| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 68, 27 September 2004
Welcome to this year's 38th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. This week, we have good news for those who have requested more powerful search features on DistroWatch - search by package versions has now been integrated into the site and is available for your searching pleasure. More details below.
Fedora Core 3 shaping up, update on Debian Sarge release
There is a lot to look forward to in Fedora Core 3, a second test release of which was made available for public beta testing early last week. It comes with a pre-release of GNOME 2.8, KDE 3.3 and X.0rg 6.8.0, as well as the udev device model - a user-space devfs that creates a dynamic /dev and allows for a more consistent naming of devices. For server tasks, there is a new implementation of SELinux - a "targeted" policy applying to selected system daemons only, rather than the original "strict" policy covering all services. Despite a few inevitable bugs reported by the testers, it seems that Fedora Core 3 is shaping up to be a very good release when it ships on the 1st of November 2004.
ISO images of the recently released Mandrakelinux 10.1 Community Edition are now available for download: "The power-user version of Mandrakelinux 10.1 is now available for public download. Many FTP mirrors are ready, and a Bittorrent access is also provided. Enjoy and don't forget to report your hardware configuration to our database in the first-time wizard, it will benefit all." Find a nearby mirror on the distribution's download page. On a related note, Mandrakelinux 10.1 beta1 for PPC is now up on the mirrors (also available via BitTorrent) while the first beta of Mandrakelinux 10.1 for AMD64 is expected next week.
If you are holding your breath and checking Debian.org frequently in anticipation of an imminent release of Debian 3.1 "Sarge", you will be disappointed to know that it is still some time away. That's according to the Sarge release update published last week on a Debian developer's mailing list and reproduced by debianHELP. Apart from the high number of release critical bugs, one of the major stumbling blocks appears to be lack of testing-security autobuilders for certain architectures. The final freeze of the Sarge tree is expected in about two weeks from now, while the number of release critical bugs is projected to drop to zero two weeks after that. "Around this time, we will be able to set a date for the full release," concludes the report.
For the fans of FreeBSD, BSDatwork.com has published an interesting article, entitled FreeBSD Bag of Tricks: "As a software junkie, I'm always coming across new programs to experiment with. As I find programs I like, I add them to my mental bag of tricks so they're ready whenever a client asks, "What's the best program to do x?" In this article, I'll demonstrate how I used an old favorite as a lightweight webmail program as well as a new favorite I just ran across." And while on the subject of BSDs, OpenBSD's Theo de Raadt has noted a remarkable achievement late last week: "Sometime in the last 24 hours I think we crossed a line in the project I've been waiting for ... a while. 100,000 commits to the OpenBSD cvs trees."
It is with true sadness in our hearts that we have to report about the death of DemoLinux, one of the pioneers of the Linux live CD concept. In fact, Klaus Knopper, the developer of Knoppix was originally working on DemoLinux before he decided to launch his own live CD that literally caused a massive revolution, sprouting more than a hundred derivatives of Knoppix around the globe. DemoLinux was created by three developers at the Paris VII University in France; version 1.0, released in February 2000, was based on Mandrake 5.3, while later versions were based on Debian 2.2 "Potato". Unfortunately, the distribution's web site, dormant for some time, is no longer accessible and the project was also deleted from Freshmeat late last week. Good-bye, DemoLinux, we are sorry to see you go!
|Featured distribution of the week: Hiweed Desktop
Up until a few years ago, just about all Chinese distributions had the same two characteristics: they were built by commercial companies and invariably based on Red Hat Linux. This trend started to change recently as several community projects and Linux community web sites sprouted across the country. One of them is Hiweed Desktop, a project with a goal to build a light-weight Debian-based desktop Linux distribution.
What's so special about Hiweed Desktop? Besides being based on Debian, the most noticeable change from the standard fare is the use of XFce as its desktop environment. The absence of GNOME (although the GTK+ library is available) and KDE means that the install ISO image is less than 250MB in size. The installation program is a recent beta version of the new Debian Sarge installer, while most packages on the CD are also from the soon-to-be-released Debian testing branch.
While Hiweed Linux is unlikely to be of any interest to users who don't understand Chinese, those who do will appreciate the amount of localisation available in the distribution. The user interfaces of many popular applications have been translated into simplified Chinese (Mozilla Firefox is one notable exception) and the integration of a Chinese input server, a Chinese dictionary, and several Chinese true type fonts are welcome additions. The distribution uses Smart Common Input Method (SCIM) as its preferred input server for typing Chinese text into documents or on the console, with several new input methods available. These (and many other options) can be configured from within hiweedconf, a control centre for common administration tasks (see screenshot below).
Although not without its bugs, Hiweed desktop is an interesting and promising distribution for Chinese users who would like to investigate alternatives to more established Linux distributions or, indeed, operating systems.
The Hiweedconf Control Centre and SCIM configuration screen, as implemented in Hiweed Desktop 0.55.
