| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 70, 11 October 2004
Welcome to this year's 40th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. Lots of news in this edition, including Mandrakelinux's success stories, Slackware's dislike for GNOME and Fedora's new beta release, coming out later today. Aurox Linux is the featured distribution of the week. Enjoy!
Mandrakesoft wins awards, Ubuntu gains momentum
The remarkable revival of Mandrakesoft received a further boost last week when, in its annual choice awards, Open for Business awarded Mandrakelinux 10.0 Official PowerPack the title "Best Linux Distribution": "Mandrakelinux 10.0 Official Edition PowerPack+ is the only distribution we have tested that properly detected a variety of both NVIDIA and ATI video cards that required their respective proprietary drivers. Mandrakelinux is also the distribution we found offered the best selection of kernels for particular needs, the best coverage of post-installation configuration tools for hardware and software and the convenient inclusion of a graphically administered server installation CD set, in addition to the DVD-ROM desktop edition."
Additionally, the same publication awarded Mandrakeclub the title "Best GNU/Linux Value-Add Service": "There are few other services in the community that provide the variety of useful services that Mandrake’s club does. These include access to up-to-date commercial packages, the ability to request packages you would like to see made available, early access to new distribution releases and a thriving user support community."
These announcements were accompanied by a flurry of new product releases, including a new version of Mandrakesoft's live CD called "Move", as well as new beta releases of the x86_64 edition of Mandrakelinux 10.1 and Multi Network Firewall (MNF). All these product announcements, together with the recently awarded 7 million euro contract by the French government, seem to indicate that times are good at Mandrakesoft, after spending several years struggling to recover from earlier financial disasters. Well done, Mandrakesoft, it is always nice to report financial success stories surrounding Linux companies, which were so rare up until fairly recently!
Mandrakesoft's latest product: the Move live CD
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It is hard not to notice the growing momentum behind Ubuntu Linux, a new Debian-based Linux distribution launched only a few weeks ago. Reviews and articles seem to appear almost daily and the newly released Ubuntu Live CD has added an extra attraction for those who are not quite ready to commit a full partition to the distribution. Here are a few other links of interest, related to Ubuntu: a draft of Ubuntu Multimedia HOWTO, a newly launched Unofficial Ubuntu Forum and some contributed Ubuntu art work in the form of desktop wallpapers. Want more? Then visit our Ubuntu page for further links to reviews and related web sites.
The sensationalist revelation by Slackware's Patrick Volkerding that he is considering dropping GNOME from Slackware Linux, first published by OSNews, generated heated debates in the Slackware community. The old KDE versus GNOME wars were also revived, once again. While the controversy does have its merits, the fact is that Slackware's GNOME users have enjoyed dedicated support by the Dropline GNOME project, which many people seem to prefer over the plain GNOME compiled by Patrick Volkerding. As such, it does make sense to leave GNOME to the specialists, while the lead developer of Slackware concentrates on putting together a quality distribution rather than fighting with the complexities of a heavy desktop environment. Still, Patrick's comments regarding GNOME's direction will not be taken kindly by those who have been trying hard to deliver a great desktop to Linux users: "Since GNOME 1.4 I've felt that GNOME is going in a direction that doesn't fit well with Slackware's goals, and for at least as long I've considered removing it completely and taking whatever flames I get for that decision. Right now, I think removing it would be the best thing for Slackware as it's become a maintenance nightmare." What's your thought? Do you agree with Patrick?
According to this press release, the all new SUSE LINUX 9.2 will be up on the shelves of retail stores early next month: "Novell today announced the November availability of SUSE LINUX Professional 9.2, providing Linux newcomers and enthusiasts with the latest advancements in open source technology. New features and top applications: KDE 3.3 and GNOME 2.6 graphical desktop environments; OpenOffice.org 1.1.3; Novell Evolution 2.0; GIMP 2; Inkscape, a new vector graphics application that outperforms all other Linux alternatives; Nvu, a web authoring system; a selection of commercial software, including full versions of the text processing application TextMaker and spreadsheet application PlanMaker from SoftMaker, full-version backup software sesam from SEP, as well as a demo version of MainConcept's video editing software MainActor 5." Read the rest of the press release (English, German) for full details.
