| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 81, 3 January 2005
Happy New Year! You are reading the first issue of DistroWatch Weekly in 2005, in which we'll go back in history and reveal how DistroWatch started, then provide a few figures about visitors' interest over the past year, and introduce a handful of new distributions. Happy reading!
- Reflections: how DistroWatch came into existence
- Statistics: most visited distribution pages in 2004
- Released last week
- Upcoming releases: SUSE LINUX 9.2 FTP, Libranet GNU/Linux 3.0
- November/December donations: Kile, Tsunami Relief Operation
- New distribution additions: APODIO, CentOS, Freeduc-Sup, gNOX, Knopperdisk, Nitix Autonomic Linux
- New on the waiting list: ATmission, Garbure, Euskal Linux, JLiMe, Symphony OS
- Discontinued distribution: Ares Linux, Julex, uOS
Reflections: how DistroWatch came into existence
Before the end-of-year holidays, a reader asked about the beginnings of DistroWatch and how it all started - perhaps a good topic to reflect on at the end of the year. So here is the story...
I used to work for Linpus Technologies, a company producing a Linux distribution, among other products. One day, shortly before launching a major new release, my boss asked me if I could compile a list of features of all the main Linux distributions to see how we compare with the rest. This was done in order to find something exciting to put on the box as selling points.
An easy task, I thought; surely there are plenty such comparisons available on the Internet, right? Wrong. I spent several hours looking for data, but besides a few desperately out-of-date comparison charts, I was unable to find any usable information. In the end, I had to do it all myself - by visiting every main distribution's web site and extracting information about their products, prices, documentation, package versions, etc. I started putting all the data into an Excel spreadsheet (yes, MS Office was the standard document format, despite the fact that we were a Linux company!) until I had all I needed for Caldera, Corel, Debian, Mandrake, Red Hat, Slackware, SuSE, Turbolinux, and of course Linpus. This was around May 2001 and those were generally considered the major distributions at the time.
Once the task was completed, the amount of data reached a fairly reasonable state in terms of interesting information. That was when I decided to share it with the Linux community and moved it from a spreadsheet into an HTML document. I registered for a web space account by one of the free providers and uploaded the page, then submitted the news about its existence to several Linux news sites.
The response was astonishing, to say the least. The site received over 7,000 visitors during the first day and my inbox was quickly filling up with email providing corrections, suggestions for improvements, and even words of praise and encouragement to continue maintaining the page. This was my first attempt at establishing web presence and it was a very simple page with a brief introduction and a table listing features and main packages for the above-mentioned distributions. I intended to keep the page up-to-date by including new data every time one of the distributions made a new release.
Some six months later the site was getting over 2,000 visitors a day. By that time, I had registered the distrowatch.com domain name, learnt a bit more about HTML and CSS, and created a page for every distribution, tracking their past releases and providing extra information and links to other related pages. I also added new distributions as I discovered them or as they were suggested by readers. I found it fascinating to learn about all the different distributions that existed on the market - I had Mandrake installed on my home computer, Debian on a second workstation at work and was administering several servers running various versions of Red Hat Linux. Every time a new distribution came out with a new release, I would install it to see how it differs from the ones I already had experience with. This distribution "testing" quickly became an addictive hobby.
That said, I was still mostly a Windows users, even several months after launching DistroWatch. I didn't have much choice at work and at home I find myself unable to leave the familiar world behind. One day, however, things changed. As a result of an embarrassing post on a mailing list, I finally decided to switch to Linux completely. I challenged myself to reboot into Mandrake Linux and stay in it for one month, doing everything I would normally do on the computer. Then I wrote about these experiences in The Linux Distribution Game (yes, the "friend of mine" that accepted my challenge was, in fact, I). That was a true story - after one continuous month in Linux I found out that I no longer needed Windows! In fact, when my hard disk crashed a few months later, I didn't bother to re-install Windows and my computer has been 100% Windows-free ever since.
Of course, things didn't go particularly smoothly at first. I remember the difficulties I had to go through while finding out how to do common tasks in GIMP (and other applications), e.g creating images with a transparent background. On Windows I had used Corel PHOTOPAINT for all the DistroWatch graphics needs, but I found GIMP to have a completely different implementation of many graphics tasks. Not more difficult, just different. Virtually every action in GIMP required that I first visited Google and found out how to perform that particular action! Sure, it wasn't entire without frustration, but every time I was tempted to reach for the reboot button, I remembered that I had paid some R2,000 (ZAR) for my copy of CorelDRAW, which was a good quarter of my after-tax monthly salary at the time. (This is not to say that CorelDRAW was not worth the money, but when your financial resources are limited, a large expense like that means that your other "wants" have to be postponed. With Free Software, this is no longer the case.)
