| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 43, 5 April 2004
Welcome to this year's 14th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. If you haven't had a chance to read our Fool's Day parody called "Operating Systems on a Collision Course", try to set aside a few minutes, especially if you enjoy a good laugh. The story was written by Robert Storey, a professional writer with a style that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Enjoy!
Angry at Red Hat?
Those of you monitoring the Fedora development mailing list had an opportunity to witness sparks flying around after the release of Fedora Core 2 Test2 a week ago. Several testers expressed strongly worded dissatisfaction over the quality of this release, even accusing Red Hat developers of neglect and poor work.
What's wrong with Fedora Core 2 Test2? Two things. The first CD fails to boot for a surprisingly high number of testers. Some of you might recall a similar problem with Mandrakelinux 10.0 Community, where a simple workaround was to boot from the second CD and replace it with the first one at the start of the installation. A similar workaround exists for this Fedora release, using the boot CD from Fedora Core 2 Test1. The second often reported problem was the integration of SELinux into this release, a major surgery with some unpleasant side-effects and occasional unexpected behaviour. While SELinux can certainly be justified on critical server installations, an average desktop user probably won't need it. If you fall into this category, try adding "selinux=0" to the kernel command line, or use "SELINUX=disabled" in your /etc/sysconfig/selinux to return to the standard kernel.
The unpleasant exchanges on the Fedora mailing lists last week lead to a simple conclusion: if you are new to Linux or if you are not interested in helping out with debugging, or indeed, if you cannot control your emotions, then stay away from Fedora Core 2 Test2. Like any beta product, it has serious bugs. But the last things the developers need right now is to deal with infuriated users accusing them of poor work.
Trustix goes enterprise
The Fedora mailing list wasn't the only one with dissatisfied users, the mailing list of Trustix Secure Linux did not fare much better. The reason? After nearly 4 years of Trustix availability from FTP servers and mirrors, the free lunch came to an end last week. The developers announced that there will be one more free release, version 2.2 later this year, after which all work will go into Trustix Secure Enterprise Linux, a commercial product not available for free download. The pricing will start at US$149 per CPU without support, going up to US$349 with support.
Many users have reacted angrily. Not so much because they are opposed to paying for a product they use and enjoy, but because of the per-seat licencing model and the added complexity of keeping usernames, passwords, activation codes and similar records, which is so typical of the Windows world. Suddenly Trustix does not seem such an attractive product. The old conflict between the developers who enjoy their work and would love to provide their product for free forever, and the businessmen who need to convert their investments into an income producing entity, has resurfaced once again. Trustix Secure Linux is a great product, but will users be willing to pay US$149 - 349 per CPU? It doesn't seem likely.
|Released Last Week
Buffalo Linux 1.1.6
A new version of Buffalo Linux has been released: "Highlights in this release are: XFree86-4.4.0 and a DMA enabled hardrive 2.6.4 kernel. ALSA updated to 1.0.3 and openssl to 0.9.7d. A 63MB upgrade (1.1.5 to 1.1.6) is available for download. Also new in the 'extra_packages' directory is a bundle install package 'gnome-2.4-buff-1.bz2' for the GNOME lovers (not included in the ISO)." The full announcement.
Securepoint Firewall & VPN Server version 4.0 has been released: "New: Securepoint Firewall & VPN Server, version 4.0. Securepoint is an excellent and cost-effective choice for companies which wish to secure their Internet access, to protect the departments against each other and build up VPN nets between company and external locations." Visit Securepoint's product page for more information. Securepoint 4.0 is free for home and personal use.
MoviX 0.8.2 has been released: "This release features full translations of MoviX and MPlayer menus in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish, MPlayer menu translation in Hungarian and partial MPlayer menu translation in a few other languages. There are also a few other minor improvements." Read more on the distribution's home page.
A new version of the SLAX live CD is available: "This release contains a lot of new features and bugfixes: added XFree 4.4.0 (you can expect some improvements in gfx cards detection), KDE 3.2.1, ALSA 1.0.4rc1, K3B 0.11.9, KPlayer (KDE application for MPlayer GUI); added wheelmouse boot option to force imps/2 mouse protocol for X; added 845patch boot option for Intel's i845G chipset; fixed smbmount (finally!) by adding some IBM charset library; fixed ftp upload directory permissions; fixed moduse problem to locate liblinuxlive..." The full changelog.
