| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 46, 26 April 2004
Welcome to this year's 17th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. This is the week of Fedora Core 2 Test3, the third and last development version before the final release on 17 May 2004. Also, OpenBSD 3.5 will be officially released later this week, continuing in the fine tradition of early May releases of new versions.
The BSD distributions
Following the inclusion of BSD distributions on DistroWatch, your web site maintainer was spotted learning about that other open source operating system - by installing and exploring FreeBSD. The result of this experience was a very pleasant surprise - not only is FreeBSD a very capable operating system as a server (just check the longest uptime statistics at Netcraft), it is surprisingly good as a desktop too.
Up until last week I knew precious little about the various BSD distributions. Part of my reluctance to explore them came from a quote by Daniel Robbins, the creator and Chief Architect of Gentoo Linux, and a person who knows both Linux and FreeBSD intimately. In one of the articles describing the birth of Gentoo, Daniel has this to say about FreeBSD:
"FreeBSD was a peaceful home, but a little too boring, too staid. Linux is where the action was, where major progress was being made. There's no doubt that if you're looking for excitement and innovation, Linux is the place to be."
Perhaps it was the above quote that contributed towards my original skepticism about FreeBSD as a desktop OS. However, did you know that NVIDIA makes accelerated graphics drivers for FreeBSD? And did you know that Opera Software develops a FreeBSD edition of the Opera browser? Until last week I did not, and these new discoveries have substantially changed my views about FreeBSD (in fact, I bought the FreeBSD edition of Opera, just to contribute a little towards the browser's future development). I also invested in two BSD books - The Complete FreeBSD by Greg Lehey and Absolute OpenBSD by Michael W Lucas. They both provide a fascinating insight into the world of BSD distributions and I found it really hard to put them down. Every day I couldn't wait to finish my day's work so that I can reboot into the newly created FreeBSD partition (er, I mean slice) and start investigating this great OS. Yes, with the absence of any configuration utilities in FreeBSD, it takes a while to set things up the way you want them, but in the end, the effort is certainly worth it. I can easily see myself using FreeBSD as my main desktop system.
If you are comfortable with the command line and with editing files in vi, then you ought to give yourself a chance to explore the BSD world - if for no other reason than to get some exposure to the BSD way of thinking. And just to whet your appetite a little further, DistroWatch will publish a new review of FreeBSD 5.2.1 tomorrow. Written by Robert Storey and reviewed by the aforementioned Greg Lehey, it will be a treat to all FreeBSD enthusiasts, as well as an interesting lesson for Linux users. Don't forget to visit DistroWatch tomorrow (Tuesday) to read it!
Tips and tricks: faster downloads from ibiblio.org
Many of us who frequently download various distributions from the Internet know that Ibiblio.org is probably the world's most complete repository of Linux distributions. The unfortunate side effect of this popularity is the fact that download speeds from Ibiblio servers are less than spectacular, especially during peak hours. Is there anything you can do about it? Yes, instead of downloading via FTP, use rsync; you will be truly surprised at how much faster you can get the same ISO image! Using rsync is very simple:
rsync -P -v ftp.ibiblio.org::distros/$distribution/$isoname.iso .
rsync -P -v ftp.ibiblio.org::distros/munjoy/munjoylinux-0.5.3.iso .
Don't forget the trailing dot, which simply indicates that the download should go into the current directory (or specify a different directory). The -P switch is to resume a download of a partially downloaded file. To find out which distributions are available for download via rsync, run this command:
rsync is a great tool that can be used on any FTP server enabled for anonymous rsync. If you find that you cannot download a file because of restrictions of how many simultaneous connections to the FTP server are allowed, you can try rsync instead - you'll probably get the required file much faster that way!
|Released Last Week
A new major version of Yoper has been released: "A little over a year after the release of Yoper, I am happy to announce Version2 in form of a prerelease tagged 20040420. The OS is however ready as a final and as such do consider it 'final' since any additional changes will be delivered via apt. Changes: Yoper is now RPM-based. An apt repository is the main way to update and install packages. The installer allows 2 choices: minimal and YKde. GNOME 2.6 has also been included and the latest KDE 3.2.2. All other software packages have been updated. The kernel 2.4.25 has been included, the whole OS is prepared for 2.6 kernel and the latest Con Kolivas performance patches have been integrated. Hardware recognition is improved and ALSA drivers are now the default sound drivers." Here is the rest of the announcement.
