| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 84, 24 January 2005
Welcome to this year's 4th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! We comment on why we believe that there is no reason to worry about the future of Slackware Linux, reveal a new RPM package resource for SUSE users, and point out a fresh controversy occupying some of the Debian developers - XFree86 versus X.Org. Also, don't miss the newly released Linux+ Live DVD and a new distribution for Farsi (Persian) speakers - Parsix GNU/Linux. Enjoy!
The future of Slackware Linux
With the imminent release of Slackware Linux 10.1 and recent serious health problems affecting Patrick Volkerding, the distribution's founder and maintainer, it is time to look at the possibilities that lie ahead of the world's oldest surviving Linux distributions. Let's be honest about it, there is a concern in the community that if Patrick is no longer able to maintain the distribution, it will simply die. This is witnessed by the discussion forums on these pages and our inbox with regular messages by Slackware users who, as much as they love the distribution, are reluctant to make a long-term commitment to using Slackware. "What happens if Pat gets hit by a truck?" is a question often accompanying such emails.
Worry not, folks, for Slackware will survive, even if the worst happens and Patrick is no longer able to maintain the distribution. There are two reasons for it. Firstly, despite its appearance of being a low-profile project, Slackware Linux is by no means a small distribution. It has substantial following of die-hard Slackware users who spend less time bickering about the distribution's merits on public forums and more time supporting it with help and cash. In fact, Patrick mentioned several times in the past that the sales of Slackware CDs and merchandise are profitable to the extent that he is able to make a living from developing Slackware and still give it away for free download. Also, the history of Linux distributions is a good indication that a sudden end of Slackware is highly unlikely. As an example, did you know that Ian Murdock, the founder of Debian, left the project even before Debian's first stable release? Last year, Daniel Robbins, the founder of Gentoo, also retired from the organisation. Have Debian or Gentoo died because their respective founders decided to pursue some other interests? Of course not!
The second reason why I believe that Slackware will survive its current crisis is that, despite the appearance of its being developed single-handedly by Patrick, the truth is that Slackware has many contributors. Just look through its current changelog and you will notice a large number of names who help with the development, if not always directly, at least by reporting bugs. These are people who not only have a vested interest in seeing that Slackware Linux continues its existence, but who, sharing the philosophy behind Slackware, would undoubtedly be able and willing to take over the project, in case the current leader is unable to continue his work.
But perhaps the most valid argument comes from Patrick himself, as expressed in the most recent entry of the Slackware changelog: "Also, in case of emergency I've left instructions with some very trusted people, so nobody should have to worry that if something happens to me that their Slackware systems will be orphaned and unsupported. It may be a long road back for me, but there will be people taking care of security issues as they crop up (like the folks at GUS-BR and SlackSec), and if I should make an unplanned departure there is a basic plan of succession in place."
So there you have it. Even though Patrick is seriously ill with a rare disease that many doctors have been unable to diagnose, let alone cure, the Slackware maintainer is still concerned about you and I, the users of his distribution so that we don't have to run an operating system with no security updates in place. How many of us would be able to do the same? How many of us would be able to unselfishly put the interests of total strangers above those of our own?
Here is a link to the Slackware Store. If you can, support the man who is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the greatest ambassadors of the Linux movement.
The world's oldest surviving Linux distribution is preparing a new release - version 10.1.
(full image size: 431kB)
* * * * *
SUSE increases community involvement
Browsing a SUSE mirror over the weekend, something caught my attention - a new folder called supplementary (correction: as several readers pointed out, this directory has existed on SUSE mirrors since SUSE 8.2, so it isn't exactly new). In it, you can find the following message: "Dear SUSE LINUX user. Generally, we do not provide update packages with newer versions in the official update tree. Our high quality standard forces us to keep to the versions originally published with a product to maintain the overall system in a consistent state with regards to cross-dependent packages (think of a linux system like a building, built with packages like bricks one on top of another). Fixing a problem in a package with a new version will most certainly bring about malfunctions in other parts of the system."
Not much new in the above statement, but the tone of the message suggests that there will be a "but" somewhere later on, explaining the purpose of the new directory: "The directory contains RPM packages that originate from SUSE build engines and that are built for the specific distribution as visible in the directory path that leads to the package. Some of the packages have been built by their respective package maintainer at SUSE in his/her spare time. The packages are usually signed with the SUSE build key build at suse.de, or at least by the personal key of a SUSE employee so that you can verify that the packages really are from SUSE sources."
Now, this sounds more promising, with more good news later on: "We publish these packages as a service to the community (you) because many users of the SUSE LINUX operating system wish to use newer versions of specific packages due to feature or hardware support constraints in older SUSE LINUX versions without the obligation to upgrade the entire system."
Here, SUSE is addressing a concern that has been frequently raised by users of distributions with fixed release schedules, such as Mandrakelinux, Fedora or SUSE, who often wish to take advantage of new features of certain packages, but they normally have to wait for 6 months or longer before their distribution maker produces a new release with that particular package version. With today's SUSE, this problem is being addressed, at least on an unofficial, voluntary basis, but it is a step in the right direction. Although it is likely that Novell uses the attraction of these giveaways to increase SUSE's market share before rolling out the true income earners - the enterprise editions of SUSE/Novell Linux, the nature of the above message indicates that SUSE developers do this for fun, as a no-strings-attached community service. And that's great news, not only for the fans and users of SUSE LINUX, but also for the Linux community as a whole.
