| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 97, 25 April 2005
Welcome to this year's 17th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! This week we'll start by introducing you to what is quite possibly the first user-friendly, desktop-oriented BSD operating system ever created - with a graphical installer and a (planned) graphical package management utility. We'll also take a brief look at the newly released Momonga Linux 2 and tell you how to obtain the full installation CD of Linspire 5.0 for free. Finally, there is good news for those of you who enjoyed Robert Storey's DistroWatch Weekly over the last two weeks - see the Web Site News section below. Happy reading!
PC-BSD - a user-friendly desktop-oriented BSD system
Have you ever wondered why there is no easy-to-install desktop BSD operating system with automatic hardware detection and setup? If so, you'll be pleased to learn that things are about to change in this respect - courtesy of PC-BSD. Designed as an "easy-to-install-and-use operating system", this FreeBSD-based system comes with a graphical installer and automatic hardware detection - features that have never been seen in the BSD world!
We installed the current beta release of PC-BSD, version 0.5a, and were immediately impressed. The installation CD is essentially a live CD that boots into a Fluxbox desktop and uses a simple, Anaconda-like graphical installer. It allows you to select your preferred partition for installing PC-BSD, configure the root password and users, set up the boot loader, and install the system. Upon reboot, you will be presented with the KDM login manager to take you to KDE 3.4.0. The hardware auto-detection module correctly detected our graphics, sound and network cards and all were immediately available and usable. Although the number of included applications is rather minimalistic (until you reach for the cvsup tool, that is), PC-BSD has to be by far the easiest and most automated BSD-based operating system available today!
If you've ever wanted to install a BSD system, but were scarred off by the seemingly "geeky" nature of all BSD projects, give PC-BSD a try. This one is considerably different!
PC-BSD - undoubtedly the most user-friendly BSD system ever created
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Not long ago we reported about an initiative at BSDCertification.org to create a BSD certification program that is recognised as the industry standard for administering BSD systems. One of the initiators of the program is Dru Lavigne, the author of the excellent FreeBSD Basics column and BSD Hacks book. She was recently interviewed by ZDNet: "Until now, there hasn't been an accredited method for proving competency in BSD systems administration. This is in contrast to, say, a developer who has the ability to gain recognition and prove skill by writing code and possibly gaining a commit bit for third-party software or even one of the BSD operating system code bases. However, many administrators find that employers are sometimes hesitant to choose BSD solutions as they’re concerned that they won’t be able to find and hire competent BSD administrators. BSD Certification is one way to start to address those concerns."
* * * * *
And still on the subject of BSDs, the developers of OpenBSD have released the theme song and lyrics that will accompany the upcoming OpenBSD 3.7. As explained by Theo de Raadt, the founder and lead developer of OpenBSD, "the artwork and lyrics for each of our releases relate to something big we have been dealing with over the last 6 months of the release -- our fight to get programming documentation and redistributable firmwares." The song, called "The Wizard of OS", together with the lyrics are available on this page. OpenBSD 3.7 is expected to start shipping around 19 May 2005.
* * * * *
A new version of Momonga Linux was released over the weekend. For those who have never heard of Momonga, this distribution is being developed by the former developers of Kondara MNU/Linux, a Japanese distribution which, at one stage, competed on the US market. The company behind Kondara later discontinued the project, so the developers moved on to create Momonga Linux.
Although Momonga is loosely modelled on Fedora Core (it uses the Anaconda installer and its development tree strongly resembles that of its better-known counterpart), its RPM packages are built independently of Fedora and are optimised for the i686 architecture. Don't be deceived by the fact that the distribution is developed by a community of developers mostly located in Japan - Momonga Linux supports a large number of languages and its web site is published in both Japanese and English. The distribution also includes a comprehensive range of pre-configured and easy-to-use input methods for several languages, including most Asian ones. As such, it is well-positioned to generate strong following among users who need to type documents in Asian languages.
