| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 66, 13 September 2004
Welcome to this year's 36th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. This week we'll bring you some information about delays in distribution releases, a phenomenon that is increasingly commonplace, and we also introduce the recently released SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9. Enjoy!
Fedora and Mandrakelinux delayed, FreeBSD on schedule
We have previously talked about the delay in the release of Lycoris Desktop/LX 1.4; a couple of last-minute bugs have succeeded in postponing the release by nearly a month now. But Lycoris is not the only distribution finding itself under release pressure. It is becoming a common feature of the Linux distribution scene that the expected release dates are just rough estimates and they rarely mean much. Of course, few people will object to postponing a product release if the alternative is to receive a distribution with nasty known bugs.
The second test release of Fedora Core 3, originally scheduled for today, won't happen until at least a week later - that's according to this message: "Due to various issues with candidate trees so far, Test 2 has been pushed out one week, to September 20th." The Fedora release schedule has been updated accordingly. If you are disappointed with the decision, a good way to kill some time is to read this 24-page document (in PDF format) by Colin Charles entitled "Fedora Core 3 - what's new with Test 2 (really also RHEL4) and the community".
In the meantime, Mandrakelinux 10.1 has fallen behind its release schedule by some 6 weeks now. Despite the already considerable delay, there is talk on the Cooker mailing list about one more release candidate (RC2) before the final 10.1 "Community" edition is made available to those with Mandrakeclub membership cards. It now looks increasingly likely that the "Official" edition won't be ready until at least the middle of October, putting a strain on Mandrakesoft to get the "PowerPack" boxes ready in time for the Christmas holiday season.
For those who are impatiently waiting for Sarge to become stable, Debian Planet has published an update on the developers' progress towards the stable Debian 3.1. While the article doesn't dare to venture a release date guess, many readers speculate that Sarge won't be out until at least October or November, if not later. But we know that KDE 3.3 won't make it, although the latest 2.4 and 2.6 kernels should both be in.
In contrast, the development of FreeBSD 5.3 appears to be on track. BETA4 was released late on Sunday, only two days behind the schedule. The ports tree is now frozen as work continues with the goal of producing two release candidates before FreeBSD final is released to public on 3 October. As this is one of the most significant FreeBSD releases in years, those intended to migrate their FreeBSD 4 installations will enjoy this FreeBSD 5.3-BETA Migration Guide, describing some of the most important changes between the two branches. Armed with the knowledge, any upgrade to FreeBSD 5 should be a piece of cake!
Speaking about ports (and portage), the developers of Gentoo Linux have released a new x86 Minimal LiveCD, version 2004.2-r1, meant to correct a known bug: "Gentoo has become aware of a problem that many people are having booting the 2004.2 Minimal LiveCD for x86. To combat these problems, Release Engineering has created a new experimental install-x86-2004.2-r1-minimal.iso image. This ISO image is a recreated 2004.2 CD that was rebuilt to solve the problem of certain buggy BIOS versions not booting the Minimal LiveCD." Find out more on the distribution's home page. On a related note, if you happened to notice a slight disruption in production of the regular Gentoo Weekly Newsletter (GWN), it was due to the resignation of the newsletter's editor Yuji Kosugi.
Fans of the Knoppix live CD will be intrigued to learn that Klaus Knopper has released Knoppix 3.7. Unfortunately, this is one of those special editions, exclusively designed for a computer magazine and not available for free download. Nevertheless, it comes with some interesting features: "A new exclusive release of Knoppix with a configurable 'firewall on CD' (including masquerading and proxy features) is now available in the German edition 10/04 of PC-WELT." Read more about Knoppix 3.7 at Knoppix.com.
Finally, a note on UserLinux, which made it into headlines of many news sites last week, despite releasing nothing more than a 4.5MB beta installation CD. From what we've seen, there doesn't yet seem to be much revolutionary about the project that aims to produce a Debian-based distribution for the enterprise. The product will come with commercial support to entice those customers that would not consider a freely available distribution, such as Debian itself. We will revisit the project later, once most of the pieces are together and when the project has a more presentable web site than the one currently consisting of (frequently defaced) Wiki pages. Have any of you installed UserLinux yet? If so, what are your impressions? Please discuss below.
Some people would do anything to flaunt their OS preference (spotted in Bratislava, Slovakia).
|Featured Distribution of the Week: SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server
SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9
Some of the readers might be surprised by the inclusion of an enterprise-class distribution in this column - if that's the case then remember that it has been our policy to cover all distribution, irrespective of whether they are large or small, commercial or freely available.
Besides, SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server (SLES) 9 represents a bold step by Novell to counter the overwhelming dominance of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on the North American market. Clearly, Novell has been impressed by Red Hat's recent financial results and wants a piece of the pie for itself.
