| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 50, 24 May 2004
Welcome to this year's 21th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. The much awaited Fedora Core 2 has now landed. You've seen the first review and you know that it doesn't dual boot with Windows XP, but life wouldn't be fun if everything was perfect, right? Now let's get on with the content of this week's issue of DWW.
Debian From Scratch
This surprise announcement about a Gentoo-like Debian From Scratch project was spotted on the debian-devel mailing list:
"Debian From Scratch (DFS) is a single CD that is a full rescue CD capable of working with all major filesystems, LVM, software RAID, and even compiling a new kernel. And, it's a cdebootstrap-based install CD that can install i386 Woody, i386 Sarge, i386 Sid, and amd64 Sid directly from CD, and whatever else from the 'net. The installation can best be described as "Gentoo-like". Documentation is not yet very complete, but updates will be posted at the URL below."
This project should be of interest to users who have been asking for a Debian distribution with a Gentoo-style control and optimisation; voices requesting such a project tend to "emerge" in the Debian community from time to time. If you are interested, visit the DFS's documentation page and then download the ISO image (version 0.5.1 was released last Saturday) from here. If any of you has given it a try or if you are planning to take a closer look, do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the forums below.
The "spare bedroom" distributions
This really belongs to the reader feedback section, but I moved it here to stress a point. A (not particularly polite) poster in last week's DistroWatch Weekly forum reacted to the fact that MEPIS and PCLinuxOS were under consideration to replace Desktop/LX on the top ten distributions list:
"Mepis, PCLinuxOS?? Personally, I'd like to know what these two one-man, fly-by-night, back bedroom distros have that any other organized commercial mainstream distro doesn't?"
Well, dear poster (and dear all who need this reminder): before you post any more messages disparaging distributions that are not created by registered companies, just remember the beginnings of Linux. Linux doesn't exist because some large corporations with plenty of money thought it was a good idea to create it; it exists because a young student with no money thought it was a good idea to create it. Linux exists because somebody put it together in a spare bedroom, just for fun. This is also true about many open source applications that we use daily.
It was the policy of DistroWatch from the beginning to give equal exposure to all Linux distributions, be they small spare-bedroom projects created by pennyless Linux enthusiasts, or large enterprise-class projects built by corporation worth billions of dollars on the stock exchange. On DistroWatch, a distribution released by a registered company with a huge marketing department, a legal division, and a large server farm will be reported in the same manner as a distribution released by a couple of Mongolian developers in Ulan Bator with nothing but an account on SourceForge and a desire to create something that others can use. As we all know, a great piece of software can be coded with no money, while even the world's richest companies are often unable to build software that is stable, secure and resistant to worms and viruses.
Those of you who prefer a Linux distribution created by a "proper" company, there is plenty to choose from. But if you are only interested to read about distributions created by "proper" companies, you are on a wrong web site.
Some of you might find use for MirrorWatch, an interesting web site that monitors how complete a mirror of a distribution is at the time of your visit. As we all know, there are many FTP/HTTP servers that mirror the master servers of the main distributions, but some of them limit mirroring to ISO images, while others only synchronise with the master server once in a week. MirrorWatch will give you an opportunity to find out with one glance how complete a mirror is without having to log in to the mirror itself and navigate through its directories. It comes particularly handy during "rush days", just after a new major distribution release. The site currently covers Mandrakelinux, Fedora and Debian mirrors, but the author welcomes suggestions for new mirror and distribution additions to the site. Visit MirrorWatch here.
|Released Last Week
A new updated release of the Knoppix live CD is now available for your downloading pleasure. From the changelog: "V3.4-2004-05-17 (small updates). Kernel 2.6.6; harddisk installer (Fabian Franz) update; live installer (Fabian Franz) update; fixed knoppix-terminalserver boot-graphics; removed ipw2100 support in kernel 2.6.6 because it does not work there (gcc incompatibilities, changed kernel api)." Download from one of the many Knoppix mirrors.
Fedora Core 2
Fedora Core 2 has been released: "Fedora Core 2 is now available from Red Hat and at distinguished mirror sites near you, and is also available in the torrent. Fedora Core has expanded in this release to four binary ISO images and four source ISO images, and is available for both x86-64 and i386. Please file bugs via Bugzilla, Product Fedora Core, Version 2, so that they are noticed and appropriately classified. Discuss this release on fedora-list." Read the announcement and release notes for further details.
Server optimized Linux (or SoL), version 18.00, has been released: "antitachyon - Manalo & Willner OEG proudly announces the final release of SoL - Server optimized Linux 18.00. SoL 18.00 is the 5th stable release of SoL since 2002. SoL is a Linux-Distribution developed by the Austrian company 'antitachyon'. The main concepts of SoL were consequently enhanced. SoL 18.00 is the first release which features a multi-language installer. All the translations where done by the very active SoL-community." Read the rest of the release announcement and visit the product's features page for additional information about SoL.
tinysofa enterprise server 1.0-U1
This is from the release announcement of tinysofa enterprise server 1.0 Update 1: "tinysofa enterprise server 1.0-U1 is now generally available. Update 1 adds polish to an already widely acclaimed distribution, and is the product of an amazingly expedient development process that has seen the adoption of the subversion source control management system as its centrepiece. Every package has been updated, and the release includes a great amount of attention to detail." Find the release announcement on the distribution's home page.