A new version of the Mandows live CD is available. Mandows 1.6 is now based on Mandrakelinux 10.0 + bug fixes, with KDE 3.2, GIMP 2.0.0, KOffice 1.3 (replacing OpenOffice.org), Captive NTFS (NTFS read and write support), Linux kernel 2.4.25 (kernel 2.6 still not quite stable enough) and Eagle USB 1.9.6. Besides French, English is now also supported. Mandows 1.6 is currently only available via BitTorrent (file size 590MB), but will be released for download from FTP servers later this week. More information in this announcement (in French).
Puppy Linux 0.8.5
A new version of the Puppy Linux 0.8.5 is out. Excerpts from the release notes: "Puppy now has X11-Basic, a surprisingly powerful yet simple and compact programming environment. Puppy now has mp v3.3.0 console text editor, the latest. There is now a script, 'Install Puppy hard drive', in the Utilities menu. The Puppy drive mount/unmount script has been improved. USB keyboard and USB mouse should now work. Ethernet/network Wizard has been improved; it should be better when used with two network cards. There is now ssh-gui, a secure telnet program. MToolsFM is a file manager, in the 'File Managers' menu. MToolsFM is a GUI frontend for MTools, and has now been expanded to access floppy, Zip, USB and vfat/msdos hard drives, all without needing to mount (or unmount them)...."
ClarkConnect Broadband Getaway version 2.2 has been released: "The version 2.2 Home and Office Editions are now available! The Home Edition has moved to the community web site, the Professional Edition will be released April 22, the non-commercial Professional Edition (it was called Firewall/VPN during the beta) will be released April 22 on the community web site." Find out more about the products on ClarkConnect.com and ClarkConnect.org.
A new dyne:bolic release is out: "Time for juicy spring updates and bugfixes: version 1.3 is out featuring a revamped Ogg/Vorbis streaming system, a fix to the nesting mechanism and important updates to audio and video software. Don't forget to copy the dyne/ directory from the new CD to upgrade your system in case you docked the previous version! Here is the release announcement."
PLD Live CD 0.90
PLD Live CD is a live CD based on PLD Linux Distribution. The recently released version 0.90 is probably the first live CD with the new GNOME 2.6.0 as its default desktop, although those who enjoy trying out different desktop environments will be pleased to find KDE 3.2.1, XFce4, IceWM, Fluxbox, TWM and WindowMaker as options during login. To login, type either "user" or "root" into the GDM login dialog. While the distribution's web site is in Polish only, the live CD itself defaults to English. PLD Live CD is a welcome relief from the string of Knoppix-based live CDs that have hit the distribution scene in recent months, and as such, it is worth the download. If you can read Polish, the distribution's home page list some of the major changes in version 0.90.
The Inside Security Rescue Toolkit project has released INSERT 1.2.8. From the changelog: "v1.2.8 (the birthday release). Ettercap and fwlogwatch were added; support for mounting SMB filesystems was added (smbmount); now it is possible to mount MS Windows or Samba shares; the French and Swiss keyboard layouts were added and should work; huh, just noticed that we don't have a telnet client - now we have one; the rootkit hunter was updated and should finally work; clamav was updated and now also detects MS Office VBA macro viruses; the ntfsutils were updated; the virus database for clamav was updated to the latest version."
