| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 88, 21 February 2005
Welcome to this year's 8th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! In it, we take a brief look at two popular distributions, new versions of which were released over the weekend: PCLinuxOS and VectorLinux. We also reveal our brand new distribution database, which, while far from complete, should make it easier to search for a desired distribution based on various criteria. And if you have much time on your hands, we introduce you to no fewer than 7 new Linux distributions that were added to the waiting list last week. Happy reading!
New releases: PCLinuxOS and VectorLinux SOHO
Two quiet releases of popular distribution were produced during the weekend. The first one is PCLinuxOS, Preview .81a, a distribution built by Texstar and originally based on Mandrakelinux. Although still in a "preview" stage of the development, PCLinuxOS has attracted much attention by users who enjoy Mandrakelinux, but prefer a distribution where its main packages are continuously updated to their latest versions. Texstar has several years of experience in building high-quality RPM packages for Mandrakelinux and other distributions, and his latest effort to build a complete live and installation CD has been well-received by many users.
What's so great about PCLinuxOS? For starters, it is a distribution that serves both as a live CD and an installation CD. The CD boots into a full graphical environment with the latest version of KDE, and the distribution is pre-configured with many of the popular, but non-free software applications, such as Java and Flash browser plugins, multimedia applications, and even the latest NVIDIA and ATI accelerated graphics drivers (you need to download a specific edition that includes those drivers). This takes the pain out of configuring these applications (they are not present in the freely downloadable editions of Mandrakelinux or Fedora Core).
After confirming that the live CD works with your hardware as expected, you might want to perform a full installation of PCLinuxOS on your hard disk. There is an icon on the desktop for exactly this purpose; it launches a simple graphical installer that provides a means for partitioning the hard disk and selecting the desired partition for installation. After the system is successfully copied from the CD to your hard disk, you will have a chance to setup your boot loader, activate logging, set root password, and create users. Once done, you can reboot into your brand new PCLinuxOS. You can manage software packages and add new applications from Texstar's RPM repository with apt-get, KPackage or Synaptic.
PCLinuxOS Preview .81 is a very nicely designed distribution and we highly recommend it - especially to users who are new to Linux.
PCLinuxOS Preview .81 - a new release of Texstar's excellent distribution hit the mirrors over the weekend
(full image size: 484kB)
Although it has yet to be officially announced, the SOHO edition of VectorLinux 5.0 made a quiet appearance on the distribution's mirrors over the weekend. VectorLinux is based on Slackware Linux and designed to run on older computers, but the SOHO edition is a more full-featured distribution with KDE as its main desktop. We installed the new release to take an early look and were suitably impressed by the polished feel and very good hardware detection.
Besides standard desktop features found in most Linux distributions, VectorLinux includes a couple of custom applications for system and package administration. VASM is a VectorLinux Administration and System Menu, which works on a user level to allow individual users to configure their preferred window manager (besides KDE, IceWM is also available) and a few other options, or on a superuser level, which includes various system-wide configuration modules. Similarly, VLAPT, a VectorLinux Package Management module, provides a simple way to install and uninstall packages (with or without dependency checking), together with several advanced package management options.
Another interesting feature of the SOHO edition of VectorLinux 5.0 is that it includes a module that could be of interest to those who need basic server capabilities in a distribution - the module is called "LAMPP" and it consists of Apache 2, PHP 4 and 5, MySQL 4.1, phpMyAdmin 2.6.0, and ProFTPd 1.2.10.
A great product overall; if you get the chance, visit the distribution's download page and try it out.
VectorLinux 5.0 SOHO edition - a polished product with KDE and several server applications
(full image size: 509kB)
Migration to APT 0.6
The much awaited migration of Debian's Advanced Package Manager (APT) to version 0.6 is slowly taking shape. Why is this process so important? The main reason is the inclusion in APT 0.6 of cryptographic mechanisms designed to verify the origin of packages. Without this feature, many system administrators running mission-critical servers would refuse to consider Debian GNU/Linux for their servers, since the risk of downloading a compromised package from one of the Debian mirrors would be considered unacceptably high. Although not completely fool-proof, these cryptographic mechanisms can reduce the risk of installing a package that has been tampered with during download or on one of the mirrors providing Debian packages. You can find more information on features of APT 0.6 on this page.
|Released Last Week
Xandros Desktop OS 3 OCE
Xandros Corporation has released a freely downloadable edition of Xandros Desktop 3: "Xandros, the leading developer of easy-to-use Linux solutions, today announced the version 3 release of the Open Circulation Edition of its Linux desktop operating system (OS). The new release provides a new Internet experience with Firefox web browsing, Skype Internet calling, and Thunderbird e-mailing. The Xandros Open Circulation Edition is available for download at no charge from the Xandros web site." Here is the full press release.
MCNLive "Haarlem" 2
This is an updated release of the Mandrakelinux-based MCNLive distribution. Changes and updates: "KOffice with NL locale and ispell-nl, fixed group ID and group of user mcnl, Firefox with Flash plugin (only worked in Konqueror), SuperKaramba, text: Dubbelklik, corrections in welkom.html and howto.html, keyboard.be added, Konqueror: animations off, Konsole: tab on top, style: Lipstick, window decoration: Baghira, ..."
Slack/390 is the official port of Slackware Linux to the IBM mainframe platform. This ifsfrom the release announcement: "The newest release of Slack/390, version 10.0, is ready to go. Highlights of the release include the Linux 2.4.29 kernel, with Linux 2.6.7 as an alternate choice in /testing, glibc 2.3.2, gcc 3.3.4, and apache 1.3.33. For a complete list of changes since Slack/390 9.1, check out theSlack/390 10.0 ChangeLog. Read the official announcement here."