The Linux Distribution Game article brought a bit of trouble, however. Because the editors at Slashdot found it worth a post on their web site, I was quickly reminded about the realities of the Internet when my free hosting service was abruptly terminated (I used up my monthly bandwidth quota in just a few hours after the article was linked from Slashdot!). Luckily, the power of the Linux community proved too strong and I quickly received an offer from the developers of Linux From Scratch to host DistroWatch on their server. This was a great offer - for the first time I had access to scripting languages, so it was time to turn the site from static HTML into dynamic pages with PHP.
This was around June 2002, which coincided with my decision to leave Linpus Technologies. I spent three months at home, learning PHP and rewriting the site. Then, due to growing financial pressures, I had to make a decision between finding a new job and keeping the web site as a hobby, or turning DistroWatch into a business. The second option sounded considerably more appealing and I decided to give it a go. It was tough at first (relying on readers' donations, generous as some of you were, is NOT a sustainable business model), so I started accepting advertising and devised a "premium" service for interested readers (which did not prove very popular and was later abandoned). Luckily, the number of visitors kept increasing and so did advertising inquiries which eventually reached sustainable levels. I was able continue working on the site full time.
Nowadays, the site is visited by over 60,000 readers a day, which makes DistroWatch one of the top 10 Linux/BSD news sites on the Internet. There are several reasons for the site's increasing popularity. Firstly, I try to be fast with publishing news - unlike many other new sites, I don't wait until a story hits Slashdot or until somebody submits the news; instead I do my best to get the news out to you as soon as it happens. Secondly, the news stories are sufficiently varied; from the biggest and most popular distributions to the smallest and virtually unknown projects developed in remote corners of the world (learning languages is one of my hobbies) - they all receive equal treatment. There are too many news sites that just publish press releases by Red Hat or Novell and wonder why nobody bookmarks their sites. I believe that these two characteristics - the speed of updates and uniqueness of news items - are the prime reasons why visitors keep coming. (OSNews is one of the few other web sites that has a similar attitude and philosophy towards publishing news, which is what makes it such a great site to visit.)
But of course, there is a brand new year ahead of us and you are not going to be disappointed - together with regular contributors, we will continue bringing you up-to-date and interesting news, writing DistroWatch Weekly and updating all distribution pages with new releases. I also hope to find time for creating a proper database of all distributions with easy search capabilities, and improve the internationalisation infrastructure so that information is readily available to all readers, even those who don't understand English! As always, your suggestions for improvements are most welcome!
Have a great 2005!
* * * * *
Statistics: most visited distribution pages in 2004
With the year 2004 behind us, here is a brief statistical info about the popularity of distribution-specific pages on DistroWatch. For the third year in a row, the Mandrakelinux page was the most visited one, with an average of 1,457 visits from unique IP addresses per day. It was followed by Fedora (1,202 visits), KNOPPIX (910 visits), SUSE (858 visits) and Debian (832 visits). MEPIS, PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu were the biggest movers - MEPIS claimed the overall 6th spot in the ranking, while Ubuntu managed to climb to number 13, despite the fact that it was only listed on DistroWatch for less than 4 months of the year. Lycoris was the biggest loser of the year, with Linspire and Yoper also down in the ranking.
The absolute largest number of visitors on any distribution page was recorded by the Fedora page on November 9, 2004 (the day after the release of Fedora Core 3) - 4,201 unique IPs (5,615 page hits), followed by the Fedora page on May 18, 2004 (the day of the Fedora Core 2 release) - 4,138 unique IPs (6,172 page hits) and by the Fedora page again on November 8, 2004 - 4,033 unique IPs (5,703 page hits). The Slackware page recorded 3,551 visits from unique IP addresses on the day of the Slackware 10.0 release (4,860 page hits). No other distribution recorded more than 3,000 visits from unique IP addresses on any single day. As for the main DistroWatch page, the largest number of visitors was recorded on September 27, 2004 - 78,214 visitors loaded the main page on that day.
|Released During Last 2 Weeks
Luit Linux 0.4
Luit Linux is a mini live CD with XFce 4, based on Damn Small Linux. A new version has been announced: "Latest release: v 0.4. The main feature of this new distribution is its modularity. Additional CDs can be mounted to get additional packages at any time when needed, from the desktop menu, or through a command prompt. All can be combined to make a mini CD version." Visit the distribution's home page to read the release announcement and feature list.
