| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 77, 29 November 2004
Welcome to this year's 47th edition of DistroWatch Weekly. This week we have a brief report on the next release of Gentoo Linux and we also introduce UHU-Linux, a Hungarian project and a major driving force behind Linux adoption in Hungary. Enjoy!
Gentoo looking ahead to 2005, multiple distributions on one CD
The latest issue of Gentoo Weekly Newsletter, as well as this earlier story on ZDNet provide some interesting information about the upcoming release of Gentoo Linux, scheduled for the first quarter of 2005. Among them, the users (and potential users) of the most popular source-based distribution will be pleased to learn that Gentoo will finally default to kernel 2.6 on all architectures, the Gentoo live CD will serve as a full desktop operating system (not just an installation CD), and it will, for the first time, include an automated graphical installer. These are highly radical changes that will take some effort to implement, but it is nice to see that the developers are listening to their users and are going ahead with providing some of the most often requested features.
The move to kernel 2.6 is hardly a surprise. Gentoo has included this kernel since it was released in late 2003, but due to hardware compatibility issues the developers have refrained from recommending it for general use. The situation has much improved now that the new kernel version has seen nine updates and it has already become the default kernel on several architectures, including PPC and all 64-bit platforms. The release of Gentoo Linux 2005 will mean that the 2.4 kernel will enter a "maintenance mode" and all users will be encouraged to upgrade to 2.6
The full Gentoo live CD is a more interesting new feature, especially because there will be two variants - x86 and AMD64 editions. This would make Gentoo the first full live CD for the AMD64 platform. Besides, it is always a pleasure to be able to test drive a distribution and ensure that there are no compatibility issues before committing to a hard disk install; this is even more true in the case of a source-based distribution where installing a complete workstation might take several days. As for the graphical Gentoo installer, details are still sketchy and it is not clear whether the planned installer will make the system installation less tedious than the present step-by-step process. What it will make easier, however, is the deployment of Gentoo on several machines - through a set of scripts, much like Red Hat/Fedora's kickstart.
Of course, these are still early days, but if all of the above-mentioned features are implemented as planned, they would make Gentoo Linux more acceptable to a much wider audience than the current highly technical nature of the distribution. We have already seen some interesting innovations coming from Gentoo (e.g. the PPC64 port) in recent months and it looks like the developers have more ambitious tricks up their sleeves. If they continue this way, Gentoo Linux might just turn out to be the most exciting project of 2005!
* * * * *
If you are a fan of mini Linux live CDs, you might be interested in "Multi Distro", a compilation of several bootable mini live CDs on one disk. The latest version includes no fewer than seven distributions; these are SLAX 4.2.0, BeatrIX November 04, Damn Small Linux 0.8.4, INSERT 1.2.16, SAM 1.1, GeeXboX 0.99, and Recovery Is Possible. The CD also comes with Memtest86, a memory diagnostic program. All these options are neatly arranged in the initial GRUB menu - just take your pick and boot whichever distribution you fancy trying out today. The project doesn't seem to have an official web site, but the latest ISO image, version 2.0, is available for free download from here: mdv20.iso (699MB).
* * * * *
Slackware's current changelog has been updated with information about Slackware maintainer Patrick Volkerding's state of health.As many of you know, he has been suffering from a mysterious disease that made him seek medical treatment and put the development of Slackware Linux on hold. While Patrick's health has not improved much, users of the distribution can now at least get security updates for recent Slackware releases: "Bruno H Collovini and Piter Punk in Brazil have been helping to build security updates for Slackware while I'm (mostly) out of commission. They've helped with Slackware for many years and I trust and authorize their patches. These can be found here. Thanks to everyone who has offered to help, and sent get well soon and other kind emails." The only other entry in the changelog is a newly built KOffice package, version 1.3.5. See the full changelog for further information.
|Featured distribution of the week: UHU-Linux
From a group of Linux enthusiasts to one of the most successful Linux projects anywhere in the world - that's the story of UHU-Linux. Formed in April 2002 in Budapest, Hungary, it took the developers almost one year before presenting their fellow countrymen with UHU-Linux 1.0. The distribution was an instant hit. Loosely modelled on Debian and its much praised package management with apt (although UHU-Linux has its own package format called "uhu"), the distribution comprised of highly cutting-edge packages and extensive translation effort of all major applications into Hungarian. The latter was probably the main reason why UHU-Linux was so well-received by users throughout their country.