Berry Linux 0.53
A new version of Berry Linux has been released. From the changelog: "Berry Linux 0.53. Kernel 2.6.9 SMP + devfs + bootsplash; ndiswrapper 1.0; X.Org 6.8.1 + Bold Patch; Fluxbox 0.9.11 (Fedora Core 3); OpenOffice.org 1.1.4 (Japanese and English); GIMP version 2.2.3 (Gnu Image Manipulation Program); K3b 0.11.20; Whiz 0.49 (Monoceros) + SCIM 1.1.3; SIM 0.9.3."
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 has been formally announced and released: "Red Hat, the leading provider of open source solutions to the enterprise, announced global availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux v.4 last night at a press conference hosted by Red Hat executives, partners and customers. This latest release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux enables enterprise organizations to realize the benefits of open source innovation throughout their IT environment, particularly in the areas of performance and security. Red Hat Enterprise Linux proves that Linux solutions can effectively eliminate for the need for Solaris in the enterprise." Read the press release and visit the product pages for further information.
ASLinux Desktop 2.0
ASLinux Desktop 2.0 has been released: "ASLinux Desktop 2.0 is a Linux distribution aimed to desktop PCs, either workstations, corporate clients or domestic computers, and to any kind of user, whatever his/her expertise level with PCs and Linux. Available for 32-bit Intel and AMD CPUs, ASLinux Desktop 2.0 offers a complete, stable and intuitive environment inclusive of all the features that any end user may demand: office tools, Internet, multimedia, education, games and fun, etc., along with the most complete security systems, like a personal firewall, a Windows virus analyzer and a spam filter. ASLinux Desktop 2.0 combines Linux's strength and stability, Debian Sarge's power and versatility and KDE's friendliness and usability." Here is the full release announcement in Spanish and English.
A new version of Minislack, a light-weight Slackware-based Linux distribution with WindowMaker and XFce, has been released: "Smaller and still more complete than ever, this is a key release of Minislack. Minislack 0.3 runs by default on kernel 2.6.10, with support for most hardware including SCSI, ACPI, PCMCIA, frame buffered video-card support, and was built in accordance with Slackware's i486 philosophy. Minislack 0.3 provides two of the fastest and most reliable X environments: XFce (4.2) and WindowMaker (0.91), along with all needed GTK2/GNOME libraries. GNOME and KDE users will like to install their favorite desktop using the included Slapt-get tool." Read the release announcement for further information about the release.
tinysofa enterprise server
An updated version of tinysofa enterprise server has been released: "tinysofa enterprise server 2.0 Update 1 (Odin) is now generally available. This maintenance release incorporates updates issued since the release of 2.0 and addresses all known security issues. 'Odin' features: the Linux 2.6.9 kernel, SELinux support, APT for advanced package management, full ABI compatibility with RHEL4 (both user space and kernel), a turn key ASP.NET/C# solution using components from the Mono project (1.1.4), the next generation PHP 5 environment (5.0.3), high availability features such as DRBD (0.7.10), UCARP (1.1) and PostgreSQL replication (Slony1 1.0.5), the latest development tools and languages (GCC 3.4.3, Ruby 1.8.2, Subversion 1.1.3), and much more." Read the release announcement on the distribution's web site.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Fedora Core 4 postponed
According to the release schedule, the first beta of Fedora Core 4, which was originally scheduled for release today (February 21st), has been postponed by one week. Similarly, all subsequent beta releases were also postponed by one week. The final release of Fedora Core 4 is now expected on May 23rd, 2005.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distributions database
We have finally started work on a new distribution database that should make it easier to search for distributions based on various criteria. This project is far from complete, but at least we have the basic infrastructure and code in place. At the moment, there are only three columns (origin, based on and status), but we will add a few more in the next few days including processor support, purpose (e.g. live CD, firewall, source-based....) and perhaps a few other criteria. You can find the current progress on the Search page. If you have any comment/wish about the database, please speak now, either in the forums below or directly by email (the address is on the bottom of this page).
New distributions addition
Due to the above-mentioned work on a comprehensive distribution database, no new distributions were added last week.
Three distributions were newly placed on the Discontinued Distributions list: Icepack Linux, LGIS GNU/Linux and ViruX. The web sites of these distributions have been gone for several months, so it is unlikely that any of these three projects is still under active development.
New on the waiting list
- JaguarOS. JaguarOS is a new Russian Linux distribution currently in early development.
- KioskCD. KioskCD is a live CD with nothing except a Firefox web browser. No other features are available, no menus, no applications, no configuration panels, no nothing. Perfect for making Internet service available to others on spare computers.
- Mockup. Mockup is a desktop operating system, based on the Morphix live CD. The project's goal is to create an Open Source operating system that is easy to use - a live CD which can be installed on a hard disk. The desktop environment is based on new and exciting technology, such as udev, hotplug and HAL for hardware detection and automatic device files creation. The whole desktop is written using Trolltech's Qt 4.0 with both vector and bitmap graphics, with antialiasing. Where supported by the hardware, translucency and drop shadows are also provided for interesting effects.
- MSTux. MSTux is a French Canadian live CD based on Knoppix. It is developed by Service National RÉCIT Mathématique, Science et Technologie in Quebec.
- Quantik. Quantik is a French Linux distribution designed for servers and based on Debian GNU/Linux
- Rubix Linux. Currently in early development, Rubix Linux is a new Slackware-based Linux distribution with the package management borrowed from Arch Linux.