You can read the full message about the SUSE LINUX "supplementary" directory on this page.
* * * * *
X.Org for Debian - ready or not?
How ready is X.Org for Debian GNU/Linux, the only major distribution that has yet to make the transition from XFree86? Well, it seems that the Debian developers themselves are not quite sure, with a couple of for and against arguments published on Planet Debian over the weekend. Why X.Org is not ready for Sarge by Erich Schubert: "The much-called-for gimmics such as transparency and shadows worked more bad than good for me. They were really slow. ... Now for the bad parts: due to all the low-level work going on in X.Org, it has its rough edges. For example, X.Org locks up with DRI on my (older) Radeon Mobility FireGL 7800."
As always, not everyone agrees. X.Org isn't ready? by Daniel Stones: "In fact, I think you will find the amount of hardware support in X.Org (out of the largest three vendors, all have new chipsets supported in X.Org that aren't supported in XFree86 4.3 -- ATI's r4xx series, NVIDIA's GeForce 6 series of chips, and Intel's i9xx series, are totally unsupported) is so vastly improved that, even if the 'everything is broken and no-one noticed until now' allegation is true, the staggering weight of hardware supported under X.Org but not under XFree86 would be enough to counter this. Also, with Ubuntu, Fedora Core, Mandrake, SUSE, FreeBSD, Gentoo, and everyone else on the planet using X.Org at this stage, I think if it had massive problems, then it would be *very* well-documented."
What do you think? Is Debian behind the times, or is their patched version of XFree86 4.3.0 good enough for most users? Please comment below.
|Released Last Week
Hakin9 Live 2.4
A new version of Hakin9 Live is now available. What's new? "Total rebuild - now based on Aurox Live 10.1; new kernel - 2.6.7 with patches; installer (beta); ndiswrapper - better WiFi support; ipw2100 - drivers for Centrino chipsets; two desktop environments available - Fluxbox (default) and XFce 4.2RC3 (optional); updated stuff - Firefox, Psi, ettercapNG and others; amusing text games - moon-buggy, nethack, netris, overkill...; more intuitive menu, refreshed look." Visit the distribution's home page for more details and download links.
LinEspa is a Spanish live CD based on Knoppix and featuring the XFce desktop. A new version was announced last week, but it has only now become available for download. New features in version 0.22: boot speed improvements; elimination of boot menu selection; better hardware autodetection; the addition of gnome-system-tools for configuring various system settings; kernel upgrade to 18.104.22.168; many package upgrades, including Firefox 1.0, Thunderbird 1.0, OpenOffice.org 1.1.4, GIMP 2.0.... Read the release announcement (in Spanish) for more details.
Evinux is a French live CD based on Knoppix, but with light-weight desktop environments - XFce (default) and Fluxbox. Version 0.2 has been released with the following changes since rc2: new boot logo and wallpaper; improved xcdrom - a script to help burning CDs. Here is the full release announcement (in French). The next version of Evinux is already in a planning stage, with several new features, including an option to install it on hard disk and support for English.
CentOS 3.4 (Single CD Server)
The developers of CentOS have released a special edition of CentOS 3.4 with a collection of server-specific software on a single CD: "The CentOS Team is pleased to announce the official release of a new single CD Server version of CentOS 3.4 for i386. This single CD ISO should be ideal for use in data centres for installing servers and it has also been designed for cover mount magazine use. This version includes all of the packages that can be chosen to be installed during a 'Server' install. Once installed yum can be used to install additional packages from mirrors and yum groupinstall can be used to install additional package groups. This release includes all relevant RHEL 3 updates (for U4) and errata up to January 20th, 2005." Read the full release announcement for more information.
LiVux is a Debian-based live CD created by the Linux community in Valencia, Spain. Version 2.0 was announced a few days ago and today it was made available for download. The new version, based on Debian Sarge, comes with the following new features and software packages: KDE 3.3; kernel 2.6.9 and 2.4.29; autodetection of ALSA drivers; a new boot system with a menu for selecting the desired boot mode; new version of Blender with support for generating games; update of Scribus to version 1.2.1 with a complete translation into Spanish and many new features; update of KOffice with improved compatibility for importing documents; new Mozilla and OpenOffice.org 1.1.3.... More details in the release announcement (in Spanish).
