| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 37, 23 February 2004
Welcome to this year's 8th edition of DistroWatch Weekly.
- Understanding live CDs
- Released last week
- Upcoming releases: LGIS Linux
- Get a DistroWatch T-shirt
- New additions: UserLinux, QiLinux
- New on the waiting list: Ed's Debian, PHP Solutions live, De2, Tupiserver, Debian-Extra-CD-Project, slavix, Bioknoppix, Kannery, Kazit, Dizinha
- Reader feedback: downloading ISO images
Understanding live CDs
How many live CDs have you tried? And which of them do you keep or recommend to others?
While the purpose of most Linux live CDs is to use them in emergencies or for demonstartion, there is one category of them that is sometimes misunderstood - distributions where the live-CD part is of secondary importance. Good examples of these are MEPIS Linux, PCLinuxOS or GoboLinux. They are intended as full-blown distributions for installation on hard disks, not just as live CDs. The live-CD part of them is really just a bonus, a sophisticated graphical installer which allows users to try the product before making a commitment to the full installation. This is a radical departure from the "traditional" installers, where users had to go through a lengthy installation process just to find out that perhaps the product doesn't meet their needs.
Are we seeing a trend here? It is becoming common among new distributions to start with a live CD, then provide a simple script or a full installation program, to copy the content of the CD onto a hard disk partition. Once done, users can boot into it and continue using the operating system as if it was installed with a traditional installer. The advantages of these distributions are clear: besides the try-before-you-commit benefit, the CD is still available for emergency situations, as well as for carrying it around and using it to load a familiar operating system on computers when away from home or office.
To re-iterate the above point, take this message as noted on the PCLinuxOS mailing list, a developer's response to a query about the distribution's continuous upgradability after the initial installation. Would each new release have to be re-installed or are the developers planning a regular upgrade path for the users of the distribution? Will it be easy to keep it up-to-date with new software?
"That is the goal is a continual update path for PCLinuxOS. Install once and update often as new programs become available. I just hate having people do a clean install everytime a new release comes out."
The above makes it quite clear that PCLinuxOS is not just a live CD. It is a distribution in its own right, a product that serves a double-purpose of being a full distribution and a live CD.
How long before all the major distributions start re-writing their Anacondas, YaSTs or (heavens forbid) Boot Floppies to include a live CD functionality? Somehow it doesn't seem very likely. Still, with all the extra benefits they would provide to their users, it might some day become a reality.
|Released Last Week
K12LTSP Linux 4.0.1
K12LTSP Linux 4.0.1 has been released: "K12LTSP v4.0.1 is officially available for your downloading pleasure. Apt, up2date, and yum repositories have been updated. If you have K12LTSP v4.0.0 already installed, these fine utilities can update you to v4.0.1 without much fuss. Known issues. Reports of serious stability problems with SMP kernels continue. Mission-critical sites are still encouraged to stick with K12LTSP 3.1.2. The Enterprise version of K12LTSP in testing, please help out if you can..." Read the rest of the release announcement.
Damn Small Linux 0.6
Version 0.6 of Damn Small Linux has been released. From the release notes: "New kernel and modules supporting more hardware (based on Knoppix 3.3); implemented space saving busybox; implemented space saving by dpkg-restore now restores not only package structure but also related programs; improved backup/restore to a specific device (hard drive, etc); improved ppp dial scripts (no more manual edits); improved hard drive install script to pass fb800x600 screen size, also improved speed of installation; menu reorganisation for easier navigation; new /opt/bootlocal.sh for user required misc system startup commands..."
This is a new release of clusterKNOPPIX, based on the version of Knoppix released earlier this week. From the changelog: "clusterKNOPPIX_V3.3-2004-02-16-EN-cl1 - 2004-02-17. Sync with latest Knoppix release; upgraded to gomd 0.2beta; fixed openmosix restart script; fixed terminalserver bug (chown problem); fixed atmel wlan drivers; added french openmosix terminalserver translation and a new parameter that allows to export the Knoppix image from disk instead of running from CD-ROM (to allow speed-ups) both patches by lbdan."
A new version of SystemRescueCD is now available. Changes: "SystemRescueCD 0.2.11. Updated EVMS to 2.2.2 patched; added Dban bootdisk (tool that wipes all data of a computer); added pppconfig (configure PPP); added BashBurn (script that make CD burning easier); put the manual (PDF, HTML) on the CD-ROM; updated partimage to 0.6.4 final; updated Clam-AntiVirus to 0.66; updated Samba to 3.0.2a; updated Reiserfsprogs to 3.6.12; many minor updates."
