| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 82, 10 January 2005
Welcome to this year's 2nd edition of DistroWatch Weekly! If you haven't had a chance to try out SUSE LINUX 9.2, now is your chance as the entire Professional edition is now available for download on a mirror site near you. We'll also talk about the new product line from MandrakeSoft and introduce ASP Linux as the featured distribution of the week. Enjoy!
SUSE LINUX 9.2 released mirrors
The biggest news last week was the appearance of SUSE LINUX 9.2 on download mirrors just before the weekend. Unlike any of the SUSE versions released in the last few years, things were a bit different this time as SUSE made available not only the traditional network installation ISO image, but also a full DVD image containing the complete SUSE LINUX 9.2 Professional (both i386 and x86_64 editions), except, of course, any commercial and non-free applications. Although coming later than usual (SUSE LINUX 9.2 was formally released early in November 2004), this is a great news for all who wanted to try the latest SUSE before parting with their hard-earned cash.
Some of the mirrors in Germany started offering the ISO images late on Friday, but most overseas mirrors only caught up on Sunday morning. Some readers who learnt about the release, but were unable to find the ISO images on their favourite mirrors expressed disappointment. If you were one of them, you need to remember that we are talking about several gigabytes of data that needed to be transferred from the main server to dozens of mirrors world-wide, so things took time. Another frequent complaint revolved around the fact that some users were unable to download the large DVD image. This happened because older versions of certain FTP and HTTP servers have a 2GB limit on the size of any single file that can be transferred. If this happened when you attempted to download the ISO, your best bet would have been to search for a different mirror site. Alternatively, some of the mirrors took the initiative to split the ISO image into two (see this Italian mirror as an example). After downloading both parts, you could then re-assemble them with 'cat', like this:
cat SUSE-Linux-9.2-FTP-DVD.iso.part1 SUSE-Linux-9.2-FTP-DVD.iso.part2 > SUSE-Linux-9.2-FTP-DVD.iso
As always, be sure to check the file's md5sums before burning the image to a DVD. Most importantly, have a lot of fun - you will no doubt enjoy SUSE LINUX, which is one of the most mature distributions on the Linux market!
A full DVD image with SUSE LINUX 9.2 Professional is now available for free download
(full image size: 687kB)
* * * * *
Mandrakelinux for corporations
Early last week, MandrakeSoft announced the availability of Mandrakelinux Corporate Server 3.0 and Corporate Desktop: "Although Mandrakesoft's main focus has been to make Linux available to the largest number of users, the company has also acknowledged, very early, that Linux required specific adaptations to be functional in a business environment. Mandrakesoft introduced the first version of Corporate Server in September 2000, followed by a second version in early 2003 - two products which have received quite an enthusiastic response."
By releasing products specifically geared towards businesses that require long-term support contracts, MandrakeSoft is attempting to compete with much better established players in this field - Red Hat and Novell. An ambitious move, to say the least - for two reasons. Firstly, MandrakeSoft's marketing budget and sales force are no match compared to Red Hat or Novell, both in terms of available funds and sales experience. Secondly, MandrakeSoft's limited human resources will be further diluted into developing and supporting several new products, rather than concentrating on improving the existing ones. If you take a critical look at MandrakeSoft's confusing collection of web sites and domain names, all with different themes and design attributes, you will notice how badly they are in need of an overhaul, especially if they want to attract large enterprise customers. (You certainly won't find Google AdSense advertisements on Red Hat's or Novell's sites!) Shouldn't this be a priority, instead of producing new editions of Mandrakelinux?
What do you think? Wouldn't it be better if MandrakeSoft concentrated on what they do best - provide a great distribution for home users and first-time Linux converts, rather than trying their luck with the corporate world? Or do you believe that the company is moving in the right direction? Please discuss below.
|Featured distribution of the week: ASP Linux
Looking through some of the online user forums over the last week, I noticed a fair amount of praise for ASP Linux 10, a Fedora-based Russian distribution released just before Christmas. Users who installed it not only found the product very stable and bug-free, they were also impressed by the inclusion of many packages that are normally missing from the standard Fedora Core, such as MPlayer, xine, libdvdcss, the NVIDIA driver, and other similar applications that might invite potential trouble for US-based companies. Although the distribution's web site and support resources are in Russian only, users can install ASP Linux in English or several other languages.
Despite releasing their products as freely available ISO images, ASP Linux is a commercial company. It was established in May 2000 in Singapore, with its main development office in Moscow. In late 2001, the Moscow office took full ownership of ASP Linux and merged with the Ukraine-based Black Cat Linux, a company developing embedded Linux solutions. The first product of ASP Linux appeared in March 2001 when version 7.0 (based on Red Hat Linux 7.0) was released. New product releases, all based on Red Hat Linux and, later, Fedora Core, followed in regular intervals.
ASP Linux supplies several editions of ASP Linux for the domestic market; these include Greenhorn, Express, Standard, Deluxe and Server editions. The company also offers a range of Linux-related services and training courses, as well as various support options and free community resources for Linux users. As such, ASP Linux has established itself as a leading Linux company in Russia.
ASP Linux 10 - a much-praised Russian distribution based on Fedora Core
(full image size: 1,273kB)
|Released Last Week
A new version of dyne:bolic, a bootable live CD with advanced multimedia applications, has been released: "This release provides a major upgrade to software included and adds new useful applications, plus fixes some important outstanding bugs. Since the enormous success of the previous release, the suggestions of a growing number of users and the dedication of currently active developers Jaromil and Smilzo lead to this very stable release. Everyone is encouraged to upgrade!" See the release announcement and features list for further details.
Devil-Linux 1.2.2 has been released: "I'm proud to announce v1.2.2 of Devil-Linux. The changes include nss_ldap support, ifenslave, fixed init scripts, many program updates and many other changes. See changelog for details." Read the release announcement and changelog for additional details.
