| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 63, 23 August 2004
Welcome to this year's 33rd edition of DistroWatch Weekly. After returning from his break, your DistroWatch maintainer has found that there is plenty to catch up on. Also, we are introducing a new section called "Featured Distribution of the Week". Enjoy!
Linux in Europe
Talking about Linux deployments in Europe, Red Hat's CEO Matthew Szulik was recently quoted by Linux Format as saying that "our best developers come from Europe - hands down". He continued: "I think Europe - because of the lack of legacy - is going to move forward, open-minded, towards Open Source software."
As the Thai Airways airplane slowly descended towards the Fiumicino Airport in Rome, my mind couldn't help but wondering: is Linux a commonly known term in Europe? Will I be able to find an Internet Café with a Linux machine? And what about the availability of Linux books, magazines, distributions? If I wear a Linux T-shirt, will I meet some like-minded folks? Although it was meant to be a holiday, I spent the last few years almost exclusively in Linux, researching and promoting Linux distributions, and I found it hard not to think about these things even while away from my computer. The thought of arriving in the scary world of Microsoft software and all its security problems and other ills was very unpleasant, to say the least. Only the Knoppix live CD in my back pocket provided some comfort.
Some six weeks have passed since then and I know the answers to all those questions. So how did Europe fare? In terms of finding Linux in Internet Cafés, Europe was a big disappointment. It soon became clear that the majority of businesses providing Internet access to travellers exist for one main reason - to make as much money as possible. It's all pay-first-surf-later, pop-up windows with reminders of remaining time, centralised password-protected terminals and other control measures. It didn't take me long to realise that all large Internet Cafés had to be avoided at all cost. In fact, it was the smaller Cafés that provided much friendlier environment, and although none of them offered Linux-powered terminals, at least they were aware of Linux and did not object to my using Knoppix on their boxes. It wasn't until the very end of the trip that I found an Internet Café with a Linux machine - in the eastern Slovakian city of Košice, of all places. There it was - a lone box in the corner, away from all the game playing kids in the main row, sporting a bright red desktop of Fedora Core!
The situation was much better in terms of availability of general Linux publications in news stands and book stores. It seems that every language area of Europe publishes several excellent Linux magazines and regular "distribution packs" with all the latest and greatest CDs readily available. In Italy, I enjoyed the excellent Linux Magazine, which comes with great content, as well as 3 CDs and a DVD for those who lack fast Internet connection. Two other Linux magazines were also available on the shelves of Italian news stands. Similarly, the news stands of the French-speaking part of Switzerland were offering several Linux magazines imported from France, including (once again) Linux Magazine and one or two others. Likewise the German-speaking part of Switzerland, which had several Linux magazines brought in from Germany - I liked linuxuser and easyLINUX, both of which had a good mixture of excellent content for beginners and advanced users.
Of all the countries I visited, Austria was about the best for Linux publications and distributions. The green SUSE LINUX boxes were widely available in most book stores and I even spotted a box of Mandrakelinux 10.0 PowerPack on a few occasions. A news stand in Vienna had two rows of Linux magazines in German and English, including Linux Format (my personal favourite) and a few American monthlies, as well as the German edition of Red Hat's Wide Open and Aurox Linux magazine with a full set of Aurox CDs. While in Vienna, I also met with Antonin Sprinzl, a system administrator at Vienna Technical University who maintains a very large mirror of many Linux distributions on the university's server at gd.tuwien.ac.at. Good work there, Antonin!
Apart from the above mentioned surprise of finding a Linux box in an Internet Café, Slovakia (now a member of the European Union) seemed somewhat behind the other countries in terms of home computer use and available Linux publications. The only magazine I found on news stands regularly was a fairly expensive monthly called Linux+ (in Czech).
Many thanks to Robert Storey and Dr Zhu Wen Tao for keeping DistroWatch going during my break. Robert did a great job by compiling DistroWatch Weekly, while Dr Zhu from Chinese Academy of Sciences (and a big fan of Mandrakelinux) was maintaining the news section. Despite our best efforts, we still missed a few important news (more on this below), so please accept our apologies if we didn't cover a release of your favourite project or distribution.
Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 - released or not?
Have you had a chance to try out the brand new Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 released last week? If not, then don't despair, you are not the only one. Judging by the posts on the distribution's forums, the much hyped latest version of Desktop/LX hasn't shipped, the existing Lycoris customers are unable to upgrade their products online, and DistroWatch has yet to receive the promised final package list of the product. Even the official press release went out two days later than scheduled. Has Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 been really released? We have our doubts....
|Featured Distribution of the Week
Remember Kondara, a distribution with a logo of a penguin on a motorcycle? It was one of the earliest and most successful Japanese distributions and it even attempted to enter the US market in 2000 with the release of Kondara MNU/Linux 2000 (see this review). Unfortunately, the company behind Kondara collapsed over two years ago, leaving the highly motivated developers without a project to work on. Never mind, they said, let's start our own project. Out of ashes of Kondara a new distribution, called Momonga Linux, was born.
