, published 2004-01-20. This is a usability release, targeting many small enhancements for the web interface. The base system has not changed, users of the free version thus do not need to update. Added the possibility to delete multiple entries in element groups. Added the possibility to move rules from one line to a dedicated line number in the Firewall and NAT modules. Added the information of the current track in the form for creating a new rule (Firewall and NAT module)...."
STUX GNU/Linux 0.6.2
A new version of STUX GNU/Linux is out. From the changelog: "Version 0.6.2 released. Changes: corrected a permission problem on scanner device file; syslog daemon is configurable; it is now possible to install STUX on hard disk without a missing STUX configuration; g++ added." To download the new release, please visit the distribution's download page to accept the STUX download agreement (the ISO file size is 618MB). STUX is a Linux live CD based on Slackware Linux.
Burapha Linux 5.3.1
Burapha Linux 5.3.1, a Slackware-based Linux distribution from Thailand, has been released: "Welcome to Burapha Linux 5.3.1. This is a derivative of the Slackware 9.1 distribution. It has been modified with a new easy installation process, and contains some slackware-current (and other) updates. It also has some GPL software written by students at Burapha University. Changes: This release does not include OfficeTLE since we could not build it. We hope to include OfficeTLE in the next release. Upgrade to alsa 1.0.1..." The home page of Burapha Linux provides a complete list of changes.
A new version of Flonix is available: "This version is a big step in the usability by everyone. The graphic interface has been completely changed in order to be very easy and pleasant to use. New plugins are also available in menus and Flonix is now smaller than 60MB, but is complete and functional." See the changelog for further information.
Knoppix STD 0.1
The first stable version of Knoppix STD has been released: "I'm pleased to announce Knoppix-STD 0.1. Boot the CD and hit Alt-F7 for an introduction to the new features." Knoppix-STD is a Knoppix-based live CD with a customised Linux kernel (2.4.21 with NTFS read & write, OpenMosix, and SuperFreeSwan patches), Fluxbox window manager, incredible hardware detection and hundreds of applications. With the focus on information security and network management, Knoppix STD is meant to be used by both the novice looking to learn more about security and the security professional looking for another Swiss army knife.
Lunar Linux 1.3.3
Lunar Linux has been updated to version 1.3.3: "An updated Lunar install/rescue ISO is now available. Linux kernel 2.4.24 based. glibc recompiled with 2.4.24 kernel headers. No more /usr/include/linux symlinks to /usr/src/linux. SATA is supported in the kernel on the ISO. More kernel modules for ethernet, SCSI, IDE, fusion, firewire, USB, ppp now included on the ISO. BitchX is now included. For full details of all the changes please see ISO.Changelog. A xdelta patch is also available from 1.3.2 ISO to the 1.3.3 ISO." Read the rest of the official announcement.
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
SME Server 6.1
The first community-driven release of SME Server (also known as e-smith) is under preparation, with a planned beta release within the next week or two: "Here is the work remaining and the approximate timeline for a release candidate. Much of the work that has been done has been largely cosmetic. The most obvious change has been posted in Screenshots as the Server-Manager interface. There have been some bug fixes worked on along the way. Many of those should have already been entered in to the Bug Tracker. All source will be available along with the release. This is a starting point for the project. In order to make *any* changes or even properly compile an ISO for release we had to put together a team of volunteers. We also had to develop infrastructure and process to coordinate these efforts. It's not all in place yet. There is plenty of opportunity to participate." Read the Status of SME Server Release for further information.
|Web Site News
Red Hat/Fedora split
In anticipation of the first test release of Fedora Core 2, scheduled for 2 February, we have separated the Fedora Project from Red Hat Linux and created a new Fedora Project page. The original Red Hat page will remain active and will track the less frequent Red Hat Enterprise Linux series, while the Fedora page will keep any eye on the Fedora Core releases, as well as Fedora's development tree.
Order your own official DistroWatch T-shirt from Hackerthreads.
- blackPanther-Linux. blackPanther-Linux is Hungarian Linux distribution based on Mandrake Linux.
- Biadix. Biadix is Knoppix-based Linux live CD with support for the Catalan language.