As the developers gained more experience, new releases, including live CD editions, continued at regular intervals. The project has been largely financed by income from sales of the "Office Edition" (which has a more restrictive license and is intended for use by companies), as well as sale of T-shirts and other merchandise. The project is currently undergoing a beta testing period of its next release - version 1.2, which will include kernel 2.6, X.Org 6.8.1, GNOME 2.8, KDE 3.3 and the usual range of desktop and server applications.
Although UHU-Linux is unlikely to be of interest to those who don't understand Hungarian, there is little doubt that this project has become the major driving force behind Linux adoption in Hungary. As such, it deserves a huge pat on the back, especially for the selfless translation effort of open source applications into Hungarian.
UHU-Linux Live 2.2 - an instant workstation for Hungarian speakers
(full image size: 744kB)
|Released Last Week
ROCK Linux 2.0.3
The source-based ROCK Linux project has released an update of their stable 2.0 branch. From the announcement: "This is the official announcement of the release and availability of ROCK Linux - v2.0.3. This version has been tagged from 2.0-stable branch at revision 4795 on November 14th 2004. Most important changes: all build errors have been fixed at least for the x86 architecture; Tons of updates got merged from trunk; the new 'build-bootstrap' package selection provides a small set of packages necessary to build everything else. This package selection is used for the 'reference build system' to provide cache-files and binary releases."
BeatrIX Linux November 04
BeatrIX Linux is a compact (less than 200MB) live CD based on Ubuntu Linux. A new version, called "November 04" was released yesterday: "BeatrIX November 04 contains the latest Linux stable kernel (operating system) a Windows-like desktop (GNOME), web browser (Firefox), e-mail program (Evolution),word processor (OpenOffice.org), instant chat program (GAIM) and everything else necessary to get things done with no problems. Its operating system is dramatically more stable than Windows, much less prone to crashing and will automatically update itself when necessary. In addition, because of the way Linux is constructed, it does not have the majority of security problems that Windows has." Here is the full release announcement.
Buffalo Linux 1.5.1
Buffalo Linux has been updated to version 1.5.1:"Buffalo Linux 1.5.1 is a bug fix and update release to version 1.5.0. Included are 23 base package updates and 31 extra package updates. Major package updates include: IceWM 1.2.17, Samba 3.0.8, ALSA 1.0.7 ... The full 1.5.1 version is available for download as two CDs. The base upgrade is separately available as a Buffalo bundle package: upgrade-1.5.1-buff-1.bz2; also available as a patch and through AutoUpdate." Visit the distribution's home page to read the release announcement.
This is a new release of AUSTRUMI, a business card-size live CD based on Slackware Linux, with the fvwm95 window manager. From the changelog: "Added network tools - ettercap, gspoof, xwhois and xhydra; added frontend monitor setup; added Xonix; removed xweb; added Apache; updated Ugunsvarti, X.Org and somelibraries; added new AUSTRUMI theme; fixed some bugs." More details are available on the project's home page.
Puppy Linux 0.9.7
Puppy Linux 0.9.7 is out: "Puppy version 0.9.7 released. Release notes: Puppy now has the Gaim instant messenger client, version 1.0.2, with support for IRC, ICQ, Yahoo, MSN and Jabber. There is a new paint program called mtPaint. Puppy has a new internal HTML file viewer, called phv. This is a Tcl/Tk application that uses the tkhtml widget. Puppy now has limited write support for NTFS partitions. Screen snapshots can now be taken by a menu selection in the 'Graphics processors' sub-menu. There is a new game, called tkmines, a minesweeper game. There is now a dockapp manager, anda selection of dockapps." Read the rest of the release notes on the distribution's news page.