A new version of LinuxConsole, an easy-to-use Mandrake-based live CD, has been announced and released: "LinuxConsole 0.4 is available in 'final' release. Previous release were only for games and multimedia, but other kinds of applications have been included: tools to create documents (OpenOffice.org, latex, LyX); servers (Samba, Postfix, PHP, MYSQL, DHCP, bootp, OpenSSH, ProFTPd, OpenLDAP); firewall/VPN (iptables, fwbuilder, CPIE); music tools (rosegarden, beast, soundtracker, audacity, ...); tools for scanning, printing, ..." Read the full announcement on the distribution's home page. Besides the full ISO image, smaller specialist images for multimedia, games, firewalls and other purposes are also available.
A new version of the KANOTIX live CD has been released: "KANOTIX 'Bug Hunter' 05/2004 released. Specification: kernel 2.4.26 with MPPE(VPN), S-ATA and other patches; SMP support; ACPI and DMA enabled by default; i586 optimisation; 128 MB RAM required, 256 MB RAM recommended; AVM Fritz!Card DSL support (PCI and USB); Fritz!Card CAPI support; Eagle USB DSL support; fixed: Speedtouch USB support (PPPoE/A); Updates: KDE 3.2.2, OpenOffice 1.1.1 (Debian release), ALSA 1.0.4; GRUB boot loader for CD start - ideal for rescue in command line mode; new: Memtest86+ - advanced memory diagnostic tool in the extra menu of the boot loader..." The full announcement in English and German.
The first "live" edition of the AGNULA/DeMuDI distribution is out: "AGNULA/DeMuDi 1.1.1, the Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution for audio/video, has been released. This release is the first Live CD-ROM delivered by the AGNULA team and will be presented and distributed at the Linux Audio Meeting 2004. It is based on the well-known Knoppix distribution, adapted and tuned for audio and multimedia work." Read the rest of the release announcement. AGNULA (A GNU/Linux Audio distribution) is a project previously funded by the European Commission, but it now continues as a volunteer effort aiming to spread Libre Software in the professional audio/video arena.
AGNULA/DeMuDi 1.1.1 - a heaven for multimedia enthusiasts
(full image size 501kB)
SUSE LINUX 9.1 LiveCD
It's official: SUSE LINUX 9.1 is now released and available in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. If you live elsewhere, you can get the first taste of the new SUSE by downloading the SUSE LiveCD (formerly known as SUSE Live-Eval) from one of the mirrors. According to this README file in the SUSE 9.1 directory, the full FTP edition of SUSE LINUX 9.1 will be available soon: "This tree contains the source RPM packages for the SUSE LINUX 9.1 distribution. The SUSE LINUX 9.1 FTP version is being worked on and will be published in a few days, in this directory." Finally, the German pages of SUSE LINUX 9.1 have been updated to include all the usual product details, as well as full package lists.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Fedora Core 2 Test3
The third and final test release of Fedora Core 2 (version 1.92) will be released later today. The ISO images are already up on the Fedora mirrors, but the 1.92 directory is still locked. The final release of Fedora Core 2 is scheduled for 17 May 2004. Update: According to this message, the release of Test3 has been delayed: "Fedora Core 2 Test 3 will be released on Tuesday, April 27. The schedule page will be updated in the near future."
Many, many people emailed and asked about the status of Knoppix, and about the expected release of Knoppix 3.4. Here is the answer, directly from the horse's mouth: "We still have a lot of things to work on and test before the official beta release. Most important changes from the CeBIT Edition 3.4: KDE 3.2.2; OpenOffice 1.1.1; new kernels (currentmost 2.4 and 2.6); new wireless drivers for Centrino, Prism2/3, Ateros, possibly more; lots of new usability features and gimmicks. This should be finished within a few days, but instead of giving a wrong date for a release and thus just raising expectations unnecessarily, I'm just quoting from the Knoppix website: 'It's ready when it's ready.' ;-)" Knoppix 3.4 will be worth the wait, no doubt!