Development and unannounced releases
- CentOS 4.0-beta, the release announcement
- UHU-Linux 1.2-rc2, the release announcement (in Hungarian)
- SME Server 6.5-beta1, the release announcement
- YES Linux 2.1.0-preview, the release announcement
- ClarkConnect Broadband Gateway 3.0-rc, the release notes
- Ubuntu Linux 5.04-array3, the release announcement
- SAM Mini Live Linux 2005-1-beta, the release announcement
- Yoper Linux 2.2-prerelease, the announcement
- Slackware Linux 10.1-beta1, the changelog
- Gnoppix 0.9.3.b3
- Mandrakelinux 10.2-beta1
- Kurumin Linux 4.1-alpha2
- Lormalinux Samba Fileserver (beta1), the release announcement
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
As reported by a large number of technology web sites, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 is rumoured to be released on February 14, 2005, during the LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in Boston, USA: "The upcoming release of RHEL will also include security enhancements derived from the U.S. National Security Agency's Security Enhanced Linux project, as well as improved device and power management capabilities, said Collings, who has examined the beta code. ... This launch will come on Feb. 14, according to a spokeswoman for Red Hat's public relations agency." Read more in this story by InfoWorld and find out about some of the new features in this article by Red Hat Magazine.
The developers of PHLAK (Professional Hacker's Linux Assault Kit) have announced that version 0.3 will be released in May 2005, during the DallasCon Professional Cyber Defence Conference 2005 in Dallas, USA: "We are pumped about 0.3. We have some great ideas for it. Yes the 2.6 kernel will be included in this release. Also… (whispering) there will be 42% more sneaky. We are going to weed out some old documents, add some new, and add a section for the beginners. We have also discussed a newb manual, though not confirmed, it is a possibility." Here is the full announcement.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distributions addition
New on the waiting list
- cdlinux.pl. cdlinux.pl is a small live CD based on Debian GNU/Linux. It is developed by a group of professors and students at the Information Centre of TASK, a university in Gdansk, Poland.
- Parsix GNU/Linux. Parsix GNU/Linux is a live CD based on Knoppix and Debian. It uses GNOME as its default desktop environment. Parsix GNU/Linux supports Persian keyboard and user can switch to Persian with Alt+Ctrl or Ctrl+Shift keys. We also included xFarDic English-Persian dictionary and Persian free fonts from FarsiWeb and FPF projects.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 377
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 47
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 85
That's all for today, see you all next week!
If you've enjoyed this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly, please consider sending us a tip.
(Tips this week: 0, value: US$0.00)
|Reader Comments - Jump to last comment
1 • X.Org for Debian (by Jordi Bamps at 2005-01-24 10:32:04 GMT) |
I've switched from XFree86 to Xorg. Didn't have any problems.
It's still working fine so far.
Ubuntu (Debian based) Hoary, kernel 2.6.10-2-686
I got a Compaq P3-733 with a Intel i815 graphics adapter and a 19' TFT.
Didn't realy notice any changes after switching.
2 • No subject (by hangon on 2005-01-24 10:42:33 GMT)
Patrick got sick. Warren got sick too and probably still is with major back pains. Where was the news about that when it happened couple months back?
3 • XFree86 on Debian (by Aldous Penaranda at 2005-01-24 10:46:10 GMT)
XFree86 4.3.0 is good enough for me. If the Debian developers find that X.org isn't stable enough (based on their own standards), maybe we should really just stay with XFree86. Don't fix it if it ain't broke, right? :)
4 • linux+ live (by mepis user on 2005-01-24 12:26:04 GMT)
cant seem to get to any links from them. Would like a look at a live
dvd distro. Well maybe later. Wonder if distrowatch has a slashdot
traffic effect on the site.
5 • RE: Linux+ Live (by ladislav at 2005-01-24 12:40:24 GMT)
You can download it from here: ftp://ftp.pollub.pl/linux+live/
6 • No subject (by bluehavana on 2005-01-24 12:48:01 GMT)
I was reading a conversation with Pat on ##slackware and he said he did not want any direct donations (only people who actually buy things) and he said he did not like the idea of some one else patching something that he is making money on even though the people that are patching are patching for the commmunity and themselves and where more than willing to patch slack for his health. Pat sounds like he is a great guy and has a good head on his shoulders. Some times it is hard to know who your developers are, sometimes they just seem like little programs that run, but Pat seems to really take it personally and feels a lot of resposibility towards his users. I know I will be buying a Slackware 10.1 CD.
7 • Debian (by eightiesdude on 2005-01-24 12:49:40 GMT)
I have tried other distros before settling on Debian and X.org worked fine with my hardware. I see as its not only about me its about the greater good and if they feel its just not ready yet then I can accept that.
8 • No subject (by eightiesdude on 2005-01-24 12:58:32 GMT)
I think I made a mistake on how my last statement came out. I have used X.org with other distros and it worked fine. However, I am using Debian Sarge with XFree86 4.3.0. currenty. I guess I started to type to early and was still asleep. ;)
9 • SuSE community (by Andrea at 2005-01-24 13:03:32 GMT)
I'am happy about suse decision, hope they build a decent repository with many updates and packages, i'd like to have a -current branch as other distros have.
10 • Mdk10.2 release planning updated (by baud123 at 2005-01-24 13:09:10 GMT)
Now appears "estimated date" in the table of release planning :
10.2 beta2 20050130
10.2 rc1 20050210
Community & Official keep their initial planning
11 • Slackware-10.1 Beta screenshot (by Cheapskate on 2005-01-24 13:11:59 GMT)
that looks like a gnome desktop, i thought Patrick Volkerding was going to drop Gnome from Slackware???
maybe popular opinion prompted him to keep Gnome? or is that Dropline???