ParallelKnoppix 2004-11-25 and 2004-11-26
ParallelKnoppix is a new distribution in our database; it is a remastered variant of the Knoppix live CD that allows setting up a cluster of machines for parallel processing using the LAM-MPI and/or MPICH implementations of MPI. A new version was released yesterday: "A major overhaul: a more careful package elimination to decrease image size; GUI configuration - open a terminal in Desktop, ParallelKnoppix, Setup, and type ./SetupParallelKnoppix, the rest is clicking through, usually following defaults. Note: the tutorial needs to be updated. Contains MPITB for GNU Octave, with a working example." The project's home page provides further information and links to documentation and downloads.
Vine Linux 3.1
Vine Linux 3.1 has been released. This is essentially a bugfix and security update for the earlier version 3.0, with no new features. The release incorporates all erratas up to the beginning of November and fixes several reported bugs in the system installer. The kernel has been upgraded to version 2.4.27 and some Japanese TrueType fonts have been replaced with alternatives. Several new packages have been included. Find more detailed information on the distribution's home page (in Japanese). Bootable ISO images are available for download for both i386 and PPC architectures.
Kalango Linux 3.0
After six months of beta testing, a new version of the Kurumin-based Kalango Linux is out. Version 3.0 has seen many organisational changes, package upgrades, and new features. Among them,a new hard disk installer and the inclusion of IceWM and Fluxbox (alongside KDE, GNOME and WindowMaker) are the most interesting changes.The kernel has been upgraded to 2.6.7, KDE to 3.3.1, GNOME to 2.8.1, Firefox to 1.0, Samba to 3.0.7.... The entire visual appearance of the the distribution has also undergone a comprehensive change. Together with the launch of Kalango 3.0, the distribution's web site has also been updated and its user forums migrated to PhpBB. You can find the full announcement on Kalango's home page (in Portuguese).
Kalango Linux 3.0 - one of the many great live CD projects developed in Brazil
(full image size: 254kB)
Feather Linux 0.6.2
A new version of the Feather Linux mini live CD has been released. From the changelog: "Changes from 0.6.1 to 0.6.2: added 'wakeonlan', a tool to send Wake-on-LAN packets; included a custom resolution option in the X setup script; made some small MPlayer changes; updated aMSN script to 0.94; lowered memory usage slightly by a few changes; cleaned up /etc/init.d/knoppix-autoconfig; made it possible to add users while running from CD or USB stick; made hard disk boot faster; updated Arno's firewall script to version 1.8.3-BE."
Linux Netwosix 1.2
This is a new release of Linux Netwosix, a Linux distribution for servers and network security jobs: "The Netwosix Linux distribution (v. 1.2) is now available. The system has been completely rebuilt, now assures a high security for your network. Linux Netwosix 1.2 resolves all the critical problems discovered in releases 1.0 and 1.1 and now could be considered as one of the most important distribution in this field thanks to its light-weight and clear structure. Features: new setup method; new HOWTO; all packages upgraded to latest versions; very light ISO image, fast to download and install; it runs Linux kernel 2.6.9; system binaries linked with the GNU C Library, version 2.3.3; GCC 3.3.3 as the default Ccompiler; It runs 'nepote' as default porting tool (updated with the new packages); Perl 5.8.4." Read the full release announcement for further details.
UHU-Linux Live 2.2
A new version of UHU-Linux Live has been released. Version 2.2 and code name "Eszter", this live CD is a bug-fix release of an earlier version, incorporating many user suggestions. Among the mostimportant changes are application updates to their latest stable versions, inclusion of the WindowMaker window manager, new theme, fonts and colours, and several newly added boot parameters. For further details and download locations please refer to the release announcement (in Hungarian).