Sun Java Desktop System 2
According to an article at eWEEK, version 2 of Sun Java Desktop System is expected to be released in early May: "Sun Microsystems Inc. will use the Desktop Linux Summit in San Diego to announce that the second version of its Java Desktop System will be generally available in the first week of May. Curtis Sasaki, Sun's vice president of desktop solutions, told eWEEK in an interview Wednesday, ahead of the summit, that among the key advances in version 2.0 are management capabilities that allow enterprises to fine-tune and remotely set up the desktop." The full story.
Traditionally, early May means a new release of OpenBSD and this year will be no exception. For details of what is new in version 3.5 please read the release notes and the changelog. According to some posts on the OpenBSD mailing lists, the official CD set is already shipping - get it from the OpenBSD store (US$40.00), otherwise you will have to wait until the official release of OpenBSD 3.5 to FTP servers and mirrors on 1 May 2004. Find more information on OpenBSD.org.
PCLinuxOS Preview 6
A much anticipated new version of Texstar's PCLinuxOS will be out shortly: "I'll be moving all the RPMs from updates and unstable into main this weekend. Then next week I will start building the new ISO and testing with an anticipated release date of May 1 2004." The above comes from this post on the distribution's mailing list.
Libranet GNU/Linux 3.0
Also under development is Libranet GNU/Linux 3.0; this is from a recent Libranet newsletter: "Libranet 3.0 is being built to include all that is good in 2.8.1 with the addition of an improved installer, support for more devices, new packages and more flexibility in configuring the system. Packages, desktop environments and the kernel will be updated and improvements made to the Libranet Adminmenu. We'll let you know when we have a better idea of the release date. Most likely beta testing will start in June."
Penguin Sleuth 2.0
A new version of Penguin Sleuth Bootable CD is under development. That's according to this announcement at the distribution's web site: "I am working on an new release. The only thing holding me back from completing it is that I am looking to use Knoppix 3.4 which will have the 2.6 Kernel and KDE 3.2 along with a few more goodies. Knoppix 3.4 has not been officially released yet so I am waiting for the official release and I will be releasing Penguin Sleuth 2.0 soon after so keep your eye out. Penguin Sleuth 2.0 will be updated and have even more tools if all works out well."
ELX Linux 4.0
The developers of ELX Linux have updated their web site with information about the release of ELX Linux 4.0: "ELX is about to unveil a new generation of Linux experience. With the maximum number of Linux products in its portfolio, ELX is all set to give users the complete power to migrate. The launch of BizDesktop 4.0 will be officially announced shortly. The current release of BizDesktop 4.0 is based on kernel 2.4.20." Read here for more information.
|Web Site News
Feedback: does DistroWatch layout scare you away?
Thank you all for your feedback about the site's layout and suggestions for possible improvements. It seems that most people are happy with the way things are, but there were a few suggestions worth considering. We might make a few cosmetic changes on the main page in the near future, although there will be no major makeover of the site. After all, the ever increasing number of visitors, now reaching 30,000 to 40,000 per day can't be wrong :-)
New on the waiting list
DistroWatch database summary
- Hiweed Linux. Hiweed Linux is a Chinese Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. Two editions are available: Hiweed Linux Desktop (a live CD) and Hiweed Linux Server.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 284
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 4
- Number of discontinued distributions: 33
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 70
PHLAK still alive
Good news for fans of the PHLAK distribution; we are pleased to pass on this message by Shawn Hawkins: "Hello this is Goonsqad, co-developer of PHLAK. The project is not dead. Our web hosting service is a POS so we are working on getting a web server set up at Oregon State University. We are working on version 0.3 and hope to have it released in a couple of months. I just wanted you to know that the project is NOT dead... just a case of bad luck."
Inclusion of BSD distribution unfair
Although most visitors have welcomed the addition of BSD distributions to DistroWatch, not everybody is overjoyed by the decision. This is an email from PP: "I would like to express my opinion regarding the inclusion of BSD operating systems in your website. I think it is unfair and it redefines the competition between Linux distros by including them in a site meant exclusively for Linux-based operating systems. Though BSD and Linux use more or less the same packages, they behave and operate differently despite both having their roots in UNIX. The BSDs tend to be more or less a complete operating system by themselves, whereas Linux is just a kernel and distributions make it a platform suited for different purposes. So I think the inclusion not only unjustifies (sic) the name of your site, but also creates confusion among users. This is my humble opinion, I may be wrong too in some way but this is what I suggest."