12 • Who really cares what Debian proper uses anyway? (by Chris Hickman on 2005-01-24 13:14:22 GMT)
It's supposed to be the "server" distribution, which isn't going to have a high-end desktop graphics card in it, so if old XFree86 is still the best, that should be what's used. It's a non-factor anyway, because derivatives already use XOrg, and as someone mentioned above, it's available in the repositories for those who do use it as a desktop distro. I don't see this as a big issue.
13 • SUSE "supplementary" new? (by Anonymous on 2005-01-24 13:37:00 GMT)
No, this directory tree exists for years already. The message you quote is dated September 2002.
I'm really disappointed about DistroWatch presenting this as "news".
14 • Debian current with anything? (by Anonymous at 2005-01-24 13:52:50 GMT)
Has Debian ever been current with any package or application?
15 • GNOME will be dropped in Slack 11 (by Koyi on 2005-01-24 14:01:47 GMT)
I have read somewhere that GNOME will be kept in 10.1 but totally dropped in 11...
16 • Gnome on Slackware (by Ti-Paul at 2005-01-24 14:03:33 GMT)
Yup... Gnome will not be available in the next released... When you check the Slackware-Current directory in slackware's ftp site, you'll see that all the latest Gnome related packages are dated in october 2004... And many Gnome apps are being compiled without Gnome support and moved from gnome to xap directory!!
It'll be tough for me to come back to Slackware since i'm ONLY using Gnome and that i'm converted to Ubuntu... (for the moment)
And since DropLineGnome is messing a bit the defaults Slackware packages, i've left for this new Linux Distro (Ubuntu) which is really doing a good job for the Gnome community!
17 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-01-24 14:17:03 GMT)
No, this directory tree exists for years already. The message you quote is dated September 2002.
Doh! Sorry about that. I only noticed that the directory was dated 2005-01-19, so I thought it was a new thing. Ah well, I am only human....
18 • Xorg vs. XFree (by Ed Borasky at 2005-01-24 14:20:58 GMT)
I switched from XFree to XOrg when Gentoo switched. I noticed XOrg was slightly faster on some of my machines and quite a bit clearer on most of them. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I can't see XOrg being "not ready" for sarge unless there's some bizarre interaction with Debian's internals I don't know anything about.
Speaking of Gentoo, I saw on their website that 2005.0 is running a tad late. They're doing a major change -- switching to a 2.6 base -- so it's understandable.
19 • cdlinux.pl (by Offer Kaye at 2005-01-24 14:38:21 GMT)
For a moment, before I read the description, my heart skipped a beat - a Perl based distribution, I thought to myself... :-)
20 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-01-24 14:39:32 GMT)
no offense, im starting to get sick of seeing debian based live cds, enough already
21 • No subject - sick of debian based live cds (by x at 2005-01-24 14:57:06 GMT)
Well whatever your reasons and feelings, just think about how Bill and Steve feel. That thought almost makes one want to go and develope their own distribution.
22 • Debain and Xorg (by Kensai at 2005-01-24 15:28:45 GMT)
X.org is more than ready. I've used it in all other mayor distros with no problem. Why is it giving problems in Debian? I'm using Debian right now but I expect the change to X.org soon else I'll have to change to Ubuntu :( .
23 • No subject - sick of debian based live cds (by Anonymous at 2005-01-24 16:28:42 GMT)
Dude, nobody forces you to use any of these Live or not so Live distro You do have the freedom to ignore any new ones and stick to the ones matter to you.
24 • SUSE Supplementary (by Zeke on 2005-01-24 16:33:15 GMT)
This is not actually new, they have had it for quite. Im not sure when they first introduced it but the earliest release that has rpms available in supplementary currently is 8.2 and the readme.txt is dated from 2002.
25 • if all distros are like debian (by bozhan on 2005-01-24 16:41:34 GMT)
debian policy is good thing:) as statistics shows.
wait until X.org become more stable.
26 • No more projects of the week? (by EEDOK at 2005-01-24 18:40:55 GMT)
Are we going to be graced with projects of the week that seemed to have been missing for the past few dww's?
27 • Warren (by mikeyd on 2005-01-24 18:57:57 GMT)
@hangon: who is Warren, was his illness life-threatening, and does he run a distro pretty much all by himself?
28 • About Slackware and Patrick (by Michael Y on 2005-01-24 19:17:07 GMT)
The arguments that were made in the article about Slackware's ablity to survive even if pat will not be able to maintain the distro anymore are not fully accurate I believe.
Every project, let it be a small one, or not even related to software, needs at least one main motivator and carismatic leader, if pat won't be able to maintain slackware, there will be no one to take the leadership over the projects. Gentoo and Debian have a large base of trusty developers and solid managment, there's a difference. A distro cannot live solely on contributions and bug reports. Even without Patrick, slackware can surely clear all the bugs, heck it can probably become as stable as debian stable, but it will cease to develop.
That's my opinion, anyway.
29 • Warren (by Anonymous on 2005-01-24 19:29:32 GMT)
Warren Woodford, founder of Mepis Linux.
No idea about any illness he has or had.
No idea how many are involvedrunning his distro.
But I use it and I like it.