- Underground Desktop. Underground Desktop is a GNU/Linux distribution targeted to the desktop user, featuring a graphical installation (using Anaconda for Debian by Progeny), and is based on Debian 'unstable'.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 386
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 50
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 91
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 • two new distros (by paul h at 2005-02-21 12:47:13 GMT from United States) |
i wounder if PClinuxOS and Vectorlinux soho will be the next greatest hit. im thinking about checking them out.......
2 • PCLINUXOS preview (by ajax munroe on 2005-02-21 12:50:59 GMT from United States)
PCLINUXOS is awsome, and i dont even like mandrake because it's a money grubbing distro. PCLINUXOS makes ubuntu look like a childs playtoy instead of an os. PCLINUXOS is much more advanced than mandrake linux because of it's ability to deploy a wide range of applications software without dependancy conflict. PCLINUXOS is better than Mepis which can be considered it's closest rival. if there is a future for Linux, it will be in a well thought, highly configurable, polished distribution like PCLINUXOS. my main distribution is the almighty Slackware and FreeBSD. (because they work)
but PCLINUXOS makes it hard to reinstall my main distros after it's awsome show of sheer performance and breathtaking eyecandy! (and this is only a release candidate) if some newb needs a Linux distro to convince himself to make the switch from windows, I would burn him a copy of PCLINUXOS! while all the bignames like suse, and redhat continue to rip off the corporate sector with their underpar offerings, PCLINUXOS, and Mepis continue to make large improvements with every release.
3 • I wouldn't presume to speak for him, but... (by T_Scheisskopf on 2005-02-21 13:10:45 GMT from United States)
I know that Texstar wouldn't speak like that about his distro, in relationship to other distros. The Ol' Hoss is just too much of a gentleman. He's many things, but the word "badmouther" just doesn't fit.
I wouldn't be 1/10th of the way along with Linux if it wasn't for the fact that Texstar is one of the most unselfishly helpful people around.
He's a heck of a guy.
4 • PCLOS (by capnkirby on 2005-02-21 13:28:51 GMT from United States)
I agree T_Scheisskopf, Texstar seems to be way to much of a gentleman, but he sure can build!
I am a PCLOS user and have been for over a year, and cannot get over how well everything works and works well.
5 • RE: PCLINUXOS preview (by Doug on 2005-02-21 13:43:36 GMT from United States)
I agree taht PCLINUXOS is a very enticing distro. Polished, lots of eye candy, nice selection of default packages, very newbie friendly. The only beef I have with it is many of the man pages were missing in p8. (Maybe fixed in this release?)
While man pages don't always provide all the info needed, they are certainly a great place to start. Many will say "Just search google for the command, or use some other online resource." For the most part, that works. But, what happens when your wireless card needs to be configured, and you can't remember the proper syntax for iwconfig? Since your network connection isn't up yet, you can't google it, and the iwconfig (and ifconfig, and many others) man page is missing, it's a real show stopper.
6 • "badmouther" or "a rose by any other name" or " A WAKEUP CALL!!" (by ajax munroe on 2005-02-21 14:03:12 GMT from United States)
T_Scheisskopf..... your quote " I know that Texstar wouldn't speak like that about his distro," did you ever hear me say that he would "badmouth" somebodys distro? your putting words in my mouth son....i can speak for myself! this is a WAKEUP CALL to the Linux world! and the Unix world in general! let's get it together before Microsoft releases that pitiful thing they been playing with since 2001 and leaves Unix in the dust! now do you understand? when a real genius such as myself speaks, you should listen.
7 • Good News !!! (by Marc on 2005-02-21 14:18:19 GMT from Canada)
Thanks Ladislav to pick up this idea of a database.
I know that with the growing popularity and choice
of Linux distros, the need of this kind of tool IS A MUST !!!
If i can give a hint on what collumn to add, i would say
LANGUAGE and WINDOW MANAGER as these are the first
criterias to look at.
8 • Underground Desktop (by wiseisme on 2005-02-21 14:38:38 GMT from Japan)
Just finished installing Underground Linux, wish the artist of this fine desktop would come out from underground. The desktop is extremely polished unfortunatly without internet access it`s kind of useless, tried 2 different eth cards neither work. Well can`t complain it is beta software, but kudos to a great start.
9 • database (by Patrick Useldinger on 2005-02-21 14:38:40 GMT from Luxembourg)
selction criteria to add:
- package manager
- branches (-stable, -current, -testing) though that would mean that you need to fix objective criteria. At least having a -stable branch (i.e. which only gets security fixes) is useful info.
- source or binary oriented
10 • database (by Anonymous on 2005-02-21 14:43:28 GMT from Kuwait)
is the Number of Linux distributions in the database - discontinued distributions = 386?
11 • database (by Patrick Useldinger on 2005-02-21 15:02:20 GMT from Luxembourg)
selction criteria to add:
- package manager
- branches (-stable, -current, -testing) though that would mean that you need to fix objective criteria. At least having a -stable branch (i.e. which only gets security fixes) is useful info.