(full image size 110kB)
|Released Last Week
A new version of SimplyMEPIS has been released: "MEPIS LLC has begun shipping SimplyMEPIS 2004.02. This revised version was produced in time to meet a deadline of Planete Linux magazine. It is the first version of SimplyMEPIS to include international support for British, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The SimplyMEPIS 2004.02 CD contains 3 new themes released by the MEPIS Beautification Project. It adds support for the nForce2 250GB LANchip and g++ is preinstalled. The meauto hardware database has been updated. The latest version of the simplymepis package fixes a problem that prevented the MEPIS pool from taking precedence over the Debian pool." The announcement, changelog.
KANOTIX "Bug Hunter", version 08-2004, has been released with NX server and client, Reiser4 support, and improved installer. From the release notes: "Kernel 220.127.116.11 with Reiser4 support and other patches; better compression using squashfs; ACPI and DMA enabled by default; i586 optimization; 128MB RAM required, 256MB RAM recommended; AVM Fritz!Card DSL support (PCI and USB); Fritz!Card CAPI support; Eagle USB DSL support; Speedtouch USB support (PPPoE/A); KDE 3.3.0; OpenOffice 1.1.2 (Debian release); GRUB boot loader for CD start - ideal for rescue in command line mode; Memtest86+ - Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool in the extra menu of the boot loader...."
CentOS 3.3 has been released: "CentOS 3.3 is available for general use. This is a complete rebuild of all the updated packages that Red Hat has included in the SRPMs of their Enterprise Linux 3 Update 3. The changed packages from update 3 are overlaid onto 3.1. This release includes a rebuilt Anaconda and new boot kernels for the installer. An update from 3.1 should be seamless. Simply, running 'yum update' should get all the latest packages from your local mirror repository. If you'd like to reinstall your system from scratch or install a new system you will need to download all new diskimages as the ones for 3.1 will not install from the 3.3 installation directories." Read the rest of the release announcement.
YES Linux 2.0.11
YES Linux 2.0.11 has been released. Changes: "Email is now fully functional and integrated. YES Mail uses Postfix, Courrier-IMAP, PostgreSQL, and SquirrelMail. There is a known bug when using a client side email application such as Outlook. The issue is with SASL which is enabled by default. By defaultwebmail is located at /webmail. Server side SPAM filtering. Web based Email Management located at /emailadmin and from YES Administration/admin under the Email tab...." This is the full announcement with changelog.
Source Mage GNU/Linux 0.9.2 (PPC)
A new release of the PowerPC edition of Source Mage GNU/Linux is now available: "I am proud to announce the new release 0.9.2-ppc ISO. What's new since 0.9.1-ppc ISO? Using a 18.104.22.168 kernel; NPTL; native support of udev; works better; yabootconfig from the installer works properly; mkreiserfs binary is no longer missing on the ISO so you can choose to create a ReiserFS partition; more complete keymap selection; you can do a 'cast linux' and select 22.214.171.124 kernel version (it wasn't possible with 2.6.5-rc3-ben0). Please check the README in the download directory. Have fun!" This is the full announcement.
The latest CensorNet Bulletin reports about the release of CensorNet 3.3: "At long last version 3.3 is available to download. There have been numerous features added, including support for Windows 2003 Active Directory, 2.6 Kernel, workstation control by IP address and a much improved BLUD processing speed. There is a changelog available here. To download CensorNet click here. Many thanks to all of those people who have helped with the BETA testing as well as our corporate customers who help fund this release." CensorNet is a Debian-based distribution with tools to control and monitor individuals accessing Internet resources on a LAN; find out more on the distribution'sproduct pages. CensorNet is free for home use, but registration is required before download.
Puppy Linux 0.9.4
Puppy Linux 0.9.4 has been released. From the release notes: "The big news for this release is the shsql SQL database backend with Quisp CGI program for use with a web server. Puppy currently has the nullhttpd web server. Quisp is setup and ready to go in Puppy, and example databases with mini-tutorials can be run directly from the 'Information managers/Quisp network SQL database' menu. Some documentation is to be found via the 'Help' menu, as always, including a 'HOWTO database' page that introduces Quisp and explains the layout of the Quisp/shsql/nullhttpd installation in Puppy. Another excellent new program is GTKSee, an image viewer, manager and slideshow...."
A new version of the OnebaseGo live CD has been released: "The Onebase Linux Project is pleased to announce a new version of OnebaseGo portable OS (2.2) with updated software that includes Xorg 6.8.1, Gaim 1.0, KDE 3.3.0 desktop suite, KOffice 1.3.2, GNOME 2.6.1, Fluxbox, IceWM, XFce 4 desktops all in one live CD. And also the latest version of Onebase software manager: OLM 3.1." Read the full release announcement, then visit the distribution's download page for details about obtaining the latest release of OnebaseGo.
A new version of the OnebaseGo live CD was released last week.
