| DistroWatch Weekly
|DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 104, 13 June 2005
Welcome to this year's 24th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Today's release of Fedora Core 4 marks the end of the current "release season", with only some of the smaller project likely to make any new releases between now and October. What effect will the controversial Apple's switch to Intel have on Linux? Hardly any, we believe. The featured distribution of the week section had to go to Debian GNU/Linux, following its much awaited new stable release early last week. And if you are still struggling to rid your inbox of all the unwanted drug and mortgage offers, Robert Storey provides further tips in the second part of his article on SpamAssassin. Happy reading!
The end of the "release season"
These are sad times at DistroWatch.com. With the official release of Fedora Core 4 later today, the current "release season" will be over as all major distributions will have presented us with their latest and greatest. From the release of Mandriva 2005LE in the middle of April up until today, we have had the pleasure to witness a constant stream of great new distribution releases from all major Linux vendors and communities, including Novell/SUSE, Gentoo, Ubuntu, and even Debian. Now it's time for many of these projects to take a well-deserved break. Let's face it - the majority of distribution developers reside in the northern hemisphere where the coming months are often associated with holidays and time spending on beaches, rather than serious coding. If you are one of them, enjoy your summer break, because when you come back, there will undoubtedly be an increase of new and ever-demanding Linux users clamouring to download and install your very latest work!
Of course, this does not mean that no new distributions will be released during the upcoming few months. In fact, we are still waiting for SUSE 9.3 to be uploaded to public FTP/HTTP servers, while Mandriva is scheduled to start a new development cycle leading towards Mandriva Linux 2006 as early as this week. KNOPPIX fans should not have to wait too long before the release of KNOPPIX 4.0, a newly expanded DVD that will be packed with the best open source software available today. Also, many smaller projects are only now starting to prepare for their own releases - that's because most of them are based on either Debian GNU/Linux or Fedora Core, the latest stable versions of which are finally released. However, there won't be any truly major distribution releases until around early October.
While speaking of Fedora Core 4, the ISO images are now ready and uploaded to many Fedora mirrors. Most of them are still locked, pending the official announcement, but some have jumped the gun and opened up for download. A BitTorrent tracker has also been set up. These are more than likely final releases of Fedora Core 4, but as always, until the product is officially announced by Red Hat, you are downloading and installing at your own risk. And here is something to keep you busy during the long download: the Fedora Core 4 release notes and installation guide.
Fedora Core 4 will be officially released on Monday
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To Mac OS or not to Mac OS
Ever since last Monday, when Apple announced its controversial processor switch from PowerPC to Intel, many technology sites have been witnessing long discussions about the reasons and merits of the unexpected move. Various predictions, ranging from likely appearances of hacked Mac OS editions for the PC, to even more exaggerated prophecies of Linux's death, have also been floating around. But what does this move mean for the rest of us? Will your next computer be an Apple box powered by an Intel processor and a shiny new Mac OS?
If you are a Windows user who finds Linux too hard and open source software not quite as featurefull as their Windows counterparts, then switching to Mac OS makes a lot of sense. An excellent, user-friendly and highly polished operating system that does not suffer from crashes, viruses and spyware is surely a dream come true. If you can dual-boot your Apple computer into either Mac OS or Windows, so much for the better.
Now what about the Linux users among us? Are we all going to buy Apple computers and abandon Linux, as some so-called experts so boldly predicted? Not likely. No matter how polished and user friendly Mac OS is, it still remains a closely-guarded proprietary piece of software, restricted by its license, its source code unavailable for inspection. It also costs money. Will we give up our newly found freedom from restrictive licenses, ridiculous activation codes, buggy shareware, and other ills plaguing the world of proprietary software just because Mac OS now runs on an Intel processor?