Damn Small Linux 0.9.1
Damn Small Linux 0.9.1 has been released, with the following changes "Replaced ascd and enjoympeg with xmms; added news feed section for xmms; beaver replaces minimum profit editor; fluxter replaces bbpager for better integration; updated firefox default mime types; removed smbtree, isoinfo, readcd; theme intelligent Fluxter replaced bbpager; for more information read the details in the screenshot." Here is the full changelog.
Freeduc-Sup is a French live CD (with a graphical hard disk installer) based on Morphix and designed for use in education (it includes a comprehensive Linux administration book in HTMLformat). Version 1.1 was released yesterday and is available in two editions - "base" and "informatique", the latter of which includes developer tools, including programming languages (C, C++, PHP, Perl, Python, XML) and development environments (Kdevelop, Quanta, Qt Designer). Read the distribution's news page (in French) for more information, or visit the screenshots page to see Freeduc-Sup in action.
K12LTSP Linux 4.2.0
The final release of K12LTSP Linux 4.2.0 is now available: "Still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the Spouse? K12LTSP 4.2.0 is now available for all of your gift-giving needs! It slices, it dices. And when you are finished, it makes great drink coasters! The ultimate stocking-stuffer! Hurry while supplies last!" From the release notes: "K12LTSP 4.2.0 is based on Fedora Core 3. The installer media check has been turned off by default. This check does not work if the ISO were burned on a 2.6.x kernel without being 'padded'...." Here is the announcement, inclusive of the release notes and download links.
A new stable release of LBA-Linux (formerly known as SOT Linux and Best Linux) is out: "The Linux Business Alliance, an association of companies dedicated to producing usable, open,and legally safe software has released the second version of its LBA-Linux operating system. The new version, LBA-Linux R2, offers many completely new features, including integrated office software and encrypted directories for each user. The R2 release also incorporates all security updates released since the first LBA-Linux distribution was published in May 2004." Read the press release for further details.
LBA-Linux R2 - a Fedora-based distribution from Finland
(full image size: 770kB)
Vidalinux Desktop OS 1.1
A new release of the Gentoo-based Vidalinux Desktop OS is now available for download: "For all you VLOS fans here is the new version of Vidalinux Desktop OS with lots of changes, fixes, updates, new theme and artwork make this release even better than 1.0." Read the full release notes for detailed information about all the changes since version 1.0.
This is a new release of AUSTRUMI, a Slackware-based business card-size live CD with fvwm'95 as its desktop environment. What's new? "Added Skype - free Internet telephony; added PHP support; added LNF forum (for education); removed beaver, added tea; removed gkdial, added wvdial; updated Ugunsvarti, AbiWord and Opera; removed MinGV developer studio; added same 1GB ethernet card support; fixed bugs." Visit the distribution's home page to read the changelog and other information about AUSTRUMI.
Puppy Linux 0.9.8
A new release of Puppy Linux is here. From the release notes: "Puppy now has PlanMaker Free Edition - Excel compatible spreadsheet editor. Although this is closed-source, it is free, no usage restrictions and no embedded advertisements. There is a new accounting program called Grisbi. This is excellent for personal finance and would suit many organisations. Grisbi is able to import GnuCash files. There is a new presentation design program called Impress, similar in concept to PowerPoint. Note that PowerPoint presentations can be indirectly imported into Impress by exporting them from PowerPoint in Postscript format...."
ASP Linux 10
ASP Linux 10, code name "Karelia", has been released. ASP Linux is a Russian distribution based on Fedora Core. The latest release has been developed with three main characteristics in mind - it should be immediately usable out of the box, most of system configuration should be achieved via a graphical interface, and it should support a wide range of multimedia formats, including DVD, mpeg4 and mp3 playback. It has been built on top of a Linux kernel 2.6.9, and it includes GNOME 2.8.1, KDE 3.3.1, OpenOffice.org 1.1.2, Firefox 1.0, Novell Evolution 2.0.2, and many other applications. More details are available in the press release (in Russian).
ASP Linux 10 - a Fedora-based distribution from Russia
(full image size: 1,273kB)
Buffalo Linux 1.6.0
Buffalo Linux 1.6.0 has been released: "Buffalo Version 1.6.0 contains numerous updates -- including the new kernel 2.6.10. Kernel 184.108.40.206 is still available at install time due to issues with some USB features in 2.6.9/2.6.10. Included are Sylpheed 1.0.0, IceWM 1.2.18, OpenOffice.org 1.1.4 and updates to KDE 3.3.2 on the extras CD2. Also available on the main FTP site are additional packages in directory 'other', for example 'libmng' is needed by KDE and was left off CD2 by mistake. Version 1.6.1 is anticipated shortly as a bug fix to this version. It will be available as an auto-update from 1.6.0. No auto-update is provided to 1.6.0 due to the very large size of the changes." Read the release announcement on the distribution's main page.