Momonga Linux - one of the best distributions for users who need support for Asian languages
(full image size: 69kB)
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According to this story at Flexbeta, it is now possible to obtain the latest release of Linspire for free - by visiting the company's online store and entering a coupon code: "I have tried this and it works fine. First, select 'Buy Linspire' from the product page here. Click on 'Buy Now (Digital Download Only)' for Linspire Five-0, and select 'Apply Coupon'. The coupon code: linspire4RA, will give you a free copy of Linspire 5.0. Enjoy." Linspire seems to be doing a special promotion - it gives away the base operating system for free and hopes to entice users into joining the (non-free) Click-N-Run application warehouse. Not a bad strategy; if you are new to Linux and interested in trying it out, Linspire 5.0 is an excellent choice. Correction: Apparently, this coupon expired last Sunday and is no longer available. Nevertheless, Linspire has a history of announcing similar promotions so we'll watch out for the next one.
|Released Last Week
Libranet GNU/Linux 3.0
The long awaited new version of Libranet GNU/Linux has been released: "It's here! At last the long awaited Libranet 3.0 is released. Libranet 3.0 represents a considerable investment on the part of the Libranet developers. We hope you will be able to show your support for Libranet and purchase this most excellent distribution." The announcement was made on the distribution's newsletter and can also be read on its user forums. Libranet 3.0 is available for immediate purchase and download from this page (US$89.95 for full edition or US$64.95 for upgrade/student edition).
Libranet 3.0 with IceWM and Adminmenu - it looks like YaST has some serious competition
(full image size: 165kB)
A new release of PaiPix, a scientific extended remaster of KNOPPIX, is now available. From the release announcement: "It includes several improvements and bug fixes and as well as the French and Italian editions. The new packages incorporated include support for the afs distributed file system; drivers for the modems ADSL USB; drivers nvidia; some new games; integration of the Z39.50 service for libraries; the video editor cinelerra; the animation editor k3d; the vectorial editor sodipodi; the field visualization system vis5d; the geographical information system Grass; planner for project planning. This release is the reference for the future version 3.8."
BLAG Linux And GNU 30000
BLAG Linux And GNU version 30000 has been released: "BLAG Linux and GNU is a 100% Free Software distribution. BLAG is a single-cd distro with everything desktop users "expect" from a desktop, plus a collection of nice server apps. BLAG30000 is based on Fedora Core 3 plus updates, adds apps from Dag, Freshrpms, NewRPMS, and includes custom packages." This is the release announcement.
Scientific Linux 4.0
Scientific Linux 4.0 for i386 is now available: "It should be possible to upgrade from Scientific Linux 3.0.x via the anaconda installer. Yum is known to NOT work. See SL.documentation for the vendor release notes... Rsync access available upon request." Read the announcement here.
Tao Linux 4
Tao Linux is a distribution rebuilt from source RPM packages for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), and Tao 4 has been announced to have gone 'gold': "Changes from the beta: Fixed mod_perl, httpd wouldn't start; Fixed glade, wouldn't start; Corrected comps.xml to always install tao-yumconf; GDM theme artwork from Ben Cobb; Included lots of good free html documentation, included in a 'graphical internet' install." Here is the release announcement.
Minislack 1.0 has been released: "The Minislack project's team is happy to announce the availability of the 1.0 version. 1.0 includes lots of updates: kernel 184.108.40.206, XFce 220.127.116.11, GNOME 2.10, Thunderbird 1.0.2, Firefox 1.0.3, AbiWord 2.2.7, Gnumeric 1.4.2, Gxine 0.4.1, Grip 3.2.0, Leafpad 0.7.9, Libglade 2.5.1, and more... This release also includes security enhancements (firewall, inetd tuning), and good cpufreqd support for laptops. Minislack provides all needed GNOME libraries to run most GTK+2 Gnome applications. KDE users will find an optimized KDE 3.4 distribution in the packages section of the Minislack website." Read the release announcement for more details.
K12LTSP Linux 4.2.1
The K12 Linux Terminal Server Project (K12LTSP) has updated their distribution to version 4.2.1: "At long last, the final release of K12LTSP v4.2.1 is available for download." What's new? "Preliminary PPC support - most New World Macs boot as thin clients; LTSP 4.1.1 for Intel-based clients; improved USB key chain support; SchoolBell 1.0 added (SchoolBell is a free, open source web application to allow groups and organizations to coordinate the sharing of calendars); Fedora Extras repository enabled by default, makes it easy to add many new software packages such as Inkscape (try 'yum install inkscape')." See the release announcement for more details.
Momonga Linux 2
The second release of Momonga Linux is out: "We are pleased to release 'Asuna', Momonga Linux 2." Some of the more interesting features include the following: "Architecture: i686. 'Asuna' supports Reiser4 experimentally, in addition to ext2, ext3, ReiserFS, JFS, and XFS; please note that a separate partition for /boot is needed to have Reiser4 for your root filesystem. Integrated package management systems: supports yum and mph. Desktop environments: GNOME 2.8.2, KDE 3.4.0, and XFce 18.104.22.168. CUPS printing system, Apache 2.0.54, security considerations, SELinux, kernel 2.6.10, installation from CD/DVD or FTP/HTTP...." More details can be found in the release announcement.