The Devil-Linux live firewall has been updated to version 1.2.1: "I'm proud to announce v1.2.1 of Devil-Linux. The changes include Kernel 2.4.28, enabled sasl+ldap+mysql for postfix, dramatically reduced size of etc.tar.bz2, many program updates, and many other changes. See changelog for details." Hereare the links to the release announcement and changelog.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Knoppix Games Edition (public release)
The recently released specialist (non-public) edition of the Knoppix live CD Games Edition has attracted so much interest that the developers are now planning a public release early next month: "After receiving a lot of positive feedback concerning the Knoppix PCGH-Edition we decided to build a public games version. This version is a true Knoppix and I'll try to sync the releases with Klaus Knopper in a way that the base of the Games Knoppix is the most current public Knoppix. The date of our first release will be Monday, the 6.12.2004 (St. Nicholas Day ;)." Read the full announcement for further details.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distribution addition
- BeatrIX Linux. BeatrIX Linux is a compact (less than 200MB) operating system aimed at both office and home users who want something simpler, safer and superior to Microsoft Windows, and that will run on just about any IBM-compatible PC made in the past 10 years. It runs as a live CD or it can be installed to hard drive.
- ParallelKnoppix. ParallelKnoppix is a remastered edition of Knoppix that allows setting up a cluster of machines for parallel processing using the LAM-MPI and/or MPICH implementations of MPI. Getting the cluster up and running takes less than 15 minutes, if the machines have PXE network cards.
- X/OS Linux. X/OS Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution, based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, for business and enterprise users. It features a rock-solid enterprise-grade operating system for reliable, high-performance computing; enterprise compatibility for easy migration of third-party applications; long-term availability of security updates and software enhancements.
New on the waiting list
- GoBSD. GoBSD.com is a community network dedicated to DragonFlyBSD. The community growing around GoBSD will create a free distribution of DragonFly, advocate the use of DragonFly in personal and professional tasks, and work to ensure the stability and security of the DragonFly system.
- Jintoo. Jintoo is Linux live CD based on Gentoo, linux-live scripts, and Ultimate Boot CD. It integrates all benefits to one CD: Gentoo Linux with portage, up-to-date software and fast optimisations; read/write system from "linux-live" scripts, changes are stored in RAM, you can modify every file on live CD; integration of the Ultimate Boot CD, with many utilities for hardware testing and hard disk partitioning.
- MoLinux. MoLinux is a Debian-based live CD developed by the government of Castilla La Mancha, Spain.
- MyGeOs is a new source-based distribution, based on Linux From Scratch, developed by the creators of the now defunct LRs Linux project.
- Paipix Linux. PaiPix Linux is a compilation of Free Software, based in the Knoppix live CD, meant to be used in any environment, but with special vocation for the education of the Information and Instrumentation technologies. This is the first initiative at the Post-Graduate Course of Applied Programming and Instrumentation of the College of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. The PaiPix Linux also supports clusters of distributed computing (using paipix-terminalsever) for data servers, farm simulation, farms, and user laboratories.
- Recovery Is Possible. Recovery Is Possible (RIP) is a CD or floppy boot/rescue/backup/maintenance system. It has support for a lot of filesystem types (Reiserfs, Reiser4, ext2/3, iso9660, UDF, XFS, JFS, UFS, HPFS, HFS, MINIX, MS DOS, NTFS, and VFAT) and contains a bunch of utilities for system recovery. It also has IDE/SCSI/SATA, PCMCIA, RAID, LVM2, and Ethernet/DSL/cable/PPP/PPPOE network support.
- T2. T2 is a flexible open source system development environment or distribution build kit, if your are more familiar with that term. T2 allows the creation of custom distributions with bleeding edge technology. Currently the Linux kernel is normally used - but we are expanding to Hurd, OpenDarwin and OpenBSD - more to come. T2 started as a community driven fork from the ROCK Linux Project with the aim to create a decentralised development and a clean framework for spin-off projects and customised distributions.
- Ultimate Boot CD. Ultimate Boot CD is a bootable live CD which consolidates many system repair tools and diagnostic utilities into one CD.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 360
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 43
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 80
That's all for today; see you again next Monday!
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