The fans and users of NetBSD will be interested to know that the project has adopted important changes to its version numbering scheme: "A few months ago the NetBSD Core Team ratified the proposed changes to the NetBSD version numbering scheme: From now on, we'll be using the major version number to indicate a major release and the minor version number to indicate a minor release. Following that, the next major release is going to be 2.0 followed by 3.0. Patches to 2.0 will be numbered 2.1, 2.2, etc. and patches to 3.0 will be 3.1, 3.2, etc." Further information about the changes can be found here.
Haansoft, the producer of Hancom Linux has joined Asianux. For those who are not familiar with the Asian distribution scene, Asianux was created earlier this year as a common base for development of Asian Linux distributions, not unlike the concept of United Linux while it lasted. Up until now, Asianux was jointly developed by Japan's Miracle Linux and China's Red Flag Linux, but Haansoft's arrival on the scene should give it a further boost. For more information, please read this story by Linux Insider.
|Featured distribution of the week: Aurox Linux
Readers living outside of Europe or those who don't frequent European Linux web site will be forgiven for thinking that Aurox Linux is just another small Linux player on the ever expanding distribution scene. This thinking couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, Aurox Linux, together with its parent company Software Wydawnictwo in Warsaw, Poland, has established itself as a major player on the European Linux market, rapidly gaining market share in Germany and other European countries. The reason for its success is simple - the availability of the Aurox magazine (in several European languages and with a full Aurox Linux CD set) on many news stands across Europe means that many people get easy access to a complete Linux distribution without having to walk into a software store.
But let's start in the beginning. Software Wydawnictwo (Software Publishing House) was established in 1995. In the early days, the company published programming magazines and, since 1997, a Linux magazine called LinuxPlus, which was quite possibly the world's first Linux publication with a cover CD. Later, due to Red Hat's new policy of enforcing trademark protection, Software Wydawnictwo took a decision to develop its own distribution. Thus, in November 2002 Aurox Linux was born.
The goal of the developers was simple: take Red Hat Linux (and later, Fedora Core), ask ordinary users about what they miss from the distribution, then add the missing pieces. As a result of this feedback, Aurox Linux comes with full support for various multimedia formats, improved hardware auto-detection and auto-configuration, support for wireless networking, a solid feature set for notebook users, easy upgradeability, and many other improvements that make the distribution instantly useable without having to hunt down all the missing pieces from around the Internet.
In short, if you enjoy Fedora, but would prefer a more user-friendly and well pre-configured operating system, consider giving Aurox Linux a try. You might just find it to be the perfect distribution for your needs.
Aurox Linux 10.0 - a Fedora-based distribution with many user-friendly enhancements.
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|Released Last Week
The new KANOTIX release, version 09-2004, is optimised for laptop users. Touchpads should be detected and Powernow/Speedstep is used for AMD64 and Centrino. Start-up speed was improved by new ALSA detection. Specifications: "Kernel 126.96.36.199 with Reiser4 support and other patches; better compression using squashfs; ACPI and DMA enabled by default; 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...." Read the rest of the release announcement.
Puppy Linux 0.9.5
A new version of Puppy Linux is out: "Puppy version 0.9.5 released. Puppy now comes in two flavours: the live CD ISO file with Firefox is 52.2MB, or with Opera is 49.3MB --choose which one you want at the Puppy download sites. Also new is the very powerful word processor AbiWord. Release notes: Opera web browser, version 7.54, remarkably fast and small, with email, newsgroup, contacts, and chat modules, the disadvantage is that it is 'adware'.Firefox web browser, version 1.0PR, works beautifully in Puppy, but much bigger than Opera. AbiWord word processor, version 2.0.12. This is the full version, with MS DOC, HTML and RTF import and export. A spelling dictionary may be added separately...." The full release notes are available on the distribution's news page.
