| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 40, 15 March 2004
Welcome to this year's 11th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. It comes somewhat rushed due to the fact that the hard disk with my main production system gave up on me last weekend, which meant a complete system re-install. This was the third IBM hard disk that crashed during the past three years (is this normal?), so I decided to go with Maxtor this time. Things are up and running again from a 120GB disk (plenty of space for installing new distributions ;-), so let's get on with the regular programme.
Mandrakelinux 10.0: love it or hate it?
Early reviews of Mandrakelinux 10.0, the first major distribution shipping with kernel 2.6 and KDE 3.2, appeared last week on Linux Tips For Free, OSNews and MadPenguin. Although the overall sentiment in the three reviews was overwhelmingly positive, there is no denying that Mandrakelinux 10.0 is not without its bugs. This was also reaffirmed in the discussion forums following the reviews, where many users expressed emotions ranging from a complete delight over the new release to enormous frustration when trying to install and use it. The following quotes from the OSNews forums illustrate the widely varying experiences of users:
How is it possible that the experiences vary so widely? And why is it that some of the bugs only appear on some systems, not others?
"With some concern I upgraded my heavily customised Mandrake 9.1 machine that runs mail, web, smb and ldap servers plus a heap of desktop tools. To my relief, the upgrade went without a hitch; it even managed to keep the layout of my desktop and upgrade all the icons and decorations around it. Very cool."
"Currently my Linux machine is reinstalling SUSE 9.0. That about sums up my experience with Mandrake 10. I didn't notice any speed improvements, and the system crashed several times in an hour worth of use. It felt unresponsive and sluggish. On the other hand, SUSE runs perfectly on the system."
"I have deployed Mandrake from last Saturday and I have not one issue. Everything runs just great. Great job, Mandrake Team!"
"I tried installing Mandrake 10 yesterday and it was a long, frustrating evening. It crashes when I try to set the regional settings to Norwegian at the end of the installation, it crashes when it tries to start KDE... for me this version seems rushed. Too bad because I enjoyed Mandrake 9.1 a lot."
"Installed Mandrake 10. Now it's the third machine I've installed it on, and the only problem I've had was having to change out the CDs in the proper order. This is the most trouble-free distro I've encountered."
Personally, my experiences with Mandrakelinux 10.0 were decidedly positive. It is fast, good-looking and highly useable as a desktop system. I made an effort to try and reproduce the bugs that Eugenia Loli-Queru reported in her review on OSNews, and some of them, like the Kontact bug or the BitTorrent GUI scrollbar problem, I could certainly confirm. But some others I could not. I have Frozen Bubble working great, with sound and all. I've had no problem changing the GNOME desktop theme, configuring the time zone and time server, booting from the first CD or setting up the fax. All in all, Mandrakelinux 10.0 proved to be a superb release, especially when considering that this is not the Official edition.
But others will disagree. A good example would be comparing Mandrakelinux 10.0 with Fedora Core 2 Test 1, which for me, was a total disaster, a really poor effort on Red Hat's part. Yet, the experiences of others were completely different. This is another quote from the OSNews forums:
To reiterate the original question: how can two persons' experiences differ so widely? Anybody cares to comment?
"I just tried the development Core of Fedora2. Even I do not like the new philosophy from Red Hat, I must say that no comparison can be done: faster, better worked around etc (except for GNOME 2.6 which is still in early stage) - it looks already in a better shape than the 10.0 from Mandrake."
Creating new distributions
If you are thinking of creating a new distribution, then think again. Not counting various floppy and embedded Linux projects, there are already more than 300 active distributions in existence today. Unless you have a really cool, innovative idea, don't expect to get an enormous number of followers with a yet another remastered edition of Knoppix. Instead, why not join an existing project? Here comes an open invitation from CollegeLinux:
"You've always wanted to do more on Linux, to be part of it, perhaps making your own distribution or your own package. Perhaps you didn't know it, but your very own distribution exists: CollegeLinux. The CollegeLinux development team is looking for new talent for the next release, package creation, and documentation. If you want to join a small team of developers willing to listen to your proposal or assign you a number of packages as a maintainer let us know! We are currently looking for project leaders, package developers, contributions for the new installer, documentation help (write your own how-to tutorials), support/forum moderators. Whilst for code contribution you should be familiar with C (especially for the installer) anyone can help (regardless of your coding skills). We really want to hear from you."
Visit the CollegeLinux web site for more information.
|Released Last Week
Trustix Secure Linux 2.1
Trustix Secure Linux 2.1 has been released: "This is to announce the release of Trustix Secure Linux 2.1, nicknamed "Horizon". It is the second release in the Trustix 2 series. Its main purpose is to serve as a stability release, and it is the natural successor of Trustix 2.0. In addition, we have added a few more features including Samba 3, IBM's stack protector and the XFS file system. We have also updated most of the packages to the latest stable versions." Read the rest of the announcement for further details.
Lunar Linux 1.4.0
A new version of Lunar Linux has been released: "Lunar-1.4.0 (General P. Fault) ISO is released. Large changes in this ISO compared to the 1.3.3 version. A small list of the major changes include: linux-2.4.25 kernels. gcc-3.3.3 is the default compiler supported in Lunar now; ncurses-5.4 is installed on the ISO; perl-5.8.3, gettext-0.14.1, openssh-3.8p1, coreutils-5.2.0, updated lfirsttime.8, curl-7.11.0 added and more. For a full list of changes see the ISO.Changelog. No xdelta is available from the 1.3.3 ISO as the xdelta would be around 90Meg, while the iso.bz2 file is only 114Meg." The full announcement.
