| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 93, 28 March 2005
Welcome to this year's 13th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! The delayed release of Gentoo Linux was the highlight of the otherwise very quiet Easter weekend. Elsewhere, future releases of Slackware Linux will no longer ship with the GNOME desktop and Mandrakesoft is once again implementing major changes to its release mechanism. Also in this issue - a couple of fun links for your entertainment, and no fewer than eight new Linux distributions on the waiting list. Enjoy!
- News: Gentoo releases 2005.0, Slackware drops GNOME, Mandrakelinux changes pace
- Diversions: Linux-tan and Novell's view of Windows NT
- Released last week
- Upcoming Releases: OpenBSD 3.7, DragonFly BSD 1.5 and 2.0
- New distribution additions: Admelix, h3knix
- New on the waiting list: Adrenalinux, DeepStyle Linux, Hax Linux, Houdinix, IchthuX, MyKnoppix, myLinux, Stanix
Gentoo releases 2005.0, Slackware drops GNOME, Mandrakelinux changes pace
The delayed Gentoo Linux 2005.0 was finally released early this morning. As previously announced, Gentoo Linux now defaults to kernel 2.6 and older kernels are gradually being retired. Apart from the usual security patches and package upgrades (to kernel 2.6.11, GCC 3.3.5, X.Org 6.8.2, KDE 3.3.2 and GNOME 2.8.1), there seem to be no ground-breaking new features in Gentoo 2005.0. Despite that, and despite the effort required to get it up and running, it is hard to deny that Gentoo Linux is one of the most educational and enjoyable distributions out there! Here are a few links to authoritative pages with detailed information about the new release: release announcement, release information page, and release notes (x86). The ISO images can be obtained from one of the Gentoo mirrors, via BitTorrent, or from the project's online store. Happy emerging!
Gentoo 2005.0 - a new version of the most popular source-based distribution was released over the Easter weekend.
(full image size: 242kB)
* * * * *
As we reported on the main page on Sunday, Patrick Volkerding has finally made good on his promise to remove GNOME from Slackware Linux: "gnome/*: Removed from -current, and turned over to community support and distribution. I'm not going to rehash all the reasons behind this, but it's been under consideration for more than four years. There are already good projects in place to provide Slackware GNOME for those who want it, and these are more complete than what Slackware has shipped in the past." The Current ChangeLog gives further details on the subject, as well as links to community projects that provide GNOME builds for Slackware - GNOME.SlackBuild, GWARE, and Dropline GNOME.
* * * * *
Still on the subject of Slackware, if you are interested in keeping pace with the distribution's development branch (also known as "current"), as opposed to running a stable release, you have an increasing number of options. This is from Lockergnome's Linux Fanatics: "Several weeks ago, I mentioned using the GUI-driven KSlackCheck to keep Slackware packages current. It’s a solid, dependable package, but obviously requires the user to go in and handle the downloads manually. Let’s say you want to script a solution instead. Enter Slackcurrent, a lightweight (only 15K!) Python script that performs the same task. In fact, Slackcurrent is the engine behind KSlackCheck!" The story continues here.
* * * * *
Following its merger with Conectiva, Mandrakesoft has announced a large number of changes affecting the development process of Mandrakelinux. Surprisingly, there will be no Mandrakelinux 10.2, despite the fact that this version has been in development for several months. Instead, we will see an unofficial "Limited Edition 2005", followed by an official and supported release in Q3 this year. The product's name has not yet been decided on, but indications are that it won't be "Mandrakelinux"; those of you who have installed the latest release candidates of Mandrakelinux 10.2 might have noticed that the product's name is conspicuously absent from the distribution's wallpaper and menus. Mandiva? Mandriva? Mandraktiva? Whatever it will be, it looks like one of the most exciting and successful "brands" in the history of the Linux movement will soon be a thing of the past.... Update: it seems that Mandrakesoft has registered the mandriva.com domain name.
* * * * *
Speaking about mergers, there is a prospect that UserLinux could be incorporated into the Ubuntu project. UserLinux is an initiative launched over a year ago by Bruce Perens with the goal to advance the adoption of Debian GNU/Linux in the enterprise and to offer commercial support for the Debian distribution. It promises to provide several editions of the product, each designed for a particular task, and with only a subset of Debian packages. However, the project's releases are closely tied to those of the Debian proper, which as we know, are not particularly frequent. As such, work on UserLinux has stagnated in recent months.