Besides the well-deserved reputation for technological advancements and a beautiful operating system, there is a well-known dark side to Apple computing, often criticised by even the most die-hard fans of the Cupertino-based company. It has to do with a deliberate effort on the part of Apple to drain users of as much cash as possible, every step on the way. Historically, Apple has achieved this by building their computers from non-standard and often non-replaceable parts. Even today, they purposely underpower their computers (did you know that the iMac G5 comes with only 256MB or RAM, below the minimum requirement of some of the included software!), or make it difficult to add or replace hardware (to add more memory to your Mac mini, you will need two putty knives to open the box - using screws would, presumably, make it too obvious!). These are just some recent examples, but there are many more, some much worse. Will these pathetic Apple tricks be the thing of the past with its switch to Intel? Again, not likely.
The above wasn't meant to discourage readers from getting an Apple computer; after all, most of you reading this web site will have no trouble finding two putty knives in your homes, and are likely well-aware that the current memory prices are about half of what Apple would want us to believe. But if a company with a comparatively tiny following can afford to come up with such blatant insults to its users' intelligence, can you imagine what it would be like if Apple had a 90% market share? A scary thought that has probably put off a fair amount of potential Apple users.
No, Linux will not die. On the contrary, it will continue to flourish - due to its purity, openness and freedom, qualities that Apple does not -- and probably never will -- understand.
|Featured distribution of the week: Debian GNU/Linux
The long awaited Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 has finally been released. One of the oldest Linux distributions on the market, the Debian project was started in August 1993 by Ian Murdock, a college student. The project's name represents a combination of "deb" (from Debra, Ian Murdock's wife) and "ian" (Murdock's first name) and should be pronounced as "deb ee n". Its first public release -- a development version 0.91 -- was made available in January 1994; this was followed by several other development releases shortly afterwards. In March 1996, even before Debian had the chance to reach a 1.0 status, the badly overworked Ian Murdock left the project to devote more time to his family and to complete his studies. The responsibility to steer Debian towards its first stable release was then assumed by none other than Bruce Perens.
However, because of an embarrassing mistake, Debian GNU/Linux 1.0 was never released: "Unfortunately, the data placed on the InfoMagic Linux Developer's Resource 5-CD Set November 1995 as 'Debian 1.0' is _not_ the Debian 1.0 release, but an early development version which will probably not boot or run correctly, and does not represent the quality of a released Debian system. To prevent confusion between the premature CD version and the actual Debian release, the Debian Project has renamed its next release to 'Debian 1.1'. The premature Debian 1.0 on CD is deprecated and should not be used." Thus Debian's first stable product was version 1.1, code name "buzz", and released on 17 June 1996. Here is the release announcement. It came with the Linux kernel 2.0 and XFree86 3.1.2, as well as "the most sophisticated package system in the industry." Debian 1.2 "rex" followed some six months later.
Debian GNU/Linux is developed by hundreds of volunteers from all over the world. At any time during the development process there are three branches (or four, if we include the highly bleeding-edge experimental branch) in the main directory tree: "stable", "testing" and "unstable", the last one of which is also known as "sid". When a new version of a package is built into a Debian package archive, it is first placed in the unstable branch for early testing. If it passes, the package moves on to the testing branch, which undergoes rigorous testing lasting many months. This branch is only declared stable after a very thorough testing. As a result of this, Debian is possibly the most stable and reliable, albeit not the most up-to-date Linux distribution on the market. While the stable branch is perfect for use on mission critical servers, many users prefer to run the more up-to-date testing or unstable branches on their personal computers.
All Debian releases are given "code names". They represent characters in the movie Toy Story; the current stable release is called "sarge", while the testing branch is named after "etch". The unstable branch is allways called "sid" - named after the main human character in the cartoon movie, an "unstable" boy who had a tendency to break his toys.
The long-awaited Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 "sarge" was finally released last week.