30 • Warren Woodford (by kensai on 2005-01-24 20:25:26 GMT)
Yeah he had serious back-pains and problems but this does not require so much writing about it as Patricks illness which nobody knows what it is. Not everyday you fing somebody sick of something not know. I don't use Slackware but I hope Patrick gets better. I just imagine the suffering of not knowing what you have.
31 • Slackware ... (by Realistic Bastards at 2005-01-24 21:04:49 GMT)
Sorry you missed the mark entirely on this one as pointed out by at least one other Debian is a very big group , Gentoo is also a big group , not very big on doing it commercially but they contribute a lot , not in money do.
Slackware on the other end is a one men dictatorship.Dont get me wrong he is a good dictator in some way.
Another point : The Slackware user are not supporting there distribution with contributions and with cash.
If they did then everyone would see it , because there would be more paid "Slackware" developper ( there is 1 at this time, if not mistaken , certainly not the same numbers as all the other distribution who started after him ( everyone ... ) and we would all see more software coming out of the Slackware community.
They are a small old project wich as some die hard fan , nothing more nothing less and nobody whant to see them disapear.
Did you knew that SUSE whas a company wich started by resalling SLS and Slackware and doing support for them ( they did it for a long time too) ? And thats Because they where fed up of "the dictatorship" they made a distribution based of jurix ? Its not the direction they did not like , its the patch they sent wich " The dictator" refused almost all the time and is lack of adaptation to suggestion of improvments ( wich are mostly met with blunt refusal anyway. ) ( wich you would know add you contributed anything to Slackware. )
BTW before some idiot start bashing me , I sale , Buy and use Slackware and most of the profit go back into the project
Another Jab at Mandrakesoft and its community how nice ...
"who spend less time bickering about the distribution's merits on public forums and more time supporting it with help and cash. "
First of all , I personnaly contributed to your site in the past
both in correction and submissions and also donated a wee bit of my hard earned money. Not the only one from that distribution I am sure ...
MandrakeSoft as add minimum 60 full time employee ( add 130 before the Poole and Jacques Le Marois mess .. )
Is distributed in 140 countries in 68 languages :
This mean that since they dont have offices in all those Country some Mandrake users are doing the distribution.
The 68 language is not done mostly by some hired developper , its done again by the Mandrake community.
Michael Robertson of the almost bankrupt Linspire ( its still alive because Mr Robertson is paying for it in full out of is own big pocket ) fame wich is following in the trail of SUSE ( copyrighted on GNU/Linux = failure ). think tanslation in one language is worth 250 000$ per distribution thinking that theres only 400 line to be changed , LOL. ( well maybe in Linspire since they remove a lot of stuff ... )
Buchan Milne wich as peg you rightly in that case on LWN.net is the #1 Mandrake contributor on Samba :
You dont get to be #1 on distrowatch all last year because of luck , someone is doing the work and paying for it.
32 • can't we all pretend to get along? (by sn0n at 2005-01-24 23:14:24 GMT)
I dont see why people get soo caught up in the moment over one guys preference to a distro. its kinda ridiculous(sp.). Linux isn't just one distro.. its many.. they all borrow from others and/or all get borrowed from.. just accept it.. I personally use / tinker with well over 10 distos regularly, and yes i have a personal preference. but i really dont let that keep me from playing with others / having an open mind about using others... this is probably the wrong place for this rant.. so ill just end it with a smile
:: smile ::
33 • Debian stable (by wouter at 2005-01-25 00:31:15 GMT)
Debian should slowly start experimenting with X.org in unstable, after the upcoming release. It will probably take years anyway until their next main release... This way, they might not be too much behind on schedule, compared to other distributions.
Perhaps they could give people a chance to choose between the original or the X.org version, so X.org can get some testing from those who want to, and Debian can evaluate its options based on facts.
34 • RE: Slackware (by ladislav at 2005-01-25 00:47:51 GMT)
If pat won't be able to maintain slackware, there will be no one to take the leadership over the projects.
You are joking, right? Do you honestly think that nobody will step in to take over!? Do you believe that Slackware users will simply let it die and move on to Debian or something else?
As always, you are entitled to your opinion, but I still maintain that such situation is extremely unlikely to happen. There might be some bickering about it initally, but eventually the Slackware user community will make sure that the distribution continues, in one form or another.
Anyway, let's hope that I don't have to prove it to you that you are wrong :-)
35 • Warning (by ladislav at 2005-01-25 00:54:53 GMT)
Due to a large number of off-topic comments and rubbish on this forum, from now, the particulars of all posters will be logged. The IP addresses of posters of off-topic or irrelevant comments will be banned. I don't have a problem with readers disagreeing with my views, but I want this forum to remain civilised and on topic.
36 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-01-25 01:51:48 GMT from Canada)
>>from now, the particulars of all posters will be logged.
I find that upsetting. Looks like this may be my last post. :(
I value my anonymity a lot. I hope you find some alternative to that.
37 • Please NO X.org for Debian (by azbaer on 2005-01-25 02:17:31 GMT from United States)
Please no, It is the only distro my Lokie games will play on. Ever since the adaption of Xorg. The games and patches will not work on distro's with Xorg.