A new version of the Mandrakelinux live CD, called "Move" has been released: "Have you always wanted to try out Linux but were afraid you weren't up to the task? Here's Move, the easiest and safest way to test drive Linux. Built on the Live-CD technology, Move enables you to run a full operating system from just one CD, anywhere, without the need for installation. Move is truly mobile. This is the only product of its kind to offer built-in handling of USB keys, allowing for automatic and seamless backup of configuration settings, as well as user data, up to 1.5 GB." Read the press release, product page for further information. Mandrakesoft Move is available from Mandrakestore (from US$79.80 up, inclusive of a USB key), while a download edition is provided free to Mandrakeclub members.
Aurox Linux 10.0
Aurox Linux 10.0 has been released: "Since today, Aurox 10.0, code name "Amber", is available for download. New and exciting features are: kernel 2.6.7, SWSUSP 188.8.131.52 (it allows you to suspend your system to swap partition), udev-030 (dynamically creates /dev entries), ipw2100 (device driver for Intel Pro wireless card), ndiswrapper (tool that allows you to install WinXP drivers for wireless network cards), Synaptic touchpad drivers (you can now use all the features of this device: tapping, scrolling, etc). Many other packages have been updated, the most important are: OpenOffice.org 1.1.2, KDE 3.2.3, Xine, MPlayer." This is the full announcement.
K12LTSP Linux 4.1.1
An updated version of the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project (K12LTSP) has been released: "K12LTSP version 4.1.1 is now available. This is mostly a collection of bug fixes and minor updates, but includes major updates to DansGuardian, Mondo backup, Qcad, and Scribus. If you already have K12LTSP 4.1.0 installed, the new packages and updates have been added to the apt/up2date/yum repositories. Changelog: rhn-applet is no longer installed by default. If you are upgrading you may want to manually remove this package (rpm -e rhn-applet). The rhn-applet has proven to require excessive processor and memory resources in a multi-user terminal server environment. squidGuard is now added if you select the 'Web Server' server package group...." The complete announcement.
After many betas and release candidates, the final release of Debian-based Guadalinex 2004 is out: "Today we are offering the general public an excellent opportunity to learn and use Free Software without any risks or commitments, thanks to the 'live CD' concept (a way of testing the operating system without installation). Compared to Guadalinex 1.0, this version comes with many improvements and corrections. Guadalinex 2004 includes: GNOME 2.6 desktop; office applications, like OpenOffice.org 1.1.2, Rekall and Scribus; applications for image editing and manipulation, such as GIMP 2.0.4, Inkscape, Blender, QCad...." Read the rest of the announcement (in Spanish).
A stable Guadalinex 2004 finally released.
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A new stable version of eduKnoppix, an Italian live CD with a special collection of educational software, has been released. The changelog (in Italian) lists some of the most important changes since an earlier beta version, notably the following: based on Knoppix 3.6; removed captive, blender, povray-doc, povray-examples, squid, rpm, alien, NX due to space reasons; upgraded DrGeo to version 0.9.14; upgraded Kig to the latest version from CVS and included Italian localisation; recompiled rosegarden4 0.9.9 andincluded Italian localisation; fixed problems with lilo.conf after hard disk install and included new lilo boot graphics; upgraded to OpenOffice.org 1.1.3 with Italian localisation.
Feather Linux 0.6.0
A new release of Feather Linux is out. From the changelog: "Added Elmo, a text-based email client; updated Sylpheed; fixed fsck.reiserfs bug; changed some Fluxbox settings; added Ndiswrapper configuration script; updated Opera to 7.54; added curl; added live 'remaster' feature - simply load Feather into RAM, and this script will create your own Feather 'remaster' based on your current customisations; fixed the IceWM script; made some changes to rm-dpkg; changed Firefox icon."