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|Released Last Week
The KANOTIX project has released KANOTIX 2005-03 for i586 and x86_64 architectures. What's new: "Kernel 220.127.116.11 with many patches; better compression due to SquashFS; ACPI and DMA enabled by default; i586 optimisation; Unionfs support; NVIDIA and RADEON scripts work in live mode; AVM Fritz!Card DSL support (PCI and USB); new KDE 3.4.1; new OpenOffice.org 1.9.104; GRUB boot loader for CD start - ideal for rescue in command line mode; Memtest86+ Advanced Memory Diagnostic Tool in the extra menu of the boot loader; ALSA 1.0.8 support...." Find more details in the release announcement.
Debian GNU/Linux 3.1
The long wait is over: "The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian GNU/Linux version 3.1 codenamed 'sarge' after nearly three years of constant development. With the development of the new debian-installer, this release features a new, modular and sophisticated installation routine with integrated hardware detection and unattended installation capabilities. The installation is available in about thirty languages and includes configuration of the X server for many graphic cards. This release includes a number of up-to-date large software packages, such as the K Desktop Environment 3.3 (KDE), the GNOME desktop environment 2.8...." Find out more in the release announcement and release notes.
GoboLinux 012 has been released: "We are pleased to introduce GoboLinux 012, the new major release of GoboLinux, the alternative Linux distribution.This release features the usual series of application upgrades, and marks the transition from devfs and Kudzu to udev and Hotplug, which should bring hardware detection up-to-date. It also features a number of improvements in the management tools, particularly the integration of the graphical management console." Read the release announcement and release notes for more details.
Damn Small Linux 1.2
A new version of Damn Small Linux has been released. From the changelog: "New .dslrc to save local mirror and protocol; new GUI mirror selector for .dslrc, enhanced mydsl boot time option to accept a directory; enhanced backup/restore now defaults to /home/dsl and with xfiletool.lst to specify files and directories to exclude from backup; enhanced ndiswrapper, prism2, iwconfig GUIs for public access points; enhanced mydsl to prevent non-DSL user corruption; enhanced frugal and pendrive scripts to allow updates; updated monkey webserver to 0.9.1 and busybox to 1.0; new boot logo screen and default theme."
Damn Small Linux 1.2 comes with many enhancements, including a new default desktop theme
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Following a trademark dispute with Microsoft, the developers of aLinux (formerly Peanut Linux) have released a new version of their distribution - without the controversial desktop background image: "aLinux 12.4 - a multimedia explosion release. We now have the ultimate media experience at our finger tips; aLinux now plays everything inside your fully tabbed web browser making it a simple and unique concept with many thanks to the KDE team, MPlayer, XMMS and others contributing there efforts to the Linux desktop." Here is the full release announcement
Rocks Cluster Distribution 4.0.0
A new version of Rocks Cluster Distribution has been released: "Rocks 4.0.0 (Whitney) is now released. This release supports the following CPUs: Athlon, Itanium, Nocona (EM64T), Opteron, and Pentium. Everything is CD-based, unless otherwise specified (Jumbo Rolls are DVD). If you are building a compute cluster, grid endpoint, or a visualization cluster please choose from our following selection...." Read the release announcement for detailed product information and download links.
Xandros Business Desktop 3.0
Xandros Corporation has released Xandros Business Desktop 3.0, an "instant alternative for Windows business desktops": "Xandros, the leading developer of easy-to-use Linux alternatives to Windows, today announced that it is shipping version 3 of the Xandros Business Desktop operating system. The new business desktop provides seamless compatibility with the latest Windows servers, including domain authentication support, logon scripts, and group policy profiles. Xandros Business Desktop is available now for purchase in retail stores and from the Xandros web site for a list price of USD $129.95." More details about the product can be found in the press release and on the company's product pages.
Puppy Linux 1.0.3
Puppy Linux has been updated to version 1.0.3: "Puppy version 1.0.3 released. We wanted a calendar and appointment program that is compact, easy to use, powerful and not tied to just one browser suite. We found ical. Puppy now has the full Bash, but Busybox Ash is still retained. Also, the full cp, mkdir and mv replace the Busybox versions. There is a great little file find application called Gtkfind. This complements the existing Gtkcat which is more of a disk/CD cataloguer. Puppy live-CD now has WvDial version 1.42." Read the complete release notes on the project's news page.