It took over two long years of development work, but the first stable release of Momonga Linux, code name "Kaede" was finally announced on 6 August 2004. Although built from its own package repository, the distribution is heavily inspired by Fedora Core, with similar development model and FTP file structure, the Anaconda installer, and RPM package management. Momonga Linux 1 comes on 4 CDs and includes just about every useful piece of open source software available under the sun.
Although developed mostly by Japanese programmers, the distribution supports English just as well and the Momonga web site provides English content, together with English-language mailing lists. One nice thing about Momonga is its support for 8 different Japanese input method servers, a selection of which is available directly from the GDM login screen. Best of all, these input servers work nicely even if you choose to keep your user interface in English (or any other language) - anybody who has ever tried to configure one of these input servers on a non-Japanese distribution and a non-Japanese user interface will surely appreciate the simplicity of Momonga's approach.
But even if you have no need to write in Japanese, Momonga Linux is a very nice distribution to play with. It is a completely free (both libre and gratis), community-based project with a lot of potential and determination. If you enjoy experimenting with different distributions, take your time to find out more about Momonga, the flying squirrel, at momonga-linux.org.
Momonga Linux 1 - the project's first stable version was released earlier this month
(full image size 408kB)
|Released Last Week
The Gnoppix Project is pleased to announce Gnoppix 0.8: "Gnoppix is a free operating system, with the GNOME desktop environment, features cryptographic software, is compatible with the FHS v2.2, and supports software developed for the LSB. Gnoppix 0.8-Series comes with GNOME 2.6 and Kernel 2.6.7, C++ 3.4, egroupware, Openoffice, see filelist for details. A full Mono Develop environment is also included. Now we have a nice GUI installation tool, you can install Gnoppix with 7 clicks to your hard disk. Gnoppix comes with 23 bootable languages." The full changelog.
The security-focused, Debian-based Adamantix project has released Adamantix 1.0.4: "Adamantix v1.0.4 has been released! With almost 3300 packages (against less than 1200 in v1.0.3), this release is a big step forward in the evolution of Adamantix. The most notable change is the inclusion of various X related packages like KDE 3.2.3, Mozilla, Firefox v0.9.3, Evolution, Gaim, Nessus, etc. XFree86 itself does not work, although the VNC server does. The X server needs more work to fix. Many packages have been updated, like Postfix, OpenSSH, PAM and Linux kernel v2.4.26. Some stuff which has been removed in this release: randomising kernel patches and the HostAP driver patch." Read the rest of the announcement.
Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4
The long awaited Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 has been officially released: "Lycoris, the worldwide desktop Linux leader, today announced the immediate availability of Desktop/LX 1.4, the fifth release of its award-winning desktop operating system. Desktop/LX 1.4, formerly known as Desktop/LX Update 4, features an enhanced desktop powered by KDE 3.2.3, and combines all of the simplicity customers have come to expect from Lycoris with the power of the latest Open Source technology. Desktop/LX 1.4 is now available from all Lycoris resellers, and direct from the Lycoris Store." The full press release. Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4 is available in two editions -Desktop (US$40) and Deluxe (US$50); more details are available at the Lycoris Store.
This is a new release of SystemRescueCd, version 0.2.15. From the changelog: "Updated the kernelto Linux-2.4.27; added missing LVM tools (Volume Manager tools); added Oscar (build an advanced customized disc); updated Samba to 3.0.5;module 'cpqarray' loaded if required; updated ClamAV to 0.75.1; updated Memtest86+ bootdisk to 1.20; added bootdisk 'offline NT password and registry editor'; fixed a keyboard problem; fixed a problem in the partimage-ssl package; added mdadm (software RAID administrator program); added sleuthkit (file system and media management forensic analysis tools); added rzip (compression program for large files); addedudpcast (allows mulitcast transfers)."
QiLinux version 1.1 is out: "QiLinux1.1 stable release is available for download. ISO images can be downloaded by following this link. Please consider the mirror sites for faster downloads. The two ISO images to install from CD are available (about1.3GB). There is also an ISO image for network installation (about 80MB). Lots of fixes on the setup procedure should let you install QiLinux on more platforms than the previous version. Please, read the full article for detailed information on new features since 1.1beta1." See the release announcement and changelog for details.
Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.032 for AMD64
Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.0 contains all freely distributable packages from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0, and Always CurrentLineox™ Enterprise Linux is a series of versions of Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.0 which contain all the available bug and security fixes. "Always Current Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.032 is the first version Lineox released for x86_64 in addition to IA32 (known also as i386) architecture... The x86_64 release requires either AMD Opteron or Athlon64 CPU based computer. Some new Intel Xeon and Pentium IV CPU's that have EM64T (Extended Memory 64 Technology) should also be able to run this version. " The complete announcement.
The FreeBSD-based m0n0wall firewall, version 1.1, hasbeen released: "This second m0n0wall release adds several new features like captive portal support, 802.1Q VLAN and more, and fixes many bugs (not only in m0n0wall code, but also in software from other projects that is used in it)." See the changelog and the official announcement on the distribution's home page.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Progeny Debian 2.0
Ian Murdoch has published a tentative roadmap towards the final release of Progeny Debian 2.0, scheduled for the end of September: "We're planning to do a Progeny Debian 2.0 Developer Edition Release Candidate on 8/30 or 8/31 that includes 'frozen' versions of our platform technologies, namely Anaconda and Discover, as well as a full complement of components, including some that will make their debut here in the next few weeks. Between the Release Candidate and the final release, only bug fixes will be introduced to the platform technologies, and there will be no changes to the components aside from bug fixes and updates from sarge, which by the first week of September should be minimal." The full story, as published on the Progeny mailing list.
|Web Site News
All the missed releases
One negative aspect of being away from DistroWatch was the fact that we missed some important releases. Among them was gnuLinEx 2004, released on 20 July (see the release announcement (in Spanish). The Kurumin project has also moved on and the latest release is version 3.11. The Knoppix-based Danix project from the Czech Republic released a new version, numbered 2004-08-12, on 12 August, see their brief announcement (in Czech). The Fedora-based live CD called Berry Linux is now on version 0.46, see the changelog on the distribution's home page. Version 2.0.2 of the Aurox-based Hakin9 project was released late in July and you can find a brief changelog on haking.pl. Finally, Israel's Kinneret project has also made a new release - version 0.7.3. Besides all the stable releases, we have missed a number of announcements of development and beta releases. These include the current betas of Yellow Dog Linux 4.0 and a number of other interesting distributions. Once again, our apologies for the missed news.
Three distribution have been placed on the list of discontinued distributions due to prolonged unavailability of their respective web sites; these are Aleader, Polar Bear Linux and Zeus Linux.
New distribution additions
New on the waiting list
- DebXPde. DebXPde is a Knoppix-based Linux distribution which integrates the XPde user interface into Linux in order to give new users a familiar, WindowsXP-like experience. The distribution also provides users with many useful tools for everyday tasks.
- DNALinux. DNALinux is a live Linux distribution based on SLAX and bundled with bioinformatics applications, such as EMBOSS, Primer3, and other software.
- KoreLinux. Kore Linux is a Korean Linux distribution based on Fedora Core.
- Linare Linux. Linare Linux is a desktop-oriented, commercial Linux distribution based on Fedora Core technology. Features of Linare Linux include a full office suite compatible with Microsoft Office, which includes word processing, spreadsheet, drawing and presentation software. It also comes with a full Internet suite, bundled with a GAIM messenger that can be used with Yahoo, MSN, AOL and ICQ protocols. Linare Linux includes Mozilla mail software, the increasingly popular Outlook-styled email program, and the Mozilla Internet browser. (Many thanks to Thierry Thévoz, who has supplied the information about Linare Linux; it's unfortunate that the distribution's web site still does not provide much technical information about Linare's products.)
- Momonga Linux. Momonga Linux is a Linux distribution developed in a "bazaar" model style among its user community. Why momonga? you may wonder... A momonga (aka Pteromys momonga) is a flying squirrel found both in Europe and Asia. It's an animal known for a self-asserting behaviour, despite its small size. We, at the Momonga Project, like the momonga, may be small and not well-known, but we do express ourselves without fear or favour, so hopefully a new user can feel our enthusiasm and belief from the Momonga Linux. Also, an installer for Momonga Linux is also called momonga. Taking over its name, it does the job quickly and efficiently, just like a momonga.
- Nature's Linux. Nature's Linux is a Linux-based operating system developed by Japan's Nature's Linux Alliance. Its main focus is security.
- Octoz GNU/Linux. The goal of Octoz GNU/Linux is to create a simple and reliable Linux distribution accessible to the beginners and to the people having little or no knowledge in data processing. The system will be designed for the beginners so that the access to this OS is a real pleasure and not another "OS created by engineers for engineers". Octoz GNU/Linux will be mainly directed at multi-media, office automation, customer networks and Internet.