For all fans of Linux distributions designed for USB pen drives, here is a new toy called Knopperdisk, based on Gentoo Linux. Version 0.2.0 was released yesterday: "Finally, a new release with a lot of improvements. A snapshot of some of them: kernel 2.6.10; expanded the list of supported hardware; syslinux 2.11 for booting; using SquashFS for the root file system image instead of cloop, which actually results in a smaller image while there's more data on it; added CVS software; a lot of upgraded software (udev, hotplugging, coreutils and more); no more nasty errors while shutting down and rebooting! All this made me decide to make this release the final 0.2.0." Read the announcement on the project's news page.
A revised release of gnuLinEx 2004 is now available. The principal new features include support for serial ATA drives, support for installation on USB hard disks, and correction of bugs reported since the release of version 2004 in July. Most packages have been upgraded to their current stable version; this includes Firefox 1.0 with automatic installations of various plugins, Evolution 2.0, GNOME 2.8, Firestarter and other applications. Newly included is the K3B CD/DVD burning utility. Many hardware drivers have been added to the kernel. The gnuLinEx repository now includes over 10,000 packages from Debian Sarge for trouble-free installation of extra applications. Read the full release announcement (in Spanish) for further details.
A new release of GeeXboX, a Linux-based media player, is out: "Ho ho ho ... here comes a new GeeXboX release. As a tradition, many free software projects release on Christmas and so do we (with a little bit delay, just to be original :-). So, here's our gift to you to end 2004: GeeXboX 0.98.5. The 0.99 release will come with a completely new interface which is not yet completely finished. But 4 months have past since the last release and much work has been done. You probably won't notice any big differences in terms of functionality by comparison to the old 0.98 release. The reason for it is quite simple: we did a major rewrite of our code, build toolkit and all major packages and there were so many deep changes that we needed to make a new release before adding the new interface." Here is the full announcement.
Feather Linux 0.7.1
The first release of 2005 belongs to the Feather Linux project, which has just announced version 0.7.1. From the changelog: "Included aterm, a terminal supporting transparency and other features; added the Ruby scripting language; added rcrack (a hash cracker), sil (a banner grabber), nbtstat and dsniff; added giFTcurs; added cdparanoia; added elinks, a text-only browser; updated many system-based packages to those from Knoppix 3.7; added option to feather-hdinstall to add custom options on the LILO append line; added a new soundcard configuration tool if the other fails, which can be found in Tools -> Scripts; made some small changes to rm-dpkg; fixed Opera, Java and Flash scripts...."
Debian GNU/Linux 3.0r4
The 4th revision of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 has been released: "This is the fourth update of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (codename 'woody') which mainly adds security updates to the stable release, along with a few corrections to serious problems. Those who frequently update from security.debian.org won't have to update many packages and most updates from security.debian.org are included in this update. Please note that this update does not produce a new version of Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 but only adds a few updated packages to it. There is no need to throw away 3.0 CDs but only to update againstftp.debian.org after an installation, in order to incorporate those late changes. Upgrading to this revision online is usually done by pointing the 'apt' package tool to one of Debian's many FTP or HTTP mirrors. A comprehensive list of mirrors is available here." Read the announcement for further details.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
SUSE LINUX 9.2 FTP Edition
A new message on the SUSE FTP server claims that SUSE LINUX 9.2 will be made available for network installation on January 10: "Update: Expect 9.2-FTP on January 10 2005." Read here for more information.
Libranet GNU/Linux 3.0
According to the latest issue of Libranet Newsletter, published on December 29, Libranet 3.0 is now in beta testing: "Good news. Libranet 3.0 beta testing is now underway. The beta testers are testing the new installer and after the new year will be testing the full release. So far it's looking good!" The newsletter did not provide any other details about the product or the expected release date.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
November/December donations: Kile, Tsunami Relief Operation
Continuing with our donations programme, the delayed November 2004 donation goes to Kile KDE LaTeX Editor, while the December 2004 donation will go to the victims of the recent Tsunami disaster through UNICEF's Tsunami relief operation. Seeing the tragedy on TV, it was hard not to contribute to those who lost everything due to the nature's extremely cruel joke. Originally, the Kile project was meant to receive US$180, but since it only accepts donations in certain denominations, we had no choice but donate US$100 and move the remaining US$80 to December. Therefore UNICEF's Tsunami relief operation received a total of US$340. As always, the donation programme is a joint initiative between DistroWatch and LinuxCD.org, which contributes US$50 every month. LinuxCD.org is an online store selling low-cost Linux/BSD CDs - they have the largest selection, inclusive of all the latest releases, and they offer the lowest prices. Next time you need to order your favourite Linux or BSD CDs, get them from LinuxCD.org.