CentOS 3.5 for the i386 architecture has been released: "CentOS 3.5 for i386 has now been released and is available on all mirrors and via BitTorrent. A late omission in the ISOs meant respinning and that caused some delay. Please download and test, or set your yum.conf to point to 3.5 rather than $releasever to test updating and add any problems to bugs.centos.org. 3.4 will be removed from the mirrors and 3.5 will become the default in 48 hours if no problems are reported." Here is the full release announcement.
Impi Linux 2005 UP2
A updated version of Impi Linux, a independently developed South African Linux distribution, was announced yesterday: "Release: Impi Linux 2005 UP2. There have been many changes since UP1, the greatest being the addition of many new packages, including midnight commander and almost everything else anyone has asked for. Internet connectivity and netcardconfig tools have been added, improved with many new functionalities and options. The distribution has also become slicker with new African graphic packs and boot up screens. We have improved and repaired all bugs that everyone has submitted to us and have also added additional printer drivers, improved package and software installation and many other items." Read the release announcement for more details.
Minislack 1.1 has been released: "The Minislack team is pleased to announce availability of Minislack 1.1. This version introduces the fast and reliable Reiser4 filesystem, NPTL support, and 'netpkg' - a user friendly package management and update tool. Main updates are kernel 18.104.22.168, XFCE 4.2.2, OpenOffice.org 2.0b (available via netpkg), Firefox 1.0.4, Gaim 1.3.0. A lot of minor updates are also provided, please take a look at the changelog for details. The XFce desktop has been redesigned for a modern and sober look & feel with SVG icons. This release has been examined during 2 weeks by our team of testers, thanks to the growing Minislack community for their help supporting the project." The release announcement.
SimplyMEPIS 3.3.1-1, MEPISLite
The developers of MEPIS Linux have announced several new product releases. SimplyMEPIS 3.3.1-1 is a maintenance release; it adds the Traveller Disc feature and autoconfiguration support for new Intel and nForce4 motherboards. The new MEPISLite is designed specifically for home users with modest hardware and for those who want to use a light-weight edition of MEPIS. Finally, there is the initial release of MEPIS Extra CDs, a set of three ISO images containing about 1,500 of popular applications, including documentation, language support, games, software development, as well as extra packages for KDE, GNOME, and servers.
A set of new CentOS ISO images for the i386 and ia64 architectures has been released: "CentOS 4.1 i386 is now available on the mirrors. CentOS 4.1 is just a re-spun ISO containing all updates through June, 10th 2005, (include all those released in EL4 Update 1). If you already have CentOS 4.0, downloading the new ISOs is not required to update to CentOS 4.1. You can upgrade CentOS 4.0 to 4.1 manually now by replacing $releasever with 4.1 on all the repos and running 'yum upgrade'. If you don't want to manually edit anything now, in about 1 week CentOS-4.1 i386 will automatically be made the default version and you will be upgraded when you run yum any time after that." Here are the full release announcements for the i386 and ia64 architectures.
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Development and unannounced releases
|Upcoming Releases and Announcements
Gentoo Linux 2005.1
Although a new release of Gentoo Linux is not expected until August, the Gentoo team has already started a first pre-release build: "The release engineering team is already working on the first pre-release for the upcoming release. A pre-release consists of everything that a real release would consist of: one set of stages, a minimal installation-CD and a package CD. For x86, I will offer these things compiled for '-mcpu=i386'. The most important thing that needs testing is probably the installation CD." More information about Gentoo 2005.1 can be found on this page.