Marketing issues aside, SLES 9 is currently the most advanced enterprise-class server on the market. It is built on top of SUSE LINUX 9.1 with kernel 2.6.5, but includes many enhancements, especially in the area of security and privacy, as well as support for some of the Novell's own technologies. Processor support has also been extended and SLES 9 is available for AMD64 (Athlon and Opteron), Intel's EM64T, Intel's IA-64 (Itanium), and IBM's Power, zSeries and S/390 processors. Pricing (starting at US$349 per system with up to two processors, per year) is roughly comparable with RHEL and a 30-day trial edition of SLES 9 can be downloaded for free from Novell.com.
Find out more about SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 on SUSE's product pages, from this Technical Feature List (PDF format) and from the first reviews at eWEEK and Linux Weekly News (the latter is for subscribers only until Thursday).
SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 - the most advanced enterprise class server on the market
(full image size 137kB)
|Released Last Week
Berry Linux 0.47
A new version of Berry Linux, a Fedora-based live CD with support for Japanese and English, is now available: "Berry Linux 0.47 released. Changelog: kernel 2.6.8 + devfs; KDE 3.3.0 (Fedora Core 2/stable); OpenOffice.org 1.1.2 (Japanese and English); GIMP version 2.0.4 (GNU Image Manipulation Program); K3B 0.11.13; Mozilla 1.7.2 (Fedora Core 2/English); Firefox 0.9.3 (English)." Read the full changelog and visit the newly redesigned web site of Berry Linux for additional informationabout the project.
This is the latest release of DNALinux, a SLAX-basedlive CD with bioinformatics applications: "At GenesDigitales we are proud to announce the last version of DNALinux. This version includes one of most requested features: programming languages like C, Perl and Python. Now DNALinux users can compile programs. Another requested feature included is the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). A Java-based bioinformatics program is included: Apollo, a DNA sequence editor and viewer. Since JRE is now part of DNALinux expect more JAVA based bioinformatics software. Regarding bioinformatics, DNALinux now includes sim4 a program to align cDNA and genomic DNA." See the rest of the announcement for details.
Version 2004 of the increasingly popular SimplyMEPIS distribution is now officially announced and released: "MEPIS LLC has begun shipping SimplyMEPIS 2004, a complete desktop Linux. SimplyMEPIS 2004 utilizes a solid foundation codebase from the Debian Project for reliability and includes the KDE 3.2.3 desktop,OpenOffice.org 1.1.2, Mozilla 1.7.2, Skype, GIMP 2, Xine, and many other applications to give the desktop user everything needed to quickly become productive in the SimplyMEPIS desktop Linux environment. The selection of applications, ease of installation, and automatic hardware detection can be appreciated by professionals, enthusiasts and beginners alike. SimplyMEPIS includes two ready to run Linux kernels, 2.4.26 which may be more compatible with older hardware and 2.6.7 which contains new features." Read the rest of the press release.
The much awaited SimplyMEPIS 2004 finally released!
(full image size 321kB)
Buffalo Linux 1.4
Buffalo Linux 1.4.1 has been released: "Buffalo 1.4.1 is a bug fix and minor update to 1.4.0. The main new features are the new 126.96.36.199 kernel builds. These now include some generic SCSI support. This is required to support USB storage devices, etc. Also included are over 20 base package upgrades and 3 extra package upgrades. Some upgraded packages are: Scribus 1.2, Qt 3.3.3, Samba 3.0.6, and GAIM 0.82.1. An upgrade bundle package is available to move from Buffalo 1.4.0 to 1.4.1." The full announcement can be found on the distribution's home page.
Puppy Linux 0.9.3
A new version of the small, but full-featured Puppy Linux live CD is out. From the release notes: "Puppy is now upgraded to the 2.4.27 Linux kernel. A lot more driver modules are now in Puppy, especially Ethernet card drivers, and the Ethernet/network wizard has been updated. Wireless networking drivers are also included, with a view to future support. There has been a major structural change in Puppy since v0.9.2. Previously, the file image.gz contained all of Puppy (and file vmlinuz is the Linux kernel operating system), however image.gz is now split into two files, image.gz and usr_cram.fs. The latter was previously inside image.gz. File usr_cram.fs is the compressed contents of the entire /usr folder...."
Damn Small Linux 0.8.1 and 0.8.1.1
This is another new release of Damn SmallLinux, with the following changes: "Added 'Make USB edition' to tools menu; enhanced mkmydsl script to pass boot timeoptions to CD; new filetool GUI front-end to file backup and restore; enhanced dslpanel, added printer setup and new filetool GUI; enhanced mydslgui, supports more network types; enhanced filetool.sh, simplify device, works with USB pen drive (sda1); enhanced mydsl-load, supports runlevel 2; fixed changing passwords on live CD." Read the rest of the changelog for further details.