SLAX 5.0.2 and 5.0.3
Hot on the heels of version 5.0.2, here is another bug fix release of the SLAX live CD - version 5.0.3. From the changelog: "Fixed PS/2 mouse; this is fixed now in all special SLAX releases too; added boot option changes=/dev/? to save changes on device instead of RAM."
SLAX 5.0 is the first Linux live CD that allows users to save their data to a remote online location
(full image size: 1,059kB)
CRUX 2.1 has been released: "I'm happy to announce that CRUX 2.1 is finally here. See the change log for a complete list of changes since the last release. Go to the download section to download the ISO image. Please use a mirror." See the release announcement and changelog for a complete list of changes.
Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
The developers of FreeSBIE, a FreeBSD-based live CD have announced that work has started on a new release, version 1.2. Although no release road map is given, they solicit some input and feature requests from FreeSBIE fans and users: "After a long period of silence, time has come to start and develop a new ISO. So, just a few questions: What do you want us to add in FreeSBIE 1.2? What do you want us to remove from FreeSBIE 1.2? What do you want us to improve in FreeSBIE 1.2? Suggest it now, or use GNU/Linux forever :)" Follow this mailing list thread to read some of the readers' suggestions.
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Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
On DistroWatch Weekly and Latest News
Those of you who follow these pages regularly noticed that the last two issues of DistroWatch Weekly had been compiled by Robert Storey. As many of you will agree, Robert has succeeded in raising the standard of the DistroWatch Weekly newsletter to a new level, which was clearly reflected in many of your comments last week. Although naturally jealous of Robert's knowledge and writing abilities, I thought that it would be in the best interest of this publication and our readers if Robert continued writing (or at least contributing to) DistroWatch Weekly regularly.
I spoke to Robert this morning and the good news is that he agreed! Somewhat surprised, he didn't have enough time to write today's issue, but you can look forward to more great analyses, mini-reviews, and tips and tricks starting next week. If you have any requests to cover a particular issue or wish to express your opinion privately, feel free to send your email to robert (at) distrowatch.com.
And while on the subject of maintaining DistroWatch during my absence, I would like to express my gratitude to Dr Zhu from Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing who was maintaining the news section for the past two weeks. Although suffering from the caprice of the Great Firewall of China, which overzealously (and often incorrectly) identifies any forbidden web sites, you have to agree that Dr Zhu has done a great job keeping you informed about the latest BSD and Linux distribution releases. Well done!
New distributions addition
- PC-BSD. PC-BSD has as its goals to be an easy-to-install-and-use desktop operating system, based on FreeBSD. To accomplish this, it currently has a graphical installation, which will enable even UNIX novices to easily install and get it running. It will also come with KDE pre-built, so that the desktop can be used immediately. Currently in development is a graphical software installation program, which will make installing pre-built software as easy as other popular operating systems.
New on the waiting list
- HostGIS Linux. HostGIS Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution specifically made for handling GIS information. HostGIS Linux saves hours or days of installing MapServer and its components, and will have you serving GIS maps in minutes. Being a Linux, HostGIS Linux is of course completely open source and may be downloaded, modified, and redistributed free of charge.
- ISlack. ISlack is a Linux distribution based on Slackware Linux. The goal of ISlacks is to build a secure system with no servers and closed ports and services. Several programs for penetration testing are included.
- KnoMAX. KnoMAX is a KNOPPIX-based live CD designed for users who want to approach the Linux operating system without installing it on their hard disks. The main Linux features are left untouched while KnoMAX differs from the other distribution in that it uses the Italian language and Italian keyboard by default. KnoMAX can be used as a Linux operating system, for data retrieval from other machines, or for a safe Internet access.
- Network Security Toolkit. Network Security Toolkit (NST) is a bootable live CD based on Fedora Core. The toolkit was designed to provide easy access to best-of-breed open source network security applications and should run on most x86 platforms. The main intent of developing this toolkit was to provide the network security administrator with a comprehensive set of open source network security tools. What we find rather fascinating with NST is that we can transform most x86 systems (Pentium II and above) into a system designed for network traffic analysis, intrusion detection, network packet generation, wireless network monitoring, a virtual system service server, or a sophisticated network/host scanner.
- pfSense. pfSense is a m0n0wall-derived operating system platform with radically different goals such as using Packet Filter, FreeBSD's (or DragonFly BSD when ALTQ and CARP is finished) ALTQ for excellent packet queuing, and an integrated package management system for extending the environment with new features. As with the software itself, this website is still a work in progress, but we're actively working on improving and completing it.