LinuxDefender Live! 1.5.6
A new version of LinuxDefender Live!, based on Knoppix 3.4 CeBIT edition, has been released: "The LinuxDefender development team proudly announces the release of LinuxDefender Live! CeBIT edition. Linux Defender Live! is a bootable CD that contains a full-featured Linux distro, with BitDefender and third-party security tools included. The CeBIT edition is the latest incarnation of this great concept. New features in the CeBIT release of LinuxDefender include: the new 2.6 kernel alongside the 2.4.23-xfs; the new AntiSpam server module from BitDefender; BitDefender Remote Admin 1.5.6; GNOME Desktop Environment..." Read the announcement and visit the product's features page for further details.
Aurox Linux 9.3
Aurox Linux 9.3, code name "Wind", has been released: "We are pleased to announce the availability of Aurox Linux 9.3. Aurox 9.3 is based on Fedora Core 1, and includes updates published before the end of January. In Aurox you will find all the features of Fedora Core (eg. ACPI, very usefull for laptop users), and many additional things (ALSA sound system; multimedia support, including DVD, AVI, mp3; spellchecking in OpenOffice.org in German, French, Polish and Spanish; a Polish version of the installer; educational software; games; a light desktop based on Fluxbox, and many more features)." Existing Aurox 9.3 installations can be upgraded using yum or apt-get, while new users will need to download the ISO image set in one of the supported languages.
A new version of ByzantineOS is out. Changes: "ByzantineOS Customization Toolkit is now available (included is also the ByzantineOS_HDD_CF_HowTo); Java(TM) Plug-in 1.4.2; mplayerplugin-2.50; Gaim-0.76; Flash Player 6 for Linux Version 126.96.36.199; Xmodmap.arabic; Xmodmap.cs_CZ; Xmodmap.ru_RU; Xmodmap.ru_RU.yawerty." Read the rest of the release notes for information about updates and system requirements.
The Inside Security Rescue Toolkit (INSERT) has been updated to version 1.2.7. Changes: "Thanks to the Multivalent PDF Tools it was possible to compress our included information material to about half its size! This made room for: avscan, a graphical frontend for the virus scanner clamav (was added), which should make it a bit easier for newbies to scan for viruses and which also generally is a quite-nice-to-have. This makes INSERT probably the first distribution providing a free, and easy to use virus scanner with a GUI. BashBurn and iftop and the full bash-programmable-completion were added. Rootkit Hunter was added..."
Development and unannounced releases
Screenshot: X-evian 0.4 - a well-designed Debian-based live CD for Spanish users
(full image size 252kB)
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Lycoris Desktop/LX Update 4
The Lycoris Desktop/LX developers have released two developer newsletters with information about Update 4: "Last week I sent a message to the NDA group that requested they test the last version of Desktop/LX to contain KDE 2. They were told that KDE 3 was almost finished building on Desktop/LX and that they should expect to see it for the first time in a few days. There was quite a bit of excitement relayed to me via e-mail. I've been overseeing the final compilation of KDE 3.2.1 personally, and it's an impressive product. With the finishing touches we will put on it for the next Desktop/LX Amethyst release, Desktop/LX will not only continue to be powerful, productive, and fun, it will be cutting-edge too." The first two developer newsletters can be read here: Issue #1 and Issue #2.
|Web Site News
March donation: GnuCash receives US$250
As announced here two weeks ago, our donations programme to offer financial assistance to Free Software projects is under way. The March 2004 beneficiary of this program was the GnuCash project, which was awarded a donation of US$250. We haven't received any acknowledgement from anybody at GnuCash, but here is the PayPal receipt:
This email confirms that you have paid OSDN / VA Software $250.00 USD using PayPal.
Total Amount: $250.00 USD
Transaction ID: 2L364241CG479132U
Item Title: Donation
Invoice ID: 205778
Message: This is a donation by DistroWatch.com under the web site's programme to provide financial support for Free Software project. GnuCash was selected as the first benefactor of the programme. Thank you for your hard work :-)
DistroWatch.com kicked out of Google AdSense
Is Google changing? Has it become just another monopoly with all the usual symptoms, such as pathetic technical support and disrespect for the privacy of users? Anybody cares to comment?
Order your own official DistroWatch T-shirt from Hackerthreads (US$14.95).