Now, here comes an invitation by Ubuntu's Jeff Waugh, as published on the UserLinux mailing list: "The Ubuntu model is much closer to UserLinux than has been reported in the past. For those of us in the trenches, Ubuntu has committed to a reliable, predictable time-based release schedule... So, this is my invitation to UserLinux: To collaborate with Ubuntu to build the finest platform and community for FOSS service providers, based on our common foundation: Debian." This certainly sounds like a good idea - even if UserLinux eventually releases a stable product, it might be a case of "too little, too late". The Ubuntu project has already succeeded in stealing the spotlight, momentum, and most importantly, a rapidly increasing number of Linux users' hard disk space. If the two projects can find a common language and work together, it can only mean a good thing for the rest of us, the end users.
* * * * *
Diversions: Linux-tan and Novell's view of Windows NT
Finally, two light-hearted resources for your entertainment. The first one is a link to Novell's public service announcement - a well-made and very funny video that picks on Windows NT administrators (you will need the Macromedia Flash plugin to view the movie). The second link is a sketch by Juzo-kun. Inspired by the concept of OS-tan, Juzo-kun has drawn a picture of several Manga-style girls representing all major Linux distributions on the market. Without looking at the text under the picture, can you correctly identify which girl represents which Linux distribution?
|Released Last Week
Nature's Linux 1.3
Nature's Linux 1.3 has been released. Made by IP Telecom Corporation in Japan, Nature's Linux is a minimal Linux distribution with focus on networking and security. The main new feature of this release is the inclusion of Virtual File System (VFS) jail functionality, which replaces VFS chroot in earlier releases, as well as VFS backup and recovery features. Many packages, including GCC, glibc, Perl and OpenSSH have been upgraded to their latest versions. Several minor changes and bug fixes in the installer were implemented. For more information please refer to the press release and release notes (both links in Japanese).
Foresight Desktop Linux 0.6
A new version of Foresight Desktop Linux has been released. What's new? "Conary updated to 0.50.5; included a wallpaper with a proposed logo; slick new Xscreensaver lock dialog; Bluefish and Firestarter added; some new versions; a few tweaks and bug fixes... What is cool? GNOME - Foresight comes with GNOME 2.10; Conary - Foresight is built on the paradigm shifting Conary package management system; Mono - Prepackaged Mono 1.1.4 and many Mono applications; Beagle, F-spot...." See the release announcement for more details.
aLinux is a new name of what was until recently known as Peanut Linux. The originally small distribution has grown large and "Peanut isn't a Peanut no-more, it's evolved into something, well, larger, a watermelon... Of course it will be the same, just a different name." Version 12.2 is the first release under the new name: "Changes in aLinux 12.2 are mainly xitami rebuilt, mimes added to that, and mplayer-plug, 'apt' updated to name change. RPM updated to now show a vendor, this can be over ridden in /usr/lib/rpm/macros; as well as email address. Updated RPMs popt from 1.8.1 - 1.9.1 I believe. Some other stuff updated, can't remember it all... oh yeah, kdenetwork, updated to support wireless networking... umm... think brain think... lol... Kay and I may have added some other wallpapers...." Read the announcements in this forum thread.
B2D PureKDE 20050323
B2D is a Knoppix-based live CD (it can optionally be installed on hard disk) with support for traditional Chinese. The project's PureKDE edition has been updated to version 20050323. The new release fixes several bugs reported in the earlier version, the KDE menu has been simplified, and bold text on Chinese web sites now displays correctly. A number of applications have been updated to their latest versions, including Freemind and Nvu (traditional Chinese editions), Azureus and Skype. Several small improvements have been made to settings of the persistent home directory, while ALSA has replaced OSS as the default sound module. Here is the complete release announcement (in Chinese).
B2D 20050323 - a KNOPPIX-based live CD with support for the traditional Chinese character set and input.