* * * * *
Summary of expected upcoming releases
|Web Site News
The nomination process for new packages to be included in the distribution tables is now over. We have received nominations for over 100 packages so not everybody will be pleased, but all packages that received at least three independent votes were added to the tables. The new packages are: amarok, curl, cvs, dosbox, enlightenment, inkscape, krusader, ndiswrapper, sqlite, subversion, udev, vlc. There was a flurry of late requests to include firebird, but they arrived after the tables had been updated. Some of the requested packages, such as kopete or kontact were not included, since they are part of larger KDE packages (kopete is part of kdenetwork, while kotact is part of kdepim) and they would be difficult to track in those distributions that do not split KDE packages into smaller parts. The distribution tables now track a total of 187 packages.
Many thanks to everybody who participated in the nomination process.
* * * * *
New distribution additions
- Pentoo LiveCD. Pentoo LiveCD is a Gentoo-based Linux live CD with a selection of applications and tools designed to perform penetration testing.
* * * * *
New on the waiting list
- Endian Firewall. Endian Firewall is a turn-key linux security distribution based on IPCop that turns every system into a full-featured security appliance. The software has been designed with usability in mind and is very easy to install, use and manage. The features include a statefull packet inspection firewall, application-level proxies for various protocols (HTTP, POP3, SMTP) with antivirus support, virus and spam filtering for email traffic (POP and SMTP), content filtering of Web traffic and a hassle-free VPN solution (based on OpenVPN).
- Pingo. Pingo is a Slovenian Linux distribution based on Fedora Core.
- Snøfrix. Snøfrix is a demonstration CD for everyone who wants to try Free Software on Linux, with an emphasis on education, entertainment, and multimedia. Ideally, it should contain all the programs needed for daily computer use, in an appealing and easy-to-use format. A characteristic of Snøfrix is the large selection of games, including Freeciv, Frozen Bubble, and Tux Racer. Snøfrix includes standard office software, with Kontact/KMail for mail and OpenOffice.org for word processing, and standard Internet software, with Firefox for web browsing and Gaim for instant messaging.
- SNAPPIX. SNAPPIX is a KNOPPIX-based Linux live CD featuring a completely open-source Java software development toolkit - SNAP Platform. This live CD provides a simple way to learn more about open-source Java in a safe environment.
- SPIET. SPIET is an Italian Linux live CD based on Slackware Linux and SLAX. It is designed specifically for students in the electronics and telecommunications fields.
- Tugux GNU/Linux. Tugux GNU/Linux is a new Portuguese desktop Linux distribution based on Linux From Scratch.
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Discontinued and revived distributions
- LBA-Linux. A reader from Finland emailed us to say that LBA-Linux (previously known as "SOT Linux" and before as "Best Linux") has been discontinued and the company behind the project is now in liquidation. That's apparently what this page says in Finnish. Best Linux was a relatively well-known distribution in its time; unfortunately, their recent releases suffered from lack of innovation and quality control. The company tried to make money by offering Linux services, but it seems that their plan did not work out as well as they expected. LBA-Linux now joins the ranks of the growing number of discontinued distributions.
- OpenLab GNU/Linux has also been flagged as "discontinued". The project page of the South African Linux distribution has been inaccessible for several months and there are no signs of any ongoing activity.
- Slackintosh. The already discontinued Slackintosh project (originally hosted at http://slackintosh.exploits.org) has been revived by a group of developers at http://workaround.ch/. Their latest stable release is version 10.1 (based on Slackware 10.1). Although this port of Slackware Linux to the PowerPC architecture is not as complete as its x86 counterpart, the project seems to be under active development.
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DistroWatch database summary
|SpamAssassin Redux (by Robert Storey)
Confidence is the feeling you have before you understand the situation.
In last week's DWW, I wrote an article introducing SpamAssassin. Among the various tidbits of knowledge that I confidently dispensed, I implied that SpamAssassin doesn't work with SMTP and that one would need to run a mail server such as Postfix or Exim. However, two alert readers informed me that newer versions of KMail and Evolution now could set up SpamAssassin and even permit its use with SMTP. Since I was only a recent convert to KMail (having been a devout Sylpheed user for several years), I missed this, so my bad. Never one to leave well-enough alone, I've spent the last week playing around some more with SpamAssassin and other anti-spam toys, and I've learned a few things which I'd like to share.
