| 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 220.127.116.11; 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)
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|• Issue 662 (2016-05-23): Clonezilla Live, new Fedora community repository, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland, a live edition of Slackware and kernel components|
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|• 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|
|• Issue 657 (2016-04-18): Redox, Linux Mint improves update manager, planned Fedora 24 features, Ubuntu 16.04 getting Snappy packages|
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|• Issue 644 (2016-01-18): Kwort 4.3, Sabayon tests ARM images, Slackware adopts PulseAudio, running Linux without GNU software|
|• Issue 643 (2016-01-11): Solus 1.0, Mint provide upgrade path to 17.3, Fedora developers work on stability, running the LXQt desktop|
|• Full list of all issues|
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