The Lycoris and Desktop/LX name games
The distribution known as Lycoris will, from now on, be referred to as Desktop/LX on DistroWatch. This change comes as a result of a request by Rus from Lycoris: "Can you change the name of our OS from Lycoris to its proper name, Desktop/LX, please? On the front page (right column) we're listed as Lycoris, but the name of the OS is Desktop/LX - the name of the *company* is Lycoris. Sort of like Microsoft/Windows. You might want to set up the 'distribution name' on the page as just DLX, as I know the forward slash would wreak havoc with your linking system." So if you are looking for a Linux distribution by Lycoris, look under the letter "D".
That's all for this week, see you next Monday :-)
|• Issue 537 (2013-12-09): OpenMandriva 2013.0, Gentoo developer interview, project Neon, Linux Mint and security|
|• Issue 536 (2013-12-02): Impressions of openSUSE 13.1, Ubuntu Touch, FreeBSD 10 delay, troubleshooting OS lock-ups|
|• Issue 535 (2013-11-25): GhostBSD 3.5, Debian and MATE, Ubuntu 14.04 features, security updates|
|• Issue 534 (2013-11-18): Review of OpenBSD 5.4, Fedora on ARM, menu names vs command-line names|
|• Issue 533 (2013-11-11): Point Linux 2.2, Pisi update, Debian and Xfce, Bruno Cornec interview|
|• Issue 532 (2013-11-04): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.10, Debian's init, FreeBSD's PKG-NG, Linux on ARM|
|• Issue 531 (2013-10-28): PC-BSD 9.2, openSUSE testing, nftables, upgrade pros and cons|
|• Issue 530 (2013-10-21): Kwheezy 1.2, DPL interview, Zenwalk's future, keeping up with vulnerabilities|
|• Issue 529 (2013-10-14): Ubuntu's Mir, dmesg and photorec tips, Tiny Tiny RSS|
|• Issue 528 (2013-10-07): Semplice 5, Haiku package management, Klaus Knopper interview, making custom distro|
|• Issue 527 (2013-09-30): Tiny Core Linux 5.0, SteamOS, moving operating system to new computer|
|• Issue 526 (2013-09-23): Look at ArchBang 2013.09.01, BSD Now, kernel stats, command-line tips|
|• Issue 525 (2013-09-16): The Official Ubuntu Server Book, FreeBSD 10 and OpenBSD 5.4, Skype alternatives|
|• Issue 524 (2013-09-09): Look at LXLE 12.04.3, Ubuntu's new package format, Secure Boot and dual-booting|
|• Issue 523 (2013-09-02): OpenIndiana 151a8, openSUSE "Evergreen", GNOME and DuckDuckGo, running apps from RAM|
|• Issue 522 (2013-08-26): Look at gNewSense 3.0, Ubuntu Edge fundraising failure, exploring GPL|
|• Issue 521 (2013-08-19): Review of Korora 19, Fedora considers return to "Core", Haiku package management|
|• Issue 520 (2013-08-12): Salix OS 14.0.1 "KDE", Xubuntu experiments with XMir, managing passwords with KeePass|
|• Issue 519 (2013-08-05): Review of Porteus 2.0, Kubuntu lays out plans for Wayland adoption, adjusting system swappiness|
|• Issue 518 (2013-07-29): MidnightBSD 0.4, Razor-qt, Ubuntu Edge, mounting infected drives|
|• Issue 517 (2013-07-22): Zorin OS 7 "Lite", Slackware turns 20, UbuntuForums compromise, Raspbian as home server, Tor|
|• Issue 516 (2013-07-15): Review of Fedora 19 "KDE", Shuttleworth on Mir, Seth Vidal, Kingsoft Office for Linux|