KMail's Anti-Spam Wizard resides under the Tools menu. However, before you run this wizard, you need to install SpamAssassin - the wizard will not install it for you. Also be aware that the wizard can install other anti-spam software - in addition to SpamAssassin the current collection includes Bogofilter, Annoyance-Filter, GMX Spam Filter, and SpamBayes. While you might be tempted to let the wizard install all of them, I'd advise against this. SpamAssassin is already a resource hog, so installing a whole herd will slow your machine to a crawl until the elaborate filtering process has completed.
Indeed, KMail's anti-spam wizard brazenly advises you to reconsider the whole exercise:
KMail Anti-Spam Wizard - Proceed At Your Peril
Which brings us back to last week's project - it might really be a better idea to use Procmail to call SpamAssassin rather than KMail. Both techniques will eat up CPU cycles, but calling SpamAssassin via Procmail will leave KMail in its normal, unmolested state. Otherwise, be prepared for very sluggish performance in KMail until SpamAssassin completes its filtering tasks - just how long that takes depends on how much mail you receive.
If you decide to ignore the above warning and plunge on forward, KMail presents you with some options. If you click "Classify messages manually as spam", the wizard will create toolbar buttons for marking messages as spam or as "ham" (not spam). Manually classifying messages as spam will also move those messages to the folder you specify (but only if you choose the "Move detected spam messages to the selected folder" option). KMail will detect spam messages if you click the "Classify messages using the anti-spam tools" option.
KMail Anti-Spam Options
Now that you've prepared KMail for battle, next time you grab email, a hidden .spamassassin folder will be created in your home directory. It will contain file user_prefs - you can (and probably should) tweak it as was mentioned in last week's article (ditto for the bayes_toks and bayes_seen database files). You will also find the file auto-whitelist (which I neglected to mention last time) - SpamAssassin automatically generates this and there is no need to tamper with it (nor can you, since it's binary).
One of last week's correspondents also mentioned Evolution. The last time I used Evolution was at version 1.0, and quite frankly I hated it. I found the interface to be awkward, and it was slow. However, inspired by the need to write an intelligent news article, I decided that it was time to give the latest version (2.2.2) a try. Much to my surprise, I was very impressed. Evolution has come a long way (is that why they call it "Evolution"?).
The one complaint I have is that Evolution proved to be difficult to set up for receiving mail with SMTP. In the end, I decided it was less hassle to just dump SMTP and configure "local mail". Of course, this meant that I still needed Postfix and Fetchmail, but I did not need Procmail to call SpamAssassin. Rather, Evolution detected SpamAssassin all by itself, set up the hidden .spamassassin folder, and sent spam to a mail directory called "Junk". Interestingly, the auto-whitelist file it created was in ASCII format (KMail puts it in binary format - go figure).
The last two weeks that I've spent playing with SpamAssassin have been very educational. For one thing, I finally understand why I receive several "stupid spams" a day that aren't trying to sell me anything. Consider this one, which arrived just this morning:
You are assuming that Cartagena is a city of the blind, that at her starboard side. Round to this came the boat with Don Diego and A lady should know her own property, said he. Just within the doorway of the alley leading to the cabin, he ran - this straight up and down slip of a girl with her rather..."
It was much longer than that, but I'll spare you the rest. A quick Google search revealed this to be chapter 27 of the 1922 novel Captain Blood. Because it's so old, it's in the public domain and you can legally download copies from the Internet (from here for example). The question is, why would some Viagra salesman want to send me classical literature?
The reason, it seems, is to "pollute" SpamAssassin (and all other anti-spam software that uses Bayesian filtering). A Bayesian filter examines each word in a message and looks it up in a database to see how many times that word has appeared in prior spam and non-spam messages. It then calculates the overall probability of the message being spam or not. Spammers know this, and thus like to bombard users with "good" messages in the hopes that they will get classified as spam. This will render your spam filters less effective. Therefore, you need to put a little thought into which messages you really want to call "spam". Messages like the one above are best just deleted manually (don't classify them as either spam or ham, just send them to trash).