ROCK Linux Live CD
The developers of the source-based ROCK Linux project have also jumped on the live CD bandwagon with the release of unofficial ROCK Linux Live CDs, available for Pentium MMX and PowerPC processors: "The ROCK Linux Live CD is a full-featured, desktop-oriented target. designed to operate directly from CD. The current default package selection uses the minimal-desktop template, which incorporates a full KDE desktop (version 3.3.0) and some other applications like MPlayer, Xine, etc. Of course this package selection can be altered to fit your needs. In the default configuration the system takes up only about 400 MB, so there's still some space left." See the announcement for further details.
Development and unannounced releases
- FreeBSD 5.3-BETA7, the release announcement
- Mandrakelinux 10.1-beta1 (x86_64), the beta information page
- gnuLinEx 2004-beta (Live edition), the release announcement (in Spanish)
- Vector Linux 5.0-rc2, the announcement
- Ubuntu Linux 4.10-preview (Live edition), the announcement
- Specifix Linux 0.11-alpha, the announcement
- Linux NetBSD 2.0-rc3 and 2.0-rc4, the announcement
- Linux Multi Network Firewall beta1 by Mandrakesoft, the beta information page
- Gnoppix 0.8.1-beta7, the announcement
- Buffalo Linux 1.5.0-rc1, the announcement
- LIIS Linux 0.902, the announcement
- Impi Linux 2
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Fedora Core 3 Test3
The third and final test of Fedora Core 3 will be released later today: "The following list includes brief summaries of some of the more significant aspects of Fedora Core 2.92 Test 3: GCC 3.4; GNOME 2.8; KDE 3.3; SELinux — this includes a new "targeted" policy that monitors specific daemons with less intrusion than the strict policy in use before; IIIMF — evolution of this new input framework continues; Indic language support; Kernel and e2fsprogs support for online growing of ext3 file systems; various desktop-related features, including, but not limited to: Pango support for Mozilla, remote desktops using VNC, Printing improvements, Evolution 2.0."
Turbolinux 10 Server
Turbolinux has announced that a server edition of Turbolinux 10 will be released shortly - the Japanese edition later in October and the International edition early in December: "Turbolinux will release three packages of 10 Server for the Japanese market only starting on October 29, 2004: Turbolinux 10 Server for USD$360.00 includes 90-day unlimited installation e-mail support; Turbolinux 10 Server, with Support, for USD$890.00 includes one-year unlimited installation and configuration support; and Turbolinux 10 Server, Developer Edition, for USD$89.00 includes 90-day unlimited e-mail support, though new user creation and user password modification are not available with this option. Customers worldwide will be able to purchase Turbolinux 10 Server, International Version, for USD$299.00 beginning on December 3, 2004." Read the full press release (English, Japanese) for further details.
ALT Linux 2.4
Russia's ALT Linux has announced the release of ALT Linux 2.4 Master, a commercial, DVD-only edition of ALT Linux 2.4. Although not mentioned in the press release, it is expected that a freely available "Compact" edition will follow in the not too distant future. For further information please consult the official release announcement (in Russian).
|Web Site News
New distribution additions
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 340
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 40
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 80
|DistroWatch in the News
Is the GDI exploit a nail in the coffin of Windows and a boost to Linux?
This is a well-written essay about one user's fear and experiences of switching to Linux:
"I had heard about Linux, but thought of it as a monitor filled with hard-to-read cold white letters, on a black background with a temperature close to absolute zero, and an insistently blinking cursor waiting for me to input an esoteric command.
It was enough to hear the word 'Linux' to drive me back to the warm GUI of Windows and the delightful stew of opinions about this or that anti-virus program.
The fellowship of Windows users, struggling, as I was, against a sea of crawling, scratching creatures intent on looting my computer, meagre as the gleanings from my C drive might be - that fellowship, that common suffering, drove me to accept, gratefully, the offerings of Redmond; offerings accepted in the hope that finally, now, with this latest patch, this latest version of the OS, finally, the buffer overflows would be contained...."
The story continues here.
That's all for today, see you again next Monday!
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