- LIIS Linux. LIIS Linux is a Latvian Linux distribution based on Debian and Skolelinux.
- Knoppix STD. Knoppix STD is a customised distribution of the Knoppix live Linux CD. STD focuses on information security and network management tools. It is meant to be used by both the novice looking to learn more about information security and the security professional looking for another swiss army knife for their tool kit. The tools are divided into the following categories: authentication, encryption utilities, firewalls, penetration tools, vulnerability assessment, forensic tools, honeypots, intrusion detection, packet sniffers and assemblers, network utilities, wireless tools, password auditing (crackers) and servers.
Screenshot: blackPanther-Linux - a new Hungarian live CD with Waimea as its desktop environment.
(full image size 147kB)
New on the waiting list
- LITRIX. LITRIX is a Brazilian live CD based on Slackware Linux (web site in Portuguese).
- LinuxDefender. LinuxDefender Live! CD is a Rescue CD based on Knoppix. It features full NTFS write support (using Captive). It also includes instant antivirus and antispam SMTP protection, which is managed via Webmin. Desktop antivirus protection is integrated into the KDE interface, using BitDefender for Linux technology.
- KnoppIT. As the name indicates, KnoppIT is an Italian variant of Knoppix. It is developed by the Asti Linux User Group (web site in Italian).
No surprises here, the Caldera/SCO-inspired UnitedLinux is no more: "'The legal entity exists, but I shut the lights out,' former UnitedLinux general manager Paula Hunter said in an interview Thursday at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here. Hunter is now channelling her Linux collaboration energies into a new job: director of business development on the East Coast for the Open Source Development Labs. The shutdown marks the end of an ambitious effort to attract more hardware and software partners, standardise Linux, and boost research and development. Instead, it was OSDL--a more neutral coalition in the Linux industry and the employer of Linux leader Linus Torvalds--that succeeded where UnitedLinux failed." The full story at ZDNet.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of distributions in the database: 244
- Number of discontinued distributions: 29
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 59
What happened to MEPIS?
It is not often that I receive as many concerned emails about a distribution as during the recent "disappearance" of the MEPIS Linux web site. Is this project becoming everyone's darling? While I don't know why the site was off-line, I am pleased to report that mepis.org is back with a new logo, a slightly modified web site and the increasingly active user forums. In fact, MEPIS Linux 2003.10.02 was released recently; this is however a minor update and those with a working installation do not need to upgrade.
- "Is it just me, or has the Mepis web site been down for about a week for everyone? As this is my favourite distro, I'm getting concerned."
- "I've been trying to get to mepis.org for three days now, and get the 'not found' message. I hope everything's OK with them. Have you heard any news?"
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
|• Issue 537 (2013-12-09): OpenMandriva 2013.0, Gentoo developer interview, project Neon, Linux Mint and security|
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Issue 527 (2013-09-30): Tiny Core Linux 5.0, SteamOS, moving operating system to new computer|
|• Issue 526 (2013-09-23): Look at ArchBang 2013.09.01, BSD Now, kernel stats, command-line tips|
|• Issue 525 (2013-09-16): The Official Ubuntu Server Book, FreeBSD 10 and OpenBSD 5.4, Skype alternatives|
|• Issue 524 (2013-09-09): Look at LXLE 12.04.3, Ubuntu's new package format, Secure Boot and dual-booting|
|• Issue 523 (2013-09-02): OpenIndiana 151a8, openSUSE "Evergreen", GNOME and DuckDuckGo, running apps from RAM|