CRUX 2.0 has been released: "I'm happy to announce that CRUX 2.0 is now available. This is the first CRUX release that is based on the 2.6 kernel. Other highlights include Glibc 2.3.3 with NPTL, GCC 3.3.3 and X.org's X11 6.7.0. See the change log for a complete list of new, updated and removed packages. Go to the download section to download the ISO image. Please use a mirror. Due to the major changes in this release, and because quite a few packages were renamed, upgrading from 1.3 is not supported by the setup script. A fresh re-installation is highly recommended." The full release announcement.
Puppy Linux 0.8.6
Puppy Linux 0.8.6 has been released. From the release notes: "Puppy now has the Tcl/Tk programming language and BWidget, tix, FTP, Tkhtml, Img, combobox extension libraries;* VisualTcl and specTcl, GUI builders for creating Tcl/Tk applications; ML, text editor with syntax highlighting of Tcl code, with procedure jump-to; tkConvert, units converter; regexpviewer, regular expression evaluator; Slidedraw, slide presentation program, like PowerPoint; CDTAR, another backup program (Puppy already has bkup2cd); TkZip, another archiver program, handles bzip2, tar, gzip, zip, cpio archives (Puppy already has Xtar); setvol, console utility to set and get the audio volume..."
Tilix is Bulgaria's own distribution - a Knoppix-based live CD with a complete desktop in Bulgarian. Version 0.3 was released earlier this week, after several months of development. Some of the newly upgraded packages and features since version 0.2 include: kernel 2.6.5 with ACPI/DMA; KDE 3.2.2, XFree86 4.3.0, Mozilla Firefox 0.8, Mozilla Thunderbird 0.6, Digikam 0.6.0, KBear 2.1, OpenOffice 1.1.1, GCC 3.4 (optional); autodetection of nForce 1/2 LAN cards; an option to install Tilix to hard disk with 'tilix tohd=/dev/hdaX'; support for Internet connectivity with GPRS/IRDA and USB modems.... The full announcement is available on the distribution's news page (in Bulgarian).
Tilix 0.3 - Bulgaria's own Linux distribution
(full image size 365kB)
Slavix is a Morphix-based live CD intended for a home user. From the announcement about the release of Slavix 0.9.1: "This is an update to release 0.9.0 with some bug fixes and some changes in functionality and look. This release brings all included packages to their latest state in Debian unstable. It is based on Morphix base module 0.4.1, Debian GNU/Linux sid, KDE 3.2, Linux kernel v2.4.21-xfs. Added Features: Slavix LiveCD menu to System Configuration with items: Administrator console, Save Home directory, Save settings, Set Administrator password; added find in folder KDE extention to KDE; added Russian phonetic keyboard...."
Rocks Cluster Distribution 3.2.0
The Rocks Cluster Distribution project has released Rocks 3.2.0: "Rocks 3.2.0, code named Shasta, is released for Pentium/Athlon, Opteron, and Itanium. This release includes the latest updates from Red Hat (as of May 18th), bug fixes, refreshed rolls and the addition of two new rolls for Pentium/Athlon clusters. The 'Area51 Roll' contains system integrity tools: tripwire and chkrootkit. The 'Condor Roll' adds the distributed high-throughput feature from the Condor project. To download the ISO images for the Rocks Base and Rolls, see Downloads. For more details regarding the release, see the Release Notes." Read the full announcement on the distribution's home page.
YES Linux 2.0.8
YES Linux 2.0.8 has been released: "YES Corporation would like to announce the release of YES Linux 2.0.8 for immediate downloading. The major changes are integration of WebDAV, single sign on using PostgreSQL (all authentication including native apache Basic Authentication is provided by PostgreSQL), bug fixes to integration of phpPgAdmin thanx to Elitelan (elitelan.com), removal of Samba. The last is the most exciting because it means that any machine that is capable of viewing a WebDAV export can now update their website using any authoring tool." The full release announcement.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The developers of FreeSBIE, a FreeBSD-based live CD, have announced that work has started on FreeSBIE 1.1: "With a new message on the official mailing list, dave announced today that he started to work on FreeSBIE again. He proposed some new features that will be implemented in FreeSBIE 1.1." Find out more on freesbie.org.