Here are the PayPal receipts for our donations:
This email confirms that you have paid OSDN / VA Software $100.00 USD using PayPal.
Transaction ID: 87Y45907KK547412L
Total: $100.00 USD
Item Title: Donation
Invoice ID: 224332
Message: This is a donation by DistroWatch.com to the Kile project.
OSDN / VA Software
Contact E-Mail: staff at sourceforge.net
This email confirms that you have paid Tsunami Relief $340.00 USD using PayPal.
Transaction ID: 2CS50509YC919753G
Total: $340.00 USD
Item Title: Tsunami Relief Effort
Business: Tsunami Relief
Contact E-Mail: tsunamirelief at paypal.com
This is the list of projects that received a DistroWatch donation since the launch of the programme:
New distribution addition
New on the waiting list
- ATmission. ATmission is a live Linux CD. The main advantage of ATmission compared to other live Linux CDs is its flexibility.
- Euskal Linux. Euskal Linux is a commercial Linux distribution developed by Webalianza in the Basque autonomous region of Spain.
- Garbure. Garbure is a collection of dedicated distributions. Each distribution provides you with carefully selected tools for a specific target domain, and is completed with examples and documentation. The set of distributions included in Garbure forms an entity, but each distribution works also on its own. They complement each other like tools in a toolbox or volumes of an encyclopedia. Tools, documentation and examples are chosen, tested and if necessary created by people active in the target domain. These distributions are intended to be used as work station. The installation and distribution media is the LiveCD, making it also useful for demonstration purposes, promotion, occasional usage or rescue system. Meta-package installation is planned.
- JLiMe. JLime (Jornada Linux Mobility Edition) is a project that focuses on running Linux on the HP Jornada 680/690 and 620LX/660LX series handheld PC. The Jornada 680/690 is a Windows CE-based device equipped with a 133MHz Hitachi SH3 processor. It has a laptop-like keyboard, a relatively large screen and excellent battery capacity, which makes it an ideal device for coding on the road and wireless internet access, much more than any traditional PDA. The 620LX/660LX is a similar device, the differences being a 75MHz SH3 processor instead of 133MHz and a softtouch keyboard instead of the laptop-like keyboard on the 680/690. Running Linux as the main operating system on your Jornada 680/690 or 620LX/660LX will give you a powerful system with tons of tools, programming languages and applications.
- Symphony OS. Symphony is a distribution of GNU/Linux based on the Debian GNU/Linux and KNOPPIX operating systems. Symphony will do things a bit differently than other Linux operating systems; making it easier to use and more intuitive than most existing distributions.
- A little clean-up over the holidays meant that distributions whose web pages were not longer accessible were re-classified as "discontinued" and placed on discontinued distributions page. These include Ares Linux (an unsuccessful attempt at some continuity to the abandoned JAMD Linux), Julex, a recently launched Australian live CD, and uOS - The Micro Operating System (a spin-off of the discontinued TelemetryBox project).
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 370
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 48
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 83
That's all for today, see you all next week!
1 • Faitfull follower (by maceto on 2005-01-03 14:03:24 GMT) |
I have been here since opening day more or less, and first poster again. why is that?
2 • Thanks! (by Michael_Valentine on 2005-01-03 14:06:58 GMT)
Happy New Year, and Thank You for the hard work of maintaining this great source of information for all of us. This is usually one of the first sites I visit in the morning. Very good joice for the December Donation IMHO. Keep up the good work, and here is to a great 2005!
3 • Good Choice !!! (by Marc on 2005-01-03 14:31:07 GMT)
Ladislav as always, you made a good decision for the december
Whish you and all DW readers a good Linux/Bsd (and maybe more
other free OS) year.
4 • nice DWN (by FlS on 2005-01-03 14:51:11 GMT)
Happy newyear, and thanks for providing us with this great information ladislav!