Feather Linux 0.3.6
Feather Linux continues with a rapid release schedule. From the 0.3.6 changelog: "Added bvi, isapnptools; changed some USB detection on USB boot; changed emelfm settings so they suit Feather; changed Opera download site; reinstalled some Debian packages so apt-get works a little better; changed Scite colour-coding; removed Busybox vi and added elvis-tiny; added Thunderbird and Java scripts; edited HD install script so Feather doesn't autologin; removed winbindd."
A bug fix version of KnoppiXMAME, a bootable CD for playing MAME games, has been released. From the release notes: "This release should be no different from 1.2 if you have used that version. Press F1 for help at the boot prompt. Type in 'addroms' to try out the new automated CD remastering utility. It works with ROMs on all filesystems. NTFS is still experimental, but should work thanks to captive. This is a small interim point-release. Some people had problems uncompressing the .bz2 file, so I returned to a regular .iso. A bug was also fixed with home directory settings not persisting when a remaster of a remaster was made with 'addroms'."
The first stable release of cAos is out: "Finally... cAos-1.0 has been released. All of the blocking/showstopping bugs have been resolved, and many of the developers are already using it in production. With that said, keep in mind there are many packages outside of the core that are still stabilizing (thus you may see frequent updates). Please post bug reports to bugzilla so that they may be resolved quickly and don't fall between the cracks." To install cAos, you will need to download its installation ISO image, called "Cinch", and follow these instructions to install a core system. Additional packages can then be installed with 'yum'. cAos is a Red Hat-based distribution with the goal to provide a stable operating system for enterprises; find out more at caosity.org.
Buffalo Linux 1.1.4
Buffalo Linux 1.1.4 has been released: "Highlighted in this release are: added kernel 2.6.3; new automatic patch and upgrade feature; over 30 package upgrades, including gcc-3.3.3, module-init-tools-0.9.14 (supports 2.4 and 2.6 kernels), samba-3.0.2a, perl-5.8.3. The new 1.1.4 ISOs are available on the Buffalo web sites. Additionally, users of 1.1.3 can upgrade to 1.1.4 by installing a 45MB package." See the full changelog for additional information.
Kurumin Linux 2.20
A new release of Brazil's Kurumin Linux is out. The main highlight of version 2.20 is the newly developed "Clica-aKi", a central control panel integrating various configuration tasks, including network setup, magic icons, installation and management of servers, configuration of keyboards, mice, sound cards, printers and other hardware. Detailed explanation, together with screenshots can be found in the official release announcement (in Portuguese).
Screenshot: Kurumin Linux 2.20 with "magic icons"
(full image size 640kB)
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The fans of the Ximian Desktop will be pleased to learn that the developers of LGIS Linux are planning a new release, based on Fedora Core: "LGIS GNU/Linux is a Ximianized version of Red Hat Linux, you can see some screenshots here. You can find the ftp, http and BitTorrent links on the project page. Yes I'm working on the Fedora based version already :)" More in this story on FootNotes.
|Web Site News
Order your own official DistroWatch T-shirt from Hackerthreads.
New on the waiting list
- UserLinux. UserLinux is a GNU/Linux distribution based from Debian, but streamlined to a smaller set of default applications. The UserLinux variants (server, desktop, etc.) will be freely available in both source and ISO formats. Application specifics are being worked out right now. The desktop environment will be GNOME featuring OpenOffice.org for word processing. The server configuration will include Apache and Postfix. UserLinux will be complemented by a network of service providers offering certification, support, and professional services.
- QiLinux. QiLinux is a Linux distribution completely made from scratch in Italy. Its ambitious aim is to integrate the work of the vast community of free software developers in order to create a modern, high-performance, safe and easy-to-use operating system for system administrators and desktop users.
DistroWatch database summary
- Ed's Xbox Debian GNU/Linux. Ed's Debian is an Xbox-enabled version of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. It is based on the standard x86 Debian, but the install process - and naturally the boot loader, the kernel and the kernel modules - are all customised for the Xbox.
- PHP Solutions live. PHP Solutions live is a bootable Linux distribution which makes working with *.php files a breeze. It was created for people who want to run and test scripts in a new environment (PHP Solutions live version 0.9.5b3 contains PHP 5.0.0 beta3) without modifying an existing platform.
- De2. De2 is a community-developed Indonesian Linux distribution based on Debian (web site in Bahasa Indonesia).
- Tupiserver Linux. Tupiserver Linux is a Brazilian server-oriented distribution based on Kurumin Linux (web site in Portuguese).