- source or binary oriented
12 • centos (by Anonymous on 2005-02-21 15:19:17 GMT from United States)
Read the news on lineox good as el4 then remembered that centos
had been sued by redhat. Where theres smoke could be a contender
so went with centos. So far very stable and once I added realaudio
qcad,bittorrent3.9.1,realplayer8 Iam happy. Fedora never could get
K3b to work, which I use alot. Only bug with centos is after installing
kde to run Qcad the shutdown hangs after after calling acpi. I see
that there is some broken links to kacpi. So I use the powerstrip
off button. Couldnt get java to work but might be cause I went with
1.5 Do miss the debian repository but wanted to try a store bought
distro. So far (3day) I give it 3.5 star
13 • Slow news week (by Ed Borasky on 2005-02-21 15:48:24 GMT from United States)
Looks like a slow news week in DistroLand. I'm not sure what I can do to liven things up, so I'll throw in a bunch of nominations for the next donation, which you've probably seen before:
1. The Quantian distro
2. Gentoo Linux
3. Automatically Tuned Linear Algebra Software (ATLAS)
4. Common Music
5. The ns/nam network simulation package
6. The R Scientific and Statistical package
14 • LAMPP in VectorLinux... (by Torque2K on 2005-02-21 16:00:43 GMT from United States)
Looks like VectorLinux 5 SOHO is using the xampp project from ApacheFriends ( http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp-linux.html ) for its LAMPP install; can anyone confirm this? I like this package alot, and I've been thinking about trying Vector out lately... and after playing with xampp on both a Gentoo and FC3 install, I'm suitably impressed!
15 • xandros security updates (by im_ka on 2005-02-21 17:15:39 GMT from Austria)
are there any?
16 • RE: xandros security updates (by Anonymous on 2005-02-21 18:22:15 GMT from United States)
>are there any?
Of course there are. Why do people keep spreading this idea that Xandros dosen't release security updates?
17 • Search criteria - ARCHITECTURES Supported: i386, AMD64, etc. (by Erich Friesen on 2005-02-21 18:44:43 GMT from United States)
Please add the ability to search by architecture of each distribution--as an AMD64 (or x86_64) user, and realizing that there are also those out there using PPC, MIPS, Sparc, Sparc64, etc out there, it would be a great help, to get to the relevant distros...
18 • What's that Knoppix STD bullshit? (by GP on 2005-02-21 18:59:54 GMT from Canada)
What's the rationale behind naming a new distro Knoppix STD, std being the abbreviation of "standard"? Klaus Knopper has nothing to do with this new double crossing distro. Why is Distrowatch endorsing such a venture by giving it access to its pages?
19 • Search criteria (by Nameles on 2005-02-21 19:10:42 GMT from Canada)
I'd like to see a search on the included desktop environments. For example, show me all the distributions built around (or includes by default) Xfce4, Fluxbox, Gnome, or KDE etc.
20 • RE: Good News !!! (by Marc ... (by rich on 2005-02-21 19:18:27 GMT from United States)
On the database, I'll have to second "LANGUAGE and (primary) WINDOW MANAGER" as search criteria along with package management options.
Keep up the fantastic work. This is one of my favorite web sites. Hold your head high and march on. I for one enjoy your insightful articles.
21 • Ladislav: Another upcoming distro (by Alex on 2005-02-21 19:21:28 GMT from United States)
Here's one more thing to add in the "Summary of expected upcoming releases" for your next issue.
Linspire 5.0 is scheduled for a March 2005 release according to Michael Robertson's keynote at the Desktop Linux Summitt in San Diego.
It's been over a year since Linspire 4.5 and this is a major change for them. They are finally ditching kernel 2.4, KDE 3.0 and all the outdated software, I'sm really excited to see how it will turn out and the community's response.
22 • RE: What's that Knoppix STD bullshit? (by rich on 2005-02-21 19:25:06 GMT from United States)
STD in this case stands for Secuity Tools Distribution.
23 • RE: RE: What's that Knoppix STD (by rich on 2005-02-21 19:28:33 GMT from United States)
OOPS, Make that "Security" with an r...
24 • kioskcd (by me on 2005-02-21 20:22:44 GMT from United States)
no usb mouse support unless you pay...that's pathetic. http://distrowatch.com/byzantineos is a free kiosk distro and run from memory unlike kioskcd.
25 • database (by mmis on 2005-02-21 20:56:58 GMT from Germany)
Very good idea! Please add the ability to search by 'language' and 'number of CDs to download'.
26 • What's that Knoppix STD bullshit? (by GP on 2005-02-21 21:14:23 GMT from Canada)
Rich wrote: "STD in this case stands for Security Tools Distribution."
It might as well stand for Software Trade Development. WTF! What does Knoppix stand for?
I suppose, thinking that there was some kind of solidarity in the Linux community, Knopper didn't register the name. So why the hell is Distrowarch featuring this distro?
27 • Xandros (by Kanwar on 2005-02-21 22:06:57 GMT from Australia)
Looks like Xandros is beginning to make several other distro-users green ... except maybe the gentoo crowd (its a joke, guys).
In all fairness, despite the hype and hoopla about ubuntu, I am yet to be convinced about its "ease of use" and "mom and pop" capabilities. In contrast, I've found Xandros always manage to convince new users that its getting close to a usable Linux desktop.
I regularly use Xandros and SuSE and believe me, SuSE 9.2 does not stand a change in usability against Xandros (at least for the desktop functionality). For the server end, yes SuSE is my choice over Fedora etc.
28 • Follow-up: Xandros (by Kanwar on 2005-02-21 22:08:20 GMT from Australia)
Oops ... in the last paragraph, it should read:
... SuSE 9.2 does not stand a *chance* in usability against Xandros ....