(full image size: 255kB)
Distribution Release: Minislack 0.4
Minislack 0.4 has been released: "The Minislack Linux Team is pleased to announce the availability of Minislack 0.4. This new stable release has been tested during 2 weeks of daily work. It includes updates, enhancements, and also new applications. Main updates are kernel 184.108.40.206, GCC 3.3.5, X.Org 6.8.2, GTK+ 2.6.3, Firefox 1.0.1, Gaim 1.2.0. Gnomebaker 0.3 replaces X-CD-Roast for CD/DVD burning, Beep 0.9.7 replaces XMMS and Ethereal 0.10.9 was added. Minislack 0.4 now includes an easy to setup firewall, and the install script has been simplified. Our testers report performance enhancement, reliability, and great hardware support." Here is the full release announcement.
Minislack 0.4 - a Slackware-based distribution with XFce and some eye candy
(full image size: 862kB)
Gentoo Linux 2005.0
Gentoo Linux 2005.0 has been released: "Gentoo Linux is proud to bring you the long awaited Gentoo Linux 2005.0 release! This release has had a few setbacks including a complete security rebuild, but with the help of the many teams within the Gentoo developer community, we believe that this release will be one of the best that we have ever had. This release includes new installation media from Alpha, AMD64, PPC, PPC64, SPARC, and x86 and includes stages for IA64 and SPARC32. Please check out our mirrors to find the closest one to you. As with 2004.3, you will be able to download optimized PackageCD images for x86 and PPC via our BitTorrent server, and also our 'unofficial' secondary BitTorrent server, provided by Friends of Gentoo e.V. in Germany." The release announcement.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The OpenBSD project has unveiled a new page with features and information about the upcoming OpenBSD 3.7. The new version will have support for two new architectures - Sharp Zaurus SL-C3000 and SGI's O2 machines. OpenBSD 3.7 is expected to be released at around 19 May 2005 and pre-orders are now available through the project's ordering system (US$45). More details are available on this page.
DragonFly BSD 1.5 and 2.0
Matthew Dillon has published information about the upcoming releases of DragonFly BSD 1.5 and 2.0: "After the stable tag is slipped we will begin release engineering for a release prior to USENIX (which I will be at, BTW). I am going to call this release 1.5 owing to the fact that the big ticket journaling item isn't done. The release date will be in early April. Then, tentatively, since so much progress is being made, the 2.0 release will likely occur in September." Read more in this mailing list post.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
New distributions addition
- Admelix. Admelix is a live CD distribution based on Ubuntu Linux with tools for business administration. Its main objective is to guide managers of small and medium-size businesses towards GNU/Linux and open source software. In addition to the live CD, the project's web also provides information about open and free tools for business administration.
- h3knix. h3knix is a small desktop distribution. It provides a custom package management system called "capsules". Capsules can install source or binary packages, and/or configure certain aspects of the system. h3knix offers great performance and good system stability.
New on the waiting list
- Adrenalinux. Adrenalinux is an Argentinian mini live CD based on Slackware Linux and SLAX.
- DeepStyle Linux. DeepStyle Linux is a Ukrainian distribution based on Slackware Linux.
- Hax Linux. Hax Linux is a desktop Linux distribution based on SUSE LINUX.
- Houdinix. Houdinix is a GNU/Linux live CD made for young computer science students; it's a simple and user-friendly distribution, containing all tools needed by a beginner. It contains more than 2GB of data (on a single 700MB CD), and can be installed very easily on a local hard drive with 'houdinstall'.
- IchthuX. IchthuX is an open-source project based on Knoppix. The goal of this project is to create a Christian Knoppix live CD, a full operating system containing enough programs to perform any basic task on a PC, and focusing on Christianity. IchthuX mostly uses the Sword project and contains packages such as BibleTime, GnomeSword, and Bible-KJV.
- MyKnoppix. MyKnoppix is a Knoppix-derived Linux CD that makes Knoppix practical to use as your primary OS and/or travelling companion. Unlike other Knoppix distributions, MyKnoppix automatically synchronises any modified files to your hard-disk and/or Linux-compatible USB flash-drive. MyKnoppix is also great for travelling light, as you can carry your own OS and files without carrying a laptop. To use your system, you need only find a computer, plug your flash-drive into a USB port, insert your MyKnoppix CD, and reboot.
- myLinux. myLinux is a new Ukrainian distribution based on Fedora Core.
- Stanix. Stanix is a new Taiwanese live CD based on AUSTRUMI.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 395
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 9
- Number of discontinued distributions: 49
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 101
That's all for today. See you all next week!
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