(full image size 776kB)
Hiweed Desktop 0.55
After three quick beta releases, Hiweed Desktop 0.55 is out. Changes since version 0.3: the default kernel is now 2.6.8, but kernel 2.4.27 is also provided for hardware compatibility reasons; synchronised with the Debian Sarge branch; added a new control centre - hiweedconf; upgraded the SCIM Chinese input server to version 1.0, added two new input methods; replaced Xine with RealPlayer; X window is now started automatically, fixed many bugs. Read the full release announcement (in simplified Chinese).
Lormalinux 5 LTSP Server
The developers of Lormalinux continue to expand their product line with this release of Lormalinux 5 LTSP Server: "Lormalinux starts its line of server editions withits Lormalinux 5 LTSP Server. Lormalinux LTSP Server Edition combines the optimization, customization and features of Lormalinux 5 Workstation for low-powered thin client terminals ideal for classroom environment. Below is a short, simple, and easy to understand 'HOWTO" to make Lormalinux 5 LTSP Server work...." Read the rest of the release announcement.
Berry Linux 0.48
This is an updated release of Berry Linux, the first version shipping with the new X.org 6.8.1. From the changelog: "BerryLinux 0.48, based on Fedora Core 2 and Knoppix 3.6. Updates: kudzu 1.1.90, hwdata 0.132, X.Org 6.8.1, Fluxbox 0.9.10 (Fedora Core 2), K3B0.11.16, Mozilla 1.7.3 (Fedora Core 2, English), Firefox 1.0PR (English). Removed: Tgif 4.1.43." Berry Linux is an excellent Linux live CD based on Fedora Core, with support for English and Japanese. A 40-page slide show of a previous Berry Linux release was recently published by LinuxBeta.com.
Development and unannounced releases
Turkix - a Mandrakelinux-based distribution with support for Turkish and Azerbaijani.
(full image size 243kB)
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r3
Once again, Martin Schultze announced Preparation of the next stable Debian GNU/Linux update, or Debian Woody 3.0r3: "I am preparing the third revision of the current stable Debian distribution (Woody) and will infrequently send reports so people can actually comment on it and intervene whenever this is required. The plan is to release this revision at some time in the future, hopefully before the release of Sarge. It may be the last update if no updates to 3.0 are possible after Sarge has been released." The complete and updated document with a lot more detail is available here.
Source Mage GNU/Linux 1.0
The developers of Source Mage GNU/Linux are preparing for a meeting in early October to discuss the release of version 1.0: "We will be talking about our road map for the 1.0 release of Source Mage GNU/Linux. We will be looking for volunteers (both already working with SMGL and anyone who'd like to join) to select a task that is left and work with the rest of the SMGL team to complete it. Depending on how many volunteers we have we will also announce an ETA for the 1.0 release." Read the rest of the announcement for details.
Vidalinux Desktop OS 1.0
The Vidalinux Desktop OS project has announced a slight delay in the release of the much awaited Vidalinux 1.0, due to hurricane Jeanne cutting off power in homes across the Caribbean (Vidalinux is developed in Puerto Rico). The good news is that CD shipments to those who have pre-ordered the final release are expected to start later this week. Further information and details can be found on the project's home page. Vidalinux is a desktop-oriented Linux distribution based on Gentoo Linux, but with a very simple installation program - a port of Red Hat's Anaconda.
|Web Site News
Search by package version now available
Following countless requests for more powerful search features on DistroWatch, we are pleased to announce a new way of searching for distributions - by versions of included packages. If you've ever wanted a quick list of distributions that ship with the latest kernel, KDE, GNOME or any other of the 177 tracked packages, head for our search page. This is where you can select a desired package from a drop-down box, type the requested version number and press the submit button. After a few seconds, you will be presented with a list of distributions and their versions that include the specified package.
Many thanks to Ray Carter for developing the search scripts. As this is a new feature, please test it and report any bugs you might come across. As always, your suggestions for further improvements are more than welcome!
Wanted: nominations for September donation
September is coming to an end, so here is a quick reminder that we need some nominations for a Free Software project to receive our September donation. If you know of a project that would deserve a few hundreds of dollars towards its development, all you need to do is mention it in the forums below and explain briefly why you think the project should be considered for a donation. Thank you!
New distribution additions
New on the waiting list
- Hikarunix. Hikarunix is a Damn Small Linux-based live CD and the only operating system dedicated to Go. Go is the oldest pure strategy game in the world. It is known as Baduk in Korea and WeiQi in China where the game started somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago. Today it is played in nearly every country in the world and has even been played in space.
- JULEX. JULEX is an Australian Knoppix-based live CD designed to be light on resources and easy to use.
There is no point in keeping dead distributions around, so here is the list of those of them that are being relegated to the Discontinued Distributions page:
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 338
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 40
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 81
|DistroWatch in the News
Nothing interesting to report here this week.
That's all for today, see you again next Monday!
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|• Issue 674 (2016-08-15): Zenwalk Linux 8.0, Ubuntu phone follow-up, Lubuntu transitioning to LXQt, Steam running on FreeBSD|
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