|• Issue 515 (2013-07-08): Whonix 0.5.6 and Deepin 12.12, MintBox, processor capabilities, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 514 (2013-07-01): Peppermint Four, Mir, Mandriva forks, ThinkPenguin on libre hardware|
|• Issue 513 (2013-06-24): Look at ROSA, PC-BSD updates, Xen4CentOS6, Slacko vs Precise, Mageia interview, shells|
|• Issue 512 (2013-06-17): Trisquel 6.0, RHEL 7 with GNOME Classic, from Linux to FreeBSD, first look at Wayland|
|• Issue 511 (2013-06-10): Mint 15 impressions, GNOME Classic, Ubuntu Community portal, Absolute OpenBSD|
|• Issue 510 (2013-06-03): Impressions of aptosid 2013-01, Wayland comes to Raspberry Pi, maintaining DNS settings|
|• Issue 509 (2013-05-27): Mageia 3, Debian GNU/Hurd, RebeccaBlackOS with Wayland, ports|
|• Issue 508 (2013-05-20): Review of Debian 7.0, interviews with Clement Lefebvre and Gaël Duval, scripting with xdotool|
|• Issue 507 (2013-05-13): Impressions of Calculate Linux, 13.4, Ubuntu's portable packages, mintDrivers|
|• Issue 506 (2013-05-06): Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04, Debian "Wheezy", Slackware on systemd, distros for Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 505 (2013-04-29): First look at PCLinuxOS 2013.04, Saucy Salamander, Remastersys and System Imager, Linux containers|
|• Issue 504 (2013-04-22): Look at Bodhi 2.3.0, Ubuntu 13.04 features, building OpenBSD ports, opening large files|
|• Issue 503 (2013-04-15): CentOS versus Scientific Linux, PCLinuxOS 64, Lucas Nussbaum, ZFS/Btrfs versus ext4|
|• Issue 502 (2013-04-08): Look at Mint 201303 "Debian", Ubuntu versus openSUSE, comparing ZFS and Btrfs file systems|
|• Issue 501 (2013-04-01): KANOTIX 2013 and GhostBSD 3.0, openSUSE Rescue-CD, Haiku package management, computer forensics|
|• Issue 500 (2013-03-25): Look at openSUSE 12.3, Ubuntu release changes, Debian backports, growing divide|
|• Issue 499 (2013-03-18): MINIX 3.2.1, openSUSE 12.3 on desktop, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin, distros for musicians, KolibriOS|
|• Issue 498 (2013-03-11): Sabayon Linux 11, Ubuntu's Mir, Linux malware|
|• Issue 497 (2013-03-04): Rebellin Linux 1.00 "Adrenaline", rolling-release Ubuntu, Arch vs spin-offs, justification and diversity|
|• Issue 496 (2013-02-25): Review of Chakra 2013.02, The Book of GIMP, Ubuntu and privacy, FreeNAS vs NAS4Free|
|• Issue 495 (2013-02-18): SparkyLinux 2.1 "Ultra", Fedora 19 schedule, Xubuntu on DVD, cloud privacy|
|• Issue 494 (2013-02-11): FreeBSD 9.1, web server stats, Anaconda, rolling-release PC-BSD, fixing broken packages in Arch|
|• Issue 493 (2013-02-04): UberStudent 2.0, OmniBoot 1.0, MariaDB, Enlightenment 0.17|
|• Issue 492 (2013-01-28): Fedora 18 review, systemd, Kali Linux, Ubuntu Unleashed|
|• Issue 491 (2013-01-21): Fuduntu 2013.1, Fedora 18 desktop choices, Consort, accessing encrypted drive|
|• Issue 490 (2013-01-14): Look at Manjaro Linux 0.8.3, openSUSE on Chromebook, Able2Extract 8.0|
|• Issue 489 (2013-01-07): PC-BSD 9.1, Arch spin-offs, rolling-releases, year-end PHR stats, removing applications|
|• Full list of all issues|
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