- Debian-Extra-CD-Project. The Debian-Extra-CD-Project (DECP) is trying to provide an offline system with some of the newest Debian packages for desktop systems.
- slavix. slavix is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Morphix, Knoppix and Debian. It is intended for desktop users new to Linux. Slavix is a live CD, which means that it is very easy to try without having to install anything on your computer.
- Bioknoppix. Bioknoppix is a customised distribution of Knoppix live CD. With this distribution you just boot from the CD and you have a fully functional Linux OS distribution with open source applications targeted for the molecular biologist. Beside using some RAM, Bioknoppix doesn't touch the host computer, being ideal for demonstrations, molecular biology students, workshops, etc.
- Kannery. Kannery is a Knoppix-based Hebrew distribution, with several deployment options: hard disk installation from a boot server, thick client, thin client with grid server, and live CD.
- Kazit. Kazit is a Knoppix-based live CD with support for Hebrew (web site in Hebrew).
- Dizinha Linux. Dizinha Linux is a Brazilian Linux distribution based on Kurumin Linux (web site in Portuguese).
- Number of distributions in the database: 261
- Number of discontinued distributions: 31
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 66
On downloading ISO images
With all the interesting new distribution releases coming out just about every day, it happens on occasion that I get an email from a developer asking me to remove the download links from the news. The request usually comes as a result of the users having consumed the developer's entire monthly bandwidth allocation in just a few hours after the news was published. Thus begins the panic-stricken victim's mad rush to find mirrors or to set up a BitTorrent download.
Let me make one thing clear: DistroWatch is a news site. If you develop a distribution and release it to the public by publishing news about it on your web site, it will be reported on DistroWatch. If you publish a link to an ISO image on your own web site, it will also be mentioned within the news item. That's how news has been reported here for 2.5 years and I have no intention to change that. As several developers have found out, once the news is out, there will be a bandwidth problem.
It's best to be prepared, either by providing a BitTorrent tracker or a several FTP/HTTP mirrors. BitTorrent can solve the problem to some extent, but you need to realise that many users are behind firewalls, where BitTorrent cannot be used. Mirrors are not always easy to find, but places such as ibiblio.org, tuwien.ac.at, sunet.se or planetmirror.com already host a large number of distributions, so a polite request for hosting yours is unlikely to be refused. Another alternative is not to publish the news on your own web site, in which case it will not be published here either (yes, projects with this attitude do exist - take Sorcerer as an example).
The bottom line is: if you are offering ISO images for download, prepare for the onslaught in advance. Don't ever assume that most users will give your product a miss. They won't.
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 734 (2017-10-16): Star 1.0.1, running the Linux-libre kernel, Ubuntu MATE experiments with snaps, Debian releases new install media, Purism reaches funding goal|
|• Issue 733 (2017-10-09): KaOS 2017.09, 32-bit prematurely obsoleted, Qubes security features, IPFire updates Apache|
|• Issue 732 (2017-10-02): ClonOS, reducing Snap package size, Ubuntu dropping 32-bit Desktop, partitioning disks for ZFS|
|• Issue 731 (2017-09-25): BackSlash Linux Olaf, W3C adding DRM to web standards, Wayland support arrives in Mir, Debian experimenting with AppArmor|
|• Issue 730 (2017-09-18): Mageia 6, running a completely free OS, HAMMER2 file system in DragonFly BSD's installer, Manjaro to ship pre-installed on laptops|
|• Issue 729 (2017-09-11): Parabola GNU/Linux-libre, running Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, Tails feature roadmap, a cross-platform ports build system|
|• Issue 728 (2017-09-04): Nitrux 1.0.2, SUSE creates new community repository, remote desktop tools for GNOME on Wayland, using Void source packages|
|• Issue 727 (2017-08-28): Cucumber Linux 1.0, using Flatpak vs Snap, GNOME previews Settings panel, SUSE reaffirms commitment to Btrfs|
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• 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|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• 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|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• 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|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Issue 687 (2016-11-14): NAS4Free 10.3.0.3, Fedora gains MP3 playback, budgie-remix becomes Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu flavours compared, Rolling release trial #2|
|• 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|
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Zencafe GNU/Linux was a desktop Linux distribution designed specifically for public Internet cafés. Based on Slackware and Zenwalk Linux, it includes auto-recovery features, Internet café billing and management software, and other graphical system administration tools. Zencafe's default edition uses Xfce as the main desktop, while its "Lite" edition, designed for older or less powerful computers, installs the IceWM window manager.
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