Knoppel is a Knoppix-based live CD designed for Greek speakers. The newly released version 0.5 is now available for download; the main changes include the following: the default encoding has changed to UTF-8; kernels have been updated to 2.4.27 (default) and 2.6.9; most packages have been synchronised with Knoppix 3.7; KDE has been upgraded to 3.3.1 and OpenOffice.org to 1.1.3. The distribution now includes FreeNX 0.2.5, Firefox 1.0 and Thunderbird 0.9, as well as support for many wireless network cards. Here is the complete release announcement (in Greek).
Knoppel - a well-designed Knoppix variant for Greek speakers
(full image size: 796kB)
Damn Small Linux 0.9.2
A new release of Damn Small Linux is out. From the release notes: "Added new iwconfig GUI and updated control panel; added back smbtree; Added 'qemu' boot time option to use shared pseudo hard disk (see 5-way); new dsl-embedded version now supports 5 ways to boot your pen drive, see its readme; corrected bug with tcc; linked some libraries to better support extensions; fixed some typos and general cleanup; Syslinux version also available for older machines."
YES Linux 2.0.13
An updated version of YES Linux is now available: "YES Corporation would like to announce the immediate availability of YES Linux 2.0.13. This release of YES Linux features many updates. One such update is a complete rewrite of the administration application in PHP. The new administration application features a simplified user interface, easier third party integration, up to 80% performance improvement, relocation to /yesadmin from /admin. YES Linux now features Java 5, latest updated kernels from Fedora Legacy, updated PostgreSQL with daily database cleansing and removal of OIDS from the default tables allowing PostgreSQL to run at top performance, updated squirrelmail, updated web statistics." Read the rest of the announcement here.
Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.055
This is a new release of Lineox Enterprise Linux (a distribution built from source RPMs for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL), incorporating all RHEL 3 Update 4 packages: "Always Current Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.055 with Update 4 available. Note that the changed package list in both release notes lists all packages. The correct list can be found in Changelog.txt on Always Current Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.055 CD #1 or DVD. In the version 3.055 the installation environment was rebuilt, so it offers better hardware support during the installation." Here is the full release announcement.
Games Knoppix 3.7-0.2
A new release of Games Knoppix (version 0.2 based on KNOPPIX 3.7) is now available: "Games Knoppix 3.7-0.2 released. The Three Kings Release is ready for download (this time as German and English versions). The following games are included: Marble Blast Gold Demo, Mutant Storm Demo, Space Tripper Demo, Think Tanks Demo, Ufo AI (XMas Special).... For the games marked with OpenGL, you will need hardware acceleration in order to play them. I included 2.4.28 and 2.6.10 kernels, but the NVIDIA driver does not work with 2.6.10." Read the announcement on the distribution's home page for a complete list of included games and other changes.
Turkix 3.0 has been released. The new version of the Mandrakelinux-based live CD comes with the following new features: a unique XP-style control panel - a merge of KDE Control Center, Mandrakelinux Control Center and 3rd party configuration tools; Windows-style file hierarchy, more stabilised - programs can be uninstalled by entering the relevant directory and clicking the 'Uninstall' icon; port of Mac OS X Expose; highly patched and enhanced KDE; Grpmx - a new Qt-based RPM installation wizard; Turkix configuration tools (netwizard, rpmwizard, uninstallwizard...) have been ported to Qt; apt-get integration; graphical enhancements. See the release announcement (in Turkish) and screenshots for more information.
Turkix 3.0 - making migration from Windows XP easier
(full image size: 962kB)
Buffalo Linux 126.96.36.199
A new version of Buffalo Linux is out: "Buffalo version 188.8.131.52 has been released. Some of you may have downloaded version 1.6.1. It was placed on the FTP sites while the upgrade from 1.6.0 was being put together. During this process several BUGS were encountered -- hence 1.6.1 was never officially announced -- effectively making it a release candidate. These bug fixes resulted in the patch version 184.108.40.206 as the official announcement release. Included in 220.127.116.11 are a new desktop icon selection (Buffalo IceWM), several new Buffalo Themes, updated Acroread and Opera, plusmany new desktop window manager 'bundle' packages: Blackbox, Fluxbox, GNOME, KDE, WindowMaker, XFce." Read the announcement on the distribution's home page.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
As reported by The Korea Herald, the developers of Asianux are preparing for the distribution's second release, version 2.0, later this year: "'By June, we will be able to come up with an open-source system that is comparable to SUSE and Red Hat,' said a Hancom spokesman. 'The date of release was rescheduled considering the Korean government's adoption of NEIS, a database of the country's high-school population, which will be around the second semester next year, apparently a huge opportunity to introduce a new open-source solution.'" Read the full story here.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distributions addition
- Amber Linux. Amber Linux is a Latvian Linux distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. It aims at being the first business desktop Linux distribution that is tailored specifically to the needs of Latvian users. Features include automatic hardware detection and storage device mounting; GNOME as the default desktop environment; OpenOffice.org as the default office applications suite; Hansa Financials accounting software.
- SphinxOS. SphinxOS 4.0 is a Debian- and MEPIS-based Linux distribution targetted at German speakers. It is a commercial desktop distribution that comes in Personal and Standard editions, the latter of which comes bundled with CrossOver Office and Cedega. The package also includes a printed manual, email support, and access to support forum and product updates.
New on the waiting list
- Knosciences GNU/Linux. Knosciences is a Knoppix-based bootable CD with a collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. It is designed for use in educational institutions.
- Linuxo Live!. Linuxo Live! is a Serbian Linux live CD based on Knoppix.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 373
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 47
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 84
That's all for today, see you all next week!
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