Vipul's Razor isn't usually run stand-alone - it works nicely in conjunction with SpamAssassin. To quote the Vipul's Razor project web site:
"Vipul's Razor is a distributed, collaborative, spam detection and filtering network. Through user contribution, Razor establishes a distributed and constantly updating catalogue of spam in propagation that is consulted by email clients to filter out known spam. Detection is done with statistical and randomised signatures that efficiently spot mutating spam content. User input is validated through reputation assignments based on consensus on report and revoke assertions which in turn is used for computing confidence values associated with individual signatures."
To put it another way, Razor compares your received email message to those which other humans have categorised as spam. This is quite different from SpamAssassin, which applies a set of rules against your messages. This essentially means you've got a much larger database to work with, but there is a downside as well. Since SpamAssassin is doing all its work on your own machine, it's much faster than Razor which is "out there" on the Internet. And remember, SpamAssassin isn't all that fast to begin with. Furthermore, the problem of spammers "polluting" the database with nonsense spam will be out of your control (though the above-mentioned "reputation assignments" helps to fight that).
Use Vipul's Razor if you like, but personally I haven't felt the need. I'm getting good enough results out of SpamAssassin as it is, and I wouldn't want to cripple my email performance any further.
SpamAssassin isn't the only game in town. There are competitors, some worthy, some less so. One that I'm keeping my eye on is SpamBayes. Take a look at their project web site for details. This one can be set up by KMail's anti-spam wizard.
Recently, Jef Poskanzer at ACME Labs posted an amusing and informative web page detailing how he handles over one million spam messages a day. If you're considering duplicating his experience, realize that he's describing a mail server which is online 24/7. A common email user would never have to set up anything so elaborate. However, if you're maintaining your own full-time mail server exposed to the ravages of the Internet, you may want to have a look at Jef's experience.
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That's all for today. We hope that you enjoyed this week's DistroWatch Weekly!
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|Linux Foundation Training
|• Issue 726 (2017-08-21): Redcore Linux 1706, Solus adds Snap support, KaOS getting hardened kernel, rolling releases and BSD|
|• Issue 725 (2017-08-14): openSUSE 42.3, Debian considers Flatpak for backports, changes coming to Ubuntu 17.10, the state of gaming on Linux|
|• Issue 724 (2017-08-07): SwagArch 2017.06, Myths about Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Touch, Manjaro OpenRC becomes its own distro, Debian debates future of live ISOs|
|• Issue 723 (2017-07-31): UBOS 11, transferring packages between systems, Ubuntu MATE's HUD, GNUstep releases first update in seven years|
|• Issue 722 (2017-07-24): Calculate Linux 17.6, logging sudo usage, Remix OS discontinued, interview with Chris Lamb, Debian 9.1 released|
|• Issue 721 (2017-07-17): Fedora 26, finding source based distributions, installing DragonFly BSD using Orca, Yunit packages ported to Ubuntu 16.04|
|• Issue 720 (2017-07-10): Peppermint OS 8, gathering system information with osquery, new features coming to openSUSE, Tails fixes networking bug|
|• Issue 719 (2017-07-03): Manjaro 17.0.2, tracking ISO files, Ubuntu MATE unveils new features, Qubes tests Admin API, Fedora's Atomic Host gets new life cycle|
|• Issue 718 (2017-06-26): Debian 9, support for older hardware, Debian updates live media, Ubuntu's new networking tool, openSUSE gains MP3 support|
|• Issue 717 (2017-06-19): SharkLinux, combining commands in the shell, Debian 9 flavours released, OpenBSD improving kernel security, UBports releases first OTA update|