A new version of the OnebaseGo live CD is out: "With the high success of the first release of OnebaseGo portable OS with its capability to add/remove applications, this version comes with olm-go-1.1, a few fixes including kernel and lots of customisations. Users who utilise OnebaseGo as a portable OS, are recommended to get this new version. Please support the development by purchasing it from the store ($9.00)." The announcement.
Screenshot: OnebaseGo 1.1: a flexible and customisable live CD with a hard disk install option.
(full image size 150kB)
A new version of BLAG (BLAG Linux And GNU) has been released. From the release notes: "BLAG9002 (trike) is a significant update of BLAG9001. The major changes are lots of Red Hat updates (kernel, XFree86, apache), many BLAG package updates, and piles of new packages. A new desktop, XFce, is now on the CD. It is lightweight, but user friendly and cute. BLAG now includes more wireless kernel drivers so more gear works out-of-the-box. Airsnort & airtraf have been added. Winmodem drivers (hsf, ltmodem, slmodem) added...."
Quantian 0.4.9.5 is a new development version on the road towards stable Quantian 0.5. From the changelog: "Updated R packages based on the first pre-release of the upcoming 1.9.0 version, updated CRAN packages and a few new CRAN packages: multcomp, mvtnorn, relimp, and the uebercool rgl. Updated Octave packages based on the just released 2.1.56, and a matching octave-forge release. Improved support for Scientific Python, though scipy.test() still moans, we hope to sort that out shortly. The ftnchek package for Fortran'ers..."
A new stable version of Rubyx has been released: "New stable release 42. It contains loads of new packages; Mozilla, Firefox, Thunderbird, Epiphany, Gnomemeeting 1.00, Kde 3.2.1, Gnome 2.4.2, linux-2.6.4 ... There have been some important bugfixes and improvements to the rubyx script itself, so please upgrade!" Rubyx is a new source-based distribution written in Ruby; it is, in the words of the Rubyx creator, "the most progressive Linux distro out there, with features people have yet to grasp. The package management system is, to say the least, revolutionary. If you haven't tried it yet, please do!" Find out more on rubyx.org.
Feather Linux 0.3.8
Feather Linux 0.3.8 has been released. What's new? "Fixed Sylpheed size; added MPlayer config files; added Arno's iptables script and fwb-run; fixed xterm menu colours; added online manpages and HOWTOs links on the Fluxbox menu; added wman, an online manpage viewer script; added Getting Started HOWTO; changed Opera script to work properly from HD; made small changes to the HD install script; added Mutella, fbset and Chipmunk Basic; feather now runs as user knoppix; rewrote restoration system - now you need to type restore=sda1 restore=hda1, etc; added script to install the Gimp."
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Rubyx is a new source-based distribution written in Ruby. The developer of Rubyx is Andrew Walrond and he has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his project for DistroWatch. If there is anything you'd like to know, please ask in the forums below or email me directly. The interview will be published next week.
|Web Site News
Submitting new distributions
If you'd like to see your distribution listed on DistroWatch, please fill in the Submit Distribution form in full, including the package list. Incomplete submissions will simply go on the waiting list, together with 60+ other distributions. The form was created in order to eliminate the tedious work of looking up the information, often in foreign languages, so please try helping out if you can. If you fill it in full, your distribution will be listed within 24 hours, otherwise it might take months. Also, please check that the distribution does not already exist in the database before filling in the form. You can find the complete list of all listed distributions on the Statistics page.
Order your own official DistroWatch T-shirt from Hackerthreads.
New on the waiting list
- Slavix. Slavix is an operating system based on Morphix, Knoppix, Debian GNU/Linux. Its purpose is to make it easy for anyone to switch to GNU/Linux and start using free (as in freedom) software. Slavix is oriented towards a home computer user. It is a live CD system, which means you can run it off CD-ROM without having to install anything to hard drive. All you need to do is burn the Slavix image file to a CD, put it in your CD-ROM and reboot. It will start up, auto configure itself and in about 3 - 5 minutes it's ready to use! Slavix will not touch your hard drive or mess with you data! Hard disk installer is included and it is fairly easy to use.
DistroWatch database summary
- Linux Octoz. Linux Octoz is a French distribution in early development.
- SciLix. SciLix is a Morphix-based live CD developed by the Faculty of Science at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia.
- Number of distributions in the database: 272
- Number of discontinued distributions: 31
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 65
On Linux package management
"With the variety of Debian builds springing up, debs and the apt utility are also becoming unreliable. Bootable CDs with the Knoppix engine are major offenders. It's very easy to acquire enough missing dependencies and broken packages to totally disable apt. Often the only reasonable option is to rebuild (I'm doing that now).
I have to operate both Windows and Linux systems. In other respects Linux is very close to parity with, if not superior to, Windows. But, I have to note that, the typical Windows 'user' would never accept this kind of unreliability. The whole situation really needs to be resolved if Linux is to survive as a desktop OS.
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|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 |
Inquisitor was an open-source hardware diagnostics, stress testing, certification and monitoring system, suitable for both enterprise and home use. Based on Debian/GNU Linux, it was customizable, modular and available in both serverless live CD/DVD format and server-controlled network boot production system.
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