- PosityLinux. PosityLinux is a new GNOME-centric, Spanish live CD based on Debian GNU/Linux.
- Slamd64. As the name suggests, Slamd64 is an unofficial port of Slackware Linux to the AMD64 processors. The first release candidate of Slamd64 10.1 is now available for download and testing.
- Ufficio Zero. Ufficio Zero is a new, beginner-friendly Linux live CD based on Arch Linux. It is completely translated and customised for Italian users with the pre-installed software targeting office environments.
DistroWatch database summary
- Number of Linux distributions in the database: 399
- Number of BSD distributions in the database: 11
- Number of discontinued distributions: 49
- Number of distributions on the waiting list: 110
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)
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|• Issue 698 (2017-02-06): Solus 2017.01.01, comparing containers with portable applicatins, Tails dropping 32-bit support, Debian Stretch enters freeze|
|• Issue 697 (2017-01-30): Subgraph OS 2016.12.30, running Ubuntu on an Android phone, Arch Linux phasing out 32-bit support, Linux Mint testing updated LMDE media|
|• Issue 696 (2017-01-23): GoboLinux 016, remotely running desktop applications, Solus adopting Flatpak, KDE neon using Calamares, TrueOS tests OpenRC|
|• Issue 695 (2017-01-16): Zorin OS 12, Peppermint team fixes installer bug, Debian refreshes Jessie media, Ubuntu improves low graphics mode, Exciting things coming in 2017|
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|• Issue 693 (2017-01-02): Comparing small distros, fig language, video driver comparsion, Debian+PIXEL, Wayland on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 692 (2016-12-19): Bodhi Linux 4.0.0, Cappsule containers, Calculate's new Utilities package, Solus and Ubuntu MATE build new application menu|
|• Issue 691 (2016-12-12): SalentOS 1.0, openSUSE improves YaST, Fedora considers slower release cycle, KDE neon gets LTS branch|
|• Issue 690 (2016-12-05): Fedora 25, Ubuntu adopts rolling HWE kernel, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Haiku working toward EFI support|
|• Issue 689 (2016-11-28): openSUSE 42.2, Fedora's upgrade path, plans for Korora 25, transitioning from PC-BSD to TrueOS, Webconverger's reproducible builds|
|• Issue 688 (2016-11-21): Endless OS 3.0.5, KDE neon fixes security hole, FreeBSD's Quarterly Status Report, Rolling release trial #2 concludes|
|• Issue 687 (2016-11-14): NAS4Free 10.3.0.3, Fedora gains MP3 playback, budgie-remix becomes Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu flavours compared, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 686 (2016-11-07): FreeBSD 11.0, rolling release trial #2, Debian announces supported architectures, Simplicity switching to antiX base, farewell to Mythbuntu|
|• Issue 685 (2016-10-31): elementary OS 0.4, SUSE gains ARM support, Mint improves language support, Dirty COW explained, Rolling release trial #2|
|• Issue 684 (2016-10-24): Ubuntu 16.10, Linux popularity in different markets, Fedora runs on Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu features live kernel patching|
|• Issue 683 (2016-10-17): Refracta 8.0, making packages for distributions, Alpine switches to LibreSSL, 386BSD website publishes classic code|
|• Issue 682 (2016-10-10): KDE neon 20160915, Android-x86 6.0, Fedora warns of update bug, HandyLinux drops English translation, LXQt benchmarks|
|• Issue 681 (2016-10-03): OpenBSD 6.0, DragonFly BSD to support LibreSSL in ports, systemd denial of service bug, upgraded Mintbox Mini|
|• Issue 680 (2016-09-26): Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0, blocking applications at the firewall, Lenovo controversy, Ubuntu running on the Nextcloud Box|
|• Issue 679 (2016-09-19): OpenMandriva 3.0, 32-bit vs 64-bit performance, openSUSE updates, KaOS unveils first run wizard|
|• Issue 678 (2016-09-12): Apricity 07.2016, Mageia adopts DNF, KDE neon to use Wayland, FreeBSD updates Linux compatibility, creating cron jobs|
|• Issue 677 (2016-09-05): Peppermint OS 7, Manjaro updates leadership, TrueOS becomes rolling release, organizing files, creating torrents|