DeLi Linux 0.6.1
Continuing the sudden rush of mini distribution releases is the DeLi Linux project with version 0.6.1. From the changelog: "Fixed liloconfig/simple bug that causes liloconfig always to assume that /dev/hda1 is the root partition; fixed permission problems on some /dev files; added an 'Install all' option to delipkg; added the beginning of 'delibook'; upgraded packages: SQLite 3.0.6; PHP 5.0.1; Dillo 0.8.2; IceWM 1.2.16; Sylpheed 0.9.12; OpenSSH 3.9p1...." Visit the distribution's home page to find out more about this Slackware-based distribution designed to run on older computers.
This is a new release of kmLinux, a SUSE-based distribution developed by Germany's Landesbildungsserver Schleswig-Holstein in cooperation with Verein Freie Software und Bildung e.V. (Union for Free Software and Education). It is designed for use in educational institutions. Version 5.0 is based on SUSE LINUX 9.1 with kernel 2.6.5,but it has several newly upgraded packages, such as KDE 3.3.0 and Scribus 1.2. Other noteworthy packages include OpenOffice 1.1.1, Mozilla 1.7.2, Freemind 0.7.1, QCad 2.0.3, as well as Lazarus (Pascal) and Eric (Python) development environments. See the full changelog (in German) for further information.
A new version of the Inside Security Rescue Toolkit (INSERT) is now available: "This is mainly a bugfix and package update release. A bit of testing has been done to ensure things are working as they should. Many packages were updated, a few tools were added. A script to create boot floppies was re-added. There is a new windows tools folder outside the compressed image. It contains unzip.exe and putty.zip for a start." Read the rest of thechangelog to get the full scoop on all the changes in this release.
Plamo Linux 4.01
Following the June release of Plamo Linux 4.0, the first update of the 4.0 code base has now been released for download. Version 4.01 provides mostly bug and security fixes, including a fix to xfplamoconfig, which is Plamo's X Window configuration program. The kernel has been upgraded to version 2.4.27, while KDE has been upgraded to version 3.2.3 + security patches. The distribution's home page has more details about the changes (in Japanese).
Slo-Tech Linux 2.0.1
A new version of Slo-Tech Linux was announced earlier this week. Despite the small version increment, this Morphix-based desktop distribution from Slovenia has undergone many changes since version 2.0. Besides the usual bug fixes, several packages have been upgraded, including KDE, OpenOffice.org, Scribus and the NVIDIA driver. Interestingly, the ISO image includes several open source applications for Windows, such as OpenOffice.org, Firefox and Thunderbird, all localised into Slovenian. See the release announcement (in Slovenian) for further details and download locations.
Ignalum Linux 9
Ignalum Linux 9 has been released: "The official release of Ignalum Linux 9, code-named Yarrow, is now available. We're exceptionally pleased with the advancements made in this release and hope our users will feel the same. Ignalum Linux OS version 9 is an intuitive graphical environment that works right out of the box and offers unrivalled compatibility with Microsoft Windows. This new release is one of the most advanced and powerful Linux systems currently available...." Read the full announcement.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The developers of Russia's ASP Linux have announced a delay of the next version of their distribution. They are concerned that the testing nature and the rapidly evolving Fedora Core tree are detrimental to the stability of Fedora Core, upon which ASP Linux is based. As a result of this, a new release, originally planned for early July of this year, will be rescheduled for the beginning of Q4 2004. This should allow for more rigorous testing of the distribution, thus preserving the quality and reputation of ASP Linux. The full press release is available here (in Russian).
Hancom Linux 4.0
Korea's Hancom Linux has also issued a press release concerning the much delayed Hancom Linux 4.0. The beta testing of the new version began in February this year and the final release was expected in June. However, due to many complex issues, including the company's financial problems and change of management, the development was temporarily put on hold. Now it seems that these issues have been resolved and Hancom Linux 4.0 is back on track, due to be released in October 2004. If you understand Korean, you can read the relevant press releases here and here.
|Web Site News
New distribution additions
New on the waiting list
DistroWatch database summary
- H3Knix. H3Knix is a small desktop Linux distribution. It provides a custom package management system based on "capsules", which allow the user to select the functionality they require (e.g., "Dial-up Internet access"), and it will automatically retrieve all required applications, including relevant dependencies.
- Nitix Autonomic Linux. Designed with autonomic computing features and leveraging the reliability and performance of Linux, Net Integration Technologies' Nitix is a server operating system that sets new standards in stability, security, affordability and ease-of-use for small to mid-sized businesses. Nitix provides a complete business server solution with messaging and collaboration, backup, security-enhanced Internet access and protected data storage, helping you to increase connectivity and productivity.