38 • RE: anonymity (by ladislav on 2005-01-25 02:26:57 GMT from Taiwan)
I value my anonymity a lot. I hope you find some alternative to that.
Then suggest an alternative! I get email from people who say they no longer wish to read this page because of all the irrelevant comments and plugs some people post here. Some people want this forum to be for registered users only, while others find registration completely unacceptable. As much as I try to please everybody, it's impossible!
The IP addresses of visitors (together with browser strings and other basic info) are logged anyway - not just here, but on all web sites you visit (it's a standard feature of Apache used for statistical purposes - see http://distrowatch.com/awstats ). Also, many readers just can't resist the temptation to manipulate the page hit counts, so logging is necessary in order to uncover these cheating attempts. Just last week I noticed that somebody was making a consistent effort to increase the page hits for Ares Linux - a distribution that is no longer in development!
Come on, guys, this web site is supposed to be fun - something that helps those who need to choose a distribution, and something for the rest of us to play with on rainy days. It's obvious that some people don't like my opinions and comments expressed here, which is understandable (sometimes I don't like them myself). But if you believe that I deliberately try to hurt a distribution, then you are wrong. I spend a lot of time researching distributions and I write what I see. Yes, I am often mistaken and that's why we have this forum so that you can correct me. Through this medium of information exchange we all learn and grow. Simple as that.
Anyway, have fun. And please think twice before you hit the submit button.
39 • RE: No more projects of the week? (by ladislav on 2005-01-25 02:37:44 GMT from Taiwan)
Yes, there will be more projects of the week, but I didn't have enough time recently, sorry. Sometimes I find that including a "project of the week" just for the sake of it is not quite right - that section should be for projects that are truly remarkable in some way. If I don't happen to discover a great distribution, then I'd rather not promote a mediocre one.
As always, you are welcome to suggest a "featured distribution of the week" or even write a few paragraphs about it.
40 • Off subject posting (by Phil Taylor on 2005-01-25 02:50:27 GMT from United States)
It's too bad people here are abusing your good will. Can you have all potential forum postings in a queue and then just "flush" the ones that are out of line before they appear on the site? This would "protect" the anonymity of legitimate posters, but allow you to purge the junk. I can already hear cries of "censorship, " but so what, it is your page.
The only real downside I see is that this will take more of your time that could be spent towards learning great new linux info.
IMHO, I love your site and come here nearly everyday.
Non carborundum illegitimi! (New latin = Don't let the bastards grind you down!)
41 • RE: anonymity (by Anonymous on 2005-01-25 05:06:01 GMT from Canada)
>>Then suggest an alternative!
I don't know how hard this would be to do but I think the ideal solution is a slashdot-esque moderation system. ie, allow logged in users to vote on the visibility of a post. It's democratic and not censorship as long as one still has access to the low ranking posts. The cream rises to the top, the boring stuff gets swept under the rug, anonymity is preserved.
I assume there must be something wrong with it or more sites would use it. Maybe it's hard to implement or takes extra bandwidth?
42 • About this Forum (by John on 2005-01-25 05:17:21 GMT from United States)
Ladislav, I would not worry about the offtopic posts and spams. That just comes with the territory in an open forum like this. Compared to sites like fark and slashdot, your signal to noise ratio on posts is much lower. I have seen articles on slashdot with 400+ posts and nearly all of them have gone offtopic.
If I were you I'd throw a comments section on every news item, so people can talk freely about every new distro as it is released. Now that would be cool. The people on this site actually care about new distros so there would be a lot of good info published in those comments.
Well, anyway, take care and enjoy your success! Remember, the more open and democratic you are, the more success you'll have.
43 • Slackware (by Michael Y on 2005-01-25 14:58:14 GMT from Israel)
[i]You are joking, right? Do you honestly think that nobody will step in to take over!? Do you believe that Slackware users will simply let it die and move on to Debian or something else?[/i]
Of course that no one will want it to die! But there must be a figure, besides Patrick, who can move in to take his position as project leader.
If I understood it correctly, Slackware = pat + few developers (main contributors) + the community.
Only if one of the main developers/contributors will decide to commit himself totally to the development of Slackware, only then the project can be saved (if pat won't be able to continue).
Of course I too also hope that we won't have to answer this question anytime soon :)
44 • Why does it seem (by Bill Weber on 2005-01-25 15:51:42 GMT from United States)
That everyone is Diggin on Pat, Geeze, the guy has gone through some tough medical sorts over the last few months, give him a break. Id hardly call him a "dictator".
45 • Debian & xorg (by debianizer on 2005-01-25 22:53:24 GMT from Finland)
I believe it's time for Debian to get xorg into unstable right after Sarge release. It's gonna take another two years for Etch to become the stable release, so why wait longer. Xorg will for sure stabilize over two years in unstable & testing. Some Debian developers don't want xorg into unstable because that's what they use as their desktops. But you just can't hang on to xfree forever.
46 • No subject (by GP at 2005-01-26 03:35:10 GMT from Canada)
Slackware has been the only distro I used since I came to Linux more than 3 years ago. There has been some rough issues.