29 • No subject (by std on 2005-02-21 22:13:58 GMT from Japan)
Ha! Don't laugh it could stand for sexually transmitted disease
30 • Knoppix STD (by Anonymous on 2005-02-21 23:00:41 GMT from Germany)
GNU/Linux stands for do what you want with this buddy, except claim that you did it all. Distrowatch doesn't endorse any distro, it features them all equally. No politics, no crap. Have you even tried STD? It got some good tools, despite the fact that it hasn't seem too much updating. From the home page its quite clear that this is not the original knoppix.
sexually transmitted disease, I like that...
31 • Is Gentoo is missing from "Summary of expected upcoming releases"? (by Ric de France on 2005-02-21 23:21:31 GMT from Australia)
Great job with the site and the newsletters. According to:
Gentoo is about to release another installer set of their distribution. Now being a non-commercial organisations, it possibly means they aren't strictly going to release in Feb 2005, but don't you think that they may deserve a mention in the list?
32 • @Kanwar (by Ariszló on 2005-02-21 23:33:40 GMT from Hungary)
"SuSE 9.2 does not stand a *chance* in usability against Xandros"
Unless you are using a language other than English. Xandros OCE does not support my language. Does the commercial version?
33 • Ubuntu on the expected upcoming releases (by Alan Moser on 2005-02-22 00:01:07 GMT from United States)
I thought that it was just a mistake that was in this issue, but I went back and checked, Ubuntu is missing on that list. I am just pointing it out. Ubuntu Horay Hedgehog will be released in April of this year. I think it is on the 16, not sure right now, will check later.
34 • Realistic Bastards (by Rob Morehouse on 2005-02-22 00:32:52 GMT from United States)
You guys ever hear of B1FF? If not check out the jargon file on him, http://www.catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/B/B1FF.html, anyway, due to the ridiculousness of Realistic Bastards' comments I am thinking that perhaps he is just messing with our heads? Just another Biff? Comments anyone? I bet I will get one from R.B.
35 • Biff? I have never heard of BIFF! You are right Rob (by Antonio on 2005-02-22 00:52:47 GMT from United States)
What is a biff, other than what your link demonstrates. Misspelled words and newbie. You are right Rob, Where's Realistic Bastard? He has not checked Distrowatch? or he is now shy because some people let him have it. Cheers everyone!! Yes even Realistic Bastard(s).
36 • RE: Knoppix STD and other topics (by ladislav on 2005-02-22 01:16:46 GMT from Taiwan)
On the subject of Knoppix STD, the distribution is included in DistroWatch simply because it EXISTS. If you have any complaints about a distribution, please explain calmly and without swearing why it should not be listed here. If you just dislike a distribution's name, then well, tough! Please go and complain to the developers of the said distribution. DistroWatch is a news and reference site and the way we see it, Knoppix STD is a legitimate distribution, whether you like it or not.
About the database suggestions: I will include the available window managers in the table. As for languages, this is a bit of a grey area. Some distributions have a complete support for many languages - from the installer to the input method (e.g. Fedora, Mandrakelinux, Debian), some simply include the internationalisation files for GNOME and KDE and claim to support several languages. The level of language support varies too much to be able to make the tables consistent. Also, it is sometimes difficult to find information about which languages are supported. Your best bet at the moment is to look for the country of origin - if you need, say, support for Thai, then look for a distribution made in Thailand and you'll find that most of them support it. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that this is an important feature, so we'll try to find a way.
On upcoming releases: thank you for your information - I will add Gentoo and Ubuntu to the next week's edition.
37 • distrobution database (by mark on 2005-02-22 01:27:56 GMT from Australia)
another excellent distrowatch weekly. pclinuxos and vector both look good but i don't think that they could take me off gentoo.
if you want any help on the package database i would be happy to go through distrobutions and filling in content.
38 • Linspire? (by Alex on 2005-02-22 01:28:28 GMT from United States)
"On upcoming releases: thank you for your information - I will add Gentoo and Ubuntu to the next week's edition."
What about Linspire 5, due in March?
BTW: Ladislav, your e-mail does not seem to work.
39 • Search Criteria (by John on 2005-02-22 01:40:06 GMT from Australia)
I would like the following search criteria (order of priority for me), some of which have been suggested already; Type (LiveCD, installCD, Live+Install CD), desktop environment (KDE, Gnome, etc.), language, architecture (Pentium I, Pentium II etc.), and of lesser importance no. of CDs, package management, installer mode (text/graphic).
I would also like the package search to be searched on category like browser, email etc. because some of the package names I don't know what they actually do! By the same token, you could have broader catergories like Office Suite, Multimedia which would be a superset of the package categories mentioned earlier. As an aside, I would like to see a package page (package reviews, forums etc), just like there is a distro page with supporting rankings, but thats an enormous ask.
Another thing, I would like to see, although its probably too complex to do, is someway of matching a distro to "recommended" chip speed/memory e.g. Vector linux will run on a pentium ii with 64MB. I guess this is another Type of distro like LiveCD - maybe it should be called old CD.
I use distrowatch to monitor distros I know about, but any features I am looking for in a distro I have to rely on reviews because distrowatch doesn't offer that functionality. Hopefully, the new search and package categories will make it easier.
40 • Vinyl cutter/plotters (by CJ on 2005-02-22 01:56:52 GMT from United States)
Does anyone know of a way to use Linux to cut vinyl on a plotter? QCAD seems to be the software to draw in, but how do I get it to send the vectors to the plotter. BTW, the plotter is an Allen Datagraph 840.
41 • RE: Linspire (by ladislav on 2005-02-22 02:04:00 GMT from Taiwan)
Has Linspire announced that a new version will be released next month? If so, can you give me the link?