5 • r00ts of distrowatch (by crawancon at 2005-01-03 14:55:40 GMT)
interesting reading the history here, i feel like i've been a part of it since, well, near the beginning... maybe i was one of the 7000 people that hit the free site on the first day! I used to travel to isonews and linuxiso.org for my project needs. I was glad to have found your site then, and i do not hesitate (even get annoyingly assertive) in recommending DW to anyone i think would make use of it. I am so glad this turned out to be an actual full time position for someone. I mean the right idea, right time, right format just everything made too much sense. Im also glad ladislav turned out to be one of those "community gave to me, so i give to community" types, reminiscent of "craigslist" morals.
lookin forward to 2005 and beyong ladislav.. keep em comin'.
6 • Happy new year! (by just john at 2005-01-03 15:01:32 GMT)
I just checked over at dyne.org, and an announcement for dyne:bolic 1.4 is up ( http://dynebolic.dyne.org/index.php?show=available ) tho the mirrors don't seem to have the .iso quite yet.
7 • w00t w00t (by sn0n at 2005-01-03 15:05:06 GMT)
another fine issue.. and great to read the history.. thnx for the write up.
8 • Great site! (by zetor at 2005-01-03 15:46:39 GMT)
Happy New 2005!
Keep up the good work!
9 • bravo (by ray carter at 2005-01-03 16:21:26 GMT)
Great issue - the historical recap was very interesting. Wonderful choice for the December donation. I appreciate your hard work - distrowatch is the first thing I check every morning (after breakfast and a quick read of the local paper). It's an invaluable service.
10 • No subject (by shooter on 2005-01-03 16:23:02 GMT)
Great work! Tanks!
11 • Happy New Year from Tux Reports (by Layne Heiny at 2005-01-03 17:13:47 GMT)
It's been a long time since we've exchanged an hello but contrary to popular belief I'm not dead :)
Your site was a gem from the first day. Hope 2005 is even better for you.
12 • Happy New Year from FedoraNEWS.ORG (by Thomas Chung at 2005-01-03 17:42:08 GMT)
Happy New Year everyone!
Let's make another great year for Linux Community.
13 • thanks (by Barney R. at 2005-01-03 17:45:39 GMT)
Thanks for the hard work you do. I spend an embarassing amount of time on DW. I have been playing with Linux since 5.2 for Dummies. A friend and I have, between us, 30 some odd distros, most of which I read about on DW and purchased a lot of them from LinuxCD.org. I have another test box that I play with those on. I am also trying to cut the Windows cord and it's a little hard to do, but I think it can be done. I use this box for internet and email. Still have the Windows for Pictures but will have to upgrade this box to switch all that.
Keep up the good work, and the best in the new year.
14 • Happy New Year (by SyntaxError at 2005-01-03 18:05:49 GMT)
15 • thanks for bringing Kile to my attention (by gnobuddy at 2005-01-03 18:22:13 GMT)
Ladislav, just wanted to say a brief "Thanks!" for all the work you do. I'm glad it's paying the bills for you.
One of the reasons I visit Distrowatch frequently is that I often learn about the existence of new distros or software here. Most recently, I was glad to hear about Kile. To me, there is little doubt that LaTeX is still the best document preparation system in existence for any material containing equations, and I use it for all my classroom handouts. Sadly, the steep learning curve seems to keep away most folks except graduate students and research scientists. It is great to hear that Kile aims to bring more user-friendliness to LaTeX.
Since I run Gentoo, a quick "emerge -v kile" was all I needed to try it out. It looks very promising indeed!
16 • Happy New Year! (by DaveW on 2005-01-03 19:06:45 GMT)
Ladislav, it's great to see that you're going into the new year with as much enthusiasm and curiosity as ever. I think DistroWatch has been a significant factor in expanding the audience for free/open source software and the ideas behind it.
DistroWatch is outstanding in two respects: the amazing detail, quality, and timeliness of the information, plus an amazingly functional format for getting at the needed info so easily that we forget what a deep set of data we're sorting through. If I were teaching a class on web design, DistroWatch would be a prime example of how to present complex, multilevel data transparently.
Thanks for all the good work. I'll be looking forward to my Monday morning DW fix throughout '05. Happy New Year.
17 • @crawancon (by maceto on 2005-01-03 20:03:13 GMT)
hehe isonews what linux you looking for there free as in beer?
18 • Thanks, Congratulations, and Happy New Year (by William Roddy at 2005-01-03 20:46:34 GMT)
Thank you for all you bring us each week.
Congratulations on your success. You've earned it. I hope you continue to grow and prosper.
Thank you for your concern about not only open source, but needs of others.
Happy New Year. You will continue to be the first Web page I visit every day.