For instance, in 8.1, /dev/cdrom wasn't linked to /dev/scd0 and I couldn't even read the CD. Everything else was perfect, just this little absent link prevented the CD to be read. For a newbie, with no help provided on alt.os.linux.slackware, it was hard to find the fix.
When I did, I wrote to PV, thinking I was "contributing" and he gave me shit. When the same problem occured in 9.0 and, considering there was absolutely no way the problem could have escaped "The Man's" attention even in 8.1, I finally got to the conclusion this was a way to force newbies to buy the distro to get some support.
I was so infuriated about the time I had lost on this stupid issue that I had sworn to never send a red cent to Slackware. Anyway, at that time, I didn't have a cent in my pocket, which helped me hold on to my pledge :)
Now, I've got a few cents, but I'm not at all encouraged by the way the Almighty Man sometimes goes berserk.
Luc Cottyn has devised a wonderful upgrade tool for Slackware... and then, just as he said that he planned to adapt it for network upgrades, there was a feud. Apparently driven mad by the hoopla given to other upgrade tools such as apt-get, which he considered a total joke, he would have begun spammimg anybody and everybody without even trying to hide his IP address. The Man, once again, went berserk. Swaret was removed from the Slackware release.
Cottyn disappeared, development on Swaret pretty much stopped... and neither slapt-get nor the sleuth of other Slackware update tools took its place. Cottyn was right: only he, was doing the job.
If you talk about swaret on aols, you'll receive messages from... different addresses, saying that you've got a fixation on Cottyn, that if you want to have an upgrade tool, you must move to a distro that's not for the real ones with a pipe tattooed on both arms :) Apparently, the way to go is to take hours every time to check the md5sums, the signatures, the dependancies.
You're told that updrade tools are dangerous in the hands of a fool. But Cottyn's code is open, nobody, as far as I know, has found security breaches in swaret and his contribution has gone unrecognized to this day. Quite an incentive for developers!
Now The Man falls sick. He apparently writes a message to say upgrades from GUS (Groupo de Usuarios Slackware, Brazil) are to be trusted. Nobody seems to notice the signature is not valid. Since October 31, stable has not been updated and there are entries for 8 days for current to this date. And it now seems 10.1 is ready. One wonders why he worled for so long on other releases.
I, for one, am thiking about moving to Debian. This decision certainly won't be taken lightheartedly. Despite all I just said, I love Slackware. I still believe this stubborn mule that we call The Man, has devised the only model that is true to the Linux spirit, just gathering the best contributions from all developers around the world and putting together a solid distro with a truly amazing flair, a distro that uses what is at hand(1) and do the best of it without adding vain modifications.
(1) And notice too the genious of Cottyn for using tools that were there already: MANIFEST.bz2 and ldd
But, if a distro is to stay alive, to bring newbie to the expert level, good documentation and a forum are needed, which takes time. To me, Debian has become too big and releases are way too far apart. Six months is pretty much standard for Slackware and many commercial distros, but I wouldn't mind about one year. Two and a half years is just way overboard.
There are too many people involved in Debian and not enough in Slackware. I consider groups of a maximum of 10-12 people working with other groups would be an optimal solution. (Sorry. I know about Ubuntu, but I don't like. No time to discuss here.)
If I could see Cottyn's work being recognized and more people gathering around Volkerding, I'd certainly reconsider my pledge not to send any money to Slackware :) But, the way things stand now, I might very well rather move to Debian.
47 • @GP (by Realistic Bastards on 2005-01-26 06:15:53 GMT from Canada)
I tought you used/tried Debian , Red Hat , Mandrake , Corel , and some others ... before Slackware. I remember you discussing them in lenghty details ).
And you where around before 1998 ( discussing Gnu/Linux that is ) , but thats as far as I can show on the net wich make you around 7 years ago ( we are in 2005 ) for using/and or discussing Gnu/Linux :
"The Man's" is your trademark ;-)
Unless your somebody else , for wich I am sorry to even have brought it up.
48 • You buy it, you fix it (by William Roddy on 2005-01-26 19:19:26 GMT from United States)
I appears that Microsoft will soon be able to send you a broken operating system and then demand that you prove you own it before they will fix it.
I am so thankful for the open-source community and to all of you who make my experieces so varied, useful, and enjoyable.
Thank you, one and all.
49 • DenominationWatch (by William Roddy on 2005-01-26 19:42:14 GMT from United States)
Hey, I just read some of the comment, not having had a chance to do so before. This all has begun to sound like the same thing you get when you put a lot of people from different religions in the same room together.
Ladislav, perhaps you should consider changing the name of the site to www.DenominationWatch.com.
(To those who have had their sense of irony surgically removed, I am just kidding, of course.)
To Ladislav: you must be multi-faceted to gleam like the jewel you are. Thank you.
To Patrick: Slackware has proved its quality, its staying power, and its importance as part of the community. Get well soon. You are needed.
On the issue if anonymity: I tried it and I didn't like it. It was offensive to my conscience. The same people who creep around under a presumed cloak of anonymity are always the first in line to complain about the CIA, NSA, Echelon, etc.
They are amateur moles, but moles, nonetheless, and all moles ever see is the dirt, not the light.