The email works fine, but Postfix is set up to reject most HTML email and email with spamish subjects.
42 • Gentoo (by Ed Borasky on 2005-02-22 04:14:19 GMT from United States)
Yeah, they were planning to release 2005.0 in January, but they hit some delays. I haven't heard much from them recently, so they must be close. See
for the details. Like most Gentoo releases, if you have Gentoo installed already and keep synced with "emerge --sync", a release is a non-event.
Speaking of non-events, has anyone checked out "Gen-UX"
43 • Yes, Ladislav (by Alex on 2005-02-22 04:41:44 GMT from United States)
"Has Linspire announced that a new version will be released next month? If so, can you give me the link?"
Michael Robertson announced his intention to release Linspire 5 in March during his keynote.
You can see the movie here : http://info.linspire.com/community/DLS2005/mrkeynote.mpg
And even more info on the Desktop Summit is here: http://desktopsummit.com/links.php
"The email works fine, but Postfix is set up to reject most HTML email and email with spamish subjects."
I guess that's why, I was sending you HTML + plain text.
44 • Based on database (by FormerCruxer on 2005-02-22 04:57:08 GMT from Australia)
This is a little nitpicky, but Arch Linux is based on Crux Linux and this fact is missing from the DB right now.
Crux is a great distro, but I don't use it anymore. AMD64 ;)
45 • Architecture (by DonE Go on 2005-02-22 05:13:44 GMT from Philippines)
Nice new search engine...pls include the architecture if ints optimized in i686 or i386 something like that c",)
46 • RE: Arch Linux is based on Crux Linux (by ladislav on 2005-02-22 05:46:37 GMT from Taiwan)
I don't believe so. It was perhaps originally based on some ideas derived from CRUX, but that's not the same as saying that it _IS_ based on CRUX. By the same reasoning, Mandrakelinux used to be based on Red Hat when it started, but it is now developed independently of its original parent.
The term "based on some distribution" indicates that the developers took the "some distribution" and modified it to create a new one. I doubt that the developers of Arch Linux are taking packages from CRUX and build Arch Linux on top of those packages.
47 • Criteria (by Anonymous on 2005-02-22 07:34:09 GMT from El Salvador)
Please add the "Processor Architecture" criteria. It 's hard to search one by one if there is 686, 586, etc, Another important criteria is the jorurnalised file systems that a distro supports. Those criterias mark the difference beetwen bid one and small ones distros (I think).
48 • Linux is a cheap Windows XP clone (by anonymous on 2005-02-22 07:56:49 GMT from United States)
The PCLinuxOS picture looks like Windows XP. Looking like WinXP will confuse users because KDE doesnt have the exact menus and functionality. Too a new user Linux looks like a disfunctional and cheap Windows XP clone.
49 • No subject (by Anonymous on 2005-02-22 11:53:20 GMT from Germany)
for the database would be good to can search for the needed processors, which machines the kernels in the distros support. if 386, 586 or 686.
many new distros are only compiled for 686.
50 • RE: earch criteria - ARCHITECTURES Supported: i386, AMD64, etc. (by someone on 2005-02-22 12:21:20 GMT from Australia)
"there are also those out there using PPC, MIPS, Sparc, Sparc64, etc out there,"
This would be helpful for those wanting to migrate off Solaris. I would like to see a different range of distros for UltraSparc
51 • PCLinuxOS is great, but SLOOOOOOOOOOW (by wolf on 2005-02-22 12:57:59 GMT from Germany)
I have an ancient Thinpad 600E, 290MB Ram. Sorry folks, but PCLinux OS is not usable on such a machine. Simply opening the MCC (MasterControlCenter), a script based application, takes 50 sec. Booting is like 4 minutes (from HD!)
That might not be the fault of PCLinuxOS, but a typical problem that comes with KDE.
However, I now installed Ubuntu (hoary2005.4) on this machine, and suddenly, the machine came back to life! It is still not really fast, but now, responsivness can be compared to Win98 that is also installed on the same machine. Also, booting is way faster, while I am missing the nice bootsplash and progress bar that came with PCLinux OS.
So PCLinux OS is a great distro, well done, but not really usable on older machines. Ubuntu on the other side, can also be used on older systems, while it lacks a little bit of the eyecandy that comes with PCLinuxOS
My 2 cent.
52 • PCLinuxOS (by dukeinlondon on 2005-02-22 14:19:22 GMT from United Kingdom)
It's the best Live distro I've tried so far. I've not yet done a hd install cause it's my work laptop and you know....
But the thing even detected and enabled my intel 2200bg wifi card (neither mepis nor knoppix would do that) and I've been online with it. When I get my desktop back from storage, it will soon replace libranet (which is very nice as well though)
53 • Ignore this Ladislav said so ... (by Realistic Bastards on 2005-02-22 14:21:43 GMT from Canada)
The first version of Linux-Mandrake "whas" Red Hat 5.0 + KDE 1 + many other software + many tools. Thats why It whas called 5.1
The following version where based of the source of the software which Mandrake developper add tweaked to there liking.MandrakeLinux never whas based of Red Hat. But remain compatible to Red Hat. ( The first version whas Red hat for those who dont get it its not based of it whas , the rest where not )
The "Mandrake is based of Red Hat" come from The Red Hat vendors , there favorite sell pitch whas " Why use something based of Red Hat when you can use the original".
I think GP as actually a very good point by stating the fact that Knoppix STD is not supported or approved by Klaus Knopper. What he got wrong is he think you ( Ladislav Bodnar ) have some real morality or honor left to stand for the
one that contribute to GNU/Linux and he wrongly think that its your duty to protect there reputation out of respect for there contributions which you leech of and which help pay your bill.