19 • Happy New Year (by Dave Thacker at 2005-01-03 22:08:19 GMT)
Happy New Year Ladislav. Thanks for an excellent site. Great decision on the December donation, those people need the help.
20 • Re: Reflection.. (by Vampire Janus at 2005-01-04 00:09:11 GMT)
Happy New Year!
Ladislav, how come you didn't link it to the first web page that you created that compares distribution? Anyway, I no longer know where to look for it and wish to take a peek on it right now...
21 • First Visit (by Lou Harris at 2005-01-04 00:20:41 GMT)
I know nothing about Linux and have never worked with it. Ran across your site in PC magazine. I want to learn about Linux and switch to it if I can. Enjoyed reading your history and your site. As a 76 year old geezer; not sure I'll have enough time but hopefully will enjoy trying. Keep up the good work and am receptive to any advice or pointers about how to proceed.
22 • Tsunami Relief (by Zor on 2005-01-04 01:25:30 GMT)
I know this is off-topic, but I hope you'll forgive me for using this space for a good cause.
Although this site is about Linux/BSD/Open Source, I must admit, the gift for the Tsunami Relief Operation was the best! I am a supporter of Open Source and in particular the Linux and BSD operating systems/distributions, but I too think that the disaster that hit upon Asia is far worse than anything I could ever imagine and from my dry spot here in Europe I feel the right thing to do is to support those poor people who have lost so much and so many (family/friends/...).
I hope more people visiting this site will donate -- be it a few bucks or more, anything will help. I am convinced the joy of giving and sharing will not end at using Open Source Software, but will extend to helping the ones who need our help more than ever.
And to make it on-topic again:
Think "open source": it's all about sharing!
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
23 • Congratulations and Happy New Year! (by Carlos Alberto P P B Santos at 2005-01-04 02:33:13 GMT)
Firstly, I'd like to wish you a very happy new year!
My history with Linux is very close to DistroWatch, as it was the second site I've reached to search for Linux information (the first was linux.org). Through so many interesting information, and the so blessed DW Weekly News, I get up to date in my linux information.
And following your site for some time, I've found a person w/convictions similar to mine, (recent ones are boycott to LinuxToday.com and the donation to Tsunami Effort).
As Vampire Janus wandered, I would also like to see how was that first page you've put online. Is there a mirror, screenshot or something where we can see how was it?
And one last question: Have you bought the iMac G5? Tried Linux on it?
24 • RE: first DistroWatch page, iMac G5 (by ladislav at 2005-01-04 03:23:55 GMT)
I think I still have the original site design on one of the crashed hard disk - maybe I'll make an effort to recover it. Otherwise you can get an idea about what the site looked like from here:
The archives are not quite complete - the graphics are missing and the tables are screwed up a bit, but it's better than nothing. Until recently somebody in Russia kept a mirror of the original site, but it seems to be gone now.
As for the iMac G5 - no, I didn't buy it in the end. The whole issue turned out to be such a bizarre experience that I gave up. Why? I was unable to buy it here in Taiwan. Although it was available for immediate purchase in Hong Kong, Japan and, indeed, every other country where Apple has presence, Apple Taiwan was still only offering G4s until about mid-December when G5s finally arrived. The retailers were frustrated, because Apple Taiwan kept promising deliveries, which it promptly followed by one broken promise after another. One retailer told that even when G5s finally arrive, they might be sold sold out already, so they won't make it to the stores until a second batch arrives. As you can imagine, I lost patience. I also didn't feel like making a trip to Hong Kong just to get an iMac!
This situation was even more incredible, because apparently these iMacs are manufactured in Taiwan, then shipped to the US, from where they are distributed to other locations world-wide, including Taiwan. And while I was investigating why every other country in the world has had them for months, I heard so many bad things about Apple Taiwan, that I simply gave up. Until they get their act together (or until I move to another country), I am not going to own an Apple computer.
So I bought an AMD64 box instead. It has an AMD64 3500+ processor with 2GB or RAM and 240GB of hard disk space so I think it is going to last for a while :-). I am actually very happy with the purchase - I am running a 64-bit Debian on it, but I've also installed 64-bit editions of Fedora 3, Gentoo and Mandrakelinux 10.1 (doing a series of reviews for LWN at the moment).
OK, let me get back to work :-)
25 • Happy New Year and Beatrix Distribution (by kumarmu at 2005-01-05 06:17:42 GMT)
Thank you very much for your wonderful site. I visit it very day several times. All of Linux iso needs are served by it.
Happy New Year.