|• Issue 716 (2017-06-12): Slackel 7.0, Ubuntu working with GNOME on HiDPI, openSUSE 42.3 using rolling development model, exploring kernel blobs|
|• Issue 715 (2017-06-05): Devuan 1.0.0, answering questions on systemd, Linux Mint plans 18.2 beta, Yunit/Unity 8 ported to Debian|
|• Issue 714 (2017-05-29): Void, enabling Wake-on-LAN, Solus packages KDE, Debian 9 release date, Ubuntu automated bug reports|
|• Issue 713 (2017-05-22): ROSA Fresh R9, Fedora's new networking features, FreeBSD's Quarterly Report, UBports opens app store, Parsix to shut down, SELinux overview|
|• Issue 712 (2017-05-15): NixOS 17.03, Alpha Litebook running elementary OS, Canonical considers going public, Solus improves Bluetooth support|
|• Issue 711 (2017-05-08): 4MLinux 21.0, checking file system fragmentation, new Mint and Haiku features, pfSense roadmap, OpenBSD offers first syspatch updates|
|• Issue 710 (2017-05-01): TrueOS 2017-02-22, Debian ported to RISC-V, Halium to unify mobile GNU/Linux, Anbox runs Android apps on GNU/Linux, using ZFS on the root file system|
|• Issue 709 (2017-04-24): Ubuntu 17.04, Korora testing new software manager, Ubuntu migrates to Wayland, running Nix package manager on alternative distributions|
|• Issue 708 (2017-04-17): Maui Linux 17.03, Snaps run on Fedora, Void adopts Flatpak, running Android apps on GNU/Linux, Debian elects Project Leader|
|• Issue 707 (2017-04-10): PCLinuxOS 2017.03, Canonical stops Unity development, OpenBSD on a Raspberry Pi, setting up a VPN for privacy|
|• Issue 706 (2017-04-03): Super Grub2 Disk, Snap packages of deepin applications, Subgraph OS routes network traffic for one application, announcements from Linux Mint|
|• Issue 705 (2017-03-27): Minimal Linux Live, sharing control of the operating system, new KaOS features, Uplos32 provides 32-bit fork of PCLinuxOS|
|• Issue 704 (2017-03-20): ToarusOS 1.0.4, Linux Mint's security record, Debian starts Project Leader election, Ubuntu 12.04 reaches end-of-life|
|• Issue 703 (2017-03-13): SolydXK 201701, CloudReady, Solus announces new features, KDE Connect sends text messages from desktop, openSUSE's YaST module for Let's Encrypt|
|• Issue 702 (2017-03-06): Fatdog64 Linux, elementary OS bundled with new netbook, Haiku announces new features, security and the size of a distro's development team|
|• Issue 701 (2017-02-27): OBRevenge 2017.02, Mageia 6 delays, NetBSD reproducible builds, questions about swap space, trying to steam video on a Raspberry Pi|
|• Issue 700 (2017-02-20): RaspBSD, Debian replaces Icedove with Thunderbird, Fedora's licensing guidlines, tips for switching shells, finding battery charge, getting IP address and killing processes|
|• Issue 699 (2017-02-13): Clear Linux, GhostBSD network utility ported to FreeBSD, Ubuntu coming to Fairphone, elementary OS crowd funding an app store|
|• 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|
|• Issue 694 (2017-01-09): MX Linux 16, Fedora considers systemd security features, DragonFly BSD to support massive swap space, Ubuntu Touch roadmap, Puppy's newsletter, sudo's password prompt|
|• 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|
|• Full list of all issues|
|Random Distribution |
Grafpup Linux was a desktop Linux operating system based closely on Puppy Linux. Its goal was to be as useful to graphic designers and other imaging professionals as possible while still remaining extremely small and fast. Grafpup was a live CD of only 75MB with current versions of GIMP, Cinepaint, Inkscape, and Scribus. Grafpup was also very user-friendly, with wizards for doing most system tasks like connecting to the internet and installing to hard disk or USB drive. There was also a powerful package management system, "pupget", with a very extensive and ever increasing list of additional packages available for easy installation.
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