|• Issue 522 (2013-08-26): Look at gNewSense 3.0, Ubuntu Edge fundraising failure, exploring GPL|
|• Issue 521 (2013-08-19): Review of Korora 19, Fedora considers return to "Core", Haiku package management|
|• Issue 520 (2013-08-12): Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE", Xubuntu experiments with XMir, managing passwords with KeePass|
|• Issue 519 (2013-08-05): Review of Porteus 2.0, Kubuntu lays out plans for Wayland adoption, adjusting system swappiness|
|• Issue 518 (2013-07-29): MidnightBSD 0.4, Razor-qt, Ubuntu Edge, mounting infected drives|
|• Issue 517 (2013-07-22): Zorin OS 7 "Lite", Slackware turns 20, UbuntuForums compromise, Raspbian as home server, Tor|
|• Issue 516 (2013-07-15): Review of Fedora 19 "KDE", Shuttleworth on Mir, Seth Vidal, Kingsoft Office for Linux|
|• Issue 515 (2013-07-08): Whonix 0.5.6 and Deepin 12.12, MintBox, processor capabilities, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 514 (2013-07-01): Peppermint Four, Mir, Mandriva forks, ThinkPenguin on libre hardware|
|• Issue 513 (2013-06-24): Look at ROSA, PC-BSD updates, Xen4CentOS6, Slacko vs Precise, Mageia interview, shells|
|• Issue 512 (2013-06-17): Trisquel 6.0, RHEL 7 with GNOME Classic, from Linux to FreeBSD, first look at Wayland|
|• Issue 511 (2013-06-10): Mint 15 impressions, GNOME Classic, Ubuntu Community portal, Absolute OpenBSD|
|• Issue 510 (2013-06-03): Impressions of aptosid 2013-01, Wayland comes to Raspberry Pi, maintaining DNS settings|
|• Issue 509 (2013-05-27): Mageia 3, Debian GNU/Hurd, RebeccaBlackOS with Wayland, ports|
|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
|• Issue 507 (2013-05-13): Impressions of Calculate Linux, 13.4, Ubuntu's portable packages, mintDrivers|
|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 505 (2013-04-29): First look at PCLinuxOS 2013.04, Saucy Salamander, Remastersys and System Imager, Linux containers|
|• Issue 504 (2013-04-22): Look at Bodhi 2.3.0, Ubuntu 13.04 features, building OpenBSD ports, opening large files|
|• Issue 503 (2013-04-15): CentOS versus Scientific Linux, PCLinuxOS 64, Lucas Nussbaum, ZFS/Btrfs versus ext4|
|• Issue 502 (2013-04-08): Look at Mint 201303 "Debian", Ubuntu versus openSUSE, comparing ZFS and Btrfs file systems|
|• Issue 501 (2013-04-01): KANOTIX 2013 and GhostBSD 3.0, openSUSE Rescue-CD, Haiku package management, computer forensics|
|• Issue 500 (2013-03-25): Look at openSUSE 12.3, Ubuntu release changes, Debian backports, growing divide|
|• Issue 499 (2013-03-18): MINIX 3.2.1, openSUSE 12.3 on desktop, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin, distros for musicians, KolibriOS|
|• Issue 498 (2013-03-11): Sabayon Linux 11, Ubuntu's Mir, Linux malware|
|• Issue 497 (2013-03-04): Rebellin Linux 1.00 "Adrenaline", rolling-release Ubuntu, Arch vs spin-offs, justification and diversity|
|• Issue 496 (2013-02-25): Review of Chakra 2013.02, The Book of GIMP, Ubuntu and privacy, FreeNAS vs NAS4Free|
|• Issue 495 (2013-02-18): SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra", Fedora 19 schedule, Xubuntu on DVD, cloud privacy|
|• Issue 494 (2013-02-11): FreeBSD 9.1, web server stats, Anaconda, rolling-release PC-BSD, fixing broken packages in Arch|
|• Issue 493 (2013-02-04): UberStudent 2.0, OmniBoot 1.0, MariaDB, Enlightenment 0.17|
|• Issue 492 (2013-01-28): Fedora 18 review, systemd, Kali Linux, Ubuntu Unleashed|
|• Issue 491 (2013-01-21): Fuduntu 2013.1, Fedora 18 desktop choices, Consort, accessing encrypted drive|
|• Issue 490 (2013-01-14): Look at Manjaro Linux 0.8.3, openSUSE on Chromebook, Able2Extract 8.0|
|• Issue 489 (2013-01-07): PC-BSD 9.1, Arch spin-offs, rolling-releases, year-end PHR stats, removing applications|
|• Full list of all issues|
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Contact, corrections and suggestions: Ladislav Bodnar