Why is not BeatrIX included in the list. The site is
26 • Re: Beatrix Distribution (by Ariszló at 2005-01-05 07:15:26 GMT)
It is: you may select it in the "Select Distribution" list. It's just not among the top 100.
27 • Re: Beatrix Distribution (cont.) (by Ariszló at 2005-01-05 11:29:58 GMT)
Change the data span from 6 months to 3 months or 1 month and you'll find BeatriX at #53 or #37, respectively.
28 • Thanks and keep it coming (by Phil Taylor at 2005-01-06 04:48:02 GMT)
Ladislav I love Distrowatch.
Keep it coming. I check almost every day. You have one of the best web pages out there. Keep on keeping on. I have tried most every disto out there and because of you I am able to keep track of what is going on in the FOSS world. Great job! I'm glad someone like you is working to keep us informed. Happy New Year!
29 • "premium services" (by Soloact at 2005-01-06 10:01:47 GMT)
Premium services and Lifetime Memberships were offered for a small fee, and anyone who had previously donated would be granted membership. Well, that program went away, but in those days, the small fee to be a member was well spent, as it helped keep Distrowatch going. The Premium Services are now available to all, and are better now than what was offered. I'm proud to be a former Premium Member (known as TimeSavers), and was and still am a daily visitor to Distrowatch. Funny thing, my ISP hasn't jumped on my case for downloading distro after distro, and I'm still stuck on dialup in this rural area! The fact of those .iso links being available now, was supposed to be a Premium Service. Ladislav is right, the fee was too low, but it helped at the time, I suppose. I'm so grateful that he keeps Distrowatch going pretty much by himself. What a chore that some of us couldn't even imagine doing!
Ladislav, I give you a standing ovation, a salute, and my gratitude for your guiding me in the ways of Linux.
May you be blessed with even larger successes!
30 • premium services (by nameles on 2005-01-06 21:15:57 GMT)
If I remember correctly, one of the features of the premium service was to side by side comparisons of two or more disctributions. Now that the premium services are available to all, I don't see this feature. Am I missing something?
31 • Ubuntu in major distro section, thats cool! (by Rob on 2005-01-07 02:47:45 GMT)
Thanks for the update Ladislav.
32 • RE: premium services (by ladislav at 2005-01-07 03:18:02 GMT)
...one of the features of the premium service was to side by side comparisons of two or more disctributions. Now that the premium services are available to all, I don't see this feature. Am I missing something?
No. But if you'd like to help with implementing it, please email me.
33 • System requirements (by geert at 2005-01-08 13:00:04 GMT)
It would be nice to see some system requirements overview with each distribution.
Linux has the reputation of working on old hardware, but most distributions have more requirements than Richmond.
People starting off with Linux are in for a surprise: no support for old sound cards, excruciatingly slow browsing whit low processor speed, etc.
btw thanks for your excellent site.
34 • December donation (by Anon on 2005-01-08 22:19:37 GMT)
I agree with your decision to give the donation to tsunami relief efforts, but don't agree with the recipient. Your money probably went to help keep Carol Bellamy in five star hotels. So many other more efficient and worthwhile charities exist.
35 • where download linux? (by huyichen at 2005-01-09 08:10:26 GMT)
Who know where to download happymac,stampede etc.(discontinued linux)?
36 • ProMEPIS (by William Roddy at 2005-01-09 08:52:01 GMT)
As MEPIS stand poised to do the unthinkable -- move to number one at DistroWatch, something I've never seen a small distribution do -- I want to say one thing:
ProMEPIS-2005-b04 is better than ANY distribution I've ever tried. And I mean better than Windows, Mac, or any other GNU/Linux flavor.
Warren, you said you were going to do it, and by golly, I think you have!
Congratulations. And thank you!
37 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-01-09 09:33:51 GMT)
To the guy worried about Beatrx. Stop whining. You had your turn and you screwed it up. All you had going for you was Ubuntu multiverse sources. Your lucky to be on the list at all. Mandrake has what, maybe 1250 more than you do this month? 83? What up with that? Get a distro of your own with more than 3 progms in it and come back when you don't need to chew out people who want multmedia or something else. So you got a cat. What's that got to do with Linux? 83 and falling. As far as I'm concerned with your rude, attitude on your site you can fall right off the map, dude.
38 • Re: No subject (by Ariszló at 2005-01-09 12:08:59 GMT)
Oh, no! The angry Mandrake fan again who does more harm to Mandrake than anyone who flames it!
Just a question: why do you think that Kumarmu who wanted to know (and not whined) why BeatriX was not listed is the developer of BeatriX?
Number of Comments: 38
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