I think I will switch my nick to Ladislav Bodnar STD , Because I can make it exist.
- Ignorant ignore others , because they assume that they know everything and have nothing left to learn.
54 • RE: INgnore this Ladislav said so.... (by Alan Moser on 2005-02-22 14:45:39 GMT from United States)
The fact is that Mandrake 5.1 was based off of RedHat, it was not redhat linux. If it were to be RedHat linux + A few Packages, they would have been sued for Copyright infringment. They took the RedHat sources, and for their means, changed and improved them. And what do you mean that their are contributions that he leech. All of the contributions that come into this website are done volunteerly. If you do not like the way he makes a living, don't donate. But do not critize a man for making a living that is different then yours.
- Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools speak because they have to say something.
55 • What's in a name? (by Jose on 2005-02-22 17:16:05 GMT from United States)
God, I can't believe all of this squabbling over a name! What do you expect anyone to do if they use a name not protected by copyright or anything?
If I make a distro and call it Knoppix-Slack and it is a usable distro, why shouldn't it be included on Distrowatch? Ladislav is not the Distro Police or anyone in a position to demand that anyone stop using a name.
If Klaus doesn't like the fact that someone is using the Knoppix name, then let Klaus handle it. He may like it due to the fact that it is free advertisement for HIS distro. He may hate it and may be working in the background to get it resolved. Either way, it is a Klaus issue not a Ladislav issue.
Ladislav job is to report on the distros in a way that doesn't bash any distros. True, he could use some discretion when he bashes Mandrake (Shame on you, Ladislav!), but overall, the site does its job better than any other site out there.
Lets argure on things worth arguing about, like the virtues of apt-get over Portage and crap like that. Not some damn name.
56 • Grow Up (by Al on 2005-02-22 17:39:25 GMT from United States)
Yeah, you'd think that children would grow up one day.... (realistic bastards)
57 • Which is the best out-of-the-box AV distro (prefer Live-CD)? (by P. Pearson on 2005-02-22 18:37:09 GMT from United States)
A couple of times, I've wanted to grab a Live-CD to disinfect someone's Windows computer (non-NTFS). I've not had luck yet. It seems clamav only "identifies" (and optionally deletes infected files). I tried LinuxDefender, and it core-dumped in KDE, just froze in iceWM. I ended up using the Ultimate Boot Disk CD (a collection of DOS based utils, running under freeDOS). I didn't see any AV extensions for DSL, which seems the logical solution. I may put together my own DSL extension (if/when I have time), but don't want to re-invent the wheel.
58 • Kanotix Rocks!! and add more spice to some arguments above. (by Kanotix Fan on 2005-02-22 19:31:16 GMT from United States)
I would just like to say thanks to the Kanotix developers for a job well done. With Kanotix you can type beautiful documents from anywhere Kanotix boots using Kile, and Tex/LaTEX. It has gnuplot, from which you can produce nice graphs. It has openoffice, and folks it also has java. It is a great live cd!!!
With the comments made above, that Mandrake polished Red Hat and used Red Hat packages and included KDE as the default desktop. Mandrake over took Red Hat. Now, would it be safe to say that PCLinuxOS is doing what Mandrake did to Red Hat? Anyone comment on this. Yes, how about RB. I would love to see you comment on this one.
59 • fix some comments (by Kanotix Fan on 2005-02-22 19:42:53 GMT from United States)
Want to fix a mistake on "Mandrake over Red Hat" meaning that users liked Mandrake's touches on Red Hat's work and adopted it nicely. Mandrake became in its own a fine distro. Mandrake was Userfriendly and climbed to the top of the charts where it remains today on top in Distrowatch. With others trying to get there!!! My question is now Is PCLinuxOS doing to Mandrake what Mandrake did to Red Hat? Realistic Bastards your input will be appreciated. No matter what you say.
As for Move vs Kanotix? I prefer Kanotix because Move does not have Kile, or tetex, nor gnuplot. Kanotix has java installed and enabled, move does not. Kanotix wins this one. For the games part, I will give you this one Move has frozen bubble, lbreakout, etc, Kanotix has supertux. Advantage Move. However, since I don't care much for gaming Kanotix still rocks!! Cheers everyone!!! Thanks Ladislav for posting of linux news and distribution releases.
Dont worry about the comments from
"Ignore this cause Ladislav said so.... from Realistic Bastards" . Everyone has the right to his/her opionions. Sorry for misspelling "opinions", i don't have spellchecker and I was typing fast and was not really careful.
60 • RE: Bashing Mandrake (by ladislav on 2005-02-23 00:44:26 GMT from Taiwan)
he could use some discretion when he bashes Mandrake (Shame on you, Ladislav!)
Bashing Mandrake? Me? You must be joking. See this:
I never "bash" Mandrake (or any other distribution, for that matter). I write what I see and if I see something I don't like, I write about it. If you call my occasional negative comment about Mandrakelinux "bashing", then you need to take a break, perhaps go to some tropical island and spend some time enjoying the sea and beaches. It really helps.
As a matter of fact, I like Mandrakelinux. I tend to recommend Mandrakelinux to most novice Linux users.
Some of you see a negative comment about Mandrakelinux (or any other distribution) and you immediately start jumping up and down, screaming: He hates it! He hates the best distribution on earth! How can he be such a heartless person? And he is running a Linux new site, shouldn't he be objective?