Sorry for two posts in a row.
50 • Anonymity - my reason (by Anonymous on 2005-01-26 20:18:39 GMT from United States)
I do it anonymously because I am at work and don't want to add my personal account info to our logs. Yes, they can see where I've surfed, but that's all they get. Plus I'm a bit lazy.
Sure, I shouldn't be reading this site 'on the clock', but I'm addicted to DW. Don't want to wait til I get home. Great site, Ladislav...
51 • Addiction (by William Roddy on 2005-01-26 21:45:53 GMT from United States)
I can't fault you for your addiction. I have the same one, perhaps even more severely than yours. It's Ladislav's fault for creating such a great place to visit.
52 • Solaris 10 awful CDDL NON GPL License (by Distrowatch reader on 2005-01-27 01:52:15 GMT from United States)
Distrowatch has the most complete selection of Linux and Bsd Distros information that I have been able to find. I do use it all the time. I even shop here occasionally. Suns (Pending) release of Solaris 10 is under a license that is not Bsd or Gpl compatible. Are you Distrowatch going to carry it??? Sun calls the license "cuddle" after reading the terms I call it something else.
53 • Sun openSourcing (by yantragna on 2005-01-27 03:31:14 GMT from Canada)
Why not? They say it's based on mozilla license... I like it but I don't use it just because It don't recognize my cheaper Graphics card and not to mention my Network Card too :P Hopefully things like this will be fixed with community effort. Hope they will allow such contribution.
54 • What ??It has not been released yet how can you try vaporware Just the License (by Stunned Distrowatch reader on 2005-01-27 03:41:14 GMT from United States)
I like it but I don't use it just because It don't recognize my cheaper Graphics card and not to mention my Network Card too :P Hopefully things like this will be fixed with community effort. Hope they will allow such contribution.????? It has not been released yet. Just the License which is the Mozilla Public Lic with out the General Public lic part. The CDDL is toxic with no payback into GPL. Code for free for SUN.
55 • Gnome 2.8.2 for Slack, non-intrusive install (by Ap0 on 2005-01-27 11:14:10 GMT from France)
There : http://antesis.freecontrib.org/.../gnome/
Take care slackers...
56 • What ?? (by yantragna on 2005-01-27 22:04:57 GMT from Canada)
Yeah I know. It's not released. But there is Solaris... I have one of them. And as new bee I paid $$$ to learn *nix. ;`(
57 • Where is hoary liveCD?? (by HillTop on 2005-01-29 18:45:04 GMT from United States)
I have downloaded the allusive hoary live from four URLs and every time it is an install CD. Where is the live CD?
Not here (the link in distrowatch - twice!): http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/releases/hoary/array-3.5-live/hoary-live-i386.iso
Not the one at http://www.ubuntulinux.org/ called hoary-live-i386.iso
Not even at gnoppix: http://source.rfc822.org/pub/local/gnoppix/gnoppix/beta/
All say they are live CDs but boot up in an install menu! :^(
58 • RE: "Where is Hoary liveCD??" (by Alan Moser on 2005-01-29 18:54:16 GMT from United States)
It is the live cd, Ubuntu changed they way they make livecd's they have gone from a morpiz based to a gnoppix based. I know it looks like a install cd, but it really is a setup for the live cd. Just follow the options, and you will boot into a live cd.
59 • RE: "Where is Hoary liveCD??" (by HillTop on 2005-01-30 00:55:52 GMT from United States)
Thank you Alan. OK, I pressed ENTER and let it run... it got as far as the screen configuration and halted. This is not an issue for this board - but says - you are right, it is indeed the live CD. Guess I'll have to wait for the final release. Thanks again.
60 • DW and Where to Start? (by HorsinAround on 2005-01-31 10:37:54 GMT from United States)
Hello, Ladislav! I have been using your site since at least issue 58. I am totally new to the Linux game and have learned quite a bit from this site. You are to be commended for your efforts and ingenuity in putting it all together when it comes to Linux information.
I know from reading the posts that I will receive a great number of opinions on which distro to use and all that. I am getting 3-4 machines this morning from my wife's workplace that I plan to set up and run different distros on to learn a little, and possibly attempt to network. I am also putting together an AMD64 machine to play with. I am currently back in school to become a programmer, and would love to be able to do it for 64-bit Linux. I realize that most of the distros out there already support the 64-bit processors, so that's not an issue so much as is, "Where does a newbie start?" I do plan on some certifications such as the RHCE and the MCSD (how better to defeat the enemy than to know it?), in addition to others.
Before any of you start going off on me for pursuing a M$ certification, try finding a school that doesn't emphasize their broken software, or have an Academic Alliance that offers free M$ bugware to the students!
Anyway, if you could point me in the direction of a few books or good-to-learn-on distros, I'd greatly appreciate it. I currently own RH8, RH9, Mandrake 9.0 Powerpack, Gentoo 2004.3 (haven't tried it yet), and PCLinuxOS8 (same story). I haven't tried to do too much with what I have simply because I don't know how to set them up. I feel that in order to do this right, I need to learn the basic command-line stuff.
Thanks again for providing such a great service to all who want to know!
Number of Comments: 60
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