New on the waiting list
- BioBrew Linux. BioBrew Linux is an open source Linux distribution based on the NPACI Rocks cluster software and enhanced for bioinformaticists and life scientists. While it looks, feels, and operates like ordinary Red Hat Linux, BioBrew Linux includes popular cluster software e.g. MPICH, LAM-MPI, PVM, Modules, PVFS, Myrinet GM, Sun Grid Engine, gcc, Ganglia, and Globus, *and* popular bioinformatics software e.g. the NCBI toolkit, BLAST, mpiBLAST, HMMER, ClustalW, GROMACS, PHYLIP, WISE, FASTA, and EMBOSS. It runs on everything from notebook computers to large clusters.
Removed from the waiting list
- GiPi-Linux. Gi-Pi Linux is a French Linux distribution partly based on Debian GNU/Linux.
Several distributions have been removed from the waiting list due to inactivity; these include O2 Linux, Ken-Zoe, Viper Linux, Gentooish Security Toolkit i386 LiveCD ant Antlinux.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of distributions in the database: 279
- Number of discontinued distributions: 32
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 64
On OS and browser statistics
John S writes: "Thank you on behalf of all interested Linux users for your effort and dedication toward maintaining the excellent DistroWatch website. I have recommended Distrowatch many times to my friends and family as a valuable source of information."
"If I may make a suggestion, perhaps the DistroWatch webpage readers would be interested in seeing in addition to the Linux distributions page hit ranking, the total hits from Windows and Macintosh system users who have visited the DistroWatch page. It would be an interesting statistical comparison, and would show that users of other OS's are also interested in learning about Linux."
John, thank you for your kind words. The only statistical tool running on the server at the moment is Webalizer and you can access its statistics on this page. It does not break down the visitor data into "per OS" groups, but it does give information about browsers used to visit the site. With a 39% browser share last month, MS Internet Explorer is still the most frequently used browser to view DistroWatch, but its share has been dropping (from around 43% a year ago). The ratio of users browsing with Mozilla has increased from 24% a year ago to 32% last month. Opera is the 3rd most popular browser. Perhaps surprisingly, Firefox has yet to make an impact, with only slightly above 2% of users browsing the site with this new kid on the block.
It's worth visiting the webalizer page just to see the dramatic increase in the number of visitors on DistroWatch over the past year - it just about trippled(!) since May 2003. It goes without saying that the chart excludes those who visit one of the 13 DistroWatch mirrors, so the real figures are still higher! There is little doubt that more and more people choose to put the fun back into computing by running Linux :-)
On Amazon links
Mark E writes: "I'm looking forward to purchasing this upgrade (SUSE's MSRP: $59.95) and was wondering if I'll be able to click through to amazon.com via DistroWatch as I did when I purchased SUSE v9.0 Pro? I only ask because I haven't noticed recently any ads on your homepage that would enable me to do so. Please let me know if you still offer that capability. Thanks."
Yes, SUSE LINUX 9.1 is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de, so if you enjoy this site and would like to help us to earn a few dollars, pounds or euros, just shop via the links above. This goes for any other item you intend to buy from Amazon. As you know, 10% of our income from advertising and merchandise sale will be donated to various open source projects, so here is your chance to help. Not to mention that SUSE LINUX 9.1 is shaping up to be a very nice release, at least based on early beta reviews.
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 739 (2017-11-20): Fedora 27, cross-distro software ports, Ubuntu on Samsung phones, Red Hat supports ARM, Parabola continues 32-bit support|
|• Issue 738 (2017-11-13): SparkyLinux 5.1, rumours about spyware, Slax considers init software, Arch drops 32-bit packages, overview of LineageOS|
|• Issue 737 (2017-11-06): BeeFree OS 18.1.2, quick tips to fix common problems, Slax returning, Solus plans MATE and software management improvements|
|• Issue 736 (2017-10-30): Ubuntu 17.10, "what if" security questions, Linux Mint to support Flatpak, NetBSD kernel memory protection|
|• Issue 735 (2017-10-23): ArchLabs Minimo, building software with Ravenports, WPA security patch, Parabola creates OpenRC spin|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
PilotLinux was a thin client live CD. This means that when you boot from a PilotLinux CD your PC has been temporarily transformed into a thin client machine. If a settings file was supplied booting from a PilotLinux CD will automatically connect you to your terminal server. Otherwise the PilotLinux GUI will be displayed and give you the ability to manually enter the server address.
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