Shark Linux 2.0
From the What's coming up in 2.0: "The 2.0 Branch of SharkLinux has been started today. The 1.05/1.06 branches were based on the Gentoo Linux project. We have decided to scrap further development on this project in favor of a completely NEW system. RPMs will be used for package management and updates. This will not only simplify the release process, but also provide an easy way to manage updates and add-on packages. What to expect in v2: kernel 2.6.6 or higher (latest kernel at time of release); GCC 3.4 w/ Stack Smashing Protector; glibc 2.3.3 w/ AMD64 fixes;* RPM v4 package management; improved console administration tools; improved support for Linisys and IBM Opteron Systems." Read more on sharklinux.com.
|Web Site News
Revising the top 10 distributions
Based on your feedback (and in spite of having alienated several Desktop/LX users), Lycoris Desktop/LX will be replaced with MEPIS Linux on our top 10 distributions list. Additionally, FreeBSD will be included in the list as the top BSD-based operating system. Several readers suggested that, besides the "top ten" list, we could also include a quick "top five" listings in various categories. We did like the idea, so expect an updated page sometimes later this week.
Revising tracked packages
This is just another reminder to everybody that you have one more week left to suggest new software packages to be tracked by DistroWatch. We have received a few votes, but we need some more to finalise the list. All the details are on packages page. Just a warning: I cannot guarantee that all suggested packages will make it, but the most often requested packages will be included in the tables starting next month.
New distribution addition
New on the waiting list
- MirOS. MirOS targets small servers and developers' workstations (although it _does_ come with KDE or GNOME on request); it's a pretty small, very secure operating system, totally freely licenced. MirOS BSD is derived from OpenBSD and NetBSD and currently runs on i386 and SPARC; PPC to follow.
- PingOO. PingOO is a French Debian-based distribution in development since 1997. It comes in three editions: PingOO Communication Server, PingOO Secure Server and PingOO File Server.
- Giboia Linux. Giboia Linux is Brazil's latest distribution - a Debian based live CD with GNOME as its desktop environment.
DistroWatch database summary
- OEone. Confirming earlier rumours, the Mozilla-based OEone project has now definitely closed the doors. The distribution's original web site was at www.oeone.com, but last week it started redirecting visitors to Axentra Corporation. As a result of this, we have removed OEone from the list of active distributions.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 289
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 7
- Number of discontinued distributions: 32
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 81
Wanted: a mini live CD distro for AMD64
A reader wonders why, until now, there has been no effort to build a mini live CD distribution for AMD64:
"The advent and growing popularity of AMD64 systems has heralded many 64-bit Linux distros. However, to date, there does not exist a mini live CD distro for 64-bit Linux. I am referring to business-card bootable live CDs such as Damn Small Linux, Feather Linux, and Puppy Linux which function as useful operating desktop systems and not just as recovery CDs. Would anyone be interested in creating a 64-bit mini live CD distro? Is there currently enough demand that would justify the creation of these things? Either way, I hope to create some discussion on DW to kick-start the issue."
Search features on DistroWatch
The issue of search features and distribution categories keeps comming up, as demonstrated by this post last week:
"Every time I enter DistroWatch, I want to see what's new, but also when I have to do some specific search, I'm not able to do it. This is because of the lack of categories or some kind of special keywords to be used in a search, I mean, as the guy right over me, if I need a distro for really old hardware, I can't go with Mandrake, but I don't necessarily know the names of the distros able to work good on old hardware. The same for live CDs, if I need some LiveCD distro, i would like to know which of the list are this kind, to be able to compare between them (I remember this was available until one day the page disappeared.)"
Firstly, the live CD page did not disappear - it is still available from a link on the Search page. Secondly, besides requests, can any of you offer help with implementing these features? It's very easy to spend 2 minutes writing that "I want this feature or that feature", but do you realise that it would take days of coding to implement your requests? Please don't write that you want something, offer help instead! If you can't code, then learn, or wait until I find the time to code. I do want to listen to your requests and code in all the requested features, but I just don't have the time (or money to employ a programmer).
Those of you who cannot code, but would like to help out, this is what you could do: go to the distributions on waiting list page and see if you can research one of the distributions on the list. When your research is done, fill in the submit distribution form. Fill it in in full, including the list of packages. It might take time to find the information, you might have to download the product, try it out, extract the package list from it... Also, find out the description of the product (check the spelling too). You might have to contact the developers just to obtain some information. If you can do this, I will really appreciate your help - it would save me a lot of time which I can use for coding in the most wanted features. Some of the often requested new distributions currently still on waiting list include the following: Kix, Luit Linux, Necromantux, GIS Knoppix, Orange Cell, CalyptOS, Navyn OS, just to name a few of the 80 or so on the list, growing every week. However, do get in touch before you set out to research a distribution (my email is on the bottom of this page), so that we don't get two people doing the same work.
I hope you enjoyed this edition of DistroWatch Weekly :-)
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|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 |
MilaX was a small-size live-CD distribution which runs completely off a CD or a USB storage device. It was based on OpenSolaris Nevada and includes its basic features. It originally started as an experiment to see how much OpenSolaris software could fit on a mini-CD, but it eventually became a full-fledged OpenSolaris distribution. It was also possible to use MilaX as a rescue CD. It can be installed on storage media with a small capacity, including bootable business cards, USB flash drives, memory cards, and Zip drives. MilaX was free to use, modify and distribute.