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 334
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 35
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 81
|DistroWatch in the News
Linux Distribution Chooser 0.2
Last week, we have received a large number of hits from tuxs.org and the site's Linux Distribution Chooser which is now at version 0.2: "Need help deciding which Linux distribution to try? Then maybe you need the (:^ tuxs.org) Linux Distribution Chooser! (Now version 0.2!)" The developers of the Chooser were kind enough to link to the relevant distribution pages on DistroWatch for further information - much appreciated!
DistroWatch backup server
A reader at the OSNews phorum wonders what happened to DistroWatch last weekend and has a suggestion for us:
"If I owned a website at popular as DistroWatch I would at least get a cheap backup computer with just Linux and Apache and a single html page with nothing on it but text stating why the main website is down...."
Well, we don't have a cheap back up computer, but we do have 9 active mirrors. In case you cannot access DistroWatch.com, this is what you should do:
We do try our best to keep the site going, but things happen - like the hurricane in Florida last weekend causing loss of power at the hosting company in Tampa, or the unexpected DNS change by our DNS provider just before that. In case something similar happens again, visit one of the mirrors, which are listed on the bottom of every page.
- Go to Google.com and type "distrowatch" into its search engine.
- Once the search result is returned, DistroWatch should be listed on the very top of the page. Don't click on the link itself, but rather on the word "Cached". This will take you to a snapshot of DistroWatch's index page as cached by Google at some point in the recent past.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page. There you will find a list of all existing mirrors, most of which synchronise with the main DistroWatch site once every hour. Visit any of them and browse to your heart's content.
That's all for this week. Happy Linuxing and see you again next Monday!
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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|
|• Issue 680 (2016-09-26): Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0, blocking applications at the firewall, Lenovo controversy, Ubuntu running on the Nextcloud Box|
|• Issue 679 (2016-09-19): OpenMandriva 3.0, 32-bit vs 64-bit performance, openSUSE updates, KaOS unveils first run wizard|
|• Issue 678 (2016-09-12): Apricity 07.2016, Mageia adopts DNF, KDE neon to use Wayland, FreeBSD updates Linux compatibility, creating cron jobs|
|• Issue 677 (2016-09-05): Peppermint OS 7, Manjaro updates leadership, TrueOS becomes rolling release, organizing files, creating torrents|
|• 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|
|• Issue 665 (2016-06-13): BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen, Fedora 24 delayed, NetBSD grows in size, Clonezilla questions|
|• Issue 664 (2016-06-06): Sabayon 16.05, Debian updates install media, the cost of free software, Qubes explains secure build process|
|• Issue 663 (2016-05-30): Comparing live update methods, Ubuntu MATE's progress, distros debate systemd change, DistroWatch turns 15|
|• Issue 662 (2016-05-23): Clonezilla Live, new Fedora community repository, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland, a live edition of Slackware and kernel components|
|• Issue 661 (2016-05-16): FreeBSD 10.3, OpenMandriva adopts Clang, Debian adds ZFS packages, PCLinuxOS drops 32-bit and comparing CentOS with RHEL|
|• Issue 660 (2016-05-09): Ubuntu MATE 16.04, Mint's xapps, FreeBSD Quarterly Report, Debian updates 32-bit support, addressing GPL violations|
|• Issue 659 (2016-05-02): Ubuntu 16.04, compiling custom kernels, Cinnamon 3.0, Sabayon launches ARM build, Devuan ships Beta release|
|• 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|
|• Issue 656 (2016-04-11): Qubes OS 3.1, Whonix offers bug bounties, Puppy's family tree, setting up disk partitions and running bash on Windows|
|• Issue 655 (2016-04-04): Parsix 8.5, Sabayon's Community repository, Red Hat offers free subscriptions, Ubuntu tablets, command line tips|
|• Issue 654 (2016-03-28): PCLinuxOS 2016.03, Using signatures to create a web of trust, Arch Linux rolls out Pacman update, GuixSD packages GNOME|
|• Issue 653 (2016-03-21): Antergos 2016.02.21, Debian prepares for election, a Unix-like OS written in Rust, watching Netflix on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 652 (2016-03-14): ReactOS 0.4.0, Debian swaps Iceweasel for Firefox, Fedora moving forward with Wayland, Verifying ISO files|
|• Issue 651 (2016-03-07): Korora 23, Linux Mint improves security, Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3 computers, trying different file systems|
|• Issue 650 (2016-02-29): Haiku in 2016, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, 30 years of MINIX, Fedora plans Atomic Workstation|
|• Issue 649 (2016-02-22): Zorin OS 11, openSUSE launches new editions, Linux Mint website compromised, sandboxing applications using Firejail|
|• Full list of all issues|
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