| 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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|• 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|
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|• 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 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"|
|• Issue 672 (2016-08-01): Ubuntu Phone 15.04, Solus embraces rolling release model, interview with Jane Silber, FreeBSD Quarterly Report|
|• 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.|
|• Issue 670 (2016-07-18): Linux Lite 3.0, Bodhi team plans 4.0.0, pfSense changes licensing, running software across distributions, Linux Mint upgrade path|
|• 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|
|• Issue 661 (2016-05-16): FreeBSD 10.3, OpenMandriva adopts Clang, Debian adds ZFS packages, PCLinuxOS drops 32-bit and comparing CentOS with RHEL|
|• Issue 660 (2016-05-09): Ubuntu MATE 16.04, Mint's xapps, FreeBSD Quarterly Report, Debian updates 32-bit support, addressing GPL violations|
|• Issue 659 (2016-05-02): Ubuntu 16.04, compiling custom kernels, Cinnamon 3.0, Sabayon launches ARM build, Devuan ships Beta release|
|• Issue 658 (2016-04-25): Kali Linux 2016.1, elementary OS 0.3.2, Debian elects Project Leader, Fedora 24 feature preview, Nard reaches 1.0|
|• Full list of all issues|
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