|• Issue 676 (2016-08-29): Korora 24, Fedora 25 to use Wayland by default, Linux turns 25, PC-BSD becomes TrueOS, finding software licensing information|
|• Issue 675 (2016-08-22): Gentoo LiveDVD "Choice Edition", moreutils, Ubuntu improves terminal convergence, MATE packaged for Openindiana, FreeBSD improves video support|
|• Issue 674 (2016-08-15): Zenwalk Linux 8.0, Ubuntu phone follow-up, Lubuntu transitioning to LXQt, Steam running on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 673 (2016-08-03): noop linux and EasyNAS, Debian's GnuPG switch, Fedora "Flock", using "nice"|
|• Issue 672 (2016-08-01): Ubuntu Phone 15.04, Solus embraces rolling release model, interview with Jane Silber, FreeBSD Quarterly Report|
|• Issue 671 (2016-07-25): Slackware 14.2, Point Linux 3.2, OpenBSD disables usermount, KaOS releases significant changes, Fedora 22 reaches end of life.|
|• Issue 670 (2016-07-18): Linux Lite 3.0, Bodhi team plans 4.0.0, pfSense changes licensing, running software across distributions, Linux Mint upgrade path|
|• Issue 669 (2016-07-11): Linux Mint 18, proving a system is secure, LibreSSL in FreeBSD, Ubuntu plans phasing out 32-bit, pfSense status report|
|• Issue 668 (2016-07-04): Fedora 24, Linux Mint plans for 18.1, FreeBSD and DragonFly BSD improve their file systems, comparing Flatpak, Snap and AppImage|
|• Issue 667 (2016-06-27): GeckoLinux 421, Fedora supports Flatpak, Solus unveils new features, running GNU/Linux on tablets|
|• Issue 666 (2016-06-20): Comparing more live update methods, Ubuntu's snap packages, Antergos drops 32-bit media, GeckoLinux unveils Rolling edition, learning Linux resources|
|• Issue 665 (2016-06-13): BunsenLabs Linux Hydrogen, Fedora 24 delayed, NetBSD grows in size, Clonezilla questions|
|• Issue 664 (2016-06-06): Sabayon 16.05, Debian updates install media, the cost of free software, Qubes explains secure build process|
|• Issue 663 (2016-05-30): Comparing live update methods, Ubuntu MATE's progress, distros debate systemd change, DistroWatch turns 15|
|• Issue 662 (2016-05-23): Clonezilla Live, new Fedora community repository, DragonFlyBSD runs Wayland, a live edition of Slackware and kernel components|
|• Issue 661 (2016-05-16): FreeBSD 10.3, OpenMandriva adopts Clang, Debian adds ZFS packages, PCLinuxOS drops 32-bit and comparing CentOS with RHEL|
|• Issue 660 (2016-05-09): Ubuntu MATE 16.04, Mint's xapps, FreeBSD Quarterly Report, Debian updates 32-bit support, addressing GPL violations|
|• Issue 659 (2016-05-02): Ubuntu 16.04, compiling custom kernels, Cinnamon 3.0, Sabayon launches ARM build, Devuan ships Beta release|
|• Issue 658 (2016-04-25): Kali Linux 2016.1, elementary OS 0.3.2, Debian elects Project Leader, Fedora 24 feature preview, Nard reaches 1.0|
|• Issue 657 (2016-04-18): Redox, Linux Mint improves update manager, planned Fedora 24 features, Ubuntu 16.04 getting Snappy packages|
|• Issue 656 (2016-04-11): Qubes OS 3.1, Whonix offers bug bounties, Puppy's family tree, setting up disk partitions and running bash on Windows|
|• Issue 655 (2016-04-04): Parsix 8.5, Sabayon's Community repository, Red Hat offers free subscriptions, Ubuntu tablets, command line tips|
|• Issue 654 (2016-03-28): PCLinuxOS 2016.03, Using signatures to create a web of trust, Arch Linux rolls out Pacman update, GuixSD packages GNOME|
|• Issue 653 (2016-03-21): Antergos 2016.02.21, Debian prepares for election, a Unix-like OS written in Rust, watching Netflix on FreeBSD|
|• Issue 652 (2016-03-14): ReactOS 0.4.0, Debian swaps Iceweasel for Firefox, Fedora moving forward with Wayland, Verifying ISO files|
|• Issue 651 (2016-03-07): Korora 23, Linux Mint improves security, Ubuntu MATE on Raspberry Pi 3 computers, trying different file systems|
|• Issue 650 (2016-02-29): Haiku in 2016, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, 30 years of MINIX, Fedora plans Atomic Workstation|
|• Issue 649 (2016-02-22): Zorin OS 11, openSUSE launches new editions, Linux Mint website compromised, sandboxing applications using Firejail|
|• Issue 648 (2016-02-15): XStream Desktop 153, Raspbian unveils OpenGL feature, free hardware, Ikey Doherty talks desktop design|
|• Full list of all issues|