If you are one of those and still haven't figured it out, let me put it straight to you: the reason I write (occasionally) negative statements about some distributions is because I want to help to improve them. It is not because I hate them, it is not because I want them to die, it's because I like them and I want to point out the errors and mistakes the decision makers at those distribution sometimes make! They might not see them, and you, the blindly devoted fans of the said distribution who are unable to accept any criticism of it, are still less likely to see them. That's why we are here - news sites, journalists, reviewers, and other people who are not blinded by utter devotion to a company or a bunch of code!
Bashing? Pointing out errors and mistakes is not bashing. Yes, I am a human being and there are a few distributions that I dislike for various reasons. But I will never write about those - simply because I don't trust myself that I'd be able to write objectively.
But those distributions that receive some negative comments on these pages on occasion - those I DON'T dislike. On the contrary, I like them, enjoy them - and hope to help them to improve. Admittedly, my comments and opinions are not always right, but I believe I've seen enough to have a fairly balanced view of the world of Linux distributions.
61 • to quote Family Guy-- (by escapenguin on 2005-02-23 01:43:42 GMT from United States)
"What? Canada sucks."
Anyway, I'd just like to give props to ladislav and co. for keeping this amazing resource going.
62 • RE: Bashing Mandrake (by Jose on 2005-02-23 18:08:38 GMT from United States)
Calm down man. Gee, I was stomping and hollering or anything. I was simply pointing out your remarks on Mandrake going commercial. You don't like it and you made it clear.
You are entitled to your point of view and I didn't argue about it. In fact I defended you and your site in my previous posting. I was just caught by surprise on your commenting (OK, not BASHING) on Mandrake's decision to go more to a commercial distro.
Plenty of others have done this in an attempt to generate funds. Some of the distros are far worse.
But, again, I wasn't bashing you or the site, hence my comment "shame on you." Perhaps, I should have placed a smilie on the end of it.
Let me openly apologize to you and the readers of this fine site for my poor taste in words.
Now, lets us continue in our briefly interrupted war between Mepis and Ubuntu!
63 • Xandros (by Distrowatch reader on 2005-02-23 20:23:00 GMT from United States)
Debian is still clutching themselves in agony over a decent Sarge Installer. Xandros OCE 301 seems to do it for me. The lack of a firewall is a minor annoyance.
Before you install go here http://www.debian.org/distrib/packages and get from Testing, the packages shorewall, iproute, and libatm1. http://packages.debian.org/testing/net/iproute.
As root use dpkg i .deb to install these packages modify /etc/shorewall by copying the packages from /user/share/doc/shorewall/ into /etc/shorewall/. edit as necessary!! then goto /etc/default/ and edit the shorewall file as needed usually by changing the line startup=0 to startup=1. Lastly as root issue the command shorewall start , look for errors and correct as necessary. Issue the command updatedb, In a console as root issue the command lsof -i to check for ports. then go to Gibson research or sygate to test your firewall
Then go on to Xandros Networks to check for updates. Enjoy!
64 • GNU Darwin (by I. C. on 2005-02-24 06:28:55 GMT from El Salvador)
Why is not GNU Darwin in the Distrowatch page?
I understand that it is open source... or not?
In the page http://www.gnu-darwin.org/ says it.
If Solaris is enough good to Distrowatch why not the GNU Darwin distro.
Is a BSD derived OS and has a lot of Open Source.
I'm not a GNU Darwin user -I'm linuxian- but i think this distro has the enough to be here. Or not? Why?
65 • Re: PCLinuxOS is great but sloooooooowww (by smack on 2005-02-24 11:32:35 GMT from Japan)
Don`t worry it,s not only your system, I have a XP1800 with 384 mb ram and the bootup still takes precisely 2min an 4 sec on an HD install. Texstar has done a great job and I`m sure he`s done his best to optimize it, but you can only do so much with a commercial bloatware base.
66 • No subject (by warpengi on 2005-02-24 17:22:40 GMT from Canada)
Thursday already and no comments. Nothing controversial in this issue of distrowatch apparently.
GNOME rules KDE sucks. Linux is just as vulnerable as MSWindows and if there were as many Linux machines we would see the same amount of viruses for it as MSWindows has. RMS is a fanatical zealot and has no knowledge of the real world. Linus didn't invent Linux. I need to find a job to fill my days.......
67 • No subject (by warpengi on 2005-02-24 17:24:18 GMT from Canada)
boy. did I miss that site change!!
68 • Distribution Databased (by newbie on 2005-02-24 19:02:12 GMT from United States)
I've been looking for a combination Firewall/Server focused distribution for some time now. I don't want a server that I can add a firewall to or vice versa. I know you have a LiveCD and Firewall page that are quite nice, but what do you think about dropping those pages and having a searchable category field.
I know you're working on something like this already, but here's a couple categories and thoughts I've had.
Each distribution could have up to three or so focuses/categories. For example if I typed in "server AND firewall" then SMEServer and whatever else would be listed or:
multimedia AND livecd - KnopMyth MediaLinux ...
desktop AND workstation AND development - SuSE Fedora ...
gaming OR multimedia AND livecd - KnoppiXMAME KnopMyth ...
Then the livecd page would be auto generated by searching "livecd."
It's a lot of work, but people will be raving about it for months, especially me :)
Thanks for the already wonderful site and I hope this idea helps keep it the best Linux info source on the net.
Excellent work Ladislav
69 • Summary of expected upcoming releases (by underx on 2005-02-24 22:35:35 GMT from Australia)
funny.......I dont see gentoo in the upcoming expected realeases.
Number of Comments: 69
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