- Specifix Linux. Specifix is a privately held open source company founded to take on the challenge of producing open source products and distributions that can be tailored efficiently to match client needs. The product lines cover both the GNU tools system, and Linux based systems. Specifix has built a Linux distribution around the Conary system to both showcase the abilities Conary provides and to provide a starting point for customisation. This distribution is still immature, but we encourage anyone interested in Conary and flexible Open Source solutions to give it a try.
DistroWatch database summary
- Securinix. Securinix is a customised Linux distribution based on Slackware 10, which runs directly from a bootable CD without the need to install anything on a hard disk. In addition to the standard tools and stability Slackware is known for, Securinix contains the latest stable versions of variety of Open Source network security tools for network monitoring, scanning, OS fingerprinting, vulnerability analysis, sniffing and sniffing detection, intrusion detection, packet generation/injection, backup and data recovery, computer forensics, and incident response.
- BIG LINUX. BIG LINUX is a new Brazilian Linux distribution based on Kurumin Linux.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 323
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 7
- Number of discontinued distributions: 35
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 76
|DistroWatch in the News
Why is Gentoo declining
The last section of DistroWatch Weekly was originally reserved for reader feedback; however, with most readers opting to express their views in the forums, it has become increasingly hard to fill the section with insightful comments. As a result, the reader feedback section has been replaced with "DistroWatch in the News". It will be filled with quotes and links to sites and forums discussing DistroWatch and distributions in general, with the goal of triggering interesting discussions and helping to improve the site. This week we will link to a discussion on Gentoo forums entitled DistroWatch - Why Is Gentoo Declining?, where a reader was wondering about the reasons why Gentoo is dropping in our page hit ranking statistics:
"I have my own theories (binary package integration, portage dictating downgrades and other similar changes), but I'd like to here from others why they think what was the best source-based hacker-friendly Linux distribution has been on a steady decline in popularity?"
Anybody else wants to comment on the subject?
That's all for this week, see you all next Monday :-)
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
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|Linux Foundation Training
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|• 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|
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|• 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|
|• Issue 682 (2016-10-10): KDE neon 20160915, Android-x86 6.0, Fedora warns of update bug, HandyLinux drops English translation, LXQt benchmarks|
|• Issue 681 (2016-10-03): OpenBSD 6.0, DragonFly BSD to support LibreSSL in ports, systemd denial of service bug, upgraded Mintbox Mini|
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|• Issue 679 (2016-09-19): OpenMandriva 3.0, 32-bit vs 64-bit performance, openSUSE updates, KaOS unveils first run wizard|
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|• Issue 676 (2016-08-29): Korora 24, Fedora 25 to use Wayland by default, Linux turns 25, PC-BSD becomes TrueOS, finding software licensing information|
|• Issue 675 (2016-08-22): Gentoo LiveDVD "Choice Edition", moreutils, Ubuntu improves terminal convergence, MATE packaged for Openindiana, FreeBSD improves video support|
|• Issue 674 (2016-08-15): Zenwalk Linux 8.0, Ubuntu phone follow-up, Lubuntu transitioning to LXQt, Steam running on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 673 (2016-08-03): noop linux and EasyNAS, Debian's GnuPG switch, Fedora "Flock", using "nice"|
|• Issue 672 (2016-08-01): Ubuntu Phone 15.04, Solus embraces rolling release model, interview with Jane Silber, FreeBSD Quarterly Report|
|• Issue 671 (2016-07-25): Slackware 14.2, Point Linux 3.2, OpenBSD disables usermount, KaOS releases significant changes, Fedora 22 reaches end of life.|
|• Issue 670 (2016-07-18): Linux Lite 3.0, Bodhi team plans 4.0.0, pfSense changes licensing, running software across distributions, Linux Mint upgrade path|
|• Issue 669 (2016-07-11): Linux Mint 18, proving a system is secure, LibreSSL in FreeBSD, Ubuntu plans phasing out 32-bit, pfSense status report|
|• Issue 668 (2016-07-04): Fedora 24, Linux Mint plans for 18.1, FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD improve their file systems, comparing Flatpak, Snap and AppImage|
|• Issue 667 (2016-06-27): GeckoLinux 421, Fedora supports Flatpak, Solus unveils new features, running GNU/Linux on tablets|
|• Issue 666 (2016-06-20): Comparing more live update methods, Ubuntu's snap packages, Antergos drops 32-bit media, GeckoLinux unveils Rolling edition, learning Linux resources|
|• Full list of all issues|